“To some extent, mythology is only the most ancient history and biography. So far from being false or fabulous in the common sense, it contains only enduring and essential truth, the I and you, the here and there, the now and then, being omitted. Either time or rare wisdom writes it." Said Henry David Thoreau in A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers published in January 18, 1849. All over the world, during the ancient times, many cultures had developed their own mythological systems to help explain the events of the world and attempt to provide answers for unanswerable questions. Since the technology and science available today did not exist at the time, humans came up with these stories. They created a set of gods and goddesses who they assigned unique personalities, traits and duties. They managed to come up with stories about love, affairs, jealousy and honor. Unlike other religions, the Greek managed to give these gods a lot of human traits. Although Greek mythology can sound ceaselessly entertaining and fictitious, it is in no way frivolous. Greek mythology was made not only for answers and entertainment, but to provide humans with crucial life lessons.
Many people might wonder, why did the Greek invented these gods and goddesses? The Greeks wanted answers. With the technology we have today we are able to explain the reason why it rains from the sky and why lighting forms, we are able to explain why the moon comes up when the sun hides in the horizon. We are even
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He maintains his focus on Greek myths not only because of the sheer number of myths around the world, making it impossible to interpret and clarify them all, but also because European men, who would have been familiar with the myths from Greece, write most of the classics we analyze. He explains that these myths are not only a part of them but also “so much a part of the fabric of our consciousness, of our unconscious really, that we scarcely notice” (Foster, 51). Which suggests that, we can recognize Greek myths even if we do not realize it. With this simple fact presented to us, we no longer wonder why allusions to Greek myths have been used since they emerged and are still employed today. Myths are often exercised as “overt subject matter for poems and paintings and operas and novels” but more often “writers have…borrowed from and emulated” these myths (Foster, 52, 53). Instead of explaining every detail about every character, place or moment authors rely on other stories, such as myths, to expand and develop their tale. The writer will subtly hint at myths and hope you recognize their allusions to these old legends. Since we established that, we know these myths, whether consciously or not, we can take these allusions and decipher any hidden meanings the author has for us, giving each story a new level.
In ancient Greek culture the gods were seen as taking a very active role in the development and course of human history. The entire Olympian pantheon, as well as many other less important divinities, meddles in human affairs to no end. The people of the many city-states that composed Greece firmly believed that every aberration from normalcy was due to an act of the gods. Homer, the author of The Iliad, coined the prevalent religious beliefs of the time in his epic poems, showing the gods as temperamental and willful, meddlesome and dynamic. Homer’s entire poem is replete with instances of divine intervention in mortal lives, and no single major occurrence comes to pass unless it is the will of one of the many Olympian gods. Few major decisions are made without consulting the gods first, and the handful of instances in which one leader or another takes initiative almost always fails miserably. Life, according to the Greeks, is almost entirely rooted in their religion, as there is a god or goddess governing every aspect of the universe, and also because the gods so actively involve themselves in the everyday lives of mortals.
In ancient times around 800 B.C. a civilization arose that would become a great power called Greece. Poseidon was important to these people because the myth of Poseidon explained all the things that happened to the Greeks at sea so they could attain a greater knowledge of everything else and now have a form of religion which would cause a spark of order and unity. Poseidon also stood as one of the most powerful major gods. He is connected to our lives today through popular culture and literacy. Poseidon also stands as an example of power that could represent law enforcement or our military/homeland security.
When people wonder about Ancient Greece the first thing that comes to their minds is Greek mythology; gods and goddesses that have helped shape many historical events. “In ancient Greece, stories about gods and goddesses and heroes and monsters were an important part of everyday life.” (“Greek Mythology.”) The civilization showed that numerous characters and stories helped shape Greeks. The beliefs the Greeks had with mythologies was they understood the meaning behind all the characters that are known today. However, to the Greeks, they were not just characters, these were their gods and goddesses who gave them meaning and understanding of the world around them. Worshiping the gods and goddesses helped them with their religious rituals and the temperament of the weather. A famous wine-jar that was made during this time period was “Achilles killing the Amazon Queen Penthesilea, 540-530 BCE, black-figured amphora”. (Khan Academy) The civilization that they lived in grew around their worship and achievements.
