Friday, January 25, 2013

Book Review of Greek Myths Vol I by Robert Graves Part 4.9

General Information:


Name of Book: The Greek Myths Vol I

ISBN: 0-14-020508-X

Publisher: Pelican book

Year it was published: 1955

Overall theme:

"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)

37. The Aloeids

Issue: Iphimedeia, who was a daughter of Triops, fell in love with Poseidon and got herself with twin sons named Ephialtes adn Otus. Later she married Aloeus. The boys began a war against Olympus, captured Ares, (there was a prophecy that none could kill them,) and Artemis agreed to submit them. She appeared as a doe, and the brothers began to argue and killed one another with a javelin.

38. Deucalion's Flood

Issue: Pelasgus had son named Lycaon who instituted worship of Zeus, but sacrificed a boy to him. Zeus transformed him into a wolf. Lycaon's sons had also done horrible things, including serving Nyctimus to Zeus who wasn't fooled. In response, a flood came, but Deucalion, son of Prometheus, and his wife Pyrrha, built an ark and survived the flood. They wanted for mankind to be renewed and Zeus complied with their wish by asking them to throw the bones of mother (Earth) behind them. The rocks became either men or women. Megarus, a son of Zeus, was also a survivor, alonb with Cerambus of Pelion, and possibly even inhabitants of Parnassus. The flood was for aught since such things continued. Minor genealogy of Deucalion, that he's brother to Cretan Ariade, and father of Orestheus, Amphictyon and Hellen.

39. Atlas and Prometheus

Issue: Creator of mankind and son of either Eurymedon or Iapetus by Clymene. His brothers include Epimetheus, Atlas and Menoetius. Atlas was ruler of Atlantis. Later Atlantis sank and sea became unnavigable. Later on Atlas and Menoetius joined Cronus in war against Olympian gods. Menoetius was killed with Zeus's thunderbolt, but Atlas was spared and continued to support Heaven. He's the father of Pleiades, Hyades and Hesperides. Prometheus and Epithemeus joined Zeus in fight. Athene taught Prometheus everything she knew, and he passed gifts down to mankind which caused Zeus to be angry. Dispute over sacrificial portions, men left without fire. Prometheus goes to Athene for admittance, which she agreed, he takes fire and gives it to mankind. As a revenge, Zeus asked others to create Pandora and she is sent to Epimetheus, but he refused the gift. Zeus chained Prometheus, and a vulture eats his liver all the time. Epimetheus marries Pandora, she opens the jar which they were ordered to keep closed and Spites were released, all but hope.

40. Eos

Issue: Duties of Eos, which is to announce her brother Helius and then turn into Hemera and then when she becomes Hespera, they made it safely to Ocean. Aphrodite cursed her for constant longing towards young mortals and she had countless lovers. A minor adventure of her carrying of Tithonus and forgetting to ask Zeus for youth to come with immortality until he became cicada tree.

41. Orion

Issue: Orion was the son of Poseidon and Euryale and was in love with Merope who was daughter of Oenopion and son of Dionysus. In order to win her hand, he was asked to get rid of all the bad monsters, which he does, but Oenopion is in love with Merope himself and refuses to give her up. Oenopinion blinded him due to Orion raping Merope and Eos fell in love with him and he regained his sight. Orion tried to avenge himself, failed but Artemis who convinced him to abandon revenge and come hunting with her. Orion was two timing Eos and Artemis which caused Apollo to go to Mother Earth so that a giant scorpion could chase after him. Apollo asked Artemis to shoot an object, and she, not knowing it was Orion, did so and killed him. Asclepius tried to revive him but got shot by Zeus's thunderbolt, and he along with scorpio became a constellation. Included also an account of Pleiades and how he got his name.

42. Helius

Issue: His mother is either Euryphaessa or Theia, and his father the Titan Hyperion. His siblings are Selene and Eos. He drives a chariot across heavens and sails home along Ocean stream. He can see everything that happens, but isn't observant. His islands include Sicily, Erytheia and Rhodes. When Zeus allotted land, he forgot to include Helius, and Helius politely asked for new island, which Zeus gave. Brief history account of Rhodes, that Helius fathered seven sons and one daughter on Nymph Rhode. Also includes the myth of Phaethon and how he nearly destroyed the Earth and he died and sisters changed into trees.

