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Table of Contents
Greek Mythology The Theogony by Hesiod (fragment) Fantastic Fossils Unicorns, West and East Greek Mythology: An Introduction by Fritz Graf (fragment) Myth and Greek Art: Creating a Visual Language by Jenifer Neils (fragments) The Demonization of Pan by Kevin Hearne THE STUDENT‟S MYTHOLOGY - A COMPENDIUM OF Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Assyrian, Persian, Hindoo, Chinese, Thibetian, Scandinavian, Celtic, Aztec, and Peruvian Mythologies by C. A. White (fragments) Greek myths The Impact of Greek mythology on Western culture Poveste si adevar in legenda sirenelor Mitologia greaca Creaturi din mitologia greaca 54-65 66-77 78
Translations Glossary Bibliography
Fantastic creatures in Greek mythology
Despite twenty centuries of Christianity, the gods, heroes and monsters of ancient Greece are far from being forgotten. Every year, millions of tourists visit the ruined remains of the temples where they were once worshipped, the works of art representing them are considered priceless masterpieces, and ancient stories about them still thrill children and adults alike. Thus, Greek mythology, all the legends about Greek gods, heroes and fantastic creatures, represent a truly magnificent cultural treasure, a fascinating monument to art and literature. Myths are stories about gods whose purpose was to provide an explanation for natural phenomena and certain events and concepts (such as life and death or fate). Early humans, lacking scientific knowledge, sought to understand the mysterious forces that made plants spring each year, or those that made volcanoes erupt. These forces received the name of a god or a goddess. In time, these gods received more “responsibilities” and many more stories and legends were linked to them. A very complex and complicated mythological system was born this way. For a long period of time, these myths and stories were passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth, as part of an oral tradition dating back to the Bronze Age. It wasn‟t until 8th century BC, that the poet Homer wrote some of them down as part of his famous epics The Iliad and The Odyssey. However, he does not introduce his mythical characters, since all ancient Greeks were familiar with them. We owe the first written cosmogony of Greek mythology to the poet Hesiod, a contemporary of Homer. He gives a detailed account of the emergence of the Universe from a primordial void (Chaos), the birth of the first gods from the union of Gaia (the Earth) and Ouranos (the Sky) and that of the spirits and of the most well-known monsters in Greek mythology. The aim of this glossary is to compile some of the most popular fantastical creatures in classical mythology and to highlight their impact on our own culture and society. But first, let us delve deeper into the issue of their origin. According to Hesiod‟s Theogony, Ceto and Phorcys, two primordial sea gods, both of whom were the children of Gaia (The Earth) and Pontus (the Sea), produced a host of monstrous children: Ladon (the Hesperian dragon, guardian of the Hesperides), the Graeae (the”grey sisters”, who shared one eye and one tooth among them), the Gorgons (terrifying women with snakes for hair that could petrify humans
etc) were also born during this period. a two headed hound and his more famous brother Cerberus. a man with the head of a bull. woods. The Chimaera was one of the most bizarre monsters in classical mythology. who was cursed by Poseidon to fall in love with a fabulous white bull. from the most complex. These are the mythical explanations for the existence of monsters. Archaeologists digging on the site of the Palace of Cnossos uncovered numerous images depicting dancers. rivers. mountains. the genealogies presented in The Theogony may vary from author to author. the many headed serpent slain by Heracles. half-bird creatures) and the nymphs (beautiful maidens inhabiting the sea. the guardian of the Underworld. Echidna is the most important of them. who was raped by Poseidon in the temple of Athena. Also. whom Hesiod describes as having fifty heads instead of three. for she was known as the “mother of all monsters”. such as volcanic eruptions. gave birth to some of the most well known creatures from classical legends: Orthrus. have tried to come up with reasonable explanations for this huge cast of highly imaginative legendary creatures. such as the Cyclopes (one-eyed giants). some even suggesting that lions roamed near the top of . to the most common. It was a fire-breathing creature that had the head of a lion. the lord of the seas was not too pleased. the mortal Gorgon who was slain by the hero Perseus. whom Hesiod describes as a half nymph half serpent hybrid. Echidna also mated with her own son. performing acrobatics on the back of bulls. the goddess‟ wrath turned against the mortal. It is believed that poets used the Chimaera as a metaphor for a volcano in Lycia. the sheer size and complexity of the palace may have inspired the myth of the labyrinth where the Minotaur was held. wasn‟t the daughter of Ceto and Phorcys. Other well-known mythical beings. fantasy creatures provided people with an explanation for natural phenomena. Rituals similar to bull fighting may have been held in Crete at the time. The most obvious answer is that. The legend of the Minotaur provides another example of how cruel the gods could be and how terrible their retribution was. however. the most horrible of the monsters in Greek mythology. According to some legends. The Minotaur. from poet to poet. which was presumably practiced in Crete between 2000 – 1450 BC. Naturally. some say. She had been a beautiful woman. whom we presented earlier. Not all monsters are born that way. The myth of the Minotaur. trees. whom Athena turned into the horrible monster we all know. the harpies (half-woman. and gave birth to the Nemean lion and to the Sphinx. was the child of Queen Pasiphae. in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). Here are some examples to illustrate each scenario. Medusa. The animal was given by Poseidon to king Minos of Crete as a gift and was supposed to be sacrificed in honour of the god. the body of a goat (with a goat‟s head protruding from its spine) and a snake‟s head as its tail. as it is usually depicted. Some mythical creatures are actually based on real beasts. a nymph. Joined in love to Typhon. Orthrus. It lived in Lycia. offered to us by ancient poets and authors. and the Chimaera. just like the gods. like the wind.with their gaze) and Echidna. Since these stories had circulated and had been passed down through generations by word of mouth for hundreds of years before finally being written down. the Lernean hydra. Some are the result of the direct intervention of a god or goddess who wishes to punish mortals who have offended them. seems to be linked to the cult of the bull. Echidna. which the ancients knew very little about. a monstrous firebreathing creature slain by the hero Bellerophon. Modern scientists. When the king decided to keep the bull for himself and tried to deceive Poseidon. while the existence of others is related to local traditions and customs. however. men and women. According to Hesiod.
they were depicted as half woman half fish hybrids. but ordered them to tie him to the mast. unfamiliar and. One of their first and most important appearances is in Homer‟s epic. all agree that it was the most horrible monster of Greek mythology. Ancient Greeks believed the many earthquakes that rock the area and the volcano‟s eruptions are all caused by Typhon‟s struggle to break free. . Zeus managed to overcome Typhon and threw him into Tartarus. Classical folklorist Adrienne Mayor argues that the myth of the griffins may be based on an actual creature that lived millions of year ago and whose fossilized remains are littered all over certain parts of the Gobi desert. often breaks off leaving behind only stumps that could have been interpreted as ears. Later. having the lower bodies of birds. chubby sea creature inspired the myth of the sirens. The myth of the sirens is long lived. In order to do so unharmed. Zoologists believe that sailors who saw these unfamiliar animals from a distance might have mistaken them for maidens of the sea. Odysseus must pass by the sirens‟ island. when sailors heard their songs. His goal was to defeat Zeus and the other gods and to avenge his fallen brothers. Scientists believe the source of this myth is a real. Travellers brought these stories from Asia to Europe. a land of eternal spring.the volcano. in fossilized form. Typhon was the gargantuan son of Gaia and of Tartaros. that created storms. the Titans and the Gigantes. They lived on an island. Mayor believes that the unfamiliar bones sparked the imagination of ancient observers and that is how the myth of the griffins was born. goats frequented the pasture-lands in the middle and that the lowest parts were infested by snakes. so that he might hear their sweet songs without jumping overboard and drowning. Zeus chained Typhon and imprisoned him under Mount Etna in Sicily. when fake corpses were sold at fairs. Another monster linked to volcanic activity and other natural disasters is Typhon. The Odyssey. bony neck frill that. he is depicted as a many headed giant with a body covered in snakes and the lower body of a viper. living animal is the siren. Dugongs spend most of their time feeding underwater. they emerge from the water. when disturbed. that they were categorized as sirenians (the name of the order they belong to). pseudo-scientists called crypto-zoologists catch a siren from time to time. The griffins are fantastic beasts with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion that lived in the far North and guarded vast treasures of gold. whom Zeus had imprisoned in Tartaros. yet it conveniently gets away each time. yet still mysterious animal – the only known herbivorous sea mammal –the dugong. Though depictions of him vary from source to source. four legged dinosaur with a thin. After a titanic battle. Even today. They are so convinced that this gentle. The sirens were beautiful maidens. and lured sailors to their deaths with their enchanting songs. Most commonly. Legends say that the storm winds were born from the monster‟s body. a primordial deity and also the deepest part of the Underworld. Its large shoulder blades could have been taken for wings. but lived to tell the tale at home and in taverns. Belief in sirens persisted as far as the 19th century. earthquakes and tsunamis all around the world. The Protoceratops was a beaked. According to other sources. On his way home from the Trojan War. he plugged his sailors‟ ears with wax. indeed. Ancient Greeks named this mythical land where griffins roamed Hyperborea. sea weed hanging from their heads like locks of hair. presumably near Sicily. especially near the many gold mines and deposits that can be found here – the Protoceratops. Stories about sirens were also popular in the Middle Ages. Another mythical creature inspired by an actual. this time.
not knowing they are there. other mythical beasts gave their name to constellations as well: Draco (the Hesperian dragon). Someone forced to choose between two evils may complain that he is trapped between Scylla and Charybdis (two monsters that terrorized sailors in the Strait of Messina). they understand and use many of the phrases and expressions that have been inspired by ancient myths. and to so-called pagan belief systems in general. A fanciful mental illusion or fabrication may be called a chimaera. when he was lulled to sleep by Orpheus‟ sweet singing. Christianity has a very interesting relationship to Greek mythology. they represented the dangers of indulging in fleshly pleasures. even the terrifying guardian of the Underworld let his guard down once. presumably Chiron. and the list can continue. Greek mythology has shaped English and other languages on many levels and although few people have formal knowledge of Greek mythology. is actually the ram that wore the famed Golden Fleece. we may offer a sop to Cerberus. Some of us may ignore them. Now. Monoceros (the Greek word for unicorn). . from language to astronomy and astrology. Greek mythology has influenced almost every aspect of Western culture. In Medieval art. from religion to arts and literature and everything in between. vices and even characters. A femme fatale is a siren and a watchful guard may be called an Argus or a Cerberus. let us delve into the subject of religion. Hydra. As Christianity started to spread across Europe. sirens are shown carrying a small hand-mirror. many Greek fantastic creatures became symbols of Christian values. who turned it into a constellation. An enticing plea or appeal. We will try to briefly cover all these aspects. that is a bribe or something given to propitiate a potential source of danger or problems. the first sign. a young and beautiful girl is a nymph and the lewd man chasing after her is a satyr. Leaving the zodiac aside. To the Church. which was the attribute of the prostitutes. Noble and sacred creatures like the unicorn and the phoenix were naturally associated with Christ. heroes and fantastic creatures in Greek mythology. we shall tackle the issue of astrology and astronomy. A shrewish woman is a harpy. what is important to note is that most of these phrases and meanings of words are not limited to the English language. However. wisest of the centaurs. it encountered heavy resistance from people who did not want to give up their ancestral beliefs. Let us start with language. However. and Phoenix. Many people believe that the future is written in the stars and that one may read it by gazing at the sky. few know the origin of that sign. Nowadays. one being a giant crab that was sent by Hera to aid the Lernean hydra in its fight against the Greek hero. Next. All signs of the zodiac were inspired by gods. It was sacrificed in honour of Zeus. When not imposing itself on people by the use of brute force. The sign of the Taurus is based on the legend of Zeus turning into a white bull to kidnap the maiden Europa. They also believe that the zodiacal sign under which they were born affects their lives and their personalities. Leo and Cancer were inspired by two monsters killed by Heracles. They also exist in Romanian and probably in most Germanic and Romance languages. adapting and even incorporating some of the pagan beliefs and traditions. The Sign of the Sagittarius is represented by a centaur.We began this short essay by asserting that the ancient gods. which speaks volumes about the universal influence and appeal of Greek mythology. That is simply because one cannot forget something or someone he or she comes across every day. and the other being the Nemean lion. However. focusing on the role played by mythical creatures. especially one that is deceptively alluring may be called a siren song or a siren call. Thus. Christianity actually made compromises. heroes and monsters have not been forgotten. Aries. Since ancient times all the way to the 21st century. but they have certainly not been forgotten. Pegasus.
The image of Satan as a goat-like creature has persisted for centuries. The phoenix was a mythical bird of great beauty fabled to live 500 or 600 years in the Arabian wilderness. a beard. Certain mythical figures were more important in some areas of ancient Greece than others. horns. it became a symbol of Christ. that was no shortcoming at all. their temples and their palaces. He also had goat-like features. in frescoes and mosaics. and it could only be captured by a maiden. some argue. in the company of nymphs or even mortal women. Pan was a Greek pastoral deity that had the upper body of a man and the lower body of a goat. a poet who is no less shrouded in myth than his poems themselves. in statues and statuettes that embellished their homes. yet peaceful and benign deity and the arch nemesis of Christianity? Pan was very popular among Greeks. the Chimaera was a recurrent motif for the vase painters in the city of Corinth. His epics. and was very hairy. While most depictions acted as decorations or objects of worship. pure Jesus Christ and a perfect candidate to become the Great Adversary. Gods. This process was started and encouraged by the Church. spiralled horn protruding from its forehead and a lion‟s tail. though to ancient Greeks. Pan‟s salacity and his monstrous appearance made him a direct antagonist to the austere. Gorgon heads were carved at the entrance of certain establishments. who needed “a scapegoat” to justify its desire to twist pagan ideals and to turn people into ascetics. As we mentioned earlier. and this is shown by the abundance of depictions that were unearthed there. Finally. Greek mythology also proved to be an exhaustless source of inspiration for writers and poets. as they were believed to be so hideous that they drove away bad luck and even the most malicious of spirits. which may be viewed as a metaphor for Christ‟s sacrifice to cleanse humanity‟s sins. more so than the Olympian gods. it was an emblem of immortality and of reborn idealism or hope. the Minotaur and the bull were more celebrated in Crete than in any other part of Greece. However. The history of Greek (and Western) literature begins with the work of Homer. His favourite activities were lying in the sun. also fuelled by the fact that their existence was attested in a translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek. A more interesting connection is that between Satan and the satyr god of nature Pan. the story of the mythical Trojan War (which turned out . we will briefly discuss the impact of Greek mythology on art and literature. playing pipes and chasing after nymphs. According to ancient legends that date back to 2000 BC the unicorn‟s horn was a panacea. In the 7th century BC. Other legends and works of art have the unicorn dipping its horn into poisoned water to make it safe for other animals to drink. such as pointy ears. Thus. The image of a unicorn placing its head in a maiden‟s lap became a motif in Christian Medieval art which lead historians to believe that the unicorn was a symbol for Christ since this image is reminiscent of baby Jesus lying in his mother‟s lap. The Iliad. some even served more “practical purposes”. heroes and monsters were depicted on the vases they used at home and in their temples. and to rise from its ashes in the freshness of youth and live through another cycle of years. The early Church may have viewed him as a powerful competitor for the hearts and souls of people. and naturally. His lustful personality was his only shortcoming. to burn itself on a funeral pyre. Pan lent his image to Satan and became the personification of moral decadence and the dangerous allure of fleshly pleasures. The association of the phoenix with Jesus is rather more obvious. They considered all ancient pagan gods to be daemons. right to the present day. So what is the connection between this lewd.Descriptions of the unicorn vary from source to source but the most common image is that of a pure white horse with a long. The belief in unicorns persisted well into the Middle Age. Mythology was part of the daily life of ancient Greeks. They often depicted him with huge genitals.
In the 2nd century BC. however. As the sun was setting over the Western Roman Empire. and were replaced by the benevolent and loving Christian god. As the great poet Horace said: Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit. That is: Captive Greece captured her rude conqueror. They adopted and adapted the Greek mythology and culture. nobles and cities to be used on their coat of arms and most of the creatures in Greek mythology appeared in bestiaries. which they deemed as “pagan” and “heretical”. some of them were even adopted into the Christian mythology. a torch was lit in Italy. heroes and monsters. humorous and imaginative retelling of some of the most famous Greek myths. an epic continuation of The Iliad. a great shadow fell upon Europe – the Dark Ages had begun. vices or even important characters like Jesus Christ. Aeschylus. but also timeless literary masterpieces. becoming symbols of Christian virtues. The Roman artists and writers were just as fascinated by mythology as the Greeks were. had a better fate. all of which explore mythological themes and many of which are still enacted today. most importantly. Mythology also inspired the works of the poet Hesiod. these are only the most well known of the countless ancient writers and poets that explored mythological themes and stories. it was the superiority of Greek culture that managed to conquer their hearts and souls. ancient Greece fell under Roman rule. is considered to be the Roman counterpart of Homer. a poet who lived in the 1st century BC. which describes Odysseus‟ journey back home from the Trojan War. compilations of fantasy stories and beings that were very popular during the Middle Ages. Romulus and Remus were his descendents). the author of The Metamorphoses. since most people living in the Dark Ages and later during the Middle Ages actually believed in their existence and. He wrote The Aeneid. chasing away the shadows that had reigned over Europe for almost a 1000 years – the Renaissance began. and used it as a foundation on which they build one of the most advanced and wonderful civilisations ever known in human history. one of the few survivors of the Trojan massacre and the legendary progenitor of the Roman people (according to legend. as the first Roman emperors claimed to be descendants of Aeneas and used The Aeneid as proof. a wonderful. wrote numerous plays. Ancient gods became daemons and devils. Vergil‟s poem had major political implications. It tells the story of Aeneas. His Theogony and Works and Days also provide information about the Greek gods. such as the griffin or the phoenix were adopted by kings. who lived in the 6th and 5th centuries BC. a contemporary of Homer. The Romans may have bested the Greeks on the field of battle. although he sometimes contradicts Homer. they posed no threat to the authority of the Church. Christianity began to loosen its grip over the minds of Western Europeans and classical mythology once again became a source of inspiration for artists and writers. At some point in the 14th century. Vergil. are not only invaluable sources of information about Greek mythology and culture.to be less “mythical” than anyone expected) and The Odyssey. Powerful and noble beasts. Needles to say. As we stated earlier. The Christians were less than tolerant about ancient beliefs. however. Monsters and mythical beings. The three great Athenian tragedians. Sophocles and Euripides. . Another Roman poet that used Greek mythology as a source of inspiration to great effect was Ovid.
Later. the ancient guardian of the Underworld. We can safely assert that the ancient gods. They have lived for thousands of years and they may very well be. Mythological figures that had up to the 20th century been depicted in paintings and in statues. highly popular movie adaptations of ancient Greek myths are being made. The influence of Greek mythology on our modern culture cannot be understated. Vergil serves as the Italian poet‟s guide through Hell. and even sports teams. to work. heroes and fantasy creatures have never been forgotten. Leonardo da Vinci. when we look up to the sky at night. Even nowadays. we see them when we go to school. even today. Boccaccio and Dante found their inspiration in the works of the Roman poet Ovid. writers such as Petrarch. Shelley and Keats and the German composers Gluck and Meyerbeer. we read about them.Painters such as Botticelli (The Birth of Venus. novels and plays now became movie stars. that had appeared in poems. The invention of cinema added a new dimension to the visual arts. immortal. In Dante‟s Inferno. in the late 18th century interest in classical myth reached a new peak during the Romantic period. Michelangelo (both of whom depict the legend of Leda and the swan) and Raphael (Galatea) are just a few of the Renaissance artists that gave new life to myths and legends. Among the most notable artists who found inspiration in ancient legends are the British poets Byron. they are all around us. Greek mythology continued to provide raw material for artists and writers throughout the centuries. Eliot in England and by great novelists such as the Irish James Joyce and the French André Gide. Jean Cocteau. S. We‟ve adopted powerful mythic beasts as logos for our schools. famous dramatists like Shakespeare. Racine and Goethe also explored mythical themes. reworking some of the ancient myths. Richard Strauss. to the theatre or the cinema. to church. in fact they are very much alive. classical themes have been reinterpreted by such major dramatists as Jean Anouilh. where he meets Cerberus. and some of the most well-known heroes from classical mythology. companies. We use their names in our daily conversations. In literature. just like the ancient Greeks believed. Jacques Offenbach and many others have set Greek mythological themes to music. and Jean Giraudoux in France. and T. . in the 21st century. Eugene O'Neill in America. Pallas and the Centaur). In more recent times.
