( Kabeiri )
Deities of Asia Minor. Also Greek mystic deities whose worship was prominent in the Aegean. Olympiada the mother of Alexander the Great was a member of the Kabeirians Mysteries. She was said to have shown him the rites and rituals of the sect.
( Kalliope )
Greek muse of epic or heroic poetry, and chief of the nine Muses. Daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne. In various accounts she was the mother of Orpheus and Linus by Apollo or Oeagrus, and of Hymen and Ialemus by Apollo. It was she who, on behalf of Zeus, judged the dispute between Aphrodite and Persephone over Adonis.
( Kallisto )
A local Greek goddess of Arcadia. She was transformed by the gods into the Great Bear constellation.
( Karpo )
In some versions, one of the Greek Horae, or Seasons. The Athenians recognized only two Horae: Carpo and Thallo. Carpo was associated with autumn and the harvest of fruit.
Castor and Pollux
( Greek Kastor and Polydeukes )
Latin Dioscuri (Greek Dioskuroi), sons of Jupiter and Leda. See Kastor and Polydeukes.
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Half-man half-snake ancestor of the Greeks.
( Aegeon )
Creature of Greek mythology: half man and half horse.
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Greek guardian of the entrance to the underworld, portrayed as a monstrous three-headed dog by many writers with a voice like a bronze bell, the tail of a scorpion and the hairs along his back are the hissing fanged heads of poisonous snakes. It prefers raw flesh to eat.
There is the famous story of how Heracles captured it and took above as his twelfth labour. The only other time it was defeated was when it was fooled into eating some honey coated wheat cakes full of a tranquillizing substance and fell asleep at the gates of hell.
There are two more Greek characters with this name. There was a suitor from Dulichium who stayed around Penelope long enough to be killed by Odysseus. A more famous Cerberus than number two was one of four brothers, the others being Laius, Celeus and Aegolius, who entered the cave of Zeus in Crete in order to gather the honey of the sacred bees that had nourished the child Zeus after his birth. They covered their bodies with a brazen armour to protect themselves, but when the god cast a thunderbolt the armours melted, and as the Moerae and Themis had forbidden death in this cavern Zeus turned them into birds.
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Greek personification of the primordial void.
( Aglaia, Aegle )
Minor Greek Goddess. Consort of Hephaestus. As Aglaia, she was also one of the Gratiae (Graces), although the identification is uncertain.
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In Greek mythology, the ferryman who transports the dead across the rivers Styx and Acheron to the underworld. A coin (obolus) was traditionally placed in the mouth of the deceased to pay Charon's fare. If the dead had no coin, then Charon forced them to wander on this side of the Styx (which in Greek means hate) for 100 years before he would ferry them over the river.
Son of Erebus and Nyx. He was depicted as an old and dishevelled man. Not strictly speaking a god, he can best be described as a demon of death, which was first done by Pausinaus in his History of Greece. Charon later became the demon of death Charun in Etruscan religion and the angel of death Charos or Charontas, in modern Greek folklore, who rides a black horse searching for the newly dead.
Charon is actually an Egyptian word meaning ferryman. His boat has the boring name (in Greek) of Kymba (Cymba or Cumba in Latin form) which means boat. The whole legend may have been picked up by the Greeks from the Persians, who picked it up from the Babylonians, who in turn picked it from Sumeria. In Sumerian mythology there is a ferryman Urshanibi * who brings the dead across a river to immortal life. The last tablet of the Epic of Gilgamesh tells of Gilgamesh asking Urshanibi to take him to see the immortal Upnapishtim.
*Ferryman and sailor god whose boat crosses the waters separating the garden of the sun from the paradise where the deified Utnapishtim lives. He conveys Gilgamesh to Utnapishtim.
( Meliboea )
There were three Chlorus in Greek Mythology.
1. Greek goddess of flowers. She was a Nymph and constant lover/companion to Zephyrus, the West Wind. Her Roman equivalent was the goddess Flora.
2. Or she was the youngest daughter of Amphion and Niobe, a surviving Niobides. The Niobides were slain by children of Leto, Apollo and Artemis. This Chloris married Neleus and became Queen of Pylos. Her children by him were:
This Chloris is among those whom Odysseus saw when he descended to the Underworld.
3. Another Chloris married the seer Ampycus, son of Elatus, and became the mother of the seer Mopsus, who was among the Argonauts and died in Libya.
