Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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Third wonder of the ancient world that has correlation to Greek mythology is the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus.

Artemis (Roman: Diana) was one of the most widely venerated of the ancient Greek deities. She was the goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women.

The Temple of Artemis was a Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis. It was located in Ephesus (near the modern town of Selçuk in present-day Turkey). One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it was completely rebuilt three times before its eventual destruction in 401 AD. Only foundations and sculptural fragments of the latest of the temples at the site remain.

Here are several stamps depicting the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus:

Mali, 1971: In front of the temple, sculpture of god Apollo, the twin of goddess Artemis. The stamp designed by Pierre Gandon and engraved by Jacques Combet.

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Hungary, 1980:

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Congo PR, 1978:

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Mongolia, 1990:

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Cuba, 1997:

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The stamps of Mongolia and Cuba issued each as one of a set depicting the seven wonders of the ancient world. Here are the complete sets:

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Seven Wonders Mythology Stamps


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Seven Wonders Mythology Stamps

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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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Today is "Appreciate A Dragon Day!"

Here is an image of a stamp depicting "Miss Rotary" standing by a staircase featuring ornamental dragons at the former Wat Ho Phraeko Buddhist temple in Vientiane, and the Rotary International emblem, designed by Laotian artist Ky Phung Chaleun, engraved by French artist Jean Miermont (1915-1973), and issued by Laos on June 28, 1971 as one of a set of two stamps commemorating the 50th anniversary of Rotary International, Scott No. 215, plus a photo of a relevant detail of the dragon staircase.

- nethryk


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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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Thanks, Nethryk!! I glad you chose a Laotian stamp to celebrate the "Dragon Day"!! :)


In my last three posts I posted stamps depicting three out of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Those three wonders have strong connection to Greek mythology. There are more four wonders that, IMO, have no connection to mythology but I decided to post them only to complete the list of the seven wonders. I choose to post the stamps of Congo and, of course, Mali, which I find the most attractive and beautiful set depicting the wonders.

Let's start with the stamps of Congo DR issued in 1978:

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were built in the ancient city of Babylon, near present-day Hillah, in Iraq. they are ascending series of tiered gardens containing all manner of trees, shrubs, and vines. The gardens were said to have looked like a large green mountain constructed of mud bricks.

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The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex bordering what is now El Giza, Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact.

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The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus or Tomb of Mausolus was a tomb built between 353 and 350 BC at Halicarnassus (present Bodrum, Turkey) for Mausolus, a satrap in the Persian Empire, and his sister-wife Artemisia II of Caria. The structure was designed by the Greek architects Satyros and Pythius of Priene.

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The Lighthouse of Alexandria, sometimes called the Pharos of Alexandria was a lighthouse built by the Ptolemaic Kingdom between 280 and 247 BC which was between 393 and 450 ft (120 and 137 m) tall. It was one of the tallest man-made structures in the world for many centuries.

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And to the set issued by Mali....
Last edited by Eli on 22 Jan 2016 01:34, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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(continue from previous post):

Here are the rest four wonders of the ancient world on stamps issued by in 1971:

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Designed by Pierre Gandon and engraved by Michel Monvoisin:

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The Great Pyramid of Giza
Designed by Pierre Gandon and engraved by Roger Fenneteaux:

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The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus or Tomb of Mausolus
Designed by Pierre Gandon and engraved by Pierre Béquet:

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The Lighthouse of Alexandria or the Pharos of Alexandria
Designed and engraved by Pierre Gandon:

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That's all!! these stamps complete the list of the seven wonders of the ancient world!!

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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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The Ramayana Epic (V)
Underwater duel between Hanuman and Matsya:

The monkey army, headed by Hanuman, started to construct a bridge to cross the sea to Lanka, in order to rescue Sita. The bridge is known as Rama Setu.

Ravana the demon, asked his mermaid daughter, Matsya, to disturb building the bridge. Thus, the fish removed the stones and prevented the construction. When Hanuman realized it, he fought Matsya, Ravana’s daughter. During the duel, she fall in love with him and ordered to stop destroy the bridge.

Here are several stamps and items depicting the duel between Hanuman and the mermaid Matsya:

Kingdom of Cambodia, issued on April 13, 2006 in a set entitled "Reamker (Khmer Ramayana version)":

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Both the right stamp and the cachet of this FDC depicting the duel between Hanuman and Matsya, issued by the Kingdom of Laos on February 5, 1971:

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Kingdom of Cambodia, national ballet dancers, issued on October 9, 2001:

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This stamp, issued by Laos on June 16, 2006, depicting sculptures from the Xieng Khouane Buddha Park near Vientiane. The left side of the stamp depicting Hanuman and Matsya's stone relief from the near temple (see enlargement detail below):

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Sanskrit - Matsya, Thai - Suphan Mat-Cha and Lao - Nang Matsa.

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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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Greek Mythology Stamps
The Feast of Achelous

When Theseus returned home from the Calydonian chase, he arrived to river Achelous. The river has flooded and Achelous, the supreme river god, warned him not to cross it and invited him and his companions to stay at his home until the river flooding subsides. Achelous has prepared a feast to his guests, in which the food was served by the Nymphs.

"The Feast of Achelous" is a painting by Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640), depicting Theseus (in red) and his companions sitting with Achelous while the Nymphs serve them.

"The Feast of Achelous" - Nevis, 1991:

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The set of stamps depicting different details from the painting:

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Please note that the painting on the SS is a mirror image of the original painting:

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Greek Mythology Stamps - The rape of Hippodameia

Hippodameia was a daughter of Atrax, and the bride of King Pirithous of the Lapiths (legendary people of Greek mythology).

During the wedding of Hippodamia and Pirithous, the barbaric centaurs who had been invited became wildly intoxicated, attacking the other guests and even the hosts. The centaur Eurytus attempted to carry off the bride, and a battle between the Lapiths and the centaurs ensued.

"The rape of Hippodameia" is a famous painting by Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640). Here is an engraved se-tenant issued by Spain in 1977 depicting the painting and the artist:

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I enlarged the part of the se-tenant depicting the painting to show the delicate engraving of the stamps;

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The (nearly) complete painting is depicted on SS issued by Antigua and Barbuda in 1991:

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Chinese Mythology Stamps
Fu Lu Shou – Deities of Good Fortune, Prosperity and Longevity

Fu Lu Shou refers to the concept of Good Fortune (Fu), Prosperity (Lu), and Longevity (Shou). This Taoist concept is thought to date back to the Ming Dynasty when the Fu Star, Lu Star and Shou Star were considered to be personified deities of these attributes respectively. The term is commonly used in Chinese culture to denote the three attributes of a good life.

Macau issued May 9, 1994 a set of three stamps and SS depicting the deities:

Fu star - The star of good fortune:

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Lu star - The star of prosperity, rank, and influence:

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Shou star - The star of longevity:

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In 2010, Thailand issued also a set of three stamps and SS depicting these deities.

