Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Argonauts

The Argonauts (Ancient Greek: Ἀργοναῦται, Argonautai; Georgian: არგონავტები, ArgonavTebi, (Laz language: Argonatepe)) were a band of heroes in Greek mythology who, in the years before the Trojan War, accompanied Jason to Colchis (ancient Georgian Kingdom) in his quest to find the Golden Fleece. Their name comes from their ship, the Argo, which was named after its builder, Argus. "Argonauts", therefore, literally means "Argo sailors". They were sometimes called Minyans, after a prehistoric tribe of the area.

After the death of King Cretheus, the Aeolian Pelias usurped the Iolcan throne from his half-brother Aeson and became king of Iolcus in Thessaly (near the modern city of Volos). Because of this unlawful act, an oracle warned him that a descendant of Aeolus would seek revenge. Pelias put to death every prominent descendant of Aeolus he could, but spared Aeson because of the pleas of their mother Tyro. Instead, Pelias kept Aeson prisoner and forced him to renounce his inheritance. Aeson married Alcimede, who bore him a son named Diomedes. Pelias intended to kill the baby at once, but Alcimede summoned her kinswomen to weep over him as if he were stillborn. She faked a burial and smuggled the baby to Mount Pelion. He was raised by the centaur Chiron, who changed the boy's name to Jason.
When Jason was 20 years old, an oracle ordered him to dress as a Magnesian and head to the Iolcan court. While traveling Jason lost his sandal crossing the muddy Anavros river while helping an old woman (Hera in disguise) ford. The goddess was angry with King Pelias for killing his stepmother Sidero after she had sought refuge in Hera's temple.
Another oracle warned Pelias to be on his guard against a man with one shoe. Pelias was presiding over a sacrifice to Poseidon with several neighboring kings in attendance. Among the crowd stood a tall youth in leopard skin with only one sandal. Pelias recognized that Jason was his cousin. He could not kill him because prominent kings of the Aeolian family were present. Instead, he asked Jason: "What would you do if an oracle announced that one of your fellow-citizens were destined to kill you?". Jason replied that he would send him to go and fetch the Golden Fleece, not knowing that Hera had put those words in his mouth.
Jason learned later that Pelias was being haunted by the ghost of Phrixus. Phrixus had fled from Orchomenus riding on a divine ram to avoid being sacrificed and took refuge in Colchis where he was later denied proper burial. According to an oracle, Iolcus would never prosper unless his ghost was taken back in a ship, together with the golden ram's fleece. This fleece now hung from a tree in the grove of the Colchian Ares, guarded night and day by a dragon that never slept. Pelias swore before Zeus that he would give up the throne at Jason's return while expecting that Jason's attempt to steal the Golden Fleece would be a fatal enterprise. However, Hera acted in Jason's favour during the perilous journey.
Jason was accompanied by some of the principal heroes of ancient Greece. The number of Argonauts varies, but usually totals between 40 and 55; traditional versions of the story place their number at 50.
Some have hypothesized that the legend of the Golden Fleece was based on a practice of the Black Sea tribes; they would place a lamb's fleece at the bottom of a stream to entrap gold dust being washed down from upstream. This practice is still in use, particularly in the Svaneti region of Georgia. See Golden Fleece for other, more speculative interpretations.

The crew of the Argo

There is no definite list of the Argonauts. Many Greeks would claim their ancestors were Argonauts, though there were too many named for them all to be accurate. As such, the lists compiled by ancient authors were no more than an educated guess.
The following list is collated from several lists given in ancient sources.

Acastus
Actor (son of Hippas)
Admetus
Aethalides
Amphiaraus
Amphidamas
Amphion (son of Hyperasius)
Ancaeus
Areius
Argus (builder of Argo)
Argus (son of Phrixus)
Ascalaphus
Asclepius
Asterion (son of Cometes)
Asterius (brother of Amphion)
Atalanta
Augeas
Autolycus, son of Deimachus
Bellerophon
Butes
Calaïs (son of Boreas)
Caeneus (son of Coronus)
Canthus
Castor (son of Zeus)
Cepheus, King of Tegea
Clytius (son of Eurytus)
Coronus (son of Caeneus)
Cytissorus
Deucalion of Crete
Echion
Eribotes
Erginus (son of Poseidon)
Erytus (brother of Echion)
Euphemus
Euryalus
Eurydamas
Eurymedon (son of Dionysus)
Eurytion
Heracles (son of Zeus)
Hippalcimus
Hylas
Idas
Idmon
Iolaus (nephew of Heracles)
Iphitos
Jason
Laërtes
Laocoön (half-brother of Oeneus and tutor of Meleager)
Leitus
Leodocus
Lynceus
Medea
Melas
Meleager
Menoetius
Mopsus
Nauplius
Neleus (son of Poseidon)
Nestor
Oileus
Orpheus
Palaemon
Palaimonius (son of Hephaestus)
Peleus
Peneleus
Perseus
Periclymenus
Phalerus
Phanus (brother of Staphylus and Eurymedon)
Philoctetes
Phlias (son of Dionysus)
Phocus
Phrontis
Poeas
Prias (brother of Phocus)
Pollux (son of Zeus)
Polyphemus
Staphylus
Talaus
Telamon
Thersanon (son of Helios and Leucothoe)
Theseus
Tiphys
Zetes (son of Boreas)

Several more names are discoverable from other sources. Amyrus, eponym of a Thessalian city, is given by Stephanus of Byzantium as "one of the Argonauts"; he is otherwise said to have been a son of Poseidon and to have given his name to the river Amyrus. Azorus was the helmsman of Argo according to Hesychius of Alexandria; he could be the same as the Azorus mentioned by Stephanus as founder of the city Azorus in Pelagonia.

Atalanta is included on the list by Apollodorus, but Apollonius claims that Jason forbade her because she was a woman and could cause strife in the otherwise all-male crew. Other sources state that she was asked, but refused.
Apollonius also claims that Theseus and Pirithous were trapped in Hades at the time and could not join.
Theseus being on the list is inconsistent with accounts of his life usually including him encountering Medea at an early stage of his adventures, yet many years after the Argonauts completed their adventure (Medea, by that time, was not only abandoned by Jason, but also bore a child from Aegeus).

Argus, Phrontis, Melas and Cytissorus, sons of Phrixus and Chalciope, joined the crew only after being rescued by the Argonauts: the four had been stranded on a desert island not far from Colchis, from where they initially sailed with an intent to reach their father's homeland. However, Argus is not to be confused with the other Argus, son of Arestor or Polybus, constructor and eponym of the ship Argo and member of the crew from the beginning.

The Inmates of Tartarus

The Daiaides, forty-nine daughters of Danaus who murdered their husbands and were condemned to an eternity of carrying water in leaky jugs
Ixion, a king of the Lapiths who attempted to rape Hera and was bound to a flaming wheel in Tartarus
Sisyphus, a king of Thessaly who attempted to cheat death and was sentenced to an eternity of rolling a boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down
Tantalus, a king of Anatolia who butchered his son Pelops and served him as a meal to the gods; he was punished with the torment of starvation, food and drink eternally dangling just out of reach

Friday, March 30, 2012

Abas

In Greek mythology, Abas (Ancient Greek: Ἄβας) was the son of Lynceus of the royal family of Argos, and Hypermnestra, the last of the Danaides. Abas himself was the twelfth king of Argos. His name derives from a Semitic word for "father".
Abas was a successful conqueror, and was the founder of the city of Abae, Phocis, home to the legendary oracular temple to Apollo Abaeus, and also of the Pelasgic Argos in Thessaly. When Abas informed his father of the death of Danaus, he was rewarded with the shield of his grandfather, which was sacred to Hera. Abas was said to be so fearsome a warrior that even after his death, enemies of his royal household could be put to flight simply by the sight of this shield.
With his wife Ocalea (or Aglaea, depending on the source), he had three sons: the twins Acrisius (grandfather of Perseus) and Proetus, and Lyrcos, and one daughter, Idomene. He bequeathed his kingdom to Acrisius and Proetus, bidding them to rule alternately, but they quarrelled even while they still shared their mother's womb. It was from this Abas that the kings of Argos were called by the patronymic Abantiads.

List of Amazons

Amazons
Aegea, a queen of the Amazons
Aella (Ἄελλα), an Amazon who was killed by Heracles
Alcibie(Ἀλκιβίη), an Amazonian warrior, killed by Diomedes at Troy
Antandre (Ἀντάνδρη), an Amazonian warrior, killed by Achilles at Troy
Antiope (Ἀντιόπη), a daughter of Ares and sister of Hippolyta
Areto (Ἀρετώ), an Amazon
Asteria (Ἀστερία), an Amazon who was killed by Heracles
Bremusa (Βρέμουσα), an Amazonian warrior, killed by Idomeneus at Troy
Celaeno (Κελαινώ), an Amazonian warrior, killed by Heracles
Eurypyle (Εὐρυπύλη), an Amazon leader who invaded Ninus and Babylonia
Hippolyta (Ἱππολύτη), a daughter of Ares and queen of the Amazons
Hippothoe (Ἱπποθόη), an Amazonian warrior, killed by Achilles at Troy
Iphito (Ἰφιτώ), an Amazon who served under Hippolyta
Lampedo (Λαμπεδώ), an Amazon queen who ruled with her sister Marpesia
Marpesia (Μαρπεσία), an Amazon queen who ruled with her sister Lampedo
Melanippe (Μελανίππη), a daughter of Ares and sister of Hippolyta and Antiope
Molpadia (Μολπαδία), an Amazon who killed Antiope
Myrina (Μύρινα), a queen of the Amazons
Orithyia (Ὠρείθυια), an Amazon queen
Otrera (Ὀτρήρα), a queen of the Amazons, consort of Ares and mother of Hippolyta
Pantariste (Πανταρίστη), an Amazon who fought with Hippolyta against Heracles
Penthesilea (Πενθεσίλεια), a queen of the Amazons who fought in the Trojan War on the side of Troy

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Aether

Aether (also Æthere, Ancient Greek: Αἰθήρ), in Greek mythology, is one of the Protogenoi, the first-born elementals. He is the personification of the upper sky, space, and heaven, and is the elemental god of the "Bright, Glowing, Upper Air." He is the pure upper air that the gods breathe, as opposed to the normal air (Ἀήρ, aer) that mortals breathe.

Hesiod
In Hesiod's Theogony, he was the son of Erebus and Nyx and brother of Hemera. Both were noted in passing in Cicero's De Natura deorum, but Hyginus mentioned Chaos as his parent. The aether was also known as Zeus's defensive wall, the boundary that locked Tartarus from the rest of the cosmos.
Hyginus
Aether had several offspring, but Hyginus seems to confuse him with Uranus when saying that Aether had Uranus by Gaia, his only daughter, Aergia, a goddess of sloth and laziness, is the daughter of Aether and Gaia. Hyginus is also our source for telling us that Aether is the father of Uranus and Gaia but another source tells us that it is just Uranus who is his child. And like Tartaros and Erebos, in Hellas he might have had shrines but no temples and probably no cult either.
Orphic hymns
In the Orphic hymns, he is mentioned as the soul of the world from which all life emanates. Callimachus, in calling Uranus Akmonides, claims him as the son of Akmon, and Eustathius in Alcman tells us that the sons of Uranus were called Akmonidai.

Seers from Greek Mythology

Seers
Amphilochus (Αμφίλοχος), a seer and brother of Alcmaeon who died in the war of the Seven Against Thebes
Anius, son of Apollo who prophesied that the Trojan War would be won in its tenth year
Branchus, a seer and son of Apollo
Calchas, an Argive seer who aided the Greeks during the Trojan War
Carnus, an Acarnanian seer and lover of Apollo
Carya, a seer and lover of Dionysus
Cassandra, a princess of Troy cursed to see the future but never to be believed
Ennomus, a Mysian seer, killed by Achilles during the Trojan War
Halitherses, an Ithacan seer who warned Penelope's suitors of Odysseus' return
Helenus, seer and twin brother of Cassandra, who later became king of Epirus
Iamus, a son of Apollo possessing the gift of prophecy, he founded the Iamidai
Idmon, a seer who sailed with the Argonauts
Manto, seer and daughter of Tiresias
Melampus, a legendary soothsayer and healer, and king of Argos
Mopsus, the name of two legendary seers
Phineas, son of Poseidon with the gift of prophecy who was blinded by Zeus for giving away too much of the gods' plans
Polyeidos, a Corinthian seer who saved the life of Glaucus
Telemus, a seer who foresaw that the Cyclops Polyphemus would be blinded by Odysseus
Theoclymenus, an Argive seer
Thestor, the father of Calchas
Tiresias, blind prophet of Thebes

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ananke

In Greek mythology, Ananke, also spelled Anangke, Anance, or Anagke (Ancient Greek: Ἀνάγκη, from the common noun ἀνάγκη, "force, constraint, necessity"), was a primeval (Protogenos ) ancient Greek goddess of inevitability, the personification of destiny, necessity and fate. She appears as a serpentine being, and marks the beginning of the cosmos, along with Chronos, in the Orphic cosmogony. Together they surrounded the primal egg of solid matter and so brought about the creation of the ordered universe. The ancient representation of the goddess, is perhaps a torch-bearing figure , but she was also depicted holding a spindle, as the representation of Moira (fate).
Ananke may be related with the Homeric Moira and with Tekmor, the primeval goddess of ordinance in the cosmogony of Alcman (7th century BC). It seems that she represented a universal principle of natural order, which controlled all fate and circumstance of mortals, and was far beyond the reach of the younger gods whose fates she was sometimes said to control. The Greek writers named this power Moira, or Ananke , and even the gods could not alter what was ordained.
According to the ancient Greek traveller Pausanias, there was a temple in ancient Corinth where the goddesses Ananke and Bia (meaning violence or violent haste) were worshipped together in the same shrine.
In Roman mythology, she was called Necessitas ("necessity").

