[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/feudalism_6304.jpg]]
[-[[caption-width-right:350:{{Ancient Rom|e}}an Floor mosaic at the [[http://www.ostia-antica.org/regio4/15/15-2.htm Baths of Musiciolus]] in Ostia, probably early 4th century CE]]-]

All of TheOldestOnesInTheBook first recorded after the invention of the Greek alphabet (c. 800 BCE) and before the fall of AncientRome (c. 476 CE), a period usually called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_antiquity Classical antiquity]]. Works from this period include:

* All ancient [[ClassicalMythology Greek and Roman]] myths, literature, and theatre.[[note]] Some of these stories may have originated before the Greeks invented their alphabet, but the only versions we have come from this period.[[/note]]
* Literature/TheBible[[note]] As the work page explains, some parts of the Torah/Pentateuch may originate from as early as 1000 BCE, but the dating is uncertain, and for simplicity's sake the whole Bible is included on this index.[[/note]]
* Most of ancient South Asian literature and HinduMythology, including:
** The Hindu Literature/{{Upanishads}}, Literature/{{Ramayana}}, Literature/{{Mahabharata}}, and Literature/BhagavadGita.
** The Panchatantra fables
** The plays of Kālidāsa
** The Buddhist epic ''Buddhacharita''
** The ''Literature/TwentyFiveTalesOfTheVetala''
* Most surviving examples of ancient Chinese literature, philosophy, and history date to this period:
** The ''Analects'' of Creator/{{Confucius}}
** The Daodejing by {{Laozi}} and other foundational texts of Taoism.
** ''Literature/TheArtOfWar'', probably by Sūn Zǐ (also spelled Sun Tzu).
** ''UsefulNotes/TheThirtySixStratagems'', usually attributed to Sūn Zǐ or Zhuge Liang.
* The Zoroastrian holy book, Avesta.
* The Manichean holy book, Shabuhragan.

'''Note:''' Tropes originating in other mythologies/religions are not indexed here, as we have no idea whether those stories even existed by the 5th century CE, or what forms they took, centuries before they were first written down. Even Norse and Celtic mythology are only OlderThanPrint; although they're derived at least in part from earlier (unwritten) stories, the details are fundamentally un-dateable. Early folklorists often started with the assumption that folktales and myths never changed; [[ScienceMarchesOn more research]] [[HistoryMarchesOn has shown that]] people can and do modify all sorts of tales for many purposes.

