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Interpretations of Myth

whoever creates their gods creates them as looking like themselves
Xerophanes
starts with an X
Interpretations of Myth

questioned the existance of gods; 6th century BC
Xerophanes
Starts with an X
Interpretations of Myth

considered myths to be irrational stories
Plato
Starts with a P
Interpretations of Myth

myth corrupted society
Plato
starts with a P
Interpretations of Myth

listen to the story behind the story
Allegory
Interpretations of Myth

Type of Allegory

must be representing something in the "real" world
physical allegory
Interpretations of Myth

group of people who believed in physical allegory
Stoics
starts with an S
Interpretations of Myth

thought about things in "new and exciting ways"; used fire, water, earth, and air
Stoics
starts with an S
Interpretations of Myth

finding the meaning behind words
Etymology
starts with an E
Interpretations of Myth

HPA~AHR; Cronus~Chronos
Etymology
Starts with an E
Interpretations of Myth

Group of people who believed that the greek gods were kings and queens in the past and they were praised LIKE gods, then became gods because people forgot that they were humans
Euhemerism
Starts with an E
Interpretations of Myth

Said that he found a tablet that explained that the greek gods were actually real kings and queens
Euhemerus
starts with an E
Interpretations of Myth

group of people that believed in metaphysical interpretation
Neoplatonism
starts with a N
Interpretations of Myth

Person who wrote "On The Origin of Fables" in 1724; believed myths were false (=fables)
Bernard Fontenelle
Starts with a B and F
Interpretations of Myth - Person

Believed myth has roots in ignorance of humans living at earlier stages of cultrual development
Bernard Fontenelle
B F
Interpretations of Myth - Person

Believed that global ignorance at earlier stages thus explains similarities among myths from around the globe
Bernard Fontenelle
B F
Interpretations of Myth - Person

Wrote "On the Customs of the Savages in America Compared with the Customs of the Earliest Times" (1724)
Josephe-Francois Lafitau
J-F L
Interpretations of Myth - Person

Showed many similarities between myths of Iroquois, Greek/Roman myth, and Bible
Josephe-Francois Lafitau
J-F L
Interpretations of Myth - Person

Concluded that stories came from early stages of humans' cultural development and that these early peoploe then spread all over the globe (=diffusionism)
Josephe-Francois Lafitau
J-F L
Interpretations of Myth - Type of Theory

Born from new information concerning "primitive" societies being combined with new theories of biological evolution
Anthropological theories
A
Interpretations of Myth - Person

wrote "Primitive Culture" (1871)
Edward Tylor
E T
Interpretations of Myth - Person

Said that culture progress through 3 stages (=evolutionism)
Edward Tylor
E T
Interpretations of Myth - Person

wrote "The Golden Bough" (1890; 1911-1915)
Sir James Frazer
S J F
Interpretations of Myth - Person

used evolutionism to understand the ancient tradition of the "king of the woods"
Sir James Frazer
S J F
Interpretations of Myth - Person

Believed tradition was based on more general primordial rite involving king's successors and drew parallels from all over the world
Sir James Frazer
S J F
Interpretations of Myth - Person

Along with others formed group that is called the "Cambridge Ritualists"
Jane Ellen Harrison
J E H
Interpretations of Myth - Person

Believed every myth arose from rituals
Jane Ellen Harrison
J E H
Interpretations of Myth - Person

Wrote "Magic, Science, and Reason" (1948)
Bronislaw Malinowski
B M
Interpretations of Myth - Person

fieldwork among Trobrianders learned culture could have myth coexisting with science; thus evolutionism seems wrong
Bronislaw Malinowski
B M
Interpretations of Myth - Person

Believed myth is explainable according to its social function
Bronislaw Malinowski
B M
Interpretations of Myth - Person

"charter theory of myth" - myths dont just provide explanation but also justification for why you do things
Bronislaw Malinowski
B M
Interpretation of Myth - Person

Used German fairy tales as modern counterpart to greek myths
Grimm Brothers
G
Interpretation of Myth - Person

Isolated similar motifs from many traditions, with theory that motifs went back to a common origin; dragons/monsters/heroes
grimm brothers
G
Interpretation of Myth - Person

wrote "Morphology of the Folk Tale"
Vladimir Propp
V P
Interpretation of Myth - Person

Showed that many tales from different cultures have the same sequence of actions
Vladimir Propp
V P
Interpretation of Myth - Person

