Echida is the hideously disgusting mate of Typhon
and the daughter of Ceto. She has the head of a beautiful
nymph, but the body of a serpent. Zeus spared her
and her children's lives as challenges to futures
heroes. Echidna's children are the Nemean Lion, Cerberus,
Ladon, Chimera, Sphinx, and Hydra.
The chief god Zeus had many affairs with both mortals
and gods, much to his wife's dislike. While he pursued
his amours, it was Echo's duty to beguile Hera's attention
by incessantly talking to her. Hera discovered the
ruse and as punishment, she made Echo always repeat
the voice of another. Echo fell in love with a vain
youth named Narcissus, who ignored her. Narcissus
found a pool of water and stared at his lovely reflection
until he died. Echo watched him until she pined away,
now her voice remains, repeating the last few things
people say. The Greek version of the story of Echo
(the above is of Roman origin (Ovid)) is as follows:
Echo was a very beautiful and musical nymph. She could
sing and play many instruments. She lived deep in
the woods and denied the love of any man or immortal.
She therefore attracted the hatred and anger of many,
including the god Pan whose love she turned down.
Pan caused his followers the shepherds to kill Echo
and tear her to pieces that were subsequently scattered
far and wide. Gaia, the Earth goddess, received the
pieces in her bosom and thus Echo, scattered now all
over the earth, retained her voice and talents answering
or imitating every sound or voice.
The female personification of a Greek ritual object:
a branch of olive wood, twined with wool and hung
with fruits, which was carried in festivals by children
with two living parents
According Homer Eileithyia was the goddess of birth-pain,
but Homer was often thinking about a few Eileithyiai,
the daughters of Hera. Also Hesiod presented Eileithyia
as the daughter of Zeus and Hera. Hera, but Artemis
too were sometimes taking a role of this goddess and
her title. Pausanias is describing two versions about
the deity's origin. (1) In the first story Eleithyia
came from the Hyperboreans (from the legendary north)
to Delos to help Leto, when she was giving birth to
Artemis and Apollo. In the second case Eileithyia
was born in a Cretan cave at Amnisos. There was a
strong cult of the goddess Eileithyia in Crete, especially
in the cities Lato and Eleutherna. The goddess is
mentioned in Linear script B from Knossos as Eleuthia,
which is a dialect form of her name, variously written
in Greek language.(2) The offerings of different sorts
found from her caves at Amnisos and at Inatos confirm
that her cult was very popular in Crete. One stalagmite
in Amnisos cave was perhaps treated as an aniconic
religious image of the goddess. The cult in Crete
continued from the Minoan period throughout the Hellenistic
and Roman times. We have not any prove about worshipping
the goddess Eileithyia in the Greek mainland during
Mycenaean period. In tablets with Linear script B
from Pylos she is not mentioned too. But many small
terracotta figures (kourotrophos), are demonstrating
, that a sacred nurse, taking care about children,
existed. In Greek mythological iconography Eileithyia
took a place probably under the Homeric tradition.
One, but mostly two women - Eileithyiai attend Zeus
during the birth of Athena on the decoration of some
black figured vases from the 6th century BC. Evidently,
they are sisters, -daughters of Hera-, their type
and clothes are similar. The sanctuaries and shrines
of the goddess Eileithyia in the Greek mainland during
Hellenistic and Roman time are mentioned by Pausanias
in Athens, Tenea and Argos, but mainly in Aigion,
where existed a cult statue of the goddess from Damophon.(3)
The wooden statue with the face, hands and feet from
Pentelic marmor was dressed with fine cloths. Eileithyia
was holding in both of her hands torches, because
she was bringing children into light, out of darkness.
With this attribute - torch - sometimes Artemis is
depicted as well as Persephone.
"Peace". One of the Greek Horae.
The daughter of King Orchomenus, and one of Zeus'
many lovers. He placed her under the earth, to hid
her from Hera, where she gave birth to the giant Tityas
(who is therefore called a son of the earth).
