Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Story of Cupid and Psyche

Module: 10 The Story of Cupid and Psyche
Posted by: Jinky Catherine M. Miake

There is a young woman named Psyche would is so lovely that the goddess Aphrodite grows jealous of the attention the young woman receives. She commends her son to kill the girl, but Cupid accidently touches pne of his arrows at the same time he looks at her, and so falls in love. He has her carried away to his home, and visits her every night, commanding her never to look at him. One night her curiousity grows too strong, so she sneaks a lamp into the bedchamber. When she sees the sleeping god, she is startled, and a drop of oil splashes on his shoulder. He awakes and abandons her out of anger. She goes to his mother, begging to be reunited with her husband. Aphrodite sets her about a number of tasks, the last of which is to fetch a box from the underworld. On returning from her journey, Pysche opens the box to look inside, and is overcome by a powerful sleep. Cupid finds her there, and asks the other gods to restore her and make her a Goddess. This wish is fulfilled, and the two are united again.

Cupid and Psyche

A certain king and queen had three daughters. The charms of the two elder were more than common, but the beauty of the youngest was so wonderful that the poverty of language is unable to express its due praise. The fame of her beauty was so great that strangers from neighboring countries came in crowds to enjoy the sight, and looked on her with amazement, paying her that homage which is due only to Venus herself. In fact Venus found her altars deserted, while men turned their devotion to this young virgin. As she passed along, the people sang her praises, and strewed her way with chaplets and flowers.

This homage to the exaltation of a mortal gave great offense to the real Venus. Shaking her ambrosial locks with indignation, she exclaimed, "Am I then to be eclipsed in my honors by a mortal girl? In vain then did that royal shepherd, whose judgment was approved by Jove himself, give me the palm of beauty over my illustrious rivals, Pallas and Juno. But she shall not so quietly usurp my honors. I will give her cause to repent of so unlawful a beauty."

Thereupon she calls her winged son Cupid, mischievous enough in his own nature, and rouses and provokes him yet more by her complaints. She points out Psyche to him and says, "My dear son, punish that contumacious beauty; give your mother a revenge as sweet as her injuries are great; infuse into the bosom of that haughty girl a passion for some low, mean, unworthy being, so that she may reap a mortification as great as her present exultation and triumph."

Cupid prepared to obey the commands of his mother. There are two fountains in Venus's garden, one of sweet waters, the other of bitter. Cupid filled two amber vases, one from each fountain, and suspending them from the top of his quiver, hastened to the chamber of Psyche, whom he found asleep. He shed a few drops from the bitter fountain over her lips, though the sight of her almost moved him to pity; then touched her side with the point of his arrow. At the touch she awoke, and opened eyes upon Cupid (himself invisible), which so startled him that in his confusion he wounded himself with his own arrow. Heedless of his wound, his whole thought now was to repair the mischief he had done, and he poured the balmy drops of joy over all her silken ringlets.

Psyche, henceforth frowned upon by Venus, derived no benefit from all her charms. True, all eyes were cast eagerly upon her, and every mouth spoke her praises; but neither king, royal youth, nor plebeian presented himself to demand her in marriage. Her two elder sisters of moderate charms had now long been married to two royal princes; but Psyche, in her lonely apartment, deplored her solitude, sick of that beauty which, while it procured abundance of flattery, had failed to awaken love.

Her parents, afraid that they had unwittingly incurred the anger of the gods, consulted the oracle of Apollo, and received this answer, "The virgin is destined for the bride of no mortal lover. Her future husband awaits her on the top of the mountain. He is a monster whom neither gods nor men can resist."

This dreadful decree of the oracle filled all the people with dismay, and her parents abandoned themselves to grief. But Psyche said, "Why, my dear parents, do you now lament me? You should rather have grieved when the people showered upon me undeserved honors, and with one voice called me a Venus. I now perceive that I am a victim to that name. I submit. Lead me to that rock to which my unhappy fate has destined me." 

Accordingly, all things being prepared, the royal maid took her place in the procession, which more resembled a funeral than a nuptial pomp, and with her parents, amid the lamentations of the people, ascended the mountain, on the summit of which they left her alone, and with sorrowful hearts returned home.
While Psyche stood on the ridge of the mountain, panting with fear and with eyes full of tears, the gentle Zephyr raised her from the earth and bore her with an easy motion into a flowery dale. By degrees her mind became composed, and she laid herself down on the grassy bank to sleep. 

When she awoke refreshed with sleep, she looked round and beheld near a pleasant grove of tall and stately trees. She entered it, and in the midst discovered a fountain, sending forth clear and crystal waters, and fast by, a magnificent palace whose august front impressed the spectator that it was not the work of mortal hands, but the happy retreat of some god. Drawn by admiration and wonder, she approached the building and ventured to enter. 

Every object she met filled her with pleasure and amazement. Golden pillars supported the vaulted roof, and the walls were enriched with carvings and paintings representing beasts of the chase and rural scenes, adapted to delight the eye of the beholder. Proceeding onward, she perceived that besides the apartments of state there were others filled with all manner of treasures, and beautiful and precious productions of nature and art.

While her eyes were thus occupied, a voice addressed her, though she saw no one, uttering these words, "Sovereign lady, all that you see is yours. We whose voices you hear are your servants and shall obey all your commands with our utmost care and diligence. Retire, therefore, to your chamber and repose on your bed of down, and when you see fit, repair to the bath. Supper awaits you in the adjoining alcove when it pleases you to take your seat there."

Psyche gave ear to the admonitions of her vocal attendants, and after repose and the refreshment of the bath, seated herself in the alcove, where a table immediately presented itself, without any visible aid from waiters or servants, and covered with the greatest delicacies of food and the most nectareous wines. Her ears too were feasted with music from invisible performers; of whom one sang, another played on the lute, and all closed in the wonderful harmony of a full chorus.

She had not yet seen her destined husband. He came only in the hours of darkness and fled before the dawn of morning, but his accents were full of love, and inspired a like passion in her. She often begged him to stay and let her behold him, but he would not consent. On the contrary he charged her to make no attempt to see him, for it was his pleasure, for the best of reasons, to keep concealed.
"Why should you wish to behold me?" he said. "Have you any doubt of my love? Have you any wish ungratified? If you saw me, perhaps you would fear me, perhaps adore me, but all I ask of you is to love me. I would rather you would love me as an equal than adore me as a god."

This reasoning somewhat quieted Psyche for a time, and while the novelty lasted she felt quite happy. But at length the thought of her parents, left in ignorance of her fate, and of her sisters, precluded from sharing with her the delights of her situation, preyed on her mind and made her begin to feel her palace as but a splendid prison. When her husband came one night, she told him her distress, and at last drew from him an unwilling consent that her sisters should be brought to see her.

So, calling Zephyr, she acquainted him with her husband's commands, and he, promptly obedient, soon brought them across the mountain down to their sister's valley. They embraced her and she returned their caresses.
"Come," said Psyche, "enter with me my house and refresh yourselves with whatever your sister has to offer." 

Then taking their hands she led them into her golden palace, and committed them to the care of her numerous train of attendant voices, to refresh them in her baths and at her table, and to show them all her treasures. The view of these celestial delights caused envy to enter their bosoms, at seeing their young sister possessed of such state and splendor, so much exceeding their own.

They asked her numberless questions, among others what sort of a person her husband was. Psyche replied that he was a beautiful youth, who generally spent the daytime in hunting upon the mountains.
The sisters, not satisfied with this reply, soon made her confess that she had never seen him. Then they proceeded to fill her bosom with dark suspicions. "Call to mind," they said, "the Pythian oracle that declared you destined to marry a direful and tremendous monster. The inhabitants of this valley say that your husband is a terrible and monstrous serpent, who nourishes you for a while with dainties that he may by and by devour you. Take our advice. Provide yourself with a lamp and a sharp knife; put them in concealment that your husband may not discover them, and when he is sound asleep, slip out of bed, bring forth your lamp, and see for yourself whether what they say is true or not. If it is, hesitate not to cut off the monster's head, and thereby recover your liberty."

Psyche resisted these persuasions as well as she could, but they did not fail to have their effect on her mind, and when her sisters were gone, their words and her own curiosity were too strong for her to resist. So she prepared her lamp and a sharp knife, and hid them out of sight of her husband. When he had fallen into his first sleep, she silently rose and uncovering her lamp beheld not a hideous monster, but the most beautiful and charming of the gods, with his golden ringlets wandering over his snowy neck and crimson cheek, with two dewy wings on his shoulders, whiter than snow, and with shining feathers like the tender blossoms of spring. 

