All  

Myths & Legends

All over the world there are extraordinary stories—stories that once upon a time were believed to be true but are today limited to the sphere of ancient myths and legends. The question remains, are those myths and legends stories something that existed in the minds of our ancestors, or were they based on true events? It is true that most of those ancient myths and legends stories appear to the scientific world as fictitious products of vivid imaginations whose goals were purely to explain phenomena beyond their comprehension. Yet is it not arrogant to accuse our ancestors of being uncivilised and ignorant in one breath, then offer them praise and admiration over their monuments, buildings, art, sculptures, and societies in the next? This only proves that our modern society has two contradictory attitudes toward our past.

In this section we will explore some of the most amazing myths and legends from around the world—legends that may hold truths that can unlock the secrets of our ancient origins.

47 Ronin

47 Ronin: The Samurai Warriors that Sought to Avenge the Death of their Master

The Japanese samurai are arguably among the greatest warriors known in history. Their code of conduct was romanticized and popularized at the end of the 19 th century in Bushido: The Soul of Japan, a...
From the Gisla Saga

The Gisla Saga: an Icelandic Tale of Love, Family, and Revenge

Considered an outlaw saga, the Gisla Saga survives in thirty-three manuscripts, first written in the 13 th century. It is notable for its psychological treatment of characters and its blatant...
One of the giants in St Mary's church, Aldworth

The Life and Legend of the Aldworth Giants

In the simple, tiny church of St. Mary, Aldworth there lie the nine stone statues of what have become known as the “Aldworth Giants,” a name bestowed upon them because all are over 7 feet tall and...
Rostam the hero fighting the Dragon in the Seven Quests of Rostam. Iranian miniature illustration from Shahnameh

The Longest Poem Ever Written: Shahnameh – The Epic Book of Kings

In 977 AD, a Persian poet named Ferdowsi began on a grandiose poetic journey that would take him 33 years to complete. He used ancient Persian tales which had been told from generation to generation...
Illustration of Koshchey (Koshei) the Deathless, riding his magical steed.

A Slavic Legend of Immortality: Koschei, the Deathless

A figure from Slavic folklore, Koschei the Deathless was known for his titular characteristic: his inability to die. What is most interesting about this figure, however, is that his immortality was...
Aethra Showing her Son Theseus the Place Where his Father had Hidden his Arms

The Legend of Aegeus - The Mistake of a Son and the Death of a King

Forty-three miles south of Athens, Greece, one can find the magnificent cliffs of Cape Sounion. This is a beautiful site with breathtaking sunset views over the Aegean Sea. Today’s beautiful scenery...
Norse Mythological tree

The Norse Legend of the World Tree - Yggdrasil

In 1643 a Bishop called Brynjolf Sveinsson was given forty- five pieces of vellum containing poetry and prose from the heart of ancient Northern European indigenous culture. This collection is called...
Merlin the Magician

The Legendary Origins of Merlin the Magician

Most people today have heard of Merlin the Magician, as his name has been popularized over the centuries and his story has been dramatized in numerous novels, films, and television programs. The...
Drawing of a Green Man. Beham, (Hans) Sebald, 1500-1550

Unraveling the Nature of the Green Man, Part 2: How a Pre-Christian Icon came to be found in Christian Monuments

Read Part 1 One of the most important quandaries to discuss in relation to the Green Man, a representation of a face surrounded by foliage and greenery, is how he came to grace the interiors and...
The Green Man Legend

Unraveling the Nature and Identity of the Green Man

An enigma spanning thousands of years, the Green Man is a symbol of mysterious origin and history. Permeating various religious faiths and cultures, the Green Man has survived countless...
The Search for Cibola, the Seven Cities of Gold

The Search for Cibola, the Seven Cities of Gold

In the 15 th century, the Age of Discovery began in Europe. The maritime empires of Spain and Portugal led the way by financing naval expeditions across the world’s oceans. Their rediscovery of the...
Cynocephaly, Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine de Vézelay

Cynocephaly and the mythological dog-headed human

The characteristic of Cynocephaly describes the head of a dog upon a human body. This trait is a theme upon which there are several variations, with representations showing up in several cultures and...
Aquae Sulis in Bath, England

Aquae Sulis: The Epitome of Roman Syncretization with the Celts

The Roman bath system was one of the most intricate and complex of the ancient world. Composed of various rooms for mental and physical cleansing, the Roman baths were more than a source of hygiene;...
Detail, Chicomoztoc — the place of the seven caves.

The Lost City of Aztlan – Legendary Homeland of the Aztecs

Is Aztlan the ancient homeland of the great Aztec civilization, or is it just a mythical land described in legends? The Aztec people of Mexico created one of the greatest empires of the ancient...
Excavations at the site of Helike. In this case, a Hellenistic-era building; possibly used as a dye-works

Uncovering The Lost City of Helike

The story of the destruction of Atlantis is one of the most famous stories from ancient Greece. Yet, there is a similar story of destruction told about the city of Helike. Unlike Atlantis, however,...
The Legend of the Wolf Fenrir

The Legend of Fenrir: a Wolf with a Bite

One of the three children of Loki by a giantess (jötunn ) named Angrboða, Fenrir plays an imperative, though short, role in Norse mythology. A wolf of remarkable size and strength, Fenrir has one...

Pages