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How It All Began

How It All Began

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Published by vademecumdevally
The Greeks' story of how the world began.
The Greeks' story of how the world began.

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Published by: vademecumdevally on Aug 27, 2012
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10/03/2013

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1.
 
Greek Religion
Religion was very important to the ancient Greeks Theybelieved that the gods controlled everything in their livesand it was important to please the gods otherwise theymight punish you.Olympus, the biggest mountain in mainland Greece is 2917metres high. It is part of a large mountainous area innorthern Greece. From the south side the mountain looksbare, grim and uninviting. For much of the year themountain is covered in snow. It is often surrounded bywisps of clouds, which make it look mysterious. The Greeks believed that MtOlympus reached the upper air and was chosen as the ideal place in which to live bythe gods. In places the rocky peaks looked like huge seats for the gods to sit on.They could look out from here and see all that was taking place below them. Theycould fly to far away places and help and protect any mortal who called on them. Thepeople below working in the fields or sailors out at sea could look up at the cloudsand imagine that the gods were looking after them or, more often, causing trouble.The Greeks imagined thattheir gods looked verymuch like human beings.They even behaved likethem and could feel suchthings as anger, love and jealousy. If there were awar on earth the godswould take sides andargue among themselves.However there wereimportant differencesbetween gods and men.The gods were immortal and instead of blood they had an undying liquid called
ichor,
 which made them immortal.Their food, called
ambrosia
, which was very sweet, madethem live forever. They were fond of feasts and ate at golden tables. They had ahoney drink called nectar, which they always drank out of golden cups. In additionthe gods loved the smell of meat being cooked by mortals after a sacrifice. Sacrificeswere made by humans as part of ceremonies to honour the gods. The gods wereextremely powerful. If they liked the offerings made by humans they could be verykind, but if something angered them they could turn cruel and nasty and send thingslike storms, famines, plagues earthquakes, illness and even death.When a god or goddess visited earth, he or she wouldusually change appearance. Sometimes they could look like a well known human, sometimes an animal or bird orsometimes be invisible. So you would never know how a god might be disguised!
 
 
 
 How it all began….
 
The Ancient Greeks believed that the gods and their world began in this very strangeway.In the beginning there was nothing but a wide gaping space called Chaos. MotherEarth was the first to appear followed by Father Sky. Rains fell from Father Sky toearth and flowers and trees began to appear, rivers flowed and lakes and seas werecreated.Next, Mother Earth produced the hundred-handed giants andCyclopes, giants with one eye. They decided to rebel against theirfather so he locked them up in Tartarus, a dark and gloomy placein the Underworld. Then Mother Earth gave birth to the Titans
 – 
 more giants, the most famous being Atlas, Rhea and Cronos. The Titans released theCyclopes from the Underworld and with their help they overthrew Father Sky.Cronos became the leader of the Titans and he had big plans to become the ruler of 
the universe so he locked the Cyclopes up in Tartarus again so that they wouldn’t stop
his plans.Cronos, the meanTitan then marriedhis sister Rhea! Hismother warned himthat he would beoverthrown by oneof his children justas he hadoverthrown hisfather. So everytime Rhea gave birthto a child Cronos would eat it. After having five children Rhea decided enough wasenough and was determined her next child would live. When she had a baby soncalled Zeus she sent him off to Crete. Then she wrapped a stone up in a blanket andgave it to her husband. Cronos, upon seeing Rhea with another child, promptly atethe stone and did not seem to notice the difference.Zeus was hidden in a cave on the island of Crete. He was fed on honey and goatsmilk and slept in a golden cradle hung from a tree. When he was grown up enough,the Titan Prometheus visited him and told him how to overthrow his father.Prometheus knew that the future lay with Zeus and the gods.Zeus put the magic potion
in Cronos’ drink, which
made him very sick. First he coughed up the blanketwith the stone and then he coughed up all hisbrothers and sisters,
 Hestia, Demeter, Hera,Poseidon and Hades
. Still alive they joined Zeus in abattle against Cronos. The gods won with weaponsmade by the Cyclopes and the Titans, except forPrometheus, were locked up underground.

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