In Greek mythology, Perseus is the legendary founder of Mycenae and of the Perseid dynasty. He saved Andromeda from the sea monster Cetus, he was the son of Zeus and the mortal Danaë, as well as the half-brother and great-grandfather of Heracles. Because of the obscurity of the name Perseus and the legendary character of its bearer, most etymologists presume that it might be pre-Greek. There is some idea. In that regard Robert Graves has proposed the only Greek derivation available. Perseus might be from the Greek verb, "πέρθειν", "to waste, sack, destroy", some form of which appears in Homeric epithets. According to Carl Darling Buck, the –eus suffix is used to form an agent noun, in this case from the aorist stem, pers-. Pers-eus therefore is a sacker of cities; the origin of perth- is more obscure. J. B. Hofmann lists the possible root as *bher-, from which Latin ferio, "strike"; this corresponds to Julius Pokorny’s *bher-, "scrape, cut." Ordinarily *bh- descends to Greek as ph-. This difficulty can be overcome by presuming a dissimilation from the –th– in perthein.
Graves carries the meaning still further, to the perse - in goddess of death. John Chadwick in the second edition of Documents in Mycenaean Greek speculates about the Mycenaean goddess pe-re-*82, attested on the PY Tn 316 tablet and tentatively reconstructed as *Preswa: "It is tempting to see...the classical Perse...daughter of Oceanus.... The native name, has always had an -a- in Persian. Herodotus recounts this story, devising a foreign son, from whom the Persians took the name; the Persians knew the story as Xerxes tried to use it to bribe the Argives during his invasion of Greece, but failed to do so. Perseus was the daughter of Acrisius, King of Argos. Disappointed by his lack of luck in having a son, Acrisius consulted the oracle at Delphi, who warned him that he would one day be killed by his daughter's son. In order to keep Danaë childless, Acrisius imprisoned her in a bronze chamber, open to the sky, in the courtyard of his palace: This mytheme is connected to Ares, Oenopion and others.
Zeus came to her in the form of a shower of gold, impregnated her. Soon after, their child was born. Fearful for his future, but unwilling to provoke the wrath of the gods by killing the offspring of Zeus and his daughter, Acrisius cast the two into the sea in a wooden chest. Danaë's fearful prayer, made while afloat in the darkness, has been expressed by the poet Simonides of Ceos. Mother and child washed ashore on the island of Serifos, where they were taken in by the fisherman Dictys, who raised the boy to manhood; the brother of Dictys was the king of the island. When Perseus was grown, Polydectes came to fall in love with the beautiful Danaë. Perseus believed Polydectes was less than honourable, protected his mother from him, he held a large banquet. Polydectes requested that the guests bring horses, under the pretense that he was collecting contributions for the hand of Hippodamia, daughter of Oinomaos. Perseus had no horse to give, so he asked Polydectes to name the gift. Polydectes held Perseus to his rash promise and demanded the head of the only mortal Gorgon, whose gaze turned people to stone.
Ovid's account of Medusa's mortality tells that she had once been a woman, vain of her beautiful hair. Poseidon, the god of the seas, raped her inside of a temple dedicated to Athena, as punishment for the desecration of her temple, Athena had changed Medusa's hair into hideous snakes "that she may alarm her surprised foes with terror". Athena instructed Perseus to find the Hesperides, who were entrusted with weapons needed to defeat the Gorgon. Following Athena's guidance, Perseus sought the Greae, sisters of the Gorgons, to demand the whereabouts of the Hesperides, the nymphs tending Hera's orchard; the Graeae were three perpetually old women. As the women passed the eye from one to another, Perseus snatched it from them, holding it for ransom in return for the location of the nymphs; when the sisters led him to the Hesperides, he returned. From the Hesperides he received a knapsack to safely contain Medusa's head. Zeus gave him Hades' helm of darkness to hide. Hermes lent Perseus winged sandals to fly, Athena gave him a polished shield.
