A is for Arachne and Arlee!

Before I get to my Greek Mythology part of this post, at the request of Alex J. Cavanaugh (great idea by the way, Alex!), I'd first like to thank Arlee Bird for coming up with the challenge in the first place. If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't be taking part in this amazing experience every year. Thanks, Arlee!
Taken from here
This is one of my favourite tales from Greek mythology, so naturally I chose it for my first letter.

Arachne was the daughter of a shepherd, and was famous for the beautiful tapestries she weaved. Nymphs would travel from all over to see her work, and to watch her weave.
One day, a nymph asked her if her talent was a gift from the goddess Athena. Arachne protested, saying her skill was all her own, and that her weaving was better than Athena's. Athena heard of this, and challenged the girl to a weaving contest.
Both sat at their looms and began to weave, nymphs gathering round to watch. Athena weaved a tapestry based on the glories of the gods, showing them all in their best light, while Arachne weaved a tapestry based on the loves and transgressions of the gods. Both tapestries were magnificent, so a winner wasn't declared, but when Athena saw the subject of Arachne's tapestry she became enraged and tore it to shreds, and slapped Arachne.
Arachne, filled with remorse and despair, hanged herself. Athena, who had not wanted things to go so far, took pity on her and brought her back as a spider, destined to hang and spin forever.

Comments

  1. I never knew this story before. I like how her name matches arachnids

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    1. Apparently that's the origin of the word :)

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  2. I knew she had something to do with spiders, but didn't know the story. That must have been some slap from Athena! ;-)

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    1. Well, she is a god. I imagine she's got some strength behind her!

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  3. I guess the moral being never tell the truth on a huge tapestry for all to read just in case.

    Great start Miss Laura, see you at B

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    1. Yeah, and never offend the gods! Something that the Ancient Greeks never seemed to learn.

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  4. I love this story - I never heard before. Thanks for enlightening me!

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    1. I hadn't heard it, either, I thought it was interesting!

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  5. Great start to the challenge Laura, I can't wait to learn more as the rest of the month goes on. Nice of you to pay tribute to Lee as well, he is such an absolute lad, I love his blog!

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  6. The gods really were cruel weren't they? Yahoo for Arlee.

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    1. They really were, and people never learned!

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  7. I remember reading this story many, many times. I had always thought Athena was better than this story made her out to be, but I guess the moral here wasn't "don't compare yourself to the gods" but rather "gods are jealous, capricious and cruel".

    Great start!

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    1. There were quite a few different versions of the story, some which painted Athena in a better light, but I liked this version :)

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  8. Thanks for sharing this. Love mythology. Love the pic.

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  9. Good luck with the challenge! Interesting post...I had not heard that tale before. I participated last year and had a blast!

    Donna L Martin
    www.donasdays.blogspot.com

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  10. Hi-stopping in for the A-Z Challenge. Although I am ridiculously afraid of spiders, I love mythology and this story is a classic. Nice post.

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  11. What a great start to the challenge, Laura!

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  12. A lot of mythology, unfortunately, was pretty tragic...but they made for good stories :)

    Great post!

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  13. Arachne is one of my absolute favorite Greek mythological characters. LOVE.

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  14. Love the Greek Mythology theme! I'll look forward to reading your posts!

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  15. I love Greek mythology, so I look forwards to the rest of your A-Z. I didn't know the story of Arachne, but it's a very tragic one. Thanks for sharing. :D

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  16. This is actually my least favorite Greek myth, but mostly just because I hate anything even vaguely related to spiders. ;)

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  17. Nice tale, well told. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to reading more this month.

    Jan at Website
    Beyond Acadia
    Faith Talk
    Swamp Lily Review

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  18. What an excellent idea for a theme! I studied Classics at university, so anything related gets a huge thumbs up from me. Looking forward to visiting throughout the challenge!

    (Grover at Inane Ramblings)

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  19. Being fans of Mythology, we find this very interesting! Thanks for sharing.

    Dani & Jax @ Cover Girls

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  20. Ah an A to Z Theme other than movie reviews. So glad I stopped by I'm looking forward reading more.

    Images by Bil

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  21. Very interesting. I've never been really good at mythology, so I think I'm going to find your daily doses really interesting!!

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  22. I love mythology. What a great theme.

    Cynthia @ The Sock Zone

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  23. this is great... you at the end we should collaborate on a story rolling around my head...

