Top 10 Greek Mythology Stories

Updated on May 21, 2018
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Being a native Greek, I was raised with the mythical stories of ancient Greek heroes and their deeds.

The Horae (Seasons), by Sir Edward John Poynter  (1836-1919)
The Horae (Seasons), by Sir Edward John Poynter (1836-1919)

What Is Greek Mythology?

Greek mythology is a body of myths and teachings that belong to the ancient Greeks. The stories concern their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, as well as the cultural significance of their rituals and practices. Mythology was part of the religions of ancient Greece, which were often broken up into multiple cults that worshipped individual gods.

Today, the mythology of the Greeks still holds a firm place in academic curricula and popular culture. As you may have noticed, Greek myths and legends make for some of the most successful movies, books and works of art. This is probably because Greek myths speak to the timeless elements inherent in human nature, as various schools of psychology have demonstrated time and again.

This article will provide a brief introduction to some of the most popular Greek myths, starting with primitive gods with their raw, natural forces, to demi-gods and their human offspring. These stories will walk us through beauty, ugliness, and the millions of faces of human life.

Top 10 Greek Mythology Stories

  1. The Legend of Prometheus
  2. The Odyssey
  3. Pandora's Jar
  4. Heracles
  5. Jason and the Argonauts
  6. The Trojan War
  7. Theseus and the Minotaur
  8. Demeter and Persaphene
  9. Orpheus and Eurydice
  10. Oedipus the Theban

Heracles frees Prometheus, by Christian Griepenkerl (1839-1912)
Heracles frees Prometheus, by Christian Griepenkerl (1839-1912)

1. The Legend of Prometheus

In the earliest days of human history (let's say, the Paleolithic age), fire was considered a gift of life. In every part of the world, historians can trace myths and legends about some god or hero who offered fire to humans after overcoming various obstacles, and was thus honored as a supreme benefactor.

Thief of Fire

Prometheus was a Titan, culture hero, and trickster who defied the gods by stealing fire and giving it to humans. An act that enabled progress and civilization, Prometheus is hailed for his intellect and for being a champion of mankind.

The "sin" of Prometheus consisted of the fact that he helped humans despite the orders of mighty Zeus, who decreed that fire should remain with the gods, and not be given to men. But Prometheus rooted for the humans.

To steal the fire, Prometheus broke into Hephaestus' workshop, where the godly kilns burned and exquisite artifacts were being created for the heavenly dwellers. Some say he stole burning charcoal, while others say he stole sparks from the chariot of Helios (the Sun). Either way, he carried fire in the stalk of a fennel plant, and made the life-saving gift of fire to the human race.

In ancient Greek, the name Prometheus means, "He Who Has Foresight."

Prometheus knew he would be punished for his theft, but he nevertheless went about his self-assigned task of protecting and helping mankind.

Ages later, Heracles, son of Zeus, obtained permission from his father to finally free Prometheus the Titan from his chains.

Trickster and Craftsman

Greek mythology tells us that, besides stealing fire, Prometheus showed his magnanimous mercy for humans on many occasions:

  • He was appointed by Zeus to shape humans out of clay. His brother Epimetheus ("He Who Has Hindsight") shaped the animals.
  • He established animal sacrifice, which was practiced henceforth in ancient Greek religion. Zeus left to Prometheus the decision of which portions of the sacrificial animals would be offered to the gods. The leftovers would go to humans. Prometheus deviously covered bones and other animal parts of lesser value with "shiny grease," while he disguised all the nutritious parts of the animal by wrapping them in the less appetizing tripe. Then, he invited Zeus to choose the portion owed to the gods. Zeus fell for the trick.
  • When Zeus was planning a deluge with the intention of eliminating mankind, Prometheus warned his son Deucalion of the imminent catastrophe, and he instructed him to build an ark in order to save himself and his wife Pyrrha.
  • He warned his brother Epimetheus not to receive Pandora and her box (which was actually a jar). Epimetheus thought he was cleverer and received the girl. Male authors of Greek antiquity never forgave him this mistake.

Odysseus and Polyphemus, by Arnold Böcklin (1827–1901)
Odysseus and Polyphemus, by Arnold Böcklin (1827–1901)

2. The Odyssey

A wanderer of the seas was bound to make an appearance in Greek mythology. Greece has an extremely long shoreline relative to its overall land mass, not to mention hundreds of islands surrounding the country.

Odysseus, a mariner par excellence, fills a major role in ancient Greek literature and has inspired many artists from antiquity and modern times. His tale, The Odyssey, was told by Homer, a great ancient poet and singer.

