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Questions tagged [greek]

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

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3
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2answers
6k views

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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1answer
367 views

Why did Hera have so many sacred things?

Theoi has quite the list. SYMBOLS Crown, Lotus-staff, Cuckoo ATTRIBUTES Lotus-staff; Crown; Cuckoo; Peacock; Pomegranate CHARIOTS Who cares? SACRED PLANTS Pomegranate, Lotus/Waterlily, Willow ...
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1answer
367 views

Why was the blood of Ouranos so powerful?

The blood of Ouranos gave birth to- Aphrodite three seasons three Erinyes the Gigantes And that is quite a list for someone to give birth to when he is dead. Is this just a given? A powerful god ...
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1answer
846 views

Why was Hephaestus's mule ithyphallic?

While poking around at this question: Symbolism behind Hepheastus riding a donkey A common detail in the art struck me, and as a result, I learned a cool new word: Ithyphallic: having an erect ...
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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 ...
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1answer
340 views

Did Theseus use the string or Princess Ariadne to get out?

In a AHEM certain series AHEM, it states that Theseus did not rely on the string of Princess Ariadne; rather, he used the vision of a mortal who could see through the Mist, a certain force that made ...
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355 views

What is this myth about Helios?

Well, there was a guy who wanted to get on the sun chariot, but eventually he died or something happened to him, but he got too close or something. What is the name of the boy, and what is the time ...
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1answer
199 views

How much did Greek mythology vary throughout different regions of Greece?

I have picked this question up from the sample questions in the definition phase of this site. I found this question very interesting. How different is the mythology across various regions of Greece, ...
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1answer
422 views

Ηοw is the pomegranate connected with New Year's celebrations?

I flew to Crete on New Year's Eve, and the flight crew offered all of us a pomegranate and instructed us to break it open at midnight. What's the story there? How is the pomegranate connected with ...
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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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624 views

Why did Zeus release Cronos?

In this answer, Hamlet quotes this page: and Cronos rules over them; for the father of men and gods released him from his bonds. It is safe to assume that the "father of men and gods" is Zeus, as ...
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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, ...
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650 views

Why is Echidna at Arima?

In Hesiod's Theogony, he writes And there she has a cave deep down under a hollow rock far from the deathless gods and mortal men. There, then, did the gods appoint her a glorious house to dwell in:...
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Why does Athena not hold Poseidon responsible for desecrating her temple with Medusa?

In Greek mythology, Medusa was raped by the sea god Poseidon in the Temple of Athena. Athena found no fault in Poseidon, but was furious with Medusa. My question is why would Athena not find any fault ...
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Who is the oldest being in Greek mythology?

Who was the oldest being ever to have existed in Greek mythology? In other words, were there a set of beings before all of the primordial gods? Who was to have created the primordial gods? What was ...
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Are there any negative connotations associated with the Caduceus?

The staff carried by Hermes/Mercury, which known as the Caduceus, is one of my favorite symbols. For those that are visual thinkers I have pictured it below: I am planning on getting a tattoo of the ...
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473 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.
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What purpose did the myth of Oedipus serve?

In Ancient Greece, there were many different phenomena in the world that were explained by stories or myths, usually involving gods, such as the changing of the seasons or the obtainment of fire. ...
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What would happen if you made contradictory vows on the River Styx?

It is said in Greek Mythology that a swear over the river Styx cannot be broken. So what would happen, theoretically of course, if two swears from the same person contradicted one another? For ...
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3answers
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Who held the celestial sphere before Atlas?

After Zeus defeated Kronos, all Titans on the losing side were punished. Atlas in particular was tasked with holding the celestial sphere for all eternity. When Herakles later meets him, it's ...
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2answers
237 views

How were the Furies (Erinyies) born?

How were the Erinyes born? They seem like mystical creatures that are there to do Hades' bidding, but how were they actually born? Are they just other monsters magically born?
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652 views

Were each of the myths in the Epic Cycle of Greek mythology intended to be related to one another?

The Epic Cycle, a group of eight Greek epics, collectively tell the story of the Trojan War, as well as related events. It is an ongoing matter of debate as to when the epics were first complied into ...
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1answer
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What exactly was Sisyphus' punishment?

Sisyphus' punishment was to roll a rock up a hill forever, but then why couldn't he just drop it? Why couldn't he get it to the top?
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1answer
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Does the "Ship of Theseus" have a name?

After read about Ship of Theseus paradox I was in a big doubt, I looked in Wikipedia, Google, but I can't found an unique mention of this issue: does his ship have its own name?
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Differences in the Greek and Roman portrayals of Cronos/Saturn

I just read a blog post that talks about the Roman feast of Saturnalia: During the time of the Republic, gambling was prohibited except during the festival of the Saturnalia which was held in ...
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5answers
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What is the symbolism behind Pandora's Box?

