Glossary of Mythological and Other References
Adam – Hebrew name meaning “earth, clay.” According to the Bible, Adam was the first man created by God.
Adonis – one of the many deaths and flowery resurrection stories of Greek mythology. Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and Persephone, the queen of the dead, both loved him, and Zeus decided that Adonis must spend half the year with each. One day while he was with Aphrodite, he hunted a boar and only wounded it. He was gore and died in Aphrodite’s arms. Later, the blood-red anemone or the windflower grew from his blood.
Adrastea – a nymph who took care of the infant Zeus.
Alcyon – in Greek mythology, the name is spelled Alycyone. Her husband was killed in a storm at sea and the gods told her of his death by a dream. At dawn, she went to the beach and saw his body coming ashore. In grief, she ran into the waves but was changed into a bird, as well as the body of her husband. Every year, there is a week where the seas are still while the bird broods over her nest. Yet, when the eggs hatch, the spell is broken.
Alexander – Greek name meaning “defender of men.” Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire, spanning from Greece to India.
Amalthea – in Greek mythology, she is either the goat on whose milk the infant Zeus was fed or the nymph who owned the goat. She was also said to possess the horn of plenty, which was always magically full of fruits and flowers.
Ami – from Old French meaning “beloved.”
Angeline – from of Angela, which is Greek meaning “angel” or “messenger.”
Artemis – the Greek goddess of the hunt and the moon. She is also the sister of Apollo and one of the three maiden goddess of Olympus.
Boreas – the icy North Wind in Greek mythology.
Callisto – one of the many princesses that Zeus loved and bore him a son. Hera was furious with her and changed her into a bear after the son’s birth. When he became a man and was hunting one day, Hera put Callisto before him, hoping that he would kill his mother. However, Zeus snatched her away and placed her among the stars. Later, her son was placed with her. Yet, Hera forbade them to descend into the ocean like the other stars and thus the two bears alone never set below the horizon.
Camilla – Etruscan through Latin name meaning “acolyte” or “assistant.” In mythology, she was a great warrior who fought against the Trojans in Italy. However, like many of her countrymen, she died at the end of the battle.
Cassandra – one of Priam’s daughters who was loved by Apollo and given the gift of prophecy. However, when she refused to return his love, the god made it that no one would believe her. After Troy fell, she was given to Agamemnon as a gift of the army. She was killed during the queen’s revenge on her husband.
Castalia – the sacred spring of Delphi, the home of Apollo’s oracle.
Charon – the aged boatman who ferries the souls of the dead across rivers of the underworld to the gate of Hades.
Chronus – also known as Cronus or Saturn and is the husband of Rhea. He is the ruler of the Titans and the universe before his son Zeus rebelled against him.
Cignus – the proper spelling is Cygnus, which is Latin for “swan.”
Clytie – this Greek maiden fell in love with the sun god, who did not return her love. She sat outside everyday and watched his journey across the sky and was later changed into the sunflower, which ever turns toward the sun.
Cynthia – another name for the Greek goddess of the hunt and of the moon because of her birthplace, Mount Cynthus in Delos.
Diana – the Roman name for the Greek goddess of the hunt and of the moon.
Dido – the queen of Carthage who fell in love with Aeneas, who did not return her love (all caused by Juno and Venus). When Aeneas left with his men for Italy, Dido killed herself. On the ship, Aeneas saw the city walls illuminated by a great fire but didn’t know that it was Dido’s funeral pyre.
Dylan – Welsh name meaning “of the sea.” Dylan was the god of the ocean waves.
Elara – another woman loved by Zeus and the mother of the giant Tityus.
Endymion – in Greek mythology, he is a handsome youth and is usually a shepherd. The moon goddess fell in love with him and caused him to fall into a immortal slumber. While she is able to see him night after night, her love also brings pain and many sighs.
Eros – the Greek god of love and son of the love goddess Aphrodite.
Europa – the daughter of the King of Sidon who Zeus loved and appeared to as a great white bull. Enchanted, she got upon his back and was whisked away to the island of Crete. There she bore Zeus many sons, two of whom became judges of the dead.
Galen – Latin form of Greek word meaning “calm.” Galen was an ancient Roman physician who a great encyclopedist of medicine.
