Portal:Greek mythology

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The Greek mythology Portal

Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They are a part of religion in Greece. Modern scholars refer to the myths and study them in an attempt to throw light on the religious and political institutions of Ancient Greece, its civilization, and to gain understanding of the nature of myth-making itself.

Greek mythology is embodied explicitly in a large collection of narratives and implicitly in representational arts, such as vase-paintings and votive gifts. Greek myth explains the origins of the world and details the lives and adventures of a wide variety of gods, goddesses, heroes, heroines, and other mythological creatures. These accounts initially were disseminated in an oral-poetic tradition; today the Greek myths are known primarily from Greek literature.

The oldest known Greek literary sources, the epic poems Iliad and Odyssey, focus on events surrounding the Trojan War. Two poems by Homer's near contemporary Hesiod, the Theogony and the Works and Days, contain accounts of the genesis of the world, the succession of divine rulers, the succession of human ages, the origin of human woes, and the origin of sacrificial practices. Myths also are preserved in the Homeric Hymns, in fragments of epic poems of the Epic Cycle, in lyric poems, in the works of the tragedians of the fifth century BC, in writings of scholars and poets of the Hellenistic Age and in texts from the time of the Roman Empire by writers such as Plutarch and Pausanias.

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Selected article

NAMA Triade éleusinienne.jpg

The Eleusinian Mysteries (Greek: Ἐλευσίνια Μυστήρια) were initiation ceremonies held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at Eleusis in ancient Greece. Of all the mysteries celebrated in ancient times, these were held to be the ones of greatest importance. These myths and mysteries, begun in the Mycenean period (c. 1600 BC) and lasting two thousand years, were a major festival during the Hellenic era, later spreading to Rome. The name of the town, Eleusís, is a variant of the noun έλευσις, éleusis, arrival.

The rites, ceremonies, and beliefs were kept secret, as initiation was believed to unite the worshipper with the gods and included promises of divine power and rewards in the afterlife. There are many paintings and pieces of pottery that depict various aspects of the Mysteries. Since the Mysteries involved visions and conjuring of an afterlife, some scholars believe that the power and longevity of the Eleusinian Mysteries came from psychedelic agents.

The Mysteries seem to be related to a myth concerning Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and fertility as recounted in one of the Homeric Hymns (c. 650 B.C.).

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Gods and goddesses

Athena statue

Athena, also referred to as Pallas Athena (/ˈpæləs/; Παλλάς Αθηνά), is the goddess of civilization, wisdom, strength, strategy, craft, justice and skill in Greek mythology. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is also a shrewd companion of heroes and the goddess of heroic endeavour. She is the virgin patron of Athens. The Athenians built the Parthenon on the Acropolis of her namesake city, Athens, in her honour (Athena Parthenos).

Athena's cult as the patron of Athens seems to have existed from quite early times and was so persistent that archaic myths about her were recast to adapt to cultural changes. The Greek philosopher, Plato (429–347 BC), identified her with the Libya deity, Neith, the war-goddess and huntress deity of the Egyptians since the ancient predynastic period, also identified with weaving. This is sensible as some Greeks identified Athena's birthplace, in certain mythological renditions, as being beside Libya's Triton River. Classicist Martin Bernal created the "Black Athena Theory" to explain this associated origin by claiming that the conception of Neith was brought over to Greece from Egypt with "an enormous number of features of civilization and culture in the third and second millennia."

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Selected picture

Pallas Athena by Klimt
Artist: Gustav Klimt

Pallas Athena by Gustav Klimt. Athena, goddess of strength, was one of the twelve Olympians.

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Did you know ...

The Olympians gods consist of two generations:
The children of the Titans (Children of Gaia-Earth) Cronos and Rhea:

  • Hestia (goddess of the hearth, architecture)
  • Demeter (agricultural goddess)
  • Hera (The queen of the gods and the wife and sister of Zeus)
  • Hades (the god of the underworld)
  • Poseidon (the god of the sea)
  • Zeus (the king of gods,the ruler of Olympus. He declared war on his father and the titans. His mother, Rhea helped him to be victorious...)

The second generation of gods are the children of Zeus:

  • Apollo (god identified with the sun, protector of poetry, music and balance)
  • Athena (the goddess of wisdom and war)
  • Persephone (she is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, and goddess of springtime)
  • Artemis (identified with the moon, Apollo's twin sister,goddess of hunting, animals and wild nature)
  • Hephaestus (the god of fire and metalworking)
  • Ares(the god of war and violence)
  • Hermes (messenger of gods and also the god of thieves)
  • Dionysus (the god of wine, and madness)

*Aphrodite is not the daughter of Zeus. She was formed from the blood of Uranus.

  • When Zeus became the king of gods in place of his father, he made Cronos a fugitive of nature. He became a fugitive in Italy. He gathered some men and they describe his reign to be the golden age.
  • Hermes Is the son of Zeus and Maia the daughter of Atlas. the Greek call him Hermes ,which means the messenger. Also, in Latin he is called Mercure,from "Merces" ,which means merchandise. The Romans dedicated 15 May a day for him to honour him.
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Heroes

Achilles

In Greek mythology, Achilles (Ancient Greek: Ἀχιλλεύς) was a Greek hero of the Trojan War, the central character and the greatest warrior of Homer's Iliad. Later legends (beginning with a poem by Statius in the first century AD) state that Achilles was invulnerable in all of his body except for his heel. Since he died due to an arrow shot into his heel, the "Achilles' heel" has come to mean a person's principal weakness.

Achilles was the son of the nymph Thetis and Peleus, the king of the Myrmidons. Zeus and Poseidon had been rivals for the hand of Thetis until Prometheus, the fire-bringer, warned Zeus of a prophecy that Thetis would bear a son greater than his father. For this reason, the two gods withdrew their pursuit, and had her wed Peleus.

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Legendary creatures

Cyclops

In Greek mythology and later Roman mythology, a cyclops (/ˈsklɒps/; Greek: Κύκλωψ, Kuklōps), is a member of a primordial race of giants, each with a single eye in the middle of its forehead. The classical plural is cyclopes (pronounced /sˈklpz/; Greek: Κύκλωπες, Kuklōpes), though the conventional plural cyclopses is also used in English. The name is widely thought to mean "circle-eyed".

Hesiod described one group of cyclopes and the epic poet Homer described another, though other accounts have also been written by the playwright Euripides, poet Theocritus and Roman epic poet Virgil. In Hesiod's Theogony, Zeus releases three Cyclopes, the sons of Uranus and Gaia, from the dark pit of Tartarus. They provide Zeus' thunderbolt, Hades' helmet of invisibility, and Poseidon's trident, and the gods use these weapons to defeat the Titans.

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Categories

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Greek mythology topics

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