1. One of the Pleiades, the wife of Thaumas, mother
of the goddess Iris and the Harpies. 2. Daughter of
Oceanus and Tethys. She had a son, Dardanus, by Zeus.
3. The daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra (see:
This Athenian religious festival was held in honor
of the grain and fertility goddess Demeter, her name
is purely Greek, meaning "spelt mother" (spelt is
a type of grain.) The cult held this important festival
at the town of Eleusis, 15 miles northwest of Athens,
in the heart of the wheat and barley growing region.
Each year, when it was time for the crops to be sown,
in the month of Boedromion (September), this was the
time of year for the Mysteries to be held. It all
stems from the myth of Demeter and Persephone, when
Hades, took Persephone (Kore -"maiden") down into
the underworld. Demeter searched the world looking
for her daughter, and while she searched Demeter neglected
her duties and let the earth go barren. The gods were
worried and Zeus, who had witnessed the abduction,
intervened. Before she went back to the world of the
living, Hades gave Persephone a pomegranate to eat,
thus she would always be connected to his realm and
had to stay there one-third of the year. This symbolic
death and rebirth is the time the seed lies in the
earth and then comes to life, reborn, as was Persephone.
This was the basis of the cult, a fulfilling and happy
afterlife. The ceremony began in Athens, and all those
participating purified themselves by bathing in the
sea, they also sacrificed a piglet. All sacred and
secret objects that were to be used in the ceremonies,
were kept in the Eleusinion (a temple located at the
foot of the Acropolis in Athens). These objects had
been brought from Eleusis some days prior to the start
of the celebration. It was from the Kerameikos (the
ancient cemetery of Athens) that the great procession
of initiates started. The "Mysteries" were given this
name (in Greek musteriai, from mustes, ("an initiate").
As the procession proceeded on route to Eleusis the
participants would, at a certain place, shout obscenities.
This was a re-enactment of an old mythical woman called
"Iambe" who was said to have made Demeter smile, at
a time when she was full of sorrow for the loss of
her daughter Persephone. Also during the procession
their would be shouts of Iakch' o Iakche, which was
related to an equivocal deity, referring to "Iacchus"
who was identified with Dionysus, but in some versions
said to be the son of Persephone or Demeter. When
the procession reached Eleusis they would rest and
make ready for the next day, which was a day of fasting
(Demeter did this when in mourning for Persephone).
Once this part of the ceremony was over, the initiates
drank a special brew of barley water mixed with penny-royal
called, kykeon (a creeping mint cultivated for its
supposed medicinal properties). The climax of the
ceremony took place in the "Telesterion" (initiation
hall). During the 5th century BC, "Ictinos" designed
a huge hall which would hold several thousand people.
In this hall, the secret and sacred objects were shown
to the initiated, and also the priestesses would reveal
the vision of the holy night, which is thought to
have been a fire symbolizing life after death. These
rituals were kept secret, shown only to the initiated,
and it was totally forbidden to speak of them publicly.
In the Hellenistic age (300-150 BC), the cult was
taken over and run by the state, and two aristocratic
families from Eleusis officiated (the Eumolpidae and
Kerykes). In this age, mystery cults were becoming
very popular, unlike classical Greece (400s BC) when
the Eleusinian mysteries were a rare form of worship.
The annual Eleusinian mysteries attracted thousands
of people from all over the Greek world, and the only
initial requirement to become a mystes (initiate)
was to be without blood guilt nor a barbarian ( in
other words, if you spoke Greek). It was open to both
men and women, and remarkably, slaves were also allowed
into the cult. The mysteries existed from Mycenaean
times (circa 1600-1200 BC), thought to have been established
in the 1500s BC and held annually for two thousand
years. The Roman emperor Theodosius closed the sanctuary
in AD 392 , and finally it was abandoned when Alaric,
king of the Goths, invaded Greece in AD 396. This
brought Christianity to the region, and all cult worship
Eleusis is the place, where the cult of the goddess
Demeter existed many centuries and where the most
famous religious festival, called the Eleusinian mysteries
were performed in the honour of this deity. According
to the "Homeric Hymn to Demeter" (7th c. BC.), when
the goddess Demeter was desparetely looking for her
daughter (=Kore) Persephone -kidnapped by Aidoneus
(Hades)- during her wandering she came to the city
Eleusis. Here she was welcomed by the Queen Metaneria.
