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CLA201H1- Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 42 pages long!)


Department
Classics
Course Code
CLA201H1
Professor
Jody Cundy
Study Guide
Final

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UTSG
CLA201H1
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Myth
- Comes from the Greek mythos, which means “word, speech, tale, story”
- A myth is a traditional story of collective importance shared (terry fox), anonymous.
- Narrative of communal significance
Divine myth: Stories about the gods
Legend (or saga): Stories with a kernel of historical truth and focus on the adventures of a hero
(mortals that are demigods)
Folktale: Adventure stories with fantastic or magical aspect.
- Folktale types (Cinderella type)
- Folktale motifs (abused younger sibling, spirit helper) recurring moments or types of
people/things
Etiological tale (Aetiology): Explaining phenomena that are part of the world
- Aitia: “the cause, the reason” for a fact, ritual practice or institution
- Cosmos the ordered, beautiful universe. Order comes from narrative and story that
explains how it came to be
Myths in Context
- Representations of myth viewed or read in relation to each other. Ex: Euripides invented
Medea’s murder of her children. In other traditions she protects them same moments
but the meaning is changed
- Mythographers, dramatists, and artists as innovators of mythology.
- Ethnographic context (Marcel Detienne): the particular cultural and religious practices at
any one place and time which structure and give meaning to the bare bones of the
narratives. Myths are not timeless the meaning of myth, its energy and impact, are
very much dependent upon its contexts
Ancient Interpretations of Myth: Trying to make sense of some strange stories
- Mythos vs logos: traditional vs reason
- Allegory/symbolism: saying something in a different way
- Physical/psychological allegory, etymology, historical allegory (myth as early history),
moral allegory
Modern Interpretations of Myth
- Enlightenment myth as error, comparative approach, cultural evolution
- Romantic theories - emotions vs reason, myth as essential truth
- Anthropological theories primitive culture, animism, cultural evolution, justification for
the way things are
Time Periods
Early/Middle Bronze Age (Pre History) 3000-1600 BCE
- Minoans (King Minos)
- Centered around islanf of Crete
- Palaces, Bulls (minotaur) and double axe
Late Bronze Age (Mycenaean Age) 1600-1150 BCE
- Mycenae on Peloponnesus
- Greek speaking Indo- Europeans (1650BCE)
- Tholos tombs
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- Wanax (applied to Agamemnon) and the megaton
- Centres of power: Thebes, Athens, Pylos, Orchomenus
Dark Age (Iron Age) 1150-800 BCE
- Other Greek populations pushed eastward
- Disorganization, depopulation, poverty, illiteracy
- Loss of writing technology and monumental architecture
Archaic Period 800-400 BCE
Greek alphabet = beginning of Archaic period
Polis system emerges
- Agora marketplace, centre of polis
- Homeric epic
- Greek colonization
Classical Period 480-323 BCE
- Development of democracy
- Demos people, kratos power/rule
- Time of great artistic achievement (literature, sculpture, painting, architecture)
- Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta
- Growth of Macedonian hegemony under Phillip and Alexander
Hellenistic Period 323-330 BCE
- Begins with the death of Alexander the Great. His successors Ptolemy, Seleucus,
Antigonus
- Various forms of government monarchies, leagues and city states
- Widespread knowledge of Greek throughout East from Greece to India
Late Bronze Age/Mycenaean Age 1600-1150 BC
- The age of Heroes?
- Palaces Mycenae, Pylos, Thebes, Sparta
- Linear B writing, Greek
Questions
- How do we know the true version of a myth vs an innovation?
- Who wrote the myths? People from the Archaic period up to the Roman period
- Allegory characters reflect some other significance/phenomenon. Read myth
allegorically
- Why don’t we believe these myths (religiously)? Pagan to Christian shift to the dominant
religion. No room for myths as a religion but as an allegory. Just because they have
fantastical elements, why do we assume they are untrue?
Other
- Myths are mutable and malleable
- Satyrs are associated with Dionysus (god of wine)
- Females are presented with white skin (in art) and males with dark skin
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