INTRODUCTION TO GREEK MYTHOLOGY
INTRODUCTION TO GREEK MYTHOLOGY
Myths: stories that use fantasy to express
ideas about life that cannot easily be
expressed in realistic terms.
They deal with and explore the relationship
between human beings and the
They were once believed to be true.
Scientific: explanations of things in
Literary: entertainment; good
Religious: give meaning to things in life;
explain the role of the gods in everyday
They depict and reveal behavior and
problems common to all human beings.
They reflect the attitudes, priorities, and
values of the cultures that produced them.
In Greek mythology, gods “did not create the
universe… the universe created the gods”
In the beginning… there was only Confusion
and Darkness, Chaos.
From Chaos emerged…
Gaea: Mother Earth
Ouranos: Father Sky
Gaea and Ouranos had three
types of children: three 50
Headed & 100 Handed
Monsters, three Cyclops, and the
most important the 12 Titans.
Gaea and Ouranous had 6 sons and 6
daughters knows as the Titans.
Among their children was the greatest Titan,
Cronus. Cronus gained power from his father,
Ouranous, by defeating him. Then, Cronus
became ruler over heaven and Earth and
married his sister, Rhea. From their union
came the Olympian gods.
Power changed Cronus and made him evil.
He was so afraid that one of his sons was
going to do to him what he did to his father.
So to prevent this when his first 5 children
were born he swallowed them immediately
after their birth.
One by one, Cronus swallowed Hestia,
Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon.
Since each of they Olympians were immortal
when they were swallowed they did not die.
Instead they were to be trapped inside of
When Rhea was pregnant with her sixth child,
she thought of a plan. She secretly gave birth
to her sixth child, Zeus, and gave him to
Mother Earth to be protected.
Mother Earth decided that the child would be
safe if she hid him as far away from Cronus as
When Cronus asked to
see the sixth child,
Rhea handed him a
rock wrapped in a
blanket. Just like her
Cronus swallowed the
hesitation, just as she
Rhea was happy and could not wait for the
day Zeus would grow up and destroy his
Eventually Zeus grew up and Rhea, his
mother, told him about what Cronus did to
Zeus made a promise to his mother that he
would make Cronus pay for what he did.
When Zeus returned to his mother, she
disguised him as a servant. Rhea concocted a
poisonous potion and Zeus, acting as a
servant, put it in Cronus’ drink. The
concoction caused Cronus to get sick and
First, Cronus vomited up
the rock. Then each of his
five children, one by one.
Zeus was seen as a hero
for saving his siblings.
They were extremely
thankful. Once everyone
was freed, the six children
decided to battle against
The war lasted ten years. Neither side could
get the upper hand because they were equal
in strength. Mother Earth suggested that
Zeus and his brothers go free their uncles (the
monsters and cyclopes) and have them fight
on their side. Zeus and his brothers did as
they were advised and freed their uncles.
This gave them the advantage they needed.
Finally, the war was over. Zeus and his
siblings were victorious.
Now that the battle was
over, the three brothers
had to decide who was
going to rule the universe.
They decided the fairest
way to choose was to
draw lots. Hades won the
won the sea and Zeus
won the heaven and
became ruler of all the
gods of Mt. Olympus.
God of the sky,
thunder, and justice
King and most
powerful of the gods;
Ruler of Mount
God of the sea and
Brother of Zeus
God of the Underworld
Zeus and Poseidon’s
Goddess of the Hearth
her only job was to
keep the fire lit in the
hearth on Mt. Olympus
Goddess of marriage
and married women
God of War
Boastful, cruel and had
Son of Zeus and Metis
Goddess of wisdom
and the arts of war and
Daughter to Metis
Born from Zeus’s Head
God of archery, poetry,
music, medicine, and
Son of Zeus and Leto
Twin brother to
Goddess of Love and
Wife of Hephaestus but
lover of Ares and
Messenger god and
god of thieves
God of commerce,
speed, and trade
Goddess of the Wild
Things, the moon, and
Daughter of Zeus and
Apollo's Twins Sister
Daughter of Cronos
Goddess of vegetation
Had powers of growth
God of wine and
Son of Zeus and
God of fire and the
forges – Blacksmith to
Son of Zeus and Hera
Lame because he was
thrown off Mt.
Olympus for interfering
with a fight between
Hera and Zeus
Husband to Aphrodite