In the beginning of the 2017 film Wonder Woman, Diana aka Wonder Woman, is read a story by her mom, Queen Hippolyta, supposedly corresponding to Queen Hippolyta of Greek mythology.

The story begins:

Long ago, when time was new... ...and all of history was still a dream... ...the gods ruled the earth. Zeus king among them. Zeus created beings over which the Gods would rule. Beings born in his image... ...fair and good, strong and passionate. He called his creation "Man". And mankind was good.

My question is about the next parts of the story:

  1. But Zeus' son.. grew envious of mankind... ...and sought to corrupt his father's creation. This was Ares, the God of War.

  2. Ares poisoned men's hearts with jealousy and suspicion. He turned them against one another... ...and war ravaged the Earth.

  3. So, the gods created us, the Amazons... ...to influence men's hearts with love... ...and restore peace to the Earth.

Transcript is from Springfield! Springfield!.

I cannot find anything like these on the Wiki pages for Ares or Amazons.

Does the DC mythology as described by DC Hippolyta differ from Greek mythology in these aspects?


  1. You may include elaborations to ultimately answer the title question instead of just the question above, but please use spoiler tags especially if, oh I don't know, Hippolyta was wrong or lying or something. I just wanna know how different the 3 aforementioned statements are from actual Greek mythology.

  2. I use 'different' instead of 'wrong' or 'inaccurate' to treat DC mythology as a definition instead of a something that is supposed to mimic Greek mythology but fails to do so.

  • 2
    Great movie! The DC comics mythos around these subjects is almost entirely invented (and probably has many variations over the years.) When I get some time I'll attempt a detailed response--the funnest might be in regard to Zeus' creation of mankind. In the actual canon, Zeus was highly antagonistic to humans, and even tried to wipe us out :)
    – DukeZhou
    Nov 25, 2018 at 22:32
  • 2
    Another way to couch it might be "canonical" vs. "contemporary". (The former refers to the material in the original Ancient sources.) Mythology is always evolving--even in ancient days, later authors would tweak and evolve the work of earlier authors, so that Ovid accounts are often different from Hesiod's, as one example.
    – DukeZhou
    Nov 25, 2018 at 23:03
  • @DukeZhou Oh I forgot. Post as answer? P.S. I finished movie. If Hippolyta was truthful and correct, then yeah it was a great movie! If Hippolyta was lying or incorrect, then thanks for not spoiling!
    – BCLC
    Nov 26, 2018 at 14:56
  • @Gibet ayt. But beware of spoilers XD
    – BCLC
    Nov 27, 2018 at 9:01
  • @Gibet did you mean to reply in the other post?
    – BCLC
    Nov 27, 2018 at 9:04

1 Answer 1


The Wonder Woman (2017) mythology is based on the decline of mankind marked by a series of ages, the Ages of Man. Hesiod wrote about this first:

First of all the deathless gods who dwell on Olympus made a golden race of mortal men who lived in the time of Cronos when he was reigning in heaven... They dwelt in ease and peace upon their lands with many good things.
Works and Days 109 ff.


Then they who dwell on Olympus made a second generation which was of silver and less noble by far.


Zeus the Father made a third generation of mortal men, a brazen race, sprung from ash-trees ; and it was in no way equal to the silver age, but was terrible and strong. They loved the lamentable works of Ares and deeds of violence;

The film gets this right in that it is love of Ares/war that war is a major element of the decline.

Interesting also is the next generation:

Zeus the son of Cronos made yet another, the fourth, upon the fruitful earth, which was nobler and more righteous, a god-like race of hero-men who are called demi-gods, the race before our own, throughout the boundless earth. Grim war and dread battle destroyed a part of them, some in the land of Cadmus at seven-gated Thebes when they fought for the flocks of Oedipus, and some, when it had brought them in ships over the great sea gulf to Troy for rich-haired Helen's sake: there death's end enshrouded a part of them. But to the others father Zeus the son of Cronos gave a living and an abode apart from men, and made them dwell at the ends of earth. And they live untouched by sorrow in the islands of the blessed along the shore of deep-swirling Ocean, happy heroes for whom the grain-giving earth bears honey-sweet fruit flourishing thrice a year, far from the deathless gods, and Cronos rules over them; for the father of men and gods released him from his bonds.

An islands "untouched by sorrow" certainly sounds like the depiction of Themyscira, and "Cronos rules over them; for the father of men and gods released him from his bonds" is suggestive of immortality, an attribute of the Amazons who dwell there.

However, in the ancient canon, it is Zeus himself who is mankind's main antagonist:

And Prometheus had a son Deucalion. He reigning in the regions about Phthia, married Pyrrha, the daughter of Epimetheus and Pandora, the first woman fashioned by the gods. And when Zeus would destroy the men of the Bronze Age, Deucalion by the advice of Prometheus constructed a chest, and having stored it with provisions he embarked in it with Pyrrha. But Zeus by pouring heavy rain from heaven flooded the greater part of Greece, so that all men were destroyed, except a few who fled to the high mountains.
Bibliotheca (Apollodorus) 1.7.2

so Ares in this role would seem to be an innovation--it is certainly consistent with his character as the god of war. This can be taken as a metaphor for the extinction-level weapons (MAD) that are a unique characteristic of our era, and WWI as the "war to end all wars".

Man as the instrument of his own destruction, from the standpoint of the species, is a common characteristic of many modern mythologies, including Skynet and Zombies. Ares merely provides us the tools.


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