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Greek mythology
Greek mythology
is the body of myths and teachings that belong to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. It was a part of the religion in ancient Greece. Modern scholars refer to and study the myths in an attempt to shed light on the religious and political institutions of ancient Greece and its civilization, and to gain understanding of the nature of myth-making itself.[1] Greek mythology
Greek mythology
has had an extensive influence on the culture, arts, and literature of Western civilization and remains part of Western heritage and language. Poets and artists from ancient times to the present have derived inspiration from Greek mythology
Greek mythology
and have discovered contemporary significance and relevance in the themes.[2]

Achilles
Achilles
and Penthesileia
Penthesileia
by Exekias, c. 540 BC, British Museum, London.

Greek mythology
Greek mythology
is explicitly embodied in a large collection of narratives, and implicitly in Greek representational arts, such as ancient vase-paintings and votive gifts. Greek myth attempts to explain the origins of the world, and details the lives and adventures of a wide variety of gods, goddesses, heroes, heroines and mythological creatures. These accounts initially were disseminated in an oral-poetic tradition most likely by Minoan and Mycenaean singers starting in the 18th century BC[3]; today the Greek myths are known primarily from ancient Greek literature. The oldest known Greek literary sources, Homer's epic poems Iliad
Iliad
and Odyssey, focus on the Trojan War
Trojan War
and its aftermath. Two poems by Homer's near contemporary Hesiod, the Theogony
Theogony
and the Works and Days, contain accounts of the genesis of the world, the succession of divine rulers, the succession of human ages, the origin of human woes, and the origin of sacrificial practices. Myths are also preserved in the Homeric Hymns, in fragments of epic poems of the Epic Cycle, in lyric poems, in the works of the tragedians and comedians of the fifth century BC, in writings of scholars and poets of the Hellenistic Age, and in texts from the time of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
by writers such as Plutarch
Plutarch
and Pausanias. Archaeological findings provide a principal source of detail about Greek mythology, with gods and heroes featured prominently in the decoration of many artifacts. Geometric designs on pottery of the eighth century BC depict scenes from the Trojan cycle as well as the adventures of Heracles. In the succeeding Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods, Homeric and various other mythological scenes appear, supplementing the existing literary evidence.[4]

Contents

1 Sources

1.1 Literary sources 1.2 Archaeological sources

2 Survey of mythic history

2.1 Origins of the world and the gods

2.1.1 Greek pantheon

2.2 Age of gods and mortals 2.3 Heroic age

2.3.1 Heracles
Heracles
and the Heracleidae 2.3.2 Argonauts 2.3.3 House of Atreus
Atreus
and Theban Cycle 2.3.4 Trojan War
Trojan War
and aftermath

3 Greek and Roman conceptions of myth

3.1 Philosophy and myth 3.2 Hellenistic and Roman rationalism 3.3 Syncretizing trends

4 Modern interpretations

4.1 Comparative and psychoanalytic approaches 4.2 Origin theories

5 Motifs in Western art and literature 6 References

6.1 Primary sources (Greek and Roman) 6.2 Secondary sources

7 Further reading 8 External links

Sources Greek mythology
Greek mythology
is known today primarily from Greek literature and representations on visual media dating from the Geometric period from c. 900–800 BC onward.[5] In fact, literary and archaeological sources integrate, sometimes mutually supportive and sometimes in conflict; however, in many cases, the existence of this corpus of data is a strong indication that many elements of Greek mythology
Greek mythology
have strong factual and historical roots.[6] Literary sources Mythical narration plays an important role in nearly every genre of Greek literature. Nevertheless, the only general mythographical handbook to survive from Greek antiquity was the Library of Pseudo-Apollodorus. This work attempts to reconcile the contradictory tales of the poets and provides a grand summary of traditional Greek mythology and heroic legends.[7] Apollodorus of Athens lived from c. 180–125 BC and wrote on many of these topics. His writings may have formed the basis for the collection; however the "Library" discusses events that occurred long after his death, hence the name Pseudo-Apollodorus.

Prometheus
Prometheus
(1868 by Gustave Moreau). The myth of Prometheus
Prometheus
first was attested by Hesiod
Hesiod
and then constituted the basis for a tragic trilogy of plays, possibly by Aeschylus, consisting of Prometheus
Prometheus
Bound, Prometheus
Prometheus
Unbound, and Prometheus
Prometheus
Pyrphoros.

Among the earliest literary sources are Homer's two epic poems, the Iliad
Iliad
and the Odyssey. Other poets completed the "epic cycle", but these later and lesser poems now are lost almost entirely. Despite their traditional name, the "Homeric Hymns" have no direct connection with Homer. They are choral hymns from the earlier part of the so-called Lyric age.[8] Hesiod, a possible contemporary with Homer, offers in his Theogony
Theogony
(Origin of the Gods) the fullest account of the earliest Greek myths, dealing with the creation of the world; the origin of the gods, Titans, and Giants; as well as elaborate genealogies, folktales, and etiological myths. Hesiod's Works and Days, a didactic poem about farming life, also includes the myths of Prometheus, Pandora, and the Five Ages. The poet gives advice on the best way to succeed in a dangerous world, rendered yet more dangerous by its gods.[4] Lyrical poets often took their subjects from myth, but their treatment became gradually less narrative and more allusive. Greek lyric poets, including Pindar, Bacchylides
Bacchylides
and Simonides, and bucolic poets such as Theocritus
Theocritus
and Bion, relate individual mythological incidents.[9] Additionally, myth was central to classical Athenian drama. The tragic playwrights Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides
Euripides
took most of their plots from myths of the age of heroes and the Trojan War. Many of the great tragic stories (e.g. Agamemnon
Agamemnon
and his children, Oedipus, Jason, Medea, etc.) took on their classic form in these tragedies. The comic playwright Aristophanes
Aristophanes
also used myths, in The Birds and The Frogs.[10] Historians Herodotus
Herodotus
and Diodorus Siculus, and geographers Pausanias and Strabo, who traveled throughout the Greek world and noted the stories they heard, supplied numerous local myths and legends, often giving little-known alternative versions.[9] Herodotus
Herodotus
in particular, searched the various traditions presented him and found the historical or mythological roots in the confrontation between Greece and the East.[11] Herodotus
Herodotus
attempted to reconcile origins and the blending of differing cultural concepts. The poetry of the Hellenistic and Roman ages was primarily composed as a literary rather than cultic exercise. Nevertheless, it contains many important details that would otherwise be lost. This category includes the works of:

The Roman poets Ovid, Statius, Valerius Flaccus, Seneca and Virgil with Servius's commentary. The Greek poets of the Late Antique period: Nonnus, Antoninus Liberalis, and Quintus Smyrnaeus. The Greek poets of the Hellenistic period: Apollonius of Rhodes, Callimachus, Pseudo-Eratosthenes, and Parthenius.

Prose writers from the same periods who make reference to myths include Apuleius, Petronius, Lollianus, and Heliodorus. Two other important non-poetical sources are the Fabulae and Astronomica of the Roman writer styled as Pseudo-Hyginus, the Imagines of Philostratus the Elder and Philostratus the Younger, and the Descriptions of Callistratus. Finally, a number of Byzantine
Byzantine
Greek writers provide important details of myth, much derived from earlier now lost Greek works. These preservers of myth include Arnobius, Hesychius, the author of the Suda, John Tzetzes, and Eustathius. They often treat mythology from a Christian moralizing perspective.[12] Archaeological sources

The Roman poet Virgil, here depicted in the fifth-century manuscript, the Vergilius Romanus, preserved details of Greek mythology
Greek mythology
in many of his writings.

The discovery of the Mycenaean civilization by the German amateur archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann
Heinrich Schliemann
in the nineteenth century, and the discovery of the Minoan civilization
Minoan civilization
in Crete
Crete
by the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans
Arthur Evans
in the twentieth century, helped to explain many existing questions about Homer's epics and provided archaeological evidence for many of the mythological details about gods and heroes. Unfortunately, the evidence about myths and rituals at Mycenaean and Minoan sites is entirely monumental, as the Linear B script (an ancient form of Greek found in both Crete
Crete
and mainland Greece) was used mainly to record inventories, although certain names of gods and heroes have been tentatively identified.[4] Geometric designs on pottery of the eighth century BC depict scenes from the Trojan cycle, as well as the adventures of Heracles.[4] These visual representations of myths are important for two reasons. Firstly, many Greek myths are attested on vases earlier than in literary sources: of the twelve labors of Heracles, for example, only the Cerberus
Cerberus
adventure occurs in a contemporary literary text.[13] Secondly, visual sources sometimes represent myths or mythical scenes that are not attested in any extant literary source. In some cases, the first known representation of a myth in geometric art predates its first known representation in late archaic poetry, by several centuries.[5] In the Archaic (c. 750–c. 500 BC), Classical (c. 480–323 BC), and Hellenistic (323–146 BC) periods, Homeric and various other mythological scenes appear, supplementing the existing literary evidence.[4] Survey of mythic history

Phaedra with an attendant, probably her nurse, a fresco from Pompeii, 60-20 BC

Greek mythology
Greek mythology
has changed over time to accommodate the evolution of their culture, of which mythology, both overtly and in its unspoken assumptions, is an index of the changes. In Greek mythology's surviving literary forms, as found mostly at the end of the progressive changes, it is inherently political, as Gilbert Cuthbertson has argued.[14] The earlier inhabitants of the Balkan Peninsula were an agricultural people who, using Animism, assigned a spirit to every aspect of nature. Eventually, these vague spirits assumed human forms and entered the local mythology as gods.[15] When tribes from the north of the Balkan Peninsula invaded, they brought with them a new pantheon of gods, based on conquest, force, prowess in battle, and violent heroism. Other older gods of the agricultural world fused with those of the more powerful invaders or else faded into insignificance.[16] After the middle of the Archaic period, myths about relationships between male gods and male heroes became more and more frequent, indicating the parallel development of pedagogic pederasty (eros paidikos, παιδικὸς ἔρως), thought to have been introduced around 630 BC. By the end of the fifth century BC, poets had assigned at least one eromenos, an adolescent boy who was their sexual companion, to every important god except Ares
Ares
and to many legendary figures.[17] Previously existing myths, such as those of Achilles
Achilles
and Patroclus, also then were cast in a pederastic light.[18] Alexandrian poets at first, then more generally literary mythographers in the early Roman Empire, often re-adapted stories of Greek mythological characters in this fashion. The achievement of epic poetry was to create story-cycles and, as a result, to develop a new sense of mythological chronology. Thus Greek mythology unfolds as a phase in the development of the world and of humans.[19] While self-contradictions in these stories make an absolute timeline impossible, an approximate chronology may be discerned. The resulting mythological "history of the world" may be divided into three or four broader periods:

