Abaris was a priest of Apollo who, with the help of
that god, fled from Scythia (in the Caucasus) to Greece
to avoid a plague. Apollo gave him a golden arrow
which cured diseases and spoke oracles. The arrow
also rendered the priest invisible and made him ride
through the sky. Abaris later gave the dart to Pythagoras.
He is mentioned by Herodotus and Pindar and surnamed
1. The son of Lynceus and Hypermnestra, queen of Argos.
According to some he was the founder of Abae in Phocis.
2. The companion of Diomedes. Because of his pride,
directed towards Aphrodite, he was turned into a swan
by the goddess 3. A companion of Perseus The names
of two friends of Aeneas, a Trojan and an Etruscan
A hero from Attica. An sacred area (northwest of Athens)
dedicated to him was called the Academy. In the school
that was situated there Plato founded his school.
His students where called academics.
The spirit of the acanthus tree who was once a nymph
loved by the sun god and who, at her death, was transformed
into a sun-loving herb.
The sister of Acanthus. When she cried over the death
of her brother the gods turned her into a thistle
The son of Autonous and Hippoamia. The horses of his
father tore him to pieces.
The son of Autonous and Hippoamia. The horses of his
father tore him to pieces.
The grandson of Erechtheus, ancestor of the Achaeans.
One of the companions of Odysseus who remained on
Sicily with the Cyclopes. When Aeneas arrived on the
island he took Achaemenides with him.
A moon-goddess (she who drives away pain) to whom
sacrifice was ordered by the Dodonian Oracle.
In Greek mythology, Achelous is the deity of the river
of that name, and ruler of all rivers. He is the eldest
son of Oceanus and Tethys. He fought with Heracles
for Deianira, a Greek princess. Despite assuming many
forms, among which that of a bull, Achelous was eventually
vanquished. Heracles broke off one of his horns and
nymphs fashioned it into the Cornucopia ("horn of
plenty"). Achelous is usually depicted as a bull with
the torso of a man and a bearded face (common for
river gods, especially on coins), but also as an old,
grey man with horns.
The name of one of the five rivers (occasionally also
regarded as a lake) that flow through the realm of
Hades. The name means "river of woe", and is often
metaphorically used for Hades itself. Here the shades
are ferried across by Charon.
An epithet of Aphrodite, named after the spring with
the same name in Boeotia, where she used to bathe.
A Sicilian shepherd youth, occasionally regarded as
a son of Dionysus. He was in love with Galatea but
rival, the Cyclops Polyphemus, killed him with a boulder.
Galatea turned his blood into the river of the same
The helmsman of a Greek ship on which the god Dionysus,
disguised as a beautiful youth, was taking passage.
When the sailors tried to abduct the youth, Acoetes
recognized the god and resisted against their plan.
Dionysus revealed himself and turned the sailors into
dolphins. Acoetes was spared and made priest on Naxos.
The nymph who nursed Zeus (when Rhea gave Cronus a
stone to swallow instead of the new-born Zeus). Cronus
was supposedly able to see everything that occurred
in the realms over which he had dominion (the earth,
heavens, and the sea), but Adamanthea deceived him
by hanging the baby Zeus (in his cradle) from a tree,
so that suspended between earth, sea, and sky he was
invisible to his father. There are MANY versions of
this story and the nurse has a different name in each:
Ida, Adrasteia, Neda, Helice, Aega, Cynosura.
The daughter of Eurystheus. For her Heracles stole
the girdle of Hippolyta.
The king of Pherae in Thessaly. Apollo, banned from
Olympus, served as his shepherd for nine years. Because
he had been treated good, the god granted Admetus
a favor; upon his dying hour, another could take his
place. Admetus fell in love with Alcestis, but her
father, King Pelias, would only give permission if
Admetus would come for her in a chariot drawn by lions
and boars. With Apollo's help, he succeeded. When
Admetus' final hour had come, Alcestis choose to die
in his place. However, Heracles, who was present at
that time, intervened, and Alcestis was reunited with
Adonis is a complex figure, for the outlines of his
tale were fully as a part of the sub-Olympian Greek
mythology by Greek and Roman authors, and yet he also
retains many deep associations with his Semitic origins.
The name "Adonis" is a variation of the Semitic word
"Adonai", which means "lord", and which is also one
of the names used to refer to YHWH in the Old Testament.
At the beginning of his appearance in Greek myth,
there is some confusion as to his parentage and his
birth. Hesiod considers this Greek hero to be the
son of Phoenix and Aephesiboea, while Apollodorus
calls him the son of Cinyras and Metharme. The generally
accepted version is that Aphrodite compelled Myrrha
(or Smyrna) to commit incest with Theias, her father,
the king of Assyria. Her nurse helped her with this
trickery to become pregnant, and when Theias discovered
this he chased her with a knife. To avoid his wrath
the gods turned her into a myrrh tree. The tree later
burst open, allowing Adonis to emerge. Another version
says that after she slept with her father she hid
in a forest where Aphrodite changed her into a tree.
Theias struck the tree with an arrow, causing the
tree to open and Adonis to be born. Yet another version
says a wild boar open the tree with its tusks and
freed the child; this is considered to be a foreshadowing
of his death. Once the child was born Aphrodite was
so moved by his beauty that she sheltered him and
entrusted him to Persephone. She was also taken by
his beauty and refused to give him back. The dispute
between the two goddesses, in one version, was settled
by Zeus; in others it was settled by Calliope on Zeus'
behalf. The decision was that Adonis was to spend
one-third of every year with each goddess and the
last third wherever he chose. He always chose to spend
two-thirds of the year with
This went on till his death, where he was fatally
wounded by a wild boar, said to be caused by Artemis.
In some versions his death was caused not by Artemis,
but by Aphrodite's lover, Ares, who was jealous of
Adonis. Apollo is also said to be responsible because
his son, Erymanthus, had seen Aphrodite naked and
she blinded him for it. The story of Adonis provides
a basis for the origin of myrrh and the origin of
the rose, which grew from each drop of blood that
fell. The story of Adonis, despite its variants, is
certainly another example of the dying vegetation
god (see: Tammuz). The close association with Aphrodite
or Persephone also brings his myth into line with
the many other mated couples, where the male partener
dies and is reborn, that is spread across North Africa
and the Near East.
"She whom none can escape". Properly an epithet of
Rhea Cybele in her attribute of the Mother who punishes
human injustice, which is a transgression of the natural
right order of things. The Greeks and Romans identified
her with Nemesis.
Wife of Zethus and mother of a daughter Itylus, whom
she slew by mistake, whereupon Zeus transformed her
into the nightingale who nightly laments her murdered
child -OR- a queen of ancient Thebes who plotted to
kill a son of her rival Niobe but killed her own son
by mistake. Her grief led her to try suicide but she
was transformed into the first nightingale by the
gods, a bird that still haunts the night with its
The son of Helios, and king of Colchis. During his
reign, Phrixus brought the Golden Fleece to Colchis,
where it was later taken by the Argonauts. Aeetes
is the father of the sorceress Medea.
