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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 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.

Hephaestus in ‘Vulcan forging the Thunderbolts of Jupiter’ (1636-1638) by Peter Paul Rubens.

How Did the Ugly Olympian Hephaestus Manage to Marry the Goddess of Love?

As one of the twelve Olympians, 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 other crafts...
‘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...
Detail of a modern representation of Hecate.

Hecate: Holding Court Over Ancient Greek Witchcraft, the Moon, and Ghosts

"I am she that is the natural mother of all things, mistress and governess of all the elements, the initial progeny of worlds, chief of powers divine, Queen of heaven, the principal of the Gods...
Theseus and the Minotaur.

Theseus: The Greek Hero That Slayed the Minotaur

Theseus was a hero in Greek mythology and a legendary king of Athens. The most famous myth involving Theseus is the one in which he slayed the dreaded Minotaur. Many stories about Theseus say he not...
Medusa in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. There are other creatures from ancient Greek myth in Assassin’s Creed as well.

Ancient Greek Myth in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: Medusa, The Minotaur and More?

The upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey game gives players a glimpse at the mythology of ancient Greece. How big of a step the creators have taken into that realm is still under wraps, but when the...
Head of Serapis with zodiac

Serapis: God of Fertility and the Afterlife that United Greeks and Egyptians

Serapis (also called Sarapis ) was a deity invented by the Ptolemies, and was meant to bridge the gap between their Egyptian and Greek subjects. The Ptolemies were one of the successors of Alexander...
British Museum, Japanese tiger on a scroll painting.

Tigers in Asian Myth: Are Pre Scientific Beliefs Bringing About the Collapse of Wild Tigers?

Historically, tigers were a Chinese cultural symbol which inspired story tellers, singers, poets, artists, and craftspeople for over 7000 years. This is evident because the earliest tiger statue ever...
Anansi

Anansi – Deity or Storybook Trickster?

Most have probably heard of the Anansi tales from their childhood such as the one about how the pig got his snout. In this tale, in order for Anansi to get out of paying a debt to the pig, he dupes...
Dalbyneder Church, the western arch in the naive with a gothic fresco from 1511 of two blemmyes

Blemmyes: The Headless Men of Ancient and Medieval Mythology

The Blemmyes are an example of various species of bizarre creatures rumored, in antiquity and later, to inhabit remote parts of the world - from dog-headed humanoids to strange men with a single...
Detail of Tiamat.

Tiamat: Mesopotamian Mother Goddess and the Key Component in Creation

Tiamat is an ambiguous deity who played an important role in the creation myth of ancient Mesopotamia. She was their personification of the primordial sea, from which the first generation of gods...
‘Comet of 1680 over Rotterdam’ by Lieve Verschuier.

Myths and Meteors: How Ancient Cultures Explained Comets and Other Chunks of Rock Falling From the Sky

Eve MacDonald / The Conversation Comets and meteors have fascinated the human race since they were first spotted in the night sky. But without science and space exploration to aid understanding of...
Marduk

Marduk: Babylonian King of Gods and Reportedly Liberator of the Jews

Most people have heard of Zeus, Odin, or Jupiter, but not many have heard of Marduk. Born to the mother and father of all Babylonian gods, Marduk clawed his way to the top becoming the head of the...
Hammurabi Code of Laws

Hammurabi and his God Given Code of Laws

At that time, the gods Anu and Enlil, for the enhancement of the well-being of the people, named me by my name: Hammurabi, the pious prince, who venerates the gods, to make justice prevail in the...
Persian Women dancing. From a wall painting at "Hasht Behesht Palace" (Palace of 8 heavens), Isfahan, Iran.

My Mother’s Persian Stories: Rose and Marigold

The custom of telling bedtime stories is ancient. Over the ages, they have passed from one generation to another through oral tradition. Each generation has embellished them in new ways by adding or...
Viracocha (GENZOMAN /Deviant Art), Mama Killa, (GENZOMAN /Deviant Art) and Inti.

Viracocha’s ‘Sweat and Tears’ – Three Supreme Deities of the Incan Religion

Every year, the people of Peru host an elaborate celebration in the city of Cuzco at the time of the summer solstice. This festival is known as Inti Raymi – the Festival of the Sun. To spectators,...
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...

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