Movement. Drama. Dynamism. These three words describe the essence of the work of sculpture known as the Nike of Samothrace. This image of the Greek goddess Nike demonstrates, in a powerful and impressive manner, the level of technical skill achieved by Hellenistic sculptors. The Nike of Samothrace is quite literally a tour de force of [...]
From the monthly archives:
A caryatid – or karyatid if you prefer the more accurate Greek spelling – is a female figure that serves as a type of support in architecture. Essentially, a karyatid acts as a column.
The Erechtheion (which incidentally is also known by its Latin title, the Erectheum) is a famous Greek temple in Athens. The Porch [...]
I first read Possession many years ago. Recently, I noticed it sitting on top of a neglected pile of books. Immediately I was drawn to it once again. Indeed, the striking image that adorns the cover was what initially attracted me (yes, it’s true - sometimes you really can judge a book by its cover). [...]
Perhaps you’ve heard of someone who has the Midas Touch. You know, when everything that person comes into contact with turns to gold. Did you know, however, that this idea originated in ancient Greece? That’s right. Another legend continues to inspire us even today. So let’s take a closer look at the mythology behind the [...]
The mythological story of Daedalus and Icarus has long been a popular source of inspiration for artists. According to the legend, Daedalus was a famous inventor and master builder. And it was his ability as a clever craftsman that brought Daedalus to the attention of King Minos. The king of Crete asked Daedalus to design [...]
I have a fair number of mythology books in my personal library. One of these books is Women of Classical Mythology by Robert E. Bell. It sits, sandwiched on the shelves between my trusty Oxford Classical Dictionary and a dogeared copy of Who’s Who in Classical Mythology, waiting to be consulted.
Women of Classical Mythology describes [...]
Today, I thought I would include a work of art to spark your imagination. I selected a painting by Nineteenth century artist John William Waterhouse. The Siren is Waterhouse’s interpretation of the mythological creature that has inspired artists since ancient Greece.
The scene is a bit melancholy. Instead of the Siren being depicted as a conniving, [...]
Looking into the night sky, you may have noticed Sagittarius, the celestial archer. Perhaps you wondered how he found his way into the heavenly realm as you gazed up at the myriad constellations. And indeed, there is a legend that describes this elegant group of lights, and it involves the centaur Chiron.
According to myth, Chiron [...]
Today we have a word that isn’t all that common, even in mythology. Apotheosis. Yeah, not exactly something that graces the average conversation. Be that as it may, it is a useful little gem to have in your vocabulary. Hey, it might even qualify as a fifty cent word, if you know what I mean.
Yesterday, I listed some of the interesting figures in the Odyssey of Homer. Now on to an introduction to some of the characters in Homer’s other epic, the Iliad.
Achilles – He was one of the Greek heroes of the Trojan war. Achilles was son of the sea nymph Thetis and King Peleus.
Agamemnon – King [...]