ATHENA In Greek religion and mythology, Athena or Athene (/əˈθiːnə/ or /əˈθiːniː/; Attic: Ἀθηνᾶ, Athēnā or Ἀθηναία, Athēnaia; Epic: Ἀθηναίη, Athēnaiē; Ionic: Ἀθήνη, Athēnē; Doric: Ἀθάνα, Athānā), also referred to as Pallas Athena/Athene (/ˈpæləs/; Παλλὰς Ἀθηνᾶ; Παλλὰς Ἀθήνη), is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill. Minerva is the Roman goddess identified with Athena. Athena is portrayed as a shrewd companion of heroes and is the patron goddess of heroic endeavour. She is the virgin patroness of Athens. Athena's veneration as the patron of Athens seems to have existed from the earliest times, and was so persistent that archaic myths about her were recast to adapt to cultural changes. Origin traditions Patroness Mythology Birth Olympian version Plato, in Cratylus (407B) gave the etymology of her name as signifying "the mind of god", theou noesis.
Gaia (mythology) The Greek word γαῖα (transliterated as gaia) is a collateral form of γῆ (gē, Doric γᾶ ga and probably δᾶ da) meaning Earth, a word of uncertain origin. R. S. P. In Mycenean Greek Ma-ka (trans. as Ma-ga, "Mother Gaia") also contains the root ga-. According to Hesiod, Gaia conceived further offspring with Uranus, first the giant one-eyed Cyclopes: Brontes ("Thunder"), Steropes ("Lightning") and Arges ("Bright"); then the Hecatonchires: Cottus, Briareos and Gyges, each with a hundred arms and fifty heads. As each of the Cyclopes and Hecatonchires were born, Uranus hid them in a secret place within Gaia, causing her great pain. Because Cronus had learned from Gaia and Uranus, that he was destined to be overthrown by his own child, Cronus swallowed each of the children born to him by his Titan sister Rhea. With Gaia's advice Zeus defeated the Titans. In classical art Gaia was represented in one of two ways. Gaia also made Aristaeus immortal.
Odilon Redon Biography Odilon Redon was born in Bordeaux, Aquitaine to a prosperous family. The young Bertrand-Jean Redon acquired the nickname "Odilon" from his mother, Odile. Redon started drawing as a child and at the age of ten he was awarded a drawing prize at school. He began the formal study of drawing at fifteen, but at his father's insistence changed to architecture. Back home in his native Bordeaux, he took up sculpture, and Rodolphe Bresdin instructed him in etching and lithography. At the end of the war, he moved to Paris, and resumed working almost exclusively in charcoal and lithography. In the 1890s pastel and oils became his favored media; he produced no more noirs after 1900. Redon had a keen interest in Hindu and Buddhist religion and culture. Baron Robert de Domecy (1867-1946) commissioned the artist in 1899 to create 17 decorative panels for the dining room of the Château de Domecy-sur-le-Vault near Sermizelles in Burgundy. Redon died on July 6, 1916. Gallery
Hera Portrayed as majestic and solemn, often enthroned, and crowned with the polos (a high cylindrical crown worn by several of the Great Goddesses), Hera may bear a pomegranate in her hand, emblem of fertile blood and death and a substitute for the narcotic capsule of the opium poppy. A scholar of Greek mythology Walter Burkert writes in Greek Religion, "Nevertheless, there are memories of an earlier aniconic representation, as a pillar in Argos and as a plank in Samos." Etymology The cult of Hera Hera may have been the first to whom the Greeks dedicated an enclosed roofed temple sanctuary, at Samos about 800 BC. We know that the temple created by the Rhoecus sculptors and architects was destroyed between 570- 60 BC. In Euboea the festival of the Great Daedala, sacred to Hera, was celebrated on a sixty-year cycle. Hera's early importance According to Walter Burkert, both Hera and Demeter have many characteristic attributes of pre-Greek Great Goddesses. Epithets
DIONYSUS The earliest cult images of Dionysus show a mature male, bearded and robed. He holds a fennel staff, tipped with a pine-cone and known as a thyrsus. Later images show him as a beardless, sensuous, naked or half-naked androgynous youth: the literature describes him as womanly or "man-womanish". In its fully developed form, his central cult imagery shows his triumphant, disorderly arrival or return, as if from some place beyond the borders of the known and civilized. His procession (thiasus) is made up of wild female followers (maenads) and bearded satyrs with erect penises. Some are armed with the thyrsus, some dance or play music. He was also known as Bacchus (/ˈbækəs/ or /ˈbɑːkəs/; Greek: Βάκχος, Bakkhos), the name adopted by the Romans and the frenzy he induces, bakkheia. Names Etymology The dio- element has been associated since antiquity with Zeus (genitive Dios). Epithets Dionysus was variably known with the following epithets: Acroreites at Sicyon. Mythology
Inanna Inanna (/ɪˈnænə/ or /ɪˈnɑːnə/; Cuneiform: 𒀭𒈹 DMUŠ3; Sumerian: Inanna; Akkadian: Ištar; Unicode: U+12239) is the Sumerian goddess of love, fertility, and warfare, and goddess of the E-Anna temple at the city of Uruk, her main centre. Part of the front of Inanna's temple from Uruk Origins Etymology Inanna's name derives from Lady of Heaven (Sumerian: nin-an-ak). Worship One version of the star symbol of Inanna/Ishtar Iconography Inanna's symbol is an eight-pointed star or a rosette. She was associated with lions – even then a symbol of power – and was frequently depicted standing on the backs of two lionesses. Inanna as the star, Venus Inanna was associated with the celestial planet Venus. Inanna's Descent to the Underworld explains how Inanna is able to, unlike any other deity, descend into the netherworld and return to the heavens. Character Inanna is the goddess of love – but not marriage. Myths Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta
Unicorn Of the Unicorn In European folklore, the unicorn is often depicted as a white horselike or goatlike animal with a long horn and cloven hooves (sometimes a goat's beard). In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, it was commonly described as an extremely wild woodland creature, a symbol of purity and grace, which could only be captured by a virgin. In the encyclopedias its horn was said to have the power to render poisoned water potable and to heal sickness. In medieval and Renaissance times, the horn of the narwhal was sometimes sold as unicorn horn. History Unicorns in antiquity Cosmas Indicopleustes, a merchant of Alexandria who lived in the 6th century, made a voyage to India and subsequently wrote works on cosmography. Middle Ages and Renaissance Virgin Mary holding the unicorn (c. 1480), detail of the Annunciation with the Unicorn Polyptych, National Museum, Warsaw The Throne Chair of Denmark is made of "unicorn horns" – almost certainly narwhal tusks. Alicorn The hunt of the unicorn Heraldry
Artemis In the classical period of Greek mythology, Artemis (Ancient Greek: Ἄρτεμις) was often described as the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women; she often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows. The deer and the cypress were sacred to her. In later Hellenistic times, she even assumed the ancient role of Eileithyia in aiding childbirth. Etymology Didrachm from Ephesus, Ionia, representing the goddess Artemis Silver tetradrachm of the Indo-Greek king Artemidoros (whose name means "gift of Artemis"), c. 85 BCE, featuring Artemis with a drawn bow and a quiver on her back on the reverse of the coin Artemis in mythology Leto bore Apollon and Artemis, delighting in arrows, Both of lovely shape like none of the heavenly gods, As she joined in love to the Aegis-bearing ruler. Birth Childhood Intimacy Actaeon
Hades Names and epithets As with almost every name for the gods, the origin of Hades's name is obscure. The name as it came to be known in classical times was Ἅιδης, Hāidēs. Later the iota became silent. Originally it was *Awides which has been claimed to mean "unseen". This changed into Ἀΐδης, Aïdēs (and afterwards Āïdēs), with the dropping of the digamma. Poetic variants of the name include Ἀϊδωνεύς, Aïdōneus, and *Ἄϊς, Aïs (a nominative by conjecture), from which the derived forms Ἄϊδος, Āïdos, Ἄϊδι, Āïdi, and Ἄϊδα, Āïda, (gen., dat. and acc., respectively) are words commonly seen in poetry. From fear of pronouncing his name and considering that from the abode below (i.e. the soil) come the riches (e.g. from the soil grow the fertile crops, from the soil come the metals and so on), c. 5th century BCE the Greeks started referring to Hades as Πλούτων, Ploutōn, a name that is an abbreviation of Πλουτοδότης, Ploutodotēs, or Πλουτοδοτήρ, Ploutodotēr, meaning "giver of wealth". Cult
Ishtar Ishtar (English pronunciation /ˈɪʃtɑːr/; Transliteration: DIŠTAR; Akkadian: 𒀭𒈹 ; Sumerian 𒀭𒌋𒁯) is the East Semitic Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex. She is the counterpart to the Sumerian Inanna, and is the cognate for the Northwest Semitic Aramean goddess Astarte. Characteristics Ishtar was the goddess of love, war, fertility, and sexuality. Ishtar was the daughter of Ninurta. She was particularly worshipped in northern Mesopotamia, at the Assyrian cities of Nineveh, Ashur and Arbela (Erbil). Besides the lions on her gate, her symbol is an eight-pointed star. One type of depiction of Ishtar/Inanna Ishtar had many lovers; however, as Guirand notes, Descent into the underworld One of the most famous myths about Ishtar describes her descent to the underworld. If thou openest not the gate to let me enter, I will break the door, I will wrench the lock, I will smash the door-posts, I will force the doors. In other media
Pythia Recent geological investigations have shown that gas emissions from a geologic chasm in the earth could have inspired the Delphic Oracle to "connect with the divine." Some researchers suggest the possibility that ethylene gas caused the Pythia's state of inspiration. However, Lehoux argues that ethylene is "impossible" and benzene is "crucially underdetermined." Others argue instead that methane might have been the gas emitted from the chasm, or CO2 and H2S, arguing that the chasm itself might have been a seismic ground rupture. The idea that the Pythia spoke gibberish which was interpreted by the priests and turned into poetic iambic pentameter has been challenged by scholars such as Joseph Fontenrose and Lisa Maurizio, who argue that the ancient sources uniformly represent the Pythia speaking intelligibly, and giving prophecies in her own voice. Origins of the Oracle G.L. There are also many later stories of the origins of the Delphic Oracle. Personnel
Juno (mythology) Juno's own warlike aspect among the Romans is apparent in her attire. She often appeared sitting pictured with a peacock armed and wearing a goatskin cloak. The traditional depiction of this warlike aspect was assimilated from the Greek goddess Hera, whose goatskin was called the 'aegis'. The name Juno was also once thought to be connected to Iove (Jove), originally as Diuno and Diove from *Diovona. At the beginning of the 20th century, a derivation was proposed from iuven- (as in Latin iuvenis, "youth"), through a syncopated form iūn- (as in iūnix, "heifer", and iūnior, "younger"). This etymology became widely accepted after it was endorsed by Georg Wissowa. Juno's theology is one of the most complex and disputed issues in Roman religion. Juno is certainly the divine protectress of the community, who shows both a sovereign and a fertility character, often associated with a military one. A temple to Iuno Sospita was vowed by consul C. Juno. G. However in 1882 R. M.