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Odyssey Historical Presentation
Transcript of Odyssey Historical Presentation
The Trojan War was a war fought between Greece and Troy in 13th or 12th century BC. The cause was a woman. Have you ever heard the phrase: ‘The face that launched a thousand ships’ ? That came from the face of Helen of Troy, the most beautiful mortal woman in Greek mythology. She was married to Menelaus, King of Sparta, a Greek city-state. Legend says that Aphrodite, goddess of love, helped Paris, a Trojan prince, kidnap Helen. Stories vary, and they never agree on whether Helen went willingly or not. However, she went to Troy and married Paris.
Athena is just as dangerous as Poseidon, possibly more because she's much more clever. She hates Poseidon because she found him and one of his girlfriends having a night out in one of her temples. She got really mad and turned Poseidon's girlfriend into the monster Medusa.
When Poseidon starts trying to kill Odysseus, she protects him. Odysseus has won the goddess' respect because of his prowess in battle and his cunning. She guides his footsteps on his journey home and often directly helps him.
Poseidon is the second most powerful Greek god, after Zeus, and he rules over the seas. His power is immense and his influence is everywhere in ancient Greek culture. Before any ancient Greeks set sail, they always sacrificed cattle to Poseidon and prayed for fair weather.
Greek gods and goddesses are notorious for their many affairs with mortals, nymphs, and other gods and goddesses. Poseidon is no exception.
One of his illegitimate sons is the cyclops, Polyphemus.
Odysseus has a run-in with Polyphemus and stabs out his one eye. Poseidon is enraged by this act throughout the rest of the Odyssey, he does his best to blow Odysseus' ships off course and kill Odysseus vengefully.
The Odyssey and The Iliad
Now we need to know more about the author of the Odyssey; Homer. Who Homer actually was is a very controversial topic. Many historians claim that Homer was the name of a group of Greek poets, while others insist that Homer was one man. Regardless of who Homer actually was, The Odyssey is attributed to him.
Trojan War Continued...
Needless to say, Menelaus was furious. He launched an attack on Troy, determined to regain his wife. Troy defended their land and their stolen queen. Thousands of Greeks and Trojans were pulled from their homes to fight.The war lasted for ten long, bloody years, until the Greeks built a large wooden horse, filled it with their soldiers, left it for the Trojans, were taken into Troy, then came out and defeated the city.
Greek Mythology has fascinated historians and mythologists alike. The Greeks, like other ancient worlds, wondered where man and the world came from. And, like other ancient worlds, they created myths and legends to explain the world around them. There are many, many, legends about the creation of the world, man, plants, and animals.
Most Greeks believed in and worshiped many gods and goddesses, each one responsible for an aspect of the world, like sky, sea, agriculture, hunting, warfare, and so on. These legends and Greek deities are key elements in the Odyssey.
All throughout this poem, references to different gods and goddesses are made, legends are explained and cross over into reality, and gods and goddesses descend to interfere in the lives of mortals.
The two most prominent Greek deities in the Odyssey are Poseidon, God of the Sea, and Athena, Goddess of Wisdom and War craft.
The Iliad is an epic poem, describing the events of the Trojan War, both factual and mythical. It's companion is the Odyssey, which tells of the events following the Trojan War, mostly about one man, Odysseus.
When these poems were written, Greece was coming out of the Dark Age that followed the Trojan War. This means that the Odyssey and Iliad were not composed for centuries after the events they describe, and they weren't written for hundreds of years after that. Naturally, this means that many legends about the Trojan war had surfaced, and many poets and bards had embellished these legends, so these poems are a fascinating hodgepodge of original legends and facts, and additional ones.
There are many legends about the Trojan War. Some describe how Aphrodite, goddess of love, aided Paris, prince of Troy, to kidnap Helen, queen of Greece. Some tell of Athena sending a vision of a giant wooden horse to Odysseus as he slept, leading Greece to victory. Still others explain how the gods favored warriors like Odysseus and Ajax and protected them.
The Greek gods and goddesses play a key role in the Odyssey. Now, let's take a closer look.
Here is a recap of the events of the Iliad and Odyssey for those of you who have not taken notes. *ahem*
Thanks for watching! Now go read the book! :)