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CLAS 203- Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 120 pages long!)


Department
Classics
Course Code
CLAS 203
Professor
Francois Gauthier
Study Guide
Final

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McGill
CLAS 203
Final EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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CLAS 203: GREEK MYTHOLOGY
Lecture 1: Introduction to Greek Myth
Syllabus: Tests consist mostly of multiple choices.
4 conferences: conferences as group discussions. The class will be split in many groups.
Conference sections will be posted on Minerva, now they are considered temporarily
closed. Register as soon as you can so we find a group we can attend and does not
override with other classes.
Before conferences, read passages of ancient sources pertaining to what we discussed in
class. TAs will lead those and we will be graded on our participation in these
conferences.
PPT slides will be posted online; they are no substitution to lectures.
Read Classical Mythology p. 3-26 (assigned for Friday 2nd)
Note on Chronology:
Calendar used on a Christian tradition.
BCE=BC Before Common Era/Before Christ
500-4999-…. 498= V th century
CE=AD: Common Era/Anno Domini (Year of our Lord)
100-101-…
Note on Periodization:
Periodization: useful tool to differentiate periods of time.
Archaic Period ca. (around) 700- BCE. )conic statues with funny smile
Classical Period ca. 480-323 BCE
CLASS CONTENT:
1. Background The nature of Myth
2. Greek Attitudes Regarding Myth
3. The Modern Study of Myth
No clear definition of what myth is: many different answers. Comes from the word
muthos. Muthos (ῦθς): tale, story. The word muthos is often compared to the word
logos.
Logos (όγς): Rational/verifiable account.
Listen, then, as they say, to a beautiful story, which you will consider a myth (muthos), I think, but
which I consider an actual account (logos); for the things which I am about to tell you, I will tell as
the truth.
Plato Gorgias, 523a
c. 380 BCE
Myth is concerned with the organization of the world with the gods, with religion
and what could be called miracles/the supernatural. Even the term religion is
somewhat problematic because what we understand by religion does not really have
an equivalent for the Greeks. For instance, they do not have one word to talk about
religion:
Ta hiera (τὰ ἱεά) Sacred things
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Ta theia (τὰ θεῖα) Divine things
Ta nomina (τὰ όα) Things observant of custom
Not one word is equating our word ofreligion.
A classical myth is a story, through its classical form, has attained a kind of immortality
because its inherent archetypal beauty, profundity, and power have inspired rewarding
renewal and transformation by successive generations.
(Available on p. 26 of the textbook.)
Greek conception of sexuality: in popular culture, ancient Greece is sometimes
perceived as some sort of paradise orgies, togasCloser look?
Society was not built on a Judeo-christian tradition, no concept of sin attached to
sexual practice. This does not mean that there were no rules. In modern scholarships,
the topic of sexuality among the Greeks was not studied/discussic for many years
(until 1960s/70s) considered it could be studied without subjecting it to modern
Western moral judgment. Greeks did not make a differentiation between what we
understand today as queer, gay or straight. They had no notion of that.
Homosexuality was accepted in ancient Greece, no concept of sin attached to it unlike
in a Judeo-christian society.
Δ However, most of the evidence comes from Athens.
Not having a wife for a Greek man was not well thought of. Indeed, having only a male
lover was not well regarded.
In the popular imagination, Romans win and lose empires, fight fur-clad barbarians, and bring on
the dancing girls; Greeks discuss the nature of the Good or flirt with underage boys.
Nisbet, G. Ancient Greece in Film and Popular Culture (2006, p. 18)
Pederasty: Relationship between a younger and an older male. For elite citizens in
Athens, there was a practice known as pederasty. They did not have the concept of a
legal distinction of a minimum age. The older partner was supposed to educate the
younger partner on how to be a good citizen. The young guy was supposed to be
willingly part of this relationship. Threshold of acceptability was early to late
adolescence.
The most famous pederastic couple was that of Harmodios and Aristogeiton
They tried to murder a tyrant in Athens in 514. They mistook the tyrant brothers for
the tyrant and killed him instead.
- Hippias
-(ipparchos † 
Fought tyranny and defended what would become later the Athenian democracy.
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