To thank her, Demeter took care about prince Demophon
. Each night she brought the boy near the fire to
make him immortal and she fed him with the nectar
and ambrosia of the Gods. When the child┤s mother
saw once at night what was happening, she was astonished.
Demeter revealed, who she was and she asked to build
a sanctuary in her honour to teach them secret rituals.
She closed herself in the temple, troubled for her
daughter and she did not allow any seed to grow from
the fields until she saw her daughter again. So, Zeus
decided, that Persephone will spend one third of a
year with Aidoneus in the underworld and the other
two thirds with her mother, Demeter. When Persephone
is leaving to the underworld Demeter mourns for her
and all nature is ready to die, to be reborn again
in the spring, when she is coming back to her mother.
The myth is a base for the explanation of the changing
of nature and the different seasons during a year.
Also there was a tradition spread out by the Athenians
about the first civilization in Eleusis who were cultivating
grain, the gift of Demeter to Triptolemos, the son
of the Eleusinian king. The sanctuary and its cult
have roots in the Mycenaean period (1500 - 1425 BC.).
The ritual was originally local and it could have
had probably from the beginning an agrarian aspect.
The Athenians established this cult as Panhellenic
during the period of Peisistratus. It was florishing
under the Roman supremacy until the proscription of
the cult by Theodosius and the destruction of the
sanctuary by the Goths about 400 AD. The name "Eleusinian
mysteries" is connected with two Greek words eleusis,-
eos - arrival, tˇ mystÝrion - secrecy. The people
were arriving to this place to performed secret rites.
The mysteries were kept in absolute secrecy, so it
was strictly forbidden to talk about them under penalty
of death. Nevertheless we have some informations from
the different sources - many reflections in the literature,
the epigraphical evidence, the archaeological findings
(architectonical, sculptural, paintings on the vases,
votive objects, cult vessels) related to the Eleusinian
religious rites. All of these materials are used for
the reconstruction of events. But well known is mainly
this part of the celebration, which was performed
in public. The ancient literature (Homeric Hymn to
Demeter, Pindar, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristoteles,
Pausanias) contains only allusions to this theme.
But the authors are writing without any doubt, that
the mortals who participated in the initiations, were
blessed. They knew the beginning and the end of life,
they had the happinies, while the others - uninitiated,
had only misery and after death murky dark. Christian
writers tried to break a secrecy about the ritual.
They were describing some details from the initiation
act, like drinking from the kykeon ( a special mixture
of barley, water and aromatic mint) and moving with
sacred tools, kiste and kalathos (kiste - the sacred
chest, kalathos - the basket closed with a lid), which
only initiate (mystes) members knew what it concealed.
Unfortunately they could not give more references
about it. Some authors of modern literature are supposing,
that the secret of the Eleusinian mysteries was based
on the hallucinogenic ingredients in the kykeon. The
reliefs and vase paintings related to the Eleusinian
mysteries are concentrated mainly around two themes.
They are depicting the mythological story about blessing
of agriculture for the earth and in the second case
they illustrate the great proccesion from Athens to
Eleusis. Triptolemos, receiving the seeds from the
hands of Demeter, has to teach mankind how to cultivate
the fields, while Kore keeps her hand over his head
to protect him.This main story is depicted on the
great Eleusinian relief ( from the half of the 5th
century BC.), exhibited in the Archaeological National
Museum in Athens. The mission of Triptolemos, seated
on the winged throne or chariot with the ears of corn
in his hand, surrounded by Demeter and Kore with pine-torches,
is an occasional representation on some black and
red figured vases and the votive reliefs between the
6th and the 4th centuries BC., when the myth about
beginning of agriculture, connected with the Eleusinians,
was very popular. The procession of initiates with
Kore and Iakchos in front of Demeter on the Ninnion
Tablet (from the lst half of the 4th c.BC.) in the
National Archaeological Museum of Athens is showing
many interesting details from the Eleusinian celebration.
