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Greek mythology

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chassady hebb

on 28 January 2015

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Transcript of Greek mythology

Greek and Roman mythology

In the ancient Greek religion, the Twelve Olympians are the major deities of the Greek pantheon, commonly considered to be Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes and either Hestia, or Dionysus. Hades and Persephone were sometimes included as part of the twelve Olympians (primarily due to the influence of the Eleusinian Mysteries), although in general Hades was excluded, because he resided permanently in the underworld and never visited Mount Olympus
Twelve Olympians
The Twelve Olympians, also known as the Dodekatheon (Greek: Δωδεκάθεον,δώδεκα, dōdeka, "twelve" and θεοί, theoi, "gods"), were the principal deities of the Greek pantheon, residing atop a mythical Mount Olympus. The Olympians gained their supremacy in a war of gods in which Zeus led his siblings to victory over the Titans.

The concept of the "Twelve Gods" is older than any extant Greek or Roman sources.[ The gods meet in council in the Homeric epics, but the first ancient reference to religious ceremonies for the Olympians collectively is found in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes. The Greek cult of the Twelve Olympians can be traced to 6th-century BC Athens and probably has no precedent in the Mycenaean period. The altar to the Twelve Olympians at Athens is usually dated to the archonship of the younger Pesistratos, in 522/521 BC.

While the number was fixed at twelve,there was considerable variation as to which deities were included Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes and either Hestia, or Dionysus.

Hades, known in the Eleusinian tradition as Pluto, was not usually included among the Olympians because his realm was the underworld. Plato connected the Twelve Olympians with the twelve months, and implies that he considered Pluto one of the twelve in proposing that the final month be devoted to him and the spirits of the dead.In Phaedrus Plato aligns the Twelve with the Zodiac and would exclude Hestia from their rank. But Eudoxus of Cnidus was the first to relate gods and signs

In ancient Greek religion, the "Olympian Gods" and the "Cults of Twelve Gods" were often relatively distinct concepts. The Dodekatheon of Herodorus of Heraclea included Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Hermes, Athena, Apollo, Alpheus, Cronus, Rhea and the Charites. The historian Herodotus states that Heracles was included as one of the Twelve by some.
At Kos, Heracles and Dionysus are added to the Twelve, and Ares and Hephaestus are not. For Pindar, the Bibliotheca, and Herodorus, Heracles is not one of the Twelve Gods, but the one who established their cult.
Lucian (2nd century AD) includes Heracles and Asclepius as members of the Twelve, without explaining which two had to give way for them.

Hebe, Helios, Selene, Eos, Eros and Persephone are other important gods and goddesses who are sometimes included in a group of twelve.[citation needed] Eros is often depicted alongside the other twelve, especially his mother Aphrodite, but not usually counted in their number.

The Roman poet Ennius gives the Roman equivalents (the Dii Consentes) as six male-female complements, preserving the place of Vesta (Greek Hestia), who played a crucial role in Roman religion as a state goddess maintained by the Vestals.

Major Olympians
Greek name
Roman name
Functions and attributes

Zeus Jupiter Jupiter Smyrna Louvre Ma13.jpg King of the gods and ruler of Mount Olympus; god of the sky, and thunder. Youngest child of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. Symbols include the thunderbolt, eagle, oak tree, scepter, and scales. Brother and husband of Hera, although he had many lovers. Brother of Poseidon, Hades, Demeter, and Hestia.

Hera Juno Hera Campana Louvre Ma2283.jpg Queen of the gods and the goddess of marriage and family. Symbols include the peacock, pomegranate, crown, cuckoo, lion, and cow. Youngest daughter of Cronus and Rhea. Wife and sister of Zeus. Being the goddess of marriage, she frequently tried to get revenge on Zeus' lovers and their children.

Poseidon Neptune Poseidon sculpture Copenhagen 2005.jpg God of the seas, earthquakes, and tidal wave. Symbols include the horse, bull, dolphin, and trident. Middle son of Cronus and Rhea. Brother of Zeus and Hades. Married to the Nereid Amphitrite, although, like most male Greek Gods, he had many lovers.

Artemis Diana Diane de Versailles Leochares.jpg Goddess of the hunt, virginity, childbirth, archery, the moon, and all animals. Symbols include the moon, deer, hound, she-bear, snake, cypress tree, and bow and arrow. Daughter of Zeus and Leto and twin sister of Apollo.

Ares Mars Ares villa Hadriana.jpg God of war, violence, and bloodshed. Symbols include the boar, serpent, dog, vulture, spear, and shield. Son of Zeus and Hera, all the other gods (except Aphrodite) despised him. His Latin name, Mars, gave us the word "martial."

Aphrodite Venus NAMA Aphrodite Syracuse.jpg Goddess of love, beauty, and desire. Symbols include the dove, bird, apple, bee, swan, myrtle, and rose. Daughter of Zeus and the Oceanid Dione, or perhaps born from the sea foam after Uranus' semen dripped into the sea after being castrated by his youngest son, Cronus, who then threw his father's genitals into the sea. Married to
Hephaestus, although she had many adulterous affairs, most notably with Ares. Her name gave us the word "aphrodisiac", while her Latin name, Venus, gave us the word "venereal".[B]

Hephaestus Vulcan Vulcan Coustou Louvre MR1814.jpg Master blacksmith and craftsman of the gods; god of fire and the forge. Symbols include fire, anvil, axe, donkey, hammer, tongs, and quail. Son of Hera, either by Zeus or alone. Married to Aphrodite, though unlike most divine husbands, he was rarely ever licentious. His Latin name, Vulcan, gave us the word "volcano."

Hermes Mercury Hermes Ingenui Pio-Clementino Inv544.jpg Messenger of the gods; god of commerce, thieves, and games. Symbols include the caduceus (staff entwined with two snakes), winged sandals and cap, stork, and tortoise (whose shell he used to invent the lyre). Son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. The second-youngest Olympian, just older than Dionysus.

Hestia Vesta Hestia - Wellesley College - DSC09634.JPG Goddess of the hearth and of the right ordering of domesticity and the family; she was born into the first Olympian generation and was one of the original twelve Olympians. Some lists of the Twelve Olympians omit her in favor of Dionysus, but the speculation that she gave her throne to him in order to keep the peace seems to be modern invention. She is the first child of Cronus and Rhea, eldest sister of Hades, Demeter, Poseidon, Hera, and Zeus.

Demeter Ceres Hera Barberini Pio-Clementino Inv254.jpg Goddess of fertility, agriculture, nature, and the seasons. Symbols include the poppy, wheat, torch, and pig. Middle daughter of Cronus and Rhea.

Athena Minerva Mattei Athena Louvre Ma530 n2.jpg Goddess of wisdom, handicrafts, defense, and strategic warfare. Symbols include the owl and the olive tree. Daughter of Zeus and the Oceanid Metis, she rose from her father's head fully grown and in full battle armor after he swallowed her mother.

Apollo Apollo Apollo, lira, dan angsa.jpg God of light, knowledge, healing, plague and darkness, the arts, music, poetry, prophecy, archery, the sun, manly youth, and beauty. Son of Zeus and Leto. Symbols include the sun, lyre, bow and arrow, raven, dolphin, wolf, swan, and mouse. Twin brother of Artemis.

Dionysus Bacchus Dionysos Louvre Ma87 n2.jpg God of wine, celebrations, and ecstasy. Patron god of the art of theatre. Symbols include the grapevine, ivy, cup, tiger, panther, leopard, dolphin, goat and pinecone. Son of Zeus and the mortal Theban princess Semele. Married to the Cretan princess Ariadne. The youngest Olympian, as well as the only one to have a mortal mother
The following gods, goddesses, and demigods were not usually counted as Olympians, although they had close ties to them.
Aeolus – King of the winds, keeper of the Anemoi, master of the seasonal winds.
Amphitrite – Queen of the Sea, mother of Triton and wife of Poseidon.
Anemoi – The personifications of the four wind directions (North, South, East and West).
Aura – Goddess of cool breezes and fresh air.
Bia – Personification of force.
Circe – minor goddess of magic, not to be confused with Hecate.
Deimos – God of terror, son of Ares and brother of Phobos.
Dione – Oceanid; Mother of Aphrodite by Zeus in Homer's version.
Eileithyia – Goddess of childbirth; daughter of Hera and Zeus.
Enyo – A goddess of warfare, companion of Ares. She was also the sister of Ares in some cases. In those cases, her parents are Zeus and Hera.
Eos – Personification of dawn.
Eris – Goddess of discord and strife.
Ganymede – Cupbearer of the gods' palace at Olympus.
Graces – Goddesses of beauty and attendants of Aphrodite and Hera.
Harmonia – Goddess of concord and harmony, opposite of Eris, daughter of Aphrodite.
Hecate – Goddess associated with magic, witches and crossroads.
Helios – Titan; personification of the sun.
Horae – Wardens of Olympus.
Hypnos – God of sleep, father of Morpheus and son of Nyx.
Iris – Personification of the Rainbow, also the messenger of Olympus along with Hermes.

Kratos – Personification of power.
Leto – Titaness of the unseen; the mother of Apollo and Artemis.
Moirai – The 'Fates'. Clotho (the spinner), Lachesis (the allotter) and Atropos (the unturnable).
Momus – God of satire, mockery, satires, and poets.
Morpheus – God of dreams.
Muses – Nine goddesses of science and arts. Their names are Calliope, Urania, Clio, Polyhymnia, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Thalia, Euterpe, and Erato.
Nemesis – Greek goddess of retribution and revenge, daughter of Nyx.
Nike – Goddess of victory.
Nyx – Goddess of night.
Paean – Physician of the gods.
Perseus – Son of Zeus, slayer of Medusa, the legendary founder of Mycenae and of the Perseid dynasty.
Phobos – God of fear, son of Ares and brother of Deimos.
Selene – Titaness; personification of the moon.
Styx – Goddess of the River Styx, the river where gods swear oaths on.
Thanatos – God of Death, sometimes a personification of Death.
Theseus – Son of Poseidon, first Hero of Athens and slayer of the Minotaur.
Triton – Messenger of the Seas, son of Poseidon and Amphitrite. He holds a twisted conch shell.
Tyche – Goddess of Luck.
Zelus – Personification of Emulation.

The war originated from a quarrel between the goddesses Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite, after Eris, the goddess of strife and discord, gave them a golden apple, sometimes known as the Apple of Discord, marked "for the fairest". Zeus sent the goddesses to Paris, who judged that Aphrodite, as the "fairest", should receive the apple. In exchange, Aphrodite made Helen, the most beautiful of all women and wife of Menelaus, fall in love with Paris, who took her to Troy. Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and the brother of Helen's husband Menelaus, led an expedition of Achaean troops to Troy and besieged the city for ten years because of Paris' insult. After the deaths of many heroes, including the Achaeans Achilles and Ajax, and the Trojans Hector and Paris, the city fell to the ruse of the Trojan Horse. The Achaeans slaughtered the Trojans (except for some of the women and children whom they kept or sold as slaves) and desecrated the temples, thus earning the gods' wrath. Few of the Achaeans returned safely to their homes and many founded colonies in distant shores. The Romans later traced their origin to Aeneas, one of the Trojans, who was said to have led the surviving Trojans to modern-day Italy.
The following summary of the Trojan War follows the order of events as given in Proclus' summary, along with the Iliad, Odyssey, and Aeneid, supplemented with details drawn from other authors.

Origins of the war

The plan of Zeus

According to Greek mythology, Zeus had become king of the gods by overthrowing his father Cronus; Cronus in turn had overthrown his father Uranus. Zeus was not faithful to his wife and sister Hera, and had many relationships from which many children were born. Since Zeus believed that there were too many people populating the earth, he envisioned Momus[9] or Themis, who was to use the Trojan War as a means to depopulate the Earth, especially of his demigod descendants

The Judgment of Paris (1904) by Enrique Simonet
Main article: Judgement of Paris

Zeus came to learn from either Themis or Prometheus, after Heracles had released him from Caucasus,that, like his father Cronus, one of his sons would overthrow him. Another prophecy stated that a son of the sea-nymph Thetis, with whom Zeus fell in love after gazing upon her in the oceans off the Greek coast, would become greater than his father.Possibly for one or both of these reasons, Thetis was betrothed to an elderly human king, Peleus son of Aiakos, either upon Zeus' orders, or because she wished to please Hera, who had raised her.
languages, requiring orders to be translated by their individual commanders. It should be noted, however, that the Trojans and Achaeans in the Iliad share the same religion, same culture and the enemy heroes speak to each other in the same language, though this could be dramatic effect.

All of the gods were invited to Peleus and Thetis' wedding and brought many gifts, except Eris (the goddess of discord), who was stopped at the door by Hermes, on Zeus' order.Insulted, she threw from the door a gift of her own:a golden apple on which was inscribed the word κ Kallistēi ("To the fairest"). The apple was claimed by Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. They quarreled bitterly over it, and none of the other gods would venture an opinion favoring one, for fear of earning the enmity of the other two. Eventually, Zeus ordered Hermes to lead the three goddesses to Paris, a prince of Troy, who, unaware of his ancestry, was being raised as a shepherd in Mount Ida,because of a prophecy that he would be the downfall of Troy.After bathing in the spring of Ida, the goddesses appeared to him naked, either for the sake of winning or at Paris' request. Paris was unable to decide between them, so the goddesses resorted to bribes. Athena offered Paris wisdom, skill in battle, and the abilities of the greatest warriors; Hera offered him political power and control of all of Asia; and Aphrodite offered him the love of the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Sparta. Paris awarded the apple to Aphrodite, and, after several adventures, returned to Troy, where he was recognized by his royal family.

Thetis gives her son Achilles weapons forged by Hephaestus (detail of Attic black-figure hydria, 575–550 BC)
Peleus and Thetis bore a son, whom they named Achilles. It was foretold that he would either die of old age after an uneventful life, or die young in a battlefield and gain immortality through poetry.Furthermore, when Achilles was nine years old, Calchas had prophesied that Troy could not again fall without his help. A number of sources credit Thetis with attempting to make Achilles immortal when he was an infant. Some of these state that she held him over fire every night to burn away his mortal parts and rubbed him with ambrosia during the day, but Peleus discovered her actions and stopped her.According to some versions of this story, Thetis had already destroyed several sons in this manner, and Peleus' action therefore saved his son's life. Other sources state that Thetis bathed Achilles in the River Styx, the river that runs to the under world, making him invulnerable wherever he had touched the water. Because she had held him by the heel, it was not immersed during the bathing and thus the heel remained mortal and vulnerable to injury (hence the expression "Achilles heel" for an isolated weakness). He grew up to be the greatest of all mortal warriors. After Calchas' prophesy, Thetis hid Achilles in Skyros at the court of king Lycomedes, where he was disguised as a girl. At a crucial point in the war, she assists her son by providing weapons divinely forged by Hephaestus (see below).

pement of Paris and Helen
The Abduction of Helen (1530–39) by Francesco Primaticcio, with Aphrodite directing
The most beautiful woman in the world was Helen, one of the daughters of Tyndareus, King of Sparta. Her mother was Leda, who had been either raped or seduced by Zeus in the form of a swan. Accounts differ over which of Leda's four children, two pairs of twins, were fathered by Zeus and which by Tyndareus. However, Helen is usually credited as Zeus' daughter, and sometimes Nemesis is credited as her mother. Helen had scores of suitors, and her father was unwilling to choose one for fear the others would retaliate violently.

Finally, one of the suitors, Odysseus of Ithaca, proposed a plan to solve the dilemma. In exchange for Tyndareus' support of his own suit towards Penelope, he suggested that Tyndareus require all of Helen's suitors to promise that they would defend the marriage of Helen, regardless of whom he chose. The suitors duly swore the required oath on the severed pieces of a horse, although not without a certain amount of grumbling.

tyndareus chose Menelaus. Menelaus was a political choice on her father's part. He had wealth and power. He had humbly not petitioned for her himself, but instead sent his brother Agamemnon on his behalf. He had promised Aphrodite a hecatomb, a sacrifice of 100 oxen, if he won Helen, but forgot about it and earned her wrath.Menelaus inherited Tyndareus' throne of Sparta with Helen as his queen when her brothers, Castor and Pollux, became gods and when Agamemnon married Helen's sister Clytemnestra and took back the throne of Mycenae.

paris, under the guise of a supposed diplomatic mission, went to Sparta to get Helen and bring her back to Troy. Before Helen could look up to see him enter the palace, she was shot with an arrow from Eros, otherwise known as Cupid, and fell in love with Paris when she saw him, as promised by Aphrodite. Menelaus had left for Crete[38] to bury his uncle, Crateus. Hera, still jealous over his judgement, sent a storm.The storm caused the lovers to land in Egypt, where the gods replaced Helen with a likeness of her made of clouds, Nephele. The myth of Helen being switched is attributed to the 6th century BC Sicilian poet Stesichorus. For Homer the true Helen was in Troy. The ship then landed in Sidon before reaching Troy. Paris, fearful of getting caught, spent some time there and then sailed to Troy.

Map of Homeric Greece
Paris' abduction of Helen had several precedents. Io was taken from Mycenae, Europa was taken from Phoenicia, Jason took Medea from Colchis, and the Trojan princess Hesione had been taken by Heracles, who gave her to Telamon of Salamis. According to Herodotus, Paris was emboldened by these examples to steal himself a wife from Greece, and expected no retribution, since there had been none in the other cases.

he gathering of Achaean forces and the first expedition

According to Homer, Menelaus and his ally, Odysseus, traveled to Troy, where they unsuccessfully sought to recover Helen by diplomatic means.

Menelaus then asked Agamemnon to uphold his oath. He agreed and sent emissaries to all the Achaean kings and princes to call them to observe their oaths and retrieve Helen.[46]

Odysseus and Achilles

Since Menelaus's wedding, Odysseus had married Penelope and fathered a son, Telemachus. In order to avoid the war, he feigned madness and sowed his fields with salt. Palamedes outwitted him by placing his infant son in front of the plough's path, and Odysseus turned aside, unwilling to kill his son, so revealing his sanity and forcing him to join the war.

According to Homer, however, Odysseus supported the military adventure from the beginning, and traveled the region with Pylos' king, Nestor, to recruit forces.

At Skyros, Achilles had an affair with the king's daughter Deidamia, resulting in a child, Neoptolemus.Odysseus, Telamonian Ajax, and Achilles' tutor Phoenix went to retrieve Achilles. Achilles' mother disguised him as a woman so that he would not have to go to war, but, according to one story, they blew a horn, and Achilles revealed himself by seizing a spear to fight intruders, rather than fleeing. According to another story, they disguised themselves as merchants bearing trinkets and weaponry, and Achilles was marked out from the other women for admiring weaponry instead of clothes and jewelry.
Pausanias said that, according to Homer, Achilles did not hide in Skyros, but rather conquered the island, as part of the Trojan War.

Trojan war

The Discovery of Achilles among the Daughters of Lycomedes (1664) by Jan de Bray
First gathering at Aulis

The Achaean forces first gathered at Aulis. All the suitors sent their forces except King Cinyras of Cyprus. Though he sent breastplates to Agamemnon and promised to send 50 ships, he sent only one real ship, led by the son of Mygdalion, and 49 ships made of clay. Idomeneus was willing to lead the Cretan contingent in Mycenae's war against Troy, but only as a co-commander, which he was granted. The last commander to arrive was Achilles, who was then 15 years old.

Following a sacrifice to Apollo, a snake slithered from the altar to a sparrow's nest in a plane tree nearby. It ate the mother and her nine babies, then was turned to stone. Calchas interpreted this as a sign that Troy would fall in the tenth year of the war.


When the Achaeans left for the war, they did not know the way, and accidentally landed in Mysia, ruled by King Telephus, son of Heracles, who had led a contingent of Arcadians to settle there.[55] In the battle, Achilles wounded Telephus,[56] who had killed Thersander.[57] Because the wound would not heal, Telephus asked an oracle, "What will happen to the wound?". The oracle responded, "he that wounded shall heal". The Achaean fleet then set sail and was scattered by a storm. Achilles landed in Scyros and married Deidamia. A new gathering was set again in Aulis.[38]

Telephus went to Aulis, and either pretended to be a beggar, asking Agamemnon to help heal his wound,[58] or kidnapped Orestes and held him for ransom, demanding the wound be healed.[59] Achilles refused, claiming to have no medical knowledge. Odysseus reasoned that the spear that had inflicted the wound must be able to heal it. Pieces of the spear were scraped off onto the wound, and Telephus was healed.[60] Telephus then showed the Achaeans the route to Troy.[58]

Some scholars have regarded the expedition against Telephus and its resolution as a derivative reworking of elements from the main story of the Trojan War, but it has also been seen as fitting the story-pattern of the "preliminary adventure" that anticipates events and themes from the main narrative, and therefore as likely to be "early and integral".[61]

The second gathering

Map of the Troad (Troas)
Eight years after the storm had scattered them,[62] the fleet of more than a thousand ships was gathered again. But when they had all reached Aulis, the winds ceased. The prophet Calchas stated that the goddess Artemis was punishing Agamemnon for killing either a sacred deer or a deer in a sacred grove, and boasting that he was a better hunter than she.[38] The only way to appease Artemis, he said, was to sacrifice Iphigenia, who was either the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra,[63] or of Helen and Theseus entrusted to Clytemnestra when Helen married Menelaus.[64] Agamemnon refused, and the other commanders threatened to make Palamedes commander of the expedition.[65] According to some versions, Agamemnon relented, but others claim that he sacrificed a deer in her place, or that at the last moment, Artemis took pity on the girl, and took her to be a maiden in one of her temples, substituting a lamb.[38] Hesiod says that Iphigenia became the goddess Hecate.[66]

The Achaean forces are described in detail in the Catalogue of Ships, in the second book of the Iliad. They consisted of 28 contingents from mainland Greece, the Peloponnese, the Dodecanese islands, Crete, and Ithaca, comprising 1178 pentekontoroi, ships with 50 rowers. Thucydides says that according to tradition there were about 1200 ships, and that the Boeotian ships had 120 men, while Philoctetes' ships only had the fifty rowers, these probably being maximum and minimum. These numbers would mean a total force of 70,000 to 130,000 men. Another catalogue of ships is given by the Bibliotheca that differs somewhat but agrees in numbers. Some scholars have claimed that Homer's catalogue is an original Bronze Age document, possibly the Achaean commander's order of operations.[68][69][70] Others believe it was a fabrication of Homer.

The second book of the Iliad also lists the Trojan allies, consisting of the Trojans themselves, led by Hector, and various allies listed as Dardanians led by Aeneas, Zeleians, Adrasteians, Percotians, Pelasgians, Thracians, Ciconian spearmen, Paionian archers, Halizones, Mysians, Phrygians, Maeonians, Miletians, Lycians led by Sarpedon and Carians. Nothing is said of the Trojan language; the Carians are specifically said to be barbarian-speaking, and the allied contingents are said to have spoken multiple
Zeus (Ancient Greek: Ζεύς, Zeús; Modern Greek: Δίας, Días; English pronunciation /ˈzjuːs/[3] or /ˈzuːs/) is the "Father of Gods and men" (πατὴρ ἀνδρῶν τε θεῶν τε, patḕr andrōn te theōn te)[4] who rules the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father rules the family according to the ancient Greek religion. He is the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. Zeus is etymologically cognate with and, under Hellenic influence, became particularly closely identified with Roman Jupiter.

Zeus is the child of Cronus and Rhea, and the youngest of his siblings. In most traditions he is married to Hera, although, at the oracle of Dodona, his consort is Dione: according to the Iliad, he is the father of Aphrodite by Dione.[5] He is known for his erotic escapades. These resulted in many godly and heroic offspring, including Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Persephone (by Demeter), Dionysus, Perseus, Heracles, Helen of Troy, Minos, and the Muses (by Mnemosyne); by Hera, he is usually said to have fathered Ares, Hebe and Hephaestus.[6]

As Walter Burkert points out in his book, Greek Religion, "Even the gods who are not his natural children address him as Father, and all the gods rise in his presence."[7] For the Greeks, he was the King of the Gods, who oversaw the universe. As Pausanias observed, "That Zeus is king in heaven is a saying common to all men".[8] In Hesiod's Theogony Zeus assigns the various gods their roles. In the Homeric Hymns he is referred to as the chieftain of the gods.

His symbols are the thunderbolt, eagle, bull, and oak. In addition to his Indo-European inheritance, the classical "cloud-gatherer" (Greek: Νεφεληγερέτα, Nephelēgereta)[9] also derives certain iconographic traits from the cultures of the Ancient Near East, such as the scepter. Zeus is frequently depicted by Greek artists in one of two poses: standing, striding forward, with a thunderbolt leveled in his raised right hand, or seated in majesty

The god's name in the nominative is Ζεύς Zeús /zdeús/. It is inflected as follows: vocative: Ζεῦ Zeû; accusative: Δία Día; genitive: Διός Diós; dative: Διί Dií. Diogenes Laertius quotes Pherecydes of Syros as spelling the name, Ζάς.[10]

Zeus is the Greek continuation of *Di̯ēus, the name of the Proto-Indo-European god of the daytime sky, also called *Dyeus ph2tēr ("Sky Father").[11][12] The god is known under this name in the Rigveda (Vedic Sanskrit Dyaus/Dyaus Pita), Latin (compare Jupiter, from Iuppiter, deriving from the Proto-Indo-European vocative *dyeu-ph2tēr),[13] deriving from the root *dyeu- ("to shine", and in its many derivatives, "sky, heaven, god").[11] Zeus is the only deity in the Olympic pantheon whose name has such a transparent Indo-European etymology.[14]

The earliest attested forms of the name are the Mycenaean Greek 𐀇𐀸, di-we and 𐀇𐀺, di-wo, written in the Linear B syllabic script.[15]

Zeus in myth
Cronus sired several children by Rhea: Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon, but swallowed them all as soon as they were born, since he had learned from Gaia and Uranus that he was destined to be overcome by his own son as he had overthrown his own father, an oracle that Rhea heard and wished to avert.

When Zeus was about to be born, Rhea sought Gaia to devise a plan to save him, so that Cronus would get his retribution for his acts against Uranus and his own children. Rhea gave birth to Zeus in Crete, handing Cronus a rock wrapped in swaddling clothes, which he promptly swallowed.[16]


Rhea hid Zeus in a cave on Mount Ida in Crete. According to varying versions of the story:
1.He was then raised by Gaia.
2.He was raised by a goat named Amalthea, while a company of Kouretes— soldiers, or smaller gods— danced, shouted and clashed their spears against their shields so that Cronus would not hear the baby's cry (see cornucopia). According to some versions of this story he was reared by Amalthea in a cave called Dictaeon Andron (Psychro Cave) in Lasithi plateau.
3.He was raised by a nymph named Adamanthea. Since Cronus ruled over the Earth, the heavens and the sea, she hid him by dangling him on a rope from a tree so he was suspended between earth, sea and sky and thus, invisible to his father.
4.He was raised by a nymph named Cynosura. In gratitude, Zeus placed her among the stars.
5.He was raised by Melissa, who nursed him with goat's-milk and honey.
6.He was raised by a shepherd family under the promise that their sheep would be saved from wolves.

King of the gods

Colossal seated Marnas from Gaza portrayed in the style of Zeus. Roman period Marnas[17] was the chief divinity of Gaza (Istanbul Archaeology Museum).
After reaching manhood, Zeus forced Cronus to disgorge first the stone (which was set down at Pytho under the glens of Parnassus to be a sign to mortal men, the Omphalos) then his siblings in reverse order of swallowing. In some versions, Metis gave Cronus an emetic to force him to disgorge the babies, or Zeus cut Cronus' stomach open. Then Zeus released the brothers of Cronus, the Gigantes, the Hecatonchires and the Cyclopes, from their dungeon in Tartarus, killing their guard, Campe.

As a token of their appreciation, the Cyclopes gave him thunder and the thunderbolt, or lightning, which had previously been hidden by Gaia. Together, Zeus and his brothers and sisters, along with the Gigantes, Hecatonchires and Cyclopes overthrew Cronus and the other Titans, in the combat called the Titanomachy. The defeated Titans were then cast into a shadowy underworld region known as Tartarus. Atlas, one of the titans that fought against Zeus, was punished by having to hold up the sky.

After the battle with the Titans, Zeus shared the world with his elder brothers, Poseidon and Hades, by drawing lots: Zeus got the sky and air, Poseidon the waters, and Hades the world of the dead (the underworld). The ancient Earth, Gaia, could not be claimed; she was left to all three, each according to their capabilities, which explains why Poseidon was the "earth-shaker" (the god of earthquakes) and Hades claimed the humans that died (see also Penthus).

Gaia resented the way Zeus had treated the Titans, because they were her children. Soon after taking the throne as king of the gods, Zeus had to fight some of Gaia's other children, the monsters Typhon and Echidna. He vanquished Typhon and trapped him under Mount Etna, but left Echidna and her children alive

Zeus and Hera

Main article: Hera

Zeus was brother and consort of Hera. By Hera, Zeus sired Ares, Hebe and Hephaestus, though some accounts say that Hera produced these offspring alone. Some also include Eileithyia and Eris as their daughters. The conquests of Zeus among nymphs and the mythic mortal progenitors of Hellenic dynasties are famous. Olympian mythography even credits him with unions with Leto, Demeter, Dione and Maia. Among mortals were Semele, Io, Europa and Leda (for more details, see below) and with the young Ganymede (although he was mortal Zeus granted him eternal youth and immortality).

Many myths render Hera as jealous of his amorous conquests and a consistent enemy of Zeus' mistresses and their children by him. For a time, a nymph named Echo had the job of distracting Hera from his affairs by talking incessantly, and when Hera discovered the deception, she cursed Echo to repeat the words of others.

Zeus is sometimes depicted as a middle-aged man with strong muscular arms. His facial hair can be a full beard and mustache to just stubble.
Zeus turned Pandareus to stone for stealing the golden dog which had guarded him as an infant in the holy Dictaeon Cave of Crete.
Zeus killed Salmoneus with a thunderbolt for attempting to impersonate him, riding around in a bronze chariot and loudly imitating thunder.
Zeus turned Periphas into an eagle, making him the king of birds.
At the marriage of Zeus and Hera, a nymph named Chelone refused to attend. Zeus transformed her into a tortoise (chelone in Greek).
Zeus, with Hera, turned King Haemus and Queen Rhodope into mountains (the Balkan mountains, or Stara Planina, and Rhodope mountains, respectively) for their vanity.
Zeus condemned Tantalus to eternal torture in Tartarus for trying to trick the gods into eating the flesh of his butchered son Pelops.
Zeus condemned Ixion to be tied to a fiery wheel for eternity as punishment for attempting to violate Hera.
Zeus sank the Telchines beneath the sea.
Zeus blinded the seer Phineus and sent the Harpies to plague him as punishment for revealing the secrets of the gods.
Zeus rewarded Tiresias with a life three times the norm as reward for ruling in his favour when he and Hera contested which of the sexes gained the most pleasure from the act of love.
Zeus punished Hera by having her hung upside down from the sky when she attempted to drown Heracles in a storm.
Of all the children Zeus spawned, Heracles was often described as his favorite. Indeed, Heracles was often called by various gods and people as "the favorite son of Zeus", Zeus and Heracles were very close and in one story, where a tribe of earth-born Giants threatened Olympus and the Oracle at Delphi decreed that only the combined efforts of a lone god and mortal could stop the creature, Zeus chose Heracles to fight by his side. They proceeded to defeat the monsters.
Athena has at times been called his favorite daughter and adviser.[55]
His sacred bird was the Golden Eagle, which he kept by his side at all times. Like him, the eagle was a symbol of strength, courage, and justice.
His favourite tree was the oak, symbol of strength. Olive trees were also sacred to him.
Zelus, Nike, Cratos and Bia were Zeus' retinue.
Zeus condemned Prometheus to having his liver eaten by a giant eagle for giving the Flames of Olympus to the mortals.
When Hera gave birth to Hephaestus, Zeus threw him off the top of Mount Olympus because of his repulsive appearance
Hera (/ˈhɛrə/, Greek Ἥρα, Hēra, equivalently Ἥρη, Hērē, in Ionic and Homer) is the wife and one of three sisters of Zeus in the Olympian pantheon of Greek mythology and religion. Her chief function was as the goddess of women and marriage. Her counterpart in the religion of ancient Rome was Juno.[1] The cow, lion and the peacock were considered sacred to her. Hera's mother is Rhea and her father Cronus.

Portrayed as majestic and solemn, often enthroned, and crowned with the polos (a high cylindrical crown worn by several of the Great Goddesses), Hera may bear a pomegranate in her hand, emblem of fertile blood and death and a substitute for the narcotic capsule of the opium poppy.[2] Scholar of Greek mythology Walter Burkert writes in Greek Religion, "Nevertheless, there are memories of an earlier aniconic representation, as a pillar in Argos and as a plank in Samos."[3]

Hera was known for her jealous and vengeful nature against Zeus's lovers and offspring, but also against mortals who crossed her, such as Pelias. Paris also earned Hera's hatred by choosing Aphrodite as the most beautiful goddess

The name of Hera admits a variety of mutually exclusive etymologies; one possibility is to connect it with Greek ὥρα hōra, season, and to interpret it as ripe for marriage and according to Plato ἐρατή eratē, "beloved"[4] as Zeus is said to have married her for love.[5] According to Plutarch, Hera was an allegorical name and an anagram of aēr (ἀήρ, "air").[6] So begins the section on Hera in Walter Burkert's Greek Religion.[7] In a note, he records other scholars' arguments "for the meaning Mistress as a feminine to Heros, Master." John Chadwick, a decipherer of Linear B, remarks "her name may be connected with hērōs, ἥρως, 'hero', but that is no help, since it too is etymologically obscure."[8] A. J. van Windekens,[9] offers "young cow, heifer", which is consonant with Hera's common epithet βοῶπις (boōpis, "cow-eyed"). R. S. P. Beekes has suggested a Pre-Greek origin.[10] Her name is attested in Mycenaean Greek written in the Linear B syllabic script as 𐀁𐀨, e-ra, appearing on tablets found in Pylos and Thebes.[11]
According to Walter Burkert, both Hera and Demeter have many characteristic attributes of Pre-Greek Great Goddesses.[16]

According to the Homeric Hymn III to Delian Apollo, Hera detained Eileithyia to already prevent Leto from going into labor with Artemis and Apollo, since the father was Zeus. The other goddesses present at the birthing on Delos sent Iris to bring her. As she stepped upon the island, the divine birth began. In the myth of the birth of Heracles, it is Hera herself who sits at the door instead, delaying the birth of Heracles until her protégé, Eurystheus, had been born first.

