Tag Archives: Greek

Mythology Newspaper: Editorials and Interview

Five classmates and I are doing a mock newspaper summarizing what we’ve learned in Mythology so far. I’m the editor, so I’m writing the editorials and letters to the editor, as well as doing the interview. Unless some of my readers want to write letters to the editor. ^_^ *hinthint*

Editorial:

Creation: Fact or Fiction?

By Editor Nicholas Kleimeier

We all know the story the bards tell of creation.

‘In the beginning there was Chaos, and out of Chaos were born Gaia and Uranus, who married and gave birth to the Titans, led by Cronus. Gaia and Uranus warned Cronus that a son of his would one day overpower him. Cronus therefore swallowed his numerous children by his wife Rhea, to keep that forecast from taking place.

When Zeus, was born, Rhea offered a stone for to Cronus to swallow, allowing Gaia to spirit the baby Zeus away to be raised in Crete by nymphs. Zeus grew up, came home and sought to overthrow his father. Metis, Zeus’s first wife, found a way of administering an emetic to Cronus, who then threw up his five previous children, Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon. The children, led by Zeus, vanquished Cronus forever into Tartarus’ domain, the Dark World under the Earth.

Zeus triumphed over his brothers and sisters as well, dividing up the universe as he fancied. He made himself Supreme God over all, creating a great and beautiful place for his favored gods to live, on Mount Olympus. Zeus made himself God of the Sky and all its phenomena, including the thunderbolts. Hestia became goddess of the Hearth. To his brother Poseidon, he gave the rule of the Sea. Demeter became a goddess of Fertility, Hera (before she married Zeus and became a jealous wife), was goddess of Marriage and Childbirth, while Hades, one of his other brothers, was made god of the Underworld.

He did not look kindly upon us, the people, those creatures that populated the lands over which he reigned. They were not immortal, as the Olympian gods were, and they complained about the lack of good food and the everlasting cold nights. Zeus ignored their complaints, while he and the other gods feasted endlessly on steaming hot game from the surrounding forests, and had great crackling fires in every room of their palaces where they lived in the cold winter.

Enter Prometheus, one of the Titans not vanquished in the war between Zeus and the giants. Prometheus had molded The Common Man from clay. He stole some of the sparks of a glowing fire from the Olympians, so that the people below Olympus could have fire for cooking and warmth in the winter, thus greatly improving their lot in life.

Zeus was furious at this insult to his power, and had the titan  chained to a mountain, sending an eagle to attack him daily. Zeus had his fellow Olympian, Hephaestus, fashion a wicked but beautiful creature to torment Prometheus. It was a woman, named Pandora, which means “all gifts”. She was given a beautiful box, which she was told not to open, but curiosity got the better of her, and out flew “all the evils that plague men.” The only “gift” that stayed in the box was “Hope”.’

Our scientists here in Athens have been disproving bits and pieces of this for some time now, and our sister periodical, “Popular Philosophy”, will be publishing an article next issue detailing how we have debunked this theory of creation.  Buy one at your local newsstand today. Personally, I never liked or believed this story. Incest and patricide and eternal torture, I mean, really. We are learned people, and should start acting like it.

The creation summary I got  from Encyclopedia Mythica and modified.

Interview:

Mediterranean Monthly: So, Hades, thank you for joining us here today.

Hades: Don’t mention it. Not a lot to do in the Underworld. Listening to the screams of dead people gets old after a few centuries.

MM: Uh, right.  Anyway…  What’s your opinion on the Trojan War?  Who’s right?

H: *bitter laugh.* My opinion?  My opinion is that lots of death is a good thing.  The only person who has anything right is Eris.  There’s a girl who knows what she’s doing.

MM: What about the heroes who have already fallen?  What are you doing with them?

H: Most of them are in the better parts of the Underworld.  Pretentious though they are, they did do some heroic things.

MM: Thank you again, Hades, I think that’s all we have for you.  We now turn to our next guest, Ares.  Thank you for coming.

Ares: It was my duty to come!  Everyone must know what treacherous dogs the Greeks are!

