Thursday, December 27, 2012

Book Review of Greek Myths Vol I by Robert Graves Part 1.9

General Information:

Name of Book: The Greek Myths

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)

1. The Pelasgian Creation Myth

Issue: The creation of the world by Eurynome, Ophion and introduction of Titans and planets as well as the first man by name of Pelasgus who taught people to make huts feed upon acorns and sew pig-skin tunics. Very similar to Genesis in Torah.

2. The Homeric and Orphic Creation Myths

Issue: A different creation myth, this one stating that Tethys was mother of all of Oceanus' children, or that Night and Wind laid an egg from which Eros hatched and set everything in motion.

3. The Olympian Creation Myth

Issue: Mother Earth emerges from Chaos, and Chaos impregnates her with Uranus as well as other semi-human children who bore children that Odysseus encountered as well as bearing grass, beasts, flowers and so on.

4. Two Philosophical Creation Myths

Issue: There's two different types of myths: one is basically kind of an incest myth with everyone sleeping with everyone and begetting bad and good things, but no man until Athene asks Prometheus to create them, while another myth attributes every creation to a sort of god.

5. The Five Ages of Man

Issue: Perhaps Prometheus didn't create men, but instead Earth bore them spontaneously, and Alalcomeneus was first to appear. There are also five different races of men such as golden which are best of the best, silver, the second best, brazen which sounded horrible, another brazen race which sounded better and from which myths of Thebes and Argonauts and Trojan War spring from, and last but not least iron of which are horrible and are modern.

6. The Castration of Uranus

Issue:  Uranus fathered Titans upon Earth after throwing Cyclopes into Tartarus. Mother Earth, not happy, asked Titans to attack their father, which they had done so. She armed Cronus with a sickle, causing him to castrate Uranus. When blood landed on Earth, Erinnyes and nymphs known as Meliae sprang from blood. Cronus then took Rhea as his wife.

7.The Dethronement of Cronus

Issue: When Cronus and Rhea got married, Mother Earth, along with Uranus, made a prophecy that one of his own children would dethrone him. Cronus then began to swallow his own children. When Rhea bore Zeus, she hid him away and then helped him get revenge when he became a young man. Cronus was defeated and Zeus became the victor.

8. The Birth of Athene

Issue: Pelasgians claim that Athene was born beside Lake Tritonis and was nurtured by nymphs. She has also killed a friend by accident took Pallas's name before hr own one.

9. Zeus and Metis

Issue: First there are mentions of possible fathers for Athene, but the priests tell of a different story of Zeus lusting after Metis and then swallowing her and then giving birth to the daughter.

10. The Fates

Issue: The discussion and debate of the Fates along with what they can or cannot do and their possible origin of either being Necessity's daughters or daughters of Erebus and Night.

11. The Birth of Aphrodite

Issue: The possible origins of Aphrodite; that she rose naked from the foam of the sea, or that she was daughter of Uranus or that she was daughter of Zeus and Dione or daughter of either Oceanus and Tethys.

12. Hera and Her Children

Issue: Brief history of beginning of Zeus's and Hera's marriage, as well as their possible children in Ares, Hephaestus and Hebe, although the children could also come from different fathers.

To be continued...

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