Monday, August 29, 2011

Realm of Myths and Legends -4

Leda and the Swan: Story from Greek mythology about the rape of Leda, a queen of Sparta, by Zeus, who had taken the form of a swan. As a result of the rape, Helen of Troy hatched from w a white egg. The rape of Leda has frequently been portrayed in art, and W.B.Yeats wrote a poem entitled Leda and the Swan.

Hercules: Greek name Heracles. One of the greatest heroes of Classical mythology- a son of Zeus and supposedly the strongest man on the earth. To atone for slaughtering his family a fit of madness- inflicted on him by Hera- he was set 12 seemingly impossible tasks were to kill the Nemean Lion; to kill the many headed Hydra; to catch the Arcadian stag; to kill the Erymanthian boar; to clean the Augean Stables; to kill the vicious flock of Stymphalian birds; to catch Cretan bull given to Minos by Poseidon; to catch the man eating horses of Thrace; to seize the girdle of the queen of Amazons; to catch the cattle of monster Geryon; to fetch the golden apples of the Hesperides nymphs; and to fetch the three headed dog Cerberus who guarded the entrance to Hades. After successfully completing his labours and surviving many other adventures, Hercules was rewarded with immortality.
An extraordinary effort or task can be described as ‘Herculean’.

Nemesis: Greek goddess of retribution, who punished the wicked as well as anyone she deemed to be too fortunate. Anything that brings about a person’s down fall is described as their nemesis.

History Mystery: Realm of Myths and Legends -3

Apple of discord: In Greek mythology, an apple that was thrown into a banquet of the gods by the goddess Discord, who had not been invited. The apple had ‘For the Fairest’ written on it, and it was to resolve the conflicting claims of Aphrodite, Athena and Hera that the Judgement of Paris was made.

Charon: Ferryman in Greek mythology who carried the souls of the dead across the River STYX and into HADES, the underworld. The Greeks used to put coins in the mouths of the dead as his fee.

Eldorado: Mythical ‘Golden Land’ in South America said to belong to El Dorado, a Golden Man’ who covered himself with gold dust. The golden land was thought to exist in the area of the Orinoco and Amazon rivers, but centuries of exploration, including two expeditions led by Sir Walter Raleigh failed to locate it.
Figuratively, Eldorado is a place of fabulous wealth, or an opportunity to obtain it.

Friar Tuck: One of Robin Hood’s legendary ‘merry men’’, a fighter with whom Robin had a trial of strength. The pair met by a river at Fountain Dale, Nottinghamshire, where the Friar agreed to carry Robin over the water, but dropped him into the stream. He joined the outlaws only after a ferocious and in decisive battle with them.

Gaia: The ‘earth goddess’ of Greek mythology. The daughter of Chaos, she was both mother and wife of Uranus, by whom she produced the Cyclopes and the Titans. There is one hypothesis called Gaia hypothesis we will discuss it in the later stage.

History Mystery: Realm of Myths and Legends -2

Devil: Supreme embodiment of evil and the archenemy of God, also known as Beelzebub, Lucifer, Old Nick, Satan and the Prince of Darkness. Satan has been depicted in many ways: as a man with horns, goat hoofs and pitchfork, and as an angel with large bat wings. In the early book of the Old Testament, it was God who inflicted punishment on men, while one of his officials- known as ‘the Satan’, Hebrew for ‘adversary’ – acted as a prosecutor. In the New Testament and in later times, the image of Satan grew increasingly monstrous, until he was eventually blamed for all sin and evil, the story of the fall from heaven of Lucifer is told in the Book of Isaiah, in the Old Testament. Belief in the Devil was largely abandoned among theologians as a result of the Enlightenment. John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost tells of the rebellion and punishment of Lucifer, a proud, arrogant and tragic figure who believes that it is ‘better to reign in hell than serve in heaven’.

Faust: Legendary scholar, magician and practitioner of astrology, who sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for youth, knowledge and power. A ‘real’ Faust lived in 16th century Germany- a charlatan who boasted that he could perform miracles because he was in league with the Devil. The writers Christopher Marlowe and Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe wrote plays about Faust. In Marlowe’s Dr. Faust, ends up being dragged to hell to face an eternity of torment; in Goethe’s version, however, Faust is finally redeemed. A ‘Faustian’ bargains is one in which a person sells his soul for huge tangible material gain.

History Mystery: Realm of Myths and Legends -1


Astral body: in occult belief, an exact- though no material copy of the physical body. It is capable of separation itself, and remains attached to the physical body by a seemingly endless cord. At death the cord is severed and the astral body is freed from the limitations of the flesh.


Ball of lightning: Mysterious luminous globe said to appear during electrical storms. Witnesses claim that the balls can either explode on contact with objects or burn their way through them. Although ball lightning has won the credence of many scientists, its physical composition still remains a mystery.


Book of the Dead: Ancient Egyptian texts concerned with the guidance of the soul in the afterlife. Containing spells, incantations and rituals, they were placed in the tombs of the dead to help them rise again, pass safely through the dangers of the underworld, achieve eternal happiness in the next life. They were adapted from Pyramid texts written by the priests for dead pharaohs, and Coffin Texts written for nobles. Simple versions were available to the poor, while the wealthy bought elaborate, illustrated versions. The use of these texts continued into the 1st century BC.


Corn circles: Circular formations that began to materialize in British corn fields in the 1980s, mainly in Wiltshire and Hampshire. The crops are flattened into precise circles and patterns. Theories regarding their creations range from UFOs to rampaging hedgehogs, but in September 1991, two artists called Doug Bower and Dave Chorley admitted that they had made many of the more elaborate circles. Some scientists believe that others may be caused by electrically charged whirlwinds.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Omen in The Sky

Some scholars say the struggles between Rome’s new Christianity and the old atheism contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire. If so, the seeds were sown when Constantine the Great’s Edict of Milan officially approved Christianity. But how was Constantine supposed to have been converted? Legend has it that on October 27, 312AD, the night before a decisive battle with his rival, the soon-to-be Roman emperor saw a golden Chi-Rho Cross, the sign of Christ, in the skies near the Milvian Bridge. On the cross were emblazoned the words, in Hoc Signo Vinces, or “with this sign, you will win”
Constantine embraced the prophetic miracle, and the next day handily defeated his opponent, crediting his victory to Christ and urging Rome to embraces the Lord. Constantine became the first Christian emperor and, in 313, gave Christians full freedom to practice their religion. How likely was that evening occurrence? Constantine did not seem to affected by it over-all- he himself converted to Christianity only on his deathbed, and even that is disputed. Christianity did not even become the official religion under Constantine’s rule- that happened 60 years after his death, about six emperors later.
Modern scholars theorize that the “vision” he had in the sky was the rare conjunction of Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, which occurred around the October 27 date. In an attempt to rally his troops, the quick thinking Constantine may have turned a possible bad omen into a prophecy of victory.