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.
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!|
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.