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The chimera of Greek myth is the offspring of Echinda and Typhon. From the Greek meaning "she-goat" the Chimera is a fire breathing creature that has the body of a goat, the head of a lion and the tail of a serpent. Chimera was reared by Amisodarus. This creature devastated the country and pestered the cattle because it had the power of three beasts Some have said that the Chimera has three heads, but the popular myth tells of the single, fire-vomiting head. The Chimera was slain by Bellerophon while he was on the winged horse Pegasus.
Some say that the Chimera is the offspring of the Hydra, and others cite the chimera as the mother of the Sphinx and the Nemean Lion by Orthus.
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Circe living in the island of Aeaea was a powerful witch who, with the help of herbs, muttered incantations that could turn men into animals or create images of beasts. She was able to darken the heavens by hiding the moon or the sun behind clouds, and destroy her enemies with poisonous juices, calling to her aid Nyx, Chaos or Hecate. In her presence and because of her enchantments, the trees could move, the ground rumble and the trees around her turn white. But as witchcraft may make a victim of those who practises it, the nights of Circe could be wasted in fear because of the uncontrolled visions which filled her house. And so, the walls and chambers of her palace could seem to be bathing in blood, while fire could seem to devour her magic herbs. That is why it was a relief for her when daylight came and she could bathe and clean her garments forgetting the scaring nightly visions.
Circe is famous for her involvement in Homer's poem Odyssey, and for her appearance in the very long poem about the Argonauts. Odysseus and his crew arrive exhausted from their escape from the Cyclops on this island where Circe lives. After a few days he sends a crew out to investigate some smoke seen. The sent crew are all turned into swine, except for Eurolychus who suspected a trap. Odysseus goes alone, but warned and given a herb (Moly) by Hermes, he is able to threaten Circe into releasing his enchanted crew members. Circe has 8 (according to Ovid) children by Odysseus.
On parting, Circe tells Odysseus and his crew how to avoid the song of the Sirens.
In the Argonauts, Medea visited her aunt, Circe, as Circe's brother Aeetes was Medea's father. Medea and Jason visited in order to be ritually cleansed (forgiven) for murdering her brother Apsyrtus. Circe did this cleansing and the Argonauts moved on to other disastrous adventures. Circe is central to the story in Ovid about how she fell in love with Picus, son of Cronos, who was himself in love with the singer Canens, daughter of Janus. Picus explained his own love, and Circe decided in a fit of jealousy to turn twice to the east, twice to the west, and touch him with her wand, and change him into a woodpecker. His friends trying to find him were turned into other beasts by Circe. And Canens just dissolved away weeping for her missing love Picus.
( Cleio, Klio )
Greek Muse of historical and heroic poetry. Daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Mother of Hyacinth by Pierus, king of Macedonia. Often depicted with a trumpet and the clepsydra (water clock). She could also be depicted with a writing implement, as she was credited with introducing the Phoenician alphabet to Greece. Other attributes included a wreath of laurel and a parchment scroll. There is an Oceanid with the same name, who was part of the entourage of Cyrene, mentioned only by Virgil.
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One of the Moreia (Fates). She spun (from the base substance of the universe) the tapestry of fate.
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Clytemnestra was daughter of Leda and Zeus. Her sister was Helen. Both are considered mortal. Clytemnestra married Tantalus and had a child. However her husband was defeated in a battle with Agamemnon. king of Mycenae. Agamemnon was not a nice person. He killed the child and took Clytemnestra as his wife. She was forced to have four children by him, Iphagenia, Electra, Chrysothemis, and Orestes. When Agamemnon sacrificed Iphagenia so he would get good sailing weather Clytemnestra vowed to have him killed. To get loot and battle glory Agamemnon said he would go to war with Troy to reclaim her sister Helen who had eloped with Paris to Troy. While he was away for fighting at Troy Clytemnestra took a lover Aegisthus, Tantalus's brother. When Agamemnon returned, Clytemnestra and Aegisthus axed him to death while he was taking a bath. Years later, the son Orestes killed both Aegisthus and his mother Clytemnestra to revenge his father's death. The Furies drove him mad to punish him for this crime.
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These are a people from the Caucasian mountains who were said to be attendants of Rhea. A collection of them called the Curettes drowned out the cries of the infant Zeus, so that his father would not hear him and come and swallow him as he did to the siblings of Zeus. All the Corybantes held wild festivals full of noisy war dances, in which cymbals, drums and swords and spears banged against shields were used to make the noise.