An Homeric epithet for Briareus. He is also represented
as a son of Poseidon, and a marine deity of the Aegean
She was sister to Circe and Pasiphae, and daughter
of the sun. When the Titans attacked the gods of Olympus,
Gaia placed Aega in a cave to hide her shining loveliness.
Japanese (Amaterasu) and Finnish (Paivatar) myths
have the same theme.
The mythical ancestor of the Dorians. He battled with
the Lapiths and asked Heracles for help, and with
Heracles' help they were victorious. Aegimius tried
to reward Heracles with a third of his land, but Heracles
graciously declined the offer. Aegimius therefor adopted
Heracles' son Hyllus as his own son to show his gratitude.
Together with the other two sons of Aegimius, namely
Pamphylus and Dymas, Hyllus lend his name to the three
Dorian tribes: Pamphylii, Dymanes, and Hylles.
Aegina is the daughter of the river god Asopus. The
girl was abducted Zeus, who carried her off to the
island of Attica (in the Sardonic Gulf), which was
later named after her. She gave birth to a son, calledAeacus,
and he became the monarch of the island.
A protective device that was originally associated
with Zeus, but also, and later solely, with Athena.
It is variously considered to be a bright-edged thundercloud
(because when Zeus used it lightning flashed and thunder
sounded) fashioned by Hephaestus, or the skin of the
divine goat Amaltheia. It is represented as a sort
of cloak, sometimes covered with scales and fringed
with serpents, and with the head of Medusa fastened
in the middle. The Aegis could also serve as a shield
and in that fashion Athena wears it upon her breastplate.
One of the Hesperides.
The son of Belus and twin brother of Danaus. He was
the father of fifty sons who, except for one, fell
all victim to the fifty daughters of Danaus. He ruled
over Egypt, which took its name from him.
Aello is one of the Greek Harpies who was employed
by the gods to make peace and carry out punishments
for crimes. Aello was described as a beautiful, winged
maiden. Later other writers described her as a winged
monster with the face of an ugly old woman, with crooked
and sharp talons and claws. She also was described
as taking people to the Underworld and torturing them.
Aello is known as the Storm Swift of the three. She
was also described as a horrid woman with the body
of a bird.
Custodian of the four winds. A minor deity, he is
the son of a king called Hippotes, and lived on one
of the rocky Lipara islands, close to Sicily. In the
caves on this island were imprisoned the winds, and
Aeolos, directed by the higher gods, let out these
winds as soft breezes, gales, or whatever the higher
gods wished. Being visited by the Greek hero Odysseus,
Aeolos received him favorably, and on the hero's departure
presented Odysseus with a bag containing all the adverse
winds, so that his friend might reach Ithaca with
a fair wind. Odysseus did as Aeolos bid, but in sight
of his homeland, having been untroubled by foul weather,
he fell asleep and his men, curious, opened the bag,
thus releasing all the fierce winds, which blew their
ship far off course Aeolus is also the name of the
legendary ancestor of the Aeolians.
The mythical ancestor of the Aeolians, one of the
three main groups of Greece. They initially settled
in Thessaly, but founded many colonies in other parts
of Greece. He is a son of Hellen.
The son of Priamus and Alexirrhoë. He fell in love
with the nymph Hesperia. She fled from his avances,
but was bitten by
The personification of the pure upper air in which
the gods reside, in contrary to the 'aer', the lower
air which mortals breathe. In the early Greek cosmologies,
Aether is the son of Erebus and Nyx, and the brother
of Hemera. He is one of the elements of the cosmos
and in the Orphic hymns he is mentioned as the soul
of the world from which all life emanates.
1. One of the horses of the sun-god Helios it is the
horse of Pallas. 2. A personification, in the world
of ancient Greece, of famine
A daughter of Uranus and Gaia. She is the personified
goddess of Mt. Etna, a volcano on Sicily. Underneath
this volcano the giant Typhon lies buried (which explains
the volcanic eruptions). When Hephaestus and Demeter
were arguing over Sicily, land of volcanoes and corn,
Aetna stepped in to act as arbitrator. She is sometimes
regarded as the mother of the Palici, the twin Sicilian
gods of geysers.
The son of Endymion. Initially he was the king of
Ellis, but later he stayed in a region that was later
named after him: Aetolia.
A nymph, the daughter of the river-deity Ternessus.
She resides in the well Aganippe near Thespiae, at
the base of the mountain Helicon in Boeotia. The horse
Pegasus supposedly created this well with his hooves.
This fountain was also dedicated to the Muses because
it imparted poetic inspiration. Hence the Muses are
sometimes called Aganippides.
The daughter of Cadmus and mother of Pentheus. Agave
killed her son when she was afflicted with Dionysic
The name of the great rock of Asia Minor (Cybele in
disguise) that Zeus raped. The offspring of this union
was Agdistis, a hermaphrodite.
The stone on which Demeter rested when wearied in
the search for her daughter Persephone.
The king of Tyros and a son of Poseidon. He is the
father of Europa and Cadmus. When Europa was abducted
by Zeus, he sent his sons in search of her.
The youngest of the three Charites (Graces). Sometimes
represented as the wife of Hephaestus. Her name means
"the brilliant, splendor, shining one".
In Greek mythology, the daughter of Cecrops, sister
of Herse and Pandrosus. When the city of Athens was
once under siege for a very long time, Aglaulus voluntarily
hurled herself from the Acropolis, because an oracle
had spoken that through such a sacrifice the city
would be saved. In her temple young Athenian men who
were called for service made the oath to guard their
fatherland. According to other sources, the goddess
Athena had entrusted the three sisters a small box
that was not to be opened under any circumstance;
the young hero Erichthonius had been laid inside the
box. When Aglaulus and Herse opened the box and looked
upon the face of the child, they were stricken with
madness, and hurled themselves from the Acropolis.
Daughter of Cecrops, the half-dragon half-man creature.
Sister of Herse who was beloved by Hermes. When Hermes
visited Herse, Aglauros, who was jealous, got in his
way and said she would not move. The god took her
at her word and turned her into stone so she could
A youth who livedon the island of Cos. Because of
the contempt he and his two sisters showed towards
the gods (except Gaia), they were all changed into
Another name for the Greek goddess Artemis, under
which title she was regarded as the patron goddess
In Greek mythology, Alastor is an avenging demon,
associated with blood feuds between families, and
the Greek term for an avenging power that visits the
sins of the fathers on their children. It is also
an evil genius of a house that leads a man to commit
crimes and sin. He was originally a mortal, the son
of Neleus, king of Pylos. He became a (minor) demon
when he and his brothers were slain by Heracles.
The daughter of King Pelias, and wife of Admetus.
She volunteered to die in his place, but was returned
from the underworld by Heracles and reunited with
her husband. She is a classical example of love and
loyalty. On a piece of art in the temple of Artemis
(rebuilt after the fire of 356 BC), made by Scopas
of Praxiteles, she is portrayed between the winged
god of death and Hermes.
