A/ B/ C/ D/ E/ F/ G/ H/ I/ K/ L/ M/ N/ O/ P/ R/ S/ T/ U/ X/ Z
MITOLOGY DICTIONARY(H)

H


Hades
Hades is the lord of the dead and ruler of the nether world, which is referred to as the domain of Hades or, by transference, as Hades alone. He is the son of Cronus and Rhea. When the three sons of Cronus divided the world among each other, Hades was given the underworld, while his brothers Zeus and Poseidon took the upperworld and the sea respectively. He ruled the underworld together with Persephone, whom he abducted from the upperworld. Zeus ordered him to release Persephone back into the care of her mother Demeter, but before she left he gave her a pomegranate. When she ate it, it bound her to the underworld forever/ Hades sits on a throne made of ebony, and carries a scepter. He also has a helmet, given to him by the Cyclopes, which makes him invisible. Hades rules the dead, assisted by various (demonic) helpers, such as Thanatos and Hypnos, the ferryman Charon, and the hound Cerberus. Many heroes from Greek mythology have descended into the underworld, either to question the shades or trying to free them. Although Hades does not allow his subjects to leave his domain, on several occasions he has granted permission, such as the time Orpheus requested the return of his beloved Eurydice. Hades possesses the riches of the earth, and is referred to as 'the Rich One'. Possibly also because, as Sophocles writes, 'the gloomy Hades enriches himself with our sighs and our tears'. Of all the gods, Hades is the one who is liked less and even the gods themselves have an aversion of him. People avoided speaking his name lest they attracted his unwanted attention. With their faces averted they sacrificed black sheep, whose blood they let drip into pits, and when they prayed to him, they would bang their hands on the ground. The narcissus and the cypress are sacred to him. Other names include Clymenus ('notorious'), Eubuleus ('well-guessing') and Polydegmon ('who receives many').

Haemus
The son of King Boreas of Thrace. In his vanity he compared himself and his wife Rhodope with Zeus and Hera. Zeus punished them by turning them into mountain with the same name (the current Balkan).

Halirrhotius
A son of Poseidon. He pursued Alcippe, a daughter of Ares and Aglaulus, with his love, for which Ares killed him.

Hamadryads

Tree nymphs who lived and died with the tree they inhabited.

Harmonia
In Greek mythology, Harmonia is the goddess of harmony and concord. She is the daughter of Ares and Aphrodite (other sources say Zeus and Electra). She was married to the Theban ruler Cadmus, and as such was beloved by the Thebans. Upon her wedding she received a necklace and a garment, which proved fatal to who wished to possess them. Harmonia is the mother of Ino and Semele.

Harpies

"Robbers". In earlier versions of Greek myth, Harpies were described as beautiful, winged maidens. Later they became winged monsters with the face of an ugly old woman and equipped with crooked, sharp talons. They were represented carrying off persons to the underworld and inflicting punishment or tormenting them. Those persons were never seen again. They robbed the food from Phineus, but were driven away by Cailas and Zetes, the Boreads, and since then they lived on the Strophades. The Harpies were probably the personification of storm winds. They are: Aello, Celaeno, and Ocypete.

Harpocrates
The Greek form of the Egyptian Harpa-Khruti (Horus the child). He was represented as a naked boy sucking his finger. The Greeks made him the god of silence and secrecy.

Hebe
Hebes is the goddess of youth, and the daughter of Zeus and Hera. She poured the nectar of the gods on the Olympus until Ganymede replaced her. Hebe also prepared Ares' bath, and helped Hera to her chariot. After Heracles became a god, he married her. The Romans called her Juventas ("youth"). She was portrayed as a young woman, wearing a sleeveless dress. On various vases she is shown as cup bearer of the gods, or as bride of Heracles. Famous was the --now lost -- statue of Hebe, made of ivory and gold, by Naucydes (brother of Polycletus) in the 5th century BC. This statue was also shown on more recent coins from Argos.

