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In ancient Greek mythology, ambrosia is sometimes the food, sometimes the drink, of the gods, often depicted as conferring ageless immortality upon whomever consumes it. It was brought to the gods in Olympus by doves (Odyssey xii.62), so may have been thought of in the Homeric tradition as a kind of divine exhalation of the Earth. Look up ambrosia, Ambrosia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the body of stories belonging to the Ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. ... A listing of Greek mythological beings. ... The Fountain of Eternal Life in Cleveland, Ohio Immortality (or eternal life) is the concept of living in physical or spiritual form for an infinite length of time, or in a state of timelessness. ... This article refers to a mountain in Greece. ...

Ambrosia is very closely related to the gods' other form of sustenance, nectar. The two terms may not have originally been distinguished;[1] though in Homer's poems nectar is the drink and ambrosia the food of the gods; it was with ambrosia Hera "cleansed all defilement from her lovely flesh" (Iliad xiv.170), and with ambrosia Athena prepared Penelope in her sleep (Odyssey xviii.188ff) so that when she appeared for the final time before her suitors, the effect of the years had been stripped away and they were inflamed at the sight of her. On the other hand, in Alcman, nectar is the food, and in Sappho (fragment 45) and Anaxandrides,[2] ambrosia is the drink. When a character in Aristophanes' Knights says, "I dreamed the goddess poured ambrosia over your head— out of a ladle", the homely and realistic ladle brings the ineffable moment to ground with a thump. In Greek mythology, nectar and ambrosia are the food of the gods. ... This article is about the Greek poet Homer and the works attributed to him. ... Alcman (also Alkman, Greek ) (7th century BC) was an Ancient Greek choral lyric poet from Sparta. ... For other uses, see Sappho (disambiguation). ... Anaxandrides (Αναξανδριδεσ), was an Athenian comic poet, contemporary of Aristotle. ... For other uses, see Aristophanes (disambiguation). ... Aristophanes play The Knights is an unbridled criticism of Cleon, one of the most powerful men in ancient Athens. ...

Both nectar and ambrosia are fragrant, and may be used as perfume: in Odyssey (iv.444-46) Menelaus and his men are disguised as seals in untanned seal skins, "and the deadly smell of the seal skins vexed us sore; but the goddess saved us; she brought ambrosia and put it under our nostrils." Homer speaks of ambrosial raiment, ambrosial locks of hair, even the gods' ambrosial sandals. For other uses, see Perfume (disambiguation). ... This article is about Homers epic poem. ...

Among later writers, ambrosia has been so often used with generic meanings of "delightful liquid" that such late writers as Athenaeus, Paulus and Dioscurides employ it as a technical terms in contexts of cookery,[3] medicine[4] and botany.[5] Athenaeus (ca. ... The name Paulus is a nomen of ancient Rome, while also appearing as the cognomen for other Romans. ... Pedanius Dioscorides Pedanius Dioscorides (c. ...

Additionally, some modern scholars, such as Danny Staples, relate ambrosia to the hallucinogenic mushroom Amanita muscaria. (Blaise) Daniel Danny Staples (13 July 1948 — December 2005[1]) was a Classical mythologist; a native of Somerset, Massachusetts, he received a B.A. in Comparative Religion and a Ph. ... The general group of pharmacological agents commonly known as hallucinogens can be divided into three broad categories: psychedelics, dissociatives, and deliriants. ... Binomial name (L.:Fr. ...



The connection that has derived ambrosia from the Greek prefix a- ("not") and the word mbrotos ("mortal"), hence the food or drink of the immortals, has been found merely coincidental by modern linguists.[6]

