This is a catch-all list of reference to ancient mythological figures in the works of Harry Turtledove and Laura Frankos. As the mythology of Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire have saturated Western literary thought, these are the two most common sources of such references in these authors' work, but not the only ones.

In some of these authors' fantasy works, the gods of classical polytheist cultures appear directly as real people, or play background roles that are somehow relevant to the plot or the atmosphere of a given work. These deities have their own articles listing these stories. Other references to the gods are not significant enough for articles, but give mildly interesting insight into a certain character or plot element, and are listed below. This list is a work in progress, and therefore by no means complete. Anyone with more information is welcome to share it.


Alberich is a dwarf from German legend. In the Nibelungenlied, Alberich is the guardian of the Nibelung's treasure and has the strength of twelve men. Siegfried overpowers him using his cloak of invisibility, after which the dwarf serves the hero. Siegfried later pulls his beard in mock combat when he arrives unannounced to claim the treasure. The English fairy king Oberon is based on Alberich.

In Laura Frankos' "The Old Grind", a dwarf named Alberich, who works as a weaver, states that he is a cousin of the Nibelung's Alberich.


Aphrodite (Ἀφροδίτη) is an ancient Greek goddess associated with love, beauty, pleasure, passion and procreation. She was extensively syncretized with the Roman goddess Venus, to the point that the two have become indistinct from each other. Both were largely derived from the Semitic goddess Astarte (or Ishtar) and the Sumerian goddess Inanna. Aphrodite was also the patron goddess of prostitutes, an association which led early scholars to propose the concept of "sacred prostitution", an idea which is now generally seen as erroneous.

In mythology, Aphrodite was married to the blacksmithing god Hephaestus, and was frequently unfaithful to him and had many lovers, including Ares, Anchises, and Adonis. Aphrodite was one of the three goddesses whose feud resulted in the beginning of the Trojan War, and she plays a major role in Homer's Iliad. Aphrodite has been appropriated by modern "pagan" religions such as Wicca.

In "Myth Manners' Guide to Greek Missology," Aphrodite is acknowledged as a real person existing in-universe,[1] but plays no role in the story.

In Household Gods, Venus is a character in the satirical play The Judgment of Paris (based on Aphrodite's Iliad role), which is performed at the Carnuntum arena in AD 170.[2]

See also


For the film about an event from NASA's history, see Apollo 13.

Apollo was one of the Olympian deities in ancient Greek and Roman mythology. The son of Zeus and Leto, and national divinity of the Greeks, Apollo was a god of archery, music and dance, truth and prophecy, healing and diseases, the Sun and light, poetry, medicine, and more. His cognomen Phoebus referred to his Sun duty, which in some versions is split with Helios. As the patron deity of Delphi, Apollo spoke prophecies via the Delphic oracle.

In the world of "Myth Manners' Guide to Greek Missology," Phoebus Apollo is acknowledged as a real person existing in-universe, but plays no role in the plot.

See also


Ares (Ἄρης) is the Ancient Greek god of war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians, the son of Zeus and Hera. In Greek literature, he often represents the physical or violent and untamed aspect of war, in contrast to his half sister, the armored Athena, whose functions as a goddess of intelligence include military strategy and generalship. Though noted for his ferocity in surviving Greek narratives, Ares is often portrayed in them as a figure of humiliation and ridicule. By contrast, Ares' Roman counterpart Mars, was regarded as a father of the Roman people, and given a more important and dignified place as a guardian deity. In the classical tradition of later Western art and literature, Ares and Mars became virtually indistinguishable.

In Liberating Atlantis, the Atlantean Ministry of War in New Hastings has in front of it an impressive statue of Mars, built by a Frenchman who had ended up quarreling about his fee.[3]

See also

  • Belatucadrus, a Celtic god sometimes conflated with Mars by the Romans.
  • Deinos, a referenced god in the Elabon Series who appears to be based on Ares and/or his son Deimos.


Asclepius (Ἀσκληπιός) Aesculapius, or Hepius is a hero and god of medicine in ancient Greek religion and mythology. He is the son of Apollo. Asclepius represents the healing aspect of the medical arts; his daughters are Hygieia ("Hygiene", the goddess/personification of health, cleanliness, and sanitation), Iaso (the goddess of recuperation from illness), Aceso (the goddess of the healing process), Aegle (the goddess of the glow of good health), and Panacea (the goddess of universal remedy). He was associated with the Roman/Etruscan god Vediovis and the Egyptian Imhotep. He was one of Apollo's sons, sharing with Apollo the epithet Paean ("the Healer"). The rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff, remains a symbol of medicine today. Those physicians and attendants who served this god were known as the Therapeutae of Asclepius.

