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Hesiod Theogony

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Victoria Wohl

January 16 , 2012  Woman inferior to man, man inferior to god  Arachne—woman—such a great weaver rival Athena, ehern Athena saw weavings she got so jealous she got so jealous she turned her into a spider  A human can rival gods, become so good they can rival it but gods always prevail  Gods are superior to mortals and don’t forget it or trouble will helpful  Useful in a way, contrast yourself to others who are inferior to you  Examples throughout term, unless you think about your own limitations, hardships and suffering  God uniquely good for thinking aobut humanity  Similar and different to humans  Differences: o Gods don’t have blood but echer, green stuff o Eat nectar and ambrosia, they smell o Minor differences  Major: o Gods all powerful o Live for ever o Power over own realm—aphrodite all powerful in love and sexiness and desire o Athen—all powerful in weaving adn war o Poseidon—all powerful over sea o Ares—war o All power in specific domain o Power over human beings o If a god desires you you cant say no o Mortality:thnatoi—those who are going to die, gods athanaoi not going to die o Eos—goddess of dawn, god fell in love with human man: tithonus, asked zeus to give tithonus eternal live so they can spend life together zeus gives it to her, but doesn’t give him forever youth, tithonus became a crinkily dried out little voice o Aging and death natural part of existence o Mortality and power major differences o A lot of similarities  Anthropomorphism—representing gods in human shape o Greeks imagine gods not only human, but also human emotions, desires o Illiad, gods have favourites, routing for nations, etc o Gods invested in human affairs o Cant actually suffer o Sarpedon—son of zeus, doesn’t want him to die, wants to takw him up and bring him up to ehaven, hera tells him we all have kids on battlefield and if uou save your everyone will ahve to suffer o Gods feel for humans o Invest in human affairs o Whole beginning of illiad plays on similarities between gods and mortals o Book 1, Achilles dishonoured by fellow Greeks, gos to mother river goddess, im being dishonoured intervene with zeus o Goes to Olympus flirts asks to make Trojans win for a while so Greeks will need him o Hera sees them flirting, and scolds them o Responds to hera with domestic abuse: she assumes hes cheating, he gets angry adn threatens her, hera uses sex to get her way, goes to Aphrodite to borrow perfume and lingerie, goes to zeus sys she wants to make up—gods like us and very different—like humans they feel desire, use sex to get theri way, unlike human beigns flowers grow, golden cloud created, etc o Different as[ects come into play at different times o Illiad we see zeus as henpecked husband and folanderer o Other times we see him as the carrier fo justice o When push comes to shove they see the bigger picture o Final battle with Achilles and hectar, zeus gets golden scales life of hectar and Achilles in each hand, hectar weighs lower, hectars time to die, his job to make sure that fate is acocomplished o Zeus is the holder of fate o In theoony zeus is literally father of justice o Balance gods humanness and their moral force in cosmos, different aspects at different moments  Sometimes gods do immoral things  Gods their to be admired but not emulated  Ethics and morality human aspects, good not because you’re ttrying to be like a god, but because you respect fellow man, ethical, etc  Every element of culture open to critique  xenophanes th o 6 c bce “mortals consider gods ar born, clothes body speech, ethiopoians say their snub nosed and black, therasiasn have red hair and blue eyes, if animals could do what man could and write adn draw animals would gods in their images” o Imagining gods as anthropomorphic we’re projecting our thoughts about ourselves o Protagoras—man measure of all things o Greek view of world anthropocentric—god centre of all things  Theogony—hesiod o Birth of gods o Honours gods by reciting geneology o Starts with nothing, pieve by piece, god by god, name by name, populates entire univers o A lot of names o Why all these gods, explain why this poem has exhaustive detail? o So detailes because this is what made a good poem back then o Period end of dark ages o Before writing reintroduced, orla poet, literate poet having a lot fo details not impressive, but composiong form memory, singing a theogony, impressive o Detail is a sign of virtueosity in greek poetry oral o Late 8 century, End of dark ages one thing characterising archaic period was increased communication, trade, cooperative, emphasize things that unite them liek language, culture, religion o Panhellinism—greekce starts thinking about themselves as a whole, end of dark ages, one thing coming out of it was the Olympics o 776bc, panhellenic sentiment all teh Greeks come and compete wtih eachtoher to worship zeus o Hesiods theogony represents the pnahellinic unity—a version of genesis all Greeks can agree o Page 14—“as many again rivers..hard for mortal man tell names of them all, each ppl know them who lvies near them” o Millions of river gods in Greece, hes trying to teach a panhellenic theology and unclude as many gods as he can, but cant name them all o Exhaustiveness of poem o Give credit to all greek communities without forgetting anyone o Religious explanation o Religion not just anthropomorphic, polytheistic multiple gods  Greeks represented as community through gods—zeus and Olympians  Zeus leader  Translator refers to zeus as “|God” like Christianity  Leader and father, but always multiplicity of gods never the only one  Always imagined as living a communal life  Punishment for god who breaks the oath—year long coma  Moret rying ordeal succeeds first, cut off form all gods for 9 years  Cant kill a god but ostracise them  Worst thing for a god  Not imagined as separate from morta  Lpervasive part of our existence  Mountains gods, thunder gods, oceans a god, all around us in nature, all around us in facts of existent  Old age, resentment, envy all gods, justice, memory, any time we envoke these abstractions theres a divinity there  Godsall around us  Ends with “....” to be continued, so many ppl cant finish poem  Gods imagined as sleeping with humans and making children  Gods in theogony o Examples of gods different from us: typhoon a monster serpent underground deity o Gorgons snake hair, Pegasus, achidna, monstrous gods o Earth and heaven, natural phenomenon, o Abstractions o Justice, oaths, resentment old age, starvation o Examples of similarities in what they are or what they do: o They reproduce—key element of poem, have all problems of reproduction, power hungry, jealous, competititve, struggle between father and son o Hard read—core is human—tree with a million branches asnd leaves with central trunk o Family sauga known as succession o Handing down of power through conflict of one generation to next o Succession myth—hesiod  Violent conflct over 3 generations between father and son  No doubt how this will turn out  We know how this should end—begins by calling on muses asking to sing about zeus and Olympians and greatness  Road to that end is a stroy of bloody conflict generation after generation
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