The classical scholar Arthur Woollgar Verrall denied that there is any clear example in which the word ambrosios necessarily means immortal, and preferred to explain it as "fragrant," a sense which is always suitable. If so, the word may be derived from the Semitic MBR, giving "amber", which when burned is resinously fragrant (compare "ambergris") to which Eastern nations attribute miraculous properties. In Europe, honey-colored amber, sometimes far from its natural source, was already a grave gift in Neolithic times and was still worn in the 7th century as a talisman by druidic Frisians, though St. Eligius warned "No woman should presume to hang amber from her neck." Arthur Woolgar Verrall was a classics scholar associated with Trinity College, Cambridge, and the first occupant of the the King Edward VII Chair of English. ... 14th century BC diplomatic letter in Akkadian, found in Tell Amarna. ... For other uses, see Amber (disambiguation). ... Ambergris Ambergris (Ambra grisea, Ambre gris, ambergrease, or grey amber) is a solid, waxy, flammable substance of a dull grey or blackish color, with the shades being variegated like marble. ... An array of Neolithic artifacts, including bracelets, axe heads, chisels, and polishing tools. ... The 7th century is the period from 601 - 700 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ... In the Celtic religion, the modern words Druidry or Druidism denote the practices of the ancient druids, the priestly class in ancient Celtic societies through much of Western Europe north of the Alps and in the British Isles. ... Satellite view of the German Bight (the Frisian Coast). ... Signature of St. ...

W. H. Roscher thinks that both nectar and ambrosia were kinds of honey, in which case their power of conferring immortality would be due to the supposed healing and cleansing power of honey, which is in fact anti-septic, and because fermented honey (mead) preceded wine as an entheogen in the Aegean world: the Great Goddess of Crete on some Minoan seals had a bee face: compare Merope and Melissa. Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher (12 February 1845, Göttingen-9 March 1923, Dresden) was a German classical scholar. ... For other uses, see Honey (disambiguation). ... Mead Mead is a fermented alcoholic beverage made of honey, water, and yeast. ... For other uses, see Wine (disambiguation). ... This entry covers entheogens as psychoactive substances used in a religious or shamanic context. ... For other uses, see Crete (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Western honey bee and Bee (disambiguation). ... In Greek mythology, several unrelated women went by the name Merope (bee-mask later reinterpreted as honey-like or eloquent), which may, therefore, have denoted a position in the cult of the Great Mother rather than a mere individuals name: Merope, one of the Heliades Merope, foster mother of... Look up Melissa in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Propolis, a hive product, cures sore throats, and there are many modern proprietary medicines which use honey as an ingredient. Propolis is a wax-like resinous substance collected by honey bees from tree buds or other botanical sources and used as cement and to seal cracks or open spaces in the hive. ...

Examples of ambrosia in mythology

  • In one version of the story of the birth of Achilles, Thetis anoints the infant with ambrosia and passes the child through the fire to make him immortal—a familiar Phoenician custom—but Peleus, appalled, stops her, leaving only his heel unimmortalised.
  • In the Iliad xvi, Apollo washes the black blood from the corpse of Sarpedon and anoints it with ambrosia, readying it for its dreamlike return to Sarpedon's native Lycia. Similarly, Thetis anoints the corpse of Patroclus in order to preserve it. Additionally, both ambrosia and nectar are depicted as unguents (xiv. 170; xix. 38). The wax of bees has always been used as the finest perfume, and an excellent healing for skin ailments, and for lighting holy places; Avalon and Ambrose.
  • In the Odyssey, Calypso is described as having "spread a table with ambrosia and set it by Hermes, and mixed the rosy-red nectar." It is ambiguous whether he means the ambrosia itself is rosy-red, or if he is describing a rosy-red nectar Hermes drinks along with the ambrosia. Later, Circe mentions to Odysseus[7] that a flock of doves are the bringers of ambrosia to Olympus.
  • One of the impieties of Tantalus, according to Pindar, was that he offered to his guests the ambrosia of the Deathless Ones, a theft akin to that of Prometheus, Karl Kerenyi noted (in Heroes of the Greeks).
  • In the Homeric hymn to Aphrodite, the goddess uses "ambrosian oil" as perfume, "divinely sweet, and made fragrant for her sake."

