Hesiod's Theogony

Hesiod's Theogony - Hesiod’s Theogony Theogony Tuesday,...

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Unformatted text preview: Hesiod’s Theogony Theogony Tuesday, June 24 Structure of the Theogony Theogony I. Theogonies before Zeus II. Birth and Ascension of Zeus III. Conflict between Zeus and Prometheus IV. Titanomachy V. Theogonies after Zeus Primordial Deities Primordial Natural phenomena, abstract concepts, forces Most notably Heaven and Earth, who give birth to the Titans Most notable Titans = Kronos and Rhea, from whom descend the Olympians From the Titans descend other Titans (e.g. Prometheus) The Olympians The Zeus Hera Poseidon Aphrodite Athena Hephaistos Demeter Hermes Ares Apollo Artemis Hestia Other Major Gods Other Prometheus Dionysus Hades Heracles “We know to tell many lies that sound like truth, but we know to sing reality, when we will.” (p.3) 9 daughters of Memory and Zeus Responsible for poetic inspiration Invocation of the Muses Invocation Muse Sarcophagus Muse In the Beginning There was Chasm (sometimes translated “Chaos”) Then Earth (Gaia, Gaea): Mother, primal deity, associated with fertility and life Followed by Tartara, Love, Erebos, Night Characteristics of the Greek Gods Characteristics Gods are anthropomorphic, that is, they have human attributes, but . . . Human taboos don’t apply to the gods – Procreation Hieros gamos: “holy marriage” Parthenogenesis: “virgin birth” – Violence against family – Incest Hieros Gamos Hieros Holy marriage, especially between a female earth divinity and a male sky god Children of Heaven and Earth Children Heaven/Ouranos: created by Earth/Gaia to be her equal, lies on top of her Oceanus – Source of life’s liquids – Salt liquids associated with procreation (e.g. blood, semen, tears, amniotic fluid) – Embraces the world Children of Heaven and Earth continued continued Kronos Cyclopes (singular = Cyclops): “circle­ eyed” Hundred­handers: Kottos, Briareos, and Gyges Chart of the Greek Gods * *Aphrodite’s birth will be different in the Theogony Heaven (Ouranos) Heaven Stuffs his kids back into Earth (Gaia) Earth makes a sickle out of adamant Kronos uses the sickle to sever the genitals of his father Aphrodite Aphrodite “Born of foam” Born from the severed genitals of Heaven (Ouranos), which fall into the sea Suggests the erotic and violent nature of the love she inspires Kronos Kronos Son of Earth (Gaia) and Heaven (Ouranos) Don’t confuse with Chronos (Time) Mates with Rhea Prophecy warns him that one of his children will overthrow him Swallows his children Heaven/Ouranos and Kronos Heaven/Ouranos Keeps sons in the womb of Earth Mother Earth in pain Earth devises plan Earth uses help of son Kronos castrates Heaven with farming tool Swallows children Mother Rhea in grief Rhea asks Earth and Sky to devise a plan Rhea uses help of Earth Rhea tricks Kronos Zeus Zeus Absolute power Zeus swallows Metis, his first wife Bore Athena out of his head Fear of the son Parthenogenesis Parthenogenesis Literally “virgin birth” (cf. Parthenon) Zeus gives birth to Athena parthenogenically Tyrant’s fear of the son Hera gives birth to Hephaistos parthenogenically, as well Female Advisors in the Theogony Theogony Earth (Gaia) gives plan to Kronos Rhea gets plan from Earth and Heaven Earth and Heaven advise Zeus about Zeus gets plan against Titans from Earth marriage Female Advisors continued Female Zeus makes Metis his permanent advisor Athena matches Zeus in intelligence Females indispensable, not as child bearers, but as planners Fathers and Sons Fathers Succession myths Gods don’t die, so how does power change hands? Violent overthrows Kronos overthrows Ouranos Zeus overthrows Kronos Heaven and Kronos Heaven stuffs his children back into Gaia Kronos swallows his children Prometheus Prometheus “Forethought” Son of Iapetos and Clymene Champion of mortals Brother of Atlas and Epimetheus Associated with human crafts: shipbuilding, agriculture, medicine, mining, etc. Prometheus and Zeus Prometheus Prometheus tricks Zeus Zeus withholds fire from humans Prometheus steals the fire Zeus punishes P. and creates woman The Sacrifice Trick The Prometheus presents two packages to Zeus “Zeus, whose designs do not fail, – Meat wrapped in hide – Bones wrapped in fat recognized the trick and did not mistake it, and he boded evil in his heart for mortal men” (p.19). The Punishment of Prometheus The Zeus has an eagle eat out P.’s liver daily Because P. is immortal, his liver regenerates every night Woman Woman To balance out fire, Zeus creates woman (Pandora) for mortals 2 banes (cf. Old Testament) Wrapped Items in the Theogony Theogony The rock Rhea feeds to Kronos The bones wrapped in fat presented to Zeus by Prometheus Pandora (unnamed in the Theogony) Titanomachy Titanomachy Machos = Gr. battle, war Titans versus Olympians Zeus brings back the Hundred­Handers, whom Heaven had sent to Tartarus Ends with the Titans being sent down to Tartarus Theogony ends with . . . Theogony Underworld Births of various gods – Hades – Cerberus – Styx – gods swear inviolable oaths by her ...
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