ATHENS — Archaeologists working in ancient ruins outside of Athens reported that they have uncovered several engraved tablets and papyrus scrolls, all of which contain weary reactions to the mythology of the time.
“I’m just sick of all these stories about gods and heroes,” said one ancient Greek, identified as Bakchos. “It really says something about the times we live in that all of our myths are so fantastical and childish. Just once, I would like to go to a banquet and hear a poet tell a story for grown-ups. Maybe they could relate a sprawling epic about inner trauma in a modern environment rather than just talking about long-dead warriors killing each other. I wouldn’t mind more myths like the binding of Prometheus, though. That one was more of a political thriller.”
Another tablet written by a contemporary critic named Gregorios echoed those sentiments.
“It has become an epidemic in modern media, extending even to the stage,” wrote Gregorios. “You think you’re watching a mature play with real, human characters. The unfaithful husband, the vengeful wife — these are archetypes we can all relate to. Then, just as the main character murders her own children and is about to be confronted with actual consequences, Helios’ divine chariot swoops down out of nowhere and scoops her up. I wish these playwrights had a little faith in their audience. We can handle — and deserve — complex, real resolutions.”
One scroll offered a contrasting view from an ancient poet named Phemius.
“These people you hear complaining are really just a vocal minority,” said Phemius. “Like all bards, I rely on the muses to guide my tongue, and they know what’s hot. I specifically invoke them to tell a tale that will enthrall the audience, after all. Besides, everyone still loves all of Homer’s stuff, and that’s nothing but gods and heroes. Trust me, as long as we keep putting out myths, the audience will come and listen to them.”
At press time, the archaeologists were working to translate one final tablet, reputedly from the Oracle of Delphi. The inscription appeared to be teasing the announcement of a new phase of Greek myths.