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The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology

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Книга The Encyclopedia of Mythology The Encyclopedia of MythologyКниги English литература Автор: Arthur Cotterell Год издания: 2006 Формат: pdf Издат.:Hermes House Размер: 38 Mb Язык: Английский0 (голосов: 0) Оценка:Ancient mythologies are brought to life in the most comprehensive coverage yet produced. Contains 550 images, including illustrations of classic stories. Includes the classical mythology of ancient Greece and Rome; the fairytale myths of the celtic world; and, from Northern Europe, tales of Germanic gods, Nordic warriors, and fearsome giants.
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god is an epub book~
I searched for Herme by Eratosthenes and found this one. I'm gonna read this. Too bad that's not an epub, but that'll work too.
15 December 2021 (02:07) 

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This edition is pubiished by Hermes House
Hermes House is an imprint of
Anness Publishing Ltd
Hermes House, 88-89 Blackfriars Road
tel 020 7 401 2077 ; fax 020 7633 9499
@ AnnessPublishlng Ltd 1996, 2006
Al1 nghts reserved No part of this publication may
be reproduced,stored in a retnevalsystem,or
transmirted in any way or by any means,
electronic, mechanical, photocopl'rng, recording
or otherwise,wrthout the prior written permission
of the copyright holder
A CIP catalogue record is available from the British
Publisher: Joanna Lorenz
Editorial Director: Helen Sudell
Project Ediror: Belinda Wilkinson
Designer: Nigel Soper, Millions Design
lllusrrators: James Alexander, Nick Beale,
Glenn Steward
Printed and bound in China
Frontispiece: The ForglngoJthe Sampoby A GallenIGllela
This page: TheRapeoJGanymedeby PeterPaul

Author's Note
The entries in this encvcloDedia are all
Iisted alphabetically.Wft.r. more than one
name exists for a character the entry is
listed under the name used in the original
country of origin flor that particular myth.
Names in iralic caDitalletters indicate that
rhat name has an individual entry. Special
feature spreads examine specific
mythological themes in more detail. lf a
characteris included in a specialfeature
spreadit is noted at the end of their
indMdual entry.


P n e F A C E6

Introduction l0
L o v e r s o f .Z e u s 2 0
Heroes 30
Oracles and Prophecies 40
Voyagers 50
Monsters and Fabulous Beasts58
Forcesof Nature 6B
G i a nt s 7 6
Founders B4

Introduction 92
Celtic Otherworlds 104
S a g e sa n d S e e r s l l 4
Magic and Enchantment I24
Wondrous Cauldrons 132
Celtic Romance 140
Single Combat L48
Heroic Quests 156
Fabulous Voyages 164

Introduction I74
Nature Spirits 186
T r e a s u r e sa n d T a l i s m a n s 1 9 6
Norse Heroes 204
T ; h e V a l k y ri e s 2I2
Sorcery and Sp eIIs 220
Tragic Lovers 228
Rings of Power 236
Ragnarok 24+

P r c r u R EA c r x o w L E D G E M E N r2s 5 2

Ixnnx 2 53



successfu\ confronted the Minotaur on Crete, but


contains the three
ourstanding traditions of Europe -

later abandoned his helper, the Cretan princess

Greek, Celtic and Norse. They form

Theseus forgot the agreement made with his father

the core of European mythological thought, rhe

abour changing the sail of his ship from black if he

early ideas and notions which underlie our

escaped death himself. As a result of this moment

present-day consciousness. For the stories related

of carelessness,Theseus' father committed suicide

in Greek, Celtic and Germanic myths touch upon

by leaping from the Athenian acropolis when rhe

the fundamental issues of existence. They reveal

black sail was sighred. So in lreiand rhe inability of

Ariadne. Full of his success against the bull-man,

the power of love, with its accompanying anxiery Cuchulainn ro srop and think for a moment led to
and jealousy; the conflict between the generarions, his hlling of Conlai, his own son by the Amazon
the old and rhe new; the violence of men,

Aoifa. In Norse myth, however, it is the pride of

especially on the battlefield or in single combat;

the gods or their opponents, the frost giants,

the mischief of the trouble-maker, bored by rhe

which causes disasters ro occur. Unlike the Greel.<s

steady pace of everyday events; the sadness of

NEssuS,4 wild Greehcentaur,ties to abductHeracles'new bide whileJerryingher

illness or accidenral injury; the mystery of dearh,

acrossthe RfuerEvenus GHER^pE
. c^NvAs.

with a variety of after-life possibilities including
rebirth; the effect of enchantment upon the mind
and body; rhe challenge of the unknown, wherher
a voyage into uncharted waters or a quest fot a
sacred object; the personal danger of a contest
with a monster, even a beheading game; the
sadness of betrayal and treachery, nor least within
a family or a group of colleagues; the cycle of
fertility in human beings and animals, plus the
growth of plans; the horror of madness with its
disruption of human relations; the incidence of
misfortune and luck, plus the whole issue of fate;
rhe relation between human and divine, between
mankind and the gods; the crearion of the world
and the origins of sociery; and, last, but not least,
the nature of the universe.
Different myths rackle these great quesrions in
distinct ways. But heroes and heroines find
themselves in unreiated circumstances facing the
same basic problems in Greece, ireland and
Scandinavia. The Athenian

hero Theseus


sea to Poseidon, is real owner. ln consequence of
this sacrilege Minos' wife Pasiphae was consumed
with passion for the beast, and her mating with it
led to the birth of the bull-man known as the
Minotaur: hence Theseus and his combat with the
strange creature. The Athenian hero's entanglement with Minos' family did not stop with the
abandonment of fuiadne and the death of his own
father, however. For Theseus married Phaedra,
another daughter of Minos. She too was cursed
with an illicit passion, not for an animal this dme,



Dogda, donglestwo worriors high absvehishead, and thus

reveakhis awesomepwer, while the wariors in tum lift twoboa6, showingtheir
c lN Bc.)
supremaq overanirncls (curosrnupcauDRoN,

and the Celts, the German peoples of northern
Europe did not develop a heroic tradition of any
significance. The great hero was Thor, the slowwitted but honest champion of the gods. He
delighted the tough Northmen, who appreciated
how his allergy to frost glants naturally led to skullsmashing encounterc in fields and halls. Yet those
who undertook raids as Vikings had a more
suitable patron in Odin, the one-eyed god of batrle
and the inspirer of the dreaded berserkers.
Usually myths reveal an interwoven pattem of
circumstances ourcide the control of both mortals
and gods. Fate and destiny in European mythology
are almost beyond manipulation. Attempts may be
made to slow down the operation of fate's decrees,
sometimes to thwart them entirely, but they never
work. Odin can do nothing about his future death
at Ragnarok, the doom of the gods. The Celtic sun
god Lugh cannot save his son Cuchulainn on the
battlefield. And even immonal Zeus, the chief god
of the Greeks, has a duty to see that fate takes its
proper course. He cannot control events.
The tangled web of difficulties which besets
Theseus can thus be traced to a number of actions,
but one stands out clearly: the refusal of King
Minos of Crete to sacrifice the white bull from the

but for her stepson Hippolytus. Before Theseus
Ieamed the truth, he banished honest Hippolytus
on Phaedra's denunciation of his evil intendons,
and then lost his exiled son in a chariot accident.
The abiding interest of mythology, European or
otherwise, is is frankness about such basic human
drives. It could almost be described as sacred
literature undisturbed by theologians. The raw and
ragged ends of existence are still visible in is tales
of both men and gods.
Srcuto,thegreatNorsehero,helpshismmtor,Regln,re-Jorgehiswondroussword With
it, Srgurd sltv the dragon, Fafnir. {wuto aavtNc,.l2rHcENruRY)



r r r , l x t I E N I C R I - F K 5 w l :nRr tr g r e a t

l l m y r h m u k , r * t r l E u r o p cT h t ' ) e r e n
J i g l r c u s r h c n r m e h 1 'w h r r h u e



refer today to the amazrngstonestold about
gods, henres,men and animals Around 400




Bc the Arhenian philosopherPlatocoined the
w o r d r n y t h o l o g i ar n o r d e r t o d r s t i n g u i s h
b e t w e e n r m a g i n a r i v e z r c c o u n t so l d i v i n e
a c t t o n sl n d f e rr u a i i t ' : t r t p t i o n r ( , { t \ ' ( n t 5 .
supemamralor othenvlse Although he lived
in an age thzrtwas increasingly scrtntrllc in
o u t l o o k , a n d n o l o n g er i n c l r n e d t o b c l i e v e
cvery detail related about gods and godd e s s c s .P l r t t o r c c , , g n i z , ' dt h e p o w r ' r r h a t
resided in myth, and warned hrs followers tcr
beu'areof its seductrve charm
The strcngth of Greek myrholog', Likeall
active traclitions,lay in rrs collecrivcnature
Unlike a story composed by a partrcular

during hrs abscnceat the
s l r r t r db y t h r ' s r ' w h ol i s r e n c t1l , 't h q 5 1 1 ' r y - t , ' l l c ru.r[eC.lytemnestra

author, a m)'th ah."'aysstood on its ou'n, *T rh

or dramattst making use o[ tt When. for

a plot and a set of charactersreadily under-

i n s t a n c e ,t h e A t h e n r a n sw a t c h e d t h e g r e a t

All this would have been famrliar to the

cyclc of plays that Aeschylusstagedabout the

Athcnians beforeAcschylus' treatment of the

thc Ettnol


two gocls of ancrent Romc, ricir over

.guarding itr mrhtary und monnmt

rntcrests At klt, an aifiomt

Trojan \Var

m u r d e r o I A g a m em n o n . t h c y r v e r ea l r e a d y

m 1 ' t h b e g a n u r t h . { g a m e m n ( ) nr e t u r n i n g

a w a r e o f t h c m a i n c h a r a c t e r sa n d t h c i r

homc liom the Trojan War Some of the audi-

putLo above Mdrs burs h$

actlons The audienceknew how the House

ence doubtlessrecalledan even older curse

symbol oJ thr god's dominion ttvar lhd watves {Mq* r:l

of Atreus, Agamemnon'sfather,'"vasfated to

laid on l'elops himself by the messengergod

N T P T L NBFY P 4 r r ryr r R ( ) N E sCEA, N L

c n d u r e a t e r n b l e p e n o d o [ d o m e s t i cs t n f e

H e r m e s P e l o p sh a d p r o v o k e d t h e g o d b y

Not only had Atreus and hrs brother Thycstes

relusing a promiscd gift to one of his sons

hr)rsd's h(lmcl, whiic Neptunc's putto .anies a seasheil,


bcen cursed by rherrown father, Pelops, for

Nothing that Aeschylusrncludedin hrs plays

kLllrnghis favounte chrld, their half-brother

was unexpected. neirher the murder o[

Chrysippus, but a bloody quarrel of their own

Agamemnon, nor the revenge of his son

had also added to the family mrsfbrtune A

Orcstes,nor Orestes'punuit by thc Funes for

dispute over the successionto Pelops'throne

sheddrnga mother's blood What would have

at Mycenae led Atreus to kill three oI

fascinatedthe audiencewas the dramatist's

T h y e s t e s ' s o n s ,a l t h o u g h t h e y h a d s o u g h t

approach to these tangled incidents, his'raew

sanctuaryin a temple dedicatedto Zeus, the

of motive, guilt and expiation For that rea-

supreme god Even worse, the murderer then

son another dramatist was able to tackle the

served the bocliesof his nephews up to his

same srory later in Athens during the fifth

brorher at a banquet, afrerwhich he dared to

cenrury sC It needs to be remembered that

show Th1'estestheir feet and hands Atreus

such drama remained very much part of

paid for the outrage wrth hrs life at the hands

ancient religron Today we cannot expect to

of Thyestes' sumving son, Aegisthus, who

appreciate the full meaning of these perfor-

l r r t c r h e c a m , ' t h r l o v e r r ' l A g a m e m n t t ns

mances, but we are fortunate in halrng the


raw materials from which they were made,
the myths themselves
Myths retain much of rheir power, even
Venone o

when told in summary, as rhey are in this
encyclopedia Because Greek myths were
fashioned and refashioned over so many generations, they acquired their essential form, a
shape that had been collectively recognized
for longer than anyone could remember Even
now, we conrinue to be fascinated by the
stories of Oedipus, rhe man who murdered


his father and married his morher; of the




Athenian hero Theseus, slayer of the strange
bull-headed man, rhe Minotaur, of rhe great
voyagerJason,who sailed acrossrhe Black Sea
ro disranr Colchis in order to ferch the Golden
Fleece;of Agamemnon, the doomed leaderof
the Greek expedrtion againsrTroy, o[cunning
Odysseus, one of rhe bravesr of the Greek
and the inventor of the Wooden Horse, rhe


means by which Troy was raken; of the hapless Pentheus,victim of Dionysus' ecsraric
worshippers, who included his own morher;

. .- -'!


