Myths of Athena Basic roles War, wisdom, womens work Patroness of Athens Guardian of young male heroes Myths Eating of Metis and birth from Zeuss head in full armor Contest with Uncle Poseidon for patronage of Athens Invented double flute-threw it away (Marsyas found it) Fight with Pallas - Palladium Weaving competition with Arachne – aetiology of the spider
Hermes god of thieves, businesspeople, travelers son of Zeus and Maia invents lyre in his first morning on earth steals Apollos cattle in the afternoon and then vomits on him guides people to underworld (Psychopompos) holding the Caduceus messenger and errand boy of Zeus Animism to Anthropomorphism - Herm expedition to Syracuse 417 BC
Apollo Delphic Oracle -center of world, founded by Apollo after killing snake Python. Cleansed of miasma and now can cleanse others. Appears as dolphin to Cretan sailors who become priests of temple. He communicates through Pythia, who is ALWAYS RIGHT Hyacinthus (Spartan boyfriend) Croesus King threatened by Persians - arti manthano! Admetus and Alcestis Daphne – original laurel tree Coronis -affair-white raven sees en flagrante delicto. Has Asclepius, God of medicine, raised by Hippolytus from dead. Zeus throws thunderbolt for disrupting nature. Cassandra: prophetess who is never believed
Apollo = GET A GRIP CURB THY SPIRIT OBSERVE THE LIMIT HATE HUBRIS GLORY NOT IN STRENGTH FEAR AUTHORITY KEEP A REVERENT TONGUE BOW BEFORE THE DIVINE KEEP WOMAN UNDER RULE
Myths of Artemis Niobe - thought of herself greater than Leto (hubris). Punished by having her 14 children killed in front of her-becomes weeping rock Orion - he and his dog were turned into constellation at attempted rape Actaeon - saw Artemis in the buff-turns him into deer Jupiter, Callisto and Arcas (Ursa Major)
Aphrodite Born from Uranus blood foaming in water = Aphrodite Urania Daughter of Zeus and Dione = Aphrodite Pandemos Married to Hephaestus (metal shop) Caught with Ares in flagrante delicto Anchises - shepherd-bore Aeneas Judgment of Paris, with Eris and Trojan War Pygmalion - sculpts perfect statue of woman. Falls in love w/ it, prays, comes to life as Galatea=bore Paphos Cybeles autocastration; Nana picks up lemon blossom and has Attis Dying boyfriends Attis and Adonis Platos Symposium and taxonomy of loovve
Allegories of Love Aristophaness Speech from Platos Symposium Original human form = M/F, M/M, F/F Split due to hubris, search for other half to be complete Want to melt together; sex = close as it gets Socratess Speech from Platos Symposium Told to him by wise woman Diotima Eros is son of Poverty and Resourcefulness Always gets what he wants, always wants more than he gets Cupid and Psyche (Apuleius, The Golden Ass) Psyche = fairytale princess; Cupid = hunky stud Venus makes Psyche perform labors Cupid and Psyche have a daughter, Voluptas
KATABASIS Concept of katabasis Oldest plot device in literature Hero descends to underworld, checks it out, returns Regards the afterlife as centered in a particular space Sources for ancient views of the afterlife Homer, Odyssey (750 BC) Plato, Myth of Er (375 BC) Vergil, Aeneid (25 BC) Insight into ancient Greco-Roman Weltanschauung Hope for a positive afterlife? Body or soul more important? Personal responsibility for actions?
