Thursday, February 7, 2013

Book Review of Greek Myths Vol I by Robert Graves Part 6.9

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)

61. Lamia

Issue: Daughter of Belus who ruled Libya. Zeus gave her a talent of plucking out her eyes at will. Almost all of children except Scylla were destroyed by Hera and in the end she became a monster by destroying others' children and her face became a nightmarish mask. She's part of Empusae company.

62. Leda

Issue: Story of the origins of Helen and her sister and brothers; one that Zeus loved Nemesis, ravaged her and various children might have sprung out from the egg, and that Leda was the one who raised these children. Most common myth is Leda actually bearing the egg and Zeus ravaging her.

63. Ixion

Issue: Son of Phlegyas the Lapith king married Dia who's daughter of Eioneus. Injured the father in law, all gods but Zeus did not forgive him. Zeus invited him to dine, but Ixion planned on seducing Hera. Zeus read his intentions, created false Hera who became Nephele and bore him Centaurus who sired horse-centaurs on Magnesian Mares. Eventually Cheiron descended from that line.

64. Endymion

Issue: Son of Zeus and Nymph Calyce. By a mortal wife with numerous wives he had four sons, while with Selene who loved him he had fifty daughters. Story of how Selene saw him and fell in love with him. He went into a sleep he never awoke from. His sons include Epeius and Aetolus.

65. Pygmalion and Galatea

Issue: Pygmalion is son of Belus fell in love with Aphrodite who refused to lie with him, thus he created a statue of her and Aphrodite made it come alive. He married the statue and together the two had Paphus and Metharme.

66. Aeacus

Issue: River god Asopus who had numerous parents married Metope and had two sons and twelve to twenty daughters who were carried off or ravished by Zeus, Poseidon or Apollo. Asopus got injured by Zeus trying to rescue his youngest daughter. Aegina had a son named Aeacus. Hera discovered these news and vowed to destroy where Aegina stayed by plague and pestilence. Helped bring Myrmidons to life thanks to Zeus. Stories of Aeacus as a person. After the death, Aeacus became one of the Judges in Tartarus.

67. Sisyphus

Issue:  Son Aeolus, married Merope who is Atlas's daughter. Had Glaucus, Ornytion and Sinon. A neighbor Autolycus always stole his cattle, thus he caught the thief in the act and seduced Anticleia who bore Odysseus. Founded Ephyra aka Corinth. More stories about his protection of Corinth as well as how he tricked Hades into being handcuffed. His divine punishment for his life is to roll the rock up the hill, but it always falls back.

68. Salmoneus and Tyro

Issue: Salmnoneus a son or grandson of Aeous and Enarete. Reigned in Thessaly. Built city of Salmonia near river Enipeus. Claimed he was Zeus. Alcidice was his wife and she died in childbirth. Tyro is the daughter. She bore two sons to Sisyphus but they were killed by Sidero. She fell in love with river god Enipeus who did not return her affection. Poseidon took advantage of her and promised her twins. Left twins on a mountain. The boys were named Pelias and Neleus. Sidero was struck down. Tyro married Cretheus whom she bore Aeson who later fathered Jason. Later on exile, then Neleus finds his own city. Twelve of Neleus's children except Nestor were killed by Heracles.

69. Alcestis

Issue: Pelias's daughter. Pelias didn't want to marry her off, thus a man must yoke a wild boar and a lion to his chariot and drive them around the race course. Admetus asked Apollo for help. Admetus won and married Alcestis. Forgot to sacrifice to Artemis, but Apollo intervened and on the day when he should die, he'll be spared if another dies willingly for him. Alcestis sacrificed herself but Persephone sent her up. An alternative ending is given.

70. Athamas

Issue: Brother of Sisyphus and Salmoneus ruled in Boeotia. Married Nephele who gave him Phrixus and Leucon and Helle. Fell in love with Ino daughter of Cadmus and had Learchus and Melicertes. Nephele complained to Hera but it did little good. Story of parched corn so harvest would fail. Land would regain vigor if Phrixus was to die. Heracles tried to rescue him but couldn't, until a golden ram came by. Helle fell and died. Phrixus was safe and sacrificed ram to Zeus. Athamas became mad, killed Learchus and might have killed Ino if she had not drowned herself and Melicertes in a sea. Ino became goddess Leucothea and Melicertes became god Palaemon. Another similar story to previous one.

71. The Mares of Glaucus

Issue:  Son of Sisyphus and Merope, father of Bellerophon. He refused to let mares brood due to hopes of winning the contest. Zeus allowed Aphrodite to do what she wanted, and she conspired to have Glaucus possibly eaten by horses, Various endings and possibilities.

72. Melampus

Issue: Cretheus's grandson. Was granted prophecy powers. Brother to Bias. Both fell in love with a cousin. Also learned prophecy through various menas. Became a prisoner to a King whom he wanted to drive off cattle from. Imprisoned for a year. Due to him understanding animals, Phylacus agreed to grant him cattle and freedom of he can help cure Iphiclus the son of impotency. The boy was cured and soon got a named Podarces. Melampus got Pero but gave her to Bias instead. Pero died, the brothers cure women of madness and married them.

To be Continued...

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