(Acheloos, Akelos)
The most important of the Greek river gods, associated with the modern Aspropotamos, flowing through Boeotia into the Ionian sea. Traditionally the son of Oceanus and Tethys (as are the other river gods), although other traditions make him the son of Helios and Gaia, or a son of Poseidon. Fathered the Sirens by the Muse Melpomene. Achelous was defeated by Heracles in a fight for the hand of Deianeira.

"River of Woe". Greek river god of one of the five rivers of Hades. Identified with the Acheron river in Epirus, Greece, which flows underground in several places, and was thought to flow through Hades.

Greek hero famous for his deeds and death in the Trojan War. He was later deified, and his worship was particularly prominent in the Black Sea area. Son of Peleus, King of the Myrmidons, and the Nereid Thetis. As a child, Thetis dipped him in the River Styx in an attempt to protect him against harm, leaving only the heel by which she held him vulnerable. Achilles was eventually killed by Paris, whose arrow was guided by Apollo to the vulnerable heel.

Greek hero and deity of Syro-Phoenician origin (Semitic adon = "lord" or "master"). The Phoenicians knew Adonis as Eshmun (qv). The Adonis cult was especially prominent in the Phoenician town of Byblos, and later spread to the Greek world through commercial contact. According to one Greek tradition Adonis was the result of an incestuous liaison in which Smyrna (Myrrha) deceived her father Theias as to her identity (perhaps at the instigation of Aphrodite). Upon discovering the ruse, Theias pursued Smyrna, who was changed by the gods into a myrrh tree, which eventually split open and gave birth to Adonis. (In some versions it was Theias who split the tree open with his sword, in another it was a wild boar which split the tree open with its tusks.) Aphrodite discovered the youth and placed him in a coffer which she entrusted to the underworld goddess Persephone. Acting against Aphrodite's instructions, Persephone opened the coffer and was so smitten by the youth that she refused to return him to Aphrodite. Zeus was called in to arbitrate the dispute and determined that Adonis should spend one third of each year with each goddess, the remaining third left to his own discretion. In the end, Adonis elected to spend the remaining third of the year with Aphrodite. In another tradition, Adonis was said to have been killed by a boar while hunting and forced to spend a portion of each year in the underworld. In either case, Adonis fits the pattern of dying and resurrected vegetation gods in the eastern Mediterranean region such as the Egyptian Osiris, the Phrygian Attis and the Mesopotamian Dumuzi (Tammuz). Both the Phoenician and Greek myths retain this vegetation aspect. In the Greek world, festivals commemmorating the death and resurrection of Adonis, known as Adonia, were celebrated after the harvest. A common practice during the Adonia was the planting of 'Adonis gardens' in small boxes or bowls, which grew and died quickly.

Greek mountain deity worshipped in Phrygia, Troy and Thrace -- and later in Greece proper. An avenging goddess of righteousness.

See Aiakos.

(Aiolos, Latin Aeolus)
Greek god of storms and winds. He is best known from Homer's Odyssey, where he lives on the floating island of Aeolia (Lipari), and gives Odysseus a bag containing all the unfavourable winds. He was regarded as human in Homer's time, but was later elevated to the status of a god.

Greek god of light. One of the primordial cosmic deities, a personification of the upper sky. Hesiod makes him the son of Erebus (darkness) and Nyx (night). The union of Aether and Hemera (day) resulted in the birth of Earth, Sea and Sky along with many deities including Saturn, Oceanus, Atlas and the Furies.

"Good Spirit". Greek guardian spirit of individuals and families. In Hellenistic times he came to be associated with Tyche, the goddess of luck. Portrayed as a serpent or as a young man bearing a cornucopia. Libations of wine were typically made to Aether after meals.

Mother god of Phrygian origin, often associated with the mother goddess Kybele. In Greek mythology, she was the product of the combination of a rock with the semen of Zeus. Originally a hermaphrodite, Agdistis was made female through castration. The vegetation god Attis was the ultimate product of her severed sexual organs which became either a pomegranate tree or an almond tree. Attis grew to become a beautiful youth, but ultimately died of self-castration in an effort to avoid the amorous pursuit of Agdistis and/or Kybele.

(Aglaea, Aegle)
One of the three Graces, or Charites. Daughter of Zeus and Eurynome.

"Unknown god". Greek cities made offerings to the 'unknown gods' so that no gods should be overlooked in religious observances.

(Aeacos, Latin Aeacus)
Greek god of the underworld and judge of the dead. According to Plato, who was the first to mention this god, he is the son of Zeus and Aegina. With Minos and Rhadamanthys, Aeacos was one of the three judges of the souls of the dead in the underworld. A temple was constructed in his honour on the Aegean island of Aegina, and the festival of the Aiakeia was celebrated there in commemmoration of his supposed intercession to end a drought.

See Aeolos.

Greek personification of time or of a given age in human history. Later adopted by Mithraism and by the Manichaeans.

See Achelous.

Greek spirit of revenge. Especially associated with blood feuds between families which lasted long after the death of those originally involved. Also used to denote a man's evil genius that leads him to commit crimes and to sin.

See Allekto.

(Roman Veritas)
The Greek goddess of truth. She was the daughter of Zeus and the nurse of the infant Apollo.

One of the Greek Erinyes, goddesses of vengeance. Daughter of Gaea. Her name is said to mean "she who does not rest".

Greek river god who fell in love with the nymph Arethusa. She fled to the island of Ortygia, but Alpheus flowed under the sea to join her on the island. Son of Okeanos and Tethys.

(Amaltheia, Amalthea)
Greek nymph who was the nurse of the infant Zeus. Sometimes represented as a goat, one of whose horns was broken off and transformed by Zeus into the cornucopia, or horn of plenty.

Greek goddess of the sea, wife of Poseidon. Daughter of Nereus and Doris or Okeanos and Tethys. Poseidon chose her from among her sister Nereids. Amphitrite fled, but she was retrieved by a dolphin and returned to Poseidon. Mother of Albion, Benthesicyme, Charybdis, Rhode and Triton.

Greek goddess of fate and necessity. Even the gods were subject to her dictates. Given her unalterable nature she was little worshipped until the advent of the Orphic mystery cult.

Greek god of passion. Son of Ares and Aphrodite.

Boeotian (Greek) Muse of song.

Greek goddess of beauty and sexual love. According to one legend she was born from the ocean foam after Kronos castrated Ouranos and tossed his genitals into the sea. In this version Aphrodite is held to mean "foam born", derived from the Greek word aphros, or "foam". This theory is bolstered by the fact that Aphrodite was worshipped as a goddess of the sea and seafarers in much of the Greek world. Homer, however, portrays her as the daughter of Zeus and Dione, and the fickle spouse of the lame smith god Hephaistos. Her most famous lover was Ares, the god of war, by whom she was mother to Anteros, Deimos, Eros, Harmonia and Phobos. She is also the mother of Aeneas and Lyrus by Anchises, Hermaphroditus by Hermes, Eryx by Poseidon, and Priapus by Dionysus. Aphrodite is commonly held to be an import from Anatolia, and her most important sanctuaries were on the islands of Cyprus (including Paphos and Amathus) and Cythera, while her chief sanctuary on the Greek mainland was at Corinth. In Athens, she was honoured in the festival of the Arrephoria. She has many characteristics in common with Middle Eastern fertility goddesses such as Astarte and Ishtar. Aphrodite was regarded as the patron goddess of prostitutes, and as a promoter of fertility. Her epithets included Anadyomene (sea born), Genetrix (creator), Eupoloios (fair voyage), and Pandemos (of all the people).

Greek god who personified youthful masculinity. A god of many roles, including prophecy, music, medicine and hunting. Son of Zeus and Leto. His mother wandered from place to place until she found refuge on the island of Delos where she gave birth to the twins Apollo and Artemis. Apollo was often honoured as part of a triad with Leto and Artemis. Despite being the most widely worshipped of the Greek gods, he was considered remote from human affairs. Apollo was the father of Asklepios, the god of healing, by Coronis. Coronis was later shot by Artemis as punishent for her infidelity to Apollo. However, Apollo himself had many lovers. Of his many love interests, Daphne is famous for having been transformed into a laurel in her efforts to flee the god. Thereafter, the laurel was sacred to Apollo. Cassandra also rejected the god's advances, and was punished by being made to utter true prophecies which no one would believe. One of Apollo's more famous deeds was the slaying of a legendary monster known as the Python, only a few days after his birth. Subsequently the oracle of Pytho was renamed Delphi after the Greek word for dolphin (delphis), in which form Apollo had appeared. The god's medium at the oracle, a woman at least fifty years old, continued to be known as the Pythia. The slaying of the Python was re-enacted every eight years at the Delphic festival of the Stepterion. Apollo also had oracles at Delos and Tenedos. Apollo's epithets included Lykeios (wolf god) as protector against wolves, Smintheus (mouse god) as the protector of crops against mice, Delius in honour of his birthplace, and Phoebus (bright, or shining) in his capacity as a solar god. In Greek art, Apollo was depicted as a beardless youth, bearing a lyre, or equipped as a hunter with bow and arrow.

Greek god of war. Son of Zeus and Hera. Brother of Aphrodite, Arge, Eileithyia, Eris and Hebe. By Aphrodite, he was the father of Anteros, Enyo, Deimos, Harmonia, Pallor and Phobos. Ares was generally less popular and less successful in his endavours than the other Olympian gods. It was Athena who personified the nobler aspects of warfare, glory, honour and victory, while Ares personified the more brutal aspects of warfare. Ares was said to be accompanied in battle by Deimos (terror), Phobos (fear), Eris (strife) and Enyo (horror). Ares was considered to have been native to Thrace, from which he may have emerged historically, and his worship was prominent only in northern Greece. His worship was also important at Sparta, where prisoners of war were sacrificed to him. At Athens, there was a temple dedicated to Ares at the foot of the Areopagus (Ares' Hill). Ares was depicted wearing typical military cloths and armour.

Greek nymph who originated as a vegetation goddess in Minoan Crete. She survived as the daughter of Pasiphae and King Minos in Greek mythology. Her worship as a goddess survived in Greek civilization on the island of Naxos, where she was considered the wife of Dionysus.

