Written by Homer
Written Approximately 1200 B.C.
Translated from Greek by Robert Fitzgerald
• A Myth is a traditional story from a particular culture
• It usually explains a belief of that culture, a ritual of the culture, or
a mysterious natural phenomenon
• A Myth deals with humans and the unknown or, humans and gods.
*Many times the god is an alter ego, or a reflection of the
hero’s best or worst characteristics
*Types of myths: Greek, Roman, Norse, Egyptian
*Topics of Myths include: nature, creation, semi-historical.
*Ancient Greek mythology is the influential and richest type.
One will find its influence in literature, sculpture, and
*The earliest sources of Greek mythical tales are the works
of the poets Hesiod and Homer.
Creation Myths: Hesiod
The Theogony is a poem by Hesiod (8th-
7th century BC) was a Greek oral poet
describing the origins and genealogies
of the gods of the ancient Greeks,
composed circa 700 BC.
Hesiod's Theogony is a large-scale
synthesis of a vast variety of Greek
traditions concerning the gods,
tells how they came to be and how they
established permanent control over the
first Greek mythical cosmogony( a
theory concerning the coming into
existence or origin of the universe, or
about how reality came to be.
Greek religion was polytheistic. What does the
Greek root “poly” mean? So, now what do you
think polytheistic means?
12 immortals who dwelt in a palace on
Mount Olympus (can you identify them all)
Zeus / Jupiter
King of the gods
God of air
Uses Thunderbolts as
Womanizer – married
his own sister
Son of Cronos and
Rhea Jupiter is so
Most powerful named because
it is so big – it is
the “King of
Poseidon / Neptune
God of the sea and
Trident is weapon
Amphitrite is his wife
Son of Cronos and Rhea so named
2nd most powerful because
Hades / Pluto
God of the Underworld and
King of the dead but he is not
Son of Cronos and Rhea
Has a helmet that makes the
Persephone (Spring) is his wife
NOT EVIL! (but he is unpitying)
3rd most powerful
Hephaestus / Vulcan
God of fire and the forge
Son of Zeus and Hera
Lame because he was thrown off Mt. Olympus for
interfering with a fight between Hera and Zeus
Husband to Aphrodite
Hera / Juno
Queen of the gods
Protector of marriage
Wife/sister of Zeus
The peacock is her symbol
(because of the eye-look)
Cows are sacred to her (ox-
Jealous No planet, but there
is an asteroid named
after her plus a city
Hermes / Mercury Messenger god and the
god of thieves
Greek Trickster figure
Son of Zeus and Maia
Greeks believed he
guided souls to Hades
The Hermes Asteroid
Mercury revolves around the sun so fast, it was
named for the messenger god. One year is
faster than one day on Mercury
God of truth, light,
archery, and healing
Sun god in some myths
(Helios is the sun god in
Son of Zeus and Leto
Wolves, dolphins, and
crows are sacred to
Has the Oracle of
Artemis / Diana
Apollo’s Twin sister
Goddess of the hunt,
wild things, and
She is the moon
As Diana, she is also a The
goddess of light Artemis
Ares / Mars
Son of Zeus and Hera,
but both hate him
God of War
The Romans glorify him,
but the Greeks make
him out to be a coward Mars
He has three children and its
with Aphrodite: Phobos moons,
(panic) and Deimos Phobos
(fear) are twins and
Hestia / Vesta
Zeus’ sister – Oldest of the
Goddess of the hearth and
Gave up her spot on Mt.
Olympus for Dionysus
A virgin priestesses served
her for 30 year time periods
Does pretty much nothing in Asteroid Vesta
Eros / Cupid
God of love
Son of Ares and
Often portrayed as a
child, but not always.
He has wings
Uses a bow and arrow –
arrows cause one to fall
Eros is a near earth
Pallas Athena / Minerva
Goddess of wisdom and
Daughter of Zeus and
Metis (titan) – she popped
out of his head after he
swallowed the pregnant
She carries a shield with
Medusa’s head on it Minerva was a tiny
robot designed by
the Japanese to
land on an
asteroid, but got
lost in space.
Demeter / Ceres
Daughter of Cronos and
Goddess of vegetation
Had powers of growth and
Her daughter is
The asteroid Ceres was the first
asteroid ever discovered and is
one of the largest (about the size
of Texas). It almost became a
designated as a planet
Dionysus / Bacchus
Son of Zeus and
God of wine and
In some areas of
Greece, his worship
was outlawed ( thought
too be dirty).
