Saturday, 30 June 2012

Load of Greek Gods

Author: Shelby Routledge Moran
I guess that many of us understand one thing about the traditional Geeks they were certainly into their Gods. Now as a occasionally crossword enthusiast I am frequently caught out by without knowing the name of one or the other of the Gods, and I thought that it must be an indication of a missing part of my education not to know their names. After a trip to Greece and conversion to a fan of Greece I became motivated enough to research these varied Gods. And, I assumed, at least my crosswords abilities would move up a bit. Right? Wrong! I must tell you that I just couldn't believe just how many Gods the traditional Greeks actually had. I will share with you ...
a little of my research and you'll know what I'm trying to say.

I find there are basically several classes of the gods of the Greek pantheon ( here meaning, I suspect, church or faith ). The first 3 classes are : the Olympian gods, the Titan gods, and the primeval gods the three different generations of gods to be in charge of the world. The subsequent 5 categories are those of domain ( e.g. Sky Gods, sea, earth subculture etc ) and the next categories are the gods representing ideas, spirits and emotions and so on. I am already nearly lost and not a name in sight. If we just stick with the Olympian gods, there were huge numbers of these and of different kinds, for example, the gods of the agora ( gods of the people's's assembly and gods of the marketplace ) included Zeus, the god of kings and who watched over the assembly, helped by Athena, the goddess of sensible counsel , Dike of justice, Themis of Custom and Calliope of Eloquence, while the marketplace gods were led by Hermes, of commerce, Hephaestus and Athena, patron gods of workmen, weavers, potters, metalworkers and so on. Oh! And Apollo who was another market place god and whose job eludes me, though his church is in Delphi, near Mount Parnassus ).

Aside from massive other members of the Olympian gods ( and, my, must Mount Olympus have been crowded BTW, Mount Olympus is around 100km from Thessalonika ) there seem to be many fewer of the Titans 12 Uranides ( I believe that I have heard of Hyperion and Cronus ) and four Iapetionides and I've heard of 2 of these, specifically Atlas ( who conveniently is holding the world up ) and Prometheus who is also doing something important however it eludes me.

The ancient gods of Greek mythology were the basic parts of the universe which emerged at creation. The way these names gave an image of the world view of the traditional Greeks and the way in which the cosmos was put together is interesting, and perhaps I may know one or two more for a crossword, but one thing i do know. I'm going to have to go back and have a holiday in greece to do the analysis in situ as it were.
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About the Author
The writer is a traveller with an interest in the culture and history of states in Europe like Greece.

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