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mythology quiz

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    Posted: 02 Nov 2016 at 02:20
1) First Mythology quiz,  I will provide the answers in a few days whether or not anyone gets them.  :)

These questions are meant to be a little hard, but also educational of the great breadth and depth of mythology.  

Heracles first labor was strangling the Nemean lion, which afterwards he skinned using its own claws (the hide was invulnerable to manmade weapons).  After that Heracles wore the lionskin, and in art (particularly coins) is depicted wearing it.
A) Name _two_ real ancient people who were depicted in art wearing a lion skin (might be more than two, but I have two in mind, I would like to learn about others).

B) Name a mythical queen who wore Heracles' lionskin robe (she is depicted on rare electrum coins of Phokaia (Phocaea)).

btw.  C) What is the difference between Heracles and Hercules?


Edited by franciscosan - 24 Nov 2016 at 00:48
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Answers 1)
A1) There is a famous statue of Commodus as Hercules, he liked to dress up as the hero.  I believe (but I haven't seen it) that "Gladiator" portrays Commodus as Hercules (and if not, they _should_ have).

A2) The coins of Alexander 'the Great' have a young Heracles on his coins that resembles Alexander himself.

C) Heracles is the Greek name, Hercules is the Roman name.  
In polytheistic society, it is natural to associate one god or hero in one mythology with another god or hero in another mythology.  For example, Heracles is associated with Melqart.  
The Roman "Hercules" is a little different, because the Roman mythology of the Empire is derivative of the culturally more sophisticated ancient Greeks.  In Archaic Rome, Roman mythology is different, but we have little in the literature of the late Republic and Empire that reveals it.  

B) Heracles after he killed his family, had to serve as a slave, and was hired out by his master to Queen Omphale.  Omphale ordered Heracles to take off his lionskin robe, and then she undressed and then at her order they did a little crossdressing.  Heracles wore her clothes, and she wore his robe.  There is a electrum coin of Phokaia (or Phocaea) that shows Omphale wearing Heracles' lionskin robe.


Edited by franciscosan - 24 Nov 2016 at 00:50
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Questions 2)
A1a-b) What two Olympians are the offspring of one parent.  Who is the parent of each?  A2)  What do they have in common?

B) What Greek deity has the epithet "twice-born" and why?

In other mythologies beginning humanoid deities sometimes procreated through masturbation and ejaculation (Egyptian).  The earliest deities in the Greek system are non-anthropomorphic such as Night, Chaos, Erebus, Heaven, Earth.  Heaven (Uranus) and Earth (Gaia) are the first male and female, while in the Egyptian mythos Heaven is feminine and Earth is masculine.  For the beginnings of (humanoid) deities one either has to have the "sin" of masturbation or the sin of incest.  Hence, Zeus and Hera are brother and sister, as are their parents, Kronos and Rhea, Pluto is married to his brother's (Zeus') daughter, Persephone.  The ancient Greek gods are kind of like Iceland, except in antiquity they didn't have apps to prevent you from dating your cousin<grin>


Edited by franciscosan - 26 Nov 2016 at 21:03
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Answers 2)
A1a) Athena (Roman Minerva) was born full grown from the (fore)head of Zeus (Jupiter/Jove), King of gods and men.  Hephaestus (Vulcan) in some accounts helped the birth with an axe.  This happened after Zeus swallowed the pregnant Metis, so one might say Athena had two parents after all.  
A1b) Hephaestus is born from Hera, and only from Hera.  Hephaestus is lame, which is appropriate for the god of smiths, in some accounts he was born lame, in others he became lame when he took Hera's side in an argument and was cast down from Olympus (?like Lucifer from Heaven?).
Athena is the goddess of wisdom, but also of weaving and other crafts, Hephaestus is god of the smiths.  Athena (female) from Zeus (male), and Hephaestus (male) is born from Hera (female), so there is a symmetry.  
(A2) Both Athena and Hephaestus are gods of crafts, of tekhne (technology).  btw, the technology that Prometheus stole (fire and crafts) and gave to man.

B) Dionysus (Dios="Zeus" of Nysa), also known as Bacchus, god of wine and ecstasy. was the son of Zeus and the mortal Semele.  As the mother of his child, Zeus offered to give Semele a boon (a wish), she said, 'I want to see you in all your glory.'  He said, 'you don't want that.'  She said, 'yes I do.'  Not being able to change a boon, he showed himself in all his glory, and the flash burned Semele to death.  Zeus then came forward and cut the fetus out of the pregnant Semele, cut open his thigh and sewed it up after putting the fetus in there.  Therefore, Dionysus is "twice born," once from his mother Semele and once from the thigh of Zeus.  


