O to Oresteia Orestes to Ozolian

O to Oresteia


Omikron (Omicron); the uppercase form of the fifteenth letter of the Greek alphabet.


A unit of money, vulgarly called a Spit; one obol would buy a light meal; oarsmen on warships were paid 2 or 3 obols per day; also spelled Obelus, Obelos and Obolos.


Another name for Briareos; he and his brothers, Kottos (Cottos) and Gyes, are three of the most terrible creatures ever to be produced by Gaia (Earth) and Ouranos (the Heavens).

All three brothers have fifty heads and fifty arms sprouting from their massive shoulders; the Immortals use the name Briareos to name him but mere mortals call him Aigaios’ son.

When the brothers were in the womb of Gaia, Ouranos would not let them be born; when they attempted to come out, Ouranos would push them back inside; Gaia made a sickle of flint and begged for one of her Titan children to attack Ouranos but only Kronos came to her aid; Kronos laid in ambush for his father and struck him down with the flint sickle; the three fifty-headed brothers were allowed to escape Gaia’s womb and the blood of Ouranos created the Furies, the Giants, the Nymphs of the Ash Trees and the goddess of Love, Aphrodite.

Kronos had helped his mother, Gaia, free the monstrous brothers but he feared their strength and beauty and imprisoned them under the earth where they remained until the war between the Titans and the Olympians began; Zeus brought the three brothers back into the light and gave them nektar (nectar) and ambrosia to renew their vitality; Briareos, Kottos and Gyes joined the Olympians in the war against the Titans.

After ten years of war, Zeus let loose all his fury and the earth and heavens trembled under his thunderbolts; at that moment, Briareos, Kottos and Gyes bombarded the Titans with three-hundred boulders that buried the Titans and ended the war.

Long after the war with the Titans, Thetis summoned Briareos to Mount Olympos (Olympus) to keep Hera, Poseidon (lord of the Sea) and Pallas Athene (Athena) from binding Zeus; when Briareos ascended Mount Olympos he simply sat beside Zeus and his fierce presence deflected all thoughts of aggression.

Obriareos was wedded to the daughter of Poseidon, Kymopoleia (Cymopoleia).


One of the Titans, i.e. one of the children of Gaia (Earth) and Ouranos (the Heavens).

Okeanos was the consort of Tethys; the daughters of Okeanos and Tethys are collectively called Okeanids; Okeanos was of the generation of Titans and is the personification of the Ocean-Stream which surrounds the lands of the Earth; all rivers have Okeanos as their source and their destination.


A theatre build in the city of Athens during the reign of Perikles (Pericles) (469-429 BCE) in which musical performances of the Panathenaea were held; the building was round and had a conical roof.


The son of Laertes and Antikleia (Anticleia); the husband of Penelope and the father of Telemakhos (Telemachus).

Odysseus was one of the most significant heroes of the Trojan War and his exploits can only be appreciated by reading The Iliad and The Odyssey.

When Agamemnon and Menelaos (Menelaus) asked Odysseus to join them in the siege of Troy, he gathered an army and sailed with them; during his ten years at Troy, Odysseus was a fearless leader and a skillful strategist; he was characterized as “resourceful” and “crafty” but his unfailing devotion to the Immortals, especially Athene (Athena), garnered him the intelligence and strength to survive the perils of the battlefield and withstand the treachery of the Trojans and the Immortals.

The Odyssey is the story of Odysseus’ voyage home after the fall of Troy; after killing Poseidon’s son, Polyphemos (Polyphemus), Odysseus and his crew endured all types of deadly ordeals; when Odysseus did not return for ten years, a group of suitors gathered in the hopes of marrying Penelope; when Odysseus arrived home he had to confront the suitors in order to regain his home and property; with the assistance of the goddess Athene, his son Telemakhos, his father Laertes and a few devoted servants Odysseus fought and killed the suitors.


