Author Topic: Thoughts on Eris?  (Read 11714 times)

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Re: Thoughts on Eris?
« Reply #45 on: September 13, 2010, 11:56:11 am »
Ancient people had stronger stomachs.

I think that they just had different stomachs.

Well, they have to, right?

If they had the same stomachs as us they'd have to have transdimensional intestines and timetravel digestion.

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Re: Thoughts on Eris?
« Reply #46 on: September 13, 2010, 12:31:34 pm »
As far as Eris goes, even to an ancient Greek, she takes on a different light when viewed from a different angle. For example, she can be seen as blameless for the Trojan War. It's the pettiness of the three goddesses that lead to that, Aphrodite's careless offer, and Paris' poor judgment that led to that. Eris can be seen as a noble figure in that myth, since she is exposing the ugliness and narcissism in 3 respected goddesses through her prank.

This. Eris did in deed cast the apple, knowing full well it would lead to an argument. However, it was not her, but the other goddesses who involved mortals into the affair in the first place. Blaming Aphrodite for the war is much more appropriate.

However, one must remember that the gods of the Ancient Greeks cared little for mortals in general, as demonstrated by the fact that woman was created as a punishment for man after Prometheus gifted them with fire, despite "man" having no active part in the "theft" of the fire, as I recall.

ETA: little mistakes, damn them.

Also the ancient Greek Gods almost uniformly were considered to be foresighted well beyond the means of mortals.  While it wasn't a given that Troy would've born the brunt of a celestial hissy-fit, somewhere was going to suffer.  And of course, let's not forget the mythological account of Eris' role in the siege of Troy, where she sided with her brother Ares:

Homer, Iliad 4. 441 ff :

"Ares drove these [the Trojans] on, and the Akhaians grey-eyed Athene, and Phobos drove them, and Deimos, and Eris whose wrath is relentless, she is the sister and companion of murderous Ares, she who is only a little thing at the first, but thereafter grows until she strides on the earth with her head striking heaven. She then hurled down bitterness equally between both sides as she walked through the onslaught making men's pain heavier."

Homer, Iliad 18. 535 ff :

"The other army, as soon as they heard the uproar arising . . . suddenly mounted behind their light-foot horses, and went after, and soon overtook them. These stood their ground and fought a battle by the banks of the river, and they were making casts at each other with their spears bronze-headed; and Eris was there with Kydoimos (Confusion) among them, and Ker (Death) the destructive; she was holding a live man with a new wound, and another one unhurt, and dragged a dead man by the feet through the carnage."

Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 1. 158 ff :

"Her [the Amazon Penthesilea] strong right hand laid hold on a huge halberd, sharp of either blade, which terrible Eris gave to Ares' child to be her Titan weapon in the strife [of the Trojan War] that raveneth souls of men."

Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 10. 51 ff :

"To one place Eris drew them all, the fearful Battle-queen, beheld of none, but cloaked in clouds blood-raining: on she stalked swelling the mighty roar of battle, now rushed through Troy's squadrons, through Akhaia's now; Phobos (Panic) and Deimos (Fear) still waited on her steps to make their father's [Ares'] sister glorious. From small to huge that Fury's stature grew; her arms of adamant were blood-besprent, the deadly lance she brandished reached the sky. Earth quaked beneath her feet: dread blasts of fire flamed from her mouth: her voice pealed thunder-like kindling strong men. Swift closed the fronts of fight drawn by a dread Power to the mighty work."

And so on and so forth.

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Re: Thoughts on Eris?
« Reply #47 on: September 13, 2010, 01:30:48 pm »
Eris is the person who keeps stealing socks out of my dryer!

Must be penance for puns. 
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Re: Thoughts on Eris?
« Reply #48 on: September 13, 2010, 01:40:19 pm »
Sorry I'm late, I took the weekend off (as usual).  Anyway...

Ok.

What the fuck is an "anti-God"?
An anti-God being anything that is totally against God. Like, in traditional monotheistic views Eris would be on the same level as Satan, as she stands for and is everything that "God" is against.

So, what's the definition of "God" that you're using here?  I need to understand your terms before we can get going.

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Re: Thoughts on Eris?
« Reply #49 on: September 13, 2010, 02:09:18 pm »
As far as Eris goes, even to an ancient Greek, she takes on a different light when viewed from a different angle. For example, she can be seen as blameless for the Trojan War. It's the pettiness of the three goddesses that lead to that, Aphrodite's careless offer, and Paris' poor judgment that led to that. Eris can be seen as a noble figure in that myth, since she is exposing the ugliness and narcissism in 3 respected goddesses through her prank.

This. Eris did in deed cast the apple, knowing full well it would lead to an argument. However, it was not her, but the other goddesses who involved mortals into the affair in the first place. Blaming Aphrodite for the war is much more appropriate.

