Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom and strategic warfare and the sponsor of arts and strategy. From the second century BC onward, the Romans equated her with the Greek goddess Athena, though the Romans did not stress her relation to battle and warfare as the Greeks did. Following the Greek myths around Athena, she was born of Metis, swallowed by Jupiter, burst from her father's head armed and clad in armor. Jupiter forcefully impregnated the titaness Metis, which resulted in her attempting to change shape to escape him. Jupiter recalled the prophecy that his own child would overthrow him as he had Saturn, in turn, Saturn had Caelus. Fearing that their child would be male, would grow stronger than he was and rule the Heavens in his place, Jupiter swallowed Metis whole after tricking her into turning herself into a fly; the titaness gave birth to Minerva and forged weapons and armor for her child while within Jupiter's body. In some versions of the story, Metis continued to live inside of Jupiter's mind as the source of his wisdom.
Others say she was a vessel for the birth of Minerva. The constant pounding and ringing left Jupiter with agonizing pain. To relieve the pain, Vulcan used a hammer to split Jupiter's head and, from the cleft, Minerva emerged, adult, in full battle armor, she was the virgin goddess of music, medicine, commerce and the crafts. She is depicted with her sacred creature, an owl named as the "owl of Minerva", which symbolised her association with wisdom and knowledge as well as, less the snake and the olive tree. Minerva was worshipped at several locations in Rome, most prominently as part of the Capitoline Triad, she was worshipped at the Temple of Minerva Medica, at the "Delubrum Minervae", a temple founded around 50 BC by Pompey on the site now occupied by the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva. The Romans celebrated her festival from March 19 to March 23 during the day, called, in the neuter plural, the fifth after the Ides of March, the nineteenth, an artisans' holiday. A lesser version, the Minusculae Quinquatria, was held on the Ides of June, June 13, by the flute-players, who were useful to religion.
In 207 BC, a guild of poets and actors was formed to meet and make votive offerings at the temple of Minerva on the Aventine Hill. Among others, its members included Livius Andronicus; the Aventine sanctuary of Minerva continued to be an important center of the arts for much of the middle Roman Republic. As Minerva Medica, she was the goddess of medicine and physicians; as Minerva Achaea, she was worshipped at Lucera in Apulia where votive gifts and arms said to be those of Diomedes were preserved in her temple. Her worship was spread throughout the empire. In Britain, for example, she was syncretized with the local goddess Sulis, invoked for restitution for theft. In Fasti III, Ovid called her the "goddess of a thousand works". Minerva was worshipped throughout Italy, when she became equated with the Greek goddess Athena, she became a goddess of battle. Unlike Mars, god of war, she was sometimes portrayed with sword lowered, in sympathy for the recent dead, rather than raised in triumph and battle lust.
In Rome her bellicose nature was emphasized less than elsewhere. Minerva is featured on the coinage of different Roman emperors, she is represented on the reverse side of a coin holding an owl and a spear among her attributes. Stemming from an Italic moon goddess *Meneswā, the Etruscans adopted the inherited Old Latin name, *Menerwā, thereby calling her Menrva, it is presumed that Minerva, is based on this Etruscan mythology. Minerva was the goddess of wisdom, art and commerce, she was the Etruscan counterpart to Greek Athena. Like Athena, Minerva burst from the head of her father, who had devoured her mother in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent her birth. By a process of folk etymology, the Romans could have linked her foreign name to the root men- in Latin words such as mens meaning "mind" because one of her aspects as goddess pertained to the intellectual; the word mens is built from the Proto-Indo-European root *men-'mind'. The Etruscan Menrva was part of a holy triad with Tinia and Uni, equivalent to the Roman Capitoline Triad of Jupiter-Juno-Minerva.
As a patron goddess of wisdom, Minerva features in statuary, as an image on seals, in other forms at educational institutions. The Seal of California depicts the Goddess Minerva, her birth fully-grown parallels California becoming a state without first being a territory. According to John Robison's Proofs of a Conspiracy, the third degree of the Bavarian Illuminati was called Minerval or Brother of Minerva, in honor of the goddess of learning; this title was adopted for the first initiation of Aleister Crowley's OTO rituals. Minerva Schools at KGI is a global four-year undergraduate program A statue of Minerva is displayed by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is the university's new graphic identity starting 2004. A small Roman shrine to Minerva stands in Chester, it sits in a public park. A statue to Minerva was designed by John Charles Felix Rossi to adorn the Town Hall of Liverpool, where it has stood since 1799, it was restored as part of the 2014 renovations conducted by the city.
