The Gorgons, three terrifying creatures in Greek mythology, were sisters named Stheno (strength), Euryale (wide-leaping), and Medusa (ruler or queen). Daughters of the sea god Phorcys and his sister and wife, Ceto, they lived in the west near the setting sun.
In Greek and Roman mythology the Graces (or Charites) were minor goddesses who symbolized beauty charm, and goodness. The number of Graces varied, though most myths included three sisters: Aglaia (brightness or splendor), Thalia (good cheer or blossoming one), and Euphrosyne (mirth or joyfulness).
The mythology of the ancient Greeks included a dazzling array of deities, demigods, monsters, and heroes. These figures inhabited a realm that stretched beyond the Greek landscape to the palaces of the gods on snow-capped Mount Olympus, as well as to the dismal underworld.
The griffin was a creature that appeared in the mythology of Greece and the ancient Near East. A popular figure in art, it had the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle or other bird.
Guinevere was the wife of King Arthur, the legendary ruler of Britain. She was a beautiful and noble queen, but her life took a tragic turn when she fell in love with Lancelot, one of Arthur's bravest and most loyal knights.
In Greek mythology, Hades was the god of the underworld, the kingdom of the dead. (The Romans called him Pluto.) Although the name Hades is often used to indicate the underworld itself, it rightfully belongs only to the god, whose kingdom was known as the land of Hades or house of Hades.
Two separate Greek myths mention a figure named Halcyone (or Alcyone). In the first of these tales, Halcyone is one of seven sisters called the Pleiades.
Prince Hamlet of Denmark, the main character in Shakespeare's famous play Hamlet, is one of the most complex figures in Western literature. Faced with avenging the murder of his father by killing his uncle, Hamlet struggles with the conflict between good and evil, weakness and strength, and his own indecision.
Greek mythology contains two accounts of the Harpies. In the older version, the Harpies were spirits of the wind who snatched people and caused things to disappear.
Hathor was one of the most important and complex goddesses of ancient Egypt. A mother goddess who created and maintained all life on earth, Hathor was also worshiped as goddess of the sky, fertility, music, and dance and as the symbolic mother of the pharaoh, or ruler.
Heaven, as a sacred place or a state of being, appears in the myths and legends of cultures around the world. It can be the dwelling place of the god or gods, the place where people who have lived virtuously find their reward after death, or both.
Hecate was a complex, ancient goddess known to the Greeks but originally worshiped by people of Asia Minor*. She held several different roles, including earth goddess, queen of the underworld, and goddess of magic and witchcraft.
In Greek mythology, Hector was the son of King Priam of Troy and his wife, Hecuba. A Trojan hero and warrior, he fought bravely against the Greeks in the Trojan War*.
In Greek mythology, Hecuba was the second wife of Priam, king of the city of Troy*. She bore Priam many children, including Hector*, Paris*, Polydorus, and Cassandra*.
In Norse* mythology, the god Heimdall stood guard over Asgard, the home of the gods. He lived near Bifrost, the rainbow bridge that connected Asgard to the world of humans and from there kept watch for the approach of the giants, who were the enemies of the gods.
Hel was the Norse* goddess of the dead, daughter of the trickster god Loki and the giantess Angrboda. Shortly after her birth, Hel was cast out of Asgard, home of the gods, by Odin*.
In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy was the most beautiful woman in the world. A daughter of the god Zeus*, she is best known for the part she played in causing the Trojan War*, a story told by Homer in the Iliad] and the Odyssey].
Hell is a place of punishment after death or, in more abstract terms, a state of spiritual damnation. In religions and mythologies that separate the dead according to their conduct in life or the purity of their souls, the evil go to hell while the good go to heaven.
The queen of heaven in Greek mythology, Hera was the sister and wife of Zeus, the king of the gods. The Greeks worshiped her as a mother goddess and considered her a protector of marriage and childbirth and a patron of women.
The greatest of all heroes in Greek mythology, Hercules was the strongest man on earth. Besides tremendous physical strength, he had great self-confidence and considered himself equal to the gods.
In Greek mythology, Hermaphroditus was the son of Hermes, messenger of the gods, and Aphrodite, goddess of love. The boy was so beautiful that a nymph named Salmacis fell in love with him and prayed that they would be united forever.
In Greek mythology, Hermes was the fleet-footed messenger of the gods. His parents were Zeus, king of the gods, and Maia, one of the seven sisters known as the Pleiades.
Hero and Leander were famous lovers in Greek mythology. Hero, who lived in the town of Sestos, served as a priestess of the goddess Aphrodite* (Venus).
At the heart of many of the world's most enduring myths and legends is a hero, a man or woman who triumphs over obstacles. Heroes are not all-powerful and immortal beings.
Hiawatha was a Native American leader of the 1500s who became a legend for his role in bringing the people of the five Iroquois nations together. According to the stories, he helped persuade the tribes to live in peace and join forces against their enemies.
Hinduism, which has millions of followers in India and around the world today, is one of the world's oldest religions. For well over 3,000 years, it has been accumulating the sacred stories and heroic epics that make up the mythology of Hinduism.