Harpies - Greek mythology and Latin mythology


Harpy, Greek relief

The Harpies in Greek mythology according to some mythographers they are monstrous characters born from Poseidon and Gaea according to Hesiod from Taumante and Electra or from Typhon and Echidna. It is said that they were winged creatures, half bird and half woman with legs equipped with strong claws.

The most consolidated tradition has it that there were three: Celeno, Ocipete and Aello but several authors cite many more.

Homer remembers only one, Podarge while Virgil inAeneid writes (Aeneid III)

«(...) More of these
The filthier monster, the more it will say plague.
He did not come from the Tartaree caves
They look like virgins in their faces; birds and bitches
To the other limbs; they have a faith in their belly
Profluvio, whence is the feather soaked and bristling;
The armed clawed hands, the gaunt neck,
The face of hunger and anger
Always pale, and shriveled and thin ».

Gustave Dorè, Illustration of Dante's Inferno, canto VII, Dante and Virgil enter the suicide forest populated by harpies.

The Harpies represented the violence of the storm and persecuted the soothsayer Phineus king of Salmidesso, by order of Hera. In fact, the myth tells that Phineus, for having blinded the children of his first wife Cleopatra, falsely accused of molesting the second wife of his father Idea, was himself condemned by the gods to be blind, to suffer from eternal old age and that the Harpies dirty his food with their excrement. All this until the Argonauts landed in Salmidesso. In fact Phineus took the opportunity and proposed to show him the route they had to follow in exchange for liberation from the Harpies. Thus it was that the Argonauts chased the Harpies to the Strofadi islands where, after begging them to have mercy, they were relegated and never bothered Phineus again.

Charon (mythology)

"He is the duke:" Caron, don't worry:
I wanted so there where you can
what you want, and no longer ask "."

In Greek religion and Roman religion, Charon (in ancient Greek: Χάρων, Chárōn, "enlightened ferocity" [without source]) was the ferryman of Hades. As a psychopomp, he transported the souls of the dead from one bank of the Acheron River to the other, but only if their corpses had received the ritual funeral honors (or, in another version, if they had a donation to pay for the trip). he had received them (or did not have the offering) he was forced to wander forever without peace in the mists of the river (or, according to some authors, for a hundred years).

In ancient Rome there was the tradition of putting a coin under the tongue of the corpse before burial. The tradition remained alive in Greece until fairly recent times and is probably of ancient origin. Some authors argue that the price was two coins, placed above the eyes of the deceased or under the tongue.

No living soul has ever been transported to the other side, with the sole exceptions of the goddess Persephone, of the heroes Aeneas, Theseus, Piritous and Hercules, Odysseus, of the poet Orpheus, of the Cumaean sibyl Deifobe, of Psyché and, in literature and traditions subsequent to the ancient Greek one, by Dante Alighieri.

In the Etruscan religion its equivalent is Charun.

Minerva - Roman deity

The goddess corresponding to the Greek Athena was Minerva for the Romans.

Minerva, together with Jupiter it's at Juno, he composed Capitoline triad to which the most important temple in Rome was consecrated, that of Capitoline Jupiter.

In Rome, in honor of Minerva, feasts were held in March and June known as Quinquatrus, as they lasted five days. All those who practiced an art or a trade suited them. On that occasion, shows were given in the circus, including struggles between gladiators.

The owl, the snake and the crow were sacred to the goddess.

TARTAR: in Theogony Hesiod is one of the four primordial elements of the world, the others were: C os, Gea and Eros. Tartarus appears as the deepest region in the world, located below the Underworld itself. Between Hades (the Underworld) and Tartarus there is the same distance as that between Heaven and Earth. Father of monstrous beings such as: the Giants, Typhon, Echidna, the eagle of Zeus, who gnawed at Prometheus's liver, and many others. The Greeks called Tartarus the underground place where Uranus locked up the first children of Gea, the Cyclopes Arge, Bronte and Sterope. But Gaia, to free them, raised the Titans against their father. Cronus, the youngest of the Titans, after castrating Uranus, freed the Cyclops for some time, but then re-imprisoned them again. Finally Rhea, who had managed to get the better of Cronus and save Zeus, was avenged, because the adult Zeus defeated Cronus and definitively freed the Cyclops who became his blacksmiths and created the thunderbolts for him. They aided Zeus in the fight against the Titans and the Giants. It was then the turn of the Titans, who were plunged into Tartarus by Zeus, aided by his brothers Hades and Poseidon.
Tartarus remains a place feared by the Olympians if one of them opposed the command of Zeus, he threatened to imprison him. In fact, when Apollo killed the Cyclops with arrows, to avenge the death of his son Asclepius, since they had been the architects of the thunderbolt that Zeus used to kill him, the supreme god thought of punishing him by precipitating him into Tartarus, but, thanks to prayers of Latona, he agreed to mitigate the punishment and sentenced him to serve King Admetus for a year as a cowherd. The Aloadi, Oto and Ephialte, and also Salmoneus, son of Aeolus and Enarete, were made to sink into Tartarus, who had made up his mind to imitate Zeus who, irritated by his impiety, struck him. Gradually, Tartarus was confused with the Underworld proper, and the place where the great criminals were put to punishment was placed there. It is opposed to the Elysian Fields, residence of the Blessed.

TASO: eponymous hero of the island of Thasos, son of Agenore and Telefassa (otherwise known as Argiope), brother of Cadmo, Fenice, Cilice, Phineus and Europa.
Zeus, inflamed with love for the beauty of Europe, raped her on the beach of Sidon, or Tire, and arrived on a Cretan beach, near Gortinus, raped her in a willow grove next to a spring or as others say, under plane trees, that, in memory of such loves, they retained the privilege of never losing their leaves. Agenor sent his children in search of his sister, with the strictest order not to return without her. Immediately they raised their sails and headed in three different directions. Thasos and his companions, who went first to Olympia, dedicated a bronze statue to Heracles Tyrian there, then colonized the island of Thasos and exploited its rich gold mines. All this happened five generations before Heracles, son of Amphitryon, was born in Greece.

