Questions tagged [greek]

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

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6
votes
1answer
465 views

Is there a tale of Zeus having sex with a deer?

I heard about a myth saying Zeus had sex with a deer, but after hours of research, I hold nothing. Can anyone tell me of this myth? I am especially interested in acquiring any information about a ...
5
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2answers
296 views

Are Krishna and Hermes related?

Both gods have legends involving extraordinary powers as children. This link discusses the infant Krishna, as an incarnation of Vishnu, instructing his father Vasudeva on how to escape the wrath of ...
6
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1answer
223 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 ...
8
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1answer
543 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?
12
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4answers
2k views

Is it Heracles or Herakles?

In the question, "What happened to Theseus after Heracles found him" that I answered, someone edited my answer and replaced Heracles with Herakles. I was confused because when I searched up Heracles ...
9
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2answers
2k views

How did Pan die?

From bleh's answer in Can the Greek Gods Be "Killed"?, I learned that Pan is dead 1: He returned no answer to the first calls; but at the third he replied, Here ! here! I am the man. Then ...
6
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2answers
409 views

Is there a story that places the Amazons against Ares?

In the 2017 film Wonder Woman, and I assume the comics featuring the eponymous character, the Amazons are associated with Zeus and Ares is their adversary. This is bizarre. The Amazons are a warlike ...
4
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1answer
118 views

Why is Plato singling out Hestia, Zeus and Athena in Laws?

In Book 5 of Laws, Plato is singling out Hestia, Zeus and Athena while describing the ideal city: The next thing to be noted is, that the city should be placed as nearly as possible in the centre ...
8
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1answer
226 views

Did the gods think Poseidōn's vengeance on Odysseus was just excessive, or entirely unfair?

The beginning of the Odyssey, the Olympian gods all want to allow Odysseus to return from his long exile, only Poseidōn is against that. So Zeus, as king of the gods, overrules Poseidōn on Athēnē's ...
5
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1answer
126 views

What is the story of Dionysus' shipwreck?

Dionysus Shipwrecked is a lost comedy, written either by Aristophanes or by Archippus. Regardless of authorship, the title suggests the play revolved around a story of Dionysus being shipwrecked. Has ...
12
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1answer
762 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 ...
8
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2answers
630 views

Who had a “sister wife” in Greek mythology?

The term "sister wife" occurs in ancient Greek literature, in reference to a woman who is both a wife and a (full-or-half) sister of her husband, but my question is in regards to Greek mythology: Who ...
6
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1answer
693 views

Stories of living people that journeyed into the underworld and back?

This is inspired from: What items are necessary for a mortal to travel safely in the underworld? Which living people made it into the underworld and back? What are their stories, and what ...
7
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2answers
248 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 ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Why is Dante using Geryon as a symbol of fraud?

In Greek mythology, Geryon was a three-headed (or three-bodied) giant Hercules slew during one of his labors. Dante places him in the seventh circle of hell and presents him as a manifestation of ...
10
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1answer
172 views

Why does archaic mythic literature undercut its own pretensions to explain origins?

The myth of Prometheus is commonly understood to account for how humanity first came to possess fire. Likewise the mythic content of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter is commonly understood to account for ...
11
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2answers
305 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 ...
8
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1answer
174 views

Did the power of Zeus grow considerably after the Titanomachy?

In my previous question, I learned of Typhon's revolt against Zeus. What puzzles me is how Zeus managed to overcome the monstrous giant without any help from the Olympians, or anyone else. In the ...
10
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2answers
357 views

What is the origin of the centaurs?

Can someone please explain to me how centaurs were created? Does it seem weird to anyone else that we know about it, but we don't know the full story?
7
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2answers
1k 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?
6
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1answer
117 views

What are some examples of ten-year-long cycles?

There are some very famous decade-long cycles in Greek epic poetry: Both the Titanomachy and the Trojan War lasted for ten years, and when the latter ended it took Odysseus another ten years to return ...
9
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2answers
542 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 ...
8
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3answers
953 views

Why did the gods demand Iphigenia's sacrifice?

In the Greek drama (?) Iphigenia, in order to be able to go on a war against Troy, the Greeks need wind, and for the wind, they need to sacrifice Agamemnon's daughter (the gods demand it). Menelaus ...
4
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1answer
556 views

How long was the voyage of the Argonauts?

Is there any indication in the Argonautica or any other ancient telling of the myth of roughly how long it took Jason and his Argonauts to travel from Iolcos to Colchis and back?
9
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4answers
10k views

What is the symbolism behind Psyche's tasks?

The taskmaster in the story of Cupid and Psyche was Cupid's mother, the love goddess Venus or Aphrodite. Venus had never liked Psyche, so the opportunity of putting her to a series of tests gave Venus ...
5
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1answer
111 views

How to interpret Roger Lancelyn Green's writing on mythology?