As she leaned the lamp over to have a better view of his face, a drop of burning oil fell on the shoulder of the god. Startled, he opened his eyes and fixed them upon her. Then, without saying a word, he spread his white wings and flew out of the window. Psyche, in vain endeavoring to follow him, fell from the window to the ground. 

Cupid, beholding her as she lay in the dust, stopped his flight for an instant and said, "Oh foolish Psyche, is it thus you repay my love? After I disobeyed my mother's commands and made you my wife, will you think me a monster and cut off my head? But go; return to your sisters, whose advice you seem to think preferable to mine. I inflict no other punishment on you than to leave you for ever. Love cannot dwell with suspicion." So saying, he fled away, leaving poor Psyche prostrate on the ground, filling the place with mournful lamentations.

When she had recovered some degree of composure she looked around her, but the palace and gardens had vanished, and she found herself in the open field not far from the city where her sisters dwelt. She repaired thither and told them the whole story of her misfortunes, at which, pretending to grieve, those spiteful creatures inwardly rejoiced. 

"For now," said they, "he will perhaps choose one of us." With this idea, without saying a word of her intentions, each of them rose early the next morning and ascended the mountain, and having reached the top, called upon Zephyr to receive her and bear her to his lord; then leaping up, and not being sustained by Zephyr, fell down the precipice and was dashed to pieces.
Psyche meanwhile wandered day and night, without food or repose, in search of her husband. Casting her eyes on a lofty mountain having on its brow a magnificent temple, she sighed and said to herself, "Perhaps my love, my lord, inhabits there," and directed her steps thither.
She had no sooner entered than she saw heaps of corn, some in loose ears and some in sheaves, with mingled ears of barley. Scattered about, lay sickles and rakes, and all the instruments of harvest, without order, as if thrown carelessly out of the weary reapers' hands in the sultry hours of the day.

This unseemly confusion the pious Psyche put an end to, by separating and sorting everything to its proper place and kind, believing that she ought to neglect none of the gods, but endeavor by her piety to engage them all in her behalf. The holy Ceres, whose temple it was, finding her so religiously employed, thus spoke to her, "Oh Psyche, truly worthy of our pity, though I cannot shield you from the frowns of Venus, yet I can teach you how best to allay her displeasure. Go, then, and voluntarily surrender yourself to your lady and sovereign, and try by modesty and submission to win her forgiveness, and perhaps her favor will restore you the husband you have lost."

Psyche obeyed the commands of Ceres and took her way to the temple of Venus, endeavoring to fortify her mind and ruminating on what she should say and how best propitiate the angry goddess, feeling that the issue was doubtful and perhaps fatal.

Venus received her with angry countenance. "Most undutiful and faithless of servants," said she, "do you at last remember that you really have a mistress? Or have you rather come to see your sick husband, yet laid up of the wound given him by his loving wife? You are so ill favored and disagreeable that the only way you can merit your lover must be by dint of industry and diligence. I will make trial of your housewifery." Then she ordered Psyche to be led to the storehouse of her temple, where was laid up a great quantity of wheat, barley, millet, vetches, beans, and lentils prepared for food for her pigeons, and said, "Take and separate all these grains, putting all of the same kind in a parcel by themselves, and see that you get it done before evening." Then Venus departed and left her to her task.
But Psyche, in a perfect consternation at the enormous work, sat stupid and silent, without moving a finger to the inextricable heap.

While she sat despairing, Cupid stirred up the little ant, a native of the fields, to take compassion on her. The leader of the anthill, followed by whole hosts of his six-legged subjects, approached the heap, and with the utmost diligence taking grain by grain, they separated the pile, sorting each kind to its parcel; and when it was all done, they vanished out of sight in a moment.

Venus at the approach of twilight returned from the banquet of the gods, breathing odors and crowned with roses. Seeing the task done, she exclaimed, "This is no work of yours, wicked one, but his, whom to your own and his misfortune you have enticed." So saying, she threw her a piece of black bread for her supper and went away.

Next morning Venus ordered Psyche to be called and said to her, "Behold yonder grove which stretches along the margin of the water. There you will find sheep feeding without a shepherd, with golden-shining fleeces on their backs. Go, fetch me a sample of that precious wool gathered from every one of their fleeces."

Psyche obediently went to the riverside, prepared to do her best to execute the command. But the river god inspired the reeds with harmonious murmurs, which seemed to say, "Oh maiden, severely tried, tempt not the dangerous flood, nor venture among the formidable rams on the other side, for as long as they are under the influence of the rising sun, they burn with a cruel rage to destroy mortals with their sharp horns or rude teeth. But when the noontide sun has driven the cattle to the shade, and the serene spirit of the flood has lulled them to rest, you may then cross in safety, and you will find the woolly gold sticking to the bushes and the trunks of the trees."

Thus the compassionate river god gave Psyche instructions how to accomplish her task, and by observing his directions she soon returned to Venus with her arms full of the golden fleece; but she received not the approbation of her implacable mistress, who said, "I know very well it is by none of your own doings that you have succeeded in this task, and I am not satisfied yet that you have any capacity to make yourself useful. But I have another task for you. Here, take this box and go your way to the infernal shades, and give this box to Proserpine and say, 'My mistress Venus desires you to send her a little of your beauty, for in tending her sick son she has lost some of her own.' Be not too long on your errand, for I must paint myself with it to appear at the circle of the gods and goddesses this evening."

Psyche was now satisfied that her destruction was at hand, being obliged to go with her own feet directly down to Erebus. Wherefore, to make no delay of what was not to be avoided, she goes to the top of a high tower to precipitate herself headlong, thus to descend the shortest way to the shades below. But a voice from the tower said to her, "Why, poor unlucky girl, do you design to put an end to your days in so dreadful a manner? And what cowardice makes you sink under this last danger who have been so miraculously supported in all your former?" Then the voice told her how by a certain cave she might reach the realms of Pluto, and how to avoid all the dangers of the road, to pass by Cerberus, the three-headed dog, and prevail on Charon, the ferryman, to take her across the black river and bring her back again. But the voice added, "When Proserpine has given you the box filled with her beauty, of all things this is chiefly to be observed by you, that you never once open or look into the box nor allow your curiosity to pry into the treasure of the beauty of the goddesses."

Psyche, encouraged by this advice, obeyed it in all things, and taking heed to her ways traveled safely to the kingdom of Pluto. She was admitted to the palace of Proserpine, and without accepting the delicate seat or delicious banquet that was offered her, but contented with coarse bread for her food, she delivered her message from Venus. Presently the box was returned to her, shut and filled with the precious commodity. Then she returned the way she came, and glad was she to come out once more into the light of day.

But having got so far successfully through her dangerous task a longing desire seized her to examine the contents of the box. "What," said she, "shall I, the carrier of this divine beauty, not take the least bit to put on my cheeks to appear to more advantage in the eyes of my beloved husband!" So she carefully opened the box, but found nothing there of any beauty at all, but an infernal and truly Stygian sleep, which being thus set free from its prison, took possession of her, and she fell down in the midst of the road, a sleepy corpse without sense or motion.

But Cupid, being now recovered from his wound, and not able longer to bear the absence of his beloved Psyche, slipping through the smallest crack of the window of his chamber which happened to be left open, flew to the spot where Psyche lay, and gathering up the sleep from her body closed it again in the box, and waked Psyche with a light touch of one of his arrows. "Again," said he, "have you almost perished by the same curiosity. But now perform exactly the task imposed on you by my mother, and I will take care of the rest."

Then Cupid, as swift as lightning penetrating the heights of heaven, presented himself before Jupiter with his supplication. Jupiter lent a favoring ear, and pleaded the cause of the lovers so earnestly with Venus that he won her consent. On this he sent Mercury to bring Psyche up to the heavenly assembly, and when she arrived, handing her a cup of ambrosia, he said, "Drink this, Psyche, and be immortal; nor shall Cupid ever break away from the knot in which he is tied, but these nuptials shall be perpetual."
Thus Psyche became at last united to Cupid, and in due time they had a daughter born to them whose name was Pleasure.


This story centers on the power of true love. Psyche first doubts that love, feeling that she must see Cupid in the flesh. She later redeems herself many times over when she proves her commitment, overcoming all obstacles in her way. Figuratively, love (Cupid) and the soul ("psyche" is the Greek word for the soul) belong together in an inseparable union. When Cupid sees Psyche, the soul in its beauty, he immediately wants to join with her. Somehow, this beauty is admired by men but does not lead to the kind of love that eventuates in a marriage proposal. But Cupid is able to fully appreciate Psyche’s beauty.

