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CLAA06H3 (39)
Chapter 6

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Classical Studies
Xuefeng Liu

Chapter 6 – Myths of Zeus, Wife Hera, Brothers Poseidon and Hades • Some say Aphrodite is daughter of Zeus 12 Olympians • Except for Hades, ruler of the underworld, all lived on Mount Olympus • Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Hestia and Aphrodite together with six children of Zeus and Hera were the Olympians o Zeus – father of gods and men o Hera – his sister and wife – presides over family o Poseidon – his brother – rules over sea o Hestia – his sister – watches the fire o Demeter – his sister – brings fertility to earth • Others o Hephaestus – inspires the craftsmen and workers in metal o Ares – war o Athena – no mother – presides over women skills and practical knowledge o Aphrodite – sexual attraction, violent o Apollo/Phoebus (shining) – prophecy and healing, difficult to understand o Artemis – goddess of wild animals and hunt o Hermes – trickster, god of open spaces, travels high and low even worlds, deception, lies and commerce • Hera jealous and complaining of Zeus’ power • Zeus persues women and boys and Hera gets revenge on them • Athena and Artimis have no children or husband Zeus Lord of the Sky • Zeus means shine or sky (Same as Roman god Jupiter) • Associated with weather as he gathered the clouds and made it rain • Irresistibly strong • Emblem of his power – Aegis(goat skin) – magical object that inspired terror in all who held it • Athene who Zeus lent it to wears it as a breast – plate • Symbol – thunderbolt / animal – bull / bird – eagle Zeus God of Justice • Law and Justice • Justice – dike – point out – same customs • Custom of Xenia – friendship – travel safety to distant lands – reciprocal hospitality – violation if killed or seduced or robbed guest Seduction of Zeus by Hera • Apparantly Hera seduced him while he was watching the Trojan war atop a mountain • Zeus seduces her by listing all women he has betrayed her with • While he is asleep, Hera sneaks away to get other gods against the Trojans (scheming wife) Zeus and Fate • Zeus’ marriage with Metis(cleverness) while she was pregnant with Athena shows cleverness gained. • Zeus’ marriage with Titaness Themis (things established/unchangeable laws) shows universe under Zeus is under law not force. Shown by their children: o Horae –seasons – usual three and recurring
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