Greek Mythology UCSB

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  • Aphrodite is in love with mortal Anchises, seduces him. Next morning she tells him she is a goddess, don’t tell anyone you slept with me, or else you will be castrated.
  • Athena remains immune to Aphrodite because emotions cant get involved in government, etc.
  • To come under the spell of Aphrodite means to be able to experience erotic love. Eros– erotic, irrational love  
  • Cyprus is Aphrodite’s home
  • Born out of the foam of the ocean that came from Uranus’ genitals
  • Married to Hephaistos (cripple)


  • Artemis and Apollo are brother/sister. Leto is their mother, gave birth on Delos

  • Oracle at Delphi, (Apollo’s place), priestess Pythia. Apollo kills a python to get the land at Delphi.

  • symbol is the snake


  • God of war, Aphrodite has an affair with him, cheating on her husband Hephaistos


  • Artemis and Apollo are brother/sister. Leto is their mother, gave birth on Delos
  • symbol is deer
  • Goddess of the hunt


  • Hesiod is from here. It’s a place.


  • Athena remains immune to Aphrodite because emotions cant get involved in government, etc.
  • symbol is owl


  • Primordial titan who supported the heavens


  • In the beginning there was chaos.
  • He was among the primordial force
  • there was also gaia (mother earth)


  • monster, three parts serpent goat and lion


  • Aphrodite’s home


  • Persephone is the daughter, Zeus is the father.

  • Hades kidnaps Persephone, Demeter (mom) gets sad, consults Helios & Hekate to find where her daughter went. Demeter ends up in Eleusis, becomes a nurse to blend in.

  • People piss her offf tells them to build a temple, etc. creates famine. Finally Zeus takes charge, sends Hermes (not iris) to tell Persephone to leave. She eats a pomegranate seed, has to live with Hades for 1/3 of year explains the seasons.

Dike (Justice)

  • the spirit of moral order, represented by Themis


  • The “mother of all monsters” the worst female monster/daughter of Gaia


  • in love with mortal (Tithonus)
  • Eos is the god of the dawn
  • She wishes to give him an immortal life, but forgets to give him eternal youth. Tithonus shrinks, gets put in a box.


  • son of primordial god chaos, represented as darkness and shadow

Eris (Strife)

  • greek word

  • Strife is good and bad in works and days. Friendly competition is good, murder etc is bad.


  • erotic, irrational love.
  • he was born very early, one of the primordial forces.


  • white robed incarnations of destiny


  • female personifications of vengeance, of the anger of the dead


  • is mother earth
  • one of the primordial forces


  • goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity and fertility


  • God of the underworld.
  • Takes Persephone from Demeter.
  • Feeds her the seed of the pomegranate so she has to come back for 1/3 of every year.


  • one of the two oracles (along with Helios) Demeter consults to find the location of her daughter
  • He is in the underworld.


  • a river in the Macedonian city


  • one of the two oracles (along with Hekate) Demeter consults to find the location of her daughter.
  • He is the oracle of the sun


  • Husband of Aphrodite, son of Hera
  • God of blacksmithing
  • cripple, zeus threw him off the mountain


  • wife of Zeus, extremely jealous, hates Herakles
  • symbol is peacock


  • Zeus slept with mortal Alpimena while she was pregnant

  • she gave birth to twins, one Zeus was father (Herakles) and one Amphitryon (Ithicles)

  • adopts Herakles

  • Hera hates Heracles. She drives him crazy kills and  his first wife name Megara, two children.

  • Penance is twelve labors. Reports to Eurythsius.

  • Burned himself alive. Mortal self goes to underworld, immortal part becomes deified after death


  • virgin goddess of the hearth and architecture


  • after Pandora let all of the evil out of her jar, hope remained


  • one of the early monsters
  • ultimately killed by Herakles


  • the father of Prometheus, and Epimithious


  • the other messenger god


  • the hound of Hades


  • descendant of Gaia and Uranus (the sky)
  • a titan, the father of Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter, Hera, and Chiron
  • overthrew his father, only to be overthrown by his own sons Zeus, Hades, Poseidon
  • depicted with sickle (weapon used to castrate Ouranos)


  • another name for Aphrodite


  • the mother of Apollo and Artemis


  • Athena’s mom, but Zeus gave birth to Athena


  • mother of the muses


  • should be consulted if you need musical inspiration


  • lord of the sea
  • has 50 daughters


  • the godlike personification of the world ocean-river, what the Greeks imagined the whole ocean to be


  • mountain on which the gods live and drink nectar and eat ambrosia and do god stuff


  • one of the original gods.
  • gets his genitalia chopped off and it falls into the ocean and creates foam, out of which Aphrodite is birthed


  • Prometheus’ second punishment for teaching the humans the trick of the sacrifice where they make two piles, one of bones/fat and one of meat, and cover both in hide, and know that the gods will choose the fat pile because of the scent.

  • Pandora brought with her a jar that when opened let all the evil into the world but kept in it hope.

