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In-class Lecture Notes for Classical Mythology class on Herakles

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  1. 1. Greek Gods & their Roman Names <ul><li>Zeus </li></ul><ul><li>Hera </li></ul><ul><li>Demeter </li></ul><ul><li>Poseidon </li></ul><ul><li>Hestia </li></ul><ul><li>Artemis </li></ul><ul><li>Aphrodite </li></ul><ul><li>Hermes </li></ul><ul><li>Hephaestus </li></ul><ul><li>Apollo </li></ul><ul><li>Ares </li></ul><ul><li>Athena </li></ul><ul><li>Jupiter, Jove </li></ul><ul><li>Juno </li></ul><ul><li>Ceres </li></ul><ul><li>Neptune </li></ul><ul><li>Vesta </li></ul><ul><li>Diana </li></ul><ul><li>Venus </li></ul><ul><li>Mercury </li></ul><ul><li>Vulcan </li></ul><ul><li>Apollo, Phoebus </li></ul><ul><li>Mars </li></ul><ul><li>Minerva, Pallas </li></ul>
  2. 2. =33941 Hercules Animated (2000)
  3. 3. Key Figures Pronunciation Guide <ul><li>Hercules HER – cue – leez </li></ul><ul><li>Heracles HERR – uh – cleez </li></ul><ul><li>Eurystheus you – RISS – thee – us </li></ul><ul><li>Chiron KIE – ron </li></ul><ul><li>Deianira DAY – uh – NAIR – uh </li></ul><ul><li>Achelous ACH – uh – loose </li></ul><ul><li>Nessus NESS – us </li></ul><ul><li>Hebe HEE – bee </li></ul>
  4. 4. Hated By Hera
  5. 5. Tintoretto (1518-1594) The Origin of the Milky Way
  6. 6. Baby Hercules <ul><li>“ When Heracles was eight months old, Hera, wishing to destroy him, sent two huge serpents to his crib. Alcmena cried out for Amphitryon, but Heracles stood up and strangled them to death, one with each hand.” </li></ul><ul><li>Apollodorus 2.4.8 </li></ul><ul><li>Alcmene, Athena, Herakles, Iphikles, a Nurse, and Amphitryon </li></ul><ul><li>c. 480 BC </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Labors
  8. 8. Killing the Nemean Lion (1) <ul><li>“ He went to Nemea, found the lion, and first shot an arrow at it. When he realized he could not wound it he chased it brandishing his club. When the lion ran into a cave with two entrances he blocked up one, entered the other, and cornered it. Grabbing it by the neck he strangled it, then put it onto his shoulders.” </li></ul><ul><li>Apollodorus 2.5.1 </li></ul><ul><li>Iolaus, Herakles, Lion, Athena </li></ul><ul><li>Attic black-figure vase, c. 510 BC (Late Archaic). Museo Civico, Brescia </li></ul>
  9. 9. Killing the Nemean Lion (1) <ul><li>Here’s a different look… </li></ul><ul><li>Attic Red Figure Vase </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Lernean Hydra (2*) <ul><li>“ The hydra, in turn, wrapped itself around one of his feet and clung to it. Heracles was unable to kill it by smashing its heads with his club, for when he struck one head, two others grew up. [He] called to Iolaus for help. Iolaus set fire to part of the woods nearby and with torches burned the heads as they sprouted, thus preventing them from growing.” </li></ul><ul><li>Apollodorus 2.5.2 </li></ul><ul><li>c. 480 BC </li></ul>
  11. 11. Cerynitian Hind (3) <ul><li>“ It lived at Oenoe, had golden horns, and was sacred to Artemis. Because he wished neither to kill it nor wound it Heracles hunted it for an entire year…Heracles shot an arrow at it as it was about to cross the stream, caught it and, putting it on his shoulders, hurried through Arcadia.” </li></ul><ul><li>Apollodorus 2.5.3 </li></ul>
  12. 12. Erymanthian Boar (4) <ul><li>“ By shouting he drove the animal out from some underbrush and chased it into deep snow. When it was exhausted he caught and tied it and brought it to Mycenae.” </li></ul><ul><li>Apollodorus 2.5.4 </li></ul>
  13. 14. Chiron the Centaur <ul><li>Most centaurs were wild and savage, known for their lustfulness and drunkenness. The exception is the wise Chiron. He was renowned for his skills in hunting, medicine, music, and the art of prophecy. He was the only immortal centaur, tutor to a number of Greek heroes, including Achilles (seen here). Chiron gave up his immortality when a misdirected poisoned arrow of Heracles accidentally wounded him. He chose to trade his life for the release of Prometheus, rather than to live on in pain forever (cf. Apollodorus 2.5.4). </li></ul>