In the cosmogony of Alcman first came Thetis (Disposer, Creation), and then simultaneously Poros (path) and Tekmor Poros is related with the beginning of all things, and Tekmor is related with the end of all things.
Later in the Orphic cosmogony, first came Thesis (Disposer), whose ineflable nature is unexpressed. Ananke is the primeval goddess of inevitability, and she is entwined in the serpentine coils of her mate, the time-god Chronos, at the very beginning of time. They represent the everlasting cosmic-forces of fate and time. Together they surround the primal egg of solid matter ( Orphic egg) in their constricting coils and split it into its constituent parts (earth, heaven and sea) and so they bring about the creation of the ordered universe. These ideas were the basis of the cosmogony of Empedocles (5th century BC). Strife (Neikos) separated the four elements from the initial sphere, until Love (Philia) appeared and balanced everything. Strife and Love are fighting against each other in a cosmic ever-recurring process, and stern Ananke keeps the immemorial order.
A cosmic egg is a mythological motif found in the creation myths of many cultures and civilizations. The earliest ideas of "Egg-shaped Cosmos" seem to come from some of the Sanskrit scriptures (Brahmanda). The Rig Veda uses the term Hiranyagarbha, (literally "golden fetus" or "golden womb") , which floats around in emptiness for a while, and then breaks into two halves which formed heaven ( Dyaus, in Greek Zeus ) and earth

Kings from Greek Mythology

Kings
Abas, a king of Argos
Acastus, a king of Iolcus who sailed with the Argonauts and participated in the Calydonian Boar hunt
Acrisius, a king of Argos
Actaeus, first king of Attica
Admetus (Άδμητος), a king of Pherae who sailed with the Argonauts and participated in the Calydonian Boar hunt
Adrastus (Άδραστος), a king of Argos and one of the Seven Against Thebes
Aeacus (Αιακός), a king of the island of Aegina in the Saronic Gulf; after he died, he became one of the three judges of the dead in the Underworld
Aeëtes, a king of Colchis and father of Medea
Aegeus (Αιγεύς), a king of Athens and father of Theseus
Aegimius, a king of Thessaly and progenitor of the Dorians
Aegisthus (Αίγισθος), lover of Clytemnestra, with whom he plotted to murder Agamemnon and seized the kingship of Mycenae
Aegyptus (Αίγυπτος), a king of Egypt
Aeson, father of Jason and rightful king of Iolcus, whose throne was usurped by his half-brother Pelias
Aëthlius, first king of Elis
Aetolus (Αιτωλός), a king of Elis
Agamemnon (Ἀγαμέμνων), a king of Mycenae and commander of the Greek armies during the Trojan War
Agasthenes, a king of Elis
Agenor (Αγήνωρ), a king of Phoenicia
Alcinous (Αλκίνους or Ἀλκίνοος), a king of Phaeacia
Alcmaeon, a king of Argos and one of the Epigoni
Aleus, a king of Tegea
Amphiaraus (Ἀμφιάραος), a seer and king of Argos who participated in the Calydonian Boar hunt and the war of the Seven Against Thebes
Amphictyon (Ἀμφικτύων), a king of Athens
Amphion and Zethus, twin sons of Zeus and kings of Thebes, who constructed the city's walls
Amycus, son of Poseidon and king of the Bebryces
Anaxagoras (Ἀναξαγόρας), a king of Argos
Anchises (Αγχίσης), a king of Dardania and father of Aeneas
Arcesius, a king of Ithaca and father of Laertes
Argeus, a king of Argos
Assaracus, a king of Dardania
Asterion, a king of Crete
Athamas (Ἀθάμας), a king of Orchomenus
Atreus (Ἀτρεύς), a king of Mycenae and father of Agamemnon and Menelaus
Augeas (Αυγείας), a king of Elis
Autesion, a king of Thebes
Bias, a king of Argos
Busiris, a king of Egypt
Cadmus, founder-king of Thebes
Car, a king of Megara
Catreus, a king of Crete, prophesied to die at the hands of his own son
Cecrops, an autochthonous king of Athens
Ceisus, a king of Argos
Celeus, a king of Eleusis
Cephalus, a king of Phocis who accidentally killed his own wife
Cepheus, a king of Ethiopia
Cepheus, a king of Tegea and an Argonaut
Charnabon, a king of the Getae
Cinyras, a king of Cyprus and father of Adonis
Codrus, a king of Athens
Corinthus, founder-king of Corinth
Cranaus, a king of Athens
Creon, a king of Thebes, brother of Laius and uncle of Oedipus
Creon, a king of Corinth who was hospitable towards Jason and Medea
Cres, an early Cretan king
Cresphontes, a king of Messene and descendent of Heracles
Cretheus, founder-king of Iolcus
Criasus, a king of Argos
Cylarabes, a king of Argos
Cynortas, a king of Sparta
Cyzicus, king of the Dolionians, mistakenly killed by the Argonauts
Danaus, a king of Egypt and father of the Danaides
Dardanus, founder-king of Dardania, and son of Zeus and Electra
Deiphontes, a king of Argos
Demophon of Athens, a king of Athens
Diomedes, a king of Argos and hero of the Trojan War
Echemus, a king of Arcadia
Echetus, a king of Epirus
Eetion, a king of Cilician Thebe and father of Andromache
Electryon, a king of Tiryns and Mycenae; son of Perseus and Andromeda
Elephenor, a king of the Abantes of Euboea
Eleusis, eponym and king of Eleusis, Attica
Epaphus, a king of Egypt and founder of Memphis
Epopeus, a king of Sicyon
Erechtheus, a king of Athens
Erginus, a king of Minyean Orchomenus in Boeotia
Erichthonius, a king of Athens, born of Hephaestus' attempt to rape Athena
Eteocles, a king of Thebes and son of Oedipus; he and his brother Polynices killed each other
Eteocles, son of Andreus, a king of Orchomenus
Eurotas, a king of Sparta
Eurystheus, a king of Tiryns
Gelanor, a king of Argos
Haemus, a king of Thrace
Helenus, seer and twin brother of Cassandra, who later became king of Epirus
Hippothoön, a king of Eleusis
Hyrieus, a king of Boeotia
Ilus, founder-king of Troy
Ixion, a king of the Lapiths who attempted to rape Hera and was bound to a flaming wheel in Tartarus
Laërtes, father of Odysseus and king of the Cephallenians; he sailed with the Argonauts and participated in the Calydonian Boar hunt
Laomedon, a king of Troy and father of Priam
Lycaon of Arcadia, a deceitful Arcadian king who was transformed by Zeus into a wolf
Lycurgus of Arcadia, a king of Arcadia
Lycurgus of Nemea, a king of Nemea
Makedon, a king of Macedon
Megareus of Onchestus, a king of Onchestus in Boeotia
Megareus of Thebes, a king of Thebes
Melampus, a legendary soothsayer and healer, and king of Argos
Melanthus, a king of Messenia
Memnon, a king of Ethiopia who fought on the side of Troy during the Trojan War
Menelaus, a king of Sparta and the husband of Helen
Menestheus, a king of Athens who fought on the side of the Greeks during the Trojan War
Midas, a king of Phrygia granted the power to turn anything to gold with a touch
Minos, a king of Crete; after his death, became one of the judges of the dead in the Underworld
Myles, a king of Laconia
Nestor, a king of Pylos who sailed with the Argonauts, participated in the Calydonian Boar hunt and fought with the Greek armies in the Trojan War
Nycteus, a king of Thebes
Odysseus, a hero and king of Ithaca whose adventures are the subject of Homer's Odyssey; he also played a key role during the Trojan War
Oebalus, a king of Sparta
Oedipus, a king of Thebes fated to kill his father and marry his mother
Oeneus, a king of Calydon
Oenomaus, a king of Pisa
Oenopion, a king of Chios
Ogygus, a king of Thebes
Oicles, a king of Argos
Oileus, a king of Locris
Orestes, a king of Argos and a son of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon; he killed his mother in revenge for her murder of his father
Oxyntes, a king of Athens
Pandion I, a king of Athens
Pandion II, a king of Athens
Peleus, king of the Myrmidons and father of Achilles; he sailed the with Argonauts and participated in the Calydonian Boar hunt
Pelias, a king of Iolcus and usurper of Aeson's rightful throne
Pelops, a king of Pisa and founder of the House of Atreus
Pentheus, a king of Thebes who banned the worship of Dionysus and was torn apart by Maenads
Perseus (Περσεύς), founder-king of Mycenae and slayer of the Gorgon Medusa
Phineas, a king of Thrace
Phlegyas, a king of the Lapiths
Phoenix, son of Agenor, founder-king of Phoenicia
Phoroneus, a king of Argos
Phyleus, a king of Elis
Pirithoös, king of the Lapiths and husband of Hippodamia, at whose wedding the Battle of Lapiths and Centaurs occurred
Pittheus, a king of Troezen and grandfather of Theseus
Polybus of Corinth, a king of Corinth
Polybus of Sicyon, a king of Sicyon and son of Hermes
Polybus of Thebes, a king of Thebes
Polynices, a king of Thebes and son of Oedipus; he and his brother Eteocles killed each other
Priam, king of Troy during the Trojan War
Proetus, a king of Argos and Tiryns
Pylades, a king of Phocis and friend of Orestes
Rhadamanthys, a king of Crete; after his death, he became a judge of the dead in the Underworld
Rhesus, a king of Thrace who sided with Troy in the Trojan War
Sarpedon, a king of Lycia and son of Zeus who fought on the side of the Greeks during the Trojan War
Sisyphus, a king of Thessaly who attempted to cheat death and was sentenced to an eternity of rolling a boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down
Sithon, a king of Thrace
Talaus, a king of Argos who sailed with the Argonauts
Tegyrios, a king of Thrace
Telamon, a king of Salamis and father of Ajax; he sailed with the Argonauts and participated in the Calydonian Boar hunt
Telephus, a king of Mysia and son of Heracles
Temenus, a king of Argos and descendent of Heracles
Teucer, founder-king of Salamis who fought alongside the Greeks in the Trojan War
Teutamides, a king of Larissa
Teuthras, a king of Mysia
Thersander, a king of Thebes and one of the Epigoni
Theseus, a king of Athens and slayer of the Minotaur
Thyestes, a king of Mycenae and brother of Atreus
Tisamenus, a king of Argos, Mycenae and Sparta
Tyndareus, a king of Sparta

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Greek Mythology- Notable Women