We are supposing that poeple arrived inside the sanctuary
. Demeter with a sceptre is sitting on the sacred
kiste and Kore with torches is introducing her initiates.
Each of them is keeping branches, called bakchoi,
which were swung rythmically along the thirty kilometers
of the Sacred Way from Athens to Eleusis. The procession
was moving with dancing attendants, some of them almost
in ecstasy. The second row of procession was led by
torch-bearer Iakchos in the function of priest at
the mysteries, who leads the way and holds torches
for performance of the rites. He is standing near
omphalos , while a further unknown figure sitting
on the closed kiste, keeps in her hands a sceptre
and a vessel. Probably she is a priestress of Demeter,
carrying kiste with the sacred symbols during the
procession and keeping a vessel with kykeon. On the
pediment of this Tablet is represented Pannychis,
the whole-night feast. The festal activities were
accompanied by dances, -perhaps across the Rharian
field-,(where as the myth is saying the first corn
ever grew) and later on by a bull-sacrifice also in
the court of the sanctuary. The Eleusinian Mysteries
had their fixed place in the calendar. The first stage
of the initiation (Lesser Mysteries) were held usually
in the spring in the month of Anthesterion (March).
But it could take place also at various times in Eleusis
or at the Eleusinion in Athens. The priests of the
Mysteries prepared the candidates for receiving initiation
(myesis). The first act was the sacrifice of a young
pig, after which a purification ceremony followed.
The Great Mysteries were celebrated for nine dayes
in the month of Boedromion (September). On the first
day - the 14th of Boedromion the sacred symbols were
brought from Eleusis to Athens. After the hierophant
opened the festal time with an official proclamation
(prorrhesis). On the 16th of the month the initiates
went together to the sea at Phaleron to purify themselves
by bathing. On the 17th the sacrifices were made at
the Eleusinion and the next day the initiates stayed
at home. On the 19th of the month the procession moved
to Eleusis, carrying the sacred symbols of Demeter.
The gates of the sanctuary in Eleusis were open only
for the initiates - men, women, foreigners who were
admitted, but not murderers or barbarians. The initiation
rites took place in the Telesterion building (which
was made for several thousand people)on the 20th and
21st of the month.. On each of its sides there were
the seats, from which initiates watched the mysteries.
Almost in the center of the hall was built the Anaktoron(Palace),
a rectangular stone construction for the sacred objects
of Demeter. Only the hierophantes could enter it,
to perform the rites and display their sacred things.
Two classes of initiates participiated in the mysteries
- the initiates, who took part for the first time
and the others, who were present for at least a second
time. The second group could attain epopteia, the
highest stage of initiation, when the hierophant showed
the greatest mystery. Next day the initiates honoured
the dead with libations from special vases. On the
23rd of the month the celebrations took an end and
everybody was returning home
An epithet of Dionysus and Eros, meaning "the liberator".
God of hope, who stood over the grieving Eros, holding
A Trojan, the mythical ancestor of the Elymi, a people
Elysium. In Greek mythology, the abode of the blessed,
paradise. Situated at the end of the world it is here
that those chosen by the gods are sent to.
Empusa was a specter (a ghost-like spirit) in ancient
Greek mythology. Empusa devoured and frightened travelers
that were found near its sight. It showed no mercy
when travelers crossed its path. Empusa was feared
by the people that were near its town, and had the
reputation of being evil.
One of the hundred-armed Gigantes. He fought against
the Olympians, and Zeus hit him with a bolt of lightning
and locked him beneath Mt. Aetna, which shook each
time he rolled over to his other side.
Endymion was a beautiful shepherd boy of Asia Minor,
the mortal lover of the moon goddess Selene. Each
night he was kissed to sleep by her. She begged Zeus
to grant him eternal life so she might be able to
embrace him forever. Zeus complied, putting Endymion
into eternal sleep and each night Selene visits him
on Mt. Latmus, near Milete, in Asia Minor. The ancient
Greeks believed that his grave was situated on this
mountain. Selene and Endymion have fifty daughters.
