The Gods

Deity of the Day for January 21st is Mimir, Norse God of Wisdom

Deity of the Day

 

Mimir

Norse God of Wisdom

 

Mimir is the Norse god of wisdom, and while many of the deities are known for their great degree of wise intellect, Mimir was the greatest of them all in this capacity, the Norse counterpart of Athena from the Greek pantheon and Thoth from the Egyptian pantheon. His council was greatly favored by even All-Father Odin, along with the rest of the Aesir tribe of deities.  Tragedy would soon strike the wise deity soon after the Aesir picked a fight with another tribe of deities, the Vanir, who dwelt in the nearby dimensional realm of Vanaheim. The fight ended in a stalemate, and to facilitate the truce intended to lead into the merging of the two tribes, both sides agreed to an exchange of hostages.  The Vanir gave the great deities Freya and Frey to the Aesir, and in return the latter gave Mimir and the warrior deity Hoenir to the Vanir. Though the Vanir were impressed by Mimir, they disliked the fact that Hoenir rarely had anything to say at all, so feeling they were partially double-crossed by the Aesir, they took out their frustration on Mimir by killing him and sending his remains back to Odin. Determined to preserve the invaluable council that Mimir provided, the All-Father used a combination of his vast power with some magickal herbs to preserve Mimir’s severed head, so the deceased god could once again speak to him and have full access to his vast repository of memories and knowledge. The head of Mimir was then kept in a special chamber of Odin’s palace where the king of the gods alone retained access to his great wisdom. Somehow the Well of Mimir, said to be located in some unknown section of Midgard (the Earth realm), was infused with the sum total of Mimir’s great knowledge in a manner that was never fully explained in the surviving myths; Odin sacrificed one of his eyes to this sentient well in order to receive all the knowledge in the universe.

 

   

While the current status of Mimir in the cosmos is unknown, it is entirely possible for mortal followers of the Nordic path to call upon his indispensable wisdom when in need (where they will receive it largely whilst in the dream state or while in various altered states of consciousness entered into via meditation).  It is not known if this wise advice is acquired from the metaphysical “remains” of Mimir or from the Well of Mimir, but ultimately it doesn’t matter which since the wisdom of the universe–which Mimir personifies–is there to aid any follower of the Norse path who may wish to access it.

 

Source:
Shrine to the Gods of Asgard

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Deity of the Day for January 13th is Horus, Egyptian God

Deity of the Day

Horus

Alternate titles: Har; Her; Heru; Hor
Horus, Egyptian Hor, Har, Her, or Heru,  in ancient Egyptian religion, a god in the form of a falcon whose right eye was the sun or morning star, representing power and quintessence, and whose left eye was the moon or evening star, representing healing. Falcon cults, which were in evidence from late predynastic times, were widespread in Egypt.

Horus appeared as a local god in many places and under different names and epithets—for instance, as Harmakhis (Har-em-akhet, “Horus in the Horizon”), Harpocrates (Har-pe-khrad, “Horus the Child”), Harsiesis (Har-si-Ese, “Horus, Son of Isis”), Harakhte (“Horus of the Horizon,” closely associated with the sun god Re), and, at Kawm Umbū (Kom Ombo), as Haroeris (Harwer, “Horus the Elder”).

At Nekhen (Greek: Hierakonpolis), however, the conception arose that the reigning king was a manifestation of Horus, and, after Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt had been united by the kings from Nekhen, this notion became a generally accepted dogma. The most important of an Egyptian king’s names (the number of which grew from three in early dynastic times to five later) was his Horus name—i.e., the name that identified him with Horus. This name appeared on monuments and tombs in a rectangular frame called a serekh.

In addition to being characterized by a Horus name, the king was typically depicted with a hovering form of Horus above his head. Sometimes Horus is shown as a winged sun disk, representing the Horus of Behdet, a town in the Nile River delta where the falcon-god enjoyed a cult.

