Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Greek Myths, Legends and Heroes P-Z


Palamedes
Son of Nauplius and Clymene, he fought with the Greeks at Troy. He supposedly invented lighthouses, scales, the discus, and dice.
Back

Pandora all-giving
There are two versions of the story of Pandora's Box. In one, the box is a jar containing all kinds of misery and evil. When Pandora opens it all the miseries and evils escape and fly all over the earth. In the other, the box contains all kinds of blessings which were subsequently lost to humans when she opened the box.
Back

Pandrosos
One of the Augralids. Pandrosos is credited with the introduction of spinning.
Back

Panope
One of the Nereides. Mother of Aigle.
Back

Pareia
A nymph.
Back

Paris
The son of Priam and Hecuba. Because of a prophecy that he would destroy Troy, he was abandoned on Mt. Ida by his parents, but shepherds rescued him. Later he was chosen as judge in a dispute among Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. Spurning Hera, who offered him greatness, and Athena, who promised success in war, he awarded the golden apple of discord to Aphrodite, who offered the most beautiful woman in the world. His abduction of that woman, Helen, caused the Trojan War.
Back

Pasiphae
Wife of Minos, Cretan king. She was the mother by him of Ariadne, and also, by consorting with a white bull, the mother of the Minotaur.
Back

Patroclus-glory of the father
A good friend of Achilles who, while taking Achilles' place when he refused to fight (at Troy), was slain by Hector.
Back

Penelope
Means with a web over her face. Wife of Odysseus, mother of Telemachus and a model of fidelity. Pursued by suitors during Odysseus' absence, at the Trojan War (10 years for the war plus another 10 years in adventures and captivity while returning home), she agreed to marry after she finished weaving her father-in-law's (Laertes) shroud, but unraveled her work each night. Each night, for three years, she undid what she had woven during the day, but one of her maids discovered this secret and told the suitors. She finally promised to marry the man who could bend Odysseus' bow, but none could. Odysseus returned at this time disguised as a beggar, bent the bow, and slew the suitors.
Back

Perseus-destroyer
Son of Zeus and Danaë, a mortal woman. Told by an oracle that Perseus would kill him, his grandfather Acrisius set him and his mother Danaë afloat in a chest. They were rescued by King Polydectes, who fell in love with Danaë. Seeing Perseus as an obstacle to his love for Danaë, the king sent his step-son out to kill Medusa, one of three sisters called the Gorgons who were so ugly, anyone who looked at them would turn to stone. He appealed to the gods for help and was given a mirrored shield by Athena, the goddess of wisdom, and a pair of winged sandals by Hermes, the messenger of the gods. Perseus flew using the sandals to find Medusa. When he found her, he did not look at her. Instead, he used the reflection in the shield to guide his sword so he could behead her as she slept. As she died, the white, winged horse Pegasus sprang from her neck. On his way back from his victory against Medusa, Perseus came across a woman chained to a rock, waiting to be sacrificed to a sea monster, called either Cetus or Draco, depending on which version of the myth you believe. This woman was Andromeda. Her mother, Cassiopeia boasted that she and her daughter were more beautiful than the Nereids, the daughters of Poseidon, the god of the sea. Angered by the insult to his daughters, Poseidon sent floods to the lands ruled by Cassiopeia and her husband, King Cepheus. Cepheus consulted an oracle who told him that the only way to quell Poseidon's anger was to sacrifice his daughter. Perseus came on the scene just in the nick of time and killed the sea monster and saved Andromeda, and then married her. Later, while competing in a discus contest, Perseus accidentally killed Acrisius, thus fulfilling the prophecy.
Back

Phaedra-bright one
Daughter of Minos and Pasiphaë, wife of Theseus. When her stepson, Hippolytus, rejected her love, she accused him of rape, then hanged herself.
Back

Phaëthon-shining
The son of Helios (god of the sun) and Clymene (a nymph). Helios had granted Phaëthon anything he wished, and could not back out when Phaëthon asked to drive the sun-chariot across the sky. He lost control of the chariot and nearly set the earth afire before Zeus slew him with a thunderbolt.
Back

