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the TITANS & early Greek Mythology

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Author Topic: the TITANS & early Greek Mythology  (Read 17156 times)
Crystal Thielkien
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Posts: 4531

« Reply #210 on: November 13, 2008, 12:30:32 am »

CHORUS after alighting
I mourn for thee, Prometheus, minished and brought low,
Watering my virgin cheeks with these sad drops, that flow
From sorrow's rainy fount, to fill soft-lidded eyes
With pure libations for thy fortune's obsequies.
An evil portion that none coveteth hath Zeus
Prepared for thee; by self-made laws established for his use
Disposing all, the elder Gods he purposeth to show
How strong is that right arm wherewith he smites a foe.
There hath gone up a cry from earth, a groaning for the fall
Of things of old renown and shapes majestical,
And for thy passing an exceeding bitter groan;
For thee and for thy brother Gods whose honour was thine own:
These things all they who dwell in Asia's holy seat,
Time's minions, mourn and with their groans thy groans repeat.
Yea, and they mourn who dwell beside the Colchian shore,
The hero maids unwedded that delight in war,
And Scythia's swarming myriads who their dwelling make
Around the borders of the world, the salt Maeotian lake.
Mourns Ares' stock, that flowers in desert Araby,
And the strong city mourns, the hill-fort planted high,
Near neighbour to huge Caucasus, dread mountaineers
That love the clash of arms, the counter of sharp spears.
Beforetime of all Gods one have I seen in pain,
One only Titan bound with adamantine chain,
Atlas in strength supreme, who groaning stoops, downbent
Under the burthen of the earth and heaven's broad firmament.
Bellows the main of waters, surge with foam-seethed surge
Clashing tumultuous; for thee the deep seas chant their dirge;
And Hell's dark under-world a hollow moaning fills;
Thee mourn the sacred streams with all their fountain-rills.

Think not that I for pride and stubbornness
Am silent: rather is my heart the prey
Of gnawing thoughts, both for the past, and now
Seeing myself by vengeance buffeted.
For to these younger Gods their precedence
Who severally determined if not I?
No more of that: I should but weary you
With things ye know; but listen to the tale
Of human sufferings, and how at first
Senseless as beasts I gave men sense, possessed them
Of mind. I speak not in contempt of man;
I do but tell of good gifts I conferred.
In the beginning, seeing they saw amiss,
And hearing heard not, but, like phantoms huddled
In dreams, the perplexed story of their days
Confounded; knowing neither timber-work
Nor brick-built dwellings basking in the light,
But dug for themselves holes, wherein like ants,
That hardly may contend against a breath,
They dwelt in burrows of their unsunned caves.
Neither of winter's cold had they fixed sign,
Nor of the spring when she comes decked with flowers,
Nor yet of summer's heat with melting fruits
Sure token: but utterly without knowledge
Moiled, until I the rising of the stars
Showed them, and when they set, though much obscure.
Moreover, number, the most excellent
Of all inventions, I for them devised,
And gave them writing that retaineth all,
The serviceable mother of the Muse.
I was the first that yoked unmanaged beasts,
To serve as slaves with collar and with pack,
And take upon themselves, to man's relief,
The heaviest labour of his hands: and
Tamed to the rein and drove in wheeled cars
The horse, of sumptuous pride the ornament.
And those sea-wanderers with the wings of cloth,
The shipman's waggons, none but I contrived.
These manifold inventions for mankind
I perfected, who, out upon't, have none-
No, not one shift-to rid me of this shame.

Thy sufferings have been shameful, and thy mind
Strays at a loss: like to a bad physician
Fallen sick, thou'rt out of heart: nor cans't prescribe
For thine own case the draught to make thee sound.

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Crystal Thielkien
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« Reply #211 on: November 13, 2008, 12:31:06 am »

But hear the sequel and the more admire
What arts, what aids I cleverly evolved.
The chiefest that, if any man fell sick,
There was no help for him, comestible,
Lotion or potion; but for lack of drugs
They dwindled quite away; until I taught them
To compound draughts and mixtures sanative,
Wherewith they now are armed against disease.
I staked the winding path of divination
And was the first distinguisher of dreams,
The true from false; and voices ominous
Of meaning dark interpreted; and tokens
Seen when men take the road; and augury
By flight of all the greater crook-clawed birds
With nice discrimination I defined;
These by their nature fair and favourable,
Those, flattered with fair name. And of each sort
The habits I described; their mutual feuds
And friendships and the assemblages they hold.
And of the plumpness of the inward parts
What colour is acceptable to the Gods,
The well-streaked liver-lobe and gall-bladder.
Also by roasting limbs well wrapped in fat
And the long chine, I led men on the road
Of dark and riddling knowledge; and I purged
The glancing eye of fire, dim before,
And made its meaning plain. These are my works.
Then, things beneath the earth, aids hid from man,
Brass, iron, silver, gold, who dares to say
He was before me in discovering?
None, I wot well, unless he loves to babble.
And in a single word to sum the whole-
All manner of arts men from Prometheus learned.

Shoot not beyond the mark in succouring man
While thou thyself art comfortless: for
Am of good hope that from these bonds escaped
Thou shalt one day be mightier than Zeus.

Fate, that brinks all things to an end, not thus
Apportioneth my lot: ten thousand pangs
Must bow, ten thousand miseries afflict me
Ere from these bonds I freedom find, for Art
Is by much weaker than Necessity.

Who is the pilot of Necessity?

The Fates triform, and the unforgetting Furies.

So then Zeus is of lesser might than these?

Surely he shall not shun the lot apportioned.

What lot for Zeus save world-without-end reign?

Tax me no further with importunate questions.

O deep the mystery thou shroudest there

Of aught but this freely thou may'st discourse;
But touching this I charge thee speak no word;
Nay, veil it utterly: for strictly kept
The secret from these bonds shall set me free.

