In Greek mythology, Pandora was the woman who brought evil into the world and caused humankind's downfall. She was sent to earth by Zeus, king of the gods, who wanted to take revenge on the Titan Prometheus*.
In Chinese mythology, Pan Gu was the first living creature and the creator of the world. Among his acts of creation were the separation of the earth and sky, the placement of the stars and planets in the heavens, and the shaping of the earth's surface.
In Greek mythology, Paris was a handsome young prince who eloped with the most beautiful woman in the world and caused the Trojan War*. The son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy*, Paris seemed destined for disaster from birth.
St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was born in Britain around A.D.
In the legends of the American West, Pecos Bill was a larger-than-life cowboy known for his amazing exploits. Created by journalists in the late 1800s, Pecos Bill was supposed to have been born in Texas and raised by coyotes after his parents lost him while crossing the Pecos River.
A winged horse in Greek mythology, Pegasus was supposedly the offspring of the sea god Poseidon and the Gorgon Medusa. According to legend, Pegasus was born from the blood that spurted from Medusa's neck when the hero Perseus killed her.
In Polynesian mythology, Pele is the fire goddess of Hawaii. A powerful and destructive deity, she is said to live in the crater of the volcano of Kilauea on the big island of Hawaii.
Peleus, a figure from Greek mythology, is best known as the father of the Greek hero Achilles* and the husband of the sea nymph Thetis. As a youth, Peleus was banished from his homeland after he killed one of his brothers.
The wife of the hero Odysseus* in Greek mythology, Penelope was celebrated for her faithfulness, patience, and feminine virtue. For the 20 years that her husband was away during and after the Trojan Warf, Penelope remained true to him and helped prevent his kingdom from falling into other hands.
In Greek mythology, Persephone was the beautiful daughter of Zeus, king of the gods, and of Demeter, the goddess of agriculture. Persephone became queen of the underworld when she married Hades.
In Greek mythology, Perseus was the heroic slayer of the Gorgon Medusa*. His mother was Danaë, daughter of King Acrisius of Argos.
Persian mythology developed in what is now Iran after about 1500 B.C. About a thousand years later, a religion known as Zoroastrianism emerged in the region.
In Greek mythology, Phaedra was the daughter of King Minos and Queen Pasiphae of Crete and the younger sister of Ariadne. Phaedra married Theseus, king of Athens and slayer of the beast known as the Minotaur.
In Greek mythology, Phaethon was the son of the sun god Helios and the sea nymph Clymene. Phaethon's friends teased him because they did not believe that the sun was his father.
In Greek mythology, Philomela was the daughter of Pandion, a legendary king of Athens. Her sister Procne married Tereus, king of Thrace, and went to live with him in Thrace.
The phoenix is a legendary bird mentioned in Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology. According to ancient writers, the phoenix lived for 500 years, then died and was reborn.
The Pied Piper is the man who rid the town of Hamelin of rats. According to a medieval legend, the north German town of Hamelin was overrun with rats in 1284.
In many cases, human life ends with death and burial in the ground. Plants are just the opposite.
In Greek mythology, the Pleiades were seven sisters who were the daughters of the Titan Atlas and the nymph Pleione. Their names were Maia, Electra, Taygete, Celaeno, Alcyone, Sterope, and Merope.
Polynesia is a vast region of the Pacific Ocean consisting of many hundreds of widely separated, culturally and politically diverse island groups. Ranging from Midway and Hawaii in the north to New Zealand in the south, the triangular area called Polynesia also includes Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga, Tuamotu, the Cook Islands, and the Pitcairn Islands.
The Popol Vuh is the most important source of information on the mythology of the ancient Maya. A sacred book of the Quiché Maya of Guatemala, it was written down in the mid-1500s.
One of the major deities in Greek mythology, Poseidon was the supreme ruler of the seas. The Romans called him Neptune.
According to medieval legend, Prester John was a Christian king who ruled over an Asian land. The story of Prester John started around the time of the Crusades, the military campaigns undertaken by European Christians to retake the Holy Land from the Muslims.
In Greek mythology, Priam was the last king of Troy*, a ruler who witnessed the destruction of his city in the Trojan War*. His son Paris caused the war, while another son, Hector*, became the greatest Trojan hero during the long struggle against the Greeks.
In Greek mythology, Procrustes was a robber who lived near the city of Eleusis. He invited travelers to spend the night, offering them his hospitality.
Prometheus, one of the Titans in Greek mythology, was the god of fire. A master craftsman considered the wisest of his race, he was credited with the creation of humans and with giving them fire and various types of skills and knowledge.