Presentation on theme: "Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne"— Presentation transcript:
1Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne Mythological Background:Birth and Character of Athena (Minerva)Minerva and ArachneRelated Myths: Medusa, satyrs and PerseusLegends associated with the region of Lydia
2Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne Birth of Athena (Greek: Minerva = Roman)Zeus (Jupiter) took as his wife Metis (an abstract name meaning “wisdom”)When Metis was about to give birth, Zeus swallowed her into his belly because it was told to Zeus that Metis would bear exceptional children: Athena, the equal of her father in might and good counsel, and a son who would become king of the gods and men
3Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne When Athena was born, either Hephaestus or Prometheus or Hermes split Zeus’ head with an axe, and Athena (Minerva) sprung from Zeus’ head, fully-grown and in full armor, whooping a war cryThe myth’s aetiology seems to be the physical manifestations of a thunderstorm
4Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne The birth of Athena (Minerva) was immortalized by the Greek sculptor Pheidias in the east pediment of the goddess’ great temple, the Parthenon (Parthenos, meaning virgin, was a standard epithet of Athena)
5Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne The theme of the west pediment of the Parthenon was the victory of Athena over Poseidon for control of Athens and Attica: she gave the city the gift of the olive treeThe city of Athens celebrated the day of Athena’s birth every year with a festival: the Panathenaea, in honor of their patron deity
6Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne The Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens.
7Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne A reconstruction model showing the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens.
8Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne A cross-section of the front of the Parthenon illustrating the various decorative elements in the architecture of the building.NOTE the “pediment” where the sculpture would have appeared.
9Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne Characteristics of the goddess Athena:Athena (Minerva) is often represented in art with her attributes as a war goddess: helmet, spear, and shield (the aegis, on which the head of the gorgon Medusa is depicted)
10Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne Chryselephantine statue of AthenaAthena stands holding a Nike (Victory) on her right hand that extends forward from the elbow, as if offering Nike to the Athenian citizens. With her left hand she supports her shield which shelters a snake as it rests on the ground, and her lance that rests on her left shoulder.She is dressed with an Attica peplos, and on her head she wears a richly decorated helmet with a sphinx at the apex and two Pegasi on each side. Her breastplate is adorned with snakes and the head of Medusa at the center.Minerva’s owl in a Greek tile
11Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne Athena’s title as “Tritogeneia” is obscure and explanations are conjectural; it seems to refer to her originally being a goddess of water or the seaSoon after her birth, Athena (Minerva) was raised by Triton, who had a daughter, PallasAthena and Pallas used to practice the arts of war togetherOne time they quarreled, and as Pallas was about to strike Athena, Zeus intervened; Pallas was startled, and Athena took advantage of the surprise and wounded and killed Pallas; Athena, in honor of her friend, took the name Pallas for herself
12Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne Minerva and ArachneThe story of Minerva and Arachne bears testimony to the importance of Athena as patroness of women’s household arts, especially of spinning and weavingOvid gives his account in MetamorphosesNOTE that Minerva disguises herself as an old woman: one of the anthropomorphic gods’ abilities to alter their appearanceIt is an aetiological myth: giving an explanation of the origin of the spider’s skill in weaving its web
13Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne Athena (Minerva) and Related Myths:Athena is a goddess of many specific arts, crafts and skills (military, political, and domestic), as well as the deification of wisdom and good counsel;She is skilled in the taming and training of horses and inventor of the flute;Athena threw it away soon after she began to play it because it distorted her beautiful features;Marsyas, the satyr, picked up the instrument
14Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne Athena (Minerva) and Related Myths: SatyrsSatyrs were attendants of the god Dionysus/Bacchus (Greek/Roman)Mainly human in form with bestial aspects: horse’s tail, legs of a goatLustful, fond of revelrySilenus was a wise old satyr and the tutor of DionysusIn Roman mythology satyrs= fauni (pl.; faunus, s.)Depiction of the flaying of Marsyas, who lost his flute playing contest with Apollo playing the lyre with the Muses as judges: another instance of hybris punished by the gods
15Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne Athena (Minerva) and Related Myths: MedusaMedusa was one of three sisters (Stheno and Euryale-both immortal) known as the GorgonsMedusa had snakes for hair and if you looked her in the eyes, she would turn you to stone
16Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne Athena (Minerva) and Related Myths: MedusaMedusa was slain by the mythological hero PerseusWhen Perseus cut off Medusa’s head, the winged horse Pegasus sprung from her neck
17Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne Athena (Minerva) and Related Myths: MedusaPerseus supposedly gave Medusa’s severed head to the goddess Minerva (Athena), who put it in the center of her shield, the aegis
18Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne Athena (Minerva) and Related Myths: Arachne in LydiaArachne, puella perita in lana, in Lydia habitat
19Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne The Lydians were the first people to coin moneyLydian rulers include:Gyges, who is said to have possessed a ring that would make the wearer invisible;Link to that legend:The legend of Gyges is also retold by the Greek Philosopher Plato in his dialogue The Republic:Plato founded a school called the “Academy” in 5th century B.C. AthensPlato (ca B.C.)
20Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne Other rulers of Lydia included King Croesus, whose wealth was famous throughout the ancient world; even today you might say “as rich as Croesus”Croesus used his wealth to construct and decorate the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, which became one of the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World:”
21Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne In Phrygia, a region near Lydia, lived the legendary King Midas, who was so greedy that he wished that everything he touched would turn to gold,but his wish was flawed (he didn’t think about touching food); another example of unmitigated hybris, also punished by the gods
22Latin via Ovid Chapter 3 Minerva et Arachne King MidasTemple of ArtemisLink to article on Ancient Anatolia (Lydia) from Encyclopedia Britannica On-line: