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NIHIL NOVUM SUB SOLE

1001 deeds, sayings, curiosities and anecdotes of the ancient world

Mythology

Articles referring to the rich world of myth and mythology, especially Greek, of enormous
significance for Western culture, for art, for literature, etc

Mithra, god of the sun, was born on December 25, day of the winter solstice

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On the night of 24 to 25 December it is celebrated in the West the birth of Christ. But it was not always so and today it is not in the whole Christian world; until the fourth century it was celebrated on January 6 and it continues so in the east, among the Orthodox.

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Mythical Hippolytus and martyr Hippolytus: disturbing coincidences

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The hero Theseus escaped the labyrinth of Crete with the help of Ariadne, who he promised marriage to, but he abandoned her on Naxos. Theseus is the father of Hippolytus, whom he had from an Amazon, by some calle Antiope or Hippolyta or Melanippe or just the Amazon. Then Theseus married Phaedra, the sister of Ariadne. Many centuries after the mythical time, there was another Hippolytus, a Christian martyr.

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The

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Few students, heavily loaded with their “textbooks " will suspect that the word" text " means "tissue "and that, what they do with that expression, is to continue using an old metaphor.

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Dinosaur Fossils in Antiquity

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In Greco-Roman mythology, as in almost every mythology, monstrous beings and fantastic animals are frequent. Sometimes these monsters are large animals, others they are the result of the mixture of several different animals and sometimes they are even a mix of human beings and animals.

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The Pillars of Hercules

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The mythical hero Hercules (because he does not reach the category of a god) couldn´t imagine that his famous columns representing the two mountains he placed when he opened the strait that separates the Atlantic Ocean from the Mediterranean Sea (Mare Nostrum = our sea, for the Romans), one in Africa, the other in Europe, would actually be, in effigy, naturally, in the pockets and bank accounts of millions of persons all over the world.

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The names of the months are Roman

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Among the many things that the Romans have left us no less important is the calendar with the names of the months, days and seasons. To understand the logic and coherence of the names "september= September; october= October; november= November and december= December," which etymologically means "seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth" we must know that the primitive Roman year had ten months and began in March.

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The fascinating source of the word "fascinating"

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Sometimes we are "fascinated", attracted, impressed, or touched (touché in French) to find out the origin of a word, as if as we removed the curtain we could look at what was behind or buried in the deepest part of valley. That is the strength of the etymology of the words, the knowledge of which provides us basic information on which their later extended meaning sits.

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With the ships on the shoulders

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Apollonius of Rhodes gave us the only Greek epic poem that is conserved from Homer to the Hellenistic period, "The journey of the Argonauts". Five centuries have passed and many things have changed. If Homer's gods mingle with the heroes in their struggle, now the work is of men, although the gods, powerful, influence, help but do not mix with them. Actually the poem seems more like a novel and as such should be read.

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God “Terminus” is the guarantor of private property of the field

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Terminus is a Roman god who sets the boundaries of the fields and cities and is also at the crossroads. He is represented as a rectangular stone block whose top is usually included head of Hermes or Mercury. It is also sometimes depicted with male genitalia, given its apotropaic character to "turn away" harm or evil influences. So he is called Hermes.

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The deep caves surprise and attract devout and believer men

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Some natural areas, whether by their hidden beauty, by their silence or by their depth that sink in the bowels of the earth, seem to emanate a strong attraction to humans. Of these places the caves have a special force. Not surprisingly the man dwelt in them during the long night of their childhood as a species.

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Lynceus eyes

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“Lynx eyes” is an Spanish phrase (equivalent to "eagle eyes") that applies to a person of view particularly acute or especially clever and insightful understanding, ie. a crafty person.

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The days of the week are pagan

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Christ was born in the time of Emperor Augustus, although a probable error of four years in relation to the official chronology. In early, Christianity was unnoticed in Rome, confused with Judaism and its various sects, but it had then a remarkable success for expansion to become the official religion and finish the traditional pagan religion off.

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