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ANAHITA  January 1999

ANAHITA January 1999

Subject:

Re: Quest for Immortality

From:

Jim Miller <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Women and Gender in the Ancient World <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 13 Jan 1999 02:28:27 EST

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text/plain

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        On Medea and her children, I do not have the primary sources at hand, but
Robert Graves deals with the material in Greek Myths 156.d,f.  He tells of
Thetis sending her children to Olympus through the flames in 81.r.
        What I find interesting is the move in Greek religion from deathless physical
immortality to spiritual survival after death.  For instance, Elysion is
envisioned in the earliest sources as an alternative to death.  In the Odyssey
4.561-569 Menelaeos and Helen are to go there instead of dying and in Hesiod
W&D 167-173 it is a place where some Trojan War heroes went instead of dying.
But as early as Pindar (Ol 2.70-80) inhabitants of Elysion include those who
have died, Achilles, Kadmos and Peleos.  Perhaps a similar move happened in
the Demeter story.  In the Hymn she was bestowing deathless immortality, but
in later sources, such as Apollodorus, she was killing the child in the flames
-- perhaps giving it a spiritual immortality?  I deal with this issue in my
book, but also E. Rohde touches on it in Psyche 56-57.
Jim Miller

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