Questions tagged [greek]

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

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1answer
331 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
817 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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1answer
460 views

What are some examples of snakes as a source of knowledge in Greek mythology?

Wikipedia claims: A snake as a source of knowledge is a recurring theme in Greek mythology, though sometimes the snake brings understanding of the language of animals rather than an ability to know ...
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1answer
140 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 ...
7
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1answer
383 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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1answer
146 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. ...
7
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1answer
184 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 ...
7
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1answer
227 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 ...
7
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1answer
221 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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1answer
169 views

Are there any studies of the historic phenomenon of the chief god of a pantheon being replaced by the storm god?

We find in at least two instances the chief god of a pantheon being replaced by the younger storm god of that pantheon. For example, in Canaanite mythology, the supreme god El is replaced with the ...
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1answer
5k 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
351 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
785 views

Could you look at Medusa's head through a distorted surface?

So in Yannis' Awesome Answer It was looking directly into Medusa's eyes that would turn a mortal to stone, not the whole of her face. Using the shield as a mirror meant that even if Medusa's gaze ...
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2answers
360 views

Why are there only 3 Horai if the year is split into four sections?

There were three Horai. Then, when Demeter started mourning for Persephone, a new season appears (because plants can't grow anymore, and its not autumn.) , winter. Does that mean that Autumn or ...
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1answer
223 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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1answer
275 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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151 views

Did the Greeks have an offering of blood, wine and milk, similar to the Cretan one?

So I found this big old book about ancient cultures and in it, the typical offering on Crete was blood, wine and milk. Mixed together in a big bowl. The book describes the mix as a symbol for the ...
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65 views

Zeno's influence on the conception of the Hydra?

I am referring to Zeno of Elia (c.490 –c.430 BCE) and his famous Dichotomy Paradox. This paradox has to do with infinite divisions based on 1/2. It seems to be that the conception of the Hydra as ...
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169 views

How did Hypnos became associated with the Muses?

Pausanias, in his Description of Greece mentions that Hypnos (the personification of sleep) was particularly friendly with the Muses: [Paus. 2.31.3] Not far from the Muses' Hall is an old altar, ...
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5answers
9k 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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3answers
666 views

Who was the Greek god Iudaios?

I keep getting references to this deity (they cite the work of Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher "Detailed dictionary of Greek and Roman mythology") in some websites regarding it as the origin of the word ...
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2answers
230 views

Greek or Roman equivalent of Bible

Wondering if there are any documents that document the Greek or Roman mythologies in a way similar to the bible, in that it acts as a comprehensive resource for all the knowledge about it. Maybe ...
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4answers
546 views

Who are the twelve Olympian gods?

Everyone agrees that there are twelve Olympians, but the identities of the twelve seems to vary. What is the deal?
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3answers
11k views

Why do the Greeks have two different messenger gods?

Hermes was a messenger god. And Iris, with her rainbows, was also a messenger goddess. Why would the Greeks have two different messenger gods?
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3answers
2k views

How are the internal organs of centaurs arranged?

My question is about the internal organs of this creature. How are these organs arranged? It is confusing, because it is basically a horse with its head replaced by a human upper body. For example, ...
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1answer
211 views

Was Cadmus the only mortal whose wedding was attended by Olympians?

Cadmus married Harmonia. Their wedding was the first between mortals that was ever attended by Olympians, whose favor ensured Cadmus a long and successful reign. Was Cadmus the only mortal whose ...
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2answers
261 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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621 views

What was the symbolism behind Tantalus's punishment?

Tantalus, who was a bad person, was sent to the fields of punishment. He stood in a pool, with a fruit tree above him, but the food and drink would always go away from him when he tried to eat it. ...
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1answer
278 views

Roughly, where was Ogygia?

There was an island, called Ogygia. Apparently, It was an island where Calypso was cursed to stay on forever, because she supported her father, Atlas, in the Titan war. Roughly, where is it?
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3answers
5k views

Hades, in Greek Mythology, was he really a bad guy, or just a hard to understand God?

I'm writing a research paper on Hades, king of the underworld, and I really wanted to know if Hades was really a bad guy. I have many pages of evidence saying that he isn't. But I would like to know ...
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2answers
1k views

Is there an authoritative compendium of Greek mythology?

I've always been interested in Greek mythology, but in my country we don't have the kind of standalone college courses you find in the US, and I've never been able to find resources that seemed ...
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2answers
2k views

Why is the staff of medicine symbolised by Hermes's staff, Caduceus?