A river god from Thessaly. He was loved by Tyro, who
was mislead by Poseidon in Enipeus' shape. From their
union Neleus and Pelias came forth.
"Earth-shaker", and epithet of Poseidon.
A Spartan god of war. It is also an epithet of Ares.
A Greek goddess of war and waster of cities, sometimes
depicted as the daughter of Ares, but also as his
mother or his sister. She appears covered in blood,
and striking attitudes of violence. Enyo ("horror")
is one of the Graeae, the three 'old women'. In Rome
she was identified with Bellona.
The Greek personification of the dawn, the daughter
of the Hyperion and Theia and the sister of Helios
(sun) and Selene (moon). By Astraeus she was the mother
of the four winds: Boreas, Eurus, Zephyrus and Notus;
and also of Heosphorus and the Stars. She was depicted
as a goddess whose rosy fingers opened the gates of
heaven to the chariot of the Sun. Her legend consists
almost entirely of her intrigues. She first slept
with Ares; this earned her the wrath of Aphrodite
who punished her by changing her into a nymphomaniac.
Her lovers were Orion, Cephalus and Tithonus.
The son of Zeus and Io, who bore him after she arrived
at the banks of the Nile after her wonderings and
recovered her human form again. Epaphus became the
king of Egypt and founded the city of Memphis.
Ephialtis was one of the Aloadae, the son of Poseidon.
He was a Greek who allegedly told the Persians of
the Greek position during the battle of Thermopylae
in 400 BC. Along with his brother, Otus, Ephialtis
was colossal in size. Together, Ephialtis and Otus
battled the gods. Every year, the brothers grew an
ell in breadth and a fathom in length, and within
nine year they were 36 feet tall. Because the two
were founders of Naxos and Boeotian Ascra, they were
worshiped as heroes in those cities.
1. Synonym for Jocasta. 2. Name of the wife and daughter
A prophet of Apollo, who, falling asleep as a herdsman
for fifty-six years, and awoke with the gift of prophecy.
A religious teacher and miracle worker in Crete who
is said to have fallen asleep in a cave as a boy,
and that he did not wake up for 57 years. Cretan generator
of paradox "I am a consistent liar."
Epimetheus ("afterthought") is the son of Iapetus
and Clymene. He foolishly ignored his brother Prometheus'
warnings to beware of any gifts from Zeus. He accepted
Pandora as his wife, thereby bringing ills and sorrows
to the world.
The Muse of lyric poetry, particularly love and erotic
poetry, and mimicry. She is usually depicted with
Erebus was known as the embodiment of primordial darkness,
the son of Chaos (who was the void from which all
things developed, known also as Darkness). According
to Hesiod's Theogony, Erebus was born with Nyx (Night),
and was the father of Aether (the bright upper atmosphere)
and Hemera (Day). Charon, the ferry-man who took the
dead over the rivers of the infernal region, is also
said to be the son of Erebus and Nyx. Later legend
describes Erebus as the Infernal Region below the
earth. In this version, Hades was split into two regions:
Erebus, which the dead have to pass shortly after
they have died, and Tartarus, the deepest region,
where the Titans were imprisoned. Aristophanes' Birds
says that Erebus and Nyx were also the parents of
Eros, the god of love. He is often used metaphorically
for Hades itself.
In Virgil (VI, 659) a river of the underworld. In
Herodotus (III, 115) a river which, by some of his
contemporaries, was associated with the river Po.
This because the Po is situated near the end of what
used to be the so-called Amber trail. According to
legend, amber originated from the tears shed by the
Heliades over the death of their brother Phaeton,
who fell from the sky into the river Eridanus.
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Eris is the Greek goddess of discord and strife. She
is Ares' constant companion and follows him everywhere.