The myths of origin or age of gods (Theogonies, "births of gods"): myths about the origins of the world, the gods, and the human race. The age when gods and mortals mingled freely: stories of the early interactions between gods, demigods, and mortals. The age of heroes (heroic age), where divine activity was more limited. The last and greatest of the heroic legends is the story of the Trojan War
Trojan War
and after (which is regarded by some researchers as a separate, fourth period).[20]

While the age of gods often has been of more interest to contemporary students of myth, the Greek authors of the archaic and classical eras had a clear preference for the age of heroes, establishing a chronology and record of human accomplishments after the questions of how the world came into being were explained. For example, the heroic Iliad
Iliad
and Odyssey
Odyssey
dwarfed the divine-focused Theogony
Theogony
and Homeric Hymns in both size and popularity. Under the influence of Homer
Homer
the "hero cult" leads to a restructuring in spiritual life, expressed in the separation of the realm of the gods from the realm of the dead (heroes), of the Chthonic
Chthonic
from the Olympian.[21] In the Works and Days, Hesiod
Hesiod
makes use of a scheme of Four Ages of Man
Ages of Man
(or Races): Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Iron. These races or ages are separate creations of the gods, the Golden Age
Golden Age
belonging to the reign of Cronos, the subsequent races to the creation of Zeus. The presence of evil was explained by the myth of Pandora, when all of the best of human capabilities, save hope, had been spilled out of her overturned jar.[22] In Metamorphoses, Ovid
Ovid
follows Hesiod's concept of the four ages.[23] Origins of the world and the gods Further information: Greek primordial gods and Family tree of the Greek gods

Amor Vincit Omnia (Love Conquers All), a depiction of the god of love, Eros. By Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Merisi da Caravaggio, circa 1601–1602.

"Myths of origin" or "creation myths" represent an attempt to explain the beginnings of the universe in human language.[24] The most widely accepted version at the time, although a philosophical account of the beginning of things, is reported by Hesiod, in his Theogony. He begins with Chaos, a yawning nothingness. Out of the void emerged Gaia (the Earth) and some other primary divine beings: Eros
Eros
(Love), the Abyss (the Tartarus), and the Erebus.[25] Without male assistance, Gaia gave birth to Uranus (the Sky) who then fertilized her. From that union were born first the Titans—six males: Coeus, Crius, Cronus, Hyperion, Iapetus, and Oceanus; and six females: Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Rhea, Theia, Themis, and Tethys. After Cronus
Cronus
was born, Gaia and Uranus decreed no more Titans were to be born. They were followed by the one-eyed Cyclopes and the Hecatonchires
Hecatonchires
or Hundred-Handed Ones, who were both thrown into Tartarus
Tartarus
by Uranus. This made Gaia furious. Cronus
Cronus
("the wily, youngest and most terrible of Gaia's children"[25]), was convinced by Gaia to castrate his father. He did this, and became the ruler of the Titans with his sister-wife Rhea as his consort, and the other Titans became his court. A motif of father-against-son conflict was repeated when Cronus
Cronus
was confronted by his son, Zeus. Because Cronus
Cronus
had betrayed his father, he feared that his offspring would do the same, and so each time Rhea gave birth, he snatched up the child and ate it. Rhea hated this and tricked him by hiding Zeus
Zeus
and wrapping a stone in a baby's blanket, which Cronus
Cronus
ate. When Zeus
Zeus
was full grown, he fed Cronus
Cronus
a drugged drink which caused him to vomit, throwing up Rhea's other children and the stone, which had been sitting in Cronus's stomach all along. Zeus then challenged Cronus
Cronus
to war for the kingship of the gods. At last, with the help of the Cyclopes (whom Zeus
Zeus
freed from Tartarus), Zeus and his siblings were victorious, while Cronus
Cronus
and the Titans were hurled down to imprisonment in Tartarus.[26]

Attic black-figured amphora depicting Athena
Athena
being "reborn" from the head of Zeus, who had swallowed her mother Metis, on the right, Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth, assists, circa 550–525 BC (Musée du Louvre, Paris).

Zeus
Zeus
was plagued by the same concern, and after a prophecy that the offspring of his first wife, Metis, would give birth to a god "greater than he", Zeus
Zeus
swallowed her.[27] She was already pregnant with Athena, however, and she burst forth from his head—fully-grown and dressed for war.[28] The earliest Greek thought about poetry considered the theogonies to be the prototypical poetic genre—the prototypical mythos—and imputed almost magical powers to it. Orpheus, the archetypal poet, also was the archetypal singer of theogonies, which he uses to calm seas and storms in Apollonius' Argonautica, and to move the stony hearts of the underworld gods in his descent to Hades. When Hermes invents the lyre in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes, the first thing he does is sing about the birth of the gods.[29] Hesiod's Theogony
Theogony
is not only the fullest surviving account of the gods, but also the fullest surviving account of the archaic poet's function, with its long preliminary invocation to the Muses. Theogony
Theogony
also was the subject of many lost poems, including those attributed to Orpheus, Musaeus, Epimenides, Abaris, and other legendary seers, which were used in private ritual purifications and mystery-rites. There are indications that Plato
Plato
was familiar with some version of the Orphic theogony.[30] A silence would have been expected about religious rites and beliefs, however, and that nature of the culture would not have been reported by members of the society while the beliefs were held. After they ceased to become religious beliefs, few would have known the rites and rituals. Allusions often existed, however, to aspects that were quite public. Images existed on pottery and religious artwork that were interpreted and more likely, misinterpreted in many diverse myths and tales. A few fragments of these works survive in quotations by Neoplatonist philosophers and recently unearthed papyrus scraps. One of these scraps, the Derveni Papyrus
Papyrus
now proves that at least in the fifth century BC a theogonic-cosmogonic poem of Orpheus
Orpheus
was in existence.[31] The first philosophical cosmologists reacted against, or sometimes built upon, popular mythical conceptions that had existed in the Greek world for some time. Some of these popular conceptions can be gleaned from the poetry of Homer
Homer
and Hesiod. In Homer, the Earth was viewed as a flat disk afloat on the river of Oceanus
Oceanus
and overlooked by a hemispherical sky with sun, moon, and stars. The Sun (Helios) traversed the heavens as a charioteer and sailed around the Earth in a golden bowl at night. Sun, earth, heaven, rivers, and winds could be addressed in prayers and called to witness oaths. Natural fissures were popularly regarded as entrances to the subterranean house of Hades
Hades
and his predecessors, home of the dead.[32] Influences from other cultures always afforded new themes. Greek pantheon Further information: Ancient Greek religion, Twelve Olympians, Family Tree of the Greek Gods, and List of Mycenaean gods

Zeus, disguised as a swan, seduces Leda, the Queen of Sparta. A sixteenth-century copy of the lost original by Michelangelo.

According to Classical-era mythology, after the overthrow of the Titans, the new pantheon of gods and goddesses was confirmed. Among the principal Greek gods were the Olympians, residing on Mount Olympus under the eye of Zeus. (The limitation of their number to twelve seems to have been a comparatively modern idea.)[33] Besides the Olympians, the Greeks worshipped various gods of the countryside, the satyr-god Pan, Nymphs (spirits of rivers), Naiads (who dwelled in springs), Dryads (who were spirits of the trees), Nereids (who inhabited the sea), river gods, Satyrs, and others. In addition, there were the dark powers of the underworld, such as the Erinyes
Erinyes
(or Furies), said to pursue those guilty of crimes against blood-relatives.[34] In order to honor the Ancient Greek pantheon, poets composed the Homeric Hymns (a group of thirty-three songs).[35] Gregory Nagy regards "the larger Homeric Hymns as simple preludes (compared with Theogony), each of which invokes one god".[36] The gods of Greek mythology
Greek mythology
are described as having essentially corporeal but ideal bodies. According to Walter Burkert, the defining characteristic of Greek anthropomorphism is that "the Greek gods are persons, not abstractions, ideas or concepts".[37] Regardless of their underlying forms, the Ancient Greek gods have many fantastic abilities; most significantly, the gods are not affected by disease, and can be wounded only under highly unusual circumstances. The Greeks considered immortality as the distinctive characteristic of their gods; this immortality, as well as unfading youth, was insured by the constant use of nectar and ambrosia, by which the divine blood was renewed in their veins.[38] Each god descends from his or her own genealogy, pursues differing interests, has a certain area of expertise, and is governed by a unique personality; however, these descriptions arise from a multiplicity of archaic local variants, which do not always agree with one another. When these gods are called upon in poetry, prayer or cult, they are referred to by a combination of their name and epithets, that identify them by these distinctions from other manifestations of themselves (e.g., Apollo
Apollo
Musagetes is "Apollo, [as] leader of the Muses"). Alternatively the epithet may identify a particular and localized aspect of the god, sometimes thought to be already ancient during the classical epoch of Greece. Most gods were associated with specific aspects of life. For example, Aphrodite
Aphrodite
was the goddess of love and beauty, Ares
Ares
was the god of war, Hades
Hades
the ruler of the underworld, and Athena
Athena
the goddess of wisdom and courage.[39] Some gods, such as Apollo
Apollo
and Dionysus, revealed complex personalities and mixtures of functions, while others, such as Hestia
Hestia
(literally "hearth") and Helios
Helios
(literally "sun"), were little more than personifications. The most impressive temples tended to be dedicated to a limited number of gods, who were the focus of large pan-Hellenic cults. It was, however, common for individual regions and villages to devote their own cults to minor gods. Many cities also honored the more well-known gods with unusual local rites and associated strange myths with them that were unknown elsewhere. During the heroic age, the cult of heroes (or demi-gods) supplemented that of the gods. Age of gods and mortals Bridging the age when gods lived alone and the age when divine interference in human affairs was limited was a transitional age in which gods and mortals moved together. These were the early days of the world when the groups mingled more freely than they did later. Most of these tales were later told by Ovid's Metamorphoses
Metamorphoses
and they are often divided into two thematic groups: tales of love, and tales of punishment.[40]

Dionysus
Dionysus
with satyrs. Interior of a cup painted by the Brygos Painter, Cabinet des Médailles.