Notable women
Alcestis (Άλκηστις), daughter of Pelias and wife of Admetus, who was known for her devotion to her husband
Amymone, the one daughter of Danaus who refused to murder her husband, thus escaping her sisters' punishment
Andromache (Ανδρομάχη), wife of Hector
Andromeda (Ανδρομέδα), wife of Perseus, who was placed among the constellations after her death
Antigone (Αντιγόνη), daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta
Arachne (Αράχνη), a skilled weaver, transformed by Athena into a spider for her blasphemy
Ariadne (Αριάδνη), daughter of Minos, king of Crete, who aided Theseus in overcoming the Minotaur and became the wife of Dionysus
Atalanta (Αταλάντη), fleet-footed heroine who participated in the Calydonian Boar hunt
Briseis, a princess of Lyrnessus, taken by Achilles as a war prize
Caeneus, formerly Caenis, a woman who was transformed into a man and became a mighty warrior
Cassandra, a princess of Troy cursed to see the future but never to be believed
Clytemnestra, sister of Helen and unfaithful wife of Agamemnon
Danaë, the mother of Perseus by Zeus
Deianeira, the third wife and unwitting killer of Heracles
Electra, daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, she aided her brother Orestes in plotting revenge against their mother for the murder of their father
Europa, a Phoenician woman, abducted by Zeus
Hecuba (Ἑκάβη), wife of Priam, king of Troy, and mother of nineteen of his children
Helen, daughter of Zeus and Leda, whose abduction brought about the Trojan War
Hermione (Ἑρμιόνη), daughter of Menelaus and Helen; wife of Neoptolemus, and later Orestes
Iphigenia, daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra; Agamemnon sacrificed her to Artemis in order to appease the goddess
Ismene, sister of Antigone
Jocasta, mother and wife of Oedipus
Medea, a sorceress and wife of Jason, who killed her own children to punish Jason for his infidelity
Medusa, a mortal woman transformed into a hideous gorgon by Athena
Niobe, a daughter of Tantalus who declared herself to be superior to Leto, causing Artemis and Apollo to kill her fourteen children
Pandora, the first woman
Penelope, loyal wife of Odysseus
Phaedra, daughter of Minos and wife of Theseus
Polyxena, the youngest daughter of Priam, sacrificed to the ghost of Achilles
Semele, mortal mother of Dionysus

Monday, March 26, 2012

Greek Mythological Heroes

Heroes
Abderus, aided Heracles during his eighth labour and was killed by the Mares of Diomedes
Achilles (Αχιλλεύς or Αχιλλέας), hero of the Trojan War and a central character in Homer's Iliad
Aeneas (Αινείας), a hero of the Trojan War and progenitor of the Roman people
Ajax the Great (Αίας ο Μέγας), a hero of the Trojan War and king of Salamis
Ajax the Lesser (Αίας ο Μικρός), a hero of the Trojan War and leader of the Locrian army
Amphitryon (Αμφιτρύων), Theban general who rescued Thebes from the Teumessian Fox; his wife was Alcmene, mother of Heracles
Bellerophon, hero who slew the Chimera
Castor, the mortal Dioscuri twin; after Castor's death, his immortal brother Pollux shared his divinity with him in order that they might remain together
Chrysippus, a divine hero of Elis
Daedalus, creator of the labyrinth and great inventor, until King Minos trapped him in his own creation.
Diomedes, a king of Argos and hero of the Trojan War
Eleusis, eponymous hero of the town of Eleusis
Eunostus, a Boeotian hero
Ganymede, Trojan hero and lover of Zeus, who was given immortality and appointed cup-bearer to the gods
Hector, hero of the Trojan War and champion of the Trojan people
Iolaus, nephew of Heracles who aided his uncle in one of his Labors
Jason, leader of the Argonauts
Meleager, a hero who sailed with the Argonauts and killed the Calydonian Boar
Odysseus, a hero and king of Ithaca whose adventures are the subject of Homer's Odyssey; he also played a key role during the Trojan War
Orpheus, a legendary musician and poet who attempted to retrieve his dead wife from the Underworld
Perseus (Περσεύς), son of Zeus and the founder-king of Mycenae and slayer of the Gorgon Medusa
Theseus, son of Poseidon and a king of Athens and slayer of the Minotaur

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Greek Deities


Aceso (Ἀκεσώ), goddess of the healing of wounds and the curing of illnesses
Acratopotes (Ἀκρατοπότης), god of unmixed wine and incontinence
Adrastea (Αδράστεια), a daughter of Ares and Aphrodite, or an epithet of Nemesis
Agdistis (Ἄγδιστις), Phrygian hermaphroditic deity
Alexiares and Anicetus (Αλεξιαρης and Ανικητος), twin sons of Heracles who presided over the defence of fortified towns and citadels
Aphroditus (Ἀφρόδιτος), Cyprian hermaphroditic Aphrodite
Astraea (Αστραία), virgin goddess of justice
Auxesia (Αυξησία) and Damia (Δαμία), two local fertility goddesses
Charites (Χάριτες), goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity and fertility
Aglaea (Αγλαΐα), goddess of beauty, adornment, splendour and glory
Euphrosyne (Εὐφροσύνη), goddess of good cheer, joy, mirth and merriment
Thalia (Θάλεια), goddess of festive celebrations and rich and luxurious banquets
Hegemone (Ηγεμόνη) "mastery"
Antheia (Άνθεια), goddess of flowers and flowery wreaths
Pasithea (Πασιθέα), goddess of rest and relaxation
Cleta (Κλήτα) "the glorious"
Phaenna (Φαέννα) "the shining"
Eudaimonia (Ευδαιμονία) "happiness"
Euthymia (Ευθυμία) "good mood"
Calleis (Καλλείς) "beauty"
Paidia (Παιδία) "play, amusement"
Pandaisia (Πανδαισία) "banquet for everyone"
Pannychis (Παννυχίς) "all-night (festivity)"
Ceraon (Κεραων), demi-god of the meal, specifically the mixing of wine
Chrysus (Χρύσος), spirit of gold
Circe (Κίρκη), goddess-witch of Aeaea
Daemones Ceramici (Δαίμονες Κεραμικοί), five malevolent spirits who plagued the craftsman potter
Syntribos (Σύντριβος), the shatterer
Smaragos (Σμάραγος), the smasher
Asbetos (Ασβετος), the charrer
Sabaktes (Σαβάκτης), the destroyer
Omodamos (Ομόδαμος), crudebake
Deipneus (Δειπνεύς), demi-god of the preparation of meals, specifically the making of bread
Eiresione (Ειρεσιώνη), personification of the olive branch
Eileithyia (Εἰλείθυια), goddess of childbirth
Enyalius (Ενυάλιος), minor god of war
Enyo (Ἐνυώ), goddess of destructive war
Harpocrates (Ηαρποκρατης), god of silence
Hermaphroditus (Ἑρμάφρόδιτός), god of hermaphrodites and effeminate men
Hymenaios (Ὑμέναιος), god of marriage and marriage feasts
Ichnaea (Ιχναία), goddess of tracking
Iynx (Ιύνξ), goddess of the love charm
Matton (Μάττων), demi-god of the meal, specifically the kneading of dough
Muses (Μούσαι), goddesses of music, song and dance, and the source of inspiration to poets
Titan Muses, daughters of Gaia and Ouranos
Aoide (Ἀοιδή), muse of song
Arche (Αρχή), muse of origins
Melete (Μελέτη), muse of meditation and practice
Mneme (Μνήμη), muse of memory
Thelxinoe (Θελξινόη), muse "charmer of minds"
Olympian Muses, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne
Calliope (Καλλιόπη), muse of epic poetry
Clio (Κλειώ), muse of history
Erato (Ερατώ), muse of erotic poetry
Euterpe (Ευτέρπη), muse of lyric poetry
Melpomene (Μελπομένη), muse of tragedy
Polyhymnia (Πολυμνία) or (Πολύμνια), muse of sacred poetry
Terpsichore (Τερψιχόρη), muse of dance and choral poetry
Thalia (Θάλεια), muse of comedy and bucolic poetry
Urania (Ουρανία), muse of astronomy
Younger Muses, daughters of Apollo
Cephisso (Κεφισσώ)
Apollonis (Απολλωνίς)
Borysthenis (Βορυσθενίς)
Hypate (Υπάτη) "the upper (chord of the lyre)"
Mese (Μέση) "the middle (chord of the lyre)"
Nete (Νήτη) "the lower (chord of the lyre)"
Polymatheia (Πολυμάθεια), muse of knowledge
Palaestra (Παλαίστρα), goddess of wrestling
Rhapso (Ραψώ), minor goddess or nymph whose name apparently refers to sewing

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Greek Health Deities

Health deities
Aceso (Ἀκεσώ), goddess of the healing of wounds and the curing of illnesses
Aegle (Αἴγλη), goddess of radiant good health
Asclepius (Ασκληπιός), god of healing
Epione (Ἠπιόνη), goddess of the soothing of pain
Hygieia (Υγεία), goddess of cleanliness and good health
Iaso (Ἰασώ), goddess of cures, remedies and modes of healing
Paeon (Παιάν, Παιήων, or Παιών), physician of the Olympian gods
Panacea (Πανάκεια), goddess of healing
Telesphorus (Τελεσφόρος), demi-god of convalescence, who "brought to fulfillment" recuperation from illness or injury

Friday, March 23, 2012

Greek Deified mortals

Deified mortals
Achilles (Ἀχιλλεύς), hero of the Trojan War
Aiakos (Αἰακός), a king of Aegina, appointed as a Judge of the Dead in the Underworld after his death
Aeolus (Aiolos) (Αἴολος), a king of Thessaly, made the immortal king of the winds by Zeus
Amphiaraus (Ἀμφιάραος), a hero of the war of the Seven Against Thebe who became an oracular spirit of the Underworld after his death
Ariadne (Αριάδνη), a Cretan princess who became the immortal wife of Dionysus
Aristaeus (Ἀρισταῖος), a Thessalian hero, his inventions saw him immortalised as the god of bee-keeping, cheese-making, herding, olive-growing and hunting
Asclepius (Ἀσκληπιός), a Thessalian physician who was struck down by Zeus, to be later recovered by his father Apollo
Attis (Ἄττις), a consort of Cybele, granted immortality as one of her attendants
Bolina (Βολίνα), a mortal woman transformed into an immortal nymph by Apollo
The Dioscuri (Διόσκουροι), divine twins
Castor (Κάστωρ)
Polydeuces (Πολυδεύκης)
Endymion (Ἐνδυμίων), lover of Selene, granted eternal sleep so as never to age or die
Ganymede (Γανυμήδης), a handsome Trojan prince, abducted by Zeus and made cup-bearer of the gods
Glaucus (Γλαῦκος), the fisherman's sea god, made immortal after eating a magical herb
Hemithea (Ἡμιθέα) and Parthenos (Παρθένος), princesses of the Island of Naxos who leapt into the sea to escape their father's wrath; Apollo transformed them into demi-goddesses
Heracles (Ηρακλής), ascended hero
Minos (Μίνως), a king of Crete, appointed as a Judge of the Dead in the Underworld after his death
Ino (Ἰνώ), a Theban princess who became the sea goddess Leucothea
The Leucippides (Λευκιππίδες), wives of the Dioscuri
Phoebe (Φοίβη), wife of Pollux
Hilaeira (Ἱλάειρα), wife of Castor
Orithyia (Ὠρείθυια), an Athenian princess abducted by Boreas and made the goddess of cold, gusty mountain winds
Palaemon (Παλαίμων), a Theban prince, made into a sea god along with his mother, Ino
Phylonoe (Φυλονόη), daughter of Tyndareus and Leda, made immortal by Artemis
Psyche (Ψυχή), goddess of the soul

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Greek Agricultural deities

Agricultural deities
Adonis (Άδωνις), a life-death-rebirth deity
Aphaea (Αφαία), minor goddess of agriculture and fertility
Carme (Κάρμη), a Cretan spirit who presided over the harvest festival
Carmanor (Καρμάνωρ), a Cretan harvest god
Chrysothemis (Χρυσόθεμις), goddess of the "Golden Custom", a harvest festival, daughter of Demeter and Carmanor
Cyamites (Κυαμίτης), demi-god of the bean
Demeter (Δημήτηρ), goddess of fertility, agriculture, grain and harvest
Despoina, daughter of Poseidon and Demeter, goddess of mysteries in Arcadia
Dionysus (Διόνυσος), god of viticulture and wine
Eunostus (Εύνοστος), goddess of the flour mill
Hestia (Ἑστία), maiden goddess of the hearth who presided over the baking of bread, mankind's stable food
Persephone (Περσεφόνη), queen of the underworld, wife of Hades and goddess of spring growth
Philomelus (Φιλόμελος), agricultural demi-god inventor of the wagon and the plough
Plutus (Πλοῦτος), god of wealth, including agricultural wealth, son of Demeter

