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PDF The Goddess Book: Understanding the Greek Goddess of the Earth: Greek Gods and Their Goddesses

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The owl was her bird. Can you see it in her hand? Apollo was a twin. His Roman name was the same as his Greek name. He was the god of the sun or light, poetry, music and medicine and was famous for his oracles wise women to whom he gave his power to predict and interpret the future.

He was very proud and also protective of his mother and sister.


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His symbols were the gold bow and arrows, and he often appears golden and shining. He wears a laurel wreath in memory of Daphne, who didn't want to be his lover and prayed to Mother Earth for help escaping him; she was turned into a laurel tree. Artemis was Apollo's twin. Her Roman name was Diana, and she was the goddess of hunting, chastity and the moon. She protects women and small children, is fiercely independent and particularly dislikes men. In pictures, she is seen accompanied by three hunting hounds, a bow and a fawn. Ares or, as he is known by his Roman name, Mars, was the god of war.

He would fight on both sides, if possible.


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  5. He was young, strong and handsome, and liked to dress in battle clothes even when he wasn't fighting. Hephaestus, or Vulcan, was born lame and was further crippled when he was thrown from Olympus by his mother, Hera, in a rage. He was the only Olympian with a disability. He was unhappily married to Aphrodite and worked as a blacksmith in the gods' forge. Hephaestus's wife, Aphrodite, whose Roman name was Venus, was the goddess of love and beauty. She was born out of sea foam when the blood of Uranus dropped into the ocean. She was the mother of Eros and was irresistibly charming, fickle, vain and competitive.

    Her symbol was a cestus, or magic belt, that made everyone fall in love with the wearer; sometimes she would lend it to humans. This is a famous painting of the birth of Venus, or Aphrodite, by Botticelli. Dionysus was the partier of the mountain retreat. He was Zeus's son by another woman, who was driven crazy by Hera and her jealousy. Dionysus went all around teaching people how to make wine and having a good time.

    Eventually, Hestia gave up her throne for him, and he lived on Olympus. He was the god of wine, of course, and also vegetation. Hermes, or Mercury, was the god of science and invention, but he is best known as the messenger of the gods. He is often pictured with a winged helmet and sandals. He is said to have invented the alphabet, boxing and gymnastics! In this painting by Goltzius, you can see his helmet with wings; he's not wearing his famous sandals, though.

    Demeter was the goddess of the crops and the harvest. She is also known as Ceres Roman and sometimes Deo. Her symbols include a torch, a crown, a scepter and stalks of grain. She is often portrayed with her daughter, Persephone, who was kidnapped by Hades and taken to the underworld.

    By the time she was rescued, she'd eaten six pomegranate seeds, so she couldn't escape the underworld entirely. Her mother was so frantic that winter draped the land and no crops would grow. A deal was struck, and Persephone was allowed to return to her mother for half of the year.

    So each year, when she returns to the underworld, fall comes, then winter — but when she returns to her mother, spring and summer come again. Hestia was Zeus's sister and the goddess and protectress of hearth and home. She is also known by her Roman name, Vesta. She was gentle and kind and was very popular with the Greeks.

    Lesson 1: Greek creation mythology

    She didn't have a lot of adventures, so she's rarely pictured in art. Now, use at least two sources in addition to what you read here to fill in your chart next page completely. Write down the sources you used on the back of the chart. A biographical poem, or biopoem, uses a simple but specific structure to describe the most important facts about someone. Your assignment is to write a biopoem about one of the gods or goddesses you have studied. You may choose any god or goddess except Aphrodite, because she's the example below. The blanks bewlow are for your rough draft. When you're done, copy your final version onto a separate sheet of paper and, if you would like, decorate it.

    A daughter of Zeus and Dione; wife of Hephaestus. Lover of sons Aeneas and Cupid and brother Ares. Who protects sailors. Who needs a chariot. Who fears War, Athena and Hera. Resident of Mt. Myths are a way of understanding the world. This lesson has been about Greek mythology, but every culture has myths.

    Myths define social customs and beliefs, explain natural and psychological phenomena, and provide a way for people to discuss things that cause anxiety. Myths also make great stories. They come up in literature all over the place, from really serious stuff like Dante to comic strips.

    Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold

    In Greek myth, Alcestis is known as the ideal wife; she loved her husband so much that she died and went to the underworld in his place. Horrified by her recklessness, Chinonso joins her on the roadside and hurls two of his prized chickens into the water below to express the severity of such a fall. The woman, Ndali, is stopped her in her tracks. Bonded by this night on the bridge, Chinonso and Ndali fall in love.

    But Ndali is from a wealthy family and struggles to imagine a future near a chicken coop. When her family objects to the union because he is uneducated, Chinonso sells most of his possessions to attend a college in Cyprus. But when he arrives he discovers there is no place at the school for him, and that he has been utterly duped by the young Nigerian who has made the arrangements..

    Greek Goddesses

    Penniless, homeless, and furious at a world which continues to relegate him to the sidelines, Chinonso gets further away from his dream, from Ndali and the farm he called home. Written in the mythic style of the Igbo literary tradition, Chigozie Obioma weaves a heart-wrenching epic about destiny and determination. The award-winning poet reinvents a genre in a stunning work that is both a novel and a poem, both an unconventional re-creation of an ancient Greek myth and a wholly original coming-of-age story set in the present.

    Geryon, a young boy who is also a winged red monster, reveals the volcanic terrain of his fragile, tormented soul in an autobiography he begins at the age of five.

    The Greek Gods

    As he grows older, Geryon escapes his abusive brother and affectionate but ineffectual mother, finding solace behind the lens of his camera and in the arms of a young man named Herakles, a cavalier drifter who leaves him at the peak of infatuation. When Herakles reappears years later, Geryon confronts again the pain of his desire and embarks on a journey that will unleash his creative imagination to its fullest extent.