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Classical Mythology 9.2
Transcript of Classical Mythology 9.2
The following pages introduce key terms, philosophers, authors, patrons, and characters from unit 9.
[ancient Greek and English noun]: "change of form." This term is derived from the ancient Greek prefix
(meaning "change") and
Note: Most ancient Greek and Latin nouns (and English nouns based on them) that end in
have a plural form ending in
. Hence, the plural of metamorphosis is "metamorphoses."
[Latin phrase: used at
1.1]: "changed forms." This is effectively a Latin translation of the Greek
Authors and Patrons
(c. second century BCE): poet from Colophon, wrote an epic poem titled
(43 BCE–17 BCE): full name Publius Ovidius Naso; a Roman poet, author of numerous works including
, and the
was probably complete and circulating by 8 BCE.
(70 BCE–8 BCE): full name Gaius Maecneas; supporter of the first emperor of Rome (Augustus) and patron of Ovid and several other Roman poets.
(c. 535 BCE–c.475 BCE): early Greek philosopher from Ephesus, argued that change was constant.
"Upon those that step into the same rivers different and different waters flow . . . they scatter and . . . gather . . . come together and flow away . . . approach and depart."
(late sixth-century BCE–mid fifth-century BCE): early Greek philosopher from Elea, argued that change is impossible.
"But changeless within the limits of great bonds it [being?] exists without beginning or ceasing . . .
" Parmenides, Fr.8.26–27
(c. 427 BCE–c.347 BCE): Greek philosopher from Athens, argued that change occurs only in the realm of appearance whereas the essential nature of things (true forms) are unchanging.
(384 BCE–322 BCE): Greek philosopher from Stagirus, argued that change occurs when matter takes a different form.
"Natural things are some or all of them subject to change."
Aristotle, Physics 1.2.185a12–13
(c.first-century CE): Greek Stoic philosopher.
"At certain fated times the entire world is subject to conflagration, and then is reconstituted afresh . . . In this way everything in the world is excellently organized as in a perfectly ordered society."
Aristocles, c. first century CE
[English noun]: a school of ancient philosophy that developed in the Hellenistic period (from the early third century BCE). This philosophy took its name from the painted portico (or stoa), the
, in the Agora (central square and marketplace) of Athens where the founder of Stociism, Zeno of Citium, first spoke and taught.
Note: The adjective derived from this philosophical school ("stoic") is commonly used in English today to mean "enduring hardship without complaint." While this is based upon the teachings of Stoicism, it is only a small part of that ancient philosophical outlook. To distinguish between these two usages, capitalize "Stoic" when referring to the philosophical school, and use lowercase "stoic" when simply meaning "enduring hardship without complaint."
[English noun]: a term used of the introductory lines of a poem (usually a long poem); the proem is often thought to introduce the main themes and characteristics of the poem as a whole.
[also spelled Lykaon] (
s 1.209–43): king of Arcadia, tested the divine knowledge of Jupiter by serving him human flesh. Lycaon is transformed into a wolf by Jupiter, and his crime is one of the motivations for the flood Jupiter sends to destroy most of humanity.
means "wolf" in ancient Greek.
3.138–252): Theban hunter, transformed into a stag by the goddess Diana.
(Metamorphoses 3.349–402): a nymph, distracts Juno from Jupiter’s infidelities. Juno, in revenge, deprives Echo of full speech and forces her to only ever echo the final words spoken by others. Echo later falls in unrequited love with Narcissus and as a result dissolves into a disembodied voice.
Daughters of Minyas
[also known as Minyads: "daughters of Minyas"] (
4.1–415): sisters who neglect the worship of Bacchus (Dionysos); instead they tell stories (of metamorphosis), and are turned into bats by the god.
6.1–145): expert weaver who competes in a weaving competition with the goddess Minerva. Minerva drives Arachne to suicide (by hanging) and then rescues her from death by transforming her into a spider.
Note: Arcahne’s name means "spider" in ancient Greek (
6.146-312): queen of Thebes (originally from Lydia, an area within Asia Minor [modern-day Turkey]). Niobe’s husband and children are struck down by Apollo and Artemis after Niobe boasts that, in her many fine children, she equals or exceeds the goddess Latona (also called Leto, the mother of Apollo and Diana). Paralyzed by grief, Niobe turns to stone.
2.542-632): mortal woman from Larissa, lover of Apollo, she is killed by Apollo after he is informed by the Raven that Coronis has been unfaithful. Coronis is the mother of Aesculapius (called Asklepios by the Greeks), whom Apollo rescues from Coronis’s womb after he has killed her.
6.412–674): king of Thrace, husband of Procne, brother-in-law of Philomela. Tereus lusts after, abducts, rapes, and mutilates Philomela. He is tricked into eating his own son, Itys, by Procne and Philomela and is subsequently transformed into a hoopoe bird.
6.412–674): Athenian princess, sister of Procne, sister-in-law of Tereus. Philomela is raped and mutilated by Tereus. She joins with Procne in revenge upon Tereus and is subsequently transformed into a swallow.
6.412–6742): Athenian princess and queen of Thrace, wife of Tereus. Procne joins Philomela in revenge upon Tereus after discovering his crime. Procne is subsequently transformed into a nightingale.
