Summer Camp 2020

As seen in Poetry! (Mythic Verse, Vol. 1)

The Challenge

  Summer Camp on World Anvil is an annual event in which members of the community respond to writing prompts that help to develop the worlds of their writing projects or gaming campaigns. To apply the wide ranging prompts to issues of mythology, I created poetry and essays that ranged from silly to serious in three separate, sometimes overlapping areas:  
Pella Katadesmos curse tablet
Pella Katadesmos (c. 375-350 BCE) by Dagina (presumably)


  What do we know about the gods, heroes, and stories that have been passed down to us from antiquity?   Where do the sources conflict with each other, and why?   Where are the gaps that need to be filled with speculation?


  Real world events may be reflected in myth or may have shaped the development and reception of myth, like the volcanic eruption on the island of Thera.   The technologies used in stories of myth are matters of the historical and archaeological record.   Quandaries from philosophy, like Plutarch's contemplation of the Letter E, draw deeply from the philosophers' interaction with mythological themes.   Elements of art and architecture are other ways mythology has been received.
Polyhymnia, Muse of Belief
"The Nine Muses - Polyhymnia (Rhetoric)" (1781) by Johann Heinrich Tischbein the Elder (1722 - 1789)


  In classical studies, the retelling and remixing of traditional stories is called "reception," a process going back thousands of years.   In most classical sources, Hecate was not actually the Goddess of Cheesecake.   Mysia probably didn't fall to the Achaeans without any resistance.   Amazons didn't get birthday tattoos. But what if they did?

Prompts and Responses

  These 33 poems and essays will be refined, and their content merged into new areas of the MiV site.  
Describe a valuable historical or ancient artifact in your world.
Describe an important religious leader in your world. How has their character changed the status quo?
Write about an apex predator in your world. How does it hunt and survive?
Write about a rank or title that represents order in your world.
Write about a building that has been reused and repurposed from its original design.
Describe a commonly found document in your world - what's in it and what is it for?
Describe a vehicle in your world that brings joy wherever it arrives.
Describe how birthdays are celebrated in a particular culture of your world.
Write about a secret code or cipher in your world: who uses it, and for what purpose?
Write about a material that is considered sacred or culturally crucial in your world.
Describe a common old wives' tale or conspiracy theory from a region of your world. Does it hold any truth?
Write about the events of a devastating natural disaster in your world, either past or present.
Describe a location in your world that is brimming with diverse or bizarre flora and fauna.
Write about an organization in your world that has become so powerful it's above the law.
Describe a profession in your world that has always been, or recently became, illegal.
Describe a settlement that is famous for a particular resource, product or item created there.
Describe a law enforcing organization within your world and how they operate.
Write about a food-focused event in your world and describe how it's celebrated.
Write about a technology from the history of your world - is it lost to the ages, or did it shape the world today?
Describe any condition or disease for which a cure has recently been developed.
Write about the history of a settlement that was almost entirely wiped out and was then rebuilt.
Write about a species in your world that is bred or farmed for a high-value resource.
Write about an unassuming character who secretly controls things from behind the scenes.
Describe a material in your world that is used as a source of fuel or power.
Describe the events of a conflict that started due to unusual or unforseen circumstances.

Articles under Summer Camp 2020

Guardian Dragons
Species | Jul 16, 2020

On the hunting and feeding habits of dragons, the guardians of wisdom

Curse Tablet
Document | Jul 20, 2020

Ancient curse tablets may have caused a range of actual symptoms

Character | Aug 2, 2020

Muse of Prayer, Belief, and Conspiracy Theories

Rank/Title | Jul 9, 2020

A silly piece about kings and their duties.

The Seventh Seed
Myth | Jul 5, 2020

The location of the seventh seed is currently unknown. If it were ever found, if it were ever used, it would throw off the delicate balance of the world.

Sun-Chariot of Helios
Vehicle | Jul 23, 2020

The greatest vehicle under the sun...actually is the sun!

Military Formation | Feb 1, 2021

When it came to weaponizing basic transport, ancient people put the cart before the horse.

The Necklace of Harmonia
Item | Jul 18, 2020

Sometimes the most appropriate revenge!

Hellenic Atheists
Ethnicity | Nov 12, 2020

While believers usually follow one god at a time, an Atheist can disbelieve entire pantheons in a single non-thought.

Garden of the Hesperides
Geographic Location | Jul 25, 2020

The most beautiful and most comprehensive garden in the world.

Character | Jul 24, 2020

The old, blind, gender-fluid seer and advisor to kings and gods

The Golden Letter E
Item | Jul 27, 2020

In the spirit of the ancient philosopher Plutarch, an examination of his favorite letter.

Lotus Narcosis
Condition | Jul 27, 2020

That feeling you get when you eat the lotus. No poem yet.

Moon-Chariot of Selene
Geographic Location | Jul 23, 2020

Not as flashy as the Sun-Chariot, but faster!

High Priestess of Hecate
Profession | Jul 26, 2020

Officially, the goddess Hecate has no priesthood. Officially.

The Cipher of Hecate
Language | Jul 26, 2020

Secret code? Don't be silly. Now put on this red and blue striped cloak.

Hecate's Cult at Thebes
Organization | Jul 27, 2020

No one speaks their name, but they just might be running the place.

Temple of Apollo at Delphi
Building / Landmark | Jul 31, 2020

Headquarters to Apollo and the related industries of prophecy and medicine

The Followers of Hecate
Myth | Jul 26, 2020

There aren't many myths about the followers of Hecate, by their own choice

Scythian Birthday Tattoos
Tradition / Ritual | Aug 1, 2020

The year in review, in ink, under skin.

Species | Jul 28, 2020

Before people put value in little green slips of paper, there were these sea snails.

Material | Aug 1, 2020

The primal fuel for witchcraft and spells.

Tyrian Textile Dye Process
Technology / Science | Jul 28, 2020

Why is purple a royal color, even today?

The Labyrinth Gate
Building / Landmark | Aug 1, 2020

A mysterious feature of Mythoversal Thebes

Anti Hecatite Squad of Thebes
Organization | Aug 1, 2020

Making sure no Hecatite goes unpunished.

Settlement | Aug 1, 2020

The proto-Phoenician city that launched an empire.

The Volcanic Destruction of Thera
Physical / Metaphysical Law | Aug 1, 2020

The impact of this volcano is still being felt today.

Causes of the Trojan War
Military Conflict | Aug 1, 2020

This war didn't have to happen, or did it?

The Hecatite Cheesecake Festival
Tradition / Ritual | Jul 31, 2020

No one gets between a witch and her cheesecake!

Settlement | Aug 1, 2020

Before the siege at Troy, this happened.

The Oath of Tyndareus
Document | Aug 1, 2020

It seemed like the perfect solution among disputed suitors, until everyone died and an entire civilization collapsed.

Stinkfoot Syndrome
Condition | Jul 31, 2020

The bane of Philoctetes, until he got cured.

Tyrian Cloth
Material | Jul 31, 2020

The cloth that's so valuable, you can't even wear it!

Cover image: "Jupiter Pluvius" (1819) by Joseph Gandy (1771-1843)


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