Myths of the Day. Greek Mythology Explained. The Titans. Prometheus. Myth of the Day. Origins.
Myths of the Day
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Prometheus was a son of the Titan Iapetus and one of the older Greek gods who sided with Zeus in his fight against his father Cronos. Prometheus’s fame was due to his affection for mankind, for whom he gave fire.
The Gift of Prometheus
Zeus, the leader of the new and stronger gods, had hidden fire away, but Prometheus stole is and brought it to Earth with him. But this drew Prometheus into conflict with Zeus, who chained the rebellious Titan to a rock and sent an eagle to eat his liver.
As he was immortal, his liver would grow back at night, and each day the bird would peck it out and consume it again.
Prometheus was only released when he gave Zeus the information that the sea nympth, Thetis, whom both Zeus and Poseidon were pursing, would give birth to a son mightier than his father. By making sure Thetis married a mortal ruler, the newly victorious gods protected themselves because her son turned out to be the warrior Achilles.
Zeus’ anger with mankind was on occasion explained by poor sacrifices. But Prometheus humself was not a straightforward helper either. He gave fire, an essential of civilized life, but other gifts were perhaps less helpful. Out of the flaming forge came weapons of war, plus all the miseries that follow the disruption of a simple way of life.
The Myth of the Day
The greatest of all heroes in Greek mythology, Hercules was the strongest man on earth. Besides tremendous physical strength, he had great self-confidence and considered himself equal to the gods. Hercules (called Heracles by the Greeks) was not blessed with great intelligence, but his bravery made up for any lack of cunning. Easily angered, his sudden outbursts of rage often harmed innocent bystanders. When the fury passed, though, Hercules was full of sorrow and guilt for what he had done and ready to accept any punishment for his misdeeds. Only supernatural forces could defeat him, and it was magic that ended his mortal life. In Greek mythology, only two figures with half-mortal, half-immortal parentage—Hercules and Dionysus—became fully immortal and were worshiped as gods.
Birth and Early Life
Birth and Early Life. Hercules was the son of Zeus* and Alcmena, the wife of Amphitryon, a distinguished Greek warrior and heir to the throne of Tiryns. One night while Amphitryon was away, Zeus came to Alcmena disguised as her husband. The next day, the real Amphitryon returned and slept with his wife. Concerned that Amphitryon did not remember being with Alcmena on both nights, the couple consulted the blind prophet Tiresias, who told them that Zeus had slept with Alcmena the first night and predicted that she would bear a child who would become a great hero.
Hera was fiercely jealous of Zeus's lovers and children and pursued them mercilessly. She tried to kill the infant Hercules by having two poisonous snakes placed in his crib one night. However, the infant grabbed the snakes and strangled them. Though Hera failed to kill Hercules, she persecuted him throughout his life, causing many of the events that led to his great suffering and punishments.
One day after Hercules returned home from a journey, Hera struck him with a fit of madness during which he killed his wife and children. When he came to his senses, Hercules was horrified by what he had done. Devastated with sorrow and guilt, the hero went to the oracle at Delphi* to ask how he could atone for his misdeed. The oracle told him to go to King Eurystheus of Tiryns and submit to any punishment asked of him. The oracle also announced that if Hercules completed the tasks set before him, he would become immortal.
The Twelve Labors of Hercules. King Eurystheus gave Hercules a series of 12 difficult and dangerous tasks. Known as the Twelve Labors of Hercules, these were his most famous feats. The hero's first task was to kill the Nemean Lion, a monstrous beast that terrorized the countryside and could not be killed by any weapon. Hercules strangled the beast with his bare hands and made its skin into a cloak that made him invulnerable.
Hydra- nine-headed serpent
Ceryneian Hind- wild beast sacred to Artemis
Cleansing of Augeas’ stables
Bull of Minos
Man-eating mares of Diomedes
Amazons (to retrieve the girdle of Hippolyta
Visit to the Underworld
Later in his life, Hercules married Deianeira, a princess whose hand he had won by fighting the river god Achelous. Hercules also saved Deianeira from a centaur named Nessus, who tried to harm her. As Nessus lay dying from Hercules' arrows, he urged Deianeira to take some of his blood, telling her it would act as a magic potion that could secure her husband's love forever.
Some years later, fearing that Hercules had fallen in love with another woman, Deianeira took the potion and smeared it on a robe for her husband. The potion was really a terrible poison, and when Hercules put on the poisoned garment, it burned his skin, causing an agonizing pain that could not be stopped. When Deianeira discovered what had happened, she killed herself.
The dying Hercules ordered his son to build a funeral pyre, and the hero lay down upon it. As the flames of the pyre grew, a great cloud appeared, a bolt of lightning struck, and the body of Hercules disappeared. Hercules, now an immortal god, had been taken to Mount Olympus to be with his father, Zeus, and the other gods. Even Hera welcomed him and allowed him to marry her daughter Hebe.
The Myth of Narcissus
The myth of Narcissus is one of the most known Greek Myths, due to its uniqueness and moral tale; Narcissus, was the son of River God Cephisus and nymph Lyriope. He was known for his beauty and he was loved by God Apollo due to his extraordinary physique.
Narcissus was once walking by a lake or river and decided to drink some water; he saw his reflection in the water and was surprised by the beauty he saw; he became entranced by the reflection of himself. He could not obtain the object of his desire though, and he died at the banks of the river or lake from his sorrow.
