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Back to Greek and Roman Mythology

Mythological Creatures

Gorgons: dragon-like beasts who could turn people to stone. Two were immortal, but one, the Medusa, was mortal and was killed by Perseus.
Centaurs: Uncivilized, barbaric creatures that were half-man, half-horse.
Minotaur: A monster that was half man and half bull, to which young Athenian men and women were sacrificed in the Cretan labyrinth until Theseus killed him.
Satyrs: goat men who lived in the deepest woods.
Chimera: a beast that was part goat, part lion, and part serpent and it breathed fire.
Medusa: Hideous gorgon with snakes for hair and a gaze that could turn men to stone.
Sileni: creatures that were part-men/part-horse and which walked on two feet, unlike the centaurs.
Amazons: A race of warrior women who despised men. They lived in the Caucasus Mountains.
Harpies: flying creatures that had hooked beaks and claws. They also stank like (insert very smelly thing here)
Phoenix: A beautiful bird that would immolate itself and be replaced by a baby phoenix.
Scylla and Charybdis: Scylla was a monster with the heads of serpents and dogs. Charybdis was a giant whirlpool that sucked in everything that got too close.
Furies: Three beings that lived in Hades and punished evildoers.

The Underworld (Hades)

Who ruled the Underworld? Pluto.

Describe the regions of the underworld: Hades is generally divided in two. One part is called Erebus and is where you go when you die. Tartarus was the deep pit where Jupiter locked up the Titans.

What happened to one?s soul when he died?
When you died you would go see Charon. If you had been buried properly and a coin was placed on your lips, he took you over the river. If not, you were stuck. Anyway, Charon would drop you off in front of the gate to Hades, which was guarded by Cerberus. Once inside, Radamanthus, Minos, and Aeacus would judge you. If you were evil, you were punished with eternal torture. If you were good, you went to the Elysian Field.

Identify the following:
Radamanthus, Minos, and Aeacus: Three judges who would determine if you were good or evil during your life.

Tantalus: A man who was punished by the gods for his cruelty. He would be forced to stand in a pool with a fruit tree above him. Whenever he bent down to drink, the water receded. Whenever he reached up for a fruit, the branches pulled away from him.

Ixion: Sinner who insulted Juno and now spends eternity strapped to a spinning wheel.

Sisyphus: King who was punished by Jupiter to have to roll a stone up a hill that kept rolling back down again.

Danaides: 49 Danaides were punished and had to try to fill up pots. Easy, except the pots have big gapping holes in them. Not as easy.

Cerberus: Three-headed dog who guarded the gate to Hades

Charon: Ferryman who took you over the River Acheron to Hades

Tartarus: Deepest part of Hades, where the titans are locked up.

Erebus: Where the dead go when they die.

Rivers of Hades:
River Styx: River in Hades that the gods swore by.
River Lethe: River of Forgetfulness
River Plegathon: River of Fire
River Acheron: River separating Hades from Earth.

What does an ?oath by the Styx? mean?
An Oath by the Styx is the most solemn promise. Once it is sworn, it cannot be broken. Ever. No exceptions or refunds.

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