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Knowledge Menu- Greek Mythology

The Knowledge Tree


Greek Mythology resides in the Humanities discipline. The Humanities is a very broad field of knowledge which involves the study of many subjects, including: the classics, history, languages, law, literature, the arts, and religion. Greek Mythology commonly resides in the discipline of literature now, as most myths are written as stories. Before writing was common, Greek Mythology was more of an oral lyric tradition. Poets, Bards, and great story tellers would recite ancient myths for all to hear and to pass down tales of history. One of Greek Mythology’s main functions is to answer questions that humans have posed since the beginning of time. Some questions can readily be answered by science today. Others, such as religion, are open to passionate debate and still remain a mystery. By studying the Humanities, we ask ourselves essential questions about our existence and our understanding of the world and all it encompasses. Greek Mythology provides the answers to many of those questions in a context that people strongly believed in at the time. Science can now answer and explain many of the questions that people answered with myths a long time ago. However, these myths and stories endure as they reflect the beliefs, ideals, and concerns of the people who wrote them. People in this field are typically referred to as Humanitarians, and people who immerse themselves with the study of Greek Mythology are commonly referred to as Literary Scholars, Mythologists, or Comparative Mythologists.

The Greek Mythology Knowledge Tree is heavily immersed in the Humanities. From there, Greek Mythology is related to nearly every branch of knowledge, as mythology is used to explain those events that humans could not readily explain during the time period.

Overview of the Discipline- Greek Mythology

  1. How is the discipline defined:

Mythology allows us insight into a specific culture, their values, belief systems, and norms. Nearly all cultures have enduring myths or beliefs. The Humanities is the general study of several disciplines to gain a broad understanding of the world. To understand Greek Mythology, one must have a strong background in Humanities, including the study of classics, history, languages, law, literature, the arts, philosophy, and religion. Mythology comes together to explain many ideas in the Humanities. Humanities studies can be traced back to the great Ancient Greek philosophers: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, whose teachings and philosophies we still follow and study today. Greek Mythology is a compilation of myths that have been passed down via oral, artistic, and written avenues. Greek Mythology was, at the time it was created, meant to explain the scientific phenomena and musings of human nature that could not be readily explained. Today, Greek Mythology gives us an inside look at the ancient Greek civilization, their society, cultural beliefs and norms.

  1. The overall purpose or mission of the discipline:

Greek Mythology was originally cataloged to help Greeks understand the world and self as a whole by studying and reflecting on principles of nature, law, and the world. Mythology allows recounts historical events and preserves them within famous stories and lyric poems. Now, Comparative mythologists study Greek Mythology and other myths to compare myths across cultures to understand societies and their cultural values and norms. Many Literary Scholars study and teach Greek Mythology because the overarching questions and ideas that it poses are still questions modern citizens are curious about today. Myths still help us make sense of the world around us when we read them as parables. People are also fascinated with the historical world and traditions from where society has come from.

Myths can be seen as cautionary tales, historical accounts, entertaining stories with parables about right and wrong or good and evil. They can be for entertainment, but they also present us with a schema to understand the nature our world.

  1. The subdivisions and major areas of concentration for Greek Mythology are:

  • History~ the history of the Greeks

  • Law~ understanding the governing rule of politics for the Greeks and justice

  • Literature~ the study of stories, poems, plays, etc., that have been recorded. This gives us insight into Greeks' culture

  • Arts~ the study of dance, music, theater, and physical works of art

  • Philosophy~ the study of general overarching concerns of existence, truth, beauty, etc.

  • Religion~ the study of a higher power and set of belief systems

Greek Mythology resides in the Literature subdivision. Although all myths originally began as oral traditions and were passed on through stories and lyric ballads, they all are a written transmission of the past.

4/5. Questions concerning each subdivision:

  • History~ What do we learn about the history of the Greeks from the study of mythology?

  • Law~ How did the Greeks view law, order, and justice?

  • Literature~ What do we learn by studying the myths of the Ancient Greeks?

  • Arts~ How does the art, painting, sculptures, statues, buildings, temples, contribute to Greek Mythology?

  • Philosophy~ What do the parables found in Greek Mythology teach us about the Greeks' philosophies?

  • Religion~ How does the underworld, the gods, and creationism myths contribute to our understanding of Greek religion?

