12 Interesting Greek Mythology-Inspired Books and Movies

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Updated on: Educator Review By: Michelle Connolly

Greek mythology can be found in everything around us, from movies to brand names. Unfortunately, some people still don’t know if these myths are true or just myths, but we’ll never know. 

Let’s define Greek mythology: it is a collection of stories created by the Ancient Greeks, usually about gods, goddesses, and heroes; some are just stories, while others are based on historical facts. Myths are a type of narrative based on folklore tales that play an essential role in society. They shape communities, as well as their beliefs and traditions.

Did you know that no one knows when or how the old Greek mythology began? They believe that the stories started in Crete between 3000 and 1100 BCE. They are stories about Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes; the origins of the myths are unknown, but they have been passed down from generation to generation as an oral tradition.

As previously stated, Greek mythology significantly impacts everything around us; let us now discover how it affects the entertainment world.

Poseidon temple ruins on Cape Sounio on sunset, Greece
Cape Sounio sunset at Sounion with ruins of the iconic Poseidon temple. One of the Twelve Olympian Gods of ancient Greek religion and mythology. God of the sea, earthquakes. Aegean coast, Greece.

Fun Facts About How Greek Mythology Affects the World Around Us

  1. Did you know that some of the products you buy are named after Greek mythology? Can you guess what they are?
  • Nike is the name of the goddess of victory.
  • Amazon is named after the mythical female warriors.
  • Spartans, Trojans and Titans are football teams named after Greek mythology warriors.
  • Pandora is a jewellery brand; it means the all-gifted. It was the name of the first mortal woman.
  • Dove is a skincare brand owned by Unilever; the dove is Aphrodite’s symbol.
  • Cereal is the name of what we eat for breakfast, the God of Grain was named Ceres.

2. Did you know that the city of Athens was named after the Goddess Athena? Goddess Athena was the daughter of Zeus, the goddess of art, intelligence and literature. She gave the city food, wood and oil from olive trees.

3. The God of the Sun, Apollo had a second form as a dolphin; his name was Delphinus. 

6 Greek Myth-Inspired Books

When it comes to Greek Mythology books, most of them will give you the same information, assuming they are about the same topic. However, what makes a big difference is how it’s written, how the author expresses their thoughts on the subject, the language used, and how it’s delivered. Some books even discuss the various times during this era. Below are a few examples of different writing styles, such as humour, factual, storytelling, suspense, and much more.

  1. Homer – The Iliad

The Iliad is a poem; it’s from the 9th century. It talks about the Trojan War. It’s the book that came before The Odyssey, a book about violence and emotion, and a classic that takes you through ten years of war.

  1. Homer – The Odyssey

The Odyssey is another poem, but Homer portrays Odysseus’ journey after the war and the ten years that followed. Again, the poems show the challenge he faced to get to his family and all the bumps he had along the way.

  1. Bernard Evslin – Heroes, Gods, and Monsters of the Greek Myths

This book is said to have sold around 10 million copies and is one of the readers’ favourite Greek Mythology books. Evslin brought historical tales to life, capturing his readers’ attention excitingly and fascinatingly.

  1. Edith Hamilton – Mythology Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes

This book contains a collection of Greek myths, with illustrations and graphics to help readers follow Hamilton’s explanations. It was published in 1942 and has been a favourite ever since. Hamilton says, “Perfect for new or seasoned readers of Greek mythology, this book retells the myths and analyzes how the legacies have a lasting impact on society today.”

  1. Stephen Fry – Troy

In this trilogy, Stephen Fry did extensive research and decided to uncomplicate the history of the Trojan War and the legends about the Greek gods. His writing is entertaining; as you may have heard, he has a unique wit.

  1. Natalie Haynes – A Thousand Ships

This book focuses on the role of women in the Trojan War through the eyes of ‘Calliope,’ the goddess of eloquence.

6 Greek Myth-Inspired Movies

If you don’t like to read and prefer to watch movies, guess what?! You’re in luck because they’ve made as many movies as you want to learn about Greek mythology. Not just for adults but also kids. Let’s go back in time to remember those movies and see what you missed from the classics.

  1. Hercules (1997)

This is our all-time favourite Disney film, about the famous hero Heracles from Greek mythology. The movie is animated, funny, has incredible sing-alongs, and is unlike the usual romantic Disney creations.

  1. Troy (2004)

This film stars Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, and Orlando Bloom and is based on Homer’s Iliad. The plot revolves around the Trojan War.

  1. 300 (2006)

This movie is based on comic books from 1998; however, it does not portray the entire truth and is historically inaccurate. This film is about King Leonidas, who leads 300 Spartans to war against Persia’s God-King Xerxes.

  1. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)

This is a family film based on Rick Riordan’s teen series. It discusses the suffering that Percy Jackson, the son of Poseidon, has been through.

  1. Clash of the Titans (2010)

The original 1981 film was a huge success. Unfortunately, many people disliked the remake because some important scenes were removed, the film felt rushed, and the characters were not given their fair share.

  1. Wonder Woman (2017)

The film is about the Goddess Artemis and shows Wonder Woman as an Amazonian who is Artemis’ warrior.

Learn the Historical Facts About Greek Mythology

This is a small reminder that not everything you read or watch nowadays is true or conveys the historical truth. You can read for fun and watch movies for entertainment, but don’t believe it to be true. If you want to go deep into the world of Greek mythology, read history books or watch documentaries, or maybe youtube videos to learn the true historical facts.

If you enjoyed this content why not dive into some more historical eras – check out these articles: Ancient Rome, Ancient Egyptians – The First Woman Pharaoh, Greek Mythology – Medusa, Native American History. Victorian Era, Ibn Khaldun or Celts.

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