Greek-legend

Alexander The Great in front of the tomb of Achilles.

This painting in the Louvre Museum is a work of Hubert Robert (1733 -1808) done around 1754.

The subject taken from the Greek rhetorician Claudius Aelianius or Aelian (Varia Historia, XII, 7), writing in the second century CE, and shows the Macedonian king having the tomb of Achilles opened in order to pay a homage to the Greek hero of the Trojan War.

Achilles’ relationship with Patroclus is a key aspect of his myth. Its exact nature has been a subject of dispute in both the classical period and modern times. Thus in 5th-century BCE Athens, the relationship was commonly interpreted as pederastic. Nowadays some see it as a love relationship of an egalitarian homosexual couple. It is the same case as the relationship between Alexander the Great and Hephaestion. The relationship between the Macedonian king and his dearest and closest friend and confidant, lasted their whole lives, and was compared, by others as well as themselves, to that of Achilles and Patroclus. Hephaestion and Alexander grew up in a time and place where homosexual affairs were seen as perfectly normal. Roman and later writers, taking the Athenian pattern as their example, have tended to assume either, that their sexual relationship belonged to their adolescence, after which they left it behind, or that one of them was older, the lover (erastes) and the other was the beloved (eromenos). Claudius Aelianus takes the latter view when he uses just such an expression when describing the visit to Troy: “Alexander laid a garland on Achilles’ tomb and Hephaestion on Patroclus’, indicating that he was Alexander’s eromenos, as Patroclus was of Achilles.” No other circumstance shows better the nature and length of their relationship than Alexander’s overwhelming grief at Hephaestion’s death. The many and varied ways, both spontaneous and planned, by which Alexander poured out his grief are overwhelming. In the context of the nature of their relationship however, one stands out as remarkable. Lucius Flavius Arrianus “Xenophon” (Arrian of Nicomedia, ca. 86 – 160), in his work Ἀλεξάνδρου ἀνάβασις says that Alexander “… flung himself on the body of his friend and lay there nearly all day long in tears, and refused to be parted from him until he was dragged away by force by his Companions.

This painting by Robert (known as Robert des Ruines) is close to Panini, who was his teacher during his long stay of 11 years in Rome, and it is considered to be one of the first productions of the French artist in that city. In the painting by the French vedutista, an architectural fantasy, we see a pyramid similar to that of Caius Cestius in Rome, the ruins of a temple with Ionic columns inspired by the temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum and a round temple, after the Roman temple of Vesta, or the temple of the Sybile in Tivoli. The statue standing at the left-hand side of the canvas is the so-called Antinous of the Belvedere, or Antinous Admirandus, the famous statue in the Pio-Clementino Museum of the Vatican. This statue, correctly identified as a Hermes in the 19th century, was long taken to be a depiction of the beautiful Bythinian lover of Emperor Hadrian, one of the great “eromenos-erastes” relationship of the antiquity.

Chimera Discourse

So Chimeras are pretty cool. Fun fact I’ve learned about the Chimera is no matter how you pronounce it’s name, you’re flat-out always pronouncing it wrong. Whether this is one of it’s magical abilities is up to interpretation.

While 90% of mythological creatures are mashed-up combos of already existing creatures, (Expecting more creativity out of you, Greece) the chimera, is, well, *the* creature mashup. Every mashup that isn’t already something else can technically be considered a chimera. This is why some subjects like genetics uses chimera as a term to define an abnormal combination of things. Being the sibling of the hydra and Cerberus, it’s clear Greece likes multi-headed creatures.

However, the chimera is a little bit different than those two, since they comprise of multiple heads of the same species. So what would a realistic chimera even entail? That’s what we’re going to learn today, so buckle up.

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According to Greek legend, Parthenope was the daughter of the god Achelous and the Muse Terpsichore. She cast herself into the sea and drowned when her songs failed to entice Odysseus.  Her body washed ashore at Naples, on the island of Megaride, where the Castel dell'Ovo is now located. When people from the city of Cumae settled there, they named their city Parthenope in her honor.

Roman myth tells a different version of the tale, in which a centaur called Vesuvius was enamored with Parthenope. In jealousy, Zeus turned the centaur into a volcano and Parthenope into the city of Naples. Thwarted in his desire, Vesuvius’s anger is manifested in the mountain’s frequent eruptions.

Parthenope by Milo Manara. 

I don’t think you know how to love. Ares whispers against her lips. She draws away from him. ‘I am the Goddess of love. I have seen love, given love, and blessed love.’ She purses her lips. ‘I am love.’

