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Posts Tagged ‘Hesiod’s “Theogony”’

►Greek Mythology: “Hephaestus”  /

“Collaboration with Holly Rene Hunter”:

“The Fall Of Hephaestus” by C. Van Poelenburg. 17th century.

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Hephaestus (Roman equivalent: Vulcan)  was the Greek god of fire, metal work, blacksmiths and craftsmen.

According to Homer’s  “Iliad”, Hephaestus was born of the union of Zeus and Hera. In another tradition, attested by Hesiod, Hera bore Hephaestus alone.

Hephaestus. Attic Red Figure. 430 – 420 BC.

Hesiod tells us in “Theogony”, that in order to get even with Zeus for solely bringing about the birth of Athena, Hera produced the child Hephaestus all on her own.

Though Hesiod’s version seems to be the one that is most commonly accepted among readers, its content greatly alters our understanding of the birth of Athena. The ancient texts unequivocally state that it was Hephaestus who released the goddess from the head of Zeus by cracking the god’s skull open with an axe.

After Hephaestus was born, Hera was anything but pleased with his appearance, so she threw him off of Mount Olympus and down to earth.

Luckily, baby Hephaestus splashed down into the sea where he was rescued by two daughters of Oceanus; Thetis and Eurynome.

An interesting point is that he was lame. In vase paintings, Hephaestus is usually shown lame and bent over his anvil, hard at work on a metal creation, and sometimes with his feet back-to-front.

Hephaestus Thetis at Kylix, Attica vase figure

He walked with the aid of a stick. In some myths, Hephaestus built himself a “wheeled chair” or chariot with which to move around, thus helping him overcome his lameness while demonstrating his skill to the other gods. The “Iliad”, says that Hephaestus built some bronze human machines in order to move around.

There are two interpretations which describe how Hephaestus lost full use of his legs. The most basic of the two theories simply states that he was born that way and that was the reason why Hera rejected him and chose to toss him into the sea.

Another myth has it that he once tried to protect his mother from Zeus’ advances and as a result, the Ruler of the Gods flung him down from Olympus, which caused his physical disability; he fell on the island of Lemnos where he became a master craftsman.

Archetypal psychology uses mythical and poetic modes of discourse to deepen our understanding of lived experience and behavior. The stories associated with the Greek god Hephaestus are among the earliest representations of disability.

Vulcan. Roman archaic relief from Herculaneum.

Bitter Hephaestus does not intend to stay hidden away in an underground cave forever. Anger toward his mother inspires him to seek revenge.

These “negative” emotions engender the courage that is necessary for the disabled outcast to claim his rightful place in the world.

The archetypal psychologist Murray Stein suggests that loosening the bonds of his mother frees an introverted Hephaestus from his own psychic entrapment and moves him forward in the process of individuation and personal development. Hence, in Hephaestus we find a character who is motivated by his anger to confront a world that has discarded him.

In an archaic story, Hephaestus gained revenge against Hera for rejecting him by making her a magical golden throne, which, when she sat on it, did not allow her to stand up. In another story, Hephaestus sent sandals as gifts to all the gods, but those he sent to his mother were made of immovable and unyielding adamantine. When she tried to walk she fell flat on her face as though her shoes were riveted to the floor. 

Seeing how events were happening, the other gods begged Hephaestus to return to Olympus to let her go, but he refused, saying “I have no mother”. At last, Dionysus fetched him, intoxicated him with wine, and took the subdued smith back to Olympus on the back of a mule accompanied by revelers—a scene that sometimes appears on painted pottery of Attica and of Corinth.

Amphora depicting Hephaistos polishing the shield of Achilles. 480 B.C.

Hephaestus crafted much of the magnificent equipment of the gods. He designed Hermes´ winged helmet and sandals, the Aegis breastplate, Aphrodite‘s famed girdle, Agamemnons staff of office, Achilles‘ armor, Heracles‘ bronze clappers, Helios‘ chariot and Eros bow and arrows.

There is a still a very relevant intervention of Hephaestus in a  well-known cosmogonic myth. It tell us that Zeus was angry at Prometheus, the Rebel Titan, for three things: being tricked by the sacrifices, stealing fire for man, and refusing to tell Zeus which of Zeus’s children would dethrone him. 

As punishment for these rebellious acts, Zeus ordered Hephaestus make a woman made of clay named Pandora. Zeus gave her a box and forbade her from opening it. Then he sent her down to earth, where her curiosity led her to open the lid. Out flew sorrow, mischief, and all other misfortunes that plagued humanity. In the famous story of Pandora’s box, we may learn how earthly hardship was born.

According to most versions, Hephaestus’s wife was Aphrodite, who was unfaithful to Hephaestus with a number of gods and mortals, including her brother Ares.

After he learned his wife had an affair with her brother, Ares, he devised a plan with which he humiliated both lovers.

Helios, the Sun God (later replaced by Apollo) was able to see most things during the day, as he drove his sun chariot across the sky. It was one of those days that Helios witnessed Aphrodite taking her lover in her bed, while Hephaestus was absent.

The Sun God easily recognised Ares. So, he told everything to Hephaestus.

Hephaestus decided to take revenge on the lovers. Thus using his wit and his crafting skills he fashioned an unbreakable net and trapped the two lovers while they were in bed. Hephaestus walked back to his bedchamber with a host of other gods to witness the disgraced pair. Only the male Olympians appeared, while the goddesses stayed in Olympus

Poseidon tried to persuade Hephaestus to release the adulterous pair. At first, Hephaestus refused the request, because he wanted to extract the most out of his revenge, but at the end he released his wife and her lover. Ares immediately fled to Thrace, while Aphrodite went to Paphos at the island of Cyprus.