Whos Who in the Underworld Divine and semi-divine figures Hades (Pluto) - rich in souls Persephone (Proserpina) - unwilling underworld queen Charon - ferryman Cerberus - 3 headed hound of hell, keeps people in Furies: Allecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone Human (or originally human) figures Judges: Aeacus, Minos, Rhadamanthus 53 Top Sinners of Ancient Greek Afterlife Famous Visitors: Odysseus, Er, Aeneas
Hot Spots of the Underworld Five rivers of the Underworld Phlegethon - fire Cocytus - wailing Acheron - woe Lethe - forgetfulness Styx - hatred Other famous locations Elysian Fields: demigods, friends of gods, Trojan war heroes Tartarus: exceptionally bad sinners Butte, Montana
The Top 53 Sinners Ixion - tried to rape cloud form of Hera, burns in turning ring of fire Tantalus - chopped son in soup for gods and goddesses dinner (gods saved him). Stands in receding water when stoops to drink, branch pulls away when tries to eat fruit or donut J --Tantalyzing Sisyphus - cheats death by having wife not sacrifice, going up to live. Forever pushing boulder up mountain Tityus - tries to rape Leto. Staked down for bird to eat liver daily. 49 Danaids - Egyptian wives who killed husbands. Carrying leaky buckets; object lesson for uppity women
Homer, Odyssey (750 BC) Hell is in Portugal Odysseus sails west from Mediterranean, thru pillars of Heracles, then right to land on shore. Odysseus digs trench, pours blood for ghosts to feast but not until he gets to see him. People Odysseus talks to Achilles - rather be slave alive than be king of underworld. Anticleia - tells relationship of body to soul after death Mortal part of Heracles – what a whiner Weltanschauung rating body perishes, soul condemned to dull body-less afterlife No point in trying to lead a mortal life
Socrates and Plato Socrates (d. 399 BC) Genius stonemason who couldnt make a living Drove his wife Xanthippe nuts Hung around streets talking to rich young men Tied people in knots with his Socratic Method Put to death for corrupting youth of Athens Plato Actual name was Ariston Broad-shouldered, hence nickname Wrote down the dialogues of Socrates as he remembered them Quite a bit of Socrates; quite a bit of Plato too.
Plato, Myth of Er (350 BC) PUBLIC AFFAIRS TEXT Platos Republic- PUBLIC AFFAIRS TEXT Ten-book dialogue on how to create the ideal government Ends in the tenth book with a massive riff from Socrates But why should people feel compelled to lead a moral life? Myth of Er (10th book of Plato's Republic) Er, died in battle, lay on funeral pyre, came back from dead Announces that you are rewarded/punished 10 times over 1000 years. You then have an opportunity to pick new life Weltanschauung rating Hope for human life, and chance at reunion with divinity Still no reason to jump up and yell AMEN!
Vergil, Aeneid (25 BC) Physical features Mostly recall Homer's version (Olympian view) Entry is a cave in modern day Italy Lots of sinners and rivers, all that Details of afterlife punishments and rebirths recall Plato's version Also suggest the Orphic viewpoint Suggests that the greatest good is serving Rome PUBLIC AFFAIRS Vergils special interpretation = PUBLIC AFFAIRS Aeneas goes to see his father for advice on founding Rome PUBLIC AFFAIRSSees a parade of great future Romans = PUBLIC AFFAIRS Patriotically uplifting, but again, no reason to yell AMEN
Comparing traditional accounts Homer Plato Vergil Hope for a positive afterlife? None Some Some Body or soul more important? Body Soul Soul Personal responsibility for actions? No Yes Yes Comparing mystery religions Eleus. Bacch. Orph. Established ritual yes no no High emotional content yes yes no Standards of morality optional amoral high Rebirth/katabasis myth yes yes yes Acceptable to govt? yes no yes Hope for happy afterlife? yes yes? yes
Mystery Religions Shortcomings of Olympian view of afterlife Provide hope for eternal afterlife and suggest some reconciliation with divinity Emotional satisfaction Reason for human existence Why so popular Provide hope for eternal afterlife and suggest some reconciliation with divinity Emotional satisfaction Reason for human existence Three major Greek mystery religions Eleusinian Mysteries (Demeter in the town of Eleusis) Bacchic Mysteries (Dionysus, God of wine) Orphic Mysteries (Orpheus, famous musician)
Eleusinian Mysteries: background Why Eleusinian? Ritual held in Eleusis (suburb of Athens) and Athens. Demeter supposedly stopped at the city of Eleusis Brought profit and positive publicity to city of Athens Basis of Eleusinian mystery religion Rape of Persephone story Homeric Hymn to Demeter Aetiology of seasons becomes explanation of eternal life Complicated, secret, beautiful ritual Anyone can join: once initiated, one is always a part of the religion.
