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

Ceres statue

In Greek mythology Demeter (/dəˈmtər/ də-MEE-tər; Greek: Δημήτηρ, Dēmētēr, probably "earth-mother") was the goddess of the harvest, who presided over grains, the fertility of the earth, the seasons (personified by the Hours), and the harvest. Though Demeter is often described simply as the goddess of the harvest, she presided also over the sanctity of marriage, the sacred law, and the cycle of life and death. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that also predated the Olympian pantheon. Her Roman cognate is Ceres.

According to the Athenian rhetorician Isocrates, the greatest gifts which Demeter gave were cereal (also known as corn in modern Britain), the cultivation of which made man different from wild animals; and the Mysteries which give the initiate higher hopes in this life and the afterlife. In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, dated to about the seventh century BC. she is invoked as the "bringer of seasons", a subtle sign that she was worshipped long before she was made one of the Olympians. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that also predated the Olympian pantheon.

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Io
Artist: John Hoppner

In Greek mythology, Io was the daughter of Inachus, a river god.

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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 Greeks 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

Orion constellation

Orion (Greek: Ὠρίων or Ωαρίων, Latin: Orion) was a giant huntsman of Greek mythology whom Zeus placed among the stars as the constellation of Orion.

Ancient sources tell several different stories about Orion. There are two major versions of his birth and several versions of his death. The most important recorded episodes are his birth somewhere in Boeotia, his visit to Chios where he met Merope and was blinded by her father, Oenopion, the recovery of his sight at Lemnos, his hunting with Artemis on Crete, his death by the bow of Artemis or of the giant scorpion which became Scorpio, and his elevation to the heavens. Most ancient sources omit some of these episodes and several tell only one. These various incidents may originally have been independent, unrelated stories and it is impossible to tell whether omissions are simple brevity or represent a real disagreement.

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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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Greek mythology topics

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