Classics 30 IDs

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trado
Lec. 1. The Latin verb ‘trado, tradere’ means “to hand down”. It is where our word tradition comes from.
Muthos
Lec. 1. alternative spelling: mythos. The word ‘muthos’ is used in Homer to refer to a formal,authorative speech, often before an audience. Gradually, however, the meaning of muthos changes over time. In the Classical period, Plato contrasted muthos with logos. In this, he paved the way for the modern interpretation of myth as an untrue story.
The Archaic Period
Lec. 1. The Archaic Period of Greece runs from approximately the 8th to the 6th centuries, BCE, and predates the Classical Period. In the archaic period, Greek epic and lyric poetry flourished. Homer, Hesiod, and the author of the Homeric Hymns all composed in the archaic period. The Greek alphabet comes into emergence, as well as city-states. Period of colonization to Southern Italy and Sicily
Epic
Lec. 2. The earliest surviving form of Greek literature, epic is a form of poetry that flourished in the archaic period. It began as an oral form (Homer recited the Iliad and the Odyssey from memory) but was later written down. See further Homer, Hesiod, Theogony.
Theogony
Lec. 2. Epic poem about the origins of the cosmos (a ‘cosmogony’ (birth of the cosmos) as well as a ‘theogony’ (birth of the gods)); composed by Hesiod; Hesiod appears as a character in his own poem in the prologue (lines 1-115)
Muses
Lec. 2. Daughters of Memory, the Muses appear at the beginning of the Theogony, and at the beginning of the Iliad and the Odyssey. They are invoked by the epic poet to help him begin and remember his song.
Primordial Gods
Lec. 2. These are the very first gods to populate the universe in Hesiod’s Theogony. They include Chaos, Gaia, and Ouranos.
Titans
Lec. 2. The children of Ouranos and Gaia as described in Hesiod’s Theogony. Although they live forever, Hesiod refers to them as “the gods from before” (that is, before the reign of Zeus – see Olympians).
Olympians
Lec. 2. The children of the Titans. The most important Olympian is Zeus (king of the gods). Aphrodite is also an Olympian, although she is technically born in an earlier generation. The Olympians get their name from Mt. Olympos, where they live as a somewhat happy, somewhat unhappy family. The Greeks liked to think of the Olympians as being 12 in number, but in practice the number was more like 13 (or even 14). They are Zeus, Hera, Demeter, Poseidon, Hestia, Hades, Hephaestus, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Hermes, Aphrodite, Dionysos (we first meet them in Hesiod’s Theogony, but we will talk alot more about this group of gods as we move through the course).
Chaos
Lec. 2. The first principle, from which the cosmos is born. See Theogony lines 115 following.
Gaia
Lec. 2. Gaia is the Greek goddess of the Earth. She is born from Chaos (Theogony 115 ff.). She partners with Ouranos and gives birth to the race of Titans, Kyklopes, and 3 Hundred-handed. Overpowered by the weight of Ouranos, Gaia gives her unborn son, Kronos, a sickle with which to castrate his father. Gaia is credited as being the first god of the Delphic oracle, and she and Ouranos fortell Kronos being overthrown. She also helps Rhea protect Zeus from being swallowed by Kronos.
Ouranos
Lec. 2. Son and mate of Gaia, Ouranos is the god of the sky. He is castrated by Kronos in the early part of the Theogony. Similarly, in the Hurrian myth, Kumarbi bit off the genitals of Anu, his father, and spat out three new gods.
Kronos
Lec. 3. The son of Ouranos, Kronos tries to fight off succession by swallowing his own children. He is a god of the older generation (a Titan), married to Rhea, and father of Zeus and many of the other Olympians. His story is told in the Theogony. In the Roman tradition, Kronos is renamed ‘Saturn’. See further Goya, “Saturn Devouring His own Children.” There are similarities between the story of Kronos swallowing his children and the Hurrian myth of Kumarbi and the children who grew inside him.
Zeus
Lec. 3. Supremely powerful ruler of gods and men. Zeus is the son of Kronos and the leader of the Olympians. The Theogony tells the story of his succession and celebrates his rule. He appears in many other myths that we will address in this course. In the Iliad, Zeus is the arbitrator of events (he holds the scales which determine Hector must die) and he also presides over Odysseus’ fate on his journey home in the Odyssey (see the council of the gods, Od. 1). Sky-god like his grandfather Ouranos; associated with rain, storms, and lightning. He is king of the gods because he is most powerful, but he is also most wise and sexually active. In a myth his sexuality, his strength, and his rule converge in the symbol of irresistible lightning. He is born in Crete and takes him a year to grow up. Is given lightning from the Kyklopes, who he frees from the underground Tartaros after he defeats Kronos.
Metis
Lec. 3. Greek word meaning “cunning”. The first wife of Zeus in the Theogony, whom Zeus swallows when she is pregnant with Athena.
