Greek architecture begins with the simple houses of the Dark Age and culminates in the monumental temples of the Classical period and the elaborately planned cities and sanctuaries of the Hellenistic period. As in any time or place, the raw materials available and the technologies developed to utilize them largely determined the nature of the architecture. The principal materials of Greek architecture were wood, used for supports and roof beams; unbaked brick, used for walls, especially of private houses; limestone and marble, used for columns, walls, and upper portions of temples and other public buildings; terracotta (baked clay), used for roof tiles and architectural ornaments; and metals, especially bronze, used for some decorative details. Greek architects of the Archaic and Classical periods used these materials to develop a limited range of building types, each of which served a fixed purpose—religious, civic, domestic, funerary, or recreational. The principal forms of religious architecture were open-air altars, temples, and treasuries. The altar, the earliest religious structure, always served as the focus of prayer and sacrifices. The temple, which developed in the 8th century BC, housed the statue of a god or goddess to whom the sanctuary was dedicated. The treasury, a small temple-like building, held offerings to gods and goddesses made by city-states and their citizens at sanctuaries such as Olympia and Delphi. Other important public structures were not religious in function. They included the council house, where a governing council met; the law court; the fountain-house, a building where women filled their vases with water from a community fountain; and the stoa, a roofed colonnade or portico, open on one side and often with rooms set along the rear wall. These structures typically lined the principal public gathering place of the city, the agora, an open assembly area or marketplace Private houses took many...
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The Greek God I chose to do was Hades, also called Pluto (Roman Name), ruled the underworld. According to myth Hades parents were Kronos and Rhea, making him Zeus, Hera, and Poseidon's brother. Hades came from the first generation of Olympian gods. Persephone, Hades's bride to be was seized by her lover but later fell madly in love. Thus making her the Queen of the underworld. Hades had curly hair, and a beard. He had a thick mustache. Hardly ever seen with out his special helmet. He lent his helmet to other men and gods. But it wasn't just any helmet, it was given to Hades from the Cyclopes and made people invisible. One of Hades few but great, weird creations was a three- headed dog named Cerebrus. Geographically, the underworld is bordered by a series of rivers: The Acheron (river of woe), The Cocytus (river of lamentation), The Phlegethon (river of fire), The Styx (river of unbreakable oath by which the gods swear), and The Lethe (river of forgetfulness). Once across the rivers an adamantine gate, guarded by Cerberus, forms the entrance to the kingdom. Deep within the kingdom is Hades enormous palace, complete with many guests and servants of all types. Hades was known to be hard-hearted and merciless, immune to good deeds and prayer. Feared and respected by many, Hades quickly made a name for himself among the gods. After Hades marriage to Persephone his script was flipped from a cold hearted god to a beneficent, supplying minerals and grain to the rest of the universe. In turning over this new leaf he acquired a new name Pluto, meaning "giver of wealth." Instead of having pure white animals sacrificed to him he had morbid black given to him out of respect by the mortals. Many have their own opinion on Hades...
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Gender Issues in "Antigone" One of the most devastating problems for the Classical Greeks was the women's issue. Women in Classical Greece were not citizens, held no property, and indeed were not even allowed out of the house except under guard. Their status differed from that of the slaves of Greece only in name. This alone, however, was not a problem -- the problem was that the Greeks knew, in their hearts, that this was wrong. Indeed, their playwrights harangued them about it from the stage of Athens continually. All of the great Grecian playwrights -- Sophocles, Euripedes, Aristophenes -- dealt with the women's issue. All of them argued, in their various ways, that the women of Greece were not nearly as incapable and weak as the culture believed them to be. All of them created female characters of strength and intelligence. But in "Antigone," the discussion reached its peak. Antigone herself, as she stands upon the Grecian stage, represents the highest ideals of human life -- courage and respect for the gods. A woman, she is nevertheless the exemplum for her society. But how are we to know this? Does the author let the audience know that it is Antigone herself, not Creon, the "noble-eyed imperator" (453), who is to be believed? It is almost inconceivable that the audience would be meant to ignore Creon's apparently skillful arguments, for he appears to represent all that the Athenian should strive for. He stands for obedience to the State. Surely it is his voice we should obey. Sophocles does let us know where the truth lies, and he does this, amazingly, partly through his characterization of Creon. Though Creon seemingly says intelligent things, there are clues that he is not to be trusted. One would be his discussion of incest with Ismene....