Edited by franciscosan - 26 Nov 2016 at 21:02
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Questions 3) Prometheus stole fire and crafts (some versions just fire) from the gods to give to man.
A) What did Zeus do to punish man?
B) What did Zeus do to punish Prometheus?
C) How did Prometheus eventually get out of this punishment?
D) How is Prometheus related to the Trojan War?

Prometheus is a Titan, a race of primarily earth gods one or two generations before the first generation of Olympians.  Prometheus means "forethought" whereas Epimetheus his brother, means "afterthought."  Zeus' parents, Rhea and Kronos are Titans, as is Atlas.  The Olympians fought a war with the Titans, the "Titanomachy" defeating them and punishing them.  Prometheus and Epimetheus, however, were on the Olympian's side.

E) What god (Norse mythos) has a similar fate to Prometheus?


Edited by franciscosan - 26 Nov 2016 at 21:06
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 2016 at 20:37
Answers 3)
A) To punish man for the theft of Prometheus, Zeus ordered the creation of Pandora, who may (according to Hesiod 'Works and Days') be the first woman.  Everything good went into Pandora, except her mind made by Hermes was deceitful and wily.  She was delivered to Epimetheus, Prometheus' brother whose name means "afterthought."  Prometheus had told Epimetheus never to accept a gift from Zeus, but Pandora was so beautiful that he accepted her, and only realized afterwards what he had done.  Pandora (whose name means "all gifts" had a jar (or in our modern version, Pandora's box).  She broke the seal of it, and all the evils in the world escaped except for one, hope.

B) To punish Prometheus, Zeus chained him to a rock in the Caucaus Mountain, and had an vulture eat out his liver, which since he was a god and immortal, would continuously regenerate.  Zeus eventually let Heracles free Prometheus.
C) Zeus had to eventually let Prometheus free, since Prometheus knew of an oracle about how Zeus's downfall could come to happen.  Zeus liked to sleep around and there was a sea goddess, Thetis, of whom it was prophecyed that her offspring would be greater than his father.  In exchange for his freedom, Prometheus told Zeus the prophecy and thus Zeus prevented it from coming to pass.  
(D) Or rather, it did come to pass, for Thetis was married to a mortal, Pelops, and their son, Achilles, was the greatest Greek hero of all time.  'The Iliad' is the tale of the wrath of Achilles when Agamemnon ordered him to give up his concubine Briseis to Agamemnon when Agamemnon had to give up his own concubine.  Forced to return his own concubine to her father a priest of Apollo, Agamemnon demanded a replacement, and since Achilles was vocal about returning Chryseis, Agamemnon choose to take Briseis.

E) The Norse tale of Loki resembles the binding of Prometheus, for his role in the death of, and the failure of the resurrection of Balder, the god of Beauty, Loki was bound to a rock with a serpent above him dripping poison, his loyal wife Iduna(sp?) sat there catching the poison in a cup, but when she had to empty it, a few drops fell on him, and his writhing from the burning caused earthquakes.


Edited by franciscosan - 26 Nov 2016 at 21:12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2016 at 02:39
Questions 4)
A) In Greek mythology, who were the "virgin goddesses"?




Edited by franciscosan - 26 Nov 2016 at 21:15
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 2016 at 00:16
Answers 4)
A1) Artemis, goddess of the hunt, (Roman Diana) elicited a promise from Zeus (her father) that she would stay virginal.
2) Athena goddess of Wisdom and crafts (Roman Minerva)

When the virgin goddesses are talked about they mean Artemis and Athena, however certain goddesses have magic pools that restore their virginity yearly.  Aphrodite (Venus), Hera (Juno) and, of all people, Athena.  It should be understood that different systems of myth have different variants on myths.  The myths that have Athena having to use a virginal pool are probably Orphic.  In other words, reflecting "secret," esoteric teachings related to beliefs in transmigration and apotheosis.

The Pythagoreans said that 'the names of the stages of a woman's life are the names of goddesses.'  So in a sense, all women are goddesses.  The first name is Kore which is the name of the daughter of Demeter (Ceres), before she (Kore) becomes Persephone (Proserpina), the wife of Hades (Pluto).  Kore means "maiden."  Then is Nymphe or "Bride".  The is Meter as in De-meter (grain mother=Ceres).  Then there is Maia or "grandmother."
So in a sense, all young maidens are goddesses, just don't tell them that unless you want it to go to their head.   


