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MITOLOGY DICTIONARY(M)

M

Macaria
Macaria was the daughter of Heracles and appears in Euripides's play Heraclidae (The Children of Heracles). When she and her siblings took refuge from Eurystheus with Demophon, king of Athens, Eurystheus prepared to take them from the kingdom by force. Oracles told Demophon that his city would win the battle over Heracles's descendants only if a highborn maiden was offered as a sacrifice to Persephone. On hearing this, Macaria offered to die for her siblings. The spring where she died was named the Macarian spring in her honor.

Machaon

The son of Asclepius. Together with his brother Polidarius he led a company of Thessalonians in the battle of Troy. Both brothers were renowned as healers. Machaon was buried in Gerenia, in ancient ton of Messenia, were he venerated by the people there.

Maenads
The female devotees of the wine-god Dionysus, thus also called Bacchae and Bacchantes. Inspired by him to ecstatic frenzy, they accompany him in his wanderings and as his priestesses carry out his orgiastic rites. In their wild frenzy they tear animals apart and devour the raw flesh. They are represented crowned with vine leaves, clothes in fawnskins and carrying the thyrsus, and dancing with the wild abandonment of complete union with primeval nature.

Maera

1. The daughter of Proetus, and companion of the goddess Artemis. Zeus pursued her with his love, so that the jealous Artemis killed her. 2. A daughter of Atlas.

Maia
"The Pleiades" was the name given to the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione. Maia was the eldest of the daughters, and said to be the most beautiful. Being shy, she lived quietly and alone in a cave on Mount Cyllene, in Arcadia. Zeus, however, discovered the beautiful young woman, and fell in love with her. He came to her cave at night, to make love to her away from the jealous eyes of his wife, Hera. As a result, Maia bore Zeus a son, Hermes. When still an infant, Hermes stole some cattle from the god Apollo, and hid them in his mother's cave. When Apollo stormed into Maia's cave, she showed him the tiny baby to prove he could not have been the cattle thief. Apollo was not fooled, however, and angrily appealed to Zeus to punish Hermes. Zeus arbitrated by requiring Hermes to give back the cattle. During the feud, baby Hermes played the lyre, and Apollo was so enchanted by the music that he dropped the charges, and even gave some of the cattle to Hermes, as well as other gifts. Some time later, Maia helped Zeus when Hera had caused the death of one of his other mistresses, Callisto, who had borne him a son, named Arcas. Zeus ordered Hermes to give Arcas to Maia to raise as her own, which she did. Arcas and Callisto were eventually placed in the sky, becoming the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (Big and Little Bear) to escape the wrath of the ever-jealous Hera.

Mania
The Greek personification of madness.

Maro
The companion of Dionysus, and the one who raised the god when he was still and infant. Later he became a priest of Apollo at Ismarus (Thrace).

Marsyas

After Athena first played the flute she had invented, she threw it away because it made her cheeks look puffy when she played it. A satyr named Marsyas found it. He played so well on it he challenged Apollo to a music playing contest to see who made prettier music. Apollo won the contest and wanted to punish Marsyas for thinking he played better than him. Apollo chased him and when he caught him, in a cave near Calaenae in Phrygia, cut off his skin. The satyr's blood turned into the river Marsyas.

