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Greek mythology and poem "The sunflower"
- Myths are stories of heroic and divine beings that are passed on for generations and are associated with spiritual or religious life of the community.
Ancient people admired nature more than we do today. Greeks and Romans created their gods and myths that are still read and studied. Truly wonderful myths were created by virtue of their faith. This connection between their deities is written so well that all the myths coincide and have something in common.
Probably at the time of occurrence of these myths Greeks thought it would be good if people believe in something to create a spirit of unity among the people and that a man with veneration pray at nature and gods. Without faith it would be only chaos. The ancient Greeks and Romans didn't know Jesus at their time. When the Jesus came to the world he said that there is only one God,and that we should serve to Him and adore Him. But before the old times people have invented their gods and beliefs. Thanks to that we have preserved numerous myths and legends.
There are numerous theories about the origins of the original myths. According to scriptural theory, all mythological legends are derived from the telling of religious texts. According to historical theory, all the mythical persons were once human beings, and fantastic features were added to them later.
By studying Greek mythology we largely enter into the framework of Greek literature and art. Homer's epics Iliad and Odyssey, and Hesiod's Theogony (the origin of the gods) make the earliest Greek literature and show the different categories of myth. Except epics, this includes the lyric poems and other species such as the Homeric hymns. In Iliad, Homer tells about the Olympian gods, the Trojan War and many Greek heroes. From them, we learn more about the individual attributes and events in the life of some ancient gods. Greece's mythology (greek:.mythos, story or legend + logos-word speech) was created by people in their efforts to explain the laws of life and nature, which is why the Greek myths are inspired by exceptional beauty of storytelling. Beside Olympian, underworld and sea gods and many other gods, there are also heroes who have divine origin by his father or mother. And because of that, myths are interesting. Gods look like people, but they don't get older and they are immortal.
- In honor of Zeus Greeks built temples and altars and carved statues. The most famous temples are in Olympia and Athens. The oldest is a bronze statue of Zeus from Artemisia. The Artemision Bronze (often called the God from the Sea). It was recovered from the sea off Cape Artemision, in northern Euboea.
- The Nine Muses of the Greek Mythology(The Nine Muses of the Greek Mythology were deities that gave artists and philosophers the necessary inspiration for creation):
The Supreme God Zeus
Zeus was the son of Titan Cronus and his wife, Rhea, the supreme deity of the Ancient Greeks.
Zeus was born in a cave on Mount Ida in Crete. His mother Rhea gave birth to him in secret in order to save him from the fate of his brothers and sisters (Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades and Poseidon).Cronus was afraid that his children could overthrow him from the throne, so he swallowed them. Rhea had outwitted him. Instead of Zeus she planted a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, and he swallowed it. Zeus was raised by a nymph named Adamanthea, who fed him with goat milk.
When Zeus was crying, mountain demons Kurets were pounding their swords on their shields, creating a deafening noise, so that Cronus do not hear his crying. When Zeus grew up, he decided to stand up to his father. He freed brothers and sisters from his father's womb. He sent the sisters to the end of the world, and the brothers Hades and Poseidon to help him fight his father.Cronus called his brothers Titans. After a decade of struggle, Zeus won. He sent Cronus and other hostile Titans into eternal darkness of Tartarus, and declared himself ruler of space. Later is decided for sea to belong to Poseidon, the underworld to Hades and heavens and the earth to Zeus.
Zeus' main headquarters was the top of Mount Olympus in Thessaly. He lived in a palace of gold, which had been built by god Hephaestus. When he pleased, Zeus was leaving in a gold chariot. He was descending to the Earth in an altered form. Most of his time he spent at feasts where they served divine's food and drinks ambrosia and nectar. Ambrosia and nectar ensured immortality of gods and were inaccessible to ordinary people. Zeus had three children with his sister and wife Hera-( The god of war Ares, Hephaestus the god of blacksmiths and Hebe goddess of eternal youth).
Although he loved his wife, Zeus couldn't resist the charms of other women. With equal fervor he loved the goddesses, as well as women from gender of ordinary mortals. He had many children. His favorite daughter was Athena who jumped out of his head.
Zeus and Hera
Nectar and Ambrosia
Athena ( Ἀθηνᾶ)
Athena is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice.
She is particularly important as the goddess of wisdom and intelligence. Athens is goddess who helped many heroes including Heracles, and Odysseus. She is the virgin patroness of Athens. The story about the origin of Athens comes from several sources.
