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20 January 2011 @ 01:40 pm
Greek Myths: Tales of Travelling Heroes  
TV night started a bit late yesterday coz J's new monitor had arrived (mine is now on its way), so there was much faffing with desktop backgrounds & brightness settings & the like. So as we didn't quite had time for 2 programmes we decided to watch Greek Myths: Tales of Travelling Heroes, which at an hour & a half is a bit short of two programmes long :) It was presented by Robin Lane Fox - who seemed to be a living embodiment of some of the stereotypes of Oxford academics ;) We have one of his books ("The Classical World: An Epic History of Greece and Rome") which I have to confess I rather bounced off - a bit dry, and assumed a bit more knowledge of ancient Greece than I already had, and the subject matter itself isn't interesting enough to me for me to work past that. But as a presenter on a TV programme his enthusiasm & sense of humour were more apparent, even tho I still thought he was perhaps a little long-winded. (And yes, I feel rather like the pot calling the kettle black, there ;) )

The programme was about the origin myths for the Greek Gods (the pantheon in general), and about the origins of those myths themselves. Lane Fox visited several places ranging from the Near East to Italy, looking both at the places the Greeks thought their myths had taken place in and at the evidence for where the myths had come from & how old they were. He showed us that the myths in their Greek form probably originated with the Euboeans, a culture living on one of the Greek islands (Euboea, in fact) in the Greek Dark Age, pre-Classical pre-literate Greeks. They had settlements on the Turkish coast, and Lane Fox told us the myths that the Hittites who already lived there had - which were very similar to the Greek myths about Chronos overthrowing & castrating Father Heaven, then in turn being overthrown by his son Zeus.

It was a good programme, well worth watching. With lots of archaeology, telling of bloodthirsty stories & dramatic scenery to illustrate it :)
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