Questions tagged [greek]

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

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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?
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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?
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Was the development of Greek mythology dynamic or static?

Did Greek mythology develop dynamically or statically? Let me explain a little more what I mean by "dynamic" and "static". Static: Given the religious element of the stories, I could imagine that ...
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863 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?
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How many sons did Zeus father through mortal women? [closed]

Heracles and Perseus were two well-known sons of Zeus fathered by mortal women. How many other male offspring did Zeus father by human women? How many of these (sons of mortal mothers) ...
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Who was Zeus' first child conceived with a mortal?

Zeus was well known for his sexual escapades (both willing or unwilling). These resulted in many divine (Gods,Olympians) and heroic offspring (demi-gods) My question is : Who was Zeus' first child ...
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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 ...
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What kind of snakes were the Gorgons' hair made of?

So, the Gorgons had hairs of the snakes. Was it ever recorded what kind of snakes they were? I have a couple of quotes The spattered desert gave them life as snakes, smooth snakes of many kinds, and ...
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Does Greek mythology list a calendar date for creation?

I'm reading "Apollodorus : The Library of Greek Mythology" and I've noticed that it simply starts with "Ouranos was the first ruler of the universe." There is no mention of dates that would allow for ...
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Does Hercules have a tail?

I was astonished when I saw these two tapestries in a museum: Hercules fighting Centaurs Hercules fighting a multi-headed dog In both of them Hercules/Heracles seems to have a well defined tail ...
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Were there cooks for the gods on Olympus in Greek(or Roman) Mythology

I am writing a play in which Greek mythology is a worshipful act and wanted to write that the gods decided to eat the humanly harvest rather than the food (ambrosia, the nectar) of Olympus. Are ...
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684 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 ...
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What is the oldest known version of the Thessalonike legend?

Thessalonike was the daughter of Phillip II of Macedon, and a half sister to Alexander III of Macedon. Legend has it that when Alexander died, Thessalonike "became a mermaid passing judgment on ...
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247 views

Who makes ambrosia?

I recently read that ambrosia, the food of the gods, is brought to Olympus by doves. But, who makes it? Is it natural to the earth (i.e. a plant)? Is there a deity that makes it and sends the doves to ...
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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 ...
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Contribution of ancient Greek pottery to mythology studies

I was wondering if the study of ancient Greek pottery art has contributed to the field of Mythology, and how, besides the cool illustrations: Heracles and Athena. Source pic: Wikipedia. For example, ...
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What are the differences between fauns and satyrs?

From what I've gathered fauns and satyrs are pretty much the same thing; they're all male, hircine from the waist down. They like wine, women, and song. They walk around naked all the time and have an ...
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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?
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Who was the father of Theseus?

Theseus's paternity seems to be in question. He seems to be a demi-god, as the son of Poseidon. But he was also the son of Aegeus. Who was his father?
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The Odyssey lock scene (Book 21): Translations vs. original Greek?

Near the beginning of Book 21, most translators have used some peculiar language to describe Penelope's unlocking of the door behind which Odysseus' bow is kept. Fagles writes (lines 54–56) ...
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288 views

Are there any instances of defying a prophecy?

In Greek mythology, there are many prophecies. Usually, in spite of someone's effort to prevent it, what is prophesized still happens. As far as I'm aware, the only one to successfully avoid a ...
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What are the differences between the Greek Hestia and the Roman Vesta with regards to both mythology and worship?

I recall reading about Vesta, and I believe that, like Mars and Saturn, she was more important to the Roman pantheon than the Greek. I'd like to know what the differences were between Vesta and Hestia....
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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 ...
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Why did Ovid omit the Heroic Age?

According to Wikipedia, Ovid's Four Ages of Man are very similar to Hesiod's Five Ages Man, with the exception of the Heroic Age. Why didn't Ovid include the Heroic Age?
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Why did Dudo consider the Greeks to be the ancestors of the Danes?

In the first book of the Gesta Danorum, Saxo Grammaticus tells us that "Dudo, the historian of Normandy, considers that the Danes are sprung and named from the Danai" 1. Dudo is presumambly Dudo of ...
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Are there any Greek myths of a god permanently turning into a mortal as punishment?

I'm looking for a Greek myth in which an immortal god, no matter how minor, turns into a mortal immediately because of a punishment. Things I am not looking for: A temporary punishment- Apollo ...
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603 views

Why can't a vrykolakas cross the sea?

In Paradoseis, Nikolaos Politis records the belief that a vrykolakas cannot cross the sea. More specifically, tale 933 explains how the people of Myconos kept themselves safe from vrykolakes by ...
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444 views

Why did the Trojans believe Cassandra's recognition of Paris?

The Trojan princess Cassandra was cursed by Apollo that nobody would ever believe her. Apparently though, the curse wasn't completely effective: After Cassandra grew up, she again spent a night in ...
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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 ...
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How powerful were Greek gods without their items?

Many magical items Greek gods have are very powerful. But sometimes they hand them out like its Christmas. So how powerful are greek gods? Could, for example, Zeus still control weather without his ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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School in the Sky?

I'm looking for references to schools in the sky. Was there a school that the Greek gods attended? A university frequented by the Norse pantheon? An academy in Tian? I'd love any pointers you've ...
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Is there any reason that Chiron and Charon have such similar names?

In Greek mythology, there is Chiron, a centaur, and Charon, the ferryman of the Underworld. They couldn't be more different, yet they have such similar names. Is there a reason for this? EDIT: As ...
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How did Cronos lose if he was god of time?

I have read in many articles where it is mentioned that Zeus overthrew the Titan Cronos who could control time. How is it possible? Cronos could just turn back time and correct wherever he went wrong....
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Who were the Cimmerians, the Hyperboreans, and the Ethiopians? Were they races of men or something else?

Who were the Cimmerians, the Hyperboreans, and the Ethiopians mentioned in Greek mythological texts? Were they races of men or something else? The Cimmerians lived in endless night while the ...
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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 ...
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What is the connection of Egyptian mythology to Atlantis?

As writing an answer to my own question, I came across this, Plutarch, Life of Solon 26. 1 (trans. Perrin) (Greek historian C1st - C2nd A.D.) : "He [Solon] also spent some time in studies with ...
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Did the Moirai (3 Fates) also control lovers destiny or was that the responsibility of another deity?

Did the Moirai / 3 Fates take precedence over the Gods responsible for love and marriage? What relationship, if any, does Greek canon state about the link between Hera, Eros and Moirai?
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Was divination a job reserved to women?

In Greek and Roman mythology, most of the famous oracles I've heard of were female. The Oracle of Delphi (Pythia) The Cumaean Sibyl (who sold books of prophecies to the king of Rome Tarquinius) ...
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Was there an epic or drama detailing Menelaus's return?

In book IV of the Odyssey (translator Robert Fitsgerald), Menelaus mentions he spent 7 years returning to Sparta. This seems like it would be something that somebody in ancient times would write about....
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Were Greek deities omniscient, like the God of Abrahamic faiths?

Did the ancient Greeks consider their deities to be omniscient? Hence does Greek mythology claim to be the definite truth like other religions often do and might this leave more room to question and ...
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What exactly was in Pandora's Box?

So, only Hope remained in that box. And a whole bunch of bad stuff came out. But, what exactly was in there? I'm looking for the greek proper names.
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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?
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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 ...
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Which mythologies had demigods?

As we all know Greek gods were very lusty, and as a result produced several demigods. Does this happen in other mythologies as well?
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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 ...
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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 ...

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