In Renaissance literature, Hephaestus– as master of fire- is identified as the founder of the alchemical arts and its greatest practitioner. He is frequently portrayed as an evil and sinister figure because in turning base metals into gold he is imitating Nature and thus forging the Work of God. Alchemists believed that the story of the binding of Aphrodite and Ares in Hephaestus’ bed was an encoded recipe. Aphrodite represents copper, Ares represents iron and Hephaestus is the fire that is needed to facilitate an alchemical transformation. In the archetypal psychology literature, Aphrodite and Ares, Love and War, are always imagined as an inseparable “psychic conjunction”. As the alchemist-smith in our soul, it is Hephaestus who binds the two lovers together.

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►Links Post:
https://goo.gl/YZgWZn
https://goo.gl/9s76TL
https://goo.gl/CXVoVz
https://goo.gl/9SXlrG
https://goo.gl/xvg4ju

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“Vulcan” by Bertel Thorvaldsen,1861. Thorvaldsens Museum.

►Poem: “Hephaestus”, by Holly Rene Hunter:

Hera, you have cast me from the mount.

Shattering the sphere, salt lime stings my 

skin where I am abandoned to the sea as

less than weeds. 

My cries are the waves  that

flow from  seashell eyes into the

arms of Oceanus.

Aphrodite plucks me up,  a heron

biting my body  and harpooned legs

that break against the sea wall.

I have loosed the crown of  Athena,

split with my ax the fearsome bird of prey.

Impaled, his eyes are those of a  startled deer.

Seized by  fate  I have gathered my medium and

with my broken hands and feet I mold precious metals

into  creations for Gods.

Goblets for Dionysus,

for Aphrodite, the unfaithful,   a copper belt.

A chariot of human form for broken Hephaestus

that I might roam the world unfettered.

For Hera, a golden throne,

where she is bound to dwell forever.

©Holly Rene Hunter. 2017 .-

Holly Rene Hunter.

About Holly Rene Hunter. 

Holly Dixit: “I am Holly Rene Hunter writing at WordPress under the pseudonym Heartafire. I make my home in Florida.  I began writing as a child, an outlet for a wild imagination, my first poem  published was written at age eight and  included in  the Dade County Public Schools Book of Songs.  I am currently assisting with editing for authors whose first language is other than English.  On a personal note, I am a motorcycle enthusiast who loves to paint and write poetry.  If you are so inclined, you can find a sampling of my poetry at Bookrix.com free of charge or visit  my blog here.

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Book by Holly Rene Hunter. You can find a sampling of her poetry at Bookrix.com free of charge here: https://aheartafire.wordpress.com/.

Check out Holly´s Blog. https://aheartafire.wordpress.com/.

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the muses1

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"Apollo and the Muses" by Baldassarre Peruzzi. 1523.

“Apollo and the Muses” by
Baldassarre Peruzzi. 1523.

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The Muses were the Greek goddesses of inspiration in literature, science and the arts.

Before the Classical idea of the nine Muses, Pausanias tells us of three Muses, different altogether from the nine we know. They were: Melete, or Practice. Mneme, or Memory and Aeode, or Song

It was only later, with Hesiod that the idea of Nine Muses showed up.

According to it, they were the daughters of Zeus and MnemosyneZeus and Mnemosyne slept together for nine consecutive nights, thus birthing the nine Muses.

Μnemosyne gave the babies to Nymph Eufime and Apollo (God of Light, Eloquence, Poetry and Fine Arts). When they grew up they showed their tendency to the arts, taught by God Apollo himself.
Apollo brought them to the big and beautiful Mount Elikonas, where the older Temple of Zeus used to be. Ever since, the Muses supported and encouraged creation, enhancing imagination and inspiration of the artists.

There were nine Muses according to Hesiod, protecting a different art and being symbolised with a different element; Calliope (epic poetry – symbol: writing tablet), Clio (history – symbol: scroll. The myth tells that she introduced the Phoenician alphabet to Greece), Erato (love poetry – symbol: cithara, a Greek type of lyre), Euterpe (lyric poetry – symbol: aulos, a Greek flute), Melpomene (tragedy – symbol: tragic mask), Polyhymnia (sacred poetry – symbol: veil), Terpsichore (dance – symbol: lyre), Thalia (comedy and pastoral poetry – symbol: comic mask), and Urania (astronomy – symbols: globe and compass). 

All the Hesiodic names are significant; thus Calliope means “She of the Beautiful Voice”, Clio the “Proclaimer”, Erato the “Lovely”, Euterpe the “Well Pleasing”, Melpomene the “Songstress”, Polymnia “She of the Many Hymns”,  Thalia the “Blooming”, Terpsichore “Delighting in the Dance”, and Urania the “Heavenly”.

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Hesiod also states that the Muses were created as an aid to forgetfulness and relief from troubles, perhaps as a balance to their mother, who personified memory.

Mnemosyne (Memory), who reigns over the hills of Eleuther, bear of union with the father, the son of Cronos, a forgetting of ills and a rest from sorrow. For nine nights did wise Zeus lie with her, entering her holy bed remote from the immortals. And when a year was passed and the seasons came round as the months waned, and many days were accomplished, she bare nine daughters, all of one mind, whose hearts are set upon song and their spirit free from care, a little way from the topmost peak of snowy Olympus”. Hesiod´s Theogony. (ll. 53-74).

The Muses probably were originally the patron goddesses of poets, although later their range was extended to include all liberal arts and sciences—hence, their connection with such institutions as the Museum.

Although bringers of festivity and joy, the Muses were not to be trifled with when it came to the superiority of their artistic talents. The nine daughters of Pierus foolishly tried to compete musically with the Muses on Mt. Helicon and were all turned into birds for their impertinence. The Thracian musician Thamyres (son of the Nymph Agriope) was another who challenged the Muses in music and after inevitably coming second best to the goddesses was punished with blindness, the loss of his musical talent, and his singing voice.


►Further appearances of certain Muses
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Calliope was called on by Zeus to arbitrate the dispute between Aphrodite, the goddess of Love and Beauty, and Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, when both fell in love with the handsome AdonisAs a result of her decision, Adonis was to spend one-third of every year with each goddess and the last third wherever he chose. Thus he decided to spend two-thirds of the year with Aphrodite.

When Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom rescued Pegasus, the winged horse, shortly after his birth, the goddess entrusted the Muses with his care.

The young colt, excited to meet the lovely Muses, kicked the side of the Mountain, causing springs to gush out of the side of the mountain. Springs and wells both became sacred symbols of the Muses, representing the fountains of inspiration that they provided.

 Urania took the major responsibility for caring for Pegasus, and prophesied his future heroism as well as his eventual place amongst the stars in the heavens.  She also suffered a lot when Bellerophontes, a mythical hero, took Pegasus away.

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►Gallery: “The Muses”:

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Eva Xanthopoulos

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►“Erato, the Greco-Muse of Love Poetry:

Human-seraph hybrid embodiment

of love poetry plucking your cithara

under Grecian golden globe.

~~~

Sea salted air beckons all who catch

a wisp, a glimpse of your grand

pulchritude pulsating with scents

of slight oregano and plentiful jasmine.

~~~

The lightly brisked

breezes tease your deep

mahogany tresses making

them dance a slow motion susta.

~~~

Your irises possess

emeralds—the green this land

lacks. A black ink-tipped quill

rests behind your left ear.

~~~

With a sharp-edged stone

you carve into a tablet

in archaic Greek:

“A love star-crossed is merely a love

out of this world, of outer space,

blessed by the Gods,

that society is envious of”.

~~~

Urania tends to disagree

for the stars and planets see all.

Both seize the fates of all.

©Eva Xanthopoulos (Eva PoeteX). 2016 .-

*Previously published in Harbinger Asylum Poetry Magazine.

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"Erato" (Muse of History). Detail, "Apollo and his muses" by Charles Meynier. 1800.

“Erato”. Detail, “Apollo and his muses” by Charles Meynier. 1800.

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About Eva Xanthopoulos (Eva PoeteX):

Eva Xanthopoulos (pen-name Eva PoeteX) is a prolific Greco-American Author, Poet, and Artist who creates and dwells in the Greater Cleveland area. To date, hundreds of her writings have been featured in various publications, including The Golden Lantern, Mystic Living Today, Journey of the Heart, The Journey Magazine, and more. Eva has also collaborated with a multitude of musicians worldwide like Grant Wish, Audiosapian, Electrosurrogate, and Replicant Core.

Currently, Eva is the Founding Editor of Poehemian Press and the Co-Creator of the self-development website Etheric Archives.  Additionally, she is the author of several books, including Esoterra and the Sought After Blood Lines Fantasy Series. Eva has a B.A. in Creative Writing from Cleveland State University.

When she’s not writing, Eva loves to read her weight in books (while sipping rooibos chai tea), go on epic adventures with her bike, and practice Yoga Nidra. To find out more, visit her website.

You can also  follow Eva on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

~~Thanks so much for being here as a guest author/ poet, dear Eva~~

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Eva Xanthopoulos (pen-name Eva PoeteX).

Eva Xanthopoulos ( Eva PoeteX).

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 The Escapist (Sought After Blood Lines Book 1). Click on the cover to purchase it.

“The Escapist” (“Sought After Blood Lines” Book 1). Click on the cover to purchase it.

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Blurb:”The Escapist” (“Sought After Blood Lines”).Book by Eva Xanthopoulos:

“While the town´s people of Eternicca find Vyvianna’s heart of gold to be both endearing and noble, she deems it to be her ultimate curse and is determined to rid herself of it no matter what the cost. Hailing from a lineage touched by a rare form of magick in a barricaded kingdom where all-things magickal are met with torment and wrath, she must keep her secret tucked away forevermore. Will she be able to mask her inner glisten or will it inevitably shine through and expose her to the cunning, ever-ruthless King Zollamedes? And no matter how many challenges transpire, will Vyvianna’s heart keep its golden reputation or will her ribcage soon become the home of an obsidian core, succumbing to a ruthlessness only tyrants should wield?”…

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Links Post:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muse
http://goodlucksymbols.com/nine-muses/
http://www.theoi.com/Ouranios/Mousai.html
http://www.paleothea.com/SortaSingles/Muses.html

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PEGASUSHEADER

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Bellerophon, Pegasus and Khimaira. Kylix Laconian Black Figure. Ca 570 - 565 BC.

Bellerophon, Pegasus and Khimaira. Kylix Laconian Black Figure. Ca 570 – 565 BC.

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Pegasus was a Hippoi Athanatoi, meaning an immortal horse of the Gods. he was a winged horse which sprang forth from the neck of the Gorgon Medusa when she was beheaded by the hero Perseus. 

When Perseus struck off the head of Medusa, with whom Poseidon had once had intercourse in the form of a horse or a bird, there sprang forth from her Chrysaor and the horse Pegasus.

Chrysaor (meaning “Golden Sword”) was usually represented as giant, but may also have been conceived of as a winged boar.

As to Pegasus, he obtained that because he was believed to have made his appearance near the sources (pêgai) of Oceanus.

Liz Greene calls the winged horse the bridge between opposites: “An earthy creature which has the power to ascend into the spiritual realm”[Source: Symbol Reader].

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“The Birth of Pegasus and Chrysaor” by Edward Burne-Jones (1885).

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Pegasus was tamed by Bellerophon, a corinthian hero, who rode him into battle against the Chimera.

On a side note, the Chimera was a creature of Asia Minor, composed of the parts of more than one animal. 

Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat  arising from its back, and a tail that might end with a snake´s head. The Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Hydra.

After Pegasus had conquered the Chimera, he endeavoured to rise up to heaven with his winged horse, but fell down upon the earth, either from fear or from giddiness, or being thrown off by Pegasus, who was rendered furious by a gad-fly which Zeus had sent. But Pegasus continued his flight.

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“Bellerophon Rides to Kill the Chimera” by Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov 1829.

