Tag Archives: mythology

Edith Hamilton

Edith HamiltonThis week’s spotlight on Fab Female Friday is a scholar and one of the foremost women Classicists. (That’s one who has studied the Greek/Roman Greats like Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylus, Ovid, and Homer.) (And you think your thoughts are deep?!)

Her book, Mythology, is never far from my side. (Actually, I have more than 10 copies–the large print font being the preferred edition)  I rifled through my well-worn, marked-up pages while writing the Merkabah Series, as well as referring to it for my historical fiction, The Emperor’s Assassin.

Edith Hamilton was born August 12, 1867 in Germany to a wealthy and educated family. She grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana where Dad home schooled his 3 daughters in Latin, Greek, French, and German.

As befit her status, Dad sent her to Miss Porter’s Finishing School, where the ovidheadmistress believed young ladies should NOT go on to college. Not thwarted by inferior college preparation, Edith took a year to study before taking the rigorous Bryn Mawr entrance exams.

After earning her B.A and M.A. she attended the University of Leipzig. Here, she was told she could listen to the lectures but NOT participate in any discussions! University of Munich was not much better, and Edith never earned her doctoral degree.

In 1896, she returned to the states, securing a position as head mistress at Bryn Mawr’s school for Girls in Baltimore, notable because it was the first college prep school for girls in the US.

sophoclesEdith was known for eloquence in speech and writing. Her persuasive and scholarly understanding demystified the Greek’s view of tragedy and fate for many.

The Greek Way was published in 1930 when she was 62 yrs-old.

Mythology, the quintessential guide to ancient classic lore—a favorite of colleges and highMythology schools— was published in 1942.

According to Doris Fielding Reid, her lifelong partner, Edith enjoyed reading murder mysteries for pleasure!

In 1957, King Paul of Greece named her an honorary citizen of Athens!

Edith died on May 31, 1963 in Washington DC.

Edith Hamilton: Scholar. Head mistress. Author. Classicist.

Forget TV: Pick up a copy of Mythology and delight in the misadventures of the most immortal heroes of our time!

Related posts: Fabulous Females
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Giant Myths

Colossus! Behemoth! Hulk! Goliath! Ogre! Polypheme! Titan! 

Size matters! Especially in early myths.

Learn about any creation myth and chances are you’ll find mention of super tall, robust, and muscular beings. Kinda makes you wonder doesn’t it? Why did giants first roam and rule the earth?

All these Gigantors have one thing in common: Divinely amazing strength.

In alphabetical order, here’s a list of a few of the world’s great giants:

atlasAtlas: Greek Titan: After Zeus beat him up, he condemned Atlas to bear the world on his shoulders for ever.

Balor of the Evil Eye: Celtic one-eyed king of the Fomorians who killed people with one baleful look.  He and his giant kind were the first inhabitants of Ireland.

Daityas: Evil Hindu spirits who made war against the gods in the Beginning. The Goddess Indra kicked their hateful butts and threw the nasty lot into the ocean

Gogmagog: Big Boss of giants who lived in ancient Britain.  Killed by a short Trojan warrior who tossed him off a cliff.

Jentilak: Hirsute dudes who lived in the Pyrenees and tossed rocks from one mountain to another.

Nephilim: Half fallen angel, half human; they are the warlike and lascivious giants mentioned in Genesis and few other ancient texts ( my 2nd novel, The Merkabah Deception goes into more detail).

ipanku0001p1Pan Gu: Horned Chinese giant who wore animal pelts and used his giant ax to separate the Cosmic egg, thereby creating ying and yang.

Purusha: Colossus with 1000 heads and 1000 feet. After he was dismembered, his body parts were put to good use. The moon is his mind: the sun, his eyes; the wind, his breath.

Ten Giant warriors: Bad-ass Sri Lankan warriors who each had a special fighting talent.

Ymir: Norse Founder of the Frost Giants. Later, his body created the earth.

