Mythology and Space Cases
What does mythology have to do with Space Cases? Quite a bit, actually, in the sense that the names of all of the planets and many constellations are taken from Greek and Roman mythology. So here's a bit of a discourse, with hopes that it will pique your interest to read further (for those of you who don't know this stuff already!):
Mercury was the god of trade and profit, merchants, and travellers, but originally of the trade of corn.
The Greeks called this god Hermes. He was the messenger of the gods, escorted the souls of the dead to Hades, and, because of his mischievious nature, was considered to be the patron god of tricksters and thieves.
One of Mercury's main symbols was the caduceus, a staff with two snakes twirling around it, which is one symbol used to represent the medical profession. I guess Rosie's desire to be a doctor is just written in the stars.
Saturn was the Roman god of agriculture, mainly concerned with the sowing of the seeds.
His Greek counterpart was Cronus, one of the Titans. He and his sister Rhea were the parents of the oldest Olympian gods, and he was eventually overthrown by one of his sons, Zeus.
The Romans celebrated a week-long event in honor of Saturn called the Saturnalia. While it's unknown whether or not they danced for seven days straight as Catalina had to, there was quite a bit of feasting and general merriment.
Of course, Cat is really from one of Saturn's moons, Titan. The Titans were god-like giants who were the children of Gaia (Earth) and Uranus (Sky). They were the ruling force before the Olympic gods. (See above.)
Gaia was part of the Greek creation myth. The Greeks believed there once was only a shapeless nothing called Chaos, and from this Chaos came Gaia, Uranus (Sky), and Pontus (Sea). Gaia and Uranus were the parents of the Titans, and Gaia represented that which gives and takes life. Perhaps it's appropriate, then, that Harlan is skilled in hand-to-hand combat?
Uranus was the original ruler of the world, borne from Chaos (see above). He was, however, overthrown by Gaia and the leader of the Titans, Cronus (Saturn). It's no wonder Bova's people are so gloomy. Wouldn't you be, if you once ruled the world, then got kicked out?
Andromeda was part of a myth concerning a hero named Perseus, who killed the Gorgon Medusa (you've probably heard of her at some point... the one that was so ugly people turned to stone if they looked at her). This is one of my favorite Greek myths, actually.
Perseus was sent out by a king from the country he lived in to kill Medusa and bring back her head. (The reasons for this are interesting enough in themselves, but not pertinent to this article. You can find a book of myths and check it out yourself, though!) While he was heading back, he discovered a girl chained to a rock in the middle of the ocean. She was Princess Andromeda of Ethiopia.
Her mother Cassiopeia was a proud woman, and had boasted that she was prettier than the Nereids. (The Nereids were fairies of the sea, essentially.) This made the god of the sea, Poseidon, angry, and he sent a monster to attack the country's coastline. The monarchs learned from an oracle that the only way to stop the monster was to sacrifice their daughter, Andromeda, to the monster.
Needless to say, Perseus killed the monster (by turning it to stone with Medusa's head), rescued and married Andromeda, and they lived happy ever after, becoming the grandparents of the famous Greek strongman Hercules.
And while this has nothing to do with mythology, another Caser, Tracey, once told me she finds it interesting that people with spiral-shaped ears hail from the Great Spiral Galaxy.
As you may or may not know, Miss Davenport hails from a colony on Mars. In early Roman history he was the god of spring, growth in Nature, fertility, and the protector of cattle. However he later became the Roman god of war. (My, what a career change!)
The Greeks called this god Ares. Despite the way he was portrayed on the TV show Hercules, Ares was really considered to be a bully and coward, and was well known for "running to daddy" (who was Zeus) whining whenever he was injured in battle. (Not that I mind the way he was portrayed on Hercules. He and Strife were fun to watch!) He was also trapped in a jar for several months one time, as well, though I don't recall the details of that myth.
Of course, Miss Davenport is not the bravest soul either. (And she *was* trapped in a little box once!)
Of course, I guess this means that it's not true that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Unless there's something about Miss Davenport that I really don't want to know!
Well, that's about it. If I fudged any details anywhere, feel free to correct me (but be nice about it!) Mythology is pretty interesting stuff. (Really!) If you haven't read any already, you really should.
(This article is also an example of how you can find connections for just about anything, if you look hard enough. <G>)
This page created on July 27th, 2003.