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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Greek Mythology One oh What?

Good morning, class. I am your sub. prof. this morning and will doubtless remember the other syllables of that title later in the day. Not a morning person. Who can tell me who Eos is? No one? I thought not. According to Hesiod's Theogony, Eos was the daughter of the Titan Hyperion and the Titaness Theia, sister of Helios, the sun god, and Selene, the moon goddess. How do we explain a birth from three mothers --some of them female? Well, it's very hard to explain, so I won't.

What's that? Textbook says what? Well, lucky for you this is an early-morning class and most of us aren't actually here --including me. Oh, you are a morning person? Perhaps you can share with the class what time the sun rose this morning? 6:30? Ha! I was a gardener for 35 years and happen to know there is no such time. No, really, that was my starting time and I was always late but nobody noticed. Please close your textbook. Shall we have our first slide please...
 This picture of the Pantheon includes three levels of deities: the Primordials, headed by Chaos; the Olympians --originally 12 in number, then less as the others thought Hephaestus might be a liver disease and so on until the great clash of the Titans; the Titans were defeated and relegated to lower status. Yes? Question about the slide? Well, this slide is meant to show the cyclic character of the universe. Question?

Good point. The cyclic nature under discussion is indeed suggested by the Zodiac. In fact, zōdiakos kyklos, meaning "circle of animals" is a Greek term. The theology from which it depends described nature as proceeding in cycles. Pardon? Yes, with a few exceptions like Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, life after the Pantheon was not considered cyclic but just one damn thing after another.

It appears we're running a bit late with all these questions, so I will dispense with your regular teacher's instructions to relate this material to theological disputes between revolutionary leader, Pancho Villa, and his gardener brother, Bougain. Lesson plan also requires you read the text chapter on the 1492 discovery of an  immense Atlantic navigational hazard between Spain and India. Your prof. has sent word he will return after recouping investment losses in the Saharan Ski Resort project, and will devote the remainder of his sanity to this class.   


20 comments:

  1. First of all I thought Eos was the sister of Athos, Portos, And Aramis. Even though they only used muskets while on duty someone had to guard the muskets and make sure they were clean. That duty would fall to their sister. As far as Bougain Villa I heard he was last seen in the American South. He does move around a lot. Rumor has it that Pancho Villa is raising chihuahuas somewhere in Mexico with his many children.

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    1. Emma, I'm sure the Three Musketeers used swords oftener than old matchlocks and flintlocks. I've loaded a flintlock before and it took forever. Eos took the easy job. As for BogainVillea, his rhetoric was more pleasantly flowery than Pancho's. Glad you had fun with the essay!

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  2. Me thinks this is why I took no early Saturday morning Mythology class. More than the eggs would have been scrambled.

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    1. I remember reciting Poe's "The Raven" for an 8 a.m. public speaking class in the '60s and sounding just like one, Tom. It's a cruel hour.

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  3. So, the prof. still has some sanity left, uh? If he did truly get involved in a Saharan Ski Resort project, one wonders, "What do people gain from the efforts they make?"......"Was what he did apt for its time?" [Ecclesiastes 3:9-11 - loosely translated]

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    1. I think the general rule is to buy low and sell high but I get that backwards a lot.

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  4. Morning and I have always been mortal enemies. My mind doesn't start working until some time after dusk, and even then it tends to be faulty.
    Since it rains here in the mountain wilds nearly every day, I have no clue when the sun rises - - or if indeed it ever rises at all.

    I love the idea of living on a navigational hazard between Spain and India. It's a uniquely romantic notion. As long as you're not navigating......

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    1. I share your objection to morning. Not so bad indoors but the yard looks like it's been left outside all night.

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  5. 6.35 Is only in the evenings, it does not occur in the mornings at all for my eyes are tightly shut till nearly noon.
    Must away now to the real world for sleep is tumbling me there and so I bid you farewell.

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    1. Sensible tumble. I believe it's past midnight in Ireland. Best wishes and a good night!

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  6. Another night owl here. Although, 6:30 work start is early even for morning larks, I think? Maybe you are a morning person, just not THAT early.

    I love that your kids added all the bicycle pictures to the original!

    Enjoyed your post, as always.

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    1. Thanks Jenny. Kids had years of fun finding and gluing clippings there. And yes, although I spent most of my working life driving off in what seemed still the middle of the night, I never got used to it. I did it for them, for them.

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  7. I usually get up at 9:30 am – since I read until 2:00 am or more, and am now going to get my second-cup of coffee. I used to have to get up at 4:00 am for work and now that I am retired will never get up that early again. My mind is “en déroute” after reading all about these Greeks guys, the Mexican one, the cruise between Spain and India, the exotic plant gardener and then – oh la la! looking at the Tour de France poster with a baguette in tow. I do need to get my coffee!

    Note: Mettre quelqu’un en déroute : le déconcerter, le mettre hors d’état de répondre.

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    1. Thank you, Vagabonde. Retirement truly operates on a more humane schedule than work. Re. Note: Je crains confusion est mon état d'esprit accoutumée -surtout avec la mythologie.

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  8. Haha, Geo! Good subs often scrap the lesson plans left for them! Some of them can come up with amazing birdwalks!

    I can't handle an early morning mythology class! All those similar and complicated Greek beings of different levels make my eyes spin and my head hurt.

    Although I did make a point of introducing my students to Odysseus and the Cyclops, Perseus and the Minotaur, the Trojan Horse, Jason and the Argonauts, and a few others (even if they weren't in the curriculum). I guess I was more into heroes than gods and goddesses.

    I did a Greek play a couple of times with some pretty awesome scenery and costumes put together by third graders. One little girl was desperate to play Zeus one year, so I let her audition. Killed the audition and the role in the play. I was so proud of her!

    I am a lark and a night owl ~ it's the middle part of the day that gives me grief! I keep setting my alarm to get up at 5:00 am, but it hasn't been getting me out of bed lately. Oh the joys of being retired! Have a good one!

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    1. I love the idea of a little girl portraying Zeus. And it's true the Titans were far more interesting than the Olympians. You strike me as a great teacher --especially in light of the many things I've learned at your blog site.

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  9. Dear Geo., I am a morning person (and know who Eos is :-) - though that she had three mothers was new to me.
    When I spent the moment before the sun rises in my garden in Hildesheim, it impressed me very, very much: the absence of colour - almost like being in a mist - a real spectacle (didn't see it often, I am an early bird, but not that early...)

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    1. Dear Brigitta, it is a lovely moment you describe in the garden. Eos is not a force who hurries but creates great variety wherever she reaches. My account of her mothers is only an approximation and might be flawed.

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  10. My favorite time of day is early morning, and even as a teenager, I often sat outside by myself to watch the sun come up. Ironically, the only days I want to sleep in occur on those rare occasions we have to set an alarm. (other than the four-footed furry ones) My wee bit of meaningless rebellion, I suppose.

    You really would have made a great prof, dude. You know how to make people think.

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    1. Welcoming the rise of a new day is never meaningless, Susan. It's just that some of us fall back to sleep at it. Don't know if what I do is thinking or just organizing random mental gestures, but appreciate the compliment.

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