The Homeric Hymn to Pythian Apollo makes the monster Typhaon the offspring of archaic Hera in her Minoan form, produced out of herself, like a monstrous version of Hephaestus, and whelped in a cave in Cilicia.[17] She gave the creature to Python to raise.

Roman copy of a Greek 5th century Hera of the "Barberini Hera" type, from the Museo Chiaramonti
In the Temple of Hera at Olympia, Hera's seated cult figure was older than the warrior figure of Zeus that accompanied it. Homer expressed her relationship with Zeus delicately in the Iliad, in which she declares to Zeus, "I am Cronus' eldest daughter, and am honourable not on this ground only, but also because I am your wife, and you are king of the gods."[18] Though Zeus is often called Zeus Heraios 'Zeus, (consort) of Hera', Homer's treatment of Hera is less than respectful, and in late anecdotal versions of the myths (see below) she appeared to spend most of her time plotting revenge on the nymphs seduced by her Consort, for Hera upheld all the old right rules of Hellene society and sorority

Hera was most known as the matron goddess, Hera Teleia; but she presided over weddings as well. In myth and cult, fragmentary references and archaic practices remain of the sacred marriage of Hera and Zeus,[22] and at Plataea, there was a sculpture of Hera seated as a bride by Callimachus, as well as the matronly standing Hera.[23]

Hera was also worshipped as a virgin: there was a tradition in Stymphalia in Arcadia that there had been a triple shrine to Hera the Girl (Παις [Pais]), the Adult Woman (Τελεια [Teleia]), and the Separated (Χήρη [Chḗrē] 'Widowed' or 'Divorced').[24] In the region around Argos, the temple of Hera in Hermione near Argos was to Hera the Virgin.[25] At the spring of Kanathos, close to Nauplia, Hera renewed her virginity annually, in rites that were not to be spoken of (arrheton).[26] The Female figure, showing her "Moon" over the lake is also appropriate, as Hebe, Hera, and Hecate; new moon, full moon, and old moon in that order and otherwise personified as the Virgin of spring, The Mother of Summer, and the destroying Crone of Autumn.[27

In Hellenistic imagery, Hera's chariot was pulled by peacocks, birds not known to Greeks before the conquests of Alexander. Alexander's tutor, Aristotle, refers to it as "the Persian bird." The peacock motif was revived in the Renaissance iconography that unified Hera and Juno, and which European painters focused on.[29] A bird that had been associated with Hera on an archaic level, where most of the Aegean goddesses were associated with "their" bird, was the cuckoo, which appears in mythic fragments concerning the first wooing of a virginal Hera by Zeus.

Her archaic association was primarily with cattle, as a Cow Goddess, who was especially venerated in "cattle-rich" Euboea. On Cyprus, very early archaeological sites contain bull skulls that have been adapted for use as masks (see Bull (mythology)). Her familiar Homeric epithet Boôpis, is always translated "cow-eyed", for, like the Greeks of Classical times, its other natural translation "cow-faced". In this respect, Hera bears some resemblance to the Ancient Egyptian deity Hathor, a maternal goddess associated with cattle.

In Hellenistic imagery, Hera's chariot was pulled by peacocks, birds not known to Greeks before the conquests of Alexander. Alexander's tutor, Aristotle, refers to it as "the Persian bird." The peacock motif was revived in the Renaissance iconography that unified Hera and Juno, and which European painters focused on.[29] A bird that had been associated with Hera on an archaic level, where most of the Aegean goddesses were associated with "their" bird, was the cuckoo, which appears in mythic fragments concerning the first wooing of a virginal Hera by Zeus.

Her archaic association was primarily with cattle, as a Cow Goddess, who was especially venerated in "cattle-rich" Euboea. On Cyprus, very early archaeological sites contain bull skulls that have been adapted for use as masks (see Bull (mythology)). Her familiar Homeric epithet Boôpis, is always translated "cow-eyed", for, like the Greeks of Classical times, its other natural translation "cow-faced". In this respect, Hera bears some resemblance to the Ancient Egyptian deity Hathor, a maternal goddess associated with cattle.

When Hera learned that Semele, daughter of Cadmus King of Thebes, was pregnant by Zeus, she disguised herself as Semele's nurse and persuaded the princess to insist that Zeus show himself to her in his true form. When he was compelled to do so, having sworn by Styx [45] his thunder and lightning destroyed Semele. Zeus took Semele's unborn child, Dionysus and completed its gestation sewn into his own thigh.

In another version, Dionysus was originally the son of Zeus by either Demeter or Persephone. Hera sent her Titans to rip the baby apart, from which he was called Zagreus ("Torn in Pieces"). Zeus rescued the heart; or, the heart was saved, variously, by Athena, Rhea, or Demeter.[46] Zeus used the heart to recreate Dionysus and implant him in the womb of Semele—hence Dionysus became known as "the twice-born". Certain versions imply that Zeus gave Semele the heart to eat to impregnate her. Hera tricked Semele into asking Zeus to reveal his true form, which killed her. Dionysus later managed to rescue his mother from the underworld and have her live on Mount Olympus.

See also Dionysus' birth for other variations

Poseidon (/pɵˈsaɪdən/; Greek: Ποσειδῶν, pronounced [pose͜edɔ́͜ɔn]) is one of the twelve Olympian deities of the pantheon in Greek mythology. His main domain is the ocean, and he is called the "God of the Sea". Additionally, he is referred to as "Earth-Shaker"[1] due to his role in causing earthquakes, and has been called the "tamer of horses".[2] He is usually depicted as an older male with curly hair and beard.

The name of the sea-god Nethuns in Etruscan was adopted in Latin for Neptune in Roman mythology; both were sea gods analogous to Poseidon. Linear B tablets show that Poseidon was venerated at Pylos and Thebes in pre-Olympian Bronze Age Greece as a chief deity, but he was integrated into the Olympian gods as the brother of Zeus and Hades.[2] According to some folklore, he was saved by his mother Rhea, who concealed him among a flock of lambs and pretended to have given birth to a colt, which was devoured by Cronos.[3]

There is a Homeric hymn to Poseidon, who was the protector of many Hellenic cities, although he lost the contest for Athens to Athena. According to the references from Plato in his dialogues Timaeus and Critias, the island of Atlantis was the chosen domain of Poseidon.[4][5][6][7]

The earliest attested occurrence of the name, written in Linear B, is 𐀡𐀮𐀆𐀃 Po-se-da-o or 𐀡𐀮𐀆𐀺𐀚 Po-se-da-wo-ne, which correspond to Poseidaōn and Poseidawonos in Mycenean Greek; in Homeric Greek it appears as Ποσειδάων (Poseidaōn); in Aeolic as Ποτειδάων (Poteidaōn); and in Doric as Ποτειδάν (Poteidan), Ποτειδάων (Poteidaōn), and Ποτειδᾶς (Poteidas).[8] A common epithet of Poseidon is Γαιήοχος Gaiēochos, "Earth-shaker," an epithet which is also identified in Linear B tablets. Another attested word 𐀁𐀚𐀯𐀅𐀃𐀚, E-ne-si-da-o-ne,[9][10] recalls his later epithets Ennosidas and Ennosigaios indicating the chthonic nature of Poseidon.[11]

The origins of the name "Poseidon" are unclear. One theory breaks it down into an element meaning "husband" or "lord" (Greek πόσις (posis), from PIE *pótis) and another element meaning "earth" (δᾶ (da), Doric for γῆ (gē)), producing something like lord or spouse of Da, i.e. of the earth; this would link him with Demeter, "Earth-mother."[12] Walter Burkert finds that "the second element da- remains hopelessly ambiguous" and finds a "husband of Earth" reading "quite impossible to prove."[2]

Another theory interprets the second element as related to the word *δᾶϝον dâwon, "water"; this would make *Posei-dawōn into the master of waters.[13] There is also the possibility that the word has Pre-Greek origin.[14] Plato in his dialogue Cratylus gives two alternative etymologies: either the sea restrained Poseidon when walking as a "foot-bond" (ποσίδεσμον), or he "knew many things" (πολλά εἰδότος or πολλά εἰδῶν).[15]

Bronze Age Greece
Poseidon was the second son of Cronus and Rhea. In most accounts he is swallowed by Cronus at birth but later saved, with his other brothers and sisters, by Zeus. However in some versions of the story, he, like his brother Zeus, did not share the fate of his other brother and sisters who were eaten by Cronus. He was saved by his mother Rhea, who concealed him among a flock of lambs and pretended to have given birth to a colt, which she gave to Cronus to devour.[3]

According to John Tzetzes[23] the kourotrophos, or nurse of Poseidon was Arne, who denied knowing where he was, when Cronus came searching; according to Diodorus Siculus[24] Poseidon was raised by the Telchines on Rhodes, just as Zeus was raised by the Korybantes on Crete.

According to a single reference in the Iliad, when the world was divided by lot in three, Zeus received the sky, Hades the underworld and Poseidon the sea. In the Odyssey (v.398), Poseidon has a home in Aegae.

In ancient Greek religion and myth, Demeter (/diˈmiːtər/; Attic: Δημήτηρ Dēmḗtēr; Doric: Δαμάτηρ Dāmā́tēr) is the goddess of the harvest, who presided over grains and the fertility of the earth. Her cult titles include Sito (Σιτώ), "she of the Grain",[1] as the giver of food or grain[2] and Thesmophoros (θεσμός, thesmos: divine order, unwritten law; "phoros": bringer, bearer), "Law-Bringer," as a mark of the civilized existence of agricultural society.[3]

Though Demeter is often described simply as the goddess of the harvest, she presided also over the sacred law, and the cycle of life and death. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that predated the Olympian pantheon. In the Linear B Mycenean Greek tablets of circa 1400–1200 BC found at Pylos, the "two mistresses and the king" may be related with Demeter, Persephone and Poseidon.[4][5] Her Roman equivalent is Ceres.[6]

is possible that Demeter appears in Linear A as da-ma-te on three documents (AR Zf 1 and 2, and KY Za 2), all three apparently dedicated in religious situations and all three bearing just the name (i-da-ma-te on AR Zf 1 and 2).[7] It is unlikely that Demeter appears as da-ma-te in a Linear B (Mycenean Greek) inscription (PY En 609); the word 𐀅𐀔𐀳, da-ma-te, probably refers to "households".[8][9] On the other hand 𐀯𐀵𐀡𐀴𐀛𐀊, si-to-po-ti-ni-ja, "Potnia of the Grain", is regarded to refer to her Bronze Age predecessor or to one of her epithets.[10]

Demeter's character as mother-goddess is identified in the second element of her name meter (μήτηρ) derived from Proto-Indo-European *méh₂tēr (mother).[11] In antiquity, different explanations were already proffered for the first element of her name. It is possible that Da (Δᾶ),[12] a word which became Ge (Γῆ) in Attic, is the Doric form of De (Δῆ), "earth", the old name of the chthonic earth-goddess, and that Demeter is "Mother-Earth".[13] This root also appears in the Linear B inscription E-ne-si-da-o-ne, "earth-shaker", as an aspect of the god Poseidon.[14][15] However, the dā element in the name of Demeter, is not so simply equated with "earth" according to John Chadwick.[16][17]

The element De- may be connected with Deo, a surname of Demeter[18] probably derived from the Cretan word dea (δηά), Ionic zeia (ζειά) meaning "barley", so that she is the Mother and the giver of food generally.[19] Arcadian cult to Demeter links her to a male deity (Greek: Πάρεδρος, Paredros), who accompanied the Great Goddess and has been interpreted as a possible substitution for Poseidon; Demeter may therefore be related to a Minoan Great Goddess.[20]

An alternative, Proto-Indo-European etymology comes through Potnia and Despoina; where Des- represents a derivative of PIE *dem (house, dome), and Demeter is "mother of the house" (from PIE *dems-méh₂tēr).[21]

Demeter and Persephone[edit]

Demeter drives her horse-drawn chariot containing her daughter Persephone-Kore at Selinunte, Sicily 6th century BC.
Demeter rejoiced, for her daughter was by her side
Demeter's virgin daughter Persephone was abducted to the underworld by Hades. Demeter searched for her ceaselessly, preoccupied with her loss and her grief. The seasons halted; living things ceased their growth, then began to die.[29] Faced with the extinction of all life on earth, Zeus sent his messenger Hermes to the underworld to bring Persephone back. Hades agreed to release her, but gave her a pomegranate. When she ate the pomegranate seeds, she was bound to him for one third of the year, either the dry Mediterranean summer, when plant life is threatened by drought,[30] or the autumn and winter.[31] There are several variations on the basic myth. In the Homeric hymn to Demeter, Hecate assists in the search and later becomes Persephone's underworld attendant.[32] In another, Persephone willingly and secretly eats the pomegranate seeds, thinking to deceive Hades, but is discovered and made to stay. In all versions, Persephone's time in the underworld corresponds with the unfruitful seasons of the ancient Greek calendar, and her return to the upper world with springtime. Demeter's descent to retrieve Persephone from the underworld is connected to the Eleusinian Mysteries.

Demeter and her daughter Persephone were usually called:[33]
The goddesses, often distinguished as "the older" and "the younger" in Eleusis.
Demeters, in Rhodes and Sparta
The thesmophoroi, "the legislators" in the Thesmophoria.
The Great Goddesses, in Arcadia.
The mistresses in Arcadia.[34]

In Mycenaean Pylos, Demeter and Persephone were probably called "queens" (wa-na-ssoi).[5]

The myth of the capture of Persephone seems to be pre-Greek. In the Greek version Ploutos (πλούτος, wealth) represents the wealth of the corn that was stored in underground silos or ceramic jars (pithoi). Similar subterranean pithoi were used in ancient times for funerary practices is fused with Persephone, the Queen of the underworld. At the beginning of the autumn, when the corn of the old crop is laid on the fields she ascends and is reunited with her mother Demeter, for at this time the old crop and the new meet each other.[35]

According to the personal mythology of Robert Graves,[36] Persephone is not only the younger self of Demeter,[37] she is in turn also one of three guises of the Triple Goddess — Kore (the youngest, the maiden, signifying green young grain), Persephone (in the middle, the nymph, signifying the ripe grain waiting to be harvested), and Hecate (the eldest of the three, the crone, the harvested grain), which to a certain extent reduces the name and role of Demeter to that of group name. Before her abduction, she is called Kore; and once taken

Athena (/əˈθiːnə/; Attic Greek: Ἀθηνᾶ, Athēnā, or Ἀθηναία, Athēnaia; Epic: Ἀθηναίη, Athēnaiē; Doric: Ἀθάνα, Athānā) or Athene (/əˈθiːniː/; Ionic: Ἀθήνη, Athēnē), often given the epithet Pallas (/ˈpæləs/; Παλλὰς), was the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, strategic warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill in ancient Greek religion and mythology. Minerva is the Roman goddess identified with Athena.[2]

Athena is portrayed as a shrewd companion of heroes and is the patron goddess of heroic endeavour. She is the virgin patroness of Athens. The Athenians founded the Parthenon on the Acropolis of her namesake city, Athens (Athena Parthenos), in her honour.[2]

Veneration of Athena was so persistent that archaic myths about her were recast to adapt to cultural changes. In her role as a protector of the city (polis), many people throughout the Greek world worshipped Athena as Athena Polias (Ἀθηνᾶ Πολιάς "Athena of the city"). While the city of Athens and the goddess Athena essentially bear the same name (Athena the goddess, Athenai the city), it is not known which of the two words is derived from the other.[3]

Athena is associated with Athens, a plural name, because it was the place where she presided over her sisterhood, the Athenai, in earliest times. Mycenae was the city where the Goddess was called Mykene, and Mycenae is named in the plural for the sisterhood of females who tended her there. At Thebes she was called Thebe, and the city again a plural, Thebae (or Thebes, where the ‘s’ is the plural formation). Similarly, at Athens she was called Athena, and the city Athenae (or Athens, again a plural).[4]

Athena had a special relationship with Athens, as is shown by the etymological connection of the names of the goddess and the city. According to mythical lore, she competed with Poseidon and she won by creating the olive tree; the Athenians would accept her gift and name the city after her. In history, the citizens of Athens built a statue of Athena as a temple to the goddess, which had piercing eyes, a helmet on her head, attired with an aegis or cuirass, and an extremely long spear. It also had a crystal shield with the head of the Gorgon on it. A large snake accompanied her and she held Nike, the goddess of victory, in her hand.

Image from the temple of Athena at Mycenae, c. 625 BC (National Archaeological Museum of Athens)
In a Mycenean fresco, there is a composition of two women extending their hands towards a central figure who is covered by an enormous figure-eight shield and could also depict the war-goddess with her palladium, or her palladium in an aniconic representation. Therefore Mylonas believes that Athena was a Mycenaean creation.[5] On the other hand, Nilsson claims that she was the goddess of the palace who protected the king, and that the origin of Athena was the Minoan domestic snake-goddess.[6] In the so-called Procession-fresco in Knossos which was reconstructed by the Mycenaeans, two rows of figures carrying vessels, seem to meet in front of a central figure, which is probably the Minoan palace goddess “Atano”.[7]

In Mycenaean Greek, at Knossos a single inscription 𐀀𐀲𐀙𐀡𐀴𐀛𐀊 A-ta-na po-ti-ni-ja /Athana potniya/ appears in the Linear B tablets from the Late Minoan II-era "Room of the Chariot Tablets"; these comprise the earliest Linear B archive anywhere.[8][9] Although Athana potniya often is translated Mistress Athena, it literally means "the Potnia of At(h)ana", which perhaps, means the Lady of Athens;[10] any connection to the city of Athens in the Knossos inscription is uncertain.[11] We also find A-ta-no-dju-wa-ja (KO Za 1 inscription, line 1), in Linear A Minoan; the final part being regarded as the Linear A Minoan equivalent of the Linear B Mycenaean di-u-ja or di-wi-ja (Diwia, "divine"). Divine Athena also was a weaver and the deity of crafts (see dyeus).[12] Whether her name is attested in Eteocretan or not will have to wait for decipherment of Linear A.

Apart from these Creto-Greek attributions, Günther Neumann has suggested that Athena’s name is possibly of Lydian origin;[13] it may be a compound word derived in part from Tyrrhenian ati, meaning mother and the name of the Hurrian goddess Hannahannah shortened in various places to Ana.[citation needed]

In his dialogue Cratylus, the Greek philosopher Plato (428–347 BC), gives the etymology of Athena’s name, based on the views of the ancient Athenians and his own etymological speculations:

That is a graver matter, and there, my friend, the modern interpreters of Homer may, I think, assist in explaining the view of the ancients. For most of these in their explanations of the poet, assert that he meant by Athena “mind” [nous] and “intelligence” [dianoia], and the maker of names appears to have had a singular notion about her; and indeed calls her by a still higher title, “divine intelligence” [θεοῦ νόησις – theou noesis], as though he would say: This is she who has the mind of God (a theonoa – ἁ θεονόα). Perhaps, however, the name Theonoe may mean “she who knows divine things” (ta theia noousa – τὰ θεῖα νοοῦσα) better than others. Nor shall we be far wrong in supposing that the author of it wished to identify this Goddess with moral intelligence (en ethei noesin), and therefore gave her the name Etheonoe; which, however, either he or his successors have altered into what they thought a nicer form, and called her Athena

Thus for Plato her name was to be derived from Greek Ἀθεονόα, Atheonóa — which the later Greeks rationalised as from the deity’s (θεός theos) mind (νοῦς nous).

Plato also noted that the citizens of Sais in Egypt worshipped a goddess whose Egyptian name was Neith,[14] and which was identified with Athena.[15] Neith was the war goddess and huntress deity of the Egyptians since the ancient Pre-Dynastic period, who was also identified with weaving. In addition, als ancient Greek myths reported that Athena had visited many mythological places such as Libya's Triton River in North Africa and the Phlegraean plain.[16] Scholar Martin Bernal created the controversial[17] Black Athena theory to explain this associated origin by claiming that the conception of Neith was brought to Greece from Egypt, along with "an enormous number of features of civilization and culture in the third and second millennia".[18] The connection with Neith was later rejected by other scholars in view of formal difficulties.[19]

R. S. P. Beekes has suggested a Pre-Greek origin of the name.[20]

Some authors[citation needed] believe that, in early times, Athena was either an owl herself or a bird goddess in general: In the third Book of the Odyssey, she takes the form of a sea-eagle. These authors argue that she dropped her prophylactic owl-mask before she lost her wings. “Athena, by the time she appears in art,” Jane Ellen Harrison had remarked, “has completely shed her animal form, has reduced the shapes she once wore of snake and bird to attributes, but occasionally in black-figure vase-paintings she still appears with wings.”[21]

Some Greek authors[who?] have derived natural symbols from the etymological roots of Athena’s names to be aether, air, earth, and moon. This was one of the primary developments of scholarly exploration in the ancient world.[22]
Olympian version
After he swallowed her pregnant mother, Metis, Athena is “born” from Zeus’ forehead as he grasps the clothing of Eileithyia on the right; black-figured amphora, 550–525 BC, Louvre.
Although Athena appears before Zeus at Knossos — in Linear B, as 𐀀𐀲𐀙𐀡𐀴𐀛𐀊, a-ta-na po-ti-ni-ja, “Mistress Athena”[46] — in the Classical Olympian pantheon, Athena was remade as the favorite daughter of Zeus, born fully armed from his forehead.[47] The story of her birth comes in several versions. In the one most commonly cited, Zeus lay with Metis, the goddess of crafty thought and wisdom, but he immediately feared the consequences. It had been prophesied that Metis would bear children more powerful than the sire,[48] even Zeus himself. In order to forestall these dire consequences, after lying with Metis, Zeus “put her away inside his own belly”; he “swallowed her down all of a sudden”.[49] He was too late: Metis had already conceived.
Eventually Zeus experienced an enormous headache; Prometheus, Hephaestus, Hermes, Ares, or Palaemon (depending on the sources examined) cleaved Zeus’ head with the double-headed Minoan axe, the labrys. Athena leaped from Zeus’ head, fully grown and armed, with a shout — “and pealed to the broad sky her clarion cry of war. And Ouranos trembled to hear, and Mother Gaia…” (Pindar, Seventh Olympian Ode). Plato, in the Laws, attributes the cult of Athena to the culture of Crete, introduced, he thought, from Libya during the dawn of Greek culture. Classical myths thereafter note that Hera was so annoyed at Zeus for having produced a child that she conceived and bore Hephaestus by herself.
In accordance with this mythological tradition, Plato, in Cratylus (407B), gave the etymology of her name as signifying “the mind of god”, theou noesis. The Christian apologist of the second century Justin Martyr takes issue with those pagans who erect at springs images of Kore, whom he interprets as Athena:

Other tales[edit]

Some origin stories tell of Athena having been born outside of Olympus and raised by the god Triton. Fragments attributed by the Christian Eusebius of Caesarea to the semi-legendary Phoenician historian Sanchuniathon, which Eusebius thought had been written before the Trojan war, make Athena instead the daughter of Cronus, a king of Byblos who visited 'the inhabitable world' and bequeathed Attica to Athena.[51] Sanchuniathon's account would make Athena the sister of Zeus and Hera, not Zeus' daughter.

Pallas Athena[edit]

The major competing tradition regarding Athena's parentage involves some of her more mysterious epithets: Pallas, as in the ancient-Greek Παλλάς Ἀθήνη (also Pallantias) and Tritogeneia (also Trito, Tritonis, Tritoneia, Tritogenes). A distant archaic separate entity named Pallas is invoked as Athena's father, sister, foster sister, companion, or opponent in battle. One of these is Pallas a daughter of Triton (a sea god), and a childhood friend of Athena.[52]

In every case, Athena kills Pallas, accidentally, and thereby gains the name for herself. In one telling, they practice the arts of war together until one day they have a falling out. As Pallas is about to strike Athena, Zeus intervenes. With Pallas stunned by a blow from Zeus, Athena takes advantage and kills her. Distraught over what she has done, Athena takes the name Pallas for herself.

When Pallas is Athena's father the events, including her birth, are located near a body of water named Triton or Tritonis. When Pallas is Athena's sister or foster-sister, Athena's father or foster-father is Triton, the son and herald of Poseidon. But Athena may be called the daughter of Poseidon and a nymph named Tritonis, without involving Pallas. Likewise, Pallas may be Athena's father or opponent, without involving Triton.[53] On this topic, Walter Burkert says "she is the Pallas of Athens, Pallas Athenaie, just as Hera of Argos is Here Argeie.[54] For the Athenians, Burkert notes, Athena was simply "the Goddess", hē theós (ἡ θεός), certainly an ancient title

Athena Parthenos: Virgin Athena[edit]

Athena never had a consort or lover and is thus known as Athena Parthenos, "Virgin Athena". Her most famous temple, the Parthenon, on the Acropolis in Athens takes its name from this title. It is not merely an observation of her virginity, but a recognition of her role as enforcer of rules of sexual modesty and ritual mystery. Even beyond recognition, the Athenians allotted the goddess value based on this pureness of virginity as it upheld a rudiment of female behavior in the patriarchal society. Kerenyi's study and theory of Athena accredits her virginal epithet to be a result of the relationship to her father Zeus and a vital, cohesive piece of her character throughout the ages.[55]

This role is expressed in a number of stories about Athena. Marinus of Neapolis reports that when Christians removed the statue of the Goddess from the Parthenon, a beautiful woman appeared in a dream to Proclus, a devotee of Athena, and announced that the "Athenian Lady" wished to dwell with him.[56]

The Athena Giustiniani, a Roman copy of a Greek statue of Pallas Athena with her serpent, Erichthonius

Hephaestus attempted to rape Athena, but she eluded him. His semen fell to the earth and impregnated the soil, and Erichthonius was born from the Earth, Gaia. Athena then raised the baby as a foster mother.[57]

Athena puts the infant Erichthonius into a small box (cista) which she entrusts to the care of three sisters, Herse, Pandrosus, and Aglaulus of Athens. The goddess does not tell them what the box contains, but warns them not to open it until she returns. One or two sisters opens the cista to reveal Erichthonius, in the form (or embrace) of a serpent. The serpent, or insanity induced by the sight, drives Herse and Aglaulus to throw themselves off the Acropolis.[58] Jane Harrison (Prolegomena) finds this to be a simple cautionary tale directed at young girls carrying the cista in the Thesmophoria rituals, to discourage them from opening it outside the proper context.

Another version of the myth of the Athenian maidens is told in Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid (43 BC – 17 AD); in this late variant Hermes falls in love with Herse. Herse, Aglaulus, and Pandrosus go to the temple to offer sacrifices to Athena. Hermes demands help from Aglaulus to seduce Herse. Aglaulus demands money in exchange. Hermes gives her the money the sisters have already offered to Athena. As punishment for Aglaulus's greed, Athena asks the goddess Envy to make Aglaulus jealous of Herse. When Hermes arrives to seduce Herse, Aglaulus stands in his way instead of helping him as she had agreed. He turns her to stone.[59]

With this mythic origin, Erichthonius became the founder-king of Athens, and many beneficial changes to Athenian culture were ascribed to him. During this time, Athena frequently protected him.

Medusa and Tiresias[edit]

In a late myth, Medusa, unlike her sister Gorgons, came to be viewed by the Greeks of the 5th century as a beautiful mortal that served as priestess in Athena's temple. Poseidon liked Medusa, and decided to rape her in the temple of Athena, refusing to allow her vow of chastity to stand in his way.[60] Upon discovering the desecration of her temple, Athena changed Medusa's form to match that of her sister Gorgons as punishment. Medusa's hair turned into snakes, her lower body was transformed also, and meeting her gaze would turn any living man to stone. In the earliest myths, there is only one Gorgon, but there are two snakes that form a belt around her waist.

In one version of the Tiresias myth, Tiresias stumbled upon Athena bathing, and he was struck blind by her to ensure he would never again see what man was not intended to see. But having lost his eyesight, he was given a special gift—to be able to understand the language of the birds (and thus to foretell the future).

Lady of Athens[edit]

Athena competed with Poseidon to be the patron deity of Athens, which was yet unnamed, in a version of one founding myth. They agreed that each would give the Athenians one gift and that the Athenians would choose the gift they preferred. Poseidon struck the ground with his trident and a salt water spring sprang up; this gave them a means of trade and water—Athens at its height was a significant sea power, defeating the Persian fleet at the Battle of Salamis—but the water was salty and not very good for drinking.[61]

Athena, however, offered them the first domesticated olive tree. The Athenians (or their king, Cecrops) accepted the olive tree and with it the patronage of Athena, for the olive tree brought wood, oil, and food. Robert Graves was of the opinion that "Poseidon's attempts to take possession of certain cities are political myths" which reflect the conflict between matriarchal and patriarchal religions.[61]

Other sites of cult[edit]

Athena also was the patron goddess of several other Greek cities, notably Sparta, where the archaic cult of Athena Alea had its sanctuaries in the surrounding villages of Mantineia and, notably, Tegea. In Sparta itself, the temple of Athena Khalkíoikos (Athena "of the Brazen House", often latinized as Chalcioecus) was the grandest and located on the Spartan acropolis; presumably it had a roof of bronze. The forecourt of the Brazen House was the place where the most solemn religious functions in Sparta took place.

Tegea was an important religious center of ancient Greece,[62] containing the Temple of Athena Alea. The temenos was founded by Aleus, Pausanias was informed.[63] Votive bronzes at the site from the Geometric and Archaic periods take the forms of horses and deer; there are sealstone and fibulae. In the Archaic period the nine villages that underlie Tegea banded together in a synoecism to form one city.[64] Tegea was listed in Homer's Catalogue of Ships as one of the cities that contributed ships and men for the Achaean assault on Troy.


Athena and Heracles on an Attic red-figure kylix, 480–470 BC.
Later myths of the Classical Greeks relate that Athena guided Perseus in his quest to behead Medusa. She instructed Heracles to skin the Nemean Lion by using its own claws to cut through its thick hide. She also helped Heracles to defeat the Stymphalian Birds, and to navigate the underworld so as to capture Cerberus.

In The Odyssey, Odysseus' cunning and shrewd nature quickly won Athena's favour. In the realistic epic mode, however, she largely is confined to aiding him only from afar, as by implanting thoughts in his head during his journey home from Troy. Her guiding actions reinforce her role as the "protectress of heroes" or as mythologian Walter Friedrich Otto dubbed her the "goddess of nearness" due to her mentoring and motherly probing.[65] It is not until he washes up on the shore of an island where Nausicaa is washing her clothes that Athena arrives personally to provide more tangible assistance. She appears in Nausicaa's dreams to ensure that the princess rescues Odysseus and plays a role in his eventual escort to Ithaca.

Athena appears in disguise to Odysseus upon his arrival, initially lying and telling him that Penelope, his wife, has remarried and that he is believed to be dead; but Odysseus lies back to her, employing skillful prevarications to protect himself.[66] Impressed by his resolve and shrewdness, she reveals herself and tells him what he needs to know in order to win back his kingdom. She disguises him as an elderly man or beggar so that he cannot be noticed by the suitors or Penelope, and helps him to defeat the suitors.

She also plays a role in ending the resultant feud against the suitors' relatives. She instructs Laertes to throw his spear and to kill the father of Antinous, Eupeithes

Apollo (Attic, Ionic, and Homeric Greek: Ἀπόλλων, Apollōn (GEN Ἀπόλλωνος); Doric: Ἀπέλλων, Apellōn; Arcadocypriot: Ἀπείλων, Apeilōn; Aeolic: Ἄπλουν, Aploun; Latin: Apollō) is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. The ideal of the kouros (a beardless, athletic youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of light and the sun, truth and prophecy, healing, plague, music, poetry, and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu.

As the patron of Delphi (Pythian Apollo), Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing are associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague. Amongst the god's custodial charges, Apollo became associated with dominion over colonists, and as the patron defender of herds and flocks. As the leader of the Muses (Apollon Musegetes) and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron god of music and poetry. Hermes created the lyre for him, and the instrument became a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans.

In Hellenistic times, especially during the 3rd century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios, Titan god of the sun, and his sister Artemis similarly equated with Selene, Titan goddess of the moon.[1] In Latin texts, on the other hand, Joseph Fontenrose declared himself unable to find any conflation of Apollo with Sol among the Augustan poets of the 1st century, not even in the conjurations of Aeneas and Latinus in Aeneid XII (161–215).[2] Apollo and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the 3rd century CE

Apollo and Artemis. Brygos (potter signed), tondo of an Attic red-figure cup c. 470 BC, Musée du Louvre.
When Zeus' wife Hera discovered that Leto was pregnant and that Zeus was the father, she banned Leto from giving birth on "terra firma". In her wanderings, Leto found the newly created floating island of Delos, which was neither mainland nor a real island. She gave birth there and was accepted by the people, offering them her promise that her son would be always favourable toward the city. Afterwards, Zeus secured Delos to the bottom of the ocean. This island later became sacred to Apollo.

