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Mythology Final Study Guide

Demeter and Persephone

HH13: Prelude to longer hymn

HH2: :Long HH to Demeter
Demeter and Kore Myth:
Hymn has 2 events:
1. Abduction of Kore
Theme of Abduction: young girl/boy gets stolen by elder- eventually elder has to make good with the family
2. Eleusinian Mysteries
Worship of Demeter at Eleusis site no one knows what happened there
HH2 Summary: Abduction of Kore:
Zeus sets up plan, Gaia in on it at as well sanctioned abduction
Gaia creates marvelous flower and lures Kore - Hades takes her
Kore screaming in reluctance- cries to father
Zeus hides in temple to remain blameless
Demeter freaks out for 9 days (no food no grain)
Hecate tells her that she heard Kore
Helios says that Zeus is the one to blame, also that Hades is not a bad choice for husband (some social status,
powerful ruler)
Demeter wants to remove herself from Olympus
discussed as Doso/ aid woman
means Demophoon- young child- she nourished him and fed him food of gods- tried to make him immortal
Metaneira offends Demeter
Resolves problem with building a temple- divinely sanctioned by Demeter
She will teach them the rights of life/ harvest
Demeter forgets about job- so devastated, grain doesnt grow
lose worshippers gods dont eat either
All gods try to help her, but she only wants her daughter
Hades lets Persephone (first time called this) visit her mother, but she should come back to him
He gives her food of underworld: she ate it, she has to stay for part of time
Persephone is in underworld fall/winter
On land with Demeter spring/summer
Persephone plays up story to mother
Hecate becomes companion to Persephone
Zeus brings Demeter back to Olympia to resume work
Eleusinian myth
way to set up good spot in underworld
Zeus is trying to set up marriage between Hades and Kore so that he is more connected to everyone
Demeter attempts to create divine child
Rites: Purification to make people right
make people build a temple to Demeter
Cant enter city if you have something bad to a mother
tourists dont visit Delphi
hierophany- priest (highest office) revealer of secret things
hiera- sacred things

M&L Summary:
Rites of Eleusis: Begin in Athens Piraeus (bathe selves and purification) Athens (sacrificial prayers) Eleusis
1st time = mystai

Multiple times = epoptai

3rd stage = unknown
Open to Greek citizens + almost everyone else
3 compulsory stages:
lesser mysteries and preliminary steps: Purification and Athens
sacrifice, fasting, water purification
greater mysteries and full initiation: Boedrornia (Sept.- Oct.)
things said - legomeno
things done- dronena
things revealed - deiknamena
- women-only festival dire consequences for men who entered
- 5 days in fall fertility festival
- Plant objects and hope for good harvest calls to Persephone and Demeter
- Orphan version
- Explanation of seasons
- Character who tells Demeter of abduction thanks him by giving the gift of agriculture
Demeter of Eleusis Sanctuary to Demeter
Demeter: Grain Mother
- Meter (metr) = mother
- Metropolis = mother city-state
- De = originated from deai = grain
- Dematrizein= to harvest
- Thesaurus = Treasure trove; Storage bin for grain
- Hittites-Telepinos = Male grain god
- Has beloved female who is taken away death/destruction girl returns and order is returned
- Sometimes has a son Ploutos = wealth
- Pluto does NOT = Ploutos
- Pluto= Roman Underworld
- Both originate from wealth
- Kore(Korai)
- Demeters daughter
- Means virgin, maiden, unmarried girl
- Referred to as Persephone after trip to underworld and becomes Hades partner
- Demeteres= the two demeters = Demeter and Kore

Great mother goddess vs. Patriarchal god
Myth mediating between life and death
Persephone/ Hades - legalized rape- its okay if you marry her
Jung: archetypal element - psychoanalytical myth ritual
reflects the bond between mother and child, specifically between mother and female child

not a universal mythological theme

female bond, not just mother/ daughter
thealogy- study of the goddess
Carol Krist:
The laughter of Aphrodite
Rape is a patriarchal addition
Art Work:
* Demeter - Marble statue of her sitting
* Hades and Persephone statue by Gian- Lorenzo Bernini
* Hades and Persephone terra-cotta plaque
*Persephone, Hermes, and Hecate Athenian red figure krater
*The Departure of Triptolemus red figure cup

Dionysos and his Posse

- Roman Bacchos Bacchus
- Liber (free one/ fertility, vegetation, etc.)/ Liber Pater
- 5th c. B.C. Italic
- Male counterpart to Demeter/ Persephone
- Only god to be born human

OVID Book 3:
- Europas father threatens exile to Cadmus if he cannot find Europa
- Cadmus fails and is exiled prays to Apollo about where to live
- Apollo tells him that a female cow will lead him to the place where he should establish a city
- A serpent comes and kills almost all of his men Cadmus then kills serpent
- Buries serpents teeth in ground at the request of Minerva
- As a result, more men come up from ground and fight the 5 left alive agree to peace and Thebes in born
- Cadmus household is cursed
- Cadmus goes hunting with his grandson, Actaeon
- Actaeon stumbles upon Diana bathing in her grove this offends her she turns him into a deer
- Actaeon is then hunted and killed by his own hunting dogs
- Semele, Cadmus daughter, is pregnant with Jupiters (Zeus) son
- Juno (Hera) finds out and disguises herself as an old women and goes to see Semele
- Juno convinces Semele to have Zeus show her all his diviness
- Semele makes Jupiter promise that he will do what she asks and then asks him to make love in all of his diviness
- Zeus cannot break his promise his diviness is too much for her and kills her
- Zeus saves the baby, who did not die because he is divine sows him up in his thigh so he can keep growing until
ready to come out