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One of the six Olympians, the daughter of Kronos and Rheia, Hera is the beautiful and powerful wife of Zeus. She is the most beautiful of the immortals, even more beautiful than Aphrodite. Her beauty is renewed each spring as she magically washes away the ware and worry of her immortal lifestyle. Her name appears in many stories and she is often regarded as petty and unforgiving. The story of Zeus and Io is the sad story of infidelity and revenge. Zeus changed his beautiful lover, Io, into a black and white heifer to hide her from Hera. Hera saw through the ruse and sent Argos Panoptes (all seeing) to keep watch on Io and keep Zeus away. Hermes, doing the will of Zeus, killed Argos and thus received the name Argeiphontes (the murderer of Argos). Hera would not be deterred from her vengeance. She sent a gad fly to torment and constantly prod the poor cow-woman so that she might never rest or find comfort. Finally, Io was driven to the ends of the earth (i.e. Egypt) where she found peace. The eyes of Argos can still be seen in the tail of the peacock. Hera is often confused with the Roman goddess, Juno. The Greek god Hephaestus, also known as Vulcan by the Romans, was the god of fire and craftsmen. He was known as the god of fire and given his name Vulcan because it stands for volcanic fire. The name Hephaestus traveled from Asia Minor, where the Greeks lived, and the name became the god's name. Hephaestus's parents were Zeus and Hera. According to Homer's Iliad, it is said that when they were quarreling once, and Hephaestus sided with his mother, Zeus flung Hephaestus from Mount Olympus onto the island Lemnos. That made him lame so he is also known...
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This assignment was introductions to the mythological gods of Greece. It starts with the introduction of the Titans. They were the older, most powerful gods. Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury, Pluto, Venus are names of some of the Greek gods. The Olympians came after the Titans as were called as such because they were believed to reside on Mt Olympus. The head of the Olympians was Zeus or Jupiter. Zeus was the god of thunder and lightning. Hera is the god that protects women and especially pregnant women. The cow and the peacock are sacred for her. Poseidon is the god of the sea and brother of Zeus. He is the second most powerful god. He is also called Neptune and is responsible for giving the first horse to land. One of the daughters of Zeus was Athena. Zeus birthed her alone and she burst from his head. Athena was the favorite child of Zeus. She is first noted as a goddess of war. Her bird is the owl. Apollo was also a son of Zeus. He was the god of light as well as the archer god. He is usually referred to as the sun god. This is incorrect though. Helios is the sun god. Diana is Apollo's sister. She is the goddess of the forest and is also an archer. Venus is another daughter of Zeus. She is the goddess of sensuality. The bird that is sacred to Venus is the Dove. Mercury is probably the second most famous Greek god after Zeus. He is ofter characterized with wings on his head and feet. He started off as a thief and ironically, became known as the god of commerce. Mars is the god of war. Unloved by his father Zeus and his mother Hera, however he is loved by the...
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Greek Language, History, Religion, Architecture, Clothes, Education and More The Greek language evolved in four different phases: Ancient Greek, Hellenistic Greek, Byzantine Greek, and Modern Greek. Ancient Greek (1400-400 BC) introduced letters and vowels. Hellenistic Greek was from 400 BC- 400 AD and was a widely spread language thanks to Alexander the Great. Byzantine Greek (500-1500 AD) is the official language of the Byzantine Empire. Last but not least, Modern Greek is the language spoken and written today in Greece. Greek religion is polytheism (the belief in many gods and goddesses) and indeed, there were many. Oranos was the First One, the first ruler of the gods, but was killed by his son Cronos, who gave his name to time, and who in turn was also killed by his son, Zeus. Cronos's children are now the main gods and goddesses. Their children are widespread and many, but quite a few live at Mount Olympus, where only gods live. If you read Greek mythology, you will probably also see the adventures of these gods too, which shows how much the gods tied into the Greek culture. Greek architecture had many styles, which are best determined by their column capitals. There are many types of capitals: the Doric, which is plain and simple; the Ionic, which is classic Greek; and the Corinthian, which was exquisitely elaborate. Doric temples had sturdy columns, which were very practical. Ionic temples tended to have more columns, of a different form. Corinthian temples had slenderized columns which meant they were like the Ionic columns, only more intricate. Grecian history is colorful and interesting. At Knossos, the earliest texts were found and are estimated to have been written in 1375 BC. In 1185, the Trojan War began, which was documented in Homer's Iliad. Then, in 1100, Grecians began colonizing on the Ionian...
