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Encyclopedia > Leto
Greek deities
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Primordial deities
Titans and Olympians
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In Greek mythology, Lētṓ (Greek: Λητώ, Lato in Dorian Greek, etymology and meaning disputed) is a daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe:[1] Kos claimed her birthplace.[2] In the Olympian scheme of things, Zeus is the father of her twins,[3] Apollo and Artemis, the Letoides. For the classical Greeks, Leto is scarcely to be conceived apart from being pregnant and finding a suitable place to be delivered of Apollo, the second of her twins.[4] This is her one active mythic role: once Apollo and Artemis are grown, Leto withdraws, to remain a dim[5] and benevolent matronly figure upon Olympus, her part already played. Leto may refer to the goddess mother of Apollo and Artemis in Greek mythology: Leto a place in the Oio Region in Guinea-Bissau: Leto, Guinea-Bissau Leto Atreides, the name of two rulers in the Dune novels. ... Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... 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. ... The ancient Greeks proposed many different ideas about the primordial gods in their mythology. ... In Greek mythology, the Titans (Greek: Titan; plural: Titanes) were a race of powerful deities that ruled during the legendary Golden Age. ... The twelve gods of Olympus. ... The ancient Greeks had a very small number of see gods. ... For other uses, see Chthon (disambiguation). ... In Greek mythology, the Muses (Greek , Mousai: perhaps from the Proto-Indo-European root *men- think[1]) are a number of goddesses or spirits who embody the arts and inspire the creation process with their graces through remembered and improvised song and stage, writing, traditional music and dance. ... Asclepius (Greek also rendered Aesculapius in Latin and transliterated Asklepios) was the god of medicine and healing in ancient Greek mythology, according to which he was born a mortal but was given immortality as the constellation Ophiuchus after his death. ... Medicine is the science and art of maintaining andor restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of patients. ... For other uses, see Apollo (disambiguation). ... The Diana of Versailles, a Roman copy of a sculpture by Leochares (Louvre Museum) In Greek mythology, Artemis (Greek: (nominative) , (genitive) ) was the daughter of Zeus and Leto and the twin sister of Apollo. ... Pan (Greek , genitive ) is the Greek god of shepherds and flocks, of mountain wilds, hunting and rustic music: paein means to pasture. ... Shepherd in FăgăraÅŸ Mountains, Romania. ... In Greek mythology, a nymph is any member of a large class of female nature entities, either bound to a particular location or landform or joining the retinue of a god or goddess. ... Attis wearing the Phrygian cap. ... 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. ... In Greek mythology, the Titans (Greek: Titan; plural: Titanes) were a race of powerful deities that ruled during the legendary Golden Age. ... In Greek mythology, Coeus (also Koios) was the Titan of intelligence. ... Phoebe (pronunced fee-bee) was one of the original Titans, one set of sons and daughters of Uranus and Gaia. ... Port and city view of Kos town on the island Kos. ... The Statue of Zeus at Olympia Phidias created the 12-m (40-ft) tall statue of Zeus at Olympia about 435 BC. The statue was perhaps the most famous sculpture in Ancient Greece, imagined here in a 16th century engraving Zeus (in Greek: nominative: Zeús, genitive: Diós), is... For other uses, see Apollo (disambiguation). ... The Diana of Versailles, a Roman copy of a sculpture by Leochares (Louvre Museum) In Greek mythology, Artemis (Greek: (nominative) , (genitive) ) was the daughter of Zeus and Leto and the twin sister of Apollo. ...


In Roman mythology her equivalent, as mother of Apollo and Diana, is Latona, a Latinization of the same name. A head of Minerva found in the ruins of the Roman baths in Bath Roman mythology, the mythological beliefs of the people of Ancient Rome, can be considered as having two parts. ...