According to the myth Narcissus is still admiring himself in the Underworld, looking at the waters of the Styx.
narcissism is a personality trait characterized by egotism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness.
Riddle of the Sphinx
What creature goes on four feet in the morning, on two at noonday, and on three in the evening?
Myth of the Day: Oedipus
King Laius of Thebes was warned by an Oracle that he would die by the hands of his son.
To attempt to act in such a way that the prophecy would be made void was as futile as to set oneself against the decrees of fate.
In an attempt to escape his fate, Laius took his child, bound its feet together, and left it to die of exposure on a mountain. He felt sure that he had avoided the Oracle’s prophecy.
King Laius happily lived without the fear of being killed by his son.
Years later, a band of robbers attacked and killed the King and all his attendants.
The matter was not investigated thoroughly, as Thebes was having a rough time.
A fearful Sphinx had taken residence outside the city. Anyone who wanted to pass had to answer a riddle correctly, under pain of death. No one could get in or out.
So matters stood when there came into the country a stranger, whose name was Oedipus.
He had left his home, Corinth, where he was held to be the son of the King, Polybus. The reason for his exile was another Delphic oracle. Apollo had declared that he was fated to kill his father.
Horrified, Oedipus resolved never to see his father again. Like his REAL father, Oedipus tried to change his fate.
In his lonely wanderings he came into the country around Thebes and he heard what was happening there. He was a homeless, friendless man to whom life meant little and he determined to seek the Sphinx out and try to solve the riddle.
After answering correctly, Oedipus was welcomed into the city. The grateful citizens made him their King, and he married the dead king’s wife, Jocosta.
For some time, Oedipus reigned over Thebes happily with his wife, and their two sons.
By the time their sons had grown, however, disaster struck. Disease was rampant, and famine. Oedipus sought to end his people’s suffering.
Apollo announced that their suffering would end only when King Laius’ murderer was punished.
Oedipus was enormously relieved. He thought it would be easy to find the villain and bring him to justice!
They consulted the blind prophet, Teiresias, who at first refused to answer them. Eventually, he caved and told Oedipus that he had murdered Laius. Oedipus banished him from his sight. Obviously, the prophet was lying or crazy.
Oedipus returned home to his wife, and told her what Teiresias had said. She laughed, saying it was ridiculous. After all, her husband had been killed on the road by robbers outside of Thebes.
Oedipus froze in his tracks. This sounded familiar. He began to ask for details, and the only witness that was left from Laius’ party.
At this point, some divine intervention comes in to help convince Oedipus that he is indeed the son of Laius, not Polybus.
Jocosta, after learning she had married her son and begot her own grandchildren, kills herself in her chamber.
Oedipus, finding Jocosta dead, bore out his own eyes, and blocking out any light and succumbing to darkness.
Myth of the Day- Psyche and Cupid
Once upon a time there was a king with three daughters. They were all beautiful, but by far the most beautiful was the youngest, Psyche. She was so beautiful that people began to neglect the worship of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty.
Venus was very jealous, and asked her son Cupid (the boy with the arrows) to make Psyche fall in love with a horrible monster. When he saw how beautiful she was, Cupid dropped the arrow meant for her and pricked himself, and fell in love with her.
Despite her great beauty no-one wanted to marry Psyche. Her parents consulted an oracle, and were told that she was destined to marry a monster, and they were to take her to the top of a mountain and leave her there. The west wind took her and wafted her away to a palace, where she was waited on by invisible servants. When night came her new husband visited her, and told her that he would always visit her by night and she must never try to see him.
Although her invisible husband was kind and gentle with her, and the invisible servants attended to her every desire, Psyche grew homesick. She persuaded her husband to allow her sisters to visit her. When they saw how she lived they became very jealous and talked Psyche into peeking at her husband, saying that he was a monster who was fattening her up to be eaten and that her only chance of safety was to kill him.
Psyche took a lamp and a knife, but when she saw her beautiful husband, Cupid, she was so surprised she dripped some hot wax onto his shoulder, waking him. He took in the situation at a glance and immediately left Psyche and the magnificent palace she had been living in disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Psyche roamed about looking for her husband, and eventually in desperation approached his mother, Venus. Still angry, the goddess set various tasks for Psyche, all of which she passed, with a bit of help from ants and river gods. At last Cupid found out what was going on, and he persuaded Jupiter to order Venus to stop her persecution of Psyche. Then they were married and lived happily ever after - and it really was ever after since Psyche was made a goddess.
Myth of the Day- Antigone
In Greek mythology, Antigone (pronunciation: /ænˈtɪɡəniː/an-TI-gə-nee; Ἀντιγόνη) is the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta, Oedipus' mother. The name has been suggested to mean "opposed to motherhood", "in place of a mother". It may also mean "against men" since men were dominant in the Ancient Greek family structure, and Antigone clearly defied masculine authority, or "anti-generative", from the root gonē, "that which generates"
Antigone is a daughter of the accidentally incestuous marriage between King Oedipus of Thebes and his mother Jocasta. She is the subject of a popular story in which she attempts to secure a respectable burial for her brother Polynices, even though he was a traitor to Thebes and the law forbids even mourning for him, on pain of death.
How the story goes…
After her father, the king, dies, her two brothers are supposed to share the throne. One brother does not want to share and seizes power. The other brother leaves Thebes and gathers an army. The brothers kill each other. The first power-hungry brother receives a proper burial, but the second brother is denied on by the new man in charge. Antigone breaks the law in bringing her brother’s body into the city and giving it a traditional burial herself.