The Dream of Oenghus

The Celtic myth, “The Dream of Oenghus,” relates the tale of Oenghus the Celtic god of love and his long search for true love. Oenghus is the son of Boann and Daghdhae. Boann the white cow goddess, and Daghdhae the father of all gods, the “good god. ” In a dream Oenghus sees “the loveliest figure in Ireland” His memory of this vision makes him ill with loneliness and he begins to waste away. With the help of his mother, and another of his fathers’ sons, Bodhbh, he begins his search for the girl he dreamt of.

When, after years, he successfully completes his search the lovers’ travels to Bruigh Mac, his home. Chronologically and geographically distant, Apuleius second century record of the original Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche also relates a story of amorous pursuit. In Apuleius account Psyche is the most beautiful of all mortals. “The fame of her surpassing beauty spread over the earthand men would even say that Venus herself could not equal this mortal. ” Out of jealousy, Venus commands Cupid to make Psyche fall in love with “the vilest and most despicable creature in the whole world.

However, dispatched on his errand Cupid is astonished by her beauty and “as if he had shot one of his rrows into his own heart” falls completely in love with her. Cupid dumbfounded by the love he suddenly feels carries Psyche off. Although Psyche is never able to gaze on Cupid she is confident of the love her unseen paramour expresses in the dark each night. Eventually, prompted by her unbelieving and somewhat envious sisters she lights a lamp and discovers that her lover is Cupid. Unfortunately, Cupid hurt by both the oil sputtering from the lamp and her faithlessness fees.

Psyche deeply grieved by her lack of faith and subsequent loss of love pledges to search for Cupid forever. “I can spend he rest of my life searching for him. If he has no more love left for me, at least I can show him how much I love him. ” Eventually after many trials and tribulations, largely at the inspiration of the still jealous Venus, she is reunited with Cupid and comes to live the live of the immortals. These myths share a common fundamental theme. In both instances, the myths document a love between a mortal and a god.

Moreover, both of the courtship’s involve long periods of separation, difficult and desperate journeys in pursuit of the beloved, and deep ongoing uncertainty as to the ultimate utcome of the fat of the lovers. Clearly, it is not unreasonable to contend that they cover some common ground and address a conventional human dilemma. At the same time one can identify significant differences in the myths. “The Dream Of Oenghus” a god, Oenghus, pursues a mortal. In “Cupid And Psyche” a mortal Psyche, must illustrate her love for the immortal, Cupid.

Oenghus, receives the willing assistance of other immortals in his search for his beloved. Cupid is also occasionally assisted by other immortals. However, Cupid and Psyche also endure the wrath of Venus and her endless demands on Psyche. In heir relationship they must labor against malevolent gods. In the “Dream Of Oenghus” Caer, the mortal object of Oenghus’ passion, is remarkably free of the influence of the gods. Oenghus must seek her, he must identify her, and he cannot simply buy her.

In the tale of “Cupid and Psyche” it is psyche who must demonstrate her love and endure humiliation and hard labor to win back her ideal and supernatural lover, Cupid. Thus, these myths share a common theme, courtship and the pursuit of love: Specifically, the pursuit of divine or ideal love. However, their representations of this vary significantly. Nevertheless, these variations erve to reveal a great deal about the assumptions underlying these myths. Assumptions that relate to the nature of the gods, human nature, and the experience of love.

The remainder of this discussion will focus on these slight but specific variations in an effort to enlighten the assumptions underlying offer significant information about the perceptions of love in Celtic and Roman culture. It would be a serious understatement to suggest that the course of love runs smoother for Oenghus than it does for Psyche. Following his vision Oenghus is overwhelmed by melancholy, a depression so pervasive that he falls nto a generalized malaise. However, when the root of his affliction is diagnosed by Finghin, “you have fallen in love in absence,” the assistance of Boann is immediately enlisted.

When this is of no use both Daghdhae and Bodhbh willingly join the search. The gods are united in their assistance to Oenghus. On the other hand, the gods are remarkably incapable of influencing mortal behavior. When the girl is identified the gods cannot simply seize her. Oenghus is taken to identify her, which he does, and Bodhbh explains, “Even if you do recognize her, I have no power to give her, and you may only see her. To actually obtain the girl they must enter into a complex bargaing process. First the Daghdhae travels to Ailill and Medhbh and requests that they give the girl to his son.

They explain that they cannot, thus the Daghdhae’s men are forced to attack the fairy hill and capture Ehal Anbhuail, the girl’s father, they demand that he hand the girl over. He refuses. They then threaten him with death, he confesses he cannot for she has magical powers. Yearly she alternates between human form and animal form. If Oenghus truly wants her he must follow certain procedures. Having identified her in uman form he must do the same when she is in the shape of a swan. (which he does. ) Then he must request her companionship on her terms.

Finally, when he promises, “I pledge your protection,” the two are united. Oenghus is enthralled with the mortal, Caer. In fact, their separation makes him ill. Nonetheless, the lovers can only be together if Oenghus satisfies Caer’s condition: He must prove his love to her. He must illustrate that he recognizes her human and animal essence. He must guarantee her freedom, and he must pledge himself to her protection before she will come to him. This tale captures the distinct nature of the Celtic gods. According to Noma Chadwick the “Irish gods” do not emerge as gods in the usual meaning of the term.

They are neither worshipped nor sacrificed to. They are supernatural beings with magical powers If such a name is not appropriate, they might be described as mundane or pedestrian gods. In this tale it is the male, and the immortal that must earn his beloved. Caers appear indifferent to the struggle being waged for her affections. He must prove that Caer is the woman of his dreams and that he knows her in any guise. Also he must accept her terms and guarantee her safety before she will commit herself to him, and satisfy his longing. In essence, it Oenghus that yearns for Caer.

It is the god who must pursue, woo and win the hand of Caer, the mortal woman (although she possesses magical powers). In Apuleius tale it is the mortal, the female, Psyche, who must toil to win her beloved Cupid. In Celtic myths the gods crave the love of mortals while in the classical myths it is the mortals who crave the love of the gods. Moreover, in “The Dream Of Oenghus” the gods must satisfy mortal conditions to win their true love. In the tale of “Cupid and Psyche” it is Psyche, the mortal, who must satisfy the conditions of fate amoung the gods.

When Psyche’s search for Cupid proves fruitless and her plea for sympathy and relief have been completely repulsed she decides to throw herself on Venus’s mercy and to satisfy her rage with meekness. Venus challenges Psyche to a series of tasks, that lead up to her making a trip to Hades, the underworld. Through favorable and periodically divine intervention Psyche is able to complete all these tasks although a second act of faithlessness condemns her to exhaustion. However, at this point Cupid has recovered from his wound, and is wasting away from loneliness for Psyche, he takes leave from his chamber, and finds Psyche.

A touch of one of his arrows awakens Psyche and he pledges to fulfill their relationship. Cupid obtains Jupiter’s blessing and the two are wed. Eventually, their union produces a daughter who comes to be named Pleasure. In certain senses, both of these myths deal with the reunion of lovers. Cupid and Psyche are united only to be separated by her faithlessness. Oenghus has already seen Caer in a vision, and realized his infatuation with her, when he sets out to find her in the world. Therefore, they are, in essence, both tales are of how to obtain love.

In the Celtic tale one obtains love by proving its divine inspirationby ecognizing the beloved in both human and animal formand by meeting her demands for freedom and protection. Oenghus gathers all of his resources to convince Caer of his love. He solicits the help of his father and many other people along the way. They use their influence, and negotiating skills to aid Oenghus in his pursuit. In fact, in stark contrast to the Roman Myth, the gods are united in their support for Oenghus’s quest. There is none of the indifference’s and deceit of the classical gods.

Ultimately though, Oenghus’s divine resources only present him with the opportunity to plead Caer for her love. His divine powers only set the stage. He wins the his true love through his altogether human expression of love. His use of divine power stands as evidence of his desire and just how intense it was. It does not, however, insure his success in his quest for Caer’s affection. On the otherhand, Psyche’s attempts to return to Cupid are carried out with the direct and aggresive hostility of Venus. Repeatedly, Venus demands that Psyche undertakes tasks that appear humanly impossible to complete.

However, in each instances natural forces abide with Psyche and assist her. When she must sort grain, the ants aid her; when she must obtain the golden leece, she is advised by a reed; and, finally, her trip to Hades is facilitated by a sympathetic tower. In this sense true love is identified with nature in both myths. In “The Dream Of Oenghus,” proof of his true love is provided by his ability to separate Caer from a crowd of other swans. In “cupid and Psyche,” Psyche only survives the arduous tasks assigned by Venus because she has the support of the sympathetic natural realm.

A behavior that is in sympathy with, and supported by the natural order. Also, in both myths trust is seen as a fundamental element of natural love. It is lack of the faith that leads Psyche to illuminate Cupid and ltimately forces them apart. On the other hand, it is Oenghus’s faith in his love and Caer’s integrity, and trust, that leads him to promise Caer freedom and protection; the very conditions that win her love. Ultimately, it is Psyche’s dedication to her search for Cupid, an expression of trust, that leads to the reunion of the two lovers.

Thus, in general terms’ one can identify certain similarities in the two myths’ portrayals of love. In both myths love is aligned with the natural order and predicated on mutual trust and respect. Moreover, the lovers can become physically sick when they are separated. Thus, beyond these broad similarities the two myths present remarkably different perceptions of love. In the Celtic tale the god of love is captivated of human a human and he must use all his resources to win her affection. He is assisted in his pursuit by all of the divine family and even all of the mortals they must deal with.

Only, Caer’s father, the fairy king, refuses to help and that is because he cannot: His daughter’s magical powers is stronger than his. In this sense, love is, in the Celtic myths, a relatively straightforward proposal. A lover, committed to his beloved, and willing to demonstrate that commitment, may ncounter obstacles but ultimately, the gods do not interfere with his pursuit and the natural world sympathizes. In Roman mythology the course of love does not run as smoothly. Cupid and Psyche are in love with on another.

Nevertheless, for that very reason, coupled with Psyche’s extreme beauty, Venus is resentful of their relationship. Consequently, her malevolent jealousy is a constant theme in their relationship. The classical god’s war with one another, and exhibit human emotions in contrast to the united front of the Celtic gods. Love must triumph over adversity and ill will in “Cupid and Psyche,” while Oenghus’s love only confront dversity. Moreover, in the Celtic tale true love can proceed once the lovers have satisfied one another.

In the classical tale true love can only proceed when it has the blessing of Jupiter himselfwho can then restrain the other gods from interfering. In general terms a more natural conception of love is presented in the Celtic myth. Divinely inspired by a vision Oenghus’ pursuit of Caer is remarkably prevalent. While he must verify the divine inspiration for his love by identifying Caer on the basis of his dream, he pursues her in a very traditional manner. He seeks out her father and requests her hand. After doing o he then seeks her, and charms her with his care and concern as well as devotion for her well-being and needs.

On the other hand Cupid and Psyche must battle divine anger and vengeance, a trip to Hades , and numerous other unnatural interventions in the world in pursuit of their relationship. Despite its naturalness love must satisfy the needs and desires of the gods before it may progress. These gods act more like a dysfunctional family than divinityLove, must satisfy the natural order and confront the cruel hand of fate in the classical myth. The only natural element of Psyche and Cupid’s love is that their final union produces Pleasure.

Atlantis: We will never know

The world has been fully discovered and fully mapped. Popular media has effectively minimized the legend and the fantastic rumor, though to make up for this it has generated falsities not as lavish but just as interesting. Satellites have mapped and studied the earth, leaving only a space frontier that is as yet unreachable. But standing out is a charming fantasy the modern world has yet to verify or condemn: the lost continent of Atlantis.

The father of the modern worlds perception of Atlantis is Plato (circa 428- circa 347 b. c. ). 1) The Greek philosopher spoke in his works Timaeus and Critias of a ontinent in the Atlantic ocean larger than Africa and Asia Minor combined which rivaled Athens as the most advanced in the world. (2) According to the legend surrounding Platos dialogues, the island of Atlantis was violently thrown into the sea by the forces of nature, and its few survivors managed to swim ashore and relate their story. (3) There the legend was passed by word of mouth until an Egyptian priest related the story to Solon, a character in Timaeus.

The priest admired the achievements of prehistoric Athenians, because when the rulers of Atlantis threatened to invade all of Europe and Asia the Athenians, on behalf of all Greeks, defeated the Atlanteans to avoid enslavement. (4) The works of Plato opened the floodgates to endless speculation on whether the continent described was fact or fiction. Atlantis has since been placed in Spain, Mongolia, Palestine, Nigeria, the Netherlands, Brazil, Sweden, Greenland and Yucatan.

Every nook and cranny of the globe has been hypothesized; mountain peaks, desert lands, the ocean floor and even the barren wasteland of Antarctica have been mentioned in theories. (5) While some of these theories are compatible with Platos works and are within elative reason, numerous crackpot theories have been developed using the lost continent as a basis. One of these theories, posted on the computer internet where it has access to over fifteen million people, talks in twenty-one pages of pre-historical lands with names like Oz and Luxor.

These world wide web pages list over two hundred separate articles of proof for the existence of Atlantis, as in the following: (6) Most all ancient civilizations believed in the TITANS, the race of giant humans that inhabited Earth long ago. Different races knew them by different names. These 7 to 12 foot humanoids were thought to be legendary until the excavation of over a dozen skeletons 8 to 12 feet tall, around the world, shocked archeologists.

These skeletons were positively human. Some of these skeletal remains are on Maui in lava caves near Ulupalakua and Olowalu. The Spanish Conquistadors left diaries of wild blond-haired, blue-eyed 8 to 12 foot high men running around in the Andes during the conquest of the Incas. A couple were reportedly captured but died en route to Europe. If giant animals (dinosaurs) were possible then why not giant men? And why are these goliaths populating both Eurasia and the Americas?

Only on a land bridge created by the vast continent of Antarctica can there be a sufficient bridge for the spread of these giants. (7) This text, written by self-proclaimed Atlantologist Steve Omar, represents Platos text taken to the extreme- using his ideas as a basis for outlandish and unfounded ideas. These unverified fantasies make a dubious complement to the other dark side of the Atlantean fantasy: hoaxes. Atlantis has been discovered many times, but most notably in the fall of 1912 by Dr. Paul Schliemann.

Schliemann introduced himself as the grandson of the famous Heinrich Schliemann, the archeologist who discovered the ruins of ncient Troy in 1873. His discovery made front page news (The New York American, October 1912. ) and boasted of an advanced civilization with aircraft, power-driven boats and the like. Schliemann said his grandfather told him on his deathbed of the familys secret: the location of Atlantis. Schliemanns claims made waves, but didnt hold water; when pressed for details, Schliemann was unresponsive and eventually disappeared from public view. 8)

Unfortunately, the falsities concerning Atlantis frequently overshadow the possibilities. The subject has gathered its share of honest journalists as well. Ignatius Donnelly wrote the first extensive study of the possibility of existence in 1882, and his views have not been found to be false with twentieth century technology. Donnelly believed in Atlantis, but believed it to be worldly; his reasons for Atlantiss existence are unable to be proven, but make sense.

Some examples: -There is nothing improbable in Platos narrative; it describes rich, cultured and educated people but doesnt mention things of fantasy like giants, hobgoblins etc. (9) -Plato speaks of hot and cold springs in the center of Atlantis, a feature common to islands with volcanic activity. Chances are Plato didnt know this. 9) -Plato says in his stories that the Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, is always seen on a chariot with horses because he was originally the god of Atlantis, where horses were domesticated.

But when Atlantis fell to the sea, the Greeks believed Poseidon brought his horses with him. (9) Responding partly to Donnelleys theories and partly to the urge to discover, some 20th century archeologists have used twentieth century technology to look for Atlantis. But many have dismissed Atlantis as glorified myths of volcanic eruptions in the island of Thera in 1450 b. c. The eruption may have destroyed that island and caused small earthquake and tsunamis that ruined the civilization of Crete, but didnt sink a continent.

Therefore, none of Donnelleys theories can be proved without the actual discovery of the continent. The legend of Atlantis is only a huge collection of theories and guesses, but theories and guesses also led to the discovery of the lost Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, discovered after being buried and preserved by the volcanic ash of nearby Mt. Vesuvius. Because of this, the mystery of Atlantiss existence will tantalize the world until the continent is either proven or disproven.

The Nature Of Venus And The Venus Sign

We’re going to find out why some people cannot stand you yet others feel so powerfully attracted to you that they simply cannot resist your charm. And, as Venus rules art and music as much as she rules romance, we’re going to explore your instinctive aesthetic preferences. We’re going to look at both the shapes and colors that strike your fancy, plus the figures and faces that fill your fantasies.

Venus is a planet for romantics. Her very name conjures up an image of mystery and sensuality, but she was a seductive symbol long before the Romans coined this name for her. The Babylonians called her Ishtar, Goddess of Fertility. The Sumerians knew her as Inanna, Queen of Thunder. To the Egyptians she was Isis the Enchantress, and to the Greeks Aphrodite, ultimate icon of feminine charm and the mother of Cupid.

If you are a typical male, your Venus sign represents your ideal woman. Aphrodite wears many disguises. Today, you will see which she dons when she wants to capture your heart. If you are a woman, your Venus sign governs the kind of person you turn into when you exploit your feminine charm. I have to confess, though, that when reading romantic preference in a horoscope, all astrologers find female psychology more complicated.

Aphrodite was the ultimate free woman. She belonged to no man yet she awakened a deep and profound spirit of desire in the heart of every man she encountered. She had passionate and fruitful romantic involvements with gods as diverse as the witty, intellectual Hermes, the silent, muscular Adonis and the pompous, powerful Zeus. Throughout all this she also had a tolerant husband: aloof and irritable Hephaestus, the wounded craftsman. Forget for a moment any judgement you might feel inclined to make about her character. We are dealing here with a symbolic goddess, not a real human being and we must view her in her proper context: as an icon of femininity.

One day, I hope to write an entire book about her. For our purposes here, though, all we need to understand is that we are dealing with the image of a woman who is attractive to every type of man. A man’s Venus sign tells us whether he is more likely to try and appeal to Aphrodite by acting like a Hermes, an Adonis, a Zeus or a Hephaestus. A woman’s Venus sign, however, does not tell us which of these four symbolic gods she is most likely to be drawn to. There is an image of an ideal man inside the mind of every woman, but to identify this using astrology we have to look at a woman’s Mars sign, not her Venus sign. That comes later in this book.

For now, while we’re looking at the Venus sign, we simply need to remember that every woman has the spirit of Aphrodite somewhere within her and that her spirit is forever a free spirit. It reserves the right to pick and choose between all four types according to the mood of the moment.

In a man’s horoscope, the Venus sign represents his ideal female fantasy figure: the guise in which he is most likely to perceive Aphrodite when he thinks of her and the way in which he would most like to relate to her. In a woman’s horoscope, the Venus sign represents the way of being which is most likely to make her feel relaxed, at ease, sensual, confident, charming and appealing. It tells us what kind of role in life is most likely to make her feel supremely free and feminine.

‘Are two people with the same Venus sign compatible?’ The short answer is, sometimes yes… but please don’t be misled, especially where you notice that the female description of a Venus sign appears to be a direct match for the male fantasy outlined below it. It’s more a point in favor of the partnership’s potential than a cast-iron guarantee.

Your Venus sign reveals a lot about your attitude to love but it also speaks volumes about the way you relate to Mother Nature.

Mother Nature is a powerful entity. To some, she appears in an impersonal, scientific disguise. To others, she is very much a living individual with tastes and preferences, habits and hobbies. But to all, she is a source of inspiration and support. Without the environment that she so carefully creates we would have no air to breathe, no water to drink, no sunshine to bath in nor, indeed, no world within which to pursue the love of one another.

We may not understand all that nature does, but we cannot help but appreciate how vast, powerful and influential her activities are. Whether we take her for granted, live in awestruck appreciation of her strength or actively seek a logical explanation of why she does what she does, we are bound to have a relationship with her. It is the particular quality of this constant relationship that your Venus sign describes.

Do you see yourself as needing to compensate for what nature has seemingly failed to endow you with? Or as overwhelmed by the generous gifts that she has bestowed? Do you see nature as an abundant force, constantly offering to supply whatever you need? Or as a weak, easily corrupted character, in need of sensitive protection? How you feel about the wider world you inhabit speaks volumes about your attitude to other people. If you’re naturally inclined to trust nature, you’ll trust loved ones. If you’re always suspicious that the elements are about to play some nasty trick, you’ll be similarly guarded about giving too much to those close by. In these and a thousand other ways, the links between you and nature are as revealing as any session on a relationship counselor’s couch.

Venus is the second planet from the Sun and the nearest to our own. She is roughly the same size as Earth but, as the planet is covered in clouds of sulphuric acid and has a surface temperature of 460 degrees Celsius, it is hardly the place you would want to go on holiday. Yet even astronomers have to concede that Venus has a bright, compelling beauty that makes you want to run to her. She may be a planet, but she twinkles like a star. She may have no gravitational effect on the human body, but she never fails to pull the heartstrings of any soul whose gaze wanders skyward. Venus’s days may be four months long, but she is the ultimate symbol of nocturnal promise.

Those who are only prepared to see Venus as some distant ball of gas and rock can hardly be expected to recognize her power to influence events on Earth. There is, as yet, no satisfactory scientific explanation why Venus or any other planet should do this. But then, love itself is not a scientifically provable phenomenon. To experience it, you have to stop asking what it is and just give yourself over to something you feel to be true.

If you’re going to say that Venus is only a planet, you may as well say that a rainbow is nothing more than an intriguing phenomenon involving the refraction of light. Or that a kiss is only an expression of some primal urge to reproduce the species. Romance defies logical explanation – and so, to some degree, does astrology. But that doesn’t make either of them any less real.

Greek and Roman Mythology

Greek and Roman mythology have many similarities between them. Each type has there own set of Gods and Goddesses, although they were worshiped for similar reasons. The following will explain each God or Goddess and explain how they compare to each other. The King of Gods in Greek Mythology is known as Zeus. Zeus was the ruler of the sky, and had the power to create thunderstorms and lightning as well as earthquakes. He was the child of Cronus and Rhea. As the story goes he was their sixth child, and the father to protect him from being overthrown had eaten the five previous children.

Zeus was taken to a city called Crete and hidden from his father. As Zeus grew older and learned of what happened he found a potion to make his father regurgitate the other children. Once this happened they all teamed up and killed their father. Zeus then became the ruler of Mount Olympus, and head of the new line of Gods. Jupiter was the predominant power holder of Roman Gods. He was ruler of the sky, the daylight, all the weather, and even the thunder and lightening. Jupiter helped drive back the Sabines. His temple was built in the Capitol, and newly elected counsels offered their first prayers to him.

Hera was the wife and sister of Zeus, and the High Goddess of the Greeks. She was extremely jealous of the affairs that her husband was having and often tormented or harmed the mistresses he was fooling around with. Although, when she went too far, or tried to cause death, Zeus would intervene and stop her. Hera tried to ship wreak Heracles on his return from Troy, and with that Zeus had her hung by the wrists from top of the mountain with an anvil tied to each ankle. The two had four children together. Juno, Heras counterpart, was the wife of Jupiter.

Juno was the protector of women, especially those who are married. Women often gave offerings to Juno to help with their childbirth. The God of the Underworld, Hades, was the brother of Zeus. He gained Hell, as his share in conquering their father. He is most known for kidnapping his wife, Persephone, while she was picking flowers in a field. As the story goes, Hades had her eat a piece of food in the Underworld, therefore she could not live on the Earth again. Her father, Zeus, made arrangements for her to be allowed on Earth for two-thirds of the year and in the Underworld as Hades wife for the rest of the time.

This is used as the cause of spring and winter. When she returns to the surface she brings spring with her and when she returns to the Underworld she leaves winter behind her. Pluto, the Roman God of the Underworld, whos name also means rich. It reflects the rich mineral resources beneath the ground and the rich resources above the earth. In art he is shown with the Horn of Plenty. This horn is most likely why we associate the Devil, or Satan, as having a horn on top of his head. His name was thought of to be bad luck, and therefore was hardly mentioned in myths.

Ares was the child of Zeus and Hera. He was the God of War. Whenever he was seen or portrayed he would be fully armed and ready for battle. Any cause to fight or go to war would bring him out and about. He was the discomfited lover of Aphrodite. Almost all of his children by mortal women were of a violent nature. Mars, The Roman God of War and Agriculture, was the second most important god after Jupiter. The month March was named after Mars, and was also the first month of the Roman calendar. March was the month when agriculture was reborn and when most people engaged in war.

Mars was given his own priest and altar in Rome. The wolf and woodpecker were the sacred animals of Mars. A festival in October was held in his honor and all farmers and soldiers would lay aside their weapons and had a celebration. The Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty was Aphrodite. She was married to the Smith God, Hephaestus, but left him for the God of War. She favored the Trojans during the Trojan War. She was known to have angry mood swings and all the gods and mortals paid dearly for it. Aphrodite and Venus were counterparts in mythology.

Venus, The Roman Goddess of Love, was first worshiped in pre-Roman Italy, where she was worshiped for gardens and vegetation. Festivals during the month of April were in recognition of Venus. Her son, Cupid, was told to fire individuals with love by the touch of his arrow. Her plans backfired and an arrow accidentally touched her. She fell in love with Adonis, the first man she saw, and instantly had a passion to be with him. She was so anxious to be with him that she tried to persuade him not to hunt any longer, but he did and got killed by a boar.

The name Venus means “beauty” or “charm. ” Poseidon was one of the Olympian deities of the Greeks, the son of Cronus and Rhea. His sphere of power covered the sea, water (not rivers) and earthquakes (Clayton 158). He had similar powers of Zeus in these fields, but was ultimately less powerful. He was mostly worshiped on the island called Atlantis. Offerings were given to him were given when sea goers wanted calm voyage or needed help in navigation. Poseidon had an affair with Medusa and she bore him a Pegasus as a child. The Roman God of Water was called Neptune.

