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Chapter 3

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Classical Studies
Xuefeng Liu

Chapter 3 – Development of Classical Myth The Beginnings of Greek Myth • Sexual sculptures (oldest is woman giving birth) • Some things derived from indoeuropean culture like sun god Zeus • Names are found on Linear B Tablets • Aoidoi – sang stories Influence of Near Eastern Myth • Mesopotamia origin stories • Cuneiform – wedge shaped script • Genesis – book of creation Sumerian Myth • Irrigation agriculture • First fully fledged city-states • Social cooperation, cuneiform writing, first true writing • GODS o An(sky) is like Uranus(sky) in greek o Inanna(heaven queen) is like Aphrodite o Enlil (lord of storm) is like Zeus o Enki (lord of earth) is like Hermes and more o Ki (mother earth) is like Demeter o Ereshkigal (queen of below) is like Persephone • Vague about physical appearance • They are anthropomorphic (human shaped) and like humans • Mostly devine myths about superhuman beings Semitic Myth • Linguistic group and cultural patterns • Akkadians took over and adapted Summerian culture • Hebrews used Phoenician alphabet was an advance of clumsy cuneiform Other Sources • Hitties – preserved on clay tablets Greek Myth in the Archaic Period • Greek myth was mostly in Mycenaean and Dark age but in writing in Archaic period • Vase paintings • Earliest literature is Homer’s Illiad and Odyssey o Illiad is in period of the Trojan War and the wrath of Archilles o Odyssey is the return of Odysseus home after 20years o These poems explain epic – a long narrative poem celebrating deeds of heroes. o Purpose is unknown
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