In the henotheistic world of Thessalonica, a healing shrine once devoted to Asclepius has been repurposed for St. Demetrius. Inscriptions acknowledging the shrine's original affiliation remain etched into the walls.[4]


In Ancient Greek mythology, Cadmus (Κάδμος) was the founder and first king of Thebes. He is also said to have introduced the alphabet to Greece. Cadmus was the first Greek hero and, alongside Perseus and Bellerophon, the greatest hero and slayer of monsters before the days of Hercules. Initially a Phoenician prince, son of King Agenor and Queen Telephassa of Tyre, he was sent by his parents to seek out and escort his sister Europa back to Tyre after she was abducted from the shores of Phoenicia by Zeus. Cadmus founded the Greek city of Thebes, the acropolis of which was originally named Cadmeia in his honor. One of the more popular Cadmus stories tells how he slew a dragon and planted its teeth in the ground. The teeth grew into soldiers who became the ruling council of Thebes.

According to The War Between the Provinces: Marching Through Peachtree, Detinans have a similar legend about soldiers grown from dragon's teeth; Joseph the Gamecock refers to the sower as "the Mad Cuss," a punning near-anagram of Cadmus.[5]


Colchis was the ancient Greek name for the region of Egrisi (Georgian: ეგრისი), located on the coast of the Black Sea, centered in present-day western Georgia.

In popular culture, Colchis is perhaps best known as the home of Medea and the Golden fleece in the epic of the Argonauts. It was also described as a land rich with gold, iron, timber, and honey, that would export its resources mostly to ancient Hellenic city states.

In "One Touch of Hippolyta," Harmothoe says she met a Greek sailor in Colchis once, and that Ian Sherwood reminds her of the sailor.


In ancient Greek religion and mythology, Demeter (Δημήτηρ or Δαμάτηρ) is the goddess of the harvest and agriculture, presiding over grains and the fertility of the earth. Her cult titles include Sito (Σιτώ), "she of the Grain", as the giver of food or grain, and Thesmophoros (θεσμόςφόρος), "Law-Bringer", as a mark of the civilized existence of agricultural society. Demeter also presided over the sacred law, and the cycle of life and death. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries, a religious tradition that predated the Olympian pantheon, and which may have its roots in the Mycenaean period, c. 1400–1200 BC. Demeter was often considered to be the same figure as the Anatolian goddess Cybele, although there are several key differences between the two. The Romans identified her with their goddess Ceres.

In Thessalonica, the Christian shoemaker George encounters a tribe of polytheist centaurs, and is puzzled that one of their number shares a name with the Christian hero St. Demetrius. He is quite sobered to learn that both centaur and saint ultimately derive their name from the ancient goddess.


Dionysus (Διόνυσος), also called Bacchus, was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Ancient Greek and Roman mythology. His name in Linear B tablets shows he was worshiped c. 1500–1100 BC by Mycenaean Greeks: other traces of Dionysian-type cult have been found in ancient Minoan Crete. His origins are uncertain, and his cults took many forms; some are described by ancient sources as Thracian, others as Greek. The different cults' descriptions of Dionysus vary enough so that some may be considered wholly different characters: in some cults, he arrives from the east, as an Asiatic foreigner; in others, from Ethiopia in the South. He is a god of epiphany, "the god that comes", and his "foreignness" as an arriving outsider-god may be inherent and essential to his cults. He is a major, popular figure of Greek mythology and religion, and is included in some lists of the twelve Olympians. Dionysus was the last god to be accepted into Mount Olympus.

In the somewhat henotheistic world of Thessalonica, Bacchus is believed to be at large somewhere in the wilderness of Greece in AD 597.[6] In Household Gods, two other Roman wine gods - Liber and Libera - make brief appearances as POVs, and express irritation that Dionysus is the only wine god that 20th-century pop culture remembers. Dionysus/Bacchus is not mentioned at any other point in either novel.

See also


In 16th century demonology, Elelogap or Elcogap is a water demon, a servitor of Agaliarept and Taralimal, but who is under the command of Sammael. Elelogap causes floods and tsunamis.

