Probably the most terrible thing that can happen withman is a loss of reason. Ancient people were so well aware of what happens to a poor fellow with whom such a misfortune will occur that they have devised a deity who punishes insanity for violating established laws and customs.
The ancient Greeks are not in this planthe goddess of madness of the Hellenes was called Mania. Once on the way from Arcadia to Messenia, in the place where Orestes, in punishment for the murder of his mother, was deprived of intelligence, there was a temple in which worshipers of this terrible goddess created their terrible rites.
Who is the Mania
The goddess of folly with the Greeks embodies allpossible forms of frenzy and insanity. According to their tradition, it refers to those who accidentally or intentionally dared to cross at least one of the existing laws or customs. The Greek goddess of insanity loves to instill in a person a great confidence in themselves, together with contempt for other gods and human traditions. Sometimes Mania instills a fierce desire to get something or passion. It is very easy for her to blind a person, and sometimes she can even bring her to a mental illness. Because of this, this goddess of insanity is somewhat reminiscent of the eumenid, the merciless and tireless goddesses of revenge who pursue their sacrifice not only on earth, but also in the underworld.
Origin and analogies of other nationalities
Originally Mania was considered the goddess of Etruscans,who lived in the I millennium BC. e. north-western part of the Apennine peninsula. Now in this territory there is an area of Italy called Tuscany. In these ancient tribes, the goddess of insanity was one of the most terrible evil rulers and was also a symbol of revenge. It was believed that the husband of Mania was the god Vulcan, and the children were the evil spirits of Mana, who were the personification of the male principle. This circumstance caused a great popularity of the cult, despite the fact that it was bloody and provided for human sacrifices. All this suggests that the loss of reason for the Etruscans was worse than death. By the way, the Etruscans also associated Mania with all the narcotic and intoxicating substances, which in those days were usually used in various ritual practices. In the Hellenes, the goddess of insanity also had a sufficient number of admirers. It was revered, despite the fact that the cult itself to many peoples of the Mediterranean inspired horror and rejection.
The Romans are no exception. They identified Mania with Medusa Gorgon, and also sacrificed her, expecting in return for protection from the dark underground spirits. In order to save their home, in Rome, above the doors hung its image. The analogue of the goddess of madness was also with our ancestors - ancient Rusich. The Slavs called it Mana or Magnya and considered something like an evil ghost, a ghost. According to the beliefs, he appeared in the form of an ugly distraught old woman, who killed her son and spent all her life forced to look for him. Most likely from this word the modern psychiatric term "mania", as well as all derivative words based on it, occurred.