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Chapter Eleven, Lecture One. Myths of Death. Myths of Death. Greeks mostly believed in a life after death, but it was a bleak vision It evolved and changed over time. The Greek View of Death. The Greek View of Death. Not a “natural process” for the Greeks

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Myths of death
Myths of Death

  • Greeks mostly believed in a life after death, but it was a bleak vision

  • It evolved and changed over time.



The greek view of death1
The Greek View of Death

  • Not a “natural process” for the Greeks

    • Life ended from some violent intervention

  • Hades (“the unseen one”)

    • Pluto (Dis)

    • Euphemisms : Polydemôn; Polyxenos

  • Individuals continued as an eidolon

    • Breath (anemos > anima) psychê


The greek view of death2
The Greek View of Death

  • The recently dead had to be satisfied with rituals

    • Morning, noise, even food

  • Invited to parties: the anthesteria

  • Some ghosts are beneficent, others malevolent

  • Hermes led them to their place of rest (psychopompus)



Odysseus s journey
Odysseus’s Journey

  • Must get advice from the deceased Tiresias

    • Was once a woman; knew which enjoyed sex more

  • Journey across the Ocean

  • Blood sacrifice (vampirism)

  • Elpenor

    • The fate of the unburied


Odysseus s journey1
Odysseus’s Journey

  • Catalog of Noble Women

  • Achilles

    • “Better to be a peon . . .”

  • The arbitrators of the underworld

    • Minos, Rhadymanthus, Aeacus

  • The illustrious evil

    • Tityus, Tantalus, Sisyphus


Odysseus s journey2
Odysseus’s Journey

  • Heracles’s eidolon

  • Elysium

    • Menelaüs



Orpheus and eurydic1
Orpheus and Eurydicê

  • Orpheus the singer

  • Loses his intended Eurydicê at their wedding

  • Loses her again on the way out of Hades

  • Torn apart by Menaeds

    • Refused Dionysus’s cult or refused women followers or refused women in general ?



Orphism1
Orphism

  • Collection of writings (the Orphic Hymns)

  • Religious cosmology

  • Brought followers a better afterlife



Orphism3
Orphism

  • Cosmology to explain human nature

    • Sôma sêma

  • Metempsychosis

    • Cycle can be broken

    • Ascetic purity

    • Magic formulas

  • Influence from Shamanism

  • Influence on Pythagoras, Plato, and early Christians



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