The staff of medicine should be Asclepius's staff. So why is it Hermes's staff used? Example: The sign of the World Health Organization.
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2answers
435 views

What is the earliest source to claim that Zeus and Ganymede were lovers?

On this question, I and another poster claim on the basis of internet sources that Ganymede was Zeus' male lover. A commenter challenged that, however, and I haven't yet found a reliable source to say ...
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1answer
455 views

Why is the Oedipus complex named after Oedipus?

What is the relationship between the Oedipus complex and the character Oedipus? Is there any? It is a big jump between someone who answered a riddle to a psychological complex.
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2answers
112 views

Was a sneeze seen as an omen in ancient Greece?

This is a loading screen hint from the game Assasin's Creed Odyssey: Gods bless you. A sneeze at a key moment was seen as an omen in ancient Greece. Since it was involuntary, the action was viewed as ...
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1answer
117 views

After Triptolemus being added to Hades' jury, is Minos the most important judge?

Minos was the judge of the third and final vote, when the jury was composed of just Rhadamanthys, Minos and Aeacus . After the fourth judge was added, the majority in the judgement was not ...
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1answer
244 views

What happened to Pontus?

Pontus was an ancient, pre-Olympian sea-god and one of the Greek primordial deities. Pontus was Gaia's son and has no father and according to Hesiod(1), he was born without coupling, though according ...
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1answer
184 views

Why did Cronus swallow his daughters?

According to Hesiod, Cronus swallowed his children because he learned "he was destined to be overcome by his own son": These great Cronos swallowed as each came forth from the womb to his ...
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2answers
3k views

Why did Apollo trick Artemis into killing Orion?

In one of the endings of Orion's myth, Apollo challenges Artemis' skills and tells her to shoot at Orion, who is swimming in a lake. Artemis, who can't see that it's Orion, shoots and unknowingly ...
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2answers
346 views

Was King Polydectes the last petrified by Medusa?

After beheading Medusa, Perseus uses her head to turn the Titan Atlas, the sea monster Cetus, and King Polydectes of Seriphos to stone. Perseus then gives the head of the Gorgon to the goddess Athena, ...
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1answer
2k views

Dionysus sacrifice for humanity

I have read that there are parallels between Greek mythology of Dionysus' sacrifice to humanity and Christian belief surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus. What mythology is there concerning Dionysus,...
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2answers
212 views

Are Moirai & Parcae mortal?

What is the fate of Moirai & Parcae (the Fates) in Roman & Greek mythologies? Are they mortal? If they are destined to die when & how it happens?
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2answers
202 views

When was a pair of Greek and Roman gods first identified?

There is a canonical correspondence between some Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, for example Ares and Mars. However, these two were originally different deities and quite different in nature. My ...
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1answer
3k views

What is the source of the story of Hades trapping Pirithous and Theseus in the Chairs of Forgetfulness?

Apparently, there is a version of the Pirithous and Theseus story that has Hades trapping the pair in the Underworld by having them sit on the Chairs of Forgetfulness: This happened, some think, ...
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1answer
1k views

What is the exact type of coin that Charon accepts for a ferry to the Underworld?

I am not sure whether to believe in Greek mythology or not, but I certainly don't want to spend my afterlife as a ghost, so I'm thinking of keeping a silver coin to pay that ol' Charon. But what ...
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1answer
617 views

What is the meaning of Hercules' self-immolation?

Per my previous question, we've established that Heracles' had committed suicide of the pain of poison. The idea that the poison will kill him, however, is not universal. The Heracles of the ...
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1answer
234 views

What is the name of the lake in Frogs?

In Aristophanes' Frogs, Dionysus crosses a lake to reach Hades. The lake is where we first (and last) meet the eponymous frogs of the play, and Aristophanes does not name it. We do know, however, that ...
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1answer
3k views

Is it possible to build a timeline for Greek mythology?

I have tried to find a timeline for Greek mythology but I either find small, unreferenced lists or timelines of Ancient Greece. Particularly, I would like to build or find one where it explains how ...
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1answer
142 views

What source makes the claim that Melanippe is a sister of Hippolyta, Penthesilea, and Antiope, and not just another name for Antiope?

Melanippe. Among others, the Wikipedia page references a Melanippe that is an Amazon, a sister of Hippolyta, Penthesilea and Antiope, and a daughter of Ares. However, I've only been able to find one ...
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2answers
879 views

Are there any love stories in Greek myth that don't have one or both dying?

Phaedra and Hippolytus: Phaedra is cursed to love her own stepson Hippolytus, who dies. Galatea and Acis: Galatea attracts the love of Polyphemus, who kills her lover Acis. Hero and Leander live on ...

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