Mythology/interview

Advertisement


Question
Hi, I am Michael.  I would like to interview you on mythologies.  I am a seventh grader at smith academy and i am doing a research project.  Please email me back so we can arrange a time where I can interview if you can.

Thanks,
Michael

Answer
I don't mind doing this, but I don't have video chat or skyping. All I can do is answer your questions here in chat form, but I have done this before for several other students and most of the questions I'm given are largely the same. If you peruse my old questions, you can find my responses much faster and easier to help you along. If you have new questions, go ahead and post, I'll be glad to try answering anything you want to know.

Here you go:
Why were the Greek god/goddesses such an influence on Greek peoples lives?
The Ancient Greeks believed their gods were responsible for creating the world and everything that happened in it. they had stories linking the gods to the seasons, the powers of life and death and the power of the weather so naturally they believed the gods controlled their lives and in turn had gods they prayed to for guidance in a time they needed guidance and a support system against a world they didn't understand.

How did they use mythology to explain the world around them?
Mythology is simply the stories of a culture or people linked to their beliefs. The Greeks believed mortal man lived and died because they were not as perfect as the gods who lived forever. The believed farming was invented because Persephone had to spent part of the year in the underworld and that farming would give mortal man a chance to grow and develop food during the winter months. They believed storms were caused by Zeus tossing thunderbolts to Earth, much like modern mothers tell little kids that thunder is the sound of Angels going bowling.

What do you think is the most important thing about Greek mythology?
The Greeks gave us many things such as democracy, a calendar and civilization. It is important to know where this stuff comes from and to understand how these people lived in their life time. The stories of the Greeks were about superhuman beings that protected the universe, like our modern day comic book characters. They gave us stories about the underworld of the gods, our first ghost stories. To know where we're going, we need to understand where we've been and where we once were.
What period of time where the gods in?
This is debatable but their stories occur between 1500BC to 1100BC but their worship last much long between 2000BC to 1100AD

How did the gods come to be?
According to myths, the Olympian gods were the children of the Titans, born from Heaven an Earth. Historically, they were possibly Pre-Hellenic rulers.

Were the gods feared also?
Yes

Did people build temples for the gods?
Yes, the Parthenon for example was built to Athena and a replica to it is in Nashville with a statue of her -

1) How were the myths passed down?
Myths were passed down orally or by word of mouth. They were not written down until hundreds of years after. For example: Hercules dates to 1250BC but his life and story not written down by Homer until around the First Millennium

2) Are any myths completely true?
No, they were based on real tales but deviated from the truth everytime they were retold like modern urban myths

3) Which god/goddess was most influential in every day life?
I'm not sure, each city had it's own patron deity like Thebes had Zeus and Athens had Athena

4) What percent of the Greeks actually believed in the gods?
Probably all of them

5) What was the origin of the myths?
Myths were passed down as a way of recalling history or to explain how things happened in the universe

Mythology

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


William C. Uchtman

Expertise

I have done research into gods and goddesses and have written brief descriptions of them. I have attempted to scale out family trees as I have already seen with the Olympian gods. I have tried to condense entire pantheons by attributing extra names or aliases to one deity. I have also made efforts to parallel myths with ancient history. I am not an expert nor do I hold any degrees. I am a self-taught person with a lot of otherwise useless information.

Experience

No real-world experience

Organizations
Former Mythology Expert to the Marvel Comics Appendix, former researcher to the Marvel Universe Handbooks

Publications
Contributor/Researcher to the Offifical Handbook of the Marvel Universe

Education/Credentials
No such credentials/Self-Educated

Awards and Honors
None so far

Past/Present Clients
None

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.