Their names were: Acmon, Cyrbas, Damneus, Idaeus, Melisseus, Mimas, Ocythous, Prymneus, and Pyrrhichus. Some ancient authors considered them to be kin of the Cabaroi, the Telchines and the Daktyls.
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A Greek Titan (people sometimes say of intelligence). He was a father with his wife Phoebe of two daughters: Asteria and Leto.
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Greek nymph, mother of Asklepios by Apollo.
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( Kronos, Chronos, Cronus )
Primeval Greek god of time and a former supreme god. One of the Titans, and son of Ouranus (heaven) and Gaia (earth). He was consort of Rhea and father of Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Hades and Hestia. Little worshipped by the Greeks, Cronos may represent the traces of a pre-Hellenic god. The worship that was given him was generally associated with agriculture, such as the Attican harvest festival of the Cronia. Cronos overthrew his father Ouranus, castrating him with a sickle for good measure, perhaps as a symbolic separation of heaven and earth. Fearing that his own children might do the same to him, he proceeded to swallow them. Zeus, however, was saved by Rhea, who hid him in Crete and tricked Cronos into swallowing a stone wrapped in infant's clothing. When Zeus reached maturity, he forced Cronos to disgorge his brothers and sisters, then hurled him into Tartaros. Subsequently, Cronos remained a prisoner in Tartaros, although some accounts make him the king of the Golden Age. He was generally depicted with a sickle and an hourglass. Known to the Romans as Saturn.
( Cotytto )
Thracian goddess whose worship was marked by orgiastic rites. She was later accepted into Greece, notably at Corinth and Athens. She was represented either as a hunting goddess similar to Artemis, or a mother goddess along the lines of Cybele.
( Kybele, Cybebe )
Phrygian mother goddess, and goddess of fertility and of the mountains. Her consort was Attis.
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According to Hesiod, they are of the offspring of Ouranus and Gaea. There were three: Arges, Brontes, and Steropes. Zeus freed them from Tartarus, killing the guardian Campes to do it. In return, these Cyclopes gave Zeus thunderbolts, Hades a helmet that made him invisible, and Poseidon a trident to control the sea and land. With these weapons, the three defeated the Titans, and ruled heaven thereafter. The Cyclopes were large and had only one eye in the centre of their head. Zeus went to free them on the prophecy of Gaea that if Zeus had the help of the Cyclopes and the Hecatonchieries he would win in his battle against the Titans. Other authors mentioned other Cyclopes born at a later time, including the one which captured Odysseus and his crew. His name was Polyphemes and was of course mentioned by Homer.
( Kyrene )
A Thessalian nymph carried off by Apollo to the north African region, which was named Cyrenaica after her. Cyrene was a daughter of Hypseus by Calidanope. Hypseus was a son of the Peneius River and the Naiad Creusa, and king of the Lapiths. Cyrene's sisters were Alcaea, Themisto, and Astyageia. Themisto married Athamas, and Astyageia became the grandmother of Ixion. Cyrene was not interested in marriage and devoted herself to hunting on Mount Pelion. Aroused once by watching her wrestle with a lion, Apollo carried her off and made her a queen in Libya. From her the city of Cyrene derived its name. By Apollo she became the mother of Aristaeus. Apollo found her desirable enough to visit again, and she bore to him Idmon. Aristaeus early displayed a talent for hunting and an interest in agricultural pursuits. When he grew up he went to Boeoria, where he married Autonoe, a daughter of Cadmus. He learned from Cheiron the Centaur and from the Muses the arts of healing and prophecy. He left Boeoria after the death of his son Actaeon, and lived in Sardinia and Sicily. Afterward he went to Thrace, where he disappeared. He was worshipped as a god by the Thracian and Greeks both.
Cyrene was also said to be the mother of Diomedes, the farther Arcs. He was king of the Bistones in Thrace and raised mares, which he fed with human flesh. One of the labours of Heracles was to return these mares to Greece. After the mares ate Heracles' lover Abderus, he killed Diomedes and fed him to the animals. Cyrene retuned to Boeotia at one point, probably because Aristaeus was there, and gave him advice on various matters. Later, for some reason she returned to Libya, and when Aristaeus left Boeotia she gave him a fleet to go to Italy. All her children were by gods. Two of them were worshipped, even though they died like other mortals.