Through short Greek myths, the Hellenes sought to explain the creation of the world and the phenomena that occurred in nature. These narrations were transmitted from generation to generation to make known the history of this town and served as inspiration to the Romans, who incorporated them into their oral and written tradition.
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10 short greek mythsof Ancient Greece
Many will sound familiar to you for having served as a plot for movies, books or video games; but there are also many other Hellenistic epics that, although not as popular, are nonetheless less important or interesting. 10. The Titanomaquias Family disputes over power were the order of the day in Olympus . In the ‘Titanomaquias’, the fight of Zeus to dethrone his father Cronus and free his brothers, who had been engulfed by the Titan, was told. As soon as they were free, the five brothers joined the Cyclopes and Centimanos, in an attempt to defeat Cronus and the Titans once and for all. The contest ended with the victory of the gods, who settled on Olympus, and the defeat of the Titans., who were sentenced to remain in Tartarus. 9. Achilles’ heel
One of the best-known names in Homer’s Iliad is that of Achilles, the great asset of the Greek army in its attempt to penetrate the city of Troy. There are many stories that are told about that war , from the supposed wooden horse that would serve to deceive the Trojans and allow the enemy to cross the city walls, to the supposed divine status of Achilles. In fact, Achilles was known to be (nearly) invincible and to have no weak points.
But this was not exactly so. According to one of the most famous short Greek myths, Achilles was the son of the goddess Thetis. When she was a newborn of hers, she took him by her ankles and she dipped him several times in the Styx lagoon, which would give him his practically total invulnerability if she had not forgotten to also dip the heel by which she did it. I had a hold Knowing this weakness, Prince Paris shot an arrow (for some, guided by the god Apollo) that hit the weak point of the almost immortal hero . 8. The tragedy of Oedipus
The life of Oedipus is one of the most tragic in Ancient Greece. According to the oracle of Delphi, Layo would find death at the hands of his firstborn and he would marry his mother. Determined that his destiny should not be fulfilled,the King abandoned his son to his fate in the depths of the forest ; but fortune was on the side of the little one, who was rescued and raised in another distant kingdom.
One day, Oedipus had a mishap with a man on horseback, with whom he argued heatedly and ended up murdering, without knowing that it was his own father. After ending the curse of the Sphinx, Oedipus married the regent Queen of Thebes, Jocasta, both unaware that they were mother and son. As a result of their marriage, the couple had four children. Upon discovering the truth, the Queen ended her life and Oedipus gouged out his eyes . 7. Prometheus and fire
Among the most famous short Greek myths that narrate the consequences of offending the gods, the audacity of Prometheus perhaps stands out above the rest. This Titan did not approve of Zeus depriving humans of fire and choosing to keep it on Olympus. Determined to bring the precious asset back to Earth (some sources say that he used the sparks given off by Apollo’s chariot to ignite a flame and others that he stole it from the forges of Hephaestus), Zeus discovered it and punished him. .
The imposed penance consisted of remaining chained for all eternity to a large rock and having an eagle devour his liver.every day, because due to his immortal condition, Prometheus had the ability to regenerate. In this way, the raptor returned every day to feast at the expense of the reckless one who dared to contradict the designs of the God of Thunder.
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King Agamemnon had angered the goddess Artemis when he entered her domain and hunted one of her sacred deer. This she, in retaliation, had withheld her fleet of ships returning from the Trojan War, so Agamemnon did not know what to do to appease the deity , who was inconsolable. After consulting with a seer, it was revealed to him that the only solution would be to sacrifice his daughter Ifigenia, in payment of that debt. And it is here where this story takes different directions depending on the place consulted.
The official version suggests that Artemis, seeing the King’s decision to please her, felt pity for Iphigenia and replaced her sacrifice with that of a hind. However, other texts argue that the offering did take place, which causes Agamemnon’s wife to murder him upon learning of the parricide. 5. The Amazons
The Amazons were a people of warrior women known for their fierceness in battle and that for many was one of the short Greek myths that could have existed in reality . According to reports, the Amazons formed a matriarchal society where men had no place other than as servants. These brave fighters dedicated their lives to the art of war, so much so that, as soon as they were born, one of their breasts was amputated so that they would have an easier time shooting arrows with their bow.
There were Amazons who participated in some of the most outstanding chapters of Hellenistic mythology, where their rude and indomitable character is emphasized.4. Medusa and Perseus
Perseus was the fruit of the passion between Zeus and Danae, a simple human who, according to Greek legend, the God of Olympus met in one of his usual descents to Earth. Turned into a burly young man, the treacherous Polidectes sent him on an almost suicidal mission from which he hoped the demigod would not return: to seize the head of Medusa, the worst of the three Gorgon sisters , who had poisonous snakes instead of hair and She was capable of turning anyone who laid eyes on her to stone.
Knowing how dangerous this task was, Perseus received the help of the gods, who armed him so that he could face the monster. Already in Medusa’s lair,Zeus’s son used his ingenuity to avoid looking Medusa in the eye , hiding so she wouldn’t find him and using the shield that Athena had given him to observe his reflection. Finally, the gorgon fell asleep, an occasion that Perseus took advantage of to decapitate her and keep her head in a sack, because her curse had an effect on her even though she had died. 3. Narciso
Beauty can be a person’s downfall, that is something that Narciso proved in a tragic way. Such was the beauty of this young man, that all the maidens fell in love with him, but Narciso was so conceited that he rejected them unceremoniously. Among the victims of his contempt, the worst stop was Eco, the nymph who could not say anything other than the last words that were dedicated to her.
Due to his haughty behavior, Nemesis wanted to punish Narcissus once and for all. So, one day the young man approached, thirsty, a river to drink. Seeing his face reflected on the surface, Narcissus could not avoid the temptation and jumped into the waters , drowning. Like many other short Greek myths, that of Narcissus has served to give a name to a type of extremely selfish behavior that we usually find and which, in his honor, has been classified as ‘narcissism’. 2. Pandora’s Box
Zeus was not happy that Prometheus had ignored his orders and had stolen fire to give it to mankind. In retaliation, in addition to the terrible punishment to which he subjected the Titan, he decided that he would also take revenge by other means. Thus,He commissioned the blacksmith Hephaestus to make a beautiful woman, whom he called Pandora and who he presented to Epimetheus, brother of the thief, who instantly fell in love with the beautiful lady.
The day they both got married, Pandora was given a box with an enigmatic content and a very explicit order about it: it was strictly forbidden to open it and discover what secrets it was hiding. However, disobedience was a constant in practically all the short Greek myths, so Pandora could not resist the attraction caused by the box and opened it to see what it hid, which was nothing more than all the evils that would plague the world. world if they were ever released. 1. The twelve tests of Heracles
The hero of Classical Greece par excellence was Heracles. Many deeds have been written about this demigod that made him famous for his incredible superhuman strength . Among his most remarkable feats are the twelve tests (or jobs), a series of tasks imposed by the oracle of Delphi as punishment for having murdered his wife and children.
Kill some of the most dangerous monsters in mythology, such as the fearsome Hydra or the Nemean Lion; capture the indomitable Bull of Crete or the Can Cerberus, the guardian of the gates of the Underworld, or get trophies kept by heroes of great power; are some of the feats that are part of the most famous of the short Greek myths of the classical period.The story of Heracles had such an impact that even the Romans incorporated it into their mythology, calling him ‘Hercules’ .
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