Introduction toIntroduction to
Greek MythologyGreek Mythology
Sixth Grade Language ArtsSixth Grade Language Arts
What is Greek Mythology?What is Greek Mythology?
•• The people of ancient GreeceThe people of ancient Greece
shared stories called mythsshared stories called myths
about the gods, goddesses,about the gods, goddesses,
and heroes in which theyand heroes in which they
•• Each god or goddess wasEach god or goddess was
worshipped as a deity andworshipped as a deity and
ruled over certain areas ofruled over certain areas of
the Greeks’ lives.the Greeks’ lives.
•• These exciting storiesThese exciting stories
explained natural phenomenaexplained natural phenomena
that could not be explainedthat could not be explained
by science in the ancientby science in the ancient
Why Should We StudyWhy Should We Study
Greek Mythology?Greek Mythology?
•• The Ancient Greek cultureThe Ancient Greek culture
has been kept alive by thehas been kept alive by the
oral and later writtenoral and later written
stories handed downstories handed down
through thousands ofthrough thousands of
•• Modern plays, novels,Modern plays, novels,
television programs,television programs,
movies and evenmovies and even
advertisements refer toadvertisements refer to
Greek gods, goddesses,Greek gods, goddesses,
heroes and their stories.heroes and their stories.
•• Adventurous and excitingAdventurous and exciting
stories delight andstories delight and
entertain us.entertain us.
Who Were the Gods andWho Were the Gods and
Goddesses of the Pantheon onGoddesses of the Pantheon on
Mount Olympus?Mount Olympus?
ZeusZeus –– Leader of the Olympian GodsLeader of the Olympian Gods
•• He ruled the Olympians.He ruled the Olympians.
•• He was the god of theHe was the god of the
sky, lightning andsky, lightning and
thunder carrying athunder carrying a
thunderbolt as histhunderbolt as his
•• He marriedHe married HeraHera, his, his
sister, which was a familysister, which was a family
•• He fathered manyHe fathered many
children with variouschildren with various
goddesses and mortals.goddesses and mortals.
HeraHera –– Wife of ZeusWife of Zeus
•• She was the protector ofShe was the protector of
marriage and the home.marriage and the home.
•• She was associated withShe was associated with
the peacock, because ofthe peacock, because of
her great beauty.her great beauty.
•• She and Zeus wereShe and Zeus were
always quarreling.always quarreling.
•• She was called the queenShe was called the queen
of intriguers, a vindictiveof intriguers, a vindictive
and jealous wife, whoand jealous wife, who
frequently outwitted herfrequently outwitted her
husband, Zeus.husband, Zeus.
PoseidonPoseidon –– God of the SeaGod of the Sea
•• He built an underwaterHe built an underwater
palace with a great pearlpalace with a great pearl
and coral throne.and coral throne.
•• Although he choseAlthough he chose ThetisThetis,,
a beautiful water nymph,a beautiful water nymph,
as his queen, he, like hisas his queen, he, like his
brother Zeus, was a greatbrother Zeus, was a great
wanderer fatheringwanderer fathering
hundreds of children.hundreds of children.
•• He was a difficult god,He was a difficult god,
changeful andchangeful and
quarrelsome, but createdquarrelsome, but created
many curious forms formany curious forms for
his sea creatures.his sea creatures.
•• He invented the horse forHe invented the horse for
his sister Demeter, whomhis sister Demeter, whom
he loved.he loved.
HadesHades –– God of the UnderworldGod of the Underworld
•• He was the jealousHe was the jealous
brother to Zeus andbrother to Zeus and
•• He made Persephone hisHe made Persephone his
wife after stealing herwife after stealing her
from her mother,from her mother,
Demeter, who was hisDemeter, who was his
•• Because he was a violentBecause he was a violent
god, who was also verygod, who was also very
possessive of every newpossessive of every new
soul, he rarely left hissoul, he rarely left his
underworld domain.underworld domain.
DemeterDemeter--Goddess of CornGoddess of Corn
and the Harvestand the Harvest
•• She was the goddess ofShe was the goddess of
growing things.growing things.
•• She was the mother ofShe was the mother of
Persephone, whose fatherPersephone, whose father
was Zeus.was Zeus.
•• Her daughter wasHer daughter was
kidnapped by Hades andkidnapped by Hades and
taken to the Underworldtaken to the Underworld
for six months of the yearfor six months of the year
causing the change ofcausing the change of
HestiaHestia--Goddess of the HearthGoddess of the Hearth
•• She was the sister ofShe was the sister of
Zeus and the daughter ofZeus and the daughter of
CronosCronos and Rhea.and Rhea.
•• She represented personalShe represented personal
and communal securityand communal security
and happiness.and happiness.
•• She was thought of asShe was thought of as
the kindest and mildest ofthe kindest and mildest of
the goddesses.the goddesses.
