Greek Mythology Midterm

  1. mythos
    authoritative utterance (comes from greek word myo which means to see with eyes closed, to see in the dark, to see beyond the here and now; having specialized knowledge without seeing it)
  2. diachronic
    examining a group of socially relevant material (literature, history, mythology, etc.) across the historical time frame and through various points in time
  3. synchronic
    looking at a mythology at one point in time and condensing it into that one moment while disregarding the historical background. When everything is happening at the same time, synchrony, all together
  4. alēthēs
    • not forgetting; unconcealed; truth
    • translated as truth - truth in the sense of what is worth remembering; not truth in the sense of what is scientifically viable
    • differentiate it with facts
  5. pan-Hellenism
    unity among Greeks, bringing everyone together -> to create a community
  6. timai
    privileges/honor/turf, the stuff that you are responsible for, what is yours; keeping others off of it. Zeus obsessed with giving everyone a place so Typhoeus is an example of someone that didn’t have a place
  7. aetion
    the story is designed to explain an institution or feature of the contemporary world
  8. Pandora
    • First woman, formed out of clay by the gods. Delivered to Epimetheus (brother of Prometheus) for a bride. When she opened her jar all evil things came out, only hope stayed inside.
    • story about women having children, and how it is feared by men
    • putting the blame for all the negative things in the world allows men to have power over women, or else men may not have the power because only women can produce new generations
  9. Pithos
    • jar for storing grain from Pandora
    • model of female reproduction system
    • the pithos had one thing left inside it: hope, which can represent the hope of future generations of children inside the womb
  10. ages of man
    • Golden Age - rule of Kronos (who overthrew Uranus), humans live freely among gods, did not have to work for food, peace and harmony. Humans lived to very old age and died eventually with youthful appearance and peacefully.
    • Silver Age - rule of Zeus, men lived under dominion of mothers, only short time as adults, and spent that time in strife with one another. Men refused to worship gods and Zeus destroyed them, becoming “blessed spirits” of the underworld.
    • Bronze Age - hard, tough, war was man’s purpose and passion. Zeus created humans out of ash tree, their armor/homes/tools were bronze, and undone by their own violent ways. (Zeus flooded earth).
    • Heroic Age - *one age that doesn’t correspond with any metal, and only age that improves upon age it follows.* The heroes of this Age fought at Thebes and Troy, died and went to Elysium (Greek heaven).
    • Iron Age - where Hesiod finds himself. Humans live and toil in misery, children dishonoring parents, family feuds, xenia lost. Might makes right, bad men use lies to be thought good, and humans no longer feel shame or indignation at wrongdoing; gods will have completely forsaken humanity.
  11. Tithonus- Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite
    Eos (Dawn) fell in love with Tithonus, and asked Zeus to make him immortal but forgot to ask Zeus for eternal youth, turned into a cicada
  12. Persephone
    • Bride of the underworld (Hades). Daughter of Demeter
    • people who go to underworld are often given tablets that have directions for what you’re supposed to do once you get to underworld, they have prayers on them that tell you what to say to Persephone, which lets her know that they should be initiated into the “happy portion” of the underworld, allows you to pass peacefully
  13. Hades
    god of the underworld, took Persephone to be his wife; brother of Zeus
  14. Rhea
    Mother of Zeus; managed to save Zeus from father Kronos. Goddess of fertility and motherhood; 3rd generation, one of the Titans. She and Cronus were the parents of the Olympians
  15. Herakles
    product of an affair between Zeus and his mortal mistress Alcmena.
  16. Eleusinian Mysteries
    secret cult practices related to Demeter and Persephone, explained via aetiological reference in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter
  17. korē
    Type of sculpture which depicts young females (also used to describe Persephone) Young woman of marriageable age. (General Term)
  18. virilocal exogamy
    patrilocal exogamy (the system which dictates that married couples should live near or with the parents of the husband)
  19. Catalogue of Women
    Hesiod’s epic/poem about the women of the Heroic Age; structured around the genealogies from the women & their relations w the gods. Catalogue can be written on papyrus paper which circulates on low social level where one learns about certain characteristics they have.
  20. hero-cult
    rituals performed for entities that are called heroes. (Heroes are demigods meaning they have one divine parent and one human parent) ← Odysseus wasn’t a demigod though? - Zeus was his grandfather
  21. scapegoat
    someone who takes the blame; Oedipus is the scapegoat for his town and by suffering for them, he alleviates their suffering/pain by taking it upon himself to experience those things
  22. Protesilaus
    1st Greek to land during the invasion of Troy → it’s prophesied that the 1st person to step foot during invasion will die, and he chooses to make this sacrifice which is why he’s considered a hero in legend → there’s a cult to him and he has a temple
  23. paradigm
    a typical example or model of something. Mythical paradigms are called “narrative doublet”
  24. Judgment of Paris
    • Greek celebration of the marriage of Peleus & Thetis (Achilles’ parents) in which Eris (goddess of discord/mischief) isn’t invited bc no one wanted mischief/discord at a wedding
    • --Angry for not being invited, Eris left a Golden Apple addressed “to the fairest” and threw it into the crowd, knowing it would cause problems
    • --3 goddesses argue over the apple: Aphrodite (mine bc I’m pretty), Athena (mine bc I’m smart) and Hera (mine bc I’m head/queen goddess) tried to claim the apple and asked Zeus to pick the fairest, but Zeus couldn’t decide w/o causing problems so he made Paris of Troy choose
    • --Each goddess tried to bribe Paris to pick them: Athena (wisdom/skill in war), Hera (king of countries), Aphrodite (world’s most beautiful woman)
    • --Paris picks Aphrodite and she gives him Helen of Sparta, AKA the world’s most beautiful woman → Greeks hate him → Trojan War
  25. Priam
    father of Hektor, eventually able to convince Achilles to give him the body of his son, convinced by drawing parallels to Achilles’ dead father
  26. Funeral of hektor
    Achilles lets Priam take his son’s body back to Troy & promises a 12 day truce to allow for Hector’s funeral rites (full honors)
  27. hekuba
    wife of Priam, mother of Hector. Laments Hector’s death at the end of the Iliad (along with Andromache and Helen, who caused all this mess)
  28. Andromache
    wife of Hector, offers final lamentations of Hector’s death (along with Helen and Hecuba), marriage with Hector represents paradigm for the ideal Greek marriage (makes death of Hector more tragic), contrasts “inappropriate” relationship between Paris and Helen
  29. Achilles
    was a Greek hero of the Trojan War and the central character and greatest warrior of Homer's Iliad. Embassy is sent to him during war to bring him back since he had withdrawn. Phoenix was the last speaker to talk to him, but Akhilles wanted to stay out of battle, however, returns and kills Hektor
  30. Helen
    causes shitstorm (Trojan War). Went (either willingly or forcibly) to Troy with Paris while still married to King Menelaus of Sparta. Last person to lament over the death of Hector (along with Andromache and Hecuba).
  31. Poseidon
    god of the sea, only god that hates Odysseus because Odysseus blinded the cyclops Polyphemus (Poseidon’s son), does almost everything in his power to torture Odysseus (but not kill him)
  32. Athena
    daughter of Zeus+Metis (cunning), female who dresses like a soldier (androgynous), great military force, virgin. She acts as the resolution to succession problem because she is a loyal servant of Zeus, Zeus’ favorite daughter, continues to help Odysseus and his family (guides Odysseus, makes him beautiful, disguises him in front of the suitors, tells Telemachos what to do to find his father, stops the warring sides from killing each other at the end)
  33. Telemachus
    • son of Odysseus & Penelope, name means “far from battle” (maybe reflective of his absence in the Trojan War); first 4 books of Odyssey focus on his search for his father, who left for TW when he was an infant  called the Telemachy
    • --Finds his father who eventually reveals himself to him under disguise as a beggar and they devise a plan to get rid of Penelope’s suitors
  34. Laos
    common people, heroes are supposed to protect and care for laos (ex. Odysseus fails in bringing his crew home alive)
  35. Agamemnon
    considered hero of Mycenae, killed by wife’s new suitor (wife = Clytemnestra), serves as negative paradigm to Odysseus and Penelope (Penelope has many suitors)
  36. Klytemnestra
    married to Agamemnon, her new suitor kills him on his return
  37. kleos
    to be talked about (praise you get for doing good things; renown) (Celebration)

