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Olympians Titans Other Gods Myths Online Books

THE CREATION OF THE WORLD

Perhaps the most confusing aspect of this myth is the extensive use of names that seem difficult to non native Greek speakers to pronounce. This sometimes causes frustration and loss of track when trying to establish the continuing relationship between these characters in the birth of the world. So you have to be patient and try to associate these names with the characters and events that took place...

It all started when Chaos, Gaea (Earth) and Eros started to mix with each other leading to the Gods. So In Greek mythology, the creation of the world starts with the creation of the different classes of Gods. in this case, Gods refers to the characters that ruled the Earth (without necessarily possessing any divine attributes) until the "real" Gods, the Olympians came. So after this brief introduction, the next step to examine in the creation of the world is the creation of the Gods (which really is the same thing, it's just that when you are interested in the creation of the world, you look at the very beginning of the creation of the Gods, while, to examine the creation of the Gods, you have to look a little deeper).

Hesiod's Theogony is one of the best introductions we have on the creation of the world. According to Hesiod, three major elements took part in the beginning of creation. Chaos, Gaea, and Eros. It is said that Chaos gave birth to Erebos and Night while Ouranos and Okeanos sprang from Gaea. Each child had a specific role, and Ouranos duty was to protect Gaea. Later on, the two became a couple and
were the first Gods to rule the world. They had twelve children who were known as the Titans. Three others known as the Cyclopes, and the three hundred handed Giants.
The situation from here on however wasn't too good. Ouranos wasn't too pleased with his offsprings because he saw them as a threat to his throne. After all, there would come a time when they would grow up, and perhaps challenge his command. Ouranos eventually decided that his children belonged deep inside Gaea, hidden from himself and his kingdom. Gaea who wasn't too pleased with this arrangement agreed at first, but, later on chose to give her solidarity to her children. She devised a plan to rid her children from their tyrant father, and supplied her youngest child Cronus with a sickle. She then arranged a meeting for the two in which Cronus cut off his father's genitals. The seed of Ouranos which fell into the sea gave birth to Aphrodite, while from his blood were created the Fates, the Giants, and the Meliai nymphs.
Cronus succeeded his father in taking over the throne and married his sister Rhea. He also freed his siblings and shared his kingdom with them.Okeanos was given the responsibility to rule over the sea and rivers, while Hyperion guided the Sun and the stars. And time went by... Sooner than later Kronos had his own children, and the very same fears that haunted his father came back to torment him as well.
Kronos eventually decided that the best way to deal with this problem was to swallow all his children.
However, what goes around comes around, and once again the mother decided it was time to free her children. Rhea, Kronos's wife, managed to save her youngest child, Zeus by tricking Kronos into swallowing a stone wrapped in clothes instead of Zeus himself.
The great Zeus was then brought up by the Nymphs in Mount Dikte in the island of Crete. In order to cover the sound of his crying, the Kouretes danced and clashed their shields. As Zeus entered manhood, he had the strength few dare dream of. He dethroned his father, and freed his siblings from his father's entrails. It was now Zeus's turn to rule the world...

THE

HUMAN RACE

According to the myths, the immortal Gods thought that it would be interesting to create beings like them, but that were mortal. They would allow these beings to inhabit the earth. As soon as the mortals were created, Zeus, the leader of the Gods, ordered the two sons of the Titan Iapetus, Prometheus and Epimetheus, to give these beings various gifts in the hope that the mortals would evolve into interesting beings, able to amuse the Gods.
So the two brothers started to divide the gifts among themselves in order to give them to the earth's inhabitants. Epimetheus asked his brother to give out the gifts first, and was granted his wish. He gave the gift of beauty to some animals, agility on other animals, strength in others, and agility and speed to some. However, he left the human race defenseless, with no natural weapons in this new kingdom. Prometheus, who liked the human race, upon realizing what had happened, promptly distributed his own gifts to mankind. He stole reason from Athena, and thus gave reason to man. He then stole fire from the gates of Hephaestus, and gave mankind this new gift, which would keep them warm. Prometheus then became the protector of the human race, and shared with it all the knowledge he had.
This new situation angered Zeus, for fire until now had been a gift only reserved for the Gods. Zeus did not want the human race to resemble the Gods. Zeus's next step was to punish Prometheus. And a heavy punishment it was. Zeus chained Prometheus to a peak in the caucasus which was believed to be at the end of the world. He had an eagle eat his liver every single day for thirty years. At the end of each day, Prometheus' liver would grow back again, so he would have to suffer all over again. After thirty years, Heracles (Hercules) released Prometheus from his nightmare.

THE

OLYMPIANS

The Olympians refers to the twelve Gods of mount Olympus which is located in the northern central part of Greece. This mountain was believed to be sacred throughout ancient times, and, it was believed to be the highest point on earth. These Gods that ruled mount Olympus, also ruled the lives of all mankind. Each and every single God (or Goddess) had their own character and domain. Gods in mythology were very human like. They had the strengths and weaknesses of mortals (as we know them today). they were truly made to represent each and every side of human nature. They supported justice, as seen by their own point of view.
Gods even had children with mortals, which resulted in semi-gods like Hercules. The most amazing observation is how the Gods expresses human nature in its complete form. Strength, fear, unfaithfulness, love, admiration, beauty, hunting, farming, education, there was a God for every human activity and expression. These Gods weren't just ideal figures. they were beings with their own limitations. They expressed anger, jealousy and joy, just like us. Each God rules his own realm. they only true omnipotent God was Zeus, who ruled all.
 



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