Greek mythology has been around for hundreds of years, and it has influenced much of our culture with it’s outrageous stories and fables. With epics like “The Odyssey” teaching morals to ancient Greece, or myths like Hades and Persephone “explaining” how seasons were created , “the group of stories known as classical myths were first written down by the ancient Greeks,” each having their own plot and storyline, but all leading to one another in a combined piece (Bingham, 6). The stories of Greek Mythology have influenced the arts and literature of the world, displayed the morals that the Greeks believed in, and changed how they thought about science and natural events.
Greek mythology began with the civilization and society of the Ancient Greeks, and “the greek society emerged from the Mycenaean civilization, which flourished from 1600 to 1200 B.C.” (Green, 4). It was, as is modern day Greece, located on the Balkan peninsula, and consisted of multiple city-states, or independent kingdoms. It was ruled as a monarchy, which provided Greece with a King and/or Queen. With the decline of Greece in 1200 B.C., “they lost the art of writing”, and spread from Greece to the Mediterranean Sea. In 338 B.C., “King Philip of Macedon became ruler of the Greeks” , with Alexander The Great, his offspring, then became the ruler of Greece, with his death leading to the take-over by Rome (Bingham, 7). During these periods, many stories and legends of the believed Greek Gods were passed orally, and then became written epics or fables such as Homer's The Odyssey.
To start, the arts, such as sculptures and paintings, became widely influenced by many of the myths and stories of Greek Mythology. At the National Archaeological Museum of Italy, “‘The Farnese Atlas’ sculpture depicts Atlas, the Titan of Greek mythology, shouldering the weight of the globe” (Nicole). Atlas is widely known in Greek mythology as the holder of the globe, keeping it from falling in the emptyless space. Rockefeller Center Statue of Atlas:
He was given this métier as a punishment from Zeus for waging a Photo Courtesy Lupo Alberto against him. Many statues of Atlas have been built for him, with one being in the Rockerfeller Center of New York City. The statue was casted in 1937 by Lee Lawrie and Rene Chambellan.
In addition to sculptures, our modern architecture found in many buildings today are based off the temples that were built as dedications to Greek gods and goddesses found in Greek mythology. The Parthenon, in example, was constructed for the Goddess Athena, and the columns found holding up the structure are found Lincoln Memorial: Photo Courtesy Collin Hansen in many other buildings. The Lincoln Memorial found in Washington, DC maintains the base layout of the Parthenon, with changes to house the sculpture of Abraham Lincoln (Adam).
Portrait painting has also been impacted by the myths of the Greeks, with most paintings depicting a single scene of the...