Hecate
Hecate is the Greek goddess of the crossroads. She is most often depicted as having three heads; one of a dog, one of a snake and one of a horse. She is usually seen with two ghost hounds that were said to serve her. Hecate is most often mispercepted as the goddess of witchcraft or evil, but she did some very good things in her time. One such deed was when she rescued Persephone, (Demeter's daughter, the queen of the Underworld and the maiden of spring), from the Underworld. Hecate is said to haunt a three-way crossroad, each of her heads facing in a certain direction. She is said to appear when the ebony moon shines.

Hecatonchires
The Hecatonchires were born of Gaia and Uranus. They were stronger, more overbearing, and more fierce than even the mighty Cyclopes. They had 100 arms and 50 heads each. Their names were Cottus, Briareus, and Gyges. Uranus was disgusted by these children, so in a fit of outrage he cast them into Tartarus to be locked up forever. Gaia was distressed about this and asked the Titans for help in retrieving them. Only Cronus agreed to help. Cronus waited for Uranus under his bed. That night, when Uranus laid with Gaia, Cronus castrated Uranus and cast his genitals behind his head and into the sea. This caused foam in the sea and blood drops on the land. The foam was the birthplace of Aphrodite. The blood drops gave birth to the giants and nymphs.

Helene
1. The daughter of Tityrus, and one of the Amazons. It was expected of her to fight Achilles in a one-on-one battle. Achilles killed her, although she did manage to wound him first. 2. A trusted friend of Venus. The goddess used her help to seduce Adonis.

Helenus
The son of Priam and Hecuba. He possessed the gift of prophecy, and after he fell into the hands of the Greeks, prophesied their victory at Troy. After the Trojan War he enslaved by Neoptolemus and taken to Epirus. After Neoptolemus' death he married the -- also enslaved -- Andromache. He inherited a part of Neoptolemus' realm and founded in Epirus a new Troy.

Heliadae
The Heliadae are from the Greek culture. The Heliadae were the seven sons of Helios, the sun god and the nymph Rhodus, daughter of Poseidon. The Heliadaes all lived on the island Rhodes, named after Rhodus. The names of the seven sons were Ochimus, Cercaphus, Macareus ( or Macar), Actis, Tenages, Triopas, and Candalus. They were all expert astrologers and seafarers, but Macareus, Triopas, Actis, and Candalus grew jealous of Tenages' talented skill of seafaring and science, so all four of them killed Tenages. Quickly, Macareus and the others escaped to Lesbos, Cos, Egypt, and Caria respectively. Macareus was the only one who stayed in Lesbos. Triopas, Candalus, and Actis went through the journey. No one has ever heard from them since. People say they married nymphs. In addition, Triopas found the city of Cnidus and Triops is also another name for Triopas. As for Macareus, he was then the king of Lesbos. He assumed power for all the neighboring islands. Lesbos (god), son of Lapithes came to the country and married Macar's daughter Methymna. This was the story of Macareus. Traditions say that he was a native of Olenus, also a son of Crinacus and a son of Aeolus. Macar, there married his sister Canace. Ochimus and Cercaphus stayed in Rhodes and had a peaceful life. Ochimus, the eldest son, seized power and ruled over the island. He married the nymph Hegetoria and soon both of them had a daughter named Cydippe. After, Cydippe grew old and married her uncle Cercaphus, who was his brother's (Ochimus) heir. Cercaphus ruled after Ochimus on Rhodes. Cydippe had three sons: Lindos, Camirus, and Ialysus who due in course shared the island of Rhodes between them and founded three cities that bore their names. A son of Heracles named Tlepolemus was also a founder of the three cities with Lindos, Camirus, and Ialysus. Another culture or tradition says that Ochimus engaged Cydippe to a man called Ocridion, but Cercaphus who was in love with his niece, kidnapped her and fled away. Cercaphus came back later when Ochimus was an old man. The Heliadae are kind of related to the Heliades, daughters of Helios. They were Helia, Merope, Phoebe, Aetheria, and Dioxippe.

Heliades

The Heliades were three sisters in Greek mythology; Aegiale, Aegle, and Aetheria. Their brother was Phaeton and they were daughters of Helios, the sun god. When Phaeton died driving Helios' chariot, they mourned and grieved so much (4 months) that the gods took pity on them. The gods changed all three into poplar trees. Their arms turned into branches. Their legs turned into a trunk, and their tears into amber. They stayed poplar trees forever. Heliades means "children of the sun".