In The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump, Elelogap is one of three water demons bound to a pact with the Angels City Fire Department. Unlike Vepar, Elelogap and Focalor do not play a direct role in the novel.[7]


In the religion of Gaul, Epona was a protector of horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules. She was particularly a goddess of fertility, as shown by her attributes of a patera, cornucopia, ears of grain and the presence of foals in some sculptures. She and her horses might also have guided souls to the afterlife. After Gaul's conquest by the Roman Empire, the worship of Epona became widespread in the Empire between the first and third centuries AD; this is unusual for a Celtic deity, most of whom were associated with specific localities.

In the Videssos Cycle, the Gaulish chieftain Viridovix names Epona as one of his preferred deities, and dedicates prayers and vows to her on several occasions.

In Give Me Back My Legions!, Vala Numonius, attempting to escape from the Teutoburg Forest massacre, decides that he is beyond Jupiter's wavelength, and attempts to pray to Epona instead, because Gaul is closer than Italy. It does him no good.


In 16th century demon guidebooks, Focalor, Forcalor, or Furcalor is a powerful Great Duke of Hell, commanding three or thirty legions of spirits. Focalor appears in the form of a man with a griffin's wings, kills men, drowns them, and overthrows warships; but if commanded by the conjurer he will not harm any man or thing. Focalor has power over wind and sea, and had hoped to return to heaven after one thousand years, but he was deceived in his hope. One of the three archdemons, Lucifuge Rofocale, has his second name as an anagram of Focalor, implying an intellectual relationship.

In The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump, Focalor is one of three water demons bound to a pact with the Angels City Fire Department. Unlike Vepar, Focalor and Elelogap do not play a direct role in the novel.[8]


In addition to his background role in "Myth Manners' Guide to Greek Missology," Prince Ganymede is referenced in Ruled Britannia by Christopher Marlowe, who points out that the ancient romances approving his affair with Jupiter, show that not all societies regard homosexual acts as an abomination.


Hahgwehdiyu (also Hawenneyu, Ha-Wen-Neyu, Rawenniyo, or Hawenniyo) is the Iroquois god of goodness and light, as well as a creator god. He and his twin brother Hahgwehdaetgah, the god of evil, were children of Atahensic (or in some versions her daughter, the Earth Mother), whom Hahgwehdaetgah killed in childbirth.

Hahgwehdiyu created the world from his own body and that of his mother's. His outstretched palm became the sky, his mother's head the Sun, and her breasts became the Moon and stars. He made her body the Earth, into which he planted a seed, which grew into the maize plant.

In The Two Georges, some Iroquois characters from The Six Nations revere Hawenneyu. A tenet of their religion holds that George Washington, a former Governor-General of the North American Union who protected Iroquois sovereignty, was the only Caucasian admitted to Hawenneyu's heaven.


Hercules is the Roman name for the Ancient Greek divine hero Heracles (Ἡρακλῆς), who was the son of Zeus (or Jupiter) and the mortal Alcmene. In classical mythology, Hercules is famous for his strength and for his numerous far-ranging adventures. The best known Hercules story is that of the Twelve Labors, which he performed as penance for crimes which his aunt Hera had entrapped him into committing.

The second labor was to slay the Lernaean Hydra. The difficulty was that upon cutting off each of its heads he found that two grew back, an expression of the hopelessness of such a struggle for any but the hero. In Days of Infamy: End of the Beginning, Commander Minoru Genda reflects on the difficulty of defeating the Americans, telling his friend Lt. Commander Mitsuo Fuchida of a western legend where the dragon grows two heads every time the hero cuts off one.[9]

The fifth labor is to clean the Augean Stables, one of the more humorous and undignified of the Twelve Labors. In The Guns of the South, Robert E. Lee thinks that not even Hercules could clean Arlington House after three years of Union occupation.[10] In "Uncle Alf", Feldwebel Adolf Hitler wishes he could cleanse Lille the way Hercules cleansed the Stables.[11]

The eleventh labor is to retrieve the Golden Apples of the Hesperides. Part of this labor involves holding up the sky in place of the Titan Atlas. In The Two Georges, following the battle between lawmen and criminals at Buckley Bay, Thomas Bushell feels like Hercules holding up the sky.[12]


In addition to his presence in Turtledove fantasy works, Hermes, aka Mercury, has some significant references in stories set in the "natural" world. In "Must and Shall," a piece of American money bearing Mercury's image is regarded as acceptable tender by neo-Confederate fanatics, who cannot abide touching a coin showing the face of Abraham Lincoln.