There is a story about competition between Athena and Poseidon for being protector of Athens. They agreed that each would give the citizens one gift and after that, people will choose which they prefer. Poseidon hammered his trident into the ground and water suddenly appeared. But it was salty and wasn't good for drinking. Athena offered them an olive tree. Citizens have accepted the olive tree, and the patroness of their city Athena, because she brought them olive oil, wood and food.
The Greek god of the sea and earthquakes. He was also Zeus' brother.
Except in Roman mythology where he was worshiped as Neptune, Poseidon is worshiped in Illyrian mythology as Rodon. Sailors pray to him for a safe journey and sometimes they had to drown horses as sacrifices for him.In his benign aspect, Poseidon created new islands and offered calm seas. When he was offended or angry he would struck the seabed with his trident and caused shipwrecks and earthquakes. Poseidon is shown in a carriage pulled by a sea horses. His palace was at the bottom of the ocean made up of coral and gems.
Sister of Zeus and Persephone's mother. She was the goddess of the earth, fertility and primarily wheat. Next to her was usually her daughter Persephone. One day Persephone was playing hide and seek with the nymphs on the lawn and suddenly Hades appeared and kidnapped her. Hades deeply loved her and did not want to let her out of the underground world. Demeter heard a scream and ran to help, but it was too late. She wandered the world nine days without food and drinks.Unlucky mother went to Mount Olympus and asked Zeus for help. At this time Hades married Persephone and gave her to try sweet briar (if someone tried something from the underworld, more he could not leave the country). Demeter then went to her temple and sent infertility into the world . Zeus decided to intervene. He sent Hermes to the Underworld to speak with Hades and Persephone. He also sent Rheia (Rhea), Demeter's mother, to Eleusis to offer Demeter honors if she would only return to Mount Olympos (Olympus). With no alternative, it was agreed that Persephone would spend part of the year with her husband and part of the year in the sunlight with her mother.
Because of that in the winter while her daughter is in Hades, Demeter gives infertility to the land, and when Persephone returns to earth, her mother dresses the nature into the flowers and bright colors. She created seasons.
Aphrodite is the goddess of love, beauty and lust. She was the daughter of the supreme god Zeus and the Dione goddess of the rain. She was born from the sea foam. Neither gods nor men could resist to her. Aphrodite was very much appreciated. Anyone who has sacrificed her honor and sacrifice, he could be safe in her favor. Sometimes she did wonders which could be done only by love. Pygmalion was a sculptor who fell in love with a statue he had carved. He was praying to Aphrodite and she had granted Pygmalion's wish. He married the ivory sculpture changed to a woman under Aphrodite's blessing.
Pygmalion by Jean-Baptiste Regnault, 1786
Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis.
He is a god of medicine, music, prophecy and the Sun. Apolon is forcing evil and disease. He is a leader of the muses and he is also god of music and poetry. People respected him because he was a god of light and sun, without which life would not be possible, and because he was the god of harmony and beauty. Apollos attributes are a bow and arrow, lira, a laurel wreath and a tripod as a symbol of his prophetic powers.
Apollo and the sunflower
Clytie was a water nymph, a princess in love with Apollo, the god of the Sun, music and male beauty. She saw him quite by accident, one mild night, while the moon was illuminated windows of her apartments. It was only a shadow in the distance, which turned into a beautiful and loving creature that her eyes ever saw. But Apollo did not come every night to see her. His heart was pounding in her sister Leucothea.
Clytie lived from day to day, alone and separated from the outside world, not losing hope. She longed and waited the arrival of the beloved Apollo, and when he didn't came, she was jealous and she hated her sister so Clytie discovered Apollo and Leucothea secret of love to her father. Leucothea was cruelly punished, and Apollo could not forgive to Clytie. Realizing what she had done, Clytie died of grief. Apollo had turned her in the Sunflower, which will follow the sun every day, but at night lowered his head toward the ground ...
Who can resist it's beauty?
Who can explain to me it's nature
To follow the Sun, until he fades away into the night
and again waiting for a new day, prepare for a light.
Turned on the south,
with her head held high
she greets the Apollo, god of the son,
while his sun rays caress her trough the sky.
From sunrise to sunset,she follows her love
making sure not to take her eyes off him
not even for a second of time,
perennially in love with her love, sun "divine"
That is her curse of unrequited love,
the curse of great legend
and story of her heart, blinded by lust,
like a lost man with his eyes in a dust.
She was blinded by love
that was so honest and so pure,
yet so far away and so unfathomable,
and it was her illness without cure.
Which one of the major gods and goddesses of Greek mythology is your favorite ?
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