Odysseus was credited with sacking, along with other "long-haired Acheans" (an ancient name the Greeks), the castle of Troy near the entrance of the Black Sea. After leaving Troy, it took Odysseus ten years to reach his home island of Ithaca. He faced many deadly dangers, fought against temptations, gods, monsters, waves, powerful witches, and, of course, men. Throughout all of this, he stood firm on his resolution: to live long enough to see "smoke rising" from the hearths of his homeland.

Plot of The Odyssey (Video)

An Epic Poem With a Fine Texture

Seen more closely, The Odyssey is more intricate than just the story of an earthly journey. Homer knew better than to lay out a simple, one-dimensional little story, or he wouldn't have been glorified as the master poet he is known as today.

I've read his poem dozens of times, both in English and Modern Greek, and I'm currently reading it in the original language in which it was written: ancient, Homeric Greek.

What's more, the composition as a whole, but also in its most detailed parts, is an ingenious piece of literary craftsmanship. Everything is tightly interwoven: the characters, mini-stories, themes, patterns, and images from ancient life.

Pandora, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912)
Pandora, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912)

3. Pandora's Jar

Pandora was all-gifted by the gods in order to tempt man and make him receive her, thus sealing his own damnation. Her similarities with Eve are very evident.

She was not genuinely evil, but she was curious and defiant, or that's how the official story told by Hesiod in his Theogony goes.

What Is the Story of Pandora's Box?

Before we go any further, we must expel the myth that Pandora carried a box. In fact, it was a jar, or as the ancient Greeks would have referred to it: an urn.

Pandora was forged by the divine blacksmith Hephaestus. All the gods and goddesses showered her with gifts. She was a most desirable female. Then Zeus sent her as a wife to Epimitheus, the Hind-Sighted, giving her a sealed jar as dowry for the marriage. Pandora was instructed not to open the vessel under any circumstances.

But Pandora could not refrain from lifting the lid. She released from her jar all the evils that would torture mankind for eternity. Knowing Pandora's curiosity would prevail, this was Zeus's method of taking revenge on humans for the gift of fire that her brother-in-law, Prometheus, gave to mankind.

Scholars claim that the story originated from an earlier mythological substratum in which Pandora was a great goddess and provider of gifts that made life and culture possible. According to these scholars, the entities released from her urn were not evils, but cultural gifts.

The tale of Hesiod may have been a later invention, promoting patriarchal ethics that gave women an inferior and dependent position.

In Hesiod's story, Pandora brought with her a "pithos," or a big clay jar, when the god Hermes escorted her to Epimetheus. In symbolic language, the earthen jar may represent the female uterus.

This points to an interpretation of Pandora as a symbol of fecundity, prosperity, and life. According to this interpretation, we could consider that her name, the all-gifted, refers to the gifts she brings men, and not to the gifts that the gods bestowed on her.

4. Heracles

Many are familiar with the similar sounding, "Hercules." We are not concerned with this man here, for he belongs to the Romans, who appropriated his name from the Greek, "Heracles."

A Demi-God Who Ascended to Olympus

Heracles literally means, "The glory of Hera." The myth goes that Hera, the godly wife of Zeus, was extremely jealous of her consort's affair with Queen Alcmene of Thebes, mother of Heracles, and avenged herself by making life miserable for Alcmene's demi-god son.

There are plenty of myths about Heracles. To begin with, he was conceived by Alcmene, Queen of Thebes, while her husband was away on an expedition. That did not make her exactly an adulteress though, because Zeus disguised himself as king Amphitryon and impregnated her. Amphitryon arrived later that night and fecundated his wife with Heracles' twin brother, Iphicles.

The two boys were as different as day and night. Zeus' son was strong and stout and fearless, while his all-human brother, seed of a cheated husband, was small and whiny. One night, wanting to get rid of the boy, Hera sent two large snakes to drown him. Iphicles woke up and started to cry. Heracles strangled the snakes with his bare hands.

Serving a Penance for His Crime

Herakles married the Princess Megara of Thebes and had two sons with her. But he was not to find any rest, for Hera still carried a vengeance. The goddess inflicted him with a fit of madness, causing him to kill his own children.

When he came to, overcome with grief, he took to the Oracle of Delphi to have Pythia instruct him on how to expiate himself. The sentence was that he'd have to serve Eurystheus, King of Tiryns and Mycenae, for a period of twelve years. As part of the hero's servitude, King Eurystheus compelled him to perform 12 feats so difficult they seemed impossible.

