MYTHOLOGY SMALL REMINDER
The worship of the Olympian Gods lasted almost 1,800 years (1600-380 AD). J.C) until the arrival of Christianity
MYTHOLOGY SMALL REMINDER
It is with HOMER in the 8th century that we discover the repertoire of Greek mythology. A little later, Hesiod tells us about the creation of the Gods in Theogonia. The word mythology was concrete, however, for the ancient Greeks because the Greek cult with its Gods showed how the world worked. Emotions and feelings of passion (love and war etc) were part of the Greek spirit. The great desires and fears for example are then the apparent factors in the Greek religion. The conscious and the unconscious are controlled by the Gods who explain the world. Something special about greek worship is that it respects the force of nature with which it also explains the world.
It all started with Chaos,a bottomless chasm and orientation that engenders the earth (in Greek, Gaia) and the sky (in Greek, Ouranos). And then, strange beings were born including titans and giant deities like Rhea and Cronos. The latter married his sister Rhea, an inter-family tactic found in many ancient religions. Cronos kills his father to free himself and take power and then he eats his children as they are born. Rhea delivers him a swaddled package, supposedly his last child. But it was only a stone that Cronos swallowed. Rhea hid his son Zeus in Crete.
Why do the gods of Olympus have a very human form? Every God in mythology has a singular function on earth for men but they all have a human form. This is the only way to pass on divinity in the soul of men on earth forever. This is something that we do not see in Egyptian worship with animal forms but that we see in the Christian religion for example.
The Gods of Olympus represent human life on earth. The Gods are a representation of man in fact with the impulsiveness of man. They have conflicts with each other. They have a tormented life and they live intrigues as in men. They represent the life of humanity. They decide the fate of men, who do not need to be righteous in their lives. Men, however, must look at themselves in relation to the Gods. The gods may be impressed by a man who performs an extraordinary feat. However, he could make mistakes and choose a false path in his life without being judged for it.
The myth of races in Greek mythology. Man has always considered himself part of the Cosmos. It had no overriding place on earth. According to Hesiodo, four races of successive human beings were distinguished, in which the existence, at first ideal, gradually deteriorates. During the golden race, men were good and righteous and were therefore protected by the Gods but they mysteriously disappeared to make way for the silver race that will no longer experience a heavenly life but a life full of pain as they went along that it matures. Arrogant, she doesn’t even pay homage to Zeus. The bronze race is warrior and disappears on its own and then the iron race appears. It represents men as they are today: peoplewho fight for their cities but who are also becoming more and more individualistic. Evil is then everywhere present.
Prometheus is a titan between Gods and Men. He is the son of one of Ouranos’ sons. It was Prometheus who created man on earth with pieces of clay. He, too, gave the men the fire of Olympus. Zeus never forgave him. He tied it to a rock on Mount Caucasus and his liver was devoured every day by eagles.
The role of women in ancient Greece? A mysogin society exists in Athens. The woman is, however, the indispensable “Kalon kakon” in other words, a beautiful devil. If Athena, born of the head of Zeus, goddess of wisdom, military strategy and professionals is exemplary and protects the Greek capital from the same name Athens, this is not the case of Aphrodite, daughter of Zeus and the goddess Dione. The latter illustrates all that is fatal in women. It blinds men with its irresistible beauty. And then the God Hephaistos facetoned with his hands with clay the human
. She was the first woman on earth that Zeus indirectly sent to make life difficult for men. She opened a cell box sent by the Gods out of curiosity. All the evils of humanity were spread throughout the universe except Hope, which remained in the box for its side both positive and negative.
Heroes become immortal. Heracles or Hercules is the son of Zeus and a human! In: Alcmene daughter of a Mycenaean king. Heracles symbolizes the righteous and brave man. He is the most famous hero in Greek mythology. The most well-known story “The 12 Works” show the bravery of this man in the face of the difficulties posed to him by the world of men and gods. Deserving of all his adventures surpassed with exemplary physical and psychic strength, he becomes immortal and goes to live in Olympus. Heracles reminds us of Jesus, in the Christian religion.