Abandoned historical hypotheses in order to concentrate on stories themselves and their underlying structures (=structuralism)
Claude Levi-Strauss
C L-S
Interpretation of Myth - Person

Human mind tends to perceive the world in terms of binary opposites; myths then function to mediate inherent contradictions
Claude Levi-Strauss
C L-S
Interpretation of Myth - Person

Myths are the collective and recurrent dreames of the human race in its infancy
Sigmun Freud
S F
Interpretation of Myth - Person

Consciousness of the individual is only an inlet on large ocean of psychic activity ("collective unconscious") into which timeless recurrent images ("archetypes") appear, thus molding our emotional world and myths themselves
Carl Jung
C J
Interpretation of Myth - Person

wrote "Structure and History in Greek Mythology and Ritual" (1979)
Walter Burkett
W B
Interpretation of Myth - Person

"Programs of Action"; structuring of myths is based on biological or cultural practices within a society
Walter Burkett
W B
Great strongman hero of the Greeks; son of Zeus and the mortal Alcmena
Heracles
H
Daughter of Electryon and mother of Heracles
Alcmena
A
Son of Sthenelus; cousin of Heracles, for whom the hero had to perform the twelve labors
Eurystheus
E
Son of Alcaeus; husband of Alcmena, the omother of Heracles
Amphitryon
A
Daughter of Creon of Thebes, and first wife of Heracles; killed by him in a fit of madness brought on by Hera
Megara
M
One of the 12 labors; from which he got his customary lion's pelt and club
Nemean Lion
N L
One of the 12 labors; from which he got the poison which he used on his arrows
Hydra
H
one of the 12 labors; which led to a quarrel with Artemis and Apollo
Ceryneian deer
C D
one of the 12 labors; one of the many monsters plaguing the earth destroyed by Heracles
Erymanthian boar
E B
A parergon of Heracles; a centaur accidentally killed by one of Heracles's poisoned arrows
Pholus
P
One of the 12 labors; owned a filthy barn that needed a good cleaning
Augeas
A
one of the 12 labors; bronzed-beaked, man-eating birds shot by Heracles with his poisoned arrows
Stymphalian birds
S B
one of the 12 labors; Diomedes was thrown by Heracles to his own man-eating horses
Horses of Diomedes
H o D
needed to find someone to die in his place; his wife Alcestis volunteered
Admetus
A
Devoted wife of Admetus; willingly dies in his place
Alcestis
A
One of the 12 labors; her breastplate was demanded by Eurystheus's daughter
Hippolyta
H
One of the 12 labors; his red cattle was demanded by Eurystheus; during the course of which, Heracles set up the Pilars of Heracles
Geryon
G
A parergon of Heracles; monster who tried to steal some of the cattle Heracles had taken from Greyon
Cacus
C
One of the 12 labors; apples of the nymphs of the west demanded by Eurystheus; during the course of which, Heracles battled Antaeus, overcame Busiris, and outwitted Atlas
Apples of the Hesperides
A of t H
A parergon of Heracles; giant wrestler who drew his strength from contact with the earth; overcome by Heracles, who crushed him while holding him in the air.
Antaeus
A
A parergon of Heracles; king in Egypt who tried to sacrifice Heracles, but who was himself killed
Busiris
B
one of the 12 labors; monstrous dog who guarded the entrance to the underworld, dragged to the upper world
Cerberus
C
Daughter of Eurytus and sought by Heracles; brings about his death when Deianira sees her in a train of captive women
Iole
I
queen of Lydia whom Heracles served as "punishment" for having killed Iphitus in violation of Xenia
Omphale
O
Highwaymen defeated by Heracles
Cercopes
C
River god and competitor for Deianira; defeated by Heracles
Achelous
A
Sister of Meleager and second wife of Heracles; mistakenly brought about his death when deceived by the dying Nessus
Deianira
D
Sons of Heracles; thought to be the ancestors of the Dorians by the ancient Greeks
Heraclids
H
son of Aethra and Aegeus/Poseidon; national hero of the Athenians
Theseus
T
First king in Athens; brought civilization to the Athenian people; depicted as half-man, half-snake
Cecrops
C
Half-man, half-snake product of the spilled semen of Hephaestus; and early king of Athens
Erichthonius
E
