Greek Mythology *Myths - Traditional stories about god and heroes. *The Greek people believed in many gods and goddesses. They were thought to have affected people's lives and also thought to shape events. *The gods and goddesses were thought to control nature. Some examples of the control over nature are: Zeus ruled the sky and threw lighting bolts, Demeter made the crops grow, and Poseidon caused earthquakes. *The 12 most important gods and goddesses lived on Mt. Olympus. Mt. Olympus was the highest mountain in Greece. Zeus *God of the Sky and Ruler of the Olympian gods. He is lord of the sky, the rain god. *He is represented as the god of justice and mercy, the protector of the weak, and the punisher of the wicked. Poseidon *God of the sea and protector of all the water. *Widely worshiped by seamen. *His weapon is a trident, which can shake the earth, and shatter any object. *He is second only to Zeus in power amongst the gods. *He was greedy. He had a series of disputes with other gods when he tried to take over their cities. Hades *Hades is the god of the undedrworld and ruler of the dead. *He is also the god of wealth, due to the precious metals mined from the earth. *He is a greedy god who is greatly concerned with increasing his subjects. Hestia *She plays no part in myths. *She is the Goddess of the Hearth, the symbol of the house around which a new born child is carried before it is received into the family. *Of all the Olympians, she is the mildest, most upright and most charitable. Hera *She is the supreme goddess, goddess of marriage and childbirth and takes special care of married women. *Most stories concerning Hera have to do with her jealous revenge for Zeus's infidelities. *Her sacred animals are the cow and the peacock. *Her favorite city was Argos. Hermes This was the messenger of the gods. He was also the god of the market. He was the cleverest of the Olympian gods. He is the god of thieves and god of commerce. He is the guide for the dead to go to the underworld. Aphrodite Aphrodite is the goddess of love, desire and beauty. She represented affection and the attraction that binds people together. The myrtle is her tree. The dove, the swann, and the sparrow her birds. Athena *Athena is the Greek virgin goddess of reason, intelligent activity, arts and literature. *She is the goddess of the city, handicrafts, and agriculture. *She was Zeus's favorite child and was allowed to use his weapons including his thunderbolt. *Her favorite city is Athens. *Her tree is the olive. The owl is her bird. Apollo He was the god of light, music, poetry, healing, and fortune telling. He is often described as the "most Greek of Greek gods." He is famous for his oracle at Delphi. People traveled to it from all over the Greek world to find out their future. Ares *He is the god of war. *He is considered murderous and bloodstained but, also a coward. *His bird is the vulture. His animal is the dog. Artemis *She was goddess of the hunt, the moon, and the natural environment. *She is the huntsman of the gods. She is the protector of the young. *The cypress is her tree. All wild animals are scared to her, especially the deer. Hephaestus *He is the god of fire and the forge. *He is the only god to be physically ugly. He is also lame. *He is kind and peace loving. Greek Mythology cont. *Greek gods looked and acted like humans. *Greek people followed many rituals in order keep their gods happy. A ritual is a set of actions carried out in a fixed way. The people would give the god and goddesses gifts and pray to them. *The Greeks believed that each person had a certain fate or destiny. Certain events were going to happen to people no matter what they did. *They also believed in prophecy. A prophecy is a prediction about the future. *To discover the future, many Greeks would visit an oracle. An oracle was a sacred shrine where a priest or priestess spoke for a god or goddess. The most famous oracle was at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi.