<b>Patroclus:</b> I made this friendship bracelet for you<p/><b>Achilles:</b> Thanks, but I'm not a jewelry type of guy<p/><b>Patroclus:</b> You don't have to wear it<p/><b>Achilles:</b> Nope, it's mine. I'm wearing this forever. Back off.<p/></p>
They’re all here! I took it upon myself to create an illustration of a Mythological creature or character for every letter of the alphabet, trying to span across a multitude of cultures and creature-types. Another thing I wanted to accomplish with this project was to find some the more unusual and/or obscure creatures that don’t get as much representation in artwork. Individual Tumblr Posts with said creatures’ descriptions are below.
Again, I’ll be making this into a small run of books as a way to test the waters. If there’s more demand for a larger run, I’ll definitely be looking into it!
Polyphemus, head of Hellenistic statue (marble), 2nd century BC, (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston).
This head comes from a group, probably of the blinding of Polyphemos, similar to that constructed from fragments found in the grotto at Sperlonga, along the Italian coast southwest of Rome. Polyphemos is based, in details of hair and beard, on a Pergamene centaur. The sculptor was wise in rejecting the… older tradition, one seen in Hellenistic terracottas, of showing the monstrous giant as a kind of fat-faced baboon, with large ears and his eye set like a beacon light in the middle of his forehead. Here the rugged, animal power of the creature has been stressed. Broken off through the neck and the lower whiskers, the head is in relatively excellent condition, save for the damage to the beard below the mouth. The marble has a yellow-buff tone.
This is the head of the one-eyed, man-eating Cyclops whom Odysseus finally outwitted and blinded. Here the monster is in a peaceful mood, either waiting to receive the cup of wine offered him by Odysseus, or, more likely, gazing love-struck at the indifferent sea nymph Galatea. The head comes from a sculptural group that might have adorned a public fountain or a luxurious seaside villa. The type originated in the second century B.C., yet the lively and direct style of this piece makes difficult to judge whether it is a contemporary variant or a Roman copy. (uploaded by Ancient Hellas on facebook)
Rare Roman Hekate & Nymph Altar Pillar, 2nd-3rd Century AD
An Eastern Empire marble altar with rectangular base three figures of females dressed in peplos representing triple goddess Hecate (Hekate) surrounded by four smaller figures of nymphs, three dancing and once playing aulos; inscription to one side: “In the 7th (?) year. For the continuance of Kl(a)udios. ……akos (the name of the dedicator). At the behest of Artemis …..”; provincial workmanship.
Goddess of sorcery and witchcraft, Trivia was said to have power in graveyards, crossroads, and other places of transition, mirroring her sway over the space between life and death.
Her Greek counterpart was Hecate, and both were often visualized in a triple-form. She was a Titan of the underworld, but in the Titanomachy–the great war between Titans and Olympians to determine which generation of gods would rule the universe–she aided Jupiter, and was thus allowed to keep her powers and position.
She is a liminal deity, which is a deity associated with thresholds and transition. Her powers were invoked to aid in childbirth, and also to guide the dead: as part of her role as an Underworld goddess, she was called Queen of Ghosts.
I think liminal deities are fascinating, because they’re attributed with wisdom of (or power over) the thresholds we find most important/most terrifying. Our ancestors infused these figures with mystery and dignity; they’ll be there, they know what we dream of knowing, but they won’t be forthcoming with answers or comfort. Death is scary, and life is mysterious, but they represent and embody a uniquely human courage to comprehend the incomprehensible.