Thursday, September 22, 2022

Persephone- Queen of UnderWorld; History Mystery

Persephone

The very first question which can arise in your mind is, who is Persephone? She is the daughter of Demeter and Zeus. Besides, she was the Queen of the Underworld. In addition, she was the wife of Hades. So, is Persephone a fertility goddess?

While she was a fertility goddess, she was also a dual deity. But her husband Hades abducted her. This myth was often used to explain the cycle of the seasons. Persephone, the greek goddess, and her mother were the central characters of the Eleusinian mysteries. Let's dive into the article to know Persephone Hades and their story.

Persephone's Role:

She was popular among various names in Ancient Greece. But the recent scholarly consensus is that all suggest a Pre-Greek origin of the word and the goddess. Besides, it is also the name of the Roman counterpart. Therefore, it may have a Greek dialectical origin. However, the Romans believed that the Latin Proserpere was the source of the term. It means "to shoot/creep forth," a verb related to the germination of plants. Being the daughter of Demeter, she was famous as Kore Persephone, meaning simply "the girl" or "the maiden."

Persephone's Portrayal and Symbolism:

She was a venerable queen in Classical Greek Persephone art where she got robbed and carried a scepter & a sheaf of wheat. In such cases, Demeter, Persephone's mother, is the one who carries the scepter and the sheaf. Besides, she holds a four-tipped torch used in the Eleusinian mysteries.

Regarding Persephone and Pomegranate story, you can see her holding a pomegranate – or even a seed of a pomegranate. It indicates her marriage with Hades and the Underworld. The horn of plenty is also connected to her. Hence, the goddess of fertility is the Persephone symbol.

Persephone's Epithets:

She was the Queen of the Underworld. Therefore, people got frightened of her. That's why she had many friendly names. While a few people called her "The Maiden," a few called her "The Mistress."

In addition, she was popular as "The Pure One," "The Venerable One," and "The Great Goddess." Her bonding with her mother was so close that people referred to Demeter and Persephone as "The Two Demeters" or "The Two Goddesses."

The Abduction of Persephone

The most famous Persephone myth is the story of her abduction. So let's know about hades and Persephone.

Persephone and Hades:

Queen of UnderWorld

Hades, the ruler of the Underworld, decided to marry her. She is the only daughter of his sister Demeter. One day, she went with her maidens to collect flowers in the Nysian meadow. But suddenly, she smelt the fragrance of a beautiful flower. Due to the blooming of the flower, she got separated from her maidens. Once she went to pluck the flower, the ground below her feet opened up. Hades came before her with his majesty in his four-horse golden chariot. Then, he snatched her and took her to his Underworld to make her Queen and his wife.

As a result, Demeter wasn't very pleased when she knew about this incident from Hecate and Helios. Therefore she started wandering around. After that, Zeus, Persephone's father, sent Hermes to the Underworld to fetch his daughter to Demeter. But Hades tricked her by giving her a pomegranate seed to taste before leaving the Underworld. Therefore, as per the ancient laws, she remained in the Underworld.

Anthesphoria:

It is a religious festival held in Ancient Greece in honor of Persephone's return from the Underworld. Once she ate the pomegranate seeds, she was forced to spend one-third of the year there. She allotted two-thirds of the year aboveground only. It was held in various regions throughout the ancient world, where every festival comes with its distinct customs and rituals.

The Athenian Anthesphoria was beautiful and allowed flowers & music to commemorate the return of the goddess of springtime. It was famous for its beauty. In addition, other festivals like the Sicilian Anthesphoria celebrated the day more precisely. However, even it was one of the vital celebrations of the year.

The Rape of Proserpina is called the Abduction of Proserpina. It is a giant Baroque marble group sculpture by Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Execution of the sculpture occurs between 1621 and 1622, the beginning stage of Bernini's career. This sculpture depicts the abduction of Proserpina.

Persephone in Other Myths:

It was the living world where she used to spend her time. But all myths related to her occur in the Underworld.

Persephone and Adonis:

Adonis's tale copies her destiny. In this case, you can find Aphrodite and her falling in love with the same mortal. It is Adonis, a handsome young man. They couldn't agree on who deserved him more. Zeus divided his time between the Underworld and the upper world.

But Adonis indeed loved Aphrodite more. Therefore, when the time came, he didn't want to return to her kingdom. Later, Adonis died in Aphrodite's arms. Then, he got transformed into the anemone flower. But after that, the goddess of the Underworld sent a wild boar to kill him.

