Posted on Aug 30, 2002

Dean of Faculty and Professor of Classics Christie Sorum was
a featured scholar in a History Channel program titled “Gods and Goddesses”
which aired recently.

Following are a few of the things she said in the two-hour special:

has been inhabited since about 70,000 B.C., and there were invasions of people
from the Middle East and the north. Each invasion led to
not another set of divinities, but a further layering of divinities … Greek
gods are a real amalgam of cultures, cultures of the Middle East mostly.”

“I think it says something very interesting about a culture
whether it considers its formative moments to be ones of conflict or ones of …
unified peaceful production. I am overwhelmed each time I study or teach a
course that deals with Greek mythology how persistent these conflicts are.”

“When you think about a divinity, you're talking about the
unknown and you really can only talk about the unknown in terms of the known.
In the Bible, in Genesis, it says, 'God came down and he walked in the Garden
of Eden in the cool of the evening.' It's almost impossible to talk about
divinities without doing something like that. Xenophanes said, 'If horses could
draw, they would draw their gods as horses.'”

“Hope is … an evil, which is, I think, fascinating … Hope
allows you to act with a sense that you can control the future and … that is a
very dangerous thing to do. You can't control the future.”