Homeric Hymn to Demeter Zeus allowed Hades to marry Persephone, daughter of Demeter/Ceres (Grain/Earth Goddess). Two divinities see, Hecate hears screams(goddess of underworld) and Helios sees act. After 10 days Demeter is still morning and Hecate tells what she heard and Demeter confronts Helios. Disguised as bag lady Doso, offered babysitting job by princesses of Celeus and Metaneira. They offer her wine, but she asks for mint, barley and water mixture called kykeon. Doso secretly dips baby Demophoon into fire to make immortal, but caught by Metaneira. Doso reveals herself as Demeter Demeter establishes Eleusinian religion; still will not let crops go. Finally to save humans Zeus has Hades give Persephone back Persephone eats pomegranate seed, causing aetiology of season
Eleusinian Mysteries Day 1Holy Objects brought to Eleusis Day 2All pure Greek speakers invited to join Day 3Buy A Scape Pig Day; sacrifices Day 4More sacrifices Day 5Day in honor of Asclepius, god of medicine Day 6March back to Athens; dirty jokes Day 7Kykeon (barley, mint, water) drunk; more fasting and ritual Day 8Pageant (things shown, things enacted, things said) Day 9Initiates return home
Dionysus Birth of Dionysus Semele tricked by Hera into making Zeus blast her into ashes Zeus pulls child out of ashes, sews up in thigh, and carries to term. Dionysus born and raised by satyrs and nymphs. Zagreus (the chthonic Dionysus) child of Zeus and Persephone torn apart by Titans and Hera Athena feeds heart to Zeus, causing Zagreus to live in Dionysus Figures in Orphic mystery religion Function of Dionysus God of wine-he is the feeling of when you are drunk. God of going crazzzaaay
Dionysuss Posse Teams of Followers Satyrs - horny semi-divine male party animals Nymphs - horny semi-divine female party animals Maenads - (Bacchantes): mortal women gone craaaazy Pan Cloven-hoofed inventor of pan flute; chaser of Syrinx Echo Version 1: chased by Pan (panic) and fades away Version 2: punished for diverting Hera while Zeus was cheating Silenus Ugly old drunk
Bacchic ritual Components of Bacchic worship enthousiasmos - having the god inside you (drunkenness) ekstasis - standing outside of your body (drunkenness) sparagmos - tearing apart live animals omophagia - eating the animals' raw flesh Positive interpretation communion with deity who cares about humans Satisfactory ritual and sense of community Negative interpretation Bunch of losers getting wasted Bunch of losers fornicating in the fields
Dionysus as rejected god Dolphin aetiology-pirates kidnap Dionysus from beach. All but one pirate took him. Mass turns into vine, bowl appears, Dio turns into a lion, pirates jump ship and turn to dolphins Argos- daughters of king Proetus women denied belief, driven mad and follow Dionysus as Maenads Orchomenus - daughters of king Minyas deny, driven mad, join line Thrace - King Lycurgus denies god, Zeus strikes down Midas - King of Phrygia, original golden boy Thebes – Home town of Dionysus
The Bacchae of Euripides Dramatis Personae Young King Pentheus does not like religion. Dio, stranger, put in jail. Tricks him into seeomg what religion is like. Dramatic Action Stranger convinces Pentheus to check it out Pentheus attends a worship service in drag Killed by women and subjected to sparagmos Moral of the Story (Dionysus vs. Apollo) If you grasp life too strongly, can make you go crazy If you go too crazy you will get out of control.
