The Disposer, one of the three Erinyes (Fates). She
measures the length of the thread of human life spun
by Clotho and determines its destiny.
The hundred-headed dragon who guards the garden of
the Hesperides and in it the tree with the golden
apples. Some sources say that he is a child of Typhon
and Echidna, other mention the dragon as a child of
The ancient Greeks believed that the Lamia was a vampire
who stole little children to drink their blood. She
was portrayed as a snake-like creature with a female
head and breasts. Usually female, but sometimes referred
to as a male or a hermaphrodite. According to legend,
she was once a Libyan queen (or princess) who fell
in love with Zeus. Zeus' jealous wife Hera deformed
her into a monster and murdered their offspring. She
also made Lamia unable to close her eyes, so that
she couldn't find any rest from the obsessing image
of her dead children. When Zeus saw what had be done
to Lamia, he felt pity for her and gave his former
lover a gift: she could remove her eyes, and then
put them on again. This way, though sleepless, she
could rest from her misfortune. Lamia envied other
the other mothers and took her vengeance by stealing
their children and devouring them. In Lamia and other
Poems (1820), the English poet John Keats writes about
Lamia too. In this version, based on the information
he found in Anatomy of Melancholy of the 1600s, Lamia
has the ability to change herself into a beautiful
young woman. Here she assumes a human form to win
a man's love.
The daughter of Helios. Together with Phaetusa she
guarded her father's oxen on the island of Thrinacia.
When Odysseus' companions slaughtered some of them,
she informed her father about this.
1. A nymph, occasionally mentioned as the mother of
Niobe. 2. The dauther of Priam and Hecuba.
Laomedon was the son of Ilus and a king of Troy, two
of his sons were Tithonus and Podarces (Priam) who
was later to be king. Laomedon was also very well
known for his blatant treachery. It was Laomedon who
gave Troy (Ilion) its city walls, to build them, he
persuaded Poseidon and Apollo, (who at that time had
been banished from Mount Olympus for a year by Zeus,
for not obeying his wishes). telling them he would
reward them well. After many months of hard work the
walls were finished, the finest ever seen, but when
Apollo and Poseidon asked for their reward, Laomedon
refused to give them their payment and drove them
away, hurling threats and insults towards the immortals.
Poseidon and Apollo returned to Mount Olympus, as
their year of banishment was complete, but the two
gods were extremely angry at Laomedon's actions. To
gain vengeance over Laomedon, Apollo sent a plague
over the land, and Poseidon a sea-monster. Laomedon
asked the advice of an oracle to rid his land of these
hardships, the oracles reply was, Laomedon had to
sacrifice his own daughter (Hesione) to the sea-monster.
Laomedon without hesitation had Hesione chained to
a rock, she lay trembling with fear, awaiting her
grizzly end, to be devoured as sacrifice to this monster
of the sea. As if by a miracle Heracles was in the
vicinity, and pledged to save Hesione after Laomedon
had promised him a team of matchless horses, which
had been given by Zeus to his grandfather Tros. The
fearless Heracles fought and killed the sea-monster,
releasing Hesione, but once again Laomedon broke his
promise and refused Heracles the horses as reward.
Heracles, angered by this, killed Laomedon and his
sons, but spared the youngest Podarces (swift-foot)
in exchange for a beautiful veil which Hesione herself
had embroidered with gold.. Heracles then gave Hesione
to his companion in arms Telamon who carried her away
to Salamis in Greece. From that day on, Podarces became
known as "Priam" (which means "bought or "ransomed")
and he became the most famous king of Troy. In Homer's
Iliad, Priam is portrayed as an old man, grieving
the misfortunes of the Trojans, and the death of many
of his sons
In Greek mythology, a daughter of Pelasgus, whom the
fortress near Argos and two cities (in Thessaly and
in Peneus) are named after.
See: Hero and Leander.
Leda was the daughter of Thestius and the wife of
Tyndareus. She has been known as the Queen of Sparta.