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The winged horse was also placed amongst the stars as a constellation whose rising marked the arrival of the warmer weather of spring and seasonal rainstorms.

Hence, Pegasus became a constellation in the northern sky, which brightest star is the orange supergiant Epsilon Pegasi

Both Hesiod and Plato made reference to this emplacement:

“Pegasus, soaring, left the earth, the mother of sheep flocks, and came to the immortals, and there he lives in the household of Zeus, and carries the thunder and lightning for Zeus of the counsels”. (Hesiod, Theogony).

“A pair of winged horses and a charioteer. Now the winged horses and the charioteers of the gods are all of them noble and of noble descent… Zeus, the mighty lord, holding the reins of a winged chariot, leads the way in heaven, ordering all and taking care of all; and there follows him the array of gods and demigods, marshalled in eleven bands [the twelve Olympians]”.  (Plato, Phaedrus, 246).

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Pegasus with the foal Equuleus next to it, as depicted in Urania's Mirror, a set of constellation cards published in London in 1825. The horses appear upside-down in relation to the constellations around them.

Pegasus with the foal Equuleus next to it, as depicted in Urania’s Mirror, a set of constellation cards published in London in 1825. The horses appear upside-down in relation to the constellations around them.

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From a symbolic point, Pegasoi or winged horses occur in ancient art drawing the chariots of various gods and goddesses, including Helios, the sun and Selene, the moon.

The hero Pelops was also given a chariot drawn by winged horses by the god Poseidon.

Furthermore, Pegasus is a Pterippus (pteros in Greek means “winged” and hippos means “horse”).

The symbolic meaning of the horse is pretty intense with themes of power and mobility.

The horse alone also carries archetypal themes of unifying grounded stability (four feet on the ground) with higher ideals (from speed and mobility).

This theme really comes to life when the horse is winged. The Pterippus, or winged horse, is a symbol of aspiring to the greatest heights of accomplishment.

Grounded by the stability of its body, yet in flight by the ephemeral power of its wings, Pegasus offers a great analogy because of the dichotomy it offers. 

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“Perseus on Pegasus Slaying Medusa “by John Singer Sargent. 20th century.

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Perseus and Andromeda, detail of

Perseus and Andromeda, detail of “Pegasus”, by Peter Paul Rubens. 1622.

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►Gallery: “Creatures, Characters and Gods featured in this post”:

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►Gallery: “Pegasus, The Winged Horse”:

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►Anex: A List of More Types of Horses in Greek Mythology (Gallery Below):

The Centaur, a creature with the head and torso of a man and the lower body of a horse. 

•The Hippocampus, a creature with an upper body that resembles a horse and a dolphin-like lower body.

•The Hippogriff, a beast with a head and front legs of an eagle whilst the rest of its body is that of a horse.

•The Ichthyocentaur, a creature which supposedly was one-third horse, one-third fish, and one-third human. Also known as Sea Centaur.

•The Ipotanes, a being that looked overall human, but had the legs, hindquarters, tail, and ears of a horse.

•The Sileni, bipedal beings that appear human form the waist up and horse the waist down. They were  were rustic spirits in the train of the God of Wine, Dionysus.

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Links Post:
http://www.theoi.com/Ther/HipposPegasos.html
http://www.theoi.com/Ther/Hippoi.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimera_(mythology)
http://www.space.com/16743-constellation-pegasus.html
http://rabirius.me/2016/01/03/feeding-pegasus/
http://www.whats-your-sign.com/meaning-of-wings.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perseus_and_Andromeda_(Rubens)
http://symbolreader.net/2013/08/11/light-and-matter-the-perseid-meteor-shower/

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the gorgons

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Perseus and Medusa by Benvenuto Cellini, (1554). Perseus with the head of Medusa. Details.

Perseus and Medusa by Benvenuto Cellini, (1554). Perseus with the head of Medusa. Details.

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In Greek Mythology, the Gorgons were three monsters, daughters of Echidna and Typhon. Their names were Stheno (“forceful”), Euryale (“far-roaming”), and the most famous of them, Medusa (“ruler”).  Although the first two were immortal, Medusa was not, and she was slain by the demigod and hero Perseus.

It was said that their  appearance would turn anyone who laid eyes upon it to stone. The name “Gorgon”  is Greek, being derived from “gorgos” and translating as “terrible” or “dreadful”.

Hesiod in his “Theogony” imagines the Gorgons as three sea daemons and makes them the daughters of two sea deities.

Homer speaks only of one Gorgon, whose head is represented in “The Iliad”as fixed in the centre of the aegis (meaning a mirrored shield) of Athena, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom,  and whose counterpart was a device on the shield of Agamemnon.

In Homer´s “Odyssey”, the Gorgon is a monster of the underworld into which the earliest Greek deities were cast.

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Roman mosaic from 4th C. BC found in Palencia, in the year 1869 and currently at the National archaeological Museum of Madrid.

Roman mosaic from 4th C. BC found in Palencia, in the year 1869 and currently at the National archaeological Museum of Madrid.

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In most versions of the story, Medusa was killed by Perseus.

According to Ovid (“Metamorphoses”, book IV), the reason for the dispute between Athena and Medusa lay in Poseidon‘s rape of Medusa inside the temple of the virgin goddess.

The goddess of Wisdom was supposed to have punished Medusa by transforming her face, which therefore made Medusa an innocent victim.

As to Perseus, he was  the son of the mortal Danae (the daughter of the King of Argos) and Zeus, the Ruler of Gods.

He would later on become the legendary founder of Mycenae and of the Dynasty of Danaans

Perseus had been sent to  fetch Medusa´s head by King Polydectes of Seriphus because Polydectes wanted to marry his mother.

The gods backed up Perseus. Thus, he received a mirrored shield from Athena, gold, winged sandals from Hermes (the messenger of the Gods), a sword from Hephaestus and Hades´helm of invisibility.

Medusa was the only one of the three Gorgons who was mortal, so Perseus was able to slay her while looking at the reflection from the mirrored shield he received from Athena.