The Romans were not a seafaring community in early times and Neptune was of little importance or worry to them. His festival was celebrated on the height of summer during the driest time of the year. The date was July twenty-third. The Greek God of Love, usually represented as a small chubby winged child, was called Eros. He was usually equipped with a bow and a quiver full of arrows. These arrows were used to induce love, as well as the lighted torch he was sometimes shown holding. By riding on a lion or dolphin, or breaking the thunderbolts of Zeus one would know that this indicated his power over both gods and men.

The Roman God of Love, Cupid, was also usually represented as a small chubby naked child armed with a bow and quiver of arrows. Mischievously he would aim Cupids darts at will; at times causing untold mayhem as they caused those they pierced to fall in love with the first person they met. In classic arts he is often shown playing a game such as quoits, but sometimes he wears a helmet and carries spear and shield to show that even Mars, God of War, gives way to love. His encounter with Psyche shows him in a more serious aspect (Clayton 63). Psyche would eventually be married to Cupid, after many hardships.

Artemis was the daughter of Zeus and his mistress Leto. Born on the island of Delos with a slightly younger twin brother, Apollo. She was the eternal virgin huntress goddess, even though she had a very vindictive nature. She was responsible for several deaths, including Callisto and Orion. At Ephesus, she was worshiped more as a mother goddess then a huntress. Bees and stags were animals most often associated with her. Her temple was listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Diana was very similar to the Greek Goddess Artemis. Born on Delos with a twin brother named Apollo, Diana was the Goddess of Hunting.

She had two particular shrines in Italy: one at Aricia on the shores of Lake Nemi, where she is known as Diana of the Woods, and the other at Capua under the name of Diana Tifatina, known as the Goddess of the Crossroads (Clayton 69). Her cult allowed human sacrifice, and her priest could be replaced by whom ever killed him. In Greek mythology the messenger of the gods, son of Zeus and the nymph Maia, was known as Hermes. He also had the role of escorting the dead to the Underworld. He was also the patron of merchants and seamen, of good luck, and of thieves and pickpockets, and was known for his mischief making.

Often used by Zeus as an intermediary in various situations, he was rewarded with a winged helmet and a pair of sandals, which he used for walking the roads. Mercury was a Roman god, and son of Jupiter and Maia. He was the messenger of Jupiter. He was often seen with the caduceus (a wand), broad-rimmed hat, winged sandals and purse. He, like Hermes, protected the merchants. His name has the root word merx meaning merchandise. Apollo, twin brother of Artemis, had Zeus as a father and a nymph as a mother. He was born under the shade of a single palm tree, the only tree on the island.

Apollos major shrine was at Delphi, but before he could have this he had to rid the place of the monster. Python, a dragon or serpent, had terrorized the countryside for a long time. After slaying this creature Apollo initiated the Pythian Games, in honor of Python. Delphi became noted for the pronouncements made by the priests when they were in a hallucinatory state, most likely after chewing on bay laurel leaves. The legendary Heracles, a half god warrior, came to Delphi to seek advice from the oracle. He was dissatisfied with what he heard and tried to steal the sacred tripod, emblem of Apollo.

Heracles and Apollo fought over the tripod, but Zeus separated them and returned the tripod back to Delphi. Apollo was also the God of Music, Fine Arts, Poetry, and Eloquence. Apollo was also the God of Medicine, which was used to cure as well as attack. Apollo was also responsible for the plague that struck the Greeks at Troy. He had a number of encounters with mankind, working at times for a king as a herdsman. He had several love affairs with mortal girls and nymphs, a number of whom assumed other shapes in an endeavor to escape his attentions. Greek Goddess of Wisdom, Athena, daughter of Metis by Zeus, had a very strange birth.

Zeus had been warned that if Metis had a female child that a male child would follow and eventually overthrow him. To avoid this prophecy, Zeus swallowed the infant whole just as Metis was about to give birth. He soon had a very bad headache, so Hephaestus took a double-sided axe and split his skull open and Athena came out fully-grown and fully armored. Athena won the city of Athens in a contest with Poseidon. The rules were simple; who ever could produce the best gift for mankind would win. Poseidon created a horse out of rock, while Athena caused an olive tree to grow.

The judges declared that the olive tree was most useful and hence she won the city. As a warlike goddess she was protector of many heroes and towns. Her animal familiar was the watch owl. Minerva was the Roman Goddess of Craft and Trade, including the intellect on how to do the particular craft. Together with Juno and Jupiter she was one of the great Capitoline triad and was introduced to Rome by an Etruscan contingent, which came to aid Romulus. Minervas festival was celebrated on March Nineteenth. Demeter was the sister of Zeus and one of the five children that was eaten by Cronus.

Demeter was the God of Fertility, and often referred to as the essential mother. Demeter had a baby girl by the name of Persephone. Her father was Zeus, Heras husband as well as Demeters brother. Hades kidnapped Persephone and took her to the Underworld with him. After searching everywhere for her lost daughter, Helios the God of the Sun, told her he saw what had happened. She vowed not to return to the gods or continue any of her tasks till her daughter was returned. Demeter went to Zeus and demanded that her daughter be returned from the Underworld. Zeus agreed under the condition that she had not eaten anything while she was down there.

Zeus then found out she had eaten something, and told Demeter that he could not bring her back from the Underworld. When she found out she withdrew her support of earth and mankind. Demeter caused the fields to become unfertile, and finally a deadlock was reached. Soon a compromise was reached between Demeter, Zeus, and Hades. Persephone would be allowed to earth during the spring, but she would be required to return to the Underworld during the winter. Ceres, the God of Corn and Harvest, is the Roman equivalent to the Greek Goddess Demeter. She shares all the same legends and stories.

A Comparison of Greek and Norse Mythology

Hundreds of years ago people did not have the technology to explain different forces of nature. They created gods, each with separate powers, to rule their domains. Some of the gods were merciful, some were wicked, and others were merely servants of more powerful gods. Looking at the gods, it is easy to tell what the civilization most valued. I am going to look at the Greek and the Norse gods to compare what was most important to their societies. Both cultures had a king of the gods. In Greek mythology there is no god who is more powerful than Zeus.

He is the youngest son of Cronus and Rhea, ruler of the Titans. Cronus was told that one of his children would overthrow him, taking control of his kingdom. To be sure this would not happen, Cronus swallowed his first five children: Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon. Rhea could not bear to see another one of her children, devoured so she replaced Zeus with a rock wrapped in swaddling. Cronus, thinking he ate Zeus, left Rhea time to leave Zeus in a cave where he was raised by a divine goat, Amaltheia (pantheon/odin).

After Zeus was grown he went back to Cronus with the help of Gaia and Metis, who made an elixir to cause Cronus to vomit his brothers and sisters. Zeus then led the fights against the Titan dynasty. Afterwards they banished the Titans to Tartarus, the lowest place on earth, even lower than the underworld. Zeus and his brothers then drew straws to find who would rule where. Zeus gained rule of the sky, Poseidon ruled the seas, and Hades ruled the underworld (pantheon/odin). Zeus is the god of law, justice, morals, thunder, lightning, and rain. It was his job to oversee and make sure laws were being kept.

He was worshipped originally as a weather god. He was depicted as a middle-aged man with a youthful appearance; he was regale and was almost always shown ready to throw a lightning bolt (pantheon/zeus). Odin is the ruler of the gods in Norse mythology. He was stuck by his own spear pinned to the World Tree. There he learned nine songs and eighteen runes. Odin lives in Asgard; from his throne he observes everything that happens in the nine worlds. Valhalla is a hall in Asgard where the dead warriors are taken; Odin is also known to reside there (pantheon/odin). Odin is the god of death, war, wisdom, and poetry.

Odin can speak with the dead; he questions the wisest of them. Odin only has one eye; it blazes like the sun. He gave his other eye for a drink from the Well of Wisdom. Odin has a spear, Gungnir, that never misses its target. He owns an eight-legged horse, Sleipnir, two wolves, Geri and Freki, and two raven, Huginn and Muninn. Wednesday is named after him (pantheon/odin). The main similarity between these two is that they are the king of the gods. Another is that they both value wisdom. Zeus is more focused on law, Odin’s focus is on war. Hades is one of the brothers of Zeus.

He is the unlucky one who got to rule the underworld. He is cruel and unforgiving. Only two have ever gone to Hades domain and returned, Hercules and Odysseus. Hades fell in love with Zeus’s daughter and devised a plan to abduct her. With Zeus’s help they succeeded in the capture of Persephone. Her mother Demeter was so enraged she cursed the Earth. She continued the curse even after she was released. It was only after her mother Rhea was allowed to see her that she let the Earth prosper (message). In Norse mythology, Hel is know as the queen goddess of the underworld.

She was raised on Asgard but later she was given the underworld to rule. She decides the fate of those who die, the ones who die in battle are allowed to go to Valhalla, and all others go to Hel’s domain. She was born with her skeleton on the outside of her body. She was said to be born half black and half white (gods). One of the most similar qualities the two cultures is that their Underworlds are guarded by large dogs. Cerberus is the three-headed dog that guards the underworld in Greek mythology, although he has been said to have up to fifty heads.

Cerberus is the brother of Chimera, a beast with a goat, dragon, and lion head and Hydra the multi-headed serpent. In Norse mythology, Garm is the leader of a pack of dogs that guard the underworld (webhome). Aphrodite, for the Greeks, was the goddess of love, beauty, reproduction and sexuality. She was born from the sea, which is what her name means. She was born when the severed genitals of Uranos fell into the sea. She had many children and was the patroness of prostitutes (webhome). Freyia is the Norse goddess of love, fertility, wealth, and war. She married Od, who many believe to be Odin.

She lost him and cried tears of gold. Everyday she and Odin split the inhabitants of Valhalla to fight with. Friday is named after her (webhome). These two are goddesses of love. In each society it was thought to be a women’s domain. Also Freyia is one of the only goddess with a vital role in Norse mythology (webhome). Hermes is the Greek herald of the gods. His realms include shepherds, land travel, merchants, weights and measures, oratory, literature, athletics, and thieves. Hermes is known for his cunning and shrewdness. The day he was born, his mother Maia fell asleep.

He ran off and stole his brother Apollo’s cattle and took them to Greece. He then quickly ran home and wrapped himself in swaddling and acted like he was there all the time. His duties as herald to the gods were guiding souls to their final destination and sending dreams to people. He is shown as having a winged hat and winged boots. He was best know for his speed and was credited for the invention of the foot race and boxing (pantheon/hermes). Hermod is the messenger of the gods for the Norse gods. Not being a god of war gives him very little story time.

He went to Hel’s domain to convince her to let Balder return to the world of the living (webhome). Other than having similar names, both these gods have been known for their speed. Both are perceived as sleek men wearing winged boots. Hercules, the god of strength, is the youngest son if Zeus. He is one of the most loved gods of the Greek civilization. He has the most stories told about him. He is perceived as a hero and a great fighter. One of the most famous stories is the trials of Hercules. He had become enraged and killed his wife and children.

To restore his status he had to perform several tasks. This is where he defeated such beasts as Cerberus and Hydra, diverted rivers, and even held the entire weight of the world (infoplease). Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is the son of Odin. He is even more loved than Odin is; one reason is he does not require sacrifice. Thor owns a hammer, Mjolnir. Only he can lift it, and it returns to his hand when thrown. Thor wears a belt that doubles his already magnificent strength. He has a chariot that is pulled by a goat, and in his spare time defeats giants (webhome). Thursday was named for Thor.

Both Hercules and Thor were the sons of the kings of the gods; they were the most loved by the common man. Both were superior warriors, and were praised as such. The enemies of the Greek gods were the Titans. The Titans were the original inhabitants of Mt. Olympus. They were overthrown by Zeus, his brothers, and some Titans loyal to him. Most of the Titans were sent to the deepest part of the Earth. One of the best-known Titans is Atlas, who lead the battle for the Titans and was therefore singled out by Zeus. For his crimes he was made to hold the world on his back (edweb).

In one of the trials of Hercules, Hercules had to find golden apples. Atlas, who knows where everything is, offered to get the apples for him if Hercules would hold the world for a while. When Atlas returned with the golden apples, he told Hercules that he would leave him to hold the World. Before Atlas left, Hercules requested that he be allowed to adjust his cloth because they chafed him. Atlas took the World to let Hercules adjust his clothes, but Hercules tricked him and left him with the World (infoplease). The Norse Giants, also enemies of the gods, were nothing more than a savage race of very large men.

The Giants race, however, gave them an elemental type. Fire Giants and Storm Giants were the most powerful of the races (encyclopedia). Both Titans and Giants were hulking creatures. The Titans were much more civilized than the Giants; the Titans once ruled Mt. Olympus and the Giants were something for Norse gods to fight. The home of the gods, Mt. Olympus, is where the Greeks hope to go in the afterlife. It was a beautiful place that was open to all good people. Valhalla was the ultimate destiny of the Norse. In Valhalla, warriors do nothing but fight all day long and feast all night.

Valhalla is only a hall of Asgard, but it is the only place open to warriors. Any non-warrior was sent to Hel’s domain. When looking at the two versions of the mythology, it is easy to tell what the cultures held in high regard. The Greeks were a civil people; their chief deity was a god of law, justice, and morals. The Norse, on the other hand, were a people of war. Their chief god was a god of war and death, and the only way to Valhalla was to die honorably in battle. Examining these mythologies is an excellent way to show the similarities and differences of the two cultures.

Ancient Greek and Roman mythology

In ancient Greek and Roman mythology, a mystical creature known as the unicorn made many appearances. As described throughout much of literature, the unicorn is reputed to look somewhat like a white horse, although it has a long, twisted horn protruding from its forehead. 1 The earliest description of the unicorn was by Ctesias (400 BC) (The New Book of Knowledge, Vol. U-V 19: 391). Unicorns have cloven hooves that are somewhat yellow in color; some are said to have a lion-like tail.

Male unicorns can be distinguished from their female counterparts mainly in part of the goat-like beard beneath the chin. Also, the females are more elegant and have a slimmer muscle frame. The typical European unicorn has a coat of hair that is pure white, and has eyes that are either deep sea blue or fiery pink. Long and silky strands of white hair hand down from its mane and forelock. In his book, The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle describes this mythological creature as looking nothing “like a horned horse… [as she was] smaller and cloven-hoofed” (1).

In his book, Beagle’s unicorn was the “color of sea foam” when it was young; as it aged, its color changed to the “color of snow falling on a moonlit night” (1). A unicorn’s horn is white, silver, or golden in color, is about two to three feet in length, and is said to have special healing powers. Throughout time, there have been many varied descriptions of the unicorn. In Asia, for example, mention of the animal dates back as far as 26 century BC. 1 The animal described is far more different than the European unicorn.

Rather than looking like a horse, the Asian unicorn, known as the k’i-lin, appears more like a dragon, although it has cloved hooves. 1 The k’i-lin’s body was made predominately of shimmery fish scales that shone in every color of the rainbow, and its horn was also thought to contain magical healing powers. 1 The k’i-lin is reported to have wandered through the palace of the emperor Huang-ti in 2697 BC, and was honored as the king of all the land animals. 1 Of the two, the European is the more widely known unicorn, and thus, more information is readily available on that type of unicorn.

In Beagle’s book, he states that “it is their nature to live alone in one place: usually a forest… ” (1). As they are vain creatures, they prefer to live in solitary places where there is a shallow pool of water nearby were they can see themselves clearly (Beagle, 1). They normally dwell only in temperate woodlands, away from human activity. They are herbivorous creatures, living mainly off of tender leaves of the forest and its grasses. Although unicorns are immortal, they do have enemies and can be killed. Its enemies include the harpy, dragon, and chimera (Beagle, 95).

Not much is known about the unicorn’s reproductive habits, only that it rarely ever mates (Beagle, 1). However, it is believed that when they do, it is for life. As the unicorn’s horn was reputed to have mystical healing powers, unicorn hunts were popular throughout the Middle Ages. Since baby unicorns were almost non-existent, if one could catch a baby, he was even more richly rewarded. The unicorn’s horn was thought to be a healing source. It was claimed to cure many diseases and ward off many others, such as epilepsy and different stomach illnesses. It was also believed to a neutralizer against poison.

The horn was continuously sought after to be given to apothecaries; they would grind up the horn to make a poison neutralizing powder. Also, the horn was said to bleed if poison was brought near it. 3 For these reasons, over 40,000 gold pieces were offered for the horn of a unicorn (which almost always turned out to be the horn of the narwhal, or “unicorn of the sea”). Although it was a healer of wounds, the unicorn was a ruthless, savage fighter when cornered. “She had killed dragons with it [the horn], and healed a king whose poisoned wound would not close… Beagle, 1).

Beagle clearly shows that the unicorn’s horn was its means of protection, as well as its healing strength. He clearly emphasizes the extreme change in the unicorn’s temperate, going from killer to healer. In ancient Greek and Roman myths, unicorns were an emblem of purity. As such, they were placed among virgin saints whenever they were mentioned in a myth. 2 In medieval society as well, the unicorn was a symbol of purity and innocence. It was fabled that a unicorn would only allow an “untouched” person of pure heart to touch it.

From this came the tradition a princess bride-to-be would have to go through in order to marry. Before a prince and a princess could be married, the princess would have to go into the forest in search of a unicorn. The princess would have a bridle of gold waiting, and would call softly to the unicorn to come and lay its head on her lap (Beagle, 73). In most instances, the princess would wait until a good amount of time had passed and would then go back to tell them that she had satisfied the tradition (Beagle, 73-74).

This tradition had come about mainly to prove that the young girl about to be married was still pure and untouched. The unicorn was also revered in society as a symbol of honesty. 3 In the Middle Ages, many upper-class family crests contained an image of the unicorn for this reason. The unicorn’s counterpart was the lion, as they were both considered king of all animals. 3 In many cases, both the unicorn and lion were placed on the crests as symbols of honesty, purity, and strength. In time, the unicorn came to be seen as an emblem of the spring season, and the lion stood for summer.

As the unicorn was a symbol of chastity and purity, it was claimed that it could only be captured by a virgin’s touch. 3 Because of this, a virgin was almost always included in the unicorn hunts that were organized. Eventually, it was realized that it was impossible to capture a real, live unicorn. Therefore, many people turned to weavers to “capture” them on tapestries. 3 Some of these tapestries, known as the Unicorn Tapestries, now hang in museums across the world. Hanging in the Cluney Museum in Paris are two of the most famous of the tapestries. 2

Later, with the resurgence of the Christian religion, the unicorn became a symbol of the Virgin Mary. It was also believed to be the guardian of the Tree of Life in the Bible. 3 However, before it ever became a Christian symbol for purity and virginity, the unicorn was a symbol of the moon. As such, it was a symbol of the virgin goddess of the hung, Artemis, also known as the Roman goddess Diana. 3 Throughout much of literature the unicorn has made its fair share of appearances. Peter S. Beagle devoted an entire book, The Last Unicorn, to this mythical creature.

In many instances, he wrote of the animal as if it were an ethereal creature. “… Her [the unicorn’s] neck was long and slender, making her head seem smaller than it was, and the mane that fell almost to the middle of her back was as soft as dandelion fluff and as fine as cirrus. She had pointed ears and thing legs, with feathers of white hair at the ankles; and the long horn above her eyes shone and shivered with its own seashell light even in the deepest midnight. She had killed dragons with it, and healed a king whose poisoned wound would not close, and knocked down ripe chestnuts for bear cubs” (Beagle, 1).

Beagles writes of the unicorn as if it were a kind, giving animal who, when needed, could also be dangerous and threatening. The combination of the color of the horn and its ability to shine with its own light even in the darkest of nights lends the unicorn an ethereal, almost heavenly quality. Later in his book, Beagle relates to the belief of the symbolic meaning of the unicorn. “Unicorns are for beginnings,’ he [Schmendrick the Magician] said, for innocence and purity, for newness. Unicorns are for young girls'” (Beagle, 70).

In this passage, Beagle clearly alludes to the beliefs of the Middle Ages where the unicorn was thought to be a symbol of purity and virginity. By making reference to unicorns being for young girls, Beagle indirectly hints at the belief that only pure, untouched girls were allowed to be near it. In pages 72 through 74 of Chapter Five of The Last Unicorn, Beagle makes reference to the tradition surrounding princes and princesses who are to be married. He has a young princess who unsuccessfully tries to lure the unicorn out of hiding so that she can place the golden bridle on it, as a way of proving herself to be pure and untouched.

It is understood that the unicorn will not appear, and after a few futile efforts, the prince tells the princess to leave it be, that she has satisfied custom and they can now be married (Beagle, 73-74). This is a distinct reference to the tradition behind the marriage of princes and princesses. Beagle also tries to write of the unicorn in an almost Christ-like way. “With an old, gay, terrible cry of ruin, the unicorn reared out of her hiding place. Her hooves came slashing down like a rain of razors, her mane raged, and on her forehead she wore a plume of lightning.

The three assassins dropped their daggers and hid their faces, and even Molly Grue and Schmendrick cowered before her. But the unicorn saw none of them. Mad, dancing, sea-white, she belled her challenge again… [as]… the Red Bull came. He was the color of blood, not the springing blood of the heart but of the blood that stirs under an old wound that never really healed. A terrible light poured from him like sweat, and his roar started landslides flowing into one another. His horns were as pale as scars… ” (Beagle, 94-95).

In this passage, it is evident that Beagle puts his unicorn in a “God vs. The Devil” situation. Where the unicorn is described in a way that portrays her as an angel fighting for her people, Beagle depicts the Red Bull as a Satan figure. Whereas the unicorn is “sea-white”, the bull is blood red. Where the unicorn is surrounded by a white (possibly representing good) lightning, the bull is enveloped in a “terrible” light. Throughout the entire passage, Beagle contrasts the unicorn and the bull in a manner that can only be described as good versus evil.

The Greatest Athenian Hero

In Greek mythology, Theseus can truely be thought of as the greatest Athenian hero. He was the son of Aegeus, king of Athens, and Aethra, princess of Troezen, and daughter of Pittheus, king of Troezen. Before Theseus was born his father Aegeus left Aethra in Troezen of Argolis and returned to Athens before he was born. But before he left king Aegeus put his sword and his pair of sandals under a large rock and said to Aethra that when Theseus was old enough to lift the heavy rock that Theseus should take the sword and sandals and come to see him in Athens.

At the age of 16 after being brought up in Troezen, Theseus was finally able to lift the heavy rock. Theseus with his long blond hair then took the sword and the sandals and began his journey to Athens to claim Aegeus as his father. The young Theseus made his hazardous journey by the coast road along the Isthmus, clearing the road of six villains, murderers, and monsters which inhabited the road. Theseus killed these villains by the same method by which they had murdered their own victims. Among the villains that Theseus killed, were Sciron, Sinis, Procrustes and Phaea.

Theseus arrived in Athens wearing a sword and a pair of sandals that Aegeus had left for him in Troezen. He was then greeted by his father Aegeus and his stepmother Medea who was a sorceress. But she was jealous of his influence over Aegeus so Medea tried to kill him by sending him to kill a wild bull. But Theseus succeeded and sacrificed the bull to Apollo. He then returned to Athens and was almost poisoned by Medea, but as soon as Aegeus got wind of her plot, he proclaimed Theseus his son and heir to the thrown and banished Medea rom Athens and she escaped to what is now Asia.

According to legend, the people of Athens had to send seven youths and seven Maidens every year as a tribute to Minos, the king of Create, to be eaten by the Minitor, who was a terrible monster, half man and half bull. Theseus decided to go as one of the youths and try to kill the minitor. When he reached Create, Ariadne, the beautiful daughter of Minos fell in love will him and helped him kill the Minitor by giving him a sword which he killed the Minitor with and a ball of thread to elp him find his way out of the labyrinth in which the Minitor lived.

Theseus then left Create with Ariadne but dumped her on the way back to Athens. On his return from Create to Athens, however, in his hurry to get home, he forgot to hoist a white sail signaling his success against the Minotaur. So when Aegeus saw a black sail, he believed that his son was dead and was so sad that he threw himself from a high rocky cliff into the sea, which has ever since been known as the Aegean Sea in his honor. Theseus then became the King of Athens.

And as king of Athens, Theseus was wise nd generous, and united the many small communitties of the Attic plain into a strong and powerful nation and brought prosperity and civilization to the people. But he kept his love of danger and adventure and during a war with the Amazon Women he abducted the Amazon Hippolyta, who bore him a son who was named Hippolytus. He took part in the Calydonian boar hunt and in the quest of the Argonauts for the Golden Fleece. He was a devoted friend of Pirithous, king of the Lapithae, whom he accompanied to the underworld to rescue the goddess Persephone.

Both men were imprisoned by the god Hades for their rash deed, but Theseus was subsequently rescued by Hercules. Returning to Athens, Theseus found his kingdom in disarray, torn by rebellion and corruption. Unable to reestablish authority, he sent his children away and sailed to the island of Skyros, where Lycomedes, king of Skyros, murdered him by throwing him from a cliff into the sea. Later the Delphic oracle commanded the Athenians to gather Theseus’s bones and bring them back to Athens. The Athenians then paid him great honor by building him a tomb dedicated to the poor and helpless whom he had befriended.

Mystical Caves Used Throughout Mythology

The use of caves in mythology to depict darkness and abandonment has branded it as a symbol of chaos. From this perception other associations are made which connect the cave to prejudices, malevolent spirits, burial sites, sadness, resurrection and intimacy. It is a world to which only few venture, and yet its mysticism has attracted the interest of philosophers, religious figures and thinkers throughout history. These myths are exemplified in Homers “Odyssey,” where the two worlds of mortals and immortals unite in the eternal cave. To Plato, the cave represents the confusion between reality and falsehood.

