I put up a small talk about the origin of the Greek gods with some illustrations that copy statues and various paintings. Art work below!
Apologies for beginning with an image of Cronos but it makes some sense.
The teaching of mythology brings children and adults into contact with other world cultures, but it is also a chance to introduce some of the great works of art and literature. Norse mythology, for instance gives us a huge insight into the development of English in much the same way that greek mythology once found a natural home in Greek and latin classes at school.
Here is a link to the youtube talk I have just posted. Do check it out, subscribe and add comments if you wish!
What Disney added to the whole thing is significant. Just as he introduced children to classical music and dinosaurs (religious groups stopped him linking evolution to the development of man so there is no ape-man animation in the Rite of Spring, just dying dinosaurs), so too he introduced us to classical mythology. It is all oddly coloured and the Disney publicity machine went wild about a particular loganberry colour- but there is so much in the Beethoven segment that is worthy, albeit a conflation of Bacchus/Dionysos and Silenus.
Always important to remember that Dionysos was a dangerous god. I will do something later on the Bacchae by Euripides!
One of the delights of mythology is in identifying why stories arose. For instance, the golden fleece is located in Colchis, now in Georgia. Recent excavations in Vani revealed panning in the river and a gold rush that must lie behind the legend. Jason was a prospector – it’s a pre-history version of “Paint your wagon”, one of the great American musicals utterly destroyed by a film that was cast with non-singing leads. More on that another time!
The Baby Zeus was hidden from Cronos by being suspended between earth and heaven in a hanging basket, and when he cried, an army of Cretans danced furiously to drown out the sound. The is is the origin of much Cretan dancing! Zorba would be proud!