Helicon
A woody mountain in Boeotia, dedicated to the Muses. Here, several famous springs were located, such as the Aganippe and the Hippocrene.

Helios

Helios is the young Greek god of the sun. He is the son of Hyperion and Theia. By the Oceanid Perse, he became the father of Aeëtes, Circe, and Pasiphae. His other two daughters are Phaethusa ("radiant") and Lampetia ("shining"). He had a son, named Phaeton, whom he once allowed to guide his chariot across the sky. The unskilled youth could not control the horses and fell towards his death. Each morning at dawn he rises from the ocean in the east and rides in his chariot, pulled by for horses - Pyrois, Eos, Aethon and Phlegon -- through the sky, to descend at night in the west. He sees and knows all, and was called upon by witnesses. The reverence of the sun as a god came from the east to Greece. Helios was worshipped in various places of the Peloponnesos, but especially on Rhodes, where each year gymnastic games were held in his honor. Rhodos was also where the Colossus of Rhodes (the sixth the seven wonders of the ancient world) was built in his honor. This huge statue, measuring 32 meters (100ft), was built in 280 BC by Charès of Lindos. In the earthquake of 224-223 BC the statue broke off at the knees. On other places where he was worshipped, there were herds dedicated to him, such as on the island of Thrinacia (occasionally equated with Sicily). Here the companions of Odysseus helped themselves with the sacred animals. People sacrificed oxen, rams, goats, and white horses to Helios. He was represented as a youth with a halo, standing in a chariot, occasionally with a billowing cloak. A metope from the temple of Athena in the Hellenistic Ilium represents him thus. He is also shown on much more recent reliefs, concerning the worship of Mithra, such as in the Mithraeum under the St. Prisca at Rome. In early Christian art, Christ is sometimes represented as Helios, such as in a mosaic in Mausoleum M or in the necropolis beneath the St. Peter in Rome. His attributes are the whip and the globe, and his sacred animals were the cock and the eagle.

Hellen
The son of Deucalion and Pyrrha, or of Zeus. He is mythical ancestor of the Hellenes or Greeks. Hellen was believed to be the father of the principal nations of Greece. From his sons Aeolus and Dorus sprang the Aeolians and Dorians, and from his son Xuthus came the Achaeans and Ionians.

Hemera
Hemera is the Greek goddess of day. She was born from Erebus, darkness, and Nyx , night. Nyx was the daughter of Chaos, and sister of Erebus. Erebus was among the first beings, dwelling in Hades. He sprang from Chaos at the beginning of time. Erebus' name was given to the gloomy underground cavern which the dead walk through on their way to the Underworld. Hemera emerged from Tartarus as Nyx left it and returned to as she was emerging from it. Thalassa, the sea, is the daughter of Hemera and her brother Aether, light.

