Ancient Greek Myths

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Zeus Greek God

Ancient Greek myths were intertwined into Greek society from the beginning.

The ancient Greek myths were seen as part of their religion and one way that the ancient Greeks could worship their gods.

The ancient Greek myths were handed down from one generation to another generation.

Storytellers engaged in a variety of techniques when reciting one of the ancient Greek myths to keep their listeners engaged in the storyline.

Ancient Greek myths were very important and traces of them can found on everything from walls to pottery to clothing.

Apollo god of music, prophecy, archery, and light

What were the ancient Greek myths about?

Ancient Greek myths were stories based on their gods like Zeus, Athena, Hercules, Poseidon, and more.

They usually included a monster too like Medusa who had snake for hair or the Minotaur which was a half-human/half-bull creature.

Each ancient Greek god had different magical powers and personalities that storytellers talked about during the story.

Each storyteller told their version in a different way but they always kept the god’s and monster’s magical powers and personalities in the correct perspective.

Ancient Greek myths are about a mystical world of ancient Greek gods that were constantly fighting, loving, punishing each other, compromising, and fearing one another from something bad.

Like normal human beings, the gods in the myths were punished or rewarded for their actions. In other words ancient Greek myths not only told a story but helped people decide between right and wrong.

Who were the ancient Greek gods?

Although there were many different gods in ancient Greece, here is a short list of some of the more important gods in ancient Greek.

The Titans-

There was twelve Titans which included the parents of Zeus, Rhea, and Cronus.

The Titans were the first gods of ancient Greece and reigned at a time called the golden age. The children, who were led by Zeus, overthrew the Titans.

The Titans

The Olympians-

There was twelve Olympian gods. These gods were the most important. Their home was atop Mount Olympus. The Olympian gods included the following individuals:

Zeus was their leader. He was married to Hera, his sister. He was god of the sky and lightning which was also his symbol.

Hera was the queen of the gods. She was the sister to Zeus but also his wife. She was the goddess of marriage and family and had many symbols including a pomegranate, cow, lion, and peacock.

Poseidon was the god of horses, the ocean, and earthquakes. He was the brother of Zeus and Hades and his symbol is the trident.

Dionysus was the noble of wine and celebrations. He was the main god of theater and art too. He was the youngest Olympian and the son of Zeus and his symbol was the grapevine.

Apollo was the god of music, prophecy, archery, and light. He was the twin brother of Artemis and his symbols included the bow and arrow, lyre, and sun.

Artemis was the goddess of archery, animals, and the hunt. She was the twin sister of Apollo and her symbols were the bow and arrow, the deer, and the moon.

Hermes was the god of thieves and commerce. He was also the messenger of the gods. The god of nature was his son Pan and his symbols included a staff with two snakes and a pair of winged sandals.

Hermes

Athena was the goddess of defense, war, and wisdom. She is the patron goddess of Athens and her symbols were an olive branch and an owl.

Ares was the god of war. He was the son of Zeus and Hera and his symbols included a spear and shield.

Aphrodite was the goddess of beauty and love. She was married to Hephaestus and her symbols were the swan, a rose, and a dove.

Hephaestus was the god of fire. He was the husband of Aphrodite and had numerous symbols including an anvil, fire, a donkey, and hammer.

Demeter was the goddess of agriculture and the seasons. Her symbols represented wheat and a pig.

Other Gods

Hades was the god of the underworld.

He was considered in the same league as the Olympian gods.

He did not live on Mount Olympus and lived in the underworld.

Hades

Ancient Greek Heroes

There were a couple of ancient Greek heroes that appear in numerous myths.

These heroes went on adventures to save people or something from bad things. Although they were considered to be human, they were related to many of the Olympians.

Heracles was the son of Zeus and the strongest of the heroes. He battles numerous monsters during his exciting journeys.

Achilles was the greatest hero of the Trojan War and the main person of Homer’s epic poem the Iliad.

The only place on his body he was vulnerable was his heels.

Odysseus was the final hero of Homer’s other epic poem the Odysseus.

Although he was tough and courageous he used his crafty mind to get out of trouble.

Notable Monsters in Ancient Greek Myths

Minotaur – He lived on the island of Crete. He was half-man/half-bull. Every year he would eat seven boys and seven girls.

Medusa – She was known as Gorgon. Her appearance included a woman’s face with snakes for hair. She could turn people into stone when they looked her.

Hydra – This monster was a huge snake with nine heads. It could grow several new heads rapidly when one was cut off.

Sirens – These were sea nymphs that sang beautiful songs in order to lure sailors into rocky shorelines and crash their boats.

Typhon – He is considered to be the most feared and most powerful monster. Nicknamed the “Father of All Monsters” he was feared by all the gods except Zeus.

Cerberus – This monster was creating by Typhon. It was a giant three-headed dog that guarded the gates to the Underworld.

Chimera – Was also a created by Typhon. It was a giant monster with a mixture of animals including a goat, snake, and lion. This monster was feared because it breathed fire.

Medusa

Facts about Ancient Greek Myths

  • Ancient Greek myths were used as part of the religion in ancient Greece.
  • Storytellers passed down ancient Greek myths from one generation to another generation of people.
  • Each ancient Greek myth told a story that highlighted the difference between right and wrong and good and evil.
  • The Olympians consisted of twelve gods and goddesses. Zeus was their leader.
  • The Titans were the parents of the Olympians.
  • The Olympians defeated the Titans to take over power.
  • Typhon was the most feared monster.

FAQ’s

What is the purpose of ancient Greek myths?

Ancient Greek myths were stories about their gods and goddesses. The myths were part of ancient Greek religion. The myths usually told a story about the difference between right and wrong and good and evil.

What are ancient Greek myths?

Ancient Greek myths were stories about the twelve Olympian gods and goddesses usually fighting with a number of different monsters. The stories were handed down from one generation to another generation.

Who were the twelve Olympian gods and goddesses?

The twelve Olympia gods and goddesses were Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes, and Dionysus.

Is Heracles an ancient Greek god?

No. Heracles was known as an ancient Greek Hero. He was the son of Zeus. Ancient Greek Heroes had the abilities of many of the ancient Greek gods but were considered mortal and human.

What Did You Learn?

  1. What was the name of the parents of the Olympians?

The Titans

  1. How many Olympian gods and goddesses were there?

Twelve

  1. Which monster had the face of a woman and snakes for hair?

Medusa

  1. Who was the leader of the Olympians?

Zeus

  1. Where did the Olympians live?

On top of Mount Olympus