Earth to Elysian Fields Emathia to Eretria Erginos to Eulimene Eumaios to Exomis

Earth to Elysian Fields


Gaia (Gaea or Ge) The ancient Greek goddess of Earth; she was the second Immortal, after Khaos (Chaos), to come into existence.

Her first creation was Ouranos, the starry Heavens, who was her equal in all ways; then she created Ourea, the Mountains; her third creation was Pontos, the barren Sea.

With her own children, Gaia gave birth to all manner of immortal creatures including; the Titans, Okeanos (Ocean), the Giants, Erinys (Furies), the Nymphs of the Ash Trees, Hekate (Hecate).

Earthborn (1)

The warriors who grew from the teeth of the dragon that Kadmus (Cadmus) killed when he founded the city of Thebes.

After Kadmus killed the dragon, Athene (Athena) knocked the teeth from the dead dragon’s head and gave half to Kadmus and the other half to king Aietes (Aeetes) of Kolkhis (Colchis); Kadmus planted the teeth and, when the Earthborn warriors arose from the ground, he threw a stone in their midst and let them fight amongst themselves; the five warriors who survived the fight were called the Sparti and became the founding families of the city of Thebes.

When the Argonauts came to Kolkhis for the Golden Fleece, Iason (Jason) was required to plant the dragon’s teeth that Aietes possessed and fight the Earthborn warriors as they emerged from the ground; Iason used the same trick as Kadmus and tossed a stone into the group of Earthborn warriors and let them fight amongst themselves until their numbers were sufficiently reduced so that he could kill the remainder.

Earthborn (2)

The aboriginal descendants of Poseidon (lord of the Sea) who lived on the peninsula of Kyzikos known as Mount of Bears, Bear Mountain or Bear Island.

The Earthborn had six arms: two sprouting from their shoulders and four more jutting from their sides; described as insolent and fierce, they shared Bear Island with the Doliones.


A name of Apollon used in Sparta when sacrifices were dedicated to him on the seventh of each month; ebdomas = the number seven.


A molding with an egg-and-dart pattern, i.e. closely set, alternating series of oval and pointed forms.


The stepmother of the Giants, Otos and Ephialtes; when the impulsive giants chained and imprisoned Ares (god of War), she informed Hermes and thus helped Ares escape.

Eetion (1)

A king of the city of Thebes and the father of Andromakhe (Andromache).

When Andromakhe married the Trojan hero, Hektor (Hector), she was an orphan because Akhilleus (Achilles) had killed her father, Eetion, and her seven brothers; Akhilleus honored Eetion by burning his body without stripping his armor and then piling a burial mound over his remains; the nymphs of the mountains planted elm trees over the mound; Eetion’s wife was captured by Akhilleus and returned for ransom but Artemis killed her with a shower of arrows.

Eetion (2)

The husband of Labda and the father of Kypselus (Cypselus); Kypselus, although from a humble family, became the tyrant of the city of Korinth (Corinth) from 655-625 BCE.

Egg and Dart

In relation to Ionic architecture, closely set, alternating series of decorative oval and pointed forms; also called egg and anchor or egg and tongue.


An empire in northeastern Africa; bounded on the north by the Mediterranean Sea, the east by the Red Sea and on the west by Libya.

Approximately 4,000,000 miles (6,437,376 kilometers) in area and divided by the Nile River which flows south to north and empties into the Mediterranean Sea; called Aegyptus by the ancient Greeks; by the time of the fall of Troy (circa 1250 BCE), Egypt had existed for over 1,500 years.


The daughter of the Old Man of the Sea, Proteus.

When Menelaos (Menelaus) and his companions were stranded on the island of Pharos, Eidothea appeared and told Menelaos that he must capture and question her father, Proteus, in order to find out which of the gods was responsible for his forced wanderings and what he must do to appease him.

