Administrators in the British Empire had usually (if not always) had a classical education; they had all studied Latin and many if not all had studied Greek. At home, in the nineteenth century, the only way of holding a position of influence was to have been educated in schools that inculcated a knowledge of classical mythology. So the Greek origin is relevant - even though the user doesn't believe in the Gk mythology.Context: idiom (i guess) from an early nineteenth-century British figure.
(Similarly, someone who doesn't believe in astrology may describe an inevitable thing as 'in the stars'.)
Student or Learner