Questions tagged [greek]

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

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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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70 views

Trying to recall Greek myth about holding a god's feet as he morphs harmlessly

I'm trying to recall a Greek myth in which a human is told to appeal to a Greek god by holding onto his or her feet. The human is warned that the god will morph into many shapes, but the human is told ...
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What are the limits to Thanatos's powers?

So I've been reading up on some old Greek stories lately, and I came across the story of Thanatos. If I'm correct, he is supposed to carry the souls of the dead to the Underworld as they died. But ...
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65 views

Can the River Styx Goddess curse herself?

Here's a simple question from me today... So recently I came across a few answers on this site about the River Styx Goddess, and how you can make promises upon her. If you don't fulfill the promise, ...
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What is the connection between Poseidon and horses?

Since Poseidon is well known as the god of the God of the sea, storms, earthquakes and horses? What is the connection between Poseidon and horses? As a god of the sea the storms and earthquakes part ...
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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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How much of real Greek Mythology does the writer Rick Riordan use?

So I've noticed that there is this on going book series done by Rick Riordan. Well, he actually has many. Percy Jackson, Apollo, and the Lost Hero. And it got me thinking a bit. How much of mentioned ...
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What's the connection between the Greek and Egyptian gods?

I heard from a story once that when Cronus attacked the gods, most of them were so scared of him that they fled to Egypt and adopted animal characteristics (except for Zeus and Hermes). That's why you ...
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What happens when gods become forgotten?

I heard from somewhere that gods maintain their power from the people worshiping them. The more people pray, the stronger they get. I also heard that If their home/environment is destroyed (eg. ...
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In the Ιliad why is there no continuation of the duel between Paris and Menelaus?

In the Iliad why is there no continuation of the duel between Paris and Menelaus? I guess I will never understand the mentality of the Iliad but the whole war is started by a Paris vs Menelaus ...
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fate in mythology

How did the ancient Greeks deal with the concept of fate that is the characters have "free will" they are intelligent and their choices are not predetermined but certain events are predetermined. (...
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107 views

Why did Kronos swallow his children up, instead of killing them?

As the myth goes, Kronos swallowed this children as they were presented to him, so he could prevent the prophecy. But why couldn't he kill them?
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Why does Achilles continue fighting?

Why does Achilles continue fighting after killing Hector? He only returned to avenge Patroclus and he did that. Didn't he end up feeling empathy for Priam and the Trojans?
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Why does Clytemnestra kill Cassandra?

In Greek mythology King Agamemnon of Mycenae, leader of the Greeks in the Trojan War, returns home victorious after the War, having captured the Trojan princess Cassandra to be his slave. However, ...
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83 views

Why are Gods in the Greek pantheon portrayed as performing unsavory & amoral acts?

I was perusing the series 'Crash-course: Mythology' by John Green (Great Show) about pantheons. When it arrived on the Hellenic Pantheon, Its a web of confusing genealogy rivaled only by the Egyptian ...
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Why mythical god-like figures share common attributes like wings or lion body parts in different mythologies/cultures

I know some of this mythological depictions are supposed to represent many things like nature forces, and I know Jung's Archetypes theory about symbols founded on the unconscious mind. However I want ...
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Is there any link between Achilles and Sigurd/Siegfried?

The two heroes are invulnerable, Achilles because he was dipped in the river Styx by his mother Thetis, and Siegfried because he took a bath in the dragon's blood. Both have a weak spot though, ...
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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 ...
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Are there stories that reference Chaos?

Are there any other instances, besides the initial moment of the beginning, where Chaos is referenced in ancient Greek mythology?
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Did Helen and Stentor have voice-related “super-powers”?

Helen's Many Voices In Odyssey 4.274-289 Menelaus recounts a story from the time that he and other leaders of the Greek forces at Troy were hiding in the famous decoy wooden horse which they used as ...
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What is the source of the legend of Herakles bathing in the spa waters of Edipsos?

Locals in the spa town of Edipsos in the north of Evia are always quick to point out that the legendary Herakles would visit their town to rejuvenate himself in its spa waters. Here are a few sites ...
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What is the source of the story of the immaculate conception of Mars?

Kersey Graves discusses the immaculate conception of Mars: In Malcolm's "History of Persia" the author tells us that "Zoroaster was born of an immaculate conception by a ray from the Divine Reason....
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79 views

How did Prometheus deceive Zeus?

In Hesiod's Works and Days, we learn that Zeus hid fire from humankind in anger because Prometheus had deceived him: For the gods keep hidden from men the means of life. Else you would easily do ...
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Why were metamorphoses so popular with ancient writers?

A brief search revealed five books by Greek and Roman writers on the subject of metamorphosis myths: "Metamorphoses" by Ovid "Metamorphoseon Synagoge" by Antoninus Liberalis "Metamorphoses (aka The ...
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Are Greek Myths and Heroes Rooted in actual History and People?

I completed reading a book titled "Old Greek Stories" by James Baldwin. It features some well known Ancient Heroes such as Theseus & Perseus. But the way it was told seemed like several nations ...
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Do all gods and goddesses live on Mount Οlympus?

Do all Greek gods and goddesses live on Mount Olympus? Including minor ones like Echo, Narcissus, etc.?
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Who was Zeus' first child conceived with a mortal?

Zeus was well known for his sexual escapades (both willing or unwilling). These resulted in many divine (Gods,Olympians) and heroic offspring (demi-gods) My question is : Who was Zeus' first child ...
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Why was one of the Hecatoncheires known by a different name by men and the gods?

It is said in the Iliad that one of the Hundred Handers was known by two names, one for the gods to call him and one for men to call him. His name by the gods was Briareus but men called him Aegaeon. ...
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Did Hera know that Perseus was Zeus's son?

We often see Hera punishing Zeus's children or the mothers because of her jealousy. But such is not the case with the hero Perseus or her mother. She isn't even mentioned trying to cause any harm to ...
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What did the Thebans do to cause the wrath of Dionysus?

Pausanias tells the legend of the Teumessian fox, a fox destined never to be caught sent by Dionysus to destroy Thebes, the god's birthplace according to the Zeus and Semele narrative: 9.19.1 On ...
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Why does Eumaeus singles out the nymphs and Hermes in his offerings?

In Odyssey 14 Eumaeus the swineherd is the first person that meets Odysseus upon his return to Ithaca. Although he doesn't recognize his master, he offers him shelter and treats him to a feast: ...
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What do we know of Perses, son of Helios and brother to Circe?

Perses was a son of Helios and the Oceanid Perse. He is the least well-known of his siblings, Aeëtes (the king of Colchis), Pasiphaë (the wife of king Minos of Crete) and Circe (the famed sorceress). ...
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Has Odysseus ever used a bow prior to the archery contest in the Odyssey?

In Odyssey 21 Penelope famously proposes an archery contest to her suitors, a test of masculine skill with herself as the prize. The disguised Odysseus wins the contest and then proceeds to reveal ...
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School in the Sky?

I'm looking for references to schools in the sky. Was there a school that the Greek gods attended? A university frequented by the Norse pantheon? An academy in Tian? I'd love any pointers you've ...
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What do we know of the rebellion against Zeus by Poseidon, Hera and Athena?

In the first book of the Iliad Achilles mentions that Thetis, his sea nymph mother, once saved Zeus from a rebellion by Poseidon, Hera and Athena: Help your brave son, therefore, if you are able. ...
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Are there any myths that prove Athena was the favorite daughter of Zeus?

In Greek mythology, Athena is often said to be favourite child of Zeus. The only proof that I know of is him gifting her his shield (Aegis). But are there any other myths that provide proof for this ...
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How did Cronos lose if he was god of time?

I have read in many articles where it is mentioned that Zeus overthrew the Titan Cronos who could control time. How is it possible? Cronos could just turn back time and correct wherever he went wrong....
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Why was Hephaestus ugly?

In Greek mythology Hephaestus is said to be the only ugly god among Olympians, but why was this the case? I know he was born this way and later thrown of Olympus by Hera, but as a god he should've had ...
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In what version of Greek Mythology are humankind described the most positively?

I'm comparing the interpretations of Apollodorus, Ovid, and Hesiod to see what version of humankind is "liked" the most by the gods, which one is it?
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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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Why did Cronus swallow his daughters?

According to Hesiod, Cronus swallowed his children because he learned "he was destined to be overcome by his own son": These great Cronos swallowed as each came forth from the womb to his mother's ...
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How many Ancient Greek names got their English names from French or nativised in English?

The majority of Ancient Greek people (be it mythological or real) or places got their English names from their Latinized Greek names (Uranus, Achilles, etc.), except for a select few that got their ...
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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 ...
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What is that on Athena's chest?

In this statue there is something what looks like a face on Athena's chest. I have seen it on some other statues of Athena. What is it? Is there a myth behind it?
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Who were the Guardians of Olympus?

I am aware of Hercules and his two sons, as well as of the Horae who guard the doors of Olympus, but were there any other deities instructed with guarding the home of the gods?
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The Odyssey lock scene (Book 21): Translations vs. original Greek?

Near the beginning of Book 21, most translators have used some peculiar language to describe Penelope's unlocking of the door behind which Odysseus' bow is kept. Fagles writes (lines 54–56) ...
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281 views

Who was the fastest character in Greek mythology?

We say an A400M Atlas airplane flying the other day, and my colleague said "It's so slow". I told him "It's Atlas, not <fastestMythicalCharacter>!". I ended up using the modern superhero Flash, ...
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Medea in the Dunciad

The mortal Medea, as described in Wikipedia, does not appear to characterize the lines in Alexander Pope's Dunciad: As one by one, at dread Medea's strain, The sick'ning stars fade off th' ...
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Are there any instances of defying a prophecy?

In Greek mythology, there are many prophecies. Usually, in spite of someone's effort to prevent it, what is prophesized still happens. As far as I'm aware, the only one to successfully avoid a ...
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100 views

Who is “she who slew the Gorgon” in Euripides?

In Euripides' Ion, we find the following lines in a dialogue between Ion and his mother Creusa (Perseus Digital Library text in parallel with Coleridge's translation): Κρέουσα: ἴστω Γοργοφόνα — ...