Good morning and welcome to llt121 Classical Mythology. When we left off in our last meeting, we were discussing anthropomorphism versus animism as two rival conceptions, if you will, of deity



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Lecture 3

Good morning and welcome to LLT121 Classical Mythology. When we left off in our last meeting, we were discussing anthropomorphism versus animism as two rival conceptions, if you will, of deity. It sounds very profound to say rival concepts of deity, but, simply stated, animism is deification —the making into gods and goddesses —of forces of nature and other inanimate objects, the sun, the moon, the earth, and whatnot. As I tried to suggest in our last meeting, the animistic conception of deity is usually —not always —but usually the conception that a civilization starts out with. The example I offered you last time was of the clock, that mysterious round disk on your left with the things that move round and round and round. It’s obviously exerting a force on your life. Just what it is, though, we don’t understand. We dismiss it by saying, “It’s a goddess, the goddess, ‘Clock.’”

As human civilizations develop and become more at ease with their surroundings, as they become more adept at building houses, communications, agriculture and the like, they begin to almost insensibly see their own place in the world moving up just a little bit. They’re more confident of who they are and what they’re doing here. They begin to wish to exert a little bit of control, if you will, on the inanimate objects and the forces of nature, which rule their lives. It would be nice if we could make the sun come out and leave at will. It would be nice for my yard, at least, if somebody could make it rain at least once this month before it’s over. If you believe in an animistic conception of gods and goddesses, it doesn’t matter. The sun is a big ball of fire in the sky. There is no point in praying to it. It is a big ball of fire in the sky. If, however, we start attributing anthropomorphic characteristics to the big ball of fire in the sky, to the brown stuff that we walk on below, we begin to be able to exert a little control over it. Moreover, this entire passage of today’s lecture would make an excellent beginning for an essay examination. I don’t know how much more blatant I can be.

I’ve already mentioned that cultures tend to develop anthropomorphic conceptions of deity. One, because it affords them a little bit of control over the deities. If I attribute human thought processes, wishes and desires to the rain, to the sun, to the earth, to that clock up on the wall, it gives me an angle to try to persuade it to do what I want. This anthropomorphic conception also tends to help us explain and account for goings on in the universe that we wouldn’t know otherwise. If you have ever been caught out in a really great thunderstorm while you’re out on the road or just out in the middle of nowhere with no shelter over your head, it is, to this day, not all that hard to believe that the gods and goddesses are angry. Somebody upstairs is really mad at you and letting you have it. If it’s an animistic thunder and lightning deity, it’s just happening. You can’t make it stop. But if there is a thunder god or goddess, “Oh! The thunder god or thunder goddess is angry. If I pray the right thing, or make the right sacrifice, or do the right ritual, maybe it will stop.”

The anthropomorphic conception of deity, there is a couple things more I can say about it. Number one, it doesn’t automatically replace an animistic perception of deity. By this, I mean it’s not as if, on January 7, 1401 BC, all ancient Greeks will automatically switch over from an animistic conception of gods and goddesses to an anthropomorphic conception of gods and goddesses. You just don’t trade one in for the other. The transition from animism to anthropomorphic conception of deity in Greek mythology is gradual. We don’t have any written record of it, so to speak. We don’t have any ancient Greeks who tell us, “Yes, I was raised animistic, praying to trees and shrubs. Now that I’ve come to Zeus I realize...” It doesn’t work that way. We’re forced to go into the myths and stories themselves, take them apart and put them back together, and look for clues of how this process might have developed. I’ll tell you right now, I think we can. And I promise you that we will. As my present to you for being with me this morning, I’ll even make it an essay question on the examination. Pay attention to what I’m saying. Bring in interesting questions. Write it down really good. Take good notes and you’re home free for 30 percent of your midterm exam. I can’t be much more blatant than that.

