The terrible monster – Medusa

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The mythological stories of ancient Greece feature a variety of captivating elements: fearsome monsters such as Medusa and Hydra, daring heroes like Perseus and Hercules, and awe-inspiring gods such as Zeus and Athena. Edith Hamilton’s Mythology not only provides entertainment but also includes numerous Greek values and morals that serve as enlightening lessons for the reader. Scholars frequently delve into these values to gain a deeper understanding of the ancient Greek culture.

One notable value depicted in Greek myths is hospitality. This value is exemplified when a Greek individual is welcomed into another person’s home and treated as a member of their family. An illustrative instance of such hospitality occurs when Dictys, an old fisherman, finds a chest containing Dana and Perseus and invites them to live with him and his wife. As stated in the text, “They had no children and they cared for Dana and Perseus as if they were their own” (148).

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Without this display of hospitality, Dana and Perseus could have perished. Additionally, without this demonstration of friendliness, Perseus would not have achieved the status of a hero or accomplished the remarkable feats he did. Another instance of someone being welcomed occurs in the tale of Demeter. Disguised as an elderly pauper due to the sorrow caused by her daughter’s abduction, Demeter was discovered by four beautiful maiden sisters who, upon conversing with their mother, Metaneira, accepted Demeter into their abode.

Demeter received food and a home, which greatly assisted her in dealing with her daughter Persephone’s abduction. This kind hospitality not only enabled her to care for her son Demophon, but also offered her the opportunity to engage with others. These myths exemplify the crucial role of hospitality in Greek culture, as numerous Greek heroes received assistance from unfamiliar individuals during their quests.

A prime illustration of this type of hospitality is seen when Telemachus lodges with Menelaus during his journey to gather news about his father, Odysseus. At this point, Menelaus hosts a magnificent feast where he provides Telemachus with the desired information (216). Furthermore, Telemachus is provided with a comfortable bed in the exquisite residence for the night. Similarly, another instance of this form of hospitality occurs when Odysseus stays with the Phaeacians.

The King showed kindness to Odysseus by inviting him to sit at the table and enjoy the food and drink without any concerns. Additionally, the King guaranteed that they would arrange for his safe return home on one of their ships. As a result, the Phaeacians fulfilled their promise and successfully transported Odysseus back to his homeland, marking the end of his challenging journey. It is worth mentioning that Perseus and other heroes also experienced friendly hospitality during their own adventures.

Perseus arrived at the gathering place of the Hyperboreans during his journey to defeat Medusa, the gorgon. “They displayed immense kindness towards him: they warmly invited him to their feast, and maidens dancing to the melodic tunes of the flute and lyre stopped to procure the gifts he desired” (151). thanks to the assistance provided by the Hyperboreans, Perseus was able to continue his mission. Through the generosity of others showcased in these instances, the heroes were mentally equipped to pursue their objectives more effectively.

In summary, hospitality is a crucial attribute that reflects the qualities of a virtuous Greek. In the past, in ancient Greece, strangers arriving at a residence would be warmly received and offered nourishment. However, in today’s society, strangers are often turned away when they approach a house. One notable distinction between hospitality in ancient Greece and the present day is the absence of hospitality displayed by modern individuals.

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The terrible monster – Medusa. (2018, Apr 26). Retrieved from

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