You’re cruel. Hephaestus says somewhere near her shoulder. ‘Destruction and turmoil is all you’ve ever brought me.’   ‘I never claimed that love was benevolent. I never said I loved kindly.’ She whispers, running a skilled hand along his chest. He sighs and shakes his head. I don’t think you know how to love.

Is it torture, having a heart that splits in diverging directions? Hermes is lounging comfortably on one of her couches. She turns her head, her shoulders slump. ‘I have played this game, you think I don’t know how to cope?’ His dark head is thrown back in a simple laugh. ‘A game implies that it has rules, when we both know it does not.’ He plants soft kisses down her back. I don’t think you know how to love.

Does it ever hurt less? Artemis lays her head on her shoulder and they both gaze up at the history of the heavens, the one that lays written in splattered stars. ‘It will pass. If you wish to forget, then you will.’ Her dark eyes bare into her own. ‘I want to remember everything.’ Aphrodite laughs lightly. ‘In a century it will have faded. The memories will ebb and flow. The pain you feel now, will be a dull ache tomorrow.’ Pity decorates her face. I don’t think you know how to love.

It must be exhausting carrying the hearts of others in your hands. She walks with Hades near the Elysian Fields. ‘Not more than carrying the weight of their souls.’ His mouth twists into that familiar smirk. ‘There are only two certainties; love and death.’ ‘Death we have not.’ Her hand twists a loose curl. ‘And sometimes not even love.’ He starts soft, but his voice rises steadily. ‘No. Always love. You have seen it. You have given it. You have blessed it.’ He pauses, ‘Surely, you know how to love.’

L.H.Z // The Goddess of Love 

you think i ate the fruit unwillingly, that i let it drip from my lips, kissed him twice, and never wanted hell? i walk and the walls brighten, i talk and the hounds sing choirs, i blow kisses and green tendrils grow around his feet, i touch him and he is more full of color than the surface ever was. mother. i have done nothing unwillingly except stay with you.

I think I’ve fallen into a new level of hell… and it has a name… Patrochilles.

I’m so emotional that even the MENTION of Troy, or Achilles, or anything to do with Greece, right now is going to make me burst into fits of screaming tears. Just let me bury myself in pain… I don’t need my heart anymore…

Throughout ACOTAR Feyre constantly mentions that Elain loves gardening, However, the only flowers that were specifically mentioned to be in Elain’s garden are hyacinths and tulips. Both have tragic mythical origins. Greek legend has it the origin of hyacinth stems from a boy named  Hyakinthos. Apollo and Zephyr both liked him and Zephyr ended up killing him in a jealous rage with a blow to the head. From his blood hyacinths bloomed. A Turkish legend  goes that a prince named Farhad was love struck by a maiden named Shirin. When Farhad learned that she had been killed, he was so overcome with grief that he killed himself and from his blood tulips bloomed. I think that it’s not a coincidence that these are the only flowers mentioned in association with Elain’s gardens, rather, I believe it’s a subtle way to foreshadow her death.

Orestes Pursued by the Furies, 1862, by Adolphe-William Bouguereau. Chrysler Museum of Art.


In the painting Orestes Pursued by the Furies, William Bouguereau has created a scene inspired by ancient Greek mythology and tragedy. The image is based on a particularly dramatic portion of the legend of Orestes. According to some versions of the story, Orestes killed his mother Clytemnestra as an act of revenge (Clytemnestra had earlier murdered her husband Agamemnon). In turn, Orestes himself was punished by the avenging spirits known in myth as the Furies for taking the life of his own mother. Some sources even claim that the young man was driven mad by these Greek goddesses of vengeance.

Bouguereau wrote of the painting: “I have this day placed in the hands of your agent my picture of Orestes pursued by the Furies. Gratified to have the picture go to New York, where I have found so many proofs of sympathy, I do not part with it without some regret; it is a philosophical conception, which I have treated with the utmost care, that of the criminal tormented by remorse; it being dear to me as one of my best and gravest works, on which I rely for admission to the Imperial Academy, at the doors of which I am now knocking”.

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Gucci’s “The Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice” is a four-part series of short films shot in New York. Gia Coppola casts a contemporary lens over the Greek legend, starring the ill-fated lovers and the Pre-Fall 2016 collection. Pictures by Dan Regan.

According to the ancient tale, talented musician Orpheus descends to the underworld to retrieve his newlywed wife Eurydice, who steps on a poisonous snake and dies. Moved by Orpheus’ music, Hades & Persephone, rulers of the afterlife, allow him to take Eurydice back under one condition. Eurydice is to follow Orpheus while walking out to the light, but he can’t look back otherwise she will return to the land of the dead forever.