Friday, June 5

Obsessed with Greek Mythology

Hi friends,

I'm enjoying my stint as a freelance English Language trainer. (Hell, I LOVE teaching man!!) It gives me time to do nothing, and also the time to enjoy doing what I want. Cheers to happiness and satisfaction!!

I'm relishing and greedily devoring page after page of New Moon these days... Gosh, now alongwith Edward, I think I'm in love with Jacob as well. LOL.... But hey, I’m also finding myself very interested in Greek mythology. (Of course our Mahabharata and Ramayana are wonderful stories, but the tales of the Greeks sound fascinating, too.)

I was deliberating whether or not to do a section on Greek history as I realized I did not have much to add to the names and descriptions. But hey, a blog is a blog is a blog. (Whatever that means!)

So, I decided to do a post (more than three actually) on Greek history. My sources are
Wikipedia (obviously) and another site wholly dedicated to this topic called Greek Gods Info. Hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed analyzing and compiling!

Greek mythology has exerted an extensive influence on the culture, the arts, and the literature of Western civilization. Archaeological evidence is the major source of detail about Greek mythology. The oldest known Greek literary sources are the epic poems Iliad and Odyssey that focus on events surrounding the Trojan War.

Most events are not sequentially described, and hence, in order to comprehend the universe and the origin of the world, myths of origin or "creation myths" are explained. The most widely accepted version today is reported by Hesiod, in his Theogony. He begins with a yawning nothingness termed Chaos, out of which emerged Eurynome, Gê or Gaia (the Earth) and some other divine beings like Eros (Love), the Abyss (the Tartarus), and the Erebus.

Without male assistance, Gaia gave birth to Uranus (the Sky) who then fertilized her. The Titans were born from this; six males - Coeus, Crius, Cronus, Hyperion, Iapetus, Oceanus, and six females - Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Rhea, Theia, Themis, and Tethys. They were followed by the one-eyed Cyclopes and the Hecatonchires or Hundred-Handers. Cronus ("the wily, youngest and most terrible of Gaia's children") castrated his father and became the ruler of the gods with his sister-wife Rhea as his spouse.

Cronus had deceived his father, and he feared that his offspring would do the same. Gripped by this insecurity, he ate up every baby Rhea delivered. The forlorn mother tricked him by hiding her newborn son, Zeus, and wrapping a stone in a baby's blanket, which Cronus ate. Zeus grew up and he once fed his father a drugged glass of something that caused Cronus to vomit, throwing up Rhea's other children and the stone, which had been sitting in Cronus' stomach all this while.

Zeus challenged Cronus to war for the kingship of the gods. Obviously, Zeus and his siblings were victorious, while Cronus and the Titans were hurled down to imprisonment. Unfortunately, the story wasn’t over yet, and the insecurity manifested itself. Zeus was plagued by the same concern as Cronus and things got worse when a prophecy stated that the offspring of his first wife, Metis, would give birth to a god greater than Zeus. Zeus swallowed his wife, already pregnant with a girl Athene, and Athene magically burst forth from his head — fully-grown and dressed for war.

I am a little lost about the events that took place after this. However, according to Classical-era mythology, the Titans were overthrown and the new pantheon of gods and goddesses was confirmed. Among the principal Greek gods were the Olympians, other gods of the countryside, and there also existed the dark powers of the underworld.

The Olympian gods were majestically and democratically dwelling on Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece, built by the Cyclops. The leader of the Olympian gods was Zeus. The Gods had many fantastic abilities like they were unaffected by disease, and could be wounded only under highly unusual circumstances. Immortality is considered the distinctive characteristic of these gods; this immortality and their unfading youth, was insured by the constant use of nectar and ambrosia which renewed the divine blood in their veins.

Each god has a different lineage, pursues differing interests, has a certain area of expertise, and is governed by a unique personality. All Olympian Gods had some human weaknesses and were obliged to take full responsibility of their actions.

Now comes the ambiguous part - Greek myths always refer to the twelve Gods of Mount Olympus, but in total there were fourteen Olympian Gods in Greek Mythology (never more than twelve at one time). The four alternative gods were Hestia, Hades, Dionysus and Demeter. Do you know the other Olympians??

They are Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Athena, Hera, Hermes, Hephaestus, Poseidon and Zeus.

Be back soon with more details!


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