The Minerva Roundabout in Guadalajara, located at the crossing of the López Mateos, Vallarta, López Cotilla, Agustín Yáñez, G
Greek mythology is the body of myths told by the ancient Greeks. These stories concern the origin and the nature of the world, the lives and activities of deities and mythological creatures, the origins and significance of the ancient Greeks' own cult and ritual practices. Modern scholars study the myths in an attempt to shed light on the religious and political institutions of ancient Greece and its civilization, to gain understanding of the nature of myth-making itself; the Greek myths were propagated in an oral-poetic tradition most by Minoan and Mycenaean singers starting in the 18th century BC. Two poems by Homer's near contemporary Hesiod, the Theogony and the Works and Days, contain accounts of the genesis of the world, the succession of divine rulers, the succession of human ages, the origin of human woes, the origin of sacrificial practices. Myths are preserved in the Homeric Hymns, in fragments of epic poems of the Epic Cycle, in lyric poems, in the works of the tragedians and comedians of the fifth century BC, in writings of scholars and poets of the Hellenistic Age, in texts from the time of the Roman Empire by writers such as Plutarch and Pausanias.
Aside from this narrative deposit in ancient Greek literature, pictorial representations of gods and mythic episodes featured prominently in ancient vase-paintings and the decoration of votive gifts and many other artifacts. Geometric designs on pottery of the eighth century BC depict scenes from the Trojan cycle as well as the adventures of Heracles. In the succeeding Archaic and Hellenistic periods and various other mythological scenes appear, supplementing the existing literary evidence. Greek mythology has had an extensive influence on the culture and literature of Western civilization and remains part of Western heritage and language. Poets and artists from ancient times to the present have derived inspiration from Greek mythology and have discovered contemporary significance and relevance in the themes. Greek mythology is known today from Greek literature and representations on visual media dating from the Geometric period from c. 900 BC to c. 800 BC onward. In fact and archaeological sources integrate, sometimes mutually supportive and sometimes in conflict.
Mythical narration plays an important role in nearly every genre of Greek literature. The only general mythographical handbook to survive from Greek antiquity was the Library of Pseudo-Apollodorus; this work attempts to reconcile the contradictory tales of the poets and provides a grand summary of traditional Greek mythology and heroic legends. Apollodorus of Athens wrote on many of these topics, his writings may have formed the basis for the collection. Among the earliest literary sources are the Iliad and the Odyssey. Other poets completed the "epic cycle", but these and lesser poems now are lost entirely. Despite their traditional name, the "Homeric Hymns" have no direct connection with Homer, they are choral hymns from the earlier part of the so-called Lyric age. Hesiod, a possible contemporary with Homer, offers in his Theogony the fullest account of the earliest Greek myths, dealing with the creation of the world. Hesiod's Works and Days, a didactic poem about farming life includes the myths of Prometheus and the Five Ages.
The poet gives advice on the best way to succeed in a dangerous world, rendered yet more dangerous by its gods. Lyrical poets took their subjects from myth, but their treatment became less narrative and more allusive. Greek lyric poets, including Pindar and Simonides, bucolic poets such as Theocritus and Bion, relate individual mythological incidents. Additionally, myth was central to classical Athenian drama; the tragic playwrights Aeschylus and Euripides took most of their plots from myths of the age of heroes and the Trojan War. Many of the great tragic stories took on their classic form in these tragedies; the comic playwright Aristophanes used myths, in The Birds and The Frogs. Historians Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, geographers Pausanias and Strabo, who traveled throughout the Greek world and noted the stories they heard, supplied numerous local myths and legends giving little-known alternative versions. Herodotus in particular, searched the various traditions presented him and found the historical or mythological roots in the confrontation between Greece and the East.
