The first takeaway from “Mythology of the Greeks” is that civilizations view of the world was very different before the Greeks. Pre-Greek Gods did not represent anything real. for example in Egypt, the towering Colossus or the monstrous sphinx were inhuman. There was little difference between what was real and what was unreal. Imagination was vivid and did not represent reason. There was a fear of the omnipotent and magic was a force that was powerful.
The second takeaway is that with the introduction of Greek Mythology, there was a dramatic shift in the way people viewed their world and their Gods. Mankind became the center of the universe. The Greeks made their Gods in their own image. The world was humanized which freed them from their fears of an omnipotent God. The Greeks turned a world of fear into a world of beauty. Greek mythology was made up of stories of Gods and Goddesses. The myths had nothing to do with religion and poets, not priests, had a lot of influence.
The third takeaway is the lasting legacy that was left by the Greeks. The Greeks who made the myths did not like the irrational. They had a love for facts. The myths were stories explaining the world around them has they saw it. For example, the myths might be an example of how everything came into existence: men, trees, animals, flowers and starts. The lasting legacy is that myths are early science as a result of trying to explain what they saw around them. Stories were early literature as well.
Cronus: Cronus was the king of the titans and the god of time. In fear of being overthrown he ate all of his children but, Rhea hide zeus who returned to kill cronus and save his siblings.
Zeus: Zeus was the god of the sky , lightning, thunder, law, order, and justice. He fathered ares, Hebe, and hephaestus.
Hera: Hera was the goddess of marriage, women, childbirth, and family. She was also the sister and wife of Zeus.
Poseidon:He was the god of the sea, earthquakes, soil, storms, and horses. He was the protector of seafarers and of many cities.
Hades: He was the god of the dead, the underworld, the subterranean riegons, death darkness, the earth, fertility, riches, mortality, afterlife,and metals.
Athena: She was the goddess of wisdom, handicraft, and warfare. She was the protector and patron of many cities including athens.
Apollo:He was the god of music, poetry, oracles, archery, plagues, medicine, sun, light, knowledge, and prophecy.
Artemis: She was the goddess of the hunt, forests, hills, the moon, and archery. She was the twin sister of apollo.
Aphrodite: She was the goddess of love, beauty, and sexuality. She is commonly identified with the planet venus.
Hermes: He was the messenger of the gods. He was the god of trade, thieves, travelers, sports, athletes, and border crossings. He was also the guide to the underworld.
Ares: He was the god of war. During the trojan war his validity as a god of war was put into question.
Both of the earth gods Demeter and Dionysus are the joy and happiness gods of the summer. Demeter had only one daughter and one day she was lost and if grief Demeter “withheld her gifts from the earth”(Hamilton 55) which shows the personality of Demeter. Dionysus can be kind and also equally cruel as the god of wine. As shown by hamilton “Sometimes wine is a blessing and sometimes it could be ones ruin”(hamilton 66 & 67).
Two children born into chaos.
Night was the child of chaos. Erebus was the child of chaos and unfathomable death.
From darkness and death love was born.
Order beauty and light was created. With the creation of light earth was born.
The Children of Gaea and Ouranos were monsters.
The greeks saw the first creatures of Earth as monsters. Some of the monster were cyclops or had 50 heads.
The titans were very powerful but not entirely destructive like the monsters. One of them Cronus was very helpful to his mother Gaea.
They were born from the blood of heaven with snakes for hair and the wept blood. They pursued and punished sinners and they removed all monster from Earth except for erinyes.
Cronus sided with his mother and became the lord of the universe.
Cronus heard a prophecy that his children would one day overthrow him. So Cronus swallowed his children but his wife hid zeus and gave Cronus a rock instead.
War between Zeus and Cronus.
The war nearly destroyed the universe and Zeus freed imprisoned monster and one the war killing his father and saving his siblings. One of the byproducts was the creation of night and day.
Creation of Mankind
Epimetheus while attempting to make mankind had given all of his best traits to animals. So prometheus took over and mage the stand up like the gods.
In “Prometheus and Io” Zeus falls in love with Io and in an attempt to protect her and hide his infidelity from Hera her turns Io into a cow. Unfortunately for Zeus, Hera knew and demanded he give her Io who she then took prisoner. Then after that Zeus sends hermes to free Io and then they had children together.
In “Europa” Zeus falls in love with Europa so he transforms himself into a bull . Then she gets on his back and he takes her to Crete where they then had two children.
In “The flower-Myths: Narcissus, hyacinth, Adonis” Zeus creates them as the uses them as bait for the purpose of helping hades kidnap persephone.
In the stories Zeus falls in love with, seduces lots of women, and has children with lots of women which is very unfaithful to his wife Hera and demonstrates that his moral compass is quite skewed. He also likes to roam around alot which along which seems to give him all of these bad temptations. Also when Zeus is seducing lots of women he also seems to be Creating lots of problems at the same time.
“Cupid and Psyche”: Psyche is born and worshiped for her beauty causing the goddess Venus to get ignored so she sent cupid to make her fall in love with a vile man. When cupid sees Psyche he decides to shoot himself and make her fall in love with him. She lives with him in his mansion but one day her sisters came came jealous of Psyche convinced her to do the one thing cupid trusted her not to do look at his face and see who he was.
“Pyramus and Thisbe”: Pyramus and Thisbe had been talking to each other for years through a crack in the wall between their houses and after a long time decide to meet. When Thisbe showed up she saw a bloody lioness there and she ran in fear. When Pyramus arrived he saw the lioness devouring a shawl thinking it was Thisbe he killed himself and when Thisbe went back She saw him dead then killed herself.
“Orpheus and Eurydice”: Orpheus and Eurydice got married but on their wedding night Eurydice gets bitten by a snake and dies. After this Orpheus travels to the underworld and beggs Hades to let eurydice go. Hades agrees under one condition Eurydice must walk behind Orpheus as they leave the underworld and Orpheus can not turn around and look at her but as they reach the exit He turns around and looks at her causing her to be sent back to the underworld.
“Ceyx and Alcyone”: The two had a great love for each other often comparing it to Zeus and Hera which made Zeus angry. When Ceyx was traveling by sea Zeus destroyed his ship with a hurricane killing Ceyx whose last wish was to wash ashore to his wife for a funeral. When After Ceyx’s funeral Alcyone unable to be without ceyx killed herself.
“Pygmalion and Galatea”: Pygmalion sees a group of prostitutes and is disgusted so he sculpts his ideal women. His sculpture is so beautiful he falls in love with it and asks Aphrodite to give him a women just like the sculpture. Aphrodite decided to make the sculpture into a real women and then the two married and had to kids.
“Baucis and Philemon”: Baucis and Philemon was a poor elderly couple who loved each other dearly and one day Jupiter and Mercury disguised themselves as travelers to test hospitality. Baucis and Philemon welcomed the disguised gods and prepared the best meal they could which was not much. Out of appreciation for the hospitality Jupiter turned them into two trees growing from the same stump so they can live and die together.
7. Jason’s most noticeable trait is his hubris which the eyes of a greek is both admirable and flawed this trait is demonstrated with his lack of understanding the consequences of his actions such as when he betrayed his wife and defied the morals of the gods.