My Favorite Greek Myth: “Lost at Sea”


A long time ago, before even newspapers existed, there lived a group of people called the Ancient Greeks. They shared news in the form of myths; which were often passed on through word-of-mouth. These myths represented a set of beliefs and are now collectively called Greek Mythology. One of my personal favorite Greet myths is “Lost At Sea”.

“Lost at Sea” is set in ancient times when a king and queen are parting ways. King Ceyx, son of the Morning Star, is journeying to the Oracle of Delphi. But his wife, Alcyone, daughter of the King of the Winds doesn’t want him to go. She knows the power her father can unleash in a storm. Unfortunately, King Ceyx is determined to go.

As King Ceyx leaves the shore, violent waves begin to push him out to sea. Every member of the crew tries his best to stay on board; sadly, they are all forced into the water by the heavy storm. King Ceyx's last living thoughts are of Alcyone, and he prays to see her one last time.

The gods—for there are many in Greek Mythology—take pity on King Ceyx, and send Alcyone a dream telling her what has happened to her husband. She rushes outside to the shore in hopes that her dream is incorrect. However, she sees King Ceyx floating lifeless in the water.

In her sadness, Alcyone runs into the ocean and beats the water away with newly-grown wings. By the time she reaches King Ceyx, she is a bird. As she touches him, he comes back to life—also as a bird. They are united once again, forever.

This myth began as an oral tradition and was later written down. Although most likely altered from its original telling, it has managed to retain the same lessons throughout the years. And that is why it holds such importance to our society today, stories like “Lost At Sea” help us learn about the Ancient Greeks' values and beliefs as well as the way these early people spread and shared news.

[Sources: Favorite Greek Myths; The Kingfisher Children's Encyclopedia]

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