The daughter of Ares and Aglaulus. She was raped by
a son of Poseidon. Ares then killed the rapist, and
was brought before the other gods to go on trial for
murder; the first murder trial. After hearing the
brutal facts of the case they quickly acquitted him.
A Greek demi-goddess, sometimes regarded as one of
the Pleiades. More often she was thought of as the
daughter of Aeolus and wife of Ceyx, son of Eosphorus
and the king of Thessaly. They were very happy together,
but then Ceyx perished in a shipwreck and Alcyone
threw herself into the sea. Out of compassion, the
gods changed them into the halcyon birds. Since Alcyone
made her nest on the beach, and waves threatened to
destroy it, Aeolus restrained his winds and made the
waves be calm during seven days in each year, so she
could lay her eggs. These became known as the "halcyon
days", when storms never occur. The halcyon became
a symbol of tranquillity. . The name means something
like "Queen who wards off (storms)".
One of the Greek Gigantes. He was rendered harmless
by Heracles on one of his journeys.
Alecto was one of the Erinyes or Furies in Greek mythology.
The Furies were three avenging deities. Their names
were Tisiphone (the avenger of murder), Megaera (the
jealous one), and Alecto (unceasing in anger). When
Cronus killed Uranus, his blood fell on Gaia and created
the Furies. The Furies had snakes for hair and blood
dripped from their eyes. they also had bats' wings
and dogs' heads. They were persecutors of men and
women who committed parricide, killed a brother, or
murdered a fellow clansman. Their effect on their
victim was madness. A famous legend about the Furies
describes their relentless pursuit of the Theban prince
Orestes for the murder of his mother, Queen Clytemnestra.
Orestes had been told by Apollo to find the killer
of his father, King Agamemnon, whom Clytemnestra had
murdered. The Furies, heedless of his motives, tormented
him until Orestes pleaded to Athena, who persuaded
the avenging goddesses accept Orestes' plea that he
had been cleansed of his guilt. When they were thus
to show mercy, they transformed themselves, from being
the Furies of frightful appearance into the Eumenides,
An early goddess who was a daughter of the sun
A Greek youth who Ares posted as a guardian by the
door when he visited Aphrodite. Alectryon fell asleep
during the night so that their lovemaking was discovered
by Helios. As punishment, the boy was turned into
a cock which since then never stops to announce the
arrival of the sun.
The two mythical giants Otus and Ephialtes are the
sons of Aloeus and Iphimedea. The Aloadae were renowned
for their strength and daring. When they were only
nine years old they were each 54 feet tall. They wished
to wage war on the Olympian gods and they tried to
pile Mt. Ossa upon Mt. Pelion upon Mt. Olympus. However,
before they could do so, the brothers were slain by
Apollo's arrows. According to some myths, they were
friendly towards humanity and expanded civilization
and were thought to be the founders of several cities.
A son of Poseidon and Canace. His wife is Iphimedia,
and with her he became the father of Otus and Ephialtes,
named Aloadae after him.
The daughter of Cercyon, son of Poseidon. She was
abducted by her grandfather and gave birth to Hippothoon.
When Cercyon discovered this, he had his daughter
buried alive, but Poseidon turned her into the spring
Alope near Eleusis.
In Greek myth, Alpheus is a river deity, son of Oceanus
and Tethys. He fell madly in love with the Nereid
Arethusa and pursued her under the sea to Sicily.
Here she pleaded to Artemis who changed her into a
fountain. The river Alpheus then worked its way underground
to mingle with the waters of Arethusa.
The divine goat who suckled Zeus on Crete, his island
of birth, when he was still an infant. In other traditions,
Amaltheia was a nymph who nourished Zeus with honey
and the milk of a goat. Out of gratitude Zeus turned
one of the goat's horns into the Cornucopia ("horn
of plenty") which was always filled with whatever
its possessor wished. In some traditions, the goat's
skin became the Aegis, the legendary shield of Athena.
Warrior women, who are described in the Iliad as "antianeirai",
meaning: those who go to war like men. They were also
described by Herodotus as "androktones", killers of
males. It is believed they resided in Pontus, Asia
Minor (modern day Turkey) but there are differing
views as to how many nations of Amazons there were.
The most famous came from Pontus, with Themiscyra
as their capital, and it is said that it was this
community who built Ephesus on the central west coast
of Asia Minor. The name Amazon is believed to descend
from the word amazoi which in Greek means "breast
less", deriving from the legend that says they removed
their young girls right breast, as to facilitate the
drawing of the bow, as the bow and arrows were their
main weapon. They also used sword, double sided axe
and carried a distinctive crescent shaped shield.
Most of their fighting was done from horseback. Some
say the breast was removed by cutting, others that
it was burnt off while the child was young, and one
legend says they removed the breast themselves. As
with most mythology there are many variations from
different ancient writers as to where they were from
and also to the places they traveled. It has been
written that they journeyed as far afield as Egypt.
With Myrine leading them they defeated the Atlantians,
occupied Gorgon and the greater part of Libya, and
also crossed Phrygia. This according to Diodorus of
Sicily. Homer wrote in his great work the Iliad that
the Amazons with Penthesilea went to Troy in aid of
King Priam during the Trojan War, and while doing
battle Penthesilea was wounded in her right breast.
It was the hero Achilles who inflicted the wound,
but then fell in love with her great beauty. The great
Heracles had to travel to the lands of the Amazons
to complete the ninth labor imposed on him by Eurystheus.
This labor became known as the "Girdle of Hippolyte"
and his task was to bring back this symbolic girdle
which had been given to the Amazons by the god of
war Ares. It has been said that the Amazons were descendants
of Ares and Otrera. Heracles took the girdle, but
unfortunately he killed queen Hippolyta. Theseus the
Athenian hero abducted Antiope the sister of Hippolyta,
and he took her back to Athens. In some versions Theseus
married her and in others he married Hippolyta. The
legend tells of the Amazons invading Attica to take
back their queen, and on reaching Athens a great battle
took place, but the Athenians were glorious. This
scene has been depicted in art by the Greeks in many
forms, but probably the most famous are the architectural
marble carvings from the Parthenon, this form of sculpture
is known as Amazonomachy. They worshiped Artemis the
virgin goddess of the hunt, and Ares the god of war.
There are many variations to the all female tribe.
As how they multiplied, some say the Amazons met with
men from nearby societies, then after choosing a suitable
partner would take them into the darkness of the forest
and there they would couple with them. When the time
came, and if they gave birth to a male, they would
kill, blind or cripple the infant. If they kept them
alive they would then use them when they grew into
young men (if they were suitable) as a supply of male
seed. They also took men prisoner in battle, after
choosing the most handsome they then used them for
their sexual pleasure, and would either kill them
or use them as slaves once their usefulness had been
The substance considered to be, with nectar, the food
and/or drink of the gods, continually reinforcing
their immortality. It is related to the Hindu amrita,
which also confers immortality upon the gods.