I know he's a famous children's writer and an Oxford academic who has rewritten a number of introductory books to Greek myths and other mythological works such as the Tale of Troy and King Arthur and ...
12
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4answers
18k 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, ...
10
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2answers
260 views

Use of the terms “Dīs” and “Orcus” in the Aeneid

The common terms used to refer to the Greek/Roman god of death are Hades or Pluto, yet in the Aeneid, the god of death is commonly referred to as Dīs. Further, the realm of Hades (the Underworld, ...
6
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2answers
554 views

Is there an authoritative compendium of Greek mythology?

I've always been interested in Greek mythology, but in my country we don't have the kind of standalone college courses you find in the US, and I've never been able to find resources that seemed ...
4
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1answer
255 views

Most gods in Egyptian pantheons are with animal faces? [duplicate]

Why there are gods with animal faces but human bodies in Egyptian pantheons? Are they out-numbered the human-faced ones? From biological perspective human is weak in physical (body) but strong in ...
7
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1answer
104 views

What sources describe the rivers of the Underworld?

Many stories about the Greco-Roman Underworld mention the rivers flowing through it: the Styx, the Acheron, the Lethe, the Pyriphlegethon, the Cocytus, the Eridanus, and sometimes others. Sources ...
12
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2answers
2k views

Which Greek or Roman deities have dominion over Time?

Most concepts seem to have a particular deity unambiguously associated with them. But Time, fundamental as it is, does not—in the Greek pantheon, for example, there is Chronus, later conflated with ...
3
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0answers
147 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
197 views

Story of Dionysus being slaughtered as a bull-calf and eaten by the Titans?

The story appears to be a variant of the sparagmos of the Orphic Zagreus, with the difference being that Dionysus was in bull-calf form when he was slaughtered. Wikipedia mentions the story (1, 2), ...
9
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1answer
613 views

How does the Devil come to be horned?

One of the most popular depictions of the Christian Devil is having horns. From whence does this derive? altarpiece by Michael Pacher depicting the Devil with Saint Wolfgang, Bishop of Regensburg ...
4
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1answer
687 views

How is Diomedes distinct among the other two “ultimate warriors” of the Achaeans?

I've always considered Diomedes the most impressive of the three, which also includes Achilles and big Ajax, because, unlike Achilles, Diomedes is not a demi-god with potentially invulnerable skin (...
4
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4answers
6k views

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 ...
8
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0answers
441 views

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 ...
11
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4answers
974 views

Do the apples of the Hesperides grant immortality?

According to Wikipedia, The Garden of the Hesperides is Hera's orchard in the west, where either a single apple tree or a grove grows, producing golden apples that grant immortality when eaten. ...
5
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1answer
241 views

Why does Atlas care about the golden apples?

Hera received a golden apple tree as a gift from Gaia. She planted it near the place Atlas was imprisoned, and employed a dragon named Ladon, and Atlas' daughters, the Hesperides, to guard it. I have ...
6
votes
1answer
575 views

What is the exact type of coin that Charon accepts for a ferry to the Underworld?

I am not sure whether to believe in Greek mythology or not, but I certainly don't want to spend my afterlife as a ghost, so I'm thinking of keeping a silver coin to pay that ol' Charon. But what ...
8
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3answers
375 views

If Athena was born from Zeus' brain, does this mean Athena is a manifestation of Zeus' intelligence?

I have heard that Athena was born out of thoughts, sprang from Zeus' head. In that case, does this mean Athena is a manifestation of Zeus' intelligence?
4
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1answer
119 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 ...
12
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1answer
708 views

Why didn’t Zeus withhold fire from humans the second time?

It looks like Zeus punished Prometheus for stealing fire for humans, but that he then did nothing to take that fire away. While Prometheus was hanging on the rock, humans still possessed fire. Was ...
8
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5answers
18k views

Can the Greek Gods Be “Killed”?

If Zeus and his siblings were able to hold Chronos down and chop him into pieces, effectively "killing" him, could there be a way for the gods or goddesses to die as well? Or in other words, can the ...
7
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2answers
396 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 ...
10
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1answer
600 views

Does the phrase “Zeus Pater” appear in ancient Greek sources?

The Wikipedia article "Sky Father" includes the following passage: "Sky Father" is a direct translation of the Vedic Dyaus Pita, etymologically descended from the same Proto-Indo-European deity ...
3
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2answers
412 views

Why was the Worship of Zeus and his kin banned?

I read somewhere that before Christianity, the Greeks worshiped the seven Greek Gods and eventually it was outlawed or forbidden. My question is, Why was the Worship of Zeus and his kin banned? I'm ...
7
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1answer
153 views

Sirens of Thassos … looking for sources

I'm trying to find sources to explain the "according to ancient myth" statement that opens almost every website on the island of Thassos that it is the Island of the Sirens. I guess it could just be a ...
8
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1answer
227 views

Is there any significance to the forms Zeus took?

Zeus often takes many forms to trick his wives and other damsels and some of the more prominent forms that he had taken are: -the eagle(for Ganydeme) -the swan(for Leda) -the bull(for Eurynome) -...