The oldest known Greek literary sources, Homer's epic poems Iliad and Odyssey, focus on events surrounding the Trojan War. Two poems by Homer's near contemporary Hesiod, the Theogony and the Works and Days, contain accounts of the genesis of the world, the succession of divine rulers, the succession of human ages, the origin of human woes, and the origin of sacrificial practices. Myths also are preserved in the Homeric Hymns, in fragments of epic poems of the Epic Cycle, in lyric poems, in the works of the tragedians of the fifth century BC, in writings of scholars and poets of the Hellenistic Age and in texts from the time of the Roman Empire by writers such as Plutarch and Pausanias.
Archaeological findings provide a principal source of detail about Greek mythology, with gods and heroes featured prominently in the decoration of many artifacts. Geometric designs on pottery of the eighth century BC depict scenes from the Trojan cycle as well as the adventures of Heracles.
In the succeeding Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods, Homeric and various other mythological scenes appear, supplementing the existing literary evidence. Greek mythology has exerted an extensive influence on the culture, the arts, and the literature of Western civilization and remains part of Western heritage and language. Poets and artists from ancient times to the present have derived inspiration from Greek mythology and have discovered contemporary significance and relevance in these mythological themes.
Mythical narration plays an important role in nearly every genre of Greek literature. Nevertheless, the only general mythographical handbook to survive from Greek antiquity was the Library of Pseudo-Apollodorus. This work attempts to reconcile the contradictory tales of the poets and provides a grand summary of traditional Greek mythology and heroic legends. Apollodorus lived from c. His writings may have formed the basis for the collection; however the "Library" discusses events that occurred long after his death, hence the name Pseudo-Apollodorus.
Among the earliest literary sources are Homer's two epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Other poets completed the "epic cycle", but these later and lesser poems now are lost almost entirely. Despite their traditional name, the "Homeric Hymns" have no direct connection with Homer.
Playing Zeus: Reproductive Technology and Lessons from Hesiod
They are choral hymns from the earlier part of the so-called Lyric age. Hesiod, a possible contemporary with Homer, offers in his Theogony Origin of the Gods the fullest account of the earliest Greek myths, dealing with the creation of the world; the origin of the gods, Titans, and Giants; as well as elaborate genealogies, folktales, and etiological myths. Hesiod's Works and Days, a didactic poem about farming life, also includes the myths of Prometheus, Pandora, and the Four Ages. The poet gives advice on the best way to succeed in a dangerous world, rendered yet more dangerous by its gods.
Historians Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, and geographers Pausanias and Strabo, who traveled throughout the Greek world and noted the stories they heard, supplied numerous local myths and legends, often giving little-known alternative versions. Herodotus in particular, searched the various traditions presented him and found the historical or mythological roots in the confrontation between Greece and the East. Herodotus attempted to reconcile origins and the blending of differing cultural concepts.
The discovery of the Mycenaean civilization by the German amateur archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann, in the nineteenth century, and the discovery of the Minoan civilization in Crete by British archaeologist, Sir Arthur Evans, in the twentieth century, helped to explain many existing questions about Homer's epics and provided archaeological evidence for many of the mythological details about gods and heroes.
Unfortunately, the evidence about myth and ritual at Mycenaean and Minoan sites is entirely monumental, as the Linear B script an ancient form of Greek found in both Crete and Greece was used mainly to record inventories, although the names of gods and heroes doubtfully have been revealed.
Geometric designs on pottery of the eighth century BC depict scenes from the Trojan cycle, as well as the adventures of Heracles. These visual representations of myths are important for two reasons. For one, many Greek myths are attested on vases earlier than in literary sources: of the twelve labors of Heracles, for example, only the Cerberus adventure occurs in a contemporary literary text.
- Theogony and Works and Days.
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In addition, visual sources sometimes represent myths or mythical scenes that are not attested in any extant literary source. In some cases, the first known representation of a myth in geometric art predates its first known representation in late archaic poetry, by several centuries.
The articles on individual authors are, in general, state of the art and the bibliographies are ample up-to-date to Copies are available in the reference section in O'Neill Library. For shorter articles and bibliography to c. Affordable in paperback and still useful for reference are H. Related documents. Theater Authors PPT. Greek Philanthropic Information. Introduction to Greek Drama and Antigone. Introduction to Greek Drama. Lect 9 Greek Philosophy. Classical Greek —10 K. Greek deities. Should the children know exact places, events, and characters?
Hesiod's treatment of wealth - Persée
Classroom management when using a variety of books and materials poses special problems in maintaining order and continuity in the classroom, Some techniques that can be employed are barge instruction, small group instruction, individualized instruction, oral reading, choral reading, S. Silent Sustained Reading , and drama. This unit can be treated in the classroom with any one of these techniques alone or in conjunction with one another.
For example: A small group of children have shown interest in how and why Zeus became all powerful. Using D'Aulaire's book 2 the teacher could have a lively discussion with the children about the role of mother-earth Gaia and Uranus, the Cyclops, fifty-headed and one-hundred armed creatures, Cronus, the eventual downfall of Uranus, Pontus, the Golden Age under Cronus, the eating of the children of Rhea and Cronus, Gaia's and Eihea''s plot against Cronus, the hiding of Zeus and finally the downfall of Cronus and the rise of Zeus.
At the same time, other children could be reading independently, working on cards mentioned earlier , or doing projects related to a particular interest. As it is difficult to touch upon all aspects of Greek and Roman mythology, I have had to limit my unit to seven sections, The sections can be used individually or in sets allowing the teacher greater flexibility in choosing topics for their classroom.
