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The Greek mythology Portal

Greek mythology is the body of "myths and "legends belonging to the "ancient Greeks concerning their "gods and "heroes, "the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own "cult and "ritual practices. They are a part of "religion in Greece. Modern scholars refer to the myths and study them in an attempt to throw light on the religious and political institutions of Ancient Greece, its civilization, and to gain understanding of the nature of myth-making itself.

Greek mythology is embodied explicitly in a large collection of narratives and implicitly in representational arts, such as "vase-paintings and "votive gifts. Greek myth explains the origins of the world and details the lives and adventures of a wide variety of "gods, goddesses, heroes, heroines, and other "mythological creatures. These accounts initially were disseminated in an "oral-poetic tradition; today the Greek myths are known primarily from "Greek literature.

The oldest known Greek literary sources, the "epic poems "Iliad and "Odyssey, focus on events surrounding the "Trojan War. Two poems by "Homer's near contemporary "Hesiod, the "Theogony and the "Works and Days, contain accounts of the genesis of the world, the succession of divine rulers, the succession of human ages, the origin of human woes, and the origin of sacrificial practices. Myths also are preserved in the "Homeric Hymns, in fragments of "epic poems of the "Epic Cycle, in "lyric poems, in the works of the "tragedians of the fifth century BC, in writings of scholars and poets of the "Hellenistic Age and in texts from the time of the "Roman Empire by writers such as "Plutarch and "Pausanias.

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Selected article

""Pandora

In "Greek mythology, "Pandora ("ancient Greek, Πανδώρα, derived from πᾶν "all" and δῶρον "gift", thus "giver of all", "all-endowed") was the first woman. As "Hesiod related it, each god helped create her by giving her unique gifts. "Zeus ordered "Hephaestus to mould her out of Earth as part of the punishment of mankind for "Prometheus' theft of the secret of "fire, and all the gods joined in offering her "seductive gifts". Her other name, inscribed against her figure on a "white-ground "kylix in the British Museum, is Anesidora, "she who sends up gifts," up implying "from below" within the earth. According to the myth, Pandora opened a jar ("pithos), in modern accounts sometimes mistranslated as ""Pandora's box" (see below), releasing all the evils of mankind— although the particular evils, aside from plagues and diseases, are not specified in detail by Hesiod — leaving only Hope inside once she had closed it again. She opened the jar out of simple curiosity and not as a malicious act. The myth of Pandora is ancient, appears in several distinct Greek versions, and has been interpreted in many ways.

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Gods and goddesses

""Athena statue

"Athena, also referred to as Pallas Athena ("/ˈpæləs/; Παλλάς Αθηνά), is the goddess of "civilization, "wisdom, strength, strategy, "craft, "justice and skill in "Greek mythology. "Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is also a shrewd companion of "heroes and the "goddess of "heroic endeavour. She is the "virgin patron of "Athens. The Athenians built the "Parthenon on the Acropolis of her namesake city, Athens, in her honour (Athena Parthenos).

Athena's cult as the patron of Athens seems to have existed from quite early times and was so persistent that archaic myths about her were recast to adapt to cultural changes. The Greek philosopher, "Plato (429–347 BC), identified her with the "Libya deity, "Neith, the war-goddess and huntress deity of the Egyptians since the ancient predynastic period, also identified with "weaving. This is sensible as some Greeks identified Athena's birthplace, in certain mythological renditions, as being beside Libya's Triton River. Classicist Martin Bernal created the "Black Athena Theory" to explain this associated origin by claiming that the conception of "Neith was brought over to Greece from Egypt with "an enormous number of features of civilization and culture in the third and second millennia."

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Selected picture

""Io
Artist: "John Hoppner

In Greek mythology, "Io was the daughter of Inachus, a river god.

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Did you know ...

  • Heracles already meet Theseus when the latter was only seven years old.  After Heracles had finished his labours, he came to visit Pittheus in "Troezen where the young Theseus was under the care of his grandfather.
  • Theseus was related to his malefactors "Cercyon, "Procrustes and "Sciron. They were all sons of his father Poseidon by other women which makes them technically Theseus' half-brother.
  • The daughters of "Pelops married the sons of "Perseus: "Astydameia wedded to "Alcaeus, "Nicippe to "Sthenelus, "Lysidice to "Mestor and "Eurydice to "Electryon. This was made by Pelops to extend to his political power over the whole "Peloponesse. His sons also became great rulers, "Pittheus and "Troezen were kings in Troezen, "Alcathous of "Megara, "Atreus and "Thyestes of "Mycenae and also "Sciron who became a warlord of Megara.
  • "Pleisthenes, son of Atreus was either a hermaphrodite or a transvestite.
  • "Polydectes pretended that he was going to marry "Hippodamia, daughter of "Oenomaus and ordered the men in "Seriphos to supply him with suitable gifts. This plan was hatched by the king to get rid of "Perseus by sending him to fetch the head of "Medusa because he wanted to marry the hero's mother "Danae.
  • The couple, "Admetus and "Alcestis were actually half-cousins because Admetus's father, Pheres whose mother Tyro also bare Pelias, father of Alcestis.
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Heroes

""Achilles

In "Greek mythology, "Achilles ("Ancient Greek: Ἀχιλλεύς) was a "Greek "hero of the "Trojan War, the "central character and the greatest warrior of "Homer's "Iliad. Later legends (beginning with a poem by "Statius in the first century AD) state that Achilles was invulnerable in all of his body except for his "heel. Since he died due to an arrow shot into his heel, the ""Achilles' heel" has come to mean a person's principal weakness.

Achilles was the son of the "nymph "Thetis and "Peleus, the king of the "Myrmidons. "Zeus and "Poseidon had been rivals for the hand of Thetis until "Prometheus, the fire-bringer, warned Zeus of a prophecy that Thetis would bear a son greater than his father. For this reason, the two gods withdrew their pursuit, and had her wed Peleus.

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Legendary creatures

""Centaur statue

In "Greek mythology, the "centaurs (from [Κένταυροι] error: {{lang-xx}}: text has italic markup ("help) - Kéntauroi) are a race of creatures composed of part "human and part "horse. In early "Attic and "Boeotian "vase-paintings, as on the "kantharos illustrated below left, they are depicted with the hindquarters of a horse attached to them; in later renderings centaurs are given the torso of a human joined at the waist to the horse's "withers, where the horse's neck would be.

This half-human and half-animal composition has led many writers to treat them as "liminal beings, caught between the two natures, embodied in contrasted myths, both as the embodiment of untamed nature, as in their battle with the "Lapiths, or conversely as teachers, like "Chiron. The centaurs were usually said to have been born of "Ixion and "Nephele (the cloud made in the image of "Hera). Another version, however, makes them children of a certain "Centaurus, who mated with the "Magnesian mares.

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