Herodotus attempted to reconcile the blending of differing cultural concepts. The poetry of the Hellenistic and Roman ages was composed as a literary rather than cultic exercise, it contains many important details that would otherwise be lost. This category includes the works of: The Roman poets Ovid, Valerius Flaccus and Virgil with Servius's commentary; the Greek poets of the Late Antique period: Nonnus, Antoninus Liberalis, Quintus Smyrnaeus. The Greek poets of the Hellenistic period: Apollonius of Rhodes, Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Parthenius. Prose writers from the same periods who make reference to myths includ
Ludi were public games held for the benefit and entertainment of the Roman people. Ludi were held in conjunction with, or sometimes as the major feature of, Roman religious festivals, were presented as part of the cult of state; the earliest ludi were horse races in the circus. Animal exhibitions with mock hunts and theatrical performances became part of the festivals. Days on which ludi were held were public holidays, no business could be conducted—"remarkably," it has been noted, "considering that in the Imperial era more than 135 days might be spent at these entertainments" during the year. Although their entertainment value may have overshadowed religious sentiment at any given moment in late antiquity the ludi were understood as part of the worship of the traditional gods, the Church Fathers thus advised Christians not to participate in the festivities; the singular form ludus, "game, sport" or "play" has several meanings in Latin. The plural is used for "games" in a sense analogous to the Greek festivals of games, such as the Panhellenic Games.
The late-antique scholar Isidore of Seville, classifies the forms of ludus as gymnicus, circensis and scaenicus. The relation of gladiatorial games to the ludi is complex. All ludi seem to have been votive offerings, staged as the fulfillment of a vow to a deity whose favor had been sought and evidenced. In 366 BC, the Ludi Romani became the first games to be placed on the religious calendar as an annual event sponsored by the state as a whole. Games in the circus were preceded by a parade featuring the competitors, mounted youths of the Roman nobility, armed dancers, musicians, a satyr chorus, images of the gods; as the product of military victory, ludi were connected to triumphs. The first recorded venatio was presented in 186 BC by M. Fulvius Nobilior as part of his ludi votivi, for which he paid with booty displayed at his triumph; as religious ceremonies, ludi were organized at first by various colleges of priests. Although public money was allocated for the staging of ludi, the presiding official came to augment the splendor of his games from personal funds as a form of public relations.
The sponsor was able to advertise his wealth, while declaring that he intended to share it for public benefit. Although some men with an eye on the consulship skipped the office of aedile for the reason that massive expenditures were expected, those with sufficient resources spent lavishly to cultivate the favor of the people; the religious festivals to which the ludi were attached occasioned public banquets, public works such as the refurbishing or building of temples. Following the assassination of Julius Caesar at the Ides of March in 44 BC, Marcus Brutus realized that a significant segment of the populus regarded him not as a liberator, but as the murderer of a beloved champion, among other gestures of goodwill toward the people, he arranged to sponsor the Ludi Apollinares, held annually July 6–13. Caesar's heir Octavian at once upstaged him with Ludi Victoriae Caesaris, "games in honor of Caesar's victory," which ran July 20–28 in conjunction with a festival to honor Venus Genetrix, Caesar's patron deity and divine matriarch of the Julian gens.
It was during these ludi, which served as funeral games, that the comet famously appeared to "announce" Caesar's newly divine status. Octavian recognized the value of the festivals in unifying the people, as Augustus instituted new ludi within his program of religious reform; the ludi compitalicii were entertainments staged by the neighborhoods or community associations of Rome in conjunction with the Compitalia, the new year festival held on movable dates between the Saturnalia and January 5 in honor of the crossroads Lares. In the late Republic, performances were held at the main intersections of neighborhoods throughout the city on the same day. During the civil wars of the 80s, these ludi gave rise to unruly plebeian political expression by the neighborhood organizations. Freedmen played a leading role, slaves participated in the festivities. In 67 BC, the Compitalia had been disrupted by a riot at the ludi, which were the scene of disturbances in 66–65 BC; this unrest on the first occasion was a response to the trial of Manilius, who had backed reforms pertaining to the voting rights of freedmen, on the second is attached to the murky events referred to misleadingly as the First Catilinarian Conspiracy.
