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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 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 appear to the scientific world to be 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.

Pegasus of Greek mythology is depicted as a majestic, white, winged-horse. Source: Viks_jin / Adobe Stock

Pegasus of Greek Mythology: Majestic Winged Horse of Mount Olympus

Pegasus is the majestic flying horse of Greek mythology , best known for its association with the heroes Perseus and Bellerophon. Traditionally depicted as a pure white horse with wings, the Pegasus...
Was King Arthur's Guinevere a Real Historical Queen?

Was King Arthur's Guinevere a Real Historical Queen?

There is perhaps no more famous character in British legend than that of King Arthur. For centuries, people have been reading tales of King Arthur and his knight’s exploits. Of all the characters...
Depiction of Valhalla, where Odin held court at Asgard, from the 1878 staging by Hermann Burghart of Das Rheingold by Richard Wagner. (Public domain)

Asgard: The Fabled Home of the Aesir Gods of Norse Mythology

Asgard was the home of the mighty Norse gods, from where they watched over the other eight realms and administered justice. It was also the final resting place of the dead and where Odin, King of the...
The story of Icarus as depicted by Torre de la Parada in the 1630s. Source: Public domain

Dreams of Human-Powered Flight: Daedalus and the Story of Icarus

Daedalus, the legendary inventor of ancient Greek mythology, joined the court of Minos, the ruler of Crete, as the king's star engineer. Within the stories of Ovid, Homer or even Pausanius, Daedalus...
Left; Aztec god Xochipilli as described in the 16th century Codex Borgia, Right; Xochipilli, Aztec terracotta Lombards Museum. Source: Left; Public Domain Right; CC BY 3.0

Xōchipilli: Fun-Loving Aztec God of Sex, Drugs, and Music

The Aztecs were known for their many unique deities, but one of the most fascinating is Xōchipilli, the Aztec god of flowers, love, art, and fertility, as well as patron of homosexuality. Xōchipilli’...
A modern depiction of the Aztec fertility goddess Tlaltecuhtli. Source: Public Domain

Tlaltecuhtli: Fearsome Fertility Goddess of the Aztecs

Tlaltecuhtli was a Mesoamerican earth goddess predominantly worshiped by the Aztec people. In most religions, fertility goddesses are depicted as the culture's epitome of beauty, like Aphrodite of...
The god of Chaos in Greek mythology was depicted as both a goddess and a place. Source: RolffImages / Adobe Stock

The Greek God Chaos: The Primordial Cosmic Deity

Which came first: the chicken or the egg? If God created the universe, then who created God? If nothing existed before the Big Bang, then what created the cataclysm? The laws of the universe dictate...
Zeus, Greek god of Mount Olympus, Source: matiasdelcarmine / Adobe Stock

The Greek God Zeus: The Insatiable Womanizer of Mount Olympus

“Then Zeus no longer held back his might; but straight his heart was filled with fury and he showed forth all his strength. From Heaven and from Olympus he came forthwith, hurling his lightning: the...
The Rainbow Bridge by Hermann Hendrich. Source: Archivist / Adobe Stock

Bifrost: The Rainbow Bridge to Asgard Doomed to Collapse in Ragnarok

One of the most important elements of Norse mythology was the Bifrost. The Bifrost was the legendary shimmering rainbow bridge to Asgard, responsible for connecting the world of the gods with the...
Chiron is described as the wisest and noblest of the centaurs. After being taught archery by Apollo, he mentored many Greek heroes. Source: pict rider / Adobe Stock

Chiron, the Noble Elder Centaur of Greek Mythology

Greek mythology is full of weird and wonderful creatures. While the most famous were those sent to hinder the ancient Greek heroes, Greek mythology was also full of helpful creatures. Perhaps the...
The Runamo Runes: The Mysterious Runic Inscription that Never Was!

The Runamo Runes: The Mysterious Runic Inscription that Never Was!

Before the invention of paper, humanity often inscribed words, symbols, and images onto the living stone of the surrounding landscape. These images, often commemorating significant cultural events or...
The terrifying sea monster Charybdis was the cause of deadly whirlpools in Greek mythology. Source: DaemonTheDemon / CC BY SA

Charybdis: The Terrifying Whirlpool Monster of Greek Mythology

Greek mythology is full of fascinating monsters. One of the most powerful and dangerous of these was the sea monster, Charybdis. Charybdis was not just a monster, she was a force of nature who...
Is thinking of the Vegvisir as a ‘Viking compass’ completely off course? Source: Tartila / Adobe Stock

Vegvisir: Was the ‘Viking Compass’ Originally a Christian Symbol?

