Saturday, January 12, 2013
Book Review of Greek Myths Vol I by Robert Graves Part 3.9
Name of Book: The Greek Myths Vol I
Publisher: Pelican book
Year it was published: 1955
"My method has been to assemble in harmonious narrative all the scattered elements of each myth, supported by little-known variants which may help to determine the meaning, and to answer all questions that arise, as best I can, in anthropological or historical terms. " (22)
25. Athene's Nature and Deeds
Issue: Athene is the inventor of sciences, numbers and others. She is also described as merciful and gives compensation if she has harmed or slighted someone. She is a virgin goddess just like Hestia and Artemis. Poseidon had a practical joke where he told Hephaestus that Athene had hoped violent love would be made to her and although Athene did not lose virginity, she had a child named Erichthoius whom she has asked Cecrops and his family to guard, to which they agreed. To make up for destruction of family due to Hermes, she created Mount Lycabettus as extra fortification. There is also a jealousy story of Arachne and of Athene turning her into a spider when her weaving was declared far more beautiful than Athene's.
26. Pan's Nature and Deeds
Issue: It's possible that Hermes was his father, although supposedly the fathers and mothers of Pan are numerous. He mainly tried to seduce or else seduced numerous nymphs and women and many gods exploited his powers. Pan has also died.
27. Dionysus's Nature and Deeds
Issue: He commits many murders and creates the wine that causes madness among the many of his followers. He is also a resurrected god and has found cities and did his best to be ahead. To those that don't recognize him as a god, bad things happen, such as eating infants and whatnot. At Naxos he meets up with Ariadne, marries her and the two have many sons together. He also rescued his mother Semele and introduced her as Thyone. Hera remains angry but resigned.
Issue: He's a famous and well known musician known to literally move the trees and waters and rocks and so forth. He participated with Argonauts and on his return married either Eurydice/ Agriope and lived in Thrace. He goes to the underworld, charms everyone and wins Eurydice back on one condition; that he does not glance back at her. He disobeys the rule and she is lost to him forever. He neglected to honor Dionysus and preached that Apollo is the greatest of all gods. Dionysus's followers, Maenads, tore him limb from limb. The Muses collected his limbs and buried them at Leibethra. There is also possibility that Orpheus preached homosexual love and angered Aphrodite.
Issue: He was a beautiful youth and happened to be beloved by Zeus and possibly by Eos. He is Zeus's cup-bearer and his constellation is a water carrier. Hera was insulted.
Issue: Shortly before Persephone was abducted to the Underworld, Zeus fathered Zagreus on her. The Titans saw him, tore him apart and later on Athene made him immortal. His bones are buried at Delphi, and Zeus struck Titans dead with thunderbolts.
31. The Gods of the Underworld
Issue: The geography of the underworld of Greece, such as rivers, the Asphodel fields where Orion hunts, the different rivers and their functions, and three versions of heaven; Asphodel Meadows for neutrality, Tartarus for evil, and Elysium fields for virtuous. Also briefly describes the relationship of Hades and Persephone and other inhabitants of the Underworld.
32. Tyche and Nemesis
Issue: Tyche is a daughter of Zeus and is the goddess of chance or luck, while Nemesis is goddess of vengeance and is beautiful and is a daughter of Oceanus. Supposedly Helen of Troy is Nemesis's daughter.
33. The Children of the Sea
Issue: Various denizens of the sea such as Nereids, Phorcids, Gorgons, Graeae and so forth and a brief outline of their functions and some adventures.
34. The Children of Echidne
Issue: Echidne giving birth to various monsters such as Cerberus, Hydra, Chimaera and others to Typhon, a monster. There also was an incest going on between her and Orthrus whom she gave Sphinx and Nemean Lion.
35. The Giants' Revolt
Issue: Twenty four giants became enraged that Titans were confined to hell, thus they planned an assault on heaven. Hera prophecied that only Heracles will be able stop them, and something about the herb. A battle began, with gods winning and giants being dealt a death blow by Heracles. Silenus claimed to have participated but it may be have been a falsehood.
Issue: Due to destruction of giants, Mother Earth slept with Tartarus and thus begotten Typhon, a terrible monster whom gods and goddesses were afraid of and disguised themselves as animals to escape. Athene taunted Zeus into a battle and it was a battle for the ages, until Zeus wounded him and had a mountain crush down on him, causing him a certain death.
To be continued...