Son of Herse, a daughter of Cecrops, and Hermes; his marriage with Procris was fraught with suspicion and ended in disaster
Cephalus
C
Daughter of Erechtheus, and early king of Athens, and wife of Cephalus; her marriage was Cephalus was fraught with suspicion and ended in disaster
Procris
P
The magical dog who always caught what it was chasing; given as a gift to Procris by Minos, king of Crete; ended in a paradoxical pursuit with the magical fox that could never be caught
Laelaps
L
Daughter of Pandion, and early king of Athens, and wife of Tereus; killer her own son Itys to avenge Tereus' rape and mutilation of her sister Philomela.
Procne
P
Daughter of Pandion, an early king of Athens, and sister of Procne; she was raped and mutilated by Tereus, Procne's husband
Philomela
P
King of Thessaly; given Procne as his wife by Pandion; his rape and mutilation of her sister PHilomela led to the death of his son Itys by Procne
Tereus
T
Son of Tereus and Procne; killed by his mother in revenge for Tereus' rape and mutilation of Philomela, Procne's sister
Itys
I
An early king of Athens; best known for his children: Procris, Orithyia, and Cecrops II, the latter of whom is the grandfather of Aegeus, father of Theseus
Erechtheus
E
Son of Pandion II and father of Theseus; sonless, he traveled to Delphi; stopping in Troezen on the way back, he impregnated Aethra, daughter of the king, their son was Theseus
Aegeus
A
Mother of Theseus and daughter of Pittheus, the King of Troezen, who, understanding the meaning of Delphi's obscure oracle to Aegeus, connived to have her impregnated by him
Aethra
A
Villian overcome by Theseus on his way from Troezen to Athens; murdered his victims by putting them on a bed that never fit
Procrustes
P
Battle of the Athenians and the invading Amazons; battle provoked by Theseus' abduction of their Queen Antiope; later comes to symbolize Athens's victory over the Persians
Amazonomachy
A
Son of Theseus by Antiope, Queen of the Amazons; falsely accused by Phaedra, Theseus' new wife, of having attempted to rape her, he is killed by Poseidon, who answers Theseus' prayer
Hippolytus
H
Wife of Theseus and stepmother to Hippolytus; inflicted with a shameful lust for Hippolytus and rebuffed by him, she kills herself, leaving behind a letter falsely accusing HIppolytus of having tried to rape her
Phaedra
P
Parallel to the Hippolytus false-accusation motif; having rebuffed the wife of the king at Corinth, the king tries to kill him
Bellerophon
B
King of Thessaly, opponent of Theseus who, like Enkidu and Gilgamesh, becomes his companion in a number of adventures
Pirithous
P
Thessalian people, whose king Pirithous, is a companion of Theseus; involved in a famous battle against the Centaurs that erupts at a wedding
Lapiths
L
race of half-man half-horse creatures; offspring of Ixion; mostly dangerous and wild, some are good
Centaurs
C
Democratic tyrant of late 6th century Athens; responsible for promoting the myths of Theseus and identifying them with democratic ideology
Pisistratus
P
Daughter of Agenor, taken away by Zeus who disguised himself as a bull; becomes queen of Crete
Europa
E
Son of Europa and Zeus; king of Crete during its mythic zenith; leads his forces successfully against Athens
Minos
M
Wife of Minos, afflicted with a lust for the bull sent by Poseidon
Pasiphae
P
Wife of Minos, afflicted with a lust for the bull sent by Poseidon
Pasiphae
P
Half-man, half-bull monster born from the union between Pasiphae and Poseidon's bull; locked in the Labyrinth and eventually killed by Theseus
Minotaur
M
Inescapable underground maze on Crete built by Daedalus to house the Minotaur
Labyrinth
L
King of Megara betrayed by his daughter to Minos, who was attacking his city
Nisus
N
Daughter of Nisus, king of Megara, who betrayed him to Minos who was attacking the city; when betrayed by Minos in turn, she became the clipper bird (Ciris)
Scylla
S
Rash son of Daedalus who died when the wax that held his wings together melted
Icarus
I
King of Camicus in Sicily, where MInos had pursued Daedalus
Cocalus
C
"Cowland"; area in Greece to the northwest of Attic; its pricipal city of Thebes is richly productive in myth
Boeotia
B
"Sown-men"; so-called because they sprang from the dragon's teeth sown by Cadmus; reputed ancestors of important aristocratic clans in Thebes