Eidothea skinned four seals and gave the reeking skins to Menelaos and three of his shipmates; she then put ambrosia under their noses so that they could endure the terrible stench of the dead seals and showed Menelaos the cave where Proteus came out of the water to sleep; Menelaos and the three men waited until Proteus was asleep and attacked him; Proteus assumed the guise of a lion, a serpent, a leopard, a boar, fluid water and, finally, a tree but Menelaos would not release his grip; Proteus finally gave up the struggle and agreed to answer Menelaos’ questions.


An Okeanid, i.e. one of the three thousand daughters of Okeanos (Ocean) and Tethys.

In Argonautika Eidyia and Aietes (Aeetes) were the parents of Medea but in Theogony her name is rendered as Idyia.

Eidyia was the youngest Okeanid; she became the queen of Kolkhis (Colchis) and the wife of king Aietes (Aeetes); she was the mother of Khalkiope (Chalciope) and the sorceress, Medea.

Zeus gave the Okeanids, Apollon and the Rivers the special obligation of having the young in their keeping.


One of the warriors who fought with the Lapithae in the war which drove the Centaurs from Mount Pelion; father of the Argonaut, Polyphemos (Polyphemus).


The goddess of Childbirth; the daughter of Zeus and Hera; the sister of Ares (god of War) and Hebe.


Usually rendered as Helot, i.e. a Spartan surf.


One of the fifty daughters of Nereus and Doris collectively known as the Nereids, i.e. the daughters of the Nereus.


The father of Dia who was killed by Ixion by being thrown into a pit of burning coals after Ixion refused to pay the dowry he had promised for the privilege of marrying Dia.

Eirene (1)

The personification of the goddess, Peace; the daughter of Zeus and Themis; one of the Horae, i.e. the goddesses of the Seasons.

The Horae are the personifications of the cycle of death and rebirth and sometimes credited with social order; her sisters are Dike (Justice) and Eunomia (Order).

Eirene (2)

A comic play by the Athenian poet, Aristophanes, produced in 421 BCE at the Great Dionysia where it won second prize.

When this play was presented, the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE) had been going on for ten years and the need for peace was becoming urgent; shortly after the production of Peace, Athens and Sparta managed to negotiate a treaty that gave the war ravaged Greeks a five year reprieve from the brutal and unrelenting war.

The story revolves around a common man named Trygaios who has had enough of the war and decides to take his complaint directly to Zeus; he does not intend to pray or sacrifice in order to get Zeus’ attention, he intends to go to Mount Olympos (Olympus) and confront Zeus face to face.

Mounting a flying dung-beetle named Pegasos (Pegasus), Trygaios flies to Mount Olympos and is greeted by Hermes; the majority of the gods and goddesses have fled the sacred mountain; Ares (god of War) seems to be in charge of the mountain and he’s urgently looking for a pestle for his mortar so he can grind more Greek cities into dust; he is dismayed to find that the Athenian Kleon (Cleon) and the Spartan Brasides have been killed in the war because they were the best pestles he had.

The goddess Eirene (Peace) has been buried in a pit and Trygaios urges the chorus (who represent the various people of Greece) to help him dig her out; the city-folk in the chorus work at cross purposes but the country-folk work together and free Eirene from captivity; there follows a very interesting and highly symbolic scene where Eirene will not speak directly to the chorus but whispers to Hermes and he relates her messages; it seems that the Greeks have called upon Eirene too often with false promises and betrayed her trust; she does not feel that they will give her true homage and therefore will not favor them with her life sustaining voice.

Trygaios persuades Eirene to allow her handmaiden to return to Athens with him so that he can show the Council that Eirene will help them if they will give up their hateful ways; when Trygaios is once again on the earth’s surface he faces the audience and tells them that they looked very small and wicked when he flew above them on his dung-beetle and, now that he’s closer, they seem even more so.

A sacrifice is made to Eirene and the Athenian tradesmen start to approach Trygaios; the sickle-maker is jubilant because business is booming with the farmers working in their fields again; the craftsmen who made war implements are distraught because their products are now worthless; Trygaios suggests that shields be used as commodes and that helmets have handles attached so they can be used as wine pitchers; in the end, all seems to be as it should be with all the people of Greece reclaiming their peaceful traditions.