MM: I… beg your pardon?

A: Athena has allowed a mortal to wound me! ME! The GOD OF WAR!

MM: Yes, I-

A: And furthermore! One of them pricked Aphrodite’s hand! That is simply outrageous!

MM: I see, now-

A: AND THEN!!! My father has the audacity to mock me! ME! The GOD OF WAR!

MM: If you’ll just-

A: And he SCOLDED us! Like we were CHILDREN!!

MM: *rubs my temples*

A: And as if that weren’t bad enough, now the Greeks are fleeing! FLEEING! Like dogs! They piled back into their ships and ran for home, leaving an offering behind to their clearly superior opponents!

MM: So you think the Trojans are superior, then?

A: OF COURSE! A slug is superior to a Greek dog!

MM: Right, right. Thank you for your time, Ares.  Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was Hades and Ares. Next month we’ll have interviews with Artemis and Apollo.

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Parody of Weird Al’s ‘Amish Paradise’, Greek Mythology Version

So, yeah. For Mythology, we had to write a rap about one of the myths about Athena and/or Poseidon.  I chose to do the myth of Arachne and set it to the tune of ‘Amish Paradise.’  I’m aware ‘Amish Paradise’ is itself a parody, but he changed the music slightly and so my parody is of his song, not the song he parodied.

 

‘Spider’s Paradise’

To the tune of ‘Amish Paradise’ by Weird Al

There’s a girl named Arachne, and you better believe/

Just take a look at her work and you can see that she can weave!/

And that’s just perfect for the young Arachne,/

Because her dad dyed sheep’s wool to make it more pretty./

 

“Well, Athena must have taught her,” the people said,/

Arachne denied it, said “It’s all from my head./

“Athena can’t teach me a thing, you see,/

“Because she’s not the best, no, that would be me.”/

 

Now Athena heard and she wouldn’t let it stand,/

So disguised as an old woman she cooked up a plan./

She went up to young Arachne and she said. “You best beware,/

“You’re bound to displease Athena if you keep putting on airs.”/

 

Chorus:

We’ve been spending most our lives, living in a spider’s paradise./

Ate beetles once or twice, living in a spider’s paradise./

It’s hard work and sacrifice, living in a spider’s paradise./

We sell quilts at discount price, living in a spider’s paradise./

 

Arachne said “Athena doesn’t have me beat,/

“If she doesn’t like my words, then my challenge she’ll meet!”/

So Athena straightened up and cast off her disguise,/

And the radiant goddess was revealed to all eyes./

 

So the contest it began, and both ladies’ work was amazing,/

But while Arachne was fast, Athena was simply blazing./

When the contest was done, Arachne still was haughty,/

But everyone could see she was just being naughty./

 

Both of them got mad, but Athena’s a goddess,/

They got into a catfight, and it was just no contest./

Athena slapped Arachne and she began to change,/

Her features and her limbs got all rearranged./

 

Her hair got short and spread over her, she grew some extra legs,/

And instead of having babies, she now has to lay eggs./

 

Chorus:

We’ve been spending most our lives, living in a spider’s paradise./

We’re just plain and simple guys, living in a spider’s paradise./

No time for pride and vice, living in a spider’s paradise./

We don’t fight, we all play nice, living in a spider’s paradise./

 

The moral of the story, is very plain to see:/

If you piss off a goddess, you’ll be like Arachne!/

Arachne thought she was best, but Athena taught her better,/

She said “You vain and foolish girl, go and spin forever!”/

 

So now it’s true a spider is the form of Arachne,/

And that is why ‘arachnid’s how they’re known to you and me./

So don’t be vain, and don’t be whiney!/

Or else, my brother, Athena might get medieval on your hiney!

 

Chorus:

We’ve been spending our lives, living in a spider’s paradise./

We’re all crazy Hellenites, living in a spider’s paradise./

No cops or traffic lights, living in a spider’s paradise./

But you’d probably think it bites, living in a spider’s paradise./

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A New Greek Myth

Still set in classical Greek times, but we had to come up with a new myth for mythology class.  The new guy, Vetis, is a charrie of mine.