Perseus could safely cut off Medusa’s head without turning to stone, by looking only at her reflection in the shield.

During that time, Medusa was pregnant by Poseidon.

When Perseus beheaded Medusa, Medusa and Poseidon´s sons, Pegasus (a winged horse) and Chrysaor (a golden sword-wielding giant), sprang from her body.

According to other accounts, either Perseus or Athena used the head to turn Atlas into stone, transforming him into the Atlas Mountains  that held up both heaven and earth.

Many elements of the myth suggest, through its basic ambiguity, the tragic nature of Medusa.

One of the most revealing of these is the gift from Athena to Asclepius of two drops of the Gorgon’s blood, one of which has the power to cure and even resurrect, while the other is a deadly poison.

In his study “The Mirror of Medusa” (1983), Tobin Siebers has identified the importance of two elements, i.e. the rivalry between Athena and the Gorgon, and the mirror motif.

As to the mirror motif, common features are numerous. For example, snakes are the attribute of Athena, as illustrated by the famous statue of Phidias. 

With regard to symbolisms and equivalents, it is interesting to highlight that in Ancient Greece a Gorgoneion (a stone head, engraving, or drawing of a Gorgon face), frequently was used as a sacred symbol in the hopes of warding off evil.

These symbols were similar to the sometimes grotesque faces on Chinese soldiers’ shields, also used generally as an amulet. Likewise, in Hindu mythology, Kali is often shown with a protruding tongue and snakes around her head. Medusa is, besides, one of the most archaic mythical figures, perhaps an echo of the demon Humbaba who was decapitated by the babylonian hero, Gilgamesh.

David Leeming in his book: “Medusa: In the Mirror of Time” (2013) traces the development of Medusa from her earliest appearances in Archaic art and poetry to her more recent incarnations. Leeming makes reference to Jean Pierre Vernant several times in his book.

Particularly he mentions Vernant´s  essay “In The Mirror of Medusa” (1985), in which he examines Medusa in the context of archaic Greek religious life.

Leeming second Vernant when he states that Medusa is basically “a mask conveying the Ultimate Other”. They both believe that Medusa represented the death power which “wrenches humans away from their lives”. (“To gaze at the Other, which is the Medusa mask is to lose the Self, to be petrified”).

Robert Graves (“Greek Myths”, 1958) believes that the myth of Perseus preserves the memory of the conflicts which occurred between men and women in the transition from a matriarchal to a patriarchal society. 

In fact, the function of the Gorgon’s mask was to keep men at a safe distance from the sacred ceremonies and mysteries reserved for women, meaning, those which celebrated the Triple Goddess, the Moon.

Graves reminds us that the Orphic poems referred to the full moon as the “Gorgon’s head”. The mask was also worn by young maidens to ward off male lust.

Consequently, according to Robert Graves, the episode of Perseus’ victory over Medusa represents the end of female ascendancy and the taking over of the temples by men, who had become the masters of the divine which Medusa’s head had concealed from them.

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“La Méduse” by Jean Delville. 1893

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►Gallery: “The Gorgons”: 

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“Medusa” by Arnold Böcklin (On the Left: 1878. On the Right: 1897).

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“The Gorgon Medusa”, by Caravaggio. (1590).

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►Links Post:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorgon
http://www.rwaag.org/medusa
http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2014/2014-08-09.html
https://books.google.com.ar/books?id=vQqIWcgAxhIC&redir_esc=y
http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/a_f/bogan/medusamyth.htm
https://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/2008/12/25/medusa-inspired-art-on-show/

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  Last but not Least: “Three Awards” 

Thank you very much to bloggers from Time for my Thoughts, Jully´s Blog and Dear Kitty for nominating me for a Blogger Recognition Award, a Creative Blogger Award and a Real Neat Blog Award, respectively.

I will follow these basic rules for these three awards: 

♠Thank the person who nominated you. ♠Add the logo to your post. ♠Nominate ten (10) bloggers of your choice and tell them about the nomination. 

I. Nominees Blogger Recognition Award: 1. Natascha’s Palace 2. Art Box 3. Way Station 4. Book lover circumspect4 5. WolfBerryKnits 6. Cheryl “Cheffie Cooks” Wiser 7. Blabberwockying 8. Ricettedicasamia 9. Missameliaandsir 10. Keep The Hope.

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II. Nominees Creative Blogger Award: 1. Dreamspinner Extraordinaire 2. La Luna Escarlata 3. Spiritual Dragonfly 4. Trees of Transition 5. Stephanie’s Book Reviews 6. Collage a la intemperie 7. Breathe In My Touch 8.Time for my Thoughts 9. Dear Kitty 10. Of Means and Ends.

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III. Nominees Real Neat Blog Award:  1. Joys of Joel 2. Soul Synchronicity 3. Be Different Buddy 4. Ionic Bond Blog 5. El Mejor Viaje del Mundo 6. Nearly Dear 7. Jully´s Blog 8. Diana Douglas 9. All Nine 10. Imperfect Happiness.

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atlas

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“Atlas holding up a celestial map”. Sculpture by Artus Quellinus. (17th century). Royal Palace in Amsterdam.

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Atlas (which means ‘very enduring’), was one of the Titans. He was son of  Iapetus (a Titan, son of Uranus and Gaia), and the Oceanid Clymene.

Atlas´ brothers were Prometheus (meaning ‘forethought’, the Titan who gave the human race the gift of fire and the skill of metalwork), Epimetheus (meaning ‘afterthought’. He was Pandora´s husband) and Menoetius (meaning “doomed might”).

Atlas was married to his sister, Phoebe (Titan and Goddess of Prophecy). 

He had numerous children, including  the Pleiades (the stars that announced good spring weather), the Hesperides (the maidens who guarded a tree bearing golden apples), the Hyades, (the stars that announced the rainy season), Hyas (Brother of the Hyades, and spirit of seasonal rains), the nymph Calypso, Dione (Goddess of the Oak and the personification of a more ancient Mother Goddess, and presumably, Aphrodite´s mother) and Maera

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During the Titanomachy, the War between the Titans and  the Olympian gods for control of the heavens, Atlas and his brother Menoetius sided with the Titans, while Prometheus and Epimetheus helped the Olympian gods.

