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Final Mythology Review!
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  1. Final Mythology Review! Feraco English 9 18 January 2011

  2. Zeus (Latin: Jupiter) • Domain/Realm: Heavens • Temperament: Varied; can be moved to anger, follows passions easily, yet somehow stands regal • Miscellany: His portrayal shifts over the course of many stories, partly because of changing attitudes/authors and partly because of cultural absorption • Rules over Olympus after the war because he wins the “lot-draw,” not because he led the gods into battle • Power greater than all others, but could still be tricked or opposed (think Prometheus) • Wields thunderbolts as his main weapon, which he learned to use from the monsters during the war, and also the aegis, which he gives to Athena

  3. Hera (Latin: Juno) • Domain/Realm: Marriage • Temperament: Frequently jealous and easily angered; persecutes Zeus’s lovers and even their children; often portrayed negatively • Miscellany: Zeus’s sister-wife • Her portrayal, along with Zeus’s, helps give us a window into Greek cultural values

  4. Poseidon (Latin: Neptune) • Domain/Realm: Ocean • Temperament: A fusion of Zeus’s and Hera’s; easily angered, and terrible when he loses his temper, yet still regal and worthy of honors • Miscellany: Rules the sea as the result of the “lot-draw” • Second-most-powerful among the gods • Flooded Athens when he lost the contest for their worship • Watches over horses, his gift to mankind • Wielded a trident • Causes earthquakes (“The Earthshaker”) • Father of the Cyclopes in The Odyssey, and Odysseus’s main deistic foe

  5. Hades (Latin: Pluto) • Domain/Realm: Underworld • Temperament: Grim, serious, but not evil • Miscellany: Rules the underworld as the result of the “lot-draw,” not as a reflection of inner evil • God of Wealth as well (think precious metals buried underneath the earth) • Kidnapped Persephone, Demeter’s daughter, and made her his queen • Famously owned a headpiece (alternately a helmet or cap) which granted its wearer invisibility • King of Death, not Death itself

  6. Athena (Latin: Minerva) • Domain/Realm: Wisdom/City • Temperament: Can be fierce and ruthless (think Trojan War), but also wise, loyal, and powerful • Miscellany: Emerged from Zeus’s head • Often carries his thunderbolt and aegis • Parthenos the Virgin Goddess, worshipped at the Parthenon • Athens worships her (olive tree), as did the Trojans

  7. Phoebus Apollo • Domain/Realm: Light and prophecy • Temperament: An extremely varied personality; could be downright vicious, yet often held up as the master of truth, healing, and purification • Miscellany: The “most Greek” of the gods • Wields arrows that he shoots unerringly • Oracle is at Delphi • Loses Daphne when she turns into a tree (laurel = his tree) • Often serves as the sun-god, although that’s Helios’s job

  8. Artemis (Latin: Diana/Cynthia) • Domain/Realm: Hunting, the wild, and the moon • Temperament: Fierce; often angry or vindictive, but forceful even in her better moments • Miscellany: Apollo’s twin • Loved Orion deeply (virgin goddess) • Hunts, but loves animals and protects them fiercely • Bringer of painless death to women • Wields silver arrows that she shoots unerringly • Protected youth • When Apollo would serve as the Sun, she would be the Moon (Selene, Phoebe, Luna – not her names originally) • The “goddess of three forms” (Hecate, Artemis, Selene)

  9. Aphrodite (Latin: Venus) • Domain/Realm: Love/Beauty • Temperament: Light, laughing, lovely, but also soft, weak, and treacherous • Miscellany: Created from sea foam in later myths (originally the child of Zeus and Dione) • Married to Haphaestus • Exerted a dangerous power over men

  10. Hermes (Latin: Mercury) • Domain/Realm: Messenger • Temperament: Graceful, but cunning (master thief) • Miscellany: Wielded the caduceus, and wore winged shoes/hat • In addition to his duties for Zeus, he leads souls to the underworld after death • Appears more frequently in myths than any other divinity

  11. Ares (Latin: Mars) • Domain/Realm: War • Temperament: Cowardly, vicious, and angry • Miscellany: His parents (Zeus and hera) hated him • Doesn’t appear in many myths, yet remains famous anyway (more a figurehead than a distinct personality)

