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Chapter 13-15

CLAA06H3: Chapter 13-15 Review

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Classical Studies
Alexandra Pohlod

Helen  Li     CLAA06H3     Chapter  13   Introduction  to  Heroic  Myth   • Humans  are  the  protagonists,  not  gods   • Narrative  about  events  in  the  human,  not  divine,  past   • “Hero”   – Homer:  noble-­‐born  male  who’s  alive   – Later:  noble  figure  from  the  distant  past.   Tomb  of  Heroes   • Object  of  Hero  cults   – heroa  (heroön)   • Bronze  Age  earthen  mounds   – sêma   • Cults  and  tumuli  of  Alyattes,  Achilles,  Theseus  .  .  .     • Fig.  13.1  Tomb  of  Alyattes       Epic  of  Gilagmesh   • Tumuli  cults  date  from  the  Iron  Age   • Associated  with  the  popularization  of  heroic  myth  via  writing   • But  not  heroes  in  Egyptian  or  Semitic  myth   • The  great  hero  of  Mesopotamia  is  Gilgamesh   • Comes  to  us  as  a  written  exercise,  not  as  the  dictation  of  what  an  oral  poet  was  saying.  A  literate   myth   – Scribal  exercises   • Strong  indications  of  influence  from  the  Epic  of  Gilgamesh  and  Greek  heroic  myth   • Gilgamesh  an  historical  king  of  Uruk  in  Mesopotamia  (2600  BC)   Gilgamesh  and  Enkidu   • Opening  lines  like  that  of  Homer’s  Odyssey.   – The  one  who  saw  all  [Sha  nagba  imuru]  I  will  declare  to  the  world,   The  one  who  knew  all  I  will  tell  about   [line  missing]   He  saw  the  great  Mystery,  he  knew  the  Hidden:   He  recovered  the  knowledge  of  all  the  times  before  the  Flood.   He  journeyed  beyond  the  distant,  he  journeyed  beyond  exhaustion,   And  then  carved  his  story  on  stone.     • Gilgamesh  abused  his  royal  power   • Aruru  sent  a  rival,  Enkidu   – Lived  in  nature   – Gilgamesh  sent  out  a  whore  to  make  him  fall   • Enkidu  comes  to  Uruk  to  prevent  Gilgamesh  from  abusing  a  virgin   • After  the  draw  in  the  wrestling  match,  they  become  friends   Epic  of  Gilgamesh   Gilgamesh  and  Humbaba   • The  Land  of  the  Living  (Land  of  Cedars)   – Shamash   – Humbaba   Epic  of  Gilgamesh   Gilgamesh  and  Ishtar   • Ishtar   – Gilgamesh  rebuffs  and  reviles  her   • Anu   • The  Bull  of  Heaven   • Enkidu’s  dream   • Enkidu’s  death  from  illness   • Fig.  13.2   – Gilgamesh  kills  the  Bull  of  Heaven.       The  Quest  for  Eternal  Life   • Gilgamesh’s  quest   • Utnapishtim   – =  Ziusudra,  Atrahasis,  Noah   • Lions   • Mashu   • Scorpion  Men   • Siduri   – Your  quest  is  hopeless   • Utnapishtim  granted  immortality   – The  story  of  the  flood   – Enlil  interceded  for  him  because  of  his  service  during  the  flood   • The  test  of  sleep   • The  herb   • Went  back  to  Uruk  and  engraved  his  tale  on  a  stone   The  Hero  Caught  between  Nature  and  Culture   • The  quest  for  knowledge  about  death  could  not  be  Egyptian   – They  knew  the  answers  and  didn’t  fear  death   • Natural  versus  culture   – Understandable  dichotomy  in  a  culture  where  “civilization”  began   – Enkidu,  the  natural  man  who  falls  because  of  a  sexual  “sin”  and  becomes  “wise”   – Cf.  Adam  and  Eve   • After  his  own  quest,  Gilgamesh  dons  once  again  the  accoutrements  of  a  civilized  man   Folktale  Motifs  and  Heroic  Myths   • Factual  (legendary)  basis   – There  was  a  king  of  Uruk  named  Gilgamesh   – His  story  over  time  acquires  stock  elements  of  folktale  and  heroic  myth   – It  sets  a  pattern  for  typical  heroic  myth             Perspective  13   Tolkien's  Modern  Hero  in  The  Lord  of  the  Rings   • The  central  figure,  Frodo,  is  a  reluctant  hero,  but  share  many  characteristics  with  classical  heroes.     Observations:  Heroic  Nudity   • The  tradition  of  nudity  starts  after  the  Bronze  Age   – Homer’s  heroes  are  not  referred  to  nude,  except  Odysseus,  who’s  ashamed   • Perhaps  associated  with  Greek  athletics,  which  was  in  the  nude   • Greek  koroi  were  nude,  unlike  Egyptian  statues,  which  the  Greek  resemble  in  many  ways   • Female  nudes  are  late  –  the  Late  Classical  Period  (400  BC  –  )   • Becomes  Heroic  Nudity  and  imitated  even  by  Roman  artists  to  show  their  patron’s  “connection”   the  Greek  heroic  past.   • Fig  13.3   – National  Archaeological  Museum,  Athens;    Scala/Art  Resource,  New  York         Chapter  14   Perseus  and  Myths  of  the  Argive  Plain   • Argolid       • Rich  Bronze  Age  area   – Mycenae   – Lion’s  gate   – Beehive  tombs   • Tiryns   • Fig.  14.1   – The  Lion  Gate  at  Mycenae.   Io  and  Her  Descendants   The  Wanderings  of  Io       • The  river  god  Inachus  and  Melia   – Io   • Zeus’s  passion  and  Hera’s  jealousy   – Lerna   – the  “cow”   – Argus   – Hermes  (Argeïphontes)   • Fig.  14.2  Hermes  Slays  Argus       • Ionian  Sea,  Byzantium,  the  “Bosporus,”  the  Caucus  Mountains,  Egypt   • Epaphus  “he  who  has  been  touched”   – =  Isis   – boôpis   Io  and  Her  Descendants   Crimes  of  the  Danaïds   • Epaphus  +  Memphis   – Libya  +  Poseidon   • Agenor   • Belus   • Belus  has  two  sons   – Aegyptus,  who  rules  in  Arabia,   – Danaüs,  who  rules  in  Libya   • Aegyptus  has  fifty  sons   • Danaüs  has  fifty  daughters   – the  Danaïds   • They  flee  to  Argos  to  prevent  the  proposed  marriages   – Danaüs  now  king  in  Argos   • The  sons  of  Aegyptus  in  Argos   •  “All  but  one”   – Hypermnestra  spares  Lynceus   – Their  heads  buried  in  the  Lernean  swamp   Observations   Springs  and  the  Dangers  of  Woman   • Etiological  to  explain  the  swamps?   – Also  from  another,  related  story   • Amymonê  and  Poseidon   • Theme  of  female  resentment  against  fixed  marriages   – Also  saved  Argos  from  foreign  rule   • Fig.  14.3   – Poseidon  and  Amynomê.       • Historical  connection  between  Argos  and  Egypt   – The  historical  Danuna  (Sea  Peoples?)  or  1200  BC,  and  the  tribe  of  Dan   • “Danaän  used  by  Homer  to  refer  to  the  Argives  and  Achaeans  (words  for  the  Greeks  at  Troy).   – Hellenes  only  from  Thessaly   Perseus  and  the  Myths  of  the  Argive  Plain   Legends  of  Perseus   Danaë  and  the  Shower  of  Gold   • Lynceus  (the  one  spared)  in  Argos  after  Danaüs   • His  son  Abas  has  twins   – Acrisius,  rules  in  Argos   – Proetus,  rules  in  nearby  Tiryns   • Acrisius  has  a  daughter,  Danaë,  but  wants  sons   • Oracles  says  Danaë  will  have  a  son,  but  that  he  will  kill  him  (Acrisius)   • Zeus’s  “rain  shower”  impregnates  her   • Fig.  14.4  Shower  of  Gold       • Set  adrift  in  a  wooden  box   • Dictys  at  Seriphos   • Polydectes   – Perseus  tricked  into  going  on  a  quest  for  the  head  of  a  Gorgon   • Fig.  14.5  Locked  in  a  Box       The  Legend  of  Perseus   Perseus,  the  Gorgon  Slayer   • Gorgons   – Stheno  (“strength”)   – Euryalê  (“far-­‐leaper)     – Medusa  (“wide-­‐ruling”  -­‐>  the  only  mortal  Gorgon)   • Help  from  the  Graeae   – “Where  can  the  Gorgons  be  found?”   • Perseus,  the  Gorgon  Slayer   • Magical  implements   – Cap  of  Hades   – Winged  sandals   – The  kibisis   – Extra  sharp  sword   – Highly  polished  bronze  shield   • Fig.  14.6  The  Gorgon-­‐Slayer     • From  the  body  of  Medusa,  who  was  pregnant  by  Poseidon   – Pegasus,  later  tamed  by  Bellerophon     – Chrysaör   • Perseus  frees  his  mother  from  Polydectes’s  aggression  with  the  head  of  Medusa     • Fig.  14.7   – The  Gorgon  in  Flight       – Perseus  in  Pursuit       Perseus  and  Andromeda   • A  variant  has  Perseus  returning  to  Seriphos  after  a  few  adventures   • Joppa  ruled  by  Cepheus   • Cepheus’s  daughter,  Andromeda,  about  to  be  sacrificed  to  a  sea  monster,  because  of  the  rash  boast   by  her  mother,  Cassiopeä   – Perseus  given  Andromeda  and  the  kingdom  for  having  freed  her   • Phineus,  to  whom  Andromeda  had  been  betrothed,  killed  with  his  men  by  the  head  of  Medusa   • Perspective  1   – “Although  they  are  false  gods,  it  is  lawful  in  this  to  imitate  the  ancients,  who  under  these   names  hid  allegorically  the  concepts  of  philosophy."   The  Death  of  Acrisius   • Perseus  returns  to  Argos   • Acris
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