Hephaestus

Hephaestus, the god of fire, especially the blacksmith's fire, was the patron of all craftsmen, principally those working with metals. He was worshiped predominantly in Athens, but also in other manufacturing centres. He was the god of volcanos and, some sources say, he was originally the god of volcanos. Later, the fire within them represented the smith's furnace. Hephaestus was associated with Mount Etna, which is on the island of Sicily. Known as the lame god, Hephaestus was born weak and crippled. Displeased by the sight of her son, Hera threw Hephaestus from Mount Olympus, and he fell for a whole day before landing in the sea. Nymphs rescued him and took him to Lemnos, where the people of the island cared for him. But other versions say Zeus threw him from Mount Olympus after Hephaestus had sided with his mother, Hera, in a quarrel. This legend says that Hephaestus fell for nine days and nine nights, and he landed on the island of Lemnos. It was on Lemnos where he built his palace and forges under a volcano. To gain revenge for his rejection by Hera, Hephaestus fashioned a magic throne, which was presented to her on Mount Olympus. When Hera sat on the throne, it entrapped her, making her a prisoner. The gods on Mount Olympus pleaded with Hephaestus to return to their heavenly domain, as to release Hera, but he refused. Dionysus gave the smith god wine, and when Hephaestus was intoxicated, Dionysus took him back to Mount Olympus slumped over the back of a mule. This scene was a favourite in Greek art. Hephaestus released Hera after being given the beautiful Aphrodite as his bride. Dionysus was rewarded by being made one of the Olympian Pantheon. Hephaestus is known as the son of Hera and Zeus, although Zeus had nothing to do with the conception. Hephaestus was parthenogenetic, meaning he was conceived without male fertilisation. Hera was jealous of Zeus after he had an affair with Metis, from which the goddess of prudence was pregnant with Athena. However, Gaia had warned Zeus that Metis would bear a daughter, whose son would overthrow him. To prevent this, Zeus swallowed Metis, so he could carry the child through to the birth himself, although Zeus could not give birth naturally. For retribution Hera produced (parthenogeny) Hephaestus, and legend says, that Hephaestus split the head of Zeus with an axe, from which Athena appeared fully armed. One particular legend says that Hephaestus wished to marry Athena, who was also a patron of smiths, but she refused because she found him ugly. Another legend says that Athena disappeared from their bridal bed but Hephaestus did not see her vanish, and spilt his seed on the floor. In a similiar version the semen fell from Athena's thigh and from it was produced Erechtheus, who became a king of Athens. (This relates to Erechtheus being the son of Gaia, Earth.) Aphrodite, in some versions, was the wife of Hephaestus, and he was suspicious that Aphrodite had been committing adultery. To catch her being unfaithful he fashioned an extraordinary chain-link net, so fine and strong no one could escape from it. Then one day he surprised Aphrodite and the war god Ares as they lay together in bed. He threw his magic net over them and hauled them before the Olympian gods and exhibited them as they were, naked and wrapped in each others arms. Hephaestus asked the assembled gods for just retribution, but they did the total opposite. The gods roared with laughter at the sight of the naked lovers, after which they allowed the couple to go free. According to Homer's Iliad Hephaestus had a wife called Aglaea, who was one of the Charites (Graces). Being a great craftsman Hephaestus manufactured wonderful articles from various materials, primarily from metal. With help from the Cyclopes, who were his workmen and assistants, he fashioned the thunderbolts for Zeus and his sceptre. He made weapons and armour for the other gods and heroes. For Athena, he made her shield or aegis and for the god of love, Eros, he made the arrows. The wonderful chariot which the sun god Helios rode across the sky was made by Hephaestus and in some versions it was a golden cup or goblet. He also fashioned the invincible armour of Achilles. Hephaestus helped to create the first woman, with the assistance of other gods, after Zeus had ordered that there be a new kind of human. Zeus plotted against Prometheus because he and his race of mortals had only included one gender, which was male, and so Hephaestus formed the first woman from clay. Her name was Pandora (all gifts) and from a supernatural jar, she released the evils of the world on mankind. Hephaestus is usually shown as an animated cripple bent over his anvil. He wears a beard and is normally depicted as being ugly, and in some art forms he walks with the aid of a stick. Homer describes Hephaestus as lame and walking with the aid of a stick. Hepheastus was worshiped mainly in Athens, where the Temple of Hephaestus and Athena (the Hephaesteum, also known as the Theseum) still stands. It is the most complete example of a "Doric" temple (one of the three orders in Greek architecture). It was built in 449 BCE. and stands on a hill close to the Agora at the foot of the Acropolis. Hephaestus and Athena Ergane (protectress of craftsman and artisans) were honoured with the festival "Chalceia" on the 30th day of the month Pyanopsion. The Romans took Hephaestus as one of their own gods attaching the myth and cult to their god of fire and calling him Vulcan (Volcanus).

