A Centaur in Greek mythology is a savage creature, half man and the lower half, horse. Centaurs, usually resided in the mountains of Thessaly, southeast of mount Olympus. According to Pindar, an Ancient Greek lyric poet from Thebes (c. 522–443 BC), the first Centaur was born from the union of Ixion (king of Lapiths, the most ancient tribe in Thessaly) and Nephele (the cloud Zeus created to resemble Hera in order to test Ixion’s integrity when he realized that he was lustful for her) where none of the Graces (Charites) was present at his birth. The Centaur mingled with the mare at the Magnesian peninsula (where the city of Volos is, today) thus engendering a whole nation of mythical monsters. The myth says that they were extinguished by the brave and civilized nation of Lapiths when they tried to abduct Hippodamia during her wedding to their king Pirithous.
The abduction of Hippodamia was not an uncommon subject of Western art in the classical tradition, including the sculpture “The Abduction of Hippodameia” by French artist Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse and a painting by Rubens. Also in the pediment of the temple of Zeus in Ancient Olympia (Peloponnese) one can see the depiction of the war that took place between the Centaurs and the Lapiths. Continue reading
Hercules’ second labor was to go to swampy Lake Lerni, near the city of Argos in the Peloponnese and kill a creature that lived there, called the Hydra. Hydra was a huge snake with nine heads, all poisonous. The middle head was immortal. Every time she came out of the swamp hissing, her heads swayed and swinged in frantic wrath. With the help of Goddess Athena, he tried to chop off the heads of Hydra, but each time he chopped one off, a couple of others emerged. It seems this wasn’t enough; a huge crab dashed out of the swamp and bit him fiercely on the leg. Hercules immediately killed the crab and with the help of his nephew Iolaus who had come along as his guide, started a fire. Each time Hercules chopped off a head, Iolaus burned Hydra’s wounds, so no more heads could spring forth. Then he reached for the middle head, which as soon as he chopped it off, he buried in a big hole and covered with an enormous rock. Then he tore Hydra’s body and in her gushing blood he dipped his arrows that became forever, poisonous.
Blogging is fun and part of it is everything that happens in the blogosphere, eg contests, give aways, etc. So this is a post for a competition that takes place for the best recipe called “Taste of Spain. Nothing to do with Greece this time but with Mediterranean ingredients. So here is my recipe as a contestant for my version of a fresh Spanish dish that can be served as a salad or appetizer. Continue reading