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1 + Mythological Encyclopaedia Discover Europe through the world of mythology


3 + BACK TO ALPHBET Mythological Encyclopaedia Discover Europe through the world of mythology LLP COMENIUS 2013 - 2015

4 TRITONE POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFEWHAT IT DOES With s scales and algae, his body was half fish and half man, sometimes with horse paws. Thanks to a magic horn he can cause sea storm or calm waves down, according to the produced sounds. He cuts through the sea helping Neptune in realizing his will, favouring or preventing the sailors way. He lives in the sea deep and rides waves thanks to his body shape. BACK TO ALPHBET

5 THE HAG (LAUM Ė ) POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFEWHAT IT DOES They are weird long-haired young women usually depicted as being naked. In very ancient times it was believed that there existed hags-cannibals with a very awful appearance. Hags can not only reward and be good but also they can make harm and bring death. While not having their own children, they gnaw bad mothers’ babies or steal and exchange them. They can tire out the men to death. Very often hags cut the sheep, milk the cows to harm the family. With their spells hags can cause rain, hail or storms. Hags are very justice and they are keepers of moral. They reward good and hard-working people, but they punish those who are bad or lazy. Hags live in the forests, near the creeks, rivers or lakes, also near swamps or stones. They gather together, while being the full moon at night, in wet meadows and have fun dancing in circles. Every Thursday evening they do the laundry. They visit family’s bathhouse. BACK TO ALPHBET

6 THE DEVIL (VELNIAS) POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFEWHAT IT DOES Usually devils are depicted as a young man or a short man with the green hat, sometimes they may appear as a bird or an animal (cat, horse, etc.). While imitating the God, devil pretends creating the world – God created the lowlands and devil spitted on it and threw stones and hills. He has the power of turning to anyone he wants and he is very strong. The main duty of the devil is to take care of Earth’s treasures, protect the poor and punish dishonest, greedy people, offenders, and drinkers. Devils tire out or deceive the way of people travelling at night. Devils live in forests, swamps, caves, under stones or under the ground. The devil is careful as he always hides from his biggest enemy the Thunder not to hit him. Devils especially like music that’s why they take musicians to their feasts, weddings. While musicians play devils have fun while dancing. BACK TO ALPHBET

7 THE KITE (AITVARAS) POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFEWHAT IT DOES It is conceived as a golden dragon with huge wings or firing snake. At homes it can change the shape and become a bird. The Kite is immortal. While killing it, the Kite becomes a spark and always causes the fire. Most usually the man doesn’t even guess that he has a Kite in his house as he always has wealth and richness that the Kite brings them secretly from a man. The Kite usually protects good, not greedy people, those who are treated badly and brings them riches: corns, flax, money that it usually takes away from the rich greedy people. They live in homesteads or barns of farmers who they choose. The kite isn’t either good or bad. If the farmer loves respects and feeds it well, the Kite becomes his best friend and brings lots of wealth. But for those who behave bad to it the Kite revenges. It flies above the trees in summer or autumn evenings. Usually the Kite is hatched from cock’s egg also it can be bought or domesticated. The barn is the main dwelling of Kites BACK TO ALPHBET

8 ERL İ K HAN POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFEWHAT IT DOES Erlik Han is a frightful man. His eyes and eyebrows are black as coal, his beard is up to his knees,his moustache is on his ears like wild boars molars, his jaw is like a mallet,and his horns are like tree roots. His hair is dark black and curly.. He flies over the endless water with the costume of the geese and swan. He is the God of underground world and makes evil to the people. Erlik Han has done evil against Tengri during the creation of the world. Tengri has made him lord of the underground world as a penalty. Erlik Han has an underground palace which its roof is made of iron and its furnace is made of clay. He has a silver throne in front of the palace.his sword is made of green iron and the shield is made of flat iron.he has nine bulls, he has five sons and two daughters. BACK TO ALPHBET