Perseus proceeded to the Gorgons' cave. In the cave he came upon the sleeping Medusa. By viewing Medusa's reflection in his polished shield, he safely cut off her head. From her neck sprang Pegasus and Chrysaor, the result of Poseidon and Medusa's mating; the other two Gorgons pursued Perseus, wearing his helm of darkness, he escaped. From here he proceeded to visit King Atlas. On the way back to Seriphos, Perseus stopped
A deity is a supernatural being considered divine or sacred. The Oxford Dictionary of English defines deity as "a god or goddess". C. Scott Littleton defines a deity as "a being with powers greater than those of ordinary humans, but who interacts with humans, positively or negatively, in ways that carry humans to new levels of consciousness, beyond the grounded preoccupations of ordinary life". In the English language, a male deity is referred to as a god, while a female deity is referred to as a goddess. Religions can be categorized by. Monotheistic religions accept only one deity, polytheistic religions accept multiple deities. Henotheistic religions accept one supreme deity without denying other deities, considering them as aspects of the same divine principle. Although most monotheistic religions traditionally envision their God as omnipotent, omniscient and eternal, none of these qualities are essential to the definition of a "deity" and various cultures conceptualized their deities differently.
Monotheistic religions refer to God in masculine terms, while other religions refer to their deities in a variety of ways – masculine, feminine and without gender. Many ancient cultures – including the ancient Mesopotamians, Greeks and Norsemen– personified natural phenomena, variously as either deliberate causes or effects; some Avestan and Vedic deities were viewed as ethical concepts. In Indian religions, deities were envisioned as manifesting within the temple of every living being's body, as sensory organs and mind. Deities were envisioned as a form of existence after rebirth, for human beings who gain merit through an ethical life, where they become guardian deities and live blissfully in heaven, but are subject to death when their merit is lost; the English language word "deity" derives from Old French deité, the Latin deitatem or "divine nature", coined by Augustine of Hippo from deus. Deus is related through a common Proto-Indo-European origin to *deiwos; this root yields the ancient Indian word Deva meaning "to gleam, a shining one", from *div- "to shine", as well as Greek dios "divine" and Zeus.
Deva is masculine, the related feminine equivalent is devi. Etymologically, the cognates of Devi are Greek thea. In Old Persian, daiva- means "demon, evil god", while in Sanskrit it means the opposite, referring to the "heavenly, terrestrial things of high excellence, shining ones"; the linked term "god" refers to "supreme being, deity", according to Douglas Harper, is derived from Proto-Germanic *guthan, from PIE *ghut-, which means "that, invoked". Guth in the Irish language means "voice"; the term *ghut- is the source of Old Church Slavonic zovo, Sanskrit huta-, from the root *gheu-,An alternate etymology for the term "god" comes from the Proto-Germanic Gaut, which traces it to the PIE root *ghu-to-, derived from the root *gheu-. The term *gheu- is the source of the Greek khein "to pour"; the German root was a neuter noun. The gender of the monotheistic God shifted to masculine under the influence of Christianity. In contrast, all ancient Indo-European cultures and mythologies recognized both masculine and feminine deities.
There is no universally accepted consensus on what a deity is, concepts of deities vary across cultures. Huw Owen states that the term "deity or god or its equivalent in other languages" has a bewildering range of meanings and significance, it has ranged from "infinite transcendent being who created and lords over the universe", to a "finite entity or experience, with special significance or which evokes a special feeling", to "a concept in religious or philosophical context that relates to nature or magnified beings or a supra-mundane realm", to "numerous other usages". A deity is conceptualized as a supernatural or divine concept, manifesting in ideas and knowledge, in a form that combines excellence in some or all aspects, wrestling with weakness and questions in other aspects, heroic in outlook and actions, yet tied up with emotions and desires. In other cases, the deity is a principle or reality such as the idea of "soul"; the Upanishads of Hinduism, for example, characterize Atman as deva, thereby asserting that the deva and eternal supreme principle is part of every living creature, that this soul is spiritual and divine, that to realize self-knowledge is to know the supreme.
Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more deities. Polytheism is the belief in and worship of multiple deities, which are assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, with accompanying rituals. In most polytheistic religions, the different gods and goddesses are representations of forces of nature or ancestral principles, can be viewed either as autonomous or as aspects or emanations of a creator God or transcendental absolute principle, which manifests immanently in nature. Henotheism accepts the existence of more than one deity, but considers all deities as equivalent representations or aspects of the same divine principle, the highest. Monolatry is the belief that many deities exist, but that only one of these deities may be validly worshipped. Monotheism is the belief. A monotheistic deity, known as "God", is u
The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, Hellenistic period, it is succeeded by medieval Greek. Koine is regarded as a separate historical stage of its own, although in its earliest form it resembled Attic Greek and in its latest form it approaches Medieval Greek. Prior to the Koine period, Greek of the classic and earlier periods included several regional dialects. Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of fifth-century Athenian historians and philosophers, it has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a standard subject of study in educational institutions of the Western world since the Renaissance. This article contains information about the Epic and Classical periods of the language. Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects; the main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Aeolic and Doric, many of them with several subdivisions.