Europides Bacchae:

- Play opens with Dionysus going to Thebes disguised as a male Lydian leader of female bacchants
because his Moms intergrity has been questioned
- The sisters of Semele and Pentheus (grandson of Cadmus and now the king of Thebes) think that she
became pregnant by a mortal and the Cadmus made up the whole part about Zeus and how his
blast of lightning killed her
- In response, Dionysus has driven all women of Thebes (including Semeles sisters) from their homes in
frenzy to Mt. Cithaeron filled them with madness and now they are singing to him
- Does this to show Thebes that they dont know everything about Dionysus
- Since Pentheus never worships him, he will show himself as a god to all of Thebes and then continue to
other places
- If Thebes tries to drive away the Bacchae (people who worship him) he will join in their crazed efforts as
their war leader
- Tiresias, a wise old seer ( can see future), goes to Cadmus and the two of them dress in bacchic styles and
go to Mt. Cithaeron to person bacchic rites
- Pentheus is angered by the women and thinks that he shouldnt have to pray to a god that was made through
Semeles mortal affairs
- Pentheus pictures killing the Dionysian wizard and cutting his hair sees Cadmus and Tiresias all dressed up
- Yells at them for their foolishness Tiresias says that hes wrong and that Dionysus is the god of their water and
that he is a powerful god who they should respect and who deserves respect
- Pentheus threatens to destroy Tiresias religious objects and store Tiresias and Cadmus flee
- Back in Thebes, Dionysus is captured under the disguise of a stranger and is taken to Pentheus
- There Pentheus tries to claim that Dionysus is no god at all, but the stranger (Dionysus) tells him that he has been
instructed directly by Dionysus, the god, to do all these bacchic rites
- Pentheus tries to find out about the bacchae mysteries, but the stranger tells him that he is not allowed to know
- Pentheus gets extremely angered and the stranger, Dionysus, is very calm lets him know that all of his prisoners
have returned to the mountains
- Pentheus wants to destroy stranger (Dionysus) imprisons him
- Dionysus easily escapes and causes an earthquake at the palace and a fire at the grave of Semele
- He then continually tricks Pentheus Pentheus comes to the stranger and wants to fight- still wont admit his
- A cowherd interrupts saying that he thinks that Dionysus is real and that he women are in a frenzy and are vicious
too by killing cattle
- Pentheus wants to kill them Dionysus steps in and as the stranger convinces Pentheus that he will show him the
rites of the maenads but that he should dress in a specific disguise to get past the maenads
- Pentheus gets all dressed up as a female bacchae and Dionysus puts him in a sort of frenzy he starts seeing
- Pentheus is getting too excited about killing maenads ignoring Dionysus growing violent warnings
- Pentheus wants to get on the top of the tree to see the maenads indecency stranger pulls down tree so Pentheus
can get up there and then straightens the tree
- Dionysus then calls from the heavens for his maenads to kill the enemy in the tree
- The maenads go crazy and attack tree- finally get him down and tear him to pieces
- His mother is one of the maenads and the takes his decapitated head back to the city thinking its a lions head
- Cadmus goes to city where Agaue (mother of Pentheus) is carrying around his head boasting bc she thinks its a
lions head
-Cadmus brings her back to reality intensifies grief.


- Birth of Dionysus
- Sown in the thigh of Zeus
- Dionysus is captured by Tyrrhenian Pirates
- They soon realize that he is not a normal man he is a god they plan to return him to shore
- Dionysus causes a vine to grow and take over the ship it blossoms smells of wine
- Dionysus then turns into a lion, then a bear, then back into a lion
- This scares the pirates and they jump overboard to avoid the lion turned into dolphins upon jumping
- Dionysus makes the dolphins happy and nice though but he establishes his dominance as Dionysus
- Etiologically why dolphins are friendly to have by ships
HH 26:
- Dionysus grew up with the nymphs in Nysa
- When he got old enough he would wander the forest
- Praying to him to be happy and have abundant seasons
- As a youth, Hermes took him to Semeles sister Ino and Athamas
- Taken away from Greece, turned into goat
- Taken to Mt. Nysa to be brought up by nymphs
- His wine affects him differently his chief contribution
Story of Wine Making:
- First lover- Ampelus- gorge to death
- tears shed cause vine to come out of body with grapes
- crushed grapes discovers process of making wine
- needs to speak his knowledge finds Ikarios/ Icarius who is very nice to him
- teaches him the art of viniculture (art of making wine)
- Hera attacks him in vunerability makes him go crazy
- He eats his own vines & the shepherds kill him

Associated with:
1. Goats
2. Large Wild Cats
God of:
1. Wine
2. Intoxication
3. Creative Ecstasy

Dionysus in the Underworld:

- Trek to save mother
- Encounters Prosymnos/ Polymnos) will give directions in return for sex
- Returns from trek but Prosymnos is dead still needs to make good on promise
- Puts stick on grave as a substitute and keeps promise

