Sunday, January 21, 2007

By Zeus!

From Greece comes news of a religious revival. Not of Christianity or Islam, but of the worship of Greece's long ecplised pantheon of gods and goddesses. Followers of Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Artemis, Aphrodite, and Hermes gathered near the Parthenon recently.

Before everyone gets all touchy feely good about this, lets remember some of the stories associated with these deities.

1. Zeus is a capricious sexual predator bagging any nubile female that catches his eye; ask Danae or Europa or Alcmena.
2. Hera is the wife of Zeus and supposedly is the goddess of marriage; instead of chastising her philandering husband she persecuted the women who were victims of Zeus' predations. Ask Hercules' mother Alcmena how it feels to be hounded like trailer trash by Hera. While at it, ask Hercules how it feels to be persecuted for an accident of birth.
3. Poseidon is the god of the seas and seemingly had as many affairs outside his marriage to Amphitrite as his brother Zeus did.
4. Now Aphrodite usually gets the Greek men slack-jawed and for a reson since she is the goddess of desire. Born when Cronus threw Uranus' private parts into the sea, Aphrodite arose naked from the foam at Cythera. She is also a meddler of epic proportions. When Eris proposed a beauty contest between gray-eyed Athena, Aphrodite, and Hera; King Priam of Troy's youngest son Paris was brought in to judge. All three goddesses tried to bribe Paris and it was Aprhodite who offered Paris the best bribe, the love of Helen King Menelaus's wife. Thus sparking the Trojan War.
5. Hermes is not just that emblem on the side of FTD vans. He is a son of Zeus by a minor goddess named Maia- that randy old goat Zeus strikes again. After leaving the care of Maia and escaping the duties of a phallic deity, Hermes did some cattle rustling of Apollo's herd before becoming the messenger of Zeus.
6. Artemis is the sister of Apollo and once again the offspring of an illicit union between Zeus and Leto. She is of the Moon and is the patroness of hunters, childbirth, fishermen, and unmarried girls. She seems the nicest of the deities doesn't she? Except when Zeus seduced one of her nymph companions, so Artemis turned Callisto into a bear. Or in a petty fit she set the Calydonian Boar upon Oeneus because he forgot to include her in his yearly sacrifices, by the end of that hunt there were many dead amongst Oeneus' family.

Yeah, those are deities worthy of worship there. Not.


Anna said...

Interesting stories and I enjoy mythology, but I certainly wouldn't worship them!

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Apollo was my favorite, growing up. What's next, the Norse gods? Actually...hasn't that also already happened?

I think it's probably related to people's desire to take pride in their heritage.

Some guy resurrected Greek pankration, as a modern martial art; but it is a fabrication. What Greeks practiced a thousand years ago was not passed down the generations. The knowledge is lost, except for some references in written records. It's revisionist history to try to claim a descendency to ancient pankration.

Sorry if I'm getting off-topic.

Anna said...

Anna, LOL. If they truly were deities you would think ancient writers like Aristophones would have gotten a lightning bolt or two for his plays.

Wordsmith, not off-topic. What these people are trying to do is what Hollywood writers have done to Greek and Roman mythos, the Xena treatment. Looks like the real thing but isn't.

I await how the animal rights people will respond when these people start sacrificing animals to foretell the future by reading entrails.

Perhaps they should remember the most famous quote from the Oracle at Delphi. When a Greek king asked the priestess if he should attack another state. Her reply was "A kingdom will be destroyed." The kind went off and attacked the other state and the prophecy came to pass, though not as the king thought it should as it was his nation that was destroyed. With these people, by their modern 'interpretation' of these ancient faiths, they will make a mockery of things and hence destroy what they proclaim to be reviving. Then perhaps Zeus might wake up and zap them.