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Posts Tagged ‘Nemesis’

►Greek Mythology: Pandora and Helen of Troy, Misogynistic Stereotypes” /

“Collaboration with Carolee Croft”🍎:

“Pandora” by John William Waterhouse. 1896.

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“With the curse, comes a blessing. Zeus wanted to punish humanity by creating you, the first woman, and by giving you that box filled with curses such as illness, war, and poverty. But if you look inside the box, one thing remains. It is hope”… (“After the Evil Spirits are Unleashed”. Carolee Croft).-

⇒♦ Introduction and Sketch of this post:

Greece is widely known as the birthplace of democracy, freedom of speech and thought, and egalitarian life. But in ancient Greece, women had no political or social rights. In Ancient Greece, males hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, political and social privileges and authority. This, in practice came along with prejudices against women, belittling of women, and their exclusion, and Misogyny in many ways. 

In ancient Greek mythology, two of the female characters who fit (and fed) this patriarchal model are Pandora and Helen of Troy

Both, the myths of Helen of Troy and Pandora spring from cultural anxieties about female beauty and female sexuality, centered on the figure of the Parthenos – the girl at marriageable age, a figure who must cross from the world of childhood in her father’s house to the house of her husband. Both women cause tremendous damage, even to people beyond their immediate surroundings.

Pandora is the giver of all gifts craved for by Mankind. When Prometheus decides to steal the secret of fire from the gods, Zeus becomes infuriated and decides to punish humankind with an “evil thing for their delight”. This “evil thing” is Pandora, the first woman and Epimetheus´wife. Pandora carried a jar (or box) which she was told to never open. Pandora cannot resist peeking into the jar, and by opening it she unleashes into the world all evil.
Carolee Croft, in the second section of this post, wrote a brief story starring Pandora: “After the Evil Spirits are Unleashed”. Carolee presents here an all-encompassing perspective, as her story delves into what might have happened right after Pandora opened the mischievous box. 
Pandora could remind us of  Eve, who tempted Adam to eat an apple, taken from the forbidden Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Curiously enough (or not so much) Helen of Troy´s conflicting participation in the chain of events that led up to the Trojan War, starts with an apple, too. More specifically, a Golden of Apple, sometimes called The Apple of Discord. The so-called “Judgement of Paris” was a contest between the three most beautiful goddesses of Olympus: AphroditeHera and Athena, for the prize of a golden apple addressed “To the Fairest”. Paris chose Aphrodite, swayed by her promise to bestow upon him Helen, the most beautiful woman, for wife. The subsequent abduction of Helen led directly to the Trojan War and the fall of the city.
Pandora´s curse was her curiosity and disobedience, while Helen´s was her extreme beauty. These characteristics, under certain circumstances  could have once caused ominous effects. A clearly patriarchal society might have stressed these features, creating a quite negative perception and reception of these figures.

 1. ⇒♦ Women, according to Hesiod, Aristotle and Plato:

  
Hesiod described the first created woman simply as “the beautiful-evil thing”. She was evil because she was beautiful, and beautiful because she was evil. Being a good-looking man was fundamentally good news. 
Aristotle had no doubts that women were intellectually incapable of making important decisions for themselves. In “Politics” (1254b13–14), he states that: “As regards the sexes, the male is by nature superior and the female inferior, the male ruler and the female subject”. Thomas Martin says that Aristotle´s view of the inferiority of women was based on faulty notions of biology. He wrongly believed, for example, that in procreation the male with his semen actively gave the fetus its form, while the female had only the passive role of providing its matter. 
According to Plato women are physically inferior, bear instead of beget children, and are generally weaker than men. But, in “The Republic”, he argues that women should be able to take on the same social roles equally with men in his ideal state. His ideas are based upon the view that women and men have the same nature in respect to acting as guardians of the state, except that the one is weaker while the other is stronger .
However, in a later dialogue “Laws”, Plato returns to the traditional view of women. He states the relative differences – which he had previously made out to be equal – would prevent women being in any way equal to men. He states that women  have an inferior virtue than men and warns about the dangers of freeing women from their confined, domestic role without giving them an alternative function, because this could lead to “sex indulge in luxury and expense and disorderly ways of life”.

 2. ⇒♦ Women in Ancient Greece:

Young women were expected to marry  (at the typical age of fourteen) as a virgin, and marriage was usually organised by their father, who chose the husband and accepted from him a dowry. 
Married women were, at least in the eyes of the law, under the complete authority of their husbands.
In the family home, women had to rear children and manage the daily requirements of the household. They had the help of slaves if the husband could afford them. Contact with non-family males was discouraged and women largely occupied their time with indoor activities such as wool-work and weaving. They could go out and visit the homes of friends and were able to participate in public religious ceremonies and festivals. Whether women could attend theatre performances or not is still disputed amongst scholars. More clear is that women could not attend public assemblies, vote, or hold public office. If a woman’s father died, she usually inherited nothing if she had any brothers. If she were a single child, then either her guardian or husband, when married, took control of the inheritance. In some cases when a single female inherited her father’s estate, she was obliged to marry her nearest male relative, typically an uncle.

3. ⇒♦ Pandora:

Pandora was the first female sent by Zeus to punish humans. In Greek mythology, the creation of Pandora is branded as the root of all evil. Zeus was angry at Prometheus for three things: being tricked by the sacrifices, stealing fire for man, and refusing to tell Zeus which of  his children would dethrone him. 

As punishment for these rebellious acts, Zeus sent him a woman made of clay named Pandora. Zeus gave her a box (or jar) and forbade her from opening it. Then he sent her down to earth, where her curiosity led her to open the lid. When she did,  all other misfortunes fled out. 

But, the patriarchal interpretation of these myths can be erased to show a different picture. Pandora, who is gifted in every way, entered a society where women play an unproductive role in society, dependent on men for all needs. Hence anxiousness,curiosity, and ignorance consume her. Pandora is also symbolic of the subconscious. She represents the human subconscious which is the deep seat of all emotion, fear and feeling. 