    Helen says someday people will talk about us

    someday people will give us kleos

    we will be the figures of song, poetry → celebrated in that respect
  38. goos
    Lamentation done without or with less ritual emphasis; often by women. Examples are practically everytime spontaneous crying happens, could also be mourning over loss (Ex. Menelaos won the war but he lost his brother, underlying goos in the kleos)
  39. Calypso
    nymph who falls in love with Odysseus, keeps him as her slave for 7 years though he wants to go home. When Hermes tells her to release him, she says that it’s dumb that the gods throw a big hooplah when goddesses sleep with mortals but not vice versa. She then supplies Odysseus with the necessary provisions to build a boat and sail back home.
  40. Phaiakians/Phaecians
    “the shining ones”, human existence in its ideal form. rescue Odysseus (firstly by Nausikaa), they house him and clothe him and entertain him and ship him back home. He’s asleep when he lands. The king is Alkinoos.
  41. Kykloes
    barbarian one-eyed monsters; they do the complete opposite of xenia “Cyclops”
  42. Polyphemos
    cannibalistic monster, son of Poseidon.  Blinded by Odysseus in clever ruse (he and his men get him really drunk and then stab out his eyeball, tie themselves under the sheep and escape). Odysseus can’t help but brag who did this to the Kyklope, and this is how he gets cursed by Poseidon.
  43. Helios
    Teiresias (blind prophet of Apollo) tells Odysseus and his men not to eat the immortal cattle of Helios or all of them will die. The men eat the cattle anyways, and they all die in the storm the next day. Also is the only one to tell Demeter who took Persephone (Hymn to Demeter)
  44. Sirens
    their singing lures sailors in and the sailors crash and die on the rocky shores. Circe tells Odysseus of them and tells him to plug his men’s ears with beeswax so they can’t hear it, but to tie Odysseus to the mast so he can hear their singing.
  45. Xenia
    Ritualistic hospitality/Time of Zeus  - we see a lack of xenia when odysseus goes to the cyclops island, ex. of a good xenia is with Menelaos and Telemachos
  46. genealogy
    Study of, or note of, family history and lineage
  47. Aristonothos krater
    the mixing bowl shown to us in class. duality
  48. Herakles
    one of 3 people to go to the underworld and come back,
  49. Teiresias
    • blind prophet of Apollo in Thebes
    • --Killed a pair of snakes on Mt. Cyllene which pissed off Hera so she sex-changed him & made him her priestess for 7 years, and he even got married and had kids. His 7th year, he found another pair of snakes which he left alone this time, which releases him from his curse and he becomes a man again