[ancient Greek and English noun]: "transformation of a mortal into a god." This term derives from the ancient Greek prefix
(usually meaning "from," but here meaning "change") and the ancient Greek noun
[Latin noun]: "love, passion, sexual desire."
1.452–567): nymph, daughter of the river god Peneus, lusted after and pursued by Apollo. Daphne is transformed into a laurel tree.
Note: The ancient Greek noun
5.572–641): a nymph originally from the region of Achaea, Arethusa is pursued by the river god Alpheus who attempts to rape her. In the course of the pursuit, Arethusa transforms into water and escapes through a cleft in the earth (created by the goddess Diana) to her final home in Sicily (also called Ortygia), where she stays as a sacred spring.
3.567–752): originally a young woman, the daughter of Coroneus, she is transformed into a crow by the goddess Minerva (Pallas) in order to enable her escape from rape by Poseidon.
1.567–746): nymph, daughter of the river god Inachus, raped by Jupiter who then transforms Io into a heifer to hide her from persecution by Juno. Io is briefly captured (in cow form) by Juno until rescued by Mercury on Jupiter’s orders. Juno, on discovering this, inflicts mad fear on Io (in some accounts this is done by setting a gadfly to always sting Io, but in Ovid’s account it is a Fury who pursues Io). Eventually Io is returned to her original form after Jupiter placates Juno.
Note: The earliest source for it being a gadfly that goads Io during her wanderings is a play by the Athenian writer of tragedies, Aeschylus, titled
, dating to c. 415 BCE.
8.590–610): daughter of Hippodamas, Perimele is raped by the river god Achelous. Her father, in outrage, throws his daughter from a cliff. She is caught by the waters of Alpheus and transformed into an island in his stream.
8.618–720): an old man, husband of Baucis. Philemon offers hospitality to Jupiter and Mercury and is made the custodian of a great temple. As he dies of old age, he and Baucis are transformed into trees with each other’s branches forever intertwined.
8.618–720): an old woman, wife of Philemon. Baucis offers hospitality to Jupiter and Mercury and is made the custodian of a great temple. As she dies of old age, she and Philemon are transformed into trees with each other’s branches forever intertwined.
1.313–415): husband of Pyrrha, survivor of Jupiter’s flood. Deucalion, with his wife, recreate the human race from stones thrown over their shoulders.
1.313–415): wife of Deucalion, survivor of Jupiter’s flood. Pyrrha, with her husband, recreate the human race from stones thrown over their shoulders.
10.213–297): sculptor who crafts, and falls in love with, a statue that is later brought to life.
4.416–542): Theban noble woman, wife of Athamas and mother of Learchus and Melicerta. Athamas, driven mad by Juno, kills Learchus and threatens the same to Ino and Melicerta. In her flight, Ino leaps from a seaside cliff with Melicerta in her arms. Venus and Neptune intervene to transform Ino into the sea goddess Leucothoe and Melicerta into the sea god Palaemon.
[known to the Greeks as Heracles] (
9.134–272): son of Jupiter and the mortal woman Alcmene, wife of Amphitryon from the city of Thebes. Among his many deeds, Hercules is best known for completing a series of impossible "labors" or "trials" set for him by King Eurystheus. Hercules is eventually inflicted with a flesh-burning poison (mistakenly applied to his cloak by his wife, Deineira). As the fatal poison burns through his flesh, Hercules throws himself upon a pyre that he sets up on the top of Mount Oeta. The flames burn away his mortality, and he becomes a god.
14.581–608): Trojan hero, son of Anchises (a mortal) and Venus, migrates to Italy with Trojan refugees after the fall of Troy. Aeneas's son, Ascanius (also called Iulus), found the town of Alba Longa and his descendants found Rome. Upon his death, Aeneas's body is washed clean of its mortality in the river Numicus, and he becomes a god under the name Indiges.
13.920–65): a fisherman who is transformed into a sea god after stumbling upon, and eating, some magical grass.
[sometimes spelled as Hyacinthus or Hyacinthos] (
10.167–219): a Spartan boy beloved by Apollo and killed in an accident with a discus. Hyacinth is transformed upon death into the hyacinth flower.
10.708–39): a beautiful youth loved by Venus, Adonis is killed by a wild boar while hunting. Venus creates the anemone flower from Adonis's blood as an everlasting memorial to him.
Statue of Ovid
, Ettore Ferrari. 1887. via Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain; http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ch%C3%A2teau_de_Versailles,_salon_des_nobles,_Pygmalion_priant_V%C3%A9nus_d%27animer_sa_statue,_Jean-Baptiste_Regnault.jpg
, artist unknown. eAdultEducation; http://www.eadulteducation.org/2013/11/
Copy of Silanion
, Capitoline Museums. 1925. via Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain; http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Plato_Silanion_Musei_Capitolini_MC1377.jpg
Bust of Maecenas
, artist unknown. via Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain; http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Maecenas_Coole_Park.JPG
Apollo and Diana Attacking the Children of Niobe
, Jacque-Louis David. 1772. via Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain; http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Niobe_JacquesLouisDavid_1772_Dallas_Museum_of_Art.jpg
Pygmalion Praying Venus to Animate his Statue
, Jean-Baptiste Regnault. 1786. via Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain; http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Niobe_JacquesLouisDavid_1772_Dallas_Museum_of_Art.jpg