Banshee vs. succubus

Discussion in 'Urban Legends' started by Nadai, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. Myrddin

    Myrddin Well-Known Member

    In some versions of the tale, it is told that Athene was jealous of Medusa's hair, and so cursed her.

    So does that mean that Poseidon took the form of a fish in order to rape some other poor woman, spawning the mer people? And some other god took the form of a lion or eagle to then rape the other for the griffin? Or a goddess who had taken on the form of the other animal? I'm not sure which I would prefer. :confused:

    E. M.
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  2. Nadai

    Nadai Active Member

    That is curious. I wonder then why when Zeus took other forms his offspring weren't half animals. He didn't produce half swan hybrids, or a baby made out of gold, or a baby that was part cloud...
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  3. Myrddin

    Myrddin Well-Known Member

    Good point. Did he really turn into a cloud in order to rape someone? :eek: And what about the gold? Double :eek:. I don't know those stories.

    E. M.
  4. Alejandro

    Alejandro Active Member

    Yes, when he was about to get busted by his wife Hera while raping the Naiad Io, he suddenly changed himself into a cloud and transformed her into a cow. One Greek explanation of the origin of Apis, the bull whom the Egyptians worshipped at Memphis, is that he was the offspring of Zeus and Io while they were both in the form of cattle. But the Egyptians rejected this idea, saying that Io and her children arrived in Egypt thousands of years after the cults of Isis (with whom Io was identified) and Apis were established. Keroissa, the daughter of Zeus and Io, is said to have been conceived in Egypt when Zeus took the form of a bull in order to mate with the cow whom he had transformed Io into. Keroissa was, however, completely humanoid. By her uncle Poseidon she became the mother of Byzas, who founded Byzantion [Byzantium, later called Constantinopolis, and now Istanbul].

    Zeus appeared to Perseus' mother Danai in the form of gold and in the forms of a variety of animals to many other women who bore his children. He conceived Amphion and Zethos, the twins who built the wall of Thebes, by raping their mother Antiope in the form of Satyr. Other gods underwent similar transformations to satisfy their lust but all of the children born from these unions were completely humanoid. It seems as though the way the logic worked in the mythology is that, for the offspring in question to be an animal or part animal, both parents had to be divine or monstrous (or both/either), or one of them had to be an actual animal (such as in the case of the Minotaur, whose father was an ordinary bull, and in the case of Aigipan, whose mother Hyginus says was an actual goat), although this is clearly not a "rule." (E.g., in the case of Pan, he was a god who, in the Homeric Hymn to Pan, is inexplicably part goat and his father is Hermes while his mother is human; at least in other versions the appeal is that his mother is a nymph.) Both of Kheiron's parents were Titans, and I'm assuming that his mother remained in equine form until after she gave birth to him. Pegasos' mother was a monster at the time that he emerged from her blood. Another explanation for Pegasos' wings is that Medusa too was winged (although her wings were metallic). The notion that Poseidon was a bird or a horse at the time of Medusa's rape may explain the shape of Pegasos but not that of his twin brother Khrysaor (whose form we know quite little about anyway, and who I've always imagined as a colossal, triple-bodied, reptilian sea-monster - an idea I get from a sculpture I once saw which I'm pretty sure was supposed to be a depiction of him).

    Poseidon had another son who was a horse, by the way, named Arion, who for a while became Herakles' steed (who like Pegasos was immortal but unlike him, he could speak but didn't have wings). Arion's mother was Demeter, who encountered the same experience with Poseidon as the Oceanid Philyra did with Kronos: while Demeter was in grief searching for her abducted daughter Kore, she was lustfully pursued by Poseidon and transformed herself into a mare, hiding among the horses of a town named Onkeia in Arkadia. Poseidon likewise changed into a horse and thus conceived Arion upon the equine goddess. Pausanias says that Demeter bore the form of an Erinys during this intercourse, and at other places in Arkadia, Demeter was worshipped as a woman with a horse's head. None of this really explains the shape of her daughter Despoina, Arion's twin sister, who does not seem to bear any equine features and was completely humanoid. (The poet Kallimakhos calls Despoina's mother the Erinys Tilphosa/Tilphousa.) It may, however, explain who was the mother of the dragon which Kadmos killed on the site of Thebes and who was the mother of Ares' four fire-breathing horses. Ares is said to have sired the Boiotian dragon upon an Erinys named Telphousia; and according to Quintus Smyrnaeus, an "Erinnys" bore four children to the North Wind Boreas: the fire-breathing stallions Aithon, Phlogios, Konabos and Phobos, who became Ares' chariot-steeds. It seems likely that this Erinnys was none other than Demeter.
    Everything the ancient mythographers wrote about the Griffins suggests that they regarded them as natural animals the same as lions and eagles rather than as descendants of divinities. The Roman poet Virgil also made mention of Hippogriff[in]s, which were a combo of lion, eagle and horse.