The happy ending, with Venus, Psyche, and Cupid all reaching a positive resolution, illustrates that when love is pure, all pains, sorrows, and challenges will align to ensure that the love is realized. Even nature, as the ants and eagle demonstrate, support true love. Of all the stories in the Greek mythology, none more clearly demonstrates that true love exists than this story. Moreover, Psyche reveals that true love is to be defended and supported no matter what the cost. This part of the myth is beautifully retold by the modern author C.S. Lewis under the title Till We Have Faces.

Psyche remains an unusual example of a female character who acts like a male hero. Although other female characters (such as Artemis) perform traditionally male activities, none so boldly acts as a hero might: overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles, fighting to win true love, achieving a status that is more than human.

Importantly, Psyche is a rare being who begins as a mortal and ends as a divinity. Her unique position raises questions about spirituality. Is the soul properly a thing of the earth or a thing of the heavens? How does Psyche's being change when she becomes immortal? Was there something about Psyche that was more than human from the very beginning, and why did she win the attention of Cupid in the first place?

The story continues to explore the distinction between humans and gods, as Venus is bitterly jealous of a mortal who draws other mortals away from her, a goddess. On earth, the soul, figured as Psyche, is amazingly beautiful but faces great trials. Order is restored when the soul reaches the heavens. The prospect of one’s own soul following this path can be very attractive.

It seems that the decision is up to Zeus. Must a soul earn its place (with help) in the realm of divinity? Must there be an advocate, another god, who must bring the case to Zeus? Although such questions are left open, it seems clear that Psyche's determination, courage, and belief in true love help her achieve divine status.

This myth also shows some of the interlocking storylines of the myths. Psyche visits Persephone in the underworld (it must be winter). Persephone’s box reminds us of Pandora’s, especially because she is so curious to open it. We will see the River Styx again, too, not to mention Zeus and Venus. The interconnected nature of the tales does raise questions about chronology: besides the Creation of Earth, it is unclear what the chronology might be, and which story happens before another. But as the characters and places overlap, the myths show themselves to be not only inter textual with each other but also unified in their depiction of one world in which all these characters and stories exist.
Confirmation of Learning: 
  •  Who are the characters in the story?
  •  Characterize the main characters in the story.
  •  What is the main conflict of the story?
  •  What are the elements of symbolism used in the story?
  •  Summarize the story using the same plot and theme.

The Story of Jason and the Argonauts

Module: 9 The Story of Jason and the Argonauts
Posted by: Jibky Catherine M.

The story of Jason and his fellow Argonauts has enthralled the world. Jason’s quest to get the fabled Golden Fleece and bring it back to his homeland is a fabulous story of grit, compassion and revenge. Jason has been prophesied to take the throne of Thessaly. When he saves Pelias from drowning, but does not recognize him as the man who had earlier killed his father, Pelias tells Jason to travel to Colchis to find the Golden Fleece. Jason follows his advice and assembles a sailing crew of the finest men in Greece, including Hercules. They are under the protection of Hera, queen of the gods. Their voyage is replete with battles against harpies, a giant bronze Talos, a hydra, and an animated skeleton army.
The story of the Golden Fleece 
Well before the time of Jason, there lived two children, the boy Phrixos and his sister Helle, who were born of the union of King Athamas of Orchomenus and the cloud goddess Nephele. However, the King was seduced by the Queen of Thebes, Ino, and took her for his second wife. Ino, being jealous of his children, tricked Athamas into sacrificing them to the gods, as a sign of appeasement to end the long famine that was ruining their land. All of a sudden, during the sacrifice, a winged creature with a golden fleece appeared and took the two children away on its back to the far away land of Colchis. While flying over the sea, tragically Helle fell off the creature’s back and drowned. The sea where Helle fell was named Hellespont after her. The creature carried Phrixos safely to Colchis, where he later married the daughter of King Aeetes, sacrificed the creature to the gods and offered the king the Golden Fleece to give thanks for his hospitality. Sometime later, King Aeetes happened to hear a prophecy that not only foretold the loss of his kingdom to a stranger wishing to steal the Golden Fleece but also a betrayal by some member of his family. Aeetes killed Phrixos because he believed that he was the stranger man of the prophecy and nailed the Golden Fleece to a tree. He then had the tree and the Golden Fleece guarded by two fire breathing, bronze-hoofed bulls, known as the Khalkouri, and a dragon, to prevent anyone from stealing the fleece.


The Early Years
Jason was the son of the lawful king of Iolcus, but his uncle Pelias had usurped the throne. Pelias lived in constant fear of losing what he had taken so unjustly. He kept Jason's father a prisoner and would certainly have murdered Jason at birth. But Jason's mother deceived Pelias by mourning as if Jason had died. Meanwhile the infant was bundled off to the wilderness cave of Chiron the Centaur. Chiron tutored Jason in the lore of plants, the hunt and the civilized arts. When he had come of age, Jason set out like a proper hero to claim his rightful throne.
The First Test
Unknowingly, Jason was to play his part in a plan hatched on lofty Mount Olympus. Hera, wife of almighty Zeus himself, nursed a rage against King Pelias. For Jason's uncle, the usurper king, had honored all the gods but Hera. Rashly had he begrudged the Queen of Heaven her due. Hera's plan was fraught with danger; it would require a true hero. To test Jason's mettle, she contrived it that he came to a raging torrent on his way to Iolcus. And on the bank was a withered old woman. Would Jason go about his business impatiently, or would he give way to her request to be ferried across the stream?
The Oracle's Warning
Jason did not think twice. Taking the crone on his back, he set off into the current. And halfway across he began to stagger under her unexpected weight. For the old woman was none other than Hera in disguise. Some say that she revealed herself to Jason on the far shore; others claim that he never learned of the divine service he'd performed. Jason had lost a sandal in the swift-moving stream, and this would prove significant. For an oracle had warned King Pelias, "Beware a stranger who wears but a single sandal." When Jason arrived in Iolcus, he asserted his claim to the throne. But his uncle Pelias had no intention of giving it up, particularly to a one-shoed stranger.
The Challenge
Under the guise of hospitality, he invited Jason to a banquet. And during the course of the meal, he engaged him in conversation. "You say you've got what it takes to rule a kingdom," said Pelias. "May I take it that you're fit to deal with any thorny problems that arise? For example, how would you go about getting rid of someone who was giving you difficulties?" Jason considered for a moment, eager to show a kingly knack for problem solving. "Send him after the Golden Fleece?" he suggested. "Not a bad idea," responded Pelias. "It's just the sort of quest that any hero worth his salt would leap at. Why, if he succeeded he'd be remembered down through the ages. Tell you what, why don't you go?" 
The Argonauts
And so it came to pass that word went out the length and breadth of Greece that Jason was looking for shipmates to embark upon a perilous but glamorous adventure. And in spite of the miniscule chances of anyone surviving to lay eyes upon the Fleece let alone get past the guarding dragon and return with the prize, large numbers of heroes were ready to run the risk. These were known as the Argonauts, after their ship, the Argo. Among them were Hercules (or Heracles, to give him his proper Greek name) and the heroine Atalanta. Jason had the vessel constructed by the worthy shipwright Argus, who in a fit of vanity named her more or less after himself.
The Adventure Begins
Argus had divine sponsorship in his task, Hera having enlisted the aid of her fellow goddess Athena. This patroness of crafts secured a prow for the vessel from timber hewn at the sacred grove of Zeus at Dodona. This prow had the magical property of speaking - and prophesying - in a human voice. And so one bright autumn morning the Argo set out to sea, her benches crewed by lusty ranks of heroic rowers. And true to Pelias's fondest aspirations, it wasn't long before big troubles assailed the company. After stopping for better than a fortnight on an island populated exclusively by women, they put in at Salmydessus.

The Harpies
The king welcomed them but was in no mood for festive entertainment. Because he'd offended the gods, he'd been set upon by woman-headed, bird-bodied, razor-clawed scourges known as Harpies. These Harpies were possessed of reprehensible table manners. Every evening at dinnertime, they dropped by to defecate upon the king's repast and hung around making such a racket that he wouldn't have been able to eat had he the stomach for it. As a result, King Phineus grew thinner by the hour. Fortunately two of Jason's crew were direct descendants of the North Wind, which gave them the power to fly. And they kindly chased the Harpies so far away that the king was never bothered again.

