Greek Mythology PowerPoint

In the beginning . . .
In the beginning, there was only Chaos, who was not quite a
god but a shapeless and confused mass of elements. This was all
there was for who knows how long. And from Chaos, eventually,
Nyx and Erebus was born. Nyx was Night, and Erebus
the"unfathomable depth were death dwells."
Then, there came a separate force known as Gaea, or Mother Earth, who
came from somewhere that is mysterious and unexplained. She was the
first of all the gods. In ancient times, she was honored as a prophetess
and presided over oaths and marriages. The Greeks believed that because
the Earth and Heavens moved and changed the way people did, they
must be alive. Indeed they were. Her husband, Uranus, or Father Sky,
was also her son. He was born as Gaea slept, and was equal to her in all
Together, she and Uranus had their first two sets
of children, who were the Hundred-handed Ones and
the Cyclopes.
They then produced the Titans, who reigned
supreme in the universe for untold ages. Uranus was
very cruel to his children, and he kept the Hundredhanded Ones locked deep inside the earth.
Gaea was very upset over this and plotted with
Cronus, her Titan son, to overthrow her husband. She
gave him a scythe which he used to castrate his father,
and threw his genitals from the heavens. From the
drops of blood that fell, the Giants and the Erinnyes
were born. And when his genitals reached the ocean, it
created a foam, and from this foam Aphrodite was
Rhea and Cronus
had six children: Hera,
Poseidon, Hades, Demeter,
Hestia, and Zeus.
Because it was prophesized
that one of his children would
dethrone him, as he had done his
own father, Cronus swallowed
each of his children immediately
after they were born. With the
sixth child, Rhea tricked him and
wrapped a stone in swaddling
clothes, which he
swallowed. Zeus eventually
returned to save his brothers and
The twelve great
Olympians were
supreme among the
gods who succeeded to
the Titans.
They lived on
Mt. Olympus where
they feasted on
ambrosia and nectar.
It was a place of
perfect blessedness.
Mt. Olympus
Home of the Olympians
Zeus became the supreme ruler.
He was Lord of the Sky, the Raingod and the Cloud-gatherer, who
wielded the much feared
thunderbolt. His power was
greater than that of all the other
divinities together.-Hamilton, Mythology
Zeus - pronounced zoos
Stats & Facts
Zeus is the God of gods and men, the
greatest and most powerful of all
Other names for Zeus are the Lord of the
Sky, the Rain God, and the Cloud Gatherer.
Zeus' bird is the eagle, and his tree, the oak.
Zeus' Roman name is Jupiter.
Master of Disguise
There are a number of stories in
which Zeus changes his form to
get something...usually a lover.
In the form of a swan, he
seduced Nemesis who bore the
egg that was placed in the care of
Leda. Danae was locked in an
underground room with only a
barred window to let in fresh air
and light. Zeus became a shower
of gold that fell into the little
room and impregnated Danae.
To get in bed with
Alcmene, Heracles' mother, Zeus
took the form of her husand,
Amphitryon, and lay with her for
three dayless nights.
Hera - Juno
Hera - pronounced hair-uh
Stats & Facts
• Hera is the protector of
marriage and the goddess
married women turned to for
• Hera was often said to be the
most beautiful of all the
• Argos was Hera's favorite city.
• Animals sacred to Hera are the
cow and the peacock.
• Hera's Roman name is Juno.
Insanely Jealous Wife
Most of the stories about
Hera are about her jealousy of Zeus’s
many affairs and illegitimate children.
Her time seemed to be spent
tormenting her husband's lovers and
sometimes the children as well.
Heracles, the son of Zeus and
Alcmene, was the one who annoyed
her the most, and she tormented him
his entire mortal life. She was tricked
into nursing him as an infant. When
she discovered that he was Zeus'
illigetimate son, she pulled him away,
and the milk still flowing from her
breast created the Milky Way.
The Greek people did not
think less of Zeus. On the
contrary,they thought he was
People did not hold their
gods up as perfect beings.