Tales of love often involve incest, or the seduction or rape of a mortal woman by a male god, resulting in heroic offspring. The stories generally suggest that relationships between gods and mortals are something to avoid; even consenting relationships rarely have happy endings.[41] In a few cases, a female divinity mates with a mortal man, as in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, where the goddess lies with Anchises
Anchises
to produce Aeneas.[42] The second type (tales of punishment) involves the appropriation or invention of some important cultural artifact, as when Prometheus steals fire from the gods, when Tantalus
Tantalus
steals nectar and ambrosia from Zeus' table and gives it to his own subjects—revealing to them the secrets of the gods, when Prometheus
Prometheus
or Lycaon invents sacrifice, when Demeter
Demeter
teaches agriculture and the Mysteries to Triptolemus, or when Marsyas
Marsyas
invents the aulos and enters into a musical contest with Apollo. Ian Morris considers Prometheus' adventures as "a place between the history of the gods and that of man".[43] An anonymous papyrus fragment, dated to the third century, vividly portrays Dionysus' punishment of the king of Thrace, Lycurgus, whose recognition of the new god came too late, resulting in horrific penalties that extended into the afterlife.[44] The story of the arrival of Dionysus
Dionysus
to establish his cult in Thrace
Thrace
was also the subject of an Aeschylean trilogy.[45] In another tragedy, Euripides' The Bacchae, the king of Thebes, Pentheus, is punished by Dionysus, because he disrespected the god and spied on his Maenads, the female worshippers of the god.[46]

Demeter
Demeter
and Metanira
Metanira
in a detail on an Apulian red-figure hydria, circa 340 BC (Altes Museum, Berlin).

In another story, based on an old folktale-motif,[47] and echoing a similar theme, Demeter
Demeter
was searching for her daughter, Persephone, having taken the form of an old woman called Doso, and received a hospitable welcome from Celeus, the King of Eleusis
Eleusis
in Attica. As a gift to Celeus, because of his hospitality, Demeter
Demeter
planned to make his son Demophon a god, but she was unable to complete the ritual because his mother Metanira
Metanira
walked in and saw her son in the fire and screamed in fright, which angered Demeter, who lamented that foolish mortals do not understand the concept and ritual.[48] Heroic age The age in which the heroes lived is known as the heroic age.[49] The epic and genealogical poetry created cycles of stories clustered around particular heroes or events and established the family relationships between the heroes of different stories; they thus arranged the stories in sequence. According to Ken Dowden, "There is even a saga effect: We can follow the fates of some families in successive generations".[19] After the rise of the hero cult, gods and heroes constitute the sacral sphere and are invoked together in oaths and prayers which are addressed to them.[21] Burkert notes that "the roster of heroes, again in contrast to the gods, is never given fixed and final form. Great gods are no longer born, but new heroes can always be raised up from the army of the dead." Another important difference between the hero cult and the cult of gods is that the hero becomes the centre of local group identity.[50] The monumental events of Heracles
Heracles
are regarded as the dawn of the age of heroes. To the Heroic Age are also ascribed three great events: the Argonautic expedition, the Theban Cycle, and the Trojan War.[51] Heracles
Heracles
and the Heracleidae Further information: Heracles, Heracleidae, and Hercules

Heracles
Heracles
with his baby Telephus
Telephus
( Louvre
Louvre
Museum, Paris).

Some scholars believe[52] that behind Heracles' complicated mythology there was probably a real man, perhaps a chieftain-vassal of the kingdom of Argos. Some scholars suggest the story of Heracles
Heracles
is an allegory for the sun's yearly passage through the twelve constellations of the zodiac.[53] Others point to earlier myths from other cultures, showing the story of Heracles
Heracles
as a local adaptation of hero myths already well established. Traditionally, Heracles
Heracles
was the son of Zeus
Zeus
and Alcmene, granddaughter of Perseus.[54] His fantastic solitary exploits, with their many folk-tale themes, provided much material for popular legend. According to Burkert, "He is portrayed as a sacrificer, mentioned as a founder of altars, and imagined as a voracious eater himself; it is in this role that he appears in comedy, while his tragic end provided much material for tragedy — Heracles is regarded by Thalia Papadopoulou as "a play of great significance in examination of other Euripidean dramas".[55] In art and literature Heracles
Heracles
was represented as an enormously strong man of moderate height; his characteristic weapon was the bow but frequently also the club. Vase paintings demonstrate the unparalleled popularity of Heracles, his fight with the lion being depicted many hundreds of times.[56] Heracles
Heracles
also entered Etruscan and Roman mythology
Roman mythology
and cult, and the exclamation "mehercule" became as familiar to the Romans as "Herakleis" was to the Greeks.[56] In Italy
Italy
he was worshipped as a god of merchants and traders, although others also prayed to him for his characteristic gifts of good luck or rescue from danger.[54] Heracles
Heracles
attained the highest social prestige through his appointment as official ancestor of the Dorian kings. This probably served as a legitimation for the Dorian migrations into the Peloponnese. Hyllus, the eponymous hero of one Dorian phyle, became the son of Heracles
Heracles
and one of the Heracleidae
Heracleidae
or Heraclids (the numerous descendants of Heracles, especially the descendants of Hyllus — other Heracleidae included Macaria, Lamos, Manto, Bianor, Tlepolemus, and Telephus). These Heraclids conquered the Peloponnesian kingdoms of Mycenae, Sparta
Sparta
and Argos, claiming, according to legend, a right to rule them through their ancestor. Their rise to dominance is frequently called the "Dorian invasion". The Lydian and later the Macedonian kings, as rulers of the same rank, also became Heracleidae.[57] Other members of this earliest generation of heroes such as Perseus, Deucalion, Theseus
Theseus
and Bellerophon, have many traits in common with Heracles. Like him, their exploits are solitary, fantastic and border on fairy tale, as they slay monsters such as the Chimera and Medusa. Bellerophon's adventures are commonplace types, similar to the adventures of Heracles
Heracles
and Theseus. Sending a hero to his presumed death is also a recurrent theme of this early heroic tradition, used in the cases of Perseus
Perseus
and Bellerophon.[58] Argonauts Further information: Argonauts The only surviving Hellenistic epic, the Argonautica
Argonautica
of Apollonius of Rhodes (epic poet, scholar, and director of the Library of Alexandria) tells the myth of the voyage of Jason
Jason
and the Argonauts
Argonauts
to retrieve the Golden Fleece
Golden Fleece
from the mythical land of Colchis. In the Argonautica, Jason
Jason
is impelled on his quest by king Pelias, who receives a prophecy that a man with one sandal would be his nemesis. Jason
Jason
loses a sandal in a river, arrives at the court of Pelias, and the epic is set in motion. Nearly every member of the next generation of heroes, as well as Heracles, went with Jason
Jason
in the ship Argo
Argo
to fetch the Golden Fleece. This generation also included Theseus, who went to Crete
Crete
to slay the Minotaur; Atalanta, the female heroine, and Meleager, who once had an epic cycle of his own to rival the Iliad
Iliad
and Odyssey. Pindar, Apollonius and the Bibliotheca endeavor to give full lists of the Argonauts.[59] Although Apollonius wrote his poem in the 3rd century BC, the composition of the story of the Argonauts
Argonauts
is earlier than Odyssey, which shows familiarity with the exploits of Jason
Jason
(the wandering of Odysseus
Odysseus
may have been partly founded on it).[60] In ancient times the expedition was regarded as a historical fact, an incident in the opening up of the Black Sea
Black Sea
to Greek commerce and colonization.[61] It was also extremely popular, forming a cycle to which a number of local legends became attached. The story of Medea, in particular, caught the imagination of the tragic poets.[62] House of Atreus
Atreus
and Theban Cycle Further information: Theban Cycle
Theban Cycle
and Seven Against Thebes In between the Argo
Argo
and the Trojan War, there was a generation known chiefly for its horrific crimes. This includes the doings of Atreus and Thyestes
Thyestes
at Argos. Behind the myth of the house of Atreus
Atreus
(one of the two principal heroic dynasties with the house of Labdacus) lies the problem of the devolution of power and of the mode of accession to sovereignty. The twins Atreus
Atreus
and Thyestes
Thyestes
with their descendants played the leading role in the tragedy of the devolution of power in Mycenae.[63] The Theban Cycle
Theban Cycle
deals with events associated especially with Cadmus, the city's founder, and later with the doings of Laius and Oedipus
Oedipus
at Thebes; a series of stories that lead to the eventual pillage of that city at the hands of the Seven Against Thebes
Seven Against Thebes
and Epigoni.[64] (It is not known whether the Seven Against Thebes
Seven Against Thebes
figured in early epic.) As far as Oedipus
Oedipus
is concerned, early epic accounts seem to have him continuing to rule at Thebes after the revelation that Iokaste was his mother, and subsequently marrying a second wife who becomes the mother of his children — markedly different from the tale known to us through tragedy (e.g. Sophocles' Oedipus
Oedipus
Rex) and later mythological accounts.[65] Trojan War
Trojan War
and aftermath

El Juicio de Paris by Enrique Simonet, 1904. Paris is holding the golden apple on his right hand while surveying the goddesses in a calculative manner.

