Introduction to  Classical Mythology Dr. Michael Broder University of South Carolina January 17, 2012
Daily Write <ul><li>Why (for what purpose) do you think Hesiod wrote the  Theogony ? </li></ul>Please do your best to answ...
A Typical Reaction to Hesiod’s  Theogony <ul><li>“ I did not really  understand  Hesiod’s  Theogony . I  recognized  the g...
(Some) Types of Knowledge and What We “Do” with Them <ul><li>Factual knowledge (facts) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We  recognize...
Hesiod’s Types of Knowledge <ul><li>Does Hesiod’s  Theogony  give us a lot of  factual  information that we can easily  re...
Hesiod: Factual not Conceptual <ul><li>If you think you did not  understand  Hesiod’s  Theogony , you may actually have un...
Why No Concepts? <ul><li>Storytelling is by definition more about  facts  than  concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Remember that  ...
“ I was not sure of the  meaning  or  purpose  of the poem.” <ul><li>Does a story necessarily have a meaning or a purpose ...
“Just the facts, ma’am…” <ul><li>Is it possible that the ancient Greek audience was satisfied with  factual knowledge ? </...
Hesiod’s View of the World <ul><li>Perhaps we can call this ancient Greek concern for  highly factual narrative  the  epic...
The Epic View of the World <ul><li>Factual, not conceptual </li></ul><ul><li>Narrative, not logical </li></ul><ul><li>Conc...
Hesiod does explain  some  things in terms of  cause  and  effect <ul><li>Because Prometheus tricked Zeus into accepting t...
But these explanations do not always satisfy us… <ul><li>Why  did Prometheus trick Zeus? </li></ul><ul><li>Why did Zeus wi...
Hesiod’s explanations give us clues about the ancient Greeks <ul><li>They believed in gods whom they worshipped via animal...
Outline of the  Theogony <ul><li>Invocation to the Muses </li></ul><ul><li>The first gods </li></ul><ul><li>Castration of ...
Important to the Ancient Greeks <ul><li>Poetry and song </li></ul><ul><li>Earth, sky, sea, life, death, and desire </li></...
Important to the Ancient Greeks <ul><li>Fire and animal sacrifice </li></ul><ul><li>Woman and sex/gender relations </li></...
Some Things to Notice about Hesiod’s  Gods … <ul><li>Male gods are often associated with the sky, thunder, lightening, rai...
Some Things to Notice about Hesiod’s  Goddesses … <ul><li>Female gods are often associated with the earth and fertility--a...
Some Things to Notice about Hesiod’s  Mortals … <ul><li>Mortal men do not experience sickness or pain until Zeus introduce...
Daily Write <ul><li>What point do you remember most clearly from today’s lecture or think was most important, and why? </l...
Introduction to  Classical Mythology Dr. Michael Broder University of South Carolina January 17, 2012
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CLAS220 - Lecture Notes for January 17, 2012

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CLAS220 - Lecture Notes for January 17, 2012

