A creation myth is a symbolic narrative of how the world began and how people first came to inhabit it. While in popular usage the term myth refers to false or fanciful stories, members of cultures ascribe varying degrees of truth to their creation myths. In the society in which it is told, a creation myth is regarded as conveying profound truths, metaphorically and sometimes in a historical or literal sense, they are although not always, considered cosmogonical myths—that is, they describe the ordering of the cosmos from a state of chaos or amorphousness. Creation myths share a number of features, they are considered sacred accounts and can be found in nearly all known religious traditions. They are all stories with a plot and characters who are either deities, human-like figures, or animals, who speak and transform easily, they are set in a dim and nonspecific past that historian of religion Mircea Eliade termed in illo tempore. Creation myths address questions meaningful to the society that shares them, revealing their central worldview and the framework for the self-identity of the culture and individual in a universal context.
Creation myths develop in oral traditions and therefore have multiple versions. Creation myth definitions from modern references: A "symbolic narrative of the beginning of the world as understood in a particular tradition and community. Creation myths are of central importance for the valuation of the world, for the orientation of humans in the universe, for the basic patterns of life and culture." "Creation myths tell us. All cultures have creation myths; as cultures, we identify ourselves through the collective dreams we call creation myths, or cosmogonies. … Creation myths explain in metaphorical terms our sense of who we are in the context of the world, in so doing they reveal our real priorities, as well as our real prejudices. Our images of creation say a great deal about who we are." A "philosophical and theological elaboration of the primal myth of creation within a religious community. The term myth here refers to the imaginative expression in narrative form of what is experienced or apprehended as basic reality … The term creation refers to the beginning of things, whether by the will and act of a transcendent being, by emanation from some ultimate source, or in any other way."Religion professor Mircea Eliade defined the word myth in terms of creation: Myth narrates a sacred history.
In other words, myth tells how, through the deeds of Supernatural Beings, a reality came into existence, be it the whole of reality, the Cosmos, or only a fragment of reality – an island, a species of plant, a particular kind of human behavior, an institution. All creation myths are in one sense etiological because they attempt to explain how the world was formed and where humanity came from. Myths attempt to sometimes teach a lesson. Ethnologists and anthropologists who study these myths say that in the modern context theologians try to discern humanity's meaning from revealed truths and scientists investigate cosmology with the tools of empiricism and rationality, but creation myths define human reality in different terms. In the past historians of religion and other students of myth thought of them as forms of primitive or early-stage science or religion and analyzed them in a literal or logical sense. Today, they are seen as symbolic narratives which must be understood in terms of their own cultural context.
Charles Long writes, "The beings referred to in the myth – gods, plants – are forms of power grasped existentially. The myths should not be understood as attempts to work out a rational explanation of deity."While creation myths are not literal explications they do serve to define an orientation of humanity in the world in terms of a birth story. They are the basis of a worldview that reaffirms and guides how people relate to the natural world, to any assumed spiritual world, to each other; the creation myth acts as a cornerstone for distinguishing primary reality from relative reality, the origin and nature of being from non-being. In this sense they serve as a philosophy of life but one expressed and conveyed through symbol rather than systematic reason, and in this sense they go beyond etiological myths which mean to explain specific features in religious rites, natural phenomena or cultural life. Creation myths help to orient human beings in the world, giving them a sense of their place in the world and the regard that they must have for humans and nature.
Historian David Christian has summarised issues common to multiple creation myths: Each beginning seems to presuppose an earlier beginning.... Instead of meeting a single starting point, we encounter an infinity of them, each of which poses the same problem.... There are no satisfactory solutions to this dilemma. What we have to find is not a solution but some way of dealing with the mystery.... And we have to do so using words; the words we reach from God to gravity, are inadequate to the task. So we have to use language symbolically. Mythologists have applied various schemes to classify creation myths found throughout human cultures. Eliade and his colleague Charles Long developed a classification based on some common motifs that reappear in stories the world over; the classification identifies five basic types: Creati
The Aeneid is a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who travelled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. It comprises 9,896 lines in dactylic hexameter; the first six of the poem's twelve books tell the story of Aeneas's wanderings from Troy to Italy, the poem's second half tells of the Trojans' victorious war upon the Latins, under whose name Aeneas and his Trojan followers are destined to be subsumed. The hero Aeneas was known to Greco-Roman legend and myth, having been a character in the Iliad. Virgil took the disconnected tales of Aeneas's wanderings, his vague association with the foundation of Rome and his description as a personage of no fixed characteristics other than a scrupulous pietas, fashioned the Aeneid into a compelling founding myth or national epic that tied Rome to the legends of Troy, explained the Punic Wars, glorified traditional Roman virtues, legitimized the Julio-Claudian dynasty as descendants of the founders and gods of Rome and Troy.