Master of Animals
Master of Animals - a Late Bronze Age deity In the Minoan and Mycenaean mythological and religious iconography appears a male deity, called later by the Greeks, Master of Animals. He is a counterpart of the Mistress of Animals (Potnia theron) 1, portrayed with wild animals, mainly lions and exerting his power over them. On the seals and rings-relief the Master of Animals is depicted with the Minoan manner , wearing only a small cloth around his slim waist and turning his body to show his muscular breasts and shoulders in a frontal position. The head, usually with beard and rich hair, has a strong facial expression . The gem from Kydonia or the Mycenaean seal ring are illustrating such type, while the well known Aegina Treasure-pendant represents the Master of Animals with an Egyptian influence. The motif is created by a completely different way . The deity looks like an Egyptian, holding waterbirds in his hands and his surrounding consists of double snakes and papyrus flowers. The Oriental seals from the Palace of Cadmus in Thiva are showing the Master of Animals with goats, some vegetation and various symbols from the Syrian and Mesopotamian mythology. Some authors are supposing, that the Master of Animals could represent a hunting deity and protector nature, or even a nature god 2. But sometimes the deity, accompanied by a lion, is armed with a spear and a shield and at the other case he is armed with weapons again, but without company of animals. M.P. Nilsson opened an interesting question about the close relation between Master of Animals and the armed god, as a hunter and wargod. He believed, that the spear and the shield became a religious symbol of this god 3. In my opinion, the Master of Animals could represent from the beginning of the Late Helladic period, a nature god who is related with hunting. The Mycenaeans took this type from the Minoan belief system, which was the origin of this deity. After 1500 BC and during the 14th century BC the conception of this figure was changing . A warlike tendency of Mycenaean society was growing and it could be a reason, that their male god had to take another responsibility. His attributes, mainly the shield, became frequent decorative motives in Mycenaean art and pottery production. So it is possible, that the male god, depicted from beginning mainly with animals, and later on with a spear and a shield could be Enualios, known from Linear B script 4, related in Greek literature with Ares, god of war.

Medusa

One of the Gorgons, and the only one who was mortal. Her gaze could turn whoever she looked upon to stone. There is a particular myth in which Medusa was originally a beautiful maiden. She desecrated Athena's temple by lying there with Poseidon. Outraged, Athena turned Medusa's hair into living snakes. Medusa was killed by the hero Perseus with the help of Athena and Hermes. He killed her by cutting of her head and gave it to Athena, who placed it in the center of her Aegis, which she wore over her breastplate. From Medusa's dead body the giant Chrysaor and the winged horse Pegasus, her son by Poseidon, sprang forth.

Megaera
Megaera, the grudging or unwilling, is one of the three Erinyes or Furies. They were created by drops of Uranus' blood. The Erinyes are the three goddesses of revenge, they punished those who escaped or defied public justice. The other two sisters are Alecto, the unceasing, and Tisiphone, the avenging. The three are women with fiery eyes, dogs' heads, and their head are wreathed with serpents. Their whole appearance is terrific and appalling. The sisters are sometimes called the daughters of night and are brought about by murder, perjury, ingratitude, disrespect, harshness, and the laws of hospitality. Megaera, Alecto, and Tisiphone are impartial and impersonal and they pursue wrongdoers until they sinners are driven mad and die.

Melete
One of the original three Greek (Boeotian) Muses (their number was later increased to nine) and the Muse of Meditation. She is the sister of Aoide and Mneme.

Melia
A Greek nymph, the daughter of Oceanus. By Inachus she became the mother of Phoroneus and Aegealeus or Phegeus. According to other she was the mother of Amycus by Poseidon.

Meliboea
1. The daughter of Oceanus, mother of Lycaon. 2. The sole daughter of Niobe who was spared by Artemis. She was so upset by the death of her brothers and sisters that she was from that moment on called Chloris ("the pale one").

Melicertes

God of harbors in Greek mythology he was the son of Athamas and Ino, and the brother of Learchus. In order to save her son from her father, who had gone insane, Ino threw him into the sea, where he was transformed into the sea god, Palaemon. In memory of this event and in honor of the god, Sisyphus made the Isthmian Games. The legend of Melicertes is presented in the sources with many variations due to being passed down to one generation after another

Melissa

A nymph, daughter of King Melisseus. She is thought to have fed the infant Zeus with goat milk and thought humans the use of honey (melitta, bee). 'Melissa' was also a title for the priestesses of Demeter and Artemis.

Melisseus
A legendary king of Crete, father of the nymph Melissa.

Melpomene

The Muse of tragedy. She is usually represented with a tragic mask and wearing the cothurnus (the boots traditionally worn by tragic actors). Sometimes she holds a knife of club in one hand, and the mask in the other.

Menippe

The daughter of Orion, and sister of Metioche. Both sisters were endowed by Aphrodite with great beauty, and equaled Artemis in the womanly crafts. When the region where they were born, Aonia, at the base of the Helicon, was struck by the plague, they voluntarily sacrificed themselves to the gods of the underworld in order to avert the plague. After their deaths they were given a place among the stars.

