Posts Tagged ‘Phaethon’

►Greek Mythology: “Helios, the God Sun”:

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"Helios on His Chariot" (Detail) by Hans Adam Weissenkircher (Laufen, Germany 1646-1695 Graz, Austria).

“Helios on His Chariot” (Detail) by Hans Adam Weissenkircher (17th century).

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Helios was the Greek God Sun. He was also the guardian of oaths and the god of gift of sight. 

Around the time of Euripides, the sun of Helios became identified with Apollo. Helios was known by the names Sol and Phoebus in Roman mythology.

Helios was depicted as a handsome, and usually beardless, man clothed in purple robes and crowned with the shining aureole of the sun. His sun-chariot was drawn by four steeds, sometimes winged. 

As stated by Hesiod, Helios was the son of two Titans: Theia and Hyperion. In Hesiod’s “Theogony, therefore, Helios was also the brother of Eos (the goddess of Dawn) and Selene (the goddess of the Moon). It is interesting to note that the Dawn goddess Eos began the procession of morning, followed closely by her brother Helios.

According to the original myth, Helios dwelt in a golden palace located in the River Okeanos at the eastern ends of the earth. From there he emerged each dawn driving a chariot drawn by four, fiery winged steeds and crowned with the aureole of the sun. When he reached the the land of the Hesperides  (Evenings) in the West he descended into a golden cup which carried him around the northern streams of Okeanos back to his rising place in the East.

Helios was first married to his sister, Selene. Quintus Smyrnaeus makes Helios and Selene the parents of the Horae, the four Goddesses of the seasons

but overall he had many wives, among them the Oceanid Perse; from their union, Helios became the father of king Aeetes, Circe and Pasiphae, the wife of Minos and mother of the Minotaur.

Clythie was also included among Helios’ lovers. 

Clymene (Phaeton’s mother) was probably also identified with Clytie. Both of their names mean “the famous one”, and Clymene’s title Merope (“with turning face”) aptly describes the behaviour of the flower.

Helios, having loved her, abandoned her for another nymph, called Leucothea

Clythie was so angered by his treatment that she told Leucothea’s father, Orchamus, about the affair. Since Helios had defiled Leucothea, Orchamus had her put to death by burial alive in the sands.

Thus Clytie intended to win Helios back. She remained mourning Helios’ departure with neither food nor drink, for nine days on the rocks, staring at the sun, Helios. After nine days she was transformed into a heliotrope flower, the turnsole, which turns its head always to look longingly at Helios’ chariot of the sun. Modern traditions substitute the turnsole with a sunflower, which is said to turn in the direction of the sun.

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On the Left: "Clytie: Sorrow and Sunflowelite" by Frederic Leighton ( ). On the Right: "Clytie" by Evelyn De Morgan

On the Left: “Clytie: Sorrow and Sunflowelite” by Frederic Leighton (1895). On the Right: “Clytie” by Evelyn De Morgan (1887).

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"Clytie Transformed into a Sunflower" by Charles de Lafosse (17th century).

“Clytie Transformed into a Sunflower” by Charles de Lafosse (17th century).

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By the Oceanid Clymene, Helios had a son Phaeton and maybe Augeas, and three daughters, Aegiale, Aegle, and Aetheria. These three daughters and two Helios had by Neaera, Lampetie and Phaethusa, were known as the Heliades.

Phaethon was, as we said, Helios’ and the sea-nymph Clymene’ s son. In one ocassion, he drove his father’s chariot and, as he rode it alternately too close to the earth, he set the earth on fire. To stop it, Zeus killed him with a bolt of lightning. 

Another wife of Helios was the Nymph Rhode (meaning “rose” in the Greek language).

Rhode gave her name to the famous Greek island of Rhodes and Helios was the island’s patron deity and the Rhodians worshipped Helios. As a matter of fact, one of the island’s main attractions, the Colossus of Rhodes, was built in his honor.

►The Colossus of Rhodes, statue built in Helios’ honor by Chares of Lindos:

The Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of the Greek titan-god of the sun Helios, erected in the city of Rhodes, on the Greek island of the same name, by Chares of Lindos.

Being considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, It was constructed to celebrate Rhodes’ victory over the ruler of Cyprus, Antigonus I Monophthalmus.