The Odyssey is the story of the journey of the Greek hero, Odysseus, to his island home of Ithaka (Ithaca) after the Trojan War.

The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer are the epic poems which form the basis of the Epic Cycle which, in their totality, describe the sack of Troy and the return of the Greek heroes to their various homes.

The story is divided into twenty-four books and is presented in the form of a poem which dates from circa 700 BCE and is presumed to have been recited or sung for hundreds of years before it was ever written down.

Odysseus left Troy with his crew and plunder but offended Poseidon (lord of the Sea) and was prevented from sailing directly home to his wife and kingdom; despite Odysseus’ bravery and cleverness, he is unable to save his crew or the riches he had been awarded as part of the spoils of war; each obstacle he encounters results in the loss of more crewmen and ships; the Trojan War lasted ten years and Odysseus’ voyage home took another ten years.

The story of Odysseus is augmented by two subplots:

  1. The search by Odysseus’ son, Telemakhos (Telemachus) for his long overdue father; and
  2. The misery and doubt of Odysseus’ wife, Penelope as she tries to fend off the numerous suitors who have invaded her house waiting for her to choose a new husband.

I have not attempted to retell the story here because it is a “must read” for all students regardless of your major interests; there are numerous translations of The Odyssey but many of them are flawed beyond reclamation; I personally recommend the translations by either Richmond Lattimore (ISBN 0060931957) or Robert Fitzgerald (ISBN 0385059418); both translations are different in their details but the transliterations of the Greek text are very readable and thoroughly engaging; the Lattimore translation has the lines numbered but fails to put the book numbers at the top of each page which makes easy reference difficult; the Fitzgerald translation has the opposite problem, i.e. he puts the book number at the top of each page but fails to number the lines.


The unfortunate king of the city of Thebes who inadvertently killed his father and married his mother.

Oedipus is one of the most well known names in Greek mythology; we hear his name today associated with a mental disorder which denotes the unhealthy attraction of a son to his mother and is called the Oedipus Complex.

The story of Oedipus begins with Oedipus’ father, Laius; when Laius was a young man he fled his home in the city of Thebes and took refuge with king Pelops; for unknown reasons, Laius kidnapped Pelops’ son; to be welcomed as a guest and then to violate that trust was one of the most serious crimes an ancient Greek could commit; as punishment for this crime, Apollon foretold that Laius would have a son that would kill him.

Laius was as arrogant as an adult as he was impulsive as a young man, so when he and his wife, Iokaste (Jocasta), had a son, they made one of their servants take the infant to Mount Kithaeron (Cithaeron), pierce and bind his ankles, and leave him for the beasts and elements to devour; they clearly wanted to defy the prophecy of Apollon.

The servant they chose to murder the boy could not carry out the murderous act and gave the child to a shepherd from a neighboring province; the child was finally presented to the king of the city of Korinth (Corinth) where he was named Oedipus and raised as part of the royal household; the name Oedipus means “swollen foot” and was derived from the injury to the boy’s ankles.

The king and queen of Korinth, Polybos and Merope raised Oedipus as their son but when he became an adult he was told by the oracle at Delphi that he would be the murderer of his father; Oedipus loved Polybos, who he assumed to be his natural father, and fled Korinth so that the prophecy could not be fulfilled.

While traveling, Oedipus encountered a nobleman and his guards; a confrontation ensued and Oedipus killed the nobleman, who was his true father, king Laius, and all but one of the guards; Oedipus apparently did not place any divine significance to the encounter and resumed his journey.

When he was near Thebes, Oedipus was stopped by the monster known as the Sphinx who demanded the answer to a riddle before he could pass; the Sphinx guarded the road into Thebes and was a curse to all travelers because if they could not answer her riddles, she killed them; no one had ever survived an encounter with the Sphinx until Oedipus arrived.

The riddle which Oedipus correctly answered was briefly referred to by Hesiod in Works of Days (line 533) and was presumably: What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon and three legs in the evening; the answer is Man, i.e. he crawls on all-fours as an infant, walks on his two legs in his prime and walks with a cane in old age; when Oedipus correctly answered her riddle the Sphinx killed herself thus lifting the curse from Thebes.

