Mythology Station Study- english 10- ms Ashley Station # Zeus Lovers



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Mythology Station Study- English 10- Ms Ashley

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Zeus Lovers

As the sky god Zeus had easy access to the women of the world and took full advantage of it. Also, his power as a supreme god made him difficult to resist. Prior to his marriage to Hera he was married first to Metis, then Themis. He was interested in Demeter but she resisted him. His third wife was Mnemosyne. The list of lovers after his final marriage, to Hera, is considerable:



  • Europa Io Semele

Europa

Europa was the daughter of the King Agenor of Sidon. She had the continent of Europe named for her. Somewhat miraculously Hera was distracted during her affair with Zeus and never punished her for it.

One night Europa had a dream. In this dream two continents, which were in the forms of women were arguing over Europa. Asia maintained that since Europa had been born in Asia she belonged to it. The other continent, which was nameless, said that her birth was not important, that Zeus would give her to it.

It was early morning, disturbed by the dream Europa did not go back to sleep. She summoned her companions, who were all daughters of nobility and of her age. It was a beautiful day and they went off gathering flowers by the sea. Zeus noticed this charming group, particularly Europa, who was the prettiest of the maidens. Some say that Eros induced him into action with one of his darts. Although, Zeus often made due with self-motivation. In any case, Zeus appeared to the group as a white bull. A white bull more beautiful than any other. A bull that smelled of flowers, and lowed musically. A bull so obviously gentle that all the maidens rushed to stroke and pet it.

The bull lay down in front of Europa. She slid on to its back. Instantly, the bull charged off, plunging into the sea, and began to swim rapidly from the shore. Europa saw that a procession had joined them, Nereids riding dolphins, Triton blowing his horn, even Poseidon. From this she realized that the bull must be a god. She pleaded with him to pity her. Zeus spoke to her and explained his love. He took her to Create, where he had been raised. He promised that she would bear him many famous sons.

Her sons included Minos I and Rhadamanthus.

Questions:


  1. Who was Zeus married to before Hera?

  2. Who was Europa?

  3. What is named after her?

  4. How did Zeus seduce her?

  5. How does Europa realize he’s a god?

  1. Io

Zeus fell in love with Io and seduced her. To try to keep Hera from noticing he covered the world with a thick blanket of clouds. This backfired, arousing Hera's suspicions. She came down from Mount Olympus and began dispersing the clouds. Zeus did some quick thinking and changed Io's form from being a lovely maiden. So as the clouds dispersed Hera found Zeus standing next to a white heifer. He then swore that he had never seen the cow before, it had just sprang right out of the earth. Seeing right through this Hera complimented the cow and asked to have it as a present. As turning such a reasonable request down would have given the whole thing away, Zeus presented her with the cow.

She sent the cow away and arranged Arges to watch over it. Since Arges had a hundred eyes and could have some of them sleep while others were awake he made a fine watchman. Desperate, Zeus sent Hermes to fetch Io. Disguised as a shepherd, Hermes had to employ all his skill as a musician and story teller to gain Arges confidence and lull him to sleep. Once asleep Hermes killed Arges. As a memorial, Hera took his eyes and set them into the tail of her favorite bird, the peacock.

While Io was now free Hera sent the mother of all gad-flys to sting the still bovine Io. This pushed her near madness, trying to escape she wandered the world. During her wanders she came across Prometheus while chained. He gave her hope. He predicted that she would have to wander for many years. But, she would eventually be changed back into human form and would bear a child. He predicted that a descendent of this child would be a great hero and set him free.

His predictions came true. During her wanderings many geographical features where named after her including the Ionian Sea, and the Bosphorus (which means ford of the cow). She eventually reached the Nile where Zeus did restore her to human form. She bore Epaphus and eleven generations later her descendant Hercules would set Prometheus free.

