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Midterm: Discussion of Concept

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Golden Bough (Branch) - Virgil’s golden bough is compared to that of Grove of Nemi - Aeneid overview of bough - Happens at midpoint of epic, which is v. Dark.Alot of bad stuff happened - He needs to complete katabasis in order to receive enlightenment from dad - To do so he needs to get the golden bough and sacrifice misensus in a massive pyre - The bough is compared to mistltoe because its life-force does not wither - It is used to tame Charon, so life masters death - Time Virgil is writing in and comparison toAugustus - Old Troy is gone, just like old Rome - Renewal and destruction - fundamentally an epic of rebirth and renewal - Grove rituals still meaningful - All adversaries at allegories for Rex Nemorensis, who needs to be swept aside to bring about a rebirth, and for the enemies ofAugustus, who need to be swept aside for a new political awakening - All are killed as a sacrifice, so both aeneas and augustus are doign the duty of priest - Frazer’s 3 theories and how it ties in - Sacred king: homeopathic and contagios magic: controls the world for good or ill. Latinus is compared to Rex because he lives in the grove, who is compared to Pompey. He is weak and out of touch so... - Dying King/God: he needs to be killed to bring about rebirth. Fire has an important quality here, like the pyre of misensus, and that of Caesar. Caesar’s spirit ascends in the comet, andAugustus adopts his name in essence, becoming caesar - Mistletoe: Virgil compares his golden bough to misteltoe, and it is “golden” because it does not wither in winter and thus connected to the sun, which is fed via bonfires. Frazer compares this to myth of Blader, who is killed by misteltoe. Misteltoe acts as external soul, just how the armor of the deceased comrade worn by Turnus gets him sacrificed by a “spear” (bough), who representsAntony. They aren’t old but are standing in the way of progress - belong to an older regime. Thus they deserve to be killed like the Rex - recurrign pattern, which highlights th eimportance of death and rebirth - Use of contagious magic - Understand myth as patterned, relating to the dying god - Myth as ferility - Trifunctional Hypothesis - Georges Dumezil - 3 functions: Division reflected in religion and mythology of many diverse indo-european cultures - 1) sovereignty - 2) warriors - 3) producers - Reflect india’s caste system - 1) Brahmins - 2) Kshatriyas - 3) Vaishyas - extended to gods, allowing comparison across the board - E.g., Zeus = Jupiter,Athena = mars, Dioscuri = Quirinus - procrustean bed - Issues of societal overlap and funcitonal slippage - Ishtar - Thor st nd rd - Dumezil identifies pattern of war between 1 and 2 with the 3 as a foundational narrative - E.g.,Aesir-vani - E.g., Sabine - But this cannot really be applied to a Greek foundational narrative. The trojan war,however does fit this, but rather than foundational for Greece, it strongly confirms the trifunctional hypothesis In its origin, course and consequences. Iliad explores what happens when 1 and 2 st nd rd are cut off from 3 : - Judgement of paris: goddess and functions; compare King of Iray, Fereydun - This has consequences st nd rd - Greek camp: 1 and 2 ; Troy 3 , catering to Paris - Troy is outmatched and fatally crippled - Greek camp is a bunch of alpha males, women are needed (with agency, not just prizes): outburst betweenAgamemnon andAchilles, nestors mediation - Achilles shield - Achiles returns to humanity with desire for 3 function, and fights underAgamemnon - Lucretius - posits opposition between fertility and healthy sexuality vs. Sovereignty and war - Ultimate denial of third function - Odyssey explores what happens when you break up the functions - Odysseus as sovereign, Ithaka’s public life withers - Unable to guard family through physical force as warrior - And he is incomplete without wife and child - Stable order when two opposing factions are permanently reconciled and integrated - This shows the importance of all three functions, and their role with one another An enduring stable order is created when these two opposing factions are permanently reconciles and integrated, such as in Sabine. This shows the importance of all three functions, and their role with one another.Asociety cannot survive on only one (or two) function. The opposing cultures are in need of one another’s “functions”, and total destruction is spared by the 3 function game- changer, women, who appeal to their fertility, which is a reminder of the need to propogate, where fertility opposes destruction. Ultimately this underlying pattern teaches the importance of all aspects of life in both the personal and societal spheres, and warns against living without balance. But this cannot really be extended as a foundational narrative for Greece, unless you begin at the Trojan war, in which the heroic age ends. The Trojan War strongly confirms Dumezil’s trifunctional hypothesis in the war’s origin, course and consequences. The judgement of Paris has clear evidence of tri-functional hypothesis. The goddesses are each assigned one function, and Paris must choose among them. This is based off the Indo-European myth of the King of Iran, Fereydun, who divides his empire amongst his sons, Salm, Tur and Iraf. Each ask for one function, and their choices has defining repercussions for your future, the future of your people and lineage Lucretius interpretation of the Trojan War (Specifically of the relationship betweenAgamemnon and Iphegenia) posits opposition between fertility and healthy sexuality vs. sovereignty and warfare.Agamemnon had angeredArtemis by killing a doe (or, alteratively, denying her sacrifices of agricultural produce). She responds by trapping the
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