  14. 15. Augean Stables (5*) <ul><li>“ Heracles…said that he would remove the manure in one day if Augeas would give him a tenth of his cattle. Augeas replied that he did not believe him but promised the cattle…Heracles dug a channel to the barnyard, diverted the Alpheus and Peneus Rivers (which flowed nearby) through the channel into the yard and dug another channel on the other side of it for the water to run out.” </li></ul><ul><li>Apollodorus 2.5.5 </li></ul><ul><li>Surviving metope from Zeus’ temple at Olympia </li></ul>
  15. 16. The Lernean Hydra (2*) <ul><li>“ The hydra, in turn, wrapped itself around one of his feet and clung to it. Heracles was unable to kill by smashing its heads with his club, for when he struck one head, two others grew up. [He] called to Iolaus for help. Iolaus set fire to part of the woods nearby and with torches burned the heads as they sprouted, thus preventing them from growing.” </li></ul><ul><li>Apollodorus 2.5.2 </li></ul><ul><li>c. 480 BC </li></ul>
  16. 17. Stymphalian Birds (6) <ul><li>“ In Stymphalus, a city of Arcadia, there was a lake called Stymphalis surrounded by thick woods. Innumerable birds had flocked to it for refuge, fearful of being caught by wolves. Heracles was at a loss how to drive the birds out of the woods, but Athena gave him a brass noise-maker which she got from Hephaestus. By making a noise with this upon a mountain beside the lake, he frightened the birds and then shot them as they flew up in terror, unable to endure the sound.” </li></ul><ul><li>Apollodorus 2.5.6 </li></ul><ul><li>Attic black-figure amphora , c. 560-530 BC </li></ul><ul><li>British Museum, London </li></ul>
  17. 18. Cretan Bull (7) <ul><li>“ When Heracles came to Crete after the bull and asked Minos for help, he was told to fight it and capture it by himself. So he caught it, returned with it to Eurystheus and after he showed it to him let it go free. It wandered to Sparta and over all Arcadia, and crossing the Isthmus came to Marathon in Attica where it attacked the inhabitants.” </li></ul><ul><li>Apollodorus 2.5.7 </li></ul><ul><li>Attic amphora , c. 525-500 BC </li></ul>
  18. 19. The Mares of Diomedes (8) <ul><li>“ The mares were man-eating. Heracles … led the mares to the sea. When the Bistones came in arms to the rescue, he turned the mares over to Abderus to guard. The mares killed him by tearing him apart. Heracles fought the Bistones, killed Diomedes, and forced the rest to flee. He … brought the mares to Eurystheus [who] let them go. They went to Mount Olympus and were killed by wild animals.” </li></ul><ul><li>Apollodorus 2.5.8 </li></ul>
  19. 20. The Belt of Hippolyte (9) <ul><li>“ As Heracles sailed into the harbor at Themiscyra, Hippolyte met him. She promised to give him the belt when she learned why he had come. But Hera, assuming the appearance of one of the Amazons, passed through the crowd saying that the foreigners who had just arrived were carrying off the queen. The Amazons hurried to the ship, armed and on horseback. When Heracles saw them with weapons he suspected a trick, so he killed Hippolyte, took away her belt and, fighting off the rest, sailed away and put in at Troy.” </li></ul><ul><li>Apollodorus 2.5.9 </li></ul><ul><li>Attic black-figure amphora , c. 510-500 BC </li></ul>
  20. 21. Trojan Interlude Heracles saves Hesione
  21. 22. Cattle of Geryon (10) <ul><li>“ Geryon had three human bodies from the waist down. He owned red cattle which were tended by Eurytion and guarded by a two-headed dog, Orthus … The dog Orthus senses [Heracles’] presence and attacked him, but he struck it with his club and killed the herdsman, Eurytion … Geryon met Heracles leading off the cattle beside the Anthemus River and attacked him, but Heracles shot him with an arrow and killed him. Heracles put the cattle into the golden cup and, after sailing across to Tartessus, gave it back to the Sun.” </li></ul><ul><li>Apollodorus, 2.5.10 </li></ul><ul><li>Black-figure amphora by the Inscription painter, c. 540 BC </li></ul>
