Questions tagged [greek]

For questions about Greek mythology and legends from ancient Greece to the present day.

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41 views

Can gods swear on the Styx

In ancient Greece, humans used to swear on the Styx to keep promises. My 8yo had an interesting question today: "Can gods swear on the Styx as well ? They won't ever have to cross it anyway ...
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How would ancient Greeks call the "Egyptian black marble" that Robert Graves say Zeus' throne was made from?

I have been researching Zeus' throne, and have found several sources that say the throne was made of black marble. One source was even more specific, saying it was Egyptian black marble. I am now ...
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On the etymology of Lacedaemon [migrated]

King Lacedaemon was the son of Zeus and of nymph Taygete. He married Sparta, daughter of King Eurotas of Laconia. I would like to know more about the etymology of Lacedaemon. The daemon part is easy. ...
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Is there any pre-modern attestation for Telephassa being a daughter of Nephele by the River Nile?

In Greek mythology, Telephassa's claim to fame is that she is, going by the commonest version of the genealogy, the mother of Kadmos [Cadmus], who built the citadel of Thebes in Boiotia [Boeotia]; of ...
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Is there any surviving manuscript older than the 1st century CE that mentions the story of Danae being impregnated by Zeus's golden shower?

I know that the story is mentioned in: Pherecydes' Genealogies scholia of Apollonius of Rhodes Sophocles' Antigone Antipater of Thessalonica Gaius Julius Hyginus' Fabulae the Greek Anthology ...
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121 views

Shouldn't Helen of Troy be Helen of Sparta?

Wasn't the Trojan war fought precisely because Helen was not of Troy, but of Sparta? How come we call her "Helen of Troy."
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66 views

What ancient source says Aegisthus killed Atreus at 7 years old?

I have seen multiple sites and books state that Aegisthus was only seven years old when he killed Atreus, but have been unable to find the ancient source. I know that Robert Graves was liable to use ...
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85 views

What source says Cleola died giving birth to Pleisthenes?

Robert Graves claims Atreus' first wife, Cleola, died giving birth to Pleisthenes as punishment for Atreus not sacrificing the golden lamb. I checked all his sources and couldn't find anything of the ...
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Prostration before bricks

The Talmud in Sanhedrin 107b and Sotah 47a brings a story about a sage named Yehoshua ben Perachiah and one of his students, called Jesus (whether this Jesus is the famous one of Christianity is ...
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122 views

What does Aphrodite’s magical girdle look like?

When I imagine a “girdle” I generally reach for an image from the 19th or early 20th centuries. My image of Ancient Greek fashion is more based around loose-fitting robes, tunics, and dresses, rather ...
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133 views

Do any Mediterranean mythologies depict souls escaping from the Underworld without the help of a living rescuer?

Persephone was rescued from the Underworld (for a little while) by Hermes, who brought her back to Demeter. Eurydice was (almost) rescued from the Underworld by Orpheus. Semele was rescued from the ...
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Is there any evidence of the Ancient Greeks worshipping Zeus's daughter Helen?

Is there any evidence of the Ancient Greeks worshipping Zeus's daughter Helen? For example, did they build any shrines in her honor or did they offer sacrifices to her?
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Was Ulysses ever in a quest to save someone from hell?

There is a story I read in school and I can't remember from which book it is, my gut tells me it could be a story about Ulysses. As far as I remember, someone's girlfriend was sent to hell and that ...
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87 views

Which world mythologies depict humans directly harming or killing gods in combat?

In The Iliad, the Greek warrior Diomedes directly attacks and wounds both Aphrodite and Ares in a single day. He does so with the blessing of Athena, but the story makes it clear that it is Diomedes ...
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Silenus similar to Bes?

Today I was going through an old book on Greek sculpture and I notice that a number of pre-classical Greek statues feature Silenus and form in which he is depicted, full frontal nudity with tongue ...
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214 views

Was there meant to be a connection or comparison between Poseidon's trident and Hades's bident?