The Clashing Rocks
In thanks, Phineus informed the Argonauts of a danger just ahead on the route to the Golden Fleece - two rocks called the Symplegades, which crashed together upon any ship passing between them. The king even suggested a mechanism by which one might avoid the effects of these Clashing Rocks. If a bird could be induced to pass between the crags first, causing them to clash together, the Argo could follow quickly behind, passing through safely before they were ready to snap shut again. By means of this device, Jason caused the rocks to spring together prematurely, nipping only the tail feathers of the bird. The Argo was able to pass between them relatively unscathed. Only her very stern was splintered.
The Flying Ram
Once arrived in Colchis, Jason had to face a series of challenges meted out by King Aeetes, ruler of this barbarian kingdom on the far edge of the heroic world. He and his people were not kindly disposed toward strangers, although on an earlier occasion he had extended hospitality to a visitor from Jason's home town. This may have been due to the newcomer's unorthodox mode of transportation. For he arrived on the back of a golden-fleeced flying ram. The stranger's name was Phrixus, and he had been on the point of being sacrificed when the ram carried him off. Having arrived safely in Colchis, he sacrificed the ram to the gods and hung its fleece in a grove. Aeetes gave him the hand of one of his daughters in marriage.

King Aeetes had taken a disliking to Jason on sight. He had no particular fondness for handsome young strangers who came traipsing into his kingdom on glorious quests featuring the trampling of his sacred grove and the carrying off of his personal property. For King Aeetes considered the Golden Fleece to be his own, and he was in the midst of telling Jason just what he could do with his precious quest when he was reminded of the obligations of hospitality by another of his daughters named Medea. Medea was motivated by more than good manners. For Hera had been looking out for Jason's interests, and she had succeeded in persuading her fellow goddess Aphrodite to intervene on Jason's behalf.
A Farmyard Chore
It was no problem at all for the Goddess of Love to arrange that Medea be stricken with passion for Jason the moment she first saw him. And it was a good thing for Jason that this was so. For not only was he spared a kingly tongue-lashing and a quick trip to the frontier, but Medea quietly offered to help him in his latest predicament. For once her father had calmed down, he had waxed suspiciously reasonable. Of course Jason could have the Fleece and anything else he required in furtherance of his quest - Aeetes couldn't imagine what had possessed him to be so uncooperative. All he required of Jason as a simple token of good faith was the merest of farmyard chores.
The Fire-Breathing Bulls

There were two bulls standing in the adjacent pasture. If Jason would be so kind as to harness them, plow the field, sow it and reap the harvest in a single day, King Aeetes would be much obliged - and only too happy to turn over the Golden Fleece. Oh, and there was one trifling detail of which Jason should be aware. These bulls were a bit unusual in that their feet were made of brass sharp enough to rip open a man from gullet to gizzard. And then of course there was the matter of their bad breath. In point of fact, they breathed flames. Along about this juncture Jason thought he heard his mommy, Queen Polymede, calling. But then, as noted, Medea took him gently aside and suggested that she might be of aid.
Plowing and Sowing
Quite conveniently for Jason, Medea was a famous sorceress, magic potions being her stock in trade. She slipped Jason a salve which, when smeared on his body, made him proof against fire and brazen hooves. And so it was that Jason boldly approached the bulls and brooked no bullish insolence. Disregarding the flames that played merrily about his shoulders and steering clear of the hooves, he forced the creatures into harness and set about plowing the field. Nor was the subsequent sowing any great chore for the now-heartened hero. Gaily strewing seed about like a nymph flinging flowers in springtime, he did not stop to note the unusual nature of the seed.

The Dragon's Teeth
Aeetes, it turns out, had got his hands on some dragon's teeth with unique agricultural properties. As soon as these hit the soil they began to sprout, which was good from the point of view of Jason accomplishing his task by nightfall, but bad in terms of the harvest. For each seed germinated into a fully-armed warrior, who popped up from the ground and joined the throng now menacing poor Jason. Aeetes, meanwhile, was standing off to the side of the field chuckling quietly to himself. It irked the king somewhat to see his daughter slink across the furrows to Jason's side, but he didn't think too much of it at the time. Having proven herself polite to a fault, maybe Medea was just saying a brief and proper farewell.
Conquest of the Seed Men
In actuality, she was once more engaged in saving the young hero's posterior. This time there was no traffic in magic embrocations. Medea merely gave Jason a tip in basic psychology. Jason, who it was quite clear by now lacked the heroic wherewithal to make the grade on his own, at least had the sense to recognize good advice. Employing the simple device suggested by Medea, he brought the harvest in on deadline with a minimum of personal effort. He simply threw a stone at one of the men. The man, in turn, thought his neighbor had done it. And in short order all the seed men had turned on one another with their swords until not one was left standing.
The Golden Fleece
Aeetes had no choice but to make as though he'd give the Fleece to Jason, but he still had no intention of doing so. He now committed the tactical error of divulging this fact to his daughter. And Medea, still entranced by the Goddess of Love, confided in turn in Jason. Furthermore, she offered to lead him under cover of darkness to the temple grove where the Fleece was displayed, nailed to a tree and guarded by a dragon. And so at midnight they crept into the sacred precinct of Ares, god of war. Jason, ever the hothead, whipped out his sword, but Medea wisely restrained his impetuosity.
The Aftermath
Instead, she used a sleeping potion to subvert the monster's vigilance. Together they made off with the Fleece and escaped to the Argo. Setting sail at once, they eluded pursuit. Thus Jason succeeded in his heroic challenge. And once returned to Greece, he abandoned Medea for another princess. For though Jason had sworn to love and honor Medea for the service she had done him, he proved as fickle in this regard as he'd been unfit for single-handed questing.
The crew included:
  • Admetus – cousin to Jason
  • Acastus – a son of Pelias and Jason’s cousin (he sailed with Jason against his fathers wishes)
  • Augeas – King of Elis
  • Castor – a horse expert
  • Echion – a son of Hermes
  • Erytus – a son of Hermes
  • Euphemus – son of Poseidon and was so fast he could race across water
  • Hercules – a son of Zeus
  • Idas – a son of Poseidon
  • Idmon – s prophet and a son of Apollo (Idmon joined crew even though he knew he would not return alive from the journey)
  • Periclymenus – a descendent of Poseidon and was able to change forms
  • Polydeuces – a son of Zeus and expert boxer
  • Neuplius – a descendent of Poseidon and expert seamenMeleager – Prince of Calydon
  • Orpheus – a son of Apollo and a great musician
  • Tiphys – the pilot of the Argo

    Myth or Reality? 
    The story of Jason and the Argonauts has been told and retold over centuries. The earliest account was written in 700 BC by Eumelos. However, the mention of the bronze giant Talos and the bronze-hoofed bulls and the subsequent discovery of the Bronze Age Civilization in 1870 may well date the Argonautic voyage to the 4th millennia BC. At the time of the story, Colchis was the farthest known land. Whether it was situated to the East or the West, this is another interesting debate. To ascertain whether the story is myth or reality, one can do nothing else but rely on the facts available.
    1. To mention some geographical facts, nowadays we know for sure that Iolcus is the modern day city of Volos and we guess that Colchis was an area in modern Georgia.
    2. Traveling from the banks of the river Phasis to the city of Aia in Colchis, the Argonauts see bodies wrapped in hides hanging from the trees. Travelers have reported this to be true in Georgia in the 17th century. It may have been some kind of ancient tradition or cruel custom that was in practice until some centuries ago.
     3. The land of Aia has not been discovered yet. In 1947, however, some excavations revealed that the town of Vani was an important part of Colchis (Georgia). An earlier excavation of 1860 had unearthed gold treasure at an ancient site near Vani. This may have been the city of Aia that Jason had visited, triggering off the tale of the Golden Fleece.
    4. The clashing rocks (Symplegades) were nothing else but the Strait of Gibraltar, or the Pillars of Hercules as they were known in the ancient times. The currents near the rocks may have been strong enough to generate enough fear amongst the ancient explorers to have created the story of the clashing rocks. Another version says that the Symplegades could have been the strait in the entance of the Propontida Sea, to the north of the Aegean, and this strait is probably the most definite.
    5. Uptil the time of Jason’s voyage, the ancient Greeks called the sea beyond the Symplegades, Axeinos Pontus meaning hostile sea. Jason’s passage through the clashing rocks and into the sea beyond was seen as an opening up to a new dimension in navigation, hereby renaming it Euxeinos Pontus, that is the welcoming sea.
    6. Two amongst the Argonauts, Castor and Polydeuces, were known as the Discouri. Some versions mention the Argonauts passing close to the North Pole. The Celts have been known to worship the Discouri as gods since ancient times. According to tradition, the Discouri had appeared on their land from the ocean. This may be attributed to the Argonauts and the presence of Castor and Polydeuces amongst them.
    7. Some Indo-European tablets dating from the 14th century BC have been revealed which show that the Hittite civilization had a myth similar to the love story of Jason and Medea. These tablets were uncovered during excavations in the 1920s-30s in central Turkey.
    8. Interestingly, a parallel theory states that the Argonauts’ voyage took them to South America. The presence of gold and precious metals in the South America may well have given rise to the story of the Golden Fleece. Jason’s adventures there could explain the ancient Hellenic inscriptions found in the inland of South America, the presence of Hellenic words in the Incan and Mayan language and the Aegean appearance of Mayan architecture.
    9. Whether Colchis (Georgia) or South America, in either case both were unknown to the ancients rendering Jason the first man to have undertaken such a long voyage.

