Title of the work
Country of the First Edition
Country/countries of popularity
First Edition Date
First Edition Details
Mythology Code Writing Kit (Ology Stationary Kit). London: Templar publishing, 2008.
Instructional and educational works
Puzzles and games
Crossover (Children and all ages)
We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.
Author of the Entry:
Ayelet Peer, Bar-Ilan University, email@example.com
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, email@example.com
Nick Harris (Illustrator)
Nicki Palin (Illustrator)
David Wyatt (Illustrator)
This is an attractive set. The purpose is for the players to create their own secret messages using the different codes. On the inside cover there is a note from John, who hopes that whoever finds this kit writes down their own adventures, and not succumb to greed as he did. The players are encouraged to use various forms of expressions for their secret messages. For example, the use of vase painting to convey ideas (there are stickers of such vases), or writing their names in the Greek alphabet. There are various opportunities for inquisitive players to create their own hidden messages in different ways.
This kit contains envelopes, notelets, postcards and stickers all in the theme of ancient Greek. There are various stickers in the kit which include: the 12 Olympians, Medusa’s head, Hercules fighting a lion, Jason facing the dragon which guards the golden fleece, the Trojan horse, Theseus and the Minotaur, constellations, decorated Greek vases, Agamemnon’s golden mask, mystical creatures (harpy, some kind of monster), the fate sisters, a woman sitting (or chained?) to a rock – maybe she is Ariadne since there is a sail-boat in the distance.
There are various styles to the stickers, some are colorful, some are black and white.
There are envelopes with a drawing of the acropolis (probably of Athens). Some sheets of papers withdrawing of Doric columns. There are also five postcards: one depicts Hercules fighting the Hydra on one side and on the back a small picture of Theseus facing the Minotaur. Two similar postcards depict a large picture of a couple riding a chariot on the sea (the man is similar to Poseidon, holding a trident). In the back there is a small picture of a ship engulfed by scary looking tentacles. There are freezes drown above and under the large picture which appear to show scenes from the Argonauts’ story: a boat with a crew, flying monsters, sowing of afield, spreading seeds, a dragon guarding the fleece and a man and woman walk hand in hand to the ship.
The other two postcards depict a large picture of Perseus turning his gaze from an ugly Medusa to his shield, while holding his sword. The small picture at the back depicts two warriors fighting with spears, perhaps Achilles and Hector?
There are also Greek alphabet code and oak-leaf code. There are groups of three leafs, black and white and each grouping signifies something else. For example, one dark leaf and two bright leafs mean Thunder = unlikely. According to the back cover, the kit was supposedly compiled by a treasure hunter, John Oro and it is the key to unlocking ancient secrets. The player must solve the Greek script and Oak-leaf oracle.
On the back it is noted that this kit is based on the book Mythology: Greek Gods, Heroes & Monsters by Dugald A. Steer.
While in our digitized world it might appear archaic to use notelets and envelopes for sending messages, the spirit of treasure hunting might get encourage children (and adults!) to make up their own codes, using a foreign alphabet or the constellations. Children can use the suggested techniques or create their own codes. It is a thought-stimulating kit which makes the ancient world appear magical and mysterious and could certainly appeal to children who may be looking for something a bit different.
There is also a warning inside, in English, but transliterated into Greek letters, which reads “Be careful what you ask the gods for, some gifts may become curses”. It is very nice to read it in Greek letters and it might encourage the children to write such messages on their own.
This is a cryptic message which perhaps is meant to stimulate the players’ imagination while they question and wonder about these mysterious cursed gifts. The sticker of the Trojan horse could allude to such fatal gifts (since the horse was believed to be a gift to Athena). The most known cursed gift form the gods was Midas golden touch, yet there is no reference to it in the stickers. Perhaps the players are encouraged to find myths which correspond to the cryptic message.
The obscure message the various stickers and the postcards present glimpses at Greek mythology. They depict specific scenes, part of stories. It is up to the inquisitive players to find out the source of these images and learn the myths behind them. These visual references to mythology function as a more interactive way for children or adults to learn more about Greek mythology. The players are the ones who need to actively search for the myths and learn the context behind the different elements of the kit. This makes Greek mythology the reward of those who discover the stories behind the drawings and also present it as a mysterious and exciting world of monsters, heroes and fabulous stories.