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Greek Rustic Deities

Rustic deities
Aetna (Αἴτνη), goddess of the volcanic Mount Etna in Sicily
Amphictyonis (Αμφικτυονίς), goddess of wine and friendship between nations, a local form of Demeter
Anthousai (Ανθούσαι), flower nymphs
Aristaeus (Ἀρισταῖος), god of bee-keeping, cheese-making, herding, olive-growing and hunting
Attis (Άττις), vegetation god and consort of Cybele
Britomartis (Βριτόμαρτις), Cretan goddess of hunting and nets used for fishing, fowling and the hunting of small game
Cabeiri (Κάβειροι), gods or spirits who presided over the Mysteries of the islands of Lemnos and Samothrace
Aitnaios (Αιτναιος)
Alkon (Αλκων)
Eurymedon (Ευρυμεδών)
Onnes (Όννης)
Tonnes (Τόννης)
Centaurs (Κένταυροι), a race of half-man, half-horse beings
Asbolus (Άσβολος)
Chariclo (Χαρικλώ), wife of the centaur Chiron
Chiron (Χείρων), the eldest and wisest of the Centaurs
Eurytion (Ευρυτιων)
Nessus (Νέσσος), a ferryman at the river Euenus
Pholus (Φώλος)
The Cercopes (Κέρκοπες), a pair of monkey-like thieves who plagued the land of Lydia in western Anatolia
Akmon (Ακμών)
Passalos (Πάσσαλος)
Chloris (Χλωρίς), goddess of flowers and wife of Zephyrus
Comus (Κόμος), god of revelry, merrymaking and festivity
Corymbus (Κόρυμβος), god of the fruit of the ivy
The Curetes (Κουρέτες), guardians of infant Zeus on Mount Ida, barely distinguished from the Dactyls and the Corybantes
Cybele (Κυβέλη), a Phrygian mountain goddess associated with Rhea
The Dactyls (Δάκτυλοι)"fingers", minor deities originally representing fingers of a hand
Acmon (Ακμών)
Damnameneus (Δαμναμενεύς)
Delas (Δήλας)
Epimedes (Επιμήδης)
Heracles (not to be confused with the hero Heracles)
Iasios (Ιάσιος)
Kelmis (Κελμις)
Skythes (Σκύθης)
Dionysus (Διόνυσος), god of wine, drunken orgies and wild vegetation
Dryades (Δρυάδες), tree and forest nymphs
Gaia (Γαία), primeval goddess of the earth
Epimeliades (Επιμελίδες), nymphs of highland pastures and protectors of sheep flocks
Hamadryades (Αμαδρυάδες), oak tree dryades
Hecaterus (Ηεκατερος), minor god of the hekateris — a rustic dance of quickly moving hands — and perhaps of the skill of hands in general
Hephaestus (Ήφαιστος), god of metalworking
Hermes (Ερμής), god of herds and flocks, of roads and boundary stones
The Horae (Ώρες), The Hours
The goddesses of natural order
Eunomia (Ευνομία), spirit of good order, and springtime goddess of green pastures
Dike (Δίκη), spirit of justice, may have represented springtime growth
Eirene (Ειρήνη), spirit of peace and goddess of the springtime
The goddesses of springtime growth
Thallo (Θαλλώ), goddess of spring buds and shoots, identified with Eirene
Auxo (Αυξώ), goddess of spring growth
Karpo (Καρπώ), goddess of the fruits of the earth
The goddesses of welfare
Pherousa (Φέρουσα) "the bringer"
Euporie (Ευπορίη) "abundance"
Orthosie (Ορθοσίη) "prosperity"
The goddesses of the natural portions of time and the times of day
Auge (Αυγή), first light of the morning
Anatole (Ανατολή) or Anatolia (Ανατολία), sunrise
Mousika or Musica (Μουσική), the morning hour of music and study
Gymnastika, Gymnastica (Γυμναστίκή) or Gymnasia (Γυμνασία), the morning hour of gymnastics/exercise
Nymphe (Νυμφή), the morning hour of ablutions (bathing, washing)
Mesembria (Μεσημβρία), noon
Sponde (Σπονδή), libations poured after lunch
Elete, prayer, the first of the afternoon work hours
Akte, Acte (Ακτή) or Cypris (Κυπρίς), eating and pleasure, the second of the afternoon work hours
Hesperis (Έσπερίς), evening
Dysis (Δύσις), sunset
Arktos (Άρκτος), night sky, constellation
The goddesses of seasons of the year
Eiar (Είαρ), spring
Theros (Θέρος), summer
Pthinoporon (Φθινόπωρον), autumn
Cheimon (Χειμών), winter
Korybantes (Κορύβαντες), the crested dancers who worshipped Cybele
Damneus (Δαμνεύς) "the one who tames"
Idaios (Ιδαίος) "of Mount Ida"
Kyrbas (Κύρβας), whose name is probably a variant of Korybas, singular for "Korybantes"
Okythoos (Ωκύθοος) "the one running swiftly"
Prymneus (Πρυμνεύς) "of lower areas"
Pyrrhichos (Πυρῥιχος), god of the rustic dance
Maenades (μαινάδες), crazed nymphs in the retinue of Dionysus
Methe (Μέθη), nymph of drunkenness
Meliae (Μελίαι), nymphs of honey and the ash tree
Naiades (Ναιάδες), fresh water nymphs
Daphne (Δάφνη)
Metope (Μετώπη)
The Nymphai Hyperboreioi (Νύμφαι Υπερβόρειοι), who presided over aspects of archery
Hekaerge (Εκαέργη), represented distancing
Loxo (Λοξώ), represented trajectory
Oupis (Ουπις), represented aim
Oreades (Ὀρεάδες), mountain nymphs
Adrasteia (Αδράστεια), a nursemaid of the infant Zeus
Echo (Ηχώ), a nymph cursed never to speak except to repeat the words of others
Oceanides (Ωκεανίδες), fresh water nymphs
Beroe (Βερόη), a nymph of Beirut, the daughter of Aphrodite and Adonis, who was wooed by both Dionysus and Poseidon
Calypso (Καλυψώ)
Clytie (Κλυτίη)
Eidyia (Ειδυια), the youngest of the Oceanides
The Ourea (Ούρος), primeval gods of mountains
The Palici (Παλικοί), a pair of rustic gods who presided over the geysers and thermal springs in Sicily
Pan (Πάν), god of shepherds, pastures, and fertility
Potamoi, river gods
Achelous (Αχέλους)
Acis (Άκις)
Acheron (Αχέρων)
Alpheus (Αλφειός)
Asopus (Ασωπός)
Cladeus (Κλάδεος)
Eurotas (Ευρώτας)
Cocytus (Kωκυτός)
Lethe (λήθη)
Peneus (Πηνειός)
Phlegethon (Φλεγέθων))
Styx (Στύξ)
Scamander (Σκάμανδρος)
Priapus (Πρίαπος), god of garden fertility
Rhea (Ῥέα), the great mother and queen of the mountain wilds
Satyrs (Σάτυροι), rustic fertility spirits
Krotos (Κρότος), a great hunter and musician who kept the company of the Muses on Mount Helicon
Silenus (Σειληνός), an old rustic god of the dance of the wine-press
Telete (Τελέτη), goddess of initiation into the Bacchic orgies
Zagreus (Ζαγρεύς), in the Orphic mysteries, the first incarnation of Dionysus

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Greek Sky Deities

Sky deities
Achelois (Ἀχελωΐς), "she who washes pain away", a minor moon goddess
Aeolus (Aiolos) (Αίολος), god of the winds.
Aether (Αιθήρ), primeval god of the upper air
Alectrona (Αλεκτρονα), solar goddess of the morning or waking up
Anemoi, gods of the winds
Boreas (Βορέας), god of the north wind and of winter
Eurus (Εύρος), god of the unlucky east or southeast wind
Notus (Νότος) god of the south wind
Zephyrus (Ζέφυρος), god of the west wind
Aparctias (Απαρκτίας), another name for the north wind (not identified with Boreas)
Apheliotes (Αφηλιώτης), god of the east wind (when Eurus is considered southeast)
Argestes (Αργέστης), another name for the west or northwest wind
Caicias (Καικίας), god of the northeast wind
Circios (Κίρκιος) or Thraskias (Θρασκίας), god of the north-northwest wind
Euronotus (Ευρονότος), god of the southeast wind
Lips (Λίψ), god of the southwest wind
Skeiron (Σκείρων), god of the northwest wind
Arke (Άρκη), messenger of the Titans and twin sister of Iris
Astraios (Ἀστραῖος), Titan god of stars and planets, and the art of astrology
The Astra Planeti (Αστρα Πλανετοι), gods of the five wandering stars or planets
Stilbon (Στιλβών), god of Hermaon, the planet Mercury
Eosphorus (Ηωσφόρος), god of Venus the morning star
Hesperus (Ἓσπερος), god of Venus the evening star
Pyroeis (Πυρόεις), god of Areios, the planet Mars
Phaethon (Φαέθων), god of Dios, the planet Jupiter
Phaenon (Φαίνων), god of Kronion, the planet Saturn
Aurai (Αὖραι), nymphs of the cooling breeze
Aura (Αὖρα), goddess of the breeze and the fresh, cool air of early morning
Chaos (Χάος), the nothingness from which all else sprang, she also represented the lower atmosphere which surrounded the earth
Chione (Χιόνη), goddess of snow and daughter of Boreas
Eos (Ἠώς), Titan goddess of the dawn
Helios (Ἥλιος), Titan god of the sun and guardian of oaths
Hemera (Ημέρα), primeval goddess of daylight and the sun
Hera (Ήρα), Queen of Heaven and goddess of the air and starry constellations
Herse (Ἕρση), goddess of the morning dew
The Hesperides (Ἑσπερίδες)
The Hyades, nymphs that represented a star cluster in the constellation Taurus and were associated with rain
Iris (Ίρις), goddess of the rainbow and divine messenger
The Menae (Μήναι), fifty goddesses of phases of the moon and the fifty lunar months of the four-year Olympiad
Nephelai (Νεφήλαι), cloud nymphs
Ouranos (Ουρανός), primeval god of the heavens
Pandia (Πανδία), daughter of Selene and Zeus; goddess of the full moon and of the earth-nourishing dew
The Pleiades (Πλειάδες), goddesses of the constellation Pleiades
Alcyone (Αλκυόνη)
Sterope (Στερόπη)
Celaeno (Κελαινώ)
Electra (Ηλέκτρα)
Maia (Μαία)
Merope (Μερόπη)
Taygete (Ταϋγέτη)
Selene (Σελήνη), Titan goddess of the moon
Zeus (Ζεύς), King of Heaven and god of the sky, clouds, rain, thunder and lightning

Monday, March 19, 2012

Greek Sea Deities

Sea deities
Aegaeon (Αιγαίων), god of violent sea storms and ally of the Titans
Acheilos (Αχειλος), shark-shaped sea spirit
Amphitrite (Αμφιτρίτη), sea goddess and consort of Poseidon
Benthesikyme (Βενθεσικύμη), daughter of Poseidon, who resided in Ethiopia
Brizo (Βριζώ), patron goddess of sailors, who sent prophetic dreams
Ceto (Κῆτώ), goddess of the dangers of the ocean and of sea monsters
Charybdis (Χάρυβδις), a sea monster and spirit of whirlpools and the tide
Cymopoleia (Κυμοπόλεια), a daughter of Poseidon married to the Giant Briareus
Delphin (Δέλφιν), the leader of the dolphins, Poseidon placed him in the sky as the constellation Delphin
Eidothea (Ειδοθέα), prophetic sea nymph and daughter of Proteus
Glaucus (Γλαῦκος), the fisherman's sea god
Gorgons (Γοργόνες), three monstrous sea spirits
Stheno (Σθεννώ)
Euryale (Εὐρυάλη)
Medusa (Μέδουσα), the only mortal of the three
The Graeae (Γραῖαι), three ancient sea spirits who personified the white foam of the sea; they shared one eye and one tooth between them
Deino (Δεινώ)
Enyo (Ενυώ)
Pemphredo (Πεμφρεδώ)
The Harpies (Ηάρπυιαι), winged spirits of sudden, sharp gusts of wind
Aello (Αελλώ) or Aellope (Αελλώπη) or Aellopous (Αελλόπους)
Ocypete (Ωκυπέτη) or Ocypode (Ωκυπόδη) or Ocythoe (Ωκυθόη)
Podarge (Ποδάργη) or Podarke (Ποδάρκη)
Celaeno (Κελαινώ)
Nicothoe (Νικοθόη)
Hippocampi (ἱπποκαμπος), the horses of the sea they are half horse with the tail of a fish
The Ichthyocentaurs (Ιχθυοκένταυροι), a pair of centaurine sea-gods with the upper bodies of men, the lower fore-parts of horses, ending in the serpentine tails of fish
Bythos (Βύθος) "sea depth"
Aphros (Άφρος) "sea foam"
Karkinos (Καρκίνος), a giant crab who allied itself with the Hydra against Heracles. When it died, Hera placed it in the sky as the constellation Cancer.
Ladon (Λάδων), a hundred-headed sea serpent who guarded the western reaches of the sea, and the island and golden apples of the Hesperides
Leucothea (Λευκοθέα), a sea goddess who aided sailors in distress
Nereides (Νηρηίδες), sea nymphs
Thetis (Θέτις), leader of the Nereids who presided over the spawning of marine life in the sea
Arethusa (Αρετούσα), a daughter of Nereus who was transformed into a fountain
Galene (Γαλήνη), goddess of calm seas
Psamathe (Πσαμάθη), goddess of sand beaches
Nereus (Νηρέας), the old man of the sea, and the god of the sea's rich bounty of fish
Nerites (Νερίτης), a sea spirit who was transformed into a shell-fish by Aphrodite
Oceanus (Ὠκεανός), Titan god of the Earth-encircling river Oceanus, the font of all the Earth's fresh-water
Palaemon (Παλαίμων), a young sea god who aided sailors in distress
Phorcys (Φόρκυς), god of the hidden dangers of the deep
Pontos (Πόντος), primeval god of the sea, father of the fish and other sea creatures
Poseidon (Ποσειδῶν), king of the sea and lord of the sea gods; also god of rivers, flood and drought, earthquakes, and horses
Proteus (Πρωτεύς), a shape-shifting, prophetic old sea god, and the herdsman of Poseidon's seals
Scylla (Σκύλλα), monstrous sea goddess
The Sirens (Σειρῆνες), sea nymphs who lured sailors to their death with their song
Aglaope (Αγλαόπη) or Aglaophonos (Αγλαόφωνος) or Aglaopheme (Αγλαοφήμη)
Himerope (Ίμερόπη)
Leucosia (Λευκοσία)
Ligeia (Λιγεία)
Molpe (Μολπή)
Parthenope (Παρθενόπη)
Peisinoe (Πεισινόη) or Peisithoe (Πεισιθόη)
Raidne (Ραίδνη)
Teles (Τέλης)
Thelchtereia (Θελχτήρεια)
Thelxiope (Θελξιόπη) or Thelxiepeia (Θελξιέπεια)
The Telchines (Τελχινες), sea spirits native to the island of Rhodes; the gods killed them when they turned to evil magic
Actaeus (Ακταιος)
Argyron (Αργυρών)
Atabyrius (Αταβύριος)
Chalcon (Χαλκών)
Chryson (Χρυσών)
Damon (Δαμων) or Demonax (Δημώναξ)
Damnameneus (Δαμναμενεύς)
Dexithea (Δεξιθέα), mother of Euxanthios by Minos
Lycos (Λύκος) or Lyktos (Λύκτος)
Lysagora (Λυσαγόρα)?
Makelo (Μακελώ)
Megalesius (Μεγαλήσιος)
Mylas (Μύλας)
Nikon (Νίκων)
Ormenos (Ορμενος)
Simon (Σίμων)
Skelmis (Σκελμις)
Tethys (Τηθύς), wife of Oceanus, and the mother of the rivers, springs, streams, fountains and clouds
Thalassa (Θάλασσα), primeval spirit of the sea and consort of Pontos
Thaumas (Θαῦμας), god of the wonders of the sea
Thoosa (Θόοσα), goddess of swift currents
Triteia (Τριτεια), daughter of Triton and companion of Ares
Triton (Τρίτων), fish-tailed son and herald of Poseidon
Tritones (Τρίτωνες), fish-tailed spirits in Poseidon's retinue