May Zeus who all things swayeth
Ne'er wreak the might none stayeth
On wayward will of mine;
May I stint not nor waver
With offerings of sweet savour
And feasts of slaughtered kine;
The holy to the holy,
With frequent feet and lowly
At altar, fane and shrine,
Over the Ocean marches,
The deep that no drought parches,
Draw near to the divine.
My tongue the Gods estrange not;
My firm set purpose change not,
As wax melts in fire-shine.
Sweet is the life that lengthens,
While joyous hope still strengthens,
And glad, bright thoughts sustain;
But shuddering I behold thee,
The sorrows that enfold thee
And all thine endless pain.
For Zeus thou hast despised;
Thy fearless heart misprized
All that his vengeance can,
Thy wayward will obeying,
Excess of honour paying,
Prometheus, unto man.
And, oh, beloved, for this graceless grace
What thanks? What prowess for thy bold essay
Shall champion thee from men of mortal race,
The petty insects of a passing day?
Saw'st not how puny is the strength they spend?
With few, faint steps walking as dreams and blind,
Nor can the utmost of their lore transcend
The harmony of the Eternal Mind.
These things I learned seeing thy glory dimmed,
Prometheus. Ah, not thus on me was shed
The rapture of sweet music, when I hymned
The marriage-song round bath and bridal bed
At thine espousals, and of thy blood-kin,
A bride thou chosest, wooing her to thee
With all good gifts that may a Goddess win,
Thy father's child, divine Hesione.
Enter IO, crazed and horned.

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Crystal Thielkien
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« Reply #212 on: November 13, 2008, 12:31:36 am »

What land is this? What people here abide?
And who is he,
The prisoner of this windswept mountain-side?
Speak, speak to me;
Tell me, poor caitiff, how did'st thou transgress,
Thus buffeted?
Whither am I, half-dead with weariness,
Ha! Ha!
Again the prick, the stab of gadfly-sting!
O earth, earth, hide,
The hollow shape-Argus-that evil thing-
The hundred-eyed-
Earth-born-herdsman! I see him yet; he stalks
With stealthy pace
And crafty watch not all my poor wit baulks!
From the deep place
Of earth that hath his bones he breaketh bound,
And from the pale
Of Death, the Underworld, a hell-sent hound
On the blood-trail,
Fasting and faint he drives me on before,
With spectral hand,
Along the windings of the wasteful shore,
The salt sea-sand!
List! List! the pipe! how drowzily it shrills!
A cricket-cry!
See! See! the wax-webbed reeds! Oh, to these ills
Ye Gods on high,
Ye blessed Gods, what bourne? O wandering feet
When will ye rest?
O Cronian child, wherein by aught unmeet
Have I transgressed
To be yoke-fellow with Calamity?
My mind unstrung,
A crack-brained lack-wit, frantic mad am I,
By gad-fly stung,
Thy scourge, that tarres me on with buzzing wingl
Plunge me in fire,
Hide me in earth, to deep-sea monsters fling,
But my desire-
Kneeling I pray-grudge not to grant, O King!
Too long a race
Stripped for the course have I run to and fro;
And still I chase
The vanishing goal, the end of all my woe;
Enough have I mourned!
Hear'st thou the lowing of the maid cow-horned?

How should I hear thee not? Thou art the child
Of Inachus, dazed with the dizzying fly.
The heart of Zeus thou hast made hot with love
And Hera's curse even as a runner stripped
Pursues thee ever on thine endless round.

How dost thou know my father's name? Impart
To one like thee
A poor, distressful creature, who thou art.
Sorrow with me,
Sorrowful one! Tell me, whose voice proclaims
Things true and sad,
Naming by all their old, unhappy names,
What drove me mad-
Sick! Sick! ye Gods, with suffering ye have sent,
That clings and clings;
Wasting my lamp of life till it be spent!
Crazed with your stings!
Famished I come with trampling and with leaping,
Torment and shame,
To Hera's cruel wrath, her craft unsleeping,
Captive and tame
Of all wights woe-begone and fortune-crossed,
Oh, in the storm
Of the world's sorrow is there one so lost?
Speak, godlike form,
And be in this dark world my oracle I
Can'st thou not sift
The things to come? Hast thou no art to tell
What subtle shift,
Or sound of charming song shall make me well?
Hide naught of ill
But-if indeed thou knowest-prophesy-
In words that thrill
Clear-toned through air-what such a wretch as
Must yet abide-
The lost, lost maid that roams earth's kingdoms wide?
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Crystal Thielkien
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« Reply #213 on: November 13, 2008, 12:32:21 am »

What thou wouldst learn I will make clear to thee,
Not weaving subtleties, but simple sooth
Unfolding as the mouth should speak to friends.
I am Prometheus, giver of fire to mortals.

Oh universal succour of mankind,
Sorrowful Prometheus, why art thou punished thus?

I have but now ceased mourning for my griefs.

Wilt thou not grant me then so small a boon?

What is it thou dost ask? Thou shalt know all.

Declare to me who chained thee in this gorge.

The hest of Zeus, but 'twas Hephaestus' hand.

But what transgression dost thou expiate?

Let this suffice thee: thou shalt know no more.

Nay, but the end of my long wandering
When shall it be? This too thou must declare.

That it is better for thee not to know.

Oh hide not from me what I have to suffer!

Poor child! Poor child! I do not grudge the gift.

Why then, art thou so slow to tell me all?

It is not from unkindness; but I fear
'Twill break thy heart.

Take thou no thought for me
Where thinking thwarteth heart's desire!

So keen
To know thy sorrows! List I and thou shalt learn.

Not till thou hast indulged a wish of mine.
First let us hear the story of her grief
And she herself shall tell the woeful tale.
After, thy wisdom shall impart to her
The conflict yet to come.

So be it, then.
And, Io, thus much courtesy thou owest
These maidens being thine own father's kin.
For with a moving story of our woes
To win a tear from weeping auditors
In nought demeans the teller.