In The Rage of Achilles
Achilles
by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
(1757, Fresco, 300 x 300 cm, Villa Valmarana, Vicenza) Achilles
Achilles
is outraged that Agamemnon
Agamemnon
would threaten to seize his warprize, Briseis, and he draws his sword to kill Agamemnon. The sudden appearance of the goddess Athena, who, in this fresco, has grabbed Achilles
Achilles
by the hair, prevents the act of violence.

Further information: Trojan War
Trojan War
and Epic Cycle Greek mythology
Greek mythology
culminates in the Trojan War, fought between Greece and Troy, and its aftermath. In Homer's works, such as the Iliad, the chief stories have already taken shape and substance, and individual themes were elaborated later, especially in Greek drama. The Trojan War also elicited great interest in the Roman culture because of the story of Aeneas, a Trojan hero whose journey from Troy
Troy
led to the founding of the city that would one day become Rome, as recounted in Virgil's Aeneid
Aeneid
(Book II of Virgil's Aeneid
Aeneid
contains the best-known account of the sack of Troy).[66] Finally there are two pseudo-chronicles written in Latin that passed under the names of Dictys Cretensis and Dares Phrygius.[67] The Trojan War
Trojan War
cycle, a collection of epic poems, starts with the events leading up to the war: Eris and the golden apple of Kallisti, the Judgement of Paris, the abduction of Helen, the sacrifice of Iphigenia
Iphigenia
at Aulis. To recover Helen, the Greeks launched a great expedition under the overall command of Menelaus's brother, Agamemnon, king of Argos
Argos
or Mycenae, but the Trojans refused to return Helen. The Iliad, which is set in the tenth year of the war, tells of the quarrel between Agamemnon
Agamemnon
and Achilles, who was the finest Greek warrior, and the consequent deaths in battle of Achilles' beloved comrade Patroclus and Priam's eldest son, Hector. After Hector's death the Trojans were joined by two exotic allies, Penthesilea, queen of the Amazons, and Memnon, king of the Ethiopians and son of the dawn-goddess Eos.[68] Achilles
Achilles
killed both of these, but Paris then managed to kill Achilles with an arrow in the heel. Achilles' heel was the only part of his body which was not invulnerable to damage by human weaponry. Before they could take Troy, the Greeks had to steal from the citadel the wooden image of Pallas Athena
Athena
(the Palladium). Finally, with Athena's help, they built the Trojan Horse. Despite the warnings of Priam's daughter Cassandra, the Trojans were persuaded by Sinon, a Greek who feigned desertion, to take the horse inside the walls of Troy
Troy
as an offering to Athena; the priest Laocoon, who tried to have the horse destroyed, was killed by sea-serpents. At night the Greek fleet returned, and the Greeks from the horse opened the gates of Troy. In the total sack that followed, Priam
Priam
and his remaining sons were slaughtered; the Trojan women passed into slavery in various cities of Greece. The adventurous homeward voyages of the Greek leaders (including the wanderings of Odysseus
Odysseus
and Aeneas
Aeneas
(the Aeneid), and the murder of Agamemnon) were told in two epics, the Returns (the lost Nostoi) and Homer's Odyssey.[69] The Trojan cycle also includes the adventures of the children of the Trojan generation (e.g., Orestes and Telemachus).[68] The Trojan War
Trojan War
provided a variety of themes and became a main source of inspiration for Ancient Greek artists (e.g. metopes on the Parthenon
Parthenon
depicting the sack of Troy); this artistic preference for themes deriving from the Trojan Cycle indicates its importance to the Ancient Greek civilization.[69] The same mythological cycle also inspired a series of posterior European literary writings. For instance, Trojan Medieval European writers, unacquainted with Homer
Homer
at first hand, found in the Troy
Troy
legend a rich source of heroic and romantic storytelling and a convenient framework into which to fit their own courtly and chivalric ideals. Twelfth-century authors, such as Benoît de Sainte-Maure (Roman de Troie [Romance of Troy, 1154–60]) and Joseph of Exeter (De Bello Troiano [On the Trojan War, 1183]) describe the war while rewriting the standard version they found in Dictys and Dares. They thus follow Horace's advice and Virgil's example: they rewrite a poem of Troy
Troy
instead of telling something completely new.[70] Some of the more famous heroes noted for their inclusion in the Trojan War were: On the Trojan side:

Aeneas Hector Paris

On the Greek side:

Ajax (there were two Ajaxes) Achilles King Agamemnon Menelaus Odysseus

Greek and Roman conceptions of myth Mythology
Mythology
was at the heart of everyday life in Ancient Greece.[71] Greeks regarded mythology as a part of their history. They used myth to explain natural phenomena, cultural variations, traditional enmities and friendships. It was a source of pride to be able to trace the descent of one's leaders from a mythological hero or a god. Few ever doubted that there was truth behind the account of the Trojan War in the Iliad
Iliad
and Odyssey. According to Victor Davis Hanson, a military historian, columnist, political essayist and former classics professor, and John Heath, a classics professor, the profound knowledge of the Homeric epos was deemed by the Greeks the basis of their acculturation. Homer
Homer
was the "education of Greece" (Ἑλλάδος παίδευσις), and his poetry "the Book".[72] Philosophy and myth

Raphael's Plato
Plato
in The School of Athens
The School of Athens
fresco (probably in the likeness of Leonardo da Vinci). The philosopher expelled the study of Homer, of the tragedies and of the related mythological traditions from his utopian Republic.

After the rise of philosophy, history, prose and rationalism in the late 5th century BC, the fate of myth became uncertain, and mythological genealogies gave place to a conception of history which tried to exclude the supernatural (such as the Thucydidean history).[73] While poets and dramatists were reworking the myths, Greek historians and philosophers were beginning to criticize them.[8] A few radical philosophers like Xenophanes
Xenophanes
of Colophon were already beginning to label the poets' tales as blasphemous lies in the 6th century BC; Xenophanes
Xenophanes
had complained that Homer
Homer
and Hesiod
Hesiod
attributed to the gods "all that is shameful and disgraceful among men; they steal, commit adultery, and deceive one another".[74] This line of thought found its most sweeping expression in Plato's Republic and Laws. Plato
Plato
created his own allegorical myths (such as the vision of Er in the Republic), attacked the traditional tales of the gods' tricks, thefts and adulteries as immoral, and objected to their central role in literature.[8] Plato's criticism was the first serious challenge to the Homeric mythological tradition,[72] referring to the myths as "old wives' chatter".[75] For his part Aristotle criticized the Pre-socratic quasi-mythical philosophical approach and underscored that " Hesiod
Hesiod
and the theological writers were concerned only with what seemed plausible to themselves, and had no respect for us ... But it is not worth taking seriously writers who show off in the mythical style; as for those who do proceed by proving their assertions, we must cross-examine them".[73] Nevertheless, even Plato
Plato
did not manage to wean himself and his society from the influence of myth; his own characterization for Socrates
Socrates
is based on the traditional Homeric and tragic patterns, used by the philosopher to praise the righteous life of his teacher:[76]

But perhaps someone might say: "Are you then not ashamed, Socrates, of having followed such a pursuit, that you are now in danger of being put to death as a result?" But I should make to him a just reply: "You do not speak well, Sir, if you think a man in whom there is even a little merit ought to consider danger of life or death, and not rather regard this only, when he does things, whether the things he does are right or wrong and the acts of a good or a bad man. For according to your argument all the demigods would be bad who died at Troy, including the son of Thetis, who so despised danger, in comparison with enduring any disgrace, that when his mother (and she was a goddess) said to him, as he was eager to slay Hector, something like this, I believe,

My son, if you avenge the death of your friend Patroclus
Patroclus
and kill Hector, you yourself shall die; for straightway, after Hector, is death appointed unto you. (Hom. Il. 18.96)

he, when he heard this, made light of death and danger, and feared much more to live as a coward and not to avenge his friends, and said,

Straightway may I die, after doing vengeance upon the wrongdoer, that I may not stay here, jeered at beside the curved ships, a burden of the earth.

Hanson and Heath estimate that Plato's rejection of the Homeric tradition was not favorably received by the grassroots Greek civilization.[72] The old myths were kept alive in local cults; they continued to influence poetry and to form the main subject of painting and sculpture.[73] More sportingly, the 5th century BC tragedian Euripides
Euripides
often played with the old traditions, mocking them, and through the voice of his characters injecting notes of doubt. Yet the subjects of his plays were taken, without exception, from myth. Many of these plays were written in answer to a predecessor's version of the same or similar myth. Euripides
Euripides
mainly impugns the myths about the gods and begins his critique with an objection similar to the one previously expressed by Xenocrates: the gods, as traditionally represented, are far too crassly anthropomorphic.[74] Hellenistic and Roman rationalism

Cicero
Cicero
saw himself as the defender of the established order, despite his personal skepticism with regard to myth and his inclination towards more philosophical conceptions of divinity.

During the Hellenistic period, mythology took on the prestige of elite knowledge that marks its possessors as belonging to a certain class. At the same time, the skeptical turn of the Classical age became even more pronounced.[77] Greek mythographer Euhemerus established the tradition of seeking an actual historical basis for mythical beings and events.[78] Although his original work (Sacred Scriptures) is lost, much is known about it from what is recorded by Diodorus and Lactantius.[79] Rationalizing hermeneutics of myth became even more popular under the Roman Empire, thanks to the physicalist theories of Stoic and Epicurean philosophy. Stoics presented explanations of the gods and heroes as physical phenomena, while the Euhemerists rationalized them as historical figures. At the same time, the Stoics and the Neoplatonists promoted the moral significations of the mythological tradition, often based on Greek etymologies.[80] Through his Epicurean message, Lucretius
Lucretius
had sought to expel superstitious fears from the minds of his fellow-citizens.[81] Livy, too, is skeptical about the mythological tradition and claims that he does not intend to pass judgement on such legends (fabulae).[82] The challenge for Romans with a strong and apologetic sense of religious tradition was to defend that tradition while conceding that it was often a breeding-ground for superstition. The antiquarian Varro, who regarded religion as a human institution with great importance for the preservation of good in society, devoted rigorous study to the origins of religious cults. In his Antiquitates Rerum Divinarum (which has not survived, but Augustine's City of God
God
indicates its general approach) Varro argues that whereas the superstitious man fears the gods, the truly religious person venerates them as parents.[81] According to Varro, there have been three accounts of deities in the Roman society: the mythical account created by poets for theatre and entertainment, the civil account used by people for veneration as well as by the city, and the natural account created by the philosophers.[83] The best state is, adds Varro, where the civil theology combines the poetic mythical account with the philosopher's.[83] Roman Academic Cotta ridicules both literal and allegorical acceptance of myth, declaring roundly that myths have no place in philosophy.[84] Cicero
Cicero
is also generally disdainful of myth, but, like Varro, he is emphatic in his support for the state religion and its institutions. It is difficult to know how far down the social scale this rationalism extended.[82] Cicero
Cicero
asserts that no one (not even old women and boys) is so foolish as to believe in the terrors of Hades
Hades
or the existence of Scyllas, centaurs or other composite creatures,[85] but, on the other hand, the orator elsewhere complains of the superstitious and credulous character of the people.[86] De Natura Deorum is the most comprehensive summary of Cicero's line of thought.[87] Syncretizing trends

Apollo
Apollo
(early Imperial Roman copy of a fourth-century Greek original, Louvre
Louvre
Museum).