Philoctetes
A famous archer in the Trojan War. When Hercules died he bequeath his arrows to Philoctetes. In the last year of the Trojan War an oracle declared that Troy could not be taken without the arrows of Hercules. Odysseus sent for Philoctetes, who using the arrows left him by Hercules, killed Paris, thereby ending the war.
Back

Phoenix blood-red
Phoenix and his father, King Amyntor, had a violent quarrel which led Amyntor to curse him with childlessness. Phoenix ended up being responsible for the upbringing of Achilles, and was with him at the Trojan War.
Back

Phorcys
Phorcys is a son of Gaia and Pontus. He married the sea-monster Ceto, his sister, and had many children with her including the Graeae and the Gorgons.
Back

Pleiades-flock of doves
These were seven sisters born from the union of the Titan, Atlas, and Pleione. They were Maia, Electra, Alcyone, Merope, Sterope, Taygete and Celaeno. They were pursued by Orion, a famous hunter, and begged relief from Zeus. He changed them into a constellation and placed them in the sky. Then, as was his wont, he turned Orion into a constellation and placed him in the sky in a position where he still could chase the sisters.
Back

Polynices
A son of Oedipus. It was for him (so that he could gain the throne his younger brother had usurped) that the "Seven against Thebes" fought that ill-fated war.
Back

Polyphemus-famous
He was the most famous Cyclop. He was the son of Poseidon and a sea nymph. It was Polyphemus who captured Odysseus and his crew when they were shipwrecked on his island. After about half his men were eaten by the Cyclop, Odysseus managed to get him drunk and blinded him by plunging a burning stake into his eye. Odysseus and the rest of his men escaped when they clung to the bellies of the sheep being let out to pasture.
Back

Polyxena
Another daughter of King Priam and Hecuba. She was claimed as booty by the ghost of Achilles and put to death at his tomb.
Back

Priam-redeemed
He was the king of Troy during the Trojan War. Priam was married to Hecuba with whom he had many children, amongst whom was Hector and Paris. In the tenth year, alone, of the Trojan War he lost 13 sons. When Troy finally fell, Neoptolemus, Achilles' son, killed Priam on an altar to the gods.
Back

Procrustes
A notorious robber and murderer. He placed his victims on an iron bed and, if they were longer than the bed, he cut off the parts that were overhanging. If they were shorter than the bed, he stretched them till they fit it. He was killed by Theseus.
Back

Prometheus-forethought
The wisest Titan, and the creator of mankind. Originally a good friend and ally to Zeus, he later fell from favor (he supposedly tricked Zeus out of his share of a sacrificed ox), and was chained in the Caucasus Mountains, where an eagle fed upon his "ever-regrowing" liver each day. He is credited with stealing fire from Hephaestus and giving it to the human race.
Back

Pygmalion
He was king of Cyprus, and sculptor of a beautiful statue of a woman. When he prayed to Aphrodite for a wife like it, she brought the statue (Galatea) to life, and Pygmalion married her.
Back

Pyrrha
Pyrrha, and her husband Deucalion, built an ark and floated in it to survive the flood sent by Zeus. The couple became the ancestors of the renewed human race when an oracle told them to cast behind them the stones of the earth. Those thrown by Deucalion became men, and those thrown by Pyrrha became women. These men and women repopulated the earth.
Back

Rhacius-ragged
King of Caria, and father of Mopsus,the famous soothsayer.
Back

Rhaecus
A centaur, who with another centaur (Hylaeus), attempted to rape Atalanta but was killed (both of them) by her.
Back

