Greek and Roman Gods

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  • ilovehomeschool

    I am reading “Philosophy of Education” by CM. She recommends reading works by Plutarch. 

    I am searching to know why I ought to read Greek and Roman Mythology to my children from a Biblical perspective.




    Our family chooses to wait until much later to study this topic. I’d rather our children know the all the names of the only true One before being exposed to those that are false.




    Plutarch does mention some mythology,  And a few of the Lives are about legendary/mythological men.  BUT by far the most material is really a study in leadership–with good examples, and bad examples, and then contrasting the two.  Most of the Lives are about REAL men, real leaders.  The material here is definitely worthwhile, and we’ve been reading them for some years.

    If you have problems with the mythology, there are a few simple things to do.  One–simply skip those few lives at the beginning that are about the more legendary men.  Focus on the real, historical men.  Second—simply preread each Life and remove any references which bother you.  (I actually recommend doing this anyway.)  You can remove in this way any salacious or false-religion material that you do not want to deal with.  (The ones that are covered by guides at Ambleside are partly gone through for you already).  Actually, when we run into the references to sacrificing to the gods of the time–excellent opportunity to point out the difference between true religion and systems of false religion.  And that they were doing the best that they had with the light they had at the time (most of the Lives are pre-Christ.)  And when a person makes a dumb decision, say, by having a priest read entrails or listening to the Delphic oracle–then just discuss how modern decisionmakers can make decisions in dumb ways, too (Like global-warmism.)  These are leadership studies.  We have both good and bad leaders today, just as Plutarch found.  In fact you might have your kids recognize a “type” in a Life that corresponds to someone today.  (My kids find this all the time.)  Prepping ahead allows you to both remove any material you feel is inappropriate and also allows you to provide historical context and look up some words that may be difficult (most of the good translations are a bit difficult.) 

    Also, we add in Biblical verses and perspective as we go.  I often have verses that apply come to my mind when I prep a reading, and so we read those, and the kids often suggest other verses or ideas. 

    The ancient world has a lot of “un-Christian” material in it, the Lives included.  However, in my home this is not a reason to reject the entire study of all the ancients, but to look at the ancients through the lens of Christ and learn what we can.  If you are not comfortable with lots of mythology, you can still benefit from Plutarch.  It’ll just take a bit of prep—but then Plutarch takes a bit of prep anyway.  Also, I see no need to start Plutarch readings before the ages of 10-12, so we aren’t bathing your littles in it either.  This is for older, serious students who want to know about leadership.  We’ve found them very provocative and valuable and have had boisterous political discussions after readings.  🙂



    Plutarch is not much about the gods. It is about the lives of people. Their may be some mention of their beliefs but from what I have read of it even that is not much. It is definitely not mythology. The point of doing Plutarch is to see the good and bad characteristics in people’s lives.

    Having said which, I don’t really have a problem with my kids learnign about the gods. We did choose to start with American history but now are in the ancients. And my older son had an affinity for all things Greek from an early age. I have never found my kids had any problem distinguishing the real from the fake in mythology or any confusion about what we believe. The myths themselves are good stories about how good and bad (often bad) choices play out. I think if anything they have made my kids see how silly and difficult polytheism would be.



    I didn’t have time to read the others posts, so I’m sorry if I repeat. With our children, we chose to expose them to the gods from a biblical perspective from the beginning. When reading of Ancient Egypt, we read everything about their gods, idols, beliefs on the afterlife, etc. This year, we have studied Ancient Greece, and have continued to read about the gods, superstitions, etc. We don’t feel this is leading our children astray, but rather, pointing them toward the truth of the one, true God. Even in reading the Bible, you can’t get very far without reading of people, even God’s people, who chose to worship other gods. And then you read of God’s love and patience with His people, until He has to prounouce judgment on them. If anything, I think this teaches our children that God is serious about wanting to be the only One we worship and that there are serious consequences otherwise. 

    The myths are good stories and many teach lessons, but we are always quick to point out that they are just stories, that we can learn from them without worshipping Zeus or Athena, and that our world now is still full of people who worship false gods and need our prayers. It is my humble opinion that we can’t keep our children in a Christian bubble their entire lives and that early exposure and direction toward Truth and the ability to discern the lies from that Truth is going to benefit them more in the long run.




    We have just started with Ancients this year. While I am not going to be getting into the nitty gritty details of some aspects of pagan worship, the SCM Module 1 starts out with Genesis, and to be honest, you don’t get very far before you encounter deception, lies, murder, polygamy, men building towers/temples to reach the heavens… on to Exodus… even if you skip over Pharaoh being a god to the Egyptians you have staffs turning into snakes and it’s not very far into the desert that they are bowing down to a cow. 🙁 I don’t know how a Christian can read and study God’s Word without running into these things. The whole point of homeschooling from a Christian worldview though, is to be able to discuss these things with our children so they understand right from wrong and consequences that come from each choice they make.

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