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Greek Myths, Legends and Heroes C-H
 

Cadmus
Cadmus and his companions found a sacred grove guarded by a dragon. After the beast killed his companions, Cadmus slew the dragon and, on the advice of the goddess Athena, planted its teeth in the ground. Armed men sprang from the teeth and fought each other until all but five were killed. Cadmus enlisted the help of the victors in founding the new city of Thebes.
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Caenis
A Greek (Thessaly) woman who was brutally raped by Poseidon. She prayed to the gods that she be transformed into an invulnerable man so she could exact revenge against the sex that had harmed her. Her wish was granted and she became a fearful warrior killing many men in battle. In some legends she is killed as a man (in the battle against the centaurs at the wedding of Pirithous and Hippodamia), and transformed back to a female and buried. In other legends she is immortal as well as invulnerable and is buried alive under the weight of the rocks and tree trunks which were hurled upon him by the centaurs in that battle.
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Calchas
The soothsayer in the Trojan War who predicted that Achilles' aid was necessary for the Greeks to win, that Iphigenia must be sacrificed before the Greeks sail to Troy, and that the war would take ten years to win. He died from disappointment when bettered in a trial of skill by the prophet Mopsus.
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Caligo
She was Chaos' mother, and by him she became mother of Nyx (night).
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Callisto-fairest
She was a friend/priestess of the famous huntress Artemis and took a vow to remain single. But Zeus took a liking to her (Zeus took the form of Artemis in order to seduce her.) and she was no longer chaste. She was turned into a bear, either by Zeus who didn't want his wife to know of the love affair, or by his wife, Hera, as revenge for the affair. She was then killed in a hunt by her best friend Artemis who really thought she was a bear. Zeus changed the dead Callisto into a constellation, the Ursa Major (Great Bear). Her son, Arcas, born of the affair with Zeus, was changed into the constellation Ursa Minor (Little Bear).
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Calypso-hidden
A sea nymph and daughter of the Titan Atlas. Calypso lived alone on the mythical island of Ogygia in the Ionian Sea. When the Greek hero Odysseus was shipwrecked on Ogygia, she fell in love with him and kept him a virtual prisoner for seven years. Although she promised him immortality and eternal youth if he would stay with her, she could not make him overcome his desire to return home. She bore him two sons before, at the bidding of the god Zeus, she finally released Odysseus and gave him materials to build a raft to leave the island. She died of grief after he left.
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Campe
This female dragon was the guard of the monster children of Gaia, in their prison beneath the surface of the earth.
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Cassandra she who entangles men
The daughter of Priam and Hecuba. Apollo fell in love with her and promised her the gift of prophecy if she would submit to him. She accepted the proposal, received the gift and then refused the god her favors. Apollo took his revenge by ordaining that her prophecies would never be believed. Which is what happened. For instance, Cassandra warned the Trojans of many dangers, including the wooden horse by which the Greeks entered the city, but she was dismissed as a madwoman. After the fall of Troy, she was dragged from her sanctuary in the temple of the goddess Athena by Ajax the Lesser and brought to the Greek camp. When the spoils were divided, Cassandra was awarded to King Agamemnon as his slave and mistress. Cassandra warned him that he would be killed if he returned to Greece; again she was not believed. Upon their arrival in Mycenae she and Agamemnon were murdered by Clytemnestra, queen of Mycenae and wife of Agamemnon.
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Cassiopeia
The wife of Cephus, king of Ethiopia. When Cassiopeia boasted that she was more beautiful than the Nereids, these water nymphs complained to Poseidon, the god of the sea, who sent a sea monster to ravage the land. Poseidon demanded that Cassiopeia's daughter, Andromeda, be punished for her mother's vanity by being sacrificed to the monster, but the girl was rescued by the hero Perseus. At her death Cassiopeia was changed into a constellation, the stars of which form the outline of a woman sitting in a chair and holding up both arms in supplication to the gods.
