Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pity the Poor Titan

Steve Reeves
Atlas was an unfortunate Titan, if one is to believe certain versions of Greek mythology.  He lead the other Titans in a revolution against the Greek gods, lost big time, and was condemned to spend the rest of eternity bearing the heavens upon his great big Titan shoulders

I learned this from reading a book on Greek mythology by Edith Hamilton.  I was a sophomore in high school, condemned to my own Titan-like task of riding a bus from my rural community to the high school in the larger rural community.  The ride took thirty long minutes, and that steel box held all the noise, anti-school sentiment, sexual tension, and energy of about 60 teenagers.  My brother in college had taken a class using Ms. Hamilton’s book, and he left it at home one Christmas.  I carried it in my purse all through high school, reading and re-reading it during the mindless eternity it took to go to and from school.
Temple of Zeus

I confess without hesitation I initially read the book for its titillation value, as those Greek gods were a randy group of beings.  After I got over looking for sexual content, I moved onto reading about the other gods and humans in pursuit of happiness through grand odysseys to find the one thing that would fulfill their destinies.

Liver again?!  Man...
It didn’t take many read-throughs to see how doomed they and their adventures were from the very get-go.  I groaned aloud each time I read how Prometheus was tied to a revolving wheel and having his liver eaten every single night, only to have it grow back during the day.  His crime:  giving fire to the humans. 

One memorable unfortunate was Minerva, who spinning and weaving was said to rival that of the goddess in charge of those homemaking skills.  This really ticked off the goddess who turned Minerva into a spider.  That’ll teach you, Ms. Minerva.  No competing with the gods/goddesses.

He is risen! Hallelujah!
Now, I sigh in relief that the earth is held in the palm of God’s hand, that Jesus Christ bridged the gap between Heaven and Earth with His nail-pierced hands.  His sacrifice is our salvation. 

On the other hand, the ancient Greeks walked around looking over their shoulders to see if there was a griffin ready to swoop down and scoop them up for dinner.  They sacrificed at every temple and holy site, just in case that god/goddess was in town checking out the human condition.  How dismal, how hopeless.  Poor Atlas. 


  1. I'll take HOPE any day.

  2. My granddaughter, who just finished 3rd grade (in gifted class-"grandma bragging"), has been studying Greek mythology. She spouts out all these facts to me and although I studied it in maybe 9th grade and had watched my share of Italian- made movies about said subject, feel totally clueless. There were way too many gods to keep track of.

  3. Hi, Susan. What an interesting post. Greek mythology is fascinating. My daughter Jen was into it before the accident. She named her silver Persian cat Perseus. Sometimes I think I'd like to revisit all those stories, for fun (the paperback book is still on my shelf); but life is too short and there's so much to read. I'd rather spend my time with the scriptures. I'd like to know the scriptures backwards and forwards because, as you say, in Christ is salvation.

    I haven't been over to see you for a while. I hope you're having a good summer. It's dreadfully hot and humid where we are (in Virginia). How I would love to be in beautiful San Diego!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

  4. I love how you started with mythology and ended with Christ. I am also fascinated with mythology and religion in general. It amazes me how people come to their idea's of god/goddess beliefs. It's fascinating really. I think Greek mythology is the most puzzling and fascinating of all. I have no idea how they kept track of them all. One God makes more sense. One way to heaven makes more sense. Still the history behind it all is something I enjoy reading about.

  5. Yeah, Greek mythology was pretty depressing at times. hehe.

    Hey, why is it that you have 3 blogs called Susan Kane?? Do you use them all?

  6. In 6th grade we studied Greek Mythology and I was hooked! I decided then and there that when I grew up and had a daughter that I would name her PERSEPHONE the goddess of spring growth. My Daughter is extremely thankful that I changed my mind!
    Blessings, Joanne

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Go won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!