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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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Roman Mythology Stamps
The Rape of the Sabine Women - by J. L. David

The Rape of the Sabine Women is an episode in the legendary history of Rome. Seeking wives in order to found families, the Romans negotiated unsuccessfully with the Sabines, who populated the area. The Sabines feared the emergence of a rival society and refused to allow their women to marry the Romans. Consequently, the Romans planned to abduct Sabine women during a festival of Neptune Equester. At the festival, Romulus gave a signal, at which the Romans grabbed the Sabine women and fought off the Sabine men. The indignant abductees were soon implored by Romulus to accept Roman husbands.

One of the famous definitive set of France is the Sabine by Pierre Gandon:

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The stamp design is a detail from the painting show an episode from the combat between the Romans and the Sabines by the French painter Jacques-Louis David (1748 – 1825). Here is a Maxi Card depicting the complete painting exhibited in the Louvre Museum:

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Jacques-Louis David painted the other end of the story, when the women intervene to reconcile the warring parties. “The Sabine Women Enforcing Peace by Running Between the Combatants” (also known as “The Intervention of the Sabine Women” ) was completed in 1799. Here is a Maxi Card depicting detail from the painting in which the Sabine figure is in the center:

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David had worked on it from 1796, when France was at war with other European nations after a period of civil conflict culminating in the Reign of Terror and the Thermidorian Reaction, during which David himself had been imprisoned as a supporter of Robespierre. After David’s estranged wife visited him in jail, he conceived the idea of telling the story, to honor his wife, with the theme being love prevailing over conflict. The painting was also seen as a plea for the people to reunite after the bloodshed of the revolution.

The last Maxi Card (and my favorite one) depicting the central figure of the Sabine woman:

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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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According to legend, a mermaid was swimming in the Vistula river when she stopped to rest on a riverbank near the Old Town of Warsaw, Poland, and decided to stay. Local fishermen noticed that something was creating waves, tangling nets, and releasing their fish. They planned to trap the offender, but fell in love with her upon hearing her singing. Later, a rich merchant trapped the mermaid and imprisoned her. Hearing her cries, the fishermen rescued her, and ever since, the mermaid, armed with a sword and a shield, has been ready to help protect the city and its residents. Here is an image of a bronze statue of Syrenka Warszawska ("Mermaid of Warsaw"), designed by E. John, engraved by Marian Romuald Polak, and issued by Poland on May 3, 1955, Scott No. 668, plus a photo of the monument statue (1939), sculpted by Polish artist Ludwika Nitschowa (1889-1989), and located by the Vistula River in Warsaw. Note: Nitschowa's model for this statue was Krystyna Krahelska (aka "Danuta," 1914-1944), a Polish poet, ethnographer, member of the Home Army, and a participant in the Warsaw Uprising.

- nethryk


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Roman Mythology Stamps
The Rape of the Sabine Women - by Peter Paul Rubens

A scene from the above Roman legend "the rape of the Sabine women" was painted by the painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640). The painting is exhibited at the National Gallery, London. Details from this artwork are depicted on three stamps issued by Antigua and Barbuda in 1991:

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Mythology Stamps

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Mythology Stamps


At the festival, Romulus gave a signal, at which the Romans grabbed the Sabine women and fought off the Sabine men. This stamp depicting detail shows Romulus gives the signal to the Romans:

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Mythology Stamps


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Greek Mythology Stamps - Iris, the Messenger of the gods

Iris is the personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. She is also known as one of the goddesses of the sea and the sky. Iris links the gods to humanity. She travels with the speed of wind from one end of the world to the other, and into the depths of the sea and the underworld.

Here are several engraved stamps depicting Iris, the messenger of the gods:


France, airmail stamp, designed and engraved by Pierre Gandon and issued in 1946:

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France, type of Iris definitive stamp, designed and engraved by Georges Hourriez. The set issued during the 1930-40's:

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Greece, definitive stamp depicting Iris holding caduceus. The definitive set of 16 stamps was issued during 1911-21:

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Here are the rest of the Iris stamps in the set (the rest stamps depicting Hermes):

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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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In Icelandic folklore, the real life Icelandic priest and scholar Sæmundur fróði ("Sæmundur the Learned," 1056–1133) is a larger-than-life character who repeatedly tricks the Devil into doing his bidding. In one famous story Sæmundur made a pact with the Devil that the Devil should bring him home to Iceland from Europe on the back of a seal. Sæmundur escaped a diabolical end when, on arrival, he hit the seal on the head with the Bible, killing it, and then stepped safely ashore. Here is an image of a stamp depicting a sculpture of Sæmundur fróði killing the diabolical seal with a Bible, by Icelandic sculptor Ásmundur Sveinsson (1893-1982), printed by photogravure, and issued by Iceland on March 12, 1974, Scott No.470, Facit No. 531, plus a photo of the original work of art located in front of the main building of the University of Iceland.

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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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Greek Mythology Stamps - Hermes, the Messenger of the gods

Hermes (Roman: Mercury), the Olympian god, is the messenger of the gods to humans and a guide to the Underworld. He is also the patron of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them, of shepherds and cowherds, of the cunning of thieves, of orators and wit, of literature and poets, of athletics and sports, of weights and measures, of inventions, and of commerce in general. His symbols include tortoise, rooster, winged sandals, winged hat and caduceus.

Greece issued several types of definitive stamps depicting Hermes. The first and the famous of them is the "Large Hermes Head". These stamps were used for more than 25 years, from 1861 to 1886, before to be used again, overprinted, in 1900/1901. Stamps were designed and engraved by Chief Engraver of the Paris Mint, Désiré-Albert Barre:

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"Small Hermes Head" is another type of definitive stamps, engraved by H. Hendrickx and issued from 1886 to 1899:

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Hermes, the messenger of the Olympian gods, is wearing his sandals. This design is based on an ancient coin from Sybrita, Crete. Stamps were used as definitive from 1911 to 1926:

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Another Hermes design depicted on another type of definitive stamps is taken also from ancient coin from Sybrita, Crete, 4th cent. BCE. Stamps were used as definitive from 1911 to 1926:

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There are other types of Hermes designs used for definitive stamps issued by Greece and Crete as well as by other countries like France. I will show them next time.

