Orion

orionOrion was a giant huntsman of great skills and ability to walk on water. This gift, of walking on water, came from his father Poseidon who was in the relationship with the eldest of gorgons called Euryale. Some sources even claim that he was born out of Gaea, when Zeus, Hermes and Poseidon urinated on a bull hide and buried it in the earth. And that is why his name was Orion (urine). Anyway, he was also thought to be very handsome individual, good company and, therefore, very popular among people. He was also a hunter and was a companion of goddess Artemis for a while. Upon his death, he was placed among stars and that is why the name rings a bell. We now know it as the constellation Orion.

Appearance in the works of art

There is an oil painting, made by Nicholas Poussin (shown below), where Orion is depicted three or four times bigger than anyone else. He is also holding a bow in his right hand. But on fountain in Messina, Italy, he is depicted as a grown man of normal size, wearing an armor and holding a shield in his hand.

Life in Chios

In his myth, Orion walked to the island of Chios where he fell in love with Merope, a daughter of king Oinopion. To hide his true intent, he joined king's hunters and served the king and his people. He was very successful at his job and managed to drive wild beasts off the island. He became very popular among people and wanted to propose Merope.giant orion However, the king wasn't pleased about the idea and notified the giant. Orion started drinking in sorrow and got himself extremely drunk. He then broke into princess' chambers and forced himself on her. Oinopion offered Dionysus a hefty ransom for delivering him an elixir which would put the giant into deep sleep. The god agreed and brought the elixir which was then served by the king to the giant. Once in deep stasis, Oinopion made his revenge by blinding Orion and casted him off the island. The hero then wandered across the sea and came to Lemnos, where Hephaestus had his forge. He had begged him for restoring his sight and, therefore, the god told his servant Cedalion to guide him to the farthest east, where sun-god Helios would restore his sight with his rays. Once his vision was restored, Orion travelled back to Greece, to Chios, seeking revenge. But he couldn't find Oinopion who had hidden himself in one of his deepest dungeons to escape the giant's wrath. The giant was getting bored, because he was unable to find the king, and eventually moved on.

Jealousy of Apollo

His path led him to Crete where he became a hunting companion of the goddess Artemis. They spent summer together, hunting and challenging each other in footrace, archery and storytelling. One day, Apollo was walking through the forest and found a campfire where his sister Artemis was sleeping next to Orion. He got mad and, out of the jealousy, planted a really bad dream to Orion and drove him mad. When Orion woke up, he threatened to kill every beast on earth. But Gaea couldn't let that happen and therefore she sent a gigantic scorpion to kill him. The giant was unable to pierce the armor of the creature and was consequently struck by a sting of the scorpion and died. However, there is another version of the story where sources claim that it was Apollo who lied to Artemis that Opos had attacked and raped one of her priestesses and was now swimming away from the incident. Artemis shot an arrow to the dot, where Apollo had pointed. And instead killing Opos, the arrow struck Orion, killing him on site.

Risen among starts

According to the first version of the story, the one, where giant scorpion kills him, Orion was then placed among stars by Zeus on Artemis's request. Zeus also added Scorpion among stars as a memorial to the hero's death.