In a world where reading, writing and arithmetic can take priority at school, it is easy for history or classics to be overlooked. Time & Leisure Junior spoke to one local parent who has drawn on her own background for her writing. We asked Ekaterina why Greek mythology is such a rich source of material for children.

When it comes to teaching our children the subject of history, fact disguised as literary fiction is an easy way to feed children important morsels from bygone times. Greek mythology may be fantasy and fairytale but can be just as educational as historical fact.

From astronomy to chemistry, mathematics to science, so much of our education derives from the teachings of Ancient Greece. Literal references to Greek mythology are everywhere from terms like ‘the Midas touch’, to ‘Achilles’ heel’. Without a basic knowledge of Greek mythology, these phrases would be meaningless.

Good versus evil For young children, Greek mythology is a vital way to teach them about humanity, virtues and the lifelong dichotomy of ‘good versus evil’.

Emotions like jealousy and anger, that can be difficult to explain to innocent minds, are addressed time and time again in Greek mythology. Through the behaviour of the characters, children are able to identify these emotions. Virtues such as wisdom, courage and a sense of right and wrong are easily identifiable in the stories. Courage in the face of adversity, hope when all seems lost, and love in a world of hate are at the moral core of many of the Greek myths.

No barriers to equality Greek mythology also has no barriers to equality amongst men and women. Six of the twelve

Olympian gods are men and six are women. Whilst it is true that most of the tales feature men as the heroes, the women are portrayed as highly intelligent, skilled and cunning. It is Ariadne who helps Theseus find his way in the labyrinth of the minotaur, and the Witch-Maiden

Medea saves Jason’s life on several occasions as well as helping him to retrieve the Golden Fleece. Many of the female characters are warriors and huntresses and the goddess Athena herself embodies one of the most important of the cardinal virtues: wisdom.

Addressing universal issues Compelling and insightful, Greek mythology is not just a maze of fable and fiction. It addresses universal issues that we may all face in life, and allows for critical and philosophical thought of situations that we might otherwise find too complex to explain to young minds.

Ekaterina Botziou Pilalis is a Wimbledon author and has recently published her first Greek mythological children’s book ‘The Adventures of Omicron: The Temple of Olympus’ available from Amazon worldwide. She has published several other books including a re-telling of all the Greek myths and legends for adults ‘Theseus and the Mother-in-Law’.


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