Thursday, April 28, 2011

Deity of the Month: Selene (Updated)

Selene (Luna in Roman) was a lunar deity. Her parents were the Titans Rhea and Hyperion. She fell in love with a mortal king named Endymion who reined in Asia Minor. She asked Zeus, her cousin, to grant Endymion to grant him eternal sleep so that he would never age, and never leave her. Endymion himself made the decision to sleep forever. Every night Selene slipped down behind Mount Latmus near Miletus to visit him. His sanctuary at Heracleia still exists as a horseshoe shaped chamber with an entrance hall and pillared forecourt.

Selene and Endymion had fifty daughters, the Menae. Selene also had a daughter with Zeus, and some sources claim she was the mother of the Nemean Lion.

In Roman mythology, she drove a chariot drawn by white oxen. In Greek, it was drawn by long-maned horses.

Eventually, she would be replaced as the primary lunar deity by Artemis (Diana in Greek).

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