A horse is a horse of course, of course…

Not so this horse

This part in the saga is probably the most well known. The Trojan horse has been taught since we explored Greek Mythology. In many cases, I believe it is because the horse is truly a symbol of so many things.

Trojan horse

  • Things may not always be what they appear
  • Deception
  • Cunning
  • To be wary of your adversaries offering you gifts

In fact, the phrase “beware Greeks bearing gifts” comes from this story. See if you can spot it. The words are slightly different in order but the sentiment is still there.

Laocoon

Along with that phrase is another form this story. While less known to myself than the former, it is still familiar to me: “the face that launched a thousand ships…”. To mean a beauty so rare that it would cause men to go off to war.

ships

This brings this particular saga to a close. I hope you have enjoyed the journey.

The Wooden Horse as read from

Classic Myths to Read Aloud

by William F Russell

Book cover

 

Tim R.

It is a privilege to read to the world.

Now you done it!

Pride can lead to excess

Achilles was a man of great pride, and so a man of great excess.

Notice his character was given the extremes of being the most handsome, most skilled, the bravest, etc… of all the Greeks.

Achilles

With that came excessive pride. It was this excess that caused him to refuse to budge when it came to Agamemnon. As a result, many Greeks died in the battle that might otherwise not have. Including his great friend Patroclus. It is Patroclus death that is the impetus for Achilles great rage which we see in this instalment.

Patroclus

On another note, you will meet the Roman god ‘Vulcan’ today. We’re not talking about Mr Spock, we’re talking about the lame son of Zeus and Hera. He is the forger of all things required by the gods. He is also with us today in language as the origin of something we are all familiar with hearing about.

You see Vulcan works in a cave with molten metal and rock. While in times past it may have been seen as a workshop to the gods, today we see this place as a ‘Volcano’.

volcano-05

There is another name of note that we can take a look at. That of ‘Achilles’ himself. The story goes that Achilles was dipped in the river Styx when he was an infant, so making him invulnerable to all harm. However, he must have been held somewhere while this was being done or he would have been lost at that time. Turns out he was held near the ankle. Today we call the tendon that runs from the heel bone to the calf the ‘Achilles’ Tendon

Achilles tendon

Come, “once more unto the breach dear friends…”

As read from: Classic Myths to Read Aloud

by William F. Russell

Book cover

Tim R.

It is a privilege to read to the world.


Pride can do a lot of damage

There’s a message here

Pride goes before destruction

One of the great things about reviewing history both from the actual events that took place and the mythological stories that have been romanticized is the ability to glean certain patterns from them. There is a great fault, that I myself and quite guilty of, that lies within each of us to some degree. Pride. It has been the ultimate in destructive Continue reading “Pride can do a lot of damage”

All for the sake of an apple.

Are you ready for the first saga? I think it’s time. We are going to take the next six stories to tell the saga of the Greek and Trojan war at Troy. It will start today. We’re going to be introduced to the Trojans and, of course, Helen. Who was not of Troy at first. Along the way, many characters you may already familiar with by name are going to join us. This is a story that has been told many times.

Spartans at Plataea during Trojan Wars
Trojan War

As in most of the stories we come across in Greek mythology, this one also contains names we now use, at least in part, in our language today. Take the brief mention of the ‘Muses’. These were nine sisters who were goddesses who had the duty of overseeing the arts. How often do we say we might follow a muse when involved in an artistic endeavour? Or what of the word ‘Museum’ which in Greek is the place the Muses studied their arts and is still where we study the arts today? ‘Music’ comes from a Greek word that meant Belonging to the Muses.

Muses
The Muses

The city of Troy was a very real place. It was located on the western coast of what is now Turkey. To the Greek, this city was called Ilium. When Homer wrote down the poem of these events he called the poem the Iliad, in reference to the city. Around 1250 B.C. this Trojan war was a ten-year event of which we learn specifics of the final year.

City of Troy.jpg
City of Troy

For now, let’s start with Paris of Troy. And that will lead us to the story itself. This story comes from a book I highly recommend picking up if you enjoy Greek mythology. It is best served as a primer for a younger audience although I’ve found it highly entertaining myself. ‘Classic myths to read aloud‘ by William F. Russell.

Paris and Helen

 

Tim R.

It is a privilege to read to the world.

The itsy bitsy spider, Arachne

Let’s go to ancient Greece again. I’m reading from the book ‘Classic Myths to Read Aloud‘ by William F. Russell. They had so many wonderful stories. One of the best parts of Mythology is knowing the stories were meant as a way to explain the world. Take this story of Arachne. In it, we learn how the ancient Greeks explained such

Continue reading “The itsy bitsy spider, Arachne”

Pomegranates cause what!?

Before there was an understanding of why the seasons are the way they are, there were people that would ask the question. Whether in haste or by tradition people would create explanations as to why. In this story, we have an ancient Greek explanation for that proverbial question, ‘why’.

Seasons

Through it, we’re going to learn a little bit more about the language we use today.

Hermes, while messenger of the gods, was also the patron god of magic.

Hermes

Would you believe that medicine is closely tied to magic through history? Working in reverse, the science of medicine, with its close association to the science of chemistry, are the offshoots of alchemy. Alchemy is the medieval practice of turning one substance into another and was known as a hermetic art due to the perceived magical nature of what an alchemist could do. When air is sealed in a bottle by heating and twisting the neck of the bottle it is known as a hermetic seal. To mean the seal of Hermes. Today still the terms hermetic and hermetical are used to describe both an airtight seal as well as the cloistering of someone or something away from outside influence.

The goddess Iris is the goddess of the rainbow.

Iris the goddess

In relation, we call the pigmented membrane of our eyes the iris due to its colorful and pigment variation nature. See how brightly the flower, and iris is.

Iris-flower

It is used as the root of the word iridescent. Whose meaning is ‘showing luminous colors that seem to change when seen from different angles‘.

So what does that have to do with a pomegranate? Winter is caused by pomegranates. Didn’t you know?

Pomegranate

 

Wings of feathers and wax

Not all stories have happy endings, as this one does not. There is a lesson to be learned here. How often do we find ourselves hearing but not listening to not only what our parents may say, but also what any other may say? How we respond to what we hear usually depends on the difference between hearing and listening.

This story also brings into character the Sun god Apollo.

APOLLO

But Apollo was not actually the sun god in Greek mythology. That title belonged to Helios. Helios is also the Greek word meaning sun.

Helios

There is a trace of this in our language today. In 1886 Scientists analysed a solar eclipse and found that the spectrum from the light of that eclipse revealed an element previously unknown. At the time they thought that the element only existed on the sun and created a name for it out of the Greek word for sun. This is how the element helium got its name.

Helium

While it was discovered the element does exist on earth as well, the name of this element gives us a reminder as to its discovery.

As an aside, helium is also a lot of fun to suck out of balloons as it will make your voice change into a high squeaky tone.

In the following story we will meet Daedalus

daedalus

And his son Icarus. Who must leave us at the end of the story.

Icarus

But I’ll let you listen and ponder as to why he was no longer with us at the end.

 

A WordPress.com Website.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: