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Lecture

5. The Olympic Gods (Cont'd) and Herakles: The Paradigmatic Hero

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Department
Classics
Course
CLA204H1
Professor
A Keith
Semester
Winter

Description
The Olympic Gods Contd and Herakles The Paradigmatic Hero y Hermes o Divine trickster o Seems like a god with multiple personalities o His name points to his beginning as a single phenomenon o Herma pile of stonesused as a demarcation between territories o Phallic display also used as territorial markwritten as HermaasA square pillar with an erect phallus and a bearded head o Soon every neighbourhood in Athens had its own Herms and festivals took place around these herms o In Greek epics the herm was turned into a mythical god o He was responsible for founding civilization o He is also the messenger of the gods o The herms is surrounded with stories of transgression of boundaries and breaking of taboos o He was born in the beginning of the day during the day he plays the lyre and at night he steals the cattle of Apollo ando Son of Zeus o Hermes crawls back into his crib at the end of the day and pretends to know nothing of the transgression o Zeus is amused and brings about a reconciliation between Apollo and Hermes o Hermes gives to Apollo the lyre that he invented o Hermes invented fire firesticks and sacrifice o Hermes is a rival to Prometheus in myth because he also is a bringer of fire o His domain is deception thieving trickery furtiveness o He is also the swift messenger of his father Zeus o He wears golden shoes and carries the magical staff which causes men to sleep and wake as he wishes o He epithet is Argeiphontesthe Slayer of Argos o He is always associated with the invention of musical instruments o He can cross the boundary between the living and the dead o He lead the dead to the underworld as Hermes Psychopompus Hermes the Leader of Souls o He also knows the way back from the underworld o He helps Persephone out of the underworld o He is the patron of herdsmen thieves graves and heralds o He was born in the Cellini mountains o He is always pursuing the nymphs to increase his sexual prowess o He is also associated with the multiplicity of sexualityhe has a sexual exuberance and herdsmen associate him with the increase in their cattle o Hermes is the giver of all goodevery lucky find is a Hermaion o A Chthonis Hermes is also worshipped Hermes as a god of the deadleader of the soul
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