Daddy's Girl 30

posted January 27th, 2013, 5:43 pm


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January 27th, 2013, 5:56 pm

agnosis

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When it comes to Athena's birth from Zeus's head there are actually two versions. In one version there once was a mother involved, Metis, and in the other version Zeus created Athena on his own. The latter seems to have been the most common during antiquity (the ancient Greeks liked to think that women weren't really useful for anything, not even for having kids).

The Metis version was told by Hesiod. He says that Zeus made Metis his first wife, and then he lists Themis, Eurynome, Demeter, Mnemosyne and even Leto as wives or lovers of Zeus before he mentions Hera. When he then tells about Athena's birth, it says that Hera became angry and as a revenge gave birth to Hephaestus without a union with any man. So first we hear that Metis was Zeus's first wife, but then he says that Athena was born when Hera was queen of Olympus. Is it two different versions that Hesiod puts together in the same story? Or does it mean that Athena was inside Zeus's head for quite long and didn't come out until he was married to Hera (that's obviously how it happened in this comic anyway. So in case there is any confusion about this, Athena is not the result of adultery. That is why Hera accepts her into the family quite easy. But she's very upset that Zeus hasn't been more open with her)?

In the version where Athena doesn't have a mother, Hera still becomes very angry. She's angry and jealous that Zeus chose to give birth to this perfect child without her, while her son Hepheastus, who here was born the usual way, is ugly and lame. She has a fit of rage, leaves Olympus and with the help of Gaia gives birth to a child completely by herself. But instead of a perfect child she gives birth to Typhon.

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August 18th, 2017, 5:35 am

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January 27th, 2013, 6:36 pm

Aelen

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Hmmm... I would believe that Typhon was born by Tartarus and Gaia, anyway. It's a little bit creepy to imagine Hera giving birth to a gigantic monster *face palm*

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January 28th, 2013, 1:47 am

agnosis

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Yeah, Gaia was mostly said to be the one who gave birth to Typhon. I think Hera is only mentioned as his mother in two sources: the Homeric Hymn to Apollo and in a fragment of Stesichorus's poetry.

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February 20th, 2015, 1:06 pm

Paul (Guest)

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I know this is years late, but I just wanted to say my favorite version of the myth is that Hera asked Gaia in a fit of rage to put Zeus in his place. In response Gaia creates Typhon with Tartarus. That way more than Hera bargained for.

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February 20th, 2015, 7:06 pm

agnosis

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@Paul:
Yeah, it really turned out a bit different from what Hera expected...

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