Greek Myth

Sejak SMP dulu saya begitu freak dengan kisah-kisah mitologi Yunani. Mungkin ada pengaruhnya sama film-film saat itu lagi ngetrend : hercules & xena.  Sejak saat itu dikumpulkan lah berbagai cerita tentang mitologi Yunani. Ini klipping dari entah kapan.

In their effort to explain and understand the universe and nature, the ancient Greeks invented stories, known as mythology. Those tales explained all things through the stories of Gods who were personifications of forces of nature or different aspects of social life. Those gods had frailties of human (greed, jealousy, anger, etc…) as well as superhuman powers. They could be fair to each one and to human as well as extremely wrong and incalculable. Greece mythology gods were archetypes which represented idealized aspects of the complex human psyche.

Here are some of the basics, most famousgreece mythology figures, in an attempt to explain the mythological background ofGreece, precious to every visitor whishing to see and understandGreece’s ancient sites.

The Gods of Mount Olympus

He is the first Greek god, dark abyss from which all things came to life. He is the father of Hearth, the goddess Gaea.
Mother Earth, daughter of the god Chaos, she gave birth, alone, to Ourea (mountains), Pontus (sea) and Uranus, Father Heaven, which she loved; from they union were born the Titans, the Cyclopes and the Hecatonchires.
Uranus or Ouranos
Son of Gaea, he became her lover and her husband. Because, fearing the great powers of his children, he was hiding them in the depths of Gaea; she got angry and asks one of her sons, Cronus to help her delivered his brothers and sisters. Cronus hide during the night and cut of his father’ genitals and throw them. From the blood running from the wound on the earth (Gaea) were born the Erinyes (the Furies, avengers of wrong) and the Giants (monstrous giants who were buried underneath volcanoes, crating earth’s explosion and earthquakes). It is also said, in some versions of the mythology, that Cronus throws Uranus’ organs into the sea and from the foam they created was born the goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite.
The Cyclopes
Sons of Gaea and Uranus, Brontes, Steropes and Arges were giants, with a single eye in the middle of their foreheads; they were strong and violent and were skilled metal workers who made Zeus’ thunderbolts, Poseidon’s trident and Hades’ Helmet of Darkness. They were kept prisoners deep within Gaea by their father, Uranus, who hated all his children. When Cronus, a Titan, defeated Uranus, he first freed his brothers the Cyclopes but then, fearing to lost his power, he send them into Tartarus (place of punishment in the underworld). The Cyclopes were freed by Zeus and helped him to destroyed the Titans, in the Titanomachy; to thanks them, Zeus took them with him to stay in Olympus where they became helpers of Hephaestus.
The second generation of Cyclopes were the sons of the god of the sea, Posseidon, and were living in Sicily; the most famous is Polyphemus, blinded by Odysseus who tried to escape (the Cyclope has imprisoned Odysseus and his men). Poseidon, enraged by Odysseus’ action, avenged his son by sinking Odysseus’ ship and drowning all his men.
The Titans
Personifications of the forces of nature, the Titans were twelve giants (six sons and six daughters), children of Gaea and Uranus. Each son married and had children with one of his sisters: Coeus with Phoebe, Crius with Mnemosyne (personification of memory, seduced by Zeus), Hyperion with Theia, Oceanus with Tethys and Cronus with Rhea. Lapetus and Themis didn’t marry one another but Themis was loved by her nephew, Zeus, and Lapetus married the nymph Clymene (daughter of Oceanus and Thetys).
Coeus and Phoebe
They gave birth to Leto and Asteria (Stars). Phoebe owned the oracle atDelphi, before giving it to Apollon, her grandson.
Lapetus and Clymene
Their sons were Atlas (the famous God bearing heavens upon his shoulders), Menoetius, Prometheus (the famous god, who stole the fire from the gods and, for that, was chained in the Caucasus for eternity where an eagle was eating his liver, until Heracles freed him) and Epimetheus.
Themis and Zeus
One of the Titans, daughter of Uranus and Gaea, she is, by Zeus, mother of Horae ( Eunomia, good order, Dike, justice and Eirene, peace, goddesses of nature and order) and mother of the Moirae (Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, they were controlling and deciding for the fate of everyone).
Mnemosyne and Zeus
From her union with Zeus, Mnemosyne gave birth to the Muses (inspiration to all artists and engineers, they are Clio, muse of History, Urania, muse of Astronomy, Melpomene, muse of Tragedy, Thalia, muse of Comedy, Terpsichore, muse of Dance, Calliope, muse of Epic Poetry, Erato, muse of Love Poetry, Euterpe, muse of Lyric Poetry and Polyhymnia, muse of the Songs to the Gods).
Oceanus and Thetys
Oceanus is the personification of the ocean and with his wife, Thetys, he fathered the rivers and the river nymphs, the Oceanids (springs, ponds and lakes).
Cronus and Rhea
Cronus and Rhea are the most famous couple of the Titans. They gave birth to the first of the Olympians Gods, Demeter (the fertility goddess), Hades (god and Lord of the dead, ruler of the underworld), Hera (goddess of marriage and birth), Hestia (goddess of domestic life), Poseidon (god of the sea) and Zeus (supreme ruler of the Mount Olympus, kingdom of the gods).
Cronus, fearing to be overthrown by one of his children, swallowed all his newborns. Only Zeus escape, with the help of Gaea and his mother Rhea who gave to Cronus a stone wrapped in clothes to swallow instead of her child. Zeus was hidden in a cave inCrete. When he became adult, he return to his parents’ kingdom and killed his father, Cronus, making him disgorged all his brothers and sisters that he had swallowed.
The Hecatonchires
Sons of Uranus and Gaea, their names are Cottus, Briareus and Gyges. They were giants with 100 arms and 50 heads. They helped Zeus in the war against the Titans.
Lord of the heavens and king of all gods, Zeus is the most famous god of the Greek Mythology. He was worshiped everywhere in Greece and greek people loved and fear him.