Edited by franciscosan - 26 Nov 2016 at 21:22
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 2016 at 23:52
Questions 5)
Zeus and Hera were having argument about who enjoys sex more, men or women.  
A) Who did they talk to, to settle the argument?
B) What did Hera do in response, and why?
C) What did Zeus do?

If anyone knows of other (non-Greek?) myths dealing with this topic, I would love to hear them for comparison.



Edited by franciscosan - 26 Nov 2016 at 21:23
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2016 at 20:49
Answer 5)
A) Zeus and Hera talked to Teiresias.
Teiresias as a young man was walking through the forest, and came across to writhing snakes.  He hit them with a stick and immediately was transformed into a girl.  Several years later he was walking through the woods (as a girl) came across some writhing snakes, hit them with his stick, and turned back into a man.  Teiresias had had the pleasures of sex both in his male and his female form, so was eminently qualified to tell Zeus and Hera about who enjoyed sex the most.
Teiresias said, "if the pleasure of sex was 10 parts, 9 would be woman's."
B) At which point, Hera struck him blind, you see, passion in the Greek mind is something from which you suffer, because it takes away from self-control.  So saying that women enjoyed sex more was an insult to the self-control of Hera.
C) A Greek god cannot undo what another Greek god has done, so Zeus could not undo Hera's striking him blind, so instead he gave Teiresias the gift of prophecy.  Teiresias of Thebes is probably the greatest of the Greek Prophets, he was said to keep his wits in the Underworld, unlike other insubstantial ghosts. In the "Odyssey," Odysseus visited him in Hades, in order to secure a prophecy about his homecoming.



Edited by franciscosan - 26 Nov 2016 at 21:26
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Nov 2016 at 00:46
The 14th century fairy tale "Orfeo and Heurodis" tells of the kidnapping of Heurodis in an orchard by the fairy folk and was taken to their underground kingdom.  Orfeo ventured to the underworld and secured her release and return from the Fairy King.  This is a version of a Greek tale.

What Greek tale is "Orfeo and Heurodis" based on, with a different twist?
What is another Greek version of this tale?  With another twist.
And still another, but this time a Hebrew variant?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2016 at 03:12
"Orfeo and Heurodis" is based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.  Orpheus was the most famous musician of ancient Greece.  The Orphic myths are stories illustrating Greek esoteric mystical beliefs.  The myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, however, while about Orpheus, is not an Orphic myth (we know little of Orphic myths, after all they were esoteric or secret, btw much of what we do know about the Orphics, was told by Christian Church Fathers who had formerly been initiates).  Anyways, Orpheus with his singing and playing of the lyre could charm even the trees and stones.  But that couldn't keep his wife, Eurydice, from dying.  When she died, Orpheus decided to bring her back.  He went down to Hades, and charmed to sleep the three headed guard dog, Cerebus.  Finally he reached the court of the dread lord Hades and his wife Persephone, and played for them.  Because of how beautiful his playing was, Hades and Persephone decided to allow his wife Eurydice return to the world, on one condition.  Orpheus would lead, playing, and she would follow.  If he looked back at her she would have to return to Hades unable to return to the world of mortals.  Orpheus played his lyre and sang until he got out, then wondering if she was still there, looked back, at which point her ghost had to return to the underworld.

The rape of Persephone (originally Kore) by Hades is another version of this story.  We will tell that one another day.

Of course, the story of Lot's wife in Genesis is another version of the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice.  When Lot and his family fled Sodom which along with Gommorah burned with fire and brimstone, Lot's wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Nov 2016 at 01:54

What months and days of the week are named after gods or goddesses?
(warning, a little bit of trick question).

With all the pagan names implicit in the months and days of the week, I wonder if we (European stock) are a _little_ bit pagan at heart.  The Catholic G.K. Chesterton thought so but for different reasons (his book Orthodoxy).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Northman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Nov 2016 at 14:19
Most weekdays are named after the norse gods - so here is a list:



   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Dec 2016 at 02:11
Thank you Northman, I think it is interesting than Odin (Wodin/Wothan in Teutonic) is equated with Mercury.  Of course Odin is the King of the Norse gods, and so maybe it is fitting that he be in the center (Wednesday, assuming the week starts on Sunday).  
The Roman names are also the visible celestial objects, not including the stars, the earth, and for any Pythagoreans out there, the counter-earth.  Another fictional planet is Vulcan, not of Star Trek fame, but once thought to be inside the orbit of Mercury, effecting the periodicity of its orbit.  When Einstein accounted for the orbit of Mercury, the reason for believing there must be a planet Vulcan vanished. Pretty good trick to make a whole planet vanish!  btw Mercury (Hermes) is the messenger of the gods, and thus as a planet has the smallest periodicity, dashing back and forth.  But I have digressed.  