The Twelve Labors

Those 12 labors consisted of tasks like:

  • Killing ferocious beasts and monsters, such as the Nemean Lion, the Lernean Hydra, and the Stymphalian Birds.
  • Capturing magnificent animals, such as the Hind of Ceryneia (sacred to goddess Artemis), the Erymantean Boar, the Cretan Bull, Diomedes' Mares (does this last task sound easy? Well, the mares were a gift from War-God Ares, and they ate human flesh), and the Cattle of Geryon, a huge monster with three heads and twice as many hands.
  • Cleaning the dung created over several years by the innumerable cattle owned by King Augeus at the Augean Stables.
  • Bringing back the Girdle of Hippolyte, Queen of the Amazons, or the Apples of the Hesperides, located in a far-away garden in the east.
  • Fetching Cerberus from Hades, a ferocious, three-headed dog who guarded the underworld.

A Greek stamp depicting Jason's ship, Argo.
A Greek stamp depicting Jason's ship, Argo.

5. Jason and the Argonauts

This famous story involves a prince claiming his throne, a golden fleece, a witch, 50 Greek heroes, and a speaking ship.

In this complex and epic story, Jason sets out with his crew to reclaim the throne and kingdom of Iolcus from his uncle. At the time they embark, Jason and his crew were simply eager to see the world around them and indulge in the fun of adventure. What they didn't realize was that their journey would present many challenges that would change their lives forever. Some would not return at all.

Throughout their journey, the Greek hero meets many notable figures from Greek mythology, such as:

  • Amycus
  • Pineaus
  • Symlpegades
  • Apsyrtus

In the end, this story of glory and victory ends in tragedy. Jason is swayed by the princess of Corinth to leave his wife Medea and their three kids. Medea, unable to bear this betrayal, kills the princess of Corinth and the three kids she had with Jason, then flees to Athens. Jason is left without anything, and seeing his ship, Argo, washed up on the shore many years later, he sits beneath it and contemplates the sadness of his life, and the glory he once knew.

Begging Zeus to show mercy on him, a lashing snapped and beam fell on Jason, ending his life and casting him into Greek mythology as a sea-faring legend.

Back in 2008, a replica of Jason's ship actually set sail with the purpose of retracing a portion of the legendary journey. Making the whole trip would be absolutely possible, if not for the refusal of the Turkish state to let the ship pass through the Bosporus straight.

Achilles tending Patroclus wounded by an arrow during the Trojan War.
Achilles tending Patroclus wounded by an arrow during the Trojan War. | Source

6. The Trojan War

Mythology carries seeds of truth, sometimes even more. Despite what people of medieval and later times believed, Troy (Ilion) did exist on the shores of Asia Minor, and the Trojan War did indeed take place in the early 12th century B.C.

It is important to understand that all of these ancient myths and stories were passed down orally for hundreds of years before storytellers wrote them down on parchment, and that they contain information that is rarely obvious, and often coded, hidden, or half-forgotten. The stories draw from various historical, genealogical, literary, and ethical sources, and trying to make an outright distinction between those elements is not always easy and may even prove misleading.

Archaeology suggests that peaceful commercial exchanges interspersed with intervals of war were quite common in the North Aegean during the Bronze Age. We must also bear in mind that the area had developed a thriving civilization based on metallurgy, and that it was a route towards the Black Sea, which was rich in metals and other goods. This was, of course, during the early Bronze Age, around 3,000 B.C. Later on, the advent and growth of the Mycenean kingdoms on mainland Greece gave rise to rivalries and attempts—as is always the case—to gain dominion over the financial networks in the area.

Troy was built near the coast of Hellespont, the entrance to the Black Sea. Newer evidence indicates that it was inhabited by a people of Hittite descent at the time of the Trojan War. Homer's Troy was a thriving city that was gaining power and wealth in the North Aegean area, thus being an enviable prize for a strong army.

Much has been said about the abduction of Helen, Queen of Sparta, or Helen of Troy as she was later called. Besides providing a very good pretext for the declaration of war, the story may contain an element of truth. Commercial ethics of the time deemed piracy a quite legitimate means of making oneself a fortune, and the stealing of women and treasures was very common on the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea.

The information related above leads us to view the Trojan War in the wider context of the epoch's life and historical movements, rather than as an isolated episode in time.

Theseus fighting the Minotaur.
Theseus fighting the Minotaur. | Source

7. Theseus and the Minotaur

Theseus was a hero of the House of Athens, long before Pericles immortalized the city's power by erecting classical Parthenon and the other great monuments on Acropolis.

In fact, Theseus preceded the Trojan War by a generation. His two sons, Acamas and Demophon, fought under the command of King Agamemnon.

Theseus is said to have been fathered by both King Aegeus and Poseidon. This is not as strange as it seems, for the name of Aegeus, or "Aigeus" in the Greek spelling, is closely associated with Poseidon's territory. We will cover this later in the section.

