The body of myths originally told by the ancient Greeks is Greek mythology. These stories relate to the origin and nature of the world, the lives and activities of deities, heroes and mythological creatures and the origins and importance of the ritual and ritual practices of the old Greek people. Modern scientists research myths to bring light and an awareness of the essence of myth making to the spiritual and political organizations of ancient Greece and its civilization.
Initially, the Greek myths were propagated by Minoan and Mycenaean singers starting in the 18th centuryBC in an oral-poetic traditions, and then the legends of the Trojan War and its post-Greek legends became part of the oral tradition of the epic poems of Homer, the Elie and the Odyssey. The genesis of the globe, the sequence of god leaders, the sequence of people’s ages, the source of human woes, and the origins of sacrifice practice are presented in two songs from Near Contemporary Hesiodius Theogo and Works and Days. The Homeric Hymns, parts of the Epic Cycle’s epic poems, lyrical poems, tragedy are also retaining myths.Greek Mythology The body myths originally told ancient Greeks Greek mythology These stories relate origin nature lives activities deities heroes mythological creatures origins ritual ritual practices Greek people Modern scientists myths bring light awareness essence myth making spiritual political organizations ancient Greece civilization Initially Greek myths propagated Minoan Mycenaean singers starting 18th centuryBC oral poetic traditions legends Trojan War post Greek legends oral tradition epic poems Homer Elie Odyssey The genesis globe sequence god leaders sequence people ages source human woes origins sacrifice practice presented songs Near Contemporary Hesiodius Theogo Works Days The Homeric Hymns parts Epic Cycle epic poems lyrical poems tragedy retaining myths Greek mythology body myths originally told ancient Greeks These stories concern origin nature lives activities deities heroes mythological creatures origins significance ancient Greeks cult ritual practices Modern scholars study myths attempt light religious political institutions ancient Greece civilization gain understanding nature myth making The Greek myths initially propagated oral poetic tradition Minoan Mycenaean singers starting 18th century eventually myths heroes Trojan War aftermath oral tradition Homer epic poems Iliad Odyssey Two poems Homer contemporary Hesiod Theogony Works Days accounts genesis succession divine rulers succession human ages origin human woes origin sacrificial practices Myths preserved Homeric Hymns fragments epic poems Epic Cycle lyric poems works tragedians comedians century writings scholars poets Hellenistic Age texts time Roman Empire writers Plutarch Pausanias Aside narrative deposit ancient Greek literature pictorial representations gods heroes mythic episodes featured prominently ancient vase paintings decoration votive gifts artifacts Geometric designs pottery eighth century depict scenes Trojan cycle adventures Heracles succeeding Archaic Classical Hellenistic periods Homeric mythological scenes supplementing existing literary evidence Greek mythology extensive influence culture arts literature Western civilization remains Western heritage language Poets artists ancient times derived inspiration Greek mythology discovered contemporary significance relevance themes Greek mythology today Greek literature representations visual media dating Geometric period 900 onward fact literary archaeological sources integrate mutually supportive conflict cases existence corpus data strong indication elements Greek mythology strong factual historical roots Mythical narration plays role genre Greek literature Nevertheless general mythographical handbook survive Greek antiquity Library Pseudo Apollodorus This work attempts reconcile contradictory tales poets grand summary traditional Greek mythology heroic legends Apollodorus Athens lived wrote topics His writings formed basis collection Library discusses events occurred long death Pseudo Apollodorus Prometheus 1868 Gustave Moreau The myth Prometheus attested Hesiod constituted basis tragic trilogy plays Aeschylus consisting Prometheus Bound Prometheus Unbound Prometheus Pyrphoros Among earliest literary sources Homer epic poems Iliad Odyssey Other poets completed epic cycle lesser poems lost Despite traditional Homeric Hymns direct connection Homer They choral hymns earlier called Lyric age Hesiod contemporary Homer offers Theogony Origin Gods fullest account earliest Greek myths dealing creation origin gods Titans Giants elaborate genealogies folktales etiological myths Hesiod Works Days didactic poem farming life includes myths Prometheus Pandora Five Ages The poet advice succeed dangerous rendered dangerous gods Lyrical poets subjects myth treatment gradually narrative allusive Greek lyric poets including Pindar Bacchylides Simonides bucolic poets Theocritusand Bion