Arachne (1884) by Otto Henry Bacher. Source: Met Museum

Ancient word of the day: Arachnid

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
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5 thoughts on “Ancient word of the day: Arachnid

    1. 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

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