Aristophanes’ plays are sometimes difficult to appreciate because he was a very contemporary poet, i.e. he was writing for the Athenian audience of his day; he would use puns, parody regional accents and speak directly to the audience in ways that force modern translators to seek out the contextual meaning rather than the literal meaning of the poet’s words; for that reason, I suggest that if you find a translation that is difficult to enjoy, please don’t blame Aristophanes, simply look for a translation that you can enjoy; when trying to find a readable translator, I suggest Patric Dickinson; you may find his books at your local library in the 882 section but his books are out of print and sometimes difficult to find.


Usually rendered as Hekate (Hecate) and referred to as the Far-Darter; the name also came to be identified with Artemis.


Usually rendered as Hecatomb, i.e. the sacrifice of one hundred oxen.


A name literally meaning Far-Shooting, i.e. Apollon.


A son of Aktor (Actor) and step-father of the Greek soldier, Eudoros; the husband of Polymele.

When the maiden, Polymele, became the mother of Eudoros by Hermes, Ekhekles recognized the fact that Eudoros was the child of an Immortal; he married Polymele and raised the boy as if he were his own.


One of the sons of Nestor and Eurydike (Eurydice); he and his brother, Stratios, participated in an animal sacrifice when Telemakhos (Telemachus) visited the home of Nestor.


The second Agiadai king of the city of Sparta who ruled circa 900-870 BCE.

Sparta traditionally had two kings who ruled jointly; one king was required to be a descendant of king Agis I and the other was required to be a descendant of king Eurypon (respectively known as the Agiadai and the Eurypontidai).

Very little is known about Ekhestratos and the dates given for his rule are extrapolations and should be used only as approximations.


(echis = viper) The daughter of Kallirhoe (Callirhoe).

Ekhidna is “like nothing human,” half nymph with a fair face and the body of an enormous serpent; she lives apart from the other Immortals underground.

Ekhidna was joined in love with Typhaon and their hard-tempered children were: Orthos (the watchdog of Geryon), Kerberos (Cerberus) (the savage dog of Hades) and the Hydra of Lerna; all three of which Herakles (Heracles) faced as part of his Labors.

Also, near the city of Korinth (Corinth), the hero, Theseus, killed a fierce sow that was the offspring of Ekhidna and Typhaon; the sow was named after her keeper, Phaia, and it appears that Theseus killed the beast for sport rather than necessity.


The common name for the islands in the Ionian Sea.


Ekhion and Erytos were the sons of Hermes and Antianeira; they went with Iason (Jason) on the quest for the Golden Fleece with their half-brother, Aithalides.


A mountain nymph who was pursued by Pan but resisted his amorous advances; Pan changed her into a voice that can only repeat the last word spoken to her.

Her name literally means “a returned sound.”


A people’s assembly in the city of Athens that was empowered to decide political matters such as war, peace, choosing military leaders and the mobilization of military forces.

Originally, members were not paid for their services but circa 390 BCE a small fee was paid, equal to approximately to the pay offered to oarsmen on warships (three obols per day).


A comic play by Aristophanes produced in 392 BCE.

This is one of Aristophanes’ more ribald plays and might not be suitable for younger readers.

It seems that the women of the city of Athens have decided to kill the poet, Euripides, because of the demeaning way in which he portrays women in his plays; the women put Euripides in the same category as the accursed Persians and declare him an enemy of the state; Euripides persuades his father-in-law, Mnesilokhos (Mnesilochus), to dress like a woman and attend the Women’s Assembly in order to speak out on Euripides’ behalf; at first, Mnesilokhos speaks well for Euripides and seems to be generating some sympathy for the doomed poet but an informant arrives and tells the women that a male spy has invaded their assembly; it doesn’t take long for the women to deduce that the only woman to speak out for Euripides is the intruder.

At this point the play takes a unique turn; I have to admit that I was more than a little surprised when Mnesilokhos snatched up a baby from a woman in the assembly and threatened to kill it unless he was allowed to leave the hall unharmed; I won’t tell you how the situation is resolved but I will say that it’s scenes like this which demonstrate Aristophanes’ true comic genius.

