Greek

Mythology







R.S.

Greek mythology is the beliefs and

ritual observances of the ancient Greeks. In

ancient times, the Greeks explained the beginnings

of the world and society with mythology, using

stories and legends about a variety of gods. We can

read about these myths and legends in books

thanks to ancient works like the Theogony by Hesoid

and the Odyssey and the Iliad by Homer.

Greek mythology was believed to be

developed from the primitive religions of the

people from Crete. They believed that all things

had spirits, and that some possessed magical

powers. As time passed these objects were developed

into animals and gods with human form. Mythographer

Euhemerus wrote in 300 BC, that myths “were

distortions of history and that gods were heroes

who had been glorified over time.

Greek gods resembled humans in form

and had human feelings and emotions. Unlike

Hinduism and Judaism, Greek mythology didn’t teach

a specific way of worship or spiritual teachings.

Before all the gods existed there

had been the Titans, sons and daughters of the

earth (Gaea)and of the heavens (Uranus). According

to Hesoid the poet, there were twelve of them:

Oceanus, Coeus, Cirus, Hyperion, Iapetus, Cronus,

Thea, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Pheobe, and Tethis.

The Titans rebelled against their father, and

deposed their father under the leadership of

Cronus. Then Zeus, son of Cronus, overthrew his

father. This made him the first and most powerful

god. He and eleven other gods ruled the universe.

The Greeks believed that their gods

lived together on mount Olympus, and from there

they interfered and socialized with mortals.

But all gods were jealous, envious, selfish and

often fought among themselves. Only Zeus was known

to be just.

Among all the gods , there were only

twelve chief gods called Olympians. They were:

Poseidon, Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Athena, Hephaestus,

Artamis, Ares, Demeter, Hermes, Hestia, and

Aphrodite.

The gods became associated in three

domains: the heavens, the sea, and earth. In the

heavens lived Zeus and his wife Hera, who was the

queen of the heavens. Other gods in the heavens

were Hephaestus, god of fire, Athena, goddess of

wisdom and war, Apollo, god of light poetry and

music, Artemis, goddess of wildlife and the moon,

Ares, god of war, Aphrodite, goddess of love,

Hestia, goddess of the heart, and Hermes masanger

of the gods and ruler of science and inventions. In

the sea, Poseidon, with his wife Amphitrite, and

lesser gods such as Nereids and Tritons. On earth

ruled Demeter, goddess of agriculture, Dionysus

god of wine and pleasure, was accompanied by other

gods like Satyrs, Centaurs, and Nymphs. Satyrs were

creatures with legs of a goat and body of a monkey

or human. Centaurs were creatures that had body of

a horse and an upper body of a man. Nymphs were

were spirits presiding over an aspect of nature

usually represented as a maiden. Hades ruled the

underworld, populated by spirits of the dead,

located at the center of the earth.