Leda was seduced by Zeus when he came to her in the
form of a swan. Leda gave birth to an egg. From it
hatched the Dioscuri, the twins Castor and Pollux.
With Zeus she also had Helen and with Tyndareus she
had Clytemnestra. Clytemnestra was the wife of Agamemnon,
king of Mycenae. She was one of the tragic women in
the Trojan War. While Agamemnon was away in the war,
Clytemnestra took Aegisthus as her lover, and together
they plotted to kill Agamemnon when he returned. One
of her reasons was her husband's sacrifice of their
daughter. When Agamemnon returned Clytemnestra pretended
to greet him. Later, while Agamemnon bathed, Clytemnestra
murdered him. She, herself was killed by her son Orestes.
Helen of Troy was said to be the most beautiful woman
in Greece and the major cause of the Trojan War. While
still a young girl, Helen was carried off by an Athenian
hero, Theseus. Before any harm could come to her the
Dioscuri rescued her. Later, she was sought after
by almost every prince in Greece, but she finally
married Menelaus, king of Sparta, who was the richest
of the suitors. Helen and Memelaus had one child.
Her name was Hermione. Helen and Menelaus' marriage
was threatened when Paris, a Trojan prince, fell madly
in love with Helen. Taking advantage of Menelaus'
absence from the palace, Paris abducted Helen and
then left for Troy. This was the cause of the Trojan
War. All of the other prices had promised Tyndareus,
Helen's father, that he would in case of need, come
to the aid of the lucky man who became Helen's husband.
Faithful to their oaths, all the princes of Greece
took power under the command of Agamemnon to avenge
the outrage done to Menelaus. For ten years the battle
raged before the walls of Troy. Finally the Greek
warriors were able to enter the city by hiding in
the hollow flanks of a large wooden horse (see: Trojan
horse) which the Trojans themselves had put in the
city. Troy was conquered and set on fire. Helen was
returned to Menelaus and they were reconciled. After
Menelaus' death, Helen was put among the stars with
Dioscuri. Castor and Pollux had a magnificent temple
erected in their honor. They accompanied the Roman
army on its campaigns and during battles were seen
among the cavalry. They also protected sailors and
travelers at sea. At Ostia they calmed a storm which
was not allowing ships loaded with corn from entering
port. Castor and Pollux carried off the two daughters
of Leucippus and married them. This was the reason
for their quarrel between Idas and Lynceus, who were
also seeing the two young women. Pollux killed Lynceus
while Castor was mortally wounded by Idas. Pollux
wept over the body of his brother; for being himself
immortal he could not follow Castor to the Kingdom
of Hades. "In their quality of marine god they naturally
presided over commerce." In the second century AD
they were incorporated in funeral rituals and their
popularity was so great that even Christians did not
deny that they were symbols of life and death
An appellation of Dionysus as lord of the wine press.
Lethe"Forgetfulness". In Greek mythology, the Lethe
is one of the rivers that flow through the realm of
Hades. Called the River of Oblivion, the shades of
the dead had to drink from this river to forget about
their past lives on earth.
Leto, the daughter of the Titans Phoebe and Coeus.
Known as the hidden one and bright one, her name came
to be used for the moon Selene. Hera was jealous of
Leto because Zeus, the husband of Hera, had fallen
in love with her. From their union Leto bore the divine
twins, Artemis and Apollo. Leto found this to be an
arduous task, as Hera had refused Leto to give birth
on either terra firma or on an island out at sea.
The only place safe enough to give birth was Delos
because Delos was a floating island. Therefore, Leto
did not refute the wishes of Hera. In some versions,
Leto was refused by other vicinities because they
feared the great power of the god she would bear.
