Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Greek Myth of the Day

Was it the Olympics that got me thinking about the Olympians or something else?

After being elected king, Zeus' first act is to distribute "honors and offices" to his partisans.

As king, Zeus has at his disposal force and violence on a scale which puts the petty despotisms of his predecessors completely in the shade.... It is also characteristic of Zeus' reign that his military power is not based on personal strength but on politics.... By ... political deals Zeus secures the instruments of organized violence which are characteristic of political power: an armament industry (the Cyclopes1) and a mercenary army (the Hundred-Arms); after his victory he also establishes an underground prison for his Titan captives and converts his mercenaries into gaolers.

Norman O. Brown in the introduction to his translation of Hesiod's Theogony (1953)


1The Cyclopes were responsible for thunderbolt manufacture. [back]

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