However, one must remember that the gods of the Ancient Greeks cared little for mortals in general, as demonstrated by the fact that woman was created as a punishment for man after Prometheus gifted them with fire, despite "man" having no active part in the "theft" of the fire, as I recall.

ETA: little mistakes, damn them.

Also the ancient Greek Gods almost uniformly were considered to be foresighted well beyond the means of mortals.  While it wasn't a given that Troy would've born the brunt of a celestial hissy-fit, somewhere was going to suffer.  And of course, let's not forget the mythological account of Eris' role in the siege of Troy, where she sided with her brother Ares:

Homer, Iliad 4. 441 ff :

"Ares drove these [the Trojans] on, and the Akhaians grey-eyed Athene, and Phobos drove them, and Deimos, and Eris whose wrath is relentless, she is the sister and companion of murderous Ares, she who is only a little thing at the first, but thereafter grows until she strides on the earth with her head striking heaven. She then hurled down bitterness equally between both sides as she walked through the onslaught making men's pain heavier."

Homer, Iliad 18. 535 ff :

"The other army, as soon as they heard the uproar arising . . . suddenly mounted behind their light-foot horses, and went after, and soon overtook them. These stood their ground and fought a battle by the banks of the river, and they were making casts at each other with their spears bronze-headed; and Eris was there with Kydoimos (Confusion) among them, and Ker (Death) the destructive; she was holding a live man with a new wound, and another one unhurt, and dragged a dead man by the feet through the carnage."

Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 1. 158 ff :

"Her [the Amazon Penthesilea] strong right hand laid hold on a huge halberd, sharp of either blade, which terrible Eris gave to Ares' child to be her Titan weapon in the strife [of the Trojan War] that raveneth souls of men."

Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 10. 51 ff :

"To one place Eris drew them all, the fearful Battle-queen, beheld of none, but cloaked in clouds blood-raining: on she stalked swelling the mighty roar of battle, now rushed through Troy's squadrons, through Akhaia's now; Phobos (Panic) and Deimos (Fear) still waited on her steps to make their father's [Ares'] sister glorious. From small to huge that Fury's stature grew; her arms of adamant were blood-besprent, the deadly lance she brandished reached the sky. Earth quaked beneath her feet: dread blasts of fire flamed from her mouth: her voice pealed thunder-like kindling strong men. Swift closed the fronts of fight drawn by a dread Power to the mighty work."

And so on and so forth.

Foresight: Eh. It depends on the time, place, author, etc. And as you said, it (theoretically) could have been a much less disastrous event that occurred, and not the Trojan War. Second, Greek gods were slaves to their passions, and some hold that they are only responsible for their own actions because of this. Aphrodite, promised Paris the most beautiful woman, who happened to be married. Aphrodite could have promised another woman, who was unmarried, but did not.  Eris cast the apple in the first place, she might have known that it would end up the way it did. She probably wouldn't care because, she is a goddess of war, mortals aren't her concern, and she was really pissed off. Perhaps that makes her responsible, but then, if their foresight was so great, why didn't the other gods just invite Eris and avoid the whole shebang? Foresight works both ways in this case.
 
Eris' Role: Those passages, some of which are occasionally attributed to Enyo, who may or may not be Eris and is often the daughter of Ares, only demonstrate Eris' doing her job. The first even names Athena acting as a goddess of war, spurring the Trojans on, when she favored the other side (the Argives). So, I don't see the "problem", even if that is what you are getting at. As I recall, there wasn't a single deity NOT involved in the Trojan War, and it was as divisive among the gods as it was among mortals.  

Greeks and Accuracy:  :lol:

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Re: Thoughts on Eris?
« Reply #50 on: September 13, 2010, 03:18:37 pm »
According to my own research on the topic, the split between Eris and Enyo was a latter day Classical invention, historically the two were considered the same.  And I was merely pointing out she was involved in it as everyone else, for the "Eris is sweetness and light and couldn't have possibly forseen the Trojan War and so was really the innocent victim" crowd, of which there are a few still hanging around.

As for why the Gods (actually Zeus) didn't invite her despite knowing it was cause a huge problem, it was stated by Hesiod the plan was to cause a war in order to depopulate the earth, especially of troublesome demigods.  So the whole war was a huge Xanatos Gambit on behalf of Zeus.

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Re: Thoughts on Eris?
« Reply #51 on: September 13, 2010, 06:22:17 pm »
The priests of Bellona were called Bellonarii,

I was hoping they were called Bellonai... that way when they were invoking the Goddess they could have been "Full of Bellonai"
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Re: Thoughts on Eris?
« Reply #52 on: September 13, 2010, 09:29:05 pm »
According to my own research on the topic, the split between Eris and Enyo was a latter day Classical invention, historically the two were considered the same.  And I was merely pointing out she was involved in it as everyone else, for the "Eris is sweetness and light and couldn't have possibly forseen the Trojan War and so was really the innocent victim" crowd, of which there are a few still hanging around.