It is also stated that Hera kidnapped Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth, to prevent Leto from going into labor. The other gods tricked Hera into letting her go by offering her a necklace, nine yards (8 m) long, of amber. Mythographers agree that Artemis was born first and then assisted with the birth of Apollo, or that Artemis was born one day before Apollo, on the island of Ortygia and that she helped Leto cross the sea to Delos the next day to give birth to Apollo. Apollo was born on the seventh day (ἑβδομαγενής, hebdomagenes)[117] of the month Thargelion —according to Delian tradition—or of the month Bysios—according to Delphian tradition. The seventh and twentieth, the days of the new and full moon, were ever afterwards held sacred to him.


Four days after his birth, Apollo killed the chthonic dragon Python, which lived in Delphi beside the Castalian Spring. This was the spring which emitted vapors that caused the oracle at Delphi to give her prophecies. Hera sent the serpent to hunt Leto to her death across the world. To protect his mother, Apollo begged Hephaestus for a bow and arrows. After receiving them, Apollo cornered Python in the sacred cave at Delphi.[118] Apollo killed Python but had to be punished for it, since Python was a child of Gaia.

Hera then sent the giant Tityos to rape Leto. This time Apollo was aided by his sister Artemis in protecting their mother. During the battle Zeus finally relented his aid and hurled Tityos down to Tartarus. There, he was pegged to the rock floor, covering an area of 9 acres (36,000 m2), where a pair of vultures feasted daily on his liver

Apollo shot arrows infected with the plague into the Greek encampment during the Trojan War in retribution for Agamemnon's insult to Chryses, a priest of Apollo whose daughter Chryseis had been captured. He demanded her return, and the Achaeans complied, indirectly causing the anger of Achilles, which is the theme of the Iliad.

In the Iliad, when Diomedes injured Aeneas, Apollo rescued him. First, Aphrodite tried to rescue Aeneas but Diomedes injured her as well. Aeneas was then enveloped in a cloud by Apollo, who took him to Pergamos, a sacred spot in Troy.

Apollo aided Paris in the killing of Achilles by guiding the arrow of his bow into Achilles' heel. One interpretation of his motive is that it was in revenge for Achilles' sacrilege in murdering Troilus, the god's own son by Hecuba, on the very altar of the god's own temple.


When Zeus struck down Apollo's son Asclepius with a lightning bolt for resurrecting Hippolytus from the dead (transgressing Themis by stealing Hades's subjects), Apollo in revenge killed the Cyclopes, who had fashioned the bolt for Zeus.[119] Apollo would have been banished to Tartarus forever for this, but was instead sentenced to one year of hard labor, due to the intercession of his mother, Leto. During this time he served as shepherd for King Admetus of Pherae in Thessaly. Admetus treated Apollo well, and, in return, the god conferred great benefits on Admetus.

Apollo helped Admetus win Alcestis, the daughter of King Pelias and later convinced the Fates to let Admetus live past his time, if another took his place. But when it came time for Admetus to die, his parents, whom he had assumed would gladly die for him, refused to cooperate. Instead, Alcestis took his place, but Heracles managed to "persuade" Thanatos, the god of death, to return her to the world of the living

Apollo's lyre

Apollo with his lyre. Statue from Pergamon Museum, Berlin.
Hermes was born on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia. The story is told in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes. His mother, Maia, had been secretly impregnated by Zeus. Maia wrapped the infant in blankets but Hermes escaped while she was asleep.

Hermes ran to Thessaly, where Apollo was grazing his cattle. The infant Hermes stole a number of his cows and took them to a cave in the woods near Pylos, covering their tracks. In the cave, he found a tortoise and killed it, then removed the insides. He used one of the cow's intestines and the tortoise shell and made the first lyre.

Apollo complained to Maia that her son had stolen his cattle, but Hermes had already replaced himself in the blankets she had wrapped him in, so Maia refused to believe Apollo's claim. Zeus intervened and, claiming to have seen the events, sided with Apollo. Hermes then began to play music on the lyre he had invented. Apollo, a god of music, fell in love with the instrument and offered to allow exchange of the cattle for the lyre. Hence, Apollo then became a master of the lyre.

Apollo in the Oresteia

In Aeschylus' Oresteia trilogy, Clytemnestra kills her husband, King Agamemnon because he had sacrificed their daughter Iphigenia to proceed forward with the Trojan war, and Cassandra, a prophetess of Apollo. Apollo gives an order through the Oracle at Delphi that Agamemnon's son, Orestes, is to kill Clytemnestra and Aegisthus, her lover. Orestes and Pylades carry out the revenge, and consequently Orestes is pursued by the Erinyes (Furies, female personifications of vengeance).

Apollo and the Furies argue about whether the matricide was justified; Apollo holds that the bond of marriage is sacred and Orestes was avenging his father, whereas the Erinyes say that the bond of blood between mother and son is more meaningful than the bond of marriage. They invade his temple, and he says that the matter should be brought before Athena. Apollo promises to protect Orestes, as Orestes has become Apollo's supplicant. Apollo advocates Orestes at the trial, and ultimately Athena rules in favor of Apollo.

Other stories

Apollo killed the Aloadae when they attempted to storm Mt. Olympus.

Callimachus sang[165] that Apollo rode on the back of a swan to the land of the Hyperboreans during the winter months.

Apollo turned Cephissus into a sea monster.

Another contender for the birthplace of Apollo is the Cretan islands of Paximadia

Artemis /ˈɑrtɨmɨs/ was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana.[1] Some scholars[2] believe that the name, and indeed the goddess herself, was originally pre-Greek.[3] Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: "Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals".[4] The Arcadians believed she was the daughter of Demeter.[5]

In the classical period of Greek mythology, Artemis (Ancient Greek: Ἄρτεμις) was often described as the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth,the moon , virginity and protector of young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women; she often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows.[6] The deer and the cypress were sacred to her. In later Hellenistic times, she even assumed the ancient role of Eileithyia in aiding childbirth.

Artemis (on the left, with a deer) and Apollo (on the right, holding a lyre) from Myrina, dating to approximately 25 BC
Apollo (left) and Artemis. Brygos (potter, signed), Briseis Painter, Tondo of an Attic red-figure cup, ca. 470 BC, Louvre.
Various conflicting accounts are given in Classical Greek mythology of the birth of Artemis and her twin brother, Apollo. All accounts agree, however, that she was the daughter of Zeus and Leto and that she was the twin sister of Apollo.
An account by Callimachus has it that Hera forbade Leto to give birth on either terra firma (the mainland) or on an island. Hera was angry with Zeus, her husband, because he had impregnated Leto. But the island of Delos (or Ortygia in the Homeric Hymn to Artemis) disobeyed Hera, and Leto gave birth there.[20]

In ancient Cretan history Leto was worshipped at Phaistos and in Cretan mythology Leto gave birth to Apollo and Artemis at the islands known today as the Paximadia.

A scholium of Servius on Aeneid iii. 72 accounts for the island's archaic name Ortygia[21] by asserting that Zeus transformed Leto into a quail (ortux) in order to prevent Hera from finding out his infidelity, and Kenneth McLeish suggested further that in quail form Leto would have given birth with as few birth-pains as a mother quail suffers when it lays an egg.[22]

The myths also differ as to whether Artemis was born first, or Apollo. Most stories depict Artemis as born first, becoming her mother's mid-wife upon the birth of her brother Apollo
As a virgin, Artemis had interested many gods and men, but only her hunting companion, Orion, won her heart. Orion was accidentally killed either by Artemis or by Gaia.

Alpheus, a river god, was in love with Artemis, but he realizes that he can do nothing to win her heart. So he decides to capture her. Artemis, who is with her companions at Letrenoi, goes to Alpheus, but, suspicious of his motives, she covers her face with mud so that the river god does not recognize her. In another story, Alphaeus tries to rape Artemis' attendant Arethusa. Artemis pities Arethusa and saves her by transforming Arethusa into a spring in Artemis' temple, Artemis Alphaea in Letrini, where the goddess and her attendant drink.

Bouphagos, the son of the Titan Iapetos, sees Artemis and thinks about raping her. Reading his sinful thoughts, Artemis strikes him at Mount Pholoe.

Sipriotes is a boy, who, either because he accidentally sees Artemis bathing or because he attempts to rape her, is turned into a girl by the goddess.

Atalanta, Oeneus and the Meleagrids
Artemis pouring a libation, c. 460-450 BC.
Artemis saved the infant Atalanta from dying of exposure after her father abandoned her. She sent a female bear to suckle the baby, who was then raised by hunters. But she later sent a bear to hurt Atalanta because people said Atalanta was a better hunter. This is in some stories.

Among other adventures, Atalanta participated in the hunt for the Calydonian Boar, which Artemis had sent to destroy Calydon because King Oeneus had forgotten her at the harvest sacrifices. In the hunt, Atalanta drew the first blood, and was awarded the prize of the skin. She hung it in a sacred grove at Tegea as a dedication to Artemis.

Meleager was a hero of Aetolia. King Oeneus had him gather heroes from all over Greece to hunt the Calydonian Boar. After the death of Meleager, Artemis turned his grieving sisters, the Meleagrids into guineafowl that Artemis loved very much

Ares /ˈɛəriːz/ (Ancient Greek: Ἄρης [árɛːs], literally "battle") is the Greek god of war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians, and the son of Zeus and Hera.[1] In Greek literature, he often represents the physical or violent and untamed aspect of war, in contrast to the armored Athena, whose functions as a goddess of intelligence include military strategy and generalship.[2]
The Greeks were ambivalent toward Ares: although he embodied the physical valor necessary for success in war, he was a dangerous force, "overwhelming, insatiable in battle, destructive, and man-slaughtering."[3] His sons Fear (Phobos) and Terror (Deimos) and his lover, or sister, Discord (Enyo) accompanied him on his war chariot.[4] In the Iliad, his father Zeus tells him that he is the god most hateful to him.[5] An association with Ares endows places and objects with a savage, dangerous, or militarized quality.[6] His value as a war god is placed in doubt: during the Trojan War, Ares was on the losing side, while Athena, often depicted in Greek art as holding Nike (Victory) in her hand, favored the triumphant Greeks.[7]
Ares plays a relatively limited role in Greek mythology as represented in literary narratives, though his numerous love affairs and abundant offspring are often alluded to.[8] When Ares does appear in myths, he typically faces humiliation.[9] He is well known as the lover of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who was married to Hephaestus, god of craftsmanship.[10] The most famous story related to Ares and Aphrodite shows them exposed to ridicule through the wronged husband's clever device.[11
The counterpart of Ares among the Roman gods is Mars,[12] who as a father of the Roman people was given a more important and dignified place in ancient Roman religion as a guardian deity. During the Hellenization of Latin literature, the myths of Ares were reinterpreted by Roman writers under the name of Mars. Greek writers under Roman rule also recorded cult practices and beliefs pertaining to Mars under the name of Ares. Thus in the classical tradition of later Western art and literature, the mythology of the two figures becomes virtually indistinguishable

Aphrodite (Listeni/æfrəˈdaɪti/ af-rə-DY-tee; Greek: Ἀφροδίτη) is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. Her Roman equivalent is the goddess Venus.[4] She is identified with the planet Venus.

As with many ancient Greek deities, there is more than one story about her origins. According to Hesiod's Theogony, she was born when Cronus cut off Uranus's genitals and threw them into the sea, and she arose from the sea foam (aphros). According to Homer's Iliad, she is the daughter of Zeus and Dione. According to Plato (Symposium, 180e), these two origins were of entirely separate entities: Aphrodite Ourania and Aphrodite Pandemos.

Because of her beauty, other gods feared that their rivalry over her would interrupt the peace among them and lead to war, so Zeus married her to Hephaestus, who, because of his ugliness and deformity, was not seen as a threat. Aphrodite had many lovers—both gods, such as Ares, and men, such as Anchises. She played a role in the Eros and Psyche legend, and later was both Adonis's lover and his surrogate mother. Many lesser beings were said to be children of Aphrodite.

Aphrodite is also known as Cytherea (Lady of Cythera) and Cypris (Lady of Cyprus) after the two cult sites, Cythera and Cyprus, which claimed to be her place of birth. Myrtle, doves, sparrows, horses, and swans were said to be sacred to her. The ancient Greeks identified her with the Ancient Egyptian goddess Hathor.[5]

Aphrodite had many other names, such as Acidalia, Cytherea, and Cerigo, each used by a different local cult of the goddess in Greece. The Greeks recognized all of these names as referring to the single goddess Aphrodite, despite the slight differences in what these local cults believed the goddess demanded of them. The Attic philosophers of the 4th century, however, drew a distinction between a celestial Aphrodite (Aprodite Urania) of transcendent principles, and a separate, "common" Aphrodite who was the goddess of the people (Aphrodite Pandemos).

Aphrodite is usually said to have been born near her chief center of worship, Paphos, on the island of Cyprus, which is why she is sometimes called "Cyprian", especially in the poetic works of Sappho. However, other versions of her myth have her born near the island of Cythera, hence another of her names, "Cytherea".[16] Cythera was a stopping place for trade and culture between Crete and the Peloponesus, so these stories may preserve traces of the migration of Aphrodite's cult from the Middle East to mainland Greece.
In the most famous version of her myth, her birth was the consequence of a castration: Cronus severed Uranus' genitals and threw them behind him into the sea. The foam from his genitals gave rise to Aphrodite (hence her name, meaning "foam-arisen"), while the Erinyes (furies), and the Meliae emerged from the drops of his blood.[17] Hesiod states that the genitals "were carried over the sea a long time, and white foam arose from the immortal flesh; with it a girl grew." The girl, Aphrodite, floated ashore on a scallop shell. This iconic representation of Aphrodite as a mature "Venus rising from the sea" (Venus Anadyomene[18]) was made famous in a much-admired painting by Apelles, now lost, but described in the Natural History of Pliny the Elder.
Petra tou Romiou ("The rock of the Greek"), Aphrodite's legendary birthplace in Paphos, Cyprus.
In another version of her origin,[19] she was considered a daughter of Zeus and Dione, the mother goddess whose oracle was at Dodona. Aphrodite herself was sometimes also referred to as "Dione". "Dione" seems to be a feminine form of "Dios", the genitive form case of Zeus, and could be taken to mean simply "the goddess" in a generic sense. Aphrodite might, then, be an equivalent of Rhea, the Earth Mother, whom Homer relocated to Olympus.

According to one version of Aphrodite's story, because of her immense beauty Zeus fears that the other gods will become violent with each other in their rivalry to possess her. To forestall this, he forces her to marry Hephaestus, the dour, humorless god of smithing. In another version of the story, his mother, Hera casts him off Olympus, deeming him too ugly and deformed to inhabit the home of the gods. His revenge is to trap his mother in a magic throne. In return for her release, he demands to be given Aphrodite's hand in marriage.

Hephaestus is overjoyed to be married to the goddess of beauty, and forges her beautiful jewelry, including the cestus, a girdle that makes her even more irresistible to men. Her unhappiness with her marriage causes Aphrodite to seek other male companionship, most often Ares, but also sometimes Adonis.

Aphrodite's husband Hephaestus is one of the most even-tempered of the Hellenic deities, but in the Odyssey, she is portrayed as preferring Ares, the volatile god of war, because she is attracted to his violent nature.

Aphrodite is a major figure in the Trojan War legend. She is a contestant in the "Judgement of Paris" (see below), which leads to the war. She had been the lover of the Trojan Anchises, and mother of his son Aeneas. Later, during the war, she saves Aeneas from Diomedes, who wounds her.

Aphrodite is consistently portrayed, in every image and story, as having had no childhood, and instead being born as a nubile, infinitely desirable adult. She is often depicted nude. In many of the later myths, she is portrayed as vain, ill-tempered, and easily offended. Although she is married—she is one of the few gods in the Greek Pantheon who is—she is frequently unfaithful to her husband
In one version of the legend of Hippolytus, Aphrodite is the cause of his death. He scorned the worship of Aphrodite, preferring Artemis. Aphrodite caused his stepmother, Phaedra, to fall in love with him, knowing Hippolytus would reject her. This led to Phaedra's suicide, and the death of Hippolytus.

Glaucus of Corinth angered Aphrodite. During the chariot race at the funeral games of King Pelias, she drove his horses mad and they tore him apart.[22]

Aphrodite was jealous of the beauty of Medusa and her two sisters and cursed them, transforming them into the monstrous Gorgons.

Polyphonte was a young woman who chose virginal life with Artemis instead of marriage and children, as favoured by Aphrodite. Aphrodite cursed her, causing her to have children by a bear. The resulting offspring, Agrius and Oreius, were wild cannibals who incurred the hatred of Zeus. Ultimately the whole family were transformed into birds and more specifically ill portents for mankind.[23]

Hephaestus (/hɪˈfiːstəs/, /həˈfɛstəs/ or /hɨˈfɛstəs/; eight spellings; Ancient Greek: Ἥφαιστος Hēphaistos) is the Greek god of blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metals, metallurgy, fire and volcanoes.[1] Hephaestus' Roman equivalent is Vulcan. In Greek mythology, Hephaestus was the son of Zeus and Hera, the king and queen of the gods.

As a smithing god, Hephaestus made all the weapons of the gods in Olympus. He served as the blacksmith of the gods, and was worshipped in the manufacturing and industrial centers of Greece, particularly Athens. The cult of Hephaestus was based in Lemnos.[2] Hephaestus' symbols are a smith's hammer, anvil, and a pair of tongs.

The craft of Hephaestus
Vulcan (Roman counterpart of Hephaestus) presenting the arms of Achilles to Thetis. By Peter Paul Rubens.
Hephaestus had his own palace on Olympus, containing his workshop with anvil and twenty bellows that worked at his bidding.[11] Hephaestus crafted much of the magnificent equipment of the gods, and almost any finely-wrought metalwork imbued with powers that appears in Greek myth is said to have been forged by Hephaestus. He designed Hermes' winged helmet and sandals, the Aegis breastplate, Aphrodite's famed girdle, Agamemnon's staff of office,[12] Achilles' armor, Heracles' bronze clappers, Helios' chariot, the shoulder of Pelops, and Eros' bow and arrows. In later accounts, Hephaestus worked with the help of the chthonic Cyclopes—among them his assistants in the forge, Brontes, Steropes and Pyracmon.[13][14]
Hephaestus also built automatons of metal to work for him. This included tripods that walked to and from Mount Olympus. He gave to the blinded Orion his apprentice Cedalion as a guide. Prometheus stole the fire that he gave to man from Hephaestus's forge. Hephaestus also created the gift that the gods gave to man, the woman Pandora and her pithos. Being a skilled blacksmith, Hephaestus created all the thrones in the Palace of Olympus.[15]
The Greek myths and the Homeric poems sanctified in stories that Hephaestus had a special power to produce motion.[16] He made the golden and silver lions and dogs at the entrance of the palace of Alkinoos in such a way that they could bite the invaders.[17] The Greeks maintained in their civilization an animistic idea that statues are in some sense alive. This kind of art and the animistic belief goes back to the Minoan period, when Daedalus, the builder of the labyrinth made images which moved of their own accord.[18] A statue of the god was somehow the god himself, and the image on a man's tomb indicated somehow his presence

Homer's Odyssey and Iliad, as well as some Attic vase paintings, have Hephaestus being born of the union of Zeus and Hera.[20] In another tradition, attested by Hesiod, Hera bore Hephaestus alone.[21] In Hesiod's Zeus-centered cosmology, Hera gave birth to Hephaestus as revenge at Zeus for his asexual birthing of Athena. Several later texts follow Hesiod's account, including Bibliotheke,[22] Hyginus, and the preface to Fabulae. However, in the account of Attic vase-painters, Hephaestus was present at the birth of Athena and wields the axe with which he split Zeus' head to free her. In the latter account, Hephaestus is there represented as older than Athena, so the mythology of Hephaestus is inconsistent in this respect.

Fall from Olympus
In one branch of Greek mythology, Hera ejected Hephaestus from the heavens because he was "shrivelled of foot". He fell into the ocean and was raised by Thetis (mother of Achilles) and the Oceanid Eurynome.[23]
In another account, Hephaestus, attempting to rescue his mother from Zeus' advances, was flung down from the heavens by Zeus. He fell for an entire day and landed on the island of Lemnos, where he was cared for and taught to be a master craftsman by the Sintians—an ancient tribe native to that island.[24] (Hom. Il. i. 590, &c. Val. Flacc. ii. 8.5; Apollod. i. 3. § 5, who, however, confounds the two occasions on which Hephaestus was thrown from Olympus.) Later writers describe his lameness as the consequence of his second fall, while Homer makes him lame and weak from his birth.

Return to Olympus
Hephaestus was the only Olympian to have returned to Olympus after being exiled.
In an archaic story,[25] Hephaestus gained revenge against Hera for rejecting him by making her a magical golden throne, which, when she sat on it, did not allow her to stand up.[26] The other gods begged Hephaestus to return to Olympus to let her go, but he refused, saying "I have no mother".[27]
The western face of the Doric temple of Hephaestus, Agora of Athens.
At last Dionysus, sent to fetch him, shared his wine, intoxicating the smith, and took him back to Olympus on the back of a mule accompanied by revelers—a scene that sometimes appears on painted pottery of Attica and of Corinth.[28] In the painted scenes the padded dancers and phallic figures of the Dionysan throng leading the mule show that the procession was a part of the dithyrambic celebrations that were the forerunners, in Athens, of the satyr plays of the fifth century.[29]
The theme of the return of Hephaestus, popular among the Attic vase-painters whose wares were favored among the Etruscans, may have introduced this theme to Etruria.[30] In the vase-painters' portrayal of the procession, Hephaestus was mounted on a mule or a horse, with Dionysus holding the bridle and carrying Hephaestus' tools (including a double-headed axe).
The traveller Pausanias reported seeing a painting in the temple of Dionysus in Athens, which had been built in the 5th century but may have been decorated at any time before the 2nd century CE. When Pausanias saw it, he said:

Hephaestus and Aphrodite
Hephaestus, being the most unfaltering of the gods, was given Aphrodite’s hand in marriage by Zeus to prevent conflict over her between the other gods. The gods were fighting over her so much, they feared that they would lose their peace with one another and go to war on the other gods.
Hephaestus and Aphrodite had an arranged marriage, and Aphrodite, disliking the idea of being married to the unsightly Hephaestus, began an affair with Ares, the god of war. Eventually, Hephaestus discovers Aphrodite’s promiscuity through Helios, the all-seeing Sun, and planned a trap during one of their trysts. While Aphrodite and Ares lay together in bed, Hephaestus ensnared them in an unbreakable chain-link net so small as to be invisible and dragged them to Mount Olympus to shame them in front of the other gods for retribution.
However, the gods laughed at the sight of these naked lovers, and Poseidon persuaded Hephaestus to free them in return for a guarantee that Ares would pay the adulterer's fine. Hephaestus states in The Odyssey that he would return Aphrodite to her father and demand back his bride price.
The Thebans told that the union of Ares and Aphrodite produced Harmonia. However, of the union of Hephaestus with Aphrodite, there was no issue unless Virgil was serious when he said that Eros was their child.[33] Later authors explain this statement by saying the love-god was sired by Ares but passed off to Hephaestus as his own son.
Hephaestus was somehow connected with the archaic, pre-Greek Phrygian and Thracian mystery cult of the Kabeiroi, who were also called the Hephaistoi, "the Hephaestus-men", in Lemnos. One of the three Lemnian tribes also called themselves Hephaestion and claimed direct descent from the god

Hephaestus and Athena
Hephaestus is to the male gods as Athena is to the females, for he gives skill to mortal artists and was believed to have taught men the arts alongside Athena.[34] He was nevertheless believed to be far inferior to the sublime character of Athena. At Athens they had temples and festivals in common.[note 1] Both were believed to have great healing powers, and Lemnian earth (terra Lemnia) from the spot on which Hephaestus had fallen was believed to cure madness, the bites of snakes, and haemorrhage, and priests of Hephaestus knew how to cure wounds inflicted by snakes.[35]
He was represented in the temple of Athena Chalcioecus (Athena of the Bronze House[36]) at Sparta, in the act of delivering his mother;[37] on the chest of Cypselus, giving Achilles's armour to Thetis;[38] and at Athens there was the famous statue of Hephaestus by Alcamenes, in which his lameness was only subtly portrayed.[39] The Greeks frequently placed small dwarf-like statues of Hephaestus near their hearths, and these figures are the oldest of all his representations.[40] During the best period of Grecian art he was represented as a vigorous man with a beard, and is characterised by his hammer or some other crafting tool, his oval cap, and the chiton.
olcano god
Hephaestus was associated by Greek colonists in southern Italy with the volcano gods Adranus (of Mount Etna) and Vulcanus of the Lipari islands. The first-century sage Apollonius of Tyana is said to have observed, "there are many other mountains all over the earth that are on fire, and yet we should never be done with it if we assigned to them giants and gods like Hephaestus".[41]

Hermes (/ˈhɜrmiːz/; Greek: Ἑρμῆς) is an Olympian god in Greek religion and mythology, son of Zeus and the Pleiad Maia. He is second youngest of the Olympian gods.[citation needed]
Hermes is a god of transitions and boundaries. He is quick and cunning, and moves freely between the worlds of the mortal and divine, as emissary and messenger of the gods,[1] intercessor between mortals and the divine, and conductor of souls into the afterlife. He is protector and patron of travelers, herdsmen, thieves,[2] orators and wit, literature and poets, athletics and sports, invention and trade.[3] In some myths he is a trickster, and outwits other gods for his own satisfaction or the sake of humankind. His attributes and symbols include the herma, the rooster and the tortoise, purse or pouch, winged sandals, winged cap, and his main symbol is the herald's staff, the Greek kerykeion or Latin caduceus which consisted of two snakes wrapped around a winged staff.[4]
In the Roman adaptation of the Greek pantheon (see interpretatio romana), Hermes is identified with the Roman god Mercury,[5] who, though inherited from the Etruscans, developed many similar characteristics, such as being the patron of commerce.

Early Greek sources
Hermes with his mother Maia. Detail of the side B of an Attic red-figure belly-amphora, c. 500 BC.
Kriophoros Hermes (which takes the lamb), late-Roman copy of Greek original from the 5th century BC. Barracco Museum, Rome
Homer and Hesiod portrayed Hermes as the author of skilled or deceptive acts, and also as a benefactor of mortals. In the Iliad he was called "the bringer of good luck," "guide and guardian" and "excellent in all the tricks." He was a divine ally of the Greeks against the Trojans. However, he did protect Priam when he went to the Greek camp to retrieve the body of his son Hector, and he accompanies them back to Troy.[15]
Hermes stole Apollo's cattle when he was born. He jumped out of his crib and hid the cattle. Just when Apollo realized, Hermes jumped back into his crib and pretended to be innocent. Apollo took Hermes by the scruff of the neck and took him to his father, Zeus. Apollo said he was unhappy with the way he was being treated. Instead of punishing young Hermes, Zeus just laughed and found the matter funny.
He also rescued Ares from a brazen vessel where he had been imprisoned by Otus and Ephialtes. In the Odyssey he helped his great-grand son, the protagonist, Odysseus, informing him about the fate of his companions, who were turned into animals by the power of Circe, and instructed him to protect himself by chewing a magic herb; he also told Calypso Zeus' order for her to free the same hero from her island to continue his journey back home. When Odysseus killed the suitors of his wife, Hermes led their souls to Hades.[16] In The Works and Days, when Zeus ordered Hephaestus to create Pandora to disgrace humanity by punishing the act of Prometheus giving fire to man, every god gave her a gift, and Hermes's gift was lies and seductive words, and a dubious character. Then he was instructed to take her as wife to Epimetheus.[17]
Aeschylus wrote in The Eumenides that Hermes helped Orestes kill Clytemnestra under a false identity and other stratagems,[2] and also said that he was the god of searches, and those who seek things lost or stolen.[18] In Philoctetes, Sophocles invokes Hermes when Odysseus needs to convince Philoctetes to join the Trojan War on the side of the Greeks, and in Euripides' Rhesus Hermes helps Dolon spy on the Greek navy.[2]
Aesop featured him in several of his fables, as ruler of the gate of prophetic dreams, as the god of athletes, of edible roots, and of hospitality. He also said that Hermes had assigned each person his share of intelligence.[19]
The Homeric hymn to Hermes invokes him as the one "of many shifts (polytropos), blandly cunning, a robber, a cattle driver, a bringer of dreams, a watcher by night, a thief at the gates, one who was soon to show forth wonderful deeds among the deathless gods."[20] Hermes, as an inventor of fire,[21] is a parallel of the Titan Prometheus. In addition to the lyre, Hermes was believed to have invented many types of racing and the sports of wrestling and boxing, and therefore was a patron of athletes

Hellenistic Greek sources
Several writers of the Hellenistic period expanded the list of Hermes's achievements. Callimachus said he disguised himself as a cyclops to scare the Oceanides and was disobedient to his mother.[23] One of the Orphic Hymns Khthonios is dedicated to Hermes, indicating that he was also a god of the underworld. Aeschylus had called him by this epithet several times.[24] Another is the Orphic Hymn to Hermes, where his association with the athletic games held in tone is mystic.[25]
Phlegon of Tralles said he was invoked to ward off ghosts,[26] and Pseudo-Apollodorus reported several events involving Hermes. He participated in the Gigantomachy in defense of Olympus; was given the task of bringing baby Dionysus to be cared for by Ino and Athamas and later by nymphs of Asia, followed Hera, Athena and Aphrodite in a beauty contest; favored the young Hercules by giving him a sword when he finished his education and lent his sandals to Perseus.[27] The Thracian princes identified him with their god Zalmoxis, considering his ancestor.[28]
Anyte of Tegea of the 3rd century BC,[29] in translation by R Aldington, wrote:[30]
I Hermes stand here at the crossroads by the wind beaten orchard, near the hoary grey coast; and I keep a resting place for weary men. And the cool stainless spring gushes out.
called Hermes of the Ways after the patronage of travellers.[31][32]
One of the oldest places of worship for Hermes was Mount Cyllene in Arcadia, where the myth says that he was born. Tradition says that his first temple was built by Lycaon. From there the cult would have been taken to Athens, and then radiate to the whole of Greece, according to Smith, and his temples and statues became extremely numerous.[94] Lucian of Samosata said he saw the temples of Hermes everywhere.[97]
In many places, temples were consecrated in conjunction with Aphrodite, as in Attica, Arcadia, Crete, Samos and in Magna Graecia. Several ex-votos found in his temples revealed his role as initiator of young adulthood, among them soldiers and hunters, since war and certain forms of hunting were seen as ceremonial initiatory ordeals. This function of Hermes explains why some images in temples and other vessels show him as a teenager. As a patron of the gym and fighting, Hermes had statues in gyms and he was also worshiped in the sanctuary of the Twelve Gods in Olympia, where Greeks celebrated the Olympic Games. His statue was held there on an altar dedicated to him and Apollo together.[98] A temple within the Aventine was consecrated in 495 BC.[99][100]
Symbols of Hermes were the palm tree, turtle, rooster, goat, the number four, several kinds of fish, incense. Sacrifices involved honey, cakes, pigs, goats, and lambs. In the sanctuary of Hermes Promakhos in Tanagra is a strawberry tree under which it was believed he had created,[101] and in the hills Phene ran three sources that were sacred to him, because he believed that they had been bathed at birth.

Dionysus (/daɪ.əˈnaɪsəs/; Greek: Διόνυσος, Dionysos) is the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness, fertility,[2][3] theatre and religious ecstasy in Greek mythology. His name, thought to be a theonym in Linear B tablets as di-wo-nu-so (KH Gq 5 inscription),[4] shows that he may have been worshipped as early as c. 1500–1100 BC by Mycenean Greeks; other traces of the Dionysian-type cult have been found in ancient Minoan Crete.[5] His origins are uncertain, and his cults took many forms; some are described by ancient sources as Thracian, others as Greek.[6][7][8] In some cults, he arrives from the east, as an Asiatic foreigner; in others, from Ethiopia in the South. He is a god of epiphany, "the god that comes", and his "foreignness" as an arriving outsider-god may be inherent and essential to his cults. He is a major, popular figure of Greek mythology and religion, and is included in some lists of the twelve Olympians. Dionysus was the last god to be accepted into Mt. Olympus. He was the youngest and the only one to have a mortal mother.[9] His festivals were the driving force behind the development of Greek theatre. He is an example of a dying god.[10][11]

The earliest cult images of Dionysus show a mature male, bearded and robed. He holds a fennel staff, tipped with a pine-cone and known as a thyrsus. Later images show him as a beardless, sensuous, naked or half-naked androgynous youth: the literature describes him as womanly or "man-womanish". In its fully developed form, his central cult imagery shows his triumphant, disorderly arrival or return, as if from some place beyond the borders of the known and civilized. His procession (thiasus) is made up of wild female followers (maenads) and bearded satyrs with erect penises. Some are armed with the thyrsus, some dance or play music. The god himself is drawn in a chariot, usually by exotic beasts such as lions or tigers, and is sometimes attended by a bearded, drunken Silenus. This procession is presumed to be the cult model for the human followers of his Dionysian Mysteries. In his Thracian mysteries, he wears the bassaris or fox-skin, symbolizing a new life. Dionysus is represented by city religions as the protector of those who do not belong to conventional society and thus symbolizes everything which is chaotic, dangerous and unexpected, everything which escapes human reason and which can only be attributed to the unforeseeable action of the gods.
He was also known as Bacchus (/ˈbækəs/ or /ˈbɑːkəs/; Greek: Βάκχος, Bakkhos), the name adopted by the Romans[14] and the frenzy he induces, bakkheia. His thyrsus is sometimes wound with ivy and dripping with honey. It is a beneficent wand but also a weapon, and can be used to destroy those who oppose his cult and the freedoms he represents. He is also called Eleutherios ("the liberator"), whose wine, music and ecstatic dance frees his followers from self-conscious fear and care, and subverts the oppressive restraints of the powerful. Those who partake of his mysteries are possessed and empowered by the god himself. His cult is also a "cult of the souls"; his maenads feed the dead through blood-offerings, and he acts as a divine communicant between the living and the dead.
In Greek mythology, he is presented as a son of Zeus and the mortal Semele, thus semi-divine or heroic: and as son of Zeus and Persephone or Demeter, thus both fully divine, part-chthonic and possibly identical with Iacchus of the Eleusinian Mysteries. Some scholars believe that Dionysus is a syncretism of a local Greek nature deity and a more powerful god from Thrace or Phrygia such as Sabazios or Zalmoxis.

