ch8femaleolympians

ch8femaleolympians - Classics 10: Chapter 8: Spring 2010...

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Classics 10: Chapter 8: Spring 2010 Myths of the Olympians III: The Female Deities [Hermes] I. [Demeter, Goddess of Wheat] II. Hestia, Goddess of the Hearth III. Aphrodite, Goddess of Sexual Love IV. Artemis, Goddess of Animals V. Athena, Goddess of the City FIRST EXAM ON MONDAY QuickTimeª and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. At left, The Birth of Venus [Aphrodite], Sandro Botticelli, 1482
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[Hermes] Son of Zeus and Maia, irreverent even as a baby Name = “he of the stone heap” From the stone cairns used to mark trails Protector of travelers (hence also thieves, merchants, shepherds, heralds, tricksters, etc.) Guides souls to the Underworld (“psychopompos”); also primary messenger of the Olympians Symbols: traveler’s hat, winged sandals Caduceus: two snakes intertwined, the emblem of the herald/messenger (given by the healer Apollo?)
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The Homeric Hymn to Hermes 6th Century BCE, celebrates Hermes’ trickery, even as a baby two days old (!) He invents his sandals and the lyre He steals Apollo’s cattle, eventually offers recompense by giving him the lyre Does not hide that Hermes is a brilliant liar, yet sympathetic to his creativity
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The Politics of the Homeric Hymn to Hermes (?) Apollo = landed aristocrat Hermes living by his wits alone Conflict between the old aristocrats and the new class of capitalists and men of industry (?) Intelligence valued, but only when allied with aristocratic culture Hermes does eventually respect Zeus’ law and provides Apollo with the lyre, symbol of the aristocratic symposium
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The Sons of Hermes Autolycus Master thief; could make himself invisible Grandfather of Odysseus Pan, the Goatherd’s God Has hoofs and legs of a goat, tail, horns Ugly, lecherous (our sense of “horny”?) Name related to feeding, helps fatten the goats Roamed the wild hills of Arcadia away from the sea Plays reed pipe, the “Pipes of Pan” His cry induces “panic” in the solitude of the woods
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Chapter Eight Myths of the Olympians III: The Female Deities
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The Female Olympians Greek myth told by and for Greek males Male gods govern male spheres of activity Females gods govern what men want female spheres of activity to be We don’t really know what Greek women thought about their gods Mostly reducible to some aspect of fertility, in agriculture and/or in humans Athena is the big exception Less active than the male deities
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Fertility and Female Deities Demeter, grows the wheat Hestia, perfect homemaker Aphrodite, lusty sex Artemis, mistress of the teeming woods Athena, weaver (weaving was main female job after tending the house and raising the children)
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[I. Demeter, Mistress of Wheat]
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2011 for the course CLA 10 taught by Professor Traill during the Spring '08 term at UC Davis.

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ch8femaleolympians - Classics 10: Chapter 8: Spring 2010...

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