In Greek mythology, Poseidon carries a three-pronged spear known as a trident, while his brother Hades carries a two-pronged spear known as a bident. For that matter, the third brother Zeus carries ...
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Did ancient Greek authors describe any consistent details of the Olympians' appearance (hair/eye color, relative height, etc)?

Obviously there are tons of statues of various gods, but these can usually be summed up as "muscular men and beautiful women." There's not a ton of detail in terms of facial appearance, ...
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84 views

What country is related to a phenomenon which is related to Cronus? [closed]

We were given this puzzle in class and i have no idea, any help would be appreciated
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171 views

Which specific ancient sources did NOT consider Kronus and Chronos to be the same being?

I’ve always heard that Kronus (Titan of the Harvest) and Chronos (God/Personification of Time) are often confused by modern people but were actually considered two distinct beings in Ancient Greece. ...
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141 views

In what ancient source, if any, does the infant Hermes disguise himself as Ares?

According to this Answer to a Question regarding whether the Greek messenger-god Hermes was born mortal or not, the Third Vatican Mythographer, a mediaeval Latin text, knows of a version of the ...
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170 views

Are there any accounts of how Hera, Demeter, and/or Hestia conducted themselves in combat?

Hera, Demeter, and Hestia are said to have fought alongside their brothers Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades in the war against the Titans. To the modern imagination, it's easy to picture Demeter functioning ...
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Do we know of any battles or other specific events that happened during the Titanomachy?

Every account of the Titanomachy I’ve ever seen basically jumps from Zeus getting Kronos to regurgitate his siblings straight to the Olympians’ victory ten years later. A few will reference the ...
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Did Themis preside over "the proper relation between man and woman" and the concept of the family?

I recently saw the following quote in the Wikipedia article on Themis: Themis presided over the proper relation between man and woman[citation needed], the basis of the rightly ordered family (the ...
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Are Gigantes and Gods the same?

They are described as quite different in the myths. For example, the Titans had much power, whilst the Gigantes drew power from their mother, Gaea. So are they the same or different beings?
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Putting aside their ability to shapeshift, were the Greek gods especially large compared to humans?

The Greek gods interacted face-to-face with humans and demi-gods on numerous occasions. For just one example, several of them fought on the battlefields of Troy, presumably standing right next to ...
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101 views

Was the Argo sentient and capable of conversation, or was its speech more like Siri or the USS Enterprise computer?

The Argo was built with a branch from the Dodona oak which, according to numerous sources, could speak. I’m wondering about the nature of this ability: did this “speech” make the Argo a fully ...
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530 views

Greek myths centered on self-sacrifice

One of them main themes within christianity is the idea of self-sacrifice: Jesus is said to have accepted crucification in order to save mankind. In contrast, in older mythologies, like the greek, the ...
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154 views

Do any myths specify whether Zeus, Hades, Poseidon, Hera, Demeter, and Hestia were sextuplets or simply siblings?

We know that Zeus was the youngest, but then people do still talk about being the "older twin" or "younger twin." Do we know if Zeus was the youngest of six siblings born (and ...
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Why did Odysseus not sacrifice poultry?

In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus is rich: he owns cattle, swine, sheep, goats. Kirkē asks Odysseus to sacrifice cattle and sheep, and to do libation with milk, honey, wine, flour; Teiresias asks Odysseus ...
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86 views

Is there a reconstruction of the Titanomachy (as in the epic poem)? [closed]

I have access to the fragments of the Titanomachy. I have a short commentary on the Titanomachy in the book: The Greek Epic Cycle by Malcolm Davies, thanks to Gullintanni (a stack exchange username). ...
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Hang up cadavers

Some time ago, I read the story about Jason. During his trip, he and the crew met a people used to hang up dead bodies on trees' branch. Who are they?
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Is there an introductory scholarly study guide, involving primary works being discussed, for ancient greek mythology?

I am searching for a study guide, as described in the question, giving comprehensive primary sources (e.g. ideally stating all discovered theogonies) and discussing each primary source. It would be ...
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1answer
109 views

Has there been a reconstruction of the Aethiopis, Little Iliad, Iliou persis or Nostoi?

