Wednesday, 28 May 2014


Oedipus and the Sphinx
       Oedipus was described as a tragic hero in Greek mythology. He was the son of King Laius and Queen Jocasta of Thebes.  King Laius received an oracle from Delphi which told him that he must not have a child with his wife, or the child would kill him and marry her. According to other version, Laius is warned that he can only save the city if he dies childless. One night, however, Laius became drunk and had sex Jocasta. Accordingly, when Jocasta, bore a son, Laius exposed the baby on Mt. Cithaeron, first pinning his ankles together (hence the name Oedipus, meaning Swell-Foot). A shepherd took pity on the infant, who was adopted by King Polybus and Queen Merope of Corinth, and was brought up as their son.

                                                           In early manhood Oedipus visited Delphi and upon learning that he was fated to kill his father and marry his mother, he resolved never to return to Corinth. Traveling toward Thebes, Oedipus met an older man in a chariot coming the other way on a narrow road. The two quarreled over who should give way, which resulted in Oedipus killing the stranger and continuing on to Thebes. He found that the king of the city (Laius) had been recently killed and that the city was at the mercy of the Sphinx. The Sphinx, who put a riddle to all passersby and destroyed those who could not answer. Oedipus solved the riddle, and the Sphinx killed herself. In reward, he received the throne of Thebes and the hand of the widowed queen, his mother, Jocasta. They had four children: Eteocles, Polyneices, Antigone, and Ismene.
Oedipus and Jocasta

                   Many years later, plague strikes the city of Thebes. The people suffer and die. A priest ventures to the palace of Thebes, to the court of King Oedipus and Queen Jocasta. Begging for Oedipus to save the Theban people once again,  Oedipus expresses sorrow for the lot of the people, and reveals he had already sent his brother-in-law, Creon, to the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi to determine  how they are to be rid of this pestilence.  Creon returns and reveals that Apollo demands that the killer of King Laius, who was murdered shortly before Oedipus's arrival, be brought to justice. 
Oedipus and Antigone

                                                   In his search to determine who killed Laius, Oedipus discovered it was he who had killed the late king (his father). Jocasta, upon realizing that she had married her own son and Laius's murderer, hanged herself. Oedipus then seized two pins from her dress and blinded himself with them. Oedipus was driven into exile, accompanied by Antigone and Ismene. After years of wandering, he arrived in Athens, where he found refuge in a grove of trees called Colonus. By this time, warring factions in Thebes wished him to return to that city, believing that his body would bring it luck. However, Oedipus died at Colonus, and the presence of his grave there was said to bring good fortune to Athens.


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Hypsipyle- The Queen of the island of Lemnos

                             In Greek mythology, Hypsipyle was described as daughter of Dionysus’s son Thoas, king of the island of Lemnos. The women of Lemnos had failed to honor the goddess Aphrodite properly. To punish them, the goddess had given the women a horrible odor which drove their men away.The men raided the Thrace, and bring female slaves for sexual purposes, with whom they began having children. The women of Lemnos, furious at their husbands’ betrayal, murdered all the men on the island and their female slaves.The king, Thoas, was saved by Hypsipyle, his daughter, who put him out to sea sealed in a chest from which he was later rescued. The women of Lemnos lived for a while without men, with Hypsipyle as their queen.
Hypsipyle saving her father

                                                                       The Argonauts on quest to find the Golden Fleece came to island of Lemnos.  When the Argonauts set their foot on the island, the women saw them as their potential lovers and lured them into their bed chambers.The Argonauts remained on Lemnos for several months and, during that time, had extensive relations with the women of Lemnos. Jason himself mated with their queen, Hypsipyle and swore eternal fidelity to her.. Hypsipyle bore twin sons to the Jason , Euneus and Nebrophonus (or Deiphilus or Thoas).
The Argonauts with Lemnos women

                         The Argonauts were finally convinced to leave the island and continue their journey, only when Hercules, who remained on board Argo, sent a message questioning them whether this was the way they wanted to gain glory for themselves.Jason sailed away and quickly forgot his vows made to Hypsipyle. For his bad actions Jason was placed in the 8th circle of Dante's Inferno.
Hypsipyle with Lycurgus's son

                                      The Lemnos women, angry at Hypsipyle having spared her father, forced Hypsipyle to flee for her life. She and her sons were taken by pirates and sold to Lycurgus, king of Nemea. She was given charge of Lycurgus's son, Archemorus.When the Argives (of Aeschylus's Seven Against Thebes or Statius' Thebaid) marched against Thebes, they met Hypsipyle and made her show them a fountain where they could get water. She set down Archemorus when she did this, and he was killed by a snake in her absence. Lycurgus wanted revenge upon Hypsipyle, but she was protected by Adrastus, the leader of the Argives.


                                               In Greek mythology, Argonauts were a band of heroes, accompanied Jason to Colchis in his quest to find the Golden Fleece. Their name comes from their ship, the Argo, named after its builder, Argus. "Argonauts" literally means "Argo sailors". They were sometimes called Minyans, after a prehistoric tribe in the area.
                                  Jason was accompanied by some of the principal heroes of ancient Greece. The number of Argonauts varies, but usually totals between 40 and 55.  There is no definite list of the Argonauts.

The following list is collated from several lists given in ancient sources.