Tuesday=Tyr is a one armed god of war, he sacrificed his arm by putting it in the mouth of the Fenris wolf (who will kill Odin at Ragnarok).  Tyr did so in order to get the Fenris Wolf to allow himself to be bound, if the gods didn't release him from the golden thread (if it worked), he would take the arm.  It worked, the gods wouldn't release the Wolf and he took Tyr's arm.  
They previously had tried to bind the Fenris Wolf with two great chains, the Wolf easily breaking each of them.  and so when they came to him with a golden ribbon (forged by the dwarfs out of women's beards amongst other things), he knew something was fishy.  The golden chain (ribbon/thread) is found in other mythologies, including the "Iliad" and Sufism.
Wednesday=Odin is the one eyed king of the gods, he exchanged his eye for wisdom.  
Thursday=Thor is another god of war, known for his magic hammer, he will kill and be killed by the Midgard Serpent on Ragnorak.  The Midgard Serpent encircles the world along the bottom of the sea.  The Fenris Wolf, the Midgard Serpent, and Hel are Loki's (the fire god's) three children.  Hel rules Hell.
Frigga= Odin's wife and queen of the gods.
Saturn= the Roman Titan (equivalent of the Greek Kronos) ruler of the gods until overthrown by his son, Zeus (Roman Jupiter).



Edited by franciscosan - 02 Dec 2016 at 23:57
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January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December.

January=Janus, the Roman two-faced god of beginnings and endings, although two-headed figures appear in Greek art, there is no corresponding god in the Greek mythos.
February
March=Mars, Roman god of war (Greek Ares)
April=(sometimes said to represent Aphrodite, goddess of love (fertility))
May=Maia, mother of Mercury (Greek Hermes)
June=Juno, wife of Jupiter, mother goddess, (Greek goddess Hera)
July=Julius Caesar, who was deified after his death.
August=Augustus, the first emperor or "Caesar," deified.
September (7)
October (8)
November (9)
December (10)
The year originally started in March.  Hence, the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th month.



Edited by franciscosan - 03 Dec 2016 at 00:01
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Feb 2017 at 02:09
Hesiod tells the tale of Pandora.  Pandora is the first woman (except for goddesses?) and was a curse upon mankind to get back at Prometheus for stealing fire and the crafts.  She was beautiful but conniving.  Prometheus (forethought) warned his brother Epimetheus (afterthought) to reject any gifts the gods might give, but Epimetheus thought she was beautiful and could do no harm.

Pandora was given by the gods a jar (usually described as a box), in which all the evils in the world were placed, and if she opened it, they would escape.  But of course, she couldn't resist seeing what was in the jar, and she opened it, and all of them flew out.  However, stuck under the lip of the jar was Hope and it stayed in there.

So many people interpret this and say we have hope to ward off the evils of the world, what they don't understand is that hope is one of the evils of the world for Hesiod.  And it keeps people from seeing the truth.  If it wasn't for hope we wouldn't do certain things that are useless.

And of course sometimes, rarely something hoped for works out.  Sometimes pounding your head against a wall, will make it come down.  Chances are very slim, but they are not absolute nil. 

The thief got caught by the king, and when the king said, "why shouldn't I execute you?"  The thief said, "I can teach your horse to sing."  King said, "that sounds neat, I'll be the only king with a singing horse!  I'll give you a year."  Everyday, the thief went out to the stables and sang to the horse, trying to get the horse to sing along.  The courtiers laughed at him and mocked him.  The thief said to them, "you don't understand, in a year, I might die, the king might die, and maybe the horse will sing."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Feb 2017 at 21:19
That's touching..arguing against hope. :(

Isn't Hesiod explaining the 'reasons' for unknowable things like why is there suffering in the world?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Feb 2017 at 22:18
I would have to read Hesiod again to figure it out.  Eventually, I will probably read Hesiod again.  (I have been reading secondary texts on Homer.)  So, I am sorry I can't give you a better answer.  There is some explaining why the world is like it is, in Hesiod.  But, I am not sure that there is a theodicy there.