    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host
    Oh No, Let's Go... Crazy

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  24. Greek gods have a weird sense of justice. As a storyteller I tell this story sometimes, and also tell an Inca version of it called Princess Uru.
    Happy A to Z!

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  25. I can't wait to read more of your posts. Thank you for retelling this tale. It wasn't much, as far as apologies go ;)

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  26. I vaguely remember that story but this was a nice retelling. And I love greek Mythology- especially in small, digestable bites like this! Will definitely be stopping by as the month goes on!

    Happy A Day!
    Bev
    http://bev-thebevelededge.blogspot.com

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  27. That was awesome- I hadn't heard it before. Thank you for sharing.
    ~Summer
    A-Z

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  28. This story makes me think I should think twice before killing spiders. ;)

    Love the theme! Happy A to Z!

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  29. Ah those Greeks. Never happier than when there is a bittersweet tale to tell. Great first post. See you tomorrow lovely.

    W.

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  30. Great theme! I'm terrible with Greek mythology - so glad to have read this!

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  31. Great! I love Greek mythology. I'll be back. Hope you'll stop by www.widowsphere.blogspot.com and say hello

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  32. Oooh that was an excellent post. :)

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  33. I like this short version of the myth!

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  34. Wow! I was all tangled up in the tapestry, and then I read the ending...oh my! Very intriguing post!

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  35. I guess I will not be terrified of spiders any more. I will see beautiful Arachne in every spider...

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  36. This is one myth I had never stumbled across before. :)

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  37. Like that myth and a good start to the A to Z.

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  38. Awesome! I love geek...ahem...Greek mythology. ;) I just wish it ended with an occasional "happily ever after." Hah! Looking forward to more!

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  39. Love your theme, I really am facinated by spider webs. They are amazingly precise.
    Just dropping by for a visit during the A-Z, I'll be coming back for the rest of your posts. Please feel free to drop by mine and say g'day.

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  40. Oh, cool! A month of Greek myths. There's so much there to work from.

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  41. Hi there... very whimsical, it sounds like your mythological tales will be just that - quite whimsical... I love mythology... And as I remember, most of those gods and goddesses were quite the small minded folks at times, causing paing and stress for humans they don't like and such!!
    lovely tale today!

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  42. I love the tale of Arachne. Can't wait to read more of your posts!

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  43. Loved your post as I love Greek mythology (actually any mythology). Dropping by from AtoZ

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  44. This is the only story I can think of that features Athena as being a little cruel. The other gods would have killed Arachne and her whole family.

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  45. Following from the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I remember poring through books of Greek, Roman and Egyptian mythologies when I was younger.

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  46. I remember the Arachne story - a very tragic story about pride.
    Nice first post!

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  47. I hadn't heard that one. Cool story though. Sad, but I love mythology and this is a great idea for the challenge. Thanks for stopping by the new blog earlier! It's super nice to see everyone again!

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  48. Fascinating. I do love mythology and Greek mythology is about as rich as they come.

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  49. I'm not too familiar with this story but I would pick Arachne as the winner if I were among those nymphs, because Athena's work was one-sided. At least Arachne showcased truth, in that even the gods were sometimes imperfect individuals.

    -Nicole
    2013 A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    www.madlabpost.com

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  50. What a fun change to read. I enjoy Greek mythology, but I hadn't read this one before. Fantastic!

    -Tamara

    http://penpaperpad.com

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  51. I love the way ancient cultures created these origin stories for the simplest of things. It's that kind of storytelling that's largely lost these days :(

    Jamie @ Mithril Wisdom
    www.mithrilwisdom.com

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  52. A handsome first installment for this year's challenge. Nicely done and an enjoyable read. I'll be back for more.

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  53. I remember this from my brief Greek history/mythology unit. I always thought it was such a sad story. Looking forward to the next tid bit you'll be sharing. :3

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  54. Oh, I love this theme! That's a great mythology story. I hadn't heard it before.

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  55. Oh dear, a spider -- now that is punishment!

    Never, never compare yourself to the gods -- they love the challenge and always win, even when they lose!

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    1. they never play fair, do they? ;)
      they have no shame! :))

      loved reading this!

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  56. Yay! So glad to see a Greek myth-themed A to Z :) I studied Greek Mythology at uni and loved every second of it.

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  57. Yeah, it really doesn't do to tick off the Greek gods. :-)

    Dig that this is your A to Z theme, as I'm a fan of this mythos as well. My romance novel is a revisionist version of the Persephone/Hades tale.

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