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The legend of Medusa the Gorgon and Tlaltecuhtli the Aztec earth goddess originated from the same so

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posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 11:18 PM
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Thread Title: The legend of Medusa the Gorgon and Tlaltecuhtli the Aztec earth goddess originated from the same source.




Why would Athena, a goddess of War of Athens Greece, be carrying a shield that has a face in its center, which matches a face found in the center of the Aztec calendar?

Who is in the center of the Aztec calendar?
Tonatiuh the sun god or Tlaltecuhtli the earth goddess?
en.wikipedia.org...


The legends of Greece say that the head in the center of Athena’s shield is of the decapitated Gorgon called Medusa. Athena scares her enemies with the face on her shield. The shield has the power to freeze all those that look upon it. Medusa’s face has transformed over the ages due to biased interpretations, but the legend did not originate from Greece. Athens did not invent their warrior goddess Athena and the frightening Gorgons. They borrowed the legends from Libya, most likely from the Amazons. The Amazons were female warriors from North Africa. The Medusa of Libya was of a triad of goddesses which represented wisdom. Snakes once represented wisdom in the ancient world. Notice how Athena is adorned with snakes or reptile scales. Medusa is shown with hair made out of snakes in some of the artifacts found in Greece. Other artifacts show her with curly hair. What seems to be common in all these objects is that all the teeth are showing, the tongue is sticking out and the eyes are wide open. Sometimes she is shown to have wings and claws.

www.arthistory.sbc.edu...

en.wikipedia.org...

www.theoi.com...

www.bartleby.com...

www.perseus.tufts.edu...

en.wikipedia.org...


The legend of Tlaltecuhtli says that she was a chthonic sea monster that lived in the ocean after the fourth deluge. The gods Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl turned themselves into snakes and each one of them pulled on her to rip her apart. One part of her made the sky and stars, the other part of her became the land. She was still alive when they ripped her apart but she demanded blood in human sacrifice.


news.yahoo.com...

atheism.about.com...

www.deliriumsrealm.com...

en.wikipedia.org...



Take a look at these images of Medusa and Tlaltecuhtli.


Medusa

www.arthistory.sbc.edu...

Tlaltecuhtli

news.yahoo.com...



Now take a look at the shield of Athena.


www.arthistory.sbc.edu...


Here’s what the Aztec calendar looks like.


en.wikipedia.org...

en.wikipedia.org...



Now, what about her nose?.





[edit on 11-8-2007 by lostinspace]

[edit on 11-8-2007 by lostinspace]




posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 11:30 PM
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That is very interesting!
Good research!
Many cultures have similarities.
Besides the Great Flood, there is worshipping the snake and others.
There is supposedly a correlation between Babylonians, South Americans and the Celts.
Good night.



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 11:37 PM
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You've done a good job noting the similarities between the two myths, but I'm afraid you've fallen short of connecting the dots by showing proof of direct cultural contact between the two civilizations.

Similar myths can arise in different places because of the existence of archetypes. Because different tribes have Moon Goddesses, for instance, doesn't mean they all came from the same source. They arose because there is a Moon in the sky with a feminine cycle. The same thing could be happening here. Unless you can provide solid, recognized proof of contact between the two cultures, it's likely they came up with similar ideas separately.



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 11:44 PM
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Ah, that is yet to come!



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 12:28 PM
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You forgot a link to German culture.






Seriously, although I do believe that some things in human cultures may have a common origin, I don't think that we can prove it with something relatively common like those faces.



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 03:50 PM
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Sometimes Medusa is shown to have male features and in this case below the Gorgon has a beard. Tlaltecuhtli has a male name even though she is female in nature.

This Grecian pottery has a striking resemblance to the legend of Tlaltecuhtli.

Histoyre du Mechique states that Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl agree that the world can’t exist with her so they decide to destroy her. They transform themselves into two great serpents, one snake seizes her left hand and right foot while the other seizes her right hand and left foot. They rip the being apart and her upper body becomes the earth and her lower half is thrown into the sky. The other gods are angered by this act and they console the earth by having plants created out of her body. The trees, flowers and herbs come from her hair. The mountain ridges and valleys are made from her nose.
www.deliriumsrealm.com...




www.theoi.com...

(P23.16)
Museum Collection: Musée du Louvre, Paris, France
Attributed to Type Nicosthenes or BMN Painter
525 - 475 BC
Archaic Period


Another coincidence?


