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CLAA06H3 (39)
Chapter 10

Chapter 10.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Classical Studies
Xuefeng Liu

Chapter 10 – Myths of Fertility (Demeter and Related Myths) • Artemis – fertility of wild animals • Aphrodite – human sexuality • Hera – marriage and family • Demeter – goddess of grain and rich harvest o Her daughter Persephone Demeter and Persephone • Persephone called Kore for daughter or girl • She is Parthenos – unmarried woman • Hades kidnapped Persephone to be his bride • He wanted to make her the goddess of the underworld • Zeus didn’t oppose or agree but said he didn’t think Demeter would approve her not seeing sunlight • Demeter was furious that she couldn’t find her for 9 days and killed crops land and livestock • On tenth day, Helius sun god told them nothing and that it was not a bad match • She was mad and forbid the trees to bear fruit and ground to make food (winter) by leaving earth • Fearing all humans will die and not make offerings he promised to bring Persephone back. • So Hermes came to fetch her, and Hades gave her a polmegranate seed to eat as she was super hungry before she left. But this was a trap cause if she ate it, she has to stay in underworld • So Rhea, Zeus’s mom decided that she would go there sometimes and stay here sometimes (seasons) o Her fate resembles fate how young girls are married to men twice their age o Her seed symbolizes that she can’t go back to formal state because eating the seed, she will never bear fruit o Zeus may of liked the marriage as it was undivision of family property o Usually marriage is death as they will die when they get married but she is not fully part of anything and doesn’t get children (Kore) o The seeds are like death and when a women dies unmarried she is said to be Hades bride The Eleusinian mysteries • The promise of regeneration through the power of Demeter • Mystery – one who closed eyes and mouth when entering temple or perhaps praying. • To say what happened in the Telesterion (hall of initiation) temple is punishable by death • In origin it was to promote the growth of grain • Called 55 days the ceremony is held in fall • The mysteries celebrated the story of Demeter and Persephone • Those who participated were changed for the better and no longer feared death EASTERN FERTILITY MYTH Inanna and Dumuzi • Ianna (Queen of heaven, godess of love and war) and her lover dog Dumuski • Ianna went to underworld to either become queen of the dead or she was already the queen of the living or she wanted to bring the dead back to life • She entered and came to the temple of her sister Ereshkigal • Her sister was mad so she made the gatekeeper make her go through the 7 gates and at each gate remove one piece of clothing or jewelry • Crown, Earrings, neck beads, brooches, birthstones, bangles, then dress • She was naked sat on her sister thrown and was hung as meat and a
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