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Castor and Pollux
Twin heroes called the Dioscuri. Castor was the son of Leda and Tyndareus and Pollux the son of Leda and Zeus. Castor was a skilled horseman and Pollux a boxer. They were famous warriors, noted for their devotion to each other. Patrons of mariners, the Dioscuri were especially honored by the Romans.
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Cecrops
The founder of Athens and of Greek civilization. Reputed to have sprung half man, half serpent from the soil, he became the first king of Attica, which he divided into 12 communities. He established marriage and property laws, introduced bloodless sacrifice and burial of the dead, and invented writing. During his 50-year rule he testified in a dispute over possession of Athens between Athena and Poseidon; his evidence on behalf of Athena leading the panel of judges (the Olympian gods) to vote along gender lines (with Zeus as head of the panel abstaining), thereby declaring Athena the winner by a vote of 6 to 5.
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Centaurs
They were principally savage beasts, half-horse and half-man. Chiron was an exception as he was famous for his virtue and his wisdom.
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Cerberus-demon of the pit
A many-headed dog with a mane and a tail of snakes, who guarded the entrance to the underworld (Hades). One of the 12 labors of Hercules was to capture him.
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Chaos-yawning
The vacant, unfathomable space from which everything arose. In the Olympian myth Gaea sprang from Chaos and became the mother of all things.
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Charon-fierce brightness
He was the foul-tempered boatman, son of Erebus and Nox (Night), who ferried the spirits of the dead over the rivers Styx and Acheron to Elysium (the underworld). He would admit to his boat only the souls of those who had received the rites of burial and whose passage had been paid with a coin (an obolus) placed under the tongue of the corpse. Those who had not been buried and whom Charon would not admit to his boat were doomed to wait beside the Styx for 100 years.
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Charybdis and Scylla
Two sea monsters dwelling on the opposite sides of a narrow strait, the personification of the dangers of navigation near the rocks and eddies. Scylla was a horrible creature with 12 feet and 6 long necks, each bearing a head with 3 rows of teeth, with which she devoured any prey that came within reach; she lived in a cave on a cliff. Across the strait, opposite her, was a large fig tree under which Charybdis, the whirlpool, dwelt, sucking in and belching forth the waters of the sea three times daily, engulfing anything that came near. When the Greek hero Odysseus passed between them, he was able to avoid Charybdis, but Scylla seized six men from his ship and devoured them. Scylla, originally a beautiful maiden loved by a sea god, had been transformed into a monster by her jealous rival, the sorceress Circe.
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Chelone
A nymph that ridiculed (one version) or refused to attend (another version) the wedding of Zeus and Hera. They punished her by changing her into a turtle (mute - 1st version) who carries its home everywhere (2nd version).
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Chiron
A centaur, son of Cronus. He was a wise physician and prophet whose pupils included Hercules, Achilles, Jason, and Asclepius. After receiving an incurable wound, he gave his immortality to Prometheus and died. Zeus turned him into the constellation Sagittarius.
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Chloe
A lover of Daphnis in a Greek pastoral romance, and since, a generic name in literature for a rustic maiden, not always of the artless variety.
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Chryses-golden
A Priest of Apollo.
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Chryseis
Daughter of a priest of Apollo (Chryses), she is captured (Trojan War) and given to Agamemnon. Her father tries to ransom her but Agamemnon refuses to let her go, whereupon the priest prays to Apollo for help. The god sends a plague on the Greek army, and Agamemnon caves in and returns her but demands the maid Briseis (who had been given to Achilles) as recompense. Read the Iliad for the whole story.
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Circe-falcon
A sorceress, the daughter of the sun god Helios and the sea nymph Perse. She lived on an island, where with potions and incantations, she was able to turn people into beasts. Her victims retained their reason, however, and knew what had happened to them. In the course of his wanderings, the Greek hero Odysseus visited her island with his companions, whom she turned into swine. On his way to find help for his men, Odysseus met the god Hermes, from whom he received an herb (Moly) that made him immune to Circe's enchantments. He forced her to restore his companions to human form, and in amazement that anyone could resist her spell, Circe fell in love with Odysseus. He and his friends stayed with her for a year. When they finally decided to leave, she told Odysseus how to find the spirit of the Theban seer Tiresias in the underworld, in order to learn from him how to safely return home.