One of the best Hermes stamps issued by Greece, IMO, is this commemorative stamp, engraved and printed by Bradbury, Wilkinson and Co., London and issued on October 10, 1933 as one of a set of 7 stamps commemorating the Aeroespresso, airline between Italy, Greece and Turkey (in the same set of the iris stamp I posted above):

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Many thanks to Helios (Nikos) who sent me the two Hermes head stamps as a giveaway and help me identifying the designs taken from the Cretan coins. :)

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In Japanese folklore, a shachihoko is a mythological animal with the head of a tiger and the body of a carp. It was believed that this animal could cause the rain to fall, and as such, temples and castles were often adorned with roof ornaments (shibi) crafted in the form of a shachihoko, in order to protect them from fire. Here is an image of a stamp depicting Nagoya Castle and a shachihoko, printed by photogravure, and issued by Japan (Aichi Prefecture) on August 1, 1989, Scott No. Z9, plus an image of a photo of a shochihoko float used in a Karatsu Kunchi festival.

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Greek Mythology Stamps - Hero and Leander

Hero was a priestess of Aphrodite who dwelt in a tower in Sestos, on one side of the Dardanelles and Leander was a man from Abydos on the opposite side. Leander fell in love with Hero and swam every night across the Hellespont to be with her. Hero lighted a lamp at the top of the tower to guide his way. One stormy night, the waves tossed Leander in the sea and the breezes blew out Hero's light. Leander lost his way, and was drowned. Hero threw herself from the tower in grief and died as well.

The Primate's Palace is a neoclassical palace in the Old Town of Bratislava, Slovakia. During reconstruction in 1903, a series of six unknown tapestries were found behind a wall, depicting the myth of Hero and Leander and their tragic love. The tapestries were designed by Francis Cleyn (1582–1658) and woven in the 1630s at the royal weaving workshop at Mortlake, near London. In years 1974-6, Czechoslovakia issued a set of six stamps, engraved by Miloš Ondráček, depicting details of the tapestries.

Meeting of Hero and Leander & Hero watching Leander swimming back home – Issued September 25, 1974:

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Janthe (only part of her is shown) announces Leander's arrival to Hero & Hero welcoming Leander - Issued August 29, 1974:

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Hero and Eros, god of love, mourning near Leander's body – both stamps depicting details of the same tapestry – Issued May 9, 1976:

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Click here to see the complete spectacular set of the tapestries or, better visit Bratislava!

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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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The above myth about Hero and Leander and their tragic love is the subject of Peter Paul Rubens' (1577-1640) painting "Hero and Leander". Here is a SS issued by Bhutan in 1991 depicting this painting. It shows Leander's body floating on the stormy waves and surrounded by mourning Nereids (Sea Nymphs) while the despairing Hero is casting herself into the sea to join him in death (right, in red dress):

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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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Rama and Sita, the incarnations (respectively) of the gods Vishnu and Lakshmi, are the protagonists in the love story of the Hindu epic Ramayana. Here is an image of a stamp depicting Rama and Sita, printed by lithography, and issued by Nepal on April 18, 1967, Scott No. 200, plus an image of another illustration of the loving couple.

- nethryk

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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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The Ramayana Epic (VI)
War Scenes:

During the war between Rama's and Ravana's armies, Ravana erected a large parasol in order to darken the sky over Rama's army. Sugriva enlarged his body, chanted a mantra and broke the parasol.

Ravana's parasol, Emerald Buddha temple wall painting, Bangkok, issued by Thailand on July 17, 1973:

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During the war, Hanuman placed the pavilion of Rama in his mouth to protect him but Mahiravan (Mayarab), Ravana's brother, King of underworld, was able to kidnapped Rama.

Hanuman protecting Rama in his mouth, Emerald Buddha temple wall painting, Bangkok, issued by Thailand on April 3, 2015:

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Mahiravan (Mayarab) Khon mask, issued by Thailand on July 1, 1981:

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Indrajit, Ravana's son, joined the battle when all his brothers and Kumbakharna had been killed by Rama’s army. Indrajit fought with Rama's army for three days and was killed by Lakshmana with the help of Garuda and Hanuman.

Indrajit Khon mask, issued by Thailand on July 1, 1981:

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Angada, Indrajit’s half-brother, receives Indrajit's head on a cup after he was killed in the battle, carved capital, Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang, Laos, issued by the Kingdom of Laos on January 10, 1970:

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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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Greek Mythology Stamps
The Abduction of Ganymede by Zeus

Ganymede was a Trojan prince and was held to be outstandingly beautiful. Zeus, father of the gods, fell in love with him and decided to bring him to the Mount Olympus. Transforming himself into an eagle, Zeus carried off the youth to the god's mountain.

"The abduction of Ganymede", mosaic in the House of Dionysos, Paphos Archaeological Park, Cyprus - issued by Cyprus on November 21, 1966:

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"The abduction of Ganymede" by Antonio Allegri da Correggio (1489 – 1534) - issued by Nicaragua on May 17, 1984 to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the death of Correggio:

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When Ganymede arrived to the Olympus, he took over the office of a cup-bearer from Hebe, the goddess of youth and daughter of Hera. The painting "the abduction of Ganymede" by P. P. Rubens (1577 – 1640) depicting Ganymede arriving to the Olympus and receiving the golden drinking cup from Hebe as a sign that he is taking over her office (upper right corner). Here is the painting on a stamp issued by the Gambia:

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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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Greek Mythology Stamps
Talos - The defender of Crete

Talos was a giant automaton (a self-operating machine, "robot") made of bronze. He was made, either by Zeus himself or on Zeus’s orders, by the ingenious Daedalus or Hephaestus, god of fire and iron. Talos protected Europa in Crete from pirates and invaders. He circled the island's shores three times daily.

Winged Talos ('ΤΑΛΩΝ') armed with a stone, silver didrachma from Phaistos, Crete (ca. 300/280-270 BC), Cabinet des Médailles, Paris - issued by Crete on March 1, 1900:

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Princess Europa riding on Zeus as a bull (embossed) - issued by Switzerland in 1995:

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Talos had one vein, which went from his neck to his ankle, bound shut by only one bronze nail. The Argo ship, transporting Jason and the Argonauts, approached Crete after obtaining the Golden Fleece. As guardian of the island, Talos kept the Argo at bay by hurling great boulders at it. The ship was in danger of sinking when Medea took over. She began to talk to Talos. Chanting spells and promising him eternal life, she deceived the guileless Talos and persuaded him to remove the bronze peg from his ankle. All his “blood” ran out onto the ground and he fell lifeless.

The death of Talos (I assume that Jason and Medea are on the background), a 4th-century BC crater, Jatta National Archaeological Museum, Ruvo di Puglia, Italy - issued by Greece on October 20, 2009:

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Greek Mythology Stamps - Hercules fights the Hydra

The Lernaean Hydra was a serpentine water monster living in the lake of Lerna. One of Hercules (Heracles) labors was to slay the Hydra, which Hera had raised to slay him. Hercules fired flaming arrows into the Hydra's lair. He then confronted the Hydra, wielding a harvesting sickle, a sword or his famed club.