From the 1st dynasty (c. 2925–2775 bce) onward, Horus and the god Seth were presented as perpetual antagonists who were reconciled in the harmony of Upper and Lower Egypt. In the myth of Osiris, who became prominent about 2350 bce, Horus was the son of Osiris and Isis and was the nephew of Seth, Osiris’s brother. When Seth murdered Osiris and contested Horus’s heritage (the royal throne of Egypt), Horus became Seth’s enemy. Horus eventually defeated Seth, thus avenging his father and assuming the rule. In the fight, Horus’s left eye (i.e., the moon) was damaged—this being a mythical explanation of the moon’s phases—and was healed by the god Thoth. The figure of the restored eye (the wedjat eye) became a powerful amulet. Horus is also associated (sometimes as son, sometimes as partner) with the ancient cow-goddess Hathor, who is often depicted with cow’s horns, sometimes with cow’s ears.

In the Ptolemaic period the vanquishing of Seth became a symbol of Egypt triumphing over its occupiers. At Idfū, where rebellions frequently interrupted work on the temple, a ritual drama depicting Horus as pharaoh spearing Seth in the guise of a hippopotamus was periodically enacted.

Horus was later identified by the Greeks with Apollo, and the town of Idfū was called Apollinopolis (“Apollo’s Town”) during the Greco-Roman period.

 

Source:
Encyclopedia Britannica

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Deity of the Day for January 10th is Forseti, God of justice and reconciliation

Deity of the Day

Forseti

God of justice and reconciliation

Forseti (Old Norse “the presiding one,” actually “president” in Modern Icelandic and Faroese) is an Æsir god of justice and reconciliation in Norse mythology. He is generally identified with Fosite, a god of the Frisians. Jacob Grimm noted that if, as Adam of Bremen states, Fosite’s sacred island was Heligoland, that would make him an ideal candidate for a deity known to both Frisians and Scandinavians, but that it is surprising he is never mentioned by Saxo Grammaticus.

Grimm took Forseti, “praeses“, to be the older form of the name, first postulating an unattested Old High German equivalent *forasizo (cf. modern German Vorsitzender “one who presides”). but later preferring a derivation from fors, a “whirling stream” or “cataract”, connected to the spring and the god’s veneration by seagoing peoples. However, in other Old Norse words, for example forboð, “forbidding, ban”, the prefix for- has a pejorative sense. So it is more plausible that Fosite is the older name and Forseti a folk etymology.

Norse Forseti

According to Snorri Sturluson in the Prose Edda, Forseti is the son of Baldr and Nanna. His home is Glitnir, its name, meaning “shining,” referring to its silver ceiling and golden pillars, which radiated light that could be seen from a great distance. His is the best of courts; all those who come before him leave reconciled. This suggests skill in mediation and is in contrast to his fellow god Týr, who “is not called a reconciler of men.” However, as de Vries points out, the only basis for associating Forseti with justice seems to have been his name; there is no corroborating evidence in Norse mythology.’ Puts to sleep all suits’ or ‘stills all strifes’ may have been a late addition to the strophe Snorri cites, from which he derives the information.

The first element in the name Forsetlund (Old Norse Forsetalundr), a farm in the parish of Onsøy (‘Odins island’), in eastern Norway, seems to be the genitive case of Forseti, offering evidence he was worshipped there.

Frisian Fosite

According to Alcuin’s Life of St. Willebrord, the saint visited an island between Frisia and Denmark that was sacred to Fosite and was called Fositesland after the god worshipped there. There was a sacred spring from which water had to be drawn in silence, it was so holy. Willebrord defiled the spring by baptizing people in it and killing a cow there. Altfrid tells the same story of St. Liudger. Adam of Bremen retells the story and adds that the island was Heiligland, i.e., Heligoland.

There is also a legend of the origins of the Lex Frisionum, the written Frisian law. Wishing to assemble written lawcodes for all his subject peoples, Charlemagne summoned twelve representatives of the Frisian people, the Āsegas (‘law-speakers’), and demanded they recite their people’s laws. When they could not do so after several days, he let them choose between death, slavery, or being set adrift in a rudderless boat. They chose the last and prayed for help, whereupon a thirteenth man appeared, with a golden axe on his shoulder. He steered the boat to land with the axe, then threw it ashore; a spring appeared where it landed. He taught them laws and then disappeared. The stranger and the spring are identified with Fosite and the sacred spring of Fositesland.