of the unbeatable champron Achilles; of rhe
labours of Heracles, Zeus' own son and the
only hero to be granted immortaliry; and
many others As Greek lMng before and afrer
Plato evidently understood, myrhs were fictitious stones rhar illusrrared rruh
The Romans were no less impressed by the




range and interesr of Greek myrhology
Indeed, rhey adopred it wholesale and iden-

people were executedbefore the cult of the

Bellerophon Something s)'nthetic can be felr

tified many of their own haiian deities wrrh

native wine god Bacchus discarded those

in the story of Aeneas, rhe leader of the

those in rhe Greek panrheon, even adopring

aspects of Dronysus which mer wrth official

refugees {rom Troy

others for whom they possessedno real equiv-

disproval This taming of a Greek god, albeir

founder-hero made him of particular concem

alent The unruly Dionysus gave Rome

Thracian rn ongin, could stand for rhe enrire

to the lirst Roman emperor Augustus, but The

considerable rrouble Thrs god ofvegetation,

processby which Greek and Roman myrh-

Aeneid,the epic poem abour Aeneas written

wine and ecstasywas by no means a comfort-

ologr merged in rhe second century BC There

by Virgil in the 20s sc, turned out ro be a

able deity for the Greeks, but the Romans

were just too many myths for rhe Romans to

balanced celebrarion of Roman aurhoriry

were more deeply disturbed by his orgiastic

resist, although rhey chose to impose a rypical

rather than an exciting heroic narrative The

rites In 186 nc rhe Roman Senarepassed

restraint on Greek extravagance

hero heededthe call ofduty and abandoned

severe laws against the excesseso[ his wor-

Roman heroes could never compare wrth

shippers h is likely rhat severalthousand

Heracles, Jason, Theseus, Perseus or

His adoption as a

the woman he loved, as Roman heroes were
expected to do rn every myth




ACUtt-leS was rhc son of Krng
Peleus of Thessaly and the sea
nymph THETISHe was the greatesr
of the Greek wamors, although in
compansonwith acar'tlllxov and
the other Greekhngs who went on
r h c e x p e d r t r o na g a i n s tT r o y . h e
a p p e a r sr o h a v eb e e n s o m c t h i n g

arranged the mamage of Thetis to

of a barbarian His anger was as
legendaryas his prowess
The uncerrainnatureof Achilles
is apparentin the story of his brrth
Both zEL'sand pttsr-iitrt.twanted
to have a son by the beautiful
The tis, but PROMETIlirt.'-s,
the fire
god, had wamed them that her offspnng would be greaterthan his
Iather Anxious ro avord the
emergcnceof a powcr qupenorto
r h e m s e l v e s ,r h e g o d s c a r e f u l l y

Since Thcris had to hold him by

Because she was scr

a mortal

attached to Achilies, Thetis tried to
make him

immorral by various

mcans Thc bcst known wrs drpping

the new-born

baby in the

Sryx, rhe rrver rhat ran through
HADE-S, the world

of the dead

the heel, thrs one spot was left vulnerable and at Troy brought about
A, hrlles de.rrh lrom a noisoncd
anow shot from the bow ol PeRts
Achrlles learned the skills of
warfare from CHIRON, le ader of the
c.l:NlAt/R.s, who also fed him on

game to increase his f'erocity



care Achilles

became renowned as a courageous
lrshrcr bur hi' immortal mothcr
. . b . . ' - .


warrior quickly reached for the
w e a p o n s .g i v i n g h i m s e l I a w a y
Unmasked, Achilles had no choice
but to sail for Troy
There he bitterly quanelled wrth
Agamemnon, the leader o[ the
Greeks lt may be that he was
our Achilles therr chances of angeredby Agamemnon'suse o[
beating the Trojanswere sLtm,but his name to bring IPHIGENTA
no one could identify the hidden Aulis, for she had been told she
hero At last, cunning oDYssEUs was to marry Achrlles, whereas
was sent to discover AchiLles, Agamemnon intended to sacnfice
which he did by meansof a tnck
Haung tracedthe young man to ACHILLES, reluingbnde hrstentwth
Scpos, Odysseusplacedweapons hs tompdnion,Patroclus,welcomeshrs
among some jewellery in the comratles,Odysseus(centre)arul Aiax
palace Whrle Achilles' female (right), who irnplorc tht moodyhero to
c o m p a n i o n sw c r r a d m i r i n gr h c retum Lobattle whereht s sorelyneeded
crafrsmanshipof rhejewels,a call ( A ( H i l | r ! f u i l r \ r , s A ( ; A M r M ! ( ) N ! N l l s s l \ c t : f , s
to arms was sounded and the D l / l ' 4 \ A i i i i I l \ L ' 8 t \ L 1 \ t 1 \ l S L i l l

knew that he was doomed to die at
Troy rf he went on the expedition
So Thetis arrangedfor him to be
disguised as a grrl and hrdden
among the women at the palaceof
Krng Lycomedeson rhe islandof
Sc1'rosThe Greek felt that wrth-





her to the goddess ARTEMIS,to
ensure a favourable wind for the
Greek fleer For a long time
Achilles srayed in his rent and
refused to fight the Trojans. He
even persuaded his mother to use
her influence with Zeus to let the
tide of war go against the Greels.
But Achilles was roused to action
by the death of Patroclus, his
squire and lover, at the hands of
the Trojan HEcToR.Patroclus had
bonowed Achilles' armour, which
had been forged by the smith god
and entered the fray,
but he cameup againstHectorwho
In brand-new arrnour Achilles
sought out Hector, who asked for
respect to be shown for his body if
he was defeated.Achilles refused,
slew Hector with his spear and
draggedrhe Trojan hero round rhe
tomb of Patroclus for rwelve days.
Only Thetis could persuade her
son to le! the Trojans recover the
corpse and arrange a funeral, a
serious obligarion for the living.
Backin rhe flght, Achilles struck
fear into the Trojans, of whom he
killed hundreds. But his own life
was coming to an end, which he

was the son of King
Pandion ofAthens, and farher of
tne nero THfslus Ha!1ng twrce
manied wirhout begetdng any children, Aegeuswent to consult the
Delphic Oracle bur received only
the ambiguous answer that he
should nor untie his wine skin
until he reachedhome. When he
sought advice from his friend
Pittheus. another ruler. the latter
realizedrhat the oracie had foretold
how Aegeuswould father a heroic
son. To securethe sewices of such
a man, Pittheus made Aegeus
uponthepoolwhae drunk and let him sleep wirh his
daughter Aethra. When Aegeus
tumedhim into undersrood what had happened,
a srcgandhewastornapartbyhisovn
he placed a sword and a pair of
sandals beneath an enormous
boulder. He rold the princessthat
if she bore a son who could move
had been wamed about by his the rock, he was to bring these
steed XeivlHUS, before rhe FURIES rokens to him in Athens on reachstruck the divine creature dumb.
ing manhood. Thus it was that
An arrow from the bow of Paris, Theseusgew up and was eventuguided by rhe god of prophecy ally reunited with his father.
APOLLO,gave Achilles a mortal
Meantime, Aegeus had married
wound. Heroic yet also arrogant, the sorceressMEDF-A,
whose magiAchilles was rhe myrhical figure cal powers had given him another
most admired by Alexander rhe son, Medus. lt was for this reason
Great.At the commencementof char Medea did everything she
his Asian campaign against rhe could to thwart Theseus. Ar her
Persians,the youthful Alexander
pardcipared in funeral games that
were held at Troy in memory of
Achilles. (Seealso HEROES)


suggesrion Theseus was sent to
fight the wild bull of Marathon,
which he captured alive. Once
Aegeusrecognizedhis son, Medea
returned in disgust ro her native
Colchis on rhe Black Sea.But bad
Iuck continued to dog Aegeus and
wentually causedhis death. For it
was agreed that Theseus should
travel ro Crete with the seven girls
and sevenboys sent as ribute each
year to feed the MINOTAUR,a bullheaded man. If Theseus was
successfulin his dangerous mission
ro kill the Minotaur, the ship bringing him home was to fly a white
sail: if unsuccessful. a black sail
would signalhis dearh. Retuming
to Arhens after an incredible adventure in the Labynnth at Knossos,
Theseus forgot the agreement to
changehis sail from black to white,
wirh the result rhar, upon seeing
the vesselwith is black sail,Aegeus
threw himself off the Athenian
acropolis to certain dearh
outto sea,sees
, Ioohing
(lrr/srMr,(,N 8v Nlck 8uLE. 1995)

ACHIIJ-ES Jallsbneath theTrojanwalk,
Jor Achilles'
partoJthehao'sbody.ln somemyths,
ApolloguidedPais' bw; in othm, thegod,
was rhe son of a
shottheanow,a seenhere
minor royal god and Auronoe,
ACHILLEry FMNZST ssEN,w^ftRconu{, 1869)
daughrer of. ceouus. A Greek
hunter trained by CHIROw,he
offended rhe goddess,rnrEMISand
paid wirh his life. There are several
reasons given for his terrible end.
Actaeon may have boasted of his
superior skill as a hunrer, or
annoyed the goddessby seeingher
bathing naked. To stop his boasring, futemis tumed him into a sug
and he was chased and devoured
byhis own hounds. But thesefaithful animals were broken-heaned at
the loss of their master, unril
Chiron carved a statue of Acaeon
so lifelike that they were satisfied.




at thedecoratwe became, and ir seemed as i[ Italy
in wonder
whileDrdo,thequeen, and the new sute to be founded on
templeIn Carthage,
its shoreswere both forgotten. But
welromahim to heraotic hingCom
are watchful;uetrrR, rhe chief Roman
god, dispatched urncuRv wirh a
messageto Aeneas,recalling him to
with thefamousale oJ
his dury and commanding him to
anil theTrolans
resume the voyage Honified by his
inrention to leave, Dido bitterly
reproachedAeneas,but his deep
on the eastem Adriatic coast From
there it made for Sicily, but before sense of piety gave him strength
enough to launch the fleet again.
reaching the Iulian mainland itwas
diverted to North Afnca dunng a Then the weeping queen mounted
sudden storm sent by the goddess a pyre which she had ordered to be
;ulo, the Roman equivalent o[ prepared and, having run herself
HERA, who harassed Aeneas rhrough with a sword, was conthroughout the voyage Only the sumed by the flames
When the Trgans finallylanded
dmelyhelp of rurm;Nr, the Roman
was a Trojan hero and
the son ofAnchises and vENUs,the
Roman goddess of love He was the
favourite of the Romans. who
believedthat some of their eminent
families were descended from the
Trojans who fled westwards with
him from Asia Minor, after the
Greek sack of their city. Upstart
Rome was only too aware of its
lack of tradition and history in
comparison with Greece(there was
a nouble absenceof a glorious past
peopled with mythical heroes and
gods), so the exploits o[Aeneas
conveniently provided a means of
reassertingnational pride. lt was
not a coincidence that the first
Roman emperor, Augustus, took a
personal interest in the myth.
During the Trojan WarAnchises
was unable to fight, having been
renderedblind or lame for boasdng
about his reladonship with Venus.
But young Aeneas distinguished
himself againsr the Greeks, who
fearedhim second only ro urcron,
the Trojan champion. ln gradtude
PRIAMgave Aeneas his daughter
Creusa to have as his wife, and a
son was born named AscANlus.
Although Venus wamed him of the
impending fall of Troy, Anchises
refused to quit the city until two
omens occurred: a small flame rose
from rhe top ofAscanius'head and
a meteor fell close by. So, carryrng


Anchises on his back, Aeneas
managed to escape Troy with his
father and his son Somehow
Creusabecame separatedlrom the
party and disappeared Later,
Aeneassaw her ghost and leamed
from it that he would found a new
Troy in distant ltaly.
After sailing through the Aegean
Sea,where the small fleet Aeneas
commanded stopped at a number
of islands, the fleet came to Epirus

seagod, saved the fleet from shipwreck At the ciry of Canhage, the
great trading port founded by the
Phoenicians (which was located
in present-day Tunisia), Venus
ensured that Aeneas fell in love
with is beauriful queen, the widow
DIDO.Becauseofher own flrght to
Carthage, Dido welcomed the
Trojan refugeeswith geat hndness
and unlimited hospitaliry.
Time passed pleasantly for the
lovers, as Aeneas and Dido soon

in laly, near the city of Cumae,
Aeneaswent to consult the SIBYL,
who was a renowned prophetess.
She took him on a visit to the
canyofl the
themin thesky,waitingto
weahondwovndcl.Prsidclwrts sheher
htsfamily:ha blindJathcrAnchls,hs
wiJeCmtsaandthar tvtosons.(ANs AND
HE CoMpNloNs FlGm frE ll^mEs rv Fwcors
I'ERroE crwtr.