Along with some forms of occupational guilds and neighborhood associations, the ludi compitalicii were banned by the senate in 64 BC. An unnamed tribune of the plebs supported efforts to stage the ludi for 61 BC, but the consul-designate Metellus Celer squelched the attempt. In 58 BC, Clodius Pulcher, who had given up his patrician status to become one of the people's tribunes, restored the right of association, but before his law was enacted, his aide Sextus Cloelius had prepared the way by organizing new-year ludi; the consul Calpurnius Piso, father-in-law of Caesar, permitted the games though the organizations that ran them were still outlawed. Caesar banned the collegia and ludi again in 46 BC. In 7 BC, Augustus reorganized Rome for administrative purposes into 265 districts which replaced but which were still called vici. An image of the Genius of Augustus now
Gaius Julius Caesar, known by his nomen and cognomen Julius Caesar, was a Roman politician, military general, historian who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. He wrote Latin prose. In 60 BC, Caesar and Pompey formed the First Triumvirate, a political alliance that dominated Roman politics for several years, their attempts to amass power as Populares were opposed by the Optimates within the Roman Senate, among them Cato the Younger with the frequent support of Cicero. Caesar rose to become one of the most powerful politicians in the Roman Republic through a number of his accomplishments, notably his victories in the Gallic Wars, completed by 51 BC. During this time, Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both the English Channel and the Rhine River, when he built a bridge across the Rhine and crossed the Channel to invade Britain. Caesar's wars extended Rome's territory to past Gaul; these achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, who had realigned himself with the Senate after the death of Crassus in 53 BC.
With the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome. Leaving his command in Gaul meant losing his immunity from being charged as a criminal for waging unsanctioned wars; as a result, Caesar found himself with no other options but to cross the Rubicon with the 13th Legion, leaving his province and illegally entering Roman Italy under arms. This began Caesar's civil war, his victory in the war put him in an unrivaled position of power and influence. After assuming control of government, Caesar began a program of social and governmental reforms, including the creation of the Julian calendar, he gave citizenship to many residents of far regions of the Roman Empire. He initiated land support for veterans, he centralized the bureaucracy of the Republic and was proclaimed "dictator for life", giving him additional authority. His populist and authoritarian reforms angered the elites. On the Ides of March, 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated by a group of rebellious senators led by Gaius Cassius Longinus, Marcus Junius Brutus and Decimus Junius Brutus, who stabbed him to death.
A new series of civil wars broke out and the constitutional government of the Republic was never restored. Caesar's adopted heir Octavian known as Augustus, rose to sole power after defeating his opponents in the civil war. Octavian set about solidifying his power, the era of the Roman Empire began. Much of Caesar's life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns and from other contemporary sources the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust; the biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are major sources. Caesar is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military commanders in history, his cognomen was subsequently adopted as a synonym for "Emperor". He has appeared in literary and artistic works, his political philosophy, known as Caesarism, inspired politicians into the modern era. Gaius Julius Caesar was born into a patrician family, the gens Julia, which claimed descent from Iulus, son of the legendary Trojan prince Aeneas the son of the goddess Venus.
The Julii were of Alban origin, mentioned as one of the leading Alban houses, which settled in Rome around the mid-7th century BC, after the destruction of Alba Longa. They were granted patrician status, along with other noble Alban families; the Julii existed at an early period at Bovillae, evidenced by a ancient inscription on an altar in the theatre of that town, which speaks of their offering sacrifices according to the lege Albana, or Alban rites. The cognomen "Caesar" originated, according to Pliny the Elder, with an ancestor, born by Caesarean section; the Historia Augusta suggests three alternative explanations: that the first Caesar had a thick head of hair. Caesar issued coins featuring images of elephants, suggesting that he favored this interpretation of his name. Despite their ancient pedigree, the Julii Caesares were not politically influential, although they had enjoyed some revival of their political fortunes in the early 1st century BC. Caesar's father called Gaius Julius Caesar, governed the province of Asia, his sister Julia, Caesar's aunt, married Gaius Marius, one of the most prominent figures in the Republic.