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Hellenistic diffusion is the spread of Greek ideas, or traits from one culture to another. It was said the "All men are Greek". This means that culturally, all men have some kind of Greek background or influence. One of the first civilizations was the Minoan civilization. Some of their contributions include art, trading and flushing toilets. The Mycenaeans defeated the Minoans. They moved westward from southwestern Russia and settled in wave after wave into Greece. There they established fortified towns in the valley between the many mountainous ridges that reach down to the sea and divide Greece into a number of distinct geographic units. In 1150 B.C. Greek culture fell into a 400-year long Dark Age. This was caused by, or led to another wave of Greek invaders from the Northeast, the Dorians. The Doric invasion set off a secondary wave of Greek migrations in around 1000 B.C. to the shores of Western Asia Minor and continued their migration across the Aegean to the southern shores of Asia Minor as well as Crete. As things settled down in Greece, the population increased—causing a new wave of migrations, sailing east and west and discovered land that they could colonize with their excess population. Colonies were established to the West on the island of Sicily and on southern Italian peninsula. Settler crossed to the Egyptian and Libyan coast of Africa. Others sailed west beyond Sicily and established towns along the French coast. In the ancient days "Greece" encompassed a whole huge area along the northern half of the Eastern and central Mediterranean Sea. Alexander the Great's expedition was the first large-scale western expansion in Asia. As a result, Hellenistic culture emerged as a significant factor in the old world, but Hellenism also recognized no national boundaries. Alexander changed the image of world history. He contributed with...
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It is difficult to give an account of the real Socrates with total confidence because he wrote nothing and we are dependent on sources which are not at all impartial. For example, the Clouds of Aristophanes presents a hostile view prevalent among the Athenian populace during the last quarter of the fifth century. On the other hand, we have two apologies3 for the life of Socrates written sometime in the years immediately following his death by two younger associates of Socrates, Plato and Xenophon. These two works are the earliest examples of a tradition of literature in defense of Socrates, including a number of lost works extending down to the third century A.D., of which we know only the authors and titles. Plato's Apology presents to us a speech delivered by Socrates in his own defense at his trial in the first person throughout. Plato never intrudes to comment on what Socrates says. Despite the appearance of complete objectivity, it is certain that this speech is not an exact word-for-word reproduction of what was said by Socrates on that occasion. On the other hand, since Plato was no doubt aware that his readers would include those who were present at the trial, the speech he puts into the mouth of Socrates probably represents fairly accurately the essence of the original. Xenophon's Apology is a narrative in which "quotations" from Socrates's speech are interspersed. There are no crucial differences in the views of Socrates presented by the two authors, who agree that Socrates was a noble character unfairly judged by the Athenians. 3The use of the word "Apology" in this context is based on the meaning of the Greek word apologia which does not mean `a statement of regret requesting pardon', but `a formal statement of justification or defense'. The latter definition...
