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Myths of the Heavens


Myths of the Heavens Intro to Myth Background The Greeks and Romans were accomplished astronomers They knew of five planets and catalogued thousands of stars Almost ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Myths of the Heavens

Myths of the Heavens
  • Intro to Myth

  • The Greeks and Romans were accomplished
  • They knew of five planets and catalogued
    thousands of stars
  • Almost all constellations and planets were named
    after the Greeks and Romans mythology

  • Mercury fastest moving planet named after the
    messenger of the gods (Hermes)
  • Venus brightest object besides sun and moon
    named after the goddess of beauty (Aphrodite)
  • Mars red planet, the color of war named after
    the god of war (Ares)
  • Jupiter largest planet named after the king of
    the gods (Zeus)
  • Saturn most distant planet named after the
    overthrown father of the gods (Cronus)

(No Transcript)
Aries the Ram
  • Poseidon rescued the princess Theophane from her
    suitors by turning her into an ewe
  • However, he turned into a ram and seduced her,
    and their child was a ram with a golden fleece
    and the ability to fly
  • The golden ram went on to rescue two children who
    were in danger of being murdered
  • It left its fleece with one of the children and
    then went to live in the stars

Taurus the Bull
  • Zeus had an affair with a priestess named Io
  • One time, Hera walked in on Zeus and Io, so
    Zeus turned Io into a cow in order to hide her
  • Hera knew that the cow was Io, and so she asked
    Zeus to give it to her as a present
  • Zeus had to comply, and Hera set the monster
    Argus, who had 100 eyes, to watch over the cow
  • Zeus sent Hermes to kill Argus, but Hera
    continued to punish Io by sending flies to sting
    her and drive her away
  • Once she reached the Nile in Egypt, Zeus turned
    her back into a woman

Gemini the Twins
  • Castor and Pollux (Polydeuces) were the twin sons
    of Leda and either her husband, King Tyndareus,
    or Zeus
  • Castor and Pollux did everything together
  • When Castor was killed, Pollux prayed to Zeus
    that he would die as well
  • Instead Zeus decreed that the Twins would live in
    Hades half the time and in Olympus half the time,
    always together

Cancer the Crab
  • One of Heracles labors was to kill the Hydra in
    the swamp of Lerna
  • While he was fighting the Hydra, Hera sent a crab
    to attack Heracles
  • The crab pinched Heracles foot, but Heracles
    stepped on the crab, killing it
  • Hera put the crab in the stars to honor it for
    its devotion to her

Leo the Lion
  • Another of Heracles labors was to kill the lion
    of Nemea
  • The lion could not be harmed by any weapon, so
    Heracles had to strangle it to death
  • Zeus put the image of the lion in the stars to
    commemorate the great battle

Virgo the Virgin
  • Virgo probably represents Erigone, the daughter
    of the poor farmer Icarius
  • Icarius once hosted Dionysus, who came in
  • As a reward, Dionysus taught Icarius how to make
    wine and commanded him to teach the skill to
  • One group of men that he gave wine to believed
    that Icarius was trying to poison them, so they
    beat him to death with their tools
  • Erigone searched for her fathers body, with the
    help of her dog, and when she found it, she
    buried it and hung herself
  • Her dog stayed and watched over the bodies until
    it starved to death he was also put in the stars

Libra the Scales
  • Libra was a late addition to the Zodiac
  • In the Greek zodiac, Libra was Scorpios claws
  • The Romans changed the claws to the scales of

Scorpio the Scorpion
  • Artemis used a giant scorpion to kill Orion
  • Orion had offended Artemis either by killing her
    sacred animals or trying to pursue her
  • Zeus placed both Orion and the Scorpion in the

Sagittarius the Archer
  • Sagittarius probably represents Chiron, the
    centaur, who taught many of the heroes
  • Chiron was immortal but he was accidentally
    wounded by Heracles
  • Chiron begged Zeus to take away his immortality
    so he could die
  • Zeus agreed, and Chiron was placed among the

Capricorn the Goat
  • Capricorn may represent the goat-footed god Pan
  • Sometimes Capricorn is shown as half-goat and
    half-fish because Pan turned into this form to
    escape the monster Typhon
  • Capricorn may also represent the goat that nursed
    Zeus as a baby

Aquarius the Water Bearer
  • The prince Ganymede was the most beautiful boy
  • The gods decided that they wanted Ganymede to be
    their cupbearer
  • They gave many gifts to King Tros in exchange for
    his son
  • Ganymede then became immortal and lived on
    Olympus with the gods, and his image was put in
    the stars

Pisces the Fish
  • Aphrodite and Eros (believed to be her son at
    this point) were walking by the Euphrates River
  • The monster Typhon appeared suddenly, and the two
    gods changed into fish and leaped into the river
    to escape