Oedipus was welcomed at Thebes as a hero and, since king Laius was dead, he was asked to become the new king and marry Laius’ widow, Iokaste; they lived for many years in peaceful prosperity and had four children, two boys and two girls.

When the children became young adults, a plague enveloped the land around Thebes; Oedipus sent his brother-in-law, Kreon (Creon) as an envoy to the oracle at Delphi hoping to find a remedy for the blight that threatened the countryside; when Kreon returned, he told Oedipus that the oracle had told him that until the people of Thebes exposed and exiled the murderer of king Laius, the plague would continue.

Oedipus desperately begged the citizens of Thebes to come forward with any information which might expose the murderer of Laius; the blind prophet, Teiresias, reluctantly told Oedipus that he, Oedipus, was cursed by the Immortals and that he was the cause of all their sorrows; Oedipus flew into a rage against Kreon and Teiresias but before he could vent his anger a messenger arrived from Korinth to inform him that his assumed father, Polybos, was dead; Oedipus was momentarily relieved because the prophecy of Apollon had not been fulfilled, he had not murdered his father.

The only bodyguard to survive the attack on Laius, now an old man, was brought forward and when he related the circumstances of Laius’ death, Oedipus realized that the nobleman he had killed on the road those many years ago must have been Laius; the messenger from Korinth also happened to be the same man who had taken the infant from Laius’ servant on Mount Kithaeron and given it to Polybos.

Iokaste confessed that she and Laius had plotted to murder their son but that she had no idea that the child had survived; with the entire story now exposed, Oedipus and Iokaste fully realized the utter hopelessness of their position; they had been manipulated by the machinations of the Immortals and there was no escape from the prophecies of Apollon; Iokaste retreated into the palace and hanged herself; Oedipus blinded himself and left Thebes as an exile; Oedipus’ oldest son, Eteokles (Eteocles) took the throne of Thebes and exiled his younger brother, Polynikes (Polynices).

Polynikes went to Argos and plotted revenge against his brother; one of Oedipus’ daughters, Antigone, accompanied him into exile but his other daughter, Ismene, stayed in Thebes; after years of wandering, Oedipus and Antigone came to the town of Kolonus (Colonus) near Athens; they took refuge in a sanctuary of the Eumenides (the Furies) and were confronted by a group of elders from nearby Athens; Oedipus refused to leave the forbidden sanctuary and begged for an audience with the king of Athens, Theseus; everyone in Greece had heard of the infamy of Oedipus but Theseus took pity on him and promised to protect him from all harm.

At this time, Ismene found her father and sister in the sanctuary and warned them that Kreon was plotting against Oedipus and that her brothers were insane with ambition; Oedipus was unmoved by the news of his troubled kingdom because of a premonition of his impending death; he sent Ismene to the nearby spring to fetch water so that he might cleanse himself and show proper respect for the goddesses of the sanctuary where he was determined to stay until his appointed hour with death.

While Theseus was busy at the altar of Poseidon (lord of the Sea), Kreon appeared in the sanctuary and kidnapped Antigone; he said that Ismene was already his prisoner and that if Oedipus did not accompany him back to the border of Thebes, the girls would not be allowed to see him again; Oedipus could not return to Thebes because of his banishment but Kreon insisted that Oedipus would be a symbol of his (Kreon’s) right to the throne; Oedipus denounced Kreon and cursed him for his outrageous behavior.

The cries of outrage from the Athenian elders did not stop Kreon but Theseus heard the commotion and sent soldiers to retrieve Ismene and Antigone; Kreon was unrepentant for his rashness but did not resist the authority of Theseus; at this time Polynikes entered the sanctuary and begged his father to give his blessing for his impending attack on Thebes; Oedipus did not give his blessing but instead cursed Polynikes and his brother, Eteokles, to an ignoble death.