Sparti
S
mother by Zeus of Amphion and Sethus; pursued by Nycteus her father, Lycus, her uncle
Antiope
A
wife of Lycus; tormented Antiope, mother of Amphion and Zethus, until she herself was put to death by the twins
Dirce
D
son of Labdacus and father of Oedipus; tried to avert the prophecy that he would be killed by his son, but in so trying, fulfilled it
Laius
L
wife of Lycus; tormented Antiope, mother of Amphion and Zethus, until she herself was put to death by the twins
Dirce
D
wife of Laius and mother/wife of Oedipus; kills herself when she learns the truth of what has happened; called Epicaste by Homer
Jocasta
J
"Swollen-foot"; son of Laius and Jocasta; raised in Corinth, he returns to Thebes where he unknowingly fulfills the prophecy that he will kill his father and marry his mother
Oedipus
O
wife of Laius and mother/wife of Oedipus; kills herself when she learns the truth of what has happened; called Epicaste by Homer
Jocasta
J
King of Argos, and sole survivor of an Argive expedition against Thebes to put Polynices on the throne
Adrastus
A
wife of Laius and mother/wife of Oedipus; kills herself when she learns the truth of what has happened; called Epicaste by Homer
Jocasta
J
Exile from Calydon and one of the seven leaders against Thebes; was nearly made immortal by Athena, but Amphiaraus thwarted it
Tydeus
T
Brother of Eteocles and son of Oedipus; died during the Argive expedition against Thebes to force his brother out
Polynices
P
Prophet and one of the Argive leaders against Thebes; took part even tho he knew he would die
Amphiaraus
A
Son of Creon; supported Antigone's case against his father; killed himself when he realized she was dead
Haemon
H
The sons of the seven Argive "Seven Against Thebes"; successfully attacked Thebes and ousted the king Laodamas
Epigoni
E
A daughter of Oedipus; defied Creon's order that the body of her brother Polynices remain unburied
Antigone
A
One of Antiopi's twin sons; ruled in Thebes with his brother, Zethus; unlike Zethus, he was devoted to music
Amphion
A
Wife of Amphiaraus, who orders him to participate in teh Seven Against Thebes campaign
Eriphyle
E
One of Oedipus' sons; defended Thebes against a coalition of kings led by his brother, Polynices
Eteocles
E
Daughter of Oedipus; is reluctant to help her sister, Antigone, to defy Creon's order and bury their brother, Polynices
Ismene
I
One of Antiopi's twin sons; ruled in Thebes with his brother, Amphion; unlike Amphion, he was a man of ranching and practical affairs
Zethus
Z
Roman numina that protect the people in a household.
Lares
L
Roman numina of the cupboard in a Roman house; protect food and implements of the household.
Penates
P
The Roman Hestia; protectress of the house and hearth, becomes a national cult, which reflects the centrality of the family in Roman social and political order, in which the state was conceived of as a very large family.
Vesta
V
"Loyalty, duty"; critical concept in Roman social and political order; embodied by Aeneas in Vergil's Aeneid.
pietas
p
Son of Aeneas; founds Alba Long and is the ancestor of the Julian line of Roman Emperors
Iulus
I
Queen of Carthage; helps and is then abandoned by Aeneas.
Dido
D
Local king in Italy who opposes allowing Aeneas and his people to settle.
Turnus
T
Vestal Virgin and mother by Zeus of Romulus and Remus.
Rhea Silvia
R S
Son of Rhea Silvia and twin of Remus; kills his brother Remus to protect the walls of his new city, Rome.
Romulus
R
Son of Rhea Silvia and twin of Romulus; killed by his brother Romulus while ridiculing the walls of Romulus's new city: Rome.
Remus
R
Neighboring people of the Romans whose daughters were abducted during a festival in Rome.
Sabines
S
Daughter of a Roman commander bribed by their enemies, the Sabines; name given to a cliff in Rome where traitors were thrown to their deaths.
Tarpeia
T
Two sets of the tree brothers, who fought against each other to settle a war between the Romans and the Albans; Horatii were Roman, the Curiatii were Alban.
Horatii and the Curiatii
H a t C
Last of the Etruscan kings in Rome; brought down because of the violence of his son Sextus Tarquin.
Tarquin the Proud
T t P
