Some people are interested in ancient mythology and love the stories handed down through the years about the Gods the Romans and Greeks worshipped.
Certain philatelists also collect stamps for this topic and many countries have issued stamps over the years commemorating the Gods.
A fine example is these never-issued colour proofs from Tunisia printed in 1947 which feature the Roman God of fresh water and the sea, Neptune.
It is amazing how the names of the gods have remained a part of the modern world. Two examples are the American space programmes Apollo and Mercury. Apollo was conceived in 1960 and replaced the earlier Mercury programme. Apollo has been variously recognised as a god of light and the sun, truth and prophecy, healing, plague, music and poetry. Mercury
Naturally, there have been many issues from Greece over the years, one of the most attractive being this set of nine engraved stamps issued in 1935. As they are airmail stamps, each stamp design has a connection to aviation.
Helios and the Chariot of the Sun
The messenger of the Gods, Iris
Deadalus and Icarus
The Goddess of Wisdom and War, Athena
Hermes, the messenger of the Gods
The abduction of Ganymede by Zeus, who is shown in the form of an eagle
Triptolemus, purported to have ridden his Chariot across Greece to educate the people in the art of agriculture
The great hero Bellerophon riding on Pegasus, presumably shortly before his downfall
And finally, Phrixos and his twin sister Helle
In 1976 Syria released these stamps depicting an ancient statue of the Greek goddess Nike, who personifies victory and also Hera, the goddess of women and marriage.
Below is her counterpart in the religion of ancient Rome, Juno.
The mythology behind the subjects on the stamps is complicated, but can be fascinating. We will certainly publish another article on the Gods of various cultures in the future.