A Bird’s Eye View of Greek Life Greek mythology involves tales of Greek gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines. The word mythology is of Greek origin. The Mythology originated from ancient Greek poets, priests and aristocrats. The myths of Greece are derived from ancient Greek religion.
Ancient Greek mythology can be traced back to three main sources: Homer, Hesiod and The Homeric Hymns from around 800 B.C. There are many variations of myths, as they have been changed over time, and added to and subtracted from depending on writers. They give some information on Greek way of life and its relation to cult practices. The Greek Myths are our window into distant Greek past; they give us a view of a world that existed, an inkling of not only lives and minds of ruling class but of humble and long suffering natives of ancient Greece.
Greek Mythology and Gods
About 1200 B.C., residents of Greece and Asia Minor shared a common belief in a group of deities or gods and goddesses known as Olympians. The Olympians descended from primal, self-created gods, beginning with Kaos (or Chaos). The Olympians are Immortals. Greek mythology lists many legends about birth of Olympians, whom neither age or become sick or injured. They are invincible and have unique personality traits and appearances. Though ruled by Zeus, each Olympian god/goddess has his/her own distinct family tree and area of expertise.
Ancient mythology mentions twelve Olympian gods and goddesses. The Epics mention that these deities had taught Greeks a number of useful skills, methods of worshipping gods and some miracles. They rewarded virtue and punished vice, and fathered/mothered children by mortals/humans. These half-human, half divine children are known as ‘the heroes’. The Olympians had a large following because they encouraged pursuit of knowledge and creative activities.