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Introduction to Greek Mythology
Transcript of Introduction to Greek Mythology
The creation of the Earth,
death and the afterlife,
and human experiences: love, jealousy, revenge and war
They were also used as entertainment and were only transmitted orally because most people could not read. Mythology is the study of stories that were
used to explain the world and other human
experiences. The Greeks were a tough, ambitious, restless and imaginative race.
They loved life!
They believed in living life to the fullest because they understood that death was inevitable.
Their response to death? Make your mark in life. Be a legend. Be a hero. The Greeks and their Beliefs The Greeks had many gods
A god or goddess is immortal, which means they can never die and live on forever.
The 12 Olympian gods, which we will cover later, resembled the Greeks need to be legendary.
Gods were not perfect - they were flawed like regular humans.
In many cases, the gods were vengeful, jealous and unforgiving.
Despite their many character flaws, the gods were displayed as strong and beautiful.
The same traits, both good and bad, apply to the characters in their myths.
Myths also include mortals:
Mortals are men and women who live on Earth. To be mortal means you can die.
Sometimes the gods like to help, punish or even have romantic relationships with the mortals. Modern Expressions?
We get many of our modern phrases from mythology.
For example, "He holds the weight of the world on his shoulders."
What might this mean? The Story of Atlas
One day, the Titans and the Olympians were fighting. Atlas sided with the Titans. When they lost, Zeus forced Atlas to stand at the Western edge of the Earth and hold up the sky on his shoulders for all of eternity. The Olympians are a group of 12 gods who ruled after the overthrow of the Titans. All of the Olympians are related in some way. They are named from their dwelling, Mount Olympus The 12 Olympian Gods
Who are they? The 12 Olympians:
Demeter The Places Mount Olympus
Olympus was where the gods lived.
Zeus married his sister and together they ruled Olympus. There really is a Mt. Olympus, and since it was so high up, the Ancient Greeks decided it was the realm of the gods. Humans and other creatures could only visit Olympus if they had an invitation. Earth
Earth is where the humans lived. Sometimes gods visited Earth and often fell in love with one of Earth’s inhabitants. Sometimes they would have children who would be half human/half god. Many strange and dangerous creatures roamed Earth and heroes had to slaughter them. The Underworld
The Underworld was a place inside the Earth that was made up of three places: Tartarus, The Asphodel Fields and The Elysian Fields. The Underworld was ruled by Hades, a.k.a. Pluto. Hades was Zeus’s brother.
The Asphodel Fields
Normal commoners went to the Asphodel Fields. This was a gray, shadowy, misty and ghostly place. Here their souls wandered around like shadows.
Tartarus is where the worst humans and gods went. They suffered horrendous punishments such as eternal hunger and thirst, being tied to a wheel of fire, being hit with thunderbolts, climbing a mountain endlessly and growing shameful donkey’s ears. These people had to suffer for eternity.
The Elysian Fields
Heroic, kind and noble people went to the Elysian Fields. Here they rested and enjoyed lives of luxury and bliss. You could be sent to Earth to live another life after you died. If you went to the Elysian Field three times, you could go to the Isles of the Blessed and never leave. The Ocean
The Ocean surrounded the Earth. The Ocean was ruled by Poseidon and his wife, Amphitrite, who was a sea-nymph. Poseidon controlled the wind and the waves. Sailors often made sacrifices to him so they would have smooth sailing. The Styx
The River Styx was the way to get to the Underworld. To get across, you must pay Charon, the boatman. The cost was one obol, a Greek coin. After you paid him, he would take you across. How the Earth Began
The Greek Creation Story...