They do not. . The poet Homer‟s 8thcentury BC epics the Iliad and the Odyssey. there is no single original text like the Christian Bible or the Hindu Vedas that introduces all of the myths‟ characters and stories. however. such as „Who made the world? How will it end? Who was the first man? Where do souls go after death?‟…The second function of myth is to justify an existing social system and account for traditional rites and customs. the earliest Greek myths were part of an oral tradition that began in the Bronze Age.” In ancient Greece. They explained everything from religious rituals to the weather. tell the story of the (mythical) Trojan War as a divine conflict as well as a human one. “The first is to answer the sort of awkward questions that children ask. since readers and listeners would already have been familiar with them. and they gave meaning to the world people saw around them. bother to introduce the gods and goddesses who are their main characters.Corpus English texts Text 1 Greek mythology "Myth has two main functions. Greek Mythology: Sources In Greek mythology. stories about gods and goddesses and heroes and monsters were an important part of everyday life. and their plots and themes unfolded gradually in the written literature of the archaic and classical periods." the poet and scholar Robert Graves wrote in 1955. for example. Instead.
Olympian gods and goddesses looked like men and women (though they could change themselves into animals and other things) and were--as many myths recounted--vulnerable to human foibles and passions. For instance. of Greek mythology. or origin story. mythological figures and events appear in the 5th-century plays of Aeschylus. and details an elaborate family tree of elements. The Theogony tells the story of the universe‟s journey from nothingness (Chaos. Ouranos (Sky). gods and goddesses who evolved from Chaos and descended from Gaia (Earth). music and poetry and knowledge Ares (Mars): god of war Artemis (Diana): goddess of hunting. law and fate Hera (Juno): the queen of the gods and goddess of women and marriage Aphrodite (Venus): goddess of beauty and love Apollo (Apollo): god of prophesy. a primeval void) to being. Sophocles and Euripides and the lyric poems of Pindar. pleasure and festivity Hephaistos (Vulcan): god of fire. Writers such as the 2nd-century BC Greek mythographer Apollodorus of Athens and the 1st-century BC Roman historian Gaius Julius Hyginus compiled the ancient myths and legends for contemporary audiences. the highest mountain in Greece. metalworking and sculpture . they ruled every aspect of human life. in Roman mythology): the king of all the gods (and father to many) and god of weather. The twelve main Olympians are: Zeus (Jupiter.Around 700 BC. Pontos (Sea) and Tartaros (the Underworld). From their perch. Greek Mythology: The Olympians At the center of Greek mythology is the pantheon of deities who were said to live on Mount Olympus. animals and childbirth Athena (Minerva): goddess of wisdom and defense Demeter (Ceres): goddess of agriculture and grain Dionysos (Bacchus): god of wine. Later Greek writers and artists used and elaborated upon these sources in their own work. the poet Hesiod‟s Theogony offered the first written cosmogony.
com/topics/greek-mythology . They appear in Renaissance paintings such as Botticelli‟s Birth of Venus and Raphael‟s Triumph of Galatea and writings like Dante‟s Inferno.history. pygmies. the king with the golden touch. the young man who fell in love with his own reflection--are just as significant. satyrs and dragons of all sorts. and Narcissus. Pandora. Monsters and “hybrids” (human-animal forms) also feature prominently in the tales: the winged horse Pegasus. Greek Mythology: Past and Present The characters. Midas. the horse-man Centaur. whose curiosity brought evil to mankind. the king who fell in love with an ivory statue. handsome Trojan prince Ganymede who became the cupbearer for the gods. automatons (metal creatures given life by Hephaistos). the weaver who was turned into a spider for her arrogance. however. and scores of more recent novels. stories. the one-eyed giant Cyclops. plays and films. Human heroes-such as Heracles. Many of these creatures have become almost as well known as the gods. Romantic poetry and libretti. themes and lessons of Greek mythology have shaped art and literature for thousands of years. the lion-woman Sphinx and the bird-woman Harpies. the adventurer who performed 12 impossible labors for King Eurystheus (and was subsequently worshipped as a god for his accomplishment). Gorgons. manticores and unicorns. minotaurs. the first woman. Pygmalion. hospitality and trade and Zeus‟s personal messenger Poseidon (Neptune): god of the sea Other gods and goddesses sometimes included in the roster of Olympians are: Hades (Pluto): god of the underworld Hestia (Vesta): goddess of home and family Eros (Cupid): god of sex and minion to Aphrodite Greek Mythology: Heroes and Monsters Greek mythology does not just tell the stories of gods and goddesses. goddesses and heroes who share their stories. Arachne. Source : http://www.Hermes (Mercury): god of travel.
And there she has a cave deep down under a hollow rock far from the deathless gods and mortal men. and saffron-robed Enyo. Pemphredo well-clad. relentless and strong. the mother of flocks. in no wise like either to mortal men or to the undying gods.  Men say that Typhaon the terrible. So she conceived and brought forth fierce offspring. and that other. the evil-minded Hydra of Lerna. and then again she bare a second. And again she bore a third. And her Heracles. whom the goddess.Text 2 THE THEOGONY TRANSLATED BY H. eating raw flesh beneath the secret parts of the holy earth. sisters grey from their birth: and both deathless gods and men who walk on earth call them Graiae. outrageous and lawless. G. She was . Cerberus who eats raw flesh. because he held a golden blade (aor) in his hands. but the two were undying and grew not old. and she bare him swift Iris and the long-haired Harpies. Him mighty Heracles slew in sea-girt Erythea by his shambling oxen on that day when he drove the wide-browed oxen to holy Tiryns. the son of Zeus. Now Pegasus flew away and left the earth. Ceto bare to Phorcys the fair-cheeked Graiae. and half again a huge snake. and begot three-headed Geryones. then. And when Perseus cut off her head. With her lay the Dark-haired On in a soft meadow amid spring flowers. and had crossed the ford of Ocean and killed Orthus and Eurytion the herdsman in the dim stead out beyond glorious Ocean. Sthenno. did the gods appoint her a glorious house to dwell in: and she keeps guard in Arima beneath the earth. and the Gorgons who dwell beyond glorious Ocean in the frontier land towards Night where are the clear-voiced Hesperides. grim Echidna. and came to the deathless gods: and he dwells in the house of Zeus and brings to wise Zeus the thunder and lightning. a nymph who dies not nor grows old all her days. Aello (Storm-swift) and Ocypetes (Swift-flier) who on their swift wings keep pace with the blasts of the winds and the birds. and Medusa who suffered a woeful fate: she was mortal. for quick as time they dart along.  And in a hollow cave she bare another monster. being angry beyond measure with the mighty Heracles. EVELYN-WHITE  And Thaumas wedded Electra the daughter of deep-flowing Ocean. even the goddess fierce Echidna who is half a nymph with glancing eyes and fair cheeks. There. first she bare Orthus the hound of Geryones. destroyed with the unpitying sword through the plans of Athene the spoil-driver. of the house of Amphitryon. with speckled skin. the daughter of glorious Ocean. together with warlike Iolaus. a monster not to be overcome and that may not be described. fifty-headed. and Euryale. But Chrysaor was joined in love to Callirrhoe. there sprang forth great Chrysaor and the horse Pegasus who is so called because he was born near the springs (pegae) of Ocean. the brazen-voiced hound of Hades. was joined in love to her. irresistible. great and awful. the maid with glancing eyes. white-armed Hera nourished.  And again.
Her did Pegasus and noble Bellerophon slay. which Hera. but Echidna was subject in love to Orthus and brought forth the deadly Sphinx which destroyed the Cadmeans. a goat. and griffins described in the popular stories and travel accounts of the time. and the Nemean lion. Mark sang out excitedly. brought up and made to haunt the hills of Nemea. near the very apex of the saddle. We continued to pounce on precious specimens with remarkable consistency. 'Skull!' and. curved beak? What sort of creatures could these be? Today. Source: http://www. Before I could remove the keys from the ignition. was a stunning skull and partial skeleton of a Protoceratops. breathing forth a fearful blast of blazing fire.. Mark would sing out. dinosaurs.. and other animals. What would you think? What if you saw a massive. in her hinderpart. This is the offspring of Ceto and Phorcys.com/Text/HesiodTheogony.html Text 3 Fantastic Fossils Do mythic creatures have bones? Imagine walking along a bluff in ancient Greece and finding a leg bone several times the size of your own.  And Ceto was joined in love to Phorcys and bare her youngest.. the awful snake who guards the apples all of gold in the secret places of the dark earth at its great bounds.theoi. great. Griffin Bones Griffin Bones? "We stopped at a low saddle between the hills. There he preyed upon the tribes of her own people and had power over Tretus of Nemea and Apesas: yet the strength of stout Heracles overcame him. the good wife of Zeus. a big fellow whose beak and crooked fingers pointed west to our small outcrop. with only a single hole where the eyes should be? Or a skeleton with four legs and a sharp... almost on cue I would find . Several feet away. these unfamiliar bones were proof of the existence of the giants. human-like skull.the mother of Chimaera who breathed raging fire. cyclopes. and in her middle.. one of a grim-eyed lion. a dragon. scientists recognize such bones as the remains of long-extinct mammoths. a creature fearful. swift-footed and strong. But to many ancient Greeks.. a plague to men. like a griffin pointing the way to a guarded treasure... who had three heads.
some parts of the desert were home to strange animals that seemed to combine body parts of eagles and lions. In recent years many have been collected. but also the mighty griffin: a fierce half-eagle. Evidence Everywhere In many parts of the world. including those of the fourlegged. . hardy gold miners sought their fortunes in the vast Gobi Desert of central Asia. like the one pictured here. just like a griffin." --American Museum of Natural History paleontologist Michael Novacek describing the discovery of Protoceratops fossils on a 1993 expedition to the Gobi Desert with fellow paleontologist Mark Norell. dinosaur fossils are incredibly rare and hard to find--but not in certain parts of the Gobi Desert. A beak. Protoceratops fossils. as if someone had emptied a paint can in a random fashion over the ground.one too. Certain areas in the Gobi are littered with dinosaur bones. classical folklorist Adrienne Mayor argued that the many similarities between Protoceratops dinosaur fossils and griffins indicate that the fossils may have influenced descriptions of the mythic creature. the miners battled not only the blazing sun. Protoceratops lived from 145. For thousands of years. griffins made their nests near gold mines in the Gobi Desert.5 million years ago. Guarding Gobi Gold More than two thousand years ago. Greek authors reported that in the scorching heat of the Gobi. Dinosaur Deathbed Millions of years before humans arrived in the Gobi. could regularly be seen eroding out of hillsides. The Gobi Desert According to legends. These miners were Scythians--members of a horse-riding people who controlled much of central Asia and the northern Middle East between about 800 BC to AD 200. But these animals weren't griffins--they were dinosaurs. making them somewhat less common.5 to 65. Ancient gold miners working in the desert may have seen these fossils-and perhaps based their descriptions of griffins on them. beaked Protoceratops. At A Glance: Protoceratops In 2000. Relying on travelers' tales. The surface of the gentle slopes and shallow gullies was splattered with white patches of fossils. half-lion hybrid that guarded fantastic treasures of gold.
The Wide World of Griffins . but not all. Body of a lion--sometimes with a serpent's tail. for they escape with their lives and bring home a cargo of gold-rich profit for the dangers they face. If they manage to elude the griffins. Borrowed Body Parts Many different dinosaur fossils found in the Gobi may have contributed to various griffin descriptions. Among these are the enormous claws of Therizinosaurus and Deinocheirus which are similar to the griffin claws seen in some depictions. depicts a battle between the hero Hercules and the legendary Monster of Troy. or spotted fur." --Greek author Aelian. dating to around 550 BC. Yet we know the Greeks found the preserved bones of unfamiliar animals and tried to interpret them. An image on a ceramic mixing bowl. AD 200 At A Glance: Griffin Griffins are said to live in nests in the mountains. like peacocks. Four legs. Waiting for a moonless night. Tawny coat of a lion. leaving behind small stumps. which may have been interpreted as griffin ears. Four legs. The thin. philosophy and art--but not for finding fossils. The elongated shoulder blades of Protoceratops may explain why griffins are commonly said to have wings. Death of a Dinosaur On an expedition in the Gobi Desert in the 1920s. toothy skull emerging from a black cliff face. Most griffin descriptions include wings. shown only as a white. Adrienne Mayor suggests the monster is actually based on a fossil skull of the ancient giraffe relative Samotherium found eroding out of a hillside. bony frill of Protoceratops fossils often breaks off. torso and talons of an eagle--or sometimes other beaked birds. c. Fighting Fossils The ancient Greeks are widely credited for their achievements in math. Roy Chapman Andrews of the American Museum of Natural History found a Protoceratops specimen poking out of a hillside. just like a griffin. the men reap a double reward. Griffin "Now the place where the griffins live and the gold is found is a grim and terrible desert. the treasure-seekers come with shovels and sacks and dig. Head. or colorful feathers.
like unicorns. Indeed. like eagles and lions. or even sports teams.amnh. it was majestic and noble. the Greek goddess of retribution. the Middle East. companies. Ancient Art. Source: http://www. countless stories tell of humans hunting European unicorns and luring them into traps. Roman Statuette Artists in the ancient world often associated griffins with Nemesis. preferring to remain unseen. Today. Griffin Statue Powerful mythic creatures are often used as logos for schools. the griffin became a symbol of greed.org/exhibitions/past-exhibitions/mythic-creatures/land-creatures-of-theearth/griffin-bones Text 4 Unicorns. were often molded in the shape of an animal's head. and Europe. Both the pearly white unicorn of European lore and the benevolent Asian unicorn avoid contact with humans.Griffin-like creatures appear in the stories of many cultures in North Africa. or rhytons. the creatures cause them no harm. are powerful and peaceful. In some cases. When humans do encounter unicorns. children see griffins in popular movies and in books like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Greek Cup Drinking cups. Modern Media Dazzling griffin illustrations date back at least as far as 3300 BC. a favor that is not always returned. West and East Are All Mythic Creatures Scary? While many mythic creatures are man-eating monsters or evil spirits. others. In others. Some images were enormously popular in the artwork of many cultures and especially on European coats-of-arms in the Middle Ages. Woodcarver Joe Leonard made this griffin statue while working on a similar one for a Pennsylvania high school whose mascot is a griffin. But griffins do not always mean the same thing in every place. .
Enchanted by the sight. emerging from a river and gleaming like the moon. Greek travelers told tales of unicorns living in far-off lands. Even early naturalists considered the unicorn to be a living animal: Several ancient catalogues of animals of the world include unicorns and describe them as solitary beasts that often battle lions and elephants.000 years ago. An Ancient Tale You may have heard that the one-horned unicorn is so magical that its horn can counteract poisons. As she leaned down to wash away her tears in the stream. Long. But in older stories. colored horn and the body of a goat. Greek authors told similar stories over 2. the unicorn came to a stop in front of a beautiful young maiden sitting under a tree. black and white. and it is so elusive that no person can catch it. the unicorn saw her brown eyes were filled with tears and realized her deceit too late--the dogs and men suddenly seized him and carried him away. But did you know these unicorn stories began in ancient Greece? More than 2. But it was a trap! Looking up at the maiden. combed his curling mane and rubbed his horn until he lay his head in her lap. blunter horn colored red. white spiraled horn--but early Greek naturalists described a shorter. scholars translating the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek concluded that the Hebrew term re'em referred to a unicorn. --Adapted from medieval European folktales. But the unicorn knew that men could never catch him. sometimes the entire body looks like a goat's. unicorns live deep in the forest and are rarely seen by people. She reached out. the maiden remained in the woods. As the fabulous accounts spread around the Western world. White coat--but some early authors and artists described it as yellowish red. often with cloven hooves like a goat. this fantastic creature had a short. Usually a horse's body. but she thought it was the shining horn of a unicorn disappearing into the night. Afterward. despondent. a movement in the distance caught her eye: She couldn't be sure. After a while. At a Glance: European Unicorn In stories. European Unicorn Once upon a time. the mythic unicorn looks like a white horse with a single long horn on its head. so he playfully waited for the hunters to draw close before bounding out of view. few people questioned that unicorns actually existed. a hunter in the forest saw a brilliant white unicorn in the distance.Mythic Unicorns In modern fairy tales and other stories. in about 300 BC. the hunter called together his friends and gave chase.000 years ago. or even brown. . Indeed.
the unicorn's placing his head in the lap of the young maiden." --Italian explorer Marco Polo. Coin James III. They have the hair of a buffalo and feet like an elephant's. Swiss naturalist Konrad Gesner wrote Historiae Animalium. a book describing all of the animals that he thought lived on Earth. or boar. rhinoceros horns were thought to have magical. AD 1300. King of Scotland from 1460 to 1488. a reference to the story of Christ's sacrifice to cleanse the sins of mankind. They have a head like a wild boar's and always carry it stooped towards the ground. They are very ugly brutes to look at.. . issued several coins that featured unicorns. curative properties. Spain. often appearing as characters in popular movies and books. This 1620 edition includes a description of a unicorn. They have a single large. unicorns remain objects of wonder and beauty. c. which are scarcely smaller than elephants. They are not at all such as we describe them when we relate that they let themselves be captured by virgins. In other stories and artworks. it proved ineffective and he died shortly thereafter. or virgin. recalls baby Jesus lying in the lap of the Virgin Mary. Natural History Book In 1551.. For instance. They spend their time by preference wallowing in mud and slime. Like unicorn horns. a link seen most clearly in the story of a maiden capturing a unicorn (told above). Goat's beard. Horn in Case The Monastery of Saint Mary in Guadalupe. Strong and powerful unicorns are featured on the Royal Arms of both Scotland and the United Kingdom. most likely describing a Sumatran rhinoceros Royal Respect Even today. Though the tip of the horn was cut off and administered to the Pope. The Christian Unicorn Art historians have long considered the unicorn to be a symbol for Christ. goat. So They Say "There are wild elephants and plenty of unicorns. black horn in the middle of the forehead. gave an African white rhinoceros horn to a dying Pope Gregory XIV in 1590. presumably based on the accounts of travelers to far-off lands. the unicorn dips its horn into poisoned water to purify it for the other animals to drink. But they can also symbolize majesty and power. Tail of a lion--but some descriptions include the tail of a horse.
Raising his eyes. Indeed. Before Europeans became familiar with these tusks. cups made from narwhal tusks were thought to neutralize poisons and were highly valued. unicorns were often described as having horns in a variety of sizes.Is This a Unicorn Horn? No. he saw the unicorn. --Adapted from ancient Chinese stories . which the Chinese call the qilin ("chee-lin"). is said to have owned a tusk worth 10. This unicorn's horn is actually a narwhal tusk. where buyers considered them to be valuable. Its back was covered with strange signs and magic symbols. A Magical Horn Many stories of unicorns refer to the magical properties of their horns. Fu Hsi grabbed a stick and traced the symbols as best he could in the dirt. The animal resembled a deer but had shining scales like a dragon. the price of a castle. Narwhals are sometimes called sea unicorns because of the enormous tusk that grows from the upper jaw in males. curative properties. from detecting and neutralizing poisons and curing fevers to prolonging youth and acting as an aphrodisiac. As the qilin walked away. But in the Middle Ages. might be enormous sensory organs that can detect subtle changes in temperature and pressure. Elizabeth I. just like this one. Indeed.000 pounds. from epilepsy to the plague. the sage Fu Hsi was sitting by a river when he was splashed with water. A Magical Cup? In the Middle Ages. narwhal tusks were widely thought to be unicorn horns with magical. Queen of England in the 1500s. A single horn grew from its forehead. which can grow almost as long as three meters (about 10 feet). wading carefully through the river. a kind of Arctic whale. but it certainly looks like one. nearly all descriptions of unicorn horns are consistent: They are long. unicorn horns were thought to be able to cure a range of illnesses. Narwhals are small whales from the icy channels of northern Canada and northwestern Greenland. Danish sailors and other merchants from the North brought narwhal tusks to European markets. or pharmacy. Unicorn Sign This sign was made around 1750 and hung above the door to a German apothecary. a claim first made by a Greek physician named Ctesias nearly 2. shapes and colors. white and spiraled. in medieval Europe. Some scientists have speculated that narwhal tusks. a continuation of the medieval association of unicorns and medicine. Asian Unicorn Thousands of years ago. From then on. Those lucky enough to possess a horn might take advantage of its wide range of healing properties. This enormous "horn" is the tusk of a male narwhal.000 years ago. magical remains of elusive unicorns.