Dionysus Zagreus: Orphic translation with different story of birth

- Son of Zeus and Persephone Zeus wanted to make Dionysus a divine son
- Dionysos= combo of divine knowledge of underworld/ power
- Hera hires titans to kill Dionysos
- Dionysus planted in Semele and born from her and Zeus consume body of Dionysus to cleanse self
- Orphism anticipated doctrines of Christianity
Dionysus of Thebes vs. Jesus of Nazareth
Shared Qualities:
Sons of Main God
Sons of Virgin
Surve murder attempts as infants
Perform miracles to show divinity
Battle supernatural evil
Go home & get rejected/ denied
Descend/ Pass on to underworld
Rise to divinity
Evangelizing their own worship
Actually punishes opponents
Invented wine
Will come back to pass judgement
Turned water into wine

Hieros Gamos- Sacred Marriage
- banned in government because it was so loved (Bacchinalla)
- Liberalia remained - on March 17th- same day as St. Patricks day
City of Dionysia: central part of his festival
- Each group (deme) had a 50 man chorus & a 50 boy chorus complete with dionysian hymn
Satyr play: Comedy to make fun of previous tragedy plays
-Dionysus only appears as a main character in Bacchi
- first inner: Thesbis thesbian supposedly created tragedy/ drama
- Tragedy: tragos- male goat; ode- song
- Satyrs: sometimes equated to faun : not originally the same symbols of unrestrained male sexuality
- Sileness: older drunken male character - personality of a satyr white beards, white hair inner
wisdom of old age/ drunkenness
- Maenad (Bacchae) - mad woman
- Bacchantes - another modern term for maenad
- Catharsis: emotional release occurs when watching dramas mental cleanse
- Comedy= Komoidia Komos (songs) Parade of Revellers

- Faunus/ Fauna : half goat different than satyrs

- Narrative by Homer
- Athenian playwriters
* The Death of Semele by Peter Paul Rubens
* Reenactment of the Marriage of Dionysus and Ariadne
*The Indian Triumph of Dionysus
*The Birth of Dionysus
*The Second Birth of Dionysos by George Platt Lynes?
* Dionysus and Maenads
* Dionysus, Maenads, and Satyrs
*Dionysus and Satyrs
*Pan Pursuing a Goatherd

Perseus the Proto-Hero and Herakles

The 12-Step Hero Journey
1. Birth
a. Unusual/unnatural birth
2. Infancy
a. Survives danger as a child (ex. attack by a relative)
3. Has 2 fathers
a. A genetic donor (some divine force)
b. A human father figure
4. Demonstrates powers/abilities as a child
5. Grows into adulthood and craves adventure
6. Powers are tested on quests
7. Quest proves to be journey of discovery
a. Discovery about self, society, universe
8. Isolation
a. Gradually separates from fellow mortals during quest
9. Conflict with nightmarish creatures/monsters
a. Usually has to battle at least 1 in serpent or dragon form
10. Battle with barbarians
a. Referred to any non-Greek who could potentially destroy Greek civilization
11. Confrontation with divine/cosmic powers
a. Does this on his own
12. Journeys climax ends with ketabasis
a. Trip to the Underworld
b. Gains a newfound awareness

The Hero
-connection between mortal and immortal worlds
-ties him to cycle of life/death/rebirth
-symbolic character who is able to revive mankind
-shows people individual potential
-final burden is to confront mortality (death)
-has to pursue death in hopes of immortality
-isolation from mortals on quest; especially women
-interpretation: female interaction is threatening/destructive

Story of Perseus (Proto-hero)

-argolid-employs the aid of women
-new undeveloped idea, one of first stories to use it
-Abas (great-grandfather) --> Akrisios, king of Argos (grandfather) --> Danae (mother)
-oracle said that Danae would have a son who would kill Akrisios; Akrisios locks Danae away in his palace
to protect himself
-Zeus enamored by her, enters chamber in form of golden shower, lays with her
-Danae gives birth to Perseus; hides him in chamber for 4 yrs.
-Akrisios discovers Perseus after hearing him playing; locks Danae & Perseus in a chest and throws it into the sea
-Zeus protects them; they land on island of Seriphos, saved by Dictys
-Polydectes (king of Seriphos) falls in love w/ Danae, who refuses him
-orders men of the island to each bring him a horse
-Perseus claims he could easily bring head of a Gorgon instead
-Polydectes agrees, hoping to rid of Perseus
-Perseus despairingly begins his quest; Athena and Hermes tell him how to perform task
-Perseus goes to the Graeae (sisters of the Gorgons); they share one eye/tooth
-takes eye/tooth from them, forces them to send him to nymphs that possessed special objects to
aid him in his quest; they agree
-Gets 3 objects from nymphs (Cap of invisibilty, winged sandals, and wallet or kibisis)
-also receives Hermes scimitar (special sword)
-Perseus flies to home of the 3 Gorgons (Medusa is only mortal one)
-using reflection in his shield, he is able to behead her; puts head in kibisis; escapes from sisters using
invisibility cap
-Pegasus born from her neck
-decapitation interpreted as castration (vagina dentata-fear of female genitalia)
-on return home, saves princess Andromeda by killing a sea-monster w/ his objects, marries her; have son Perses
-Perseus returns and saves mother by turning Polydectes into stone using Medusas head
-gives head to Athena, who puts it on her aegis (animal skin/shield); ex. of apotropaic device (used to ward
off evils)
-Perseus, Andromeda, and Danae return to Argos; Perseus accidentally kills Akrisios using a discus
-shamed, he leaves and becomes king of Tiryns; founds Mycenae
Story of Herakles
-name meaning glory of Hera
-subject to violent outbursts
-idea of PTSD; he pursues dying in order to live
-told by oracle at Delphi to serve King Eurystheus (cousin) after he kills Megara (wife) for retribution