Individuals chained deep within the recesses of the cave mistake their shadows for physical existence. These false perceptions, and the escape from bonds held within the cave symbolize transition into the a world of reality. Comparatively, in the Odyssey, Odysseus must first break with Kalypso, and set himself free before he can return to Ithaka, when he will then be prepared to release Penelope from the bondage of suitors. His experience within the cave is in itself a world of fantasy, in that Kalypso is a supernatural being, and the only way to escape her enslavement is to receive assistance from immortals superior o her.

The philosopher Francis Bacon also theorized about the myth attached to caves in which he maintained that “idols,” meaning prejudices and preconceived notions possessed by an individual, were contained in a persons “cave,” or obscure, compartment, with “intricate and winding chambers”1 . Beliefs that caves were inhabited by negative thoughts, or spirits, were also held by the native-American culture, in which these spirits influenced the outcome of all human strivings, and had to be maintained inside caves. The souls of the dead were thought to be the ost malevolent of all spirits, and were held within the deepest parts of the cave.

In Greek mythology this also holds true, according the legend in which Cronus was placed in a cave in the deepest part of the underworld. This was done by Zeus and his siblings after waging war against their father for swallowing them at birth for fear that they might overthrow him. Incidently, Zeus was raised in a cave after Rhea hid him from Cronus. For his punishment, Cronus was placed in Tartarus to prevent his return to earth, which would unbalance the system of authority established by Zeus. Beyond the shadows of the cave, however, this balanced system of power is nonexistent.

It becomes a system both unstable and lawless, and survival as a guest in such a cave is only accomplished through the complete submission to the sovereign. In Odysseus encounter with the Cyclops, it is his disregard for Polyphemos authority that costs him the lives of several companions, and ultimately a ten year delay on his return home. The land of the Cyclops epitomizes darkness, chaos, and abandonment; where the only law exists past the entrance of the cave. From the islands shore a “high wall of… oulders”2 can be seen encircling each cave.

Clearly impossible of being accomplished by mortals, massive walls of similar description found standing after the Persian Wars were also thought by ancient Greeks to be the work of the Cyclops. Unfamiliar to this system of power, Odysseus disregards these laws and enters the cave without an invitation. For this reason, Polyphemos implicates his own punishment onto the trespassers, and kills six men. In order to escape the wrath of the Cyclops, Odysseus eventually blinds him, an offense which falls under the jurisdiction of Poseidon, and for which he ltimately pays throughout his wanderings.

The uncontrollable winds next direct Odysseus through a narrow strait outlined by rocks and cliffs through which he must pass to return home. On these cliffs which stand opposite each other lurk Scylla and Charybdis, one side “reach[ing] up into… heaven”3 and the other not quite as high. Scylla, a creature with twelve feet and six necks, resides in a cave upon this high cliff and devours sailors from fleeting ships. Across the stream of water dwells Charybdis, a dreadful whirlpool beneath a fig tree. Three times daily the maelstrom forms, and shipwrecks assing vessels.

In the “Odyssey,” Odysseus and his crew encounter these two sea monsters, and while avoiding Charybdis, fall prey to Scylla, who swallows six men. This passage between both cliffs is now believed to be the Strait of Messina between Italy and Sicily in which the myth of the two monsters was thought to have been created by sailors seeking an explanation of the phenomenon. Surviving this encounter, Odysseus voyage is again interrupted by the course of the winds, and shipwrecks on the island of Ogygia where he becomes the subject of Kalypsos instant affection.

Her cave symbolizes abundance and order, exhibited by the “flourishing growth of vine”4 which encircles her cave. Known as the blood of the earth, the grapes are symbolic of her destructive character, and the cloud of darkness which hovers above her cave. The cedar trees are significantly placed around her cave as well, to drive away the demons which make their homes in these caves, as the legend goes. Odysseus is retained on her island for seven years, with the promise of eternal youth.

Although he never receives the physical aspect of eternal youth, he is however, spiritually eborn by a transformation which occurs through immersion in the unconscious, which is symbolized by the cave. This spiritual reformation results in his prolonged life. During his stay, Odysseus lives as a virtual prisoner, and is stripped of all his freedoms under her control. She is the sovereign of her dominion, and holds the right to govern her territory, Odysseus included. The last cave identified in the “Odyssey” is “shaded and pleasant,”5 inhabited by the Nymphs of the Wellsprings. It is were his treasures are placed upon reaching Ithaka.

Although this location never becomes amiliar to Odysseus, the treasure kept inside is symbolic of the caves fertility. In Christianity as well, a legend exists in which Jesus was tempted by the devil in a cave upon the Mount of Temptation. Jesus was also eventually buried in a cave after being taken down from the cross. Ironically a stone was needed to block the light entering the cave after his burial, in contrast to the widely accepted perception of the darkness of caves. This practice of burying men in caves was common among various civilizations, such as the Aegean people of Asia Minor, and the biblical haracters Abraham and Sarah.

Before the creation of temples, all religious ceremonies were held in caves, which were universally recognized as the womb of Mother Earth. Buddhist temple structures of India, known as cave-halls, used caves as their place of worship, and would place a stupa at the far end of each cave. Stupas were structures representing heaven, rising from bases symbolic of earth. This could be compared to Mt. Olympus, known in mythology as the home of the gods. Similar to the stupa, its base was on earth, and its peak reached into heaven.

Although Mt. Olympus was not taken into account when creating their religious figures, the stupa was symbolic of their own “Mt. Olympus,” known as Mount Meru. The up-pointing triangle of the mountain is symbolic of a dominant male figure, while the down-pointing triangle of a cave is symbolic of a female. Although this assumption cannot be considered accurate in all instances, it holds true for Kalypso, clearly a dominant female present throughout Odysseus adventures; and Zeus, who held the ultimate decision on his return home. Caves were used frequently in mythological tales, not necessarily pertaining to the Odyssey.

In Roman mythology, Somnus, the god of sleep resided in a cave were the sun never shone and everything was in silence. Similarly, the serpent Python, made from the slime of the earth dwelt in a cave, as did Pan, who inspired fear by his ugliness, haunting caves and mountain tops. The parallelism between these three legends, is their association with the myth of the cave: Somnus darkness, Pans isolation from civilization, and Pythons ability to conceal himself within the earth. In a Norse legend, Balder, the god of light and joy, was sent to the underworld after being stabbed by his blind brother.

He was later sent for by his father, but could only be released under the condition that everything in the world wept for him. Ironically, the only person who did not weep, was an old woman in a cave, the very symbol of sadness. Caves have been a source of legend since the origin of man, and myths, a way to explain these unnatural occurrences. It represents a detachment from the world, life, and afterlife. When translated into Old Norse, “cave” becomes hellir, and in Scandinavian mythology, the Black goddess Hel, Queen of shades, is the derivation of our word, hell.

Other associations made with caves through mythology have been resurrection, and fertility. Resurrection in the Egyptian underworld, is represented by two doors, in which the deceased enters through the Western gate, and leaves through the Eastern gate. The Western entrance symbolizes the dying sun as it sets, while the East, rebirth and the freedom of the spirit as it is released from its body. Finally, the intimacy provided by the warmth and darkness of caves, creates an ideal shelter for love-making. In the “Odyssey,” Kalypso and Odysseus, “withdrawn in the ollow recess of the hollowed cavern, [enjoy] themselves in love.

The variety of myths associated with caves, can best be summed as a mortals cycle of existence, for it begins and ends in the same location. Life begins in the womb of mother earth as two individuals conceive a child within the shelter of a cave. Once grown, this adult may inhabit this cave and use it as a place of residence himself, yet regardless of the conquests and adventures which take place throughout his life, he is eventually returned to the soil in the form of a grave, and is released as a spirit back into the cave.

The Story Of Noahs Ark

In Judeo-Christian mythology, one of the best recognized stories from the Old Testament is the story of Noah and the Ark, and how they survived God’s great flood. This story is a common one throughout many mid-east cultures, both past and present. The most notable of these is in the ancient Mesopotamian mythology, with the story of Utnapishtim and his story of survival of the gods wrath. Though both are telling what is assumed to be a tale of the same event, there are many similarities as well as differences in certain details of the story.

Although some of these differing aspects are for the most part, fairly trivial, some of them are quite drastic from one version to the other. The source of the myth in the two cultures is quite different, as well as the way the story narrated. In the case of the ancient Mesopotamian version of the myth, it is found in The Epic of Gilgamesh. It is told to Gilgamesh by Utnapishtim when Gilgamesh encounters him while on his quest for the plant of everlasting life.

Here we have a first hand account of the flood, by one of the sole survivors of the flood, the tale itself is found in an epic of a great king, which wasn’t exactly revered as a sacred book in the Mesopotamian culture, but was still treated with a great deal of respect. This is quite from the ancient Hebrew account of the flood. In the Old Testament, it is presumably Moses who is telling the story of Noah in the book of Genesis. In this case, we have a second hand account of the story, found in what is considered to be a sacred piece of scripture, as written by one of the most important figures of the religion.

The reason that man was to be exterminated from the face of the earth is also different in both myths. In the Mesopotamian version of the story, man was becoming an inconvenience for the gods he was so loud due to his numbers that he was keeping the gods up at night. Because man was causing this disruption, Enlil approaches the other gods and they agree to get rid of man by way of a great flood, so that they may sleep at night once again.

Utnapishtim is warned by Ea through a dream, and is instructed with a rough guide to the dimensions, to build a great barque for himself and his family, animals, craftsmen, and all of Utnapishtim’s belongings. This is an extreme contrast to what is found in the Hebrew version. In that account, man was becoming too evil for God to bear, and so it was decided by God that due to his wickedness, he should be wiped off the earth. In this case, man was not an inconvenience, he was just not in favour with God. Noah was the only one out of all of man who was still in God’s favour.

So God came to Noah and told him to also build a barque, also with the exact dimensions given, and instructed Noah to bring on board his family, their families, and two, a male and female, of all the animals of the world. However, there is no mention of this news of a flood coming to Noah in a dream, nor of him being permitted to bring with him any other humans besides his immediate family, and their wives. Also, the amount of detail regarding the dimensions of the barque is quite different. In the Biblical story, the dimensions are very explicit, with length, width, and height given.

However, in the Mesopotamian story, the dimensions are not as precise, giving only a rough guide as to what the boat should look like. The final warning before the flood is different in each version also. In the Hebrew account of the flood, once Noah has completed the construction of the Ark, God tells him to go out and collect a male and it’s mate from every type of animal and bird, and that in seven days, he shall bring forth the floodwaters and destroy man. In the Mesopotamian version of this aspect, there is not as much of an advanced warning given.

Shamash comes to Utnapishtim and says that when the Rider of the Storm arrives that evening, to enter the barque and batten it down. Though in both stories, the hero is given some advanced warning as to when the flood will begin, in the Mesopotamian version Utnapishtim is not given as great of a length of time as Noah was able to enjoy to get everything loaded aboard. The duration of the flood is different between the two versions also. In the Mesopotamian account, the flood is said to have began in the morning after the arrival of the Rider of the Storm, and lasted for six days and six nights.

It also states that the assistance of the gods of the Underworld was enlisted to help bring down the dykes and release the waters of the flood. Utnapishtim says to Gilgamesh that the flood was so dreadful that even the gods of the heavens were in fear of what the gods of the Underworld were doing, and that they retreated to the highest level of the heavens, that occupied by Anu. In the Hebrew description of the actual flood itself, it was said that it lasted forty days and forty nights, not the single week as was stated in the Mesopotamian account.

It was also God’s wrath that man was suffering, and the creatures of the Underworld were in no way involved in this destruction of man, as man had brought this upon himself with his own wickedness. In the Mesopotamian myth, on the seventh day of the flood, the rain stopped and the water grew calm. Utnapishtim looked around for land, and saw the summit of the Mountain of Nisir. Utnapishtim then set the boat aground on the top of the mountain and there it sat for a week before Utnapishtim began to see if the earth had dried off yet.

First he let a dove loose to see if the water had receded yet, but it returned when it had nowhere to land. Utnapishtim then let a swallow loose, but to no avail, as it too returned. He then let a raven loose. The raven saw that the water had since retreated, found something to eat, flew around, cawed, and then did not return. In the Hebrew story, Noah first set out a raven, which flew around until the waters had dried up. Noah then let a dove loose, but it returned because it had nowhere to land. Noah then waited seven days to release the dove again.

This time it came back with an olive leaf. Noah waited seven more days, and released the dove a third time. This time it did not return, for it had found somewhere to go as the water had since dried up. The only noticeable difference between these two aspects of the story, would be the birds used and the length of time required for the waters of the flood to recede to a point at which man is able to again walk on dry land. The last point regarding the two stories is that of the sacrifice to God or the gods after the floodwaters had retreated to a point that man was able to return to the land.

In the Mesopotamian account of the myth, Utnapishtim made a sacrifice to the gods on top of the Mountain of Nisir, after he let the animals and others free from the barque. All the gods were able to smell the sacrifice, and came to it. Ishtar was also able to smell the sacrifice and came to it. She then says that she will not forget these days of the flood, and instructed the other gods to remember it also. She then told all the gods except Enlil to gather around it. Enlil was excluded from the sacrifice by Ishtar because he brought about the flood and destroyed man.

Enlil, however, came and saw the sacrifice, and was filled with anger that man had survived. Ea then stands up to Enlil on behalf of Utnapishtim, and asks how Enlil could have brought about such destruction on to man. Ea then leaves Utnapishtim to the mercy of Enlil. Enlil takes Utnapishtim and his wife, blesses them, giving them longevity and places them at the mouth of the rivers to live. In the Hebrew version of this last aspect of the story of the flood, Noah lets all the animals off of the Ark, and then he makes a sacrifice to God, just as Utnapishtim did.

God smelled this sacrifice and came to it. God blessed Noah, his family, and all the animals and birds, and told them to be fruitful and multiply in number. God then established a covenant with Noah, saying that he shall never again curse the earth again with such a flood. As a sign of his intentions, God set a rainbow in the clouds, and said to Noah that when ever he brings clouds over the earth again, he will see the rainbow and remember his covenant with Noah. This is not much different from the Mesopotamian myth.

In both cases the gods or God said that they would remember the flood, and Utnapishtim or Noah, which ever the case may be was blessed. In the Mesopotamian myth however, there is no mention of a covenant with the land or Utnapishtim to never curse the earth in such a manner again. Though both of these stories are telling a tale of what was no doubt, the same event, there are many discrepancies between the two. From details surrounding the structure of the barque, to the actual length of the flood itself, there are many differences between the two accounts.

At the same time however, there are many similarities between the myths. The fact that both said that a bird was the way which the respective hero was able to tell whether or not the waters had receded, and the fact that both tales say that the gods or God would remember the flood are examples of this. The truth of the matter is that, regardless of whether or not there are discrepancies between the two tales, the fact that both are describing the same occurance is truly remarkable and definitely says something about the cataclysmic impact which this event must have had on the ancient world.

The Story of Noah’s Ark

In Judeo-Christian mythology, one of the best recognized stories from the Old Testament is the story of Noah and the Ark, and how they survived God’s great flood. This story is a common one throughout many mid-east cultures, both past and present. The most notable of these is in the ancient Mesopotamian mythology, with the story of Utnapishtim and his story of survival of the gods wrath. Though both are telling what is assumed to be a tale of the same event, there are many similarities as well as differences in certain details of the story.

Although some of these differing aspects are for the most part, fairly trivial, some of them are quite drastic from one version to the other. The source of the myth in the two cultures is quite different, as well as the way the story narrated. In the case of the ancient Mesopotamian version of the myth, it is found in The Epic of Gilgamesh. It is told to Gilgamesh by Utnapishtim when Gilgamesh encounters him while on his quest for the plant of everlasting life.

Here we have a first hand account of the flood, by one of the sole survivors of the flood, the tale itself is found in an epic of a great king, which wasn’t exactly revered as a sacred book in the Mesopotamian culture, but was still treated with a great deal of respect. This is quite from the ancient Hebrew account of the flood. In the Old Testament, it is presumably Moses who is telling the story of Noah in the book of Genesis. In this case, we have a second hand account of the story, found in what is considered to be a sacred piece of scripture, as written by one of the most important figures of the religion.

The reason that man was to be exterminated from the face of the earth is also different in both myths. In the Mesopotamian version of the story, man was becoming an inconvenience for the gods he was so loud due to his numbers that he was keeping the gods up at night. Because man was causing this disruption, Enlil approaches the other gods and they agree to get rid of man by way of a great flood, so that they may sleep at night once again.

Utnapishtim is warned by Ea through a dream, and is instructed with a rough guide to the dimensions, to build a great barque for himself and his family, animals, craftsmen, and all of Utnapishtim’s belongings. This is an extreme contrast to what is found in the Hebrew version. In that account, man was becoming too evil for God to bear, and so it was decided by God that due to his wickedness, he should be wiped off the earth. In this case, man was not an inconvenience, he was just not in favour with God. Noah was the only one out of all of man who was still in God’s favour.

So God came to Noah and told him to also build a barque, also with the exact dimensions given, and instructed Noah to bring on board his family, their families, and two, a male and female, of all the animals of the world. However, there is no mention of this news of a flood coming to Noah in a dream, nor of him being permitted to bring with him any other humans besides his immediate family, and their wives. Also, the amount of detail regarding the dimensions of the barque is quite different. In the Biblical story, the dimensions are very explicit, with length, width, and height given.

However, in the Mesopotamian story, the dimensions are not as precise, giving only a rough guide as to what the boat should look like. The final warning before the flood is different in each version also. In the Hebrew account of the flood, once Noah has completed the construction of the Ark, God tells him to go out and collect a male and it’s mate from every type of animal and bird, and that in seven days, he shall bring forth the floodwaters and destroy man. In the Mesopotamian version of this aspect, there is not as much of an advanced warning given.

Shamash comes to Utnapishtim and says that when the Rider of the Storm arrives that evening, to enter the barque and batten it down. Though in both stories, the hero is given some advanced warning as to when the flood will begin, in the Mesopotamian version Utnapishtim is not given as great of a length of time as Noah was able to enjoy to get everything loaded aboard. The duration of the flood is different between the two versions also. In the Mesopotamian account, the flood is said to have began in the morning after the arrival of the Rider of the Storm, and lasted for six days and six nights.

It also states that the assistance of the gods of the Underworld was enlisted to help bring down the dykes and release the waters of the flood. Utnapishtim says to Gilgamesh that the flood was so dreadful that even the gods of the heavens were in fear of what the gods of the Underworld were doing, and that they retreated to the highest level of the heavens, that occupied by Anu. In the Hebrew description of the actual flood itself, it was said that it lasted forty days and forty nights, not the single week as was stated in the Mesopotamian account.

It was also God’s wrath that man was suffering, and the creatures of the Underworld were in no way involved in this destruction of man, as man had brought this upon himself with his own wickedness. In the Mesopotamian myth, on the seventh day of the flood, the rain stopped and the water grew calm. Utnapishtim looked around for land, and saw the summit of the Mountain of Nisir. Utnapishtim then set the boat aground on the top of the mountain and there it sat for a week before Utnapishtim began to see if the earth had dried off yet.

First he let a dove loose to see if the water had receded yet, but it returned when it had nowhere to land. Utnapishtim then let a swallow loose, but to no avail, as it too returned. He then let a raven loose. The raven saw that the water had since retreated, found something to eat, flew around, cawed, and then did not return. In the Hebrew story, Noah first set out a raven, which flew around until the waters had dried up. Noah then let a dove loose, but it returned because it had nowhere to land. Noah then waited seven days to release the dove again.

This time it came back with an olive leaf. Noah waited seven more days, and released the dove a third time. This time it did not return, for it had found somewhere to go as the water had since dried up. The only noticeable difference between these two aspects of the story, would be the birds used and the length of time required for the waters of the flood to recede to a point at which man is able to again walk on dry land. The last point regarding the two stories is that of the sacrifice to God or the gods after the floodwaters had retreated to a point that man was able to return to the land.

In the Mesopotamian account of the myth, Utnapishtim made a sacrifice to the gods on top of the Mountain of Nisir, after he let the animals and others free from the barque. All the gods were able to smell the sacrifice, and came to it. Ishtar was also able to smell the sacrifice and came to it. She then says that she will not forget these days of the flood, and instructed the other gods to remember it also. She then told all the gods except Enlil to gather around it. Enlil was excluded from the sacrifice by Ishtar because he brought about the flood and destroyed man.

Enlil, however, came and saw the sacrifice, and was filled with anger that man had survived. Ea then stands up to Enlil on behalf of Utnapishtim, and asks how Enlil could have brought about such destruction on to man. Ea then leaves Utnapishtim to the mercy of Enlil. Enlil takes Utnapishtim and his wife, blesses them, giving them longevity and places them at the mouth of the rivers to live. In the Hebrew version of this last aspect of the story of the flood, Noah lets all the animals off of the Ark, and then he makes a sacrifice to God, just as Utnapishtim did.

God smelled this sacrifice and came to it. God blessed Noah, his family, and all the animals and birds, and told them to be fruitful and multiply in number. God then established a covenant with Noah, saying that he shall never again curse the earth again with such a flood. As a sign of his intentions, God set a rainbow in the clouds, and said to Noah that when ever he brings clouds over the earth again, he will see the rainbow and remember his covenant with Noah. This is not much different from the Mesopotamian myth.

In both cases the gods or God said that they would remember the flood, and Utnapishtim or Noah, which ever the case may be was blessed. In the Mesopotamian myth however, there is no mention of a covenant with the land or Utnapishtim to never curse the earth in such a manner again. Though both of these stories are telling a tale of what was no doubt, the same event, there are many discrepancies between the two. From details surrounding the structure of the barque, to the actual length of the flood itself, there are many differences between the two accounts.

At the same time however, there are many similarities between the myths. The fact that both said that a bird was the way which the respective hero was able to tell whether or not the waters had receded, and the fact that both tales say that the gods or God would remember the flood are examples of this. The truth of the matter is that, regardless of whether or not there are discrepancies between the two tales, the fact that both are describing the same occurance is truly remarkable and definitely says something about the cataclysmic impact which this event must have had on the ancient world.

The Legend of Quetzalcoatl: Man or Myth

From the beginning of the Toltec reign in Central Mexico, the deity Quetzalcoatl has been a central figure in the religion and culture of Mexico. This is undisputed. What can be disputed, however, is Quetzalcoatls legitimacy as an historical figure. The deity Quetzalcoatl, or the plumed serpent is inseparable from the man Ce Acatl Topitlzin Quetzalcoatl, known to be a famous leader in pre-historical Mexican myth.

The dissection becomes more difficult still as the Spanish friars introduced Christianity and in an attempt to assimilate the Indians, created a parallel between Indian deity Quetzalcoatl and the Catholic figure St. Thomas. In doing so, the priests hoped to incorporate Indian culture and religion into Christianity. In the process, however, they changed and damaged the pre-Christian notions of the god. What information we have now of Quetzalcoatl must be recognized as flawed over the centuries, and we must take this into account when trying to examine the historical origins of one of the three figures.

However, with cautious examination, we can separate these three figures and determine each ones traits independent of the others. To understand the mythical figure Quetzalcoatl, the first of the trinity to emerge, one must look further in to the religious belief of the pre-Columbian peoples. In the Classical period, Quetzalcoatl represented a sort of binary opposition between earth and heaven, visible in his name, quetzalli, or precious green feather, and coatl, the serpent.

Precious green feather, according to Enrique Florescano, referred to a bird, which in the Classical period symbolized the heavens. Coatl, the serpent, symbolized earth, and so the mythical creature Quetzalcoatl was a link between the two, present before the Toltec civilization began, and gave birth to the image of twins, one of life, fertility and order (the bird) and the other representing the fatality of death (the serpent) .

Yet the link between the immortal and the mortal was further construed by the Classical Period Indians than even the symbolism of the bird and serpent. The binary oppositions within day and night, also the Morning Star and the Evening Star became entangled within the earliest surviving myths of Quetzalcoatl. There is a fine line between the religious and the mythological in Pre-Columbian Mexico.

While Quetzalcoatl began as a symbolic interpretation to link life and death, or the gods and humans, his purpose soon extended to an intercessor between the two, symbolic in the ball court game which he is attributed with founding . The game was played by the young, able-bodied men, and while the year of the games origins can only be speculated, MacLachlan and Rodriguez speculate the game came only a few generations after the establishment of agriculture by the Olmecs, since it was at this point that the Indians would rely on the deities for ample rain and fertility to survive.

However, Florescano disagrees, stating the first use of the ball court as designed by the Mayans that the loser might be decapitated, his spurting blood to water the netherworld with precious human blood to bring fertility in crops . While this tradition of human sacrifice did not begin until many years after Quetzalcoatl had been recognized as a deity, it will become relevant later on to the Aztecs must choose whether their worship of Quetzalcoatl will be violent, as Huitztelapochtli requests, or peaceful as Ce Acatl Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl requested of his followers.

While Quetzalcoatl the deitys roots can be traced with ease to the ideology of the Toltecs, whose high priest and ruler Ce Acatl Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl was a follower of the mythological god, the ideological origins of Quetzalcoatl are ambiguous. We know that he did not exist around 1200 B. C. , when the Olmecs are conjectured to have become an independent civilization. However, it seems apparent that he had emerged by the year 100 A. D. when Teotihuacan began its reign as the most powerful city in MesoAmerica .

According to Laurette Sejourne, Quetzalcoatl the man emerged approximately the time of Christ, nearly 100 years before the establishment of Teotihuacan . According to David Carrasco, Quetzalcoatl the man was even responsible for the establishment of Teotihuacan . This makes it difficult to know whether Carrasco was referring to Quetzalcoatl the man or the god, since it would have been possible for either to have been adapted and misconstrued over the past 2,000 years.

While these numbers conflict in their establishment of a chronological order to the birth of Quetzalcoatl, they do convey importance in that when considering the rise of Quetzalcoatl as a deity, we must take into account that the historical figure Quetzalcoatl was also influencing the legends associated with his deity . According to most sources, Ce Acatl Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl is born in the religiously significant year of 1 Acatl, the beginning of a new cycle of the Meso-American calendar passed down from the Olmecs.

