1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Chapter 3

THE LESSOR GODS

EROS

Eros was the son of Ares and Aphrodite . From birth, Eros was equipped with a bow and a arrow to perform his duties as god of love.He possessed two types of arrows; golden ones, to instill love in the heart of the recipient, and lead ones, to make a hearth immune to love. With these arrows, Eros could control the feeling of hearts, as he did in many famous Greek myths (Psyche, Jason and Medea, Aeneas and Queen Dido, and Hero and Leander et,al,) Aphrodite usually determined whom would received the arrows shot by Eros.

Eros is usually shown with wings, carrying his bow and arrow, accompanying his mother, Aphrodite. He is perpetually young, and considered full of mischief..

THE SATYRS

Goat-men, usually in the train of Dionysus, satyrs were lustful creatures. The English word " satiromatiac" indicates an overly lustful man. Pan and Silenus were two satyrs..

PAN

Pan was an interesting mythological character. His father was Hermes, and mother Dryope. He was very ugly, but nevertheless, persistent in his persuits of all females.Frequently, he could be found in the company of Dionysus, partaking in the ususal revels, along with the Maenads, Silenus, and other satyrs..

Otherwise,Pan spent his time in rural Arcadia, in central Greece, guarding herds and watching nymphs at play. If surprised, Pan would emit an ear-splitting yell..

Pan is ususally shown as a man in the upper part of his body, with goat's horns on his head, and the lower part of his body as a goat, with cllloven hooves. He sometimes carried his "Pan-pipe", the origins of which will be explained in the myth of Pan and Syringe..

SILENUS

Silenus was the son of Pan, and likewise a satyr; He was assigned to tutor Dionysus, whom he educated in the ways of wine, accompanying him and his train in all their travels..

He was jolly, fat, old drunkard, usually so inebriated he had to ride a mule to move. He played a prominent part in the myth of the Golden Touch, of King Midas..

THE MUSES

Nine in numbers, the Muses were sisters, the product of nine nights of lovemaking between Zeus and Mneumosyme. They were the patronesses of music and poetr, each one assigned a differnt area of the arts, Herein follows the name of the Muses, and area they represented:.

1) Calliope: Epic Poetry 6) Polyhymnia: Son to Gods
2) Clio : History 7) Terpsichore: Dance
3) Erato : Love Poetry 8) Thalia : Comedy
4) Euterpe : Lyric Poetry 9) Uranis : Astronomy
5) Melpomene: Tragedy

Like Apollo, with whom they usually travelled, they carried lyres, and took part as a singers in all the celebrations of the Olympian Gods.

THE FURIES

Very important Greek Goddesses, the Furies were three sisters, named Alecto, Tisiphone, and Magaera. They were born from the drops of Urano's blood as they struck the earth, produced by his savered member, after he was castrated by his son, Cronus.
The role of the furiest was to plague evil-doers, especially those that had sinned against family members, and those that had broken oaths. They would torment those souls, driving them to the gates of the underworld. They were fierced looking women, depicted with wings, snakes in the hair, and the body of a monster

THE GORGONS

Dragons with wings, the Gorgons were three sisters, two immortal, and one mortal, named Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa Originally, the Gorgons were one girl, who had offended Athena in some manner, so they were transformed into monsters.. Their importance in Greek Mythology will be seen in the discussion of the Greek hero, Perseus.

Their hair, like the Furies, was infested with snakes. Their neck was covered with dragon scales, with large tusks portruding from their mouth, as well as golden wings. These creatures were quiet formidable, since their gaze could turn the victim to stone.

THE GRAIAE

Also three siters, the Graiae were three old, graid haired ladies, possessing only one eye and one tooth amongst the three, wich they had to share. They were named Enyo, Pephredo, and Dino. They were also important in the myth of Perseus. From birth, they had been aged.