Hera
The queen of the Olympian deities. She is the eldest daughter of Cronus and Rhea, and wife and sister of Zeus. Hera was mainly worshipped as a goddess of marriage and birth. It is said that each year Hera's virginity returns by bathing in the well Canathus. The children of Hera and Zeus are the smith-god Hephaestus, the goddess of youth Hebe, and the god of war Ares. According to some sources, however, her children were conceived without the help of a man, either by slapping her hand on the ground or by eating lettuce: thus they were born, not out of love but out of lust and hatred. Writers represented Hera as constantly being jealous of Zeus's various amorous affairs. She punished her rivals and their children, among both goddesses and mortals, with implacable fury. She placed two serpents in the cradle of Heracles; she had Io guarded by a hundred-eyed giant; she drove the foster-parents of Dionysus mad, and tried to prevent the birth of Apollo and Artemis. Even Zeus usually could not stand up to her. Sometimes when he got angry, he chained her to the mountain of Olympus by fastening anvils to her feet. However, most of the time Zeus resorted to stratagems: he either hid his illegitimate children, or he changed them into animals. Hera's main sanctuary was at Argos in the Peloponnesus, where she was worshipped as the town goddess. Also, in this town the Heraia, public festivities, were celebrated. Other temples stood in Olympia, Mycene, Sparta, Paestum, Corinth, Tiryns, Perachora, and on the islands of Samos and Delos. The peacock (the symbol of pride; her wagon was pulled by peacocks) and the cow (she was also known as Bopis, meaning "cow-eyed", which was later translated as "with big eyes") are her sacred animals. The crow and the pomegranate (symbol of marriage) are also dedicated to her. Other attributes include a diadem and a veil. Hera is portrayed as a majestic, solemn woman. Her Roman counterpart is Juno.

Hermaphroditus
The name given to all people with both masculine and feminine qualities, and more particularly applied to a son of Aphrodite and Hermes. Hermaphroditus was raised by nymphs in Phrygia. He was remarkably handsome. One day, he was walking by a lake when the nymph of the lake fell in love with him. She made advances which the young man rebuffed. Hermaphroditus was attracted by the clear water, undressed himself and jumped into the lake. The nymph, Salmacis, saw him and embraced him, but he tried to get away. Salmacis prayed to the gods that they should never be separated, the gods granted this wish and fused them into one body. Hermaphroditus thereupon asked the gods that anybody who bathed in this lake should lose his virility, which was also granted.

