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Eurynome and Ophion

In the beginning, Eurynome, The Goddess of All Things, rose naked from Chaos, but found nothing substantial for her feet to rest upon, and therefore divided the sea from the sky, dancing lonely upon its waves. She danced towards the south, and the wind set in motion behind her seemed something new and apart with which to begin a work of creation. Wheeling about, she caught hold of this north wind, rubbed it between her hands, and behold! the great serpent Ophion. Eurynome danced to warm herself, wildly and more wildly, until Ophion, grown lustful, coiled about those divine limbs and was moved to couple with her. Now, the North Wind, who is also called Boreas, fertilizes; which is why mares often turn their hind-quarters to the wind and breed foals without aid of a stallion. So Eurynome was likewise got with child.
Eurynome and Ophion
Eurynome and Ophion

b. Next, she assumed the form of a dove, brooding on the waves and in due process of time laid the Universal Egg. At her bidding, Ophion coiled seven times about this egg, until it hatched and split in two. Out tumbled all things that exist, her children: sun, moon, planets, stars, the earth with its mountains and rivers, its trees, herbs, and living creatures.
c. Eurynome and Ophion made their home upon Mount Olympus, where he vexed her by claiming to be the author of the Universe. Forthwith she bruised his head with her heel, kicked out his teeth, and banished him to the dark caves below the earth.
d. Next, the goddess created the seven planetary powers, setting a Titaness and a Titan over each. Theia and Hyperion for the Sun; Phoebe and Atlas for the Moon; Dione and Crius for the planet Mars; Metis and Coeus for the planet Mercury; Themis and Eurymedon for the planet Jupiter; Tethys and Oceanus for Venus; Rhea and Cronus for the planet Saturn. But the first man was Pelasgus, ancestor of the Pelasgians; he sprang from the soil of Arcadia, followed by certain others, whom he taught to make huts and feed upon acorns, and sew pig-skin tunics such as poor folk still wear in Euboea and Phocis.
Eurynome and Ophion
Eurynome and Ophion

