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What is “Mythology”?. Freshman Honors English Ms. Chapman’s class. It’s the study of “Myths” -- myths are stories about supernatural beings handed down orally from one generation to another. Myths attempt to EXPLAIN such things as:. nature …where did the earth come from?. man

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what is mythology

What is “Mythology”?

Freshman Honors English

Ms. Chapman’s class


It’s the study of “Myths” -- myths are stories about supernatural beings handed down orally from one generation to another.Myths attempt to EXPLAIN such things as:

  • nature
  • …where did the earth come from?
  • man
  • …where did man come from?
  • gods
  • …where did the gods come from?
why is mythology important
Why is mythology important?

In Literature

Allusions to myths are found in plays, poems and novels.

In Advertising

Brand names based on mythological characters indicate high quality.

In Music

Mythology has provided inspiration for operas and symphonies.

In History

Myths can produce facts about ancient people not discoverable through formal research .

In the Arts

Mythology has been a source of subject matter and inspiration to painters and sculptors since art began.

In Language

Mythology is a source of words and expressions

how the world was created
How the world was created
  • Out of the chaos emerged two beings,
  • Gaea (Mother Earth) and Uranus (Heavens)
  • Whose children were the 12 Titans.
  • Eight of the 12 Titans were: Oceanus and Tethys (Ruled the ocean), Hyperion (Ruled the sun), Thea (the ruler of the moon),
  • Rhea (great mother),
  • Themis (divine law and order), Mnemosyne (memory), Cronus (youngest and strongest)
  • And monsters were the Hecatonchires (who had a hundred hands and) 3 cyclopes (who had one eye.)
how the world was created part 2
How the world was created-part 2
  • Uranus hated all of his children, but particularly the monsters and these sent to Tartarus (underworld)
  • Gaea asked Titans to rescue the monsters, but only Cronus agreed to help------
    • but he overthrew his father.
  • From Uranus’ blood came Giants who are more like men instead of gods and were fierce fighters and Erinyes (Furies) who had hair of writhing serpents and they were winged
  • Cronus and Rhea we were married and became the rulers of earth, and had 6 children
  • 3 daughters names Hestia Demeter and Hera.
  • 3 Sons Hades, Poseidon and Zeus.
how the world was created part 3
How the world was created-part 3
  • Cronus now feared that his children would destroy him– so he swallowed all but Zeus who escaped. When he grew up he and Rhea waged war on Cronus
  • A long battle followed– Cronus disgorged his children. The monsters helped Zeus and gave him weapons. Cronus, who was assisted by some of the Titans, was defeated.
  • So Zeus divided the world with his brothers and sisters (and himself).
  • Hades in charge of the underworld.
  • Poseidon in charge of oceans, also horses, and earthquakes.
  • Zeus in charge of gods and men from Mt. Olympus.
  • Hestia was the goddess of Hearth and Home
  • Demeter was the Goddess of agriculture.
  • AND…
council of 13 gods
Council of 13 gods

In charge of gods

Goddess of marriage

Goddess of wisdom

Demeter Goddess of Crops

God of war

Aphrodite Goddess of Beauty

God of sun, song, and music



Goddess of Hearth and Family


Goddess of the moon

God of the Sea

In charge of fire

Ruler of the Underworld

gods of the sea
Gods of the Sea
  • 2 Monsters:
    • Scylla—ate sailors
    • Charybdis—swallowed the sea
  • Poseidon-God of the Sea
  • Sirens-half bird, half woman lured sailors to ruin by their singing
the underworld
The Underworld
  • Hades was the ruler of the underworld.
  • Hecate was the queen of the underworld and the Goddess of sorcery.
  • Cerberuswas the 3- headed dog that guards gate to underworld so none can leave.
  • 5 Rivers of the world
    • “Styx” wait for Charon’s ferry
    • “Lethe” forget your past
    • “Acheron” river of woe
    • “Phlegethon” river of fire
    • “Cocytus” river of wailing
  • 3 Regions of the underworld.
    • Tartarus is a place of misery and torture. The titans lived here.
    • Elysium is in the West, ruled by Cronus, a paradise which had its own Sun and stars, Great Poets came here.
    • Acheron is a place where people wandered aimlessly. Home of the majority of those who died.
who is on mount olympus
Who is on Mount Olympus
  • Here are 6 of Zeus’ 12 wives
  • Maia is the mother of Hermes
  • Hermes is the father of Pan
  • Alcmene is the mother of Heracles
  • Leto is the mother of Apollo and Artemis
  • Demeter is the mother of Persephone
  • Mnemosyne is the mother of the muses
  • The muses are
  • Clio, Euterpe, Thalia, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Polyhymnia, Erato, Urania, and Calliope.