Polynikes and Eteokles, unlike their sisters, had turned their backs on Oedipus while he had been in exile and so Oedipus had no sympathy for the ungrateful and self-serving behavior of his sons; the sound of thunder in the sanctuary of the Erinys was proof positive to the Athenian elders and Theseus that Oedipus was blessed by the Immortals and that he was to be treated with respect; they concluded that no man could be blamed for fulfilling the will and prophecies of Zeus or Apollon.

Oedipus promised Theseus that if he was allowed to die in peace that Theseus and his heirs would remain the unchallenged rulers of Athens for all time; Theseus and Oedipus went into the nearby forest and, with no other witnesses, Oedipus was taken into the Underworld.

Oedipus Tyrannus

The first of three plays by Sophokles (Sophocles) dealing with the life of Oedipus up until the time of his realization that he had murdered his father and married his mother.

The play was produced circa 430 BCE; also called Oedipus Rex and Oedipus the King.

I personally recommend the Penguin Classics version of The Theban Plays translated by E. F. Watling (ISBN 0140440038); the book includes the three plays dealing with Oedipus and hid family: King Oedipus, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone; you can find this book at your local library or you can order it through the Book Shop on this site which is linked to

Oedipus at Kolonus
Oedipus at Colonus

The second of three plays by Sophokles (Sophocles) dealing with the death of king Oedipus.

The tragedy was written towards the end of Sophokles’ life and was produced posthumously circa 401 BCE.

I personally recommend the Penguin Classics version of The Theban Plays translated by E. F. Watling (ISBN 0140440038); the book includes the three plays dealing with Oedipus and his family: King Oedipus, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone; you can find this book at your local library or you can order it through the Book Shop on this site which is linked to


The father of Hippodamia and a king of the district of Elis on the western Peloponnesian Peninsula.

Oenomaus offered Hippodamia to Pelops as a bride if the young suitor could defeat him in a chariot race; Pelops bribed Oenomaus’ charioteer, Myrtilus, to sabotage the chariot and thus won the race and the hand of Hippodamia.


A nymph of Mount Ida who was the lover of Alexandros (Paris) but was deserted by him for Helen.


The island of the nymph, Kalypso (Calypso).

Kalypso detained Odysseus after he left the ruins of the city of Troy and tried desperately to return to his home on the island of Ithaka (Ithaca); the location of Ogygia is unknown but assumed to be somewhere in the far western Mediterranean Sea.


A town near Eretria on the island of Euboea.


One of the Argonauts.

When the Argonauts came to the Island of Ares they were attacked by birds which dropped their feathers like daggers; Oileus was wounded by the feathers but the Argonauts began pounding on their shields and frightened away the horrible birds; Oileus and his wife, Eriopis, were the parents of Lesser Aias (not Ajax); Medon was another son of Oileus (but not by Eriopis) and the half-brother of Aias.


The lord of Kalydon (Calydon) at the time of the Kalydonian (Calydonian) Hunt; the husband of Althaia.

Oineus is thought to be the first man to cultivate grapes; the half-brother of Laokoon (Laocoon) and the father of Meleagros (Meleager); when young Meleagros insisted on joining Iason (Jason) in the quest for the Golden Fleece, Oineus asked Laokoon to go along and protect the young hero.


A water nymph who lived on an island by the same name.

When Thoas washed ashore after he had been spared during the slaughter of the men of the island of Lemnos, Oinoie saved him; he and Oinoie had a son named Sikinos (Sicinos) and the island was thereafter named after him.


A wine pitcher or jug usually with a trefoil-shaped mouth (oino = wine and khoe = liquid offering.


Pain or Woe; the son of Nyx (Night); the brother of Momos (Blame) and the Hesperides.


Any of the daughters of Okeanos (Ocean) and Tethys.

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


Ocean; one of the Titans, i.e. one of the children of Gaia (Earth) and Ouranos (the Heavens).

