Mythical Beasts of Ancient Greece

Mythical Beasts of ancient greece

mythical beasts project

The mythology of Ancient Greece is where it all begins for most of us. The land of gods and heroes, their stories have gripped us for centuries and their messages and lessons are eternal. Greek myth and indeed many Ancient Greek inventions are still interwoven into the rich tapestry of contemporary life, the influence of its greatest writers, artists, culture, and thinkers ever present.

Why has it endured so long? Well, for a start they are damn good stories with gripping visuals, the day a child isn't excited to learn about a Minotaur in a labyrinth will be a tragic day for mankind. If given the opportunity, Greek mythology can follow us from the cradle to the grave. Beginning with Aesop's fables imparting lessons whilst we are still in the crib, the heroes and monsters excite us as children and as an adult, you could dedicate your life to the study of Ancient Greece and only just scratched the surface. It is a deep and nourishing well. It has an unbreakable grip on our psyche (which is the Greek goddess of the soul, see it's everywhere). Christianity wasn't even as effective as it usually is in subduing its popularity. Like the many-headed Hydra or Rocky, it keeps getting up. The renaissance saw it return in a flurry, inspiring artists such as Botticelli, Caravaggio, Titian, Cellini, and writers such as Dante. This inspiration continued through the ages inspiring such giants (or Titans) as Waterhouse, Shakespeare, Keats, Byron, Joyce, Hirst, Koons, Bacon, and pretty much anyone to pick up a pen or a brush.

We revelled like a Satyr in the pleasure of revisiting these classic tales and discovering new ones. The tricky part of creating this map was that we were dealing with a vast civilisation that spanned centuries, whose borders grew and shrank through its history. Some of our favourite creatures were based far outside of anything you would want to include on a map focusing on Greece, which was a bitter pill. You can read more about the decisions we made in our blog post about the map. We have managed to include many of the classics, and we hope it may even provide you a couple of jump-off points to delve into some new ones.

Find out more about the making of the map in our blog.

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