I considered myself pretty familiar with Greek mythology, but I’ve learned a lot this unit. I’d never heard of Philomena and Procne. What a tragic story.

Philomena/Procne

  • Why are the ancient Greeks so cruel to women? Tereus, happily married to Procne, decides not just to rape her sister Philomena, but to torture, mutilate, and keep her locked away forever. Why does he do this? I honestly don’t understand.
  • The women’s revenge, while understandable, is terrible for everyone involved. Procne killed her own innocent son while he screamed and then fed him to his father. Pretty grim, and to what end?

Jason/Medea

  • “So great is the power of magic drugs!” I know, right?
  • “the barbarian witch” – as a matter of fact, she seems pretty precise. Well, maybe the bloody sacrifice could be considered barbaric.
  • I’m surprised that Ovid glosses over Jason’s betrayal of Medea. I remember reading this myth in my D’Aulaires’ book and feeling so bad for her because she loved him so much, sacrificed everything for him, saved his life, gave his father 40 years of youth, and then he just left her there to die. Didn’t matter at all what she did. Honestly, both this story and the story of Theseus, who ditched Ariadne on an island, made me have a serious distrust in men as I grew up.
  • I would be pretty scared to cross her if I were Jason. She’s already demonstrated multiple times that she’s a powerful witch. This woman slits people’s throats and rides dragons semi-regularly. If there was ever a person not to f**k with, it’d be her. And yet, Jason is the cockiest man in all of Greece apparently.

Bibliography. “Medea summons the powers and gathers the herbs” in Metamorphoses II by Ovid, translated by S. Kline (2000). Web source.