Realizing that he could not defeat the Hydra in this way, Hercules called on his nephew Iolaus for help. Hercules cut off each head and Iolaus cauterized the open stumps. At the end of the battle, Hercules cut off the Hydra's one immortal head with a golden sword given to him by Athena.


Hercules fighting the Hydra, designed by Adalbert Pilch, engraved by Rudolph Toth and issued by Austria on September 28, 1966 as one of a set commemorating the Austrian national library. This stamp dedicated to the map collection of the library:

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Hercules fighting the Hydra, designed by Pierrette Lambert, engraved by Claude Haley and issued by Monaco on November 5, 1981:

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Hercules and the Hydra, painting by by Antonio Pollaiuolo (1429/1433 – 1498), The Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy - issued by Italy on January 3, 1998:

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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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Greek Mythology Stamps – Leda and the Swan

Leda was daughter of the Aetolian King Thestius, and wife of King Tyndareus of Sparta. Leda was a beautiful woman and was admired by Zeus, who seduced her in the guise of a swan. As a swan, Zeus fell into her arms for protection from a pursuing eagle.

Leda, 4th century mosaic from Paphos, Cyprus – issued by Cyprus on December 29, 1989:

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Greek Mythology Stamps Leda


“Leda and the Swan” painting by Antonio Allegri da Correggio (1489 – 1534), art gallery, Berlin, Germany - issued by Nicaragua on May 17, 1984 to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the death of Correggio:

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Greek Mythology Stamps Leda


“Spiridon Leda” copy probably by Francesco Melzi (1491 - 1568/1570) after Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519), Florence museum, Italy – issued by Paraguay on March 15, 1973:

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Greek Mythology Stamps Leda


“Leda and the Swan” (left) painting by Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640), Old masters art gallery, Dresden, Germany – issued by East Germany on June 28, 1977 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the birth of Rubens:

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Leda consummation, on the same night as she lay with her husband Tyndareus, resulted in two eggs from which hatched Helen (beautiful "Helen of Troy”), Clytemnestra, and Castor and Pollux, also known as the Dioscuri means children of god. Zeus commemorated the birth of Helen and his love to Leda by creating the constellation Cygnus, the Swan, in the sky.

Constellation Cygnus (Swan), issued by Japan on July 7, 2011:

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Greek Mythology Stamps Leda

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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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Yeshhhhhh!!!! :)

I was very lucky and won, after hard competition, this great cover sent registered from Thessaloniki, Greece to Prague, Czechoslovakia:

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Arrival postmark in Vienna on the back:

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On the front, a red mark:

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I posted a question about this mark and received this information from nigelc:

"In August 1936, Greece introduced exchange control inspection of international postal items and telegrams. This lasted until the war started when the inspections became censorship."

Thank you very much, Nigel, for this information.

Back to mythology: I purchased this cover since it franked with a complete set of airmail stamps issued in 1935, depicting Greek mythology figures, all have connection to flight. I posted scans of these extraordinary stamps in high resolution in the first post of this thread. Here is the group again:
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To all Jewish members, I wish Happy Passover
חג פסח שמח
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Javanese and Balinese mythology - Batara Kala

Batara Kala is the god of the underworld in traditional Javanese and Balinese mythology. He is also the god of time and destruction, who devours unlucky people.

Batara Kala is the cause of the solar and lunar eclipses. As the god of darkness and the underworld, Batara Kala is the sworn enemy of the god of the Moon, Batara Candra and god of the Sun, Batara Surya. Sometimes he will try to devour the Sun or Moon, causing an eclipse. When this eclipse happens, Javanese villagers will try to save the Sun or Moon by offering sacrifices and banging lesung (traditional rice hulling equipment) or slit drums, to cause noise and make Batara Kala vomit. This is thought to release the Sun or Moon and stop the eclipse.


To publicize the total solar eclipse occurred in Indonesia, a se-tenant issued on February 23, 2016 depicting Batara Kala swallowing and then vomiting the Sun. The Sun on the stamps glows in the dark:

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This legend resembles to the legend of Rahu about the origin of the eclipse in Buddhist mythology.

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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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Here is an image of a stamp designed after a fresco in Prague Castle entitled Hermathena ("Hermes and Athena," c. 1585), by Flemish painter and sculptor Bartholomeus Spranger (1546-1611), engraved by Josef Herčík (1922-1999), and issued by Czechoslovakia on May 7, 1970, Scott No. 1690, plus an image of the original work of art. Note that the design on the stamp is a mirror image of the actual fresco. Oops! :?:

- nethryk


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Greek Mythology Stamps - Hercules fighting Antaeus

Antaeus was the son of Poseidon and Gaia. Antaeus would challenge all passers-by to wrestling matches and remained invincible as long as he remained in contact with his mother, the earth.

Antaeus fought Hercules as he was on his way to the Garden of Hesperides as his 11th Labor. Hercules realized that he could not beat Antaeus by throwing or pinning him. Instead, he held him aloft and then crushed him to death in a bearhug.


Here are two stamps depicting the wrestling between Hercules and Antaeus. The design based on an ancient Greek vase artwork, painted by Euphronios in 515-510 BC., Louvre museum, Paris.

First stamp issued by Greece on March, 1906 to publicize the the 10th anniversary of the Olympic Games. This stamp depicting the entire artwork seen on the vase. Note the skin of the lion of Nemea on the left:

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Second stamp engraved by Jacques Combet and issued by Mauritania on March 8, 1971 to publicize the Para-Olympic Games:

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Mercury, Roman god of commerce and communication, holding fasces, designed by Italian artist Manlio Parrini (1901-1968), printed by photogravure, and issued for use in Italian Colonies on April 28, 1934 as one of a set of four similar stamps publicizing the 15th annual Trade Fair in Milan, Scott No. 42.

- nethryk


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Roman Mythology Stamps – goddess Flora

In Roman mythology, Flora was a goddess of flowers and the season of spring, a symbol for nature and flowers. Here are several stamps depicting flora in artworks:

"Flora", by Tiziano Vecellio (1485-1576), Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy. Issued by Hungary on August 27, 1976 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of Titian:

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"The Triumph of Flora", stone relief by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1827-1875), Pavillon de Flore, Louvre Palace, Paris. Engraved by Eugène Lacaque and issued by France on on July 4, 1970:


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Detail of Flora from "La Primavera" by Sandro Botticelli (1445 – 1510). Engraved by Rita Morena and issued by Italy on January 2, 2002 as one of a "Women in Art" definitive set of stamps:

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The Ramayana Epic (VII)
War Scenes and Rama fights Ravana:

When Rama's army landed the shore of Lanka, Hanuman sneaked into Ravana's palace and began destroying it, but was caught. Ravana ordered his servants to wrap Hanuman's tail in sheets and set it on fire. When he was paraded in the city, Hanuman freed himself, and, jumping from one house to the next, he set the island of Lanka on fire.