43. The Sons of Hellen

Issue: Son of Deucalion, married Orseis and fathered Aeolus. Also had Dorus who founded Dorian community, Xunthus had Ion and Achaeus. Aeolians, Achaeans, Ionians and Dorians all descend from Hellen. Aeolus got Thea or Thetis with child and she had a daughter named Arne. Arne was seduced by Poseidon and had Aeolus and Boeotus. Theano, Metapontus's wife "had" Boeotus and Aeolus. Later on Theano had other children and grew jealous of Aeolus and Boeotus. Aeolus and Boeotus killed their brothers with help of Poseidon and Theano killed herself. They rescued their mother and somehow, Metapontus learned that Theano deceived him and he married Arne and adopted boys as his own. Metapontus tried to marry later on, but Aeolus and Boeotus killed the new queen Autolyte and fled. They then took took refuge with grandfather Aeolus. The grandson Aeolus took possession of seven Aeolian Islands and had six sons and six daughters who started to sleep with one another. He banished his sons away and Zeus gave him winds to guard and even seated him on a throne with Cave of Winds.

44. Ion

Issue: Erechtheus had a daughter named Creusa who was wife to Xunthus and she slept with Apollo and gave birth to a son named Ion whom Apollo spirited away to Delphi. Xunthus had no children and went to ask how to get one, where he was told that first person who would greet him, would be his son, which turned out to be Ion. Xunthus thought he slept with a Maenead. Creusa became jealous, tried to kill Ion without success, then it was revealed that he was hers and Apollo's son but truth must not be told to Xunthus. Later on though, Xunthus procured Dorus and Achaeus from Creusa. Ion married Helice and became King of Athens. The four occupational classes are named after the sons borne to him by Helice.

45. Alcyone and Ceyx

Issue: Brief myth of Alcyone who was daughter of Aeolus, guaridan of winds and Aegiale. She married Ceyx who was son of the Morning-star and one time they compared themselves to Zeus and Hera who created a thunderstorm that killed Ceyx. She jumped off into the sea and some god transformed both her and him into kingfishers where winds don't blow for seven days before winter solstice and seven days after winter solstice.

46. Tereus

Issue: A son of Ares who ruled over Thracians, was a mediator in a boundary dispute that included Pandion who happened to be father of Butes and Erechtheus. He married his daughter Procne who gave him a son named Itys. Unfortunately he also fell in love with Philomela, and locked away Procne and cut out her tongue.  He also told Pandion that Procne was dead. He raped Philomela, and she learned of deceit. Itys was killed by his mother and served to his father who ate him. Upon learning of this, he tries to kill the sisters unsuccessfully and the three become different birds.

47. Erechtheus and Eumolpus

Issue: Pandion died of grief when he learned what happened to Procne, Philomela and Itys. Moves to Erechtehus and his offspring of four sons and seven daughters. Poseidon loved Chione who was Oreithyia's daughter by Boreas. Eumolpus was also born but was cast into the sea lest Boreas becomes angry. He eventually becomes a priest of Mysteries of Demeter and Persephone and received throne of Thrace, as well as controlf of Eleusis. Due to war later on, Erechtheus sacrifices Otionia, although Protogoia and Pandora kill themselves as well. Ion leads Athenians to victory and Eleusinians become their subjects in everything. Erectheus becomes destroyed either by Zeus or Poseidon, and Ion reigns after Erechtheus.

48. Boreas

Issue: Son of Astraeus and Eos and brother of South and West winds who ravished Oreithyia who is the daughter of Erectheus and Praxithea. He tried to marry her without success but couldn't. She bears him twin sons named Calais and Zetes, as well as two daughters Chione and Cleopatra. Brief adventure of him fathering foals to horses and how Athenians see him.

To be continued...

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