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Mythology: The Myths of Greece and Rome
Mythology Whenever you see a large building with many columns holding up a roof, you are looking at an imitation of a Greek temple.
Imitations Copies of classical temples: –The Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
Capitol – Washington, D.C.
New York Public Library
The White House
Other imitations: Post offices, town halls, banks, & churches Tall columns resemble the structures that were once built in Greece and Rome to honor the gods.
Why Know the Myths? The myths are tied to Greece and Rome. Greece and Rome were important to our development as a society.
Contributions: Astronomy Mathematics Philosophy Architecture Medicine
Contributions: Monetary (money) system Systems of government & Law
Contributions: Democracy comes from the Greek word demokratia meaning rule of the people. This government, our government, first flourished in the ancient city-state of Athens.
Why Know the Myths? People no longer believe in the Greek & Roman gods & goddesses. Still fascinating as literature.
Why Know the Myths? Myths may reveal truths about who we are and why we behave the way we do.
What is a Myth? Mythology – the study of myths. Myth – from the Latin word mythos and the Greek word muthos, meaning story.
What is a Myth? Stories that are always in some sense religious. –Represent the deepest wishes and fears of primitive human beings. –Originated to help these people understand the universe.
Understand What? Seasonal changes Fire Lightening Drought Floods Death
Understand What? Myth-makers might have been wise old men and women who had a talent for telling stories to explain the natural world.
Myths Stories about gods & goddesses. Gods were powerful, capable of cruelty, jealousy, lying, murder.
Myths Gods & goddesses lived on Mount Olympus. Traveled down to spend time with ordinary people.
Myths Originated in area around Mediterranean Sea. Early myth-makers could not write. Myths were passed down orally from generation to generation.
Myths Written down many years later. Poets: Homer & Hediod (both lived 800 years before Christ)
Where the Romans Come In… 2 nd Century B.C. Romans conquered Greeks Adopted Greek myths as their own. Added new tone Roman Poets: Ovid & Virgil
Romans Roman gods are same as Greeks, but with different names. See blue book, page 459 or handout
Whats It Good For? Give us insights into the nature of our world. Classical mythology is used: –To explain creation of the world
–To explain natural phenomena –To give story form to ancient religious practices –To teach moral lessons –To explain history –To express, as dreams do, the deepest fears and hopes of the human race
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