"Vine". A satyr from Dionysus' retinue
Amphion is the son of Zeus and the nymph Antiope,
the queen of Thebes. His twin brother is Zethus. When
they reached maturity, the two brothers exacted a
terrible revenge upon king Lycus of Thebes and his
wife Dirce, for she had been treating their mother
Antiope as a slave. They punished Dirce by tying her
to the horns of a wild bull. He later married Niobe,
and they had six sons and six daughters, called the
Niobids. The god Hermes taught Amphion music and gave
him a beautiful golden lyre. Both brothers were supposed
to have build the walls of Thebes, while Amphion played
his lyre. The magic of his music caused the stones
to move into place on their own accord.
The queen of the sea, variously given as the daughter
of Oceanus and Tethys or of Nereus and Doris. When
the sea god Poseidon wanted her as his bride, she
declined the honor and hid from him in the Atlantic
Ocean. A dolphin not only located her, but also brought
her back to him, and he married her. The dolphin was
awarded a place in heaven. Their son is the fish-man
Triton. Amphitrite was portrayed on Greek amphoras
together with her consort, riding in a chariot pulled
by sea creatures, or sitting on a sea creature, surrounded
by Tritons. She is decorated with the attributes of
a queen, her waving hair covered with a net, and sometimes
with the pincers of a lobster attached to her temples.
The Romans referred to her as Salacia.
The son of Poseidon and the nymph Melia. He was king
of the Bebryces, a mythical people in Bithynia, and
was very skilled in boxing. When the Argonauts passed
through his territory, Polydeuces managed to defeat
him in a fight.
A daughter of Danaus. She was once assaulted by a
satyr near a spring, but was saved by Poseidon. She
fell in love with him and became by him the mother
of Nauplius (who later founded Nauplia (the current
Nafplion), a port at the gulf of Argolis). Her attribute
is a water pitcher.
Plato called Ananke the mother of the Moirae or Fates
and is the personfication of (unalterable) necessity
or the force of destiny. Also mother of Adrasteia
(daughter of Jupiter and distributor of rewards and
punishments). Goddess of unalterable necessity. She
was little worshipped until the advent of the Orphic
A girl from Cyprus who was loved greatly by the shepherd
Iphis. She reacted so cooly to his passionate love
for her that he killed himself. When she was not even
moved by seeing his dead body, the goddess Aphrodite
turned her into stone.
Andromeda was the daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia,
king and queen of Ethiopia. Cassiopeia boasted that
she was more beautiful than the Nereids, and in revenge
Poseidon sent a flood and a sea monster to plague
the land. When Cepheus consulted the oracle of Ammon
he was told that the problem would end if he exposed
his daughter as prey for the monster. His people forced
him to comply with the oracle, and he chained Andromeda
to a rock by the sea. She was rescued by Perseus who
killed the monster and married Andromeda. One of their
children, Perses, became the ancestor of the kings
The son of Apollo and Rhoeo. When Rhoeo became pregnant,
her father had her placed in a chest and cast into
the sea. She landed on the island of Delos where she
gave birth to Anius. He became Apollo's priest on
the island of Delos, which was sacred to Apollo. Anius
offered hospitality to Aeneas and his companions when
they passed his island on their journey. Anius became
the father of three daughters, Oeno, Spermo and Elais
(wine, grain seed and oil, in that order) who were
granted the power to bring these three crops to fruition.
Antaeus was the son of Gaia and Poseidon. He was a
frightful giant who compelled all strangers to wrestle
with him and defeated or killed them all. He was invincible
for as long as he remained in contact with his mother
(the Earth) for she supplied him with strength. Heracles
discovered his secret and lifted Antaeus from the
ground and strangled him. The battle with Heracles
is depicted on many Greek vases and even on coins.
The daughter of Iobates, wife of Proetus, the king
of Argos. She fell in love with Bellerophon but when
her love was unrequited, she began to slander him
with her husband. Finally, out of desperation, she
took her own life
In Greek myth, Anteros ("return- or opposite-love")
is sometimes the brother of Eros, the god of love.
The latter languished of loneliness until Aphrodite
gave Anteros to him as a playmate: love must be answered
if it is to prosper. Anteros is also the god who punishes
those who scorn love or do not return love of others.
Antheia was the Greek goddess called "the blooming",
or "friend of the flowers." Her surname was Hera.
Antheia had a temple at Argos. She was used by Cnossis
as a surname of Aphrodite. She was considered to be
in the form of a goddess as a flower-like adolescent.
Also, in Crete, she was the goddess of vegetation,
lowlands, gardens, blossoms, the budding earth, and
The daughter of king Nycteus of Thebes, or, according
to others, of the river-god Asopus. She was seduced
by Zeus and fled of shame to Epopeus, king of Sicyon,
who married her. Nycteus' attempts to get her back
were unsuccessful, and upon his deathbed he charged
his brother Lycus to fulfil that task. Lycus and his
army marched towards Sicyon, destroyed the city and
killed Epopeus. He took Antiope with him to Thebes
and gave her as a slave to his own wife Dirce. Dirce
mistreated Antiope severely, but she managed to escape
and was finally reunited with her sons Amphion and
Zethus, her children with Zeus. Her twins exacted
a terrible vengeance upon Dirce. Later Antiope married
One of the original three Greek Muses (their number
was later increased to nine). She is the Muse of Song,
sister of Melete and Mneme.
A Greek hero, son of Poseidon, who was venerated particularly
in Boeotia. Boeotia was also known as Aonia, named
Apate was the Greek goddess of deceit, daughter of
Nyx. Apate was one of the spirits inside Pandora's
A Greek goddess of local importance who was worshipped
on the island of Aegina where she had a temple. Some
sources say she is the nymph Britomartis who fled
from Crete, but she is also identified with Athena
In Greek mythology, Aphrodite is the goddess of love,
beauty and sexual rapture. According to Hesiod, she
was born when Uranus (the father of the gods) was
castrated by his son Cronus. Cronus threw the severed
genitals into the ocean which began to churn and foam
about them. From the aphros ("sea foam") arose Aphrodite,
and the sea carried her to either Cyprus or Cythera.
Hence she is often referred to as Kypris and Cytherea.
Homer calls her a daughter of Zeus and Dione. After
her birth, Zeus was afraid that the gods would fight
over Aphrodite's hand in marriage so he married her
off to the smith god Hephaestus, the steadiest of
the gods. He could hardly believe his good luck and
used all his skills to make the most lavish jewels
for her. He made her a girdle of finely wrought gold
and wove magic into the filigree work. That was not
very wise of him, for when she wore her magic girdle
no one could resist her, and she was all too irresistible
already. She loved gaiety and glamour and was not
at all pleased at being the wife of sooty, hard-working
Hephaestus. Aphrodite loved and was loved by many
gods and mortals. Among her mortal lovers, the most
famous was perhaps Adonis. Some of her sons are Eros,
Anteros, Hymenaios and Aeneas (with her Trojan lover
Anchises). She is accompanied by the Graces. Her festival
is the Aphrodisiac which was celebrated in various
centers of Greece and especially in Athens and Corinth.