Hanuman monkey-god burn down Lanka city with his burning tail, issued by Indonesia on January 24, 2016 to celebrate the 2016 Year of the Monkey:

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Hanuman jumping over Lanka with his burning tail, post card issued in India, early 20th century:

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During the war, Lord Rama Rama and Lakshmana were seriously wounded. Hanuman flew to the Himalayas to bring the medicinal herb Sanjiwani, but he could not identify it so he carried the entire mountain and brought it to Rama.

Hanuman flew to the Himalayas, post card issued in India, 1904:

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Slowly the battle turned in favour of Rama and the monkey's army, until finally Rama fought Ravana and killed him. Cries of triumph were sounded everywhere and the monkeys that died on the battle were brought back to life by the Gods.

Rama fighting Ravana, issued by Thailand on August 3, 2005 to publicize the national stamp exhibition Thaipex '05:

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Rama killing the ten-headed Ravana, Maxicard with stamp issued by India on July 27, 2007:

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The victorious Lord Rama and Hanuman monkey-god, wood relief, entrance of the King Sisavang Vong funerary chapel, Luang Prabang, Laos - personal stamp from Israel, 2010:

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Greek Mythology Stamps – Hermes and the Infant Dionysus
The Hermes Praxiteles Statue

Dionysus (Roman: Bacchus) is the god of the grape harvest, wine making and wine, fertility, theater and religious ecstasy. Dionysus parents were the mortal Semele and Zeus, father of the gods. Hera discovered the affair while Semele was pregnant and planted seeds of doubt in her mind. Semele demanded Zeus to reveal himself to her but she died when he came to her since mortals could not look upon an undisguised god without dying. Zeus rescued the infant Dionysus and gave him to the care of Hermes (Mercury), the messenger of the gods.

"Hermes and the Infant Dionysus" is one of the famous sculptures throughout the world made by Praxiteles of Athens, the most renowned of the Attic sculptors of the 4th century BC. The sculpture was discovered at Olympia in 1877 and is exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, Greece. Here is a group of stamps depicting Hermes Praxiteles:


The complete sculpture, Designed by Prof. Émile Gilliéron, engraved by Louis-Eugène Mouchon and issued by Greece on March 25, 1896 to publicize the first modern Olympic Games held in Athens. One of the jewels in my collection!!!

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Head of Hermes Praxiteles, definitive stamp issued by Crete in 1908:

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"East and West", stamp depicting head of Buddha sculpture symbolizing the Eastern culture and head of Hermes Praxiteles sculpture symbolizing the Western culture, designed and engraved by Claude Hertenberger and issued by France for the UNESCO office on January 21, 1961:

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Maximum card with one of the UNESCO stamps depicting a photo of the complete Hermes Praxiteles sculpture:

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Note: the color of the Greek stamp (the first) is green but my scanner turned the color to brown. Looking at many web sites, I realized that most of them depicting brown scans of the stamp which is not the real color.

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Greek Mythology Stamps - Daedalus and Icarus

Daedalus, Icarus’s father, was a skillful craftsman and artist. He created the Labyrinth on Crete, in which the Minotaur (part man, part bull) was kept. Daedalus was shut up in a tower to prevent his knowledge of his Labyrinth from spreading to the public. He could not leave Crete by sea, as Minos, King of Crete, kept strict watch on all vessels, permitting none to sail without being carefully searched. Since Minos controlled the land and sea routes, Daedalus created wings for himself and his young son Icarus to fly from the island.

Daedalus creating the wings, airmail stamp issued by Greece in 1935:

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Mythology Stamps Icarus

Daedalus tied feathers together, secured the feathers at their midpoints with string and at their bases with wax, and gave the whole a gentle curvature like the wings of a bird. He next equipped his son in the same manner, and taught him how to fly. When both were prepared for flight, Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too high, because the heat of the sun would melt the wax, nor too low, because the sea foam would soak the feathers.

Daedalus ties Icarus with the wings, painting by Charles Le Brun (1619–1690), issued by Ghana on March 18, 2004:

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Mythology Stamps Icarus

This stamp was issued in a sheet consisted of four stamps celebrating 300th anniversary foundation of St. Petersburg, Russia:

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Daedalus and Icarus had passed Samos, Delos and Lebynthos by the time Icarus, forgetting himself, began to soar upward toward the sun.

Icarus flying through the sky, issued by Hungary in 1924:

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Icarus flying toward the Sun, Engraved and printed by Bradbury, Wilkinson and Co., London and issued on October 10, 1933 as one of a set of 7 stamps commemorating the Aeroespresso, airline between Italy, Greece and Turkey. I know many stamps depicting Icarus but I think this is the most impressive of them:

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Mythology Stamps Icarus

The blazing sun softened the wax which held the feathers together and they came off. Icarus quickly fell in the sea and drowned. His father cried, bitterly lamenting his own arts, and called the land near the place where Icarus fell into the ocean Icaria in memory of his child. Some time later, the goddess Athena visited Daedalus and gave him wings, telling him to fly like a god.

The fall of Icarus, issued by Hungary on May 11, 1968 in memory of the astronaut and cosmonauts E. White, J. Gagarin and V. Komarov, who were killed during their space missions:

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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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Here is an image of a stamp depicting an ancient Roman mural of Orpheus, a legendary musician, poet, and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth, charming various beasts with his lyre-playing, engraved by Pablo Sampedro Molero (1935- ), and issued by Spain on May 26, 1976 as one of a set of three stamps commemorating the 2,000th anniversary of the founding of Zaragoza (aka Saragossa), Scott No. 1946, Edifil No. 2321.

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Greek Mythology Stamps - Zeus and Io

Io, daughter of Inachus, King of Argos, was a priestess of the Goddess Hera, wife of Zeus (Jupiter). Io was a beautiful woman and Zeus fell in love with her. One day, he transformed himself to a cloud and made love with her.

Jupiter (Zeus) as a cloud and Io, painting by Correggio (1489 – 1534), Issued by Manama in 1968. Note: I usually don’t post stamps from the Gulf emirates like Manama, Fujeira, Ajman etc. and this stamp is exceptional since I don’t know other stamp in the world depicting Zeus and Io except this one:

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After the affair, Zeus turned Io into a cow in order to hide her from his wife Hera. But the deception failed, and Hera asked Zeus to give her the cow as a present, which he did. Hera then sent Argus Panoptes, who had 100 eyes, to watch Io and prevent Zeus from visiting her. Zeus sent Hermes (Mercury) to distract and eventually slay Argus. Hermes did so by first lulling Argus to sleep by playing the panpipes and telling stories. After Hermes killed Argus, Zeus freed Io, still in the form of a cow. To commemorate Argus, Hera took his eyes and set them into the tail of her favorite bird, the peacock.

