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7 th Grade ELA Pre-AP. INTRODUCTION TO GREEK MYTHOLOGY. I. What are Myths?. Myths : stories that use fantasy to express ideas about life that cannot easily be expressed in realistic terms.

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i what are myths
I. What are Myths?

Myths: stories that use fantasy to express ideas about life that cannot easily be expressed in realistic terms.

  • They are, at heart, religious stories. They deal with and explore the relationship between human beings and the unknown/spiritual world.
  • They were once believed to be true.
ii purposes of myths
II. Purposes of Myths
  • Scientific: explanations of things in nature
  • Literary: entertainment; good storytelling
  • Religious: give meaning to things in life; explain the role of the gods in everyday life
iii why do we study myths
III. Why Do We Study Myths?
  • They depict and reveal behavior and problems common to all human beings.
    • Remind us that human nature is the same across time and culture.
    • Reveal that many social, ethical, and religious attitudes continue through time.
  • They reflect the attitudes, priorities, and values of the cultures that produced them.
iv the belief system of ancient greece
IV. The Belief System of Ancient Greece

In Greek mythology, gods “did not create the universe… the universe created the gods” (Hamilton 24).

  • In the beginning… there was only Chaos.
iv the belief system of ancient greece1
IV. The Belief System of Ancient Greece
  • From Chaos emerged…
    • Gaea: Mother Earth
      • In Greek culture, more emphasis was placed on Gaea then on Ouranos, reflecting the Greeks’ reliance on the land and the Earth itself.
    • Ouranos: Father Heaven
  • Gaea and Ouranos had three types of children, all monsters, the most important of which were the Titans.
iv the belief system of ancient greece2
IV. The Belief System of Ancient Greece
  • One Titan, Cronus, rebelled against Ouranos as a result of Ouranos’s treatment of some of his children.
  • For some time, Cronus (Saturn) and his wife/sister Rhea ruled the universe until their son, Zeus, overthrew his father and conquered the Titans, becoming supreme ruler of the universe.
  • It was only after Zeus took control and the Olympians and other immortals took their places that humans entered the picture.
v the greek gods
V. The Greek Gods
  • In Greek mythology, man was not created in the image of the gods; rather, the gods were in the image of man.
  • Although Greek religion centered on a pantheon, separate villages worshipped separate gods in many instances.
  • In many cases, deities existed before the patriarchal religion of Zeus incorporated them.
vi the twelve olympians
VI. The Twelve Olympians
  • The Twelve great gods who succeeded the Titans
  • Lived on Mt. Olympus, which could have either been
    • The physical mountain in Thessaly OR
    • A mountain in a mysterious region above the Earth.
  • Olympus was NOT HEAVEN.
vi the twelve olympians2
VI. The Twelve Olympians
  • Zeus (Jupiter)
  • Poseidon (Neptune)
  • Hades (Pluto)
  • Hestia (Vesta)
  • Hera (Juno)
  • Ares (Mars)

7. Athena (Minerva)

8. Apollo (Apollo)

9. Aphrodite (Venus)

10. Hermes (Mercury)

11. Artemis (Diana)

12. Hephaestus (Vulcan)

Choose your god or goddess for your “wanted” or “missing” poster.

vi the twelve olympians3

Goddess of wisdom and the arts of war and peace

Protector of Odysseus

Zeus’s favorite daughter


God of archery, poetry, music, medicine, and prophecy

VI. The Twelve Olympians
vi the twelve olympians4

Goddess of Love and Beauty


Messenger god

God of commerce, speed, and trade

VI. The Twelve Olympians
vi the twelve olympians5

Goddess of the Wild Things, the moon, and crossways


God of fire and the forges – Blacksmith to the gods

VI. The Twelve Olympians
vii death in ancient greece
VII. Death in Ancient Greece
  • According to the Greeks, all departed souls went to the Underworld.
  • Two Main Divisions of the Underworld:
    • Erebus: where the dead pass when they die
    • Tartarus: the main division
vii death in ancient greece1
VII. Death in Ancient Greece
  • The dead are ferried across the point where the River Acheron (river of woe) pours into the River Cocytus (river of lamentation) by an aged boatman named Charon.
    • Charon will ONLY ferry into the Underworld those who have been properly buried and who have had the passage fee placed on their lips at burial.
vii death in ancient greece2
VII. Death in Ancient Greece
  • At the gate sits Cerberus, the three-headed dog who permits all the dead to enter, but not to exit.
  • The Underworld is ruled by the god Hades and his queen, Persephone.