Long before they even made way onto the page, Greek myths traveled through communities in the form of song. Historians think Minoan and Mycenaean singers likely began singing these poetic ballads as early as 18th century B.C., probably slightly changing with every iteration. Eventually, some such works made their way into Homer's epic poems of the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey," which we now know today as the earliest written works of Western civilization.
Then came Hesiod, who wrote "Theogony" and the "Works and Days," which established the likes of the origin of human suffering and sacrificial practices, the Underworld and figures like Sleep and Dreams. Afterward, writers like Plutarch adapted components of the mythology during the Roman Empire, and it seems the Western literary canon hasn't been able to shake these harrowing tales since—and who can blame them? I mean, this world contains people born to cloud mothers, epic battles between gods and mortals and monstrous creatures housed in elaborate labyrinths. Gods turn humans into flaming wheels and stalks of reeds. What's not to love?
As crazy as some of these stories might seem today, the often flawed figures they present reveal an ancient people genuinely attempting to grapple with the challenges of being a human. As much as there are super-strength and divine power, there's also moral failure, jealousy and vengeance—you know, the same type of stuff we deal with today.
So, how well do you know the likes of Gaia and Uranus, Zeus and Hera? You'll have to take the following quiz to find out! Don't fear; it will take a lot less time than Odysseus' journey, and you won't even encounter any three-headed monsters or cataclysmic weather events along the way.