according ro Agamemnon's father. On her it around his body, rendering him
Greek mythology, was the son husband's retum, Clytemnesrraar an easy targerfor Aegisthus' axe.
of erRrus and the brother of first pretended how pleased she
Artem(: but at the last moment, the
MENEIAUS,long of Spana. He was wzlsto seehim Thanlcng the gods A;AX -as rhe son of Telamon of
goddesshenef rebnted and, descending
married ro CLyTEMNESTM.
for his safe retum, Agamemnon Salamisand, like ACHILLES,
was a
his citadel at Mycenae,or nearby crossed the threshold ofhis palace, powerful aid to the Greeksin their
Jromheavat shecarried Iphignia ofl to
Argos, he sent out a summons to ignoring the warning o[ his slave assault on Troy. Afrer Achilles'
BAmsr^, NEM,
the Greek to join the expedition
cAssANDM, the prophetic daugh- death there was a contest for rhe
against Troy The causeo[ the war
ter of PRIAM,the defeated Trojan armour of this great warrior, which
underworld. There Aeneasmet his was the flight of Menelaus' wife,
king. He rhen rerired to a barhroom had been forged by the smirh god
father's ghost, who showed him
HELEN,ro rhar ciry wirh PARI5.
in order to change his clothes. HEPFIAISTOS.
When ODY55EU5
the destiny of Rome.Anchiseshad
However, rhe Greek fleer was Clytemnestra quickly threw a large awarded the armour, Ajax became
died of old age during the smy in delayed at Auhs by conrary winds
net over Agamemnon and twisted mad with.;ealousy He planned a
Sicily, but his enthusiastic ourline Agamemnon then realized that he
nighr attack on his comrades,but
of the future encouraged his son. would have to make a human sac- AJAXheadsof theTrqan onslaught
rhe goddesserHrNA deceived him
Aeneas also saw Dido's ghost, but
rifice in order to appeaseARTEMIS, Wical mightandcourageBeside
into slaughtering a flock of sheep
it did not speak to him and the goddess o[ the forest and wild
instead. In the light of dawn, Ajax
humedly rumed away
animais. His daughter IPHTGENIA theTrojanswho,withJlamingtorches,hopewas suddenly overwhelmed by a
Afterwards, Aeneassreered for was therefore sent to Aulis under
to settheGreehshipsalight 0uusmnoru
fear of his evil intentions, and fell
che mouth of rhe River Tiber, on the pretexr rhat she was to be rRoM STORIE FROM HoMER. i885 )
on his sword and died
whose river banks the ciry of Rome married to the Greek champion
would be built centuries larer. and hero ACHILLESAccording ro
Conflict with rhe latins, the local one tradition, lphigeniawas sacriinhabirants, was bloody and pro- ficed, but accordingto another,she
longed But peacewas made when was savedby Artemrs herselfand
Aeneas mamed l-avinia, the daugh- uken ro Taurus to becomea priesrter of King Larinus lt had been ess in the goddess'stemple
foretold that for the sake of the
Clytemnestra never forgave
longdom Laviniamust marryraman Agamerhnon for lphigenia's loss,
from abroad The Tro.lans,in order and she took Aegrsthusfor a lover
to appeaseJuno, adopred the during the ten-yearsiegeofTroy.
Latins' rraditions and language. Aegisthus was rhe son ofThyesres,
(Seealso VOYAGERS)
the brother and enemy of Atreus,
waxha coolly ahis

daughtu, Iphignia, is ofered a a
"sacnfciallamb" to apryase theanger oJ




according ro Greek
mythology, was the daughrer of
Krng Pelias of Thessaly When she
was o[ an age to marry, many suitors appeared and her father set a
test to discoverwho would be the
most suirable husband. Alcestis
was to be the wife of the firsr man
to yoke a lion and a boar (or, in
some versions.a bear) to a chariot.
Wirh rhe aid of epoLro, the god of
prophecy, a neighbounng monarch
named Admetus succeededin this
seemingly impossible task But at
the wedding he forgot to make the
necessarysacnfice in gratitude ro
the goddessof the foresr
and wrld animals. and so found his
wedding bed full of snakes Once
again Apollo came to the king's
assistanceand, by making rhe
FATESdrunk. extracted from rhem
a promise that if anyone elsewould
die on Admetus' behalf, he might
continue to live. fu no one would
volunteer, Alcescisgaveher life for
him prnstpuolr, rhe undenvorld
goddess,was so impressedby this
complete devotion rhar she
restoredAlcestis to Admetus. and
they had two sons who later took
part in the Greek expedirion
agarnstthe city ofTroy.

was rhe daughrerof
Electryon,son of pEFsrus,and the
morher of urnacrrs. She married
Amphitryon, king of Tir;'ns, near
Mycenae in the Peloponnese.
Alcmene refused to consummate
her marriagero Amphitryon undl
he had avenged the murder of her
brothers. This the king did, but
when he retumed he was amazed
to learn from Alcmene rhat she
believedshe had alreadyslept with
him. Amphitryon was enrageduntil

whoanivesin o chaiotdrawnby
Ioohsonin disbelieJ.

ALCMENE6ght) wasote oJrheslEgod
Zeus'manyloers,but wospunished
alighta pyrebeneath
her Shewassaved
a heawnly

r R o MG R r ( L A N DR o M r , 1 9 2 0 )

(lrLLsruTr)I 8YNtcKBilu. ,l995)


the seer TIRESIAS
explained that
zEUs had come ro Alcmene disguised as her husband in order to
father a monal who would aid the
gods in their forthcoming battle
against the GIANTS.
So Alcmene became pregnant
with rwins: Heracles, the son o[
Zeus, and lphicles, rhe son of
Amphirryon. Zeus could not hide
hls sarisfaction from his wife HERA
who realized what had happened
Shesent the goddessof childbirth,

Eileithyia,ro frusrate the delivery,
but a trick savedAlcmene and her
two sons. Hera then put snakes
into Heracles'cradle,
but the infant
hero strangled them
ku s never ler H era f.a:e.llyinjur e
Heracles, and always protected
Alcmene. Once Amphitryon tried
ro bum her for infidelity, but was
stopped by a sudden downpour.
When Alcmene died naturally of
to bring
old age,Zeus sent HERMES
her body to the ElysianFields,



AMUIJUS (Iet't) casts outhis nephews,
Romulusand Remus,the twin sonsoJ Rhea
Silviaand the war god Mars, ord.eing that
thq be drownedin the nver Tiber. But thq
are eventually
Jound fo a she-wolJwho
suchlesthem until a shepherd, Faustulus,
tahesthem home (ttlsrurrul rRoM
l ROM Ll\a,

1885 )

violent and tempestuous temper urs
wrth her. He even slew a comrade
who mentioned it Fascination
with Amazon power affectedother
heroesbesidesAchilles. The adventures of borh rurnecrES and
ll-tt5tu) lnvolveo Datlles wltn
Arnazons.One of Heracles'famous
labours was the seizure of a girdle
belonging to the Amazon queen
Hippolyta, a theft that required

god laas, Amulius imprisoned her
and ordered that her rwin sons,
be drowned
in the Tiber Bur rhe rwo boys
escapeda watery death and grew
up in the countryside Once rhey
realized their parenrage, Romulus
and Remusretumed ro Alba Longa
and lalled their uncle Amulius.

the daughter
of Eetion, a king of Mysia in Asia
AUUIIUS, in Roman my'thology, Minor, was the wlfe of nncton, rhe
was a descendant of the Trojan foremost Trojan warrior Her entire
hero AENEAS.He usurped the family - parens, brothers, husband
throne of Alba Longa from his and son - was killed during the
younger brother Numitor and Trojan War. After the sack of Troy,
forced Numitor's daughter RHEA Andromache was taken off into
SILYIAto become a Vestal Mrgin so captlvityby Neoptolemus, rhe son
as to deny her father an heir When
of the great Greek hero ACHILLES
RheaSihra was raped by the war Neoptolemus had shown rhe same

his father when he rurhlessly killed
the Trojan hng, PRIAM,ar rhe altar
of zrus'remple. Andromache bore
Neoptolemus three sons, and in
consequen'cesuffered the hatred of
his barren Greek wrfe When
Neoptolemusdied, Andromache
went on to marry Helenus who,
like her, was a Trojan captive Her
finalyearswere spent in fuia Minor
at Pergamum,which was a new ciry
founded by one of her sons.
bowsherheadin captivityOneoJthe
but mostll-starredofheroines,
thecirywalls;whilesheJallsasa pize oJ
war to Achilles' son (cAf lvr: ANDRi)MAcHli
c 1890)




(abwe) sp'inhlesmrth on

the body oJha brother, Polynices,as a
symbolicat oJbunal For the Greelu,
buial wasa sacredduty, wrthout which a
soul couV not rest;yet Creon, ha uncle,
had daied Polynicesa bunnl, iolating
diine l,||n 04usrunoN ByNrcKBilrE 1995


Q$), chainedto a roch os

a sacifice m a seamonster,can only pray,
whilehlgh owrhead,theheroPerseuss on
his way Swoopingdwtn on thewinged
hone, Pegaw, he cu* Andromedafree and
slaysthe monster (PERSEUS


in an uprising against the new ruler
cREoN, and his body was condemned to rot unburied outside
the ciry. Antigone refusedto accept
this impiety and spnnkled earth
over the corpse as a token burial
For this she was walled up in a
cave,where she hangedhenelflike
her mother Jocasta. There are a
number of different versionsof the
myth, but they all castAntigone as
the heroic victim of a family
wrecked by a terrible deed.
was the daugh- sandals carrying the head of the
ter o[ Cassiopeand Cepheus,king Gorgon Medusa He fell in love
of the Ethiopians When Cassiope with Andromeda, and obtained
boasted that Andromeda was more both her and her father's consent
beautiful than the Nereids, the sea to mamage if he defeatedthe monnymphs, they complained to the ster. This Perseusdid by using
seagod PosEIDoN He avengedthis Medusa's head, the sighr of which
tumed all living things to stone.
insult by flooding the land and
sending a seamonster to devastate After sorne time, Perseus and
Cepheus'kingdom To avoid com- Andromeda settled in Tirfns,
plete disaster it was decided to which Perseusruled. The constelsacriliceAndromeda to the beast Iation of Andromeda lies close to
and she was chained to a rock at that of Pegasus,and both Cepheus
the foot of a cliff. There PERSEUS and Cassiopewere also commemorated in the stars.
saw her as he flew past on winged


was rhe daughrerof
IEDIPUS,king ofThebes, and his
wrfe and motherJocasta On leaming of their unwitting incest,
Oedipus tore out his eyes while
Jocastahanged herself.The penitent Oedipus was then guided by
Antigone in his wanderings round
Greece. She was with him at the
sancuary of Colonus, near Athens,
when her distraught father gained
some hnd of peacejust before his
death. She retumed to Thebes, but
her troubles were not over. Her
brother Polyniceshad been killed



was the Greek
goddess o[ Iove, beauty and fertiliry Unlike her Roman counterpan
yENUs,with whom she was idendfied, Aphrodite was not only a
goddess of sexuai love but also of
the affection that sustains social
life. The meaningo[ her name is
uncertain, although the ancient
Greek came to believe it refened
to foam Quite possibly this belief
arosefrom the story ofAphrodite's


I.PHRODITE, goddessof lwe andbeauty,
was bom Jrom theJoam ol the su; sherose
lrom the waveson a seashell,stepping
ashoreon Cyprus At hu sile, the west
wtnd, Ztphyus, andFlora, the spingblow
her gently uhore in a showeroJ roses,her
sacredflower, (THE
c 1482

binh. When rheTiran CRONOS
off the penis of his farher Ouranos
with a sharp sickle, he casr rhe
immortal member into the sea,
where it floated amid white foam
Inside the penis Aphrodite grew
and was then washed up at Paphos
on C1prus. There were in fact sanctuaries dedicared to her on many
islands, which suggesrsrhar she
was a Westfuian goddesswho was
brought to Greeceby sea-traders.
Once she arrived. the ancient
Gree}<smarried her in their mythology to the crippled smith god
But Aphrodire was
not content to be a hithful wife and
she bore children by severalorher
gods, including DIONYSUSand
ARES.When Hephaisros found out
about Aphrodire's passion for rhe
war god Ares, rhe ourraged smith
god made a mesh of gold and
caught the lovers in bed togerher.
He called rhe other gods from
Mount Olympus ro see the pair,
but they only lauglred at his shame,
and posenoru, the god of the sea,
persuaded Hephaisros to release
Aphrodite and Ares.
Perhaps Aphrodire's grearesr
Iove was for rhe handsome yourh
Adonis, another West Asian deity.
Killed by a wild boar, Adonis
became the object of admirarion for
both Aphrodite and pERsEpHorur,

queen of the dead. Their birter
quarrel was only ended by zrUs,
who ruled that for a rhird of the
year Adonis was to dwell with
himself, for a third parr wirh
Persephone, and for a third part
with Aphrodite. So it was rhar rhe
ancient Greels accommodated a
West Asian mother goddessand
her dying-and-rising husband.
Indeed the Adonia, or annual
festivals commemorating Adonis'
death, were celebrated in many
pars of the eastemMediterranean
Becauseof her unruly behaviour, Zeus causedAphrodire ro fall
in love wirh Anchises, the farher of
AENEAS.ln the Roman version o[
this myth Venus herself is deeply
attracted ro rhe Trojan, but wams
him to keep the parentageof their
son Aeneasa secret.This Anchlscs
fails to do, and as a resuk suffers
blindness or a disability of the
Iimbs. While the Roman goddess
provided, througlr the leadership of
Aeneas, a means for some of the
Trojans to escape and flourish
anew in ltaly, the GreekAphrodite
actually helped to causethe Trojan
War. ln order to ensure that he
would name her zlsthe most beautiful of the goddesses,Aphrodite
promised PARIs,son of pRraU rhe
hng of Troy, the hand of the most
beaudful woman in the world. This
fatefully rumed our ro be HELEN,
wife of vrruruqus, kingof Spana.
was rhe son of zEUs
and the Timness LETO,and the
twin brother of the goddess
ARTEMIS,the virgin hunrress. He
was one of the most important
deities of both the Greek and