Nusku

Nusku was the name of the light and fire-god in Babylonia and Assyria, who is hardly to be distinguished, from a certain time on, from a god Girra - formerly Gibil.

Nusku-Girru is the symbol of the heavenly as well as of the terrestrial fire. As the former he is the son of Anu, the god of heaven, but he is likewise associated with Enlil of Nippur as the god of the earth and regarded as his first-born son. A centre of his cult in Assyria was in Harran, where, because of the predominating character of the moon-cult, he is viewed as the son of the moongod Sin, though Nusku was with Enlil when Sin wasn't born yet, and Enlil hadn't married Ninlil - Sin's mother. Nusku-Girru is by the side of Ea, the god of water, the great purifier. It is he, therefore, who is called upon to cleanse the sick and suffering from disease, which, superinduced by the demons, was looked upon as a species of impurity affecting the body.

The fire-god is also viewed as the patron of the arts and the god of civilization in general, because of the natural association of all human progress with the discovery and use of fire. As among other nations, the fire-god was in the third instance looked upon as the protector of the family. He becomes the mediator between humanity and the gods, since it is through the fire on the altar that the offering is brought into the presence of the gods.

While temples and sanctuaries to Nusku-Girru are found in Babylonia and Assyria, he is worshipped more in symbolical form than the other gods. For the very reason that his presence is common and universal he is not localized to the same extent as his fellow-deities, and, while always enumerated in a list of the great gods, his place in the systematized pantheon is more or less vague. The conceptions connected with Nusku are of distinctly popular origin, as is shown by his prominence in incantations, which represent the popular element in the cult, and it is significant that in the astro-theological system of the Babylonian priests Nusku-Girru is not assigned to any particular place in the heavens.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Greek Chthonic deities

Chthonic deities
Amphiaraus (Αμφιαραύς), a hero of the war of the Seven Against Thebe who became an oracular spirit of the Underworld after his death
Askalaphos (Ἀσκάλαφος), the son of Acheron and Orphne who tended the Underworld orchards before being transformed into a screech owl by Demeter
Cerberus (Κέρβερος), the three-headed hound who guarded the gates of Hades
Charon (Χάρων), ferryman of Hades
Empusa (Έμπουσα), a monstrous underworld spirit or spirits with flaming hair, the leg of a goat and a leg of bronze. They are also servants of Hecate.
Erebos (Έρεβος), the primeval god of darkness, his mists encircled the underworld and filled the hollows of the earth
The Erinyes (Ἐρινύες), the Furies, goddesses of retribution
Alecto (Ἀληκτώ), the unceasing one
Tisiphone (Τισιφόνη), avenger of murder
Megaera (Μέγαιρα), the jealous one
Hecate (Εκάτη), goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts and necromancy
Judges of the Dead
Aiakos (Αιακός), former mortal king of Aegina, guardian of the keys of Hades and judge of the men of Europe
Minos (Μίνως), former mortal king of Crete and judge of the final vote
Rhadamanthys (Ῥαδάμανθυς), former mortal lawmaker and judge of the men of Asia
Keuthonymos (Κευθόνυμος), an Underworld spirit and father of Menoetes
Cronus (Κρόνος), deposed king of the Titans; after his release from Tartarus he was appointed king of the Island of the Blessed
Lamia (Λάμια), a vampiric Underworld spirit or spirits in the train of Hecate
Lampades (Λαμπάδες), torch-bearing Underworld nymphs
Gorgyra (Γοργύρα)
Orphne (Ορφνη), a Lampad nymph of Hades, mother of Askalaphos
Macaria (Μακαρία), daughter of Hades and goddess of blessed death (not to be confused with the daughter of Heracles)
Melinoe (Μελινόη), daughter of Persephone and Zeus who presided over the propitiations offered to the ghosts of the dead
Menoetes (Μενοίτης), an Underworld spirit who herded the cattle of Hades
Mormo (Μορμώ), a fearsome Underworld spirit or spirits in the train of Hecate
Nyx (Νύξ), the primeval goddess of night
Persephone (Περσεφόνη), queen of the underworld, wife of Hades and goddess of spring growth
Rivers of the Underworld
Acheron (Αχέρων), the river of pain
Kokytos (Kωκυτός), the river of wailing
Lethe (Λήθη), the river of forgetfulness
Phlegethon (Φλεγέθων), the river of fire
Styx (Στύξ), the river of hate
Tartarus (Τάρταρος), the primeval god of the dark, stormy pit of Hades
Thanatos (Θάνατος), spirit of death and minister of Hades

Ninlil

In Sumerian religion, Ninlil (DNIN.LÍL"lady of the open field" or "Lady of the Air"), also called Sud, in Assyrian called Mullitu, is the consort goddess of Enlil. Her parentage is variously described. Most commonly she is called the daughter of Haia (god of stores) and Nunbarsegunu (or Ninshebargunnu (a goddess of barley) or Nisaba). Another source says she is the daughter of Anu and Antu. Other sources call her a daughter of An and Nammu. Theophilus G. Pinches noted that Nnlil or Belit Ilani had seven different names (such as Nintud, Ninhursag, Ninmah, etc.) for seven different localities.

She lived in Dilmun with her family. Raped and ravaged by her (now-present) husband Enlil, who impregnated her with water, she conceived a boy, Nanna/Suen, the future moon god. As punishment Enlil was dispatched to the underworld kingdom of Ereshkigal, where Ninlil joined him. Enlil impregnated her disguised as the gatekeeper, whereupon she gave birth to their son Nergal, god of death. In a similar manner she conceived the underworld god Ninazu when Enlil impregnated her disguised as the man of the river of the nether world, a man-devouring river. Later Enlil disguised himself as the man of the boat, impregnating her with a fourth deity Enbilulu, god of rivers and canals, these act as substitutes for Nanna/Suen to ascend. In some texts Ninlil is also the mother of Ninurta.

After her death, she became the goddess of the air, like Enlil. She may be the Goddess of the South Wind referred to in the story of Adapa, as her husband Enlil was associated with northerly winter storms. As "Lady Air" she may be associated with the figure of the Akkadian demon "Lil-itu", thought to have been the origin of the Biblical Lilith.

Ninurta

Ninurta (Nin Ur: God of War) in Sumerian and Akkadian mythology was the god of Lagash, identified with Ningirsu with whom he may always have been identical. In older transliteration the name is rendered Ninib and Ninip, and in early commentary he was sometimes portrayed as a solar deity.

In Nippur, Ninurta was worshiped as part of a triad of deities including his father, Enlil and his mother, Ninlil. In variant mythology, his mother is said to be the deity Ninhursag.

Ninurta often appears holding a bow and arrow, a sickle sword, or a mace named Sharur: Sharur is capable of speech in the Sumerian legend "Deeds and Exploits of Ninurta" and can take the form of a winged lion and may represent an archetype for the later Shedu.

In another legend, Ninurta battles a birdlike monster called Imdugud (Akkadian: Anzû); a Babylonian version relates how the monster Anzû steals the Tablets of Destiny which Enlil requires to maintain his rule. Ninurta slays each of the monsters later known as the "Slain Heroes" (the Warrior Dragon, the Palm Tree King, Lord Saman-ana, the Bison-beast, the Mermaid, the Seven-headed Snake, the Six-headed Wild Ram), and despoils them of valuable items (Gypsum, Strong Copper, the Magilum boat), and finally Anzû is killed by Ninurta who delivers the Tablet of Destiny to his father, Enlil. The Tablet of Destiny was what they believed to be what the universe's start was written on.

The consort of Ninurta was Ugallu in Nippur and Bau when he was called Ningirsu.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Goibhniu

In Irish mythology Goibniu (Old Irish) or Goibhniu (Modern Irish – pronounced ˈɡovʲnʲu or gov-nu) was the smith of the Tuatha Dé Danann. The name of his father appears as Esarg or Tuirbe Trágmar, the 'thrower of axes.' Irish texts do not mention his mother but his counterpart in Welsh mythology, Gofannon, is a son of Dôn. Grouped together alongside Luchtainé the carpenter, Creidné the goldsmith and Dian Cecht the physician, in the Lebor Gabála Érenn, he is described as ‘not impotent in smelting,’ and is said to have died, along with Dian Cecht, of a ‘painful plague’. He and his brothers Creidhne and Luchtaine were known as the Trí Dée Dána, the three gods of art, who forged the weapons which the Tuatha Dé used to battle the Fomorians. His weapons were always lethal, and his mead gave the drinker invulnerability. His name can be compared with the Old Irish gobae ~ gobann ‘smith,’ Middle Welsh gof ~ gofein ‘smith,’ Gallic gobedbi ‘with the smiths,’ Latin faber ‘smith’ and with the Lithuanian gabija ‘sacred home fire’ and Lithuanian gabus ‘gifted, clever’. According to Altram Tige Dá Medar, the feast of Goibniu protected the Tuatha Dé from sickness and old age. In the St. Gall incantations, he is invoked against thorns, alongside Dian Cecht

Fir Bolg

In Irish mythology the Fir Bolg (Fir Bholg, Firbolg) were one of the races that inhabited the island of Ireland prior to the arrival of the Tuatha Dé Danann.

In far antiquity the Fir Bolg were the rulers of Ireland (at the time called Ériu) immediately before the arrival of the Tuatha Dé Danann, or the Children of Danu, whom many interpret as the Gaelic gods. The King of the Tuatha Dé Danann, Nuada, sued for half the island for his people, but the Fir Bolg king refused. They met at the Pass of Balgatan, and the ensuing battle - the Battle of Mag Tuired - went on for four days. During the battle, Sreng, the champion of the Fir Bolg, challenged Nuada to single combat. With one sweep of his sword, Sreng cut off Nuada's right hand. However, the Fir Bolg were defeated and their king, Eochaidh, was slain by a goddess, The Morrígan, though the fierce efforts of their champion Sreng saved them from utter loss.[1] The Tuatha Dé Danann were so touched by their nobility and spirit they gave them one quarter of the island as their own. They chose Connacht and are mentioned very little after this in the myths.