relate individual mythological incidents Additionally myth central classical Athenian drama The tragic playwrights Aeschylus Sophocles Euripides plots myths age heroes Trojan War Many great tragic stories Agamemnon children Oedipus Jason Medea classic form tragedies The comic playwright Aristophanes myths The Birds The Frogs Historians Herodotus Diodorus Siculus geographers Pausanias Strabo traveled Greek stories heard supplied numerous local myths legends alternative versions Herodotus searched traditions presented historical mythological roots confrontation Greece East Herodotus attempted reconcile origins blending differing cultural concepts The poetry Hellenistic Roman ages composed literary cultic exercise Nevertheless details lost This category includes works The Roman poets Ovid Statius Valerius Flaccus Seneca Virgil Servius commentary The Greek poets Late Antique period Nonnus Antoninus Liberalis Quintus Smyrnaeus The Greek poets Hellenistic period Apollonius Rhodes Callimachus Pseudo Eratosthenes Parthenius Prose writers periods reference myths include Apuleius Petronius Lollianus Heliodorus Two poetical sources Fabulae Astronomica Roman writer styled Pseudo Hyginus Imagines Philostratus Elder Philostratus Younger Descriptions Callistratus Finally number Byzantine Greek writers provide details myth derived earlier lost Greek works These preservers myth include Arnobius Hesychius author Suda John Tzetzes Eustathius They treat mythology Christian moralizing perspective Archaeological sourcesThe Roman poet Virgil depicted century manuscript Vergilius Romanus preserved details Greek mythology writings The discovery Mycenaean civilization German amateur archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann nineteenth century discovery Minoan civilization Crete British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans twentieth century helped explain existing questions Homer epics archaeological evidence mythological details gods heroes Unfortunately evidence myths rituals Mycenaean Minoan sites monumental Linear script ancient form Greek Crete mainland Greece record inventories names gods heroes tentatively identified Geometric designs pottery eighth century depict scenes Trojan cycle adventures Heracles These visual representations myths reasons Firstly Greek myths attested vases earlier literary sources labors Heracles Cerberus adventure occurs contemporary literary text Secondly visual sources represent myths mythical scenes attested extant literary source cases representation myth geometric art predates representation late archaic poetry centuries Archaic Classical Hellenistic periods Homeric mythological scenes supplementing existing literary evidence Survey mythic historyPhaedra attendant nurse fresco Pompeii BCGreek mythology changed time accommodate evolution culture mythology overtly unspoken assumptions Greek mythology surviving literary forms progressive inherently political Gilbert Cuthbertson argued The earlier inhabitants Balkan Peninsula agricultural people Animism assigned spirit aspect nature Eventually vague spirits assumed human forms entered local mythology gods When tribes north Balkan Peninsula invaded brought pantheon gods based conquest force prowess battle violent heroism Other older gods agricultural fused powerful invaders faded insignificance After middle Archaic period myths relationships male gods male heroes frequent indicating parallel development pedagogic pederasty eros paidikos παιδικὸς ἔρως thought introduced century poets assigned eromenos adolescent boy sexual companion god Ares legendary figures Previously existing myths Achilles Patroclus cast pederastic light Alexandrian poets generally literary mythographers early Roman Empire adapted stories Greek mythological characters fashion The achievement epic poetry create story cycles result develop sense mythological chronology Thus Greek mythology unfolds phase development humans While contradictions stories absolute timeline impossible approximate chronology discerned The mythological history divided broader periods The myths origin age gods Theogonies births gods myths origins gods human race The age gods mortals mingled freely stories early interactions gods demigods mortals The age heroes heroic age divine activity limited The greatest heroic legends story Trojan War regarded researchers separate fourth period While age gods contemporary students myth Greek authors archaic classical eras clear preference age heroes establishing chronology record human accomplishments questions explained For heroic Iliad Odyssey dwarfed divine focused Theogony Homeric Hymns size popularity Under influence Homer hero cult leads restructuring spiritual life expressed separation realm gods realm dead heroes Chthonic Olympian Works Days Hesiod scheme Four Ages Man Races Golden Silver Bronze Iron These races ages separate creations gods Golden Age belonging reign Cronos subsequent races creation Zeus The presence evil