Roman religions, and was the god
of prophecy, archery and music
The origrn of his name is uncenain
but it is probably non-European
A light with the gigandc earthserpent Python at Delphi gave
Apollo rhe sear o[ his famous
oracle. $rthon was an offspring of
GAIA,mother earth, which issued
revelations through a fissurein the
rock so that a priestess,the $nhia,
could give answers to any questions that might be asked.After he
slew the eanh-serpent, Apollo took
its place, though he had to do
penance in Thessalyfor the hlling.
Indeed, Zeus rwice forced Apollo
to be the slave of a mortal man to
pay for his crime.
Apollo's interest in healing
suSges6 an anclent assoclatlon
with the plagueand is conrrol. His
was also identified

AnrS, the son of zr.vs and srna,
was the Greek god of war, and was
Iater idenrified with the Roman war
god uens. Although Ares had no
wife of his own, he had three children byAPHROOIr, the goddessof
Iove The rwins, Phobos, "panic",

APOILO (abate), the sun gd, urgcs the

ARES @lov,t), infuIl atmour,luik the

with healing and connected with
sitesin nonhem Greece Indeed, so
accomplished was Asclepius in
medicine that Zeus slew him with
a thunderbolt for daring to bring a
man back to life. (Seealso FORCES

and Deimos, "[ear", alwaysaccompanied him on the bardefield. ln
Greek mythology, Ares is depicted
as an instigator of vrolence, a
tempestuous and passionatelover
and an unscrupulous fnend The
Roman god Mars, however, has
nothing of Ares' fickleness

sun-chaiot ta ise in the slty This unusual

gods into battle. Howarcr, in war, the gods

wsion oJ themythhas Apollo, rather tlnn

were not im4rtial;

Helios, as ider, andlbns, insteadoJ

Poseidonand Apolb (cntre) wouV oJtm

horses, pull the chaiot, ruallingthe linh

ad the Trojans, whilc Hqa anil Athena

Ares,Aphrodi? Ael),

fuween lzo anil the sun. (H{oEBUs
Arcrc By


EMoNRMEtrcANvs,c .1870)

noM SroruBrcM HoMER.
l8ll5 )

supporttt the Greek. orurmroN



LovERs oF Zr,us
is thc
op GRr,t,KN4yt-tIt)Lt)GY
s rRtKtNG
maritai conilict between the two chicf
and her
deities, Hera, an earth gc-rddess,
husband, Zcus, suprcmc power on
Olympus One of the most amorous gods in
mytholo gy,Zeus loved countlesswomen and he
courtcd them in as many forms, somctimesas a bull,
a s a s a t y r .a s a s w a n . s r r m c t i m c sa s a m o r t a l m a n ,
and erren in the form of a golden shower. Hera rvas
notoriously jealous and r,engeful,pursuing without
mercy his loversand their offspring.The antagonism
between the two could be viewed as a clashbetween
different religious traditions or local cults, each cult
recognizing a different lovcr who was often regarded
as the anccs[orof a ruling family
ANTIOPE (uhort), rlrughtir,r/u rrvergrtl,w(r\ior((1hl Zeustn tht lom LtJd sdtvr,d
gout-lihccrtaturt 5hc iorl hrn twlr soils,Atlphtotrurcl Zrlhus tlerc,Zus, dtstrtiscc,l
Eros,sucl grrd
ct vttuthlulsutl'r,gcnliv sfiaJrrAntrrpe/rom thr sunwhilcshcsicrpsbe-side

CALLI-S1-O (ahrrr'), /r,rlt nrrnph und


(()ntfdnl()il()/Atfttnl\ rn t/tr thrlSa trcts

t h ( ' \ h d 1 l i , / i r b c a L r t r / r lh u l l r . l t r , t n t t t g t d

l o \ a ( 1h

: r r i \ r t n t . /b o r r h t t t t c t s o n , A t i a s

lr.ghl) ucrs ir(rrr(/ l^ Zt'ti\ In

/ r r r n rl h t n t l l c s o n t l t a n t L t l h r t r n r l h r

-Shcw,us lhcn , hun(t r.l rnlo u bcur erlhcr la

st'a trr (.rtft

ZLus, wrshrrrg to hrclL htr lrom I lcra, or lry

srrns I ht' r'anous \tug6

Htru htrvll

A\ d btdr rhc was shol hv


rrprr'sr'ntcd htrt

bort hun Lhrtt
ol th( hdntu


on tht klt, ['uropu

Arl.mrs rn thr /orcsr aar.l wus plared among

nr()unl5 tLc bull tntouruged ht ls

fht stcrs ds tht 5h. Baar Hrre, surrounciccl

tcrflr'nrss On the nght, she ts homr

lrr th. t(rfhr( \ ry' thr Lhctsc,Arlemrs on,.l ht r

selulrlv Jown to rhr sea, w'rlh mrlnl Lltlt

m m p h s r o n r / o r t ( a i l r s t o p o s s r b i va f t er h i ' r

I:rotcs (Lrr sprnts) horenng rn lhr riry


I rnulh shc foats happiy

wrth th" ovemhclmtng god, Ztus

( l l h N AA \ r ) ( r \ | r \ r ( r t r I ' r r f RP 4 rr R rB t N \ ,
al\vAs l6J640 )


htr moukns

away, ltdvrng lo

(Trlr R{n ,r F( R(n'AB) I)^rrr)



/r r\nr\(,rr\rr)$1S{r\R8}Atr1)\rr(i)tsRr('(r),(r\l:A-\,


M YTTt o

childlry Semdt,apptarshtre
huggrnghis mothcr,whilc Apolkt
s t c r n Jhs w r t hu h u yt t r t ( l r t r i i t r '
raisedhts ntothrt
becanta goc,l,
to heavenand placedher arnongthe starsus
ThyoneThisEtmsrdnmitror is borderedwith iw,
which was l)tonysus' sutred plant (lrrr \ ru rr()Nrn()M
DRSvI Hs Cliss(il Dr(Ir()\ARY

DANAE below) u,usconfinedin a brazt'n tLtwer
lry her father whofearedan oracleprtdtctrng thut
ht woukl be hilledby o gundson In htr lout'r shs
n s/roxd ,
wds visiledby Zeusn tfu lonn oJa
anclbort hun o son, Pcrsrus When htr lttthtr
thebaby,ht tdsthothoJ thtm out to
seain a woodenchest,hut thq ftoattd ushorc
on the Isleol Senphoswherethqt wert rtt uttl
lry Dictls (llrr \rMrr()! Bl(rrr)Rc[,s(
T { \ ( , [ u ( x ) r ) T A l(t 5] 9 2 C 1

SEMELE (klt) encourugtd
14'Htro, ptrsuudtd
in all his qlenJour Whenh,'
Zcrs lo shor hrrnscl/
apptarttl beJorthcr as tht radiunt gil ttl thwtdtr
wasconsumediry thc /icrrnes
anrl lightning,-Senreic
unLl,dymg, gavcbrrth prtmuturdy to Diorrysus,
whom Zeussavedlrtnn tht Jirt In thrspowerful
veirion oJ the myth, thegeat godrodutes
Itery.bloodredhghtnrngA wingedchrldhtdrng
from thehght coulclbc Dionysus,whrle thet)arh,
homed godscemsto be a fusion oJ Hudrs und Pun
(l( filR4NrSl\1lrr

r) a,t\r4\'rM()RF;t (1\\1\







were very
earlyexplorers,mosr likely rhe first
Greek voyagers to the Black Sea
They sailed from Thessaly,where
their leader,TAsoN,was the nghtful
k r n g o f I o l c u s A c c o r d i n gt o r h e
myrh, Jason'sfather,Aeson, was
deposedby his half-brorherPelias,
who was wamed at the time how
he would in tum be overthrown by
a man wearing only one sandal In
order to protectJasonfrom Pe]ias,
Aeson had secrerlysent his son to
to educatethe young man,
iike many other heroes On reaching manhood,Jasondeterminedto
return to Iolcus and reclarm che
throne During the joumey, however, he was tested by the goddess
HERA,who was disguised as an old
woman She begged him to carry
her safelyacrossa swollen river,


THE ARGONAUTS (top) commissioned
Argus to build theArgo, a ship with th,enty
oars Hereht caruesout thestem,while
Athenamahessails Behindher,perchedon
a pillar, her sacredcreature,the owl,
symbolizesher wisdom (lLLUsrMroN


JASON (abne IeJt),helpsHera, disguised
as an old woman,dcrossthe stredm In the
cunent he losesa sandal, Julfilling parl oJ
an oraclethat ahalJ-shodman would tahe
Pehas'throne ThepeacochbesideHera
her all-seeingvision (ItusrurrcN

1924 )

IASON (abne), with Medea'shelp- she
anointshim wtth a salveto protect him
Jromlire and steel ploughstheJreldswith
the bulls oJ Aietes He was the fvst hero to
yohe thewlld and,Jiery credtures






which Jason did at the cost of one
of his sandals Thus the prophecy
was fulfilled: a man weannS only
one sandalarrived at lolcus to chalmade
lenge Pelias BecauseJason
his intentionsknown ar the time of
a religrousfestival,Peliascould not
krll his nephew wrthout the nsk o[
suffenng divine disfavour So the
king toldJason that he could have
the throne provided he obtained
rhe Golden Fleece,which was an
apparently impossible task This
miraculous fleece belonged to a
ram which had flown to Colchis, a

ARIADNE (qbove) hands the vital shetnto
Theseus,whirh allows hrm to trach his way
throughthe Itfuyinth AItu hilling the
bull-Iihebeast,the Minotdur, in the
Ltbynnth, he sailedaway with her, but
then desertedher on Dia, possiblybelieving
that shewasdestrnedto marry a god
(ir l l'srRAnoN

FRoM I Alcl


IAr Es, c

I 920 )

wamors to Join his expedition and
they became known as the
Argonauts, the crew of the ship
Argo Among their number were

Castor and Polydeuces,ORPHEUS
rhe poet, Calaisand Zetes the sons
and rhe hero HTMCLES
distant land identified wrth mod- of BoR-EAS
ern Georgia It hung from a tree Together they crossed a sea of
there, guarded by an enormous marvels, visited strange lands and
snake that never slept
overcame many obstaclesbefore
The DELPHICOMCLE encoul- reaching Colchis, where Hera used
the goddessof love APHRODITE
agedJasonro undertakethe quest
Hera inspired a group o[Thessa]ran make MEDEA,rhe seconddaughter


of King Aietes, fall in love with
Jason. The king hated Greek but
he kept his feelings hidden from
the Argonaus. He even consented
toJason's attempt to capture the
Golden Fleece. But first Aietes set
Jason a challenge that was intended
to result in his death. The hero was
required to yoke a team of firebreathing bulls, plough and sow a
field with dragon's teeth, and slay
the armed men who would at once
rise from the gound.
With the assistance of Medea's
skills in the magic arm, Jason
accomplished Aietes' task within a
single day. Bur the hng of Colchis
was not prepared to give up the
Golden Fleeceso easily. He secrerly
planned to attack the Argonaus,
who were wamed by Medea, now
Jason's lover. She employed her
magic once again to deal y"ith the
unsleeping snake,andJasonseized
the Golden Fleece The Argonaus
quickly rowed away from Colchis
with the fleece and Medea, whom
Jason had promised to marry once
back in Thessaly
The Colchian princessseemsro
have been associatedwirh rhe rires
of dismemberrnent as well as
magic, for during the pursuit of rhe
Argonauts across the Black Sea,
Medea slowed the Ileet of her hther
Aietes by hlling and cutring up her
own brother, Apsyrtus. Piecesof
Apsynus' body were thrown overboard, forcing the Colchians to
gather up the remains for a decenr
burial. t-ater, in Thessaly, Medea
also persuaded the daughters of
King Pelias ro cur rheir father to
pieces and boil him, so as ro rcsrorc
his youth. This they did, and in
hlling him avenged rhe disgrace of
Jason's htherAeson.
Jason and Medea led an unsertled life in Greece. After a few years
he deserted her for another
wonvul, butMedeahlled rhis riral
and her own children byJason.
Jason died in Corinrh as a result of
a rotten piece of rhe Argo hlling on
his head. Afterwards rhe gods
raised the ship to the skyand made

it into a constellarion. The Golden
Fleece also appear in the heavens
as the first constellarion of the
Tndiac, Aries the ram.
in Greek myrhology,
was the daughter of pestprl,4nand
King MINos, rhe ruler of Knossos
on the island of Crete. When the
Athenian hero THESEUS
came to
Knossos to pay the annual tribute
of seven young men and seven
girls, fuiadne gavehim a sword and
a skein of thread that allowed him
to escapefrom Daedalus'kbynnth
after a bloody struggle with the
dreaded bull-headed man, the
MINOTAUR.Theseus and Ariadne
then fled from Crete. but for some
unknown reason the hero abandoned the princess on the nearby
island of Dia. The desened princess
may then have become the wife of
DloNysus, rhe god of ecsmsy and
wine. Local legend would suggest
such a connection, although the
whole story of the Minotaur was
probably no more than a garbled

version offar older tales of the spon
of bull-leaping, which dated from
the pre-Greekera of Cretan history.
Dionysus himself was known to
the Greeks as "the roanng one", a
"bull-homed god" who was full of
powerand feniliry.


was rhe daughter of
the Tiraness LETOand ZEUS,and
the rwin sisrer of APoLLo. She was
in all likelihood averyancient deity
whom the Greeks adopted as goddess of the wild Traces of human
sacrifice could still be found in her
worship. Most of all, Anemis liked
to roam the mountains with a companion band of nymphs Cenainly
the virgin goddess resented any
kind of inmrsion into her domain,
or any harm done to her favourite
animals. For killing a sug sacred to
Artemis. the leader of the Greek
expedition against Troy, King
AGAMEMNONof Mycenae, found
his fleet sranded by contrary winds


ARTEMIS,virgin goddess
theloveor attentions
men WhenthehunterActaeon
thenude,bathingwithhu nymphs,
indignantlytumedhimintoa sta&which
wassetuponfo hisownhounds(Durrrro
atAulis. Only a promise to sacrifice
his daughter PHIGENIAwas enough
to appeasethe goddess,although
there are differing accounts as to
whether the girl was acually hlled.
Another monal punished by
Anemis was ACTAEON.He had the
misfonune while hundng to come
upon the goddess as she was
bathing She changed him into a
stag and he was chased and tom
apart by his own hundng dogs.
However, according to a different
version, Actaeon actually tried to
approach the naked goddess
hidden beneath a stag's pelt
To the Romans, Artemis was
closely identified with their goddess Diana, who was also a goddess
of light as well as of the wild.