  1. 1. Introduction to Classical Mythology Dr. Michael Broder University of South Carolina January 17, 2012
  2. 2. Daily Write <ul><li>Why (for what purpose) do you think Hesiod wrote the Theogony ? </li></ul>Please do your best to answer this question in one (nice, juicy) sentence.
  3. 3. A Typical Reaction to Hesiod’s Theogony <ul><li>“ I did not really understand Hesiod’s Theogony . I recognized the gods and goddesses, but I was not sure of the meaning or purpose of the poem.” </li></ul><ul><li>By a student in CLAS220, adapted </li></ul>
  4. 4. (Some) Types of Knowledge and What We “Do” with Them <ul><li>Factual knowledge (facts) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We recognize facts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g., “Zeus is one of the Greek gods” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conceptual knowledge (concepts) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We understand concepts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g., “Zeus personifies power and authority and represents divine control over nature and humanity” </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Hesiod’s Types of Knowledge <ul><li>Does Hesiod’s Theogony give us a lot of factual information that we can easily recognize ? </li></ul><ul><li>Does Hesiod’s Theogony give us a lot of conceptual information that we can easily understand ? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Hesiod: Factual not Conceptual <ul><li>If you think you did not understand Hesiod’s Theogony , you may actually have understood it better than you think </li></ul><ul><li>Hesiod’s narrative (story) is much more factual than it is conceptual </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More about what than about how or why </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Why No Concepts? <ul><li>Storytelling is by definition more about facts than concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Remember that myth (G mythos ) means “story” </li></ul><ul><li>Remember that the genre of Hesiod’s Theogony is epic poetry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Epic from G epos = story </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. “ I was not sure of the meaning or purpose of the poem.” <ul><li>Does a story necessarily have a meaning or a purpose other than to tell the story ? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it possible that the concern for meaning and purpose is our modern concern and not the ancient Greeks’ concern ? </li></ul>
  9. 9. “Just the facts, ma’am…” <ul><li>Is it possible that the ancient Greek audience was satisfied with factual knowledge ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>These are our gods and goddesses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This is who had sex with whom and who their children were </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This is the aspect of nature or humanity over which each god or goddess has power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This is how good and evil came into the world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This is how Zeus exercises power and authority over gods, mortals, monsters, and all the forces of nature </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Hesiod’s View of the World <ul><li>Perhaps we can call this ancient Greek concern for highly factual narrative the epic view of the world </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Epic View of the World <ul><li>Factual, not conceptual </li></ul><ul><li>Narrative, not logical </li></ul><ul><li>Concerned with remembering , recognizing , recalling </li></ul><ul><li>Not concerned with understanding or explaining * </li></ul><ul><ul><li>*With some exceptions… </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Hesiod does explain some things in terms of cause and effect <ul><li>Because Prometheus tricked Zeus into accepting the fat and bones, men sacrifice the fat and bones to the gods </li></ul><ul><li>Because Zeus was angry at Prometheus, Zeus withheld fire from mankind </li></ul><ul><li>Because Prometheus stole fire and gave it to mankind, Zeus created Pandora (woman) as a source of pain and conflict </li></ul>
  13. 13. But these explanations do not always satisfy us… <ul><li>Why did Prometheus trick Zeus? </li></ul><ul><li>Why did Zeus withheld fire and not, for example, water ? </li></ul><ul><li>Why did Zeus create woman as a source of pain and conflict for men and not, for example, men as a source of pain and conflict for women ? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Hesiod’s explanations give us clues about the ancient Greeks <ul><li>They believed in gods whom they worshipped via animal sacrifice </li></ul><ul><li>They depended on fire for warmth, cooking, working in metal, etc </li></ul><ul><li>The dominant viewpoint was male and masculine, not female or feminine </li></ul>
  15. 15. Outline of the Theogony <ul><li>Invocation to the Muses </li></ul><ul><li>The first gods </li></ul><ul><li>Castration of Ouranos </li></ul><ul><li>Birth of Aphrodite </li></ul><ul><li>Other early gods </li></ul><ul><li>Hecate </li></ul><ul><li>Birth of the Olympians </li></ul><ul><li>Prometheus </li></ul><ul><li>Pandora </li></ul><ul><li>The Titanomachy </li></ul><ul><li>Tartaros </li></ul><ul><li>Typhaios </li></ul><ul><li>Wives of Zeus </li></ul><ul><li>Unions of goddesses and heroes </li></ul>
  16. 16. Important to the Ancient Greeks <ul><li>Poetry and song </li></ul><ul><li>Earth, sky, sea, life, death, and desire </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict between fathers and sons, husbands and wives </li></ul><ul><li>Love, beauty, and sexual reproduction </li></ul><ul><li>Bravery, wisdom, athletics, hunting </li></ul><ul><li>Zeus and the Olympian gods </li></ul>
  17. 17. Important to the Ancient Greeks <ul><li>Fire and animal sacrifice </li></ul><ul><li>Woman and sex/gender relations </li></ul><ul><li>Military and political power (Olympians vs Titans) </li></ul><ul><li>Death and the underworld (Tartaros) </li></ul><ul><li>Limiting the power of monstrosity (Typhaios) </li></ul><ul><li>Consolidating power and authority under Zeus </li></ul><ul><li>Establishing connections between heroes and gods </li></ul>
  18. 18. Some Things to Notice about Hesiod’s Gods … <ul><li>Male gods are often associated with the sky, thunder, lightening, rain--and sexual desire ( Eros ) </li></ul><ul><li>Male gods are often frightened that their sons will overpower them </li></ul><ul><li>Male gods seek control through physical strength and force </li></ul><ul><li>Male gods overpower monsters and send them down below the earth </li></ul>
  19. 19. Some Things to Notice about Hesiod’s Goddesses … <ul><li>Female gods are often associated with the earth and fertility--and sexual reproduction ( Aphrodite ) </li></ul><ul><li>Female gods often have to protect their children from their own fathers </li></ul><ul><li>Female gods resist male dominance through cunning and deception </li></ul><ul><li>Female gods give birth to all sorts of terrible monsters </li></ul>
  20. 20. Some Things to Notice about Hesiod’s Mortals … <ul><li>Mortal men do not experience sickness or pain until Zeus introduces woman into the world </li></ul><ul><li>On the other hand, women represent everything that men desire, and are the only means for men to reproduce and pass their property on to an heir </li></ul>
  21. 21. Daily Write <ul><li>What point do you remember most clearly from today’s lecture or think was most important, and why? </li></ul>
  22. 22. Introduction to Classical Mythology Dr. Michael Broder University of South Carolina January 17, 2012

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