Birth (and infant death and rebirth)
Birth of Dionysus, on a small sarcophagus that may have been made for a child (Walters Art Museum)[38]
Dionysus had a strange birth that evokes the difficulty in fitting him into the Olympian pantheon. His mother was a mortal woman, Semele, the daughter of king Cadmus of Thebes, and his father was Zeus, the king of the gods. Zeus' wife, Hera, discovered the affair while Semele was pregnant. Appearing as an old crone (in other stories a nurse), Hera befriended Semele, who confided in her that Zeus was the actual father of the baby in her womb. Hera pretended not to believe her, and planted seeds of doubt in Semele's mind. Curious, Semele demanded of Zeus that he reveal himself in all his glory as proof of his godhood.
Though Zeus begged her not to ask this, she persisted and he agreed. Therefore he came to her wreathed in bolts of lightning; mortals, however, could not look upon an undisguised god without dying, and she perished in the ensuing blaze. Zeus rescued the unborn Dionysus by sewing him into his thigh. A few months later, Dionysus was born on Mount Pramnos in the island of Ikaria, where Zeus went to release the now-fully-grown baby from his thigh. In this version, Dionysus is born by two "mothers" (Semele and Zeus) before his birth, hence the epithet dimētōr (of two mothers) associated with his being "twice-born."
In the Cretan version of the same story, which Diodorus Siculus follows,[39] Dionysus was the son of Zeus and Persephone, the queen of the Greek underworld. Diodorus' sources equivocally identified the mother as Demeter.[40] A jealous Hera again attempted to kill the child, this time by sending Titans to rip Dionysus to pieces after luring the baby with toys. It is said that he was mocked by the Titans who gave him a thyrsus (a fennel stalk) in place of his rightful sceptre.[41] Zeus turned the Titans into dust with his thunderbolts, but only after the Titans ate everything but the heart, which was saved, variously, by Athena, Rhea, or Demeter. Zeus used the heart to recreate him in his thigh, hence he was again "the twice-born." Other versions claim that Zeus recreated him in the womb of Semele, or gave Semele the heart to eat to impregnate her.
The rebirth in both versions of the story is the primary reason why Dionysus was worshipped in mystery religions, as his death and rebirth were events of mystical reverence. This narrative was apparently used in several Greek and Roman cults, and variants of it are found in Callimachus and Nonnus, who refer to this Dionysus with the title Zagreus, and also in several fragmentary poems attributed to Orpheus.[citation needed]
The myth of the dismemberment of Dionysus by the Titans, is alluded to by Plato in his Phaedo (69d) in which Socrates claims that the initiations of the Dionysian Mysteries are similar to those of the philosophic path. Late Neo-Platonists such as Damascius explore the implications of this
Infancy at Mount Nysa
Hermes and the Infant Dionysus by Praxiteles, (Archaeological Museum of Olympia).
According to the myth, Zeus gave the infant Dionysus to the care of Hermes. One version of the story is that Hermes took the boy to King Athamas and his wife Ino, Dionysus' aunt. Hermes bade the couple to raise the boy as a girl, to hide him from Hera's wrath.[43] Another version is that Dionysus was taken to the rain-nymphs of Nysa, who nourished his infancy and childhood, and for their care Zeus rewarded them by placing them as the Hyades among the stars (see Hyades star cluster). Other versions have Zeus giving him to Rhea, or to Persephone to raise in the Underworld, away from Hera. Alternatively, he was raised by Maro
Dionysus in Greek mythology is a god of foreign origin, and while Mount Nysa is a mythological location, it is invariably set far away to the east or to the south. The Homeric hymn to Dionysus places it "far from Phoenicia, near to the Egyptian stream." Others placed it in Anatolia, or in Libya ('away in the west beside a great ocean'), in Ethiopia (Herodotus), or Arabia (Diodorus Siculus).
According to Herodotus:
As it is, the Greek story has it that no sooner was Dionysus born than Zeus sewed him up in his thigh and carried him away to Nysa in Ethiopia beyond Egypt; and as for Pan, the Greeks do not know what became of him after his birth. It is therefore plain to me that the Greeks learned the names of these two gods later than the names of all the others, and trace the birth of both to the time when they gained the knowledge.
—Herodotus, Histories 2.146
The Bibliotheca seems to be following Pherecydes, who relates how the infant Dionysus, god of the grapevine, was nursed by the rain-nymphs, the Hyades at Nysa.

When Dionysus grew up, he discovered the culture of the vine and the mode of extracting its precious juice; but Hera struck him with madness, and drove him forth a wanderer through various parts of the earth. In Phrygia the goddess Cybele, better known to the Greeks as Rhea, cured him and taught him her religious rites, and he set out on a progress through Asia teaching the people the cultivation of the vine. The most famous part of his wanderings is his expedition to India, which is said to have lasted several years. According to a legend, when Alexander the Great reached a city called Nysa near the Indus river, the locals said that their city was founded by Dionysus in the distant past and their city was dedicated to the god Dionysus.[44] Returning in triumph he undertook to introduce his worship into Greece, but was opposed by some princes who dreaded its introduction on account of the disorders and madness it brought with it (e.g. Pentheus or Lycurgus).
North African Roman mosaic: Panther-Dionysus scatters the pirates, who are changed to dolphins, except for Acoetes, the helmsman. (Bardo National Museum)
Dionysus was exceptionally attractive. One of the Homeric hymns recounts how, while disguised as a mortal sitting beside the seashore, a few sailors spotted him, believing he was a prince. They attempted to kidnap him and sail him far away to sell for ransom or into slavery. They tried to bind him with ropes, but no type of rope could hold him. Dionysus turned into a fierce lion and unleashed a bear on board, killing those he came into contact with. Those who jumped off the ship were mercifully turned into dolphins. The only survivor was the helmsman, Acoetes, who recognized the god and tried to stop his sailors from the start.[45]
In a similar story, Dionysus desired to sail from Icaria to Naxos. He then hired a Tyrrhenian pirate ship. However, when the god was on board, they sailed not to Naxos but to Asia, intending to sell him as a slave. So Dionysus turned the mast and oars into snakes, and filled the vessel with ivy and the sound of flutes so that the sailors went mad and, leaping into the sea, were turned into dolphins.




In Ancient Greek religion Hestia (/ˈhɛstiə/; Ancient Greek: Ἑστία, "hearth" or "fireside") is a virgin goddess of the hearth, ancient Greek architecture, and the right ordering of domesticity, the family, and the state. In Greek mythology she is a daughter of Cronus and Rhea.[1]
Hestia received the first offering at every sacrifice in the household. In the public domain, the hearth of the prytaneum functioned as her official sanctuary. With the establishment of a new colony, flame from Hestia's public hearth in the mother city would be carried to the new settlement. She sat on a plain wooden throne with a white woolen cushion and did not trouble to choose an emblem for herself.[1] Her Roman equivalent is Vesta
Hestia is a goddess of the first Olympian generation, along with Demeter and Hera. She was a daughter of the Titans Rhea and Cronus, and sister to Zeus, Poseidon, Demeter, Hera, and Hades. Immediately after their birth, Cronus swallowed all but the last and youngest, Zeus, who forced Cronus to disgorge his siblings and led them in a war against their father and the other Titans.[10] As "first to be devoured . . . and the last to be yielded up again", Hestia was thus both the eldest and youngest daughter; this mythic inversion is found in the Homeric hymn to Aphrodite (700 BC).[11] Hestia rejects the marriage suits of Poseidon and Apollo, and swears herself to perpetual virginity. She thus rejects Aphrodite's values and becomes, to some extent, her chaste, domestic complementary, or antithesis. Zeus assigns Hestia a duty to feed and maintain the fires of the Olympian hearth with the fatty, combustible portions of animal sacrifices to the gods.[12]
"Hestia full of Blessings", Egypt, 6th century tapestry (Dumbarton Oaks Collection)
Hestia's Olympian status is equivocal. At Athens "in Plato's time," notes Kenneth Dorter[13] "there was a discrepancy in the list of the twelve chief gods, as to whether Hestia or Dionysus was included with the other eleven. The altar to them at the agora, for example, included Hestia, but the east frieze of the Parthenon had Dionysus instead." Hestia's omission from some lists of the Twelve Olympians is sometimes taken as illustration of her passive, non-confrontational nature – by giving her Olympian seat to Dionysus she prevents heavenly conflict. Hestia was known for her kindness, but no ancient source or myth describes such a surrender or removal.[14] "Since the hearth is immovable, Hestia is unable to take part even in the procession of the gods, let alone the other antics of the Olympians," Burkert remarks.[15] Her mythographic status as first-born of Rhea and Cronus seems to justify the tradition in which a small offering is made to Hestia before any sacrifice ("Hestia comes first").[16]
The ambiguities in Hestia's mythology are matched by her indeterminate attributes, character, and iconography. She is identified with the hearth as a physical object, and the abstractions of community and domesticity, but portrayals of her are rare and seldom secure.[17] In classical Greek art, she is occasionally depicted as a woman, simply and modestly cloaked in a head veil. She is sometimes shown with a staff in hand or by a large fire.
Homeric Hymn 24, To Hestia, is a brief invocation of five lines:
Hestia, you who tend the holy house of the lord Apollo, the Far-shooter at goodly Pytho, with soft oil dripping ever from your locks, come now into this house, come, having one mind with Zeus the all-wise: draw near, and withal bestow grace upon my song.[18]
Hestia is a goddess of the first Olympian generation, along with Demeter and Hera. She was a daughter of the Titans Rhea and Cronus, and sister to Zeus, Poseidon, Demeter, Hera, and Hades. Immediately after their birth, Cronus swallowed all but the last and youngest, Zeus, who forced Cronus to disgorge his siblings and led them in a war against their father and the other Titans.[10] As "first to be devoured . . . and the last to be yielded up again", Hestia was thus both the eldest and youngest daughter; this mythic inversion is found in the Homeric hymn to Aphrodite (700 BC).[11] Hestia rejects the marriage suits of Poseidon and Apollo, and swears herself to perpetual virginity. She thus rejects Aphrodite's values and becomes, to some extent, her chaste, domestic complementary, or antithesis. Zeus assigns Hestia a duty to feed and maintain the fires of the Olympian hearth with the fatty, combustible portions of animal sacrifices to the gods.
"Hestia full of Blessings", Egypt, 6th century tapestry (Dumbarton Oaks Collection)
Hestia's Olympian status is equivocal. At Athens "in Plato's time," notes Kenneth Dorter[13] "there was a discrepancy in the list of the twelve chief gods, as to whether Hestia or Dionysus was included with the other eleven. The altar to them at the agora, for example, included Hestia, but the east frieze of the Parthenon had Dionysus instead." Hestia's omission from some lists of the Twelve Olympians is sometimes taken as illustration of her passive, non-confrontational nature – by giving her Olympian seat to Dionysus she prevents heavenly conflict. Hestia was known for her kindness, but no ancient source or myth describes such a surrender or removal.[14] "Since the hearth is immovable, Hestia is unable to take part even in the procession of the gods, let alone the other antics of the Olympians," Burkert remarks.[15] Her mythographic status as first-born of Rhea and Cronus seems to justify the tradition in which a small offering is made to Hestia before any sacrifice ("Hestia comes first").[16]
The ambiguities in Hestia's mythology are matched by her indeterminate attributes, character, and iconography. She is identified with the hearth as a physical object, and the abstractions of community and domesticity, but portrayals of her are rare and seldom secure.[17] In classical Greek art, she is occasionally depicted as a woman, simply and modestly cloaked in a head veil. She is sometimes shown with a staff in hand or by a large fire.
Homeric Hymn 24, To Hestia, is a brief invocation of five lines:
Hestia, you who tend the holy house of the lord Apollo, the Far-shooter at goodly Pytho, with soft oil dripping ever from your locks, come now into this house, come, hAving one mind with Zeus the all-wise: draw near, and withal bestow grace upon my song.[18]
In Greek mythology, Hades the god of the underworld, was a son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. He had three sisters, Demeter, Hestia, and Hera, as well as two brothers, Zeus, the youngest of the three, and Poseidon, collectively comprising the original six Olympian gods. Upon reaching adulthood, Zeus managed to force his father to disgorge his siblings. After their release the six younger gods, along with allies they managed to gather, challenged the elder gods for power in the Titanomachy, a divine war. The war lasted for ten years and ended with the victory of the younger gods. Following their victory, according to a single famous passage in the Iliad (xv.187–93), Hades and his two brothers, Poseidon and Zeus, drew lots[16] for realms to rule. Zeus got the sky, Poseidon got the seas, and Hades received the underworld,[17] the unseen realm to which the souls of the dead go upon leaving the world as well as any and all things beneath the earth.
Hades obtained his wife and queen, Persephone, through trickery and violent abduction. The myth, particularly as represented in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, connected the Eleusinian Mysteries with the Olympian pantheon. Helios told the grieving Demeter that Hades was not unworthy as a consort for Persephone:
"Aidoneus, the Ruler of Many, is no unfitting husband among the deathless gods for your child, being your own brother and born of the same stock: also, for honor, he has that third share which he received when division was made at the first, and is appointed lord of those among whom he dwells."
— Homeric Hymn to Demeter
Despite modern connotations of death as evil, Hades was actually more altruistically inclined in mythology. Hades was often portrayed as passive rather than evil; his role was often maintaining relative balance.
Hades ruled the dead, assisted by others over whom he had complete authority. He strictly forbade his subjects to leave his domain and would become quite enraged when anyone tried to leave, or if someone tried to steal the souls from his realm. His wrath was equally terrible for anyone who tried to cheat death or otherwise crossed him, as Sisyphus and Pirithous found out to their sorrow.
Besides Heracles, the only other living people who ventured to the Underworld were all heroes: Odysseus, Aeneas (accompanied by the Sibyl), Orpheus, Theseus with Pirithous, and, in a late romance, Psyche. None of them were pleased with what they witnessed in the realm of the dead. In particular, the Greek war hero Achilles, whom Odysseus conjured with a blood libation, said:
"O shining Odysseus, never try to console me for dying.
I would rather follow the plow as thrall to another
man, one with no land allotted to him and not much to live on,
than be a king over all the perished dead."
— Achilles' soul to Odysseus. Homer, Odyssey' 11.488-491
Persephone and Hades: tondo of an Attic red-figured kylix, ca. 440–430 BC
The consort of Hades was Persephone, represented by the Greeks as the beautiful daughter of Demeter.[28]
Oil painting of Hades abducting Persephone. 18th Century. Oil on wood with gilt background. Property of Missing Link Antiques.
Persephone did not submit to Hades willingly, but was abducted by him while picking flowers in the fields of Nysa. In protest of his act, Demeter cast a curse on the land and there was a great famine; though, one by one, the gods came to request she lift it, lest mankind perish, she asserted that the earth would remain barren until she saw her daughter again. Finally, Zeus intervened; via Hermes, he requested that Hades return Persephone. Hades complied,
"But he on his part secretly gave her sweet pomegranate seed to eat, taking care for himself that she might not remain continually with grave, dark-robed Demeter."[29]
Demeter questioned Persephone on her return to light and air:
"...but if you have tasted food, you must go back
again beneath the secret places of the earth, there to dwell a third part of the seasons every year: yet for the two parts you
shall be with me and the other deathless gods."[29]
This bound her to Hades and the Underworld, much to the dismay of Demeter. It is not clear whether Persephone was accomplice to the ploy. Zeus proposed a compromise, to which all parties agreed: of the year, Persephone would spend one third with her husband.[30]
It is during this time that winter casts on the earth "an aspect of sadness and mourning."[
In Greek mythology, Persephone (/pərˈsɛfəniː/, per-SEH-fə-nee; Greek: Περσεφόνη), also called Kore (/ˈkɔəriː/; "the maiden"),[n 1] is the daughter of Zeus and the harvest goddess Demeter, and is the queen of the underworld. Homer describes her as the formidable, venerable majestic queen of the underworld, who carries into effect the curses of men upon the souls of the dead. Persephone was abducted by Hades, the god-king of the underworld.[1] The myth of her abduction represents her function as the personification of vegetation, which shoots forth in spring and withdraws into the earth after harvest; hence, she is also associated with spring as well as the fertility of vegetation. Similar myths appear in the Orient, in the cults of male gods like Attis, Adonis and Osiris,[2] and in Minoan Crete.
Persephone as a vegetation goddess and her mother Demeter were the central figures of the Eleusinian mysteries that predated the Olympian pantheon and promised to the initiated a more enjoyable prospect after death. Persephone is further said to have become by Zeus the mother of Dionysus, Iacchus, or Zagreus, usually in orphic tradition. The origins of her cult are uncertain, but it was based on very old agrarian cults of agricultural communities.
Persephone was commonly worshipped along with Demeter and with the same mysteries. To her alone were dedicated the mysteries celebrated at Athens in the month of Anthesterion. In Classical Greek art, Persephone is invariably portrayed robed, often carrying a sheaf of grain. She may appear as a mystical divinity with a sceptre and a little box, but she was mostly represented in the act of being carried off by Hades.
In Roman mythology, she is called Proserpina, and her mother, Ceres
As a goddess of the underworld, Persephone was given euphemistically friendly names.[17] However it is possible that some of them were the names of original goddesses:
Despoina (dems-potnia) "the mistress" (literally "the mistress of the house") in Arcadia.
Hagne, "pure", originally a goddess of the springs in Messenia.[18]
Melindia or Melinoia (meli, "honey"), as the consort of Hades, in Hermione. (Compare Hecate, Melinoe)[17]
Aristi cthonia, "the best chthonic".[17]
Praxidike, the Orphic Hymn to Persephone identifies Praxidike as an epithet of Persephone: "Praxidike, subterranean queen. The Eumenides' source [mother], fair-haired, whose frame proceeds from Zeus' ineffable and secret seeds."[19][20]

As a vegetation goddess she was called:[18][21]
Kore, "the maiden".
Kore Soteira, "the savior maiden" in Megalopolis.
Neotera, "the younger " in Eleusis.
Kore of Demeter Hagne, in the Homeric hymn.
Kore memagmeni, "the mixed daughter" (bread).

Demeter and her daughter Persephone were usually called:[18][21]
The goddesses, often distinguished as "the older" and "the younger" in Eleusis.
Demeters, in Rhodes and Sparta
The thesmophoroi, "the legislators" in the Thesmophoria.
The Great Goddesses, in Arcadia.
The mistresses in Arcadia.[22]
Karpophoroi, "the bringers of fruit", in Tegea of Arcadia

Persephone held an ancient role as the dread queen of the Underworld, within which tradition it was forbidden to speak her name. This tradition comes from her conflation with the very old chthonic divinity Despoina (the mistress), whose real name could not be revealed to anyone except those initiated to her mysteries.[62] As goddess of death she was also called a daughter of Zeus and Styx,[85] the river that formed the boundary between Earth and the underworld. Homer describes her as the formidable, venerable majestic queen of the shades, who carries into effect the curses of men upon the souls of the dead, along with her husband Hades.[86] In the reformulation of Greek mythology expressed in the Orphic Hymns, Dionysus and Melinoe are separately called children of Zeus and Persephone.[87] Groves sacred to her stood at the western extremity of the earth on the frontiers of the lower world, which itself was called "house of Persephone".[88]
Her central myth served as the context for the secret rites of regeneration at Eleusis,[89] which promised immortality to initiates
Other mythology
In the Trojan war, Hephaestus sided with the Greeks, but was also worshipped by the Trojans and saved one of their men from being killed by Diomedes. (Il. v. 9, &c.) Hephaestus' favourite place in the mortal world was the island of Lemnos, where he liked to dwell among the Sintians (Od. viii. 283, &c., Il. i. 593; Ov Fast. viii. 82), but he also frequented other volcanic islands such as Lipara, Hiera, Imbros and Sicily, which were called his abodes or workshops. (Apollon. Rhod iii. 41; Callim. Hymn. in Dian. 47; Serv. ad Aen. viii. 416; Strab. p. 275; Plin. H. N. iii. 9; Val. Flacc. ii. 96.)
The epithets and surnames by which Hephaestus is known by the poets generally allude to his skill in the plastic arts or to his figure or lameness. The Greeks frequently placed small dwarf-like statues of Hephaestus near their hearths, and these figures are the oldest of all his representations. (Herod. iii. 37; Aristoph. Av. 436; Callim. Hymnn. in Dian. 60.)
Hephaestus was sometimes portrayed as a vigorous man with a beard, and was characterised by his hammer or some other crafting tool, his oval cap, and the chiton.

Hephaestus is reported in mythological sources as "lame" (cholōs), and "halting" (ēpedanos).[42] He was depicted with crippled feet and as misshapen, either from birth or as a result of his fall from Olympus. In vase-paintings, Hephaestus is usually shown lame and bent over his anvil, hard at work on a metal creation, and sometimes with his feet back-to-front: Hephaistos amphigyēeis. He walked with the aid of a stick. The Argonaut Palaimonius, "son of Hephaestus" (i.e. a bronze-smith) was also lame.[43]

Other "sons of Hephaestus" were the Cabeiri on the island of Samothrace, who were identified with the crab (karkinos) by the lexicographer Hesychius. The adjective karkinopous ("crab-footed") signified "lame", according to Detienne and Vernant.[44] The Cabeiri were also lame.

In some myths, Hephaestus built himself a "wheeled chair" or chariot with which to move around, thus helping him overcome his lameness while demonstrating his skill to the other gods.[45] In the Iliad, it is said that Hephaestus built some bronze human machines in order to move around.

Hephaestus’s ugly appearance and lameness is taken by some to represent arsenicosis, an effect of low levels of arsenic exposure that would result in lameness and skin cancers. In place of less easily available tin, arsenic was added to copper in the Bronze Age to harden it; like the hatters, crazed by their exposure to mercury, who inspired Lewis Carroll's famous character of the Mad Hatter, most smiths of the Bronze Age would have suffered from chronic poisoning as a result of their livelihood. Consequently, the mythic image of the lame smith is widespread.[46]


favorite minor gods & goddess's
In Greek mythology, Circe (/ˈsɜrsiː/; Greek Κίρκη Kírkē pronounced [kírkɛ͜ɛ]) was a goddess of magic (or sometimes a nymph, witch, enchantress or sorceress). By most accounts, Circe was the daughter of Helios, the god of the sun, and Perse, an Oceanid. Her brothers were Aeetes, the keeper of the Golden Fleece, and Perses. Her sister was Pasiphaë, the wife of King Minos and mother of the Minotaur.[1] Other accounts make her the daughter of Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft herself.[2]
Circe was renowned for her vast knowledge of potions and herbs. Through the use of magical potions and a wand or a staff, she transformed her enemies, or those who offended her, into animals. Some say she was exiled to the solitary island of Aeaea by her subjects and her father for ending the life of her husband, the prince of Colchis. Later traditions tell of her leaving or even destroying the island and moving to Italy, where she was identified with Cape Circeo.

In Greek mythology, Iris (/ˈaɪrɨs/; Greek: Ἶρις)[1] is the personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. She is also known as one of the goddesses of the sea and the sky. Iris links the gods to humanity. She travels with the speed of wind from one end of the world to the other,[2] and into the depths of the sea and the underworld.
According to Hesiod's Theogony, Iris is the daughter of Thaumas and the cloud nymph Electra. Her sisters are Arke and the Harpies; Aello, Celaeno, and Ocypete.
Iris is frequently mentioned as a divine messenger in the Iliad which is attributed to Homer, but does not appear in his Odyssey, where Hermes fills that role. Like Hermes, Iris carries a caduceus or winged staff. By command of Zeus, the king of the gods, she carries an ewer of water from the River Styx, with which she puts to sleep all who perjure themselves. According to Apollonius Rhodius, Iris turned back the Argonauts Zetes and Calais who had pursued the Harpies to the Strophades ('Islands of Turning'). (This eventful 'turning' may have resulted in the islands' name.[citation needed]) The brothers had driven off the monsters from their torment of the prophet Phineus, but did not kill them upon the request of Iris, who promised that Phineas would not be bothered by the Harpies again.
Winged female figure holding a caduceus: Iris (messenger of the gods) or Nike (Victory)
Iris is married to Zephyrus, who is the god of the west wind. Their son is Pothos (Nonnus, Dionysiaca). According to the Dionysiaca of Nonnos, Iris' brother is Hydaspes (book XXVI, lines 355-365).
In Euripides' play Heracles, Iris appears alongside Lyssa, cursing Heracles with the fit of madness in which he kills his three sons and his wife Megara. In some records she is a sororal twin to the Titaness Arke (arch), who flew out of the company of Olympian gods to join the Titans as their messenger goddess during the Titanomachy, making the two sisters enemy messenger goddesses. Iris was said to have golden wings, whereas Arke had iridescent ones. She is also said to travel on the rainbow while carrying messages from the gods to mortals. During the Titan War, Zeus tore Arke's iridescent wings from her and gave them as a gift to the Nereid Thetis at her wedding, who in turn gave them to her son, Achilles, who wore them on his feet. Achilles was sometimes known as podarkes (feet like [the wings of] Arke.) Podarces was also the original name of Priam, king of Troy.
Iris also appears several times in Virgil's Aeneid, usually as an agent of Juno. In Book 4, Juno dispatches her to pluck a lock of hair from the head of Queen Dido, that she may die and enter Hades. In book 5, Iris, having taken on the form of a Trojan woman, stirs up the other Trojan mothers to set fire to 4 of Aeneas' ship in order to prevent them from leaving Sicily

In Greek mythology, Nemesis (/ˈnɛməsɪs/; Greek: Νέμεσις), also called Rhamnousia/Rhamnusia ("the goddess of Rhamnous") at her sanctuary at Rhamnous, north of Marathon, was the spirit of divine retribution against those who succumb to hubris (arrogance before the gods). Another name was Adrasteia, meaning "the inescapable."[1] The Greeks personified vengeful fate as a remorseless goddess: the goddess of revenge.
Contents [hide]
1 Etymology

Morpheus (/ˈmɔrfiəs/ or /ˈmɔrfjuːs/) is a god of dreams who appears in Ovid's Metamorphoses. Morpheus has the ability to mimic any human form and appear in dreams. His true semblance is that of a winged daemon, imagery shared with many of his siblings. Starting in the medieval period, the name Morpheus began to stand generally for the god of dreams or of sleep
Nyx (/nɪks/[1]; Greek: Νύξ, "Night")[2] – Roman (in Latin): Nox – is the Greek goddess (or personification) of the night. A shadowy figure, Nyx stood at or near the beginning of creation, and was the mother of other personified deities such as Hypnos (Sleep) and Thanatos (Death). Her appearances are sparse in surviving mythology, but reveal her as a figure of such exceptional power and beauty, that she is feared by Zeus himself. She is found in the shadows of the world and only ever seen in glimpses
Hecate or Hekate (/ˈhɛkətiː, ˈhɛkɪt/; Greek Ἑκάτη, Hekátē) is a goddess in Greek religion and mythology, most often shown holding two torches or a key[1] and in later periods depicted in triple form. She was variously associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, dogs, light, the Moon, magic, witchcraft, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, necromancy, and sorcery.[2][3] In the post-Christian writings of the Chaldean Oracles (2nd-3rd century CE) she was regarded with (some) rulership over earth, sea and sky, as well as a more universal role as Saviour (Soteira), Mother of Angels and the Cosmic World Soul.[4][5] She was one of the main deities worshiped in Athenian households as a protective goddess and one who bestowed prosperity and daily blessings on the family.[6]
Hecate may have originated among the Carians of Anatolia, where variants of her name are found as names given to children. William Berg observes, "Since children are not called after spooks, it is safe to assume that Carian theophoric names involving hekat- refer to a major deity free from the dark and unsavoury ties to the underworld and to witchcraft associated with the Hecate of classical Athens."[7] She also closely parallels the Roman goddess Trivia, with whom she was identified in Rome

Hecate has been characterized as a pre-Olympian chthonic goddess. She appears in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter and in Hesiod's Theogony, where she is promoted strongly as a great goddess. The place of origin of her following is uncertain, but it is thought that she had popular followings in Thrace.[24] Her most important sanctuary was Lagina, a theocratic city-state in which the goddess was served by eunuchs.[24] Lagina, where the famous temple of Hecate drew great festal assemblies every year, lay close to the originally Macedonian colony of Stratonikeia, where she was the city's patroness.[25] In Thrace she played a role similar to that of lesser-Hermes, namely a governess of liminal regions (particularly gates) and the wilderness
Hecate, Greek goddess of the crossroads; drawing by Stéphane Mallarmé in Les Dieux Antiques, nouvelle mythologie illustrée in Paris, 1880
The first literature mentioning Hecate is the Theogony by Hesiod:
Hecate whom Zeus the son of Cronos honored above all. He gave her splendid gifts, to have a share of the earth and the unfruitful sea. She received honor also in starry heaven, and is honored exceedingly by the deathless gods. For to this day, whenever any one of men on earth offers rich sacrifices and prays for favor according to custom, he calls upon Hecate. Great honor comes full easily to him whose prayers the goddess receives favorably, and she bestows wealth upon him; for the power surely is with her. For as many as were born of Earth and Ocean amongst all these she has her due portion. The son of Cronos did her no wrong nor took anything away of all that was her portion among the former Titan gods: but she holds, as the division was at the first from the beginning, privilege both in earth, and in heaven, and in sea.[26]
According to Hesiod, she held sway over many things:
Whom she will she greatly aids and advances: she sits by worshipful kings in judgement, and in the assembly whom she will is distinguished among the people. And when men arm themselves for the battle that destroys men, then the goddess is at hand to give victory and grant glory readily to whom she will. Good is she also when men contend at the games, for there too the goddess is with them and profits them: and he who by might and strength gets the victory wins the rich prize easily with joy, and brings glory to his parents. And she is good to stand by horsemen, whom she will: and to those whose business is in the grey discomfortable sea, and who pray to Hecate and the loud-crashing Earth-Shaker, easily the glorious goddess gives great catch, and easily she takes it away as soon as seen, if so she will. She is good in the byre with Hermes to increase the stock. The droves of kine and wide herds of goats and flocks of fleecy sheep, if she will, she increases from a few, or makes many to be less. So, then, albeit her mother's only child, she is honored amongst all the deathless gods. And the son of Cronos made her a nurse of the young who after that day saw with their eyes the light of all-seeing Dawn. So from the beginning she is a nurse of the young, and these are her honours.[26]
Hesiod emphasizes that Hecate was an only child, the daughter of Perses and Asteria, a star-goddess who was the sister of Leto (the mother of Artemis and Apollo). Grandmother of the three cousins was Phoebe the ancient Titaness who personified the moon

