Ancient word of the day: Arachnid

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According to ancient Greek myth, the first spider to ever live was a once human girl named Arachne.

She lived in the ancient city of Lydia in Turkey and was famous for her ability to weave beautiful clothing.

Arachne gained fame for her weaving and became boastful of her ability, telling people that her weaving was far more beautiful than anything made by the goddess Athena.

Athena, as the patron goddess of crafts became highly insulted by this claim.  She challenged Arachne to a weaving contest.

Ancient Greek loom weights. Exhibited in the Room 12 (“private life”) of the Kerameikos Archaeological Museum (Athens). Picture by Giovanni Dall’Orto, November 12 2009. Source: Wikimedia.

Arachne wasted no time and produced a mocking work of that depicted the gods behaving badly. It was an impeccable piece of weaving that won the contest. Arachne had beaten Athena at her own game.

Athena’s response was swift and severe – she turned Arachne into a spider, and doomed her forever to weave webs for the rest of time.

Minerva and ArachneRené-Antoine Houasse, 1706 Source: Wikipedia.
Terracotta lekythos (oil flask), attributed to Amasis Painter (ca. 550-530 BCE). Source: Met Museum

5 thoughts on “Ancient word of the day: Arachnid

  1. Markus + Micah – We are Markus + Micah. We live in a tiny house by the sea, grow our plants, cook plant-based food, travel, and design wellness retreats and mindful programs so we can all live meaningful lives.
    Markus + Micah says:

    Thank you for the story. I am always captivated by myths. And the looms exhibit seems interesting. Wish I could see more.

    1. Content Catnip – Catnip, The World. – Digital dawdler, foodie, bookworm, culture vulture, rainbow lorikeet perennially in love with the arts, history and science. Constantly seeking inspiring people, knowledge and places.
      Content Catnip says:

      Thank you Markus and Micah. I am so glad you liked this post of mine. I have been across to your blog and it’s amazingly interesting I am going to follow you and read your posts from now on, we are definitely on the same wavelength about many many things, take care of yourselves xx

    1. Content Catnip – Catnip, The World. – Digital dawdler, foodie, bookworm, culture vulture, rainbow lorikeet perennially in love with the arts, history and science. Constantly seeking inspiring people, knowledge and places.
      Content Catnip says:

      Yeah definitely :)…these ancient tales are so compelling aren’t they?

  2. Diana Hacker-Reed – Florida – Diana has been a burger flipper, newspaper carrier, photographer, yoga teacher, business owner, and writer. Diana rejects titles, out-of-control capitalism, social injustices, and climate-change deniers. Diana supports personal growth and introspection; she agrees that the extraordinary is not in who we are but in what we do. Diana strives to be an example and provide the blueprint for building an unapologetic, authentic, wildcrafted life.
    Diana Hacker-Reed says:

    Interesting story! In my opinion, spiders are underrated and yes, their craftsmanship is pretty impressive. Have a beautiful day!

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