Ch. 4.   Burkert poses an intriguing hypothesis about the Stone-Age origins of the Heracles Saga... (and other hero-quests of the same type)......

Summarize in your own words. ... Compare other Journey tales we have studied.


Ch. 5. Great Goddesses and their Consorts--Dumuzi, Attis, Adonis, and others

With a quote from Frazer's Golden Bough, Burkert introduces the fertility theory of the 'Dying God' (pp. 99-100) only to debunk it as late classical allegory in modern, rationalistic dress.

What "facts of myth and ritual" seem to disprove this "Frazerism"?

...(2) Here B turns to a tradition that we can trace: how Kubaba came from Mesopotamia to become Cybele among the Lydians and Ionian Greeks.

When and how did this Great Mother take on her consort Attis and journey to Rome?

In the archaic cult there is no evidence of eunuch priests (galloi) or ritual castration (before 415 BC).

   What is the social significance of self-castration?

...(3) Where did the Greeks get Adonis (the young lover of Aphrodite, slain by the boar)?

Why was the ritual of mourning for Adonis popular with women?

... (4) How does Sumerian Dumuzi fit in? What Greek myth of Adonis parallels Dumuzi's death?

Burkert's explanation of Attis and Agdestis gets a little tricky here: he has to draw upon a late, Christian-era source, who probably conflated or intentionally confused the account. But what, supposedly, is the ancient link between Hittite myth and Attis?

... (5) Now how does the tale of Hippolytus connect with these themes? Hippolytus (you may recall) was a character like Bata, victim of a 'Potiphar's wife': (in the old version) his step-mother Phaedra tried to seduce him, only to be rejected; she then pretended rape and thus devised his death.

What should the name 'Hippolytus' mean, and what does this suggest about the origins of the cult?

What is the evidence for Aphrodite's connection?

... (6) In the concluding section, B connects these strands of the Great Goddess with the Mistress of Beasts. Summarize.


Ch. 6. The last chapter is perhaps the least satisfying (and therefore optional). Here Burkert traces the transmission of a particular, often-overlooked tale of cataclysm (like the Greek and Babylonian visions of destruction). What does this tale of Telepinus/Demeter-Thelpusa have to do with Artemis at Ephesus?  (Cf. Acts 19)