(Latin Aristaeus)
Greek pastoral deity, protector of herdsmen and hunters, originator of the cultivation of bees. Son of Apollo and Cyrene, and born in Libya. Husband of Autonoe. Aristaios fell in love with Eurydice, the wife of Orpheus, who spurned his advances. While fleeing the bees he sent in pursuit, she was bitten by a poisonous snake and died, leading to the famous effort by Orpheus to retrieve his wife from Hades. In punishment, the gods killed all of the bees of Aristaios. However, on the advice of Proteus, he sacrificed cattle in Eurydice's memory, and new swarms of bees emerged from the the carcasses. Aristaios eventually disappeared near Mt. Haemus in Thrace.

Greek goddess of wild animals and of the hunt. Although she was noted for her chastity, she was also regarded as a goddess of vegetation (particularly wild vegetation) and childbirth. Daughter of Zeus and Leto. Sister of Apollo, Artemis was associated with the moon, as a complement to Apollo's association with the sun. Her cult was the most popular among ordinary Greeks. She was believed to dwell in wild places, accompanied by a retinue of nymphs. Arcadia was said to be her favourite haunt. Artemis was noted as a terrible adversary when angered, symbolic of the sudden and capricious fury of nature. The most famous example of this is the story of Actaeon, the youth who chanced upon the goddess while bathing on Mt. Cithaeron. Enraged, Artemis changed him into a stag, in which form he was pursued and killed by his own hounds. It was as a goddess of women's life in general that Artemis acquired her seemingly contradictory role as a goddess of fertility and childbirth. She presided over the initiation rites of young women, and, later in life, brought sudden death to women with her "gentle darts". As goddess of the tree cult, her festivals were characterized by dances of maidens representing tree nymphs, or dryads. In the Peloponnesus she was associated with wells, springs and other waters bearing epithets such as Limnaea or Limnatis (Lady of the Lake). Elsewhere, she was best known as Potnia Theron (Mistress of the Animals). Artemis was depicted as a young woman bearing bow and arrow, often accompanied by a stag or a hunting dog. Her lunar aspect was sometimes signified by a torch carried in the hand.

Greek fertility and mother goddess represented in the great temple at Ephesus in Anatolia by a many-breasted statue. Her cult at Ephesus was quite different from that of the chaste Artemis of the Greek mainland. Votive offerings from many ancient cultures have been found at the site of the temple, counted among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

See Asklepios.

(Asclepius, Roman Aesculapius)
Greek god of healing and patron deity of physicians. Son of Apollo and the nymph Coronis. Husband of Epione. Father of Hygieia (health) and Panacea (all-healing). A deified mortal, Asklepios was not worshipped as a god until post-Homeric times. Homer refers to him only as a skillful physician, and it was Apollo who was regarded as the god of healing until that role was taken over by his son beginning in the fifth century BC. His cult originated in Thessaly (the location of the oldest known temple honouring him), where he was said to have been raised by the centaur Cheiron, who taught him the art of healing. Zeus, fearing that Asklepios might make men immortal, killed him with a thunderbolt. Asklepios was generally depicted as a bearded man wearing a robe that leaves his breast uncovered. His attribute is a staff with a snake coiled about it. (The staff used today as a symbol of the medical profession is actually the winged caduceus of Hermes.)

River god of Boeotia in central Greece. Son of Okeanos and Tethys, or, alternatively, the son of Poseidon. Father of Aegina, who was abducted by Zeus. When Asopos pursued, Zeus drove him back with his thunderbolts.

Greek river god of the Peloponnesus. Son of Okeanos and Tethys.

Syrian fertility goddess. Consort of Hadad. Her cult center was at Bambyke (Hierapolis), near Aleppo in Syria. Her cult spread to the Greek world, where she was regarded as a form of Aphrodite. She was depicted seated on a throne flanked or supported by lions and holding a sheaf of wheat.

Greek goddess of evil and misfortune. In Hesiod's account, she is the daughter of Zeus and Eris. She was banished from Olympus for causing mischief among the gods.

Greek goddess of wisdom and tutelary goddess of Athens. Also a goddess of war, peace and agriculture. In contrast to some of the other Greek gods, many of whom were famed for their rash and often ignoble acts, Athena was noted for her self-control and for many instances in which she aided human beings in their endeavours. Also, in contrast to the reckless passions of the other gods, Athena remained a virgin throughout her life, forming no romantic attachments. According to Hesiod, Athena sprang fully armed from the head of Zeus, who had swallowed her mother Metis (wisdom). In Pindar's version, it was Hephaistos who struck Zeus in the head with an axe to relieve the god's headache, wherupon Athena emerged. It was Hephaistos who later attempted to rape Athena, but she evaded him and his semen fell to the ground, giving birth to the serpent Erichthonius. Much of Athena's reputation as a war goddess is based on Homer's Iliad, where she took an active part in the fighting on the side of Greeks against the Trojans. In battle, she bore the aegis, the goat-skin shield upon which the head of Medusa was mounted. She generally proved more successful in battle than her brother Ares, the Greek war god who sided with the Trojans. Athena won the allegiance of Athens in a contest with Poseidon to determine who could bestow the greater gift upon humanity. Poseidon gave either the horse or a spring of water. Athena gave the olive, and won the contest, in consequence of which she gave her name to the city. The Acropolis, upon which the Parthenon was constructed in her honour, was said to be her dwelling place. Athens also honoured her in the Panathenaia festival, in which she seems to have figured as a vegetation goddess. She was referred to as Pallas Athene in her capacity as a protective goddess. Her icon, the palladium, was believed to protect the city from harm. In addition to the olive, Athena's gifts to humanity included the plough, the loom, and the flute. Among the many heroes to whom she gave assistance were Odysseus on his long voyage home from Troy, Perseus in killing the Medusa, Epeius in the construction of the wooden horse, and Herakles in his many labours. Her epithets included Parthenos (virgin), Promachos (protectress), Glaukopis (owl-eyed), Ergane (worker or craftsman) and Mechanitis (one who undertakes things). She was also known as Athena Polias in her capacity as goddess of the people or polity of Athens. The owl was the symbol both of Athena and Athens. She was also associated with the snake, and their is some speculation that she originated as a snake goddess, perhaps in Crete. Athena's worship was widespread, despite her close association with Athens.

One of the Greek Titans, condemned by Zeus to uphold the vault of the heavens for his part in the revolt of the Titans.

"Unbending". Oldest of the Greek Moires (Fates), a trio which included Klotho and Lachesis. She was the one who severed the thread of life. According to Hesiod, she was the daughter of Zeus and Themis. As her name suggests, she represented the inevitability of death.

"Force". Greek goddess of force, daughter of the Titan Pallas and the underworld goddess Styx. She was the sister of Kratos, the god of strength, as well as of Nike and Zelos. Bia was the constant companion of Zeus. It was she who was made to bind Prometheus as punishment for stealing fire from the gods.

Greek god of the north wind. According to Hesiod's Theogony, he was of Thracian origin, the son of Eos and Astraeos. He was the father of many famous horses, including those of Ares and Achilles. Boreas incurred the enmity of the Athenians when he abducted Oreithyia, the daughter of King Erechtheus of Athens, whom he made his wife. He was said to have atoned for this deed by sending a storm which destroyed a Persian fleet on its way to attack Athens. In gratitude, the Athenians built a temple dedicated to him, and held a festival in his honour, the Boreasmos.

"Sweet Maid". Virgin huntress goddess of Crete whose cult later merged with that of Artemis. Daughter of Zeus and Carme. King Minos fell in love with her and pursued her until she jumped from a cliff overlooking the sea. In some accounts she survived the fall and was rescued by fishermen, in others she died and it was her corpse that the fishermen retrieved in their nets. In either case she was made immortal by Artemis in reward for her chastity. She was also known as Dictynna (from diktyon = "net"), in token of her retrieval in the fishermen's nets. In Aegina she was associated with Aphaea, a goddess of local importance.

See Kabeiroi.

Greek muse of epic or heroic poetry, and chief of the nine Muses. Daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne. In various accounts she was the mother of Orpheus and Linus by Apollo or Oeagrus, and of Hymen and Ialemus by Apollo. It was she who, on behalf of Zeus, judged the dispute between Aphrodite and Persephone over Adonis.

A local Greek goddess of Arcadia. She was transformed by the gods into the Great Bear constellation.

Greek immortal nymph. Queen of the island of Ogygia, she kept Odysseus there for seven years and bore him two sons.

In some versions, one of the Greek Horae (qv), or Seasons. The Athenians recognized only two Horae: Carpo and Thallo. Carpo was associated with autumn and the harvest of fruit.

See Ker.

Greek personification of the primordial void. In Hesiod, Chaos was first in the order of existence, followed by Earth and Eros (Desire). Chaos then generated Erebus (Darkness) and Nyx (Night). Chaos either generated, or was identical with, Tartarus, the Greek Underworld. It was much later that the Roman writer Ovid gave the concept of Chaos its modern meaning of an unordered and formless primordial mass from which the Cosmos was formed.

(Aglaia, Aegle)
Minor Greek Goddess. Consort of Hephaistos. As Aglaia, she was also one of the Gratiae (Graces), although the identification is uncertain.

(Roman Gratiae)
Greek name for the Graces. Their numbers varied, although a basic trinity is commonly recognized: Aglaia (splendour), Euphrosine (cheerfulness or festivity), and Thaleia (rejoicing or blossom). The Romans knew them under the collective name of the Gratiae (qv). They were the attendants of Aphrodite or Venus, and personified grace and beauty.

In Greek mythology, the ferryman who transports the dead across the rivers Styx and Acheron to the underworld. A coin (obolus) was traditionally placed in the mouth of the deceased to pay Charon's fare. Son of Erebus and Nyx. He was depicted as an old and dishevelled man. Not strictly speaking a god, he can best be described as a demon of death. He later became the demon of death Charun in Etruscan religion and the angel of death Charos or Charontas in modern Greek folklore who rides a black death searching for the newly dead.

Originally a Thessalian god of healing, he survived in Greek mythology as a wise centaur. Son of Kronos and Philyra. He was the teacher of many heroes including Achilles, and also taught Asklepios the art of healing. Herakles accidentally wounded him with a poison arrow and, although immortal, he renounced his immortality in favour of Prometheus. He became the constellation Sagittarius.

See Cheiron.

Greek goddess of flowers. Her Roman equivalent was the goddess Flora.

See Kronos.

