Explore mythology and art with information about the classic stories of heroes and gods...from the myths of ancient Greece and Rome, to the legends of the Celts. Mythography presents resources and reference materials about mythology - including recommended books, and lexicons that explain Greek, Roman, and Celtic terms.

Gardner's Art Through the Ages

This book is the classic reference for the study of art. It features a history of artists and their works, as well as lucid and engaging descriptions of the styles and periods of art history. Highly recommended for both students and scholars.

Aphrodite in Art
Aphrodite in Myth
Art Themes












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Myrrha in Myth
In Greek mythology, the legendary character Myrrha is especially memorable for her tragic tale. Myrrha was the child of a king and she broke one of the most fundamental taboos of society. And for this reason the mythical young princess suffered enduring shame and, ironically, also earned eternal fame.

One of our most intriguing ancient sources for the myth of Myrrha is Ovid's Metamorphoses. According to this tale, Myrrha was the daughter of a wealthy king of Cyprus named Cinyras. As a beautiful young woman, Myrrha could have any suitor for her husband, but instead she falls victim to a terrible lust for her own father (some versions claim that the goddess Aphrodite is responsible for making Myrrha desire this incestuous union). Unable to deal with her unacceptable passions the princess vows to end her own life. However, as she is attempting to hang herself, Myrrha's old nurse comes to the rescue. The nurse promises to help Myrrha and so devises a cunning plan.

At the time of the festival of Demeter, the nurse realizes, Myrrha's mother is required to stay away from the marriage bed for nine days. So the nurse suggests that Myrrha act as a substitute for her own mother. This devious plan gives Myrrha an opportunity to satisfy her secret lusts without arousing the suspicion of her father. The two accomplices carry out their scheme by hiding the identity of the princess. King Cinyras is utterly fooled, and so taken with his new young lover that he makes a habit of bringing her to his bed many times. Finally, one night Cinyras gives in to his curiosity and uses a lamp to expose the young woman who has brought him such pleasure. He is shocked and appalled to learn it is his own daughter! Overwhelmed with anger and disgust, King Cinyras tries to kill Myrrha, but the young woman escapes.

Myrrha soon realizes that her fate is hopeless. She begs the gods to release her from her shame. The gods oblige, transforming the unfortunate young woman into a myrrh tree. But this myth is not quite complete. For underneath Myrrha's new skin of bark a child is growing, and this child will eventually emerge as the legendary Adonis.




Who's Who in Classical Mythology

Who's Who in Classical Mythology

This book is a great source for information about Greek and Roman mythology! Organized alphabetically, this who's who features information about over 1200 of the most intriguing characters from Classical myth and legend.

Bulfinch's Mythology

Bulfinch's Mythology

The stories of Classical myth come to life in Bulfinch's book. This edition also features legends from other cultures.

Mythography Forums

Mythography Forums

Do you have a specific question about Greek, Roman, and Celtic mythology? Then try the Mythography forum!