1. Only tantalizing fragments of this pre-Hellenic myth survive in Greek literature, the largest being Apollonius Rhodius's Agronautica and Tzetzes but it is implicit in the Orphic Mysteries, and can be restored, as above, from the Berossian Fragment and the Phoenician cosmogonies quoted by Philostratus and Damascius; from the Canaanitish elements in the Hebrew Creation story; from Hyginus (Fabula); from the Boeotian legend of the dragon's teeth; and from early ritual art. That all Pelasgians were born from Ophion is suggested by their common sacrifice, the Peloria (Athenaeus), Ophion having been a Pelor, or 'prodigious serpent'. In this archaic religious system there were, as yet, neither gods nor priests, but only a universal goddess and her priestesses, woman being the dominant sex and man her frightened victim. Fatherhood was not honoured, conception being attributed to the wind, the eating of beans, or the accidental swallowing of an insect; inheritance was matrilineal and snakes were regarded as incarnations of the dead. Eurynome ('wide wandering') was the goddess's title as the visible moon; her Sumerian name was Iahu ('exalted dove'), a title which later passed to Jehovah as the Creator. It was as a dove that Marduk symbolically sliced her in two at the Babylonian Spring Festival, when he inaugurated the new world order.
2. Ophion, or Boreas, is the serpent demiurge of Hebrew and Egyptian myth-in early Mediterranean art, the Goddess is constantly shown in his company. The earth-born Pelasgians, whose claim seems to have been that they sprang from Ophion's teeth, were originally perhaps the Neolithic 'Painted Ware' people; they reached the mainland of Greece from Palestine about 3500 BC, and the early Hellads - immigrants from Asia Minor by way of the Cyclades - found them in occupation of the Peloponnese seven hundred years later. But 'Pelasgians' became loosely applied to all pre-Hellenic inhabitants of Greece. Thus Euripides (quoted by Strabo) records that the Pelasgians adopted the name 'Danaids' on the coming to Argos of Danaus and his fifty daughters. Strictures on their licentious conduct (Herodotus) refer probably to the pre-Hellenic custom of erotic orgies. Strabo says in the same passage that those who lived near Athens were known as Pelargi ('storks'); perhaps this was their totem bird.
3. The Titans ('lords') and Titanesses had their counterparts in early Babylonian and Palestinian astrology, where they were deities ruling the seven days of the sacred planetary week; and may have been introduced by the Canaanite, or Hittite, colony which settled the Isthmus of Corinth early in the second millennium BC, or even by the Early Hellads. But when the Titan cult was abolished in Greece, and the seven-day week ceased to figure in the official calendar, their number was quoted as twelve by some authors, probably to make them correspond with the signs of the Zodiac. Hesiod, Apollodorus, Stephanus of Byzantium, Pausanias, and others give inconsistent lists of their names. In Babylonian myth the planetary rulers of the week, namely Samas, Sin, Nergal, Bel, Beltis, and Ninib, were all male, except Beltis, the Love-goddess; but in the Germanic week, which the Celts had borrowed from the Eastern Mediterranean, Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday were ruled by Titanesses, as opposed to Titans. To judge from the divine status of Aeolus's paired-off daughters and sons, and the myth of Niobe, it was decided, when the system first reached pre-Hellenic Greece from Palestine, to pair a Titaness with each Titan, as a means of safeguarding the goddess's interests. But before long the fourteen were reduced to a mixed company of seven. The planetary powers were as follows: Sun for illumination; Moon for enchantment; Mars for growth; Mercury for wisdom; Jupiter for law; Venus for love; Saturn for peace. Classical Greek astrologers conformed with the Babylonians, and awarded the planets to Helius, Selene, Ares, Hermes (or Apollo), ZeusAphroditeCronus-whose Latin equivalents, given above, still name the French, Italian, and Spanish weeks.
4. In the end, mythically speaking, Zeus swallowed the Titans, including his earlier self - since the Jews of Jerusalem worshipped a transcendent God, composed of all the planetary powers of the week: a theory symbolized in the seven-branched candlestick, and  in the Seven Pillars of Wisdom. The seven planetary pillars set up near the Horse's Tomb at Sparta were said by Pausanias to be adorned in ancient fashion, and may have been connected with the Egyptian rites introduced by the Pelasgians. Whether the Jews borrowed the theory from the Egyptians, or contrariwise, is uncertain; but the so-called Heliopolitan Zeus, whom
A. B. Cook discusses in his Zeus, was Egyptian in character, and bore busts of the seven planetary powers as frontal ornaments on his body sheath; usually, also, busts of the remaining Olympians as rear ornaments. One bronze statuette of this god was found at Tortosa in Spain, another at Byblos in Phoenicia; and a marble stele from Marseilles displays six planetary busts and one full-length figure of Hermes - who is also given greatest prominence in the statuettes - presumably as the inventor of astronomy. At Rome, Jupiter was similarly claimed to be a transcendent god by Quintus Valetins Soranus, though the week was not observed there, as it was at Marseilles, Byblos, and (probably) Tortosa. But planetary powers were never allowed to influence the official Olympian cult, being regarded as un- Greek (Herodotus), and therefore unpatriotic: Aristophanes (Peace) makes Trygasus say that the Moon and 'that old villain the Sun' are hatching a plot to herray Greece into the hands of the Persian barbarians.
5. Pausanias's statement that Pelasgus was the first of men records the continuance of a Palaeolithic culture in Arcadia until Classical times.