Menoetius
1. One of the four sons of Iapetus and Clymene. He angered Zeus and was struck down by a thunderbolt at Mount Trphyle (or was cast down into the Tartarus). 2. Son of Actor, and father of Patroclus (Iliad, XI, 765). 3. Shepherd of Hades on the island of Erythea. He warned Geryon that Heracles had stolen his herds.

Menthe
A nymph, loved by Hades. She was turned into a plant by a jealous Persephone.

Merope
A Greek mythological figure, Merope is one of the seven Pleiades, daughters of Atlas and Pleione. The Pleiades were virgin companions of Artemis. Merope lived on Chios, and was often pursued by Orion. Merope did not love Orion and married a mortal, Sisyphus/ Orion also pursued Alcyone, Electra, Celaeno, Sterope, and Taygete, the other Pleiades and their mother. One time they prayed to the gods for rescue. The gods answered by turning them into doves and later into stars. Zeus placed them in the sky where they now form part of the constellation, Taurus. Since Merope married a mortal, she became the faintest star.

Merope
1. The daughter of Oceanus. She is sometimes regarded as the mother Phaeton by Helios or Clymenus. 2. The daughter of Atlas, wife of Sisyphus (see: Merope). 3. The wife of Polybus, foster-mother of Oedipus.

Metioche
One of the two daughters of Orion. She voluntarily sacrificed herself to avert a plague. See: Menippe.

Metis
The Greek personification of wisdom and its goddess. She is a daughter of Oceanus and Tethys. Metis is regarded as the first wife of Zeus, whom he swallowed when he discovered that she was pregnant, fearing she might give birth to a son mightier than he. Subsequently, the goddess Athena sprang fully armed from his head. It was also Metis who delivered the remedy that made Cronus disgorge the children he had swallowed.

Midas
Midas was the king of Pessinus, capital of Phrygia, a region in Asia Minor. He was the adopted son of Gordias and Cybele and was well known for his pristine rose garden and love of the pleasures of life. The most famous myth about King Midas is when he received the golden touch from Dionysus, god of the life force. Dionysus was associated with intoxication and was followed by a group of satyrs -- half human, half goat individuals with a lust for wine and sexual pleasures. The leader of the satyrs, entrusted with Dionysus' education, was Silenus. One day, completely in character for a satyr, Silenus became intoxicated and passed out in Midas' rose garden. The peasants found him and brought him before their king. Luckily, Midas recognized Silenus and treated him well for five days and nights. During this time, Silenus entertained Midas and his court with fantastic tales. Dionysus came to Midas and was glad to be reunited with Silenus his surrogate father. He decided to reward Midas for his hospitality and granted him one wish. Midas wished that everything he touched be turned to gold. Dionysus warned him about the dangers of such a wish, but Midas was too distracted with the prospect of being surrounded by gold to listen. Dionysus gave him the gift. Initially, King Midas was thrilled with his new gift and turned everything he could to gold, including his beloved roses. His attitude changed, however, when he was unable to eat or drink since his food and wine were also changed to unappetizing gold. He even accidentally killed his daughter when he touched her, and this truly made him realize the depth of his mistake. Desperate, Midas pleaded to Dionysus for help. Dionysus instructed Midas to bathe in the headwaters of the Pactolus River, and the wish would be washed away. Midas went to the river, and as soon as he touched the water, the river carried away the golden touch. The gold settled in the sands of the Pactolus River and was carried downstream to Lydia, one of the richest kingdoms in the ancient world and the source of the earliest coinage. This myth is ethiological since it explains why the Pactolus River is rich with gold and how Lydia came to be one of the richest kingdoms. It is also carries a common motif in Greek folklore - the "short-sighted wish". Midas let his greed blind him to the future. Most notably, this myth has aspects characteristic of myths of Dionysus. Child sacrifice is a frequent theme in Dionysian myths. Frequently, Dionysus would punish mortals indirectly by having them kill their own children. King Midas kills his daughter by turning her to gold. He pays for his greed. After the death of his daughter, Midas hated wealth and splendor and became a worshiper of Pan, god of woodlands. In another myth, Pan challenged Apollo, god of the music, to a test of skill at music. Tmolus, god of the mountain, was the judge at the contest and ruled that Apollo was the victor. Midas, being a follower of Pan, questioned the ruling and this offended Apollo. As a punishment for Midas' lack of musical "taste", Apollo changed Midas' ears into donkey ears. Ashamed of his disfigurement, he hid his ears under a large hat with only his barber knowing about the deformity. It was so hard for the barber to keep the secret that he dug a hole, whispered the secret into the hole, then covered it with earth. From this spot grew reeds that whispered, "Midas has donkey ears!" every time the wind blew. Another version has the queen letting out the secret. In the end, Midas ran away from Phrygia never to be heard from again.

