Questions tagged [greek]

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

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Does Poseidon rule over all the sea gods?

According to Edith Hamilton's Mythology, there are several sea gods and river gods. Since Poseidon is one of the twelve main greek god(desses), is he the ruler of or otherwise in charge of those sea ...
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2answers
634 views

Why would Hades visit a battlefield?

Hades, apparently, was present in the battlefield when Hercules besieged Pylos: And so suffered monstrous Hades even as the rest a bitter arrow, when this same man, the son of Zeus that beareth the ...
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457 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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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1answer
922 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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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2answers
366 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 ...
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1answer
548 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 ...
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3answers
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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?
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1answer
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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'?
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1answer
537 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 ...
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1answer
247 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 ...
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551 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 ...
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574 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
647 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? ...
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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 ...
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1answer
559 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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
329 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 ...
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1answer
865 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 ...
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8answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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Did Zeus have any male lovers?

Many of the Greek gods were bisexual. Did Zeus have any male lovers?
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5answers
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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 ...
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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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4answers
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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, Hercules ...
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796 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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3answers
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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, ...
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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?
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969 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 ...
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1answer
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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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550 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?
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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 ...
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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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1answer
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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 ...
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2answers
626 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. ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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670 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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4answers
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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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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436 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 ...
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4answers
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What kind of dog breed would Cerberus be?

There are countless depictions of Cerberus with various number of heads or additional parts such as snake heads or tails. Some even say that Cerberus did not refer to a dog or hound at all, but rather ...
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454 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 ...

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