    It is doubtful if this wonderful story is true or not. It is mostly possible that the story of Jason and the Argonauts is a very nice and exciting fable. However, one can infer a lot of this fable. Apart from the creative imagination of the Greeks who invented such a long story, we also understand that the Greek people had developed such an advanced navigation system and had thus explored the world in such an extent that they could create fables about legendary creatures and exciting adventures. Therefore, this story is mostly a combination of active imagination and historical facts, as most of the myths actually.

    Confirmation Of Learning:

    Comprehension Questions:
    1. Who is Jason?
    2. They were known as the ___________ after their ship, the Argo.
    3. Who were born in the union of King Athamas of Orchomenus and the cloud goddess Nephele?
    4. Who was the King seduced by the Queen of Thebes?
    5. Who killed Phrixos for the belief  that he was the stranger man of the prophecy? 
    6.Who is Jason's father?
    7. Who was the Goddess who test Jason's mettle?
    8. What mythological creature  possessed reprehensible table manners?
    9. Phineus informed the Argonauts of a danger just ahead on the route to the Golden Fleece - two rocks called the________________.
    10. Who was the ruler of  the barbarian kingdom Colchis?
    11.What mythological creature did Jason use in reaching Colchis?
    12. Who was Medea in Jason's life?
    13. Who was Jason's mother?
    14. What did Jason do in the farmyard?
    15. Did Jason succeeded in his heroic act?

    Discussion Questions: 
    1. In chronological order, enumerate the places Jason and the Argonauts have been.
    2. Characterize Jason in the story.
    3. What is the main conflict in the story?
    4. Comment on the structure of the story.
    5. Explain the meaning of the Golden Fleece.

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    The Underworld (Map of Hades)

    Module:8 The Underworld (Map of Hades)
    Posted by: Jinky Catherine M. Miake


    The Underworld, also referred to as "Hell" or to some people who don't want to say hell say Hades (Hades as the god, name means hell)

    Hades (play /ˈheɪdiːz/; from Greek ᾍδης (older form Ἀϝίδης}, Hadēs, originally Ἅιδης, Haidēs or Άΐδης, Aidēs (Doric Ἀΐδας Aidas), meaning "the unseen" refers both to the ancient Greek underworld, the abode of Hades, and to the god of the underworld. Hades in Homer referred just to the god; the genitive ᾍδου, Haidou, was an elision to denote locality: "[the house/dominion] of Hades". Eventually, the nominative, too, came to designate the abode of the dead.

    In Greek mythology, Hades is the oldest male child of Cronus and Rhea. According to myth, he and his brothers Zeus and Poseidon defeated the Titans and claimed rulership over the cosmos, ruling the underworld, air, and sea, respectively; the solid earth, long the province of Gaia, was available to all three concurrently. Because of his association with the underworld, Hades is often interpreted in modern times as the personification of death[citation needed], even though he was not.

    Hades was also called "Plouton" (Greek: Πλούτων, gen.: Πλούτωνος, meaning "Rich One"), a name which the Romans latinized as Pluto. The Romans would associate Hades/Pluto with their own chthonic gods; Dis Pater and Orcus. The corresponding Etruscan god was Aita.

    Symbols associated with him are the Helm of Darkness and the three-headed dog, Cerberus.

    The term hades in Christian theology (and in New Testament Greek) is parallel to Hebrew sheol (שאול, grave or dirt-pit), and refers to the abode of the dead. The Christian concept of hell is more akin to (and communicated by) the Greek concept of Tartarus, a deep, gloomy part of hades used as a dungeon of torment and suffering.
    Realm of Hades

    In older Greek myths, the realm of Hades is the misty and gloomy abode of the dead (also called Erebus), where all mortals go. Later Greek philosophy introduced the idea that all mortals are judged after death and are either rewarded or cursed. Very few mortals could leave his realm once they entered: the exceptions, Heracles, Theseus, are heroic. Even Odysseus in his Nekyia (Odyssey, xi) calls up the spirits of the departed, rather than descend to them.

    There were several sections of the realm of Hades, including Elysium, the Asphodel Meadows, and Tartarus. Greek mythographers were not perfectly consistent about the geography of the afterlife. A contrasting myth of the afterlife concerns the Garden of the Hesperides, often identified with the Isles of the Blessed, where the blessed heroes may dwell.

    In Roman mythology, the entrance to the Underworld located at Avernus, a crater near Cumae, was the route Aeneas used to descend to the realm of the dead. By synecdoche, "Avernus" could be substituted for the underworld as a whole. The Inferi Dii were the Roman gods of the underworld. 
    For Hellenes, the deceased entered the underworld by crossing the Acheron, ferried across by Charon (kair'-on), who charged an obolus, a small coin for passage placed in the mouth of the deceased by pious relatives. Paupers and the friendless gathered for a hundred years on the near shore according to Book VI of Vergil's Aeneid. Greeks offered propitiatory libations to prevent the deceased from returning to the upper world to "haunt" those who had not given them a proper burial. The far side of the river was guarded by Cerberus, the three-headed dog defeated by Heracles (Roman Hercules). Passing beyond Cerberus, the shades of the departed entered the land of the dead to be judged.

    The five rivers of the realm of Hades, and their symbolic meanings, are Acheron (the river of sorrow, or woe), Cocytus (lamentation), Phlegethon (fire), Lethe (oblivion), and Styx (hate), the river upon which even the gods swore and in which Achilles was dipped to render him invincible. The Styx forms the boundary between the upper and lower worlds. See also Eridanos.

    The first region of Hades comprises the Fields of Asphodel, described in Odyssey xi, where the shades of heroes wander despondently among lesser spirits, who twitter around them like bats. Only libations of blood offered to them in the world of the living can reawaken in them for a time the sensations of humanity.

    Beyond lay Erebus, which could be taken for a euphonym of Hades, whose own name was dread. There were two pools, that of Lethe, where the common souls flocked to erase all memory, and the pool of Mnemosyne ("memory"), where the initiates of the Mysteries drank instead. In the forecourt of the palace of Hades and Persephone sit the three judges of the Underworld: Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Aeacus. There at the trivium sacred to Hecate, where three roads meets, souls are judged, returned to the Fields of Asphodel if they are neither virtuous nor evil, sent by the road to Tartarus if they are impious or evil, or sent to Elysium (Islands of the Blessed) with the "blameless" heroes.

    In the Sibylline oracles, a curious hodgepodge of Greco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian elements, Hades again appears as the abode of the dead, and by way of folk etymology, it even derives Hades from the name Adam (the first man), saying it is because he was the first to enter there.

    God of the underworld
    In Greek mythology, Hades (the "unseen"), the god of the underworld, was a son of the Titans, Cronus and Rhea. He had three sisters, Demeter, Hestia, and Hera, as well as two brothers, Zeus, the youngest of the three, and Poseidon, collectively comprising the original six Olympian gods. Upon reaching adulthood, Zeus managed to force his father to disgorge his siblings. After their release the six younger gods, along with allies they managed to gather, challenged the elder gods for power in the Titanomachy, a divine war. Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades received weapons from the three Cyclopes to help in the war: Zeus the thunderbolt, Hades the Helm of Darkness, and Poseidon the trident. The night before the first battle, Hades put on his helmet and, being invisible, slipped over to the Titans' camp and destroyed their weapons. The war lasted for ten years and ended with the victory of the younger gods. Following their victory, according to a single famous passage in the Iliad (xv.187–93), Hades and his two brothers, Poseidon and Zeus, drew lots for realms to rule. Zeus got the sky, Poseidon got the seas, and Hades received the underworld, the unseen realm to which the dead go upon leaving the world as well as any and all things beneath the earth.

    Hades obtained his eventual consort and queen, Persephone, through trickery, a story that connected the ancient Eleusinian Mysteries with the Olympian pantheon in a founding myth for the realm of the dead. Helios told the grieving Demeter that Hades was not unworthy as a consort for Persephone:
    "Aidoneus, the Ruler of Many, is no unfitting husband among the deathless gods for your child, being your own brother and born of the same stock: also, for honor, he has that third share which he received when division was made at the first, and is appointed lord of those among whom he dwells."