(Cleio, Klio)
Greek Muse of historical and heroic poetry. Daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Mother of Hyacinth by Pierus, king of Macedonia. Often depicted with a trumpet and the clepsydra (water clock). She could also be depicted with a writing implement, as she was credited with introducing the Phoenician alphabet into Greece. Other attributes included a wreath of laurel and a parchment scroll.

"The spinner". One of the three Greek Fates (Moirae) along with Atropos and Lachesis. Daughter of Zeus and Themis. She presided over birth and drew the thread of life from her distaff.

Greek nymph, mother of Asklepios by Apollo.

Thracian goddess whose worship was marked by orgiastic rites. She was later accepted into Greece, notably at Corinth and Athens. She was represented either as a huntress goddess similar to Artemis or a mother goddess along the lines of Cybele.

See Kouretes.

See Kratos.

See Kronos.

A Thessalian nymph carried off by Apollo to the north African region which was named Cyrenaica after her.

See Daimon.

Greek collective name for beings intermediate between gods and humans. Beginning with Hesiod the term designated the spirits of dead heroes. These spirits were later interpreted by the Christians as devils. The term also signified the spirit determining a person's fate (akin to the Roman term genius).

Greek demonic beings who were associated with the working of metal.

Greek goddess personifying the laurel tree. She is said to be the daughter of a river god, either Ladon or Peneius. Legend has it that she was changed into a laurel to avoid the sexual advances of the god Apollo, to whom the laurel thus became sacred.

"Panic" or "Fear". Minor Greek god of war. Son of Ares and Aphrodite. His siblings were Anteros, Enyo, Eros, Harmonia, Phobos and Terror (Pallor). Deimos and Phobos accompanied Ares in battle.

One of the Greek Graiae, guardians of the Gorgons. Daughter of Phorkys and Ceto, she was the sister of Enyo and Pephredo. The three Graiae collectively had one eye and one tooth which they shared among themselves.

Greek mother and corn (grain) goddess associated with the earth, vegetation and agriculture. She is also a goddess of death, as exemplified by the story of Persephone. Daughter of Kronos and Rhea. Sister of Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Hades and Hestia. Mother of Persephone by Zeus, and of Plutos by Iasion. Demeter is particularly prominent in the Greek legend of the abduction of her daughter Persephone (Kore) by the underworld god Hades. Distraught at her loss, Demeter neglected her duties as a vegetation deity while she searched for her daughter. Fearing catastrophe, the gods intervened, and Hades agreed that Persephone would be returned provided that she had tasted nothing while in the underworld. However, Persephone had tasted a pomegranate. As a result, she was released only on condition that she should spend three months of each year in the underworld with Hades, the rest in the world of the living. The three months spent in Hades are believed to coincide with the three dry summer months in Greece. This legend formed the basis of an important Greek fertility cult, known as the Eleusinian Mysteries after the famous cult centre at Eleusis. Demeter was also honoured in the feast of the Thesmophoria, a fertility rite from which men were excluded and whose rites were a carefully guarded secret. She was depicted as a matronly figure, often riding a chariot or seated upon a throne. Her attributes included ears of corn (grain) and a basket filled with flowers, grain and fruit. The pig and the snake were sacred to her.

"Mistress". An honorific title among the Greeks, notably applied to the goddess of the underworld in Arcadia. We know of no other name for this Arcadian goddess, perhaps attesting to the secrecy of her rites. She was later identified with Persephone.

See Britomartis.

One of the Greek Horae (Seasons). Also a goddess of justice (Greek dike). Daughter of Zeus and Themis. Her sisters were the other Horae: Eirene and Eunomia.

Cult partner of Zeus of Dodoma, ancient earth-goddess. Given variously as the daughter of Okeanos and Tethys, or of Ouranos and Gaea.

(Dionysus, Dionysius, Roman Bacchus)
Greek god of wine and intoxication. Son of Zeus and Semele (although Demeter is sometimes given as his mother). His consort was Ariadne. His cult is believed to have originated in either Thrace, Phrygia or perhaps Lydia. Hera, out of jealousy, is said to have tricked Semele into asking Zeus to reveal his divinity to her. When Zeus complied, his divine majesty was too great for Semele, who was destroyed by his thunderbolts. Zeus retrieved Dionysus from his lover's dead body and sewed him up in his thigh until he reached full term. As a result, Dionysus was known as Dithyrambos (twice born). Zeus then sent the infant to be raised by Semele's sister Ino and her husband Athamas at Orchomenus. Hera discovered the child's hiding place, and drove Ino and Athamas mad. However, Hermes spirited the infant away to be raised by the nymphs on the legendary mountain of Nysa. Dionysos was educated in the art of agriculture by Aristaeus. He was credited with having the introduction of the vine and the art of making wine. In some legends he was said to have descended to the underworld to bring back his mother Semele, and this presumably led to his role in Orphism, which equated him with Zagreus. His worship was characterized by orgiastic and often violent rites. His female worshippers, known as Bacchants or Maenads, ran and danced through the woods in a drunken frenzy bearing torches and thyrsus staves (made of vine leaves and ivy). The frenzy was believed to give them occult powers as well as superhuman strength, with which they were said to tear sacrificial animals to pieces. Dionysos' epithets included Bromios (thunderer), Lyaios (deliverer [from cares]), as well as Taurokeros (bull-horned) and Tauroprosopos (bull-faced) in reference to his incarnation as a bull at his feasts. Among his festivals were the Greater and Lesser Dionysia, the Anthesteria, the Agrionia and the Katagogia at Athens. Phallic symbolism was particularly prominent at the Dionysia, indicating that Dionysos was there being worshipped as a fertility god.

Greek sea-goddess. Daughter of Okeanos and Tethys (see also Okeanides). Mother of the Nereids by her consort Nereus.

See Oneiroi.

(Dryades, Hamadryads)
Greek woodland nymphs. Each dryad was associated with a particular tree and died when that tree died.

(Latin Ilithyia)
Greek goddess of childbirth. Daughter of Zeus and Hera. Sister of Ares, Eris, Hebe and Hephaistos. Her cult appears to have originated in Crete, where it remained most popular after its spread to the rest of the Greek world. In Homer she is described as the personification of the pain of childbirth. In later times, she was largely superseded by Artemis as a goddess of childbirth.

(Latin Irene)
"Peace". Greek goddess of peace. One of the three Horae (Seasons) along with her sisters Dike and Eunomia. Daughter of Zeus and Themis. Equated by the Romans with their goddess Pax.

Greek demonesses and emissaries of Hecate.

One of the Greek Titans. Son of Gaea. After the Titans were defeated by the gods led by Zeus, he fled to Sicily, where he was killed by Herakles or Athena. Mount Aetna was placed over his body and was believed to come to activity whenever he turned over or hissed.

Minor Greek god of war. A companion of Ares, or perhaps merely one of his epithets.

A minor Greek goddess of war who accompanied Ares into battle. Daughter of Ares and Aphrodite. Equated by the Romans with their goddess Bellona.

(Latin Aurora)
Greek goddess of the dawn. Daughter of Hyperion and Theia. Sister of Helios (sun) and Selene (moon). Homer referes to her as "rosy- fingered dawn". The morning dew was said to be the tears she shed for her son Memnon who fell at Troy. Hesiod gives her consort as Astraeus, by whom she was said to be the mother of winds Zephyrus, Notus, as well as of the evening star Hesperus. Other versions make her the consort of Aeolos. The Romans referred to her as Aurora.

Greek muse of lyric poetry, particularly love poetry. Daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Usually depicted with a lyre.

The darkness of the underworld below Hades, personified as a deity in Hesiod. Son of Chaos and Nyx (night). He later became the consort of Nyx, by whom he fathered Aether (light) and Hemera (day).

Legendary god-king of Athens, and an earth or ancestor spirit of the Athenian people. He was said to be the son of Hephaistos, whose semen fell upon the earth (Gaea) when he attempted to rape the goddess Athena. Athena raised him at the Athenian Acropolis. Erechtheus was depicted either as a snake or with the tail of a snake.

Greek river god. It was into the river Eridanus that Phaethon plunged after his ill-fated attempt to drive the sun-chariot. Some have tentatively identified this as the river Po.

(sing. Erinys, Eumenides, Roman Furies)
Greek avenging goddesses. According to Hesiod, they were born from the blood of the castrated god Ouranos which fell upon Gaea, the earth. Euripedes was the first to give there number as three: Alekto ("unceasing"), Megaira ("jealous"), and Tisiphone ("avenger of murder"). They punished criminals, especially those who sinned against their parents. Depicted with snake-covered heads and bearing torches from the underworld, where they lived. Often referred to euphemistically as the Eumenides ("the kind ones") or as the Semnai ("the venerable ones").

Greek goddess of discord and strife. Daughter of Zeus and Hera. Sister and companion of Ares. Mother of Ate by Zeus. It was her Golden Apple ("apple of discord") which created the strife among the gods that ultimately led to the Trojan War. Eris threw the apple among the guests at a wedding feast, with the inscription "to the fairest". Hera, Aphrodite and Athena each claimed the apple. Zeus attempted to resolve the conflict by having Paris decide the issue. Paris awarded the apple to Aphrodite, who rewarded him by helping him to take Helen with him to Troy. Hera and Athena vowed to bring destruction to Troy in revenge for the slight. Her Roman equivalent was Discordia.

(Roman Amor)
Greek god of love and fertility. In Hesiod, he was said to have been born of Chaos. He was later said to be the son of Aphrodite and one of Ares, Hephaistos, Zeus or Hermes. Eros was accompanied by Pothos (longing) and Himeros (desire). Depicted as a winged youth with bow and arrows. His arrows had the power to make both gods and mortals fall in love.

See Aether.

See Erinyes.

"Good Order". Greek goddess of law and order. One of the Horae (Seasons) along with Dike and Eirene. Daughter of Zeus and Themis. The Horae were entrusted with guarding the gates of Olympus. They were collectively honoured in the annual festival of the Horaea.

"Joy". One of the Greek Charites (Graces). Euphrosyne was the personification of joy and festivity. The Charites were said to be the daughters of Zeus and either Hera or Eurynome.

Greek god of east wind. Son of Eos, possibly by Astraeus. Sometimes equated by the Romans with Volturnus, the god of the river Tiber.

One of the Greek Gorgons, daughters of Ceto and Phorkys. Her sister Gorgons were Medusa and Stheno.