4. ⇒♦ Helen of Troy:

Helen of Troy, also known as “the Face that Launched a Thousand Ships”, was the stunningly beautiful mortal, daughter of Zeus and Leda. She came out of the same egg as her mortal sister Clytemnestra and she also had two brothers, the twins Castor and Pollux.

Helen’s name, which sounds similar to the word for Greece (Hellas), but also to a verb “to destroy”. This was exploited particularly by Aeschylus, who sees Helen as the “ship-destroyer, man-destroyer, city-destroyer”.

Back to Helen, it seems that Zeus wanted to reduce the human population, so he arranged for the birth of the two characters who would make the Trojan War inevitable: Achilles and Helen, representing “seductive female beauty and destructive male strength”. They have in common an extraordinary self-awareness and concern for their future reputations in myth and legend. Both were half-human, half-divine, Achilles being the son of the mortal Peleus by the sea-goddess Thetis, and Helen the daughter of Zeus in the form of a swan and of the Spartan queen Leda.

Owing to this parentage, she hatched from an egg – the first mark of her unusual, not-quite-human status. Helen is the only female child of Zeus by a mortal woman, an exceptional woman in this as in every other respect. Other versions of the myth suggest that she was the daughter of Nemesis, or “Destruction”.

From a young age, Helen was prone to getting abducted. When she was seven years old, the Athenian hero Theseus swiped her, but she was retrieved by her brothers, Castor and Pollux.

Years later, suitors from all over Greece began to court her, and took an oath that they would all fight together for her eventual husband Menelaus, whose main claim to fame was his wealth, won Helen as his wife.

Soon after, the Trojan prince named Paris was appointed to judge between three goddesses, Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. He chose Aphrodite, goddess of love, and gave her the Golden Apple which was labeled “To the Fairest”. But, as Helen was already married, Paris (Menelaus´s brother), Agamemnon commanded the united Greek armed forces in the ensuing Trojan WarIn the ensuing Trojan War, Hera and Athena were implacable enemies of Troy while Aphrodite was loyal to Paris and the Trojans.

The Greek texts seem constantly to return to the issue of Helen’s responsibility for her actions. Homer depicts her as a wistful, even a sorrowful, figure, coming to regret her choice and wishing to reunite with Menelaus. But Sappho argues that Helen willingly left behind Menelaus to be with Paris. 

⇒♦ Conclusion:

Ancient Greece had periods of intense patriarchy. 

Greek mythology started out as being more feminine, particularly during the Minoan Age (2000-1400 BC). But, with the spread of the Indo-European groups become more masculine

During the Classic period (500-336 BC), Athena was the most important goddess.

This could be understood to be in accordance with a Patriarchal Society. As a matter of fact, Athena was born solely of her father, Zeus. As Georgia Platts says in her post “When Gods were Mothers”: “In Greek mythology Zeus planted his seed in the goddess Metis. But he feared a prophecy warning that his children would become more powerful than he. So he swallowed Metis. Which created an enormous headache. Only a double-headed ax implanted in his skull could relieve the pain. And out leapt Athena, fully grown and armed”.

And, as a Warrior Goddess, Athena mostly identifies with men. In Aeschylus’s “Eumenides”; Athena says, “There is no mother anywhere who gave me birth, and, but for marriage, I am always for the male with all my heart, and strongly on my father’s side”.

This association with males being the creative force of society is not accidental, as males were considered the civilizing and productive force of society. 

In this same line, Pandora and Helen of Troy are part of a social and political system that tended to identify the world’s evils and destruction with women. These legitimizing discourses concurrently provided men with certain “criteria for entitlement”, meaning  a strong, natural right of their primacy above women. 

During the Hellenistic period (336-146 BC), and, as the culture shifts, Aphrodite replaces Athena. Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty, was born from the white foam produced by the severed genitals of Uranus (Heaven), after his son Cronus threw them into the sea. Although she was also born of male alone, she was worshipped  as one of the most important goddesses of the time and was depicted in many art works as the ideal woman, nude for the first time in history. She presided over sexuality and reproduction, necessary for the continuation of the community. Maybe that´s why Aphrodite was majorly worshipped by young women about to be married. And even courtesans and prostitutes. The close bond that the Greek felt to exist between fertility and the fruitfulness of the land lies behind Aphrodite´s connections with vegetation and the earth in general. By this time, love and partnership were seen as more important than containing or controlling women.

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► “After the Evil Spirits are Unleashed”, by Carolee Croft:

Pandora didn’t know what happened when she opened the box, but suddenly everything seemed different. There were footsteps in the hallway, and soon a young handmaiden burst into her luxurious chamber.

“The evil spirits are upon us!” her handmaiden cried, then fled from the room in a frenzy.

Pandora sensed the danger, but at the same time a strange feeling of satisfaction came over her. At least she had done something.

The gods had blessed her with many gifts: beauty, a quick and clever mind, the skill of weaving and sewing. This was all well and good, but she could only occupy so much of her time with crafts. A mind like hers needed stimulation, and there was no stimulation to be had when she had about as much freedom as a footstool. She was not allowed to hunt, nor to sit on the councils, not even to leave the palace grounds without her husband’s permission and an entourage of ladies.  

Was it curiosity that had made her open the lid of the box or just boredom?.

Either way, the spirits were unleashed, and now screams of panic reached even her secluded boudoir.

She always had to wait in her chamber until her husband, Epimetheus, would deign to visit. Now, he would probably blame her for this disaster. He was going to kill her!

The panic around her was contagious. She ran to secure the back door, then the front. At least for the moment, she would be safe.

Pandora collapsed onto the floor and sat huddled against the wall with her head in her heads, her eyes closed to block out the world. She knew it was useless to lock herself in. Soon the curse of the gods would be upon her too, not to mention the rage of the entire human race. 

Then she heard a soft rustle and looked up to find another handmaiden in her chamber. 

“How did you?… I locked all the doors”.

Then she realized, this handmaiden was amazingly tall and beautiful, and she had never seen her before around the palace. The scent of ambrosia radiated from her powerful looking figure. 

One of the gods was in her chamber. 

“Pandora, do not fear. It is I, Athena”. 

“Why do you come here?” Pandora asked, not quite believing she was safe from the gods’ wrath. 

