Greek Myths 81 replies

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-Ghost-

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#11 13 years ago

Alright, romantic stories? There's tons of those. You've got Pygmilion and Galatea, Pandora and Cupid, Pyramus and Thisbe (a bit like Romeo and Juliet) Zeus had several lovers himself:

As the sky god Zeus had easy access to the women of the world and took full advantage of it. Also, his power as a supreme god made him difficult to resist. Prior to his marrage to Hera he was married first to Metis, then Themis. He was interested in Demeter but she resisted him. His third wife was Mnemosyne. The list of lovers after his final marrage, to Hera, is considerable: Europa Io Semele

Europa Europa was the daughter of the King Agenor of Sidon. She had the continent of Europe named for her. Somewhat miraculesly Hera was distracted during her affair with Zeus and never punished her for it. One night Europa had a dream. In this dream two continents, which were in the forms of women were arguing over Europa. Asia maintained that since Europa had been born in Asia she belonged to it. The other continent, which was nameless, said that her birth was not important, that Zeus would give her to it.

It was early morning, disturbed by the dream Europa did not go back to sleep. She summoned her companions, who were all daughters of nobility and of her age. It was a beautiful day and they went off gathering flowers by the sea. Zeus noticed this charming group, particularly Europa, who was the prettest of the maidens. Some say that Eros, induced him into action with one of his darts. Although, Zeus often made due with self motivation. In any case, Zeus appeared to the group as a white bull. A white bull more beautiful then any other. A bull that smelled of flowers, and lowed musically. A bull so obviously gentle that all the maidens rushed to stroke and pet it.

The bull laid down in front of Europa. She slid on to its back. Instantly, the bull charged off, plunging into the sea, and began to swim rapidly from the shore. Europa saw that a procesion had joined them, Nereids riding dolphins, Triton blowing his horn, even Poseidon. From this she realized that the bull must be a god. She pleaded with him to pity her. Zeus spoke to her and explained his love. He took her to Create, where he had been raised. He promised that she would bear him many famous sons.

Her sons included Minos I and Rhadamanthus.

Io Zeus fell in love with Io and seduced her. To try to keep Hera from noticing he covered the world with a thick blanket of clouds. This backfired, arousing Hera's suspicions. She came down from Mount Olympus and begain dispersing the clouds. Zeus did some quick thinking and changed Io's form from being a lovely maiden. So as the clouds dispersed Hera found Zeus standing next to a white heifer. He then swore that he had never seen the cow before, it had just sprang right out of the earth. Seeing right through this Hera complimented the cow and asked to have it as a present. As turning such a reasonable request down would have given the whole thing away, Zeus presented her with the cow. She sent the cow away and arranged Arges to watch over it. Since Arges had a hundred eyes and could have some of them sleep while others were awake he made a fine watchman. Desperate, Zeus sent Hermes to fetch Io. Disgused as a shepard, Hermes had to employ all his skill as a musician and story teller to gain Arges confidence and lull him to sleep. Once asleep Hermes killed Arges. As a memorial, Hera took his eyes and set them into the tail of her favorite bird, the peacock.

While Io was now free Hera sent the mother of all gad-flys to sting the still bovine Io. This pushed her near madness, trying to escape she wandered the world. During her wanders she came across Prometheus while chained. He gave her hope. He predicted that she would have to wander for many years. But, she would eventually be changed back into human form and would bear a child. He predicted that a decendent of this child would be a great hero and set him free.

His predictions came true. During her wanderings many geographical features where named after her including the Ionian Sea, and the Bosphorus (which means ford of the cow). She eventually reached the Nile where Zeus did restore her to human form. She bore Epaphus and eleven generations later her descendant Hercules would set Prometheus free.

Semele Semele was a Thebian princess. She is the only mortal to be the parent of a god. She was one of Zeus many lovers and like most came to an unfortunate end due to Hera's jealous hatred. She is best known as the mother of Dionysus. While she was killed shortly before giving birth the child was resuced by Zeus. Eventually Dionysus, who had never seen her, managed to rescue her from the underworld. and arrange for her to live on Mount Olympus.

Another would be Orpheus, a skilled musician, and Eurydice:

One of the most tragic love stories of Greek mythology. Orpheus was the son of the Muse Calliope and therefore a grand musician. His wife was a dryad, Eurydice, who also attracted the attentions of Aristaeus. Aristaeus pursued her until she stepped on a poisonous snake and was forced into the Underworld. Orpheus was determined to retrieve his beloved. He journeyed down to the underworld, first charming Charon, ferryman of the dead, and lulling to sleep Cerberus, the three-headed watchdog. He encountered Hades, who initially refused to release Eurydice, but Orpheus's music so touched Persephone that she pleaded Orpheus's case, and Hades relented. There was one condition: that Orpheus not look back on their way out. Of course, Orpheus was worried that Eurydice was not behind him, and he fatefully glanced back to see if she was following him. She disappeared back into Hades, and he lost her forever. Unable to live without her, Orpheus spent the rest of his days wandering in aimless sorrow before he was finally murdered by maenads, the drunken followers of Dionysus.