In Greco-Roman Culture, humans imagine the deities of mythology to be and act certain ways, due to the needs they must fill. People invented certain deities for reasons that align with what they needed from them. To examine how a deity has a certain purpose, one must first examine what they are like. Athena and Ares are examples of deities invented for very specific purposes. One must first look at Athena and Ares’ similarities and differences in relation to their characteristics, their sexuality and physical appearances, as well as their different powers and how they are worshipped, to discover why they were created.
Culture and their beliefs played a massive role in the lives of the ancient Athenians. In regards to their beliefs, Athenians didn’t believe in a single powerful God. Instead they relied on multiple Gods and Goddesses. Athens patron goddess is Athena, goddess of wisdom and knowledge. There belief in multiple deities came from their Indo-European ancestors. They attributed supernatural powers to elements such as the sun, wind, and rain. Later, Greeks personified the powers and created gods. As epic poems such as the Iliad and the Odyssey, people were able to identify problems and focal points of Ancient Greek living. Ancient Athenians beliefs grew, as they offered more sacrifices in order to have a prosperous life.
One reason the people of Ancient Greece worshiped the gods is that they believed they were powerful controllers of the world. For example, in the video about women, the gods
Edith Hamilton is the author of the book Mythology. This book is about the Mythology of the Romans and Greeks through her eyes and the way she interprets it. In the beginning of the book Hamilton writes an introduction to Classical Mythology and how, and why it came about. She starts off by writing that Greek and Roman Mythology is meant to show us how people felt about the human race and about where they came from many years ago. She points out that Mythology describes the Earth when it was young and people cared for the Earth more than today. This is true, because in today?s world not many people are caring about the Earth and its going by us fast.
Anne Provoost: "Through mythology we are trying to define ourselves as humans next to this big concept-call it "God"-that we don 't understand. The thunder, the lightening, the floods, the fires. We are, through history, bringing ourselves more and more to the foreground. So mythology is really about finding your own spot in your perception next to the gods."
The ancient Greeks practiced a religion that was in effect, a building block to many ensuing pagan religions. This religion revolved around their reverence to the gods. Essentially, the Greeks worshipped numerous gods, making their religion polytheistic. They believed that exercising the opportunity to choose between a wide variety gods to worship offered them a great sense of freedom. After all, the Greeks were known for their intellectual distinction of which their means of worship played a huge part. Each city-state had an affiliated god who protected and guided its residents. In each city-state, the belief in common gods unified the people. Ultimately, the Greeks yearned for this unity and order in the universe, which is a characteristic that is not unlike that
“Mythology is a subjective truth. Every culture imagines life a certain way” Devdutt Pattanaik (Brainyquote). A myth, which is a story that contains early history of civilization, explains and discloses the cultural inferences through the readings. As told in Bulfinch’s Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch, cultural aspects are revealed in Prometheus and Pandora, Apollo and Daphne, and Hercules. This includes, societal roles determined by sex and morals.
In Greek Mythology, perhaps one of the most rudimental yet one of the most important elements are the Greek Gods and Goddesses. The ancient Greeks created the stories about the lives and journeys of the Greek Gods, known as myths, simply as an endeavor to elucidate nature and all phenomena which were difficult to explain using modern science and logic. These myths about the Gods were spread around the world by explorers and storytellers, and later merged with Greek religion. To this day, numerous myths survived through many writings and through much art. Each of these myths is very unique, and moreover, tells us much about the Greek Gods. The Greek myths in particular convey to us that Greek Gods and Goddesses looked and acted like humans,
The gods and goddesses are powerful beings capable of super-human powers, but nevertheless are characters fraught with very human frailties and flaws. In this way they created gods that had similarities with the common man in the society. This made the gods more tangible and easier to identify with. I think that this was necessary because they were not yet at the societal maturity level to have a single god on a cosmic plane.