Jatho, AateasCloseby,in a mantleoJ
wttha spngof
the CentaurCHIRoN, whose Imowledge was so great that zEUshimself
fearedthat Asclepius mrght leam a
way of overcomrng death. When he
did succeed in resurrecdngone of
his patients, Zeus decided that
Asclepius should be punished for
threatening the gods' monopoly
over immortality. Asclepius was
slain by a thunder-bolt, but at
Apollo's request the god of medicine was placed among the stars, zls
Ophiuchus, the serpent-bearer.
So impressed were the Romans
with Asclepius' cult that during a
time of plague they requested aid
from Epidauros and a sacredsnake
was duly shipped to Rome.

was rhe son o[
The family ofJulius Caesar,rhe
AENEASand Creusa According to Julii, claimed descent from Aeneas
the Romans, he founded the city of through Ascanius, who was also
AIba Longa thirry-rhree years after called Iulus llus ("made of llium"),
the arrival of the Trojan refugeesin
Ilium being the old name for Troy
Italy. An altemadve radirion makes
Ascanius' mother l-avinia, a l-atin ASCrnPtuS,
the Greek god of
princess whose marriageto Aeneas healing, was rhe son of epotto,
brought peace and unity to the god of prophecy, and the lake
L-arinand Trojan peoples. It was in nFmph Coronis. In myrhology he
her honour that Aeneas founded is a somewhat shadowy figure,
Lavinium within three years of which suggess his late arrival as a
landing. This would mean that major deiry. fuclepius would seem
Ascanius was hng of lavinium fol- to have been a Thessalianhealer
Iowing Aeneas' death, and before whose skills became known
he left to take up residence in a throughout Greece: his cult evennew ciry at Alba Longa. Early rilalry
tually took over the sanctuary at
between the two cities probably Epidauros in the Peloponnese
explains the removal myth.
Sacred snakes resident there were


in Greek mythArnreNfn,
olory, was the daughter of Iasus of
Arcadia and was known as a
famous hunness. As an unwanted
daughter she was exposed and left
to die on a mounainside, bur was
suckled by a bear and later brought
up by hunters. This experience
may have inclined her to manly
pursuits. She even tried to enlist
but fiSOw
believed to embody the god's heal- with the ARGONAUTS,
ing power. The ancient associadon refused herbecause the presenceof
between snakes and medicine is one woman on rhe ship mighr
probably due to the snake's appar- causejealousies amongst them.
Atalanra's most famous myth
enr abiliry to renew its youth each
concems the lengths to which she
year by sloughing off is own shn.
Only the stories of Asclepius' went to avoid marriage. She said
birth and death were ever well rhat her husband must first beat
known to the Greek and Romans. her in a race and any man who lost
When Coronis dared to take in would be put to death. Despite the
secret a monal as a second lover, an awful consequence of losing, there
enraged Apollo sent his sister were many who admired Atalana's
beauty and paid the price against
ARTEMISto kill the lake nymph
with a disease. However, as the herspeed. None could catch her,
although they ran naked while she
flames of the funeral pyre bumed
Coronis, Apollo felt sorry for his was fu\ clothed Finally, the love
unbom son and removed him from goddess ernnoorn took piry on a
the corpse. Thus was Asclepius young man named Melanion and
bom..He was taught medicine by provided him with a way to delay


somerimesArhene, rhe
daughter ofzrus and rhe Titaness
gredtesthealer,AsclepiuswasglJted wrth
Metis, was the Greek goddess o[
war and crafts Although a fierce
mtraculousp(Nters,oncercune(ling d
mortalJrom death His attibutes, stafl and
urgin like ARTEMIS,she did not
shun men but on the contrary
setwL sign{ypowerandrnaval oJhJe
1995 )
delighted in being a city-goddess,
most notably at Athens. This city
Atalanta. She gave him three adopted her cult when an olive tree
golden apples, which he placed at grew on its acropoiis: the other
different points on the course
diune nval for worship was rhe god
who produced only a
Curiosiry gor the better o[Atalanta, POSEIDON,
who stopped three times to pick spnng of brackish water Arhena
up the apples So Melanion won sprang into being fully grown and
the race and Atalancaas a wife. Bur armed from the head of her father
in his hasre to make love to her, Zeus, afrer he had swallowed the
Melanion either forgot a vow to pregnant Metis The smith god
Aphrodite or consummated their HEPFIAISTOS
assistedrhe birrh wirh
union in a sacredplace To pay for a blow from his axe Quire likely
the sacrilegeboth he and Aralanta this intervention accounts for her
were tumed into hons.
title of Hephaistia,rhe companion
of the smith god. Athena's symbol
was the wrse owl, which featured
athletichuoine,Joundhermatch on Athenian coins. The Romans
in theequally
idendfied her wirh MINERvA,a godresourceJul
dessofwrsdom and the arts.
An early myth relares how
sW themonstrous
Hephaistos tned to rape Athena
To avoid losing her virginity, she
TALB c 1920 )
ASCLEPIUS, Greehgod oJhealing tends
a man on his sichbedA sonof ApoIIo,the


miraculously disappearedso rhat
the semen of the smith god fell to
the ground, where it grew into the
serpent Erichthonius The three
daughterso[ Cecrops,the semiserpent who first ruled Athens,
were given a box by Athena and
told not to look inside it Ignoring
this command, two of them looked
inside, found themselves gazing
upon Erichthonius, and went
insane However, Athena connnued to protect Athens. Although
ATHENA, goddess
oJwisdomarul craJts,
the ciry fell into enemy hands dur- guidedand helpedherJavouites Here she
ing the Persianinvasion of Greece visits thehero Bellerophonwith a g'Jt - the
in 480-479 nc, the Athenians later bndlewith whichto tameand mount tht
went on to achievemasteryof the wingedhorse,Pegdsus{tulsrmn,r rr,,v
seaand found their own empire It SToRrEs FRoM GREECE AND RoME, ,l930 )
was during this period that the
Parthenon was built on the hero took over his job of holding
Athenian acropolis
up the sky When Atlas returned
Athena was alwaysregarded by wrth the appleshe suggestedthat
the Greeks as an active goddess, he should deliverthem himself, as
involved in the affairs of men She Heracleswas doing so well The
helped several heroes such as hero pretended to agreeand then
JAsON,HERACLES askedifAt]as would take the world
for a moment so that he could
and prRsrus Also, it was she who
eventuallygot ODYSSEUS
back to adjust the weight on his shoulder,
the island of Ithaca, followrng his so tncking Atlas into resuming his
epic voyagehome from the Trojan lonely duty (SeealsoGIANTS)
War PerhapsAthena's most significant aid was given ro the
Not only did condemned
matncide ORESTES
to shouldutheheavms
she offer him protection, but she aspunishment
also arranged for him to be rried Zeus (Iuvsrunou moM DrcnoNAfr oF cwsrql
and acquitted of his terrible crime ANrreurilE, i89l )
by the ancient court o[ the
Areopagus,in Athens The verdict
meant an end to the blood-feud,
not leastbecausefor the firsr nme
even the FURIES
deliverancefrom guilr
ATIAS was a rlTAN, rhe son o[
Iapetus and the Oceanid Cl)'mene
He was thought by the ancient
Greek to hold up the sky, and his
name means"he who cames" His
most famous encounter was wirh
the hero HEMCLES,one of whose
labours was to obtain the golden
apples of the HESPERIDES,
guardiansof the fruit that morher
earrh, GAIA,presented ro HERAar
her mamage LozEUs Atlas offered
to fetch them for Heracles if the



was the son o[ prLops,
an early king after whom the
Peloponnesein southern Greeceis
named, and Hippodaemia The
house of Atreus was infamous for
rhe heredimry curse laid upon it by
the son of urRvrs, rhe messenger
god A terrible cycie of murder and
revengewas ended only by the tnal
Ln Arhens of Atreus' grandson
oREsTEson a charge of matricide

ATREUS, sonoJPelops,cherisheda golden
ram, a double-edgedglJt of the god Hermes
The godgave thecovetedtreasureto Atreus,
hopingto sowstiJe and discordm the
houseoJ Pelops,in revengeJor the murder
oJ his son,Myrtilus
(ll r usrMroN

By NrcK BTAIE, 1995 )

Family misfortune stemmed
from the action of Pelops, the
fatherofAreus He seemseither to
have brought about the death of
Hermes' son Myrtilus, or to have
caused him great grief by refusing
to make a promised gift Fnctron
berween the sons of Pelops,
Arreus, Thyestesand Chrysippus,
arose about the ownership of a
golden ram, a wondrous animal
placed in Atreus' flock by Hermes
First, Chrysippus was murdered by
Atreus and Thyestes,then Thyestes
seducedAerope, the wrfe of Atreus,
in order to gain her help in seizing BELLEROPHON swoopsdownJor the hiII
the golden ram An enragedAtreus on his wingedhorse,Pegasus,diving
throughthe smoheandJlamesoJ thefireslew Aerope and exiled Thyestes
At a banquet supposedly for breathingChimaera,a monsterwith the
reconciliation, Atreus served his t'orepartoJa lion, thehindpart ol a dragon
brother Thyestes with the flesh of and its middleJormedfrom a goot
his children When Thyestes had (lrlr,srMroN FROM TANGTTmD TAL6, c i920)


finished eating, Atreus showed his
brother rhe hands and feet of his
dead sons and told him what he
had consumed ln horror the sun
halted in its course Thyesres'only
survmng son, Aegisthus, may have
slain Atreus in revengefor this outrage Cenanly he became the lover
of cryrrvNrslRa, whose husband
was the eldest son of
Atreus and his successoras king of
Mycenae, or Argos. Not until
Clytemnestra and Aegisthus had
murdered Agamemnon, and were
rhemselveshlled by Agamemnon's
did the curse of
Myrtilus come to an end

BOREAS, oneoJtheJour wnds, blewJrom
the north, whistling through his conch He
oJtn helped sailorsilth aJiendlJ breeze
Alongwtth his brother winds, Eurus,
Zephyrusand Notus,he wasdepicLedLnthe
TempleoJWinds (llusrunoN FRoM


i895 )

Proteusdspatched Bellerophon ro
southem Asia Minor, where he was
supposedto meet his end, but service in the local hng's lorces saved
his life Mounted on Pegasus,the
hero was able to overcome the
monsuous Chimaera,defeatneighbouring peoples, including the
Amazons, and even become the
champion of Lycia A constelladon
was a Greek was named after his fabulous
hero from the city of Corinth and winged horse
Two mlescast a cenain shadow
the son of Glaucus. He possessed
a wonderful winged horse named over Bellerophon's character. In the
PEGAsus,which had sprung out of firsr he is credited with a brutal
the GoRGoNMedusa's blood when revenge on the false Argive queen.
The By pretending that he really loved
she was beheadedby PERSEUS
goddessATHENAgave Bellerophon her, Bellerophon persuaded the
queen to elope with him on
a specialbridle in order to help him
Pegasus,only to pushher off the
tame Pegasus.
Bellerophon's problems began, winged horse's back in mid-air.
as his own name indicates, with a The second nle almost ends in the
murder He evidently killed an hero's death when he attempted to
fly ro Mount Olympus, the home
important Corinthian becausein
exile he changed his name from of the gods. zEUs in anger caused
Pegasusto unseat Bellerophon,
Hipponous to Bellerophon ("hller
of Bellerus") Although he was who was lamed for life.
given refuge in Argos by King
Proreus, rhe passion of the local BORBS. the nonh wind. was the
queen Stheneboeafor him caused son ofEos, the goddessofdawn,
further difficulties, and not least and the Titan Asraeus. His home
becausehe steadfastlyrejected her was rhought to be Thrace, which is
siuated to the nonh of theAegean
advances.Srheneboea accused him
of attempted rape and the enraged Sea. In contrast to Zephynrs, the


gende west wind, Boreaswas capable of great dessucdon. During the
Persian invasion of Greece, he
helped the Greek cause by damaging the Persianfleet at the battle of
Anemisium in 480 sc
Boreas abducted Orithyia, a
daughter of King Erechtheus of
Attica. Coming across Onthyra
dancing near a stream, he then
wrapped her up in a cloud and
canied her off to Thrace. She bore
Boreas twin sons, Calais andZrtes,
who were lcrown as the Boreades
At birth these boys were enrirely
human in appearance,but later
they sprouted golden wings from
their shoulders. Theywere hlled by
the geat hero HEMCLES.
Boreas was worshipped in the
city of Athens, where an annual
festival, known as the Boreasmi,
was celebratedin his honour

Itst,in desryir,shelmptintothesea
ottangledin some
ho intoa god&ess

which means "net"

(I[UsIMfloN BYNICXBuE. 1995)

("sweet maid")
was said to be the daughter of
zEUS.She lived on the island of
Crete, where she spent her rime as
a hunuess l(ng MINos of Knossos
tried to make Britomanis his mistress But she fled from him and in
her desperation to preserve her
virginiry threw herself off a clilf into
rhe sea. The lcng finally gaveup the
pursuit when the Cretan goddess

sought sanctuary in the sacred
grove ofARTEMtS,
and becameher
close associate The myth is almost
certainly an account of the amalgamation of rwo ancient culs.


