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Another Whacky Theory (This time with Greek Gods!)


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I'm not as hung up on this as my other theory http://nightly.net/topic/77688-ramon-atilas-decade-pattern-theory/ but the notion struck me and it's been nagging at me. There's been some debates on this online so I bring this to you. Please keep an open mind.

 

Could the Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greece (Zeus et all) have been based on real people?

 

The Greek Mythology starts off with titans roaming the earth, and then there was the emergence of the Gods. Here's an idea: maybe the ancient people were having an existential crisis. Maybe they were the titans they spoke of? Imagine a Greek spotting a little fly with bulging eyes and a little moustache like a human and the Greek thinking 'What are we?'

 

Then these emerging 'Gods' being emerging celebrities. Why would they call them Gods? Well, because they weren't politicians, they weren't war generals and they weren't businessmen yet EVERYONE was talking about them and they held so much influence. Imagine Zeus being a real guy giving motivational speeches, helping Greece through an identity crisis by declaring what things are or how they should be, like a religious leader, and the Greeks deciding 'You are too important to us to be working, Zeus! You will live in a big palace and keep saying motivational things!'

 

And the everyday blue-collar Greek being too stupid to understand the brilliant things a man like Zeus could say so using metaphors to explain their influence, like Zeus striking down lightening from Mt. Olympus?

 

And then somewhere along the way all this being lost in translation so today we say these people were works of fiction?

 

Any thoughts/ arguments on why this could or could not be true?

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^There's that fact, too. Lazer swords. Lazer swords. Lazer swords. Say it enough, you get used to it. I hope Episode VII only refers to them as lazer swords, just to annoy Cerina.

I don't think the Greek Pantheon is based on real people so much as common personality archetypes and the way they tend to interact with each other.   How many of us know guys kind of like Zeus - ove

Because we're not a peer reviewed technical journal.

You keep using that word. It does not mean what you think it means. You're speculating, not theorizing.

 

Human imagination is the only thing needed to create the stories of the Greek gods. Or the Norse ones, or Mayan, or the Abrahamic one. No seed of anything that really happened is necessary. Human imagination is sufficient to the task.

 

Though it does make me want to learn how far back the Greek mythology goes.

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I don't think the Greek Pantheon is based on real people so much as common personality archetypes and the way they tend to interact with each other.

 

How many of us know guys kind of like Zeus - overbearing and imperious and kind of oblivious to the realities suffered by the peons under his command. Like Ares - touch and macho and physical. Like Hades - dark souled and melancholy. Like Hermes - impulsive and whimsical? Like Apollo - dour and hard working.

 

How many of us know women kind of like Hera - proud matriarch and a bit domineering and on the possessive side. Like Aphrodite - sensual. Like Persephone - sweet and innocent. Like Hestia - eccentric, artsy and cat lady-ish. Like Artemis - staunchly feministic. Like Athena - more of a man than you'll ever be.

 

Me and my wife basically WERE Hades and Persephone when we first met. Mrs. Kurgan has become quite Demeter like these days, mind you, obsessing over whether or not every child in her life (myself included) has had enough to eat. My mother in law is Hera to a T. Every unsightly, but solid and loyal nerd who ever resented the jocks for getting the hot chicks was reflected in Hephaestus's love for Aphrodite - who like every cheerleader would rather go for Ares, your typical football quarterback type.

 

You gotta hand it to the ancient Greeks - they did it all first. Told every story really worth telling. From there, it's just regional and cultural variations on the same themes.

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Can we PLEASE drop the "I'm so smart that I can only use a word to mean one thing and screw the dictionary" attitude? The word theory does have definitions and usage beyond the technical terminology. We all have words that mean something in our profession that don't have the same meaning outside of our areas of expertise.

 

As for whether or not the Greek gods are based on real people, I would guess that there's probably a bit of both - either a single individual or as a few individuals with similar personalities that represented something to early Greeks. There are some ideas that help foster such an idea, such as some humans being deified. But, alas, it's little more than a nifty thought at this time, because we're too far from the origin and there's too little evidence, unless something turns up somewhere.

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He is using the word correctly.

 

theory - noun

an idea or set of ideas that is intended to explain facts or events

an idea that is suggested or presented as possibly true but that is not known or proven to be true

the general principles or ideas that relate to a particular subject

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Can we PLEASE drop the "I'm so smart that I can only use a word to mean one thing and screw the dictionary" attitude? The word theory does have definitions and usage beyond the technical terminology. We all have words that mean something in our profession that don't have the same meaning outside of our areas of expertise.

