Greek Mythology Essay

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Greek Mythology

Mythology was an integral part of the lives of all ancient peoples. The myths of
Ancient Greece are the most familiar to us, for they are deeply entrenched in the consciousness of Western civilization.

The myths were accounts of the lives of the deities whom the Greeks worshipped.
The Greeks had many deities, including 12 principal ones, who lived on Mt.
Olympus. The myths are all things to all people – a rollicking good yarn, expressions of deep psychological insights, words of spine-tingling poetic beauty and food for the imagination. They serve a timeless universal need, and have inspired great literature, art and music, providing archetypes through which we can learn much about the deeper motives of human behavior.
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When Zeus decided to punish men he asked Hephaestus to make a woman. So Hephaestus made
Pandora from clay and water, and, as everyone knows, she had a box, from which sprang all the evils afflicting humankind.

Apart fro one misdemeanor, Hephaestus' character seems to have been exemplary.
During the Trojan War Athena asked the god to make her a new suit of armor.
Poseidon, on hearing this, teased Hephaestus by saying that when Athena came to his forge she would expect him to make mad passionate love to her. As Athena wrested herself from the eager Hephaestus, he ejaculated against her thigh. She removed his seed with wool and threw it away, and Gaea, who happened to pass by, was inadvertently fertilized. When Gaea's unwanted offspring was born, Athena brought him up, and he eventually became King Erichthonius of Athens.

Apollo, god of the sun, and Artemis, goddess of the moon, were the twins of Leto and Zeus. Many qualities were attributed to Apollo, for the Ancient Greeks believed that the sun not only gave physical light, but that its light was symbolic of mental illumination. Apollo was also worshipped as the god of music and song, which the ancients believed were only heard where there was light and security. Artemis was worshipped as the goddess of childbirth and protector of children; yet, paradoxically, she asked Zeus if he would grant her eternal virginity. She was also the protector of suckling animals, but loved to hunt stags! Hermes was
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