After Mnesilokhos is taken prisoner and restrained, Euripides enters the scene to save his father-in-law from the wrath of the women; the comic banter between Mnesilokhos and Euripides is dialogue taken from Euripides’ tragedies and turned into farcical parodies.

Although the play mocks Euripides, there is an element of respect for his work laced throughout the puns and jokes; the net result of reading this play is that I wanted to read more plays by Euripides and Aristophanes.

Aristophanes’ plays are sometimes difficult to appreciate because he was a very contemporary poet, i.e. he was writing for the Athenian audience of his day; he would use puns, parody regional accents and speak directly to the audience in ways that force modern translators to seek out the contextual meaning rather than the literal meaning of the poet’s words; for that reason, I suggest that if you find a translation that is difficult to enjoy, please don’t blame Aristophanes, simply look for a translation that you can enjoy; when trying to find a readable translator, I suggest Patric Dickinson; you may find his books at your local library in the 882 section but his books are out of print and sometimes difficult to find.


A Greek city located on the tip of the Gallipoli Peninsula where the Hellespont enters the Aegean Sea.


The ninth month of the year in Attika (Attica); considered to be the last half of March and the first half of April.


A Greek city in southwestern Italy on the coast of Lukania (Lucania); founded originally by the Phoenicians; the Eleatic School of philosophy, founded by Parmenides and Zeno, was named after this city.


Noting or pertaining to a school of philosophy, founded by Parmenides in the city of Elea, which investigated the phenomenal world, especially with reference to the phenomena of change.


A metal alloy which occurs naturally and is comprised of gold and silver with traces of other metals; the first coins were probably made of electrum in Lydia and Ionia circa 650 BCE and were widely used until circa 345 when they were replaced with gold or silver coins.

Before its use in coins, electrum was apparently used in the manufacture of armor because the poet, Hesiod, said that the shield which was made by Hephaistos (Hephaestus) and used by Herakles (Heracles) was made of ivory and electrum.

Elektra (1)

One of the seven daughters of Atlas known as the Pleiades.

The hunter, Orion, relentlessly pursued the girls until they were changed into pigeons by Zeus and eventually put into the night sky as a constellation.

Elektra’s sisters are: Alkyone (Alcyone), Asterope, Kelaeno (Celaeno), Maia, Merope and Taygete.

Elektra (2)

The daughter of Agamemnon and Klytemnestra (Clytemnestra).

Elektra was a principal character in the trilogy known as The Oresteia by Aeskhylus (Aeschylus).

Elektra (3)

An Okeanid, i.e. one of the three thousand daughters of Okeanos (Ocean) and Tethys; she was the wife of Thaumas and the mother of the goddess Iris and the winged-women known as the Harpies, i.e. Aello and Okypete (Ocypete).

Zeus gave the Okeanids, Apollon and the Rivers the special obligation of having the young in their keeping.

Elektra (4)

A play by Sophokles (Sophocles); a tragic continuation of the aftermath of the murder of Agamemnon by his wife, Klytemnestra (Clytemnestra), and her lover, Aigisthos (Aegisthus).

Elektra still lived with her murderous mother but was secretly plotting to avenge her father by killing Klytemnestra and Aigisthos; her brother Orestes returned from exile and revealed himself to Elektra and completed the deadly revenge as an act of justice.

Elektra (5)

A tragedy by Euripides which was produced circa 413 BCE.

The story deals with the tragic figures of Orestes and Elektra after Orestes has killed their mother, Klytemnestra (Clytemnestra), and her lover, Aigisthos; the story is more of a character study than the play by the same name by Sophokles (Sophocles).

I personally recommend the translations compiled by Richmond Lattimore and David Grene; you can find this and other plays by Euripides in the 882 section of your local library or you can order them from the Book Shop on this site which is linked to


The Amber Islands; a name given by the Greeks in later times to the islands of the North Sea.


A word used to mean Amber or Pale-Gold, i.e. one part silver and four parts gold.


