Classical Mythology Images and Insight, Third Edition

Following is an outline of the chapter along with the main learning objectives.  To help coordinate your studies, this outline and the learning objectives are organized to match your textbook.  This organization is also utilized in the chapter review section.

Part 1:  Hesiod's Theogony as Cosmogony and Cosmology 

A.   Hesiod's Theogony as Cosmogony and Cosmology (pgs. 57-59)

 1. You should understand the basic story of the beginning of the cosmos according the ancient Greek myth -- the concepts of Chaos, the primal Chasm or Void, and Gaea (the Earth) as the sources for all that exists. You should be aware that ancient Greek concepts of the structure of the cosmos was partly based on models from other cultures as well as "common-sensical" observations.

2.   You should be aware of Hesiod's Theology as an ancient work describing the origin of the universe, its nature and purpose and giving a genealogy of the Greek Gods and Goddesses.

Part 2:  Hesiod's Theogony and Ancient Near Eastern Myth. (pgs. 59-62)

1.  You should be aware of the significant parallels in the story of Zeus vs. Typhoeus and the Mesopotamian myth of Enuma Elish, which tells the myth of Marduk and Tiamat, and the fact that many major motifs of ancient Greek myths are based on or have elements in common with other Near East cultural beliefs.

Part 3:  The Poet and His Inspiration (pgs. 62-66)

1.  You should recognize the ways in which Hesiod's work is autobiographical in nature.

    A.  The Muses

1.  Understand the ways in which Hesiod claims the muses are an integral part of his literary creation.

Part 4:   The Origins of the Gods

    A.  The Rise of Zeus (pg. 69)

1.  You should be aware of the basic sequence of events that lead to the rise of the Olympian gods -- Zeus became ruler when he killed his father Cronus; Cronus had killed his own father Uranus -- both patricides were foretold, and the fathers' attempt to avert that fate led to many of the myths regarding the unusual circumstances of the birth of many of the deities.

2.  You should recognize and  be able to discuss the relative characteristics of some of the prominent gods and goddesses, Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Hades, Athena, Hermes, Apollo, Aphrodite,  and those of other entities such as the Muses, givers of inspiration, and Eros, the driving procreative force of the universe.

    B.  Plato's Symposium : The Origins of Sexual Attraction (pgs. 70-71

1. You should recognize the fictional drinking party created by Plato, called the Symposium where Aristophanes and other influence ancient Greeks (including Socrates) have a dialogue containing many mythical references; including the belief that originally there were three sexes.

   C.  The Castration of Uranus and the Birth of Aphrodite (pgs. 72-73)  

1.  You should be able to discuss the birth of Aphrodite and its implications in regard to several of the theories discussed in Chapter 2, including concepts of love and violence, gender roles and power structure within the cosmos (i.e. Aphrodite is born before Zeus and the Olympians).

   D.  The Separation of Earth and Sky (pgs. 73-75)

1.  You should be able to discuss myths which focus on the separation of Sky and Earth, Male and Female, to allow life to develop.

  E.  The Birth of Athene (pgs. 75-76)

1.  You should be able to discuss the implications of the miraculous birth of Athena, incorporating the theories from Chapter 2, the concept of gender roles (i.e. of the site of intelligence, giving birth by oneself, the concept of the daughter/female intelligence always virginal and dominated by the father/dominant male force -- Zeus).

2.  You should recognize the primary aspects of Athene as goddess of war, particularly strategy, of intellect and reasoning.

   F.  Hera and Hephaestus (pgs. 76-77)

1.   You should recognize the primary aspects of the Goddess Hera as the sister/wife of Zeus, Goddess of marriage and domesticity, and be able to discuss the significance of her giving birth (without being inseminated) to Hephaetus -- as a parallel to the birth of Athene from Zeus.

   G.  Gaea and Typhoeus (pgs. 77-78)

1.  You should be able to discuss the myth of Zeus' battle with Typhoeus, the many-headed reptile/dragon created by Gaea, and its relationship to Goddess-worship.

Part 5:  Hesiod's World View (pg. 79)

    A.  Reading: Hesiod's Theogony

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