Monday, February 10, 2014

Book Review of Greek Myths Vol II by Robert Graves 1.6

General Information:

Name of Book: The Greek Myths 2

ISBN: 0-14-001027=0

Publisher: Penguin

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. " (Vol. I 22)

105. Oedipus

Issue: Laius, son of Labdacus marries Iocaste but they can't get children. Iocaste tricked Laius into impregnating her thus a boy was born who was then taken up to the mountain to die. He was found by shepherd, and was given to Polybus and Periboea to be raised. Found out his destiny, which was to kill his father and marry his mother. He kills Laius, gets rid of the Sphinx, marries Iocaste, plague comes over, Teiresias' history is revealed, and he tells Oedipus the truth which later was confirmed by a letter from Queen Periboea. Iocaste kills herself, Oedipus blinds himself and goes to exile with his daughter Antigone.

106. The Seven Against Thebes

Issue: In Argos lived Aegeia and Deipyla, daughters of King Adrastus. Polyneices and Eteocles are twin sons/brothers of Oedipus, and Eteocles exiled his brother. Another suitor is Tydeus who killed his brother at a hunt. Both ended up marrying daughters, Polyneices to Aegeia and Tydeus to Deipyla. Later on King Adrastus decides to wage war against Thebes, sending almost all to Thebes. Despite bad signs, they keep marching on. The war begins and at first the Seven are successful until a sacrifice occurs. Eteocles and Polyneices kill one another. Antigone disobeys the orders, Haemon marries her and she later on bears a son for him.

107. The Epigoni

Issue: Sons of the Seven that were slain in Thebes decide to avenge their father, one of is Thersander, son of Polyneices. The Epigoni won the war, but Teiresias has died. Thersander boasted of his cleverness towards Eriphyle which caused Alcmaeon and possibly his brother Amphilochus to kill their mother. He also ends up being married to Arsinoe and later on to Callirrhoe, and neither knew of one another. He gets the robe and necklaces through trickery but they learn on the truth thus Alcmaeon gets killed. Arsinoe, unaware, curses her family, and becomes slave to King of Nemea. Callirrhoe has twins whom she wishes to manhood in one day. The twins killed the king as well as Arsinoe's brothers. The twins colonized Acarnania, named after Acarnan.

108. Tantalus

Issue: There is confusion over parentage and origin of Tantalus,as well as who his wife might have been, although he has three children: Pelops, Niobe and Broteas. He also was a close friend of Zeus until the banquet where he cut up his son  Pelops and served him to the gods along with stealing and sharing the divine food of Zeus among others. He is cursed by ruin of his kingdom and eternal torment, along with a crime of lying for having Zeus's golden dog. Story of Pandareus and his children as well as sins follows. Poseidon falls in love with Pelops and steals him away. Broteas also has misfortune due to his looks and has a son named Tantalus after the grandfather.

109. Pelops and Oenomaus

Issue: Story of Pelops' travels, as well as his decision to travel where Oenomaus's daughter Hippodameia is located. Brief history of Oenomaus as well as mention of his love for horses. Oenomaus designs a way to get rid of all suitors. Pelops has better horses though. Poseidon gifts Pelops of a magic chariot. Oenomaus loses the race and dies, and curses the charioteer Myrtilus to be killed by Pelops. Pelops promised Myrtilus a bridal night with Hippodameia, but instead kills him, and Myrtilus curses Pelops' descendants.

110. The Children of Pelops

Issue: Hippodameia creates games in honor of Hera. Brief mention of the games and their function. They had way too many children, as well as a lot of the deeds tehy did, or who they fathered: Alcathous fathered Ischepolis, Callipolis, Iphinoe and so forth. There is also a story of Chrysippus who was briefly a lover of Laius and ended up being killed by Hippodameia.

111. Atreus and Thyestes

Issue: Atreus flees to Mycenae and makes the house of Pelops even more famous. There is involvement of the lamb, and Thyestes even wants to be Aerope's who is married to Atreus, lover. There is fight over the throne, with one and other tricking each other, the gods even goading them. Aerope has a sister named Clymene who got married to Nauplius and had Oeax and Palamedes. Atreus was married to Cleola who died during childbirth, although the son Pleisthenes got murdered. Atreus got Agamemnon, Menelaus and Anaxibia. Atreus killed Thyestes' sons and fed them to him. Thyestes ravished his own daughter to beget a child on her for revenge. Atreus marries the daughter and gets a son named Aegisthus who was Thyestes's own son. Thyestes ends up a prisoner and tells the daughter the truth who kills herself, then has Aegisthus kill Atreus.

112. Agamemnon and Clytaemnestra

Issue: Agamemnon and Menelaus end up living with King Tyndareus. Agamemnon creates war against Tantalus who descends from Broteas, and marries Clytaemnestra, Tantalus' widow. She and he had three daughters and one son; the son was Orestes while the daughters were Electra/ Laodice, Iphigenia/Iphianasa, and Chrysothemis. Around the time of Trojan War, Aegisthus desired revenge, plans to become Clytaemnestra's lover and kill Agamemnon. Brief history and details follows of why Clytaemnestra hates Agamemnon. She ends up killing Agamemnon as well as Cassandra.

113. The Vengeance of Orestes

Issue: At the time of murder Orestes, son of Agamemnon was away from home in one way or the other. Later on he learned of his mother's deeds. He also became best friends with Pylades who was the son of Strophius. After the murder, Aegisthus squanders everything and refuses to allow Electra to get married to anyone. Eventually she marries a peasant who never consumed the union and goads her brother Orestes to avenge his father. He is given specific instructions and a horn should the Furies refuse to leave him alone. Clytaemnestra dreams a bad dream and Orestes begins his plan for revenge which involves a masquerade, and finally a murder.

114. The Trial of Orestes

Issue: The Furies begin to haunt Orestes, and due to matricide, he and Electra are denied all. Menelaus arrives at Nauplia, sends Helen to mourn Clytaemnestra and Helen asks Electra who says no she wont. There is a trial where Orestes manages to convince everyone that it was suicide and not matricide, although Menelaus wanted to get them stoned for matricide. The three then decide to kill Menelaus' wife Helen, but she was rescued by Apollo and Zeus where she joined her brothers. Apollo interferes and asks for Hermione to be engaged to Orestes. For a whole year, with Hermes' help he is trying to get purified. Another trial is attempted and he gets acquitted and the ancient law is reversed.

115. The Pacification of the Erinnyes

Issue: The Erinnyes threaten Athenians, but Athene flatters and convinces them to abandon the plan and to settle and have Athens thrive. Three accepted and became known as Solemn Ones. Description of various rites and rituals follows as well as description of what is solemn and not solemn to them.

To be Continued...

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