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A Phrygian or Thracian deity whose cult spread through Greece in the 5th century BCE. In the Greek world he was equated with Dionysus and sometimes also with Zeus. In the Roman Empire his name became an alternative name for Bacchus.


The son of Sancus, the eldest king of the Sabeans, who worshipped him as a god.


The nymph of the spring of that name near Halicarnassus in Asia Minor. She loved Hermaphroditus and was granted her request to be united with him, but the gods put the both of them in one body. Hence the dual sexuality of Hermaphroditus and the legend that the spring Salmacis rendered effeminate those who bathed or drank of its waters.


1. The son of Zeus and Europa. He was banished by his brother Minos and moved to Asia Minor, where he became king of the Lycians. He is said to have lived for three generations. 2. The son of Zeus and Laodamia (1), king of the Lycians. He helped his brother Priam during the siege of Troy. He was killed by Patroclus, upon which Zeus had Apollo move the body to Lycia. (Iliad V, 471; XVI, 419).


In Greek mythology the satyrs are deities of the woods and mountains. They are half human and half beast; they usually have a goat's tail, flanks and hooves. While the upper part of the body is that of a human, they also have the horns of a goat. They are the companions of Dionysus, the god of wine, and they spent their time drinking, dancing, and chasing nymphs. The Italian version of the satyr is the faun, while the Slavonic version is the Ljeschi.


The god of the river with the same name, near Troy. He was the father of Teucer and participated in the Trojan War (Iliad XX, 73; XXI, 1).

In Greek mythology, a sea monster who lived underneath a dangerous rock at one side of the Strait of Messia, opposite the whirlpool Charybdis. She threatened passing ships and in the Odyssey ate six of Odysseus' companions. Scylla was a nymph, daughter of Phorcys. The fisherman-turned-sea-god Glaucus fell madly in love with her, but she fled from him onto the land where he could not follow. Disappear filled his heart. He went to the sorceress Circe to ask for a love potion to melt Scylla's heart. As he told his tale of love to Circe, she herself fell in love with him. She wooed him with her sweetest words and looks, but the sea-god would have none of her. Circe was furiously angry, but with Scylla and not with Glaucus. She prepared a vial of very powerful poison and poured it in the pool where Scylla bathed. As soon as the nymph entered the water she was transformed into a frightful monster with twelve feet and six heads, each with three rows of teeth. Below the waist her body was made up of hideous monsters, like dogs, which backed unceasingly. She stood there in utter misery, unable to move, loathing and destroying everything that came into her reach, a peril to all sailors who passed near her. Whenever a ship passed, each of her heads would seize one of the crew. Scylla in also the name of a daughter of King Nisus of Megara.


Selene, the moon goddess, is known for her countless love affairs. The most famous of her loves is the shepard Endymion. Other affairs of Selene's include involvement with Zeus with whom she had three daughters, and Pan who gave her a herd of white oxen. Some sources report that the Nemean lion, which fell to the earth from the moon was the result of an affair of Zeus and Selene. She was involved in many love affairs, however, not as many as her sister, Eos, the dawn. She resembles a young woman with an extremely white face who travels on a silver chariot drawn by two horses. She is often shown riding a horse or a bull. Selene is said to wear robes, carry a torch, and wear a half moon on her head. She was not one of the twelve great gods on Olympus, however she is the moon goddess. After her brother Helios completes his journey across the sky, she begins hers. Before Selene's journey across the night sky she bathes in the sea. Selene's parents are the Titan Hyperion, the sun god, and Theia, the sister of Helios. Some sources report that she is the daughter of the Titan Pallas, Helios, or Zeus. Helius, who is the sun god as well as his father Helios, is the brother of Selene. Eos, the dawn, who is known for her numerous love affairs is the sister of Selene. The seduction of Endymion is the love affair that brings Selene the most fame. She fell in love with the shepard, Endymion, and seduced him while he lie sleeping in a cave. Some sources say Endymion was a king or a hunter, rather than a shepard. Her seduction of Endymion resulted in the birth of fifty daughters, one of which was Naxos. Since Selene was so deeply in love with Endymion she asked Zeus to allow him to decide his own fate. Zeus granted Selene's request, and Endymion chose never to grow old and to sleep eternally. However, Endymion's eternal sleep did not prevent him from Selene giving birth to his daughters. Endymion was visited by Selene every night and kissed by her rays of light. Selene is a favorite of many poets, especially love poets. A moonlit night brings the feeling of romance. It is said that Selene's moon rays fall upon sleeping mortals, and her kisses fell upon her love, Endymion