6/8/9/10. Major sources of data such as reference books, professional journals, and databases include:

  • D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths

  • Edith Hamilton's Greek Mythology

  • Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters

  • The Complete World of Greek Mythology

  • The Oxford Library of Greek Mythology

  • The Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology

  • Greekmythology.com

  • Theoi.com

  • Mythweb.com

  • http://osr.org/articles/greek-mythology-resource-page/

7. Knowledge organized and classified:

There are generally several types of myths. Scientific myths explain the world as the Greeks knew it at the time and accounts for scientific phenomena that couldn't be explained. Religious myths deal with life, death, creationism, etc. Many myths deal with creationism and how the world formed, they seek to answer the fundamental questions all humans ask. Historical myths recount historical events, war tales, and fables. Entertainment myths are typically parables, or stories that are meant to help one understand human nature and a fundamental concept such as right and wrong or good and evil.

11. Timeline of Greek Mythology ~ http://www.argyrou.eclipse.co.uk/Myths2.htm

The Beginning


2112 Evenor colonises the island of Atlantis and the Aegean according to Plato. Achaeans invade Greece in two waves in 2200 BC and 1900 BC
2094 Atlas the grandson of Evenor gives his name to Atlantis

The Birth of the World
The Orphic Tradition combined with that of Hesiod and Hyginus

1910 BC In the beginning was Thesis (Disposition), which existed before Water (Hydros) and Mud (Pilos).
1890 Mud solidified into Ge (Earth). Troy V built. First Minoan palace built at Knossos c.1900 BC. First symbolic script evolves.
1880 Ge united with Hydros gives birth to Khronos (Time) who is united with Ananke (Necessity) being of the same nature.
1852 Misty Khronos also called Herakles fathers Aither, Chaos and Erebos.
1834 Into Aither bursts Ouranos, Gaia and Phanes from an egg created by Khronos. Chaos begets Nyx (Night) and Erebus.
1794 Erebus and Nyx the daughter of Chaos beget Hemere (Day), Aether and Eros. Phanes begets a daughter Nyx.
1776 Chaotic Aether with Hemere beget Gia and Thalassa (Sea).
1759 Aether and Nyx the daughter of Phanes produce Ouranos or Gia gives birth to Ouranos, the Ouria (Hills), Pontus and Tartarus without union.
Ouranos begets the Hekadoncheries, Cyclopes and the Titans by Chthon/Gia. Shaft tombs at Mycenae constructed between 1740 and 1450 BC
1710 The Titans fight and defeat Ouranos. Kronos castrates Ouranos with a sickle. Aphrodite Ourania emerges at Kythera and travels to Cyprus.

The Reign of the Titans. The Golden Age

1703-1673 BC Kronos (Saturn) rules Greece. The Golden Age of Mankind. Kronos imprisons the Hekadoncheries and Cyclopes in Tartarus and places the Titans in positions of power. Satur rules at Knossos c.1725-1675 BC. Palace at Knossos destroyed c.1700 BC then rebuilt. Troy VI built.
1701 BC Kronos mother warns him not to take Rhea as his wife or have children with her, otherwise one of his children will dethrone him. He ignores his mother and takes his sister Rhea as his wife, who gives birth to Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus. Kronos tries to avoid the prophecy but Zeus is taken by his mother into hiding in Crete.

The Rise of the Gods

1701-1682 BC Zeus grows up in the Dictyan caves near Lato. When grown up he frees his bothers and sisters from captivity and wages war against Kronos.
1700 Herakles the Dactyl holds the first Olympic Games
1682 The Olympians release the Hekadoncheries and the Cyclopes from imprisonment in Tartarus and allied with Zeus, Prometheus and Epimetheus they attack the Titans commanded by Atlas. The War lasts 10 years.
1682 or 1672 Zeus takes his sister Hera as wife
1682-1672 Births of Hephaestus, Ares, Eris, Hebe to Zeus and Hera. Births of Apollo and Artemis to Leto, Hermes to Maia and Athene to Metis.
1682 Inachus becomes king of the Argives and judges that the land of the Peloponnese belongs to Hera instead of Poseidon.
1672 Zeus wins victory. Kronos is exiled to Elysia and rules over Scilly and Italy. Zeus and the Olympians rule over Greece and the Titans are imprisoned in Tratarus. Hyksos 15th Dynasty invades and rules Egypt from 1674 to 1546 BC, Saasi[tepis] rules over Lato in Crete c.1650 BC