 

Somewhere above Greece

Hermes zipped across the sky, carrying out his duties as the Messenger of the gods.  An unusual feeling of power drew his attention to the ground below.  “That’s odd…” he murmured.  “It feels more like what Father described the Titans as like than anything else I’ve ever felt.”  Ever curious, he diverted from his course and flew to earth, alighting in front of the mouth of a deep cavern.

He entered it, not bravely, for he felt no fear, but with growing curiosity.  After a time he felt that he had entered a larger cavern, though he could still see nothing.  Lack of sight didn’t keep him from knowing that someone else inhabited the chamber.  “Hello?”

“Greetings, Hermes, Messenger of the gods, son of Zeus.”

“You have me at a disadvantage, stranger.”

“I prefer it that way.”  Hermes could almost hear the smirk in the stranger’s voice.  “I’ve heard you’re quite the mischievous god.”

“I have been referred to as such, yes.”  Hermes crossed his legs under him, letting his sandals keep him off the ground.  “Does it matter?”

The mysterious being chuckled.  “Quite.  I wish to make a wager with you, god of thieves.”

“A wager?”  Hermes now found himself interested as well as curious.  “Do go on.”

“In all of time, there has been only one being who came close to winning the heart of your half-sister, Artemis.  Orion the hunter, whom Apollo killed.  Is this so?”

“It is,” Hermes confirmed, wondering where this would go.

“Here is the wager, then: I attempt to steal Artemis’ heart, in a period of one month.  Should I succeed, you answer to Artemis and myself directly, instead of Zeus.”

Hermes eyes widened, both at the challenge and the price.  “And should you fail?”

“Should I fail, I will submit myself completely to the will of the gods.  You can feel my power.  You know I could be of tremendous use to the Olympians.”

“This is true…”  Hermes rubbed his chin as he pondered.  In the end, his mischievous and curious side beat out the voice warning him against this.  “All right, I’ll take your wager.”

“Marvelous.”  Hermes felt a ripple in the air as the stranger materialized, appearing human, but disconcertingly inhuman at the same time.  His skin was pale, like marble, and his eyes were a burning violet, shining out from under his black hair, which framed a face that rivaled Apollo in appearance.

This stranger extended a hand to Hermes, who took it on instinct.  A queer feeling passed through him and dissipated immediately.  “I never did get your name.”

“Vetis.”  He smiled, revealing perfect teeth.  “I’ll see you inside of a month, Hermes.”  Then he was gone, as though he had never been.

*

Later that day, Artemis’ Forest

Dappled sunlight bathed the floor of the clearing, clearly illuminating the elk that fed on the vegetation.  A hundred yards away, a beautiful young goddess drew an arrow back on her silver bow, sighting the elk.  The instant before she released, an arrow whistled past her, striking the elk and killing it instantly.

She whirled, not sure whether she wanted to congratulate or kill the person who had managed to get this close to her without her noticing, and then stolen her kill.  When she saw who had done it, all thoughts of murder were put out of her mind.

The man who held the bow had noticed her when she turned, and now had fallen to one knee, looking at the ground.  “Forgive me, Huntress.  I did not know you hunted that elk.”

Artemis approached him and tipped his head up with one end of her bow.  His face rivaled her brother’s, and seemed comfortably familiar to her.  And his hunting skill clearly deserved respect.  “No forgiveness needed.  Only a name.  Who are you?”

“My name is Vetis, Huntress.”

“Where did you learn to hunt?  No mortal has ever been able to steal a kill from me before.”

“I learned from my father, who would not tell me where he learned.  Since I could hold a bow, I have hunted.”

Artemis smiled at him.  “Rise, Vetis.  You have this day earned the respect of a goddess.”

He rose, looking at her in mingled awe and respect.  “Thank you, Huntress.”

She smiled again.  “You may call me Artemis.”

This time he returned her smile, and Artemis felt as though she had known him forever.  “Thank you, Artemis.”

