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Chapter 12

Chapter 12.docx

6 Pages

Classical Studies
Course Code
Xuefeng Liu

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Chapter 12 – Myths of Death • Some mythical characters escaped death by becoming gods or becoming immortal The Greek View Of Death • Didn’t come easily, major event • Any god could kill mortal but especially Hades • Hades – Pluto – the unseen one – enricher (underneath earth comes minerals and agriculture) • His place is called Orcus, place that confines • Too dangerous to call by name • Ploydegmon – receiver of many / Polyxenos – host to many • Believed soul survived as image, come in dreams as well • Breathing distinguishes living from dead • Dead exist as ghosts very dangerous as they seek vengeance • Breath lives in blood that’s why shedding of blood kills you • Men of gold and silver races were beneficial spirits • Customs to ward off evil • To persuade that the death was not a benefit, they bury valuables • Dark clothing and loose hair along with scratched face to shown mourn • Some put it under stone or cut it into pieces • Hermes is soul guide – psychopompus who leads dead to Hades • Loud noise scares ghosts • Also invited to roam freely on a special occasion each year then told to go away Odysseus’ Journey to Death’s Realm • He was shopwrecked and lost so the witch Cerce advised him to seek advice from the ghost Tiresias • Tiresias was a male but killed a female serpent when he saw pair of serpents fighting so got turned into a female. • Next time 7yrs later he killed the male this time and turned back into a male • Zeus and Hera asked who had more pleasure of sex to him because he knows both and he said females receive 9/10 parts of the enjoyment • Hera blinded him for that and Zeus compensated him by giving him phophecy and 7 generations of man • *One god cannot reverse action but may compensate • Odysseus visits the underworld o He makes offering according to Cice’s instruction to attract souls of the dead o Elpenor, crew member asks for a burial mound o Teiresias comes and drinks the blood of the sacrifice o He warns him that he shouldn’t eat Helios’ cattle and says only he will survive (companions will die) and that Poseidon is punishing Archaens for blinding his son Poluphemus and not to touch sunor he wont return home without losing his crew o Persephone queen of the dead send people to drink the blood o He hears stories from life and death including his mom told him Ithaca died waiting for his return o Life below earth
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