Greek Mythology

Information about Greek Mythology

Published on April 20, 2010

Author: labyrinth



THE UNDERWORLD : THE UNDERWORLD Underworld : Underworld hidden in the earth kingdom of the dead ruled by the Olympian Hades and his Queen, Persephone also called “Hades” Homer’s View : Homer’s View a place of shadows nothing there was completely real existence of spirits was a bad dream Virgil’s View a place where the wicked were punished; the good rewarded geographic details: the five rivers Geographical Features : Geographical Features The Five Rivers physical barriers between the underworld and the mortal realm Acheron – river of lamentation Cocytus – river of woe Lethe – river of forgetfulness Phlegethon – river of fire Styx – river of unbreakable oath 2 Divisions : 2 Divisions Erebus – where the dead pass as a soon as they die Tartarus – deeper; also the entire lower region - a place for the wicked where they were punished - those who offended the gods were condemned of everlasting torture Elysian Fieldsor Elysium : Elysian Fieldsor Elysium closest to what most people consider “heaven” to be like where the good and great lived after their deaths, men such as heroes, poets, priests, and those who had helped others; a dwelling place of mortals made immortal through the favor of the gods a wonderful place where everything is delightful Rulers and Guardians : Rulers and Guardians Hades third brother among the Olympians; ruler of the Underworld King of the Dead – not Death himself also called Pluto, the God of wealth, of the precious metals hidden in the earth had a far-famed helmet of invisibility rarely visit Olympus or the earth, nor was urged to do so; not a welcomed visitor Persephone : Persephone daughter of Zeus and Demeter wife of Hades; Queen of the Underworld carried off by Hades to the Underworld by force helped the judges and Hades in cases when the sides were balanced could influence change in Hades’ final decisions would argue for a more merciful ruling Charon : Charon aged ferryman who brings all dead souls to the land the dead waited at his boat at the edge of the river Styx had to be paid for his services with the toll or the coin Cerberus : Cerberus the three-headed dragon-tailed dog who guards the gate to Tartarus thought to be born to Echidne, a half-woman, half-serpent, and Typhon, the most fierce of all creatures allowed spirits to enter, but let not any leave he had the task of eating any mortals who attempted to enter and any spirits who attempted to escape vicious but can be tricked Judges: Rhadamanthus, Minos, and Aeacus : Judges: Rhadamanthus, Minos, and Aeacus sat in judgment on those who entered the Underworld Rhadamanthus and Minos were brothers, the sons of Zeus and Europa Aeacus, son of Zeus and Aegina When the three died, because of their great wisdom and worthy lives they were assigned to judge the newly dead as they entered The Erinyes (Furies) : The Erinyes (Furies) their origin that is not completely known punishers of evildoers their number is in dispute; thethree leaders were Alecto, Tisiphone, and Magaera Sleep and Death (Hypnos and Thanatos) : Sleep and Death (Hypnos and Thanatos) were twin brothers Thanatos was a personification of death itself once shown as a fierce personage, but later on, a beautiful young man Hypnos, personification of sleep Gods of the Earth : Gods of the Earth Earth : Earth called All-Mother, but not a divinity; identified with the actual earth and never personified Two Great Gods of Earth Demeter (Ceres) and Dionysus (Bacchus) were the supreme deities of the earth Demeter is Goddess of Corn; Dionysus is God of Wine Other divinities : Other divinities Pan son of Hermes and Penelope god of flocks and sheperds mostly human in appearance but, with goat horns and goat feet an excellent musician; gay companion of the woodland nymphs always rejected because he is ugly basis for the word “panic”; as he created the noises in the woods at night that scared travelers Silenus : Silenus referred to as Pan’s son; at times, his brother a merry fat old man who rode on an ass since he was too drunk to walk teacher of the young Dionysus; later became the Wine-god’s follower Castor and Pollux twin brothers, sons of Leda; protector of sailors Dioscouri, “sons of Zeus” patrons of horses part of the constellation Gemini