What is Greek Mythology? Meet the Myths and Gods

14/05/2021

     Discover now what is the famous Greek Mythology! In addition, we also explain which are the main Gods, Characters, Myths and Mythological Beings. We owe a lot of what we are today to the Hellenics, check it out!


What is Greek Mythology?

     Greek Mythology is the study of sets of narratives related to the myths of ancient grains and their meanings. For many modern scholars, Greek Myths are the same as shedding light on the understanding of ancient Greek society and its behavior, as well as its ritualistic practices. Greek myths illustrate how the world's origins, ways of life, as adventures and misadventures of a wide variety of gods, goddesses, heroes, heroines and other mythological creatures.

     Over the years, these myths have been expressed through an extensive collection of narratives, which predate Greek literature, and also in the representation of other arts, such as the painting of Ancient Greece and the ceramics of red figures. Initially disseminated in oral-poetic tradition, these myths are now treated only as part of Greek literature. Such literature covers the most ancient literary sources in Ancient Greece: the epic poems Iliad and Odyssey (both found in Homer and dealing with events surrounding the Trojan War, highlighting the influence of gods and other beings), also Theogony and The Works of Hercules, both sought by Hesiod.

The most fascinating thing about the Greek Gods is that they had desires for the human "Flesh", that is, they fell in love, felt anger, sadness, resentment, anguish ... Everything suggests that it is due to the fact that human beings comfort themselves with your real nature.

The Mythological Beings:

     There are numerous figures of mythological beings within Greek Mythology, among some of the most famous are listed below, check out:

  • Lernaean Hydra: a huge dragon that for each severed head, two more were born!
  • Minotaur: with the body of a man and the head of a bull, this was the Minotaur.
  • Centaurs: half man and half horse, these were the centaurs.
  • Gorgons: they were three sisters with serpent hair, among the most famous, without a doubt was Medusa, who was actually the victim of the Goddess Athena, and not a villain as many know her.
  • Nymphs: they represented the beauty of nature and were always beautiful and happy female figures. They took care of forests and lakes;
  • Heroes: they are those famous "demigods" who inspired hundreds of films in cinema such as: Fury of Titans, Jason and the Argonauts, Troia ... Among the most famous heroes are: Achilles, Jason, Theseus, Bellerophon, Hercules, Polyphemus (despite being a Cyclops he was also considered a semi-god) and Perseus;

     Anyway, there were MANY characters in Greek Mythology. We have an Article on our website where we talk specifically about each one of them, including elements such as Titanomaquia, Religion and the Creation of the World. Just click here and select your favorite subject!

The Argonauts:

     The only Hellenistic epic preserved until the present day, Argonautic, by Apolonius de Rhodes, narrates the myth of the journey of Jason and the Argonauts to recover the Golden Fleece from the mythical land of Colchis. In Argonáutica, Jason is driven by his search for King Pélias, who had received a prophecy where a man in sandals would become his nemesis. Jasão loses a sandal in a river in the region, arriving at the court of Pelias and thus beginning the epic. Almost all members of the next generation of heroes, as well as Hercules, left with Jason to Argo to seek the golden fleece.

     This generation of heroes also includes: the myth of Theseus, who left for Crete to face the Minotaur; Atalanta, a female heroine, Meleagro, who in turn had an epic cycle that rivaled the Iliad and Odyssey, Idas, who fought Apollo for Marpessa, Boreas' sons: Zeto and Calais, who play an important role in the field island of Fineu and in the fight against the Cinocefalus, Laerte, father of Ulysses and also Peleus, father of Achilles.

The Greek Gods:

     The Greek Gods had human representation, were immortal and also felt the needs of man: love, hunger and also made MANY mistakes, just like us humans. Among the most powerful gods are the Olympian Gods (who lived on Mount Olympus) and these are considered the main gods in the Greek pantheon.

