The Let's Play Archive

God of War

by kalonZombie

Part 20: Sleep of Bronze at it for the millionth fucking time, talking about Kronos.

A Greek equivalent to metal ... Archilochus? I'll see if I can translate something raunchy out of his verse some time soon.

Some quick additions, mostly to the Kronos interlude:

1) Ida is one of the places that Zeus is said to be born, but it was argued over in antiquity. Actual debates, not just variant traditions existing alongside each other. Callimachus opens his Hymn to Zeus by asking whether he should pray to Zeus, lord of Mount Dikte in the mountain ranges of Ida, or to Zeus of Mount Lykaion in Arcadia. (The conflict is resolved by Callimachus mentioning that all Cretans are liars so it can't be Dikte.) There's also another mountain called Ida, which also happens to be sacred to Zeus, just to introduce another variable into the equation. It's near Troy and Homer likes to bring up its associations with the king of the gods.
Further, once Zeus is born, they have to argue about where he was brought up. Mostly, it settles down into somewhere on Crete at this point, but the conflict between Dikte and Ida remains. Callimachus has already sort of ducked this by calling the mountain range within which Dikte sits Ida, and continues to refer both to the nymphs of Dikte and the mountains of Ida. As it happens, Mycenaean Crete tablets offer sacrifice to Zeus of Dikte. It almost certainly wouldn't have informed Classical theology, but it's interesting to note.

2) The distinction between Khronos (Time) and Kronos (Titan) is pretty ambiguous and inconsistent, not concrete. I suspect they did begin as separate, but they're already bleeding noticeably into each other by the time we get to anything much being said about them. The similarity of names is just too much to pass up for more and less deliberate conflation. If you think about the association with harvest, that's intimately connected to time. You need a respectable understanding of the way the year passes (or, preferably, a half decent calendar) to know when to sow or reap, and the harvest marks a very important point of chronology for your average Classical farmer.

For some learned Classical sources, we have Cicero's On the Nature of the Gods:
Again, they would call "Saturn" he who rules over the order and passage of space and time. In Greek, this god has the same name: he is called Kronos, which is the same as Khronos - that is, a space of time. "Saturn" is so called because he is saturated with his years; the story is that his custom was to 'harvest' his children.

Or Plutarch's On Isis and Osiris
There are those, like the Greeks, who say that Kronos is a way of talking about Khronos.

3) Pathos Verdes III is particularly un-Greek. In the Roman III numeral, obviously, but also in the use of Verdes. V doesn't exist in Ancient Greek, and was substituted for by U(psilon) or B(eta). There is a certain father and son set of writers in the Roman Imperial period, who both had the Latin first name Flavius. But, since they wrote in Greek, they had to record themselves as Flabios instead. 'Pathos' would be a peculiar and ill-omened name for a child too: it means 'experience' or 'suffering', whence the English 'pathetic', 'sympathy', or 'psychopath' (one whose soul suffers.)