What Is the Myth of the Minotaur?

Theseus is largely known today for slaying the Minotaur, the half-man, half-bull monster that dwelt inside a labyrinth. Minos, King of Crete and ruler of the Eastern Mediterranean until the rise of the Mycenean cities in mainland Greece, had imposed on King Aegeus a cruel homage. Every seven to nine years, Athenians had to send 14 youths to be eaten by the Minotaur.

The third time this was about to happen, Theseus convinced his father to send him along as one of them. The Athenian prince killed the bull-man (the bull being the symbol of Crete), and Athens was set on her way to becoming the new thalassocrat Greek state.

Cape Sounion, Temple of Poseidon.
Cape Sounion, Temple of Poseidon. | Source

The Death of Theseus' Father

While Theseus was at Crete slaying the Minotaur and bringing a Cretan princess home, his father would go to Cape Sounion and stare at the sea and wait for his son to come home.

If, when he saw his son's ship approaching land, the sails were black, they would serve as an indication that his son had died. If Theseus had survived his encounter with the Minotaur, he was to raise white sails, indicating he was safe and sound. Distracted by happiness as he brought his princess bride back to his homeland, Theseus forgot to change the sails.

When Aegeus saw the black sails, he flung himself into the sea, killing himself. Today those waters are still called the Aigaion, or the Aegean Sea.

Theseus' Enigmatic Parentage

Greek mythology is a corpus of stories created throughout a long period of time, often in various places by neighboring, though different tribes. The lack of consistency is apparent in many cases, as there may be two, three, or more versions of one myth.

The parentage of Greek heroes is often problematic. Different areas and royal houses may contest their affiliation to a famous hero, or, the myth may have become so popular, and re-told so many times, that the version one receives mostly depends on the storyteller's imagination. Sometimes, however, the differences in a myth are illusory. This is the case in Theseus' story.

Tradition says that either Poseidon, the Olympian God of the Sea, Earthquakes, and Horses, or Aegeus, the King of Athens, to be the hero's father. The fact is, there may be no difference whatsoever between the two men. Etymology, or the study of the origin of words, may explain this theory.

Etymology of "Aegeus"

In Greek, "Aegeus" is actually written "Aigeus." The root "aig-" is still used today, and is found in a variety of words, such as:

  • "Aigialos," which translates to "seashore."
  • "Aigis" which translates to "aegis."
  • "Aiga" which translates to a "goat."
  • "Kataigida" which translates to "storm."

What Do These Words Have in Common?

The root "aig-" comes from the ancient Greek verb "aïsso," which is used for a rapid, dashing, motion, meaning "to shoot, dart, glance" in the same manner as light or water. Some examples of words using the "aig-" root include:

  • "Like the rushing in of waves to the aigialos."
  • "Like the furious motion of the waters and the winds in a kataigida."
  • "Like when Zeus shakes his terrible aigis and turmoil and uproar break upon the earth."
  • "Like the brisk gambol of the aiges and their swift disappearance among the rocks and cliffs of Greek islands."

So, etymology suggests that Aegeus and the sea are somehow connected, meaning Poseidon and Aegeus may in fact be the same historical figure.

The abduction of Persephone by Hades.
The abduction of Persephone by Hades. | Source

8. Demeter and Persephone

The myth of Persephone is, once more, a story of death and rebirth, of loss and recovery, and of what is dearest to our souls.

Persephone, also called Kore (Maiden), was the daughter of Demeter, the Olympian goddess of vegetation, agriculture, and cereals. Persephone was the light of her mother's eyes, and she was treasured by humans too, for she was a personification of the sprouting crop that would sustain their lives.

One day, as she was out in the fiends of Sicily gathering flowers with her girlfriends, she was abducted by Hades, God of the underworld, and forcibly married to him. Being the personification of vegetation, her abduction symbolizes the cycles of agriculture, as crops sprout in the spring and disappear underground during the winter. Persephone was allowed to leave the underworld once a year.

Roman mosaic of Orpheus playing music to animals.
Roman mosaic of Orpheus playing music to animals.

9. Orpheus and Eurydice

Orpheus was a legendary musician, poet and prophet of ancient Greece. According to ancient Greek poet Simonides, Orpheus' music and singing could charm the birds, fish and wild beasts. He could even coax the trees and rocks into dance, and divert the course of rivers.

When his wife, Eurydice, got bitten by a snake and died, Orpheus determined to claim his fair lady back from the Underworld. He made it to the throne of Hades and the power of his music persuaded the King of the Dead to release Eurydice. The only condition was that Orpheus should not turn to look back until they both set foot under the sun and out of the dark kingdom.