Poseidon / Neptune
“He was ruler of
the sea, Zeus’s brother
and second only to him
in eminence.” (Hamilton 27)
He gave the first horse to man. He was commonly called the
Earth-Shaker and was always shown carrying his trident, a
three-pronged spear, with which he would shake and shatter
whatever he pleased. (Hamilton 28)
Demeter - Ceres
Born by the Titans
Demeter was the sister of Zeus and the
other children of Cronus and Rhea.
Demeter: Her name means "barleymother" or "mother earth" and goddess of
fertility. She is also known as Ceres
(Roman) and sometimes Deo.
Demeter is often seen holding a stalk of
grain or corn, sometimes a torch, crown, or
scepter. Sacred to her are livestock and
agricultural products (with the emphasis on
corn), poppy, narcissus and the crane.
Hades - Pluto
Hades - Pluto
Following the defeat of the
Titans by the Jovian gods, Pluto
obtained the kingdom of the
Dead souls were escorted to
the shores of the River Styx by
Mercury, where they were received
by the boatman Charon, who rowed
them across the River Styx to
Pluto's kingdom.
Drawing by Rei Inamoto.
The source of this material is Windows to the Universe, at at the University Corporation for
Persephone and the Seasons
When Persephone was out tending her
flowers one day, Hades was struck by one of
Aphrodite's arrows and fell in love with her. He
went to Zeus and requested permission to marry
her. Zeus gave permission and Hades waited for
the right moment to get his bride.
He chose a day when she was out
gathering flowers again. When she reached over
to pick a beautiful purple blossom, the ground
split open and out came Hades, kidnapping her
and taking her to the Underworld with him. Hades
would not let her return to the world of the living.
Soon, Demeter found out what happened to her
beloved daughter and went straight to Mt.
Olympus, and plead Zeus to get her daughter out
of the Underworld.
Zeus refused, for he had already been bribed
by Hades, and Demeter left Mt. Olympus
threatening that Zeus would be sorry. Demeter
promptly put a horrible drought over all the
crops in the world and there was no food for
mankind to eat.
Seeing the famine and hardship below,
Zeus reconsidered and said that Persephone
could come back as long as she had not eaten
any food in the Underworld. As it turns out,
Persephone ate six seeds, so from then on,
Persephone had to spend six months out of the
year with Hades in the Underworld. Demeter
was upset that Persephone couldn't stay with
her all year round, so she made all of the plants
stop growing for the six months that
Persephone is gone. These six months are now
called the season of winter.
The Abduction of Persephone
Hades and Persephone
Hades and
Return of
Artemis - Diana
Artemis - Diana
pronounced are-tuh-miss
Stats & Facts
Artemis is the goddess of
all wild things, the protectress of
youth, and the patroness of
hunters, childbirth, fisherman,
and unmarried girls.
All wild animals, especially
deer are sacred to Artemis.
Artemis' tree is the cypress.
Artemis' Roman name is Diana.
Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and is
the twin sister of Apollo. They were born on the island
of Delos, and in some myths, the nine-day-old
Artemis is said to have assisted in the delivery of her
brother. Both of them were very protective of their
Thrill of the Hunt
Artemis carried with her a
quiver of silver arrows. Women
who died during childbirth or
quick and painless deaths were
said to have been shot by one of
her arrows.
Because of her love of
hunting, she became friends
with Orion. Apollo was jealous
of this friendship and tricked his
sister into killing Orion. She
later set his image among the
stars, known as Orion’s Belt.
Lovers & Children
Artemis never took a
lover, therefore, she never
had any children.
She is one of the three
virgin goddesses and she
required perfect chastity of
her companions, who were
mostly nymphs. In one myth,
she turned her companion,
Callisto, into a bear as
punishment for being
seduced by Zeus.
In another myth, she and her companions are
bathing when they are spied by Actaeon who is
out hunting. Artemis, who detested the love or
attention of any man, turned him into a stag. His
own hunting dogs chased him down and tore
him to pieces.
Athena - Minerva
Stats & Facts
Athena is the Goddess of War
and Wisdom.
Gray-eyed is the word most
often used to describe Athena.
Athena's tree, which she
created, is the olive tree.
Athena's bird is the owl.
