Ancient Greek Myths, Stories and Legends
This section of the site covers some of the most popular myths, legends and stories of ancient Greece.
The Arachne is a creature from Greek mythology, whose name was later used for words like “arachnid” and “arachnophobia.” There’s very little to fear about the story of Arachne, however. Hers is a cautionary tale about pride that we can all learn from. According to the myth, Arachne was a very famous and talented weaver. […]
In Greek mythology, Centaurs (or Kentauroi) are half-man, half horse creatures that inhabited the mountains and forests of Thessaly. Centaurs were said to be primal, existing in tribes and making their homes in caves, hunting wild animals and arming themselves with rocks and tree branches.
Cerberus: The three Headed Dog of Greek Mythology There are many unique creatures mentioned in Greek mythology. One of the most well known may be the three-headed dog known as Cerberus. It was the job of Cerberus to guard the entrance to Hades. In Greek mythology, this was the underworld where spirits of the dead […]
Chimaera – A Fire-Breathing Monster Chimaera has become one of the most famous female monsters described in Greek mythology. An aura of mystery has always surrounded this creature. (Even today, the name “chimaera” sometimes refers to a genetic puzzle.) Greek sailors considered it a very bad omen to see Chimaera. She usually appeared right before a […]
The Cyclops were giant; one-eyed monsters; a wild race of lawless creatures who possess neither social manners nor fear of the Gods. Cyclopes means ‘round eye.’ Considered the sons of Uranus and Gaea they were the workmen of the God Hephaestus whose workshop was in the heart of the volcanic mountain Etna. According to Homer’s […]
Echidna the She-Viper – Mother of Monsters Echidna is a somewhat obscure, but nevertheless fearsome monster in Greek mythology. Homer’s The Iliad and Hesiod’s poem Theogony are some of the oldest writings to feature her, and have therefore been influential in shaping Echidna’s modern narrative. Other than what is established in The Iliad, Theogony and […]
The Harpies were mythical monsters in Greek mythology that had the form of a bird with a human female face; often agents of punishment they abducted people and tortured them on their way to Hades’ domain, employed by the God as instruments for the punishment of the guilty. They stole food from their victims and […]
One of the most popular monsters of Greek Mythology, Medusa was a beautiful maiden with golden hair. She vowed to be celibate her entire life as a priestess of Athena until she fell in love with Poseidon. She went against her vow and married him. For this Athena punished her hideously. She turned Medusa into […]
The tale of the Minotaur is one of the classics of Greek mythology and contains an extraordinary number of important elements. Characters like the brilliant Daedalus, strong Theseus, evil King Minos and his beautiful daughter Ariadne all make an appearance in this story. The concept of the labyrinth, or the endless underground maze, also originates […]
Pegasus is a mythological creature described as a beautiful, pure white stallion with wings. He was born from the blood of Medusa, a frightful Gorgon whose gaze could turn men to stone, when the hero Perseus decapitated her.
Cyclopes are the only beasts of the first creation that are not punished by Zeus when he overthrows his father, Cronus. This may have something to do with them being his nephews as sons of Poseidon, and no, there are no female cyclopes. They will eventually become favorites of the god, forgers of his thunderbolts, […]
In Greek mythology, Scylla (pronounced “Sill-ah” or “Skee-lah”, depending on what country you live in) is a sea monster who lives on the rocks of a narrow water channel opposite of the whirlpool (and originally also a sea monster) Charybdis. Ships caught in between Scylla and Charybdis often end up being sunk by either Scylla […]
The Sirens were creatures that sang beautifully, luring those passing by to their deaths. Each Siren combined the appearance of a woman and a bird, with the exact appearance varying depending on the artist. Some artists drew Sirens that had bodies of birds with the heads of women, while others made them look like women […]
Midas was a king who reigned in Macedonian Bromium in what is now modern day Turkey. The people he ruled over were called the Brigians or the Moschians. He was the son of the goddess Ida and an unnamed satyr and loved pleasure and wealth. When he was a baby, ants would climb up the […]
Medea is the daughter of King Aeetes of Colchis. She is a sorceress who marries the hero Jason. She is the title character of the play written by Euripides. Medea is an enchantress, and is sometimes seen as a priestess of the goddess Hecate. Medea saw Jason after he arrived from Iolcus to Colchis. Looking […]
Sisyphus was the creator and first king of the city Ephyra (later Corinth). He married the nymph Merope and had four children: Glaucus, Ornytion, Almus and Thersander. Sisyphus helped his city become a commercial hub. He is also rumored to have created the Isthmian Games, a competition featuring athletic and musical feats. It was held […]
According to Greek mythology, Theseus was the son of Aethra, yet his father was unknown. At the time, Aethra supposedly had two suitors; King Aegeus of Athens, and Poseidon, God of the Sea. King Aegeus assumed the child was his own, and in the months preceding the birth of Theseus, he gave instructions to Aethra […]
In Greek Mythology, Apollo was the God of Light, and it was his job to pull the sun across the sky in his 4-horse chariot every day. He has also been referred to as the God of music, poetry, art, medicine, knowledge, plague and archery. Apollo was the son of Zeus (the God of Thunder) […]
Since the beginning of time man has looked up at the night sky and wondered about the stars. These points of light were once a mystery. Before man discovered all we know today about the stars and planets, they used the constellations to tell a story. Constellations are like a dot to dot puzzle. People […]
Perseus' myths are full of gods, creatures, and monsters that you might see in a number of Hollywood movies and television shows. Even if Perseus' myth is a little on the simple side, it has still had a huge impact on Greek mythology.
According to Greek Mythology, the Amazons were a tribe of entirely female warriors. It was believed that the Amazons lived in Themiscyra near the Black Sea. This area is now Turkey, Eastern Europe. The Amazons were famous for being all women and for hating men. No men were allowed to live alongside the Amazons. They […]
The Argonauts were a band of heroes united in the common cause of taking the Golden Fleece from Colchis. This was a group of some of the most legendary heroes of all of Greek mythology, one of the few times in the myths where a group of heroes team up to accomplish a goal. The […]
Theogony literally means the “birth or genealogy of the gods.” It is the name of an epic poem by Hesiod, a Greek poet who is believed to have lived between 750 and 650 BC. He was thus a contemporary of Homer, the author of the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey.” Along with Homer’s works, the “Theogony” […]
The Wars between the Titans and Olympians The Titanomachy is a series of wars in Greek mythology. These wars took place in Thessaly, and were also called the War of the Titans, the Battle of the Titans, the Battle of the Gods or just the Titan War. These wars were between the Titans, the older […]