A Greek Dryad (woodland nymph); wife of Orpheus. She was bitten by a snake while fleeing Aristaeus, whence she died and descended to the Underworld. In a famous tale, her husband Orpheus descended to the Underworld to retrieve her. Hades allowed Eurydice to follow Orpheus to the surface, on condition that Orpheus refrained from looking upon Eurydice until they had left the Underworld. The two reached the threshold between the Underworld and the world of the living, but Orpheus turned to look at Eurydice before they had actually crossed the threshold, and Eurydice was immediately whisked back to the realm of Hades, condemned to eternal death.

One of the Greek Oceanids (Okeanides), daughters of Okeanos and Tethys. According to Apollonius of Rhodes, Eurynome was a primordial goddess who ruled Olympus with Ophion before the advent of Kronos. She had a cult centre at Phigaleia in Arcadia.

Greek muse of flute playing, variously given as the patron of tragedy or of lyric poetry. Daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Her symbol was the double flute, which she was said to have invented.

(Latin Fata or Parcae; Greek Moirae)
Hesiod gives the Greek Moirae as Atropos, Clotho and Lachesis. Their Roman counterparts were Decima, Nona (goddesses of birth) and Morta (goddess of death).

See Gaia.

(Gaea, Ge)
Greek earth goddess and personification of the earth. She was said to be second in the order of existence after Chaos, or was said to be his daughter. She gave birth to Ouranos (heaven) and Pontos (sea). Ouranos then became her consort. Their children included Kronos, Okeanos, the Cyclops and the Titans. Later, when Ouranos was castrated by Kronos, his semen combined with Gaia to engender the Erinyes, the Giants, and perhaps Aphrodite as well. Similarly, when Hephaistos failed in his attempt to rape Athena, his semen fell to the earth and resulted in the birth of the Athenian serpent-king Erechtheus. By Tartarus she was the mother of the monster Typhon. Gaia's cult was particularly prominent in Attica. She was also said to have had an oracle at Delphi that predated the oracle of Apollo. Her attributes included the fruits of the earth and the Cornucopia. According to Homer, Gaia was invoked in oaths along with Helios (sun).

Greek Nereid of Sicily.

Thracian thunder god.

Greek sea god. He was said to have been a fisherman who became a god when he ate a magic herb. He then leaped into the sea where he developed a tail and remained as a guardian deity of fishermen. His cult was very popular among fishermen and sailors. Glaukos was also reputed to have a gift for prophecy.

Greek female monster figures. Homer spoke of only one Gorgon. In Hesiod, however, there were three Gorgons: Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa -- the daughters of Phorkys and Ceto. They were winged, had hair consisting of snakes, and were depicted with large teeth and protruding tongues. Any mortal who looked upon would be turned to stone. Representations of their heads were used to ward off evil in Greek temples. Stheno and Euryale were immortal. Medusa, however, was mortal, and she was eventually killed by Perseus. Medusa's head was subsequently affixed to the Aegis, Athena's famous goatskin shield.

Greek Charites (qv). The Romans referred to them as the Gratiae, which differ little from the Charites.

Greek grey goddesses who guarded the cavern of the Gorgons. Daughters of Phorkys and Ceto. Their names were Deino, Enyo and Pephredo. They were depicted as old hags who had one eye and one tooth among them, which they shared. Perseus stole both the eye and the tooth on his mission to kill the Gorgon Medusa.

(Aides, Dis, Plutos)
"The Unseen One". Greek god of the underworld. Since riches were commonly buried in the ground, he also figured as a god of wealth, Plutos, although the latter is often considered a separate deity. Son of Kronos and Rhea. Brother of Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter and Hestia. After Zeus killed Kronos, dominion over the underworld fell to Hades, while Zeus claimed the heavens and Poseidon the seas. He became the husband of Persephone after abducting her (for this story see the entries for Demeter and Persephone). His home in the underworld was often referred to as the "House of Hades". The tasks of judging the souls of the deceased and of punishing sins were assigned to other underworld deities. His cult was restricted to Pylos. He was depicted as dark bearded, bearing a sceptre and a key.

Greek tree nymphs. See Dryads.

"Snatchers". Greek winged female monsters or demons. They may have originated as wind spirits: in Homer they were merely described as winds that swept people away. They were usually three in number, the most common names being Aello, Kelaino (Podarge) and Okypete. Daughters of Thaumas and Elektra, or of Poseidon and Gaia. In early myths they were described as beautiful, but later writers depicted them as ugly bird-like monsters with large claws. In one version, the Harpies were eventually killed by Calais and Zetes.

"Bloom of Youth". Greek goddess of youth. Daughter of Zeus and Hera. Her consort was the deified Herakles. She was the cup- bearer of the gods at Olympus until replaced by Ganymede. Her Roman counterpart was Juventas. Her cult was most popular at Phlious and Sicyon.

See Hekate.

Greek goddess associated with the underworld and with magic. Not mentioned in Homer, she is believed to have originated in Caria in southwest Anatolia. According to Hesiod she was the daughter of the Titan Perses and the nymph Asteria. Elsewhere she is said to be the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. She was also a goddess of crossroads and waysides, and pillars known as Hekataea were commonly erected at crossroads and doorways, perhaps to ward off evil. She was especially associated with travel by night, although it is nor clear whether she was regarded as the protectress of night travellers or their chief peril. Hekate was also considered a patron of Medea and of witches, and she had an occult following among women in Thessaly, where she was regarded as a moon goddess. She assisted in the search for Persephone after her abduction by Hades. In this connection, as well as in connection with her role in night travel, she was depicted bearing a torch. In later representations, she was shown as having three bodies, particularly in the Hekataea which allowed her to keep watch over all roads at once. Her epithets included Enodia, a reference to her role as a goddess of waysides, and Trioditis, a reference to her role as a triform goddess of crossroads.

(Helius, Sol)
"Sun". Greek sun god. According to Hesiod, he is the son of the Titans Hyperion and Theia. His siblings were Eos (dawn) and Selene (moon). He drove his four-horsed chariot across the sky each day from east to west, descending beneath the ocean at night and returning by its northern stream to the east. According to one story, Helios was absent when Zeus divided the world among the gods, and he was given the island of Rhodes, which had just risen from the sea, in compensation. Rhodes was the center of his cult, where he was the dominant deity at least as early as the 5th century BC. The famous Colossus of Rhodes was an image of Helios. A festival of Helios was also celebrated on Rhodes, during which a four-horsed chariot was driven off a cliff, symbolizing the setting of the sun beneath the sea. He was depicted driving a four-horsed chariot, and with a halo of rays about his head. The Romans worshipped Helios as Sol.

"Day". Greek goddess of the day. Hesiod gives her as the daughter of Erebus and Nyx. She may also have been the consort of her brother Aether.

(Hephaestus, Hephaestos)
Greek god of fire and patron of blacksmiths. Son of Zeus and Hera. In the Iliad, Homer made him the husband of Charis. However, in the Odyssey he was said to be the consort of Aphrodite, and this rather unlikely pairing became the more widely accepted version. Although considered one of the twelve Olympians, he was thrown from the heavens by Hera, who could not accept a child born with deformed legs. According to one legend, he spent the first nine years of his life in the sea, cared for by Eurynome and Thetis. According to another legend, he was taken in and cared for by the people of Lemnos, on whose island he had an important sanctuary. The cult of Hephaistos appears to have originated in Greek Anatolia, or perhaps on Lemnos. His cult seems never to have been very popular in mainland Greece, although he did have a sanctuary in Athens. He also had an important shrine at Ephesus in Anatolia. Despite his lameness, Hephaistos was famed as a blacksmith of extraordinary skill. His smithy was said to be under Mt Aetna, where he was believed to work with his assistants, the Cyclops. He was credited with fashioning the sceptre of Zeus, the Aegis of Athena, the chariot of Helios, arms for Achilles and Aeneas, and the shield of Herakles. Hephaistos was never very lucky in love. His nominal consort, Aphrodite, was never faithful to him, and few if any of her children were fathered by the lame smith god. On one occasion, Hephaistos attempted to force himself on Athena, but she evaded him and his semen fell to the earth where it gave birth to the Athenian serpent-king Erechtheus.

Greek queen of heaven. Daughter of Kronos and Rhea. Sister and wife of Zeus. Mother of Ares, Hephaistos, Hebe and Eileithyia. Though widely worshipped throughout the Greek world, Hera was chiefly known as the jealous and often vindictive wife of the philandering Zeus. In her own right, she was worshipped as a goddess of marriage, of childbirth, and of the life of women in general. Her marriage was said to have resulted after Zeus seduced her in the form of a peacock, although in some versions it was Hera who seduced Zeus with the aid of a magic girdle. At Athens and Samos their marriage was celebrated as the hieros gamos ("sacred marriage"), even though the conduct of Zeus would seem to have made a mockery of this notion. The morality of Hera's conduct was also questionable by modern standards, as she mercilessly persecuted mortal women for the crime of having been raped by her husband. Her chief cult centre was at Argos, where the Heraeum boasted a statue of Hera in ivory and gold by Polycletus. Other important sanctuaries were at Athens and on Crete and Samos, although she had sanctuaries throughout the Greek world. A festival of women's games was also held in her honour every four years at Olympus. The cow and the peacock were sacred to her, and the apple and the pomegranate were her sacred fruits. She was often depicted as a matronly figure seated on a throne, bearing a diadem and a sceptre.

(Heracles, Roman Hercules)
Greek hero, worshipped as a deity. It has been variously speculated that the mythical Herakles may have derived from an actual Greek chieftain or shaman who protected his people from external dangers which later became the labours of Herakles. Some parallels can be seen with the Mesopotamian figures of Ninurta and Gilgamesh. He was the son of Zeus and Alkmene, and the husband of Deianeira. The jealous Hera sent two snakes to kill Herakles in his cradle, but the infant strangled them. When he grew up, he was forced to serve King Eurystheus, who assigned him his twelve labours. These labours were: (1) the slaying of the Nemean lion; (2) the slaying of the Lernaean Hydra; (3) the capture of the Arcadian stag; (4) the destruction of the Erymanthian boar; (5) the cleansing of the Augean stables; (6) the shooting of the man- eating birds of the Stymphalian marshes; (7) the capture of the Cretan bull; (8) the capture of the man-eating horses of Diomedes; (9) the theft of the girdle of the Amazon queen Hippolyta; (10) the capture of the cattle of Geryon; (11) the acquisition of the golden apples of the Hesperides; and (12) the capture of Cerberus. Having completed the twelve labours, Herakles went on to have many more battles and escapades. It was also during this latter period that he wed Deianeira. On the way home, the centaur Nessus tried to rape her, and Herakles shot him with a poisoned arrow. The dying centaur told Deianeira to preserve some of the blood from his wound, as it had the power of making whomever she wished fall in love with her. Some years later, Herakles fell in love with Iole. Deianeira devised a robe with some of the centaur's blood smeared on it and sent it to Herakles, thinking to win back his love. Instead, the blood poisoned Herakles, causing a painful death. His body was burned on a pyre on Mt. Oita. After his death, Herakles was deified and given the task of guarding the gates to Olympus. There he became the consort of the goddess Hebe. The cult of Herakles was widespread, and he had sanctuaries on Thasos and Mt. Oita, where sacrificial fire festivals were held every four years to commemorate his death. The Dorian kings regarded Herakles as their ancestral god. He was commonly depicted wearing the skin of the Nemean lion, bearing either a bow or a club, or performing one of his labours.