Okeanos was the consort of Tethys; the daughters of Okeanos and Tethys are collectively called Okeanids; Okeanos was of the generation of Titans and is the personification of the Ocean-Stream which surrounds the lands of the Earth; all rivers have Okeanos as their source and their destination.


One of the Harpies; she and her sister Aello are the daughters of Thaumas and Elektra (Electra).

The poet, Hesiod refers to them as “Harpies of the lovely hair, winged women soaring aloft like birds”; they are the sisters of the rainbow goddess, Iris, and not described as the filthy monsters that we have come to imagine.

Their primary role in Greek mythology was when the Argonauts found the blind seer, Phineus, on the island of Thynias being tormented by the Harpies; Phineus had been blinded by Zeus and, as a double punishment, Helios (the Sun) had the Harpies steal his food; the winged sons of Boreas (North Wind), Kalais (Calais) and Zetes chased away the Harpies and freed Phineus from his curse but Zeus would not allow the brothers to harm the Harpies; her name means Swift-Flying.


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

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

Old Comedy

Greek comedy of the fifth century BCE which was derived from fertility rites in honor of Dionysus and combined robust humor with biting personal and political satire.

Old Ionic

The Greek dialect represented in The Iliad and The Odyssey; apparently Aeolic modified by Ionic.


A system of government which was common in ancient Greece where a few select people or families ruled the masses based on the assumption that their bloodline or intellect gave them a superior predisposition and right to rule.

A good example of this type of government would be the descendants of Herakles (Heracles) who ruled many Greek cities and geographical districts based solely on their claim of being in the direct bloodline of Herakles who was a descendant of the hero Perseus and Zeus.


A city in Elis on the northwestern Peloponnesian Peninsula; the site of the Temple of Zeus which housed the Statue of Zeus which was one of the Seven Wonders of the World; Olympia was also the site of the Olympian Games.

Approximate east longitude 21.41 and north latitude 37.38.


The four year span between the Olympian Games.

The ancient Greeks reckoned time in terms of the Olympiad and dated events in relation to this tradition until the games were outlawed circa 261 BCE by the Christian Roman emperor Theodosius.

Olympian Games
Olympic Games

The Olympian Games were begun in 776 BCE and held on the Peloponnesian Peninsula at the city of Olympia in honor of Zeus.

The games were held every four years and were the most festive and honored athletic games in the ancient world; the games evolved to include: foot-racing, wrestling, boxing, horse racing, chariot racing, racing in armor and the pentathlon; the pentathlon was a five event competition including: foot-racing, the long jump, discus throwing, wrestling and javelin throwing.

The prizes for the winners were humble olive wreaths and there were no second or third prizes; the winners could always expect honors and gifts from their home cities and were sometimes given positions of leadership in the military.

The first Olympian Game was considered to be the starting point for Hellenic chronology and, until the time of the historian, Thukydides (Thucydides) (circa 460-400 BCE), was the only reference point from which Greek history could be dated.

The Olympian Games were finally outlawed by the Christian Roman emperor Theodosius circa 261 CE because of their “pagan” origins.


The six children of Kronos (Cronos) and Rheia (Rhea) and six other Immortals respectively: Zeus, Hera, Hades, Histia (Hestia), Demeter, Poseidon, Athene (Athena), Aphrodite, Apollon, Artemis, Hephaistos (Hephaestus) and Ares; sometimes including: Hermes and Dionysus.


The wife of Philip II of Makedon (Macedon) and the mother of Alexander the Great.

When Philip married his second wife, Kleopatra (Cleopatra), Alexander’s direct ascension to the throne was jeopardized; it is assumed that Alexander and Olympias were responsible for the deaths of Kleopatra, her son and her father.


Mount Olympos; a mountain in northeastern Greece on the boundary of Thessaly and Makedonia (Makedonia); the home of the Olympian Immortals; 9,730 feet (2,966 meters) in height.