Atlas was the leader in the batttle; however, being on the losing side, Zeus condemned him to eternally stand on the western side of Gaia (the earth) holding Uranus (the sky) on his shoulders.

Homer describes Atlas in his “Odyssey” as ‘deadly-minded’ and as holding the pillars which hold the heavens and earth apart.

Hesiod  in his “Theogony” also describes Atlas as holding up the heavens and locates him in the land of the Hesperides (female deities famed for their singing), which was far to the west, at the edge of the world.

Later tradition, including Herodotus, associates the god with the Atlas Mountains where the Titan was transformed from a shepherd into a huge rock mountain by Perseus (who had behead Medusa)using the head of the Gorgon Medusa with her deadly stare. (Note: the Gorgon Medusa was one of three ugly monsters who had snakes for hair, staring eyes, and huge wings).

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On the Left:

On the Left: “Medusa”, by Carvaggio (1595). On the Right: Statue of Perseus, holding Medusa´s head. Piazza della Signoria, Florence. Italy.

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Both sides of The Titan. NYC, St. Patrick’s Cathedral/Rockefeller Center.

Both sides of The Titan. NYC, St. Patrick’s Cathedral/Rockefeller Center.

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Atlas was considered a source of great wisdom and founder of astronomy, and, according to Plato, in his dialogue “Critias”, he was the original king of Atlantis.

Atlas had been required to fetch the golden apples from the fabled gardens of the Hesperides which were sacred to Zeus´wife, Hera, and guarded by the fearsome hundred-headed dragon Ladon.  

Following the advice of Prometheus, Heracles (the grandson of Perseus) asked Atlas to get him the apples because he was the father of the Hesperides, who guarded the Golden Apples´Garden…

He was also requested to take the world onto his shoulders for a while, with the help of Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom.

But, Hercules tricked Atlas into taking the load back by asking Atlas to hold it while he shifted the load.

Hercules then took the apples and Atlas again shouldered the weight of the heavens.

Because the place where Atlas stood to perform his task was the westernmost end of the world known to the ancient Greeks, the ocean near him was called the Atlantic, meaning the “Sea of Atlas” in his honor.

Atlas’ best-known cultural association is in cartography / maps. The first publisher to associate the Titan Atlas with a group of maps was Antonio Lafreri, on an engraved title-page in 1572. However, he did not use the word “atlas” in the title of his work. The mapmaker Gerardus Mercator was the first to put a picture of Atlas holding up the world – not the heavens – on the title page of his book.

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On the Left: Atlas bears the world and the cosmos on his shoulders - from a 16th century English woodcut. on The Right: Drawing by Danckerts, Justus. Atlas hold up the world on his back.

On the Left: Atlas bears the world and the cosmos on his shoulders – from a 16th century English woodcut. On The Right: Atlas holding up the world on his back. Drawing by Danckerts, Justus.

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“Atlas turned to stone” (The Perseus´Series), by Edward Burne Jones (1878).

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►Gallery: Atlas:

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►Links Post
http://atlascider.com/atlasmythology.html
http://www.greekmythology.com/Titans/Atlas/atlas.html
https://mitologiahelenica.wordpress.com/2015/05/07/perseu-e-atlas/
http://www.mapforum.com/03/lafrscho.htm
http://www.ancient.eu/Atlas/

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I want to be your Atlas, so I can
chisel away at “alas,” and grant you
relief from worries of the past.

I want to create a globe out
of those woes
to carry on my shoulders—
just for a moment.

Just so you can exhale the words:

“At last”.

© 2015 – Eva PoeteX

Originally published on Eva PoeteX.-

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About Eva Xanthopoulos: She is a Greco-American Artist and Mystic Poet. She is also a  Supporter of various causes and Promoter of artists worldwide.

Learn More about Eva here 

Check out her Poetry blog!. Also make sure to follow Eva on Twitter and  Facebook.

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Eva Poetex.

Eva Xanthopoulos AKA Eva Poetex.

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artemis

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Diana the Huntress, by Luca Penni (16th Century).

“Diana the Huntress”, by Luca Penni (16th Century).

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Artemis (Roman Equivalent: Diana) was the greek goddess of hunting, wilderness and wild animals.

She was also a goddess of childbirth, and the protectress of Virginity and the girl child up to the age of marriage.

According to the Homeric account and also to Hesiod she was the daughter of Zeus and Leto. She was the sister of Apollo. According to Pausanias, Artemis was a daughter of Demeter, and not of Leto.

Artemis as the sister of Apollo, is a kind of female Apollo.

Artemis is moreover, like Apollo, unmarried; she is a maiden divinity never conquered by love. The priests and priestesses devoted to her service were bound to live pure and chaste, and trangressions of their vows of chastity were severely punished. 

When Apollo was regarded as identical with the sun or Helios, nothing was more natural than that his sister should be regarded as Selene or the moon, and accordingly the Greek Artemis is, at least in later times, the goddess of the moon. Phoebe was one of the many names she was called. The name Phoebe means the “light one” or “bright one”.

Another earlier version of the Goddess is the Arcadian. According to it, Artemis  is a goddess of the nymphs.

There was no connexion between the Arcadian Artemis and Apollo. Her epithets in Arcadia are nearly all derived from the mountains, rivers, and lakes. Thus she was the representative of some part or power of nature. Also according to the Arcadian version, Artemis hunted with her twenty nymphs, who accompanied her during the chase, and with sixty others, daughters of Oceanus, with whom she held her dances in the forests of the mountains.

The representations of the Greek Artemis in works of art are different accordingly as she is represented either as a huntress, or as the goddess of the moon; yet in either case she appears as a youthful and vigorous divinity.

~As the huntress, her attributes are the bow, quiver, and arrows, or a spear, stags, and dogs.