1 Acastus   2 Actor (son of Hippas)   3 Admetus   4 Aethalides   5 Amphiaraus    6 Amphidamas
7 Amphion (son of Hyperasius)     8 Ancaeus    9 Areius    10 Argus (builder of Argo)
11 Argus (son of Phrixus)     12 Ascalaphus     13 Asclepius        14 Asterion (son of Cometes)
15 Asterius (brother of Amphion)        16 Atalanta        17 Augeas     18 Autolycus, son of Deimachus
19 Bellerophon         20 Butes      21 Calaïs (son of Boreas)     22 Caeneus (son of Coronus)
23 Canthus       24 Castor (son of Tyndareus; twin and half-brother of Pollux)    25 Cepheus, King of Tegea
26 Clytius (son of Eurytus)        27 Coronus (son of Caeneus)    28 Cytissorus      29 Deucalion of Crete
30 Echion        31 Eribotes         32 Erginus (son of Poseidon)       33 Erytus (brother of Echion)
34 Euphemus      35 Euryalus      36 Eurydamas          37 Eurymedon (son of Dionysus)      38 Eurytion
39 Eurytus (son of Hermes)       40 Hercules (son of Zeus)       41 Hippalcimus       42 Hylas        43 Idas
44 Idmon       45 Iolaus (nephew of Hercules)   46 Iphitos     47 Jason     48 Laërtes (Father of Odysseus)
49  Laokoön (half-brother of Oeneus and tutor of Meleager)    50 Leitus    51 Leodocus       52 Lynceus
53  Medea (joined when the Fleece was recovered)     54 Melas      55 Meleager      56 Menoetius
57  Mopsus        58 Nauplius        59 Neleus (son of Poseidon)    60  Nestor       61 Oileus
62 Orpheus      63 Palaemon    64 Palaimonius (son of Hephaestus)    65 Peleus         66 Peneleos
67 Perseus (son of Zeus, slayer of Medusa)    68 Periclymenus (grandson of Poseidon)       69 Phalerus
70 Phanus (brother of Staphylus and Eurymedon)     71 Philoctetes    72 Phlias (son of Dionysus)
73 Phocus     74 Phrontis    75 Poeas    76 Prias (brother of Phocus)   77 Pollux (son of Zeus)
78 Polyphemus    79 Staphylus    80 Talaus   81 Telamon        82 Thersanon (son of Helios and Leucothoe)
83 Theseus (son of Poseidon and slayer of the Minotaur)       84 Tiphys      85 Zetes (son of Boreas)

Post related to Argonauts
  Jason : The island of lemnos : The Quest of Golden Fleece :(update soon)


Monday, 26 May 2014


                                                                       In Greek mythology, Cyrene was described as a Thessalian princess, the daughter of King Hypseus of the Lapiths and Chlidanope (a Naiad).  Cyrene was great huntress who guarded her father's herds in the region of Mount Pelion, destroying wild beasts armed with javelin and sword. One day when a lion attacked her father's sheep, Cyrene wrestled with the lion, the god Apollo spied her and fell in love with her. He kidnap Cyrene and carried her off to the Hill of Myrtles (Myrtoessa) in Libyan North Africa where the Greeks would late found a colony named Cyrene in her honour. 
Apollo kidnapping Cyrene

                              According to other version, Cyrene was not wrestling with a lion but instead tending her sheep along the marsh-meadow of the river Pineios, where Apollo saw her and kidnap her. Together, she and Apollo had two sons: Aristaeus, the demigod who invented beekeeping, and Idmon, the Argonaut seer. Apollo later transformed Cyrene into a nymph to grant her a longer life. According to some versions,  Cyrene was a Naiad Nymphe daughter of the river-god Peneios. According to some versions, with Ares, Cyrene  was the mother of Diomedes of Thrace.


Sunday, 25 May 2014

Thespiades----------Fifty daughters of King Thespius

                                        In Greek mythology, the fifty daughters of King Thespius were referred as Thespiades. King Thespius and his wife Megamede, (daughter of Arneus) had fifty daughters together, although Thespius may have fathered some of the daughters from unnamed mistresses with Megamede being their stepmother. All his daughters came of marrying age but Thespius seems to have sought no husband for them; he instead desired grandchildren from the hero Hercules.
Fifty daughters of King Thespius
                                    When Hercules was assigned to kill Cithaeron lion, Thespius offered his fifty daughters as a prize. The hunt for the lion lasted fifty days, and during each night of the hunt Hercules slept with each of the fifty daughters, who in turn each gave birth to one son. According to other version Hercules slept with the fifty daughters of Thespius in a single night. According to some version, only forty-nine slept with the Hercules, as one daughter of Thespius was so shy to sleep with Hercules, so as a punishment she was destined to serve as a virgin priestess of a temple to Hercules.In another version there were fifty-one grandsons of Thespius, of which forty colonized the island of Sardinia.


Tuesday, 20 May 2014


In Greek mythology, Iynx was described as daughter of Pan and either Peitho or Echo. Iynx invented the magical love-charm known as the iynx. Iynx used her enchantments to make Zeus fall in love with her or, in some versions, with the nymph Io. Hera was furious and transformed her into a bird called Iynx.

                                     According to other version, Iynx was described as daughter of  Pierus. Iynx and her sisters had presumed to enter into a musical contest with the Muses, she was changed into the bird iynx. This bird, the symbol of passionate and restless love, was given by Aphrodite to Jason, who, by turning it round and pronouncing certain magic words, excited the love of Medea.