At A Glance: Asian Unicorn According to legend. A flesh-covered horn--or sometimes two or even three horns. Tail of an ox. Then “broad-chested Gaea” (Earth) came into existence. The word kirin has also come to mean "giraffe" in modern Japanese. and Eros. in fact. First mentioned in written stories around 2700 BC. presented to the Chinese emperor a live "unicorn" that was. the principle of sexual reproduction. the Asian unicorn enjoys its solitude and cannot be captured.An Eastern Omen Long before the pearly white unicorn of European lore. red. Deer's body. Unicorn Beer! In Japan. perhaps owing to an earlier confusion: In 1414.org/exhibitions/past-exhibitions/mythic-creatures/land-creatures-of-theearth/unicorns-west-and-east Text 5 Greek Mythology: An Introduction By Fritz Graf Hesiod‟s account of the origin of the gods begins with Chaos (Chasm). celebrating a just and wise ruler. Its rare appearances are omens. a giraffe. it avoids fighting at all costs and walks so softly it will not crush a blade of grass. magical animal was said to roam the Eastern world: the Asian unicorn. Much like its European cousin. Cheng Ho. this unicorn is described as a creature of great power and wisdom. black. From then on every . the Chinese philosopher Confucius was the last person ever to see an Asian unicorn. Always benevolent.amnh. a one-horned. white and yellow. Scaly coat--or multicolored in blue. the unicorn is called the kirin and is the symbol and name of a popular beer. the returning leader of an expedition to Africa. Source: http://www.
mortals have been immolating the bones and the fat as offerings to the gods. Hesiod emphasizes. To explain this bizarre punishment. whom she hid on the island of Crete. In retaliation Zeus concealed fire from mortals. Zeus chained him to a column. The children of Nyx were bright Aether (Upper Air) and Hemera (Day). As a father. and he received from them the thunderbolt as an expression of their gratitude. Zeus countered by sending them woman. which Cronus had flung into the sea. the children of the Titans. the poet tells at length how Prometheus attempted to deceive Zeus. Such is Hesiod‟s version of a widespread myth according to which the sky and earth were separated at the beginning of creatio From the blood that dripped upon Gaea from Uranus‟s wound were formed the Giants. 585): Pandora. causing him to disgorge the stone along with his brothers and sisters (in Hesiod‟s day this stone marked the navel of the world at Delphi). 195-98). the children were freed. The rather lengthy account of the first generation of the gods is followed by more genealogies: the progeny of Night (mostly dark powers such as Sleep. the water or sea deities descended from Gaea and Pontus. For the time being. he was released from his torment by Zeus‟s son. Zeus. whoever marries . and Prometheus invited him to choose between the two portions. Terrified at the hideousness of his children. Uranus parted from Gaea. Still more genealogies follow.new creature (with some exceptions) would have a father and a mother. half-formed forces of nature. But the future predicted by oracles is fixed. Uranus prevented their emergence from Gaea by copulating with her continuously. the one-eyed Cyclopes. a “beautiful evil” (kalon kakon . but the liver regenerated itself by night. for he was brooding evil designs against mortals ( the revision shows that Hesiod was working with an older source). to the other the bones. On that occasion. cf. severed his father‟s genitals with a “toothed sickle” (175). there was a shortage of sexual partners. Their children were the Titans. Death and Strife). From Chaos were formed Erebus (Nether darkness). and finally the offspring of Cronus and Rhea. Gaea gave birth to Uranus (Sky). In answer to his mother‟s pleas. the Mountains. deliberately made the wrong choice. and Cronus made himself ruler over the second generation of the gods. and to prevent this he swallowed them as they were born. whom Cronus had imprisoned beneath the earth . as she is called elsewhere. but Prometheus stole it and gave it back to them. and the Dryads (tree nymphs). Cronus. and finally Pontus ( Sea). Hesiod tells how each of the rebellious sons of the Titan Iapetus was punished by Zeus. which he concealed in savory fat. Prometheus divided up a slaughtered ox. Zeus grew up quickly and overthrew his father “by wiles and force” (496). From the foamy semen that gushed from his severed organ. whereupon Zeus at once claimed the outwardly more appetizing one. The date that Hesiod assigns to this attempt is an odd one: “when gods and mortals reached a settlement at Mecone” (535-36). much later. He then freed the Cyclopes. and with her aid. which he wrapped in skin and paunch. grew the goddess Aphrodite (aphros means “foam” . an eagle fed on his liver by day. Since that time. and the enormous Hecatoncheires (Hundred-Handers) : Gaea and Uranus. his sister. Zeus protested that the division was uneven. Cronus was no better than Uranus. and eating the meat and entrails themselves. Gaea and Uranus united to become the first couple. From that time on. He had learned of an oracle foretelling that one of his sons would overthrow him. ending with Prometheus. a child of Uranus and Gaea. the Erinyes (goddesses of retribution). Rhea tricked Cronus by giving him a stone wrapped in rags to swallow in place of their youngest son. however. Zeus. and black Nyx (Night). Heracles. placing to one side the meat and entrails. had a tendency to produce hulking offspring.
Defeated. His first wife was Metis.embarks on a potentially ruinous adventure. freed the three Hecatoncheires and enlisted them as his allies. the those with mortal women. Notus.ro/books?id=L2yMRI5xML8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=greek+mythology &hl=en&sa=X&ei=72_dUIzONPCY0QWR8YCACg&ved=0CD4Q6AEwAw Text 6 9: Myth and Greek Art: Creating a Visual Language Jenifer Neils . Boreas. again on the advice of Gaea. There follows a long catalogue of Zeus‟s marriages.google. A description of Tartarus and its inhabitants (a passage that some scholars consider spurious) is followed by an account of Zeus‟s last battle. Source: Greek Mythology: An Introduction By Fritz Graf http://books. had been produced by Eos (Dawn) long before then. and his possessions will be divided among strangers after his death. It is unclear what Gaea‟s motives were in producing this rebel. heaven and earth rumbled. the beneficial ones . whereas whoever does not will have no children to nourish and care for him in his old age. and there was a deadlock until Zeus. Typhoeus would have been ruler of mortals and immortals. who was born from his head. the monster was cast into Tartarus. On teh advice of Gaea and Uranus. assigned to the gods their various privileges and functions (timai). His subsequent unions are listed – first those with other goddesses. who rose against Zeus. his regime finally secured. Hesiod says. Gaea bore the monster Typhoeus. An epilogue-like distich (963-64) is followed by a second invocation (965-68) introducing a catalogue of goddesses who bore children to mortal men: this ending (from 963 to the end of the poem) is obviously an appendage that served to link the Theogony with the Catalogue of Women (see Chapter 6) . Zeus. and the Hecatoncheires drove the Titans into Tartarus and fettered them there. Olympus and Tartarus quaked. In the subsequent clash. Zeus swallowed her to forestall the birth of a son who would depose him. Afterwards he became pregnant with Athena. The marriages of the other male Olympians are also mentioned. From him originated the harmful winds. Zeus deployed the thunderbolt (perhaps for the first time). After the expulsion of the Titans. and Zephyrus. had not Zeus thundered and scorched him with lightning. for up to this time she had been the loyal councillor of the younger gods. Zeus‟s struggle with Cronus and the Titans dragged on for ten years.
g. if given an ugly or leering frontal face (Harpy. Iris. the demands of the marketplace. attaching a horse‟s hindquarters to a human resulted in a creature that combined the powers of human intelligence and equine strength – making it an equal opponent (Nessus) as well as a tutor and friend (Chiron.or subhuman creatures of myth by devising imaginative combinations. Hermaphroditus. Cercopes. Greek narrative art displays an amazing degree of imagination. like all artists. rather.. for instance. 950–900 BC). the terracotta centaur from Lefkandi (ca. Medusa). while a horse protome (forequarters) attached to a rooster‟s body produced the somewhat ridiculous Mischwesen known as the hippalektryon. were heavily influenced by the work of their predecessors. as it must have engaged viewers in antiquity. and the restrictions imposed by their medium. ingenuity. With this basic toolkit the artist could create super.. are formidable opponents of heroes. Fury. perhaps only the Greeks would invent a semidivine being that was both male and female.] Heracles: From Hero to God . snakes (Hydra). such as the Molione/Actorione and Geryon. Fish tails added to human torsos resulted in fantastic marine creatures such as Triton or Skylla.7 [. commonly known as the centaur. Most of the canonical hybrids were either invented or adapted from Near Eastern or Egyptian prototypes (e. the figurative repertoire of artists consisted of simple geometricized forms: humans. In precanonical Greek art this hybrid.. heroes. the marble Laocoon (ca. Greek artists and their patrons were drawn to mythological subjects not only for their intrinsic interest but also for the important roles they played in explaining the cosmos and shedding light on human nature. Dual. Pholus) of gods and heroes. Wings were added to horses. and originality that continues to fascinate today.] Horse. as are multiheaded dogs (Cerberus. Many mythological figures take the form of male twins (Dioscuri. and mythological creatures. A female with wings could be either a goddess (potnia theron. [. Although Greek artists shared this interest in mythological narrative with poets. quadrupeds. Finally.. siren) by the mid-seventh century and continued relatively unchanged throughout classical art and well beyond. Bird.and triple-bodied humans. was also used to depict other monsters such as Medusa (by the addition of a skirt) or the Minotaur. That said. From the earliest extant work of figurative art produced in the so-called Dark Ages. and Man: The Artist‟s Toolkit In the first two centuries of Greek art (900–700 BC). enabling them to fly (Pegasus) and power the chariots of heavenly divinities. To create a daemon of subhuman intelligence the artist would surmount a human body with an animal‟s head. theywere guided by that oral culture or Volksvorstellung that was an essential part of every Greek‟s upbringing. they did not illustrate written texts.In perusing any book devoted to Greek art. to that icon of late Hellenistic group sculpture.1 They. as in the case of the canonical Minotaur (see Figure 3). 30–20 BC). Thus.. Nike) or a monster. A male figure with only an equine tail and ears became the subhuman satyr. Orthus). and birds. Graiae). Fates. sphinx. Another method available to the creative artist for fabricating a mythological daemon was simply to multiply its form. Boreads) or female triads (Gorgons. one is struck by the ancient Greeks‟ obsession with their gods. and hybrids (Chimera). Hecate could be depicted either as a normal woman or as a triple-bodied divinity.
On the archaic Acropolis. gems) and had a universal appeal throughout Greek lands. Medusa. Because he exemplifies all of these talents.22 Naturally. athletic. Source: The Cambridge Companion to Greek Mythology http://ebookbrowse. Chimera). These more metaphysical scenes can be related to the humanizing process that takes place in literary and philosophical circles. While the Nemean lion is by far the most popular deed on Athenian black-figure vases. It is enlightening to compare the number of Attic vases with representations of Heracles with those of other heroes. the favorite themes are the apples of the Hesperides and his initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries. By contrast. Likewise. competes in athletic contests (wrestling Antaeus. other heroes such as Theseus. emerging as the figure of Fortitude in Christian art. Cerynitan hind. compared to 786 of Theseus. which is limited to the sixth century. Not surprisingly. metopes. Heracles is the sixth-century hero par excellence: he fights formidable opponents (Kyknos. This sampling of regional variations demonstrates how local taste affected not only the choice of myths but also their manner of representation.As the Panhellenic hero par excellence. The labors. Heracles is represented in all periods of Greek art and in nearly all regions of Greece. as these represent the primary values of elite male society at that time. Perseus. Geryon). and group expeditions in search of major prey (Calydonian boar hunt) are popular themes. The iconography of Heracles changes over time. and hunting prowess predominate. He appears struggling with Apollo for the tripod in the earliest narrative art of the Late Geometric period (ca. that of the Lernaean hydra predominates on Corinthian vases. his appearance as an infant strangling the snakes sent by the jealous Hera on early fourth-century silver coins from Byzantion to Croton demonstrates a more human side to the brawny hero. Stymphalian birds). archery competition with Eurytos‟sons). and it is in this medium that one can best plot the changes that occur in his imagery. in sixth-century Athenian vase painting.com/gdoc. and only 10 of Jason.php?id=305824784&url=b765e775c076f8f7c76fe689a9e49569 . and parerga of the hero fit a variety of formats (vases. funeral games in honor of kings (Pelias) and heroes (Patroclus). a feature calculated to appeal to the Spartans. in red-figure before 450 BC the percentage drops to a mere four.21 On Corinthian vases. After 450 a significant shift occurs from depictions of his Labors and other adventures to the hero‟s apotheosis and his appearance in the company of the Olympian gods. 114 of Perseus. Heracles is also a common motif. Scenes of the Trojan War. but his sixth-century repertoire is limited almost exclusively to the Cretan adventure. but his popularity never seems to wane. 750–700 BC) and can be found in a Roman copy of a late Hellenistic painting transformed into a weary family man with Arcadia and his son Telephos. and it is interesting to note that he is sometimes dressed as a warrior. Predictably. Looking at Attic vase representations of Heracles diachronically is also revelatory. Heracles is also the most popular mythical hero in Laconian vase-painting. being featured on at least four pediments. and Bellerophon have only one claim to fame in the art of this period – the conquest of a monster (Minotaur. 27 of Bellerophon. Theseus is more popular in Athens than elsewhere. This ubiquitous and long-lived hero even survived pagan antiquity. He is especially prevalent in Attic vase painting from the sixth to the fourth centuries.23 The fact that Alexander the Great minted coins with the head of Heracles in his own likeness attests to the universality of the hero as an emblem of “Greekness” in the early Hellenistic period. and single-handedly conquers wild beasts (Nemean lion. Amazons. perhaps because the labor was performed not far from Corinth. but the choice of deeds is rather different from that in the Attic corpus. According to the Beazley Database there are 3. pediments. Erymanthian boar.751 vase paintings of Heracles. In the fourth century. myths highlighting military. Heracles is far more prevalent. as does his meaning for a Greek audience. deeds. While the Nemean lion constitutes twenty-five percent of all black-figure scenes of Heracles.
Pan. no longer lured by dreams of riches. and it continued until the western world largely associated images of Pan with the devil. became a nature-lover..E. Perhaps this is what led Christian theologians to demonize Pan.. and he was a god of nature. a thing of nature certainly not the Antichrist or a being who was out to corrupt and steal men's souls. To the Greeks. Kevin Hearne (c) 1998 Midas. It certainly does not suggest that Pan was evil incarnate yet by approximately 300 C. He was lusty. "It's a fact that there are more dedications to him than to any other. the demonization of Pan had begun. Christian theologians .. (Ovid 303). he played pipes and was therefore musical.. they sensed a powerful competitor for the hearts of the people. After the Council of Nicea issued the Nicene Creed and the Roman Catholic Church was established in 325 C. hardly seems threatening.. but rather a deliberate twisting of pagan ideals as Christianity spread its influence throughout Europe. He worshipped Pan." (Pitt-Kethley xi).. This demonization was no accident. And though much is made in schools and textbooks of the major Olympian gods Zeus and the gang it is clear from archaeological evidence that Pan was the favorite god of the Greek people. Pan was a shepherd: he was half goat and half man.E. Took to the woods.Text 7 The Demonization of Pan. Such a mention of the ancient Greek god.
The obvious problem with comparing Pan to Jesus. and Pan was likewise a god and "also an earthly being. Pan's sexuality. Pan became the image of the devil. by virtue of his mother Dryope. a god of sexuality could easily be assimilated to the principle of evil" (Russell 126). as if it were an unholy act. "though never Priapically endowed" (xiii).. No member of the clergy would ever dare to draw comparisons between them when the contrast was so evident. But what is it about sexuality that makes Christianity so afraid of it. The connection may not be apparent at first: how can a "minor" god of the sizable Greek pantheon have anything to do with the central figure of a monotheistic. "Sexual passion. besides the fact that Jesus didn't seem to have any? One scholar believes that since Pan was "a phallic deity like his father [Hermes]. With depictions such as these. was alien. In almost every instance she recorded. "This is what happens to the sexually immoral. and was associated with Jesus Christ. The Church still preaches loudly about the destructive power of sexual immorality. which suspends reason and easily leads to excess. however. Since he had never been attractive to begin with. But the similarities are there. eschatological religion? The mere suggestion of this would get someone burned at the stake during the Spanish Inquisition. The crucial point here. There is some evidence to the contrary that in fact. This fusion of the human and divine in one creature has led many later Christian poets most notably Milton to describe Pan as a pagan prefiguration of Jesus Christ" (Baker 11). thus gave the ascetics exactly what they needed. and to this day people still feel traces of guilt about sex. Since Pan's sexual nature was so evident. neither of them were entirely divine: Jesus was supposed to be one hundred percent divine and one hundred percent human simultaneously. which can be both creative and destructive" (Russell 126). A survey of statuary and bas-relief sculpture conducted by Fiona Pitt-Kethley left no doubt of this. he represented sexual desire.. and pretty much leaves the creative aspect of it for granted. and Christians were wont to associate ugliness with evil (deformations and plagues of all kinds were seen as a punishment from God for sins committed). Also. is that such comparisons were made by poets and mostly poets who lived after the Reformation not by priests or bishops of the Church and certainly not by any of the popes. Pan was unabashedly libidinous. Jesus was never portrayed as a sexual being. Pan went the other way. when combined with his unwholesome visage. Pan's image was obviously as far away from that of Jesus as another deity could get. For example.(beginning with Eusebius) transformed Pan from a benign nature god to Satan the great Adversary. Pan's manhood was fully aroused. this might explain the Church's readiness to hold up Pan as an example of profound moral turpitude. so the poets were alone in raising Pan to a Christ figure." . would be Pan's incredible virility. after a fashion. Pan's entire physique was so gruesome to behold that the Church could almost point to Pan and say.to the asceticism of the Christians. and his association with man. in the Church's view. his occupation. they were both shepherds.
one good and the other evil. Believing in only one God and forsaking all others. history shows that pagan converts had problems assimilating the ideas that violence and sensual pleasure were sinful. Christians had a tendency to equate all pagan deities with demons. and a personification of evil was efficacious in helping the process along. Eusebius' equating Pan with the daemon. Eusebius. the forcible conversion of the populace was being mirrored elsewhere at the same time. in the Christian view. It is not difficult to see here how Pan's rampant sexuality so sinful to Christians made him an ideal candidate for demonization. "The last apocalypse was a process rather than a cataclysm. Finally. "As the pagan deities were demons. rape. Trying to quell one's desires and imitate the celibacy of Jesus was therefore a bit too much to ask even simply confining sexuality to marriage was (and is) a problem. was the first to take aim specifically at Pan. No one felt this more keenly.Pan wasn't the only pagan god getting his name besmirched at first. In responding to Plutarch's account of Pan's "death" during the reign of Tiberius (who reigned during the time of Jesus' crucifixion). He was the first to demonize Pan specifically for his sexuality (approximately 400 C. writing in the early fourth century. a shift in vocabulary occurs. either lending their traits to him. demons are morally ambivalent like the gods. These are now easily amalgamated with the Devil. The conversion of pagan Europe to Christianity took up most of the first millennium. period: The concept of the Devil was also aided by the development of the concept of evil demons. Thanks to Christianity. but according to A History of the Devil. and pillage one's way to the throne) that had ruled since ancient times was curtailed enough so that civilization could begin. With Pan and the other pagan gods. But while Christianity might have been mildly effective in blunting Europe's taste for violence. he said. It had the suddenness of forty years. Limited to Europe. and the old cycle of violence (burn. apparently. it is clear that it had (and still has) difficulty blunting human sexuality. than St. In the Septuagint. Then two groups of demons are distinguished. The former is certainly obvious in the evangelical methodology of Olaf Trygvesson. who rails at length in his Confessions about the perils of sexuality. However. the good spirits are called angels and the evil spirits demons wholly evil spiritual beings. seems natural and unforced" (Merivale 13). At first. sexuality had always been something to be enjoyed and people took great delight in imitating the gods. such slander would have been impossible without the emergence of the Septuagint and the concept of a devil. By the time of Eusebius. going beyond the general Christian tendency to equate pagan deities with demons on . or being spirits subordinate to him (Russell 170). its drama lay in the deliverance from terror rather than terror itself" (Renton 277). This defamation of a once pastoral god was part of a vast campaign of religious propaganda designed to put the fear of the devil (where the fear of God didn't seem to work) in the people's hearts for Christianity had several pantheons of old gods to conquer. Augustine of Hippo. king of Norway in 999 CE: "All Norway will be Christian or die" (Reston 30).E. Eusebius interpreted the story as evidence that God had rid humankind of its biggest demon.). it might well have been natural to make such an equation. Pan literally became the world's biggest scapegoat.
