Monday December 9, 2013
(ll. 109-120) First of all the deathless gods who dwell on Olympus made a golden race of mortal men who lived in the time of Cronos when he was reigning in heaven.
And they lived like gods without sorrow of heart, remote and free from toil and grief: miserable age rested not on them; but with legs and arms never failing they made merry with feasting beyond the reach of all evils. When they died, it was as though they were overcome with sleep, and they had all good things; for the fruitful earth unforced bare them fruit abundantly and without stint. They dwelt in ease and peace upon their lands with many good things, rich in flocks and loved by the blessed gods.
Cronos/Saturn with sickle and grain attributes
Section on The Golden Age, from Hesiod on The Ages of Man
Rulers of the world during the Golden Age, the two humanoid Titans
, Rhea and Cronos, married and produced the gods and goddesses of Mt. Olympus
. It wasn't a smooth relationship, though, since Cronos was aware of a prophesy that he would suffer a fate similar to his father's -- with his mother's connivance and an adamantine sickle, Cronos had castrated his sire. Cronos didn't want to be overthrown, and so swallowed the children Rhea gave birth to.
Cronos (also spelled Kronos, Kronus, or Cronus) is not the same as Chronos. Chronos is a personification of time, often confused with Cronos.
In Rome, Cronus was blended with the local agricultural god Saturn whose solstice festival was celebrated each year as the Saturnalia.
Read more about Cronos.
Sunday December 8, 2013
Are you watching BBC America's new Atlantis
series? I am. I started enjoying it the moment I realized that that Falstaff
y character [also see Esther Lombardi's Fools in Literature
] wasn't just any old Herc, but the heroically drunken Hercules of ancient mythology. Replacing Daedalus with a mathematician school children would be bored with for two thousand years had some appeal, too. Making the too-noble for Jason-character into a Jason-Theseus+ blend made the lead choice bearable (as well as visually appealing). Time travel, Atlantis, sacrifice to the minotaur, the still-lovely Medusa, and more -- all tossed into a centrifuge -- makes for entertainment. It also makes one want to pull Ariadne's thread and carefully unravel the nonsensical parts.
What's your take? Please post in the comments.
Meanwhile, here are some related pages I've written:
Sunday December 8, 2013
This Day in Ancient History - December 8:
On this day in 68 B.C. the Roman poet Horace
was born. Quintus Horatius Flaccus (known as Horace) was a Roman
poet (December 8, 65 - November 27, 8 B.C.) who provides
autobiographical information in his poetry, from which we learn
that he was the son of a freedman coactor argentarius
'auction broker' and publicanus 'tax collector'. Another
source for his life is Suetonius who calls Horace a native of
Venusium. He adds that Horace was short and fat, liked lascivious
pictures, and spent most of his time in retirement on his farm.
Saturday December 7, 2013
On This Day in History
Cicero Photo © Clipart.com
- December 7: On this day in 43 B.C., Cicero, aged 63, proscribed by the second triumvirate (Octavian
, Mark Antony
, and Lentulus), was beheaded. Cicero had written against Mark Antony in speeches described as Philippics. Because of these, Mark Antony had sought Cicero's execution and following the beheading, Cicero's hands were cut off because they had written the Philippics.
And Cicero, perceiving Herennius running in the walks, commanded his servants to set down the litter; and stroking his chin, as he used to do, with his left hand, he looked steadfastly upon his murderers, his person covered with dust, his beard and hair untrimmed, and his face worn with his troubles. So that the greatest part of those that stood by covered their faces whilst Herennius slew him. And thus was he murdered, stretching forth his neck out of the litter, being now in his sixty-fourth year. Herennius cut off his head, and, by Antony's command, his hands also, by which his Philippics were written; for so Cicero styled those orations he wrote against Antony, and so they are called to this day.
When these members of Cicero were brought to Rome, Antony was holding an assembly for the choice of public officers; and when he heard it, and saw them, he cried out, "Now let there be an end of our proscriptions." He commanded his head and hands to be fastened up over the Rostra, where the orators spoke; a sight which the Roman people shuddered to behold, and they believed they saw there not the face of Cicero, but the image of Antony's own soul.
Plutarch's Life of Cicero
Also noting this execution, is a blog about executions through history: Executed Today