The transition from animism to anthropomorphic beliefs is gradual. Another thing I need to point out is, even if we are all, let’s say, we are all ancient Greeks, we have all gotten to the anthropomorphic stage in thinking of our gods and goddesses. We all believe that the completely anthropomorphic god, Zeus is the ruler of the universe. This doesn’t mean that we fire, that we cut loose, or let go of all of our other animistic gods and goddesses. We don’t say that, “well, now that we have Zeus,” —and Zeus is going to be a frequent character in this class, so I figure that I might draw him right now. He started out as a thunder and lightning god. For whatever reason, he became regarded as the chief of the gods. Again, if you have ever been caught out in a really good thunderstorm, you might understand why Zeus got to be the supreme god. He’s always got a beard. He’s very good looking. He usually has a very slightly receding hairline. As we’re going to find out, he is anthropomorphic to a fault. But just because we now worship the supreme god, Zeus and think of him as an anthropomorphic god who is the chief of all the deities, that does not mean we have fired the sky god, Uranus.

How do we put them together? How do we make these two conceptions of supreme deity work side by side? I’m not going to tell you right now. What I will ask you is, when I start to explain this—or try to explain it—please put aside your 20th century scruples. It’s going to be a very strange explanation. Keep in mind, one more time, that the transition from animism to anthropomorphism is gradual. It doesn’t mean firing the previous administration of gods and goddesses, so to speak.

Another point I’d like to make about animism as opposed to anthropomorphism is that, in some respects, anthropomorphism, conceiving of gods and goddesses as basically human, is not necessarily an advance. Let me tell you why. Some of these anthropomorphic gods and goddesses become human to a fault. They become almost characters in a long-running soap opera that we call classical mythology. Anthropomorphic gods and goddesses look like everyday men and women, except for they’re bigger, stronger, smarter than we are, more beautiful than we are, and they are immortal. They have human character traits which are more strongly developed than average human character traits. Even their faults are greater than human faults. When you get a god or goddess angry at you, they can be just as vengeful as any human being and even worse because we’re talking about a god or a goddess.

Let me pause for a question. Let me ask if you have any questions about the difference between anthropomorphic conception of gods and goddesses and animistic conception of gods and goddesses. I promise you this is going to be on the test. Okay your name is? Phil. Correct. The question is, “does animism apply to planets, animals, etc.?” That is correct, anything that your culture, Phil, finds particularly worthy of note. Perhaps you are not all that keen on trees, but you think planets are neat. Yeah, you can think of the planets as gods and goddesses. One of the things we’re going to find out about ancient Greek mythology—thank you for the question—is that they have small armies of tree gods and goddesses —mostly goddesses —and small armies of river and water gods and goddesses. Obviously, at a very early stage in their cultural development the ancient Greeks were just obsessed with water and trees. Good question. Well answered, too.

Other questions? No other questions? My lecture is so brilliant there is no possible questions? Then I’ll talk more. The ancient peoples in general —not just ancient Greeks, but ancient Aztecs, ancient Babylonians, and ancient Norse —try to explain their universe in terms they can understand, in terms they think they have a grasp on. They are not awfully different from what we are today. For example, we skeptical children of the 20th century try to explain the behavior of matter by describing it as itty, bitty unbreakable particles sometimes bonding with each other and sometimes splitting apart from each other. Does anybody know what these itty, bitty particles are called? Come on. Thank you. Atoms, right! And each element has its own atom. Yeah, really wonderful. The ancient Greeks came up with that idea by the way. Fourth century, BC. That is nothing new. Have we perfected, has modern science perfected this conception of matter? Or do we have more work to do on this subject? Thank you, Farrah Lynn. Much more work. We have much more work. We have what, quarks? I’m not going to get into this because I am not horribly well versed in this. But the atomic system is just a model for how we think matter behaves.

