Maia

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'''Maia''' is the mother of Mercurius, and the eldest daughter of Atlas and Pleione.
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'''Maia''' is the mother of Mercurius.
  
 
"You ask where I think the name of May comes from?
 
"You ask where I think the name of May comes from?
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Her parents, she who was noble from her day of birth." - Ovid, Fast V
 
Her parents, she who was noble from her day of birth." - Ovid, Fast V
  
"And Maia, the daughter of Atlas, bare to Zeus glorious Hermes, the
 
herald of the deathless gods, for she went up into his holy bed." -
 
Hesiod, Theogony 938
 
  
"He [Hermes] was born of Maia, the daughter of Atlas, when she had
 
mated with Zeus, a shy goddess she. Ever she avoided the throng of the
 
blessed gods and lived in a shadowy cave, and there the Son of Kronos
 
used to lie with the rich-tressed nymphe at dead of night, while
 
white-armed Hera lay bound in sweet sleep: and neither deathless god
 
nor mortal man knew it. And so hail to you, Son of Zeus and Maia." -
 
Homeric Hymn XVII to Hermes 3
 
  
"The oldest daughter Maia, after her intercourse with Zeus, bore
 
Hermes in a cave on Kyllene. Though he was laid out in swaddling-
 
clothes with her winnowing basket for a cradle, he escaped and made
 
his way to Pieria, where he stole some cattle that Apollon was
 
tending...Apollon learned who the thief was by divine science, and
 
made his way to Maia on Kyllene to charge Hermes. Maia, however,
 
showed Apollon the baby in his swaddling-clothes, whereupon Apollon
 
took him to Zeus and demanded his cattle." - Apollodorus, The Library
 
3.112
 
  
"The Pleiades" was the name given to the seven daughters of Atlas and
 
Pleione. Maia was the eldest of the daughters, and said to be the most
 
beautiful. Being shy, she lived quietly and alone in a cave on Mount
 
Cyllene, in Arcadia. Zeus, however, discovered the beautiful young
 
woman, and fell in love with her. He came to her cave at night, to
 
make love to her away from the jealous eyes of his wife, Hera. As a
 
result, Maia bore Zeus a son, Hermes.
 
  
When still an infant, Hermes stole some cattle from the god Apollo,
 
and hid them in his mother's cave. When Apollo stormed into Maia's
 
cave, she showed him the tiny baby to prove he could not have been the
 
cattle thief. Apollo was not fooled, however, and angrily appealed to
 
Zeus to punish Hermes. Zeus arbitrated by requiring Hermes to give
 
back the cattle. During the feud, baby Hermes played the lyre, and
 
Apollo was so enchanted by the music that he dropped the charges, and
 
even gave some of the cattle to Hermes, as well as other gifts.
 
  
Some time later, Maia helped Zeus when Hera had caused the death of
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one of his other mistresses, Callisto, who had borne him a son, named
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Arcas. Zeus ordered Hermes to give Arcas to Maia to raise as her own,
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which she did. Arcas and Callisto were eventually placed in the sky,
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becoming the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (Big and Little
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Bear) to escape the wrath of the ever-jealous Hera.
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[[Category: Roman Gods]]
 
[[Category: Roman Gods]]

Revision as of 04:11, 29 August 2009

Maia is the mother of Mercurius.

"You ask where I think the name of May comes from? Its origin's not totally clear to me. As a traveller stands unsure which way to go, Seeing the paths fan out in all directions, So I'm not sure which to accept, since it's possible To give different reasons: plenty itself confuses. You who haunt the founts of Aganippian Hippocrene, Those beloved prints of the Medusaean horse, explain! The goddesses are in conflict. Polyhymnia begins, While the others silently consider her speech. 'After the first Chaos, as soon as the three primary forms Were given to the world, all things were newly re-configured: Earth sank under its own weight, and drew down the seas, But lightness lifted the sky to the highest regions: And the sun and stars, not held back by their weight, And you, you horses of the moon, sprang high. But Earth for a long time wouldn't yield to Sky, Nor the other lights to the Sun: honours were equal. One of the common crowd of gods, would often dare To sit on the throne that you, Saturn, owned, None of the new gods took Ocean's side, And Themis was relegated to the lowest place, Until Honour, and proper Reverence, she Of the calm look, were united in a lawful bed. From them Majesty was born, she considers them Her parents, she who was noble from her day of birth." - Ovid, Fast V

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