In Crete, at the city of Dreros, Spyridon Marinatos uncovered an eighth-century post-Minoan hearth house temple in which there were found three unique figures of Apollo, Artemis and Leto made of brass sheeting hammered over a shaped core. Walter Burkert notes (in Greek Religion) that in Phaistos she appears in connection with an initiation cult. Crete (Greek Κρήτη — classical transliteration Krētē, modern Greek transliteration Kríti; Ottoman Turkish گريد (Girit); Classical Latin Crēta, Vulgar Latin Candia) is the largest of the Greek islands at 8,336 km² (3,219 square miles) and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean. ... Dreros (modern Driros) near Neapolis in the district of Lassithi, Crete, is a post-Minoan archaeological site, 16 km. ... Spyridon Nikolaou Marinatos (November 4, 1901 - October 1, 1974) was one of the premier Greek archaeologists of the 20th century, whose most notable discovery was the site of the Minoan port city on the island of Thera destroyed and preserved by the massive volcanic eruption, ca 1650-1600 BCE, spawning... The Minoan Civilisation was a pre-Hellenic Bronze Age civilization which arose on Crete, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. ... Walter Burkert (born Neuendettelsau (Bavaria), February 2, 1931), the most eminent living scholar of Greek myth and cult, is an emeritus professor of classics at the University of Zurich, Switzerland who has also taught in the United Kingdom and the United States. ... Map of Minoan Crete Phaistos (Greek: Φαιστός, Mycenaean: PA-I-TO), also transliterated as Phaestos, Festos and Phaestus was an ancient city on the island of Crete. ...


Leto was the principal goddess of Anatolian Lycia. Her sanctuary, the Letoon near Xanthos, united the Lycian confederacy of city-states. The people of Cos also claimed Leto as their own. Another sanctuary, more recently identified, was at Oenoanda in the north of Lycia.[6] There was, of course, a further Letoon at Delos. Lycia (Lycian: Trm̃misa) is a region in the modern day Antalya Province on the southern coast of Turkey. ... Letoon is known to have been one of the most important religious centers of the Lycian region in Anatolia, Turkey. ... In Greek mythology, Xanthos (yellow) was an alternate spelling for Xanthus. ... Port and city view of Kos town on the island Kos. ...


A measure of what a primal goddess Leto was can be recognized in her father and mother. Her Titan father is called "Coeus," and his obscure name[7] links him to the sphere of heaven from pole to pole.[8] Leto's mother "Phoebe" is precisely the "bright, purifying" epithet of the full moon.[9]

Contents

Origin and meaning of name

Several explanations have been put forward to explain the origin of the goddess and the meaning of her name. It is most likely to have a Lycian origin, as her earliest cult was centered there. Leto may have the same Lycian origin as "Leda", meaning "woman/wife" in ancient Lycian. [10] Lycian was an Indo-European language, one of the Anatolian languages, that was spoken in the Iron age region of Lycia in Anatolia, present day Turkey. ...


Birth of Artemis and Apollo

When Hera, the most conservative of goddesses — for she had the most to lose in changes to the order of nature[citation needed] — discovered that Leto was pregnant and that Zeus was the father, she realized that the offspring would cement the new order. She was powerless to stop the flow of events, but she banned Leto from giving birth on "terra firma", the mainland, any island at sea, or any place under the sun[11] Some mythographers hinted that Leto came down from the land of the Hyperboreans in the guise of a she-wolf, or that she sought out the "wolf-country" of Lycia for her denning. Most accounts agree that she found the barren floating island of Delos, which was neither mainland nor a real island, and gave birth there, promising the island wealth from the worshippers who would flock to the obscure birthplace of the splendid god who was to come. The island was surrounded by swans. As a gesture of gratitude, Delos was secured with four pillars and later became sacred to Apollo. In the Olympian pantheon of classical Greek Mythology, Hera, (Greek , IPA pronunciation ; or Here in Ionic and in Homer) was the wife and older sister of Zeus. ... In Greek mythology, according to tradition, the Hyperboreans were a mythical people who lived to the far north of Greece. ... The island of Delos, Carl Anton Joseph Rottmann, 1847 The island of Delos (Greek: Δήλος, Dhilos), isolated in the centre of the roughly circular ring of islands called the Cyclades, near Mykonos, had a position as a holy sanctuary for a millennium before Olympian Greek mythology made it the birthplace of...


