Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More intelligent?

So I was thinking that my blogs are quite silly. They are just whatever I happen to be thinking about at that specific moment... Or maybe, they are representing me and my venting at outrageous situations... Believe me, there will be more posts like that in the future.

But I wanted to write something of substance... a little research article if you will. Tell me what you think.

In trying to do a little background check on some Greek mythological Gods and heroes, I’ve discovered some interesting “facts.” Zeus, the king of Olympian Gods, was the youngest of six children to his mother, Rhea and father, Cronus (of the Titan Gods). Cronus had children with other wives but my investigations only concern those of Rhea.

Going back even further, Cronus was the youngest son of Uranus (father) and Gaia (mother). This is where I find the story quite fascinating. Uranus (the primeval God of the sky) and Gaia (the Goddess of Earth) had 12 sons and 6 daughters. It is said that Uranus didn’t like the way they looked so he hid them in the bowels of Gaia. Now Gaia found this quite painful and when she could take no more, she asked her Titan sons to help. Sure enough, on the night of the next love-making session between Sky and Earth, four Titans pinned down the four corners of their father Uranus, and the youngest Titan Cronus ambushed from the centre of Gaia, cutting off his father’s manhood.

Cronus, being free of his mother’s belly, is now able to move on and marry Rhea. To avoid the same fortune of his father, Cronus eats all of his children as they are born. By the birth of the sixth child, Zeus, Rhea can no longer bare the pain. She saves Zeus by hiding him on an island and tricking Cronus into eating a stone dressed as Zeus.

Years later, Zeus takes revenge on his father, forces him to disgorge the other five of his offspring (now known as the Olympians) and a war breaks out between the Titans and the Olympians. Ten years later, the war ends and the Olympians win and the Titans are banished. Zeus is now the king of the Olympians and he divides the government of the world between him and his brothers Poseidon and Hades. Zeus rules the heavens and the upper regions, Poseidon governs the sea, and Hades is the God of the underworld (the land of the dead).

My original intentions were to discuss the similarities and differences between Cronus and Uranus; however I don’t believe this would be much of a challenge. Anyone can see that history repeats itself twice over. The only difference is Uranus disposes of his offspring by burying them inside his wife; Cronus ensures his own safety (so he thinks) by swallowing his offspring himself and not relying on the body of his wife for burial grounds. What I find more interesting than Uranus and Cronus is the relationship between Hades and his nephew Hermes.

Now you would think that Hades is an intriguing character because he is the Lord of the Underworld (also known as Hades, thus Hades is the name of a place and a God) after all, however it’s not the case. He’s very drab and gloomy and is described as scruffy with a dark beard and hair that falls in his face. He’s generally hated and feared by mortals, although he is not considered an evil God. Hades is depicted as a grim but passive, impartial figure. His main job is to uphold relative balance.

Hades was known to carry a staff and/or a two-pronged fork. These are the things he used to force the dead into his underworld territory. He also owned an invisibility helmet (much like Harry Potter’s cloak). Unfortunately there aren’t many stories of him actually using this power. That’s a shame. He probably just used it to recapture lost souls.

Once you get into the underworld there is no way out (only a few people have done it). The dead are pretty boring, they don’t talk aside from the occasional whisper, and they have no emotions. On occasion, Hades will allow one of the dead to drink from the pool of Lethe which erases their memory. This is preferred because there is absolutely no excitement down in Hades’ world and after the soul drinks from the lake they can travel back up to land with no recollection of the past. This is often perceived as reincarnation, and is the most enthralling thing that happens in the lower world.

Hades had complete authority over the dead and anything else (Gods or living creatures) that roamed in the underworld. He was married to Persephone, whom he also had control over but only for a portion of the year. Hades was known to get quite enraged when anyone tried to leave (or if someone tried to convince the souls to leave) his realm. Apparently he didn’t hold back any anger for those that tried to cheat or escape death. He had a few assistants to help him with underworld management, namely his nephew Hermes (the son of Zeus and a mountain nymph).

It seems Hermes was the God of many things, but was mostly known for travel and trade. He guided the dead souls to Hades and was branded as the messenger of Gods. Unlike Hades, Hermes is a happy, helpful character. Hermes protected travellers and punished those who refused to assist those that had lost their way. He’s helped other Gods in their battles and quests and has loaned out his own personal, magical items such as his flying shoes and the invisibility helmet that was given to him as a gift from Hades.

With all the Gods, the godly powers, and magical tools, you would think that this would be more interesting. It’s really not. And I’m very bored now. I might revisit this later. I might not.

Maybe now you'll prefer me venting over the mundane?

1 comment:

Danny said...

Hahahahaha, this is one of THE most entertaining blogs I've read all year - anything BUT boring! You make it sound so fun :)

Look forward to reading more when you have the chance :)