The origin of the Fir Bolg name is the subject of some dispute. Older commentators consider them the "men of (the god/dess) Bolg" or "men of bags" (compare Irish bolg meaning 'belly', 'bag').

These people arrived in Ireland in three groups, the Fir Bolg, the Fir Domnann and the Gaileanga. According to the model proposed by O'Rahilly: the Fir Bolg are linked to the historical Belgae, known from Gaul and Britain, and to the historical Builg of Munster; the Fir Domnann to the British Dumnonii; and the Gaileanga are the Laigin, who founded Leinster. According to this model, the three groups probably represent the Ivernic-speaking peoples who inhabited Ireland before the Goidelic-speaking Gaels.

Other theories have been advanced about the origin of the Fir Bolg. Some scholars have related the name of a Celtic god with the word Bolg.[citation needed] The Fir Bolg, according to one legend, were involved in carrying bags of earth at one point in their history, hence the "Men of Bags" interpretation. Others speculate that "Bolg" relates to a word for small boats.

One interpretation which has gained ground is drawn from the recorded histories. The Fir Bolg, according to this theory, were largely conquered by the Gaels, and thus, as a lower class in society, would have had different customs befitting a lower social status. In particular, this theory holds that "Fir Bolg" is a corruption of a term for "Breeches-Wearers", reasoning that, as manual labourers, the Fir Bolg would have found it useful to wear trousers rather than the robes and garb of the Gaels. This theory, however, remains largely speculative, and there is little hard evidence to confirm this interpretation.[citation needed]

The Fir Bolg were recorded as being ejected from Ireland and returning under a King named Aengus. The Fir Bolg were given, as a place of settlement, the Aran Islands and surrounding coastland (the largest of these Islands, Inishmore—Árainn—is home to a fortress allegedly related to Aengus and the Fir Bolg, Dún Aengus). This episode of history, in which the Fir Bolg come from what is assumed to be a place near modern Scotland, settle in Ireland, and then go to the Aran Islands, on Ireland's western fringe, has given rise to one interpretation of Fir Bolg origins. A Pictish invasion of Ireland is the proposition in this account, and the Aran Islands were a last refuge for this invading force.

Aonghus mac Úmhór

Aengus mac Umor (modern spelling: Aonghus mac Úmhór) was a mythical Irish king.

The Fir Bolg of Connacht were ruled by King Aonghus mac Úmhór. Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh states that Aonghus led his people, the Tuath mhac nUmhoir, to the coast of Galway Bay and the Aran Islands, after being driven out by warfare with "Clann Chuian and the kindred of the Gaoidhil (Gaels)". The fortress of Dún Aonghasa on Inishmore, which legend states he built, is still called after him. O'Rahilly places these events in the 2nd century BC.

Aonghus's son, Conall Caol, settled with his people in what was then the kingdom of Aidhne.

Eri

Eri was a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann and mother of Bres.
Eri told Bres that his father was Elathan, one of the Kings of the Fomorians; that he had come to her one time over a level sea in a great vessel that seemed to be of silver; that he himself had the appearance of a young man with yellow hair, his clothes decked with gold and five rings of gold around his neck. She had refused the love of all the young men of her own people, had given him her love and cried when he had left her.

Before he left he had given her a ring from his own hand and had bade her give it only to the man whose finger it would fit. Eri brought out the ring and put it on the finger of Bres and it fitted him well. She and Bres and some of their followers then set out of the land of the Fomorians. At long last they came to that faraway land. Elathan the local King saw the ring on Bres’s hand and asked him the whole story and said that Bres was his own son. Elathan then asked Bres what it was that drove him out of his own country and his own kingship. Bres answered truthfully: “Nothing drove me out but my own injustice and my own hardness; I took away their treasurers from the people and their jewels and their food itself. And there were never taxes put on them before I was their King. And still I am come to look for fighting men that I may take Ireland by force”. Elathan listened and then bade him go to the chief King of the Fomorians, Balar of the Evil Eye

Bres

In Irish mythology, Bres (aka Eochaid Bres or Eochu Bres; modern spelling: Breas or Eochaidh Breas) was a king of the Tuatha Dé Danann. His parents were Prince Elatha of the Fomorians and Eri, daughter of Delbaith. He was an unpopular king, and favoured his Fomorian kin. He grew so quickly that by the age of seven he was the size of a 14-year-old.

In the First Battle of Magh Tuiredh, King Nuada of the Tuatha Dé Danann lost his hand; because he was imperfect, he could not be king. Hoping to reconcile relations between the Fomorians and the Tuatha Dé Danann, Bres was named king and Brigid of the Tuatha de Danann married him.

Bres made the Tuatha Dé Danann pay tribute to the Fomorians and work as slaves: Ogma was forced to carry firewood, and the Dagda had to dig trenches around forts. He neglected his duties of hospitality: the Tuatha Dé complained that after visiting his house their knives were never greased and their breaths did not smell of ale. Cairbre, poet of the Tuatha Dé, composed a scathing poem against him, which was the first satire in Ireland, and everything went wrong for Bres after that.

After Bres had ruled for seven years, Nuada had his hand, which had formerly been replaced with a silver one by Dian Cecht and Creidhne, replaced with one of flesh and blood by Dian Cecht's son Miach, with the help of his sister Airmed; following the successful replacement, Nuada was restored to kingship and Bres was exiled. He went to his father for help to recover his throne, but Elatha would not help him gain by foul means what he had been unable to keep: "You have no right to get it by injustice when you could not keep it by justice". Bres was guided by his father to Balor, another leader of the Fomorians, for the help he sought.

He led the Fomorians in the Second Battle of Magh Tuireadh but lost. He was found unprotected on the battlefield by Lugh and pleaded for his life. Lugh spared him because he promised to teach the Tuatha Dé agriculture.

In the Lebor Gabála and Cath Maige Tuired, Bres is portrayed as beautiful to behold, yet harsh and inhospitable. However, a poem of the dindsenchas praises Bres' "kindly" and "noble" character and calls him the "flower" of the Tuatha Dé Danann. It also tells of his death at the hands of Lugh. Lugh made 300 wooden cows, and filled them with a bitter, poisonous red liquid which was then "milked" into pails and offered to Bres to drink. Bres, who was under an obligation not to refuse hospitality, drank it down without flinching, and it killed him. The scribes who wrote down the text of the Cath Maige Tuired record his name as having meant 'beautiful'.

Elatha

In Irish mythology, Elatha or Elathan (modern spelling: Ealadha) was a prince of the Fomorians and the father of Bres by Eri of the Tuatha Dé Danann. The imagery surrounding him (he visits Ériu at night by sea on a silver boat) suggests he may once have been a moon god.

Elathan is quoted as being the "The beautiful Miltonic prince of darkness with golden hair". He was the son of Dalbaech and a king of the Fomor, he was father of Bres by Eri, a woman of the Tuatha de Danann. He came to her over the sea in a vessel of silver, himself having the appearance of a young man with yellow hair, wearing clothes of gold and five gold torcs. He was one of the Fomor who took part in the Second Battle of Magh Tuireadh.

During the Second Battle of Magh Tuireadh, Elathan, son of Dalbaech, watched over Dagda's magic harp, Uaithne, sometimes called Dur-da-Bla, the Oak of Two Blossoms, and sometimes Coir-cethar-chuin, the Four-Angled Music. He is said to have a sense of humor and a sense of nobility.

Though considered to be the Fomorian father of Eochu Bres, Elatha (Elada) was also the father of the Dagda, Ogma, a son named Delbaeth, and Elloth (the father of Manannan mac Lir) according to the Lebor Gabala Erinn. The mother of these "Tuatha De Danann" chiefs may have been Ethne, the mother of Lug, based on Ogma's often cited matronymic "mac Ethliu." Since Ethne was Fomorian, this means they are all Fomorians. This is rather confusing, but may betray the battle between the two groups as actually being about the new generation of gods displacing the older generation.

Boann

Boann or Boand (modern spelling: Bóinn) is the Irish mythology goddess of the River Boyne, a river in Leinster, Ireland. According to the Lebor Gabála Érenn she was the daughter of Delbáeth, son of Elada, of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Her husband is variously Nechtan, Elcmar or Nuada. Her lover is the Dagda, by whom she had her son, Aengus. In order to hide their affair, the Dagda made the sun stand still for nine months; therefore, Aengus was conceived, gestated and born in one day.

As told in the metrical Dindshenchas, Boann created the River Boyne. Though forbidden to by her husband, Nechtan, Boann approached the magical well of Segais (also known as the Well of Wisdom), which was surrounded by hazel trees. Nuts from the hazels were known to fall into the well, where they were eaten by the speckled salmon (who, along with hazel nuts, also embody and represent wisdom in Irish myth). Boann challenged the power of the well by walking around it counter-clockwise; this caused the waters to surge up violently and rush down to the sea, creating the River Boyne. In this catastrophe, she was swept along in the rushing waters, and lost an arm, leg and eye, and ultimately her life, in the flood. The poem equates her with famous rivers in other countries, including the Severn, Tiber, Jordan, Tigris and Euphrates.

She also appears in Táin Bó Fraích as the maternal aunt and protector of the mortal Fróech.

Her name is interpreted as "white cow" (Irish bó fhionn; Old Irish bó find) in the dinsenchas. Ptolemy's 2nd century Geographia shows that in antiquity the river's name was Bubindas, which may derive from Proto-Celtic *Bou-vindā, "white cow".

Modern-day commentators and Neopagans sometimes identify Boann with the goddess Brigid, or believe Boann to be Brigid's mother; however there are no Celtic sources that describe her as such. It is also speculated by some modern writers that, as the more well-known goddess, and later saint, the legends of numerous "minor" goddesses with similar associations may have over time been incorporated into the symbology, worship and tales of Brigid

