II. Mythologies and legends
One of the greatest achievements of Greek literature is mythologies an金豆登录d legends. Greek mythologies and legends were not handed down in written form at first. They were just handed down orally and had been widespread among the people from mouth to mouth before they were written down. These mythologies and legends are scattered or recorded in the Homeric epics and Hesiodos’ Pedigree of Gods and other ancient Greek documents. In fact, when these mythologies and legends spread among different city-states, there was no written language in Greece. Greek mythologies in book form we read today are edited and revised by the scholars according to the documents mentioned above.
1．The origin of mythologies
The Greek mythology is the product of mankind in his childhood. When people were in their primitive and clannish state, productivity was low and their knowledge about the nature was very limited. In such a context, they of course couldn’t understand the nature scientifically, so fancies, imaginations or illusions occurred in their mind. They could not tell why the sun rose in the east every day and set in the west; they could not tell why there were thunder and lightening; they could not tell why there was the shift of seasons; they could not tell why a man should fall in love with a woman. Many natural and social phenomena they could not understand. So they tried to explain these through their imagination. It is in such context that mythologies came into being. Accordingly, they associated thunder with Zeus, associated the sun with Apollo, and associated death with Hades. On one hand we may say these people are very naive and innocent, but on the other we have to think that they are very lovely, for they could think so beautifully.
2．The story of the beginning of the heavens and earth and the gods on Olympus
2-1. The beginning of the heavens and the earth
Cronos（克洛诺斯）＋Rhea（瑞亚）――→Zeus, Hera, Demeter, etc.
The Greek mythology includes two parts, one is the story of gods the other is legends of the heroes. Legend of heroes is a kind of reminiscences of ancient history, social life and people’s struggle against the nature.
Firstly, the Greek mythology is the reflection of primitive society in different historical periods.
Secondly, the Greek mythology is the representation of the Ancient Greeks’ opinion of life and nature. (Demeter and Persephone).
Thirdly, the Greek mythology represents the Greeks ‘ desire of conquering the nature.
The Greek mythology has always been looked as a golden mine or treasure for western literature and art. Author and artist obtain themes and expressing model from it. People even named the nine planets in the solar system according to the names of the gods or goddesses. This is the influence upon astronomy.