I know not
How fitly to refuse; and at your wish
All ye desire to know I will in plain,
Round terms set forth. And yet the telling of it
Harrows my soul; this winter's tale of wrong,
Of angry Gods and brute deformity,
And how and why on me these horrors swooped.
Always there were dreams visiting by night
The woman's chambers where I slept; and they
With flattering words admonished and cajoled me,
Saying, "O lucky one, so long a maid?
And what a match for thee if thou would'st wed
Why, pretty, here is Zeus as hot as hot-
Love-sick-to have thee! Such a bolt as thou
Hast shot clean through his heart And he won't rest
Till Cypris help him win thee! Lift not then,
My daughter, a proud foot to spurn the bed
Of Zeus: but get thee gone to meadow deep
By Lerna's marsh, where are thy father's flocks
And cattle-folds, that on the eye of Zeus
May fall the balm that shall assuage desire."
Such dreams oppressed me, troubling all my nights,
Woe's me! till I plucked courage up to tell
My father of these fears that walked in darkness.
And many times to Pytho and Dodona
He sent his sacred missioners, to inquire
How, or by deed or word, he might conform
To the high will and pleasure of the Gods.
And they returned with slippery oracles,
Nought plain, but all to baffle and perplex-
And then at last to Inachus there raught
A saying that flashed clear; the drift, that
Must be put out from home and country, forced
To be a wanderer at the ends of the earth,
A thing devote and dedicate; and if
I would not, there should fall a thunderbolt
From Zeus, with blinding flash, and utterly
Destroy my race. So spake the oracle
Of Loxias. In sorrow he obeyed,
And from beneath his roof drove forth his child
Grieving as he grieved, and from house and home
Bolted and barred me out. But the high hand
Of Zeus bear hardly on the rein of fate.
And, instantly-even in a moment-mind
And body suffered strange distortion. Horned
Even as ye see me now, and with sharp bite
Of gadfly pricked, with high-flung skip, stark-mad,
I bounded, galloping headlong on, until
I came to the sweet and of the stream
Kerchneian, hard by Lerna's spring. And thither
Argus, the giant herdsman, fierce and fell
As a strong wine unmixed, with hateful cast
Of all his cunning eyes upon the trail,
Gave chase and tracked me down. And there he perished
By violent and sudden doom surprised.
But I with darting sting-the scorpion whip
Of angry Gods-am lashed from land to land.
Thou hast my story, and, if thou can'st tell
What I have still to suffer, speak; but do not,
Moved by compassion, with a lying tale
Warm my cold heart; no sickness of the soul
Is half so shameful as composed falsehoods.

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Crystal Thielkien
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Posts: 4531

« Reply #214 on: November 13, 2008, 12:32:51 am »

Off! lost one! off! Horror, I cry!
Horror and misery
Was this the traveller's tale I craved to hear?
Oh, that mine eyes should see
A sight so ill to look upon! Ah me!
Sorrow, defilement, haunting fear,
Fan my blood cold,
Stabbed with a two-edged sting!
O Fate, Fate, Fate, tremblingly I behold
The plight of Io, thine apportioning!

Thou dost lament too soon, and art as one
All fear. Refrain thyself till thou hast heard
What's yet to be.

Speak and be our instructor:
There is a kind of balm to the sick soul
In certain knowledge of the grief to come.

Your former wish I lightly granted ye:
And ye have heard, even as ye desired,
From this maid's lips the story of her sorrow.
Now hear the sequel, the ensuing woes
The damsel must endure from Hera's hate.
And thou, O seed of Inachaean loins,
Weigh well my words, that thou may'st understand
Thy journey's end. First towards the rising sun
Turn hence, and traverse fields that ne'er felt plough
Until thou reach the country of the Scyths,
A race of wanderers handling the long-bow
That shoots afar, and having their habitations
Under the open sky in wattled cotes
That move on wheels. Go not thou nigh to them,
But ever within sound of the breaking waver,
Pass through their land. And on the left of the
The Chalybes, workers in iron, dwell.
Beware of them, for they are savages,
Who suffer not a stranger to come near.
And thou shalt reach the river Hybristes,
Well named. Cross not, for it is ill to cross,
Until thou come even unto Caucasus,
Highest of mountains, where the foaming river
Blows all its volume from the summit ridge
That o'ertops all. And that star-neighboured ridge
Thy feet must climb; and, following the road
That runneth south, thou presently shall reach
The Amazonian hosts that loathe the male,
And shall one day remove from thence and found
Themiscyra hard by Thermodon's stream,
Where on the craggy Salmadessian coast
Waves gnash their teeth, the maw of mariners
And step-mother of ships. And they shall lead the
Upon thy way, and with a right good will.
Then shalt thou come to the Cimmerian Isthmus,
Even at the pass and portals of the sea,
And leaving it behind thee, stout of heart,
Cross o'er the channel of Maeotis' lake.
For ever famous among men shall be
The story of thy crossing, and the strait
Be called by a new name, the Bosporus,
In memory of thee. Then having left
Europa's soil behind thee thou shalt come
To the main land of Asia. What think ye?
Is not the only ruler of the Gods
A complete tyrant, violent to all,
Respecting none? First, being himself a God,
He burneth to enjoy a mortal maid,
And then torments her with these wanderings.
A sorry suitor for thy love, poor girl,
A bitter wooing. Yet having heard so much
Thou art not even in the overture
And prelude of the song.

Alas! Oh! Oh!

Thou dost cryout, fetching again deep groans:
What wilt thou do when thou hast heard in full
The evils yet to come?

And wilt thou tell
The maiden something further: some fresh sorrow?

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Crystal Thielkien
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« Reply #215 on: November 13, 2008, 12:33:20 am »

A stormy sea of wrong and ruining.

What does it profit me to live! Oh, why
Do I not throw myself from this rough crag
And in one leap rid me of all my pain?
Better to die at once than live, and all
My days be evil.