Questions:


  1. How did Zeus attempt to keep Hera from knowing about Io?

  2. How did this backfire?

  3. What did he change Io into?

  4. How did Hera get Zeus to give him the cow?

  5. What did she do with the cow?

  6. How did Zeus get Io free?

  7. What did Hera do with Arges’ eyes?

  8. What did Hera do to Io when she escaped?

  9. Who was her descendant?

  1. Semele

Semele was a Thebian princess. She is the only mortal to be the parent of a god. She was one of Zeus many lovers and like most came to an unfortunate end due to Hera's jealous hatred. She is best known as the mother of Dionysus. While she was killed shortly before giving birth the child was rescued by Zeus. Eventually Dionysus, who had never seen her, managed to rescue her from the underworld. and arrange for her to live on Mount Olympus.

Questions:



  1. Who was Semele?

  2. What is special about her?

  3. Who is she the mother of?

  4. How was she rescued?

Athenia's Birth

Zeus came to lust after Metis, and chased her in his direct way. Metis tried to escape, going so far as to change her form many times. Turning into various creatures such as hawks, fish, and serpents. However, Zeus was both determined and equally proficient at changing form. He continued his pursuit until she relented.

An Oracle of Gaea then prophesied that Metis first child would be a girl but, her second child would be a boy that would overthrow Zeus as had happened to his father and grandfather. Zeus took this warning to heart. When he next saw Metis he flattered her and put her at her ease. Then with Metis off guard Zeus suddenly opened his mouth and swallowed her. This was the end of Metis but, possibly the beginning of Zeus's wisdom.

After a time Zeus developed the mother of all headaches. He howled so loudly it could be heard throughout the earth. The other gods came to see what the problem was. Hermes realized what needed to be done and directed Hephaestus to take a wedge and split open Zeus's skull. Out of the skull sprang Athena, full grown and in a full set of armour. Due to her manor of birth she has dominion over all things of the intellect.

Questions


  1. How did Zeus manage to convince Metis to be with him?

  2. What did the oracle predict?

  3. What did Zeus do as a result of the prophecy?

  4. What happened to Zeus after?

  5. How did Hermes and Hephaestus help?

  6. Who was born as a result?

  1. Creation of the world (first version)

In the beginning, Chaos, a formless, gaping void covered the entire universe. It was surrounded by an unending stream of water, ruled by the god Oceanus, and was the domain of a goddess named Eurynome, which means "far-ruling" or "wide-wandering". She was the Goddess of All Things, and desired to make order out of the Chaos. By coupling with a huge and powerful snake, Ophion, or as some legends say, coupling with the North Wind, she gave birth to Eros, god of Love. Eurynome separated the sky from the sea by dancing on the waves of Oceanus. In this manner, she created great lands upon which she might wander, and populated it with exotic creatures such as Nymphs, Furies, and Charities , as well as with countless beasts and monsters.

Also born out of Chaos were Gaia, called Earth, or Mother Earth, and Uranus, the embodiment of the Sky and the Heavens, as well as Tartarus, god of the sunless and terrible region beneath Gaia, the Earth. Gaia and Uranus married and gave birth to the Titans, a race of formidable giants, which included a particularly wily giant named Cronus. In what has become one of the recurrent themes of Greek Mythology, Gaia and Uranus warned Cronus that a son of his would one day overpower him. Cronus therefore swallowed his numerous children by his wife Rhea, to keep that forecast from taking place.

This angered Gaia greatly, so when the youngest son, Zeus, was born, Gaia took a stone, wrapped it in swaddling clothes and offered it to Cronus to swallow. This satisfied Cronus, and Gaia was able to spirit the baby Zeus away to be raised in Crete, far from his grasping father. In due course, Zeus grew up, came homeward, and got into immediate conflict with the tyrant Cronus, who did not know that this newcomer was his own son. Zeus needed his brothers and sisters help in slaying the tyrant, and Metis, Zeus's first wife, found a way of administering an emetic to Cronus, who then threw up his five previous children, who were Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon. Together they went to battle against their father. The results were that all of his children, led by Zeus, vanquished Cronus forever into Tartarus' domain, the Dark World under the Earth.

