Summary Analysis Hamilton first draws attention to the mistaken view that the humans of mythological times were innocent creatures in harmony with nature and their own creative imaginations.
Introduction to Classical Mythology Summary Hamilton begins by highlighting the common misunderstanding that mythology depicts the blissful state of man in his original harmony with nature. On the contrary, Hamilton notes, the lives of ancient people were not romantic and beautiful, but full of hardship, disease, and violence.
For Hamilton, the Greek myths are remarkable in that they show how far the Greeks, an ancient civilization, had advanced beyond a primitive state of savagery and brutality. By the time Homer wrote his epic, the Iliad, a new way of looking at the world had come into being.
According to Hamilton, this new perspective is critically important, revealing a great deal not only about ancient Greece but about modern America as well—as so much of our own culture comes directly from the Greeks. One of the most important aspects of the Greek worldview was that it was the first to put humans at the center of the universe.
Unlike the animal deities of the Egyptians and Mesopotamians, the gods of the Greeks are human in form. Not only do they possess human physical characteristics, but they embody the emotional flaws of humans as well. Unlike the gods of other ancient civilizations, Greek gods are not infinitely omniscient and omnipotent, manifesting typical human foibles such as philandering, feasting and drinking, and obsessive jealousy.
To the Greeks, the life of the gods so closely resembled human life that the gods felt real and tangible, rather than incomprehensible and remote. In this way, Hamilton argues, the myths of the Greeks reflect a view of the universe that acknowledges the mystery and beauty of humanity.
Even the most magical of Greek myths contain real-world elements: In general, Greek myths involve less strange and frightening magic than the myths of other ancient civilizations.
In this more rational world, individuals become heroes by virtue of bravery and strength rather than supernatural powers.
Hamilton contends that this revolutionary way of thinking about the world elevates humans and the worth of their abilities, making it a far less terrifying place in which to live.
Hamilton points out a downside to this rational view of the supernatural—like humans, the gods are often unpredictable.
They do not always operate on the highest moral grounds, and they get angry and jealous, sometimes doing terrible things like exacting vengeance or calling for sacrifices. Even though Greek myth lacks wizards and demonic spellcasters, there are still plenty of horrible magic creatures—the snake-haired Gorgons, for instance—that appear to be relics of that older, primitive world.
In the end, however, as Hamilton points out, the Greek hero always manages to defeat these -creatures. At the same time, Hamilton reminds us that these myths do not really constitute the religion of the Greeks.
These myths are more akin to proto-scientific stories that are meant to explain natural phenomena, such as thunderstorms or the setting of the sun. Some myths are pure entertainment and are not meant to explain anything.
On the whole, the later myths appear more religious, as Zeus, the primary god, begins to resemble the sort of omnipotent God-figure familiar to modern readers—in the Iliad, he is very human and moody, but by the Odyssey he is more wise and compassionate.Egyptian Mythology, Creation, and Iconography: Many of the Egyptian gods had animal characteristics, such as the head or limbs of a certain creature.
Deities of the Afterlife: Osiris was the main god of the dead, but he wasn't the only deity to be found in the underworld. Homer is one of the most famous writers in the world, and most readers’ first introduction to Greek mythology.
Hamilton has clearly done all the hard work in compiling each story from the best sources.
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Egyptian mythology is the collection of myths from ancient Egypt, which describe the actions of the Egyptian gods as a means of understanding the world. The beliefs that these myths express are an important part of ancient Egyptian religion. UCL An analysis of edna pontellier a character in kate chopins novel the awakening (University College London) is London's an introduction to the analysis of egyptian mythology leading multidisciplinary university, with 8, staff and 25, students · "Accounting & Bookkeeping for Everyone" is a course that covers the.
In the beginning of the book Hamilton writes an introduction to Classical Mythology and how, and why it came about. An Analysis of Egyptian Mythology - The Egyptian religion is a complex subject, full of names, stories, family tree’s, and many gods to fill each of these clusters.
Christianity and Ancient Egyptian Mythology can seem.