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201 Cards in this Set

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explanation of the cause or origin of something. Many myths are aetiological, that is, they explain how something came to be. (Example: Pandora, explaining the origin of women)
Connected series of legendary tales (example: Njal's saga, a medieval Icelandic tale)
Shorter, primarily oral, designed to entertain; fantasy/magic rather than divine forces (example: Paul Bunyan)
Involves historical or quasi-historical figures, can involve divine forces (example: King Arthur, George Washington and the cherry tree)
An adjective or descriptive noun phrase attached to a hero or god and expressing some quality or relation appropriate to that figure
A coventional symbol of office, character or identity attached to any particular figure (i.e., Poseidon - trident)
tasseled shield of Zeus, strongly associated with Athena in visual art
Statue of Athena OR statue made by Athena, located in Troy; the loss of this statue will mean the loss of the city.
cult site or institution which is considered the common property of all Greek-speaking peoples, rather than primarily the property of those who live where it is situated (i.e., Oracle at Delphi)
constructed of gold and ivory
Archetypes (Carl Jung)
a primordial character, image, or narrative motif which recurs throughout human culture
one of the 4 means of communications b/w gods and mortals. The manifestation of a god in the sight of mortals (i.e., Hermes can appear directly in epiphany w/o harm)
one of the 4 means of communications b/w gods and mortals. Oracles at Delphi, Dodona, oracle of Hermes at Pharae in the marketplace (agora)
one of the 4 means of communications b/w gods and mortals. Dream stands at the head, gives message; would have to be repeated twice after waking.
one of the 4 means of communications b/w gods and mortals. The interpretation of bird/weather/animal signs. (Includes haruspicy, augur, auspices)
Etruscan and then Roman practice of taking omens by consulting entrails of newly-slaughtered animals or birds; particularly liver, heart, intestines; were interpreted as having knowledge given at the moment of death.
Auspices (augur)
Roman term for omens falling under the jurisdiction of the augurs (Roman religious official who interpreted divine responses to proposals or events based on omens such as weather signs, bird flights, etc.)
Stylized statue of Hermes used to mark boundaries by Athenians, typically consisting of a bearded male head topping a square pillar; on the pillar halfway down is an erect phallus (threatens to rape whoever trespasses); found at boundaries; show Hermes as a mature male
Escorter of souls of the dead from this world to the underworld (i.e. Hermes)
Ripping apart wild animals
Eating raw flesh
Staff decorated w/ ivy, vines or ribbons and topped w/ pine cone
Greater Dionysia
Spring festival of Greek tragedy (counterpart to the Lenaea (winter festival))
'god of two doors'; refers to the notion of a double-birth
the soul (in Latin, "anima")
'navel of the earth' found at Delphi (cult site of Apollo)
indigenous; arising from the earth itself; (i.e., Hesiod's Theogeny -instantaneous growth of humans from rocks/stones thrown to ground, turned into people)
A vindication of the justice of God in allowing evil to exist(i.e., myths of Eve, Pandora, and/or flood)
The attempt or tendency to reconcile two different sets of religious or philosophical beliefs; more particularly, in religious history, blending of forms of worship through incorporation of ritual, dogma, etc. from originally distinct cults
Hieros Gamos
Sacred marriage: a ritual reenactment of a divine union between male and female principles OR a mythic representation of such a union. (i.e., the marriage of Zeus and Hera)
"Hurler of Songs" from Boeotia, in central Greece (north of Athens); composed Theogony b/w 800 & 600 BCE; works in a tradition of orally transmitted poetry
Birth of the Gods
Works and Days
(Hesiod's other work. What else is there on this one?) Includes story of Prometheus/Pandora
wrote 'Metamorphoses'; introduced a divine agent; time creates Aither (upper air)
written by Ovid; introduced a divine agent; time creates Aither (upper air)
wrote Hippolytus (won first prize at Dionysia in 428 BCE).
The Bacchae
written by Euripides; Dionysus, Cadmus, Teirisias, Pentheus, Agave; Dionysus teaches Pentheus, Thebes a lesson for not worshipping him.
