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Chapter Sixteen, Lecture One Theseus, Myths of Athens.

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2 Chapter Sixteen, Lecture One Theseus, Myths of Athens

3 Theseus Latecomer Myths are confused and pale Theseus becomes their “hero” almost artificially

4 Cerops, Erichthonius and the Daughters of Cecrops

5 Three different versions of the origins of the Athenians: –Descended from Athena (?) –Autochthonous (from the earth itself) –Descended from Cecrops Great founding ancestor, who brought laws, civilization, proper worship of the gods

6 Cerops, Erichthonius and the Daughters of Cecrops Born when Hephaestus tried to have his way with Athena “The man of wool and earth” Given in a concealed basket to the daughters of Cecrops (Aglauros, Hersê, Pandrosus) Only Pandrosus refrains from looking – Aglaurus and Hersê driven mad and jump to their deaths from the Acropolis

7 Festival of the Dew Carriers

8 Yearly ritual of the Arrhephoria (“dew carriers”) in late March The two arrhephoroi lived on the Acropolis Wove a robe for a statue of Athena Sent at night to Aphrodite’s grove (near the Acropolis) with baskets, to return with a mysterious object

9 Procris and Cephalus In another myth, the daughters Aglaurus and Hersê survive the jump Hermes lusts after Hersê, and at first Aglaurus agrees to act as a go-between for gold But Athena afflicts Aglaurus with jealousy, and ties to deny Hermes passage

10 Procris and Cephalus

11 Hermes turns her into a stone and continues on his way Hersê becomes pregnant with a son, Cephalus Cephalus, being a beautiful boy, is carried away for a while by Eos, nymph of the dawn

12 Early Legends of Athens Cephalus marries Procris, a daughter of Erechthonius, soon giving way to jealousy To test her, he approaches her in disguise

13 Early Legends of Athens When once she gives in, she is banished to Crete There Minos lusts after her, but his wife Pasiphaë had cursed his sexuality Procris gives him an herbal remedy, and in thanks Minos gives her Laelaps and a magic spear

14 Early Legends of Athens Procris starts to fear Pasiphaë and returns to Athens disguised as a boy, with the gifts Cephalus lusts after this “boy’s” gifts, and the “boy” offers them in exchange for sex He agrees, but the “boy” then reveals “him”self, and they live happily ever after – for a while

15 Early Legends of Athens But Procris fears that Cephalus is still seeing his former girlfriend, Eos (Lat. Aurora), a forest nymph of the fresh winds of the dawn

16 Early Legends of Athens She hears a report that he’s been calling out to “Dawn,” so one day she follows him on his morning hunt. She hears him calling “Dawn,” she thinks he’s having an affair and jumps out of the woods to confront him Thinking he’s being attacked by wild animal, he kills her with the magic spear she gave him

17 The Early Legends of Athens Cephalus forced into exile by the Areopagus and he flees to Thebes Thebes being plagued by a “fox that can never be caught.” Sends his dog against it Zeus “resolves” the contradiction by turning both to stone

18 Procnê and Tereus

19 Pandion, a son of Erichthonius, has two daughters –Procnê –Philomela And two sons –Butes –Erechtheus

20 Procnê and Tereus Pandion (king in Athens) gives his daughter Procnê to Tereus, the king of the Thracians for his help in a war against Thebes Procnê and Tereus have a son, Itys After a time, Procnê wants Tereus to go to Athens and bring Philomela back for a visit

21 Procnê and Tereus But Tereus lusts after Philomela when he sees her On arrival in Thrace, he rapes her To keep her from talking, he cuts out her tongue, hides her and tells Procnê that her sister died Keeps her locked in a mountain house

22 Procnê and Tereus In her cell, Philomela weaves the story of what happened in a tapestry and sends it to Procnê Procnê understands the message In revenge, they kill Itys and serve him to Tereus In the end, they all turn into birds

23 Tereus = Hoopoe Click for its song in *.wma Click

24 Procnê = Nightingale

25 Lecture Two Theseus

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