Greek Mythology

Ashley Lastimosa

Creation

In Ancient Greek mythology, the first being was Chaos-the creator of the cosmos. Followed by Gaia, Tartarus, and Eros. Of the four beings, Chaos was space, not infinite space as it is now, but bounded space. Once space was created, Gaia (Earth) was created, the solid foundation of the universe, and then later Tartarus, the prison for defeated gods and monsters. The fourth being in the moment if creation, Eros (Love), was the force of attraction. No reason is offered why the four primeval beings come into existence, or why they come into being when they did, or is any explanation of what possibly existed before hand, since space, matter, and time begin only when the first event occurs, which is the appearance of Chaos. Chaos later created Erebus (Darkness) and Night, and these two created Aither (Brightness) and Day. Gaia (Earth) gave birth to Uranus (Sky) as a covering for herself and as a base for the gods, and she bore also the Mountains and Sea. Several generations were born creating the signature gods we know now, Zeus, Poseidon, Hades. Thus the world was created.
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Titans

After the first beings of the universe were born, they had many offspring referred to as 'Titans'. There were several among these beings. Cronos, Leto, Prometheus, Hyperion, Oceanus, Coeus, Crius, Iapetus, Theia, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Tethys. Who later produced the more commonly known second-generation Titans: Astraeus, Atlas, Epimetheus, and Prometheus. The gods we know today are offspring of the second generation of gods but in all technicality are titans as well.
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Olympians

The Greeks had many gods, but chief among them were the Olympians, that is, the gods who ruled most everything from their home atop Mount Olympus in Greece. The children of Cronos, a Titan, and Rhea, the "mother of the gods," the Olympians constitute the major gods of the Greek pantheon. Their king was Zeus, a sky god, famous for fathering a number of heroes like Perseus and Heracles. Hera was Zeus's sister and wife. The other Olympians include Zeus's brothers, Hades, god of the underworld, and Poseidon, god of the sea; Demeter, goddess of agriculture; Apollo, the sun god and god of the arts; Artemis, goddess of the hunt and moon; Hephaestus, god of fire and those who work with metal; Athena, goddess of wisdom and warfare; Ares, the god of war; Aphrodite, goddess of love; Hermes, the herald of the gods; and Hestia, goddess of the hearth. Uranus, In Greek mythology, Uranus was the personification and god of the sky and the heavens, the most ancient of all the Greek gods and the first ruler of the universe in the very earliest Greek cosmology.

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Creation of Humanity

Since Greece was so vast the story of human origin is foggy, though most all believe one of three models, each with its own imagery: artisanal, agricultural, or transformative. The most common of artisanal creation was the story of how Prometheus molded man out of clay into the likeliness of the gods. The Athenians, however had an agricultural idea of their own creation, boasting that they were born like plants from the soil of Attica, and so represented a different line of humans from the ones created by Prometheus. The Greek people known as Myrmidons traced their own origin back to ants that Zeus had transformed into human beings on the island of Aegina.

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Demigods

Though gods and man were vastly different and lived separately, they had several offspring from the occasional visits the gods took down to earth. These children were known as demigods, having both the mortality of a human and the strength of a god. There were a bunch of these children but most popular were the children of Zeus, Perseus and Hercules.

Hercules

Hercules was the son of Zeus and Alcmene. Zeus's wife, Hera, despised Hercules being born from a human mother and on the night of his birth while sleeping in his crib sent two giant serpents to kill him. Hera had underestimated his strength ,when the night was over Hercules was found holding to giant serpents he had strangled in each hand. As Hercules grew he became stronger and a great warrior. When he was 18 years old, the Cithaeronian Lion, a lion using Mount Cithaeron as its base, was killing cattle belonging to Amphitryon and Thespius, a nearby ruler. Wishing to catch the lion, Heracles went to Thespius, in whose house he stayed for 50 days hunting the beast. Eventually he overcame the lion and dressed himself in its skin, using its scalp as a helmet. After he returned he decided to leave himself out of the business of the to people, though King Cerion of Thebes insisted he marry his daughter Megara. Once home several gods presented him with gifts, Hermes moreover gave him a sword, Apollo a bow and arrows, Hephaestus a breastplate of gold, and Athena a peplos, or robe. Though Hercules had grown strong and an okay guy, Hera still harbored hatred for the demigod, and so she drove him mad causing him to kill his own children as well as those of his brother Iphicles by flinging them into the fire. Condemning himself to exile, he went to Thespius, who purified him of the killings. Then he went to Delphi to ask the gods where he should live. The Pythia, or priestess, instructed him to dwell in Tiryns, where he should serve Eurystheus for 12 years, performing 10 tasks that Eurystheus would assign him, and when the tasks were completed, he would become immortal. He completed all his task and more, but his existence was dark and sad, he had several episodes of insanity and killed several of his family and comrades but even after all the strife and grief a cloud came down and, with a peal of thunder, carried him up to the sky, where he obtained immortality and was reconciled with Hera, who gave him her daughter Hebe in marriage.

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