Questions tagged [greek]

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

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10
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2answers
348 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
651 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
307 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 ...
9
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2answers
209 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 ...
11
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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
154 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
255 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), ...
10
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1answer
719 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
856 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
7k 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 ...
9
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0answers
503 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 ...
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4answers
1k 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
276 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
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1answer
719 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
428 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
121 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 ...
13
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1answer
824 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 ...
11
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5answers
22k 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
411 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
737 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
521 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 ...
6
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1answer
160 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
244 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) -...
4
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3answers
185 views

Are there any deities whose roles had been greatly diminished by the Greek pantheon?

I was wondering if there were any deities whose roles had been greatly diminished by the Greek pantheon after being assimilated into it?
5
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1answer
3k views

Why did Hercules murder his first wife?

I am speaking, of course, of the ill-fortuned Megara. (Literal answer is fine, although I'd welcome commentary and analysis. Ideally, links will come from Academic sources where possible.)
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1answer
7k views

What happened to Prometheus after Hercules freed him?

I couldn't find much (any) info about this question. According to wikipedia: Prometheus, in eternal punishment, is chained to a rock in the Caucasus, Kazbek Mountain or Mountain of Khvamli, where ...
4
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3answers
2k views

Is it Lady Chaos or Lord Chaos

I want to know whether the Greek creator of the universe is a woman or man. I looked at many resources and each said one or the other. Thanks in advance.
8
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1answer
243 views

Are there any groups similar to the muses in other religions?

Are the muses - a set of deities, each corresponding to a specific form of art - a unique Graeco-Roman invention or are there parallels in other mythologies?
7
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1answer
344 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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1answer
205 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: ...
3
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2answers
1k views

How could Heracles ensure the victory of the Olympians against the Titans if he was born mortal?

In ancient greek mythology, Heracles is the hero with the most adventures ever. There is, however, a temporal paradox between the different myths about him that bothers me a bit. Heracles was born ...
4
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1answer
259 views

In the battle between the Olympians and the Titans, how could any of them defeat the other one?

The groups are both immortal, nobody could possibly kill or harm anybody. I always assumed that the Titans have "surrendered" and then therefore taken into captivity. But it doesn't make any sense! ...
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1answer
3k 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 ...
5
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2answers
280 views

In what groups of twelve gods did Hebe, Helios, Selene, Eos, Eros and Persephone appear?

The following quote is from the Wikipedia article on the Twelve Olympians: Hebe, Helios, Selene, Eos, Eros and Persephone are other important gods and goddesses who are sometimes included in a ...
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2answers
737 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 ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Odysseus raid on the Cicones at Ismaros (Odyssey Book 9 lines 40-66)

Open question for thoughts and explanations re Odysseus’ raid on the Cicones (also called Kikonians) while on his way home from the Trojan War, on any of my questions below and/or other thoughts of ...
10
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1answer
138 views

Where did the various artistic depictions of the Chimera originate?

I wasn't sure whether to ask this in history as it relates to art history, but the Chimera's appearance varies considerably in art throughout history. Designs vary in the proportion of lion, goat and ...
9
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1answer
169 views

Are there Christian influences in the Dionysiaca?

Two works by Nonnus of Panopolis survive to this day: The Dionysiaca, an epic poem about the life of Dionysus, The Paraphrase of John, a rewording of the Gospel of John. This is a rare example of ...
7
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2answers
587 views

Is the apocalypse prophesied by Hesiod mentioned elsewhere?

In Works and Days Hesiod outlines the successive Ages of Man. His description of the current times, the Iron Age, includes a doom and gloom prediction of the destruction of mankind at the hands of ...
6
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1answer
493 views

What is the meaning of Hercules' self-immolation?

Per my previous question, we've established that Heracles' had committed suicide of the pain of poison. The idea that the poison will kill him, however, is not universal. The Heracles of the ...
6
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0answers
54 views

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 ...
21
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3answers
5k views

Did any Greek mythological hero father a son who surpassed him in fame?

I can't think of any case of a Greek mythological hero having a son who achieved more fame, glory and "heroic status" than him. Looking the descendency of Perseus, Heracles, Theseus, Jason, Achilles, ...
7
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1answer
272 views

What is Clytemnestra's dowry? How does it compare to Helen's?

In other words, what does Agamemnon gain by forcing her into marriage, and to what degree does Agamemnon's status depend on his royal wife? (Eleanor of Aquitaine as " the most eligible bride in ...
7
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1answer
870 views

Why does Hercules light himself on fire?

I mean, it's a memorable way to go and demonstrates tremendous commitment, but this is something we usually see in religions deriving from India, where Agni is both a god and integral at a fundamental,...
9
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3answers
626 views

Why does the river Styx have power over the Olympians?

Zeus is supreme except when he vows on the river Styx. If he breaks such an oath, he will die. From what does the most famous of stygian watercourses derive such awesome power?
2
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1answer
286 views

Why is Hera queen of the gods?

Hera is not the only goddess of her generation, being a sister to Demeter and Hestia. Furthermore, Aphrodite, in the Hesiodic account, is older, originating from the batter of Ouranos' severed junk ...
5
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1answer
334 views

What power does Hera have over Zeus?

Zeus was king of the gods, and his lightening bolt was something of a supreme weapon in the clash with the titans. And yet, Zeus is often depicted as a hen-pecked husband, fearful of his wife. ...
9
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2answers
280 views

The repertoire of the Sphinx

In ancient Greek tradition, what riddles did have the Sphinx in her "repertoire", besides the famous: Which creature goes on four feet in the morning, two feet at noon, and three feet in the ...
4
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1answer
74 views

Can the unbreakable lid specifically in the Work and Days version of Pandora be taken as a metaphor?

This excellent question got me thinking about how to understand the perceived ambiguity of the status of "Hope" in the Works and Days version of the Pandora story. Is there some deeper meaning to the ...
3
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1answer
2k 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.

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