Mythology Today The Midas Touch An Achilles’ Heel A Trojan Horse A Pandora’s Box Halcyon Days A Siren Song A Herculean Task Origins of Myths Euhemerus’ Theory: (Greek scholar from 300s-200s B.C.) myths are based on real facts/people Muller’s Theory: (German scholar from 1800s A.D.) myths are based on nature divinities, all symbolic for the sun in one of its phases. Tylor’s Theory: (English anthropologist from the 1800s A.D.) myths explain the unexplainable occurrences in dreams. Malinowski’s Theory: (Polish anthropologist from the early 1900s) myths explain the unexplainable natural phenomena. Frazer’s Theory: (Scottish anthropologist from the turn of the 19h century) myths originated from the natural cycle of birth, growth, decay, death, and – most important – rebirth. Mythology & the “Greek Miracle” Myths are stories that tell of civilized man living in close companionship with nature. First story: Homer’s Iliad (ca. 1000 B.C.) reveals the “Greek Miracle” – a revolution in thought. Humans are center of universe, center of all art and philosophical thought. Gods are made in image of man (compare to Egyptian or Mesopotamian mythology – nothing remotely human or flexible about these other gods). Greek miracle reveals humans as “freed from the paralyzing fear of an omnipotent Unknown” (Hamilton 7). Real myths are not religious (11) but are scientific in nature (explaining natural phenomena) and represent early literature as well as factual/solemn truths. Myths also reveal a “deepening realization” of human need: From oral tradition of fearsome or comical Zeus to Homer’s civilized Zeus of high standards of right and wrong to Hesiod’s just Zeus who protects the weak to Dio Chrysostum’s saviorZeus – and finally to God the Father. These solemn truths eventually become religious in nature, and as they do so, the gods become more divine and less human in their behaviors. Greek & Roman Writers of Greek Mythology Homer (ca. 900BC): wrote about civilized gods (Iliad and Odyssey) Homeric Hymns (700s – 600s): poems in praise of gods Hesiod (ca. 700sBC): peasant who thought deeply(Theogony) Pindar (ca. 500s BC): odes to great heroes of Greece. Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides (500s-400sBC): the Great Tragedians who turned myths towards religion Aristophanes (400s-300sBC): the Great Comedian relied on myths Herodotus and Plato (400sBC): historians and philosophers used myths as well “Alexandrian Poets” (250BC): Egyptian pastoral poets –who treat gods more complexly and yet not as reverently. Roman Poets (100s-200sAD): Ovid, Apuleius & Lucian (Roman poets who treated gods lightly or satirized them); Virgil (more like Homer/Hesiod) Dio Chrysostum (250AD): treated myths as religion with great reverence In the beginning… • No light/order • Universe is born! • Uranus (Sky) + Gaea (Earth) • The Titans! • Cronus + Rhea (head titans) • The Olympians! Creation Timeline Mythology: Introduction 1. Explain the difference between primitive and classical mythology. 2. How did the gods of Greece differ from the gods of Egypt or Mesopotamia? 3. What is the “miracle of Greek mythology?” 4. How does Edith Hamilton define mythology? 5. How does the author explain the different views of the same god? The Titans who survived Cronus (Saturn) – married Rhea; fled to Italy when banished by his son Zeus (Jupiter) where he founded Golden Age Ocean – river that was supposed to circle the earth Tethys – wife of Ocean Hyperion – father of the sun, the moon, and dawn Mnemosyne – goddess of memory Themis – goddess of justice Iapetus – whose son Atlas bears the world on his shoulders Prometheus – savior of mankind The Olympians Zeus (Jupiter) Poseidon (Neptune) Hades (Pluto) Hestia (Vesta) Hermes (Mercury) Artemis (Diana) Hephaestus (Vulcan) Aphrodite (Venus) Hera (Juno) Ares (Mars) Athena (Minerva) Apollo Lesser Gods: Eros, Hebe, Iris, the Muses, the Graces, (Hymen – marriage feast; Anteros – avenger of love) Gods of the Waters: Ocean (& wife Tethys; children Oceanids). Pontus (& son Nereus), Triton (Poseidon’s son), Proteus, Naiads. Divine Ideas: Themis (divine justice), Dike (human justice), Nemesis (righteous anger), Aidos (piety) Greek Concept of the Soul Eschatological (immortal soul), Psychological (personality) and body soul (individual ego) – these three aspects of soul didn’t merge until 500 B.C. Homer’s soul or “Psyche” had no psychological aspects (no personality; all immortal life connected into groups); he focused on “ego” (the body soul) Fate controlled life of humans No Free Will or Individual destiny By 500 B.C., Greeks begin to identify individual psyches; the soul merges into one. The Underworld: Hades 1. Who rules the underworld? 2. What are alternative names for the underworld? 3. Who is the aged boatman who ferries the souls of the dead across the water? 4. Who is Cerberus? 5. What happens to judged souls? 6. Who punishes evildoers? 7. What are three rivers that separate the underworld from the world above? Lesser Gods of the Earth (more beast than god) Pan: Hermes’ noisy son Silenus: Pan’s son or brother – drunk old man Demigods Castor & Pollux (sons of Leda and Zeus) Satyrs & Centaurs: “goat-men” and “horse-men” Nymphs: Oreads, Dryads Aeolus: King of the Winds and family (Boreas, Zephyr, Notus, Eurus) Gorgons: dragon-like creatures who turned men to stone; brothers to Graiae (“give us back the eye!”) Sirens: lured men to death; mermaids? Two Great Gods of the Earth: Demeter & Dionysus 1. Why are D & D considered the givers of good gifts of earth? What are their gifts? 