  22. 23. The Cup of Helios <ul><li>“ Heracles entered Libya and came to Tartessus, where he set up pillars opposite each other at the boundaries of Europe and Libya to mark the limit of his journey. He aimed his bow at the Sun because it made him hot, and the god, admiring his courage, gave him the golden cup in which he crossed the ocean.” </li></ul><ul><li>Apollodorus 2.5.10 </li></ul><ul><li>Attic vase, c. 480 BC </li></ul><ul><li>Vatican Museums, Rome </li></ul>
  23. 25. Golden Apples of the Hesperides (11) <ul><li>“ As an eleventh labor [Eurystheus] ordered Heracles to get the golden apples from the Hesperides … An immortal serpent with a hundred heads and many different voices … guarded them. They were also guarded by the Hesperides.” </li></ul><ul><li>Apollodorus 2.5.11 </li></ul><ul><li>Attic red-figure hydria </li></ul><ul><li>c. 410-400 BC </li></ul>
  24. 26. Atlas and the Apples (11) <ul><li>“ Heracles agreed [to hold up the world while Atlas delivered the apples to Eurystheus], but then by a trick shifted the world back onto Atlas. For Prometheus suggested that he ask him to take it back long enough for him to put a pad against his head. When Heracles did so Atlas put the apples on the ground and took back the world. Heracles then picked up the apples and left.” </li></ul><ul><li>Apollodorus 2.5.11 </li></ul><ul><li>Surviving metope from Zeus’ temple at Olympia </li></ul>
  25. 27. Cerberus (12) <ul><li>“ Heracles was ordered to bring Cerberus from Hades. This creature had three dogs’ heads, the tail of a serpent, and heads of different kinds of snakes down its back … Heracles found Cerberus at the gates of Acheron. Protected by his breastplate and covered by the lion’s skin, he seized the monster’s head with his hands and held it in a powerful stranglehold until he subdued it.” </li></ul><ul><li>Apollodorus 2.5.12 </li></ul><ul><li>Attic Red-Figure amphora, c. 525-510 BC (Archaic). By Andokides. Louvre, Paris </li></ul>
  26. 28. Eurystheus and Cerberus (12) <ul><li>Caeretan black-figure hydria, c. 530 – 520 BC, Louvre, Paris </li></ul>
  27. 30. The Labors of Herakles <ul><li>Reconstructions of the 12 Metopes on Zeus’ temple at Olympia, built c. 470 BC </li></ul><ul><li>Lion, Hydra, Birds, Bull, Hind, Amazon, Boar, Horses, Geryon, Apples, Cerberus, Stables </li></ul>
  28. 31. Most Greek temples have a pattern under the pediment known as triglyphs and metopes. The triglyphs alternate with the metopes across the front of the temple.  Triglyphs have three parts, and then in between the triglyphs are the metopes.
  29. 32. The Labors of Herakles <ul><li>Reconstructions of the 12 Metopes on Zeus’ temple at Olympia, built c. 470 BC </li></ul><ul><li>Lion, Hydra, Birds, Bull, Hind, Amazon, Boar, Horses, Geryon, Apples, Cerberus, Stables </li></ul>
  30. 35. After the Labors
  31. 36. Achelous and Heracles <ul><li>“ Now at my neck, now at my twinkling legs </li></ul><ul><li>He lunged (or feinted), pressing his attack </li></ul><ul><li>At every point… </li></ul><ul><li>I managed to insert my seating arms, </li></ul><ul><li>I managed to dislodge his iron grip. </li></ul><ul><li>He charged as I stood breathless, gave me no </li></ul><ul><li>Chance to recover, and got me round my neck. </li></ul><ul><li>At last, forced to my knees, I bit the sand.” </li></ul><ul><li>Ovid, Metamorphoses 9.37-8, 57-61 </li></ul>
  32. 37. Nessus the Centaur <ul><li>“… He heard a voice, his wife’s, </li></ul><ul><li>Calling and sure that Nessus had in mind </li></ul><ul><li>A breach of trust, ‘You raping ravisher!’ </li></ul><ul><li>He cried, ‘Where are you going? So confident </li></ul><ul><li>In your four feet! Nessus, you centaur, listen! </li></ul><ul><li>Hold off from me and mine. Maybe you feel </li></ul><ul><li>No dread of me – at least your father’s wheel </li></ul><ul><li>Should hold you back from lust and lechery. </li></ul><ul><li>Trust horse-strength if you will, you’ll not escape!” </li></ul><ul><li>Ovid, Metamorphoses 9.119-125 </li></ul>