Friday, March 16, 2012

Greek Deities

Personified concepts
Achlys (Ἀχλύς), spirit of the death-mist
Adephagia (Ἀδηφαγία), spirit of satiety and gluttony
Adikia (Ἀδικία), spirit of injustice and wrong-doing
Aergia (Ἀεργία), spirit of idleness, laziness, indolence and sloth
Agon (Ἀγών), spirit of contest, who possessed an altar at Olympia, site of the Olympic Games.
Aidos (Αἰδώς), spirit of modesty, reverence and respect
Aisa (Αἲσα), personification of lot and fate
Alala (Ἀλαλά), spirit of the war cry
Alastor (Ἀλάστωρ), spirit of blood feuds and vengeance
Aletheia (Ἀλήθεια), spirit of truth, truthfulness and sincerity
The Algea (Ἄλγεα), spirits of pain and suffering
Achos (Άχος) "trouble, distress"
Ania (Ἀνία) "ache, anguish"
Lupe (Λύπη) "pain, grief, sadness"
Alke (Ἀλκή), spirit of prowess and courage
Amechania (Ἀμηχανία), spirit of helplessness and want of means
The Amphilogiai (Αμφιλογίαι), spirits of disputes, debate and contention
Anaideia (Ἀναίδεια), spirit of ruthlessness, shamelessness, and unforgivingness
The Androktasiai (Ανδροκτασίαι), spirits of battlefield slaughter
Angelia (Ἀγγελία), spirit of messages, tidings and proclamations
Apate (Ἀπάτη), spirit of deceit, guile, fraud and deception
Apheleia (Ἀφέλεια), spirit of simplicity
Aporia (Ἀπορία), spirit of difficulty, perplexity, powerlessness and want of means
The Arae (Ἀραί), spirits of curses
Arete (Aρετή), spirit of virtue, excellence, goodness and valour
Atë (Άτη), spirit of delusion, infatuation, blind folly, recklessness and ruin
Bia (Βία), spirit of force, power, bodily strength and compulsion
Caerus (Καιρός), spirit of opportunity
Corus (Κόρος), spirit of surfeit
Deimos (Δεῖμος), spirit of fear, dread and terror
Dikaiosyne (Δικαιοσύνη), spirit of justice and righteousness
Dike (Δίκη), spirit of justice, fair judgements and the rights established by custom and law
Dolos (Δόλος), spirit of trickery, cunning deception, craftiness, treachery and guile
Dysnomia (Δυσνομία), spirit of lawlessness and poor civil constitution
Dyssebeia (Δυσσέβεια), spirit of impiety
Eirene (Εἰρήνη), goddess of peace
Ekecheiria (Ἐκεχειρία), spirit of truce, armistice, and the cessation of all hostilities; honoured at the Olympic Games
Eleos (Ἔλεος), spirit of mercy, pity and compassion
Elpis (Ἐλπίς), spirit of hope and expectation
Epiphron (Ἐπίφρων), spirit of prudence, shrewdness, thoughtfulness, carefulness and sagacity
Eris (Ἐρις), spirit of strife, discord, contention and rivalry
The Erotes (ἔρωτες)
Anteros (Ἀντέρως), god of requited love
Eros (Ἔρως), god of love and sexual intercourse
Hedylogos (Ἡδύλογος), god of sweet talk and flattery
Himeros (Ἵμερος), god of sexual desire
Pothos (Πόθος), god of sexual longing, yearning and desire
Eucleia (Εὔκλεια), spirit of good repute and glory
Eulabeia (Εὐλάβεια), spirit of discretion, caution and circumspection
Eunomia (Εὐνομία), goddess of good order and lawful conduct
Eupheme (Εὐφήμη), spirit of words of good omen, acclamation, praise, applause and shouts of triumph
Eupraxia (Eὐπραξία), spirit of well-being
Eusebeia (Eὐσέβεια), spirit of piety, loyalty, duty and filial respect
Euthenia (Εὐθενία), spirit of prosperity, abundance and plenty
Geras (Γῆρας), spirit of old age
Harmonia (Αρμονία), goddess of harmony and concord
Hebe (Ήβη), goddess of youth
Hedone (Ἡδονή), spirit of pleasure, enjoyment and delight
Heimarmene (Εἵμαρμένη), personification of share destined by fate
Homados (Ὁμαδος), spirit of the din of battle
Homonoia (Ὁμόνοια), spirit of concord, unanimity, and oneness of mind
Horkos (Ὁρκος), spirit of oaths
Horme (Όρμη), spirit of impulse or effort (to do a thing), eagerness, setting oneself in motion, and starting an action
Hybris (Ύβρις), spirit of outrageous behaviour
Hypnos (Ύπνος), god of sleep
The Hysminai (Ηυσμιναι), spirits of fighting and combat
Ioke (Ἰωκή), spirit of pursuit in battle
Kakia (Kακία), spirit of vice and moral badness
Kalokagathia (Καλοκαγαθία), spirit of nobility
The Keres (Κῆρες), spirit of violent or cruel death
Koalemos (Κοάλεμος), spirit of stupidity and foolishness
Kratos (Κράτος), spirit of strength, might, power and sovereign rule
Kydoimos (Κυδοιμος), spirit of the din of battle, confusion, uproar and hubbub
Lethe (Λήθη), spirit of forgetfulness and oblivion, and of the river of the same name
Limos (Λιμός), spirit of hunger and starvation
The Litae (Λιταί), spirits of prayer
Lyssa (Λύσσα), spirit of rage, fury and rabies in animals
The Machai (Μάχαι), spirits of fighting and combat
Mania (Μανία), spirit or spirits of madness, insanity and frenzy
The Moirai, or "Fates" (Μοίραι)
Clotho (Κλωθώ), the spinner of the life thread
Lachesis (Λάχεσις), the measurer of the life thread
Atropos (Άτροπος), the severer of the life thread
Momus (Μῶμος), spirit of mockery, blame, censure and stinging criticism
Moros (Μόρος), spirit of doom
The Neikea (τὰ Νείκη), spirits of quarrels, feuds and grievances
Nemesis (Νέμεσις), goddess of revenge, balance, righteous indignation and retribution
Nike (Νίκη), goddess of victory
Nomos (Νόμος), spirit of law
Oizys (Ὀϊζύς), spirit of woe and misery
The Oneiroi (Όνειροι), spirits of dreams
Epiales (Επιάλης), spirit of nightmares
Morpheus (Μορφεύς), god of dreams, who takes shape of humans
Phantasos (Φάντασος) spirit of dreams of fantasy, who takes shape of inanimate objects
Phobetor (Φοβήτωρ) or Icelos (Ίκελος), spirit of nightmares, who takes shape of animals
Palioxis (Παλιοξις), spirit of backrush, flight and retreat from battle
Peitharchia (Πειθαρχία), spirit of obedience
Peitho (Πειθώ), spirit of persuasion and seduction
Penia (Πενία), spirit of poverty and need
Penthus (Πένθος), spirit of grief, mourning and lamentation
Pepromene (Πεπρωμένη), personification of the destined share, similar to Heimarmene
Pheme (Φήμη), spirit of rumour, report and gossip
Philophrosyne (Φιλοφροσύνη), spirit of friendliness, kindness and welcome
Philotes (Φιλότης), spirit of friendship, affection and sexual intercourse
Phobos (Φόβος), spirit of panic fear, flight and battlefield rout
The Phonoi (Φόνοι), spirits of murder, killing and slaughter
Phrike (Φρίκη), spirit of horror and trembling fear
Phthonus (Φθόνος), spirit of envy and jealousy
Pistis (Πίστις), spirit of trust, honesty and good faith
Poine (Ποίνη), spirit of retribution, vengeance, recompense, punishment and penalty for the crime of murder and manslaughter
Polemos (Πόλεμος), personification of war
Ponos (Πόνος), spirit of hard labour and toil
Poros (Πόρος), spirit of expediency, the means of accomplishing or providing, contrivance and device
Praxidike (Πραξιδίκη), spirit of exacting justice
Proioxis (Προίοξις), spirit of onrush and battlefield pursuit
Prophasis (Πρόφασις), spirit of excuses and pleas
The Pseudologoi, spirits of lies
Ptocheia (Πτωχεία), spirit of beggary
Soter (Σωτήρ), male spirit of safety, preservation and deliverance from harm
Soteria (Σωτηρία), female personification of safety, preservation and deliverance from harm
Sophrosyne (Σωφροσύνη), spirit of moderation, self-control, temperance, restraint, and discretion
Techne (Τέχνη), personification of art and skill
Thanatos (Θάνατος), spirit of death and mortality
Thrasos (Θράσος), spirit of boldness
Tyche (Τύχη), goddess of fortune, chance, providence and fate
Zelos ( Ζῆλος), spirit of eager rivalry, emulation, envy, jealousy and zeal

Ninsun

In Sumerian mythology, Ninsun or Ninsuna ("lady wild cow") is a goddess, best known as the mother of the legendary hero Gilgamesh, and as the tutelary goddess of Gudea of Lagash. Her parents are the deities Anu and Uras.

In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Ninsun is depicted as a human queen who lives in Uruk with her son as king. Since the father of Gilgamesh was former king Lugalbanda, it stands to reason that Ninsun procreated with Lugalbanda to give birth.

Also in the Epic of Gilgamesh, Ninsun is summoned by Gilgamesh and Enkidu to help pray to the god Utu to help the two on their journey to the Country of the Living to battle Humbaba.

Ninsun is called "Rimat-Ninsun", the "August cow", the "Wild Cow of the Enclosure", and "The Great Queen". In the Tello relief (the ancient Lagash, 2150 BC) her name is written with the cuneiform glyphs as: DINGIR.NIN.GUL where the glyph for GUL is the same for SUN2. According to John Halloran's Sumerian Lexicon, the meaning of GUL is "enormous" and "evil" but also the verb "to wreck, destroy utterly". The meaning of SUN2 is attested as "cow".

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Erebus

In Greek mythology, Erebus ( /ˈɛrəbəs/), also Erebos (Ancient Greek: Ἔρεβος, "deep darkness, shadow"), was often conceived as a primordial deity, representing the personification of darkness; for instance, Hesiod's Theogony places him as one of the first five beings to come into existence from Chaos. Erebus features little in Greek mythological tradition and literature, but is said to have fathered several other deities by Nyx; depending on the source of the mythology, this union includes Aether, Hemera, the Hesperides, Hypnos, the Moirai, Geras, Styx, and Thanatos.
In Greek literature the name Erebus is also used to refer to a region of the Underworld where the dead had to pass immediately after dying, and is sometimes used interchangeably with Tartarus. I 'll see her damned first; to Pluto's damned lake, by this hand, to the infernal deep, with Erebus and tortures vile also. Hold hook and line, say I. Down, down, dogs! down, faitors! Have we not Hiren here? Shakespeare, King Henry IV (2.4)

Greek Gigantes

The Hekatoncheires (Ἑκατόγχειρες), or Centimanes (Latin), the Hundred-Handed Ones, giant gods of violent storms and hurricanes. Three sons of Uranus and Gaea, each with their own distinct characters.
Briareus or Aigaion (Βριάρεως), The Vigorous
Cottus (Κόττος), The Furious
Gyges (Γύγης), The Big-Limbed
Agrius (Ἄγριος), a man-eating Thracian giant who was half-man and half-bear
Alcyoneus (Ἀλκυονεύς), the king of the Thracian giants, who was slain by Heracles
Aloadae (Αλοάδαι), twin giants who attempted to storm heaven
Otos (Ότος)
Ephialtes (Εφιάλτης)
Antaeus (Ανταίος), a Libyan giant who wrestled all visitors to the death until he was slain by Heracles
Argus Panoptes (Ἄργος Πανόπτης), a hundred-eyed giant tasked with guarding over Io
Cyclopes (Elder), three one-eyed giants who forged the lightning-bolts of Zeus
Arges (Ἄργης)
Brontes (Βρόντης)
Steropes (Στερόπης)
Cyclopes (Younger), a tribe of one-eyed, man-eating giants who shepherded flocks of sheep on the island of Sicily
Polyphemus (Πολύφημος), a cyclops who briefly captured Odysseus and his men, only to be overcome and blinded by the hero
Enceladus (Εγκέλαδος), one of the Thracian giants who made war on the gods
The Gegenees (Γεγενεες), a tribe of six-armed giants fought by the Argonauts on Bear Mountain in Mysia
Geryon (Γηρυών), a three-bodied, four-winged giant who dwelt on the red island of Erytheia
The Laestrygonians (Λαιστρυγόνες), a tribe of man-eating giants encountered by Odysseus on his travels
Orion (Ωρίων), a giant huntsman whom Zeus placed among the stars as the constellation of Orion
Porphyrion (Πορφυρίων), the king of the Gigantes who was struck down by Heracles and Zeus with arrows and lightning-bolts after he attempted to rape Hera
Talos (Τάλως), a giant forged from bronze by Hephaestus, and gifted by Zeus to his lover Europa as her personal protector
Tityos (Τίτυος), a giant slain by Apollo and Artemis when he attempted to violate their mother Leto.
Typhon (Τυφῶν), a monstrous immortal storm-giant who was defeated and imprisoned in the pits of Tartarus

Nanibgal

Nanibgal, also Nisaba or Nidaba (DNÍDABA , DNIDABA) was the Sumerian goddess of writing, learning, and the harvest. Her sanctuaries were E-zagin at Eresh and at Umma. On a depiction found in Lagash, she appears with flowing hair, crowned with horned tiara bearing supporting ears of corn and a crescent moon. Her dense hair is evoked in comparison in the description of similarly hairy Enkidu in the Gilgamesh epic.

As with many Sumerian deities, Nisaba's exact place in the pantheon and her heritage appears somewhat ambiguous. She is the daughter of An and Urash. From Sumerian texts, the language used to describe Urash is very similar to the language used to describe Ninhursag. Therefore, the two goddess may be one and the same. Nisaba is the sister of Ninsun, the mother of Gilgamesh. If Urash and Ninhursag are the same goddess, then Nisaba is also the half sister of Nanshe and (in some versions) Ninurta.

In some other tales, she is considered the mother of Ninlil, and by extension, the mother-in-law of Enlil.

Functions

The god of wisdom, Enki, organized the world after creation and gave each deity a role in the world order. Nisaba was named the scribe of the gods, and Enki then built her a school of learning so that she could better serve those in need. She keeps records, chronicles events, and performs various other bookwork related duties for the gods. She is also in charge of marking regional borders.

She is the chief scribe of Nanshe. On the first day of the new year, she and Nanshe work together to settle disputes between mortals and give aid to those in need. Nisaba keeps record of the visitors seeking aid and then arranges them into a line to stand before Nanshe, who will then judge them. Nisaba is also seen as a caretaker for Ninhursag's temple at Kesh, where she gives commands and keeps temple records.

The goddess of writing and teaching, she was often praised by Sumerian scribes. Many clay-tablets end with the phrase “Nisaba be praised” to honor the goddess. She is considered the teacher of both mortal scribes and other divine deities. In the Babylonian period, she was replaced by the god Nabu, who took over her functions. In some instances, Nisaba was his instructor or wife before he replaced her.