The Aeneid is regarded as Virgil's masterpiece and one of the greatest works of Latin literature. The Aeneid can be divided into two halves based on the disparate subject matter of Books 1–6 and Books 7–12; these two halves are regarded as reflecting Virgil's ambition to rival Homer by treating both the Odyssey's wandering theme and the Iliad's warfare themes. This is, however, a rough correspondence, the limitations of which should be borne in mind. Virgil begins his poem with a statement of his theme and an invocation to the Muse, falling some seven lines after the poem's inception, he explains the reason for the principal conflict in the story: the resentment held by the goddess Juno against the Trojan people. This is consistent with her role throughout the Homeric epics. In the manner of Homer, the story proper begins in medias res, with the Trojan fleet in the eastern Mediterranean, heading in the direction of Italy; the fleet, led by Aeneas, is on a voyage to find a second home. It has been foretold that in Italy he will give rise to a race both noble and courageous, a race which will become known to all nations.
Juno is wrathful, because she had not been chosen in the judgment of Paris, because her favorite city, will be destroyed by Aeneas's descendants. Ganymede, a Trojan prince, was chosen to be the cupbearer to her husband, Jupiter—replacing Juno's daughter, Hebe. Juno proceeds to Aeolus, King of the Winds, asks that he release the winds to stir up a storm in exchange for a bribe. Aeolus agrees to carry out Juno's orders. Neptune takes notice: although he himself is no friend of the Trojans, he is infuriated by Juno's intrusion into his domain, stills the winds and calms the waters, after making sure that the winds would not bother the Trojans again, lest they be punished more harshly than they were this time; the fleet takes shelter on the coast of Africa, where Aeneas rouses the spirits of his men, reassuring them that they have been through worse situations before. There, Aeneas's mother, Venus, in the form of a huntress similar to the goddess Diana, encourages him and recounts to him the history of Carthage.
Aeneas ventures into the city, in the temple of Juno he seeks and gains the favor of Dido, queen of the city. The city has only been founded by refugees from Tyre and will become a great imperial rival and enemy to Rome. Meanwhile, Venus has her own plans, she goes to her son, Aeneas's half-brother Cupid, tells him to imitate Ascanius. Disguised as such, Cupid offers the gifts expected from a guest. With Dido's motherly love revived as she cradles the boy during a banquet given in honour of the Trojans, Cupid secretly weakens her sworn fidelity to the soul of her late husband, murdered by her brother, Pygmalion. In books 2 and 3, Aeneas recounts the events, he begins the tale shortly after the war described in the Iliad. Cunning Ulysses devised a way for Greek warriors to gain entry into the walled city of Troy by hiding in a large wooden horse; the Greeks pretended to sail away, leaving a warrior, Sinon, to mislead the Trojans into believing that the horse was an offering and that if it were taken into the city, the Trojans would be able to conquer Greece.
The Trojan priest Laocoön saw through the Greek plot and urged the horse's destruction, but his protests fell on deaf ears, so he hurled his spear at the horse. In what would be seen by the Trojans as punishment from the gods, two serpents emerged from the sea and devoured Laocoön, along with his two sons; the Trojans took the horse inside the fortified walls, after nightfall the armed Greeks emerged from it, opening the city's gates to allow the returned Greek army to slaughter the Trojans. In a dream, the fallen Trojan prince, advised Aeneas to flee with his family. Aeneas saw with horror what was happening to his beloved city. At first he tried to fight the enemy, but soon he lost his comrades and was left alone to fend off the Greeks, he witnessed the murder of Priam by Achilles' son Pyrrhus. His mother, appeared to him and led him back to his house. Aeneas tells of his escape with his son, his wife Creusa, his father, after the occurrence
Publius Ovidius Naso, known as Ovid in the English-speaking world, was a Roman poet who lived during the reign of Augustus. He was a contemporary of the older Virgil and Horace, with whom he is ranked as one of the three canonical poets of Latin literature; the Imperial scholar Quintilian considered him the last of the Latin love elegists. He enjoyed enormous popularity, but, in one of the mysteries of literary history, was sent by Augustus into exile in a remote province on the Black Sea, where he remained until his death. Ovid himself attributes his exile to carmen et error, "a poem and a mistake", but his discretion in discussing the causes has resulted in much speculation among scholars; the first major Roman poet to begin his career during the reign of Augustus, Ovid is today best known for the Metamorphoses, a 15-book continuous mythological narrative written in the meter of epic, for works in elegiac couplets such as Ars Amatoria and Fasti. His poetry was much imitated during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, influenced Western art and literature.
