Greek myths and their characters come up over and over again in literature. So learning about them will help you understand other things you read. They will also help you understand the ancient Greeks’ culture and worldview.
Along the way, you’ll learn a lot of new vocabulary, do some crafty writing, review some things you already know about grammar, and add to your understanding of literature and literary terms. It’s going to be an epic journey. So get ready!
Greek Mythology Creation
In the beginning, there was a void, and out of the void came three beings known as the Pravashen. Many mythologies start the universe with an empty void that the oldest gods come out of. You can see this in Greek mythology with Gaia emerging from chaos and in Aztec mythos, where one kind of split God appears out of nothing.
Ancient Greece begins in the year 1200 B.C. and ends in the year 146 B.C.. It is founded in southeastern Europe, near the Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea. This area included a large peninsula and many small islands. The Greek civilization was born and developed. This civilization was made up of a lot of cities called Polis. The most powerful were Sparta and Athens. Its polis governed itself and was independent of the rest.
Although many times war was declared on each other, and sometimes they even allied with one other polis to go against the third. Women, slaves, and foreigners were not considered free citizens in ancient Greece. Only the men born in the polis were free citizens.
Only they could debate laws, norms, and everything important to the city. They did it in the Agora, a Plaza in the polis. The decisions were made by voting, and that is why it is said that the ancient Greeks were the inventors of democracy. The system of government that we currently have in most countries. The Greeks thought a lot and wanted many things about their surroundings.
Greek Gods and Goddess’s names and powers list
When we think about Greek myths or marvel movies, we always remind the Gods because they are the main pillar of Greek history or myths. Knowing about the Gods/goddesses is mandatory before reading or writing any Greek mythology. So let’s get into it.
Zeus is the ruler of all the divinities of Mount Olympus. He is the god of the sky and thunder. Also, he is often portrayed with a scepter in one hand and a thunderbolt in the other, which are both symbols of his authority. His wife is Hera, who is also his sister.
Learn more: 5 Books About Zeus God
The second most powerful God on Mount Olympus is Zeus’s brother Poseidon. Most of you may know him as the father of the famous novel and movie character, Percy Jackson. He is the god of the sea and earthquakes. He is often portrayed with a four-horse chariot and a trident over the waves. The trident is his three-pronged scepter.
Know more: 5 Books About Poseidon God
Third on the list is Hades, also Zeus and Poseidon’s brother. He is the God of the underworld, though Hades supervised the trial and punishment of the wicked after death. Moreover, he was not normally one of the judges in the underworld, nor did he personally torture the guilty attacks assigned to the Furies, portrayed with a beard and a solemn look. Hades has a trident, a two-pronged fork, modeled after Poseidon’s trident.
Read more: 10 Retellings About Hades And Persephone
We have Apollo, the son of Zeus and Leto. He is the God of the sun, music, poetry, and purity. Beardless and athletically built, he is often depicted with a bow and arrow or as a liar.
The next Olympian is Aries, the eldest son of Zeus and Hera. He is the god of war and is believed to be the most unloved God by both gods and men. That is except for Aphrodite, who bore him many children out of wedlock. Usually, he is represented wearing a helmet, a shield, and either a sword or a spear.
Hephaestus is the son of Zeus and Hera. He is the god of fire and is the blacksmith for the gods. He neither possesses the physical lawlessness of the other gods nor does he stimulate them in respect. Sometimes he is depicted with an oval cap and almost always with a hammer and an anvil. Even though he is an ugly god, lame by his mother, he was the husband of none other than Aphrodite herself, half-brother of Aramis.
Hermes is the son of Zeus and Maia, one of the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas. He is the God of commerce, travelers, and thieves. Also, he is the guide of Swords. In addition, he is called the messenger of the Olympian gods.
The next goddess is Hara. She’s the wife and sister of Zeus, also known to be the goddess of marriage. She is the deity most associated with family and the welfare of women and children. However, her marriage was an unhappy one since Zeus had numerous affairs. She was usually portrayed alongside Zeus as a fully clothed, matronly woman of solemn beauty, wearing a cylindrical crown called Paulus.
Athena was born in the most miraculous circumstances when Zeus learned that Metis’s next child might overthrow him. He swallowed his first wife, who was already pregnant. Then he started to have tremendous headaches.
The face twice struck him with an ax, and Athena leaped out of Zeus’s head, fully armed, crying so mighty. Thus, she is dubbed the goddess of wisdom and war. In art and literature, Athena is usually depicted as a majestic lady with a beautiful but stern face, unsmiling, full lips, great eyes, and a graceful build emanating power.
Aphrodite is the daughter of Zeus and the Titan, the owner. She is the Olympian goddess of love, beauty, sexual pleasure, and fertility. Also, she was frequently depicted as an asymmetrically perfect maiden, infinitely desirable and thus infinitely out of reach.