Mercury, Argus and Io as a cow, painting by Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), issued on June 28, 1977 by East Germany to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the birth of Rubens:

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Hera, as a revenge, sent a horsefly to drive the cow crazy. She wandered the world and during her journeys, she came across Prometheus while chained, who gave her hope. He predicted that although she would have to wander for many years, she would eventually be changed back into human form and would bear a child. He predicted that a descendant of this child would be a great hero and would set him free.

Promotheus, issued on May 19, 1997 by Greece as one of Europa set:

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Because of Io journeys, many geographical features were named after her, including the Ionian Sea, and the Bosporus (which means ford of the cow). Later, the fly drove Io to Egypt, where Zeus found her and turned her back into a human. She soon gave birth to a son, Epaphus, and eleven generations later, his descendant Heracles would set Prometheus free.

Map of the Ionian sea and the Bosporus, engraved and printed by Bradbury, Wilkinson and Co., London and issued on October 10, 1933 by Greece:

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The Greeks identified the Egyptian goddess Isis (right) with Io and the Egyptian sacred cow Apis, god of strength and fertility (left) with Epaphus (left), issued on May 5, 1989 by the Vatican to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Egyptian museum in the Vatican State:

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These stamps issued in SS:

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Roman Mythology Stamps - Bacchanalia

In Roman mythology, Bacchus (Greek: Dionysus) is the god of the grape harvest, wine making and wine, fertility, theater and religious ecstasy.

"Bacchus", painting by the Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610), the Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy. Issued by Paraguay on March 15, 1973:

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The Bacchanalia were Roman festivals of Bacchus, based on various ecstatic elements of the Greek Dionysia. They seem to have been popular, and well-organised, throughout the central and southern Italian peninsula. They were almost certainly associated with Rome's native cult of Liber (god of viticulture and wine, fertility and freedom).

The feast of Bacchus or the triumph of Bacchus, depicting Bacchus surrounded by drunks, painting by the Spanish painter Diego Velázquez (1599 -1660), Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain. Issued by Paraguay on December 16, 1970:

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"Bacchanal of the Andrians" depicting the arrival of Bacchus on the island of Andros, where his followers await him in varying degrees of inebriation, as they drink from the island's river flowing not with water, but with wine - Painting by the Italian painter Tiziano Vecellio (1488-1576), Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain. Issued by Spain on March 28, 1978:

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I enlarged the part of the se-tenant depicting the painting to show the delicate engraving of the stamps:

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Roman Mythology Stamps - Bacchanalia

The above painting "The Bacchanal of the Andrians" by Tiziano Vecellio (1488-1576), known as Titian, has been admired by other artists including Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) who copied it. Rubens painting is depicted on the following stamps issued by Antigua and Barbuda in 1991:

Rubens' painting:

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Details from Rubens painting:

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The Bacchanal of the Andrians, by Tiziano Vecellio (left) and by Rubens (right):

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The Ramayana Epic (VIII)
Rama and Sita returns Ayodhya:

When the war ended and Ravana and his army were defeated, Lord Rama met Sita again and they returned Ayodhya.

Rama meets Sita, issued by Thailand on on August 3, 2005 to publicize the national stamp exhibition Thaipex '05:

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Rama and Sita, painting from Bali, Indonesia, exhibited in Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures, Prague - issued by the Czech Republic on March 18, 2009:

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Rama and Sita, traditional Thai puppet theater, three dimensional stamp issued by Thailand on August 4, 2009:

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On meeting Sita, Rama asked her to undergo Agni Pariksha to prove her purity, since she stayed in the demons city with Ravana. Agni, the fire god, attested Sita purity. Rama and Sita returned Ayodhya, where their coronation was performed.

Agni, the fire god, wood carving from Wat Xiengthong, Luang Prabang, Laos - designed by Sa-Nguan Rodboon, engraved by Robert Cami and issued by Laos on February 21, 1967:

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Sita prays before Agni Pariksha, issued by Laos on March 28, 1969:

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Coronation of Lord Rama and Sita in Ayodhya, Post card sent from Sambhar, India, 1905:

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Greek Mythology Stamps - Oedipus and the Sphinx

A sphinx is a mythical creature with, at a minimum, the head of a human and the body of a lion. In Greek tradition, it has the head of a human, the haunches of a lion, and sometimes the wings of a bird.

Sphinx, ivory plaque, Salamis, 7th century BC, issued by Cyprus on September 15, 1980 as one of a set "Archaeological Treasures":

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The Sphinx is said to have guarded the entrance to the Greek city of Thebes, and to have asked a riddle of travelers to allow them passage: "What has four legs in the morning, two at noon, and three at night?". The Sphinx strangled and devoured anyone unable to answer.

Oedipus was a son of King Laius and Queen Jocasta. Laius wished to thwart a prophecy, so he left Oedipus to die on a mountainside. However, the baby was found by shepherds and raised by King Polybus and Queen Merope. When he grew up, he went to Thebes, and met the Sphinx. Oedipus solved the Sphinx's riddle by answering: "Man—who crawls on all fours as a baby, then walks on two feet as an adult, and then uses a walking stick in old age". The Sphinx then threw himself from an high rock and Oedipus became the king of Thebes.


Oedipus and the Sphinx, Red Figure Kylix, c. 470 BC, from Vulci, Italy, Vatican Museums - issued by the Vatican on November 10, 1983 as one of a set "The Vatican Collection":

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Here is a Maxi card with the same stamp:

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"Oedipus and the Sphinx", by the French Neoclassical painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780 – 1867), issued by Dahomey on April 10, 1967 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Ingres. Please, note the bones and remains of people killed by the Sphinx, on the bottom left corner of the painting:

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Greek Mythology Stamps - The Abduction of Europa

Europa was a beautiful princess, who was abducted by Zeus in a form of white bull to the island of Crete. Zeus crowned Europa as a Queen of Crete and named the continent Europe after her name.

To publicize the international stamp exhibition Europhilex '02, Cyprus issued on October 22, 2002, a set of six stamps show archaeological findings, all depicting the scene of the abduction of Europa by Zeus:

Cypriot scarab seal-stone of semi-precious, 5th century BC, Ashmolean museum, Oxford:

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Silver coin of Stasioikos I, King of ancient Marion, 5th century BC, Cyprus museum and bank of Cyprus museum of coinage:

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Cypriot clay lamp, Roman period, 1st century BC, Cyprus museum:

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Cypriot clay lamp, Roman period, 2nd century AD, Cyprus museum:

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Cypriot clay statuette with the oldest representation of the abduction of Europa, 7th to 6th century BC, Cyprus museum:

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Silver coin of Timochares, King of ancient Marion, End of 5th century to beginning of 4th century BC, Cyprus museum and British museum:

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Maxicard of the Timochares' coin:

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The Timochares' coin is depicted on a special postmark applied in the first day of issue:

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Modern coin of 50 cent issued in 2002 depicting the figure of Europa from Timochares' ancient coin:

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To see the complete set of maxicards click here.

