In some versions of Greek mythology, Ophion called Ophioneus ruled the world with Eurynome before the two of them were cast down by Cronus and Rhea. Pherecydes of Syros's Heptamychia is the first attested mention of Ophion; the story was popular in Orphic poetry, of which only fragments survive. Apollonius of Rhodes in his Argonautica summarizes a song of Orpheus: "He sang how the earth, the heaven and the sea, once mingled together in one form, after deadly strife were separated each from other, and he sang how first of all Ophion and Eurynome, daughter of Oceanus, held the sway of snowy Olympus, how through strength of arm one yielded his prerogative to Cronos and the other to Rhea, how they fell into the waves of Oceanus. Nonnus in his Dionysiaca has Hera say: I will go to the uttermost bounds of Oceanus and share the hearth of primeval Tethys. Harmonia here is an error in the text for Eurynome. Ophion is mentioned again by Nonnus: Beside the oracular wall she saw the first tablet, old as the infinite past, containing all the things in one: upon it was all that Ophion lord paramount had done, all that ancient Cronus accomplished.
We have fragments of the writings of the early philosopher Pherecydes of Syros, who devised a myth or legend in which powers known as Zas and Chronos and Chthonie existed from the beginning and in which Chronos creates the universe. Some fragments of this work mention a birth of Ophioneus and a battle of the gods between Cronus on one side and Ophioneus and his children on the other in which an agreement is made that whoever pushes the other side into Ogenos will lose and the winner will hold heaven. Eusebius of Caesarea in his Praeparatio Evangelica cites Philo of Byblos as declaring that Pherecydes took Ophion and the Ophionidae from the Phoenicians. Robert Graves in his book The Greek Myths imaginatively reconstructs a Pelasgian creation myth involving Ophion as a serpent created by a supreme goddess called Eurynome dancing on the waves, she is fertilized by the serpent and in the form of a dove lays an egg on the waters about which Ophion entwines until it hatches and the world issues forth.
Ophion and Eurynome dwell on Mt. Olympus until Ophion boasts that he made the world alone. Eurynome, as punishment, kicked out his teeth and banished him to the underworld. From Ophion's teeth sprang Pelasgus who taught man all the arts and crafts; this particular interpretation shares many similarities with some Gnostic traditions, with the Demiurge represented in the form of a serpent, claiming to have created the world alone despite the assistance of others - Sophia, associated with doves through the Holy Spirit. Martin Litchfield West, "Three Presocratic Cosmologies." In: The Classical Quarterly. 13, 1963, pp. 161–163
The Titans and Titanesses are a race of deities worshiped as part of Ancient Greek religion. They were considered to be the second generation of divine beings, succeeding the primordial deities and preceding the Olympians, but included certain descendants of the second generation; the Titans include the first twelve children of Gaia and Uranus, who ruled during the legendary Golden Age, comprised the first pantheon of Greek deities. Beekes connects the word "Titan" with τιτώ. Other scholars connect the word to the Greek verb τείνω, through an epic variation τιταίνω and τίσις. Hesiod appears to share that view when he narrates:But their father, great Ouranos, called them Titans by surname, rebuking his sons, whom he had begotten himself. Robert Graves suggested that Titans means'lords'. According to Greek mythology, the highest Titan, overthrew his father Uranus. In turn, the Titans were overthrown in an event known as the Titanomachy; the Greeks may have borrowed this mytheme from the Ancient Near East.
Greeks of the classical age knew several poems about the war between the Titans. The dominant one, the only one that has survived, was in the Theogony attributed to Hesiod. A lost epic, Titanomachia was mentioned in passing in an essay On Music, once attributed to Plutarch; the Titans played a prominent role in the poems attributed to Orpheus. Although only scraps of the Orphic narratives survive, they show interesting differences with the Hesiodic tradition; the classical Greek myths of the Titanomachy fall into a class of similar myths throughout Europe and the Near East concerning a war in heaven, where one generation or group of gods opposes the dominant one. Sometimes the elders are supplanted, sometimes the rebels lose and are either cast out of power or incorporated into the pantheon. Other examples might include the wars of the Æsir with the Vanir in Scandinavian mythology, the Babylonian epic Enuma Elish, the Hittite "Kingship in Heaven" narrative, the obscure generational conflict in Ugaritic fragments, Virabhadra's conquest of the early Vedic Gods, the rebellion of Lucifer in Christianity.