There are plenty of other words in the English vocabulary to use that would better describe RA's musings. The abuse of the word theory by the general public is probably the primary reason so many people are scientifically illiterate. Every brilliant and useful theory scientists come up with can be dismissed with "it's just a theory" by the general public when they don't like the implications. "Evolution is just a theory." So are gravity, plate tectonics, and quanta, and they are much more than just "guesses".

 

But, hey, maybe I'll just start abusing English, too. From now on flashlights are to be called "lazer swords" because light comes out the end, just like the Jedi weapon. They must be the same because they're so similar (in my mind)!

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I'm with you pavonis, it's because of these mixed meanings that "theory" is treated so casually by science skeptics. With that said, I don't think Ramon was asserting that he had a scientific theory established through replicated hypothesis testing.

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Yes. Let's just completely change the English language and the definitions of words because some of us are so hung up on ONE SPECIFIC meaning that we can't bring our tiny little brains to comprehend some other meaning of the same word.

 

Homonyms must make you want to rip your faces off.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

I don't think the Greek Pantheon is based on real people so much as common personality archetypes and the way they tend to interact with each other.

 

How many of us know guys kind of like Zeus - overbearing and imperious and kind of oblivious to the realities suffered by the peons under his command. Like Ares - touch and macho and physical. Like Hades - dark souled and melancholy. Like Hermes - impulsive and whimsical? Like Apollo - dour and hard working.

 

How many of us know women kind of like Hera - proud matriarch and a bit domineering and on the possessive side. Like Aphrodite - sensual. Like Persephone - sweet and innocent. Like Hestia - eccentric, artsy and cat lady-ish. Like Artemis - staunchly feministic. Like Athena - more of a man than you'll ever be.

 

Me and my wife basically WERE Hades and Persephone when we first met. Mrs. Kurgan has become quite Demeter like these days, mind you, obsessing over whether or not every child in her life (myself included) has had enough to eat. My mother in law is Hera to a T. Every unsightly, but solid and loyal nerd who ever resented the jocks for getting the hot chicks was reflected in Hephaestus's love for Aphrodite - who like every cheerleader would rather go for Ares, your typical football quarterback type.

 

You gotta hand it to the ancient Greeks - they did it all first. Told every story really worth telling. From there, it's just regional and cultural variations on the same themes.

I agree with this, and this is also true of almost any polytheistic religion, actually. I think the reason the Greek legends and myths are still with us today is that they are not only very relate-able and colorful, but many of the stories are still relevant, with regards to understanding human nature.

 

Also, while I don't think any one real life person can be attributed as the inspiration of any of the Greek gods (indeed even if they were, it would be impossible to prove it...historians can't even agree on who may have been the historical basis of King Arthur, let alone the Greek gods), Greek mythos and various deities were influenced by older civilizations. Broadly speaking, gods and goddesses like Zeus (sky\weather god), Ares (god of war), Apollo (son god), Poseidon (sea god), Hades (underworld\death god) all have their equivalents in the Ancient Egyptian, Sumerian\Babylonian, Indian, and other Indo-European myths and legends, and depending on the Greek god or goddess, were directly borrowed or influenced by a variety of those older civilizations.

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Yes. Let's just completely change the English language and the definitions of words because some of us are so hung up on ONE SPECIFIC meaning that we can't bring our tiny little brains to comprehend some other meaning of the same word.

 

Homonyms must make you want to rip your faces off.

Non sequitur.

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Also, while I don't think any one real life person can be attributed as the inspiration of any of the Greek gods (indeed even if they were, it would be impossible to prove it...historians can't even agree on who may have been the historical basis of King Arthur, let alone the Greek gods), Greek mythos and various deities were influenced by older civilizations. Broadly speaking, gods and goddesses like Zeus (sky\weather god), Ares (god of war), Apollo (son god), Poseidon (sea god), Hades (underworld\death god) all have their equivalents in the Ancient Egyptian, Sumerian\Babylonian, Indian, and other Indo-European myths and legends, and depending on the Greek god or goddess, were directly borrowed or influenced by a variety of those older civilizations.

For what it's worth, wikipedia has a write up about the proto Indo-European religion. It could be that they all traced a direct ancestry back to one base faith that originated in one place, or it could be that the archetypes employed are universal just as human nature itself is universal; what Jung called the "collective unconscious."

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Yes. Let's just completely change the English language and the definitions of words because some of us are so hung up on ONE SPECIFIC meaning that we can't bring our tiny little brains to comprehend some other meaning of the same word.

 

Homonyms must make you want to rip your faces off.

Non sequitur.

 

But a COOL one.

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