See also: Roman mythology In Ancient Roman times, a new Roman mythology
Roman mythology
was born through syncretization of numerous Greek and other foreign gods. This occurred because the Romans had little mythology of their own, and inheritance of the Greek mythological tradition caused the major Roman gods to adopt characteristics of their Greek equivalents.[82] The gods Zeus and Jupiter are an example of this mythological overlap. In addition to the combination of the two mythological traditions, the association of the Romans with eastern religions led to further syncretizations.[88] For instance, the cult of Sun was introduced in Rome after Aurelian's successful campaigns in Syria. The Asiatic divinities Mithras (that is to say, the Sun) and Ba'al were combined with Apollo
Apollo
and Helios
Helios
into one Sol Invictus, with conglomerated rites and compound attributes.[89] Apollo
Apollo
might be increasingly identified in religion with Helios
Helios
or even Dionysus, but texts retelling his myths seldom reflected such developments. The traditional literary mythology was increasingly dissociated from actual religious practice. The worship of Sol as special protector of the emperors and of the empire remained the chief imperial religion until it was replaced by Christianity. The surviving 2nd-century collection of Orphic Hymns (second century AD) and the Saturnalia of Macrobius Ambrosius Theodosius
Macrobius Ambrosius Theodosius
(fifth century) are influenced by the theories of rationalism and the syncretizing trends as well. The Orphic Hymns are a set of pre-classical poetic compositions, attributed to Orpheus, himself the subject of a renowned myth. In reality, these poems were probably composed by several different poets, and contain a rich set of clues about prehistoric European mythology.[90] The stated purpose of the Saturnalia is to transmit the Hellenic culture Macrobius has derived from his reading, even though much of his treatment of gods is colored by Egyptian and North African mythology and theology (which also affect the interpretation of Virgil). In Saturnalia reappear mythographical comments influenced by the Euhemerists, the Stoics and the Neoplatonists.[80] Modern interpretations Further information: Modern understanding of Greek mythology The genesis of modern understanding of Greek mythology
Greek mythology
is regarded by some scholars as a double reaction at the end of the eighteenth century against "the traditional attitude of Christian animosity", in which the Christian reinterpretation of myth as a "lie" or fable had been retained.[91] In Germany, by about 1795, there was a growing interest in Homer
Homer
and Greek mythology. In Göttingen, Johann Matthias Gesner began to revive Greek studies, while his successor, Christian Gottlob Heyne, worked with Johann Joachim Winckelmann, and laid the foundations for mythological research both in Germany and elsewhere.[92] Comparative and psychoanalytic approaches

Max Müller
Max Müller
is regarded as one of the founders of comparative mythology. In his Comparative Mythology
Mythology
(1867) Müller analysed the "disturbing" similarity between the mythologies of "savage races" with those of the early Europeans.

See also: Comparative mythology The development of comparative philology in the 19th century, together with ethnological discoveries in the 20th century, established the science of myth. Since the Romantics, all study of myth has been comparative. Wilhelm Mannhardt, James Frazer, and Stith Thompson employed the comparative approach to collect and classify the themes of folklore and mythology.[93] In 1871 Edward Burnett Tylor
Edward Burnett Tylor
published his Primitive Culture, in which he applied the comparative method and tried to explain the origin and evolution of religion.[94] Tylor's procedure of drawing together material culture, ritual and myth of widely separated cultures influenced both Carl Jung
Carl Jung
and Joseph Campbell. Max Müller
Max Müller
applied the new science of comparative mythology to the study of myth, in which he detected the distorted remains of Aryan
Aryan
nature worship. Bronisław Malinowski
Bronisław Malinowski
emphasized the ways myth fulfills common social functions. Claude Lévi-Strauss
Claude Lévi-Strauss
and other structuralists have compared the formal relations and patterns in myths throughout the world.[93] Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
introduced a transhistorical and biological conception of man and a view of myth as an expression of repressed ideas. Dream interpretation is the basis of Freudian myth interpretation and Freud's concept of dreamwork recognizes the importance of contextual relationships for the interpretation of any individual element in a dream. This suggestion would find an important point of rapprochment between the structuralist and psychoanalytic approaches to myth in Freud's thought.[95] Carl Jung
Carl Jung
extended the transhistorical, psychological approach with his theory of the "collective unconscious" and the archetypes (inherited "archaic" patterns), often encoded in myth, that arise out of it.[4] According to Jung, "myth-forming structural elements must be present in the unconscious psyche".[96] Comparing Jung's methodology with Joseph Campbell's theory, Robert A. Segal concludes that "to interpret a myth Campbell simply identifies the archetypes in it. An interpretation of the Odyssey, for example, would show how Odysseus's life conforms to a heroic pattern. Jung, by contrast, considers the identification of archetypes merely the first step in the interpretation of a myth".[97] Karl Kerényi, one of the founders of modern studies in Greek mythology, gave up his early views of myth, in order to apply Jung's theories of archetypes to Greek myth.[98] Origin theories See also: Similarities between Roman, Greek and Etruscan mythologies

For Karl Kerényi
Karl Kerényi
mythology is "a body of material contained in tales about gods and god-like beings, heroic battles and journeys to the Underworld—mythologem is the best Greek word for them—tales already well-known but not amenable to further re-shaping".[99]

Max Müller
Max Müller
attempted to understand an Indo-European religious form by tracing it back to its Indo-European (or, in Müller's time, "Aryan") "original" manifestation. In 1891, he claimed that "the most important discovery which has been made during the nineteenth century with respect to the ancient history of mankind ... was this sample equation: Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Dyaus-pitar = Greek Zeus
Zeus
= Latin Jupiter = Old Norse Tyr".[100] The question of Greek mythology's place in Indo-European studies
Indo-European studies
has generated much scholarship since Müller's time. For example, philologist Georges Dumézil
Georges Dumézil
draws a comparison between the Greek Uranus and the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Varuna, although there is no hint that he believes them to be originally connected.[101] In other cases, close parallels in character and function suggest a common heritage, yet lack of linguistic evidence makes it difficult to prove, as in the case of the Greek Moirai
Moirai
and the Norns
Norns
of Norse mythology.[102] Archaeology
Archaeology
and mythography, on the other hand, have revealed that the Greeks were also inspired by some of the civilizations of Asia Minor and the Near East. Adonis
Adonis
seems to be the Greek counterpart — more clearly in cult than in myth — of a Near Eastern "dying god". Cybele is rooted in Anatolian culture while much of Aphrodite's iconography may spring from Semitic goddesses. There are also possible parallels between the earliest divine generations (Chaos and its children) and Tiamat
Tiamat
in the Enuma Elish.[103] According to Meyer Reinhold, "near Eastern theogonic concepts, involving divine succession through violence and generational conflicts for power, found their way ... into Greek mythology".[104] In addition to Indo-European and Near Eastern origins, some scholars have speculated on the debts of Greek mythology to the pre-Hellenic societies: Crete, Mycenae, Pylos, Thebes and Orchomenus.[105] Historians of religion were fascinated by a number of apparently ancient configurations of myth connected with Crete
Crete
(the god as bull, Zeus
Zeus
and Europa, Pasiphaë
Pasiphaë
who yields to the bull and gives birth to the Minotaur, etc.). Martin P. Nilsson concluded that all great classical Greek myths were tied to Mycenaen centres and anchored in prehistoric times.[106] Nevertheless, according to Burkert, the iconography of the Cretan Palace Period has provided almost no confirmation for these theories.[107] Motifs in Western art and literature Further information: Greek mythology
Greek mythology
in western art and literature See also: List of films based on Greco- Roman mythology
Roman mythology
and Greek mythology in popular culture

Botticelli's The Birth of Venus (c. 1485–1486, oil on canvas, Uffizi, Florence) — a revived Venus Pudica for a new view of pagan Antiquity—is often said to epitomize for modern viewers the spirit of the Renaissance.[4]

The widespread adoption of Christianity did not curb the popularity of the myths. With the rediscovery of classical antiquity in the Renaissance, the poetry of Ovid
Ovid
became a major influence on the imagination of poets, dramatists, musicians and artists.[108] From the early years of Renaissance, artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael, portrayed the Pagan subjects of Greek mythology alongside more conventional Christian themes.[108] Through the medium of Latin and the works of Ovid, Greek myth influenced medieval and Renaissance
Renaissance
poets such as Petrarch, Boccaccio and Dante in Italy.[4]