Her priestesses were not prostitutes but women who
represented the goddess and sexual intercourse with
them was considered just one of the methods of worship.
Aphrodite was originally an old-Asian goddess, similar
to the Mesopotamian Ishtar and the Syro-Palestinian
goddess Ashtart. Her attributes are a.o. the dolphin,
the dove, the swan, the pomegranate and the lime tree.
In Roman mythology Venus is the goddess of love and
beauty and Cupid is love's messenger.
The son of Zeus and Leto, and the twin brother of
Artemis. Apollo was the god of music (principally
the lyre, and he directed the choir of the Muses)
and also of prophecy, colonization, medicine, archery
(but not for war or hunting), poetry, dance, intellectual
inquiry and the carer of herds and flocks. He was
also a god of light, known as "Phoebus" (radiant or
beaming, and he was sometimes identified with Helios
the sun god). He was also the god of plague and was
worshiped as Smintheus (from sminthos, rat) and as
Parnopius (from parnops, grasshopper) and was known
as the destroyer of rats and locust, and according
to Homer's Iliad, Apollo shot arrows of plague into
the Greek camp. Apollo being the god of religious
healing would give those guilty of murder and other
immoral deeds a ritual purification. Sacred to Apollo
are the swan (one legend says that Apollo flew on
the back of a swan to the land of the Hyperboreans,
he would spend the winter months among them), the
wolf and the dolphin. His attributes are the bow and
arrows, on his head a laurel crown, and the cithara
(or lyre) and plectrum. But his most famous attribute
is the tripod, the symbol of his prophetic powers.
When the goddesss Hera, the wife of Zeus (it was he
who had coupled with Leto) found out about Leto's
pregnancy, she was outraged with jealousy. Seeking
revenge Hera forced Leto to roam the earth in search
of a place to give birth. Sicne Hera had forbidden
Leto to stay anywhere on earth, either on terra-ferma
or an island at sea, the only place to seek shelter
was Delos, being in the center of the Aegean, and
also difficult to reach, as there were strong under-currents,
because it was said to be a floating island. Because
it was a floating island, it was not considered either
of Hera's prohibitions, and so Leto was able to give
birth to the divine twins Apollo and Artemis (before
Leto gave birth to Apollo, the island was encircled
by a flock of swans, this is why the swan was sacred
to him). As a gesture of thanks Delos was secured
to the sea-bed by four columns to give it stability,
and from then on it became one of the most important
sanctuaries to Apollo. (A variation of Apollo's birth
was that the jealous Hera had incarcerated Ilithyia,
the goddess of childbirth, but the other gods intervened
forcing Hera to release Ilithyia, which allowed Leto
to give birth ).
"The destroyer". In the new testament of the Bible,
Apollyon is called the angel of the bottomless pit.
Abaddon, a poetic name for the land of the dead in
the old testament, is Apollyon's Greek translation
from the Hebrew language. Apollyon, in early Christian
literature, is a name for the devil. He is identified
as an angel of death, "hideous to behold, with scales
like a fish, wings like a dragon, bear's feet, and
a lion's mouth."
Greek rendering of the Egyptian snake of the underworld
Arachne was a young woman from Lydia, sometimes said
to be a princess, who offended Athena, and suffered
the consequences. Her story helped serve as a warning
to all to take care to not offend the gods. Arachne
was gifted in the art of weaving. Not only were her
finished products beautiful to look at, but the very
act of her weaving was a sight to behold. Nymphs were
said to abandon their frolicking to come observe Arachne
practice her magic. So remarkable were her works that
observers often commented that she must have been
trained by the very patron goddess of weaving, Athena
herself. Arachne scoffed at this. She was disgusted
at being placed in an inferior place to the goddess
and proclaimed that Athena herself could not do better
than her. Athena was quite perturbed at Arachne's
bold claim, but she decided to give the young woman
a chance to redeem herself. She came to Arachne disguised
as an old woman and warned her to be careful not to
offend the gods, lest she incur their wrath. But Arachne
told the old woman to save her breath. She welcomed
a contest with Athena, and, if she lost, would suffer
whatever punishment the goddess deemed necessary.
The goddess accepted the challenge and revealed her
true form. The nymphs who had come to watch Arachne's
weaving shrunk back in fear, but Arachne stood her
shaky ground. She had made a claim, and she was sticking
to it. So the contest began, the mortal at her loom,
the goddess at hers. Athena began to weave the scene
of her contest with Poseidon for the city of Athens.
A beautiful scene developed from the threads, showing
Poseidon and the salt water spring, and Athena with
an olive tree, gifts to the people who would name
Athena as their patron, and their city after her.
The bystanders marveled at the goddess' work. Arachne,
for her part, created a tapestry showcasing scenes
of Zeus' various infidelities: Leda with the Swan,
Europa with the bull, Danaë and the golden rain shower.
So exquisite was the mortal's work that the bull seemed
lifelike, swimming across the tapestry with a real
girl on his shoulders. Even Athena herself was forced
to admit that Arachne's work was flawless. (Whether
or not Arachne was actually better than Athena is
still a mystery.) Angered at Arachne's challenge,
as well as the presumptuousness of her choice of subjects,
Athena tore the tapestry to pieces and destroyed the
loom. Then she touched Arachne's forehead, making
sure that she felt full guilt for her actions. Arachne
was ashamed, but the guilt was far too deep for her
poor, mortal mind. Depressed, she hanged herself.
Athena took pity on Arachne. She most likely did not
expect that Arachne would commit suicide. She brought
her back to life, but not as a human. By sprinkling
her with the juices of aconite, Athena transformed
the woman into a spider, her and her descendants to
forever hang from threads and to be great weavers.
A district of the Peloponnesus named after Arcas.
It was chiefly inhabited by shepherds and the abode
of Pan. According to Virgil it was the home of pastoral
simplicity and happiness.
The son of Zeus and the nymph Callisto, who was turned
into a bear by Hera out of envy. When Arcas during
a hunt attempted to kill the bear, Zeus intervened
and put them both in the sky as constellations (Ursa
Major and Minor, Great Bear and Little Bear).
Ares, the Greek god of war, is tall and handsome,
but vain and as cruel as his brother Hephaestus was
kind. His sister Eris, the goddess of strife, is his
constant companion, but he is also attended by his
sons Deimos and Phobos, as well as Enyo, an old war-goddess.
When Ares heard the clashing of arms, he grinned with
glee, put on his gleaming helmet, and leapt into his
war chariot. Brandishing his sword, he rushed into
the thick of battle, not caring who won or lost as
long as blood was shed. A vicious crowd followed at
his heels, carrying with them Pain, Panic, Famine
and Oblivion. Once in a while, Ares was wounded. He
was immortal but whenever he would get hurt he would
run back to his father, Zeus and was healed. Needless
to say, Zeus was very disgusted with his son. Ares
was mainly worshipped in Thracia, a region known for
its fierce people.
