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Lecture 3_orphic mythology.docx

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CLT 3370
Elizabeth Richey

Lecture 3: Other Greek Creation Myths January 21, 2014 I. Different stories of creation a. Philosophical accounts o The Pre-Socratic philosophers b. Religious accounts o Orphism II. Orphism: a mystic religion of ancient Greece, originating in the 7th or 6th century BC and based on poems (now lost) attributed to Orpheus, emphasizing the necessity for individuals to rid themselves of the evil part of their nature by ritual and moral purification throughout a series of reincarnations. III. From archaic Greece (?) to Roman world IV. Complexity of Greek religion: ability to have sub-religions—believe in all normal gods, but then be devoted to one particular god—alternative to main Greek religion i. c) Alternative to main Greek religion ii. d) Tradition of Orpheus: according to myths, he is a historical figure V. From Thrace VI. Early musician: one of the first VII. Magical power of music VIII. Knew secret rites—knew all the secret rituals—how the universe came to be 1. Of Dionysus—especially knew the rites of him 2. About the afterlife 3. 5) Orpheus and Eurydike (Eurydice): story says that Orpheus married Eurdike yet she was bitten by a snake-she died and part of her soul went down into the underworld. Orpheus plays his lyre for Hades and Persephone so well that they are agreed to allow him to take her back, yet the one rule is that he cannot look back, so he loses her to the underworld. Torn apart by the Menaids which practice Sparagmos, which is ritual of tearing apart of animals and then eat them raw—all that is left, the head falls into the river (head of his body stays alive) IX. e) Musaeus (Musaios) X. f) Mystery religion: religions in the ancient world that was revolved around initiation—focused on what happened to you after you die (most of the mystery in the religions was the secret to achieve a better afterlif
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