Lindsey kept going on about various officials, bringing up events that I wasn’t even aware of—I tended to stick to my own concerns. She had zoning laws, chamber of commerce, non-profit organizations, and more all pointing to something conspiratorial about the upper echelons in the city. She brought up warehouses in Dante and Shoreward as possible locations for the incoming drugs, which matched up with what I had already been thinking. My mind swam as she kept going, her own logic compelling her to fill in all the gaps even though I thought she was reaching with a good portion of it, until—
Monday, June 25, 2018
You won’t find myths about Hestia. I know, I’ve looked. I’ve scoured my resources. It might be easy to write her off because of this. There are no stories about her, therefore she’s not interesting. Conclusion: she’s not important. But the opposite is actually true.
I’ve only found one thing about Hestia. Zeus decreed that Hestia was off-limits from all the shenanigans of the other gods. No one is allowed to mess with her. And, wonder of wonders, no one did. Not a single one of the other gods ever took action or said a word against Hestia, and the Greek gods are known for their in-fighting.
I cannot overstate the importance of a Greek goddess who doesn’t get into any kind of trouble. But why did Zeus make his decree? An even better question is why did the fractious gods and goddesses abide by it? In a pantheon known for its usurpations, betrayals, and attacks, they left her alone. There’s not even mention of anyone thinking anything bad against her. She is, in a word, untouchable.
Well, this is where we can make the connection back to Prometheus. Hestia is goddess of the hearth. She is the center of worship for the Greek home. Yes, the other gods have temples, but those are big ideals that are not felt in the same way as the personal nature of worship in the home. Now I’m not saying that people worshipped Hestia instead of Zeus, Athena, Poseidon, Aphrodite, or any of the others. Remember, this is a polytheistic culture. The Greeks were quite at home worshipping multiple gods.
Hestia is included in the worship of any of the other gods or goddesses. This is mostly because of the structure of Greek worship. In most of the ancient world, Greece included, they made offerings to the gods on the fire. We know this most from the story of Prometheus with regards to the cuts of meat. The cuts of meat that are made for the gods are to be burned on the fire as an offering to the gods, kind of like a meat tithe.
(Incidentally, the Old Testament is full of stories of meat offerings to God, most notably with the stories of Abraham and Elijah.)
Because Greek worship requires the use of fire and the hearth, the first prayers and offerings are to Hestia, who watches over the home. Without the hearth and the home, the Greek people have no worship to the other gods. Zeus’s decree is about safeguarding the ability of human beings to continue to worship the gods.
Right, we’re supposed to connect this back to Perseus. That comes next, I promise.
Friday, June 22, 2018
I waited in line to board. They took the usuals, first, elderly or others needing assistance, then families to get situated with their equipment and kids, first class and business people, then the rest of us, herded through the jetway like cattle to market. I didn’t like the analogy, but we trundled along in just that way.
Monday, June 18, 2018
Perseus, as I have said before kind of gets a bad rap. As the gadget guy of the Ancient world, he sometimes doesn’t get respect. Also, there was that whole opportunistic purchasing of Andromeda thing. But! we have sorted that out and now realize the importance of Perseus’s actions regarding marrying Andromeda.
But we have to now consider Perseus’s place in the overarching narrative of Greek mythology. I’m not talking about the foundation of his dynasty. That’s important, but ultimately predictable that other heroes would rise from his bloodline. No, we need to talk about women.
Friday, June 15, 2018
Monday, June 11, 2018
While important, the whole episode with Andromeda has really been a sidequest. Perseus still hasn’t saved his mom from Polydectes. And, wouldn’t you know it, they don’t believe that a guy like Perseus could have possibly slain Medusa and taken her head. Therefore, “greeted by a storm of insults [Perseus] displayed the Gorgon’s head, averting his own gaze as he did so, and turned them all to stone.” Yeah, he went nuclear on them. It’s getting increasingly easier for Perseus to take the nuclear option.
Friday, June 8, 2018
Monday, June 4, 2018
Remember that bit about Andromeda’s parents not allowing the marriage if Perseus didn’t negotiate first? Well, they even tried to break the bargain. In fact, they invited the guy they wanted Andromeda to marry, a man named Agenor. Andromeda’s parents even claimed that Perseus forced them into the agreement to marriage, despite Agenor having a prior claim.
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