TAUMANT: son of Pontus (the Sea) and of Mother Earth, brother of Nereo, Forcides, Ceto and Euribia. He joined the Ocean's daughter, Electra, and gave her some daughters: the Harpies and Iris. In the Homeric tradition the Harpies were similar to the storm winds as their names indicate: Aello ("scream"), Ocipe ("fast flight"), Celeno ("darkness") and Podarge ("faster"). They grab criminals to be punished by the Erinyes, and live in a cave on the island of Crete. The goddess Iris symbolizes the rainbow, the link between Earth and Heaven, between men and gods. Like Hermes, she is charged with carrying messages, orders or advice from the gods. He is more particularly in the service of Zeus, and above all of Hera.

TAURO: 1. Prince of Knossos who led an expedition of Hellenes from Crete to Phenicia against Tire, during the absence of Agenor and his sons. He took over the city and took away many prisoners, including Europa, daughter of Agenore. This event is still remembered in the 'ominous night' that is celebrated in Tire. Tauro is considered the founder of the Cretan city of Gortino and the father of Minos.

TAURO: 2. Chief of the armies of Minos and a cruel and arrogant man. He always won the games instituted in honor of the dead son of Minos, Androgeo, taking away all the young men and girls up for grabs. The young men sent from Athens, as a tribute for the death of Androgeus, were not - it was said - put to death by Minos, but offered as a prize for the games. According to the Cretans, they were kept in the Labyrinth waiting for the funeral games. Tauro had violently mistreated the young people he had conquered and had betrayed Minos' trust because, it was said, he had an adulterous relationship with Pasiphae, protected by the connivance of Daedalus one of the twins born from that union resembled him like a drop of 'water. Minos, therefore, gladly granted Theseus the privilege of fighting against Taurus. In ancient Crete, women also attended the games and Ariadne, daughter of Minos, fell in love with Theseus when she saw him bow his opponent's shoulders to the ground three times. Even Minos was very satisfied with the outcome of the fight, handed the prizes to Theseus and accepted him as son-in-law, forever renouncing to impose that cruel tribute to Athens. Precisely to take revenge on Tauro, Theseus would have undertaken the expedition to Crete.

Hades, Persephone and Demeter - Greek and Latin mythology

Hades was a rich and powerful god and much feared, because he was the lord of the Underworld populated by the shadows of the dead. Precisely for this reason, however, every girl or goddess was horrified at the idea of ​​becoming sovereign of a kingdom where the sun never shone and from which, once you entered, you could no longer leave.

One day, then, Hades decided to go up to Earth and not return to his own kingdom until he found a wife.
During his wanderings in the Kingdom of the Living, he arrived in eastern Sicily. He entered a grove and heard ringing laughter and peered towards the stream, which flowed into the valley below and saw a group of beautiful girls playing in the water.
Hades made himself invisible thanks to a fairy helmet made for him by Cyclops and went down the steep slope of the little hill.
Hades stopped to look at those beautiful girls. One in particular: she had grace and beauty and thought she was undoubtedly the daughter of a goddess.

Just at that moment, the girls stopped playing. They all dived together and darted away quickly after they were already gone. Hades understood that they were nymphs who lived in the rivers and along the coasts of that corner of Sicily. But one of them remained: it was Persephone, the very one that had caught his attention.
Hades decided not to miss the opportunity that presented itself and devised a plan. She brought out a beautiful flower and waited.

Persephone, wrapped in her white linen cloth, as she bent to tie her sandals, saw a flower she had never seen in the grass. She reached out to grab it and when he pulled the stem beneath her, a chasm opened, engulfing her.
After a seemingly endless fall, Persephone felt grabbed by powerful arms. He opened his eyes and saw very close to his face the face of Hades, with hard features, the pallor of death, covered by a thick bristly beard, shaggy and black as coal, black was also his disheveled hair and black was also his eyes hollowed out and lost in thin air. The nymph realized that she had no way out.

in the meantime Demeter (Ceres to the Romans), mother of Persephone, goddess of cultivated land, protector of crops and in particular of wheat, returned to her palace and not finding her daughter there, went to look for her in the wonderful garden. He found no one there and then went to look for her by the stream, observed the banks, peered into the bushes, went into the woods, but found no trace of her daughter.
Demeter wandered for days and days she asked anyone she met, but no one spoke for fear of incurring the wrath of the god of the Underworld. Eventually he turned to helium, the Sun, which, seeing everything that happens, revealed what had happened to her. Demeter's indignation was great: she no longer wanted to get on theOlympus next to the others gods, he no longer wanted to listen to the prayers of men and cursed the earth making it unproductive and sterile.

Zeus, then, worried about the fate of mankind sent Hermes, his messenger, from Hades.

At first Hades did not want to know to send Persephone back to Earth, but in the end the will of Zeus overcame all resistance: Persephone would have been for six months in the Kingdom of Shadows and for the other six months on Earth, with her mother Demeter.

Every year, when Persephone returns to Earth, nature takes on its most beautiful dress: fragrant flowers bloom, plants and fields green and a sweet zephyr blows lightly. It is the triumph of nature, its rebirth, the life that accompanies the renewal of the cycle of the seasons.

Even the Romans honored the god of the Underworld: they called him Pluto is Proserpina (Persephone) was his bride. To him and to Proserpina they dedicated places of worship in Rome, in Hole and in Campo Marzio, where they went to pray and make sacrifices.

Video: Top 10 Scary Mythological Gods In History

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