Mimas

1. One of the giants, and a son of the Earth (Gaia). He was slain by Heracles. 2. A son of Amycus, a prominent Trojan, and Theona (a sister of Hecuba). Mimas escorted Aeneas to Italy and stayed there.

Minoan Snake Goddess
The Snake Goddess was one of the Minoan divinities associated closely with the snake cult. She is called also Household Goddess due to her attribute of the snake, which is connected with welfare of the Minoan house. But the snake is also symbol of the underworld deity, so the Snake Goddess is related to chthonic aspects too. The first, who identified this Minoan Goddess and who described her domestic and chthonic role and her cult, was A. Evans. He tried to find parallels in the Egyptian religion and linked the Snake Goddess with an Egyptian Goddess of the Nile Delta, Wazet (Wadjyt). From his point of view the attribute of goddess - snake - was a form of underworld spirit, which had a domestic and a friendly significance. M.P. Nilsson hold a snake as personification of the Snake Goddess and he believed, that her chthonic form is one of the aspects of the Great Mother. But at the present time there are discussions about the functions of the Snake Goddess. In Crete does not exist a real archaeological evidence for her household role and there is almost no support for the chthonic aspects too. A small offering vessel of the Pre-Palace period in the shape of a female figure with a snake coiled around her body from Koumasa, came to light between some grave goods. But the other ritual figurines of the Snake Goddess were found in the Temple Repositories of the Knossos palace and public sanctuaries in Gurnia, Khania and Gortyn, where she was worshipped. Unknown provenience is the Snake Goddess made from ivory and gold (in the Boston museum) and a small bronze goddess with coil of snakes (in the Berlin museum). Two famous faience Snake Goddesses from Knossos belong to the New-Palace period (about 1600 BCE). Besides the ritual function, they are among the best examples of the Minoan art with its dominant features - naturalism and grace. They are presented as the ladies of the palace court, dressed in the typical Minoan clothes with a long skirt (flounced, or with an apron) and a tight open bodice. The snakes crawl around the body of one the goddesses and appear in each hand of the other. These statuettes are interpreted sometimes as the goddess and her votary, the mother goddess and her daughter, or the human attendants of goddess, as well as the women personified the goddess. Totally different ritual objects of the Snake Goddesses came from sanctuaries of the Post-Palace period (1400-1100 BCE). They are made from cheaper material - terracotta - in the position with raised hands, extremely stylized in accordance with the manners of this period. Their symbol - a snake - is often mixed with the other sacred signs: horns of consecration or birds. Figures of the Snake Goddess and some other cult objects - so called snake tubes and vessels with wholes, decorated by a model of snake - illustrate the worshipping of a Snake Goddess and her cult in Crete during some periods. It seems that this cult came to existence from very early Minoan age, derived from the Egyptian belief system, but there was the strong Near-Eastern influence too. In the Egyptian mythology the snake was a personification of the goddess Kebechet, symbolized the purification by water in the funeral cult, so the snake became a protector of the pharaohs in their death. In the Sumerian and the Old-Babylonian literary tradition the snake was a wise creature and an expert for miraculous herbs of the eternal youth and immortality. A similar idea is contained in the Cretan myth about Glaukos, where the snake knows the herb of rebirth and resurrection. It is possible, that the worshipping of the Minoan Snake Goddess was in some context to the rebirth, resurrection or renewal of the life. This cult was flourishing mainly in Knossos of the New-palace period and in the Post-Palace public sanctuaries. It is sure, that mainly Knossos' idols, made from faience with a high artistic level, had an important function in the Minoan religion. We have to take into consideration, that the material of the New-Palace Snake Goddesses - faience - symbolized in old Egypt the renewal of life, therefore it was used in the funeral cult and in sanctuaries. The Post-Palace Snake Goddesses, worshipped in the small public sanctuaries, kept probably a more popular role. These ritual objects were influenced by the Mycenaean culture. Their attribute of the snake had a strong signification in the belief system of all Aegean region at this time. The terracotta models of painted snakes were found in the Cult Center of Mycenae and the motif of snakes appear between the decoration of vessels for funeral cult from the Late Mycenaean cemeteries in the mainland and in the islands Rhodos, Kos and Cyprus. The symbol and spirit of the Minoan Snake Goddess took in the Greek mythology many different features. The snake had a protective and beneficial role on the shield of Athena, it represented the chthonic power connected with the Goddess of Earth, it was the attribute of Asklepios, probably due to its knowledge about the herb of rebirth, resurrection and eternal youth and generally it was the symbol of superhuman power of the god. But the snake could have a totally negative role too as an originator of the death and an avenger in company with the mythical creatures