BRUTUS, thefirst consuloJthe new
republicoJ Rome,condemnshis sonsto
deathJor isingagainst the gwemment
Brutus, 4s his name implies,t'agned
idioq but was noJool; wrse\ and duttfuIly,
he led the tial againsthis rebelsons

BRUTUS was said to be the son
of Tarqurnia, who was rhe sister o[
He was the
founder of the Roman Republic
Like most Roman myths, the story
o[ Lucius Junius Brutus lays
emphasison dury to the sute, even
though in this instance it invojved
the sacrifice of two sons. Dunng
the early part of his life Bnrtus was
regarded as a simpleton, which his
name implies. Indeed, he was
something of a joke in the court of
Tarquinius Superbus, the last
Elruscan king to rule Rome When
a snake was found in the king's
palace, two princes travelled to
Delphi to ask the Oracle to explain
this event and Bruus accompanied
them almost in the role of a jester.
The Oracle told the Romans that
the first person in the delegation to
hss his mother would be the next
ruler of Rome. The princes drew
loa to decide who was to hss their
mother on their retum home, but
Brutus tnpped and kissed the
earth, much to their amusement.




,I885 )

Shortly after their return to
Rome, the youngest prince raped
LULRLItA. a Koman matron. r nls
act of violation was the lasr srraw
for the oppressed Roman aristocracy, especiallywhen it was leamed
rhat Lucreria had subbed hdrselfto
death The outrage was cleverly
used by Brutus as a means of overthrowing the monarchy and setting
up a republic. The now eloquent
Brutus was elected consul, one o[
the rwo highest offices of scate.But
this fulfilment of the Oracle was
soon to cause him grief, when a
conspiracy to restore Tarquinius
Superbus to the throne was found
to have the suppon ofTitus and
Tiberius, rwo of Brutus'own sons
As he was the chiel magistrate,
Brutus, with great digniry, oversaw
their arrest, trial and executlon
Thus, at the moment of the new
Republic's triumph, the qplcally
Roman idea of self-sacrificeappears
as part of is foundation myth.




are in fact a number o[ ancient
accounts o[ Phoenicianactiviryin
the Aegean Sea For instance, on
the island of Cythera,which lies off
the southem Peloponnese,a shrine
to Aphrodite is known to have
been erected based on the goddess'schief temple in Phoemcra.

snafuandgrwlsby the
mouthoJHodesA threz-headed
SCE OMCLE5 AND witha snahe
for a uil, heallowedno
to retumJromthedead,though
Ju slippedby wtththehelpol thegds Hts
see Lowks oF zEUs
darhdn openedontotheStyt(alongwhxh
theikad Qrusrunop
was rhe daughrer GUNN
5w m.1995
of pruaivl,krng of Troy, and his wife
Hecuba. Herbeaurywas asremark- AGAMEMNON,to whom she was
able as her power of prophecy, awarded as part of his share of the
which was said to have been a gift spoils But ultimately Cassandra
CADMUS sowsthe teeth oJa dragon he
from APoLLo,who loved her, but had her revenge on the Greeks.
has slain, and instantly the soil bnstles wtth
becauseshe refusedhis advances When Troy fell, she had sought
was rhe son ofAgenor, armed wantors, who sping up to attnch
he condemned her to prophesy the sanctuaryin ATHENA'stemple but
i<rngof Phoenicia,and Telephassa, eachother OnlyJivesuwived,to become
was raped, and so the goddess
rruth but never ro be believed.
and the brother of ruRop,r When
ancestos oJthe Thebans,whosecity
Cassandraforetold the Trojan punished this sacnlegeby killing
Europa was forcibly taken to Crete CadmusJoundedon the site
War, the true purpose of the many of the Greeks during rheir
by zEUs, disguised as a bull, (IIU5IMIIoN 8Y NICX BAE, 1995 )
Wooden Horse and the murder of voyagehome However, Cassandra
Cadmus and his four brothers were
met her own end at the hands of
sent after her, wrth instructionsnot that the Theban aristocracy was CASSANDM,/rcnnd seer,
Jleesthrough Agamemnon's wife CLYIEMNESTM
to return home without her. descended from the five wamors bumingTrq,aghast
dt thesightolho an
Although the five Phoenician who survived the mutual slaughter predictionsGiJtedwtthpropheq,she
princes failed in their task, they
After a penod of penance for clearly
see FouNDERs
seem to have had an impact on the killing Ares' serpent, Zeus gave hcheryoJtheWoodetHorse,
places where they eventually set- Cadmus a wife - none other than believed
according to Greek
ho Jor shewasJatedto beignored CeNfeUnS,
tled Cadmus himself was told by Harmonia, the daughter of Ares (IuusrMfloN BvNrcK BilE, 1995)
mythology, were said to be the
the Oracle at Delphi to forget about and epuRoottr, goddessoflove
descendanmof xlo,v, son of ARE5.
Europa and instead find a cowwith
Since he was marr;nnga goddess,
These strange creatures had the
a moon-shaped mark on its flank
the gods themselvesartended the
head, arms and chestof a man but
He was to follow the animal and wedding and gavewonderful gifts
the legs and lower half of a horse
build a city on the spot where it
The unusual union o[ mortal and
They lived in Thessaiy,fed on meat
chose to lie down and rest Har,rng immortal was not blessedby parand were given to riotous behavfound the cow and followed it east- trcularly success[ul offspring,
iour They were usually depicted as
wards to Boeotia,where at last it
however One of their descendans,
drunken followers of ololysus,
sank in exhaustion,Cadmus then Pentheus,suffereda homble fate
except for wise CHIRONwho was
sent some o[ his men for warer so Having insulted DIoNYsus,he was
the tutor to severalheroes,includthat they might sacrificethe animal tom to piecesby the god's female
to ATHENA But rhesemen were worshippers when he spied on
attacked by a serpent sprung from
their secret rites. Among the frenthe war god enrs After Cadmus zred worshippers was Pentheus'
was a three-headed
had killed the monster, the god- own mother, Agave, the daughter
hound, the offspringof rwo mondessAthena adnsed him to remove of Cadmus and Harmonia
and Echidna He was
its teeth and sow half of them in
The ancient Greeks always
the watchdog of the Greek underworld and stopped anyone trying
the ground lmmediately,armed acknowledged the importance oI
men arose,but wrly Cadmus rhrew Cadmus' reign, hence, his divrne
ro rerum to the land of rhe living.
stones among them so that, sus- wife He was credited with the
One of grRacLES'labours was ro
pecting each other, they fell upon introduction from Phoenicia of an
fetch Cerberus,a challengethe god
themselves lt was later believed alphabet o[ sixteen letters There
of rhe dead. uenrs. allowed him ro




CHIRON (elt) instructstheyouthJul
Achillesin the afts oJwar, medicine,
hunting, musrcand propheq Uniihe his
brother Centdurs,who Lndulgedin iotous
revelnes,Chiron was notedJor his wisdom
oFA( Hill I t 0v
and gtntleness(THrEr)uGlloN
PoMPEo BAToNr, aANn-s, c


CtNctNNerUS wasa Roman
hero who was instrumentalin saving the early Republic ln 458 nc,,
Romc was in danger of berng
d c s t r o l ' e db ; r h e A c q u i . a n ei g h bounng lralian tnbe To defeatthis
threat,the Senatevoted to appolnr
C i n c i n n a t u sa s d r c t a t o r ,a t e m
poraryofficevcstcdrvith unlimired
powers A deputationwas senr ro
his small farm, rvhich was the
s m a l l e s tl a n d h o l d i n ga l l o w e d t o
quah$'for citizenshrpThe senators
found Crncrnnatusar work tending
hi< , r,rn< Hr

u'as rnld 6[ thg

S en a r e ' s d e c r s i o n a n d r ' " . a ss a l u t e d
as dictaror However. the plebeians,
thc ordinary people, feared that
( in, Lnnatusmight abuse his pos-fheir
fears proved groundless
and, after the dcfeat o[ the Aeqr-ri.

Crncinnatus a golden

wreath at the end of his sixty days
of office He then returned to his
fields and was remembered as the
perfect example of a r'rnuous and
dutilul Roman citizen

CINCINATTUS, oneoJthe mostmodest
oJ Romanheroesand a modeloJ Roman
integnry AIter 60 daystn ot'fice,he quietly
to hlsJanfl (lrrr,rtqtn,".",,u
5r()Rlr5 rR()MIr\ry, 188-5)

undertake,but only on condition
thar he was unarmed Like thc
Cerberuswas so dreadful to behold that anyone who
looked upon him was turned to
stone He was brother to the Hydra
and the Chimaera
CHTRON was rhe son of PhilJra,
daughter of ocEANos, and the
Titan CRoNoS,who had adopted
the form of a horse to hide from his
wrfe RHrAhis passion for Phillra,
which is why Chiron had the

a p p c a r a n cocf a r y p i c a (l . E N t A t r R ,
wlth the body and legsof a horsc,
and the armsand hcad of a rnan
His unusualparentagcexplains
why Chiron was so wrse, unlikc
other Centaurs,for he was leamcd
i n m u s i c ,m e d i c i n e h
, untingand
warfare He was a fnend of 'cPot-trl
and the ruror ro several Greek
heroessuch asACHILLES,
andTeso,v He lived rn a cave on
Mount Pelionin
when he died zru-sscr him rn thc
slryas the constellationCentaurus




HE MYTHS OF ALL CULTUREScontain inspiring


who express ideal traits and talens, such as the courage

of Achilles, might of Heracles, wit of Odysseus and
endurance of Oedipus. A classic hero is a champion
rn every sense, overcomrng trials, ridding the world of
troublemakers , blazrng trails and winning through
despite all the odds. Yet he is neither inr,ulnerablenor
immortal, though often helped, and sometimes
hindered, by the gods. Greek mythology is
unusually rich in heroes and heroines of every kind.
Some, such as Achilles and Hector, are wartime
champions; others, such as Odysseus or Theseus,
are heroes for peacetime, some are positive and
outgoing, such as Heracles or Perseus; still others
are heroes of attitude rather than action, such as
Oedipus, Antigone, or Hector, who, at the end,
remained steadfastin the face of hopeless defeat.
who racedaway wth his
HEMCLES (bdow) shootshis poisonedanows at his oldJoe, the Centaur Nessu.s,
wile, Deuntru, whik lerrying her acrosstheiver EvenusThe dying Centaur olJeredDeianira the glJtof his
bloodus u sulvelor prcseruingthe loveo[ HeraclesThe lovephiltre provedto be a futal tnch Lrywhich Heracles
tlied manyyears later, tragcally, by the handsoJhis insecurebut loting wife, Deiantra, who in her sorrow
h i l l e d h e r s t(llll.r R ( L U s ^ N r ) N r \ \ L r \ a i F R A N : \ ( ) N - s r r i . r k , . ^ N v A s l 8 6 J l 9 2 8 )

(above), best hnow Jor his mighry labour:, was aII his hJea
helper oJ godsand men, setting theearthJree oJmany monstus and rascak

Worshrypedas a heroand deity,he was invohedas d saviour;as the herooJ
labourand strug,le,he waspatron deity oJthe gmnasium In art he appears
as the ideal oJ manly strength, wrth massivemusclesand graveocpression This
celebratedGreehsculptureshowsthehero in reposeleantngon his club, draped
c 200Bc)
wth thefamous lion's shin (THLFANrsri



