Myth%20lecture%205[1] - Invention of Institutions and...

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Invention of Institutions and Civilization in Greek Mythology I The Homeric Hymn to Demeter 01/30/09
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Important Questions to Consider in This Class What is the point of each myth that we study? I.e., what was the meaning/function of each myth for the Greeks? What is the significance of each myth within the larger picture of Greek Mythology? Think big themes! What can we learn about the Greeks from their myths? social history
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Myths of Origins (Aetiological Myths) Origins of the World and the gods Origins of Zeus’ rule over the gods Origins of civilization and civilized pleasures (e.g., fire, art, music, etc.) Creation of rules/regulations governing interactions of gods with other gods, and of gods with mortals Origins of cities and races (foundation myths)
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How did everything we know come to be the way it is? Theogony – origin of the gods and the explanation of Zeus’ rise to power Hymn to Muses – origin of Hesiod’s poetic art (poet’s myth of the self) Homeric Hymn to Demeter – origin of the Eleusinian Mysteries Homeric Hymn to Hermes – origin of the lyre; origin of courtroom justice Homeric Hymn to Dionysus – teaches men the power of Dionysus
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Homeric Hymns 33 hymns; most composed in 7
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Myth%20lecture%205[1] - Invention of Institutions and...

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