-kills Megara after fit of rage sent on by Hera

-labors (imposed by Eurystheus) designed to destroy him mentally & physically (however, his athloi were largely
-first 6 labors undertaken in the Peloponnesse (gradually requiring wit), other 6 elsewhere
-last 3 known as conquests of Death, moving from animals to trickery
-depicted as man and animal
-sometimes shown as hairy
-extreme drunkenness (esp. in story w/ centaurs)
-shoots first, thinks later
-yet displays impeccable will in completing some of his tasks
The 12 Labors of Herakles
1. Nemean Lion
a. Was supposed to be invulnerable; H. strangles it & uses its claws to kill it
b. Thus, lion skin & wooden club become recognized visual attributes
2. Lernaean Hydra
a. 9 headed serpent (9th was immortal) from Lerna; each time he cut off a head, 2 more grew back
b. Hera sends a giant crab to make things more difficult; becomes constellation Cancer
c. with the help of Iolaus (nephew), they defeat the monsters
d. H. dips arrows in Hydras blood
3. Ceryneian Hind (deer)
a. Golden deer sacred to Artemis (cant be touched w/o angering her)
b. Pursues for 1 yr.; brings back to Eurystheus alive
c. Antles signify male deer; potentially a reindeer?
4. Erymanthian Boar
a. Trapped destructive beast, brought back to E. (who hides in a jar in fear)
***labor brings about parerga***
-meets up w/ friend, the centaur Pholus, and is forced to fight off other attacking centaurs
-Pholus dies after dropping poison arrow on his foot
5. Augeon Stables
a. Augeas (king of Elis-Olympics) had stables that had never been cleaned
b. H. diverts rivers Alpheus and Peneus to flow through stables
c. Augeas had promised 1/10 of his herd as reward, but does not hold his word; after the labors, H.
returned w/ an army and killed Augeas
d. H. forms the Olympics after this; plants the first olive tree
6. Stymphalion Birds
a. Forced to kill birds that flocked by lake Stymphalus
b. Startles them w/ help of Athena, then shoots them
7. Cretian Bull
a. Bull that King Minos had failed to sacrifice to Poseidon
b. H. captures and brings back to E.; released near Marathon and later caught by Theseus
8. Thracian Mares
a. Flesh-eating, owned by Diomedes
b. H. captures them and tames them by feeding them Diomedes
c. Brought back to E. and dedicated to Hera
***another parerga***
-meets King Admetus, who is saddened by death of his wife Alclestis
-wrestles deity Thanatos (death), forcing him to return Alclestis to Admetus
9. Girdle of Hippolyte (belt)

a. H. kills Queen Hippolyta (of the Amazons), fetches her belt w/ magical powers
***another parerga***
-rescues Hesione from sea-monster in Troy
10. Cattle of Geryon
a. Owned by Geryon (3-headed monster) on island of Erythia
b. Sails to Geryon in cup from Helius, kills Geryon
c. Upon returning, sets up Pillars of Herakles near Spain (major imagery)
11. Apples of Hesperides
a. Hesperides (daughters of Night) guarded golden apple tree (symbols of immortality
b. H. learned where garden was located from Nereus
c. H. took the world from Atlas, with help of Athena, while Atlas reached the apples; had to trick him
into taking the world again
d. Represents journey to realm of death
12. Cerberus
a. H. traveled to the Underworld to bring Cerberus (Hades 3-headed dog)
b. In The Odyssey, H. claimed this was the hardest labor
c. Later returned him to Hades
d. Gained ketabasis
***after labors, marries Deineira by wrestling Achelous
-when returning to Tiryns, D+H come across Nessos (centaur) who carries D across river Evenus. Nessos attempts
to violate D, and H. shoots him with his poison arrows. D collects the blood so that H would not love another
woman as much as her.
-Deineira hears that H loves Iole, and smears the blood on a shirt that is given to Herakles. He wears it at a
sacrificial ritual, where he is burned to death.
-burning symbolizes purification

Virtual Lecture: The Theban Cycle , The Argonauts, and the Calydonian Boar
The Theban Cycle (441-431 BC)
-refers to trilogy of plays by Sophocles
-Oedipus the King, Antigone, and Oedipus at Colonus
-also can refer to bloody series of events Thebes was a part of during that time
-Thebes founded by Cadmus after searching for his sister Europa (abducted by Zeus)
-noble families of Thebes called the Spartoi; came to being after serpent was killed from which armed men sprung;
they then fought and killed each other; for killing the serpent, Cadmus was forced to serve Ares
-Cadmus married Harmonia (daughter of Ares and Aphrodite); wedding of great extravagance because he was one
of the greatest men of his time
-was able to hear the muses sing (one of the greatest honors a mortal could possess; received many gifts
from the gods
-2 batches sown from teeth of the serpent slayed by Cadmus; those of Thebes (by Cadmus) and those by Iason
(commander of the Argonauts)