For other uses, see Achilles (disambiguation). ... This article is about the Greek sea nymph. ... Phoenicia (nonstandardly, Phenicia; pronounced [1], Greek: : PhoiníkÄ“, Latin: ) was an ancient civilization centered in the north of ancient Canaan, with its heartland along the coastal regions of modern day Lebanon, Syria and Israel. ... Peleus consigns Achilles to Chirons care, white-ground lekythos by the Edinburgh Painter, ca. ... title page of the Rihel edition of ca. ... For other uses, see Apollo (disambiguation). ... In Greek mythology, Sarpedon referred to several different people. ... Lycian rock cut tombs of Dalyan Lycian rock cut tombs of Dalyan Lycia (in Lycian, Trm̃misa (see List of Lycian place names); in ancient Greek, Λυκία and in modern Turkish, Likya) is a region in the modern-day provinces of Antalya and MuÄŸla on the southern coast of Turkey. ... This article is about the Greek sea nymph. ... A cup depicting Achilles bandaging Patroklos arm, by the Sosias Painter. ... An unguent is a soothing preparation spread on sores, burns, irritations, or other topical injuries; an ointment. ... This article is about Homers epic poem. ... Now hes left to pine on an island, wracked with grief (Odyssey V): Calypso and Odysseus, by Arnold Böcklin, 1883 Calypso (Greek: Καλυψώ, I will conceal, also transliterated as Kalypsó or Kālypsō), was a naiad, daughter of Atlas who lived on the island of Gozo in Greek mythology. ... For other uses, see Hermes (disambiguation). ... Circe, a painting by John William Waterhouse. ... For other uses, see Odysseus (disambiguation). ... This article refers to a mountain in Greece. ... Tantalos, by Goya In Greek mythology Tantalus (Greek Τάνταλος) was a son of Zeus[1] and the nymph Plouto (riches)[2] Thus he was a king in the primordial world, the father of a son Broteas whose very name signifies mortals (brotoi)[3] Other versions name his father as Tmolus wreathed... For the PINDAR military bunker in London, please see the PINDAR section of Military citadels under London Pindar (or Pindarus, Greek: ) (probably born 522 BC in Cynoscephalae, a village in Boeotia; died 443 BC in Argos), was a Greek lyric poet. ... Prometheus Brings Fire to Mankind, by Heinrich Füger, (1817). ... One of the founders of modern studies in Greek mythology, Karl (Carl, Károly) Kerényi (January 19, 1897 - April 14, 1973) was born in Hungary but became a citizen of Switzerland in 1943. ... The anonymous Homeric Hymns are a collection of ancient Greek hymns. ... The Birth of Venus, (detail) by Sandro Botticelli, 1485 For other uses, see Aphrodite (disambiguation). ...

See also

  • Ichor, blood of the Greek gods, related to ambrosia.
  • Amrita, of Hindu mythology, a drink which confers immortality on the gods, and a cognate of ambrosia
  • Elixir of life, a potion sought by alchemy to produce immortality.

In Greek mythology, ichor (Greek ) is the mineral that is the Greek gods blood, sometimes said to have been present in ambrosia or nectar. ... Look up Amrita in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article discusses the adherents of Hinduism. ... Look up cognate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The elixir of life, also known as the elixir of immortality or Dancing Water and sometimes equated with the Philosophers stone, is a legendary potion, or drink, that grants the drinker eternal life or eternal youth. ... For other uses, see Alchemy (disambiguation). ...


  1. ^ "Attempts to draw any significant distinctions between the functions of nectar and ambrosia have failed," concludes Jenny Strauss Clay (Clay, "Immortal and ageless forever" The Classical Journal 77.2 [December 1981:pp. 112-117] p. 114).
  2. ^ When Anaxandrides says "I eat nectar and drink ambrosia", F. A. Wright ("The Food of the Gods", The Classical Review 31.1 (February 1917:4-6) p 5) suggested he was using comic inversion.
  3. ^ In Athenaeus, a sauce of oil, water and fruit juice.
  4. ^ In Paulus, a medicinal draught.
  5. ^ Dioscurides remarked its Latin name was ros marinus, "sea-dew", or rosemary; these uses were noted by Wright 1917:6.
  6. ^ So noted by Wright 1917:6
  7. ^ Odyssey xi: "the trembling doves that carry ambrosia to Father Zeus."
For other uses, see Rosemary (disambiguation). ... Carl A. P. Ruck is a professor in the Classical Studies department at Boston University. ... (Blaise) Daniel Danny Staples (13 July 1948 — December 2005[1]) was a Classical mythologist; a native of Somerset, Massachusetts, he received a B.A. in Comparative Religion and a Ph. ...

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