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Chinese Mythology Stamps - Chinese gods

Here is a set of three stamps issued on April 30, 1996 by Macau depicting Chinese gods:

Tou Tei, known as Tudigong ("Lord of the Soil and the Ground"), is a Chinese tutelary deity of a natural locality in Chinese folk religion and Taoism. Many Tou Tei worshippers supplicate with the intention of gaining wealth or maintaining their physical health. He is also traditionally worshipped before the burial of deceased persons to thank him for using his land to return their bodies to the earth:

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Choi San ("God of Wealth") is the Chinese god of prosperity worshiped in the Chinese folk religion and Taoism. Choi San's name is often invoked during the Chinese New Year celebrations. He is often depicted riding a black tiger and holding a golden rod. He may also be depicted with an iron tool capable of turning stone and iron into gold:

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Chou Kuan is the Kitchen god in Chinese folk religion, Chinese mythology and Taoism. He is the most important of a plethora of Chinese domestic gods that protect the hearth and family. It is believed that on the twenty third day of the twelfth lunar month, just before Chinese New Year he returns to Heaven to report the activities of every household over the past year to the Jade Emperor (Yu Huang). The Jade Emperor, emperor of the heavens, either rewards or punishes a family based on Zao Jun's yearly report:

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Issued also in souvenir sheet:

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African Mythology Stamps

A set of six stamps depicting African myths and legends was issued by Botswana on September 25, 2012. Here are three of them:

Kgwanyape is a dragon living in the Mosope River. The villagers avoid crossing the Mosope River, particularly at night where the river joins the Phuting mountain for fear of the Kgwanyape. During the day, the Kgwanyape turns into a white lady and sunbathes in the river:

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Tumtumbolosa is the creation goddess of the Gikwe people. Upon the death of Tumtumbolosa, her stomach bloated until it exploded, and the universe and its contents poured out. After the celestial bodies poured out, all other terrestrial beings came forth: insects, mammals, birds, reptiles and humans:

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Matsieng was a giant and ancestor of the Tswana. He led his people and animals from the center of the earth to inhabit the world. This happened long ago when the rocks of the earth were still soft and the footprints of Matsieng, his people and their animals are outlined in the ancient sandstone rock at this site:

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Will post the rest of the stamps next time.

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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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Here are the rest three stamps from the set issued by Botswana on September 25, 2012. I don't have any information about these myths:

How death came to the world?

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All the stars in heaven:

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Nonyane:

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Greek Mythology Stamps - Laocoön and His Sons

Laocoön was a Trojan priest. During the Trojan War, when the Greeks sent the wooden horse, he tried to convince the Trojans to burn it to ensure it was not a trick. He was punished by goddess Athena who sent two giant sea serpents to strangle and kill him and his two sons.

The statue of "Laocoön and His Sons", by Agesander, Athenodoros and Polydorus, was excavated in Rome in 1506 and placed on public display in the Vatican. It showing Laocoön and his sons Antiphantes and Thymbraeus being attacked by the sea serpents.


Head of Laocoön, detail from the statue "Laocoön and His Sons", issued by the Vatican on September 27, 1977 as one of a set "Art treasures of the Vatican":

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Here is a maxicard with the same Vatican stamp, depicting part of the statue. The postmark depicting the head of Laocoön, as in the stamp:

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The complete statue is depicted on a stamp from Paraguay issued on October 16, 1967:

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Greek Mythology Stamps
The Judgment of Paris

Zeus held a banquet in the marriage celebration of Paleus and Thetis. Eris, goddess of discord, was uninvited but she arrived at the celebration and threw a golden apple upon which was the inscription "for the fairest one". Three goddesses claimed the apple: Hera, Athena and Aphrodite. Zeus declared that Paris would judge their cases. All three appeared to Paris on Mount Ida and each attempted to bribe him with her power. Hera offered to make him a King, Athena offered wisdom and skill in war and Aphrodite offered him the love of Helen of Troy, wife of King Menelaus, the world's most beautiful woman. Paris accepted Aphrodite gift, gave her the apple and received Helen (or, according to the Iliad version, abducted her).

I have several stamps depicting "The Judgment of Paris", but I think the following one, depicting a painting on enamel plaque by the French painter Léonard Limousin (1505 - 1577) is the best of them. The stamp issued by France on February 27, 2015, also is SS:

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Eli
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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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The Ramayana Epic (IX)
The Story of Sita and the Fate of Rama

Despite the agni pariksha of Sita, rumors about her purity were spreading in Ayodhya. Rama banished Sita to the forest, where the sage Valmiki provided shelter in his Ashrama (hermitage). There she gave birth to twin boys, Lava and Kusha. They sang the Ramayana in the presence of Rama. When they recited about Sita's exile, Rama became grievous, and Valmiki produced Sita. She called upon the Earth, her mother, to receive her and as the ground opened, she vanished into it. Rama learnt that Lava and Kusha are his children. Later a messenger from the gods informed Rama that the mission of his incarnation was over. Rama returned to his celestial abode.

Lava and Kusha, issued by the Kingdom of Cambodia on April 13, 2006:

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Lord Rama and Sita, designed by Marc Leguay, engraved by Jean Pheulpin and issued by the Kingdom of Laos on October 28, 1955:

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Indra and Shiva were concerned about the quarrel between Rama and Sita and summoned them for a council. They were reminded that they had been sent by the gods to restore peace.

god Indra, stone relief, Wat Phu Champassak temple, issued by Laos on February 14, 2003:

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god Shiva, issued by Suriname on June 21, 1967 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Surinam cultural centre:

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The main lesson of the Ramayana Epic is:
ALWAYS GOOD WINS OVER EVIL
The Ramayana Ballet, a set of stamps designed by Marc Leguay, engraved by Jean Pheulpin and issued by the Kingdom of Laos on October 28, 1955 on a cover sent registered to Italy:
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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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The Iliad - The great Greek epic by Homer (I)
The Apotheosis of Homer

The Iliad is an ancient Greek epic poem attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states, the Iliad tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles.

The Iliad is paired with something of a sequel, the Odyssey, also attributed to Homer. Along with the Odyssey, the Iliad is among the oldest extant works of Western literature, and its written version is usually dated to around the 8th century BC.

Although the story covers only a few weeks in the final year of the war, the Iliad mentions or alludes to many of the Greek legends about the siege; the earlier events, such as the gathering of warriors for the siege, the cause of the war, and related concerns tend to appear near the beginning. Then the epic narrative takes up events prophesied for the future, such as Achilles' looming death and the sack of Troy, although the narrative ends before these events take place.

Homer is best known as the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey. He was believed by the ancient Greeks to have been the first and greatest of the epic poets.

