The realtors staging the property were disappointed when they pulled up the shag carpet and found this instead of the original hardwood floors.
Episode 37: In which Zeus gathers the goddesses together to discuss an extraordinary mosaic, which predictably proves to be a terrible idea.
This episode of Real Housewives of Mt. Olympus brought to you by by the latest archaeological news on SmithsonianMagazine.com – and by CLAS-C 351 Change and Innovation in Ancient Greece.
[SETTING: Breakfast in the Palace of the Gods]
HERA, GODDESS OF CHILDBIRTH AND ZEUS’ SISTER-WIFE-QUEEN (you read that right): (entering) What are you doing here?
DEMETER, GODDESS OF AGRICULTURE: I live here, remember?
HERA: Barely. You’re never around.
DEMETER: I eat early. Typically I don’t relish the idea of munching muffins with the guy who sold my daughter off to the underworld.
DEMETER: No words of defense for your child, Brother?
DEMETER: There’s a surprise.
HERA: Thetis, what’s your excuse for crawling out of your sea cave?
THETIS, SEA-NYMPH AND RELUCTANT MOTHER OF ACHILLES: I was invited. This is a breakfast meeting to discuss Demeter’s campaign to dry up the earth and expose all the mortal archaeological sites I’ve collected underwater all these years. They made a movie about my collection and she got jealous.
DEMETER: What? Zeus told me this was a meeting to discuss Persephone’s custody arrangements, and as I say it I realize how stupid I was to believe him.
ZEUS: Actually, I called you all here together to discuss a mosaic the mortals just uncovered in a place called Syria. It’s one of the most extensive mosaics ever recovered! It shows scenes from the Trojan War. And it’s in a horrific war zone itself, yet people are coming together to protect it. The symbolism would really move me, I imagine, if I weren’t such a sociopath.
THETIS: What in the world does that have to do with me? Was the mosaic under the ocean?
ZEUS: No, but I thought you might like to discuss it, because of the Troy connection. That’s your thing!
THETIS: You thought I’d like to hear about how the mortals took the story of my son’s death and used it as a floor mat?
DEMETER: Where do I come in? I don’t care about the Trojan War. I sat that one out.
ZEUS: I needed you to bait Thetis. I knew if she came in and you weren’t here she’d get suspicious and leave. She doesn’t trust me anymore. Probably has something to do with me arranging for her kidnapping and forced marriage.
DEMETER: You do have an established MO.
HERA: (eyes narrowed) Give me a break, you’d never willingly talk to Thetis. Why did you really invite her?
ZEUS: Um…to be perfectly honest, I just thought the mosaic was super cool, and I was really jazzed to talk to you about it. But every time we discuss mortal mosaics or domestic life you accuse me of using it to keep you distracted while I hit on other women.
HERA: You are always using it to keep me distracted while you hit on other women.
ZEUS: Well I’m not this time. So help me, I have gotten intrigued by the mortals in spite of myself. They’re so weird! Anyway, I thought if I had company over you wouldn’t be so suspicious when I brought up the mosaic.
DEMETER: Let me get this right. To convince Hera that you aren’t cheating on her, you invited her sister with whom you had a child, and a nymph you didn’t get with only because you were afraid of the child support.
PERSEPHONE, QUEEN OF THE UNDERWORLD AND RELUCTANT WIFE OF HADES: That’s not a great plan, Dad, even for you.
ZEUS: (jumping): Where did you come from?!
PERSEPHONE (shrugging): Someone said my name. It’s a god-of-the-underworld thing. Since I’m here: Mom, Thetis wants you to stop stealing her stuff. Dad, mom wants you to stop stealing her children. Aunt Hera, I don’t think anyone told me to tell you anything, but I’m loving your peacock’s colors.
HERA: You need to get out more. While you all were talking, I’ve been skimming this papyrus scroll, and I have to admit, this mosaic is rather impressive. Plus it shows the Amazons fighting alongside the Trojans, and I love a good story where women beat up men.
DEMETER: You tried to kill all the Amazons at Troy and burnt the city to the ground.
THETIS: Actually, it says here that the mosaic also shows Hercules slaying Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Hey Hera, wasn’t that one of those tasks you used to try and fail to kill Hercules? How you like your mortal child of the gods now?
HERA: Watch it, Kelp Queen.
PERSEPHONE: Are those pomegranate muffins?
To explore how Greek myths and culture spread throughout the Mediterranean world and lasted through the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine Empires, enroll in CLAS-C 351 Change and Innovation in Ancient Greece, coming up Spring 2025 with no pre-reqs! Or to learn more about the Trojan War and why Thetis and Hera don’t get on, check out CLAS-C 205 Classical Mythology, coming up Fall 2023, and earn GEC credits while you’re at it! Can’t get enough of Ancient Greece and Rome? Earn a Classics Minor in just 15 credits!