The Affairs of the Gods. The Silver Age

1672-1628 The Silver or second of the Five ages of mankind begins.
1672 Zeus celebrates the Olympic Games in honour of his victory over Kronos
1667 Prometheus is chained to the Scythian rocks after stealing the secret of fire from the Gods and giving it to man
1667 Zeus has an affair with Io (Ioun) the daughter of Inachus the son of Oceanus and carries her off to Egypt. The Hyksos king Beon also called Khyan rules Egypt 1667.5-1645.5 BC. Inscription bearing his name found on Crete.
1666 Apollo and Hermes and Ares compete in the Olympic Games
1656 Phoroneus the first man rules over the entire Peloponnese from Phronocium later to become Argos
1652 The gods create Pandora. Epimetheus is given Pandora to be his wife. Pandora is given a jar as a wedding present and told not to open it. Pandora opens it and mankind suffers the consequences.
1650 The battle of the Gods and Giants begins and Porphyrion is defeated.
1646 The Thelcisians and the Cariatians start a war against Phoroneus and the Parrhasians.
1645 Epaphus the son of Io rules in Egypt. Hyksos king Epaphus I/Apopis I rules in Egypt 1645 BC.
1643 Ogygus founds Eleusis in Attica
1628 Epaphus is murdered. The Titians attempt to regain power but fail. Atlas is punished, being made to carry the heavens on his shoulders. Typhon is defeated and imprisoned under Mt Etna. 14 royal tombs at Mycenae date between 1650-1550 BC.
1628 The Ogygian deluge occurs. Thera volcano erupts in 1628 BC. Minoan palace at Knossos destroyed by earthquakes c.1600 BC.

The First Brazen Age

1628-1460 BC The Brazen, or third of the five ages of mankind
Zeus seduces Niobe the daughter of Phoroneus (first of Zeus affairs with mortal women)
Car the son of Phoroneus founds the city of Megara
1628 Apis rules over the Peloponnese and Egypt. Linear A inscription with the name Saiapis found in Crete. Epaphus II/Apopis II also known as Apis or Sarapis rules in Egypt.
1622 The Telchines, having been conquered, found Rhodes, which previously was called Ophiusa.
1605 Apis is slain by Thelxion and Telchis
1605 Argus the grandson of Phoroneus founds the city of Argos and slays the murderers of Apis. Achaean invaders reach region of Mycenae c.1600 BC
1573 Criasus the son of Argus becomes king of Argos
1541 Phorbas the son of Argus conquers Rhodes
1517 Pelasgus rules over Arcadia.
1510 Polycaon son of Lelax rules in Messenia and Myles rules in Sparta.
1488 Danaus flees from Aegyptus to Rhodes then takes Pelasgian Argos. c.1480 BC Tutmoses III campaigns in Asia-Minor. His inscriptions mention receiving tribute from the Danai
1487 Lycaon king of Arkadia introduces the worship of Zeus
Cecrops king of Athens introduces the worship of Zeus
Danaus becomes king of Argos in the Peloponnese after Gelanor steps down. (Jerome 1474)
1460 Lycaon provokes the Zeus’ anger by murdering his son Nyctimus and serving him up to the Gods.