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A city such as Athens triumphed over any other of its time. This is mainly due to its great achievements performed. In fact, a city so powerful had an effect on western civilization today. Many societies in modern times have been positively helped by Athens. Athenian architecture is a crucial element that made the city so beautiful. No other city was nearly as divine as Athens was. The creating of columns immensely helped in the building of structures throughout Greece. Indisputably, Greece was organized and the classification of the columns showed this even more. Three types of columns were often used in Greece and throughout the European world. (Document 1). The first was the Doric style which was plain and used in the Greek mainland and in Italy. Second, was the Ionic style which is thinner and more elegant, and found mostly in eastern Greece. Finally there was the Corinthian style which was found in the more famous temples. Temples like the Parthenon, which use Corinthian columns, show how advanced Athenian architecture grew to be.(Document 2). Today, Greek architecture is also found in the United States. The White House and the capital building are prime examples of how people use Athenian designs. Corinthian style columns can also be found on these buildings. A special feature of Ancient Greece that affected the modern world today is its historic records kept. Herodotus and Thucydides, two of the most highly respected historians in the world helped modern society learn about ancient Greece. Herodotus, also known as the "Father of History," can be thanked for developing one of Greece's greatest accomplishments. Writing of mostly the Greco-Persian War, Herodotus tells of strategies and emotions of the people during this time.(Document 3). He lets the modern world know of spies during the wars and warrior-princesses. However, Herodotus was...
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Many times a person's character and or personality can be revealed through the meaning of their names. Some names reveal innocence, goodness and intelligence, while others reveal vindictiveness, evil and sneakiness. Three goddesses' names that reveal vindictiveness, evil and sneakiness are Hera, Medea and Ishtar. Hera was the wife and sister of Zeus, as well as the goddess of marriage. Hera was extremely vindictive and spiteful. Hera was responsible for punishing the many women that Zeus slept with, even if Zeus was responsible by tricking them. Hera did not care if the women were innocent; she treated all of the women alike. She killed, turned them into some type of animal or made them "disappear". The name Hera reveals vindictiveness, spite, evil and jealousy. The name Medea reveals evil, sneakiness and betrayal. After all, Medea betrayed her father for Jason and eventually her brother as well after killing him. Medea is also extremely sneaky and evil. Medea killed her own children because she did not want them to grow up poor and without a home. Lastly, the name Ishtar reveals jealousy and evil. Ishtar was very jealous and caused the death of many of her lovers. Ishtar was also very promiscuous. The names of these three goddesses reflect their personalities as evil, promiscuous, jealous and vindictive. Even though these were names of Greek goddesses, millions of years ago, if a person today was to have one of these names they would probably automatically be associated with promiscuousness, vindictiveness, jealousy, betrayal and evil....
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In Homer's Odyssey, the great protagonist is Odysseus, a man who departed from his home to fight the Trojan War and who comes back after twenty years to find his household overtaken by lofty and contemptuous suitors courting his wife Penelope against her will. Throughout his journey, this rich and complex character battles life's temptations towards purification, since he must overcome his sins and flaws in order to obtain redemption from the gods, thus returning home to his throne on the island of Ithaca. However, this purification process and Odysseus' chances of returning home are compromised by his flaws and those of his crew, while enhanced by the many virtues and qualities he possesses. This voyage symbolizes man's road to salvation hoping to obtain God's forgiveness and entrance into his kingdom, and Odysseus incarnates man's soul, representing life and the return to God and faith. In spite of his being an epic hero, and as such, superior to common men, Odysseus remains imperfect, with flaws and weaknesses like all other mortals. The consequences of these flaws are the wrath of certain gods, like Poseidon, who bears a grudge against Odysseus since the Trojan War, and the prolonging of his voyage back to Ithaca. Some of Odysseus' flaws are pride, curiosity, and lack of vigilance. The first flaw which Odysseus displays is pride. At the end of the Trojan War, he boldly defies the gods by loudly declaring that he was the sole artisan of his victory and that he didn't receive any help from the gods, when this isn't true since Poseidon sent a sea serpent to kill one of the enemies of Odysseus just before he was going to check the content of the Trojan Horse, which would have gotten him and all his men killed. This pride is a...