A nymph known in several different parts of Greece,
usually the Pelopponnese and Sicily. She was one of
the Nereids. The river-god Alpheus fell madly in love
with her, but she fled to Sicily. There she was changed
into a fountain (the Fonte Aretusa, in Syracuse) by
Artemis. Apheus made his way beneath the sea, and
united his waters with those of Arethusa. On coins
from Syracuse the head of Arethusa was often portrayed
(ca. 500 BC). This girls' head has often a net in
her hair and is usually surrounded by fish.
Arges was the son of Uranus and Gaia (Greek gods).
Arges was one of three Cyclopes: Arges, Brontes, and
Sterops. Arges and his brothers were very helpful
to Zeus and the other gods. Arges made Zeus' thunderbolts
and even their thrones. Unfortunately Arges still
wasnıt treated fairly, but like a freak. Arges and
his two brothers all had special powers essential
to making Zeusıs thunderbolts. Arges had brightness,
Bruno had thunder, and Sterops made lightning.
In Greek mythology, Argus is a giant with a hundred
eyes. After Zeus had changed his lover Io into a heifer
to protect her from the wrath of Hera, Hera demanded
that the cow was given to her. She then charged Argus
with the task of guarding it. Argus was lulled to
sleep by Hermes who then killed him, as Zeus had ordered
him to do. Hermes brought Io back to Egypt, where
she returned to her human form again. After Argus'
death, Hera placed his hundred eyes on the tail of
the peacock, her favorite animal.
An ancient Greek pastoral deity, the son of Apollo
and the nymph Cyrene, but also Uranus is mentioned
as his father. Aristaeus was made immortal by Gaia.
He is the patron of the hunt, agriculture, cattle,
and especially bee-culture. Aristaeus also taught
mankind how to cultivate olives.
The daughter of Leto and Zeus, and twin sister of
Apollo. Artemis is the goddess of the wilderness,
the hunt and wild animals, and fertility (she became
a goddess of fertility and childbirth mainly in cities).
She was often depicted with the crescent of the moon
above her forehead and was sometimes identified with
Selene (goddess of the moon). Artemis was one of the
Olympians and a virgin goddess. Her main vocation
was to roam mountain forests and uncultivated land
with her nymphs in attendance hunting for lions, panthers,
hinds and stags. Contradictory to the later, she helped
in protecting and seeing to their well-being, also
their safety and reproduction. She was armed with
a bow and arrows which were made by Hephaestus and
the Cyclopes. In one legend, Artemis was born one
day before her brother Apollo. Her mother gave birth
to her on the island of Ortygia, then, almost immediately
after her birth, she helped her mother to cross the
straits over to Delos, where she then delivered Apollo.
This was the beginningsof her role as guardian of
young children and patron of women in childbirth.
Being a goddess of contradictions, she was the protectress
of women in labor, but it was said that the arrows
of Artemis brought them sudden death while giving
birth. As was her brother, Apollo, Artemis was a divinity
of healing, but also brought and spread diseases such
as leprosy, rabies and even gout. Being associated
with chastity, Artemis at an early age (in one legend
she was three years old) asked her father, the great
god Zeus, to grant her eternal virginity. Also, all
her companions were virgins. Artemis was very protective
of her purity, and gave grave punishment to any man
who attempted to dishonor her in any form. Actaeon,
while out hunting, accidentally came upon Artemis
and her nymphs, who bathing naked in a secluded pool.
Seeing them in all their naked beauty, the stunned
Actaeon stopped and gazed at them, but when Artemis
saw him ogling them, she transformed him into a stag.
Then, incensed with disgust, she set his own hounds
upon him. They chased and killed what they thought
was another stag, but it was their master. As with
Orion, a giant and a great hunter, there are several
legends which tell of his death, one involving Artemis.
It is said that he tried to rape the virgin goddess,
so killed him with her bow and arrows. Another says
she conjured up a scorpion which killed Orion and
his dog. Orion became a constellation in the night
sky, and his dog became Sirius, the dog star. Yet
another version says it was the scorpion which stung
him and was transformed into the constellation with
Orion, the later being Scorpio. Artemis was enraged
when one of her nymphs, Callisto, allowed Zeus to
seduce her, but the great god approached her in one
of his guises; he came in the form of Artemis. The
young nymph was unwittingly tricked, and she gave
birth to Arcas, the ancestor of the Arcadians, but
Artemis showed no mercy and changed her into a bear.
She then shot and killed her. As Orion, she was sent
up to the heavens, and became the constellation of
the Great Bear (which is also known as the Plough).
Artemis was very possessive. She would show her wrath
on anyone who disobeyed her wishes, especially against
her sacred animals. Even the great hero Agamemnon
came upon the wrath of Artemis, when he killed a stag
in her sacred grove. His punishment came when his
ships were becalmed, while he made his way to besiege
Troy. With no winds to sail his ships he was told
by the seer Calchas that the only way Artemis would
bring back the winds was for him to sacrifice his
daughter Iphigenia. Some versions say he did sacrifice
Iphigenia, others that Artemis exchanged a deer in
her place, and took Iphigenia to the land of the Tauri
(the Crimea) as a priestess, to prepare strangers
for sacrifice to
Artemis with her twin brother, Apollo, put to death
the children of Niobe. The reason being that Niobe,
a mere mortal, had boasted to Leto, the mother of
the divine twins, that she had bore more children,
which must make her superior to Leto. Apollo being
outraged at such an insult on his mother, informed
Artemis. The twin gods hunted them down and shot them
with their bows and arrows; Apollo killed the male
children and Artemis the girls. Artemis was worshiped
in most Greek cities but only as a secondary deity.
However, to the Greeks in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey)
she was a prominent deity. In Ephesus, a principal
city of Asia Minor, a great temple was built in her
honor, which became one of the "Seven Wonders of the
Ancient World". But at Ephesus she was worshiped mainly
as a fertility goddess, and was identified with Cybele
the mother goddess of eastern lands. The cult statues
of the Ephesian Artemis differ greatly from those
of mainland Greece, whereas she is depicted as a huntress
with her bow and arrows. Those found at Ephesus show
her in the eastern style, standing erect with numerous
nodes on her chest. There have been many theories
as to what they represent. Some say they are breasts,
others that they are bulls testes which were sacrificed
to her. Which is the true interpretation remains uncertain,
but each represent fertility. There were festivals
in honor of Artemis, such as the Brauronia, which
was held in Brauron; and the festival of Artemis Orthia,
held at Sparta, when young Spartan boys would try
to steal cheeses from the altar. As they tried they
would be whipped, the meaning of Orthia and the nature
of the ritual whipping has been lost and there is
no logical explanation or translation. Among the epithets
given to Artemis are: Potnia Theron (mistress of wild
animals) this title was mentioned by the great poet
Homer; Kourotrophos (nurse of youth's); Locheia (helper
in childbirth); Agrotera (huntress); and Cynthia (taken
from her birthplace on Mount Cynthus on Delos). When
young girls reached puberty they were initiated into
her cult, but when they decided to marry, which Artemis
was not against, they were asked to lay in front of
the altar all the paraphernalia of their virginity,
toys, dolls and locks of their hair, they then left
the domain of the virgin goddess
Asclepius was a Greek hero who later become the Greek
god of medicine and healing. The son of Apollo and
Coronis, Asclepius had five daughters, Aceso, Iaso,
Panacea, Aglaea and Hygieia. He was worshipped throughout
the Greek world but his most famous sanctuary was
located in Epidaurus which is situated in the northeastern
Peloponnese. The main attribute of Asclepius is a
physician's staff with an Asclepian snake wrapped
around it; this is how he was distinguished in the
art of healing, and his attribute still survives to
this day as the symbol of the modern medical profession.
