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Unformatted text preview: MYTH, THE GODS and MYTH, THE GODS and HERODOTUS’ HISTORY MYTHOLOGY HISTORY PHILOSOPHY Intertwined The intertwining of the three clear in HERODOTUS, fifth century HISTORIAN (father of Historiography) Legendary History of Herodotus History of the Persian Wars Story of Solon, Croesus, and Cyrus Context of History of PERSIAN WARS (early 5th century BCE) Legend of Croesus presented as a drama with a moral tone. Herodotus as Myth Historian Influence of Homer and Tragedy Solon, Athenian Statesman (Poet/Philosopher) famous for his wisdom visits Croesus at Sardis. Question of Croesus to SOLON: Who is the happiest of all men (expecting an answer it would be him, namely Croesus). Solon’s criteria for Happiness, and his response Solon’s response to Croesus, Solon’s response to Croesus, according to 5th century Historian, HERODOTUS “Oh Croesus, you ask me about human affairs, who know that all deity is jealous and fond of causing troubles…a human being is completely a thing of chance. To me you appear to be wealthy and king of many subjects; but I cannot answer the question that you ask me until I know that you have completed the span of your life well. For the one who has great wealth is not at all more fortunate than the one who has only enough for his daily needs” Croesus thought himself to be the happiest of all. Philosophy in HISTORY. Fusion of genres. Tragedy/philosophy/religion (when Solon talks about gods)/history/Folk tale. Croesus had two sons. One son could not speak. The other was called ATYS Atys (linguistic relation in the name with the word Ate [=“ruin” or “destruction”]); links with Attis and Adonis. Croesus had a dream that his son ATYS would die struck by the point of an iron weapon. He woke up and no longer sent his son to any missions. Javelins and spears removed from men’s quarters piled up in women’s quarters (structuralist interpretation here). A Phrygian came to the palace of Croesus with hands polluted with blood. Problem of pollution> requirement of purification. CROESUS purified him. After performance of purificatory rites, he asked him who he was. The Phrygian’s name was ADRASTUS, son of MIDAS, and said that he had killed his brother unintentionally and came to Croesus driven out by his father. Adrastus lived at the palace of CROESUS. BOAR appeared at the mountain in Mysian Olympus. Atys was newly married at the time. He heard what was going on, and asked his father to go. Croesus allowed his son, ATYS, to go and asked ADRASTUS to be Atys’ guard. ADRASTUS hurled his javelin at the boar, missed him and instead hit the son of CROESUS, who struck by the point of the weapon “fulfilled the prediction of the dream.” A messenger told the news to Croesus Messenger typical in Tragedy to convey news, also in historiography. Parallels with folk tales of sleeping beauty etc, a parent trying to avert the fate of the child. Ideology of FATE. OTHER STORY OTHER STORY CROESUS AND CYRUS CROESUS’s kingdom of Lydia was being gradually absorbed by Persians under CYRUS the Great. CROESUS was the last king of LYDIA CROESUS consulted the oracle at Delphi (Apollo’s) DELPHIC response” if you attack the Persians, you will destroy a mighty empire” He did, but it was his own. Apollo had warned him. Map of Persian Empire, Herodotus’ Map of Persian Empire, Herodotus’ time Herodotus' story of Croesus (king of Lydia, considered himself the happiest of all men), Lenardon p. 138 His son Atys recalls a famous myth associated with a god who appears in a variety of guises in the ancient eastern Mediterranean. The myth involves the young male consort of a mother goddess figure. The young god is born, becomes the lover of the mother goddess, but then is killed in his prime while hunting a wild boar, which gores him in the groin. The mother goddess buries her beloved and mourns him. Other legendary folktales in Herodotus [box] The story of Arion and the dolphin Musician, connected with Dionysus and the dithyramb, the sacred choral song honoring the god Favor of Periander, tyrant of Corinth Plot against Arion Rescue by dolphin Historical figure of Periander and perhaps Arion Association of Dionysus and dolphins Connection with Poseidon The story of Candaules and Gyges Candaules, king of Lydia, boasted that his wife was the most beautiful. Arranged for his bodyguard Gyges to see her naked without her knowing it. She became aware of the insult. Plotted with Gyges, Gyges killed Candaules and won the throne and the queen. Story of different dynasties in throne of Lydia (Gyges begins a new dynasty in the throne of LYDIA) GYGES’ Ring according to Plato, GYGES’ Ring according to Plato, classical philosopher In Book 2 of Plato’s Republic, we have the Story about Gyges. He was a Lydian Shepherd. After an earthquake, a cave was revealed to him, and discovered that this was a tomb. He saw the corpse and got the ring that the corpse was wearing. The ring was magical and could give invisibility to whoever wore it. Gyges used, plotted with the queen, murdered the king and became king of LYDIA. Story/TALE type Used in philosophy, in Plato’s REPUBLIC to talk about JUSTICE and MORAL BEHAVIOR. Creative aspect Gyges’ Ring literary source for Tolkien’s ONE RING in the LORD OF THE RINGS> RING grants invisibility but corrupts. Croesus on the Pyre, after Lydia was Croesus on the Pyre, after Lydia was conquered by Cyrus, the Persian King. Louvre Museum The story of Polycrates, tyrant of Samos, get rid of his most precious possession, he did, the ring, then found it at the belly of a fish he was about to eat. Miraculous. He couldn’t avoid what is fated, found what he tried to cast away forever. ...
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- Fall '07
- The Lord of the Rings