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Clymene
A Titaness, the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys. She was the wife of Iapetus and bore him Prometheus, Epimetheus, and Atlas.
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Clytemnestra
The daughter of Tyndareus and Leda. She was a sister to Castor and a half sister to Helen and Pollux. She was the wife of Agamemnon, the mother of Orestes, Electra, Iphigenia, and Chrysothemis. And she was the lover of Aegisthus. On her husband's return from Troy she murdered him- partly (according to various forms of her legend) out of hatred for his sacrifice of Iphigenia and partly out of jealousy of Cassandra, whom he had brought back as a captive concubine. In retaliation for the murder of Agamemnon, she was killed by her son Orestes.
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Clytie
An ocean nymph who fell in love with Apollo (aka Helios, the sun god). When she was deserted by him she changed into a sunflower (heliotrope), and still turns to the sun, following him through his daily journey through the sky.
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Coronis-crow or raven
Mother of Aesculapius by Apollo, who slew her for her infidelity. Also in another version, the daughter of Coronaeus, changed by Athene into a crow to escape from Neptune.
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Cottus
One of the hundred-handed giants, son of Uranus and Gaea. His two brothers were Briareus and Gyes.
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Cratos
Brother of Bia and representation of power.
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Creon
Brother of Jocasta, queen of Thebes. Creon served as regent of Thebes after King Oedipus was exiled until his nephew Eteocles, Oedipus's younger son, claimed the throne. The elder son, Polyneices, angered at this usurpation of his legal right, led an invading army in the battle of the "Seven Against Thebes". Both brothers killed each other in combat, and Creon again took command of Thebes, decreeing that all who had fought against the city would be denied burial rites. Burial of the dead was regarded as a sacred duty, and Antigone, sister of Polyneices, defied Creon and buried her brother, claiming that she owed a higher obedience to the laws of the gods than to the laws of man. Enraged at her defiance of his authority, Creon ordered that his niece be buried alive. His son Haemon, who had loved Antigone, killed himself in despair at her death.
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Creusa
There were three: 1. Daughter of Erechtheus, king of Athens. She was raped by Apollo and bore a son. The child was exposed to die but was taken to Delphi by Hermes and there brought up. Xuthus, Creusa's husband, thought the child his own and brought him back to Athens, calling him Ion.
2. First wife of Aeneas and mother of Ascanius. She was killed while trying to escape from burning Troy. Her ghost appeared to Aeneas and warned him of perils to come.
3. Daughter of Creon, king of Corinth. Jason deserted Medea for her. Medea, in revenge, killed Glauce, Glauce's father, and her own children by Jason.
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Crius, Creus, or Kreios
A Titan, married Eurbia. Had 3 children: Astraios, Perses, Pallas. Was grandfather of (Astraios married Eos): Zephyros/Zephyrus (West Wind), Boreas (North Wind), Notos/Notus (South Wind), Eosphoros/Eurus (East Wind), and all the "stars". Was also grandfather of (Pallas married Styx): Zelos, Nike, Kratos, Bia.
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The Cyclopes ring-eyed
Cyclop (plural Cyclopes). There are two versions. In one they were three immense one-eyed beings, who were smiths, sons of Uranus and Gaea, who made, for Zeus, the lightning bolts he used to slay his enemies. In another, they were a barbarous people, one of whom, Polyphemus, was encountered by Odysseus in his wanderings.
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Cyone
Raped by her father, she forced him into a nearby temple and sacrificed him on the altar.
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Cyrene
This myth has Cyrene wrestling a lion which was attacking her father's sheep. Apollo, passing by, saw this and immediately fell in love with her. He carried her off and founded the city of Cyrene making her its queen. She bore him some children and also bore a child with Ares.
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Damia
An alternative form of Demeter in ancient Greece. Her daughter was Auxesia (similar in kind to Persephone).
