Questions tagged [greek]

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

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15
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3answers
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Importance of Dionysos/Bacchus in Orphism

How did Dionysus/Bacchus become the central figure of Orphism, given the relatively modest importance he has in classical Greek and Roman mythology? From a semi-god of Wine in the latter, he becomes ...
14
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3answers
20k views

Why are Kore and Persephone interchangeable in the myth regarding Hades wife?

In Greek mythology, Kore and Persephone were interchangeable as Hades' wife. Which is it? Kore or Persephone?
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5answers
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What was the explanation in Greek mythology for the absence of their deities?

The most well-known religions of the developed world teach about an all-powerful, transcendental God, existing in a state far beyond our understanding of space and time, who will come at the end of ...
12
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1answer
5k views

Is Chronos Kronos?

Well, I saw a youtube comment on the latest Crash Course Mythology video- Chronus has nothing to do with time. That's Kronos, a primordial deity separate from the titans and infinitely more ...
12
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1answer
2k views

Why does Medea escape punishment?

Medea murders her brother Absyrtus to facilitate her's and Jason's escape from Colchis. In some versions of the myth - most notably in Euripides's eponymous play - she also murders her sons to revenge ...
11
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2answers
558 views

Why did Heracles transform into a fawn, during the gods flight to Egypt?

In some tellings of Typhon's revolt, the gods take animal forms and flee to Egypt in panic. The version in the Metamorphoses of Antoninus Liberalis references Nicander of Colophon and explicitly ...
11
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1answer
536 views

How were the first children of Gaia conceived?

According to Greek Mythology, Gaia had many children. All of them were with a partner, except for three: Uranus Pontus Ourea Is it ever explained how these children were conceived?
10
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2answers
915 views

Why would Aphrodite be armed?

Pausanias tells us that the Spartans worshipped Aphrodite Hoplismeni (~armed) and Aphrodite Areia (~of Ares, warlike): [Paus. 3.15.10] Not far from the theatre is a sanctuary of Poseidon God of Kin, ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Symbolism behind Hephaestus riding a donkey

When Hephaestus returns to Olympus after being thrown out by Hera, some authors/artists portray him as riding a donkey: (Source: Theoi.com) Is there any reason why he rides a donkey? Why not a horse ...
10
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1answer
179 views

Why were the Isles of the Blest ruled over by Cronos and Rhea?

As I was researching Isles of the Blest, I came across something very confusing. According to Maicar... Rather, after three lifetimes, the souls of the good are conveyed to the Island of the Blest, ...
9
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1answer
661 views

Why can't a vrykolakas cross the sea?

In Paradoseis, Nikolaos Politis records the belief that a vrykolakas cannot cross the sea. More specifically, tale 933 explains how the people of Myconos kept themselves safe from vrykolakes by ...
9
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1answer
3k views

Who was the father of Theseus?

Theseus's paternity seems to be in question. He seems to be a demi-god, as the son of Poseidon. But he was also the son of Aegeus. Who was his father?
9
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1answer
625 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 ...
9
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2answers
1k views

What is the oldest known version of the Thessalonike legend?

Thessalonike was the daughter of Phillip II of Macedon, and a half sister to Alexander III of Macedon. Legend has it that when Alexander died, Thessalonike "became a mermaid passing judgment on ...
8
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2answers
532 views

Why is it that we say “Pandora's box” so often even thought it was a jar?

Why is it so popular to say that it was a box when it was actually a jar?
8
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3answers
4k views

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?
8
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3answers
519 views

Did the Moirai (3 Fates) also control lovers destiny or was that the responsibility of another deity?

Did the Moirai / 3 Fates take precedence over the Gods responsible for love and marriage? What relationship, if any, does Greek canon state about the link between Hera, Eros and Moirai?
8
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1answer
181 views

What Phoenician story could be the inspiration of the cosmic story of five Titanes?

This is from Bleh's answer (quoting theoi.com): The cosmic story of five Titanes--four holding the corners of heaven--may be Phoenician in origin. What Phoenician story could be the basis for the ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Has Poseidon ever won a dispute with another Olympian?

It seems that every time Poseidon was in contest with another Olympian, he came up short. First, he lost dominion over the heavens to Zeus: But when Zeus was full-grown, he took Metis, daughter of ...
6
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1answer
224 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) ...
6
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1answer
281 views

Could the weapons of the gods be used against them?

Ethan's answer to the How did Athena keep from being turned into stone by her shield? question puts forth an interesting idea: Athena probably wouldn't have been turned to stone from Medusa's head ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Would the gods often take the form of another god?

Greek mythology is full of stories where gods would disguise themselves as humans, beasts or elements to deceive humans. Especially with Zeus, this appears to be a favourite plot element. A ...
6
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4answers
550 views

Who are the twelve Olympian gods?

Everyone agrees that there are twelve Olympians, but the identities of the twelve seems to vary. What is the deal?
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4answers
2k views

What happened if a god or goddess had his/her head cut off?

So in mythology, most gods and goddesses are immortal. But you can't really live once you have your head cut off. So, specifically Greek mythology, what would happen if your head got cut off, and you ...
4
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1answer
4k views

Who lives in Mount Olympus usually?

Greek gods were on Olympus. On the top of my head, I can also name some more, like the Muses and Ganymede, but, are there other people who lived on Mount Olympus?
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1answer
200 views

Are there any Greek myths related to the creation or use of numbers?