Persephone and Minthe:

You can't see any mention of Hades and Persephone's children. But because of this reason, she didn't have any issues with Hades' fidelity, unlike her celestial counterpart Hera. The story of the nymph Minthe is one of the few half-exceptions. Hence, you should know that Minthe may have been Hades' mistress before her abduction. Minthe boasted that she was once far more beautiful than his new lover. Therefore, Minthe can win Hades again any day. But she transformed Minthe into the mint plant. It ensures that such a thing won't happen again.

Persephone and Hades

Persephone the Influential Queen:

He differed from Hera in an even more essential manner. But unlike Hera, she was not Hades' consort.

Persephone and the Visiting Heroes:

She was reported as the sole maker of essential decisions related to mortals if it let Orpheus leave Hades with Eurydice or Heracles with Cerberus. In addition, she allows Sysiphus to return to his wife, agreeing to the Admetus/Alcestis soul swap. Besides, she granted Teiresias the privilege of retaining his intelligence in Hades.

The king of Lapiths is Pirithous. He attempted to abduct her with his friend Theseus. But the plan got changed. At last, he got a permanent position in Hades always.

The bottom line:

People can find the entire story of her abduction in the "Homeric Hymn to Demeter." Besides, you can find other exciting transformation myths in the fifth book of Ovid's "Metamorphoses." it is all about Persephone's story.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. Who was she?

Alongside being the daughter of Demeter & Zeus and the wife of Hades, she was the Queen of the Underworld and the fertility goddess.

  • Q. What did she rule over?

She ruled over the Underworld and Mount Olympus.

  • Q. Where did she live?

Her home was Hades.

  • Q. Who were her parents?

Her parents were Zeus and Demeter.

  • Q. Who were her brothers and sisters?

She had fourteen siblings: Arion, Philomelus, Eubuleus, Aphrodite, Dionysus, Helen, Hephaestus, Heracles, Hermes, Perseus, The Graces, The Horae, The Muses, and The Fates.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Jason: Ancient Greek Mythological Hero

Jason: Ancient Greek Mythological Hero

Jason, an unconventional hero, was the leader of the Argonautic Expedition. As he was the son of Aeson and Alcimede, he should get his father's position on the throne of Iolcus. But his half-uncle Pelias usurped the position. His uncle feared for his life if Jason could attack him for the ancient prophecy. So, Pelias planned to keep him away from Iolcusas far as possible. So, Pelias ordered him to fetch the Golden Fleece from the King Aeetes of Colchis, one of the impossible things to do during that period.

He had a ship, Argo, where he assembled some great heroes of his time. Argonauts, a team of the greatest heroes, retrieved the Golden Fleece after an exhausting expedition beset by giants & monsters and brought that back to Iolcus.

Aeson's son got immense help from a goddess (Hera), the members of his crew, and King Aeetes' daughter, Medea. She left everything behind to be with him. However, after some years, he deserted her for Corinth's princess, Creusa. But she could not tolerate the betrayal and murdered both Creusa and her two sons by Aeson's son.

Although his parents sent him to the Centaur Chiron, Jason returned to claim the throne. But he was ordered to fetch the Fleece and took it away with the help of the enchantress Medea. After their return, she murdered Pelias. But Pelias' son drove them out. As a result, they had to take refuge with King Creon of Corinth. However, later, he deserted Medea for Creon's daughter. His desertion and the results are popular as Euripides' Medea. 

Ancient Greek Mythological Hero Jason:

Nickname: "Amechanos"

Family:-

Father: Aeson;

Ancestor: Aeolus;

Maternal great-grandfather: Hermes

Who Was Jason?

He was an ancient Greek mythological hero. Besides, he was the leader of the Argonauts. In addition, he was the son of Aeson, the original king of Iolcos. Moreover, he was the great-grandson of the messenger god Hermes on his maternal side.

The Argonauts and the Quest for the Golden Fleece:

He assembled the greatest heroes of that time. They are famous as the Argonauts after their ship, the Argo. These are the names of the heroes, including:-

  • Acastus; 
  • Admetus; 
  • Argus, the eponymous builder of the Argo; 
  • Atalanta; 
  • Augeas; 
  • The winged Boreads, Zetes & Cala├»s; 
  • The Dioscuri, Castor & Polydeuces; 
  • Euphemus; 
  • Heracles; 
  • Idas; 
  • Idmon, the seer; 
  • Lynceus; 
  • Meleager; 
  • Orpheus; 
  • Peleus; 
  • Philoctetes; 
  • Telamon; and 
  • Tiphys, the helmsman

Jason's Early Life:

He was born in the mid-term while a war was running inside his family for the throne of Iolcus. Later, he returned to Lolcos after being raised by the Centaur Chiron to claim his position on the throne. But Pelias sent him away to fetch Golden Fleece, an impossible task.