Keeping this in mind, or the big bang theory of the creation of the universe. Now, Ray and I were there at the creation of the universe. We’re not telling anybody what it was really like. We’re going to make you Generation-Xers guess. But the big bang theory is, again, an analogy, a model of how some scientists believe that the universe could have been created. Let’s not fault the ancient Greeks and the other ancient civilizations for using models to try to describe the forces in their lives. It does become kind of silly to say that all of the forces of nature in the universe are gods and goddesses who control them. But the ancient Greeks are doing the best they can. They lived in cities which were ruled by kings and queens. Doesn’t it make sense that the universe is ruled by a king? They live in families, which are ruled by a dad, because they are a patriarchal society. Doesn’t it make sense, when you consider this, that the universe is ruled by a king and not by a queen?

Wait until you hear about this; the ancient Greeks’ theory of the creation of the universe. Imagine yourselves at the beginning of time. Okay? Are we all there, at the beginning of time? It’s about, oh, 3500 BC, a number I just made up. We don’t know an awful lot about the universe around us. We are all completely animistic. That ball of fire up in the sky, the sun, is a god. What would be a good name for this god at the dawn of time? Does anybody want to guess? I vote for the “Sun.” The big expansive blue stuff over our head is called a “Sky,” right? It’s a god. What will we call it, Carrie? You are already learning to think like an ancient person at the dawn of time. How about this expanse of brown stuff beneath our feet that we walk on and sometimes gives us good things to eat? What would we call this goddess? “Dirt,” or if we wanted to be more respectful, we would call her, “Earth.” I’m just having some fun. You get the basic principle. These are all animistic deities, but how did they get here?

Growing up as most, if not all, of us did in the Judeo-Christian, we are familiar with the concept of a supreme being who brings the universe and everything in the universe into existence by speaking its name or otherwise willing it to be there. “And God said, ‘Let there be water,’ and there was water,” so on, so forth. That is a very tidy and clean way of creating the universe. No seedy little details. Nothing that really strains, I don’t think, your imagination too much. Obviously, all these wonderful things about us, the forces of nature and inanimate objects had to get here somehow. It doesn’t boggle the mind too much for most of us that somebody put them there. This somebody must have been a lot more powerful than us. This is the traditional Judeo-Christian way of looking at the creation of the universe. But back at the dawn of time —which is where we are, still —we’re not really that familiar with creating things just by willing them into existence. However, we do know one way of creating something. Would anybody like to guess what that is? Your name is? Scott? Okay, but remember, I very thoughtfully put us so far back at the beginning of time that we don’t know how to build anything. We’re still living in caves and trees and stuff. Sex, that’s right. The universe came into existence, according to the ancient Greeks, through sex. The universe was not created in the ancient Greek’s mind. It was born.

Okay, a couple more buzzwords I’d like to give you as long as we’re at it. If you are one of those people who believes that the universe was created, created with a purpose by a god or goddess or a deity who knew what he or she was doing and had a specific purpose, that is “cosmology.” Notice our old friend the suffix “-logy.” It means that there is a rational purpose. There is rational thought behind the creation of the cosmos. What the ancient Greeks had, by contrast, is a “theogony,” which is a term for birth of the gods. The ancient Greeks believed that the gods and goddesses who made up the physical universe were born and not created. I’ll pause with that thought, for a second, to take a slug of coffee and ask if you have some questions up to this point. Ray? Okay, we get a number of very, very interesting words from the base “gon.” We get “generation.” We get “gonad.” We get “genesis” and the like. It means “creation,” but, more precisely, to the ancient Greeks it means “birth.” It means, “birth.” Thank you, Ray.