Ishtar is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess associated with love, beauty, sex, war, justice and political power. She was originally worshiped in Sumer under the name Inanna, and was later worshipped by the Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians under the name Ishtar. Her analogs in other cultures include the Greek Aphrodite and the Roman Venus.

Inanna/Ishtar appears in more myths than any other Sumerian deity. Her most famous myth is the story of her descent into and return from Kur, the ancient Sumerian Underworld, a myth later echoed by the harrowing of Hades/Hell by Greek Orpheus and Christian Jesus.

In "Gilgamesh and the Homeboys," the titular king wonders if Ishtar's raid on the underworld is what has caused him to appear alive in 20th-century Los Angeles.[13]


Romanized Isis from a 2nd-century temple.
For the modern terrorist "nation" sometimes known as ISIS, see Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Isis (Ancient Greek: Ἶσις, original Egyptian pronunciation more likely "Aset" or "Iset") is a goddess from the polytheistic pantheon of Egypt. She was first worshiped in Ancient Egyptian religion, and later her worship spread throughout the Roman Empire and the greater Greco-Roman world. Isis is still widely worshiped by many pagans today in diverse religious contexts; including a number of distinct pagan religions, the modern Goddess movement, and interfaith organizations such as the Fellowship of Isis.

Isis was worshiped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the patroness of nature and magic. In her most famous myth, Isis gathered the scattered body parts of her murdered husband Osiris and magically restored him to life. After the suppression of pagan religions in the late 4th century, victorious Christianity appropriated the image of Isis protecting her son Horus for icons of the Virgin Mary cradling the infant Jesus, an aspect which had not previously been emphasized in Christian culture.

Throughout Colonization, Monique Dutourd wants to write a treatise on the history of Isis-worship in Roman Gaul. As this is an obscure and trivial part of history, she can never find anyone interested enough to endorse the project.

In Household Gods, Nicole Gunther learns about Isis from a priestess who presides over the funerals of pestilence victims in AD 170. Nicole is pleased that Isis seems to be a deity for women only, to counterbalance the god Mithras who seems to be for men only. Nicole, a lapsed Catholic, is also a little irked at first that images of Isis seem to be rip-offs of Virgin Mary images, but then realizes that those images of Mary post-date her borrowed lifetime.


Jupiter, aka Jove, was the Roman counterpart of the Ancient Greek chief god Zeus. He has been referenced in a number of Turtledove works.

In Supervolcano: Eruption, Bryce Miller and Marcus Wilson bond over a joke about Jupiter Pluvius, "the "Roman rain god known only to classics students and old-time baseball writers."[14]

In "Death in Vesunna," Larcius Afer believes that Jupiter has struck a man down with his lightning bolt when he inspects the mysterious death of Clodius Eprius. Dr. Kleandros, who knows the god as Zeus, considers this unlikely, as the deity had not intervened to slay wicked Roman Emperors of the past, such as Caligula and Nero.

In Ruled Britannia, Christopher Marlowe refers to the ancient romances approving Jove's love for Ganymede, to show that homosexual acts have not always been regarded as abominations.

Gunpowder Empire is set in a world where the Roman Empire never embraced Christianity nor had a decline and fall, so Jupiter is still widely worshiped in the late 21st century.

In The Videssos Cycle, some of the Roman characters swear by Jove or Jupiter. Even Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, an acknowledged agnostic, does so out of habit on occasion.

In "Gentlemen of the Shade," Titus the vampire exclaims "By Jove!" on occasion. While this is not unusual for a posh Victorian Londoner, the fact that Titus is an immortal native of the Roman Empire gives the phrase special meaning from his mouth.[15]

In Give Me Back My Legions!, Vala Numonius, attempting to escape from the Teutoburg Forest massacre, decides that he is beyond Jupiter's wavelength, and attempts to pray to the Gaulish goddess Epona instead.


Loki is a god in Norse mythology. Classical sources are contradictory regarding Loki, who sometimes assists the Asgardian gods and sometimes behaves in a malicious manner towards them. Loki is a shape shifter and has appeared in the form of a salmon, a female horse, a fly, and possibly an elderly woman. Loki's positive relations with the Asgardians end when he is convicted as an accessory to the murder of Balder. In the Ragnarök narrative, Loki escapes from prison and defects to the giants, and he and Heimdall slay each other.

In the world of The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump, Loki, along with numerous gods from varied pantheons, apparently exists as a real person. He is briefly alluded to as a suspect in the Devonshire dump disaster (due to the presence of Loki's Cobold Works), but is quickly determined to be a red herring, and plays no role in the plot.


