Questions tagged [greek]

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

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What is the source of the idea that Medusa was a priestess of Athena?

Medusa is a monster in Greek mythology known for being associated in some way with the gods Poseidon and Athena. By Poseidon she conceived a pair of twin sons, namely the winged horse Pegasus and some ...
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What portals are there in mythologies?

I'd be interested to know about the mentions of portals in mythologies. By portals, I mean accesses/gates towards other locations, worlds, dimensions. I've found this notion several times but in my ...
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Why was Perse a Nymph and not a Titan like both of her parents?

I've been reading "Circe" and it got me thinking: Circe's mother was a water nymph named Perse. Perse's parents were Oceanos and Tethys, who were both Titans. Why then is Perse a Nymph if ...
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Why are the Sirens the "muses of Hades"?

In Pietro Pucci's Song of the Sirens essay collection, he mentions in passing that the Sirens are "the muses of Hades" (chapter 9, page 132). As far as I can tell, there's no further ...
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Is the Greek myth about the early-flowering crocus, hyacinths and daffodils an authentic version of native Indo-European beliefs?

Is the Greek mythology about the early-flowering crocus, hyacinths and daffodils unchanged and authentically / natively Indo-European ? Like all early bloomers, daffodils are a symbol of rebirth, the ...
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Name of Greek mythology about someone killing their parents

I remember reading a story about someone who killed their parents because they thought their parents was their lover with someone else. The parents visited them and slept in their bed. But they didn't ...
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In Greek mythology, who are the Younger Charites?

I know about the Charites, the goddesses Aglaea, Euphrosyne, and Thalia. But there is apparently a younger Charites group?
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What was Hermes' reason for siding with the Greeks in the Trojan War?

It seems as if Hermes helped Zeus and other gods who sided with the Trojans in the war. What was his reason?
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Did Panopeus swear an oath that Comaetho could marry Amphitryon?

In the Alexandra of Lycophron is is written: Afraid of the spear and the impetuous phalanx, he pays for the false oath of his father regarding the spear-won herds, which wretchedman, when the towers ...
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Why did Demeter stop at Eleusis during her search for Persephone?

In Homeric Hymn 2, To Demeter we learn that Demeter stopped at Eleusis during her search for Persephone: But grief yet more terrible and savage came into the heart of Demeter, and thereafter she was ...
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Is there any "official" same-sex marriage in the Greek mythology?

While the relationships in the Greek mythology are fluid, there is some notion of the marriage between Greek gods. My question is - is there any official same-sex marriage in the Greek mythology or ...
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How central are arts (τέχναι) to the Greeks' conception of godhead?

In the opening paragraph of The Birth of Tragedy (orig./trans.), Nietzsche names Apollo and Dionysus as “both” of the Greeks’ “art-deities” (ihre beiden Kunstgottheiten)—as if they were the only two. ...
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In what sense is Pandora the first woman?

Pandora was created by the Greek gods and offered to Epimetheus, brother of Prometheus. Pandora is referred to as the first woman. It is to me unclear in what sense that was meant. My original thought ...
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Is there any case in Greek mythology where humans swear on the river Styx?

Mostly in Greek mythology, humans swear on Olympian gods such as Zeus while gods swear on the river Styx(Iliad 14.271). Then, is there any case where humans swear on the river Styx instead of Olympian ...
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Who is the woman portrayed atop a pillar at UCT's Upper Campus?

On top of a pillar that was about two or three storeys tall, I once saw this sculpture of a woman looking out toward the woods of Devil's Peak on Table Mountain in the City of Cape Town. This being ...
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Is there a deliberate symbolic relationship between the Rockefeller Plaza Atlas statue and St Patrick's Cathedral?

The International Building, part of the Rockefeller Center, stands in Midtown Manhattan. In the building's courtyard, at Number 630 on Fifth Avenue, its entrance is guarded by the dark and imposing 45-...
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Is it the Muses depicted on the façade of 100 Broadway, Manhattan?

The American Surety Building (also known as the Bank of Tokyo Building) is at 100 Broadway in Manhattan, in New York City. The building's façade is designed to look like the front of a Classical Greek ...
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Who were all the godly children of Zeus and how many were there?

How many children did Zeus have that were gods? How many were there? I know that the 9 Muses were fathered by Zeus, as well as some of the Olympians (Apollo, Artemis, Dionysus, Athena, Ares, and ...
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What bird species is associated with Pallas Athēnē?

The english Wikipedia article about the bird Athene noctua (called little owl in English) claims, without references, that in Greek mythology, the godess Pallas Athēnē was associated with that bird. ...
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Did Galileo or Marius know that Callisto was tidally locked?

Jupiter IV, usually referred to as Callisto in modern times, is tidally locked to Jupiter(Zeus). Callisto of mythology attracted the attentions of Zeus (ostensibly because of her physique, according ...
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How does Glaucus know Patroclus killed Sarpedon?

I'm reading the Loeb Iliad so I have the original Greek text alongside English and am confused when reading verse Il. 16-543: τὸν δ᾽ ὑπὸ Πατρόκλῳ δάμασ᾽ ἔγχεϊ χάλκεος Ἄρης. ... Him [Sarpedon] has ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Why does the Greek Silenus and the Egyptian Bes look similar?

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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