To understand the calendar, we must backtrack just a few years to the Olmecs amazing ability to trace the solar and lunar calendars. The solar calendar, of 365 days per year, had a symbol or animal with specific characteristics assigned to it for each day. The lunar calendar, only 260 days, had the same sort of principle, with an animal or symbol assigned to each day. Each day would be recorded by both its solar and lunar symbols, and when the calendars each reached the final day of their year simultaneously, the solar-lunar cycle would begin again.

For all Mexican cultures, this had a profound impact on the way they believed the universe worked. According to Adela Fernandez, the Toltecs and later peoples believed that the gods, like the rest of the universe they could observe, was cyclical . Day and night, the seasons, and life itself was cyclical. The gods, who had little care for humans, would determine whether or not the cycle would begin again, and if it did, then the cycle of life would not be interrupted for another 52 years.

Therefore, it is significant that Ce Acatl Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl was born at the beginning of a new 52-year cycle because if there were to be any changes to Mexican religion and culture, it would most likely correspond with this date. It was also believed by some followers of the cult of the Plumed Serpent that Ce Acatl Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl was the incarnate of the god himself. As Sejourne says, the historical reality [of Ce Acatl Quetzalcoatl] seems to be established without a doubt, since his qualities as a leader are many times mentioned.

While some aspects of his biography are not credible as historical data (such as his mother being a member of the immaculate conception) and his father being the god Mixcoatl (Serpent of the Clouds), we can use this biography to imply how Ce Acatl was revered by his followers. According to Nigel Davies, Mixcoatl is similar to Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl, cine he too was most likely a human figure as well as a god. Davies claims that Mixcoatl may have been a victim of divination after his death, and this would explain the contradiction of Quetzalcoatl being born from an immaculate conception.

What information we have of Quetzalcoatl is most likely that passed on through oral tradition, with some gleaned from hieroglyphics, and the archaeological excavation of Tula. Yet most of this information must have been passed down by the followers of Quetzalcoatl, who it is likely believed that Chimalman (Quetzalcoatls mother) conceived immaculately. This is not so much of a stretch for a people who see Quetzalcoatl as a champion of the people and great religious leader.

Mystical Caves Used Throughout Mythology

The use of caves in mythology to depict darkness and abandonment has branded it as a symbol of chaos. From this perception other associations are made which connect the cave to prejudices, malevolent spirits, burial sites, sadness, resurrection and intimacy. It is a world to which only few venture, and yet its mysticism has attracted the interest of philosophers, religious figures and thinkers throughout history. These myths are exemplified in Homers “Odyssey,” where the two worlds of mortals and immortals unite in the eternal cave. To Plato, the cave represents the confusion between reality and falsehood.

Individuals chained deep within the recesses of the cave mistake their shadows for physical existence. These false perceptions, and the escape from bonds held within the cave symbolize transition into the a world of reality. Comparatively, in the Odyssey, Odysseus must first break with Kalypso, and set himself free before he can return to Ithaka, when he will then be prepared to release Penelope from the bondage of suitors. His experience within the cave is in itself a world of fantasy, in that Kalypso is a supernatural being, and the only way to escape her enslavement is to receive assistance from immortals superior o her.

The philosopher Francis Bacon also theorized about the myth attached to caves in which he maintained that “idols,” meaning prejudices and preconceived notions possessed by an individual, were contained in a persons “cave,” or obscure, compartment, with “intricate and winding chambers”1 . Beliefs that caves were inhabited by negative thoughts, or spirits, were also held by the native-American culture, in which these spirits influenced the outcome of all human strivings, and had to be maintained inside caves. The souls of the dead were thought to be the ost malevolent of all spirits, and were held within the deepest parts of the cave.

In Greek mythology this also holds true, according the legend in which Cronus was placed in a cave in the deepest part of the underworld. This was done by Zeus and his siblings after waging war against their father for swallowing them at birth for fear that they might overthrow him. Incidently, Zeus was raised in a cave after Rhea hid him from Cronus. For his punishment, Cronus was placed in Tartarus to prevent his return to earth, which would unbalance the system of authority established by Zeus. Beyond the shadows of the cave, however, this balanced system of power is nonexistent.

It becomes a system both unstable and lawless, and survival as a guest in such a cave is only accomplished through the complete submission to the sovereign. In Odysseus encounter with the Cyclops, it is his disregard for Polyphemos authority that costs him the lives of several companions, and ultimately a ten year delay on his return home. The land of the Cyclops epitomizes darkness, chaos, and abandonment; where the only law exists past the entrance of the cave. From the islands shore a “high wall of… oulders”2 can be seen encircling each cave.

Clearly impossible of being accomplished by mortals, massive walls of similar description found standing after the Persian Wars were also thought by ancient Greeks to be the work of the Cyclops. Unfamiliar to this system of power, Odysseus disregards these laws and enters the cave without an invitation. For this reason, Polyphemos implicates his own punishment onto the trespassers, and kills six men. In order to escape the wrath of the Cyclops, Odysseus eventually blinds him, an offense which falls under the jurisdiction of Poseidon, and for which he ltimately pays throughout his wanderings.

The uncontrollable winds next direct Odysseus through a narrow strait outlined by rocks and cliffs through which he must pass to return home. On these cliffs which stand opposite each other lurk Scylla and Charybdis, one side “reach[ing] up into… heaven”3 and the other not quite as high. Scylla, a creature with twelve feet and six necks, resides in a cave upon this high cliff and devours sailors from fleeting ships. Across the stream of water dwells Charybdis, a dreadful whirlpool beneath a fig tree. Three times daily the maelstrom forms, and shipwrecks assing vessels.

In the “Odyssey,” Odysseus and his crew encounter these two sea monsters, and while avoiding Charybdis, fall prey to Scylla, who swallows six men. This passage between both cliffs is now believed to be the Strait of Messina between Italy and Sicily in which the myth of the two monsters was thought to have been created by sailors seeking an explanation of the phenomenon. Surviving this encounter, Odysseus voyage is again interrupted by the course of the winds, and shipwrecks on the island of Ogygia where he becomes the subject of Kalypsos instant affection.

Her cave symbolizes abundance and order, exhibited by the “flourishing growth of vine”4 which encircles her cave. Known as the blood of the earth, the grapes are symbolic of her destructive character, and the cloud of darkness which hovers above her cave. The cedar trees are significantly placed around her cave as well, to drive away the demons which make their homes in these caves, as the legend goes. Odysseus is retained on her island for seven years, with the promise of eternal youth.

Although he never receives the physical aspect of eternal youth, he is however, spiritually eborn by a transformation which occurs through immersion in the unconscious, which is symbolized by the cave. This spiritual reformation results in his prolonged life. During his stay, Odysseus lives as a virtual prisoner, and is stripped of all his freedoms under her control. She is the sovereign of her dominion, and holds the right to govern her territory, Odysseus included. The last cave identified in the “Odyssey” is “shaded and pleasant,”5 inhabited by the Nymphs of the Wellsprings. It is were his treasures are placed upon reaching Ithaka.

Although this location never becomes amiliar to Odysseus, the treasure kept inside is symbolic of the caves fertility. In Christianity as well, a legend exists in which Jesus was tempted by the devil in a cave upon the Mount of Temptation. Jesus was also eventually buried in a cave after being taken down from the cross. Ironically a stone was needed to block the light entering the cave after his burial, in contrast to the widely accepted perception of the darkness of caves. This practice of burying men in caves was common among various civilizations, such as the Aegean people of Asia Minor, and the biblical haracters Abraham and Sarah.

Before the creation of temples, all religious ceremonies were held in caves, which were universally recognized as the womb of Mother Earth. Buddhist temple structures of India, known as cave-halls, used caves as their place of worship, and would place a stupa at the far end of each cave. Stupas were structures representing heaven, rising from bases symbolic of earth. This could be compared to Mt. Olympus, known in mythology as the home of the gods. Similar to the stupa, its base was on earth, and its peak reached into heaven.

Although Mt. Olympus was not taken into account when creating their religious figures, the stupa was symbolic of their own “Mt. Olympus,” known as Mount Meru. The up-pointing triangle of the mountain is symbolic of a dominant male figure, while the down-pointing triangle of a cave is symbolic of a female. Although this assumption cannot be considered accurate in all instances, it holds true for Kalypso, clearly a dominant female present throughout Odysseus adventures; and Zeus, who held the ultimate decision on his return home. Caves were used frequently in mythological tales, not necessarily pertaining to the Odyssey.

In Roman mythology, Somnus, the god of sleep resided in a cave were the sun never shone and everything was in silence. Similarly, the serpent Python, made from the slime of the earth dwelt in a cave, as did Pan, who inspired fear by his ugliness, haunting caves and mountain tops. The parallelism between these three legends, is their association with the myth of the cave: Somnus darkness, Pans isolation from civilization, and Pythons ability to conceal himself within the earth. In a Norse legend, Balder, the god of light and joy, was sent to the underworld after being stabbed by his blind brother.

He was later sent for by his father, but could only be released under the condition that everything in the world wept for him. Ironically, the only person who did not weep, was an old woman in a cave, the very symbol of sadness. Caves have been a source of legend since the origin of man, and myths, a way to explain these unnatural occurrences. It represents a detachment from the world, life, and afterlife. When translated into Old Norse, “cave” becomes hellir, and in Scandinavian mythology, the Black goddess Hel, Queen of shades, is the derivation of our word, hell.

Other associations made with caves through mythology have been resurrection, and fertility. Resurrection in the Egyptian underworld, is represented by two doors, in which the deceased enters through the Western gate, and leaves through the Eastern gate. The Western entrance symbolizes the dying sun as it sets, while the East, rebirth and the freedom of the spirit as it is released from its body. Finally, the intimacy provided by the warmth and darkness of caves, creates an ideal shelter for love-making. In the “Odyssey,” Kalypso and Odysseus, “withdrawn in the ollow recess of the hollowed cavern, [enjoy] themselves in love. 6

The variety of myths associated with caves, can best be summed as a mortals cycle of existence, for it begins and ends in the same location. Life begins in the womb of mother earth as two individuals conceive a child within the shelter of a cave. Once grown, this adult may inhabit this cave and use it as a place of residence himself, yet regardless of the conquests and adventures which take place throughout his life, he is eventually returned to the soil in the form of a grave, and is released as a spirit back into the cave.

Pallas Athene Versus Minerva

The Goddess Athena has been an incredibly well-liked mythological character for centuries because of her complex personality and the values which are taught through her actions. The powerful Goddess has been generally thought of as being the same person in both Greek and Roman stories alike, but this is not true. Athena was looked upon and spoken of very differently in Roman and Greek myths, though she remains with the same basic personality traits in both cultures.

Rome acquired it’s stories of mythology and religion from the Italians who derived their beliefs from the Greeks), and therefore most of the myths of deities were the same as the Greeks’, but with a few changes. The Italians also gave the Romans stories of Diana, Hercules, Venus, and a few minor characters. The Greeks came about with their Gods from past ancient cultures, weaving in some of their own characteristics as time went on. Pallas Athena (the name Pallas being that of her best friend, whom she accidentally killed while practicing with spears) in both cultures is the patron

Goddess of arts and crafts, weaving, the olive tree, overseer of Athens, and especially of Wisdom/War. Because the Greek culture was one of intelligence, sophistication and knowledge, Their version of Athena was mainly of a logical and sensible person, who would avoid a fight if possible. The Romans, who were a society of warlike men, focused on Minerva’s war capabilities and short temper. Both cultures focused on the parts of the Gods which were most like themselves and best suited their needs.

For the Greeks, the Gray-Eyed Goddess was not associated with specific eople except for Her rivals. The Romans, however, formed a group of Immortals into the Capitoline triad, consisting of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. These three assumed a supreme place in the Roman religion, acting like a Jury of Watchers over the mortals. The Romans built a temple in honor of the Triad, named the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, which was built in 509 BC. In conclusion, I have been able to see how these two civilizations have viewed one part of their religion and why they do so.

There were logical easons for their viewing of Athene, most of which were based on their strengths as a group. Romans respected her as a powerful Goddess of war which watched over them was they went into battle, while the Greeks saw her as a thoughtful judge who guided them in their adventures. The Romans warped the Greek’s beliefs into ideas and concepts which they could relate to better, and which everyone could have a firm grasp on because of it. This project was helpful to me in both teaching me about this specific Heroine and also about why cultures act as they do.

Witchcraft

In general witchcraft is sorcery, the magical manipulation of the supernormal forces through the use of spells, and the conjuring or invoking of spirits. Wicca is the most common witchcraft. During the middle ages and the renaissance, it was defined as evil magic. This is the very reason Joan of Arc was burned at the stake; she was accused of being a witch. Although many think that it is a religion that worships the devil, Wicca does not have anything to do with worshiping the devil or Christianity.

The most common form of witchcraft is done with the use of spells. To set a spell, the person doing it will set up an altar/table in which to place the candles and symbols on. The spells consist of words that can either be chanted or inscribed in something. The candles are used to direct the spell towards a specific purpose, such as: pink-love, white-healing and peace, and black-death. These colors can be used for different meanings; however, these are the standard meanings.

There are many other colors out there with their own unique meanings, like if a spell was being set on a person; a candle that was their favorite color could be used. The symbols used consist of charms, pictures, flowers and belongings depending on the spell being set. These symbols must represent the spell and they cannot just be anything done quickly without thought. For example, if the person were trying to make their friend heal from a sickness a picture of the person or something that represents them would work.

Very experienced witches use potions that consist of a complicated formula and weird recipes. Almost anything one could think of could be in a witchs potion, such as bat blood, human blood, eyeballs, herbs, spices, etc. In order to be able to work this magic one must acquire enough knowledge through meditation, and other acts of complete focus and research, others are just born with the natural power. Most people who have this power set spells for the good and others well-being; for, any evil spell one sets will come back on them times three.

This law is called the power of three times three, which must be known before there are any attempts of setting spells. Although this seems like a great and easy thing, it is very dangerous. The words in the spell are taken literally, for instance if your spell was set to make someone leave you alone for good, it could cause the person to die. This is the very reason reverse spells are out there for anyone to see. One does not have to get a spell out of an ancient witch book; they are all made up whenever the person has complete focus and only the spell on their mind.

Since they are made up and all original, one could make anything happen with the right utensils and focus, that being the reason a lot of people fear witches. Everywhere you go there is probably a witch (or someone who practices witchcraft) around, there are many at this very school. There is still a huge controversy over whether or not witchcraft really works. The best way to find this out for yourself is to try yourself; however, it will only work if enough power has been attained throughout your training. I believe because why would people do it if it did not work, there would be no point.

The Effects of UFO’s on People

Almost every civilization in history that has kept a written history has recorded the sightings of strange objects and lights in the skies. These objects have been described as glowing wheels, colored balls of light, and disk shaped objects. Today unexplained aerial phenomena are generally referred to as unidentified flying objects (UFO’s) or flying saucers. The effects of extra terrestrial sightings can have an adverse effect on people if influenced the wrong way. No solid proof has shown that UFO’s are real, but many sightings cannot be proven otherwise.

The media, stories, or one’s own experience may often influence what one believes. The government once stated that they had captured extra terrestrials. (60 minutes, CBS) On the contrary, most scientists now agree that almost all sightings and stories of extra terrestrials are not authentic. The United States government has records of thousands of UFO sightings since 1948, including photos of alleged UFOs and interviews with people who claim to have seen them. Since UFOs were considered a potential security risk, the report on these sightings was originally classified as secret.

Craig, 917) When the report was later declassified it showed that 90 percent of all UFO sightings could be easily explained. Most of the sightings turned out to be celestial objects, such as stars or bright planets like Venus, or atmospheric events such as auroras or meteors falling through the atmosphere. Many other sightings turned out to be objects such as weather balloons, satellites, aircraft lights, or formations of birds. Often these sightings were accompanied by unusual weather conditions. Only 5. ercent of these cases were not explained. Testimonies by people are often very inaccurate and dramatized. People have the tendency to explain everything they see, which is not usually completely accurate. The unaided human eye can be tricked into hallucination and has an inaccurate depth perception. Reflections from windows and eyeglasses can provide an optical illusion of a UFO. Radar is much more reliable to identify objects, but it cannot detect many characteristics that separate natural phenomena and physical objects.

Radar often picks up ionized gas, rain, or thermal discontinuities. Electronic interference is also a frequent problem. Either way, scientists are left with many unanswered questions. There are many mysteries about UFO’s with many indefinite answers. Many investigators have tried to solve some peculiar questions about UFO’s, but many of their conclusions cannot be proven. In 1968 the United States Air Force asked Edward U. Condon, a physicist at the University of Colorado, to head a panel studying the claims of extraterrestrial crafts.

Unidentified Flying Objects, Encarta encyclopedia) The committee’s final report was reviewed by a special committee of the National Academy of Sciences and released in early 1969. The 37 scientists who contributed to the report interviewed UFO witnesses and studied physical and photographic evidence. The report, also known as the Condon Report, concluded that not only was there no evidence of extraterrestrial control of UFOs but also that no further UFO studies were needed. Their advice was accepted by the United States, but for other independent laboratories it was not enough.

Whether or not a person believes UFO’s are, in fact, real or not is probably because of influence from the media. For instance, the smash hit movie Independence Day was a movie about aliens attacking Earth so they can keep it for themselves. The company that made the movie, FOX, has been promoting extra terrestrial ideas to bring media attention to UFO’s. The company bought the stretch of highway 375 outside the mysterious secret military base named Area 51, which plays an important part in the movie. In it, several aliens were captured and stored along with their aircraft.

In fact, the government has announced that it has captured aliens and their aircraft, but that was later denied. (Woolward, 912) This has been said to be the cause of the vast amount of UFO reports since 1948. The government also denied that Area 51 even existed for several years, even though it had been photographed many times. Today, the military base is thought to be a very heavily guarded test sight for many stealth planes in development for the military, including some possible “flying saucers”. This sight is responsible for several of the military’s top planes used today.

Local residents persist that they have never seen any UFO’s that couldn’t be explained by the military’s aerial experiments. Tourists swear they have seen several UFO’s that couldn’t be anything else but extra terrestrial. Many magazines and tabloids visit the area to report about such sightings and print there own far-fetched ideas. People interpret these articles in many different ways. Because there is no true proof of any extra terrestrial crafts, people are forced to make their own decisions about reality.

For instance, in March 1997, thirty-nine people committed suicide to join with “Ti and Do”, two “UFO forces”. Printed on their page on the Internet, it stated, “Our 22 years of classroom here on planet Earth is finally coming to conclusion – ‘graduation’ from the Human Evolutionary Level. We are happily prepared to leave ‘this world’ and go with Ti’s crew. ” (Heaven’s Gate, WWW) Such cases like these are extreme, but recent studies have shown that fifty percent of America does believe that there is life on other planets that may be trying to visit us.

However, the majority of these people do not worry about any unwelcome situation. Opinions may vary, but until any conclusive evidence can be shown that life is visiting Earth from somewhere out in space, it is safe to say that humans are alone in their home planet. It is possible that this theorem will be proved wrong in the future, but until then all any person can do is guess, hope, and wait. What the future holds for Earth may not be what is expected, but until then scientists will be examining all the evidence to help provide a better future for the home to life as we now know it.

Atlantis Fact or Fiction

Thesis Statement: Many world renowned historical philosophers, explorers, and premonitionists have made many credible theories about the lost continent which have historical documentation to make them believable. IV. Atlantis and the Earths Shifting Crust Do you believe in the lost continent of Atlantis? Or do you believe that it is merely a fairy tale for a misrepresentation in history? Many of these glitches in history have been exploited as absurd accounts of a lost continent once destroyed.

However, many world renowned historical philosophers, explorers, and premonitionists have made many redible theories about the lost continent which have historical documentation to make This is probably the greatest discovery in World History was stated by Maxine Asher, the co-director of a scientific expedition that found a city on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean off Spain (Oman). Many other scientists and explorers have found evidence of a former continent that once existed, but today can not be accounted for.

A huge eleven room pyramid found 10,000 feet under water in the mid Atlantic Ocean with a huge crystal top was reported by Tony Benik. A sunken city about 400 miles off Portugal was found by Soviet expeditions led by Boris Asturua, with buildings made of extremely strong concrete and plastics. Strangely enough Boris said the the remains of streets suggests the use of monorails for transportation. Hundreds more of strange discoveries of objects on the ocean floors have been reported, but most historians still conclude that Atlantis is just a myth (Oman).

The ancient Greek philosopher Plato wrote two works, the Timelaus and Critias referring to the lost continent of Atlantis (Santos). Plato acquired the record of Atlantis form his ancestor Solon. Plato describes Atlantis as, larger than Libya and Asia ombined; from it there was passage for the sea-farers of those trying to reach other islands, and from them the whole opposite continent which surrounds what can truly be called the ocean. For these regions lie within the strait…….. eem to be but a bay having a narrow entrance; but the other ocean is the real ocean and the land which entirely surrounds it may with fullest truth and fitness be named continent. The Libya and Asia Plato refers to is roughly about the size of the contiguous United States.

Plato therefore thought that Atlantis was even larger than Asia and Libya. He also refers to Atlantis being ear the bay having a narrow entrance. Today this is known as the Strait of Gibraltar, the opening to the Mediterranean Sea. Plato thought that the lost continent was somewhere just west of the Strait of Gibraltar.

Plato also described the continent of Atlantis as being a very mountainous continent, high above the sea level, and being very green and plentiful to its inhabitants (Flem-Ath). Because Plato was a Greek philosopher, he believed in the Gods of Olympus. The most important god of the Greeks was Zeus. Apparently, according to Plato, the inhabitants angered Zeus in some manner. Possibly due to the corruption that the Atlantean society had acquired. Plato wrote that the waters of the sea rose up and swallowed the mass whole.

Plato estimated the destruction of Atlantis around 9600 b. c. Atlantis and the Earths Shifting Crust Rand Flem-Ath highly believes in Platos Critias and Timaleus. Flem-Ath however, feels Platos view of Atlantis is only a sliver of the truth. Rand Flem-Ath believes that the lost continent of Atlantis is actually the frozen continent of Antarctica. While this theory may appear to be absurd, Flem-Aths knowledge of history creates avid proof that this could be true. Plato described Atlantis as a continent high above sea level, nd this is true about the continent of Antarctica.

In fact, Antarctica has an average elevation of six thousand, five hundred feet. This is well over twice as high as any other continent. Flem-Ath discovered a map from an ancient Egyptian which was republished in 1665 by Athanasius Kircher. The map included a continent located in the Atlantic Ocean directly between the Strait of Gibraltar and the Americas. The continent was labeled Atlantis, and the map was inscribed with a Latin message. The message translates: Site of Atlantis, now beneath the sea, according to the beliefs of the Egyptians and the escription of Plato.

Rand Flem-Ath was the first researcher to compare the appearance of this Atlantis to the appearance of Antarctica. Atlantis in this map represents Antarcticas size, shape, scale and position of an ice-free Antarctica (Flem-Ath). In 1976 encyclopedias claimed that Antarctica had been covered with ice for at least fifty to sixty million years. With this being true, Flem-Aths theory could not possibly be accurate. However in 1991, two geologists discovered a frozen forest on the continent of Antarctica. These scientists proved that the forest could not be more than two to three million years old.

Flem-Ath believes that if scientists can be wrong by fifty million years, his theory could be true. Rand Flem-Ath also believes that the world slowly began to enter the Ice Age before its destruction. As the continental drift carried Antarctica further towards the southern axis, the combination of the Ice Age and continents movement slowly made the Atlantis inhabitable for its people, the Atlanteans. Edgar Cayce was a famous premonitionist of the twentieth century. He made many famous predictions about the lost continent of Atlantis.

Cayce estimated the size of Atlantis to the size of what is now Russia and Europe. He believed that the eastern seaboard was the coastal region of Atlantis (Starbuck). Edgar Cayce made a prophecy of the corruption of the Atlantean society. Cayce said that the Atlanteans tried to rule the world. They were constantly at war with the Rama Empire. Edgar Cayce saw the continent of Atlantis destroyed by the excessive use of explosives. He also saw that the continent of Atlantis was split into five separate islands by immense earthquakes.

Overall though Cayce felt that the destruction of Atlantis was due to the cultural mishappenings of a greedy, power hungry society. In order that he Atlantean society would not be completely lost along with the continent, the Atlanteans attempted to leave the continent in order to teach other civilizations what they had learned and about their culture (Starbuck). Arysio Nunes dos Santos has a different theory than the others. Santos places the continent of Atlantis in the Indies, India and Indonesia. So far this is the only place where there have been virtually no sightings of Atlantis.

He believes that the remains of Atlantis lie at the bottom of the of the South China Sea. He also agrees with Plato on how Atlantis was destroyed and also when Atlantis was destroyed. With the location that Santos places this continent, it could explain why so many civilizations have made references to this mysterious island. He believes that people migrated to the island because Atlantis was a Paradise with ideal living conditions. When Santos reviewed a predicted map of the last ice age in the Indonesian area, he found that a continent had to exist.

The depths in this region are less than one hundred meters deep (Santos). Santos believed that the end of Atlantis was due to the most destructive volcano to ever erupt. Mount Krakatoa exploded and caused a giant tsunami, which ravaged the owlands of Atlantis. It also triggered the end of the Ice Age by covering many glaciers with a layer of black volcanic glass. This increased the glaciers ability to gather sunlight which sped up their melting process. As the glaciers quickly melted, water poured into the ocean raising the sea level one hundred to one hundred and fifty meters higher.

This new high elevation put too much pressure on the earths crust and weak areas cracked creating more volcanoes and earthquakes. This completely put an end to the ice age and caused the extinction of many species of animal. With the rise of the oceans, Atlantis was ompletely submerged underwater, similar to how Plato described Atlantiss fate. It is believed by Santos that some of the islands in this area are the tops of ancient mountains that existed on the continent of Atlantis (Santos). In order to understand Geoffrey Keytes theory about the lost continent of Atlantis, it is important to understand the Atlanteans.

