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Pelops’ chariot race – Greek mythology

By |2018-04-23T08:13:20-07:00July 16th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Poseidon in love with Pelops (Athens, 400s BC) Pelops was the son of Tantalus, and so he was Zeus' grandson. When Pelops was still young, Tantalus murdered Pelops and served him to the gods as a stew. Luckily for Pelops, the gods figured this out before they ate him, except for Demeter ate a piece of Pelops' shoulder. After [...]

Helen of Troy – the Trojan War

By |2019-03-29T20:39:58-07:00July 15th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Kidnapping Helen of Troy (from Pompeii) Who was Helen of Troy? Helen, the daughter of Zeus and the queen of Sparta, was the most beautiful young woman in the world. She lived in Sparta with her mother and her father, the king of Sparta, and her half-sister, Clytemnestra. More about Clytemnestra Judgment of Paris Summary of the Iliad [...]

Golden Fleece – Jason and the Argonauts

By |2017-07-15T04:17:53-07:00July 15th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Jason gets the Golden Fleece Just as Jason was being born, his evil uncle Pelias overthrew his father and became king. Jason's mother hid him, and when he grew up, he came back and demanded his throne. Pelias agreed to give back the kingship, but first, he said, Jason should go on a [...]

Geryon and Herakles – Labors of Herakles

By |2018-04-23T11:42:32-07:00July 15th, 2017|Greeks|

Herakles fighting the monster Geryon who had three heads and three bodies, on a black-figure vase from Athens (500s BC) As another of the labors he did for King Eurystheus, Herakles had to steal the cattle of Geryon. But Geryon had three heads and three bodies, as you can see in the picture. So he [...]

Europa and Zeus – Greek mythology

By |2017-07-15T04:07:20-07:00July 15th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Europa holding the horn of Zeus (disguised as a bull) - Athenian vase found in northern Italy, 480 BC Europa, according to Greek mythology, was a girl who lived a long time ago, the daughter of the king of the Phoenicians. Zeus fell in love with her, and in order to get close to her, he disguised himself as a white bull. [...]

Daedalus and Icarus – Greek mythology

By |2019-04-30T14:52:38-07:00July 15th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Daedalus and Icarus: Icarus falling (on a wall painting from Pompeii,about 79 AD) Daedalus the inventor Once upon a time on the island of Crete, maybe about 1325 BC, there was a king whose name was Minos (in the story; this is only a story). He had living in his palace at Knossos a great architect and [...]

Herakles and Cerberos – Greek mythology

By |2019-03-11T07:49:08-07:00July 14th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

King Eurysthenes hides in a jar, while Hercules threatens him with his dog Cerberus Herakles' last labor For the last and toughest of his twelve labors, Herakles had to get the three-headed dog Cerberos from the underworld - the land of the dead. What is Hades? Who is Herakles? More Greek myths All our Ancient Greece articles King [...]

Arion and the dolphins – Greek mythology

By |2019-02-03T11:02:11-07:00July 14th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Arion and the dolphins: a lyre player and his helper (probably enslaved)  (Greece, about 680 BC, now in the Getty Museum) Arion was a great singer Herodotus tells us that in the time of Periander the tyrant of Corinth (which would be about 625 BC), there was a great singer whose name was Arion. Arion sailed from Corinth to Sicily to [...]

Who was Antaeus? Labors of Herakles

By |2019-01-28T05:19:49-07:00July 14th, 2017|Greeks, Religion|

Herakles wrestling Antaeus, on a red figure vase from Athens, 400s BC Herakles and Antaeus For one of his labors, Herakles had to fight a very strong man named Antaeus. More labors of Herakles More Greek mythology All our Ancient Greece articles Why was Antaeus hard to beat? But Antaeus had a special magic. [...]