Questions tagged [greek]

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

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Metis' unborn son

In the myth of Athena's birth it is mentioned that Metis' second child would overthrow Zeus. When Zeus swallowed Metis, he prevented the prophecy's fulfillment and Metis never had a son. But what if ...
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246 views

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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913 views

How many types of Nymphs were there?

After reading and answering this question, it caused me to believe that in Greek mythology, there were a lot of nymphs. They were nature spirits, and so, there are a lot of types of nymphs. Cloud - ...
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266 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) -...
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312 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?
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312 views

Was Charybdis always a monster?

Charybdis, and its counterpart Scylla were two monsters in the Odyssey. However, according to Ovid's Metamorphoses, Scylla was once a nymph. "... had she not been transformed before they came into ...
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186 views

Did the power of Zeus grow considerably after the Titanomachy?

In my previous question, I learned of Typhon's revolt against Zeus. What puzzles me is how Zeus managed to overcome the monstrous giant without any help from the Olympians, or anyone else. In the ...
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195 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 ...
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94 views

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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288 views

Why is Diana a Huntress?

Everyone knows that Diana, as well as her Greek parallel Artemis, are hunter goddesses, but few seem to know why. From where does this association originate?
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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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358 views

Is there any link between Achilles and Sigurd/Siegfried?

The two heroes are invulnerable, Achilles because he was dipped in the river Styx by his mother Thetis, and Siegfried because he took a bath in the dragon's blood. Both have a weak spot though, ...
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Who was the fastest character in Greek mythology?

We say an A400M Atlas airplane flying the other day, and my colleague said "It's so slow". I told him "It's Atlas, not <fastestMythicalCharacter>!". I ended up using the modern superhero Flash, ...
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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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7k views

Is there a Greek god/goddess of freedom?

according to Wikipedia, Ananke is the personification of inevitability, compulsion and necessity. She is often depicted holding a spindle. One of the Greek primodorial deities, Ananke marks the ...
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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 ...
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191 views

How did Hercules kill the lion without being clawed to death?

The myth says he killed the lion by putting the beast in a stranglehold and choking it to death, but how did he avoid being clawed and bitten by the lion while doing so?
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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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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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513 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?
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211 views

Etymology of “charming” (“Encantadora” in spanish) seeing from the Greek mythology point of view

I originally posted this question in the Spanish StackExchange but it seems it fits more in here, even though the significance of the word looks more direct in Spanish than English. My doubt rose ...
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362 views

Is the Cumaean Sybil known by any other name?

Warning- Extremely deep in Greek/Roman myth. The Virgin of Cumae, or the Cumaean Sybil, was a priestess with the gift of prophecy. She would write her prophecies on oak leaves an arrange them. But, ...
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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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693 views

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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Which one was older, Artemis or Apollo?

On the island of Delos, Leto had twins, Apollo and Artemis. But usually, twins have a time in between before they are born. Not sure if this is the same in mythology. So which was older?
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458 views

Who was the man whom Athena gave the gift of prophecy, and from whom did Athena learn it from?

I remember a myth I read once. It talked of a man who was the only mortal to be taught prophecy, or some form of it, by Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom. But I cannot recall the name of this man. Nor ...
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422 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 ...
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1k 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,...
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460 views

Is there an Egyptian Old Man of the Sea?

In Book VI of the Odyssey, the sea-nymph Eidothea identifies her father Proteus, the Old Man of the Sea, as an Egyptian: "'Stranger,' replied she, 'I will make it all quite clear to you. There ...
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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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334 views

Name of Electra's brother

In Sophocles' Electra, it is revealed at the end that one of the guards there is Electra's long lost brother. What is the name of this guard? I have looked for it online, and in the book he is ...
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340 views

Did Greeks bow to their gods?

Is there an instance in which a Greek (or related, Roman, Trojan...) would bow to a god if they appeared? I would think not. Iliad Athena appears to Achilles, did not bow. Athena appears to Odysseus,...
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Why was Astyanax thrown from the wall?

There are several conflicting accounts of the death of baby Scamandrius (aka Astyanax), son Hector and Andromache, but several important sources, including Pausanias [Descriptions of Greece, 10.25.9], ...
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332 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 ...
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273 views

How did Aphrodite's promise of Helen to Paris work?

When Paris was asked to choose a recipient for the Golden Apple of Discord, he accepted Aphrodite's bribe and gave it to her in exchange for Menelaus's wife Helen. Paris later took Helen from Menelaus ...
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398 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....
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250 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: ...
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724 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 ...
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286 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 ...
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147 views

What Phoenician story could be the inspiration of the cosmic story of five Titanes?

This is from Bleh's answer (quoting theoi.com): The cosmic story of five Titanes--four holding the corners of heaven--may be Phoenician in origin. What Phoenician story could be the basis for the ...
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234 views

Who was the goddess, pregnant with Zeus' child or children, who was denied sanctuary?

A certain goddess, having been impregnated by Zeus, was driven from her home by the ever-angry Hera, and forced to flee, with her children or child, unsure. Everywhere she went she was rejected in ...
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4k views

Are there any other Greek gods/goddesses that actually remained loyal to their counterpart?

Cheating on one's significant other is common in Greek Myth. I have only found four gods that remain faithful: Hera, Amphitrite, Eros and Psyche (while gods that didn't marry can't exactly cheat). ...
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116 views

Is Greek mythology derivative of/influence by Ugartic/Canaanite mythology?

I know that the character of 'Adonis' is of Phoenician origin, but there are many other parallels which are too many to be ignored: Phosporus- Shahar Hesperus- Shalim Zeus/Poseidon/Hades- Baal/Yamm/...
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208 views

Which version of the Ariadne Myth was written/told first?

Ariadne was a daughter of Minos. She helped Theseus traverse the labyrinth in exchange to be taken with him away. In one version, Dionysus tells Theseus that he wants Ariadne and to leave her on an ...
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479 views

What items are necessary for a mortal to travel safely in the underworld?

I am currently working on a performance where the hero has to make it through the underworld and back. I am assuming there are things such a traveller could bring with them to safely complete the ...
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138 views

How did the tone of Oedipus change with its retellings?

How did the tone of Oedipus change with its retellings? Darker? Or lighter? Or changing with each telling? Darker would be more death, more suicide, more incest, etc, while lighter would be the ...
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587 views

Why was dissection taboo in Greek antiquity?

Looking at the development of medicine in Greek antiquity, in particular at the time of Hippocrates, you see references made to the poor understanding Greek medicine shows of anatomy, and chalks this ...
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299 views

Was Eurystheus a lover of Heracles? Did Heracles have any other male lovers?

In some versions of the 12 labors of Heracles, Eurystheus is a lover of Heracles and he undertook the 12 labors for Eurystheus' love. Did Heracles have any other male lovers?
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112 views

Why was one of the Hecatoncheires known by a different name by men and the gods?

It is said in the Iliad that one of the Hundred Handers was known by two names, one for the gods to call him and one for men to call him. His name by the gods was Briareus but men called him Aegaeon. ...
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100 views

Has Odysseus ever used a bow prior to the archery contest in the Odyssey?

In Odyssey 21 Penelope famously proposes an archery contest to her suitors, a test of masculine skill with herself as the prize. The disguised Odysseus wins the contest and then proceeds to reveal ...

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