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Women & WeaselsMythologies of Birth in Ancient Greece and Rome$
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Maurizio Bettini and Emlyn Eisenach

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226044743

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226039961.001.0001

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Prologue on Olympus

Prologue on Olympus

(p.1) Prologue on Olympus
Women & Weasels

Maurizio Bettini

University of Chicago Press

Legend says on the day that Alcmene was supposed to give birth to Heracles in Thebes, Zeus addressed himself to all the gods and declared the impending birth of a man who will rule all who dwell around him, one of the men who by lineage and blood descended from him. This chapter discusses the four themes of Homer's story: the way that Zeus formulates his initial pronouncement; the meaning of this solemn declaration; the way that Hera distorts Zeus' solemn declaration and the crafty use she makes of his words; and the importance that Zeus, and thus also Hera, attaches to the particular day a child is to be born.

Keywords:   Hera, Zeus, Homer, Homeric gods, child, birth

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