In the Odyssey, the lotus-eaters (Greek: λωτοφάγοι, lōtophagoi) are a race of people living on an island dominated by lotus plants. The lotus fruits and flowers are the primary food of the island and have a narcotic effect, causing the inhabitants to sleep in peaceful apathy. Later Greek writers identified the lotus-eaters' island as Djerba, off the coast of Tunisia. "Lotus-eater" has come to denote a person who spends their time indulging in pleasure and luxury, rather than dealing with practical concerns.

In "The Horse of Bronze," lotus-eaters are listed among the groups with which the centaurs are already familiar.[16] This is a bit odd, as the story revolves around centaurs' being unfamiliar with humans, and the lotus-eaters have only been depicted as normal humans in the ancient writings.


In addition to a significant reference in Gunpowder Empire, Mithras is referenced in other works involving the Roman Empire.

In Household Gods, where a few Carnuntum residents, including ex-soldier Titus Calidius Severus, swear by him. Nicole Gunther approves of what little Mithraic doctrine she hears about, but is irritated that Mithras seems to be a deity for men only.

In "Merchants of Discord," Quintus Vestinus Corvus and Calpurnius Firmus remark on how Christian rituals, which they have only dimly heard about, sound a bit like Mithraic rites.[17]

The god Thimras in "Running of the Bulls" is based on Mithras.


In addition to his appearance in Laura Frankos' "The Old Grind," the Norse/Germanic chief god Odin/Wotan is referenced in a few Turtledove short works.

In "No Period", the narrator envisions a world in which the Seleucid Empire defeated the Maccabees, ending Judaism and pre-empting Christianity, leaving him a Zeus worshipper and his ex-wife a Wotan worshipper.[18]

In "The Yorkshire Mammoth," Yorkshire veterinarian Wotan Rengaw is named for Wotan's portrayal in Richard Wagner's Ring operas. This is part of a multilayered gag which references a character point in James Herriot's Yorkshire novels, of which the story is a pastiche.


Procrustes (Προκρούστης) was a son of Poseidon with a stronghold on Mount Korydallos at Erineus, on the sacred way between Athens and Eleusis. There he had a bed, in which he invited every passer-by to spend the night, and where he set to work on them with his smith's hammer, to stretch them to fit. In later tellings, if the guest proved too tall, Procrustes would amputate the excess length; nobody ever fit the bed exactly. Procrustes continued his reign of terror until he was captured by Theseus, travelling to Athens along the sacred way, who "fitted" Procrustes to his own bed.

In "Audubon in Atlantis," John Audubon reflects that the double elephant folio was large enough to show almost all birds and beasts life-size, but he had to paint some with unnatural twists or bent necks to fit them on the pages' Procrustean beds.[19]


In the mythology of Ancient Greece, Prometheus is a Titan, culture hero, and trickster figure who is credited with the creation of man from clay, and who defies the gods by stealing fire and giving it to humanity, an act that enabled progress and civilization. Prometheus is known for his intelligence and as a champion of mankind. As punishment, Prometheus was bound to a rock and his liver was eaten daily by an eagle; it grew back each night. In some stories, Prometheus is freed at last by the hero Heracles (Hercules).

In Turtledove's work, Prometheus is referenced as a central metaphor of certain human achievements. Throughout Worldwar, Prometheus' accomplishment is acknowledged whenever another human nation acquires the atomic bomb. In A Different Flesh, the sims' ongoing attempts to make fire evoke a similar metaphor.

An eagle gnawing at Prometheus' liver is used as a metaphor of various human ailments. In Worldwar, Jens Larssen thinks of it as a symbol of being on the losing end of a romantic triangle. In Opening Atlantis: Nouveau Redon, Roland Kersauzon points out that it can be more than a metaphor in the wilderness of Atlantis, where red-crested eagles are in the habit of attacking humans.[20]


Serapis (Σέραπις) or Sarapis (Σάραπις), was a Greco-Egyptian deity. The cult of Serapis was introduced during the third century BC on the orders of Pharaoh Ptolemy I of Egypt as a means to unify the Greeks and Egyptians in his realm. Serapis was a syncretistic deity derived from the worship of the Egyptian Osiris and Apis, with a fair amount of Greek Zeus, and also gained attributes from other deities, such as chthonic powers linked to the Greek Hades and Demeter, and benevolence linked to Dionysus. Serapis continued to increase in popularity during the Roman Empire, often replacing Osiris as the consort of Isis in temples outside Egypt. The Romans often identified Serapis with Jupiter. The cult survived until all forms of pagan religion were suppressed under Theodosius I in AD 391.

