The world of Greek mythology is filled with fascinating tales and intriguing characters. One such lesser-known figure is Iasion, a mortal who captured the attention of the goddess Demeter. In this article, we will explore the story of Iasion and how to teach students about this mythical character. Incorporating Iasion into mythology lessons can help enrich students’ understanding of Ancient Greek culture and belief systems.

Who Was Iasion?

Iasion was a mortal man born to the nymph Electra and Zeus, the king of gods. He was a doting brother to Dardanus, and together they founded the ancient city of Dardania, later known as Troy. Remarkably, Iasion managed to win over Demeter, an Olympian goddess associated with agriculture and harvest. This liaison between the divine and mortal had significant consequences in ancient mythological stories.

The Tale of Iasion and Demeter

During the marriage celebration of Harmonia and Cadmus, Demeter noticed Iasion from afar and felt an irresistible attraction to him. They consummated their love in a thrice-plowed field – a symbolic connection to the goddess’s status as a deity of agriculture. This union gave birth to Ploutos (Wealth), Philomelus (Farming), and Eubuleus (Wisdom). Each child symbolized a different aspect of Demeter’s influence in human society.

However, Zeus was displeased with this union between a mortal and a goddess. As punishment, he struck down Iasion with his thunderbolt. It is interesting to note that some versions of the myth have Zeus blessing their children instead of killing their father.

Teaching Students About Iasion

1. Providing context: Begin by discussing Greek gods and goddesses in general, highlighting their relationships with mortals throughout various myths. Provide historical context about Ancient Greek society and their belief systems.

2. Introducing Iasion: Tell the story of Iasion, emphasizing his status as a mortal beloved by a goddess. Discuss his lineage and his role in founding Troy with his brother Dardanus.

3. Exploring the myths: Analyze the union between Iasion and Demeter, and how it relates to agriculture and fertility. Encourage students to interpret the symbolic meaning behind the thrice-plowed field.

4. Delving into character relationships: Examine the connection between Iasion, Demeter, and Zeus. Discuss Zeus’s attitude towards mortal-god relationships, including both protective and punishing approaches seen in various myths.

5. Comparing variations: Explore different accounts of Iasion’s myth, focusing on differences in narrative details or character portrayals. Encourage students to consider how myths evolve over time and through retellings.


The story of Iasion offers a unique perspective on Greek mythology, opening up new avenues for discussion about the relationships between gods and mortals. By teaching students about this captivating figure, educators can provide a broader understanding of Ancient Greek belief systems and their timeless tales that continue to enchant people today.

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