Sunday, April 17, 2016

Hebe: The goddess of youth

Hebe: Greek goddess of youth and cup-bearer of mount Olympus.
Hebe: Greek goddess of youth and cupbearer
of Mount Olympus.
Hebe (or Ήβη) is the goddess of youth in Greek Mythology. According to the mythological source, she was living in the Mount Olympus with other Greek gods, as their cupbearer. She is the daughter of goddess Hera, the queen of Greek gods, and Zeus the ruler of the Gods. Her symbols include Wine-cup, Eagle, Ivy, and the Fountain of Youth. In Roman mythology is known as Juventas.

She is often represented as a young woman that bears a jug and a cup. She was responsible for carrying the divine nectar and filling the cups of the Greek gods. Nectar was originally a name of the food or drink of the gods in Greek mythology but later was renamed to ambrosia. Ambrosia or divine nectar was offering longevity and immortality to whoever drank it. The consumption of the nectar was only allowed for divine beings. When Greek heroes, such as Hercules, arrived in Mount Olympus they were given the divine nectar.


Personal life


When Hercules passed to the underworld, the Greek gods decided to bring him at the Mount Olympus. She married Hercules when he arrived at the Mount Olympus, and she gave birth to two sons: Alexiares and Anicetus. When she married the Greek Hero Hercules, Zeus replaced her with one of his lover, Ganymede.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Greek god Eros: the god of love

Statue of Eros of the Centocelle type.
Statuee of Eros of
the Centocelle type.
Eros (or Cupid in Roman mythology) is the the God of sexual love and beauty. His symbols include Bow, Arrows, Hearts, wings, and kisses.  He is commonly depicted as a male having wings and holding a bow with arrows. His influence in the modern society is very spread and he and his symbols are displayed usually during the Valentine’s Day (14th of February). He has the ability to influence the feeling of both mortal and immortal gods including the gods from the Greek pantheon.

Origins


There are three main stories about his origins. According to early mythological sources, god Eros belongs to the primordial that appear at the creation of the cosmos. He played vital role in the creation of the remaining world. Hs is considered from the first gods to arrived to cosmos. The second version of the story tells that Eros was child of Chaos and Nyx (Night). She born Eros during the first ages of cosmos creation, but he wasn't the first one. The third story, and that was widely adopted later is that he is the the son of goddess of beauty Aphrodite and Ares, the god of the war. Other less common stories about his birth including that he is the son of Ouranos and Gaia, or god Ouranos and goddess Aphrodite. Other variation from the poet Alcaeus of Mytilene tells that he is the son of Zeuphyros (west wind) and Iris (rainbow). Less common story says that he is the son of Greek goddess of childbirth, Eileithyia.

Personal life - Psyche


Eros stringing his bow, Roman copy after Greek original by Lysippos.
Eros stringing his bow, Roman copy after
Greek original by Lysippos.
The myth between Eros and Psyche is one of the most famous stories of love in Greek and Roman mythology. Although the story is finalized in the Roman era, the roots are older during the Greek period.

According to the myth, the mortal princess Psyche was one of the most beautiful women in earth. Unfortunately, she was not properly warship the goddess of beauty Aphrodite and the goddess got upset from her behavior. To punish her, she send her son Eros to to make her to fell in love with someone ugly. Eros had an accident and he scratched by his darts of love, making him to fell in love with her. As results, he didn't obey the orders of his mother, goddess Aphrodite. AS the days passed and Psyche was not able to find love, her father decided to consult one oracle. The oracle answers that he should expect a dragon-like monster from the underworld as lover of the Psyche, instead of a mortal human.


The father of Psyche was very sad when he heard the news and organized a ceremony that it is similar to funeral. He demanded the presence of Psyche, although she reacted badly on the news. During ceremony they left her alone at the peak of a mountain. Then, the god of wed wind Zephyr took her and transferred to god Eros. After she arrived to a small forest, she started exploring the area, when she found a beautiful house. When she entered she heard voice telling her to relax and guided her to the bedroom under the music of a lyre, when later she made love with god Eros. Eros never revealed himself as he kept the lights off, hiding his real identity.


When later her family learned about her new home, they started wondering how is living. Eros asked the west wind Zephyr to transfer her sisters to home. When the sisters saw where she was living they became jealous and planted evil seeds to her mind. They persuaded to kill the monster she was believing she was sleeping with. Eventually, she hide a dagger and a lamp inside the bedroom. During the night, when god Eros was asleep, she grabbed the dager and used the lamp to light the room. Shen, she discovered who actually was, the god Eros.

Eros kisses Psyche by Antonio Canova, Louvre
Eros kisses Psyche by Antonio Canova, Louvre.
She wake-up him by spilling bit of oil to him. God Eros felt that she violated the trust between them and he decided to leave her near to a river (bank of river). Then, she is discovered by the god of nature Pan, where she brings her back to his parents house. Then, she started to searching for her lost love. On the other hand, her sisters became more envious when learner who was really the husband of Psyche.

