Saturday, February 22, 2014

TFBT: Anchises, Casanova and Muellners Proto-Event

I woke early and checked the website several times.  As promised, Harvard published my article on the Hour 25 website a few minutes after noon their time.  (8:00am my time.)  Here is the link; Is Anchises a Casanova?    My editors said many flattering things as did my fellow members of the semi-circle.  Apparently, they like my sense of humor.  (I don’t hear that often at work!)  They also said nice things about my blog.  I am the first “guest blogger”.  Oh, in case you are wondering the little is “Is Anchises a Casanova?”  Anchises was an elderly Trojan prince in the Iliad.  His son Aeneas survived the final days of Troy and led the survivors to Italy where their descendants would found Rome.   I am really excited about this.

Fellow participant from Hour 25,  Edgreen has notion that gods can experience a pseudo-death. This ties in nicely with Muellner’s proto-event theory in “The Anger of Achilles” He suggests that the first time an event happens, we don’t recognize it because we have no context or concept. So, Uranus was not the first King of the Gods, because, no one knew what a king was or who “gods” were. For example Julius Caesar was never crowned Caesar, Augustus was the first Caesar.   

Likewise, with the pseudo-death experienced by the gods was not the first “death” because they didn’t know what was going on. Cronus bound the Cyclops and hundred handers and threw them into a dark miserable place under the earth. In due time, mortals too would be tossed into a similar hole. Of course, by then humans knew what death was because of the myths about the Titans, Cyclops and hundred handers going down below.   

Let’s continue the pseudo death idea of Ed’s by adding the resurrection.  Who among the gods knew they could escape “death” until Zeus attempted the rescue.  Eventually gods thrown into Tartarus ended up in Olympus (Cyclops and hundred-handers) or the Isles of the Blest (Cronus) which ends up being an option for demi-gods and initiates into the mysteries. Cool.





  1. I find it noteworthy than when the Cyclops suffered real death (shot by Apollo), they were not resurrected - or at least, nobody reports this.
    Also, nobody mentions the implications of this event - namely, that after Zeus exhausts his stored arsenal of thunderbolts, he will no longer be able to "delight in thunder". To prevent this conclusion, one source claimed that it were not the real Cyclops who were killed but their sons. Which is of course a transparent ad-hoc invention. Nobody ever mentioned any wives of the Cyclops, and I guess they would not be easy to marry off.

  2. Maya,

    The arguement I read that Polyphemus and company were the ones who were slain.

  3. It would not be very logical, because Polyphemus and his comrades have nothing in common with the thunderbolt forgers except the malformation and the giant size. Even Apollo wouldn't misdirect his revenge so badly. BTW here we seem to have an exception of the "once & always" rule - Apollo returns to Olympus with his bow and arrows but this time does not allow Leto to disarm him.
    In my story, there is an early attempt to persuade Brontes, Steropes and Arges (the Cyclops working for Zeus' military-industrial complex) to quit their service for the sake of everybody's freedom and settle far away, beyond Zeus' reach. They indignantly refuse: "Are you suggesting for us a miserable life tending sheep on some desert island, like Polyphemus son of Poseidon?"