It is remarkable that Leto brought forth Artemis, the elder twin, without struggle or pain — as if she were merely revealing another manifestation of herself. Leto labored for nine nights and nine days for Apollo, according to the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo, in the presence of all the first among the deathless goddesses as witnesses: Dione, Rhea, Ichnaea, Themis and the "loud-moaning" sea-goddess Amphitrite. Only Hera kept apart, perhaps to kidnap Eileithyia or Ilithyia, the goddess of childbirth, to prevent Leto from going into labor. Instead Artemis, having been born first, assisted with the birth of Apollo. Another version states that Artemis was born one day before Apollo, on the island of Ortygia, and that she helped Leto cross the sea to Delos the next day to give birth to Apollo. The anonymous Homeric Hymns are a collection of ancient Greek hymns. ... Dione in Greek mythology is a vague goddess presence who has her most concrete form in Book V of Homers Iliad as the mother of Aphrodite: Aphrodite journeys to Diones side after she has been wounded in battle while protecting her favorite son Aeneas. ... Rhea (or Ria meaning she who flows) was the Titaness daughter of Uranus and of Gaia. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... In Greek mythology, Hesiod mentions Themis among the six sons and six daughters—of whom Cronos was one—of Gaia and Ouranos, that is, of Earth with Sky. ... Mosaic from Herculaneum depicting Poseidon and Amphitrite In ancient Greek mythology, Amphitrite (not to be confused with Aphrodite) was a sea-goddess. ... Ilithyia—the Latin spelling—or more usually Eileithyia, was the Cretan goddess whom Greek mythology adapted as the goddess of childbirth and midwiving, and whom the relentlessly patrilineal Hesiod even described as a daughter of Zeus and Hera (Theogony 921)—and Apollodorus and Diodorus Siculus (5. ... Ortygia is an island in Greek mythology. ...


Leto was threatened and assailed in her wanderings by chthonic monsters of the ancient earth and old ways, and these became the enemies of Apollo and Artemis. One was the Titan Tityos, a phallic being who grew so vast that he split his mother's womb and had to be carried to term by Gaia herself. He attempted to waylay Leto near Delphi, but was laid low by the arrows of Apollo— or possibly Artemis, as another myth-teller recalled. For other uses, see Chthon (disambiguation). ... In Greek mythology Tityos was a giant chthonic being of a Titan-like order, the son of Elara, the daughter of King Orchomenus, and Zeus. ... For other uses, see Gaia. ... Delphi (Greek , [ðeÌžlˈfi]) is an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in a valley of Phocis. ...


Another ancient earth creature that had to be overcome was the dragon Pytho, or Python, which lived in a cleft of the mother-rock beneath Delphi and beside the Castalian Spring. Apollo slew it but had to do penance and be cleansed afterwards, since Python was a child of Gaia. Sometimes the slaying was said to be because Python had attempted to rape Leto while pregnant with Apollo and Artemis, but one way or another, it was necessary that the ancient Delphic Oracle pass to the protection of the new god. In Greek mythology Python was the earth-dragon of Delphi, always represented in the vase-paintings and by sculptors as a serpent. ... The Castalian Spring in the ravine between the Phaedriades at Delphi is where all comers to Delphi, the contestants in the Pythian Games and especially suppliants who came to consult the Oracle, stopped to wash their hair. ... For other uses, see Pythia (disambiguation). ...


A Queen of Thebes and wife of Amphion, Niobe boasted of her superiority to Leto because she had fourteen children (Niobids), seven male and seven female, while Leto had only two. For her hubris, Apollo killed her sons as they practiced athletics, with the last begging for his life, and Artemis her daughters. Apollo and Artemis used poisoned arrows to kill them, though according to some versions a number of the Niobids were spared (Chloris, usually). Amphion, at the sight of his dead sons, either killed himself or was killed by Zeus after swearing revenge. A devastated Niobe fled to Mount Sipylus in Asia Minor and either turned to stone as she wept or killed herself. Her tears formed the river Achelous. Zeus had turned all the people of Thebes to stone so no one buried the Niobids until the ninth day after their death, when the gods themselves entombed them. For the ancient capital of Upper Egypt, see Thebes, Egypt. ... There are several characters named Amphion in Greek mythology: Amphion, son of Zeus and Antiope, and twin brother of Zethus (see Amphion and Zethus). ... Apollo and Artemis slaying the children of Niobe by Niobid Painter (c. ... Apollo and Artemis slaying the children of Niobe by Niobid Painter (c. ... Hubris or hybris (Greek ), according to its modern usage, is exaggerated self pride or self-confidence (overbearing pride), often resulting in fatal retribution. ... As she talks, her lips breathe spring roses: I was Chloris, who am now called Flora. ... In Greek mythology, Mount Sipylus northeast of Smyrna in Lydia (southwestern Anatolia, now Turkey) was the region ruled by Tantalus. ... Anatolia (Greek: ανατολη anatole, rising of the sun or East; compare Orient and Levant, by popular etymology Turkish Anadolu to ana mother and dolu filled), also called by the Latin name of Asia Minor, is a region of Southwest Asia which corresponds today to... Achelous was often reduced to a bearded mask, an inspiration for the medieval Green Man. ...


