The Cultural Background of Greek Myth. Mythos Legend, saga Folktale Truth: literal, metaphorical, metaphysical Etiology Collective unconscious Archetype

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  • The Cultural Background of Greek Myth

  • MythosLegend, sagaFolktaleTruth: literal, metaphorical, metaphysicalEtiologyCollective unconsciousArchetypeModern Myths?What is Myth?

  • Primary Sources: works produced within a culture:art and architectureliterature and written records of other sorts (business lists etc.)Secondary Sources: Commentary by modern authors on the ancient cultures:textbooks and other modern writingsInternet Resources:can be primary sources (if they reproduce texts or images from the original culture)or secondary sources (if they are modern commentary)Sources

  • First settlers: c. 50,000 BCEAgriculture develops: c. 7000 BCEBronze appears: c. 3000 BCEPrehistoric GreeceAbbreviations:BCE= Before the common eraCE= common erac. = circa (about)

  • Greece in the Mediterranean

  • The Greek Environment

  • The Polis: City Walls (Troy)

  • Polis and Community Shared GovernmentShared lawsShared religious festivalsShared myths

  • Agriculture

  • Family Groups

  • Family Groups

  • Material CultureTransportation

  • Transportation

  • Mens Social RolesSocial Roles varied from society to society; some widespread phenomena:Farming work or overseeing farming work on ones own landService in the militaryParticipation in government to the extent allowed by the states constitutionParticipation in rituals of ones stateEducation of ones children

  • Womens Social RolesTo marry and bear citizen childrenTo care for the household resourcesTo spin and weaveTo participate in the states religious rituals

  • SexualitySexuality was not a matter of the partners gender (male vs. female) but concerned active vs. passive roles.Active roles were appropriate for grown men, whether the partner was male or femalePassive roles were appropriate for women and to some extent, teenaged men, but not for adult malesHow far did the reality match the ideal? Public vs. private? Hard to say

  • Myths usually try to explain matters physical, emotional, and spiritual not only literally and realistically but figuratively and metaphorically as well.Morford and Lenardon 6Harpy: Hellenistic EarringEtiology

  • Facts change in all the sciences . . . Myth in a sense is the highest reality.Morford and Lenardon, pp. 4-5

  • A myth makes a valid statement about the origins of the world, of society, and of the institutions about the gods and their relationships with mortals; in short, about everything on which humans existence depends. (Fritz Graf)Europa and the Bull, courtesy VRoma

  • A Greek myth is a tale rooted in Greek culture that recounts a sequence of events chosen by the maker of the tale to accommodate his own medium and objectives and to achieve a particular effect in his audience. (F. Brown and W. Tyrell)Odysseus and the Sirens, VRoma

  • People believed in myths for a long time, according to programs that, to be sure, varied enormously from one era to another. It is normal for people to believe in the works of the imagination. (Paul Veyne)Hermes presents the infant Dionysus; courtesy Christus Rex

  • FinisQuotes on myth selected by Staci Holt