    - Homeric Hymn to Demeter

    Despite modern connotations of death as evil, Hades was actually more altruistically inclined in mythology. Hades was often portrayed as passive rather than evil; his role was often maintaining relative balance.

    Hades ruled the dead, assisted by others over whom he had complete authority. He strictly forbade his subjects to leave his domain and would become quite enraged when anyone tried to leave, or if someone tried to steal the souls from his realm. His wrath was equally terrible for anyone who tried to cheat death or otherwise crossed him, as Sisyphus and Pirithous found out to their sorrow.

    Besides Heracles, the only other living people who ventured to the Underworld were all heroes: Odysseus, Aeneas (accompanied by the Sibyl), Orpheus, Theseus with Pirithous, and, in a late romance, Psyche. None of them were pleased with what they witnessed in the realm of the dead. In particular, the Greek war hero Achilles, whom Odysseus conjured with a blood libation, said:
        "O shining Odysseus, never try to console me for dying.
        I would rather follow the plow as thrall to another
        man, one with no land allotted to him and not much to live on,
        than be a king over all the perished dead."

                —Achilles' soul to Odysseus. Homer, Odyssey 11.488-491


    The consort of Hades was Persephone, represented by the Greeks as the beautiful daughter of Demeter.
    Persephone did not submit to Hades willingly, but was abducted by him while picking flowers in the fields of Nysa. In protest of his act, Demeter cast a curse on the land and there was a great famine; though, one by one, the gods came to request she lift it, lest mankind perish, she asserted that the earth would remain barren until she saw her daughter again. Finally, Zeus intervened; via Hermes, he requested that Hades return Persephone. Hades complied,

        "But he on his part secretly gave her sweet pomegranate seed to eat, taking care for himself that she might not remain continually with grave, dark-robed Demeter."
    Demeter questioned Persephone on her return to light and air:

        "...but if you have tasted food, you must go back again beneath the secret places of the earth, there to dwell a third part of the seasons every year: yet for the two parts you shall be with me and the other deathless gods."

    This bound her to Hades and the Underworld, much to the dismay of Demeter. It is not clear whether Persephone was accomplice to the ploy. Zeus proposed a compromise, to which all parties agreed: of the year, Persephone would spend one third with her husband.
    It is during this time that winter casts on the earth "an aspect of sadness and mourning."

    Map of Hades:

    Locations of the Underworld:The entrance is managed by Charon, the reaper of souls. He takes them into an elevator and heads down, where they sail across the River Styx toward the opposite shore. On that shore, Cerberus, a three-headed dog born from Echidna and Typhon stands guard. The souls must pass by Cerberus toward their afterlife. Once they pass Cerberus, they cannot leave.

    Door of Orpheus
    A lesser-known entrance, the Door of Orpheus, stands in Central Park, NY. Orpheus created it to retrieve the dead spirit of his wife, Eurydice. Music is required to open this door and Percy and Nico used it in The Last Olympian with Grover 's reed pipes. It lets out behind the main gates, therefore being more direct to Hades' palace.

    River Styx 

    Charon's ferry floats along this river on it's way to the main gate. In ancient history, Achilles used the river to become invincible. Since the river is so powerful, the person bathing in it has to pick one vunerable spot on their body to make sure you are anchored to their human life, or else they will dissolve into the river. Thus the saying "Achilles' Heel" came to be because he was defeated in his vulnerable spot, his heel. There is also a place on the human heel that is called the "Achilles Tendon", mainly because that is what scientists discovered and named with Achilles.

    Luke Castellan used the river to be able to host Kronos. His weakness was a small bit of skin just under his left arm.

    Getting the idea from Nico di Angelo, Percy Jackson used the river to become invincible so he could defeat Kronos. His vulnerable point was in the small of his back.

    Also swearing on the river styx is about the most serious oath you can make but the gods get off easy when they break there oath

    The Fields of Punishment

    The Fields of Punishment are fields of complete and brutal torture for souls of people who have done extreme wrongs in their lifetimes.

        * King Sisyphus cheated death numerous times with the first one having him chain up Thanatos so that no one can die. He even appealed to Persephone that his wife never gave him a proper funeral. Sisyphus was sentence to roll a boulder up a hill that would roll back down when it gets close to the top.

        * King Tantalus was invited to dine with the gods and was said to have stolen nectar and ambrosia and brought it back to his people alongside the secret of the gods. Tantalus later chopped up his son Pelops and served him as food to the Gods. Upon his death, his punishment was to stand in the middle of a lake under the branches of a fruit tree, but whenever he reached for the fruit, the branches would retreat from his grasp, and whenever he leaned down for a drink, the water would recede from him.

        * Ixion was the king of the Lapiths, the most ancient tribe of Thessaly. Ixion got mad at his father in law and ended up pushing him onto a bed of coal and woods commiting the first kin-related murder. The princes of other lands ordered that Ixion be denied of any sin clensing. Of course Zeus took pity on Ixion and was invited to a meal on Olympus. But when he saw Hera, he fell in love with her and did some under the table caressing until Zeus signaled him to stop. Zeus created a cloud-clone of Hera to test him and Ixion made love to her which resulted in the birth of Centauros who mated with some Magnesian mares on Mount Pelion engendering the race of Centaurs,who are called the Ixionidae from their descent. Zeus ended up driving Ixion from Mount Olympus and then struck him with a thunderbolt. He was sentenced to eternity in the Fields of Punishment tied to a winged flaming wheel that was always spinning. Only when Orpheus came down to the Underworld to rescue Eurydice did it stop spinning because of the music Orpheus was playing.

    It has "miles of barbed wire separating the different torture areas." Some of the torture areas include being burned at the stake, running through cactus patches naked, being chased by Hellhounds, and being forced to listen to opera music. It is also noted by Percy Jackson in the Lightning Theif that there was lots of people in the Fields of Punishment

    The Fields of Asphodel

    Souls who don't wish to be judged go the Asphodel Fields. According to Grover, it is described as "standing in a wheat field in Kansas for eternity." Annabeth Chase stated that most people don't do either good or bad in their lifetimes, thus floating in the Asphodel Fields forever.


    Elysium is the place of paradise for heroes. Those who die a hero's death live in peace in Elysium. Percy states that is where he wants to end up and it is where the demigod and ex-Hunter, Bianca di Angelo is now. Charles Beckendorf, Silena Beauregard, Lee Fletcher, Ethan Nakamura, and Luke Castellan are also there. In the middle of the lake, is the Isles of the Blest.

    According to Percy, the only part of Elysium that can be seen behind its locked gate are several houses from different time periods. The grass ripples in rainbow colors and it is possible for one standing outside the gate to hear laughter and smell barbecue cooking.

    Isles of the Blest

    The Isles of Blest is reserved for heroes who have chosen to be reborn three times, each time achieving Elysium. Not many people live in the Isles of the Blest, and not many will, as there are not a lot of people who do good in their life, according to Percy Jackson. Luke Castellan, was one of the few heroes who wished to go into the Isles of the Blest, when he sacrificed himself in order to destroy Kronos. Annabeth instead, tells him that he always put too much stress on himself.

    It is described as a glittering blue lake with three small islands like a vacation resort in the Bahamas.

    Tartarus is the darkest and deepest area of the Underworld. Tartarus is where the gods imprison their enemies, chiefly the Titans. Kronos is known for being held there. When a monster is slain, its essence is sent to Tartarus until they can reform.

    Tartarus is the lowest region of the world, as far below earth as earth is from heaven. Tartarus is described as a dank, gloomy pit, surrounded by a wall of bronze, and beyond that a three-fold layer of night. According to the Illiad, it is a 9-day anvil fall from the other regions of Hades.

    Confirmation of Learning

    Comprehension Questions:
    1. The Underworld, is also referred to as ________.
    2. __________refers to the abode of the dead.
    3. What are the three several sections of the realm of Hades?
    4. In Roman mythology, where is the entrance to the Underworld located?
    5. What are the five rivers of the realm of Hades?
    6.__________is where the shades of heroes wander despondently among lesser spirits, who twitter around them like bats.
    7. Who were the three judges appointed by Hades and Persephone?
    8. How did Hades obtained his eventual consort and queen, Persephone?
    9. Who is the consort of Hades?
    10.Who is the reaper of souls?
    11.________is a three-headed dog born from Echidna and Typhon stands guard.
    12. Who was sentence to roll a boulder up a hill that would roll back down when it gets close to the top?
    13._____________was the king of the Lapiths, the most ancient tribe of Thessaly.
    14.Souls who don't wish to be judged go to the_____________.
    15._____________is the place of paradise for heroes.
    Discussion Question: 
    1. What are the strength and weaknesses of Hades?
    2.Characterize Hades in the story.
    3. Describe the time, place and elements of the story.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    Greek Mythological Creatures

    Module:6 Greek Mythological Creatures
    Posted by: Jinky Catherine M. Miake

    Monsters in Greek mythology usually destroy people or ravage the countryside. Some of the mythological creatures are daughters and sons of some major gods and goddesses.

