mythlec9-11 - Greek and Roman Mythology Lecture 9 1...

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Greek and Roman Mythology Lecture 9 1) Hercules: greatest Greek hero — huge number of stories and variants attached to his name — status as mortal/hero/man debated — associated with Argolid, and with Thebes — was great-grandson of Perseus — the ancestor of Io (here go over story of Io) 2) Genealogy — Electryon, son of Perseus was king of Mycenae — Electryon and sons (8) fought battle with western Greeks, the Taphians & Teleboans, led by Pterelaus and his sons — only one son of each family survived — Pterelaus retreats, taking with him the cattle of Electryon — Electryon determined on revenge — puts nephew, Amphitryon, on throne as king of Mycenae, and betroths daughter, Alcmena, to him — instructs him not to lie with her until his mission is complete — Amphitryon ransoms cattle, on return quarrels with Electryon over propriety of ranson, hurls club in anger at one of cows, but kills Electryon instead — exiled from Mycenae — uncle Sthenelaus becomes king of Mycenae/Tiryns 3) Amphitryon and Alcmena go to Thebes — king Creon purifies him — Alcmena still refusing Amphitryon while brothers unavenged — needs help of Creon, but he won't give it until ravaging fox destroyed — Thebans had tried offering it one youth a month — but it was not propitiated, and moreover there was a prophecy that it would never be caught — Amphitryon has help of Cephalus, an Athenian, whose wife Procris has hound fated never to fail to catch prey — Zeus turns both animals to stone — Amphitryon now mounts expedition against Pterelaus — latter betrayed by daughter Comaetho, who falls in love with Amphitryon — she cuts off father's magic golden hair so causing his death – Amphitryon returns to Thebes in triumph (killing Comaetho first) 4) Amphitryon finally goes to bed with Alcmena, but Zeus has gotten in first — impersonates Amphitryon, makes Helius quench the fires of the sun, so one day lasts three days — has in mind to generate great hero — next night real Amphitryon cannot understand wife' less than welcoming embrace — Tiresias eventually explains situation — Alcmena conceives twins — elder was Hercules, younger (son of Amphitryon) was Iphicles 5) Birth and youth: — Zeus boasts that Eileithyia is about to bring great hero and ruler into the world, one who will rule the House of Perseus — Hera then hastens the birth of Eurystheus, son of Sthenelaus, at seven months — when Zeus discovers this, he hurls his daughter Ate (Destruction), who had blinded him, out of Olympus — Eileithyia goes to delay birth of Alcmena’s children – sits on doorstep with hands clasped around knees — one story has her deceived in turn by attendant of Alcmena, Galanthis, who shouts out that a son has been born, thus causing Eileithyia to stand up and break spell — Galanthis turned into weasel by Eileithyia — since Eurystheus is grandson of Zeus, he fulfills boast of god and must rule Argolid — Zeus has Hera promise that if Hercules
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