According to Keyte the Atlanteans were of extra-terrestrial origin who came to Earth over fifty thousand years ago. The Atlanteans were over eight to twelve feet tall with blonde hair and blue eyes. These people were very fair skinned with life spans of over eight hundred years. These seven to twelve foot humaniods were thought to be a myth until a burial sight with eight to twelve foot skeletons was excavated. The Spanish conquistadors left diaries of wild, blonde-haired, blue eyed eight to twelve foot tall men running around in the Andes during the conquest of the Incas (Keyte).

The Nazis also believed in the race of Atlanteans. World War II was fought because Adolph Hitler, the Nazi leader, was trying to recreate the so called supermen who had come and gone with the lost continent. In order to do so though, Hitler believed that they must first exterminate all inferior races (Omar). Keyte believed that the Atlanteans technology was far more advanced than modern technology. The Atlanteans used crystals such as quartz to store and transfer energy. Keyte said that the Atlanteans stored solar, lunar, stellar, atmospheric, and Earth energies tuned at high frequencies. The energy was used for various purposes.

Currents of energy were used for various purposes. The crystals also powered vehicles through land, sea, and air at the speed of sound. As Atlantean society progressed, their need for more energy also arose. They began to tune the crystals at such dangerously high frequencies, that the Atlanteans destroyed themselves. Keyte says that finally the crystals were tuned to high that the Atlanteans lost control of the crystals. The energy triggered volcanoes, earthquakes, melting mountains, and tsunamis that ultimately lead to the submergence of Atlantis and possibly even the axis shift of the Earth.

In the Bermuda triangle, near the ancient continent of Atlantis, highly charged crystals periodically discharge and cause dematerializations of anything near them (Keyte). The ancient continent of Atlantis is also considered by many scientists to be the origin of all religion (Santos). The writings of Plato, Geoffrey Keytes theory, and Arysio Nunes dos Santos theory also coincide with Biblical Scriptures. Geoffrey Keytes theory describes an Atlantean race that lived as many as eight hundred years.

In the Bible description of Adam, the first inhabitant of Earth, it says that he was a near perfect being that lived for as many as nine hundred thirty years of age before he died. Keyte also believed that the Atlanteans were virtual giants, and in the Bible it mentions that there were giants of the Earth in those days (Genesis 6). The Bible also makes references that God flooded Earth when the first inhabitants became to corrupt (Genesis 6). This oincides with Santos and Platos views of the destruction of the lost continent of Atlantis.

If the lost continent of Atlantis did exist, this would account for Biblical references to the Garden of Eden which can not be found today. Could so many philosophers be wrong about the lost continent of Atlantis? Entire cities have been discovered on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean and many other unexplainable reports cannot be accounted for by skeptics. Although they may have differing views of Atlantiss location or how it was destroyed, historical evidence and discoveries point towards the ancient existence of a lost continent.

Unidentified Flying Objects

Unidentified Flying Objects have dazzled us for many years. The controversy over the existence of alien life forms began March 23, 1909, in Peterborough, UK. This was unusual because neither nor New Zealand had any aircraft at the time (Wilson 14). This left no explanation for the strange sighting. The debate continues in present day because there are still no answers to the many sightings that have occurred since. UFOs are real because the government is hiding their existence, the USA and Europe is a major sight for UFO sightings, wreckage, and also abductions, many movies, books, and radio earings have been seen and heard world wide.

Many UFOs have been seen through the country and the whole world. The size of the UFOs seen can vary from eyewitness to eyewitness. Some say that the ships are very large and striking. Most of the larger UFOs have been spotted in the country where there is open space for miles around. I suppose this is because they would require a larger more vacant are to land if needed. As for the smaller UFOs most sightings of these ships have been in the cities or other heavily populated areas. I believe this is because these areas have large buildings and other structures that are more difficult to aneuver around.

Thus, having a smaller ship makes it easier to explore these areas. According to eyewitnesses the UFOs also vary in shape. Some are round with an circular dome on top like saucer. It has also been reported that some are shaped sort of like an arrow head. Many scientists have wondered what enables these objects to hover unlike any man made object. An Air Force investigator said We do not yet understand the aerodynamics of these craft(Wilson 22). It has been discussed that the shape of the ships may make this possible. All witnesses have reported bright lights that can be seen radiating from the UFOs.

Some have lights all around the rim of the saucer. The lights may flicker at random. Others say that the light is a constant. Some have only been able to spot the UFOs by a distant light hovering in the sky above. The lights may also vary in color, this seems to be the most common report. It was also mentioned that many people have experienced side effects from these lights. Such as, blindness and in some cases burns that are very similar to a burn one may get from radiation. Roswell, NM has been known as one of the crash sights of a UFO and many have found an extraterrestrial.

A farmer by the name of Mack Brazel was walking in a field ear the town of Roswell, New Mexico in July of 1947 there he came across some strange silvery wreckage that was unlike anything he had ever seen. The material was very strong, but, oddly it was also very pliable. Other object were found near this same field by Grady Barnett. He discovered a large disc shaped object that was very similar to the saucer shape of a UFO. All around this saucer, both inside and out, were lifeless, hairless creatures with large heads.

Grady Barnett said They were like humans but they were not humans (Wilson 29). The entire area was soon taken over by government fficials who investigated the object that were found by the two men. After a few weeks of investigation and the after the object were cleared the are was once again opened up to the public. The government has been known to withhold objects that are related to extraterrestrials and UFOs. In the past, like in the Roswell incident, the government released a statement that explained the crash as a fallen weather balloon.

Despite the fact that the alien bodies were seen by local citizen Grady Barnett. Also, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon for the first time they thought they may ave seen a foreign space ship on the surface of the moon, according to radio operators. This was all denied by NASA and was shortly forgotten about by the public. In 1953 Albert Bender of Connecticut, editor of Space Review Magazine, was visited by three men in black suits who appeared in his bedroom. The men told Bender to shut down his magazine or face serious consequences.

Albert Bender said Their eyes lit up like flashlight bulbs (Wilson 28). This was because the magazine talked about controversial information regarding UFOs. Other people who openly discussed such information have lso reported visits by similar men claiming to be government agents. The government denies any involvement with these reported men. Recently in 1995 a film called Alien Autopsy aired for the public. It discussed the Roswell incident and the discovery of alien beings at the scene. The government claimed that the entire show was staged and that there was no truth to their stories.

There is also a very well known military base called Area 51, located in Nevada. It is thought that on this base the government is keeping objects that may shed light on all alien sightings. No one knows what is kept on the base for sure. However, it is thought that alien space crafts as well as their bodies are to be found here. Unfortunately no one can provide any proof to this because of the fact that the base is heavily guarded and no one from the outside of the government realm has been allowed inside. UFOs have made an impact on our society by making movies, writing books, and radio broadcasts.

Many alien movies have made us view or think about alien life forms in a different way. For example, the movie Fire in the Sky, had a big impact on many peoples views. The movie was about man who was a lumber jack. One night on their trip home they saw a bright object in the sky. One man left the truck to explore the light and was then abducted by the ship. He returned a short time after and described many experiments that had been done on him by the aliens. The reason why this movies had such a big impact on peoples views is because it based on a true story and the life of Travis Walton.

Other movies that have had an impact on our views are Independence Day, Alien, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. There was also a very famous radio broadcast made by Orson Welles where he read War of the Worlds live on the air. When the public heard this broadcast they mistook to story to be true. People began o panic when they heard that the aliens had landed and were heading for New York. Many people even committed suicide because of this. The station had to make an announcement that what the people had heard was a story and there was no truth to its tale.

There was such panic that the radio station was forced to explain that the announcement was part of a play(Wilson 27). Many books have also been made on the subject of aliens. Ranging from cover-ups to sightings. Some even focus in on the history of aliens and the possibility that they lived here on earth before mankind. Abductions and encounters have taken place in the country and the world. The hot spots for these abductions is in Western Europe, South Eastern Australia, the Eastern part of the United States, and in Eastern South America.

For the most part, the people that were abducted were your average everyday people. People like your next door neighbor. In 1967 a mechanic by the name of Stephen Michalak, had an encounter while he was searching for gold in a lake in Canada. He spotted two UFOs, one landed and the mechanic simply stood by and watched. He then approached and touched the object, and which time his glove melted and his clothed bursted into flames. Stephen said It ave off waves of heat and the smell of sulfur ( Wilson 33). Most of the people that were abducted report that they were taken into the space craft.

While they were inside they told of many tests and experiments that were done on them. There were five alien bodies found at one of the crash sights. The bodies had similar features to us in that the all had eyes, noses, legs, arms, and fingers. However, instead of five fingers they only had four. They were said to be approximately six feet tall with thin arms and legs. Their trunk was very round at the belly from about the breast line down. Grady Barnett said It was like looking at human (Wilson 38). Four of the five alien bodies were dead and one alive but in critical condition. They all had very severe injuries.

Such as, head injuries, broken limbs, abrasions, and one alien even had parts missing from one of his legs. Video tapes of the crash at Roswell have been released and have autopsies on them. The video tape itself was supposedly taken from a military base and was later sold. The tape had to have been made by the government because of their tight security on the base. The quality of the tape would indicate that there is a fifty, fifty chance that it s authentic. This tape could be fake because that the professional film makers could have duplicated the bodies and easily recreated the time period and the overall environment.

On the other hand it could be authentic because of the overall mood and great detail of the video. Experts examined the film and thought it was a hoax. Some people believe that it was connected with military tests(Wilson 13) This topic is still under serious debate and to this day the tape is still being reviewed by experts. The alien anatomy that was seen on the video can be seen in great detail. Their bodies are similar to what was described above. However, on the video you can see their organs from their injuries. This shows the extent of the damage from the great crash.

The Roswell incident was covered up and hidden from the public. It was covered up because Officials from the Roswell army base arrived and told everyone to leave(Wilson 11). I would like to go into this further because it is the most well known event when it comes to our studies on alien beings. This story proves what lengths the government will go to keep this controversial information from the public. The way they id the findings and covered up the crash with the statement of the weather balloon makes me wonder if there is truth to alien life forms.

I believe that covering up this incident is the governments way of preventing chaos. Think about it, if the publics beliefs of alien life was affirmed some would think it was the end of the world. People would flee from their homes, others would commit suicide. The other percentage would worship the beings and would defy the current heads of state and law officials. This would prove to be very damaging to the government. Thus, giving them reason to hide their findings from us all. I think that the government is keeping UFOs and ETs from us.

I believe that UFOs are real and are being kept from us. The reason for this, is because I think the government lacks trust in our human race. I believe that this is their way of simply not dealing with the issue. However, what they do realize, in my opinion, is that the human race can not be kept in the dark and in the end we the people will all find out what is really true and we will determine our own fates without the governments approval. In conclusion the government is keeping UFOs and ETs from us and we need to find a way to help reveal the cover up.

Gilgamesh vs King Arthur: Similarities & Differences

The Epic of Gilgamesh has many similarities to The Legend of King Arthur. Although Gilgamesh and King Arthur have comparison they also have differences. The main difference is that one is an Epic and the other is a Legend. To compare and contrast The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Legend of King Arthor, one must first know what the words, “Epic” and “Legend” mean. Primarily, “epic” is a long narrative poem about the deeds of a semi-god, also known as a superhuman hero who’s actions are depended on as the fate of a nation, tribe or a human race.

This usually consists of an adventure filled plot and is concerned with timeless human problems such as honour, jealousy, war and hatred. These contain gods and goddesses and the setting is fixed in a far distant place at a time long past. Epics are based on legends and myths. Secondly, “legend” consists of a protagonist (superman) who manages to solve some problems that a group of people have encountered. This too consists of an adventure filled plot. In knowing the words, epic and legend there is now a better comprehension of these wondrous stories.

The Legend of King Arthur is in comparison to The Epic of Gilgamesh because Arthur’s closest companion was Merlin, and Gilgamesh’s closest companion was Enkidu and neither Gilgamesh nor Arthur forgot their friends. Enkidu only came in contact with Gilgamesh after becoming a man. Enkidu released the animals from the hunter’s traps when they ere caught, so to make him a man the prostitute slept with him so that the animals would be ashamed of him and reject him. King Arthur became aware of Merlin when he was a young man.

When Arthur was born Merlin placed him in the care of Sir Ector, throughout his boyhood Arthur learned the ways of chivalry, knighthood and how to become a gentleman. At the tournament one day Arthur pulled Excalibur from the stone and this is what brought upon Arthur meeting Merlin once again. In The Legend of King Arthur, Merlin exclaimed, “it is the doom of men if they forget. ” Gilgamesh along with Enkidu together fought and killed Humbaba, protector of the Cedar forest, and the Bull of Heaven, sent as punishment to Gilgamesh for killing Humbaba. King Arthur nor Gilgamesh forgot their faithful friends.

King Arthur fought many battles with Merlin at his side, supporting him using magic to help Arthur gain a better understanding of the world. After Enkidu died, Gilgamesh searched a long time before finding the secret of eternal life, but he was unable to return it to Enkidu to restore his life to him. When Merlin was frozen from Morganna’s twisted magic, King Arthur thought that Merlin deserted him, this is so because Merlin told Arthur that he was not going to help him anymore. One day Arthur needed Merlin’s guidance and so Arthur called out Merlin’s name, this in turn brought Merlin to him.

This is one way in which The Legend of King Arthur and The Epic of Gilgamesh are similar. Another substantial similarity is that Gilgamesh was part god and the people of England considered King Arthur to be somewhat of a god. This is true because when Arthur became king, Camelot prospered and was born again. Merlin said that Arthur and the land were one. Arthur was like the land because when he became king the land was rich and good. When Morganna, in the form of Guenevier, conceived a child with King Arthur, the land was practically dead.

To replenish his strength and the land, Arthur needed to drink from the Holy Grail. When Bevidere recovered the Holy Grail, he brought it to King Arthur to drink from, it nursed him back to health and the earth was prosperous once again. This is why King Arthur was considered a god. This resembles The Epic of Gilgamesh because Gilgamesh was one-third human and two-thirds god. Gilgamesh was able to do what no man could do; he traveled to Mashu passed the Scorpion people to see his spiritual father, ancestor in the apotropaic sense, to find the secret to eternal life to try to bring Enkidu back to life.

King Arthur was considered a god to his people and Gilgamesh was part god. Although there are many similarities between The Epic of Gilgamesh and the Legend of King Arthur, there are also many differences. One main difference is that Gilgamesh was a tyrant and Arthur was a hero. Gilgamesh thought that he was better then every body else for this he did not allow the brides to sleep with their husbands until Gilgamesh was with them first. Gilgamesh split Uruk up, the elders stayed at the marketplace, the animals were less than people, there were not any hunting laws.

Because Enkidu freed the animals from the hunter’s traps Gilgamesh sent a prostitute to make Enkidu a man so that the animals would not accept him. King Arthur was a hero because he believed in the equality of man. Instead of being at the head of the table he made all the knights sit at the round table so that there was an equivalency among the knights and their mistresses. King Arthur slept only with and what he thought to be his wife.

This is one reason why The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Legend of King Arthur are distinct. In conclusion there are many distinct comparisons as well as contrasts that have been previously emphasized. Some of which include the diverse contrast of the type of literary writing and the correspondence of the faithful companions of both Gilgamesh and King Arthur. This is why The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Legend of King Arthur are the same yet unlike. Comparing Gilgamesh and King Arthur comparison compare contrast essays

Song of Solomon

When Milkman goes to Pennsylvania to look for the gold, he was actually in search of his family’s past. One of the themes in the story is how the history of African Americans histories are not clear and unrecorded. The fact that the history of Milkman’s family history is so unclear and unrecorded he goes through a long journey to find it. Along the way he goes through many places and meets many people that help him find his family history. Milkman thought the bag that Pilate had was filled with the dead white mans gold, but when he reaches Pennsylvania he realizes that he is wrong.

He found out the truth when he meets ancient Circe. Ancient Circe is a woman he meets and she represents a person who is linked to Milkman’s past. She was living through the Civil War and mid-wifed Macon and Pilates birth. Circe knew his ancestors and she told Milkman that the bones in the bag were her father’s bones. All this is too much for Milkman to believe without actual proof, so he travels to Virginia in hope to find the whole truth. Before Milkman could reach where he intended on going in Virginia, his car breaks down so he went to an auto shop in Shalimar, Virginia.

In Shalimar heWhen Milkman goes to Pennsylvania to look for the gold, he was actually in search of his family’s past. One of the themes in the story is how the history of African Americans histories are not clear and unrecorded. The fact that the history of Milkman’s family history is so unclear and unrecorded he goes through a long journey to find it. Along the way he goes through many places and meets many people that help him find his family history. Milkman thought the bag that Pilate had was filled with the dead white mans gold, but when he reaches Pennsylvania he realizes that he is wrong.

He found out the truth when he meets ancient Circe. Ancient Circe is a woman he meets and she represents a person who is linked to Milkman’s past. She was living through the Civil War and mid-wifed Macon and Pilates birth. Circe knew his ancestors and she told Milkman that the bones in the bag were her father’s bones. All this is too much for Milkman to believe without actual proof, so he travels to Virginia in hope to find the whole truth. Before Milkman could reach where he intended on going in Virginia, his car breaks down so he went to an auto shop in Shalimar, Virginia.

King Arthur and the Round Table

There has been a lot of material written about the legendary King Arthur and although he has been a popular figure inliterature for over 800 years, not a lot is known about the real Arthur. It is believed that Arthur was a 5the-century British King named Riothamus (meaning “high king”) who ruled from 454 – 470 A. D. and led an army into Gaul where he was defeated by the Goths of Burgundy. Two men by the names of Jordanes (6the century) and William (11the century) contributed to the legend of Arthur.

Their input was perhaps the real basis of future adaptations of the story. Arthur appeared in literature as a national hero in a book written in Latin by Geoffrey of Monmouth called Historia Regum Britanniae (meaning History of the Kings of Britain). he book supposedly covered history from 1200 B. C. to 689 A. D. Geoffrey includes many sources of information with his work but most scholars believe it to be a fictional bibliography added only to give his book some credibility.

Therefore his work is considered to be literature not factual history. Geoffrey is the one responsible for the portrayal of Arthur as a splendid King who conquered the British Isles and much of Europe Introduced by Geoffrey are Guenevere, Merlin, information about Arthur’s strange birth and death and the concept of chivalry. Due to the tremendous popularity of Geoffrey’s book, authors like Robert Wace and Chretien de Troyes continued on with the development of King Arthur and his life, adding yet more detail and depth to the story.

Robert Wace concentrated on the Arthurian aspect of the story while Chretien concentrated on the romantic aspect of Arthur’s life. Some of the new elements added include d the Round Table, courtly love and the love affair between Lancelot and Guenevere. In 1205 A. D. Layamon wrote the first English version of the King Arthur stories with a distinctly British perspective. Another nationalistic version of the story was Morte Arthure. This version was centered around fighting and action diminishing many of the character’s parts, like Lancelot for instance.

Perhaps the most widely accepted story of Arthur was written in 1485 by Sir Thomas Malory. Malory combines aspects of Wace, Chretien, Geoffrey and Layamon, expands on Arthur’s court by adding short stories about some of Arthur’s most important knights and writes of the collapse of the Round Table. King Arthur There has been a lot of material written about the legendary King Arthur and although he has been a popular figure inliterature for over 800 years, not a lot is known about the real Arthur.

It is believed that Arthur was a 5the-century British King named Riothamus (meaning “high king”) who ruled from 454 – 470 A. D. and led an army into Gaul where he was defeated by the Goths of Burgundy. Two men by the names of Jordanes (6the century) and William (11the century) contributed to the legend of Arthur. Their input was perhaps the real basis of future adaptations of the story.

Arthur appeared in literature as a national hero in a book written in Latin by Geoffrey of Monmouth called Historia Regum Britanniae (meaning History of the Kings of Britain). e book supposedly covered history from 1200 B. C. to 689 A. D. Geoffrey includes many sources of information with his work but most scholars believe it to be a fictional bibliography added only to give his book some credibility. Therefore his work is considered to be literature not factual history. Geoffrey is the one responsible for the portrayal of Arthur as a splendid King who conquered the British Isles and much of Europe Introduced by Geoffrey are Guenevere, Merlin, information about Arthur’s strange birth and death and the concept of chivalry.

Due to the tremendous popularity of Geoffrey’s book, authors like Robert Wace and Chretien de Troyes continued on with the development of King Arthur and his life, adding yet more detail and depth to the story. Robert Wace concentrated on the Arthurian aspect of the story while Chretien concentrated on the romantic aspect of Arthur’s life. Some of the new elements added include d the Round Table, courtly love and the love affair between Lancelot and Guenevere. In 1205 A. D. Layamon wrote the first English version of the King Arthur stories with a distinctly British perspective.

Another nationalistic version of the story was Morte Arthure. This version was centered around fighting and action diminishing many of the character’s parts, like Lancelot for instance. Perhaps the most widely accepted story of Arthur was written in 1485 by Sir Thomas Malory. Malory combines aspects of Wace, Chretien, Geoffrey and Layamon, expands on Arthur’s court by adding short stories about some of Arthur’s most important knights and writes of the collapse of the Round Table.

The Majesty of Nuuanu

On the island of Oahu, at the farthest reaches of emerald-garbed Nuuanu Valley is the Nuuanu Pali there’s a place you can visit to enjoy dense green forest, spectacular mountain-to-ocean views, and a piece of Hawaiian history. Nuuanu is an area located on the southeastern part of the island and “pali” is a Hawaiian word meaning “cliff”. Getting there is very simple if you’re coming from Honolulu. Get on H-1 freeway then take the Pali Highway off-ramp. Once on Pali Highway, follow the green signs alongside the road to reach your destination. The ride should take approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

Ladies, don’t wear a dress or skirt when visiting the Pali because it’s very windy and you won’t enjoy yourself if you’re worrying about strangers seeing your underwear. Likewise, gentlemen, don’t wear hats, loose sunglasses, or toupees to the site because when a strong gust of wind comes along, you may never see your belongings again. Because of the wind, a jacket or sweater is recommended. Depending on the season, sporadic showers of rain are also common. Do bring a camera, for the view is fabulous and you will not be disappointed. Nuuanu Pali is surrounded by dense forest heavy with moisture.

As you travel up Pali Highway, the houses begin to thin and the greenery begins to take over. During the winter and spring there are many waterfalls to be seen in the mountains. The trees, covered with moss and green twisting vines, block out the sun and civilization. The plants and vines seem to have taken over everything except the asphalt road being driven on. All of a sudden, the forest ends and a small open parking lot appears. The lookout is at the end of a paved walkway. On the sides of the walkway are a couple of vendors. One vendor sells T-shirts and ands out pamphlets which educate people about the issue of Hawaiian Sovereignty.

The other vendor sells Polynesian arts and crafts. As you stand at the lookout, look at the knife-edged ridges to your left and right. These mountainous arms that embrace the windward side as far north as Kualoa and as far south as Waimanalo are mere remnants of Koolau mountain, they are landward wall of what once was a massive volcano. Time and ocean tides have eroded and collapsed the seaward side of the volcano. From the lookout, many towns and places of interest can be seen.

To the left is Kahaluu and the new H-3 freeway. Straight ahead is Kaneohe and Kaneohe Bay. Olomana and Kailua are to the right. You can also see Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station, the Koolau and Pali golf courses, and Kapaa Quarry. The Koolau Mountains are awesome, majestic, and breathtaking. The blues of the ocean and sky blend together, making it difficult to tell where the earth ends and where the sky begins. Sometimes, the clouds and mist drop low over the mountains and sheets of rain can be seen falling over the land and sea. Double and triple rainbows are also a familiar sight.

The cold wind constantly blows and brings the scent of rain, ferns, and damp earth mixed together. Standing there, at the edge of the cliff, watching land, sea and sky come together and feeling and hearing the whipping wind all around, it is easy to be transported back to a time before concrete, automobiles, and pollution. More than 200 years ago, a great warrior chief from the island of Hawaii named Kamehameha envisioned uniting all the Hawaiian islands. Many chiefs, including High Chief Kalanikupule from the island of Oahu did not share in Kamehameha’s dream and decided to challenge him.

In 1795, thousands of Kamehameha’s warriors drove Kalanikupule and his army up to Nuuanu Pali where many fell or fought to their deaths. Later, in the early 1800s, the kamaaina would traverse the deadly Nuuanu Pali with children, food, and supplies tied to their backs. In 1897, a highway was built and during the construction, workers found approximately 800 skulls and other bones at the bottom of the cliff – remains of the warriors who were defeated by Kamehameha. Many more improvements were made to the highway and now the old road is a hiking trail which branches off from the lookout point.

2001: A Metaphorical Odyssey

Myths are created for the purpose of conveying a message with an interesting medium with which to do so. Many cultures use myths to teach their young about the past. Through time, however, these myths become impractical due to discovery. This is when a new myth must be introduced to take the place of the obsolete one. Stanley Kubrick shaped 2001: A Space Odyssey as a new myth to crack the archaic view of space, by using a hero, a dilemma, and a new revelation to fuel his cause. Every myth has a character that breaks the mold of the ordinary. In Homer’s The Odyssey, Odysseus is the character that broke the mold of the other ortals.

He displayed character traits that superseded those of his crew mates. Much in the same fashion, Bowman breaks the mold of the astronauts aboard the Discovery. He and Poole are share duties aboard the Discovery, but he demonstrates a higher level of thinking by sensing and interpreting what is happening before him. He is the one that realizes exactly what HAL is doing, and he puts a stop to it. He sees problems, analyzes them, and then proceeds to diffuse the cause in the most efficient manner possible. He uses his character traits of intelligence, persistence, and adroitness to overcome the dilemmas put n front of him.