Pelias Usurping the Throne of Iolcus:

Although Jason was Aeson's son, king of Iolcus, it was uncertain who his mother was. But it might be Alcimede, the daughter of Clymene, or Polymede, one of Autolycus' daughters.

Pelias killed all the kids of Aeson but failed to kill Jason. Therefore when he was a baby, his parents sent him to the Centaur Chiron, who nurtured him into adulthood.

Jason Returning to Iolcus:

Once, Pelias held some games in honor of the god Poseidon. The son of Aeson attended these games. But while helping a disguised Hera to cross, he lost one of his sandals in the river Anaurus. In this regard, you should know that Hera was a goddess who hated Pelias because he neglected to honor her. So, she blessed the son of Aeson at that moment. She turned him into an instrument to bring Pelias' demise soon. As soon as he appeared in front of Pelias to introduce himself, the original heir of Aeson, Pelias recognized the danger. Pelias asked him about his contribution to the emperor. So, Pelias told him that if he could fetch the Golden Fleece to Iolcus, he would step down from the throne to allow him to hand over the position.

Jason and Argonauts:

He gladly accepted the task of bringing the Golden Fleece from Colchis to Iolcus. So, he began his journey with the Argonauts after his ship, Argo. He, with his heroes, met with multiple adventures and perils.

At Colchis: Aeetes' Tasks:

They reached Colchis. After that, the king of Aeetes welcomed them. He saw the Golden Fleece in possession of the king. Phrixus gifted the golden Fleece to the king while arriving there on a flying golden ram years before. Then, the king said he would give it to him if he completed some tasks in a single day.

Fortunately, there was Hera, his guardian-goddess, to help him in every step of his journey. During that time, Medea, Aeetes' daughter, fell in love with him because of Hera. Along with being a princess, she was a high priestess of Hecate.

What was Jason first task?

His first task was to plow a field from end to end with the help of two angry bulls. Jason promised Medea that he would marry her once the expedition was over. She gave him an ointment to keep him secured from the fire. As a result, he became practically invulnerable. After that, he flew the field and yoked the bulls using the balm.

What was Jason second task?

The second job was to sow the dragon's teeth in the plowed field. It might appear a simple task to do. But once it got completed, an army of stone warriors would spring out from the earth. However, Medea knew the solution and prepared him according to it. He followed her advice and flung a rock amid those warriors. The warriors didn't know who had thrown it. So, they turned on each other and began fighting. By the Sunset, he remained the one who was still alive on the field.

But still, the king did not want to hand over the Golden Fleece. Instead, he planned to kill Aeson's son and the Argonauts with the leading men of Colchis during the night. However, Medea realized it and fled from her father. Then, she joined the Argonauts to direct them to the Golden Fleece. It was hung from a sacred oak tree, and a sleepless dragon was on guard. Then she used her spells and drugs to make the dragon fall asleep. Finally, the time was sufficient for him to snatch the Fleece and carry it back to his ship.

Jason and Medea:

She helped him to extinguish Talos, the giant bronze man. Besides, she killed her brother also. In simple words, she was fully committed to him. But still, he betrayed Medea and married another woman. However, her revenge was both tragic and gruesome.

Conclusion— The Death of Jason:

According to a few people, he killed himself. But others told another story regarding his death. In the latter period, Hera stopped doing any favor to him after when he broke his vows to Medea. It seemed like he was only a captain that he had been once. While sleeping under the stern of his ship, a rotten beam fell on him, causing his death.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Biblical Magi - History Mystery

Biblical Magi

The singular term of Magi is Magus, also acquainted as Wise Men, in the Christian tradition. They are the noble pilgrims, three wise men in the Bible, who used to follow a miraculous guiding star to Bethlehem, a place to pay homage to the infant Jesus as king of the Jews.

As per Christian theological tradition, Gentiles and Jews worshipped Jesus. It was basically a biblical Magi celebration event that they celebrated in the Eastern church at Christmas and the West at Epiphany. While Eastern tradition fixes the number of Magi at 12, Western tradition sets it at three depending on the three gifts from three Magi.

What are Magi?

It usually means a Magician. But hence, the biblical Magi meaning is a wise man.

Where did the Magi come from?

In the story, we learn about the identification of the biblical Magi, who they are, and where did the biblical Magi come from. For example, Melchior was one of the biblical Magi kings of Persia, whereas Gaspar, acquainted as "Caspar" or "Jaspar," came from India and Balthazar from Arabia.

What is Myrrh in the Bible?

It was an ingredient of Ketoret. You can learn from the Hebrew Bible and Talmud that People used consecrated incense in the First and Second Temples at Jerusalem. It was also an essential component of the temple service.