There must still be a common legend more ancient than both of these characters. Did it come from the East or the West?


[edit on 12-8-2007 by lostinspace]



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 03:55 PM
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Lostinspace, everything is interrelated. That is why wars between religion and ideology is ludicrous. Soon, there will be a teacher to arise who will clear the air. Until then, buckle down the hatches and hunker down low.



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 04:27 PM
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Originally posted by lostinspace
Ah, that is yet to come!


Along with proof that they had contact with a civilization that had been dead for a thousand years before theirs rose?

As SV said, it takes more than "oh, THIS image here looks like THAT image there!"

The head of Medusa is a female head with snakes for hair (as has been described in hundreds of references for that legend.) She isn't a goddess, either.

When a god is derived from another god, you see in that area a blend of trade goods (as one group trades with another) and a blend of languages (as the concept moves to the new group.) In the early stages you see the subordinate god as a child or kin to the first god, then you see their names combined, and finally just the reference to a single god.

They don't combine a god with the name of a mythic figure across the ocean from a culthre that's been gone for a thousand years. There would be no reason to do that -- any more than there would be a reason to blend Jesus with the Monkey God of Japan and say that the two are the same.



posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 08:56 PM
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Sorry for the late reply Byrd. I've been working way too much and have had no time to continue the thread.

Thanks for your experienced viewpoint and for pointing out the difficulty on making a direct relationship between the two legends from what has been dug up.


I think the discussion should be first focused on Athena to see if there's reason to believe that her legend is from another source, besides Greece.


Her shield has an interesting story to tell.



posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 02:45 AM
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reply to post by lostinspace
 


Cool thread, you might be on to something.

For some reason this reminds me of a movie I just saw "Seven Years in Tibet." Its a true story about an Austrian who becomes friends with the Dali Lama, highly reccommend you rent it.. anyways.. when the foreigners enter one Tibetan town all the towns folk stick their tounges out at them..?! Then I did a quick search for Tibetan goddesses on a hunch, and sure enougn one of them, Tara, has her toungue sticking out. Here's a website with some info and tiny pictures of some aspects of Tara.



posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 06:41 AM
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Originally posted by SuicideVirus
You've done a good job noting the similarities between the two myths, but I'm afraid you've fallen short of connecting the dots by showing proof of direct cultural contact between the two civilizations.

Similar myths can arise in different places because of the existence of archetypes.


i see lostinspace connecting the dots with the use of the Archtype... and not a physical linkage between cultures, thru trade or war,

the distant Archtype which connects these two historically seperated cultures would necessarily be the archtype myth: "Atlantis"

Atlantis, not as an actual real world, real time social-economic-political land & culture....but Atlantis as an ideal organization of society & engineering & science, blooming from the chaos of the savage natural world-----> the Archtype Atlantis


thanks, lostinspace



posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 02:09 PM
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Originally posted by ViolatoR
For some reason this reminds me of a movie I just saw "Seven Years in Tibet." Its a true story about an Austrian who becomes friends with the Dali Lama, highly reccommend you rent it.. anyways.. when the foreigners enter one Tibetan town all the towns folk stick their tounges out at them..?!

Traditional form of greeting in one area of Tibet. Yes, really. This is done to prove that you are not a demon (demons have green tongues but otherwise look human.)



Then I did a quick search for Tibetan goddesses on a hunch, and sure enougn one of them, Tara, has her toungue sticking out. Here's a website with some info and tiny pictures of some aspects of Tara.


Tara is a protector, and it appears that the figure (which is in black and white) has a tongue with a different color than the face and skin. This suggests that the illustration you found may be telling part of a tale of Tara and the female figure may be one of the demons.

If you google for images of Tara (and her multiple forms), she almost always appears in a buddha form (no tongue) in ancient art. In more modern art, artists feel free to use artistic license :
images.google.com...



posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 02:17 PM
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Originally posted by lostinspaceI think the discussion should be first focused on Athena to see if there's reason to believe that her legend is from another source, besides Greece.


Athena appears to be purely Greek. There are not many goddesses of wisdom (generally this is reserved for gods)... Roman traditions come later than the Greek, of course. Shields were a fairly modern development (Bronze Age, I believe).

