Questions tagged [greek]

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

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What is the difference between Hecate, Selene, Artemis, and Phoebe?

I always thought that Artemis was the Goddess of the Moon (and Hunting, stags, etc.)... until I thought about how there's Helios/Apollo which caused me to learn about Selene. But further research ...
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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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4answers
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What did Achilles look like?

(So there is this controversy about a black guy playing Achilles in some new show. Which made me wonder...) What did Achilles look like? Can we say how Achilles really looked? (From what I remember ...
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0answers
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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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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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1answer
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Was Helen of Troy in Egypt during the war?

In the myth of Helen of Troy, there has been noted a story from Egyptian mythology of Helen coming to Egypt and staying there, her double being sent on to be imprisoned and have a war fought over. ...
8
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1answer
605 views

How did Helen get back from Troy?

The nostoi, or journeys home, of many of the heroes of the Trojan War are recounted by Homer -- most famously that of Odysseus -- or were known in antiquity but later lost. Is anything known about how ...
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38 views

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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2answers
272 views

Was there an epic or drama detailing Menelaus's return?

In book IV of the Odyssey (translator Robert Fitsgerald), Menelaus mentions he spent 7 years returning to Sparta. This seems like it would be something that somebody in ancient times would write about....
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1answer
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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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Why is rape featured so prominently in Greek mythology?

This question may be a little controversial so try to keep your answers as academically as possible. (take an example from @DukeZhou ) If on the subject general answers are also accepted I am familiar ...
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What were Ares's powers?

Poseidon, God of the Sea - water powers Zeus, God of lightning - lightning powers Hades - God of the Underworld - devilish powers But what about Ares? Is he good at fighting? Can he summon swords ...
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1answer
49 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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1answer
63 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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1answer
69 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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1answer
64 views

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
132 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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1answer
88 views

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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3answers
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In the Odyssey, why didn't Penelope simply turn away her suitors?

If I remember the story correctly, Penelope spends over a decade telling her suitors that she will choose one of them as a husband some day, but continues inventing elaborate reasons why she cannot ...
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1answer
47 views

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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1answer
2k views

Does hubris have an opposite?

Hubris is a Greek term that means excessive/deadly pride or arrogance before the gods. She is also a personified daemon. Soon after one succumbs to Hubris, Nemesis enacts retribution. Since hubris is ...
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118 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.
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Did the Greeks have an offering of blood, wine and milk, similar to the Cretan one?

So I found this big old book about ancient cultures and in it, the typical offering on Crete was blood, wine and milk. Mixed together in a big bowl. The book describes the mix as a symbol for the ...
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2answers
104 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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Are there any other Greek gods/goddesses that actually remained loyal to their counterpart?

Cheating on one's significant other is common in Greek Myth. I have only found four gods that remain faithful: Hera, Amphitrite, Eros and Psyche (while gods that didn't marry can't exactly cheat). ...
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330 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?
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Other names for Drákaines?

The greek Drákaines (Δράκαινες) is a race or group of serpent-like creatures with human features, generally female. Basically what the Medusa from the original 80's Clash of the Titans, minus the ...
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1answer
54 views

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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873 views

What happens to dryads when their tree is destroyed?

What happens to dryads, the tree nymphs of Greek mythology, when their tree is cut down, burned or otherwise destroyed? Do they die or do they move on to a new tree?
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Why did giants have snake legs?

Why did giants have snake legs? The giants, who were destined by Gaea to kill one divine being (except for Orion) each, has scaly, snakelike legs. It wouldn't seem that they would be any help. Was ...
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1answer
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Why would Athena fear Poseidon?

In the end of Book VI of the Odyssey, Odysseus sends up a pray to Athena, the Greek goddess of Wisdom and Warfare. It then says Athena does not openly acknowledge him. The reason being that she feared ...
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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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1answer
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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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Hades, in Greek Mythology, was he really a bad guy, or just a hard to understand God?

I'm writing a research paper on Hades, king of the underworld, and I really wanted to know if Hades was really a bad guy. I have many pages of evidence saying that he isn't. But I would like to know ...
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1answer
144 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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1answer
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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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Was the rule of Zeus ever challenged?

Zeus became king of the gods and absolute ruler of the cosmos when he overthrew his father Cronus in the Titanomachy. I wonder if his reign was ever challenged after that?
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Why is Athena “gray eyed”?

Obviously because her eyes are that color, but I suspect there are deeper, symbolic reasons for that particular color and description. This is in regard to the epithet γλαυκῶπις, in the lexicon ...
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Why does looking at Medusa with a mirror work?

Medusa is known for being so ugly that if men even look at her face, they would immediately be turned into stone statues. Perseus was somehow able to overcome this challenge of killing her by looking ...
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2answers
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Why did Theseus betray Ariadne?

Quoting Theoi, In one, Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos of Krete, assisted Theseus in his quest to slay the Minotaur, and then fled with him aboard his ship. However, when they landed on the ...
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How invincible was Achilles really?

We also know the stories of Thetis dipping her son in the river Styx to make him nigh-invulnerable, but there is conflicting evidence. Those who have read the Iliad may remember the incident with ...
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90 views

Greco-Roman stories of a mother losing her daughter?

I am looking for Greco-Roman stories of a mother losing her young daughter and the grief that takes place as a consequence of such. I am writing a play where a similar thing occurs and would like to ...
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1answer
83 views

Is there a binary index of interactions between mythical personages of classical antiquity?

In the context of Greek and Roman mythology, suppose I'm interested in finding whether two prominent mythical personages (deities, heroes or other figures) are related or not by some written narrative,...
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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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Does the cap of Hades keep one's accessories hidden?

In Greek mythology, Hades' magic cap or helmet renders its wearer invisible. The most famous user of this piece of equipment is Hades' nephew, the hero Perseus, while on his mission to slay the Gorgon ...
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804 views

Which mythologies had demigods?

As we all know Greek gods were very lusty, and as a result produced several demigods. Does this happen in other mythologies as well?
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176 views

Why was the Greek deity of warfare and wisdom (Athena) female, and how did the Greeks rationalize this?

While of course descending from a diverse cultural genealogy, Greek deities appear to have become consistent with what would have been familiar gender associations to the Greeks. This can especially ...
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1k views

Zeus' Lightning Bolt

Did Zeus'/Iupiters' lightning bolt ever attain it's own personal name, or did the Greeks and Romans only ever use generic words for thunder and lightning?
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1answer
89 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 ...
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1answer
191 views

Does Medusa's head turn one's clothing to stone together with its wearer?

Medusa and her two triplet Gorgon sisters, Sthenno and Euryale, are monsters from Greek and Roman mythology notorious for their ability to turn whoever looked upon them (or directly into their faces) ...

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