Greek Myths

Classical Mythology and Its
Relevance to Today’s World
Greek Myths
• Are an integral part of our cultural heritage.
• Have been transformed into great literature since
the eighth century B.C.
• Are exciting adventures that captivate the
• Reveal universal and profound psychological
truths about human behavior.
Time Line of Greek History
• Historical Overview
Characters in Greek Myth
• Reveal themselves to be enlarged images of
• Provide both positive and negative role models.
• Remind us that although we have limitations,
we are more than puppets.
– We are subject to forces beyond our control,
but we still have freedom to choose how we
The Value of Myths
• Originally the Greek myths were stories passed
orally from one generation to the next.
• What is the power of these stories that they
remain vital after three thousand years?
• Why do poets, writers, and advertisers allude
to them?
The Nature of Myth
• To some, myths are simply the imaginative
product of a primitive mind.
• To others, they are sacred tales that were
believed only by those who belonged to a
particular tribe or religion.
• Or, they were pure fantasy masquerading as
reality, such as an early form of science fiction.
The Nature of Myth
• One has only to be aware of the Minoan civilization
evident on the island of Crete during the period 25001400 B.C. to realize that the mind that created myths
was sophisticated enough to create.
– four-story buildings with indoor plumbing and skylights,
– written records,
– a system of weights and measures,
– a calendar based upon astronomical data, and
– the game of chess.
Relevance to Society
• Myths have recently been defined as
“traditional tales relevant to society.”
• Myth of Demeter and Persephone
– So “traditional” that it is scarcely possible
to say when it arose
– Hymn to Demeter is the earliest version.
– Dates to the seventh century BC
– Probably existed several centuries before
in the form of oral poetry