10 Reasons Greek Mythology Is Messed Up

Romans had to learn how to party from someone.

Hercules Disney

Ancient Greece is the cradle of Western civilization: it nourished the world with literature, poetry, philosophy, mathematics, physics, astronomy, geography, history, medicine, and, of course, a mythology so vast and colourful it remains massively influential today.

Contrary to what many sources have made you believe, almost nothing of its innumerable characters and chronicles is Disney-friendly.

Greek mythology is plagued with sex, violence, death, and aberrances, and they are often so close to each other that it’s hard to say where one ends and another begins.

How was Zeus' love life? What really happened during Odysseus' trip? Almost everything out there has a little known, dark detail: things that were mostly results of a very different way of seeing life. A very untied way. Just ask Freud.

10. In The Beginning Was… Incest

Hades hercules
Maarten van Heemskerck [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Beginnings are always troublesome. Since humanity became self-aware, it has been constantly looking backwards in order to answer the eternal question: “How the hell did we end up here?” How is this possible at all? What made it possible? Or perhaps, who made it possible?

In default of a completely satisfying disclosure, humans have meanwhile thought out endless stories, but just a few have openly spoken of a little, if important factor, possibly even more important than the inception itself: how it continued and managed to evolve after whatever created it. We know a male and a female are all that is needed to begin building a non-asexual, totally mammalian society, but is it? At what cost? That’s when the thing starts turning tricky.

However, Greeks basically didn’t give a damn about their genesis. They do have a myth dedicated to explain the origin of mankind, but it sounds simplistic and too Biblical (yes, they came first, but the Bible grew very popular over the years) when compared to their tremendous pantheon whose roots alone could sculpt a saga ten times more epic than J. R. R. Tolkien’s.

They didn’t give a damn about telling everything as it is either, so they established an incestuous god as the grandfather of 98% of deities and beings: Chaos shaped Gaia, the primal Mother Earth, who gave birth to Uranus, the sky. Since there weren’t many options around besides primordial forces, both of them got married and had offspring. It was just son’s duty.

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Iskander Gaffigan hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.