Questions tagged [greek]

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

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7
votes
1answer
290 views

Are the Underworld's judges really impartial?

The Greek Underworld's three judges, Rhadamanthus, Aeacus, and Minos judge the souls of the dead and decide whether to inflict eternal torment upon them. (Rhadamanthus and Aeacus decide the judgement ...
5
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3answers
9k views

Why do the Greeks have two different messenger gods?

Hermes was a messenger god. And Iris, with her rainbows, was also a messenger goddess. Why would the Greeks have two different messenger gods?
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4answers
1k 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 ...
5
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2answers
529 views

How did Hades get to know Persephone?

Hades, the Underworld god, probably only knew about the Underworld. So why would he even know about Persephone, much less be attracted to her? If he did see above the ground, please tell me how he ...
6
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1answer
827 views

Is there a Sumerian Pandora myth?

On the FOX show Sleepy Hollow, the Big Bad this season calls herself Pandora, and she has a box from which supernatural evil things come, but one of the protagonists says she's from Sumeria. The ...
3
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3answers
4k views

Were any mortals made into gods?

Famous demi-gods were sometimes turned into gods. Namely: Heracles Dionysus But were there any mortals that were turned into gods, or immortal?
4
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1answer
173 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 ...
6
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0answers
144 views

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, ...
7
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2answers
1k 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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2answers
326 views

Why are there only 3 Horai if the year is split into four sections?

There were three Horai. Then, when Demeter started mourning for Persephone, a new season appears (because plants can't grow anymore, and its not autumn.) , winter. Does that mean that Autumn or ...
4
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2answers
289 views

Is there a myth of someone living in the sun?

Is there a Greek myth of some sort of a god, human, or other creature living in the sun?
10
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2answers
942 views

Are sphinxes unigender?

In Greek mythology sphinxes are always female. Are there any text about sphinxes that explain how they breed or how they're born? Or are there male Sphinx?
5
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2answers
222 views

What is the symbolism of the name of the Parcae?

According to theoi.com, Parcae/Moirai means "parts": Their name means "Parts." "Shares" or "Alottted Portions." Is there a symbolism behind this? Is it because Fate was split into 3?
6
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3answers
947 views

Was Poseidon ever considered the chief deity instead of Zeus?

My friends study the history of religions and say that, once Zeus was known for being the head of Olympus, while Poseidon was considered the chief deity. One piece of evidence they give for this is ...
6
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2answers
164 views

Are Moirai & Parcae mortal?

What is the fate of Moirai & Parcae (the Fates) in Roman & Greek mythologies? Are they mortal? If they are destined to die when & how it happens?
4
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1answer
235 views

Onokentauroi and Centaur- origin of both?

Theoi has an interesting mythical creature here THE ONOKENTAUROS (or Onocentaur) was an African animal with the hybrid form of a man and an ass. The Greeks and Romans later applied the name to ...
2
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2answers
3k 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 ...
2
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1answer
305 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 ...
4
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1answer
290 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 ...
8
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1answer
598 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 ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Symbolism behind Hepheastus riding a donkey

When Hepheastus returns to Olympus after being thrown out by Hera, some authors/artists portray him as riding a donkey: (Source: Theoi.org) Is there any reason why he rides a donkey? Why not a horse ...
2
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1answer
230 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 ...
5
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2answers
322 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 ...
4
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1answer
163 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, ...
6
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1answer
339 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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1answer
1k views

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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2answers
508 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 ...
10
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1answer
153 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, ...
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2answers
524 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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6answers
16k views

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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6answers
5k views

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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2answers
1k views

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 ...
6
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1answer
364 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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2answers
595 views

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. ...
13
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2answers
9k views

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 ...
23
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3answers
4k views

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 ...
6
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2answers
213 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?
14
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2answers
533 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 ...
12
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1answer
990 views

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?
12
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1answer
2k views

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?
7
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2answers
946 views

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
6k views

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 ...
8
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2answers
441 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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1answer
349 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 ...
8
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1answer
190 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 ...
7
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1answer
468 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?
13
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1answer
587 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. ...
11
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
9
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2answers
611 views

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 ...
15
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2answers
1k views

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 ...