He is the youngest son of Cronus and Rhea; because he is the supreme ruler he is represented as a personification of law, justice and morals, which made him the spiritual leader to gods and men. His weapon is a thunderbolt which he used against everyone who displeases him.

Zeus controlled thunder, lightning and rain, which made him being also a weather god.
Zeus is married to Hera but he is famous for its many infidelities to her, being the first and most infidel husband in history.

Lord of the sea, he is the second to Zeus in power amongst the gods. His weapon is a trident which he uses, when he is in great anger, to strike the ground, causing earthquakes, drowning and ship wrecks. He is a very moody and querulous divinity, often really violent, bursting into furious anger; however, sometimes he can be a real help to those who ask for it.
Similar to his brother, Zeus, Poseidon is objectifying masculinity, had many love affairs and fathered numerous children.
His first wife was married to the Nereid (nymphs of the sea) Amphitrite with whom he had a son, Triton, half-human and half-fish. Amphitrite was one of the fifty daughters born from the union of the ocean nymph, Doris (daughter of Oceanus and Thetys) and the Old Man of the Sea, Nereus (son ofPontus, son of Gaea). Poseidon’s other lovers were Medusa (one of the three Gorgons) with whom he conceived Chrysaor and Pegasus (a winged horse); he raped Caenis (who, after her rape, ask the god to transform her into an invincible man, Caeneus), Amymone and Aethra who gave birth to the famous Theseus (once King of Athens, Theseus is the hero who killed the Minotaur in Crete). Other children of Poseidon are Eumolpus, Polyphemus, Orion (a constellation have his name in honor of his hunting skills), King Amycus, Proteus (prophetic sea divinity), Agenor (father of Europa), Belus, Pelias and Busiris, the King of Egypt.
Zeus’ brother, he is the Lord of the underworld. Hades is a greedy and rich Greek god (from the precious metals mined from the earth). His symbols are a scepter and the helmet that the Cyclopes gave him to make him invisible whenever he wishes. Hades is assisting by various demoniac helpers such as Thanatos (personification of Death), Hypnos (twin brother of Thanatos, the winded personification of sleep), Charon (ferryman of the dead who take their souls in his boat to cross the river Acheron and pass to the other side, in the kingdom of Hades) and Cerberus (the three-headed dragon-tailed dog who guard the gates of the underworld). The ferocious Erinyes, avengers of the wrong, were his favorite guests.
Hades’ kingdom is divided into two regions: Erebus, where the souls of the dead come as soon as they die, and Tartarus, the deeper region.
Many heroes of the Greek mythology have descended to Hades’ kingdom, either to question him or the dead souls or trying to free some of them.
She is the eldest sister of Zeus, Greek goddess of the House, the domestic life; she is a virgin goddess and the gentlest and most charitable of all Olympians Gods.
She usually plays no part in Greek myths.
She is the sister and wife of Zeus. Queen of the Olympian Gods, she was also worshipped as a goddess of marriage and birth.
Zeus, after seducing her unsuccessfully, turned himself into an ill cuckoo; Hera took pity of the bird and put it to her breast to warm it; then Zeus, suddenly retook his proper shape and rape her. She married him to cover her shame.
Hera gave birth to Hephaestus (god of fire and volcanoes), Hebe (goddess of youth) and Ares (god of war).
Most mythological tales concerning Hera are about her jealousy of Zeus’s various infidelities. Whenever she discovered one of her husband’s love affairs, she would enter in great fury and rage and punished her rivals and their children. For that, Zeus invented different sort of stratagem to hide his lovers and illegitimate children.
