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MITOLOGY DICTIONARY(A)

A


Abaris
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 'the Hyperborean'.

Abas
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

Academus

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.

Acantha

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.

Acanthis
The sister of Acanthus. When she cried over the death of her brother the gods turned her into a thistle finch.

Acanthus

The son of Autonous and Hippoamia. The horses of his father tore him to pieces.

Acanthus

The son of Autonous and Hippoamia. The horses of his father tore him to pieces.

Acgaeus
The grandson of Erechtheus, ancestor of the Achaeans.

Achaemenides
One of the companions of Odysseus who remained on Sicily with the Cyclopes. When Aeneas arrived on the island he took Achaemenides with him.

Achelois

A moon-goddess (she who drives away pain) to whom sacrifice was ordered by the Dodonian Oracle.

Achelous
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.

Acheron
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.

Acidalia

An epithet of Aphrodite, named after the spring with the same name in Boeotia, where she used to bathe.

Acis
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 name.

Acoetes
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.

Adamanthea
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.

Admete
The daughter of Eurystheus. For her Heracles stole the girdle of Hippolyta.

Admetus

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 her husband.

Adonis
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

Aphrodite

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.

Adrasteia

"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.

Aedon
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 mournful cry.

Aeëtes

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.

Aegaeon
An Homeric epithet for Briareus. He is also represented as a son of Poseidon, and a marine deity of the Aegean Sea.

Aegea

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.

Aegimius

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

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.

Aegis
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.

Aegle
One of the Hesperides.

Aegyptus
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

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.

Aeolus

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.

Aeolus
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.

Aesacus

The son of Priamus and Alexirrhoë. He fell in love with the nymph Hesperia. She fled from his avances, but was bitten by

Aether

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.

Aethon
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

Aetna
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.

Aetolus

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.

Aganippe

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.

Agave
The daughter of Cadmus and mother of Pentheus. Agave killed her son when she was afflicted with Dionysic madness

Agdistis

The name of the great rock of Asia Minor (Cybele in disguise) that Zeus raped. The offspring of this union was Agdistis, a hermaphrodite.

Agelasta
The stone on which Demeter rested when wearied in the search for her daughter Persephone.

Agenor

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.

Aglaea
The youngest of the three Charites (Graces). Sometimes represented as the wife of Hephaestus. Her name means "the brilliant, splendor, shining one".

Aglaulus
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.

Aglauros
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 not.

Agron
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 birds.

Agrotora
Another name for the Greek goddess Artemis, under which title she was regarded as the patron goddess of hunters.

Alastor

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.

Alcestis
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.

Alcippe
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. See: Halirrhotius.

Alcyone
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)".

Alcyoneus
One of the Greek Gigantes. He was rendered harmless by Heracles on one of his journeys.

Alecto

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, meaning "kind-hearted."

Alectrona
An early goddess who was a daughter of the sun

Alectryon
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.

Aloadae
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.

Aloeus
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.

Alope
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.

Alpheus

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.

Amaltheia
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.

Amazons
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 expended.

Ambrosia

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.

Ampelos
"Vine". A satyr from Dionysus' retinue

Amphion
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.

Amphitrite

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.

Amycus
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.

Amymone

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.

Ananke
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 mystery cult.

Anaxarete
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
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 of Persia.

Anius
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
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.

Antea
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

Anteros

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
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 human love.

Antiope
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 Phocus.

Aoide
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.

Aon
A Greek hero, son of Poseidon, who was venerated particularly in Boeotia. Boeotia was also known as Aonia, named after him.

Apate
Apate was the Greek goddess of deceit, daughter of Nyx. Apate was one of the spirits inside Pandora's box. Aphaea
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 and Artemis.

Aphrodite

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.

Apollo

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 ).

Apollyon
"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."

Apophis
Greek rendering of the Egyptian snake of the underworld (see Apep).

Arachne
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.

Arcadia
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.

Arcas

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
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.

Arethusa
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
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.

Argus

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.

Aristaeus
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.

Artemis
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

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
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,

Asia
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

Asopus
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.

Asteria
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

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 Virgo.

Astraeus

Astraeus is the husband of Eos, goddess of the dawn, and god of the four winds: Boreas, Zephyrus, Eurus, and Notus.

Ate
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
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.

Athos
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).

Atlantides
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

Athenians
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
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 a globe.

Atropos
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.

Augeas

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.
Auxesia
A Greek goddess of growth, but probably an epithet of Demeter. Often venerated together with Damia.


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