C C 303 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Anchises, Cinyras, Pegasus

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Etiology/Etiological myths - myths that explain fact or custom. They usually
explain the origin of our physical world, like the earth, heavens,
constellations, rivers. They also explain the origin of humans and how they
came to be, like Pandora’s box but also zeus splitting humans into two.
These myths are used to explain things to humans that aren’t necessarily
understandable to society in conventional means. They are interpreted
literally, but also metaphorically, and carry a deeper meaning/moral
Minoans - Civilization in ancient greece. Came in the middle bronze age,
and had a strong sense of religion. They were very ritualistic and
architectural. They had a strong naval power, known as a thalassocracy.
Named after king minos and centered on the island of crete, where the
minotaur lives. Worshipped a snake goddess, an important figure in later
greek mythology
Cnossus - capital of the minoan civilization. Location of a palace that was
the basis for the labyrinth and the slaying of the minotaur. The city has no
walls because the sea power of the minoans was so strong
Mycenaeans - civilization in the late bronze age. Spoke greek, but Indo-
european in origin. Worshipped Zeus, and brought in elements from indo-
european beliefs into greek mythology, like the snake goddess and man vs.
women idea. They borrowed from the minoans, who they had conquered and
were also very architectural. They cyclopean walls, that were very large.
Linear B - clay tablets found with inscribed writing of greek that was used
by the mycenaeans. They include familiar names of deities in classical greek
like zeus, hera, poseidon, hermes, athena, and artemis. The gods are listed in
the tablets as the recipients of offerings, which suggests ritual sacrifices and
ceremonial banquets. These tablets imply that the minoans and mycenaeans
worshiped earth and mother-fertility type goddesses, two important themes
that occur in greek mythology
Hesiod - greek poet and scholar who is responsible for establishing many
rituals and customs in greek mythology, religion and belief. He wrote the
theogony, which is a poem that describes the origins of the greek gods and
their genealogies. His work establishes from the elemental gods to the
olympian gods.
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Theogony - Poetic work of hesiod. It establishes the genealogy and origins
of the greek gods and other minor deities. Along with homer’s work, it is
largely responsible for establishes greek customs and beliefs.
Gaia - The goddess of the earth. She came out of chaos and gave birth to
Ouranos, who she mated with. With him she gave birth to the titans, the
giants, the hecatonchires. She is involved in many myths, but plays a minor
role and not a central figure, since most myths revolve around the gods.
However, she is part of the concept of mother earth and fertility, the mating
of the earth mother and sky god (a holy marriage known as hieros gamos),
Ouranos - son and mate of Gaia, and is the elemental god of the Sky. With
gaia, he has the 12 titans, the giants, and the hecatonchires. A major etiology
myth he is involved in is that He is castrated by his son Cronus, and from his
genitals Aphrodite came. He also takes the role of the sky god, who mates
with the mother earth to bear the next generation, which is a theme
throughout greek mythology.
Eros - God of love. Roman counterpart is cupid. Some myths make him a
son of aphrodite, some make him as a primordial god, but he is usually
associated with aphrodite. Depicted as a handsome, strong man and very
masculine Plays an important role in Theogony. A major myth he is a part of
is as Cupid, in the Roman tale of Cupid and Psyche.
Cyclopes - Giant, one-eyed monster sons of Gaia and Uranus. Brontes,
Steropes and Arges were their names. They fashioned and gave zeus his
thunderbolt and lightning, yet another etiology for zeus’ powers.
Titans - the children of Ouranos and Gaia. The generation before the
olympians, who came from the titans Rhea and Cronus. Cronus castrated
Ouranos and came into power, which brought the titans into power until the
titanomachy, where they were eventually overthrown by the olympian gods,
a continuation of the next generation overthrowing the previous one. Some
titans play a minor role in myths, but some like cronus, prometheus and
epimetheus play a major role in etiological myths
Cronus - youngest of the titans but also the king of the titans. Roman
counterpart is Saturn, who comes to be associated with the grim reaper and
father time. Cronus is the son of Ouranos and Gaia, and the father of the 12
olympians along with rhea. Takes on the role of the sky god after Ouranos,
and mates with Rhea, continuing the pattern of the Sky-god, mother earth
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pair to bring forth the next generation. He also overthrows Ouranos, and
then gets overthrown by Zeus and the olympian gods in the titanomachy,
which is the pattern of the previous generation overthrowing the older
generation
Rhea - Queen of the titans. She was the daughter of Ouranos and Gaia, and
she mated with Cronus to give birth to the Olympian gods. She plays a major
part in the myth of Zeus and the gods overthrowing Cronus in the
titanomachy, hiding zeus until he is old enough to fight cronus. She also
takes on the continuation of the mother-earth who mates with the sky god to
bring forth the next generation.
Oceanus - Titan son of Ouranos and Gaia, titan god of the sea. Brother to
rhea, cronus and the other titans. His wife was tethys, and with her he had
numerous children, the oceanids, three thousands daughters and many sons,
water, and rivers.
Helius - Son of Hyperion and Theia. He is a sun god, just like his dad. Plays
into the theme of duplication of divinities, with the younger god usurping
power from the older one, like helius did with hyperion. He is the father of
phaethon, and is involved in the myth in which phaethon dies while trying to
steer the sun’s chariot. Had many lovers, and the island of rhodes was sacred
to him. He is the inspiration for the Colossus at Rhodes, one of the seven
ancient wonders of the world.
Selene - Daughter of hyperion and Theia, sister of eos and helius. Goddess
of the moon and drives a chariot like helius, but only with 2 horses. Involved
in the myth where she falls in love with endymion and asks Zeus for him to
sleep and stay young forever.
Eos - daughter of hyperion and theia, sister of selene and helius. Goddess of
dawn and drives a 2 horse chariot. All siblings are entities of the sky and
drives a chariot. She, like her sister, is involved in a love myth. She falls in
love with tithonus and asks for him to be immortal but not young forever.
Moral of be careful what you wish for, which is a theme in greek tragedy
and mythology
Aphrodite- goddess of love, beauty, procreation and marriage. Her roman
counterpart is venus. She has 2 stories of her origin, one where she came
from Ouranos’ genitals, and where she is the daughter of Zeus and dione. In
Plato’s symposium these are said to be the origins of different entities of
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Document Summary

Etiology/etiological myths - myths that explain fact or custom. They usually explain the origin of our physical world, like the earth, heavens, constellations, rivers. They also explain the origin of humans and how they came to be, like pandora"s box but also zeus splitting humans into two. These myths are used to explain things to humans that aren"t necessarily understandable to society in conventional means. They are interpreted literally, but also metaphorically, and carry a deeper meaning/moral. Came in the middle bronze age, and had a strong sense of religion. They had a strong naval power, known as a thalassocracy. Named after king minos and centered on the island of crete, where the minotaur lives. Worshipped a snake goddess, an important figure in later greek mythology. Cnossus - capital of the minoan civilization. Location of a palace that was the basis for the labyrinth and the slaying of the minotaur.

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