By using his intelligence, he realizes that HAL has figured him out, and he must find a way to get back into the discovery in order to survive. In using persistence, Bowman does not give up when it seems that HAL has won the battle. Instead he takes the rough way in, and he then disables HAL. Bowman shows how adroit he is with dilemmas by handling the entire HAL situation with calm and intelligence. While on the mission, Bowman is faced with many dilemmas. The first dilemma, is that he is in the dark about the purpose of the mission.

He has nly been supplied with the vital information that he will need to perform routine operations until the site of the mission is reached. HAL is responsible for informing him when the place has been reached and time is right to complete the mission. He decides that he must do what he can without actually knowing the exact purpose of the mission. The next dilemma is that HAL has been reacting to his instincts in a negative manner. He realizes that Bowman and Poole are having doubts about the mission. Bowman decides that he must hide his emotions and plans from HAL in order to proceed successfully.

HAL, on the other and, figures out that Bowman and Poole are planning to unplug him by reading their lips while they are conversing in the pod, and finds a way to get them where he can control them. He fakes a failure in the communications satellite dish, and Poole goes out to repair it, never to return. After Poole is disposed of, Bowman finally realizes that HAL has turned on him. This is the ultimate dilemma that Bowman must face. He is locked out of the Discovery, and he must find a way to get back in and disable HAL before he dies, and the mission is unsalvageable. He finally succeeds in re-entering the Discovery and disabling

HAL as the ship nears Jupiter and the pre-recorded message plays on the video screen. His decision to unplug HAL and run the mission solo is the deciding factor in the new revelation that he encounters. With the approaching of the climax of the movie, Bowman realizes that the mission was far beyond the comprehension of any human being. He realizes why the mission had been kept confidential even to him, as a pre-recorded message gives him a debriefing of the purpose of the mission. The ever present question of whether or not there are other intelligent beings in the universe is answered as Bowman enters the stargate.

As he descends into the stargate, the many colors and patterns show that he is proceeding into a realm that is a paradox of powers. When Bowman sees that he is being protected from forces that are far beyond the control of any mortal, he knows that these other beings are far superior to humans. With his experiences, the enlightened Bowman returns to earth realizing that society dwindling. Using Bowman as a hero that faces dilemmas to reach the target moment, Stanley Kubrick uses 2001: A Space Odyssey as a new myth to replace the old myths about space. This redefined what people thought about space.

This myth as carried over into the 20th century, and still will proceed into the 21st century. It shows how new myths can replace old myths and shatter the very foundation the human mentality. For when an archaic belief is suddenly replaced with a new one, it is often a reaction to wonder why the old one was wrong. This often leads to further exploration and discovery in that area. As discovery progresses, the myths change concurrently. This also exemplifies how important myths are to a culture or race of beings. Without myths, there would be no efficient way of communicating the beliefs and philosophies of the time.

Favorite Norse Myths

2. ) The Types of stories found in this book are based on Norse Mythology. They contain information on the creation of the Earth, (Midgard), and some of the trials that the gods and goddesses had gone through. 3. ) One of the myths that I enjoyed was the first one on creation, entitled: Creation: The Nine Words. This story tells us how in the beginning there was nothing other than fire, ice, and mist. The land with all the ice was called Niflheim, and the land of fire was Muspell. As time went on, Muspell melted Niflheim, and from that came two giant creatures.

One of them was named Ymir, and he was an evil frost-giant, and the other was a cow named Audumla. Ymir drank Audumla milk to get stronger, and one night, while sleeping, a troll with six heads grew from his feet, and a male and female frost-giant came from his armpit. Audumla also brought something to life, as he licked the salt blocks for food, he recovered another giant. This giant was a good giant, and his name was Buri. His sons and grandsons became gods, because they were very honorable. The greatest of Buri’s grandsons was Odin. Odin was the greatest of all the gods, and he was the god of war and death.

Odin and his wife Frigg, goddess of knowledge, and also knew what happened in the worlds, had many children. Odin was also the one who led his brothers to overthrow Ymir, and they eventually killed him. After killing him, different parts of his body became different parts of nature. His flesh became the world, his blood became the seas, his bones became the mountains, and his hair and teeth became the trees and stones. Now his blood, that made the seas, drowned all but two of the frost-giants, and they repopulated the frost-giants, witches, warlocks, enchanters, and ogres, and taught them to hate Odin.

They lived in Jotunheim. The worms in the Earth, Ymirs flesh, were turned onto dwarves, and the dark elves. The dwarves lived in Nidavellir, and the dark elves lived in Svartalfheim. There were also some nice creatures, and they were the elves, who lived in Alfheim. Odin took Ymirs skull and made it the sky, and places four dwarves in each corner of the sky. Nordri, Sudri, Austri, and Vestri; North, South, East, and West. They put a girl named sun, and a boy named moon into a chariot of fire and placed them in the sky.

Odin took Ymir’s eyebrows and made Midgard, and there he had the humans, which he created from two trees, man from ash tree, and woman from an elm tree, live. The gods left Midgard and crossed the flaming rainbow bridge to a world called Asgard. They built golden halls for the gods and goddesses. Heimdall, a son of Odin, was the watcher of the rainbow bridge, to keep enemies out. He had very good eyesight, and excellent hearing. There were two different kinds of gods back then. There were the Aesir, and the Vanir. The Vanir world was called Vanaheim. Once they went to war, but got tired of fighting, and have been friends since.

The Vanir god, Njord, who ruled the wind and seas, had a daughter and son. His son Frey ruled the rain and sunshine, and daughter, Freya, was the goddess of love. Above all these worlds, was a tree called Yggdrasil, or the World Tree. It is the tree of all life. An eagle watches over it while the deer, and goats eat the leaves. As this happens a squirrel, Ragnarok, carries insults back and forth between the eagle and the serpent, who lives under the tree and gnaws at the roots. There are three main roots that branch off into the worlds. One of them branch off into Mimir’s well, a well that held the magic waters of wisdom and memory.

Hidden in the well was Heimdall’s trumpet. If Heimdall blew on this horn it would mean the end of all earth and the worlds. This is called Ragnarok, total destruction of all nine worlds. The reason why I liked this story is because I liked learning how the creation of earth began. I like reading about the gods forming and the trials that they go through to finish creation. Another reason why I liked this story is because I liked reading how alike Norse mythology is to our world today for example: The dwarves that were sent to each corner of the skies names were related to what they are now.

Nordri, Sudri, Austri, and Vestri; North, South, East, and West. The second story I enjoyed was: Twilight of the Gods. To start this story off, Loki was most dreadfully punished for the death of Balder. For his punishment he was bound to a rock, with the venom, from the serpent fastened above his head, dripping onto his face. Sigyn, the faithful wife of Loki, sat with him, trying to avoid the dripping poison on his face by catching it in a basin. But when she emptied it, the poison would then drip on his face again, and as he withered in pain, the earth shook. But soon, Loki Broke free.

When this happened, he turned completely against the gods, and joined the forces of evil. He steered up a ship and went over seas, sailing with the sons of Hel, and they were joined by all of the monsters of the world. The evil forces together marched against Asgard. When Hiemdall saw the army crossing the rainbow bridge, he grabbed the mighty trumpet (which had never been sounded) and gave it a long, deep blast. All of the gods were awaken by the terrifying sound. The gods of Asgard and their foes met on a huge plain. When Odin attacked wolf Fenrir, wolf devoured him.

When Mighty Thor killed the Midgard Serpent, he fell dead from the serpent’s poison, and Frey lost a battle to the monster Hel. Both Hiemdall and Loki lost to each other; death was from the hands of the other. The mighty tree trembled, the eagle on top of the World Tree screamed in fear, the hot stars fell from the sky to the ground, and the seas flooded onto the lands. All brothers turned on each other for the sake of greed, and terrible storms raged through the nine planets. The sun and the moon were swallowed, the sun by wolf Fenrir, ant the moon by Moon-Hound.

The heaven, earth, and all of the universe were engulfed by flames, and all things – gods, goddess, men, women, elves, monsters, giants, birds, and beasts – died. But then the sun brought forth a daughter, after the nine worlds were consumed by fire, and she was even lovelier then the sun herself. And the earth began to turn green again. The waterfalls flowed in the forests, and the eagle soared again. And some how, a few gods returned to the world of the living, like — Balder, Hod (Balder’s blind twin brother), and Modi, and Magni, Thor’s two sons.

On a sunlit plain of Asgard is where these gods met, and where they talked about time’s mourning. After they talked for a long and loving time, about the past, they returned to live on Heaven, the home of the wind. Also during this terrible destruction of the universe, there were two humans had hid themselves deep within the forest in the world tree. Their names are Life, and Eager-For-Life. The dew of the morning served as their food now when they came out of hiding. A great multitude of children came from these two (Life, and Eager-For Life) and they spread all over the world.

And this was the beginning of a new time, and a new world. I liked this story because it made me think of what is happening in the world today. My old Social Studies teacher once told us that those who don’t know the past are more likely to repeat history, than those who do know, for they know what the out come will be. And I just hope we don’t end up destroying the nine planets, and/or the universe. The Third story that I enjoyed was that of: The Giants Bride. In this story, it tells about how Mighty Thor with the magic hammer which, when was swung, lightning bolts streaked across the sky, was named the God of Thunder.

One morning when Thor awoke, his magic hammer was missing. He then thought Loki was up to his mischief. When Loki assured Thor he did not have his hammer, he said to prove his innocence he would travel the world of frost-giants. After borrowing Freya’s falcon disguise Loki, lifted into the air, setting out far over the nine worlds to the land of giants. When he got there, Loki then found Thrym, the king of giants. He then asks Loki for what reason has he come to his land alone. Loki answers by telling Thrym that he believes that he has Thor’s hammer.

When Thrym answers, he admits to having it and says it is hidden eight miles under the Earth, and he will not give it back, unless Loki gives him Freya for his wife. Loki then flew back to the realm of the gods, and delivered the news to Thor. Then Thor and Loki went to Freya and told her she must marry the giant Thrym, for if she doesn’t, the gods will come to a terrible end. Freya replies with “never. ” Quickly the gods, and goddess were called to a council. They decided that Thor himself must dress in the bridal clothes, and go the land of giants himself.

Thor shocked of this decision argued, but was silenced, for if he didn’t go, the giants would conquer Asgard with his hammer. As Thor’s face grew red, the gods dressed him in a wedding dress, they also placed a pretty cap on his head, Freya’s necklace around his neck, and they hung a women’s house key from his waist. Then, Loki said he would go with Thor as his maidservant and was also dressed in women’s clothing. As soon as Thor hitched his two goats to his chariot the two soared over the mountains to the land of the giants. When Thrym saw them, he cried out “Hearken, giants.

Put straw on the benches! I see my bride is arriving! ” The king of giants then gloated as he escorted Thor from his goat-driven chariot and says, “Gold-horned cattle I have. Jet-black oxen and many gems and jewels I have. You my dear, where the only treasure I did not have – until now. ” When the sun set over the kingdom of Thrym, giants guzzled kegs of ale, and they ate a whole ox. And this whole time Thrym, could not keep his eyes off of his new bride. He then says to his men, “Whoever saw a bride eat so much, or a maiden drink more? Then Loki in a high voice replies with, “My mistress has not eaten in eight days. ” Then as he longs to kiss his bride, he peaks under the veil, and sees red eyes. He screamed, but is quieted when Loki (the servant) says that her mistress has not slept for days, and because her desire for him is so great. Thrym then orders for Thor’s hammer to be brought forth, so he may bless his bride. He orders for it to be to rest on his bride’s knees while they promise their marriage vows to one another. But as soon as the hammer was placed on Thor’s knees, he grabbed it, and began to swing it around.

Thor the Thunder God first killed thrum, and the rest of the giants, one after another. After Thor killed many giants, he and Loki jumped into the chariot and carried the precious hammer back to the land of the gods. The reason why I like this story is because I like to read about people who deserve the lessons that they learn. I mean Thrym deserved what he got because he stole Thor’s hammer, and it was wrong. Another reason why I liked this story is because the men had to dress up and act like women, and that is funny!! 4. ) I disliked the Norse myth: The Fairest Feet.

It starts out when Skadi, daughter of the dead Thiazi, waited for her fathers return. When he heard about his death she got angry and went toward Asgard to find her father’s killer. When she reaches Asgard, Odin apologizes for killing her father, and offers her a gift instead. She says she wants a husband of her choice, and Odin agrees as long as she picks him by his feet. She is in search of Balder, but she picks Njord, and after looking in his eyes, she fell for him. Now neither one of them wanted to move away, so they stayed in the icy mountains for nine nights, and in Odin’s warm sea for three nights.

This is supposed to claim how wintry storms come in he winter for about nine months, and summers for three months. I didn’t like this story because it didn’t have a good story to go with it. I didn’t like how Skadi appeared to be weak and gullible, when she was a strong giantess. I also didn’t like how Odin just thought he would walk all over her by giving her a gift of her choice, I think this also made him look weak. The second story that I disliked was the story of the: Magic Stallion. A stranger came into town, and said that he would build the wall around Asgard, if they would give him the sun, moon, and Freya.

They agreed if he could build it from winter to summer. He also asks if he can have his stallion help him, and Loki says yes. Then he is building the wall and it is three days before summer, and the wall is going to get finished. The other gods told Loki that he had to fix the problem because he said that he could use the Stallion. So Loki had a beautiful mare distract the stallion so the rocks wouldn’t get hauled, and the giant figured this out. He then went in and threatened the gods and Thor hit him in the head and cracked his skull.

I did not like this story, because it didn’t make any sense. The gods were scared because the thought of losing Freya, the sun and the moon, would mean losing a lot, but they made the deal anyway assuming that the giant couldn’t complete the wall by the first day of summer. They didn’t even know what the giant was capable of doing. They didn’t even know if he was strong. And if Loki always got them into trouble before, then why did they let him speak for them? Knowing that he doesn’t make very smart decisions, and yet letting him make them is pretty dumb.

The story that I disliked the most was Thor and the Clay Giant. In the beginning Thor was fighting trolls, and Odin was riding his horse, Sleipnir. Odin rode to the desolate countryside where he came upon Hrungnir, and he was the strongest giant. Odin made a bet that Sleipnir was the fastest horse, and Hrungnir said Goldfax was faster. They races to Asgard and the gods all welcomed Hrungnir. They gave him mead, and soon he had drunk too much. He started to get mean and boastful, saying he was going to take over their kingdom and kill them all.

When Thor returned, Hrungnir was going to fight him. They arranged to meet in Jotunheim, where they would fight. The Giants then made a clay giant, so when Thor struck that one, Hrungnir could get him. When Thor arrived he saw the trick, and Threatened to strike Hrungnir from underground. When he heard this, Hrungnir stood on his shield, and then Thor got him. Thor also got hurt, by Hrungnir’s whetstone, but Hrungnir was killed by Thor’s hammer. I didn’t like this story because like the rest, it didn’t make any sense. Why would a giant think he could beat Thor if Thor has never been beaten?

Thor has killed lots giants, and trolls, so how does one giant think he can fool Thor with a clay giant? If a giant was made of clay, I think Thor would be able to tell it was fake just be looking at it. Giants sure were dumb. Plus in the beginning, I don’t get where Odin was riding Thor’s horse in the first place to even make the bet that his horse was faster than the giants. 5. ) One of the Myths that would make a good movie is The Giants Bride. In this story, it tells about how Mighty Thor with the magic hammer which, when was swung, lightning bolts streaked across the sky, was named the God of Thunder.

One morning when Thor awoke, his magic hammer was missing. He then thought Loki was up to his mischief. When Loki assured Thor he did not have his hammer, he said to prove his innocence he would travel the world of frost-giants. After borrowing Freya’s falcon disguise Loki, lifted into the air, setting out far over the nine worlds to the land of giants. When he got there, Loki then found Thrym, the king of giants. He then asks Loki for what reason has he come to his land alone. Loki answers by telling Thrym that he believes that he has Thor’s hammer.

When Thrym answers, he admits to having it and says it is hidden eight miles under the Earth, and he will not give it back, unless Loki gives him Freya for his wife. Loki then flew back to the realm of the gods, and delivered the news to Thor. Then Thor and Loki went to Freya and told her she must marry the giant Thrym, for if she doesn’t, the gods will come to a terrible end. Freya replies with “never. ” Quickly the gods, and goddess were called to a council. They decided that Thor himself must dress in the bridal clothes, and go the land of giants himself.

Thor shocked of this decision argued, but was silenced, for if he didn’t go, the giants would conquer Asgard with his hammer. As Thor’s face grew red, the gods dressed him in a wedding dress, they also placed a pretty cap on his head, Freya’s necklace around his neck, and they hung a women’s house key from his waist. Then, Loki said he would go with Thor as his maidservant and was also dressed in women’s clothing. As soon as Thor hitched his two goats to his chariot the two soared over the mountains to the land of the giants. When Thrym saw them, he cried out “Hearken, giants.

Put straw on the benches! I see my bride is arriving! ” The king of giants then gloated as he escorted Thor from his goat-driven chariot and says, “Gold-horned cattle I have. Jet-black oxen and many gems and jewels I have. You my dear, where the only treasure I did not have – until now. ” When the sun set over the kingdom of Thrym, giants guzzled kegs of ale, and they ate a whole ox. And this whole time Thrym, could not keep his eyes off of his new bride. He then says to his men, “Whoever saw a bride eat so much, or a maiden drink more? Then Loki in a high voice replies with, “My mistress has not eaten in eight days. ” Then as he longs to kiss his bride, he peaks under the veil, and sees red eyes. He screamed, but is quieted when Loki (the servant) says that her mistress has not slept for days, and because her desire for him is so great. Thrym then orders for Thor’s hammer to be brought forth, so he may bless his bride. He orders for it to be to rest on his bride’s knees while they promise their marriage vows to one another. But as soon as the hammer was placed on Thor’s knees, he grabbed it, and began to swing it around.

Thor the Thunder God first killed thrum, and the rest of the giants, one after another. After Thor killed many giants, he and Loki jumped into the chariot and carried the precious hammer back to the land of the gods. For the main characters, I would cast Loki, Thor, Freya and of course Thrym. I would have Asgard be a town where their kingdom was, and Jotunheim would be a place where no one dared to go, in the woods. It would be more of a comedy film, because Thor (Brad Pitt) would be dressing up as a woman, and so would Loki (Ben Affleck).

Instead of having Loki be a trickster, I would have him be an unlucky god. Everywhere he went, trouble would follow. He also would be a very clumsy, and not so bright god, knocking things over, and getting them into near death experiences. Freya, (Julia Roberts), would have been kidnapped by Thyrm. She would be a very beautiful god, but she would be stubborn and have a temper. She blames her being kidnapped on Thor and Loki. Thyrm,(Adam Sandler), would be a comedian figure, who kidnaps Freya in exchange for Thor’s hammer.

On the day of the wedding, Thor and Loki would find Thrym’s hid-out, and rescue Freya, although someone would still have to walk down the isle. Thor agrees to do it, and when Thrym sees who he is, Loki and Freya are safely hidden. In the end Thrym does not die, but after getting hit by Thor’s hammer, has the mind of a four year old. Thor, Loki, and Freya go back to their kingdom where Thor and Freya get married. I think the only thing that would be difficult in this production is getting Adam Sandler to look like a big ugly giant, but other than that it would just be fun!

Gilgamesh and the Bible

In both the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Bible a common event takes place, a flood. The flood in both stories destroys all mankind. I feel that each flood serves as a symbol. Each one is a representive of rebirth and of a new beginning for all mankind. In the epic, Gilgamesh the gods decided to destroy mankind by flooding earth for six days and nights Gilgamesh and the other gods decided to destroy mankind by flooding earth for six days and nights. Utnapishtim and Noah were both the ones chosen to build an ark in order to restart mankind after the flood.

In the Bible, God decided that there was too much evil in the world. God decided to flood Earth for forty days and nights. On Noah’s ark he brought aboard two of every animal. I feel this was a smart move by taking aboard living animals to rebuild the land I feel that in both stories, mankind was exterminated from earth due to the evil that had taken over. In Gilgamesh the god Enlil said, “the uproar of mankind is intolerable and sleep is no longer possible. ”

The other gods agreed with this statement. In the Bible, God also saw how the wickedness of man had taken over earth. God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt: for all flesh ad corrupted his way upon earth. ” Both felt that this would wipe the evil out once the land was rebuilt. They didn’t think evil would come back no matter what event occurred. The true worshipper of the god Ea was Utnapishtim. I feel that because of his efforts to warn Utnapishtim about the flood, he was chosen to survive the great flood. Nah was the only man on earth who found grace in the eyes of God. God came to warn Noah and his family about the upcoming flood. He told him to build the ark.

They each approached their Journey by building large arks. Each brought their families and living beast wild and tame aboard. Aboard Utnapishtim ark was also gold and craftsmen. Utnapishtim’s boat was two hundred feet tall, with six stories. Noah’s ark was thirty cubits high, and three stories. They each survived by staying in the boat during the whole flood, until it was over. From the god Ea, Utnapishtim was rewarded life eternal. Noah was blessed by God and was rewarded all earth’s flesh as meat for him and his family. Bibliography: Gilgamesh and the Bible.

In both the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Bible a common event takes place, a flood. The flood in both stories destroys all mankind. I feel that each flood serves as a symbol. Each one is a representive of rebirth and of a new beginning for all mankind. In the epic, Gilgamesh the gods decided to destroy mankind by flooding earth for six days and nights Gilgamesh and the other gods decided to destroy mankind by flooding earth for six days and nights. Utnapishtim and Noah were both the ones chosen to build an ark in order to restart mankind after the flood.

In the Bible, God decided that there was too much evil in the world. God decided to flood Earth for forty days and nights. On Noah’s ark he brought aboard two of every animal. I feel this was a smart move by taking aboard living animals to rebuild the land I feel that in both stories, mankind was exterminated from earth due to the evil that had taken over. In Gilgamesh the god Enlil said, “the uproar of mankind is intolerable and sleep is no longer possible. ”

The other gods agreed with this statement. In the Bible, God also saw how the wickedness of man had taken over earth. God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt: for all flesh ad corrupted his way upon earth. ” Both felt that this would wipe the evil out once the land was rebuilt. They didn’t think evil would come back no matter what event occurred. The true worshipper of the god Ea was Utnapishtim. I feel that because of his efforts to warn Utnapishtim about the flood, he was chosen to survive the great flood. Nah was the only man on earth who found grace in the eyes of God. God came to warn Noah and his family about the upcoming flood.

He told him to build the ark. They each approached their Journey by building large arks. Each brought their families and living beast wild and tame aboard. Aboard Utnapishtim ark was also gold and craftsmen. Utnapishtim’s boat was two hundred feet tall, with six stories. Noah’s ark was thirty cubits high, and three stories. They each survived by staying in the boat during the whole flood, until it was over. From the god Ea, Utnapishtim was rewarded life eternal. Noah was blessed by God and was rewarded all earth’s flesh as meat for him and his family.

Mythological Heroes

The subject of mythology deals mainly with the notion of battle, or good versus evil. In this struggle many individuals are singled out for either the evil they cause, or from the good they bring to people. When you mention heroes in mythology, there are two distinct names that a majority of people bring up, those names are Achilles and Hercules. Achilles was born to King Peleus and the sea-nymph Thetis. Soonafter Achilles was born his mother dipped him in the River Styx, she was told, by doing this, that the water would make every part of his body that it touched invincible.

Little did she know that the one part of his eel which he was held by would not touch the water. When Achilles mother found out about the war in Troy between the Greeks and the Trojans she did not want her son to fight because she knew that he would eventually be killed there. The way that she tried to preventhim from going into the army was to hide him among the women of the court sothat he could not be persuaded by his close friend Odysseus to join the Greek forces. While trying to find Achilles, Odysseus easily spotted him among the women, and persuaded him to join the Greek army.

After many years of battle with the Trojan forces, Achilles ended up ina famed uel with Trojan hero Hector, over the slaying of Achilles close friend Patroclus. After killing Hector, Achilles tied his dead body behind a chariot and dragged around the walls of Troy seven times to show his hatred and anger towards the Trojans and their hero. Shortly after the famed battle, Achilles was killed when he was struck, with a poisonous arrow, in the one small spot on his heel which was vulnerable. The arrow was fired by the Trojan prince Paris and was guided by the sun god Apollo.

Hercules was the strongest and swiftest man ever to walk the earth. As the son of Zeus and mortal woman Alcmene, Hercules as destined to be a hero. This destiny was shown before he was one year old. Enraged at his affair with a mortal woman, Zeus’ wife Hera set out on a plot to kill Hercules. One night after Alcmene put her children to bed, Hercules’ twin brother Iphicles was awoken by two huge serpents that were sent by Hera to kill the son of Zeus. When Hercules awoke he grasped the two snakes in order to play with them, and squeezed the life right out of them.

When Alcmeneawoke to see what all the commotion was about, she was amazed at the sight of her infant son holding two snakes that he had killed with his bare hands. When Hercules grew to anhood, he married and had six sons, and again fell victim to Hera’s hatred towards him. What Hera did was send a fitof madness upon Hercules who mistook his wife and children for enemies and killed them. When his sanity returned he realised what he had done he shut himself up from the world for a long time. After a long time in seclusion Hercules finally emerged and went to the Oracle of Delphi to beg for punishment for his crime.

Hercules was sent to King Eurystheus and toldthat the king would assign a punishment to Hercules. The punishment was to perform twelve nearly impossible tasks which are known as the welvelabours of Hercules. The first of these tasks was to kill and skin the Nemean Lion, whose skin could not be punctured by any weapon. His second labour was to killthe Hydra of Lerna which had numerous heads, one of which was immortal. Every time one of the mortal heads was cut off two or three new heads would growin its place. The third of his tasks was go to the Ceryneian Hill and capture a beautiful bronze-hoofed hind without spilling one drop of its blood.

