History for the Rest of Us

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...

Hecate – Goddess of Ghosts and Spectres

Hecate would appear to have been originally a moon-goddess worshipped by the Thracians. She became confounded, and eventually identified with Selene and Persephone, and is one of those divinities of whom the ancients had various conflicting accounts. Hecate was the daughter of Perses and “gold-wreathed” Astræa (the starry night), and her sway...

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...

Nike – Goddess of Victory

Nike – Goddess of Victory

Sep 21, 2012

Nike, the goddess of victory, was the daughter of the Titan Pallas, and of Styx, the presiding nymph of the river of that name in the lower world. In her statues, Nike somewhat resembles Athene, but may easily be recognized by her large, graceful wings and flowing drapery, which is negligently fastened on the right shoulder, and only partially conceals her...

Selene – Goddess of the Moon

Selene – Goddess of the Moon

Sep 20, 2012

Just as Helios personified the sun, so his sister Selene represented the moon, and was supposed to drive her chariot across the sky whilst her brother was reposing after the toils of the day. When the shades of evening began to enfold on the earth, the two milk-white steeds of Selene rose out of the mysterious depths of Oceanus. Seated in a silvery chariot, and...

Eos – Goddess of the Dawn

Eos – Goddess of the Dawn

Sep 18, 2012

Eos, the Dawn, like her brother Helios, whose advent she always announced, was also deified by the early Greeks. She too had her own chariot, which she drove across the vast horizon both morning and night, before and after the sun-god. Hence she is not merely the personification of the rosy morn, but also of twilight, for which reason her palace is placed in...