Being greek and while meeting people abroad, I’ve always been asked about the greek mythology and the life of the legendary gods of Olympus. People have always been wondering whether the greek mythology is something we’re being taught at school or something that’s being transmitted from generation to generation as a bed-time story, or maybe let’s say as a fairytale!
To be honest I never expected to be asked such questions (it was always considered as a random topic of conversation to me) but indeed mythology for the greeks is actually bit of everything; we learn about it at school (well in a young age), our parents buy us books narrating the stories of the gods, we read literature based on it, we watch series, we watch movies and more or less we familiarise with mythology very soon without even realising it.
While living in Greece, even though I was familiar with all the mythological stories (indeed as I said, I grew up learning about Zeus and Hercules and a lot of other prominent mythological characters), I’ve never realised that the greek mythology is a such a huge topic of interest for people outside Greece. Questions and stories I’ve heard from friends and such facts inspired me to write this series of pages during which I’ll present to you some of the most mythological places and the stories hidden behind them!
If you love the greek mythology or if you have ever watched Percy-Jackson and enjoyed it, then keep reading cause I’m pretty sure you’re gonna appreciate the pages & the suggestions that are about to follow!
Mythology in Athens & its surroundings
The Parthenon is the greatest marvel of Acropolis and its imposing figure always amazes every visitor of the archaeological site! It is“the most ancient temple to the gods, in the middle of Athens…” Percy Jackson says. The Parthenon was built during the golden age of Pericles. This was during an era long after that of the mythological heroes, but the sculptures which decorated the building's exterior celebrated their feats, together with those of the immortal gods. They showed Lapiths fighting centaurs, Olympians battling Giants and perhaps scenes from the Trojan War.
Temple of Athena, Parthenon, AthensParthenonos, Athina 117 42, Grèce
Temple of Olympian ZeusAthènes 105 57, Grèce
Delphi and the Temple of Apollo used to serve as an oracle during the antiquity. Ancient Greeks believed that Delphi was the centre of Grandmother Earth which Zeus was trying to find. The Oracle of Delphi and Pythia, were famous all over ancient Greece, and people would flock to the area seeking advice. The Temple is situated at a beautiful slope in Parnassos mountain overlooking Greek fir forests and lush-vegetated hills.
Archaeological site of DelphiDelphi 330 54, Grèce
Poseidon the brother of Zeus, known also as the God of the Sea was highly revered and worshipped in Greece. Ancient Greeks, especially seamen, believed that the storms were signs of Poseidon’s wrath, and therefore the temple at Sounio was a sacred place where sailors and the general population came to offer animal sacrifices and other gifts to appease him and find favor.
Cape Sounion, AthensLeof. Athinon Souniou 6932, Lavreotiki 195 00
Temple of Poseidon, Sounion, Athens67 km Athens-Sounio, Sounio 195 00
In fact, Epidaurus was considered to be the most popular healing centre of antiquity while its history is strongly associated to the healing god Asklepios. According to the ancient Greek mythology, Epidaurus was the birthplace of Asklepios the son of Apollo. Sick people from all over the world used to gather in Epidaurus looking for cure and ways to treat their diseases.
Epidaurus TheaterÉpidaure, Grèce
Interesting right? To be continued…
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