Rhene-ewe
A nymph, mother of Medon.
Back

Rhesus-breaker
One of the Greek kings at Troy.
Back

Rhodus
A son of Aphrodite, by Poseidon.
Back

Rhoecus
The tale about Rhoecus tells of a time he saw an oak tree about to topple and propped it up so it was once again steady. The dryad who lived within it, and who would have perished had it fallen, told him to ask anything he desired and she would grant it. He said he wanted only her love, and she consented. She told him to be alert, and when she was ready to make love with him she would send a messenger bee to summon him. Rhoecus got involved with some companions, and in the give-and-take that followed, forgot about the bee. When a bee came by and started buzzing near him he swat it and injured it. When he returned to the tree at a later date, the dryad blinded him in her anger of his treatment of her messenger.
Back

Rhoetus
One of the Titans.
Back

Sappho
Greek poetess, whose poetry was so renowned that Plato referred to her two centuries after her death as 'the Tenth muse'. She was born on the island of Lesbos. According to tradition, Alcaeus was her lover. Another legend holds that because of unrequited love for the young boatman Phaon she leaped to her death from a steep rock into the sea. She had a daughter named Cleis. She taught the art of poetry to a group of maidens, to whom she was devotedly attached and whose bridal odes she composed when they left her to be married. Later writers, commenting upon the group, accused Sappho of immorality and vice, from which arose the modern terms for female homosexuality, "lesbianism" and "sapphism."
Back

Satyrs
A forest and mountain creature. Part human, with a horse's tail and ears, and a goat's horns and legs, satyrs were merry, drunken, lustful devotees of Dionysus. See satyriasis in your dictionary.
Back

Sciron
A robber/highwayman who forced his victims over the rocks into the sea, where they were devoured by a sea monster.
Back

Scylla
1. Scylla-The daughter of King Nisus, who promised her lover, Minos, that she would deliver her father's kingdom to him, and to effect this, cut off her father's golden hair while he was asleep. Minos despised her for this act of treachery against her father, and rejected her love. She threw herself into the sea in despair.
2. Scylla and Charybdis-Scylla was a beautiful nymph and lover of Glaucus; she applied to Circe for a love potion. But Circe decided she wanted Glaucus for herself, and changed Scylla into a sea monster with six heads, twelve feet, and a lower body made up of hideous monsters. Scylla (and Charybdis) were two immortal monsters who lived on opposite shores of a narrow strait. Scylla ate anything, and anybody that came within reach. 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 probably was a tale to explain a partially submerged rock that ships floundered on and Charybdis was probably the explanation for a whirlpool.
Back

Semele-moon
She was the mother of Dionysus through union with Zeus. Hera, wife of Zeus vowed revenge for Semele's pregnancy. Disguised as an old woman, she sweet-talked Semele into inviting Zeus, in all his splendor, for a visit. Zeus, who had promised Semele to grant her every wish, felt honor bound to agree, although he knew that the sight of him adorned with his firebolts would kill her. Zeus did manage to save her unborn child, Dionysus, though.
Back

Silenus
The oldest satyr, the son of Hermes or Pan, and the companion, adviser, or tutor of Dionysus.
Back

Sinis
A noted robber, also known as the Pinebender because he tied his victims to two pine trees bent to the ground, and then watched as they were torn apart when he released the trees. He was captured by Theseus, and put to death by his own method.
Back

Sinon
The Greek who talked the Trojans into accepting the Wooden Horse.
Back

Sisyphus-very wise
Legend has it that when Death came to take him he turned the tables and captured Death whom he put in chains. No one died while Death was in chains and it stayed that way until Ares arrived and freed Death. In the meantime Sisyphus had his wife, Merope, promise to leave him unburied when he died, a practice clearly against the orders of the gods. When Death was released he claimed Sisyphus and brought him to the underworld where Sisyphus pointed out the fact that his body was unburied. The gods allowed him to return to life so that he could punish his wife. Once back home he lived to a ripe old age before he died for a second time. His punishment then was to roll a huge boulder up a hill to the top, but each time he neared the top the boulder would roll back down the hill, so his task is never-ending.
Back

Stentor
A Greek herald in the Trojan War. His voice was supposedly as loud as the combined voices of 50 men. Hence our word stentorian.
Back