explained myth Pandora human capabilities save hope spilled overturned jar Metamorphoses Ovid Hesiod concept ages Origins godsAmor Vincit Omnia Love Conquers All depiction god love Eros Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio circa 1601 1602 Myths origin creation myths represent attempt explain universe human language The accepted version time philosophical account reported Hesiod Theogony Chaos yawning nothingness Out void emerged Gaia Earth primary divine beings Eros Love Abyss Tartarus Erebus Without male assistance Gaia birth Uranus Sky fertilized From union born Titans males Coeus Crius Cronus Hyperion Iapetus Oceanus females Mnemosyne Phoebe Rhea Theia Themis Tethys After Cronus born Gaia Uranus decreed Titans born They eyed Cyclopes Hecatonchires Hundred Handed Ones thrown Tartarus Uranus This Gaia furious Cronus wily youngest terrible Gaia children convinced Gaia castrate father ruler Titans sister wife Rhea consort Titans court motif father son conflict repeated Cronus confronted son Zeus Because Cronus betrayed father feared offspring time Rhea birth snatched child ate Rhea hated tricked hiding Zeus wrapping stone baby blanket Cronus ate When Zeus grown fed Cronus drugged drink caused vomit throwing Rhea children including Poseidon Hades Hestia Demeter Hera stone sitting Cronus stomach time Zeus challenged Cronus war kingship gods Cyclopes Zeus freed Tartarus Zeus siblings victorious Cronus Titans hurled imprisonment Tartarus Attic black figured amphoradepicting Athena reborn head Zeus swallowed mother Metis Eileithyia goddess childbirth assists circa Musée Louvre Paris Zeus plagued concern prophecy offspring wife Metis birth god greater Zeus swallowed She pregnantwith Athena burst head fully grown dressed war The earliest Greek thought poetry considered theogonies prototypical poetic genre prototypical mythos imputed magical powers Orpheus archetypalpoet archetypal singer theogonies calm seas storms Apollonius Argonautica stony hearts underworld gods descent Hades When Hermes invents lyre Homeric Hymn Hermes sing birth gods Hesiod Theogony fullest surviving account gods fullest surviving account archaic poet function long preliminary invocation Muses Theogony subject lost poems including attributed Orpheus Musaeus Epimenides Abaris legendary seers private ritual purifications mystery rites There indications Plato familiar version Orphic theogony silence expected religious rites beliefs nature culture reported members society beliefs held After ceased religious beliefs rites rituals Allusions existed aspects public Images existed pottery religious artwork interpreted misinterpreted diverse myths tales fragments works survive quotations Neoplatonist philosophers unearthed papyrus scraps One scraps Derveni Papyrus proves century theogonic cosmogonic poem Orpheus existence The philosophical cosmologists reacted built popular mythical conceptions existed Greek time Some popular conceptions gleaned poetry Homer Hesiod Homer Earth viewed flat disk afloat river Oceanus overlooked hemispherical sky sun moon stars The Sun Helios traversed heavens charioteer sailed Earth golden bowl night Sun earth heaven rivers winds addressed prayers called witness oaths Natural fissures popularly regarded entrances subterranean house Hades predecessors dead Influences cultures afforded themes Heracles HeracleidaeHeracles baby Telephus Louvre Museum Paris Some scholars Heracles complicated mythology real man chieftain vassal kingdom Argos Some scholars story Heracles allegory sun yearly passage constellations zodiac Others point earlier myths cultures showing story Heracles local adaptation hero myths established Traditionally Heracles son Zeus Alcmene granddaughter Perseus His fantastic solitary exploits folk tale themes material popular legend According Burkert portrayed sacrificer mentioned founder altars imagined voracious eater role appears comedy While tragic material tragedy Heracles regarded Thalia Papadopoulou play great significance examination Euripidean dramas art literature Heracles represented enormously strong man moderate height characteristic weapon bow frequently club Vase paintings demonstrate unparalleled popularity Heracles fight lion depicted hundreds times Heracles entered Etruscan Roman mythology cult exclamation mehercule familiar Romans Herakleis Greeks Italy worshipped god merchants traders prayed characteristic gifts good luck rescue danger Heracles attained highest social prestige appointment official ancestor Dorian kings This served legitimation Dorian migrations Peloponnese Hyllus eponymous hero Dorian phyle son Heracles Heracleidae Heraclids numerous descendants Heracles descendants Hyllus Heracleidae included Macaria Lamos Manto Bianor Tlepolemus Telephus These Heraclids conquered Peloponnesian kingdoms Mycenae Sparta Argos claiming legend rule ancestor Their rise dominance frequently called Dorian invasion The Lydian Macedonian kings rulers rank Heracleidae Other