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_numerals for reference; So the Greek Mythology played a part in almost everything, like The ocean (Oceanus) Northern Europe (Europa) And a whole bunch of ...
4
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1answer
147 views

Is Ostara related to Astraea?

I was watching the finale of American Gods ("Come to Jesus"), which centered on the goddess Ostara, and I was also just reading this interesting little article on Astraea, and I thought, the two names ...
3
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1answer
45 views

How much time is a generation in the odyssey and Iliad?

Prompted by the question How old was Nestor is there any reference to how much Homer considered a generation to be? I cannot seem to find any good reference that is reliable and sourced correctly, ...
3
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1answer
459 views

Are all monsters children of gods/Titans/primordials?

I've noticed that a number of creatures are related to the Greek deities. By the oldest account, Echidna, the mother of monsters, is the daughter of sea gods. This accounts for her own kids being ...
16
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2answers
646 views

Why was the Minotaur enclosed in a labyrinth and not in jail of some sort?

Is there a specific reason the Minotaur was kept in a labyrinth instead of a normal jail? If not mentioned in the original writings, are there any speculations as to why go through the trouble of ...
15
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4answers
27k 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 ...
11
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2answers
922 views

First appearance of the Delphi Oracle in Greek myths

The history of Perseus begins with the oracle of Delphi, when the King of Argos is told that one day a son of his own daughter will kill him. Being Perseus one of the most ancient Greek mythological ...
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3answers
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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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1answer
2k views

Are there any Greek myths of a god permanently turning into a mortal as punishment?

I'm looking for a Greek myth in which an immortal god, no matter how minor, turns into a mortal immediately because of a punishment. Things I am not looking for: A temporary punishment- Apollo ...
8
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1answer
228 views

Could Achilles have killed Hector at a later time?

Achilles was given two choices by his mother, either stay and die with imperishable fame or leave the war and live a life of peace. When he heard Hector killed Patroclus, to escape his fate and take ...
7
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1answer
442 views

Is the Cumaean Sybil known by any other name?

Warning- Extremely deep in Greek/Roman myth. The Virgin of Cumae, or the Cumaean Sybil, was a priestess with the gift of prophecy. She would write her prophecies on oak leaves an arrange them. But, ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Which one was older, Artemis or Apollo?

On the island of Delos, Leto had twins, Apollo and Artemis. But usually, twins have a time in between before they are born. Not sure if this is the same in mythology. So which was older?
7
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2answers
839 views

What items are necessary for a mortal to travel safely in the underworld?

I am currently working on a performance where the hero has to make it through the underworld and back. I am assuming there are things such a traveller could bring with them to safely complete the ...
7
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1answer
364 views

Destruction of the universe by fire in the Ancient Greek canon?

In Ovid's Metamorphosis, Zeus, thoroughly freaked out* by his encounter with Lycaon, returns to Olympus, determined to rid the world of the evil race of men. A few lines later, Ovid relates that: ...
7
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1answer
440 views

Are Artemis and Bendis the same?

The following quote is from Plato's The Republic: I went down yesterday to the Piraeus with Glaucon the son of Ariston, that I might offer up my prayers to the goddess (Bendis, the Thracian Artemis....
7
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2answers
437 views

Did Greeks and Romans allow for belief in only some of their gods?

Did Greeks and Romans believe in all their gods, or was it permissible to believe in some of them only (e.g., only in Diana, Jupiter, Apollo, Mercury, etc.)? {It seems it was permissible to believe ...
6
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1answer
459 views

Why is the Oedipus complex named after Oedipus?

What is the relationship between the Oedipus complex and the character Oedipus? Is there any? It is a big jump between someone who answered a riddle to a psychological complex.
6
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2answers
929 views

Are there any love stories in Greek myth that don't have one or both dying?

Phaedra and Hippolytus: Phaedra is cursed to love her own stepson Hippolytus, who dies. Galatea and Acis: Galatea attracts the love of Polyphemus, who kills her lover Acis. Hero and Leander live on ...
6
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2answers
348 views

Was King Polydectes the last petrified by Medusa?

After beheading Medusa, Perseus uses her head to turn the Titan Atlas, the sea monster Cetus, and King Polydectes of Seriphos to stone. Perseus then gives the head of the Gorgon to the goddess Athena, ...
6
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1answer
264 views

What changed in Greek culture to allow Herophilos to perform human dissections

This is a follow-up to this question: Why was dissection taboo in Greek antiquity? With such strong taboos against it (addressed in the above question), how was Herophilos able to perform systematic,...
6
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2answers
119 views

Was a sneeze seen as an omen in ancient Greece?

This is a loading screen hint from the game Assasin's Creed Odyssey: Gods bless you. A sneeze at a key moment was seen as an omen in ancient Greece. Since it was involuntary, the action was viewed as ...
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3answers
953 views

What happened to Theseus after Herakles found him?

So Herakles found Theseus in the Underworld after he went and finished his last labor of bringing Cerberus back. What resulted of Theseus?
4
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1answer
3k views

Surely hope being left in Pandora's Box means that there is no true hope in the world? [duplicate]

Because death was released into the world, all hope is denied, so being stuck in the box means there is not hope in the world.
4
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2answers
127 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
159 views

Artemis and the Pleiades

In Smith's "Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.", the entry for the Pleiades states: According to another story, the Pleiades were virgin companions of Artemis, and, together ...