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Who is Ishtar? Mesopotamian goddess – West Asian religion

By |2018-04-15T12:09:53-07:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

The Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar or Inanna Ishtar (also called Inanna) was an important goddess of West Asia. Beginning at least by 3000 BC she was worshipped by the Sumerians, and by the Akkadians, and theBabylonians, and the Assyrians. Like most other female goddesses, Ishtar was a fertility goddess, but Ishtar was fiercer and more powerful than the Greek goddesses like Athena or Aphrodite. According [...]

The Greek underworld – Hades

By |2019-06-06T18:53:19-07:00July 16th, 2017|Greeks, Religion|

Hades and Persephone in the Greek underworld What happened when you died? Greek people didn't like to talk about what happened to you after you died. So we don't know as much about what they thought as we might like. Egyptian afterlife Zoroastrianism Probably they did not think about life after death as [...]

Persephone and Hades – Greek religion

By |2018-04-23T09:49:50-07:00July 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) [...]

Tantalus’ Crime and Punishment

By |2018-06-10T23:32:21-07:00July 16th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Tantalus' crime and punishment: This Italian vase from the 300s BC shows a different version of the story where a spirit holds Tantalus back from a basket of bread and a jug of water Who was Tantalus in Greek myth? Tantalus (TAN-ta-luss) was a Greek king (and a son of Zeus) who was so full of hubris that he thought he could fool [...]

Herakles and Cerberos – Greek mythology

By |2019-03-11T07:49:08-07:00July 14th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

King Eurysthenes hides in a jar, while Hercules threatens him with his dog Cerberus Herakles' last labor For the last and toughest of his twelve labors, Herakles had to get the three-headed dog Cerberos from the underworld - the land of the dead. What is Hades? Who is Herakles? More Greek myths All our Ancient Greece articles King [...]

Who was Ajax? The Iliad – Greek mythology

By |2019-01-19T13:59:10-07:00July 14th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Ajax in the Iliad carrying the dead Achilles He brought back the body of Achilles Ajax was one of the great heroes of the Trojan War. He was the king of Salamis, near Athens. Homer says Ajax was a very big and strong man. Only his cousin Achilles, who he had gone to school with, was a better [...]

Who is Hades? – ancient Greek gods

By |2018-04-23T09:54:02-07:00July 13th, 2017|Greeks, Religion|

Hades kidnaps Persephone (Greek painting from the Hellenistic period) Hades was the god of the dead, who ruled the place where dead people went after they died (Sometimes people also called the underworld "Hades"). He is a rather shadowy figure in more ways than one, spooky and cruel, and the Greeks didn't like to talk about [...]

Who was Guanyin? Chinese Buddhist goddess

By |2018-04-18T17:37:45-07:00June 7th, 2017|China, Religion|

Guanyin, from the Liao Dynasty (about 1000 AD) Guanyin was a Chinese Buddhist goddess based on a real woman, the way Guanti was based on a real man. According to the story, her father murdered her. Guanyin went down to the underworld. But when she got there, she recited the holy books, and that prevented [...]