Hesiod's inclusion and praise of Hecate in the Theogony has been troublesome for scholars, in that he seems to hold her in high regard, while the testimony of other writers, and surviving evidence, suggests that this may have been exceptional. One theory is that Hesiod's original village had a substantial Hecate following and that his inclusion of her in the Theogony was a way of adding to her prestige by spreading word of her among his readers.[27] Another theory is that Hekate was mainly a household god and humble household worship could have been more pervasive and yet not mentioned as much as temple worship.[28] In Athens Hecate, along with Zeus, Hermes, Hestia, and Apollo, were very important in daily life as they were the main gods of the household.[29] However, it is clear that the special position given to Hecate by Zeus is upheld throughout her history by depictions found on coins depicting Hecate on the hand of Zeus [30] as highlighted in more recent research presented by d'Este and Rankine.[31]
Hecate possibly originated among the Carians of Anatolia,[24] the region where most theophoric names invoking Hecate, such as Hecataeus or Hecatomnus, the father of Mausolus, are attested,[32] and where Hecate remained a Great Goddess into historical times, at her unrivalled[33] cult site in Lagina. While many researchers favor the idea that she has Anatolian origins, it has been argued that "Hecate must have been a Greek goddess."[34] The monuments to Hecate in Phrygia and Caria are numerous but of late date.[35
Hecate by Richard Cosway
If Hecate's cult spread from Anatolia into Greece, it is possible it presented a conflict, as her role was already filled by other more prominent deities in the Greek pantheon, above all by Artemis and Selene. This line of reasoning lies behind the widely accepted hypothesis that she was a foreign deity who was incorporated into the Greek pantheon. Other than in the Theogony, the Greek sources do not offer a consistent story of her parentage, or of her relations in the Greek pantheon: sometimes Hecate is related as a Titaness, and a mighty helper and protector of humans. Her continued presence was explained by asserting that, because she was the only Titan who aided Zeus in the battle of gods and Titans, she was not banished into the underworld realms after their defeat by the Olympians.[citation needed]
One surviving group of stories suggests how Hecate might have come to be incorporated into the Greek pantheon without affecting the privileged position of Artemis.[27] Here, Hecate is a mortal priestess often associated with Iphigeneia. She scorns and insults Artemis, who in retribution eventually brings about the mortal's suicide. There was an area sacred to Hecate in the precincts of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, where the priests, megabyzi, officiated.[36]
Hecate also came to be associated with ghosts, infernal spirits, the dead and sorcery. Shrines to Hecate were placed at doorways to both homes and cities with the belief that it would protect from restless dead and other spirits. Likewise, shrines to Hecate at three way crossroads were created where food offerings were left at the new moon to protect those who did so from spirits and other evils.[37]
One interesting passage exists suggesting that the word "jinx" might have originated in a cult object associated with Hecate. "The Byzantine polymath Michael Psellus [...] speaks of a bullroarer, consisting of a golden sphere, decorated throughout with symbols and whirled on an oxhide thong. He adds that such an instrument is called a iunx (hence "jinx"), but as for the significance says only that it is ineffable and that the ritual is sacred to Hecate."[38]
Hecate is the primary feminine figure in the Chaldean Oracles (2nd-3rd century CE),[39] where she is associated in fragment 194 with a strophalos (usually translated as a spinning top, or wheel, used in magic) "Labour thou around the Strophalos of Hecate."[40] This appears to refer to a variant of the device mentioned by Psellus.[41]
Variations in interpretations of Hecate's role or roles can be traced in 5th-century Athens. In two fragments of Aeschylus she appears as a great goddess. In Sophocles and Euripides she is characterized as the mistress of witchcraft and the Keres.
In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, Hecate is called the "tender-hearted", a euphemism perhaps intended to emphasize her concern with the disappearance of Persephone, when she assisted Demeter with her search for Persephone following her abduction by Hades, suggesting that Demeter should speak to the god of the sun, Helios. Subsequently she became Persephone's companion on her yearly journey to and from the realms of Hades. Because of this association, Hecate was one of the chief goddesses of the Eleusinian Mysteries, alongside Demeter and Persephone.[1]
The modern understanding of Hecate has been strongly influenced by syncretic Hellenistic interpretations. Many of the attributes she was assigned in this period appear to have an older basis. For example, in the magical papyri of Ptolemaic Egypt, she is called the 'she-dog' or 'bitch', and her presence is signified by the barking of dogs. In late imagery she also has two ghostly dogs as servants by her side. However, her association with dogs predates the conquests of Alexander the Great and the emergence of the Hellenistic world. When Philip II laid siege to Byzantium she had already been associated with dogs for some time; the light in the sky and the barking of dogs that warned the citizens of a night time attack, saving the city, were attributed to Hecate Lampadephoros (the tale is preserved in the Suda). In gratitude the Byzantines erected a statue in her honor.[42]
As a virgin goddess, she remained unmarried and had no regular consort, though some traditions named her as the mother of Scylla.[43]
Triple Hecate
Although associated with other moon goddesses such as Selene, she ruled over three kingdoms; the earth, the sea, and the sky. She had the power to create or hold back storms, which influenced her patronage of shepherds and sailors.[44]

The following is a list of creatures from Greek mythology. The list does not include gods and other divine and semi-divine figures (see List of Greek mythological figures).
Greek mythological creatures
Greek myth includes many monstrous beings:
Caucasian Eagle, a giant eagle set by Zeus to feed on the ever-regenerating liver of Prometheus; it was a son of Echidna.
Centaur (male) or Centauride (female), a head and torso of a human with the legs and behind of a horse. Asbolus, in Greek mythology, was a centaur. He was a seer, or an auger. He was a diviner who read omens in the flight of birds.
Chariclo, wife of the centaur Chiron
Chiron, the eldest and wisest of the centaurs. The ancient trainer of Heroes.
Nessus, famous centaur, known for being killed by Heracles.
Onocentaur, head and torso of a human with legs and behind of a donkey.
Cerberus, the three-headed, giant hound that guarded the gates of the Underworld.
Charon, a ferryman at the river Styx
Charybdis, a sea monster whose inhalations formed a deadly whirlpool or a huge water mouth.
Chimera, a three-headed monster with one head of lion, one of a snake, and another of a goat, lion claws in front and goat legs behind, and a long snake tail.
Empousai, seductive female vampire demons with fiery hair, a leg of bronze and a donkey's foot. They are especially good at ensnaring men with their beauty before devouring them.
Erinyes (Furies), the three goddesses of vengence, who were the offspring of Gaia born from the blood shed when Cronus castrated his father Uranus.
Gorgon, monstrous women depicted as having snakes on their head instead of hair, tusks and reptile-like wings. Medusa, whose gaze could turn anyone to stone.
Stheno, most murderous of the sisters.
Euryale, whose scream could kill.
Graeae, three old women with one tooth and one eye among them.
Persis or Perso
Harpies, creature with torso, head and arms of women, talons, tail and wings (mixed with the arms) of bird.
Hippalectryon, a creature with the fore-parts of a rooster and the body of a horse
Hippocampi, sea creatures with the fore-parts of horses and the tails of fish and fins instead of hooves.
Ichthyocentaurs, a pair of marine centaurs with the upper bodies of men, the lower fronts of horses, and the tails of fish
Ipotane, a race of half-horse, half-humans
Manticore, a monster with the head of a man, the body of a lion, and a tail that can shoot spikes.
Merpeople, human with fish tail after torso (Mermaid as female, Merman as male), they lure adventurers to drown them.
Minotaur, a monster with the head of a bull and the body of a man; slain by Theseus.
Mormo, a vampiric creature who bit bad children
Lamia, a vampiric demon which preyed on children
Lernaean Hydra, also known as King Hydra, a many-headed, serpent-like creature that guarded an Underworld entrance beneath Lake Lerna. It was destroyed by Heracles, in his second Labour. Son of Typhon and Echdina.
Ophiotaurus, a creature part bull and part serpent.
Orthrus, a two-headed dog, brother of Cerberus, slain by Heracles.
Panes, a tribe of nature-spirits which had the heads and torsos of men, the legs and tails of goats, goatish faces and goat-horns
Pholus, a wise centaur and friend of Heracles
Satyrs and Satyresses, companions of Pan and Dionysus which had human upper bodies, and the horns and hindquarters of a goat
Scylla, lover of Poseidon, transformed by Circe into a many-headed, tentacled monster who fed on passing sailors in the straits between herself and Charybdis.
Sirens, three bird like women whose irresistible song lured sailors to their deaths
Skolopendra, giant sea monster said to be the size of a Greek trireme. It has a crayfish-like tail, numerous legs along its body which it uses like oars to move and extremely long hairs that protrude from its nostrils. Child of Phorcys and Keto.[1]
Taraxippi, ghosts that frightened horses
Telekhines, skilled metal-workers with the heads of dogs and flippers of seals in place of hands
Mythical animals
These animals possess some fantastic attribute.
Arion, the immortal horse of Adrastus who could run at fantastic speeds
Balius and Xanthus, the immortal horses of Achilles
Calydonian Boar, a gigantic boar sent by Artemis to ravage Calydon and slain in the Calydonian Boar Hunt
Ceryneian Hind, an enormous deer which was sacred to Artemis; Heracles was sent to retrieve it as one of his labours
Griffin or gryphon, a creature that combines the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle.
, head, wings and front body of eagle, and back of horse, they are born by the union of a male gryphon and a mare, or a couple of hippogriff.
Golden Fleece, from a golden-haired ram, which was held in Colchis.
Erymanthian Boar, a gigantic boar which Heracles was sent to retrieve as one of his labours
Karkinos, a giant crab which fought Heracles alongside the Lernaean Hydra.
Laelaps, a female dog destined always to catch its prey
Mares of Diomedes, four man-eating horses belonging to the giant Diomedes
Nemean Lion, a gigantic lion whose skin was impervious to weapons; it was strangled by Heracles
Winged Horse or Pterippi, winged pure white horses. Pegasus, a divine winged stallion that is pure white, son of Medusa and Poseidon, brother of Chrysaor and father of winged horses.
Phoenix, a golden-red fire bird of which only one could live at a time, but would burst into flames to rebirth from ashes as a new phoenix.
Sphinx has the haunches of a lion, the wings of a great bird, and the face of a woman
Stymphalian Birds, man-eating birds with beaks of bronze and sharp metallic feathers they could launch at their victims
Teumessian fox, a gigantic fox destined never to be caught.
Unicorn, a beautiful horse-like creature with a magical horn on its forehead
Winged unicorn or Alicorn, different and more rare than unicorns due to the fact that they have beautiful wings like Winged Horses
Enormous and monstrous human-like creatures.
Agrius and Oreius, when a woman was cursed by Aphrodite to fall in love with a bear, the twin giants were born, they look half-man, half-bear.
The Aloadae, twin giants who attempted to storm Olympus
Alops, a Sicilian giant, slain by Dionysus
Anax, a Lydian giant
Antaeus, a Libyan giant who gained strength from constant contact with the earth and wrestled to death all visitors to his realm until slain by Heracles
Argus Panoptes, a hundred-eyed giant tasked with guarding over Io
Chrysaor, a son of Medusa and Poseidon, sometimes said to be a giant, he was born alongside Pegasus by Perseus slashing their mother's head.
Cyclopes (Elder), three one-eyed giants who forged Zeus' thunderbolt, Hades' cap of invisibility, and Poseidon's storm-raising trident, they and the hekatoncheires were sons of Gaia and Uranus. Arges

Drakons ("δ" in Greek, "dracones" in Latin) were giant serpents, sometimes possessing multiple heads or able to breathe fire, but most just spit deadly venom.
The Laconian Drakon was one of the most fearsome of all
the drakons.

Cetea were sea monsters. They were usually featured in myths of a hero rescuing a sacrificial princess.
The Ethiopian Cetus was a sea monster sent by Poseidon to ravage Ethiopia and devour Andromeda, which was slain by Perseus
The Trojan Cetus was a sea monster that plagued Troy before being slain by Heracles

The Dracaenae were monsters that had the upper body of a beautiful woman and the lower body of any sort of dragon. Echidna, the mother of monsters, and Keto, the mother of sea-monsters are two famous dracaenae.
Campe, a dracaena that was charged by Kronos with the job of guarding the gates of Tartarus; she was slain by Zeus when he rescued the Cyclopes and Hecatoncheires from their prison
Keto, a marine goddess who was the mother of all sea monsters as well as Echidna and other dragons and monsters.
Echidna, Wife of Typhon and "Mother of All Monsters"
Echidna Argia, a dracaena that ravaged the kingdom of Argos; killed by Argus Panoptes
Poena, a dracaena sent by Apollo to ravage the kingdom of Argos as punishment for the death of his infant son Linos; killed by Coraebus.
Scythian Dracaena, the Dracaena queen of Scythia; she stole Geryon's cattle that Heracles was herding through the region and agreed to return them on condition he mate with her.
Scylla, a dracaena that was the lover of Poseidon, transformed by Circe into a monster that fed on passing sailors in the strait between herself and Charybdis
Sybaris, a draceana that lived on a mountain near Delphi, eating shepherds and passing travellers; she was pushed off the cliff by Eurybarus.

Automatons, or Colossi, were men, animals and monsters crafted out of metal and made animate in order to perform various tasks. They were created by the divine smith, Hephaestus. The Athenian inventor Daedalus also manufactured automatons.
The Hippoi Kabeirikoi, four bronze horse-shaped automatons crafted by Hephaestus to draw the chariot of the Cabeiri
The Keledones, singing maidens sculpted out of gold by Hephaestus
The Khalkotauroi, fire-breathing bulls created by Hephaestus as a gift for Aeëtes.
The Kourai Khryseai, golden maidens sculpted to Hephaestus to attend him in his household.
Talos, a giant man made out of bronze to protect Europa Esther

Legendary tribes
Arimaspi, a tribe of one-eyed men
Monopodes or Skiapodes, a tribe of one-legged Libyan men who used their gigantic foot as shade against the midday sun.
Panotii, a tribe of northern men with gigantic, body-length ears.
Pygmies, a tribe of one and a half foot tall African men who rode goats into battle against migrating cranes
Acephali (Greek akephalos, plural akephaloi, from a-, "without", and kephalé, "head") are human without head, with their mouths and eyes being in their breasts.
Amazons, a nation of all-female warriors

This is a list of those deemed demigods.
Traditional demigods
Abhimanyu incarnation of Varchas, son of moon god Chandra
Achilles born of mortal man and the nymph goddess Thetis
Aeneas, son of Venus.
King Aeëtes, son of sun god Helios.
Agenor, son of Poseidon
Aethusa, daughter of Poseidon
Amphion, son of Zeus
Arquette, daughter of Zeus/Jupiter
Arcas, son of Zeus
Arjuna son of king of all gods, the thunder-god Indra & incarnation of Nara
Ashwathama contained spark of the great god Rudra god of cosmic destruction and universal dissolution
Asklepios (also known Asclepius) son of the sun god Apollo
Bellerophon, son of Poseidon.
Bhima son of god of air and wind Vayu
Bhishma incarnation of celestial god and king of Vasus
Calais, son of the north wind and winter god Boreas.
Kadin, son of hades
Kanden, son of Poseidon and Athena
Cu Chulainn
Cychreus, son of Poseidon
Cymopoleia, daughter of Poseidon
Dhristadyumna materialised out of a ritual fire-altar, quasi incarnation of fire-god Agni
Dionysus son of Zeus which turned into a god.
Drona contained spark of Brihaspati
Eirene, daughter of Poseidon.
Endymion, son of Zeus.
The fifty daughters of Selene and Endymion.
Ghatotkacha born of a demigod and a demoness
Gideon Born of regular parents power acquired by Dipolix.
Helen of Troy, daughter of Zeus.
Heracles (also known by the Roman spelling, Hercules), son of Zeus/Jupiter and later the god of heroes.
Hippolyta daughter of the god of war Ares.
Karna son of sun-god Surya
Lakshmana incarnation of great dragon god Ananta
Macaria, daughter of Hades which turned into a goddess.
Māui (Maori) (New Zealand)
Minos, son of Zeus
Nakula son of one of the god Ashvini Kumaras
Otrera daughter of the east wind Eurus.
Perseus, son of Poseidon
Polydeuces of the Dioscuri
Pradyumna incarnation of Sanatkumara
Rhesus of Thrace
Romulus and Remus sons of Mars
Sahadeva son of one of the god Ashvini Kumaras
Semele daughter of Harmonia. Mother of Dionysus.
Theseus, son of sea god Poseidon.
Yudhisthira son of the God of Death and Justice Yama
Zetes, son of Boreas.
Non-Greek figures who claimed a demigod type status
Several mythical Chinese Emperors were born humans, but deified upon "death"
Roman Emperor Commodus claimed to be reincarnation of Hercules
Hong Xiuquan claimed to be Son of God and brother of Jesus, but to not be God himself
Japanese Emperors claimed to be Arahitogami until Emperor Hirohito was forced to renounce this in 1946
Adapa was a mortal from a godly lineage, a son of Ea (Enki in Sumerian), the god of wisdom and of the ancient city of Eridu, who brought the arts of civilization to that city (from Dilmun, according to some versions)
Kings of the Mataram empire (now the Sunanate of Surakarta & sultanate of Yogyakarta) claim to be descendants of the Goddess of the Southsea
Nyai Roro Kidul The 16th century Javanese legends connects the Queen of Southern Seas as the protector and spiritual consort of the kings of Mataram

In fiction
Various adaptations of Hercules and Perseus
The Legend of Hercules 2014 Hercules also known Alcides was born from Zeus and Queen Alcmene to avenge her husband king Amphitryon.
Xena of Xena: Warrior Princess was occasionally hinted to be the daughter of either Zeus, Ares or Hades
Kratos, from the God of War video game series, is revealed during the second game's storyline to be the son of Zeus, though this was originally beyond Kratos' knowledge, this ignores the events of an unlockable video in the first game, where Kratos visits his mother and learns of his origins
Zuul, a minion of Gozer in the film Ghostbusters, is described as a demigod by Peter Venkman
In Warcraft III, the Night Elves are led by a demigod called Cenarius
In the game Devil May Cry, the Main protagonist Dante is the "Son of Sparda". Sparda is a demon who rose up against the god of the underworld.
Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark) from DC Comics has been revealed to be the daughter of Zeus
In Supernatural (U.S. TV series), the archangel Gabriel claims to be a demigod by the name Loki when first met.

The Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus books by Rick Riordan feature many modern-day demigods from Greek and Roman Mythology: Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon.
Kanden stan, son of Poseidon and Athena.
Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena.
Kadin Stanley, son of Hades
Luke Castellan, son of Hermes.
Thalia Grace, daughter of Zeus, and Greek sister of Jason.
Clarisse La Rue, daughter of Ares.
Nico di Angelo, son of Hades.
Castor and Pollux, sons of Dionysus.
Bianca di Angelo, daughter of Hades and sister of Nico di Angelo.
Charles Beckendorf, son of Hephaestus.
Silena Beauregard, daughter of Aphrodite.
Chris Rodriguez, son of Hermes.
Jason Grace, son of Jupiter, and Roman brother of Thalia.
Piper McLean, daughter of Aphrodite, half-sister of Silena Beauregarde.
Leo Valdez, son of Hephaestus, and half-brother of Charles Beckendorf and the rest of the Hephaestus cabin..
Hazel Levesque, daughter of Pluto and Roman half-sister of Nico and Bianca.
Frank Zhang, son of Mars.
Reyna, daughter of Bellona, and sister of Hylla
Taven, Daegon and Rain are demigods in Mortal Kombat. they are the three sons of Argus who is an Edenian god and separate human women.
The Shrykull, from the Oddworld series, is a demigod of the Mudokons that is a combination of a Scrab and Paramite. Other than Abe being able to transform into the Shrykull, using ancient hand scars, to obliterate any living creature nearby, almost nothing is known about this mysterious demigod.
In the Starcrossed Trilogy by Josephine Angelini: Lucas Delos, descendant of Apollo
Hector Delos, descendant of Apollo
Cassandra Delos, daughter of the Fates
Ariadne Delos, descendant of Apollo
Jason Delos, descendant of Apollo
Helen Hamilton/Atreus, descendant of Zeus and sister to Aphrodite
Orion Evander, descendant of Aphrodite and Poseidon
Castor Delos, descendant of Apollo
Pallas Delos, descendant of Apollo
Tantalus Delos, descendant of Apollo
Creon Delos, descendant of Apollo
Pandora Delos, descendant of Apollo
Daphne Atreus, descendant of Zeus

Myth and History

Generations of readers have wondered whether the great Greek myths were based on true stories. One reader who decided to investigate was German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. Convinced that the ancient city of Troy mentioned in Homer's Iliad had actually existed, he set out to find it. In the early 1870s, Schliemann began digging at a site in northwestern Turkey that matched Homer's description of Troy. He found the buried remains of a city as well as gold, silver, pottery, and household objects. Later excavations by other researchers revealed that a series of different settlements had risen on the same site over thousands of years. One of these may have been Homer's Troy.
The Ages of the World. According to the poet Hesiod, the world had seen four ages and four races of human beings before his time. The Titans created the people of the golden age, who lived in comfort and peace until they died and became good spirits. The Olympian gods created the silver race, a childish people whom Zeus destroyed for failing to honor the gods. Zeus then created the bronze race, brutal and warlike people who destroyed themselves with constant fighting.
Zeus next created a race of heroes nobler than the men of the bronze age (no metal was associated with this age). The Greeks believed that distant but semihistorical events such as the Trojan Warf had occurred during this fourth age, the age of heroes. Some heroes died, but Zeus took the survivors to the Isles of the Blessed, where they lived in honor. The fifth age, the age of iron, began when Zeus created the present race of humans. It is an age of toil, greed, and strife. When all honor and justice have vanished, Zeus will destroy this race like those before it.
The theme of this myth is decline, with the best times always in the past. Yet the Greeks also believed that one day the golden age would return again. Decline was only part of a long cycle.
War. The gods were born in strife and struggle, and the theme of war as an inescapable part of existence runs through Greek mythology. Many myths recount episodes in the Olympians' conflict with the Titans. Others are connected to the Trojan War, a long conflict in which both people and deities displayed such qualities as courage, stubbornness, pride, and anger. In addition to the war itself, the travels and adventures of warriors after the war ended are subjects of myth and legend.
Love. Many myths deal with the loves of Zeus, who sometimes disguised himself in order to enjoy sexual relations with mortal women. Other myths present examples of trust, loyalty, and eternal love—or of the pitfalls and problems of love and desire. The tragic myth of Pyramus and Thisbe illustrates a divine reward for lovers who could not live without each other. The story of Eros and Psyche revolves around the issue of trust. In another myth, the gods reward the elderly Baucis and Philemon for their devotion to each other and their kindheartedness toward strangers.
Love affairs in Greek myth do not always end happily One story tells how Apollo fell in love with a nymph named Daphne, but like Artemis she cared more for hunting than for love. She ran from Apollo in terror, and when he was about to seize her, she asked her father, a river god, to save her. He changed her into a laurel tree, which is why the laurel was considered Apollo's sacred tree.
Heroes. Many Greek myths focus on the marvelous achievements of heroes who possessed physical strength, sharp wits, virtue, and a sense of honor. These heroes often had a god for a father and a human for a mother. One cycle of myths concerns the hero Hercules—Zeus's son by a mortal princess—renowned for his strength and for completing 12 remarkable feats. Unlike other heroes, who died and were buried, Hercules eventually became immortal and was worshiped as a god by both Greeks and Romans. Other heroes include Perseus, who killed the serpent-haired Medusa* and rescued a princess from a sea monster; Theseus, who defeated the man-eating Minotaur of Crete; Jason, who led a band of adventurers to capture the Golden Fleece; Achilles, a mighty warrior of the Trojan War; and Odysseus, who fought at Troy and
The Greek underworld, in mythology, was a place where souls went after death and was the Greek idea of afterlife. At the moment of death the soul was separated from the corpse, taking on the shape of the former person, and was transported to the entrance of Hades.[1] Hades itself was described as being either at the outer bounds of the ocean or beneath the depths or ends of the earth.[2] It was considered the dark counterpart to the brightness of Mount Olympus, and was the kingdom of the dead that corresponded to the kingdom of the gods.[3] Hades was a realm invisible to the living and it was made solely for the dead.[4]

There were five main rivers that appear both in the real world and the underworld. Their names were meant to reflect the emotions associated with death.[5]
The Styx is generally considered to be one of the most prominent and central rivers of the Underworld and is also the most widely known out of all the rivers. It is known as the river of hatred and is named after the goddess Styx. It is said that this river circles the underworld nine times.[6]
The Acheron is the river of pain. It is the river that Charon, also known as the Ferryman, rows the dead over according to many mythological accounts, though sometimes it is the river Styx or both.[7]
The Lethe is the river of forgetfulness. It is associated with the goddess Lethe, the goddess of forgetfulness and oblivion. In later accounts a poplar branch dripping with water of the Lethe became the symbol of Hypnos, the god of sleep.[8]
The Phlegethon is the river of fire. According to Plato, this river led to the depths of Tartarus.
The Cocytus is the river of wailing.
The greek underworld
The Erinyes were three female goddesses, seeking vengeance against anyone who had sworn a false oath or had done an evil act. Their Roman equivalents were the Furies or Dirae. They were created when the Titan Uranus was castrated by his son Cronus and his genitals were thrown into the sea; the drops of blood that fell onto Gaia (the earth) created the Erinyes and the Meliae, while out of the sea foam, Aphrodite emerged.
The number of the Erinyes is unknown and is very variable; however, three are the best known; Alecto (the unceasing), Megaera (the grudging) and Tisiphone (the vengeful destruction). The role of the Erinyes was to tantalise anyone who committed crimes, or hubris (insolence against the gods).
One of the best known literary examples in which the Erinyes had a major role is Aeschylus' trilogy Oresteia; in it, Orestis, the son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, slays his mother who had killed her husband for sacrificing their daughter Ifigeneia. Committing such a grave crime as matricide, Orestis is tormented by the Erinyes and seeks help at the Oracle of Delphi; there, he is told to go to Athens and ask goddess Athena for a trial. In the trial, the Erinyes appear as accusers of Orestis, saying that more blood must be spilled. The jury votes are evenly split and Athena decides to acquit Orestis. The Erinyes threaten to torment all Athenians from now on; but Athena, using a mixture of bribery and threats, changes their minds. Instead, the Erinyes become the Semnai (venerable ones) and instead of vengeance, they become the protectors of justice.
More: Uranus, Cronus, Aphrodite

The Erinyes
The Moirai or Fates were three sister deities, incarnations of destiny and life. Their names were Clotho, the one who spins the thread of life; Lachesis, she who draws the lots and determines how long one lives, by measuring the thread of life; and Atropos, the inevitable, she who chose how someone dies by cutting the thread of life with her shears.
It seems that the Moirai controlled the fates of both mortals and gods alike. It may be that Zeus was the only one not bound by them, as an epithet that was used for him was Moiragetes (he who commands the fate). Other sources suggest, though, that he was also bound by the Moirai. It is also uncertain who their parents were; in some myths, they were daughters of Zeus and the Titan goddess Themis, the goddess of divine order. In others, they were daughters of Ananke, the personification of necessity
The Moirai

The Charites
(singular Charis) or Graces were three minor deities in Greek mythology, daughters of Zeus and Eurynome according to the prevalent belief; sometimes, they were considered daughters of Dionysus and Aphrodite; or Helios and Aegle. They were Aglaea (splendor), Euphrosyne (mirth) and Thalia (good cheer), and they were also linked to the Underworld.
In some parts of Ancient Greece, the number of the Graces differed; for example, other names have been included such as Hegemone, Peitho, Pasithea and Cale.

The Muses
were the Greek goddesses of inspiration in literature, science and the arts. They were the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (the personification of memory), and they were also considered water nymphs. Personifications of knowledge and art, some of the arts of the Muses included Music, Science, Geography, Mathematics, Art, and Drama. They were usually invoked at the beginning of various lyrical poems, such as in the Homeric epics; this happened so that the Muses give inspiration or speak through the poet's words.

There were nine Muses according to Hesiod; Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Euterpe (lyric poetry), Thalia (comedy and pastoral poetry), Melpomene (tragedy), Terpsichore (dance), Erato (love poetry), Polyhymnia (sacred poetry), and Urania (astronomy).

was a name given to a number of different beings in Greek mythology. As a deity, however, the name refers to a Titan goddess, daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe and sister of Leto. She was married to the Titan Perses, and had a daughter, Hecate. Asteria was the goddess of nocturnal oracles and shooting stars. Zeus pursued her, but Asteria instead turned into a quail and fell into the Aegean to escape. As a result, she transformed into Ortygia, the quail island, which was later linked to the island of Delos.


was a Titan god in Greek mythology, son of the Titans Crius and Eurybia. He was the god of the dusk and the winds. Astraeus was married to Eos, goddess of the dawn, and created numerous children, including the four Anemoi (winds) and the five Astra Planeta (wandering stars or planets).

was one of the Titans, son of Iapetus and Clymene, and brother of Prometheus, Epimetheus and Menoetius. During the Titanomachy, the War between the Titans and the Olympian gods, Atlas and his brother Menoetius sided with the Titans, while Prometheus and Epimetheus helped the Olympian gods. Atlas was the leader in the batttle; however, being on the losing side, Zeus condemned him to eternally stand on the western side of Gaea (the earth) holding Uranus (the sky) on his shoulders. Therefore, the contemporary depiction of Atlas holding the Earth on his shoulders is a misconception.

was a Titan goddess in Greek mythology, daughter of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys, thus making her an Oceanid. She was the goddess of renown, fame, and infamy. She was married to the Titan Iapetus, and they had four sons, Atlas, Epimetheus, Prometheus and Menoetius. She was also a consort of Helios, with whom she had a son, Phaeton, and the Heliades.

was one of the Titans, son of Uranus and Gaia. His name means questioning, while the respective Roman deity was Polus, the celestial axis around which the heavens revolve. Based on his Greek name, it has been suggested that Coeus may have also been the Titan of inquisitive minds and intellect.
Although Coeus does not have an active role in Ancient Greek religion, he was important through his children, Leto and Asteria, whom he had with his wife and sister, Phoebe. Leto was one of Zeus' lovers and gave birth to the twin Olympians, Artemis and Apollo.
During the Titanomachy, Coeus tried to stop Zeus and the other Olympians; failing, he and the rest of the Titans were banished to the Underworld.

was one of the Titans, son of Uranus and Gaea. He married Eurybia, daughter of Pontus and Gaea, and had three children, Astraios, Pallas and Perses. His grandchildren were:
From the marriage of Astraios (god of dusk) and Eos (goddess of dawn): the four Anemoi (Winds - Boreas, Notus, Eurus, Zephyrus), and the five Astra Planeta (Wandering Stars, meaning planets - Phainon, Phaethon, Puroeis, Eosphoros, Stilbon).
From the marriage of Pallas (god of warcraft) and Styx (goddess of the homonymous river): Zelus (glory), Nike (victory), Kratos (power), Via (force), Scylla, Fontes (fountains), and Lacus (lakes).
From the marriage of Perses (god of destruction) and Asteria (the starry one): Hecate (goddess of wilderness, childbirth, and magic).

was the ruling Titan who came to power by castrating his father Uranus. His wife was Rhea, while their offspring were the first of the Olympians. To ensure his safety, Cronus ate each of the children as they were born. This worked until Rhea, unhappy at the loss of her children, tricked Cronus into swallowing a rock, instead of Zeus. When he grew up, Zeus revolted against Cronus and the other Titans, defeating them, and banishing them to Tartarus in the underworld.
Cronus managed to escape to Italy, where he ruled as Saturn. The period of his rule was said to be a golden age on earth, honoured by the Saturnalia feast.

was a Titan goddess in Greek mythology, most probably a daughter of Oceanus and Tethys and thus, an Oceanid. According to some sources, she was the first wife of Zeus, with whom she had a daughter, the goddess Aphrodite. She was an oracle and was worshipped alongside Zeus at the earliest Oracle in Greece that was located at Dodona. She made an appearance in Homer's Iliad, when her daughter was wounded and she tried to heal her.

was a Titan goddess in Greek mythology, daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia. She was the goddess of the dawn and had two siblings; Helios, god of the sun; and Selene, goddess of the moon. She was married to Astraeus, god of the dusk and together, they had numerous children that represented everything that occurred during the union of the dusk and the dawn, i.e. the twilight. Among her children were the four Anemoi (winds), as well as Eosphorus (the Morning Star) and the Astra Planeta (wandering stars or planets).

was one of the Titans, son of Iapetus and Clymene. He was the brother of Prometheus, Atlas and Menoetius. His name is derived from the Greek word meaning 'afterthought', which is the antonym of his brother's name, Prometheus, meaning 'forethought'. In this context, Epimetheus appeared as a foolish character, while Prometheus was the clever one.
Epimetheus received Pandora as a gift from the gods; a human created by the gods specifically to punish Prometheus who was the protector of humans. Pandora was given a jar which contained all evils of humanity; curious to see what was inside, she opened it and all evils were released into the world. Shocked, she closed it as soon as she could, but only Hope remained trapped inside

was a Titan goddess in Greek mythology, representing the mastery of the seas. She was a minor deity and did not play an important role in the myths. She was the daughter of the Titans Pontus and Gaea, and she was married to the Titan Crius. Her children were Astraeus, Perses and Pallas.

