Literature of antiquity and the Middle Ages - Summary 2019 year
About the origin of the world and the gods
Many, many centuries ago, settled on the Balkan Peninsula, which later became known as the Greeks. Unlike modern Greeks, we call that people ancient Greeks, or Hellenes, and their country - Hellas.
The Hellenes have left the peoples of the world a rich heritage: majestic buildings that are still considered the most beautiful in the world, beautiful marble and bronze statues and great works of literature that people read today even though they are written in a language that no one speaks on earth for a long time. This is the Iliad and Odyssey - heroic poems about how the Greeks besieged the city of Troy, and about the wanderings and adventures of one of the participants in this war - the Odyssey. These poems were sung by wandering singers and were created about three thousand years ago.
From the ancient Greeks we have left their traditions, their ancient legends are myths.
Myths were created when the Hellenes did not yet know the letters; gradually developed, for several centuries, passed from mouth to mouth, from generation to generation and never been written as a single whole book. We already know them from the works of the ancient poets Hesiod and Homer, the great Greek playwrights of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and writers of later eras.
By separate myths one can recreate a picture of the world, as the ancient Greeks represented it. Myths say that at first the world inhabited monsters and giants: the giants, who had huge snakes instead of their legs; sturukes, huge as mountains; fierce kiclops, or cyclops, with one sparkling eye in the middle of the forehead; the terrible children of the Earth and the sky are mighty titans. In the images of giants and titans, the ancient Greeks personified the spontaneous mighty forces of nature. Myths say that later these natural forces of nature were restrained and subdued by Zeus, the deity of heaven, the Thunderbolt and the Pathogist, who established the order in the world and became the ruler of the entire world. Titles replaced the kingdom of Zeus.
In the representation of the ancient Greeks, the gods were like people and relations between them resembled the relations between people. The Greek gods quarreled and reconciled, constantly interfered in people's lives, participated in the wars. Each of the gods was engaged in some sort of his business, leading a certain economy in the world. The Hellenes endowed their gods with human characters and inclinations. From the mortals - the Greek gods differed only immortality.
Like every Greek tribe had its leader, military leader, judge and master, so among the gods of the Greeks were considered the leader of Zeus.
Then, when gradually the unification of the Greek tribes occurred and the Greeks began to recognize themselves as a single people, the Hellenes, the hero of the whole of Greece - Hercules. A travel myth was created, in which the heroes of different Greek cities and regions participated - about the Argonauts campaign.