Davy Crockett was a frontiersman, Indian scout, and politician who became one of America's first folk heroes. His backwoods philosophy, homespun humor, and image as a rough-edged hunter and Indian fighter made him an extremely popular figure during his lifetime.
Cronus was the youngest of the Titans, the Greek deities who ruled the world before the arrival of Zeus* and the other Olympian gods and goddesses. Cronus seized power from his father, the sky god Uranus, and was later ousted by his own children.
One of the oldest and most widespread symbols in history, the cross is best known as a sign of the Christian faith. However, the cross has played a significant role in many other cultures as well.
Cuchulain, one of the greatest heroes of Irish mythology and legend, was a warrior in the service of Conchobhar, king of Ulster. Best known for his single-handed defense of Ulster, Cuchulain is said to have lived in the first century B.C., and tales about him and other heroes began to be written down in the A.D.
Cybele was the fertility goddess of Phrygia, an ancient country of Asia Minor*. In Greek and Roman mythology, Cybele personified Mother Earth and was worshiped as the Great Mother of the Gods.
In Greek mythology, the Cyclopes were a group of giants who possessed only one eye set in the middle of their forehead. They were said to be skilled workers, and the Greeks credited them with building the walls of several ancient cities.
In Greek mythology, Daedalus was a skilled craftsman and inventor who designed and built the Labyrinth on Crete, where the Minotaur was kept. Daedalus also made the wings that he and his son Icarus used to escape from Crete.
In Celtic* mythology, Dagda was an Irish god who was head of a group of Irish gods called the Tuatha Dé Danaan. He was considered the father of the gods and the lord of fertility, plenty, and knowledge.
In the mythology of the ancient Near East, Dagon (or Dagan) was a major deity associated with fertility, vegetation, and military strength. Followers in Mesopotamia* built many temples dedicated to him.
Damocles was a member of the court of Dionysius, ruler of the Sicilian city of Syracuse during the 300s B.C. According to a legend passed on by the Roman writer Cicero, Damocles told Dionysius how much he envied his kingly wealth, power, and happiness.
In Greek mythology Danaë was the daughter of Acrisius, the king of Argos. An oracle told Acrisius that Danaë's son would someday kill him.
In Celtic* mythology, Danu (also known as Dana, Anu, and Don) is a fertility goddess and mother of the Tuatha Dé Danaan, a group of Irish gods. The worship of Danu originated in eastern Europe, and because she was associated with rivers, many European rivers carry versions of her name, including the Danube, the Don, and the Dnieper.
The romantic tale of Daphnis and Chloe, told by the Greek author Longus, deals with the simple and peaceful lives of shepherds in the country. A young boy named Daphnis and a girl named Chloe are abandoned by their parents and raised by shepherds on the Greek island of Lesbos.
Dekanawida, a semilegendary Native American leader, is credited with helping unite the five Iroquois tribes of northern New York in the late 1500s. According to legend, Dekanawida (whose name means "two rivers flowing together") was born to a virgin mother of the Huron people in Canada.
In the Old Testament of the Bible, Delilah was a woman, probably a Philistine*, who received a large amount of silver for telling the enemies of Samson, the Israelite hero, the source of his great strength. After seducing Samson to win his confidence, she got him to reveal what made him strong—his long, thick hair.
Delphi, a town on the slopes of Mount Parnassus in Greece, was the site of the main temple of Apollo* and of the Delphic oracle, the most famous oracle of ancient times. Before making important decisions, Greeks and other peoples traveled to this sacred place to consult the oracle and learn the gods' wishes.
Demeter, the Greek goddess of vegetation and fruitfulness, was known to the Romans as Ceres. She was the daughter of Cronus (Saturn)* and Rhea and the sister of Zeus*.
Devi is the major goddess in the Hindu pantheon. Known both as Devi (goddess) and Mahadevi (great goddess), she takes many different forms and is worshiped both as a kind goddess and as a fierce one.
In myths, legends, and various religions, devils and demons are evil or harmful supernatural beings. Devils are generally regarded as the adversaries of the gods, while the image of demons ranges from mischief makers to powerful destructive forces.
In Roman mythology, Diana was the goddess of the woodlands, of wild animals, and of hunting. She also acted as a fertility goddess, who helped women conceive and give birth to children.
In Greek mythology, Dido was the founder and queen of Carthage, a city on the northern coast of Africa. She was the daughter of Belus (or Mutto), a king of Tyre in Phoenicia *, and the sister of Pygmalion.
Dionysus, the Greek god of fertility, wine, and ecstasy, was popular throughout much of the ancient world. In Rome he was known as Bacchus.
In Australian mythology, the Djang'kawu were three sacred beings—a brother and two sisters—who created all life on earth. The Aborigines of Arnhem Land in northern Australia tell the story of the three siblings in a series of 500 songs.
In the history and legend of eastern Europe, Dracula was the popular name of Vlad the Impaler, a merciless Romanian tyrant of the 1400s. Dracula means "heir of the Order of the Dragon," dedicated to fighting the Turks.
In myths and legends of the world, dragons are often fire-breathing, reptilelike creatures with wings, huge claws, and a long tail. They are usually portrayed as frightening and destructive monsters.