Theseus, Phaedra, Aphrodite, Hippolytus; Phaedra kills self, alledges rape; Hippolytus killed after Theseus appeals to Poseidon
6th century BCE philosopher; propounds theory of transmigration of souls; i.e., souls go from body to body; this theory adopted in modified form by others including Plato (who said that the souls were cleaned)
4th century BCE philosopher; argues that soul, like body, is made from atoms and perishes with the body
Aphrodite of Knidos
(famous statue. you know what it looks like and what it symbolizes.)
Artemis of Ephesus
Animals on frontispiece; numerous breast-like apendages; elaborate near-eastern headdress
Athena Parthenos
Enormous statue of Athena in the Parthenon; (completely destroyed several hundred years later); Chryselephantine; Parthenos = "virgin"
Creator of 'Aphrodite of Knidos'
Temple of Athena; built in Athens; housed Athena Parthenos statue
capital of Greece, essentially the cradle of civilization in 500-323 BCE
flat-topped rock forming "high-city" of Athens, on which Parthenon is located
temple of Zeus at Olympia
cult statue of Zeus there; 2/3 football field long; mjaor pictorial symbol is of his children; chryselephantine, by Pheidias
home to the Demeter/Kore mysteries; longest observation of cult in ancient world; Demeter wanders to Eleusis, is finally taken in there to rest (similar story to Leto at Delos).
Oracle for all of ancient Mediterranean world; contains omphalos, site of Pythian games (second to Olympic games in importance)
Greek city; (the Bacchae)
Earth goddess; from Chaos; produces first children asexually; mother to Pontos, Ouranos, titans (by Ouranos); wife to Ouranos.
the underworld; born of Chaos
Desire; born of Chaos
Who ruled the Golden Age?
darkness of Tartarus; born of Chaos
born of Chaos; w/ Erebus, gives birth to Aither
sky god: Heaven. Born of Gaia, married Gaia; father of Aphrodite, Kronos, Rheia, other Titans
born of Gaia alone; God of the Sea
born of Night when she became pregnant after mingling in love w/ Erebus
the upper atmosphere; born of Night (and Erebus?)
the lower atmosphere
one of the Titans (born of Gaia and Ouranos), father of the Oceanids & Achelous, husband of Tethys (by whom the Oceanids were born)
one of the Titans (born of Gaia and Ouranos), mother of the Oceanids (3,000 daughters), wife of Oceanus
one of the Titans (born of Gaia and Ouranos); is "last-born, wily"; castrates his father using sickle from Gaia; a sky-god; marries Rhea; father to Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon and Zeus. Devoured all these children, except Zeus; allied w/ Titans in fight against Zeus; lost the war.
Wife of Cronus; mother-goddess of Earth and fertility; conspired w/ Gaia and Ouranos for plan to keep Cronus from swallowing their last-born son (Zeus).
titan and consort of Zeus; has oracular powers; she and Prometheus were only Titans allied with Zeus in the Titanomachy. involved in story of Deucalion and Pyrrha
Born of the titan Hyperion and his mate Theia; brother to Selene and Eos. Sun god. Had son Phaethon (born by his mistress Clymene) who is given wish; Phaethon wishes to drive around his father's chariot; chariot hurtles down to earth; Zeus shatters the chariot (and Phaethon) with thunder & lightning.
goddess of the moon; daughter of Hyperion & Theia; once had a daughter by Zeus; she loved handsome youth Endymion (shepherd); night after night, she lay down beside him as he slept. Zeus granted Endymion perpetual sleep w/ perpetual youth.
Goddess of the Dawn (Roman: Aurora), born of Hyperion & Theia; rosy-fingered, saffron-robed; Aphrodite made Eos long perpetually for young mortals because she caught Ares in Eos' bed. Eos asked Zeus that her lover Tithonus be made immortal (but forgot to ask for perpetual youth), so he grew old. She tended to him (but avoided his bed) when he was older, and eventually she laid him in a room and closed the shining doors. (some say he was later turned into a grasshopper)
(see Helius.) son of Helius, flew chariot and couldn't control it, caused much destruction on the Earth and was killed when Zeus used thunder and lightning to destroy the chariot.