Leto was intensely worshipped in Lycia, Asia Minor. In Delos and Athens she was worshipped primarily as an adjunct to her children. Herodotus reported hearsay of a temple to her in Egypt attached to a floating island called "Khemmis" in Buto, which also included a temple to Apollo. There, Leto was wosrhipped in the form of Wadjet, the cobra-headed goddess of lower Egypt. However, Herodotus didn't believe in the existence of either temple. Anatolia (Greek: ανατολη anatole, rising of the sun or East; compare Orient and Levant, by popular etymology Turkish Anadolu to ana mother and dolu filled), also called by the Latin name of Asia Minor, is a region of Southwest Asia which corresponds today to... Athens is the largest and the capital city of Greece, located in the Attica periphery. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Buto This article is about the Egyptian city Buto. ...


Witnesses at the birth of Apollo

According to the Homeric hymn, the goddesses who assembled to be witnesses at the birth of Apollo were responding to a public occasion in the rites of a dynasty, where the authenticity of the child must be established beyond doubt from the first moment. The dynastic rite of the witnessed birth must have been familiar to the hymn's 8th-century hearers. The dynasty that is so concerned to be authenticated in this myth is the new dynasty of Zeus and the Olympian Pantheon, and the goddesses at Delos who bear witness to the rightness of the birth are the great goddesses of the old order. Demeter is not present; her mother Rhea attends. Aphrodite, a generation older than Zeus, is not present either. The goddess Dione (in her name simply the "Goddess") is sometimes taken by later mythographers as a mere feminine form of Zeus (see entry Dodona): if this were so, she would not have assembled here. The twelve gods of Olympus. ... This article is about the grain goddess Demeter. ... For other uses, see Aphrodite (disambiguation). ... Theatre of Pyrrhus in Dodona. ...


Leto of the golden spindle

Pindar calls the goddess Leto Chryselakatos (Sixth Nemean Ode, 36), an epithet that was attached to her daughter Artemis as early as Homer.[12] "The conception of a goddess enthroned like a queen and equipped with a spindle seems to have originated in Asiatic worship of the Great Mother", O. Brendel notes, but a lucky survival of an inscribed inventory of her temple on Delos, where she was the central figures of the Delian trinity, records her cult image as sitting on a wooden throne, clothed in a linen chiton and a linen himation.[13] Pindar (or Pindarus) (probably born 522 BC in Cynoscephalae, a village in Boeotia; died 443 BC in Argos), was perhaps the greatest of the nine lyric poets of ancient Greece. ... An epithet (Greek - επιθετον and Latin - epitheton; literally meaning imposed) is a descriptive word or phrase. ... Homer (Greek: ) is the name given to the supposed unitary author of the early Greek poems the Iliad and the Odyssey. ... In Roman mythology, Magna Mater deorum Idaea (great Idaean mother of the gods) was the name for the originally Phrygian goddess Cybele, as well as Rhea. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Families See text. ... A woman with a chiton (left), and two women with a himation over a chiton (right). ...


The Lycian peasants

According to Ovid's Metamorphoses, when Leto was wandering the earth after giving birth to Apollo and Artemis, she attempted to drink water from a pond in Lycia.[14] The peasants there refused to allow her to do so by stirring the mud at the bottom of the pond. Leto turned them into frogs for their inhospitality, forever doomed to swim in the murky waters of ponds and rivers. This scene is represented in the central fountain, the Bassin de Latone, in the garden terrace of Versailles. For other uses, see Ovid (disambiguation) Publius Ovidius Naso (March 20, 43 BC – 17 AD) was a Roman poet known to the English-speaking world as Ovid who wrote on topics of love, abandoned women and mythological transformations. ... Disambiguation: This article is about the poem Metamorphoses written by the poet Ovid. ... Lycia (Lycian: Trm̃misa) is a region in the modern day Antalya Province on the southern coast of Turkey. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


