Classical Mythology, Day 12

In this class we return to individual heroes, Bellerophon and Theseus. These narratives return us to a more traditional heroic narrative with important developments. Bellerophon in particular invites us to think about the “hero’s fall” while Theseus offers the model of hero as law-maker and civilizing force. Both heroes also ask us to reflect more on the engagement between heroes and women. Bellerophon goes into exile because of one woman (introducing the particularly misogynistic ‘Potiphar’s Wife’ motif) while Theseus, despite his ‘civilizing’ character appears to encounter only trouble with women through his stories, especially in the cases of Ariadne and Phaidra.

 

Ancient Authors Discussed

Homer, Archaic Age

Hesiod, Archaic Age

Pindar, Early Classical Period

Aeschylus, Classical Period

Euripides, Classical Period

Ovid, Roman Imperial Period

Apollodorus, Roman Imperial Period?

Plutarch, Roman Imperial Period

Pausanias, Roman Imperial Period

 

Some Suggested Course Texts

Hesiod, Theogony 319-325

Homer, Iliad 6.116-240

Apollodorus on Bellerophon

Apollodorus on Theseus

Plutarch on Theseus

Ovid, Heroides 10: Ariadne to Theseus

Links to Blogposts

Fragments about Bellerophon

Pausanias on the death of Theseus

The Origin of the Minotaur

Tales of Ariadne

 

Modern Authors Mentioned

 

Other Articles for Additional Reading

Nylah Burton. “Stop Using This Biblical Story to Discredit Survivors of Sexual Assault.” Alma

Claude Calame. “Creation of Gender and Heroic Identity between Legend and Cult: The Political Creation of Theseus by Bacchylides.”

 

Similar Myths

Potiphar’s Wife Motif: Genesis 39-40

Romulus as a Lawmaker

 

Student Links

[ coming]

Images

romandionysusariadne
Dionysus and Ariadne (before 79 CE), fresco in Casa dei Capitelli Colorati, Pompeii, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Naples. By Sailko, via Wikimedia Commons.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s