His mother, Aurelia Cotta, came from an influential family. Little is recorded of Caesar's childhood. In 85 BC, Caesar's father died so Caesar was the head of the family at 16, his coming of age coincided with a civil war between his uncle Gaius Marius and his rival Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Both sides carried out bloody purges of their political opponents whenever they were in the ascendancy. Marius and his ally Lucius Cornelius Cinna were in control of the city when Caesar was nominated as the new Flamen Dialis, he was married to Cinna's daughter Cornelia. Following Sulla's final victory, Caesar's connections to the old regime made him a target for the new one, he was stripped of his inheritance, his wife's dowry, his priesthood, but he refused to divorce Cornelia and was forced to go into hiding. The threat against hi
Etruscan religion comprises a set of stories and religious practices of the Etruscan civilization, originating in the 7th century BC from the preceding Iron Age Villanovan culture influenced by the mythology of ancient Greece and Phoenicia, sharing similarities with concurrent Roman mythology and religion. As the Etruscan civilization was assimilated into the Roman Republic in the 4th century BC, the Etruscan religion and mythology were incorporated into classical Roman culture, following the Roman tendency to absorb some of the local gods and customs of conquered lands; the Etruscan system of belief was an immanent polytheism. Long after the assimilation of the Etruscans, Seneca the Younger said that the difference between the Romans and the Etruscans was thatWhereas we believe lightning to be released as a result of the collision of clouds, they believe that the clouds collide so as to release lightning: for as they attribute all to deity, they are led to believe not that things have a meaning insofar as they occur, but rather that they occur because they must have a meaning.
Around the mun or muni, or tombs, were the man or mani, the souls of the ancestors. In iconography after the 5th century BC, the deceased are shown traveling to the underworld. In several instances of Etruscan art, such as in the François Tomb in Vulci, a spirit of the dead is identified by the term hinthial " underneath". A god was called an ais; the abode of a god was a sacred place, such as a favi, a grave or temple. There, one would need to make a fler, or "offering". Three layers of deities are portrayed in Etruscan art. One appears to be lesser divinities of an indigenous origin: the sun. Ruling over them were higher deities that seem to reflect the Indo-European system: Tin or Tinia, the sky, Uni his wife, Cel, the earth goddess; as a third layer, the Greek gods were adopted by the Etruscan system during the Etruscan Orientalizing Period of 750/700-600 BC. Examples are Aritimi and Pacha, over time the primary trinity became Tinia and Menrva; the Etruscans believed their religion had been revealed to them by seers, the two main ones being Tages, a childlike figure born from tilled land, gifted with prescience, Vegoia, a female figure.
The Etruscans believed in intimate contact with divinity. They did nothing without proper consultation with the signs from them; these practices were taken over in total by the Romans. The Etruscan scriptures were a corpus of texts termed the Etrusca Disciplina; this name appears in Valerius Maximus, Marcus Tullius Cicero refers to a disciplina in his writings on the subject. Massimo Pallottino summarizes the known scriptures as the Libri Haruspicini, containing the theory and rules of divination from animal entrails; the last was composed of the Libri Fatales, detailing the religiously correct methods of founding cities and shrines, draining fields, formulating laws and ordinances, measuring space and dividing time. The revelations of the prophet Tages were given in the Libri Tagetici, which included the Libri Haruspicini and the Acherontici, those of the prophetess Vegoia in the Libri Vegoici, which included the Libri Fulgurales and part of the Libri Rituales; these works did not present prophecies or scriptures in the ordinary sense: the Etrusca Disciplina foretold nothing itself.
The Etruscans appear to have had religion and no great visions. Instead they concentrated on the problem of the will of the gods: questioning why, if the gods created the universe and humanity and have a will and a plan for everyone and everything in it, they did not devise a system for communicating that will in a clear manner; the Etruscans accepted the inscrutability of their gods' wills. They did not attempt to rationalize or explain divine actions or formulate any doctrines of the gods' intentions; as answer to the problem of ascertaining the divine will, they developed an elaborate system of divination. These revelations may not be otherwise understandable and may not be pleasant or easy, but are perilous to doubt; the Etrusca Disciplina therefore was a set of rules for the conduct of all sorts of divination. Cicero saidFor a hasty acceptance of an erroneous opinion is discreditable in any case, so in an inquiry as to how much weight should be given to auspices, to sacred rites, to religious observances.