Your name is? I knew somebody was going to bust me with that one. How did they figure out what was the first substance? What did everything come from? Even Aristotle, who was another example of a very intelligent ancient Greek, couldn’t come up with that one. The uncaused caused. The prime mover. I’m not going to expound on this too much today. That’s a good question by the way and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’m not going to expound on that too much today because it belongs more to Unit Two. But it’s always a sticky question in mythology. The Greeks explained it by saying “chaos.” The universe was created, born from chaos. Now, for those of you who have visited me in my office —and there are some of you here —you know that chaos is a good term to describe the mess that I keep in my office. Chaos is a good name for the first day of classes. Chaos is a good name for your wedding day. But, to the ancient Greeks, chaos just means a giant void, Jeremy; a cosmic emptiness, a cosmic womb from which—I was hoping somebody would ask me this question. I very thoughtfully put it up on the board because I thought I had one person in this room who would be intelligent enough to ask me that question. I’m glad you did. Chaos is the cosmic womb or cosmic emptiness from which the first generation of deity comes. I’m quite sure that, Jeremy, after you’ve thought about this one for a couple of minutes you’ll have more questions like, “Who spouted chaos?” and “What is chaos?” But I’m not going to answer them. You just sit on them and ask me them on Monday. Because it’s not a train of thought I care to pursue right this second. Other questions that I could perhaps answer or make up an answer for?

Okay. What I want to do right now is to go back and talk about the anthropomorphic deities again. I suggested that in many respects the anthropomorphic deities who look and behave like men and women, only more so, have their uses. One can relate to these anthropomorphic gods more easily. And if you use that phrase on an exam, “relate to,” please be more specific. I’m talking about; humans can relate to anthropomorphic gods in the sense that they understand the anthropomorphic gods’ and goddesses’ thought processes —or think they can. They can persuade, cajole, bribe, or hornswaggle anthropomorphic gods and goddesses into doing things that they can’t, obviously, do with an animistic deity. But these anthropomorphic gods and goddesses have their shortcomings. In short, they become too human. Too human.

To the ancient Greeks, pretty much through all of their civilization, the god Zeus, thunder god, husband of Hera, was the chief of the gods and goddesses who lived on Mount Olympus. Since he was the chief god and king of the gods the ancient Greeks associated him with justice and goodness and fair dealing and what is right. Oddly enough, the ancient Greeks also associated him with being the father of about five million gods and other goddesses. This does not say much about Zeus’ approach to a monogamous marriage. But we’re not going to talk about Zeus just yet, because Zeus belongs next week. What I want to talk to you about is the various ancient Greek sun gods. And again, I’m offering you this example so that you can trace the development of ancient Greek religious thought from animism to anthropomorphism. Let’s start out with —let’s erase sex. You don’t need to be thinking about that now anyway. We have a big ball of fire in the sky. We have already noticed at the beginning of time that it always moves from east to west. We noticed these things. Sometimes it comes out and it’s nice and warm. Sometimes it comes out and it’s cold. Sometimes it doesn’t come out at all. So on, so forth. Since we are at a very primitive stage of our religious development, I propose that we call this big ball of fire “the thingy that goes through the sky.” How is that for a name? We’re not even advanced enough to have a word for “Sun” yet. So let’s call it, “that thingy that goes through the sky,” or, in ancient Greek “Hyperion.” “Hyper” means “over and above” in ancient Greek. If you are hyperactive, well you know what that means. So does my mom. “Ion” just means “going.” “A thing that goes up on high,” that was the original ancient Greek name for the sun.

As such, this thing that goes through the sky, this Hyperion, “the thingy that goes through the sky,” has no personality. It’s just a big ball of fire. However, the sun is important. It warms us. It helps crops to grow. Okay. It gives us our good looking suntans. It’s a force we’d like to understand more about. It’s a force that we’d like to be able to control, if we will. If you happen to be getting married outside, you would like the sun god to show up at your wedding as opposed to the thunder god, if you catch my drift. But if these are just animistic gods and goddesses, they do whatever they do. You’ve got no control over them whatsoever.

Later on, the ancient Greeks came up with a word for sun, all it’s own, “Helios.” The word survives to this day. If you have a tree in your yard that’s heliotrophic it means that tree will turn towards the sun even if it has to bend itself at a 90 degree angle to get there. That can be quite ugly. But Helios is an ancient Greek word for sun, big ball of fire in the sky. Pretty soon the name, Helios, becomes associated with an ancient Greek god. Not a big ball of fire, but, to the ancient Greeks, Helios was a human being, a man, a god who looked like a man, I should say. Here’s a generic ancient Greek guy who drives a chariot containing the sun. Does that make sense? Kind of? Farrah Lynn asks, if I’m not misrepresenting your question, was there ever a stage at which Helios might have been an animistic god and then he just kind of evolved into an anthropomorphic god. I would say, “yes.” It’s just a guess. We don’t have any written record of that, but I would say, “probably.” That was a good answer. Sometimes he gets to wear a really bright-looking, shiny crown, okay?

