How were chimaera represented in Greek mythology

Chimeras

The chimeras have nothing to do with the Odyssey, but our workshop group found the topic so exciting that we still want to introduce you to the most famous hybrid creatures of Greek mythology. Like the Odyssey, chimeras are a timeless subject. As early as 30,000 years ago (in the Paleolithic), one of the oldest works of art in the world was the depiction of a lion man. Today in biology those plants and animals are called chimera, which have been genetically modified and therefore consist of genetically different parts. An example of a modern hybrid would be the chimeric lock. A genetic hybrid of goat and sheep.

Appearance: human body with bull's head

Hobby: eats people

Parents: a handsome bull and Pasiphae (Minos's wife)

Myth:

The king's son Theseus volunteers for the sacrificial rite of the Minotaur, but he does not want to be sacrificed, he wants to kill him. Theseus defeats the Minotaur with the help of Ariadne.

Relationship with the gods: It came about because King Minos did not want to sacrifice the beautiful bull to Poseidon. As a result, the god was very angry and bewitched Pasiphae, the wife of King Minos, who then fathered the Minotaur with the bull.

Source 1: Marion Giebel, animals in antiquity; of mythical creatures, sacrificial animals and loyal companions, Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 2003 https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minotauros

Medusa is one of three daughters of the sea deities Phorkys and Keto. In Greek mythology she is considered a frightening figure and is depicted with snake hair. The figure of Medusa is also known as the Gorgon. Her siblings are also so-called Gorgons, but Medusa is the only mortal of them. Medusa has the ability to turn anyone who looks at her into stone.

The first pictorial representations of the Gorgons can be found on Greek clay vases. They were often depicted with distorted faces, large mouths, sharp teeth and a sticking out tongue.

The most important features of the Gorgons are the snakes, which protrude from any part of the body, but mainly from the head.

Myth:

In Greek mythology there are different traditions about Medusa and the Gorgons.

Originally, the Gorgons were considered disfigured and deformed. However, there are traditions that the representation of the Gorgons has evolved. Accordingly, Medusa was usually portrayed as a breathtaking beauty, with which even the sea god Poseidon fell in love. One day, however, Athena watched one of the romantic encounters between Medusa and Poseidon in the temple dedicated to her in Athens, which made her so angry that she turned Medusa into a monster.

Another myth tells of the battle between Medusa and Perseus. Perseus had the task of beheading Medusa. With the help of the goddess Athena and the nymphs, he finally succeeded. When Perseus beheaded Medusa, the first winged horse named Pegasus arose from her body, as she was impregnated by Poseidon before she was transformed.

Relationship with the gods: It came about because King Minos did not want to sacrifice the beautiful bull to Poseidon. As a result, the god was very angry and bewitched Pasiphae, the wife of King Minos, who then fathered the Minotaur with the bull.

Source 1: Giebel, M. (2003). Animals in ancient times. From mythical creatures, sacrificial animals and loyal companions. Darmstadt: WBG.

Source 2: NN. (February 12, 2017). Wikipedia. Retrieved from Gorgonen: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorgonen

Source 3: NN. (2018). Fabelwesen.net. Retrieved from Medusa: http://fabelwesen.net/medusa/

Source 4: NN. (February 8, 2018). Wikipedia. Retrieved from Medusa: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medusa

Appearance: Unicorns look similar to horses. However, they differ from these in that they have a horn on their foreheads. The horn of the unicorn is shown as a snail-like twist and tapering to a point at the front. In mythology it is said that the horn should be up to half a meter long and colored white. Unicorns can have a pure white fur as well as be represented in all other possible colors. Some unicorns also have shades. In addition, unicorns can also be represented with wings, similar to Pegasus.

Properties: The unicorn lives as a loner in a forest, which it protects. Various sources say that in a forest that is guarded by a unicorn, the plants and animals are bigger and healthier. They mainly stay in areas with small lakes because they are very vain and like to look at their reflection in the water. Unicorns are considered immortal as long as they do not leave the forest. They are very shy of people.

Creation of the myth: In 2008 a very special deer appeared in the Italian game reserve Prado. It had a single horn in the middle of its forehead. This is a very rare defect in the animal's genetic material. Because of this, some scientists now suspect that similar animals could have been responsible for the origin of the unicorn myth in the course of history.

Myth of the unicorn: With its horn, the unicorn is said to be able to fight its enemies, heal and even reanimate the dead. The unicorn's tears are said to be able to loosen fossils. Anyone who drinks the blood of a unicorn is said to become immortal. Therefore, many people and other mythical creatures killed unicorns in order to achieve immortality. However, from that point on one leads an unhappy and accursed life.

Relation to gods: The unicorn is said to have its origin in Greek mythology. Zeus was suckled by a goat and cut off its horn. To illustrate the pride of the unicorn that was created in this way, it was given the body of a horse.

Source 1: Giebel, M. (2003). Animals in ancient times. From mythical creatures, sacrificial animals and loyal companions. Darmstadt: WBG.

Source 2: NN. (January 15, 2018). Wikipedia. Retrieved from Einhorn: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einhorn

Source 3: Wiesner, J. (2018). Geolino. Retrieved from Das Einhorn - The truth behind the myth: https://www.geo.de/geolino/natur-und-umwelt/6086-rtkl-fabelwesen-das-einhorn-die-wahrheit-hinter-dem-mythos

Appearance: lion's body with a human head

Hobbies: Asking puzzles and killing people if they can't solve them. (A riddle: who are the two sisters who always generate each other?) If you can't solve this riddle, you are dead now.