Minos
The legendary king of Crete, son of Zeus and the Phoenician princess Europa. Minos and his two brothers, Rhadamanthys and Sarpedon, were raised in the royal palace of Cnossus. Minos married Pasiphae, daughter of the sun-god Helios. Some of their children were Phaedra, Ariadne, and Andregeos. In mythology, a dispute over the sovereignty of Crete led Minos to ask Poseidon for help. He asked the god to send an offering as a sign of his true kingship. The god of the sea sent a gleaming pure white bull, which emerged miraculously from the waves. This confirmed to all concerned that Minos was their true king. However, as soon as King Minos saw this magnificent beast he refused to sacrifice it to Poseidon, and replaced it with another. Poseidon in retaliation sent Pasiphae into uncontrollable lust for this huge beast. So much so that she had the urge to mate with this huge animal. To do this she requested the help of Daedalus, a craftsman and inventor, who built a hollow wooden cow. Pasiphae hid inside, the amorous bull mounted the wooden cow and as a result Pasiphae conceived its child, or rather a creature which was half man and half bull, which became known as the Minotaur (Minotauros, "the bull of Minos"). King Minos ordered Daedalus to construct a palace to hide the Minotaur, and Daedalus built Labyrinth. Because of his meddling Minos imprisoned Daedalus and his son Icarus inside a tower. They escaped by making wings from wax and feathers, but Icarus was killed when he flew to close to the sun. When Androgeos, the son of King Minos, attended the games in Athens he was victorious in all events, but was murdered through envy by other contestants. Minos then attacked Athens to avenge the death of Androgeos, and, after gaining control of the city he granted Athens peace, but with one condition: that every nine years Athens should send seven of their finest young men and young maidens to Crete, as sacrifice to the Minotaur. When the hero Theseus heard about this practice, he volunteered to be one of the victims, killing the Minotaur, and freeing Athens from this grizzly duty. Another legend of which King Minos is part, is that of King Nisus of Megara, who to protect his city had to keep a lock of red hair hidden in his own white hair. King Minos besieged Megara, but Nisus knew that all would be well, as long as the lock of red hair was still in place. However, Scylla the daughter of Nisus fell in love with Minos, and to prove her love for him she cut the lock of red hair from her fathers head, which killed Nisus, and Magara fell. When Minos found out that Scylla had been responsible for her father's death he killed her. She was reincarnated as a seabird, to be pursued by her father Nisus, who had been turned into a sea eagle. Sir Arthur Evans a British archaeologist gave the name "Minoan" to the Cretan civilization, from King Minos' name, (A.D. 1900). Even the name Minos, may not have been the king's real name (and is not Greek in origin) and could have been a hereditary title of Minoan rulers.

