Thursday, February 21, 2013

Book Review of Greek Myths Vol I by Robert Graves Part 8.9

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)

85. Narcissus

Issue: Son of Nymph Leiriope and Cephisus. He grew up to be a captivating youth and broke everyone's heart. Echo falls in love with him but cannot use her voice. She tried to love him, but he never loved her back. Ameinius also loved Narcissus but after the sword, killed himself and asked gods to avenge his death. Artemis caused him to fall in love with himself. Narcissus killed himself, and Echo witnessed it.

86. Phyllis and Carya

Issue: Phyllis was a Thracian princess who loved Acamas who is the son of Theseus. She died of heartbreak at Enneodos and became an almond tree. Carya who was daughter of Laconian king was loved by Dionysus but died in Caryae and was turned into a walnut tree.

87. Arion

Issue: Son of Poseidon and Nymph Oneaea was master of lyre and created dithyramb. On the way sailors wanted to kill him, but granted him permission to sing last song. Some dolphins rescued him. He reached the port earlier than the ship, and one dolphin didn't want to part from him and came with him where Arion gave it a splendid funeral. The captain was found lying and executed by Periander. More stories of dolphins rescuing humans.

88. Minos and his brothers

Issue: Son of Europe and Zeus. She marries Asterius but cannot bear him any children. His other two brothers Rhadamantyhs and Sarpedon along with him fall in love with the boy Miletus but Miletus chooses Sarpedon among them and leaves Crete. Variants are presented of the story. Minos sacrifices a bull, not the magnificent bull that Poseidon gave him. Everyone accepts him as a ruler. Sarpedon went to Cilicia and became king. Lycus descends from him. Minos marries Pasiphae. She falls in love with a bull. Daedalus helped Pasiphae out. She had sex with the bull and gave birth to a Minotaur. More variants are presented. Daedalus built a retreat for three of them. Rhadamanthys ended up being a good judge. Variations on parentage. Became one of the three Judges of the Dead and possibly resided in Elysian Fields.

89. The Loves of Minos

Issue: Minos's various lovers were Paria, Androgeneia and others, including Britomartis. Pasiphae became angry, thus she gave him a curse that each time he cheated on her, he discharged swarm of noxious serpents, scorpions and millepedes. Story of Procris's family including Cephalus and Phaethon. Procris gave him a magic potion then abandoned him. Adventures of Cephalus follow.

90. The Children of Pasiphae

Issue: Pasiphae's children by Minos include Acacallis, Ariadne, Androgeus, Catreus, Glaucus and Phaedra. To Hermes she bore Cydon, to Zeus Libyan Ammon. Brief adventures of the children and their love lives are told, such as both Ariadne and Phaedra loving Theseus. Story of Glaucus's death and resurrection. Some variants about Glaucus are presented.

91. Scylla and Nisus

Issue: Minos was master of Crete, but decided to exact revenge against Grecians that killed Androgeus. Also laid siege to Nisa and the daughter of the ruler named Scylla fell in love with him. She cut off the lock of her father's hair and had Minos sleep with her. Minos abandoned her though. Variants of death of Scylla. Greece became conquered and Minos demanded a tribute of seven youths and maidens to be sacrificed to Minotaur.

92. Daedalus and Talos

Issue: Parentage is very disputed, but he was described as a wonderful smith. Talos was an apprentice surpassed Daedalus but was killed by him. Was either banished for murder, or fled before trial. Daedalus first took refuge in Attic demes, and then Cretan Cnossus where he met King Minos. Upon learning how he helped Pasiphae, Minos locked him and his son Icarus up with Minotaur. Icarus died. Variants of his escape from Crete. In the end Minos has died one way or another. Also Minos became judge of the dead with Rhadamanthys. More variants are given.

93. Catreus and Althaemenes

Issue: Son of Minos had three daughters named Aerope, Clymene and Apemosyne and a son named Althaemenes. Althaemenes and Apemosyne fled upon learning the prophecy that one of them would kill their father. Hermes fell in love with Apemosyne, ravished her, Althaemenes didn't believe her and kicked her to death. Aerope and and Clymene were banished. Aerope became mother to Agamemnon and Menelaus. Catreus came to Rhodes where he was mistaken as by a pirate and was killed by Althaemenes. A wide chasm swallowed him up.

94. The Sons of Pandion

Issue: Son of Cecrops who is son of Erechtheus who was killed by Poseidon. Was expelled due to jealousy. Ruled Megara. Possibly switches to Pylas who is King of Megara. Pandion had four sons named Aegeus, Pallas, Nisus and Lycus. After death the sons marched agasint Athens and divided Attica into four parts. Places the sons controlled. Stories of what happened afterwards.

95. The Birth of Theseus

Issue: Aegeus had two wives but neither gave him children. Was brother to Procne and Philomela. Visited Medea who promised him a child if he should shelter her against her enemies. Went to Pittheus where he got drunk and lay with Aethra who swam away and became pregnant with Poseidon's child. Poseidon conceded the paternity to Aegeus for the next four months. Asked her to rear the son in Troezen. She gave birth to Theseus. Traveled by land to be reunited with his father.

96. The Labours of Theseus

Issue: Various adventures of Theseus traveling as well as doling out justice as fit the crime. Rescued Perigune from her father Sinis. She gave him a son named Melanippus and married Deioneus. A variant is presented. More adventures. Variant of Sciron myth. Some more adventures are given.

To be continued...

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