The Metamorphoses remains one of the most important sources of classical mythology. Ovid talks more about his own life than most other Roman poets. Information about his biography is drawn from his poetry Tristia 4.10, which gives a long autobiographical account of his life. Other sources include Seneca the Quintilian. Ovid was born in Sulmo, in an Apennine valley east of Rome, to an important equestrian family, on 20 March, 43 BC; that was a significant year in Roman politics. He was educated in rhetoric in Rome under the teachers Arellius Fuscus and Porcius Latro with his brother who excelled at oratory, his father wanted him to study rhetoric toward the practice of law. According to Seneca the Elder, Ovid tended to not the argumentative pole of rhetoric. After the death of his brother at 20 years of age, Ovid renounced law and began travelling to Athens, Asia Minor, Sicily, he held minor public posts, as one of the tresviri capitales, as a member of the Centumviral court and as one of the decemviri litibus iudicandis, but resigned to pursue poetry around 29–25 BC, a decision his father disapproved of.
Ovid's first recitation has been dated to around 25 BC. He was part of the circle centered on the patron Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus, seems to have been a friend of poets in the circle of Maecenas. In Trist. 4.10.41–54, Ovid mentions friendships with Macer, Horace and Bassus. He married three times and divorced twice by the time he was thirty years old, he had one daughter, who bore him grandchildren. His last wife was connected in some way to the influential gens Fabia and would help him during his exile in Tomis; the first 25 years of Ovid's literary career were spent writing poetry in elegiac meter with erotic themes. The chronology of these early works is not secure, his earliest extant work is thought to be the Heroides, letters of mythological heroines to their absent lovers, which may have been published in 19 BC, although the date is uncertain as it depends on a notice in Am. 2.18.19–26 that seems to describe the collection as an early published work. The authenticity of some of these poems has been challenged, but this first edition contained the first 14 poems of the collection.
The first five-book collection of the Amores, a series of erotic poems addressed to a lover, Corinna, is thought to have been published in 16–15 BC. 8–3 BC. Between the publications of the two editions of the Amores can be dated the premiere of his tragedy Medea, admired in antiquity but is no longer extant. Ovid's next poem, the Medicamina Faciei, a fragmentary work on women's beauty treatments, preceded the Ars Amatoria, the Art of Love, a parody of didactic poetry and a three-book manual about seduction and intrigue, dated to AD 2. Ovid may identify this work in his exile poetry as the carmen, or song, one cause of his banishment; the Ars Amatoria was followed by the Remedia Amoris in the same year. This corpus of elegiac, erotic poetry earned Ovid a place among the chief Roman elegists Gallus and Propertius, of whom he saw himself as the fourth member. By AD 8, he had completed his most ambitious work, the Metamorphoses, a hexameter epic poem in 15 books; the work encyclopedically catalogues transformations in Greek and Roman mythology, from the emergence of the cosmos to the apotheosis of Julius Caesar.