Minotaur
Before he ascended the throne of Crete, Minos struggled with his brothers for the right to rule. Minos prayed to Poseidon to send him a snow-white bull, as a sign of approval by the gods for his reign. He promised to sacrifice the bull as an offering, and as a symbol of subservience. A beautiful white bull rose from the sea, but when Minos saw it, he coveted it for himself. He assumed that Poseidon would not mind, so he kept it and sacrificed the best specimen from his herd instead. When Poseidon learned about the deceit, he made Pasipha, Minos' wife, fall madly in love with the bull. She had Daedalus, the famous architect, make a wooden cow for her. Pasipha climbed into the decoy and fooled the white bull. The offspring of their lovemaking was a monster called the Minotaur. The creature had the head and tail of a bull on the body of a man. It caused such terror and destruction on Crete that Daedalus was summoned again, but this time by Minos himself. He ordered the architect to build a gigantic, intricate labyrinth from which escape would be impossible. The Minotaur was captured and locked in the labyrinth. Every year for nine years, seven youths and maidens came as tribute from Athens. These young people were also locked in the labyrinth for the Minotaur to feast upon. When the Greek hero Theseus reached Athens, he learned of the Minotaur and the sacrifices, and wanted to end this. He volunteered to go to Crete as one of the victims. Upon his arrival in Crete, he met Ariadne, Minos's daughter, who fell in love with him. She promised she would provide the means to escape from the maze if he agreed to marry her. When Theseus did, she gave him a simple ball of thread, which he was to fasten close to the entrance of the maze. He made his way through the maze, while unwinding the thread, and he stumbled upon the sleeping Minotaur. He beat it to death and led the others back to the entrance by following the thread.

Minyas

The king of Orchomenos in Boeotia, and mythical ancestor of the Minyans and thusly of the Argonauts. He is the father of the Minyades.

Misenus
1. The companion of Odysseus. 2. The brother-in-arms of Hector, and later in the service of Aeneas. He was the trumpeter of Aeneas' fleet, challenged Triton and was drowned by him. Cape Misenum (current Miseno) in the Bay of Naples was named after him

Mistress of Wild Animals
Mistress of the Wild Animals (Potnia theron) or Queen of the Wild Bees, appears under many names. Her Minoan name was Britomartis or Sweet Virgin and she was related to Diktynna. The name Potnia is known from the Linear script B tablets and was being used for the main Mycenaean female deity. For the iconographical type goddess surrounded by the animals, who was applied into Archaic Greek art, was used usually the name Potnia theron, but sometimes Artemis too. The Minoan seals relief are showing the Mistress of Animals in frontal position with raised hands, turning the lower part of her body, dressed with a Minoan skirt. She is flanked by the beasts, a double axe and snakes, which are giving the evidence about her divinity. Her close relation with nature and domination over the animals is illustrated on the relief seal scene, on which one of the griffins, accompanying the deity, is suckling her breast. The other representation on the golden ring is showing the deity with a galloping griffin. The griffins, the same as the beasts, became followers of her divinity and also get a function as guardians. Sometimes, the mythical and wild animals depicted alone, or with some religious equipment (as an altar or column), are giving an information about the presence of the deity or about her sacred place. During 15th century BC the Mycenaeans, heavy influenced by Minoan culture, presented the Mistress of Animals with a Minoan manner and with her usual sacred symbols. But at the Late Mycenaean period the old type of deity flanked by the animals was forgotten. On the wall paintings the goddess is sometimes accompanied by the griffin and generally absolutely new iconographical religious themes and types were discovered . In the early Archaic Greek art Mistress of Animals emerges again. The relief on the pithos from Thebes is showing her in frontal position with raised hands, accompanied by the lions and two small human figures, while a Boetian vase is illustrating her domination over many kinds of animals. The necklace plaques, decorated with the Mistress of Animals from the second half of 7th century BC, are presenting her with wings in a daedalic style, surrounded by lions or with a body of bees without company of the animals. Finally, the Francois vase is representing the type of this deity again with wings, holding a lion and a deer, but in this situation she is called sometimes Potnia theron, sometimes Artemis. Mistress of Animals, a counterpart of Master of Animals, is usually described as a hunting deity, but some authors associate her not only with wild animals, snakes, birds, but further with a sacred tree and pillar, with some poppy and some lily and finally she looks like a Mistress of Trees and Mountains. M.P. Nilsson believed, that she was an earlier form of the Minoan Mother of Mountains. The Mycenaeans adopted the iconographical type of Mistress of Animals and used it besides the goddess of nature, who was represented with vegetation, mainly palms and papyrus flowers. The archaic Greeks, following the tradition, used the old iconographical scheme with their own esthetic program, but later on the name Potnia theron, her attributes and functions were integrated with Artemis.