“I came to give you good news. The box was always meant to be opened. Why do you think Zeus entrusted it to you? This is all part of a grudge he bears mortals.”

“How is that good?”

“Come over here,” the goddess picked up the box and beckoned her over to sit beside her on the pillows of the kline

Pandora obeyed, wiping away tears of despair.

“With the curse, comes a blessing. Zeus wanted to punish humanity by creating you, the first woman, and by giving you that box filled with curses such as illness, war, and poverty. But if you look inside the box, one thing remains. It is hope. Now, close your eyes, and you will see what I mean.”

Pandora closed her eyes, and suddenly a flurry of visions exploded in her mind. Endless generations of women, of which she was the first. Some lived in strife, but others found peace and even happiness with the men in their lives. Marriage was not always an oppressive duty. Many women would also be free of men’s oppression, but even the ones who were not completely free seemed to find ways to influence their husbands and sometimes get their own way. It was a sort of game, she realized.

She saw women using their wits to persuade men to do their bidding. She saw women raising their children and passing down knowledge. She saw women ruling nations. She saw women saving lives. These women were never powerless.

She opened her eyes. The goddess was gone, and now she understood what Athena wanted to tell her. 

Then she heard a loud knocking on the door. 

“What is the meaning of this?” her husband’s voice pronounced. “Come out here at once, woman!”.

No longer afraid, she went to the mirror and checked that her hair was absolutely perfect, then unlocked the door and opened it. 

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“Pandora”, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. 20th century.

About Carolee Croft:

Carolee Dixit: Enchanted by romance on page and screen, I have always tried to write my own versions of the perfect fairytale. As for real life, I believe I may have already found the man of my dreams, but I still haven’t found the dog of my dreams. I’m obsessed with Italian greyhounds. I can usually be found enjoying the outdoors or relaxing with a good book on the West Coast of Canada.

🌟💫Connect with Carolee: Blog, Amazon Author Page, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

Carolee Croft..

Carolee Croft on WordPress: https://caroleecroft.wordpress.com/

An excerpt from Carolee Croft´s latest book, “Ariella´s Escape”:

Set in a medieval fantasy world, this is the story of Ariella, a lady warrior who is entertained by a male slave while on a dangerous mission.

(Note: The excerpt is the slideshare below, divided in three parts. Press Pause ⏸️ to get to read each part, starting with 1; and then click on ▶️ to move on).

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⇒Links Post: 
https://goo.gl/E6Y3udh
http://www2.ivcc.edu/gen2002/greek_and_roman_women.htm
https://broadblogs.com/2015/05/07/when-gods-were-mothers/
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1984/10/25/platos-women/
https://www.classicsnetwork.com/essays/the-nature-of-women-in-plato-and/786

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►La Poesía no Muerde. Two Poems:

I am very happy to tell you that my poems “Vértigo” (“Vertigo”) and “El Espacio de tu Ausencia” (“The Space of your Absence”) were featured at “La Poesía no Muerde”.

“La Poesía no Muerde” is a blog hosted by Hélène LaurentIt  is a collective blog in Spanish which Poetry prompts are usually triggered by images that might lead to poems or poems that wait to be illustrated with images. In the case of the “magazines”, audio/videos are included. The videos are created by  Hélène Laurent and, usually, each member reads his own poems. You can check out my two poems (In Spanish) in this post and over here. I am adding below the two poems, translated to English and the audio/video for “El Espacio de Tu Ausencia”, in Spanish. 

Make sure to follow La Poesía no Muerde. If you want to submit a poem, contact me in the Welcome page or leave a comment so I can provide a translation to Spanish, as it is the main language for the blog. I´ll gladly do so!. 🙂

🌟💫Blog: La Poesía no Muerde. Facebook. Twitter. ///  Hélène LaurentBlog (Desenredo)Facebook. Twitter

“Vertigo” and “The Space of your Absence”:

(Click on the screenshots for bigger, full resolution)

 

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I was delighted to be over at Esmé´s blog “The Recipe Hunter” to share a tasty recipe. This is such a great blog for all Food Lovers!. You can find many easy, delicious and healthy dishes. Here is my post: “Spanish Paella (Rice with Seafood)”.

🌟💫 Make sure to check out Esme´s blog and follow her there and on Social Media: Blog: The Recipe Hunter. Twitter. Facebook. Instagram.

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“Two Special Shout-Outs”:

I would like to thank Debi Riley and Jason Youngman for these special posts on their blogs.

Jason´s post: “Be Grateful – Not Hateful. Canticle of the Sun”.- (Thank you, Jason for the note you sent me as to the Canticle and for sharing your amazing reading of Eliot´s “Four Quartets”).

Debi´s post: “Palette Knife Acrylic Abstract… Scorched Wings of Icarus”.- (thank you Debi for the shout-out and for sharing such sublime Artwork. Brilliant!)

Both are very talented, prolific and talented artists. Please make sure to check out their blogs and follow them!.🌟💫

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Last post of the year!. Thank you to all my readers.

Wishing you Merry Christmas & all the best for 2018! 😀

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narcissus and echo1

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"Narcissus" by Caravaggio. 1597.

“Narcissus” by Caravaggio. 1597.

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The classic version of this myth is by Ovid, found in Book III of his Metamorphoses (Lines 339/508)

Echo was an Oread or Orestiad, meaning a type of nymph that lived in mountains, valleys, and ravines. The Oreads were associated with Artemis, the goddess of hunting.

Zeus used to  loved consorting with Goddess and nymphs. Hera, became suspicious, towards Zeus for his many affairs.

Though vigilant, whenever she was about to catch him, Echo distracted her with lengthy conversations.

When at last Hera realized the truth, she cursed Echo. To punish her, Hera took away her most valuable possession: her voice.

Hera permitted Echo only to reply in foolish repetition of another’s shouted words. Thus, all Echo could do was mimic the words of the speaker.

Sometime after being cursed, Echo spied a young man, Narcissus, while he was out hunting deer with his companions.

Narcissus was a hunter who was known for his beauty. He was the son of the river-god Cephissos, and Liriope.

Echo immediately fell in love with Narcissus.

