By Wm. Blake Tyrrell, Frieda S. Brown
This publication analyzes the relationships among Athenian myths and the associations that proficient them. particularly, it examines how myths encode innovations on ritual, the code of the warrior, marriage, and politics. Combining conventional ancient and literary feedback with the methods of anthropologists, feminist critics, and cultural historians, the authors research particular examples of the epic and tragedy, in addition to funeral orations and the Parthenon marbles, to light up the methods mythic media exploited the ideals, innovations, and practices of fifth-century Athens, at the same time exemplifying and shaping that tradition.
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Additional info for Athenian Myths and Institutions: Words in Action
Hesiod's Myth of the Birth of the Cosmos 19 Heaven," is basically that of a succession of three gods, each of whom seizes power from the one before him. The third and lasting ruler must overcome the challenge of a monster acting on behalf of the deposed second ruler. The myth, with numerous variations, was told not only in Hesiod's Greek but also by the Hurrians, Hittites, Babylonians, Assyrians, Phoenicians, and Iranians [Littleton, pp. 83-121]. Hesiod typifies his culture in imaging the cosmos from a male perspective.
The "otherness" of the female has been reduced to its most harmless form in the virgin daughter, yet Hesiod's Myth of the Birth of the Cosmos 39 Gala, the primal female, abides. Those in Hesiod's audience might, we suppose, have found release from the hardships imposed by Zeus through the poet's song of male supremacy. This page intentionally left blank Three The Arete Standard as a Source of Mythmaking More than other ancient peoples of the Mediterranean, the Greeks told stories about heroes, the mortal sons of gods and women.
Gaia and Ouranos are playing out a power struggle for mastery of her procreativity that ends in his castration. Blood from his genitals spatters Gaia. The drops fall onto the physical earth just as the genitals fall into the sea, but they also fall on Gaia the goddess. The translator necessarily compartmentalizes G/gaia's duality into two distinct entities. That problem plus the word's transparent referentiality to the earth and/ or the refusal to accept the defilement of the goddess have prevented critics from appreciating that this is happening to earth and divinity alike.