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Damocles
Damocles was a courtier of Dionysius the Elder. According to a legend, Damocles on one occasion commented to his ruler on the grandeur and happiness of rulers. Dionysius soon thereafter invited his courtier to a luxurious banquet, where Damocles enjoyed the delights of the table until his attention was directed upward and he saw a sharp sword hanging above him by a single horsehair. By this device Dionysius made Damocles realize that insecurity might threaten those who appeared to be the most fortunate. (Sword of Damocles: symbolic potential disaster.)
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Damon and Pythias
Two young men whose loyalty to each other symbolizes true friendship. When Pythias, condemned to death by Dionysius the Elder, was released to arrange his affairs, Damon stayed on as hostage, pledged to die in place of Pythias, if he did not return. On Pythias' return, Dionysius freed them both.
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Danae
Her father (Acrisius) was told by an oracle that her son (his grandson) would kill him so he imprisoned her in an underground cell so that she would not meet any man. Zeus, who had fallen in love with her, broke into her cell by taking the form of a shower of gold (which opens all doors). Her son from that union was Perseus (who did kill his grandfather).
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Danaus
Grandson of Poseidon and twin brother of Aegyptus. The father of 50 daughters known as the Danaids. See Danaids for the story.
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Daphne
A nymph who was metamorphosed into a laurel tree, by Gaea, as a means of escaping from Apollo.
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Daphnis
The Sicilian shepherd who invented pastoral poetry, born of the union of the god Hermes with a nymph. According to one legend, Daphnis was blinded after breaking a vow of fidelity to a nymph who loved him.
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Deianira (Dejaneira)
Wife of Heracles (Hercules). As the centaur Nessus was carrying her across a river he attempted to violate her; Heracles shot him with a poisoned arrow. As he lay dying he told Deianira to save some of his blood, that it would keep Heracles in love with her should he ever want to stray. Years later Heracles became enamored of Iole and brought her home. Deianira soaked a garment in the blood and gave it to Heracles as a gift. When he put it on it burned his flesh and could not be removed, killing Heracles in an agonizing death. Deianira killed herself in remorse.
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Deidamia
Achilles' wife.
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Deucalion new-wine sailor
A son of Prometheus who with his wife, Pyrrha, built an ark and floated in it to survive the deluge sent by Zeus in anger at humankind's irreverence. The couple became the ancestors of the renewed human race when an oracle told them to cast behind them the stones of the earth. These stones became human and repopulated the world.
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Dido
Daughter of Belus, king of Tyre. When Dido's husband was killed by her brother Pygmalion, Dido fled with her followers to North Africa. She purchased the site of Carthage from a native ruler, Larbus, who, when the new city began to prosper, threatened Dido with war unless she married him. Rather than submit Dido stabbed herself, or, in another version, the Trojan prince Aeneas was shipwrecked at Carthage. He remained there with Dido, who had fallen in love with him, until commanded by the god Jupiter to abandon her and continue his journey. In despair at his departure, Dido killed herself on a funeral pyre.
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Diomedes
King of Argos, one of the kings known as the "Seven Against Thebes". Diomedes was one of the Greek heroes of the Trojan War. He killed numerous Trojan warriors, and with the assistance of the goddess Athena, wounded Aphrodite (goddess of love) and Ares (god of war), both of whom were helping the Trojans. When he returned from the war and discovered that his wife had been unfaithful, Diomedes went to Apulia, where he remarried.
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Dione
A Titaness. In some early legends she is the mother of Aphrodite by Zeus; most legends though have Aphrodite born of the sea-foam (no mother).
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Dirce
The woman who was the second wife of Lycus (after he abandoned Antiope). She was a shrew and a nag and was tied to the horns of a wild bull by Amphion and Zethus (Antiope's sons - her step-sons) and dragged to death. They also killed Lycus.