Now that we have made this great mythological advance—What is your name? You were messing with your hair. Heather. Now that we’ve made this mythological advance; we have now ascertained that the sun god is actually a guy named Helios, who drives around in a chariot, what do we do with Hyperion? Can we fire him? Mona, can we fire him? No, we cannot fire him. We can’t say we’ve abolished this god. We don’t believe in him anymore. What most mythological traditions tend to do is what the Greeks do here. They say, “Oh yes, Helios is Hyperion’s son.” Okay, I know what you’re thinking. How does a big ball of gas get married? God only knows who he got married to. Whatever it is he gets married to gives birth to something that looks completely anthropomorphic. I told you that you’d think these explanations are pretty silly. But, if you just focus on it for the very real theological advance that it makes, the transition from big ball of fire that you can’t control, to a wild and crazy anthropomorphic god, that is very real progress indeed.

Does anybody want to guess who Helios’s sister is? Your name is? Erika, do you want to guess who his sister is? No, that’s his dad. The moon. Okay the moon goddess, Selini, is Helios’s sister. She’s a great looking babe with long flowing hair. I’m not drawing well today because I’m barely awake. Just like Helios, Selini, the ancient Greek word, Selini means “moon.” She is portrayed as a beautiful, pale-skinned goddess who drives a chariot containing the moon. They have another sister whose name is Eos, who is the goddess of the dawn. Isn’t that nice? The ancient Greek god, Hyperion, whose name means the thing that goes through the sky has a son named Helios, who is the sun god, a daughter named Selini, who is the moon goddess and a daughter named Eos, who is the goddess of the dawn. Can you tell that they’re siblings? Just watch. These ancient Greek gods and goddesses become so anthropomorphic that they take on discernable family traits. This particular bunch of kids, Helios, Selini, and Eos are characterized by personal irresponsibility, I would say, and a really well-developed libido. That is to say, they’re out there looking for talent. They’re out there looking for people to get friendly with.

Let’s start out with the story of Selini, the moon goddess. One day, as Selini is making her rounds as the moon goddess—she works 365 days a year—it gets kind of lonely being a moon goddess. You’re either sleeping or driving your chariot. She sees this incredibly studly young guy by the name of Endymion just lying on the mountainside. He’s a studly young shepherd, sleeping away. Selini takes a liking to this studly young shepherd who is lying there sleeping away. Who could play this shepherd in a movie? Who knows? Some studly young actor. She looks down and says “I want to have this studly young shepherd.” So she runs to Zeus, king of the ancient Greek gods, and says, “Can I have this studly young shepherd?” Zeus says, “Hey, why not?” And so Selini, the moon goddess, gets to have Endymion as her boy toy, if you will. In one version of the story, Selini then asks Zeus to give Endymion eternal sleep. Yeah. She just wants to look, you know, stud muffin. She just wants to look at him, right? Forever, eternal beauty and eternal youth. Zeus says “yes” to this, too. My question is; this lusty, zesty young goddess sees this lusty, zesty young shepherd sleeping on a mountaintop and she asks if she can have him. I doubt very seriously whether she is going to ask that he sleep forever and be forever young, but who knows” He is still supposedly sleeping to this day.

