Greek mythology Greek mythology is explicitly embodied in a large collection of narratives, and implicitly in Greek representational arts, such as vase-paintings and votive gifts. Greek myth attempts to explain the origins of the world, and details the lives and adventures of a wide variety of gods, goddesses, heroes, heroines, and mythological creatures. These accounts initially were disseminated in an oral-poetic tradition; today the Greek myths are known primarily from Greek literature. Archaeological findings provide a principal source of detail about Greek mythology, with gods and heroes featured prominently in the decoration of many artifacts. Sources Literary sources The poetry of the Hellenistic and Roman ages was primarily composed as a literary rather than cultic exercise. Finally, a number of Byzantine Greek writers provide important details of myth, much derived from earlier now lost Greek works. Archaeological sources Survey of mythic history Origins of the world and the gods
Elysium Elysium or the Elysian Fields (Ancient Greek: Ἠλύσιον πεδίον, Ēlýsion pedíon) is a conception of the afterlife that developed over time and was maintained by certain Greek religious and philosophical sects and cults. Initially separate from the realm of Hades, admission was reserved for mortals related to the gods and other heroes. Later, it expanded to include those chosen by the gods, the righteous, and the heroic, where they would remain after death, to live a blessed and happy life, and indulging in whatever employment they had enjoyed in life. The ruler of Elysium varies from author to author: Pindar and Hesiod name Cronus as the ruler, while the poet Homer in the Odyssey describes fair-haired Rhadamanthus dwelling there. Classical literature In Homer’s Odyssey, Elysium is described as a paradise: to the Elysian plain…where life is easiest for men. Pindar's Odes describes the reward waiting for those living a righteous life: See also
Trojan War Sources The Burning of Troy (1759/62), oil painting by Johann Georg Trautmann The events of the Trojan War are found in many works of Greek literature and depicted in numerous works of Greek art. There is no single, authoritative text which tells the entire events of the war. Other parts of the Trojan War were told in the poems of the Epic Cycle, also known as the Cyclic Epics: the Cypria, Aethiopis, Little Iliad, Iliou Persis, Nostoi, and Telegony. In later ages playwrights, historians, and other intellectuals would create works inspired by the Trojan War. Legend The following summary of the Trojan War follows the order of events as given in Proclus' summary, along with the Iliad, Odyssey, and Aeneid, supplemented with details drawn from other authors. Origins of the war The plan of Zeus The Judgement of Paris Zeus came to learn from either Themis or Prometheus, after Heracles had released him from Caucasus, that, like his father Cronus, one of his sons would overthrow him.
Norse mythology An undead völva, a Scandinavian seeress, tells the spear-wielding god Odin of what has been and what will be in Odin and the Völva by Lorenz Frølich (1895) For the practices and social institutions of the Norse pagans, see Norse paganism Norse mythology, or Scandinavian mythology, is the body of mythology of the North Germanic people stemming from Norse paganism and continuing after the Christianization of Scandinavia and into the Scandinavian folklore of the modern period. The northernmost extension of Germanic mythology, Norse mythology consists of tales of various deities, beings, and heroes derived from numerous sources from both before and after the pagan period, including medieval manuscripts, archaeological representations, and folk tradition. Most of the surviving mythology centers on the plights of the gods and their interaction with various other beings, such as humanity and the jötnar, beings who may be friends, lovers, foes and/or family members of the gods. Sources
Moai Moai facing inland at Ahu Tongariki, restored by Chilean archaeologist Claudio Cristino in the 1990s Moai i/ˈmoʊ.aɪ/, or mo‘ai, are monolithic human figures carved by the Rapa Nui people from rock on the Chilean Polynesian island of Easter Island between the years 1250 and 1500. Nearly half are still at Rano Raraku, the main moai quarry, but hundreds were transported from there and set on stone platforms called ahu around the island's perimeter. Almost all moai have overly large heads three-eighths the size of the whole statue. The production and transportation of the 887 statues are considered remarkable creative and physical feats. The tallest moai erected, called Paro, was almost 10 metres (33 ft) high and weighed 82 tons; the heaviest erected was a shorter but squatter moai at Ahu Tongariki, weighing 86 tons; and one unfinished sculpture, if completed, would have been approximately 21 metres (69 ft) tall with a weight of about 270 tons. Description Eyes Dr.