Thou would'st find it hard
To bear what I must bear: for unto me
It is not given to die,-a dear release
From pain; but now of suffering there is
No end in sight till Zeus shall fall.

And shall
Zeus fall? His power be taken from him?
No matter when if true-

'Twould make thee happy
Methinks, if thou could'st see calamity
Whelm him.

How should it not when all my woes
Are of his sending? learn how
These things shall be.
The tyrant's rod?
And fond imaginings.

But how? Oh, speak,
If the declaring draw no evil down I

A marriage he shall make shall vex him sore.

A marriage? Whether of gods or mortals?
If this be utterable!

Why dost thou ask
What I may not declare?

And shall he quit
The throne of all the worlds, by a new spouse

She will bear to him a child,
And he shall be in might more excellent
Than his progenitor.

And he will find
No way to parry this strong stroke of fate?

None save my own self-when these bonds are loosed.

And who shall loose them if Zeus wills not?
Of thine own seed.
How say'st thou? Shall a child
Of mine release thee?

Son of thine, but son
The thirteenth generation shall beget.

A prophecy oracularly dark.

Then seek not thou to know thine own fate.

Tender me not a boon to snatch it from me.

Of two gifts thou hast asked one shall be thine.

What gifts? Pronounce and leave to me the choice.

Nay, thou are free to choose. Say, therefore, whether
I shall declare to thee thy future woes
Or him who shall be my deliverer.

Nay, but let both be granted! Unto her
That which she chooseth, unto me my choice,
That I, too, may have honour from thy lips.
First unto her declare her wanderings,
And unto me him who shall set thee free;
'Tis that I long to know.

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Crystal Thielkien
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Posts: 4531

« Reply #216 on: November 13, 2008, 12:33:48 am »

I will resist
No further, but to your importunacy
All things which ye-desire to learn reveal.
And, Io, first to thee I will declare
Thy far-driven wanderings; write thou my words
In the retentive tablets of thy heart.
When thou hast crossed the flood that flows between
And is the boundary of two continents,
Turn to the sun's uprising, where he treads
Printing with fiery steps the eastern sky,
And from the roaring of the Pontic surge
Do thou pass on, until before thee lies
The Gorgonean plain, Kisthene called,
Where dwell the gray-haired three, the Phorcides,
Old, mumbling maids, swan-shaped, having one eye
Betwixt the three, and but a single tooth.
On them the sun with his brightbeams ne'er glanceth
Nor moon that lamps the night. Not far from them
The sisters three, the Gorgons, have their haunt;
Winged forms, with snaky locks, hateful to man,
Whom nothing mortal looking on can live.
Thus much that thou may'st have a care of these.
Now of another portent thou shalt hear.
Beware the dogs of Zeus that ne'er give tongue,
The sharp-beaked gryphons, and the one-eyed horde
Of Arimaspians, riding upon horses,
Who dwell around the river rolling gold,
The ferry and the frith of Pluto's port.
Go not thou nigh them. After thou shalt come
To a far land, a dark-skinned race, that dwell
Beside the fountains of the sun, whence flows
The river Ethiops: follow its banks
Until thou comest to the steep-down slope
Where from the Bibline mountains Nilus old
Pours the sweet waters of his holy stream.
And thou, the river guiding thee, shalt come
To the three-sided, wedge-shaped land of Nile,
Where for thyself, Io, and for thy children
Long sojourn is appointed. If in aught
My story seems to stammer and to er
From indirectness, ask and ask again
Till all be manifest. I do not lack
For leisure, having more than well contents me

If there be aught that she must suffer yet,
Or aught omitted in the narrative
Of her long wanderings, I pray thee speak.
But if thou hast told all, then grant the boon
We asked and doubtless thou wilt call to mind.

Nay, she has heard the last of her long journey.
But, as some warrant for her patient hearing
I will relate her former sufferings
Ere she came hither. Much I will omit
That had detained us else with long discourse
And touch at once her journey's thus far goal.
When thou wast come to the Molossian plain
That lies about the high top of Dodona,
Where is an oracle and shrine of Zeus
Thesprotian, and-portent past belief-
The talking oaks, the same from whom the word
Flashed clear and nothing questionably hailed the
The destined spouse-ah! do I touch old wounds?-
Of Zeus, honoured above thy sex; stung thence
In torment, where the road runs by the sea,
Thou cam'st to the broad gulf of Rhea, whence
Beat back by a strong wind, thou didst retrace
Most painfully thy course; and it shall be
That times to come in memory of thy passage
Shall call that inlet the Ionian Sea.
Thus much for thee in witness that my mind
Beholdeth more than that which leaps to light.
Now for the things to come; what I shall say
Concerns ye both alike. Return we then
And follow our old track. There is a city
Yclept Canobus, built at the land's end,
Even at the mouth and mounded silt of Nile,
And there shall Zeus restore to thee thy mind
With touch benign and laying on of hands.
And from that touch thou shalt conceive and bear
Swarth Epaphus, touch-born; and he shall reap
As much of earth as Nilus watereth
With his broad-flowing river. In descent
The fifth from him there shall come back to Argos,
Thine ancient home, but driven by hard hap,
Two score and ten maids, daughters of one house,
Fleeing pollution of unlawful marriage
With their next kin, who winged with wild desire,
As hawks that follow hard on cushat-doves,
Shall harry prey which they should not pursue
And hunt forbidden brides. But God shall be
Exceeding jealous for their chastity;
And old Pelasgia, for the mortal thrust
Of woman's hands and midnight murder done
Upon their new-wed lords, shall shelter them;
For every wife shall strike her husband down
Dipping a two-edged broadsword in his blood.
Oh, that mine enemies might wed such wivesl
But of the fifty, one alone desire
Shall tame, as with the stroke of charming-wand,
So that she shall not lift her hands to slay
The partner of her bed; yea, melting love
Shall blunt her sharp-set will, and she shall choose
Rather to be called weak and womanly
Than the dark stain of blood; and she shall be
Mother of kings in Argos. 'Tis a tale
Were't told in full, would occupy us long.
For, of her sowing, there shall spring to fame
The lion's whelp, the archer bold, whose bow
Shall set me free. This is the oracle
Themis, my ancient Mother, Titan-born,
Disclosed to me; but how and in what wise
Were long to tell, nor would it profit thee.