Some dialects are found in standardized literary forms used in literature, while others are attested only in inscriptions. There are several historical forms. Homeric Greek is a literary form of Archaic Greek used in the epic poems, the "Iliad" and "Odyssey", in poems by other authors. Homeric Greek had significant differences in grammar and pronunciation from Classical Attic and other Classical-era dialects; the origins, early form and development of the Hellenic language family are not well understood because of a lack of contemporaneous evidence. Several theories exist about what Hellenic dialect groups may have existed between the divergence of early Greek-like speech from the common Proto-Indo-European language and the Classical period, they differ in some of the detail. The only attested dialect from this period is Mycenaean Greek, but its relationship to the historical dialects and the historical circumstances of the times imply that the overall groups existed in some form. Scholars assume that major Ancient Greek period dialect groups developed not than 1120 BCE, at the time of the Dorian invasion—and that their first appearances as precise alphabetic writing began in the 8th century BCE.
The invasion would not be "Dorian" unless the invaders had some cultural relationship to the historical Dorians. The invasion is known to have displaced population to the Attic-Ionic regions, who regarded themselves as descendants of the population displaced by or contending with the Dorians; the Greeks of this period believed there were three major divisions of all Greek people—Dorians and Ionians, each with their own defining and distinctive dialects. Allowing for their oversight of Arcadian, an obscure mountain dialect, Cypriot, far from the center of Greek scholarship, this division of people and language is quite similar to the results of modern archaeological-linguistic investigation. One standard formulation for the dialects is: West vs. non-west Greek is the strongest marked and earliest division, with non-west in subsets of Ionic-Attic and Aeolic vs. Arcadocypriot, or Aeolic and Arcado-Cypriot vs. Ionic-Attic. Non-west is called East Greek. Arcadocypriot descended more from the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age.
Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence, can in some respects be considered a transitional dialect. Thessalian had come under Northwest Greek influence, though to a lesser degree. Pamphylian Greek, spoken in a small area on the southwestern coast of Anatolia and little preserved in inscriptions, may be either a fifth major dialect group, or it is Mycenaean Greek overlaid by Doric, with a non-Greek native influence. Most of the dialect sub-groups listed above had further subdivisions equivalent to a city-state and its surrounding territory, or to an island. Doric notably had several intermediate divisions as well, into Island Doric, Southern Peloponnesus Doric, Northern Peloponnesus Doric; the Lesbian dialect was Aeolic Greek. All the groups were represented by colonies beyond Greece proper as well, these colonies developed local characteristics under the influence of settlers or neighbors speaking different Greek dialects; the dialects outside the Ionic group are known from inscriptions, notable exceptions being: fragments of the works of the poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos, in Aeolian, the poems of the Boeotian poet Pindar and other lyric poets in Doric.
After the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BCE, a new international dialect known as Koine or Common Greek developed based on Attic Greek, but with influence from other dialects. This dialect replaced most of the older dialects, although Doric dialect has survived in the Tsakonian language, spoken in the region of modern Sparta. Doric has passed down its aorist terminations into most verbs of Demotic Greek. By about the 6th century CE, the Koine had metamorphosized into Medieval Greek. Ancient Macedonian was an Indo-European language at least related to Greek, but its exact relationship is unclear because of insufficient data: a dialect of Greek; the Macedonian dialect (or l
Acarnania is a region of west-central Greece that lies along the Ionian Sea, west of Aetolia, with the Achelous River for a boundary, north of the gulf of Calydon, the entrance to the Gulf of Corinth. Today it forms the western part of the regional unit of Aetolia-Acarnania; the capital and principal city in ancient times was Stratos. The north side of Acarnania of the Corinthian Gulf was considered part of the region of Epirus. Acarnania's foundation in Greek mythology was traditionally ascribed to son of Alcmaeon; the name of Acarnania appears to have been unknown in the earliest times. Homer only calls the country opposite Ithaca and Cephalonia, under the general name of "Epeirus", or the mainland, although he mentions the Aetolians; the country is said to have been inhabited by the Taphii, the Leleges, the Curetes. The Taphii, or Teleboae were chiefly found in the islands off the western coast of Acarnania, where they maintained themselves by piracy; the Leleges were more disseminated, were in possession at one period of Aetolia and other parts of Greece.