The construction began in 292 BC and finished twelve years later, in 280 BC. The statue itself was over 30 meters tall.

Ancient accounts, which differ to some degree, describe the structure as being built with iron tie bars to which brass plates were fixed to form the skin. The interior of the structure, which stood on a 15-meter high white marble pedestal near the Mandraki harbor entrance, was filled with stone blocks as construction progressed.

The statue stood for 56 years until Rhodes was hit by the 226 BC Rhodes earthquake. By then, it fell over onto the land.

King Ptolomey III offered to pay for the reconstruction of the statue, but the Oracle of Delphi made the Rhodians afraid that they had offended Helios, and they declined to rebuild it.

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On the Left: Colosse de Rhodes by Sidney Barclay. Illustration by  Sidney Barclay in the book by Augé de Lassus "Voyage aux Sept merveilles du monde" (1880) On the Right: Unknown Artist's misconception of the Colossus of Rhodes from the Grolier Society's 1911 "Book of Knowledge"

On the Left: Colossus. Illustration by Sidney Barclay in de Lassus’ Book “Voyage aux Sept merveilles du monde” (1880). On the Right: Unknown Artist’s misconception of the Colossus of Rhodes from the Grolier Society’s 1911 “Book of Knowledge”.

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►The Sun God Helios featuring Other Greek Myths:

•Helios in Persephone’ Myth:

Helios saw Hades abducting Persephone. Demeter didn’t think to ask him about her missing daughter, but wandered the earth morosely for months until her friend, the witchcraft goddess Hekate suggested that Helios might have been an eye witness.

•Helios’ role when Aphrodite and Ares were caught by Hephaestus:

Helios owed Hephaestus for the cup that carries him to his morning daily starting point, which the smithy god had made for him, so when he witnessed an event of importance to Hephaestus, he didn’t keep it to himself. He hurried to reveal the affair between Hephaestus’ wife Aphrodite and Ares.

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'Apollo in His Chariot with the Hours" by  John Singer Sargent (1922-25).

‘Apollo in His Chariot with the Hours” by John Singer Sargent (1922-25).

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"Apollo in His Chariot with the Hours" (Details) by John Singer Sargent (1922-25).

“Apollo in His Chariot with the Hours” (Details) by John Singer Sargent (1922-25).

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 "Phoebus Driving his chariot" by Karl Briullov (1821).

“Phoebus Driving his chariot” by Karl Briullov (1821).

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"Apollo in his Chariot" by Luca Giordano (1683).

“Apollo in his Chariot” by Luca Giordano (1683).

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"Apollo" by Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini (18th century).

“Apollo” by Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini (18th century).

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►Links Post:
http://www.theoi.com/Titan/Helios.html
http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/greek-mythology/articles/7768/title/god-sun-helios-apollo
http://www.mythography.com/myth/welcome-to-mythography/greek-gods/spirits-1/helios/
http://www.greek-gods.info/ancient-greek-gods/helios/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clytie_(Oceanid)
http://www.theoi.com/Nymphe/NympheKlymene.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colossus_of_Rhodes
http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/hgodsandgoddesses/g/Helios.htm
http://jssgallery.org/paintings/mfa/Apollo_in_His_Chariot_with_the_Hours.htm
http://www.mythography.com/myth/welcome-to-mythography/greek-gods/spirits-1/helios/

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►Icarus´Fall: “The Myth. Symbolism and Interpretation”:

"Icarus and Daedalus", by Charles Paul Landon

“Icarus and Daedalus”, by Charles Paul Landon.-

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Icarus´Fall: “The Myth”: 

Icarus’s father Daedalus, an athenian  craftsman, built the Labyrinth for King Minos  of Crete near his palace at Knossos  to imprison the Minotaur, a half-man, half-bull monster born of his wife and the Cretan bull. Minos imprisoned Daedalus himself in the labyrinth because he gave Minos’ daughter, Ariadne, a or ball of string in order to help  Theseus , the enemy of Minos, to survive the Labyrinth and defeat the Minotaur.

Daedalus fashioned two pairs of wings out of wax and feathers for himself and his son. Daedalus tried his wings first, but before taking off from the island, warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, nor too close to the sea, but to follow his path of flight.

If he were to do so, Daedalus explained, the wax that held his wings together would melt, rendering them useless, and Icarus would fall from the sky to his death.

