Classic Greek And Roman Myths

Here we present myths from two of the world's greatest civilizations, Greece and Rome.

The myths were an attempt to explain the origins of the world and give it order. This meant a detailed description of the gods, goddesses and heroes who they believed ruled the world.

We have drawn on a few different sources to create this great collection of classic tales.

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Ulysses and his men stopped on an island for food and rest. They were made welcome by Aeolus, who was the King of the Winds keeping them locked in a cave.
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Andronicus built the citizens of Athens a tower housing a water clock, of which they were proud. But Andronicus also wanted it to show the winds in Greece.
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Androclus was a slave with a cruel master, who he ran from. He came across a lion and pulled a thorn from its paw. This would later save both their lives.
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Jason and his men sailed for many years in search of the Golden Fleece. On their journey they were attacked by birds, who used their feathers as arrows.
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There is a constellation called Gemini. This is formed by twin brothers, named Castor and Pollux. Their mother was Leda and their sister was Helen of Troy.
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Jupiter, hearing of badness on earth, disguised himself as a man to see the truth. One evening, he entered the court of King Lycaon, who treated him badly.
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Apollo, the Sun God, had a twin sister named Diana, who was a great huntress. When Apollo was give the sun to rule over, Diana was presented with the moon.
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Diogenes was very wise. He believed that man should only have what he needs, and that he needs little. Showing this, Diogenes made his home in a barrel.
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Echo was beautiful, but she liked to talk very much and to tease others. One day Queen Juno visited earth and Echo teased her, for which she was punished.
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Athena the Goddess of Wisdom and Poseidon God of the Sea both wanted to name a city. Jupiter decreed it would be whoever brought the city the best gift.
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Long ago, there a beautiful tall girl named Clytie, who had golden hair and big brown eyes. She spent most of her time in the garden, looking for Apollo.
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Orion was the son of Neptune, the god of the sea. His father had given him the power to walk on the water or to wade in the deepest ocean without drowning.
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Long ago a beautiful snow-white bear was seen. Soon many people were searching for the beast, to kill it for its fur. One who searched had lost his mother.
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Epimetheus and Prometheus were two giants known as Titans. Their task was to make the earth as we know it today. They asked the Goddess Minerva for advice.
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Phaeton, the son of Apollo the Sun God, decided to visit his father. After many days travel, he climbed the highest mountain and saw his father's palace.
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Queen Juno lived with her husband Jupiter, in a great cloud palace. Her favorite follower was Princess Iris, who was given the rainbow by Jupiter himself.
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A donkey ashamed of the way he looked asked Jupiter to make him into into something beautiful. Soon he was turned into a peacock, but with the same voice.
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Each year Jupiter's father Saturn ordered one of his children to leave. When Jupiter's turn came he refused, creating a rebellion and Saturn's banishment.
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Sethos was keeper of the light that burned in the Pharos lighthouse. One day, he sat with his nephew Menna looking down at Alexandria and told him a story.
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Adonis was tall and handsome. He loved life in the forest hunting mighty beasts with his dogs. Friends advised him to wait until he was older and stronger.
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A group of girls were gathering flowers, one of whom was Proserpina. Bending down to pluck a daffodil, she found herself traveling down through the earth.
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In a cave by the seashore lived a wise old woman named Sibyl. One day a man named Aeneas questioned her, wishing to build her a temple, which she refused.
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Mercury, the son of the Jupiter, was so fleet of foot that he became the messenger of the Gods. When he was a baby he killed a tortoise and made a harp.
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Apollo teased Cupid about his bow and arrows, saying they were for great gods and asking what he could do with such tiny arrows. He was soon to found out.
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Juno, the wife of Jupiter, saw seven ships of Aeneas heading to Italy. Juno not wanting them to land, asked King Aeolus to send his winds, promising gifts.
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Niobe, Queen of Thebes was proud of many things, but most of all it was her fourteen children, the sons and seven daughters. But she would anger the gods.
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The Gods angered by the inhabitants of Thebes, sent them a very troublesome beast called the Sphinx. It had the face of a woman and a lions feet and claws.
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Aurora was the goddess who opened the gates of dawn, so that Apollo may ride through them. She was so beautiful, that Tithonus watched for her every day.
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Orpheus lived in the land of Thrace and he was the sweetest singer ever known. When he went into the forest all the wild animals followed him as he sang.
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Pegasus was cared for by the nine Muses. Bellerophon, a young soldier who had been given dangerous tasks to perform, managed to catch Pegasus to help him.
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The village was preparing a feast for a visit from Zeus, so refused two beggars any food. Philemon and Baucis decided they needed the food more than Zeus.
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Long ago, the poplar had branches like other trees. This changed, when one day a man was looking to hide a pot of gold stolen from the foot of the rainbow.
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Another version of the tale of Epimetheus and Prometheus, a couple of giants known as Titans, and how Prometheus was heavily punished for giving man fire.
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Cincinnatus had once been rich, but was now poor living on a farm outside of Rome. He was known for his wisdom and the citizens of Rome asked his advice.
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Dionysius was a cruel and unjust king. Damocles, who was his friend, told him how happy he must be and Dionysius suggested they changed places for a day.
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One day Venus appeared from a giant shell riding on the top of a wave. She lived with the gods and visited earth in a silver chariot drawn by white swans.
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Pirithous, the son of Ixion, hearing that Theseus was a great warrior wished to test himself against him. So he drove Theseus's cattle away from Marathon.
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Apollo and Diana were twins. When they were young, they and their mother Latona were treated cruelly by people who laughingly muddied their drinking water.
Thumbnail For Why Narcissus Grows By The Water
Narcissus was thirsty and went to a spring to drink. There for the first time he saw his face believing it was a water fairy, who he thought so beautiful.
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Gordius took his family, including his son Midas, to the city. When he arrived, in a wagon drawn by oxen, the city crowned him king as had been foretold.
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Daedalus was very skilled and created wonderful things. After he offended the king he and his son Icarus were put in a tower. Here, he planned his escape.

Sources And Further Reading

Project Gutenberg Classic Myths Retold by Mary Catherine Judd with drawings entirely from classic sources