Eris is sinister and mean, and her greatest joy is
to make trouble. She has a golden apple that is so
bright and shiny everybody wants to have it. When
she throws it among friends, their friendship come
to a rapid end. When she throws it among enemies,
war breaks out, for the golden apple of Eris is the
Apple of Discord. She did this once during the wedding
of Peleus and Thetis, and this act brought about the
Eros, the Greek god of love and sexual desire (the
word eros, which is found in the Iliad by Homer, is
a common noun meaning sexual desire). He was also
worshiped as a fertility god, believed to be a contemporary
of the primeval Chaos, which makes Eros one of the
oldest gods. In the Dionysian Mysteries Eros is referred
to as "protagonus", the first born. But there are
many variations to whom the parents of Eros really
where. According to Aristophanes (Birds) he was born
from Erebus and Nyx (Night); in later mythology Eros
is the offspring of Aphrodite and Ares. Yet in the
Theogony, the epic poem written by Hesiod, it mentions
a typified Eros as being an attendant of Aphrodite,
but not her son. Another legend says that he was the
son of Iris and Zephyrus. From the early legend of
Eros it is said that he was responsible for the embraces
of Uranus (Heaven or Sky) and Gaia (Earth), and from
their union were born many offspring. It was also
written that Eros hatched our race and made it appear
first into the light (Birds, by Aristophanes). Although
one of the oldest gods, he was a latecomer to Greek
religion. He was worshiped in many regions of Greece,
at Thespiae there was an ancient fertility cult, and
in Athens he and Aphrodite had a joint cult. Also
in Athens the forth day of every month was sacred
to Eros. Sometimes Eros was worshiped by the name
Erotes (which is the plural of Eros); this personified
all the attractions that evoked love and desire, this
included heterosexual and homosexual allurements.
Anteros (the Returner of Love also known as the god
of Mutual Love) was the brother of Eros, which comes
from the version of which Aphrodite and Ares are said
to be the mother and father of Eros. Eros is usually
depicted as a young winged boy, with his bow and arrows
at the ready, to either shoot into the hearts of gods
or mortals which would rouse them to desire. His arrows
came in two types: golden with dove feathers which
aroused love, or leaden arrows which had owl feathers
that caused indifference. Sappho the poet summarized
Eros as being bitter sweet, and cruel to his victims,
yet he was also charming and very beautiful. Being
unscrupulous, and a danger to those around him, Eros
would make as much mischief as he possibly could by
wounding the hearts of all, but according to one legend
he himself fell in love. This legend tells us that
Eros was always at his mothers side assisting her
in all her conniving and godly affairs. The legend
goes on to say that Aphrodite became jealous of the
beauty of a mortal, a beautiful young woman named
Psyche. In her fit of jealousy Aphrodite asked Eros
to shoot his arrow into the heart of Psyche and make
her fall in love with the ugliest man on earth. He
agreed to carry out his mothers wishes, but on seeing
her beauty Eros fell deeply in love with Psyche himself.
He would visit her every night, but he made himself
invisible by telling Psyche not to light her chamber.
Psyche fell in love with Eros even though she could
not see him, until one night curiosity overcame her.
She concealed a lamp and while Eros slept she lit
the lamp, revealing the identity of Eros. But a drop
of hot oil spilt from the lamp awakening the god.
Angered she had seen him Eros fled and the distraught
Psyche roamed the earth trying in vain to find her
lover. In the end Zeus took pity and reunited them,
he also gave his consent for them to marry. There
are variations of this legend but most have the same
outcome. The Romans borrowed Eros from the Greeks
and named him Cupid (Latin cupido meaning desire).
Eros has been depicted in art in many ways. The Romans
regarded him as a symbol of life after death and decorated
sarcophagi with his image. The Greeks regarded him
as most beautiful and hansom, the most loved and the
most loving. They placed statues of him in gymnasiums
(as most athletes were thought to be beautiful). He
was depicted on every form of utensil, from drinking
vessels to oil flasks, usually showing him ready to
fire an arrow into the heart of an unsuspecting victim.
Ersa was the Greek goddess of the dew. She was the
daughter of Zeus and Eos, sister of Pandia.