~As the goddess of the moon, she wears a long robe which reaches down to her feet, a veil covers her head, and above her forehead rises the crescent of the moon. In her hand she often appears holding a torch.

On one of her birthdays Artemis asked for Six wishes from Zeus, his father. These wishes were.

  1. To be able to live life chaste.
  2. To be able to be a lifelong bachelorette and never marry.
  3. A bow and arrow like that of Apollo’s
  4. Hunting dogs to assist her hunting.
  5. Stags to lead her chariot.
  6. And 80 virgin nymphs to be her hunting companions.

Zeus was amused by Artemis’ wishes, and being her good father, he granted her each wish she asked for.

Artemis would never marry, and would be chaste for all eternity. She roamed with her hunting dogs, nymphs, and her stags, hunting all throughout the mountains, where she resided.

Appearances of Artemis in other myths and in Homer’s “Iliad”:

•In the myth of Actaeon, he was a hunting companion of Artemis ; at some point, he saw the goddess naked bathing in a spring and tried to rape her. As a punishment, Artemis transformed him into a stag and his hounds killed him.

•In the myth of Orion which has various versions, Orion was also a hunting companion of Artemis  and the only person to have won her heart. However, he was accidentally killed either by the goddess or by a scorpion which was sent by Gaia.

In another myth, Zeus, changing his form to resemble Artemis, managed to seduce Callisto, one of Artemis’ hunting attendants. As a companion of Artemis, she took a vow of chastity. Zeus appeared to her disguised as Artemis and they had sexual relationships. As a result of this encounter she conceived a son, Arcas.

•In some versions of the story of Adonis, Artemis sent a wild boar to kill him because he was a better hunter than she. In another version, Adonis was not killed by Artemis, but by Ares, as punishment for being with Aphrodite.

In Homer’s “Iliad”, Artemis may have been represented as a supporter of Troy because her brother Apollo was the patron god of the city. At the Greek’s journey to Troy, Artemis becalmed the sea and stopped the journey until an oracle came and said they could win the goddess’ heart by sacrificing Iphigenia, Agamemnon’s daughter.

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►Gallery: “Artemis” (Ancient Greek Vases):

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” Diana’s Maidens” by Edward Robert Hughes (19th Century).

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►Gallery: “Artemis or Diana” (Paintings):

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Poem Artemis by Irina

O Artemis!

Steadfast virgin for all eternity

Out of wedlock born to Leto

Fathered by Zeus the mighty

Baby midwife to Apollo

Her twin brother;

She helped her mother

And thus became the patron saint

Of birthing mothers and their babes

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The virgin Goddess of Hunting

Roamed throughout the mountains

With a hunting bow and arrow like Apollo’s

With her eighty virgin nymphs

With hunting dogs, and sacred stags

To lead her chariot

Hunting chaste in lush wilderness;

Six desired gifts from father received

The mighty ruler of Mount Olympus

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The most cherished gift Virginity

Thus she turned Callisto into a small bear

Punishment for loss of chastity;

Her jealous arrow

Condemned the bear to die

But cunning Zeus, the nymph’s seducer

Turned Callisto into sparkling stars

To shine for us forever in the sky

As Callisto Bear or Ursa Minor

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The Virgin Goddess for all eternity

Never loved but one, Orion, a mortal son;

Apollo, jealous, tricked his sister

Through a wager, to shoot

The “floating object” far on the horizon

It was Orion, her one and only love;

In her grief she turned him

Into brilliant stars

Forevermore to shine for her and us

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O Artemis!

Goddess of Hunting

Protector of animals, trees and flowers

Goddess of Virginity, Goddess of Light

As silvery moon you joined Orion;

In the darkness, your love

Forever will shine bright

Lend us your strength, allay our fears

Lead us safely through the night.

©Copyright 2015 Irina Dimitric

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Irina Dimitric. http://irinadim.com/

Irina Dimitric. http://irinadim.com/

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►About Irina Dimitric:

Irina dixit: “I’m a blogger. My recent passions are writing poetry and photography. Now and then I write a story… The ups and downs of my life are reflected in my poems and short stories, and the mood of the poems ranges from dark to bright and from serious to downright silly. Laughter is to me like the air I breathe. I’m a fighter and don’t give in easily to misfortune’s impact”. 

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•Make sure to visit Irina’s Blog, Irina’s Poetry Corner.

•Feel Free to connect with Irina at: Twitter and Google Plus.

•Irina has recently published a poetry book, “Dreams on my Pillow”. 

You can purchase Irina’s book at Amazon or Xlibris.

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Click on the book cover.

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“Haz de Luz”. ©Amalia Pedemonte. 2015. Fotografía publicada en “La Poesía No Muerde: Imagen encontró poemas”: http://wp.me/p3U19M-10C

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Links Post:
http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Artemis.html
http://www.theoi.com/Summary/Artemis.html
http://www.greekmythology.com/Olympians/Artemis/artemis.html
http://greekgodsandgoddesses.net/goddesses/artemis/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemis

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It is great to get these three new awards. Premio Dardos (x2) coming from Jagxs and  Sonrisas de Camaleón.

Plus, a Creative Bloggers Award, from Living a Beautiful Life.  

I want to thank these three bloggers and suggest you to please make sure to check out their blogs and follow them if you haven´t still done so.  

Note: For the three awards, I will nominate blogs I have recently came across and like, recent followers and/or plussers. Also, I am changing the logos so that way I can include new awards among mine… And, finally, I will follow the nomination process without answering questions or mentioning facts about me…. 

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►Rules for these Three Awards:

♠ Thank the person who nominated you for the award. Agradecer a la persona que te ha nominado.

♠ Add the logo to your post. Agregar el logo del premio en tu blog. 

♠Nominate ten (10) bloggers you admire and inform your nominees by commenting on their blogs. Nominar otros diez (10) bloggers, informándoles en sus respectivos blogs.

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►I) Nominees~Premio Dardos~Focal White & Black Version:

