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Bulfinch's Mythology: The Age of Fable

Bulfinch's Mythology: The Age of Fable

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Bulfinch's Mythology: The Age of Fable, by Thomas Bulfinch

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at

Title: Bulfinch's Mythology: The Age of Fable

Author: Thomas Bulfinch

Posting Date: February 4, 2012 [EBook #3327] Release Date: July 2002 First Posted: April 2, 2001

Language: English


Produced by an anonymous Project Gutenberg volunteer.


Revised by Rev. E. E. Hale


Chapter I

Origin of Greeks and Romans. The Aryan Family. The Divinities
of these Nations. Character of the Romans. Greek notion of
the World. Dawn, Sun, and Moon. Jupiter and the gods of
Olympus. Foreign gods. Latin Names.— Saturn or Kronos.
Titans. Juno, Vulcan, Mars, Phoebus-Apollo, Venus, Cupid,
Minerva, Mercury, Ceres, Bacchus. The Muses. The Graces.
The Fates. The Furies. Pan. The Satyrs. Momus. Plutus.
  Roman gods.

Chapter II

Roman Idea of Creation. Golden Age. Milky Way. Parnassus.
The Deluge. Deucalion and Pyrrha. Pandora. Prometheus.
Apollo and Daphne. Pyramus and Thisbe. Davy's Safety Lamp.
Cephalus and Procris

Chapter III

Juno. Syrinx, or Pandean Pipes. Argus's Eyes. Io. Callisto Constellations of Great and Little Bear. Pole-star. Diana. Actaeon. Latona. Rustics turned to Frogs. Isle of Delos. Phaeton. Palace of the Sun. Phoebus. Day. Month. Year. Hours. Seasons. Chariot of the sun. People of Aethiopia. Libyan Desert. The Wells Dry. The Sea Shrinks. Phaeton's Tomb. The Heliades

Chapter IV

Silenus. Midas. Bacchus's Reward to Midas. River Pactolus.
  Pan Challenges Apollo. Midas's Ears. Gordian Knot. Baucis
and Philemon. Aetna. Perpetual Spring. Pluto carries off
Prosperine. Cere's Search. Prosperine's Release. Eleusinian
Mysteries. Glaucis changed to a Fish. Scylla

Chapter V

Pygmalion's Statue. Dryope and Iole. Lotus Tree. Venus and Adonis. Anemone or Wind Flower. Apollo and Hyacinthus. Game of Quoits. Flower Hyacinthus. Ceyx and Halcyone. Palace of the King of Sleep. Morpheus. Halcyon Birds.

Chapter VI

Hamadryads. Pomona. Vertumnus. Iphis. Cupid and Psyche.
Zephyr. Temple of Ceres. Temple of Venus. The Ant. Golden
Fleece. Pluto. Cerberus. Charon. The Treasure. Stygian
Sleep. Cup of Ambrosia. Birth of Pleasure. Greek name of

Chapter VII

Cadmus. Origin of City of Thebes. Tyrians. Serpent.
Dragon's Teeth. Harmonia. Serpent Sacred to Mars. Myrmidons.
  Cephalus. Aeacus. Pestilence Sent by June. Origin of

Chapter VIII

Minos, King of Crete. Nisus, his purple hair. Scylla's
Betrayal. Her Punishment. Echo. Juno's Sentence.
Narcissus. Love for his own image. Clytie. Hopeless Love
for Apollo. Becomes a Flower. Hero and Leander. Hellespont

Chapter IX

Goddess of Wisdom. Arachne. Her Challenge with Minerva. Minerva's Web. Arachne's Web. Transformation. Niobe Queen of Thebes. Mount Cynthus. Death of Niobe's Children. Changed to stone. The Gray-haired Sisters. The Gorgon Medusa. Tower of brass. Danae. Perseus. Net of Dicte. Minerva. King Atlas. Andromeda. Sea Monster. Wedding Feast. Enemies Turned to Stone.

Chapter X

Attributes of Monsters. Laius. Oedipus. The Oracle.
Sphinx. The Riddle. Oedipus made King. Jocasta. Origin of
Pegasus. Fountain of Hippocrene. The Chimaera.
Bellerophontic Letters. The Centaurs. The Pygmies.
Description of the Griffin. The Native Country. One-Eyed

Chapter XI

The Ram with the Golden Fleece. The Hellespont. Jason's
Quest. Sowing the Dragon's Teeth. Jason's Father.
Incantations of Medea. Ancient Name of Greece. Great
Gatherings of the Greeks. Wild Boar. Atalanta's Race. Three
Golden Apples. Lovers' Ingratitude. Venus's Revenge.

Chapter XII

Labors of Hercules.— Fight with Nemean Lion.— Slaughter of the
Hydra. Cleaning the Augean Stables.— Girdle of the Queen of the
Amazons.— Oxen of Geryon.— Golden Apples of Hesperides.—
Victory over Antaeus.— Cacus Slain.— Hercules, Descent into
Hades.— He Becomes the Slave of Omphale.— Dejanira's Charm.—
Death of Hercules.— Hebe, Goddess of Youth

Chapter XIII

Theseus Moves the Fated Stone, and Proceeds to Athens.—
Procrustes's Bedstead.— Tribute to Minos.— Ariadne.— Clew of
Thread.— Encounter with the Minotaur.— Theseus Becomes King of
Athens.— Friendship of Theseus and Pirithous. The Theseum.—
Festival of Panathenaea.— Elgin Marbles.— National Greek
Games.— The Labyrinth.— Daedalus' Wings.— Invention of the
Saw.— Castor and Pollux.— Argonautic Expedition.— Orpheus's
Harp.— Gemini

Chapter XIV

Destruction of Semele.— Infancy of Bacchus.— March of Bacchus.-
- One of the Bacchanals taken Prisoner.— Pentheus.— Worship of
Bacchus Established in Greece.— Ariadne.— Bacchus's Marriage.—
Ariadne's Crown

Chapter XV

Pan.— Shepherd's Pipe.— Panic Terror.— Signification of the
Name Pan.— Latin Divinities.— Wood Nymphs.— Water Nymphs.—
Sea Nymphs. Pleasing Traits of Old Paganism.— Mrs. Browning's
Poem.— Violation of Cere's Grove.— Erisichthon's Punishment.—
Rhoecus.— Water Deities.— Neptune's Symbol of Power.— Latin
Name for the Muses, and other Deities.— Personification of the
Winds. The Harpies.— Worship of Fortuna

Chapter XVI

Transformation of Achelous.— Origin of the Cornucopia.— Ancient
Meaning of fight of Achelous with Hercules.— Aesculapius.— The
Cyclops. Antigone.— Expedition of the "Seven against Thebes."-
- Antigone's Sisterly Devotion.— Antigone's Burial.— Penelope.-
- Statue to Modesty.— Ulysses.— Penelope's suitors.—
Penelope's Web

Chapter XVII

Orpheus's Lyre.— Unhappy Prognostics at Orpheus's Marriage.—
Eurydice's Death.— Orpheus Descends to the Stygian Realm.—
Orpheus Loses Eurydice Forever.— Thracian Maidens.— Honey.—
Aristaeus's Loss and Complaint.— Cyrene's Apartments.— Proteus
Captured.— His Directions to Orpheus.— Swarm of Bees.—
Celebrated Mythical Poets and Musicians.— First Mortal Endowed
with Prophetic Powers

Chapter XVIII

Adventures of Real Persons.— Arion, Famous Musician.—
Description of Ancient