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Greek Mythology: The Seilenoi (or Sileni) were elderly rustic spirits (daimones) in the train of the god Dionysos. They were sons of the first Seilenos and the fathers of the tribes of Satyrs and Oreiades (mountain nymphs). The Seilenoi were depicted as fat, elderly, white-haired satyrs with horse's tail and ears, and snub nose. They were often covered in fluffy white hair, and sometimes sported a pair of ox horns. The twelve male guardians of the infant Dionysos known as Pheres...

Greek Mythology: Nemesis was the goddess of indignation against, and retribution for, evil deeds and undeserved good fortune. She was a personification of the resentment aroused in men by those who commited crimes with apparent impunity, or who had inordinate good fortune. Nemesis directed human affairs in such a way as to maintain equilibrium. Her name means she who distributes or deals out. Happiness and unhappiness were measured out by her, care being taken that happiness was not...

Greek Mythology: Thanatos (or Thanatus) was the god or daimon of non-violent death. His touch was gentle, likened to that of his twin brother Hypnos (Sleep). Violent death was the domain of Thanatos' blood-craving sisters, the Keres, spirits of slaughter and disease. Thanatos plays a prominent role in two myths. Once when he was sent to fetch Alkestis to the underworld, he was driven off by Herakles in a fight. Another time he was captured by the criminal Sisyphos who trapped him...

Greek Mythology: Hestia was the virgin goddess of the hearth (both private and municipal) and the home. As the goddess of the family hearth she also presided over the cooking of bread and the preparation of the family meal. Hestia was also the goddess of the sacrificial flame and received a share of every sacrifice to the gods. The cooking of the communal feast of sacrificial meat was naturally a part of her domain. In myth Hestia was the first born child of Kronos and Rhea who was...

Terracotta vase in the form of a phallus. ca. 550-500 BC. / Phallus vases are a rare and distinctive feature of Archaic Greek pottery. They were used to store perfumed oils, presumably of an erotic or medicinal nature. This vase is the product of an East Greek workshop, probably on Rhodes. Archaic Greek potters fashioned sculptural vases in a wide variety of shapes, including human heads, legs, and animals. This particular class reflects an element of playfulness recurrent throughout Greek…