    In the mythology the "mer-people" were the Tritones [or Tritons], the children and descendants of the merman sea-god Triton, son of Poseidon by his wife the Nereid Amphitrite. Triton most likely inherited his form from his grandfather the oldest sea-god Nereus, since Triton's parents, as well as his sisters Rhode and Benthesikyme, it would seem, were completely humanoid. Kheiron had a brother named Aphros, the first king of Libya, who gave his name to Africa and who is sometimes referred to as a Triton. He was an Ikhthyokentauros [Ichthyocentaur, "Fish-Centaur"], a creature that was part god, part horse and part lobster. Triton himself is alternately sometimes referred to as an Ikhthyokentauros, and a mosaic in Tunisia shows Triton and Aphros hanging out together in Africa. (Triton lived in the Libyan lake Tritonis.) Other mosaics from the same place and from Cyprus depict them with Aphrodite and certain Nereides as well as with other Ikhthyokentauroi, who may be other brothers of Aphros. The reason for Aphros' shape, I'm guessing, is a combination of the fact that his parents mated in horse form and that his mother was a water-deity who lived in the sea. Maybe, unlike Kheiron who was born on a Greek mountain, he was born [together with the other Fish-Centaurs] near the North African seashore. There is the fact also that the eldest Titan Okeanos, Aphros' grandfather, was likewise a merman.

    So to contrast with all that, Poseidon once, sometime shortly after the Flood, disguised himself as a dolphin and in this form raped Melantho, a daughter of Deukalion and Pyrrha. She bore him a son whom she named Delphos, "Dolphin," and he founded the city of Delphoi [Delphi] on the slopes of a mountain which some generations later was named Parnassos after another son of Poseidon.
    I believe that the same reason Delphos was not actually a dolphin is the same reason that Helen and Polydeukes weren't swans or part bird, Perseus wasn't made of gold, and Epaphos wasn't partly cloudy :p: their mothers were more ordinary than the monstrous or divine females who gave birth to the Minotaur (whose mother Pasiphai was a goddess), the Ikhthyokentauroi, to Kheiron, Pegasos, Khrysaor, Arion, to the dragon of Ares at Thebes, and to Ares' four chariot-steeds. (Although, since it's mythology we're talking here, really anything could happen.)
  5. Myrddin

    Myrddin Well-Known Member

    Wow, that's a lot of information! Thank you, Alejandro.

    E. M.
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  6. Alejandro

    Alejandro Active Member

    Got 1 more weird for ya: the ram which was sacrificed for its golden fleece - which the fifty Argonauts led by Jason went to Colchis to retrieve from King Aeetes - was a son of Poseidon too!

    This story's crazy with a bunch of rather unfortunate mass animal transformations: There was a chica named Theophane who, like the more famous Helen, was sought after by many suitors, who beleaguered her father Bisaltes with their suits so much so that Poseidon, who also staked his claim to the maiden, abducted and took her to Kroumissa [Crumissa] Island. The other suitors, somehow discovering Theophane's location, pursued in a ship, but upon landing on Kroumissa they found that Poseidon, in an attempt to deceive them, had changed Theophane into a beautiful ewe, himself into a ram, and all the islanders into cattle :eek:! The suitors, seeing no human inhabitants in the place, began to slaughter and eat the herds they found! Poseidon's solution to this problem seems to me one of the most amazing things he's ever reported to have done in the mythology: Upon witnessing the destruction of the [apparently innocent] people whom he had changed into cattle, he changed the suitors into wolves! He, still in sheep-form, then casually proceeded to mate with his ewe, who thereafter gave birth to a golden, winged, talking ram who became known as Khrysomallos, "Golden-Fleece."

    When Khrysomallos had grown up, his father sent him to rescue Phrixos and Helle from the machinations of their stepmother Queen Ino of Boiotia, who sought their death. (Helle was yet another lover of Poseidon, by the way.) Khrysomallos flew the young prince and princess away from Boiotia but Helle fell off along the way, into the waters which are now named after her Hellespontos (Helle's Sea). Upon arrival at Colchis, Phrixos had been instructed, either by his mother the cloud-goddess Nephele, or by Hermes, to sacrifice Khrysomallos to Zeus Phyxios, the God of Escape. Alternatively it is said that Khrysomallos himself told Phrixos to do this to him. (Eish!) I don't see a particular explanation in the story as to why the ram had golden fur, but I did read on a certain website that Theophane's father Bisaltes was a son of Helios and Gaia, so maybe Khrysomallos inherited the trait (and the wings) from his great-grandfather the Sun, who had golden wings.
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  7. Myrddin

    Myrddin Well-Known Member

    I like that story, thank you.

    E. M.

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