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Category: Moral and Cautionary Tales

  • Phaethon’s Fateful Ride

    Phaethon’s Fateful Ride

    Phaethon's Parentage and Quest for Validation Phaethon, a name meaning "the shining one," was the son of Helios, the Sun God, and a mortal woman named Clymene. His golden hair sparkled like the first rays of dawn, a characteristic gift from his celestial father. Phaethon didn't live a charmed life on Olympus; he lived on…

  • 7 Epic Transformations in Greek Mythology

    7 Epic Transformations in Greek Mythology

    1. Daphne into a Laurel Tree In the chaotic swirl of Greek mythology, Daphne's fate stands out. She's a nymph, commitment-shy but catching the obsessive eye of Apollo, the god of many talents including making persistent romantic advances. Cupid shoots Apollo with a love arrow, and the poor Daphne gets hit with the opposite. She…

  • The Fall of Icarus

    The Fall of Icarus

    The Story of Icarus and Daedalus Daedalus, the master craftsman of Greek mythology, found himself trapped on the island of Crete with his son, Icarus, thanks to the paranoid King Minos. Part of their predicament stemmed from Daedalus' handiwork – he built a labyrinth so intricate that even he barely escaped it. The labyrinth housed…

  • The Hubris of Niobe

    The Hubris of Niobe

    Niobe's Background and Family Niobe was born into a legendary family. Her father, Tantalus, was the king of Sipylus (modern-day Turkey). Her two brothers, Broteas and Pelops, were also figures of legend. Pelops went on to give his name to the entire Peloponnese region in Greece. However, Niobe's mother remains a bit of a mystery.…

  • Generosity of Philemon and Baucis

    Generosity of Philemon and Baucis

    The Myth of Philemon and Baucis Philemon and Baucis lived a simple life in Phrygia, in a humble home with a straw-thatched roof. Despite their modest means, they shared all they had. One stormy evening, Zeus and Hermes, disguised as weary travelers, came knocking at their door. Turned away by richer households, the gods found…

  • Echo & Narcissus Myth

    Echo & Narcissus Myth

    The Curse and Its Consequences Echo, the wood nymph with a lot to say, found herself ensnared by a powerful curse from the goddess Hera. The curse allowed Echo only to parrot the final words she heard, thwarting her ability to express her love for Narcissus. Echo's love was not just unrequited; it was hindered…

  • Narcissus: Self-Love & Vanity

    Narcissus: Self-Love & Vanity

    The Myth of Narcissus Narcissus was a heartbreaker with looks that could metaphorically kill. So stunning was he that people fell in love with him left and right, but Narcissus couldn't care less about anyone's affection but his own. The gods cursed Narcissus, fating him never to know true love unless it was with himself.…

  • Is Your Partner a Narcissus?

    Is Your Partner a Narcissus?

    Myth of Narcissus The tale of Narcissus, a man entranced by his own reflection, serves as a stark reminder of the perils of self-absorption. This Greek myth illuminates the consequences of becoming so engrossed with oneself that the world around fades into oblivion. It raises the question: how often do we or those we know…

  • Rape in Greek Myths

    Rape is all over Greek myths. It’s impossible to read for more than a day and not stumble across it. D’Aulaires usually talked about men abducting women, kidnapping women, or dragging women away by the hair (in the case of Centaurs) or in less violent instances of rape they evaded the issue entirely (for example…

  • Bubo’s Blog on Fertility and Childbirth

    this is just to signal boost the awesome that is Bubo’s Blog: Hippos and Pregnant Women (Egyptian)  The Legend of the Stork (German)  Torches and Childbirth (Greek) It Just Must Not Be That Important (Norse) When in Rome, Give Birth (Roman, duh) Pregnant Rocks (Australian) Childbirth and Owls (Zuni, Saxon, Welsh, Swahili, Babylon, French, German,…

  • Women’s health – health of the mother

    Watch out, Paleothea is about to get partisan. What little readership I have does not come here for this, but this is how I see the world, and yes, I think it relates to ancient Greece. Women’s health, it is helpfully explained to us, is not like men’s health. For one thing, simply being a…

  • Aphrodite = the Virgin Mary?

    So the other day, I was sitting at the kitchen table attempting to take notes on Eliade’s book when suddenly I was surrounded by children. I had a moment of sympathy for Harriet Beecher Stowe and then gave up my academic intentions and started showing them pictures from my Gallery. My mythically inclined nephew T-,…

  • Bible stories and Greek religion

    I am in Ecuador for the next two months with the four small children of my sister-in-law. I wish I knew more Incan myths to tell them – I’m gonna spend some time on Encyclopedia Mythica soon – but since I don’t, I’ll work with what I know. My niece (the oldest, at 9 years…