Trojan War

In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus , king of Sparta. The war is one of the most important events in Greek mythology and has been narrated through many works of Greek literature, most notably Homer's Iliad. The core of the Iliad (Books II – XXIII) describes a period of four days and two nights in the tenth year of the decade-long siege of Troy; the Odyssey describes the journey home of Odysseus, one of the war's heroes. Other parts of the war are described in a cycle of epic poems, which have survived through fragments. Episodes from the war provided material for Greek tragedy and other works of Greek literature, and for Roman poets including Virgil and Ovid. The war originated from a quarrel between the goddesses Hera , Athena , and Aphrodite , after Eris , the goddess of strife and discord, gave them a golden apple, sometimes known as the Apple of Discord, m

Scylla And Nisus

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The storm shifts the signboards

In olden days, when grandfather was just a little boy and wore red trousers, a red jacket, a sash around his waist, and a feather in his cap - for that's the way little boys dressed in his childhood when they wore their best clothes - so many things were different from nowadays. There were often street pageants, which we don't see now, for they have been done away with, because they became old-fashioned; but it's fun to hear Grandfather tell about them. It must have been quite a show to see the shoemakers move their signboard when they changed to a new guild hall. A big boot and a two-headed eagle were painted on their waving silken banner; the youngest journeymen carried the welcome cup and the guild chest, and had red and white ribbons dangling from their shirt sleeves; the older ones wore naked swords with lemons stuck on the points. They had a full band, and the best of their instruments was "The Bird," as Grandfather called the long pole with the half moon


Eurynome and Ophion In some versions of Greek mythology, Ophion (/oʊˈfaɪən/; Greek: Ὀφίων "serpent"; gen.: Ὀφίωνος), also called Ophioneus (Ὀφιονεύς) ruled the world with Eurynome before the two of them were cast down by Cronus and Rhea . Sources Pherecydes of Syros's Heptamychia is the first attested mention of Ophion. The story was apparently popular in Orphic poetry, of which only fragments survive. Apollonius of Rhodes in his Argonautica (1.495f) summarizes a song of Orpheus: He sang how the earth, the heaven and the sea, once mingled together in one form, after deadly strife were separated each from other; and how the stars and the moon and the paths of the sun ever keep their fixed place in the sky; and how the mountains rose, and how the resounding rivers with their nymphs came into being and all creeping things. And he sang how first of all Ophion and Eurynome, daughter of Oceanus , held the sway of snowy Olympus, and how through strength of arm one


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The apples of love and the apple of discord

ATALANTA, like Artemis, loved no men, though many men fell in love with her because she was so graceful when she ran. When she was born her father had cruelly abandoned her in the wilderness, for he had hoped for a son. But she did not perish, for a she-bear heard her cries and carried her gently to her den, nursed her, and raised her with her cubs. Years later, an astonished huntsman saw a girl racing with wild beasts through the woods. He caught her in a snare and brought her home with him. Soon she learned to talk and act like a human, and her foster father was very proud of her fleetness of foot. He took her to athletic games and she won all the races. Her fame spread over Greece, and now her real father proudly reclaimed her as his long- lost daughter. He was a king and a king's daughter could not be allowed to run about unmarried, so he began to search for a suitable husband for her. But Atalanta did not want a husband. To be left in peace, she said she would only mar


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Briareus, Gyges and Cottus

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ONLY Zeus , the Father of Heaven, might wield the thunderbolt; and it was with the threat of its fatal flash that he controlled his quarrelsome and rebellious family of Mount Olympus. He also ordered the heavenly bodies, made laws, enforced oaths, and pronounced oracles. When his mother Rhea , foreseeing what trouble his lust would cause, forbade him to marry, he angrily threatened to violate her. Though she at once turned into a serpent, this did not daunt Zeus , who became a male serpent and, twining about her in an indissoluble knot, made good his threat. It was then that he began his long series of adventures in love. He fathered the Seasons and the Three Fates on Themis ; the Charites on Eurynome; the Three Muses on Mnemosyne, with whom he lay for nine nights; and, some say, Persephone , the Queen of the Underworld, whom his brother Hades forcibly married, on the nymph Styx . Thus he lacked no power either above or below earth; and his wife Hera was equal to him in one