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Mythology Case - the Early Greeks

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The early Greeks had many stories about their gods to explain the many teachings that the Greeks believed in. In order for a civilization to have morals or to have a basic understanding of how things went in the world they need some sort of clarification as to why their world came to be. The faith in their gods grew through stories in which the people could relate to and could explain the reason why thing work the way they do. The mythology described in their history consists of how their world is created through dismemberment and heroic struggles and was considered true because they explained the sciences and religion that gave meaning to their lives.

Artemis is an example of a Greek goddess who was the explanation for hunting and the birth of all human beings. Artemis and her brother, Apollo, had a close relationship and would defend their mother, Leto, from rude assaults such as, when the queen of Thebes boasted of her many children. The queen's punishment was the deaths of most of her offspring and to be turned into stone. Artemis also had a friendly relationship with the giant Orion but because of Apollo's jealousy tricked her into slaying him with her hunting arrow (Dean).

The god of prophesy, music and healing, Apollo, was also a figment formed to explain their way of life. Apollo took part in the Trojan War with the death of the best fighter, Achilles. Paris, brother of Hector, killed Achilles using one of Apollo's arrows. Since Apollo was the god of music, he would compete with others, such as Pan. King Midas was punished with the ears of a mule because he preferred Pan's music instead of Apollo's music (Dean).

Hephaestus was also a god that was created through the many Greek myths. He was the god of fire and craft, henceforth blacksmith. In some versions he was born lame and in others it is said he got in between a fight with Hera and Zeus and was taken by the foot and thrown to earth. Hephaestus was the creator of the palace that is said to be in Mount Olympus and Achilles' armor. He also created the first woman, Pandora, who gave a jar of evils to her husband, Epimetheus, and removed the lid giving all men hard work and sickness for the first time (Dean).

Poseidon is also a widely recognized myth in the Greek history. He was brother of Zeus and Hades and was ruler of all various waters. Poseidon competed with Athena for the rule of Athens by making a spring of salt water; however, Athena's olive tree was much more productive. He also delayed the hero, Odysseus, in his quest because Odysseus blinded his son Polyphemus. Poseidon also cursed King Minos' wife because Minos would not sacrifice a bull he had promised. This resulted in the queen falling in love with the bull creating a monster called the Minotaur (Dean).

Aphrodite was the Greek goddess that explained the nature of fertility, love, and beauty. The Trojan prince, Paris, judged and chose Aphrodite as the most beautiful goddess and as a reward was given the love of the most beautiful maiden in world, Helen of Sparta. Aphrodite took part in the Trojan War and was wounded on the wrist. She is also involved in the many affairs with the mortals and immortals. Aphrodite herself was in affairs such as with Anchises and was unfaithful to Hephaestus (Dean).

These myths hold an important part to the Greek culture and show a great deal of morality in each myth. According to Gordon Dean, the siblings, Artemis and Apollo, punished the queen of Thebes for her arrogance toward the many children she had. Through this myth the Greeks were able to demonstrate the power the gods had and teach each generation not to defy the gods. In this case, arrogance can result in a punishment from the gods because they are the almighty. Apollo, for example, would enter music competitions because he



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