He quipped, regarding d
In Greek mythology, Leto is a daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe, the sister of Asteria. The island of Kos is claimed as her birthplace. In the Olympian scheme, Zeus is the father of her twins and Artemis, which Leto conceived after her hidden beauty accidentally caught the eyes of Zeus. Classical Greek myths record little about Leto other than her pregnancy and her search for a place where she could give birth to Apollo and Artemis, since Hera in her jealousy caused all lands to shun her, she found an island, not attached to the ocean floor so it was not considered land and she could give birth. This is her only active mythic role: once Apollo and Artemis are grown, Leto withdraws, to remain a dim and benevolent matronly figure upon Olympus, her part played. In Roman mythology, Leto's Roman equivalent is Latona, a Latinization of her name, influenced by Etruscan Letun. In Crete, at the city of Dreros, Spyridon Marinatos uncovered an eighth-century post-Minoan hearth house temple in which there were found three unique figures of Apollo and Leto made of brass sheeting hammered over a shaped core.
Walter Burkert notes. Leto was identified from the fourth century onwards with the principal local mother goddess of Anatolian Lycia, as the region became Hellenized. In Greek inscriptions, the children of Leto are referred to as the "national gods" of the country, her sanctuary, the Letoon near Xanthos predated Hellenic influence in the region and united the Lycian confederacy of city-states. The Hellenes of Kos claimed Leto as their own. Another sanctuary, more identified, was at Oenoanda in the north of Lycia. There was a further Letoon at Delos. Leto's primal nature may be deduced from the natures of her father and mother, who may have been Titans of the sun and moon, her Titan father is called "Coeus", though H. J. Rose considers his name and nature uncertain, he is in one Roman source given the name Polus, which may relate him to the sphere of heaven from pole to pole; the name of Leto's mother, "Phoebe", is identical to the epithet of her son Apollo, Φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων, throughout Homer. Several explanations have been put forward to explain the origin of the goddess and the meaning of her name.
Older sources speculated that the name is related to the Greek λήθη λωτός lotus. It would thus mean "the hidden one". In 20th-century sources Leto is traditionally derived from Lycian lada, "wife", as her earliest cult was centered in Lycia. Lycian lada may be the origin of the Greek name Λήδα Leda. Other scholars have suggested a Pre-Greek origin. According to Hyginus when Hera, the most conservative of goddesses – for she had the most to lose in changes to the order of nature — discovered that Leto was pregnant and that Zeus was the father, she realized that the offspring would cement the new order, she was powerless to stop the flow of events. Hera banned Leto from giving birth on "terra firma", the mainland, any island at sea, or any place under the sun. According to Pseudo-Apollodorus "Latona for her intrigue with Zeus was hunted by Hera over the whole earth, till she came to Delos and brought forth first Artemis, by the help of whose midwifery she afterwards gave birth to Apollo."Antoninus Liberalis is not alone in hinting that Leto came down from Hyperborea in the guise of a she-wolf, or that she sought out the "wolf-country" of Lycia called Tremilis, which she renamed to honour wolves that had befriended her for her denning.
Another late source, Aelian links Leto with wolves and Hyperboreans: Wolves are not delivered of their young, only after twelve days and twelve nights, for the people of Delos maintain that this was the length of time that it took Leto to travel from the Hyperboreoi to Delos. Most accounts agree that she found the barren floating island of Delos, still bearing its archaic name of Asterios, neither mainland nor a real island and gave birth there, promising the island wealth from the worshippers who would flock to the obscure birthplace of the splendid god, to come; the island was surrounded by swans. As a gesture of gratitude, Delos was secured with four pillars and became sacred to Apollo. Callimachus wrote that it is remarkable that Leto brought forth Artemis, the elder twin, without travail. By contrast, according to the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo, Leto labored for nine nights and nine days for Apollo, in the presence of all the first among the deathless goddesses as witnesses: Dione, Ichnaea and the "loud-moaning" sea-goddess Amphitrite.
