Chapter Five, Lecture One by phf13063


									Chapter Five, Lecture One

 Myths of Creation: The Origins of
     What about human beings?
•   Why is our world the way it is?
•   Where did we come from?
•   Why are we here?
•   Why are we unique?
•   Why do we suffer?
 Prometheus: Maker of Mortals
• Not in Hesiod, who gives no account of
  our origins
• A curious omission. Why?
• Prometheus (―forethought‖), the son of
  Iapetus and Themis, the Titans
• Made man from dust and water
   The Sumerian Creation of Man
           from Mud
• Marduk made man from the blood of Kingu (as
  a race of servants)
• Another variant: man is made by Enki and Ki
  as servants
• Then they made deformed humans in a
  drunken contest
• Hebrew account (II), man is made from dust
  and breath
 Prometheus: Protector of Mortals
• Prometheus is equivalent to Enki (Ea) —
  the clever creator
• Folktale character — the trickster
• Doublet brother is ―Epimetheus‖ (idiot)
 Prometheus: Protector of Mortals
• At Meconê, Prometheus offered sacrifice
  bundles to Zeus and asked which Zeus
• Zeus chose the worse
• Etiological to explain why Greeks ate the
  meat and offered the bones and fat
• Hesiod protects Zeus by offering an
  explanation how Zeus could be
 Prometheus: Protector of Mortals
• Outraged, he removes fire from the trees
• Prometheus sneaks some fire in a fennel
  stock to man
• Punished by being lashed to a rock —
  eagles ate his liver by day, which grew
  back at night
 Prometheus: Protector of Mortals
• A play in a trilogy about Prometheus, the
  other two of which are lost
  – Aeschylus, The Prometheus Bound
• Zeus eventually learns to rule with justice
• Note also that mankind was allowed to
  evolve by Prometheus : he taught them all
  the civilized arts
 Prometheus: Protector of Mortals
―Before [me], they had eyes that blankly
  gazed, ears hearing empty sound. Shapes
  in a dream, they blundered through long
  years . . .‖
• He gave us understanding, and thereby all
  the arts
• Greek view of human evolution
 Prometheus: Protector of Mortals
• Zeus allows Heracles (Greek spelling) to
  break the chains
• Prometheus told him from which female
  deity the threat to his rule would come :
  ―Son greater than the father.‖
• It’s Thetis, whom he then marries off to a
  mortal, Peleus: the son will be Achilles
         Why do we suffer?
• Two incompatible explanations
• (1) Zeus is punishing us with Pandora (two
• (2) built into the mechanism of time: The
Then the killer of Argus, the guide, the
 herald of gods, filled her with lies, with
 swindles, all sorts of thievish behavior, and
 named the woman Pandora (all gift), since
 all who dwell on Olympus gave her their
 gifts—a curse to men who must live by
• Pandora is punishment
• But there is also suddenly a box of evils
  that she opens
• Perhaps it’s just a metaphor and Pandora
  herself is the jar (see the discussion)
• All the jars contents released except
• Why hope?

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