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Chapter 9
Section 3 – Greek Mythology and Literature
Mythology (pg. 269)
Key Terms
A body of stories about gods and
heroes that try to explain how the
world works
Homer (pg. 272)
A Greek poet who wrote the Iliad
and Odyssey, epic poems that
describe the deeds of heroes during
and after the Trojan War
Sappho (pg. 273)
A Greek poet, she was one of the
most famous lyric poets of Greece
Aesop (pg. 273)
An Ancient Greek storyteller, famous
for his fables
Fables (pg. 273)
Short stories that teach the reader
lessons about life or give advise on
how to live
Myths Explain the World (pg. 269)
The ancient Greeks were polytheistic. Their gods were at the center of
Greek mythology.
Greek Gods
The ancient Greeks believed their gods caused all events to happen,
and created myths to explain the gods’ actions.
Gods and Mythology
The Greeks saw the work of the gods in events all around them, from
natural disasters to events in their daily lives.
To keep the gods happy, the Greeks built temples all around Greece.
To get the advice of the gods, Greeks went to an oracle such as the
Oracle at Delphi.
Heroes and Mythology
Many myths were about great heroes such as Theseus, Jason and
Ancient Greek Literature (pg. 272)
Greeks created many works of literature.
Homer and Epic Poetry
Among the earliest Greek writings were two great epic poems, the
Iliad and Odyssey, written by Homer. The Iliad tells the story of the
last years of the Trojan War. The Odyssey describes the journey of
Odysseus back to his home.
Homer’s poems influenced later writers who copied his writing styles
and borrowed some of ideas.
Lyric Poetry
Lyric poets wrote poems set to music. The most famous lyric poet was
a woman names Sappho who wrote poems about love and relationships
with friends and family.
Aesop is famous for his fables. IN Aesop’s fables, animals are the
main characters and talk and act like humans. Two famous fables are
The Ants and the Grasshopper and, The Tortoise and the Hare”.
Greek Literature Lives (pg. 274)
Greek Literature has influenced modern language, literature, and art.
Many English words come from Greek mythology, such as odyssey and
Many places are names for figures in Greek myths, such as Athens,
the Atlas Mountains, Aegean Sea, the continent of Europe and
Jupiter’s moon Io.
Literature and the Arts
Greek myths have inspired artists for centuries
 Painters and sculptors created images of gods
 Writers have retold ancient stories
 Modern moviemakers have made films of Greek heroes like
Greek references are common in popular culture
 Sports teams named for characters in Greek myths (Titans &
 Businesses use imagery from mythology (FTD florists)