For his fourth task Hercules was to capture alive a huge wild boar which often killed humans and lived on Mount Erymanthus. The fifth task assigned to Hercules as to clean the filth of many years out of the stables of King Augeias of Elis. The sixth labour of the great Greek hero was to get rid of a flock of birds which resided in the Stymphalian Marsh. The birds had long straight bronze beaks, sharp bronze claws, and a taste for human flesh. For his next labour, Hercules was to capture the wild bull of Crete. For the eighth task Hercules was to bring King Eurystheus the mares of the King Diometes.

These mares were fed human flesh for food. The ninth labour Hercules was to performwas to go to the tribe of the feared Amazon women and steal the golden girdle of Hippolyta, the Amazon queen. Hercules tenth task was to bring King Eurystheus the cattle of Geryon. Geryon was the owner of the cattle and he split above the waist into three bodies which were difficult to defeat. Hercules’ eleventh task was to try and find the Garden of Hesperides and fetch the fruit from the golden apple tree, this was difficult for him because he had no idea where the Garden of Hesperides was.

For his twelfth and final labourHercules was venture the most feared place on earth, the realm of Hades, and bringup the three-headed watchdog Cerberus. After spending nearly his entire life completing the twelve labours, Hercules decided to settle down and he married the fair maiden Deianeira. When Deianeira was captured by a centaur named Nessus, Hercules shot the centaur with a poisoned arrow. With the centaur’s dying breath he gave Deianeira a vial of his poisoned blood telling her she could use it to rekindle Hercules’ love for her if it ever faded.

One day when she felt that his lovewas fading, she made him a robe that was dipped in the blood. When Hercules received the gift from his wife he was overjoyed and put it on, almost immediately his skin started to burn and he caught on fire. Knowing hisdeath was near he called his servants to ring him a funeral pyre which he placed himself on. As the pyre burned it was carried up to Mount Olympus where he became the god of strength. Each of these heroes have at least one thing that separate them from regular men, something that is special about them.

For Achilles it is his invulnerability and his incredible courage that make him a great Greek hero. For Hercules it is his god-like strength, and his luck of being the son of the king of the gods. Each of these Greek heroes was destined to be great at a very early age. Just after Achilles was born he was dipped in the River Styxby his mother which made him nvincible. In the case of Hercules, his heroic effort was shown when he was less than one year old when he saved himself and his brother from two deadly serpents.

Both of these warriors fought great battles and suffered tremendous hardships, neither of them were perfect, they both had their faults. In the case of Achilles, during the Trojan War, in the middle of battle his favourite slavegirl was taken away from him and instead of continuing to battle, he stayed in his tent and sulked until his close friend ,Patroclus, was killed. For Hercules, his temper was his weak spot, it could be easily become deadly if he as told to do something that he did not want to do.

One thing that both men possess a great deal of is courage. Neither of these great heroes would back down to any challenge or battle that would come before them, no matter how hard the battle may be both of these great men would die trying. Out of all the many stories told about mythology, the stories of thesetwo great men will never be forgotten. Both of these men conquered hardships, and turmoil. They overcame all of these ailments to conquer their task and fulfil their goal, qualities which could regard them as two of the greatest heroes of all time.

King Arthur Myth short summary

There has been a lot of material written about King Arthur and his court. He has been a popular figure in literature for over 800 years. People believe he was only a myth and some people believe he was an actual person. Not a lot of information on King Arthur is fact; most is fictional from many types of writers. The earliest reference of Arthur is the poem ” Gododdin” (A. D. 600) also “Historia Bitton” by Nennius (A. D. 800). In Sir Thomas Mallory’s Novel Le Morte D’Arthur, people receive a good idea on how he worked and how the life back then was.

Many stories have been written and tales have een told of King Arthur but stories can’t be proven to be true. There are many different versions and many different styles and languages written about King Arthur. Welsh, Italian, Celtic, and Arabian, are just a few types of origins from where Arthur has traveled. It is believed that Arthur was a fifth-century British king also named Rithoamus (meaning high king)

1. The historic Arthur lived in the mists of the dark ages. From the encyclopedia of Arthurian Legends, Arthur was not a medieval king. It is believed that he was a fifth century chieftain who protected his people .

Arthur changes from a God-like Celtic king, to a monarch, to an ordinary man. There are many different opinions as of whom King Arthur was. King Arthur appeared as a national hero in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s book called Historia Regum Britanniea (meaning, History of The Kings of Britain). Many of the legends told about Arthur and the round table take place in the castle of Camelot. This is to be believed to have been Cadbury Castle. This is near Somerset. There is no evidence that a little castle, Camelot, existed. There is evidence; however, that there was a castle in the arge hill, inside the outer walls, believed to be Camelot.

Arthur was a wonderful leader and a terrific fighter. When fighting, Arthur based his strategies on his hill forts, and mounted commando’s. It is said that Arthur fought wars that gave him power over Britain, Ireland, and France. After he gained control, he made his claim of the Roman Empire. Many of the wars he fought were against the Saxons. Arthur was a great Calvaryman. Sir Thomas Mallory’s Book, Le Morte D’ Arthur-, one of the worlds famous books about Arthur, his court, and his life, is very important to young readers in all ifferent countries.

This is a very important book, and contains immense details on how life was back in those years. In The Book, Le Morte D’ Arthur, written By Sir Thomas Mallory, tells the story of King Arthur. In this tale of King Arthur, King Uther Pendragon is his father

2. King Arthur’s father Uther Pendragon died while in his bed

3. Uther Pendragon died when Arthur was two years old. King Arthur received his title, king, by pulling Excalibur out of the stone. People in the country looked upon him as his king because he had the power to pull the sword out. In Mallory’s book, Arthur is the great king of Britain. Arthur conquers Rome and was the founder of the Knights of the Round Table. Many people saw Arthur as a pure and flawless man, however, he commits incest and adultery with his Queen Margause and conceives with her bastard Sir Modred, whom Arthur tries to drown. King Arthur finally marries Gwynevere, who he later sentences to death

4. He sentences her to burn because of adultery. Mallory’s Novel was one of the greatest works published and a wonderful piece to read if one is interested in learning more about Arthur and his court.

Another important writer was a Welsh writer, Geoffrey of Monmouth, who also wrote in detail about King Arthur and his life. His piece of writing was called Historia Regum Britanniea, (which means, History of the Kings of Britain). The two pieces of writing differ in ways. Geoffrey was a Welsh cleric. It’s been suggested that Geoffrey took “Arthur” as his last name because it was his father’s name. It may not be going too far to believe that Geoffrey’s fascination with the ancient Celtic hero Arthur may have begun when he was a child, hearing the tales his father may ave told him about his name

My name is Arthur,” his father may have said, “and I want to tell you about another man named Arthur who lived long, long ago. ” So it was that Geoffrey of Monmouth who wrote his book, “, History of the Kings of Britain ” incorporating parts of an earlier work of his. While it’s certain that Geoffrey had his sources, this ancient book has identified as being true, and may never have existed.

In Geoffrey’s work, the story of King Arthur takes up only about a fifth of the book. Geoffrey begins Arthur’s reign by pitting him against the Saxons. Saxon” or Anglo-Saxon” is the collective name for these invaders of German blood, who came from Germany, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia. In the middle of the fifth-century, a British chieftain named Vortigern sought help from the Saxons in fighting off the Irish and Scottish. In Geoffrey’s “History,” he is elevated to being a king, the brother of Arthur’s father Uther Pendragon who was also a king. Probably around the year 490, the name of another great general begins to be whispered: Artorius. Today we know the name as Arthur. Geoffrey’s Arthur was an empire builder, though a failed one.

Although the “History of the Kings of Britain” can no longer be treated as pure history, it is still one of the most important books of the Middle Ages. The King Arthur Geoffrey wrote about, isn’t exactly the Arthur we know today. In ” The History of the Kings of Britain ” there is no round table, no sword in the stone, and no Lancelot. Queen Guinevere is known as Ganhumara, and the sword Excalibur is known by the earlier name of Caliber. The works by Geoffrey and Mallory differ for many reasons. In Geoffrey’s novel, there are different characters and different names for characters. Also in Geoffrey’s novel, the story is based on the father of the writer knowing Arthur.

There are many differences but that doesn’t mean that either novel is wrong in it’s content. Neither of these stories can be proven true. Either book is as equally as enjoyable as the other is. Both writers use great detail and description of the character as well as their atmosphere. Geoffrey of Monmouth and Sir Thomas Mallory are two of the most widely known writers who wrote about King Arthur’s adventures, his losses, his triumphs and his loves. The legend of Arthur is a wide topic to discuss. There are many types of writers from all over he world.

Many believe he lived and many people believe he didn’t live. Like all legends, the legend of King Arthur remains still a mystery after many, many years. One’s imagination can decide if there really was such a great, and noble Celtic king. Mallory and Geoffrey best describe King Arthur and his people in each of their pieces of writings. If a person such as Arthur lived a long time ago, the countries had great control because of King Arthur’s capability to fight, conquer, and keep the faith of his people. Then and now King Arthur was and still is a popular figure in literature all over the world.

King Arthur, An Enduring Legend

The mystical references to Arthur and his adventures are dated in literature in some form for over 1400 years, verifying the enduring appeal of this romantic character. Since the beginnings of the English language there have been legends of great heroes. The first settlements of Britain produced stories rooted in ancient Celtic and Germanic imagination; of the many, Arthur is undoubtedly preeminent.

The earliest known description of Arthurs noble endeavors was written by Gildas, (ca. -540) the author of De excidio et conquestu Britanniae makes reference, albeit vague, to an Arthurian figure; however, the name Arthur is not mentioned in the story (Strayer 564). The full flourish of writings associated with his miraculous feats and victories do not reach a crescendo for several hundred years after Gildas (Strayer 564). During the Middle Ages, however, Arthurian myth was prominent and en vogue and attempts to discover the truth behind the myth have been pursued for generations.

Arthur’s history, as Geoffrey Ashe reminds us in The Discovery of King Arthur, is more than just a medley of yarns, more than just a saga in the romanticism of myth. It puts him within a definite period. It names definite places and takes him to definite countries (3). It is this fact and the fragmentary, often contradictory references of an Arthur (the Latin Artur,Arturius, or Artorius) from ancient records, that lends enough validity to the story to set researchers on theClodfelter 2 trail of the legendary king. However, progress has been stymied for a number of reasons and even now we can say little of substance about the man behind the myth. A major difficulty facing researchers is that the role of the historian in the Dark Ages was rather flexible; a mixture of storyteller and propagandist whose regional traditions, personal prejudices, and loyalties were bound to greatly influence the nature of its material (Coglan 214).

In Arthur, Richard Barber clarifies this fact and speaks of the early tendency to use history as an inspiration or as a warning to the men of the present, or as part of a vast divine scheme for man’s spiritual salvation (Coglan 7). Another problem facing historians is that the earliest sources we have are never originals, but copies, and considering their age we must allow for the propagation of errors. One possible such error is found in the Annals of Wales, written in the tenth century.

Its entry concerning the Battle of Badon claims that Arthur carried Christ’s cross on his shoulder for three days, but its likely that shoulder should instead be shield, due to confusion between the Welsh words scuid and scuit (Alcock 51-52). The search for the truth of legend continues. Perhaps the best known of all Arthurian legends is that of Geoffrey of Monmouth.

His History of the Kings of Britain, (ca. 1136) Besides planting highly erroneous notions of British history,… plied a basis and framework for Arthurian romance and exerted an influence extending through Spenser, Shakespeare, and many others (Coglan 209). In it, Geoffrey recounts the history of Britain’s leaders back to their beginning in 1115 BC to King Cadwallader’s death in AD 689. Geoffrey’s account, though most agree not strictly factual, offers a clear look into the events surrounding Arthur’s death and is the starting point for much investigation (Coglan 214). Geoffrey’s work was immensely popular and was not criticized during his lifetime Clodfelter 3 Goodrich 45).

Modern historians, however, have many reasons to be skeptical of Geoffrey’s work. The most obvious problem is its anachronistic representation of a supposedly 5th century king in a very Norman England; as was typical of historians in his day, Geoffrey superimposed his contemporary culture upon his depiction of the past (Goodrich 47). Many inaccuracies exist in his description of the period. If there is an Arthur, he will not be a magnificent Christian king sitting astride a heavy Byzantine charger, accoutered in Norman plate armor.

He will not be basking in a mighty castle between European excursions with a band of international knights; rather, he will be no more than an unkempt and possibly pagan military leader with little if any armor. He will likely have a small entourage of hired regional soldiers and live in no better than a crude wooden fortress. Amazingly, Geoffrey’s glaring inaccuracies were convincing enough to find their way into the Oxford History of England, written in 1937 (332). Geoffrey also made huge geographical errors, such as placing King Arthur in Cornwall (Goodrich 42).

He made errors in church history such as placing an Archbishop in Canterbury in Arthur’s lifetime and an Archbishop in Caerleon (Brooke 202). Inaccuracies aside, Geoffreys romantic, fictional depictions have endured. Geoffrey is clearly a fiction writer, but there is little doubt that he drew from older works both historical and fictional. Besides Roman historians he draws upon Gildas, Nennius, Bede, and probably the Annales Cambriae, as well as Welsh genealogical and hagiographic matter; yet an investigation into these older documents shed little light upon Arthur (Coglan 212).

Gildas’ De Excidio Britanniae, mentioned earlier and despite its plainly erroneous historical section, is considered a key source simply because its the only one contemporary to Arthur’s time. In it Gildas describes how a powerful ruler summoned Saxon help against his enemies only to find Clodfelter 4 that the Saxons had themselves become a threat. The Britons fought back under Ambrosius Aurelianus and had a series of victories which culminated at Badon, a battle usually attributed to Arthur (Strayer 565). Once again, however, Gildas makes no mention of Arthur by name (Strayer 564).

This silence, however, is not considered damaging to later claims. With… Arthur, [Gildas] might have been silent because of his prejudices or because of a gap in his information. When he is dealing with events beyond living memory that information is certainly sparse; he leaves out important people who can be proved to have lived (Ashe 67). The next important document is Nennius’ Historia Brittonum, 800 AD; however, much of his work contains errors and inconsistencies and so is not trusted very much for accuracy (Coglan 404).

Nennius is the first to actually mention Arthur’s name and he gives a list of twelve battles attributed to Arthur. According to Nennius, Arthur was not a king, but a dux belloram–a leader of battles (Coglan 405). The earliest mention of Arthur’s death comes from an entry in the Annales Cambriae, 950 AD. It claims he was slain in The Battle of Camlann in 537 AD. since everyone else who is mentioned in the Annals did exist, there is a certain presumption that a real Arthur must underlie [this] questionable [claim] (Coglan 8).

While much of the information in the Annales is taken from Nennius, there is also evidence of early Celtic and Irish sources and it becomes inconsistent at certain points. However, the dating is important in tracing a possible history for Arthur and the entries for Arthur are lent more validity because of the other figures mentioned there (Coglan 8). These are the primary sources for Arthurian studies, although there are other early documents which make some reference to a powerful warrior named Arthur.

Despite valiant efforts of Arthurian historians to glimpse through the fog of the Dark Ages, Arthur has remained shrouded in mystery. King Arthur, however legendary he may be, is Clodfelter 5 still popular as a romantic hero and therefore we may expect these speculative pseudo-historical works to continue. In conclusion, I think Hollister (quoting James Campbell) summed it up rather well: as James Campbell wisely said, The natural vice of historians is to claim to know about the past. But with respect to fifth and sixth century Britain, what really happened will never be known (29).

Free Epic of Gilgamesh: Underlying Meaning

Last time, we introduced the ancient mythical tale, The Epic of Gilgamesh. You read a brief account of the tale and learned a little of its origins and discovery. Now we are going to get into the tale itself and have a deeper look in an effort to decode some of its hidden or underlying meaning. We will explore the notion of “The Double” and the quest for immortality in our search for the meaning of life. We remember from the epic tale that Enkidu, the wildman, was Gilgamesh’s beloved friend. So what can Enkidu’s injection into the story reveal to us then? Let’s look more closely at this figure.

Enkidu is an innocent savage, a wildman, content to live among the beasts. After an encounter with a trapper he undergoes a kind of culture shock and is tamed by a harlot or sacred prostitute. Here, sex is sacred; it is a civilizing force that separates humans from Nature for the animals now reject Enkidu. Paired with Gilgamesh, the two figures represent the Double. Enkidu embodies the instincts while Gilgamesh represents the intellect. Both of these aspects make up humankind. Through his friendship with Enkidu, Gilgamesh learns much about what it is to be human.

He learns love and compassion, as well as death and loss as Enkidu dies. But Enkidu rages against his death! It is human instinct to fight death, to fight to live! Enkidu is soon appeased though by the sun god Shamash who gives death meaning in remembrance of those who have passed on, of Enkidu who will pass on. So we find in this story a meaning for death – meaning in being remembered. Gilgamesh, however, is not so easily appeased in Enkidu’s death. He grieves heavily over the loss of his dear friend and vows to find the key to everlasting life.

So he sets out on his journey, his journey through the underworld, through the otherworld. Is Gilgamesh now just intellectual man without instinct, without Enkidu? Death, loss, mortality are too much for Gilgamesh to bear. Why toil on earth to end up in a terrible afterlife? Gilgamesh will have none of it. He seeks to become immortal like the gods, after all, he himself is 2/3 god. He does find answers to the questions of life and death on his journey. Siduri, the wine-maker, tells him that immortality is for the gods alone so he should find the joy in life.

But Gilgamesh is not ready to accept this. He struggles on, as many of us struggle on to find a meaning in death. Finally he finds Utnapishtim and his wife. They are the survivors of the Great Flood and have been given the gift of immortality. As you know from the tale, they tell him of the flower of everlasting life and Gilgamesh finds it then loses it to the sneaky serpent. Immortality is lost. But is all lost? Gilgamesh has indeed travelled where no other dares venture. He travelled the underworld and met the Great Survivors of the Flood.

He held the secret to everlasting life in his hand for a brief moment. And he has lived to tell about it. Thats it! That is the key to life! To live! Siduri was right, but Gilgamesh had to live and lose in order to realize it. Death is inevitable and immortality truly is reserved only for the gods. So life must be lived and enjoyed. One must take advantage of all that life has to offer otherwise life isnt worth living for death will soon come. Live a life worth remembering. Gilgamesh may have begun his journey 2/3 god and 1/3 mortal, but he returned fully a man, realizing his own inevitable mortality.

The Dream of Oenghus

The Celtic myth, “The Dream of Oenghus,” relates the tale of Oenghus the Celtic god of love and his long search for true love. Oenghus is the son of Boann and Daghdhae. Boann the white cow goddess, and Daghdhae the father of all gods, the “good god. ” In a dream Oenghus sees “the loveliest figure in Ireland” His memory of this vision makes him ill with loneliness and he begins to waste away. With the help of his mother, and another of his fathers’ sons, Bodhbh, he begins his search for the girl he dreamt of.

When, after years, he successfully completes his search the lovers’ travels to Bruigh Mac, his home. Chronologically and geographically distant, Apuleius second century record of the original Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche also relates a story of amorous pursuit. In Apuleius account Psyche is the most beautiful of all mortals. “The fame of her surpassing beauty spread over the earthand men would even say that Venus herself could not equal this mortal. ” Out of jealousy, Venus commands Cupid to make Psyche fall in love with “the vilest and most despicable creature in the whole world.

However, dispatched on his errand Cupid is astonished by her beauty and “as if he had shot one of his rrows into his own heart” falls completely in love with her. Cupid dumbfounded by the love he suddenly feels carries Psyche off. Although Psyche is never able to gaze on Cupid she is confident of the love her unseen paramour expresses in the dark each night. Eventually, prompted by her unbelieving and somewhat envious sisters she lights a lamp and discovers that her lover is Cupid. Unfortunately, Cupid hurt by both the oil sputtering from the lamp and her faithlessness fees.

Psyche deeply grieved by her lack of faith and subsequent loss of love pledges to search for Cupid forever. “I can spend he rest of my life searching for him. If he has no more love left for me, at least I can show him how much I love him. ” Eventually after many trials and tribulations, largely at the inspiration of the still jealous Venus, she is reunited with Cupid and comes to live the live of the immortals. These myths share a common fundamental theme. In both instances, the myths document a love between a mortal and a god.

Moreover, both of the courtship’s involve long periods of separation, difficult and desperate journeys in pursuit of the beloved, and deep ongoing uncertainty as to the ultimate utcome of the fat of the lovers. Clearly, it is not unreasonable to contend that they cover some common ground and address a conventional human dilemma. At the same time one can identify significant differences in the myths. “The Dream Of Oenghus” a god, Oenghus, pursues a mortal. In “Cupid And Psyche” a mortal Psyche, must illustrate her love for the immortal, Cupid.

Oenghus, receives the willing assistance of other immortals in his search for his beloved. Cupid is also occasionally assisted by other immortals. However, Cupid and Psyche also endure the wrath of Venus and her endless demands on Psyche. In heir relationship they must labor against malevolent gods. In the “Dream Of Oenghus” Caer, the mortal object of Oenghus’ passion, is remarkably free of the influence of the gods. Oenghus must seek her, he must identify her, and he cannot simply buy her.

In the tale of “Cupid and Psyche” it is psyche who must demonstrate her love and endure humiliation and hard labor to win back her ideal and supernatural lover, Cupid. Thus, these myths share a common theme, courtship and the pursuit of love: Specifically, the pursuit of divine or ideal love. However, their representations of this vary significantly. Nevertheless, these variations erve to reveal a great deal about the assumptions underlying these myths. Assumptions that relate to the nature of the gods, human nature, and the experience of love.

The remainder of this discussion will focus on these slight but specific variations in an effort to enlighten the assumptions underlying offer significant information about the perceptions of love in Celtic and Roman culture. It would be a serious understatement to suggest that the course of love runs smoother for Oenghus than it does for Psyche. Following his vision Oenghus is overwhelmed by melancholy, a depression so pervasive that he falls nto a generalized malaise. However, when the root of his affliction is diagnosed by Finghin, “you have fallen in love in absence,” the assistance of Boann is immediately enlisted.

When this is of no use both Daghdhae and Bodhbh willingly join the search. The gods are united in their assistance to Oenghus. On the other hand, the gods are remarkably incapable of influencing mortal behavior. When the girl is identified the gods cannot simply seize her. Oenghus is taken to identify her, which he does, and Bodhbh explains, “Even if you do recognize her, I have no power to give her, and you may only see her. To actually obtain the girl they must enter into a complex bargaing process. First the Daghdhae travels to Ailill and Medhbh and requests that they give the girl to his son.

They explain that they cannot, thus the Daghdhae’s men are forced to attack the fairy hill and capture Ehal Anbhuail, the girl’s father, they demand that he hand the girl over. He refuses. They then threaten him with death, he confesses he cannot for she has magical powers. Yearly she alternates between human form and animal form. If Oenghus truly wants her he must follow certain procedures. Having identified her in uman form he must do the same when she is in the shape of a swan. (which he does. ) Then he must request her companionship on her terms.

Finally, when he promises, “I pledge your protection,” the two are united. Oenghus is enthralled with the mortal, Caer. In fact, their separation makes him ill. Nonetheless, the lovers can only be together if Oenghus satisfies Caer’s condition: He must prove his love to her. He must illustrate that he recognizes her human and animal essence. He must guarantee her freedom, and he must pledge himself to her protection before she will come to him. This tale captures the distinct nature of the Celtic gods. According to Noma Chadwick the “Irish gods” do not emerge as gods in the usual meaning of the term.

They are neither worshipped nor sacrificed to. They are supernatural beings with magical powers If such a name is not appropriate, they might be described as mundane or pedestrian gods. In this tale it is the male, and the immortal that must earn his beloved. Caers appear indifferent to the struggle being waged for her affections. He must prove that Caer is the woman of his dreams and that he knows her in any guise. Also he must accept her terms and guarantee her safety before she will commit herself to him, and satisfy his longing. In essence, it Oenghus that yearns for Caer.

It is the god who must pursue, woo and win the hand of Caer, the mortal woman (although she possesses magical powers). In Apuleius tale it is the mortal, the female, Psyche, who must toil to win her beloved Cupid. In Celtic myths the gods crave the love of mortals while in the classical myths it is the mortals who crave the love of the gods. Moreover, in “The Dream Of Oenghus” the gods must satisfy mortal conditions to win their true love. In the tale of “Cupid and Psyche” it is Psyche, the mortal, who must satisfy the conditions of fate amoung the gods.

When Psyche’s search for Cupid proves fruitless and her plea for sympathy and relief have been completely repulsed she decides to throw herself on Venus’s mercy and to satisfy her rage with meekness. Venus challenges Psyche to a series of tasks, that lead up to her making a trip to Hades, the underworld. Through favorable and periodically divine intervention Psyche is able to complete all these tasks although a second act of faithlessness condemns her to exhaustion. However, at this point Cupid has recovered from his wound, and is wasting away from loneliness for Psyche, he takes leave from his chamber, and finds Psyche.

A touch of one of his arrows awakens Psyche and he pledges to fulfill their relationship. Cupid obtains Jupiter’s blessing and the two are wed. Eventually, their union produces a daughter who comes to be named Pleasure. In certain senses, both of these myths deal with the reunion of lovers. Cupid and Psyche are united only to be separated by her faithlessness. Oenghus has already seen Caer in a vision, and realized his infatuation with her, when he sets out to find her in the world. Therefore, they are, in essence, both tales are of how to obtain love.

In the Celtic tale one obtains love by proving its divine inspirationby ecognizing the beloved in both human and animal formand by meeting her demands for freedom and protection. Oenghus gathers all of his resources to convince Caer of his love. He solicits the help of his father and many other people along the way. They use their influence, and negotiating skills to aid Oenghus in his pursuit. In fact, in stark contrast to the Roman Myth, the gods are united in their support for Oenghus’s quest. There is none of the indifference’s and deceit of the classical gods.