  • Married the dopey Epimithious


  • was a winged horse born out of the decapitated neck of medusa

  • Perseus killed medusa


  • titan god of destruction


  • brother of Hesiod
  • killed medusa
  • Hero badass of Athens, founder of Mycenae


  • seven sisters of Greek mythology
  • daughters of atlas


  • sea god
  • symbol is the horse


  • showed humans the technology of fire

  • punishment is getting his liver picked at by an eagle.

  • He is freed by Heracles

  • Trick of the sacrifice – kill the ox. Prometheus says gods don’t need everything. Two piles. Bones and fat, meat. Covers both with hide. Zeus chooses fat pile because it smells good. Punishment – Pandora came to earth


  • the first sea god, homer called him “old man of the sea”
  • primordial sea god


  • daughter of Uranus and Gaia


  • moon god, daughter of the titans


  • river (god) in the underworld
  • symbolic of the struggle of life


  • one of the first gods, imaged as a dark dungeon-like place beneath the underworld


  • ruled over moral justice, Dike


  • a lesser sea goddess


  • primordial gods, eventually overthrown by Zeus

Typhoeus (Typhaon)

  • the “Father of all monsters”,
  • the worst monster, final son of Gaia


  • God of Gods
  • If you don’t know who someone’s father is, guess Zeus


Ch. 11 (Dionysus)

  • Zeus is father, Semele is mother. Maenads (aka Bacchae) follow him around. Pentheus is his cousin, dresses like a woman, mom is Agave, lives in Thebes.

  • His instrument is a Thyrsus

  • Agave kills Pentheus rips of his head. She is in a state of ecstasy (literally, stand outside oneself)

  • Homeric Hymn – Captured by pirates, try to bind him on a ship, turns into different shapes, bear, lion, breaks free, turns all but helmsman into dolphins. Helmsman suspected Dionysus was a god.

  • Cadmus and Tiresias (blind prophet) are wearing garb of Dionysus. Cadmus founds Thebes. Fights a dragon. Dragons teeth get planted in the ground and people came out.

  • Eurpides – the name of the story in it’s play form


Ch. 20 (Herakles)

  •  Mom and dad. Mom is Alcmena – birth father is Zeus, adoptive father is Amphitryon.

  • Twin brother is Ithicles. Do not have same father. Hera hates Heracles. Drives him crazy kills his first wife name Megara, two children, in Thebes. Penance is twelve labors. Reports to Eurythsius.

  • Burned himself alive. Mortal self goes to underworld, immortal part becomes deified after death

  • Omphale – ‘belly button’, second wife of Herakles

  • Argos – the city in which he was king

  • Eurystheus – the ‘bad guy’ in the Herakles story. Hera uses him to attempt to keep Herakles down.

  • Deianira – Third wife of Herakles

  • Atlas – was tricked by Herakles into taking the sky back into his arms.

 The Twelve Labors

  • Slay the Nemean Lion.

  • Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra.

  • Capture the Golden Hind of Artemis.

  • Capture the Erymanthian Boar.

  • Clean the Augean stables in a single day.

  • Slay the Stymphalian Birds.

  • Capture the Cretan Bull.

  • Steal the Mares of Diomedes.

  • Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons.

  • Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon.

  • Steal the apples of the Hesperides.

  • Capture and bring back Cerberus.


 Ch. 21 (Theseus)

  •  King Minos lives on Crete in the castle Knossos. Which contains the labyrinth.

  • Theseus goes to Crete, pays tribute of seven boys and girls get killed by the Minotaur. Minotaur (half man, half bull) lives in the labyrinth.

  • Ariadne helps Theseus escape the labyrinth with a ball of yarn

     Parents of minotaur = Pasiphae and a bull from the sea.

  • Aphrodite had Daedalus make Pasiphae a wooden cow to copulate with. Daedalus son = Icarus. Icarus died by flying to close to the son, wore wings made of wax to escape from Crete.

  • Aegus – King of Athens at the time, killed himself when the sails on the incoming vessel weren’t proper, indicating a failed mission by Theseus. Turns out Theseus just forgot.

  • Naxos – The city in Crete.


Ch. 16 (Oedipus)

  • Two parents, named Jocasta and Laius. Laius herd an oracle that his son was going to murder him, so he abandoned his son, exposed him on a mountain.

  • Polybus and Merope, king and queen of Corinth, adoptive parents of Oedipus. Creon tells Oedipus to go to the Oracle at Delphi, (Apollo’s place), talk to the priestess Pythia. Oracle tells Oedipus that he’s going to kill his father and marry his mother.

  • Oedipus returns to Thebes solves the sphinx’s riddle, answer is humans.

  • Names of the children – Antigone. Jacosta kills herself.

  • Oedipus blinds himself, leaves Thebes,

  • Oedipus ends up in Colonus (part of Athens) after he wanders there.  Theseus shows up. Oedipus ultimately dies by disappearing into the ground in Athens


  • invented the Lyre out of a tortoise shell

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