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Sparta and Athens: Comparison and Contributions The two best-known societies in ancient Greece were the Spartans, and the Athenians. The two cultures were very different from each other but both contributed ideals that modern man still uses today. The most obvious difference between the Athens and Sparta is its ancestry. The Spartans were descendents of the Dorian invaders, while the Athenians were of Ionian descent. Both city-states faced a turning point in their history, and each on was regarding slavery. The turning point for Athens were the laws given by Solon. The Athenians were faced with two paths, either continue the practice of enslaving its own citizens, or free them. Solon chose to abolish the practice of debt slavery, and introduced land reforms. When faced with problems regarding slavery, the Spartans did the exact opposite; they based their whole society upon repression of its "Helots" (slaves). Lycurgus was the person behind the laws that made Sparta into a society that was basically one large armed camp. The two philosophies that were followed in the two city-states were quite different also. Athenians believed that the individual was important, while Spartans followed the belief that the state should be all encompassing. Militarily, the Spartans were supreme on land, while the Athenians had the best navy. Each government was unique also. Athens was a democracy, while the Spartans had a strange mix of a monarchy/aristocracy/oligarchy. Economically the Athenians were supreme, Athenians had the best navy in the world, and so they had the most commerce. A Spartan citizen was not even aloud to be anything but a soldier, so they were economically challenged. The similarities between the two cultures are few, but are important. Even though the Spartan's whole society was based upon the military, the Athenians could be just as brave and tenacious. This is...
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Religion in just about every culture has always played an important part in the lives of mankind. It is interesting, however, to look back into time and see a past civilization's religious beliefs and practices. In some instances, we can see how our own customs in our present religion date back many centuries, even though both belief systems could be structurally different. One ancient culture that seems to draw a lot of interest in these latter days is that of the Greeks. The literary records, artwork, and folklore have stood the test of time and help us to see into the everyday lives of these people. We can see how religion was a very important part of their lives. The ancient Greeks were polytheistic, which meant they believed in many gods and goddesses. They believed these deities ruled over their lives and could shower them with fortune or misfortune according to their own actions. They showed homage to the gods through sacrifice, other rituals, and festivals in their honor. The deities of the ancient Greeks, a central part of their religion, are divided into three groups, the Titans, the Olympian gods, and the lesser or demi-gods. The Titans are also known as the elder gods. They ruled the earth before the Olympian gods and goddesses overthrew them. The Titans were the twelve children of Uranus (Sky) and Gaia (Earth). Cronus was the youngest and the boldest of the twelve children. His mother, Gaia, talked Cronus into overthrowing his father. She was in great sorrow because Uranus had imprisoned her other children, the Cyclopes and Hecatoncheires (Hundred-handed), in Tartarus. He agreed to help his mother so he castrated his father with a sickle and threw his genitals into the sea (Burkert 297). Cronus then became the ruler of the Titans. Cronus was the...
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The chorus in ancient Greek drama has always been misunderstood. From chanting, to ritual singing, to mask wearing and dancing, it has always been seen to be so different then what we are used to now when we attend a drama. Although, the chorus was the nucleus form which tragedy evolved and had a central place in the drama throughout classical times. In the beginning a tragic chorus consisted of 12 to 15 choreuts (dancers), who were young men just about to enter military service after some years of training. There were five objectives that the Greek chorus had. First was to serve as an agent, they would act as the person to give advice, express opinions and ask questions. The second is to establish social and ethical framework. The third was to serve as the "ideal spectator" throughout the play. The fourth was to set the overall mood for the audience. The fifth and final objective was the use of their rhythmical function and spectacle (dress). With the passage of time, the inclination in tragedy was toward a decline in the significance of the chorus. This was caused mostly by the introduction of additional actors and rising sophistication in their dramatic use, and by the more personal and complex nature of the stories chosen for dramatization. The quantity of choral to individual lines decreased significantly, and the dramatic objective of the chorus, aside from the continued use of choral odes, which were performed between episodes, were greatly reduced. We shall examine the decline and transformation in the chorus as we look at the ancient Greek dramas of Agamemnon, Oedipus Rex, and Medea. In the drama of Agamemnon the chorus is very abundant in use and in lines. We may be tempted from time to time to skip a few pages...