Ultimately though, Oenghus’s divine resources only present him with the opportunity to plead Caer for her love. His divine powers only set the stage. He wins the his true love through his altogether human expression of love. His use of divine power stands as evidence of his desire and just how intense it was. It does not, however, insure his success in his quest for Caer’s affection. On the otherhand, Psyche’s attempts to return to Cupid are carried out with the direct and aggresive hostility of Venus. Repeatedly, Venus demands that Psyche undertakes tasks that appear humanly impossible to complete.

However, in each instances natural forces abide with Psyche and assist her. When she must sort grain, the ants aid her; when she must obtain the golden leece, she is advised by a reed; and, finally, her trip to Hades is facilitated by a sympathetic tower. In this sense true love is identified with nature in both myths. In “The Dream Of Oenghus,” proof of his true love is provided by his ability to separate Caer from a crowd of other swans. In “cupid and Psyche,” Psyche only survives the arduous tasks assigned by Venus because she has the support of the sympathetic natural realm.

A behavior that is in sympathy with, and supported by the natural order. Also, in both myths trust is seen as a fundamental element of natural love. It is lack of the faith that leads Psyche to illuminate Cupid and ltimately forces them apart. On the other hand, it is Oenghus’s faith in his love and Caer’s integrity, and trust, that leads him to promise Caer freedom and protection; the very conditions that win her love. Ultimately, it is Psyche’s dedication to her search for Cupid, an expression of trust, that leads to the reunion of the two lovers.

Thus, in general terms’ one can identify certain similarities in the two myths’ portrayals of love. In both myths love is aligned with the natural order and predicated on mutual trust and respect. Moreover, the lovers can become physically sick when they are separated. Thus, beyond these broad similarities the two myths present remarkably different perceptions of love. In the Celtic tale the god of love is captivated of human a human and he must use all his resources to win her affection. He is assisted in his pursuit by all of the divine family and even all of the mortals they must deal with.

Only, Caer’s father, the fairy king, refuses to help and that is because he cannot: His daughter’s magical powers is stronger than his. In this sense, love is, in the Celtic myths, a relatively straightforward proposal. A lover, committed to his beloved, and willing to demonstrate that commitment, may ncounter obstacles but ultimately, the gods do not interfere with his pursuit and the natural world sympathizes. In Roman mythology the course of love does not run as smoothly. Cupid and Psyche are in love with on another.

Nevertheless, for that very reason, coupled with Psyche’s extreme beauty, Venus is resentful of their relationship. Consequently, her malevolent jealousy is a constant theme in their relationship. The classical god’s war with one another, and exhibit human emotions in contrast to the united front of the Celtic gods. Love must triumph over adversity and ill will in “Cupid and Psyche,” while Oenghus’s love only confront dversity. Moreover, in the Celtic tale true love can proceed once the lovers have satisfied one another.

In the classical tale true love can only proceed when it has the blessing of Jupiter himselfwho can then restrain the other gods from interfering. In general terms a more natural conception of love is presented in the Celtic myth. Divinely inspired by a vision Oenghus’ pursuit of Caer is remarkably prevalent. While he must verify the divine inspiration for his love by identifying Caer on the basis of his dream, he pursues her in a very traditional manner. He seeks out her father and requests her hand. After doing o he then seeks her, and charms her with his care and concern as well as devotion for her well-being and needs.

On the other hand Cupid and Psyche must battle divine anger and vengeance, a trip to Hades , and numerous other unnatural interventions in the world in pursuit of their relationship. Despite its naturalness love must satisfy the needs and desires of the gods before it may progress. These gods act more like a dysfunctional family than divinityLove, must satisfy the natural order and confront the cruel hand of fate in the classical myth. The only natural element of Psyche and Cupid’s love is that their final union produces Pleasure.

Role of Greek Gods In the Illiad

With our view of God, it can sometimes be difficult to comprehend the actions and thinking of the Greek deities. The Christian God does not tend to take such an active role in the affairs of people’s lives, where, on the other hand, the Greeks regarded direct involvement by the gods as a daily, uncontrollable part of life. Needless to say, divine intervention was a major variable in the equation of Homer’s Iliad. The gods picked who they would favour for different reasons.

Except Zeus: As the symbol of supreme authority and justice, he makes udgement calls as to the other gods’ involvement in the war, remains impartial, and doesn’t seem to get caught up in picking favourites. Even when his own son, Sarpedon, was about to die, Zeus chose to let the outcome go unaltered. On the other hand, Zeus’s wife, Hera, displayed the more typical actions of a god. After Paris, a Trojan, judged Aphrodite the fairest over Hera, and, after her daughter Hebe was replaced as cupbearer to the gods by a young Trojan boy, she was quite resentful towards Troy and its people.

Obviously she sided with the Greeks and would stop at o length to express her will. Scheming and manipulating she even dared to trick her husband, King of the Gods. Hera, along with Athena, who was also passed over by Paris, is seen as the chief divine aid to the Greeks. Being the god of the sea, Poseidon was another strong supporter of the ocean-faring Greeks. Whenever Zeus turned his back Poseidon tried to help the Greeks in the fight. Poseidon felt that he was somewhat Zeus’s equal as his brother, but recognizing Zeus’s authority and experience, he looked to Zeus as an elder.

There were also Gods who favoured the Trojan side of the conflict. Both Apollo and Artemis, twin brother and sister, gave aid to the city of Troy. Although Artemis takes a rather minor role, Apollo, perhaps angered by Agamemmnon’s refusal to ransom Khryseis, the daughter of one of his priests and was constantly changing the course of the war in favour of the Trojans. Responsible for sending plague to the Greeks, Apollo was the first god to make an appearance in the Iliad. Also, mainly because Apollo and Artemis were on the Trojan side, their mother, Leto, also helped the Trojans.

Aphrodite, obviously supporting Paris’s judgement, sided with the Trojans. Although she was insignificant on the battlefield, Aphrodite was successful in convincing Ares, her lover and the god of war, to help the Trojans. One view of the gods’ seemingly constant intervention in the war was that they were just setting fate back on the right course. For instance, when Patroklos was killed outside of Troy, Apollo felt no guilt for his doings. It had already been decided that Patroklos would not take Troy, he should never have disobeyed Achilles in the first place.

As a god, he was just setting fate on a straight line. Achilles laid blame on Hektor and the Trojans. He did not even consider accusing Apollo, who never came into question, although he was primarily responsible for the kill. Apollo’s part in the matter was merely accepted as a natural disaster or illness would be today. This general acceptance of a god’s will is a recurring trend throughout the poem. A prime example of this trend is in book XXIV. Achilles, angry over the death of Patroklos brutally disgraced Hektor’s body.

Tethering Hektor’s corpse through the ankles, Achilles ragged him around Patroklos’s tomb every day for twelve days. This barbaric treatment was uncalled for and displeased the gods greatly. Achilles mother, Thetis, was sent by Zeus to tell him to ransom the body back to the Trojans. One may think Achilles would be possessive of the body and attempt to put up a fuss as he did before with Agamemmnon in Book I. But, Achilles showed humility and respect for the gods and immediately agreed to ransom the body to the Trojans, showing that all mortals, even god-like Achilles, were answerable to he gods.

This ideology would seem to give the gods a sort of unlimited freedom on earth, although, the gods could not always do as they pleased and eventually had to come before Zeus. Zeus acted as a balance of sorts throughout the Iliad. He had to keep the gods in order and make sure that what fate decreed would happen. For example, after Achilles re-enters the battle Zeus declared that if Achilles was allowed to go on slaughtering the Trojans with nothing to slow him down, he would take Troy before fate said it would happen.

Therefore, o counter Achilles massive retaliation against the Trojans, Zeus allowed the gods to go back to the battle field. In Zeus’s own interests, he preferred to deal with issues more personal to the individual heros of the Iliad. This can be seen throughout the book as Zeus attempted to increase the honour of certain individuals. Zeus knew that Hektor was going to be killed by Achilles, and, feeling sorry for Hektor Zeus attempted to allow Hektor to die an honourable death. For instance, when Hektor stripped Achilles armour off Patroklos, Zeus helped Hektor “fill out” the rmour so he would not seem like less of a man then Achilles.

Zeus also gave his word to Thetis that Achilles would gain much glory showing his involvement on a personal level. Homer used the gods and their actions to establish twists on the plot of the war. It would not have been possible for him to write the story without the divine interventions of the gods. Indeed, they affected every aspect the poem in some way, shape or form. Yet, from the immortal perspective of the Greek god, the Trojan war, and everything related to it, was only a passing adventure in the great expanse of time.

Gilgameshs Downfall

In “The Epic of Gilgamesh” the main character, Gilgamesh, is searching for immortality. This want is brought about by deep feelings held by Gilgamesh for his dead friend Enkidu. From this, Gilgamesh finds himself being scared of dying. This fear pushes Gilgamesh to search for the power of immortal life, which is believed to be held only by women because of the fact that they can reproduce. This takes him on a long and tiresome journey to a land where no mortal has gone before. The search by Gligamesh is fueled by the desire to play a part in reproduction.

His journey begins at Mount Mashu, the mountain which describes a woman in the part that her “paps reach down to the underworld. ” Referring to two women’s breast’s hanging down. Before he may enter the mountain, he meets two half female, half dragon figures guarding the entrance. They begin asking why he has come; “No man/ born of woman has done what you have/ asked, no mortal man has ever gone into the/ mountain. ” This mountain is off limits to mortal beings, he should not be there Gilgamesh is alloud in and goes through twelve leagues of darkness before he reaches the golden garden of the goddesses.

Upon arriving there he is greeted by Shamash, the Sun God, who tells him, “You will never find the/ life for which you are searching. ” This upsets Gilgamesh because he has traveled so far to now just “sleep and let the earth cover my head forever? ” From leaving Shamash, Gilgamesh is sent to see Siduri. “Beside the sea she lives, the woman of/ the vine, the maker of wine…” and she does not want to allow Gilgamesh pass. Gilgamesh pleads with her that since he has seen her do not let him see death. She answers, “Gilgamesh, where/ are you hurrying to?

You will never find that life for which you are looking. ” Once again Gilgamesh hears that what he is looking for does not exist. She tells him to enjoy life to its fullest because that is what a man is there for. That does not satisfy Gilgamesh and he wishes to know where to find Utnapishtim, the only man with eternal life. To find him, Gilgamesh must locate Urshanabi, the ferry woman. She then proceeds to take him over the Ocean and over the waters of death. So Gilgamesh finds himself in Dilmun, the place where Utnapishtim resides. Utnapishtim asks why he has come.

Gilgamesh proceeds to tell Utnapishtim the whole story about Enkidu dying, how far he has traveled, who he has met, and finally that he wants to know how to become immortal like him. “There is no permanence,” Utnapishtim states, “It is only the nymph of the/ dragonfly who sheds her larva and sees the sun in her glory. ” This statement is saying that only woman live forever through reproduction. Utnapishtim continues to tell Gilgamesh how he got here and asks ”

As for you, Gilgamesh,/ who will assemble the gods for/ your sake, so that you may find that life for which you are searching? Utnapishtim offers him a test and all he has to do is stay up for six days and seven nights. Gilgamesh can not do it, and he immediately falls asleep. Utnapishtim wakes him after seven days and tells Urshanabi to take Gilgamesh to be cleaned, then send him back to where he came from. But before Gilgamesh could leave, Utnapishtim told him of a plant underwater that would restore a mans youth. Gilgamesh then left to find this marvelous plant before he headed home. He found it and brought it with him. Urshanabi and Gilgamesh traveled a long ways before stopping for the night.

While stopped, Gilgamesh went to go bathe in a well. But, deep in that well there was a serpent. “It rose out of the water and snatched it/ away, and immediately it sloughed its/ skin and returned to the well. ” Gilgamesh is left with nothing. The serpent was a symbol of a woman, and now Gilgamesh see that he can not have the power to bear everlasting life. In short, Gilgamesh ends up dying, like all men must do. He learned that there is no immortal life for men and that women are still the only immortals because of reproduction. Gilgameshs Downfall

In “The Epic of Gilgamesh” the main character, Gilgamesh, is searching for immortality. This want is brought about by deep feelings held by Gilgamesh for his dead friend Enkidu. From this, Gilgamesh finds himself being scared of dying. This fear pushes Gilgamesh to search for the power of immortal life, which is believed to be held only by women because of the fact that they can reproduce. This takes him on a long and tiresome journey to a land where no mortal has gone before. The search by Gligamesh is fueled by the desire to play a part in reproduction.

His journey begins at Mount Mashu, the mountain which describes a woman in the part that her “paps reach down to the underworld. ” Referring to two women’s breast’s hanging down. Before he may enter the mountain, he meets two half female, half dragon figures guarding the entrance. They begin asking why he has come; “No man/ born of woman has done what you have/ asked, no mortal man has ever gone into the/ mountain. ” This mountain is off limits to mortal beings, he should not be there Gilgamesh is alloud in and goes through twelve leagues of darkness before he reaches the golden garden of the goddesses.

Upon arriving there he is greeted by Shamash, the Sun God, who tells him, “You will never find the/ life for which you are searching. ” This upsets Gilgamesh because he has traveled so far to now just “sleep and let the earth cover my head forever? ” From leaving Shamash, Gilgamesh is sent to see Siduri. “Beside the sea she lives, the woman of/ the vine, the maker of wine…” and she does not want to allow Gilgamesh pass. Gilgamesh pleads with her that since he has seen her do not let him see death. She answers, “Gilgamesh, where/ are you hurrying to?

You will never find that life for which you are looking. ” Once again Gilgamesh hears that what he is looking for does not exist. She tells him to enjoy life to its fullest because that is what a man is there for. That does not satisfy Gilgamesh and he wishes to know where to find Utnapishtim, the only man with eternal life. To find him, Gilgamesh must locate Urshanabi, the ferry woman. She then proceeds to take him over the Ocean and over the waters of death. So Gilgamesh finds himself in Dilmun, the place where Utnapishtim resides. Utnapishtim asks why he has come.

Gilgamesh proceeds to tell Utnapishtim the whole story about Enkidu dying, how far he has traveled, who he has met, and finally that he wants to know how to become immortal like him. “There is no permanence,” Utnapishtim states, “It is only the nymph of the/ dragonfly who sheds her larva and sees the sun in her glory. ” This statement is saying that only woman live forever through reproduction.

Utnapishtim continues to tell Gilgamesh how he got here and asks “As for you, Gilgamesh,/ who will assemble the gods for/ your sake, so that you may find that life for which you are searching? Utnapishtim offers him a test and all he has to do is stay up for six days and seven nights. Gilgamesh can not do it, and he immediately falls asleep. Utnapishtim wakes him after seven days and tells Urshanabi to take Gilgamesh to be cleaned, then send him back to where he came from. But before Gilgamesh could leave, Utnapishtim told him of a plant underwater that would restore a mans youth. Gilgamesh then left to find this marvelous plant before he headed home. He found it and brought it with him. Urshanabi and Gilgamesh traveled a long ways before stopping for the night.

While stopped, Gilgamesh went to go bathe in a well. But, deep in that well there was a serpent. “It rose out of the water and snatched it/ away, and immediately it sloughed its/ skin and returned to the well. ” Gilgamesh is left with nothing. The serpent was a symbol of a woman, and now Gilgamesh see that he can not have the power to bear everlasting life. In short, Gilgamesh ends up dying, like all men must do. He learned that there is no immortal life for men and that women are still the only immortals because of reproduction.

The story of Gilgamesh

What makes the story of Gilgamesh an epic? Gilgamesh, the hero of this epic, achieves many feats of skill, which makes him famous, but that is not the reason it is an epic. The epic of Gilgamesh fulfills the requirements of an epic by being consistently relevant to a human society and has specific themes of immortality, friendship, grief, ect. Looking at literature throughout history, one can come to the conclusion that these theme are constantly passed on from one generation to another of humans. It is human nature for people to want to excel in life and strive to make a name in this world for themselves.

Gilgamesh is not only a character of a story; he is actually a portrayal of people and how they act out of human nature. he like many of us, does not want his existence to end when he leaves this world. He is not content with what he has, good looks, money, and power and desires more in life. In the story of Gilgamesh we, as people, can relate to. There are similarities between Gilgameshs journey and our own journey through life. Gilgamesh is constantly searching and going on adventures to distance places, defeating the Bull of Heaven, Humbaba, and the lions in the passes of the mountain.

He searches for these adventures because he wants to make the most out of life. Just being king and never leaving the city can be boring. Gilgamesh travels to distant forests and crosses the water of death. He is searching for something worth living for. Just as we cannot live everyday doing nothing. Gilgamesh and all of us were born with the desire to explore and live dangerously because the feeling of adventure and adrenaline helps us to believe that we are truly living life to the fullest. In his search for everlasting life, we realize that being two-thirds god was not enough for Gilgamesh.

He wants to live forever so that no one would ever forget him. But Gilgamesh isnt the only person who searches for immortality. In many stories there is a search for the Fountain of Youth. By drinking this water you would have everlasting life. Fear of death and desire to live forever has driven people to do all they can so that they can extend their existence to as long as possible. This is one of the major themes of Gilgamesh and one of the reasons it is an epic. This book clearly portrays themes that are consistently relevant throughout history and today.

Human rarely change in their nature and therefore some aspects of humanity will never be absent. Humans will always fear death because it will always remain an unknown. And people will always fear the unknown because of possible harm. In conclusion, the story of Gilgamesh fulfils the requirements of an epic by relating to human nature and expressing themes and messages that have been around for centuries. Epics will always be around because the themes they portray about humanity cannot be denied.

Odysseus vs. Gilgamesh

Character is built in several different ways. Some may view character as how one handles a certain hectic situation or how well one person treats another. A true definition character contains these elements, but ones character is built and developed mainly on how one picks and chooses his time to act and his time to wait. This definition refers to restraint and discipline. Gilgamesh and Homers The Odyssey uses many instances in which the main characters must use incredible restraint to protect not only themselves, but also the ones they care for and love.

Although both stories use this theme of self-control and discipline to develop certain personalities, each one tells a different account of how these characters are viewed by their fellow men and women and the rewards that come from showing the traits of restraint and self-will. In Gilgamesh, the character that holds back and exhibits patience is viewed as a coward, as Gilgamesh believes, and is a sign of a lack of bravery and confidence. The way that patience is portrayed in Gilgamesh reflects how the society of the time feels about everything in their lives.

The author of this story wants the reader to believe that one must not hesitate and must act decisively and quickly. Opposing this belief, Odysseus holds back emotions of rage and homesickness in order to complete the task at hand. Homer, living in Greek society, understood that his people thought more about the problem before coming to a quick conclusion and then acting on it impulsively. So, although both stories repeat the concepts of self-restraint and discipline as character building qualities, they differ in the way that these attributes build or weaken a personality.

The story of Gilgamesh begins in the ancient Middle East, a land that was mainly war-faring and used take by force tactics to gain leadership, power, and fame. Since this was the prevailing opinions, the authors, few may it be, tended to define their heroes as men of quick, vicious action. Those who hesitated were run over by those who didnt. Character was built based on ones ability to act quickly and without uncertainty. Gilgamesh was involved in several situations in which he could choose to wait and act later or push forward and complete the task at hand.

Gilgameshs brother, Enkidu, also did not use restraint in several of his performances. The very first instance of Enkidu doing such is when he is tempted by the harlot. Enkidu is half man and half beast when this happens. There he is. Now, woman, make your breasts bare, have no shame, do not delay, but welcome his love She was not ashamed to take him, she made herself naked and welcomed his eagerness (Gilgamesh 20). Enkidu did not refrain in the least from leaving his animal ways to go to the tempting woman.

When he tried to return to the beast after his six days of passion, they rejected him, for he was now fully human. Because of his lack of will-power, Enkidu lost his life in the wild, but he also gained his life in the manly world. His character as a human was reinforced and was now stronger and wiser than before. A second example of a lack of patience comes from Gilgamesh in his decision to travel into the Cedar Forest and fight the terrible Humbaba. One day, he decides to fulfill his destiny and make a name for himself, and the next day, he is on his way.

Gilgamesh does not think of the recourses of his actions and does not plan his adventure carefully and wisely. Even the elders tell him, you are young, your courage carries you too far, you cannot know what this enterprise means which you plan (Gilgamesh 25). As they continued to warn him of Humbabas strength, Gilgamesh paid no attention. Gilgamesh continues on with his plans, and Enkidu and Gilgamesh slay Humbaba. They are welcomed home with great appreciation by the people of Uruk, and all know that there character cannot be topped.

Here, as the story is told, the elders doubted him and warned him, Gilgamesh paid no attention, and Humbaba was defeated. The characters of Enkidu and Gilgamesh were made stronger by this act, even though they showed little restraint in acting upon it. A third occurrence of character building comes after the death of Enkidu. Gilgamesh is so distraught with the loss of his brother, and his mind is not clear, for he has grieved for days and days. He has only thought of his brother and not of his duties as the ruler of Uruk.

After several days of unclear thought, Gilgamesh decides that the only thing he can do is make an extremely long and dangerous voyage across the mountains to find Utnapishtim, the only man who can put Gilgameshs despair to rest. Instead of showing discipline and leading his people, he picks up and takes off on a long trek across the Mashu Mountains. One instance during his journey thats shows a terrible lack of discipline happens when Siduri tells him that he probably wont be able to cross the Ocean.

He becomes enraged and shatters the tackle of the boat of Urshanabi; the same boat that will secure his trip across the Ocean. Your own hands have prevented you from crossing the Ocean; when you destroyed the tackle of the boat you destroyed its safety (Gilgamesh 39). Because of Gilgameshs complete disregard for sensible thought, he had to go into the woods and cut down trees to repair the boat. Gilgameshs complete absence of restraint in controlling his emotions did nothing more than cost him time. The story does not speak of Gilgamesh as a bad person for acting on such quick impulse.

Instead, he is praised wherever he goes for his courageous acts and quick, yet sometimes unreliable, thinking. The group of people who put this story together let the listener or reader know that Gilgameshs lack of good judgment does not cause his character to be hurt. He is only strong for what he accomplishes and not how he accomplishes his heroics. The Odyssey also uses self-restraint and discipline to build character, but unlike Gilgamesh, the characters in The Odyssey show restraint and build their characters in this way.

The Odyssey show several instances of self-restraint that help build the individuals character, not because he didnt show restraint and get the job done, but because he did exercise patience and discipline and still accomplished his goals. In the time that this story was written, the Greeks were well developed people with magnificent cities and education in the arts and sciences that surpassed all civilizations before them. They were a more thinking and intuitive people. The Greeks found character in careful thought and planned decision-making, rather than quick and sometimes unsuccessful action.

Homer recognized this, and he told the story of The Odyssey keeping this in mind. The characters that Homer develops, those that are determined to be good and honorable, are able to display these qualities of precise thought and vigilant action. Although these characters do make mistakes because they do not show good judgment, they are punished for their actions and learn from their mistakes. But these mistakes are used only to build the character of the individuals, and Odysseus especially, learns from these mistakes in order to succeed in the future.

One incredible illustration of Odysseus having good self-will is when his men and he are trapped in the cave of the Cyclops. Instead of giving up and deciding to die at the hands of Polyphemus, Odysseus uses his wits to devise a plan to help them escape. It works, but after they escape, pride overcomes Odysseus, and he does not hold back. He yells from his ship at the Cyclops, screaming How do you like the beating that we gave you, you damned cannibal? (The Odyssey 314). He almost caused his entire crew their lives as Polyphemous threw huge boulders which narrowly missed his ship.

After this scare, Odysseus would never use such reckless abandon again. His character had been developed after this situation, but not because he succeeded, but because he had escaped with his life. Several more instances occur threw his telling of his journey, where Odysseus shows great will-power in making decisions, but some of the most important character-building occurrences happen as he re-enters his home city of Ithaka. Disguised as a beggar, Odysseus must first take a verbal and physical assault from one of his own workers, Melanthios. He is cussed for being a dirty beggar and then kicked in the hip.

It takes Odysseus all of his strength to hold back from killing Melanthios in one blow, but he does hold back, and he keeps the secret of his arrival safe. After he has arrived at his own palace, Odysseus has been informed by Athena that he must beg the suitors for bread. He uses his experiences with each suitor to determine their capability and if they will be a problem. Once again, Odysseus must beg from the men who are taking house and home from him, and he does this with great cunning and discipline. The most difficult occurrence of Odysseus holding back happens when Antinoos becomes enraged with a comment that Odysseus had made.

Antinoos responded, You think youll shuffle off and get away after that impudence? Oh, no you dont! The stool he let fly hit the mans (Odysseus) right shoulder Odysseus only shook his head, containing thoughts of bloody work (The Odyssey 426). The man that Odysseus was about to kill had physically struck him, refused to give him food and told him to get his filthy rags out of the room. As the reader of The Odyssey view this happening, they can only gain great respect for Odysseus great determination to wait for the right time.

Normal people could not stand what he was going through without lashing out, but Odysseus held strong, and his character is shown to be even stronger than before. Homer builds Odysseus character slowly through the story and allows Odysseus to learn from his mistakes. Homer allowed his characters to develop through experience, thought and rationale. The ancient epics of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey both use many instances of restraint and discipline to help further develop the character of Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and Odysseus.

This similarity is only true in that the heroes were developed through these qualities, but the stories differ in how each hero uses self-restraint to their advantage. Gilgamesh shows little or no rational thought before he tackled a challenge. He moved forward regardless, and he succeeded. His lack of self-discipline did not hurt his character, for he won each battle, and his people viewed him as a hero. In contrast, Odysseus at times did not show restraint and was punished for his actions. He only succeeded when he was able to hold back his raging emotions and wait for the time to strike.

For this, Odysseus was praised as a leader and hero. Homer and the author of Gilgamesh both tell wonderful stories of adventure and conquest, but their stories also reflect the societies in which each lived. Regardless of the fact that Gilgamesh and Odysseus gained character in opposite ways, both societies in which they lived recognized their accomplishments and how they were achieved. Both societies accepted Odysseus and Gilgamesh as great heroes, and Homer and the author of Gilgamesh were successful in creating such developed characters.