Shepherd, granted eternal sleep with perpetual youth to Endymion. This may be represented as a punishment because of Selene's continual sbsence from her duties int he heavens, or it may be the fulfillment of Selene's own wishes for her beloved.
Lover of Eos. Eos asked Zeus that her lover Tithonus be made immortal (but forgot to ask for perpetual youth), so he grew old. She tended to him (but avoided his bed) when he was older, and eventually she laid him in a room and closed the shining doors. (some say he was later turned into a grasshopper)
Brontes, Steropes, Arges; three sons of Ouranos and Ge, with one eye in the middle of their forehead; assistants of Hephaestus who forged the thunder and lightning bolts of Zeus; allied with Zeus in the Titanomachy
Hundred-Handed or Armed offspring of Ouranos and Gaia; Allied with Zeus in the Titanomachy; they hurled three hundred rocks and covered Titans with a cloud of missiles and sent them down far beneath the broad ways of the earth to Tartarus and bound them in harsh bonds.
Olympian gods
Zeus, Hera, Demeter, Hephaestus, Artemis, Athena, Aphrodite, Ares, Dionysus, Hermes, Poseidon, Apollo (formerly used to have Hestia instead of Dionysus)
Zeus, Demeter, Hestia, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, Hectonchires, Cyclopes, Themis and Prometheus v. Cronus, Atlas and remainder of Titans. Epic, ten-year battle
Fierce struggle, ended in imprisonment of giants under the earth, usually in volcanic regions where they betray their presence by the violence of their natures (i.e., under volcanoes)
Earth produced giants to challenge the new order of gods; also produced by blood of Uranus' genitals. Included Typhon, Enceladus, etc.
opposed Zeus in gigantomachy. son of Gaia and Tartarus. hundred heads and hundred serpents are attributes; was defeated by Zeus
condemned to hold up heavens on his shoulders for siding with Cronus in the Titanomachy; also involved with Heracles in story of getting apples.
In the Theogony, Prometheus tricks Zeus into accepting the worse of two sacrifices; Zeus retaliates w/ fire; Prometheus gives fire to man, and Zeus retaliates by giving man woman. Prometheus was a titan who sided with Zeus in the Titanomachy.
brother of Prometheus; accepted Pandora from Zeus; son of Iapetus; he forgot that Prometheus had told him never to accept a gift from Olympian Zeus but to send it back in case that in some way it turned out to be evil for mortals.
Ages of man:
5 ages of man - Golden, Silver, Bronze, Heroes, Iron (oldest to most recent)
Golden age of man:
oldest, ruled by Cronos, closest to Eden
Silver age of man:
immature, diseased, pay no honor to Gods, so Zeus destroys them
Bronze age of man:
warriors, did nothing but fight, made of metal, killed each other
Heroes age of man:
legendary figures of Trojan war and other epic tales
Iron age of man:
present. Immoral, do not honor virtue.
aetiological myth explaining the origin of women, evil; even more evil than Eve. concept of the 'jar/box' (container) to introduce females; woman always causes man to fall or decline
son of Prometheus, builds an ark to avoid the flood that ends the Bronze age; wife = Pyrrha; to later repopulate the earth, they threw rocks over their shoulder.
daughter of Epimetheus, husband builds an ark to avoid the flood that ends the Bronze age; husband = Deucalion; to later repopulate the earth, they threw rocks over their shoulder.
Zeus: epithets
son of Cronos, the thunderer
Zeus: attributes
(usually nude when active), bearded adult male, muscular, thunderbolt, eagle
Zeus: stories
Titanomachy; Gigantomachy; abducts Ganymede;
How do you suppliant someone?
