Greek Gods And Heroes Essay, Research Paper
Gods and Heroes
The ancient Greeks knew little of any real people except those who lived in the countries to the immediate east and south of their country. Their imagination filled the rest of the land with mystical and supernatural beings. The ancient Greeks believed the earth to be a flat circular disk., with their country being in the middle of it. The disk was divided into two equal parts by the Sea(the Mediterranean). They believed the River Ocean flowed around the world from south to northen the western side of the world and vice versa on the eastern side. The Sea and all rivers around the world received water from it. The northern portion of the earth was thought to be inhabited by a happy race named the Hyperboreans. They dwelled in endless bliss and an endless spring. They never aged, knew any disease or other unpleasant things of such. Their caverns supposedly sent piercing blasts of the north wind to the people of Greece. Their country could not be reached by land or sea. On the south side of the earth lived the Ethiopians. They were favored highly by the gods.They were as happy and virtuous as the Hyperboreans. On the western part of the earth was another happy place called Elysian Plain. Mortals favored by the gods were transported here without having to know death or anything but bliss.
The place where the gods and goddesses lived was at the highest point of Mount Olympus in Thessaly. It was hidden by a gate of clouds. Jupiter or Zues was called the father of gods and men. He did however have a beginning from Saturn(Coronos) and Rhea(Ops). His parents were the children of the earth and Heaven, which sprang from Chaos. the myths of Saturn aren’t consistent , and are very different. One says he started the Golden Age, while the other says he was a monster that devoured his own children. Another belief was that love was there before anything. Eros pierced and vivified all things producing life and joy.
However it happened though, Saturn was dethroned. Jupiter and his brothers Neptune(Poseidon) and Pluto(Dis) divided their fathers dominions. Jupiter got the heavens, Neptune the ocean, and Pluto the realms of the dead. Jupiter was king of gods and men. Thunder bolts were his weapon. Juno(Hera) was the wife of Jupiter, and queen of the gods. Iris, the goddess of the rainbow , was her messenger. Vulcan (Hephaestos), the celestial artist, was the son of Jupiter and Juno. He was born lame and his mother couldn’t stand the sight of him. She flung him from heaven. Mars (Ares), the god of war, was the son of Jupiter and Juno also. Phoebus Apollo, the god of archery ,music and the sun was the son of Jupiter and Latona and brother of Diana(Artemis),goddess of the moon. Venus (Aphrodite) was the goddess of love and beauty. She was the daughter of Jupiter and Dione. Others say she sprang from the foam of the sea, already a woman. All the gods wanted her and were infatuated with her and her beauty. Jupiter gave her to Vulcan, the most ill-favored of the gods. Cupid (Eros), the god of love was the son of Venus. He was always with her. With his bow and arrows, he shot darts of desire into the hearts of both gods and men. There was a deity named Anteros, who represented the avenger of slighted love. After Anteros was born Eros finally grew in size and strength. Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, was the offspring of Jupiter without a mother. She sprang from his head. Mercury was the son of Jupiter and Maia. He was god of everything that required skill and dexterity. He was Jupiter’s messenger. Ceres (Demeter) was the daughter of Saturn and Rhea. She was goddess of agriculture. She had a daughter named Proserpine (Persephone), who became Pluto’s wife and queen of the realm of the dead. Bacchus (Dioysus), the god of wine was the son of Jupiter and Semale. He represents the intoxicating power of wine. The Muses were daughters of Jupiter and Mnemosyne. They presided over songs and prompted the memory. There were nine of them each assigned rule over some department of literature, art or science. The Graces were goddesses ruling over the banquet, the dance and all social enjoyments. There were three of them. The Furies were three goddesses who punished those who committed crimes. Momus was the god of laughter. Plutus was the god of wealth.
Greek Gods and Goddesses by richard f. habletin