Hera’s attributes are a diadem and a veil. She is described and portrayed as a majestic, solemn woman.
He is the god of war, very handsome and tall but also very cruel and bloodstained; nevertheless, he was quite a coward for whenever he ran into a battle bringing Pain, Panic, Oblivion and Famine and was hurt he would run to his father, Zeus, to be healed. Hera and Zeus were both quite disgusted of their son.
A myth says that he was caught by his kind brother, Hephaestus, in an act of adultery with his wife, the beautiful Aphrodite and made Aris look ridicule in public.
Athena, or Pallas-Athena, is the virgin greek goddess of wisdom, war, intelligent activity, justice, arts and literature; she is one of the most famous gods in Greek mythology.
She was born in a very original way: Zeus fell in love with Metis, a Titan of wisdom and knowledge, and after chasing her for a long time, he managed to love her. Metis become pregnant but an Oracle said to Zeus that her first child will be a girl but the second will be a boy and will overthrow Zeus, as had happened to his father Cronus and his grandfather Uranus. To avoid the prophecy, Zeus ate Metis (it is said that it is she who was the source of Zeus’s wisdom, giving him advices from his belly). After a wile, Zeus started to have huge headaches. Advised from Hermes, Hephaestus took a wedge and split open Zeus’s head.
Athena came out from it, fully armed and wearing her helmet. Because of her way of birth, she becomes the favorite child of Zeus, who was allowing her to use his weapons, including his thunderbolt.
Athena gave her name and became owner of the city of Athens after winning a contest
with Poseidon, in which she gave to the city, the gift of an olive tree, symbol of her and her city. Athena’s companion is the goddess of Victory, Nike, the owl is her attribute and she is wearing on her breast the protective device of the Aegis.
Apollo is the god of music (he delighted everyone with his performance at the golden lyre), the god of healing, the god of light and true, the Archer (he was a master in archer and en excellent athlete) and the god of prophecy (Delphi is dedicated to Apollo).
He is the son of Zeus and Leto (daughter of the Titans Phoebe and Coeus) and his twin sister is Artemis, goddess of hunting and wilderness. Mythology said that when Hera founded her husband’s infidelity with Leto, she forced Zeus’s lover to roam the earth to find somewhere to give birth; Hera had forbidden Leto to go anywhere on earth, on islands and sea; the only place for Leto to go was Delos, which was a floating island not considerate as part of Hera’s prohibitions. Leto gave birth to Apollo and Artemis; from then, Delos became one of the most important sanctuaries dedicated to Apollo.
Apollo’s tree was the laurel; his bird was the crow and his animal the dolphin.
Aphrodite, in greece mythology, is the goddess of love, desire, sex and beauty.
Two explanations exist about her birth: the first one said that she was born from Uranus’s genitals thrown by Cronus when he overthrew his father; foam (in Greek, aphros) came from the severed genitals and from it, Aphrodite aroused.
The second source about the goddess’s birth comes from Homer, who said that she is the daughter of Zeus and the goddess Dione.
After Aphrodite’s birth, Zeus, afraid that all the gods will fight for her, married her to Hephaestus who was the steadiest of the gods and who made, as a gift for his wife, a magic golden girdle; every time she wore it, no one could resist her.
Aphrodite had many lovers among both mortals and gods. Her most famous mortal lover was the extremely handsome Adonis.
Her sons are Eros (god of love and sexual desire, son of Aris), Anteros (god of return or opposite love who punishes those who doesn’t love back), Hymenaeus (son of Dionysus, god of marriage) and Aeneas (a Trojan hero, founder of Roman culture, son of Aphrodite’s Trojan lover Anchises).