Kneel, grab at the knee and beard, pull down on the beard
Hera: attributes
matronly, queenly, crown/staff/rod - function as a ruler; (goddess of women, marriage and childbirth)
Demeter: names/cult titles
De-meter (earth mother/barley mother); black Demeter; Demeter the fury (cult titles in Arcadia, where she is worshipped with Poseidon); 'The Two' = Demeter/Kore; Thesmophoros = lawgiver (cult title in Athens)
Cult title of Demeter in Athens (meaning "lawgiver")
Demeter: attributes
torch (looking for Kore), queenly female, turreted crown, sheet of grain/wheat, sceptre; (associated with walls of cities, goddess of both food and famine, fertility - doesn't need consort)
Demeter: children
Kore, Plutus (God of wealth, child of Demeter and Iasion)
Demeter: abduction of Persephone
Parallels w/ stories of Europa, Io, Leto, Dionysus. Figure of the mourning mother.
Eleusinian disciple of goddess who teaches mankind agriculture and the worship of Demeter. Also sometimes called Demophoon. Shown seated in chariot, drawn by snakes.
magical horse, child of Demeter and Poseidon
Thessalian mortal punished by hunger for violating grove sacred to Demeter
Demeter: other Italian agricultural deities
Pales: god of flocks; Robigo: god of rust, festival held right after festival of Pales; Vertumnus, associated w/ changing of agricultural seasons (husband of Pomona, nymph of the orchards; changes shape to try to get her to accept him)
Poseidon: attributes
trident, majestic, bearded, generally more severe and rough; (epithet: Earthshaker), often w/ horses and bulls;
Poseidon: family, stories and characteristics
married Amphitrite, was not particularly loyal; father of Cyclops, Polyphemus; earthshaker; lost to the goddess Athena in a contest for control of Athens; prone to stormy violence and anger; fell in love w/ Scylla, Amphitrite turned womens' genitals into monstrous area
Greek god of the underworld and his realm, son of Cronus and Rhea, husband of Persephone, (called Pluto by the Romans)
Goddess of the hearth and sacred fire; virgin goddess (resisted both Poseidon and Apollo); first-born of Cronus and Rhea;
goddess of youthful bloom; servant of the gods as well; becomes Heracles' bride eventually; cupbearer to the gods
prince of Troy, abducted by Zeus and taken to Olympus to be Zeus' cupbearer (father mourns, until he's told of Ganymede's bright future)
Aphrodite: characteristics & stories
typical Mediterranean fertility goddess; vain, capricious, sexually unfaithful, a gigantic troublemaker; story of Adonis - male vegetation god dies and is reborn; also, is in Hippolytus; adultery v. marriage; can be either very powerful or very comical & malicious (generally portrayed inconsistently)
Aphrodite: attributes
shell; rounded, soft features; often nude
Aphrodite: cult titles
Porne, harlot; Hetaira, courtesan
Athena: attributes
always some piece of armor; stately, slender female; shild w/ apotropaic Gorgon; peplos (robe/gown); generally androgenous
Athena: stories & characteristics
cruelty: stories of Arachne and Teiresias; helper goddess for heroes; war cult names: Polias, Poliexos (defender of citadels), Nike (victory), Pallas (brandishing a weapon); near-Eastern parallels
Babylonian goddess of love and war, whose consort, Tammuz, dies tragically young
divine artisian; god of creative fire and fire in-general; often linked with Athena for wisdom in arts and crafts; lame from birth; Dionysus brought him back to Olympus after Hera cast him down; center of worship in Lemnos; married to Aphrodite - story of Ares and the bed
god of war; father of Eros; unfaithful lover of Aphrodite; chariot-rider, golden-helmeted, shield bearer; story of Hephaestus & the bed; story of Dawn/Eos & Aphrodite's jealousy
9 muses, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (memory); name means 'the reminders'; Memory w/ divine help produces inspiration
3 fates - Clotho, Lachesis, Atropos - measure thread, cut off thread to bringlife to an end; daughters of Zeus and Themis
Dionysus: differences
sexually - very feminine and ambiguous; socially - acts in groups; origin - not actually clear that he's a Greek god
Dionysus: attributes
2-handled drinking cup, thyrsus, long, flowing feminine garments, feminine, often in groups, crown of ivy, sometimes has beard and sometimes not, rarely depicted by himself, if depicted w/ wild animals he is generally tame; soft, feminine features(god of wild vegetation/vegetable fertility; wine, theater)
Dionysus: names and cult titles
Dionysus/Bacchos; Baccchus/Liber; Bromios ('roarer'), 'Insewn' (referring to gestation in thigh of Zeus), Dithyrambos (ancient etymology: 'god of two doors' referring to double birth); Dios + Nys = "Zeus of Nysa"
Identified with Dionysus, his is the Orphic story of the birth by Zeus and Demeter/Kore that led to Hera having the Titans kill the child.