Wikipedia has an interesting section on her titles (this is where researchers in mythology often find connections) :


The major competing tradition regarding Athena's parentage involves some of her more mysterious epithets: Pallas, as in Ancient Greek Παλλάς Άθήνη (also Pallantias) and Tritogeneia (also Trito, Tritonis, Tritoneia, Tritogenes). A separate entity named Pallas is invoked – whether Athena's father, sister, foster-sister, companion or opponent in battle. In every case, Athena kills Pallas, accidentally, and thereby gains the name for herself.

When Pallas is Athena's father the events, including her birth, are located near a body of water named Triton or Tritonis, the result of an etymology of Tritogeneia from Tritonis. When Pallas is Athena's sister or foster-sister, Athena's father or foster-father is himself Triton, the son and herald of Poseidon. But Athena may be called the daughter of Poseidon and a nymph named Tritonis without involving Pallas. Likewise, Pallas may be Athena's father or opponent without involving Triton.[10] On this topic, Walter Burkert says "she is the Pallas of Athens, Pallas Athenaie, just as Hera of Argos is Here Argeie.[11] For the Athenians, Burkert notes, Athena was simply "the Goddess", he theos, certainly an ancient title.

source: en.wikipedia.org...



The suggestion that the name is actually that of an older goddess who becomes "the Lady/Goddess of Athens" seems pretty reasonable. Plato's take on how the Athenians themselves viewed the name is interesting, too.

The suggestion that she was a version of the Egyptian goddess, Neith, doesn't seem to fit.



posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 11:51 AM
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Thanks for all your input. I loved the Hindu connection, where a green tongue meant you were a demon. There could be relationship there as well.

Here's some interesting things I wanted to add to the discussion. It may shed some light on the mystery of the shield.


Sometimes the Gorgon face appears on Athena’s garments and in the artifact below we find the Medusa head somewhat different than previously noted. The face doesn’t look as shocking and the hair is somewhat straight.



en.wikipedia.org...

The caption says on the Wikipedia article : “Here Athena wears the privative form of the Gorgoneion.”

This particular scene shows a great serpent protecting the Golden Fleece and possibly the Golden Apples of the Hesperides. Both tales said a serpent guarded the treasure. Jason of the Argonauts sought after the Golden Fleece and Hercules ventured to get the golden apples. The three daughters of Atlas, also known as the Hesperieds, were said to have guarded the golden apples. I don’t remember any written Greek legend that said that Athena watched over the Fleece and or the Apples. Athena, although, was rather close to Hercules in his adventures and he sought after the golden apples in the far west. Spain or further?

en.wikipedia.org...
en.wikipedia.org...

I’ll go into a discussion about these Greek legends later.

Now take a look at another form of Athena’s shield.
This is a Roman Mable replica from the British Museum.


people2.hsc.edu...

What ethnic group does the face in the middle look like? I want to say African but the nose is too small. The person looks Polynesian but I don’t know if that ethnic group was on the world scene at that time.

Here’s another example with that type of face.


www.arthistory.sbc.edu...

Image of Athena, a marble bas-relief from the high classical Greek period of 480-450 BC.

Is the face really meant to be scary or meant to identify that Athena the warrior, whoever she really may be, was friends with a race that was not to be contended with?

I read on one of these websites that the legend of Athena was really invented to explain why the foreign face was seed on the female warrior’s shield.



posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 02:52 PM
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Originally posted by lostinspace I don’t remember any written Greek legend that said that Athena watched over the Fleece and or the Apples.

It may not be illustrating a single tale, or it may be illustrating a local story that wasn't known more widely... or one of the manuscripts that has been lost over time. The man's body in the serpent's jaws could also be symbolic.

Without more references to the tale in the form of art or writing, we really can't say what's going on -- and to guess is actually bad scholarship.



What ethnic group does the face in the middle look like? I want to say African but the nose is too small. The person looks Polynesian but I don’t know if that ethnic group was on the world scene at that time.


You can find people in every race and of mixed races who look like that.

There is no such thing as a "racial type"... there are "racial stereotypes" that ignore what groups of people really look like and graft animal-like characteristics on them. It was done with, for example, the Irish and the Scots (who were seen as a different "race" and drawn to look fairly chimpanzee-like.)


I read on one of these websites that the legend of Athena was really invented to explain why the foreign face was seed on the female warrior’s shield.


Did they give any evidence to back this up?