•• She was of littleShe was of little
mythological importance,mythological importance,
appearing in only a fewappearing in only a few
AthenaAthena--Goddess of Wisdom,Goddess of Wisdom,
Justice, War, Civilization and PeaceJustice, War, Civilization and Peace
•• She was born full grownShe was born full grown
out of the head of Zeus.out of the head of Zeus.
•• She taught man to useShe taught man to use
tools and taught his wifetools and taught his wife
to spin and weave.to spin and weave.
•• She was the bestShe was the best--lovedloved
goddess on Olympus.goddess on Olympus.
•• She hated Ares, god ofShe hated Ares, god of
war, often besting him inwar, often besting him in
•• The Greek city of AthensThe Greek city of Athens
is named after her.is named after her.
•• She was said to haveShe was said to have
created the spider.created the spider.
ApolloApollo--The Sun God; God of Music,The Sun God; God of Music,
Poetry, Wisdom, Light and TruthPoetry, Wisdom, Light and Truth
•• He was the twin brotherHe was the twin brother
of Artemis and the mostof Artemis and the most
handsome of the gods.handsome of the gods.
•• He was also the god ofHe was also the god of
the healing arts and ofthe healing arts and of
•• He drove his chariotHe drove his chariot
across the sky to pull theacross the sky to pull the
sun each day.sun each day.
•• His son,His son, PhaethonPhaethon, drives, drives
Apollo’s sun chariot withApollo’s sun chariot with
disastrous results.disastrous results.
ArtemisArtemis-- Goddess of the Woods,Goddess of the Woods,
Moon and the HuntMoon and the Hunt
•• She was the twinShe was the twin
sister of Apollo,sister of Apollo,
whose mother waswhose mother was
LetoLeto and father wasand father was
•• She was a chasteShe was a chaste
huntress, who alwayshuntress, who always
carried a silver bowcarried a silver bow
and arrows.and arrows.
•• She ruled over theShe ruled over the
untamed places of theuntamed places of the
DionysusDionysus--God of RevelryGod of Revelry
and the Vineand the Vine
•• He is said to be theHe is said to be the
only god ononly god on
Olympus with aOlympus with a
mortal parent.mortal parent.
•• His creation of wineHis creation of wine
brings ecstasy andbrings ecstasy and
drunkenness to hisdrunkenness to his
•• Much of the ancientMuch of the ancient
world’s greatestworld’s greatest
poetry was createdpoetry was created
in his honor.in his honor.
AresAres--Cruel God of WarCruel God of War
•• He was a ruthless andHe was a ruthless and
murderous god, whomurderous god, who
displayed the worst ofdisplayed the worst of
humanity’s traits.humanity’s traits.
•• He, along with grief,He, along with grief,
strife, panic, andstrife, panic, and
terror, roams theterror, roams the
•• Ironically, he was aIronically, he was a
coward, who fled thecoward, who fled the
field of battle.field of battle.
HephaestusHephaestus--God of Fire,God of Fire,
Volcanoes and the ForgeVolcanoes and the Forge
•• He was the ugliest of theHe was the ugliest of the
gods, who was rejectedgods, who was rejected
by his mother,by his mother, HeraHera,,
when she hurled him offwhen she hurled him off
of Mount Olympusof Mount Olympus
crippling him.crippling him.
•• He fashioned the armorHe fashioned the armor
and tools of the gods onand tools of the gods on
a broken mountain neara broken mountain near
Mount Olympus.Mount Olympus.
•• He made beautifulHe made beautiful
jewelry for thejewelry for the
AphroditeAphrodite--Goddess of LoveGoddess of Love
and Beautyand Beauty
•• She is the goddess of desireShe is the goddess of desire
born from sea foam. Anotherborn from sea foam. Another
myth credits her mother asmyth credits her mother as
DioneDione and her father as Zeus.and her father as Zeus.
•• After all the gods on MountAfter all the gods on Mount
Olympus courted her, sheOlympus courted her, she
married Hephaestus, the ugliestmarried Hephaestus, the ugliest
of the gods.of the gods.
•• Because she was judged theBecause she was judged the
most beautiful of all themost beautiful of all the
goddesses on Mount Olympusgoddesses on Mount Olympus
by Paris, the other goddessesby Paris, the other goddesses
envied her.envied her.
HermesHermes-- God of Mischief andGod of Mischief and
Messenger of the GodsMessenger of the Gods
•• He was the precociousHe was the precocious
son of Zeus andson of Zeus and MaiaMaia, a, a
•• As a baby, he made aAs a baby, he made a
lyre and pipe for his halflyre and pipe for his half--
brother, Apollo.brother, Apollo.
•• He carried Apollo’s goldenHe carried Apollo’s golden
staff and flew around thestaff and flew around the
heavens and earth onheavens and earth on
winged sandals.winged sandals.