The civilization of ancient Greece is the root, essence, and inexhaustible core of Western thinking. We are all Athenians in a sense, for the ideas of ancient Greece have permeated our entire culture.
Not only have Greek and Roman mythology furnished inspiration, exerted influence and provided subject matter for many masterpieces of poetry, prose, sculpture, and painting, but their stories are interesting and entertaining in themselves, to say nothing of having provided the source of classical allusions which appear continually in editorials, advertisements, films, music, dramas, cartoons, and lectures. A knowledge of Classical Mythology is indispensable in understanding and appreciating much of the great literature, sculpture, and painting of ancient and modern artists.
An English scholar H. A. Gueber wrote, "The importance of Classical Mythology from an educational standpoint has never been more generally recognized than it is today." In addition, Walt Whitman said, "Great are the myths." I would agree with both of them. Understanding mythology only heightens your cognition of so many other disciplines.
I teach Mythology at Timpanogos High School, and I had the opportunity to take 22 of my students to Italy and Greece from June 16th-28th. It was exciting for me to see the thrill in their eyes when they visited the Temple of Athena, also known as the Parthenon, or when they walked in the ancient stadium in Olympia where ancient Greek athletes competed in the first Olympic games. My students valued this opportunity because they had schema for each of the destinations we visited while on our tour. Traveling truly is one of the best ways to learn. What better way to experience what we have discussed in the classroom than by visiting places where ancient Greeks have tread?
This was a magical opportunity and one that I know we will all remember!