     They are: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Dionysus, Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Athena, Hephaestus and Artemis. However, many times, 3 more gods were added: Hades, Hestia and Asclepius.

Main Gods of Greek Mythology:

     Contrary to what many people think, the Olympic Gods are not the main Gods of Greek Mythology, as these gods became known only after defeating the Titans in a 10-year war. Before this, there were already other gods, called "primordial gods":

  • Helios: it would be the solar deity predecessor to Apollo.
  • Aeolus: principal deity of the winds;
  • Oreas and Nesus: are the islands and the mountains;
  • Ocean: as his name says, he is the god of the seas (representation of the oceans);
  • Chronos: time. No, he is not the titan father of Zeus;
  • Uranus: god of the sky (predecessor of Zeus) and husband of Gaia;
  • Gaia: mother earth (is the representation of our planet) we live in Gaia (Gaia = Earth in Greek);
  • Prometheus: It was he who created human beings out of clay (he also gave fire to men);
  • Tartarus: god of darkness (it is also the place where the most wicked souls go after their death, it would be compared today to the hell of Jewish Christian culture)
  • Erebus: the god of darkness (it is also the place where bad souls go after their death);
  • Nyx: goddess of the night! She is the daughter of Chaos;
  • Chaos: the first deity to appear in the universe (he is the first Greek God);

     Remembering, many of these deities are known as Titans (they are also known as Elder Gods) and although there are dozens more, we have brought the main ones. If you want to meet all the Greek Gods, we recommend this article here.

Roman Gods:

     We used to say that the Roman Gods are a more pleasant copy of the Greek Gods, because their names are more pleasant and in the case of the main deities, they are represented by planets. Look.

  • There are also some other gods exclusive to Roman Mythology such as Juno Moneta (the goddess of money) and Laverna (the goddess of thieves).
  • The only major deity that has no literal name for a planet, is Gaia (which means Earth);
  • Hermes is Mercury.
  • Ares is Mars and;
  • Cronos is Saturn.
  • Zeus is Jupiter in Roman Mythology;

Narcissus Myth:

     According to Ovid, Narcissus was a young man fully endowed with beauty. His parents were the god of the river Cefiso and the nymph Liríope. Days before his birth, his parents decided to consult the oracle Tiresias to find out what the boy's fate would be. And the oracle's revelation was that he would have a long life, provided he never saw his own face. Narcissus grew up to be a handsome young man from Boeotia, who awakened in both men and women, but was very proud and had an arrogance that no one could break. Even the nymphs fell in love with him, including a so-called Eco who loved him unconditionally, but the boy despised her. The scorned girls asked the gods to avenge them.

     To teach the frivolous boy a lesson, the goddess Nemesis, (as an aspect of Aphrodite) condemned him to fall in love with his own reflection in the Echo pond. Delighted by his own beauty, Narcissus lay down on the bank of the river and languished looking at himself in the water and beautifying himself. After his death, Aphrodite turned him into a flower, Narcissus. Even at his death, he tried to see in the waters of the Styx the features he had fallen in love with.


Christianity and the Middle Ages:

     The widespread adoption of Christianity in the West has not slowed the popularity of Greco-Roman myths. With the rediscovery of classical antiquity in the Renaissance, Ovid's poetry became an important influence on the imagination of Western poets, playwrights, musicians and artists. Since the early years of the Renaissance, personalities like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Rafael have portrayed the pagan themes of Greek Mythology by adding more conventional Christian themes. Through Latin and Ovid's works, Greek myths influence medieval and Renaissance poets such as Petrarch, Boccaccio and Dante, in Italy.

     In Northern Europe, Greek mythology never achieved the same importance in the visual arts, but its influence on literature was colossal. Greek myths had an effect on the English imagination of names like Chaucer and John Milton and followed Shakespeare's prominence in Robert Bridges in the 20th century. Racine from France and Goethe from Germany revived the dramas of ancient Greek theater, reinterpreting the oldest myths.