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Women in Mythology.

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Presentation on theme: "Women in Mythology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Women in Mythology

2 Eve

3 God said to Adam … Genesis 2:15
“Of every tree of the garden you are free to eat; but as for the tree of knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat of it; for as soon as you eat of it, you shall die.”

4 Eden: Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel

5 Raphael: The Fall Adam & Eve

6 The Punishment Genesis 3:16:
“And to the woman [God] said, ‘I will make most severe your pains in childbearing; in pain shall you bear children. Yet your urge shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.’ ” Painful childbirth and subservience to husband

7 Succubi

8 Succubi Female demons who force men to have intercourse with them
Female demons who force men to have intercourse with them (to sustain themselves)

9 Lilith

10 Lilith First wife of Adam (Judaism) Goddess of the dark moon
Refused to have sex in missionary position; wanted equality Goddess of the dark moon Mother of succubi Demon of the night Kidnaps/eats/kills babies; seduces (sleeping) men to propagate demon children Lilith has many origins. In one version of the bin-Sira version of the Bible, Lilith is the first wife of Adam (before Eve) and was created at the same time that god created Adam. In Greek myth, she is the goddess of the dark moon (Artemis is the goddess of the full moon, and Hecate is the goddess of the crescent moon). In Mesopotamian legends, Lilith is a fertility/earth goddess who protects people's children and helps to harvest food. In both Arabic and Jewish myths however, she is a succubus. A demon-woman who hunts men, seduces them and drains their life with a kiss. Jewish mothers believed Lilith would come to take their children away and eat them

11 The Lilin Demon children of Lilith and Samael

12 Lilith -John Collier

13 Lady Lilith Dante Gabriel Rossetti

14 Lilith Adopted by feminists and religious/spiritual groups as a symbol of female empowerment and equality

15 Pandora

16 Pandora The first woman
Created by the gods (Hephaestus in particular) and bestowed with unique gifts from each (including curiosity) Given to Epimetheus as a wife Opens the jar/box that contains all the evils of the world (disease, death, sorrow) When she slams to jar/box shut, hopelessness remains trapped inside

17 Dante Gabriel Rossetti

18 Dante Gabriel Rossetti

19 John W. Waterhouse

20 John W. Waterhouse

21 This painting by Waterhouse isn’t actually a Pandora painting; it’s Psyche Opening the Golden Box; but it is so beautiful

22 Unknown Artist

23 Unknown Artist (this is from a Russian postcard … I don't know whether Maul is the artist or the postcard publisher)

24 Sculptures

25 Pandora sculpted by Chauncey Ives (1864)

26 Pandora sculpted by Chauncey Ives (1858)

27 Persephone

28 Goddess of Spring/ Queen of the Underworld/ Wife of Hades
Origin story to explain the seasons Her mother, Demeter, is the goddess of the harvest Persephone was abducted by Hades and eventually rescued by Hermes Because she consumed food (pomegranate seeds) in the Underworld, she was forced to return for several months each year (winter)

29 The Rape of Proserpina Gian Lorenzo Bernini

30 Persephone's Return, by Frederick Lord Leighton

31 Sirens dangerous bird-women, portrayed as seductresses who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island

32 The Siren and the Fisherman, by Frederic Lord Leighton

33 The Siren John William Waterhouse

34 Harpies

35 Harpies in the wood of the suicides Gustave Doré
Dante Alighieri's Inferno

36 Valkyries

37 Valkyries Norse mythology Demigoddesses of death
Decide who will die in battle The Valkyries carry out the will of Odinn in determining the victors of the battle, and the course of the war. Their primary duty is to choose the bravest of those who have been slain, gathering the souls of dying heros or warriors found deserving of afterlife in Valhalla. They scout the battle ground in search of mortals worthy of the grand hall. If you are deemed by the Valkyries as un-worthy of the hall of Valhalla you will be received after death by the goddess Hel in a cheerless underground world

