Metamorphoses

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Attis and Cybele – West Asian mythology

By |2018-04-15T12:08:20+00:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Cybele and Attis standing together, while two much smaller human worshippers pray to them. From the Hellenistic kingdoms, in what is now Turkey, in the 100s BC Cybele, Magna Mater or the Great Mother, was a West Asian fertility goddess like Isis or Demeter. You sacrificed to Cybele to make sure the wheat and barley would grow well. There are many versions [...]

Ovid and the Metamorphoses – Roman literature

By |2017-09-04T00:41:36+00:00September 4th, 2017|Literature, Romans|

Part of a page from a copy of Ovid's Metamorphoses (South Italy, 1000s AD, just as the Normans were conquering it) With the end of the Roman Republic, poets were excited to explore the new possibilities of the new Roman Empire under Augustus. Ovid, who was born in 43 BC, was about twelve years old when [...]

Echo and Narcissus – Ovid’s Metamorphoses – ancient Rome

By |2017-09-03T22:56:13+00:00September 3rd, 2017|Literature, Romans|

Narcissus and his pond (Third Style Roman painting from Pompeii, about 79 AD) This is a story we know mainly because Ovid wrote it down in his poem, the Metamorphoses. It's a traditional Greek story - there are illustrations from Greek vase painting about 500 BC. But Ovid's is the best known version. In this story, Narcissus was [...]

Philemon and Baucis – Ovid’s Metamorphoses

By |2018-04-25T10:20:25+00:00September 3rd, 2017|Literature, Religion, Romans|

Just a loaf of bread This is a story we only know because Ovid wrote it down in his poem, the Metamorphoses. It might be a traditional Greek story, but we don't know it from anywhere else. In this story, Philemon and Baucis are poor people who live out in the countryside in an area called [...]

Persephone and Hades – Greek religion

By |2018-04-23T09:49:50+00:00July 16th, 2017|History|

Hades kidnaps Persephone (mosaic from Amphipolis, 300s BC) Persephone was the daughter of the goddess Demeter. One day Persephone was dancing with her friends in a sunny meadow, having a good time, picking flowers. Suddenly Persephone's spooky uncle Hades burst out of the ground and grabbed her and pulled her into his chariot! He took Persephone (purr-SEFF-oh-nee) [...]

Arachne and Athena – the Arachne story in Greek mythology

By |2018-10-02T09:32:08+00:00July 14th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

The Arachne story: Greek women weaving at a warp-weighted loom - Athens, 500s BC Who was Arachne? Arachne was a girl who lived in Greece a long long time ago (in the story; this is a story). She was a very good weaver and spinner. Who invented weaving?  Why did women spin? Arachne wove all sorts of beautiful pictures into her cloth, and people [...]