Eurynome was a Titan goddess in Greek mythology, daughter of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys, hence an Oceanid. She was the third wife of Zeus, with whom she had the three Charites, goddesses of grace. She was also often linked to another Eurynome, who was an early Queen of the Titans alongside her husband, Ophion. This couple fought against Cronus and Rhea and lost the throne to them. Eurynome may also have been a goddess of pasturelands

was one of the Titans, son of Uranus and Gaia. He represented light, wisdom and watchfulness. He was the father of the sun, the moon, and the dawn. In some early texts, the sun is mentioned as Helios Hyperion; however, in later texts, including Homer's and Hesiod's writings, Hyperion and Helios are two different deities, the latter being a physical representation of the sun. Hyperion is not mentioned in the Titanomachy, the War that resulted in the overthrow of the Titans and the start of the era of the Olympians.

was a Titan, son of Uranus and Gaea, and father of Atlas, Prometheus, Epimetheus and Menoetius. His name derives from the Greek word meaning to pierce usually with a spear; therefore, Iapetus may have been considered as the god of craftsmanship, although other sources site him as the god of mortality.
Iapetus' sons were thought to have been the ancestors of humans, and that they had some detrimental qualities that not only led to their own demise, but they also passed them down to humans. So, although Prometheus was clever, he bequeathed scheming to mankind; Epimetheus, guileless as he was, passed down stupidity; Atlas, being powerful and patient, gave excessive daring; and finally, Menoetius, an arrogant personality, bequeathed violence.

was a Titan god in Greek mythology, son of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe. He was the brother of Leto and Asteria. He was the husband of Periboa, and had a daughter, Aura. His name means "something that goes unobserved"; therefore, he became the Titan of air, hunter's skill of stalking prey, and the unseen.

was a Titan god, son of Titans Iapetus and Clymene, and brother of Atlas, Prometheus and Epimetheus. His name derives from the Ancient Greek words "menos" (might) and "oitos" (doom), meaning "doomed might". Based on the descriptions of various resources, he may have been the Titan of violent anger, rash action, and human mortality, and he often committed hubris, having superfluous pride. During the Titanomachy, Zeus killed Menoetius and banished him to Tartarus

was one of the Titans, a daughter of Oceanus and Tethys; therefore, she was considered an Oceanid. She was the first wife of Zeus, and became the godess of wisdom, prudence and deep thought.
According to a prophecy, Metis would bear two children, the first being Athena, while the second one, a son, would be so powerful that would overthrow Zeus. Zeus, afraid of this, tricked Metis into turning herself into a fly, and swallowed her. However, Metis was already pregnant to Athena, and, inside Zeus' stomach, she started creating a helmet for her daughter. Zeus was in such pain that he asked Hephaestus to hit his head with an axe; as soon as his head was opened, Athena jumped out fully grown and clad in armour. It is often said that Athena had no mother and she was born out of Zeus alone; this doesn't necessarily conflict with this account, as the ancient Greeks believed that children were descendants of the fathers, while mothers did not

was one of the Titans, daughter of Uranus and Gaea, and goddess of memory. She was also occassionally referred to as Mneme; however, this was the name of another goddess.
Zeus slept with Mnemosyne for nine consecutive days, eventually leading to the birth of the nine Muses. In Hesiod's Theogony, the kings and poets were inspired by Mnemosyne and the Muses, thus getting their extraordinary abilities in speech and using powerful words.
The name Mnemosyne was also used for a river in the Underworld, Hades, which flowed parallel to the river of Lethe (which means forgetfulness). Usually, the souls of the dead would drink water from Lethe, so that they would forget their past lives when they would be reincarnated. However, the souls of the novices were told to drink water from Mnemosyne. This myth may have been part of a small mystic religion or be tied to Orphic poetry.

was an ancient Greek god. According to one version, he was born by the union of the primal gods Chaos and Gaea, sanctified by god Eros. Another version has it that he was one of the twelve Titans, thus a son of Gaea and Uranus.
Oceanus was married to his sister, Tethys, with whom he had numerous children, called Oceanids. These were the lesser gods and goddesses of the rivers, the sea, and the springs. In fact, Oceanus and Tethys were so fertile that the overproduction of the aqueous elements of nature would cause floods; so, they divorced to stop this from happening. The couple was not involved in the Titanomachy against Zeus, so the latter let them continue their reign in their watery kingdom.

or Ophioneus was an elder Titan god in Greek mythology, who was the ruler of the Earth along with his wife Eurynome. The couple was later overthrown by Cronus and Rhea.


was a Titan god in Greek mythology, son of the Titans Crius and Eurybia. He had two brothers, Astraeus and Perses, and he was married to Styx, with whom he had a number of children; Zelus, Nike, Kratos, Bia, Scylla, Fontes and Lacus. He was the Titan of warcraft. During the Titanomachy, Pallas was killed by the goddess Athena.

was a Titan god in Greek mythology, son of the Titans Crius and Eurybia. He represented destruction and peace. He was married to the Titan goddess Asteria, with whom he had one daughter, Hecate; she was the goddess of wilderness, witchcraft and magic

was one of the Titans, daughter of Uranus and Gaea. She was married to her brother Coeus, with whom she had Asteria (the starry one) and Leto. The Olympians Apollo and Artemis, twin siblings, were the children of Leto; thus, they were often referred to as Phoebus and Phoebe respectively, taking their alternative names from their grandmother. Phoebe was associated to the moon and the Oracle of Delphi, and was considered to be the goddess of prophecy

was one of the Titans, son of Iapetus (also a Titan) and Clymene, an Oceanid. His brothers were Epimetheus, Atlas and Menoetius. The name derives from the Greek word meaning 'forethought'.
During the Titanomachy, the war between the Titans and the Olympian gods, Prometheus sided with Zeus, helping to overthrow the old gods. Siding with the winning side, Prometheus avoided being punished with the rest of the Titans and was therefore not sent to Tartarus, the Underworld.
In all accounts, Prometheus was presented to be the protector and benefactor of mankind. He offered a number of gifts to humans, including fire. Moreover, he tricked Zeus by asking him to choose between two offerings; beef hidden inside an ox's stomach (something pleasing hidden inside a repelling exterior) or bones wrapped in glistening fat (something inedible hidden inside a pleasing exterior). Zeus chose the latter and hence, a precedent was created in what humans could sacrifice from that moment; so, they kept the meat for themselves and sacrificed bones to the gods.
Zeus was infuriated and punished Prometheus by having him chained to a rock, where an eagle ate his liver during the day, and the liver was regenerated during the night due to Prometheus' immortality. He was later saved by the demigod Hercules

was one of the Titans, daughter of Uranus and Gaea. She was the sister and wife of Cronus, also a Titan. She was responsible for the way things flow in the kingdom of Cronus (her name means 'that which flows').
Rhea and Cronus had six children; Hestia, Hades, Demeter, Poseidon, Hera and Zeus. Cronus, afraid that he would be overthrown by his children just like he had done with his father, decided to swallow all of them. However, he was tricked by Rhea, who managed to save Zeus from his father. When Zeus grew up, he forced his father to disgorge his siblings and eventually overthrew him.

was a Titan goddess in Greek mythology, daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia. She had two siblings, Helios and Eos. She was the goddess of the moon, which she drove every night across the skies. Selene was linked to Artemis as well as Hecate; all three were considered lunar goddesses.
She had an affair with a mortal named Endymion, whom Zeus had granted the choice of when he would die; Endymion chose to fall into an eternal sleep to remain ageless and deathless. Selene drove the silver moon chariot which was carried by two snow-white horses, as opposed to the golden sun chariot which was carried by four

was a Titan goddess in Greek mythology, daughter of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys, thus being one of the Oceanid sisters. She was the goddess of the River Styx, and wife to the Titan Pallas, with whom she had four children; Zelus, Nike, Kratos, and Bia. Styx fought on the side of Zeus and the Olympians during the Titanomachy, the great war between the Titans and the Olympians, the latter emerging victorious. To honour her, Zeus gave her name to the binding oath that was taken by the gods.
The River Styx was the boundary between the realm of Earth and the Underworld. In its waters, the great hero Achilles was submerged when he was an infant by his mother Thetis, thus making him invincible; however, as she held him by his heel, that was the only spot on his body that was vulnerable. This is how the phrase Achilles' heel was created to signify a vulnerable spot

was one of the Titans, daughter of Uranus and Gaea. She was married to her brother, Oceanus, and gave birth to the river gods, who lived in the rivers that were then known to the Greeks, such as the Nile and Alpheus; and to three thousand water goddesses, called Oceanids. Despite being the mother of so many deities in the Greek mythology, Tethys was not actively worshipped. During the Titanomachy, she raised Hera as her stepchild, brought to her by Rhea

was one of the Titans, daughter of Uranus and Gaea. The alternative spelling of her name, Theia, means divine; goddess; while her other name, Euryphaessa, is a combination of the Greek words "eury", meaning wide, and "phaos", meaning bright. Hence, she was the goddess of light and was thought to be of considerable beauty.
Based on a poem by Homer, Thea was married to her brother Hyperion, giving birth to Helios (the Sun), Selene (the Moon), and Eos (the Dawn).

was one of the Titans, daughter of Uranus and Gaea. She was the human-like representation of the natural and moral order. The name derives from the Greek word meaning that which is current and contemporary. According to Hesiod, she was the second wife of Zeus, a marriage that helped the supreme Olympian to stabilise his power over all gods and humans.
Themis also represents the law and undisputed order, the divine right. She was the goddess that created the divine laws that govern everything and are even above gods themselves. In general, Themis had three subsistences; goddess of natural order, which manifested through the Hores (the Hours), meaning the seasonal and never-ceasing rotation of time; goddess of moral order, manifested through Eunomia (fair order), Deke (trial) and Erene (peace), which were the utmost characteristics of the society, and through the Moires, which represented the destiny of every human being; and finally, goddess of prophecy, shown through the Nymphs, as well as the virgin Astraea.
Initially, Themis substituted her mother in the Oracle of Delphi, having inherited the ability to foresee events from her; however, when Apollo was born, Themis cared so much from him that she eventually offered the Oracle to him

A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior. Although examples of such prophecies can be found in literature as far back as ancient Greece and ancient India, it is 20th-century sociologist Robert K. Merton who is credited with coining the expression "self-fulfilling prophecy" and formalizing its structure and consequences. In his 1948 article Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, Merton defines it in the following terms:

The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior which makes the original false conception come true. This specious validity of the self-fulfilling prophecy perpetuates a reign of error. For the prophet will cite the actual course of events as proof that he was right from the very beginning.[1]

In other words, a positive or negative prophecy, strongly held belief, or delusion—declared as truth when it is actually false—may sufficiently influence people so that their reactions ultimately fulfill the once-false prophecy.

Self-fulfilling prophecy are effects in behavioral confirmation effect, in which behavior, influenced by expectations, causes those expectations to come true.[2] It is complementary to the self-defeating prophecy.

The best known example from Greek legend is that of Oedipus. Warned that his child would one day kill him, Laius abandoned his newborn son Oedipus to die, but Oedipus was found and raised by others, and thus in ignorance of his true origins. When he grew up, Oedipus was warned that he would kill his father and marry his mother. Believing his foster parents were his real parents, he left his home and travelled to Greece, eventually reaching the city where his biological parents lived. There, he got into a fight with a stranger, his real father, killed him and married his widow, Oedipus' real mother.

Although the legend of Perseus opens with the prophecy that he will kill his grandfather Acrisius, and his abandonment with his mother Danaë, the prophecy is only self-fulfilling in some variants. In some, he accidentally spears his grandfather at a competition—an act that could have happened regardless of Acrisius' response to the prophecy. In other variants, his presence at the games is explained by his hearing of the prophecy, so that his attempt to evade it does cause the prophecy to be fulfilled. In still others, Acrisius is one of the wedding guests when Polydectes tried to force Danaë to marry him, and when Perseus turns them to stone with the Gorgon's head; as Polydectes fell in love with Danaë because Acrisius abandoned her at sea, and Perseus killed the Gorgon as a consequence of Polydectes' attempt to get rid of Danaë's son so that he could marry her, the prophecy fulfilled itself in these variants.

Greek historiography provides a famous variant: when the Lydian king Croesus asked the Delphic Oracle if he should invade Persia, the response came that if he did, he would destroy a great kingdom. Assuming this meant he would succeed, he attacked—but the kingdom he destroyed was his own.[14] In such an example, the prophecy prompts someone to action because he is led to expect a favorable result; but he achieves another, disastrous result which nonetheless fulfills the prophecy.

People do not necessarily have to unsuccessfully avoid a prophecy in order for the prophecy to be self-fulfilling. For example, when it was predicted that Zeus would overthrow his father, Cronos, and usurp his throne as King of the Gods, he actively waged war against him in a direct attempt to fulfill this prophecy. This makes the prophecy a self-fulfilling one because it was the prophecy itself that gave Zeus the inspiration to do it in the first place.

Oedipus the King (Ancient Greek: Οἰδίπους Τύραννος, Oidipous Turannos), also known by the Latin title Oedipus Rex, is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed c. 429 BC.[1] It was the second in order of Sophocles's actual composition of his plays dealing with Oedipus. Thematically, however, it would be the first in the dramatic historical chronology, followed by Oedipus at Colonus and then Antigone. Oedipus Rex chronicles the story of Oedipus, a man who becomes the king of Thebes- whilst in the process unwittingly fulfilling a prophecy that he would murder his father Laius and marry his mother Jocasta. The play is an example of a classic tragedy, noticeably containing an emphasis on how Oedipus's own faults contribute to the tragic hero's downfall, as opposed to having fate be the sole cause. Over the centuries, Oedipus Rex has come to be regarded by many as the Greek tragedy par excellence.[2]
Fate, free will, or tragic flaw[edit]
At the beginning of the play Oedipus is portrayed as the hero, who delivered Thebes from the terror of the Sphinx.
you are the first of men both in the experiences of life and in dealing with unseen-powers

exclaims the old priest in the first scene when another cathastrophe, the plague, strikes the city. Yes, how come the great king of the first scene became the blind outcast wanderer when the curtain falls? Is it his fate, his free will or his tragic flaw that causes his downfall?
Fate is a theme that often occurs in Greek writing, tragedies in particular. The idea that attempting to avoid an oracle is the very thing which brings it about is a common motif in many Greek myths, and similarities to Oedipus can for example be seen in the myth of the birth of Perseus.
Two oracles in particular dominate the plot of Oedipus the King. In lines 711 to 714, Jocasta relates the prophecy that was told to Laius before the birth of Oedipus. Namely:
(The oracle) told him
that it was his fate that he should die a victim
at the hands of his own son, a son to be born
of Laius and me.
The oracle told to Laius tells only of the patricide; the incest is missing. Prompted by Jocasta's recollection, Oedipus reveals the prophecy which caused him to leave Corinth (791-93):
that I was fated to lie with my mother,
and show to daylight an accursed breed
which men would not endure, and I was doomed
to be murderer of the father tat begot me.
The implication of Laius's oracle isambiguous. A prominent school of thought argues that the presentation of Laius's oracle in this play differs from that found in (e.g.) Aeschylus's Oedipus trilogy produced in 467 BC. Helaine Smith argues:
Sophocles had the option of making the oracle to Laius conditional (if Laius has a son,
that son will kill him) or unconditional (Laius will have a son who will kill him). Both
Aeschylus and Euripides write plays in which the oracle is conditional; Sophocles...
chooses to make Laius's oracle unconditional and thus removes culpability for his sins
from Oedipus, for he could not have done other than what he did, no matter what action he took.
This interpretation hasa long pedigree and several adherents.[14] It finds support in Jocasta's repetition of the oracle at lines 854–55: "Loxias declared that the king should be killed by/ his own son." In the Greek, Jocasta uses the verb chrênai: "to be fated, necessary." This iteration of the oracle seems to suggest that it was unconditional and inevitable. Other scholars have nonetheless argued that Sophocles follows tradition in making Laius's oracle conditional, and thus avoidable. They point to Jocasta's initial disclosure of the oracle at lines 711–14. In the Greek, the oracle cautions: hôs auton hexoi moira pros paidos thanein/ hostis genoit emou te kakeinou para. The two verbs in boldface indicate what is called a "future more vivid" condition: if a child is born to Laius, his fate to be killed by that child will overtake him.[15]
Whatever the meaning of Laius's oracle, the one delivered to Oedipus is clearly unconditional. Given our modern conception of fate and fatalism, readers of the play have a tendency to view Oedipus as a mere puppet controlled by greater forces, a man crushed by the gods and fate for no good reason. This, however, is not an entirely accurate reading. While it is a mythological truism that oracles exist to be fulfilled, oracles do not cause the events that lead up to the outcome. In his landmark essay "On Misunderstanding the Oedipus Rex",[16] E.R. Dodds draws a comparison with Jesus's prophecy at the Last Supper that Peter would deny him three times. Jesus knows that Peter will do this, but readers would in no way suggest that Peter was a puppet of fate being forced to deny Christ. Fee will and predestination are by no means mutually exclusive, and such is the case with Oedipus.
The oracle delivered to Oedipus what is often called a "self-fulfilling prophecy", in that the prophecy itself sets in motion events that conclude with its own fulfilment.[17] This, however, is not to say that Oedipus is a victim of fate and has no free will. The oracle inspires a series of specific choices, freely made by Oedipus, which lead him to kill his father and marry his mother. Oedipus chooses not to return to Corinth after hearing the oracle, just as he chooses to head toward Thebes, to kill Laius, to marry and to take Jocasta specifically as his bride; in response to the plague at Thebes, he chooses to send Creon to the Oracle for advice and then to follow that advice, initiating the investigation into Laius's murder. None of these choices is predetermined.
Another characteristic of oracles in myth is that they are almost always misunderstood by those who hear them; hence Oedipus's misunderstanding the significance of the Delphic Oracle. He visits Delphi to find out who his real parents are and assumes that the Oracle refuses to answer that question, offering instead an unrelated prophecy which forecasts patricide and incest. Oedipus's assumption is incorrect, the Oracle does, in a way, answer his question:
"On closer analysis the oracle contains essential information which Oedipus seems to neglect." The wording of the Oracle: I was doomed to be murderer of the father that begot me refers to Oedipus' real, biological father. Likewise the mother with polluted children is defined as the biological one. The wording of the drunken guest on the other hand: you are not your father's son defines Polybus as only a foster father to Oedipus. The two wordings support each other and point to the "two set of parents" alternative. Thus the question of two set of parents, biological and foster, is raised. Oedipus’s reaction to the Oracle is irrational: he states he did not get any answer and he flees in a direction away from Corinth, showing that he firmly believed at the time that Polybus and Merope are his real parents.
"The scene with the drunken guest constitutes the end of Oedipus' childhood. … he can no longer ignore a feeling of uncertainty about his parentage. However, after consulting the Oracle this uncertainty disappears, strangely enough, and is replaced by a totally unjustified certainty that he is the son of Merope and Polybus. We have said that this irrational behaviour - his hamartia in Aristotle's sense - is due to the repression of a whole series of thoughts in his consciousness, in fact everything that referred to his earlier doubts about his parentage.[18]

Mythological objects (also known as mythical objects, mythic objects, or even god weapons in some cases) encompass a variety of items (e.g. weapons, armor, clothing) appearing in world mythologies. This list will be organized according to category of object.
reek magic items
Armor of Karna, known as Kavacha, and was impenetrable even to heavenly weapons. (Hindu mythology)
Armor of Achilles, created by Hephaestus and said to be impenetrable. (Greek mythology)
Armor of Beowulf, made by Wayland the Smith.
Green Armor protected the wearer from physical injuries. (Arthurian legend)
Helmet of Rostam, upon which was fixed the head of the white giant Div-e-Sepid, from the Persian epic Shahnameh.
Helm of Darkness (also Cap of Invisibility), created by the Cyclopes for Hades. It made the wearer invisible. Also used by Perseus. (Greek mythology)
Tarnhelm, a helmet giving the wearer the ability to change form or become invisible. Used by Alberich in Der Ring des Nibelungen.
Goswhit, the helmet of King Arthur, passed down to him from Uther Pendragon. (Arthurian legend)
Crown of Immortality, represented in art first as a laurel wreath and later as a symbolic circle of stars. The Crown appears in a number of Baroque iconographic and allegoric works of art to indicate the wearer's immortality.

Aegis, Zeus' shield, often loaned to his daughter Athena, also used by Perseus. (Greek mythology)
Ancile, the shield of the Roman god Mars.
Priwen, the shield of King Arthur. (Arthurian legend)
Shield of Achilles. (Greek mythology)
Shield of Ajax. (Greek mythology)
Shield of Joseph of Arimathea, according to Arthurian legend it was carried by three maidens to Arthur's castle where it was discovered by Sir Percival. In Perlesvaus he uses it to defeat the Knight of the Burning Dragon. (Arthurian legend)
Shield of Judas Maccabee, a red shield emblazoned with a golden eagle. According to Arthurian legend the same shield was later found and used by Gawain after he defeated an evil knight.
Shield of El Cid, according to the epic poem Carmen Campidoctoris, bears the image of a fierce shining golden dragon.[1]
Shield of Evalach, a white shield belonging to king Evalach. Josephus of Arimathea painted a red cross upon it with his own blood, which granted the owner heavenly protection. It was later won by Sir Galahad.
Svalinn, a shield which stands before the sun and protects earth from burning. (Norse mythology)
Shield of Vishnu, Srivatsa, A symbol worshiped and revered by the Hindus, said to be manifested in the god's chest. (Hindu mythology)

Carnwennan, the dagger of King Arthur. (Arthurian legend)
Cronus' scythe, Cronus castrated his father Uranus using an Adamant sickle given to him by his mother Gaea. (Greek mythology)
Death's scythe, a large scythe appearing in the hands of the Grim Reaper. This stems mainly from the Christian Biblical belief of death as a "harvester of souls".
Pashupatastra, an irresistible and most destructive personal weapon of Shiva and Kali, discharged by the mind, the eyes, words, or a bow. (Hindu mythology)
Varunastra, a water weapon (a storm) according to the Indian scriptures, incepted by Varuna. In stories it is said to assume any weapon's shape, just like water. (Hindu mythology)
Astra, a supernatural weapon, presided over by a specific deity. To summon or use an astra required knowledge of a specific incantation/invocation, when armed. (Hindu mythology)
Sling-stone (also cloich tabaill), was used by Lugh to slay his grandfather, Balor the Strong-Smiter in the Cath Maige Tuired according to the brief accounts in the Lebor Gabála Érenn. (Irish mythology)

Asi, a legendary sword mentioned in the epic Mahabharata.
Pattayudha, Divine Sword of Lord Veerabhadra Commander of Lord Shiva's Armies. (Hindu mythology)
Crocea Mors, the sword of Julius Caesar and later Nennius according to the legends presented by Geoffrey of Monmouth.
Gan Jiang and Mo Ye, the legendary Chinese twin swords named after their creators.
Harpe, the sword used by Perseus to decapitate Medusa. (Greek mythology)
Thuận Thiên, also known as Heaven's Will, was the sword of Vietnamese King Le Loi.
Keris Mpu Gandring, the cursed Empu Gandring for Ken Arok. Not yet finished but had been used and killed the beloved ones of the user.
Kladenets, a magic sword in Russian and Slavic mythology. Probably inspired by the sword of the god Swentowit.
Kusanagi-no-tsurugi (Japanese: 草薙の剣) (also known as Ama-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi (天叢雲剣?) or Tsumugari no Tachi Japanese: 都牟刈の太刀), sword of the Japanese god Susanoo, later given to his sister Amaterasu. It is one of three Imperial Regalia of Japan. (Japanese mythology)
Sword of Attila, the legendary sword that was wielded by Attila the Hun; claimed to have originally been the sword of Mars, the Roman god of war.[2]
Sword of Peleus, a magic sword that makes its wielder victorious in the battle or the hunt. (Greek mythology)
Taming Sari, the Kris belonging to the Malay warrior Hang Tuah of the Malacca Sultanate.
Shamshir-e Zomorrodnegar (Persian: شمشیر زمردنگار), "The emerald-studded Sword" in the Persian mythical story Amir Arsalan. The hideous horned demon called Fulad-zereh was invulnerable to all weapons except the blows of Shamshir-e Zomorrodnegar. This blade originally belonged to King Solomon.
Totsuka-no-Tsurugi, the sword Susanoo used to slay the Yamata no Orochi.
Jokulsnaut, a sword belonging to Grettir which was later given to his brother Atli. (Sagas of Icelanders)
Flaming Sword is a sword glowing with flame by some supernatural power.
The Glory of Ten Powers is a legendary Chinese sword, allegedly forged in Tibet by husband-and-wife magicians of the ancient Bön tradition.
Egeking is a sword in the medieval poem Greysteil. Sir Graham obtains the sword 'Egeking' from Eger's aunt, Sir Egram's Lady.
Kris Mpu Gandring is a cursed kris of Ken Arok, the unfinished or incomplete kris would kill seven men, including Ken Arok.
Kris Taming Sari (Flower Shield), one of the most well-known kris in Malay literature, said to be so skilfully crafted that anyone wielding it was unbeatable.
Kris Setan Kober belong to Arya Penangsang, the mighty viceroy (adipati) of Jipang who was killed by his own kris called Setan Kober ("devil of the grave"). Forged by Empu Bayu Aji in the kingdom of Pajajaran, and had 13 luk on its blade.
Cura Si Manjakini, a sword mentioned in the legends of the Malay Annals as originally possessed by Sang Sapurba, the legendary ancestor of Malay kings.
Orna, the sword of the Fomorian king Tethra, which recounts the deeds done with it when unsheathed. It was taken by Ogma and it then recounted everything it had done. (Irish mythology)

menonuhoko (Heavenly Jewelled Spear), the naginata used by the Shinto deities Izanagi and Izanami to create the world - also called tonbogiri. (Japanese mythology)
Ascalon, the spear that St. George used to kill the dragon.
Gáe Buide (Yellow Shaft) and the Gáe Derg (Red Javelin), spears of Diarmuid Ua Duibhne, could inflict wound that none can recover from.
Gáe Bulg, the spear of Cú Chulainn.
Gungnir, Odin's magic spear created by the dwarf Dvalinn.
Lance of Olyndicus, the celtiberians' war chief who fought against Rome. According to Florus, he wielded a silver lance that was sent to him by the gods from the sky.[7]
Lug's Spear, an insuperable spear.
Lúin of Celtchar (Spear of Fire or Spear of Destiny), a spear forged by the Smith of Falias for Lugh to use in his fight against Balor.
Nihongo, is one of three legendary Japanese spears created by the famed swordsmith Masazane Fujiwara. A famous spear that was once used in the Imperial Palace. Nihongo later found its way into the possession of Masanori Fukushima, and then Tahei Mori.
Otegine, is one of three legendary Japanese spears created by the famed swordsmith Masazane Fujiwara.
Rhongomiant, the spear of King Arthur. (Arthurian legend)
Sha Wujing's Yuèyáchǎn, a double-headed staff with a crescent-moon (yuèyá) blade at one end and a spade (chǎn) at the other, with six xīzhàng rings in the shovel part to denote its religious association.
Spear of Achilles, created by Hephaestus and given to Peleus at his wedding with Thetis.
Tonbogiri, is one of three legendary Japanese spears created by the famed swordsmith Masazane Fujiwara, said to be wielded by the legendary daimyō Honda Tadakatsu. The spear derives its name from the myth that a dragonfly landed on its blade and was instantly cut in two. Thus Tonbo (Japanese for "dragonfly") and giri (Japanese for "cutting"), translating this spear's name as "Dragonfly Cutter/Cutting spear".
Bident, a two-pronged implement resembling a pitchfork. In classical mythology, the bident is associated with Pluto/Hades, the ruler of the underworld. (Greek mythology)
Kongō, A trident-shaped staff which emits a bright light in the darkness, and grants wisdom and insight. The staff belonged originally to the Japanese mountain god Kōya-no-Myōjin. It is the equivalent of the Sanskrit Vajra, the indestructible lightning-diamond pounder of the king of the gods/rain-god Indra. There the staff represents the three flames of the sacrificial fire, part of the image of the vajra wheel.
Poseidon's trident, used to create horses and some water sources in Greece. It could cause earthquakes when struck on the ground. (Greek mythology)
Trishula, the trident of Shiva, stylized by some as used as a missile weapon and often included a crossed stabilizer to facilitate flight when thrown. Considered to be the most powerful weapon. (Hindu mythology)
Holy Lance, also called the Spear of Longinus, is the name given to the lance that pierced the side of Jesus as he hung on the cross, according to the Gospel of John.
Vel, a divine javelin associated with Hindu war god Karthikeya. (Hindu mythology)
Gae Assail (Spear of Assal), the spear of Lugh, the incantation "Ibar (Yew)" made the cast always hit its mark, and "Athibar (Re-Yew)" caused the spear to return. (Irish mythology)
Areadbhair, belonged to Pisear, king of Persia. Its tip had to be kept immersed in a pot of water to keep it from igniting, a property similar to the Lúin of Celtchar. (Irish mythology)
Crann Buidhe, the spear of Manannán. (Irish mythology

Pinaka, the great bow of Shiva, arrows fired from the bow could not be intercepted. (Hindu mythology)
Vijaya (also Vijaya Dhanush), the bow of Karna, one of the greatest hero of the Hindu epic, Mahabharata. (Hindu Mythology)
Apollo's bow, which could cause health or cause famine and death in sleep. (Greek/Roman mythology)
Artemis' bow, crafted by moonlight and silver wood or made of gold. (Greek/Roman mythology)
Brahmastra, a bow created by Brahma. (Hindu mythology)
Cupid's bow, which, along with dove- and owl-fletched arrows, could cause one to love or hate (respectively) the person he/she first saw after being struck. (Roman mythology)
Fail-not, the bow of Tristan. (Arthurian legend)
Gandiva, created by Brahma and given by Varuna to Arjuna on Agni's request and used by Arjuna during the Kurukshetra war.
Heracles's bow, which also belonged to Philoctetes, its arrows had the Lernaean Hydra poison. (Greek mythology)
Kodandam, Rama's bow. (Hindu mythology)
Eurytus' bow, Eurytus became so proud of his archery skills that he challenged Apollo. The god killed Eurytus for his presumption, and Eurytus' bow was passed to Iphitus, who later gave the bow to his friend Odysseus. It was this bow that Odysseus used to kill the suitors who had wanted to take his wife, Penelope. (Greek mythology)
Shiva Dhanush (Shiva's bow), a bow given by Shiva to Janaka and broken by Rama during Sita's swayamvara. (Hindu mythology)
Sharanga, the bow of the Hindu God Vishnu. (Hindu mythology)
Ichaival, a bow possessed by Odin. Another source said it was came from Ydalir, the home of the god Ullr. It possessed the power of each pull of just one arrow, it will release ten arrows. (Norse mythology)
Kaundinya's bow, a magic bow wielded by the Brahman Kaundinya, who used it to make the Naga princess Mera fall in love with him.[8]

Rods and Staves
Caduceus, the staff carried by Hermes or Mercury. It is a short staff entwined by two serpents, sometimes surmounted by wings, and symbolic of commerce. (Greek mythology)
Gambanteinn, appears in two poems in the Poetic Edda. (Norse mythology)
Gríðarvölr, an magical staff given to Thor so he could kill the giant Geirröd. (Norse mythology)
Rod of Asclepius, a serpent-entwined rod wielded by the Greek god Asclepius, a deity associated with healing and medicine. (Greek mythology)
Ruyi Jingu Bang, the staff of Sun Wukong; the staff of the Monkey King could alter its size from a tiny needle to a mighty pillar.
Thyrsus, a staff tipped with a pine cone and entwined with ivy leaves. These staffs were carried by Dionysus and his followers. (Greek mythology)

Axes and Hammers
Axe of Perun, the axe wielded by the Slavic god of thunder and lightning, Perun. (Slavic mythology)
Mjölnir, the magic hammer of Thor. It was invulnerable and when thrown it would return to the user's hand. (Norse mythology)
Ukonvasara, the symbol and magical weapon of the Finnish thunder god Ukko, and was similar to Thor's Mjölnir. (Finnish mythology)
Uchide no kozuchi, a legendary Japanese "magic hammer" which can "tap out" anything wished for. In popular belief, magic wooden hammer is a standard item held in the hand of the iconic deity Daikoku-ten. (Japanese folklore)
Parashu, the battle-axe of Shiva who gave it to Parashurama. (Hindu mythology)

Sharur, the enchanted mace of the Sumerian god Ninurta. It can fly unaided and also may communicate with its wielder. (Ancient Mesopotamian religion)
Yagrush and Ayamur, two clubs created by Kothar and used by Baal to defeat Yam. (Phoenician mythology)
Indravarman III's metalwood bat is a legendary bat, wielded by a Cambodian emperor.[9]
Kaladanda, the staff of Death[10] is a special and lethal club used by God Yama or God of Naraka or Hell in Hindu mythology. It is very ferocious weapon. It was once granted by Brahma or God of creation. It was ultimate weapon, once fired would kill anybody before it. No matter what boons he had to protect himself.
Club of Dagda, this magic club was supposed to be able to kill nine men with one blow; but with the handle he could return the slain to life. (Irish Mythology)
Gada, the main weapon of the Hindu god Hanuman, an avatara of Shiva. (Hindu Mythology)

Projectile Weapons
Brahmastra, described in a number of the Puranas, it was considered the deadliest weapon. It was said that when the Brahmastra was discharged, there was neither a counterattack nor a defense that could stop it. (Hindu mythology)
Narayanastra, the personal missile of Vishnu in his Narayana or Naraina form. (Hindu mythology)
Sudarshana Chakra, a legendary spinning disc like weapon used by the Hindu God Vishnu. (Hindu mythology)
Thunderbolt of Zeus, given to him by the Cyclops in Greek mythology, or by Vulcan in Roman mythology.
Vajra, the lightning bolts of Indra. (Hindu mythology)
Xiuhcoatl, a lightning-like weapon borne by Huitzilopochtli. (Aztec religion)
Holly Dart, Baldr is killed by a holly dart gotten from his mischievous brother Loki. (Norse mythology)
Arrow of Brahma, the demi-god Rama faced the demon king of Sri-Lanka, Ravana. Rama fired the arrow of Brahma that had been imparted to him by Agastya. The arrow of Brahma burst Ravana's navel, and returned to Rama's quiver. (Hindu mythology)
Tathlum, the missile fired by Lugh from the Sling-stone. (Irish mythology)
Sagitta, regarded as the weapon that Hercules used to kill the eagle Aquila that perpetually gnawed Prometheus' liver. (Greek mythology)

Aphrodite's Magic Girdle, a magic material that made whoever the wearer desired fall in love with them. (Greek mythology)
Babr-e Bayan, the mythical coat worn by the Persian legendary hero Rostam in combat.
Falcon Cloak, owned by Freyja, it allows the wielder to turn into a falcon and fly.
Girdle of Hippolyta, sometimes called a magical girdle and sometimes a magical belt. It was a symbol of Hippolyta's power over the Amazons; given to her by Ares. Heracles' 9th Labor was to retrieve it. (Greek mythology)
Hide of Leviathan was supposedly able to be turned into everlasting clothing or impenetrable suits of armor.
Hide of the Nemean lion, the golden fur Heracles earned by overcoming the Nemean lion, was supposedly able to endure every weapon and was unbreakable. (Greek mythology)
Mantle of Arthur (also Llen Arthyr yng Nghernyw), whoever was under it could not be seen, and he could see everyone. One of the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain.
Pais Badarn Beisrydd, The Coat of Padarn Red-Coat: if a well-born man put it on, it would be the right size for him; if a churl, it would not go upon him. One of the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain.
Shoes of Víðarr, these shoes gave the god Vidar unparalleled foot protection. (Norse mythology)
Talaria, Hermes's winged sandals which allowed him to fly. (Greek mythology)
Tarnkappe, Sigurd's magical cloak that made the wearer invisible. (Norse mythology)
Ǒusībùyúnlǚ (Cloud-stepping Boots or Cloud-stepping Shoes), made of lotus fiber, these are one of the treasures of the Dragon Kings; Ào Ming gives them to Sun Wukong in order to get rid of him when he acquires the Ruyi Jingu Bang. (Chinese mythology)
Seven-league boots from European folklore were said to allow the wearer to make strides of seven leagues in length.
Shirt of Nessus is the poisoned shirt that killed Heracles. (Greek mythology)
Fast-walker Boots (сапоги-скороходы), allows the person wearing them to walk and run at an amazing pace. (Russian folklore)
Helskór (Hel-shoes), were put on the dead so that they could go to Valhöll. (Norse mythology)
Tyet is an ancient Egyptian symbol of the goddess Isis. It seems to be called "the Knot of Isis" because it resembles a knot used to secure the garments that the Egyptian gods wore (also tet, buckle of Isis, girdle of Isis, and the blood of Isis). (Egyptian mythology)
Megingjörð (Power-belt), a magic belt worn by the god Thor. (Norse mythology)
Járngreipr (Iron Grippers), a pair of iron gauntlets of the god Thor. (Norse mythology)
Swan Cloak, a magic robe made of swan feathers belonging to a swan maiden.