THE CENTAURS

Half-men half-horse, the Centaurs were a group of beings that originated from the union of Ixion and Nephele, a cloud created by Zeus to resemble his wife, Hera. Ixion had been persuing Hera, so Zeus trapped in this manner. Ixion mistakedly coupled with the cloud, and the product was the Centaurs,

Generally, the Centaurs were coarsed, raucous beings. An exception to this was the Centaur, Chiron, who was a tutor to many Greek heroes, including Achilles, Jason, and Heracle. Also, he was the teacher os Asclepius, the Father of Greek Medicine. Another notable Centaur was Nessus, who attempted to abduct Deiriana, the wife of Heracles, which will be discussed in the section of the Greek Hero, Heracles.

THE FATES

These were three sisters goddesses, who, shortly after a mortals' birth, decided their fate. Clotho, the youngest, spun the thread of life, mixing the bright and the dark lines. Lachesis twisted the lines. Atropos, the cutter of the threads of life, was armed with a pair of shears. Once she made her cut, it was impossible to save the persons' life, and death was inevitable.

THE SIRENS

The sirens were a group of half-women, half-bird, who were marooned on an island in the Mediterranean . They passed the time by attempting to lure passing sailors to their chores, by singing sweetly, and playing flutes. If a sailor was unluckly enough to be seduced by their sounds, he would be torn to pieces by these seemingly friendly, musical creatures.
At one time, the Sirens were normal females companions, daughter of Demeter. They had been in the company of Persephone when she was abducted by Hades. To punish the Sirens, Demeter, Persephones's mother, transformed the sisters into the monsters described above.

THE HARPIES

The Harples were a pair of winged female monsters, with faces of women. They were known as the "snatchers", and anything that would dissapear suddenly was thought to due to their actions. They are best known in the 'Mith of the Golden Fleece', for the continuing snatching of Phineus' food, as punishment by Zeus, because Zeus became jealous of Phineus' ability to accurately predict the future.

AEOLUS

The all-important King of the Winds, Aeolous lived on an island in the Mediterraneun which was later named after him, Aeolia.. He had four underlings, each representing differents directions of wings; Zephir, the west wind; Notus, the south wind; Boreas, the north wind; and Eurus, the east wind.

THE GRACES

Daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, this threesome were named Aeglia (Splendor), Euphrosyne (Mirth), and Thalia (Good Cheer). Thet represented graceful and beautiful things. They would dance in response to Apollo's lyre. They are often shown in artwork naked, with their hands in each others shoulder's.

They were usually found in the company of the Muses and Apollo on Mt. Olympus, dancing to the tunes of Apollo's lyre.

NEMESIS

Nomesis was the Goddess of Righteous Anger, who plagued people with exessive pride and envy. Nemeis usually accompanies the Furies, as they punish crimes, especially those committed within hte family. From this goddess is derived the similar English word,signifying a 'known enemy'

IRIS

Nomesis was the counterpart of Hermes. That is, she was a messenger of Hera, as Hermes was to Zeus. She is also considered as ' Goddess of the Rainbow', and is usually shown with wings, gowned in silk.

HEBE

Goddess of Youth, and daughter of Zeus and Hera, Hebe was essentially a divine maid to her parents. Eventually she married Heracles, when he became immortal, after ascending to Mt. Olympus upon his death.

EILEITHYA

As a daughter of Zeus and Hera, Eileithya was the Goddess of Childbirth. For any birht to occur, she had to attend. It is said that, in she is present at an impending delivery, she comes with fingers and legs crossed. Once she uncros her legs and fingers birth occurs.

> NEREUS

Nereus was known as the "Old Man of the Sea", who had fifty daughters, called 'Nereis'. He possessed the power to change forms, and was known for his kindness to sailors. Usually, he is depicted with a beard, carrying a trident, and riding a sea-horse, in the intorage of Poseidon.

PROTEUS

Poseidon's son, he also had the power to change forms, as well as having the ability foretell the future. It is from this god that the English adjective 'protean' had its source, meaning many-formed.

HESPERIDES

They were nymphs who guarded the Golden Apples, given to Hera by Mother Earth, when Hera married Zeus. The location of the Garden where they were kept was most commonly thought to be in Northern Africa, near what is now the Atlas Mountains.