-Cadmus slayed the dragon after it killed many of his men; men sprung from the teeth he sown and only 5 survived
the battle
-talked about in Metamorphoses and Oedipus
-ghosts of Spartoi believed to haunt fields of Ares near Thebes
(Oedipus the King, Ovid)
-Laius (Oedipus father) became king of Thebes and married Jacosta; he was warned by an oracle that he would
have a son that would eventually kill him
-Oedipus eventually killed his father by accident, and after solving riddle of the Sphinx, he became the ruler of
Thebes, also marrying his mother zaw
-Heavens did not like familial configuration so a plague was sent; Oedipus loses power and blinds himself
-his sons begin a civil war for power (Seven Against Thebes)

Analyzing the Theban Cycle:

-most famous interpretations: structuralist and psychoanalytical
-roots in work by Ferdinand de Saussure
-emphasis on looking at language in the moment; words as signifiers
-the order that we perceive in the world is not inherent in the world, but is a product of our minds. It's not
that there is no "reality out there," beyond human perception, but rather that there is too much "reality" (too
many units of too many kinds) to be perceived coherently without some kind of "grammar" or system to
organize and limit them
-meaning is not found in any specific motif (ex. incest motif in the Oedipus myth) but rather in the
relationship between the various motifs that make up the myth (ex. the relationship between the motif of
killing the father and solving the riddle of the Sphinx)

-Levi-Strauss work:
-The meaning of a myth inheres not in its particular details, but in the relationships among them; A
myth must be studied in its totality.
-looks at recurring motifs (ex. killing); then breaks this theme into smaller part (killing relative vs.
killing monster); deals with pairs of opposites (killing those similar vs diff.)
-so, myth is actually about a contrast bet. belief that human beings were originally born from earth
(slaying monsters theme) and human beings are born from sexual relations bet. one another
(slaying family members theme)
-Freud: we repress thoughts and ideas which are socially/morally unacceptable (ex. incest)
-these thoughts play out in our dreams
-myths are attempt to work out these thoughts
-Unconscious fantasies are embodied in all myths; they appear in a disguised or distorted form through
displacement; the transfer of emotion or meaning from one idea to another (e.g. phobias).
-The importance of childhood sexuality


Jason and The Argonauts & Medea:

-chief sources:
-The Argonautica (Greek) by Apollonius Rhoidus (3rd century bc); only surviving Hellenistic epic
-The Argonautica (Latin) by Gaius Valerius Flaccus; very fragmented text, ends abruptly
-deal with quest for Gold Fleece by Jason and many Trojan War heros
Golden Fleece:
Pelias sends J. to obtain golden fleece which is in the distant land of Colchis ruled by King Aeetes (P.s enemy) in
order to take back power;, and in return, must fetch the Golden Fleece
Expedition Jason assembles the best men of the time (The Argonauts, named after ship Argo) to sail to Colchis
major Greek heroes included among crew (including Herakles, Orpheus, sometimes Theseus)
series of adventures where Jason and crew battle human rivals and monsters on their way to Colchis.
Lemnos: spent a good deal of time with the women there
-they had killed their husbands/fathers previously, choosing to live without men
-Herakles was said to have guarded the ship while the other Argonauts were on Lemnos
Jason and the seduction of Medea (King Aeetes daughter):
Pelias has insulted Hera by worshiping all gods except her
Hera tells Jason to bring Medea back to accomplish revenge upon him
Aphrodite assists by causing Medea to fall in love with him
Before Aeetes will give Jason the fleece he must:
yoke a fire-breathing bull
plow a field
sow the field with left over dragons teeth from the founding of Thebes by Cadmus (Spartoi)
Then Jason has to kill the armed men who germinate from these teeth.
Medea gives J. a drug to protect him and his weapons.
J. succeeds only to find that Aeetes reneges and plans to attack.
Jason therefore steals fleece with Medeas help
Medea kills and dismembers her younger brother so that dad will have to stop and pick up the pieces.
Medea has Pelias killed as revenge for killing Jasons parents; they are banished to Corinth
Jason thus becomes the hero without a country.
they have two children.
Jason decided that Medea was only (or crown) helpful during times of turmoil, so he left her for Glauce
-an angry Medea sent a robe as a wedding gift, which lit Glauce on fire
-she also kills her the children she had with Jason and flees to Athens
Overview of Jason
-divine ancestry, went on search for glory, performed impossible tasks
-weak hero; subversion of the Homeric hero (Achilles or Odysseus); not confident, morally weak and corrupt
-does not become more enlightened during the course of the epic nor show great improvement
-the value of his success comes at a great personal and moral cost; compromises his morals and ethics to do so.
-the universe of the Argonauts is not one where cleverness (Odysseus) and bravery (Iliad) triumph but where irony
and wit win out.
-undesirable qualities that are necessary for success; behaviors commonly accepted in modern drama
-shows the irrelevance of the old codes of heroic behavior in modern (Hellenistic) times
-Jasons adventures with the Argonauts constitute a series of parerga on the way to his main quest of retrieving the
Golden Fleece for Pelias.
Overview of Medea
-covered by playwright Euripides in Medea
-opens with scene after Jason has abandoned her and the children


