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Greek Mythology:
Gods & Goddesses
Ancient cultures used mythology belief
systems much the same way that people
use modern religion.
1. to explain the world
2. to instruct or guide
proper behavior
3. to give a sense of
Origins of Mythology
Ancient mythology belongs to the oral
tradition (folklore, legends, etc.)
1. stories passed orally appealed to the
2. these stories were a form of
3. the stories enabled the
passing of history and
culture from one group
to the next
Archetypal Myth
Many cultures share myth symbols.
Some of these are:
1. The great flood or fire
2. The serpent
3. Things organized into 3, 7, or 12
4. The woman who brings evil into the
5. The family “romance”
Greek Mythology
1. The Greeks were the earliest people to give
their gods human forms
2. The Greeks also
gave the gods
human qualities
and emotions
3. Greeks were able to
determine proper
behavior based on what
would “anger the gods”
or “please the gods.”
Greek Myth Categories
The Greek myths fall into the following
a. Explanatory
(Pyramus and Thisbe)
b. Instructional
(Daedalus and Icarus)
c. Entertainment
Remember the Titans?
• Gaea: Earth Goddess; made the rest of the
Titans by mating with her son, Uranus.
• Uranus: Sky god; first ruler. Dethroned by
• Cronus: Fathered the first of the Olympians.
Swallowed his children except for Zeus.
• Prometheus: “Forethought” ;
Protector of man; inventor of fire.
• Atlas: Punished by having
to hold the world on his back.
Who Were the
• The offspring of the Titans
• Overthrew the Titans in a war to control the
• Led by Zeus, the god of the other gods.
• Zeus and his brothers split territory (Zeusearth/sky, Poseidon- the seas, Hades- the
The Twelve Olympians
• Aphrodite: goddess of love and beauty. Her
symbols were the dove, and myrtle, a type of
evergreen shrub. Her Latin name was Venus.
• Apollo: god of the sun and of music. His
symbols were the lyre, the chariot, and the
laurel tree. His Latin name was Apollo.
• Ares: god of war. His symbols were armor,
dogs, and vultures. His Latin name was Mars.
• Artemis: goddess of the hunt and of the
moon. Her symbols were hunting, weapons,
stags, and the crescent moon. Her Latin name
was Diana.
• Athena: goddess of wisdom and war. Her
symbols were the owl, the olive tree, and two
types of armor—the breastplate and the
aegis, a shield. Her Latin name was Minerva.
• Demeter: goddess of agriculture. Her
symbols were sheaves of wheat, and the
poppy. Her Latin name was Ceres.
• Dionysus: god of wine and revelry. His
symbols were grapes and other crops.
His Latin name was Bacchus.
• Hephaestus: god of fire and of the
forge. His symbols were the anvil and
the hammer. His Latin name was Vulcan.
• Hera: queen of the gods. Her symbols
were the peacock and the pomegranate.
Her Latin name was Juno.
• Hermes: messenger of the gods. His symbols
were the caduceus, and a winged cap and
sandals. His Latin name was Mercury.
• Poseidon: god of the sea. His symbols were
the trident, a three pronged spear, and
dolphins. His Latin name was Neptune.
• Zeus: king of the gods. His symbols were the
thunderbolt, the eagle, and the oak tree. His
Latin name was Jupiter.
Family Tree
Other Gods and Goddesses
Eris - Goddess of Discord.
Eros - God of Love.
Helios - Personification of the Sun.
Heracles - Greatest hero of the Greek myths.
Iris - Personification of the Rainbow, also the
messenger of Olympus along with Hermes.
Morpheus - God of Dreams.
Muses - Nine ladies of science and arts.
Nemesis - Greek goddess of retribution.
Nike - Goddess of victory.
Can you label the Gods and Goddesses
on Mount Olympus?