    --Stumbled upon goddess Athena while she was bathing & she decided to blind him as punishment  mother begged to lift his curse but Athena compensated instead giving him gift of understanding bird song bc she couldn’t lift it
  50. mētis
    the titan goddess that Zeus swallowed and in swallowing became in gendered with Athena, which got rid of problem of filial succession - also means “cunning intelligence”

    Also the titan that gave the potion that made cronus throw up
  51. Eurykleia
    female slave who remained loyal to Odysseus
  52. polytropos
    meaning “much-traveled” or “much-wandering” literally, it is also used metaphorically to mean “turning many ways”; wily or crafty (much like Odysseus in the Odyssey)
  53. nostos
    To return home via sea for Kleos or something that has Kleos value (homecoming)
  54. Antinoos-
    leader of the suitors, the worst one. First to die at hands of Odysseus.
  55. ate
    the goddess of blind folly and emotional thought (contrary to mētis as a quality)
  56. vendetta
    Feud. Often long-spanning and often enacted for blood
  57. Aeschylus
    born in Eleusis, he was a Greek dramatist, the earliest of the cities’ tragic poets → often called the founder of Greek tragedy → Oresteia is his most famous work
  58. Sophocles
    one of classical Greece/Athens’ three great tragic playwrights, best known for “The Three Theban Plays”, one of which was Oedipus the King (the most popular)
  59. Euripides
    one of the three Greek tragedians he has the most amount of plays to survive  during Hellenistic Age, he was a cornerstone of ancient literary education
  60. Kleisthenes
    noble Athenian of the Alcmaeonid family credited w reforming the constitution of ancient Athens by setting it in terms of democracy
  61. liturgy
    privilege extended to wealthy people to train and sponsor at theatre festival, helped the wealthy find a place in the democracy and be accepted
  62. festival of Dionysus
    theater drinking festival
  63. chorus
    anonymous collective that sings at the festival of Dionysus, represents voice of reason/the common people in a play
  64. isonomia
    equality before the law
  65. Theseus
    represents a new way to use myths to address the ideological challenges of new democracy (and men’s dominance over women). He was the leader of the tributes sent to Crete’s King Minos to be eaten by a Minotaur in a labyrinth, but he kills the Minotaur (because Ariadne falls in love with him and tells him how to) and therefore is hailed as the hero for democracy over kingship. His bones were brought to Athens by Cimon, and his bones act as a talisman for ani-death/tyranny. He also defeated the Amazons (barbarian warrior women) and seduced their queen.
  66. Amazons
    warrior women who seduce men and cut off their breast so as to sling arrows better. Defeated by Theseus (represents men’s dominance over women)
  67. Hippolyta
    barbarian princess, queen of the Amazon. In some stories, she is stolen by Theseus to be his wife, have a son name Hippolytus
  68. Perikles' citizenship law:
    451 BC (must have 2 parents who are Athenian to be a citizen)

    • response to many children who were not citizens because of this law
    • about status
    • Medea is set 30 years after this law was instituted
    • Lack of soldiers for war
  69. Golden Fleece:
    Phrixus flew a golden ram to Colchis, sacrificed it to Zeus and the King (Medea’s dad), Jason steals it with help of Medea’s betrayal to take it back to Athens
  70. sophos
    wisdom, cunning, witchcraft, alchemy debate
  71. deinos
    great deeds; awesome/terrible
  72. Aegeus
    King of Athens; drowned in the sea because he thought Theseus had died facing minotar
  73. Bromios
    another name for Dionysus
  74. bacchant
    follower of Dionysus
  75. semele
    mortal mother of Dionysus (had lightning flash with Zeus & had Dionysus)
  76. thyrsus
    Dionysus wand (staff with giant pinecone on the end)
  77. satyr
    half man half goat, worship Dionysus
  78. maenad
    The female followers of Dionysus who like to turn up who are part of his retinue. Their name literally means “raving ones”
  79. thiasos
    Bands of the people who worship a god. Often in reference to Poseidon or Dionysus, especially in the nighttime festival → could be a campfire
  80. kottabos
    game of balance and imbalance played at symposia = when finish drinking mix of wine and water, and you see someone you are interested in across the room, you take the remaining last few drops/solid parts of your wine and you toss it and see who it hits, but you try to aim for the person you are interested in

    You are just balanced enough to throw it where you want it to go, but you are imbalanced because you are drunk
Card Set
Greek Mythology Midterm
Greek Midterm