Athena's Roman name is
Athena is the daughter of Zeus
and Metis. After hearing a
prophesy that any son born to
their union would dethrone
him, Zeus swallowed Metis.
Shortly after, he had a headache
so Hermes went to get
Hephaestus, who returned and
breached Zeus’s skull. Athena
sprang from his head in full
armor and was born. She was
the only one Zeus trusted
enough to carry his thunderbolt.
Minerva was the goddess
of arts and crafts. She was
particularly good at
weaving. Once a woman
named Arachne wove a
beautiful picture. Minerva
tried to find something
wrong with it. When she
couldn't, she tore it up and
turned Arachne into a
spider. The spider still
weaves beautiful webs.
Ares - Mars
Ares (Mars)
Ares, the God of
War, was the son of
Zeus and Hera. He
was detested by both
of them. His sister
was Eris, which
means Discord, and
her son was Strife.
Ares (Mars)
Walking beside Ares on the
battlefield was a band of
companions. They included The
Goddess of War, Enyo, and Terror,
Trembling, and Panic. He was said
to have come from Thrace, where
the rudest and most fierce people of
Greece were found. His bird was
the vulture, and the dog, his animal.
The Romans wrote of him as being
magnificent and invincible in his splendid
armor. They wrote how men rejoiced to die
on the battlefield of Ares.
The Greeks were not as favorable
towards Mars. They thought him to be
ruthless, murderous and hateful. They
called him a coward who ran away with the
slightest wound. Men were more often to
rejoice after escaping the fury of Ares.
Hephaestus - Vulcan
Hephaestus is the son of Hera alone, but it is said that he could have been
fathered by Zeus. When Hera saw that Hephaestus was born deformed,
she was disgusted and threw him from the heavens. He landed in the sea
and was rescued by Thetis and Eurynome, who raised him. He became a
master craftsman. One day, Hera was admiring a brooch that Thetis was
wearing, and learned that Hephaestus had made it. She brought him back
up to Olympus and gave him the finest equipment and materials.
pronounced uh-paul-low
Stats & Facts
Apollo was considered "the most
Greek of all the Gods."
He was also known as the Archergod, the Healer, the God of Light,
and the God of Truth.
The dolphin and crow were just two
of many animals sacred to Apollo.
His tree is the laurel tree.
Apollo's Roman name is the same.
Apollo is the sun god and also
the god of music and songs
which are heard during times
when light triumphs over
darkness. He is associated with
youth and strength.
Apollo is also known as Helios
or Hyperion.
Apollo is portrayed throwing a discus in this
stamp issued in March 1906 celebrating the
tenth anniversary of the modern Olympic
Apollo is best known
for his interest in
music, and received a
lyre from Hermes as
compensation for cows
Hermes had stolen
from him.
Hermes also gave him
a musical pipe in
exchange for a golden
Apollo was also a healer.
He taught people about
medicine and often cured
the afflicted.
Those who lived in cities
that he didn't like weren't
as lucky. He was known
to bring plagues upon
entire communities.
Apollo was also the God of Truth and Prophecy. False words never
passed through his lips. His oracle at Delphi was the place people went
to find out true answers to their questions.
Apollo spoke through a priestess at the temple, who would sit in a threelegged chair over a vapor rising from the Earth. She would go into a
trance and utter things which were translated by priests.
Hermes - Mercury
es.jpg conf/conf.htm
Hermes was the messenger of Zeus,
and wore a winged cap and winged
shoes. He bore in his hand a rod
entwined with two serpents, called the
"Hermes was the son of Zeus and Maia.
He presided over commerce, wrestling,
and other gymnastic exercises, even
over thieving, and everything that
required skill and dexterity.
Hermes is said to have invented the lyre. He
found a tortoise shell one day. He made holes in
the opposite edges of it, and drew cords of linen
through them, and the instrument was
complete. There were nine cords, in honor of
the nine Muses. Hermes gave the lyre to Apollo,
and received from him in exchange the
from Bulfinch's Mythology
Dionysus - Bacchus
Dionysus is the God of the Vine.
He was the Greek god of wine and
Dionysus' name means "twice born"
or "child of the double door." Many
ancient city-states outlawed the wild,
orgiastic rites of Dionysus.