Greek Myth - Zeus, Hera, Poseidon (Chapter 6, Lecture 1110)

  1. Who Were the Elder Olympians (parents?)
    • Zeus (father of gods/men)
    • Hera (family)
    • Poseidon (sea)
    • Demeter (fertility of earth)
    • Hestia (hearth)
    • Hades (underworld)

    *Hestia and Hades not part of the 12 olympians

    parents are Cronus and Rhea (hieros gamos)
  2. Who were the Younger Olympians (parents?)
    Hephaestus, Ares, Artemis, Hermes, Dionysus, Athene/a, Aphrodite, Apollo

    All born from Zeus, Hephaestus and Ares with Hera
    - root of name, counterparts
    - epithets
    - associated locations
    - symbols
    - sacred animal
    - ruler of.... (what does he stand for)
    - Protector of... (Zeus Xenios)
    - shrine locations
    • - di- means "sky" or "shine. Germanic counterpart --> Tiu (tuesday), Indic counterpart --> Dyaus Pitar (father sky)
    • - "cloud gatherer" - weather; "aegis bearing" - magical preserved skin of goat who raised him- inspires fear.
    • - Mount Dicte (birth), Mt Olympus, Mt Ida - peak shrouded in cloud.
    • - symbol - thunderbolt (weapon), royal scepter, the royal eagle (zeus the king, first among equals)
    • - animal: bull (b/c of its power and fecundity (fertility)
    • - wisdom, strength, justice (dike - the way things are done) --> tradition of sacrifice
    • - Xenia (hospitality) - protector of the guest/host relationship
    • - shrines at Dodona, Olympia
  4. Zeus' Immortal Lovers and their Children (9)
    • 1. Hera (olympian, family) --> Ares (war, most hated of gods), Hephaestus (metalwork, ugly, cripple, cast from Olympus), Eileithia (divine midwife)
    • 2. Demeter (olympian, fertility of the earth) --> Persephone (the two goddesses)
    • 3. Leto (titan) --> Apollo (bow and arrow, lyre) and Artemis (hunt) (twins)
    • 4. Themis (titan-law) --> 3 Moirae (fates) and 3 Horae (seasons - impose rhythm of seasons)
    • 5. Dione (titan/oceanid - early hieros gamos?, female counterpart of Zeus) --> Aprhodite (sexual attraction) -from other genealogy
    • 6. Metis (personification of cleverness, Zeus swallows her) --> Athene/a (wisdom, logical warfare)
    • 7. Mnemosyne (personification of memory) --> 9 muses
    • 8. Eurynome (oceanid) --> 3 Graces - personify the feminine qualities that make girls attractive to men
    • 9. Maia (nymph) --> Hermes (messenger, trickster)
  5. Zeus' Mortal Lovers (7)
    • 1. Semele --> Dionysus (immortal, one of the 12 olympians)
    • 2. Io (princess; her line = great kings and heroes) --> Ephaphus
    • 3. Europa (he comes to her as a bull) --> Minos (Cretan King of Cnossus, husband of Pasihae, judge of underworld), Rhadamanthys (also judge of underworld) and Sarpedon
    • 4. Danae --> Perseus (hero)
    • 5. Leda (Zeus comes as a swan) --> Dioscuri (sons of Zeus --> Castor (mortal) and Polydeuces (immortal), daughters - Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra
    • 6. Alcmena --> Heracles (most powerful of heroes)
    • 7. Trojan Prince Ganymede (Zeus takes him to Olympus to be a cupbearer - like Symposium)

    **usually produces Heroes with mortal women
  6. HERA / JUNO

    - origin of name, meaning
    - reproductive power
    - eipthet, animal
    - temple locations
    - name of her descendents
    - what does she stand for
    - who is her daughter
    - how does she act towards Zeus' other consorts
    - loyalty?
    - wife or mother?
    • - name = pre-Hellenistic
    • - retains the power of parthenogenesis - ability to reproduce on her own --> Hephaestus (deformed, cast from Olympus)
    • - "cow-eyed," cow
    • - she had some of the earliest / most-special temples: Argos (sponsorship of Trojan War), Samos, Olympia
    • - stands for marriage, family --> hates adultery
    • - daughter = Eileithyia (childbirth
    • - persecutes Zeus' mistresses and their children
    • - loyal to Zeus, no affairs
    • - definitely a wife, never addressed as mother or seen with children.

    - god of ... (3)
    - epithet
    - attitude towards humans
    - root of name
    - symbol
    - wife, son. Smaller sea gods
    - sacred animal
    • - god of sea (originally fresh water, linked with the earth), earthquakes, horses (land animals, horses draw war chariot. Maybe he gives life to all horses)
    • - "earth shaker"
    • - no mercy towards humans --> often the source of turmoil at sea. Father to the Cyclopes Polyphemyus --> cursed Odysseus to wander for 10 years before coming home.
    • - "posis"- lord, + "de"- wheat --> maybe early fertility god?
    • - symbol = trident
    • - Married Amphitritê (nereid) --> Triton (blow conch to calm seas)
    • - shapechanger (like smaller sea gods or only in smaller sea gods --> Nereus, Proteus)
    • - animal = horse, bull
  8. Poseidon --> What happened with Scylla and Charybdis (Straits of Messina)
    Scylla (minor deity, nymph, beautiful) - Poseidon likes her? she is vain, has a favorite bathing place. Amphitrite find out --> goes to the bathing place and adds mysterious herbs. Scylla is transformed into a monster (terrifying, 7 arms). Hides in a cave in the Straits of Messina --> accost passing ships

    Charybdis (one of Poseidon's offspring) - she is a glutton; eats so much that she offends the gods. Transformed into a water spout in the Straits of Messina --> sucks in ships. Odysseus meets her.
  9. Poseidon --> Demeter and Arion
    Demeter (closest to Gaea) loses her daughter and searches the earth. Poseidon sees her and wants her, but she says no, changes into a horse and runs away. Poseidon changes into a stallion and pursues her. They fuck --> produce Arion - talking horse, saved the Argive Hero Adrastus in the war of the Seven against Thebes.
  10. Poseidon's Contests for Patronage --> Argos, and Athens
    Argos (Hera) --> Hera wins. Poseidon is a sore loser; he dries up all the rivers that were the judges

    Athens (Athena) --> trying to decide who will be the protector of Athens, whoever has the most useful gift. Athena gives the Olive tree (Huge Gift), and Poseidon gives a saltwater spring. Sore loser again --> floods the Attic Plains
  11. Polyphemus and Galatea
    Polyphemus (son of Poseidon - cyclopes (not one of the three making thunderbolts for Zeus) but savage, huge, monsterous, condemns Odysseus to wander for 10 years. Falls in love with beautiful nymph Galatea. Tries everything to get her love, but she loves a mortal man --> fucking him one day and Polyphemus sees. He picks up a boulder and crushes him. The blood runs into a stream and he reemerges later but blue (water god)
Card Set
Greek Myth - Zeus, Hera, Poseidon (Chapter 6, Lecture 1110)
Myths of the Olympians Part One - Zeus, Hera, Poseidon