The Lament for Icarus
The Lament for Icarus
(1898) by Herbert James Draper

In Northern Europe, Greek mythology
Greek mythology
never took the same hold of the visual arts, but its effect was very obvious on literature. The English imagination was fired by Greek mythology
Greek mythology
starting with Chaucer and John Milton
John Milton
and continuing through Shakespeare to Robert Bridges in the 20th century. Racine in France and Goethe in Germany revived Greek drama, reworking the ancient myths.[108] Although during the Enlightenment of the 18th century reaction against Greek myth spread throughout Europe, the myths continued to provide an important source of raw material for dramatists, including those who wrote the libretti for many of Handel's and Mozart's operas.[109] By the end of the 18th century, Romanticism
Romanticism
initiated a surge of enthusiasm for all things Greek, including Greek mythology. In Britain, new translations of Greek tragedies and Homer
Homer
inspired contemporary poets (such as Alfred Lord Tennyson, Keats, Byron and Shelley) and painters (such as Lord Leighton and Lawrence Alma-Tadema).[110] Christoph Gluck, Richard Strauss, Jacques Offenbach and many others set Greek mythological themes to music.[4] American authors of the 19th century, such as Thomas Bulfinch
Thomas Bulfinch
and Nathaniel Hawthorne, held that the study of the classical myths was essential to the understanding of English and American literature.[111] In more recent times, classical themes have been reinterpreted by dramatists Jean Anouilh, Jean Cocteau, and Jean Giraudoux
Jean Giraudoux
in France, Eugene O'Neill in America, and T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot
in Britain and by novelists such as James Joyce
James Joyce
and André Gide.[4]

References

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and Poetry in Lucretius, 88 ^ a b Raymond Barfield (2011). The Ancient Quarrel Between Philosophy and Poetry. Cambridge University Press. pp. 75–76. ISBN 978-1-139-49709-1.  ^ M.R. Gale, Myth
Myth
and Poetry in Lucretius, 87 ^ Cicero, Tusculanae Disputationes, 1.11 ^ Cicero, De Divinatione, 2.81 ^ P.G. Walsh, The Nature of Gods (Introduction), xxvii ^ North-Beard-Price, Religions of Rome, 259 ^ J. Hacklin, Asiatic Mythology, 38 ^ Sacred Texts, Orphic Hymns ^ Robert Ackerman, 1991. Introduction to Jane Ellen Harrison's "A Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion", xv ^ F. Graf, Greek Mythology, 9 ^ a b "myth". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2002.  ^ D. Allen, Structure and Creativity in Religion, 9 * Robert A. Segal, Theorizing about Myth, 16 ^ R. Caldwell, The Psychoanalytic Interpretation of Greek Myth, 344 ^ C. Jung, The Psychology of the Child Archetype, 85 ^ R. Segal, The Romantic Appeal of Joseph Campbell, 332–335 ^ F. Graf, Greek Mythology, 38 ^ Jung-Kerényi, Essays on a Science of Mythology, 1–2 ^ D. Allen, Religion, 12 ^ H.I. Poleman, Review, 78-79 ^ A. Winterbourne, When the Norns
Norns
Have Spoken, 87 ^ L. Edmunds, Approaches to Greek Myth, 184 * Robert A. Segal, A Greek Eternal Child, 64 ^ M. Reinhold, The Generation Gap in Antiquity, 349 ^ W. Burkert, Greek Religion, 23 ^ M. Wood, In Search of the Trojan War, 112 ^ W. Burkert, Greek Religion, 24 ^ a b c "Greek mythology". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2002.  * L. Burn, Greek Myths, 75 ^ l. Burn, Greek Myths, 75 ^ l. Burn, Greek Myths, 75–76 ^ Klatt-Brazouski, Ancient Greek and Roman Mythology, 4

Primary sources (Greek and Roman)

Aeschylus, The Persians. See original text in Perseus
Perseus
program. Aeschylus, Prometheus
Prometheus
Bound. See original text in Perseus
Perseus
program. Apollodorus, Library and Epitome. See original text in Perseus program. Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica, Book I. See original text in Sacred Texts. Cicero, De Divinatione. See original text in the Latin Library. Cicero, Tusculanae resons. See original text in the Latin Library. Herodotus, The Histories, I. See original text in the Sacred Texts. Hesiod, Works and Days. Translated into English by Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Hesiod
Hesiod
(1914).  Theogony. Trans. Hugh Gerard Evelyn-White. Wikisource.  Homer, Iliad. See original text in Perseus
Perseus
program. Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite. Translated into English by Gregory Nagy. Homeric Hymn to Demeter. See original text in Perseus
Perseus
project. Homeric Hymn to Hermes. See the English translation in the Online Medieval and Classical Library. Ovid, Metamorphoses. See original text in the Latin Library. Pausanias. Pindar, Pythian Odes, Pythian 4: For Arcesilas of Cyrene Chariot Race 462 BC. See original text in the Perseus
Perseus
program. Plato, Apology. See original text in Perseus
Perseus
program. Plato, Theaetetus. See original text in Perseus
Perseus
program.

Secondary sources

Ackerman, Robert (1991). "Introduction". Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion by Jane Ellen Harrison
Jane Ellen Harrison
(Reprint ed.). Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01514-7.  Albala Ken G; Johnson Claudia Durst; Johnson Vernon E. (2000). "Origin of Mythology". Understanding the Odyssey. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-41107-9.  Algra, Keimpe (1999). "The Beginnings of Cosmology". The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-44667-8.  Allen, Douglas (1978). "Early Methological Approaches". Structure & Creativity in Religion: Hermeneutics
Hermeneutics
in Mircea Eliade's Phenomenology and New Directions. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 90-279-7594-9.  "Argonaut". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2002.  Betegh, Gábor (2004). "The Interpretation of the poet". The Derveni Papyrus. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-80108-7.  Bonnefoy, Yves (1992). "Kinship Structures in Greek Heroic Dynasty". Greek and Egyptian Mythologies. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-06454-9.  Bulfinch, Thomas (2003). "Greek Mythology
Mythology
and Homer". Bulfinch's Greek and Roman Mythology. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-30881-0.  Burkert, Walter (2002). "Prehistory and the Minoan Mycenaen Era". Greek Religion: Archaic and Classical (translated by John Raffan). Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-631-15624-0.  Burn, Lucilla (1990). Greek Myths. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-72748-8.  Bushnell, Rebecca W. (2005). "Helicocentric Stoicism
Stoicism
in the Saturnalia: The Egyptian Apollo". Medieval A Companion to Tragedy. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 1-4051-0735-9.  Chance, Jane (1994). "Helicocentric Stoicism
Stoicism
in the Saturnalia: The Egyptian Apollo". Medieval Mythography. University Press of Florida. ISBN 0-8130-1256-2.  Caldwell, Richard (1990). "The Psychoanalytic Interpretation of Greek Myth". Approaches to Greek Myth. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-3864-9.  Calimach, Andrew (2002). "The Cultural Background". Lovers' Legends: The Gay Greek Myths. Haiduk Press. ISBN 0-9714686-0-5.  Cartledge, Paul A. (2002). "Inventing the Past: History v. Myth". The Greeks. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280388-3.  Cartledge, Paul A. (2004). The Spartans (translated in Greek). Livanis. ISBN 960-14-0843-6.  Cashford, Jules (2003). "Introduction". The Homeric Hymns. Penguin Classics. ISBN 0-14-043782-7.  Dowden, Ken (1992). " Myth
Myth
and Mythology". The Uses of Greek Mythology. Routledge (UK). ISBN 0-415-06135-0.  Dunlop, John (1842). "Romances of Chivalry". The History of Fiction. Carey and Hart. ISBN 1-149-40338-1.  Edmunds, Lowell (1980). "Comparative Approaches". Approaches to Greek Myth. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-3864-9.  "Euhemerus". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2002.  Foley, John Miles (1999). "Homeric and South Slavic Epic". Homer's Traditional Art. Penn State Press. ISBN 0-271-01870-4.  Gale, Monica R. (1994). "The Cultural Background". Myth
Myth
and Poetry in Lucretius. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-45135-3.  "Greek Mythology". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2002.  "Greek Religion". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2002.  Griffin, Jasper (1986). "Greek Myth
Myth
and Hesiod". The Oxford Illustrated History of Greece and the Hellenistic World edited by John Boardman, Jasper Griffin and Oswyn Murray. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-285438-0.  Grimal, Pierre (1986). "Argonauts". The Dictionary of Classical Mythology. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-631-20102-5.  Hacklin, Joseph (1994). "The Mythology
Mythology
of Persia". Asiatic Mythology. Asian Educational Services. ISBN 81-206-0920-4.  Hanson, Victor Davis; Heath, John (1999). Who Killed Homer
Homer
(translated in Greek by Rena Karakatsani). Kakos. ISBN 960-352-545-6.  Hard, Robin (2003). "Sources of Greek Myth". The Routledge Handbook of Greek Mythology: based on H. J. Rose's "A Handbook of Greek mythology". Routledge (UK). ISBN 0-415-18636-6.  "Heracles". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2002.  Jung Carl Gustav, Kerényi Karl (2001). "Prolegomena". Essays on a Science of Mythology
Mythology
(Reprint ed.). Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01756-5.  Jung, C.J. (2002). " Troy
Troy
in Latin and French Joseph of Exeter's "Ylias" and Benoît de Sainte-Maure's "Roman de Troie"". Science of Mythology. Routledge (UK). ISBN 0-415-26742-0.  Kelly, Douglas (2003). "Sources of Greek Myth". An Outline of Greek and Roman Mythology. Douglas Kelly. ISBN 0-415-18636-6.  Kelsey, Francis W. (1889). A Handbook of Greek Mythology. Allyn and Bacon.  Kirk, Geoffrey Stephen (1973). "The Thematic Simplicity of the Myths". Myth: Its Meaning and Functions in Ancient and Other Cultures. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-02389-7.  Kirk, Geoffrey Stephen (1974). The Nature of Greek Myths. Harmondsworth: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-021783-5.  Klatt J. Mary, Brazouski Antoinette (1994). "Preface". Children's Books on Ancient Greek and Roman Mythology: An Annotated Bibliography. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-28973-5.  Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae. Artemis-Verlag. 1981–1999.  Miles, Geoffrey (1999). "The Myth-kitty". Classical Mythology
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in English Literature: A Critical Anthology. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-415-14754-9.  Morris, Ian (2000). Archaeology
Archaeology
As Cultural History. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-631-19602-1.  "myth". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2002.  Nagy, Gregory (1992). "The Hellenization of the Indo-European Poetics". Greek Mythology
Mythology
and Poetics. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-8048-5.  Nilsson, Martin P. (1940). "The Religion of Eleusis". Greek Popular Religion. Columbia University Press.  North John A.; Beard Mary; Price Simon R.F. (1998). "The Religions of Imperial Rome". Classical Mythology
Mythology
in English Literature: A Critical Anthology. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-31682-0.  Papadopoulou, Thalia (2005). "Introduction". Heracles
Heracles
and Euripidean Tragedy. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-85126-2.  Percy, William Armostrong III (1999). "The Institutionalization of Pederasty". Pederasty and Pedagogy in Archaic Greece. Routledge (UK). ISBN 0-252-06740-1.  Poleman, Horace
Horace
I. (March 1943). "Review of "Ouranos-Varuna. Etude de mythologie comparee indo-europeenne by Georges Dumezil"". "Journal of the American Oriental Society". American Oriental Society. 63 (1): 78–79. JSTOR 594160.  Reinhold, Meyer (October 20, 1970). "The Generation Gap in Antiquity". "Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society". American Philosophical Society. 114 (5): 347–365. JSTOR 985800.  Rose, Herbert Jennings (1991). A Handbook of Greek Mythology. Routledge (UK). ISBN 0-415-04601-7.  Segal, Robert A. (1991). "A Greek Eternal Child". Myth
Myth
and the Polis edited by Dora Carlisky Pozzi, John Moore Wickersham. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-2473-9.  Segal, Robert A. (April 4, 1990). "The Romantic Appeal of Joseph Campbell". "Christian Century". Christian Century Foundation. Archived from the original on January 7, 2007.  Segal, Robert A. (1999). "Jung on Mythology". Theorizing about Myth. Univ of Massachusetts Press. ISBN 1-55849-191-0.  Stoll, Heinrich Wilhelm (translated by R. B. Paul) (1852). Handbook of the religion and mythology of the Greeks. Francis and John Rivington.  Trobe, Kala (2001). "Dionysus". Invoke the Gods. Llewellyn Worldwide. ISBN 0-7387-0096-7.  "Trojan War". Encyclopaedia The Helios. 1952.  "Troy". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2002.  "Volume: Hellas, Article: Greek Mythology". Encyclopaedia The Helios. 1952.  Walsh, Patrick Gerald (1998). "Liberating Appearance in Mythic Content". The Nature of the Gods. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-282511-9.  Weaver, John B. (1998). "Introduction". The Plots of Epiphany. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-018266-1.  Winterbourne, Anthony (2004). "Spinning and Weaving Fate". When the Norns
Norns
Have Spoken. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. ISBN 0-8386-4048-6.  Wood, Michael (1998). "The Coming of the Greeks". In Search of the Trojan War. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-21599-0. 