Did the Greeks believe in inevitability? Yes, he believed it. Moreover, in Greek mythology, the Moires, the three deities of fate draw the fate of a person. Clotho stitifies the thread of life, Lachésis repairs it and Atropos the relentless can cut it. Oedipus is also the symbol of inevitability when he marries his mother and kills his father. But, on the other hand, Man was able to trace his destiny. It was this ambiguity that the ancient Greeks loved. If the human was making a mistake, it was never the fault of the Gods.
How did we love the gods? The first Olympian gods appeared in the Mycenaean period already (1500 BC. JC.). Temples in shrines (Hiera or places protected by the Gods) are built throughout the Hellenic territory to worship the Gods. Sacrifices and offerings are made to obtain the grace of the Gods. And, they’re still here to talk in us. Thousands of visitors over the past 3,000 years have come to ancient shrines. Zeus, Prometheus and Demeter are adored in 700 cities. Each region and every profession or activity was crowned by a protective god. Inside the great Greek temples, a giant statue of the God in gold and ivory stood, as for example Athena at the Parthenon on the Acropolis of ATHENS.
The behavior of men in the face of the Gods. The gods were immortal. They had power and knowledge. They could take the human form whenever they wanted. Man had to respect the gods and should not offend them. One inescapable thing is that men should not feel and behave as superior to the Gods otherwise they are tickled. While humans must always control their emotions and feelings. They had to constantly choose between good and evil. They always had to fight against their destiny.
THE 12 GOD OF OLYMPE
Zeus (or Jupiter) is the god of Heaven and ruler of the gods of Olympus. Its main temples are in Dodone, Epire, and Olympia, where the Olympic Gamesare celebrated in his honour every 4 years. He is the youngest son of the titans Cronos and Rhea, and the brother of the deities Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter and Hera.
According to one of the myths about his birth, Cronos, fearing being dethroned by his children, swallowed them at birth. Zeus is saved by his mother, Rhea, who hides him in Crete, where he is fed milk from the Amalthea goat and raised by nymphs.
As an adult, he forces Cronos to return his other children, who will take revenge on their father. From then on, Zeus reigns over the sky and the universe. His brothers, Poseidon and Hades, were charged with the sea and the underworld. The land is ruled by the three brothers. In Homer’s writings, Zeus is described as the god of justice and forgiveness, the father of many gods and heroes (born from relationships with mortals).
It seems that the later legends try to show Zeus in a more pleasant light. The most famous of the statues depicting him, carved by Phidias, in gold and ivory, is erected in Olympia. HERA: Hera (or Junon) is the queen of the gods, daughter of the titans Cronos and Rhea, sister and wife of Zeus. Goddess of Marriage and protector of married women, she is the mother of Ares, god of war, Hephaestus, god of Fire, Hebe, goddess of Youth, and Ilithyie, goddess of Birth. This jealous woman persecutes Zeus’ mistresses and their children. Vexed by the Trojan prince Pâris who preferred her Aphrodite, she helped the Greeks in the Trojan War.
Heracles, son of Zeus and Alcmene, is Hercules for the Romans
He acceded to immortality after doing the twelve works ordered by Eurystheus, king of Tyrinth
Athena (or Minerva) came out as an adult and armed from Zeus’ forehead.
Goddess of Greek cities, industry and the arts, its main temple is located in Athens. But above all she is the goddess of Wisdom and War. Athena was the main backer of the Greek camp during the Trojan War. But after the fall of Troy, when the Greeks forgot to respect the right of asylum of his altar, she ordered Poseidon to cause the storms that destroyed most of the Greek ships returning from the war.
Demeter (or Ceres) is the goddess of Fertility, the mother goddess of the earth. She is best known for her daughter Persephone, born of her love affair with Zeus, who is abducted by Hades in the world of Hell. Her mother wanders the world day and night, consumed by anguish and sadness.