One of the Hesperides.
The eagle that gnawed the liver of Prometheus.
A euphemistic Greek term for the Erinyes (Furies).
The name means something like "the kind ones, the
well-minded, or well-disposed ones, or protectors
of the suppliant". This title was applied to the Furies,
who were female spirits who tormented the guilty.
They were born from the blood of Uranus. Uranus was
killed by his own son Cronus, who was helping his
mother, Gaia. Gaia made a sickle from her body so
Cronus could arm himself. When Uranus' blood fell
upon the earth, the Furies were made. It was also
used for the title of the play called Oresteia. It
was the third play in the series.
"Good order". Eunomia was the goddess of order and
legislation in Greek mythology. She was one of the
three Horae. She was the daughter of Zeus and Themis.
Her sisters were Eirene and Dice. The Horae were the
goddesses of the seasons. Eunomia was not one of the
goddesses who lived on Mt. Olympus.
"Joy". One of the three Charites, the Graces
Europa was the daughter of Agenor, and was beloved
by Zeus. Zeus took the form of a beautiful white bull
and encountered Europa at the seashore. By appearing
to be very tame, he coaxed her to climb onto his back
and then swam off with her across the sea to Crete.
In Crete, Europa had three sons by Zeus -- Minos,
Sarpedon, and Rhadamanthys. Zeus also gave her three
gifts: the bronze man, Talos, to act as her guardian;
a dog, Laelaps, which never failed of its quarry;
and a javelin which never missed its mark. Europa
afterwards married Asterius, the king of Crete. Europa
is also the name of a daughter of Tityus, and mother
Eurus was the child of Eos and Astraeus. Eurus is
the Greek god of the east wind, and his siblings,
the other winds. The Greeks were not sure whether
the winds were male or female, but they knew that
they had wings. Eurus was the wind who brought warmth
and rain from the east. A symbol showing this was
a vase inverted, pouring out rain. Eurus was the unfavorable
one. His Roman equivalent is Vulturnus.
One of the three Gorgons. Literally, "far-roaming".
Eurydice and Orpheus were young and in love. So deep
was their love that they were practically inseparable.
So dependent was their love that each felt they could
not live without the other. These young lovers were
very happy and spent their time frolicking through
the meadows. One day Eurdice was gaily running through
a meadow with Orpheus when she was bitten by a serpent.
The poison of the sting killed her and she descended
to Hades immediately. Orpheus was son of the great
Olympian god Apollo. In many ways Apollo was the god
of music and Orpheus was blessed with musical talents.
Orpheus was so sad about the loss of his love that
he composed music to express the terrible emptiness
which pervaded his every breath and movement. He was
so desperate and found so little else meaningful,
that he decided address Hades. As the overseer of
the underworld, Hades heart had to be hard as steel,
and so it was. Many approached Hades to beg for loved
ones back and as many times were refused. But Orpheus'
music was so sweet and so moving that it softened
the steel hearted heart of Hades himself. Hades gave
permission to Orpheus to bring Eurydice back to the
surface of the earth to enjoy the light of day. There
was only one condition--Orpheus was not to look back
as he ascended. He was to trust that Eurydice was
immediately behind him. It was a long way back up
and just as Orpheus had almost finished that last
part of the trek, he looked behind him to make sure
Eurydice was still with him. At that very moment,
she was snatched back because he did not trust that
she was there. When you hear music which mourns lost
love, it is Orpheus' spirit who guides the hand of
the musicians who play it.
1. An Oceanid, one of the many daughters of Oceanus.
She is the mother of the Charites. 2. A servant of
Penelope. 3. The mother of Adrastus. 4. The mother
Euterpe, from the Greek culture, is one of the nine
Muses of Apollo. Her name means "rejoicing well" or
"delight". She was born from Zeus and Mnemosyne, the
goddess of memory, along with her other eight sisters.
Euterpe is the Muse of music and lyric poetry. She
is also the Muse of joy and pleasure and of flute
playing and was thought to have invented the double
flute, which is her attribute.