Aphrodite / Venus
Goddess of beauty
but lover of Venus is so named
other guys because it is a
* Born from the foam in the sea and can be easily
caused by the attack of Cronos/ seen with just the
Saturn on Ouranus/Uranus eye
Where was ancient Greece? Greece is
a country in Europe.
When and where was ancient Greece?
1000 BC – 790-
323 BC: 1060s:
Ancient The Viking
55 BC - 1666: The
3100 BC – 1069 BC:
400 AD: Great Fire
Roman of London
Socrates 470-399 B.C.
Socrates was a philosopher of
A philosopher is someone who
tries to explain the nature of
Sought truths about broad
concepts such as truth,
justice, and virtue.
Socrates thought people could
learn best by asking questions.
This method of questioning is
still called the Socratic
method. He also thought that
philosophers could study human
behavior to learn how to
The Death of Socrates
The trial of Socrates was based on two
charges: corrupting the youth and
impiety (immorality and sin). More
specifically, Socrates’ accusers cited
two ‘impious’ acts: ‘failing to
acknowledge the gods that the city
acknowledges’ and ‘introducing new
deities.’ 501 chosen jurors voted to
Socrates was ultimately sentenced to
death by drinking a hemlock-based
liquid. A well-known account of the trial
was given by one of Socrates’ student,
The trial is one of the most famous of
all time. Whether Socrates was
punished unjustly is a thought-provoking
and contested issue, which to this day
inspires discussions about the nature and
meaning of justice.
Plato was a student of
Plato later teaches Aristotle.
He started a school called
Plato’s writing took the form
of a dialogue between
teacher and student.
Wrote Plato’s Republic-
proved one of the most
intellectually and historically
influential works of
philosophy and political
Aristotle taught Alexander
His writings cover many
subjects, including physics,
poetry, theater, music,
logic, rhetoric, politics,
biology, and zoology.
He wrote The Poetics-offers
an account of what he calls
poetry, drama and comedies,
tragedy, satires, lyric poetry,
and epic poetry.
A look inside the Greek Alphabet. Compare and
contrast this to our own English alphabet. What do
What similarities are there between ancient Greek schools and our
At school we learn reading, writing and math. We
also learn singing and musical instruments.
Only children from rich families can go to school,
because you have to pay.
Girls don’t usually go to school, they are mostly
educated at home.
We start school at the age of seven and stay
until we are about fourteen.
After school most children learn a job or trade.
The richer ones might go to Athens to study with
The Greeks invented the Greek
This is a catapult that the
Greeks invented. It could
throw 300 lb. stones at
How have the ancient Greeks influenced our buildings?
Look at buildings in your area or in pictures. Can you spot
any of these Ancient Greek features?
The Greeks invented
three common and DORIC
Political: Athens was the first
Democracy: type of government where people
Well, actually, Athens was a direct democracy
where people vote on everything.
The U.S. today is a representative democracy,
where we vote for people to make decisions for
Direct participation was the key to Athenian democracy. In the
Assembly, every male citizen was not only entitled to attend as
often as he pleased but also had the right to debate, offer
amendments, and vote on proposals. Every man had a say in
whether to declare war or stay in peace. Basically any thing that
required a government decision, all male citizens were allowed to
An Epic is a long narrative poem
• Tells about the adventures of a hero
• Usually epics embody the values of the cultures they are
•The Iliad and the Odyssey were used in schools to teach Greek
•Values: honor, bravery, hospitality, intelligence, respect for
the gods, loyalty to home and family
•Major faults: disrespect for the gods, lack of hospitality,
excessive pride “hubris”
• Iliad is primary model for epic of war
• Odyssey is primary model for epic of the long journey
•Begins in medias res (Latin for “it begins in
the middle of things”), then flashes
back to explain action leading up to that
•Begins with an invocation (calling upon a god
for inspiration) or prayer to a god or gods
•Always begins with a statement of theme
•Contains many epithets
•Contains long, formal speeches by many
• Singer “rapsode” of tales/ from the island Chios
•historians and classicists can only speculate about the life of this
man (details are few)
•thought to be blind, but describes events as a seeing person
. We do not even know the century in which he lived, and it is
difficult to say with absolute certainty that the same poet
composed both works.