Iliad The Iliad (sometimes referred to as the Song of Ilion or Song of Ilium) is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles. Although the story covers only a few weeks in the final year of the war, the Iliad mentions or alludes to many of the Greek legends about the siege; the earlier events, such as the gathering of warriors for the siege, the cause of the war, and related concerns tend to appear near the beginning. Then the epic narrative takes up events prophesied for the future, such as Achilles' looming death and the sack of Troy, prefigured and alluded to more and more vividly, so that when it reaches an end, the poem has told a more or less complete tale of the Trojan War. Synopsis The first verses of the Iliad Achaeans
Irish mythology Bunworth Banshee The mythology of pre-Christian Ireland did not entirely survive the conversion to Christianity. However, much of it was preserved in medieval Irish literature, though it was shorn of its religious meanings. The sources The three main manuscript sources for Irish mythology are the late 11th/early 12th century Lebor na hUidre which is in the library of the Royal Irish Academy, the early 12th century Book of Leinster in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, and the Rawlinson manuscript B 502 (Rawl.), housed in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University. Other important sources include a group of four manuscripts originating in the west of Ireland in the late 14th or early 15th century: The Yellow Book of Lecan, The Great Book of Lecan, The Book of Hy Many, and The Book of Ballymote. When using these sources, it is, as always, important to question the impact of the circumstances in which they were produced. Mythological cycle Ulster cycle
Native American mythology Coyote and Opossum appear in the stories of a number of tribes. The mythologies of the indigenous peoples of North America comprise many bodies of traditional narratives associated with religion from a mythographical perspective. Indigenous North American belief systems include many sacred narratives. Algonquian (northeastern US, Great Lakes) Abenaki mythology – Religious ceremonies are led by shamans, called Medeoulin (Mdawinno).Anishinaabe traditional beliefs – A North American tribe located primarily in the Great LakesCree mythology – A North American tribe most commonly found west of Ontario in the Canadian Prairies, although there are tribes located in the Northwest Territories and Quebec.Leni Lenape mythology – A North American tribe from the area of the Delaware River. Plains Natives Blackfoot mythology – A North American tribe who currently live in Montana. Muskogean (southern US) and Iroquois (Eastern US) Alaska and Canada Pacific Northwest Colin F.
King Midas and his golden touch - Greeka.com The story of King Midas is a myth about the tragedy of avarice and narrates what happens when true happiness is not recognized. Midas was a man who wished that everything he touched would turn into gold. However, he had not thought that this wish was not actually a blessing, but a curse. The wish Midas was a king of great fortune who ruled the country of Phrygia, in Asia Minor. One day, Dionyssus, the god of wine and revelry, passed through the kingdom of Midas. The curse The next day, Midas, woke up eager to see if his wish would become true. Without even thinking, he ate a grape but it also turned into gold! The atonement The god heard Midas and felt sorry for him. Midas hugged his daughter in full happiness and decided to share his great fortune with his people.
Anglo-Saxon paganism Anglo-Saxon paganism refers to the religious beliefs and practices followed by the Anglo-Saxons between the fifth and eighth centuries AD, during the initial period of Early Medieval England. A variant of the Germanic paganism found across much of north-western Europe, it encompassed a heterogeneous variety of disparate beliefs and cultic practices. Developing from the earlier Iron Age religion of continental northern Europe, it was introduced to Britain following the Anglo-Saxon migration in the mid fifth century, and remained the dominant religion in England until the Christianization of its kingdoms between the seventh and eighth centuries, with some aspects gradually blending into folklore. The right half of the front panel of the seventh century Franks Casket, depicting the pan-Germanic legend of Weyland Smith also Weyland The Smith, which was apparently also a part of Anglo-Saxon pagan mythology. History Mythology Cosmology Deities
Aztec mythology Mictlantecuhtli (left), god of death, the lord of the Underworld and Quetzalcoatl (right), god of wisdom, life, knowledge, morning star, patron of the winds and light, the lord of the West. Together they symbolize life and death. Aztec mythology is the body or collection of myths of Aztec civilization of Central Mexico. The Aztecs were Nahuatl speaking groups living in central Mexico and much of their mythology is similar to that of other Mesoamerican cultures. The Mexica/Aztec were said to be guided by their god Huitzilopochtli, meaning "Left-handed Hummingbird" or "Hummingbird from the South." Creation myth Huitzilopochtli is raising up the skies of the South, one of the four directions of the world, surrounded by their respective trees, temples, patterns and divination symbols. Because the Aztec adopted and combined several traditions with their own earlier traditions, they had several creation myths. Pantheon Bibliography Grisel Gómez Cano (2011). Sources
Celtic mythology Overview Though the Celtic world at its apex covered much of western and central Europe, it was not politically unified nor was there any substantial central source of cultural influence or homogeneity; as a result, there was a great deal of variation in local practices of Celtic religion (although certain motifs, for example the god Lugh, appear to have diffused throughout the Celtic world). Inscriptions of more than three hundred deities, often equated with their Roman counterparts, have survived, but of these most appear to have been genii locorum, local or tribal gods, and few were widely worshipped. However, from what has survived of Celtic mythology, it is possible to discern commonalities which hint at a more unified pantheon than is often given credit. Celtic mythology is found in a number of distinct, if related, subgroups, largely corresponding to the branches of the Celtic languages: Historical sources Irish mythology Cuchulainn carries Ferdiad across the river
Rapa Nui mythology The Rapa Nui mythology, also known as Pascuense mythology or Easter Island mythology, is the name given to the myths, legends and beliefs (before being converted to Christianity) of the native Rapanui people of the island of Rapa Nui (Easter Island), located in the south eastern Pacific Ocean, almost 4,000 kilometres (2,500 mi) from continental Chile. The myth of origin According to Rapa Nui mythology Hotu Matu'a was the legendary first settler and ariki mau ("supreme chief" or "king") of Easter Island. Hotu Matu'a and his two canoe (or one double hulled canoe) colonising party were Polynesians from the now unknown land of Hiva (probably the Marquesas). Ancestor Cult The most visible element in the culture was the production of massive statues called moai that represented deified ancestors. The Birdman Cult Myths of Rapa Nui References Further reading Kjellgren, Eric, et al. (2001).