Again they come, again
The fury and the pain!
The gangrened wound! The ache of pulses dinned
With raging throes
It beats upon my brain-the burning wind
That madness blows!
It pricks-the barb, the hook not forged with heat,
The gadfly dart!
Against my ribs with thud of trampling feet
Hammers my heart!
And like a bowling wheel mine eyeballs spin,
And I am flung
By fierce winds from my course, nor can rein in
My frantic tongue
That raves I know not what!-a random tide
Of words-a froth
Of muddied waters buffeting the wide,
High-crested, hateful wave of ruin and God's wrath!
Exit raving.

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Crystal Thielkien
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« Reply #217 on: November 13, 2008, 12:34:11 am »

I hold him wise who first in his own mind
This canon fixed and taught it to mankind:
True marriage is the union that mates
Equal with equal; not where wealth emasculates,
Or mighty lineage is magnified,
Should he who earns his bread look for a bride.
Therefore, grave mistresses of fate, I pray
That I may never live to see the day
When Zeus takes me for his bedfellow; or
Draw near in love to husband from on high.
For I am full of fear when I behold
Io, the maid no human love may fold,
And her virginity disconsolate,
Homeless and husbandless by Hera's hate.
For me, when love is level, fear is far.
May none of all the Gods that greater are
Eve me with his unshunnable regard;
Fir in that warfare victory is hard,
And of that plenty cometh emptiness.
What should befall me then I dare not guess;
Nor whither I should flee that I might shun
The craft and subtlety of Cronos' Son.

I tell thee that the self-willed pride of Zeus
Shall surely be abased; that even now
He plots a marriage that shall hurl him forth
Far out of sight of his imperial throne
And kingly dignity. Then, in that hour,
Shall be fulfilled, nor in one tittle fail,
The curse wherewith his father Cronos cursed him,
What time he fell from his majestic place
Established from of old. And such a stroke
None of the Gods save me could turn aside.
I know these things shall be and on what wise.
Therefore let him secure him in his seat,
And put his trust in airy noise, and swing
His bright, two-handed, blazing thunderbolt,
For these shall nothing stead him, nor avert
Fall insupportable and glory humbled.
A wrestler of such might he maketh ready
For his own ruin; yea, a wonder, strong
In strength unmatchable; and he shall find
Fire that shall set at naught the burning bolt
And blasts more dreadful that o'er-crow the thunder.
The pestilence that scourgeth the deep seas
And shaketh solid earth, the three-pronged mace,
Poseidon's spear, a mightier shall scatter;
And when he stumbleth striking there his foot,
Fallen on evil days, the tyrant's pride
Shall measure all the miserable length
That parts rule absolute from servitude.

Methinks the wish is father to the thought
And whets thy railing tongue.

Not so: the wish And the accomplishment go hand in hand.

Then must we look for one who shall supplant
And reign instead of Zeus?
Far, far more grievous shall bow down his neck.

Hast thou no fear venting such blasphemy?

What should I fear who have no part nor lot
In doom of dying?

But he might afflict the
With agony more dreadful, pain beyond
These pains.

Why let him if he will
All evils I foreknow.

Ah, they are wise
Who do obeisance, prostrate in the dust,
To the implacable, eternal Will.

Go thou and worship; fold thy hands in prayer,
And be the dog that licks the foot of power!
Nothing care I for Zeus; yea, less than naught!
Let him do what he will, and sway the world
His little hour; he has not long to lord it
Among the Gods.
Oh here here runner comes
The upstart tyrant's lacquey! He'll bring news,
A message, never doubt it, from his master.
Hermes. You, the sophistical rogue, the heart of gall,
The renegade of heaven, to short-lived men
Purveyor of prerogatives and tities,
Fire-thief! Dost hear me? I've a word for thee.
Thou'rt to declare-this is the Father's pleasure
These marriage-feasts of thine, whereof thy tongue
Rattles a-pace, and by the which his greatness
Shall take a fall. And look you rede no riddles,
But tell the truth, in each particular
Exact. I am not to sweat for thee, Prometheus,
Upon a double journey. And thou seest
Zeus by thy dark defiance is not moved.

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Crystal Thielkien
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« Reply #218 on: November 13, 2008, 12:34:38 am »

A very solemn piece of insolence
Spoken like an underling of the Gods! Ye are young!
Ye are young! New come to power And ye suppose
Your towered citadel Calamity
Can never enter! Ah, and have not
Seen from those pinnacles a two-fold fall
Of tyrants? And the third, who his brief "now"
Of lordship arrogates, I shall see yet
By lapse most swift' most ignominious,
Sink to perdition. And dost thou suppose
I crouch and cower in reverence and awe
To Gods of yesterday? I fail of that
So much, the total all of space and time
Bulks in between. Take thyself hence and count
Thy toiling steps back by the way thou camest,
In nothing wiser for thy questionings.

This is that former stubbornness of thine
That brought thee hither to foul anchorage.

Mistake me not; I would not, if I might,
Change my misfortunes for thy vassalage.

Oh! better be the vassal of this rock
Than born the trusty messenger of Zeus

I answer insolence, as it deserves,
With insolence. How else should it be answered?

Surely; and, being in trouble, it is plain
You revel in your plight.

Revel, forsooth!
I would my enemies might hold such revels
And thou amongst the first.

Dost thou blame me
For thy misfortunes?

I hate all the Gods,
Because, having received good at my hands,
They have rewarded me with evil.
Proves thee stark mad!