9 TULPAR POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFEWHAT IT DOES The horse is usually described as white or black. Tulpar opens his wings only in the dark and while exceeding great obstacles and distances Tupar has white wings and created by Kuday (God) to help the brave. It is believed that If Tulpar’s wings are seen by someone Tulpar would disappear. BACK TO ALPHBET

10 AKANA POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFEWHAT IT DOES It has a body of light, (non- corporeal). It has elegant horns symbolizing the begining of power which is smiliar to the crown. It has avery long light bluish tail like a mermaid. It is believed that it started the life cycle by giving spirit to all which is about the begining of life. Yet nothing has been created and there is only when a vast water. Akana inspired by the endless waters immersed in creating to Ülgenhan and come back waters again. It lives in the endless waters and starfish circulates around it. BACK TO ALPHBET

11 ÜLGENHAN POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFEWHAT IT DOES While describing these adjectives are used ; white, bright, loud, burning, lightning. In his hand he has a large shield and a bow which sends lightning. Thunderbolts and lightning are his weapons.The places become holy which he hits with lightning. Manages air events and unknown kinds of shapes in the space. Ulgenhan came to the land with two pieces of stones which, one is white other is black and taught people to make fire. Ulgenhan lived in a gold palace which has a gold door in “Gold Mountain” on the 16th floor of the sky. It sits on a golden throne. Likes to do good. BACK TO ALPHBET

12 HIISI (GOBLIN) POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFEWHAT IT DOES Usually, they are black or grey and small in size, on some occasions gigantic. They cause diseases and all kind of troubles. Travels in a noisy procession, and attacks people who did not give way to it. If someone left the door open from their house, Hiisi could come inside and steal something. They live in forests or in the water. BACK TO ALPHBET

13 TUONEN TYTTI (DAUGHTER OF DEATH, DEATH’S MAID) POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFEWHAT IT DOES Long black hair and ragged dress. She decides who can enter the Underworld. Lets dead people pass to Tuonela. She lets only those to pass to Tuonela (The Underworld), who she believes are dead. She is like a ferryman (similar to Charon) between Tuonela and the earth. BACK TO ALPHBET

14 IELELE POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFEWHAT IT DOES They are beautiful women, usually virgins, dressed in white from head to toe, with flowers in their long hair and bells on their ankles. Ielele appear sometimes with bodies or only as immaterial spirits. They are young and beautiful, voluptuous immortals, their frenzy causing delirium in onlookers, and with bad tempers, but not being necessarily evil. Ielele can fly without wings, traveling with incredible speed. Anyone who refuse their invitation to dance, or dares to mimic their movements will be subject to terrible punishment – paralyzed or crippled. These spirits like to remain in the forests and mountains, enjoying the freedom to fly through the sky. When they want to punish a man, Ielele used to charm him by their songs, to make him sleep in sweet dreams, then they would dance around him and start cursing. In order to keep this type of fairies away, people used to put a horse skull in their fence. They are spirits who grow up in groups of three or seven of other iele and said to live in forests, caves, skies and isolated cliffs or marshes. They appear at night as dancing hora (a type of circle dance originating in the Balkans) and enjoy eating flowers. BACK TO ALPHBET

15 NÄKKI (NECK) POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFEWHAT IT DOES A shapeshifting water spirit who usually appears in human form. Näkki is very beautiful from the front, his backside is hairy and extremely ugly. He could change himself into a beautiful woman who attemptes to get children to the water. Näkki tries to temptate the young children into the depths. Näkki resides in murky pools, wells, piers and under bridges that cross rivers. BACK TO ALPHBET

16 BALAUR POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFEWHAT IT DOES A Balaur is, in Romanian mythology, a fantastic animal of huge size that often takes the form of a serpent with wings, legs and heads of a snake (three, seven, or even twelve), representing an embodiment of evil and present in most Romanian fairy tales. Some legends accredit them with the common dragon ability of fire-breathing, they can influence weather and cause thunder and lightning. Almost universally, the Balaur represented evil, being strong, wicked and cruel. Most of Romanian tales deal with the conflict between the balaur and their enemy, Fàt Frumos, the Romanian equivalent of Prince Charming– a heroic, handsome figure of good. The Balaur was considered as a creature of epic proportions, one that planted its footsteps on the mountain and touched the violet skies with its lofty crest. BACK TO ALPHBET