Homer, Statue from the Hellenistic period, issued by Greece on December 19, 1983:

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The Apotheosis of Homer is a common scene in classical and neo-classical art, showing the poet Homer's apotheosis or elevation to divine status.

The apotheosis of Homer in front of the Zeus, Apollo and the Muses, detail from the Archelaos relief. Two figures behind Homer, Chronos (Time) and Oikumene (World), crowning him with a wreath, issued by Greece on December 19, 1983:

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To read the list of the figures in this artwork click here.

"The apotheosis of Homer" by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867), depicting Homer, surrounded by many artists (even modern like Shakespeare and Mozart), been crowned by Nike. Beneath Homer, two seated figures representing the Iliad and the Odyssey epics. I don't know a stamp depicting the complete painting but Mauritania issued on September 2, 1968, two stamps depicting details show the allegories of the Iliad and the Odyssey:

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To read the list of the figures on this painting click here.

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Legends of Old Samoan, issued by Samoa on August 13, 1974:

Tigilau is the guardian of the sharks and fishes. One of the famous legends is about Tigilau and the turtles: ‘Ae of Tonga comes to visit Tigilau and returns with Tigilau’s two turtles, Toga, whom he kills, and Utuutu, who gets away. A demon named Supa catches ‘Ae and brings him back to Samoa to be killed by Tigilau.

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Pili is the black lizard god who was the son of Tagaloa and the ancestor of the four main ruling families of Samoa. Though his primary form was that of a large lizard Pili, like all the other gods, could take human form at will.

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Sina and the origin of the coconut tree: on the island of Savai'i in Samoa lived a beautiful girl called Sina who had a eel which fell in love with her. This made the girl afraid, hence she run away and sought refuge in a village. One day, when Sina went to the pool to get water she saw the eel staring up at her. Angry, she cried "You stare at me, with eyes like a demon!" The village chiefs came and killed the eel. As the fish was dying, it asked Sina to plant its head in the ground. Sina followed his request, and planted its head in the ground. A coconut tree grew from the ground. When the husk is removed from a coconut, there are three round marks which appear like the face of the fish with two eyes and a mouth. One of the marks is pierced for drinking the coconut, and hence when Sina takes a drink, she is kissing the eel.

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Nafanua is the Samoan goddess of war. She was the daughter of Savea, the god who ruled over the land of the dead, and of one of the tattoo goddesses. Nafanua was born as a clot of blood and was thus thrown away by her mother. Savea found her and gave her life.

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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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Here are images of a souvenir sheet and the two stamps contained within it depicting mythological creatures from Norse folklore, designed by Anker Eli Petersen (1959- ), printed by lithography, and issued by Faroe Islands on March 29, 2006, Scott Nos. 471, 471a & 471b, Facit Nos. 570 & 571.

- nethryk

Nornur og Sjódreygil ("The Fates" and "Sea Ghost").
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Norns gathered around a sleeping child.
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Sjódreygil and seals.
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The Jātaka Legends - The Previous Life of Buddha

Jātaka refer to a collection of legends concerning the previous births of the Buddha as were told by the Buddha himself in his sermons to emphasize certain moral ways of life.

Asalha Puja is a festival celebrating the Buddha’s first sermon in which he set out to his five former associates the doctrine that had come to him following his enlightenment.


Here is a set of stamps issued by Thailand on July 19, 1997 to mark the Asalha Puja festival, depicting four different Jātaka legends. Stamp illustration are all mural paintings from Thai temples:

Mahosadha Jataka - the clever Sage
Stamp depicting Mahosadha representing the Kingdom of Mithila, talking to Kevatta, the Chief Emissary of the besieging army of several Kings, while discussing the terms of their detailed meeting outside the city fortifications shortly thereafter. Also seen on this stamp are images of the standards of the two armies and soldiers on both sides of the wall keeping guard:

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Mahosadha Jataka


Bhuridatta Jataka - the Naga Prince
The stamp depicting the huntsman and his son disturbing the Naga Prince Bhuridatta’s Meditation, as he is coiled around an abandoned anthill, capturing him and holding him in the basket shown on the side:

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Bhuridatta Jataka


Khandahala Jataka - the honorable Prince
The stamp depicting Khandahala sitting on the sacrificial pyre. Sakka, the King of the gods is striking the sacrificial pyre area with his thunderbolts with the King’s Royal umbrellas falling down and the citizens running helter-skelter, fearful for their lives:

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Khandahala Jataka


Narada Jataka - the great Brahma
The stamp depicting Ruja, the King’s morally conscious daughter praying to the Bodhisattva Narada, the present Brahma who is descending from Heavens to visit her father, the King and guide him back to the path of righteousness.

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Narada Jataka

General Information:
Buddha Images

Stamp information:
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Re: Mythologies of the World on Stamps

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Greek Mythology Stamps - Bellerophon and Pegasus

Bellerophon was born at Corinth and was the son of the mortal Eurynome by either her husband Glaucus, or Poseidon. Bellerophon was "the greatest hero and slayer of monsters, alongside Cadmus and Perseus, before the days of Heracles", and his greatest feat was killing the Chimera, a monster that Homer depicted with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail.

Bellerophon, issued by Greece on November 10, 1935:

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Bellerophon had murdered his brother, and in expiation of his crime arrived as a suppliant to Proetus, king in Tiryns. The king's wife took a fancy to Bellerophon, but when he rejected her, she accused him to ravish her. Proetus dared not satisfy his anger by killing a guest, so he sent Bellerophon to King Iobates his father-in-law in Lycia, and asked him to kill Bellerophon. Iobates too feared the wrath of the gods if he murdered a guest; so he sent Bellerophon on a mission that he deemed impossible: to kill the Chimera, living in neighboring Caria.

Polyeidos, a famous seer from Corinth, advised Bellerophon that he would have need of Pegasus, the winged horse, for his mission.

Proteus, Bellerophon and Pegasus, issued by Greece on June 8, 1992 to publicize the European Traffic Minister Conference:

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Bellerophon riding Pegasus in his way to his mission, issued by Greece on October 20, 2009:

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The Chimera was a fire-breathing monster whose make-up comprised the body of a goat, the head of a lion and the tail being a serpent. This monster had terrorized the nearby countryside. Bellerophon succeeded to kill the Chimera with the help of goddess Athena and Pegasus. Finally Bellerophon returned back and married the daughter of Iobates.

The bronze "Chimera of Arezzo" is an Etruscan statue found in 1553 in Arezzo, an ancient Etruscan and Roman city in Tuscany. It is exhibited in the Archaeological Museum, Florence, Italy.

Chimera of Arezzo, designed and engraved by Eros Donnini and issued by San Marino on September 16, 1971:

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Wikipedia, photographed by Sailko

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