From Savagery to Civilization: The Power of Greek Mythology (Paperback)
The Stories of Classical Mythology Have Endured for 2500 Years.
The ancient Greeks, bedeviled by nearly unbearable adversities, struggled for 2500 years to define their cultural identity. In the end they prevailed, emerging from savage tribalism to become the world's first democracy and one of the greatest civilizations ever known.To help scale those heights, the Greeks created an elaborate mythology. They filled it with anthropomorphic gods and mind bending tales of valor and heroism -- lessons in how to survive and thrive in a harsh environment. (Western Cultural Tradition, Bronze Age)
Myths of cosmology. . . .Gaia and Uranus, earth and sky, the primordial couple and the 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 starts and ends the Age of Heroes; and more....(Athena, Dionysus, Apollo, Artemis, Hera, Poseidon, Titans, Cronus)
Myths of human evolution. . . .Prometheus, who shoots fire through the imaginations of men; first woman Pandora, who releases all the world's evils, except hope; ancient Greece's greatest hero Heracles, who suffers, dies and becomes immortal; and more....(Theseus)
Brilliant but brutal Achilles, whose rage nearly brings defeat to the Greeks; 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; (Hector, Paris, Helen, Agamemnon, Telemachus, Penelope, Patroclus)
Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Orestes, Electra and Iphigenia -- the House of Atreus -- from whose atrocities a new form of social justice emerges; blind Oedipus, who suffers from innocently fulfilling a prophecy of patricide and incest; Antigone, who dies for following the gods' instructions in violation of the king's orders; and more....(Athena, Furies, Aegisthus, Oracle at Delphi)
The Romans: Romulus, who slays his twin Remus, then founds Rome; Aeneas, the Trojan prince who establishes Roman civilization; and more....(Dido, Venus, Juno, Turnus, Ovid)
These myths are filled with massive amounts of blood and gore, tragic scenes of war, and individual revenge killings. Murder and mayhem reign throughout. Graphic sexuality of all persuasions, by gods and men alike, permeate these stories. Something in these myths will offend nearly everybody, so brace yourself.
You will witness the profound ability of mankind to withstand extreme physical and emotional suffering and pain, and still retain their humanity. You will see awe-inspiring heroism as Greek warriors face overwhelming odds for no other reason than to bring everlasting honor to their own name. You will behold a woman of ship-launching beauty and goddesses of alluring sexuality. You may be moved by examples of genuine humanity - love, compassion, and mercy.
And finally, a renewed hope for mankind may surge in your breast, too, when you witness an old man, weeping and clutching the knees of an enemy warrior, while the enemy warrior himself also weeps.