17 MUMA P Ă DURII POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFEWHAT IT DOES Muma P ă durii (lit. mother of the woods) appears as a crone, with wrinkled skin that is peculiarly similar to tree bark. In other areas, her natural appearance is that of a very beautiful woman. However, she is a shape shifter in both cases, assuming any form she desires. She steals human children, replacing them with her own. She takes care of trees, as a mother takes care of her children. She governs their destinies, she is the one who decides which tree will live and which will be cut down. She lives in the darkest depths of forests, making tree hollows her home. BACK TO ALPHBET

18 SPIRIDU POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFEWHAT IT DOES A spiridu ş in Moldavian and Romanian mythology represent a little creature that can be either good or evil and is very similar to the leprechauns It has to work and help his owner to obtain money or other goods. A sum of money or a gift handed by Spiridu ş to another person will always return to the owner in a magical way. According Moldavian territory legends Spiridu ş, although is a servant of his owner and does good things for his master, is sent by the Devil, and after the owner’s death, his soul will belong to the devil. It is usually kept in a bottle. BACK TO ALPHBET

19 ILEANA COSÂNZEANA POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFEWHAT IT DOES She is represented as a beautiful good- natured princess. Ileana is the original concept of feminine beauty, the most beautiful amongst the fairies: her eyes look like the sun, her body is like the sea and her garments are made of flowers. Pearls and gold flow out of her mouth when she sings. She is said to use her power of white magic to heal or revive. Ileana Cosânzeana succeeds in defeating the evil forces only because she is very brave, smart, modest. BACK TO ALPHBET

20 MEDUSA APPEARENCE In greek mythology, Medusa is a very ugly creature and has snakes instead of hair. Her eyes are terrifying. Her sisters, the Gorgons, are also very ugly. In the Archaic period Medusa and the Gorgons are often depicted with wings. Their face usually has big eyes and a sticking out tongue. ORIGIN Medusa is the only mortal out of the three Gorgons. She is not only hideous (=ugly), but also very dangerous. Medusa lives away from other people, hiding herself. But she is desperate and furious because of her looks. If someone looks at her eyes, he will turn immediately into a stone statue. CHARACTERISTICS and POWERS Medusa is the daughter of Phorkys and Keto, the children of Gaea (Earth) and Oceanus (Ocean). She is one of the three sisters known as the Gorgons. The other two sisters were Sthenno and Euryale. LOCATION The Gorgons are living either in a place called the Night (Nyx) beyond the Ocean (Oceanus), either somewhere in Libya. MYTH In the beginning, Medusa is a pretty young lady but a jealous goddess (Athena) transforms her into a monster. Perseus, the founder of Mycenae, is sent to kill the monster Medusa and bring back her head. The goddess Athena helps Perseus; she gives him a sword and a shield and advices him not to look at Medusa because her ugliness will turn him to stone. Instead he must use the shield as a mirror and look in that to cut off Medusa's head. After cutting off the head of Medusa, Perseus gives it to Athena to place it on her shield

21 SYMBOL and LEGACY The Gorgoneion showing Medusa’s head is a symbol since the Ancient times. It was used for protection against evil. For artists Medusa’s head continue to be a powerful source of inspiration. We can see it today in works of art, logos, fashion, tattoos, comics and design. MEDUSA BACK TO ALPHBET

22 The SIRENS APPEARENCE CHARACTERISTICS and POWERS MYTH In greek mythology, Sirens are sea nymphs half human, half bird. They have the head, arms and the bust of a young woman; they also have the wings, and lower part of the body of a bird. LOCATION Sirens probably lived on the flowery island of Anthemoessa, placed in the Tyrrhenian Sea or in the gulf of Naples, in Italy. Charming and malicious, they are attracting with their beautiful music and their sweet voices the sailors and lead them to death. Their voices are calling the sailors to join them with promises of pleasure and happiness. Once sailors hear the Sirens song, they can’t resist jumping into the sea where the Sirens let them die. The Sirens are cannibals; they are eating their victims after they die. In Homers Odyssey, Circe warns Odysseus about the dangerous Sirens but he wants to hear their song. When his ship is approaching the Sirens coast, he puts wax in the ears of his companions and let them tie him to the mast of the ship. When he hears the Sirens' song, Odysseus looses his mind and wants to jump into the sea. Hopefully he can’t because he is tied. But the Sirens feel so desperate that they kill themselves. A siren falling from the rock.