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Dryope
One legend: A nymph who was "tricked" by Apollo and who thereupon bore a son (Amphissus). She was turned into a poplar tree. Another legend: With her sister Iole and with her young son in her arms she, while at a spring, plucked some beautiful blossoms from a lotus tree to make a garland. The tree was really Lotis, a nymph, hiding from a pursuer, and from where the blossoms had been plucked, blood flowed. Lotis, angry and in pain, changed Dryope into a tree. Another legend: The mother of the lascivious Pan.
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Echenais
A nymph who fell in love with the mortal Daphnis and made him promise to be faithful. When he wasn't, she made him blind so he might never again be tempted by female beauty.
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Echidna she-viper
She was half-woman, half-snake. She was married to the monster, Typhon. She was the mother of Ladon (a dragon), Hydra (the many-headed), Chimera (goat-like), and Orthus (Orthros) and Cerberus (dog creatures). She also mothered, by Orthus, the Sphinx and the Nemean lion. She was killed by Argus as she slept.
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Echo-echo
She was in the wrong place at the wrong time, talking to Hera long enough for Zeus to fool around again. Hera was so angry she deprived Echo of the power of speech except for the ability to repeat the last words of another. Echo fell in love with Narcissus who was pining away staring at his reflection. Echo, in despair, faded away to nothing until only her voice remained.
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Eidothea-divine shape
A sea nymph,daughter of Proteus, who took pity on Menelaus, becalmed on his return trip from the Trojan War to Sparta, and advised him to lie in wait for her father, who could be compelled to give him useful advice and information if Menelaus would only seize him and hold on to him, unafraid. This was not a simple matter, since Proteus had the power to change himself into many, and fearsome, shapes. But Menelaus held on and got the information he wanted.
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Electra-amber
1. Daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. She aided her brother Orestes in avenging the murder of their father by their mother and Aegisthus.
2. One of the Pleiades, the mythical ancestors of the Trojans. She is known as the "Lost Pleiad" for she is said to have disappeared before the Trojan War so that she would not see her favorite city destroyed. She shows herself occasionly, but only in the guise of a comet.
3. An Oceanid, daughter of Oceanus and Tethys.
4. Mother (by Thaumas) of Iris, goddess of the rainbow, and also of the loathsome Harpies.
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Enceladus
The most powerful of the hundred-armed giants, sons of Uranus and Gaea, who fought against Zeus.
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Endymion-seduced native
A handsome young man who was loved by the moon goddess, Selene, and whose youth was preserved by eternal sleep. Selene supposedly bore him fifty daughters by embracing him in his sleep.
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Ephialtes
A giant, son of Poseidon, and brother to Otus. When they were nine years old, they were "nine fathoms tall and nine cubits broad". Apollo killed them.
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Epigoni-afterborn
The sons of the seven Greek chieftains known as the "Seven Against Thebes". To avenge the deaths of their fathers, who had been slain in that ill-fated expedition against Thebes, the Epigoni conquered the city and completely destroyed it. Although their name, Epigoni, (Afterborn), implied that they had come into the world too late and after all the great deeds had been done, one of their number, the warrior Diomedes, became one of the greatest Greek heroes of the Trojan War.
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Epimenides
A religious teacher and miracle worker in Crete who is said to have fallen asleep in a cave as a boy, and that he did not wake up for 57 years. (Origin of Rip Van Winkle?)
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Epimetheus-afterthought
He was considered the dumbest of the Titans. His name means "afterthought". He was responsible for Pandora (the first woman) and the releasing of all evils upon mankind.
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Erebus
The son of Chaos, and brother of Night. His name was given to the gloomy cavern through which the dead had to walk to reach Hades.
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Erigone
Daughter of Icarius. When her father was killed (he had given a party where he, a follower of Dionysus, gave the revelers their first taste of wine, and they, thinking they were poisoned, slew him) she was led to his body by their faithful dog Maera and, overcome with grief, killed herself.
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Erytheia
One of the Hesperides.
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Europa-broad face
A beautiful woman who caught the eye of Zeus. He transformed himself into a white bull and carried her off. She bore him three sons, King Minos, King Rhadamanthus and Prince Sarpedon. She later married the king of Crete who adopted her three sons.