Narcissus sensed someone was behind him and shouted “Who’s there?”. Echo repeated “Who’s there?”. She eventually revealed her identity and attempted to embrace him. He stepped away and told her to leave him alone. Echo was heartbroken and spent the rest of her life in lonely glens until nothing but an echo sound remained of her.

Narcissus was not finished. A handsome man named Ameinius was one of the vain youth’s most ardent admirers and relentlessly vied for his attention. So what did Narcissus do? The conceited youth responded to the entreaties by sending his suitor a sword, telling him to prove his adoration.

Not knowing how else to prove his adoration, Ameinius proceeded to plunge the sword into his heart, committing suicide to demonstrate his love.

As he lay dying, he beseeched the gods to punish the heartless Narcissus.

The goddess of the hunt, Artemis, (according to other versions it could have been Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, instead) learnt of this story and decided to punish Narcissus. Hence, she caused Narcissus to fall in love…but the kind of love that “could never be fulfilled”.

Narcissus came upon a clear spring at Donacon in Thespia, Narcissus stooped down to drink, and saw his own image in the water; he thought it was some beautiful water-spirit living in the fountain.

The spell of Artemis had totally mesmerized him, and for hours he sprawled by the spring, until at last he recognized himself.

Unable at last to stand the agony Narcissus plunged a dagger in his heart and died, calling out a final goodbye to his reflected image. 

When Narcissus died, wasting away before his own reflection, consumed by a love that could not be, Echo mourned over his body. As he was looking one last time into the pool uttered, “Oh marvellous boy, I loved you in vain, farewell”, Echo too chorused, “Farewell.”

The myth tells that where his blood soaked the earth sprung up the white narcissus flower with its red corollary, forever growing at the water’s edge, its head inclined towards the water.

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interpretation

Many issues traditionally associated with the mirror are present in this myth by Ovid.

Firstly, Beauty. Ovid characterizes it in two ways. On the one hand, he defines it as divine. Since Narcissus is the son of a river, Cephissos, and a nymph of great beauty, LiriopeThe poem also compares Narcissus hair with Apollo´s.

Moreover, the poet evokes the effects of its beauty. The text constantly plays with “water” and “erotic fire”, as it appears in the eyes of the young, reaching torches and funeral fires. He also mentions the alternating brightness and burning, and shade and coolness.

The combination of Beauty and Death, entailed by Love, finds its ultimate expression in the last image of Narcissus, who still faces each other, as in the mirror of Persephone, in the water of the Styx.

But the main subtle topic, before that one of Beauty, is Illusion, announced in the episode of Echo. Narcissus, deceived in the beginning (verse 385) by duplicating the voice is then victim of the  of his appearance . Since Eco is condemned to imitation, she does not cease to be “another”, much more different as their otherness as marked on the opposition of the sexes. 

Echo is not just the female counterpart of Narcissus, as it is not a series of  opposed elements, the most important of which is that she loves him and he did not. Echo is, in the aural scope, the equivalent of the reflection that captivates Narcissus´eyes.

And in that slip of the reciprocal element of Love, the reflective, homoeroticism – is a decisive step: it is one of the rejected male lovers who, as Aminias invokes divine vengeance against Narcissus (verses 404/405).

The illusion that produces the fallacious spring (verse 427) is expressed in two ways.

Replaced by the unreal reality, a body of flesh turns into a reflection of water: without consistency (verse 417), a living being a fugitive image (verse 431). Narcissus (verse 432) does not know the impalpable nature of reflection. The error of Narcissus is shown firstly when he has a dialogue with his own image (verses 458/459), moving from illusory reciprocity to pure reflexivity: “You, that’s me I ” (verse 463). Narcissus, who is attracted by his double, will not be soon more than a shadow in Hades, who will yet be looking for its reflection.

Thus, Narcissus is merely image. Since his body rejects any contact with the other, since he is not intended to embrace an impalpable image of his own reflection. The iconic character is inevitably highlighted  When Narcissus is enraptured in front of his double,  he compares himself with “a statue carved in marble of Paros” (verse 419).

*Note: I wrote this section based on a book in Spanish. Source: Frontisi-Ducroux, Françoise; Vernant, Jean- Pierre. “En El Ojo del Espejo” ( “Dans l´Oeil du Miroir”). Buenos Aires. Fondo de Cultura. 1999.-

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"Echo And Narcissus" by John William Waterhouse (1903).-

“Echo And Narcissus” by John William Waterhouse (1903).-

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“Narcissus and Echo”: Excerpts from Ovid´s Metamorphoses. Book III.  (Lines 339/508).

“While he is drinking he beholds himself reflected in the mirrored pool—and loves; loves an imagined body which contains no substance, for he deems the mirrored shade a thing of life to love”.

“All that is lovely in himself he loves, and in his witless way he wants himself:—he who approves is equally approved; he seeks, is sought, he burns and he is burnt. And how he kisses the deceitful fount; and how he thrusts his arms to catch the neck that’s pictured in the middle of the stream! Yet never may he wreathe his arms around that image of himself”.

“What is it I implore? The thing that I desire is mine—abundance makes me poor. Oh, I am tortured by a strange desire unknown to me before, for I would fain put off this mortal form; which only means I wish the object of my love away”.

“As often as the love-lore boy complained, “Alas!” “Alas!” her echoing voice returned; and as he struck his hands against his arms, she ever answered with her echoing sounds. And as he gazed upon the mirrored pool he said at last, “Ah, youth beloved in vain!” “In vain, in vain!” the spot returned his words; and when he breathed a sad “farewell!” “Farewell!” sighed Echo too”.

“And now although among the nether shades his sad sprite roams, he ever loves to gaze on his reflection in the Stygian wave. His Naiad sisters mourned, and having clipped their shining tresses laid them on his corpse: and all the Dryads mourned: and Echo made lament anew. And these would have upraised his funeral pyre, and waved the flaming torch, and made his bier; but as they turned their eyes where he had been, alas he was not there! And in his body’s place a sweet flower grew, golden and white, the white around the gold”.

