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GRST 209 – lecture notes. Week one Lecture one – May 15 2018Types of MythDivine MythSometimes called ‘true myths’ or ‘myth proper’ these are stories about divine figures, supernatural beings, immortal Greek gods. There stories generally explain why the world, or some aspect of it, is the way it is. (demi gods, lower ones.) some things in the world happen because god is associated with them. An example would be the story about Zeus overthrowing his father and the related stories. These are the creation myths of the ancient Greeks. An aspect of nature becoming humanized Nyx (Night): in Greek myth is the abstract concept of night given a few human characteristics. oThe union of Nyx and Erebus (darkness) produced their opposites, aether ‘radiance’, and hemera ‘day’. (the world is seen as a family like way natural form of day)oVia sexual reproduction new generation. Daytime and nighttime together.Such personification is called “anthropomorphism.” aspects of nature given human qualities for humans to wrap their heads around the idea of nature. Legends (or sagas)Hero someone that bridged divine world and human world. Semi divine individuals. Like the son of a god and a human being. oShed light on the human world. oAssociated with the introduction of civilization into an area. From the Latin legenda “something that must be read”. Originally referred to Christian stories about the lives of saints. Stories of the great deeds of human (or semi-divine) heroes or heroines; legends/sagas narrate the events of the human past. oCreate civilization in the face of nature.oAllow human beings to flourish with a link to the divine world. Stories of the Trojan War and the exploits of Achilles and the other Greek heroes
fit into this category. oThe greatest hero in the time period Achilles. In the middle of what was considered the age of heroes. Troy and LegendHeinrich Schliemann 1822 – 1890oBelieved there was truth in the Trojan war looked at poems by Homer and tried to find where the poems were saying the Trojan war was. Hired archeologists to dig at the place. Believed that Homer’s stories about troy (Iliad and Odyssey) were based on historical truth. Eventually when these civilizations fell, there was consensus that this wasn’t a realthing. Heinrich Schliemann then put forth that the Trojan war was a real event with great armies. oLegends and sagas were believed and that there was a hard truth at the bottom of these stories. Funded archeological digs at Troy and later, at Mycenae. Found a huge horde of gold and jewels “Priam’s treasure.”oHe started a sensation in the European world with this treasure oPriam the legendary king of troy.