-killed her children because Jason had betrayed her; she had helped him get the Golden Fleece only for him to leave
-her goal: leave him childless, and thus, a failure (no continued family line)
-Jasons marriage to Glauce meant that Medea+children had to depend on their good graces; leads to
-concept of kyrios: a females male guardian to aid her (by providing dowry) in order for her to achieve main goal
of obtaining a suitable husband
-no real financial say in her life
-Medea did not have a kyrios; she married without kin approval or dowry
-idea of isolation and dependency
-Medea as female--represents non-human and non-Greek
-Medea as male--avenges her honor; punishes oathbreaker (Jason)

Meleager and the Boar Hunters

-when Meleager was a child, received the prophecy from the Fates (Moerae) that the child would die once the brand
burning on the hearth was burnt out
-his mother locked the flame away in a chest
-Meleager--virtually invincible--joined the Argonauts, tried to find the Golden Fleece
-upon return, many Argonauts participated in Calydonian Boar Hunt
-this came about bc Ms father King Oeneus had failed to sacrifice to Artemis; she sent a giant boar to
prevent the land from being used, destroying people and cattle; group of noble men assembled to kill it
-upon killing the boar, Meleager received the skin and gave it to Atalanta (a huntress he had fallen for)
-sons of Thestius believed that a woman should not receive a gift in the face of a man and claimed that the
skin should be rightfully theres
-Meleager killed them and gave the skin to Atalanta anyways
-the sons of Thestius were actually his uncles (mothers brothers), so in her grief, she opened the chest and caused
the death of her son, as predicted by the prophecy
-critics, however, claim that he was killed either in battle with Apollo or by the sons of Thestius
-his wife Cleopatra and mother Althaea hanged themselves after his death
-when Herakles went to the Underworld to get Cerberus, it is said that Meleager advised him to marry Deianira
(Meleagers sister)

Herakles and Theseus

Theseus: Follows in the footsteps of Herakles
- Oracle at Delphi tells Aegeus not to get drunk before he gets home or he will have a son that will grow up and kill
him Aegeus gets drunk
- Son of Aithra/Aethra She sleep with both Poseidon and Aegeus (king of Athens) on the same night
- He is the son of Aethra and Poseidon though
-If child is a boy, stuff will be hidden under a rock he must retrieve these and bring them back to the kind
- Gnorismata = token of recognition
- When Theseus is strong enough he find the sword and sandals under the rock
6 deeds:
1. Periphetes
- Bronze club: clubs people on the way to Athens


- Theseus kills him and takes his golden club as an attribute

2. Sinis
- Ties people to two pine trees and lets go tearing them to shreds
- Theseus does the same thing to him
3. Crommyonian Sow
- Female pig who kills people
- Theseus kills pig
4. Sciron
- Force people to wash his feet then would kick them over a cliff where a Sea Turtle would eat them
- Theseus throws him off cliff
5. Cercyon
- Force people to wrestle him then he would kill them
- Theseus wins wrestling match
6. Procustles
- Father of Sinus
- Has a bed that he offers to travelers for hospitality if too short for bed he would stretch you out and if too long
for bed he would chop you off to make you fit
- Theseus fits into bed
After the 6 deeds- Theseus goes to Athens and is accepted by Aegeus and the city as a hero
- Aegeus is married to Medea their son Medus is to succeed as king of Athens
- Medea recognizes Theseus as Aegeus son (she is the only one who does) and sees him as a rival of Medus so she
tries to convince Aegeus that Theseus is a threat to his power.
- Medea convinces Aegeus to poison him at the banquet dinner
- At the banquet dinner Theseus cuts meat with his sword Aegeus recognizes sword and knocks poisoned glass
from his hand and announces him as his son
Theseus and the Minotaur:
- Every 9 years, the Athenians send 14 people (7 boys and 7 girls) to Crete as a Human food source for the minotaur
- Theseus offers to go as one of the 14 and kill the minotaur
- Agrees to change the sails from black to white on the way back to signal that he has survived and succeeded
- Once on Crete, Theseus attracts the eye of Ariadne, daughter of Minos, and she tells him how to defeat the
Minotaur and how to escape the maze afterwards
- He promises to love her, but after he succeeds he abandons her and forgets to change the sails
- As he approaches Athens, King Aegeus sees that the sails have not been changed and so thinking that his son has
allowed his son to be killed by the Minotaur, he commits suicide and jumps into the sea
- Etiological myth called Aegean Sea because King Aegeus killed himself in it
- Theseus then becomes King of Athens
Theseus and Ariadne on Naxos:
- he leaves her and Dionysus takes Ariadne
- she becomes divine
- myth reflects political shift from Crete Athens
Theseus vs. Herakles:
- Theseus championed by Athenians to replace Herakles b/c Herakles was championed by Spartans
- Theseus = symbol for Athenian democracy


Art Work:
*The Labors of Theseus
*Theseus and Amphitrite
*Dionysus and Ariadne - marble sarcophagus
*Dionysus and Ariadne - bronze krater

