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The Sirens and Ulysses, 1837, William Etty

Enchanting Women of the Odyssey: From Seductive Sirens to Wicked Witches

Of the monsters and mythological creatures Odysseus encounters during his long voyage from Troy to Ithaca, among the fiercest are female. Three of these are Circe, the Sirens and Calypso, who all...
A stereotypical depiction of a leprechaun

Fascinating Facts You Probably Did Not Know About Leprechauns

The leprechaun is perhaps one of the best-known creatures in Irish folklore. Leprechauns are popularly depicted as little men with beards dressed in green coats and tall green hats. Other well-known...
Melpomene in a painting ‘Hesiod and the Muse’ (1891) by Gustave Moreau.

Melpomene: A Tragic Mother of Sirens or a Misunderstood Muse?

The term muse is now almost synonymous with inspiration. This is because the Muses were originally the goddesses of the arts which often lead to inspiration. The Muses were daughters of Zeus who were...
Drawing of a werewolf in woodland at night. Main illustration for the story "The Werewolf Howls". Internal illustration from the pulp magazine Weird Tales

Why We Should Welcome the Return of ‘Old Stinker’, the English Werewolf

Sam George / The Conversation In 2016, there was something of a folk panic in Yorkshire, northern England, following reported sightings of an eight-foot werewolf with a very human face. The werewolf...
Paleolithic Venus figures

The Ideal Woman’s Body – a Gift of the Gods?

We all know what the perfect woman’s body looks like. Or do we? Is it Kim Kardashian, with her popular ‘internet-breaking’ big behind, or Marilyn Monroe with her voluptuous movie curves? Is it a...
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...
Section of the Carta Marina, 1527-39

Magic Mountains and Sea Serpents: the Secrets of Early Arctic Maps

By Tom Harper / The Conversation What comes to mind when you think of the Arctic? Ice, I imagine, polar bears, a barren cold landscape. And most would assume that these associations have remained the...
Asclepius – a fragment of mosaic bathroom in Kyustendil, Bulgaria.

The Rod of Asclepius and Zeus’s Fear of Immortality

Asclepius was a demi-god son of Apollo who developed such incredible powers of healing under the tuition of both his father and the centaur Chiron, that even Zeus felt threatened that he might...
pper part of a gypsum statue of a Sumerian woman. The hands are folds in worship.

Nammu: A Forgotten Tale of the Sumerian Mother of Gods

Nammu was the primeval Sumerian mother goddess who gave birth to the gods and created humanity. Despite her extremely important role, much of her story is wrapped in mystery. Some information can be...
Pasiphae

Pasiphae: Daughter of the Sun, Wife of a King, and Mother of the Minotaur

Pasiphae is a figure from Greek mythology. She is best-known as the wife of Minos, the legendary king of Crete, and the mother of the Minotaur. But Greek mythology has more to say about this...
Ereshkigal.

Ereshkigal: The Mighty Mesopotamian Goddess of the Underworld

“Namtar made his voice heard and spake, addressed his words to Ereshkigal, "Send me to Anu your father, and let me arrest the god! Let me take him to you, that he may kiss you again!" - Excerpt from...
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...
Triumph of Achilles in Corfu Achilleion.

Death and Glory: Heroes in Search of Kleos

By Van Bryan/ Classical Wisdom It was the great philosopher, Woody Allen, who said, “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying. I don’t want...
The one-eyed Odin with his ravens Hugin and Munin and his weapons. An illustration from an 18th-century Icelandic manuscript.

The Saga of Gestumblindi and Odin’s Riddles

In mythology, riddles are used to test the intelligence and wisdom of mortals. They can contain elements of everyday life, but they can also contain elements from lore that would only be known by...
Valhalla

Denizens of Valhalla and the Transient Afterlife of Norse Myth

The ancient Norse were one of the few cultures to create a mythology that did not necessarily promise eternal life of any kind for the souls of the deceased. The world was believed to be heading...
A demon or dark angel.

A Multitude of Demons: More on the Mythology of the Constantine TV Series

Jacques Collin de Plancy was a French occultist, demonologist and writer. He published a number of books on occultism and demonology. The most famous of these books is probably his “Dictionnaire...

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