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CLAA06H3 (39)
Chapter 5

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Classical Studies
Xuefeng Liu

Chapter 5 – Myths of Creation - MORTALS Prometheus, Maker/Protector of Mortals • The titan who took Zeus’ side in the battle against his cousin titans • Like Cronus, he is clever as he invented many like mortals • Made by mixing earth and water • He is a folktale trickster “Forelearner” also has brother Epimetheus “afterlearner/dummy” • Zeus is jealous and fearful of him • He sacrificed bones to zeus so the mortals can eat the meat, tricking him at Mecone • Zeus got revenge by removing fire from trees where they used to be • Prometheus stole back the fire from heaven • Zeus punished him by binding him to a pillar with Kratos (strength) and Bia (violence) • Greatest gifts to humans were given by him : medicine, dreams, intestines, astronomy. • Heraclus freed the the titan and it was a favour for zeus because he learned that a child better than the father would only be born to a certain women. • Prometheus knew this also included Nereid Thetis who Zeus admired. • But he revealed that when he was tied up so Zeus backed off and let her marry a mortal Peleus, father of the stronger Achilles Pandora • Zeus punished humans with woman. • This story is the origin of woman, marriage and suffering. • Zeus offered a similar deception to man that Prometheus did as it looks good on the outside but bad on inside.(Hope is inside the jar) • There is now labor, misery, disease and death. • Epimetheus was told not to except gifts from the gods but he disobeyed. • Women just waste resources • Pandora means all gifted as all gods gave her something but probably means all givers. Women as Containers • Jar = big bellies • Jars have pictures of women daily lives • A pregnant woman is a closed jar • Funeral ritual – women plant seeds in jars and let sun destroy the plants as an offering • Exposing one’s newborn to die is called – putting it in a pot • Babies are put in pot to emerge again so are bones The Five Races • Gold – happy and blessed and at death became spirits that look over mortals (before Pandora) (Cronus) • Silver – worse than first, a child is young for 100 years, then suddenly age and die. Violence, and didn’t respect gods. Spirits live underground • Bronze – worse than silver. Born from ash trees where shafts of spears were made, they were strong and violent. Bronze weapons and houses and did not understand iron-working. After death, go to Hades where they dwell in darkness
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