This proves thee stark mad!

Mad as you please, if hating
Your enemies is madness

Were all well
With thee, thou'dst be insufferable!


Alas, that Zeus knows not that word, Alas!

But ageing Time teacheth all knowledge.

Hath not yet taught thy rash, imperious will
Over wild impulse to win mastery.

Nay: had Time taught me that, I had not stooped
To bandy words with such a slave as thou.

This, then, is all thine answer: thou'lt not
One syllable of what our Father asks.

Oh, that I were a debtor to his kindness!
I would requite him to the uttermost!

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Crystal Thielkien
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« Reply #219 on: November 13, 2008, 12:35:01 am »

A cutting speech! You take me for a boy
Whom you may taunt and tease.

Why art thou not
A boy-a very booby-to suppose
Thou wilt get aught from me? There is no wrong
However shameful, nor no shift of malice
Whereby Zeus shall persuade me to unlock
My lips until these shackles be cast loose.
Therefore let lightning leap with smoke and flame,
And all that is be beat and tossed together,
With whirl of feathery snowflakes and loud crack
Of subterranean thunder; none of these
Shall bend my will or force me to disclose
By whom 'tis fated he shall fall from power.

What good can come of this? Think yet again!

I long ago have thought and long ago

Patience! patience! thou rash fool
Have so much patience as to school thy mind
To a right judgment in thy present troubles.

Lo, I am rockfast, and thy words are wave
That weary me in vain. Let not the thought
Enter thy mind, that I in awe of Zeus
Shall change my nature for a girl's, or beg
The Loathed beyond all loathing-with my hands
Spread out in woman's fashion-to cast loose
These bonds; from that I am utterly removed.

I have talked much, yet further not my purpose;
For thou art in no whit melted or moved
By my prolonged entreaties: like a colt
New to the harness thou dost back and Plunge.
Snap at thy bit and fight against the rein.
And yet thy confidence is in a straw;
For stubbornness, if one be in the wrong,
Is in itself weaker than naught at all.
See now, if thou wilt not obey my words,
What storm, what triple-crested wave of woe
Unshunnable shall come upon thee. First,
This rocky chasm shall the Father split
With earthquake thunder and his burning bolt,
And he shall hide thy form, and thou shalt hang
Bolt upright, dandled in the rock's rude arms.
Nor till thou hast completed thy long term
Shalt thou come back into the light; and then
The hound of Zeus, the tawny eagle,
Shall violently fall upon thy flesh
And rend it as 'twere rags; and every day
And all day long shall thine unbidden guest
Sit at thy table, feasting on thy liver
Till he hath gnawn it black. Look for no term
To such an agony till there stand forth
Among the Gods one who shall take upon him
Thy sufferings and consent to enter hell
Far from the light of Sun, yea, the deep pit
And mirk of Tartarus, for thee. Be advised;
This is not stuffed speech framed to frighten the
But woeful truth. For Zeus knows not to lie

To our mind
The words of Hermes fail not of the mark.
For he enjoins thee to let self-will go
And follow after prudent counsels. Him
Harken; for error in the wise is shame.

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Crystal Thielkien
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« Reply #220 on: November 13, 2008, 12:35:28 am »

These are stale tidings I foreknew;
Therefore, since suffering is the due
A foe must pay his foes,
Let curled lightnings clasp and clash
And close upon my limbs: loud crash
The thunder, and fierce throes
Of savage winds convulse calm air:
The embowelled blast earth's roots uptear
And toss beyond its bars,
The rough surge, till the roaring deep
In one devouring deluge sweep
The pathway of the stars
Finally, let him fling my form
Down whirling gulfs, the central storm
Of being; let me lie
Plunged in the black Tartarean gloom;
Yet-yet-his sentence shall not doom
This deathless self to die!

These are the workings of a brain
More than a little touched; the vein
Of voluble ecstasy!
Surely he wandereth from the way,
His reason lost, who thus can pray
A mouthing mad man he!
Therefore, O ye who court his fate,
Rash mourners-ere it be too late
And ye indeed are sad
For vengeance spurring hither fast-
Hence! lest the bellowing thunderblast
Like him should strike you mad I

Words which might work persuasion speak
If thou must counsel me; nor seek
Thus, like a stream in spate,
To uproot mine honour. Dost thou dare
Urge me to baseness! I will bear
With him all blows of fate;
For false forsakers I despise;
At treachery my gorge doth rise:
I spew it forth with hate!

Only-with ruin on your track-
Rail not at fortune; but look back
And these my words recall;
Neither blame Zeus that he hath sent
Sorrow no warning word forewent!
Ye labour for your fall
With your own hands I Not by surprise
Nor yet by stealth, but with clear eyes,
Knowing the thing ye do,
Ye walk into the yawning net
That for the feet of is set
And Ruin spreads for you.

The time is past for words; earth quakes
Sensibly: hark! pent thunder rakes
The depths, with bellowing din
Of echoes rolling ever nigher:
Lightnings shake out their locks of fire;
The dust cones dance and spin;
The skipping winds, as if possessed
By faction-north, south, east and west,
Puff at each other; sea
And sky are shook together: Lo
The swing and fury of the blow
Wherewith Zeus smiteth me
Sweepeth apace, and, visibly,
To strike my heart with fear. See, see,
Earth, awful Mother! Air,
That shedd'st from the revolving sky
On all the light they see thee by,
What bitter wrongs I bear!
The scene closes with earthquake and thunder, in the midst of which PROMETHEUS and the DAUGHTERS OF OCEANUS sink into the abyss.



