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Cultura, Biodiversidad & Viajes sostenibles
+34 623 48 52 24 info@volcanocare.com

Legends, myths and Etna

Etna and the ancient myths.

The Greek story about Hephaistos is part of the myths told about Etna, he was supposedly chased from Mount Olympus after a bad fight with Jupiter.
During this fall, he fell on an island, creating a deep hole in a high mountain. He then decided to use this mountain as a forge, which is why Etna is now exploding with sparks of fire!

Another Greek myth is linked to Typheus. He is punished for defying Jupiter and then condemned to support Sicily forever: his feet are said to be bound on Cape Lilibeo, his right arm tied to Cape Faro or Peloro and his left arm underneath, on Cape Passero. His head under Mount Etna, when the volcano rumbles and erupts, is the protest of Typheus.

The shepherd Acis, in love with the sea nymph Galatea, is also part of the myths and legends about Mount Etna.
Cyclop Polyphemus opposed the two lovers and, to have the beautiful girl all to himself, killed Acis by throwing huge rocks at him. Polyphemus is Etna.
His one eye represents the glowing light of the crater and sometimes he still throws huge dangerous stones into the sky.

Contemporary Legends and Etna

New legends have developed about the shape of certain rocks, events or eruptions.
The story of the Pious Brothers (this is the name of the two twin hornitos located on the northern side of the volcano): the legend tells that they were two young brothers who, caught at high altitude by a terrible eruption, faced the lava to save their parents.
Once with their parents, they could no longer run and the lava almost reached them. The young men knelt down and pleaded with the gods and miraculously the lava split into two arms, sparing them and creating an island where the family could wait out the eruption.

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