Further reading

Greek mythology
Greek mythology
portal Hellenismos portal Mythology
Mythology
portal Classical Civilisation portal

Gantz, Timothy (1993). Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-4410-X.  Graves, Robert (1993) [1955]. The Greek Myths (Cmb/Rep ed.). Penguin (Non-Classics). ISBN 0-14-017199-1.  Hamilton, Edith (1998) [1942]. Mythology
Mythology
(New ed.). Back Bay Books. ISBN 0-316-34151-7.  Kerenyi, Karl (1980) [1951]. The Gods of the Greeks (Reissue ed.). Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-27048-1.  Kerenyi, Karl (1978) [1959]. The Heroes of the Greeks (Reissue ed.). Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-27049-X.  Luchte, James (2011). Early Greek Thought: Before the Dawn. Bloomsbury. ISBN 0-567-35331-1.  Morford M.P.O., Lenardon L.J. (2006). Classical Mythology. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-530805-0.  Pinsent, John (1972). Greek Mythology. Bantam. ISBN 978-0-448-00848-6.  Pinsent, John (1991). Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece. Library of the World's Myths and Legends. Peter Bedrick Books. ISBN 978-0-87226-250-8.  Powell, Barry (2008). Classical Myth
Myth
(6th ed.). Prentice-Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-606171-7.  Powell, Barry (2001). A Short Introduction to Classical Myth. Prentice-Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-025839-7.  Ruck Carl, Staples Blaise Daniel (1994). The World of Classical Myth. Carolina Academic Press. ISBN 0-89089-575-9.  Smith, William (1870), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Veyne, Paul (1988). Did the Greeks Believe in Their Myths? An Essay on Constitutive Imagination. (translated by Paula Wissing). University of Chicago. ISBN 0-226-85434-5.  Woodward, Roger D. (editor) (2007). The Cambridge Companion to Greek Mythology. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-84520-3. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)

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v t e

Ancient Greek religion
Ancient Greek religion
and mythology

Classical religious forms

Ancient Greek religion Gnosticism Paleo-Balkan mythology Proto-Indo-European religion Hellenistic religion Alchemy Orphism Pythagoreanism Mycenaean deities

Mystery religions and sacred mysteries

Dionysian Mysteries Eleusinian Mysteries Imbrian Mysteries Mithraism Samotracian Mysteries

Main beliefs

Apotheosis Euhemerism Greek Heroic Age Monism Mythology Nympholepsy Paganism Paradoxography Polytheism Theism

Texts/ Epic poems/ Ode

Aretalogy Argonautica Bibliotheca Cyranides Derveni papyrus Ehoiai Greek Magical Papyri Homeric Hymns Iliad Odyssey Papyrus
Papyrus
Graecus Holmiensis Telegony The golden verses of Pythagoras Theogony Works and Days Epic Cycle Theban Cycle

Rites and practices

Amphictyonic League Amphidromia Animal sacrifice Apotheosis Baptes Curse tablet Daduchos Delphinion Funeral and burial practices Hymns Hero cult Heroon Hierophany Hierophant Hierophylakes Hieros gamos Hypsistarians Iatromantis Interpretatio graeca Libations Mystagogue Nekyia Necromancy Necromanteion Nymphaeum Panegyris Pharmakos Prayers Orgia Sacrifices Temenos Temples Votive offerings

Sacred places

Athenian sacred ships Cave of Zeus Cretea Delphi Delos Dodona Eleusis Hiera Orgas Olympia Olympus Psychro Cave Sacred Way

Mythical beings

Dragons in Greek mythology Greek mythological creatures Greek mythological figures List of minor Greek mythological figures

Deities

Primordial deities

Aether Aion Ananke Chaos Chronos Erebus Eros Gaia Hemera Nyx Phanes Pontus Thalassa Tartarus Uranus

Titans

First generation

Coeus Crius Cronus Hyperion Iapetus Mnemosyne Oceanus Phoebe Rhea Tethys Theia Themis

Second generation

Asteria Astraeus Atlas Eos Epimetheus Helios Leto Menoetius Metis Pallas Perses Prometheus Selene

Third generation

Hecate Hesperus Phosphorus

Twelve Olympians

Aphrodite Apollo Ares Artemis Athena Demeter Dionysus Hephaestus Hera Hermes Hestia Poseidon Zeus

Aquatic deities

Amphitrite Alpheus Ceto Glaucus The Naiads The Nereids Nereus The Oceanids Phorcys Poseidon The Potamoi Potamides Proteus Scamander Thaumas Thetis Triton

Love deities

Erotes

Anteros Eros Hedylogos Hermaphroditus Himeros Hymen/Hymenaeus Pothos

Aphrodite Aphroditus Philotes Peitho

War deities

Adrestia Alala Alke Amphillogiai Androktasiai Ares Athena Bia Deimos Enyalius Enyo Eris Gynaecothoenas Homados Hysminai Ioke Keres Kratos Kydoimos Ma Makhai Nike Palioxis Pallas Perses Phobos Phonoi Polemos Proioxis

Chthonic
Chthonic
deities

Psychopomps

Hermanubis Hermes Thanatos

Achlys Angelos Hades
Hades
/ Pluto Hecate Hypnos Keres Lampad Macaria Melinoe Persephone

Health deities

Aceso Aegle Artemis Apollo Asclepius Chiron Eileithyia Epione Hebe Hygieia Iaso Paean Panacea Telesphorus

Sleep deities

Empusa Epiales Hypnos Morpheus Pasithea Phantasos Phobetor Oneiroi

Messenger deities

Angelia Arke Hermes Iris

Trickster deities

Apate Dolos Hermes Momus

Magic deities

Circe Hecate Hermes
Hermes
Trismegistus Triple deity

Other major deities

Azone The Erinyes Harmonia The Muses Nemesis Pan Unknown God Zelus

Heroes/Heroines

Abderus Achilles Actaeon Aeneas Argonauts Ajax the Great Ajax the Lesser Akademos Amphiaraus Amphitryon Antilochus Atalanta Autolycus Bellerophon Bouzyges Cadmus Chrysippus Cyamites Daedalus Diomedes Dioscuri
Dioscuri
(Castor and Pollux) Echetlus Eleusis Erechtheus Eunostus Ganymede Hector Heracles Icarus Iolaus Jason Meleager Odysseus Oedipus Orpheus Pandion Peleus Pelops Penthesilea Perseus Theseus Triptolemus

Mythical tribes

Amazons Anthropophage Atlantians Bebryces Curetes Dactyls Gargareans Halizones Korybantes Lapiths Lotus-eaters Myrmidons Pygmies Telchines

Oracles/Seers

Aesacus Aleuas Amphiaraus Amphilochus Ampyx Anius Asbolus Bakis Branchus Calchas Carnus Carya Cassandra Delphic Sibyl Elatus Ennomus Halitherses Helenus Iamus Idmon Manto Melampus Mopsus Munichus Phineus Polyeidos Polypheides Pythia Sibyl Telemus Theiodamas Theoclymenus Tiresias

Magic

Apotropaic magic Greek Magical Papyri Philia

Mythical realms

Aethiopia Atlantis Hyperborea Libya Nysa Panchaia Scythia Themiscyra

Underworld

Entrances to the underworld

Rivers

Acheron Cocytus Eridanos Lethe Phlegethon Styx

Lakes/ Swamps

Acherusia Avernus Lake Lerna
Lerna
Lake

Caves

Cave at Cape Matapan Cave Charonium Cave at Lake Avernus Cave at Heraclea Pontica

