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January 17th Lecture

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Victoria Wohl

CLA232H1 January 17th 2011 Gods and Mortals - defining the Gods as others - Greeks defined themselves against what they were not who they were not; this is a case of them defining themselves against something superior to themselves (like the story of Arachne) - this helps Greeks think about their limitations; it helped them come to terms with their humanity - Myth of Eos and Tithonus: Eos is the goddess of the dawn, and Tithonus was mortal Eos asked for eternal life for Tithonus, but did not ask for eternal youth; Tithonus kept ageing but never dying until he became just a high pitched whine (the reasoning for cicadas) - Greek religion is anthropomorphic they imagine their gods in mortal shape, and having human emotions - the story of Sarpedon is a good example of gods picking sides and caring for their children Sarpedon was the son of Zeus, and when he was going to die in battle, Zeus wanted to save him -gods are mortals are depicted similar, but there is always one major difference they are immortal where humans are not - the gods do holdup the cosmic order, even though they do lie, cheat, and manipulate (they gods are flawed, but they are also a moral force for justice in the world) Xenophanes: didnt believe the anthropomorphic gods (gods are created in their own image if cows had gods, theyd look like cows) Protagoras: man is the measure of all things (even the gods) Hesoids Theogony: - theogony: birth of the gods (theo divine, gods, gony birth) - Chaos to the Greeks meant the disorder caused by emptiness (chasm) - Hesoid: late 8th century, very end of the dark ages Why the poem is so long and detailed: - he was an oral poet, so the more detail included, means the more he is revered for having a good memory - Panhellenism: of, concerning, or representing all people of Greek origin or ancestry; by the end of the dark ages, there was renewed communication with the whole of the Greek community - Hesoid put this together to make onetext that all the Greeks can agree upon a compilation of all the local beliefs of Greece (making a Panhellenic poem) - 776 BCE: the first Olympics - Polytheism: Greeks practiced this; the worship of more than one god; and the gods were imagined as a community similar to a moral community - because of this, he had to list them all, as excluding someone would make them
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