women maddened in service of Dionysus; practice sparagmos and omophagy;
Associated with Dionysus; always have erections, always chasing nymphs or maenads
Figures associated with Dionysus
Hermes, Silenius (drunk uncle figure), Nymphs, Satyrs/Silens, Maenads/Bacchants
Artemis: attributes and characteristics
huntress, fertility goddess/childbirth goddess; hitched-up tunic, half-masculinized but not androgenous; bow;(sometimes w/ crescent moon - i.e., Selene)
Artemis: identifications
Identified w/ Selene and Hecate
Stories of Artemis:
Actaeon - stumbled upon her bathing, turned into a stag, eaten by his own dogs; Calydonian boar hunt, sacrifice of Iphigenaia (last two I don't know about)
Apollo: attributes and characteristics
Idealized young man, never bearded, unsuccessful as lover (Hyacinth, Coronis, Marpessa, Cassandra, Daphne); seen as symbol of 'reason' in Neitzsche, as a triumph over chaos of primitive nature; always on the verge of becoming a mature man but never quite there, has lyre; he killed a snake and developed the oracle (patriarchy replacing matriarchy)
Name the expendable twin and his brother
Remus; Romulus
mother of Apollo and Artemis; wandering mother - wandered to Delos
Oceanid, alleged mother of Aphrodite
Swallowed by her lover Zeus, after she became pregnant. Name means "cunning." She is the mother of Athena.
loved by Zeus; destroyed by seeing him in an epiphany (lightning & fire); Zeus saved their unborn child, Dionysus; she is thus the mother of Dionysus
Nereid (mermaid), wife of Peleus and mother of Achilles; Zeus stuck her with Peleus to save his throne from a greater son.
Pygmalion's beloved; also, another Nereid loved by Polyphemus, for whom Polyphemus kills her lover Acis (whose flowing blood rebirths him (Acis) into a river god).
wife of Poseidon; mother of Triton. (Poseidon and Amphitrite play a Zeus-and-Hera-like role).
Cyclops, kills Acis in an act of wooing Acis' lover Galatea, and he becomes a river god (in a sort of rebirth)
Collective Unconscious (Carl Jung)
the shared associations and memories of all human beings, relected in the universal recognition of archetypes
father of Achilles; Thetis leaves him as soon as Achilles is born and he screws up the making of Achilles' immortality.
son of Poseidon and Amphitrite; conch shell; merman, trumpeter of the sea
goatlike god of the forests who invented the pan-pipe and lost in a contest with Apollo (lyre v. panpipe); erect phallus; sexual prowess
child of Pontus and Ge
becomes river god after incident with Polyphemus over Galatea
old man of the sea (like Nereus), who can foretell the future or change shape; (son of Poseidon and Amphitrite?)
tounges out, ugly; so terrifying in appearance that those who looked upon them were turned into stone
Gorgon, loved by Poseidon; mother of Pegasus; was mortal, and was eventually beheaded in her sleep by Perseus.
lovely attendants of Aphrodite
the "hours"; the Seasons, daughters of Zeus and Themis and attendants of Aphrodite
Trojan warrior; son of Aphrodite and Anchises; hero of Virgil's Aeneid
Trojan prince seduced by Aphrodite; father of Aeneas, hero of Virgil's Aenead
created and fell in love with his statue of Galatea, which Aphrodite brought to life.
