Monday, February 11, 2013

Book Review of Greek Myths Vol I by Robert Graves Part 7.9

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)

73. Perseus 

Issue: Abas is grandson of Danaus. Married Aglaia who had twin sons named Proetus and Acrisius. The brothers hated each other, had a war, no clear advantage, kingdom was divided between them. Acrisius wanted sons, but was told no more sons, only a grandson that would kill him. He imprisoned the daughter, but Zeus found her and made her pregnant. Acrisus didn't believe Zeus was father, threw Danae and Perseus to sea. A fisherman found them and they began to live with Polydectes. Perseus agreed to contribute Gorgon Medusa's head. Hermes and Athene helped Perseus out. Medsua was killed, Pegasus and Chrysaor sprang from her dead body. Perseus rescued Andromeda on condition that she would become his wife. Andromeda's parents became constellations. Later on Perseus sailed to a king's funeral, and accidentally killed his grandfather by a disc throw. Eventually kingdom was reunited. Alternative account is given as well as brief history of Medusa.

74. The Rival Twins

Issue: Male lien of Polycaon's House died out. Periers son of Aeolus became king and married Perseus's daughter Gorgophone. He died, and Gorgophone remarried to Oebalus the Spartan. Aphareus and Leucippus were Perieres' son, while Tyndareus and Icarius were Oebalus's sons. Tyndareus married Leda, daughter of King Thestius in Aetolia and had Castor and Clytaenestra while also bearing Helen and Polydeuces to Zeus. Aphareus married his half sister Irene and had Idas and Lynceus though Idas was Poseidon's son. Idas and Lynceus were engaged to cousins, but Castor and Polydeuces carried them and had children by them. Both sets of twins were devoted to one another. Idas fell in love with Marpessa, as well as Apollo and carried her away. Both married. Idas and Lynceus were Calydonian hunters as well as they sailed in Argo. Eventually both of sets of twins killed and wounded one another. Polydeuces begged to die too, and the twins then alternated between heaven and underworld everyday. Brief tales of after the death of twins.

75. Bellerophon

Issue: Bellerophon is son of Glaucus and grandson of Sisyphus. Killed Bellerus and his own brother fled to Proetus king of Tiryns. Anteia Proetus's wife fell in love with him. He rejected her, but she still cried rape, Proetus believed her and sent Bellerophon off to be killed. Was advised to capture and tame Pegasus. Killed the chimera. Also had numerous adventures afterwards. Eventually was given Philonoe to marry, who was Iobates' daughter. Dared tried to fly to where Zeus resides, and became blind and cursed, avoiding men until death.

76. Antiope

Issue: Daughter of Nycteus, niece of Lycus. Seduced by Zeus and gave birth to Amphion and Zethus. Refused to shelter her, but later rescued her. Other accounts of Antiope. Future of Amphion and Zethus is given, one is Niobe's children were shot by Apollo and Artemis and so forth.

77. Niobe

Issue: Sister of Pelops, married Amphion and gave him seven sons and seven daughters. She said bad things about Leto. Teiresias's daughter warned others to placate Leto. Niobe interrupted the worship and again became boastful. Five children have died except Amyclas and Meliboea. Another account says none of the children survived, even Amphion whom others mourned. None mourned for Niobe except for Pelops.

78. Caenis and Caeneus

Issue: Poseidon seduced Caenis who is the daughter of Elatus and asked her to name a gift. She asked to become a warrior and she became Caeneus and even had a son named Coronus whom Heracles killed. Asked others to sacrifice to her. Zeus heard of it and had Centaurs seek her and kill her.

79. Erigone

Issue: Icarius's daughter. He is killed by men who didn't water down the wine. Erigone hung herself and prayed that women of Athens should suffer same fate as hers while Icarius remained unavenged. Many girls killed themselves, the killers were found and brought to justice while a Vintage Festival was instituted.

80. The Calydonian Boar

Issue: Oeneus married Althaea who bore him Toxeus and Meleager who might have been Ares's son. Fates told mother he could live for as long as a particular firebrand would be unburned. Oeneus offends Artemis who sends a huge boar. He asks for help. Many answered the call, including Atalanta. Many except Meleager were not happy for her to be there. Many were killed, and eventually the boar was killed. He wanted for Atalanta to have fur but his uncles said no, and thus Meleager killed them. Althaea was not happy, she began to burn the brand and killed Meleager that way. Then she and others hung themselves. Meanwhile Atalanta became reconciled to her father, but didn't want to marry. Melanion won her hand. Various strands are mentioned. The two become lions though.

81. Telamon and Peleus

Issue: Sons of Aeacus and Endeis. Phocus was youngest and favorite of Aeacus. The two brothers killed Phocus. Telamon plead not guilty but father didn't believe him. He married Glauce and became king ot Cychreus's throne. Cychreus is son of Poseidon and Salamis. WHen Glauce died, Telamon married Periboea of Athens, who's a grandaughter of Pelops. She bore Great Ajax and Hesione who is daughter of Laomedon who bore Teucer. Peleus fled to court of Actor. Eurytion purified him, and Polymela married him. Cretheis fell in love with Peleus, tried to seduce, and was cause of Polymela's death. More adventures and near death of Peleus. He gets married to Thetis. Wedding was splendid, almost all gods and goddesses attended except Eris, who threw the golden apple towards the goddesses but was intervened by Peleus. Also became King of the Myrmidons. She had six sons whom she made immortal, except Achilles whom Peleus snatched away. Eventually Peleus dies after Trojan War debacle.

82. Aristaeus

Issue: Son of Cyrene, grandson of Creusa and Peneis. Had Aristaeus, Idmon the Seer. Also lay with Ares and bore him Thracian Diomedes who owned man eating mares. Learned many things, including medicine. Married Autonoe who bore him Actaeon and Macris. Wanted to know why his bees, went to Proteus and learned of Eurydice's death. Got new bees. Had more adventures but eventually disappeared and others think of him as god.

83. Midas

Issue:  son of Great Goddess of Ida was a pleasure loving King. Found Silenus sleeping, and then told Midas a lot of fascinating tales. Midas entertained him then escorted him to Dionysus. Midas asked for golden touch. Dionysus asked him to visit Pactolus River and golden touch was removed. Was also adopted by King Gordius. Also attended the contest between Apollo and Marsyas. Apollo punished Midas with ass's ears. Died by drinking bull's blood.

84. Cleobis and Biton

Issue: Two young Argives were son's of Hera's priestess. Drove sacred chariot for 500 miles, mother wanted the best gift, but Hera gave them death instead. Same thing happened to Agamedes and Trophonius who were sons of Erginus.

To be continued...

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