The Mycenaean Saga and The Trojan Cycle

may be seen as founder of Mycenae

next ruler of Mycenae
son of Pelops and Hippodemeia
Atreus serves the child Pelops at banquet of gods
Condemned to starve
Pelops is brought back to life
Won bride through trickery
Sibling = Thyestes seduces Pelops wife
Thyestes sets curse on house of Atreus
Either laid out by Thyestes or whole genealogy
Sons: Menelaus and Agamemnon
In contest for Helen
Menelaus wins and Agamemnon married Clytemnestra (sister to Helen)
Paris- Trojan prince judges goddesses - granted power to get hottest girl chooses Helen
flee to Troy
starts trojan war to get Helen back to Greece
makes offering to gods and forgets Artemis
she requires sacrifice of Agamemnons daughter, Iphigenia
Ships return after 10 years- Orestaia
Agamemnon returns with trojan prophet- Cassandra (never believed)
Aegisthus kills Agamemnon
Aegisthus marries Clytemnestra
Orestes kills Clytemnestra and gains control

Time Line:
Cyria: Everything up until the Trojan War
Iliad: 51 days well into war
Trojan Cycle
kyklos- circle
group of poems with the same theme
Aethiopis: the arrival of Penthesilea
Little Iliad: how Odysseus gets Achilles arms & Ajaxs madness suicide- kills himself in honor
*akevias vase
Sack of Ilium (Iliupersis) : end of war
Nostoi- returns
describes how everyone gets back home
Odyssey: how Odysseus gets home
Telegony- after war


Oracle states: child of Okionid would be more powerful than father
Eris: not invited to wedding, throws apple
Kallisthi - to/ for the most beautiful
goddesses fight over it
Paris decides winner
daughter of Leda & Zeus = spartan princess
Leda lays 2 eggs
1) Helen & Clythemnestra
2) Castor & Pollus - Dioscouri (Gemini) become immortal
Thetis dips her son into the river styx to make him immortal except for heel where she held him
Kills Penthesilea as he falls in love with her
Killed by Paris & Apollo shot in heel body rescued by Ajax and Odysseus
Nostos- voyage home
What happens after Odysseus kills suitors
What happens to suitors
Marriage to Penelope - what happens to Telemacus

From Troy to Rome: The Relationship of Greek and Roman Myth AND
Native Italic Myths
- Minos attacks city of Alcathous, which is ruled by Nisus
- During the siege, Scylla, the daughter of Nisus, falls in love with Minos
- She scalps her father to give his power, contained in a lock of purple hair, to Minos
- Minos is horrified by her betrayal but decides to be fair and leaves the defeated city
- Scylla angrily runs after Minos ship but it stopped by her father, who is now an osprey
- Scylla then also turns into a bird
- Back in Crete, Minos orders Daedalus to build a labyrinth to conceal the Minotaur (shameful product of a union
between Minos mother and a bull)
- Daedalus agree but is not happy about being in exile
- He builds wings from wax so that he and his son, Icarus, can fly away
- Despite Daedalus warnings, Icarus flies too close to the sun and the wax melts- sending Icaru falling to his death
- After Theseus victory over the Minotaur his fame spreads and the Calydonians appeal to him for help in
slaughtering a boar that is terrorizing their lands
- Many heros try to hunt the boar finally killed by a woman warrior, Atalanta, wounds boar
- Meleager is the one who give final blow but wants the honor of the hunt to go to Atalanta
- This angers the men, especially Meleagers uncles: Plexippus and Toxeus
- They fight Meleager kills both his uncles
- Althaea, Mealegers mother, is outraged by her brother death
- Remembers that there is a prophecy that says that as long as a certain log is not burned in a fire, Meleager will live
- After a little time, Althaea decide to throw the log in the fire log burns and Meleagers life fades away
- On the way back to Athens, Theseus stays with Achelous and they share stories of metamorphoses


Rome and the Political Use of Myth I: Republic to Empire and Beginnings

Roman Mythology:
Rome founded 753 B.C., April 21
Traditions to founding of Rome
rooted in 2 sources
Romulus & Remus
Romulus and Remus:

Underscores importance of Vestal virgin

Vesta- Hestia
girls serve her - learning cult, performing cult, teach younger girls
Once out of priesthood- free of having male partner
Increases lifespan- no child birth
Not the same as Ares
Mars= bearded, mature male deity
if shown as pair with naked woman - Mars & Venus
War god like Roma
To protect Rhea Silva, sons are put in woven basket floating down the tiber
found and nursed by Lupa Romana
found by humans Faustulus & (Acca) Laurentia
establish boundary of city
delimiate pomerrium
Pomerium- sacred boundary
Romulus and Remus fight over name
Remus jumps over the line and ruins ritual
Romulus kills brother- name it Rome

Aenid- ties everything to Iliupersis
Back in Troy - Anchises marries Venus and they have a son Aeneus (trojan)
Aeneus flees Troy as its burning
Wife gets killed but he escapes with father and his son Ascanius (Iulus)
Need to found new city
Son founds site and begins line of Kings- beginning with Proca

Rome and the Political Use of Myth II: Transformations in the Message

Class Notes:
Livy- author who wrote book The Early Part of Rome
Founding of Rome : April 21 753 B.C.


