From the Archives: Mataios, Aniaros, and Oraios Part 3

From the Archives: Greek Mythology continues today, with the riveting conclusion to the scandalous story of Aphrodite and Mataios/Aniaros/Oraios/whatever the hell his name is now.

When Aphrodite returned to Cytherea and found Hera and the newly handsome Oraios, her love returned and she tried to take Oraios with her. The two goddesses argued fiercely with one another, screaming with fury and quarreling with one another over who Oraios loved more.

Oraios fled. The goddesses saw him and turned, both imploring him to come back to her, for she loved him more. Oraios prayed to all and any god to deliver him from his dilemma. Apollo took pity on him and transformed him into a falcon, but before he could fly away to safety, Hephaestus changed his form.

Oraios felt himself changing. Powerful wings shrunk and sharp talons changed into tiny claws. His huge hooked beak got smaller and smaller, the hook receding until it was gone. His magnificent golden-brown plumage turned brown and black, and he flew away, escaping the goddesses forever.

“No longer Mataios, or Oraios, for you are now neither vain nor handsome. Aniaros you are, and forever will be,” said Aphrodite sadly. She returned to Mount Olympus desolately, but as a memorial to her love she made the sparrow, for that was what Mataios had become, her bird.


  • Added paragraph breaks, since this whole thing was one blob.
  • A second transformation, then a third right after.
  • The description of becoming a sparrow is nice.
  • Adverb alert! “Sadly” immediately followed by “desolately”. At least I had a big vocabulary?
  • Oh, so I guess the assignment was to write a story explaining one of the symbols of a god/goddess? I remember there was also an earlier assignment that involved researching and graphically depicting (ie, drawing) all twelve major gods/goddesses of the pantheon with their associated animals, symbols, and epithets. So I guess this was an offshoot of that – a Just-So story for a Greek goddess.

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