The cock was also sacred to Asclepius and was the
bird they sacrificed as his altar. The mother of Asclepius,
Coronis, was a mortal, the daughter of Phlegyas, a
king of Thessaly. Coronis was unfaithful to Apollo,
and Artemis, Apollo's twin sister, killed her for
her unfaithfulness. Coronis was placed upon a funeral
pyre. (One version says that Apollo cast her into
the fires of his own anger.) As her body started to
burn, Apollo felt sorrow for his unborn son and snatched
the child Asclepius from his mother's corpse, saving
him from death. Apollo then handed Asclepius to the
Centaur Chiron who became his tutor and mentor. Chiron
taught Asclepius the art of healing. According to
Pindar (Pythian Odes), Asclepius also acquired the
knowledge of surgery, the use of drugs, love potions
and incantations, and according to Apollodorus (the
Library), Athena gave Asclepius a magic potion made
from the blood of the Gorgon. Legend tells that the
blood of the Gorgon has a different effect depending
from which side the blood was taken. If taken from
the right side of the Gorgon, it has a miraculous
effect and is said to be able to bring the dead back
to life, but taken from the left side it is a deadly
poison. With these gifts Asclepius exceeded the fringes
of human knowledge. However, he offended the great
god Zeus by accepting money in exchange for raising
the dead. (In one version it was the goddess Artemis
who implored Asclepius to resurrect Hippolytus, a
favourite of hers.) In the eyes of Zeus,
A Greek sea-nymph and the daughter of Oceanus and
Tethys. The continent of Asia was named after her.
Asia was occasionally regarded as the wife of Iapetus
but according to other she was the wife of Prometheus
The Greek god of the river of that name, which flows
through Boeotia, Central Greece. Asopus is the son
of Oceanus and Tethys. He is the father of Aegina.
When his daughter was abducted by Zeus, he persued
them but Zeus drove him back with thunderbolts.
1. The daughter of the Titan Coeus and Phoebe. She
was abducted by Zeus, but hurled herself in the sea
and became the island of the same name. 2. She was
the sixth slain by Heracles in single combat when
he came for Hippolyta's girdle. Even though the Amazons
knew he was invulnerable, they still chose to challenge
him one by one. In order to escape being raped by
Zeus, this nymph changed herself into a quail.
Astraea ("the star-maiden") is the daughter of Zeus
and Themis. She was, as was her mother, a goddess
of justice. During the Golden Age, when the gods dwelled
among mankind, she lived on the earth. When evil and
wickedness increased its grip on humanity, the gods
abandoned the habitations of mankind. Astraea was
the last to leave and took up her abode among the
stars where she was transformed into the constellation
Astraeus is the husband of Eos, goddess of the dawn,
and god of the four winds: Boreas, Zephyrus, Eurus,
The Greek personification of infatuation, the rash
foolishness of blind impulse, usually caused by guilt
and leading to retribution. The goddess of discord
and mischief, she tempted man to do evil, and then
lead him to ruin. She once even managed to entrap
Zeus, but he hurled her down from the Olympus. Now
she wanders the earth, as a kind of avenging spirit,
but still working her mischief among mankind. Her
sisters, the Litai, follow her and repair the damage
she has wrought to mortals. Ate is regarded as the
daughter of Zeus and Eris, the goddess of strife
Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, war, the arts,
industry, justice and skill. She was the favorite
child of Zeus. She had sprung fully grown out of her
father's head. Her mother was Metis, goddess of wisdom
and Zeus' first wife. In fear that Metis would bear
a son mightier than himself. Zeus swallowed her and
she began to make a robe and helmet for her daughter.
The hammering of the helmet caused Zeus great pain
in the form of headaches and he cried out in agony.
Skilled Hephaestus ran to his father and split his
skull open and from it emerged Athena, fully grown
and wearing her mother's robe and helmet. She is the
virgin mother of Erichthnonius. Athena and her uncle
Poseidon were both very fond of a certain city in
Greece. Both of them claimed the city and it was decided
that the one that could give the finest gift should
have it. Leading a procession of citizens, the two
gods mounted the Acropolis. Poseidon struck the side
of the cliff with his trident and a spring welled
up. The people marveled, but the water was as salty
as Poseidon's sea and it was not very useful. Athena's
gift was an olive tree, which was better because it
gave the people food, oil and wood. Athena named her
city Athens. Athena's companion was the goddess of
victory, Nike, and her usual attribute is the owl.
Athena possessed the Aegis.
One of the Gigantes who tried to storm the heavens.
He hurled a mountain at Zeus, but the chief god had
it drop down at before the coast of Macedonia (where
now lies the 'holy mountain' Athos).
In Greek mythology, Atlantides was the name given
to the Pleiades, who were fabled to be the seven daughters
of Atlas. and Pleione. The Pleiades were Alcyone,
Eletra, Celaeno, Maia, Sterope, Merope, and Taygete.
They were turned into doves by Zeus and their image
was put into the stars. Zeus did this to save them
from the attention of Orion.
Atlantis: the Myth
He story of the Isle of Atlantis first occurs in Plato's
two dialogues the "Timaeus" and the "Citius." Plato's
story centers around Solon, a great Greek legislator
and poet who journeyed to Egypt some 150 years earlier.
While in the Egyptian city of Sais Solon received
the story of Atlantis from priests. The priests respected
Solon's reputation and cordially welcomed him. They
also respected the Athenians, whom they regarded as
kinsmen, because they believed their deity Neith to
be the same deity as the Greeks called Athena. Therefore,
she was believed to be the patroness and protectoress
of both Greece and Egypt. The story which the priests
told Solon was unknown to him. According to ancient
Egyptian temple records the Athenians fought an aggressive
war against the rulers of Atlantis some nine thousand
years earlier and won. These ancient and powerful
kings or rulers of Atlantis had formed a confederation
by which they controlled Atlantis and other islands
as well. They began a war from their homeland in the
Atlantic Ocean and sent fighting troops to Europe
and Asia. Against this attack the men of Athens formed
a coalition from all over Greece to halt it. When
this coalition met difficulties their allies deserted
them and the Athenians fought on alone to defeat the
Atlantian rulers. They stopped an invasion of their
own country as well as freeing Egypt and eventually
every country under the control of the rulers of Atlantis.
