Mythology Encyclopedia 146

quoting EIJUB ABELA in Zeitschrift des deutschen Paldstina-Vereins, VII (1885), p. II,).
The Guayquiris of Orinoco think that, when a woman has her period, everything upon
which she steps will die, and that if a man treads on the place where she has passed,
his legs will immediately swell up. (FRAZER, lb.)
In Brunswick people think that if a menstruous woman assists at the killing of a pig, the
pork will putrefy. (R. ANDREE, Braunschweiger Volkskunde, p. 291);
In the Greek island of Calymnos, it is believed that the presence of a menstruous
woman in a boat will raise storms. (W. R. PATON in Folklore, I (1890), p. 524).
According to Pliny, the touch of a menstruous woman turned wine to vinegar, blighted
crops, killed seedlings, blunted swords and razors, killed bees, brought down the fruit
from trees, caused mares to miscarry, and so forth. (PLINY, Nat. Hist., VII, 64sq., XXVIII,
77sq.)
Menstrual blood is believed to be a powerful means of inspiring love. (PLoss, Das
Weib, Vol. I, p. 444) ; cf. Ethnologie du Bengale, p. 79; JOLLY, Medicin, (Grundr. d.
Indo-Ar. Phil.), p. 50 VAN WATERS MIRIAM, The Adolescent Girl among Primitive
Peoples, p. 23 ; L. K. A. K. IVER, The Cochin Tribes and Castes, Vol. I, p. 203. Vide
Barrenness.
Mephistopheles: It is the name by which the Devil is called in Goethe’s Faust and in
Marlow’s Life and Death of Dr. Faustus.
Mer: Babyl. Myth. Another name for Adad.
Mercury: Rom. Myth. Son of Zeus, messenger of the Gods, and himself a god of commerce,
gain and eloquence. His worship was introduced into Rome from Southern Italy
as early as 495 B.C.
Mermaid: An imaginary species of beings supposed to inhabit the sea; they have the
head and trunk of a woman, the lower limbs being replaced by the tail of a fish, and are
often confused with the Sirens of Classical mythology. (LEHMANN, A.Z., p. 15; BARING-
GOULD, Cur. Myths., p. 508; CONWAY, Demonol., Vol. II, p. 218; THORPE, N.M.,
Vol. II, pp. 27, 28, 173; BASSETT, p. 171 et seq.)
If a fisherman meets a mermaid, he will catch no fish that day. (THORPE, op. Cit., p.
76).
Merman: The male counterpart of a mermaid.
Merrow: Irish Lore. A mermaid.
Meteor: Falling stars, eclipses, comets and other signs in the heavens portend the
death or fall of princes. (LEHMANN).
Midas: Gr. Myth. A king of Phrygia, who obtained from Bacchus the power of changing
everything he touched into gold. Even his food was changed into this metal the
moment he touched it. To cure him of this marvellous and fearful power, the god made

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