World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Shade (mythology)

Article Id: WHEBN0006315018
Reproduction Date:

Title: Shade (mythology)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Ghosts in Mesopotamian religions, Ghosts in English-speaking cultures, Ghosts, Skia, Greek underworld
Collection: Ghosts, Greek Underworld, Hell, Mythological Archetypes
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Shade (mythology)

In literature and poetry, a shade (translating Greek σκιά,[1] Latin umbra[2]) can be taken to mean the spirit or ghost of a dead person, residing in the underworld. The image of an underworld where the dead live in shadow is common to the Ancient Near East, in Biblical Hebrew expressed by the term tsalmaveth, literally "death-shadow".[3] The Witch of Endor in the First Book of Samuel notably conjures the ghost (owb[4]) of Samuel.

Only select individuals are exempt from the fate of dwelling in shadow after death, ascending to the divine sphere. This is the apotheosis aspired to by kings claiming divinity, and reflected in the veneration of heroes. Plutarch relates how Alexander the Great was inconsolable after the death of Hephaistion up to the moment he received an oracle of Ammon confirming that the deceased was a hero, i.e. enjoyed the status of a divinity.[5]

Shades appear in Homer's the Odyssey, when Odysseus experiences a vision of Hades, and in the Aeneid, when Aeneas travels to the underworld. In the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, many of the dead are similarly referred to as shades (Italian ombra), including Dante's guide, Virgil.

The phrase 'peace to the/thy/her gentle shade' (and endless rest) is sometimes seen in epitaphs, and was used by Alexander Pope in his epitaph for Nicholas Rowe.

See also

References

  1. ^ Liddell & Scott entry
  2. ^ Lewis & Short
  3. ^ Gesenius
  4. ^ Gesenius
  5. ^ "Alexander's grief for him exceeded all reasonable measure. He ordered the manes of all the horses and mules to be cut off in sign of mourning, he struck off the battlements of all the neighbouring cities, crucified the unhappy physician, and would not permit the flute or any other musical instrument to be played throughout his camp, until a response came from the oracle of Ammon bidding him honour Hephæstion and offer sacrifice to him as to a hero." Parallel Lives, 72.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.