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Greek Mythology
• Race of powerful deities
that ruled the world
before Olympian gods
• 12 (6 male, 6 female)
• Associated with primal
concepts: ocean, wind,
earth, etc.
• Overthrown by younger
generation (Olympian
gods, lead by Zeus)
• Imprisoned in the
Titans and Giants from
Dante’s Divine Comedy
Olympian Gods
• 12 Olympians: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon,
Demeter, Ares, Hermes, Hephaestus,
Aphrodite, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hestia.
• Family tree of the gods and other deities:
• One of the Cyclopes
• Member of primordial
race of giants
• Son of Poseidon and
• Cannibal
• Lives in a cave
• Famous incident with
Calypso and Circe
Calyspo, painted by Bocklin, 1882
• Calypso is a beautiful
goddess who imprisoned
Odysseus for 7 years on
• Circe used magic to keep
Odysseus on her island
• Sometimes described as
a queen, goddess, witch
or nymph
• Daughter of Helios (the
Titan said to represent
the sun)
The Muses
• Most versions of The Odyssey begin with
an invocation, or a call to the muses for
• An invocation indicates that the author or
storyteller is working inside the traditional
guidelines for epic poetry
• Muses: 9 spirits or goddesses who
embody the arts
• Calliope: chief muse, inspired epic poetry
The Invocation
"Sing to me of the man, Muse,
the man of twists and turns
driven time and again off
course, once he had plundered
the hallowed heights of Troy."
(Robert Fagles translation,
• What role have you noticed the gods/goddesses playing
in The Odyssey so far?
• How does this surprise you?
• List two gods or goddesses and the symbols associated
with each
• What is one difference between Calypso and Circe?
• Who is Polyphemus?
• Rewrite the invocation in your own words.