A faint blush crept up her neck, though she wasn’t entirely sure why.  “Would you like to hunt with me, Vetis?”

“I would be honored, Artemis.”

*

Three weeks later, on Olympus

“I tell you, Father, I do not like it.”

Apollo paced the throne room, his gaze fixed on the seeing pool in the center, which showed Artemis hunting with the mysterious human, Vetis.  “We know nothing of him, yet he has won his way closer to Artemis than anyone since Orion.  I fear I may have to treat this one the same.”

Zeus waved a massive hand.  “Fear not, Apollo.  Artemis learned her lesson from Orion’s death.  She will not fall for another mortal.”

“Your arrogance always has been your weakness, Father!” Apollo snapped, whirling to glare at Zeus.

“And your insolence and rashness has always been yours!”  Lightning punctuated Zeus’ roar, cracking above his head.

Apollo subsided.  “Yes, Father…”  As he turned towards the pool again, Hermes rushed in with an urgent message, and the three gods left the mountain together.

When the returned a few hours later, Apollo again commanded the pool to show him Artemis.  The clear waters darkened, but no image appeared.

“Show me Artemis!”

The darkness remained.  Apollo hurled profanities and obscenities, grabbing his bow and running for the edge of Olympus.  “I will find her, and when I do, this Vetis will die!”  He leapt from the mountain and took the form of a hawk, flying to earth below.

*

Somewhere between the Underworld and Earth

Vetis chuckled as he brushed a stray lock of Artemis’ hair out of her face.  The beautiful young goddess slept soundly, a faint smile on her face.  Vetis chuckled again.  “All too easy.”

A noise at the entrance to his lair made his smile grow.  “That will be Apollo, come to ‘avenge his sister’s disgrace,’ I’d wager.”  He teleported to stand outside his entrance, behind Apollo, who attempted to force entry.  “You can push all you like, that door is never going to move.”

Apollo whirled.  “You!  Insolent mortal.  I’ve come to destroy you and avenge my sister’s disgrace!”

Vetis laughed at how predictable Apollo turned out to be.  “Foolish god.  Do you really still believe me to be a mortal?”

Some of Apollo’s fury changed into confusion.  “Not…  Not a mortal?”

“I am the third child of Chaos.  I am Corruption.  When I first came to be, I was helpless as a newborn babe.  But every act of darkness made me stronger.  By the time Zeus committed patricide, I was the equal of the Titans.  By the time Pandora opened her box, I was the equal of the gods.  Since then, I have grown still stronger.  If you’re smart, you will accept that your sister is now my bride, and you will not attempt to stop me in my plans.”

Apollo’s face had paled.  “This is impossible…”

“Not only possible, but true.  Now, will you submit, or must I destroy you?”

“No…”  Apollo drew his bow. “No!  You have violated my sister!  I shall end you!”  He drew back an arrow, aiming at Vetis’ heart, and fired.

It passed through him as though he didn’t exist.  “Young fool.”  Vetis reached out and grabbed Apollo by the throat.  Agony ripped through the god, and he cried out, writhing in pain, as he burned from within.

Minutes later, Vetis tossed aside a withered husk that had once been a god, looking much like a man who has just completed a hearty meal.  He returned to Artemis’ bedchamber and found her awake.  “I heard screams.  Apollo’s screams.  What happened?”

Vetis sat on the bed beside her.  “He said he thought you had learned your lesson from Orion, and that he intended to severely punish you for this.  I tried to stop him, and we struggled, and he forced me to kill him.”  As he spoke, he reached into Artemis’ mind, very slightly altering her memories of Apollo to make the tale believable.

“No…”  She wept, laying her head on Vetis’ shoulder and letting him soothe her.  “Apollo…  My brother…”

After a few hours, she calmed down and returned to sleep.  Vetis walked into the main chamber of his home and sat on his throne.  “Hermes.”

The god appeared before him.  “Wow.  You actually pulled it off.  I’m astonished.”  He offered Vetis a sweeping bow.  “At your service, my lord.”