But Orpheus was hasty and turned his head, causing Eurydice to sink once again into the darkness. This time, his wife was permanently installed in the underworld.

Orpheus was inconsolable. He roamed the wilderness singing sorrowful songs about his lost love. On one of these depressing excursions of song, he was perceived by raging Maenads and was shred to pieces. His head and lyre were thrown into river Hebrus, and it is said that his head continued to sing and his lyre continued to play even after he had been dismembered.

Oedipus and the Sphinx, oil on canvas, by Grancois-Xavier Fabre (1766-1837)
Oedipus and the Sphinx, oil on canvas, by Grancois-Xavier Fabre (1766-1837)

10. Oedipus the Theban

The story of Oedipus is placed among a rich mythical tradition dated from prehistoric times: the Theban Cycle.

Thebes was founded by Cadmus, a Phoenician prince, the brother of Europa, and the great-grandson of the Egyptian king Epaphus, in around the 14th century B.C. One should remember that the prominent city of ancient Egypt, which rose to capital status under the 18th dynasty (c. 1550-1290 B.C.), bore the same name it does today. We should also note that the Theban Cycle is separate from southern Greece's Mycenean legends (which include Theseus and Pelops), for Thebes was at the time powerful enough to withstand pressures from these kingdoms.

The tragedy of Oedipus is about hubris, and is multifold.

First, King Laios, Oedipus' father and descendant of Cadmus, betrayed his host's and protector's trust. When an usurpation of power took place in Thebes, Laios found refuge near Pelops, the King of Pisa in Peloponnesos. To pay him back for this favor, he though it fit to kidnap and rape his son and carry him off to Thebes.

Laios deserved punishment, and was even warned about it when his wife Jocasta bore him a son. The Oracle of Delphi pronounced that the child would kill his father and marry his mother. Laios then committed a second hubris by thinking he could outsmart the gods. He gave the baby to a shepherd on mount Cithaeron, and abandoned him there. The shepherd took pity on the little boy and cared for him until he was eventually adopted by King Polybos of Corinth.

The string of hubris does not finish there. In his own turn, Oedipus, triggered by some rumors, visited the Oracle only to be told that he would kill his father and marry his mother. Believing Polybos and his wife, Merope, to be his blood parents, Oedipus decided not to return to Corinth. On his way to the nearby city of Thebes, Oedipus met an elder who contested his right to pass and, after a short scuffle, he killed him. The elder was Laios, his father, but this would not be revealed to Oedipus until many years later. After killing his father unknowingly, he solved the riddle of the Sphinx and, like the Oracle predicted, married his mother.

Who Are the Twelve Olympian Gods?

In Greek mythology, the Twelve Olympians are the major deities that make up the Greek pantheon and who reside on Mount Olympus, where they congregate as a council to discuss matters of the mortal world. A common question I receive is who, exactly, are the 12 Olympian gods. I've listed them below for your easy reference.

Olympian God
The sky and thunder god of ancient Greek religion, and the king of the Olympian gods.
The goddess of women, family, marriage, and childbirth, and the wife and sister of Zeus.
The god of the sea, earthquakes, and horses, and the brother of Zeus.
The goddess of grain, agriculture, harvest, growth, and nourishment. She presided over the fertility of the Earth.
The goddess of wisdom, handicraft, and strategic warfare.
The god of music, truth and prophecy, healing, the sun and the light, plague, poetry, and more. He is also the son of Zeus.
The goddess of wild animals, the hunt, vegetation, chastity, and childbirth. She is also the daughter of Zeus and Apollo's twin sister.
The god of war and the son of Zeus.
The goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation.
The god of fire, metalworking, stone masonry, forges, and the art of sculpture. He is also the son of Zeus.
The god of trade, thieves, travelers, sports. He was also a messenger for the gods.
Hestia or Dionysus
Hestia was the goddess of hearth, architecture, and the right of ordering domesticity. Dionysus was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, and religious ecstasy.

Depending on who you ask, sometimes Hades and Persephone are included in the list of the 12 Olympian gods. However, they are usually omitted because they spent most of their time in the underworld.

What Is Greek Mythology Based On?

Greek mythology was initially disseminated through an oral-poetic tradition in which storytellers and singers would describe the origins of the world and the lives of gods goddesses, heroes, heroines, and mythological creatures in narrative form. This practice is thought to have started sometime during the 18th century B.C.

Today, Greek mythology is embodied in a large collection of narratives and artwork, such as Homer's epic poems Iliad and Odyssey, which make up the oldest known literary sources of mythological stories, and ancient vase paintings and votive gifts that depict mythological scenes. Other poets who deserve credit for recording Greek myths in literature include Hesiod, who composed the Theogony and the Works and Days, Plutarch, Pausanias, and the many unnamed authors who composed epic poems, lyric poems, tragedies, and comedies by adapting oral tradition to literature.

