Greek mythology, as in other ancient cultures, was used as a means to explain the environment in which humankind lived, the natural phenomena they witnessed and the passing of time through the days, months, and seasons. Myths were also intricately connected to religion in the Greek world and explained the origin and lives of the gods, where humanity... [continue reading]
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Marsyas the satyr, or silen, was seen as a mythological founder of aulos playing or a divine judge of it by the ancient Greeks. The way in which his aulos playing enraptured his audience was likened to the way in which Socrates mesmerised his audience with his philosophising words, and the fact that the two were both quite ugly is also picked... [continue reading]
Smarthistory, Art History at Khan Academy
published on 04 April 2014
More free lessons at: http://www.khanacademy.org/video?v=wE7_9Xce6LM Medea Sarcophagus, 140 - 150 C.E., marble, 65 x 227 cm (Altes Museum, Berlin) View this work up close on the Google Art Project: http://www.googleartproject.com/collection/altes-museum-berlin/artwork/medea-sarcophagus-unknown/530004/
Medusa was one of three sisters born to Phorcys and Ceto known as the Gorgons. According to Hesiod's Theogony, the Gorgons were the sisters of the Graiai and lived in the utmost place towards the night by the Hesperides beyond Oceanus. Later authors such as Herodotus and Pausanias place the Gorgons' abode in Libya. The Gorgon sisters were Sthenno, Euryale... [continue reading]
Megara was the first wife of the Greek hero Herakles (better known as Hercules). She was the daughter of King Creon of Thebes who gave her in marriage to Hercules in gratitude for his help in winning back Creon's kingdom from the Minyans. Megara's story is best known through the work of the Greek playwright Euripides (480-406 BCE... [continue reading]
A 1st century CE Roman sculpture of Melpomene, the Muse of tragedy. She holds a sword and the tragic mask of Hercules. (Vatican Museums, Rome).
Midas was a mythical king of Phrygia who was famous for his ability to change anything that he touched into solid gold. He was also famous for a more unfortunate trait, his donkey ears. These he gained as punishment for judging Pan the better musician than Apollo. In Greek mythology Midas, wandering one day in his garden, came across the wise satyr... [continue reading]
In Greek mythology, the Minotaur was a monster with the body of a man and the head and tail of a bull. The Minotaur was the offspring of the Cretan Queen Pasiphae and a majestic bull. Due to the Minotaur's monstrous form, King Minos ordered the craftsman, Daedalus, and his son, Icarus, to build a huge maze known as the Labyrinth to house the beast... [continue reading]
In Greek mythology, the nine Muses are goddesses of the various arts such as music, dance, and poetry and are blessed not only with wonderful artistic talents themselves but also with great beauty, grace, and allure. Their gifts of song, dance, and joy helped the gods and mankind to forget their troubles and inspired musicians and writers to reach ever greater... [continue reading]
The Sphinx dedicated to the oracle of Delphi by the state of Naxos, c. 560 BCE. Originally, it was placed atop a 10 m tall Ionic column. (Delphi Archaeological Museum).