When I think of Mount Olympus, I can’t help but think of it as an elite club for the Greek gods. Think about it. The Greeks have countless gods for every little thing in life. I’ve been looking at a few on this blog for a few months now and still haven’t made a dent on the list. Out of all of them, only fifteen reside in a throne room on Mount Olympus. They rule over the others, making sure everyone stays in line while exerting their authority. In some ways, they are much like a republic government for the deity world.
But, straying from the political makeup, they also remind me of those elite clubs that have members pay for admission. The price of this club, though is not monetary, but rather a birthright. Most gods in the throne room either originated from the first god, Cronus, or were born from Cronus’ son, Zeus. In fact, those children of Zeus not in the throne room were the result of mortal/god relations, illegitimate children so-to-speak—which is also very reflective of society.
If we accept Joseph Campbell’s premise that mythology serves to teach society, then I wonder about the purpose of Mount Olympus. Does it simply exist to illustrate government structure? The few who lead the whole. Republics have certainly existed alongside monarchies for quite a while. Or, is it speaking more to society? That there are the elite, the people placed on pedestals—I think we all could agree the gods, like some celebrities in our society, did not always deserve such a rank. And, probably more importantly, should they be there based on lineage alone? Some things to ponder on this Tuesday morning.