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A relief of Epona, flanked by two pairs of horses, from Roman Macedonia, foruth century C.E.

The Celtic Goddess Epona that Rode Swiftly Across the Ancient Roman Empire

The protector of horses, mules, and cavalry, Epona was one of the only non-Roman goddesses to have been wholly adopted by the Roman Empire. Often depicted astride a horse, Epona resonated in the...
Modern representation of Bellona, the Roman goddess of war.

Bellona: The Roman Goddess of War and Artistic Muse

Linked to war, destruction, conquest, and bloodlust, Bellona was a mighty figure in the ancient Roman pantheon of gods. As a personification of war, Bellona became quite a popular figure in the arts...
The “Burney Relief,” which is believed to represent either Ishtar, the Mesopotamian goddess of love and war, or her older sister Ereshkigal, Queen of the underworld (c. 19th or 18th century BC).

In Ancient Mesopotamia, Sex among the Gods Shook Heaven and Earth

Sexuality was central to life in ancient Mesopotamia, an area of the Ancient Near East often described as the cradle of western civilisation roughly corresponding to modern-day Iraq, Kuwait, and...
Thor and the Midgard Serpent, by Emil Doepler, 1905.

Thor: How a Norse Warrior God of Thunder Handles a Predicament

Thor is one of the most important gods in the Norse pantheon. He’s normally depicted as a middle-aged man with a red-beard wielding his famous weapon, a magical hammer known as Mjollnir...
HDR of the giant statue of Lord Shiva at Murudeshwar, Karnataka, India

God Shiva Towers Over His Worshippers at 230 Feet and 20 Storeys High

Murudeshwar is a coastal town in India. It is also one of the names of the Hixxxndu god Shiva, and the association of the town with this deity is evident in the temple dedicated to him and the...
Detail of the Berlin bust of Nefertiti; and the latest 3D sculpture of the queen based on the mummy of the Younger Lady; design by Anand Balaji

Religion and Magic in Amarna: A World of Confusion in Akhetaten—Part II

The population that inhabited Akhenaten’s brand new city, Akhetaten, in Middle Egypt was ill at ease with the massive religious uncertainty their monarch had unleashed. A question mark hung over not...
‘Njord god of the sea’. (Deriv.)

Njord: The Tumultuous Marriage of a Norse God of the Sea and a Goddess Giantess

Njord was the god Norse sailors and fisherman turned to in times of need. He was a sea god with powers over the wind and the fertility of land along the coast. But what this deity is best remembered...
Left: The temple of Ain Dara before. Right: The temple after its recent destruction.

3,000-Year-Old Ain Dara Temple in Syria Reduced to Rubble by Turkish Airstrikes

The Syro-Hittite temple of Ain Dara built in the 1 st millennium BC boasted intricate stone sculptures of lions and sphinxes, elaborately decorated walls with geometric designs, floral patterns,...
Sealings from the archive of Doliche.

Discovery of 1,000 Sealings Reveals an Ancient City’s Devotion to the Graeco-Roman Pantheon

Classical scholars from the Cluster of Excellence "Religion and Politics" of the University of Münster discovered a large number of sealings in south-east Turkey. "This unique group of artifacts...
Amaterasu, a major goddess of Japan.

Solar Goddess Amaterasu, Divine Ancestor of the Japanese Imperial Family

Amaterasu is a major goddess in the Shinto religion. Although she is considered primarily to be a sun goddess, she is also believed to be the ruler of the Takama no Hara (the High Celestial Plain),...
A depiction of Quetzalcoatl as a feathered serpent in Teotihuacan

The Rise of Quetzalcoatl: From Plumed Serpent to Creator God

Quetzalcoatl was one of the most important gods in the ancient Mesoamerican pantheon. Its iconic appearance is identified in the name of this god. Quetzalcoatl is a combination of two Nahuatl (the...
Osiris, Egyptian God of the Underworld

The Story of Osiris: How the First Ruler of Egypt Became God of the Underworld

Osiris was one of the most prominent gods in the ancient Egyptian pantheon. This prominent deity was a member of the Ennead (known also as the Great Ennead and the Ennead of Heliopolis), a group of...
Yeti.

The Common Western Depiction of the Yeti is Wrong

In the folklore of Nepal, the Yeti is an ape-like being that is taller than a human. It is said to live in the Himalayan region of Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet. The people of that region use the names...
A statue of a Kitchen God - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 with flames

Torn Apart & Together Again in Death: Tragic Legends of the Kitchen Gods

For many of us, the kitchen is very important place. Apart from its role as a place for family members to gather, the kitchen often represents the warmth, happiness and harmony within the family...
Detail of a statue of Ganesha.

Ganesha: How He Lost… And Gained His Head

“Lord Ganesh of curved elephant trunk and huge body, Whose brilliance is equal to billions of suns in intensity, Always removes all obstacles from my endeavours truly...” ― Munindra Misra, Chants of...
8 Immortals in a temple in Vietnam

The 8 Immortals of China: How ordinary mortals worked hard to achieve superpowers and become legendary

The general appearances of Chinese gods lead us to think of them as sober imperial bureaucrats. They mostly look like middle-aged men dressed in official-looking robes, spending their time reading...

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