She was sometimes represented alongside arrows and with some of her major attributes and symbols: A magical girdle and a shell, A dove or a sparrow, Roses, and myrtles.
Read more: 3 Books About Aphrodite
Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and Little, a Titan, the daughter of coins and Phoebe. When she was a few days old, she helped her mother give birth to her twin sibling, Apollo. She is the goddess of the hunt and the moon. Also, she is almost universally depicted as a young, beautiful, and vigorous huntress, carrying a quiver with arrows and holding a bow.
Dionysus is the God of wine, the son of Zeus, and Simone, a mortal princess of Thebes. She is the beautiful maiden in charge of guarding various parts of nature. There are five types of names: the naiad, the freshwater nymphs, the myriads, and OCA needs the sea nymphs.
Greek mythology also features the following demigods, partly divine and partly mortal beings. Hercules and Percy Jackson are examples of these heroes. They are mostly fully mortal beings with gods as ancestors. From the Iliad and Odysseus from the Odyssey, Achilles are examples of heroes. Monsters are terrifying creatures. The Cyclops and Minotaur are examples of these.
Study more: Popular Books About Dionysos
Greek Mythology For Beginners
If you are a beginner or want to get the real flavor of Greek myth, I’m here for you. When I was thinking about reading Greek mythology, I was nervous. It is because they distinguish between book and movie adaptations.
We see very clearly in the movie and learn easily, but it’s different when you start reading a Greek myth book. You need to follow some basic guidelines to understand it properly. Otherwise, you will lose your energy and feel boring to read. So I reviewed the best books for beginners in the review section. Please check it out:
How To Read Greek Mythology? (For Reader)
Reading Greek myth is slightly different from other genres. There are various cultures, religions, politics, relationships, and society as an ancient story. So many readers can not understand this type of myth properly and mark it as hard to read. But I have some ideas for you to read Greek myth easily and understand like a master.
Learn more: 5 Tips To Start Reading Mythology For Beginner
How To Write Greek Myth Story? (For Writer/Author)
Many fiction-based writers/authors avoid Greek myths to write because they think it’s very complex and old-fashioned. If you analyze the best marvel movies and best-seller books, then you will find most of the books are based on Greek myth characters or Gods. Readers always wait to read new Greek retelling stories with their legends. So don’t miss it and follow my writing tips to write myth like an expert.
Ancient Greek Mythology Authors
The ancient Greeks were the pioneers of discovered literature. The history of ancient Greek literature is divided into three periods: Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic. These Greek myths are so pervasive that they’re referenced by different authors of many different cultures and periods.
Aeschylus is the first classical Athens great dramatist who raised the emerging art of tragedy to great heights of poetry and political power. He has often been termed the father of ancient Greek tragedy. Moreover, Aeschylus wrote approximately 90 plays, including satire plays and tragedies.
About 80 titles are known, and only seven tragedies have survived to date. His play, Persians, is unique among surviving tragedies in that it dramatizes recent history rather than events from the distant age of mythical heroes. The others are seven against Thebes, Prometheus, bound, etc..
Aristophanes is the greatest representative of ancient Greek comedy and the one whose work has been preserved in great quantity. Also, He is the only extant representative of the old comedy. That is the phase of comic dramaturgy in which chorus, mime, and burlesque still play a considerable part and are characterized by bold fantasy and outrageous satire. His famous comedy is The Frogs.
Only 18 out of 95 plays have survived to date. Euripides is known primarily for having reshaped the formal structure of traditional Greek tragedy by showing strong female characters and intelligent slaves and satirizing many Greek mythology heroes. His best-known works are Media A Cuba, the Trojan Woman, and The Bacchae.
Sophocles is one of the most famous and celebrated writers of tragedy in ancient Greece, and a surviving works written throughout the fifth century B.C. It includes such classics as Oedipus, the King and Tigon, and Women of Practice. As with other Greek plays, Sophocles’s work is not only a record of Greek theater but also provides an invaluable insight into many of the political and social aspects of ancient Greece.
In addition, Sophocles’ innovations in theater presentation would provide the foundation of all future Western dramatic performances, and his plays continue to perform today in theaters around the world.
Our list is topped by the greatest Greek poet ever born, Homer. Very little is known about the life of Greek poet Homer, who is credited with being the first to write down the epic stories of The Iliad and The Odyssey. The impact of his tales continues to reverberate through Western culture. Almost two epic poems have become standard roadmaps in world mythology. The stories provide an important insight into early human society and illustrate how little has changed in some aspects.
The Iliad is a story of the siege of Troy, the Trojan War, and Paris kidnapping Helen, the world’s most beautiful woman. The Odyssey picks up after the fall of Troy. Also, it is attributed to an elderly homer. The two narrative poems pop up throughout modern literature.
Read More: 5 Homer Retellings Books About Helen Of Troy