Greek Mythology

Do you want to discuss and debate theology, theism and all things relative to religion? This is the place.
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Aletheia
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Unread post Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:31 am

The Sparagmos

Literally, it means the rending apart, but when capitalised it refers to the story that is at the heart of the Orphian mysteries:

Zeus had intercourse with Persephone in the form of a serpent, producing Dionysus.
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He is taken to Mount Ida where (like the infant Zeus) he is guarded by the dancing Curetes.
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Zeus intended Dionysus to be his successor as ruler of the cosmos, but a jealous Hera incited the Titans to kill the child.
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Distracting the infant Dionysus with various toys, including a mirror (in those days, a wide shallow dark metal bowl you filled with water),
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the Titans seized Dionysus and tore (or cut) him to pieces.
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The pieces were then boiled, roasted and partially eaten, by the Titans. (Note: this painting is actually of a Titan eating someone else - Titans did this sort of thing more than once)
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But Athena managed to save Dionysus' heart, by which Zeus was able to contrive his rebirth from Semele.
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Aletheia
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Unread post Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:57 am

The Dionysian Mysteries were a ritual of ancient Greece and Rome which sometimes used intoxicants and other trance-inducing techniques (like dance and music) to remove inhibitions and social constraints, liberating the individual to return to a natural state. It also provided some liberation for those marginalized by Greek society: women, slaves, outlaws, and non-citizens. In their final phase the Mysteries shifted their emphasis from a chthonic, underworld orientation to a transcendental, mystical one, with Dionysus changing his nature accordingly. By its nature as a mystery religion reserved for the initiated.

Many elements of this religion came from abroad: Zagreus from Crete (then a trading gateway to Africa), Semele from Phrygia (a trading gateway to India).

One of the teachings of this mystery cult religion is that while the ignorant, upon death, would drink from the river of Lethe ("Forgetfulness") before being reincarnated back into the world, their followers would know to search for the pool belonging to Mnemosyne ("Memory", the mother of the Muses) and, on drinking from it, would be freed from the cycle and get to live forever in a wonderful afterlife.
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Aletheia
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Unread post Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:10 am

Aletheia (ἀ–λήθεια) literally means the negation of Lethe, the opposite of being hidden. In Greek, it meant "the state of being evident". In other words: data, the parts of reality accessible to science and direct observation. Or, more loosely translated, "truth".

Aesop wrote, of her creation:
Prometheus, that potter who gave shape to our new generation, decided one day to sculpt a statue of Truth, using all his skill so that she would be able to regulate people's behaviour. As he was working, an unexpected summons from mighty Jupiter called him away. Prometheus left cunning Trickery in charge of his workshop (Trickery had recently become one of the god's apprentices). Fired by ambition, Trickery used the time at his disposal to fashion with his sly fingers a figure of the same size and appearance as Truth with identical features. When he had almost completed the piece, which was truly remarkable, he ran out of clay to use for her feet. The master returned, so Trickery quickly sat down in his seat, quaking with fear. Prometheus was amazed at the similarity of the two statues and wanted it to seem as if all the credit were due to his own skill. Therefore, he put both statues in the kiln and when they had been thoroughly baked, he infused them both with life: sacred Truth walked with measured steps, while her unfinished twin stood stuck in her tracks. That forgery, that product of subterfuge, thus acquired the name of Falsehood, and I readily agree with people who say that she has no feet: every once in a while something that is false can start off successfully, but with time the Truth is sure to prevail.
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Aletheia
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Unread post Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:22 am

"Athanatos" means "undying". It can refer to immortals, such as the Greek Deities. But it can also be used:

Aletheia Athanatos = Eternal Truth

By the way, swords were associated with many Greek deities (such as Nemesis), as were scales (such as Themis). Both were associated with Aletheia but, unlike the later "Lady Justice" icon, she isn't blindfolded. It is also from these roots that we get the scales being used in astrology as a symbol for Libra.
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Unread post Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:19 am

I took a class in Mythology in college. I also studied ancient Greek. I never learned any of this, that you posted! Thanks, good reading!
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Unread post Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:35 pm

Interesting! I’ve always enjoyed reading Ancient mythology: Greek/Roman, Egyptian, Mesoamerican.
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