Sunday, 23 January 2011

Gathering resources for Greek Studies

Nau mai, hoki mai - and welcome back!

This is the text tama 1 is using for mythology class:
It arrived very quickly from Book Depository and I'm really pleased I paid for the hardback version because I'm quite sure we will all refer to it now and in the future - plus, I just love hardback books!

There was a lot of reading for week 1 -- A LOT !!!!  Tama 1 learned about the gods, such as the Titans (or elder gods), the lesser gods, the Underworld and two great gods of earth -- Demeter and Dionysus.

Tama 1 has done very well in his two quizzes taken so far which is just fantastic.

Some things we have learned to date:

In week 1 we learned that Zeus overthrew his father Cronus (Kronos) and then in week 2 we learned that Cronus overthrew his father, Uranus, also.  Rather a violent take-over was that one!!  Apparently Uranus detested his children and as soon as they were born, he forced them into Tartarus: a dark place deep beneath the surface of the earth. Anyway, Gaia (his wife), asked her children to stop Uranus.  The only one to come to her aid was her son Cronus.

[Here's the PGR part ...]

Gaia apparently asks Cronus to cut off his father's sex organs and throw them into the sea. [NICE!!!] Now, interestingly enough, according to some versions of the myth, Aphrodite was born from the (sea) foam where they landed.[EEW!!]

So anyway, Uranus became the sky that surrounds the earth, and Cronus replaced his father as king of the universe.

Back to Zeus -- did you know that Hera (Juno) is not only his wife, but his sister too?!!! [like double eew !!] Tama 1 and I didn't (and still don't) get that at all.  Plus, I don't get why Hera gets such a hard rap.  Her brother slash husband was a total womaniser and had children outside the marriage, yet it's Hera who gets the label of being horrid because she did all sorts of nasty things to the lovers of Zeus.  Okay, okay, so maybe she should've gone to Cronus and asked to borrow his sickle, or better still, simply asked Cronus to use the sickle and do her a favour!!!  but anyway, how come it's Hera that's the witchy-poo in the story with Zeus getting away with things?

I dunno, I guess there's a lot to read and learn yet, but that's just my thoughts so far ....

I wanted to mention one thing to consider when looking at signing up to online classes and that is ...
Tama 1's class runs through to May, so daylight savings will end while we're still in classes.  Rather than 9.30am, tama 1 will have to be in class at 8.30am.

When I looked at another class I realised it would change from 7.00am to 6.00am NZ time after DST ends, which is just too early unfortunately.    Maybe I'll consider it when he's 10 years old? :-) ... But it's something to keep in mind should you live in the southern hemisphere, considering classes which run for 15+ weeks from the northern hemisphere.

The following are just a few of the online resources which will come in handy not only for the children, but also my classical studies class:
Simply type in a god's name to learn more about them
Has a nice little timeline printout which could come in handy
Another good site aimed at children, but good for anyone really
Funnily enough, the children reminded me of some books we have in our little home library, which may come in useful:
Remember the series of these Goddess Girls books I bought for tamāhine 1?

This next one I had as a child and although the binding is certainly showing its age, the stories are timeless: 
I know I've got another book from when my eldest brother was a boy too, but where that is, I'm not sure.  I thought I knew exactly where it was, but I was obviously mistaken.  I shall look more thoroughly tomorrow.
This week tama 1 must read chapters III and IV.  In these chapters he will learn how the world and mankind were created and learn about some of the earliest heroes, such as Prometheus and Io, Europa, as well as the Cyclops Polyphemus to name a few.  I will try finding other online details about the creation of the world and mankind because tama 1 and I found the text rather heavy-going.  Hopefully I can find something that speaks to me/us more clearly.

As for my own classical studies, I received my login and password for e-learning which I can access from the 31st of January.  I'm hoping to get my first assignment completed by that date but so far it's all a mess, just bits of notes written here and there.  I'm not following it very well, so I've decided to try and find what I can online to help me out.  I've done an online search for ancient maps of Greece and have found a few to print out and I think that should aid my learning.  (I need something visual to get my bearings eh!)

A couple of things I have learned so far:

I have learned that the Greeks called foreigners Barbarians because they "couldn't understand what they were saying and dismissed them as those people who made "bar bar bar" noises, and so called them barbarians."  I also know their city-states were called polis in Greek.  I am learning the five ages, eg Golden Age, Bronze, Dark...

Well, that is enough for now ...

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

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