Dutiful and chaste wife of Tarquin Collatinus; her rape by Sextus Tarquin, a son of Tarquin the Proud, brought down Etruscan rule in Rome, after which Rome was a Republic.
Lecretia
L
A leader in the revolt against Tarquin the Proud and hero of the Republic.
Brutus
B
Early mythic hero of the Republic; defended a bridge against the advancing enemy single-handedly until it could be burned by the Romans in retreat.
Horatius
H
"Lefty"; Early mythic hero of the Roman Republic; so called because when captured and threatened with torture by the enemy, he thrust his right hand in a fire to show his pietas to Rome.
Scaevola
S
Hero of Rome, who was exiled for his arrogance to men of common origins; withdrew an army he was leading against Rome when his wife begged him to spare her city and their children.
Coriolanus
C
Mythic hero of the Roman Republic; called to assume a dictatorship to meet a threat against Rome, he defeated the army and returned to his little farm within sixteen days.
Cincinnatus
C
Faithful daughter of Agamemnon; assists her brother Orestes to exact revenge in Mycenae.
Electra
E
Ancient pursuer of those who spill familial blood; chase Orestes to Athens, where they are finally disabled.
Furies
F
"Kindly One"; new name for the Furies after being tamed by Athena.
Eumenides
E
Area of northern Greece; source of the myth of Jason and the Argonauts
Thessaly
T
Port city in Thessaly; home of Jason
Iolcus
I
Third century BC author of the Argonautica; his poetry reflects the Hellenistic aesthetic of minute descriptions and complicated characters
Apollonius of Rhodes
A o R
Son of Aeson, hero of the Argonautica
Jason
J
King of Athamas; nearly tricked by his wife Nephell into sacrificing his son Phrixus
Athamas
A
Son of Athamas nearly sacrificed by his father; taken to Colchis on the Black Sea by a golden ram that appeared at the last moment
Phrixus
P
Daughter of Athamas; taken away on the back of a golden ram; she fell into a sea which is named after her
Helli
H
Mother of Pelias and Neleus by Poseidon and Aeson, the father of Jason, by Crethus
Tyro
T
King in Iolcus who imprisons his half-brother Aeson and Arranges to send Jason on the supposedly hopeless quest for the golden fleece; killed by his daughters who were tricked by Medea into cutting him up into pieces
Pelias
P
Centaur on Mount Pelion who raised Jason
Chiron
C
One of the warriors on the voyage of the Argo; son of Boreas (the North Wind), he was able to fly and freed Phineus from the torment of the Harpies
Zetes
Z
One of the warriors on the voyage of the Argo; son of Boreas (the North Wind), he was able to fly and freed Phineus from the torment of the Harpies.
Calaos
C
King of Salmydessus and prophet; offended Zeus by being too generous with his prophecies; his torment by the Harpies was ended by Jason and his crew.
Phineus
P
"Clashing Rocks" that barred access to the Black Sea; cleared by the Argonauts with the help of Athena.
Symplegades
S
Son of Aeîtes and brother of Medea; joined in the pursuit of Jason and Medea after the fleece had been filched; he was either killed by Jason, or chopped by into bits which were thrown overboard piece by piece to delay the pursuit of Aeîtes.
Apsyrtus
A
People encountered by Odysseus; the plant they eat induces a forgetful bliss that nearly costs Odysseus his men.
Lotus Eaters
L E
Bronze giant filled with ichor that guarded the island of Crete; overcome by Jason who drained him of the ichor.
Talus
T
Area in Greece to the north of the western opening of the Corinthian gulf; main city is Calydon.
Aetolia
A
Main city in the area of Aetolia, home of King Oeneus and location of the famous boar hunt.
Calydon
C
Mother of Meleager; in a rage over his murder of her brothers, she threw the magic log which protected him into the fire, thus killing him.
Althaea
A
Son of Oeneus and Althaea of Calydon; killed the boar that was ravaging his land, but violated the code of the hunt by giving its skin to Atalanta whom he wished to seduce; eventually this brought about his death.
Meleager
M
Speedy athlete who took part in the boar hunt at Calydon; eventually married to Melanion who overcame her in a foot race; punished for their lusty consummation of the marriage in the precinct of Zeus by being turned into lions.