The myth of Pandora is basically the story of a woman who is given a box by the gods, and told not to open it. Of course, she opens the box, and evil is released to the world. Is it possible that the ...
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545 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?
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1answer
423 views

Do swans [or geese?] have any medicinal-related significance in Greek mythology?

Please, have a look at this picture: It represents the Medicine. At the bottom you see a swan and a cock. The cock was sacred to Asclepius and should be one of his symbols here. But what about that ...
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1answer
217 views

What did Sisyphus know and when did he know it?

Each time that Sisyphus began to roll the boulder up the mountain was he aware before beginning the task that the boulder would roll back down once he had finished? In other words, in addition to ...
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1answer
608 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?
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1answer
851 views

Was Achilles really motivated by eternal glory?

I've been reading a lot of interpretations of Achilles' decision to return to battle, and many top scholars seem to think that he sacrificed his life in order to achieve some form of eternal glory. ...
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The origin of Elysium

The lyrics of the famous "Ode to Joy" (by Schiller, on the final of Beethoven's 9th) mention the 'daughter of Elysium'. The term Elysium or 'Elysian plane' go back to Hesiod, Homer and Aeneid. The ...
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Is there an allegorical meaning associated with the destruction of Troy?

In many cases, a mythos can be seen as an allegory. For example, the biblical episode of Judith and Holofernes can be seen as the eradication of pride, accomplished at all costs, emphasizing the ...
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Pegasus and the Hydra - Is there a Myth behind this Painting?

Pegasus and the Hydra by Odilon Redon It seems to be a winged horse (Pegausus) fighting a many-headed figure. I have not been able to locate an established and credible myth behind Pegasus fighting ...
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4answers
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Symbolism of Ixion's Punishment

Ixion is punished for loving Hera by being tied to a wheel that travels through the sky: Ixion fell in love with Hera and attempted to force her; and when Hera reported it, Zeus, wishing to know if ...
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1answer
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Did different Greek mythology sources ever explicitly acknowledge the contradictions between themselves?

Greek mythology is full of different accounts of the same exact facts, based on which source you use. As a random example, here's the assorted sourced details on Prometheus' parentage from Wikipedia: ...
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1answer
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Does Greek mythology list a calendar date for creation?

I'm reading "Apollodorus : The Library of Greek Mythology" and I've noticed that it simply starts with "Ouranos was the first ruler of the universe." There is no mention of dates that would allow for ...
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2answers
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Was Talos an intelligent machine?

I've been playing "The Talos Principle". In it, Talos is presented as a symbolic representation of an intelligent artificial being (a robot, if you're feeling less pretentious). The bronze giant ...
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1answer
390 views

Looking for source: Woman refuses to drink from the River Lethe

I saw a "story from Greek mythology" referenced in my morning paper, and I'd never heard it before. A woman came to the River Styx and asked to be taken across into that dark land. [The ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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Correct version of the Sirens scene in "The Odyssey"?

In Roman Mars's podcast, 99% Invisible, in Episode 79: Symphony of Sirens, Revisited, from 00:23-01:00, Mars recounts the Sirens scene in Homer's The Odyssey: In Homer's Odyssey, there's a story ...
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251 views

Etymology of "charming" ("Encantadora" in spanish) seeing from the Greek mythology point of view

I originally posted this question in the Spanish StackExchange but it seems it fits more in here, even though the significance of the word looks more direct in Spanish than English. My doubt rose ...
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1answer
620 views

What myth explains animal sacrifices to the Olympian gods?

I seem to remember a particular ancient Greek myth that used to explain how animal sacrifices to the Olympian gods were performed. In particular, when poultry or mammals was sacrificed, the humans ...
7
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1answer
375 views

Name of Electra's brother

In Sophocles' Electra, it is revealed at the end that one of the guards there is Electra's long lost brother. What is the name of this guard? I have looked for it online, and in the book he is ...
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1answer
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Who were Aphrodite's parents?

I was looking up some stuff and I saw a quote about Aphrodite's genealogy from this page. One genealogy gives her parents as Zeus, King of the Gods, and Dione, an early earth/mother goddess. More ...
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854 views

Was the development of Greek mythology dynamic or static?

Did Greek mythology develop dynamically or statically? Let me explain a little more what I mean by "dynamic" and "static". Static: Given the religious element of the stories, I could imagine that ...
13
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1answer
813 views

What is this myth: elderly couple unwittingly feed gods, changed into tree

I studied Latin in 7th grade, and my teacher used to read some stories from Greek and Roman mythology to us. There is one of those that I wanted to learn more about, but haven't been able to find. ...
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5answers
4k views

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 ...
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2answers
653 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 ...
13
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1answer
2k views

Why did Odysseus pretend to be Helen's suitor if he wanted to win Penelope?

An important point in the story of the Iliad is that Odysseus (hoping to win the hand of Penelope, King Tyndareus niece), proposes an "Oath of Tyndareus", which binds all the suitors of Helen to join ...

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