As for why the Gods (actually Zeus) didn't invite her despite knowing it was cause a huge problem, it was stated by Hesiod the plan was to cause a war in order to depopulate the earth, especially of troublesome demigods.  So the whole war was a huge Xanatos Gambit on behalf of Zeus.

Totally did not know that.

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Re: Thoughts on Eris?
« Reply #53 on: September 13, 2010, 09:46:26 pm »
According to my own research on the topic, the split between Eris and Enyo was a latter day Classical invention, historically the two were considered the same.  And I was merely pointing out she was involved in it as everyone else, for the "Eris is sweetness and light and couldn't have possibly forseen the Trojan War and so was really the innocent victim" crowd, of which there are a few still hanging around.

As for why the Gods (actually Zeus) didn't invite her despite knowing it was cause a huge problem, it was stated by Hesiod the plan was to cause a war in order to depopulate the earth, especially of troublesome demigods.  So the whole war was a huge Xanatos Gambit on behalf of Zeus.

Eris and Enyo: I agree that they were in fact the same, but depending on who you read you get differing accounts.  

Hesiod: If you look at Homer, the implication is not really there (at least I don't see it that way). This may be because Homer was writing about the mortal (or semi-mortal, at any rate) heroes, and didn't want the gods to steal the limelight. Hesiod, on the other hand, wrote about the gods specifically. Also of note, Hesiod often comes across as a Zeus fanboy to me, and may or may not be considered an accurate representation of the whole population.  The problem arises when we don't actually have access to much more about the Trojan War than those two, a few obscure references in Herodotus, some fragmented texts, and the writings of Plato, Aristotle, and later Greeks, and Roman authors. I'm sure I'm forgetting something as well, but I don't think it is that big. In my reading, Homer and Hesiod tend to contradict each other, Herodotus doesn't actually tell the story, and the later Greeks and especially the Romans are so far removed from the original event that it becomes like the Crusades to us.

Who caused the Trojan War?: Depends on what you are asking. In some way, Aphrodite, Eris, and Zeus are all to blame. Athena and Hera are less than innocent as well. Poseidon had his role in it, so too did Apollo. Even Paris, Menelaus, Agamemnon, and other kings of the Greek aggressor states can be blamed in some ways.

Zeus: There is a rather important point that you are skimming over though. in Homer, Zeus was favoring Troy as the victor of the war. Regardless of his intention, Homer's interpretation of Zeus makes it appear that he did not expect Troy to fall, or merely that he did not wish it to at least. If he had known the exact outcome, would he have risked such a plan when there are others that would cause him less personal dissatisfaction? I would argue that if Hesiod is to be believed, then the outcome was not entirely known, but rather that Zeus knew snubbing Eris would cause discord and suffering for mortals, and perhaps knew the likely scenario, but I personally find it hard to believe the fall of Troy was a "calculated loss" on his part.

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Re: Thoughts on Eris?
« Reply #54 on: September 13, 2010, 09:56:40 pm »
Besides, everyone knows that "The Prettiest One" at a wedding is always the Bride. Can't blame Eris if the bitch trio tried to swipe her gift to the Bride for themselves.

 :argh!:
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Re: Thoughts on Eris?
« Reply #55 on: September 13, 2010, 09:57:45 pm »
Besides, everyone knows that "The Prettiest One" at a wedding is always the Bride. Can't blame Eris if the bitch trio tried to swipe her gift to the Bride for themselves.

 :argh!:


 :lulz:

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Re: Thoughts on Eris?
« Reply #56 on: September 13, 2010, 10:15:13 pm »
Maybe the "Foresight" of the Gods only applied to mortal affairs?
Perhaps the Gods really cant predict each other actions, hence the fact that none of the Goddesses could predict who Paris would pick since they didnt know what the other Goddesses would offer.
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Re: Thoughts on Eris?
« Reply #57 on: September 14, 2010, 10:43:25 am »
According to my own research on the topic, the split between Eris and Enyo was a latter day Classical invention, historically the two were considered the same.  And I was merely pointing out she was involved in it as everyone else, for the "Eris is sweetness and light and couldn't have possibly forseen the Trojan War and so was really the innocent victim" crowd, of which there are a few still hanging around.

As for why the Gods (actually Zeus) didn't invite her despite knowing it was cause a huge problem, it was stated by Hesiod the plan was to cause a war in order to depopulate the earth, especially of troublesome demigods.  So the whole war was a huge Xanatos Gambit on behalf of Zeus.