Fosite has been suggested to be a loan of Greek Poseidon into pre-Proto-Germanic, perhaps via Greeks purchasing amber (Pytheas is known to have visited the area of Heligoland in search of amber).

 

Source:

Wikipedia

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Deity of the Day for January 9th – Eros, The Greek God

Deity of the Day

Eros

The Greek God

 

Eros, the Greek god of love and sexual desire (the word eros, which is found in the Iliad by Homer, is a common noun meaning sexual desire). He was also worshiped as a fertility god, believed to be a contemporary of the primeval Chaos, which makes Eros one of the oldest gods. In the Dionysian Mysteries Eros is referred to as “protagonus”, the first born. But there are many variations to whom the parents of Eros really where. According to Aristophanes (Birds) he was born from Erebus and Nyx (Night); in later mythology Eros is the offspring of Aphrodite and Ares. Yet in the Theogony, the epic poem written by Hesiod, it mentions a typified Eros as being an attendant of Aphrodite, but not her son. Another legend says that he was the son of Iris and Zephyrus.From the early legend of Eros it is said that he was responsible for the embraces of Uranus (Heaven or Sky) and Gaia (Earth), and from their union were born many offspring. It was also written that Eros hatched our race and made it appear first into the light (Birds, by Aristophanes). Although one of the oldest gods, he was a latecomer to Greek religion. He was worshiped in many regions of Greece, at Thespiae there was an ancient fertility cult, and in Athens he and Aphrodite had a joint cult. Also in Athens the fourth day of every month was sacred to Eros. Sometimes Eros was worshiped by the name Erotes (which is the plural of Eros); this personified all the attractions that evoked love and desire, this included heterosexual and homosexual allurements. Anteros (the Returner of Love also known as the god of Mutual Love) was the brother of Eros, which comes from the version of which Aphrodite and Ares are said to be the mother and father of Eros.

Eros is usually depicted as a young winged boy, with his bow and arrows at the ready, to either shoot into the hearts of gods or mortals which would rouse them to desire. His arrows came in two types: golden with dove feathers which aroused love, or leaden arrows which had owl feathers that caused indifference. Sappho the poet summarized Eros as being bitter sweet, and cruel to his victims, yet he was also charming and very beautiful. Being unscrupulous, and a danger to those around him, Eros would make as much mischief as he possibly could by wounding the hearts of all, but according to one legend he himself fell in love. This legend tells us that Eros was always at his mothers side assisting her in all her conniving and godly affairs. The legend goes on to say that Aphrodite became jealous of the beauty of a mortal, a beautiful young woman named Psyche. In her fit of jealousy Aphrodite asked Eros to shoot his arrow into the heart of Psyche and make her fall in love with the ugliest man on earth. He agreed to carry out his mothers wishes, but on seeing her beauty Eros fell deeply in love with Psyche himself. He would visit her every night, but he made himself invisible by telling Psyche not to light her chamber. Psyche fell in love with Eros even though she could not see him, until one night curiosity overcame her. She concealed a lamp and while Eros slept she lit the lamp, revealing the identity of Eros. But a drop of hot oil spilt from the lamp awakening the god. Angered she had seen him Eros fled and the distraught Psyche roamed the earth trying in vain to find her lover. In the end Zeus took pity and reunited them, he also gave his consent for them to marry. There are variations of this legend but most have the same outcome.

The Romans borrowed Eros from the Greeks and named him Cupid (Latin cupido meaning desire). Eros has been depicted in art in many ways. The Romans regarded him as a symbol of life after death and decorated sarcophagi with his image. The Greeks regarded him as most beautiful and handsome, the most loved and the most loving. They placed statues of him in gymnasiums (as most athletes were thought to be beautiful). He was depicted on every form of utensil, from drinking vessels to oil flasks, usually showing him ready to fire an arrow into the heart of an unsuspecting victim.

 

Source:
Author: Ron Leadbetter

Website: Encyclopedia Mythica™

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Deity of the Day for January 8th – Baldur, Norse God of Light

Deity of the Day

Baldur

Norse God of Light

Baldur was the son of Frigga and Odin, and the twin brother of Hod, or Hodur. Baldur’s name sometimes appears as Balder, or alternately Baldr. Baldur was beautiful and radiant, and was beloved by all the gods. Hodur, on the other hand, was dark and moody, spent a lot of time in darkness because of his blindness, and was generally unpopular with everyone he met.

