A Modern Connection with Greek or Roman Myth

Many English words are connected with ancient Greek mythology in some way.


1. Choose ten (10) words from the list below.

2. Find the mythological word that seems similar(from the list of mythological words and explanations)

3. Look up the definition of each of the ten words in a dictionary.

4. Write the definition of the word that shows the connection to mythology.

5. Beside it, write the word and explanation from ancient Greek mythology.


ExampIe: Word and Meaning: titantic = very large, gigantic

Mythological Connection = the Titans - giant gods


1. atlas 2. atrophy 3. cereal 4. cerebral 5. chaos 6. chronology
7. echo 8. furious 9. halcyon 10. harp 11. helium 12. herculean
13. hydrant 14. hypnotic 15. labyrinth 16. lethal 17. lethargic 18. mercurial
19. morphine 20. panic 21. phobia 22. psychology 23. python 24. siren
25. somnolent 26. stentorian 27. tantalize 28. typhoon 29. volcano 30. vulcanize

Mythological Connections:

Alcyone - daughter of Aeolus who married King Ceyx and then threw herself into the sea when she learned he had drowned. They were both transformed into kingfishers (alkyon)which, according to legend, build their nests and hatch their eggs on the Aegean Sea during a short period of calm waters

Atlas - The Titan who was made to hold up the heavens.

Atropos - one of the Three Fates (Moirai): the cutter of the thread of life; inflexible

Cerberus - the three-headed dog which guarded the entrance to Hades

Ceres (Demeter) - goddess of grain and growing

Chaos - the beginning of creation

Cronos - Titan; ruler of the universe; represented time

Echo - a nymph punished by Hera for talking too much; punishment was that she could speak only the last word someone else spoke

Heracles - a very strong Greek hero; became a god after he had performed 12 tasks

Hydra - many headed serpent slain by Heracles; water snake of Greek mythology

Hypnos - one of the gods of sleep and of dreams

Labyrinth - a building made by Daedulus to imprison the minotaur

Lethe - river of forgetfulness; one of the rivers one crossed to reach Hades

Mercury (Hermes) - messenger of the gods, noted for his speed

Morpheus - a god of sleep

Pan - a shepherd with a man's head and torso, goat's legs and horns. Liked to frighten humans.

Phobos - son of Ares; god of fear

Python - a monstrous serpent killed by Apollo

Somnos - a god of sleep

Stentor - a herald of the gods noted for his loud voice

Tantalus - son of Zeus and Pluto who was punished by the gods for his pride; in Hades he was placed neck deep in water which receded every time he went to drink. When he tried to reach the fruit which grew on the branches above him, the fruit moved out of reach.

The Furies - formed from Uranus blood; were spirits of revenge

The Sirens - nymphs who captured sailors by singing and luring them into the rocks

Typhon - a monster with 100 snake heads of fire; lost a fierce battle with Zeus

Vulcan (Hephaestus) - god of fire; blacksmith for the gods

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