20 votes
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What is the River Styx?

The River Styx is one of the five rivers of the Greek Underworld, rivers that separate Hades from the land of the living. During the Titanomachy (the Titan war), which was fought between the Titans ...
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  • 2,281
18 votes
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Why did Charon collect a toll at the River Styx

Coins (specifically a type called an obol or obolos) were left on the body or placed in the mouths of the dead. The dead give Charon the coin, which shows they have had proper funeral rites and ...
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18 votes
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Why are Kore and Persephone interchangeable in the myth regarding Hades wife?

Kore was the Ancient Greek word for young girl, the equivalent of our maiden, and Persephone was often referred to as such to highlight her innocence.
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  • 1,885
14 votes

What kind of dog breed would Cerberus be?

Cerberus was the son of Echidna, a half-woman half-snake, and Typhon, a huge serpentine horror. That's a hell of a pedigree for a dog. More seriously, I imagine Cerberus had to be at least loosely ...
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  • 2,267
12 votes
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Why is the ferry toll for Charon placed in the dead person's mouth?

Wikipedia actually has an interesting interpretation: Attempts to explain the symbolism of the rite also must negotiate the illogical placement of the coin in the mouth. The Latin term viaticum makes ...
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10 votes
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Stories of living people that journeyed into the underworld and back?

When a hero takes a trip into the underworld, it's referred to as katabasis. I've included immortals in the listing. The following are but five of many such stories in Greek myth. The god Dionysus ...
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10 votes

Was Hermes originally mortal?

Probably not. According to Apollodorus, [VI. ZEUS CONFIRMS THE DIVINE PRIVILEGES OF HERMES.] And Zeus made Hermes his personal herald and messenger of the gods beneath the earth." It says that ...
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10 votes
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Who was the first Satan like deity/creature/person in mythology?

This is a complex question, and entire books have been written on it. The modern conception of Satan is a mixture of qualities arising from paganism (horns, etc.) but the conception of Satan as evil ...
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7 votes
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After Triptolemus being added to Hades' jury, is Minos the most important judge?

From Plato's Gorgias, page 524: οὗτοι οὖν ἐπειδὰν τελευτήσωσι, δικάσουσιν ἐν τῷ λειμῶνι, ἐν τῇ τριόδῳ ἐξ ἧς φέρετον τὼ ὁδώ, ἡ μὲν εἰς μακάρων νήσους, ἡ δ᾽ εἰς Τάρταρον. καὶ τοὺς μὲν ἐκ τῆς ...
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  • 5,286
6 votes

What is the inspiration behind the dark forest in Dante?

The metaphor was (probably) inspired partly by Medieval literature (courtly or theological) and partly by Virgil's works, for example the "Georgics" that, in part, discusses the myth of Orpheus, who ...
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  • 161
6 votes
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What is the name of the lake in Frogs?

It's probably Lake Lerna, a real (former) lake in the Argive plain. You might also know this lake from the Lernaean Hydra, the killing of which was one of Heracles' tasks. The lake has disappeared ...
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6 votes
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What is the source of the story of Hades trapping Pirithous and Theseus in the Chairs of Forgetfulness?

Apollodorus' Epitome 1.24: Theseus, arriving in the realm of Haides [Hades] with Peirithous [Pirithous], was thoroughly deceived, for Haides on the pretense of hospitality had them sit first ...
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  • 9,345
6 votes

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

Hades main story involved the abduction of his niece, the Kore (aka Persephone), and subsequent forced marriage. So, from a modern perspective, we could say he is a bad guy. But, it's important to ...
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6 votes
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How did Hades get Kerberos?

In 1828 the Danish sculptor Albert Bertel Thorvaldsen made this piece (above), entitled Cupid Leading Cerberus. On his website the Greek Mythology Link, Carlos Parada has labelled this picture: "Cupid ...
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  • 9,345
6 votes

What kind of dog breed would Cerberus be?

Cerberus was known as the hound of Hades. This three headed dog was the offspring of Echidna and Typhon. He had three heads, a serpent tail, and snakes coming out of some of his body parts. The ...
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  • 237
6 votes

Who was the first Satan like deity/creature/person in mythology?

As @Codosaur Pointed out, Satan is a character that rises up against the supreme deity of the mythology. I would add that in the Christian religion, he comes by many names I'll start a list here and ...
6 votes
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Why was the Aztec god Xolotl associated with Venus?

Xolotl and Quetzalcoatl Xolotl was the twin brother of Quetzalcoatl, and where both associated with the twin phases of Venus as evening and morning star. In their roles as evening and morning star ...
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  • 3,992
5 votes
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How would a body be prepared for the Greek afterlife?

The Greeks believed that at the moment of death the psyche, or spirit of the dead, left the body as a little breath or puff of wind. The deceased was then prepared for burial according to the time-...
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  • 415
5 votes
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How did Hades get to know Persephone?

Most Greek accounts - even the otherwise extraordinarily comprehensive mention in the Hymn to Demeter - don't mention the cause of Hades' infatuation with Persephone. I would tempted to snarkily write ...
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  • 7,035
5 votes
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Who was the ruler of the Japanese Yomi?

As I understand it, Izanagi is the original ruler of Yomi, however, when Susanoo was banished there, he became ruler. Texts on Yomi are very scarce, and finding out exactly how he became ruler, and ...
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  • 168
5 votes
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Looking for source: Woman refuses to drink from the River Lethe

The only relevant thing I found on the web with the exact description is here . READY: We all have to cross the River Styx I wish I could take credit for this topic, but the truth is my friend Rev. ...
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  • 1,031
5 votes

How did Hades get Kerberos?

In Hesiod's Theogony Cerberus was the offspring of Echidna and Typhon (on the other hand, Hesiod did call him fifty-headed, so). To back this story up, note that Euphorion of Chalcis described him as ...
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5 votes

Was there a hell or place of suffering after death in Norse mythology?

Hel... is the most general name for the underworld where many of the dead dwell. That said, there were other realms for the dead (Valhalla, Folkvang, etc.). ... apart from the fact that Hel and Hell ...
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4 votes

What is the River Styx?

It is the mystical division between life and death - or rather, life and afterlife. It is a symbol of that border. It is definitely not made out of normal water, as falling into the Styx causes one ...
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  • 1,073
4 votes

Why are Kore and Persephone interchangeable in the myth regarding Hades wife?

As Piper notes, κόρη (kore-ay) is the Greek word for girl. The linked lexical entry lists usage as girl, bride, and daughter. All three usages are central to the Persephone myth in that, unlike her ...
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4 votes
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Why was Adonis allowed to leave the Underworld?

https://www.greekmythology.com/Other_Gods/Minor_Gods/Adonis/adonis.html ...However, Persephone later refused to give Adonis back to Aphrodite; this led to a dispute that was solved by Zeus. As a ...
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  • 709
4 votes

What kind of dog breed would Cerberus be?

In Henrique C. Agrippa's "occult philosophy" book 2, in his commentary in chapter 18 on Cerberus he focuses on the elements air, water and earth (about the 3 heads) symbology, nothing of the breed is ...
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  • 415
4 votes

Was there a hell or place of suffering after death in Norse mythology?

Helheimr was where the common people went. Not a place of torture, unlike the Christian Hell, but more akin to the Greek Hades and other, neutral, pagan underworlds. (In Hades, for instance, the ...
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