Most middle school students recognize the link between Greek mythological characters and the lessons they are supposed to teach. One of these Greek mythological characters is Theia, the Titan Goddess.
To have a better understanding of the link and lessons of Greek mythology, it is important students know that the ancient Greeks both feared and awed the natural environment around them. To them, the earth, sun, moon, stars, seas, land and the world were powers unto themselves.
Picture a single individual standing all alone under the heavens not knowing why a comet was rushing by high overhead. In those days, these kinds of events struck immediate fear of some ominous, impending mystical event or disaster to come.
Ancient Greeks needed to feel a sense of human strength as a shield against their fears and lack of understanding.
They gave weight to their need for protection through reverence toward the seemingly overwhelming powers of the universe. By honoring and humbling themselves to Greek gods and goddesses such as Theia, a Titan Goddess, they felt less fearful and could get on with their lives.
Ancient Greeks developed Theogony, that is, the genealogy of the gods and goddesses. Greek gods and goddesses are those with major and minor status. The major gods include:
. Helios, the god of the Sun
. Poseidon, the god of the Sea
. Gaea, goddess of earth and land
. Selene, goddess of the moon
. Aestraeus, Titan god of the stars and winds
. Eos, goddess of Dawn
. Uranus, god of Heaven
Minor gods and goddesses in Greek mythology include:
Depending on their needs, there were other gods and goddesses. It’s easy to see each of these gods and goddesses ruled over various phases of ancient Greeks lives. By supplicating themselves through acts of sacrifice, courage and honor, they paid tribute for protection they received from gods and goddesses.
Titans were children of Uranus in Greek mythology. According to that mythology, there were a total of twelve original Titans comprised of six brothers: Coeus, Crius, Cronus, Hyperion, Iapetus and Oceanus. There were six Titan sisters, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Rhea, Tethys, Theia and Themis.
Theia, Titan Goddess of Light
Theia was also known to ancient Greeks as Euryphaessa, which defines as wide shining. Her name was originally known to mean divine and goddess. She is seen at the Great Altar of Pergamon in Berlin, Germany in a frieze fighting at Helios back.
Theia was believed to be the daughter of Uranus and Gaea. With her consort and brother, Hyperion, they were the parents of two goddesses Selene, Eos and the god Helios.
How to Relate Theia to the Ancient Greek Beliefs
It is fairly easy to see how lack of knowledge of the world around ancient Greeks led them to conclude that natural events were controlled by gods and goddesses. From this lesson of lack of knowledge, comes the importance of education.
However, it is also easy to imagine that a sudden eclipse of the sun would indicate to ancient Greeks that Helios, god of the Sun needed support from Theia, the goddess of light to deal with Erebus, the Greek god of darkness who brought upon the sudden darkness of a solar eclipse. Simplistically, this is a lesson that teaches the importance of science that helps us to avoid needless fears when a natural event like a solar eclipse occurs.
Theia, as the mother of moon goddess Selene, also relayed fears of Erebus bringing about the darkness of night while Selene provided sufficient moonlight to dispel fear of night’s blackness.
Titanic Strength to Protect Ancient Greeks
Today, it may seem a stretch of imagination that brought about ancients’ fears of a natural environment were unwarranted.
Yet, the true lesson of Greek mythology and the goddess Theia lie with her Titan ability to provide a sense of security that the unknowable universe was not dangerous if one held strong beliefs in powers greater than themselves.
Applying Greek Mythology to Modern Times
Human insecurity is part of human existence. It is only through examples provided by Theia, Uranus, Helios, Selene and Eos that we can apply Greek mythology in context with modern times.
We may not require gods and goddesses to provide a sense of personal security. We have our ability to educate ourselves throughout our lives by adapting ancient concepts of Greek mythology to events and daily living on a philosophical basis.
Theia’s Purpose in Greek Mythology
Knowing Theia’s purpose in mythology was to instill a sense of shining light ancients could depend on.
A single beam of Theia’s light brought hope and a promise of banishment of darkness to the ancients.
Perhaps when we bask in a spotlight or enjoy the shimmer and shine of gold, we can travel back in time to the ancient Greeks and share their reverence for something as simple of a beam of light.
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