Jason And The Golden FleecePresentation Transcript
Jason and the Golden Fleece How Ancient Greek Mythology Affected Culture Laura Kaplan By: Padraic Colum
The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles
Greek mythology, summarized in The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived before Achilles, was unknowingly the birth of humanism.
Even today it causes us to challenge the world around us in order to constantly improve our political, social, and economic surroundings.
The values and traditions encouraged by these stories have been inspiration for some of the most major revolutions and world changes.
And marks the start of the 1800s, when western representative democracies began to bloom. Jason is a prince from Classical Mythology. In order to become king he has to get The Golden Fleece from a ram. Made in 1803 This sculpture marked the reestablishment of the belief in the free man. Thorvaldsen, Bertel. Jason With The Golden Fleece . Digital image. Web Gallery of Art . Web Gallery of Art. Web. 1 June 2010. <http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/t/thorvald/jason.html>. Bertel Thorvaldsen - Jason With The Golden Fleece
“ Thou art Pelias, but I do not salute thee as king. Know that I am Jason, the son of AEson from whom thou hast taken the throne and scepter that were rightfully his” (Colum, 12).
Guarded by king AEtes, acquiring the Golden Fleece is one of the most difficult challenges in Greek mythology.
He recruits the Argonauts (some of most famous Greek heroes: Hercules, Orpheus…)
They go on an EXTREMELY long journey with an EXTREMELY long description of it that I won’t get into now.
Not the text its self, but rather the ideas and beliefs presented by the tales of these heroes.
Farnese Atlas . Digital image. GALILEO - Images of the Universe from Antiquity to the Telescope . IMSS. Web. 1 June 2010. <http://vitruvio.imss.fi.it/foto/galileopalazzostrozzi/41107_450.jpg>. Romans were heavily influenced by Greek humanistic beliefs. Roman sculpture of man supporting the world.
These ideas and beliefs reflect a concept that we have not yet discussed in World Lit. Humanism.
A “humanist” is a believer is what Singe 'n' Burn's would call a renaissance man.
According to Fred Edwords, recipient of the Humanist Pioneer Award, the “the Secular Humanist tradition is in part a tradition of defiance. “
Struggles and triumphs of all heroes in general.
This sculpture is called Theseus Slaying the Minotaur. Done by French artist Antoine-Louis Barye in 1841 Barye, Antoine L. Theseus Slaying the Minotaur . Digital image. Lib-art . Lib-art. Web. 1 June 2010. <http://www.lib-art.com/artgallery/4547-theseus-slaying-the-minotaur-antoine-louis-barye.html>.
Each hero encounters a challenge specific to them.
Theseus and the minotaur.
When they overcome a challenge they are described with god-like status.
When he defeats the best Crete wrestler:
“… beside the slender, dark-haired people of Crete he looked like one of the gods” (Colum, 209).
This suggests the belief that men can be gods.
Theseus later became the king of Athens. He was credited with moving the government to a democratic style of governing.
The reoccurring trend of fighting with, against, and for the gods.
Even gods can be faulty.
In Cupid Chastised, Mars, the god of war, beats Cupid for having caused his affair with Venus By Bartolomeo Manfredi Manfredi, Bartolomeo. Cupid Chastised . Digital image. 25 Masterworks at the Art Institute of Chicago . Web. 1 June 2010. <http://cgim.dbq.edu/cgim/chicago/E09186.jpg>.
Hercules v.s. Zeus for Prometheus
Prometheus was admired by ancient Greeks as the one who defied Zeus.
“ Prometheus, who was called the Foreseer—could not consent to the race of men being destroyed utterly” (Colum 12) . He teaches a man and woman to build a boat so humans can survive Zeus's great flood.
Later gave fire to mortals.
Hercules rescues him despite going against his father Zeus.
Griepenkerl, Christian. Prometheus Being Rescued by Hercules . Digital image. The Hellenic Society Prometheas . The Hellenic Society Prometheas. Web. 1 June 2010. <http://www.prometheas.org/Images/prometheus_hercules.jpg>. Fusili, Henry. Prometheus . Digital image. The Hellenic Society Prometheas . The Hellenic Society Prometheas. Web. 1 June 2010. <http://www.prometheas.org/Images/prometheus_large.jpg>.
Relation To Humanism
My summary of humanism is the empowerment of mankind so we are encouraged to invent improvements to our quality of life despite the intentions of any god or other force.
This belief is first started by Greek’s beliefs of becoming gods, challenging gods, surviving god’s punishments, and triumph despite mortal limitations.
Relation To Humanism Cont.
“ When we deflect lightening or evacuate a town before a tornado strikes, we lessen the effects of so called "acts of God." When we land on the Moon we defy the Earth's gravitational pull. When we seek a solution to the AIDS crisis, we, according to Jerry Falwell, thwart ‘God's punishment of homosexuals’” (Edwords)
Edwords, Frederick. "What Is Humanism?" American Humanist Association . American Humanist Association, 2008. Web. 17 May 2010. <http://www.americanhumanist.org/who_we_are/about_humanism/What_is_Humanism>.
Relation To Humanism Cont.
Tertullian: "What has Jerusalem to do with Athens?"
Root of humanism was identified with the rationalism in ancient Athens more so than in ancient Jerusalem which reflected faith.
This is because of the beliefs presented by Socrates and ancient Greek mythology which fed the Romans.
Relation To Humanism Cont.
Roman culture had a larger influence on the British than any other ancient culture.
Our cultural roots extend mainly to the British, and so, it all leads back to Greek philosophies embodied by the Romans.
Roman and Greek culture was the main inspiration for the rennissance. (revolution for man, against the corruption of the church).
Defiance of religion & secular authority led to:
We see the conflict between religion and state. Science vs. faith.
Today there is a ‘loss of faith’ comparative to other ages.
But the lessened popularity of the church lead to women’s rights, steps towards universal health care, and rights for homosexuals.
This does not mean the church is a negative force in our world.
It simply shows the return to Greek philosophy of success for mankind despite the intentions of any god.