10 Things You Missed About Greek Mythology

AMany are the stories of Greek Mythology that are widely known around the world and many are the movies based on them. Over the centuries, Greek Mythology has set the basis on how people think of their ancestors, however, the narration of these stories from generation to generation has altered some of the original facts, thus creating a series of stereotypes concerning Greece ’s ancient gods and goddesses as well as other mythical personages and creatures.

 1)   Hades wasn’t such a monster
Indeed he is the god of death and the underworld and this adds a bit of darkness and evil due to the fact that he is often treated like the Greek version of the Christian devil. However, it wasn’t him who chose to rule the underworld. He and his brothers, Zeus and Poseidon, drew straws to decide who would rule where. So, let’s just say that Hades was not that lucky and he was stuck with the underworld. We must keep in mind that despite his reputation, Hades was not the one responsible for the condemnation or redemption of souls. Those were the three demigod brothers, Minos, Aiakos and Rhadamanthys, who decided on a soul’s fate.

2)   Ares Was Not That Powerful
He might be the god of war but he always obeyed his sister Athena’s orders. His name might be a synonym for havoc and bloodshed. Nonetheless, Athena also oversees war and she is the goddess of defence and righteous battle which makes Ares bow to her. As seen in The Iliad, Athena, often intervenes on behalf of a fair battle and Ares always backs down.

3)   Artemis is a Killer
She is the daughter of Zeus and the twin sister of Apollo. Artemis is the huntress and the protector of animals. At the same time, she’s the goddess of childbirth and the destroyer of young women. Artemis once killed six daughters of Niobe for insulting her mother, Leto.

 4)  Theseus Was a Manipulator
Everyone knows the story of Theseus slaying the Minotaur in Crete and managing the impossible exit of the Labyrinth which cost many people’s lives. He did all that with the help of Crete’s princess Ariadne whom he took with him when he left the island only to abandon her on the Greek island Naxos. According to Plutarch, when Theseus founded today’s capital of Greece, Athens, he decided that the best way to populate it was by raping the women, thus earning the eternal hatred of his new family. 

5)   Medusa was not the only Ugly Woman
Medusa is famous for her snake hair and her appearance that would turn anyone who looks into her eyes to stone. What we miss is that Medusa was the only mortal of the three Gorgon sisters. Stheno and Euryale were immortals and they also had snakes for hair.

 6)   Most Monsters Share the Same Mother
Echidna was a sister to Medusa and wife to Typhon, a hundred-headed dragon. The two of them gave birth to many famous and terrifying monsters like the Nemean lion, Cerberus, Hydra and Ladon. She was also mother of the Chimera, the Sphinx, Scylla, the Colchian dragon and the eagle that ate Prometheus’ liver every day for an eternity as was his punishment.

 7)   Zeus, The Serial Rapist
Zeus is the father of the Gods but he’s also father to a huge group of people. Zeus used to take an animal’s form to fulfill his desires. He charmed both Demeter and her daughter Persephone — who later married his brother — in a serpent’s form. He also charmed Asteria and Aiginia as an eagle, Boetis as a goat, Europa as a bull and the list goes on. He also took advantage of some women by letting them believe he was their husband. A glaring example is the story of Alkmene, Hercule’s mother.

 8)   The Olympians Were Not the First Immortals
First there was Chaos, father to Gaia (earth) and Eros (love). Gaia gave birth to Uranos (sky), the Sea and the Mountains. Later, she married Uranos and gave birth to Titan Cronus. Cronus married his sister Rhea and bore the Original Olympian immortals – Poseidon, Demeter, Hera, Hestia, Hades and Zeus.

9)  Pandora’s Daughter
Pandora was the wife of Epimetheus and mother to a mortal daughter, Pyrrha. Because of Pyrrha’s marriage to her cousin Deukalion, the gods sent a massive flood to destroy the earth and the mortals. However, Pyrrha and Deukalion managed to survive and after seeking help from the Oracle at Delphi, they cast the bones of Pandora to the ground so that the world would be repopulated. Thus, Pandora is the grandmother of the human race.

 10)  The Militant Aphrodite
Even if Aphrodite was the goddess of love and beauty, she was also romantically related to Ares with whom she bore three children – Eros, Phobos and Deimos. This is why she’s often associated with war affairs. Statues and depictions of her armoured and armed have been found in several port cities.