The Church was anxious to prevent Pan from slipping back into his harmless nature. and thus behaving naturally not as the incarnation of evil. Augustine's ideas were brought to America by the Puritans centuries later. actually lived in the forest around Plymouth. Pan was obviously a greatly revered. and doubtless such caricatures pop up in horror movies as well.. carved on cathedral doors and pulpit pediments. in this era torn between ribaldry and Gnostic mysticism. This Pan-like image of Satan persists in fundamental denominations today. It was only the ascetic values of the Judeo-Christian tradition that doomed him to play the role of the ultimate bad guy.S. A horned.mesacc.. but they were primarily concerned with snuffing out the libidinous nature of the populace� else why not choose an even uglier creature to symbolize ultimate evil? "The devil was everywhere. whose ideas were perpetuated and embellished by a horde of subsequent zealous clergymen. The Church did propagate the image of Pan as the devil to give an ugly face to all of Satan's temptations. should have been turned by the Christian theologians into a devil" (Woods 86).edu/~thoqh49081/StudentPapers/pan. "it is a strange comment on a changed morality that this god. Augustine had spun both them and the succubi out of such Hellenic holdovers as Pan and his Dryads as well as other nymphs" (Massadie 275).. horned and goat-footed. From all ancient sources and archaeological evidence. and can be seen in comic adaptations of C. for he was the god of all nature. the myth of his deviltry was widely spread and emphasized throughout the Middle Ages.general principle. As time went on. These silly ideas about the Pan-like image of Satan are all thanks to the pioneering efforts of Eusebius and Augustine. rather than greatly feared.. which he thought to be forest deities.. Source: http://www. "Saint Augustine first mentioned the existence of incubi. Pan's image as the devil continued to be reinforced--especially during the Renaissance. always with the same Pan-like body. Indeed.. goat-footed devil appeared in the movie Legend.. The Christian demonization of a randy but otherwise benign nature god seems quite clear to one living in a secular century. and it must have been irritating to those who believed in him if they realized the purpose behind it at the time. when ancient Greek and Roman gods regained some of their fame for awhile. they thought that the devil. diabolic meaning in Christian art.. and so commissioned works of art appropriately: "Pan's knobbly horns.. being at one point. Of course.an image that. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters. betrayed and obvious obsession with sex" (Massadie 275).html .such examples are not "misinterpretations" of classical content but purposeful.took on a newly..Christian diabolization of pagan forms" (Camille 103).
Hindoo. Egyptian.Text 8 THE STUDENT’S MYTHOLOGY . Scandinavian. Chinese. and was honored by the Romans as the god of shepherds and the patron of fishing and fowling. and Peruvian Mythologies BY C. The Latins sometimes called him Incubus or the “Nightmare. Thibetian. but he is said by some authors to have been a son of Mercury and a nymph of Arcadia. PAN. CHAPTER XX. Celtic. Roman. How is Pan represented? . Assyrian. and Rural Deities. Aztec. Ques.A COMPENDIUM OF Greek. or Lynceus. and Rural Deities. A. Persian. Who was Pan? Ans. His origin is uncertain. Gods of the Woods. Gods of the Woods. He was a woodland deity. Ques.” and at Rome he was worshipped as Lupercus. WHITE.
and were. he found they produced the most melodious sounds. Ques. like Pan. Pan saw the transformation. that she prayed the waternymphs to help her. was so persecuted by this god. made an irruption into Greece. What was the origin of Pan’s reeds? Ans. and a garland of pine: he holds in one hand a crooked staff. and were called Na´iades.] NYMPHS. which they did. CHAPTER XXI. were called Dry´ades. and always lived among the trees. Who were the Nymphs? Ans. and in the other a pipe of uneven reeds. flourished and died with it. Who were these? Ans. A beautiful nymph. the nymphs of Ocean were Nere´ides and Ocean´ides. each to some particular oak. named Syrinx. As half man. and so terrified them  that they fled in disorder. and was much grieved. particularly an army. Hence it comes that any sudden and unreasonable terror which spreads through an assemblage of persons. so that he formed them into a rustic pipe. When the Gauls. Ques.] .Ans. as also the superstition about water spirits. and half goat. the Hamadry´ades were so called because they were  attached. from a Greek word which means an oak. [. This belief lingered for a long time amid the German forests. [. They were graceful young women who attended on Diana and the greater goddesses. The Ore´ades were mountain nymphs. under their King Brennus. Ques. and were about to plunder the temple of Apollo at Delphi.. Those who watched over the forests. What famous action is related of Pan? Ans. Some. Ques... Goddesses of the Woods. and others presided over groves and even single trees. SATYRS AND FAUNS. and change her into reeds. had charge of certain fountains and rivers. The Hamadryad was born with the tree. What were the woodland nymphs called? Ans. half man and half goat. The music which he made on this rude instrument was so sweet as to cheer the gods. He took some of the reeds away for a remembrance.. having a human head ornamented with horns. Milk and honey were offered to Pan. They were hideous monsters who dwelt in forests. is called a panic. also. Pan suddenly showed himself. On applying them to his lips. Ques.
and mules were adorned with garlands. after which the people worshipped him as a god. Ques. Who were the most remarkable of Neptune’s children? Ans. and was worshipped as the god of the sea. While these lasted. They were the guardians of the Gorgons. and presided over horse-races. and tempests were appeased. horses were released from work. Who was Neptune? Ans. are human only to the waist. and were celebrated in the month of March. when he produced a horse by striking on the ground with his trident. he holds a trident. in the middle of her forehead. Neptune’s chariot is drawn by sea-horses. Neptune was obliged by Jupiter to aid Apollo in building the walls of Troy. What were the offices of Neptune ? Ans. who swim on either side. the sea grew calm. Whenever Neptune’s chariot moved upon the waters. Why was he supposed to preside over horses? Ans. that is. representing the carrying off of the Sabine women. How is he represented? Ans. He conducted ships safely to port. He was vanquished by Atlas. The sisters had but one eye for their common use. and Phorcus or Proteus. Triton. and the father of rivers and fountains. each one wore it in turn. How was Neptune worshipped? Ans. Ques. There was another Phorcus who had three daughters. for a sceptre. a fork with three barbed tines. he is arrayed in a blue mantle. What is told of Phorcus? Ans. and his attendants. The . Neptune had an altar in the Circus at Rome where sacrifices were offered. The solemn games in honor of this god were called Consualia. Ques. He was the son of Saturn and Ops. the body terminating like that of a fish. Gods of the Sea. Ques. As standing upright in a chariot made of a sea-shell. NEPTUNE—POSEIDON. Ques. Ques. Ques. of whom Medusa was one. In memory of his contest with Minerva. and is generally accompanied by his queen Amphitri´te. and plays were acted.CHAPTER XXII. and drowned in the sea. concerning whom a remarkable circumstance is related.
she was obliged to fly into Italy. visited them. they drew on the covetous to their destruction. his tail was cleft and crooked. but below the waist he resembled a fish. drowned them in the sea. They blended the notes of different musical instruments with their voices. and Charybdis. when about to attack Medusa. and was his father’s companion and trumpeter. and had himself firmly bound to the mast of the ship. Ques. but the bodies of flying-fish. Ques. accompanying himself upon his lyre. and after they had drunk. had listened to their songs unmoved. Ulys´ses and Or´pheus. they knew that their hour had come. and with still different notes. also Scylla. Ques. while one of the sisters was handing the eye to the other. Having poisoned her husband. They had bold and stirring strains to entice the ambitious. and after they had lulled them into a trance. and flung themselves headlong into the sea. south of Italy. where they were transformed into rocks. She was a skillful enchantress. Who was Circe? Ans. By the magical sweetness of their singing. The Sirens. History mentions only two.hero Perseus. Ques. he therefore stopped the ears of his companions with wax. Or´pheus overcame them in their own art. swine or other . and adapted the style and matter of their songs to the inclination of their hearers. Ques. the king of the Sarmatians. watching his opportunity. softer melodies for the lovers of pleasure. by which means he passed the fatal coasts in safety. and his hair resembled wild parsley. For his power of transforming himself instantaneously into any shape he wished. and left all three in darkness. Who was Triton? Ans. he snatched it from her. Who were the Sirens? Ans. For what was Proteus remarkable? Ans. They were monsters who had the faces of women. Ques. they dwelt near the promontory of Peloris. Did any escape who passed those coasts? Ans. they allured all who sailed by those coasts. What was there remarkable in the songs of the Sirens? Ans. transformed them into wolves. She presented to all travellers an enchanted cup. for he sang the praises of the gods. When they saw themselves overcome by Or´pheus. and. or in islands called Sirenusæ. where she fixed her dwelling on the promontory Circæum. Ques. The upper half of his body was like that of a man. What other sea-monsters were celebrated? Ans. The first was warned against the danger by the enchantress Circe. The Fates had decreed that the Sirens should live until someone who passed by. and made such divine melody that the music of the Sirens attracted no attention. He was the son of Neptune and Amphitri´te.
. . For this theft. Ques. who stole Hercules’s oxen. he was said to have three heads and three bodies. Jupiter struck her dead with a thunderbolt. that she cast herself into the sea. Ques. Yes. and the tail of a dragon. What was intended by this fable? Ans. What was the Chimæra? Ans. also Geryon. in the middle was pasture-land frequented by goats. Scylla was so much grieved by this transformation. the Centaurs. and was therefore said to have killed the Chimæra. and the dangers of listening to its seductions. Ulys´ses escaped by throwing an herb into the cup. which vomited fire. There were also the Harpies. The fable relates that she was the daughter of Phorcus. who was king of the three Balearic Islands. Poets thus described a volcano in Lycia.animals. Over against this rock is the whirlpool of Charybdis. FABULOUS MONSTERS. Were there any fabulous monsters besides those of Hell? Ans. and that she was transformed by the jealousy of Circe. which rendered it powerless. they showed that when men drink of the cup of sensual pleasure. on the summit of which were lions. What did the poets endeavor to teach by the fables of the Sirens’ song. about which the poets relate a similar fable. and passed into fable as a monster. The ancients placed Scylla and Charybdis in the straits of Messina.. [. They say that Charybdis was a very ravenous woman. It was considered a great feat to steer successfully between them. Ques. Bellerophon made this mountain inhabitable. by the story of Circe. Ques. After this. who were half man and half horse. A fabulous monster.] CHAPTER XXIV. and the cup of Circe? Ans. For this reason. the body of a goat. made famous by the many shipwrecks that occurred upon it. where she was changed into a rock. the allurements of vice. they become soon degraded to the level of the beasts. It had the head and breast of a lion. At present  anything which is quite imaginary is called a Chimæra. Circe entertained Ulys´ses in a friendly manner. He was probably a wicked and cruel prince. and changed her into the whirlpool which bears her name. he then rushed upon the sorceress with his sword. and forced her to restore his companions whom she had transformed. now known as Ivica. into a frightful monster. Ques. which had the faces of women and the bodies of birds. many. and the lowest part was infested by serpents. Who was Scylla? Ans. They wished to signify by the singing of the Sirens. Minorca and Majorca.
and the fore-paws extend about fifty feet more. Formerly. which it carried. A fabulous bird of which there never existed more than one at the same time. When the Phœnix had attained the age of five hundred years. Why is the story of the Sphinx interesting? Ans. and when they had failed. It was a monster with the head and shoulders of a woman. he walks on two feet. It excelled all other birds in beauty of plumage. Hindoo. who are taught by their religion to hold all images of men or animals in detestation. and which she had learned from the Muses. that the animal was Man. to the temple of the Sun in Egypt. the wings of a bird. went to consult the oracle of Apollo. the Sphinx carried off and devoured one of their number. who was then at Thebes. Aztec. on two at noon. son of Creon. was destroyed by the monster. What was the Sphinx? Ans. Ques. on which it was consumed. and Peruvian Mythologies BY C. is now cleared away. little was visible save the head and neck. Celtic. A new Phœnix also immediately arose from the flames. and the king made a public proclamation. Source : THE STUDENT’S MYTHOLOGY . The question was this: “What animal is that which goes on four feet in the morning. Because there still remains in Egypt an  enormous statue of the monster. and when old uses a staff as a third foot.htm Text 9 Greek Myths . and on three in the evening?” The Thebans often met to try their skill. Scandinavian. and fed only on frankincense and sweet gums. it built a funeral pile of odorous wood. Roman. An answer was given that no remedy could be found until some one should solve the riddle that the Sphinx had proposed. Chinese.gutenberg. A. that he would give the throne. The body is one hundred and twenty-five feet long. http://www. carved in solid rock. came forward and answered the Sphinx. Persian.org/files/37380/37380-h/37380-h.A COMPENDIUM OF Greek. because when an infant he creeps on all fours.Ques. The first care of the young bird was to collect the ashes of its parent. and the paws of a lion. and expired. Assyrian. in their distress. Ques. Thibetian. to that man who should solve the riddle. At length Hæmon. but the sand which has been gathering around it for so many centuries. Egyptian. so that the people. She infested the country about Thebes. The face has been much disfigured by the arrows and lances of the Arabs. What was the Phœnix? Ans. enclosed in myrrh. Upon hearing this answer. WHITE. the Sphinx dashed her head against a rock. with the hand of his sister Jocasta. in manhood. Œdipus.
Medusa was so ugly that anyone who looked at her turned to stone. serving as the loyal steed and companion to the heroes Perseus and Bellerophon as they battle with monsters. and with the winged horse's aid. The earliest known versions of these myths date back more than 2. a goat's body. The constellation named after him even shares a star with the constellation of Andromeda. the god of the seas and of horses. Although Pegasus doesn't show up in many myths. Indeed. Pegasus is among the most popular images from Greek myth. a maiden he helped save. Perseus chopped off her horrible head with a sickle. all turned to stone by Medusa's gaze. and the two flew away to safety. With a head covered in snakes instead of hair. Looking only at Medusa's reflection in a polished shield. helpful. But Pegasus allowed the hero to climb on his back. A Hero's Horse A long time ago. appearing on everything from corporate logos to figures on carousels. White horse with wings. the Greek hero Bellerophon set out to kill the fire-breathing Chimera. heroes and monsters are told and retold around the world even today. Pegasus allowed only two mortals to ride him: the heroes Perseus and Bellerophon. the Greeks borrowed some of their best material from other. Medusa's two sisters were furious and chased after Perseus.How Old Are Greek Myths? Zeus and the other Greek gods on Mount Olympus. Pegasus was kind. The winged horse Pegasus sprang from Medusa's neck. from Aphrodite to Poseidon. . a beast with a lion's head. The goddess Athena helped Bellerophon tame Pegasus. and never greedy. and a serpent's tail. The Greek stories of gods. Bellerophon killed the monster. he found her and her two sisters resting among the statues of other heroes.700 years. are familiar characters to many readers. Pegasus is so well known that today all winged horses are called "pegasi. he was a favorite subject of Greek artists." At a Glance: Pegasus Pegasus was the son of the monster Medusa and Poseidon. Perseus traveled in search of Medusa. the young Greek hero Perseus set out on a seemingly impossible quest: to slay the hideous Medusa. Finally. Even today. winged horse Pegasus is only a minor character in Greek myths. Pegasus Long ago. -Adapted from ancient Greek myths Loyal Companion The white. But Perseus had consulted the gods and knew how to defeat the monster. Indeed. more ancient stories. appearing in written form in the works of the Greek poets Homer and Hesiod. But some of these myths are much older. For many days.
000 years before Sophocles wrote of the Sphinx -. . two legs at noon. artists in Mesopotamia depicted similar creatures and may have transmitted the image to Greece. would make it impossible for anyone to sit on the creature's back. Greek myths are widely told outside of Greece--and the stories have left their mark on various cultures around the world. eating anyone who couldn't answer.in old age.a third leg -." A person crawls on all fours as a baby. which can be seen to this day. Greece.406 BC) Where Do Greek Myths Come From? Today. But one day a clever man named Oedipus came along and gave the answer "man. and other ancient Greek myths Coins Stories of Pegasus were particularly popular in the ancient city of Corinth. made by artist Joe Leonard for a private collector. "What has one voice and walks on four legs in the morning. walks on two legs as an adult and uses a cane .more than 2. The statue's wings. --Adapted from Homer's Iliad. the Sphinx threw herself off her high perch and died on the road below. the Sphinx sat in front of the gates to the ancient Greek city of Thebes.and a fondness for riddles. 800-600 BC. But Bellerophon's arrogance enraged the gods. carrying Zeus's lightning bolts on his back.Egyptian artists carved half-human. is styled after the animals found on carousels. Bellerophon thought himself the equal of the gods and urged Pegasus to fly him to Mount Olympus. But many of the stories we think of as Greek myths actually have roots in other ancient cultures. and three legs in the evening?" No one had ever answered correctly. The Sphinx was a terrible monster with a lion's body and a woman's head -. Greek Sphinx Many years ago. c. And when Pegasus died. however. Distraught over being outwitted. For instance. and the Sphinx was well fed.500 years ago -. She asked a question of everyone who passed. Head and torso of a woman. causing him to rear back and sending Bellerophon hurtling to the ground. Zeus transformed him into a constellation. Carved Pegasus A carved Pegasus figure.After this glorious victory. at least 4. The winged horse was used as the city's emblem and appeared on coins of the city for hundreds of years. half-lion statues out of stone. --Adapted from Oedipus Rex by the Greek playwright Sophocles (495 . Zeus sent a fly to bite Pegasus. Pegasus remained at Olympus for the rest of his life.500 years ago. At a Glance: Greek Sphinx The Greek Sphinx was aggressive and hostile. And some 3. often attacking and snacking on people who passed by.
This phrase comes from a myth about the Twelve Labors of Hercules. Modern language. the Great Sphinx combines the body of a lion with the head of a man-King Khafre. " for example. but Greek mythology has shaped English and other languages on many levels. however. is one that requires great effort. Wings of an eagle. Body of a lion. Morpheus. And while the Sphinx of Greek myth is cruel and aggressive. Egyptian Sphinx The Great Sphinx of Giza has stood guard in front of the pyramids since around 2500 BC. half-woman Sphinx of Greek myth.amnh. Egyptian sphinxes are considered benign symbols of powerful rulers. Other Egyptian sphinxes. "Venereal disease " is a rather unflattering reference to Venus. A "Herculean task. referring to any substance or circumstance that arouses sexual desire. The goddess of love fares better in the term "aphrodisiac ".org/exhibitions/past-exhibitions/mythic-creatures/air-creatures-of-thesky/greek-myths Text 10 Impact of Greek Mythology on Western Culture Greek mythology 's impact on modern societies cannot be understated. Source: http://www. arts and culture all demonstrate the impact of Greek mythology in today 's world. Unlike the halflion. . The drug morphine takes its name from the Greek God of Sleep. the ruler of Egypt at that time. industry. have the heads of rams or falcons. For example. most people who have no formal knowledge of Greek mythology still know that Hercules was a strongman and that Venus (the Roman version of the Greek Aphrodite) is the goddess of love. The Impact of Greek Mythology on Language Very few people speak ancient Greek on a regular basis.
In the 1980s. Television shows and movies. Many expressions. used by the Greeks to infiltrate Troy and end the Trojan War. the all-female rock band The Bangles had a top ten hit with the single Venus. the expressions "caught between a rock and a hard place " and "between the Devil and the deep blue sea " both come from tales about sailors being caught between the monsters Scylla and Charybdis of Greek mythology. Cultural Impact of Greek Mythology in the West Greek mythology 's impact on modern societies is often seen in the arts and popular culture. " the mortal man so beautiful that Aphrodite herself fell in love with him. proverbs and clichs are direct references to ancient Greek myths. In fact. the Lord of the Underworld. For example. an unpleasant woman may be called a "harpy " (a winged monster with a woman 's torso and a bird 's feet).To this day. Alternately. Other common expressions that demonstrate Greek mythology 's impact on modern societies include: an Achilles heel (a single fatal vulnerability) having the Midas touch (everything turns to gold) lying in the arms of Morpheus (sleeping) opening Pandora 's Box (unlocking a world of trouble) rich as Croesus (Croesus was known for his wealth) the face that launched a thousand ships (a woman worth going to war for). as we 're actually referring to the Greek-built Trojan horse. movies have been retelling versions of Hercule 's story since the 1950s. including characters such as Hades. The impact of Greek mythology on western culture and language isn 't confined to individual words. have also reintroduced mythological figures to new generations. . Some of the most famous works of art and literature demonstrate the impact of Greek mythology on western culture. a handsome man is an "Adonis. Botticelli 's The Birth of Venus is one of the world 's most recognizable paintings. such as Disney 's Hercules. " a rather unfair comparison with the Trojans. We call computer viruses "Trojans.