Hermes
Hermes, the herald of the Olympian gods, is son of Zeus and the nymph Maia, daughter of Atlas and one of the Pleiades. Hermes is also the god of shepherds, land travel, merchants, weights and measures, oratory, literature, athletics and thieves, and known for his cunning and shrewdness. He was also a minor patron of poetry. He was worshiped throughout Greece especially in Arcadia. Festivals in honor of Hermes were called Hermoea. According to legend, Hermes was born in a cave on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia. Zeus had impregnated Maia at the dead of night while all other gods slept. When dawn broke amazingly he was born. Maia wrapped him in swaddling bands, then resting herself, fell fast asleep. Hermes, however, squirmed free and ran off to Thessaly. This is where Apollo, his brother, grazed his cattle. Hermes stole a number of the herd and drove them back to Greece. He hid them in a small grotto near to the city of Pylos and covered their tracks. Before returning to the cave he caught a tortoise, killed it and removed its entrails. Using the intestines from a cow stolen from Apollo and the hollow tortoise shell, he made the first lyre. When he reached the cave he wrapped himself back into the swaddling bands. When Apollo realized he had been robbed he protested to Maia that it had been Hermes who had taken his cattle. Maia looked to Hermes and said it could not be, as he is still wrapped in swaddling bands. Zeus the all powerful intervened saying he had been watching and Hermes should return the cattle to Apollo. As the argument went on, Hermes began to play his lyre. The sweet music enchanted Apollo, and he offered Hermes to keep the cattle in exchange for the lyre. Apollo later became the grand master of the instrument, and it also became one of his symbols. Later while Hermes watched over his herd he invented the pipes known as a syrinx (pan-pipes), which he made from reeds. Hermes was also credited with inventing the flute. Apollo, also desired this instrument, so Hermes bartered with Apollo and received his golden wand which Hermes later used as his heralds staff. (In other versions Zeus gave Hermes his heralds staff). Being the herald (messenger of the gods), it was his duty to guide the souls of the dead down to the underworld, which is known as a psychopomp. He was also closely connected with bringing dreams to mortals. Hermes is usually depicted with a broad-brimmed hat or a winged cap, winged sandals and the heralds staff (kerykeion in Greek, or Caduceus in Latin). It was often shown as a shaft with two white ribbons, although later they were represented by serpents intertwined in a figure of eight shape, and the shaft often had wings attached. The clothes he donned were usually that of a traveler, or that of a workman or shepherd. Other symbols of Hermes are the cock, tortoise and purse or pouch. Originally Hermes was a phallic god, being attached to fertility and good fortune, and also a patron of roads and boundaries. His name coming from herma, the plural being hermai herm was a square or rectangular pillar in either stone or bronze, with the head of Hermes (usually with a beard), which adorned the top of the pillar, and male genitals near to the base of the pillar. These were used for road and boundary markers. Also in Athens they stood outside houses to help fend off evil. In Athens of 415 BC, shortly before the Athenian fleet set sail against Syracuse (during the Peloponnesian War), all the herms throughout Athens were defaced. This was attributed to people who were against the war. Their intentions were to cast bad omens on the expedition, by seeking to offend the god of travel. (This has never been proved as the true reason for the mutilation of the herms.) The offspring of Hermes are believed to be Pan, Abderus and Hermaphroditus. Hermes as with the other gods had numerous affairs with goddesses, nymphs and mortals. In some legends even sheep and goats. Pan, the half man half goat, is believed to be the son of Hermes and Dryope, the daughter of king Dryops. Pan terrified his mother when he was born, so much so that she fled in horror at the sight of her new born son. Hermes took Pan to Mount Olympus were the gods reveled in his laughter and his appearance and became the patron of fields, woods, shepherds and flocks. Abderus, a companion of the hero Heracles, is also thought to be a son of Hermes, he was devoured by the Mares of Diomedes, after Heracles had left him in charge of the ferocious beasts. Hermaphroditus (also known as Aphroditus) was conceived after the union of Hermes and Aphrodite. He was born on Mount Ida but he was raised by the Naiads (nymphs of freshwater). He was a androgynous (having the characteristics of both sexes) deity, depicted as either a handsome young man but with female breasts, or as Aphrodite with male genitals. It was Hermes who liberated Io, the lover of Zeus, from the hundred-eyed giant Argus, who had been ordered by Hera, the jealous wife of Zeus, to watch over her. Hermes charmed the giant with his flute, and while Argos slept Hermes cut off his head and released Io. Hera, as a gesture of thanks to her loyal servant, scattered the hundred eyes of Argos over the tail of a peacock (Heras' sacred bird). Hermes also used his ingenuity and abilities to persuade the nymph Calypso to release Odysseus, the wandering hero, from her charms. She had kept Odysseus captive, after he was shipwrecked on her island Ogygia, promising him immortality if he married her, but Zeus sent Hermes to release Odysseus. Legend says that Calypso died of grief when Odysseus sailed away. Hermes also saved Odysseus and his men from being transformed into pigs by the goddess and sorceress Circe. He gave them a herb which resisted the spell. Hermes also guided Eurydice back down to the underworld after she had been allowed to stay for one day on earth with her husband Orpheus. Known for his swiftness and athleticism, Hermes was given credit for inventing foot-racing and boxing. At Olympia a statue of him stood at the entrance to the stadium and his statues where in every gymnasium throughout Greece. Apart from herms, Hermes was a popular subject for artists. Both painted pottery and statuary show him in various forms, but the most fashionable depicted him as a good-looking young man, with an athletic body, and winged sandals and his heralds staff. His Roman counterpart Mercury inherited his attributes, and there are many Roman copies of Greek artistic creations of Hermes

Herse
The daughter of Cecrops and by Hermes the mother of Cephalus.

Hesperia
1. One of the Hesperides. 2. The name of the nymph, daughter of the Trojan river god Cebren. 3. "Evening-land", an ancient name for Italy.

