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5

The myth of Danae and the shower of gold appears on several vases dating back to the 5th century BC. See for example this krater: and this calyx: To dispel any doubt regarding which myth is portrayed on these vases, notice how in the second picture the female character is labelled "Danae". Also, the back of the same calyx depicts another scene ...


4

I'm afraid this is another instance of Graves embellishing a myth with details which were not present in the sources he drew upon. In this particular case, it's not at all obvious why he would add the detail of Aegisthus being seven years old when he killed Atreus. What is certain is that the age of Aegisthus is not mentioned at all in the two main sources ...


4

Aphrodite's girdle isn't a "girdle" in the modern sense of a piece of clothing worn around the waist, but an article of clothing known as a strophion (στρόφιον), which is a bra-like garment made of cords or belts, designed to support a woman's breasts, worn either over-top or underneath the cloths. See WikiData's definition of the word here. It is ...


3

There does exist a material, used since antiquity, that Renaissance Europeans identified as "Egyptian black marble". Johann Georg Keyßler wrote of one such work in Rome: In the upper Chambers is . . . a statute of Hercules, when a Boy, tall and plump; by the Colour, indeed, it appears to be Bronze, but properly, it is a black Egyptian Marble, ...


3

She is actually also known as beautiful Helen, Helen of Argos, or Helen of Sparta, depending on the source - and not all sources associate Helen with Troy. Euripides, Stesichorus, and Herodotus actually write Helen never went to Troy, but stayed in Egypt during the duration of the Trojan War. The Trojan association is the most popular nowadays, primarily ...


2

According to Hesiod, one of the important changes the Olympians made after defeating the Titans was the ability to make oaths. The oath-making and keeping was guarded by the goddess Styx, daughter of Tethys. As for gods taking oaths, Hesiod tells that When gods made oaths or swore to tell the truth, they held their hand over over a cup of Styx’ water. If the ...


2

Given its absence in Gantz and Bell, I'm inclined to say that there is no ancient source. Graves is highly imaginative, and makes these equations and other assumptions without real evidence outside his intuition, which he had in the past admitted to. Fry is of course a comedian and not a Classicist, so he might have gotten it from somewhere, but not in any ...


1

They would probably call this Alabaster, even though strictly speaking this is not marble (but is gleams like black marble). The name may be derived from ancient Egyptian "a-labaste", which refers to vessels of the Egyptian goddess Bast, into Greek "ἀλάβαστρος" ("alabastros") or "ἀλάβαστος" ("alabastos"). The ...


1

Most likely because of the argument: which came first? The Trojan War, Menelaus, and Helen were circa c 1194–1184 BC (Modern dating: c. 1260–1180 BC); whilst Sparta came into being circa 800 BC. Ergo: there wasn’t a Sparta at the time.


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