members earliest generation heroes Perseus Deucalion Theseus Bellerophon traits common Heracles Like exploits solitary fantastic border fairy tale slay monsters Chimera Medusa Bellerophon adventures commonplace types adventures Heracles Theseus Sending hero presumed death recurrent theme early heroic tradition cases Perseus Bellerophon ArgonautsThe surviving Hellenistic epic Argonautica Apollonius Rhodes epic poet scholar director Library Alexandria tells myth voyage Jason Argonauts retrieve Golden Fleece mythical land Colchis Argonautica Jason impelled quest king Pelias receives prophecy man sandal nemesis Jason loses sandal river arrives court Pelias epic set motion Nearly member generation heroes Heracles Jason ship Argo fetch Golden Fleece This generation included Theseus Crete slay Minotaur Atalanta female heroine Meleager epic cycle rival Iliad Odyssey Pindar Apollonius Bibliotheca endeavor lists Argonauts Although Apollonius wrote poem 3rd century composition story Argonauts earlier Odyssey familiarity exploits Jason wandering Odysseus partly founded ancient times expedition regarded historical fact incident opening Black Sea Greek commerce colonization extremely popular forming cycle number local legends attached The story Medea caught imagination tragic poets House Atreus Theban CycleIn Argo Trojan War generation chiefly horrific crimes This includes doings Atreus Thyestes Argos Behind myth house Atreus principal heroic dynasties house Labdacus lies problem devolution power mode accession sovereignty The twins Atreus Thyestes descendants played leading role tragedy devolution power Mycenae The Theban Cycle deals events Cadmus city founder doings Laius Oedipus Thebes series stories lead eventual pillage city hands Seven Against Thebes Epigoni Seven Against Thebes figured early epic Oedipus concerned early epic accounts continuing rule Thebes revelation Iokaste mother subsequently marrying wife mother children markedly tale tragedy Sophocles Oedipus Rex mythological accounts Trojan War aftermathEl Juicio Paris Enrique Simonet 1904 Paris holding golden apple hand surveying goddesses calculative manner The Rage Achilles Giovanni Battista Tiepolo 1757 Fresco Villa Valmarana Vicenza Achilles outraged Agamemnon threaten seize warprize Briseis draws sword kill Agamemnon The sudden appearance goddess Athena fresco grabbed Achilles hair prevents violence Further Trojan War Epic CycleGreek mythology culminates Trojan War fought Greece Troy aftermath Homer works Iliad chief stories shape substance individual themes elaborated Greek drama The Trojan War elicited great Roman culture story Aeneas Trojan hero journey Troy led founding city day Rome recounted Virgil Aeneid Book Virgil Aeneid account sack Troy Finally pseudo chronicles written Latin passed names Dictys Cretensis Dares Phrygius The Trojan War cycle collection epic poems starts events leading war Eris golden apple Kallisti Judgement Paris abduction Helen sacrifice Iphigenia Aulis recover Helen Greeks launched great expedition command Menelaus brother Agamemnon king Argos Mycenae Trojans refused return Helen The Iliad set tenth year war tells quarrel Agamemnon Achilles finest Greek warrior consequent deaths battle Achilles beloved comrade Patroclus Priam eldest son Hector After Hector death Trojans joined exotic allies Penthesilea queen Amazons Memnon king Ethiopians son dawn goddess Eos Achilles killed Paris managed kill Achilles arrow heel Achilles heel body invulnerable damage human weaponry Before Troy Greeks steal citadel wooden image Pallas Athena Palladium Finally Athena built Trojan Horse Despite warnings Priam daughter Cassandra Trojans persuaded Sinon Greek feigned desertion horse walls Troy offering Athena priest Laocoon horse destroyed killed sea serpents night Greek fleet returned Greeks horse opened gates Troy total sack Priam remaining sons slaughtered Trojan women passed slavery cities Greece The adventurous homeward voyages Greek leaders including wanderings Odysseus Aeneas Aeneid murder Agamemnon told epics Returns lost Nostoi Homer Odyssey The Trojan cycle includes adventures children Trojan generation Orestes Telemachus The Trojan War variety themes main source inspiration Ancient Greek artists metopes Parthenon depicting sack Troy artistic preference themes deriving Trojan Cycle Ancient Greek civilization The mythological cycle inspired series posterior European literary writings For instance Trojan Medieval European writers unacquainted Homer hand Troy legend rich source heroic romantic storytelling convenient framework fit courtly chivalric ideals Twelfth century authors Benoît Sainte Maure Roman Troie Romance Troy 1154 Joseph Exeter Bello Troiano Trojan War 1183 war rewriting standard version Dictys Dares They follow Horace advice Virgil rewrite poem Troy telling completely Some famous heroes inclusion Trojan War Trojan AeneasHectorParisOn Greek Ajax Ajaxes AchillesKing AgamemnonMenelausOdysseus Greek Mythology ZodiacPage