Orpheus Life of Orpheus Right after wedding snake bites Eurydice and she dies. Orpheus goes to underworld and plays lyre for Hades. He can have her back as long as he does not look back – blows it Invents pederasty; torn to shreds by Maenads The Orphic religion Orphic bible are collected teachings on how to live by him. No ritual or emotional satisfaction; much closer to philosophy Myth of Zagreus supplies the katabasis requirement
Apollo vs. Dionysus Apollo = the reasonable god Dependence upon law and order Beauty, clarity, painstaking artistry Self-control: knowing ones proper place in the cosmos Acceptance: dealing with ones human limitation Perfection: making the most of ones life through reason Dionysus = the emotional god Chaos, intoxication, celebration of nature; Focus on the senses Let yourself go: complete union with the god Punching a higher floor: enjoying human existence Reunion: hopes of a happier afterlife
Myths of Hermes Basic roles God of thieves, businessmen, shepherds Psychopompus – guides souls to underworld Messenger of Zeus Myths Birth – Homeric Hymn Herm - pile of rocks used to guide travelers Hermes known as pebble god Evolved to anthro by Hermes being on trial for killing Argus
The Delphic Oracle Omphalos (center of world) Apollo establishes after killing dragon/ snake Python. Cleansed of miasma and now can cleanse others. Miasma = eye for an eye blood guilt or pollution Appears as dolphin to Cretan sailors who become priests of temple. He communicates through Pythia, prophetess who sits in tripod. Travelers sacrifice/bring gifts, have priests write down question Pythia goes into trance, priest translates and records the message ALWAYS RIGHT
Myths of Dionysus Basic roles God of wine and partying Leader of his own mystery religion Externalization of drunkenness Myths Death of Semele and birth out of Zeuss thigh Kidnapping and Dolphin story Other rejected god myths: Thrace, Argos, Orchomenus King Midas (original golden boy)
Dionysuss Posse Group Divinities Satyrs – terminally horny male demigods Nymphs – terminally horny female demigoddesses Maenads – formerly decent women gone craaazaaay Bacchae – same as Maenads, more or less Individual Members Pan – shaggy-legged, cloven-hoofed dude Syrinx – nymph who spurned Pans embraces, became reeds Echo (1) – thought she would distract Hera Echo (2) – fell in love with Narcissus Silenus – old, drunk, and uuuuggggllly Priapus – upstanding young fertility god
The Hippolytus of Euripides Dramatis Personae Artemis and Aphrodite, squabbling sisters Hippolytus, son of Theseus and stepson of Phaedra Phaedra, forced (?) to fall in love with Hippolytus Dramatic Action Hippolytus disrespects Aphrodite by being chaste Aphrodite retaliates by making Phaedra fall in love with Hippo Phaedra makes her move, is rejected, hangs herself Hippo wrongly blamed for rape, killed by Theseus order Moral of the Story (Dionysus vs. Apollo) If you grasp life too strongly, can make you go crazy If you go too crazy you will get out of control. The Greek deities are not very nice people.
Misogynists Ode O Zeus, why have you settled women in the light of the sun, women, this bane mankind find counterfeit? If you wished to propagate the human race, it was not from women that you should have given us this. Rather, men should have put down in the temples either bronze or iron or a mass of gold and have bought offspring… But the man with a nullity for a wife -- he has it easy, although a woman who sits in a house and is a fool is a trouble. But a clever woman -- 5hat I loathe! May there never be in my house a woman with more intelligence than befits a woman! For Aphrodite engenders more mischief in the clever. The woman without ability is kept from indiscretion by the slenderness of her wit… A curse on you all! I shall never take my fill of hating women, not even if someone says that I am always talking of it. For they too are always in some way evil. Let a man accordingly either teach them to be chaste or allow me to tread upon them forever.