Typhoeus
Lec. 3. Monstrous child of Gaia and Tartaros. Typhoeus challenges Zeus’ rule in the Theogony and is eventually defeated by him. Compare lecture 7, where an alternative version of the birth of ‘Typhaon’ (same god) is given in the Homeric hymn to Apollo.
Sigmund Freud
Lec. 3. Inventor of psychoanalytic theory. Freud identified the ‘Oedipus Complex’ which has been applied to the Theogony by the Classical scholar Richard Caldwell (see Caldwell, Theogony, 87-103).
Rhea
Lec. 3. Wife of Kronos in the Theogony. Mother of Zeus, whom she hides away to save from Kronos.
Athena
Lec. 3. (alt. sp = Athene). Goddess of wisdom (often described as owl-eyed). Emerges from Zeus’ head in the Theogony. Special protector of Odysseus and Telemachus in the Odyssey (appears to Telemachus in the guise of Mentes and Mentor in bks 1-4). Entrusted to ‘sash and dress’ Pandora as she is associated with crafts. [Theogony – “fight-rousing, army-leading, unweary mistress whose delight is din and wars and battles”]. She was first to teach the craftsmen of the earth how to make carriages and chariots with complex designs of bronze, taught splendid works to soft-skinned maidens.
Succession myth
Lec. 4. A kind of myth which deals with the succession of sons over fathers over a number of generations. Many Greek and Near Eastern myths use this format to tell of how a divinity came to be a supreme ruler.
Enuma Elish
Lec. 4. see Powell chapter in course reader Babylonian Succession myth featuring the god Marduk and his rise to power.
Marduk
Lec. 4. The supreme god in Babylonian mythology, featured in the Nr. eastern text called the Enuma Elish. Marduk shares many parallels with Zeus in the Theogony.
Kingship of Heaven
Lec. 4. Powell (course reader). Hittite succession myth that details story of Kumarbi, and the birth of storm-god Teshub from Kumarbi’s body.
Kumarbi
Lec. 4. Servant of Anush who replaces him in succession for royal/divine power. Bites off Anush’s genitals, swallows his semen, and becomes pregnant with the storm god Teshub, whom he gives birth to through the “good place” (his penis?). See further Powell (course reader), Caldwell (intro to Theogony, pp. 22-26).
Song of Ullikummi
Lec. 4. Powell (course reader). Hittite myth which continues Kingship in Heaven. Tells of birth of stone child Ullikummi and his fight with the storm god Teshub.
Race of Heroes
Lec. 5. See ‘Races of Man’ (ID). Hesiod Works and Days pp. 108-110. The group of mythological heroes who died in the Trojan and Theban wars.
Bronze Race of Man
Lec. 5. See ‘Races of Man’ (ID). Hesiod Works and Days pp. 108-110. Hard, warlike group. Violent. Killed one another off in war.
Elpis
Lec. 5. The Greek word for ‘hope’ and ‘expectation.’ Elpis is the only thing left inside Pandora’s jar when she opens it in the Works and Days (lines 96 ff.)
Epimetheus
Lec. 5. Hesiod, Theogony, Works and Days. The slow-witted brother of Prometheus who accepts Pandora as a bride. Name means “afterthought”.
Golden Race of Man
Lec. 5. These men lived in the ‘golden age’ – the time when men lived without toil or disease, under the rule of Kronos. Hesiod Works and Days pp. 108-110 (see also ‘Races of Man’ ID).
Iron Race of Man
Lec. 5. See ‘Races of Man’ (ID). The last and worst age for mankind. This is the age of toil, disease, good mixed with evil. Pandora seems to have in some ways set this age in motion by opening up her jar.
Pandora
Lec. 5. Hesiod, Theogony, Works and Days. Pandora is the first woman, and creates the race of women. She is manufactured by Zeus and the other gods in return for (and as punishment for) Prometheus’ theft of fire. She is molded from the earth by Hephaistos. Pandora is married to Epimetheus and opens up the jar that she was given (and told not to open) with disastrous results for the history of human kind; the jar has evils and diseases but retains Elpis [Hope]. Before Pandora and the jar men lived a paradisal existence. Theogony version of Pandora is misogynistic because it says the woman is the great evil to man (not jar like in WD) and that women are idle consumers of the wealth a man has worked hard to amass. Theogony version compares women to drones that eat the bees’ honey.
Prometheus
Lec. 5. Hesiod Theogony and Works and Days. Prometheus is a Titan who tricks Zeus twice, first through the fixing of the sacrifice, second by stealing fire back for men. In later traditions, such as Aeschylus’ play Prometheus Bound, Prometheus is represented explicitly as a culture – hero (a little bit of extra info not mentioned in lecture). Although a god, Prometheus is often associated with man and humankind. He is punished by Zeus for his transgressions (stealing fire for mankind) and consequently, gets his liver eaten by an eagle. The liver is associated with passion and erotic striving; punishment is a kind of castration. He is freed by Herakles, the son of Zeus and Alkmene, in his eleventh labor. He is the son of Iapetos and Okeanos Klymene. His name means “Forethought”.
