Roam the World of Greek Myths

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 4, 2004 | Go to article overview

Roam the World of Greek Myths


Byline: Joseph Szadkowski, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The snake-headed Medusa; half-man, half-horse Centaur; and vengeful Electra all have become part of popular culture for the modern-day child, but I bet many youngsters think those characters come from television shows and movies rather than an ancient civilization's religion.

A site put together by a media company and university from the land Down Under hopes to shed historical light on these 3,000-year-old legends as it explains a magical, virtual land filled with protagonists and antagonists from the world of classic mythology.

Winged Sandals

Site address: www.abc.net.au/arts/ wingedsandals/

Creator: ABC New Media, a division of the Australian Broadcasting Corp., and the Centre for Classics and Archaeology at the University of Melbourne maintain the 5-month-old site.

Creator quotable: "We created this site to introduce a new group of people to the gods, heroes and monsters of ancient Greek myth," says Annabel Orchard, a doctoral candidate at the University of Melbourne. She is responsible for initial concept development, research and writing on Winged Sandals.

"We aimed to get kids excited about the learning process and to encourage them to explore Ancient Greek culture through a range of interactive online and printable activities," she says. "The content is designed to be fun and thought-provoking and of the highest artistic, technical and academic quality."

Word from the Webwise: With help from the talkative messenger god Hermes, children 6 to 12 years old travel among the realms of Olympus, Earth and the Underworld for an entertaining and educational lesson on the backgrounds and derivations of some amazing beings.

This animated multimedia extravaganza requires visitors to choose a famous architectural wonder from an ancient Greek city to explore the sections Storytime, Play Games, Make and Do, Who's Who, Ask the Oracle, History, and Goodies.

For example, cartoon lovers should click on the Amphitheater to find the Storytime section and four narrated, multipart, animated tales, including how Apollo got his Oracle; the woes of Persephone; Orpheus' fight to save his love, Eurydice (which is presented as a music video with an optional commentary track from Hades); and the battle between Perseus and Medusa.

For interactive fun, visit the Stadium to take part in four challenges, such as the video-game-like battle to guard or rescue a queen as an Athenian or Amazonian army with help from a few deities. …

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