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Eurycleia
Odysseus'old nurse who recognizes him when he returns from the Trojan War, when washing his feet she sees the scar he received as a young man in a boar hunt.
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Eurydice-wide justice
The wife of Orpheus, whom he failed to rescue from Hades when he looked back at her.
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Eurynome
The daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, and the mother, by Zeus, of the Graces.
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Evadne
Wife of Capaneus (one of the Seven Against Thebes). When he was killed in that war she burned herself on his pyre.
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Galatea-milk white
There are three of them in Greek myth:
1.A sea nymph, loved by the monster Polyphemus (a Cyclop), although she loved Acis, who was thereby killed by Polyphemus or the other Cyclops (two differing versions). Galatea, in bereavement, threw herself into the sea, where she joined her sister nymphs (one version), she wept so copiously she was changed into a fountain (another version), and she accepted Polyphemus and had by him a son, Galates (another version).
2.The woman who was originally a statue carved by Pygmalion and who was brought to life by Aphrodite in answer to his prayers.
3.Mother of Leucippus, who was reared as a boy in order to fool Galatea's husband, who had ordered the child to be killed at birth if it was a girl. Leto answered the mother's prayers eventually and changed Leucippus' sex to male.
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Galinthias (Galauthis)
A servant of Alcmene's. When Alcmene was about to give birth to Hercules, the Moerae (see Fates), sitting in front of Alcmene's house, prevented the birth by sitting with their knees held together and their hands clasped around their knees; this was a spell that prevented birth. Galinthias, learning of this, ran out shouting that Alcmene had given birth to a child. This so startled the Moerae they started to their feet and in so doing freed Alcmene's thighs and her child was born. According to the poet Ovid, the Moerae were so angered by this trick that they turned the subtle, darting Galinthias into a lizard.
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Glaucus
All four are:
1. Fought on the side of the Trojans in the Trojan War. He was killed in the war by Ajax.
2. Son of Minos; drowned in a vat of honey; brought back to life by the soothsayer Polyeidus.
3. One of the Argonauts. He loved Scylla (before she was changed into a monster), and was loved in turn by Circe, who made him into a sea god.
4. Son of Sisyphus and father of Bellerophon. He fed his herd of horses on a diet of human flesh. Eventually he became part of their diet; a fitting end to his life.
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Golden Fleece
The fleece of the golden ram, stolen by Jason and the Argonauts from the king of Colchis.
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Harmonia-concordance
She was the daughter of Ares and Aphrodite, or the daughter of Zeus and Electra depending on which version of the old legends you believe. She was carried off by Cadmus and married him. At Harmonia's wedding, which was attended by the gods, Aphrodite gave her a beautiful necklace made by Hephaestus, god of metalwork. Although the gift brought her good fortune, it brought only death and misery to her family. Eventually both Cadmus and Harmonia were transformed into snakes.
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Harpocrates
The Greek counterpart of the Egyptian Harpa-Khruti (Horus the child). He was depicted as a naked boy sucking on his finger, and was considered the god of silence and secrecy.
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Hector
A Trojan prince, the eldest son of Priam and Hecuba, he was killed by Achilles in the Trojan War, and his dead body tied to Achilles' chariot, was dragged around the walls of Troy three times.
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Hecuba
The second wife of Priam and mother of Hector, Paris, and Cassandra, among her nineteen children. When Troy fell she was taken by Ulysses.
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Helen moon-basket
The most beautiful of women. She was the daughter of Zeus and Leda, sister of Clytemnestra and of Castor and Pollux. She married Menelaus. When Paris awarded the apple of discord to Aphrodite, the goddess gave him Helen. He carried her off to Troy, starting the Trojan War. After the war she returned to Sparta with Menelaus, by whom she bore Hermione.
