Centauromachies, Amazonomachies, Gigantomachies and Gorgo.
January 25, 2004 12:21 AM   Subscribe

Thank god there's the y2karlulator.
posted by gluechunk at 12:45 AM on January 25, 2004


That's awesome.
posted by evilcupcakes at 12:55 AM on January 25, 2004

Just a few random observations ...

Lots of centaurs, but no Nessus?

From the o link in Amazonomachies: "... the argument is put forth that a shift or "rupture" takes place from the fifth to the fourth centuries which is characterized by a change in modes of speculation from one based on polarity and analogy to one based on hierarchy and logic".

This sounds remarkably like a slightly dressed up (and chronologically shifted) version of Jaynes argument in The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind - basically that sometime about 2000 BCE a qualitative change occured in the ways that humans thought that could be seen as the origin of conscoiusness. Not a very fashionable theory these days, but quietly influential at the time.

The e link in Amazonomachies says that "the Amazons' health apparently was based on vegetarianism and proper use of licorice". Which is nice.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 1:01 AM on January 25, 2004

Oh, the licorice link is great, thatwhichfalls!

In a wonderful way, this herb suits very well to the symptoms of the common female hormonal disturbance, like a key does its lock. In addition it tastes sweet, which women love.

Benefits of licorice for female health are well-known in medicine. I myself had opportunities to observe its action in women. This was quite explicit and excellent, in particular, concerning female libido. Moreover, no doubt, very many women relished licorice very many times as it is appreciated in Western countries enough much (see Redvines Licorice Lovers and Redvines Licorice Stories page at American Licorice company web site, for instance), but the psychological barrier hinders women to use its benefits fully.

In addition, licorice tastes sweet, which women just like.

posted by taz at 1:58 AM on January 25, 2004

Truly, a Brobdingnagian post.
posted by vacapinta at 6:54 AM on January 25, 2004

Regarding the shift in the fifth century BCE towards systems of thought based on hierarchy and knowledge, let me recommend Eric Havelock's brilliant Preface to Plato, which argues that the shift (seen most notably in Plato's odd treatment of the poets in the Republic) came about as the necessary consequence of the growing spread of literacy in Greece. Great stuff.
posted by hank_14 at 7:19 AM on January 25, 2004

Excellent post - it's like taking a course - thanks, professor!

In one of my searches once, I chanced on this fascinating Amazon page that is a mix of scholarship and pop culture...very substantial site, don't be fooled by the first image. One image he presents that I like is Amazons bathing.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:20 AM on January 25, 2004

Everyone's favorite Centaur: Chiron. In the words of Pindar (Pythian 3):
If I were permitted
to utter the prayer
in everyone's mind,
I would wish that Chiron,
son of Philyra and sovereign Kronos,
a dear friend of mankind,
now dead and gone,
were living still and that he ranged
the ridges of Pelion, even as he was
when he raised Asklepios,
the gentle hero, craftsman
in remedies for the limbs of men tormented by disease.
The "Polarity and Analogy" bit has its immediate source in this influential book of 1966 (a teacher's outline here).
posted by Zurishaddai at 10:10 AM on January 25, 2004

"The Scythians could not understand what was happening. They did not recognize the language or the clothes or the tribe but were perplexed over where the Amazons came from. They thought that the Amazons were men in early adulthood and commenced to engage them in battle. After the battle, however, they took possession of the bodies and learned in this way that they were women. Accordingly, they deliberated the issue and resolved not to try to kill them in any way but to send out the youngest men among them in as near a number to the Amazons as they could guess."

Herodotus, Setting Forth of the Persian Wars, 4.110-16

I love Herodotus.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 11:20 PM on January 25, 2004

Zurishaddai and hank_14 - thanks for the pointers to those books. I'll have to check them out.

y2karl - thanks for a great post.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 11:22 PM on January 25, 2004

A virtual resource for Classics scholars everywhere. Thanks, y2karl!
posted by Lynsey at 11:56 AM on January 26, 2004

After finally making my way through the content of this post--it's most excellent.
posted by Prospero at 6:37 AM on January 27, 2004

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