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Thread: Let's Read Myths: Currently on THEOGONY

  1. #1
    The Demon King Of Time thegoldenboy2188's Avatar
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    Greek Myths: Theogony: Hymn To The Muses

    So I really like myths, so I decided to make this reading thread where I read them.

    I've decided to start on greek myths and stories first since these are the ones I'm most familiar with, but I will branch into and start reading myths from other religions as well.

    I wanted to start with the Theogony because it explains the cosmology and relations between the gods.

    The version of Theogony I'm reading is from translated by Evelyn White and H.B Leob.

    After this, I'll read Hesiod's other works, Work And Days, Shield Of Heracles, Catalogues Of Women, and the Miscellaneous Fragments.

    After that, I'll just go down the Library list till I exhaust that and read stuff from the bibliography. I might also review Wikipedia/Brittanica pages and OSP videos.

    So let's start with Hymn To The Muses.

    Hymn To The Muses is the first chapter of the Theogony, it talks about the nine Muses, Cleio, Euterpe, Thaleia, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Erato, Polyhymnia, Urania, and Calliope coming down from Mount Helicon to speak to Hesiod and bless him to regal about the goodness of the Gods.

    It starts with describing the ritual the Muses perform. Bathing in the Permessus, Horse's Spring, or Olmeius and then dancing on Helicon. When night comes they leave their mountain, hidden in mist, and sing about the Gods.

    While Hesiod was tending to his lambs under Mount Helicon, the Muses come down and tell him

    "Shepherds of the wilderness, wretched things of shame, mere bellies, we know how to speak many false things as though they were true; but we know, when we will, to utter true things."
    They give him a shoot of Laurel and bless him with a 'divine voice' telling him to sing about the Gods, but to only sing about them first and last.

    In which Hesiod writes

    But why all this about oak or stone?
    Which is a proverb meaning "why enlarge on irrelevant topics?"

    He speaks about how their voices resound on Olympus, honoring their father, Zeus, and "gladdening his heart."

    The second part of the chapter talks about the birth of the Muses. Zeus entered the bed of Mnemosyne, the Titan Of Memory for nine nights. And after a year she gave birth to nine daughters, the Muses.

    After being born they sing about the Gods and how good they are and go to Olympus to where their father resides.

    The leader of the Nine Muses, Calliope, blesses princes to be Gods among men on Earth, pouring sweet dew on their tongues at birth, blessing princes with wisdom and words. These princes that are blessed by Calliope are of Zeus as he too loves and blesses them.

    And it is thanks to Apollo and the Muses that Harps and songs exist for man. When men let grief and sorrow into their souls, the muses will sing about the Gods to relieve their plight and remind them of the Gift that the Gods give them.

    The final lines of this part of the poem are Hesiod hailing the gods and how they shared their wealth and honors.

    My thoughts:

    So Mount Helicon is an actual real place, not a made-up mountain.

    So are Permessus, Horse's Spring, and Olmeius.

    Permessus and Olmeius are rivers that run down the mountain, while Horse's Spring seems to be describing the Hippocrene, a spring on the mountain which in myth was created by Pegasus hitting a rock.

    Also proud to say that I recognized most of the names of the Gods in this chapter. Except for one, Dione. I thought at first that maybe it was an abbreviation of Dionysus, the Olympian God of Wine, but Dione is actually a Goddess, or more accurately a Titaness.

    Of course like what usually goes on with myths there seem to be multiple conflicting sources on her and her thing.

    I was momentarily confused on why both Athena and Zeus are called Aegis-Holder's but Athena did gift the Aegis to Zeus, didn't she?

    I wonder about the personalities of the Muses.

    "Shepherds of the wilderness, wretched things of shame, mere bellies, we know how to speak many false things as though they were true; but we know, when we will, to utter true things."
    This line makes it seem like they really dislike Shepherds, and lie a lot. But this time they're telling the truth to Hesiod, he also describes them as being carefree.

    And when a year was passed and the seasons came round as the months waned, and many days were accomplished, she bare nine daughters, all of one mind, whose hearts are set upon song and their spirit free from care, a little way from the topmost peak of snowy Olympus.
    Though I couldn't really find much of anything on their personalities other than nurturing and loving great poets and then feeling sad when they die.

    queenly Hera of Argos who walks on golden sandals

    I was wondering what Hera's relationship with Argos was.

    Argos is a real city that still exists today, Argos, Peloponnese - Wikipedia.

    Apparently, they actually had this temple called Heraeum where they worshipped her, so that probably is where the "Of Argos" title of her came from.

    What I don't understand is the golden sandals part. Is there a myth behind that?

    Them in Pieria did Mnemosyne (Memory), who reigns over the hills of Eleuther,
    So I was interested in what Pieria and Eleuther are.

    Pieria is a real place in Greece: Pieria (regional unit) - Wikipedia

    and Eleuther is probably referring to Eleutherae, a Boeotian town.