•All historians/entertainers of Homer’s time did not write their
•The Greeks hailed him as their greatest poet, as well as their first.
Although the Greeks recognized other poets who composed in Greek
before Homer, no texts from these earlier poets survived.
Now, close your eyes and envision this as I read the following to you!
The banquet is over and the fire has collapsed to a bed of
embers. Amid bursts of laughter and boisterous conversation,
serving maids clear the remains of bread and meat from the long
wooden table. From his place at the head of the table, the lord
of the hall signals to a man holding a stringed instrument starts
to play while the guests shift their attention and slowly ease
their talk. Then he begins to sing. Chanting rhythmically,
occasionally touching the strings of his lyre, he sings of gods,
heroes, and monsters; of love, war, travel, death, and
homecoming. A stillness upon the hall and the listeners fall under
the spell of his words. The singer of tales is working his magic.
This is an example of what it would be like to hear the tales of
Homer and other storyteller’s.
•Sequel to the Iliad (900 and 700 BC)
• The Iliad focuses on the days toward the end of the Trojan
War (mid 1200s BC)
• The Odyssey focuses on one of the soldiers that fought in
the Trojan War returning home 20 years after the
• The Iliad and the Odyssey together were considered sacred to
the Greeks—much like the Bible to many people today.
• Both books were not originally written down but were recited
•2 ways they were presented : sung with musical accompaniment
•Both contain Homeric similes & epithets
•The Judgment of Paris- The Golden Apple Contest
•Spartan King Menelaus’ wife Helen (the face that launched a thousand
ships) left him for the young Prince Paris of Troy.
•Greeks attacked Troy
•Agamemnon, brother of Menelaus, led the siege.
• Odysseus (main character in the Odyssey) was another hero of
• Odysseus was known not only for being a strong hero, but also
for being a wise/smart hero.
• Another Greek hero, Achilles, died in the final year of the war “Achilles
•Trojan Horse & Greek forces were victorious!
•Wife: Penelope Son: Telemachus Kingdom: Ithaca
•Great soldier of the war
• Originally tried to get out of going to the war—pretended he was crazy
• Came up with the wooden-horse trick that lead to Troy’s collapse.
• The Odyssey is the account of Odysseus’ journey home after the war.
Meter in The Odyssey
The Odyssey was written in a dactylic
hexameter. Each line of the epic has 6 metrical
feet. The first five feet are dactyls which are
composed of a long sound and 2 short sounds. The
last foot of each line is always a spondee which is
made up of 2 long sounds.
• (1)Story in Ithaca about Odysseus’
wife and son as they await his return.
•(2)Tale of Odysseus’ wanderings
during the ten years following the
•(3)Odysseus returns to Ithaca and
joins forces with his son, Telemachus,
to destroy their enemies.
Motifs in The Odyssey
Respect for the Gods
The Importance of Lineage
Pride and Honor
Live Life to the Fullest
The Importance of Leadership
Revenge, Justice, & Reconciliation
an American educator and author who was “recognized
as the greatest woman Classicist”.
Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes is a book written
by Hamilton, published in 1942.
It retells stories of Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology drawn
from several classical sources.
The book has become one of the most powerful and critically-
acclaimed books of the Western world.
2 Film Allusions
2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 science fiction
film directed by Stanley Kubrick (A Clockwork
Orange, Doctor Strangeglove). The movie is about
creation by design- computers and their part in
them- computers that can misfunction and cause
Alludes to the Trojan Horse (monolith), Names
(Tycho & Dave Bowman), Monolith (creates a
forgetting effect), a human relies on brute
strength & a monster relies on genius (irony).
O’ Brother Where Art Thou?
*The film is a 2000 adventure story directed by brothers Joel and
Ethan Cohen (The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men, Fargo,etc).
Set in 1934 Mississippi during the Great Depression, the film's story is
a modern satire loosely based on Homer’s epic poem.
*In the opening credits explicitly state the story of the film is based on
epic poem by Homer.
*The similarities between O Brother, Where Art Thou? and The
Odyssey are numerous, ranging from the obvious to the obscure.
Joel Cohen has been quoted as saying: “It just sort of occurred to us
after we’d gotten into it somewhat that it was a story about someone
going home, and sort of episodic in nature, and it kind of evolved into
that. It’s very loosely and very sort of unseriously based on The
ASK ME ABOUT A