Brísingamen, the necklace of the goddess Freyja. (Norse mythology)
Necklace of Harmonia, allowed any woman wearing it to remain eternally young and beautiful, but also brought great misfortune to all of its wearers or owners. It was made by Hephaestus and given to Harmonia, the daughter of Aphrodite and Ares, as a curse on the House of Thebes for Aphrodite's infidelity. (Greek mythology)
Necklace of the Lady of the Lake, a jeweled necklace given to Sir Pelleas after assisting an old woman across a river. It was enchanted so that its wearer would be unfathomably loved. Its true name is unknown.
Yasakani no Magatama, a bejeweled necklace of magatamas offered to Amaterasu. One of three Sacred Imperial Relics of Japan. It represents benevolence. (Japanese mythology)

Andvaranaut, a magical ring capable of producing gold, first owned by Andvari. (Norse mythology)
Draupnir, a golden arm ring possessed by Odin. The ring was a source of endless wealth. (Norse mythology)
Ring of Dispel, a ring given to Sir Lancelot by the Lady of the Lake which could dispel any enchantment. In Le Chevalier de la Charrette it is given to him by a fairy instead. He used the ring to cross the Sword Bridge.
Ring of Mudarra, the ring that Gonzalo Bustos breaks in two pieces to later on recognize his future son. When Mudarra joins the two halves, it becomes again a complete ring and Gonzalo Bustos heals his blindness, as shown in the epic poem Cantar de los siete infantes de Lara.[11]
Ring of Gyges, a mythical magical artifact that granted its owner the power to become invisible at will. (Greek mythology)
Seal of Solomon, a magical brass or steel ring that could imprison demons. (Judeo–Christian mythology)
Svíagris, Adils' prized ring in the Hrólfr Kraki's saga. (Norse mythology)

Dandu Monara, king Ravana's flying machine in Ramayana.
Flying carpet, the magic carpet from Tangu in Persia.
Flying mortar and pestle of Baba Yaga, she flies around in a mortar and wields a pestle. (Slavic Mythology)
Flying Throne of Kai Kavus was an eagle-propelled craft built by the Persian king Kay Kāvus, used for flying the king all the way to China.
Vimana is a mythological flying machine from the Sanskrit epics, of Hindu origin.
Roth Rámach (lit. Rowing Wheel) is the magical flying machine of Mug Ruith, a mythological Irish Druid who along with his feathered headdress (the encennach), hovers across the skies [2]. (Irish Mythology)

Argo, the ship of the Argonauts. Its bow could talk and it had the power of prophecy. (Greek mythology)
Caleuche, a mythical ghost ship of the Chilote mythology and local folklore of the Chiloé Island, in Chile. (Chilote mythology)
Canoe of Gluskab, able to expand so it could hold an army or shrink to fit in the palm of your hand. (Abenaki mythology)
Canoe of Māui, it became the South Island of New Zealand. (Māori mythology)
Ellida, a magic dragon ship given to Víking as a gift by Aegir. (Norse mythology)
Hringhorni, is the name of the ship of the god Baldr, described as the "greatest of all ships". (Norse mythology)
Naglfar, a ship made out of fingernails and toenails of the dead. It will set sail during Ragnarök. (Norse mythology)
Sessrúmnir, is both the goddess Freyja's hall located in Fólkvangr, a field where Freyja receives half of those who die in battle, and also the name of a ship. (Norse mythology)
Skíðblaðnir, a boat owned by Freyr. (Norse mythology)
Guingelot, Thomas Speght, an editor or Chaucer's works from the end of 16th century, made a passing remark that "Concerning Wade and his bote called Guingelot, and also his strange exploits in the same.
The Preserver of Life was the ship built in the Epic of Gilgamesh by Utnapishtim and the craftspeople of his village at the request of Enki Ea to hold his wife and relatives, as well as the village craftspeople, the animals to be saved, and various grains and seeds.
Mandjet (Boat of Millions of Years), one of two solar boats. A boat that carries the resurrected king with the sun god Ra across the heavens. (Egyptian mythology)
Mesektet, the evening boat is one of two solar boats. (Egyptian mythology)
Wave Sweeper, a magic boat belonging to Lugh. (Irish mythology)
Flying Dutchman, a legendary ghost ship that can never make port and is doomed to sail the oceans forever.
Mannigfual, the ship of the giants. (Norse mythology)

Poseidon's chariot, was pulled by a hippocampus or by horses that could ride on the sea. (Greek mythology)
Helios' chariot, the golden chariot driven across the sky by the Greek sun god Helios and sometimes Apollo. (Greek mythology)
Thor's chariot, driven across the sky by Thor and pulled by his two goats Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr. (Norse mythology)
Vitthakalai, a gold-decorated chariot of Kali. (Ayyavazhi mythology)
Freyja's chariot, a chariot pulled by cats. (Norse mythology)
Selene's chariot, driven across the night sky by the moon goddess Selene and sometimes Artemis. (Greek mythology)
Sól's chariot, drawn by Árvakr and Alsviðr across the sky each day. (Norse mythology)
Sol Invictus' chariot, depicted riding a quadriga on the reverse of a Roman coin. (Roman mythology)
Surya's chariot, a chariot drawn by seven horses. (Hindu mythology)

Four Treasures of the Tuatha Dé Danann (also Hallows of Ireland), consisting of the Claíomh Solais, Lug's Spear, Cauldron of the Dagda, and the Lia Fáil.
Three Sacred Treasures of Japan, consisting of the Kusanagi (see above), the jewel necklace Yasakani no magatama, and the mirror Yata no Kagami.
Karun Treasure, said to belong to King Croesus of Lydia. (Persian mythology)
Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain. (Matter of Britain)

Pandora's box, the sealed box that contained all the evils of mankind. (Greek mythology)
Relics of Jesus.
Yata no Kagami, a mirror offered to the goddess of the sun, Amaterasu in Japanese mythology. One of three Sacred Imperial Relics of Japan. It represents Wisdom.
Holy Grail, a dish, plate, stone, or cup that is part of an important theme of Arthurian literature. (Arthurian legend)
Agimat, is a Filipino word for "amulet" or "charm".
Kaustubha is a divine jewel or "Mani", which is in the possession of Lord Vishnu. (Hindu mythology)

Book of Thoth is a legendary book containing powerful spells and knowledge supposed to have been written by the god Thoth, said to have been buried with the Prince Neferkaptah in Necropolis. (Egyptian mythology)
Jade Books in Heaven are described in several Daoist cosmographies.
Sibylline Books are described to have helped Rome in many situations.
Rauðskinna (The Book of Power), a legendary book about black magic, alleged to have been buried with its author, the Bishop Gottskálk grimmi Nikulásson of Holar. (Scandinavian folklore)
Tablet of Destiny is mentioned in Mesopotamian mythology as a set of clay tablets which hold the power of creation and destruction

Baetylus, a sacred stone which was supposedly endowed with life. (Greek mythology)
Cintamani (also Chintamani Stone), a wish-fulfilling jewel within both Hindu and Buddhist traditions, equivalent to the philosopher's stone in Western alchemy.
Philosopher's stone, it could turn lead into gold.
Sessho-seki, a stone that kills anyone who comes into contact with it.
Stone of Giramphiel, a stone described in Diu Crône. Sir Gawain wins from the knight Fimbeus and it offers him protection against the fiery breath of dragons and the magic of the sorcerer Laamorz.
Singasteinn (Old Norse singing stone or chanting stone), an object that appears in the account of Loki and Heimdallr's fight in the form of seals. (Norse mythology)
Llech Ronw (also Slate of Gron), a holed stone located along Afon Bryn Saeth in Blaenau Ffestiniog, Wales. The stone is described as being roughly forty inches by thirty inches with a hole of about an inch in diameter going through it.
Adder stone were believed to have magical powers such as protection against eye diseases or evil charms, preventing nightmares, curing whooping cough, the ability to see through fairy or witch disguises and traps if looked at through the middle of the stone, and of course recovery from snakebite.
Lyngurium (also Ligurium), the name of a mythical gemstone believed to be formed of the solidified urine of the lynx (the best ones coming from wild males).
Toadstone (also Bufonite), a mythical stone or gem thought to be found in, or produced by, a toad, and is supposed to be an antidote to poison.
Stone of Scone (also Stone of Destiny), an oblong block of red sandstone.
Sledovik, a most widespread type of sacred stones, venerated in Slavic (Russian, Belarussian, Ukrainian) and Uralic (Karela, Merya) pagan practices.
Lia Fáil (also Stone of Destiny) is a stone at the Inauguration Mound on the Hill of Tara in County Meath, Ireland. In legend, all of the kings of Ireland were crowned on the stone up to Muirchertach mac Ercae c. AD 500.
Thunderstone, throughout Europe, Asia, and Polynesia - flint arrowheads and axes turned up by farmer's plows are considered to have fallen from the sky. They were often thought to be thunderbolts and are called "thunderstones".
Gjöll, the name of the rock which Fenrir the wolf is bound. (Norse mythology)
Batrachite, gemstones that was supposedly found in frogs, to which ancient physicians and naturalists attributed the virtue of resisting poison.
Vaidurya, most precious of all stones, sparkling beauty beyond compare, the stone worn by the goddess Lakshmi and the goddess of wealth Rigveda. (Hindu Mythology)

Plants and Herbs
Aglaophotis, an herb. According to Dioscorides, peony is used for warding off demons, witchcraft, and fever.
Fern flower, a magic flower that blooms for a very short time on the eve of the Summer solstice. The flower brings fortune to the person who finds it. (Slavic mythology)
Hungry grass (also Féar Gortach), a patch of cursed grass. Anyone walking on it was doomed to perpetual and insatiable hunger. (Irish mythology)
Lotus tree, a plant that occurs in stories from Greek mythology and later in the Book of Job.
Moly, a magical herb Hermes gave to Odysseus to protect him from Circe's magic when he went to her home to rescue his friends.
Raskovnik, a magical herb in Slavic mythology. According to lore, the raskovnik has the magical property to unlock or uncover anything that is locked or closed.
Ausadhirdipyamanas, healing plants. Used for healing and rejuvenations in battles. These are used by Ashvins. (Hindu mythology)
Haoma, is the Avestan language name of a plant and its divinity, both of which play a role in Zoroastrian doctrine and in later Persian culture and mythology.

Ambrosia, the food or drink of the gods often depicted as conferring longevity or immortality upon whoever consumed it. (Greek mythology)
Apple of Discord, the goddess Eris inscribed "to the fairest" and tossed in the midst of the festivities at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. (Greek mythology)
Cornucopia (also Horn of Plenty), was the horn of the goat-nymph Amalthea from which poured an unceasing abundance of nectar, ambrosia and fruit. (Greek mythology)
Golden apple, an element that appears in various national and ethnic folk legends or fairy tales.
Peaches of Immortality, consumed by the immortals due to their mystic virtue of conferring longevity on all who eat them. (Chinese mythology)
Mead of poetry (also Mead of Suttungr), is a mythical beverage that whoever "drinks becomes a skald or scholar to recite any information and solve any question. (Norse mythology)
Amrita, the drink of the gods which grants them immortality. (Hindu mythology)
Soma, it is described as being prepared by extracting juice from the stalks of a certain plant. In both Vedic and Zoroastrian tradition, the name of the drink and the plant are the same, and also personified as a divinity, the three forming a religious or mythological unity. (Hindu mythology)

Adamant and similar words are used to refer to any especially hard substance, whether composed of diamond, some other gemstone, or some type of metal.
Alkahest, a hypothetical universal solvent, having the power to dissolve every other substance, including gold. It was much sought after by alchemists for what they thought would be its invaluable medicinal qualities.
Azoth, it was considered to be a universal medicine or universal solvent sought in alchemy.
Eitr, this liquid substance is the origin of all living things: the first giant Ymir was conceived from eitr. The substance is supposed to be very poisonous and is also produced by Jörmungandr and other serpents. (Norse mythology)
Elixir of life, a mythical potion that, when drunk from a certain cup at a certain time, supposedly grants the drinker eternal life and/or eternal youth.
Ichor, is the ethereal golden fluid that is the blood of the gods and/or immortals. (Greek mythology)
Manna (also Mana), is an edible substance that, according to the Bible and the Quran. God provided for the Israelites during their travels in the desert.
Orichalcum, a metal mentioned in several ancient writings, including a story of Atlantis in the Critias dialogue, recorded by Plato. According to Critias, orichalcum was considered second only to gold in value, and was found and mined in many parts of Atlantis in ancient times.
Panacea, was supposed to be a remedy that would cure all diseases and prolong life indefinitely.
Prima materia (also Materia Prima or First Matter), is the ubiquitous starting material required for the alchemical magnum opus and the creation of the philosopher's stone. It is the primitive formless base of all matter similar to chaos, the quintessence, or aether.
Yliaster, is the formless base of all matter which is the raw material for the alchemical Great Work.
Hydra's poisonous blood, Heracles would use arrows dipped in the Hydra's poisonous blood to kill other foes during his Labours, such as Stymphalian birds and the giant Geryon. (Greek mythology)

Bone of Ullr, the god Ullr had a bone upon which spells were carved. (Norse mythology)
Clue of Ariadne, the magical ball of string given to Theseus by Ariadne to help him navigate the Labyrinth. (
Greek Mythology)
Cup of Jamshid, a cup of divination in the Persian mythology. It was long possessed by rulers of ancient Persia and was said to be filled with an elixir of immortality. The whole world was said to be reflected in it.
Eldhrímnir, the cauldron in which Andhrímnir cooks Sæhrímnir. (Norse mythology)
Gleipnir, the magic chain that bound the wolf Fenrir. It was light and thin as silk but strong as creation itself and made from six wonderful ingredients. (Norse mythology)
Hand of Glory, a disembodied pickled hand of a man who was hung alive. Said to have the power to unlock any door and, if a candle was placed within made from some body part of the same person, would freeze in place anyone who it was given to.
Hlidskjalf, Odin's all-seeing throne in his palace Valaskjálf.
Horn of Gabriel, the name refers to the tradition identifying the Archangel Gabriel with the angel who blows the horn to announce Judgement Day, associating the infinite with the divine.
Lantern of Diogenes, according to popular legend, carried in broad daylight by the Cynic philosopher Diogenes of Sinope to aid in his fruitless search for an honest man.
Māui's Fishhook, used to catch the fish that would become New Zealand's North Island; the hook was also used to create the Hawaiian Islands. (Polynesian mythology)
Olivant, the horn of Roland, paladin of Charlemagne in the Song of Roland. It was won from the giant Jutmundus and is made of ivory. When blown, it is so loud that it kills birds flying in the sky and causes whole armies to rout.
Palladium, a wooden statue that fell from the sky. As long as it stayed in Troy, the city-state could not lose a war.
(Greek mythology)
Reginnaglar, (Old Norse god nails) are nails used for religious purposes.
Sampo, a magical artifact of indeterminate type constructed by Ilmarinen that brought good fortune to its holder. (Finnish mythology)
The Smoking Mirror, the mirror that the god Tezcatlipoca uses to see the whole cosmos.
Winnowing Oar, an object that appears in Books XI and XXIII of Homer's Odyssey.
(Greek mythology)
Pair Dadeni, a magical cauldron able to revive the dead. (Welsh mythology)
Nanteos Cup, a medieval wood mazer bowl, since the late 19th century it has been attributed with a supernatural ability to heal those who drink from it.
Óðrerir, refers either to one of the vessels that contain the mead of poetry (along with Boðn and Són) or to the mead itself. (Norse mythology)
Ankh, appears frequently in Egyptian tomb paintings and other art, often at the fingertips of a god or goddess. (Egyptian mythology)
Rati, the name of a drill or auger that was used by Odin during his quest to obtain the mead of poetry. (Norse mythology)
Gjallarhorn, a mystical horn blown at the onset of Ragnarök associated with the god Heimdallr and the wise being Mímir. (Norse mythology)
Benben, the mound that arose from the primordial waters, Nu, and on which the creator god Atum settled. (Egyptian mythology)
Loeðing and Drómi, the first and second fetter that was used to bound Fenrir which broke. (Norse mythology)
Svefnthorn (Sleep Thorn), it was used to put an adversary into a deep sleep from which he or she would not awaken for a long time. (Norse mythology)
Golden Fleece, sought by Jason and the Argonauts. (Greek mythology)
Excalibur's scabbard, was said to have powers of its own. Injuries from losses of blood, for example, would not kill the bearer. In some telling, wounds received by one wearing the scabbard did not bleed at all. (Arthurian legend)
Bragi's harp, a magical golden harp given to Bragi by the dwarfs when he was born. (Norse mythology)
Kantele, Kalevala, the mage Väinämöinen makes the first kantele from the jawbone of a giant pike and a few hairs from Hiisi's stallion. The music it makes draws all the forest creatures near to wonder at its beauty. (Finnish mythology)
Pot of Gold, Leprechaun store away all their coins in a hidden pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. (Irish mythology)
Triton's conch shell, a twisted conch shell on which Triton blew like a trumpet to calm or raise the waves. (Greek mythology)
Fountain of Youth, is a spring that supposedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its waters.
Magic Lamp, an oil lamp that can be rubbed in order to summon a genie who grants wishes. (Arabic mythology)
Bag of Wind, Aeolus gave Odysseus a tightly closed leather bag full of the captured winds so he could sail easily home to Ithaca on the gentle West Wind. (Greek mythology

This is a list of mythological places which appear in mythological tales, folklore, and varying religious texts.

Agartha A legendary city at the Earth's core.
Alfheim Land of elves in Norse mythology.
Annwn The "otherworld" of Welsh mythology.
Asgard The high placed city of the gods, built by Odin chief god of the Norse pantheon.
Asphodel Meadows In Greek mythology,
the section of the underworld where ordinary souls were sent to live after death.
Atlantis The legendary (and almost archetypal) lost continent that was supposed to have sunk into the Atlantic Ocean.
Avalon Legendary Island of Apples, believed by some to be the final resting place of King Arthur.
Axis Mundi The center of the world or the connection between Heaven and Earth in various religions and mythologies.
Ayotha Amirtha Gangai An important river in Ayyavazhi mythology.
Aztlan Legendary original homeland of the Mexica people in Mexica/Aztec mythology.
Baltia An island of amber somewhere in northern Europe.
Barzakh The barrier between the physical and spiritual worlds according to Islamic eschatology.
Biarmaland A mighty kingdom described in Norse sagas which lies to the north of Russia.
Brahmapura The abode of Brahma, the Hindu god of creation.
Brasil or Hy-Brasil A mythical island to the west of Ireland.
Brittia A mythical island off the coast of Australia
Camelot The city in which King Arthur reigned.
City of the Caesars A city between a mountain of gold and another of diamonds supposed to be situated in Patagonia.
Cloud cuckoo land A perfect city between the clouds in the play The Birds by Aristophanes.
Cockaigne In medieval mythology, it is a land of plenty where want does not exist.
El Dorado Rumored city of gold in South America. [1]
Elysian Fields In Greek mythology,
the final resting place of the souls of the heroic and the virtuous.
Garden of the Hesperides In Greek mythology
, the sacred garden of Hera from where the gods got their immortality.
Garden of Eden The garden of God, described in the Book of Genesis.
Gorias, Finias, Murias, and Falias In Irish Mythology the Tuatha Dé Danann get their four magical treasures from four legendary cities: Gorias in the east; Finias, in the south; Murias in the west; and Falias in the north.[2] [3]
Hawaiki The ancestral island of the Polynesians, particularly the Māori.
Heaven The realm in Abrahamic religions, in which pious people who have died continue to exist in an afterlife.
Hel Underworld in Norse mythology
Hell The underworld in Abrahamic religions, in which evil or unrepentant people are punished after death.
A land to the north in
Greek mythology.
Irkalla The underworld from which there is no return in Babylonian mythology.
Islands of the Blessed In Greek mythology,
a paradise reserved for the souls of the great heroes.
Jotunheim Land of the giants in Norse mythology. [4]
Kingdom of Reynes A country mentioned in the Middle English romance King Horn.
Kingdom of Saguenay According to the French, an Iroquoian story of a kingdom of blonde men rich in gold and fur that existed in northern Canada prior to French colonization.
Kolob An astronomical body (star or planet) said to be near the throne of God in Mormon cosmology.
Kvenland Land next to Sweden at the northern shores of Baltic sea, probably ancient Finland or some of its parts.
Kyöpelinvuori (Finnish for ghosts' mountain), in Finnish mythology, is the place which dead women haunt.
La Ciudad Blanca "The White city", a legendary city of Honduras
Lemuria A hypothetical "lost land" variously located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Lyonesse A country in Arthurian legend, which is said to border Cornwall in England.
Mag Mell or Tir na nÓg The afterworld of Irish mythology.
Meropis A gigantic island created purely as a parody of Plato's Atlantis.
Mictlan The afterworld of the Mexica.
Mount Olympus In Greek mythology
the mountain is referred to as "home of the gods", specifically the Twelve Olympians. [5]
Mu A hypothetical continent that allegedly disappeared at the dawn of human history.
Muspelheim Land of fire in Norse mythology.
Nibiru A mythological planet described by the Babylonians.
Niflheim World of cold in Norse mythology.
Niflhel Cold underworld in Norse mythology.
Norumbega A legendary settlement in northeastern North America, connected with attempts to demonstrate Viking incursions in New England.
A beautiful valley full of nymphs
in Greek mythology.

Paititi A legendary Inca lost city or utopian rich land said to lie east of the Andes.
Pandæmonium The capital of Hell in John Milton's Paradise Lost
Purgatory In some Abrahamic religions, a place where impure souls of those who die are made ready for Heaven.
Quivira and Cíbola Two of the legendary Seven Cities of Gold supposed by Spanish conquistadors to have existed in the Americas.
Scholomance A legendary school of black magic run by the Devil himself,located in Hermannstadt (now : Sibiu, Romania).Located in the mountains,south of the city Sibiu, near an unnamed lake.
Sierra de la Plata (Spanish: Silver Mountains), was a legendary treasury of silver that was believed to be located in South America.
Shambhala In Tibetan Buddhist tradition, a kingdom hidden somewhere in the Himalayas; Theosophists regard it as the home on the etheric plane of the governing deity of our planet Sanat Kumara.
Shangri-La A mystical, harmonious valley enclosed in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains.
Sodom and Gomorrah Mythical cities mentioned in the Bible which were destroyed by God because their people were not of decent character.
Suddene A country found in the Middle English romance King Horn.
Summerland The name given by Theosophists, Wiccans and some earth-based contemporary pagan religions to their conceptualization of an (mostly pastoral) afterlife.
Svartálfaheimr The land of the Dark Elves in Norse mythology.
Tartarus in Greek mythology,
a pit in the underworld for condemned souls.
Takama-ga-hara The dwelling place of the Shinto kami.
the capital city of the Amazons in
Greek mythology
Thule An island somewhere in the belt of Scandinavia, northern Great Britain, Iceland, and Greenland.
Thuvaraiyam Pathi In Ayyavazhi mythology, it was a sunken island some 150 miles off the south coast of India.
Valhalla (from Old Norse Valhöll "hall of the slain") is a majestic, enormous hall located in Asgard, ruled over by the god Odin.
Westernesse A country found in the Middle English romance King Horn.
Xibalba The underworld in Mayan mythology.
Yomi The land of the dead according to Shinto mythology, as related in the Kojiki.
Ys A city located in Brittany, France that was supposedly built below sea level, and destroyed when the Devil destroyed the dam protecting it.


Atlanta's parentage is uncertain. Her parents may have benn King Iasus and Clymene. She came into the world in the "undesirable state" of being female. As a result, her father had her carried into the woods and left to die. However, a bear found her and adopted her. As she grew older she began to spend time with hunters and was soon the best amongst them. She loved hunting and the outdoors and had no use for a man in her life. She also received an oracle that her marriage would end in disaster. She had no compunction in defending her virginity. When the centaurs Rhoecus and Hylaeus attempted to rape her, she quickly killed them with her arrows.

She wished to join the Argonauts, but Jason thought it was ill-fated to have a woman among the crew, fearing problems might occur, similar to those during the boar hunt.

Her shooting skills allowed her to draw first blood during the Calydonian Boar Hunt. Her contribution to the hunt was marred when a quarrel over giving her a trophy of the hunt resulted in the death of Meleager and his uncles.

At the funeral games honoring Pelias, Atlanta entered the wrestling contests. There, she gained more fame by scoring a victory over Peleus.

She achieved enough that her father forgave her for not being a son and allowed her to return home. Once there, he attempted to fulfill his fatherly obligations by finding her a husband. For her to simply refuse might arouse dangerous resentment. Instead she proposed a test. The successful suitor would have to beat her in a foot race. Losing suitors would be beheaded by her. As Atlanta was one of the fastest mortals this appeared to ensure her maidenhood.

For quite some time this worked. Some say that she evened the odds by wearing armor while she ran. Others say that she gave the suitors a head start of half the distance. In any case the heads stacked up.

Melanion fell in love with her. He knew that he was not fast enough to win the race. So he did what many frustrated lovers had done; he prayed to Aphrodite for help. Aphrodite had a weakness for lovers and a concern about those that rejected romance to the degree that Atlanta did. Aphrodite presented Melanion with three golden apples and a plan. In return, Melanion was to sacrifice to Aphrodite.

Melanion then ran his race with Atlanta carrying the apples with him. When Atlanta caught up to him he tossed the first apple at her feet. The sight of the magic golden apple was irresistible to Atlanta. She stopped to pick it up confident that she could make up the time. Soon enough she was once again passing Melanion. He threw the second apple, this time further to the side. Again, she lost time retrieving the apple. As she again caught up the finish line was near and chasing the third thrown apple cost her the race.

Despite her resistance, marriage seemed to suit Atlanta. Melanion's happiness and joy was so great he completely forgot his obligations to sacrifice to Aphrodite. As usual when messing up with the gods payback was severe.

Aphrodite waited until Melanion and Atlanta were passing a shrine to a god, possibly Zeus. She then hit them with overwhelming desire. Melanion took Atlanta into the shrine and lay with her. At that point, the infuriated god turned them both into lions. This was regarded by the Greeks as particularly poetic as they believed that lions could mate only with leopards.

There is one other mystery concerning Atlanta. Somehow, despite her vaunted virginity, she had a son - Parthenopaeus. The father is uncertain. Melanion and Meleager have both been suggested, but both of them were with Atlanta only briefly. Aris has also been put forward as the father. Out of embarrassment, she left the child exposed on a mountain. He was found and raised, eventually becoming a hero in his own right.

mythological islands


Bellerophon provides a lesson in the proper relationship between a mortal hero and the gods. When he was young he honored the gods and won their favor, but eventually his pride got the better of him and led to his downfall.

Bellerophon was the son of Poseidon and Eurynome, wife of Glaucus. He was raised by Glaucus who thought Bellerophon was his own son. Considering that both Poseidon and Glaucus were interested in horses, it is not surprising that Bellerophon quested after Pegasus. After many failures, he asked the seer Polyeidus for help.

Following Polyeidus' instructions, he spent the night in a temple of Athena. There, he had a dream that the goddess offered him a magical, golden bridle. He awoke and found the bridle he dreamt about in his hands. He sensibly made a sacrifice to both Athena and Poseidon. Afterwards, he went to the meadow Pegasus was grazing at, and was able to bridle and tame the horse without difficulty. Triumphant in his success, he went to King Pittheus and received permission to marry his daughter Aethra. However, before the marriage, he accidentally killed a man, possibly one of his brothers, and was banished.

He went to King Proetus to be excused for his crime. The king pardoned him, but during his stay at Proetus's house, the King's wife, Stheneboea, attempted to seduce him. As an honorable man Bellerophon rejected her advances. This infuriated Stheneboea who then falsely accused him of attempting to seduce her.

Greatly upset, Proetus wanted to be rid of Bellerophon without having to accuse him publicly. He was also concerned about harming a house guest, as this was an offence to the gods. So, he sent Bellerophon to deliver a sealed message to his wife's father, King Iobates.

Arriving on Pegasus, Bellerophon was warmly received and settled in as Iobates' house guest. Iobates unsealed and read the message thus learning of Stheneboea's accusations against Bellerophon. This left Iobates in the same predicament of acting against a guest that had troubled Proetus.

Iobates' solution was to ask Bellerophon to undertake a series of heroic, but deadly tasks. However, Bellerophon's courage and skill as an archer, combined with Pegasus' help, allowed him to prevail. In addition, his parentage, his sacrifices, and his acts of honour gave him the favour of the gods. His first task was to kill the terrible Chimaera. Succeeding, he was sent to conquer the neighbouring Solymi tribe, which was Iobates' traditional enemy. When he defeated them, the King sent him to fight the Amazons. He was again victorious. In desperation, Iobates led an ambush against Bellerophon using his entire army; the army was killed to the last man.

At this point, Iobates had the wisdom to notice that something was very wrong. He realized that the gods favoured Bellerophon and that this favor would not have been given to a dishonorable house guest. Iobates succeed in making amends by giving Bellerophon half his kingdom, including the best farmlands and his daughter Philonoe in marriage.

There are two stories concerning the fate of Stheneboea. One says that Bellerophon extracted revenge by taking her for a ride on Pegasus, then shoving her off to fall to her death. In the other version, Stheneboea hears that Bellerophon has married her sister. She knows that this means her slander would be revealed and chose to kill herself.

It appeared that Bellerophon would live happily ever after. His glorious deeds were widely sung. He was happily married. Philonoe bore him two sons, Isander and Hippolochus, and two daughters, Laodameia and Deidameia. As a king his subjects loved and honored him.

However, this was not enough for Bellerophon. In his arrogance, he decided that he could ride Pegasus to Mount Olympus and visit the gods. Zeus quickly put an end to his trip by sending the gadfly to sting Pegasus and dismount Bellerophon. He survived his fall, but was crippled. He spent the rest of his life wandering the earth. No man would help him because of his offense to the gods. He died alone with no one to record his fate.


Heracles (or Hercules) is best known as the strongest of all mortals, and even stronger than many gods. He was the deciding factor in the triumphant victory of the Olympians over the giants. He was the last mortal son of Zeus, and the only man born of a mortal woman to become a god upon his death.

Offsetting his strength was a noticeable lack of intelligence or wisdom. Once, when the temperature was very high, he pulled his bow out and threatened to shoot at the sun. This, coupled with strong emotions in one so powerful, frequently got Heracles in trouble. While his friend and cousin Theseus ruled Athens, Heracles had trouble ruling himself. His pride was easily offended. He took up grudges easily and never forgot them. His appetites for food, wine, and women were as massive as his strength. Many of Heracles' great deeds occurred while doing penance for stupid acts done in anger or carelessness.

It would be easy to view Heracles as a muscle-bound buffoon. Indeed, many of the Greek comedy playwrights used his character this way. Even among serious critics, he was often seen as a primitive, brutal, and violent man. There is much evidence to support this view; his weapon of choice was a massive club; his customary garment was a lion skin, with the head still attached; he impiously wounded some of the gods; he threatened a priestess of Apollo at Delphi when an answer to his questions was not forthcoming. He created most of his own problems.

However, Heracles as simply a strong buffoon is unfair. He may have held grudges, but he would also do anything to help a friend. Once his anger passed, he was the most critical judge of his own actions. He was too strong for anyone to force a punishment on him. That he willing did severe penance shows a fundamental sense of justice. During his punishments he showed patience, fortitude and endurance that were as heroic as his strength. Terrible things happened to him because of Hera's hatred, a hatred that he was not responsible for. That he persevered through it all was a moral victory beyond simple strength.

The view of Heracles shifted considerable over time. The early view focused on how badly he managed despite his obvious gifts. As time passed the focus shifted to his virtues. The Romans valued him highly as he best fit their idea of a hero. He eventually had a fair sized cult that worshiped him as a god.


Meleager was the son of King Oeneus of Calydon and Althaea. Seven days after his birth, the Fates appeared to foretell his future. Clotho and Lachesis predicted he would be noble and brave. Atropos warned him that he would die as soon as one of the sticks in the fireplace burned completely. Taking the hint, Althaea pulled the stick from the fire, put it out, and hid it in a safe place.

While still young, he came to be regarded as second only to Heracles in his abilities. He was the youngest of the Argonauts and according to some, he killed the Argonauts' chief enemy, King Aeetes of Colchis.