Satyrs : Satyrs half-man and half-goat nature entities that roamed wild places and companions of Pan and Dionysus lovers of wine; always ready for physical pleasure elder satyrs were called Sileni art: represented in Drama often shown in vases Slide 19: The Dryads and Oreads were the beautiful nymphs of trees and mountains a nymph’s life was bound up with that of her tree Aeolus and the Four Winds son of Poseidon; god of the winds kept winds in vast caves in the island of Aeolia, his home Four winds: Boreas (Aquilo) the North Wind, Zephyr (Favonius) the West Wind, Notus (Auster) the South Wind, Eurus the East Wind Centaurs : Centaurs part human, part horse; followers of Dionysus well-known for drunkenness; savage creatures one of them, Chiron was set apart for his goodness and wisdom Gorgons monstrous feminine creatures whose look would turn men to stone there were three:Euryale ("far-roaming"), Sthenno ("forceful"), and Medusa ("ruler"), the only one of them who was mortal Graiae : Graiae three old, gray, and blind sisters have one collective eye guarded the realm of the Gorgons Sirens with a head of a female and the body of a bird lived on an island, Sirenum scopuli their enchanting voices lured mariners to their destruction The Fates : The Fates were old and predate the gods have the awesome power of deciding a man’s destiny there are three:Clotho, the Spinner, who spins the thread of life Lachesis, the Disposer of Lots Atropos, she who cannot be turned, who at death with her shears cuts the thread of life. THE ROMAN GODS : THE ROMAN GODS Slide 24: The Romans believed in many different gods and goddesses. For everything imaginable they had a god or goddess in charge. Indeed, they had hundreds of different gods. This entire collection of all their gods was called the Pantheon, also the name of the temple dedicated to all the gods. May not be as imaginative as the Greeks but highly-superstitious “A strange mix” : “A strange mix” When Rome grew into a city and came in contact with the Greeks, its people found that there was a Latin and Greek god for one and the same thing. Thus, Roman gods were of Latin and Greek influences. Slide 27: Roman gods before contact with Greeks were vague, only referred to as “those that are above”. These were the Numina- Powers or the Wills Even with the saturation of Greek culture, the Romans remained a practical people. Function over Form. No stories on the Numina, yet men’s daily affairs are closely connected with them Household Gods : Household Gods Lares and Penates- most revered Lar - spirit of an ancestor Penates, gods of the hearth and guardians of the storehouse protectors and defenders of the entire household never worshipped in temples, only in homes offered with some of the food at each meal there were also public Lares and Penates Slide 29: Terminus – Guardian of the Boundaries Priapus – Cause of Fertility Pales – Strengthener of the Cattle Sylvanus – Helper of the Plowman and Woodcutters Everything important to the farm was under the care of a god, believed to have no definite shape. Slide 30: Saturn originally one of the Numina Protector of the Sowers of the Seeds his wife Ops, the Harvest Helper said to be the same as the Greek Cronus ruling god of the Golden Age worshipped in a winter festival called the Saturnalia Janus also one of the Numina; the god of good beginnings his main temple in Rome ran east to west the month January was derived Slide 31: Faunus Saturn’s grandson; a Roman Pan a prophet and spoke to men in their dreams the Fauns were Roman satyrs The Manes spirits of the good dead in Hades generally regarded as divine and worshipped The Lemures or Larvae spirits of the wicked dead; greatly feared Slide 32: The Camenae once practical goddesses who cared for springs and wells, healed illnesses, and foretold the future upon the coming of the Greek gods, they were identified with the impractical Muses Lucina referred to as the goddess of childbirth; an epithet of both Juno and Diana Pomona and Vertumnus were once Numina Powers Protecting Orchards and Gardens were later personified; fell in love with each other BIBLIOGRAPHY : BIBLIOGRAPHY Hamilton, Edith. Greek Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes. Grand Central Publishing New York, USA.1999

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