Wednesday, September 25, 2013

TFBT: Random Notes 7.CB22.1x

I got to thinking about all the “daughters” that Zeus and Hera gave away;
·                               daughter Persephone to his brother Hades
·                               granddaughter Harmonia to his brother-in-law Cadmus
·                              foster daughter Thetis to his grandson Peleus
·                              daughter Aphrodite to his son Hephaestus
·                              daughter Aglaia to his son Hephaestus
·                              daughter Pasithea to Hypnos; son of Night
And oddly Helen got to pick Menelaus

Back in Forestry school we did a little surveying.  In the good old days, people use to set up piles of stones to mark the corners of their fields.  In the modern era in the United States we drive steel pipes with brass caps into the ground for “corner markers”.  And in places where the surveyor could not drive a pipe into the bedrock, I’ve seen them stack a pile of rocks around the corner marker to keep it in place.  The Iliad is a story about war and the choices we all face.  And the subject of boundary stones comes up twice that I’ve noticed; 
·                     Iliad 12.420 “from the wall now that they had once reached it. As two men, measuring-rods in hand, quarrel about their boundaries in a field that they own in common, and stickle for their rights though they be but in a mere strip,
      Iliad 21.402 “with her strong hand seized a stone (oros) that was lying on the plain - great and rugged and black –which men of old had set for the boundary of a field. With this she struck Ares on the neck” 
Do these mark the plot in someway?

 I found the following words in the dictionary at Perseus; 
  • anthoros; responding boundary-stone
  • dioros; having two boundary-stones
  • messoros, boundary-stone
  • oros, a boundary landmark and in the plural; bounds, boundaries, marking-stones

And the following commentary in Myths of Greece and Rome, by Jane Harrison, [1928], at www.sacred-texts.comthe old Slavonic rites of Russia comes a simple solution. After they had held a sort of "wake" over the dead man, the body was burned, and the ashes were placed in a small urn and set up on a pillar or herm on the boundary line of two properties. The dead grandfather was the object of special reverence, under the title of tchur, which means in Russian either grandfather or boundary. In the Russian of today prashtchur means great-great-grandfather, and tchur menya means "may my grandfather preserve me." On the other hand, the offence of removing a legal landmark is expressed by the word tchereztchur, which means "beyond the limit," or "beyond my grandfather." The grandfather looked after the patriarchal family during his life, he safeguarded its boundaries in death. His monument was at once tombstone and term. Hermes, then, to begin with, is just a herm, a pillar or square stone to keep the dead in memory and mark his grave; in form it is identical with a boundary stone. The mourner hopes and believes that his kinsman, loving; and faithful in life, will be faithful in death. So when; the autumn comes and he sows his seed, burying it in the ground, he believes that his father or his grandfather, if duly mourned and honoured, will look after the seed in the underworld. The herm becomes a giver of increase (charidotes).  

And one last thing; Thetis and Eurynome rescued Hephaestus and kept him with him in the Ocean for nine years.  Thetis is a salt water nymph a Nereid.  Eurynome is a titaness, one of the freshwater nymphs called Oceanides.  How did these two become friends?  See Friendship Among the Gods for further examples

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