Questions tagged [greek]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
15
votes
2answers
426 views

Why were the Greek Gods on Olympus?

It's a well known fact that the Greek Gods resided in the fabled mountain of Olympus. However most mythology was created based on factual stories that have been twisted or altered. Why is Mount ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it Lucifer or Venus?

Which deity, according to Greek and Roman mythology, is represented by the planet that we call Venus? Is it the goddess Venus (Aphrodite in Greek) or is someone named Lucifer?
15
votes
2answers
3k views

What happened to Metis after the birth of Athena?

Zeus swallowed Metis to prevent the prophecy of her future son overthrowing him from being fulfilled, but she was already pregnant, and later her daughter Athena sprang from Zeus' head. What happened ...
15
votes
1answer
4k views

Who translated the Iliad or the Odyssey to Latin first?

Who was the first person to translate part or all of Homer's works, the Iliad and/or the Odyssey, to Latin? Have these translations survived to current times? My original motivation for the question ...
15
votes
1answer
795 views

Which cities had chthonic Zeus cults?

The Wikipedia article on Zeus tells us (emphasis mine): Although etymology indicates that Zeus was originally a sky god, many Greek cities honored a local Zeus who lived underground. Athenians and ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is rape featured so prominently in Greek mythology?

This question may be a little controversial so try to keep your answers as academically as possible. (take an example from @DukeZhou ) If on the subject general answers are also accepted I am ...
15
votes
1answer
486 views

Looking for an obscure myth where Zeus kills one of Apollo's male lovers

I remember reading a myth as a child, but have not been able to find it again ever since. It starts like a typical Apollo myth: Apollo has a young best friend/lover, and they are inseparable. Then ...
14
votes
3answers
3k 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?
14
votes
1answer
4k views

Why was Medusa's hair made of snakes?

Medusa was a mythical creature that could turn all living beings into stone. However why was her hair made into snakes? Was it Medusa's eyes that turned people or the snakes'?
14
votes
1answer
493 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
242 views

Status of Euhemerus theory on Zeus

Euhemerus (4th Century BC) is famous for his attempt to interpret myths as deformed historical events. In particular he thought that Zeus was originally a Cretan king whose tomb could be found in ...
14
votes
1answer
512 views

Greek/Latin mythology with two brothers who die as reward for hard labor

I have heard this particular greek/latin myth in school but I can't quite recall what it was called. Can you perhaps help me find it. So as far as I can recall the myth went as follows: Two brothers ...
14
votes
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 ...
14
votes
1answer
472 views

What exactly did Apollo do with respect to the Sun?

My understanding is that Helios (a Titan) was actually the one who drove the Sun Chariot across the sky every day. But why, then, was Apollo the god of the Sun? Am I correct in this understanding? ...
14
votes
1answer
545 views

What was the definitive reason behind Sisyphus punishment?

Sisyphus punishment, to roll a rock on top of a moutain forever, is said to have been given because of his trickery with Thanatos. However, it seems that the reason behind this punishment was not ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

When did Hades leave the Underworld?

Although an Olympian, Hades preferred the Underworld and rarely left his kingdom. As seen in my source, Hades loved being in his "beloved" Underworld rather than being in the outside world and ...
14
votes
1answer
317 views

Was Zeus a compilation of gods?

Zeus is a complex character; although he is chief among gods, with many noble qualities, he is also deeply flawed. Among various sites on the internet 1 2 3 4, there's this passage which suggests that ...
14
votes
1answer
720 views

Was Cerberus supposed to have only one “mind” (despite having three brains)?

Cerberus is a three headed dog, so normally you could think that he has three minds, one for each head/brain. However, Ancient Greek medicine placed the rational soul in the heart, rather than the ...
13
votes
8answers
20k views

Is there a Western (Greek, Roman, Egyptian, or Norse) god of the cosmos?

I have heard of the Greek god, Chaos (the manifestation of the void), and of the Greek god Aither, (the manifestation of the upper air that gods breathe most often), but I can't find reference to any ...
13
votes
2answers
9k views

Did Zeus have any male lovers?

Many of the Greek gods were bisexual. Did Zeus have any male lovers?
13
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
791 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. ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the significance of gods eating offspring in Greek mythology?

In Greek mythology Cronus ate his children. After he dies Zeus eats Metis, while she is pregnant with Athena. What is it with gods eating their children?
13
votes
1answer
790 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
5k views

Why is Athena often referred to as Pallas when it comes to her warrior side?

Why is Athena often referred to as Pallas when it comes to her warrior side? In one myth, it is said that Pallas was her father and another that Pallas was a friend she sparred with and accidentally ...
13
votes
2answers
476 views

What happened with the Golden Fleece?

As we all know, Jason and his company of Argonauts took the Golden Fleece from Colchis. What happened with it afterwards? Is it mentioned in any other story of the Greek mythology?
13
votes
2answers
680 views

Were Sirens humans or Monsters?

I can't seem to figure out if the Sirens were, like, half human-half bird monsters, attracting men with their magical song... or if they were also very beautiful women. Were they humans with magical ...
13
votes
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 ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Where was Hera called “cow-faced”?

I've been reading Edith Hamilton's anthology Mythology. In the introduction she says: Hera is often called "cow-faced," as if the adjective had somehow stuck to her through all her changes from a ...
13
votes
2answers
596 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
votes
1answer
1k views

Did ancient Greek religion ever become monotheistic?

Unlike modern monotheistic religions that only accept one, omnipotent and omniscient god, ancient Greek religion has a pantheon of fallible gods. Yet it was also well developed, where the pantheon has ...
13
votes
1answer
591 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. ...
13
votes
1answer
297 views

How could Diomedes be married yet still be Helen's suitor?

From Wikipedia article on Diomedes: Diomedes, in turn, married Aegialeus's daughter Aegialia when he returned from battle. He was then appointed as the King of Argos and thus became one of the most ...
12
votes
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 ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

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 ...
12
votes
4answers
20k 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, ...
12
votes
1answer
904 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
994 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
votes
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?
11
votes
5answers
21k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
8k views

Was Artemis a lesbian?

The material I was taught in school spoke of how Artemis never sought the company of man (romantically or sexually). Said material merely described the huntress as 'celibate', but this was sort of a ...
11
votes
2answers
370 views

Exactly how did Asclepius cure death?

So, in a myth, Asclepius cheated death because he brought someone back to life from the dead. So how did he do it? Clarifications: I mean the method, like a potion? a incantation? anything of the ...
11
votes
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
430 views

Is there any explanation in greek mythology for the creation of Uranus and Gaea?

I was just wondering because there never seems to be a beginning. Greek mythology always seems to start with just there being Uranus and Gaea with no events before that. Is there a beginning before ...
11
votes
2answers
418 views

Is Erebos a deity or a place?

The Wikipedia on the Erinyes (Furies) is that they live in Erebus: The Erinyes live in Erebus and are more ancient deities than any of the Olympians. This is backed up by Homer: According to ...
11
votes
1answer
15k views

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 ...
11
votes
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
9k views

How old were Paris and Achilles at the time of the Trojan War?

Paris of Troy was presumably an adult at the time of the marriage of Peleus and Thetis and the Judgement of Paris. That would mean Paris was at least 15-20 years older than Achilles. Other than that, ...
11
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...