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Chapter 16

Notes for Chapter 16

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Department
Classics
Course
CLA204H1
Professor
James Lynd
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 16 The Myths of Crete - Stories of the House of Crete closely related to those of Athens - Stories of Brave men, tricksters, lascivious or victimized women and monstrous beasts - Told by Greeks living on the mainland and most of them in Athens (myths of athens told by and for athenians - Cretan upper class not actually greek - Second millennium BC bulls and fertility goddesses played important roll in religion - Great sea power - Lived in enormous complex palaces decorated with remarkably real frescos - > in story King is evil persecutor, wandering hero wins love of princess and overthrows king, buildings are a prison maze, created by a trickster artist and the bull of Cretan fer- tility religion had turned into Minatour wanting human sacrifice - Myths of crete are good example of history become myth - Many myths about Crete took on a nearly official form in the works of greek Dramatists - Both Euripedes and Sophocles wrote tragedies about Europa and the bull - For most Cretan legends we rely on Roman writers Europa and the Bull Note: Etymology translated from Semitic unless otherwise sated - Agenor ‘leader of men’ was descended from Zeus and Io. - Brother was Belus ‘lord’ (biblical Baal?) ruled Egypt while Agenor traveled to coast of eastern Mediterranean - There in the land later called phoenicia, he settled, married and had a daughter Eu- ropa ‘dark’ and three sons: Cadmus, Cilix and Phoenix - Zeus fell in love with Europa and came to her in form of bull. - Most famous account of story is found in Ovid’s Metamorphoses in which the divine bull is a handsome seducer and Europa the innocent but not unwilling virgin. - > Seducer usually needs helper and in this case is Hermes/MErcury - Bull abducts Europa after he wins her trust by looking kind - When Agenor discovered that his daughter was missing he instructed his three sons (Cadmus, Cilix and pHoenix) to earch for Europa and not to return without her - The travrel around but find noting and are afraid to return home. Chapter 16 - Settled in various lands: - > Phoenix near his first home in the land even since called Phoenicia (roughly lebanon) - > Cadmus in thebes (central greece) - Cilix in Cilicia (south eastern turkey northwest lebanon) - Zeus and Europa meanwhile have several children: - Minos, - Sarpedon and - Rhadmanthys - For protection gave Europa Laelaps (the dog that always caught his prey) and a gigan- tic bronze robot that ran around the island three times each day and pelted ships that at- tempted to land with huge boulders Minos and Pasiphae - After zeus got tired of Europa her returned to Olympus - A local cretan named Asterius married her and looked after her three sons - > minos - > Sarpedon - > Rhadamanthys - When sons grew up they all fell in love with same boy - All fought until Minos drove his two brothers out: - Sarpedon to Lycia in southwest Anatolia - Rhadamanthys to Boeotia, plain northwest of attica - > when Rhadamanthys died he became judge amoung dead as did Minos and Aeacus (king of island Aegina and grandfather to Ajax) - When Asterius died, Minos claimed kingship for himself boasted that poseidon had promised him the throne - He asked that a bull rise from the sea as a sign of his election: this he would sacrifice to god who sen it - A magnificent bull rose from sea out was so splendid that Minos could not bear giv e it up - Instead he sent it to his herds and in its place sacrificed another - > became powerful king of Crete, oversaw land and promulgated laws Chapter 16 - Married Pasiphae ‘all shining’ a daughter go Helius (sun) - Had: Ariadne, Phaedra and prince Androgeus - Poseidon angered that Minos had not sacrificed Th.e bull he promised punished him: - > cause perspire, wife, to fall in love with bull. - > Confided her problem to an Athenian then living on Crete, Daedalus, createst crafts- men ever, a consummate architect and inventor of statues and ALSO a decendant of Cecrops - > he had been exiled from athens for hurling his nephew and student perdix from acropolis (according to one version perdix changed into partridge - - > he did this out of jealousy that he hand’t invented the saw in imitation of a fish’s backbone - Daedalus made a hollow wooden cow for Pasiphae and covered it with a cowhide. Lit- tle wheels mounted in the legs enabled him to roll it into a pasture when the bull from the sea liked to graze - Pasiphae climbd inside and bull impregnated queen - > Minotaur - Although shamed, Minos hesitated to kill Minotaur - he was fam afterall - He ordered Daedalus to now build a prison capable of holding the monster - > designed Labyrinth where minos imprisoned Minotaur Minos and Scylla - Minos son Androgeus who was a fantastic athlete, traveled to athens to participate in the panathenaic games held every year on Athenas b-day - Defeated all contenders in every contest and annoyed Aegeus, king of Athens - > ordered him to fight a wild bull that was ravaging plain of marathon, apparently same bull that impregnated Pasiphae which herc transported to mainland as one of his labours (theseus will kill it). Ferocious animal killed Androgeus - Minos heard of his and immediately collected a fleet to set ail and attack athens. - On the way he besieged a coastal town of Megara between Corinth and Athens, ruled by Nisus brother of Aegeus. - Nisus was invulnerable as long as a certain purple lock grew out on his head. - > his daughter Scylla standing on ramparts of city saw handsome Minos in distance and fell in love with him Chapter 16 - She sent a secret message to him saying that she would cut away the lock of he mar- ried her when capturing Megara - Minos agreed but when city fell he left her for her treachery - Her love turned to hate as she watched ships leave; she could neither stay at home in city she had betrayed nor join the man she had loved for whom she had commited the crim against her father - She dived in sea and swam after ship, overtook it and clung to stern - Nisus, turned to an osprey swooped down on her with talons extended. - She fell back into waves and turned into a bird called in Greek ‘the Shearer
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