     The definition of a Centaur:
    -One of a race of monsters having the head, torso, and arms of a man, and the body and legs of a horse.
    In Greek mythology, the centaurs (Greek: Κένταυροι) are a race of creatures composed of part human and part horse. In early Attic vase-paintings, the head and torso of a human joined at the (human's) waist to the horse's withers, where the horse's neck would be.
    This half-human and half-animal composition has lead many writers to treat them as liminal beings, caught between the two natures, embodied in contrasted myths, of centaurs as the embodiment of untamed nature, as in their battle with the Lapiths, or conversely as teachers, as Chiron.

    Centaurs are said to be extremely heavy drinkers, and were usually depicted as beasts of Dionysus.
    They were thought to carry bows and are very short tempered creatures.
    There is only one Cerberus know to exist in classic mythology. In Greek and Roman mythology, Cerberus (derived from Greek "kerberos") is the guardian of the gates of the Underworld, Hades. Its sole purpose is to prevent doomed souls from escaping. Cerberus; like his brother, Orthrus, and many other monsters of Greek mythology was spawned from Echidna, also known as the mother of all monsters. It is most commonly depicted as a giant dog with three heads, and sometimes a mane composed of snakes, much like the hair of the gorgon, Medusa. Some renderings portray the beast with one single tail; others two, sometimes three. The tail(s) is/are that of a serpent. The Cerberus is regarded as a great and fearsome creature and is the original - or at least most widely known - Hellhound.
      Charbdisy is a monster from Greek Mythology. She is Partnered with Scylla, who sits apon the cliff next to her.
    No, Charybdis is not just a whirlpool. Unknown by many, there is actually a monster under the water. There is no description in any writing (that I have seen) of what she actually looks like.
    --The whirlpool part of her, is when she opens her gaping mouth and sucks in. She swallows everything; water, passing ships, sea animals, everything.
    --Then, she exhales and spits everything out. Everything flies everywhere.
    And everything is timed surprisingly. These things happen at the same time every day. Many heroes of Greek Legend traveled by here safely; and many died. But who hears the story of the hero who got eaten by Charybdis? No one.

     The Chimera was a monstrous beast which ravaged the countryside of Lycia in Anatolia that was to be able to breath fire. There have been many discriptions of how it looks but in all the descriptions it is part lion, goat and snake.
    The hero Bellerophon was commanded to slay it by King Iobates. He rode into battle against the beast on the back of the winged horse Pegasus and, driving a lead-tipped lance down the Chimeras flaming throat, suffocating her.
    The Chimera may have once been identified with the winter-rising Constellation Capricorn (the serpent-tailed goat).
    Next to the dragon, the chimera is the second most popular beast to guard portals.
    The chimera is also female and is the youngest daughter of Echidna and Typhon. She is also said to be the last child the two had together The word chimera is also used in modern pop-culture within both the fantasy and science-fiction communities to refer to unnatural beings created from the combination of two or more animals by means other than breeding.

     In Greek mythology a cyclops (pronounced /ˈsaɪklɒps/), or kyklops (Greek Κύκλωψ), is a member of a primordial race of giants, each with a single eye in the middle of its forehead. The plural is cyclopes (pronounced IPA: /saɪˈkloʊpiːz/) or kyklopes (Greek Κύκλωπες). In English, the plural cyclopses is also used. The name is widely thought to mean "round-" or "wheel-eyed".

    Hesiod describes one group of cyclopes and Homer describes another. In Hesiod'Toy Cyclopss Theogony, Zeus releases three Cyclopes, the sons of Uranus and Gaia, from the dark pit of Tartarus. They provide Zeus's thunderbolt, Hades' helmet of invisibility, and Poseidon's trident, and the gods use these weapons to defeat the Titans. In a famous episode of Homer's Odyssey, the hero Odysseus encounters the Cyclops Polyphemus, the son of Poseidon and a nereid (Thoosa), who lives with his fellow Cyclopes in a distant country. The connection between the two groups has been debated in antiquity and by modern scholars.

    Dryads are tree nymphs in Greek mythology. In Greek drys signifies 'oak,' from an Indo-European root *derew(o)- 'tree' or 'wood'. Thus dryads are specifically the nymphs of oak trees, though the term has come to be used for all tree nymphs in general. "Such deities are very much overshadowed by the divine figures defined through poetry and cult," Walter Burkert remarked of Greek nature deities (Burkert 1986, p174). Normally considered to be very shy creatures, except around the goddess Artemis who was known to be a friend to most nymphs. Dryads, like all nymphs, were supernaturally long-lived and tied to their homes, but some were a step beyond most nymphs. These were the hamadryads who were an integral part of their trees, such that if the tree died, the hamadryad associated with it died as well. For these reasons, dryads and the Greek gods punished any mortals who harmed trees without first propitiating the tree-nymphs

    Her face and torso are that of a beautiful woman and was depicted as winged in archaic vase-paintings, but always with the body of a serpent. She is also sometimes described as having two serpent's tails. The goddess fierce Echidna who is half a nymph with glancing eyes and fair cheeks, and half again a huge snake, great and awful, with speckled skin, eating raw flesh beneath the secret parts of the holy earth. And there she has a cave deep down under a hollow rock far from the deathless gods and mortal men. There, then, did the gods appoint her a glorious house to dwell in: and she keeps guard in Arima beneath the earth, grim Echidna, a nymph who dies not nor grows old all her days. (Theogony, 295-305)
    Echidna also had many children with her mate, Typhon, all of which were horrible monsterous creatures earning her the name "Mother of Monsters". Her children included...Nemean Lion, Lycian Chimera, Ladon, Theban Sphinx, Lerneaen Hydra, Cerberus, Orthrus, Ethon/Caucasus Eagle, Teumession Fox, Crommyonian Sow, Colchian Dragon.

    (ALSO KNOWN AS THE Erinyes)

    In Greek mythology the Erinyes ("the angry ones") or Eumenides ("the gracious ones") or Furies in Roman mythology were female, chthonic deities of vengeance or supernatural personifications of the anger of the dead. They represent regeneration and the potency of creation, which both consumes and empowers. A formulaic oath in the Iliad invokes them as "those who beneath the earth punish whoever has sworn a false oath." Burkert suggests they are "an embodiment of the act of self-cursing contained in fat cats".[
    When the Titan Cronos castrated his father Ouranos and threw his genitalia into the sea, the Erinyes emerged from the drops of blood, while Aphrodite was born from the seafoam. According to a variant account, they issued from an even more primordial level—from Nyx, "Night". Their number is usually left indeterminate. Virgil, probably working from an Alexandrian source, recognized three: Alecto ("unceasing," who appeared in Virgil's Aeneid), Megaera ("grudging"), and Tisiphone ("avenging murder"). Dante followed Virgil in depicting the same three-charactered triptych of Erinyes. The heads of the Erinyes were wreathed with serpents (like a Gorgon) and their eyes dripped with blood, rendering their appearance rather weird and disturbing. Sometimes they had the wings of a bat or bird and the body of a dog.

     Harpy (from Latin: Harpyia, Greek: Άρπυια, Harpuia, pl. Άρπυιαι, Harpuiai) in Greek mythology, the Harpies ("snatchers"[1]) were mainly winged death-spirits (Harrison 1903, p 176ff), best known for constantly stealing all food from Phineas. The literal meaning of the word seems to be "whirlwinds".

    The Harpy could also bring life. A Harpy was the mother by the West Wind Zephyros of the horses of Achilles (Iliad xvi. 160). In this context Jane Harrison adduced the notion in Virgil's Georgics that mares became gravid by the wind alone, marvelous to say (iii.274).

    Though Hesiod (Theogony) calls them two "lovely-haired" creatures, Harpies as beautiful winged bird-women are a late development, in parallel with the transformation of the "Siren, a creature malign though seductive in Homer, but gradually softened by the Athenian imagination into a sorrowful death angel" (Harrison p 177). On a vase in the Berlin Museum (Harrison, fig 19), a harpy has a small.