Zipacna: Evil Mayan who claims he created the mountains.

Did you notice? These mythical giants are all men!

Other similarities:The big dudes are all conquered.

Might these tales be an ancient metaphor?

The Supernatural

spooky stuff

spooky stuff

Supernatural, unearthly, alien, unworldly, mystical, the shadow world, the netherworld—call it what you will, we all believe in the existence of some other place—a location where other things outside our understanding exist.

Don’t pretend you don’t believe. Everyone has a ghost story. Everyone can share a spooky event, experiences déjà vu, or remembers having a creepy feeling.

Is it our sixth sense? Our empathic skills? The other world breaking into our own?

We love the unknown—and if  I listed all of the novels, books, TV shows, films, documentaries, and YouTube clips about this other world this blog would be 1000 pages long!

Here’s a few loaded concepts!

  •  Faith. Religion.Mysticism. Spirituality
  •  Existentialism- existence precedes essence (????)
  • Transcendentalism -power of thought
  •  Metaphysics- study of being and the world
  •  Nihilism-reality does not exist

Brain hurt yet? Of course it does! Try as we might, we cannot comprehend our own world, let alone some other world.Now science is making some amazing discoveries about Dark Matter.They attribute this dark energy to all kinds of cosmic and (as yet) explainable events.

Will science soon be able to validate our most beloved myths?

And might this Dark Matter explain myths that stretch back thousands of years? It makessumer 2 one wonder, why does every culture and religions contain so much otherness. It must be real. But where do we draw the line between cherished belief and fantastic myth? 

We scoff at unrealistic mythological creatures like unicorns, dragons, werewolfs, zombies, or vampires, but we do believe in angels ( especially guardian angels), demons, and ghosts!

Angles are sacred in our judeo-christian culture!

For example: St. Ambrose lists 9 different classification for angels:

Jacob wrestling with the angel Metatron

  • 1. Seraphim– highest order, near God’s throne, there’s 4 of them
  • 2.Cheribum-large, winged creatures, many different descriptions
  • 3. Dominations-manage the other angels’ duties
  • 4. Thrones-they have lots of eyes
  • 5. Principalities– usually the protectors of religions
  • 6. Powers-guards who stop the demons from taking over
  • 7. Virtues-the miracle workers
  • 8. Archangels-above the regular angels. Two major players are Michael and Gabriel
  • 9. Angels (standard issue)- messengers

Our universe is infinite and unknowable—it’s no wonder we are amazed by the supernatural and paranormal.

I would love for you to share your supernatural story!

At a time when recent theories like Quantum physics confirms the existence of the fantastical,  The Merkabah Recruit and The Merkabah Deception explore the shadowy line  between treasured legend and scientific possibility–a series where myth, history, and science collide.

The Merkabah Recruit Amazon link                          The Merkabah Deception  Amazon link

Related links: Engaging Enigmas

Novel Wednesday

Myth and history collide  in my novel, The Merkabah Recruit. Often times, they are rooted and merged so deeply in ancient history and culture we can’t figure where one ends and the other begins. Add modern science to the mix and those fantastical myths are now explainable!

I’m not pushing my novel today, but just want to remind you how deeply ingrained our earliest mythology  is.

 What’s your favorite mythological creatures? Don’t know any? Sure, you do!

Here is one of my favorites.

The Harpy! Hailing back to ancient Greece, these creatures were a fusion of bird and woman—portrayed either as ugly or beautiful.

They were ravenously hungry (aren’t all women on diets?) and stole food before  fouling the area with their excrement (really hope that’s some kind of Greek metaphor).

To call a woman a “harpy” today is a total slam! Instantly a nagging, scolding, annoying ugly woman comes to mind!

I took a poll of under-thirty somethings–to my surprise they all knew what a harpy was–although they claimed they hated Greek mythology in high school and–even more surprising–laughed or snickered  when they heard the word used to describe a woman.

Which is the worse insult? Biddy or harpy?