Greek mythology, as in other ancient cultures, was used as a means to explain the environment in which humankind lived, the natural phenomena they witnessed and the passing of time through the days, months, and seasons. Myths were also intricately connected to religion in the Greek world and explained the origin and lives of the gods, where humanity... [continue reading]
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Ancient Greek god of fire, metallurgy, and crafts, Hephaistos was the brilliant blacksmith of the Olympian gods, for whom he fashioned magnificent houses, armour, and ingenious devices. Born from Hera and without a father, Hephaistos was, unlike the other gods, a less than beautiful figure. So much so, that in Greek mythology he is said to have been... [continue reading]
Hera (Roman name: Juno), wife of Zeus and queen of the ancient Greek gods, represented the ideal woman and was goddess of marriage and the family. However, she was perhaps most famous for her jealous and vengeful nature, principally aimed against the lovers of her husband and their illegitimate offspring. Hera herself was notable as one of the very few deities... [continue reading]
Metope from the east side of the temple of Zeus, Olympia. Here Herakles labours to clean the Augean Stables with the help of Athena. (470-460 BCE) Olympia Archaeological Museum.
The pan-Hellenic mythological hero Hercules (or Herakles) was famed for his great strength and endurance and celebrated as an extraordinary mortal who, through success in seemingly impossible labours, won his immortal place amongst the Olympian gods. Being the greatest of Greek mythological heroes, he has been ascribed a multitude of adventures and heroic exploits... [continue reading]
This Attic vase shows Hercules wrestling the Nemean Lion in one of his 12 labours. Late 6th, early 5th century BCE. Athena looks on from the right.(Archaeological Museum, Milan).
Metope from the east side of the temple of Zeus, Olympia. Here Hercules holds the Earth on his shoulders with the aid of Athena, on the right Atlas gives the Apples of the Hesperides. (470-460 BCE) Olympia Archaeological Museum.
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published on 24 July 2014
Hercules Fighting Death to Save Alcestis by Frederic, Lord Leighton, 1869-71 CE.
Mary Harrsch (Photographed at the Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence)
published on 05 October 2012
A statue by Giambologna depicting Hercules fighting the centaur Nessos following the latter's attack on Hercules' wife Deianeira as they crossed the river Evenus. 1599 CE (Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence, Italy).
Hermes (Roman name: Mercury) was the ancient Greek god of trade, wealth, luck, fertility, animal husbandry, sleep, language, thieves, and travel. One of the cleverest and most mischievous of the Olympian gods, he was also their herald and messenger.  ... [continue reading]
The Greek poet Hesiod (c. 700 BCE) is most famous for his works Theogony and Works and Days. In this passage from Theogony, Hesiod relates the birth of the gods from cosmic Chaos and follows the lineage through the great Zeus, King of the Olympian gods, worshipped by Hesiod’s contemporaries: (ll. 1-25) From the Heliconian Muses let us begin... [continue reading]