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Crystal Thielkien
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« Reply #221 on: November 13, 2008, 12:36:06 am »

History of Ancient Greece
One of the great paradoxes of history is that the next hesitant advance of European civilization - the development of the first city-states - took place not on the fertile open central European plains, but in a remote island to the south of the Aegean Sea which was completely lacking in metal resources. While the glittering mounted warrior-princes of central Europe dissipated their creative energy in warfare, a highly cultured yet peaceful society, built on trade and an agricultural surplus, emerged on Crete.
The history of Greece can be traced back to Stone Age hunters. Later came early farmers and the civilizations of the Minoan and Mycenaean kings. This was followed by a period of wars and invasions, known as the Dark Ages. In about 1100 BC, a people called the Dorians invaded from the north and spread down the west coast. In the period from 500-336 BC Greece was divided into small city states, each of which consisted of a city and its surrounding countryside.

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Crystal Thielkien
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« Reply #222 on: November 13, 2008, 12:37:47 am »

Neolithic Period (6000 - 2900)
Neolithic Cultures


Early Bronze Age (2900 - 2000)

- The period in antiquity that corresponds to the introduction of metallurgy, notably bronze-working, for making tools, weapons, and ceremonial objects.

The Prehistoric Archaeology of the Aegean the Bronze Age civilization that developed (c. 3000-1200 BC) in the basin of the Aegean Sea, mainly on Crete, the Cyclades, and the mainland of Greece.

The Early Cycladic Period small island group (Cyclades) situated in the centre of the Aegean in Greece, which developed a unique and distinctive civilization that flourished from around 3200-2000 BC.

The Early Minoan Period: The Settlements - Bronze Age civilization centering on the island of Crete, that flourished c. 3000 to 1100 BC. It was named after the legendary king Minos. Evans divided Minoan civilization into three periods: Early Minoan (c. 3000-c. 2200 BC), Middle Minoan (c. 2200-c.1600 BC), and Late Minoan (c. 1600-c. 1100 BC).

The Early Minoan Period The Tombs

Western Anatolia and the Eastern Aegean in the Early Bronze Age


Minoan Age (2000 - 1400 BC )

Bronze Age civilization, centring on the island of Crete. It was named after the legendary king Minos. It is divided into three periods: the early Minoan period (c.3000-2200 B.C.), the Middle Minoan period (c.2200-1500 B.C.) and the Late Minoan period (c.1500-1000 B.C.).

Middle Minoan Crete

The Minoans

The History of The Minoans


Mycenaean Age (600 - 1100 BC)

Period of high cultural achievement, forming the backdrop and basis for subsequent myths of the heroes. It was named for the kingdom of Mycenae and the archaeological site where fabulous works in gold were unearthed. The Mycenaean Age was cut short by widespread destruction ushering in the Greek Dark Age.

Mycenaean Tholos Tombs and Early Mycenaean Settlements
The Collapse of Mycenaean Palatial Civilization and the Coming of the Dorians
Mycenaean Chronology
The Myceneans
1185 Traditional date of Trojan War


The Dark Ages (1100 - 750 BC)

The period between the fall of the Mycenean civilizations and the readoption of writing in the eighth or seventh century BC. After the Trojan Wars the Mycenaeans went through a period of civil war, the country was weak and a tribe called the Dorians took over. Some speculate that Dorian invaders from the north with iron weapons laid waste the Mycenaean culture. Others look to internal dissent, uprising and rebellion, or perhaps some combination.

The Greek Dark Ages

A chapter on the history and culture of the Greek Dark Ages.

The Dorians

One of the three main groups of people of ancient Greece, the others being the Aeolians and the Ionians, who invaded from the north in the 12th and 11th centuries BC.

Dark Age Greece
The Dorian invasion
Iron into general use for weapons and tools
Greeks begin colonization on Ionian coast


Archaic Period (750 - 500 BC)

The period in which the beginnings of Greek monumental stone sculpture and other developments in the naturalistic representation of the human figure are found. During the Archaic Age the Greeks developed the most widespread and influential of their new political forms, the city-state, or polis . Rise of the aristocracies. Greek colonization of Southern Italy and Sicily begins.

Archaic Period
Early Archaic Period
The Archaic colonization
The emergence of the Polis


Classical Period (500-336 BC)

Classical period of ancient Greek history, is fixed between about 500 B. C., when the Greeks began to come into conflict with the kingdom of Persia to the east, and the death of the Macedonian king and conqueror Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. In this period Athens reached its greatest political and cultural heights: the full development of the democratic system of government under the Athenian statesman Pericles; the building of the Parthenon on the Acropolis; the creation of the tragedies of Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripides; and the founding of the philosophical schools of Socrates and Plato.

Archaic and Classical Greek History
Classical Greece
The History of Hellas
431-404 Peloponnesian War


Hellenistic Period (336-146 BC)

period between the conquest of the Persian Empire by Alexander the Great and the establishment of Roman supremacy, in which Greek culture and learning were pre-eminent in the Mediterranean and Asia Minor. It is called Hellenistic (Greek, Hellas, "Greece") to distinguish it from the Hellenic culture of classical Greece.

Hellenistic Period
Hellenistic Greece
Hellenic and Hellenistic Societies
359-323 Rise of Macedonian Empire -
359 - Philip II - Macedonian throne 343 - Aristotle tutor to Alexander
338 - Philip defeats Athens - supreme power in Greece
336 - Philip assassinated/Alexander succeeds
335 - Alexander razes Thebes - extends rule Aristotle founds school in Athens 331 - Alexander smashes Persia
330 - Alexander moves further into Asia Statues of Aeschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles erected in Theatre of Dionysus in Athens
323 - Alexander dies in Babylon; successors begin to carve up his empir

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Crystal Thielkien
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« Reply #223 on: November 13, 2008, 12:38:19 am »

The Greek City-States and Their Colonies
The Iliad tells how Greeks from many city-states-- among them, Sparta, Athens, Thebes, and Argos-- joined forces to fight their common foe Troy in Asia Minor. In historical times the Greek city-states were again able to combine when the power of Persia threatened them.
However, ancient Greece never became a nation. The only patriotism the ancient Greek knew was loyalty to his city. This seems particularly strange today, as the cities were very small. Athens was probably the only Greek city-state with more than 20,000 citizens.