In one famous story, after Baldur reveals that he’s been having foreboding dreams, Frigga asked all of nature to promise not to cause any harm to her beloved son.

From Sæmund’s Edda:

“On a course they resolved,
that they would send
to every being,
assurance to solicit,
Balder not to harm.
All species swore
oaths to spare him;
Frigg received all
their vows and compacts.”
Unfortunately, in her haste, Frigga overlooked the mistletoe plant, so Loki – the resident trickster – took advantage of the opportunity and fooled Hod into killing his twin brother with a spear made of mistletoe. Baldur was later restored to life.

Because of the story of his life, death and resurrection, Baldur features prominently in Norse mythology. An important festival was held in honor of Baldur the Good at midsummer, because it was known to be the anniversary of his death and descent into the underworld. Celebrations were held involving big bonfires and outdoor festivities, much of which involved watching the sun rise and set. Bear in mind that in the extreme Northern latitudes inhabited by the Norse peoples, the sun never really sets at midsummer; instead, it touches the horizon and then rises again to begin a new day. When Christianity moved into the Norse countries, Baldur’s celebration became the festival of St. John instead.

 

Source:

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Deity of the Day for January 7th is Hermes, The Greek God

Deity of the Day

Hermes

The Greek God

The Greek god Hermes was the son of Zeus (before he married Hera) and of the nymph Maia (daughter of the titan Atlas). He was the god of shepherds, travellers, merchants, and even thieves, and he also had the role of herald (messenger) of the gods. His Roman name was Mercury.

The baby was born in the morning, in a cave on Mount Cyllene. Tired after the birth, his mother put him into the cradle, then she fell asleep. But the mischievous baby got out of the cradle and went as far as Pieria, where Apollo’s herds were grazing. He stole them and drove them home, but he was clever enough to make some of them walk backwards, so as to lose their tracks. On his way home, he also found a tortoise, that he killed and cleaned of its entrails, then took it with him.

When he got home, he sacrificed two of the cows to the Olympian gods. The he took the intestines of the sacrificed cows and put them on the hollow shell of the tortoise, inventing the first lyre. It had nine chords, in honour of the nine muses (he surely knew how to gain the favours of the other gods!).

Having accomplished all these before noon, the poor little baby was tired, so he went back to his cradle, where he fell asleep.

When Apollo discovered his cows were stolen, he was very angry. He managed to find baby Hermes the god and told his mother what her son had done. Maia, very astonished, told him to look at the cradle and see how the little “angel” was sleeping. How could he accuse of such things an innocent baby? Apollo didn’t know how to prove he was right, but then he saw the lyre, made with the intestines of his cows, and had a confirmation of the theft.

Thus, baby Greek god Hermes was brought in front of Zeus (I suspect that the elder brother was a little bit jealous about the new-born baby). Zeus, who has seen everything and who told him to render Apollo his cattle (but I also think that he was very proud, in his heart, for what his little son had done – so little, yet so cunning!)

But Hermes started to play the lyre and Apollo was enchanted by this music, so he decide to let Hermes keep the cattle, in exchange for the lyre (which later became one of Apollo’s attributes).

Little Hermes couldn’t live without music, so soon he invented the syrinx (pan-pipe), which Apollo liked too, so he offered Hermes his golden staff, called kerykeion in Greek, better known with the Roman name: caduceus.

Greek god Hermes’ attributes are a winged traveler’s cap, the caduceus with the two intertwined serpents and the winged sandals. He was represented as an athletic young man.

One of his tasks was to guide the souls of the dead to the underworld, that’s why he was called pscychopomp (guide od the dead). He was the one who took Eurydice back to Hades, after Orpheus took her out. At the end of the Odyssey, he takes the souls of the dead suitors to the underworld.

The Greek god Hermes received the mission to save Zeus’ lover, Io, who has been transformed into a cow. Hera wanted to have that cow and ordered Argus, the hundred-eyed giant, to… keep an eye on her ;-) But Hermes played a beautiful music, which made Argus fall asleep, then he killed him.

