All  

myth

Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga: The Wicked Witch of Slavic Folklore

As ambiguous as she is hideous, Baba Yaga is an anomaly – both a maternal, mother-nature figure and an evil villain who enjoys eating those who fail to complete her tasks. Though the origins of her...
Mythological Creatures

Ten Mythological Creatures in Ancient Folklore

Mythical creatures, legendary beasts, and supernatural, mystical, and god-like beings have fascinated us since ancient times. They have filled folklore, stories, songs, and works of art. Sometimes...
The origins of human beings according to ancient Sumerian texts

The origins of human beings according to ancient Sumerian texts

Sumer , or the ‘land of civilized kings’, flourished in Mesopotamia , now modern-day Iraq, around 4500 BC. Sumerians created an advanced civilization with its own system of elaborate language and...
The brightly colored Narcissus painting recently recovered in Pompeii.

An Outstanding Narcissus Painting is Found in Pompeii… Would it Have Pleased Him?

In mythology, Narcissus became so enraptured with his own handsome appearance the thought of never obtaining the beauty he saw reflected back at him led to his demise. His self-love story has...
Ruins of Roman Forum in Rome, Italy during sunrise. (twindesigner /Adobe Stock) Insert: Denarius featuring the laureate, long-haired, and bearded head of Quirinus (Romulus).

Experts May Have Identified the Long Lost Tomb of Romulus, Founder of Rome

Myths were very important in the ancient world. The Roman myth of Romulus and Remus is one such example and many believe that it is based on real-life events. Now experts claim that they may have...
 Old iron chastity belt from Middle Ages.

The Long Fascination With the Chastity Belt – But Was it Just A Fantasy?

The chastity belt is an item that titillates and fascinates in equal measure. The idea of the brave medieval knight locking up his beloved, naively believing a mere padlock would be enough to keep...
The samodiva is a type of Bulgarian forest nymph

Samodiva: The Life-Sucking Temptress and Wood Nymph of Bulgarian Folklore

The samodiva (known also as samovila or vila; samodivi or samodivas in plural) is a creature found in Balkan, specifically Bulgarian, folklore. In general, these beings are forest spirits or wood...
Leda and the Swan fresco found at Pompeii

Steamy Fresco Discovered In Pompeii Bedroom Depicts The Seduction Of Queen Leda By A Swan

Archaeologists in Italy have discovered an “excellently" preserved and highly-colorful detailed fresco in an ancient Pompeii bedroom depicting an erotic scene in which a god disguised as a swan...
An Eye of Horus pendant

Eye of Horus: The True Meaning of an Ancient, Powerful Symbol

The Eye of Horus is one of the best-known symbols of ancient Egypt. Known also as the Wadjet, this magical symbol is believed to provide protection, health, and rejuvenation. Due to its powerful...
One of the elements of Magic of the Unicorn horn was its supposed ability to purify water.

Legends of the Unicorn Horn: Cures, Antidotes and Medicinal Magic

Legends, myths and folkloric systems across the western world record legendary horned creatures which have become known to us collectively as unicorns. In heraldry, the unicorn is the symbol of my...
‘Crossing the River Styx’ (circa 1520-1524) by Joachim Patinir. Many ancient people imagined the edges of the earth as strange and magical places.

What Did Ancient Civilizations Believe Lay at The Edges of the Earth?

The first civilizations didn’t have satellites in the sky, mapping every inch of the world in real time. They only knew the parts of the world they’d seen. Everything beyond that, they had to imagine...
A mushroom ring creating a circle on the grass. These rings were believed to be portals to the fairy realm, and areas of danger.

Do you dare enter a fairy ring? The mythical mushroom portals of the supernatural

For thousands of years, the sudden appearance of a ring of mushrooms was a sure sign of otherworldly presences. These rings would seemingly appear overnight, or travel from one location to another,...
Mythical creatures – The Tooth Fairy

Tooth Fairy Tales: The Strange Origins of the Dental Sprite

The tooth fairy is rivalled only by Santa Claus in popularity among American children. She is famous for exchanging a few dollars for baby teeth that have fallen out. Belief in the tooth fairy has...
Centaurs in the Forbidden Forest.

Ancient Mythology Informs Modern Series: The Fantastical Folktales of Harry Potter

Global, myth, folklore, and legends provided inspiration for the vast array of vivid creatures and fantastical elements that fill the pages and the silver screen of the enthralling, magical world of...
The solar gods of the indigenous cultures of the Americas have many names but share one radiant face.

American Gods: Rituals & Sacrifices to the All-Powerful Solar Gods

The ancients knew him well. He was as powerful as a god, as dangerous as a demon. He generously gave life – and he ruthlessly took it away. He appeared to all, from the darkest and most bone-chilling...
An early morning view of the Mound City Group. (NPS Photo / Tom Engberg) Hopewell copper antler headdress on a mannequin. (University of Nebraska Lincoln/CC BY NC 4.0)

The Liverpool Mounds in Illinois: Part 2 - Rediscovering Hopewell Ritual and Meaning

In part 1 of this article, the features of the Liverpool Mound group in Fulton County Illinois were described. This second half focuses on the possible meanings of the mounds and their contents and...

Pages