Hamilton`s Mythology Introduction: 13

Hamilton’s Mythology Introduction: 13-23
1. What is the difference between primitive and classical mythology?
Classical mythology is from a more civilized time than primitive mythology. Primitive
mythology deals with the ugliness and terror found everywhere. Greek mythology is more
inclined to deal with nymph-like creatures in forests, heroes, explanations of the world, and
other more pleasant topics.
2. How are the Greek gods different from Egyptian or Mesopotamian gods?
Gods from other cultures are part animal, such as part bird or part lion. Greeks gods are
primarily human in form and feature.
3. What is "the miracle of Greek mythology"?
Because Greek gods appear more human, man can feel more comfortable and at ease with
them, whereas half-beast/half-human gods of other mythologies instill fear.
4. What are the "dark spots" referred to by Edith Hamilton?
When Greek gods behave in a cruel or indecent manner, these traits can be traced to older
times of beasts, satyrs, or partly human creatures.
5. How does she define mythology?
Mythology is an explanation of something in nature; it is not an account of religion.
However, there are examples of myths that explain nothing and other examples where
religion seems to be a part of mythology.
6. What is her explanation for differing views of the same gods?
Mythology changes as people develop and change. There are different versions of a single
story because these stories come from different times and from different authors. One
example is the fact that two writers, Homer and Hesiod, both recognize Zeus as the chief of
the gods, but they view his character in different ways.
The first evidence of real settlement in Greece comes from about 55,000 B.C.E. At that
time, there was only a small population, which did not grow until around 3,000 B.C.E. The
development of Greek civilization is divided into three main periods--Stone Age, Bronze
Age, and Iron Age--and each of these periods can be broken down into subdivisions.