Ploutonion

Pluto's Gate

Places

Elysium Erebus Fields of Asphodel Fields of Punishment Isles of the Blessed Tartarus

Judges of the underworld

Aeacus Minos Rhadamanthus

Guards

Cerberus

Ferryman

Charon Charon's obol

Symbols-Objects

Bident Cap of invisibility

Animals-Daemons/Spirits

Ascalaphus Ceuthonymus Eurynomos Hade's cattle

Mythological wars

Amazonomachy Attic War Centauromachy Gigantomachy Cranes-Pygmies war Theomachy Titanomachy Trojan War

Mythological and religious objects

Adamant Aegis Ambrosia Apple of Discord Ara Baetylus Caduceus Cornucopia Dragon's teeth Diipetes Galatea Golden apple Golden Fleece Gorgoneion Greek terracotta figurines Harpe Ichor Lotus tree Minoan sealstone Moly Necklace of Harmonia Omphalos Orichalcum Palladium Panacea Pandora's box Petasos
Petasos
(Winged helmet) Philosopher's stone Ring of Gyges Rod of Asclepius Sacrificial tripod Sceptre Shield of Achilles Shirt of Nessus Sword of Damocles Talaria Thunderbolt Thymiaterion Thyrsus Trident Trojan Horse Winnowing Oar Wheel of Fortune Wheel of fire Xoanon

Symbols

Arkalochori Axe Labrys Ouroboros Owl of Athena

Mythological powers

Anthropomorphism Divination Eternal youth Evocation Fortune-telling Immortality Language of the birds Nympholepsy Magic Ornithomancy Shamanism Shapeshifting Weather modification

Storage containers/ Cups

Amphora Calathus Chalice Ciborium Cotyla Hydria Hydriske Kalpis Kylix Kantharos Lebes Lekythos Loutrophoros Oenochoe Pelike Pithos Skyphos Stamnos

Musical Instruments

Aulos Barbiton Chelys Cithara Cochilia Crotalum
Crotalum
(Castanets) Epigonion Kollops Lyre Pan flute Pandura Phorminx Psaltery Salpinx Sistrum Tambourine Trigonon Tympanum Water organ

Games

Panhellenic Games

Olympic Games Pythian Games Nemean Games Isthmian Games

Agon Panathenaic Games Rhieia

Festivals/Feasts

Actia Adonia Agrionia Amphidromia Anthesteria Apellai Apaturia Aphrodisia Arrhephoria Ascolia Bendidia Boedromia Brauronia Buphonia Chalceia Diasia Delphinia Dionysia Ecdysia Elaphebolia Gamelia Haloa Heracleia Hermaea Hieromenia Iolaia Kronia Lenaia Lykaia Metageitnia Munichia Oschophoria Pamboeotia Pandia Plynteria Pyanopsia Skira Synoikia Soteria Tauropolia Thargelia Theseia Thesmophoria

Vessels

Argo Phaeacian ships

Modern offshoot religions

Discordianism Gaianism Hellenismos Decline of Greco-Roman polytheism

Modern popular culture

Greek mythology
Greek mythology
in popular culture

v t e

Ancient Greek deities by affiliation

Primordial deities

Achlys Aether Aion/Chronos Ananke Chaos Erebus Eros/Phanes Gaia Hemera Nyx The Ourea Pontus/Thalassa Tartarus Uranus Fates

Atropos Clotho Lachesis

Titan deities

Titanes (male)

Coeus Crius Cronus Hyperion Iapetus Oceanus Ophion

Titanides (female)

Dione Eurybia Mnemosyne Phoebe Rhea Tethys Theia Themis

Hyperionides

Eos Helios Selene

Koionides

Asteria Leto

Krionides

Astraeus Pallas Perses

Iapetionides

Atlas Epimetheus Menoetius Prometheus

Mousai (Muses)

Aoide Arche Melete Mneme

Olympian deities

Dodekatheon

Aphrodite Apollo Ares Artemis Athena Demeter Dionysus Hephaestus Hera Hermes Hestia Poseidon Zeus

Theoi Olympioi

Asclepius Deimos Ganymede Eileithyia Enyo Eris Iris Harmonia Hebe Heracles Paean Pan Phobos

Mousai (Muses)

Daughters of Zeus

Calliope Clio Euterpe Erato Melpomene Polyhymnia Terpsichore Thalia Urania

Daughters of Apollo

Apollonis Borysthenis Cephisso

Muses
Muses
of the Lyre

Hypate Mese Nete

Muses
Muses
at Sicyon

Polymatheia

Charites
Charites
(Graces)

Aglaea Antheia Euphrosyne Hegemone Pasithea Thalia

Horae
Horae
(Hours)

Dike Eirene Eunomia

Styktides

Bia Kratos Nike Zelos

Aquatic deities

Theoi Halioi

Amphitrite Benthesikyme Brizo Calypso Ceto Glaucus The Ichthyocentaurs Kymopoleia Leucothea Melicertes Nereus Nerites The Nesoi Oceanus Phorcys Pontus/Thalassa Poseidon Proteus Rhodos Tethys Thaumas Thetis Triton

Oceanids

Acaste Admete Adrasteia Amalthea Asia Callirrhoe Ceto Clytie Dione Dodone Doris Electra Eurynome Idyia Melia Metis Nemesis Perse Pleione Plouto Styx Telesto Zeuxo

Nereides

Amphitrite Arethusa Dynamene Galatea Galene Psamathe Thetis

Potamoi

Achelous Almo Alpheus Anapos Asopus Asterion Axius Caanthus Cebren Cephissus Clitumnus Enipeus Kladeos Meander Nilus Numicus Phyllis Peneus Rivers of the Underworld

Cocytus Eridanos Lethe Phlegethon Styx

Sangarius Scamander Simoeis Strymon

Naiads

Aegina Achiroe Aganippe The Anigrides Argyra Bistonis Bolbe Caliadne Cassotis Castalia Cleocharia Creusa Daphne Drosera Harpina The Ionides Ismenis Larunda Lilaea Liriope Melite Metope Minthe Moria Nana Nicaea Orseis Pallas Pirene Salmacis Stilbe The Thriae

Corycia Kleodora Melaina

Tiasa

Chthonic deities

Theoi Chthonioi

Angelos Demeter Gaia Hades Hecate The Lampads Macaria Melinoë Persephone Zagreus

Erinyes
Erinyes
(Furies)

Alecto Megaera Tisiphone

Earthborn

Cyclopes Gigantes Hecatonchires Kouretes Meliae Telchines Typhon

Apotheothenai

Trophonius Triptolemus Orpheus Aeacus Minos Rhadamanthus

Personifications

Children of Nyx

Achlys Apate Dolos Eleos Elpis Epiphron Eris Geras Hesperides Hybris Hypnos Ker The Keres The Moirai

Aisa Clotho Lachesis

Momus Moros Oizys The Oneiroi

Epiales Morpheus Phantasos Phobetor

Nemesis Philotes Sophrosyne Thanatos

Children of Eris

Algos Amphillogiai Ate The Androktasiai Dysnomia Horkos Hysminai Lethe Limos Machai Phonoi Ponos Neikea Pseudea Logoi

Children of other gods

Aergia Aidos Alala Aletheia Angelia Arete Bia Caerus The Younger Charites

Eucleia Eupheme Euthenia Philophrosyne

Corus Deimos The Erotes

Anteros Eros Hedylogos Hermaphroditus Hymen

Eupraxia Hedone Homonoia Iacchus Kratos The Litae Homonoia Nike Peitho Phobos Tyche Zelos

Others

Adephagia Alala Alke Amechania Anaideia Alastor Apheleia Aporia The Arae Dikaiosyne Dyssebeia Ekecheiria Eulabeia Eusebeia Gelos Heimarmene Homados Horme Ioke Kakia Kalokagathia Koalemos Kydoimos Lyssa The Maniae Methe Nomos Palioxis Peitharchia Penia Penthus Pepromene Pheme Philotes Phrike Phthonus Pistis Poine Polemos Poros Praxidike Proioxis Prophasis Roma Soter Soteria Techne Thrasos

Other deities

Sky deities

The Anemoi The Astra Planeti

Stilbon Eosphorus Hesperus Pyroeis Phaethon Phaenon

Aura Chione The Hesperides The Hyades Nephele The Pleiades

Alcyone Sterope Celaeno Electra Maia Merope Taygete

Agricultural deities

Aphaea Ariadne Carmanor Demeter Despoina Eunostus Philomelus Plutus

Health deities

Asclepius Aceso Epione Iaso Hygieia Panacea Telesphorus

Rustic deities

Aetna The Alseids The Auloniads Amphictyonis The Anthousai Aristaeus Attis Britomartis The Cabeiri Comus The Dryades

Erato Eurydice The Hamadryades

Chrysopeleia

The Epimeliades Hecaterus Leuce Ma The Maenades The Meliae The Napaeae The Nymphai Hyperboreioi The Oreads

Adrasteia Echo Helike Iynx Nomia Oenone Pitys

The Pegasides Priapus Rhapso Silenus Telete

Others

Acratopotes Adrasteia Agdistis Alexiares and Anicetus Aphroditus Astraea Circe Eiresione Enyalius Harpocrates Ichnaea Palaestra

v t e

Mythology
Mythology
of Europe

Sovereign states

Albania Andorra Armenia Austria Azerbaijan Belarus Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Georgia Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Ireland

Italy Kazakhstan Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macedonia Malta Moldova Monaco Montenegro Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Russia San Marino Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey Ukraine United Kingdom

States with limited recognition

Abkhazia Artsakh Northern Cyprus South Ossetia Transnistria

Dependencies and other entities

Åland Faroe Islands Gibraltar Guernsey Isle of Man Jersey Svalbard

Authority control

LCCN: sh85089396 GND: 7508662-1 BNF: cb11939424r (data) NDL: 0056

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