    The hippocampi or hippocampus (plural: hippocampi; Greek: ἱππόκαμπος, from ἵππος, "horse" and κάμπος, "monster"[1] [2]),Hippo campus is a mythological creature shared by Phoenician[4] and Greek mythology, though the name by which it is recognised is purely Greek; it became part of Etruscan mythology. It has typically been depicted as a horse in its forepart with a coiling, scaly, fishlike hindquarter. The Hippocampus or hippocampi are also commonly referred to as Poseidons horses.

    Hydra is an ancient Greek mythical beast that was mentioned in the tale of the twelve labours of Hercules (also called Heracles). The hydra has 9 heads, the number of head varies from different versions of the legend, however, more accounts agree on nine. It was said that the middle one was immortal and it has very poisonous venom and breath.

    If the heads are cut off, the heads would grow back. One head cut-off would result to two heads growing back in its place.

    Kraken ( kra’ ken, IPA: /ˈkrɑːkɛn/) are legendary sea monsters of gargantuan size, said to have dwelled off the coasts of Norway and Iceland. The sheer size and fearsome appearance attributed to the beasts have made them common ocean-dwelling monsters in various fictional works. The legend may actually have originated from sightings of real giant squid that are estimated to grow to 13 metres (46 feet) in length, including the tentacles. These creatures normally live at great depths, but have been sighted at the surface and reportedly have "attacked" ships. they are 330-490 feet wide. there tenticles can grow up to 900 feet long. and canweigh up to 400 tons

    These huge, many armed creatures would attack a ship by wrapping their arms around the hull and capsizing it, resulting in the crew drowning or being eaten by the monster. and sometimes can thrust its tenticles down with so much velocity it can snap a large ship in 2 parts.

     In Greek mythology, Medusa (Greek: Μέδουσα, Médousa, "guardian, protectress") and some times knowen as the gorgan, was a monstrous chthonic female character, essentially an extension of an apotropaic mask, whose gaze could turn onlookers to stone. She was born of Phorcys and Ceto or in some cases, Typhon and Echidna (Pre-Titan gods) she had two sisters, Stheno and Euryale both of whom were immortal, Medusa was not. They lived on an island at the end of the world.

     A Minotaur is a creature from Greek mythology that is half human and half bull. It was said to have lived at the center of a great labyrinth (an elaborate maze) built for King Minos. In Greek mythology the minotaur was eventually killed by Theseus
    "Minotaur" is Greek for "Bull of Minos".
    Firstly, King Minos built the maze below his palace. Secondly, the Minotaur came into existence when King Minos asked Poseidon for a bull for sacrifice. When the bull came out of the sea, Minos took it and thanked Poseidon a lot. But when Minos broke a vow that he'd made previously, the god made Minos's wife fall in love with the bull. She had an affair with it and out came the Minotaur. Minos was terrified and locked the beast away in the maze. Every nine years he would sacrifice children to the monster to keep it at bay.

    A nymph is any member of a large class of female nature entities, either bound to a particular location or landform or joining the retinue of a god or goddess, particularly Artemis, goddess of the hunt. Nymphs were the frequent target of lusty satyrs.

    "The idea that rivers are gods and springs divine nymphs," Walter Burkert remarks (Burkert III.3.3) "is deeply rooted not only in poetry but in belief and ritual; the worship of these deities is limited only by the fact that they are inseparably identified with a specific locality." Nymphs are personifications of the creative and fostering activities of nature, most often identified with the life-giving outflow of springs. The Greek word νύμφη has "bride" and "veiled" among its meanings: hence, a marriagable young woman. Other readers refer the word (and also Latin nubere and German Knospe) to a root expressing the idea of "swelling" (according to Hesychius, one of the meanings of νύμφη is "rose-bud"). The home of the nymphs is on mountains and in groves, by springs and rivers, in valleys and cool grottoes. They are frequently associated with the superior divinities: the huntress Artemis; the prophetic Apollo; the reveller and god of wine, Dionysus; and with rustic gods such as Pan and Hermes (as the god of shepherds).

    Pegasus originates in Greek mythology. It is said Pegasus sprang from the blood of the Gorgon Medusa after Perseus beheaded her. Pegasus is described as a winged white horse although there are many other variations in modern fantasy.

    Apparently the original Pegasus only allowed two mortals to ride him, both were Greek heroes.

    Pegasus (pegai) in modern fantasy are still considered white, winged horses. They live in the forest and live in small herds. Very rarely one pegasus will befriend a human, or elf and become his/her companion.
    In Greek mythology, satyrs (in Greek, Σάτυροι — Sátyroi) are a troop of male companions of Pan and Dionysus— "satyresses" were a late invention of poets— that roamed the woods and mountains. In mythology they are often associated with male sex drive and vase-painters often portrayed them with erections. they also are associated with wine.

    Satyrs are described as having a strong human torso and goat legs, a goat tail, pointed ears, horns, curly hair and full beards, like fauns. Philoctetes, (phil) from Hercules the movie was a satyr. In older depictions, however, Satyr appear as men with the tails of horses, and the change in appearance was likely due to their association with Pan and the assymilation of mythologies within an expansive culture.

    In Greek mythology the Sirens or Seirenes (Greek Σειρῆνας) were Naiads (sea nymphs) who lived on an island called Sirenum scopuli, or in some different traditions,some place them on cape Pelorum others in the island of Anthemusa, and others again in the Sirenusian islands near Paestum, or in Capreae which was surrounded by cliffs and rocks. Approaching sailors were drawn to them by their enchanting singing, causing them to sail into the cliffs and drown. They were considered the daughters of Achelous or Phorcys. Homer says nothing of their number, but later writers mention both their names and number ; some state that they were two, Aglaopheme and Thelxiepeia; and others, that there were three, Peisinoe, Aglaope, and Thelxiepeia or Parthenope, Ligeia, and Leucosia. Their number is variously reported as between two and five, and their individual names as Thelxiepia/Thelxiope/Thelxinoe, Molpe, Aglaophonos/Aglaope, Pisinoe/Peisinoë, Parthenope, Ligeia, Leucosia, Raidne, and Teles. According to some versions, they were playmates of young Persephone and were changed into the monsters of lore by Demeter for failing to intervene when Persephone was abducted. The term "siren song" refers to an appeal that is hard to resist but that, if heeded, will lead to a bad result.

    The Sphinx is said to have guarded the entrance to the Greek city of Thebes, and to have asked a riddle of travelers to obtain passage. The exact riddle asked by the Sphinx was not specified by early tellers of the stories about the sphinx, and was not standardized as the one given below until late in Greek history.
    It was said in late lore that Hera or Ares sent the Sphinx from her Ethiopian homeland (the Greeks always remembered the foreign origin of the Sphinx to Thebes in Greece where, in the writings of Sophocles, she asks all passersby history's most famous riddle: "Which creature in the morning goes on four feet, at noon on two, and in the evening upon three?" She strangled and devoured anyone unable to answer.Oedipus solved the riddle: answering, Man—who crawls on all fours as a baby, then walks on two feet as an adult, and walks with a cane in old age.

    Confirmation of Learning:
    1. _________is the guardian of the gates of the Underworld, Hades.
    2._________was a monstrous beast which ravaged the countryside of Lycia in Anatolia that was to be able to breath fire.
    3._________is a member of a primordial race of giants, each with a single eye in the middle of its forehead.
    4. These were the hamadryads who were an integral part of their trees, such that if the tree died, the hamadryad associated with it died as well.
    5._________is half a nymph with glancing eyes and fair cheeks, and half again a huge snake, great and awful, with speckled skin, eating raw flesh beneath the secret parts of the holy earth.
    6.________were mainly winged death-spirit,  best known for constantly stealing all food from Phineas.
    7. It has typically been depicted as a horse in its forepart with a coiling, scaly, fishlike hindquarter. 
    8. This mythical beast has 9 heads, the number of head varies from different versions of the legend, however, more accounts agree on nine. It was said that the middle one was immortal and it has very poisonous venom and breath.
    9. __________are legendary sea monsters of gargantuan size, said to have dwelled off the coasts of Norway and Iceland.
    10.__________is a creature from Greek mythology that is half human and half bull.
    11.__________s any member of a large class of female nature entities, either bound to a particular location or landform or joining the retinue of a god or goddess, particularly Artemis, goddess of the hunt.
    12. It is said that this creature sprang from the blood of the Gorgon Medusa after Perseus beheaded her.What is this mythical creature?
    13._________are described as having a strong human torso and goat legs, a goat tail, pointed ears, horns, curly hair and full beards, like fauns.
    14. According to some versions, these creatures were playmates of young Persephone and were changed into the monsters of lore by Demeter for failing to intervene when Persephone was abducted.
    15. Answer the riddle "Which creature in the morning goes on four feet, at noon on two, and in the evening upon three?"