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Greek Mythology

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What is Greek Mythology? a collection of myths and legends that

Greeks used to explain their world They are fictional but Greeks believed

them to be true.

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The Greeks and Their Beliefs

The Greeks loved life. They believed in living life to the fullest,

because death was going to happen whether you wanted it to or not.

The only response to death was to make a mark on the world. Be a legend…be grandiose.

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Continued: The Greeks & Their Beliefs

The Greeks had many gods. Because the Olympian gods mirrored the

Greeks, they were heavily flawed. Because the Greeks focused on being

grandiose, the Olympian gods were mostly portrayed as physically strong, beautiful and intelligent.

The same applies to the heroes in their legends and myths.

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The World according to the Greeks

Both good and evil comes from the gods.

Heroes and monsters came from the gods.

This idea has influenced many religions that came after.

Many of the conflicts that are portrayed in the myths are between family members.

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The gods and goddesses of Mt. Olympus

Mt. Olympus was the largest mountain in Greece. It was the home of the gods and goddesses.

Gods and goddesses were immortal, they could not die.

No humans were allowed on top of Mt. Olympus, but the Olympians were allowed on Earth.

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Chief god Lord of sky God of thunder &

lightening Married his sister

Hera Populated the

heavens and the Earth

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Wife and sister of Zeus

Goddess of marriage, protector of childbirth & heroes

Portrayed as extremely jealous and vindictive

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God of the sea, horses and earthquakes

Lives in a palace beneath the ocean

Carries a three-pronged trident

Gave people the horse Married a sea nymph

named Amphitrite Like his brother, he

fathered many children.

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god of the underworld and the dead

god of wealth Owned all of

the precious metal on Earth

Wore a cap that made him invisible

Kidnapped his niece and made her his wife

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Demeter means “Barley-mother”

Another name for her is Ceres, from the word cereal

Goddess of the cornfield, mistress of planting and harvesting, lady of growing things

She had a son and a daughter. Her daughter’s name was Persephone.

Her daughter was kidnapped by Hades. (reasons for the seasons)

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• Zeus’ third sister• goddess of hearth family and home• her only job was to keep the fire lit in the hearth on Mt. Olympus

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All of Zeus’ children Zeus had eight children on Olympus The twins: Apollo and Artimis Athena Hephaestus Hermes Ares Dionysus Aphrodite (not really Zeus child, but he

took her in)

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god of light, music and poetry

most beautiful god also the god of

medicine taught people the

art of healing fine marksman could predict the


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goddess of hunting, wild things, unmarried girls and the moon

She decided never to marryOnce when she was bathing under the moonlight a human was watching her. She threw rain drops on him and changed him into a stag. Then she had him killed by his own dogs.

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Zeus’ favorite goddess of wisdom,

strategy, protector of cities and civilizations

goddess of handicrafts and artShe sprang from her father’s head fully clothed and in armor. Hephaestus, Zeus’ son, had to release Athena by cutting his head open with an ax.

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god of fire The only ugly god,

but he was peaceful, loving and popular.

He walks with a limp because Zeus threw over the palace walls one day when he took his mother’s side over Zeus’.

Made all the Olympians’ thrones, armor, furniture and weapons

Married Aphrodite

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Zeus’ graceful, happy son by the goddess, Maia

God of shepherds, merchants, travelers and thieves

Very mischievous and tricky Stole Apollo’s cows the day

he was born Guided the newly dead to

the underworld Invented the alphabet,

astronomy, scales, playing cards and card games

Zeus’ messenger Wore winged sandals and a

winged cap Had a son named Pan. He

was half goat.

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god of war Boastful, cruel and

had no manners Son of Zeus and Hera Loved to fight, but

was a coward once he got hurt

Wherever he went there was violence and bloodshed

the curse of mortals

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god of wine Zeus’ youngest son His mother, Semele,

was a princess and a mortal woman

His mother was consumed by fire when she was tricked by Hera

He was saved by Hermes.

Taught people the art of wine making & the consequences of too much wine

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Goddess of love and beauty

Goddess of desire Wherever she

walked flowers sprang up beneath her feet

she appeared from the foam of the sea

Her son is Eros (Cupid)

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Epics The Illiad

The Odyssey

• written about 700 B.C.• story of a war betweenthe Greeks and thepeople of Troy• Troy won the war usinga wooden horse

• written about 700 B.C.• story of the heroOdysseus• adventures of Odysseusgoing home from theTrojan war

The earliest Greek stories were called epics. Epics arelong poems about heroes and their brave deeds. Homerwrote two great Greek epics: the Iliad and the Odyssey.

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Fable Fables were said to be written by Aesop. He is supposed to have lived around 550 B.C. Historians now know that there wasprobably never

anyone named Aesop who wrote these stories. However, the stories do exist.

They are known as Aesop’s fables. Fables are short tales that teach a lesson. Fables are

often funny and show human weaknesses and strengths.

Aesop’s fables were part of Greece’s oral tradition forabout 200 years. Aesop’s fables are read and toldtoday by people all around the world.

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Both passed down from one generation to

the next teaches lesson

• long poem• has bravehero andadventures• describesbrave deeds• is writtendown• thought tobe true

• short story• uses animalswho talk• shows humanqualities• often funny• told out loud• ends with amoral

Epic Fable

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Greek Dramas A drama is a story told by people who act out the events. The Greeks developed two types of drama—tragedy andcomedy. A tragedy has an unhappy ending. The characters in a tragedy

cannot solve their problems no matter how hard they try. The first Greek plays were tragedies. Later the Greeks wrote comedies. A comedy ends happily. For the Greeks, a comedy was any drama with a happy ending. In ancient Greece, women were not allowed to act. Men played

all the parts, even the female characters. Dramas were used to tell religious stories.

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Art and Architecture Greek artists created art that expressed the ideals of

order, balance, and harmony (classical style) Greek artists painted on pottery

› using red and black paint. › Large vases portrayed myths › Small pieces, like cups, have pictures from everyday life.

The Greeks built beautiful buildings. › Large columns to support roof› Most important were the temples built for the gods and

goddesses Many Greek temples were decorated with sculptures.

› Sculpture expressed artists' ideas of perfection and beauty.

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