Friday, February 1, 2013
Book Review of Greek Myths Vol I by Robert Graves Part 5.9
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)
Issue:King Cercyon who was son of Hephaestus had a daughter named Alope. Alope was seduced by Poseidon and bore a child named Hippothous whom she tried to kill twice without success. First time two shepherds argued about the birth, second time he was taken and reared. Theseus ended up killing Cercyon and Hippothous ruled the throne. Alope died in prison, but possibly Poseidon transformed her into a spring bearing her name.
Issue: Coronis is daughter of Phlegyas, King of Lapiths who was Ixion's brother. She becomes Apollo's lover and harbors a passion for Ischys who was son of Elatus, despite her being pregnant, both slept with one another. Story of the curse of the crow. Apollo asks Artemis to kill Coronis which she does, regrets his actions and rescues the child whom he called Asclepius and gave him to Cheiron to raise. There Asclepius learned medicine and whatnot. Another origin of Asclepius. Founder of medicine. Among the dead were raised Lycurgus, Capaneus and Tyndareus, as well as an attempt on Orion. Zeus killed him then restored him to life. More origin stories about him. Asclepius fathered Podaleirius and Machaon who looked after Greeks during the Trojan War.
51. The Oracles
Issue: Dodonian Zeus are eldest oracles. Origin stories of Delphic Oracle, that of belonging to Mother Earth and later on belonging to Apollo who got it through mysterious means as well as what the various shrines were made of, and different things the oracles do. More oracles of gods and mortals follow. A description of oracle of Trophonius follows.
52. The Alphabet
Issue: Various invetors of the alphabet as well as the possible creators like the Three Fates or Io including Palamedes, Hermes. Also talks of where the alphabet traveled to.
53. The Dactyls
Issue: The Dactyls' origins. The female names are not known, while the names of the men Heracles, Paeonius, Epimedes, Iasius, Acesidas. The men also created Olympic games while women taught Orpheus various mysteries. Three oldest brothers were Acmon, Damnameneus and Celmis.
54. The Telchines
Issue: They're children of the sea and came from Rhodes. Founded various cities before coming to Crete. Zeus wanted to destroy them and did so despite Athene's warning and them running away.
55. The Empusae
Issue: Children of Hecate and are demons. They like to scare visitors. They are shapeshifters and often end up killing men.
Issue: Daughter of River-god Inachus. Zeus fell in love with her. When Hera found out about it, Io became a white cow which Hera claimed as hers. Argus looked after. Hermes killed Argus and released Io. Io traveled to various places, until in Egypt Zeus restored her. She married Telegonus and gave birth to Zeus's son named Epaphus. Later Epaphus had a daughter named Libya who bore Agenor and Belus to Poseidon. Also various endings are given about Io.
Issue: First man to found as well as people a market town. Was Io's brother. Son of Inachus and Melia. Discovered use of fire thanks to Prometheus. Married Nymph Cerdo and Peloponnese as well as started Hera worship. Had Pelasgus, Iasus and Agenor as well as Car who founded Megara.
58. Europe and Cadmus
Issue: Agenor, Libya's son by Poseidon settled Canaan then married Telephassa who gave him Cadmus, Phoenix, Cilix, Thasus, Phineus and a daughter Europe. Zeus fell in love with Europe disguised himself as a bull, took her away and she broe him Minos, Rhadamanthys and Sarpedon. Various fates for the sons due to Europe's kidnapping. Cadmus and Telephassa went to Rhodes where she died and he was told to give up his search. He founded Onga which might be either Sparta or Athens and killed a great serpent as well as helped Sparti come alive.
59. Cadmus and Harmonia
Issue: After eight years Cadmus marries Ahprodite's and Ares's daughter named Harmonia. Olympians attend the mortal wedding. Great gifts were presented, including the necklace. Cadmus gives throne to Pentheus whom Agave borne to Echion. Pentheus was killed by his mother, Dionysus foretold that the two would be leaders of barbarians and eventually they would be turned to serpents, which is what happened to them.
60. Belus and the Danaids
Issue: Belus is son of Libya by Poseidon. Ruled over Chemmis in Thebaid. He had a wife Anchinoe who gave Aegyptus and Danaus as well as Cepheus. Due to quarreling, brothers wanted to try mass wedding. Danaus suspected something amiss, learned that his brother planned on killing him and his daughters, thus they traveled to various cities until Danaus became King of Argos. Brief story of Amymone. Sons of Aegyptus found them ,begged to marry girls, Danaus refused, sons laid siege to Argos. He agreed to marry off the daughters and couples were chosen quickly. THe daughters kill the husbands, but Hypermenstra spares Lynceus. Two remain married and eventually Lynceus becomes king and other sisters are married once more.
To be continued...