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Although, Hera is a loved goddess by many mortals and other gods and goddesses, if she found out her husband Zeus was sleeping with another woman, she would punish his lovers and their children until death. She was a very jealous wife and would do anything to protect marriage. Hera was the daughter of Cronos and Reah, sister of Poseidon, Hestia, Hades, Demeter, and Zeus (brown.edu). Hera's worship is known to go back farther than her husband, and brother, Zeus. Her parents were also brother and sister. Since goddesses' could change into many forms, she changed into a bird and was worshiped through out Greece for many years. In fact, the oldest, most important temples in Greece are shrines to her because of her worship during this time, but her favorite city is said to be Argos (brown.edu). Also, Hera had sacred animals. They were peacocks and a cow. The peacocks were a symbol of pride, and the cow meant "big eyes" (ancient cultire.com). What I think that these animals are sacred to her because they describe her. The peacocks mean pride, that shows everyone that even though her husband cheats on her, she still is living and they are still married so Zeus must love her the most out of all of his lovers. Plus, since she is a feared goddess, she has power over others and she always gets her revenge on her husbands' lovers. No matter what, she has pride. Then, the cows mean big eyes, so that is telling others that she knows what they are doing, so beware. Hera is the goddess of life, Queen of the Gods, goddess of marriage and child birth, and also protector of married women (Princeton.edu). Even though she was the goddess of child birth, Hera did not have many children herself....
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What were the cultural and environmental effects of the Bronze Age explosive volcanic eruption of Thera, Greece? "And, that high heaven might be no safer than the earth, They say that the Giants essayed the very throne of heaven, Piling huge mountains, one on another, clear up to the stars. Then the Almighty Father hurled his thunderbolts, Shattered Olympus, and dashed Pelion down from underlying Ossa. When those dread bodies lay o'erwhelmed by their own bulk, They say that Mother Earth, drenched with their streaming blood, Informed that warm gore anew with life, and, That some trace of her former offspring might remain, She gave it human form." - Ovid's Metamorphoses No written records exist of the Minoan eruption of the Bronze Era. According to Greek legends, the Destruction of Atlantis or the Battle of the Titans occurred in Seventeenth century B.C. Admittedly, it is temping to believe idealistic and attractive myths, but modern science can explain it much more logically. Scientists can accurately extrapolate what occurred around 1600 B.C. There was an enormous volcanic explosion on Thera (now called Santorini), which is now commonly referred to as the Minoan eruption. Today we can investigate the scientific, environmental, and cultural aspects of the eruption with modern knowledge of volcanology, volcanic ash deposits, archaeological excavations, and ancient Greek legends of Atlantis. Thera is located in the Hellenic arc, a line of islands stretching from Greece to Turkey that separates the Aegean Sea from the Mediterranean. The region owes its volcanic nature to the plate collisions between the African and European plates (Fig 1). When underthrusting occurs, in regions known as subduction zones, conditions are ripe for the generation of magmas by melting deep in the Earth. The eruption of Thera around 1600 B.C. was the largest of its kind in the region since the great Campanian eruption in the Phlegrean Fields in Italy 35,000...
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In Homer's Iliad, Priam, the human King of Troy, and Zeus, the divine King of the gods, are only separated by the gift of immortality. Homer compares and contrasts these great kings to show the results of this gift. Zeus is less invincible and imperturbable than he should be for his divine status. Both the divine King of the gods and the human King of Troy have a weakness for their children, which brings the mighty immortal god to the down to level of the lowly human. Homer draws these similarities between the divinity and the human in order to heighten the crucial difference in their lives and the lives of all other immortals and mortals like them. Throughout his life, Priam suffers; then he dies. Zeus on the other hand has never felt an ounce of true regret or pain because his life never ends; it is simply a game with no winner. Through Priam's suffering, Homer shows the nobility of a tortured life as opposed to a life lived as a game. Zeus, King of the gods, has a weakness with regards to his children. When Sarpedon, Zeus' son, is in the war path of Patroclus, Zeus ponders "whether [he] should snatch [Sarpedon] out of the sorrowful battle" to save him from certain death and "set him down alive" somewhere safe (Iliad, 16.436-437). "If [he] bring[s] Sarpedon back to his home, still living" the other gods will all want to save their favorites (Iliad, 16.445). Zeus follows the advice of his wife; he makes a decision that is best for the gods. It is best because the half-god children would all want to be saved by their respective divine parents. As a result of Zeus allowing his beloved son to die, Zeus shows that he can make difficult decisions...
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