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"Narcissus transforms into a flower" by Nicolas-Bernard Lépicié (1771).-

“Narcissus transforms into a flower” by Nicolas-Bernard Lépicié (1771).-

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Narcissistic personality disorder1

Narcissus Flower.

Narcissus Flower.

Narcissus´myth helped coining the word “Narcissism“.

After- and probably as a consequence of having  rejected the nymph Echo- he  fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water.

Unable to consummate his love, Narcissus kept on gazing  into the pool until he finally changed into a flower, the narcissus. 

Narcissim is related to the concept of excessive selfishness and  egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes.

Narcissism is a concept in psychoanalytic theory, which was popularly introduced in Sigmund Freud’s essay “On Narcissism” (1914).

The American Psychiatric Association has had the classification narcissistic personality disorder in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) since 1968, drawing on the historical concept of megalomania, meaning “a condition or mental illness that causes people to think that they have great or unlimited power or importance”. (Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary).

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of understanding of others feelings. People affected often spend a lot of time thinking about achieving power, success, or their appearance. They often take advantage of the people around them. The behavior typically begins by early adulthood, and occurs across a variety of situations. The dynamo of Narcissistic personality disorder is the so-called “Narcissistic supply“, which is a concept introduced into psychoanalytic theory by Otto Fenichel in 1938, to describe a type of admiration, interpersonal support or sustenance drawn by an individual from his or her environment and essential to their self-esteem.

The term is typically used in a negative sense, describing a pathological or excessive need for attention or admiration in dependents and the orally fixated, that does not take into account the feelings, opinions or preferences of other people.

In order for a person to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) they must meet five or more of the following  symptoms:

♠Has a grandiose sense of self-importance. This entails a sustained, unrealistic sense of being superior—better than other people. It also refers to a sense of uniqueness; the belief that few others have anything in common with oneself and that one can only be understood by a few or very special people.

♠Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes. 

♠Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, etc. This refers to the narcissist’s need to fend off inner emptiness, feel special and in control, and avoid feelings of defectiveness and insignificance.

♠Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

♠Requires excessive admiration. Narcissists need admiration all the time. They surround themselves with others who will give them positive reinforcement.

♠Has a very strong sense of entitlement, i.e, unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

♠Is exploitative of others. Narcissists lack empathy, feel entitled and above the rules, and see other people as appendages whose sole purpose is to fill them with narcissistic supply. 

♠Lacks empathy, this  is a hallmark of the disorder in the same way that fear of abandonment is in borderline personality disorder.

♠Is often envious of others. Narcissists must be superior to others in every single way. So when someone else has something they don’t have that they want: admiration, status, skills, objects, the narcissist sees it as a major threat. Like so much else in the narcissistic mind, it is unconscious, discounted and denied, which makes it more treacherous for the object of his envy.

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"Narcissus" by Gustave Moreau (19th century).-

“Narcissus” by Gustave Moreau (19th century).-

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⭐️Links Post⭐️:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissus_(mythology)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echo_(mythology)
http://www.shmoop.com/echo-narcissus/summary.html
http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidMetamorphoses3.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissism
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/megalomania
https://www.bpdcentral.com/narcissistic-disorder/hallmarks-of-npd/
http://psychcentral.com/disorders/narcissistic-personality-disorder-symptoms/

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ZEUS AND LETO

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“Latona and the Lycian Peasants” by David Teniers II. (17th century).

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Leto (which means”the hidden one”. Roman equivalent: Latona) was daughter of the Titans Coeus (Polus) and Phoebe and the sister of Asteria.
In the Olympian scheme, Zeus is the father of her twins, Apollo and Artemis, (The Letoides).

Zeus married is sister Hera while Leto was already pregnant. While the pregnancy started before the marriage, Hera was still jealous of Leto.

Hence, as Hyginus, in his book “Fabulae” states, Hera banned Leto from giving birth on any island at sea, or any place under the sun.

Finally, she found an island (Delos, that wasn’t attached to the ocean floor so it wasn’t considered land and she could give birth there.

Leto easily brought forth Artemis, the elder twin.  By contrast, Leto labored for nine nights and nine days in order to give birth to Apollo.

The births took place in the presence of the witnesses goddesses Dione (an Oceanid, a water-nymph, the goddess Dione, in her name simply the “Goddess”, is sometimes taken as a mere feminine form of Zeus ), Rhea (mother of the Olympian Goddesses and Gods, but not as an Olympian goddess in her own right), Ichnaea (an epithet given to Nemesis), Themis (a Titaness, who was the personification of divine order and law) and the sea-goddess Amphitrite (Poseidon‘s wife).

Hera kept apart as she used her own daughter Eileithvia, the goddess of childbirth, to prevent Leto from going into labor.

Instead Artemis, having been born first, assisted with the birth of her twin brother, Apollo.

Going further, ancient greek grammarian, Antoninus Liberalis considers that Leto sought out the “wolf-country” of Lycia.  Another sources link Leto with wolves and the Hyperboreans, people connected with the worship of Apollo at Delphi and of Artemis at Delos and named that way with reference to Boreas, the north wind.

Leto was identified from the fourth century onwards with the principal local mother goddess of Anatolian Lycia, as the region became Hellenized. 

Besides, Leto has been probably identified with the Lycian Godess of Fertility, Lada, also knwon as Kourotrophos (Rearer of Youths).

Leto’s primal nature may be deduced from the natures of her father and mother, who may have been Titans of the sun and moon. Her Titan father is called “Coeus”, and, he is in some Roman sources given the name Polus, which may relate him to the sphere of heaven from pole to pole. The name of Leto’s mother, “Phoebe” (“pure, bright”), is identical to the epithet of her son Apollo.

In Greek inscriptions, the Letoides (Apollo and Artemis) are referred to as the “national gods” of the country.

 There were two sanctuaries dedicated to Leto, the Letoon, near Xanthos and the Oenoanda, in the north of Lycia.

►Other episodes related to Leto:

In Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” (Book VI), he tells the sad story of Niobe’s children, which involves Leto, Artemis and Apollo.

•Niobe, a queen of Thebes, boasted of her superiority to Leto because she had fourteen children (The Niobids), seven sons and seven daughters, while Leto had only two. Aiming to punish Niobe due to her pride, Apollo killed her sons, and Artemis her daughters. Niobe cried so much that her tears formed the river Achelous.