During his searching for Eros, she visited a number of temples where she requested help. Unfortunately, although the gods worshiped to these temples acknowledged that she needed help, they were banned from helping mortals against other gods. Then, she realized that she had to reach goddess Aphrodite to solve her problems. When she finally reached her, goddess Aphrodite was very hostile against her. To punish her she assigned her four trials.

The first trial was to separate heaps of wheat, chickpeas, lentils, and beans until the dawn. She did it with the help of kind ant that felt pity for her. The second task was to cross a river and bring back the golden wool from a sheep on the other side. She did it with the help of divinely inspired reed. The third task was to collect the black water from the rivers Styx and Cocytus using a crystal vessel. God Zeus felt pity for her, and helped her. The last trial was to go to the underworld, obtain a dose of beauty of the queen of underworld Persephone inside a box and bring it back. With instructions given from the tower, she was able to accomplish this task. Unfortunately, she opened the box before reaching goddess Aphrodite and she was curse by the infernal and Stygian sleep.

During the tasks, the god Eros recovered and he escaped from home, where his mother goddess Aphrodite was keeping him. When he learned about the status of Psyche, he recovered her and took the case to the ruler of the gods, Zeus. God Zeus assembled the gods and announced that he approves the connection between Psyche and god Eros, and goddess Aphrodite should be stop punish her. He also decided for Psyche to drink ambrosia to become immortal, resulting in a happy marriage afterwards. Together they had a daughter, Voluptas or Hedone (meaning physical pleasure, bliss).


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Greek God Asclepius: the god of medicine

Statue of Greek god of medicine  Asclepious holding his  snake-entwined staff.
Statue of Greek god of medicine
Asclepious holding his
snake-entwined staff.
Asclepius (or Vejovis in Roman Mythology) is the Greek God of medicine. He was initially included in the 12 Greek god Pantheon and was residing at mount Olympus before his death from the ruler of Greek gods, Zeus. He is well known for his symbol, a snake-entwined staff that remains a symbol of modern medicine today.

Birth


He is son of Greek god of light Apollo and the mortal Coronis, daughter of Phlegyas, King of the Lapiths. There are two variations of how his mother killed. In one version she was killed because she was unfaithful to god Apollo, and in the other version Coronis killed in labor. In any case, the unborn Asclepius was rescued by his father.

Childhood


Greek god Apollo carried his son Asclepius to the centaur Chiron to rise him. Chiron teaches him about the medicine. Moreover, in some point in history, one snake cleaned the ears of Asclepius in return of helping it. The snake also taught them the secrets of healing. With time, god Asclepius surpassed in knowledge his teacher centaur Chiron and his father god Apollo. According to Greek mythology, he was so powerful that he could bring someone back from the underworld.

Personal Life and death


God Asclepius is married with Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. They have nine children: Hygieia, Telesphoros, Aglaea, Iaso, Aceso, Machaon, Panacea, Podalirius,  Aratus.

During his life, God Asclepius brought back Hippolytus back from the underwoold and got paid with gold. This in combination with the fear from Hades that no more souls will go to the underworld, lead Greek god Zeus to kill him. His father, god Apollo got angry with god god Zeus and he killed the Cyclopes that made the thunderbolts of god Zeus. In redemption, god god Zeus ordered the god Apollo to server the King of Thessaly Admetus for one year.



Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Greek Goddess Persephone: Queen of the underworld

Statue of Isis-Persephone, the queen of  the underworld, holding a sistrum, in the  Archaeological Museum in Herakleion.
Statue of Isis-Persephone, the queen of
the underworld, holding a sistrum, in the
Archaeological Museum in Herakleion.
Persephone (or Proserpina) is the Queen of the Underworld, daughter of Greek goddess of harvest Demeter and Greek God Zeus, the ruler of the gods. She is Greek goddess of spring time. Her symbols include the pomegranate, Deer, Seeds of Grain, willow tree, waterfalls, rivers and springs. She sometimes included in the Greek pantheon, however because of his bind with the underworld, she had to stay six months there.

Personal life and abduction from Hades


Persephone used to live away from the other gods, and she was used to  plant seeds and nurturing plants. Demeter, her mother, rejected all the presents offered from the gods Apollo and Hermes and hid her daughter away from the company of the Olympian gods. Persephone was gathering flowers with the Oceanids along with Artemis and Athena in a field when Hades, the Greek god of underworld, came to abduct her, bursting through a cleft in the earth.

Her mother Demeter was searching for them, but she could not find her. She forbidden the earth to produce and she caused nothing to grow. The seasons halted and all living things ceased their growth, then began to die. Eventually, Helios (the sun in Greek), who sees everything, told Demeter about the abduction of Persephone from god Hades. Zeus forced Hades to return Persephone and he sent the messenger of the Greek gods Hermes, to bring Persephone back from the underworld. Hades agreed to release her if she is able to resist and not eating anything during her stay in the underworld. Unfortunately, Persephone eaten some seeds, bounding her to Hades. Thus, she from now on she has to stay for some months every wear to the underworld with Hades, transforming her as the queen of the Underworld.  According to later mythological stories, she is spending six months (or a third of each year in other variations) in the underworld each year, bringing the winter to earth.