Semele was the daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia, and the mother, by Zeus, of the god Dionysus. Because Zeus slept with Semele secretly, Hera only found out about the affair after the girl was pregnant. Bent on revenge, Hera disguised herself and persuaded Semele to demand that Zeus come to her in all the splendor with which he visited Hera. As a result, Semele asked Zeus to grant an unspecified favor, and got him to swear by the river Styx that he would grant it. Unable to break his oath, Zeus came to her armed in his thunder and lightning, and Semele was destroyed. However, Zeus rescued the unborn child from the mother's ashes and sewed it in his thigh until it was ready to be born. Thus Dionysus is sometimes called "the twice-born." Dionysus was raised at first by Semele's sister and brother-in-law, Ino and Athamus, and later by the nymphs of Nysa. As an adult, he retrieved his mother from Hades and made her a goddess; she was called Thyone.

"The venerable ones". A euphemistic Greek term for the Erinyes (Furies).

In ancient times a prophetess who, in a state of ecstasy and under influence of Apollo, prophesized without being consulted. Famous Sibyls are the Cumaean Sibyl and the Erythraean Sibyl, who revealed to Alexander the Great his divine descent. The Cumaean Sibyl owned, according to tradition, nine books of prophecies, which she sold the remaining three to the Roman king Tarquin.

Greek woodland gods or spirits, closely connected to the satyrs. They were occasionally referred to as being half-man half-horse, in stead of half-man half-goat. The Sileni were portrayed as lechers and drunkards, bald-headed and pot-bellied, with thick lips and stub noses, and with the tails and ears of a horse. The flute and lyre are their attributes. The Sileni can often be found in the company of Dionysus. Later mentioned as only one Silenus, the tutor and companion of Dionysus.

Originally plural (Sileni), but later mentioned as one Silenus, the teacher and faithful companion of the wine-god Dionysus. A notorious consumer of wine, he is usually totally drunk and is supported by satyrs or carried by a donkey. When the Phrygian king Midas took the drunk Silenus in his house, Dionysus handsomely reward Midas for his hospitality. He has much wisdom and if captured by mortals he can reveal important secrets. Silenus is usually portrayed as a plump jovial old man with a long beard and stump nose, bald and with a horse's tail.


The daughter of Asopus and Metope. She was so beautiful that Apollo abducted her and brought her to Paphlagonien where she bore a son, Syrus. The city Syrus was named after him.


In Greek mythology, the Sirens are creatures with the head of a female and the body of a bird. They lived on an island (Sirenum scopuli; three small rocky islands) and with the irresistible charm of their song they lured mariners to their destruction on the rocks surrounding their island . The Argonauts escaped them because when he heard their song, Orpheus immediately realized the peril they were in. He took out his lyre and sang a song so clear and ringing that it drowned the sound of those lovely fatal voices. When on another journey the Odysseus' ship passed the Sirens, had the sailors stuff their ears with wax. He had himself tied to the mast for he wanted to hear their beautiful voices. The Sirens sang when they approached, their words even more enticing than the melody. They would give knowledge to every man who came to them, they said, ripe wisdom and a quickening of the spirit. Odysseys' heart ran with longing but the ropes held him and the ship quickly sailed to safer waters (Odyssey XII, 39). Homer mentions only two sirens, but later authors mention three or four. They were regarded as the daughters of Phorcys, or the storm god Achelous. According to Ovid, they were nymphs and the play-mates of Persephone. They were present when she was abducted and, because they did not interfere, Demeter changed them into birds with female faces.

Sisyphus is the son of Aeolus (the king of Thessaly) and Enarete, and founder of Corinth. He instituted, among others, the Isthmian Games. According to tradition he was sly and evil and used to way-lay travelers and murder them. He betrayed the secrets of the gods and chained the god of death, Thanatos, so the deceased could not reach the underworld. Hades himself intervened and Sisyphus was severely punished. In the realm of the dead, he is forced to roll a block of stone against a steep hill, which tumbles back down when he reaches the top. Then the whole process starts again, lasting all eternity. His punishment was depicted on many Greek vases. He is represented as a naked man, or wearing a fur over his shoulders, pushing a boulder. According to some sources, Sisyphus was the father of Odysseus by Anticlea, before she married Laertus. They also mention Theseus as the hero who freed the country of Sisyphus.

An epithet of Apollo, derived from the Smintha, a city near Troy, or from sminthos; the mouse-exterminator.


The river deity of the river in Thessaly with the same name. He is a son of Gaia and Oceanus.