    Boeotia and Eleutherae are also real places.

    The Muses "gladdening" Zeus's heart is probably another way to say lifting his spirits.

    And finally,

    Cronos the crafty counsellor
    What does this mean? I only know what counselor means in the modern interpretation of the word, which I'm guessing is not what is being used here.

    Not the most constructive thoughts or criticisms I know. I don't have much of an opinion on this story yet, I'll try and inject some comedy and more of my opinions in the next updates.

  2. #2
    The Demon King Of Time thegoldenboy2188's Avatar
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    Greek Myths: Theogony: The Cosmogony

    In the following lines of the Theogony, Hesiod describes the Cosmogony and how the gods and world were created according to Greek myth.

    Verily at the first Chaos came to be, but next wide-bosomed Earth, the ever-sure foundations of all

    First Chaos appeared out of nowhere and just like him the Earth came into being after him. Also, Gaia has big tits and is a disk floating on the river Oceanus in Hesiodís mind. After Chaos and the Earth come the Ďdeathless onesí who are probably the Gods and Primordials. They hold up the peak of Olympus which Iím guessing means they keep Olympus working. From Chaos comes Eros, the God of Love, Nyx, the God of Night, Tartarus, and Erebus, the God of Darkness. Erebus and Nyx got together and made Aether(the upper atmosphere) and Hemera the Goddess of Day.

    So now the Sky and stars are a thing. And then the Sky gets a mind of its own and Gaia falls in love with it and gets together, creating beautiful hills with Goddess-Nymphs out of happiness. He also gets together with Pontus, the sea. But doesnít actually love him.


    Super short, but the Cosmogony is only a paragraph and its 11:30 pm which is way to late to read deeply into this. Just wanted to make a quick update to say this is alive.

  3. #3
    The Demon King Of Time thegoldenboy2188's Avatar
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    Greek Myths: Theogony: THE CASTRATION OF URANUS

    Sorry for the inactivity for so long, I'm not abandoning this thing. I just had some stuff to do.

    Now it's time to read the third part of the Theogony, The Castration Of Uranus.
    [134] But afterwards she lay with Heaven and bare deep-swirling Oceanus, Coeus and Crius and Hyperion and Iapetus, Theia and Rhea, Themis and Mnemosyne and gold-crowned Phoebe and lovely Tethys. After them was born Cronos the wily, youngest and most terrible of her children, and he hated his lusty sire.
    So this chapter starts off by listing the names of all of Gaia's titan children, of which there are twelve. The chapter specifically draws attention to Cronos, whose said to be the worst and youngest of the Titans, and hates his dad.

    Of course, Uranus despite already having 12 kids goes to town with Gaia again. Having her bear three children. These children were said to be no different from the gods except instead of two eyes, they had one big eye in the middle of their heads, Cyclopes were the name given to them due to this trait. They also made Zeus's thunderbolt and said to be masters at crafting and strength.

    Seemingly not satisfied with 15 kids, Uranus and Gaia make another three more. This time Gaia gave birth to three brave and ill-mannered giants, each one had 100 limbs from their shoulders and 50 heads on their limbs. Just like the Cyclops, they were incredibly strong. And no one messed with them due to being the sons of the Sky and Earth.

    Well everyone except the Sky himself.

    Uranus, embarrassed by the Cyclops and hating the Hundred-handed Giants since they were born, hid them in a secret place on Earth where they couldn't see the sun.

    Uranus was happy, but the Earth was obviously upset that her children were being locked up decides to kill him. Creating a sickle of flint from herself she goes to her first set of children, the titans, and asks them to help her punish and exact revenge on Uranus.

    However, none of her titan children stepped up due to fear, everyone except Cronos.

    Giving him the sickle, Gaia explains the plan to kill Uranus to him and sets up an ambush.

    When night comes Uranus 'lays' himself onto Gaia, ready for a night of love until Kronos comes out of the shadows and cuts his balls off with the sickle Gaia gave him.

    Also said sickle is said to have jagged teeth and that's just ooooow.

    So when Uranus's blood hit the Earth it gave birth to many beings, Erinyes, Giants, and Nymphs. While his balls fall into the ocean and get swept away, making seafoam, which transforms into a beautiful Goddess named Aphrodite, don't think she needs an introduction.

    With her was Eros, who had been following her at birth and into Olympus, to the Assembly Of Gods. Where she becomes the Olympian Goddess of Love.

    At the end of the chapter, it is said Uranus had expressed disappointment at the first set of his children, though not to the point of locking them up as he did with the Cyclops and Hundred-Handed Giants. Calling them Titans which means 'The Strainers' in Ancient Greek. Presumably, this is because just like their other brothers they were ill-mannered and not the best of gods?

    But Uranus wasn't done after getting his balls chopped off, and would exact his vengeance.

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