The stories follow each other in the telling of human beings transformed to new bodies: trees, animals, constellations etc. At the same time, he worked on the Fasti, a six-book poem in elegiac couplets on the theme of the calendar of Roman festivals and astronomy; the composition of this poem was interrupted by Ovid's exile, it is thought that Ovid abandoned work on the piece in Tomis. It is in this period, if they are indeed by Ovid, that the double letters in the Heroides were composed. In AD 8, Ovid was banished to Tomis, on the Black Sea, by the exclusive intervention of the Emperor Augustus, without any participation of the Senate or of any Roman judge; this event shaped all his following poetry. Ovid wrote that the reason for his exile was carmen et error – "a poem and a mistake", claiming that his crime was
Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its motion, behavior through space and time, that studies the related entities of energy and force. Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, its main goal is to understand how the universe behaves. Physics is one of the oldest academic disciplines and, through its inclusion of astronomy the oldest. Over much of the past two millennia, chemistry and certain branches of mathematics, were a part of natural philosophy, but during the scientific revolution in the 17th century these natural sciences emerged as unique research endeavors in their own right. Physics intersects with many interdisciplinary areas of research, such as biophysics and quantum chemistry, the boundaries of physics which are not rigidly defined. New ideas in physics explain the fundamental mechanisms studied by other sciences and suggest new avenues of research in academic disciplines such as mathematics and philosophy. Advances in physics enable advances in new technologies.
For example, advances in the understanding of electromagnetism and nuclear physics led directly to the development of new products that have transformed modern-day society, such as television, domestic appliances, nuclear weapons. Astronomy is one of the oldest natural sciences. Early civilizations dating back to beyond 3000 BCE, such as the Sumerians, ancient Egyptians, the Indus Valley Civilization, had a predictive knowledge and a basic understanding of the motions of the Sun and stars; the stars and planets were worshipped, believed to represent gods. While the explanations for the observed positions of the stars were unscientific and lacking in evidence, these early observations laid the foundation for astronomy, as the stars were found to traverse great circles across the sky, which however did not explain the positions of the planets. According to Asger Aaboe, the origins of Western astronomy can be found in Mesopotamia, all Western efforts in the exact sciences are descended from late Babylonian astronomy.
Egyptian astronomers left monuments showing knowledge of the constellations and the motions of the celestial bodies, while Greek poet Homer wrote of various celestial objects in his Iliad and Odyssey. Natural philosophy has its origins in Greece during the Archaic period, when pre-Socratic philosophers like Thales rejected non-naturalistic explanations for natural phenomena and proclaimed that every event had a natural cause, they proposed ideas verified by reason and observation, many of their hypotheses proved successful in experiment. The Western Roman Empire fell in the fifth century, this resulted in a decline in intellectual pursuits in the western part of Europe. By contrast, the Eastern Roman Empire resisted the attacks from the barbarians, continued to advance various fields of learning, including physics. In the sixth century Isidore of Miletus created an important compilation of Archimedes' works that are copied in the Archimedes Palimpsest. In sixth century Europe John Philoponus, a Byzantine scholar, questioned Aristotle's teaching of physics and noting its flaws.
He introduced the theory of impetus. Aristotle's physics was not scrutinized until John Philoponus appeared, unlike Aristotle who based his physics on verbal argument, Philoponus relied on observation. On Aristotle's physics John Philoponus wrote: “But this is erroneous, our view may be corroborated by actual observation more than by any sort of verbal argument. For if you let fall from the same height two weights of which one is many times as heavy as the other, you will see that the ratio of the times required for the motion does not depend on the ratio of the weights, but that the difference in time is a small one, and so, if the difference in the weights is not considerable, that is, of one is, let us say, double the other, there will be no difference, or else an imperceptible difference, in time, though the difference in weight is by no means negligible, with one body weighing twice as much as the other”John Philoponus' criticism of Aristotelian principles of physics served as an inspiration for Galileo Galilei ten centuries during the Scientific Revolution.
Galileo cited Philoponus in his works when arguing that Aristotelian physics was flawed. In the 1300s Jean Buridan, a teacher in the faculty of arts at the University of Paris, developed the concept of impetus, it was a step toward the modern ideas of momentum. Islamic scholarship inherited Aristotelian physics from the Greeks and during the Islamic Golden Age developed it further placing emphasis on observation and a priori reasoning, developing early forms of the scientific method; the most notable innovations were in the field of optics and vision, which came from the works of many scientists like Ibn Sahl, Al-Kindi, Ibn al-Haytham, Al-Farisi and Avicenna. The most notable work was The Book of Optics, written by Ibn al-Haytham, in which he conclusively disproved the ancient Greek idea about vision, but came up with a new theory. In the book, he presented a study of the phenomenon of the camera obscura (his thousand-year-old
Publius Vergilius Maro called Virgil or Vergil in English, was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He wrote three of the most famous poems in Latin literature: the Eclogues, the Georgics, the epic Aeneid. A number of minor poems, collected in the Appendix Vergiliana, are sometimes attributed to him. Virgil is traditionally ranked as one of Rome's greatest poets, his Aeneid has been considered the national epic of ancient Rome since the time of its composition. Modeled after Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, the Aeneid follows the Trojan refugee Aeneas as he struggles to fulfill his destiny and reach Italy, where his descendants Romulus and Remus were to found the city of Rome. Virgil's work has had wide and deep influence on Western literature, most notably Dante's Divine Comedy, in which Virgil appears as Dante's guide through Hell and Purgatory. Virgil's biographical tradition is thought to depend on a lost biography by Varius, Virgil's editor, incorporated into the biography by Suetonius and the commentaries of Servius and Donatus, the two great commentators on Virgil's poetry.
