Don’t you just love Greek mythology? I know I sure do. I mean, come on, it’s like one of the first soap operas ever. You have Zeus, king of the Gods. Then there’s Ares, the God of War — of course he’s the one who starts all the world’s conflicts and battles. And then there’s Hephaestus, son of Zeus, who is married to Aphrodite, but she doesn’t love him because he is ugly, and then she goes and cheats on him with Ares. Talk about drama! And that’s only one of the shockers facing the Greek mythological figures. It’s no wonder we’re still reading the famous works of Homer, Euripides, and Sophocles after all these years — look at all the great material they wrote!
Well, you might not be familiar with Homer’s The Odyssey, Euripides’ The Bacchae, or Sophocles’ Oedipus the King. But have you heard of a little series called Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan? If you said, “Heck, yeah!” then you already know a bit about Greek mythology.
However, if you aren’t familiar with any famous figures of Greek mythology, then get ready to meet my top five:
I just love the sea — the waves, the dolphins, everything! — and that’s why the god of the sea, Poseidon himself, makes it on my top five list. Unfortunately, he’s also the god of earthquakes, but I’m just going to let that slide for the moment because what other god can make horses out of sea foam? That’s pretty cool in my book. Wonder what Poseidon looks like? For some reason, King Triton in Disney’s The Little Mermaid comes to mind.
She’s the goddess who all the Gods on Mount Olympus fought over. In a competition between goddesses, she was even deemed the most beautiful by Paris of Troy. Unfortunately, that didn’t end well considering it spawned a war known as the Battle of Troy. Ring a bell? I’m talking about the one . . . the only . . . Aphrodite, the goddess of love, lust, and beauty. But remember, such extreme beauty can be deceiving and often lead to tough circumstances.
Nike, depicted with wings in most paintings and statues, was a goddess who personified triumph throughout the ages. As the goddess of strength, speed, and victory, it only made sense that Nike was friends with Athena, the goddess of wisdom. Together, they could make mortals fittingly wise and victorious.
Without the god of music, prophecies, poetry, and archery, how dull would parties be . . . honestly? That’s what I thought! Not only would Apollo have been the life of every shindig (surely he’d bring the tunes and tell great stories), but he would have been the hottest one there since he was also often referred to as the most beautiful of the gods. Cute god + music + poetry = my kind of guy!
Who is even more powerful than the almighty Zeus, king of the gods and ruler of Mount Olympus? That would be Zeus’ father, Kronos. Well, that was until he was overthrown by his own sons, Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon. But before that day, Kronos ruled during the so-called Golden Age and was revered for his devotion to harvesting.
Those are my top five picks from the many Greek mythological figures written about over time. After all, I didn’t even include most of the Olympian deities, Primordial deities, Titans, Cyclopes, river gods, nymphs, or giants! I really wonder how people in ancient Greece kept all of these mythological figures straight. Well, I suppose it’s similar to knowing the entire cast of High School Musical as well as all of the songs and lyrics from HSM1 through HSM3 . . .
— Carly M., STACKS Staffer