Greek Myth: Apollo, Hestia, Athena, Artemis, and Aphrodite
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- god of ....
- physical attributes
- must join gods on Olympus --> prove himself
- motif of musical contests (2)
- - god of prophecy, healing, music (many talents). God of harmony, happy medium
- - very handsome, younger god, golden haired
- - epithet: Phoebus "shining one"
- - Proves to the gods that he is worthy of being on Olympus through music
- - musical contest motif
- 1. Marsyas - satyr (part human part goat, sexual appetite). Plays the flute made by Athena. Thinks he can challenge Apollo to a musical contest. "whoever wins can do whatever he wants with the winner." Apollo wins and has Marsyas skinned. Tears -> Marsyas River
- 2. Pan (minor god of wilderness). So ugly that mom ran away at birth; part man/goat. Maker of the pan pipes, skilled player. Musical duel is so good that the judges (Tmolus and Midas) are split. T --> Apollo and M --> Pan. Midas (king) grows a pari of donkey's ears. Wears a purple turban. Servent hears --> yells into a hole in the ground to get rid of secret, but reeds grow and tell the secret when the wind blows.
Apollo's Contradictory Nature
- - healer / destroyer (arrows bring death through plague)
- - compassionate (cleanse people from accidental killing / ruthless
- - rational control / extreme emtion
Origins of Apollo
- - origins obscure
- - in Greece curca 2000 BC
- - "Good Shephard" / sun god
- - anthesis to Dionysus
- - temple at delphi - give oracles to people who ask for advice. They send costly gifts as thank yous
Hera persecutes Leto (mother) b/c she is a mistress of Zeus. Hera says that no land that sees the light of day will receive her children. Leto wanders and wanders (ppl are afraid of the wrath of Hera) til she finally comes to Delos (poor) saying that the place that receives her child will get great advantages --> true. Stuck in labour for 9 days, til goddesses finally go and beg Hera for her daughter Eileithyia (divine midwife).
Apollo born on Delos, Artemis born on Ortygia (cyclades)
Apollo's search for an prophetic center
- - Searching for a center of phrophecy.
- - 1st to Boeotia, but already occupied by Telphusa --> she tells him to go to Mount Parnassus b/c its prettier, better view
- - Goes to Mount Parnassus, occupied by a dragon Pytho --> fight and Apollo wins
- - Has to get rid of this sin of killing by going into service to a mortal man for seven years --> Purification from miasma by Admetus of Thessaly- sets up Delphi as the Prophetic Center on Mount Parnassus - oracular center of Ancient Greece
- - needs priests (people to worship, keep traditions) so swims out to a ship of sailors and tells them if they become his priests they will gain immense riches
- - Pythia becomes his priestess. She sits on a tripod and receives the prophecy (possessed) --> Apollo speaks through her.
Bloodguilt. You have to play for the blood shed, otherwise your relatives will come after. Can either go to Delphi or to a king --> slit a piglet's throat and pour over you. This is what happened to Apollo when he went to serve King Admetus in Thessaly
- - original mother-goddess site?
- - Dragon = femenine. Slaying of the dragon = change from feminine to masculine
- - Hera: gave birth to Python / Typhoes
- - Spiritual center of the earth (omphalos - rock that Cronus swallowed and then vomited back up)
- - Pythia - woman priestess who sits on a tripod when giving prophecies
Oracles at Delphi
- - Croesus (king of Lydia) Wants to counter Persian expansion. The oracle says that war will destroy a great empire --> his own. historical
- - Themistocles (Athens) - wanted to know what to do because he thought they would get invaded. "Safety surrounded by wooden walls" --> Sail away. historical
- - Oedipus (Thebes) - marry mother, kill father. Mythological
Apollo: motif of tragic loves
- 1. Trojan Princess Cassandra (daughter of Priam and Hecabe). Said he would grant her the gift of prophecy if she slept with them. She agrees and then stops after kissing b/c she already has the gift. He kisser her again and spits in her mouth --> her prophecies will never be believed
- 2. Daphne asks dad Peneus (river god) if she can stay a virgin. He agrees. But on Olympus, Apollo and Cupid get into a fight. Cupid shoots Apollo int the heart with a golden arrow --> loves Daphne. Shoots Daphne with arrow of lead --> hates men even more. Apollo pursues her, when she cant run anymore she asks dad to turn her into a laurel tree. Apollo gets there at the last second --> explains why he always carries a laurel sprig.
- 3. Hyacinthus (man of Sparta) - practicing discus one day. Apollo throws, Hyac. runs to go get it, it bounces, hits him and kills him.