The teacher can also use this unit as a "breather" every four or six weeks, to rekindle the students' interest in mythology and to get away from the basal series, so often boring to the children. However, I: would like to make a strong recommendation as to the first section of this unit taught to the children, The children will have a natural curiosity about the gods themselves, their past and powers, where the gods lived and what were the earth and Olympus like, Whether the teacher uses the unit in the order presented here, or segments of his choice, I have found that if the section on the Greek World is covered first, many possible questions answer themselves.
Each section will have its own particular set of objectives for Reading and Language Arts followed by a general discussion of the topic, Included in each section will be sample questions and activities in the two skills areas and possible sources for further study. All page numbers referred to are actual page numbers in the book from which the examples were taken, another aspect of the unit is that the questions, activities, and objectives from one section of the unit can be transferred to another and vice versa.
The Greek World Note: In the discussion after the objectives, there will be little discussion of how these objectives should be taught and introduced in the unit. It will be up to the teacher, knowing his particular class and his particular strengths, to decide how he would like to approach each objective. Some references will be made on the index cards with sample questions and activities relating to the objectives.
Language Arts and Reading Objectives The child will be able to: 1. However, t;o obtain a more concise and broader notion, Rose's handbook 5 provides an excellent version. The children need to understand the limited view the ancient Greeks and Romans had of the earth, This will enable them to grasp how a culture could believe in gods, goddesses, and monsters, The view that the earth is flat, carried well into the 's A. The concept that the gods live in the sky carried over into our modern religious worship and beliefs, as does the notion in ancient times of the underworld Tartarus with the concept we use today hell.
Hesoid's Theogony and Works and Days Discussion Questions
In the lesson plan section, I will give an example of how this section might be started with the children. In the plan, I will also include sample activities and questions that could be put on index cards and used for individualized work. The children can learn how Zeus became ruler of the gods and the battles they had among each other. In this way they will gain an insight into the inner workings of Olympus.
The Golden Age 8 under Cronus could be used as an example to compare with the age in which the children are living. The readings from D'Aulaire will lead the children to two rulers who fled when they realized their time of power was over, Cronus and Uranus. It would prove an interesting task to have the children guess and come to some conclusions as to where they went. Examples of activities to be placed on the index cards might might include: 1 What kind of gods became powerful in mythology?
Whom would you make the ruler of the gods? Heroes Language Arts and reading Objectives The child will be able to: 1. What are some of the qualities that separate these men from other mortals? As we read the myths, why do we find very little information concerning the average man?. What is a hero? Teachers can use these and other questions to stimulate the children's interest in a study of heroes in Greek and woman mythology. In using this unit,and in particular this section, there will be little motivation needed, The story of Heracles 10 is a prime example of a hero whose life was influenced by the gods, chiefly Zeus who tried to protect him from Hera and Hera who despised him.
The teacher can introduce the myth, starting with the lineage of Heracles, an important part of the myth, The children can begin some independent work on index cards, and small group and oral reading can accompany a discussion at the end of the lesson. The twelve labors can be a source of lively discussion with many relevant concepts brought in: ridding the earth of monsters, evil in ancient times, atoning for a wrong one has committed, and jealousy as displayed by Eurysthes, King of Mycenae. Taking the ninth labor from Silverthorne's I, Heracles, The Girdle of Hippolyta , a story excellently told in the first person I will demonstrate questions the teacher may put on the index cards or use for class discussion.
Assignment: Read The Girdle of Hippolyta, pp.
Hesiod's treatment of wealth
What were Hera's motives? What kind of person was Laomedon, King of Troy? An example of a nature myth is the story of Proserpine 12 which attempts to explain the four seasons. In the myth, the Romans, copying an earlier Greek myth, detailed the abduction of Proserpine by Pluto. Suggestions for questions and activities are: 1 Why did Pluto carry Proserpine off? The hierarchy of the gods becomes very prominent as the teacher, along with the class, continues a study of mythology.
The unpredictable, quick tempered, vain, and jealous gods also used me as pawns to "get even" with one another or provoke other gods into action. The children should be shown examples of how the gods were child-like when they could not get their way or were arguing with each other, The teacher should also remind the class tat it was the mortals who ultimately paid the price for this behavior, Bomer, rose, and Ovid would be a particularly good source of stories.
One example of this type of anger and jealousy among the gods and goddesses is shown in the story The Apple of Discord , 14 his story reveals the vanity of the goddesses and can lead the teacher into a discussion of one of the greatest stories in Greek history, The Trojan War. Samples of what the teacher can put on an index card for this story are: 1 Did Paris really have a choice or was his fate already sealed? The Fairest omen Man?
The story of Artemis20 will serve as an example to show show the gods and goddesses took their anger out on mortals who offended them, Actaeon, for Just seeing Artemis bathing, was changed into a stag and killed by his own dogs. Questions and activities in this area and on this particular story might include: 1 What did Artemis do to Actaeon and why? How was Artemis described? What were some of the emotions Artemis displayed in her reaction to being seen? The stories of Apollo and Daphne , 22 and Pyramus and Thisbe , 23 show the tragic nature that love can have. Pygmalion , 24 is a myth where love has a happy ending, with the hero's creation being brought to life, In the story of Castor and Pollux , 25 two brothers,l the love that they shared for one another would be a good theme to discuss and pursue with the children.
How could I forget to mention one of the most famous love stories in mythology, Cupid and Psyshe. Hero and Leander , 27 whose love went to the extreme of Hero killing herself on learning of Leander's death, gives the teacher a sample of the variety of directions that can be taken in this topic, love.