Greek androgynous deity. The cult of Hermaphroditos appeared first in Cyprus, but never became prominent in the rest of the Greek world until the Hellenistic period. Originallythe son of Hermes and Aphrodite. The Naiad Salmakis (associated with a fountain of the same name in Caria, a region of Anatolia) fell so passionately in love with him that their bodies merged into one. In some versions, it was her entreaties to the gods that finally resulted in their becoming one being.

Greek messenger of the gods. Son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. He was believed to have been born on Mt. Cyllene in Arcadia. His cult seems to have originated in Arcadia, where he was a god of fertility depicted in ithyphallic images. His name probably derives from hermaion (pl. herma), the Greek word for a pile of stones used to mark boundaries or as landmarks erected to guide travellers. Stone pillars called hermen were also erected in front of Greek houses, and Hermes was supposed to dwell in these pillars, guarding over the houses. Thus Hermes was considered a god of travellers and merchants, of roads and of doorways. Paradoxically, he was also a patron of thieves and gamblers, and of good fortune. In his capacity as messenger of the gods he was depicted with a broad-brimmed hat (petasus) appropriate for travel, winged sandals (talaria), and a herald's staff entwined with snakes (kerykeion, Latin caduceus). Hermes is credited with the invention of the lyre (kithara) and with the invention of fire. These feats he performed on the day of his birth, in addition to the theft of Apollo's cattle. His personality had much mischief and trickery about it. He also had the typical sexual appetites of a Greek god. Among the many errands the gods entrusted him with, it was Hermes who was sent to retrieve both Persephone and Eurydice from the underworld. He had many epithets, including Epimelios (guardian of flocks), Nomios (also a reference to his role as guardian of flocks), Hodios (patron of travellers). He was also known as Oneiropompos (conductor of dreams) and Psychopompos (leader of souls in the underworld) in his roles as god of dreams and of passage to the afterlife. In his role as god of doorways he was known as Pylaios or Propylaios. In his capacity as "the good shepherd", he was depicted carrying a sheep on his shoulders, with the epithet of Kriophoros (ram-bearer). In earlier Greek art, he was depicted as bearded, wearing a long tunic, and equipped with his cap, winged sandals and staff (the kerykeion). Later, he came to be portrayed as a beardless youth.

A Thracian god of the underworld. He was depicted as a horseman, and his image was frequently incorporated in funerary stelae.

Greek nymphs who guarded the tree of the golden apples. According to Hesiod, they were the daughters of Erebos and Nyx (night). Other accounts make them the daughters of Atlas and Pleione, Atlas and Hesperis, Phorkys and Ceto, or of Hesperos. Their names were most commonly given as Aegle, Erytheia, and Hesperia (or Arethusa).

(Hesperus, Roman Vesper)
Greek god of the evening star. In some versions, the father of the Hesperides.

(Roman Vesta)
Greek goddess of fire and the hearth. Daughter of Kronos and Rhea. She remained a virgin all her life, on the assumption that she was wedded to the sacred hearth fire. Her worship was largely focused on household hearths, but public cults later emerged at the civic hearth. Small offerings of food and drink were typically made at household hearths before meals.

Greek god of desire. An attendant either of Aphrodite or of Eros.

The Seasons. Greek goddesses associated with the three Greek seasons: spring, summer and winter. Daughters of Zeus and Themis. Their names were Eunomia (good order), Dike (justice), and Eirene (peace). The Athenians recognized only two Horai: Thallo, associated with the blossoms of spring, and Karpo, associated with the ripened fruit of summer or autumn. The Horai were honoured in the annual festival known as the Horaia. The Horai eventually developed into the four modern seasons.

Commonly known as a hero from Greek myth, but generally believed to have originated as an ancient pre-Hellenic god, probably of vegetation. In the Greek legend, Hyakinthos was loved by Apollo, who accidentally killed him with a discus. This would suggest that Hyakinthos was originally a dying god like Adonis or the Mesopotamian Dumuzi whose death and resurrection symbolized the natural cycle of cereal vegetation. At Amyklai in Sparta Hyakinthos was regarded as a deified hero well into the Hellenic period. There he was worshipped in an annual festival, the Hyakinthia, where the worshippers passed from mourning for Hyakinthos to celebration for Apollo -- certainly suggestive of a rite associated with cereal vegetation where the dead plant gives new life through its seed.

Greek goddess of health. Daughter of Asklepios, the god of healing. Some later writers made her the consort of Asklepios. Her sacred animal was the snake, depicted drinking from a saucer or other drinking vessel held in her hand. Her worship spread to Rome in 293 BC, where she came to be identified with Salus.

(Hymenaios, Hymenaeus)
Greek god of marriage. He was traditionally said to be the son of Apollo and a Muse, while later writers made him the son of Dionysus and Aphrodite. He was invoked at weddings in the marriage song. He was depicted as a winged youth bearing a wedding torch and a garland.

Greek god of light. One of the Titans. Son of Ouranos (heaven) and Gaia (earth). Consort of Theia. Father of Helios (sun) and Selene (moon). Hyperion may have been little more than a personification of the sun or an epithet of Helios.

(Roman Somnus)
Greek god of sleep. Son of Erebos and Nyx (night). Brother of Thanatos (death).

Minor Greek deity associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries. He was considered the son of Demeter or Persephone. Possibly the husband of Demeter. In the mysteries, his name was invoked in connection with those of Demeter and Persephone. Some believe Iakchos to be identical with Dionysos (as Bacchus) or Zagreus. He was depicted bearing a torch and leading the participants in the mysteries.

See Eilithyia.

Greek heroine who raised the infant Dionysos while herself a child. Later, Hera drove Ino and her husband Athamas mad, and Ino leaped to her death in the sea, carrying her son Melicertes. She was elevated to the rank of sea goddess under the name of Leukothea, and Melicertes became Palaemon.

See Eirene.

"Rainbow". Greek goddess of the rainbow, and messenger of the gods. She was particularly the agent of Hera. According to Hesiod, she was the daughter of the Titan Thaumas and the nymph Electra. Also in Hesiod, it was her task to draw water from the River Styx which the gods used whenever declaring a solemn oath. She was depicted with wings and her attributes included a herald's staff and a water pitcher.

(Kabiroi, Cabeiri)
Greek fertility gods whose cult involved the celebration of mysteries typically associated with vegetation deities. They originated in Greek Anatolia, possibly in Phrygia, and subsequently spread to the islands of the Aegean, to Macedonia, and to northern and central Greece. In classical times they numbered two, though their numbers seem to have varied over time. They included the gods Axiocersus and his son Cadmilus. A female pair were also mentioned, Axierus and Axiocersa, although their role was of secondary importance. Their cult was particularly prominent on the islands of Lemnos and Samothrace, where their mysteries displayed an Orphic influence.

See Calliope.

See Callisto.

See Calypso.

See Camenae.

See Carpo.

(pl. Keres, Cer)
In Greek belief, a destructive or malevolent female spirit of the dead. Although some sources seem refer to a single Ker, the more common belief was in a host of Keres. They were said to be the daughters of Nyx and Erebos. In the Attic festival of the Anthesteria, the spirits of the dead, or Keres, were driven from the house.

(Latin Clio)
Greek muse of history.

See Clotho.

"Girl". An epithet of Persephone (qv).

See Cotys.

(Kuretes, Curetes)
Semidivine beings who were believed to have been early inhabitants of Crete. It was the Kouretes who prevented Kronos from discovering the hidden infant Zeus by dancing and clashing their weapons to prevent his cries from being heard. They were often equated with the Korybantes. The Kouretes may have had their origin as worshippers of Zeus Kouros (Zeus as a young man), perhaps dating back to Minoan times.

"Power". Greek god of strength. Brother of Bia (force).

(Cronos, Chronos, Cronus)
Primeval Greek god of time and a former supreme god. One of the Titans. Son of Ouranos (heaven) and Gaia (earth). Consort of Rhea. Father of Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Hades and Hestia. Little worshipped by the Greeks, Kronos may represent the vestiges of a pre-Hellenic god. The worship that was accorded him was generally associated with agriculture, such as the Attican harvest festival of the Kronia. Kronos overthrew his father Ouranos, castrating him with a sickle for good measure, perhaps as a symbolic separation of heaven and earth. Fearing that his own children might do the same to him, he proceeded to swallow them. Zeus, however, was saved Rhea, who hid him in Crete and tricked Kronos into swallowing a stone wrapped in infant's clothing. When Zeus reached maturity, he forced Kronos to disgorge his brothers and sisters, then hurled him into Tartaros. Subsequently, Kronos remained a prisoner in Tartaros, although some accounts make him the king of the Golden Age. He was generally depicted with a sickle and an hourglass. Known to the Romans as Saturn.

See Kouretes.

One of the Greek Moirai (qv), or Fates. According to Hesiod, the Moirai were daughters of Zeus and Themis. Lachesis was the "caster of lots" and it was she who spun out the thread of life.

Lycian mother or fertility goddess who was the probable original of the Greek Leto.

A female demon in Greek belief who devoured children. According to some sources she was a queen of Libya who fell in love with Zeus. The jealous Hera deformed her and killed her children. Lamia then turned to hunting and devouring children whom she lured away from their parents. Alternatively, she took on the form of a beautiful woman, enticing young men whom she would subsequently devour.

Greek goddess; former Anatolian mother goddess.

