Category Archives: Near Eastern

Ophion the Serpent Demiurge

Ophion, or Boreas, is the serpent demiurge of Hebrew and Egyptian myth—in early Mediterranean art, the Goddess is constantly shown in his company. The earth—born Pelasgians, whose claim seems to have been that they sprang from Ophion’s teeth, were originally perhaps the Neolithic ‘Painted Ware’ people; they reached the mainland of Greece from Palestine about Read More

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Aphrodite and Ishtar/Ashtaroth

Aphrodite (‘foam—born’) is the same wide—ruling goddess who rose from Chaos and danced on the sea, and who was worshipped in Syria and Palestine as Ishtar, or Ashtaroth. Her most famous centre of worship was Paphos, where the original white aniconic image of the goddess is still shown in the ruins of a grandiose Roman Read More

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Hermes the Divine Child, Egyptian Thoth-Anubis

Hermes was evolved as a god from the stone phalli which were local centres of a pre Hellenic fertility cult—the account of his rapid growth may be Homer’s playful obscenity—but also from the Divine Child of the pre-Hellenic Calendar; from the Egyptian Thoth, God of intelligence; and from Anubis, conductor of souls to the Underworld. Read More

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Male Trinities of Greece and Vedic India

The brotherhood of Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus recalls that of the Vedic male trinity — Mitra, Varuna, and Indra — who appear in a Hittite treaty dated to about 1380 BC — but in this myth they seem to represent three successive Hellenic invasions, commonly known as Ionian, Aeolian, and Achaean. The pre—Hellenic worshippers of Read More

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The History of the Myth of Hyperborean Apollo

Apollo’s history is a confusing one. The Greeks made him the son of Leto, a goddess known as Lat in Southern Palestine, but he was also a god of the Hyperboreans (‘beyond-theNorth-Wind-men’), whom Hecataeus (Diodorus Siculus) clearly identified with the British, though Pindar (Pythian Odes) regarded them as Libyans. Delos was the centre of this Read More

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The History of the Myth of Dionysus

The main clue to Dionysus’s mystic history is the spread of the vine cult over Europe, Asia, and North Africa. Wine was not invented by the Greeks: it seems to have been first imported in jars from Crete. Grapes grew wild on the southern coast of the Black Sea, whence their cultivation spread to Mount Read More

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The Ancient Myth of Atlantis

Later mythographers understood Atlas as a simple personification of Mount Atlas, in North-western Africa, whose peak seemed to hold up the Heavens; but, for Homer, the columns on which he supported the firmament stood far out in the Atlantic Ocean, afterwards named in his honour by Herodotto. He began, perhaps, as the Titan of the Read More

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