" slyly alluding to the Trojan horse that allowed the Greeks to safely penetrate Troy 's defenses. " the name of the Greek earth mother. Andromeda. the Aegis Group is an insurance company. Hercules and Gemini. the reference to Greek mythology is clearly valid in that the insurance company and Navy boats provide protection. although the planets have been given Roman versions of the Greek names. references to Greek mythology are appropriate. one of the great Greek heroes of The Iliad. just as the Greek shield. Would Ajax.Operas often delve into Greek mythology. Today. sometimes in unusual places. so much so that an understanding of Greek myths is necessary to truly appreciate their works. All of the planets and most of the moons in the solar system are also named after Greek mythological characters. Even our Earth was named after a Greek myth: Another name for our planet is "Gaia. The Aegis is the shield used by both Zeus and his daughter Athena. including Cassiopeia.S. navy uses Aegis cruisers. In both of these instances. and the U. its impact on modern societies cannot be understated. Signs of Greek Mythology in Modern Societies The names of Greek mythology surround us today. In fact. as well. the connection between Greek mythology and modern products is more tongue-incheek. Greek myths even . Offenbach 's Orpheus in the Underworld is one of the most famous examples. Great writers such as Dante. be happy knowing he 's the namesake for a popular cleaning product? Sometimes. Many constellations are named after characters or monsters from Greek myths. Despite our sometimes questionable uses of Greek mythology in contemporary culture. American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Tanglewood Tales is a collection of rewritten Greek myths. Science and Greek Mythology Greek mythology 's impact on modern societies can be seen on any clear night. A popular brand of condoms is named "Trojan. References to Greek myths abound. At other times. Shakespeare and Milton make frequent references to Greek mythology.
azi. Astfel. mai apoi. calugarii de mare. who had disguised himself as a bull to trick her.2009 In Antichitate si Evul mediu.com/lifestyle/impact-of-greek-mythology-on-western-culture. dragonii.05. is named for Europa. desenate cu multa fantezie. the maiden carried off by Zeus.influence our maps. iar asa-numitele bestiarii medievale – carti cuprinzand descrieri si reprezentari ale animalelor – sunt pline de imagini. Source : http://www.aspx Romanian texts Text 1 Poveste si adevar in legenda sirenelor Mihaela Stanescu | 19. A collection of maps is an Atlas. este considerat a fi un calmar urias din . explicatii stiintifice. And Europe. seat of so many societies influenced by Greek myths. named for the titan who held up the earth. ale acestor vietuitoare extraordinare. existau nenumarate legende despre animale fabuloase. basiliscul si alte asemenea fiinte inflacarau imaginatia oamenilor din acele vremuri. Ne uimeste sa aflam. unicornul. vestitul monstru marin Kraken. cat de convinsi erau stramosii nostri de existenta unor astfel de creaturi. Sirenele.tree. cand cunostintele de zoologie erau departe de a fi atat de exacte ca in prezent. din legendele nordice. Pentru multe dintre ele au fost propuse.
Nu stim exact cum aratau aceste sirene in viziunea lui Homer. Alteori.genul Architeutis (la Smithsonian Museum. SUA. din parti provenind de la animale diferite. pe cat de frumoase. Ithaca. se afla un exemplar de cca. prin circuri. inapoi spre insula-i natala. necunoscut europenilor. care traiesc in ape dulci) si Dugongidae. Dar sirenele ce puteau fi? "Intai si-ntai sosi-vei la sirene/ Acelea care-ademenesc pe oameni…" (Homer.posibil patru. oamenii inca mai credeau in existenta sirenelor. numit Oannes. calatorii care-si gaseau apoi moartea pe insula fermecata. iar tovarasii sai si-au astupat urechile cu ceara. pentru grecii antici. ca sa nu auda cantecul vrajit. pe atat de primejdioase. pesti precum pisicile ori vulpile de mare erau prelucrati astfel incat sa arate ca niste mumii ale unor fapturi ciudate. erau expuse asa-numite sirene – niste falsuri dibaci alcatuite. Ulise si ceilalti navigatori de pe corabie au scapat cu viata urmand sfatul vrajitoarei Circe: Ulise a fost legat zdravan de catarg. intr-o legenda. chiar o sirena. care traiau pe o insula si ademeneau. 10 metri lungime). pornind de la ideea ca. Dar ce animal putea fi acela? Pai.numite lamantini. Babilonienii credeau intr-un zeu cu coada de peste. cu glasurile lor. in poemul Odiseea care istoriseste calatoria lui Ulise. La balciuri. iar imaginatia povestitorilor. multi s-au straduit sa descopere samburele de adevar din legenda sirenelor. Hr. impartite in doua familii: Trichechidae sau Manatidae (cu trei specii . Numai ca zoologii de azi inteleg prin sirene altceva decat calatorii din Evul Mediu. in Evul Mediu. sirenele erau niste femei cu coada de pasare! In schimb. Odiseea. care mai . un grup de mamifere acvatice care cuprinde azi numai patru specii. G. iar mitologia greaca e plina de zeitati marine cu cozi de peste. doua mii de ani mai tarziu. de pilda capete si trunchiuri de maimuta la care erau atasate cozi de peste. pomeneste de aceste femei ale marii. Murnu) Poetul antic Homer. avand o oarecare aparenta de faptura feminina. toata lumea stia ca sirenele sunt niste femei cu coada de peste si glas ademenitor. (Dar nu era ceva nou: credinte despre fapturi jumatate om-jumatate peste existau si cu cinci milenii I. Cel mai logic a fost sa se presupuna ca acei calatori care povesteau despre sirene vazusera cine stie ce animal ciudat. cel mai probabil. din Washington. dorinta lor de a-si ului ascultatorii si inevitabila distorsionare a informatiei trecute din gura in gura facusera restul.) Chiar si in secolul al XIX-lea. se pare ca. dupa razboiul troian. trad. ce corespundeau reprezentarilor din “imaginarul colectiv” cu privire la sirene. E vorba despre sirenieni. ceva-ceva tot trebuie sa fie adevarat. pentru a nu putea parasi corabia. Totusi. dar inca nu e stabilit cu precizie .
calatoriile pe mare puteau dura saptamani sau luni in sir. nu o duc foarte bine. 200 de ani. populatiile s-au redus mult: habitatele preferate ale dugongilor (ape putin adanci. Sirenienii provin din mamifere terestre care. bogate in plante marine) au fost afectate de poluare. se ridica la suprafata. O alta specie inrudita cu dugongul. fiecare le inflorea la randul lui.. avand in ecosistemele acvatice un rol echivalent cu cel al erbivorelor mari in ecosistemele terestre. Iata un scenariu propus de zoologi pentru a explica originea mitului sirenelor: aceste animale (dugongii) obisnuiesc sa se hraneasca sub apa. Se hranesc exclusiv cu plante. pe vremea aceea. dobandind treptat adaptari specifice.treceau din gura-n gura. exterminata de om. pot fi zariti uneori niste pui – cea mai elocventa imagine care evoca feminitatea. cu tulpinile plantelor acvatice atarnandu-le pe cap ca niste plete. Probabil. odata la cativa ani. Ce se intampla azi cu aceste sirene marine? Ca multe dintre animalele care s-au ciocnit cu oamenii si civilizatia lor. in India si Sri Lanka). nu-i de mirare ca bietii marinari vedeau – sau isi imaginau – aceste fapturi greoaie ca pe niste femei ale apelor. avand asadar un ritm de inmultire lent. de pe puntea vasului ori de pe mal. adaugand amanunte senzationale menite sa-i lase pe ascultatori cu gura cascata… si uite asa. fiind o prada usoara pentru vanatori din pricina vitezei mici si a rezistentei scazute la efort. pesemne. in special la carciuma . Femelele au mamelele situate in regiunea toracica. din nefericire. in vreme ce se uitau. Adaugati la asta faptul ca. din Marea Rosie pana in estul Africii. Isi duc viata in apele putin adanci din apropierea coastelor oceanice si in estuarele unor fluvii. la intoarcerea pe uscat. animalele au fost mult vanate pentru carne si grasime (si. Dupa un atat de lung rastimp de singuratate. Odinioara. a disparut in urma cu cca. In plus. Era ca si cum ar fi jucat “telefonul fara fir” timp de mai multi ani si mai multe generatii. au patruns in mediul acvatic. Mai pot fi vazute grupuri de dugongi in apele Australiei . aproape de pieptul mamelor. rontaind plante acvatice.cuprinde. in ziua de azi. dugongii populau aproape toate apele de coasta din Oceanul Indian. inca mai sunt. Cand sunt deranjate de apropierea unor intrusi. nasc doar cate un pui. asa se explica faptul ca in multe versiuni ale legendelor despre “oameni ai marii” se spune ca acestia au parul verde. Azi. in rauri si lacuri mari. asa ca. insistand asupra laturii spectaculoase. doar o singura specie: dugongul sau vaca de mare (Dugong dugon). nu are. se ajungea la niste frumoase si ispititoare femei ale apelor. de la niste mamifere acvatice greoaie si cu ierburi ude pe cap. numita vaca de mare a lui Steller. o relatie prea pasnica cu oamenii. in urma cu milioane de ani. (Parca si auzi comentariile pe care le faceau. dupa anumite opinii.. scotand din apa capul si partea superioara a trunchiului. Sirenele marii Dugongul. la ciudatele sirene grasane care se balaceau la mica departare de ei!) Iar cum. timp de secole. acestia l-au vanat intens pentru carne si grasime. o specie marina. aceste povesti – istorisite. extrem de interesant pentru zoologi de vreme ce e singurul mamifer erbivor marin.
ce caracterizează în mod unitar şi de neconfundat spiritul culturii lor. Sursa : http://www. [..(unde sunt protejati). in continuare. tot atat de bizare si fascinante ca si legendarele fapturi cu cozi de peste. ameninatati. despre zei şi eroi legendari.descopera. . Grecii antici au arătat un interes deosebit poveştilor mitologice care au cunoscut diferite prelucrări literare ce ne permit astăzi să avem o viziune a concepţiei despre lume şi despre existenţă. Explicaţiile psihologilor moderni arată că miturile put fi puse pe seama dorinţei omului de a pune în lumină conflictele sale secrete. sirenele noastre contemporane – lamantini si dugongi – sunt inca niste animale misterioase. Este greu de înţeles cum au putut grecii antici să conceapă o întreagă mitologie care intră în conflict cu spiritul lor atât de raţional (logos-ul).ro/natura/4403671-poveste-si-adevar-in-legenda-sirenelor Text 2 Mitologia greaca Mitologia greacă cuprinde povestiri fabuloase despre originea universului şi a fenomenelor naturii..] Chiar daca stiinta moderna le-a dat un nume si le-a incadrat intr-o clasificare zoologica. in stramtoarea ce desparte India de Sri Lanka… dar sunt putini si. in Marea Rosie. create de imaginatia oamenilor si carora sirenienii le-au servit drept model. ale subconştientului său.
iar ca armă se foloseau de trunchiul de brad. a încercat să o violeze pe mireasă şi pe care lapiţii l-au pedepsit retezându-i nasul şi urechile. Este deosebit de greu ca o singură definiţie să poată cuprinde toate aspectele şi toate funcţiile mitului avute în societăţile arhaice şi tradiţionale. De asemenea. Credinţele pot fi puse la îndoială. şi care erau cunoscuţi datorită corpului lor care era umană în jumătate superioară şi cabalină în jumătate de jos. eroi şi fiinţe fabuloase. Zeul este situat în timp şi spaţiu. care. nu trebuie să cădem în capcana care constă în a face o legătură între religie şi mitologie. totuşi.Termenii de mit şi mitologie au cunoscut. cu Hipodamia. Miturile pot fi explicate prin faptul că ele preced riturile. permiţând sufletului să se deschidă spre reflecţie. CENTAURII Centaurii sunt un popor mitologic ce trăia în pădurile muntelui Pelion. Printre cei care au luptat alături de lapiţi se afla Tezeu. Puterea lor îmbina forţa animală cu cea umană. Disputa dintre centauri şi lapiţi a pornit de la purtarea centaurului Eurition (eventual şi a altora). însă erau condiţionaţi de interzicerea unor fapte contrare riturilor religioase. teogonii. meteorologice etc. Sunt create imagini care să permită oamenilor să înţeleagă fenomenele misterioase (astronomice. Mitologia este constrânsă de politeism şi antropomorfism. însă nu şi riturile cultice. să refuze să creadă. încât este greu să poată fi cuprinse toate aici. îmbătat de vin. care a avut loc în timpul nunţii lui Piritoos. nu putem să extindem ideea la ansamblul mitologiei. organizaţii civice au găsit suportul argumentării vechimii sau valorii lor. Grecii vechi puteau. probabil. Unele mituri au permis cetăţenilor greci să înveţe şi să revendice istoria îndepărtată a unei familii sau a unei instituţii. când centaurii au încercat să răpească femeile lapiţilor. de-a lungul timpului mai multe teorii. şi avea dreptul. În altă .) şi să recunoască structurile şi raporturile sociale. zei. epopei şi naraţiuni. regele lapiţilor. Pentru a înţelege interesul grecilor pentru mitologie. Riturile vechi sau de neînţeles compun istoria unor geneze. Dacă unele miturile prezintă nişte scenarii care urmăresc explicarea unor fenomene naturale provocate de anumiţi zei. Numele lor pare a însemna „biciuitorii apelor” fiind la origine. cosmogonii. Miturile sunt atât de numeroase. Importanţa miturilor rezidă din faptul că ele au adus gândirii umane posibilitatea de a mai elimina din teroarea adusă de sacru. gigantomanii. Tradiţia mitologică vorbeşte despre acerba luptă cu lapiţii. în Tesalia. Vom încerca să prezentăm câteva din fiecare categorie referitoare la : creaţia lumii. primeşte variate epitete care reflectă aşteptările oamenilor în diverse împrejurări. genii ale torentelor din munţii Pelionului.
aşa cum se înfige un par. Tradiţiile literare spun că părinţii lor au fost Thaumas şi oceanida Elektra. HARPIILE Harpiile sunt creaturi mitologice ale căror nume însemană „răpitoarele”. grifonii au dezvoltat o ostilitatea faţă de cai. ei la început fiind paznicii aurului Indiei. s-au stabilit în adâncurile pământului. cunoscută sub numele de centauromahia.variantă a mitului. Grifonii.] GRIFONII Grifonii sunt animale fabuloase ce avea trup de leu şi cap şi aripi de vultur. Enea şi ai săi vor trebui să „roadă de jur-împrejur mesele”. . protagonistul luptei a fost eroul Ceneu. unde erau consideraţi păzitorii aurului din nord. Homer spunând despre ele că sunt „cele ce iau oamenii cu ele”. Harpiile (două sau trei. [. sub insula Creta. La origine este posibil ca ele să fi fost nişte zeiţe ale furtunilor (mai sunt numite şi „vijelii”). În final. care au fost alungaţi din Tesalia şi s-au refugiat pe muntele Pind.. Alungarea şi înfrângerea centaurilor de către lapiţi sunt interpretate ca victoria raţiunii asupra barbariei. Artiştii greci au imortalizat în multe opere monumentale scene ale acestui conflict. la graniţa cu Epirul. La Strofade ele îi atacă pe troienii care au acostat aici în urma unei furtuni. Tradiţiile istorice spun că credinţa în grifoni era de origine orientală. În alte versiuni sunt păzitorii craterul plin cu vin al lui Dionysos sau ai lui Zeus.. în funcţie de tradiţie) au nume care diferă la autorii antici : Aello şi Ocipete (Hesiod). Lupta dintre centauri şi lapiţi. s-a terminat cu înfrângerea centaurilor. Celeno („cea întunecată”). Ele trăiau în munţii aflaţi între ţinutul hiperboreenilor şi cel al arimaspilor. iar regina lor. prezice că. Tradiţia spune că deoarece arimaspii au venit să fure aurul călare. înainte de a întemeia cetatea promisă. Podarge (Homer). Celeno. reprezentative fiind sculpturile de pe frontonul templului lui Zeus din Olimpia şi metopele Partenonului. sau într-o altă versiune Poseidon şi Gaia. Vergiliu spune că harpiile au plecat în insulele Strofade după ce au fost alungate de la Fineu. folosind trunchiuri de brad. Unele versiuni mitologice arată că grifonii erau animalele sacre ale lui Apollon. care era invulnerabil şi care a fost înfipt în pământ de centauri. amintiţi adesea de poeţi. a inteligenţei asupra animalităţii primitive. a unei religiozităţi noi asupra unor credinţe mai vechi. sunt descrişi în special de Herodot şi de Pliniu.
au fost zămisliţi cei doi cai divini ai lui Ahile. Potrivit izvoarelor. doi dintre argonauţi. Potrivit tradiţiei ele răpeau sufletele morţilor şi copii. pentru că se credea că ferea de deochi. pe care să i-o luau sau să i-o murdăreau. Harpiile fac parte din generaţia divină primordială. făcând-o imposibil de mâncat. ca autoarele răpirii fiicelor lui Pandaros. fiicele unor divinităţi marine. Xanthos şi Balie. Sângele scurs dintr-o venă putea fi unul benefic. Perseu a reuşit cu greu să o omoare. ei ieşind din sângele ce ţâşnea din gâtul ei tăiat. două fecioare nespus de frumoase. după bunul lor plac. folosindu-se şi de oglinda primită de la Athena şi evitând să se uite direct în ochii acesteia. Simbolistica împleteşte. venirea lor pe lume făcându-se după ce gorgona a fost decapitată. unde acesta şi-a menţinut puterea de a-i transforma în stană de piatră pe toţi cei care îl priveau. Din relaţia uneia dintre harpii cu zeul Zefir. Calais şi Zetes. din unirea celor doi s-au născut Crisaor şi Pegas. după ce Perseu i-a dat Athenei capul Meduzei. Trupul lor avea două sau patru aripi de aur şi mâini de bronz. încât oricine îl privea în ochi se preschimba în stană de piatră. Iconografia le prezintă cu un cap enorm. cu trup de pasăre ce avea gheare lungi şi ascuţite. în figura . cu păr lung şi buclat. Tradiţia spune că aceasta fiind o tânără nespus de frumoasă a atras atenţia lui Poseidon care s-a unit cu ea într-unul din templele închinate Atenei. zeiţa a pedepsit-o transformându-i pletele în şerpi. Fineu a fost salvat de fiii lui Boreas. acoperit nu cu păr. Sunt amintite. care au reuşit să le alunge. Chipul gorgonelor a fost adesea expus pe faţadele templelor sau la intrarea în diferite edificii. zeiţa a pus aşezat capul în centrul scutului său. Pentru aceasta. Într-o altă variantă a mitului. singura care avea o natură muritoare era Meduza. În jurul lor lăsau un miros greu de suportat. capul a fost îngropat în Argos sau a devenit un ornament al scutului lui Zeus.Hesiod le descrie ca pe nişte personaje feminine înaripate. Dintre cele trei gorgone. pe care zeul Asclepios îl folosea pentru a readuce morţii la viaţă. Localizarea lor este plastă de autorii antici în ţinutul Libiei sau chiar în Extremul Occident. harpiile coborau din cer atunci când acesta primea mâncarea. ci cu şerpi. Zeii le foloseau pentru a-i pedepsi sau chinui pe oameni şi pe eroi. Forcus şi Ceto. În tradiţia târzie sunt reprezentate ca nişte monştri înaripaţi. Trimise să-l chinuiască pe prezicătorul orb Fineu de zeiţa Hera. GORGONELE Gorgonele în tradiţia mitologică sunt reprezentate de trei fiinţe feminine monstruoase Steno. Euriale şi Meduza. pe când cel ce ieşea din alta putea provoca moartea prin otrăvire. în Odiseea. Uneori ele mai sunt numite şi Forcide. În final. Eschil spune că pedeapsa divină a făcut capul Meduzei să fie atât de înspăimântător. Sângele scurs din trupul gorgonei avea caracteristici contrastante. cu cap de femeie bătrână şi cu o expresie înfometată.
întotdeauna dispuse să danseze. Erau adesea invocate de oameni pentru a le oferi protecţie. lemniile etc. elementele benefice cu cel fatale. Nimfele erau înzestrate cu virtuţi profetice. Sunt divinităţile cele mai populare şi cele mai binevoitoare cu oamenii. vesele şi graţioase. Tinere şi frumoase („nimfe” înseamnă femei tinere). ■ nimfele copacilor numite driade şi hamadriade. NIMFELE Nimfele sunt zeităţi feminine secundare din mitologia clasică. iriadele şi creneidele . ale apelor. şi se credea că şi ele le puteau da oamenilor puteri supranaturale. nimfele au sedus numeroşi bărbaţi. Numai unele dintre nimfe au dobândit nemurirea în urma anumitor întâmplări. Anticii considerau că ele pot fi întâlnite peste tot în natură. pe câmpii şi în munţi. în mare şi în izvoare. oreadele sau orestiadele. de multe ori originea numelor lor era luată din cele ale munţilor şi regiunilor în care trăiau. exista credinţa că unele dintre izvoarele. nisiadele sau niseidele. nimfele frasinilor. ori napee. „teribile pentru oamenii ce trăiesc în aer liber”. La fel. se spunea despre clarvăzători şi poeţi că erau posedaţi de nimfe. Apollon. ■ nimfele munţilor. dădeau puteri supranaturale celor ce-şi potoleau setea cu apa lor. fiicele lui Oceanos) şi nereide (nimfele din Marea Mediterană. ale munţilor şi peşterilor. sau nimfe legate de anumite localităţi : ■ nimfele mării purtau numele de oceanide (sau nimfele Oceanului. . potamidele. Atunci când un om începe brusc să se comporte ca un nebun se spune că este „luat de nimfe”. lacurilor. ■ nimfele care aparţineau unor localităţi aveau numele lor derivat din acele locurilor cu care erau asociate : aheloidele. râurilor. Cele mai cunoscute erau meliadele. în care se făcea simţită prezenţa unei nimfe. în păduri. Nimfele erau clasificate în funcţie de partea din natură pe care o reprezentau. pâraielor şi cascadelor). În perioada elenistico-romană figura gorgonei îşi pierde aspectul monstruos şi este umanizată. Hermes. Sunt creaturi primitoare. îşi aveau sfârşitul odată cu arborele în care îşi aveau sălaşul şi împreună cu care veniseră pe lume. existau nimfele mării. ■ nimfele apelor sunt naiadele (nimfele izvoarelor. fiicele lui Nereu). dodonidele. Hesiod spune că s-a păstrat o povestire singulară despre vârsta până la care poate trăi o nimfă. în mod inexplicabil devin foarte periculoase. ■ nimfele ce trăiau în trecători şi în locurile înguste dintre stânci se numesc napee. mai ales zei (Zeus.Meduzei. Uneori. de iubirea nimfei Echo pentru tânărul Narcis. în râuri şi în peşteri. ale trecătorilor şi copacilor. erau şi nimfe ale peşterilor. Tradiţiile literare povestesc de iubirea lui Heracle pentru nimfa Hylas. Dionysos). Astfel. sau de cea a Galatei pentru tânărul păstor Acis.
