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Greek and Roman Mythology Midterm


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Definition of Myth
A traditional Greek or ROman usually originating in a pre-literate society, dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes that serve as primordial types in a view of the world.
birth of the Gods
Examples of asexual procreation
the birth of:
Pontos (Gaia)
Aphrodite (Kronos' genitals and sea foam)
Hephaistos (Hera)
Examples of sexual procreation
the birth of:
children of Zeus (specific eg: birth of Artemis and Apollo)
A nymph who gives birth to Hermes after sleeping with Zeus
A mortal who gives birth to Herakles after sleeping with Zeus
Zeus' strategies for keeping his power
1. Punishing rebels - Prometheus
2. Fathering girls - Athena
3. Mating with lesser females - mortals and nymphs
4. Uses ancestor's enemies and makes them allies
Flood Myths and causes
1. Sumarian=not told why
2. Acadian=too many humans, disturbing the Gods
3. Biblical=man's wickedness
4. Greco-Roman=a means of cleansing
Repopulation after flood
1. Biblical=Noah
2. Greco-Roman=rocks/stones thrown on the ground
Golden Age
mythic primeval era characterized by benevolent nature, peaceful creatures, and no need for trade, agriculture, war or mining
How did evil enter the world?
A. an agent causes evil to appear (creation of woman, Pandora)
B. world deteriorates from an original, superior state to an inferior state (the Ages of Man)
Types of Shrines
1. Local shrines=most popular
2. Panhellenic=belongs to all greek speaking people (ex: Oracle at Delphi)
designed to avert or turn away evil (ex: gargoyles)
collective unconscious
Carl Jung: the shared associations and memories of all human beings, reflected in the universal recognition of archetypes (eg: the flood myth)
Babylonian goddess of love and war, whose consort, Tammuz, dies tragically young (linked to Aphrodite and Adonis)
robe or gown (related to Athena's peplos)
square pannels on the outside of a temple, usually decorated with reliefs
Greater Dionysia and Lenaea
Athenian festivals in honor of the god Dionysus which were the occasion for the performances of tragedy and comedy in Athens, competition in which playwrights would enter 3 tragedies and a satyr(comedy) play
Conventions of Ancient Greek performance
1. chorus as a character
2. all actors were male, only 3 speaking characters on stage at a time
3. violence all off-stage and reported by a messenger
4. no monologues, use confidantes (exception=craziness)
Twins and structuralists
Twins associated with opposition, one twin the opposite of the other, good and evil. If both twins are the same, one twin is expendable (eg: Romulus and Remus)
'Reason' triumphing over chaos
Friedrich Nietzsche, opposes Apollo to Dionysus. Apollo: light, culture, and reason. Dionysus: drunkeness, chaos.
personification of rainbow
Guardian of Io, has 100 eyes, Hermes uses wand to put Argus to sleep, while he's asleep, Hermes kills him.
Epithet of Hermes for slaying Argus, translates as 'slayer of Argus'
liminal deity
A God or Goddess associated with boundaries (eg: Hermes)
Hermes Trismegistus
'Hermes Thrice-Great' - a late Greco-Roman version of the Egyptian god Thoth, not connected to the classical cult of Hermes.
Science and methodology of interpretation, especially interpretation of sacred texts

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