Syrinx
A nymph who, to avoid the attentions of Pan, took refuge in a river and asked the gods to change her into a reed, which they did. Ironically, Pan plucked the reed from the river and from it made the pipes upon which he plays his magical music.
Back

Tantalus-most wretched
He was an intimate friend of the gods, often invited to their feasts and banquets. He was sentenced to the underworld for a crime against the gods. There are a number of crimes stated in differing stories but the one most prevalent is one where he stole nectar and ambrosia from one of the feasts and gave them to men. His punishment in the underworld was to stand neck deep in swirling water with fruits hanging over his head. When he would attempt to eat the fruit, a wind would arise and blow them out of his reach. When he would attempt to drink, the water would swirl away from him. Tantalize is a word derived from this tale.
Back

Tartarus
The land beneath the earth, where the Titans were confined, a vast realm of darkness.
Back

Telamon
The father of Ajax, and a member of the Argonauts as well as a participant in the Calydonian Boar hunt.
Back

Telegonus
A son of Ulysses and Circe, who unaware that Ulysses was his father, killed him in battle. He later married Penelope, Ulysses widow.
Back

Telemachus
The only son of Ulysses and Penelope. He helped his father kill Penelope's suitors.
Back

Tethys-disposer
She was a Titan, and the wife of Oceanus and gave birth to around 3,000 river-gods and the Oceanides. Hera was raised by Tethys until she was ready to marry Zeus.
Back

Teucer
A son of Telamon, and half-brother to Ajax. He was exiled by his father for not avenging the death of his brother by Odysseus.
Back

Thamyris
A Greek bard who challenged the Muses to a contest to see who was better. He lost. The Muses deprived him of his sight and the powers of song. He is depicted with a broken lyre.
Back

Theseus-he who lays down
Son of King Aegeus. His most famous adventure was the slaying of the Minotaur, which he accomplished with the help of Ariadne, daughter of King Minos of Crete. In the land of the Amazons he abducted Antiope, who bore him Hippolytus. Antiope was later killed, and Theseus then married Phaedra. When he and his friend Pirithoüs attempted to take Persephone from Hades, they were imprisoned there until Hercules rescued Theseus. He was murdered by King Lycomedes.
Back

Thetis-disposer
She was loved by both Zeus and Poseidon. When a prophecy was made that indicated she would bear a son that would become greater than his father, both gods hastened to marry her off to King Peleus. She resisted his advances by changing into various shapes but he finally got to her. The child, when born, was Achilles.
Back

Thyestes
Son of Pelops and brother of Atreus. Thyestes was the rival of his brother for the throne of Mycenae. He seduced Atreus's wife, Aerope, and persuaded her to steal the fleece of a golden lamb that Atreus treasured. The people of Mycenae decided that the possessor of the fleece should be their king, and Thyestes was chosen. The god Zeus intervened, however, and, by causing the sun to reverse its course and set in the east, gained Thyestes' abdication. Atreus succeeded as king and banished his brother. Later he discovered the infidelity of his wife and in revenge called Thyestes back from exile. At a welcoming banquet, Atreus served his brother the flesh of Thyestes' two murdered sons. When this was revealed to him, Thyestes laid a curse on Atreus and his descendants. The oracle at Delphi then advised Thyestes to ravish his own daughter, Pelopia. From the incestuous union was born Aegisthus, who later helped fulfill the curse that Thyestes had placed on the house of Atreus.
Back

Tiresias
A Theban seer. He was said to have been struck blind by the goddess Athena (because he had accidently seen her bathing) by her splashing water in his face, but to have been recompensed by her later with the gift of prophecy and the ability to understand the language of the birds, and the gift of a staff with which he could walk as safely as if he had sight. According to another version, he was for a time transformed into a woman (for seven years). Later, having become a man again, he was asked by Zeus and Hera, king and queen of the gods, to tell which sex had more pleasure in love. When he replied that woman had nine times as much pleasure as man, Hera, in anger, blinded him, but Zeus granted him long life. Tiresias played a prominent part in Theban legends, delivering prophecies to Oedipus, king of Thebes. He died while fleeing the wrath of the Epigoni (by drinking from the well of Tilphosa), bellicose descendants of the Argive heroes who were killed in the war of the Seven Against Thebes.
Back

