Greek Mythology

  • stories about ancient Greek gods and goddesses and heroes and monsters were an important part of everyday life
    • they explained everything, e.g. religious rituals or weather and gave meaning to the world people saw around them
  • there is no single original text like the Christian Bible
    • the earliest Greek myths were a part of an oral tradition and the plots and themes gradually unfolded in the written language
  • around 700 BC, the poet Hesiod’s Theogony offered the first written origin story of Greek mythology
    • it tells the story of the universe’s journey from nothingness – Chaos – to being and details and elaborate family tree of elements, gods and goddesses who evolved from Chaos and descended from Gaia (Earth), Ouranos (sky), Pontos (sea) and Tartaros (the Underworld)

The Olympians

  • they are at the centre of Greek mythology
  • they were said to live on Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece
  • they looked like men and women (but they could change into animals and other things)
  • they were vulnerable to human weaknesses and passions

Gods

  • Apollo – god of prophesy, music, poetry and knowledge
  • Ares – god of war
  • Dionysus – god of wine, pleasure and festivity
  • Hades – god of the underworld
  • Hephaestus – god of fire, metalworking and sculpture
  • Hermes – god of travel, hospitality and trade and Zeus’s personal messenger
  • Poseidon – god of the sea
  • Eros – god of sex and minion to Aphrodite
  • Zeus – the king of all the gods and god of weather, law and fate

Goddesses

  • Aphrodite – goddess of fertility, love and beauty
  • Artemis – goddess of animals, hunting and childbirth
  • Athena – goddess of wisdom and defence
  • Demeter – goddess of agriculture and grain
  • Hera – the queen of the gods and goddesses of women and marriage
  • Hestia – goddess of home and family
  • Tyche – goddess of chance, fate and fortune

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