Lecture%2016[1] - Theseus:TheAthenianHeracles 03/02/09...

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    Theseus: The Athenian Heracles 03/02/09
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    Heroic Myths: Review Mesopotamian heroic myth – Gilgamesh Pan-Hellenic heroic myth – Heracles Heroes of individual cities/countries – eponymous heroes  (Ion  Ionia); founders (Cadmus  Thebes) Typical features of heroes : divine parentage, super-human  strength and appetites, culture-bringers, impact the  landscape, quest for glory/immortality
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    Heroic Myths as Aetiological Myths Explain the origins of cities/races and their names: Gilgamesh   Uruk; Cadmus   Thebes, Ion   Ionia Explain origins of institutions: Heracles and foundation of  Nemean Games and the Olympic Games Explain changes in the landscape: Gilgamesh and the cutting of  the cedar forest; Heracles and the attempts to dry the swamps  of Lernae; Heracles’ diversion of river to clean Augean stables
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    Mythical Explanations for Pre-Historical and  Historical Events Origins of men and women Origins of fire, medicine, wine Origins of law and the legal procedure Invention of music and musical instruments Establishment of cities and destruction of  cities/civilizations Origins of religious institutions Origins of great wars
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    Theseus: Myth as History in Athens Theseus – one of the earliest known heroes in myth Theseus as second founder of Athens: unified  Attica; invented democracy Theseus = Athenian Heracles (N.B., Theseus is  Heracles’ cousin) Treated as historical figure by biographer Plutarch
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    The First Kings of Athens Cecrops – half-man, half-serpent Erichthonius Erechtheus (conflated with Erichthonius by 5 th   century BC) –father of Creusa Pandion Aegeus –adopted son of Pandion Theseus
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    The Birth of Theseus Version I (in Plutarch):  Aegeus is just traveling 
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Lecture%2016[1] - Theseus:TheAthenianHeracles 03/02/09...

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