Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Athena, Ares, Artemis… Sheesh! And there’s more!

Just like we talked about how the Vikings had a very special belief system, the Greeks also had a very special belief system! The Ancient Greeks believed in what we now refer to as Greek mythology and legends. Greek mythology centered around the existence of many different gods and goddesses who lived in Greece. These gods and goddesses were the ones being honored when the Greeks competed in the Olympics! We learned yesterday that they were called the Olympics after the city of Olympia, but where did Olympia get its name? A place called Mount Olympus, which was the home of the gods and goddesses! Below is an idea of what Mount Olympus may have looked like for you to color!

Each of the Greek gods and goddesses had something that they were associated with and controlled. For example, Zeus was the king of the gods, and he was the god of lightning and the heavens. According to these legends, all the gods were part of a big family, and this family helped the Ancient Greeks to explain things! Zeus was married to Hera, the goddess of marriage. Zeus was considered the most powerful god, but he had two very powerful brothers as well, Hades and Poseidon. Hades was the god of the Underworld, and Poseidon was the god of the seas. And Zeus had a LOT of kids. Some of his kids include Athena, goddess of wisdom; Ares, god of war; Hephaestus, god of blacksmithing; and Dionysus, god of wine. Now that you know some of the gods and goddesses, head over to Deceptively Educational and print out a Greek gods and goddesses version of Go Fish! The game might just help you figure out the matching game below too!

Greek mythology is made up of crazy, wild stories and legends around the different gods and goddesses. One of those stories is that of Medusa. According to Greek legend, Medusa fell in love with the god of the sea, Poseidon. Now, Poseidon was a known rival of the goddess of wisdom, Athena. As the story goes, Medusa and Poseidon kissed, but they did it in Athena’s temple! And she was NOT happy about it! How would you like it if someone kissed your enemy in your own house? As revenge, Athena turned Medusa into a gorgon. A Gorgon was a monster that had snakes for hair! But Medusa’s curse went further than a bad hair day. From then on, anyone who made eye contact with Medusa was turned to stone! This meant that Medusa could no longer kiss anyone that she loved! See how crazy some of those stories were? But perhaps you would like to scare people like Medusa did! Well, if you cut out and color the mask below, you can!

Another crazy story of Greek mythology is that of the Minotaur! The Minotaur was a monster that was half man and half bull, and it was really, really mean! Because he was so mean, King Minos kept him locked in a giant maze, called the Labyrinth. After King Minos’ son was killed, he got angry and demanded that the people responsible for his son’s death send him 7 boys and 7 girls each year. For three years, they sent 7 boys and 7 girls, and King Minos fed them to the Minotaur! Then one year, a young man named Theseus went into the Labyrinth. He found his way through the maze using a ball of string and killed the Minotaur, saving lots of future boys and girls! Do you think you could use string to find your way through? Well, if you check out In The Playroom, you can make your own Labyrinth! Or you can try to find your way through the Labyrinth below!

Now that you know a lot of the names and people from Greek Mythology, let’s see if you can find them in the word search below!

According to Greek Mythology, the gods and goddesses only ate a special food called ambrosia. Ambrosia was a food that was not meant to be eaten by the regular people. Until now! If you head over to A Tale of 2 Foodies, you can make and eat your own ambrosia! So grab mom or dad and dine like the gods!

I hope you enjoyed learning about Ancient Greece! Come back tomorrow to start our lessons on American Pioneers! And if you have any time period you would like to learn about, be sure to let me know in the comments!

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