Greek Mythology on our Greece trip

A fond memory I have of a day in Crete is when my 8 year old son and I discussed Greek mythology. I asked him if he knew that the father of all gods, Zeus, was from the island of Crete (according to mythology). My son then went into a long story about “Muthaw Ewth”  (Mother Earth) and Kronos, etc.  He told me about all of the murders of Zeus’s siblings and the goat who suckled Zeus as a baby on Crete. We also talked about King Minos and the minotaur. We went to see the Palace of Knossos which is on Crete.FH050008

I was impressed at his ability to recall long lessons of mythology. He thought he was teaching me and I let him think so. I used to teach Greek mythology to my third graders—but he doesn’t know that. It must be very tangible for the boys to apply their knowledge of Greek mythology to the environment here. FH050010 When we visited Ancient Olympia on the peninsula of Peloponnesos, we saw the Temple of Zeus (one of the 7 wonders of the Ancient World).


That, too, must’ve been beyond impressive to the boys because Olympia was the site of the first Olympic games done in honor of Zeus. They had to decipher that the games were real; while Zeus was not. Yet, the ancient Greeks’ mythology was their belief system for an era.FL040031FL040038FL040039Seeing the Palace of Knossos in Crete connected us to the mythology of King Minos, the minotaur, Theseus, Ariadne, the ball of string, etc. It helps to know historic facts ahead of time and/or have a tour guide while there because otherwise, it is possible you’ll be walking through this site thinking “it’s just a pile of rocks”. IMG_1859The latter is true for many tourists. But when you realize the incredible history of Knossos and the advancement of this place for it’s ancient time, it is spectacular! Flushing toilets back then!?  a sewer system? Minoan plumbing? hundreds of residents?

IMG_1842Suggested reading:

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths

Hour of the Olympics by Mary Pope Osborne

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