- 5. Coronis (Thessaly). Actually has sex with her (pregnant), but then she goes and fools around with a mortal man. A raven (white at the time) sees and flies to tell Apollo --> he turns the raven black. He shoots both of them with one arrow but takes the baby out (Aesclepius) and gives to the Centaur Chiron (very wise). Aesclepius becomes a great healer, but still mortal
The fate of Aesclepius
Aeschlepius becomes so skilled as a healer that he tries to bring back the dead. Zeus has to stop him --> hurls him into Hades. Apollo is angry and "kills" the immortal Cyclopes and then has to go serve Admetus and his wife Alcestis
Roman Version of Apollo
- Roman Apollo is still Apollo or Apollo Medicus
- - not as important as Greek Apollo
- -Aesculapius (?)
Observations: Apollo - God of Shamans
- - shaman: specializes in understanding the secret meaning behind ordinary appearance
- - can read inner meanings behind signs and omens
- - high social status
- - summon spirits from the dead; prophetic dreams
- - controls the invisible and dangerous forces that interfere in daily lives. Especially disease. Seer = healer
- - can travel to the spirit world to gain knowledge and combat disease or who may occupy his body and use his tongue to speak
- - inspired both men and women but in different ways - males see hidden meanings, females, overtaken by the god. Communicate their knowledge of the past/present/or future
- - god of prophecy, healing, music, and poetic skills - valued by aristocracy
- - came to represent order over barbarism, reason over unreason, - "hellenistic spirit"
HESTIA / VESTA
- born (what number) from who
- sexuality, who does she reject
- where does she stay
- goddess of
- part of canon of the Olympians
- - first born from Cronus and Rhea
- - virgin: she rejects both Poseidon and Apollo
- - never leaves Olympus
- - goddess of the hearth / central fireplace (sacred fire)
- - defines internal space of the female world (woman's duty to tend to the fire)
- - left out of canon of the Olympians
protectress of home, city
VESTA / Vestal Virgins
Vesta: goddess of the hearth as the center of family life
Vestal Virgins: Temple of Vesta in Roman Forum
highly regarded and important
ATHENA / MINERVA
- teacher of...
- - non greek origin (early arrival in Greece (linear B tablets)
- - virgin goddess
- - symbols: owl, serpent (at feet, on shield) aegis - magical skin of the goat who raised Zeus
- - born from Zeus' head: deification of wisdom
- - teacher of arts (weaving): carpentry (shipbuilding - helped Jason build the Argo), taming and training of horses, inventor of the flute
- Pallas Athena Tritogenia (means 3rd born - doesnt make sense)
- Pallas - friend of Athena's. They were practicing fighting, and Pallas would have hit Athena, but Zeus blocked the blow. Athena strikes Pallas by accident and kills (mortal). Athena adopts the name as a memorial
makes a wooden statue to friend, Palladiumm
- Oddyssey abd Diomedes. Troy wont fall.
Athena and Arachne
Arachne is the best weaver in the land. Boasts that her power didnt come from Athena, maybe she is better. Athena goes to her disguised as an old woman --> says repent, acknowledge your debt to the goddess, but Arachne says no, let her challenge me.
So they battle. Athena --> olive trees, fighting mortals. Arachne --> love scenes of the gods. Judges say Arachne is just as good. Athena begins to hit Arachne over the head with her weaver. Arachne is ashamed --> tries to hang herself. Athena turns her into a spider, continually weaving
Hephaestus and Athena
Hephaestus asks Zeus' permission to court Athena, Zeus agrees but "good luck." Athena asks Hephaestus to help her fix her armour, after she leaves, he chases her. He embraces her and she pushes him off but he jizzes on her leg. --> half man half snake born
- - italian deity, introduced by Etruscans
- - armed woman, original war goddess?
- - shared festival with Mars
- - goddess of activities and mental skill (*men-)
Athena the protectress of heroes
(on spear is ...)
- - Perseus (son of Danae) - kills the Gorgon
- - Jason (Son of Aeson) - the golden fleece
- - Bellerophon - tames Pegasus
- - Achilles (son of Peleus) - Trojan War
- - Odysseus (son of Laertes) - Trojan War
- goddess of war: spear, helmet, shield
- - on shield: aegis, gorgon's head
*loved very much by Zeus
APHRODITE / VENUS
- origins (2)
- goddess of ....
- who does her power affect
- sacred animal
- custom in the worship of Aphrodite/Inanna/Ishtar/Astarte
- Hermaphroditus and Salmacis
- - ancient (12 c BC), non-Greek --> Inanna, Astartê, Ishtar
- -double origin: Cyprus, Cythera or Ourania, Pandemos
- - goddess of sexual attraction, beauty
- - power over even the gods
- - sacred animal : dove
- - temple prostitution. Part of a priestesses job is to have sex -> randsom paid to the fecunating power of the goddess. ensured large families. surrender virginity in honor of the goddess
- - Hermaphroditus - beautiful son of Aphrodite and Hermes. One day nymph Salmacis sees him walking in the woods and asked for sex. He runs away in confusion. Later she sees him bathing in a spring, jumps out and grabs on to him, pray that they never be separated --> fused into part man, part woman.