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1. Iridediluce 2. K’ Cadences 3. A Joyful Creation 4. Alex Kiaw 5. Living a Beautiful Life 6. Writing Stories Rocks 7. Ruido Claro 8. Utopian Fragments 9. Le Rimenaute 10. RV John.

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►II) Nominees~Premio Dardos~Chameleon Version:

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premio-dardos

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1. Le Trouvaille 2. Free Spirit Mystic 3. People Forward 4. Claudia Moss 5. Margie in Italy 6. Territorio Escrito 7. The Faerie Embassy 8. Presupuesto Zero 9. Your Bones & Their Lies 10. Mina Barrado

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►III) Nominees~Creative Bloggers Award:

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creativeblogger

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1. In Sapphic Sunshine 2. Jagxs 3. Sonrisas de Camaleón 4. Bundle Post 5. Mehflowers 6. MaryAnn’s World 7. Living in the Forest 8. Daphnedawn 9. Bojenn 10. Peaks and Valleys

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►Greek Mythology: “The Sphinx and her Riddle”:

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"Oedipus and the Sphinx" by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1808).

“Oedipus and the Sphinx” by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1808).

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The Sphinx  (from the greek word Σφίγξ,  meaning “to squeeze”, “to tighten up”) was a female mythical creature with the body of a lion, the breast and head of a woman, eagle’s wings and, according to some, a serpent-headed tail.

According to Hesiod, the Sphinx was daughter of Orthus and Chimaera, born in the country of the Arimi (Theog. 326).

According to Sophocles, when King Laius of Thebes was murdered, by an unknown in a Phocian road, the king’s brother-in-law Creon came to power.

It was during his regency that the Sphinx came to  Thebes, as a punishment, sent by Hera, or, according to other accounts, by Hades, and  and gobbling up people

The Sphinx guarded the entrance to the Greek city of Thebes, and to have asked a riddle, which allowed people come into the city.

On the other hand, she started ravaging the fields and threatening people as she declared that she would not depart unless anyone interpreted her riddle

King Creon in accordance with an oracle, issued a proclamation promising that he would give the kingdom of Thebes and his sister Jocasta in marriage to the person solving the riddle of the Sphinx.

The riddle of the sphinx was:

“What is it that has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed?”.

Finally, Oedipus gave the proper answer: man, who crawls on all fours in infancy, walks on two feet when grown, and leans on a staff in old age. The sphinx thereupon killed herself. From this tale apparently grew the legend that the sphinx was omniscient, and even today the wisdom of the sphinx is proverbial.

Sphinxes were popular in ancient art, especially as sculptural grave stele set upon the tombs of men who died in youth.

Decorative sphinxes also appear in animal processions on archaic Greek vases, often alongside lions and bird-bodies sirens.

The Sphinx was originally Egyptian or Ethiopian; but after her incorporation with Grecian story, her figure was variously modified.

The Egyptian Sphinx is the figure of an unwinged lion in a lying attitude, but the upper part of the body is human.

Unlike the Greek sphinx which was a woman, the Egyptian sphinx is typically shown as a man (anandrosphinx).

And the most well known among the Egyptian representations of Sphinxes is that of Ghizeh. Although the date of its construction is uncertain, the head of the Great Sphinx now is believed to be that of the pharaoh Khafra (2558 BC -2532 BC)

The common idea of a Greek Sphinx, on the other hand, is that of a monster with a head of a woman, a body of a lion, the wings of an eagle and a serpent-headed tail. Greek Sphinxes, moreover, are not always represented in a lying attitude.

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Egyptian sphinx with a human head. (Museo Egizio, Turin). 1300 BC.

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Sphinx. The upper decorative element from grave stele in Kerameikos Museum in Athens. (550 BC).

Sphinx. The upper decorative element from grave stele in Kerameikos Museum in Athens. (550 BC).

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 ►Gallery: Sphinxs:

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"Oedipus and the Sphinx", by Gustave Moreau, (1864).

“Oedipus and the Sphinx”, by Gustave Moreau, (1864).

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Links Post:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphinx
http://www.theoi.com/Ther/Sphinx.html
http://www.maicar.com/GML/Sphinx.html
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/559722/sphinx

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►Last but not Least: Real Neat Blog Award:

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Real Neat Blog Award.

Real Neat Blog Award.

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I want to thank my friend Christy Birmingham from Poetic Parfait for nominating me for a Real Neat Blog Award.Please, If you still haven’t done so, visit Poetic Parfait to read some beautiful poems by Christy. 

Here are the Award Rules:

1) The nominee shall display the respective logo on her/his blog and link to the blogger that has nominated her/him.

2) The nominee has to answer the seven (seven) questions asked by the blogger who nominated her/him.

3) The nominee shall nominate ten (10) bloggers or less, by linking to their blogs and informing them about the nomination.

The seven questions and my answers are:

I) Where do most visits to your blog come from?: 1) Argentina, 2) Mexico, 3) Colombia, 4) Spain and 5) United States.
II) What is your favorite sport?: Swimming.
III) What has been a special moment for you in 2014?: My birthday!…
IV) What is your favorite quote?: “Experience is simply the name we give to our mistakes” (Oscar Wilde).
V) What was your favourite class when still at school?: Literature and History of Art, special class during my last two years of High School.
VI) Anything you had wished to have learnt earlier?: To take things easily, I guess… (I am still learning, though). 
VII) What musical instrument have you tried to play?: Guitar, but that was a long time ago…

Finally, these are my  nominees for the Real Neat Blog Award, which I picked up among new followers and commenters. 

1. Tassy Bakes 2. D Blaine’s Space 3. Chica del Panda 4.Cedric Ced 5. Unchained Emporium 6. El Lirismo del Alfabeto 7. El Cuaderno de Clara 8. Con mucho Garbo 9. Perfume de Mujer 10. Marisa Mortes escribe

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