The Curetes are said to have come from Aetolia, to have settled in Acarnania, after they had been expelled from the former country by Aetolus and his followers. The name of Acarnania is derived from Acarnan, the son of Alcmaeon, said to have settled at the mouth of the Achelous. If this tradition is of any value, it would intimate that an Argive colony settled on the coast of Acarnania at an early period. In the 7th century BC, Greek influence in the region became prominent when Corinth settled Anactorium and Leucas, Kefalonia settled Astacus; the original inhabitants of the country were driven more into the interior. Settlements in Alyzeia, Limnaea, Oeniadae, Palaerus and Stratus are mentioned by Thucydides, this latter city being the seat of a loose confederation of Acarnanian powers, maintained until the late 1st century BC; the ancient Acarnanians, were Greeks, as such were allowed to contend in the great Pan-Hellenic games, although they were connected with their neighbours, the Agraeans and Amphilochians on the gulf of Ambracian Gulf, who were barbarian or non-Hellenic nations.
Like other rude mountaineers, the Acarnanians are praised for their courage. They formed good light-armed troops, were excellent slingers, they lived, for the most part dispersed in villages, when attacked, to the mountains. Strabo relates that they were united, however, in a political League, of which Aristotle wrote an account in a work now lost. Thucydides mentions a hill, named Olpae, near the Amphilochian Argos, which the Acarnanians had fortified as a place of judicial meeting for the settlement of disputes; the meetings of the League were held at Stratus, the chief town in Acarnania. At an early period, when part of Amphilochia belonged to the Acarnanians, they used to hold a public judicial congress at Olpae, a fortified hill about 3 miles from Argos Amphilochicum. Of the constitution of their League we have scarcely any particulars. We learn from an inscription found at Punta, the site of ancient Actium, that there was a council and a general assembly of the people, by which decrees were passed..
At the head of the League there was a general. The chief priest of the temple of Apollo at Actium seems to have been a person of high rank; because it is located strategically on the maritime route to Italy, Acarnania was involved in many wars. Their hatred against the Corinthian settlers, who had deprived them of all their best ports led the Acarnanians to side with the Athenians; the Acarnanians espoused the cause of the expelled Amphilochians, in order to obtain the restoration of the latter, they applied for assistance to Athens. The Athenians accordingly sent an expedition under Phormio, who took Argos, expelled the Ambraciots, restored the town to the Amphilochians and Acarnanians. An alliance was now formally concluded between the Athenians; the only towns of Acarnania which did not join it were Astacus. The Acarnanians were of great service in maintaining the supremacy of Athens in the western part of Greece, they distinguished themselves in 426 BC, when they gained a signal victory under the command of Demosthenes over the Peloponnesians and Ambraciots at the Battle of Olpae.
At the conclusion of this campaign they concluded a peace with the Ambraciots, although they still continued allies of Athens In 391 BC we find the Acarnanians engaged in war with the Achaeans, who had taken possession of Calydon in Aetolia.
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, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the most important events in Greek mythology and has been narrated through many works of Greek literature, most notably Homer's Iliad; the core of the Iliad describes a period of four days and two nights in the tenth year of the decade-long siege of Troy. Other parts of the war are described in a cycle of epic poems, which have survived through fragments. Episodes from the war provided material for Greek tragedy and other works of Greek literature, for Roman poets including Virgil and Ovid; the war originated from a quarrel between the goddesses Hera and Aphrodite, after Eris, the goddess of strife and discord, gave them a golden apple, sometimes known as the Apple of Discord, marked "for the fairest". Zeus sent the goddesses to Paris, who judged that Aphrodite, as the "fairest", should receive the apple. In exchange, Aphrodite made Helen, the most beautiful of all women and wife of Menelaus, fall in love with Paris, who took her to Troy.
Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and the brother of Helen's husband Menelaus, led an expedition of Achaean troops to Troy and besieged the city for ten years because of Paris' insult. After the deaths of many heroes, including the Achaeans Achilles and Ajax, the Trojans Hector and Paris, the city fell to the ruse of the Trojan Horse; the Achaeans desecrated the temples, thus earning the gods' wrath. Few of the Achaeans returned safely to their homes and many founded colonies in distant shores; the Romans traced their origin to Aeneas, Aphrodite's son and one of the Trojans, said to have led the surviving Trojans to modern-day Italy. The ancient Greeks believed that Troy was located near the Dardanelles and that the Trojan War was a historical event of the 13th or 12th century BC, but by the mid-19th century AD, both the war and the city were seen as non-historical. In 1868, the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann met Frank Calvert, who convinced Schliemann that Troy was a real city at what is now Hissarlik in Turkey.
On the basis of excavations conducted by Schliemann and others, this claim is now accepted by most scholars. Whether there is any historical reality behind the Trojan War remains an open question. Many scholars believe that there is a historical core to the tale, though this may mean that the Homeric stories are a fusion of various tales of sieges and expeditions by Mycenaean Greeks during the Bronze Age; those who believe that the stories of the Trojan War are derived from a specific historical conflict date it to the 12th or 11th century BC preferring the dates given by Eratosthenes, 1194–1184 BC, which corresponds with archaeological evidence of a catastrophic burning of Troy VII. The events of the Trojan War are found in many works of Greek literature and depicted in numerous works of Greek art. There is no authoritative text which tells the entire events of the war. Instead, the story is assembled from a variety of sources, some of which report contradictory versions of the events; the most important literary sources are the two epic poems traditionally credited to Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey, composed sometime between the 9th and 6th centuries BC.
Each poem narrates only a part of the war. The Iliad covers a short period in the last year of the siege of Troy, while the Odyssey concerns Odysseus's return to his home island of Ithaca following the sack of Troy and contains several flashbacks to particular episodes in the war. Other parts of the Trojan War were told in the poems of the Epic Cycle known as the Cyclic Epics: the Cypria, Little Iliad, Iliou Persis and Telegony. Though these poems survive only in fragments, their content is known from a summary included in Proclus' Chrestomathy; the authorship of the Cyclic Epics is uncertain. It is thought that the poems were written down in the 7th and 6th century BC, after the composition of the Homeric poems, though it is believed that they were based on earlier traditions. Both the Homeric epics and the Epic Cycle take origin from oral tradition. After the composition of the Iliad and the Cyclic Epics, the myths of the Trojan War were passed on orally in many genres of poetry and through non-poetic storytelling.
Events and details of the story that are only found in authors may have been passed on through oral tradition and could be as old as the Homeric poems. Visual art, such as vase painting, was another medium. In ages playwrights and other intellectuals would create works inspired by the Trojan War; the three great tragedians of Athens—Aeschylus and Euripides—wrote a number of dramas that portray episodes from the Trojan War. Among Roman writers the most important is the 1st century BC poet Virgil. In Book 2 of the Aeneid, Aeneas narrates the sack of Troy; the following summary of the Trojan War follows the order of events as given in Proclus' summary, along with the Iliad and Aeneid, supplemented with details drawn from other authors. According to Greek mythology, Zeus had become king of the gods by overthrowing his father Cronus. Zeus was not faithful to his wife and sister Hera, had many relationships from which many children were born. Since Zeus believed that there were too many people populating the earth, he envisioned
Planorbidae, common name the ramshorn snails or ram's horn snails, is a family of air-breathing freshwater snails, aquatic pulmonate gastropod molluscs. Unlike most molluscs, the blood of ram's horn snails contains iron-based hemoglobin instead of copper-based hemocyanin; as a result, planorbids are able to breathe oxygen more efficiently than other molluscs. The presence of hemoglobin gives the body a reddish colour; this is apparent in albino animals. Being air breathers like other Panpulmonata, planorbids do not have gills, but instead have a lung; the foot and head of planorbids are rather small, while their thread-like tentacles are long. Many of the species in this family have coiled shells that are planispiral, in other words, the shells are more or less coiled flat, rather than having an elevated spire as is the case in most gastropod shells. Although they carry their shell in a way that makes it appear to be dextral, the shell of coiled planorbids is in fact sinistral in coiling, but is carried upside down, which makes it appear to be dextral.
