| Course Three:Mythology
Author: Sarah Hastings
Date: 06-16-12 23:34
Long ago in Ancient Greece,Zeus found a rare and wonderful object upon his throne. It was a large pomegranate made of red gold. When opened it revealed seeds,each one of which was a perfect ruby. On the outside of the pomegranate was inscribed the words "For the greatest of Olympians".
Zeus wanted an impartial person to judge who was the greatest among them,so he appointed Chiron the wise centaur to hear their cases.
As king of the gods,Zeus spoke first. "I am ruler over all. It was I who overthrew the titans and brought order to the world. Any fool could see that I am most deserving of the treasure."
Hera then presented her reasons. "I am queen over all,both here and among the mortals. I rule the sacred bond of marriage and family. Without these things,society would crumble. Not to mention I have to put up with a philandering husband. My lot is not an easy one. I think I deserve the pomegranate."
Aphrodite stepped forward in all of her radient beauty. "I am the ruler of beauty and love,the greatest things humans can have in their lives. " Atermis pushed her aside. "Well,I care for all those who are not foolish enough to follow you! Give the pomegranate to me,to show that being chaste is more important than being a silly-headed lover!"
Apollo said that his gift of music and poetry made life for the mortals easier,that without the gifts he gave their short lives would be nothing but strife and toil. Dionysus said that his wine and celebrations caused more merriment than simple songs. His gifts to mankind were greater than Apollo's because his wine inspired musicians
Poseidon said that his seas provided mankind with food as well as a way to go to distant lands to advance themselves. And besides that,he had given mankind horses that let them ride over long distances without making themselves over-tired. Hermes said that without the commerece he gave the mortals they would have no desire to travel and trade. He also protected those who kept sheep,creatures that gave mankind meat and wool. "Besides,I give messages to the mortals from all the gods. Without me,the heroes would not know what to do!"
Athena said she was greates because she invented things mortals used every day. "My weaving makes their cloth,my wheel allows them to shape vessels from clay,and my olive tree gives them oil,wood,and food. Name one who has done more than I have!" Even the usually prudent Demeter joined in the argument,sating that the grains she allowed to grow gave man his bread,the staff of life.
Ares said without war,man would never know true glory. Hephaestus said that without him forgeing their weapons,the gods would have no real power.
The arguments grew louder and louder. Finally,Chiron threw up his hands and begged for silence. "Quiet,one is missing!" Everyone asked what he meant. "Where is Hestia?" he asked. Zeus said "She stayed behind at the hearth. Why?" Chiron did not answer but walked over to the humble Hestia and handed her the gold and ruby pomegranate. "All of you abandoned your sacred duties to argue asbout who was greatest among yourselves. Hestia,however, performed her task as she always does because she knows that mankind depends upon her for the fire that cooks their food,warms their homes,and allows them to make sacrifices. She is the greatest because she considers herself least."
Moral: The most humble are often the greatest.