Although the commentaries no doubt record much factual information about Virgil, some of their evidence can be shown to rely on inferences made from his poetry and allegorizing. The tradition holds that Virgil was born in the village near Mantua in Cisalpine Gaul. Analysis of his name has led to beliefs. Modern speculation is not supported by narrative evidence either from his own writings or his biographers. Macrobius says, he attended schools in Cremona, Mediolanum and Naples. After considering a career in rhetoric and law, the young Virgil turned his talents to poetry. According to Robert Seymour Conway, the only ancient source which reports the actual distance between Andes and Mantua is a surviving fragment from the works of Marcus Valerius Probus. Probus flourished during the reign of Nero. Probus reports. Conway translated this to a distance of 28 English miles. Little is known about the family of Virgil, his father belonged to gens Vergilia, his mother belonged to gens Magia. According to Conway, gens Vergilia is poorly attested in inscriptions from the entire Northern Italy, where Mantua is located.
Among thousands of surviving ancient inscriptions from this region, there are only 8 or 9 mentions of individuals called "Vergilius" or "Vergilia". Out of these mentions, three appear in inscriptions from Verona, one in an inscription from Calvisano. Conway theorized. Calvisano is located 30 Roman miles from Mantua, would fit with Probus' description of Andes; the inscription in this case is a votive offering to the Matronae by a woman called Vergilia, asking the goddesses to deliver from danger another woman, called Munatia. Conway notes that the offering belongs to a common type for this era, where women made requests for deities to preserve the lives of female loved ones who were pregnant and were about to give birth. In most cases, the woman making the request was the mother of a woman, pregnant or otherwise in danger. Though there is another inscription from Calvisano, where a woman asks the deities to preserve the life of her sister. Munatia, the woman who Vergilia wished to protect, was a close relative of Vergilia or Vergilia's daughter.
The name "Munatia" indicates that this woman was a member of gens Munatia, makes it that Vergilia married into this family. According to the commentators, Virgil received his first education when he was five years old and he went to Cremona and Rome to study rhetoric and astronomy, which he soon abandoned for philosophy. From Virgil's admiring references to the neoteric writers Pollio and Cinna, it has been inferred that he was, for a time, associated with Catullus' neoteric circle. According to Servius, schoolmates considered Virgil shy and reserved, he was nicknamed "Parthenias" or "maiden" because of his social aloofness. Virgil seems to have suffered bad health throughout his life and in some ways lived the life of an invalid. According to the Catalepton, he began to write poetry while in the Epicurean school of Siro the Epicurean at Naples. A group of small works attributed to the youthful Virgil by the commentators survive collected under the title Appendix Vergiliana, but are considered spurious by scholars.
One, the Catalepton, consists of fourteen short poems, some of which may be Virgil's, another, a short narrative poem titled the Culex, was attributed to Virgil as early as the 1st century AD. The biographical tradition asserts that Virgil began the hexameter Eclogues in 42 BC and it is thought that the collection was published around 39–38 BC, although this is controversial; the Eclogues are a group of ten poems modeled on the bucolic hexameter poetry of the Hellenistic poet Theocritus. After his victory in the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, fought against the army led by the assassins of Julius Caesar, Octavian tried to pay off his veterans with land expropriated from towns in northern Italy including, according to the traditi
Delphi also called Pytho, is famous as the ancient sanctuary that grew rich as the seat of Pythia, the oracle, consulted about important decisions throughout the ancient classical world. The ancient Greeks considered the centre of the world to be in Delphi, marked by the stone monument known as the omphalos, it occupies an impressive site on the south-western slope of Mount Parnassus, overlooking the coastal plain to the south and the valley of Phocis. It is now an extensive archaeological site with a small modern town of the same name nearby, it is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in having had a phenomenal influence in the ancient world, as evidenced by the rich monuments built there by most of the important ancient Greek city-states, demonstrating their fundamental Hellenic unity. Delphi is located in upper central Greece, on multiple plateaux along the slope of Mount Parnassus, includes the Sanctuary of Apollo, the site of the ancient Oracle; this semicircular spur is known as Phaedriades, overlooks the Pleistos Valley.