Approximate east longitude 22.21 and north latitude 40.05.


An ancient Greek city in northeastern Greece on the Khalkidike (Chalcidice) Peninsula.


The spirit of Tumult or Battle-Noise.


The twenty-fourth and last letter of the Greek alphabet; represented as Ω in the uppercase and ω in the lowercase.


The fifteenth letter of the Greek alphabet; represented as O in the uppercase and o in the lowercase.


The queen of Lydia who was the master of Herakles (Heracles) after he had been forced into slavery for the murder of Iphitus; she and Herakles had a son named Agelaos (Agelaus).


The stone at the city of Delphi that covered the Navel of the World.


The Tribe of Dreams; the children of Nyx (Night).


(?- 497 BCE) The brother of king Gorgos (Gorgus) of the city of Salamis on the island of Cyprus.

Cyprus was a part of the Persian Empire but when the Ionians rebelled from Persian rule, Onesilos used the occasion to capture the city of Salamis and usurp his brother’s throne; he was able to win every city on the island except Amathus, which stayed loyal to the Persians.

The Persians, with the help of the Phoenician navy, soon mounted an attack on Cyprus; some of the Ionian colonies sent ships to assist Onesilos and they faced, and defeated, the Phoenician navy; Onesilos led the army against the Persian general, Artybius, and was defeated; the Ionian ships retreated and five months later, the Persians had regained control of the island.

Gorgos was reinstated as king of Salamis and Onesilos’ head was placed on a pole on the gates of the city of Amathus; as time passed, bees built a hive in Onesilos’ hollow skull and the people of Amathus asked an oracle what they should do; the oracle advised them to bury the skull and institute a yearly sacrifice in honor of Onesilos.


One of the Thirty Tyrants elected to rule the city of Athens after the end of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE).

Having lost the war to the Spartans, the citizens of Athens elected thirty men to lead the new post-war government; these men became known as the Thirty Tyrants; the short lived government they comprised was an oligarchy; the tyrants immediately began to prosecute Athenians who had been Spartan informers and collaborators during the long, hard war; the punishment of the guilty seemed appropriate to the common citizens and aristocrats alike but it soon became clear that the executions and banishments were going beyond the bounds of necessity or prudence; open hostilities soon developed between members of the Thirty and their authority and rule came to an end after one year.


Proioxis; the Spirit of Pursuit or Onrush, i.e. as in charging into battle or chasing enemies.


A reference to the son of king Lykurgos (Lycurgus) of Nemea who was killed in infancy by a serpent (or dragon) and in whose name the Nemean Games were initiated; the child’s name was Arkhemoros (Archemoros) but he was called Opheletes to imply a debt or obligation.


The consort of the Okeanid, Eurynome; he and Eurynome were the first to occupy Mount Olympos (Olympus); they were forced off the mountain and returned to the sea by the Titans, Kronos (Cronos) and Rheia (Rhea).


One of the three tribes which made up the Lokrians (Locrians); they occupied the coastal area of eastern-central Greece.

The other two tribes were named: the Epiknemidian (Epicnemidian) and the Ozolian; the Lokrian colonists who went to Italy near Mount Zephyrium were called the Zephyrians or the Epizephyrians.


An oracle can be a person or a place.

The ancient Greeks were very keen on the messages that oracles provided; political decisions were made and battles were fought according to the advice that oracles gave; the messages which oracles rendered were considered to be the words of the Immortals and were in the form of predictions or commandments.

The messages which the oracles gave were often ambiguous and incomplete and as the blind prophet, Phineus, explained to the Argonauts when describing the way Zeus imparted his guidance through revelations, “For he himself wishes to deliver to men the utterances of the prophetic art incomplete, in order that they may still have some need to know the will of heaven.”