In St. Oswald's Niche, the archaeological expedition which includes Matthew Jonas finds an elaborate head from a Roman deity statue in the ruins of Eboracum. While most team members agree that it represents Serapis, there is some debate that it could be Jupiter-Helios, or any number of similar deities which arose from Roman syncretism and cultural appropriation.[21]


In Norse mythology, Thor (Old Norse: Þórr), called Donner (Thunder) in some subcultures, is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and also hallowing and fertility. He is usually considered to be the son of Odin. Thor is a prominently mentioned god throughout the recorded history of the Germanic tribes, from the Roman occupation of regions of Germania, to the tribal expansions of the Migration Period, to his high popularity during the Viking Age, when, in the face of the process of the Christianization of Scandinavia, emblems of his hammer, Mjölnir, were worn and Norse pagan personal names containing the name of the god bear witness to his popularity. Like other Germanic deities, veneration of Thor is revived in the modern period in Heathenry.

In the Agent of Byzantium story "Unholy Trinity," Thor-worship has survived into the 13th century in unlikely places. Wighard of Angleland, despite holding high political office in a Christian kingdom, is a Norse polytheist who dedicates his oaths to Thor.[22]

Trojan War

In ancient Greek mythology, the Trojan War was fought in the late 13th or early 12th century BC, waged against the city of Troy by the Achaean (Greek) alliance after Prince Paris of Troy took Queen Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. It resulted in the destruction of the once-powerful Trojan nation, and something of a Pyrrhic victory for the Greeks. The war is one of the most important events in Greek mythology and has been narrated through many works of Greek literature, most notably Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. Episodes from the war provided material for other Greek authors, and for Roman poets including Vergil and Ovid.

Since the 1870s, archaeological expeditions to the site of Hissarlik, generally agreed to be the Troy of legend, have uncovered evidence that the city was heavily damaged by barbarian invasions during the relevant time period. The precise degree to which the historical conflict resembled its literary depiction remains a matter of conjecture.

While there are countless references to the Trojan War in Turtledove's work, most are merely incidental.

In Frankos' "One Touch of Hippolyta," Harmothoe states that a number of her direct ancestors perished in the Trojan War, and that the memory of the war was very important to her Amazon tribe in her original lifetime.

In Thessalonica, George encounters a few centaurs alive in AD 597, who are old enough to remember the Trojan War.


Zalmoxis (Greek: Ζάλμοξις) is a supposed divinity of the Getae and Dacians (a people of the lower Danube), mentioned by Herodotus in his Histories, Book IV, 93–96, written before 425 BC.

According to Jordanes' Getica, he was a learned man, philosopher, before whom, two other learned men existed, by the names of Zeuta and Deceneus.

In Gunpowder Empire, Zalmoxis is among the pantheon acknowledged at the ecumenical temple in Polisso, in the Dacia Province of the Roman Empire in AD 2095.[23]


Zeus, the chief god of the Ancient Greek pantheon, appears directly in "Myth Manners' Guide to Greek Missology," and has a background role as a missing person in Thessalonica. He is also referenced somewhat less significantly in other Turtledove works.

In "The Daimon", Zeus is called upon by many Greeks during their prayers. Even Alkibiades, who generally disdains worship, readily swears by Zeus when it suited his purposes.[24]

In After the Downfall, the mysterious artifact that transports Hasso Pemsel cross-time is from Zeus' (fictional) temple in Delphi.[25] However, the world to which Hasso travels has nothing to do with Ancient Greek mythology, and Zeus, along with any other Greek plot elements, promptly disappears from the story.

In "Death in Vesunna," Larcius Afer believes that Jupiter has struck a man down with his lightning bolt when he inspects the mysterious death of Clodius Eprius. Dr. Kleandros, who knows the god as Zeus, considers this unlikely, as the deity had not intervened to slay wicked Roman Emperors of the past, such as Caligula and Nero.

In Liberating Atlantis, Colonel Balthasar Sinapis has a distinctive mannerism which reminds Consul Jeremiah Stafford of Zeus as described in the Iliad. Stafford's colleague Leland Newton shares this impression, perhaps at a subconscious level.

In "No Period", the unnamed narrator contemplates whether a world in which the Seleucid Empire defeated the Maccabees, ending Judaism and pre-empting Christianity, leaving him a Zeus-worshipper and his ex-wife a Wotan-worshipper.[26]


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