For several taxa, no consensus exists as to whether the taxa should be assigned to the family Planorbidae. This is the case with the freshwater limpets Ferrissia, Ancylus. Both of these genera have sometimes been assigned to the family Lymnaeidae. Alternatively sometimes each one of them is raised to the level of a family. However, according to the taxonomy of the Gastropoda, these genera are placed in the tribe Ancylini within the family Planorbidae, and, the taxonomic system, followed here. According to the taxonomy of the Gastropoda, this family consists of the following subfamilies: subfamily Planorbinae Rafinesque, 1815 tribe Planorbini Rafinesque, 1815 - synonyms: Choanomphalinae P. Fisher & Crosse, 1880. C. Baker, 1945 subfamily Bulininae P. Fischer & Crosse, 1880 tribe Bulinini P. Fischer & Crosse, 1880 - synonyms: Laevapicinae Hannibal, 1912. Baker, 1928. Burnupia Walker, 1912Tribus Bulinini Bulinus O. F. Müller, 1781 Indoplanorbis Annandale, 1921Tribus Ancylini Rafinesque-Schmaltz, 1815 Ancylus O. F. Müller, 1774 Ferrissia Walker, 1903 Gundlachia Pfeiffer, 1849 Laevapex Walker, 1903 Hebetancylus Pilsbry, 1914"B-clade" sensu Albrecht et al.
Glyptophysa Crosse, 1872 Protancylus Sarasin, 1897 Kessneria Walker & Ponder 2001 Leichhardtia Walker, 1988Tribus Camptoceratini Planorbarius Duméril 1806Tribus Planorbini Anisus Studer, 1820 Bathyomphalus Charpentier, 1837 Gyraulus Charpentier, 1837 Hovorbis D. S. Brown & Mandahl-Barth, 1973 Choanomphalus Gerstfeldt, 1859 Planorbis O. F. Müller 1774Tribus Segmentinini Segmentina Fleming, 1818 Hippeutis Charpentier, 1837 Polypylis Pilsbry, 1906"C-Clade" sensu Albrecht et al. Biomphalaria Preston, 1910 Menetus H. & A. Adams, 1855 Planorbella Haldeman, 1843 Planorbula Haldeman, 1843 The following is a cladogram that shows the phylogenic relationships within the Planorbidae according to Albrecht 2007: The type genus of this family is Planorbis Müller; the following list of genera is organized according to the 2005 taxonomy, because Albrecht's 2007 taxonomy is not available for all genera of Planorbidae. Genera in the family Planorbidae include (subgenera listed according to Glöer: subfamily Planorbinae Rafinesque, 1815 Anisus S. Studer, 1820 subgenus Disculifer C.
Boettger, 1944 Bathyomphalus Charpentier, 1837 Gyraulus Charpentier, 1837 subgenus Torquis Dall, 1905 subgenus Lamorbis Starobogatov, 1967 subgenus Armiger Hartmann, 1843 Hippeutis Charpentier, 1837 tribe Ancylini Rafinesque, 1815 Ancylus O. F. Müller, 1773 - type genus of tribe Ancylini tribe Biomphalariini H. Watson, 1954 Biomphalaria Preston, 1910 - type genus of tribe Biomphalariini Drepanotrema Crosse & P. Fischer, 1880 tribe Planorbini Rafinesque, 1815 Afrogyrorbis Starobogatov, 1967 Planorbis Müller, 1773 tribe Planorbulini Pilsbry, 1934 Planorbula Haldeman, 1840 - type genus of tribe Planorbulini tribe Segmentinini F. C. Baker, 1945 Segmentina Fleming, 1818 - type genus of tribe Segmentinini subfamily Bulininae P. Fischer & Crosse, 1880 Indoplanorbis Annandale & Prashad, 1920 - contains one species Indoplanorbis exustus Planorbarius Duméril, 1806 Planorbella Haldeman, 1842 Menetus H. Adams & A. Adams, 1855 subgenus Dilatata Clessin, 1885 tribe Bulinini P. Fischer & Crosse, 1880 Bulinus O. F. Müller, 1781 - type genus of subfamily Bulininae Gundlachia Pfeiffer, 1849 tribe Coretini Gray, 1847 Coretus Gray, 1847 - type genus of tribe Coretini tribe Miratestini P. & F. Sarasin, 1897 Miratesta P. & F. Sarasin, 1897 - type genus of tribe