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Mythology in the Ancient World Print E-mail

In their Mythology, the Ancient Greeks and the Romans often used different names for their various Mythological characters, here is a short list which we hope will help avoid confusion.

 

Image
A Centaur shown on Ancient Greek Pottery

 

 
          Roman

 

Greek

Apollo

Apollo

Bacchus

Dionysus

Castor & Pollux

The Dioscuri

Ceres

Demeter

Cupid

Eros

Cybele

Rhea

Diana

Artemis

Hercules

Herakles

Juno

Hera

Jupiter

Zeus

Marsyas

Marsyas

Mars

Ares

Mercury

Hermes

Minerva

Athena

Neptune

Poseidon

Pluto

Hades

Proserpina

Persephone

Sol

Helios

Tyche  (Fortuna)

Tyche

Venus

Aphrodite

Vesta

Hestia

Vulcan

Hephaestus

 

Also

            Pan;   &  Asclepius / Asklepios.

                  Mythological Creatures

 

Cerberus (Greek)
A three-headed, dragon-tailed dog guarding the entrance to Hades. He permitted all spirits to enter Hades, but none to leave. Only a few heroes ever escaped; the great musician Orpheus charmed it with his lyre, and the Greek hero Hercules captured it bare-handed and brought it for a short time to the regions above. In Roman mythology the beautiful maiden Psyche (or Sybil) and the Trojan prince Aeneas were able to pacify Cerberus with a drugged honey cake and thus to continue their journey through the underworld

 

Centaur (Greek)
A creature half-man, half-horse, descended from Ixion, and living mostly in ancient Thessaly. These centaurs were invited to a marriage feast, where one of them tried to abduct the bride which resulted in a war that drove them out of Thessaly. Most were savage followers of Dionysus, but some, like Chiron, taught humans

 

Chimera (Greek) (sometimes written Chimaera)
A monster that had a lion's head, a goat's body, and a dragon's tail

 

Griffin

The Griffin is a legendary creature with the head, beak and wings of an eagle, the body of a lion and occasionally the tail of a serpent or scorpion

 

Hippocampus (Roman)
The hippocampus is a creature that is half-horse and half-fish, with the head and forequarters of a horse and the tail and hindquarters of a dolphin. It had forelegs with webbed paws, and may have a fin on the back of its neck. Neptune's chariot was pulled through the ancient seas by several of these creatures, and Neptune was occasionally seen riding one

 

Medusa, one of the Gorgons

The Gorgons are commonly portrayed in ancient art with snakes for hair, enormous tongues and a stare that could literally petrify

 

Pegasus (Greek)
A winged horse, son of Poseidon, god of the sea, and the Gorgon Medusa. Pegasus sprang from Medusa's neck when she was killed by the hero Perseus. Shortly after its birth, the magical steed struck the ground with his hoof on Mount Helicon, and on the spot a spring, later sacred to the Muses and believed to be a source for poetic inspiration, began to flow. All longed in vain to catch and tame the creature, and this became the obsession of Bellerophon, prince of Corinth. On the advice of a seer, Bellerophon spent a night in the temple of the goddess Athena. As he slept, the goddess appeared to him with a golden bridle and told him that it would enable him to capture Pegasus. When Bellerophon awoke, he found the golden bridle beside him, and with it he easily captured and tamed the winged horse.

 

Sphinx (Greek)

In Greek Mythology, a winged creature having the head of a woman and the body of a lion, noted for killing those who could not answer its riddle.