Questions tagged [greek]

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

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1answer
265 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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502 views

What does Nausicaa symbolize in the Odyssey?

There was an interesting question in Lit regarding the meaning of her name, and in my research, I came across some interesting speculation on Nausikaa's distinctness. For instance, she is the one ...
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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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3answers
578 views

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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2answers
1k views

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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3answers
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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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3answers
5k views

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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2answers
5k 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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160 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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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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2answers
3k views

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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477 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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197 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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1answer
269 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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1answer
578 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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964 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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425 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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2answers
411 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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867 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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2answers
427 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 is ...
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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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1answer
323 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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1answer
234 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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1k views

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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296 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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121 views

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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199 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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1answer
342 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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1answer
203 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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2answers
583 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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270 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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131 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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214 views

How did Poseidon became lord of Helicon?

In Homeric Hymn 22 (to Poseidon), we learn that Poseidon is lord of mount Helicon: I begin to sing about Poseidon, the great god, mover of the earth and fruitless sea, god of the deep who is also ...
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214 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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2answers
2k 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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110 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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134 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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2answers
319 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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137 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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512 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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250 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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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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70 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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203 views

Are Minos and the Minotaur duplication of the same figure?

While reading the story of Minos and the Minotaur, I noticed that both of them have nearly identical origins: Both are sired by a white bull (a transformed Zeus or a gift from Poseidon) Their mother ...
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163 views

What are the Anemoi's associations?

The Anemoi are the Greek gods of winds each one with its own direction and as a harbinger of seasonal winds. Eg. Boreas (god of the North wind) is associated with the cold winds of winter. The 4 ...
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2k views

What was Athena's punishment for her involvement in a plot against Zeus?

When Hera, Apollo, Poseidon and Athena lead a revolt/rebellion against Zeus, they failed and were punished. Apollo and Poseidon were sent to build Troy's wall. Hera was tied upside down from the ...
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1answer
187 views

What are the 365 virtues?

I was researching and I came across Abraxas, a daemon(inferior god), an archon, an aeon, the "Supreme" god, an angel... He has a place in many mythologies, and the number 365 keeps coming up. 365 ...
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1answer
166 views

Why is Asclepius said to have been a god when he was killed?

Asclepius was a son of Apollo and the mortal princess Coronis. Chiron, the centaur, nurtured his talent for the art of medicine, eventually surpassing himself and his father. One day, the demigod ...
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230 views

How did Princess Argyro lose her breast?

Princess Argyro is the legendary founder of Gjirokastër, in Albanian and Greek folklore. According to Nikolaos Politis1, in Greek tales she is sometimes referred to as "Μονοβύζα", the single-breasted. ...
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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 ...

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