  33. 38. Apotheosis <ul><li>c. 410 BC </li></ul><ul><li>Antikensammlungen , Munich </li></ul>
  34. 39. Ovid’s Ordering <ul><li>Two Admirers of Deianira </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Achelous: Battle for Deianira; Zeus as H’s father; Snake sent by Hera; Lernean Hydra; Cretan Bull </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nessus: Hydra’s poison </li></ul></ul><ul><li>During H’s death (in his own words…) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Busiris, Antaeus, Cerberus, Cretan Bull, Augean Stables, Cerynitian Hind, Stymphalian Birds, Amazon’s Belt, Apples of the Hesperides, Centaurs, Boar, Hydra, Mares, Lion, Atlas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Birth story told last </li></ul>
  35. 40. Characteristics of the (Ancient) Hero <ul><li>Divine parent or ancestor; often has a divine patron </li></ul><ul><li>Enormous strength, courage and skill </li></ul><ul><li>Performance of “impossible” feats </li></ul><ul><li>Negative relationships with women </li></ul><ul><li>Excessively savage and violent </li></ul><ul><li>Quest for immortality, often involving an encounter with “chthonic” powers </li></ul><ul><li>“ chthonic”: term relating to earth or the infernal regions, commonly associated with goddesses of fertility and/or death and regeneration. </li></ul>
  36. 41. Negative relationships with women? <ul><li>HERA </li></ul><ul><li>50 daughters of Thespius </li></ul><ul><li>Megara </li></ul><ul><li>Hippolyte </li></ul><ul><li>Iole </li></ul><ul><li>Omphale </li></ul><ul><li>Auge </li></ul><ul><li>Deianira </li></ul><ul><li>Astyoche </li></ul><ul><li>Iole (again) </li></ul><ul><li>Hebe </li></ul>
  37. 42. Excessively savage and violent? <ul><li>In a state of Madness, Heracles kills: </li></ul><ul><li>His own sons and two of Iphicles’ children </li></ul><ul><li>10 (12) labors for Eurystheus </li></ul><ul><li>Iphitus </li></ul><ul><li>3 years of slavery to Omphale </li></ul><ul><li>Architeles’ son Eunomus </li></ul><ul><li> voluntary exile in Trachis </li></ul>
  38. 43. Other Murder Victims <ul><li>Linus </li></ul><ul><li>Erginus </li></ul><ul><li>Chiron the Centaur </li></ul><ul><li>Diomedes </li></ul><ul><li>Hippolyte </li></ul><ul><li>Sarpedon </li></ul><ul><li>Polygonus and Telegonus </li></ul><ul><li>Eurytion and Geryon </li></ul><ul><li>Ialebion and Dercynus </li></ul><ul><li>Eryx </li></ul><ul><li>Antaeus </li></ul><ul><li>Busiris and son Amphidamas </li></ul><ul><li>Emathion </li></ul><ul><li>Syleus and daughter Xenodoce </li></ul><ul><li>Eurypylus </li></ul><ul><li>Eurytus and Cteatus </li></ul><ul><li>Augeus and sons </li></ul><ul><li>Periclymenus </li></ul><ul><li>Neleus and sons </li></ul><ul><li>Hippocoon and sons </li></ul><ul><li>Nessus the Centaur </li></ul><ul><li>Coronus and others </li></ul><ul><li>Laogoras and children </li></ul><ul><li>Cycnus </li></ul><ul><li>Amyntor </li></ul><ul><li>Eurytus and sons </li></ul><ul><li>Lichas </li></ul>
  39. 44. Chthonic Encounters <ul><li>Initiated into the Mysteries at Eleusis (but first he must be purified after deaths of centaurs) </li></ul><ul><li>In the Underworld, he meets with the ghost of the Gorgon Medusa </li></ul><ul><li>Also in the Underworld, he bumps into Theseus (another “hero”) and Pirithous, who wants to marry Persephone </li></ul><ul><li>He conquers Hades’/Pluto’s dog, Cerberus </li></ul>
  40. 45. Quest for Immortality <ul><li>His mortal parts are burned on his funeral pyre, while “what he derived from [Zeus] is everlasting, stands beyond the sting of death.” </li></ul><ul><li>He is reconciled with Hera/Juno, at Zeus’/Jupiter’s request. </li></ul><ul><li>He is married to Hera’s/Juno’s daughter Hebe. </li></ul>
  41. 46. Folktale Motifs <ul><li>A hero suffers greatly, but then is saved </li></ul><ul><li>The “ dead hand ” motif: Heracles is killed by the work of someone already dead (Nessus the Centaur) </li></ul><ul><li>The Quest Pattern (several times) </li></ul><ul><li>The Girl’s Tragedy (Hesione) </li></ul>
  42. 47. Hercules in New York (1970)