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Wiley
2002-Mar-22, 03:19 PM
I finished the chapter on Velikovsky's theories, and a coupled things popped out at me. The book is about two miles away at my house, so forgive me if I can't recall exact quotes and page numbers. However, the claim is that the ancient Greeks associated the goddess Minerva with the planet Venus. First, I thought they associated the goddess Venus with the planet Venus; hence, the name Venus. Am I victom of bad mythology? Second, if they were Greenks wouldn't they refer to Minerva by her Greek name, Athena?

Also, Pliny the Elder -and Pliny the Younger for that matter- was Roman, not Greek.

One query, one nitpick. What's next? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

ToSeek
2002-Mar-22, 03:47 PM
On 2002-03-22 10:19, Wiley wrote:
I finished the chapter on Velikovsky's theories, and a coupled things popped out at me. The book is about two miles away at my house, so forgive me if I can't recall exact quotes and page numbers. However, the claim is that the ancient Greeks associated the goddess Minerva with the planet Venus. First, I thought they associated the goddess Venus with the planet Venus; hence, the name Venus. Am I victom of bad mythology? Second, if they were Greenks wouldn't they refer to Minerva by her Greek name, Athena?



The Greeks associated Aphrodite with Venus, not Athene (http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/vfitton.html). Venus is the Roman name for Aphrodite (or vice-versa, depending on how you look at it).

Wiley
2002-Mar-22, 07:35 PM
On 2002-03-22 10:47, ToSeek wrote:
The Greeks associated Aphrodite with Venus, not Athene (http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/vfitton.html). Venus is the Roman name for Aphrodite (or vice-versa, depending on how you look at it).


Thanks for the link. It's interesting how different cultures equated the different gods. Isis becomes either Demeter or Athene, depending on where you are. My knowledge of mythology comes from Edith Hamilton and Bulfinch's, and it's tempting to think of mythology as static. But its a very dynamic thing, changing in time and location.

Regardless the article suggests that BA is correct as he is only describing Velikovsky's claim: the ancient Greeks identified Minerva(Athena) with the planet Venus. It isn't only Velikovsky's astronomy that is on shaky ground.

Hale_Bopp
2002-Mar-22, 07:38 PM
I like the book, "Greek Mythology for Everyone." I can't remember who wrote it. I always found books on mythology contain too much unnecessary analysis. All I wanted was the stories and this book gives nothing but the stories. Since so many of the objects in the sky have their roots in mythology, I highly recommend it.

Now the question is, does anyone have a similar book dealing with Roman mythology?

Rob

ToSeek
2002-Mar-22, 07:49 PM
On 2002-03-22 14:35, Wiley wrote:
Regardless the article suggests that BA is correct as he is only describing Velikovsky's claim: the ancient Greeks identified Minerva(Athena) with the planet Venus. It isn't only Velikovsky's astronomy that is on shaky ground.


What I've heard is that historians tend to think that Velikovky's astronomy sounds pretty good but that his history is a crock. Astronomers, meanwhile, think his history is fine but know his astronomy is worthless. That's what makes some of these cranks so hard to debunk - no one person can refute all of their theories.

The Curtmudgeon
2002-Mar-22, 10:39 PM
On 2002-03-22 14:38, Hale_Bopp wrote:
Now the question is, does anyone have a similar book dealing with Roman mythology?

Rob


I doubt it, but if you find one I'd be interested, also. The problem with Roman mythology is trying to find any--the Romans were the mad collecting type when it came to gods and goddesses, and essentially any deity that didn't insist on No Other Gods Before Me was in. That's why they eventually built the Pantheon--"All Gods"--temple: any culture that wanted a niche or twelve for their top gods could have them. So it didn't take very long at all for truly Roman mythology, as in stuff they developed themselves for themselves, to disappear in a complex soup of Greco-Egyptian-Syriac-Mithraic-Celtic hyper-mythology.

There is a little bit known of purely Roman gods (Priapus comes to mind, him of the outstanding .... well, you know! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif (why they didn't name Viagra after him, I'll never understand!)), and many of the Latin names for Greek god(desse)s were actually primitive Roman god(desse)s that got subsumed into a better-defined but closely related Greek--for example, Greek Cronus & Rhea (Zeus' Titan parents) become Roman Saturn & Ops, but there are actually a few surviving descriptions of Saturn and Ops that evidently predate the Greek borrowing, or at least hark back to pre-borrowing myths (the confusion between Cronus (actually 'Kronos' in Greek) and Chronos (with an 'X' or 'chi' instead of 'K'/'kappa') which means "time" was medieval in origin).

Other Roman gods were strictly rip-offs of the Greeks: 'Jupiter' is only 'Zeus Pater' or "Father Zeus", and the Romans didn't even bother with a Latin name for Apollo because they didn't have any god of their own that even came close to the Greek version. It's hard to tell if Ceres pre-dated the introduction of Greek Demeter or not--agricultural goddesses, by their very nature, are almost always identical (at least, given that the typical crops are much the same). But Isis of the Egyptians was almost as strongly revered in Rome as the Greek's Aphrodite, even though 'Dite got Latinised to Venus and Isis remained just Isis (but the Roman Isis was really something of a mixture of Egyptians Isis and Hathor).

So I doubt that there's such a thing as a popular-level book on Roman mythology; if you want the details, you have to go hunting in scholarly treatises and the like. The closest to a popular account that I can think of is the Larousse (or other) Encyclopedia of Mythology, but as Peter said of Wylie's dictionary, "I've tried reading it but the plot is choppy."

The (Romans came, Romans saw, Romans carried it back to Rome *) Curtmudgeon

* "If it's not nailed down, it's mine--and if I can pry it up, then it ain't nailed down!"

The Curtmudgeon
2002-Mar-22, 10:52 PM
On 2002-03-22 14:49, ToSeek wrote:


On 2002-03-22 14:35, Wiley wrote:
Regardless the article suggests that BA is correct as he is only describing Velikovsky's claim: the ancient Greeks identified Minerva(Athena) with the planet Venus. It isn't only Velikovsky's astronomy that is on shaky ground.


What I've heard is that historians tend to think that Velikovky's astronomy sounds pretty good but that his history is a crock. Astronomers, meanwhile, think his history is fine but know his astronomy is worthless. That's what makes some of these cranks so hard to debunk - no one person can refute all of their theories.

This has come up recently (well, recently for me, anyway) in other circles that I frequent (and you guys wonder why I'm so dizzy--on second thought, maybe you don't /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif ). Anyway, there is a new interest in archaeology circles about trying to re-assess and address certain problems with tying the Egyptian dynasty list of Manetho (the basis of Egyptian chronology, which in turn becomes the basis of almost all eastern Mediterranean/Middle East chronologies to some extent or another) to an actual timeline. Velikovsky was prominent in the 50s arguing that the consensus chronology used in Egyptology was off by several centuries; this was because he needed a different set of dates for his various h(i/y)st(o/e)rical theories to work.

Most of the archaelogists and (to coin a term) chronologists that are working on this now (with considerable resistance from the Old Guard, as is usually true with any new endeavor in any field) are aware of Velikovsky's arguments anent the same--but strive mightily to avoid using his name at all because while he was mostly spot on at identifying problems in the chronology, his proposed cures were often times worse than the disease.

And of course, tarring somebody with the dreaded label, "He's just following Velikovsky!", is a death-knell in any branch of science, archaeology no less than astronomy or cosmology.

The (don't touch that tarbaby!) Curtmudgeon