Greek nymph associated with the underworld river of the same name. Daughter of Eris (strife). The Lethe was the river of forgetfulness or oblivion.

(Latin Latona)
Greek Titaness and possible mother goddess. Daughter of Coeus (Kois) and Phoebe. Mother of Apollo and Artemis by Zeus. Leto appears to have been derived from a Lycian goddess named Lada, and she had cults of local importance in Lycia and at Phaistos on Crete.

"White Goddess". Greek sea goddess. The name given to the deified Ino. Daughter of Cadmus. As Ino, she had been the wife of Athamas. Having been driven mad by Hera in punishment for raising the infant Dionysos, Ino leapt to her death in the sea along with her son Melicertes. She was popular among sailors and fishermen. Believed to help sailors in distress, she was first mentioned in the Odyssey where she saved Odysseus from drowning.

"Word" or "Reason". For some Stoics of the Hellenistic age, Logos was the divine personification of the reason or plan underlying the cosmos. It was Philo of Alexandria (1st century AD) who first conceived of Logos in anthropomorphic terms. The Christians subsequently picked up the term and used it to refer to the "Word" which was made flesh in Jesus Christ.

Greek mother of Hermes.

See Gorgons.

See Erinyes.

Boeotian Muse of practice. The other Boeotian Muses were Aoide (Aeode) and Mneme.

Greek Palaemon (qv); adopted from the Phoenician Melkart.

Greek Muse of tragedy. Daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Her attributes include the tragic mask and the cothurnus (pl. cothurni), the boots traditionally worn by tragic actors.

In Greek mythology, the Delphic Muse associated with the middle string of the lyre. The other Delphic Muses were Hypate and Nete.

Greek goddess of wisdom. Daughter of Okeanos and Tethys. The first wife of Zeus whom he swallowed when he discovered that she was pregnant, fearing that she might give birth to a son mightier than he. Subsequently, Athena sprang fully armed from the head of Zeus. Metis is thus given as the mother of Athena, although some sources consider that, given the circumstances, she was the daughter of Zeus alone.

One of the three Greek judges of the underworld, along with Rhadamanthys and Sarpedon. He was originally a king of Crete. His cult involved the worship of bulls or of Minos in the form of a bull.

Boeotian Muse of memory. The other Boeotian Muses were Aoide (Aeode) and Melete.

Greek goddess of memory. According to Hesiod, mother of the nine Muses by Zeus. One of the Titans. Daughter of Ouranos (heaven) and Gaia (earth).

Greek divine personification of fate, to whom even the gods were subject.

(Moires, Moirae)
The Greek Fates. According to Hesiod, the daughters of Zeus and Themis. They were Atropos (the unbending, or the inevitable), Clotho (the spinner), and Lachesis (the caster of lots). As determiners of fate, they had supremacy even over the gods. Clotho spun out the thread of life, Lachesis determined its length, and Atropos cut it, resulting in death. The Romans called them the Parcae.

Greek personification of blame, censure. According to Hesiod, the son of Erebos and Nyx. A god of fault-finding and criticism, he was eventually banished from Olympus for mocking the other gods.

Greek god of destiny.

Greek god of dreams. Son of Hypnos, the god of sleep. His name derives from the Greek morphe (form, shape), and he is responsible for shaping dreams, or giving shape to the beings which inhabit dreams.

(Mousai, Moisai, Musae)
Greek goddess of the arts and sciences. Nine in number. Hesiod was the first to give them individual identities, and gave their parenst as Zeus and Mnemosyne. They included Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Erato (love poetry), Euterpe (lyric poetry), Melpomene (tragedy), Polyhymnia (song), Terpsichore (dance), Thalia (comedy), and Urania (astronomy).

Greek nymphs of freshwater: lakes, rivers, springs and fountains. They were depicted as beautiful women, and believed to be long- lived, but not immortal.

Greek nymphs associated with valleys (Greek nape = dell).

Greek goddess of justice and vengeance. She was essentially an abstraction, although she is given as the daughter of Erebos and Nyx. She was responsible for punishing human misconduct and arrogance (hubris). One of the legends associated with her, that of her rape by Zeus in the form of a swan, by whom she subsequently gave birth to Helen, probably refers to a separate goddess who is the deified form of Leda. The cult of Nemesis was particularly prominent at Rhamnus in Attica and at Smyrna.

(Nephythys, Nebthet)
Egyptian goddess of the dead. Sister of Isis, Osiris and Seth. Mother of Anubis by Osiris. Depicted with horns and a solar disc on her head. Her principal sanctuary was at Heliopolis. She guards the corpse of Osiris along with Isis.

Greek sea nymphs and attendants of Poseidon. Daughters of the sea god Nereus and the Oceanid Doris. The most famous Nereids were Amphitrite and Thetis.

Greek god of the sea. Son of Pontos and Gaia. Father of the Nereids by the Oceanid Doris. He was believed to live with the Nereids in the depths of the Aegean Sea. Homer referred to him as the "Old Man of the Sea". He was noted for his wisdom, his skill in prophecy, and for the ability to change his own shape. Herakles forced Nereus to divulge the location of the golden apples of the Hesperides by wrestling with Nereus in his many forms.

Delphic Muse of the low not of the lyre. The other Delphic Muses were Hypate and Mese.

See Nyx.

Greek goddess of victory. First mentioned in Hesiod's Theogony. Daughter of the giant Pallas and the underworld river Styx. She seems originally to have been an attribute of Zeus or Athena (e.g.: Athena Nike), in which capacity she was wingless and often depicted as a small figure held in the hand of either deity. As an independent deity, she was depicted as winged and bearing the laurel wreath which was delivered to the victor in a competition, whether in war, sport, artistic contests or any other endeavour. However, she was never entirely independent, as she remained the personification of victory delivered by Zeus or Athena. She was known to the Romans as Victoria.

Greek god of the south wind. In Greece, the south wind blows mainly in the autumn. Son of Astraeus and Eos. Brother of the other Winds (qv). Known to the Romans as Auster.

In Greek mythology, a minor class of female nature deities. They were usually associated with the fertile aspects of nature and with water. They were believed to be long-lived but not immortal. They were generally considered to be beneficent rather than destructive, and well disposed toward humans. The nymphs were commonly grouped into an array of subtypes: Oceanids (nymphs of the ocean), Nereids (sea nymphs), Naiads (freshwater nymphs), Dryads or Hamadryads (associated with forests and trees, particularly oak trees), Oreads (mountain nymphs), Napaeae (nymphs of valleys), among others. See also the entries under the individual subtypes.

(Nux, Nox)
"Night". Greek goddess of night. Often regarded as little more than a personification of the night, particularly in Greek cosmogony. Also regarded as a primordial goddess derived from Chaos. Her power was said to be great, overwhelming even Zeus. She was the mother of a number of primordial gods or entities, such as Hemera (day), Aither (light, or heaven), Hypnos (sleep), and Thanatos (death).

See Okeanides.

See Okeanos.

Minor Greek sea goddesses, or sea nymphs. Daughters of Okeanos and Tethys. Also the name given to the river gods said to be the offspring of Okeanos.

Greek god who personified the waters surrounding the earth. In Hesiod's Theogony, he is the son of Ouranos (heaven) and Gaia (earth). Consort of Tethys. Father of the Okeanides. His name later came to be associated with the Atlantic Ocean.

"Dreams". Minor Greek deities considered to be the source or active agents of dreams. Children of Hypnos or Nyx. Their names were Ikelos (Phobetor), Morpheus and Phantasos.

Greek nymphs of mountains and caves.

"Heaven" or "Sky". Greek god of the heavens or of the sky. According to Hesiod's Theogony, Ouranos was one of the first 'children' of Gaia, along with the Mountains and the Sea. He then became Gaia's consort, which union produced the Titans, the Cyclopes, and the Hekatoncheiroi. Ouranos hurled his offspring into the underworld (Tartaros) and kept them imprisoned there, either out of hatred or of fear. At the urging of Gaia, Kronos castrated Ouranos with a sickle (thus separating heaven and earth) and overthrew him. The blood of Ouranos fell to earth (Gaia), giving rise to the Giants, the Erinyes and the Meliai (ash-tree nymphs). Kronos threw his severed testicles fell the sea, where, according to some versions, they gave rise to the goddess Aphrodite.

Greek god of healing and physician to the other gods. This may originally have been merely an epithet of Apollo, however he did emerge as an independent deity in later Greek literature.

Minor Greek sea god. The deified form of Melicertes after his death. Melicertes was the son of Athamas and Ino. Both were driven mad, and Ino leapt to her death in the sea carrying Melicertes with her.

Greek shepherd god. Depicted in human form with the legs, horns and ears of a goat. Son of Hermes and the nymph Penelope. He was said to have been born on Mt. Cyllene in Arcadia. He originated as an Arcadian deity and that region remained the most important centre of his cult. Although Hermes took him to Olympus, his haunts were generally the forests and fields of the country, and he was believed to live in caves. Pan was the patron deity of fishermen and hunters as well as of shepherds. On the other hand, he was believed to take delight in frightening unsuspecting travellers. A god of fertility and unbridled male sexuality, he was known for pursuing nymphs in the form of a goat. One of the nymphs he pursued, Syrinx, changed herself into a reed to escape him. Pan then cut several reeds and devised what are known as the pan-pipes (syrinx). He later used these pipes to defeat Apollo in a music contest. In addition to having goat's horns, legs and ears, he was depicted as being coarse in appearance, bearded, and bearing the syrinx pipes or a shepherd's crook. The Romans equated him with their Faunus.

"All-Healing". Minor Greek goddess of health.

One of the Greek Muses in some versions. Daughter of Zeus and Eurynome. May simply be another name for Aegle (Aeglaia).

"Persuasion". Greek goddess of persuasion. Daughter of Hermes and Aphrodite, although Hesiod makes her the daughter of Okeanos. An attendant of Aphrodite.

(Peneius, Peneus)
Thessalian river god. Possibly the father of Daphne and the nymphs of Thessaly.

One of the Graiae in Greek mythology. Daughter of Phorkys and Ceto. Sister of the other Graiae, Deino and Enyo.

Greek underworld goddess. Conosrt of the sun god Helios. Mother of Circe and Pasiphae. Perse embodied the underworld aspects of the moon. She was also known as Neaira, "the new one", or the new moon.