Zeus seconded Leto as he made sure to turn all the people of Thebes to stone so no one buried the Niobids until the ninth day after their death, when the gods themselves entombed them.

•Leto was threatened in her wanderings by the giant Tityos who attempted to rape her. Also she was assailed by the dragon Python. In both occasions, Leto’s son, Apollo was able to eliminate the threats, even if he was just a God child.

•During her wanderings with her children, Apollo and Artemis, Leto reached Lycia (nowadays located in southern Turkey).

Exhausted, she decided to halt and saw down in a valley a pond around which peasants were busy gathering rushes and algae. Attracted by its clear water, she went to drink from it. But the peasants objected and forbade her from drinking from the pond, ordering Leto to leave the place. 

Enraged, Leto cursed them. Soon after that, the metamorphosis began and the peasants of Lycia became frogs, as they were condemned to live forever like this in the slime of their pond, fulfilling the curse of Latona.

This last episeode is depicted in the Latona Fountain, at the Château de Versailles, France. This Fountain’s construction took, over twenty years (from 1666 to 1689) and it was built during  Louis XIV’s reign.

Some historians have interpreted the Latona fountain as an allegory of the victory of Louis XIV over the Fronde, the rebellion of the nobles against the power of the monarchy during the childhood of Louis XIV. Latona, the mother of Apollo, represents Anne of Austria, the mother of Louis XIV and regent during the Fronde. The metamorphosis of the peasants into frogs illustrates the punishment reserved to those who dare to rebel against the royal authority.

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 Latona Turning the Lycians Peasants into Frogs

“Latona Turning the Lycians Peasants into Frogs”, by Johann Georg Platzer. (1730)

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“Latona Changing the Lycian Peasants into Frogs” by Jacopo Tintoretto. (16th century).

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“Landscape with Latona and the Peasants”, by Sinibaldo Scorza (1620).

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►”The Myth of Leto / Latona”:

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►Gallery: “Leto” / “The Latona Fountain” [Château de Versailles]:

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“Latona (Leto) and Her children (Apollo and Diana/Artemis)”, by William Henry Rinehart (1874). Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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“Latona (Leto) and Her children (Apollo and Diana/Artemis)”, by William Henry Rinehart. (1874). Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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►Links Post:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leto
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/337395/Leto
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/279545/Hyperborean
http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/11923
http://latone.chateauversailles.fr/en/page/the-latona-fountain/history-of-the-latona-fountain

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►Book Tour: 

“Olga Núñez Miret tells us about her Trilogy Angelic Business“:

🔥💥In this ocassion, Olga is close to oficially release a book trilogy, which is already available for pre-order at Amazon… Let’s listen to what she has to say about it!… It is all yours, Olga!…  💥🔥 

My name is Olga Núñez Miret and I’m a writer, translator, reader, psychiatrist.
I love movies, plays, fitness, owls and recently have taken up meditation (mindfulness). (I thought I might as well summarise and not take too much of your time). 

I’ve been writing since I was quite young and I write in whatever style the story I have in my head wants to be written in. So far literary fiction, romance, YA, thriller… and a few unfinished works. 

Around five years ago I discovered and read quite a few interesting Young Adult books and had an idea for what I thought could be a series. At the time I wrote the first of the novels and after trying to find an agent or a traditional publisher without much success, I started self-publishing, but decided to publish some of my other books first. Since then I’ve published twelve books (six original books and their translations, as I write in English and Spanish). 

I kept thinking about “Angelic Business” and, a few months later, I wrote the second novel in the series: “Shades of Greg”. (No, nothing to do with…). 

And last year, as part of NaNoWriMo I wrote the third novel in the series, “Pink, Angel or Demon?”. 

As I had written the three, I thought I’d publish them pretty close to each other so people wouldn’t have to wait to know what happened next (at least not too much)…. [Olga Núñez Miret].-

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“Angelic Business”, the three books of the series, by author Olga Núñez Miret.

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The trilogy “Angelic Business” is already available for pre-order at the special price of $0.99 each. You’ll find blurbs of each book on the links below. Check them out!:

•”Pink Matters” is currently available at Amazon for pre-order and will be published on June 26th.

•”Shapes of Greg” is available for pre-order at Amazon and will be published on July 15th.

•”Pink, Angel or Demon?” is available for pre-order at Amazon and will be published on July 30th.

►Connect with Author Olga Núñez Miret on her BlogFacebook, TwitterGoodreads and Wattpad.

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Olga Núñez Miret

Author Olga Núñez Miret.

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►Last but not Least: “Three Awards”:

I would like to thank bloggers from Risty´s Breath, Life as we See It and Splashed for nominating my blog for a Versatile Blogger Award (Red Version), a Creative Blogger Award and a Sunshine Award, respectively.

I suggest you to check out these blogs and follow them, if you haven’t still done so…

•Rules for these Three Awards: ♠ Thank the person who nominated you for the award. ♠ Add the logo to your post. ♠Nominate ten (10) bloggers of your choice and tell them about the nomination. 

•Note: If you have been nominated and want to follow the Nomination Process, just click on the award for which you have been awarded to. That way you’ll be able to grab in regular size!.~ 🍒 🍒 🍒 

I. Nominees for the Versatile Blogger Award:

1. Lucinda E Clarke 2. Missing the Muse 3. Caterina Rotondi 4. The Book Haven 5. Hyperion Sturm 6. Simonjohnsonofclowne 7. Life as we See It 8. Books and Hot Tea 9. Makeup and Breakup 10. Life and Light.

II. Nominees for the Sunshine Award:

1. I.J.Keddie 2. Unbuttoned or Undone 3. View from a Burrow 4. Loujen Haxm ´Yor 5. Writing Between the Lines 6. Janna T Writes 7. Breathing Space 8. A Chaos Fairy Realm 9. The Four Rooms 10. Rambles, Writing and Amusing Musings.