Hermes (or Mercury) is the messenger of the gods and the God of commerce, son of Zeus and Maia. He is known for his winged sandals, symbols of his velocity. This multiple god accompanies the souls of the dead to the kingdom of Hades and possesses magical powers over sleep and dreams. A God of Commerce and Itinerant Professions, he also protects travellers and traders. He is also god of Athletes, god of Luck and Wealth.
Poseidon (or Neptune) is the god of the sea, son of Cronos and Rhea, brother of Zeus and Hades. He is the father of several children famous for their cruelty such as the giant Orion and the Cyclops Polyphemus. Glaucos , son of Poseidon and marine deity would have given the inhabitants of his island the gift of being able to dive to the bottom of the sea by holding their breath for very long moments.
Poseidon plays a big role in Greek myths and legends. In particular, he unsuccessfully sat for control of Athens in Athena.
(or Venus in Roman mythology) is the goddess of Love and Beauty. In Homer’s Iliad, she is the daughter of Zeus and Dione. She is also the wife of Hephaestus, the god of Fire. The most well-known legend refers to the Trojan War. Eris, goddess of Discord, furious at not having been invited to the wedding of King Peleus and the nymph of the sea Thetis, throws out of spite a golden apple in the banquet hall with the inscription “To the most beautiful! ». Zeus refuses to choose between Hera, Athena and Aphrodite who ask Oris, Prince of Troy, to be the judge. The unfortunate chooses Aphrodite who promised him, in exchange, the most beautiful woman in the world. He claims Helen of Troy, wife of the Greek king Menelaus, abducts her and provokes… The Trojan War.
Apollo was the son of Zeus and Leto, as was his sister Artemis, who was born on the infertile island of Delos. He is the god of Light and Music. This magnificent figure multiplies love with nymphs and mortals. Daphne, one of the few who did not give in to her, turns into a laurel to escape her. He had many children, among them Orpheus
Artemis (or Diane), daughter of Zeus and Leto, is the twin sister of Apollo. Goddess of Hunting and Childbirth, she prevented the Greeks from embarking on the Trojan War until they sacrificed her a young virgin, Iphigenia, saved just before the sacrifice . She is accompanied by nymphs and dogs who live with her in the forest. She’s the goddess of the island of LEROS
Hestia (or Vesta) is the virgin goddess of the Foyer, the eldest daughter of the titans Cronos and Rhea. It is mentioned very little in myths but most cities had a public home where its sacred fire burned
Helios is the God of the Sun. Clymené is a nymph and the daughter of Helios.
Eris is the goddess of discord
Hades (or Pluto) is the god of the Dead. He is the son of the titans Cronos and Rhea, the brother of Zeus and Poseidon. When the three brothers share the universe after overthrowing Cronos, Hades receives the underworld.
Hephaestus (or Vulcan), son of Zeus and Hera is the god of Fire, Metallurgy and Art. His studio is located in Limnos. His arms are strong while his legs are atrophied. He would be lame because of his father: one day when Zeus and Hera were fighting, he would have supported his mother. In anger, Zeus allegedly grabbed him by the leg and rushed him from Olympus. Unless he was born lame and, consumed by shame, Hera herself decided to hide his birth by throwing him from Olympus. It is said that, in order to redeem himself in the face of Hephaestos, Zeus decided to give him Aphrodite as his wife.
With his queen, Persephone, whom he took from the world from above, he reigns over the kingdom of the dead. This subterranean worldis divided into two regions : the Erebe, where the dead pass immediately after their death, and the Tartarus, the deepest region, guarded by Cerberus, the three-headed, dragon-tailed dog.
Dionysus (or Bachus), son of Semele, who died during his pregnancy because of Hera’s jealousy, is saved by his father Zeus who seizes the child, opens his thigh and places it there until he can be born eventually, far from Hera’s jealousy. When the day of birth arrives, Zeus breaks the stitches and gives birth to his son. Dionysus is the god of wine. His cult is linked to wine, to dance and leads man to depart from principles.