Is Greek Mythology a Religion?

The people of ancient Greece practiced what is called Hellenistic religion, which encompasses any of the various systems, beliefs, and practices of the people who lived under ancient Greek culture during the Hellenistic period, which took place sometime between 300 B.C.E. and 300 C.E.

The focus of all ancient Greek religion was the 12 Olympian gods, and the Greeks honored each god by raising stone temples, statues, and sanctuaries. In this sense, Greek mythology can be considered a religion. Greek myths would have served the same purpose as the Bible does to the believer of Jesus Christ.

© 2011 NoYouAreNot

Which Is Your Favorite Greek Myth?

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    • profile image

      ventilator7 33 hours ago

      This is so badass

    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 3 weeks ago

      Hi Xtremer101,

      Thanks for the heads up. Your 'name' was in the email, no worries.

      So, what would you like to learn about Aeschylus?

    • profile image

      Xtremer101 3 weeks ago

      NoYouAreNot, I am the one who emailed you to do one on Aeschylus

    • profile image

      Xtremer_101 3 weeks ago

      Please do one ON Aeschylus....Plzzz!!

    • profile image

      ryu 4 weeks ago

      more detail

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      Myth 6 weeks ago

      That's really interesting and well written and explained :)

    • profile image

      noice 6 weeks ago

      hey thats pretty good

    • profile image

      nunya 7 weeks ago

      this helped with my projects

    • profile image

      no name 8 weeks ago

      This helped me with a school project.

    • profile image

      personintheworld 8 weeks ago

      This really helped for my Greek project.

    • Emilyocampo profile image

      Emilyocampo 3 months ago

      we are doing a project in school and i have zeus for my project really fun and has intresting stories LOVE THIS

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      FiveVirtues 3 months ago

      Sisyphus is a much better story and should be in this list. It has a lot to say about consciousness and the way we live:

      Sisyphus is condemned to the underworld to roll a rock up a hill only to watch it fall back down for eternity. That mean life after life; rolling the rock up, it falls, rolling it up, etc.

      This is the idea of most realms of spirituality called reincarnation, but his entire existence over and over is about rolling a rock.

      I first learned about this story in a college Sociology class and it stuck with me.

      Albert Camus talks about this story in terms of the absurdity of ones daily life and how the mind and ego are unconscious in the daily activities/pursuits for say a better job, a better life, a better tomorrow, better..... always wanting more. The more will never come because there will always be the wanting of more.

    • profile image

      moonnash 3 months ago

      great stories man! my fav is oedipus@

    • profile image

      Taha 3 months ago

      thank you! I just get some fun! (and, that's not for make a homework. There's only some myths to read and get some fun!!!)

    • profile image

      mythneeder 3 months ago


      I tried to help someone with a school project, and I found nothing! This only gives you a little background and some pictures. My recommendation is to find a book with the myths included in this website, then copy it straight out of the book and onto the page.

      Thanks for helping with at least some titles of myths!

    • profile image

      mexicanmyth 3 months ago

      I found this very helpful for my drama homework where we had to find a greek myth to do a play in groups and I eventually chose Pandora's Jar because I find it very entertaining and has a lot of thoughtful twists.

      Anyway, I was just writing this comment to say how helpful this really was (A LOT!)



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      Nancy Bennett 3 months ago

      Was looking Ifantides, found nothing..I really need to read to learn about. My son was killed back in April 2017 & he has been talking to a certain person who is passing the information to me...he had a small gold piece of Ifantides maybe I am spelling it incorrect really need more information..thank you

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      hazika khan 4 months ago

      its amazing

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      myself 4 months ago

      thanks this helped me a lot :)

    • profile image

      Riley 4 months ago

      very weird stuff about a jar? But cool stuff to read well done

    • profile image

      Meg Stoll 4 months ago

      What is really odd is that everyone uses Heracles' roman name, Hercules, without even knowing it!

    • profile image

      Kingpop 5 months ago

      I agree with Greek nerd.I mean,you guys forgot those things.

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      Greek Nerd 6 months ago

      I disagree with most of these myths and the choices. Athena and Arachne is important. So is Psyche and Cupid, Persues and Medusa, and Otrera and the Amazans. I am a die-hard Greek mythology nerd so whileI tend to critical I appreciate the lens and the quick overview.

