History for the Rest of Us

The Muses

The Muses

Jul 26, 2013

Of all the Olympic deities, none occupy a more distinguished position than the Muses, the nine beautiful daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne. In their original signification, they presided merely over music, song, and dance; but with the progress of civilization the arts and sciences claimed their special presiding divinities, and we see these graceful creations,...

Artemis – Goddess of Hunting and Chastity

Artemis – Goddess of Hunting and Chastity

Feb 4, 2013

Artemis was worshipped by the Greeks under various appellations, to each of which belonged special characteristics. Thus she is known as the Arcadian, Ephesian and Brauronian Artemis, and also as Selene-Artemis, and in order fully to comprehend the worship of this divinity, we must consider her under each aspect. ARCADIAN ARTEMIS. The Arcadian Artemis (the real...

Hephæstus – God of Fire

Hephæstus – God of Fire

Jan 15, 2013

Hephæstus, the son of Zeus and Hera, was the god of fire in its beneficial aspect, and the presiding deity over all workmanship accomplished by means of this useful element. He was universally honoured, not only as the god of all mechanical arts, but also as a house and hearth divinity, who exercised a beneficial influence on civilized society in general....

Ares – God of War

Ares – God of War

Oct 15, 2012

Ares, the son of Zeus and Hera, was the god of war, who gloried in strife for its own sake; he loved the tumult and havoc of the battlefield, and delighted in slaughter and extermination; in fact he presents no benevolent aspect which could possibly react favourably upon human life. Epic poets, in particular, represent the god of battles as a wild ungovernable...

Phoebus-Apollo – God of Light

Phoebus-Apollo – God of Light

Oct 1, 2012

Phœbus-Apollo, the god of Light, Prophecy, Music, Poetry, and the Arts and Sciences, is by far the noblest conception within the whole range of Greek mythology, and his worship, which not only extended to all the states of Greece, but also to Asia Minor and to every Greek colony throughout the world, stands out among the most ancient and strongly-marked...

Pallas-Athena Goddess of Wisdom

Pallas-Athena Goddess of Wisdom

Sep 13, 2012

Pallas-Athena, goddess of Wisdom and Armed Resistance, was a purely Greek divinity; that is to say, no other nation possessed a corresponding conception. She was supposed…to have issued from the head of Zeus himself, clad in armour from head to foot. The miraculous advent of this maiden goddess is beautifully described by Homer in one of his hymns:...