The Titanomachy lasted for ten years. The Titans were imprisoned in Tartarus. Tartarus is said to be the deepest part of the Underworld and the place where the evilest beings are tortured for all eternity. According to Hesiod, the first twelve Titans were the females Mnemosyne, Theia, Phoebe and Themis and the males Oceanus, Coeus, Cronus and Iapetus, they begat more Titans: Hyperion's children Helios and Eos. Surviving fragments of poetry ascribed to Orpheus preserve variations on the mythology of the Titans. In one such text, Zeus does not set upon his father violently. Instead, Rhea spreads out a banquet for Cronus. Rather than being consigned to Tartarus, Cronus is dragged – still drunk – to the cave of Nyx, where he continues to dream throughout eternity. Another myth concerning the Titans revolves around Dionysus. At some point in his reign, Zeus decides to give up the throne in favor of his infant son Dionysus, like the infant Zeus, is guarded by the Kouretes; the Titans decide to claim the throne for themselves.
Zeus, slays the Titans with his thunderbolt. This story is told by the poets Callimachus and Nonnus, who call this Dionysus "Zagreus", in a number of Orphic texts, which do not. Several sources from Late Antique concern the role of the Titans in the creation of the human race; the Neoplatonist philosopher Olympiodorus recounted in his commentary of Plato's Phaedo, affirms that humanity sprang up out of the fatty smoke of the burning Titan corpses. Pindar and Oppian refer offhandedly to the "Titanic nature" of humans. According to them, the body is the titanic part. Other early writers imply that humanity was born out of the malevolent blood shed by the Titans in their war against Zeus; some scholars consider that Olympiodorus' report, the only surviving explicit expression of this mythic connection, embodied a tradition that dated to the Bronze Age, while Radcliffe Edmonds has suggested an element of innovative allegorized improvisation to suit Olympiodorus' purpose. Some 19th- and 20th-century scholars, including Jane Ellen Harrison, have argued that an initiatory or shamanic ritual underlies the myth of the dismemberment and cannibalism of Dionysus by the Titans.
She asserts that the word "Titan" comes from the Greek τίτανος, signifying white "earth, clay, or gypsum," and that the Titans were "white clay men", or men covered by white clay or gypsum dust in their rituals. Martin Litchfield West asserts this in relation to shamanistic initiatory rites of early Greek religious practices; the planet Saturn is named for the Roman equiv
Atropos or Aisa, in Greek mythology, was one of the three Moirai, goddesses of fate and destiny. Her Roman equivalent was Morta. Atropos was the oldest of the Three Fates, was known as "the Inflexible One," or "inevitable." It was Atropos who chose the mechanism of death and ended the life of mortals by cutting their thread with her "abhorred shears". She worked along with her two sisters, who spun the thread, Lachesis, who measured the length. Atropos has been featured in several stories such as Achilles, her origin, along with the other two fates, is uncertain, although some called them the daughters of the night. It is clear, that at a certain period they ceased to be only concerned with death and became those powers who decided what may happen to individuals. Although Zeus was the chief Greek god and their father, he was still subject to the decisions of the Fates, thus the executor of destiny, rather than its source. According to Hesiod's Theogony and her sisters were the daughters of Erebus and Nyx and sister to Thanatos and Hypnos, though in the same work they are said to have been of Zeus and Themis.
Atropos lends her name to the genus Atropa, of which the poisonous plant Atropa belladonna is a member, to the alkaloid atropine, an anticholinergic drug, derived from it. The scientific name of a venomous snake, Bitis atropos, refers to Atropos. Works related to Theogony at Wikisource The dictionary definition of Atropos at Wiktionary Media related to Atropos at Wikimedia Commons
In Greek mythology Hemera was the personification of day and one of the Greek primordial deities. She is the goddess of the daytime and, according to the daughter of Erebus and Nyx. Hemera is remarked upon in Cicero's De Natura Deorum, where it is logically determined that Dies must be a god, if Uranus is a god; the poet Bacchylides states that Nyx and Chronos are the parents, but Hyginus in his preface to the Fabulae mentions Chaos as the mother/father and Nyx as her sister. Hemera was the female counterpart of her brother and consort, but neither of them figured in myth or cult. Hyginus lists their children as Uranus and Thalassa, while Hesiod only lists Thalassa as their child. According to Hesiod's Theogony, Hemera left Tartarus. Pausanias makes this identification with Eos upon looking at the tiling of the royal portico in Athens, where the myth of Eos and Kephalos is illustrated, he makes this identification again at Amyklai and at Olympia, upon looking at statues and illustrations where Eos is present.