Atalanta
A
Race of one-eyed, barbaric giants.
Cyclopes
C
Cyclops encountered and overcome by Odysseus.
Polyphemus
P
King of the winds; gives Odysseus a bag that contains the evil winds that will delay his return home; his men, thinking the bag contains treasures, foolishly open it.
Aeolus
A
Race of cannibals, the encounter with whom anticipates and contrasts with Odysseus's reception on Phaeacia.
Laestrygonians
L
Harpy-like beasts whose song lures sailors to their deaths on the shores; Odysseus has his men bind him to the mast so that he can hear their song.
Sirens
S
Enormous whirlpool just opposite the perch of the monster Scylla; Odysseus must navigate through the two.
Charybdis
C
Man-eating monster whose perch is just opposite the great whirlpool, the Charybdis; Odysseus must navigate through the two.
Scylla
S
Beautiful nymph on the island of Ogygia with whom Odysseus stays for seven years; she offers Odysseus immortality if he will stay.
Calypso
C
Mythical sea-faring people, on whose island Odysseus is washed ashore after Calypso; Odysseus recounts his earlier adventures in their court.
Phaecians
P
Daughter of the king of Phaeacia; she is induced by Athena to go to the shore where Odysseus has washed up; she brings him to the palace.
Nausicaa
N
The faithful swineherd on Ithaca with whom Odysseus stays when first arriving home.
Eumaeus
E
Odysseus' former nursemaid on Ithaca; she recognizes Odysseus by his scar.
Euryclea
E
Son of Odysseus; helps his father defeat the suitors.
Telemachus
T
"Nodder(s)"; spirits in early Roman religion that inhabit and control the operation of individual things or processes; could be summoned to work for human beings throught the correct observation of ritual (the sacrificium).
numen/numina
n
Well-known Roman numen (q.v.) of passage ways; represented as a man with two faces, one looking forward, the other back.
Janus
J
Original Roman numen (q.v.) of the sky; equated by the Romans with Zeus.
Jupiter
J
Original Roman numen of the women and the family; equated with the Greek Hera.
Juno
J
Original Roman numen of wheat; equated with the Greek Demeter.
Ceres
C
Roman numen of the wood, women and childbirth; equated with the Greek Artemis.
Diana
D
Roman name given to Hermes; name comes from the Latin word for "merchandise."
Mercury
M
Original god of volcanic fire; equated by the Romans with the Greek Hephaestus.
Vulcan
V
Original Roman numen of water; came to be identified with the Greek Poseidon, the god of the sea.
Neptune
N
Original protector god of the flocks ; Roman Ares.
Mars
M
Etruscan numen of handicrafts; identified with Athena.
Minerva
M
"Kindly one"; the numen of terror produced by isolated places.
Faunus
F
Roman numen of fresh water springs, gardening, and thereby fertility; the Roman Aphrodite.
Venus
V
Earliest foreign cult in Rome.
Hercules
H
Son of Pelops and father of Agamemnon and Menulaüs; quarrels with brother Thyestes over who rules in Mycenae.
Atreus
A
Son of Tantalus, and victor of Oenomaüs in the chariot race; father of Atreus and Thyestes.
Pelops
P
King of Pisa and father of Hippodamia; defeated and killed in chariot race against Pelops.
Oenomaus
O
Daughter of Oenomaüs of Pisa; prize of the famed chariot race won by Pelops with the help of Myrtilus, Oenomaüs's aid.
Hippodamia
H
A son of Pelops; quarrels with brother Atreus over the kingship in Mycenae; tricked into eating his own sons by Atreus at the Banquet of Thyestes.
Thyestes
T
Avenger son of Thyestes by his daughter Pelopia.
Aegisthus
A
Son of Atreus and brother of Agamemnon; rules in Sparta after being awarded Helen by Tyndareüs; one of the generals in the Trojan War.
Menelaus
M
Son of Atreus and brother of Menelaüs; rules in Mycenae; leader of the Greek forces in the Trojan War.
Agamemnon
A
King of Sparta, husband of Leda and father of Clytemnestra, and Castor, and step-father of Helen and Polydeuces (Pollux).
Tyndareus
T
Mother by Zeus and Tyndareüs of Helen, Clytemnestra, and Castor and Polydeuces (Pollux).
Leda
L
Son of Leda and Zeus; brother of Castor, the other Dioscuri.
Polydeuces
P
Son of Leda and Tyndareüs; brother of Polydeuces; the other Dioscuri.
Castor
C