Hesperides
The Hesperides are nymphs who live in a beautiful garden, situated in the Arcadian Mountains (Greece) or, alternatively, at the western extreme of the Mediterranean, near Mt. Atlas (hence they are sometimes considered daughters of Atlas). In this garden grows the tree with the golden apples which Gaia had given as a present to Hera on her wedding to Zeus. This garden is guarded by Ladon, a dragon with a hundred heads. The only one who succeeded in obtaining some of the apples was Heracles, who tricked Atlas to get them for him. Thus Heracles completed the eleventh of his Twelve Labors. The Hesperides are Aegle, Arethusa, Erytheia and Hesperia. They are also called The African Sisters.

Hesperius

"Evening". Hesperius is regarded as the wife of Atlas and mother of the Hesperides. Because of her beauty she was also associated with Aphrodite.

Hesperos
Hesperos is the Greek personification of the evening star. He is "the most splendid star that shines in the environment." This is from the Greek accounts. Phospheros is sometimes confused with him because he is the morning star. Eos, the goddess of dawn, is Hesperos' mother. Some people considered Atlas his father, but no one really knows. Hesperos' children, Ceyx and Daedalion, were both turned into birds. They angered the gods and that was their punishment. It is unknown what caused the gods¹ wrath. After that, Hesperos thought he might want to have another child.

Hestia
Hestia is the Greek goddess of the hearth fire, hence presiding over domestic life. She is the eldest sister of Zeus and the oldest daughter of Rhea and Cronus. She was a virgin-goddess, and when wooed by Poseidon and Apollo, swore by the head of Zeus to remain a virgin. She had no throne, but tended the sacred fire in the hall on the Olympus and every hearth on Earth was her altar. She is the gentlest of all the Olympians. Hestia also symbolized the alliance of the Metropolis ("mother-city") with the smaller settlements which were founded in the colonies. The colonists took fire from the hearth in the prytaneion and kept it burning in their new towns. The Romans called her Vesta, and build a temple for her in the Forum.

Himalia
A Cyprian nymph who bore three sons of Zeus, among which Cronius.

Himerus
The personification of sexual desire. Himerus is the attendant of either Eros or Aphrodite.

Hippocampus
The hippocampus was a fabled sea animal from Greek mythology. It was found in classical myth. It resembles a horse with the hind parts of a fish or dolphin. The chariot of Poseidon was drawn by a hippocampus. The name comes from the Greek hippos, horse; and kampos, sea monster.

Hippocrene
The fountain of the Muses on Mount Helicon. It was produced by a stroke of the hoof of Pegasus. The name comes from the Greek hippos, horse; and krene, fountain.

Horae
The Horae (the Hours) are the goddesses of the seasons (the Greek had only three seasons; spring, summer and winter), and the daughters of Zeus and Themis. They are called Thallo, Auxo and Carpo, names which denote budding, growth and ripening. Later, as Eunomia ("good order"), Dike ("justice") and Eirene ("peace") they represented law and order in society. As goddesses of nature they controlled the growth of plants; as goddesses of order they maintained the stability of society.

Hyacinthus
A Greek vegetation divinity who was loved by both Apollo and Zephyrus. He returned the love of Apollo, but not of Zephyrus. When he and Apollo were throwing the discus together, Zephyrus blew Apollo's discus out of its course. It struck the head of Hyacinthus and killed him. From his blood Apollo made spring up a flower, the hyacinth.

Hyades
The five daughters of Atlas and Aethra, and the sisters of the Pleiades. In some traditions they were regarded as the nurses of either Dionysus or the infant Zeus. As a reward, they were placed in the sky as a constellation. In other traditions, they were the sisters of Hyas. The latter was killed in a hunting accident and the Hyades died of grieve, and changed into stars. They form the head of the constellation of Taurus. Their name means "the rainy ones".

Hybris

In Greek mythology, Hybris is the personification of a lack of restraint and of insolence. He was a not very powerful and spent much of his time among mortals.