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      Zues 7 months ago

      This is all wrong because the story of the Danaides is the 5 best myth of all time

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      Percy Jackson 7 months ago

      Ummmm.... most of that info is wrong

    • profile image

      yolo 7 months ago

      wow good job

    • profile image

      Lol 7 months ago

      Nice job this helped me through a project

    • profile image

      Chickennugget 7 months ago

      I loved this article!

    • profile image

      mac 7 months ago

      What about the competition between Athena and Arachne? its important.

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      annabeth chase 8 months ago

      I love the Nobody myth

    • profile image

      Gary Winthrop 9 months ago

      this is really good

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      Reiley Brown 10 months ago

      You know, Pandora's Jar actually contains Hope, and Forboding. The moral of the story is that hope is not lost, but how does Forboding get into the story? Perhaps if it got loose, no hope would be left in the world. It's weird though, because Hope is left in the jar. Also, it's known as Pandora's Box.

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      Itsyedaddy 10 months ago

      Half of the information given is wrong. Language isnt nice. For example Orpheus did not sing pathetic songs. He was thought to be better than Apollo himself. If u really want to read the real stories, read the books by Rick Riordan on Greek Gods and Greek Heroes.

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      Alyssa 10 months ago

      My favorite Greek myth is apollo and daphne, sadly it's not featured here but that's all right

    • profile image

      Despacito 11 months ago

      that was great and helpful and my favorite myth is Prometheus

    • profile image

      ReneeClan 11 months ago

      I love Greek myths especially Pandoras Box also Cupid and Psyche but Cupid and Psyche was not on the top 10 greek mythology stories...

    • Lunalover123 profile image

      Lunalover123 12 months ago

      Thanks LOVE the info

    • profile image

      Raju 13 months ago

      Can anyone tell me about book's name where i can find all these mythological stories are jumbled together!

    • profile image

      Shimon 13 months ago

      Provide some story on MEDUSA Too

    • profile image

      Thomascur23 13 months ago

      Good stories

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      420 13 months ago

      Really good

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      Denise 14 months ago

      Proud to say I grew up studying and learning about each and every one of the stories as a Greek student. Always fascinated and perplexed as if these were true facts or not......but made our little minds wonder ......BIG!!!!!!

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      erich dowdem 14 months ago

      @noyouarenot may I have your name for citation purposes

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      popcorn is better 14 months ago

      where Apollo flays Marsyas alive in front of the crowd for challenging him in a music contest.

    • profile image

      Mark weber 15 months ago

      Fascinating work. Always a fun reading Greek mythology.

    • profile image

      Bob Stone 16 months ago

      Bruh these stories are set up weird

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      annynomys 17 months ago

      I recommend these stories if you are needing them for school.

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      Debbie Cragg 17 months ago

      I had forgotten some of the terrific stories in Greek Mythology.....this was a great refresher. My interest has been sparked again. Thanks

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      18 months ago

      is it heracles or herakles?

    • profile image

      Lol 18 months ago


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      merry lilyrose 19 months ago

      I love it its so wonderful helps me understand and find more new stories keep it up woohoo loving it good job i love greek myths and legends..

    • profile image

      KHALIA SINSUAT 19 months ago

      i like it

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      :) 19 months ago

      i agree with marius

    • profile image

      samanvita 20 months ago


    • profile image

      jeff fa fa 20 months ago

      i like it

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      Eranda 20 months ago

      where is the Eastern mythologies ? i mean China, India, Sri Lanka, Japan . This stories are present in European ideologies. how can we explain as a whole world like this ? Europe is not a whole world. add some mythologies from like Indian. I think Modern world becomes in after the Mythologies. so there is no Eastern stories . so someone can explaining Europe is not modern till Today :D

    • profile image

      James vulpin 21 months ago

      Nice work! I got a lot of information and my project is now a breeze..

      Thank you and good luck for more articles!

    • profile image

      Marius 22 months ago

      This story is not real. God didnt made this stuff

    • profile image

      Bing bang 2 years ago

      It's all fake! God made the world not this stuff!

    • profile image

      shah nawaj 2 years ago

      thank u for helping me so much to get information

    • profile image

      Emily 3 years ago

      Best thing ever when you read this

    • profile image

      Niktravelfit 3 years ago

      Great lens - I really enjoyed it!

      Thanks for sharing.

    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 4 years ago

      @Spirality: Mine too!

    • alienbritt profile image

      alienbritt 4 years ago

      Greek Mythology is so much more interesting than the Bible! Great lens

    • Spirality profile image

      Spirality 4 years ago

      The Odyssey is my favorite Greek myth.