Pegas l-a aruncat din spinarea sa. unde obişnuia să se adape (în Acrocorint) şi Hipocrene („izvorul calului”) apărut sub loviturile copitelor sale. Călare pe Pegas. legat de regiunile unde se credea că trăiesc şi care nu comporta mari celebrări.Cultului închinat lor era un cult local. PEGAS În mitologia greacă. Hesiod ne informează despre pasărea care trăieşte foarte mult (927 de ani). Nu cunoaştem că ar fi existat un cult oficial închinat lor ca divinităţi individuale şi autonome. Originea sa este localizată în Arabia (sau Etiopia) şi constituie obiectul unui cult particular în Egipt. Alte surse vorbesc de izvorul Pirene. Mai apoi. Pegas a fost prins de Belerofon în timp ce se adăpa la izvorul Pirene. în schimb avem mărturii despre veneraţia de care se bucurau în cadrul privat şi popular. împreună cu fratele lui Crisaor. 2.73) este primul care vorbeşte despre Phoenix descriind obiceiurile sale de viaţă singulare. lapte şi ulei. atunci când a fost decapitată de Perseu. are un penaj splendid şi viaţa foarte lungă. iar naşterea sa a avut loc în apropierea locului de unde izvora fluviul Oceanos. însă Homer (în Istorii. . ce avea capacitatea de a renaşte din propria-i cenuşă după ce se autoincendia. De multe ori. cultul era realizat de către preoţi în peşteri. O tradiţie scrisă arată că numele său se referă la un izvor ţâşnitor. PHOENIX Phoenix este o pasăre mitică. ce o face mai frumoasă decât cel mai minunat păun. Belerofon a căzut pe câmpia Aleia („câmpia rătăcitorului”). Nimfelor li se aduceau ca ofrande miei şi iezi. Asemănătoare cu un vultur. Pasărea Phoenix se diferenţiază de aspectul unui vultur prin penajul splendid colorat. cu pete de purpură şi aur (două culori „nobile”). atunci când eroul a vrut să urce în cer în spinarea calului înaripat ca să vadă de aproape adunarea zeilor. Belerofon s-a înălţat în văzduh de unde a trimis săgeţile care au omorât-o pe Himera. Destinul său o transformată într-o imagine simbolică a renaşterii. la Heliopolis. Eroul a reuşit să-l strunească cu ajutorul unui frâu de aur primit de la zeiţa Athena. evitându-se vinul. Pegas este un cal înaripat. amintit ca fiul lui Poseidon şi al Meduzei. unde a fost transformat în constelaţie şi a fost primit printre caii divini. iar Pegas şi-a continuat drumul spre cer. din sângele căreia s-a născut.
între Eea şi stânca Scilei. descrise ca nişte fiinţe înaripate. de la 500 la aproape 13. Nimfe ale mării. clebrează un rit funebru solemn. în alte erau considerate drept fiicele Terpsihorei. pe care îl incendiază după ce se pune pe el. . sau ale lui Aheloos şi ale Steropei. Telxiepia şi Pisinoe. spre insula unde acestea trăiau. s-a legat de catargul mare al corăbiei ca să nu se poată mişca. noua pasăre Phoenix se întoarce în Arabia (sau Etiopia). Aventura lui Ulise pe mare cuprinde episodul în care sirenele au încercat din răsputeri să-i atragă pe el şi pe însoţitorii lui cu cântecul lor.Lungimea vieţii sale este extraordinară. la sanctuarul din Heliopolis. în sfârşit. cu un cortegiu format din alte păsări ce zboară în jurul ei. Fiind singurul exemplar din specia ei. „cea care seduce”. unde preoţii lui Helios. Ele cer sacrificii omeneşti.000 de ani. Tradiţiile istorice dau mai multe versiuni asupra originii lor: în unele apar ca fiind fiicele lui Forcus. Potrivit izvoarelor. SIRENELE Sirenele sunt creaturi maritime legendare din mitologia greacă. Tradiţiile egiptene vorbesc de un animal cu însuşiri asemănătoare păsării Phoenix. până când va începe un nou ciclu al renaşterii. sfătuit de vrăjitoarea Circe. unde îşi duce lunga sa viaţă solitară hrănindu-se cu perle de tămâie. Numele lor se traduce prin „cea cu voce splendidă”. aflată în apropierea coastelor sud-vestice ale Italiei. ele sunt capcane ale naturii care îi atrag pe marinari cu corăbiile lor în locuri stâncoase în care aceştia îşi puteau găsi moartea. jumătate de pasăre. Mitologia reproducerii sale arată că pasărea când simte că i se apropie sfârşitul. ea nu se poate reproduce. zeul Soarelui. „cea care încântă”. este diferit atât numele. Latinii situau insula lângă coastele Campaniei. variază în funcţie de izvoarele istorice. Alte reprezentări le înfăţişează ca având partea inferioară a corpului înlocuită cu un ou. punându-i rămăşiţele într-un înveliş de smirnă şi tămâie în formă de ou şi ducându-le. Plaja de pe care ele cântau spre a-l seduce pe Ulise era plină de oase ale morţilor şi de trupuri umane în putrefacţie. iar el. Gaia. uneori cu gheare. iar Homer le-a localizat pe o insulă din Marea Mediterană. a cărei imagine se poate vedea reprodusă pe prora corăbiilor egiptene. Melpomenei sau Caliopei. Noua pasăre Phoenix o îngroapă apoi pe cea precedentă. Potrivit lui Hesiod. ele trăiesc pe insula Antemoessa („înflorită”). nu rareori sunt înfăţişate cu barbă. cu trup jumătate omenesc. Din cenuşa rezultată se formează o altă pasăre. numită Bennu. cât şi numărul lor: în unele apar două – Aglaofeme şi Telxiepia –. îşi face un cuib din ramuri de plante aromatice şi tămâie. din perioada medievală. Reprezentarea sirenelor cu coadă de peşte este mai recentă. Ulise le-a cerut tovarăşilor lui de drum săşi pună ceară în urechi ca să nu audă cântecul acestora. datorită virtuţilor lor muzicale care le apropiau de muze. în altele trei – Partenope. Tradiţia mitologică ne-a transmis două poveşti celebre. Din Egipt. Ligeea şi Leucosia sau Aglaope. alte le creditează ca fiind fiicele Pământului.
Prin incursiunile sale. în trecut nu au lipsit încercările de a o pune în legătură cu vulcanul din Licia care purta acelaşi nume. Heracle a încercat să-l omoare cu ghioaga. deşi de un tip aparte. dar au fost salvaţi de Orfeu care a început să cânte mai frumos decât ele. Trupul său avea înfăţişarea în partea din faţă de leu. iar partea din spate de şarpe. acestea. În final. Sirenele au avut legături şi cu de lumea de dincolo. care au devenit fatale pentru oricine era atins de ele. regele Liciei. care se regăsea în fauna Liciei în epoca istorică. Heracle a găsit modalitatea prin care să învingă Hidra. îndulcindu-le trecerea pe tărâmul celălalt. HIDRA Hidra este monstrul împotriva căruia Heracle a luptat în cursul uneia dintre muncilor sale. dintre care unul – cel central – era nemuritor. nu putea fi ucis. învinse de harul lui Orfeu. dar în locul fiecărui cap pe care reuşea să il zdrobească apăreau alte două. În arta antică Himera este reprezentată uneori ca un leu. Pegas. A fost ucisă de eroul Belerofon. Tradiţia scrisă arată că ele plângeau sufletele morţilor şi pe Persefona. Persefona. PYTHON . Heracle şi-a făcut o otravă în care a înmuiat vârful săgeţilor. s-a înălţat în văzduh pe calul său înaripat. au fost cuprinşi de cântecul sirenelor. Ajutat de prietenul său credincios Iolau. Din cele trei guri înfricoşătoare arunca flăcări. Deoarece sirenelor le-a fost ursit să trăiască numai atâta vreme cât nimeni nu putea trece de ele fără să fie mişcat de muzica lor.Sirenele şi-au făcut simţită prezenţa şi în povestea argonauţilor. mijlocul de capră. Ele aveau misiunea ca prin cântecul lor să farmece sufletele tuturor morţilor pentru a le aduce în faţa reginei lumii subterane. HIMERA Himera este un animal monstruos fantastic ce avea trei capete. s-au aruncat în mare transformându-se în stânci. de unde şi-a trimis săgeţile către ea. Pentru explicarea originii Himerei. Una din tradiţii arată că Himera a fost crescută de Amisodares. Deoarece avea nouă capete. Era fiul lui Tifon şi al Echidnei şi a fost crescut de Hera. este fiica lui Typhom şi a Echidnei. ei au ars capetele monstrului pe măsură ce le dobora. Aflaţi la bordul corăbiei Argo. Din veninul Hidrei. iar pe cel nemuritor l-au îngropat sub o stâncă. eroii şi personajele mitice participante la expediţie. care avea o capră cu acest nume. Himera devasta câmpiile Liciei. care sfătuit de zei. El teroriza regiunea Lerna din apropiere de Argos.
picturi si sculpturi. şi să o împiedice să aducă pe lume pe cei doi copii ai lui Zeus : Apollon şi Artemis. Cerberul era folosit si pentru practici oculte. cea mai importanta aparitie fiind in Divina comedie a lui Dante Alighieri. Gorgona este un alt monstru care face parte din mitologia greaca. giganti si dragoni. Una dintre cele mai celebre gorgone este Medusa. este una dintre cele mai fructuoase. Se spune ca cerberul semana cu cu caine de vanatoare care are trei capete. deoarece se presupune ca saliva sa era otravitoare si din aceasta a luat nastere o planta toxica numita omeag. astfel incat acesta permitea doar sufletelor celor morti sa intre in Infern. Mitologia greaca. care are capul acoperit cu serpi. Cerberul este unul dintre cei mai cunoscuti monstri din mitologia elena. alaturi de zeitati si eroi. care a încheiat epoca de aur a omeniri din mitologia greacă. unul dintre cele sapte pacate de moarte. influentand culturile si civilizatiile care au urmat. scopul sau fiind acela de a-i sfasia pe cei care au cazut in pacatul caliceniei. unde apare in cel de al treilea cerc al Iadului. Tradiţia spune că s-a născut din mâlul rămas pe pământ după ce s-au retras apele potopului lui Deucalion.ro/istoriee/Ist_universala/Grecia/gr_04rel4. animale mitologice. Creaturile din mitologia greaca pot fi impartite in mai multe subcategorii. Mitologia greaca include numeroase creaturi fantastice. dar si in operele literare. Apollon. sale a primit apelativul Pythaos şi a iniţiat jocurile numite pythice. Cerberul era folosit pentru a pazi portile Iadului. doua dintre ele fiind nemuritoare si una muritoare. Imaginea cerberului apare in foarte multe opere de arta. . dupa cum urmeaza: monstrii mitologici. în amintirea victoriei. Gorgonele erau trei la numar. Python a fost omorât de Apollon ca răzbunare pentru că acesta a fost trimis de Hera să o urmărească pe mama sa. cea din urma fiind chiar Medusa. Leto. in general.Python a fost un balaur şi o divinitate htonică care a fost reprezentat întotdeauna în arta vechilor greci ca un şarpe. monstrii fiind unele dintre acestea.html Text 3 Creaturi din mitologia greaca Creaturile din mitologia greaca sunt printre cele mai misterioase si mai interesante fiinte fantastice. Are chipul unei femei infioratoare. fiind foarte des reprezentata in operele de arta. Python trăia în peşterile de pe muntele Parnas unde avea sarcina să protejeze spaţiul sacru al oracolului de la Delfi. creaturi mitologice hibride. Sursa : http://istorie-edu.
exista Chiron. Lamia apare ca un capcaun. cu trei randuri de dinti. colti si piele de sarpe. pietrele pe care erau gravate imagini ale gorgonelor. pentru caracterul razboninic si pentru lupta cu lapitii. cu siguranta Manticorul a rapit-o pentru a o devora. coada de scorpion si capul de om. si era un vindicator desavarsit. mentorul celor mai multi dintre eroii Greciei Antice. Descrieri referitoare la aceasta fiinta fantastica nu prea exista. pe cand cel provenit din partea stanga este letal. capra si sarpe. Insa. . cu bust de om si corp de cal.Gorgonele sunt fiicele zeului marii. In anumite legende. avand corpul unui leu. iar in altele se spune ca avea atributiile unui vampir. Himera este o creatura feminina. in special la sfarsitul secolului al VII-lea cand. doar ca ii seducea pe cei tineri si se hranea cu sangele lor. satirii. una dintre atestari apartinand lui Homer. pe langa centaurii barbari. avand corpul unui leu. in pictura si in literatura. ascutiti si asemanatori cu cei ai unui rechin. Tezeu si Aiax. Centaurii sunt cunoscuti pentru temperamentul lor agresiv fata de oameni. si al monstrului marin Ceto. in scrierile lui Homer. Mai mult decat atat. care se termina cu o coada in forma de sarpe. Manticorul este o creatura hibrida. imaginea sa fiind conturata si de poetul romantic John Keats. Chiron i-a invatat arta razboiului pe Ahile. in Iliada. Una dintre cele mai populare creaturi hibride din mitologia elena este centaurul. Imaginea acestei creaturi apare foarte des in operele de arta. Alti monstri din mitologia greaca sunt: Caribda si Harpiile. Legenda spune ca gorgonele aveau aripi de aur. Tot in randul creaturilor hibride din mitologia greaca intra si Himera. Aceasta creatura mitologica apare in diverse opera de arta. nemuritor si care. in Corint. care scoate flacari imense pe gura. un centaur intelept si invatat. iar din mijlocul coloanei vertebrale rasare un cap de capra. lupta in care au fost infranti. care o descrie ca pe o ciudatenie. sirenele. In ceea ce priveste creaturile hibride. combinatie ciudata intre leu. se dezvolta o adevarata arta care aduce in prim plan motivul Himerei. Datorita aspectului lor terifiant. Centaurii sunt fiinte hibride. Gorgonele au fost reprezentate chiar din cele mai vechi timpuri. in poemul cu acelasi nume. Alte creaturi hibride din mitologia greaca: Sfinxul. simboluri ale gorgonelor au fost folosite pentru paza si protectia cladirilor impotriva fortelor raului. se presupune ca aveau puteri vindecatoare. Legenda spune ca daca o persoana disparea. o fosta regina a Libiei care s-a transformat treptat in devoratoare de copii. Se spune ca centaurii intruchipeaza salbaticia. se spune ca sangele luat din partea dreapta a unei gorgone poate readuce pe cineva la viata. in mitologia greaca exista anumite fapturi inzestrate cu puteri supranaturale. Tot in randul monstrilor din mitologia greaca intra si Lamia. asemanatoare Sfinxului egiptean. Phorcys. sau sculpturile care le infatisau. Numele sau provine din limba greaca si face referire la faptul ca obisnuia sa manance copii. fiintele fantastice rezultate din incurcisari ciudate sunt numeroase in mitologia greaca. In ceea ce priveste categoria animalelor fantastice. un cal cu puteri extraordinare. Una dintre acestea este Arion.
avand rolul de a pazi comori sau anumite locuri. Cei mai importanti dragoni din mitologia greaca sunt: Ladon. Hidra. it amazes us to find out how strongly our ancestors believed in the existence of these beings.dupa spusele poetului Sextus Propertius. dragons. there were many legends about fabulous creatures. Dragonii din mitologia greaca sunt creaturi asemanatoare serpilor. putea vorbi. Au puteri supranaturale. basilisks and .html Translations English texts Fact and fiction– the myth of the sirens In ancient times and in the Middle Ages. Phyton.ro/creaturi-din-mitologia-greaca. Nowadays. Sirens. unicorns. Legenda spune ca Hercule i l-a daruit pe Arion lui Adrastus. celebrul rege al Argosului. sea monks. when knowledge of zoology was far less exact than today. Sursa: http://dli.
USA). Ulysses and the other sailors escaped with their lives by following the advice of witch Circe: Ulysses was tightly tied to the mast to prevent him from leaving the ship and the sailors plugged their ears with wax to remain deaf to the enchanted song. Even as far as the 19th century. certain fish like manta rays and skates were shaped to look like mummies of weird being that resembled the common image of a siren. two thousand years later. Thus. But modern zoologists use the term differently than Middle Age travellers. people still believed in the existence of sirens. We are talking about the sirenians. (This was nothing new. Steller‟s sea cow. But what animal could that be? Well. Sometimes. The most sensible thing was to assume that the travellers that told stories about sirens had seen a weird animal that somehow resembled a woman. is considered to be a giant squid belonging to the taxon Architeutis (a 10 m specimen is preserved at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington. . became extinct about 200 years ago. which recounts Ulysses‟s journey home to the island of Ithaca. the Kraken. such as heads and bodies of monkeys to which fish tails were attached. eradicated by humans. it was most probably a siren. We don‟t know exactly how Homer pictured these sirens. presuming that legends usually contain a grain of truth. Later. the famous sea monster from Norse legends. it seems ancient Greeks believed they were half-women and half birds! On the contrary. though this is yet to be established – these are called manatees. the ancient poet Homer tells us about these maidens of the sea. scientific explanations were proposed for many of them. So-called sirens were exhibited at fairs and in circuses: forgeries craftily made from parts belonging to different animals. their desire to thrill their listeners and the various modifications suffered by a story that circulated by word of mouth did the rest. The Odyssey In his epic poem The Odyssey. after the Trojan war. divided into two families: Trichechidae or Manatidae (this includes three species. Another species related to the dugong. unknown to Europeans. possibly four. But what could the sirens be? “You‟ll first reach the sirens/ those who lure men” Homer. everyone knew sirens were fish-tailed women with enchanting voices. which is a marien species. as beliefs in human-fish hybrids dated back to 5000 BC. in the Middle Ages. who were as beautiful as they were dangerous. and that their imagination.others of the sort stirred the imagination of people at that time. many have tried to discover if there is any truth behind the myth of the sirens. and live in fresh waters) and Dugongidae which today includes only one species: the dugong or sea cow (Dugong dugong). a group of aquatic mammals that today incorporates only four species. and the so called Medieval bestiaries – books containing descriptions and representations of the animals – are full of imaginative drawings of such fabulous beasts. However. Babylonians believed in a fish tailed god called Oannes and Greek mythology is full of fish tailed sea deities) . who lived on an island and used their voices to lure travellers to their doom on the enchanted island.
sea plants hanging on their heads like tresses. our contemporary sirens – manatees and dugongs – still are mysterious creatures. munching on seaweed. for their meat and their fat. millions of years ago. Add to that the fact that at the time voyages lasted for weeks or even months.. in the strait separating India from Sri Lanka. [. This may explain why many legends about “sea people” say they have green hair. How are these mermaids doing nowadays? Like many animals that have come into contact with humans and their civilization. And since.this is how plump aquatic mammals with wet plants on their heads became beautiful and enticing sea maidens.. so they have a low reproductive rate. Groups of dugongs can still be seen in the waters of Australia (where they are protected). The females‟ mammae are situated in the thoracic region. The Mermaids As interesting as it may be to zoologists. Dugongs once populated all the coastal areas of the Indian Ocean. in estuaries. adapted to life underwater. being the only herbivorous marine mammal. these stories. they aren‟t faring very well. which were probably told mostly in taverns.. Moreover.. When they are disturbed by approaching intruders. insisting on the spectacular elements. after returning on shore. in India and Sri Lanka. Here‟s how zoologists believe the myth of the sirens started: these animals (the dugongs) usually feed underwater. in the Red Sea. as they are to aquatic ecosystems what great herbivores are to terrestrial ones.. It was like playing Chinese whispers for generations. but they are few and still threatened. unfortunately: for centuries. Today. they have been hunted intensively (and still are. people hunted them relentlessly for their meat and fat. they raise their heads and their upper bodies above water. in rivers and in big lakes.] Even though modern science gave them a name and classified them. the dugong and humans haven‟t had a peaceful relation. adding juicy details meant to leave the audience their mouths agape.. since they are an easy prey for hunters due to their low speed and stamina. so sometimes cubs may be seen near the chest of their mothers – the most eloquent image of womanhood. their numbers have dwindled: dugongs‟ favourite habitats (shallow waters rich in seaweed) have been affected by pollution. They eat only plants. (You may almost hear their comments as they gathered on the deck or on the shore and watched the weird chubby sirens wallowing right in front of their eyes). they only give birth to one cub. circulated by word of mouth.Sirenians come from terrestrial mammals who. according to some). all the way to Eastern Africa. After that much time spent in solitude. no wonder the poor sailors saw – or imagined – these bulky creatures as sea maidens. no less strange and fascinating than the legendary fish tailed beings fashioned by the human imagination after the image of the sirenians Greek mythical creatures . once a few years. each teller embellished them. They live in the shallow waters of the coastal oceans. the Red Sea.
