From the beginning, man has had a need to explain why he is here, he needs to know his origins. He also needs to know how is surrondings got there, the mountains, sea, sky... . People started to tell stories to explain these things. Of course they couldn’t be alone, someone had created them and their world, gods. They made the gods to look like themselves. Over the years people would hear these stories and pass them on to others. Soon the stories were spread very far from where they started. They had also changed a bit with the language translations and because they wanted to adjust it to what they liked. Later, they beleived the now legends, and built temples and shrines to honour their gods and goddesses. They sacrificed and made ceremonies to honour them, they also started honouring heros for their “godlike” deeds. The stories had evovled into a religion.
The branch of Greek mythology is extremely old, dating back to
the worship of the Earth Mother in 2000 B.C. Invaders from Asia
Minor introduced an early language. They also worshipped Aryan
sky-gods. They started life in Thessaly and became a race as they
mingled with the natives. But life wasn’t all peaceful, the more aggressive tribes moved in and enslaved the native people, calling them Helots. They spoke a form of ancient Greek and used heiroglyphics (not the same as Egyptian or Mayan...) which scholars call Linear B.
During these wars, Crete was a thriving nation. They had long been trading with Egypt and some of the Eastern countries. They were called Minoans, and the culture hit its peak in about 1600 B.C. Again, it turned to rubble, probably by an earthquake or volcano. The Greeks took over the vulnerable island and fit their mythology and the Cretans mythology to mix. The myths then came streaming in, from Thrace, Argos, Attica, Mycenae, and more. The myths were now had a lot of variety.
The Greeks had their gods, the first gods to resemble humans. Not
just look like them, but acted like them too. Each god or goddess had his/her own personality. Some were old, some were fat, some were
mean, and so on. The entire mythological base was on humans.
The myths were full of heros who destroyed their enemies by their superior intelligence and wit. For example Oedipus beats the Sphinx at the riddle. They had an unquenchable curiosity about creation and more to the point, themselves.
The Greeks had everything going for them, a really strong nation. Most of their temples, sanctuaries and what-not are still standing today. The sacred cities are still in their original spots and in some the tradition lives on. But the Romans came and ravaged the Greek cities, they took the myths and changed the names of the gods and goddesses. The Greeks were inferior to the Romans, but their shrines and religion had attracted the Christians, who cut off the genetalia of the statues, which symoblized brave men. They tore out the eyes of the proud figures, that stood tall. They turned the temples into churches and brought in their religion. Jews, and Muslims were a few of the other religions that ravaged the cities and mocked the awesome sites. On the bright side, some of the stories have lived on, and this page tries to sum them up for you. I hope I you feel the same magic I do when I read the ancient stories.