Spider Woman appears in the mythology of several Native American tribes, including the Navajo, Keresan, and Hopi. In most cases, she is associated with the emergence of life on earth.
Remote yet familiar, stars have fascinated people throughout history and are part of many myths and legends. Although the sun and the moon usually have the leading roles in mythology, often appearing as deities, the stars also appear in many stories.
Stonehenge is a prehistoric circular monument on Salisbury Plain in southern England. It has been associated with ancient Celtic* religious rituals and with the Arthurian legends* of early Britain.
In Greek mythology, Styx was one of the main rivers that ran through the underworld. According to legend, the boatman Charon ferried the spirits of the dead across the Styx from earth to the land of the dead.
Solar Deities. The pantheons of many cultures have included a sun deity, usually a god but occasionally a goddess.
Sunjata is the hero of an African epic of people living in the southern Sahara. He may be based on a king named Sundiata or Sundjata, who founded the kingdom of Mali around A.D.
A complex Japanese god, Susano-ô was associated with storms and the sea in mythology. His connection with water began at birth.
The creator god Ta'aroa appears in many myths from Polynesia, the vast region that includes hundreds of islands in the Pacific Ocean. In some parts of Polynesia, Ta'aroa is known by different names.
Taliesin was a Welsh poet of the A.D. 500s who inspired a well-known legend of Celtic* mythology.
Tannhäuser was the name of a wandering poet who lived in Germany during the A.D. 1200s.
In Greek mythology, Tantalus, king of Lydia, was the son of Zeus*. A favorite of the gods, he was often invited to dine at their feasts.
Telepinu was the god of agriculture of the Hittites, people who lived in the ancient Near East in what is now Syria and Turkey. Like his father the storm god, Telepinu had a quick temper.
William Tell, a hero of Swiss folklore, became a symbol of Switzerland's national pride and independence. He is best known for shooting an arrow through an apple sitting on his son's head.
Tezcatlipoca played many contradictory roles in Aztec mythology. Like other Aztec deities, he could be both helpful and destructive.
In Greek mythology, Thanatos was the symbol of death. When humans died, he cut off a lock of their hair and took them to the underworld.
Theseus, a hero of Greek mythology, is best known for slaying a monster called the Minotaur. His life and adventures illustrate many themes of Greek myths, including the idea that even the mightiest hero cannot escape tragedy, if that is his fate.
Thor was the god of thunder and of the sky in Norse* and early Germanic mythology. Though Odin* held a higher rank, Thor seems to have been the best loved and most worshiped of the Norse deities.
Thoth was the Egyptian god of wisdom and knowledge. Honored as the inventor of writing and the founder of branches of learning such as art, astronomy, medicine, law, and magic, he was the patron god of scribes.
Thousand and One Nights, also called The Arabian Nights' Entertainment or simply The Arabian Nights, is a sprawling, centuries-old collection of tales. In the English-speaking world, it is the best-known work of Arabic stories.
An important figure in Native American mythology, the Thunderbird represents the natural forces of thunder, lightning, and storms. It is also believed to protect humans by fighting evil spirits.
In the Babylonian creation story called the Enuma Elish, Tiamat was a primeval goddess of salt waters and chaos. At the beginning of the universe, she and Apsu, the spirit of fresh waters, gave birth to all the gods.
In the mythology of some Polynesian peoples, Tiki was the first man on earth. There are several versions of Tiki's story According to the Maori, the god Tumatauenga created Tiki.
Tiresias, a blind prophet, appears in many Greek myths. Several tales account for his blindness.
The Titans were gigantic, powerful, and primeval beings that loomed in the background of many Greek myths and tales. Children of Uranus (the sky) and Gaia (the earth), the Titans ruled the world before they were overthrown by the god Zeus* and his five brothers and sisters.
To the Aztecs of central Mexico, Tlaloc was a god of rain and fertility. Associated with lightning, thunder, and vegetation, he appeared as a man with circles around his eyes and fangs like the teeth of a jaguar.