in the writings of Homer. and the sea monster Ceto. One of the most popular hybrids in Greek mythology is the centaur. along with gods and heroes. mythical animals. Lamia appears as an ogre.Greek mythical creatures are among the most mysterious and fascinating fantasy beings. Cerberus was also used in occult practices. It is said to have resembled a three headed hound. Creatures in Greek mythology can be classified into a number of subcategories. Moreover. Another monster from Greek mythology is the Lamia. hybrid mythical creatures. Centaurs are hybrid creatures. is one of the most prolific mythologies. There were three Gorgons. Cerberus is one of the most well-known monsters in Hellenic mythology. with its head covered in snakes. where he appears in the third circle. Legend has it that the Gorgons had golden wings and snake-like fangs and skin. as it is often represented in works of art and it served as a source of inspiration for cultures and civilisations that followed. his purpose being to rend to pieces those who have succumbed to gluttony. Due to their horrific appearance. and also in works of literature. two of which were immortal and one was mortal. Greek mythology. also. in general. As far as hybrids are concerned. the latter being Medusa. in painting and in literature. one of the seven deadly sins. it was thought that blood from a Gorgon‟s right side would revive the dead while blood from the left side was lethal. in an eponymous poem. One of the most famous of the Gorgons was Medusa. In some legends. a former queen of Libya that gradually turned into a child devourer. fantasy creatures resulted from bizarre combinations abound in Greek mythology. a part of them being monsters. her image was depicted by the Romantic poet John Keats. Other monsters from Greek mythology are Charybdis and the harpies. the most famous of which is Dante Alighieri‟s “The Divine Comedy”. as follows: mythical monsters. Centaurs are known for their . who seduced young men and drank their blood. The Gorgon is another Greek mythical monster. Cerberus guarded the gates of Hell. Greek mythology includes many fantasy creatures. it was believed that stones with the image of the Gorgons graven on them and statues depicting the Gorgons had healing powers. symbols of the Gorgons were used to protect buildings from the forces of evil. Phorcys. Her name comes from Greek and is a reference to her child eating habits. The Gorgons were first depicted in ancient times. Cerberus appears in many works of art. It has the face of a terrifying woman. and allowed passage only for the spirits of the dead. as it was believed that its saliva was venomous and that from it sprang a poisonous plant called aconite. sculptures and paintings. having the upper body of a human and the lower body of a horse. The Gorgons were the daughters of the sea god. giants and dragons. This mythical creature appears in various works of art. while others give her the attributes of a vampire.
goat and snake that breathes huge flames. the tail of a scorpion. Other hybrid creatures from Greek mythology are the Sphinx. having a lion‟s body that ended in a tail shaped like a snake and a goat‟s head that protruded from the middle of the spine. The most important dragons in Greek mythology are Ladon. where he describes it as a weird creature. Romanian texts Fosile fabuloase Oare creaturile mitologice au oase ? . a bizarre combination of lion. But. One of them is Arion. the famous king of Argos. an immortal horse with extraordinary powers that. could talk. similar to those of a shark. a wise and learned centaur. the head of a human and three rows of sharp teeth. similar to the Egyptian sphinx.aggressive behaviour towards humans. besides the barbaric centaurs. As far as fantasy animals are concerned. there are some that possess supernatural powers in Greek mythology. It is said that centaurs were the embodiments of the wilderness. There are not many descriptions of this fabulous beast. The chimera is another hybrid creature from Greek mythology. the sirens and the satyrs. when a man went missing. when a true art trend revolving around the image of the Chimera evolves in Corinth. The manticore is a hybrid creature. According to legend. This creature is often depicted in works of art. Theseus and Ajax the art of warfare. and was also an accomplished healer. the hydra and Python. especially by the end of the seventh century. there is also Chiron. their war-like nature and their lost battle against the Lapiths. according to the poet Sextus Propertius. it was believed he was taken by the manticore and devoured. one of them being in Homer‟s Iliad. They have supernatural powers. having the body of a lion. The dragons in Greek mythology are similar to snakes and guard treasures or certain places. Chiron taught Achilles. The chimera is a female creature. who mentored most of the heroes of ancient Greece. Legend has it that Hercules offered Arion to Adrastus.
aproape chiar de vârful crestei. mineri viguroşi căutau aur in vastul deşert Gobi din Asia centrală. găseam şi eu unul.” Michael Novacek. Bazându-se pe poveştile spuse de călători. jumătate leu. jumătate vultur. ciclopilor si grifonilor descrişi în legende şi în poveştile spuse de călătorii vremii. Mark a strigat entuziasmat. povesteşte despre expediţia din 1993 în deşertul Gobi. paleontolog al Muzeului American de Istorie Naturală. Aceşti mineri erau sciţi. Dar pentru mulţi dintre vechii greci..Imaginaţi-vă ca va plimbaţi pe o faleză în Grecia antică şi daţi peste o tibie de câteva ori mai mare decât a voastră.De cum striga Mark « Craniu ! ». când a descoperit fosile de Protoceratops îmreuna cu colegul său paleontolog Mark Norell. cercetătorii ştiu că aceste oase sunt rămăşiţele mamuţilor. asemenea unui grifon care ne arăta calea către o comoară păzită. Dovezi peste tot . autorii greci relatează că. şi 200 dHr. Ce fel de creaturi ar putea fi acestea ? Astăzi..specimenele valoroase au continuat sa ne iasă în cale cu o consecvenţă uimitoare. în dogoarea deşertului Gobi.La mică depărtare. un popor de călăreţi care a controlat mare parte din Asia centrala şi nordul Orientului Mijlociu între 800 îHr. Înainte de a putea scoate cheile din contact. Ce aţi crede ? Dar dacă aţi vedea un craniu umanoid uriaş. Oase de grifon Oase de grifon ? “Ne-am oprit pe o creastă joasă dintre dealuri. dar şi cu teribilul grifon : o cumplită creatură hibrid. Suprafaţa coastelor line şi a rigolelor era presarată cu petice albe de fosile. ca şi cum cineva ar fi stropit-o la întamplare cu vopsea. către micul nostru afloriment. care păzea comori fabuloase de aur. Paznicii aurului din Gobi În urmă cu mai bine de doua mii de ani.. aproape ca la un semnal. cu o singură gaură în locul in care ar trebui sa fie ochii ? Sau un schelet cu patru picioare si un cioc coroiat si ascuţit. minerii nu se luptau numai cu soarele arzător. aceste oseminte erau dovada existenţei uriaşilor.. pentru a se îmbogăţi. un individ masiv al cărui cioc si degete încovoiate erau îndreptate spre vest.. dinozaurilor si ale altor animale dispărute cu mult timp in urmă. erau craniul perfect conservat si scheletul parţial al unui Protoceratops..
Este posibil ca aceste oase sa-i fi inspirat pe minerii din Antichitate atunci când i-au descris pe grifoni. În luptă cu fosilele . Locul de odihnă al dinozaurilor Cu milioane de ani înainte ca oamenii sa ajungă în deşertul Gobi. un dinozaur cu patru picioare si cu cioc. multe dintre ele au fost colectate.5 milioane de ani î. exact ca grifonul Creasta subţire si osoasă a fosilelor de Protoceratops se rupe adesea. Printre acestea se numără ghearele uriaşe ale Therizinozaurului si ale Deinocheirusului. Desertul Gobi Potrivit legendelor. Anumite parţi ale deşertului Gobi sunt presarate cu oase de dinozauri. (precum cea din imaginea alaturata).In multe regiuni ale lumii. Avea cioc. In ultimii ani. unele regiuni ale acestuia erau populate de animale ciudate care păreau să combine caracteristici specifice vulturilor si leilor. Timp de mii de ani.n. Dar nu erau grifoni.e.5 – 65. Protoceratops – scurta prezentare In anul 2000. ci dinozauri. puteau fi adesea vazute iesind in afara din coastele dealurilor. Protoceratops a trait in perioada cuprinsa intre 145. fosile de Protoceratops. fosilele de dinozauri sunt incredibil de rare si greu de găsit – dar nu şi în anumite părţi ale deşertului Gobi. care se aseamana cu ghearele grifonilor din anumite reprezentări. unele dintre ele aparţinând Protoceratopsului. Adrienne Mayor. din ea rămânând doar cioturi care puteau fi văzute ca urechile unui grifon Omoplaţii foarte laţi ai Protoceratopsului ar putea explica de ce se spune că grifonii aveau aripi Părţi ale corpului împrumutate Multe fosile ale unor dinozauri diferiţi care se găsesc in deşertul Gobi puteau servi drept sursă de inspiraţie pentru diferitele descrieri ale grifonilor. exact ca grifonul Avea patru picioare. devenind astfel oarecum mai rare. grifonii îşi construiau cuiburile în apropierea minelor de aur din deşertul Gobi. specialistă in folclor clasic. a susţinut că este posibil ca numeroasele asemănări dintre fosilele de Protoceratops si grifoni să stea la baza descrierilor creaturii mitologice.
fie pătată. Grifonul – scurta prezentare Se spune că grifonii îşi fac cuiburile in munţi. . uneori.” Aelian. precum leul. dar nu în toate Au patru picioare Lumea vasta a grifonilor Creaturi asemanatoare cu grifonii apar in legendele multor culturi din nordul Africii. Adrienne Mayor susţine că această reprezentare a monstrului este inspirată de craniul fosil al unei rude preistorice a girafei. datând din cca 550 îHr. fie au un penaj colorat În majoritatea descrierilor grifonilor se menţioneaza prezenţa aripilor. terminat. Daca reuşesc să se ferească de grifoni. Grifonul “Locul în care trăiesc grifonii şi în care se gaseşte aurul este un deşert dezolant şi cumplit. care iese din coasta unui deal. uneori. îl înfăţişează pe eroul Hercule luptându-se cu legendarul monstru din Troia. În anumite cazuri. O imagine de pe un bol ceramic. reprezentat doar ca un craniu alb si colţos ce iese din coasta unui deal negru. filosofie si artă – dar nu şi pentru descoperirea de fosile. trunchi si gheare de vultur – sau. caci scapă cu viată şi se întorc acasa cu sacii plini cu aur – o răsplată generoasă pentru pericolele pe care le înfruntă. grifonul a devenit un simbol al lăcomiei. În alte cazuri. într-o expediţie în deşertul Gobi. era maiestuos si nobil. cum ar fi păunul Corp de leu. căutătorii de comori vin cu lopeţi si saci si sapa. Dar grifonii nu au aceeaşi semnificaţie peste tot. victoria le e îndoită. scriitor grec.. altă pasare cu cioc ascuţit. În nopţile fără lună. precum leii si vulturii. Cap. cca 200 dHr. Roy Chapman Andrews de la Muzeul American de Istorie Naturala a descoperit un specimen de Protoceratops care ieşea din coasta unui deal. Moartea unui dinozaur În anii 1920. Dar ştim că grecii au găsit osemintele conservate ale unor animale necunoscute şi au încercat să le găseasca o explicaţie.Grecii antici sunt apreciaţi pentru realizările lor in matematică. Samotherium. din Orientul Mijlociu si din Europa. cu o coada de şarpe Au blana fie roşcata.
jucau un rol important în viaţa de zi cu zi. cum ar fi „Cine a creat lumea ? Cum se va sfârşi ea ? Cine a fost primul om ? Unde ajung sufletele dupa moarte?‟ . “Prima este de a da un raspuns acelui gen de întrebari bizare pe care le pun copiii. Cioplitorul în lemn Joe Leonard a executat această statuie a unui grifon în timp ce lucra la una asemanatoare pentru un liceu din Pensylvanya al cărui mascotă este un grifon. poveştile despre zei şi zeiţe.. Astăzi. Mitologia greacă “Mitul are 2 funcţii” scria în 1955 poetul şi savantul Robert Graves. şi dădeau un sens lumii aşa cum o vedeau oamenii. despre eroi si monştri. Pocal grecesc Pocalele sau coarnele de băut erau deseori modelate în formă de cap de animal. Statueta romană Artiştii antici îi asociau deseori pe grifoni cu Nemesis. companii sau chiar pentru cluburi sportive. de la ritualuri religioase la vreme. Unele imagini apar foarte des in arta multor culturi si sunt mai ales întâlnite pe blazoanele europene din Evul Mediu..” În Grecia antică. Statuia unui grifon Creaturile mitologice puternice sunt adesea folosite ca embleme pentru şcoli. .De la arta antică la media moderna Există reprezentari minunate ale grifonilor care datează înca din 3300 îHr. copiii pot vedea grifoni în filmele populare si in cărţi precum “Alice in Tara Minunilor”. zeiţa greacă a răzbunării. A doua funcţie este de a justifica un sistem social existent şi de a explica existenţa unor ritualuri si obiceiuri tradiţionale. Ofereau o explicaţie pentru orice.
zeii si zeiţele. Mitologia greacă : Olimpienii În centrul mitologiei greceşti se află un panteon format din zeii despre care se credea că locuiesc pe muntele Olimp. au compilat vechile mituri şi legende pentru publicul contemporan. iar acţiunea şi temele lor s-au dezvoltat treptat în literatura scrisă din perioada arhaică şi din cea clasică. care să prezinte toate personajele şi poveştile mitologice. miturile greceşti timpurii făceau parte dintr-o tradiţie orală începută în epoca bronzului. Scriitorii şi artiştii greci ce au urmat s-au folosit şi au îmbogăţit aceste surse în operele lor. În schimb. conform multor mituri. epopeeile scrise de poetul Homer în secolul al VIII-lea îHr. Cei mai importanţi 12 zei olimpieni sunt: Zeus (Jupiter în mitologia romană) : regele zeilor (şi tatăl multora dintre ei ) şi zeu al vremii. Zeii si zeiţele olimpiene arătau la fel ca oamenii ( dar se puteau transfoma în animale sau în alte lucruri) şi erau. în piesele lui Eschil. un razboi al zeilor cât şi al oamenilor. un gol primordial) şi oferă detalii despre un arbore genealogic foarte complex incluzand elemente.Mitologia greacă : Surse Pentru mitologia greacă nu avem un text original singular cum sunt Biblia creştină sau Vedele hinduse. şi istoricul roman Gaius Julius Higynus. În jurul anului 700 îHr. din mitologia greacă. controlau toate aspectele vietii oamenilor. zei si zeiţe care sau dezvoltat din Haos şi au fost descendenţii Geei (Pământul). sau mit al creaţiei.. Dar nu se deranjează să prezinte personajele principale. în secolul al V-lea. Teogonia spune povestea apariţiei universului din nimic ( din Haos. De exemplu. Sofocle si Euripide şi în poemele lirice ale lui Pindar apar personaje şi evenimente mitologice. spun povestea Războiului Troian ( eveniment mitic). deoarece cititorii şi ascultătorii erau deja familiarizaţi cu ei. al legii şi al sorţii . în secolul al II-lea îHr.. Iliada şi Odiseea. “Teogonia” poetului Hesiod devine prima cosmogonie scrisă. supuşi defectelor şi patimilor umane. ai lui Pontus (Marea) şi ai lui Tartaros ( Lumea subpământeană). ai lui Uranus (Cerul). Din înaltul lui.. în secolul I îHr. Scriitori cum ar fi mitograful grec Apollodorus din Atena. De pildă. cel mai înalt munte din Grecia.
manticori si unicorni. al ospitalităţii şi al comerţului şi mesagerul personal al lui Zeus Poseidon (Neptun) : zeul mării Alti zei si zeiţe incluse uneori in randul olimpienilor sunt: Hades (Pluto) : zeul lumii de dincolo Hestia (Vesta) : zeiţa căminului şi a familiei Eros (Cupidon) : zeul sexului. . subordonat Afroditei Mitologia greacă: Eroi si monştri Mitologia greacă nu e compusă doar din poveşti despre zei si zeiţe. chipeşul prinţ troian Ganimede care a devenit paharnicul zeilor. Arahne. prima femeie. tânărul care s-a îndrăgostit de propria reflecţie – sunt la fel de importanţi. Monştrii şi creaturile hibrid (ce aveau atât trăsături umane cat şi animale) sunt. regele care s -a îndrăgostit de o statuie de fildeş. al plăcerii şi al petrecerilor Hefaistos (Vulcan) : zeul focului. des întalnite în poveşti : calul înaripat Pegas. care a îndeplinit 12 sarcini imposibile pentru regele Euristeu ( şi a fost venerat ca zeu ca urmare a reuşitei sale). a cărei curiozitate a adus răul in lume. Eroii. de asemenea.Hera (Iunona) : regina zeilor si zeiţa a femeilor şi a căsniciei Afrodita (Venus) : zeita frumusetii si a iubirii Apolo (Apolo) : zeul profeţiei. regele care transforma tot ce atingea în aur. pigmei. Sfinxul (jumătate femeie jumătate leu) si harpiile (jumătate femei jumătate păsări). satiri şi dragoni de tot felul. al muzicii. gorgone. Pandora. centaurii (jumătate oameni jumatate cai). ciclopii (uriaşi cu un singur ochi). zeiţele şi eroii alături de care apar în poveşti. a animalelor şi a naşterii Atena (Minerva) : zeiţa întelepciunii şi a apărării Demetra (Ceres) : zeiţa agriculturii şi a grânelor Dionisos (Bachus) : zeul vinului. şi Narcis. cum ar fi Hercule. Pigmalion. minotauri. al poeziei şi al cunoaşterii Ares (Marte) : zeul războiului Artemis (Diana) : zeiţa vânătorii. ţesătoarea care a fost transfomată într-un păianjen pentru aroganţa sa. Midas. al metalurgiei şi al sculpturii Hermes (Mercur) : zeul călătoriilor. Multe dintre aceste creaturi au devenit la fel de cunoscute ca zeii. automaţii ( creaturi metalice însufleţite de Hefaistos).
Mitologia greacă: trecut şi prezent
Personajele, poveştile, temele şi lecţiile din mitologia greacă au influenţat arta şi literatura timp de mii de ani. Apar in picturi renascentiste cum ar fi Naşterea lui Venus a lui Boticelli sau Triumful Galateei a lui Rafael, şi în opere cum ar fi Infernul lui Dante, în poezia romantică si într-o mulţime de romane, piese de teatru si filme mai recente.