Thus, Zeus triumphed over not only his father, and his father's family of Giants, he triumphed over his brothers and sisters as well, dividing up the universe as he fancied, in short, bringing order out of Chaos. He made himself Supreme God over all, creating a great and beautiful place for his favored gods to live, on Mount Olympus, in Thessaly. All the others were left to fend for themselves in lands below Mount Olympus. Zeus made himself God of the Sky and all its phenomena, including the clouds as well as the thunderbolts. Hestia became goddess of the Hearth. To his brother Poseidon, he gave the rule of the Sea. Demeter became a goddess of Fertility, Hera (before she married Zeus and became a jealous wife), was goddess of Marriage and Childbirth, while Hades, one of his other brothers, was made god of the Underworld.

Zeus did indeed bring order out of Chaos, but one of his failings was that he did not look kindly upon the people, those creatures that populated the lands over which he reigned. Many were not beautiful, and Zeus had contempt for anyone who was not beautiful. And of course they were not immortal, as the Olympian gods were, and they complained about the lack of good food and the everlasting cold nights. Zeus ignored their complaints, while he and the other gods feasted endlessly on steaming hot game from the surrounding forests, and had great crackling fires in every room of their palaces where they lived in the cold winter.

Enter Prometheus, one of the Titans not vanquished in the war between Zeus and the giants. It is said in many myths that Prometheus had created a race of people from clay, or that he had combined specks of every living creature, molded them together, and produced a new race, The Common Man. At the very least he was their champion before Zeus. Fire for cooking and heating was reserved only for the gods to enjoy. Prometheus stole some of the sparks of a glowing fire from the Olympians, so that the people below Olympus could have fire for cooking and warmth in the winter, thus greatly improving their lot in life.

Zeus was furious at this insult to his absolute power, and had Prometheus bound and chained to a mountain, sending an eagle to attack him daily.

Questions: (version 1)



  1. What was Chaos?

  2. Who ruled over the water?

  3. Who was Eurynome?

  4. What happened when she coupled with the North wind?

  5. How is she responsible for land and creatures?

  6. Who was Chaos the parent of?

  7. What were Gaia and Uranus? Who were their children?

  8. What did Cronus do because of a prediction that one day his son would overpower him?

  9. What did Gaia do to help Zeus escape this fate?

  10. Who helped Zeus overthrow his father?

  11. What did they do to Cronus?

  12. What did Zeus become as a result?

  13. What was one of Zeus’s failings?

  14. What did Prometheus do for man?

  15. How was Prometheus punished?

  1. Creation of the World (Second version)

In the beginning there was only chaos. Then out of the void appeared Erebus, the unknowable place where death dwells, and Night. All else was empty, silent, endless, darkness. Then somehow Love was born bringing a start of order. From Love came Light and Day. Once there was Light and Day, Gaea, the earth appeared. Then Erebus slept with Night, who gave birth to Ether, the heavenly light, and to Day the earthly light. Then Night alone produced Doom, Fate, Death, Sleep, Dreams, Nemesis, and others that come to man out of darkness. Meanwhile Gaea alone gave birth to Uranus, the heavens. Uranus became Gaea's mate covering her on all sides. Together they produced the three Cyclopes, the three Hecatoncheires, and twelve Titans. However, Uranus was a bad father and husband. He hated the Hecatoncheires. He imprisoned them by pushing them into the hidden places of the earth, Gaea's womb. This angered Gaea and she plotted against Uranus. She made a flint sickle and tried to get her children to attack Uranus. All were too afraid except, the youngest Titan, Cronus.

Gaea and Cronus set up an ambush of Uranus as he lay with Gaea at night. Cronus grabbed his father and castrated him, with the stone sickle, throwing the severed genitals into the ocean. The fate of Uranus is not clear. He either died, withdrew from the earth, or exiled himself to Italy. As he departed he promised that Cronus and the Titans would be punished. From his spilt blood came the Giants, the Ash Tree Nymphs, and the Erinnyes. From the sea foam where his genitals fell came Aphrodite.