Mneme

One of the original three Greek Muses (their number was later increased to nine). Mneme is the Muse of Memory. She is the sister of Aoide and Melete.

Mnemosyne

Menemosyne is the personification of memory and its goddess. She is a daughter of Gaia and Uranus and the mother of the nine Muses by Zeus, her nephew.

Moira
Moira was a very important and powerful Greek godess. She was the goddess of fate. Moira was the supreme even over the gods and goddesses of Olympus. Her mysterious force was more powerful than any other of the Olympian gods.

Moirae
The Fates, or Moirae, were these goddesses controlled the destiny of everyone from the time they were born to the time they died. They were: Clotho, the spinner, who spun the thread of a person's life, Lachesis, the apportioner, who decided how much time was to be allowed each person, and Atropos, the inevitable, who cut the thread when you were supposed to die. Even though the other gods were almighty, and supposedly immortal, even Hera had reason to fear them. All were subject to the whims of the Fates. Ministers of the Fates were always oracles or soothsayers (seers of the future). The Fates were very important, but it is still unknown to who their parents were. There is some speculation that they might be the daughters of Zeus, however, this is debatable. The Fates were often depicted as ugly hags, cold and unmerciful. But the Fates were not always deaf to the pleading of others. When Atropos cut the thread of King Admetus, who happened to be Apollo's friend, Apollo begged the Fates to undo their work. It was not in their power to do so, but they promised that if someone took Admetus' place in the gloomy world of Hades' domain, he would live. The king's wife, Alcetis, said she would take his place. But Hercules, who happened to be Admetus' guest, rescued her from the underworld, and Admetus an Alcetis were reunited.

Momus
Momus is the Greek deity of mockery, faultfinding, scoff and (un)fair criticism. He is also the patron of writers and poets. He found fault with the man made by Hephaestus for not having little doors in his breast through which his secret thoughts might be seen, and with Aphrodite for talking too much and because her sandals creaked. This and other mocking and criticism of the gods led to his downfall and he was banished from the Olympus. Hesiod called him a son of Nyx (Night).

Mormo
Mormo was a Greek goddess. She would bite naughty children and make them crippled. Mormo did this to frighten them. She was not one of the twelve immortals that lived on Mt. Olympus.

Moros

Moros ("destiny") is the Greek personification of doom. He is the son of Erebus and Nyx and the brother of Thanatos.

Morpheus

The Greek god of dreams. He lies on a ebony bed in a dim-lit cave, surrounded by poppy. He appears to humans in their dreams in the shape of a man. He is responsible for shaping dreams, or giving shape to the beings which inhabit dreams. Morpheus, known from Ovid's Metamorphoses, plays no part in Greek mythology. His name means "he who forms, or molds" (from the Greek morphe), and is mentioned as the son of Hypnos, the god of sleep.

Musagetes
"Leader of the Muses". An epithet of Apollo as leader of the nine Muses.

Muses
The Greek goddesses who presided over the arts and sciences. They were believed to inspire all artists, especially poets, philosophers, and musicians. The Muses were the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory. The number of Muses varies over time; initially there was but one, and later there is mention of three: Melete, Mneme, and Aoede. They were nymphs in Pieria, western Thrace, and their cult was brought to Helicon in Boeotia by the Aloadae. Usually there is mention of nine muses: Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Urania. The Muses were venerated throughout Greece, but more so in those areas with many wells and springs. The area of Boeotia, near Helicon, remained the favorite place of the Muses, and there they were more venerated than elsewhere. It is also the place of two well that were sacred to them, Aganippe and Hippocrene. Also Delphi and the Parnassus were their favorite places, and it was here that Apollo became their leader (musagetes). The Muses sat near the throne of Zeus, king of the gods, and sang of his greatness and of the origin of the world and its inhabitants and the glorious deeds of the great heroes. From their name words such as music, museum, mosaic are derived.

Myrrha
The daughter of Cinyras and by him the mother of Adonis. She was turned into a myrrh tree.


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