Greek Creation Myth

Greek Creation Myth
AB-Block: Maddy Werth, Amy Singer, Pamela
Weidman, Jaime Craven, David Silbert, Jennie
Life rose out of a single egg (laid by
the great black bird Nyx); first came
Eros, the god of love.
Eros made the Earth (Gaia) and the
sky (Uranus) fall in love.
They had children, including Kronus.
He feared that his children would
become too powerful.
Rhea tricked him and allowed their
son Zeus to survive, and he became
Prometheus and Epimetheus formed
men and animals.
Prometheus gave man fire.
Zeus punished mankind by giving
Pandora a box she was forbidden to
Pandora opened the box, releasing
The Nature and Function
of Gods
Obsessed with power: Kronus is
threatened by his children, so he
consumes them; Zeus is
threatened by mankind having
fire, so he limits them with the
curses of evil. They all want
complete power, so they vanquish
whatever gets in their way.
o Gods' rule was flawed,
sometimes dangerous.
Greeks had democracy, not
autocracy (which they saw as
Vengeful and flawed
Very powerful beings that control
various aspects of the world.
Humans' Relationship to the Gods
Events directly beneficial to
humans: value placed more in
human powers (fire, hope, etc.)
and resourcefulness than in
divine powers
Divine intervention often
disastrous for the humans
(Pandora's box)
Greeks seemed mostly to
acknowledge the gods' superiority
of strength.
o Gods had similar flaws as
"When Zeus discovered
Prometheus' deed he became
furious...Then he began to
devise a punishment for
The Origin and Nature of Control
and Power
Power restrained out of fear/to dominate
(Kronus swallows children, Zeus forbids fire)
Power taken forcefully as reaction
o Zeus' ruse => saves siblings
o Younger generation overthrows older
Power = a temptation
Zeus becomes all-powerful god
o Related to and commands the other Greek
gods (Poseidon, Hera, Athena)
o However, still shows (flawed) human traits
Ancient Greeks afraid of the temptation of
power and dominance
o Respect and worship the gods
"[Zeus] ordered [Prometheus] to be chained to
a mountain and for a vulture to peck out his
liver every day till eternity."
Importance of Family
God of love (Eros), Gaia, and
Uranus come from a golden egg
o love is important
The importance/love of family is
easily overshadowed by :
o Greed and fear of betrayal
Harsh punishment
Ate his children
Relationship of the Sexes
Male deities act as rulers, while females are life-givers: Nyx
laid the egg of existence, Kronus ate his children but Rhea saved the
youngest one, Zeus currently rules the cosmos
"Once the child, Zeus, had reached manhood,
his mother instructed him on how to trick his
father to give up his brothers and sisters."
What It Means to Be Human
Humanity shapes itself by its own
actions (gods and humans both
Evils released from box because of
Pandora's human weakness
(curiosity, greed), and because of
Prometheus' brash gift of fire
Human hope is greatest strength to
fight against world's problems and
results of human weakness
Good and bad coexist: both things
were in box
o True for humanity and the gods
"'Let me out, I am hope.'
Pandora and Epimetheus
released her and she flew out
into the world to give hope to
Franz Liszt
Two Steps From Hell
"The Truth Unravels"
Prometheus' gift to humanity caused
Power is easily stolen; both
great unrest; it allowed the humans to
act using their own skills. In this piece, humankind and the gods are
Prometheus transcends his punishment fallible, and that will always lead to
Further Significance
If the Greek gods have the same flaws as humans do,
why are they worshipped? What do the Greeks gain
from having anthropomorphic, fallible deities? What do
they lose?
(Pandora myth) To what extent are humans responsible
for the evils in the world? To what extent are these
things out of humans' control?

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