I am planning on reading the Epic Cycle. Apart from the Iliad and Odyssey the original texts are only fragmentary. I have found reconstructions of the Cypria and Telegony by D.M. Smith. Is there ...
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160 views

Why is Aphrodite a goddess?

If Aphrodite is the daughter of Ouranos and Gaia, why is she not a Titaness, Giantess, Erinye, or Melia? Is there a specific reason for her to be a goddess if all other gods are descendants of Cronus ...
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Is there any truth to the claim that the original home of the Amazons was Sinope, not Themiscyra?

From the Wikipedia entry about Otrera, the founder of the Amazons: One day Otreta and her women rebelled and took over the entire town and eventually all the towns surrounding. Otrera would march ...
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158 views

Is Typhon a Gigante or god?

I am confused on the 'race' of Typhon. Is he a god, albeit a monstrous one (he is descended from gods after all)? A Gigante, albeit this time birthed from union between Tartarus and Gaia instead of ...
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what was the reason for rape in greek myths and culture

Is the reason gods assaulted women because of Eros? Did gods and mortals alike blame Eros for their act of "passion"?
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535 views

Why doesn't Hera divorce Zeus and marry someone more faithful?

This is something I don't understand. If Hera hates Zeus' infidelity, to the point of cursing his lovers and even trying to overthrow him, why not marry someone else?
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How long do demigods live for?

I am wondering this, as it is a fascinating question in it's own right. I know that Heracles lived at about age 70-80, but what is the minimum, if not the maximum age a demigod can live.
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Was the Greek worship of heroes similar to their worship of the gods?

I just want to know the similarites and differences between god and hero worship in ancient Greece. Was there actually a difference, or were past heroes treated like gods?
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256 views

Has Herakles been swallowed by a whale?

I heard a rumor that there was an ancient Greek myth about a human swallowed by a whale (or other large sea monster) and living to tell the tale, similar to the Biblical story of Jonas the prophet. I ...
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402 views

Did free will actually exist in Greek mythology

My question is about free will in Greek mythology. How do we explain that fate is also a thing while they also have free will?
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108 views

Were prehistoric fossils linked to mythological beings in ancient Greece?

This is a loading screen hint from the video game Assasin's Creed Odyssey: Belongs in a museum. In antiquity, the discovery of prehistoric bones were sometimes linked to mythological beings, such as ...
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What is the significance of the two cities on the Shield of Achilles?

In Book 18 of the Iliad, Homer describes the Shield of Achilles. The second layer from the shield's centre features scenes from two cities. In the first city a wedding and a tribunal are taking place: ...
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Name for the "soul-mates" in Plato's "The Symposium"?

In Plato's The Symposium, Aristophanes tells the tale of the "soulmate", which was the description of humans that had two pairs of arms and legs, one head with two faces upon it, and three ...
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158 views

Was a sneeze seen as an omen in ancient Greece?

This is a loading screen hint from the game Assasin's Creed Odyssey: Gods bless you. A sneeze at a key moment was seen as an omen in ancient Greece. Since it was involuntary, the action was viewed as ...
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126 views

What Greek or IE god or goddess was named "Da"?

This answer claims that the etymology of the name of Greek goddess Demeter is "mother of Da" and the etymology of Poseidon is "husband of Da". Who is Da then? PS. I seems to be a ...
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What was the consensus on what the world was like around the time of the Titanomachy?

Most sources seem to suggest there were humans, but no fire. Were humans and titans on the same plane of existence? Did monsters roam the world? Which titans and gods existed at this point? Who was in ...
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554 views

Who in Greek mythology is associated with natural disasters?

For example, tsunamis being water are obvious to be Poseidon's doing, but what about volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslides, avalanches, soil liquefaction etc? Some sources state that Poseidon ...
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150 views

What places were actually in the underworld?

I've recently become interested in Greek mythology and I thought what better place to start than a good 'ol family tree. Whilst researching Tartarus I came across, seemingly, two areas of thought. One ...

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