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
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.
Terra (mythology) The word tellus, telluris is also a Latin common noun for "land, territory; earth," as is terra, "earth, ground". In literary uses, particularly in poetry, it may be ambiguous as to whether the goddess, a personification, or the common noun is meant. This article preserves the usage of the ancient sources regarding Tellus or Terra. Dedicatory inscription to Terra Mater fulfilling a vow (votum), 1st century AD The two words terra and tellus are thought to derive from the formulaic phrase tersa tellus, meaning "dry land". The 4th-century AD Latin commentator Servius distinguishes between tellus and terra in usage. Varro identifies Terra Mater with Ceres: Ovid distinguishes between Tellus as the locus ("site, location") of growth, and Ceres as its causa ("cause, agent"). Mater, the Latin word for "mother," is often used as an honorific for goddesses, including Vesta, who was represented as a virgin. Detail from a sarcophagus depicting a Mother Earth figure (3rd century AD)
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
Magna Dea 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
Minerva Etruscan Menrva Stemming from an Italic moon goddess *Meneswā ('She who measures'), the Etruscans adopted the inherited Old Latin name, *Menerwā, thereby calling her Menrva. It is assumed that her Roman name, Minerva, is based on this Etruscan mythology, Minerva was the goddess of wisdom, war, art, schools and commerce. She was the Etruscan counterpart to Greek Athena. Worship in Rome Raised-relief image of Minerva on a Roman gilt silver bowl, 1st century BC As Minerva Medica, she was the goddess of medicine and doctors. In Fasti III, Ovid called her the "goddess of a thousand works". The Romans celebrated her festival from March 19 to March 23 during the day which is called, in the neuter plural, Quinquatria, the fifth after the Ides of March, the nineteenth, an artisans' holiday . Universities and educational establishments As patron goddess of wisdom, Minerva frequently features in statuary, as an image on seals, and in other forms, at educational establishments.
Persephone Persephone as a vegetation goddess and her mother Demeter were the central figures of the Eleusinian mysteries that predated the Olympian pantheon and promised the initiated a more enjoyable prospect after death. Persephone is further said to have become by Zeus the mother of Dionysus, Iacchus, or Zagreus, usually in orphic tradition. The origins of her cult are uncertain, but it was based on very old agrarian cults of agricultural communities. Name Etymology Persephone or "the deceased woman" holding a pomegranate. Persephatta (Περσεφάττα) is considered to mean "female thresher of corn," going by "perso-" relating to Sanskrit "parsa", "sheaf of corn" and the second constituent of the name originating in Proto-Indo European *-gʷʰn-t-ih, from the root *gʷʰen "to strike". An alternative etymology is from φέρειν φόνον, pherein phonon, "to bring (or cause) death". John Chadwick speculatively relates the name of Persephone with the name of Perse, daughter of Oceanus. Italy.
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.
Rhea (mythology) Rhea (or Cybele), after a marble, 1888. Then she hid Zeus in a cave on Mount Ida in Crete. According to varying versions of the story: Rhea only appears in Greek art from the fourth century BC, when her iconography draws on that of Cybele; the two therefore, often are indistinguishable; both can be shown on a throne flanked by lions, riding a lion, or on a chariot drawn by two lions. Most often Rhea's symbol is a pair of lions, the ones that pulled her celestial chariot and were seen often, rampant, one on either side of the gateways through the walls to many cities in the ancient world. In Homer, Rhea is the mother of the gods, although not a universal mother like Cybele, the Phrygian Great Mother, with whom she was later identified.
Anann In Irish mythology, Anann (Anu, Ana, Anand) was a goddess. 'Anann' is identified as the personal name of the Morrígan in many MSS of Lebor Gabála Érenn. With Badb and Macha, she is sometimes part of a triple goddess or a triad of war goddesses. As such, she may be a Celtic personification of death, and is depicted as predicting death in battle. Etymology This name may be derived the Proto-Celtic theonym *Φanon-. Paps of Anu Anann has particular associations with Munster: the twin hills known as the Paps of Anu (Dá Chích Anann or the breasts of Anu), at WikiMiniAtlas 52°00′55″N 9°16′09″W / 52.01528°N 9.26917°W / 52.01528; -9.26917, near Killarney,County Kerry are said to have been named after this ancient goddess. Works cited Bibliography Ellis, Peter Berresford, Dictionary of Celtic Mythology (Oxford Paperback Reference), Oxford University Press, (1994): ISBN 0-19-508961-8MacKillop, James.
Enlil Enlil with his wife, Ninlil Origins Enlil was known as the inventor of the mattock (a key agricultural pick, hoe, ax or digging tool of the Sumerians) and helped plants to grow. Cosmological role Enlil, along with Anu/An, Enki and Ninhursag were gods of the Sumerians. Cultural histories Enlil is associated with the ancient city of Nippur, sometimes referred to as the cult city of Enlil. His temple was named Ekur, "House of the Mountain At a very early period prior to 3000 BC, Nippur had become the centre of a political district of considerable extent. His chief temple at Nippur was known as Ekur, signifying 'House of the mountain'. Grouped around the main sanctuary, there arose temples and chapels to the gods and goddesses who formed his court, so that Ekur became the name for an entire sacred precinct in the city of Nippur. See also References External links