When we talk about ancient Greek myths and philosophy, some people might consider these subjects boring, dull, and dry as dust. However, if you enjoy exploring different, peculiar, and alluring theories, myths and stories that tangle your mind with the threads of mystery and paradox, then you have to give this type of lecture a shot!
Diogenes and Plato, a never-ending quarrel of ideas
You might have heard about Plato. His theory of platonic love, the theory of Forms, or the allegory of the cave are famous. But what about Diogenes? Similarly to his rival, Plato, he was an ancient Greek philosopher. However, the main difference between him and Plato was that Diogenes proved his beliefs through his actions. He is the guy who mocked Alexander the Great. When the king asked the philosopher what he desired, Diogenes replied with “Stand out of my light”. Oh, he was also one of the founders of cynicism…and lived in a barrel for a pretty long time.
One time, when Plato cited Socrates’ definition of the ‘man’ perceived as a ‘featherless biped’, Diogenes rushed into Plato’s Academy with a poor, plucked chicken. And Diogenes told him ‘Behold! I’ve brought you a man!’ That surely ruffled Plato’s feathers!
The birth of Athena was literally a huge headache
You surely know who Zeus is, right? He is the one who wooed basically everyone, from gods, demigods, and mortals to animals. In some stories, he even disguised himself as various animals to do so.
As 90% of Greek myths start, Zeus took a liking to Metis, a 2nd generation Titaness who was carrying his child in her womb. A prophecy announced that the Titaness’ child would overthrow the almighty Zeus. So what was the most logical thing to do, in Zeus’ perspective? To trick Metis into transforming herself into a fly so he could…swallow her whole, with her unborn baby. This, however, caused the king of gods a terrible headache. Hermes, a pretty clever guy (who was also the Facebook Messenger of ancient Greek gods) called another genius, named Hephaestus, to hammer Zeus’s head. As this Hephaestus guy broke our king of gods’ head, a fully grown woman popped out. And – you guessed it – she was our lovely Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war. What a literal head-start for a goddess!
You don’t like reading thick, boring books? No problem, we have alternatives
Maybe some of us don’t really enjoy reading, yet would love to hear more. What about entertainingly (and meme-worthy) told animated stories? Overly Sarcastic Productions is a YouTube channel filled with this kind of topics. Not only Greek myths and philosophy but also universal literature, history, and Asian mythology! Their videos describe these topics in their purely hilarious and nonsensical nature. Or, you might have a thing for (web) comics, as I do. ‘Lore Olympus’ is a webtoon that uses some of these myths (mainly picturing Persephone’s and Hades’ myths) and converts them into a more modern-day alternative universe. To conclude it all, if you are reading this I surely hope I’ve lit up the flame of curiosity inside you, at least a tiny bit!