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The Ancient Greeks

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The Ancient

Greeks believed in a series of myths which explained nature, set up a moral

code for the people, and were just folk lore of the people. In this paper,

the beginnings of myths, the Greek gods themselves, and several myths concerning

morals, nature, and old lore of the Ancients will be discussed. Because the

myths and details about the gods were passed along by word of mouth, some myths

or gods might be interchanged or different.

The Greek myths started

as folk lore until it began to explain nature and storytellers integrated a

moral code into the myths. Many myths started out as fairy tales. As new

and more efficient farming methods became available to the Greek people they

were faced with more time in which to do other things. A people who have waste

develop a culture all their own. Because Greece was divided into different

city- states, many of the myths are different. The culture of storytelling

began to involve explanations of nature such as the creation of the horse,

spider, and such changes as winter and fire along with the creation of man

himself. Slowly, as with any longstanding government, the morals and laws

of society leaked into Greek myths in the form of, "The slain shall be avenged

by Nemesis (a force which causes people to get revenge)," or just, "Kindness

and humbleness are rewarded by the gods." Some myths were even created to

support other myths. The myths started with storytelling and developed into


complex system of morals and explanations.

The Greek myths were almost

fruitless without the intervention of the gods. The gods controlled nature

and fought their own battles on the earth, which sometimes caused problems.

The first god was the most powerful one until he had children. The first

god is called Oranos or in some myths Uranus. He was the first ruler among

the gods. Uranus was the heavens and Gaea was the earth and thus they were

married. The couple gave birth to many different and odd children but Uranus

was cruel to them. Then, Chronos was born as the youngest titan. Chronos

dethroned his father and soon after married his sister, Rhea. He didn't want

his children to dethrone him so he ate them. However, Zeus overthrew Chronos

and established the first real empire of the gods. Zeus settled disputes between

the other gods and made sure the humans weren't treated in the wrong way.

Zeus and Hera gave birth to Ares and Hermes along with other minor gods. Hera

was a cruel type person in most myths and in one she led a rebellio

n against

Zeus and almost defeated him when he was rescued. Her favorite sign is the

peacock feather and that is her unique sign. Zeus and Hera were the first

lasting god couple.

Zeus had two brothers, Poseidon and Hades. After

Chronos had been defeated, the three brothers threw dice for who would rule

in which realm. Poseidon chose the sea because there was the source of the

most adventure. Zeus chose the sky where he would rule on Mount Olympus.

Hades had no choice and took the underworld because he was notoriously unlucky.

Poseidon created many odd sea creatures and the dolphin. He also created

the horse and horselike animals. Poseidon had many children by two nymphs

and his first son, Achilles, was greater than himself. Hades ruled the underworld

and chose what to do with the souls of the people who came across the River

Styx. They were judged on what they did in life. He was unloving and terrible

and he rarely left the underworld. His only wife was Persephone. She was the

daughter of Demeter, goddess of corn, grain, and weather to an extent. Demeter

is a minor god except for the great influence she has on the earth. Because

her daughter, Persephone, is abducted

every year, the crops wither and winter

takes control of the land.

There were quite a few lesser gods who ruled

over small parts of nature. Aphrodite is the goddess of love and passion.

She was formed of the foam off the genitals of Neptune which fell into the

sea. She manipulated men and was known for her enchanted golden apples. Her

son was Eros, where we get the word erotic. Eros is the Greek form of Cupid,

the Roman god of love. Aphrodite also has a magical girdle that makes anyone

she wishes to love her. Aphrodite is married to Hephaestus, the ugly god of

the forge. He and Aphrodite are Olympian gods but have limited control. Ares

is the god of war. He rules all war and provokes men to war. He plays a vital

role in provoking



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