38 The Ride of the Valkyries William T. Maud

39 A Golden Thread by John Strudwick
The Fates responsible for the destiny of man; represent the inescapable fulfillment of fate. A Golden Thread by John Strudwick

40 Moirae (Greek mythology)
Clotho: spun the thread of life Lachesis: measured the thread of life Atropos: cut the thread of life & chose the manner of a person's death Moirae The Fates, or Moirae, were the goddesses who controlled the destiny of everyone from the time they were born to the time they died. They were: Clotho, the spinner, who spun the thread of a person's life, Lachesis, the apportioner, who decided how much time was to be allowed each person, and Atropos, the inevitable, who cut the thread when you were supposed to die. Even though the other gods were almighty, and supposedly immortal, even Hera had reason to fear them. All were subject to the whims of the Fates. Ministers of the Fates were always oracles or soothsayers (seers of the future). The Fates were very important, but it is still unknown to who their parents were. There is some speculation that they might be the daughters of Zeus, however, this is debatable. The Fates were often depicted as ugly hags, cold and unmerciful. But the Fates were not always deaf to the pleading of others. When Atropos cut the thread of King Admetus, who happened to be Apollo's friend, Apollo begged the Fates to undo their work. It was not in their power to do so, but they promised that if someone took Admetus' place in the gloomy world of Hades' domain, he would live. The king's wife, Alcestis, said she would take his place. But Hercules, who happened to be Admetus' guest, rescued her from the underworld, and Admetus an Alcetis were reunited.


42 Parcae (Roman mythology)
Nona: spun the thread of life Decima: measured the thread of life Morta: cut the thread of life & chose the manner of a person's death The personifications of destiny

43 Gorgons Stheno (Might) Euryale (Wide Flowing Sea) Medusa (Queen/Ruler)
In Greek mythology a Gorgon is a monstrous feminine creature whose appearance would turn anyone who laid eyes upon it to stone. Later there were three of them: Euryale ("far-roaming"), Sthenno ("forceful"), and Medusa ("ruler"), the only one of them who was mortal. They are the three daughters of Phorcys and Ceto. The Gorgons are monstrous creatures covered with impenetrable scales, with hair of living snakes, hands made of brass, sharp fangs and a beard. They live in the ultimate west, near the ocean, and guard the entrance to the underworld. A stone head or picture of a Gorgon was often placed or drawn on temples and graves to avert the dark forces of evil, but also on the shields of soldiers. Such a head (called a gorgoneion) could also be found on the older coins of Athens. Artists portrayed a Gorgon head with snake hair, and occasionally with a protruding tongue and wings.

44 Perseus slaying the Gorgon, Medusa by Cellini

45 Graeae personified the white foam of the sea
shared one eye, one ear and one tooth grey-haired from birth guardians of the Gorgons Enyo (horror) Deino (dread) Pemphredo (alarm)

46 The Graeae by L.W. Messacar

47 The Furies


49 Goddesses of Art & Science
The Muses Goddesses of Art & Science

50 Apollo and the Muses on Mount Helicon by Claude Lorrain

51 The Graces In Greek mythology, the three goddesses of joy, charm, and beauty. The daughters of the god Zeus and the nymph Eurynome, they were named Aglaia (Splendor), Euphrosyne (Mirth), and Thalia (Good Cheer). The Graces presided over banquets, dances, and all other pleasurable social events, and brought joy and goodwill to both gods and mortals. They were the special attendants of the divinities of love, Aphrodite and Eros, and together with companions, the Muses, they sang to the gods on Mount Olympus, and danced to beautiful music that the god Apollo made upon his lyre. In some legends Aglaia was wed to Hephaestus, the craftsman among the gods. Their marriage explains the traditional association of the Graces with the arts; like the Muses, they were believed to endow artists and poets with the ability to create beautiful works of art. The Graces were rarely treated as individuals, but always together as a kind of triple embodiment of grace and beauty. In art they are usually represented as lithe young maidens, dancing in a circle. (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 99)

52 The Three Graces by Jean-Baptiste Regnault

53 Female Trinity/Triple Goddess

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