Hygieia
Hygieia, one of the daughters of Asklepios (Asclepius) and granddaughter of Apollo, took an important role in the cult of Asklepios as a giver of health, often identified with health and sometimes also called The Health. She was worshipped and celebrated together with her father on many places (Asklepieion) of the Greek and Roman world. Therefore the cult was known between the 7th and 6th centuries BCE as a local cult. It spread out after the recognition through the oracle of Apollo at Delphi and after the catasthrophic plague in 429 and 427 BCE in Athens and 293 BCE in Rome. The most oldest Asklepieion seems to be at Trikke (the present day Trikala in Thessaly), while the most biggest centres of worship were established in Epidaurus, Corinth, Cos and Pergamon. Pausanias noted to us some interesting details about offerings to Hygieia at Asklepieion of Titane in Sikyonia, which was founded, according to him, by Alexanor the grandson of Asklepios. The statues of Health were covered there by masses of women´s hair consecrating to the goddess and the swathes of Babylonian clothing. The same offerings are also known from the inscriptions, discovered in the Cycladic island Paros. Hygieia was sung and represented by many artistes from 4th century BCE until the end of the Roman period. Ariphron, the Sikyonian, living in the 4th century BCE, was the author of a hymn celebrating her. The statues of Hygieia originated from well-known masters - like Skopas, Timotheos (both of these works at the present time in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens) and Bryaxis. The Romen sculptors, as well, liked to create her image. The good quality of the Roman works of Hygieia are located in the museums´collections in Epidaurus, Herakleion, Nicosia and Rome. The late ancient ivory-cut relief from Walker´s galery in Liverpool is presenting Hygieia in her typical form like a fine young woman, feeding a huge sacred snake, which is crowding arround her body. We learn also from Pausanias about a special kind of a big, but not venomenal snake, living in the region of Epidaurus. Sometimes Hygieia is accompanied by Telesforos, the dwarf with a cowl on his head, who is a symbol of the recovery. According to some myths he was the brother of Hygieia and the deity in Thrace. With the increasing importance of Asklepios´ cult during the Roman period, Hygieia was associated with the moon and her father, the most worshipped of the gods, was considered as the equal of the sun. The name of Hygieia survived until the present times in the word hygiene and its components and her sacred snake together with the rod of Asklepios is the medical sign for actual medicine.

Hymen
Hymen or Hymenaeus was the god of marriage and the marriage feast or song. He is often depicted with a marriage feast torch in his hand. This god was the son of Aphrodite by Dionysus and therefore the full brother of Priapus. His attributes are referred to in the opening sections of Homer's Iliad as well as playing a part in Virgil's Aeneid. He is a character in both As You Like It and The Tempest by Shakespeare. In Greek mythology he plays a prominent part as a subordinate character in certain cycles, for example: "Hymen had been called to bless with his presence the nuptials of Orpheus with Eurydice; but though he attended, he brought no happy omens with him. His very torch smoked and brought tears into their eyes. In coincidence with such prognostics, Eurydice, shortly after her marriage, while wandering with the nymphs, her companions, was seen by the shepherd Aristaeus, who was struck by her beauty and made advances to her." (Bulfinch's Mythology) Thus we see how the torches were part of a casting for omens at the feast with regard to the success of the marriage. He was also the personification of the wedding hymn (humnos) which made be the word from which the god's name derives

Hyperboreans

A legendary people believed to live "beyond the north wind", at the edge of the world, in a land of unbroken sunshine. Here they enjoy continuous and perfect happiness. Apollo spends the winter among the Hyperboreans, and also the heroes Heracles and Perseus visited them.

Hyperion
Hyperion is a Titan and a son of Uranus and Gaia. He is married to his sister Theia and has three children - Helios, Selene and Eos. The name Hyperion means "he who goes before the sun" and may have arisen because he was sometimes thought of as the sun.

Hypnos
Hypnos is the personification of sleep in Greek mythology. He is the son of Nyx and Erebus, and the twin of Thanatos ("death"). Both he and his brother live in the underworld. He gave Endymion the power of sleeping with open eyes so he could see his beloved, the moon goddess Selene. Hypnos is portrayed as a naked young man with wings attached to his temples, or as a bearded man with wings attached to his shoulders.


-

A/ B/ C/ D/ E/ F/ G/ H/ I/ K/ L/ M/ N/ O/ P/ R/ S/ T/ U/ X/ Z

site design by T U R K L I N E