OH MY GODS!! - Mr. Shields

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OH MY GODS!!
AN INTRODUCTION TO GREEK
MYTHOLOGY
WHAT IS MYTHOLOGY?

“Mythology” is a word
used to describe all
myths of a particular
society.

Every culture has its own
myths that help us
understand its customs
and ways of viewing the
world.
Mythopedia: Oh My Gods! by Megan E. Bryant
WHAT IS A MYTH?


A myth is a kind of story.
Most myths have one or more of these characteristics:




Myths are usually about gods or supernatural beings
with greater powers and abilities than ordinary humans.
Myths explain the origins of the world and how humans
came to be.
Myths take place a long time ago, usually in the earliest
days of humanity (or just before humans showed up on
Earth).
Myths were usually thought to be true by their original
tellers--no matter how wild or strange they seem to be.
Mythopedia: Oh My Gods! by Megan E. Bryant
TWO NAMES, POWERS THE SAME


Many gods and
goddesses have both
Greek and Roman
names. That is because
the ancient Romans
adopted a great deal of
Greek mythology and
made it their own.
Often, they changed the
names of the particular
gods and goddesses.
TWO NAMES, POWERS THE SAME


Generally, the deity’s
powers and myths
stayed the same--even
though they had a new
name.
As a result, the study of
Greek and Roman
mythology is often
grouped together under
the same name-classical mythology.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF
MYTHS?

Myths can…



Explain how things came to be--like the origin of the
universe or the creation of humans.
Teach people about the values and beliefs that are
important in their society.
Contain deep religious significance to the people who tell
and believe them.
Studying myths can teach us about people around the
world -- their cultures and what is (or was) important
to them.
Mythopedia: Oh My Gods! by Megan E. Bryant
HOW DID WE LEARN THESE
STORIES?



Myths were first passed down through
storytelling, songs, and poetry.
We learned the stories from written versions,
mainly Homer’s epic poems The Illiad and The
Odyssey, which tell of the great deeds of
heroes.
Other sources were Hesiod’s Theogony, which
describes the origins of the world and the gods,
and Homeric Hymns, as collection of poems
addressed to different gods.
Mythopedia: Oh My Gods! by Megan E. Bryant
DO MYTHS REALLY MATTER
TODAY?


YES!!!
References to Greek mythology are all around us:
 Ever heard of Nike athletic gear? Nike was
actually a goddess of personification and
victory.
 What would Valentine’s Day be without Cupid?
Cupid, or Eros, is the god of love as the Greeks
called him.
 Does Apollo 13 ring a bell? The first crewed US
space missions were named for Apollo, the god
of archery and prophecy.
BOTTOM LINE
References to ancient myths
are everywhere, from
science to pop culture, and
knowing about them will
help you understand more
about the world we live in.
Before existence there
was a vast nothingness
called Chaos. Out of
Chaos came Gaea,
Tartarus, and Eros.
Gaia and Uranus gave birth to the
Giants, Cyclops, and Titans, who
looked just like humans but were
huge. They were the first gods
and goddesses. Uranus banished
some of them to the Underworld,
which made Gaea upset. She
encouraged them to rise up
against him. They were led by
Cronus
who
attacked
and
overthrew his father.
Gaia
Zeus
Cronus married his sister Rhea and
they had six children. Before they
were born, Cronus was warned that
they would overthrow him, the
same way he had overthrown his
father. When each child was born,
he swallowed them whole. When
Rhea gave birth to Zeus she
wrapped a rock in blankets and
pretended it was her son. Cronus
swallowed the rock, and Zeus grew
up hidden.
Zeus grew up and visited his
parents in disguise.
He gave
Cronus a drink that made him
throw up all the babies he had
swallowed. Zeus led his siblings
in a revolt against Cronus and the
other titans. The younger gods
won and divided the world among
themselves. Poseidon took the
sea, Hades took the Underworld,
and Zeus became King.
Hades
The new gods were known as
the Olympians. They lived on
Mount Olympus, high above
the clouds.
No humans
could visit Olympus unless
by special invitation.
The
gods did visit the earth and
some married humans. Their
children, who were half-god
and half-mortal often became
heroes.
IT’S ALL RELATIVE!
Greek Mythology:
The Gods and
Goddesses
The Olympian
Gods
OMG-WHAT LIFE WAS LIKE ON MT.
OLYMPUS…

IT WAS WILD!!!



A certain god turned a
nymph into a tree.
A grumpy dad
swallowed his kids oneby-one.
A winged-cherub was
accused of fly-byshootings.
IT WAS LIKE A REALITY
SHOW!!
Zeus/Jupiter
o
o
o
Title: King of the Gods
Wife: Hera
Ruler of weather; keeper of
laws; protector of Greek
kings; guardian of morality
Had over 115 girlfriends and
wives and over 140 children!!
WHO’S YOUR DADDY?
POSEIDON/Neptune
Title: God of the Sea
o Zeus’s brother and
second most powerful
god
o Creator of earthquakes
o Maker of horses
HADES/Pluto
Title: God of the Underworld




Ruler of the dead
Underground wealth
Brother of Zeus and Poseidon
Married to Persephone
APOLLO
Title: God of Light and Sun
o Twin of Artemis
o Oracle of Delphi
o If you were “struck by
Apollo’s arrow,” it meant
you died suddenly.
o Killer of the dragon
o Roman name: Apollo
HERMES/Mercury
Title: Messenger of the
Gods
o The god of secrets and
tricks
o Often portrayed with
wings on his feet
o Guided souls to the
underworld
o Patron of thieves and
liars
HEPHAESTUS/Vulcan
Title: God of Fire
o Craftsman/Lives in a
volcano with the
Cyclopes
o Maker of fire
o Mom, Hera, thought
he was so ugly that
she threw him off Mt.
Olympus
o Created the first
woman, Pandora
ARES/Mars
Title: God of War


Disliked by gods and
mortals for being
bloodthirsty and a coward
Had an affair with the
goddess of love, Aphrodite
DIONYSUS/Bacchus
Title: God of drama,
fertility, poetry, dance,
song, wine
 Was born twice--cut out
of his dead mom’s body
and then sewn into
Zeus’s thigh until ready
to be born
 Brought his mom back
from the Underworld
The Olympian
Goddesses
HERA/Juno
Title: Queen of the Gods
o Wife of Zeus
o Goddess of women and
marriage
o Known for her jealousy
o Associated with
peacocks
Athena/Minerva
Title: Goddess of
Wisdom, War, and
Crafts
o Daughter of Zeus
o Born from Zues’s head
and came fully formed
wearing armor
o Inventor of Math
o Patron of Athens
HESTIA/Vesta



TITLE-Goddess of
houses; home; family;
domestic life
Hestia was wooed by the
gods Apollo and
Poseidon, but spurning
both, petitioned Zeus to
let her remain forever a
virgin.
Modern words for
virginity come from her
Roman name.
ARTEMIS/ Diana




TITLE-Goddess of hunting,
wilderness and wild animals.
Only Greek/Roman deity to
demand human sacrifices
Twin sister of Apollo
Artemis expects her followers
to stay away from boys, just
like she does.
APHRODITE/Venus
Title: Great Olympian
goddess of beauty, love,
pleasure and
procreation.
o Married to Hephaestus,
the crippled god of fire.
o Caused the Trojan War
(sort of)
o Born of Uranus’ goop
floating on the ocean
Demeter/Ceres
Goddess of Agriculture
Mother of Persephone
o She cares for the
earth and makes
things grow.
o
“Cereal” comes from her roman
name, Ceres
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