As the goddess of knowledge, she is related to many other facets of intellectual study and other gods may turn to her for advice or aid. Some of these traits are shared with her sister Ninsina. She is also associate with grain, reflecting her association with an earth goddess mother.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Greek Titans

Greek name English name Description
The Twelve Titans
Ὑπερίων (Hyperíōn) Hyperion Titan of light. With Theia, he is the father of Helios (the sun), Selene (the moon) and Eos (the dawn).
Ἰαπετός (Iapetós) Iapetus Titan of mortality and father of Prometheus, Epimetheus, Menoetius and Atlas.
Κοῖος (Koîos) Coeus Titan of intellect and the axis of heaven around which the constellations revolved.
Κρεῖος (Kreîōs) Crius The least individualized of the Twelve Titans, he is the father of Astraios, Pallas and Perses.
Κρόνος (Crónos) Cronus The leader of the Titans, who overthrew his father Uranus only to be overthrown in turn by his son, Zeus. Not to be confused with Chronos, the god of time.
Mνημοσύνη (Mnēmosýnē) Mnemosyne Titan of memory and remembrance, and mother of the Nine Muses.
Ὠκεανός (Ōceanós) Oceanus Titan of the all-encircling river Oceanus around the earth, the font of all the Earth's fresh-water.
Φοίβη (Phoíbē) Phoebe Titan of the "bright" intellect and prophecy, and consort of Koios.
Ῥέα (Rhéa) Rhea Titan of female fertility, motherhood, and generation. She is the sister and consort of Cronus, and mother of Zeus, Hades, Poseidon, Hera, Demeter and Hestia.
Τηθύς (Tēthýs) Tethys Wife of Oceanus, and the mother of the rivers, springs, streams, fountains and clouds.
Θεία (Theía) Theia Titan of sight and the shining light of the clear blue sky. She is the consort of Hyperion, and mother of Helios, Selene and Eos.
Θέμις (Thémis) Themis Titan of divine law and order.
Other Titans
Ἀστερία (Astería) Asteria Titan of nocturnal oracles and falling stars.
Ἀστραῖος (Astraîos) Astraeus Titan of stars and planets, and the art of astrology.
Ἄτλας (Átlas) Atlas Titan forced to carry the sky upon his shoulders. Also Son of Iapetus.
Αὔρα (Aúra) Aura Titan of the breeze and the fresh, cool air of early morning.
Διώνη (Diṓnē) Dione Titan of the oracle of Dodona.
Ἠώς (Ēṓs) Eos Titan of the dawn.
Ἐπιμηθεύς (Epimētheús) Epimetheus Titan of afterthought and the father of excuses.
Εὐρυβία (Eurybía) Eurybia Titan of the mastery of the seas and consort of Krios.
Εὐρυνόμη (Eurynómē) Eurynome Titan of water-meadows and pasturelands, and mother of the three Charites by Zeus.
Ἥλιος (Hḗlios) Helios Titan of the sun and guardian of oaths.
Κλυμένη (Clyménē) Clymene or Asia Titan of renown, fame and infamy, and wife of Iapetos.
Ληλαντος (Lēlantos) Lelantos Titan of air and the hunter's skill of stalking prey. He is the male counterpart of Leto.
Λητώ (Lētṓ) Leto Titan of motherhood and mother of Artemis and Apollo.
Μενοίτιος (Menoítios) Menoetius Titan of violent anger, rash action, and human mortality. Killed by Zeus.
Μῆτις (Mē̂tis) Metis Titan of good counsel, advice, planning, cunning, craftiness and wisdom, and mother of Athena.
Ὀφίων (Ophíōn) Ophion An elder Titan, in some versions of the myth he ruled the Earth with his consort Eurynome before Cronus overthrew him.
Πάλλας (Pállas) Pallas Titan of warcraft. He was killed by Athena during the Titanomachy.
Πέρσης (Pérsēs) Perses Titan of destruction.
Προμηθεύς (Promētheús) Prometheus Titan of forethought and crafty counsel, and creator of mankind.
Σελήνη (Selḗnē) Selene Titan of the moon.
Στύξ (Stýx) Styx Titan of the Underworld river Styx and personification of hatred.

Hestia

In Greek mythology Hestia (Roman Vesta), oldest daughter of Cronus and Rhea (Ancient Greek Ἑστία, "hearth" or "fireside"), is the virgin goddess of the hearth, architecture, and of the right ordering of domesticity and the family. She received the first offering at every sacrifice in the household. In the public domain, the hearth of the prytaneum functioned as her official sanctuary. With the establishment of a new colony, flame from Hestia's public hearth in the mother city would be carried to the new settlement. She sat on a plain wooden throne with a white woolen cushion and did not trouble to choose an emblem for herself.

In Roman mythology, her more specifically civic approximate equivalent was Vesta, who personified the public hearth, and whose cult of the ever-burning hearth bound Romans together in the form of an extended family. The similarity of names between Hestia and Vesta, is misleading: "The relationship hestia-histie-Vesta cannot be explained in terms of Indo-European linguistics; borrowings from a third language must also be involved," scholar Walter Burkert has written. At some primitive level her name means "home and hearth", the oikos, the household and its inhabitants. "An early form of the temple is the hearth house; the early temples at Dreros and Prinias on Crete are of this type as indeed is the temple of Apollo at Delphi which always had its inner hestia" The Mycenaean great hall, such as the hall of Odysseus at Ithaca was a megaron, with a central hearth fire.

The hearth fire of a Greek or a Roman household was not allowed to go out, unless it was ritually extinguished and ritually renewed, accompanied by impressive rituals of completion, purification and renewal. Compare the rituals and connotations of an eternal flame and of sanctuary lamps. At the more developed level of the polis, Hestia symbolizes the alliance between the colonies and their mother cities.

Hestia is one of the three great goddesses of the first Olympian generation, along with Demeter and Hera. She was described as both the oldest and youngest of the three daughters of Rhea and Cronus, sister to three brothers Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades, in that she was the first to be swallowed by Cronus and the last to be disgorged. Originally listed as one of the Twelve Olympians, Hestia gave up her seat in favor of newcomer Dionysus to tend to the sacred fire on Mount Olympus. However, there is no ancient source for this claim. As Karl Kerenyi observes, "there is no story of Hestia's ever having taken a husband or ever having been removed from her fixed abode." Every family hearth was her altar. Of the Olympian gods, Hestia has the fewest exploits "since the hearth is immovable, Hestia is unable to take part even in the procession of the gods, let alone the other antics of the Olympians," Burkert remarks. Sometimes this is assumed to be due to her passive, non-confrontational nature. This nature is illustrated by her giving up her seat in the Olympian twelve to prevent conflict. She is considered to be the first-born of Rhea and Cronus; this is evidenced by the fact that in Greek (and later Roman) culture ritual offerings to all gods began with a small offering to Hestia; the phrase "Hestia comes first" from ancient Greek culture denotes this.

Immediately after their birth, Cronus swallowed Hestia and her siblings except for the last and youngest, Zeus, who later rescued them and led them in a war against Cronus and the other Titans. Hestia, the eldest daughter "became their youngest child, since she was the first to be devoured by their father and the last to be yielded up again"—the clearest possible example of mythic inversion, a paradox that is noted in the Homeric hymn to Aphrodite (700 BC): "She was the first-born child of wily Cronus—and youngest too."

Poseidon, and Apollo of the younger generation, each aspired to court Hestia, but the goddess was unmoved by Aphrodite's works and swore on the head of Zeus to retain her virginity. The Homeric hymns, like all early Greek literature, reinforce the supremacy of Zeus, and Hestia's oath taken upon the head of Zeus is an example of surety. A measure of the goddess's ancient primacy—"queenly maid...among all mortal men she is chief of the goddesses", in the words of the Homeric hymn—is that she was owed the first as well as the last sacrifice at every ceremonial assembly of Hellenes, a pious duty related by the mythographers as the gift of Zeus, as if it had been his to bestow: another mythic inversion if, as is likely, the ritual was too deep-seated and essential for the Olympian reordering to overturn. There are theories (by modern neopagans among others) that Hestia, as goddess of "home and hearth", was one of the most ancient of all gods later worshiped as Olympians; as a maternal goddess of humans finding safety and homes in caves around a fire, worship of Hestia, by other names, may literally be hundreds of thousands of years old and has continued through classical Greek times to the present day.

"The power worshipped in the hearth never fully developed into a person," Walter Burkert has observed. Hestia evolved into a lesser goddess in the same ranks of Pan and Dionysus, who was incorporated into the Olympian order in Hestia's place. At Athens "in Plato's time," notes Kenneth Dorter "there was a discrepancy in the list of the twelve chief gods, as to whether Hestia or Dionysus was included with the other eleven. The altar to them at the agora, for example, included Hestia, but the east frieze of the Parthenon had Dionysus instead.

Nergal

The name Nergal, Nirgal, or Nirgali (Hebrew: נֵרְגַל, Modern Nergal Tiberian Nērḡál; Aramaic ܢܹܪܓܵܐܠ; Latin: Nergel) refers to a deity in Babylon with the main seat of his cult at Cuthah represented by the mound of Tell-Ibrahim. Nergal is mentioned in the Hebrew bible as the deity of the city of Cuth (Cuthah): "And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal" (2 Kings, 17:30). He is the son of Enlil and Ninlil.

Nergal actually seems to be in part a solar deity, sometimes identified with Shamash, but only a representative of a certain phase of the sun. Portrayed in hymns and myths as a god of war and pestilence, Nergal seems to represent the sun of noontime and of the summer solstice that brings destruction, high summer being the dead season in the Mesopotamian annual cycle.

Nergal was also the deity who presides over the netherworld, and who stands at the head of the special pantheon assigned to the government of the dead (supposed to be gathered in a large subterranean cave known as Aralu or Irkalla). In this capacity he has associated with him a goddess Allatu or Ereshkigal, though at one time Allatu may have functioned as the sole mistress of Aralu, ruling in her own person. In some texts the god Ninazu is the son of Nergal and Allatu/Ereshkigal.

Ordinarily Nergal pairs with his consort Laz. Standard iconography pictured Nergal as a lion, and boundary-stone monuments symbolise him with a mace surmounted by the head of a lion.

Nergal's fiery aspect appears in names or epithets such as Lugalgira, Sharrapu ("the burner," a reference to his manner of dealing with outdated teachings), Erra, Gibil (though this name more properly belongs to Nusku), and Sibitti. A certain confusion exists in cuneiform literature between Ninurta and Nergal. Nergal has epithets such as the "raging king," the "furious one," and the like. A play upon his name—separated into three elements as Ne-uru-gal (lord of the great dwelling) -- expresses his position at the head of the nether-world pantheon.

In the late Babylonian astral-theological system Nergal is related to the planet Mars. As a fiery god of destruction and war, Nergal doubtless seemed an appropriate choice for the red planet, and he was equated by the Greeks either to the combative demigod Heracles (Latin Hercules) or to the war-god Ares (Latin Mars) -- hence the current name of the planet. In Babylonian ecclesiastical art the great lion-headed colossi serving as guardians to the temples and palaces seem to symbolise Nergal, just as the bull-headed colossi probably typify Ninurta.

Nergal's chief temple at Cuthah bore the name Meslam, from which the god receives the designation of Meslamtaeda or Meslamtaea, "the one that rises up from Meslam". The name Meslamtaeda/Meslamtaea indeed is found as early as the list of gods from Fara while the name Nergal only begins to appear in the Akkadian period. Amongst the Hurrians and later Hittites Nergal was known as Aplu, a name derived from the Akkadian Apal Enlil, (Apal being the construct state of Aplu) meaning "the son of Enlil". As God of the plague, he was invoked during the "plague years" during the reign of Suppiluliuma, when this disease spread from Egypt.

The cult of Nergal does not appear to have spread as widely as that of Ninurta, but in the late Babylonian and early Persian period, syncretism seems to have fused the two divinities, which were invoked together as if they were identical. Hymns and votive and other inscriptions of Babylonian and Assyrian rulers frequently invoke him, but we do not learn of many temples to him outside of Cuthah. Sennacherib speaks of one at Tarbisu to the north of Nineveh, but significantly, although Nebuchadnezzar II (606 BC - 586 BC), the great temple-builder of the neo-Babylonian monarchy, alludes to his operations at Meslam in Cuthah, he makes no mention of a sanctuary to Nergal in Babylon. Local associations with his original seat—Kutha—and the conception formed of him as a god of the dead acted in making him feared rather than actively worshipped. Nergal was also called Ni-Marad in Akkadian. Like Lugal Marad in Sumerian, the name means "king of Marad," a city, whose name means "Rebellion" in Akkadian, as yet unidentified. The name Ni-Marad, in Akkadian means "Lord of Marad". The chief deity of this place, therefore, seems to have been Nergal, of whom, therefore, Lugal-Marad or Ni-Marad is another name. Thus, some scholars have drawn the connection of Ni-Marad being yet another deified name for Nimrod, the rebel king of Babylon and Assyria mentioned in Genesis 10: 8-11.