Hesiod, Theogony from The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Greek text available from the same website. Marcus Tullius Cicero, Nature of the Gods from the Treatises of M. T. Cicero translated by Charles Duke Yonge, Bohn edition of 1878. Online version at the Topos Text Project. Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Natura Deorum. O. Plasberg. Leipzig. Teubner. 1917. Latin text available at the Perseus Digital Library. Pausanias, Description of Greece with an English Translation by W. H. S. Jones, Litt. D. and H. A. Ormerod, M. A. in 4 Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio. 3 vols. Leipzig, Teubner. 1903. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library
Shrew (stock character)
The shrew – an unpleasant, ill-tempered woman characterised by scolding and aggression – is a comedic, stock character in literature and folklore, both Western and Eastern. The best-known work with this theme is Shakespeare's play The Taming of the Shrew; the figure represents insubordinate female behaviour in a marital system of polarised gender roles, male-dominated in a moral hierarchy. As a reference to actual women, rather than the stock character, shrew is considered old-fashioned, the synonym scold is archaic; the term shrew is still used to describe the stock character in folk storytelling. None of these terms are applied to males in Modern English; this stereotype or cliché was common in early to mid-20th century films, retains some present-day currency shifted somewhat toward the virtues of the stock female character of the heroic virago. Folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand collected over 400 literary and oral version of shrew stories in 30 cultural groups in Europe in the middle 20th century.
Being a "common scold" was once a petty criminal offense in the early modern law of England and Wales and of colonial New England, during the 16th through 18th centuries. Punishments varied by region, but were meant to humiliate the guilty party, they included the imposition of the ducking stool, jougs, a shrew's fiddle, or a scold's bridle. Scold or shrew was a term which could be applied with different degrees of reprobation, one early modern proverb allowed that "a shrew profitable may serve a man reasonable". A common central theme of such literature and folktales is the forceful "taming" of shrewish wives by their husbands. Arising in folklore, in which community story-telling can have functions of moral censorship or suasion, it has served to affirm traditional values and moral authority regarding polarised gender roles, to address social unease about female behavior in marriage; this basic plot structure involves a series of recurring motifs: A man young and penniless, marries a woman with shrewish or other negative qualities, for her dowry or other reasons unrelated to love, despite another trying to talk him out of it.
She may have a more docile but unavailable younger sister, for contrast, and/or an more shrewish mother. The taming process begins after the marriage, does not last long, sometimes only the wedding night itself, it involves denial of intimacy by the husband to the bride, also has several other features, including coercion to induce submission, psychological manipulation. Capitulation by the "shrew" happens she transforms into a "model" wife, the couple live ever after. A variant suggests that the taming must be done early: The one who had tried to talk the young man out of the marriage sees that it worked on the bride, tries it on his own wife unsuccessfully because she knows he is meek. Many of these elements, including denial of food and psychological manipulation, were reused by William Shakespeare in his play The Taming of the Shrew, which closes with the reformed shrew giving a monologue on why wives should always obey their husbands; this overall plot structure was retained in various works of silent-era and post-Second World War cinema.
Elements of the shrew-taming plot are still used today, though with less patriarchal messages since the rise of feminism. The Taming of the Shrew has itself led to various modern, loose adaptations to current societal views in differing Western and Eastern industrialised societies, while retaining the stock character and the underlying theme of consequences of female disagreeableness, but giving the "shrew" much more agency, portraying some "shrewish" traits in a positive light, blending with the stock character of the virago; some of these include: Frivolous Wife, a 2008 South Korean film, in which the "shrew" attempts to change herself to become better accepted by her inlaws. In 10 Things I Hate About You, a 1999 American teen romantic comedy, in which high school students play matchmaker with a "shrew" and her cantankerous male counterpart, while themes of family reconciliation and teen-sex-related psychological angst are explored, it was remade as a 2009 TV series, in which the "shrew" character is redeveloped into a serious-attitude activist.
In an uncommon gender-role reversal, the 1980 Italian film Il Bisbetico Domato features a macho and grumpy but successful male farmer, known for antisocially driving women away, won over by an earnest young lady, aided by the farmer's housekeeper who has long been trying to find a bride for the loner. In Elizabethan England, shrew was used to refer to women and wives who did not fit into the social role, expected of them. In William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, Katherina "has a scolding, shrewish tongue," thus prompting Petruchio to try and tame her. More modern, figurative labels include battle-axe and dragon lady.
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
In Greek mythology, Erebus Erebos, was conceived as a primordial deity, representing the personification of darkness. The perceived meaning of Erebus is "darkness"; the name Ἔρεβος itself originates from PIE *h1regʷ-es/os- "darkness". According to the Greek oral poet Hesiod's Theogony, Erebus is the offspring of Chaos, brother to Nyx: "From Chaos came forth Erebus and black Night. In Greek literature, the name Erebus is used as a region of the Greek underworld where the dead pass after dying, is sometimes used interchangeably with Tartarus. Hesiod, Theogony from The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Greek text available from the same website. Hyginus, Fabulae from The Myths of Hyginus edited by Mary Grant. University of Kansas Publications in Humanistic Studies. Online version at the Topos Text Project. Smith, William. "E'rebos"