mythtakes episode 8 mythological tour of the solar system 5: jupiter/zeus

 

jupiter copy.jpg

Image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech. http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/visions-of-the-future/

 

img_6482Today we visit the first of the Gas Giants, Jupiter. This mysterious planet, covered with swirling, toxic clouds in shades of orange, red, white, and brown, is the largest in our solar system. The “King of the Planets” is named after the Greek and Roman king of the gods, Jupiter (Zeus). We examine passages from Greek and Roman literature to shed some light on how the ancients thought of their god they called “the father of gods and men.”

 
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Primary Source Passage

Theogony 71-74
…he was ruling the
sky as king, holding the thunder and fiery lightning-bolt himself,
having the victory from his father Cronus by strength; in right detail
he dealt laws and appointed donors to the immortals.

Theogony 478-491
They sent her [Rhea] to Lyctus, to the rich land of Crete,
when she was about to bear her youngest son,
great Zeus; vast Earth received him from her
in wide Crete to tend and raise.
Carrying him through the swift black night, she came
first to Lyctus; taking him in her arms, she hid him
in a deep cave, down in dark holes of holy each,
on Mount Aegean, dense with woods.
Rhea wrapped a huge stone in a baby’s robe, and fed it
to Sky’s wide-ruling son, lord of the earlier gods;
he took it in his hands and put it down his belly,
the fool; he did not think in his mind that instead
of a stone his own son, undefeated and secure, was left
behind, soon to master him by force and violence and
drive him from his honour, and be lord of the immortals himself.

Theogony 491-500
Swiftly then the strength and noble limbs
of the future lord grew; at the end of a year,
tricked by the clever advice of Earth,
great crooked-minded Cronus threw up his children,
defeated by the craft and force of his own son.
First he vomited out the stone he had swallowed last;
Zeus fixed it firmly in the wide-pathed land
at sacred Python in the vales of Parnassus,
to be a sign thereafter, a wonder to mortal men.
Trans. Richard Caldwell


Ancient Sources

Theogony. Trans. Richard Caldwell & Stephanie Nelson. Newburyport MA: Focus Publishing, 2009.


Selected Sources

NASA. “Jupiter.” http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/jupiter

NASA. “Juno: Peering Beneath  Jupiter’s Clouds.” http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/juno

NASA. “NASA’s Juno Spacecraft to Risk Jupiter’s Fireworks for Science.” http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/2016/06/16/nasas-juno-spacecraft-to-risk-jupiters-fireworks-for-science 16 June 2016.

Osborne, Hannah. “Juno Mission: How NASA will manoeuvre 250 000 km/h spacecraft into Jupiter’s orbit.” http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/juno-mission-how-nasa-will-manoeuvre-250000-km-h-spacecraft-into-jupiters-orbit-1563401 International Business Times 3 June 2016.


Shout-Outs

Astronomer Erin Ryan on Twitter @erinleeryan, website http://www.erinleeryan.com

The Juno mission on Twitter: @NASAJuno


Join us on Twitter @InnesAlison and @darrinsunstrum

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This week’s theme music: “Super Hero” by King Louie’s Missing Monuments from the album “Live at WFMU” (2011). Used under Creative Commons license. Music used under Creative Commons license and available from Free Music Archive.

 

mythtake episode 7 mythological tour of the solar system 4: mars/ares

mars copy

Image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech. http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/visions-of-the-future/

img_6482We skip over planet earth (for now) and head to our fourth stop in our tour of the solar system: Mars. The Red Planet,, named for the Roman god of war, has intrigued humans for millennia. Today we learn about the Greek god of war, Ares, from his appearances in the Homeric Hymn to Ares, Odyssey 8.266-366 and Iliad 5.418-425, 880-969.
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Homeric Hymn to Ares

Ares, exceedingly mighty, rider of chariots, golden-helmeted,
strong-spirited, shield-carrier, guardian of cities, armed in bronze,
strong-handed, untiring spear-bearer, defender of Olympus,
father of Victory, successful in war, ally of Themis,
a ruler for enemies, leader of truly just men,
staff-bearer of men’s prowess, you who win your fire-bright sphere
among the planets with their seven paths in the sky, where your fiery
colts ever keep you above the third orbit.
Hear me, defender of mortals, giver of flourishing youth,
shining down a gentle light form above on my life
and my strength in war, so that I may be able
to ward off bitter cowardice from the my head,
and to bend the deceptive impulse of my soul with my wits
and to restrain the sharp forty of my heart which provokes me
to enter the icy-cold din of battle. But you, blessed one,
grant me courage to stay within the carefree bounds of peace
while escaping the conflict of enemies and violent death.

(Trans. Susan Shelmerdine)

 


Ancient Sources

Homeric Hymn to Ares

Homer Odyssey 8.266-366

Homer Iliad 5. 418-425, 880-969

Ovid Metamorphoses 4.228


Selected Sources

Homer. Iliad. Trans. Anthony Verity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Homer. Odyssey. Translated Richmond Lattimore. New York: Perennial Classics, 1967.

Homeric Hymns. Trans. Susan Shelmerdine. Newburyport MA: Focus Publishing, 1995. Print.

McDonald, Bob. “Mars: from God of War to habitable planet.” Quirks and Quarks. Blog. 27 May 2016 (http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/mars-god-war-earth-1.3602986)

Nasa.gov “Mars: The Red Planet” (http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/mars )

Nasa.gov “Mars Today: Robotic Exploration” (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mars/main/index.html)

Nasa.gov “Your Weight in Space” (http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/kids/index.cfm?Filename=puzzles)


 

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This week’s theme music: “Super Hero” by King Louie’s Missing Monuments from the album “Live at WFMU” (2011). Used under Creative Commons license. Music used under Creative Commons license and available from Free Music Archive.