In myths dating to the classical period of Ancient Greece, Zeus determined the site of Delphi when he sought to find the centre of his "Grandmother Earth". He sent two eagles flying from the eastern and western extremities, the path of the eagles crossed over Delphi where the omphalos, or navel of Gaia was found. Earlier myths include traditions that Pythia, or the Delphic oracle was the site of an important oracle in the pre-classical Greek world and, rededicated from about 800 BC, when it served as the major site during classical times for the worship of the god Apollo. Apollo was said to have slain Python, a "drako" a serpent or a dragon who lived there and protected the navel of the Earth. "Python" is claimed by some to be the original name of the site in recognition of Python which Apollo defeated. The Homeric Hymn to Delphic Apollo recalled. Others relate that it was named Pytho and that Pythia, the priestess serving as the oracle, was chosen from their ranks by a group of priestesses who officiated at the temple.
Excavation at Delphi, a post-Mycenaean settlement of the late 9th century, has uncovered artifacts increasing in volume beginning with the last quarter of the 8th century BC. Pottery and bronze as well as tripod dedications continue in a steady stream, in contrast to Olympia. Neither the range of objects nor the presence of prestigious dedications proves that Delphi was a focus of attention for a wide range of worshippers, but the large quantity of valuable goods, found in no other mainland sanctuary, encourages that view. Apollo's sacred precinct in Delphi was a panhellenic sanctuary, where every four years, starting in 586 BC athletes from all over the Greek world competed in the Pythian Games, one of the four Panhellenic Games, precursors of the Modern Olympics; the victors at Delphi were presented with a laurel crown, ceremonially cut from a tree by a boy who re-enacted the slaying of the Python. Delphi was set apart from the other games sites because it hosted the mousikos agon, musical competitions.
These Pythian Games rank second among the four stephanitic games chronologically and in importance. These games, were different from the games at Olympia in that they were not of such vast importance to the city of Delphi as the games at Olympia were to the area surrounding Olympia. Delphi would have been a renowned city. In the inner hestia of the Temple of Apollo, an eternal flame burned. After the battle of Plataea, the Greek cities extinguished their fires and brought new fire from the hearth of Greece, at Delphi; the name Delphi comes from the same root as δελφύς delphys, "womb" and may indicate archaic veneration of Gaia at the site. Apollo is connected with the site by his epithet Δελφίνιος Delphinios, "the Delphinian"; the epithet is connected with dolphins in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, recounting the legend of how Apollo first came to Delphi in the shape of a dolphin, carrying Cretan priests on his back. The Homeric name of the oracle is Pytho. Another legend held that Apollo walked to Delphi from the north and stopped at Tempe, a city in Thessaly, to pick laurel which he considered to be a sacred plant.
In commemoration of this legend, the winners at the Pythian Games received a wreath of laurel picked in the temple. Delphi became the site of a major temple to Phoebus Apollo, as well as the Pythian Games and the prehistoric oracle. In Roman times, hundreds of votive statues remained, described by Pliny the Younger and seen by Pausanias. Carved into the temple were three phrases: γνῶθι σεαυτόν and μηδὲν ἄγαν, Ἑγγύα πάρα δ'ἄτη, In antiquity, the origin of these phrases was attributed to one or more of the Seven Sages of Greece by authors such as Plato and Pausanias. Additionally, according to Plutarch's essay on the meaning of the "E at Delphi"—the only literary source for the inscription—there was inscribed at the temple a large letter E. Among other things epsilon signifies the number 5. However, ancient as well as modern scholars have doubted the legitimacy of such i
Zeus is the sky and thunder god in ancient Greek religion, who rules as king of the gods of Mount Olympus. His name is cognate with the first element of his Roman equivalent Jupiter, his mythologies and powers are similar, though not identical, to those of Indo-European deities such as Jupiter, Perkūnas, Perun and Thor. Zeus is the child of Cronus and Rhea, the youngest of his siblings to be born, though sometimes reckoned the eldest as the others required disgorging from Cronus's stomach. In most traditions, he is married to Hera, by whom he is said to have fathered Ares and Hephaestus. At the oracle of Dodona, his consort was said to be Dione, by whom the Iliad states that he fathered Aphrodite. Zeus was infamous for his erotic escapades; these resulted in many divine and heroic offspring, including Athena, Artemis, Persephone, Perseus, Helen of Troy and the Muses. He was respected as an allfather, chief of the gods and assigned the others to their roles: "Even the gods who are not his natural children address him as Father, all the gods rise in his presence."
