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All About History 117: Where did the Greek gods come from? 

 May 9, 2022

In All about the story issue 117Available now, you can discover the origins of the Olympian gods and learn how the myths the ancient Greeks built around their deities helped inform their civilization.

All About History breaks down the stories of Zeus, Athena, Hades, Poseidon and more, connecting the dots between Greece and its neighboring cultures. You can also find out why these gods were so important to regional identity, such as the important link between Athena and her eponymous city of Athens.

Annette Giesecke guides you through the twisted tales of Greek mythology, gives you a crash course in the origins of the Greek gods, from the Titans to the Olympians, and then explains the role of some key gods in people’s daily lives.

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Greek Gods, double page spread, All About History 117

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Space Race Timeline, All About History 117

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Emmeline Pankhurst, All About History 117

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Medieval Dragons, All About History 117

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Dark Side of Beethoven, All About History 117

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History of Superstition, All About History 117

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At Home with the Boleyns, All About History 117

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Also in All About History 117 you will learn more about the militant life of Emmeline Pankhurst and her fight for women’s suffragediscover the dark side of Ludwig van Beethoven, read about the origins of popular superstitions, and find out who were Africa’s greatest (but often forgotten) queens through the ages.

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Related: Read a free copy of All About History

There’s also a breakdown of the history of the space race, an insight into why medieval writers were obsessed with dragons, and a tour of Anne Boleyn’s childhood home.

Greek gods

Story of Minerva

The history of the Olympian gods is full of dark tales and strange twists and turns, but they held great meaning for their people. (Image credit: Public Domain (wiki/The Athenaeum))

Corresponding Herodotus It was the poets Homer and Hesiod who, in the 8th century B.C. and gave the Greeks their gods. Herodotus, who lived in the 5th century B.C. was himself a Greek from the city of Halicarnassus in what is now Turkey. He was right about Homer and Hesiod, or rather the works attributed to them. Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, along with Hesiod’s Theogony, are the oldest surviving works of literature in the western world.

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In these two book-length poems, all the great gods appear as characters with different personalities and powers. In his Theogony, which translates to “Origin of the Gods,” Hesiod explains exactly how the Greek gods came into being. Hesiod’s divine creation myth is also a cosmogony, a story of the origins of nature and the universe. The first gods were elemental. They were deified physical parts of the universe, but they gradually became anthropomorphized and believed – at least sometimes – to have human emotions and forms. Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Poseidon and the other well-known Olympian gods did not initially exist, but only came into existence after the creation of earth and sky, which were also considered gods.

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All About History 117 Cover

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According to Hesiod, the universe first existed as a vast void, an empty space for which the Greek word is chaos. Out of chaos emerged Gaia, conceived as both our planet Earth and the Great Mother Goddess. Other original elemental gods would follow. Eros, the power of desire, also arose out of chaos, and next came Erebos (darkness) and Nyx (night). Erebos and Nyx together carried Aether (the bright upper sky) and Hemera (day). Gaia wanted companionship and protection and brought forth Ouranos (heaven) to cover her on all sides.

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Read more in All About History 117.

Dark side of Beethoven

Portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven by Karl Joseph Stieler

Beethoven is hailed as one of the greatest composers in history, but he struggled with illness and personal tragedy. (Image credit: Public Domain (wiki/Beethoven-Haus, Bonn))

In addition to personalities such as Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven is considered one of the greatest classical composers in the world. Beethoven created around 722 works during his lifetime, including string quartets, sonatas and symphonies. However, like many artistic geniuses, Beethoven’s personal life was turbulent and he himself developed a reputation as a difficult individual. Raising an alcoholic and abusive father who was determined that his son would be a musical prodigy left the young man deeply affected.

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As the composer entered the last decades of his life and faced with increasing health problems and depression, he became involved in a bitter custody battle for his nephew – perhaps in search of a musical prodigy of his own. These events reveal an often-overlooked side of the renowned composer’s life, particularly when one recalls masterpieces such as For Elise. It’s a troubled and haunting side – the dark side of Beethoven.

Delve deeper into the dark side of Beethoven All About History 117.

Emmeline Pankhurst

Emmeline Pankhurst arrested outside Buckingham Palace

Emmeline Pankhurst is arrested outside Buckingham Palace while attempting to petition King George V. (Image credit: Public Domain (wiki/Imperial War Museums))

As Britain entered the 20th century, the list of things British women were not allowed to do was depressingly long: Among other things, they were not allowed to serve on juries, they could not open bank accounts or apply for loans, they could hold certain professional roles such as lawyer or They weren’t allowed to be accountants, and they weren’t allowed to vote. At the time, most single women had little to no social status, and married women had to give their husbands all their possessions and earnings if they said yes. Many people believed that women have smaller brains than men and are therefore unprepared for the world of work and politics.

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Countless activists campaigned for change for the citizens of the country with varying degrees of success. One particular fight that kept making headlines was the struggle for women’s suffrage – the right to vote in political elections – and a mix of sustained parliamentary pressure and unusual demonstration techniques contributed to the victory. A key figure in the campaign was Emmeline Pankhurst: activist, feminist and the original suffragette. Driven by an unparalleled passion for electoral equality, she dedicated much of her life to this cause and nearly a century after her death, she is still recognized as one of Britain’s most influential women’s rights activists.

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Read more about the incredible life of Emmeline Pankhurst in All About History 117.

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