Questions tagged [greek]

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

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284 views

What did the Thebans do to cause the wrath of Dionysus?

Pausanias tells the legend of the Teumessian fox, a fox destined never to be caught sent by Dionysus to destroy Thebes, the god's birthplace according to the Zeus and Semele narrative: 9.19.1 On this ...
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324 views

Did the manticore always have a human head?

I am not very fond of depictions of manticores with a human head or face. Did the manticore always have a human head, or is it an influence from the sphinx, or some other monster?
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Why does Ino help Odysseus?

In Book V of the Odyssey, Ino saves Odysseus from drowning by giving him a magic veil. Why? Ino is a water deity, I'd expect her to be aligned with Poseidon's wishes. What reason does she have to ...
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798 views

What is the significance of the three stars in Ruben's Saturn painting?

What is the significance of the three stars in Peter Paul Ruben's Saturn devouring a Son painting?
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175 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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274 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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675 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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415 views

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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368 views

Looking for source: Woman refuses to drink from the River Lethe

I saw a "story from Greek mythology" referenced in my morning paper, and I'd never heard it before. A woman came to the River Styx and asked to be taken across into that dark land. [The ...
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What do we know of the rebellion against Zeus by Poseidon, Hera and Athena?

In the first book of the Iliad Achilles mentions that Thetis, his sea nymph mother, once saved Zeus from a rebellion by Poseidon, Hera and Athena: Help your brave son, therefore, if you are able. Go ...
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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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285 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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421 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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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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192 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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207 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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99 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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305 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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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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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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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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570 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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242 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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437 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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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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477 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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433 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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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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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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230 views

How were the Furies (Erinyies) born?

How were the Erinyes born? They seem like mystical creatures that are there to do Hades' bidding, but how were they actually born? Are they just other monsters magically born?
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573 views

Is there a referenced kill-count for Hector of Troy?

According to many sources Hector was the greatest warrior of Troy. In the Iliad, Hector did not approve of war between the Greeks and the Trojans, and for ten years, the Achaeans besieged Troy and ...
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499 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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362 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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Zeus' Lightning Bolt

Did Zeus'/Iupiters' lightning bolt ever attain it's own personal name, or did the Greeks and Romans only ever use generic words for thunder and lightning?
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462 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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368 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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336 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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434 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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340 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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838 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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310 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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253 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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153 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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109 views

How old was Nestor?

I am rereading the Iliad and I am wondering how old Nestor, Agamemnon, Odysseus etc. were. Nestor was and old man, but how old ? 60 ? What age was the prime of life, which I suppose Agamemnon and ...
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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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