By Osama Poswal
By Edith Hamilton
Edith Hamilton’s introduction to her book “Mythology” tells the reader that long ago, when these stories were written, humans were one with nature and imagination enchant the form of human life. Hamilton explains the fact that Gods were depicted as human beings, unlike Egyptian gods, and mortal humans felt a sincere connection to these immortal Gods. Humans could relate to Gods and learn from their experiences.
Part 1 Chapter 1: The Gods
Unlike many other creation stories, in the Greek versions the gods are created by the universe instead of the other way around. In the beginning, two objects existed, Heaven and Earth. Their children are the Titans, whose children, in turn, are the Olympians, the main Greek gods. The Titans, who include such notables as Ocean, Mnemosyne (Memory), and Prometheus, mankind’s supporter, rule the universe until Zeus and their other children conquer them.
Part 1 Chapter 2: The 2 Great Gods of Earth
Aside from the twelve Olympians, there are two equally important gods who reside on earth: Demeter and Dionysus (Bacchus). These two are the best friends of humanity: Demeter, goddess of the harvest and nature, provides fruitful plenty and protects the threshing-floor, while Dionysus, god of wine and revelry, rules the grapevine and so the production of wine. Demeter is celebrated in a festival every fifth September; her prime temple is at Eleusis, and her worship is a central and mysterious aspect of ancient life. Bacchus also comes to be worshipped at Eleusis—a natural pairing of the two gods who bring the pleasant gifts of the earth and, significantly, are both overpowered by seasonal change.
Part 1 Chapter 3: How the World and Mankind were Created
Chapter III comes mostly from Hesiod, one of the earliest Greek poets.
In the beginning of the universe there is only Chaos. Chaos somehow gives birth to two children, Night and Erebus out of the swirling energy....