Ch10Dionysus (2)

Ch10Dionysus (2) - Classics 10: Chapter 10: Fall 2011 Myths...

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Classics 10: Chapter 10: Fall 2011 Myths of Fertility II: Dionysus [Near Eastern myths] I. The Many Facets of Dionysus (Bacchus) II. The Cult of Dionysus III. Dionysus and Tragedy: Euripides’ Bacchae
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Getting Your Exam Back If you want your exam back, you have two options: 1) Make an appt. with Nathan 2) email Nathan ( nwhill@ucdavis.edu ) and ask him to bring your exam to lecture He will be happy to talk to you about your exam questions
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First Exam Results Median: 55 of 67 (82%) Breakdown: 67 As, 80 Bs, 64 Cs, 34 Ds, 26 Fs 67 As, but 26 failed (!) I.e., those who studied did well (one quarter of the class earned an A of some form) I did, however, sort of curve the exam, but not because scores were not high enough, at least two people scored a 69/70. But it seems that many did not study nearly hard enough: the course from here on is mostly stories; take the time to learn to tell them yourself (to your roommate, your mom, etc.)
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Phrygian Cybelê and Attis Cybelê is a “great mother” figure in Phrygia (what is now central Turkey) Zeus tries to rape her, she resists, he spills his seed on a rock (Deucalion and Pyrrha’s rock) The rock bears the violent Agdestis, whom Dionysus tricks into castrating himself Ties noose between feet and genitals when Agdestis is too drunk to notice
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Phrygian Cybelê and Attis A woman named Nana plucked a pomegranate from the tree, slipped the fruit into her dress, and became pregnant (remember Persephone?) She bears a boy named Attis Agdestis raises Attis, teaches him how to hunt, but is angry when Attis is to marry (Agdestis loves him too much); drives everyone crazy on Attis’ wedding day Attis then castrates himself to spite Agdestis; dies Buried under a pine tree, violets grow over him Later priests of Cybelê would thus castrate themselves as supreme sacrifice to her Sacrifice of reproductive power = the key
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Summary: Fertility Myth Themes Fertility of the earth connected to sex and reproduction Death a part of life’s process Goddess loses her companion Near East: Male; Greece: Daughter Cycle of life, death, renewal of life Necessity of sacrifice for renewal
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I. The Many Facets of Dionysus (Bacchus) Most basic role: God of Wine Taught how to turn grape juice into wine Greeks drank wine every day, usually heavily diluted with water Replaced Hestia among the 12 Olympians Male fertility god: complements Demeter Yet Dionysus inspires passion in the short term, while Demeter grows grain over a whole season Symbols: ivy, phallus, horns of a bull Wears leopard skin, panthers pull his chariot
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Dionysus (Bacchus) Cult of Dionysus celebrates his divinely inspired madness Drinking, sex, violence as sensual pleasures Often resisted, with violent results Hard for rational Greeks to embrace their irrational selves in exuberant excess Mythic biography must be pieced together from
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Ch10Dionysus (2) - Classics 10: Chapter 10: Fall 2011 Myths...

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