Eos, goddess of the dawn, is an equally lusty, zesty, young goddess. I might point, here, that the great majority of ancient Greek goddesses have little or no libido whatsoever. That is to say, you read about lusty, zesty gods chasing after mortal women all the time. You very seldom read about goddesses chasing after human men. This is because we’re dealing with a patriarchal society. The old double standard of patriarchal societies; a man who messes around—you know, who is very sexually active—is a stud, according to this double standard. Where, there are many insulting names for a woman who is sexually active that I will not repeat them here. This double standard was alive and kicking back in the ancient Greek days. Goddesses who act on their sexual desires, like Selini and, soon, Eos, are very rare, indeed. So I suggest you enjoy hearing these stories while we can.

Eos sees a studly young shepherd by the name of Tithonus. She takes a liking to studly young Tithonus. She asks Zeus if she can have Tithonus. Zeus says, “Yeah, go for it. You can have this Tithonus.” Eos and Tithonus live for many years together in happily married bliss. We presume they’re married; maybe they’re not. I don’t care. But as soon as Tithonus starts to get old and starts to lose a little bit of the hair, get a little gray, maybe a little bit paunchy, Eos gets tired of him. Just as happens on every soap opera you’ve ever heard of, right? Except for it is a goddess deciding to get rid of her male mortal lover. Finally, when he gets so old and decrepit looking that she can’t even stand to look at him anymore, she shuts him up in a room and won’t let him out. In vain does Tithonus screech out his undying love. The poor guy is immortal, but she forgot to ask for immortal youth for him. So now he’s just stuck in that room, getting older and older and older, until he becomes the first grasshopper. Yep. This is the ancient Greek aetiology — the explanation of —the grasshopper. Apparently, Tithonus just got so old and shriveled that he stopped being a human and started being a grasshopper. I know it’s silly, but I’m doing what I can.

I have one more story for you. You have been a very good class. Then I will let you go for today. How many of you have ever been 16 years old? Raise your hand. I just wanted to see people raise their hands. You usually get your driver’s license when you’re 16 years old, right? Or there abouts. Then your mom and dad tell you don’t drive too fast. So what do you do? You drive too fast. How many of you in this room got a speeding ticket within one month of getting your driver license? I waited three weeks. But you see the basic principle, right? If your parents tell you to drive slowly, drive in the correct lane, always use your signals, then you have this impulsive urge to do a doughnut on somebody else’s front lawn at 50 miles an hour. Kids always are that way. They will always be that way. I’m going to offer you a little proof that they always have been that way.

Helios, the sun god, was a pretty lonely kind of god. Like his sister, Selini, he had to spend long hours driving a chariot through the sky. In Helios’s case, he had to spend at least twelve hours a day, seven days a week, fifty-two weeks out of the year driving the chariot of the sun through the sky. It gets lonely. Sometimes he’d stop off and meet a friendly stranger for a chance one-night encounter and then be on his way. By God, I think we have just met the prototype of the studly man who can’t commit. Because he can’t commit. He has to put his job ahead. But one night, while he’s in ancient Ethiopia, he mingles in love with a young sea nymph by the name of Clymene. Since Helios is a god, they only have a one-night stand.

That one-night stand, if you will, is enough to produce a kid by the name of Phaëthon. Phaëthon, of necessity, grows up in a single parent family with his mother because his father is the sun god. Of course, we all know that little kids can often be very, very cruel. As young Phaëthon is growing up in ancient Ethiopia little kids taunt him. “Who’s your daddy?” “Who’s your daddy?” He says, “My dad is the sun god, Helios.” Oh, yeah sure, my dad is Trent Resnore,” or something like that. “I’m Abraham Lincoln, Jr.” Nobody believed him, but, the more they taunt him, the more he says, “I really am, am, am the sun god’s son.” Finally, he goes to his mother and he says, “Mom, am I really the son of the influential sun god, Helios?” She say, “yes, you are, honey.” He then says, “prove it.” Well, she can’t prove it, but she says, “I’ll tell you what to do. Go to the palace of your dad, the sun god, Helios, and ask him.” Wow, when a mom is confronted with a difficult situation with her kid, what does she say? “Go talk to your dad.” Okay? Only we’re talking about ancient Greek gods from three millennia ago behaving like this. It gets better. Young Phaëthon journeys to visit his father, Helios, the sun god, who lives in this great big huge bright palace. He’s led into the palace of Helios. Helios is sitting there in his big, beautiful throne. Phaëthon says, “Are you my dad?” “Yes, son, I am.”