He also had the mission of leading the three goddesses, Hera, Athena and Aphrodite, to mount Ida, where the shepherd Paris would decide which one was the most beautiful.

Greek god Hermes was the one that took care of baby Dyonisus and took him to king Athamas, who was to bring him up.

Being a messenger, Hermes the god was very active: he persuaded Calypso anc Circe to leave Ulysses alone, during his trip back home, and he gave the ram with the golden fleece to Nephele, to help her save her children.

Greek God Hermes’ children:

– with Aphrodite: Hermaphroditus (they didn’t have too much fantasy as regards the name, so they just gave him both their names)

– with a Dryope nymph: Pan. His mother was so scared when she saw him, that she ran away. But Greek god Hermes took baby Pan to the Olympus, where the gods liked his laughter.

– with an unknown mother: Priapus

 

Source:

Greek Gods and Goddesses

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Deity of the Day for January 6th – Vidar, The Silent God

Deity of the Day

 

VIDAR

The Silent God

Vidar is the brother of Vali, and the son of Odin and Grid. Vidar is known as the Silent God and will avenge Odin’s death by slaying the Fenris wolf at Ragnarok.

Odin once saw and fell in love with the beautiful Grid, who dwelt in a cave in the desert, and, wooing her, prevailed upon her to become his wife. The offspring of this union between Odin (mind) and Grid (matter) was a son as strong as taciturn, named Vidar, whom the ancients considered a personification of the primeval forest or of the imperishable forces of Nature.
As the Gods, through Heimdall, were intimately connected with the sea, they were also bound by close ties to the forests and Nature in general by Vidar, surnamed “The Silent,” who was destined to survive their destruction and rule over the regenerated earth. This God has his home in Landvidi (the wide land), a palace decorated with green boughs and fresh flowers, situated in the midst of an impenetrable primeval forest where reigns the deep silence and solitude which he loves.

“Grown over with shrubs
And with high grass
Is Vidar’s wide land.”
-NORSE MYTHOLOGY (R. B. Anderson)

This old Scandinavian conception of the silent Vidar is very grand and poetical indeed, and was inspired by the rugged Northern scenery. “Who has ever wandered through such forests, in a length of many miles, in a boundless expanse, without a path, without a goal, amid their monstrous shadows, their sacred gloom, without being filled with deep reverence for the sublime greatness of Nature above all human agency, without feeling the grandeur of the idea which forms the basis of Vidar’s essence?”

Vidar’s Shoe

Vidar is tall, strong, and handsome, has a broad-bladed sword, and besides his armor wears a great leather shoe. Vidar’s “thick shoe” consists of all the leather waste pieces that Northern cobblers have cut from their own shoes at the toe and heel, collected by the God throughout all time. As it was very important that the shoe should be large and strong enough to resist the Fenris wolf’s sharp teeth at the last day, it became a matter of religious observance among Northern shoe-makers to give away as many odds and ends of leather as possible.

The Norns’ Prophecy

One day, when Vidar had joined his peers in Valhalla, they welcomed him gaily, for they all loved him and placed their reliance upon him, for they knew he would use his great strength in their favor in time of need. But after he had quaffed the golden mead, Allfather bade him accompany him to the Urdar fountain, where the Norns were busy weaving their web. When questioned by Odin concerning his future and Vidar’s destiny, the three sisters answered oracularly each by the following short sentences:

“Early begun.”
“Further spun.”
“One day done.”

To which their mother, Wyrd, the primitive goddess of fate, added:
“With joy once more won.”

These mysterious answers would have remained totally unintelligible to the Gods, had she not gone on to explain that time progresses, that all must change, but that even if the father fell in the last battle, his son Vidar would be his avenger, and would live to rule over a regenerated world, after having conquered all his enemies.

“There sits Odin’s
Son on the horse’s back;
He will avenge his father.”
-NORSE MYTHOLOGY (R. B. Anderson)

At Wyrd’s words the leaves of the world tree began to flutter as if agitated by a breeze, the eagle on its topmost bough flapped its wings, and the serpent Nidhug for a moment suspended its work of destruction at the roots of the tree. Grid, joining the father and son, rejoiced with Odin when she heard that their son was destined to survive the older Gods and to rule over the new heaven and earth.