Daughter of Zeus and Leda; married to Menelaüs and taken to Troy by Paris.
Helen
H
Daughter of Tyndareüs and Leda; married to Agamemnon.
Clytemnestra
C
King of Phthia and father of Achilles.
Peleus
P
Son of Telamon of Salamis (unless qualified by "the Lesser," "Ajax" always refers to Ajax the Greater); one of the most formidable Greek warriors in the Trojan War.
Ajax
A
Wife of Priam, King of Troy
Hecabe/Hecuba
H
Son of Odysseus of Ithaca; used by Palamedes to expose Odysseus's feigned insanity.
Telemachus
T
Greek warrior noted for cleverness; credited with having created the alphabet among other things; exposed Odysseus's feigned madness to avoid the Trojan War.
Palamedes
P
Prophet of the Greeks during the Trojan War.
Calchas
C
Warrior abandoned by the Greeks on Lemnos.
Philoctetes
P
Agamemnon's war prize demanded back by Apollo for Chryses, his priest and father of the girl.
Chryseis
C
Achilles's war prize demanded by Agamemnon to compensate for his loss of Chryseïs; this is the prozimate cause of Achilles's wrath.
Briseis
B
Wife of Hector; her pathos-filled speech in which she tried to persuade Hector to remain in the city wall is one of the most famous passages in all literature.
Andromache
A
Leader of a force of Amazons on behalf of the Trojans; killed by Achilles.
Penthesilea
P
Son of Achilles; kills a son of Priam in front of his father's eyes.
Neoptolemus
N
Trojan priest of Poseidon who tries to warn the Trojans against the Trojan Horse.
Laocoon
L
Youngest daughter of Priam; sacrificed after the war to the ghost of Achilles.
Polyxena
P
Avenging son of Agamemnon; tried and acquitted of the murder of his mother in Athens before the first Court of the Areopagus.
Orestes
O
Mesopotamian god of wisdom and tricks; involved in creation of humankind with Ki
Enki
E
Mesopotamian mother earth goddess; involved in creation of humankind with Enki.
Ki
K
Titan creator and benefactor of humankind.
Prometheus
P
"All giver"; primordial woman created by Zeus to punish mankind as a way to punish Prometheus.
Pandora
P
The Sumerian Noah.
Ziusudra
Z
Later (Akkadian) equivalent to Ziusudra, the Sumerian Noah.
Atrahasis
A
Wicked man who, by serving human flesh to Zeus, brought about the flood that nearly exterminated humankind.
Lycaon
L
Son of Prometheus; survived the flood sent by Zeus to destroy humankind; the Greek Noah.
Deucalion
D
Wife of Deucalion; survivor of the flood sent to destroy humankind.
Pyrrha
P
One of the offspring of the "bones of the mother"; ancestor of the "Hellenes" (Greeks).
Hellen
H
An ancestor whose name survives as the name of a people. Thus Romulus, for examples, can be said to be the eponymous ancestor of the Romans.
Eponymous Ancestor
E A
Mother of Dionysus; tricked by Hera into asking to see Zeus in his full glory, which killed her.
Semele
S
Wife of Athamas of Orchomenus, sister of Semelê; given the infant Dionysus to raise. Driven insane by Hera.
Ino
I
Raised Dionysus after being rescued from Orchomenus.
Nymphs of Nysa
N o N
"Bacchic women"; the frenzied women followers of Dionysys; also called Maenads.
Bacchae
B
"Raving women"; the frenzied women followers of Dionysus; also called Bacchae.
Maenads
M
Half-animal followers of Dionysus.
Satyrs
S
King in Phrygia; given the power by Dionysus to turn everything he touched into gold.
Midas
M
Wife of Dionysus; abandoned by Theseus on Naxos on his way from Crete to Athens.
Adriadne
A
Thracian king who resisted Dionysus; his is the earliest myth of many that record the fate of those who resisted the god.
Lycurgus
L
Daughters of King Minyas of Orchomenus who rejected Dionysus; punished by being driven to consume their own children.
Minyads
M
Daughters of King Proetus of Argos who were punished by being deluded into thinking they were crows.
Proetids
P
Sister of Semelê and mother of Pentheus; punished in the Bacchae for having doubted the divinity of Semelê's lover and that of their child, Dionysus.
Agave
A
King of Thebes in the Bacchae; tried to stamp out Dionysus' cult in his city; punished by being dismembered by the Maenads.
Pentheus
P
The first actor, according to Aristotle; played a key role in the evolution from dithyramb to tragedy.
Thespis
T
Son of Danaë and Zeus; important local hero of the Argolid.
Perseus
P