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Heracles
The most popular Greek hero, he was famous for strength and courage. The son of Alcmene and Zeus, he was hated by Hera, who sent serpents to his cradle to strangle him, but he strangled them. Later Hera drove Heracles mad, and he killed his wife and children. He sought redemption from King Eurystheus, who set him 12 mighty labors:
1. Kill the Nemean lion- Heracles strangled the animal and wore the lion's skin.
2. Kill the Hydra-a terrible serpent with nine heads.
3. Drive off the Stymphalian birds.
4. Clean the Augean stables, which had not been cleaned for 30 years. He turned two rivers, the Alpheus and the Peneus, through the stables, finishing the work in a single day.
5. Capture the Cerynean hind, with the golden horns.
6. Capture the Cretan bull.
7. Capture the flesh-eating wild mares of Diomedes, king of Thrace. Hercules killed Diomedes and fed him to the horses.
8. Capture the wild Erymanthian boar.
9. Capture the cattle of the monster Geryon, which dwelt on the fabled island Erytheia.
10. Capture Cerberus, the many-headed dog who guarded the gates of the underworld. He brought Cerberus to Eurystheus, but the king was so terrified that Heracles had to return to Hades to take the monster back.
11. Procure the girdle of Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons. He defeated the Amazons, killed the queen, and took the belt.
12. Procure the golden apples of the Hesperides guarded by the four sister nymphs called the Hesperides. Their father was Atlas, who supported the heavens on his back. To obtain the apples Heracles took Atlas's place while Atlas took the apples.
Later, the centaur Nessus tried to carry off Heracles' wife, Deianeira. Heracles shot Nessus with a poisoned arrow. The dying centaur had Deianeira keep some of his blood as a love charm. When Heracles fell in love with another maiden, Deianeira sent him a robe steeped in the blood. Heracles put it on, and poison spread through his body like fire. He fled to Mount Oeta, built a funeral fire, and threw himself on it to die. At his death he rose to Olympus, where he was reconciled with Hera and married Hebe. He is more familiarly known by his Roman name Hercules.
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Hermaphroditus
This was a creature that was partly male and partly female. One legend has him being a handsome male, the son of Hermes and Aphrodite. Supposedly a nymph fell in love with him and beseeched the gods to be forever united with him. They answered her prayers by fusing the two together thereby creating a being that was half male and half female.
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Hero and Leander
Hero was a priestess of Aphrodite beloved by Leander, who drowned during one of his nightly swims across the Hellespont to be with her.
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Hesperia-evening
The land of the evening star, where the golden apples of Hera were guarded by the dragon Ladon and by the seven immortal maidens, the Hesperides.
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Hesperides
See Hesperia.
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Hippodamia (Briseis)
Achilles' mistress at Troy.
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Hippolytus
A son of Theseus. When he repulsed the advances of his step-mother, Phaedra, she accused him of attempting to seduce her. Theseus asked Poseidon for advice, and the god sent a huge sea-monster against Hippolytus, which so frightened his horses that they dragged him to his death. He was restored to life by Aesculapius.
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Hippomenes
The Greek who defeated Atalanta in the race in which he used the golden apples given to him by Venus, and thereby won Atalanta's hand in marriage.
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Hyacinthus-hyacinth
A handsome Spartan youth loved both by Apollo, god of the sun, and by Zephyrus, god of the west wind. One day, as Apollo was teaching the young man to throw the discus, the god accidentally killed Hyacinthus. From the blood of the youth, Apollo caused a flower to spring up, each petal inscribed with an exclamation of lamentation (what looks like AI, which means woe in Greek). According to another legend, Zephyrus was jealous of the youth's love for Apollo and blew upon the discus, causing it to strike Hyacinthus.
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TheHyades rain-makers
The name given to five (in some accounts, seven) sisters who nursed the infant wine god, Dionysus. As a reward they were changed into the five (seven) stars at the head of the constellation Taurus, the bull.
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Hydra-water creature.
In Greek mythology, a many-headed water serpent. When one of its heads was cut off, two new ones appeared. It was killed by Hercules, who had his charioteer burn each neck after decapitation.
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The Hyperboreans beyond-the-North-Wind-men
A race of men who lived on the northern shores of the limitless river Ocean that ran around the earth. This fortunate race never knew care, toil, illness or old age.
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