In ancient Egypt, the Sphinx is a male statue of a lion with the head of a human, sometimes with wings. Most sphinxes however represent a king in his appearance as the sun god. The name "sphinx" was applied to the portraits of kings by the Greeks who visited Egypt in later centuries, because of the similarity of these statues to their Sphinx. The best known specimen is the Great Sphinx of Gizeh (on the western bank of the Nile) which is not a sphinx at all but the representation of the head of king Khaf-Ra (Chephren) on the body of a crouching body. It was supposedly built in the 4th dynasty (2723-2563 BC), although others claim it dates back to the 7th-5th millennium. The Greek Sphinx was a demon of death and destruction and bad luck. She was the offspring of Typhon and Echidna. It was a female creature, sometimes depicted as a winged lion with a feminine head, and sometimes as a female with the breast, paws and claws of a lion, a snake tail and bird wings. She sat on a high rock near Thebes and posed a riddle to all who passed. The riddle was: "What has four feet, two feet and three feet, but one voice?". Those who could not solve the riddle were strangled by her. Finally Oedipus came along and he was the only who could answer that it was Man, who first crawls on all fours, then walks on his two legs and when old uses a cane to help him walk. After hearing the correct answer, the Sphinx threw herself headlong down the rock. The name 'sphinx' is derived from the Greek sphingo, which means "to strangle". In ancient Assyrian myths, the sphinx usually appears as a guardian of temple entrances.


One of the Pleiades and wife of Ares by whom she had a son, Oenomaus, the king of Pisa in Elis.


Steropes was one of the three Cyclopes, a race of Titans who had one eye in the middle of their forehead in Greek mythology. Due to their fatherıs (Uranus) fear of losing his rule over his sons, the Cyclopes, as well as the other Titans and the Hecatonchires, (monsters with fifty heads and one-hundred arms each) were trapped inside Gaia, their mother. Later, after Cronus, who was Uranusı son, disposed of his father Uranus by using a sickle to slice him up, Cronus seized the throne for himself. Cronus ate all his children in order to protect his position as the ruler of everything. But he could not escape his fate and Zeus, one of his sons, was able to grow up; being secretly raised by Amaltheia Zeus released Steropes (as well as the others, like Brontes and Arges) when Zeus battled against the Titans. Steropes had the power of lightening and helped build Mount Olympus.

One of the three Gorgons. Literally, "forceful".

Styx ("hate") is the Greek goddess of the river of death in the underworld. She was usually said to be the daughter of Erebus and Nyx. She was married to Pallas by whom she had Zelus, Nike, Cratos and Bia. The gods swore their oaths by this river, for violating such an oath would result in the loss of their immortality.

Styx (River)

The river of which many know its name, without knowing its origin or what it really stood for. A river that separates the world of the living from the world of the dead. Styx it is said winds around Hades (hell or the underworld are other names) nine times. Its name comes from the Greek word stugein which means hate, Styx, the river of hate. This river was so respected by the gods of Greek mythology that they would take life binding oaths just by mentioning its name, as referenced in the story of Bacchus-Ariadne, where Jove "confirms it with the irrevocable oath, attesting the river Styx." There are five rivers that separate Hades from the world of the living, they are: 1. Acheron - the river of woe; 2. Cocytus - the river of lamentation; 3. Phlegethon - the river of fire; 4. Lethe - the river of forgetfulness; 5. Styx - the river of hate. It is thought that Charon, the old ferry man who ferries the dead onto the underworld, crosses the river Styx where the dragon tailed dog Cerberus guards, allowing all souls to enter but none to leave. This is a misconception, Charon crosses the river Acheron where also Cerebus stands his eternal guard. Also while on this subject, Charon only takes the souls across that are buried properly with a coin (called an obol) that was placed in their mouths upon burial. If a god gave his oath upon the river Styx and failed to keep his word, Zeus forced that god to drink from the river itself. The water is said to be so foul that the god would lose his/her voice for nine years. The river is not the subject of any story itself but is mentioned in several. These little pieces give a wonderful view of not only the river but the ancient Greeks view of the underworld. From its Adamantine gates to its separate levels of Tartarus and Erebus onto the Elysian fields.


Syrinx was an Arcadian river-nymph who was pursued by Pan. To escape him she fled into the waters of her river where she pleaded the gods for help, and they changed her into a reed. Disappointed, Pan cut the reed into pieces of gradually decreasing lengths, fastened them together with wax and thus produced the shepherd's flute, or "pipes of Pan", upon which he plays.

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