If you’re anything like me, you like to soak up as much sun and culture on holiday as possible…
...Greece is a wonderful place to get your fill of both.
Grab your sun cream and I’ll fill you in on all the crazy things about Greek gods they forgot to tell you about at school!
We all know that childbirth, while a beautiful thing, can be very painful and incredibly arduous on both parents (women can squeeze a hand pretty tightly while giving birth), I think we can all agree that everyone would be jealous of Athena’s mother.
Not only did the goddess of intelligence, skill, peace, warfare, battle strategy, handicrafts, and wisdom (another busybody) spring fully from her parent’s head, it was her dad’s head!
Sounds a lot better than the setup we mortals have to put up with.
Despite what you might imagine about Mount Olympus, and contrary to most of what we’ve learnt already, it wasn’t all incest, patricide, and affairs…
Hestia, virgin goddess of the hearth, home, and chastity, is one of the lesser-known Greek gods. She is, however, one of my favorites and her symbols being the hearth and kettle doesn’t hurt that.
Who doesn’t love a goddess who would always be prepared to pop the kettle on and make a nice cuppa?
The god of music, arts, knowledge, healing, plague, prophecy, poetry, manly beauty, archery, and the sun – as well as being a bit of a busybody – did not waste time when it came to getting things done.
He killed the chthonic (which basically means it comes from the underworld) dragon Python, which had been terrorizing the island of Delphi when he was only four days old.
Kind of puts holding your own head up after six months to shame, right?
Ares, the god of war, bloodshed, and violence – you can never have too many gods of war, apparently – was clearly not a one-woman man.
Not only did he have an affair with Aphrodite, goddess of love, behind the back of Aphrodite’s husband Hephaestus (the poor old crippled god of fire, metalworking, and crafts ended up become a cuckold while Ares and Aphrodite had eight children together), Ares ended up fathering a frankly ridiculous total of 58 children by 33 women.
On the plus side, he didn’t swallow a single one, so at least we’re making some progress here.
Lastly, we’ve all heard of Zeus. King of the Gods, hurler of lightning bolts, the guy with the sweet beard. But there’s a lot of crazy stuff about Zeus you may not know...
For starters, Zeus had a pretty interesting childhood, to say the least.
Like most kings, Zeus was a bit of a ladies’ man. However, Zeus’ techniques differ slightly from the usual chat-up lines.
To distract his wife, Hera, from all these extramarital, bird-based shenanigans, Zeus got a nymph named Echo to talk all the time, in front of Hera to distract her…
...after she caught on, Hera understandably punished the nymph to contently repeat the words of others. Firm but fair, I’m sure we’ll all agree.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little jaunt back to Ancient Greece!
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