User:Jahsonic/AHE/Greco-Roman/Narcissus and Hermaphroditus
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
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Narcissus and Hermaphroditus are well-known even today, they both live on in contemporary psychology and sexology. Hermaphroditus is a handsome deity worshiped by Salmacis, a nymph so in love with him that she first tries to rape him and when that fails desperately prays to the gods that they would be united forever. Her prayer is answered and they are fused in one body. If in one individual both male and female reproductive organs are found, the term hermaphroditism is used.
Narcissus is an equally a handsome young man who lives for the hunt. He has a made lots of hearts skip a beat with his exceptional beauty, but wants nothing of love and he rejects suitor haughtily and cruelly, a fate that would also befall the lovesick nymph Echo. One day his wanderings bring him to a sacred pond of crystal clear water. When he bends over, he sees his reflection in the water, but he thinks it is a beautiful water spirit that lives in the pond. He instantly falls in love with his own reflection and cannot bring himself to seperate from this beautiful apparition which disappears whenever he tries to touch it. Thus he slowly withers away altogether. To him we owe the term narcissism, coined by Freud to denote a excessive self-love.