Races of Man
Lec. 5. Hesiod, Works and Days pp. 108-110. the five races (also called ‘ages’) of mankind are Gold, Silver, Bronze, Heroic, Iron. You should know all of these individually for an ID, but when discussing one or another on an ID you should also be able to put them into context in relation to one another. Through the ages of man Hesiod tells a story of the gradual decline and generation of the human race and their lot upon the earth.
Silver Race of Man
Lec. 5. See also ‘Races of man’ (ID); Hesiod Works and Days pp. 108-110. Men lived as children for 100 years, and then died after a brief adolescence. Did not honor gods.
Aineias
Lec. 6. “The Awesome one” Son of Anchises and Aphrodite, Aeneas is a hero in the Trojan War.
Anchises
Lec. 6. Mortal whom Aphrodite falls in love with and sleeps with, conceiving the child Aineias. Zeus places sweet longing for him in Aphrodite’s heart, after they have sex, she tells him about their son, but she forbids him from telling anyone that he slept with her (Hh).Inter-species relationship.
Danae
Lec. 6. Danae is the mother of the hero Perseus. Her father locks her up in a room, but Zeus still manages to impregnate her through a shower of gold.
Eos and Tithonos
Lec. 6. Eos (the goddess of Dawn) falls in love with the mortal Tithonos. She asks Zeus to grant him immortality but forgets to ask for ethernal youth. When he begins to grow old, she refuses to sleep with him, and locks him inside a chamber..Inter-species relationship.
Ganymede
Lec. 6. Beautiful boy whom Zeus falls in love with and takes up to Olympos to be his cup-bearer. Ganymede receives immortality and eternal youth. Inter-species relationship with Zeus.
Leda
Lec. 6. Zeus has sex with Leda in the form of a swan, and Helen is an offspring of their union.
Troy
Lec. 6. site of Judgment of Paris and the Trojan War. Located on west coast of Asia Minor (Turkey).
Apollo
Lec. 7. Son of Zeus and Leto, sister of Artemis. Apollo’s 3 timai are the bow, the lyre, and prophecy. Born in Delos, Apollo founds a sanctuary at Delphi.
Delphi
Lec. 7. Homeric hymn to Apollo. Site of Apollo’s sanctuary and oracle in Northern Greece (see map in Athanassakis).
Hera
Lec. 7. Hera is the seventh and final wife of Zeus and queen of the gods. Her special province (timai) is marriage and weddings. Ironically, her own marriage to Zeus is full of problems. She is a jealous wife and step-mother (Hercules). She also bears parthenogenic sons as a direct result of her desire for revenge against her husband
Hermes
Lec. 7. The trickster god who is born from Zeus and Maia. He begins life in relative obscurity but works his way into the Pantheon, where he takes on the honors or attributes (timai) of messenger, shepherd, and companion to mortals. He is also the god of boundaries and travel. He invents the lyre, quarrels with Apollo. He is the herld, or messenger, of the gods because he is the god of boundaries and of the crossing of boundaries. He passes between mortals and immortals, and between the living and the dead “Guide of Souls”. What is unusual about Hermes is that he doesn’t really grow up, he craves meat (and cuts meat into 12 pieces – importance).
Homeric Hymns
Lec. 7. see Athanassakis (intro). A collection of hymns in honor of the gods, composed in the archaic period. They are called ‘Homeric’ because they follow Homer’s style, although were not necessarily the work of the same author of the Iliad and Odyssey. The hymns celebrate the lives of the Olympian gods.
Demeter
Lec. 8. Sister of Zeus and mother of Persephone (with Zeus – fourth wife). Founds mystery religion at Eleusis with Persephone. Goddess of agriculature and grain, vegetation and fertility. 2nd daughter of Kronos and Rhea
Demophoon
Lec. 8. Homeric Hymn to Demeter. Son of the mortal woman Metaneira, whom Demeter comes to in disguise as a mortal nursemaid. Demeter attempts to make him immortal and ageless by putting him in the fire every night and anointing him with ambrosia. Compare to other mortals who attain or almost attain divine status. (Demophoon will not be an ID on midterm, but good to know)
Eleusynian Mysteries
Lec. 8. Homeric Hymn to Demeter. Secret mystery rites for initiates, located at Eleusis, and presided over by Demeter and Persephone (will not be an ID on midterm, but good to know).
Hades
Lec. 8. Brother of Zeus who is given the realm of the Underworld (also called Hades) by Zeus as his timai. Abducts and Marries Persephone in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter (rapes?). God of death and the underworld. His name means the “Unseen One”, though Greeks prefer to call him “Receiver of Many”.
Persephone
Lec. 8. Persephone is abducted into the Underworld by Hades in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. She works out a compromise with her new husband so that she can spend 2 thirds of the year with her mother and a third underground with him. Persephone shares with Demeter the rites of the Eleusynian Mysteries.

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