See also

Julius Pomponius Laetus, also known as Giulio Pomponio Leto, (1425 - June 9, 1498) was an Italian humanist. ... Emblem of House Atreides from Emperor: Battle for Dune For the novel of the same name, see Dune: House Atreides. ... Dune is a science fiction novel written by Frank Herbert and published in 1965. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 403.
  2. ^ Herodotus 2.98; Diodorus Siculus2.47.2.
  3. ^ Pindar consistently refers to Apollo and Artemis as twins; other sources instead give separate birthplaces for the siblings.
  4. ^ Karl Kerenyi notes, The Gods of the Greeks 1951:130, "His twin sister is usually already on the scene."
  5. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 406; "dark-veiled Leto" (Orphic Hymn 35, To Leto
  6. ^ Alan Hall, "A Sanctuary of Leto at Oenoanda" Anatolian Studies 27 (1977) pp 193-197.
  7. ^ Herbert Jennings Rose, A Handbook of Greek Mythology (1991:21) found his name and nature uncertain.
  8. ^ In the surviving summary of the preface to Hyginus, Koios is translated literally, as Polus: "From Polus and Phoebe: Latone, Asterie."
  9. ^ Φοιβη (Phoibe), "bright, pure"; Rose 1991:21 noted that an explicit connection with the moon was only made by later writers, which would have left a sun-Titan but no moon-Titan.
  10. ^ "Cults of Lycia and Important Deities"
  11. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 140).
  12. ^ O. Brendel, Römische Mitt. 51 (1936), p 60ff.
  13. ^ O. Brendel, noting Pierre Roussel, Délos, colonie athénienne (Paris: Boccard) 1916, p 221, in "The Corbridge Lanx" The Journal of Roman Studies 31 (1941), pp. 100-127) p 113ff, a discussion of the seated female figure he identifies as Leto on the Roman silver tray (lanx) at Alnwick Castle.
  14. ^ The spring Melite, according to Kerenyi 1951:131.

Theogony is a poem by Hesiod describing the origins of the gods of the ancient Greeks, ca 700 BC. // Hesiods Theogony a large-scale synthesis of a vast variety of local Greek traditions concerning the gods, organized as a narrative that tells how they came to be and how... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Diodorus Siculus (c. ... 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. ... Theogony is a poem by Hesiod describing the origins of the gods of the ancient Greeks, ca 700 BC. // Hesiods Theogony a large-scale synthesis of a vast variety of local Greek traditions concerning the gods, organized as a narrative that tells how they came to be and how... Orphism or (more rarely) Orphicism seems to have been a mystery religion in the ancient Greek world. ... Herbert Jennings Rose (5 May 1883 — 31 July 1961) is remembered as the author of A Handbook of Greek Mythology, originally published in 1928, which for many years became the standard student reference book on the subject, reaching a sixth edition by 1958. ... Hyginus can refer to: Gaius Julius Hyginus (c. ... Hyginus can refer to: Gaius Julius Hyginus (c. ... Alnwick Castle, from the east, across the pastures and the River Aln Alnwick Castle is a castle and stately home in Alnwick, Northumberland, England (grid reference NU187137). ...

External links

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Leto, Greek Mythology Link - www.maicar.com (1002 words)
Leto is said to have been always mild, gentlest among the OLYMPIANS, and kind to both mortals and immortals, for she is believed to grant whatever is asked of her.
Zeus consorted with Leto before he married Hera, and because of their love affair, Leto was hunted over the whole earth by the jealousy of Hera, not being able to find a place where she could deliver her twins.
Leto was once attacked by the giant Tityus, son of Gaia, or son of Zeus and Elare.
Leto (442 words)
Hera was jealous of Leto because Zeus, the husband of Hera, had fallen in love with her.
Leto found this to be an arduous task, as Hera had refused Leto to give birth on either terra firma or on an island out at sea.
Leto, being the mother of Artemis and Apollo, figured as the motive for the slaughter was Niobe's children was that Niobe had been bragging to Leto about bearing fourteen children (in some versions six or seven).
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