Aphrodite's beloved, killed by a wild boar; a resurrection god; the Anemone flower sprang from the ground when it was sprinkled with Adonis' blood.
follower of Artemis; mated w/ Zeus, bore Arcas and was turned into a bear (became the 'Great Bear' constellation); Zeus tricked her into thinking he was Artemis, and impregnated her; Artemis turned Callisto into a bear, and Zeus put Callisto into the sky
said she was superior to Leto; Apollo killed Niobe's sons, and Artemis killed the daughters
see story w/ Artemis
prophetess of Apollo at Delphi (sybil); she uttered the responses of the god.
a hunter and lover (of Eos) who was turned into a constellation with his dog Sirius; also seen by Odysseus in the Underworld (he was slain by Artemis?)
Phallic god of gardens; son of Aphrodite; GIANT erect phallus, sometimes shown making offerings to it.
Aphrodite jealous of Psyche's beauty; asked Eros to make her fall in love w/ ugliest man on earth; instead Eros fell in love w/ her; they made love in secret in dark caves where she could not see who he was; she screwed this up, then she later looked in box to see Persephone's beauty in a box, which ends up killing her. Eros went and got her, and made her immortal and married her.
drunk teacher and faithful companion to Dionysus; told King Midas the best thing would for a person to never be born
female nature entities
also called Kore; pig; pomegranate; underworld, stands for unfertilized woman going under earth and coming up fertilized in semi-annual cycle. The Maiden. Wife to Hades, was picking flowers in a meadow when abducted and raped
killed after refusing Phaedra's advances; Phaedra hanged self, left note implicating Hippolytus in the rape. Theseus appealed to Poseidon, who had Hippolytus' horses spooked and then they dragged Hippolytus to death.
wife of Theseus in Hippolytus; she has the hots for Hippolytus, but eventually kills herself and frames him
Accusatory king in Hippolytus. Has his son cursed, soon after becomes repentant
Mother of Pentheus, is entranced into becoming a Menaed, then practices sparagmos on her son and is later horrified to find herself holding...his...HEAD!
grandfather of Pentheus and former king of Thebes
Theban priest and prophet (consider re-looking up his role in the Bacchae). BLIND!
former Cretan king; judge in the Underworld
former Cretan king; judge in the Underworld
legendary poet of Thrace, with magical ability to charm plants and animals; reputed author of sacred books centering on death and rebirth of Dionysus, also called Zagreus. Cult centered around writings, not rituals; worshippers take writings into the tomb with them.
Eleusinian Mysteries
annual initiation ceremonies for the cult of Demeter/Kore at Eleusis
autochthonus Persian god of light; kills the bull - bull is kind of his double - thus, when bull's blood fertilizes the earth, - bingo: autochthony
Ancient Egyptian goddess, sister-wife of Osiris, mother of Horus; she has to go find the pieces of Osiris' body and put it back together; she uses an ear of grain for the phallus, and then they sire a child; she becomes a universal goddess, incorporating features of many other gods.
an underworld god, killed by his enemy Set and restored to life by Isis.
Greek word for worshippers admitted to such rites
Mystery cult
a cult characterized by rites which were secret except to duly initiated worshippers
child sired by Osiris and Isis after Osiris' little accident.
River Styx
river forming boundary between earth and the underworld. people would make oaths on it that were binding.
sacred objects
things enacted/done
things said
things revealed
son of Erebus and Night; ferryman for Hades, people had to pay to ride with him.
three-headed dog of the underworld
king punished in the underworld, had to roll a huge rock up a hill for all eternity
sacrificed his own son as food to the gods; was punished with food and water he could never reach
dread daughters of Earth or Night, avengers of blood guilt, and punishers of sinners in the Underworld
Hermes: attributes & characteristics
young male, winged cap and sandals, rod with snakes (caduceus); Psychopompous; thief and trickster; associated w/ trade, has temple often in the marketplace (agora); known as the Argeiphontes (that is, 'Slayer of Argus')
Hermes: identifications
Identified w/ Dionysus
guarded Io, cadeucus allows Hermes to put Argus to sleep; then Hermes kills him. Argus had 100 eyes.
personification of rainbow. also a messenger of the god
Science and methodology of interpretation
Oracle at Delphi
you could ask specific questions of Apollo, you'd be given answer in hexameter verse (usually w/ a double meaning)
Oracle at Dodona
Zeus' oracle; sacred trees you could only ask yes/no questions to.