Vetis smiled darkly.  “The first thing you are to do is to take a message to Ares and Hades…”

*

Several hours later, in Vetis’ throne room

“You’re mad.  Even with the five of us, the others are too powerful.”  Hades shook his head.  “Zeus would be delighted with an excuse to destroy me.”

“Don’t be a coward, uncle!” Ares exclaimed.  “We could do it!  Vetis says he destroyed Apollo single-handedly, no challenge at all!  We could do it!”

Hermes nodded.  “And we would have the advantage of surprise.  That has more weight than you might think.”

“I could incapacitate Zeus with my first shot,” Artemis added, “while we’re surprising them.”

“No.”  Vetis shook his head.  “Not Zeus.  Athena must be struck down first.  She’s the only one who could rally and direct the other gods against us.  Bring her down first, and Zeus loses his wisdom and cannot defeat us.”

Ares nodded.  “After Athena, who is next in priority?”

Vetis etched their names in the stone floor with a stream of dark fire from his fingertip.  “I’ll handle Zeus.  I want to save him for last.  So after Athena would come Poseidon.  Demeter, Hestia, and Aphrodite are all non-combatants.  They could only lend their support to those that opposed us.”

“Aphrodite will assist us,” Ares said, chuckling.  “Anything to be rid of that ugly husband of hers.”

“While I certainly wouldn’t object to you taking Aphrodite from Hephaestus, I do think I can recruit him.  I know I can recruit Dionysus.”

“That would mean Poseidon is the only real opponent we face.”

“Exactly.”  Vetis leered.  “Easily accomplished.  What say you, Hades?”

The god of death shifted in his seat, pondering.  Finally he said, “If we do this… I could have Persephone all year.”

Vetis nodded.

“Then let’s do this.”

*

Less than an hour later, on Olympus

Ares and Hermes entered the throne room, greeting the others as though nothing had happened.  Ares went over to Hephaestus and began conversing with him, while Hermes delivered a small chest to Dionysus.  A minute later, Dionysus was grinning like a fool and Hephaestus nodded to Ares.  At that nod, a column of black fire burst from the floor of the throne room, spreading over their heads to blot out the sun.

Hades stepped from this blaze, smirking at Zeus, as a silver arrow flew from another part of it, striking Athena in the head.  She collapsed as Zeus and Poseidon jumped to their feet.  “Hades, what is the meaning of this?” Zeus thundered.

“Change in management, dearest brother.”  A bolt of black lighting struck Zeus, imprisoning him in a cage of the stuff, as Hades and Ares both attacked Poseidon.

The column of black fire shrank and solidified into Vetis, in his true, terrible form.  He stood twenty feet high, matching the mighty Olympians, and horns crowned his demonic visage.  Large skeletal wings unfolded from his back, crackling with the purple flames that wreathed his entire body.

He turned his piercing gaze on Demeter, Hera, and Hestia.  In Demeter he detected a strong will, and a threat.  He destroyed her with fire.  Hestia, however strong she may be, had no plans to resist this.  She merely kept the hearth.  Vetis spared her.  Hera did not notice him at first, absorbed as she was in trying to free Zeus.  She did not notice him at all, in fact, until his cursed blade pierced her heart, slaying her.

By this time, Ares and Hades had slain Poseidon.  Aphrodite lounged on her throne, watching Ares.  Dionysus still enjoyed the effects of the intoxicating drug Hermes had brought, and Hermes seemed to be enjoying watching him babble.  Hephaestus had averted his eyes from the battle, and tinkered with some gadget.  Artemis stood beside Vetis, smiling grimly at their victory.

Vetis approached Zeus, gripping his sword.  “This sword was forged from the scythe of my nephew, Cronos.  I will use it on you for the same purpose you used it on him.”

And he cut Zeus into small fragments and cast those fragments into Tartarus.  He sank into Zeus’s throne, and it turned from gold to black, though it retained its luster.  The corruption spread throughout all Olympus, and then began to leak to earth.  Thus began the Age of Darkness.

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