“There dwell Vidar and Vale
In the gods’ holy seats,
When the fire of Surt is slaked.”
-NORSE MYTHOLOGY (R. B. Anderson)

Vidar, however, said not a word, but slowly wended his way back to his palace Landvidi, in the heart of the primeval forest, where, sitting down upon his throne, he pondered long about eternity, futurity, and infinity. If he fathomed their secrets he never revealed them, for the ancients averred that he was “as silent as the grave” — a silence which indicated that no man knows what awaits him in the life to come.

Vidar is not only a personification of the imperishability of Nature, but he is also a symbol of resurrection and renewal, proving that new shoots and blossoms are always ready to spring forth to replace those which have fallen into decay.
The shoe he wears is to be his defense against the wolf Fenris, who, having destroyed Odin, would turn his entire wrath upon him, and open wide his terrible jaws to devour him. But the old Northerners declared that Vidar would brace the foot thus protected against the monster’s lower jaw, and, seizing the upper, would struggle with him until he had rent him to pieces.

 

Source:

Holy Nation of Odin

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Deity of the Day for January 4th – Helios, The Sun God

Deity of the Day

Helios

The Sun God

Helios is the Greek Sun god, whom the Romans called Sol. Most often, people viewed or portrayed Helios as a mighty charioteer, driving his flaming chariot (or gleaming horses) from east to west across the sky each day.

At night, according to the legend, Helios crossed back to the east by floating in a golden cup on the stream of Ocean, the mythical river thought to encircle the flat earth.

Because Helios was in the sky all day looking down on the earth, people assumed he saw and heard everything that went on in that domain; thus, both gods and humans called on him as a witness to various events or oaths sworn.

Helios was usually depicted as a beardless and very handsome man in purplish robes, crowned with a golden aureole, which accented his role as the Sun God. The characteristic chariot was drawn by four winged horses.

Family tree of Helios

Father: Hyperion

Mother: Theia

Sisters: Eos (Dawn) and Selene (Moon)

Who was the god of the Sun? Helios or Apollo here is a confusion in Greek Mythology regarding the identity of the god of the Sun. There are historians and followers of the Greek mythology that denote the role of god Apollo, as God of the Sun, although it is evident that Greeks believed in a separate Sun God.

Helios is mentioned in numerous philosophic texts and poetic or fictional texts; for instance, Homer is the one who refers to Helios as the Sun God, claiming that he was the God who could hear and understand everything that was happening on Earth.

Greek myths about Helios

There are many Greek myths about Helios, the Sun God. For example, the goddess Demeter consulted him after her daughter, Persephone, disappeared; Helios told her that Hades, ruler of the Underworld, had abducted the girl.

The most famous myth in which Helios takes part is that of his mortal son, Phaethon. The boy demanded that his father Helios allow him to drive his gleaming chariot across the sky for a day. However, Phaethon was unable to control his father’s horses, and the chariot ran wild through the heavens until Zeus intervened and struck the young man dead.

Helios and Rhodes

In another story, one day Zeus made each of the gods the patron deity of one or another earthly land or city—all except for Helios, that is, who at the time was fulfilling his daily duty of driving his chariot across the sky.

To compensate for the oversight, Zeus gave Helios dominion over the newly created island of Rhodes. Rhodes is a Greek island located off the southwestern coast of Asia Minor, in the complex of the Dodecanese islands.

There, the sun god’s three grandsons — Camirus, Lindus, and Ialyssus—ruled and gave their names to the three largest cities.

This myth was the basis of the Rhodians’ worship of Helios as their national god. Still, Rhodes is called the Island of Sun.

They honored him as the subject of the huge bronze statue they erected circa 280 B.C. at the entrance to their main harbor. Called the Colossus of Rhodes, it later made the prestigious list of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

It is said that the huge statue Colossus broke and collapsed after a massive earthquake that hit the island of Rhodes in the ancient years.

Heliopolis, the city of God Helios

Helios was worshiped in many cities, states and countries. In Ancient Egypt, there was a city, Heliopolis, built in honor of the Sun God. Heliopolis was the seat of worship of God Helios, therefore its name means the Sun City in Greek.

 

Source:

Greeks Myth & Greek Mythology

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