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Author Topic: Poetry, Mythos, and the Hellenic Gods  (Read 226 times)


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Poetry, Mythos, and the Hellenic Gods
« on: October 05, 2019, 04:40:23 pm »
I'm curious what others' opinions are about this topic.

Also, trigger warning: ;discussion of rape, sexual assault, and kidnapping in regards to the Greek mythos.

I'm in a Hellenismos subreddit, and their discord server - recently, I noticed that someone posted in the Discord about how certain webtoons and poetry were incorrectly portraying the Greek gods - for example, Lore Olympus gets negative comments given the original myths of Persephone and Hades (For those that don't know, originally, Hades abducts Persephone and she stays with him mainly because she ate the seeds of the Pomegranate, a fruit of the underworld - this explains why we have the seasons) versus what is shown in the webtoon (more of a love story, and more of fledgling woman who is in love with Hades, and is raped by Apollo). In addition, I've seen other comments put forth about how we must stay with the original mythos and not use contemporary (modern day) poetry because that literature was written with a Judeo-Christian viewpoint and not a Hellenic one.

So I'm wondering how, as a community - which I include recon Hellenistics to Hellenismos Remixed (aka modern Hellenismos), and to a degree, pagans who work within the Hellenismos framework - how do we evolve? Can the myths be rewritten, readapted, written in new ways? Or is there value in keeping them as they are, and learning from them what the Ancient Greeks wanted us to learn?
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Re: Poetry, Mythos, and the Hellenic Gods
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2019, 07:25:31 pm »
how do we evolve? Can the myths be rewritten, readapted, written in new ways? Or is there value in keeping them as they are, and learning from them what the Ancient Greeks wanted us to learn?

I'm kemetic, rather than hellenistic, but the same sorts of issues come up. For me, the answer is, both. Sure, it's important to understand where a tradition came from, but:

- if we want a living practice, and not a museum piece, myths must be adapted. Society, culture and technology are drastically different, and so are the issues that practitioners need mythology to address. Looking globally, myths do adapt and change; the idea that It Is Written And Immutable is, itself, a Judeo-Christian viewpoint.

- Much of the 'original' mythology we know today is fragmentary, and passed through the lens of Victorian Gentlemen scholars who put their own spin on things. (Jenett just posted about this in another thread).

An example from Egyptian mythology: in the Contendings of Horus and Set, there is an event which is usually described as 'Set raping Horus'. But when I got my hands on a direct translation, the actual text just says they 'lay down together' and then describes a sex act; there's no mention of any kind of force or lack of consent. But this myth was first translated at a time when consensual relations between men were not acknowledged to be a thing, and so the 'rape' interpretation stuck.

(See also: Victorian-era archaeologists suppressing or even destroying 'lewd' ancient artwork.)


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