After he returned from this journey, he married Cleopatra and had a daughter, Polydora. His domestic tranquility was brought to an end when Artemis unleashed a fearsome boar in his homeland. He naturally took a leading role in killing the boar during what became known as the Calydonian Boar Hunt which lead to his death.

There are two versions of Meleager's death; both start with a quarrel with his uncles over the prized boar skin. To understand what happened, it is necessary to know that Althaea was married to Oeneus to help settle a blood feud that may have gone on for generations. While his uncles came to help with the boar, there still would have been a lot of tension among them, the Calydonians and Althaea's brothers.

In the first version the quarrel over the prize led to a new war between Curetes and Calydon. This put Meleager in a terrible position, as he had relatives in both sides. Without his leadership, Calydon was on the verge of losing. His wife appealed to him to save the city. However, while leading Calydon, he killed his uncles. As a result, his mother cursed him and possibly burned the last stick the Fates had spoken of. In any case, the Erinyes then killed him to revenge for his killing of blood relatives.

The more romantic version of his death starts with Meleager awarding the prize to Atlanta because she drew first blood. Awarding the prize to a woman angered the rest of the hunting party, but most remained silent. However, his uncles felt that their position entitled them to give orders to Meleager. A quarrel ensued between them and Meleager killed his uncles. Upon hearing of her brothers death by his hands, his mother burned the stick Fates had spoken of; as a result, Meleager died and Althaea then killed herself in remorse. Cleopatra then also committed suicide, driven by grief.


According to the myth, there once was a king named Acrisius, who had a beautiful daughter named Danae. The Oracle of Apollo told Acrisius that there would come a day when Danae's son would kill him; so he locked Danae in a bronze tower so that she would never marry or have children.

The tower had no doors, except for one very small window. Danae was very sad, until one day, a bright golden light came through the small window; a man appeared holding a thunderbolt in his hand and although Danae knew he was a god, she didn't know which one. The man said, "Yes, I am a god and I wish to make you my wife. I can turn this dark prison into a wonderful, sunny and blooming land."

Indeed, the horrible prison turned into fields as beautiful as the Elysian Fields themselves, but one day Acrisius saw light coming out of the small window. He told his men to tear down one of the walls. When he entered, he saw Danae smiling and holding a baby on her lap. This was Perseus. Acrisius was furious, so he locked Danae and baby Perseus in a large chest and cast them out to sea.

Somehow, they managed to arrive safely to the island of Seriphos, where Polydectes ruled. The king's brother, Dictys, who was a fisherman, caught the chest in his net and pulled it to shore, freeing Danae and her son. Perseus grew up to become a strong young man. Polydectes heard about Danae and asked her in marriage, but she rejected him. If it wasn't for Perseus, Polydectes would have married Danae by force; so the king decided to create a plan to get rid of the young man.

Polydectes pretended to marry the daughter of his friend. Everybody had to bring a wedding present, including Perseus. However, Perseus, being poor, had not brought anything, and Polydectes pretended to be furious. After a heated discussion, Perseus said he would bring him anything the king would ask; so Polydectes asked for the head of the Gorgon Medusa.

Perseus set forth on his adventure; he wandered for days, searching for the Gorgons lair. One night, in an unknown country he realized how hopeless things were. Medusa was a horrible creature, who had snakes growing out of her head instead of hair, and a terrifying gaze that literary petrified anyone who would look into her eyes. In his despair, a tall woman and a young man with winged sandals appeared and introduced themselves as goddess Athena and god Hermes. Hermes said that they were all siblings as Perseus was in fact the son of Zeus, so they would help him in his quest; so Hermes offered him his winged sandals and the sickle that was used by Cronus to castrate Uranus; while Athena gave him her shield, so that Perseus would not have to look straight into Medusa's eyes. They also gave him further information on how to find the lair of Medusa.

So Perseus went to the cave of the Graeae, who would lead him further in his adventure. The Graeae were three women who shared a single eye among them. So, when one of them was about to give the eye to one of the others, Perseus grabbed it and blackmailed them to aid him. So, the Graeae informed him that he should find the Nymphs of the North to get the Cap of Darkness which would make him invisible, as well as a magic bag.

After getting these two items, Perseus eventually went to the lair of Medusa and her sisters, whom he found sleeping. He wore the Cap of Darkness, and unseen managed to kill Medusa using the sickle; he then used the shield to carry the head and place it into the magic bag, for even though it was dead, the head still have the potential to turn someone into stone. Medusa's sisters woke up and attacked Perseus, but he flew away using his winged sandals.

On his way back to Seriphus, he had many adventures; in one of them, he came across the Titan Atlas, who was condemned to carry the heavens on his shoulders. To release him of his pain, Perseus turned him into stone using Medusa's head, so that he would no longer feel the weight of his burden.

Later on, he saw what looked like a statue chained to a rock, so he went to investigate. He saw that it was not a statue, but a woman, and asked her why she was chained to the rock. "My name is Andromeda", she replied, "and I have been punished because of my vain mother. She boasted that I was more beautiful than the Nereids. Poseidon was angered and said that I must be sacrificed to a sea monster," she said. Even as she spoke a monster rose from the sea. Perseus pulled Medusa's head out of the bag; the sea monster turned to stone and crumbled to pieces. Perseus cut Andromeda's chains and took her to her father, King Cepheus of Phoenicia. When Perseus asked Andromeda's hand in marriage, Cepheus gladly agreed. So, Perseus and Andromeda set off for Seriphus.

On the way they stopped at Larisa, so Perseus could compete in some games that were held at that time; however, when he threw a discus, it hit an old man who instantly died. The man was Acrisius and therefore, the prophecy became true; after mourning, Perseus and Andromeda set off again.

When they arrived at Seriphus, the first person they met was Dictys, the fisherman who had brought Danae and Perseus ashore many years ago. Dictys told them how Polydectes had never really married, but since Danae wouldn't marry Polydectes, he forced her to be his handmaiden. Perseus was furious, so he asked Dictys to take care of Andromeda, in order to avenge for his mother's mistreatment.

Perseus stormed to the palace, walked in and said, "Let all who are my friends shield their eyes!" So saying he raised Medusa's head and Polydectes and his courtiers were immediately turned to stone. Perseus and Andromeda lived happily for many years and their descendants became great kings, the greatest of them all being Heracles, the strongest man in the world.

Eventually, Perseus was killed by Dionysus. To be immortalised, Perseus and Andromeda were turned into stars and would live together in the sky.


Theseus was a Greek hero in Greek mythology. While having all the qualities of a traditional hero, such as strength and courage, he was also intelligent and wise. His early adventures benefited the city and region of Athens, helping in the consolidation of the Athenian power through shrewd political maneuvering. He also led the Athenian army on a number of victorious campaigns. He was also credited as the founder of democracy, voluntarily transferring many of his powers as king over to an elected assembly. He gained a reputation for helping the poor and oppressed.

His shedding of power also made it easier for him to continue going on adventures after his rule. "Not without Theseus" became a popular Athenian saying, reflecting the belief he should be included in any important undertaking.

While growing up, he looked up to his older cousin Heracles. Theseus and Heracles later saved each other's lives; Heracles through his strength; Theseus through his wisdom.

In middle age, his wisdom deserted him. He began going on foolish adventures, and making bad decisions. His efforts to produce an heir for the throne led to more problems. The people of Athens grew tired of the turmoil he produced. Eventually, he died in exile. The city did not bother to bring his body home.

Generations passed without much thought being given to Theseus. Then, during the Persian wars, Athenian soldiers reported seeing the ghost of Theseus and came to believe that he was responsible for their victories. The Athenian general Kimon received a command from the Oracle at Delphi to find Theseus' bones and return them to Athens. He did so, and he was reburied in a magnificent tomb that also served as a sanctuary for the defenseless.

Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans. "Roman mythology" may also refer to the modern study of these representations, and to the subject matter as represented in the literature and art of other cultures in any period.

The Romans usually treated their traditional narratives as historical, even when these have miraculous or supernatural elements. The stories are often concerned with politics and morality, and how an individual's personal integrity relates to his or her responsibility to the community or Roman state. Heroism is an important theme. When the stories illuminate Roman religious practices, they are more concerned with ritual, augury, and institutions than with theology or cosmogony.[1]

The study of Roman religion and myth is complicated by the early influence of Greek religion on the Italian peninsula during Rome's protohistory, and by the later artistic imitation of Greek literary models by Roman authors. In matters of theology, the Romans were curiously eager to identify their own gods with those of the Greeks (interpretatio graeca), and to reinterpret stories about Greek deities under the names of their Roman counterparts.[2] Rome's early myths and legends also have a dynamic relationship with Etruscan religion, less documented than that of the Greeks.

While Roman mythology may lack a body of divine narratives as extensive as that found in Greek literature,[3] Romulus and Remus suckling the she-wolf is as famous as any image from Greek mythology except for the Trojan Horse.[4] Because Latin literature was more widely known in Europe throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, the interpretations of Greek myths by the Romans often had the greater influence on narrative and pictorial representations of "classical mythology" than Greek sources. In particular, the versions of Greek myths in Ovid's Metamorphoses, written during the reign of Augustus, came to be regarded as canonical.

A vast number of ancient Roman deities are known by name. The most familiar today are those the Romans identified with Greek counterparts (see interpretatio graeca), integrating Greek myths, iconography, and sometimes religious practices into Roman culture, including Latin literature, Roman art, and religious life as it was experienced throughout the Empire. Many of the Romans' own gods remain obscure, known only by name and function, through inscriptions and texts that are often fragmentary—particularly those who belong to the archaic religion of the Romans dating back to the era of kings, the so-called "religion of Numa," perpetuated or revived over the centuries. Some archaic deities have Italic or Etruscan counterparts, as identified both by ancient sources and by modern scholars. Throughout the Empire, the deities of peoples in the provinces were given new theological interpretations in light of functions or attributes they shared with Roman deities.

An extensive alphabetical list follows a survey of theological groups as constructed by the Romans themselves.[1] For cult pertaining to deified Roman emperors (divi), see Imperial cult.

Roman lists

Archaic Triad: Jupiter, Mars, Quirinus.
Capitoline Triad: Jupiter, Juno, Minerva[2]
Plebeian or Aventine Triad: Ceres, Liber, Libera, dating to 493 BC.[3]

Groupings of twelve

Lectisternium of 217 BC

A lectisternium is a banquet for the gods, at which they appear as images seated on couches, as if present and participating. In describing the lectisternium of the Twelve Great Gods in 217 BC, the Augustan historian Livy places the deities in gender-balanced pairs:[4]
Jupiter-(Zeus) - Juno-(Hera)
Neptune-(Poseidon) - Minerva-(Athena)
Mars-(Ares) - Venus-(Aphrodite)
Apollo-(Apollo) - Diana-(Artemis)
Vulcan-(Hephaestus) - Vesta-(Hestia)
Mercury-(Hermes) - Ceres-(Demeter)

Divine male-female complements such as these, as well as the anthropomorphic influence of Greek mythology, contributed to a tendency in Latin literature to represent the gods as "married" couples or (as in the case of Venus and Mars) lovers.

Dii Consentes

Varro uses the name Dii Consentes for twelve deities whose gilded images stood in the forum. These were also placed in six male-female pairs.[5] Although individual names are not listed, they are assumed to be the deities of the lectisternium. A fragment from Ennius, within whose lifetime the lectisternium occurred, lists the same twelve deities by name, though in a different order from that of Livy: Juno, Vesta, Minerva, Ceres, Diana, Venus, Mars, Mercurius, Jove, Neptunus, Vulcanus, Apollo.[6]

The Dii Consentes are sometimes seen as the Roman equivalent of the Greek Olympians. The meaning of Consentes is subject to interpretation, but is usually taken to mean that they form a council or consensus of deities.

Di selecti[edit]

Varro[7] gives a list of twenty principal gods of Roman religion:


Sabine god

Livia, wife of Augustus, dressed as the goddess Ops
Varro, who was himself of Sabine origin, gives a list of Sabine gods who were adopted by the Romans:


Elsewhere, Varro claims Sol Indiges, who had a sacred grove at Lavinium, as Sabine but at the same time equates him with Apollo. Of those listed, he writes, "several names have their roots in both languages, as trees that grow on a property line creep into both fields. Saturn, for instance, can be said to have another origin here, and so too Diana." Varro makes various claims for Sabine origins throughout his works, some more plausible than others, and his list should not be taken at face value.But the importance of the Sabines in the early cultural formation of Rome is evidenced, for instance, by the bride abduction of the Sabine women by Romulus's men, and in the Sabine ethnicity of Numa Pompilius, second king of Rome, to whom are attributed many of Rome's religious and legal institutions.Varro, however, says that the altars to most of these gods were established at Rome by King Tatius as the result of a vow (votum).

roman myths
People have always been immoral, shiftless, self-gratifying, good-for-nothing shits. But for ages, humankind struggled to find a conceptual system to operationalize their spiritual shortcomings. The challenge was formidable: the system had to be complex and inclusive enough to implicate a vast range of disgusting behavior, yet simple and memorable enough to inspire guilt in an illiterate peasant.

According to Sacred Origins of Profound Things, by Charles Panati, Greek monastic theologian Evagrius of Pontus first drew up a list of eight offenses and wicked human passions:. They were, in order of increasing seriousness: gluttony, lust, avarice, sadness, anger, acedia, vainglory, and pride. Evagrius saw the escalating severity as representing increasing fixation with the self, with pride as the most egregious of the sins. Acedia (from the Greek "akedia," or "not to care") denoted "spiritual sloth."

In the late 6th century, Pope Gregory the Great reduced the list to seven items, folding vainglory into pride, acedia into sadness, and adding envy. His ranking of the Sins' seriousness was based on the degree from which they offended against love. It was, from most serious to least: pride, envy, anger, sadness, avarice, gluttony, and lust. Later theologians, including St. Thomas Aquinas, would contradict the notion that the seriousness of the sins could be ranked in this way. The term "covetousness" has historically been used interchangeably with "avarice" in accounts of the Deadly Sins. In the seventeenth century, the Church replaced the vague sin of "sadness" with sloth.

Throughout the Middle Ages, Church hierarchy emphasized teaching all lay people the Deadly Sins and Heavenly Virtues. Other spiritual manuals embellished on this tradition. Gerson presents a list of Contrary Virtues in his ABC des simples gens, which was derived from the Psychomatica, or Battle for the Soul, a fifth-century epic poem by Prudentius. He believed these virtues would help counteract temptation toward the Deadly Sins.

According to The Picture Book of Devils, Demons and Witchcraft, by Ernst and Johanna Lehner, each of the Sins was associated with a specific punishment in Hell. I once saw a set of 16th-century engravings by George Pencz that used animals in their depictions of the Sins. The prints also used women to symbolize all the Sins, which was probably okay in the sociopolitical climate of the 16th century but probably wouldn't be encouraged nowadays.

Sin Punishment in Hell Animal Color
Pride broken on the wheel Horse Violet
Envy put in freezing water Dog Green
Anger dismembered alive Bear Red
Sloth thrown in snake pits Goat Light Blue
Greed put in cauldrons of boiling oil Frog Yellow
Gluttony forced to eat rats, toads, and snakes Pig Orange
Lust smothered in fire and brimstone Cow Blue

Pride is excessive belief in one's own abilities, that interferes with the individual's recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as Vanity.

Envy is the desire for others' traits, status, abilities, or situation.

Gluttony is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires.

Lust is an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body.

Anger is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. It is also known as Wrath.

Greed is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. It is also called Avarice or Covetousness.

Sloth is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work.

Jupiter (Latin: Iuppiter; /ˈjʊpɪtɛr/; genitive case: Iovis; /ˈjɔːwɪs/) or Jove is the king of the gods and the god of sky and thunder in myth. Jupiter was the chief deity of Roman state religion throughout the Republican and Imperial eras, until Christianity became the dominant religion of the Empire. In Roman mythology, he negotiates with Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, to establish principles of Roman religion such as sacrifice.

Jupiter is usually thought to have originated as a sky god. His identifying implement is the thunderbolt, and his primary sacred animal is the eagle,[1] which held precedence over other birds in the taking of auspices[2] and became one of the most common symbols of the Roman army (see Aquila). The two emblems were often combined to represent the god in the form of an eagle holding in its claws a thunderbolt, frequently seen on Greek and Roman coins.[3] As the sky-god, he was a divine witness to oaths, the sacred trust on which justice and good government depend. Many of his functions were focused on the Capitoline ("Capitol Hill"), where the citadel was located. He was the chief deity of the early Capitoline Triad with Mars and Quirinus.[4] In the later Capitoline Triad, he was the central guardian of the state with Juno and Minerva. His sacred tree was the oak.

The Romans regarded Jupiter as the equivalent of the Greek Zeus,[5] and in Latin literature and Roman art, the myths and iconography of Zeus are adapted under the name Iuppiter. In the Greek-influenced tradition, Jupiter was the brother of Neptune and Pluto. Each presided over one of the three realms of the universe: sky, the waters, and the underworld. The Italic Diespiter was also a sky god who manifested himself in the daylight, usually but not always identified with Jupiter.[6] Tinia is usually regarded as his Etruscan counterpart.[7]

Juno (Latin: Iūno [ˈjuːno]) is an ancient Roman goddess, the protector and special counselor of the state. She is a daughter of Saturn and sister (but also the wife) of the chief god Jupiter and the mother of Mars and Vulcan. Juno also looked after the women of Rome.[1] Her Greek equivalent was Hera.[2] Her Etruscan counterpart was Uni. As the patron goddess of Rome and the Roman Empire, Juno was called Regina ("Queen") and, together with Jupiter and Minerva, was worshipped as a triad on the Capitol (Juno Capitolina) in Rome.

Juno's own warlike aspect among the Romans is apparent in her attire. She often appeared sitting pictured with a peacock[3] armed and wearing a goatskin cloak. The traditional depiction of this warlike aspect was assimilated from the Greek goddess Hera, whose goatskin was called the 'aegis'.

Neptune (Latin: Neptūnus) was the god of freshwater and the sea[1] in Roman religion. He is the counterpart of the Greek god Poseidon.[2] In the Greek-influenced tradition, Neptune was the brother of Jupiter and Pluto; the brothers presided over the realms of Heaven, the earthly world, and the Underworld.[3] Salacia was his consort.

Depictions of Neptune in Roman mosaics, especially those of North Africa, are influenced by Hellenistic conventions.[4] Neptune was likely associated with fresh water springs before the sea.[5] Like Poseidon, Neptune was worshipped by the Romans also as a god of horses, under the name Neptunus Equester, a patron of horse-racing.[6]

Minerva (Etruscan: Menrva) was the Roman goddess of wisdom and sponsor of arts, trade, and strategy. She was born with weapons from the head of Jupiter.[1] Jupiter had sex with his sister Metis and impregnated her. Fearing that their child would grow stronger than him and rule the Heavens in his place, Jupiter ripped the child from her womb and devoured it and Minerva was born from his forehead. From the 2nd century BC onwards, the Romans equated her with the Greek goddess Athena.[2] She was the virgin goddess of music, poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, and magic.[3] She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl usually named as the "owl of Minerva",[4] which symbolizes that she is connected to wisdom
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Mars (Latin: Mārs, Martis) was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome.[1] He was second in importance only to Jupiter and he was the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began the season for military campaigning and ended the season for farming.

Under the influence of Greek culture, Mars was identified with the Greek god Ares,[2] whose myths were reinterpreted in Roman literature and art under the name of Mars. But the character and dignity of Mars differed in fundamental ways from that of his Greek counterpart, who is often treated with contempt and revulsion in Greek literature.[3] Mars was a part of the Archaic Triad along with Jupiter and Quirinus, the latter of whom as a guardian of the Roman people had no Greek equivalent. Mars' altar in the Campus Martius, the area of Rome that took its name from him, was supposed to have been dedicated by Numa, the peace-loving semi-legendary second king of Rome. Although the center of Mars' worship was originally located outside the sacred boundary of Rome (pomerium), Augustus made the god a renewed focus of Roman religion by establishing the Temple of Mars Ultor in his new forum.[4]

Although Ares was viewed primarily as a destructive and destabilizing force, Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace, and was a father (pater) of the Roman people.[5] In the mythic genealogy and founding myths of Rome, Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus with Rhea Silvia. His love affair with Venus symbolically reconciled the two different traditions of Rome's founding; Venus was the divine mother of the hero Aeneas, celebrated as the Trojan refugee who "founded" Rome several generations before Romulus laid out the city walls.

The importance of Mars in establishing religious and cultural identity within the Roman Empire is indicated by the vast number of inscriptions identifying him with a local deity, particularly in the Western provinces

Venus (/ˈviːnəs/, Classical Latin: /ˈwɛnʊs/) is the Roman goddess whose functions encompassed love, beauty, sex, fertility, prosperity and desire. In Roman mythology, she was the mother of the Roman people through her son, Aeneas, who survived the fall of Troy and fled to Italy. Julius Caesar claimed her as his ancestor. Venus was central to many religious festivals, and was venerated in Roman religion under numerous cult titles.

The Romans adapted the myths and iconography of her Greek counterpart Aphrodite for Roman art and Latin literature. In the later classical tradition of the West, Venus becomes one of the most widely referenced deities of Greco-Roman mythology as the embodiment of love and sexuality.

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Vulcan (Latin: Volcānus or Vulcānus; pronounced [wɔl.ˈkaː.nus], [wul.ˈkaː.nus]) is the god of fire[1] including the fire of volcanoes, also god of metalworking and the forge. Vulcan is often depicted with a blacksmith's hammer.[2] The Vulcanalia was the annual festival held August 23 in his honor. His Greek counterpart is Hephaestus, the god of fire and smithery. In Etruscan religion, he is identified with Sethlans.

Vulcan belongs to the most ancient stage of Roman religion: Varro, the ancient Roman scholar and writer, citing the Annales Maximi, recalls that king Titus Tatius dedicated altars to a series of deities among which Vulcan is mentioned

Apollo (Attic, Ionic, and Homeric Greek: Ἀπόλλων, Apollōn (GEN Ἀπόλλωνος); Doric: Ἀπέλλων, Apellōn; Arcadocypriot: Ἀπείλων, Apeilōn; Aeolic: Ἄπλουν, Aploun; Latin: Apollō) is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. The ideal of the kouros (a beardless, athletic youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of light and the sun, truth and prophecy, healing, plague, music, poetry, and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu.

As the patron of Delphi (Pythian Apollo), Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing are associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague. Amongst the god's custodial charges, Apollo became associated with dominion over colonists, and as the patron defender of herds and flocks. As the leader of the Muses (Apollon Musegetes) and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron god of music and poetry. Hermes created the lyre for him, and the instrument became a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans.

In Hellenistic times, especially during the 3rd century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios, Titan god of the sun, and his sister Artemis similarly equated with Selene, Titan goddess of the moon.[1] In Latin texts, on the other hand, Joseph Fontenrose declared himself unable to find any conflation of Apollo with Sol among the Augustan poets of the 1st century, not even in the conjurations of Aeneas and Latinus in Aeneid XII (161–215).[2] Apollo and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the 3rd century CE

Vesta (Latin pronunciation: [ˈwɛsta]) is the virgin goddess of the hearth, home, and family in Roman religion. Vesta's presence is symbolized by the sacred fire that burned at her hearth and temples. Her closest Greek equivalent is Hestia.[1]

The importance of Vesta to Roman religion is indicated by the prominence of the priesthood devoted to her, the Vestal Virgins, Rome's only college of full-time priests

Mercury (/ˈmɜrkjʉri/; Latin: Mercurius About this sound listen (help·info)) is a major Roman god, being one of the Dii Consentes within the ancient Roman pantheon. He is the patron god of financial gain, commerce, eloquence (and thus poetry), messages/communication (including divination), travelers, boundaries, luck, trickery and thieves; he is also the guide of souls to the underworld.[1][2] He was considered the son of Maia and Jupiter in Roman mythology. His name is possibly related to the Latin word merx ("merchandise"; compare merchant, commerce, etc.), mercari (to trade), and merces (wages); another possible connection is the Proto-Indo-European root merĝ- for "boundary, border" (cf. Old English "mearc", Old Norse "mark", Latin "margō", and Welsh Cymro) and Greek οὖρος (by analogy of Arctūrus/Ἀρκτοῦρος), as the "keeper of boundaries," referring to his role as bridge between the upper and lower worlds.[citation needed] In his earliest forms, he appears to have been related to the Etruscan deity Turms, both of which share characteristics with the Greek god Hermes. In Virgil's Aeneid, Mercury reminds Aeneas of his mission to found the city of Rome. In Ovid's Fasti, Mercury is assigned to escort the nymph Larunda to the underworld. Mercury, however, fell in love with Larunda and made love to her on the way. Larunda thereby became mother to two children, referred to as the Lares, invisible household gods.

Mercury has influenced the name of many things in a variety of scientific fields, such as the planet Mercury, and the element mercury. The word mercurial is commonly used to refer to something or someone erratic, volatile or unstable, derived from Mercury's swift flights from place to place. He is often depicted holding the caduceus in his left hand

In ancient Roman religion, Ceres (/ˈkɪəriːz/, Latin: Cerēs) was a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships.[1] She was originally the central deity in Rome's so-called plebeian or Aventine Triad, then was paired with her daughter Proserpina in what Romans described as "the Greek rites of Ceres". Her seven-day April festival of Cerealia included the popular Ludi Ceriales (Ceres' games). She was also honoured in the May lustration of fields at the Ambarvalia festival, at harvest-time, and during Roman marriages and funeral rites.

Ceres is the only one of Rome's many agricultural deities to be listed among the Di Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter,[2] whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature

In Roman mythology, Diana (lt. "heavenly" or "divine") was the goddess of the hunt, the moon and birthing, being associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals. She was equated with the Greek goddess Artemis,[1] though she had an independent origin in Italy. Diana was worshipped in ancient Roman religion and is revered in Roman Neopaganism and Stregheria. Dianic Wicca, a largely feminist form of the practice, is named for her. Diana was known to be the virgin goddess of childbirth and women. She was one of the three maiden goddesses, Diana, Minerva and Vesta, who swore never to marry.

Oak groves were especially sacred to her. According to mythology (in common with the Greek religion and their deity Artemis), Diana was born with her twin brother Apollo on the island of Delos, daughter of Jupiter and Latona. Diana made up a triad with two other Roman deities: Egeria the water nymph, her servant and assistant midwife; and Virbius, the woodland god.

Proserpina (/proʊˈsɜrpɪnə/)[1] or Proserpine (/proʊˈsɜrpɪˌni, ˈprɒsərˌpaɪn/)[1] is an ancient Roman goddess whose cult, myths and mysteries were based on those of Greek Persephone and her mother Demeter, the Greek goddess of grain and agriculture. The Romans identified Proserpina with their native fertility goddess Libera, daughter of the grain and agriculture goddess Ceres and wife to Liber. In 204 BC, a new "greek-style" cult to Ceres and Proserpina as "Mother and Maiden" was imported from southern Italy, along with Greek priestesses to serve it, and was installed in Ceres' Temple on Rome's Aventine Hill. The new cult and its priesthood were actively promoted by Rome's religious authorities as morally desirable for respectable Roman women, and may have partly subsumed the temple's older, native cult to Ceres, Liber and Libera; but the new rites seems to have functioned alongside the old, rather than replaced them.

Just as Persephone was thought to be a daughter of Demeter, Romans made Proserpina a daughter of Demeter' Roman equivalent, Ceres. Like Persephone, Proserpina is associated with the underworld realm and its ruler; and along with her mother Ceres, with the springtime growth of crops and the cycle of life, death and rebirth or renewal. Her name is a Latinisation of "Persephone", perhaps influenced by the Latin proserpere ("to emerge, to creep forth"), with respect to the growing of grain. Her core myths - her forcible abduction by the god of the Underworld, her mother's search for her and her eventual but temporary restoration to the world above - are the subject of works in Roman and later art and literature. In particular, Proserpina's seizure by the god of the Underworld - usually described as the Rape of Proserpina, or of Persephone - has offered dramatic subject matter for Renaissance and later sculptors and painters

Pluto (Greek: Πλούτων, Ploutōn) was the ruler of the underworld in classical mythology. The earlier name for the god was Hades, which became more common as the name of the underworld itself. In ancient Greek religion and myth, Pluto represents a more positive concept of the god who presides over the afterlife. Ploutōn was frequently conflated with Ploutos (Πλοῦτος, Plutus), a god of wealth, because mineral wealth was found underground, and because as a chthonic god Pluto ruled the deep earth that contained the seeds necessary for a bountiful harvest.[1] The name Ploutōn came into widespread usage with the Eleusinian Mysteries, in which Pluto was venerated as a stern ruler but the loving husband of Persephone. The couple received souls in the afterlife, and are invoked together in religious inscriptions. Hades by contrast had few temples and religious practices associated with him, and is portrayed as the dark and violent abductor of Persephone.

Pluto and Hades differ in character, but they are not distinct figures and share their two major myths. In Greek cosmogony, the god received the rule of the underworld in a three-way division of sovereignty over the world, with his brothers Zeus ruling Heaven and Poseidon the Sea. His central narrative is the abduction of Persephone to be his wife and the queen of his realm.[2] Plouton as the name of the ruler of the underworld first appears in Greek literature of the Classical period, in the works of the Athenian playwrights and of the philosopher Plato, who is the major Greek source on its significance. Under the name Pluto, the god appears in other myths in a secondary role, mostly as the possessor of a quest-object, and especially in the descent of Orpheus or other heroes to the underworld.[3]

Pluto (genitive Plutonis) is the Latinized form of the Greek Plouton. Pluto's Roman equivalent is Dis Pater, whose name is most often taken to mean "Rich Father" and is perhaps a direct translation of Plouton. Pluto was also identified with the obscure Roman Orcus, like Hades the name of both a god of the underworld and the underworld as a place. The borrowed Greek name Pluto is sometimes used for the ruler of the dead in Latin literature, leading some mythology handbooks to assert misleadingly that Pluto was the Roman counterpart of Hades.[4] Pluto (Pluton in French and German, Plutone in Italian) becomes the most common name for the classical ruler of the underworld in subsequent Western literature and other art forms

Roman Underworld
The whole imaginary Roman underworld, which we tend to call Hell, though according to the ancients it was the receptacle of all departed persons, of the good as well as the bad, is divided into five parts: the first may be called the previous region; the second is the region of waters, or the river which they were all to pass; the third is what we may call the gloomy region, and what the ancients called Erebus; the fourth is Tartarus, or the region of torments; and the fifth the region of joy and bliss, or what we still call Elysium.

The first part of the Roman Underworld has two sorts of beings; first, with those which make the real misery of mankind upon earth, such as war, discord, labor, grief, cares, distempers, and old age; and, secondly, with fancied terrors, and all the most frightful creatures of our own imagination, such as Gorgons, Harpies and the like.

The next part of the Roman Underworld is the water which all the departed were supposed to pass, to enter into the other world; this was called Styx, or the hateful passage: the imaginary personages of this division are the souls of the departed, who are either passing over, or suing for a passage, and the master of a vessel who carries them over, one freight after another, according to his will and pleasure.

The third division of the Roman Underworld begins immediately with the bank on the other side the river, and was supposed to extend a great way in: it is subdivided again into several particular districts; the first seems to be the receptacle for infants. The next for all such as have been put to death without a cause; next is the place for those who have put a period to their own lives, a melancholy region, and situated amidst the marshes made by the overflowings of the Styx, or hateful river, or passage into the other world: after this are the fields of mourning, full of dark woods and groves, and inhabited by those who died of love: last of all spreads an open country, allotted for the souls of departed warriors; the name of this whole division is Erebus: its several districts seem to be disposed all in a line, one after the other, but after this the great line or road divides into two, of which the right hand road leads to Elysium, or the place of the blessed, and the left hand road to Tartarus, or the place of the tormented.

The fourth general division of the subterraneous Roman Underworld is this Tartarus, or the place of torments: there was a city in it, and a prince to preside over it: within this city was a vast deep pit, in which the tortures were supposed to be performed: in this horrid part Virgil places two sorts of souls; first, of such as have shown their impiety and rebellion toward the gods; and secondly, of such as have been vile and mischievous among men: those, as he himself says of the latter more particularly, who hated their brethren, used their parents ill, or cheated their dependants, who made no use of their riches, who committed incest, or disturbed the marriage union of others, those who were rebellious subjects, or knavish servants, who were despisers of justice, or betrayers of their country, and who made and unmade laws not for the good of the public, but only to get money for themselves; all these, and the despisers of the gods, Virgil places in this most horrid division of his subterraneous world, and in the vast abyss, which was the most terrible part even of that division.

The fifth division of the Roman Underworld is that of Elysium, or the place of the blessed; here Virgil places those who died for their country, those of pure lives, truly inspired poets, the inventors of arts, and all who have done good to mankind: he does not speak of any particular districts for these, but supposes that they have the liberty of going where they please in that delightful region, and conversing with whom they please; he only mentions one vale, towards the end of it, as appropriated to any particular use; this is the vale of Lethe or forgetfulness, where many of the ancient philosophers, and the Platonists in particular, supposed the souls which had passed through some periods of their trial, were immersed in the river which gave its name to it, in order to be put into new bodies, and to fill up the whole course of their probation, in an upper world.

In each of these three divisions of the Roman Underworld, on the other side of the river Styx, which perhaps were comprehended under the name of Ades, as all the five might be under that of Orcus, was a prince or judge: Minos for the regions of Erebus; Rhadamanthus for Tartarus; and Aeacus for Elysium, Pluto and Proserpine had their palace at the entrance of the road to the Elysian fields, and presided as sovereigns over the whole subterraneous world.

Roman Underworld
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roman underworld
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