A son of Perseus; the king of Mykenai (Mycenae); he was the father of Alkmene (Alcmene) and the uncle of her husband, Amphitryon.

As Elektryon was leaving to avenge the murder of his sons by the Teleboeans, he was accidentally killed by Amphitryon, consequently before Amphitryon could consummate his marriage to Alkmene he had to complete Elektryon’s blood feud and avenge the death of her brothers; while Amphitryon was off on this quest, Zeus came to Alkmene disguised as Amphitryon and from this union came the mighty hero Herakles (Heracles).


The Greek name for an elephant or its ivory.

Eleusinian Mysteries

An annual celebration at the cities of Eleusis and Athens in memory of the abduction and return of Persephone and in honor and Demeter and Bakkhus (Bacchus); the actual rites were shrouded in mystery and only initiates were allowed to participate in the more sacred of the ceremonies.


A Greek city in ancient Attika (Attica) approximately 10 miles (16 kilometers) north and west of Athens.

Eleusis was the site of the temple of Demeter where the Eleusinian Mysteries originated; when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped by Hades (lord of the Underworld), Demeter disguised herself as an old woman and took refuge at Eleusis; she was at Eleusis when Zeus commanded Hades to release Persephone but it took several attempts by the Immortals to persuade Demeter to leave Eleusis and return to Mount Olympos (Olympus) for the reunion with her daughter.

Approximate east longitude 23.32 and north latitude 38.02.

Elgin Marbles

A group of Greek sculptures of the fifth century BCE; originally on the Parthenon in Athens and supposedly sculptured under the direction of Phidias.

The sculptures are presently on display in the British Museum in London; they were named after Thomas Bruce, the seventh Earl of Elgin (1766-1841) who arranged for their removal from Athens.


Usually rendered as Helicon, as in Mount Helikon (Helicon); a mountain in southern central Greece in Boeotia midway between Delphi and the city of Thebes; 5,738 feet (1,749 meters) in height; regarded by the ancients as the abode of Apollon, the Muses and the site of the Hippokrene (Hippocrene) Spring.


An ancient country in western Greece on the Peloponnesian Peninsula; the most famous city in Elis was Olympia which was the site of the Olympian Games.

After the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE), Elis was subjugated by Sparta and never regained its former status as an independent city.


Another name for Dido.

Dido was a princess of the city of Tyre; her name was originally Elissa; she was the daughter of king Matgenos and the sister of Pygmalion; she married her uncle, Sychaeus, but he was murdered by Pygmalion; she took Sychaeus’ fortune and fled to northern Africa and founded the city of Carthage; the African king, Iarbas, wanted to marry Dido but she burned herself on a pyre rather than become his bride.

Ellas (1)

The modern Greek name for Greece.

Ellas (2)

A city in Thessaly founded by the mythical founder of the Greeks, Hellen.


Usually rendered as Hellespont or The Sea of Helle; named after the girl, Helle, who was drowned in the sea which separates European Turkey from Asian Turkey; Hellespont was the ancient Greek name for what we call the Dardanelles Strait.


The companion of Odysseus on his voyage home to the island of Ithaka (Ithaca).

Elpenor fell from the roof of Kirke’s (Circe’s) palace and was never given a proper burial; when Odysseus went to the entrance of the Underworld to seek the advice of the seer, Teiresias, he encountered Elpenor’s “shade” and was moved to promise “the barrow and the burial” for his fallen companion.


A Spirit; the personification of Hope.

After Epimetheus accepted Pandora from Zeus, all the evils of the world were unleashed except for Elpis; she remained in order to make the world and its sorrows bearable.

Elysian Fields

The abode of the blessed dead.

People who lead righteous, generous lives dwell in the Elysian Fields when they die; a land of easy life for mortals and mild weather provided by Zephyros (West Wind); also known as the Islands of the Blest and thought to lie in the far west in the stream of Okeanos (Ocean).

Earth to Elysian Fields

Earth to Elysian Fields Emathia to Eretria Erginos to Eulimene Eumaios to Exomis


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