To show her gratitude, Leto anchored Delos to the
bottom of the Aegean with four columns, to aid its
stability. A conflict of legends arises when in one
version it says that Artemis was born one day before
Apollo, and the birth took place on the island of
Ortygia. Then the next day, Artemis helped Leto to
cross to the island of Delos, and aided Leto with
the delivery of Apollo. Leto, being the mother of
Artemis and Apollo, figured as the motive for the
slaughter was Niobe's children was that Niobe had
been bragging to Leto about bearing fourteen children
(in some versions six or seven). Leto had only born
two, and to make matters worse, Niobe then had the
audacity to say, it must make her more significant
than Leto. When the divine twins were told of this
insult, they killed all Niobe's children with their
deadly arrows. After which Niobe wept for her dead
children so much that she turned into a pillar of
stone. From one version of how Apollo slew the monster
Python, it was said that while Leto was still pregnant
with the divine twins, Python tried to molest her.
As punishment, Apollo killed him and then took control
of the oracle of Delphi. Leto was worshiped throughout
Greece, but principally in Lycia (Asia Minor). In
Delos and Athens, there were temples dedicated to
her, although in most regions she was worshiped in
conjunction with her children, Artemis and Apollo.
In Egypt there is the Temple of Leto (Wadjet) at Buto,
which was described by Herodotus as being connected
to an island which floated. On this island (Khemmis)
stood a temple to Apollo, but Herodotus dismissed
the claim that it floated as merely the legend of
Delos brought to Egypt from Greek tradition. The Romans
called Leto "Latona".
A Greek nymph who accompanied Persephone when she
was abducted by Hades.
The king of Messinia, father of Phoebe and Hilaera.
His daughters were abducted by the Dioscuri.
"The White Goddess", the name of Ino as a marine deity,
which she became when she threw herself into the sea
with her son Melicertes. However, Dionysus would not
let her die, and she was transformet into Leucothea.
The beloved of Helios. She was betrayed by Clytia
and her father buried her alive. After her death she
turned into an incense-plant. Leucothea is also the
name of Ino as a marine-deity, which see.
The daughter of the Greek king Orchamus. She was loved
by Apollo, and he assumed the shape of her mother
to gain entrance to her. When her father learned of
Apollo's visit, he became so enraged that he buried
his daughter alive. Apollo changed the girl into a
The daughter of Epaphus en Memphis, beloved by Poseidon.
She gave her name to that part of the world that was
called Libya (in ancient times Africa for as far as
it was known then.)
An epithet of Dionysus, alluding to a fertility aspect
of the god. The name means "he of the winnowing fan";
a sort of shovel with which the cut grain was thrown
into the air to separate the chaff. The winnowing
fan was one of the implements used in the Mysteries.
A beautiful Greek youth, who died before his time.
According to an ancient saga, the son of Apollo and
the Muse Urania. He was killed by his father during
a contest. In the sagas of Argos he was the son of
Apollo and Psamathe, the daughter of the king of Argos.
Because Psamathe feared her father's wrath, she gave
her son to shepherds to raise him. When he reached
maturity, he was torn apart by dogs. Psamathe was
killed by her father, and an angered Apollo send a
plague to Argos, which killed mainly the children.
In the sagas of Thebes, Linus was the son of Apollo
and the Muse Terpsichore. As a skilled singer and
musician he taught Orpheus and Heracles, until he
reprimanded Heracles for his mistakes, and was killed
The sisters of the Greek goddess Ate. They follow
her wherever she goes and try to repair the damage
she has wrought to mortals.
The son of Zeus and Maera.
A nymph, daughter of Poseidon. She was pursued by
Priapus and in order to escape him was changed into
the lotus tree.
Loxias was one of the titles of Apollo. Loxias was
a Greek god of prophesy, music, and healing. Like
most of his Olympian companions, he didnıt hesitate
to interrupt human affairs. He was the one who helped
kill Achilles, the great warrior and leader of Troy.
An epithet of Dionysys, as the god who releases people
A sea nymph, daughter of Nereus and Doris.
The son of Aegyptus, the only one of his fifty sons
that was spared during the treacherous attact of the
Danaides, the fifty daughters of Aegyptus' brother
Belus. Lynceus was married to Hypermnestra, and together
they became the ancestors of the Argives. It is also
the name of one of the Argonauts (see: Lynceus).
In Greek mythology Lysithea was a daughter of Oceanus
and one of Zeus' many lovers.