Tithonus
A handsome Trojan who was beloved by Eos (who bore him a son, the hero Memnon, king of Ethiopia), to whom he prayed for immortality, which she granted. He neglected to ask for eternal youth as well, and so grew older and older. At last he prayed to Eos again, asking for death, but this she could not grant him, so she changed him into a grasshopper.
Back

Tityus
A son of Zeus and Gaea who was so huge his body covered nine acres of land. He tried to defile Latona, but Apollo cast him into Tartarus, where a vulture feeds on his liver which grows as fast as it is eaten.
Back

Ulysses(Greek)
Latin for Odysseus. In Greek mythology, king of Ithaca and husband of Penelope. A Greek leader in the Trojan War, Homer depicted him as wise and cunning. In later legends he is wily, lying, and evil.
Back

Xantho
One of the Nereides.
Back

Xenia
The nymph who loved Daphnis.
Back

Xuthus
The second son of Hellen, and the grandson of Deucalion. He married Creusa, a daughter of Erechtheus. She had previously borne a son Ion to Apollo, but the child was taken from her at its birth. She and Xuthus were childless and consulted the oracle at Delphi, which told them to adopt as their son the first young man they met. So, who did they meet leaving the temple? Right. They met Ion, who had been raised in the temple.
Back

Zagreus-restored to life
He was a son of Zeus. Zeus, disguised as a snake, seduced his daughter Persephone. Zagreus, who resulted from this union, was Zeus' favorite child and due to inherit all of Zeus' power. Hera was jealous (as usual) of any woman with whom he had an affair or any child resulting from his amours and talked the Titans into killing it. The Titans tore the child apart and began eating the parts. Athena managed to save the boy's heart and brought it to Zeus, who swallowed it. Zeus then blew the Titans into dust with his thunderbolts. From this dust mankind arose. Zeus (according to one version of this myth) then got Semele pregnant and instilled the heart of Zagreus into the fetus. The baby, when born, was Dionysus.
Back

Zalmoxis
He sometimes symbolized immortality.
Back

Zelus
Son of the Titan Pallas and the river Styx. His name means "zeal". He personified enthusiasm and zeal.
Back

Zetes and Calais
Twin brothers (with wings), noteworthy mainly because they were slain by Heracles.
Back

Zethus and Amphion
Also twin brothers. Famous for building Thebes.
Back

Zeuxippe
One of the Oceanides; daughter of Tethys and Oceanus.
Back

Zeuxo
Another one of the Oceanides; also a daughter of Tethys and Oceanus.
Back


Olympians , Other Major Gods ,
Minor Gods and Demi Gods A-D ,
Minor Gods and Demi Gods E-H ,
Minor Gods and Demi Gods I-P ,
Minor Gods and Demi Gods Q-Z ,
Greek Myths, Legends and Heroes A-B ,
Greek Myths, Legends and Heroes C-H ,
Greek Myths, Legends and Heroes I-O ,
Greek Myths, Legends and Heroes P-Z

Celtic Gods and Goddesses , Egyptian Gods and Goddesses , Greek Gods and Goddesses , Middle Eastern Myth , Mythological Creatures , Native American Gods , Norse Gods , Roman Gods and Goddesses , Deities Correspondences

A Letter From Mom And Dad , An Open Letter to a Witch , Banner Links , Blessings , The Charges of the Gods , Crafts , Correspondences , Devotions , Dictionary , Goddess Months , Gods and Goddesses , Herbs , Invocations , Magickal Needs , Meditations , Metaphysical , Miscellanous Items , Oghams , Recipes , Redes and Laws , Rituals , Runes , Sitemap , Spells , Short Stories , Tarot  , Text Links , Webrings , What is Wicca? , What Law Enforcment Agencies Need To Know About Witchcraft

Background Set Courtesy of