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powerful symbols - clothing apparel
In ancient Greece, tales of heroes, monsters, gods and goddesses formed an important part of people’s lives. They had an important function - to make sense of everyday events, from explaining religious rituals to shedding light on the weather. In short, they helped people understand the world around them.
When you think of Greek mythology, characters such as Athena, Poseidon, and Zeus spring to mind. There are also the characters who are regularly referenced in items we see everyday. These include Nike, the goddess of victory; the women warriors of the Amazon race; and snake-haired Medusa, who appears in the Versace logo.
These characters have more of a presence in our everyday lives than many of us realize, and there is no doubt that these characters of Greek mythology will survive for eternity. To keep these legends alive in our minds, let’s take a look at some of the most important and influential characters.
Odysseus is one of the most important characters in Greek mythology as he was the famous protagonist in Homer’s iconic The Odyssey. This 24-book poem follows the journey of the king of Ithaca, otherwise known as Odysseus, and his ten-year journey back from the decade-long Trojan War. This was a perilous journey filled with death and many challenges, including meetings with the likes of Poseidon, sirens and cyclops. Odysseus is renowned for using brains rather than brawn to defeat his opponents.
From infancy, Hercules was known for his great strength, but his tale turns out to be one of tragedy. Hercules was known as a demigod because he was born to a mortal mother called Alcmene and the Greek king of the gods, Zeus. The latter was married to Hera at the time and had an extramarital relationship with Alcmene, something that caused Hera to seek vengeance. Hera hated the idea of being constantly reminded of her husband’s infidelity, so she tried to cause the infant Hercules to be killed by snakes as he slept soundly in his cradle.
Hera did not know that Hercules had superhuman strength, and the baby managed to strangle the snakes in his cradle. She was not willing to give up on her murderous campaign, however, so she cursed an adult Hercules with madness, and this made him kill his wife Megara and his children.
After the deaths, Hercules went to visit Apollo, who was the god of healing, and was told that he would need to become the slave of King Eurystheus in order to repent. Hercules went to the king as instructed but Hera went to Eurystheus and convinced him that Hercules should be made to undertake 12 labors in order to prove himself.
Hercules embarked on these labors, but Hera was still not content to sit by and allow Zeus’ son to succeed. Instead, she made things as difficult as possible in the hope that he would fail the challenges and be destroyed. Hercules was stronger than she thought, however, and completed all 12 of his now-famous labors.
Zeus is the king of the gods and is also father to many characters in Greek mythology, including Ares, Athena, Artemis, Apollo, Dionysus, Aphrodite, Helen of Troy, Perseus, Eris, Persephone, Hebe, Hephaestus, and, of course, Hercules.
Hermes is the messenger of the gods, who was known for his winged helmet. The planet mercury is named after him, but this is not the only relevance he has in the modern world. Mercury rules Gemini, the third sign of the zodiac, which plays a daily role in many people’s lives and is a popular choice in our range of Gemini T-Shirts, which are available in a range of colours, including green and orange.
Hermes was Zeus’ personal messenger, and like many Geminis, is renowned for his social and communication skills. He was the god of language, communication and writing, as well as being a guide to the dead.
Hermes is not the only Greek god associated with the star signs. Ares has links with the sign of Aries, which is also featured in our range of astrological t-shirts. This collection includes a Purple Aries T-Shirt and a wide range of other colors.
The star sign Aries is ruled by Mars, and the vibrant red color of the planet was attributed by the Ancient Greeks to Ares. He is the god of war and the son of Hera and Zeus. He is renowned for his fiery temperament, energy and competitiveness, just as many Aries people are today.