Parents: Typhon and Echidna

Myth: The Sphinx lives on Mount Sphingion near Thebes. She always puzzles the passing travelers. Those who could not solve the riddle of the Sphinx were strangled by her and then devoured. One of them read: “It is four-legged in the morning, two-legged at noon, and three-legged in the evening. Of all creatures on earth, only it changes the number of its feet. But when it moves the most feet, the strength and speed of its limbs are least. ”After the hero Oedipus had solved the riddle, the Sphinx plunged into the abyss and the city of Thebes was finally freed from it.


Source 1: Giebel, M. (2003). Animals in ancient times. From mythical creatures, sacrificial animals and loyal companions. Darmstadt: WBG.

Source 2: NN. (October 4, 2015). Wikipedia. Retrieved from Das Rätsel der Sphinx: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Das_R%C3%A4tsel_der_Sphinx

Source 3: NN. (January 1, 2018). Wikipedia. Retrieved from Sphinx (Egyptian): https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphinx_(%C3%A4gyptisch)

The phoenix is ​​a mystical bird that can rise from its own ashes after its death. After three days he is reborn as a chick. There is also the saying “like the phoenix from the ashes”, which refers to this specialty. Already in Egyptian mythology there is Benu, usually depicted in the form of a heron who appears every few hundred years, burns in the glow of the dawn at sunrise and rises rejuvenated from its ashes. After all, in ancient Greece it is called a phoenix. In Asia, the phoenix is ​​called "Fenghuang", which looks like a large flying red peacock. He can enchant people with his singing and is the ruler of over 360 species of birds. In Persia it is called Simurgh. Here he is a huge bird with a dog-like head.

Appearance: The appearance of the phoenix is ​​described differently in different stories. Some say it has flaming or burning feathers, other myths describe it as a golden bird.

Properties: Since late antiquity, it has been considered a symbol of immortality because it has mastered the ability to regenerate. The feather of a phoenix is ​​said to make the finder immortal. Christians use the phoenix as a symbol for Jesus Christ because he also has the ability to be resurrected.

Parents: The origin of this being is not clear. In Egypt it was believed that he was a descendant of the sun god Ra. In ancient Greece it was believed that it originated from the ashes of the Egyptian god Osiris.

Today: It also appears in "Harry Potter" and burns in front of Harry's eyes.

Source 1: Giebel, M. (2003). Animals in ancient times. From mythical creatures, sacrificial animals and loyal companions. Darmstadt: WBG.

Source 2: Mark. (May 9, 2017). ME. Retrieved from MtGox Phoenix Rises - Exchange May Become Solvent if Bitcoin Price Keeps Rising: https://themerkle.com/mtgox-phoenix-rises/

Source 3: NN. (2018). House of Fantasy. From Fenghuang wanted poster. The merciful bird of luck from China .: https://www.house-of-fantasy.de/fabelwesen-fenghuang.html accessed

Source 4: NN. (January 21, 2018). Wikipedia. Retrieved from Phönix (Mythologie): https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ph%C3%B6nix_(Mythologie)

Appearance: Pegasus is a white, proud and elegant horse with golden wings. His mane is long and silky and blows in the wind. The full tail can also have beautiful curly strands.

Characteristics: Pegasus way of life: He is aware of his divine origins and is therefore a bit conceited and snooty. He does not offer his services as a flying horse to anyone. He avoids contact with other mythical creatures, gods or people. He loves seclusion and tranquility. When it flies through the sky, a trumpet-like neigh can be heard. Nevertheless, he intervened twice in the fate of the people and thereby showed his good nature. Pegasus, for example, carried the hero Bellerophon and thereby saved his life.

Constellation: Because of this faithful service, Pegasus became a constellation in the sky. This constellation can still be seen in the sky at night.

Parents: Poseidon, god of the sea, and Medusa, the gorgon


Myth: Poseidon and Medusa had an affair. There are many different variants of the birth of Pegasus. One version is that it emerged from Medusa's neck when she was beheaded by Perseus. Allegedly two wells were created by Pegasus Hufschlag.

Source 1: Giebel, M. (2003). Animals in ancient times. From mythical creatures, sacrificial animals and loyal companions. Darmstadt: WBG.

Source 2: NN. (January 27, 2018). Wikipedia. Retrieved from Pegasos (Mythologie): https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pegasos_%28Mythologie%29

The Kerberos is a hybrid being who lives in Hades. He was painted on many clay vessels and even represented as a three-dimensional figure.

Appearance: He is a multi-headed dog that guards the entrance to the underworld. His appearance is very different, mostly he is depicted with three dog heads and a snake tail. But it can also have snake hairs and snake heads. He is often represented with up to 100 heads.

Qualities: bloodthirsty, greedy and musical

Myth: Once he was brought to the upper world, where he created Monkshood through his poisoned saliva. Orpheus manages to soothe him with singing and lyre in order to free his wife from the realm of the shadows. The Kerberos is said to still watch over the alleged entrances to the underworld to this day.

Parents: According to Hesiod, Echidna and Typhon are his parents.


Source 1: Giebel, M. (2003). Animals in ancient times. From mythical creatures, sacrificial animals and loyal companions. Darmstadt: WBG.

Source 2: NN. (July 2, 2015). Anthrowiki. Retrieved from Kerberos (Mythologie): https://anthrowiki.at/Kerberos_(Mythologie)