Phaëthon proceeds to lay this unbelievable guilt trip on him. “Where were you when I was growing up, dad?” “Well, I was the sun god.” This “I was busy” routine isn’t cutting it. Now, any of you who are parents, or any of you who have parents, just nod if this sounds familiar. “I’ve been a bad father. I’ve let you down. How about if I buy you something really expensive?” Does that ever happen? “Let me make it up to you,” and then mom or dad whips a checkbook out and buys you something really cool. Here’s what Helios says: “My son I feel very bad. I will grant you one wish. Whatever wish you want. I swear by the River Styx that I will grant it to you.” Whenever you hear an ancient Greek god or goddess swearing by the River Styx, that is a warning sign that a bad career move is coming up. You put that down, bad career move. If an ancient Greek god or goddess swears by the River Styx, then violates the oath, they have to spend seven years being dead. You can’t imagine what a bummer that is for an ancient Greek god or goddess to be dead for seven years. You’re lying there dead, and all the other gods or goddesses come by you and laugh at you calling you a “deadie” or something like that.



Helios says, “I will swear by the River Styx to grant you this wish.” What does Phaëthon wish for? He wants the keys to the chariot of the sun. He wants to drive the chariot of the sun. Helios says, “Anything but that. No, no, no. Anything but that.” Phaëthon says, “Dad, you swore by the River Styx.” So now Phaëthon gets to drive the chariot of the sun god with its four powerful horses. In vain, Helios says, “Well, don’t drive too fast, and don’t drive too slow. Don’t fly too high and don’t fly too low,” the sort of things that my mom and my dad (Hi mom, hi dad.) told me when I was learning to drive. Your inclination is to try flying too low, then try flying too high, driving too fast, then driving too slow, right? That’s what you do because you’re a kid and you don’t know any better. You’re programmed. Well, Phaëthon flies too high and he creates the ice caps, the frozen regions to the north. He flies too low and creates the Sahara Desert. Finally, Zeus realizes that this kid can’t drive—55 or anything else—so he throws a thunderbolt and it smacks the chariot of the sun god, kills Phaëthon. End of story. End of class for today.
: josephhughes -> myth -> TranscriptsWord
TranscriptsWord -> Good afternoon and welcome to llt121. My name is Dr. Pauline Nugent
TranscriptsWord -> Good morning and welcome to llt121 Classical Mythology
TranscriptsWord -> Good morning and welcome to llt121 Classical Mythology. We resume with the career of Theseus, the greatest hero of the city of Athens
TranscriptsWord -> Let me give you a little bit of background. The quote/unquote
TranscriptsWord -> Good morning and welcome to llt121 Classical Mythology. In our last class, we were examining the concept of the Ages of Humankind. Hesiod was the first to write it down, circa 750 bc
TranscriptsWord -> Sit right back and you’ll hear the tale, the tale of a faithful myth that started one fine Theban day when Zeus stole a fleeting kiss. It proceeded past a kiss, Zeus being the incredible fertile god that he is
TranscriptsWord -> Good morning and welcome to llt121 Classical Mythology. I fought the temptation, at the beginning of this class, of saying, Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends
TranscriptsWord -> Orpheus. Orpheus was a great musician. He was awesome. Like many great musicians—who can name me a great musician that died young? Yes? Poser? Who? Okay. Who else? Okay, who else was a great musician? Poser
TranscriptsWord -> Good morning and welcome to llt121 Classical Mythology. When last we left off, we were considering the Eleusinian mystery religion, the mysteries of Demeter and her search for her lost daughter, Persephone
TranscriptsWord -> Good morning and welcome to llt121 Classical Mythology, in which we resume our adventures in the city of Thebes, the city that the gods seem to love to hate. The original founder turns into a snake




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