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Greek and Roman Myths (31)

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Heracles at the Crossroads
Music: Elias Parish Alvars
The gods had given Heracles every grace of body and mind, but there was one thing he must do for himself: choose how to use them.

HERACLES’S stepfather Amphitryon trained his boy in all the warlike arts, and did not forget music and letters.

But knowledge does not always confer wisdom, and after Heracles, blinded by rage, had killed his over-critical music tutor with a single blow, he took himself deep into the forest to think.

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More games: Précis. Sevens.

Heracles and the Cattle of Geryon
Music: Francesco Geminiani
Heracles must get the better of a three-bodied giant and steal his cattle.

ON the tiny island of Cadiz at the southern tip of Spain there lived a herd of magnificent red cattle, guarded by a herdsman named Eurytion and his two-headed dog, Orthrus, brother of Cerberus. Their master was Geryon, a giant with three heads and bodies, joined at the hip, and Eurystheus ordered Heracles to steal his entire herd.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Threw. Through.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Dog. Break. Name.

Use together in one sentence: Get. Little. Through.

More games: Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

Heracles and the Girdle of Hippolyte
Music: George Frideric Handel
A princess covets the belt of a warrior-queen, so Heracles is despatched to get it for her.

ONE day, Eurystheus’s daughter Admete expressed a fancy for the girdle of Hippolyte, Queen of the Amazons, a formidable tribe of female warriors who cast off their sons and raised their daughters like men. The doting Eurystheus at once sent Heracles to fetch it from Themiscyra, on the southern shores of the Black Sea.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Fancy. Elaborate.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Order. Go. Kill.

Use together in one sentence: Help. Like. Black.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

Heracles and the Mares of Diomedes
Music: Gustav Holst
Eurystheus pits his cousin against a son of Ares and some man-eating horses.

ARES, the god of war, had a son named Diomedes, lord of the Bistones, a warrior-tribe that lived near Lake Vistonida in Thrace. Down by the sea Diomedes kept a string of savage mares, chained to bronze mangers in which he gave them man’s flesh to eat.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Drive. Steer.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Man. String. Drive.

Use together in one sentence: Cousin. Meet one’s match. Lake.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

Heracles and the Cretan Bull
Music: Richard Jones
Heracles seems to be the only one who can keep Poseidon’s rampaging white bull under control.

WHEN King Minos of Crete promised to sacrifice to Poseidon whatever should next emerge from the sea, Poseidon kindly sent him a superb white bull. Minos, however, could not bring himself to destroy so magnificent a beast, so he kept it for himself and substituted another from his own herds.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Induce. Seduce.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Shoulder. Cause. Say.

Use together in one sentence: Before. Mad. What.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

Heracles and the Birds of Lake Stymphalia
Music: Franz Joseph Haydn
Our hero is sent to deal with some man-eating birds, but cannot reach their lakeside refuge.

A COLONY of birds had once sought refuge from wolves in marshy woods around Lake Stymphalia. Artemis took them for pets, and bred them to be ferocious, with bronze beaks and poisonous dung, and sharp quills they could shoot like darts. Now they ravaged crops, carried off beasts, and devoured townspeople.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Noisome. Noisy.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Pick. Hope. Tap.

Use together in one sentence: Devour. Blood. Take.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.