  12. Haphaestus (Latin: Vulcan/Mulciber) • Domain/Realm: Fire and forge • Temperament: Kind and peaceful, despite the nature of his work • Miscellany: Sometimes said to be born to Hera alone (the vengeful parallel to Athena’s motherless birth) • Married to Aphrodite • Born lame/crippled, although in some stories it is claimed that Zeus hurled him out for defending Hera (for the most part, he’s honored in Olympus) • Often blamed for volcanic eruptions (said to be the byproduct of his hammer striking the forge) • Just as Athena protected the arts (weavers), so did he (smiths)

  13. Hestia (Latin: Vesta) • Domain/Realm: Home and hearth • Temperament: Indistinct • Miscellany: A virgin goddess like Athena and Artemis • No distinct personality, and doesn’t play a role in the myths (think Ares) • Every city had an eternal flame in its public hearth for her

  14. Eros (Latin: Cupid) • Domain/Realm: Love • Temperament: Fair and serious in early stories, mischievous in later ones • Miscellany: Equipped with bow and arrow • Loved Psyche

  15. Dionysus (Latin: Bacchus) • Domain/Realm: Wine • Temperament: Deeply contradictory; capable of tremendous joy and terrible violence • Miscellany: The only god with a non-divine mother, one he retrieved from the underworld (think Disney’s Hercules and Megara) • Followed by “mad women” known as the Maenads

  16. Demeter (Latin: Ceres) • Domain/Realm: Corn and harvest • Temperament: Alternately joyful and sad • Miscellany: Loses her daughter to Hades for a third of the year; the Greeks used her resultant sorrow to explain the changing seasons (joy in spring, enjoyment in summer, dread in fall, grief in winter)

  17. Cronus (Latin: Saturn) • Domain/Realm: Heavens • Temperament: Alternately fearful, forceful, and wise • Miscellany: Castrated Ouranos, his father • Feared the prophecy about his children so deeply that he consumed each of them • Thrown out of power by Zeus and the other gods • In Rome, he was believed to have retreated to Italy after the war and ushered in that nation’s Golden Age

  18. Prometheus and Epimetheus • Epimetheus’s dealings during the war are unclear; Prometheus fought on the side of the gods • May have been responsible for creating humans (Epimetheus’s pile of parts), although the Ages (Gold/Silver/Brass/Heroic/Iron) are an alternate explanation • Tricking Zeus • Gift and Punishment • Pandora

  19. Olympus and the Underworld • Olympus is ometimes a physical place, at other times a place that seems to defy physical description • The high seat first of Ouranos/Cronus, then of the gods • In the underworld, Tartarus and Erebus are sometimes distinct; Tartarus is the Titans’ prison, while Erebus is the place the dead must pass • The Elysian Fields are a place of quiet blessedness, open only to the good; the bad must suffer eternally elsewhere • Five rivers: Acheron (woe), Cocytus (lamentation); Phlegethon (fire); Styx (unbreakable oath); Lethe (forgetfulness)

  20. Others • Gaea (Earth) and Ouranos (Heaven) • Rhea (Cronus’s sister-queen) • Creatures: Fifty-headed/hundred-handed monsters; Cyclopes; Titans; Furies/Erinyes; Giants; Typhon • Atlas: A Titan who held the world on his shoulders as punishment for the God/Titan war • Iapetus: The Titan who fathered Prometheus, Epimetheus, and Atlas

  21. Others • Hyperion: A Titan who was the father of the sun, moon, and dawn • Helios: The sun-god fathered by Hyperion • Ocean: A Titan whose body formed the river that encircled the world • The Graces: Aglaia (Splendor), Euphrosyne (Mirth), and Thalia (Good Cheer); Zeus’s daughters and Ocean’s granddaughters; always treated as a combined unit, invoked as a trio, and they were forever wonderful • The Muses: Nine daughters of Zeus; presided over music and the arts (note invocation in The Odyssey); originally treated as indistinct from one another, then granted specialties in later years; Clio (history), Urania (astronomy), Melpomene (tragedy), Thalia (comedy), Terpsichore (dance), Calliope (epic poetry), Erato (love poetry), Polyhymnia (songs for gods), and Euterpe (lyric poetry) • The Fates: Equipped with scissors, thread, and measuring stick; could be even more powerful than Zeus, although this isn’t consistent