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UNIT 01 - Missouri State University


									The Mediterranean World, 600 BC
The Birth of Athena
Athena and attributes
                    Myths of Athena
Basic roles
• War, wisdom, women’s work
• Patroness of Athens
• Guardian of young heroes

• Eating of Metis and birth from Zeus’s 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 (vase painting)
Apollo and his lyre
• god of thieves, businesspeople, travelers
• son of Zeus and Maia
• invents lyre in his first morning on earth
• steals Apollo’s cattle in the afternoon and then vomits on him
• guides people to underworld (Psychopompos) holding the
• messenger and errand boy of Zeus
• Animism to Anthropomorphism - Herm
• expedition to Syracuse 417 BC
Artemis and 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
Marsyas vs. Apollo
Apollo and Daphne
                   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

• Actaeon - saw Artemis in the buff-turns him into deer

• Jupiter, Callisto and Arcas (Ursa Major)
Venus on the Half Shell
Ares and Aphrodite
Salmacis and Hermaphroditus
• 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
• Cybele’s autocastration; Nana picks up lemon blossom and has
• Dying boyfriends Attis and Adonis
• Plato’s Symposium and taxonomy of loovve
                    Allegories of Love
Aristophanes’s Speech from Plato’s 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

Socrates’s Speech from Plato’s 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
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?
         Who’s 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
Mr. and Mrs. Hades
          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 god’s 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 couldn’t 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

• 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)
• 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
• 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

Vergil’s special interpretation = PUBLIC AFFAIRS
• Aeneas goes to see his father for advice on founding Rome
• Sees 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.
Demeter as “Doso”
           “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 1   “Holy Objects” brought to Eleusis
Day 2   All pure Greek speakers invited to join
Day 3   Buy A Scape Pig Day; sacrifices
Day 4   More sacrifices
Day 5   Day in honor of Asclepius, god of medicine
Day 6   March back to Athens; dirty jokes
Day 7   Kykeon (barley, mint, water) drunk; more fasting and ritual
Day 8   Pageant (things shown, things enacted, things said)
Day 9   Initiates return home
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
Baby Dionysus
                   Dionysus’s Posse
Teams of Followers
• Satyrs - horny semi-divine male party animals
• Nymphs - horny semi-divine female party animals
• Maenads - (Bacchantes): mortal women gone craaaazy

• Cloven-hoofed inventor of pan flute; chaser of Syrinx

• Version 1: chased by Pan (panic) and fades away
• Version 2: punished for diverting Hera while Zeus was cheating

• 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.
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
Orpheus jamming out
               Apollo vs. Dionysus
Apollo = the reasonable god
• Dependence upon law and order
• Beauty, clarity, painstaking artistry
• Self-control: knowing one’s proper place in the cosmos
• Acceptance: dealing with one’s human limitation
• Perfection: making the most of one’s 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

• 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
                   Myths of Dionysus
Basic roles
• God of wine and partying
• Leader of his own mystery religion
• Externalization of drunkenness

• Death of Semele and birth out of Zeus’s thigh
• Kidnapping and Dolphin story
• Other “rejected god” myths: Thrace, Argos, Orchomenus
• King Midas (original golden boy)
Young Dionysus
                 Dionysus’s 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 Pan’s 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
Zamfir, Master of the Pan Flute
The handsome Silenus
           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.
                   Misogynist’s 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.

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