Questions tagged [greek]

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

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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 ...
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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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Zeno's influence on the conception of the Hydra?

I am referring to Zeno of Elia (c.490 –c.430 BCE) and his famous Dichotomy Paradox. This paradox has to do with infinite divisions based on 1/2. It seems to be that the conception of the Hydra as ...
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How did Hypnos became associated with the Muses?

Pausanias, in his Description of Greece mentions that Hypnos (the personification of sleep) was particularly friendly with the Muses: [Paus. 2.31.3] Not far from the Muses' Hall is an old altar, ...
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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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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' ethereal ...
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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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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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Claims that the Pleiades had some kind of leader

The page https://www.theoi.com/Nymphe/NymphaiPleiades.html states: "The Pleiades were seven mountain-nymph daughters of the Titan Atlas. Their leader was Maia the mother of Hermes by Zeus." I can't ...
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How many lost continents are in Mythology?

A majority of people will know of Atlantis. It is a Greek, fictional island, misregarded as oral history. Atlantis is mentioned in Plato's works Timaeus and Critias and is placed in the Atlantic Ocean....
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What do we know about the winged male figures representing the souls of warriors in the weighing of souls?

The pictured black-figured lekythos features Hermes (in his role as a psychopomp), weighing the souls of Achilles and a Trojan warrior (Memnon or Hector): What I find particularly interesting in the ...
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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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What kinds of love do individual Greek gods represent?

The Greeks had four concepts for love: éros (ἔρος), storgē (στοργή), philía (φιλία) and agápe (ἀγάπη). Eros being passionate love or romantic love. Storge means love between good friends and family. ...
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Identifying Greco-Roman Mythology reference in Krazy Kat Kartoon

Some months ago I answered a question over on the Literature SE. The question was about a Krazy Kat strip from 1936. In the cartoon, Offisa Pupp takes a nap; he dreams that he meets Krazy and then ...
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Is there an ancient basis for the Cretan bull-headed sea serpent god in Mika Waltari's The Egyptian?

Mika Waltari's excellent historical novel The Egyptian, set in Ancient Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten1, features a bull-headed sea serpent Cretan god. Here's a quick summary of the time ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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How can gods hide themselves from other god's gaze?

I know of Hades with his Helm of Darkness. I know that Athena gave a Helm of Darkness to the hero Perseus and later used it (or another) herself in the Iliad to hid from Ares. Another point in the ...
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Is the "half-goddess" Hel distinct among mythical rulers of the underworld?

By this I mean, there is a definite parallel between Hel and other underworld goddesses, Kore/Persephone in particular, although the concept may be extended to Inanna/Geshtinanna, who Gaiman regards ...
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Why did the Trojans accept Paris back?

I just learned that Paris was exposed as a baby (left outside to die). How did he survive? If he was exposed, why did the Trojans accept him back as their prince?
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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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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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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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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: Then ...
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Who kept the Cumaean Sybil in a jar (ampulla)?

I have previously asked a question about the Virgin of Cumae, or the Cumaean Sybil, so the info will, for the most part, just be a memorize and type deal. The Virgin of Cumae was a priestess with the ...
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Do the gods know when they are being watched, or their name said?

Prayers are sent to gods, so thus, the Greeks believed that their prayers were heard to some extent. But does that extent hold true for casual conversation or when curses were said in their name? ...
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Who is Aura's mother?

Lelantos's daughter is the nymph Aura (Breeze). Nonnus says that her mother, or at least his wife, is the Oceanid Periboia. But elsewhere, he calls Aura the "daughter of Cybele" Cybele is a Phrygian ...
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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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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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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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Why was Gaia in deep slumber during creation?

In all of Greek mythology, Gaia played an important role: giving birth to the titans and giants, etc. But most of the time she is in a deep slumber in the creation of mythology? Why?
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Cross-dressing Grecian/Hellenistic priests

Background: I'm reading a book in Hebrew called "The Ten Tribes" by Alter Walner, a collection of essays on a number of topics that relate both to the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel and to other ...
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Which Greek myth tells the story of a woman/man who falsely admits to killing his/her lover?

Someone told me about a Greek myth about a woman/man who falsely admits to killing his/her lover? Is there such a myth? If so, what is it?
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Planctae vs. Symplegades

In the Argonautica, both the Planctea and the Symplegades are mentioned. One on the way in search of the Golden Fleece and the other on the way back. The Planctea was also known as, "the Wondering ...
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What were author's explanation for Oedipus solving the more ancient of the riddles?

The riddle we all know is- What creature walks on 4 legs in the morning, 2 in the afternoon and 3 in the evening? The answer is a human in relation to the stages of life. The second, and possibly ...
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Why are some daemons not labeled as gods?

The original meaning (and spelling) of daemon was inferior god (lesser deity). Kind of like titan meaning Stretchers or Strainers. Daemones are also called personified spirits. Examples: Agathodaemon ...
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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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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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