(Roman Proserpina)
Greek goddess of the underworld. Daughter of Zeus and Demeter. Once, while picking flowers in the Vale of Nysa (reputedly in Sicily), she was abducted by Hades, who forced her to become his wife in the underworld. The gods, concerned that her mother's grief was causing the earth's vegetation to shrivel and die, sent Hermes to negotiate for her return. He succeeded in gaining Hades permission but, because Persephone had eaten a single pomegranate seed while in the underworld, she was only allowed to return to her mother for two thirds of the year. The earth's vegetation was believed to prosper during the two thirds of the year that Persephone was with her mother and waste away during the third spent in the underworld. This paralleled the cycle of the seasons in the Mediterranean, where late summer is a period of drought. This celebration of this story became the central part of the Eleusinian mysteries. She was referred to as Kore ("girl" or "maiden") in her association with Demeter, and some scholars believe she was only an aspect of Demeter and not a deity in her own right. Certainly the story of Persephone was inseparable from that of Demeter, as was her worship. In Orphism, a mystery religion centering around the similar legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, Persephone was the mother of Zagreus by Zeus.

"Light". Primordial Greek sun god. In Orphism, he was the first god to emerge from the primeval egg engendered by Kronos. In another tradition, he was the father of Nyx (night).

(Roman Fama)
Greek goddess of popular rumour. She had an altar at Athens.

"Panic". Greek god of fear and terror. Son of Ares and Aphrodite. He accompanied Ares into battle.

(Phorcys, Phorkos)
Greek sea god. According to Hesiod, the son of Pontos (Okeanos) and Gaia. Consort of the sea-monster Ceto (Keto). Father of the Gorgons and the Graii.

(Phosphorus, Heosphoros)
Greek god of the morning star. Son of Eos (dawn) and either Astraios or Cephalus. He was depicted as a naked youth running ahead of his mother, bearing a torch.

An epithet of the Greek god of the underworld, Hades (qv).

"Riches". Greek god of wealth and abundance. Primarily a god of agricultural wealth. According to Hesiod, he was the son of Demeter and the Titan Iasion, and was born in Crete. Plutos was said to have been blinded by Zeus so that he might dispense his riches indiscriminately, although this seems to have been derived from a comedy by Aristophanes. He had a temple at Eleusis, and was worshipped in the Eleusinian Mysteries along with Demeter and Persephone. Depicted as a boy with a cornucopia.

Minor Greek god of healing. Son of Asklepios. He was a doctor in the Greek army which besieged Troy. He was known as the "Great Healer" in Greek Anatolia and Thessaly.

See Polyhymnia.

(Polhymnia, Polymnia)
Greek Muse of song. Daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne. According to some traditions, she was the mother of Orpheus by Oeagrus.

"Sea". Greek sea god. Son of Ouranos (heaven) and Gaia (earth). He may be identical with Okeanos (qv). His mother Gaia became his consort for a time, producing the sea gods Nereus and Phorkys.

Greek god of the sea. Son of Kronos and Rhea. He and his siblings were swallowed by Kronos, but they were later rescued by their brother Zeus. The brothers Zeus, Poseidon and Hades later divided the world among themselves, with Poseidon receiving dominion over the sea. His chief consort was Amphitrite. Father of Antaios, Orion and Polyphemos. Poseidon was secondarily a god of mariners (to whom he may send storms or a fair voyage), of waters in general, and of earthquakes. In the latter capacity he was known as Enosigaios or Enosichthon, meaning "earth-shaker". Athena defeated Poseidon in their famous contest for the allegiance of Athens. While Poseidon offered humanity the boon of the horse, Athena offered the olive. Elsewhere, he helped Apollo build the walls of Troy. However, he became an implacable enemy of Troy after Laomedon refused to pay him, and he sided with the Greeks in the Trojan War. Poseidon was closely associated with horses as Hippios ("of horses"), and the horse was sacred to him. He fathered many famous horses, including the winged Pegasus by the Gorgon Medusa, and another winged horse, Areon, by Erinys. In Corinth, horse-races were held in his honour. On Argos horses were sacrificed to him by drowning in a whirlpool. Poseidon was generally depicted as an older, bearded man carrying a trident (the three-pronged fisherman's spear). There were temples at Cape Sunium, the southern-most tip of Greece, at Pylos in Crete, and Mount Mykale in Greek Anatolia. Freshwater springs were often consecrated to Poseidon as well. As an oracular deity, he had an oracle at Cape Tainairon and, according to one tradition, he was the first keeper of the oracle at Delphi. Regattas were held in his honour off Cape Sunium. Poseidon's chief festival was the Isthmia, scene of the Isthmian Games, celebrated near the Isthmus of Corinth.

Greek god of fertility. Son of Dionysos and Aphrodite. His cult originated in Phrygia and did not enter Greece proper until the rise of Macedonia under Phillip and Alexander. The cult remained most popular in Greek Anatolia, particularly at Lampsacus on the Hellespont, which was said to have been his birthplace. He was more popular in the country than in the cities. Priapos was depicted as an ugly, satyr-like man with an enormous phallus. His fertility aspect evidenced itself in an indiscriminate sexual appetite, as well as in his role as a god of fruitfulness, notably of gardens, flocks of sheep and goats, and of vines. Ithyphallic statues of Priapos were often placed in gardens. The donkey was his sacred animal, from its presumed sexual appetite. He was also a patron of seafarers and fishermen.

"Forethought". Greek god and culture hero. Son of the Titan Iapetos and Klymene. Prometheus is best known for the story of his conflict with Zeus. This began when Prometheus tricked Zeus into accepting the bones and fat of a sacrifice instead of the meat. Zeus retaliated by hiding fire from humanity, but Prometheus stole the fire and gave it to mankind. As punishment for this rebellion, Zeus had Prometheus chained to a rock in the Caucasus Mountains, where an eagle fed on his liver, which continually restored itself. Zeus also sent Pandora and her jar of evils to even the score with humanity. As for Prometheus, Herakles eventually killed the eagle and released him. As a culture hero, Prometheus was also given credit for teaching humanity various handicrafts and arts, and he was considered a patron of craftsmen and artisans. According to another tradition, Prometheus actually created humanity, shaping the first man and woman out of clay and water.

Greek sea god. Commonly known as the "Old Man of the Sea". Son of Okeanos and Tethys. He was a shepherd of sea creatures , which were his particular concern as a god of the sea. Proteus had the ability to change shape at will, a common trait of Greek sea deities. He was also known for his oracular powers and vast knowledge, but had to be forced to divulge any of his knowledge. In such circumstances, he would use all his skills as a shape- shifter to escape. Proteus was said to live either on the island of Pharos near the mouth of the Nile, or on the island of Carpathus between Crete and Rhodes.

(Rhadamanthos, Rhadamanthus)
Greek underworld god. Son of Zeus and Europa. Ruler of Crete who was succeeded as king by his brother Minos. After death he became one of the three judges of the dead in the underworld, along with Aiakos and Minos.

Greek mother of the gods. Daughter of Ouranos (heaven) and Gaia (earth). Consort of Kronos. Mother of Demeter, Hades, Hera, Hestia, Poseidon and Zeus. When Kronos swallowed his children, Rhea spirited Zeus away to a cave on the island of Crete, substituting a stone wrapped in swaddling cloths for the infant. Rhea was later equated with the Anatolian mother goddess Kybele.

(Sabazius, Sabos)
A Phrygian or Thracian god identified with Dionysos. Perhaps only an epithet of Dionysos. His worship was associated with that of Kybele and Attis, and his cult entered Greece proper in the 5th century BC.

Greek woodland gods or spirits. They had a human upper body and the lower body of a goat. They were generally depicted as having dishevelled hair with goat horns and ears, and with an erect penis (ithyphallic). In early Greek art they were portrayed as grotesque in appearance, but Praxiteles began a later tradition in which they were shown as being handsome. The Satyrs were closely associated with Dionysos, and were related to the Silenes (qv).

See Horae.

Greek goddess of the moon. Daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia. Sister of Helios (sun) and Eos (dawn). Mother of Pandia by Zeus, and of fifty daughters by Endymion. She rode across the sky in a chariot drawn by two white horses. Also a tutelary deity of magicians. Selene was sometimes identified with Artemis as a moon goddess. She became syncretized with Hekate in later Greek mythology. The Romans equated her with Luna.

Minor Greek goddess. She may have originated as a Phrygian or Thracian earth goddess. Daughter of Cadmus (Kadmos) and Harmonia. According to some traditions, she was the mother of Dionysos by Zeus. The story goes that the jealous Hera tricked her into asking Zeus to prove his divinity to her. When Zeus revealed himself to her in his divine form, Semele, then a mortal, was burned to death by the intensity of his appearance. Zeus later deified her and she took her place among the gods under the name of Thyone.

Greek earth-goddesses.

Greek woodland gods or spirits. Similar to the Satyrs (qv), except that they were sometimes said to be half horse, whereas the Satyrs were half goat. The Sileni tended to be depicted as lechers and drunkards, often bald-headed and pot-bellied.

Minor Greek woodland god. Son of Hermes and Gaia, or of Pan. King of Nysa, and the teacher of Dionysos. One of the Sileni, half-man and either half-horse or half-goat. He was a talented musician.

Hybrid creatures in Greek mythology who were half bird and half woman. In Homer, there were two Sirens on an island in the western Mediterranean. Their number later increased to three or more. The names most commonly given are Parthenope, Ligeia and Leucosia. They were said to be the daughters either of the sea god Phorkys or of the river god Acheloos. They were depicted in Greek art either as birds with the heads of women, or as winged women with bird legs. They were known for luring sailors to their island with their bewitching song, where their victims starved to death. Odysseus managed to escape them by having his men stop up their ears and tie him to the mast of his boat. When the Argonauts had to pass them, Orpheus sang a song that was even more enchanting than theirs, so that the sailors paid no attention to them.

One of the Greek Gorgons. Daughter of Phorkys and Ceto. Her sisters were the Graii and her fellow Gorgons, Medusa and Euryale.

"Hateful". Greek goddess of the underworld river of the same name. According to Hesiod, she is the daughter of Okeanos and Tethys. Mother of Nike, Bia, Kratos and Zelos by the Titan Hyperion. When the gods swore their most solemn oaths, they drank water drawn from the Styx.

An Arcadian nymph or Hamadryad who turned herself into a reed to escape the advances of Pan (qv).

