GODS AND GODDESSES IN
Michelle M. Houle
Copyright © 2001 by Michelle M. Houle All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means without the written permission of the publisher. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Houle, Michelle M. Gods and Goddesses in Greek Mythology / Michelle M. Houle. p. cm. — (Mythology) Includes bibliographical references and index. Summary: Discusses various Greek myths, including creation stories and tales of principal gods and goddesses. ISBN 0-7660-1408-8 1. Mythology, Greek—Juvenile literature. [1. Mythology, Greek.] I. Title. II. Mythology (Berkeley Heights, N.J.) BL782 .H68 2000 398.2’0938’01—dc21 00-028782 Printed in the United …show more content…
The word myth comes from the Greek word mythos, 1 which means “story” or “speech.” Myth is often the word used to describe a story that explains events or objects that occur in nature, such as the creation of certain flowers or animals, the location of deserts or oceans, and even the origin and cycle of the seasons. Myths may also be stories about the origins of customs or traditions. While some real events or characters may be represented in myths, these stories should not be read as if they are history. Though there may be elements of fact intertwined in their telling, these stories happen in a time and place that does not really exist, regardless of how real the setting may seem.
The Greek Landscape
The landscape of Greece has always played a great role in the development of its people and its myths. The country of Greece is located on the European continent to the east of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea. It is a country surrounded by many islands—some very small and some quite large, like the island of Crete. The Peloponnesus is a peninsula in the southern part of Greece. It is connected to the mainland by a thin strip of land, an isthmus, that is watched over by the old hill city of Corinth. The Peloponnesus is home to the important cities of Sparta and Olympia. Athens, on the other hand, is on the southern tip of the mainland