The Pyramus and Thisbe story is as follows:

this involves two lovers in a situation similar to that of Hero and Leander and presents somewhat of a pre-Romeo and Juliet scenerio. They would meet at night, near a mulberry tree outside the city. One evening Thisbe arrived, but fled when she saw a lioness approaching. In her haste, she dropped her cloak. The lioness, fresh from a hunt, mauled the cloth with its bloodstained paws, and retreated. Pyramus soon arrived and discovered the cloak with the blood—and naturally assumed the worst. In agony, he stabbed himself; his blood splattered on the mulberries, which have been red ever since. Thisbe found his body and herself committs suicide.

The story of Ariadne:

Ariadne was the daughter of the the king of Crete, Minos. Minos had instigated from Athens a sacrifice of seven youths and seven maidens to feed the Minotaur, and the hero Theseus was to be one of the victims. However, Ariadne fell in love with him, and she assisted him by giving him a ball of gold thread to help him in the labyrinth where the creature dwelt. She accompanied him back on the voyage to Athens but he soon dumped her on the island of Dia, or Naxos. The god Dionysus found the wounded girl and made her his wife. He placed her wedding crown, the Corona Borealis, into the heavens as a symbol of their love.

That's enough for now I think. Many Greek myths had beautiful women in them, as each woman was a beauty, and each man was a hero. Troy is also a love story, regardless of what the movie says :rolleyes: , where Menelaus tries to rescue his wife Helen from Paris. Enjoy Rahman!




Deimos

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#12 13 years ago

Why oh why did Zeus have to overthrow his own father, Cronus, and end the Golden Age? :(




-Ghost-

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#13 13 years ago

That's an easy one. The Titanomachia, or the war between the gods and Titans began because of Cronus. Cronus, upon hearing that one of his sons would become greater then him, and slay him, swallowed each of his children as his wife gave birth to them. With them being gods, I suppose it didn't kill them, but they couldn't go against him either. Finally, Zeus was born, but Cronus' wife, like any mother, didn't like having her children eaten. So she placed a rock within swaddling clothes and said it was her baby, so Cronus ate it instead of Zeus. This allowed Zeus to be free, so he was sent to crete to be raised away from Cronus. Later, Zeus came back, and freed his trapped brothers and sisters from their father's stomach by cutting him open. This was basically an act of war, so Zeus needed allies to fight his father. He gathered the Cyclopes, the Hecatonchires, and the Gigantes to help him fight, along with his brothers and sisters Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon. Cronus' allies were Oceanus, Coeus, Crius, Hyperion, Iapetus, Thia, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Tethys, Prometheus, Epimetheus, Atlas, and Menoetius. Atlas was the "general" of Cronus' forces against Zeus and his allies. Basically, they fough, until all of Cronu's forces were destroyed including he himself. Prometheus was spared, due to his knowledge, and he hadn't fought against Zeus. The femal titaneseses were also spared as well. The remaining Titans were locked away within Tartarus forever. Having won victory after ten years of war, the Olympians divided the spoils between themselves, granting dominion of the sky to Zeus, the sea to Poseidon, and the Underworld to Hades. Hopefully this clears a little of it up for you.




Deimos

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#14 13 years ago

Well, that sums it all up pretty good. :)




Yannick

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#15 13 years ago

Could you tell me a bit more about Galatea?




Vantage

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#16 13 years ago

Is there any explination why Athena sprung from Zeus's head? In school all we really learned was that she was Zeus's favorite child and that she sprung from his head. We didn't really investigate any further backstory.




-Ghost-

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#17 13 years ago

Woah, one at a time! Ok, Galatea first.

Galatea was one of the Nereids, and the beloved of Acis, a Sicilian shepherd. She was also loved by Polyphemus, who killed Acis with a boulder in jealousy. From his blood, Galatea created the river Acis on Sicily.

Next, Athena:

Athena had sprung fully grown out of her father's head upon "birth". Her mother was Metis, goddess of wisdom and Zeus' first wife. In fear that Metis would bear a son mightier than himself. Zeus swallowed her and she began to make a robe and helmet for her daughter. The hammering of the helmet caused Zeus great pain in the form of headaches and he cried out in agony. Skilled Hephaestus ran to his father and split his skull open and from it emerged Athena, fully grown and wearing her mother's robe and helmet.




Yannick

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#18 13 years ago

OK, it's just I live in a rural community in New Zealand called Galatea :)




-Ghost-

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#19 13 years ago

Lol, nice. Lots of things are named after Greek myths. The planets for example, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn (I think), Neptune, Pluto.




Yannick

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#20 13 years ago

Aren't those Roman Gods?