He was equated with many foreign weather gods, permitting Pausanias to observe "That Zeus is king in heaven is a saying common to all men". Zeus' symbols are the thunderbolt, eagle and oak. In addition to his Indo-European inheritance, the classical "cloud-gatherer" derives certain iconographic traits from the cultures of the ancient Near East, such as the scepter. Zeus is depicted by Greek artists in one of two poses: standing, striding forward with a thunderbolt leveled in his raised right hand, or seated in majesty; the god's name in the nominative is Ζεύς. It is inflected as follows: vocative: Ζεῦ. Diogenes Laërtius quotes Pherecydes of Syros as spelling the name, Ζάς. Zeus is the Greek continuation of *Di̯ēus, the name of the Proto-Indo-European god of the daytime sky called *Dyeus ph2tēr; the god is known under this name in the Rigveda, deriving from the root *dyeu-. Zeus is the only deity in the Olympic pantheon whose name has such a transparent Indo-European etymology; the earliest attested forms of the name are the Mycenaean Greek, di-we and, di-wo, written in the Linear B syllabic script.
Plato, in his Cratylus, gives a folk etymology of Zeus meaning "cause of life always to all things," because of puns between alternate titles of Zeus with the Greek words for life and "because of." This etymology, along with Plato's entire method of deriving etymologies, is not supported by modern scholarship. Cronus sired several children by Rhea: Hestia, Hera and Poseidon, but swallowed them all as soon as they were born, since he had learned from Gaia and Uranus that he was destined to be overthrown by his son as he had overthrown Uranus, his own father, an oracle that Rhea heard and wished to avert; when Zeus was about to be born, Rhea sought Gaia to devise a plan to save him, so that Cronus would get his retribution for his acts against Uranus and his own children. Rhea gave birth to Zeus in Crete, handing Cronus a rock wrapped in swaddling clothes, which he promptly swallowed. Varying versions of the story exist: According to Hyginus ) Zeus was raised by a nymph named Amalthea. Since Saturn ruled over the Earth, the heavens and the sea, she hid him by dangling him on a rope from a tree so he was suspended between earth and sky and thus, invisible to his father.
According to Pseudo-Apollodorus ) Zeus was raised by a goat named Amalthea in a cave called Dictaeon Antron. A a company of soldiers called Kouretes danced and clashed their spears against their shields so that Cronus would not hear the baby's cry. After reaching manhood, Zeus forced Cronus to disgorge first the stone his siblings in reverse order of swallowing. In some versions, Metis gave Cronus an emetic to force him to disgorge the babies, or Zeus cut Cronus's stomach open. Zeus released the brothers of Cronus, the Hecatonchires and the Cyclopes, from their dungeon in Tartarus, killing their guard, Campe; as a token of their appreciation, the Cyclopes gave him thunder and the thunderbolt, or lightning, hidden by Gaia. Together, his brothers and sisters and Cyclopes overthrew Cronus and the other Titans, in the combat called the Titanomachy; the defeated Titans were cast into a shadowy underworld region known as Tartarus. Atlas, one of the titans who fought against Zeus, was punished by having to hold up the sky.
After the battle with the Titans, Zeus shared the world with his elder brothers and Hades, by drawing lots: Zeus got the sky and air, Poseidon the waters, Hades the world of the dead. The ancient Earth, could not be claimed. Gaia resented. Soon after taking the throne as king of the gods, Zeus had to fight some of Gaia's other children, the monsters Typhon and Echidna, he left Echidna and her children alive. When Zeus was atop Mount Olympus he was appalled by human sac