III. Nominees for the Creative Blogger Award:

1. Beguiling Hollywood 2. First Night Design 3. Peak Perspective 4. Risty´s Breath 5. Splashed 6. Micheline Walker 7. A Little Bird Tweets 8. Millie Thom 9. Yadadarcyyada 10. The Woman Who.

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On the Left:

On the Left: “Leda and the Swan” by Gustave Moreau. (1865-1875). On the Right: “Leda” by Gustave Moreau (1875-1880).

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Leda was daughter of the aetolian King Thestius and wife of King Tyndareus of Sparta.

Zeus took the form of a swan to seduce Leda. 

In Greek tradition, the Swan is the symbol of the Muses. The swan also has erotic connotations, such as in the love affair between Zeus and Leda. Also, the Greek Goddess of Beauty and Love, Aphrodite, had a swan-drawn chariot. Besides The swan, as a symbol of music, is also dedicated to Apollo, who was said to transform into a swan.

Back to the retelling: Zeus and Leda had sexual relationships the same night she had slept with her husband. 

Their consummation, on the same night as Leda lay with her husband Tyndareus, resulted in two eggs from which hatched the four children. (Zeus’ s and Tyndareus’).

According to later Greek mythology, Leda bore Helen (later known as Helen of Troy) and Polydeuces, children of Zeus, while at the same time bearing Castor and Clytemnestra, children of her husband and King of Sparta Tyndareus.

According to other sources, Nemesis, the Goddess of Revenge, produced the egg from which hatched the two sets of twins: Helen of Troy and Clytenmestra and the Discouri Castor and Pollux. Worth noting that these set of twins are supposedly from different fathers….

Clytenmestra and Helen were problematic women. The Trojan War will be provoked by the abduction of Helen.

And Clytemnestra will later on kill his own husband, Agamemnon and this is another incident related to the Trojan War.

Saying it briefly, the Greek Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world, was kidnapped by the Trojans, so the Greeks besieged the city of Troy; after the war, Clytemnestra, the wife of the Greek leader Agamemnon, murdered him, with teh help of her lover, Aegistus.

Leda’s twin-sons, Castor and (Polydeuces or) Pollux, were renowned for their tender attachment to each other. They were also famous for their physical accomplishments, Castor being the most expert charioteer of his day, and Pollux the coward brother.

Their names appear both among the hunters of the Calydonian boar-hunt and the heroes of the Argonautic expedition.

Zeus wished to confer the gift of immortality upon Polydeuces as he was his son but he refused to accept it unless allowed to share it with Castor.

Zeus gave the desired permission, and the faithful brothers were both allowed to live, but only on alternate days. Castor and Polydeuces, also known as The Dioscuri received divine honours throughout Greece, and were worshipped with special reverence at Sparta.

Leda also had other daughters by Tyndareus: Timadra, Phoebe and Philonoe.

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On the Left:

On the Left: “Helen on the Walls of Troy” by Gustave Moreau. (1885). On the Right: Up: “Castor and Pollux, The Heavenly Twins”, by Giovanni Battista Cipriani. (1783). On the Right: Down: “Clytemnestra” by Frederick Leighton. (19th century).

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On the Left:

On the Left: “Leda and The Swan” by Leonardo da Vinci (1510). On the Right: Detail, “Leda and the Swan”: The children of Leda.

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On the Right:

On the Left: “Leda” by Leonardo da Vinci (1510 -1515). On the Right: “Leda and the Swan” by Francesco Melzi (16th century).

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►Reading: W. B. Yeats’ Poem “Leda and the Swan”:

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 ►Analysis of W. B. Yeats’ Poem “Leda and the Swan”:

William Butler Yeats (1865/1939).

William Butler Yeats (1865/1939).

“Leda and the Swan” (1924) is a Petrarchan Sonnet (*), a traditional fourteen-line poem predominantly written in Iambic Pentameter (**). [See notes below].

The poet retells a story from Greek mythology, the rape of the Princess of Sparta, Leda by the god Zeus, who had assumed the form of a swan.

Yeats combines words indicating powerful actions (sudden blow, beating, staggering, beating, shudder, mastered, burning, mastered) with adjectives and descriptive words that indicate Leda’s weakness (“caressed”, “helpless”, “terrified”, “vague”, “loosening”). By doing this, he increases the sensory impact of the poem.

The first eight lines of “Leda and the Swan” describe the act of rape from Leda’s perspective. The ninth line, appropriately enough, ends the description of the sexual act.

The last six lines of the poem, then, narrate the consequences of the it, for Leda, personally, and those ones related to the Trojan War.

“Leda and the Swan” looks a little different than other sonnets. It has three stanzas and 14 verses.

But, verse 11 appears to be broken off into two lines. Yeats probably divided this verse in order to heighten the drama of Agamemnon being dead and to show how the poem shifts back to Leda’s perspective.

•The first stanza is characterized by violent beats and pauses.

•The second stanza shifts to more flowing lines as Yeats philosophically reflects on the events. The verses here are structured by the question “how,” and there are many adjectives (“terrified,” “vague,” “feathered,” “loosening,” “white,” “strange”).

•In the third stanza, the adjectives pile up as the poem builds to the solemn declaration, “And Agamemnon dead”. 

The rhythm comes to a screeching halt as verse 11 is fractured over two lines, in order to reach emotional height. This stanza connects Leda’s hymenal wall with the walls of  the city of Troy.

The last verses of the poem become calm again. Yeats  returns to his percussive gentle beats, incorporating some alliteration (“brute blood”). Yeats will then wonder whether Leda, through her contact with Zeus, would be able to foresee how the result of their union—Helen—would bring about the fall of a great city. Hence, the poem ends with a rhetorical question, introduced as a sort of irresolvable doubt

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(*) The Petrarchan Sonnet is named after Petrarch, a 14th century Italian poet who made the form popular throughout Europe. Like all sonnets, the Petrarchan sonnet has 14 lines. Unlike all sonnets, it also has a major thematic shift after the eighth line. At this point, the poem introduces a new subject or shifts its perspective in some way.
(**) Iambic Pentameter is closely associated with Blank Verse, Iambic is an adjective. Iamb is the noun and is short for Iambus. Iambus is from the Greek and refers to two. Therefore, Iamb refers to a foot, or any two syllable“unit”, referred to as a foot by metrists, consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable (or ictus).  An example of Iambic Pentameter in Yeats’ poem “Leda and the Swan” is: “He holds her help-less breast u-pon his breast“.

