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Mythology: Review. All that stuff we’ve been doing for the last week…. Mythology and Nature . Remember, the purpose of mythology was to explain the unexplainable. There was no modern science or technology to inform people’s understanding of the world around them

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mythology review

Mythology: Review

All that stuff we’ve been doing for the last week…

mythology and nature
Mythology and Nature
  • Remember, the purpose of mythology was to explain the unexplainable.
  • There was no modern science or technology to inform people’s understanding of the world around them
  • The stories selected in the packets were favorites among the Greeks about 4000 years ago!
  • Asked “who” caused things to happen in nature, not “what”

Phaethon, son of Apollo and a nymph

  • He was being laughed at because no one believed Apollo was really his father
  • He wanted proof, and his mother said only Apollo could give him proof
  • So- he went to the East, to the Land of the Sunrise, to visit Apollo.
  • Apollo said he would grant Phaethon whatever request he might make to prove his devotion to his son….
  • And of course, Phaethon wanted to drive the chariot that pulled the sun around the Earth.

Apollo realized he had made too rash a decision, and tried to convince Phaethon that this was not a good idea!

  • But, like typical teenage boys, Phaethon insisted…
  • So, Apollo told him “Hold tight to the reigns” and also told him “Keep in the pathway; go neither too high nor too low”
  • Once Apollo gave the horses the signal to start, the horses realized that Apollo didn’t have the reins…
  • They left the well-worn ruts and veered out of control
  • Which made Phaethon panic, and forget everything his father said!!!

The horses dashed too high, then too low!

  • The places where the sun got too close to Earth were scorched, creating the Earth’s deserts.
  • In order to save the world, Zeus had to intervene… he struck Phaethon with a thunder bolt, and Apollo quickly regained control of the chariot.
  • Phaethon fell dead to the Earth.
  • LESSON??

Hades (Pluto) wanted a bride to share the duties of the Underworld.

  • One day, he saw Persephone (Proserpine) gathering some flowers with her friends.
  • He fell in love with her, and essentially kidnapped her.
  • Persephone was scared (obviously) and yelled out for her mother, Demeter
  • But Demeter wasn’t quick enough ,and she watched as Hades took Persephone away
  • She didn’t know it, but he took Persephone down to the underworld….

Demeter, the Goddess of the Harvest, became SUPER depressed…

  • And, consequently, the harvest suffered.
  • Grain withered, droughts and famine followed
  • Men hungered and died
  • BUT, Demeter finally figured out where her daughter was!
  • However, she couldn’t go to land of the dead… so she went to Zeus and begged him to intervene
  • Zeus felt bad for his sister, and so he told her he would restore Persephone to her as long as Persephone had not eaten anything in Hades.

Meanwhile, in Hades, Persephone is also SUPER depressed…

  • She doesn’t smile, or eat
  • Desperate to get her to eat, Hades gives her a pomegranate.
  • Persephone ate six of the seeds.
  • When Hermes went to get Persephone from the Underworld, he found out she had eaten six seeds…
  • Based on the compromise Zeus had made, Persephone could not be returned to Demeter
  • So a compromise was reached… she would spend one month in the underworld for every seed she had eaten, and spend the rest of the time with Demeter on Earth.

When Persephone is on Earth with Demter, Demeter is happy and attends diligently to her duties.

  • These six months make up Spring and Summer, when plants grow and bloom
  • The other six months, when Persephone is with Hades, Demeter is depressed, and grieves and mourns for her absent daughter
  • These six months make up Fall and Winter, when plants wither and die

Prometheus and Epimetheus were responsible for making man and all the animals, skills, and abilities needed for their survival

  • Epimetheus made the animals, but Prometheus made man in the mirror image a god
  • Prometheus stole fire from the heaven to give to men, since Epimetheus had given all the gifts to animals
  • Zeus was MAD that Prometheus had given fire to man, because with fire in his possession, man might almost be a god…

So, Prometheus was punished…

  • And Zeus decided to bring misery to mankind.
  • Prometheus feared Zeus would do this, so he warned his brother not to accept any gifts that Zeus may give him…
  • But Epimetheus ignored this advice and accepted Zeus’ gift of a bride.
  • The bride was a mortal woman, Pandora, and she was the sum of all virtues- charming, accomplished, and beautiful, but she was also curious.
  • Zeus gave Pandora a box, and warned her not to open it…

She was happy as Epimethues’ wife, but she was always curious about the box she was not to open…

  • Until one day she couldn’t take it anymore!
  • She threw open the lid of the box, and out all kinds of misery to afflict mankind, such as envy, discontent, pain, anger, hunger, crime, plague, desolation, and illness.
  • She was very upset at what had happened, but she couldn’t undo it.
  • However, she did shut the lid before hope could escape, therefore, in spite of all the bad things in the world, there will always be hope!