Ch5OriginMortals

Ch5OriginMortals - Classics 10: Chapter 5: Fall 2011 Myths...

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Classics 10: Chapter 5: Fall 2011 Myths of Creation: The Origins of Mortals [The Rise of Zeus] I. Prometheus and Human Progress II. Pandora and Human Suffering III. Further Punishment for Human Decline A. The Five Races B. The Universal Flood Rubens, Promethus Bound , 1610-1
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Themes in Greek Creation Story Divine Myth (gods explain the world) with folklore elements (tricksters, monsters, family dynamics in flux) Cosmos becoming increasingly complex, away from original unity Creation begins asexually, becomes determined by sexual reproduction (and the power of its desires) Titans represent untamed forces of nature Zeus overcomes them by righting old wrongs (against the Hecatonchires and the Cyclopes) Justice of Zeus brings order from anarchy (despite overthrowing his own father—problematic) Typhoeus represents final threat to the new order Zeus has created: shows us what the alternative is
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Themes in Greek Creation Story The role of the female is ambiguous – creative and destructive Women needed to produce next generation, yet cannot be trusted by ruling male Opposition to male continues—Hera (and Heph.) Ascendancy of male over female Gaea empowers Cronus, later the victim of Zeus Zeus prevents succession by co-opting the female [correction here about Zeus and Metis] The story answers the question: How did Zeus come to rule the world? Myth corroborates the understanding of the world
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What about human beings? On the understanding that the gods were the origin and power of the world: What is the role of the human in the world? Where did we come from? Are we unique? How? Why are we here? Why do we suffer?
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I. Prometheus and Human Progress No account of the origin of mortals in Hesiod (a striking omission—they just show up at feast) Theogony (divine perspective) Works and Days (human perspective) Other, later sources generally identify Prometheus as the creator of mortals Other accounts: Zeus, other gods responsible Prometheus (“forethought” = trickster), the son of Clymene and Iapetus (a brother of Cronus) and so a cousin of Zeus Prometheus the only Titan to take Zeus’ side in the Titanomachy
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Prometheus: Maker of Mortals In Near Eastern myth, humans explicitly created as servants to the gods Man made from blood of a god and clay Hebrew account ( Genesis ): dust of the earth plus the breath of life from the Creator Prometheus makes man from earth and water (the primordial mud?) Man walks upright to look at heaven - not like beasts who stare at the ground - but does this mean man is to be the plaything of the gods?
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The Incident at Meconê Prometheus offered sacrifice bundles to Zeus
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Ch5OriginMortals - Classics 10: Chapter 5: Fall 2011 Myths...

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