Every year after described in AUC

AUC - Ab Urbe Condita - from the city had been founded
named story Ab Urbe Condita- told story of Romulus and Remus
Virgil told same

Aeneid: an epic that tells up the foundings of Rome

written during political transition
interactions with Greeks and other cultures
Greek epic but Roman
Still stands in mythological realm
Others criticize or endorse Augustus

Foundations of Rome:
Recorded events in relation to astronomy- eclipses
combined with archaeological data and literary sources
Earliest remains suggest 753 B.C. date of origin
Palatine hill holds oldest remains
location where Romulus and Remus founded Rome with religious practices
Forum Romanum
great center of Rome
places of worship of gods taken over by christian practices
ground level fluctuates today is much higher
burials underground with urns (huts) that resemble house of Romulus

from N. Italy - Etruria- expanded into S. Italy
buried dead in necropolis - hat style
interior decor (tomb of leopards**)- domestic scene
etruscan art with bright colors and broad gestures
vases in etruscan tombs
Charu(n) ferryman god
metal work- gold fibula
buried in tombs
women forbidden from wearing certain height in gold, sandals
Augury- interpreting religions- what omens mean
Architecture influenced Romans
start face on - frontal association
tripartite cella- 3 rocms
on pestal buy only steps at front
cult statue inside
temple serves as statue base

509 BCE- Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus

Vulva de Veii- Jupiter


largest temple in Roman

using god in architecture- using myth to show political goals
capoline triad
Jupiter, Juno, Minerva (Menva- etruscan)
strategic warfare
family relationship- paternal bond
25 April:
Fourteenth Discussion Section
thoroughly italic goddess
created and conceived in Italy
Menvra/ menerva
dress, aegis, helmet, spear - attributes
wields a lightning bolt
can also have wings
oracular, like Apollo in Greece
etruscans relied heavily on signs/ omens
augary- part of etruscan cults
Minerva mediea
Cult temples contain anatomical ex voti
terra cotta anatomical votives of body parts
dedicated to god to get healed
goes further with Greece Athena with raising child
not virgin
etruscan variations of Greek myths
arm of Hercules around her
raised at least 3 semi- divine children in Etruria
Worship centers
Punta della Vipera
Rebuilt many times
First built in 6th century BCE again in 2nd century BCE
single room temple
oracular sorting spots
anatomical ex voti found in ruins
possibly chronic
underworld sacrificial altar
inscriptions to Minerva in votives
sacked by Rome in 241 BCE- remade into Roman city
rebuilt by Lars Contena- combines Roman and Faliscan culture
fragment with vow to god Menerva
Menerva taken to Rome, not invited
Menerva Capta (captive)
brought back to Rome
strongly supported by Domitian
Minerva part of the capitoline triad
ruled for longest period of all emperors
empire started
Julius Caesar Augustus Nero (all have divine right to rule b.c of Venus) Vespasian Domitian (associates
himself w/ Minerva)


founded games to Minerva in Alba longu, builds forum to Minerva- places forum in smaller space but higher
strange statues
commissioned statues of domitians read on Minerva
she will protect him
revolutionary combo of male/ female
Alba longa Ascanius Numator Romulus
Palladium- cult statues to Minerva
connecting himself to trojan Ares

Rome and Beyond: The Continuance of Myth-- Where do myths come from? What are They? What will they

Potential Vocabulary:
Dematrizein= to harvest
Thesaurus = Treasure trove; Storage bin for grain
Hittites-Telepinos = Male grain god
Demeteres= the two demeters = Demeter and Kore
Thealogy- study of the goddess
Hierophany- priest (highest office) revealer of secret things
Hiera- sacred things
Mystai- first time to participate in Eleusian
Epoptai- having done the Eleusian multiple times
Legomeno- things said on in Eleusian ceremonies
Dronena- things done in Eleusian ceremonies
Deiknamena- things revealed in Eleusian ceremonies
Satyrs: sometimes equated to faun : not originally the same symbols of unrestrained male sexuality
Sileness: older drunken male character - personality of a satyr white beards, white hair inner wisdom
of old age/ drunkenness
Maenad (Bacchae) - mad woman
Bacchantes - another modern term for maenad
Catharsis: emotional release occurs when watching dramas mental cleanse
Kantharos - wine cup
Gnorismata - token of recognition
Apotheosis- turning into a god
Nostoi- returns
Kallisthi - to/ for the most beautiful
Nostos- voyage home
Pomerium - sacred boundary
Augury- interpreting religions- what omens mean
Interpretatio Romana-when Romans came into contact with another culture, they either 1) adopted/merged gods or
2) established one god for another
Damatrizen-to harvest
Thesauros-treasure trove used to store grain


-Ketabasis-hero journeys to the Underworld

Freudian interpfeelings of aggression towards father; desire to kill 1 of 2 fathers; displacement theory- mind
substitutes either a new aim or a new object for goals felt in their original form to be dangerous or unacceptable
-psychoanalyticalthe hero is discovers himself; solidify psyche
-feministdescending into the womb of the gods; connects males/females
argolid-hero uses the aid of women to complete journey (used with Perseus and)
vagina dentata-fear of female genitalia
apotropaic device-something used to ward off evil forces
athloi-used to describe labors for a prize (w/ Herakles, prize was immortality); athlos meaning contest
parerga-secondary business; task in addition to original job; incidental deeds
-w/ Herakles, athloi describes labors, parerga describes everything else he does
apotheosis-the change from mortal to immortal
kyrios- a young females male guardian, essentially controls her life bc he possesses the ability to give
dowry/blessing to potential husbands