Vincent Hannity

From Savagery to Civilization

Whay Have the Stories of Classical Mythology Endured for 2500 Years?
The ancient Greeks, bedeviled by nearly unbearable adversities, struggled throughout the Bronze Age to define their cultural identity. In the end they prevailed. They emerged from savage tribalism to become the world's first democracy and one of its greatest civilizations.
To help scale those heights, the Greeks created an elaborate mythology. They filled it with anthropomorphic gods and mind-bending tales of suffering and heroism — lessons in how to survive and thrive in an extremely harsh environment.
Myths of cosmology. … Gaia and Uranus, earth and sky, the primordial couple and first generation of gods; Zeus, supreme leader of the Olympian gods with his invincible masculine will to power; Demeter, goddess of grain and agriculture, who continually sorrows; Persephone, queen of the underworld, who repeatedly dies and returns; Aphrodite, goddess of love and sexual desire, who both starts and ends the Age of Heroes; and more….
Myths of human evolution. … Prometheus, who shoots fire through the imaginations of men; first woman Pandora, who releases the entire world's evils, except hope; ancient Greece's greatest hero Heracles, who suffers, dies and becomes immortal; and more….
Trojan War myth….Brilliant but brutal Achilles, whose rage nearly brings defeat to the Greeks; Hector, the greatest warrior on the battlefield, except for Achilles; Trojan King Priam, who puts to his lips the hand of the man who killed his son; wily Odysseus, who outwits giants, witches, goddesses and cannibals to return home and claim his wife and throne; and more….
House of Atreus — Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Orestes, Electra and Iphigenia….From the atrocities of this arch-dysfunctional family a new form of social justice emerges; and more….
Blind Oedipus, who suffers from innocently fulfilling a prophecy of patricide and incest; Antigone, who dies for exactly following the gods' instructions in violation of the king's orders; and more….
The Romans: Aeneas, the Trojan prince who establishes Roman civilization; Romulus, who slays his twin Remus, then founds Rome; and more….
And 2500 years later we study them still. Why?
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Vincent Hannity, Hector Press LLC



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