23 SIRENS SYMBOL Sirens symbolize beautiful, seductive but dangerous women. The siren song (or siren call) is used as a metaphor for temptations. BACK TO ALPHBET

24 APPEARENCE CHARACTERISTICS and POWERS MYTH In Greek mythology, the Minotaur is a monstrous creature with the head of a bull and the body of a man. LOCATION King Minos imprisons the Minotaur in a labyrinth constructed by the architect Daedalus in Knossos palace, in the island of Crete (South of Greece). The labyrinth is an enormous and complex construction from which nobody can find his way out. Poseidon sent a beautiful bull to King Minos of Crete but Pasiphae, the king’s wife, fell in love with the bull and gave birth to the Minotaur. Athens, after a long war with king Minos of Crete, is forced to make a treaty: the city has to send every 9 years, 7 young girls and 7 young men, to be given as a sacrifice to the Minotaur. Years later, Theseus of Athens decides to take the place of one young man in order to kill the Minotaur and deliver Athens. In Crete, Theseus meets Ariadne who falls in love with him. Ariadne who is the daughter of king Minos and Pasiphae helps Theseus to kill the Minotaur: she gives him a ball of string and a sword. Theseus ties the string at the entrance of the labyrinth. Then he goes in and kills the Minotaur with the sword. After that he finds easily his way out and leaves Crete with Ariadne. BIRTH When the Minotaur grew up, he became ferocious. He was eating human flesh, preferably... Athenians. In reality Knossos palace was a complex construction, like a labyrinth. Young Athenians waiting for their sacrifice in the Labyrinth. MINOTAUR Knossos coin

25 Sacred Minotaur horns are the symbol of Knossos palace. SYMBOL The Minotaur in art represents man's bestiality. The creature continue to inspire artists. The MINOTAUR BACK TO ALPHBET

26 The Lernaean HYDRA APPEARENCE CHARACTERISTICS and POWERS MYTH In greek mythology, the Lernaean Hydra is a terrifying snake-like monster with numerous heads. LOCATION The Hydra is living in the swamps (lake) near to the ancient city of Lerna in Argolis (Peloponnese, Greece) The Hydra is invincible. If any of its heads is cut, another one - or even two - will grow in its place. The venom (=poison) of the monster is enough to kill a man or an animal. When it comes out from the swamp (=lake), it attacks the animals and local people, devouring them with its numerous heads. Hercules decides to kill the beast that is terrorizing the area around the lake. He goes to the hiding place of the monster and draw it out of his hole with flaming arrows. When he attacks the beast with his sword, he realizes that, for each head he’s cutting, two more grow up in its place. So Hercules asks help from his companion Iolaos, who uses firebrands to cauterise (= to burn) each part cut by Hercules until the monster dies. As the monster’s blood is poisonous, Hercules keeps some to tip his arrows. ORIGIN The Hydra is the daughter of Echidna and Typhon and the half-sister of the Nemean Lion.