2. How are D & D suffering gods? 3. How do both D & D become symbols of resurrection? 4. Explain the connection between Dionysus and Greek theater. “How the World Was Created” 1. What gifts did Prometheus give to man? 2. What gift did Zeus give to man? Why? 3. What was Prometheus’ punishment for his misdeeds? 4. Explain the different creation myths of the Greeks (5 Ages of Man, Pro/Epi-metheus, Rock People). 5. Writing Assignment: Compare the similarities and differences between the Greek myths and the creation stories in other traditions – the Judeo-Christian tradition, the traditions of Eastern religions, Native Americans, etc. Creation Myth Comparison Paper Your writing assignment requires you to choose one of those Greek creation of mankind stories we discussed in class and compare it to the creation myth of another ancient religion: either one in the Bible or perhaps a story from the Native Americans, or one from Egypt.... You get to choose! Your first sentence will look like this: The Greek Creation Myth can easily be compared to the ——— Creation Myth in several ways. They both feature ——, depict ——— and also have ———. Obviously, you’ll want to fill in the blanks with your ideas and then continue the paragraph by explaining each of those ideas. Don’t forget a concluding sentence! Your paragraph should fill a page. You do not need direct quotes -- paraphrasing the story is fine enough (but if you borrow someone else’s words, use quotation marks). Just make sure you list the source for your information at the end of your paper and identify any ideas taken from someone else with an in-text citation. For example: The Hebrews describe a great flood caused by God to cleanse the earth (Genesis 7:1-10). Or see this example: The Miao believed a great flood wiped out all the earth but for two people (Holloway). Try to use correct MLA citations for this (go to OWL at Purdue or use your Writer's Reference). You can also simply list the website you used or identify the bible. See below: Works Cited Hamilton, Diana. Mythology. NY: Grand Central P, 1942. The Holy Bible, New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan House, 1984. --or-Holloway, April. "Gun-Yu and the Chinese Flood Myth." Ancient Origins. Web. 30 September 2014. Zeus’ Love-life, Polyphemus & The Flower Myths 1. What was Io turned into and where did she end up? 2. Where did Europa land? 3. Describe Polyphemus’ bad luck in love. 4. Who is Narcissus and what was his major flaw? 5. Who is Echo and what was her fate? 6. What was Narcissus’ fate? 7. What is the story of Hyacinthus? 8. Who is Adonis and what was his fate? Mythology & Fairy Tales Cupid & Psyche Can you find the similarities between these myths and Grimms’ Fairy Tales? Pyramus & Thisbe Cinderella Orpheus & Eurydice Rapunzel Ceyx & Alcyone Beauty & the Beast Pygmalion & Galatea Baucis & Philemon Endymion Daphne Alpheus & Arethusa Snow White The Sleeping Beauty Hansel & Gretel Rumpelstiltskin The Frog Prince The Princess and the Pea Four Great Adventures Phaëton in the Palace of the Sun How does the Sun’s oath by the river Styx turn out to be deadly? Why must Zeus put an end to Phaeton’s ride? Bellerophon’s ride on Pegasus Why does Proteus want Bellerophon dead? How does Bellerophon eventually anger the gods? Otus and Ephialtes vs. Artemis’ vengeance Dedalus and Icarus: “Don’t fly too high!” The Great Hero Search How to identify a hero (Greek or otherwise): Mysterious origin Not invincible Given a quest or must take a journey Unclear path that is beset with dangers, loneliness and temptation Help through sidekicks: friends, servants, or disciples Help through guides or divine aid Must descend into darkness to return changed (death-rebirth) Goal is symbolic of what they really find Mostly male (women provide protection, guidance and knowledge for hero; they give him secrets of life; hence, women are already heroic and don’t need to prove themselves) Perseus Can King Acrisius outwit fate? How does Perseus fit the profile of a hero? Describe some of his difficulties, his helpers, and his transformation. What three magical gifts does Perseus receive? Explain how justice and fate work in this hero’s story. Consider the fates meted out to Acrisius, Danae, Polydectes, and Perseus. Theseus What must Theseus do before he can journey to Athens and claim Aegeus as his father? Why does Theseus refuse to go to Athens by way of the sea? And what does he accomplish in his travel to and from his mother’s city? What is Theseus’ idea of justice? What is the history of the Tribute of the 7 Maidens and 7 Youths? Who helps Theseus in his quest? What new style of government does Theseus introduce in Athens? How does Phaedra become the downfall of both Theseus and his son, Hippolytus? Hercules Is Hercules more brain than brawn? Give three examples of his intelligence, or lack thereof. How does Hera torment Hercules? How does Hercules react when he realizes he has murdered his wife and children? Explain his 12 Labors. Describe the death of Hercules; does he really deserve Mt. Olympus? Atalanta How is Atalanta a hero? Compare Medea, Psyche and Atalanta – how are they similar? What character flaws create obstacles for them? How do they overcome them?