Aphrodite’s tree is the myrtle; her birds are the dove, the swan and the sparrow. She is always accompanied by the three Graces, Aglaea (Splendor), Euphrosyne (Mirth) and Thalia (Good Cheer), who are the personifications of charm and beauty in nature and human life.
The Aphrodisiac festival was held in honor of the beautiful goddess in various parts ofGreece, especially inCorinth andAthens. During which the priestesses were having sexual intercourses with men to worship there goddess Aphrodite.
Hermes, in greece mythology, is the cleverest of all the Olympian Gods and Messenger of the gods; that is why he’s wearing winged golden sandals, a winged hat and a magic wand. He is the god of commerce and thieves, the guide to the souls of the dead to the underworld (psychopomp) and was the one who brought dreams to the mortals. He invented the lyre, the musical scale, astronomy and weights and measures. Hermes is the son of Zeus and the nymph Maia (one of the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione).
As many of the gods, Hermes also
had many love affairs with goddesses, nymphs and mortals.
Pan, half man half goat, was born of his union with Dryope (King Dryops’s daughter). Abderus is also Hermes’s son; he was the companion of the hero Heracles. Hermaphroditus was born from the union of Hermes and Aphrodite and was an androgynous deity.
Hermes was worshiped in the entireGreece, especially inArcadia; festivals made in his honour were called Hermoea.
Goddess of chastity, virginity, hunting and wilderness, Artemis is Apollo’s twin sister and daughter of Zeus and Leto. Like her brother, she hunts with silver arrows. She is associated with the moon.
When she was just a child, Artemis asked Zeus to give eternal virginity; all her companions, mostly nymphs (lovely female spirits of nature) were as well virgins. She was very protective of her and her friends’ purity and severely punished every man who tried to attempt or dishonour her and them.
The goddess was very possessive and punished with great anger and wrath everyone who disobeyed her wishes. The great king Agamemnon was one of her victims; after he killed one of her sacred deer, she stopped the wings when he wanted to live for the Trojan war; the only way for him to undo the spell was to sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia to the goddess; in the last minute, Artemis exchange the girl with one of her deer and took her to the land of the Taurus to serve her as a priestess.
One of her most elaborated temples was inEphesus.
Hephaestus is the god of fire, volcanoes and the forge, patron of all craftsmen; he is the kindest and the most peaceful of all the Olympian Gods. He is the son of Hera who conceived him without male fertilization, in response to Athena’s birth. Because he was ugly (the only god to be physically ugly), Hera threw him from Mount Olympus into the sea, breaking his legs (that is why he is lame); the nymphs saved him and took him to the island of Lesvos. When he grew up, Hephaestus, in an act of vengeance for his mother’s action, made her a golden chair; when Hera sat on it, she became prisoner of the chair. The other gods called Hephaestus to sent free Hera but he didn’t want to. Only when Zeus gave him Aphrodite, Hephaestus, from his joy, released his mother.
For he was the best craftsman, Hephaestus made wonderful items for the gods, helped by the Cyclopes, who were his assistants. Some of his works were Zeus’s thunderbolts and scepter, Athena’s aegis, Eros’s arrows, the golden chariot of the sun god Helios and the invincible armor of the hero Achilles. He also helped to create the first woman, Pandora (all gifts), a gift from Zeus against Prometheus (for his race only included male gender) who released from a supernatural jar the evil of the world on mankind...


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