One of the Erinyes, the Greek avenging goddesses. Daughter of Gaia, impregnated with the blood of the castrated Ouranos. Her sisters and fellow Erinyes were Megaira and Alekto.

Greek Muse of dancing. Daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne. She was depicted with a lyre. According to some traditions, she was also the mother of the Sirens by the river god Acheloos.

Greek demi-goddess of the sea. One of the Titans. Daughter of Ouranos (heaven) and Gaia (earth). Consort of Okeanos. Mother of the Okeanides.

Greek Muse of comedy. Daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Hesiod also made her one of the three Charites (Graces), although this may have been a separate individual. As the Muse of comedy, her attributes were the comic mask and a shepherd's staff.

One of the Athenian Horai (Seasons). Thallo was associated with the spring. Daughter of Zeus and Themis. Her sister was Karpo (autumn).

Greek god of death. More usually Thanatos was merely the abstract principle of death. According to Hesiod, he was the son of Nyx (night) and had no father. Twin brother of Hypnos (sleep).

(Thea, Euryphaessa)
Minor Greek goddess. One of the Titans. Daughter of Ouranos (heaven) and Gaia (earth). Consort of her brother Hyperion. Mother of Helios (sun), Eos (dawn) and Selene (moon).

Greek goddess of justice and order. One of the Titans. Daughter of Ouranos (heaven) and Gaia (earth). She was the second consort of Zeus, after Metis. Mother of the Horai (Seasons) and the Moirai (Fates). She had oracular powers, and was said to have started the oracle at Delphi, which she later gave to Apollo. Her cult was popular throughout Greece, and she shared a temple at Rhamnus in Attica with the goddess Nemesis. She was often represented holding a pair of scales.

Minor Greek goddess or nymph. Daughter of the sea god Nereus. Wife of the mortal Peleus. Mother of Achilles. Thetis attempted to make Achilles invulnerable by dipping him in the waters of the river Styx. It was at her wedding that the goddess Eris rolled the Golden Apple that began the dispute among the gods which eventually led to the Trojan War, in which Achilles died. She lived in the ocean depths attended by a retinue of Nereids.

See Teisiphone.

Secondary race of Greek gods. The children of Ouranos (heaven) and Gaia (earth). They formed six married pairs: Kronos and Rhea, Okeanos and Tethys, Hyperion and Theia, Coeus and Phoebe, Iapetos and Clymene, Crius and Eurybia. The Titans were also siblings of the Cyclops and Hekatoncheiroi. Led by Kronos, the Titans overthrew their father Ouranos. In turn, however, they were themselves were overthrown by Zeus and the Cyclops. Zeus then hurled them into the underworld, where he kept them imprisoned.

Minor Greek sea god. He was depicted as a merman, with the upper body of a man and the tail of a dolphin or a fish. Son of Poseidon and Amphitrite. According to Hesiod, he lived with his parents in a golden palace at the bottom of the sea. The Greeks often thought of there being many Tritons rather than just one. His attribute was the conch shell, which he blew as a horn.

Greek goddess of fate and fortune. According to Hesiod, she was the daughter of Okeanos and Tethys. In Pindar, Zeus is given as her father. She was often associated with Agathos Daimon, the "Good Spirit", and with Nemesis, the goddess of justice and vengeance. Tyche was depicted with a rudder or a cornucopia, and often with wheel as a symbol of the transitory nature of fortune and of the fickle character of the goddess herself. She had a temple at Argos, where the first set of dice were said to have been invented. Her temple at Antioch remained intact at least until the reign of the Roman Emperor Theodosius (AD 379-95).

(Typhaon, Typhoeus)
"Whirlwind". A monster in Greek mythology. Son of Gaia (earth) and Tartaros (underworld). He had a hundred dragon-heads and either snake's feet or a body covered in snakes. His sister and wife was the monster Echidna, by whom he was the father of Cerberus, the Chimaera, the Lernean Hydra, the Nemean Lion, and the Sphinx. At one point, he attacked and imprisoned Zeus, who had to be rescued by Hermes and Pan. Zeus then imprisoned Typhon either in the underworld or under Mt. Aetna. He was believed to cause dangerous winds and earthquakes. Typhon later came to be identified with the Egyptian god Seth.

Greek Muse of astronomy and astrology. Daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Her attributes were the globe (representing the heavenly sphere) and compass.

See Ouranos.

Chief god in Greek Orphism. Said in Orphism to be the son of Zeus and Persephone. Zagreus seems to have originated as a pre-Hellenic god of animals and hunting.

Supreme god of the Thracian Getae and Dacians. Known only from the writings of Herodotus. Zalmoxis was said to have taken human form and lived among humans for a time. He then disappeared into the underworld for three years before returning in the fourth year.

"Zeal". Son of Hyperion and Styx. He was a companion of Zeus.

(Zephyrus, Zephyr)
Greek god of the west wind. Son of Astraios and Eos. Believed to live in a cave in Thrace. Known to the Romans as Favonius.

Supreme Greek god and head of the Greek pantheon. In addition, Zeus functioned as a sky god or weather god, and as a god of justice and freedom. Son of the Titans Kronos and Rhea. Consort of Hera. His cult probably dates back to the Mycenean and Minoan civilizations. According to Homer, he lived on Mt. Olympus in Thessaly, where he gathered the other gods under his dominion. After his birth, Rhea saved the infant Zeus from being swallowed by Kronos along with his siblings by substituting a stone dressed in swaddling cloths. She then hid the child in a cave on the island of Crete, where the Kouretes performed a dance in which they clashed their weapons about him in order to drown out his cries. His nurse while in Crete was Amalthea, either a nymph or a goat. Upon reaching maturity, Zeus overthrew the Titans and forced Kronos to disgorge his siblings. Zeus then cast Kronos into Tartaros and established himself as head of a new pantheon in which he and his siblings had the most prominent roles. He divided dominion over the world with his brothers Poseidon and Hades. Zeus's sexual prowess was legendary, and he either seduced or forced himself upon numerous goddesses, nymphs, and mortal women, fathering countless children in the process. He assumed many different forms in pursuit of his numerous affairs. He appeared to Leda in the form of a swan, to Danae as a shower of gold, and to Europa as a white bull. Ares, Eleithyia and Hephaistos were the most prominent of his children by his official consort Hera, whom he originally seduced in the form of a cuckoo (although some sources say that it was Hera who seduced Zeus). He fathered Apollo and Artemis by Leto, Persephone by Demeter, Hermes by Maia, Dionysos by Semele, the Horai and Moirai by Themis, the Muses by Mnemosyne, and Herakles by Alkmene. Athena was also said to have been born from his forehead after he had swallowed Metis. Zeus may also have had a homosexual relationship with Ganymede, whom he made the cupbearer of the gods. The cult of Zeus was of universal significance in the Greek world, although his cult was often secondary in individual locations to the local tutelary deity, such as Athena in Athens. Greek households typically had statues of Zeus in their forecourts, and he was often associated with mountaintop shrines. He had temples in every Greek city, two of the more notable being in Athens and at Olympia. His most important festival was at Olympia. The oracle at Dodona in Epirus was dedicated to Zeus. He was depicted as a bearded and physically imposing man of middle age. His most common attributes were the thunderbolt and the eagle.

Thracian storm god.


I: Museaspect Ritual, Softlight Charm
II: Lyre of Apollo Charm, Minor Prophecy Ritual
III: Healing Light Ritual
IV: Shepherd's Watch Spell
V: Apollo's Song of the Sun Formula

I: Enhance Intoxication Charm, Spike Beverage Charm
II: Resist Intoxication Cantrip, Spike Drink Cantrip
III: Feast of Bacchus Formula
V: Festival of Bacchus Ritual

I: Assess Field Formula, Seedsprout Ritual
II: Fastweeder Formula, Frostshield Ritual
III: Earth Enrichen Ritual
IV: Fastharvest Ritual
V: Bountiful Harvest Ritual

I: Animaltrack Formula, Ease Birth Pang Cantrip
II: Ease Birth Charm, Sureflight Arrow Charm
III: Nurture Animal Ritual
IV: Suretarget Arrow Charm, Vaccination Shield Ritual
V: Nocturnal Tracking Formula

I: Detect Infidelity Charm, Locate Spouse Formula
II: Encourage Fidelity Cantrip, Marital Bliss Ritual
III: Punish Transgression Formula
IV: Affair Enlightenment Ritual
V: Punish Infidelity Ritual

I: Weaponspark Charm, Roll of Thunder Charm
II: Encourage Infidelity Cantrip, Thundervoice Cantrip
III: Mask Adulterer Formula, Lightningstrike Cantrip
IV: Raincall Ritual
V: Thunderstorm Ritual

I: Assist Strike Charm, Swiftspear Charm
II: Encourage Battle Cantrip, Unbreakable Weapon Spell
III: Surestrike Cantrip
IV: Bloodlust Charm
V: Blessing of Mars Ritual

I: Fleetfoot Cantrip, Safemessage Cantrip
II: Secretmessage Charm, Swiftrunner Formula
III: Burst of Speed Charm
IV: Maskmovement Cantrip
V: Winged Boots Ritual

I: Assess Threat Spell, Fastparry Formula
II: Minerva's Wisdom Formula, Shield Strengthen Formula
III: Minerva's Aegis Ritual
IV: Blessarmy Ritual
V: Defend City Ritual

I: Bring Fish Formula, Fishfollow Ritual
II: Sealove Charm, Undersea Breathing Formula, Waverider Formula
III: Wavestrider Spell
IV: Watersteed Ritual
V: Springwater Ritual

I: Fear of Death Charm, Hound of Cerberus Ritual
II: Funereal Blessing Ritual, Underearth Freedom
III: Chariotride Ritual
IV: Seedbind Charm
V: Earthswallow Formula

I: Coiffure Assurance Spell, Detect Truelove Charm, Perfect Makeup Formula
II: Enhance Attractiveness Formula, Detect Love Cantrip
III: Encourage Loving Spell, Improve Figure Ritual
IV: Lovebind Ritual
V: Improve Attractiveness Ritual

I: Rodentbanish Spell, Sweephearth Formula
II: Cleanse Room Formula, Warmth of Belonging Charm
III: Eveninglog Ritual
IV: Longburning Fire Ritual
V: Hearth & Home Ritual

I: Metaldouse Charm, Stronghammer Formula
II: Fireiron Charm
III: Minutehammer Formula
V: Heat of the Forge Formula

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