There is one kind of hope that places someone in a position to take advantage if something happens, the thief and the horse.  A lot can happen in a year.  Then there is doing the exact same thing that you've been doing all along, and thinking that a different outcome will happen.  Maybe it will, but whether that outcome will be good or bad is another question.  People who say, "it can't get any worse." don't realize that it can.  
In evolution most mutations are detrimental for the organism.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2017 at 18:47
There are more than two kinds of hope. 


Yes clearly a person can hope for something that is detrimental to others. Unity and the common good align the interest of the many.  And here is one kind of hope our country is missing;

Mature Hope – A person with this kind of hope can wait. His or her hope is not based on particular outcomes or on a belief that everything will turn out well. Mature hope is based on meaning. In other words, things are worthwhile regardless of how they turn out.
The root of all desires is the one desire: to come home, to be at peace. -Jean Klein
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2017 at 22:22
Interesting, I wish she did more of an analysis of the types and their relationship to each other.  People, when they invoke "hope" are not thinking of an analysis or even different types.  They tend to be waving a banner of "hope" as if that explains something good, which it doesn't always.  Of course, the myth of Pandora's box is a little bit ambiguous.  If "hope" is still in the box, is an evil and is it loosened on the world?  We have to worry about all the evils loosened on the world, but hope isn't loosened.  Do we therefore have a relationship with what Hesiod calls "hope" if it is still in the box (or jar).
But that is how myths are, they are not always entirely self-consistent.  You sometimes can interpret them one way or another, but both doesn't really 'visually' work than well.  Perhaps, like light is a particle and a wave.  There you go, maybe light is a myth.....

I hate that there is a mall Jewelry company called Pandora.  I want to tell them how evil their name is. :P


Edited by franciscosan - 09 Feb 2017 at 22:23
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2017 at 04:20
Haha. Then there is the problem of multiple translations. In one translation the emphasis is that man will always have hope to hold on to. Then in another translation it's ambiguous without an interpretation. The emphasis is Pandora and her crime. Really? wasn't she set up? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2017 at 23:14
Who are the translators?  I usually use Richmond Lattimore, or the Loeb edition.  I do have the original Greek in the Loeb and another commentary, but I don't know if my Greek is good enough to tell what is going on.  Loeb is bilingual and probably is what is online at Perseus.edu.

Again, I think that there is an amphibole to the passage, we want to say hope is a good thing to have, but at the same time it is in the jar with the rest of the curses.  But, I'll try to remember to look at the Greek.

Pandora was _made_ bad.  I mean beautiful, but devious.  But, yes, the Greeks as a whole (in antiquity) had a pretty poor view of women.  But I don't think the Greeks were monolithic about their view.  Looking at ancient coins, which reflect different locales, there are a lot of eponymous goddesses on the coins, nymphs that we don't know who they are and so we assume they are local goddesses that the city is named after.  But of course, for a lot of these locales we don't know very much except their coinage, and maybe where they were located. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2017 at 01:14
Well there is Bruce MacLenan, he says about hope 'Elpis'

 Elpis = Hope. It seems paradoxical that all the ills are free to roam, but Hope is trapped in the jar. Gantz (Early Greek Myth, p. 157) suggests that Elpis may mean expectation ("a realistic awareness of just how bad things are and are likely to get"). By trapping Elpis Pandora saved us from true awareness of our predicament.

And R. Lattimore:

Could it be that Zeus’ two urns, the double of Pandora and her jar, which mirror the twofold nature of humans and human life, symbolize this existentialist assumption ancient people already conceived and attempted to explain through their myths? More importantly, is it really so? Can we not escape from evil? What may be true is that the promotion of human civilization and the consequent progress have had a price which mostly has taken form of some kind of evil.But, many other fundamental matters are here involved, and a detailed discussion is perhaps outside the scope of this paper. However, to take it from Hesiod’s words: there is still hope left to human beings.

There are images of Hercules in the Rosarium that reflect duality like Pandora and the jar (she's only a 'maiden' created by Zeus in Theogeny) and the duality of existence. Hercules is almost destroyed after he puts on his wife's gift -shirt of fiery pain and death. So he lays down in the funeral pyre
Hercules/Prometheus and fire, are  the two beings made whole in fire and suffering? Is hope afterlife redemption?
The root of all desires is the one desire: to come home, to be at peace. -Jean Klein
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2017 at 02:45
Richmond Lattimore is a good translator, but his analysis (as far as I have seen), leaves much to be desired.  That is also true of Walter Kaufmann, the chief translator of Nietzsche.

