Lecture4 - Lecture 4 The Twelve Olympians Division of...

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Lecture 4 The Twelve Olympians
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Division of cosmos • Poseidon to Iris ( Iliad 15.187-93): Zeus got sky, Poseidon sea, Hades Underworld, earth and Olympus shared • Mesopotamian origin: Atrahasis introduction • use of lots in Mesopotamia to divide land among sons
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Zeus • name means ‘sky’, orig. D(i)yéus • Indo-European divinity/ cosmic entity: so established by c. 2900 • found over wide area, India to Italy • Latin Iup(p)iter, Iouis (translated as Jupiter, Jove) • title ‘father’
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Zeus • meteorological importance: recurring descriptions in epic: cloud-gatherer, thundering on high, delighting in thunderbolt, god of dark clouds • rain/ clouds ‘of Zeus’ • has thunder, lightning, shining bolt from Cyclopes ( Theogony 140f., 501-6)
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Zeus • but also king of gods • counted as eldest ( Iliad 13.355) • supremacy over men: Hesiod Works & Days opening • has outgrown role as ‘sky’ • Ouranos ‘sky’ takes his place as original father of gods and husband of ‘Mother Earth’
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11 cm statuette, c. 480
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Zeus and eagle, c. 560
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statue at Olympia (reconstruction), later 5th century
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