There were numerous oracular sites in the ancient world and they were dedicated to Immortals such as Zeus and Apollon and heroes such as Amphiaraus and Trophonius; the oldest oracular shrine in ancient Greece was established in the city of Dodona by one of two Egyptian priestesses who had been carried away by Phoenicians and sold as slaves; the inhabitants of Dodona told the historian Herodotus that the first oracle arrived, not as a woman, but as a black dove with human speech; Herodotus discounted this story but did not doubt the veracity or antiquity of the oracle.

Oracle of Delphi

This was perhaps the best known oracle in the ancient world and was dedicated to and sanctioned by Apollon circa 700 BCE.

The geographical location of the city of Delphi made it easily accessible to all the Greeks and thus added to its popularity; Delphi was considered to be the Navel of the World; the priestesses of Apollon, known as the Pythia, would sit atop tripods and render the prophecies in hexameter verse.

Great reverence was given to the Oracle of Delphi and many private citizens as well as all the major cities erected treasuries to house their tributes to Apollon; there are many references to the correctness of the prophecies provided by the Pythia but there were also occasions where the prophecies were misinterpreted and led to disaster; perhaps the most famous example of a misinterpreted prophecy is described by Herodotus in the case of king Kroesus (Croesus), of Lydia, when he sent an emissary to Delphi asking if he should fight or surrender to the invading Persian army; the Pythia said that if Kroesus fought the Persians he would destroy a mighty empire; Kroesus mustered his army and took the field against the Persians and was captured after his army was soundly defeated, thus the mighty Lydian empire was destroyed just as the Pythia had predicted.

Oracle of Dodona

The shrine of Zeus in the city of Dodona was the oldest and most revered oracle in ancient Greece.

Messages were interpreted by priests, known as Selloi, who interpreted the rustling of oak leaves or the sound of the waters of a spring; Dodona was situated in the far northwestern part of the Greek mainland in the district of Epirus.

The Oracle at Dodona was established by one of two Egyptian priestesses who had been carried away by Phoenicians and sold as slaves; the inhabitants of Dodona told the historian Herodotus that the first oracle arrived, not as a woman, but as a black dove with human speech; Herodotus discounted this story but did not doubt the veracity or antiquity of the oracle.

Oracle of the Dead

The oracle associated with the river Akheron (Acheron).

The Akheron is the river in the Underworld over which Kharon (Charon) ferries the souls of the dead; Herodotus relates the story of the king of the city of Korinth (Corinth), Periander, who sent an emissary to the Oracle of the Dead; the king’s dead wife, Melissa, revealed through the oracle the hiding place of some treasure that she had hidden that Periander could not have found without her help.


The Hours; the keepers of Heaven’s Gate; Eunomia (Harmony), Dyke (Justice) and Eirene (Peace).

The Orai assist the Olympians by organizing the Seasons and adding balance to Nature; the Orai guard Mount Olympos (Olympus) with a dark veil and open and close the gates of the sky for the other Immortals as they travel to and from their domains.

In The Iliad, we see the Orai personally attending Hera and her horses; they open the sky and Hera zooms from her home on Mount Olympos to Mount Ida to distract Zeus from the battle for Troy.


A nymph of a mountain.


The consort of Boreas (North Wind) and the mother of the winged brothers, Kalais (Calais) and Zetes.


A trilogy written by the Athenian tragic poet, Aeskhylus (Aeschylus).

Part one, Agamemnon, describes the murder of the victorious hero after his return from Troy.

Part two, The Libation Bearers (Khoephore), is the story of the murderous revenge meted out by Agamemnon’s son, Orestes, against his mother Klytemnestra (Clytemnestra) and her lover Aigisthos (Aegisthus).

Part three, the Eumenides, is the trial and acquittal of Orestes and lays the philosophical basis for the difference between revenge and justice.

If you wish to read these plays I suggest The Complete Greek Tragedies, Aeschylus II, edited by David Grene and Richmond Lattimore, ISBN 0226307948; you can find this book at your library in the 800 section or you can order it through the Book Shop on this site which is linked to

O to Oresteia

O to Oresteia Orestes to Ozolian


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