I wish to mention the three kings' names and gifts- According to the Christian tradition, the biblical Magi names were Balthazar (King of Egypt), Gaspar (King of Sheba), and Melchior (King of Arabia). They were members of a priestly caste of ancient Persia. The biblical Magi, Gaspar brought frankincense, supernatural biblical Magi Balthazar brought myrrh, and Melchior brought gold.

How old was Jesus when the wise men came?

According to Scholars, Jesus was between 13 and 24 months while the wise men came to visit him. It depends on Herod's vengeful decree to kill all male children under two-year-old and younger.

Significance of gold, frankincense, and myrrh lds:

Scholars think that the Magi's gift value implied honor and status. Besides, they believe the three wise men are special spiritual symbols of Jesus. Hence, gold means his kingship, frankincense symbolizes his priestly role, and myrrh represents an assumption of his death and embalming.

1. GOLD:

Gold indicates an acknowledgment of royalty as the Magi came to hail the new king. We know that gold is beautiful and valuable. In addition, it can last long too. That's why scholars agree that gift of gold meant Jesus as a king with an everlasting throne. It implies a treasure of royalty.

According to a few people, gold was completely different. The theory said that frankincense and myrrh were precious resins people use for fragrance.

Gold is one of the things which is not like others. We can trace the line of thought to balsam oil which you can derive from the resin of the balsam trees. The climate and region are similar, like frankincense and myrrh origin.

Arabic balsam or Commiphora gileadensis is acquainted as the Balm of Gilead. It used to contain a compound popular for its anti-inflammatory & antifungal properties. Three kings clear their message that the Baby will be honored as royalty.

2. FRANKINCENSE:

There was an ancient incense theory that is beneficial till now. Otherwise, no other fringe theory suggests something shocking. The gift of frankincense means an acknowledgment of Jesus' priesthood. It sets him apart from a typical king.

Besides, people used it in the temple routines, burned ceremonially by the priests. However, if you want to obtain frankincense from the east, you might need to invest a bit more. It was precious in meaning and value.

People can analyze substances' properties and action modes, including frankincense resin and its necessary oil. However, people can experience additional benefits beyond fragrance and ceremony. Regarding traditional healing, it represents frankincense for anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic abilities. In addition, you can connect it to immune-modulating effects. These can explain the usages for inflammatory illness and antimicrobial purposes.

3. MYRRH:

It was imported to Egypt in droves to embalm rituals. Except for the mummification process, it was linked with death and burial. It was a disheartening gift for a new mother to hold. The Middle Eastern regions used it ceremonially. But the Far East used it for healing. Even Ayurvedic medicine uses it for wound healing.

In addition, it was beneficial for digestive health and maintaining women's issues. Besides, China used it for similar purposes, such as wound healing and slows bleeding.

A person thinks if the Magi brought healing substances for Jesus after birth – cord healing, etc. Prophetic words usually had both instant and long-term connotations. Therefore, these gifts might follow the same dual pattern.

What does Myrrh mean to Jesus?

Myrrh means death and mourning.

Why were gold incense and appropriate Myrrh gifts for Jesus?

People know very little about the wise men from the Bible story. Plenty of cards show three kings who offer gifts to a tiny child in a manger.

Gold:

This one is the right gift for Jesus Christ. We know that it is the metal of kings. If people presented gold to Jesus, it acknowledged his right to rule. The wise men knew that the king of kings was Jesus.

Incense:

It was a major gift. People used this in temple worship. Hence, they mixed it with the oil used to anoint the priests of Israel. It belonged to the portion of the metal offerings of thanksgiving and praise to God. While presenting the gift, the wise men pointed to Christ as a great High Priest. His entire life was acceptable and pleasing to his Father.

Myrrh:

This one is a gift of faith. But we don't know what wise men think about Christ's ministry. However, we know that the Old Testament foretold his suffering again and again.

What did the three wise men's gifts represent?

These gifts had unique meanings. For instance, gold means Jesus' status as "King of the Jews." Besides, frankincense means the infant's divinity and identity as the Son of God. In addition, myrrh means Jesus' mortality.

What is the symbolic meaning of frankincense?

As per religious and spiritual rituals for several years, it means holiness and righteousness.

The bottom line:

While the three wise men made it into Jerusalem, they went to Herod to ask where the Baby could be. Besides, Herod knew that the prophecies about the Messiah were connected as he requested his scholars where Messiah was born. People don't know when the visit occurred, but biblical Magi who followed a star were found to be tracking the Star for some time up to two years.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. What religion are Magi?

Magi were the priests in Zoroastrianism and the earlier religions of the western Iranians.

Q. How many Magi were there in the Bible?

There are three Magi total in the Bible.

Q. Was there a fourth wise man in the Bible?

There was a "fourth" wise man, a priest of the Magi, Artaban (origin is Persia).