The Heroic Age or Second Brazen Age

1456 A Flood is sent by Zeus to destroy all of mankind after Lycaon outrages the Gods. Deucalion and his family escape in an Ark, which Prometheus tells him to build.
1446 Dardanus founds Dardania after being given a share in the kingdom of Teucer king of Phrygia. Tudhaliya II is king of the Hittites from 1460-1440
1438 Zeus violates Europe, birth of Minos. (Jerome 1445 or 1432) Mycenaean’s conquer Minoans in Crete c.1450 BC. Earthquake destroys city of Knossos c.1450 BC. Palace is rebuilt and used until c.1380 BC
1437 Cadmus colonises Boeotia and founds Thebes. (Jerome 1430)
Dionysus the son of Zeus and Semele daughter of Cadmus is born. At Pylos Di-wo-ni-so-jo is found inscribed in Linear-B c.1250 BC
1420 Persephone the daughter of Demeter is abducted by Hades
1415 Erichthonius rules at Troy (Jerome 1415)
1406 Olympic Games held 50 years after the flood
1406 Minos I becomes king of Crete
1402 Dionysus is entertained by Amphyction king of Athens
1400 Cinyras the son of Paphos the son of Pygmalion the son of Belus funds the city of Paphos in Cyprus. Cyprus is conquered by the Mycenaean’s and Minoan colony wiped out c.1400
1397 Erichthonius referred to as Erechtheus by Homer rules at Athens
1390 Aeolus seduces Cheirons daughter Thea.
1386 Dionysus restores Ammon as king of Egypt then conquers Damascus and all of India. Amenhotep III reigns from 1386-1349, Aryan invaders destroy Indus Valley civilisation c.1400, Tudhaliya III (Turgal) rules the Hittites 1400-1380 BC.
1386 Dionysus drives Pentheus the king of Thebes to madness
Cadmus leaves Thebes and goes to the Illyria
Tectemus the son of Dorus founds colony in Crete and fathers Asterius. Second Mycenaean wave of colonisation in Crete puts an end to Minoan palace civilisation c.1400 BC
1372 Pandion becomes king of Athens
Athamas rules over Boeotia
1365 Tros reigns over Troy
Apollo fathers Asclepius by Coronis, daughter of Phlegyas
1362 Tantalus reigns over Phrygia
1360 Tantalus abducts Ganymedes the son of Tros
1360 Epopeus king of Sicyon at war with Thebes
1357 Pandions daughter Philomela marries Tereus king of Thrace to form alliance against Theban king Labdacus
1356 Perseus son of Danae by Zeus is born
1352 Erectheus becomes king of Athens
1341 Eumolpus attacks Athens and is defeated by Ion and Erechtheus
1336 Aetolus conquers Aetolia after murdering Dorus the son of Apollo and Phthia, and his brothers
1335 The Aloads, Otos and Ephialtes sons of Iphimedeia pile the mountains on top of each other in order to reach the Gods and introduce the worship of the 3 Muses.
1332 or 1347 A Golden Lamb takes Phrixus while a boy, to Colchis. The Isthmian games are established.
1327 Erechtheus is struck down by Poseidon
1327 Cecrops the eldest son of Erectheus is chosen by Xuthus to become king of Athens
Amphion kills Lycus and becomes king of Thebes
Pelops the son of Tantalus king of Phrygia and Lydia flees Asia Minor and rules in Pisa and Olympia.
1322 Pelops marries Hippodamia and holds Olympic Games
1322 Pelops sister Niobe marries Amphion king of Thebes
1322 Pegasus the winged horse born from Medusas blood after she is slain by Perseus.
1322 Perseus accidentally kills his grandfather Acrisius at the funeral games of the father of King Teutamides
1322-1314 The children of Perseus and Andromeda are born. Fortress of Mycenae built between 1400 and 1200.
1322 Bellerophon goes to king Proetus court to be purified
1312 Midas reigns in Phrygia (Jerome)
1310 The Argonauts Calais and Zates are born to Orithyia and Bores
1309 Minos II the grandson of Minos becomes king of Crete after Asterius dies. Most Linear B inscriptions found date from 1250-1175 BC and no earlier than c.1350-1300 BC
1308 Procris leaves her husband and is seduced by Minos in Crete
1307 Pandion becomes king of Athens and is expelled by the sons of Metion (Jerome)
Laius caries off Chrysippus the son of Pelops and Astyoche
1301 Oebalus becomes the second husband of Gorgophone the daughter of Perseus
1293 Herakles kills Busaris the king of Egypt and his son after escaping from being held prisoner to be sacrificed in order to put an end to a long famine. Horemeheb known also as Moeris or Bocchoris reigns in Egypt from 1321-1293 during a period of famine
1292 Melampus the seer cures the madness of the Argive women and receives one third of Proetus kingdom and his brother Bias another third. First temple built to Dionysus.

