The History of Mt. Olympus

Contributor: Ryann Maginn. Lesson ID: 12589

Have you ever played King of the Hill? Would you want to live on a mountain? Ancient Greeks believed the king of their gods lived on a mountain, so climb up and learn about Zeus and how he got there!

categories

Mythology, World

subject
History
learning style
Visual
personality style
Otter
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

Which mountain peak was considered the site of the throne of Zeus, the god of the sky in ancient Greek religion?

Located between the two regions Thessaly and Macedonia, Mt. Olympus is 9,570 feet tall and is the highest mountain peak in Greece.

map of Greece

In total, this mountainous range holds 52 mountain peaks. In the summer months, the mountain is warm and dry. During the winter, it is typically wet and is covered in snow seven months out of the year.

Mount Olympus

In Greek mythology, Mt. Olympus was a very important region. "Mythology" is defined as a collection of stories. For ancient Greeks, these stories were about the gods and goddesses they worshiped.

Mt. Olympus was said to be the home for twelve gods. These gods lived within the gorges. A gorge is a narrow valley or area between two hills or mountains. The highest peak of the mountains was where the throne of Zeus sat.

Zeus was one of many gods ancient Greeks worshiped. They believed he was the sky and thunder god and that he could throw lightning bolts. With this belief, the story was told that Zeus fought Cronus and Titans (both gods, as well) in an epic battle on Mt. Olympus that resulted in Zeus’s victory. After winning the battle, Zeus and the twelve gods made their home amongst the mountain peaks.

Statue of Zeus

Zeus

There are neighboring cities along the mountain, but since Mt. Olympus was considered the home of the gods, people were not permitted to live on the mountain. Instead, they lived along the foothills of the mountain. The neighboring cities included Herakleion/Platamon, Pythion, Petra, Pimpleia and Leivithra.

Today, Mt. Olympus is considered a National Park in order to preserve the flora (meaning plants) and fauna (meaning animals) of the mountain region. The core of Mt. Olympus is restricted from any visitors in order to protect the area. In permitted areas, visitors can hike and explore the beautiful mountain and the history it holds.

Mount Olympus

Consider how your religion compares to the ancient Greeks.

  • Are there certain places you worship and honor just as the Greeks had with Mt. Olympus?

Discuss your thoughts with your parent or teacher and see if there are any similarities with Greek mythology.

Continue on to the Got It? section, where you will be challenged on what you just learned about the fascinating Mt. Olympus!

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