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!
After having presented the mythological facts behind Athens’ , Crete and their surroundings, it’s time to slightly move towards Peloponnese and spot the hidden stories behind some of its most influential monuments!
Corinth was a city-state in Ancient Greece, located in Peloponnese, between its rival states, Sparta and Athens. In mythology, it was founded by Corinthos, who was a descendant of the god of sun Helios. It also said that the city eventually was founded by the goddess Ephyra, daughter of the Titan god Oceanus. One of the better known kings of Corinth was Sisyphus, famed for his punishment in Hades where he was made to forever roll a large boulder up a hill.
During the Trojan War, the leader of the Corinthians was Agamemnon, brother of the king of Sparta, Menelaus. It’s also known for the myth of Arion - the real-life and gifted guitar player- who was rescued by dolphins after being abducted by pirates.
Olympia was an important site of the most famous games in history, Olympic games. The first games dated back in 776 BC as they prepared a festival to honor Zeus. Olympia, was a centre of worship of Zeus and Hera.
Nowadays you can still stroll around the archaeological site of Ancient Olympia and marvel the birth place of the Olympic Games, the temples of Zeus and Hera, along with a proper ancient sports center. You can also run in the original Stadium where the actual Olympic Games took place during the antiquity!
Sparta was known in the ancient Greece as the country’s dominant military power. The region of Sparta was also called Lacedaemon, after the name of the mythical king of the region. Lacedaemon was the son of Zeus and the nymph Taygete, and he was he was married to Sparta, the daughter of the river god Eurotas.
The Spartan king Menelaos initiated the war after the Trojan prince Paris abducted his wife Helen, who was previously offered to Paris by the goddess Aphrodite as a prize for choosing her in a beauty contest with fellow goddesses Athena and Hera. Helen was said to have been the most beautiful woman in Greece and Spartan women in general enjoyed a reputation not only for good looks but also spirited independence.
Also located in the Peloponnese, Arcadia was considered to be a wilderness in which the god Pan resided, along with dryads, nymphs and other spirits. It was believed that it was a utopic place, where humans and inhuman creatures resided in peace. Hermes, the messenger of the other gods would be also seen roaming in the region.
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