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Chapter 5


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Craig Taylor

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CLASSICS CHAPTER 5 THE TWELVE OLYMPIANS: ZEUS, HERA, AND THEIR CHILDREN BROTHERS AND SISTERS, CHILDREN OF CRONUS + RHEA ● HESTIA (VESTA) ● HADES (PLUTO) ● POSEIDON (NEPTUNE) ● DEMETER (CERES) ● HERA (JUNO) ● ZEUS (JUPITER) ZEUS presides over sky POSEIDON presides over sea HADES presides over underworld they cast lots for their realms ZEUS takes sister HERA as his queen & subordinate. There are 14 major deities. Hades doesn't live on Olympus and Hestia is eventually replaced by DIONYSUS. CHILDREN OF ZEUS ● HEPHAESTUS (VULCAN) ● ARES (MARS) ● APOLLO ● ARTEMIS (DIANA) ● APHRODITE (VENUS) ● ATHENA (MINERVA) ● HERMES (MERCURY) ● DIONYSUS (BACCHUS) HESTIA (VESTA) - Mythology is meager. but she's important - she rejected advances of poseidon and apollo and vowed chastity - like Athena and Artemis, she's a goddess of chastity - think Vestal Virgins who tend the fire in Rome - goddess of teh hearth and its sacred fire (hestia means hearth) - primitive peoples obtained fire with difficult and they kept it alive and revered it for its basic importance in daily needs and religious ceremony. - first born of Cronus - every hearth is revered and hestia is often revered, esp. at banquets and sacrificial ritual ZEUS - amorous. mates with countless goddesses and mortals - wrathful. holy. upholding the sacred and moral order of the universe. - etymological root of name is "bright" (as it is in Jupiter) - attributes: thunder and lightning - bears the AEGIS - a shield with miraculous protective powers. - animal: majestic eagle. and bull. plant: the oak. - was not always absolute / supreme, some even suggest that he is always subject to the dictates of the feminine fates: aphrodite can tempt him, demeter can defy him, thetis frees him, hera constantly challenges him - center of worship: dodona and olympus ZEUS & HERA - their marriage represents yet another enactment of the sacred SKY-GOD and EARTH-GODDESS marriage. - hera has little mythology on her own, but a lot in connection with zeus. - vehement wife and mom who punishes the sexual escapades of her hubby - fierce champion of morality and marriage - IRIS, messenger goddess of the rainbow, often depicted as Hera's servant. and Hermes is Zeus's messenger when Iris is in this role. - her bird is the peacock (remember story of Io and Argus) - center of worship is Argos - worshipped less as earth goddess, more as g of women, marriage, childbirth, etc. functions shared by all goddesses THE SANCTUARY OF ZEUS AT OLYMPIA PHEIDIAS carved the statue of Zeus there. it was the most admired of all ancient statues. 42ft high. statue had zeus sitting on his throne carrying the figure of NIKE (victory) in his right and, in his left a scepter on which perched his eagle. in the temple and its statue, at the heart of the greatest PANHELLENIC sanctuary, myths of human and divine struggle and victory, of destruction and creation, combined to honour Zeus as the supreme god of civilization. THE ORACLES AT OLYMPIA AND DODONA - these were the important centers of worship for zeus and they were frequented for their oracular responses - observation and interpretation of omens ie ● rustling of leaves ● sound of the wind in branches of sacred oaks ● call of doves ● condition of burnt offerings at olympia, people usually asked about chances of competitors in the games at dodona, through influence of oracle of apollo at delphi, a priestess would mount a TRIPOD and deliver her communications from the god. CHILDREN OF ZEUS AND HERA: EILEITHYIA, HEBE, HEPHAESTUS, AND ARES EILEITHYIA, GODDESS OF CHILDBIRTH. a role shared with Hera. Artemis is another important goddess of childbirth. HEBE (and GANYMEDE), CUPBEARERS TO THE GODS. Hebe is the goddess of YOUTHFUL BLOOM (literal meaning of her name). primarily known as cupbearer for the deities on olympus. when Heracles wins immortality, she becomes his bride. According to some, GANYMEDE, a trojan prince, replaces Hebe as cupbearer after she marries. Ganymede is really handsome and that's why zeus carried him off to serve the gods in heaven. His myth is variously interpreted as religious devotion, homosexuality, fraternity, rape, or a joke. HEPHAESTUS, THE DIVINE ARTISAN. ● god of creative fire and a divine smith. his workshop is often in heaven or on olympus. his role in myth is to create things of extrordinary beauty and utility. ie. shied of achilles. he even has gold fembots for attendants. master artisan. ● sometimes his forge is under earth and three cyclopes labour with him, the ones who
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