Only Hera kept apart to kidnap Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth, to prevent Leto from going into labor. Instead, having been born first, assisted with the birth of Apollo. Another version, in the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo and in an Orphic hymn, states that Artemis was born before Apollo, on the island of Ortygia, that she helped Leto cross the sea to Delos the next day to give birth there to Apollo. According to the Homeric hymn, the goddesses who assembled to be witnesses at the birth of Apollo were responding to a public occasion in the rites of a dynasty, where the authenticity of the child must be established beyond doubt from the first moment; the dynastic rite of the witnessed birth must have been familiar to the hymn's hearers. The dynasty, so concerned about being authenticated in this myth is the new dynasty of Zeus and the Olympian Pantheon, the goddesses at Delos who bear witness to the rightness of the birth are the great goddesses
Kneeling is a basic human position where one or both knees touch the ground. It can be used: as a resting position as an expression of reverence and submission as a mark of respect during sexual intercourse during childbirth in conjunction with crawling in young children. While kneeling, the angle between the legs can vary from zero to splayed out, flexibility permitting, it is common to kneel with squat with the other leg. Variations are possible as to which part of the toes touch the ground for a kneeling leg: the tip the under part the upper part. While kneeling, the thighs and upper body can be at various angles in particular: Sitting kneel: where the thighs are near horizontal and the buttocks sit back on the heels with the upper body vertical – for example as in Seiza and Vajrasana Vertical kneel: where both the thighs and upper body are vertical – known as "standing on one's knees", it is common for one leg to be kneeling, while the other leg is: squatting with the heel down, or squatting with the heel up.
Genuflection requires the heel down version of the squat/kneel combination. The heel up squat version of the squat/kneel combination is a stage before both legs kneeling. Kneeling, similar to bowing, is associated with reverence, respect,submission and obeisance if one kneels before a person, standing or sitting: the kneeling position renders a person defenseless and unable to flee. For this reason, in some religions, in particular by Christians and Muslims, kneeling is used as a position for prayer, as a position of submission to God, although there were groups such as the Christian Agonoclites which said prayers standing and forbade kneeling. In north Indian Hindu temples, many Hindus kneel before the icon after saying a short personal prayer, touch the ground with their forehead.. In many churches, pews are equipped with kneelers in front of the seating bench so members of the congregation can kneel on them instead of the floor. In a few other situations such as confessionals and areas in front of an altar, kneelers for kneeling during prayer or sacraments may be used.
Within the Latin Rite of Roman Catholicism, it was the custom to kneel on the left knee only for persons of distinction, to kneel on the right knee for the Eucharist, when it is in the tabernacle, to kneel on both knees when the Eucharist was exposed. Since the publication of the Roman Missal in 1973, following the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, it is customary to genuflect to the Eucharist whether reserved in the tabernacle or exposed for adoration, although in many regions the "double genuflection" is still practiced before the exposed Eucharist; the practice of genuflecting before the Eucharist occurs in the Anglican Church and the Lutheran Church. Confirmation candidates sometimes kneel before a sitting bishop on both knees to receive the sacrament of confirmation and a blessing. Candidates during Holy Orders will kneel on both before a bishop or archbishop. Sometimes penitents will kneel during confession to a priest, it is still permissible to receive the Eucharist at Communion while kneeling, although in most places it is received while standing.
In the Wesleyan Methodist Church, the faithful kneel at communion rails when receiving Holy Communion, kneel in their pews during the part of the worship service, in which Intercessory Prayer occurs. In the Eastern Orthodox Church the act of kneeling, in the sense of "standing on one's knees" is not traditionally performed. Instead, there are several types of prostrations. However, at his ordination, a deacon will kneel on one knee to the side of the altar, while the bishop lays his hands on the deacon's head to read the Prayer of Cheirotonia over him. A priest will kneel on both knees; the kneeling position is used by midwives and traditional birth-attendants during childbirth in cultures around the world. The woman on top cowgirl sexual position may involve the woman kneeling over the man; the man is to be kneeling where the woman is in the doggy style position. The Theology of Kneeling Catholic Encyclopedia entry on kneeling