The two urns are of blessings and curses.

I am not home right now, I'll try to check it out when I get home, and I'll try to respond tomorrow.

Translation is not an exact science, especially with poetry, and especially with something as old as Hesiod.  There is a saying, which translated is, "the translator is a traitor." It is often not a question of whether to betray the text, but how.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2017 at 02:34
Looking at the Loeb edition, the evils escape from the jar, and all that is left in is hope.  It doesn't say that only evils were in the jar, and ML West asserts that hope is a good (left in jar).  These things are not precise, and I like to consider the possibility that only evils were in the jar, and of those hope is left in the jar, therefore hope is (maybe?) an evil.  Whether me and friends got that from somewhere or we made it up, (or they made it up), I don't know.
There is a version of the Pandora story in The Theogony (previously we have been talking about Works and Days). in it Pandora is not specifically mentioned, but the gods get together to create the first woman, as a curse for man.  Pandora btw, means all-gifts.
Pandora is the name of a minor Chthonic (earth) goddess who according to art on pottery (papyrus was too expensive for drawing, so they used pottery for drawing) was the wife of Prometheus.  She is shown coming up from the Earth, to be married to Prometheus (with 'captions').
Pandareos and his wife were killed by Zeus, the gods had pity on their daughters, and so they gave them gifts, when the gods went to Zeus to arrange husbands for them, the harpies seized the girls and gave them to the Erinyes (the furies), this story is referred to in the Odyssey, but while the Pandora and the Pandareos stories are obviously related, the relation between the two are not obvious.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb 2017 at 04:33
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

"Orfeo and Heurodis" is based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.  Orpheus was the most famous musician of ancient Greece.  The Orphic myths are stories illustrating Greek esoteric mystical beliefs.  The myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, however, while about Orpheus, is not an Orphic myth (we know little of Orphic myths, after all they were esoteric or secret, btw much of what we do know about the Orphics, was told by Christian Church Fathers who had formerly been initiates).  Anyways, Orpheus with his singing and playing of the lyre could charm even the trees and stones.  But that couldn't keep his wife, Eurydice, from dying.  When she died, Orpheus decided to bring her back.  He went down to Hades, and charmed to sleep the three headed guard dog, Cerebus.  Finally he reached the court of the dread lord Hades and his wife Persephone, and played for them.  Because of how beautiful his playing was, Hades and Persephone decided to allow his wife Eurydice return to the world, on one condition.  Orpheus would lead, playing, and she would follow.  If he looked back at her she would have to return to Hades unable to return to the world of mortals.  Orpheus played his lyre and sang until he got out, then wondering if she was still there, looked back, at which point her ghost had to return to the underworld.

The rape of Persephone (originally Kore) by Hades is another version of this story.  We will tell that one another day.

Of course, the story of Lot's wife in Genesis is another version of the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice.  When Lot and his family fled Sodom which along with Gommorah burned with fire and brimstone, Lot's wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt.  

Hi, wonder if you can expand on the meaning of looking back.  Was there a reason why Orpheus wasn't supposed to look back that is based on mores of the ancient world? Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb 2017 at 23:27
It means that he (Orpheus) has a Y chromosome and therefore can't follow directions:P  No, but seriously, he is told to not do one simple thing (simple doesn't necessarily mean easy).  He is told that because of his beautiful playing and singing, he will be able to take his wife back on the condition that he continuously play to entice her soul with him, on the way out.  And at the very last part, when he is out, but she is not, he doesn't have control to refrain from looking back.  He wants to know, is she there? has my music worked?  if he had continued playing a few more minutes, and waited, but..no...he..just..has..to look!  You might say that Hades and Persephone know the strength of his music, but on some level he himself doesn't believe it.
Part of it is a characteristic of fairy tales, the hero or heroine is told they can do something, but if one thing happens or if they do a particular thing, then the whole thing will fail.  That thing is often something that seems inconsequential, or doesn't naturally follow from the series of events.  'if you see a rutabaga, then .......'
The Pythagoreans (who were in many ways related to the Orphics), believed that when starting a journey, you shouldn't look back.  I think that looking back in that context is like hesitating on the journey, wishing you were staying home, and if you are going to partake in a journey, one should do so wholeheartedly. 


Edited by franciscosan - 22 Feb 2017 at 23:29
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