    • MelaniePaige13 profile image

      Melanie Paige 4 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Love this lens! I love history. "The Adventures of Hercules" (with Kevin Sorbo) and "Xena The Warrior Princess" are my all time favourite shows, I even liked "Young Hercules". They're probably not very factual but they are still awesome! I have a list of places to visit, and Greece is on there as my great, great grandfather (I think) was from Greece.

      Thank you so much for sharing, this lens was very interesting to read :)

    • SBPI Inc profile image

      SBPI Inc 4 years ago


      I cannot believe that I missed your lens as it is beautiful. Since college, minoring in philosgsgsophy, I have devoured every Greek Philosophical writing I could get my hands on and absolutely loved the readings.

      Great lens. Thank you - quite invigorating.


    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 4 years ago

      @SimonJay: So glad you found it useful, SimonJay! :)

    • SimonJay profile image

      SimonJay 4 years ago

      I have always been interested in learning more about Greek mythology so this lens was a fantastic read thanks you for putting this in easy chunks.

    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 4 years ago

      @kju385: Thank you, car-lover! :)

    • Alberto-K profile image

      Alberto-K 4 years ago


    • kju385 profile image

      kju385 4 years ago

      Fantastic lens, great job

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      There is no best one.

    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 4 years ago

      @SteveKaye: I'm glad you enjoyed, Steve.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      Rather than pick one, I'll note that all of them are memorable. Outstanding lens.

    • Rosanna Grace profile image

      Rosanna Grace 4 years ago

      The Odyssey

    • Legenden profile image

      Legenden 4 years ago

      Very good lens.! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      trojan war

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      RoSelou 4 years ago

      Pandora's box was a jar! that is a news for me. I love all myth they are just wonderful!

    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 4 years ago

      @anonymous: LoL

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I like Jason & The Argonauts since we have the same name!

    • profile image

      soaringsis 4 years ago

      Outstanding lens.Thanks for sharing.

    • marktplaatsshop profile image

      marktplaatsshop 5 years ago

      Orpheus And Eurydice, is one of my favorits, I think Greece is a great country, it's my favorite holiday destination, the people are so kind and helpful and I always try to talk a little bit greek, and they seem to like that.

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 5 years ago from Arizona

      I'm not sure that I have a favorite but I do enjoy Greek mythology very much. It was fun to visit Greece a couple years ago and studying their history and mythology.

    • profile image

      Pinnsvin 5 years ago

      I absolutely love Greek Mythology. My Mum read many stories to me when I was a kid and the one with Pandora was always my favorite. Wonderful lens!

    • rstaveley lm profile image

      Richard Staveley 5 years ago from Burley in Wharfedale, Yorkshire, England

      Terrific lens. The Greek myths are still great stories, as are the Norse sagas. I used to love reading about them as a child, and I still do now.

    • profile image

      webscribbler 5 years ago

      Wonderfully informative lens. The time and effort you have put into it really shows.

    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you for the suggestion!

      I keep working on the page, and I'll be adding more links to the actual Myths -- after checking out which of them tell the story like it is, of course!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Good nice list, with good quick overview information. This is more for someone who is wanting to look into mythology but isn't 100% which stories to start with.

      Personally I love basic lists like this, but this has more depth to it than just a quick list. I would call it a short list, with short information for you to make a decision. Although I don't recommend reading about the Myth here if you plan on reading the real thing, you don't want any spoilers now would you!!

    • castelloautore profile image

      castelloautore 5 years ago

      A great lens filled with many stories for all ages. We like Myth 7, the Trojan war. Stop in to visit us.

    • EliasZanetti LM profile image

      EliasZanetti LM 5 years ago

      Excellent lens! Prometheus is my all time favorite myth.

    • profile image

      othellos 5 years ago

      Excellent lens. I know everyone of the myths featured above. I am surprised that someone could put so much work on a lens. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks for sharing:)

    • PinkstonePictures profile image

      PinkstonePictures 5 years ago from Miami Beach, FL

      I think I need to revisit this - there's a wealth of interesting information and a great read.

    • ixodoi profile image

      ixodoi 5 years ago

      Great lens. Very interesting. Thank you.

    • profile image

      AnimalHouse 5 years ago

      Demeter And Persephone always has been one of my favorites. Great lens. :)

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 5 years ago

      I read a very few Greek mythology stories! I hope i would read more :)

    • Scarlet Spider profile image

      Scarlet Spider 5 years ago

      Great lens, I used to love reading Greek mythology as a kid. My favorite myths were the ones about Jason and the Argonauts, Heracles, Perseus, and Theseus. A lot of adventure to be had in these stories =P

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      nice lens

    • Rankography profile image

      Rankography 5 years ago

      Great lens. I learned a lot here! Blessed

    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you, oh thank you, LoL

      I love blending writing with art.


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