Later Greek writers and artists used and elaborated upon these sources in their own work. For instance, mythological figures and events appear in the 5th-century plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides and the lyric poems of Pindar. Writers such as the 2nd-century BC Greek mythographer Apollodorus of Athens and the 1st-century BC Roman historian Gaius Julius Hyginus compiled the ancient myths and legends for contemporary audiences.
Table of Contents Overview Mythology resembles one large SparkNote in itself, offering a detailed overview of the myths of ancient Greece and Rome and a brief overview of Norse mythology.
Since a tradition as immense as classical mythology cannot be presented in any linear fashion, Mythology frequently contains references to characters or stories that are not explained until later. Nonetheless, it is perfectly acceptable to skip around in the book to alleviate this confusion whenever it arises.
Hamilton begins by providing her rationale for the study of mythology and her understanding of its nature. She then introduces the major gods and describes the creation of the universe. Twelve primary gods live together on Mount Olympus: The names of these gods are Greek in origin, but the Romans renamed most of the gods when they adopted them.
Except in cases when a story is told exclusively by a Roman author, Hamilton employs the original Greek names in her retelling. According to classical mythology, the universe began in a manner that—remarkably—resembles the modern scientific theory of the big bang.
There was originally only chaos and darkness. Out of the swirling energy Earth and Heaven arose and gave birth to many children. Though most of these children were monsters, they eventually gave rise to the Titans, a race of gods in human form.
One of the Titans overthrew his sky-father, only to see his own son Zeus overthrow him later. Zeus and his siblings defeated all the Titans in a fierce battle and installed themselves as the lords of the universe. They created humankind and promptly began manipulating their new creatures.
Zeus, an incurable philanderer, frequently descended to Earth, often in some magical form, to have his way with beautiful human women. Many of these half-divine heroes, along with their few all-mortal peers, went on to found the dynasties of Greece.
The stories about these heroes, which account for the founding of certain cities or the legitimacy of certain dynastic bloodlines, were meant to explain phenomena that the Greeks observed in the world around them.
The Greeks also told many other tales, often of a nonheroic nature, to explain the qualities of flowers, lightning, landscapes, and so on.
The works of the Greek playwrights, written around b. The protagonists of these plays, caught in webs of circumstances beyond their control, have to nonetheless face their situations and make moral decisions of direst consequence to themselves and others.
Many scholars consider these Greek tragedies to be as sophisticated in their psychology and writing as anything penned since.
Hamilton reserves a final section for the traditions of the Norsemen. Unlike the Greek and Roman stories, which have been retold in many versions that still exist today, the Norse tales have barely survived.
Christian obsession with the destruction of pagan material swept clean Scandinavia, Germany, and other Norse areas. Only in Iceland did written versions of Norse tales survive.
These Icelandic texts, which date from about a.There are several Greek myths that involve monsters, which we know could not have actually existed.
This raises the question of why there are monsters in Greek myth. In Greek mythology monsters serve to set heroes apart from regular humans. Examples in this essay of monsters and their hero /5(4). The centaur is a humanoid mythical creature with the head, arms, and torso of a human and the body and legs of a horse.
Perhaps one of the most popular centaurs in Greek mythology is Chiron. Monsters of Mythology Myths are stories that establish moral laws and models of behavior for people of a society.
They often feature characters who are gods or heroes with supernatural abilities. SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics.
This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths by Bernard Evslin. Rather, myths are traditional narratives often of gods, goddess, and heroes, great deeds and supernatural powers, that are passed down through various textual and visual sources and convey commonly held beliefs in a particular society about natural phenomena, historical events, and proper behavior.
To classify myths and explore the special features of myths. Deﬁnition of a Myth The word myth comes from the Greek word 'mythos' which means 'to tell a story'.