CLAS220 - Lecture Notes for February 2, 2012

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CLAS220 - Lecture Notes for February 2, 2012

  1. 1. Introduction to Classical Mythology Dr. Michael Broder University of South Carolina February 2, 2012
  2. 2. Daily Write #7: Review <ul><li>In Homer’s Odyssey, Book 4, lines 31-34, Eteoneus reports: </li></ul><ul><li>S t rangers have just arrived, your majesty, Menelaus. </li></ul><ul><li>Two men, but they look like kin of mighty Zeus himself. </li></ul><ul><li>Tell me, should we unhitch their team for them </li></ul><ul><li>or send them to someone free to host them well? </li></ul><ul><li>How does Menelaus reply? What cultural value does this episode give us evidence for? Why is this value important in Homeric society and in the real-life society of ancient Greece? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Daily Write #7: Review <ul><li>Menelaus replies that if it were not for the hospitality of others, he would not have made it home from Troy. This episode gives evidence for the cultural value of xenia (hospitality). This value was important in Homeric society and in the real-life society of ancient Greece because there were no motels, rest stops, or roadside diners. It was up to people to provide hospitality to each other in order to make travel possible for either pleasure or business. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Daily Write #8 <ul><li>In Homer’s Odyssey 9.303-304, Odysseus tells Polyphemus, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>W e ’re suppliants—at your mercy! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Zeus of the Strangers guards all guests and suppliants: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>strangers are sacred—Zeus will avenge their rights! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How does Polyphemus reply? What reasons does he give for failing to practice xenia? </li></ul><ul><li>(NOTE: A suppliant is a person in need who seeks help from someone in power or authority.) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Sleeping arrangements <ul><li>Book 1: Telemachus sleeps in his bedroom alone </li></ul><ul><li>Book 3 (3.441-50) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Pylians go to sleep in their own homes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Telemachus sleeps with Pisistratus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nestor sleeps with his wife </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Book 4 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Telemachus and Pisistratus sleep together (4.338-340) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Menelaus and Helen sleep together (4.341-2) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Book 5: Odysseus sleep alone in the reeds </li></ul><ul><li>Book 6 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nausicaa sleeps alone in her bedroom at the beginning of Book 6 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Book 7, c. 390 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Odysseus sleeps alone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alcinous and Arete sleep together </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Theories of Myth: Myth is… <ul><li>A way of explaining the natural world (primitive science) </li></ul><ul><li>A form of creative expression (like music, art, and poetry) </li></ul><ul><li>An expression of the unconscious mind or the structure of human thought </li></ul><ul><li>A way of communicating social meanings and cultural values </li></ul><ul><li>A way of legitimating social institutions, cultural practices, and religious rituals </li></ul>
  7. 7. Horace (65-8 BCE), Ars Poetica, 333-4 <ul><li>Aut prodesse volunt aut delectare poetae </li></ul><ul><li>aut simul et iucunda et idonea dicere vitae. </li></ul><ul><li>Poets wish either to profit ( prodesse ) or to delight ( delectare ) or at the same time ( simul ) to say things both pleasant ( iucunda ) and suited to life ( idonea vitae ). </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Mary Poppins Theory of Literature “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and snap! The job’s a game.”
  9. 9. Mary Poppins and Homer <ul><li>How well does Mary Poppins’ theory describe the combination of work and play in poems, stories, plays, etc? </li></ul><ul><li>How well does it describe the Odyssey ? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the “job that must be done” in the Odyssey ? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the “element of fun” in the Odyssey ? </li></ul>
  10. 10. For Next Time <ul><li>Homer, Odyssey , Books 11-14, pp. 249-318 </li></ul>
  11. 11. Introduction to Classical Mythology Dr. Michael Broder University of South Carolina February 2, 2012

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