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Edith Hamilton's Mythology
Transcript of Edith Hamilton's Mythology
How the World and Mankind Were Created: Hesiod - Principal authority for origin myths, early economics, and farming. Edith Hamilton took most of the stories featured in this chapter from the writings of Hesoid with one exception, the story of Prometheus. This story was written by Aeschylus. This presentation will cover pages 77 - 83. Although we aren't reading this part of the chapter in class, you should go back and read them on your own. Let's start at the beginning. Chapter 3 is the family tree of the Greek gods. In the beginning there was a chaos, which was "brooded over by unbroken darkness." There was nothing in the universe; "all was black, empty, silent, endless."
Erebus - the unfathomable depth where death dwells And then there was LOVE. The playwright Aristophanes wrote:
Into the bosom of Erebus dark and deep
Laid a wind-born egg, and as the seasons rolled
Forth sprang Love, the longed for, shining, with wings of gold. From Love came
Light and Day...naturally
Earth was next. Hesiod wrote:
Earth, the beautiful, rose up,
Broad-bosomed, she that is the steadfast base
Of all things. And fair Earth first bore
The starry Heaven, equal to herself,
To cover her on all sides and to be
A home forever for the blessed gods. The Children of Mother Earth and Father Heaven (a.k.a Gaea and Ouranos)
The Hundred Head and Fifty Hand Monsters (Powers - thunder, lightening, and earthquake)
The Cyclops (Wheel-eyed monsters)
The Titans Father Heaven was selective in his love for his children. He hated the Hundred Head and Fifty Hand monsters and imprisoned them within the earth. Mother Earth was enraged by this and appealed to her other children to help her avenge them. The only child willing to help was the Titan Cronus (Saturn).
"He lay in wait for his father and wounded him terribly. The Giants, the fourth race of monsters, sprang up from his blood." The Children of Father Heaven:
Erinyes (The Furies) These children were born of the blood of their father, Heaven. The Gods were the children of the Titans. Cronus and Rhea (his sister as well as his wife) ruled the universe. Just as Cronus went against his father, Cronus' son Zeus, went against him. Zeus and his siblings went on to conquer the Titans thanks to help from the Hundred Head and Fifty Hand monsters and the Titan Prometheus. However, the war for power was not yet over. Just as his grandfather and father were unseated by their sons, Zeus to was destined to be betrayed by his own. The Last Child of Mother Earth:
Typhon "A Flaming monster with a hundred heads,
Who rose up against all the gods.
Death whistled from his fearful jaws,
His eyes flashed glaring fire."