Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Review of Greek Myths Vol I by Robert Graves Part 9.9

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)

97. Theseus and Medea

Issue: Theseus arrives in Attica and is purified by sons of Phytalus. Aegeus married Medea and got a son named Medus. Medea recognized Theseus. Theseus gets invited to temple and is served poisonous food. Father recognizes son and both rejoice. War comes from Pallas and his fifty sons and brief history of the name Leos.

98. Theseus in Crete

Issue: Theseus kills the white bull. Brief history of Hecalene. Theseus volunteers himself for the annual tribute to Crete and to kill the bull. If successful, Theseus will hoist white sail. Two of the women were replaced by effeminate youths. Mention of who was pilot of the ship. Theseus takes Aphrodite as his companion. Mention of virgins on the temple. Theseus protects one of the virgins. Minos asks proof that Theseus is Poseidon's son. Theseus wants Minos to prove he's Zeus's son. Theseus rescues ring. Ariadne instructs Theseus on how to get to the Minotaur. Theseus kills the minotaur. Everyone escaped, Theseus fought battle. For unknown reasons Theseus abandons Ariadne on an island. Dionysus marries her. Variations of the story are presented. Resumes history, goes into detail about altar and sacrifices. Theseus forgets to put on white sail. Aegeus kills himself. Festivals are instituted.

99. The Federalization of Attica

Issue: Theseus succeeds his father and kills many of his opponents. Theseus begins to create democracy for Attica and Athens. Created another festival. Resigns throne as a king. Also invites a lot of people and creates caste system. Also created monetary system.

100. Theseus and the Amazons

Issue: Theseus gets the Amazon queen named either Antiope/ Melanippe. Variations of how he took her and kidnapped her. Oreithyia, Antiope's sister vows revenge. War and sacrifices. Eventually Theseus killed her when he married Phaedra, but Antiope bore him a son named Hippolytus who is also called Demophoon.

101. Phaedra and Hippolytus

Issue: Pittheus adopts Hippolytus as heir to Troezen. Phaedra gives birth to Acamas and Demophoon. Aphrodite feels insulted that Hippolytus desires to remain a virgin and causes Phaedra to fall in love with Hippolytus. Phaedra sends him a love letter. He rejects her, but she kills herself after accusing him of rape. Hippolytus runs away and gets killed. Possibly Artemis tells Theseus what happened. Variations of story and aftermath.

102. Lapiths and Centaurs

Issue: Son of Ixion and Dia, daughter of Eioneus. Peirithous ruled over Magnetes. Meets Theseus and swears life long friendship. Marries Hippodameia who nearly gets ravished by Centaurs. War goes on and as a result was a feud.

103. Theseus in Tartarus

Issue: Peirithous convinces Theseus to kidnap Helen as well as another of Zeus's daughters. Theseus wins her. Variations as to who give her to Theseus follow. When Helen grew older, Peirithous consults oracle who encourages him to visit Hades to demand Persephone. Theseus follows. Four years later after being trapped on a Chair of Forgetfulness, Heracles rescues them. Variation is presented.

104. The Death of Theseus

Issue: Dioscuri assembled everyone and created a war against Athens. Various strands of who disclosed Helen's location as well as how they got her back. Theseus takes his children out of Athens. Theseus dies and aftermath is presented.

To Be Continued in The Greek Myths Vol II by Robert Graves...

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