Cronus became the next ruler. He imprisoned the Cyclopes and the Hecatoncheires in Tartarus. He married his sister Rhea, and under his rule the Titans had many offspring. He ruled for many ages. However, Gaea and Uranus both had prophesied that he would be overthrown by a son. To avoid this Cronus swallowed each of his children as they were born. Rhea was angry at the treatment of the children and plotted against Cronus. When it came time to give birth to her sixth child, Rhea hid herself, and then she left the child to be raised by nymphs. To conceal her act she wrapped a stone in swaddling clothes and passed it off as the baby to Cronus, who swallowed it. This child was Zeus. He grew into a handsome youth on Crete. He consulted Metis on how to defeat Cronus. She prepared a drink for Cronus design to make him vomit up the other children. Rhea convinced Cronus to accept his son and Zeus was allowed to return to Mount Olympus as Cronus's cupbearer. This gave Zeus the opportunity to slip Cronus the specially prepared drink. This worked as planned and the other five children were vomited up. Being gods they were unharmed. They were thankful to Zeus and made him their leader.

Cronus was yet to be defeated. He and the Titans, except Prometheus, Epimetheus, and Oceanus, fought to retain their power. Atlas became their leader in battle and it looked for some time as though they would win and put the young gods down. However, Zeus was cunning. He went down to Tartarus and freed the Cyclopes and the Hecatoncheires. Prometheus joined Zeus as well. He returned to battle with his new allies. The Cyclopes provided Zeus with lightning bolts for weapons. The Hecatoncheires he set in ambush armed with boulders. With the time right, Zeus retreated drawing the Titans into the Hecatoncheires's ambush. The Hecatoncheires rained down hundreds of boulders with such a fury the Titans thought the mountains were falling on them. They broke and ran giving Zeus victory.

Zeus exiled the Titans who had fought against him into Tartarus. Except for Atlas, who was singled out for the special punishment of holding the world on his shoulders. However, even after this victory Zeus was not safe. Gaea angry that her children had been imprisoned gave birth to a last offspring, Typhoeus. Typhoeus was so fearsome that most of the gods fled. However, Zeus faced the monster and flinging his lightning bolts was able to kill it. Typhoeus was buried under Mount Etna in Sicily. Much later a final challenge to Zeus rule was made by the Giants. They went so far as to attempt to invade Mount Olympus, piling mountain upon mountain in an effort to reach the top. But, the gods had grown strong and with the help of Heracles the Giants were subdued or killed.

Questions: (version 2)



  1. What came out of the void that was chaos?

  2. What came from Love?

  3. How was Mother Earth conceived?

  4. Who did Gaia give birth to?

  5. Who did Uranus and Gaia give birth to?

  6. What was bad about Uranus?

  7. What did Cronus do to Uranus?

  8. What came as a result of Cronus’ spilt blood?

  9. What did Cronus do to the Cyclopes and the Hecatoncheires?

  10. Who did Cronus marry?

  11. What did Cronus do to his children and why?

  12. What did Rhea give to Cronus to make him vomit up his children?

  13. Why did they make Zeus their leader?

  14. How did Zeus win the battle using cunning?

  15. What did Zeus do to the Titans who fought against him?

  16. What did he do to Atlas?

  17. What was Typhoeus?

  18. What did Zeus do to Typhoeus?

  19. Who helped Zeus defeat the giants?



  1. Prometheus and Pandora



Prometheus and Epimetheus were spared imprisonment in Tatarus because they had not fought with their fellow Titans during the war with the Olympians. They were given the task of creating man. Prometheus shaped man out of mud, and Athena breathed life into his clay figure. Prometheus had assigned Epimetheus the task of giving the creatures of the earth their various qualities, such as swiftness, cunning, strength, fur, wings. Unfortunately, by the time he got to man Epimetheus had given all the good qualities out and there were none left for man. So Prometheus decided to make man stand upright as the gods did and to give them fire.

