Introduction to Athena and Kain


Vase painting showing a scribe.

In the preface to Athena and Eden, I quoted great historians, scholars, and historical figures in order to impress upon the reader the importance and power of Greek culture. This introduction, which serves the same purpose as that preface, is more down-to-earth.

Every day, ancient Greek men and women came into contact with the myths that told the story of their origins. They saw them sculpted on public temples, painted on walls in the marketplace, painted on pottery used for eating and drinking, on cosmetics boxes, and on storage jars for water, olive oil, wine, and other comestibles. These myths were part of their everyday life.

In many ways each day, we mechanically think and act like our ancient Greek forebears. That is the first point of this introduction. The second point is that where they came from is where we came from. That’s why their “myths” should be an integral part of our lives as well.

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