A C H I L L I . S ( a b o v c ) . y 9 J l i h eh c r r r u n d p c e r l t ' s s u t n r o r w u r l l l l d o r i r u / / y , t / i r g u i s e c r. lr ' r r { r f / r n h r \ r r r r i t h H i i t L r r r r r
t n o t h r t , f l t r t t r . t r r r / t t r t g1 i r\ d 1 c h r n r / r r ) r i f h ( l f ( ) / d n \ l ' c l , l r r r / l r r r l d r ) ) ( l t ( \ l r l t d r r L r q i r rt ,r r r / l - \ r r , r r r r t L r 1 r 1-1\ 1 1 1 1 , rf 1 1 1 1 1
( ) d _ y s s e t r s L r r n t , d t s t r r r s r J a s d l l r r ' r i h d n t , la/ rn,cr .wl ' c J t h c t r r / s l r w r l sr l r r \ \ r \ . u r J L m r r \ ( ) r r i r , 4 , h r / i r . \ i ' l i a r f/ / r ( ( t r l r j
eagerlv, suJJcnly n,ulrtrns iris trur rlr and nit, m hlt

Hc l/rr rr arconrpanrr i./ Odlsirrr

lrr Inl

PI:RSIU.S, guded tnJ nnrdtd hv tfu gods,utii rble ro
thc nrorla/Crrr-qorr
,\Icdusa,orr ,y'thrri /rrtht/Lrl
stslcrswlrrrlwt:lt rtntfu larLhest
sh,,n,11tht orrut. untl
tthosf l()()lis
lutned mot lrr\lol1{'lJ}rvicvingMlr.lururn hrs
s h r n r nrql r r t L iP e r r ' r rn t r sa b l cl o , r i tr y ' / h ehrr a , / u s h r
rltpt Hrtltitn lry thr rnrrrrbl he/nrtr ,y'Hadcshr /ior to
gilcn hirn,lry/he n-ynr|hr
on wtnuL:cl
\lcdusu r /l ctclrvrtsplrrrt J rrnAlhuru r hreasfllrtr rl
J\rr\ i



t r i r i r ! \ i i ) \ I r , r J ' I \ f , ( L I ! , . 1r l i


, ; r 1 , 1



( . L O F , I l A l r r h r l r ' . t ,l i o r r r r r nh L r r , r r r , $ t r s
$lrr1 rt\ d itoildg

. / A S O N i , r / r r r i ) t / r r ' rr ' / r ' h r c i t r '(r(j/ l ) l ( / i r )r r / t h t . \ r r l r r r r r r l :

l() fhf lrllli\(d|,

r ' n r b a r / rr . /r ) r i t , q l 1 t / lt r , / i r l f r l l

L r t r s / ) , r r s L r r n ur,/ r 0 r r r t / r i l r ( | | / t / r ! . r

(lgdinst ll()nr( But \h( (lup(d

lr(nn hr tttmp unr.l swcrm


lrr hrrrv hut /l tltr (,oltkrt

was sus7;rrrr.lcr./fru
r rbnr u n t h o l t t n d t h h 1 (

l i O R A T I t r . S ' i ? h r ) \Ir / r r d 1 r ' R , r r l u r/ r Lr o h i l , l r l r ,
\ t t b l t ,t r t t t/ J i l r i L tI t l l t l r ! r r( ( ) l ] i l ( t r \l ( r l q . / t i t \ l/ / t r / t l l l l s ( r 0 )
r t r m t , W / r / r ' h t h t l , l o l l l h r ' F l r u s r r r r r s ,l h r i l r r r r r r r r rhsa r h r r /

d( rllst lhr / r,b0 lrr lirrrrrr \{rhen l/rt ii()ritdI\ \r,Il }tr'i bd( li

5l r t s g r r ' u f l r r l t , r r r I i chj
t t t t l t r g r r t l r / , \ r t r r r r( ' r 1 1 J 1 1

t it c b l , l t r

t r ) I ) a r A d t i t d ,h a r " d s r , , / ( { h r ' nn L / t r I L ( / l / d r f n , t l r r t l h a \ c l

r \ t t / r : s l, l r r h r r r q i y ' ( r r l i r r s l V r t / rt l r r h L l p o l 1 p , t 1 7 , 1 1, ,t ' , , t n

l i l \ r ( ) f r i ( i r /\r H ( ) r r / l i r i r\ l , l l l . r j r r r r r r o r t r lt j r , j r r r , l ( , / , l l

htr lrct'wtlh:ornc

ot|rr hoslagi,s rirrri guvc htr t spk'nJitl

h r r t r e l J r ' r r r h c r r d r r l r r l r r p h a l r l h t , , f r r r J o n r n ' r l i rh L r
r ( ) n l p t l l l l { ) l l \i r . r r i \ i , ' .r r ' | \ ' , , ,

, , . t l i , . rl 5 r ,

l h t s r r r ri r r ' s s, \ I c d c a ,J t r r r r l r t c r r t l t h

L t n g o l ( . r r i ri r r s / a s r r n

, J r r t n r t r l l r , ' L i T r f l r r Lr r r r r u f i h / r r / r / r i r g o n l h r r r r r r r l i i t d l l r ,

h r ' h r r r Jh r r r r r l l j l

l t ( ( ) J L / l ) \J( I I , r r r r L , ' , l r / r r r ,h

l l t r ' n / t r ' s r [ 0 n l d \ . ] / r t \ ' ( r (f 1 r \ \ l / r r r r t g r r r gI t l l r , , r r r r r Jr l 0 r r V

1 / t , \ f t t t c r , r i l ( ( 1 r\ tl { t l r i rr r ) l | 5 i t ( ) | 1 ) | irl t t / t (



(abwe), the estrangd

CIRCE Q4t), an enchantingnynph,


inites Odysseusb dnnhJrom ho maglc

wife oJAgamonnon, watchesand waitslor

cup, containingd potion which tums men
into swine But Odysseushas ben

the shipsfrom Troy,binglngho husband
home Yet no hero's welcomeawaits the

forewamed and, immunized with the herb
moly, he dnnls wtthout coming to ham

murder by his wrJeandher lover



TALEs, C I92O)

retumingwarior, onlybetrayaland




CtnCr, daughter of ruruos, the
sun god, was a powerful witch who
had porsoned her husband, hng of
the Sarmatians,before going to rhe
fabulous island of Aeaea.Her magmen
ical powers tumed ODY55EU5'
into swine when they landed on
Aeaea on their way home from
the mesTroy. Aided by HERMES,
senger god, Odysseuswas immune
to Circe's magic and restored his
crew to human form, and also
gained the witch's aid for the next
part of his joumey For ayearhe

either as sacrificial wars. He said that unless the pledess ARTEMIS,
beians, the ordinary people, were
victim or as pnestess
Like her sister HELEN,whose willing to restore to the nobiliry is
was the
daughter ofrpoe and Tyndareos, elopement with PARIScaused the full ancient privileges they should
king ofsparta, and the estranged Trojan War, Clytemnestra felt no expect no charity Hounded from
Mfe of eceurMNoN. Sometimes loyalry towards her husband. She Rome for such an opinion, he
openly conducted an affair with joined the Volsci and evenrually Ied
she is poruayed as a weak woman,
easily persuaded by her lover Aegisthus, Agamemnon's cousin, a Volscian army against the ciry. All
Aegisthus to assistin the murder of and ruled Mycenae with him. The seemed lost until his mother
end of the war required desperate Volumnia spoke to him, asking
her husband on his return from
the Trojan War Otherwise it is measures.When he rerumed home Coriolanus whether he saw her as
Clytemnestra who rs the strong Agamemnon was butchered by his own mother or as a prisoner of
character,the insdgator of the mur- Aegisthus, usinga wo-headed axe, war. As a result he quit the battleder, while Aegisrhusis little more while Clytemnestra had him en- field and went into exile.

stayed as her lover, before she told
him how to navigate through the
waters o[ the Sirens and between
Scylla, a monster, and Charybdis, a
whirlpool. Srylla had been a nval of
Circe, who had rumed her into a
monster when one of her many
lovers had shown an interest in the
unfortunate girl ln some accounts,
Circe eventuallymanied Odpseus'
son Telemachus.

than a weakling Even before the
the Greek force departed for Troy,
Clytemnesrra already had good
reason to hate her husband. In
order to gain a fair wind to Troy, he
agreed to sacrifice her favourite
child tpntcrruin Even though the
champion ACHTLEShad promised
to defend the grrl againstall threats,
rhe Greek host had its way and
lphigenia was offered to the god-



ungled in a net For this terrible
crime, Clytemnestra was herself
hlled by her son oREsrEs

in Greek mythology,
was the brother o[Jocasta and a
reluctant ruler of Thebes He was
wasalegendary regent during the uncertain period
Roman traitor o[ the fifth century afrerKing LAIUS,
BC Conscious above all of his had been killed near the ciry Creon
noble birth, Coriolanus objected to offered the throne and the hand of
the Senate'swish to distribute free Jocastato any man who could solve
and thus
bread to poorer citizens, who were the nddle of the SPHINX
starving becauseof Rome's endless rid Thebes of this bloodthirsty



was a com god whom they associated with the Golden Age

As a result of this act of defiance,
Creon hadAnngone walled up in a
cave. lne seer llRt5iAStoro Lreon
to bury the dead and disinter the
living, but he refused The result
was personalgnef, when his own
son committed suicide on leaming
of Antigone's dearh, and hts own
wrfe soon followed suit
monsrer. jEDIPIIS managed ro
Although Creon was well
achieve the apparently lmpossible known ro the ancient Greek, his
task, then took over the kingdom, own characterseemslessimponanr
in myth than his role as regent in
marriedJocastaand raiseda family
Not until a piague threatened the troubled ciry of Thebes.
Thebes and the Delphic Oracle was
consulted about irs cause,did ir CRONOS, in Greek myrhology,
become known thatJocasrawas was the son of Ouranos, the sky
Oedipus' mother and that he had god, and GAIA,rhe earth morher.
lolled L-aius.Oedipus blinded him- With the help of Gaia, Cronos
self,Jocastacommitted suicide and emasculatedOuranos and seized
Creon became regent once more.
control of the universe He then
A quarrel between Oedipus' married his sister nHEAand folsons, Eteocles and Polynices, Iowed the example of Ouranos in
caused another penod of dismay, disposing of his children by swaleventually leaving both of them lowrng them, becausehe had been
dead and Creon on the throne. wamed that he would be displaced
Whereas Eteocleswas regardedby byone ofhis sons Rhea,however,
Creon as a patriot and properly gavehim a stone wrapped in swadbuned, the body of the rebel dling clorhesinsteadof the infanr
Polynices was thrown outside the ZEUS,his youngest son, who was
city walls and forbidden burial. taken secretlyto Crete in order to
Such a situationwas unaccepmble gow up safelyon the island When
a Roman
againsthisoA cirywithandmy oJ
until visitedbyhismother(centre),

to ANTIGONE,Oedipus' daughter
and companion during his wandenngs around Greece,and on her
retum to Thebes she sprinkled
Poll'nices' corpse with earth, so as
to give her brother a token burial

Zeus came ofage, he forced Cronos
to vomit up hrs brothersand sisters
and orl,trrrR - and to releasehis
uncles and aunts, especiallythe
Tians, whom Cronos had chosen

CUPTU was rhe Roman god of
love and son of the love goddess
IENUS.He was deprctedas a beautiful but wanlon boy, armed with a
qurver fuli o[ "arrowed desires"
Some of his arrows, however,
would um people awayfrom those
who fell rn love wrth them
CREON, reluctanthing oJThebes,Iosthis
According to one myth, Venus
wasjealous ofpsycHE ("the soui")
son, wiJeand niecein a traglcqde oJ
suicidescausedby his infteible will His
and told Cupid to make her love
crushingJatewas to endurea hJeof
the ugliest man alive But Cupid fell
solitary gneJand remorse olrl'srurk)NBr
in love wrth Psycheand, inv'rsible,
NICK 8arE, I995 )
nsired her everynighr. He told her
nor to rry to see hrm, but, overto keep chained up. In gratitude, come by curiosity, she did try and
the Cyclopes, the single-eyed he left her Psychesearchedthe
giants, fashioned for Zeus his world for him, until the sky god
famous hghrning and thunderbolts JUPITER
granted her immortality so
In a subsequenr struggle for that she could be Cupid's consmnt
power, Zeus and hrs brothers companion The couple's daughter
successfullydealt wrth all the might was named Voluptas ("pleasure")
and power that Cronos could
direct against them After his
asa cute,
defeat, Cronos was either banished Heis usuallyportrayed
to a distant paradise, or he simply
slowly faded awayas an unimpor- quiveroJarowsor a torchto inJlame
tant deity The Romansequated in the hearts oJ gods and men (cr prDFrsHrNG
B) C;E()RG[
FREDER((WArrs,-sfprAL ]890 )
Cronos with their SATURN,who



CURTIUS baps into the chasmin the
RomanJorum The seersdeclared that the
,hasm could only beJilled by Rome's
greatesttreasure,and so Curtiusymped
in, declanng that therewasno greater
treasurethan a gallant Romancltizen