Ganymede – a Trojan prince who was kidnapped to Olympus by Zeus’s eagle and serves as the cupbearer of the gods.
Hecate – the Greek goddess of the dark of the moon, which is another form of the Greek goddess Artemis. In this form, she is associated with deeds of darkness and was called the goddess of the crossways, which were ghostly places of evil magic.
Hyperion – the Titan who fathered of the sun, the moon, and the dawn. Sometimes he is referred to as the sun god.
Io – a princess, daughter of Inachus, who was loved by Zeus and was changed into a cow to protect her from Hera’s jealousy. However, Hera demanded the cow as a gift and later tormented Io with a gad-fly. Later, Io reached the Nile and was restored to her human form. She had a son and one of her later descendants was the great Hercules.
Iphigenia – the daughter of Agamemnon who was offered as a sacrifice by the Greek army to ensure safe passage to Troy. However, she was saved by the Artemis and taken to the land of the Taurians, where she served as a priestess. Later, her brother and his friend arrive there because of a divine errand and they returned her safely home.
Jupiter – the Roman name of the Greek god Zeus, the supreme ruler of the gods and lord of storm and thunder. He is represented by the eagle and by the oak tree.
Latona – another woman loved by Zeus and hated by Hera. When she was about to give birth to her children, no island or country would receive her due to Hera’s wrath. Finally, she reached a piece of land floating on the sea and she stepped on it, it was immediately anchored to the bottom of the ocean. There, she bore the twin gods Artemis and Apollo.
Leda – the queen of Sparta who bore two mortal children to her husband (Castor and Clytemnestra) and two immortal children to Zeus (Pollux and Helen). When Zeus visited her, he took the form of a swan.
Logan – name from Scots Gaelic meaning “little hollow.” In the X-Men comics, it is the name of Wolverine, who remembers very little about his past.
Luna – the Latin name for the moon and considered a goddess.
Lysithea – one of the daugthers of Oceanus and another of Zeus's lovers.
Marpessa – in Greek mythology, she was loved by both the god Apollo and a mortal named Idas. Zeus allowed her to choose between them and she chose Idas, fearing that the god would not be faithful to her.
Mars – the Roman name for the Greek god of war, who was hated by the Greeks but loved by the Romans.
Mercury – the Greek god of wisdom and healing, who also served as the messenger of the gods.
Michael – Hebrew name meaning “Who is like the Lord?” In the Bible, Michael is the name of one of the archangels.
Minerva – the Greek goddess of wisdom and of just warfare. She is the protector of Athens and is the daughter of Zeus alone.
Mulciber – the Roman name for the Greek god of fire and the forger of the gods.
Neptune – the Greek god of the sea and only second to Zeus in terms of power.
Phoebe – one of the Titans and often linked to the moon. She is the mother of Latona.
Pluto – the Greek god of the underworld and the ruler of the dead.
Rhea – the sister-queen of Cronus (or Saturn) who ruled the universe before her son Zeus rebelled against his father.
Saturn – the ruler of the Titans and the universe before his son Zeus rebelled against him.
Scylla – in Greek mythology, there are two stories about a maiden named Scylla. In one story, she fell in love with the leader of the men who had laid siege to her city. One night, she cut the lock of hair from her father’s head, which prevented all harm from coming to him. When she went to present her gift, the man turned away from her. As the conquerors left, she flung herself into the sea but the gods, out of pity, changed her into a bird.
In another story, Glaucus, a minor sea-god, fell in love with Scylla, a lovely nymph. However, she turned away from him. In desperation, he turned to the enchantress Circe for a love potion. Circe tried to win his love but he refused her. In anger, she made a powerful poison and told Glaucus to pour into Scylla’s bathing waters. As soon as the nymph entered the water, she was transformed into a hideous monster, rooted to a rock. In her misery, she lashes out at everything, a peril to all who attempt to pass by her.
Thebe – another of Zeus's lovers. She was a nymph and a daughter of the river god Asopus.
Themis – the Greek goddess of divine justice.
Uranus – in Greek mythology, the sky and the father of the Titans.
Venus – the Roman name for the Greek goddess of love and beauty.