Eris and Enyo: I agree that they were in fact the same, but depending on who you read you get differing accounts.  

Hesiod: If you look at Homer, the implication is not really there (at least I don't see it that way). This may be because Homer was writing about the mortal (or semi-mortal, at any rate) heroes, and didn't want the gods to steal the limelight. Hesiod, on the other hand, wrote about the gods specifically. Also of note, Hesiod often comes across as a Zeus fanboy to me, and may or may not be considered an accurate representation of the whole population.  The problem arises when we don't actually have access to much more about the Trojan War than those two, a few obscure references in Herodotus, some fragmented texts, and the writings of Plato, Aristotle, and later Greeks, and Roman authors. I'm sure I'm forgetting something as well, but I don't think it is that big. In my reading, Homer and Hesiod tend to contradict each other, Herodotus doesn't actually tell the story, and the later Greeks and especially the Romans are so far removed from the original event that it becomes like the Crusades to us.

Who caused the Trojan War?: Depends on what you are asking. In some way, Aphrodite, Eris, and Zeus are all to blame. Athena and Hera are less than innocent as well. Poseidon had his role in it, so too did Apollo. Even Paris, Menelaus, Agamemnon, and other kings of the Greek aggressor states can be blamed in some ways.

Zeus: There is a rather important point that you are skimming over though. in Homer, Zeus was favoring Troy as the victor of the war. Regardless of his intention, Homer's interpretation of Zeus makes it appear that he did not expect Troy to fall, or merely that he did not wish it to at least. If he had known the exact outcome, would he have risked such a plan when there are others that would cause him less personal dissatisfaction? I would argue that if Hesiod is to be believed, then the outcome was not entirely known, but rather that Zeus knew snubbing Eris would cause discord and suffering for mortals, and perhaps knew the likely scenario, but I personally find it hard to believe the fall of Troy was a "calculated loss" on his part.


To me, the Illiad seemed to heap it on Agememnon and Achilles as the main two at fault.
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Re: Thoughts on Eris?
« Reply #58 on: September 14, 2010, 10:42:00 pm »
Maybe the "Foresight" of the Gods only applied to mortal affairs?
Perhaps the Gods really cant predict each other actions, hence the fact that none of the Goddesses could predict who Paris would pick since they didnt know what the other Goddesses would offer.


This makes some amount of sense-
For example, if the Gods could have foresight into each other's actions, Cronos could have said, "haha, ok, now give me the kid for real." Hera could have said, "I'm not going to marry you, you're just going to cheat on me all the time anyway." Zeus could have said, "Bitch, don't even think of chaining me up while I'm asleep. You know I'm going to get free anyway." And Artemis could have said, "Hey bro, I know that's Orion you want me to shoot." etc, etc...

While I'm tempted to respond to all of this ancient Greek (and one comic book) references, with a, "yeah but we're not ancient Greeks, what do you think" I'm enjoying these analyses of the myths.
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Re: Thoughts on Eris?
« Reply #59 on: September 15, 2010, 03:13:09 am »
Maybe the "Foresight" of the Gods only applied to mortal affairs?
Perhaps the Gods really cant predict each other actions, hence the fact that none of the Goddesses could predict who Paris would pick since they didnt know what the other Goddesses would offer.


This makes some amount of sense-
For example, if the Gods could have foresight into each other's actions, Cronos could have said, "haha, ok, now give me the kid for real." Hera could have said, "I'm not going to marry you, you're just going to cheat on me all the time anyway." Zeus could have said, "Bitch, don't even think of chaining me up while I'm asleep. You know I'm going to get free anyway." And Artemis could have said, "Hey bro, I know that's Orion you want me to shoot." etc, etc...

While I'm tempted to respond to all of this ancient Greek (and one comic book) references, with a, "yeah but we're not ancient Greeks, what do you think" I'm enjoying these analyses of the myths.

I'm a Classics major. I study dead languages and myths for most of my waking life. My perspective is most definitely colored by that fact. My current interest is comparing the stories of Hesiod's Theogeny and the Babylonian Enuma Elish, though I am currently in a class that is about the influence of Homer on modern films. Discussing mythology here lets me hear other people's opinions so I don't get stuck with a text book interpretation of something.

As for my personal take on Eris: She exists because I believe she does. My personal philosophy is that each of us lives in our own little reality. Big "R" Reality doesn't exist, but an infinite number of individual realities do. I believe Eris is a concept, a real being, a metaphor, the true goddess, and a sexy beast all at once. And for me that is all true. For others, she is just a metaphor, and in their reality, she is nothing more than that. And that doesn't make them wrong; because their beliefs are as valid as my own. Even if you are all just figments of my imagination, or I am a figment of yours.

And that's probably way more back story on me than anyone really wanted. I just felt like talking about myself just now.