1292 or 1208 Perseus kills Dionysus. Electryon becomes king of Mycenae
February 10 1286 Herakles is conceived when Zeus extends one night into three. Total solar eclipse over Aegean
November 4 1286 Herakles is born and named Palamon
1286-1264 Sthenelus takes the throne of Mycenae after Amphytrion accidentally kills Electryon son of Perseus
1285 Herakles strangles two serpents sent by Hera
1285 Asclepius is born to Arsinoe, the daughter of Leucippus
1282 Aeacus helps Poseidon build the walls of Troy for Laodamaon now king of Troy
1282 Aegeus regains Athens from the sons of Metion
1281 Bias killed by his nephew Pylas
1274 Pelias imprisons Aeson and takes the throne after the birth of Jason
1271 Atreus and Thyestes march against Laius the king of Thebes
1271 Oedepus kills Laius the king of Thebes and marries his own mother Iocasta
1270 Aegeus accidentally kills Minos son Androgeus at Games held in honour of Laius king of Thebes and is forced to pay a tribute of 7 Athenian boys and girls every 9 years
1270 All of Greece plagued by earthquakes and famine due to Pelops murder of Stymphalus or the Athenians murder of Androgeus and Aeacus is sent to pray for deliverance.
1270 Theseus is born
Herakles lies with Thespius 50 daughters and kills the Lion of Cithaeron
1264 Herakles marries Megara after defeating the Minyans while Creon is king of Thebes in place of Laius
1258-1246 The Labours of Herakles take place while Eurestheus is king of Mycenae. Walls of Mycenae extended and Lion Gate built c.1250 BC. Indications of serious destruction of houses outside walls c.1250 BC
1258 Herakles brings Eurestheus the skin of the Nemean lion
1258 Herakles kills the Lernaean Hydra
1257 Herakles brings the Cerynitian hind alive to Mycenae
1256 Cheiron is accidentally shot in the foot while entertaining Herakles, forcing him to give up his immortality
1256 Herakles brings the Erymantian boar alive to Eurestheus
1255 Herakles cleans out the stables of Augeas in a day
1255 Herakles chases away the Stymphalian birds
1254 Herakles brings Eurestheus the Cretan bull
1253 Herakles brings the mares of Diomedes to Mycenae
1253 Herakles brings back Alcestis the wife of Admetus from death
1252 Theseus kills the Minotaur at the centre of the Labyrinth built by Daedelus. Place called Daidaleion mentioned in Linear-B inscriptions found at Knossos dating to c.1250 BC
Herakles brings Eurestheus the belt of the Amazon Hippolyte
Herakles fetches the cattle of Geryon from Erythea
1251 Minos dies in Sicily
1250 Herakles is sent to fetch the golden apples from the Hesperides
1249 The worship of the 9 Muses is established in the time of Thamyris son of Philemon

1248 Herakles fetches the golden apples from the Hesperides
1248 Herakles goes to Hades to bring back Cerberus
1247 or 1216 The marriage of Peleus to his second wife Thetis
or 1216 The birth of Achilles
1246 Herakles captures Cerberus, takes him to Mycenae, then returns him to Hades
1246 The 4 month long voyage of Jason and the Argonauts. Mycenaean artefacts found in southern Italy and Sicily c.1400-1200 BC
1246 The Caledonian Boar hunt
1246-1243 Herakles is sold as a slave to Omphale after killing Iphitus
1246 Eumolpus is victorious in the flute contest at Pelias funeral games
1245 Orpheus tries to rescue Euridice from Hades
Herakles sacks Troy and puts young Priam on the throne. Troy VII destroyed c.1250 BC
1243-1239 Herakles settles old scores in the Peloponnese
1242 Herakles conquers Elis and establishes Olympic Games. Polyduces is champion Boxer.
1241 Herakles places Nestor who is still a boy on the throne of Messenia after killing his brothers and father king Neleus of Pylos for helping the Elians. Pylos falls c.1250 BC
1240 Herakles defeats the sons of Hippocoon and restores the throne of Sparta to Tyndareus
1239 Herakles leaves the Peloponnese and marries Deianara the daughter of Oeneus. Hyllus is born
1236 Media flees from Corinth after murdering Glauce the daughter of Creon
1236 Herakles is exiled to Trachis after killing one of Oeneus kinsmen
1235 Herakles kills Cycnus the son of Ares
1235 Nessus carries off Deianira and is killed by Herakles with a poison arrow
1235 A prophecy is revealed from the Oracle of Dodona that Herakles will die 15 months after carrying off Iole
October 12 1234 Herakles dies and becomes a God

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