Greek Mythology

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Greece is a small and rocky country almost surrounded by the sea. It also has many beautifull islands. The ighest mountain of greece is mount Olympus. The greeks believed that at the top of the Olympus lived their most important gods and godesses

Mount Olympus

Greece is a mountainous country almost surrounded by the sea.

The highest mountain of Greece is Mount Olympus. Its walls of rock make it almost impossible to scale it. So high it is, that its top cannot be seen, always surrounded by clouds.

Mount Olympus<br>Drawing By Mirta Fernandez

There, at the top of the Olympus, the twelve most important Gods of the Greeks had their palace. These, capricious and quarrelsome gods, handled the life of mortal men to their cravings, interfering in their lives and taking part for one or another.

The Gods were immortal, this means that they could not die.

El palace had been built by the Cyclopes.

The Cyclopes were fabulous beings, gigantic creatures with a single eye in the middle of the front. They were very skillfull.

The Cyclopes were many, but the most important were three: Arges, the one that shines, Brontes, the one that thunders and Esteropes, the one that gives the ray. Besides building the palace in the mount Olympus, they forged the rays of Zeus and are the ones that gave him the thunder and the lightning.

The palace was built as the palaces of the mortal kings. That is to say that was very large and pompous. It had many departments so that each one of the Gods could live comfortable and a huge hall where the Counsel met to discuss the problems of men: which army will be wining a battle or which of the kings deserves to be punished, but most of the time they fought and discussed among them.

The palace had also dining rooms, kitchens, rooms for weapons, and rooms for servants. Horses stables, kennels for dogs and even a zoo where the gods kept their sacred animals. These included a bear, a lion, a parrot, an eagle, tigers, a cow, a tortoise, white oxen, an owl, a deer, a stork, swans, mice and a reservoir full of colored fish.

Zeus

Zeus was the most important of the twelve Gods that inhabited the Olympus.

Zeus Was a son of Cronus and Rea.

Zeus<br>Drawing by Agustin Croxatto

Cronus was married to Rea, in spite of the fact that she was his sister. Had many children but the villain Cronus ate them as soon as they were born, because had heard, that one of his children would dethrone him.

Rea suffered terribly seeing that Cronus devoured their children, so, she asked aid to her parents that advised her to move away.

Rea had her last son, Zeus, far away from her house, in the island of Chalk where hid him to free it from his evil father. When Cronus arrived to Chalk to devour him, Rea wrapped a stone in diapers and Cronus, believing that was his son, swallowed the stone. After a year, Cronus vomited the stone and Zeus placed it as a monument. When Zeus grew up, got rid of his father, but as Cronus could not die because was immortal, Zeus sent him to a distant island. Then he freed their paternal aunt and uncle, the Cyclopes, that Cronus had keeped chained for many years, and they, in gratitude gave him the thunder, the ray and the lightning.

At that time, they also gave Poseidon the trident and a helmet to Hades. That, did him invisible.

With these powerful weapons Zeus reigned on mortals and immortal.

At the Olympus palace Zeus had a throne of Egyptian marble with inlays of gold, and seven steps decorated with the colors of the rainbow. Above the throne there was a blue covering to show that the sky belonged to him. To his right there was an eagle of steel with rubies in the eyes. The throne was covered by a purple color lamb skin that utilized to cause rainfall during the dry seasons.

Zeus was strong, arrogant, capricious, violent and quite noisy. He could kill any enemy that he pleases launching rays and thunders against them. When he got mad could cause strong storms and large floods that kept men on edge.

Zeus had thick curly hair and a beard also curled. A laurel crown girded its head. He carried a cloak that covered his back.

Zeus could also transform himself into any animal or in any thing to achieve what he desired.

Hera

Zeus wife was called Hera.

Hera<br>Drawing by Agustín Croxatto

She had a throne of ivory, just at the side of her husband with three crystal steps. The throne was decorated with gold birds and willow branches. The seat was covered by a white cow skin that uses to cause rainfall in times of drought, if Zeus was in a bad mood and preferred not to be bothered. A brilliant full moon hung above the throne, balancing with the breeze.

Hera did not like to be Zeus´s wifebecause he had the bad habit of marrying mortal women all the time. His girlfriends aged and die, but Hera, maintained always young and beautiful. Zeus kept asking Hera to marry him, year after year for three hundred years and Hera always refuses.

Diring spring, Zeus to transform himself into a frightened sparrow surprised by a storm and struck Hera´s window with the peak.

Hera, that loved birds, felt pitied of the poor sparrow and allowed to enter into her room. It shook its wings, and while holding it into her hands, told him: Oh Poor little sparrow, I love you. Then Zeus changing again of aspect told Hera: You said that you love me. Now you should marry me.

In spite of the Zeus evil behaviour, Hera felt forced by the circumstances to marry him. She wanted in this way, to be a model for all the other God and mortals becoming the Mother of the Sky.

Poseidon

Poseidon was the God of rivers, seas and oceans.

He also had a throne in the palace of mount Olympus.

Poseidon<br>Drawing by Agustín Croxatto

His only weapon was a trident that brandishes to revolve the waters causing shipwrecks when he pleases.

He never travels in ships. He had a carriage thrown by white horses.

Poseidon had a private palace under the sea, near Paxos. He didn’t live al this palace all the time. He hided there when was mad or needed some rest.

He was married to the beautiful Anphitrite.

Poseidon was very ugly and she didn’t want to marry him. But Poseidon sent a group of dolphins to convince her.

His emblem was the horse.

Demeter

Demeter has also a magnificent throne at the palace.

She was the goddess of grains, fruits and pastures. She taught men the principles of agriculture: How to plow and how to harvest.

Demeter<br>Drawing by Agustín Croxatto

With the legend of Demeter, the Greeks explained the seasons of the year.

Demeter was sad most of the time, except in spring and summer when her daughter Persephone, kidnapped by Hades, the god of the dead, came to visit her.

When Hades abducted Persephone, Demeter searches for her daughter during many years, and when she found her, negotiate with Hades that she would spend half of the year with him, and the other half with her. At that time, Demeter smiled all the time.

Hephaestus

Hephaestus had a throne in the palace next to Poseidon.

He was the ugliest of all the gods.

left

Was son of Zeus and Hera. Her mother threw him away from a precipice because he was born defective, but instead, he fell in the sea and lived. His leg was badly injured during the fall and had to be amputate. Since then uses an iron leg as prosthesis.

He was the god of goldsmiths, jewelers, bricklayers and carpenters.

He built all the thrones at the Olympus palace in his own workshop. His throne was a masterpiece covered with precious metals and stones.


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