Questions tagged [greek]

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

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2 votes
3 answers
967 views

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.
2 votes
1 answer
85 views

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?
7 votes
2 answers
719 views

Did Hercules complete his labors as described in the 2014 movie "Hercules"?

Is it true that most monsters of his labors are exaggerated, like the hydra monster that turned out to be warriors with masks of serpents as it is shown in the 2014 movie, Hercules?
12 votes
4 answers
13k views

What kind of dog breed would Cerberus be?

There are countless depictions of Cerberus with various number of heads or additional parts such as snake heads or tails. Some even say that Cerberus did not refer to a dog or hound at all, but rather ...
5 votes
1 answer
70 views

Examples of non-Homeric invisibility as clouds

Homer uses the trope of clouds of mist rendering a god or person unseen (even to people right next to them, in the daylight) a number of times throughout the Iliad and Odyssey. For example, in the ...
1 vote
1 answer
99 views

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 ...
5 votes
0 answers
75 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
122 views

What is the ancient Greek name of Herakles' lion skin cloak?

What is the Greek term for lion's pelt that Herakles wore? I've found that the Nemean lion was Neméos léōn (Νεμέος λέων), so I'm trying to figure out what the ancient Greeks would have called the ...
1 vote
1 answer
164 views

How many Ancient Greek gods are there?

How many Ancient Greek gods are there? I am studying for school, and only know Zeus, Poseidon, Ares, Hermes, Dionysus, Hades, Aphrodite, Hera, Demeter and Athena.
2 votes
2 answers
87 views

Specificness of gods

I am by no means an expert or insider on mythology, and maybe I misuse or misunderstand Greek mythology. But there has always been a question that has been on my mind. Why do the gods have such ...
17 votes
5 answers
15k views

How did Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades decide who would rule what?

From Wikipedia article on Hades: Zeus got the sky, Poseidon got the seas, and Hades received the underworld, the unseen realm to which the souls of the dead go upon leaving the world as well as any ...
0 votes
1 answer
46 views

Greek gods of day/night, daybreak/nightfall, and Hesperides

Which are considered the Greek god counterparts for day and night? For daybreak and nightfall? From what I've gathered: Day/Night: Hemera/Nyx Daybreak/Nightfall: Eos/Astraeus But then, where do the ...
10 votes
1 answer
898 views

What does Nausicaa symbolize in the Odyssey?

There was an interesting question in Lit regarding the meaning of her name, and in my research, I came across some interesting speculation on Nausikaa's distinctness. For instance, she is the one ...
15 votes
1 answer
771 views

Greek/Latin mythology with two brothers who die as reward for hard labor

I have heard this particular greek/latin myth in school but I can't quite recall what it was called. Can you perhaps help me find it. So as far as I can recall the myth went as follows: Two brothers ...
6 votes
4 answers
780 views

Who was the Greek god Iudaios?

I keep getting references to this deity (they cite the work of Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher "Detailed dictionary of Greek and Roman mythology") in some websites regarding it as the origin of the ...
2 votes
1 answer
132 views

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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
667 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 ...
11 votes
2 answers
3k views

Could all three Gorgons turn people to stone, or just Medusa?

I've come across conflicting information about Medusa's sisters and whether or not they could turn people to stone like Medusa can. A lot of places online say that all three can; but some other ...
0 votes
2 answers
116 views

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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
151 views

Is there a folklore belief that the spirit of a wolf comes back to avenge its death?

Isidoros Zourgos in his novel "Στην σκιά της πεταλούδας" mentions that if you kill a wolf, the animal's spirit will come back and kill you after forty days. The origin of the belief is assumed to be ...
1 vote
1 answer
67 views

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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why does Perseus carry a sickle instead of a sword?

Perseus armed with a sickle has a well established iconography in Greek mythology: From Theoi.com: But why does Perseus carry this "weapon" instead of a proper sword, like it is shown in later ...
4 votes
2 answers
475 views

Parallels between Hecate and the Devil?

Hecate was associated with crossroads, just as the devil was. Do the similarities end there? Could Hecate qualify as a devil figure?
0 votes
1 answer
348 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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
116 views

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 ...
11 votes
2 answers
7k views

Metis' unborn son

In the myth of Athena's birth it is mentioned that Metis' second child would overthrow Zeus. When Zeus swallowed Metis, he prevented the prophecy's fulfillment and Metis never had a son. But what if ...
15 votes
4 answers
20k views

How old were Paris and Achilles at the time of the Trojan War?

Paris of Troy was presumably an adult at the time of the marriage of Peleus and Thetis and the Judgement of Paris. That would mean Paris was at least 15-20 years older than Achilles. Other than that, ...
3 votes
1 answer
318 views

Are there any gods or similar beings other than Nemesis that laid eggs?

Castor and Pollux, Helen and Clytemnestra are considered twins, and may or may not have hatched from eggs laid by Nemesis after being impregnated by her father Zeus as swans https://www.theoi.com/...
0 votes
0 answers
47 views

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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
907 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?
1 vote
1 answer
55 views

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?
0 votes
0 answers
37 views

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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
38 views

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 ...
3 votes
0 answers
101 views

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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
44 views

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. ...
4 votes
2 answers
168 views

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 ...
10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Does the phrase "Zeus Pater" appear in ancient Greek sources?

The Wikipedia article "Sky Father" includes the following passage: "Sky Father" is a direct translation of the Vedic Dyaus Pita, etymologically descended from the same Proto-Indo-European deity ...
3 votes
1 answer
87 views

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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why did Athena breathe life into the man Prometheus created?

I have seen many books and papers reference Athena breathing life into the man Prometheus molded out of clay, but I couldn't find any primary sources of this happening, and I couldn't find any good ...
1 vote
1 answer
91 views

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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
135 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 ...
3 votes
0 answers
78 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
42 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
182 views

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-...
17 votes
5 answers
31k views

Achilles and his gold?

In the song "Something Just Like This," by Coldplay and the Chainsmokers, there's a line that says: I've been reading books of old The legends and the myths. Achilles and his gold, Hercules ...
4 votes
1 answer
144 views

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 ...
32 votes
3 answers
24k views

Why did Zeus assume so many different forms for seduction?

The character of Zeus is well-known for seducing many women, both human and goddesses. In many of these stories, Zeus assumes a form other than his true self. The most famous is perhaps Leda - it is ...
2 votes
1 answer
158 views

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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
128 views

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. ...
5 votes
1 answer
444 views

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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