I'm seeing suggestions that Athena had an earlier aspect (under another name) as a goddess associated with snakes, but haven't found anything overwhelmingly convincing on this yet.



posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 06:48 PM
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I agree that the people of Greece may have thought people from foreign lands would have appered ugly to them and may have used them as a Gorgon example. I would assume that the more ancient artifacts that show Athena's shield would identify the true face of the Gorgon. We need to determine the dating of all those found.

By the way, here's the website that said that the legend of Medusa was possibly invented to explain the face on Athena's shield.

www.arthistory.sbc.edu...

" The story of the Gorgons may have even been created just to serve as the origin of the Gorgonieon located on Athena's shield."



posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 06:37 AM
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Originally posted by lostinspace


By the way, here's the website that said that the legend of Medusa was possibly invented to explain the face on Athena's shield.

www.arthistory.sbc.edu...

" The story of the Gorgons may have even been created just to serve as the origin of the Gorgonieon located on Athena's shield."




or the Gorgons stories/myths were created from misinterpeting the
man-child's face on Athena's shield.

if one back tracks, & supposes the Goddessess & Female supremacy model
for the cultural myths of the Greeks....
actually was rooted in the collective memory that in a distant pre-history period, the Female/Matriarch society was dominant...hence all the heroic females.
I see the male face, see various 'lostinspace' images posted,
as a device used by the contemporary thinkers/philosophers of that Greek era-- to remind the culture that the man-child reflection
((which does not appear to me a symbol of foreign race...rather it may symbolize a 'male'- - albeit an Androgenous male image- - that is present)

the strange face image seen in the art work might have more to do with
the idea of 'man/men' taking a back seat on the world social scene in the pre-civilization era....
but when the man-child image in the art works came of age- -- -
the goddess, heroic warrior female era ended.
Then as the man-child became a Patriarch, a man-world took dominance and Civilization was begun, culture continued to be the blend between the man-woman world


just a thought






i agree, Byrd, none of what's been presented is scholarship...
but that's what leads to scholarship, is the act of tossing out all sorts of ideas,
for others to procede from or to shine a light on another path not previously seen... that others will develop & explore.



posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 09:29 AM
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Originally posted by lostinspace
I agree that the people of Greece may have thought people from foreign lands would have appered ugly to them and may have used them as a Gorgon example.


On their vases and in other art, they identify foreigners by written labels -- not by a drawing style. Foreigners look just like Greeks in their art.


I would assume that the more ancient artifacts that show Athena's shield would identify the true face of the Gorgon. We need to determine the dating of all those found.


Several sources I'm finding indicate the Gorgon head is not the oldest item associated with Athena -- the aegis is.


By the way, here's the website that said that the legend of Medusa was possibly invented to explain the face on Athena's shield.

www.arthistory.sbc.edu...


Erm... that is a student paper for an art history course, and the comment is speculative (as can be seen by lack of citation.) The quality of the library there at her university limited her access to information, because there were books and articles in print at that time that she should have cited but didn't.

Athena in early art is heavily associated with snakes (this page has a nice set of links and the images are generally dated to some extent):
www.vroma.org...

According to a number of sources, she almost always wears the Aegis (a protective "bib-like" item), which is fringed by serpents. (see traumwerk.stanford.edu... -- in particular the quote with reference "The Aegis, a scaly goat-skin given her by Zeus, is worn like a bib, its curly edges stylized like snakes, but not usually bearing the gorgoneion commonly shown later (c)." Reference C is to the reference book by J. Boardman. called "Athenian Black Figure Vases")

So the snake association comes first and then the Gorgon.

The myth and imagery of Athena had been gone for over 700 years by the time of the rise of the Incas and Aztecs.

[edit on 20-8-2007 by Byrd]



posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 09:41 AM
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If Athena was an amazon, maybe the shield represents the mongols or early Sauromatian culture?
Amazons=Mongolian?

[edit on 20-8-2007 by LordBaskettIV]



posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 11:12 AM
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There is also the SHeila-na-Gig, who is sometimes portrayed with her tongue sticking out. She is Celtic in origin.

www.irelands-sheelanagigs.org...

If you Google "sheela na gig" you will come up with all sorts of information on her.

Images with their tongues sticking out is one of the most common of ancient archetypes/symbols.

[edit on 20/8/07 by forestlady]




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