It’s Story Time… Let’s call this one The Creation Story (according to the Greeks). I say “myth”, you say “ology”… MYTH!. Learning Objectives:. Students will learn the basics of the Greek Creation story. Students will practice note-taking skills, using the visual map as an aid.
It’s Story Time…
Let’s call this one
The Creation Story
(according to the Greeks)
I say “myth”, you say “ology”…
It all sounds so exciting!
But we are sort of wondering…
Is there anything more we need to know about mythology in general before we get to the story?
We can’t wait to get started!
Yes!!! There are some things you will need to keep in mind…
First of all…
Keep in mind that we are studying mythology as
Literature, which deals with characters, plot, themes, and the beliefs of the people who created the stories,
Religion, which deals with matters of personal faith.
Keep in mind that myths were spread through oral tradition over hundreds of years before ever being written down.
Remember that game, TELEPHONE, that you played when you were a kid?
What happens to the message as it passes from person to person? Go ahead…try it out…
The same thing happened to myths as they passed from one person to another. So, don’t be surprised if you read one version of a myth and find that it differs slightly from another version of the same myth. That’s normal when working with myths.
Keep in mind that myths are symbolic stories. They are not governed by the rules of nature, logic, science, and time. Therefore, if you try to make literalsense of the stories, you’ll drive yourself crazy!
Suspend your disbelief…
What can’t you wait to learn about associated with mythology? In other words, you’re losing sleep over wanting this knowledge. DISCUSS!
At first there was only one thing that existed:
(shapeless void of confusion: had the elements of the world—earth, sky, and sea—all jumbled together, none of which had their own identity)
Here come the 5 elements:
Well…that’s an interesting situation, although not the MOST interesting, as you’ll come to see…
Mommy, where did Uranus come from?
People drew a connection between women’s ability to have kids with Earth’s ability to “give birth” to plants, so Earth was always seen as feminine –early Greeks worshipped female deities
Gaia, the first Great Goddess (Mother Earth), has Uranus as her son (Ruler of the Sky)
Thank you Gaia and Uranus for making us look normal!
I have the worst headache!
The ultrasound is in: they are the proud parents of triplets!!!
But…they all have 100 hands and 50 heads
The Hundred-Handed Giants
3 more were born soon after…
they were giants with 1 eye in the middle of their foreheads
Wait, Dad—what are you doing? Dad…NO…I don’t want to stay in Tartarus forever!!!! AHHHHH…
Whoa, these kids are way too scary for me!
Uranus is threatened by his kids because they are big and scary, and he fears that they will take him over, causing him to lose his power, so…
…he sends them to Tartarus, where he intends for them to be imprisoned for eternity.
That eventually comes back to haunt him, but I’ll fill you in on that later.
Gaia, on the other hand…
How DARE he lock my kids away!!!!
Just you wait, Uranus! I’m going to wait for my chance, and when the time is right, you’ll get what you deserve and I’ll release my babies!!!
WHO does he think he IS?!?!
But she can’t do anything right now—Uranus has gained the upper hand. Bring in the patriarchal societies…
Spielberg is making a movie about the Titans: which actors/actresses is he hiring to play who? Come up with at least two he should hire.
There comes a time when…
I’ve had enough!
Now is the time to act!!!
Gaia develops a plan and confronts her kids for help; of course, they are scared of their father and don’t want to challenge him, but Cronus decides he’s up for the challenge, so he steps forward and goes along with his mom’s plan.
It’s not likely his dad would EVER forgive him for this one.
WARNING: What you are about to see is graphic if you have a vivid imagination, so feel free to cover your eyes, especially if you’re a male…
He uses the sickle his mom created to emasculate his father— not exactly father-son bonding!
Gaia: a strong, no-nonsense woman who teaches men not to mess with her, or a complete creep?
Cronus threw his dad’s severed body parts into the sea where it began foaming on the surface of the water.
From the foam rose Aphrodite, goddess of passionate love and beauty, whose name literally means “foam born.”
From the blood of Cronus seeping into the ground, rose the Giants and the Furies, three fearsome monsters who tormented sinners, expecially those who killed their parents.
Cronus marries his sister Rhea and they go on to have 5 kids. HOWEVER, he’s a total hypocrite, because much like his father, he feared losing power, so he swallowed all of his kids whole right after they were born, or so he thought.
There are some parallels to Matriarchal ceremonies here: Cronus “eating” his kids as babies might stem from how female priestesses ate the flesh of sacred kings for fertility purposes; again, this just shows that mythology is a reflection of what occurred in societies
Cronus ignores Rhea’s wishes to allow her to have her children in her life, so she finally goes to her mom for help.
Mom, I need help immediately. My husband is a CREEP and is swallowing my babies!
I have a plan, but we’re going to need the next kid’s help. I think it’s going to be a male who will be a better leader than his father and grandfather both. (The fact that he’s male and will dominate over the other gods/goddesses might represent the shift from matriarchal to patriarchal societies).
Immediately after giving birth to the 6th child, Zeus, Rhea hands Cronus “the baby”, which he immediately swallows.
Had he paid more attention, he would have noticed that Rhea really handed him a rock and sent baby Zeus off with Gaia for protection until it was safe for him to return.
Eventually, Zeus came back as a grown god and with the help of his mother and good old Grandma Gaia, they offered Cronus a drink that made him vomit up his 5 siblings.
How do Cronus’ actions resemble humankind today?
Cronus went to the Titans for help on his side, but many were not interested in helping him fight the Olympians—eventually though, Atlas was named the leader of the Titan army.
Mount Olympus Olympians
Mount Othrys Titans
They fought for 10 years, with the battle going back and forth, and seemingly, there was no end to the fighting, until Grammy Gaia comes to the rescue, once again, for Zeus
Zeusy Boy, here’s what you do. I miss my kids—the Hundred-Handed Giants and the Cyclopes—and I’m sure they’re sick of Tartarus. If you and the Olympians release them, I bet they’d be willing to help your side in the war, considering Cronus betrayed them. What do you say?
I’m in; I’ll take my sibs with me and we’ll bring them back
Zeus’ uncle monsters joined in the fight and gave the Olympians weapons they made while in the Underworld to show their thanks:
-Zeus got thunder/lightning
-Poseidon got the trident to cause earthquakes
-Hades got the invisibility helmet
Finally the Olympians won and those that fought in the Titan army were sent to Tartarus, except for Atlas (the leader), who got a special punishment; Zeus made sure he would spend eternity using his strength to hold up the sky. THAT WOULD GET OLD, DON’T YOU THINK?
Which god or goddess are you most intrigued by at this point? Why?
With Leto, he has twins:
Hera—at times, she can viewed as a joke: she rarely does anything too useful since she’s so busy trying to sabotage the lives of her husband’s mistresses and children (AKA-She’s THAT girl)
Aphrodite—gets involved in several love triangles, allowing men to string her along at times (AKA-She’s THAT OTHER girl)
What does this imply about the virgin goddess, or goddesses without men in their lives?
Can you guess the identity of the following Olympians?
There is plenty more to hear, but we’ll call it quits for now. Take this time to work with a partner, and add any needed material to your Greek family tree. We have a lot more mythology to look forward to. I CAN’T WAIT!
Why do you think high school students should or should not study mythology? Think of as many different explanations as you can.