  •  Zeus’ other six wives
  • Semele is the mother of Dionysus
  • Dione is the mother of Aphrodite, and Aphrodite was the mother of Eros
  • Hera was the mother of Hebe, Ares, Ilithyia, and Hephaestus’
  • Metis was the mother of Athena
some minor gods
Some minor gods…
  • Dike—goddess of justice
  • Nemesis—spirit of just anger and punishment
  • Nike—goddess of victory
  • Phosphor—Morning star
  • Herperus—Evening star
  • Aeolus—King of four winds
  • 3 Charities—graces
  • 3 Horae--Seasons
and nature deities nymphs
And nature deities (nymphs)
  • Dryads (lived in trees as long as the tree lived)
  • Nereids (50 half fish half woman—lived in oceans
  • Naiads—lived in fresh water
  • Oreads—lived in mountains and grottoes
the story of prometheus
The story of Prometheus-
  • Prometheus was a counselor to Zeus because he could foretell the future, but during the “Silver Age” Zeus became disgusted with men and swept them off the face of the world.
  • Zeus had Prometheus create a new race out of clay. These men were weak and had to struggle with nature.
  • Prometheus asked Zeus to give men fire to warm themselves and to make bronze. “NO!”
  • Consequently, Prometheus took it anyway!
prometheus cont
  • Prometheus also taught men to read and write, to domesticate animals—and men were HAPPY!
  • Zeus was not! He sent Pandora with a sealed jar…and Prometheus suspected a trick and sent the jar to his brother Epimetheus with a warning not to open it.
  • The jar was unsealed and all
  • the evils that beleaguer
  • mankind were unloosed,
  • except for the spirit HOPE!
the story of prometheus cont
The story of Prometheus—cont.
  • Zeus had Prometheus chained to a mountain where each morning a great bird would eat part of his body, which each night grew whole again.
  • Prometheus wouldn’t yield to Zeus because he had a vision of a savior who would overthrow him…
the story of prometheus cont1
The story of Prometheus—cont.
  • Zeus caused a great flood to wipe out mankind. Prometheus warned Deucalion, his son, and Pyrrha, his son’s wife, and they ascended Mount Parnassas.
  • Only Zeus’ pity at the last moment saved them. And when the storm subsided, a voice was heard which said, “Re-people the earth with the bones of your mother!”
  • They thought they heard stones…
    • So they threw down stones…
      • And these stones became the ancestors of today’s race of men.
the four ages of man
The Golden Age

Under Cronus, a “Garden of Eden” existence---eternal spring, no work, men happy and good, no fighting, no poverty.

The Silver Age

Under Zeus, the beginning of the “Fall”—Seasons created, making work necessary, hunger and cold, shelters needed, men courageoous but overbearing.

The four ages of man
  • The Bronze Age
    • Men learned to use arms and go to war. Prometheus tried to help man.
  • The Iron Age
    • Period of crime and dishonor, gifts of gods abused, mans sinks into degradation
every country has its own set of myths
Every country has its own set of myths
  • Legends:
  • Fanciful tales woven around real people and real happenings. In some cases so exaggerated as to become MYTHOLOGY
  • Folk Tales:
  • Entirely fictitious stores with the spirit of fairy tales, full of little people and spirits. The appear primarily to the young.
  • Modern Myths:
  • Monster tales, fantasy, science fiction or the exaggerated tales spread by the admirers of movie stars, politicians, and athletes.

For example: Myths of Africa, India, the Pacific Islands plus myths of the Celtic, Aztec, Mayan, and Northern European peoples. Native Americans also have given us myths.

Other related fields…

works cited
Works Cited
  • http://bearah718.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/cyclops.jpg
  • http://papercastlepress.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/ulysses-sirens-draper-l.jpg
  • http://www.theoi.com/Gallery/Z2.1.html
  • http://www.theoi.com/Gallery/P27.1.html
  • http://modernsynthpop.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/pandora.jpg
  • http://coromandal.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/waterhouse_hylas_and_the_nymphs3.jpg
  • https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/prec/www/course/mythology/0500/athena.htm
  • http://www.rosicrucian.org/publications/digest/digest1_2008/online/table_of_contents.html
  • ABOUT MYTHOLOGY—a scriptographic unit of knowledge