Just as Europe, unlike North America, is divided into many small nations rather than a few large political units, so ancient Greece was divided into many small city-states. Sometimes the Greek city-states were separated by mountain ranges. Often, however, a single plain contained several city-states, each surrounding its acropolis, or citadel.

These flat-topped, inaccessible rocks or mounds are characteristic of Greece and were first used as places of refuge. From the Corinthian isthmus rose the lofty acrocorinthus, from Attica the Acropolis of Athens, from the plain of Argolis the mound of Tiryns, and, loftier still, the Larissa of Argos.

On these rocks the Greek cities built their temples and their king's palace, and their houses clustered about the base.

Only in a few cases did a city-state push its holdings beyond very narrow limits. Athens held the whole plain of Attica, and most of the Attic villagers were Athenian citizens. Argos conquered the plain of Argolis. Sparta made a conquest of Laconia and part of the fertile plain of Messenia. The conquered people were subjects, not citizens. Thebes attempted to be the ruling city of Boeotia but never quite succeeded (see Thebes, Greece ).

Similar city-states were found all over the Greek world, which had early flung its outposts throughout the Aegean Basin and even beyond. There were Greeks in all the islands of the Aegean. Among these islands was Thasos, famous for its gold mines. Samothrace, Imbros, and Lemnos were long occupied by Athenian colonists. Other Aegean islands colonized by Greeks included Lesbos, the home of the poet Sappho; Scyros, the island of Achilles; and Chios, Samos, and Rhodes. Also settled by Greeks were the nearer-lying Cyclades--so called (from the Greek word for "circle") because they encircled the sacred island of Delos--and the southern island of Crete.

The western shores of Asia Minor were fringed with Greek colonies, reaching out past the Propontis (Sea of Marmara) and the Bosporus to the northern and southern shores of the Euxine, or Black, Sea. In Africa there were, among others, the colony of Cyrene, now the site of a town in Libya, and the trading post of Naucratis in Egypt. Sicily too was colonized by the Greeks, and there and in southern Italy so many colonies were planted that this region came to be known as Magna Graecia (Great Greece). Pressing farther still, the Greeks founded the city of Massilia, now Marseilles, France.

Separated by barriers of sea and mountain, by local pride and jealousy, the various independent city-states never conceived the idea of uniting the Greekspeaking world into a single political unit. They formed alliances only when some powerful city-state embarked on a career of conquest and attempted to make itself mistress of the rest. Many influences made for unity--a common language, a common religion, a common literature, similar customs, the religious leagues and festivals, the Olympic Games--but even in time of foreign invasion it was difficult to induce the cities to act together.


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« Reply #224 on: November 13, 2008, 12:38:47 am »

Various Types of Government
The government of many city-states, notably Athens, passed through four stages from the time of Homer to historical times. During the 8th and 7th centuries BC the kings disappeared. Monarchy gave way to oligarchy--that is, rule by a few. The oligarchic successors of the kings were the wealthy landowning nobles, the " eupatridae," or wellborn. However, the rivalry among these nobles and the discontent of the oppressed masses was so great that soon a third stage appeared.
The third type of government was known as tyranny. Some eupatrid would seize absolute power, usually by promising the people to right the wrongs inflicted upon them by the other landholding eupatridae. He was known as a "tyrant."

Among the Greeks this was not a term of reproach but merely meant one who had seized kingly power without the qualification of royal descent.

The tyrants of the 7th century were a stepping-stone to democracy, or the rule of the people, which was established nearly everywhere in the 6th and 5th centuries. It was the tyrants who taught the people their rights and power.

By the beginning of the 5th century BC, Athens had gone through these stages and emerged as the first democracy in the history of the world.

Between two and three centuries before this, the Athenian kings had made way for officials called "archons," elected by the nobles. Thus an aristocratic form of government was established.

About 621 BC an important step in the direction of democracy was taken, when the first written laws in Greece were compiled from the existing traditional laws.

This reform was forced by the peasants to relieve them from the oppression of the nobles. The new code was so severe that the adjective "draconic," derived from the name of its compiler, Draco, is still a synonym for "harsh."

Unfortunately, Draco 's code did not give the peasants sufficient relief. A revolution was averted only by the wise reforms of Solon, about a generation later (see Solon ).

Solon's reforms only delayed the overthrow of the aristocracy, and about 561 BC Pisistratus, supported by the discontented populace, made himself tyrant.

With two interruptions, Pisistratus ruled for more than 30 years, fostering commerce, agriculture, and the arts and laying the foundation for much of Athens' future greatness. His sons Hippias and Hipparchus attempted to continue their father's power.

One of them was slain by two youths, Harmodius and Aristogiton, who lived on in Greek tradition as themes for sculptors and poets. By the reforms of Clisthenes, about 509 BC, the rule of the people was firmly established.

Very different was the course of events in Sparta, which by this time had established itself as the most powerful military state in Greece (see Sparta ).

Under the strict laws of Lycurgus it had maintained its primitive monarchical form of government with little change (see Lycurgus ). Nearly the whole of the Peloponnesus had been brought under its iron heel, and it was now jealously eyeing the rising power of its democratic rival in central Greece.

During this period the intellectual and artistic culture of the Greeks centered among the Ionions of Asia Minor. Thales, called "the first Greek philosopher," was a citizen of Miletus. He became famous for predicting an eclipse of the sun in 585 BC.

Suddenly there loomed in the east a power that threatened to sweep away the whole promising structure of the new European civilization.

Persia, the great Asian empire of the day, had been awakened to the existence of the free peoples of Greece by the aid which the Athenians had sent to their oppressed kinsmen in Asia Minor.

The Persian empire mobilized its gigantic resources in an effort to conquer the Greek city-states. The scanty forces of the Greeks succeeded in driving out the invaders.


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