Although the name Vegvisir may not be familiar to you, you may have seen its symbolic representation before. This emblem has gained iconic status largely due to its frequent use in the media...
The Wolves Pursuing Norse sun and moon gods Sol and Mani            Source: John Charles Dollman, 1909, Public Domain, colorized

Celestial Siblings: Norse Sun and Moon Gods Chased Across the Sky

Chased across the sky by a pair of wolves, the Norse sun and moon gods were tasked with a heavy burden. The Sol and Mani were responsible for pulling a chariot across the sky every day and night...
Bronze statue of Nike, Greek goddess of victory, on Austrian Parliament roof in Vienna, Austria	(neurobite / Adobe Stock)

Nike, Greek Goddess of Victory and Zeus’s Charioteer of Glory

Of all the Greek pantheon, none enjoys better brand recognition than Nike. Unless one is a true history buff, the word Nike is more likely to evoke mental images of sneakers than Greek mythology. It...
Aphrodite in the forge of the god Hephaestus. 1610 painting by Bartholomeus Spranger entitled “Venus in Vulcan’s Forge.” Source: Public domain

How Did Greek God Hephaestus Score the Goddess of Love?

As one of the twelve Olympians, the god Hephaestus was a major deity for the ancient Greeks. In Greek mythology, Hephaestus was primarily the god of fire and smiths, but he was also in charge of...
Odin and his brothers defeated Ymir in Norse mythology, and used his body to create Midgard. Odin’s symbol, a raven, seen superimposed on a cosmic background.	Source: jozefklopacka / Adobe Stock

Ymir in Norse Mythology: A Cosmic Creation Story

The story of Ymir and the creation of the universe typifies the emphasis on sacrifice as a theme, in Nordic myth and in creation stories around the world. In Norse mythology, Ymir was the primeval...
The cyclopes were one-eyed mythological giants of ancient Greece. But did the myth originate from elephant skulls like this?   Source: Left; John Cummings, CC BY-SA 3.0, Right; bigjom/ Adobe Stock

Were Cyclopes Legends Inspired by Ancient Elephant Skulls?

Ancient Greek mythology is full of fantastic beasts and monsters. One of the most famous examples is the brutal one-eyed race of giants, the cyclopes. Several different cyclopes appeared in various...
Hecate sculpture at Antalya Archaeological Museum in Turkey. Source: neurobite / Adobe Stock

Hecate: Triple-Bodied Greek Goddess of Witchcraft and Keeper of Keys

Hecate the goddess of Greek mythology has been primarily remembered for her associations with magic and witchcraft. Throughout history however, her sphere of influence also included the moon, night,...
Niflheim, here viewed as the land of the dead who died without honor. Source: Zaleman / Adobe Stock

Niflheim in Norse Mythology: Land of the Dead and Home to Lady Hel

In Norse cosmology, the universe was made up of nine distinct realms. Each had its unique inhabitants and mythology, but some played bigger parts in the Norse mythology than others. One of the most...
1889 painting of Circe by Wright Barker. Source: Public domain

The Spellbinding Story of Circe, Goddess of Magic in Greek Mythology

Circe is a complex character within Greek mythology. Feared and desired in equal measure, Circe was a goddess of magic, and even today she continues to be one of the most enchanting and deadly...
Was Plato’s Atlantis historical fact? And if so, where are its ruins?  Source: fergregory / Adobe Stock

Three Scientific Mysteries of Plato’s Atlantis

In the early years of researching my 5-volume Gods of Atlantos Saga , I read and re-read Plato’s accounts of Atlantis – his dialogues Timaeus and Critias – and was brought up short by three of his...
A large Viking rune stone depicting the Midgard serpent in Trelleborg Sweden. Source: Lars Gieger / Adobe Stock

Midgard: Norse Mythology's Realm of the Humans

The Viking universe was a complicated one. It was made up of nine different realms. Different realms were home to different races, and each had different themes. Of all the races, humans were the...
Massive Medusa heads under Istanbul lend support to the legend of the Medusa sarcophagus.	Source: Goinyk / Adobe Stock

Did a Sultan Find Medusa’s Sarcophagus in the Basilica Cistern?

Nestled beneath the winding streets of Istanbul, just 490 feet (149 meters) from the Hagia Sophia, lies an ancient cistern that may have been the final resting place of Medusa! The Basilica Cistern,...

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