Shortly after their victory, even before the Athenians
could return home, Atlantis suffered catastrophic
earthquakes and floods until it disappeared beneath
the sea. All of the brave men were swallowed up in
one day and night of horror according to legend. This
is why the Egyptians were ever grateful to the
Also in the story Plato gives a history of Atlantis
which shows how the rulers eroded to such a state
where they wanted to conquer everyone. This history
had been recorded by Solon in notes which were handed
down through his family. According to Solon's notes
the history of Atlantis began at the beginning of
time. It was then that the immortal gods divided the
world among themselves and each ruled their proportion.
The god Poseidon received Atlantis, an island larger
the Libya and Asia combined. He chose for a wife the
mortal woman Cleito, and with her begun the royal
family of Atlantis. Poseidon built Cleito's home on
a high hill at the very center of the island. The
home overlooked a fertile plain bordered by the sea.
For his beloved wife's protection Poseidon surrounded
her house with five concentric rings of water and
land. He carved the rings with the ease and skill
of a god. He made hot and cold springs come from the
earth. With the development of a future city his descendants
never lacked for water. Cleito bore Poseidon ten sons,
five sets of boys. Atlas the first son of the first
set of twins, was made king over the vast territory
by his father. His brothers were appointed princes
and each ruled over a large section of the territory
which was distributed to him. The most valuable section
of the kingdom remained his mother's home on the hilltop
and the land surrounding it. This was given to Atlas.
Atlas himself had many sons with the succession of
the throne always passing to the eldest son. For generations
Atlantis remained peaceful and prospered. Almost all
of the population's needs were met from the island's
mines, fields and forests. Anything which the kingdom
did not produce was imported. This was possible because
a channel was eventually built which transversed all
the rings from the ocean to the center of the kingdom,
or the acropolis. On this stood the royal palace near
the original home of Poseidon and Cleito. Each succeeding
king tried to out do his predecessor in building a
greater kingdom. Finally the splendid city Metropolis
and the outer city of Atlantis existed behind a great
outer wall. Poseidon sat down laws for Atlantis which
the rulers were to fellow. The ruling body was to
meet regularly. It was to consist of ten rulers which
represented the first rulers, Atlas and his nine brothers,
who reigned with absolute power of life and death
over their subjects. These meeting occurred in the
temple of Poseidon where the first rulers inscribed
the laws on a pillar of orichalcum. First, as required
by ancient ceremony, pledges were exchanged. Then
a sacred bull was captured and killed. The body was
burned as a sacrifice to the god. Then the blood was
mixed with wine and poured over the fire as a act
of purification for each man. The rulers were served
wine in golden cups, each poured a libation over the
fire and swore by oath to give judgment according
to the inscribed laws. When ending his vow each drank
his wine and dedicated his cup to the temple. This
was followed by a dinner which preceded the rulers
putting on magnificent blue robes in which they judged
matters concerning the kingdom according to Poseidon's
laws. As long as they judged and lived by Poseidon's
laws they and the kingdom prospered. When the laws
began to be forgotten trouble began. More of the rulers
eventually began marrying mortals and started acting
like foolish humans. Soon pride overtook the rulers
who soon began grasping for greater power. Then Zeus
saw what had happened to the rulers. They had abandoned
the laws of the gods and acted in an evil coalition
as men. He assembled all the gods of Olympus around
him and was to pronounce judgment on Atlantis. This
is where Plato's story stops. Whether Plato intended
to end his story of Atlantis so abruptly or whether
he intended to extend it no one knows. Just as no
one knows whether Plato believed in the real existence
of the island or whether it was purely a mythical
kingdom. Many have said they believe that Plato believed
in the island's existence because he exerted so much
detail in its description, while others reject this
by claiming since the story was purely fiction Plato
could put in as much detail as he wanted, it does
not prove a thing. Also in doubt is the time period
of the story. Solon writes the island existed 9000
years before. This would place the time period in
the Early Stone Age. In this period it is hard to
imagine the type of agriculture, architecture and
sea navigation as described in the story. One explanation
for this time period inconsistency is that Solon misinterpreted
the Egyptian symbol for "100" for "1000." If this
be the case then Atlantis would have existed 900 years
before. This would place the Atlantians in the Middle
Bronze Age where they would possess the tools and
equipment needed for the development described within
the story. To collaborate this 900 year theory there
is geological evidence showing that roughly about
1500 BC. there was a gigantic volcanic eruption which
caused half of the island to sink into the sea. Also
a lost city has been said to have sunk in the Bay
of Naples. At the time several rich and luxurious
seaside resorts were located in the area. In the retelling
of the story of Atlantis it is easy to see how one
of these cities could be associated with it. The story
is still being told which enthralls hundreds, as archaeological
digs are conducted to unearth evidence of the real
Atlantis. Until then the myth remains.
Atlas is a scion of the Titans, the Greek race of
giants, and the son of Iapetus and the nymph Clymene.
He is the father of the Hesperides, the Hyades and
the Pleiades. He was also thought to be the king of
legendary Atlantis ("Land of Atlas"). In the revolt
of the Titans against the gods of the Olympic, Atlas
stormed the heavens and Zeus punished him for this
deed by condemning him to forever bear the earth and
the heavens upon his shoulders. Hence his name, which
means "bearer" or "endurer". To complete the eleventh
of his twelve labors, Heracles had to obtain the golden
apples of the Hesperides, and he asked Atlas for help.
Heracles offered to bear Atlas's burden in his absence,
when he went to retrieve the apples. Atlas agreed
to perform the task readily enough, since he did not
plan on ever bearing that burden again. When Atlas
returned with the apples, Heracles requested him to
assume the load for a moment, saying he needed to
adjust the pad to ease the pressure on his shoulders.
After Atlas bore the world again, Heracles walked
off with the golden apples. When Atlas refused to
give shelter to Perseus, the latter changed Atlas
into stone, using Medusa's head. On the place where
Atlas stood, now lie Mount Atlas (north-western Africa).
In art, Atlas is usually depicted as a man bearing
In Greek mythology, Atropos was one of the three Moirae,
the Fates, the female deities who supervised fate
rather than determine it. Atropos was the fate who
cut the thread or web of life. She was known as the
"inflexible" or "inevitable" and cut this thread with
the "abhorred shears." She worked along with Clotho,
who spun the thread, and Lachesis, who measured the
length. They were the daughters of Zeus and Themis
(the goddess of order.) It is not clear whether the
fates were superior to Zeus or if he was subject to
them as mortals were. The Roman name of the fates
are Nona, Decuma, and Morta.
The king of Elis. He had a enormous stable with 3000
cattle that had not been cleansed in thirty years.
Heracles, as one of his Twelve Labors, had to clean
the stable in one day. He did so by diverting the
rivers Alpheus and Peneus through the stable, which
washed the muck and dung away. This displeased Augeas
greatly because he had promised Heracles one-tenth
of his herd should he complete the task in one day.
He refused to honor the agreement and fought with
Heracles, but got killed instead.
A Greek goddess of growth, but probably an epithet
of Demeter. Often venerated together with Damia.