Thaumas s-a însoţit cu Electra, fiica adâncului Ocean, şi aceasta a adus-o pe lume pe sprintena Iris şi pe harpiile cu plete bogate, pe Aello ( iute ca fulgerul) şi pe Ocypetes (cea ce zboara ca gândul), care se iau la întrecere cu vânturile şi cu păsările purtate de aripile lor iuţi; căci ele zboară repede ca timpul. Apoi Ceto i-a nascut lui Phorcys pe frumoasele graeae, surori născute cu părul cărunt, pe care zeii nemuritori şi oamenii de pe pământ aşijderea le numesc Graeae: Pephredo cea frumos înveştmântată şi Enyo cea cu veştminte de culoarea şofranului, şi pe gorgone ce sălăşluiesc dincolo de măreţul Ocean, la hotarul de apus unde stau Hesperidele cu voce de cristal – ele se numeau Stheno, Euryale si Meduza care a avut o soartă vrednică de plâns: era muritoare, pe când surorile ei nu cunoşteau nici moartea nici bătrâneţea. Cu ea s-a culcat Poseidon cel cu plete negre pe o pajişte moale printre flori de primăvara. Cand Perseu i-a retezat capul, de acolo a răsărit măreţul Chrysaor si calul Pegas care se numeşte astfel pentru că s-a născut aproape de izvoarele (pegae) Oceanului; iar celălalt s-a numit aşa pentru că purta o sabie de aur (aor) in mâini. Pegas s-a avântat în văzduh şi a părăsit pământul, părinte al turmelor, şi a venit în faţa zeilor nemuritori: şi sălăşluieşte în casa lui Zeus şi îi aduce înţeleptului Zeus fulgerele şi tunetele. Dar Crysaor s-a însoţit cu Callirrhoe, fiica măreţului Ocean, de la care l-a primit pe Geryon cel cu trei capete. Pe el l-a răpus viteazul Heracle în Erythea cea scăldata de ape, lânga boii săi ce mergeau agale, în acea zi în care a mânat boii cu fruntea lată spre sfânta cetate a Tirintului, după ce trecuse măreţul Ocean prin vad şi îi ucisese pe Orthrus si pe păstorul Eurytion. Într-o peştera ea a dat naştere unui alt monstru, de neînfrânt, fără seamăn în lumea oamenilor şi a zeilor si zeiţelor nemuritoare: cumplita Echidna, o arătare pe jumatate nimfă cu ochi scânteietori şi chip fermecător şi pe jumătate şarpe, uriaş şi înfiorător, cu piele tărcată, ce se hrăneşte cu carne cruda în măruntaiele ascunse ale binecuvântatului pământ. Acolo are o peşteră adâncă sub o stâncă, departe de
zeii nemuritori şi de oameni. Acolo i-au dăruit zeii o casă măreaţă în care să stea: acolo în Arima, sub pământ, stă de pază neîmblânzita Echidna, nimfa nepieritoare şi veşnic tânără. Se spune că groaznicul Typhon cel cumplit şi nelegiuit s-a unit cu ea, fecioara cu ochi scăpărători. Astfel a rămas grea şi a adus pe lume copii înfiorători: mai întâi l-a nascut pe Orthrus, câinele lui Geryon, după care a urmat un alt monstru invincibil şi care nu poate fi descris, Cerberul mâncător de carne crudă, câinele cu cincizeci de capete şi cu voce răsunătoare al lui Hades, neîndurător şi aprig. A treia odraslă a fost malefica hidră din Lerna, care a fost hrănită de Hera, zeiţa cu braţe albe, care era furioasă peste măsură pe viteazul Heracle. Heracle, fiul lui Zeus, din casa lui Amphitryon şi războinicul Iolau au trecut-o sub nemiloasa sabie, ajutaţi de sfaturile înţeleptei Atena. Echidna a dat naştere şi himerei scuipătoare de foc, un monstru înfiorător, sprinten şi puternic, care avea trei capete: unul de leu cu o privire cumplită, în spate unul de şarpe iar la mijloc unul de capră care scuipa flăcări ingrozitoare. Pe ea au răpus-o Pegas şi nobilul Belerophon; dar Echidna s-a împreunat cu Orthrus şi a adus pe lume Sfinxul îngrozitor care i-a nimicit pe cadmeeni şi pe leul din Nemeea, pe care Hera, buna soţie a lui Zeus, l-a crescut şi pe care l-a pus să hălăduiasca prin dealurile din Nemeea şi să-i îngrozeasca pe oameni. Îi vâna pe oamenii din acele locuri şi din regiunile Tretus si Apesas, dar a fost doborât de puternicul Heracle. Ceto s-a însoţit cu Phorcys şi a dat naştere celui mai mic fiu al ei, şarpele îngrozitor care păzeşte merele de aur pe meleagurile neştiute de la hotarele îndepartate ale întunecatului pământ. Acesta este odrasla lui Ceto si al lui Phorcys.
Amphisbaena Argus Basilisk Centaur Cerberus Charybdis Chimera
Amfisbenă Argus Basilisc Centaur Cerber Charybdis Himera
Cyclops Dryad Echidna Gigantes Gorgon Griffin Harpy Hecatonchires Hippocampus Hydra Ladon Manticore Minotaur Naiad Nereid Nymph Oceanid Orthrus Pegasus Phoenix Python Satyr Scylla Siren Sphinx Titan Typhon Unicorn
Ciclop Driadă Echidna Giganti Gorgonă Grifon Harpie Hecatonchiri Hipocamp Hidră Ladon Manticor Minotaur Naiadă Nereidă Nimfă Oceanidă Orthrus Pegas Pasăre phoenix Python Satir Scylla Sirenă Sfinx Titan Typhon Inorog
Term 1 Definition Amphisbaena A serpent in classical mythology having a head at each end and capable of moving in either direction http://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/amphisbaena?sho w=0&t=1352377586
Amfisbenă Şarpe monstruos cu două capete, care se putea deplasa şi înainte, şi înapoi (după cum arată semnificaţia numelui grecesc al animalului). http://www.scribd.com/doc/77531074/AnnaFerrari-Dictionar-de-Mitologie-Greaca-SiRomana
Definition source Grammatical
merriamwebster. said to kill by its breath or look. http://www.ro/definitie/basilic Substantiv comun. centaurs Hippocentaur Centaur (În mitologia greacă) Ființă imaginară.merriamwebster. plural basilisks Basilisc Reptilă mitică. căreia i se atribuie capacitatea de a omorî cu privirea. plural amphisbaenae Substantiv Term 2 Definition Argus A hundred-eyed monster of Greek mythology http://www. centauri Hipocentaur (rar) Term 5 Definition Cerberus Classical Mythology . countable.com/dictionary/argus?show=0&t= 1352392666 Noun.ro/definitie/argus Substantiv propriu Term 3 Definition Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Basilisk (Classical Mythology) A creature.information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Noun. monstru cu o sută sau o mie de ochi. a dog. part horse and part man. masculin.reference. cu trup de cal și cu bust omenesc http://dexonline. usually Cerber (în mitologia greacă) Ființă imaginară . variously described as a serpent.com/dictionary/centaur Noun. din care jumătate rămîneau de veghe atunci cînd dormea http://dexonline. one of a race of creatures.com/browse/bas ilisk Noun. http://dictionary. masculin Term 4 Definition Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Centaur In Greek mythology. http://dexonline. living in the mountains of Thessaly and Arcadia. uncountable Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Argus (în mitologia greacă). lizard. or dragon.ro/definitie/centaur Substantiv comun.
and a serpent's tail http://www. plural chimeras Himera Monstru în mitologia antică greacă.ro/definitie/charybdis Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Substantiv propriu between Scylla and Charybdis = between two equally hazardous alternatives Term 7 Definition Chimera A fire-breathing she-monster in Greek mythology having a lion's head. care păzește poarta infernului. a goat's body. masculin.merriamwebster.a bribe or something given to propitiate a potential source of danger or problems Term 6 Definition Charybdis A whirlpool off the coast of Sicily personified in Greek mythology as a female monster http://www. that guarded the entrance of the infernal regions. închipuit ca un animal cu cap de leu. feminin.ro/definitie/cerber Substantiv. http://dictionary. http://dexonline.reference.com/browse/Cer berus?s=t Noun.Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations represented as having three heads. http://dexonline. care sălășluia odinioară pe coasta Siciliei.merriamwebster.ro/definitie/himera Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Substantiv comun.com/dictionary/chimera Noun. Cerberi a sop to Cerberus . în apropiere de Messina. cu corp de capră și cu coadă de șarpe http://dexonline. a member of a Ciclop Figură mitică de uriaș antropofag.com/dictionary/charybdis?show=0 &t=1352462228 Noun Definition source Charybdis Fiică monstruoasă a lui Poseidon și a lui Gaea. plural Cerberi reprezentată în chip de câine cu trei capete. cu un singur . himere Term 8 Definition Cyclops Classical Mythology.
zămislite de Geea din sângele lui Uranus http://dexonline. uriașe. feminin.com/ gigantes Plural noun Giants Giganti (în mitologia greacă). jumătate şarpe în mitologia greacă http://www. the Gigantes or.ro/definitie/ciclop Substantiv comun.ro/definitie/driada Substantiv comun.Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations family of giants having a single round eye in the middle of the forehead http://dictionary. plural dryads Wood nymph Driadă Nimfă a pădurilor în mitologia greacă http://dexonline.com/browse/cyc lops?s=t Noun. http://encyclopedia. children of Gaia or Gaea.reference.thefreedictionary. half woman.com/doc/54477997/GEORG E-LĂZĂRESCU-DICŢIONAR-DEMITOLOGIE Substantiv propriu Noun. who was fertilized by the blood of Uranus when Cronus castrated him. ființe monstruoase. Giants.com/Dryad Noun.com/browse/ech idna?s=t Echidna Creatură jumătate femeie. driade Nimfa de padure Term 10 Definition Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Echidna Monster of Greek mythology. commonly.reference. Gigantes . http://dexonline. masculin. masculin Uriasi. uncountable Term 11 Definition Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Gigantes In Greek mythology.thefreedictionary. ciclopi Term 9 Definition Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Dryad Greek Mythology A divinity presiding over forests and trees http://www. were a race of giants. plural cyclopes ochi mare în mijlocul frunții.scribd. half serpent. http://dictionary.ro/definitie/giganti Substantiv.
com/harpy Harpie (În mitologia greacă) Monstru fabulos. and talons of a bird. and eyes that turned anyone looking into them to stone. plural griffins Term 14 Definition Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Harpy Greek Mythology One of several loathsome.Collocations Gorgonă Monstru din mitologia greacă. voracious monsters with the head and trunk of a woman and the tail.ro/definitie/harpie Noun plural harpies Substantiv comun. cu trup și cu gheare de vultur. feminin.thefreedictionary. ce înseamnă literal „cu o sută de mîini" (sau . or Hekatonkheires Greek: Εκατόγχειρες( ). http://dexonline. feminin harpii Term 15 Definition Hecatonchires The Hecatonchires.scribd. personificând furtunile și moartea. were three gargantuan figures Hecatonchiri Cu acest nume. masculin.com/browse/gor gon?s=t Noun. a cărei privire împietrea orice ființă Term 12 Definition Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Gorgon Classical Mythology .reference. any of three sister monsters commonly represented as having snakes for hair. http://dictionary. reprezentat sub forma unei femei înaripate. http://www.com/Griffin Grifon Animal fabulos cu trup de leu şi cap si aripi de vultur. gorgone Term 13 Definition Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Griffin A fabulous beast with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion http://www. închipuit ca o femeie cu șerpi în loc de păr.thefreedictionary. wings. brazen claws. grifoni Gryps (rar) Noun. wings.com/doc/77531074/AnnaFerrari-Dictionar-de-Mitologie-Greaca-SiRomana Substantiv comun. plural gorgons http://dexonline.ro/definitie/gorgonă Substantiv comun. http://www.
masculin. cu două picioare și cu coadă de pește. A fost ucis de către . http://www.com/dictionary/hydra Noun.thefreedictionary.reference. cu cap de cal.merriamwebster. din mitologie.ro/definitie/hidra Substantiv. care aveau o statură şi o forţă fizică extraordinară.com/Hec atoncheire Noun Substantiv comun. „cu o sută de braţe").ro/definitie/hipocamp Substantiv comun. Briareu (sau Egeon) şi Gies (sau Giges). plural hydras or hydrae Lernean Hydra Hidra (Mit. http://dexonline. era balaurul cu o sută de capete care păzea merele de aur din Grădina Hesperidelor.of an archaic stage of Greek mythology. hipocampi Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Term 17 Definition Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Hydra A many-headed serpent or monster in Greek mythology that was slain by Hercules and each head of which when cut off was replaced by two others http://www. feminin hidre Hidra din Lerna Term 18 Definition Ladon A dragon having 100 heads and guarding the garden of the Hesperides: killed by Hercules.com/doc/77531074/Anna-FerrariDictionar-de-Mitologie-Greaca-Si-Romana Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations http://encyclopedia.com/browse/hip pocampus?s=t Noun. cu o sută de braţe şi cincizeci de capete. în latină centimani. Ladon Fiul Echidnei și al lui Typhon.) Șarpe fabulos. închipuit cu șapte capete care creșteau la loc după ce erau tăiate și despre care legenda spune că a fost răpus de Hercule. masculin Term 16 Definition Hippocampus a mythological sea creature with the forelegs of a horse and the tail of a fish http://dictionary. plural hippocampi Hipocamp Animal fabulos. Cotos. erau indicate în Grecia trei fiinţe monstruoase şigigantice. http://dexonline. care trăgea carul lui Neptun.scribd.
Monstru mitologic. ascutiti si asemanatori cu cei ai unui rechin. plural minotaurs http://dexonline. and fountains http://www. http://dexonline. http://dli. rivers. avand corpul unui leu.ro/definitie/naiadă . manticori Term 20 Definition Minotaur Minotaur A monster who was half man and half bull. cu trei randuri de dinti.com/browse/lad on?s=t Noun propre Heracles.merriamwebster.merriamwebster.thefreedictionary. the body of a lion.com/dictionary/manticore Manticor o creatura hibrida. înfățișat cu cap de taur și to whom young Athenian men and women trup de om. were sacrificed in the Cretan labyrinth until Theseus killed him. http://dexonline. springs.com/dictionary/naiad Naiadă Nimfă a izvoarelor.Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations http://dictionary. http://www. a fântânilor și a apelor curgătoare. asemanatoare Sfinxului egiptean. masculin. coada de scorpion si capul de om.ro/definitie/minotaur Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Substantiv comun.ro/creaturi-din-mitologia-greaca.html Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Noun.ro/definitie/ladon Substantiv propriu Term 19 Definition Manticore a legendary animal with the head of a man. minotauri Term 21 Definition Definition source Grammatical Naiad Any of the nymphs in classical mythology living in and giving life to lakes.com/minotau r Noun.reference. manticores Substantiv comun. and the tail of a dragon or scorpion http://www.
naiade Term 22 Definition Nereid (Greek mythology) any of the 50 sea nymphs who were daughters of the sea god Nereus http://www.information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Noun. feminin.. plural nereids Sea nymph Nereidă Fiecare dintre cele 50 de fiice ale zeului marin Nereus și ale lui Doris.ro/definitie/nereida Substantiv comun. http://dexonline. plural oceanides or oceanids Oceanidă Nimfă a mării.com/nereid Noun. feminin.com/dictionary/oceanid Noun. rivers. plural naiads or naiades Substantiv comun.com/browse/ny mph?s=t Noun. în mitologia greacă. oceanide .ro/definitie/oceanidă Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Substantiv comun.thefreedictionary. ele însele divinități marine. plural nymphs Nimfă (În mitologia greacă) Fiecare dintre zeițele apelor. ale pomilor. meadows. trees. and frequently mentioned as attending a superior deity. feminin.reference.merriamwebster. http://dexonline. feminin. nimfe Term 24 Definition Oceanid Any of the ocean nymphs that are daughters of Oceanus and Tethys in Greek mythology http://www. etc. nereide Nimfa a marii Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Term 23 Definition Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Nymph One of a numerous class of lesser deities of mythology. personificând forțele naturii http://dexonline.ro/definitie/nimfă Substantiv comun. ale crângurilor și ale munților. woods. conceived of as beautiful maidens inhabiting the sea. http://dictionary. mountains.
ro/definitie/pegas Substantiv. masculin pegasi A incaleca pe pegas = a face versuri Term 27 Definition Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Phoenix A legendary bird which according to one account lived 500 years. cu pene splendide şi viaţă foarte lungă http://www. Όρθος) was a two-headed dog and a doublet ("brother") of Cerberus. burned itself to ashes on a pyre.com/dictionary/phoenix?show=0& t=1352417704 Noun.merriamwebster.thefreedictionary.com/browse/peg asus?s=t Noun Pegas (În mitologia greacă) Cal miraculos. ce renăştea din propria-i cenuşă. masculin Term 28 Definition Python Classical Mythology Python Balaur fabulos.com/doc/77531074/Anna-FerrariDictionar-de-Mitologie-Greaca-Si-Romana Noun proper Substantiv propriu Term 26 Definition Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Pegasus (Classical Mythology) A winged horse. Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations http://www. created from the blood of Medusa.Term 25 Definition Orthrus In Greek mythology.scribd.com/doc/77531074/AnnaFerrari-Dictionar-de-Mitologie-Greaca-SiRomana Substantiv comun.scribd. înaripat. Orthrus (Orthros) or Orthus (Orthos) (Greek: Όρθρος. uncountable Pasare phoenix Pasăre mitică. and that carried Bellerophon in his attack on the Chimera. asemănătoare cu un vultur. zămislit din măruntaiele . născut din sângele Meduzei ucise de Perseu.com/orth us Ortros Cîinele cu doua capete al lui Gerion. and rose alive from the ashes to live another period http://www.reference. http://encyclopedia.) simbol al inspirației poeților http://dexonline. both whelped by the chthonic monsters Echidna and Typhon. that opened the spring of Hippocrene with a stroke of its hoof. (fig. http://dictionary.
zămislită de Phorcys și de Ceto (după o versiune. prezentat ca un monstru păros. personificând brutalitatea. usually written by a poet to follow the poet's trilogy of tragedies presented at the Dionysian festival in ancient Greece.com/dictionary/scylla Noun proper Scylla Întruchipare monstruoasă.com/browse/pyt hon?s=t Noun. satiri Satyr play = a burlesque or ribald drama having a chorus of satyrs. http://dexonline. cu înfățișare de femeie și cu partea de jos a corpului formată din mai mulți cîini.ro/definitie/Python Substantiv propriu Term 29 Definition Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Satyr Greek Mythology A woodland creature depicted as having the pointed ears. http://www.ro/definitie/satir Noun. http://dictionary. http://dexonline. http://dexonline.reference. cu coarne mici. masculin. and short horns of a goat and a fondness for unrestrained revelry. după o alta de către Typhon și Echidna).ro/definitie/Scylla Substantiv propriu între Scylla si Caribda = o situaţie fără ieşire between Scylla and Charybdis = between two equally hazardous alternatives Term 31 Siren Sirena . și înzestrat cu darul profeției.merriamwebster. urechi mari și ascuțite și cu picioare de cal sau de țap. uncountable pămîntului pe vremea lui Deucalion și a potopului.com/satyr Satir (în mitologia greacă) Personaj imaginar. legs. plural satyrs Substantiv comun.thefreedictionary. Term 30 Definition Scylla A nymph changed into a monster in Greek mythology who terrorizes mariners in the Strait of Messina Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations http://www.Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations A large dragon who guarded the chasm at Delphi from which prophetic vapors emerged.
.Definition Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Any of a group of female and partly human (în mitologia greacă) Ființă fabuloasă cu cap și creatures in Greek mythology that lured corp de femeie.) Fiecare dintre cei doisprezece copii ai lui Uranus care s-au răsculat împotriva lui Zeus pentru stăpânirea Pământului http://dexonline. plural sirens Substantiv comun.com/dictionary/titan Titan (Mit. sirene Cântec de sirenă = un mijloc de seducţie pe cât de puternic pe atât de primejdios. masculin. sfincsi Term 33 Definition Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Titan any of a family of giants in Greek mythology born of Uranus and Gaea and ruling the earth until overthrown by the Olympian gods http://www.com/dictionary/siren Noun. the Chimera. plural sphinxes or sphinges Sfinx Monstru fabulos cu corp de leu.merriamwebster. masculin. unde aceștia își găseau moartea http://www. feminin. and the Sphinx Typhon un mostru înspăimîntător. prin cântecele ei.com/dictionary/sphinx Noun. presărat cu șerpi. cu picioare și aripi de pasăre.ro/definitie/sirenă webster. care ucidea călătorii. iar mariners to destruction by their singing mai târziu cu coadă de pește. cu o sută de capete și cu trupul uriaș. especially : one that is seductive or deceptive Term 32 Definition Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Sphynx A winged female monster in Greek mythology having a woman's head and a lion's body and noted for killing anyone unable to answer its riddle http://www.merriamhttp://dexonline. care.ro/definitie/sfinx Substantiv. titani Term 34 Definition Typhon a monster with a tremendous voice who according to classical mythology was father of Cerberus. cap de om și aripi de vultur. titans Substantiv comun.ro/definitie/titan Noun. Siren song = an alluring utterance or appeal. când nu rezolvau enigma pe care le-o propunea http://dexonline. ademenea navigatorii în locuri periculoase.merriamwebster.
com/dictionary/unicorn Noun.merriamwebster.merriamwebster. THE STUDENT’S MYTHOLOGY . Roman. masculin. Thibetian. and Peruvian Mythologies The Cambridge Companion to Greek Mythology http://www. G.com/dictionary/typhon?show=0&t=13 57238848 Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Noun proper Typhoeus Substantiv propriu Typhoeus Term 35 Definition Definition source Grammatical information Synonyms Antonyms Collocations Unicorn A mythical animal generally depicted with the body and head of a horse. inorogi Unicorn. Persian. Chinese. The Theogony -TRANSLATED BY H. Aztec. Assyrian. http://dexonline.A COMPENDIUM OF Greek. EVELYN-WHITE Fritz Graf. Dictionar de Mitologie Greaca si Romana Guus Houtzager. the hind legs of a stag. White.ro/definitie/inorog Substantiv comun. Mitologia Greaca . and a single horn in the middle of the forehead http://www.amnh. plural unicorns Inorog Animal fantastic cu corp de cal și cu un corn în frunte.Enciclopedie completa . the tail of a lion.ro/definitie/Typhon http://www.org/exhibitions/past-exhibitions/mythic-creatures Anna Ferrari. A. Egyptian. Scandinavian. Celtic. licorn Bibliography Hesiod. Hindoo. Greek Mythology – An Introduction C.Definition source http://dexonline.
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