Prometheus loved man more than the Olympians, who had banished most of his family to Tartarus. So when Zeus decreed that man must present a portion of each animal they sacrificed to the gods Prometheus decided to trick Zeus. He created two piles, one with the bones wrapped in juicy fat, and the other with the good meat hidden in the hide. He then bade Zeus to pick. Zeus picked the bones. Since he had given his word Zeus had to accept that as his share for future sacrifices. In his anger over the trick he took fire away from man. However, Prometheus lit a torch from the sun and brought it back again to man. Zeus was enraged that man again had fire. He decided to inflict a terrible punishment on both man and Prometheus.

To punish man, Zeus had Hephaestus create a mortal of stunning beauty. The gods gave the mortal many gifts of wealth. He then had Hermes give the mortal a deceptive heart and a lying tongue. This creation was Pandora, the first women. A final gift was a jar (sometimes stories say a box) which Pandora was forbidden to open. Thus, completed Zeus sent Pandora down to Epimetheus who was staying amongst the men. Prometheus had warned Epimetheus not to accept gifts from Zeus but, Pandora's beauty was too great and he allowed her to stay. Eventually, Pandora's curiosity about the jar she was forbidden to open became too great. She opened the jar and out flew all manner of evils, sorrows, plagues, and misfortunes. However, the bottom of the jar held one good thing - hope.

Zeus was angry at Prometheus for three things: being tricked on sacrifices, stealing fire for man, and for refusing to tell Zeus which of Zeus's children would dethrone him. Zeus had his servants, Force and Violence, seize Prometheus, take him to the Caucasus Mountains, and chain him to a rock with unbreakable adamantine chains. Here he was tormented day and night by a giant eagle tearing at his liver. Zeus gave Prometheus two ways out of this torment. He could tell Zeus who the mother of the child that would dethrone him was. Or meet two conditions: First, that an immortal must volunteer to die for Prometheus. Second, that a mortal must kill the eagle and unchain him. Eventually, Chiron the Centaur agreed to die for him and Heracles killed the eagle and unbound him.



Questions:

  1. Why were Prometheus and Epimetheus spared imprisonment in Tatarus?

  2. What task were they given?

  3. How was man created?

  4. What was Epimetheus supposed to do for man and why did this not happen?

  5. What did Prometheus do to make up for this?

  6. Why did Prometheus love man?

  7. How and why did he trick Zeus?

  8. How did Zeus punish man for the trick?

  9. What did Prometheus give back to man?

  10. How did Zeus then decide to punish man? Describe what happened.

  11. How did Zeus decide to punish Prometheus? Describe what happened and how he was punished.

  12. How did Prometheus eventually escape punishment?

  1. Medusa

There are a couple of stories of how Medusa came to be. In one, Medusa was once a lovely young girl who had a boyfriend she loved very much. One afternoon she and her boyfriend were looking for a place where they could be alone, and they went into a temple of the goddess Athena. Seeing that nobody else was there, they sat down to talk, and soon they started to kiss. Athena, looking down from the sky, saw them, and she was very angry that they would use her temple this way. She made Medusa grow very ugly, and have snakes instead of hair. Medusa's boyfriend ran away, frightened. After that Medusa went away from other people and hid herself, and she lived with her sisters (who had also gotten ugly) for many years. They were so ugly that if you looked at them you would turn into a stone statue. In another, she was once a beautiful maiden who was transformed by Athena into a monster as punishment for lying with Poseidon in her shrine.


Medusa is also a Gorgon. Her gaze which can turn observers into stone, and the hair-snakes. Can stop anything in its tracks. Her severed head will turn anything into stone, including those who see it by accident. She is one of a trio of Gorgon sisters, Medusa was the only one who was not immortal. The other two sisters were Stheno and Euryale. Gaia is sometimes said to be the mother of Medusa. Pegasus, the winged horse, was said to have sprung from her severed head, along with Chrysaor, the hero of the golden sword.
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