Myths of Aphrodite: Pygmalion and Galatea
Pygmalion (king of Cyprus), does not like the women on Cyprus; they are not worthy (they denied that Aphrodite was a virgin, she makes them lose their sense of shame --> 1st prostitutes). Pygmalion needs a wife; makes a wooden statue of his ideal woman (Galatea). On the feast day of Aphrodite, Pyg. goes to pray to her, asking that his wife be Galatea. Takes the statue to bed that night, and she becomes a real woman.
rare happily ever after story --> she gives birth to a daughter Paphos --> Aphrodite's sacred city
Myths of Aphrodite: Paphos and Cinyras, Myrrha, Adonis
Paphos (daugther of Pygmalion and Galatea) is very beautiful. She marries Cinyras and has an even more beautiful daughter Myrrha. Paphos begins to boast that Myrrha is as beautiful as Aphrodite --> so Aphrodite afflict Myrrha with a love for her dad --> gets him drunk, fucks him, gets pregnant. Cinyras wants to kill her, but the Gods turn her into a tree. Dad kills himself, and 9 months later, Adonis is born from the splitting of the tree
Aphrodite and Adonis
Adonis (born from Myrrha (tree) and her dad) . He is so attractive that Athena falls in love with him. He wantes to hunt very dangerous animals, and Aphrodite warns him, but he laughs. A Wild boar gorges him in the groin, and Aphrodite comes to his side, but cant do anything. She changes him into an Anemone flower, or other version, puts him in a box to give to Persephone, and persephone keeps him in the underworld.
Aphrodite and Anchises
Aphrodite is condemned by Zeus to pursue a mere mortal because she was boasting that her power affected gods and mortals, but not her. Aphrodite goes to Anchises (mortal Prince of Troy) where he is sleeping / tending cattle on Mt. Ida.
His first emotion is fear (they believe that love with a goddess will result in impotency). Aphrodite says that she is daughter of a near king and the gods had destined them to be together --> they have sex.
She tells him after that she is Aphrodite, but he wont be impotent. Produces a son --> Aeneas (founder of Rome
Aphrodite --> Eros (works of literature)
Plato's Symposium --> Aristophanes
Psyche and Cupid
Aphrodite is Married to Hephaestus but has Eros with Ares.
Plato's Symposium: The tale of Aristophanes (comic poet) --> tells of the power of Eros is the power of bringing humans together. Originally humans were round (4 arms / 4 legs) --> want to be as good as the gods. Zeus has Apollo bisect us (weaken us). The power of Eros makes each side long for the other
Psyche and Cupid (Apuleius: the golden ass)
mother to the Romans
ARTEMIS / DIANA
- twin of _______
- birth on
- goddess of ....
- - twin of Apollo
- - "Mistress of Animals"
- - Birh on Ortygia (Delos)
- - goddess of chastity, huntress: pitiless
- - symbols = silver bow, deer
Myths of Artemis: Niobe
Niobe (Queen of Thebes). Festival to Leto, people going to the temple to worship her. Niobe laughs and says that she is a better mother because she has 7 sons/7 daughters. Artemis and Apollo avenge their mother --> kill all 14. Niobe is so full of grief that Zeus turns her into a boulder --> stream of eternal tears
especially worshipped in Arcadia; unexpected death among humans --> tribute to Artemis and Apollo
Myths of Artemis: Actaeon
Actaeon- hunter with 35 hounds. Minding his own business, looking for animals but sees Artemis and nymphs bathing nude in a stream. She turns him into a deer, and his own hounds rip him apart.
Myths of Artemis: Callysto and Arcas
Callysto (nymph) and Arcas (son) - Callysto wants to stay a virgin, attendent to Artemis. Callysto asks dad, he says okay. Sleeping one day, Zeus sees her and changes into Artemis so not to scare her. He impregnates her --> she tries to hide, but Artemis finds out, turns her into a bear. Gives birth to a human son Arcas who becomes a great hunter and almost kills mom. Zeus changes them both into constellations.
Big Bear -= Big Dipper ==> immortal.
Myths of Artemis: Hippolytus
Hippolytus (son of Theseus; Euripides' Hippolytus). He worships Artemis above all else, hates Aprodite; doesnt like women, wants to stay chaste --> offends Aphrodite. She inflicts upon his step-mom, Phaedra, a love for Hipp. She tries to hide, but nurse finally gets it out of her. Nurse tells Hipp., Hipp flees, Phaedra is horrified, and kills herself (hanged) --> leaves a not pinned to her body saying Hipp. assaulted her. Theseus comes back, horrified. Still has three wishes from Poseidon, cries out "May he Die!" Exiles Hipp. and a huge bull (Poseidon) comes dragging Hipp. everywhere til he is almost dead. Artemis finally tells Theseus the true story but it is too late
Same attributes as Artemis
Why do myths give us a skewed view of women
B/c they were all written by men, to be performed to men
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