27 LEGACY The name Hydra was given to: a constellation of stars, because it has the shape of a snake. a natural satellite of Pluto discovered in 2005 a very small fresh water animal considered to be biological immortal because it reproduces its cells. 2 pounds coin of Gibraltar The Lernaean HYDRA BACK TO ALPHBET

28 SCILLA POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFEWHAT SHE DOES Scilla is a greedy woman, she stole Gerion’ s beef and for this reason was transformed by Zeus in a woman with five legs ending with dogs heads. Through her five mouths she eats at the same time the soilors up. She is well known to have eating six of Ulisses’ fellows. She checks The entrance of the strait eating up sailors. She lives on a promontory by the sea, on the Calabria side of the Messina straits. BACK TO ALPHBET

29 CARIDDI POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFE WHAT SHE DOES She was a beautiful woman loved by Glauco and turned into a monster by Circe’s jealousy. Sometimes she is represented embedded in a rock from which only her head comes out. She swallows and vomit the sea waters, making terrible vortex in which ships are attracted and sunken. She checks together with Scilla Messina’s entrance. She decides the fate of who crosses it. She lives on a promontory on the Sicilian side of the Messina Channel. BACK TO ALPHBET







36 BASILISK POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFE WHAT IT DOES Its appearance was frightening. The creature was similar to a crocodile, but instead of the mouth it had a cock head. Its eyes resembled the frog’s eyes. To defend itself Basilisk used sharp fangs and toxic breath. Whoever looks at its eyes - is just turned into stone. It stayed in the old house in Warsaw, scaring the inhabitants of the city. Basilisk was born from an egg which was laid by a seven - year - old cock. He could live a number of centuries. Its place of living are ruins of a old house in Warsaw. BACK TO ALPHBET Place of living

37 BORUTA POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFE WHAT HE DOES He is usually depicted as a well dressed noble, in 17 th century Polish clothes, with big black moustache. He had a tail and horns that were hidden under his clothes. Boruta is a devil. He can transform himself into animals, a bird with huge wings, appearing in meadows and swamps, a huge fish with horns, appearing in Bzura river, a very fast black horse, running around the Łę czyca castle, an owl, appearing in the castle as well, people, fire. He was extremely strong, smart and clever. He used to annoy people, especially nobles. He played tricks on them using his special powers, outsmarting them with his enormous wisdom, strength and cleverness. At the same time, according to many legends, he helped the poor giving them flour for bread. Boruta devil is the hero of numerous Polish legends. He lives in a castle in Łę czyca (a city in Poland) The devil is a nobleman. BACK TO ALPHBET

38 DROWNERS POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFEWHAT THEY DO Drowners were very thin and high people. They had green slimy skin. Their heads were big and covered with long hair. When the full moon was coming they liked playing riddles with people. They could transform themselves into young handsome men or young pretty women. Then they attracted people to play with them. The person who tried to cheat was immediately drowned. They were cruel and vicious creatures. They drowned people who went swimming and animals which were crossing rivers. They were also responsible of flooding. They lived in every reservoir of water even in wells and street ditches. BACK TO ALPHBET


40 LICZYRZEPA POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFEWHAT IT DOES First he was shown as a powerful, scary demon with wings and horns. But most often he was depicted as a man advanced in years, medium- height and stoop- shouldered. His hair and his beard were grey. Because of his age, he had to use a stick. He wore very dirty clothes.. He could turn objects into other objects or people by magic. He created some people out of turnips. Also, he created some parts of the Karkonosze mountains. He was a mountain spirit. With good people he was friendly, taught medicine and gave presents. But if someone laughed at him, he took revenge.. Liczyrzepa was a character from the Polish mountains - Karkonosze. He didn’t have permanent place of living, because he was a vagrant, he went from one place to another. BACK TO ALPHBET THE MOUNTAIN SPIRIT

41 THE TREASURER POWERS APPARENCE WAY OF LIFEWHAT HE DOES The Treasurer was most often presented as an old, bearded man, smoking a pipe, with a small pickaxe and a candle in his hand. However, he had a power to turn into different forms, for example, the mouse. He knew in advance about possible dangers in coal mines. Then he appeared, out of nowhere, giving help. He was able to transform into other animals or creatures. For example, in case of a rubble – he became a mouse, which wass necessary to quickly get through narrow holes. He was a friendly spirit, who warned and helped miners in dangers. Miners really appreciated his help because he gave a hand when someone got lost in an old mine, tunnels or was buried by rubble.. The Treasurer could be found in all the mines of Silesia. BACK TO ALPHBET

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