Selene

June 12th, 2010 by sabrina

Selene (pronounced suh-LEE-nee) is the Greek Goddess of the moon, equivalent to the Roman Luna. She is the daughter of the Titans Theia and Hyperion, and sister to Eos, Goddess of the dawn, and Helios, God of the sun. Selene is depicted either riding a bull or horse across the sky or riding in a silver chariot pulled by bulls or horses, and she wears a crescent moon on her crown. With Zeus, she was the mother of Pandeia, Goddess of the full moon, and Ersa, Goddess of the dew. She was also the mother of the Menai, fifty Goddesses who represented the fifty lunar months of an Olympiad, the four-year span between Olympic Games.

The Menai’s father was Endymion, a shepherd who Selene fell madly in love with. In order to keep him with her for eternity, Selene asked Zeus to grant the mortal man a wish, and Endymion chose to remain forever young in an enchanted sleep. His sleeping body was put in a cave on Mount Latmos, and Selene visited him there every night. In later works, Selene became identified with Artemis, and formed a trinity with her and Hekate. Selene’s name, which means “moon,” is also seen as Selanaia and she was also known as Mene (month); epithets for her include Aigle (gleaming), Pasiphae (all-shining), Eileithyia (lady of labour), Hilaeira (softly shining), Phoibe (moon-bright), Kyanopis (dark-eyed), Boopis (ox-eyed), Rich-tressed, Fair-tressed, Radiant-faced, Far-winged, Long-winged, White-armed, Bright, Bull-horned, Bull-shaped, Rosy-fingered, Night-wandering, and Desire-struck.

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