Category: Mythology

LEARN all about the myth and legend of Perseph…

LEARN all about the myth and legend of Persephone! Kelly Macquire tells the story of the goddess of grain and the queen of the underworld in Greek Mythology, Persephone.

APOLLO: APOLLO was a major Greek god who was a…

APOLLO: 

APOLLO was a major Greek god who was associated with the bow, music, and divination. The epitome of youth and beauty, source of life and healing, patron of the civilized arts, and as bright and powerful as the sun itself, Apollo was, arguably, the most loved of all the Greek gods. He was particularly worshipped at Delphi and Delos, amongst the most famous of all religious sanctuaries in the Greek world.

Son of Zeus and Leto, and the twin brother of Artemis, Apollo was born on the island of Delos (in Hesiod’s Theogony he is clutching a golden sword). His mother, fearful of revenge from Zeus’ wife Hera, had chosen barren Delos as the safest retreat she could find. At his first taste of ambrosia, he was said to have immediately transformed from babe to man. Apollo was then given his bow, made by the master craftsman of Mount Olympus, Hephaestus.

As with the other major divinities, Apollo had many children; perhaps the most famous are Orpheus (who inherited his father’s musical skills and became a virtuoso with the lyre or kithara), Asclepius (to whom he gave his knowledge of healing and medicine) and, according to the 5th-century BCE tragedian Euripides, the hero Ion.

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Scathach: Woman Warrior of Irish Legend

The legendary female warrior of Scathach is pretty cool. First, there’s her name, which means “the shadowy one” in Gaelic. Then there’s her castle, Dun Scaith (Castle of Shadows), reportedly sat on Isle of Skye northwest of Scotland.

Getting to Dun Scaith, and Scathach, was a complicated business. First, one had to know where Scathach lived. Her location was apparently something of a commonly-known secret. Once someone knew her location, one had to travel across the Irish Sea, known for its storms and choppy seas, and travel to the remote, craggy islands of northwest Scotland. Upon arrival, one then had to get past Scathach’s warrior daughter to get an audience with Scathach herself.

Scathach is important in Irish legends for the unique place she holds as a woman warrior who trained other women, as well as men. Her training was notoriously dangerous, teaching things like pole vaulting over castle walls and underwater fighting, but everyone agreed that if you survived Scathach’s training you were a great warrior. Scathach is also famous for having trained Cu Chulainn, who went on to become the central figure in the Ulster Cycle, part of the origin stories for Ireland itself.

The Great Hare: A Trickster Who Helped Create …

Nanabozho is a prominant trickster figure, found in most Algonquin tribes’ belief system. Stories about him vary considerably from tribe to tribe. His parents change, is sometimes given siblings, and stories about his deeds would fill a book. Nicknamed “the Great Hare” although he is rarely shown as a rabbit, Nanabozho is a transformer figure, a creator and provider of food and representative of the various life force(s). Although a bit of a trickster figure, Nanabozho is not truly immoral or even seriously inappropriate. He is viewed as a virtuous hero and friend of humankind who happens to have a mischievous side.

There’s so much contradictory information about Nanabozho so that is where I will stop. If you want to read some of the many tales about Nanabozho, here is a list to get you started.

LEARN all about the myth and legend of Prome…

LEARN all about the myth and legend of Prometheus! Kelly Macquire tells the story of the creation of humankind by Prometheus, and his subsequent punishment by Zeus in Greek Mythology.

EDDA: EDDA is a term used to describe two Icel…

EDDA: 

EDDA is a term used to describe two Icelandic manuscripts that were copied down and compiled in the 13th century CE. Together they are the main sources of Norse mythology and skaldic poetry that relate the religion, cosmogony, and history of Scandinavians and Proto-Germanic tribes. The Prose or Younger Edda dates to circa 1220 CE and was compiled by Snorri Sturluson, an Icelandic poet and historian. The Poetic or Elder Edda was written down circa 1270 CE by an unknown author.

Snorri Sturluson’s work was the first of the two manuscripts to be called Edda, however, scholars are uncertain how this exactly came about. Snorri himself did not name it. The term, ‘Edda’, was later ascribed to Snorri’s work by a different author in a manuscript from the early 14th century CE, the Codex Upsaliensis, which contained a copy of Snorri’s Edda within it. Gudbrand Vigfusson, in The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue, quotes the Codex Upsaliensis as saying, “This Book is called Edda, which Snorri Sturlason put together according to the order set down here: First, concerning the Æsir and Gylfi.” The first use of the word ‘Edda’, that has thus far been located, was in a poem called the Lay of Righ (Háttatal), which was authored by Snorri. 

In this poem, the word ‘Edda’ is used as a title for “great-grandmother.” Multiple theories exist, but one suggests that the term may have become associated with Snorri’s manuscript because, like a great-grandmother, it carries a breadth of ancient knowledge and wisdom. Another theory that is more widely accepted by scholars today proposes that ‘Edda’ is closely associated with the word Oddi, which is the Icelandic town where Snorri grew up.

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LEARN all about the myth and legend of Medus…

LEARN all about the myth and legend of Medusa! Kelly Macquire tells the story of how Medusa became a terrible snake-headed monster in Greek Mythology.

ANTIQUITAS by Barry Strauss on Apple Podcasts

ANTIQUITAS by Barry Strauss on Apple Podcasts:

CHECK out this fascinating podcast about ancient leaders and legends. 

ROMAN MYTHOLOGY: THE ancient Romans had a rich…

ROMAN MYTHOLOGY: 

THE ancient Romans had a rich mythology and, while much of it was derived from their neighbors and predecessors, the Greeks, it still defined the rich history of the Roman people as they eventually grew into an empire. Roman writers such as Ovid and Virgil documented and extended the mythological heritage of the ancient Mediterranean to gives us such long-lasting and iconic figures as Aeneas, Vesta, Janus, and the twin founders of Rome itself, Romulus and Remus.  

Before one can delve into a study of mythology, one must understand the concept behind a myth. In his book The Greek and Roman Myths: A Guide to the Classical Stories, Philip Matyszak describes a myth simply as “the ancient’s view of the world.” These myths – although often appearing as simple stories filled with valiant heroes, maidens in distress, and a host of all-powerful gods – are much more. The gods of the Greeks and Romans were anthropomorphic, exhibiting many human qualities such as love, hate, and jealousy, and because of this, the people of Rome and Greece were able to see themselves in these tales and understand their relationship to the rest of the world as well their connection to the gods. The lesson often to be learned was that one must meet one’s destiny with strength, determination, and nobility. These myths enabled an individual to stand against the ills and hardships of an unforgiving universe. Matyszak states that, in spite of their constant disagreements and battles, the gods and humankind had to stand together against the “monsters and giants” of the world, or more simply, the “forces of disorder and wanton destruction.”

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FORGET the comics, let’s have a look at …

FORGET the comics, let’s have a look at the real ancient history of the ant-men! The Myrmidons were loyal to Achilles and fought with such a strength that they were descended from both the ant and the gods.