FRoM 5r()RrEs r,RoM Lrw,


is the subject of a
srrange incident in Roman mythology Around 362 nc a grear
chasm appeared in the Forum in
Rome, which led straight down to
the underworld It had appeared
becausethe Romansforgot to make
an appropnate sacrificeto the dead
Marcus Curtius therelore plunged
on horseback into the bottomless
pit and was seen no more

wrngs olwax and feathersfor himself and his son lcarus Despite his
father's waming, Icarus flew too
close to the sun, the wax of his
wings melted and he fell into the
sea and drowned. Daedalusmanaged ro amve safelyin Sicily, where
he amused the daughters of l(ng
Cocaloswith his invendons When
Minos eventually caught up with
the fugitive craftsman, a battle of
wits ended in Daedalus' favour:
Mrnos was lolled by boilingwater,
DANAE (above) was impisoned in a
or oil, which Daedaiuspersuaded bronze tower by ho Jather, becatsehe
Cocalos'daughters ro pour down a Jeareda propheq that he woull be ktlled by
pipe into the king's bath.
his grandson Yet even htdden away in her

DRNen was rhe morher of the
breeK nero PtR5tuJ ano Ine
daughter ofAcnsius, long of Argos
in the Peloponnese lt had been
foretold that her son would cause
the death ofAcrisius, so he locked
her in a bronze tower But ZEUS
visited her as a shower of golden
see GrANrs
rain and Perseuswas conceived
according to Greek The kingbanished the morher and
mytholory, was said by some to be her son, but after many adventures
the son of Alcippe, the daughtero[ Perseus did accidentally kill
the war god eREs,and by others to Acnsius when throwing a discus.
be the son of Merope It is agreed, (Seealso LOv'ERs
though, that he came from Athens
He was a gifted craftsman and was
employed by khng MINOSar his
palace of Knossos in Crete.
Daedalus designed and built the
Labynnth for the dreaded vtloTAUR This was the offspnng of
Minos'wife, and a great
bull Daedalus had designed an
anificial cow inro which rhe queen
could place herself and so be able
to mate wrth the bull Thus was the
Minotaur conceived Minos later
impnsoned Daedalus for revealing
the secretof the Labynnth, but he
managed to escapeby constructing
DAPHNE,a iver nymph,wasbvedby
Apollowhopursuedheruntll,on thebanlzs
Jather'siver, sheprayedJor
was at oncechangedinto a laurel tree
Here. herJather, the iver god Penaus,
weepstnconsolably, whlle Apollo strohts her
Ieafi arms tn wonder CApoLLo
Nr()ut P(tr,55rN.
c 1627)


tower, shewas still accessibleto the god


(nght) craftedwtngs of

feathus, heWtogetho by wax, to escary
t'rom Crete, anl taught hrs son, Iccrus, hon,
toJl, waminghim that he must notJty too
closeto the sun But lcarus wasdrawn to

Zeus, who came to her as a goWat shower

thelight ol the sun so his wings meltd and

Thq had a son,Perseus(Drrreauour

heJeII into the sea, now named the lcaian



DePHNn, in Greek myrholory,
was the daughter of the river god
Peneius.She was similar in many
ways to the goddess ARTEMIS,
that she was also a virgrn huntress
who happily roamed the wrlderness One day, the love god enos
shot a flurry of arrows in response
ro taunts from APOLLO,the god of
prophecy The first ofEros'anows

was a gold-tipped shaft and when
it struck Apollo it made him fall
immediately in love with Daphne
The second one, however, had a
lead tip and caused Daphne to
become even more indifferent than
she aiready had been to any lover
Apollo, however, pursued Daphne
relentlesslyuntil, in desperation,
she tumed herselfinto a laurel uee








of theeanh,and
a mystic
theyung Tiptolemus,
theJirstmanto sowcom ThisrelieJ
siteof theEleusian
Joundat Eleusis,
c 490



dead she pined and refusedto eat
any food, while in the world of the
lirnngher mother iost all interestin
fertiliry,so thar plants languished,
animals ceased to multiply and
people feared lor their future
Eventually,Zeus had to intervene
and rule that Hadesmust grve up
Persephoneif she would not consenr to stay with him As she had
by then earen something in his
realm,it was deemedthat she had
not completelyrejectedHades,so
henceforth Persephone would
dinde the year equallybetween her
mother and her husband


DIDO @elow),
whenhr lover
to fufilhisdestiny,
to RomeTheheroine
Virglaso nobleand
soulwho,in theclassic

Dnlpntc ORACLEs."

an important cult at Eleusis,just
south o[Athens, where ntes were
celebraredannually in the autumn
DEUETER, rhe Greekgoddessof when, through music and dancing,
vegetadonand fruitfu]ness, was the her worshippers recalled the loss
and rediscovery of her daughter
daughrer of cRolos and RHre
Like her Roman equivalent,Ceres, PERSEPHONEDemeter means
"mother eanh" - rhe abundant soil
she was especiallyassocratedwith
com Demeter possessedmysteri- as well as the resting-placeof the
ous powers of growth and even dead (which were known by the
resurrection She was the focus of Atheniansas "Demeter'speople")


Her myth tums on the disappearanceof Persephone When the
girl was a child, her father, ZeuS,
wrthout even consulting Demeter,
agreed to his brother FIADES'
request that Persephoneshould be
his bride and rule the underworld
wuh him Hadeswas impatient and
rose from the earth and abducted
Persephoneas she plucked flowers
in a field Bur in rhe world of the

The story of Demeter and
Persephoneis clearlyancient lt has
parallelsin the mythology of Wesr
fuia, where gowth and decaywere
closely associatedwith a dyng and
reviving deiry For the Greek,
Persephoneas Kore ("the maidsn"), was identified as rhe power
within the com i6elf, which was a
natural extersion of her mother the
com goddessDemeter.



DIONYSUS, the vital and beautifulGreeh
god oJunc

whirls in a state oJblisslul

euphoia inducedW his own Jruit,the
grape Entwined in his hair is a wreath oJ
vine, and coveinghis shouldersthe shin oJ
a lyrw, one oJ the oeatures sdcredto hifi

DtOtttYSUS was rhe son of zEUs
and sruELr, who was a Theban
princess.In Greek mythology, he rs
a youthful god o[vegetation,wine
and ecstasy,known as the "bullhomed god" because he ofren
adopted the form of this powerful
beast. In Roman mythology he is
representedby the god Bacchus.
Onginally, he may have had a

DIOO, origrnally a princess of
Tyre, in Phoenicia, became rhe
tragic queen of Canhage and rhe
abandoned love of AENEA5.Her
husband had been murdered by
her brother, when the latrer
ascended the throne ofTyre. Dido
escaped from Phoenicia with a
small band of followers and sertled
in present-day Tunisia, where she
purchased enough land to found

the ciry of Canhage The local ruler
agreed to sell her as much ground
as a bull's hide might contain,so
Dido cut the skin into strips in
order to obtain an adequateplot
When the Trojan hero Aeneas
arrived in Carthage, having been
blown offcourse on his way to Italy
from Troy, Dido welcomed him
and his fellow refugeeswith great
understanding Aeneasand Dido

mythological role somewhat similar to that of the goddessDEMETER
("mother earth") His cult in later
times, however, developed into
one of personalsalvation,particularly for women worshippers who
were known as maenads
From the beginning, the ancient
Greeks were well aware o[ rhe
strangecharacteroI Dionysus,and
in some city-stateshis wrld, orgrastic ntes were outlawed. The most
famous attempt to prohibit his
worship was by King Pentheusof
Thebes The king even tried to
imprison Dionysus, but the chains
fell off him and the prison doors
could not be closed Dionysus then
told Pentheus that he could
observe at lirst hand the secret
rituals performed on a mountain
close to the city, but only if he
disguised himself as a woman. The
hng readily took the bait and spied
on the maenads from a hidingplace in a tree However, rhe
maenadssoon discoveredhim and,
soon fell in love, but the Roman in their ecsraticfrenzy,thought that
god luetrrn senr MERcuRvwirh a he was a lion and tore him limb
messagereminding Aeneasof his from limb. Afterwards his mother,
desdny to found a new Troy in Italy Agave, who was also one o[ the
and ordenng him to resume his leading maenads, realized to her
voyage at once When Aeneas horror thar they had dismembered
sailed away, Dido became so over- not a lion but her son. After his
whelmed by the loss of her lover bunal, Agave, together vnth her
that she stabbed herself and then parents, CADMUsand Harmonia,
leapt inro the flames of. a pyre
left Thebesand went into exile
(Seealso FOUNDERS)
(Seealso LovERsoF zEUs)








T H E D t o s C U R I , t h em y s r e r L -THE
ous twin sons of LHI)A,queen of
Sparta,were known to the Greek
as Castor and Polydeuces,and ro
the Romans as Castor and Pollux
They were brothers oI HrLrruand
CTYTIMNESTM Around all rhese
rhilrlro- pY,-pnr al\/tp
- . / . - ' m n e srfa .
t h e r c h r r n p a d e f i n i r r -s e n s c o f
diunc parentage,and it may well
be chat they were ancrentdeiries
whose worship had dechned so
that their exploits could be told as
the mythological actionsof mortal
rulers Castor and Polydeuces("the


(aboLe), truns Castor

\r, ,

ant) Pollw, retumed to ccrrtir to help thc
Romon ranhs dgoiist


I anns Ln tht

ol h/re RegrilusAdom(durth

gltuming urmLtur, and rnountetl on snow

( l t r \ r R { I t r ) \L t i r \ r L \ \ s r j r \ \ r r \ r R a \ i l 1 8 , ! /l







the Spartansand rhe Romansrn
particular Roman .soldiers.swore



r' of

I ;strrr


Pollux on a battlefieldsecuredlor
them r.rctonesagarnstall the odds

was rhe daughter of
A C A M F M N T TkNi n. g o f M y t c n a e .
and cttrnv,lESTM, and rhe sister
\ L\ ner
o l t n e m a ln c l o e ( r R L 1
name (whrchonce may havemeant
" f i r c ' o r " s n a r k ' ) r e { e r st n a m h e r
When Agamemnon rerumed from
the Trojan War and was murdered
by his wrfe and her loverAegisrhus,
Electrarescuedher young brother
Orestes and ensured thar he
Years later, Orcstes retumed to
Mycenaeas a grown man Electra
m r t h i m a t t h c t r r m br r ft h c i r m u r sons of Zeus") were ARGONAT/TSdered father and gave hrm advrce
D u n n g r h e e x p e d r t i o nr o r e t n c v e and encouragementIn at leastone
the Golden Fleece, Polydeuces versionof thc myth Electrais porhlled with his bare handsAmycus, trayed as berng so consumed by
king of the savageBebryces,who hatred ior Clytemnestrathat she
were a people hung in AsraMinor
participatesin the act of revenge
O n a n o t h c r o c c a s i o nt h e t w i n s herself.Lttcr she was overwhelmed
were ranged against the Athenian by remorse, while her distraught
n e r o r H L 5 t u 5 .w n o c a m c oo l l t n c brother fled before rhe FURIES,
twelve-year-oldHelen pnor to her dertieswho wreakedvengeanceon
mamage to King MENEI,AUS
They murderers
brought their sister safelyhome to
Sparta,and even set up a rival to ENOYUTON was rhe king o[ a
Theseuson the throne o[Athens
small ciry-statein the Peloponnese,
heavenly twins whom the cornbearingearth holds") wereregarded as bcing both dead and alive ln
one story, Polydeuceswas the
r m m o r r a sl o n o f z t u s w h i l eC a s t o r
was rhe mortal son of Kng
Tlrrdareos At Polydeuccs'request
the twins shared the dl,rniry
b c t w e e nt h c n r ,l i v i n g h a l fr h c y c a r
beneath the earth with the dead,
and rhe other half on Mount
Olirmpus wrth the gods They are
shown together rn the constellation
of Gemini
In their youth the Droscun("rhe



wirrtt sfeels, thty- [ed thL Rom.]ns l() vi.tory

ELECTRA (ubove),heroicdaughttroJ

EOS (bdow), Greth goddess
oJ thedawn,

Agamemnonand Clyttmnestra,rneetsher

n\f\ rLrrflea.h J,rr to announ\cthecomrng


brothtr Ortstt's outside

ol tht sun Shewas the daughteroJ

Agamtmnon'stomb It was Electruwho

Hypenonund Thcia ttnd sisterto the sun

rescuedher brotherfrom theflii lntentrons

god Helros In worhsoJart, shes oJten

o/Aegrsthuslry helpinghim escupt Having

deprctedhoveing tn the slry,her roEJbm

thoughtthat shewouk) neverseehtm

,tJomeJ m a goldtn m.tnllc Shcs

ugain, sht r seenhtre rqoicing in his

accompanedhert by her starry daughters


l()Rr .r r \\r)

LL | ( | R\ vlRil



1D ]00 I

( J rr l \ T M r i r ) \ F R o M 5 r ( ) R l t s I R o M l l ( ) M t R , 1 8 8 5 )


EUROPA (nght) wasa Phoenician
whovisitedhimin hisetenal sleepHere,
pnncessbome away by Zeus, who assumed
partat dawnIn theslg,the
theJom oJa great white bull He swam to
spinhlesdot beJore
thesunthe island.oJCretewith Europandingon
a curtain his bach Sheoentually mamed Asteius,
abouther (SLLENE
ENoyMroN the rulerol Crete (luusrur()NFRoM
c 1591-1665
DlcroNARY, 1895)
in all likelihood Elis According ro
Greek mythology, he became the
lover of the moon godd