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Peter Kirby
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Post by Peter Kirby »

Phlegon's Book of Marvels, 4

1 Hesiod, Dikaiarchos, Klearchos, Kallimachos and certain
other authors relate the following incident about Teiresias.
They say that Teiresias, son of Eueres, saw some snakes
copulating on the mountain in Kyllene in Arkadia, wounded
the other of them, and forthwith changed form. He went
from being a man to being a woman, and had intercourse
2 with a man. Apollo informed him in an oracle that if he
observed the creatures copulating and similarly wounded
the one snake, he would be as he was before. Watching for
an opportunity Teiresias did what the god had said and
thereby recovered his former nature.
3 Zeus and Hera had a quarrel, he claiming that in sexual
intercourse the woman had a larger share of pleasure than
the man did, and she claiming the opposite. They decided to
send for Teiresias and ask him, inasmuch as he had experienced both. When they enquired of him he declared that a
man enjoyed one-tenth of the pleasure and a woman nine tenths. Hera angrily gouged out his eyes, making him blind,
but Zeus gave him the gift of prophecy and a life-span of
seven generations.

[LOL. -fin-]
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Secret Alias
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Re: Teiresias

Post by Secret Alias »

I'd think it was the other way around but what do I know. It's odd that man end up paying for sex if this is true.
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Re: Teiresias

Post by theeternaliam »

Speaking of which, I think there's something to this androgynous business. Mankind was once androgynous before Adam and eve were split, according to some legends, and also will become so in the kingdom of heaven when we make the male into female and the female into male. (Also, Paul says, in Christ, there is neither male nor female.) I find it interesting that the younger generations are pursuing androgyny. But I think the desire is best sublimated. That is, don't rush it. In this life, we are to bear our cross, which is the limitations of the flesh. Bound in time, like Christ on the "T". But as Christ ascended, we too can ascend, but first we must die to our old self.

I think it's wrong to judge those who choose to "transcend" gender because I think it's a spiritual desire at its root. Just as the desire to transcend physical limitations is. But the answer isnt to try to alter physical reality. The answer is to follow the Way of Christ, bear our cross in hope and faith, have contempt for the flesh, be humble and love God with all our heart and our neighbor as our self, and thereby transcend. The way of ascent is the way of descent. Ever notice, when we try to fix things "our way" they only seem to get worse?
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Re: Teiresias

Post by MrMacSon »

theeternaliam wrote: Sun Mar 27, 2022 8:49 am ... Mankind was once androgynous before Adam and Eve were split, according to some legends ...
Even after Adam and Eve, iirc. Some of the Christian Gnostic sects in the 2nd century were into androgyny
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Re: Hedwig's "Origin of Love"/ Androgyny

Post by billd89 »

Phlegon of Tralles (c.138 AD) is recording old myth (perhaps updated w/ a ribald element c.100 BC?), but his version seems later than his ancient authors. Dating the Tiresias 'Sex Change Myth' with any certainty is impossible, I think. Hesiod (c.700 BC), Dikaiarchos (c.325 BC), Clearchus of Soli (c.300 BC), Kallimachos (c.260 BC) should situate this myth c.1000-800 BC, IF those authors and dates were approximately true. But the Temple of Apollo at Thebes dates to c.725 BC, and "7 generations" from 750 BC gets us to c.500 BC, which seems more likely to me. Although the caduceus of Ningishzida is much older (c.3500 BC), this Greek myth should be older than the Caduceus of Hermes (Thoth) and Asclepius (c.400 BC), competing gods who are not mentioned. What's more important, the staff & snakes motif (e.g. Moses, Exodus 7:10), personal transmutation of a priest-seer on a mountain, and the snake as a well-defined alchemical symbol all give reasons to doubt the foundation of this myth is Greek - 'Hello, Egypt!'

Forms of gender-bending must have been diverse, archaic and somewhat universal, so it cannot be pinpointed with any accuracy here. With some reservation, I suppose divine androgyny may derive from a much older Egyptian mythological theology. Such a cosmogony is briefly mentioned in Poimandres CH 1.18 (supposedly Alexandrian), but no one knows how much older is the underlying mythos. In the Egyptian 'Tale of Two Brothers' (c. 1194 BC), what some consider the first transgender surgery is mentioned: Bata removes his penis and tells his wife "I am a woman just like you."

I also accept the thesis that Gnosticism is originally Egyptian (c.100 BC), so 'Gnostic androgyny' probably originates there likewise.

Many Millennials and Generation Z kids may have first heard of Gnosis (i.e. 'Tommy Gnosis') from the Broadway musical 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch,' now about 24 years old. Of the mythology in another hit song, songwriter Stephen Trask said: "... He [John Cameron Mitchell] gave me some book on Plato"); see Aristophanes' Speech from Plato's Symposium.

Regarding the question of androgyny, Phlegon must have known Aristophanes' Speech from Plato's Symposium, c.380 BC. Question: Aristophanes' Eros Myth is from where?

Well there were three sexes then
One that looked like two men glued on back-to-back:
They were the Children of the Sun.
And similar in shape girth were the Children of the Earth,
They looked like two girls rolled up in one.
And the Children of the Moon were like a fork-shoved-on-a-spoon
They were part Sun-part Earth, part daughter-part son.
Ohhhhhhh - the Origin of Love.

Well the gods grew quite scared, of our strength and defiance,
And Thor said:
'I'm gonna kill them all with my hammer,
Like I killed the Giants.'
But Zeus said "No!
You'd better let me
Use my lightning like scissors,
Like I cut the legs off the whales: dinosaurs into lizards!'
Then he grabbed up some bolts,
He let out a laugh,
Said 'I'll split them right down the middle,
Gonna cut 'em right up in half!'
And then storm clouds,
Gathered above,
Into great balls of fire...

And then Fire
Shot down
From the sky in bolts,
Like shining blades of a knife.
And it ripped
Right through the flesh
Of the Children of the Sun, and the Moon, and the Earth.
And some Indian god sewed the wound up to a hole,
Turned it 'round to our bellies
To remind us the price we paid.
And Osiris, and the gods of the Nile,
Gathered up a big storm,
To blow a hurricane,
To scatter us away,
A flood of wind and rain,
A sea of tidal waves,
To wash us all away,
And if we don't behave
They'll cut us down again,
And we'll be hoppin' 'round on one foot,
Lookin' through one eye.

Late Medieval & Renaissance Alchemical texts are still replete with androgynous/bisex images, esp. serpents, lizards, dragons, etc. borrowed from Egpytian Hermeticists of the 1st C AD:

The Alchemical Phoenix is a Phoenician symbol, along the same lines and probably from the same area:
the phoenix was considered to be androgynous, "possibly because it was taken among the Hermetics and Gnostics as a symbol of the highest being or of the Primeval Man, both considered to be bisexual" (Broek 1972, p.421)

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