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►Gallery Of Paintings: “Leda and The Swan” (Leda and Zeus):

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“Leda and the Swan” by William Shackleton. (1928).

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 ►Links Post:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leda_and_the_Swan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leda_(mythology)

http://www.talesbeyondbelief.com/myth-stories/lovers-of-zeus.ht

http://aliisaacstoryteller.com/2015/06/15/irish-mythology-the-swan/

http://www.druidry.org/library/animals/swan

http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/yeats/section7.rhtml

http://www.shmoop.com/leda-and-swan/poem-text.html

http://www.betterlivingthroughbeowulf.com/leda-and-the-swan-warning-necessary/

https://poemshape.wordpress.com/2008/11/30/what-is-iambic-pentameter-the-basics/

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I would like to thank José Sala for nominating me for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

I also want to thank  Optimista Blog for nominating me for a Versatile Blogger Award.

Last but not least thanks to Janet Wertman for nominating me for another Versatile Blogger Award.

Thanks to these three bloggers and please make sure to check out their blogs and to 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.
♠ Add the logo to your post.
♠Nominate ten (10) bloggers you admire and inform your nominees by commenting on their blogs. 

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►I) Nominees~Very Inspiring Blogger Award (Monkey & Sunflower Version):

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1. The Wayward Warrior 2. MidiMike 3. The Spendy Pencil 4. Unbolt 5. Yadadarcyyada 6. José Sala 7. Sunshine and Shadows 8. Optimista Blog 9. Pomad 10. The Daily Rant.

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►II) Nominees~Versatile Blogger Award (Purple Version):

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1. Carole Migalka 2. JoHanna Massey 3. Lightwalker’s Blog 4. Bibliobulimica 5. Life, the Universe and Lani 6. A Beautiful Mess 7. The Vanessa Chronicles 8. Allyson Lee Adams 9. Kerry’s loft 10. Mountaintop Talk.

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►III) Nominees~Versatile Blogger Award (Bird Version):

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1. Cadence4life 2. The Perceptions Square 3. Arwenaragornstar  4. The Chaos Realm 5. Shehanne Moore 6. Janet Wertman 7. Extravaganza Beading 8. Autumn Melody 9. The More I Learn the More I Wonder 10. Emily Lichtenberg

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►Greek Mythology: “Nemesis, the Goddess of Revenge”:

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 Justice and Divine Vengeance Pursuing Crime by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon. (1808).

“Justice and Divine Vengeance Pursuing Crime” by Pierre-Paul Prud’hon. (1808).

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Nemesis (In Greek νέμειν némein, meaning “to give what is due” was the spirit of divine retribution against those who succumb to  Hubris (arrogance before the gods).

She was also known as Rhamnusia. Another name for her was Adrasteia, meaning “the inescapable.” 

Nemesis directed human affairs in such a way as to maintain equilibrium.

Her name means she who distributes or deals out. 

She was related to the ideas of righteous anger, due enactment, or devine vengence.

The Greeks personified vengeful fate as a remorseless goddess: the goddess of revenge and righteous indignation.

Happiness and unhappiness were measured out by her, care being taken that happiness was not too frequent or too excessive. 

Nemesis has been described as the daughter of Zeus.

But, according to Hesiod, she was a child of Erebus and Nyx. She has also been considered the daughter of Nyx alone.

In the classic Greek tragedies, Nemesis appears chiefly as the avenger of crime and the punisher of hubris and as such is akin to Ate, the Greek goddess of mischief, delusion, ruin, and folly and the Erinyes.

In some metaphysical mythology, Nemesis produced the egg from which hatched two sets of twins: Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra and the Discouri Castor and Pollux.

From the fourth century onward, Nemesis, as the just balancer of Fortune´s chance, could be associated with Tyche.

Tyche (meaning “luck”; roman equivalent: Fortuna) was the presiding deity that governed the fortune and prosperity of a city, its destiny. She was the daughter of Aphrodite and Zeus or Hermes.

The Romans sometimes named Nemesis Invidia and described her as a goddess not only of the jealous indignation aroused by hubristic boasts but also as the goddess of jealousy in general.

A festival called Nemeseia was held at Athens. Nemesis was also worshipped in Patrai, Anatolia, Rhamnos and Smyrna.

Nemesis was usually depicted as a winged goddess.

Her attributes were apple-branch, rein, lash, sword, scales, rudder, and wheel. 

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►“Nemesis” (“The Great Fortune”). Engraving by Albrecht Dürer (1502):

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Nemesis (The Great Fortune) by Albrecht Dürer (1502).

“Nemesis” (“The Great Fortune”) by Albrecht Dürer (1502).

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Nemesis portrayed with a steering wheel, from a temple and statue of her in Rhamnus. In the Hellenistic period

Nemesis portrayed with a steering wheel, from a temple in Rhamnus. (Hellenistic period).

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►Links Post:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nemesis_%28mythology%29
http://www.pinterest.com/magistramichaud/gods-of-justice-retribution/
http://www.paleothea.com/Goddesses/N/
http://www.loggia.com/myth/nemesis.html

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►Last but not Least: Excellence Blog Award: 

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Excellence blog Award.-

Excellence Blog Award.-

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I want to thank Gi from Tagirrelatos for nominating me for an Excellence Award. 

Make sure to check out her blog in order to read great, creative posts in Spanish… Anyhow, you can always use the translator 😉

►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 shall nominate ten (10) bloggers she/he admires, by linking to their blogs and informing them about the nomination.

Note: I will nominate -in no particular order- new followers and/or great bloggers I have recently met or that I haven’t nominated yet.

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►These are my nominees for the Excellence Blog Award:

1. Swittersb and Exploring 2. Comicsgrinder 3. The Bonny Blog 4. Zimmerbitch 5. Jude’s Threshold 6. Risty’s Breath 7. K Clips 8. Jazz You Too 9. Weggieboy’s blog 10. Joëlle Jean-Baptiste

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