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where to begin?

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where to begin?

Post  AlexanderML on Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:02 pm

Hey guys, I'm Alexander, I'm a 20 year old Canadian born Hispanic male. I was raised in a very Christian household but found myself very opposed and disgusted by the religion to be honest. I was always fascinated whenever Greek "mythology" would become a topic of discussion in the classroom growing up but was too shy to ask more, i guess now i would really love to learn more and want to know if you guys could possibly recommend any text as a starting point to become more knowledgeable to see if this is a path that i really want to travel. Thanks and have a great night.

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Re: where to begin?

Post  Ελευθερια on Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:59 pm

You could start with Hesiod's Theogony and the Homeric Hymns.
Of course Homer's Iliad and Odyssey are the basics of the ancient culture (and still influence modern authors).
You could start reading a lot of the ancient texts online at the theoi.com

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Re: where to begin?

Post  AlexanderML on Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:08 pm

Thanks for the reply, is there any order I should read these in? A beginning 5 texts in order perhaps?

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Re: where to begin?

Post  Ελευθερια on Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:14 pm

I would start in that order: the Theogony first as it lays out the basics on how the world came to be, the the Homeric Hymns as it focuses on the Olympian Gods that end up ruling over the older generations.
If you are going to read the Iliad and the Odyssey, read them in that order.
Another epic to read would be Apollonios of Rhodes Argonautica.

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Re: where to begin?

Post  AlexanderML on Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:20 pm

Thanks so much, Il check them out and maybe share my thoughts on them once completed

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Re: where to begin?

Post  DavidMcCann on Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:31 pm

The important thing to remember is that Hellenism is not like Christianity, Islam, or Judaism: there are no sacred books. Like Chinese or African religion, it's about what you do.

Myths are not necessarily taken literally. Many languages, like English, distinguish myth, legend, and folktale, but they naturally tend to overlap. In the Bible, the story of Eden is a myth, the story of Abraham is a legend, and the story of Ruth a folktale. The Greeks themselves recognised that some myths tell us about the gods (not always literally), others are speculation about the nature of the universe, and some are just fiction. Thus the myth of Cronos castrating Ouranos is just a poetic way of saying that things start with the separation of heaven (Ouranos) and earth (Gaia). The story of Persephone descending to the underworld was taken by some Greeks as referring to the descent of our souls into bodies.


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