Icarus, however, was overcome by the incredible feeling of flight. He was so taken by the experience, that he flew higher and higher. He flew so high that he got perilously close to the sun. Just as his father warned him would happen, the wax on his wings melted into a useless liquid. The wings fell to pieces and Icarus fell from the sky. The water into which Icarus is said to have fallen is near Icaria, a Grecian Island in the Aegean Sea. The island is named for the legendary flying man. Icaria is southwest of the island of Samos.

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SlideShare: “Daedalus and Icarus”:

Click on the image above to watch the SlideShare.-

Click on the image above to watch the SlideShare.-

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Icarus´Fall: “Symbolism and Interpretation”:

Symbols are insightful expressions of human nature.They are the external, lower expressions of higher truths and represent deep intuitive wisdom impossible by direct terms.

Joseph Campbell defined symbols as “giving expression to what is absolutely “unknowable” by  intellect”.

In the psychiatric mind features of disease were perceived in the shape of the pendulous emotional ecstatic-high and depressive-low of bipolar disorder. 

Henry Murray  having proposed the term Icarus complex, apparently found symptoms particularly in mania where a person is fond of heights, fascinated by both fire and water, narcissistic and observed with fantastical cognitio.

The myth of Icarus´moral is to “take the middle way” by warning against heedless pursuit of instant gratification.

In this sense it highlights the greek idea of  Sophrosyne (Greek: σωφροσύνη), which etymologically means healthy-mindedness and from there self-control or moderation guided by knowledge and balance. 

As Aristotle held, as shown in the post , “Aristotle´s Ethical Theory: On The Concept of Virtue and Golden Mean”, virtue is  a kind of moderation as it aims at the mean or moderate amount.

The flight of Icarus could be interpreted as a lesson in the value of moderation. The danger in flying “too high” (i.e. melting of the wax wings) or in flying “too low” (i.e. weighting down the wings by sea-water spray) were advocations for one to respect one’s limits and to act accordingly.

The moral of this myth could be also linked to Plato´s analogy of the divided line, in which the Sun symbolizes the highest Form (Idea of God). Therefore according to this perspective, Icarus has flown too high . He tried to become wiser than Gods whilst achieving Knowledge and, as he defied the godess,  he was punished for that reason.

A similar interpretation is found in Plato´s myth of Phaethon, as it appears in his elderly dialogue “Timaeus”.

Moreover and going further, considering Plato´s allegory of the cave, Icarus could be linked to the  escaped prisoner, who represents the Philosopher, who seeks knowledge outside of the cave (labyrinth).

Icarus´s myth may also be related to Plato´s analogy of the chariot. When flying high with his waxed wings, Icarus´ chariot  was driven by the obstinated black horse, which represents man’s appetites. The fact of disobeying Daedalus´advice proves that his rational part of the soul which should rule over appetites wasn´t strong  and determined enough to do so. In other words, the black horse beats the rational charioteer .

Icarus’ age is an aspect of the myth that deserves a mention here, for it is a characteristic of the period of adolescence to impulsively follow the appetite for life, to rush into the unknown adventure, to chase dreams, to follow temptation and not to heed warnings of danger.-

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"The Sun, or the Fall of Icarus" by Merry-Joseph Blondel

“The Sun, or the Fall of Icarus” by Merry-Joseph Blondel

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"The Lament for Icarus" by H. J. Draper.-

“The Lament for Icarus” by H. J. Draper.-

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Icarus´Fall: Paintings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 Links Post:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icarus
http://www.shmoop.com/daedalus-icarus/myth-text.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophrosyne
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phaethon
https://aquileana.wordpress.com/2007/08/05/icaro/
https://aquileana.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/aristotles-ethical-theory-on-the-concepts-of-virtue-and-golden-mean/
https://aquileana.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/platos-phaedrus-the-allegory-of-the-chariot-and-the-tripartite-nature-of-the-soul/
https://aquileana.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/platos-republic-the-allegory-of-the-cave-and-the-analogy-of-the-divided-line/
https://aquileana.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/andre-comte-sponville-el-mito-de-icaro-tratado-de-la-deseperanza-y-de-la-felicidad/

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►”Happy Easter 2014″:

Best Wishes, Aquileana 😛

Happy-Easter

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