!! Tropes that date back to this time period:
[[index]]
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: A-C]]
* AbdicateTheThrone: A famous, albeit curious, example appears in ''Literature/TheOdyssey''. Odysseus, son of Laertes, is the legitimate King of Ithaca. His father Laertes is however still alive in the last chapter. He had retired to his farm, but seems virile enough to take arms. Most scholars agree that Laertes had abdicated the throne in favor of his son, but nowhere does the text explain why.
* AbductionIsLove: The abduction of Persephone by Hades in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]]. This married couple of deities is typically depicted as relatively happy, and stable, with few fights and very few stories of infidelity.
* AbsenceMakesTheHeartGoYonder: In ClassicalMythology Agamemnon and Clytemnestra didn't wait during the Trojan War, nor remain faithful. Clytemnestra had a good reason, though.
* AbusiveParents: Common in ClassicalMythology. Ouranos and Cronos both imprisoned all their children at birth. Hephaestos in ''Literature/TheIliad'' tells how his father Zeus threw him off a mountain. Acrisios imprisoned his daughter Danae, then threw her into the sea when she got pregnant anyway.
* AchillesHeel: The BigBad Duryodhana in the Literature/{{Mahabharata}}, and Talos in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]]. Also Achilles, the {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* AchillesInHisTent: Creator/{{Homer}}'s ''Literature/TheIliad''; {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* AcquittedTooLate: In Sophocles' ''Theatre/{{Antigone}}'', Creon realizes Antigone is innocent after she's already committed suicide.
* ActuallyIAmHim: In the ''Literature/TheOdyssey'', Odysseus returns to Ithaca disguised as a beggar. His first contact with Penelope, has him delivering (false) news concerning her missing husband.
* AdamAndEvePlot: The Literature/BookOfGenesis casts the Sons of Noah (Ham, Japheth, and Shem) and their unnamed wives in this role. The Adam and Eve story from the same book is not however a particularly good example. Neither of the two was a survivor from a previous group, nor did they struggle against extinction.
* AdiposeRex: King Eglon from Literature/TheBible (Judges 3).
* AnAesop: Ancient Greek folktales, notably Literature/AesopsFables, have these.
* AgeWithoutYouth: Tithonos of [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]] ages forever without dying, after a botched wish. The Cumaean Sibyl is cursed with the same after spurning Apollo.
* AIIsACrapshoot: [[Literature/TheBible Genesis 3]] and the fall of Adam and Eve.
* AkashicRecords: A repository of ultimate knowledge on another plane of existence. In other words, The Internet! The name comes from Sanskrit, and the concept originates in the Samkhya philosophies, which were first recorded around 200 CE.
* TheAlcatraz: Tartarus in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]] is the prison-ward of TheUnderworld where the Titans, some monsters, and a few particularly malevolent mortals were kept forever (and generally tortured). ''Nobody'' ever escaped, even if they were still technically alive. The Minoan Labyrinth was "solved" only by cheating with a piece of string.
* AlcoholHic: Afflicts Creator/{{Aristophanes}} in Creator/{{Plato}}'s ''Literature/{{Symposium}}''.
* AlienLunch: Atreus in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]], and his brother Thyestes.
* AllAmazonsWantHercules: The {{Trope Namer|s}} happens in a Greek myth. Also occurs in the Literature/{{Mahabharata}} with Hidimba falling for Bhima.
* AllForNothing: Saul, David, and Solomon in Literature/TheBible.
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' contains a well known Greek story: Aphrodite, though married to the smith-god Hephaestus, much prefers the bloody war-god Ares and has a long affair.
* AllJustADream: Creator/{{Zhuangzi}}.
* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: Hephaestus was either born crippled and abandoned at birth, or born ugly and crippled when his father threw him off of Olympus. In ''Literature/TheIliad'' the other gods mock him for his lameness. A Homeric Hymn has Hera describe her son with disgust. He still manufactures most of their great weapons.
* AllPlanetsAreEarthlike: Showed up in the first space travel story ever, ''Literature/ATrueHistory'' by 2nd century author Lucian. (This is excusable because the telescope wouldn't be invented until the Renaissance.) Not only is the moon Earthlike, but so is ''the Sun''.
* AlmostDeadGuy: A Greek legend, based ''looooosely'' on the historical Marathon run.
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Literature/TheGospelOfJudas does this with Judas, compared to a lot of other Christian texts. ClassicalMythology is full of this, since nearly every story has at least a couple versions all by different authors with their own versions of each god and hero.
* AlternateHistory: Book IX of Livy's ''Literature/HistoryOfRome'' ponders what would have happened if Alexander the Great had led his armies west - towards the young Roman Republic - instead of east. [[spoiler: [[CreatorProvincialism He thinks Rome would have won.]] ]]
* AmoralAttorney: Mentioned in ''Literature/TheBible''.
* AnachronicOrder: Literature/TheBible is written this way. One of the major principles of Judaism is ''Ein Mukdam Umeuchar Batorah'', which means don't assume things happen in the order they're written.
* AnachronismStew: The most famous Greek myths of Theseus jump from bronze age Crete to Classical, democratic Athens, and depict other Greek cities as early Archaic monarchies.
* AncestralWeapon: Greek hero Theseus received his father's sword from his mother.
* AncientGrome: The Romans themselves would place plays in Athens or other Greek cities, to avoid slandering the state, but leave everything else Roman-like.
* AndIMustScream: Tityos and Prometheus suffer horrible torture in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]]. Tityos suffers ''forever''; Prometheus is bound forever or for several centuries, DependingOnTheWriter.
* AndNowYouMustMarryMe: A RealLife custom found in many cultures around the world -- anthropologists call it "marriage by abduction" or "bridal theft". Appears in Literature/TheBible in the abduction of the Shiloh women, and the rape of Dinah in Genesis 34. The Romans had their Rape of the Sabine Women.
* AndYourLittleDogToo: Hector killing Patroclus in ''Literature/TheIliad''.
* AndroclesLion: Literature/AesopsFables; {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* AngelUnaware: Lot's houseguests in Sodom ([[Literature/TheBible Genesis 19]]).
* AngryGuardDog: The Greek underworld is guarded by the multi-headed Cerberus.
* AnimalAssassin: The Greek goddess Hera sent two serpents to kill her infant stepson Heracles. It didn't work.
* {{Animorphism}}: See BalefulPolymorph and VoluntaryShapeshifting on this page.
* AnsweringEcho: Narcissos and Echo, in Ovid's poetry.
* AntagonisticOffspring: See David and Absalom below.
* AntagonistInMourning: In Literature/TheBible, [[TheChosenOne King David]] mourns for [[VillainousBreakdown Saul]] and [[AntagonisticOffspring Absalom]], the former of whom tried to kill him before he became king and the latter who overthrew and exiled him. They ''were'' close family, though.
* {{Anvilicious}}: Some of Literature/AesopsFables.
* ApocalypseWow: The entirety of the Literature/BookOfRevelation.
* AppleOfDiscord: How Eris started the Trojan War, and the {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* {{Arcadia}}: {{Trope Namer|s}} is a region in Greece, held to be the home of Pan, the god of shepherds and the wilderness. Creator/{{Virgil}} celebrates it as a pastoral paradise in his ''Literature/{{Eclogues}}''.
* ArchangelGabriel: First mentioned in the [[Literature/TheBible Book of Daniel]].
* ArchangelMichael: First mentioned in the [[Literature/TheBible Book of Daniel]].
* ArrangedMarriage: More the rule than the exception, in many cultures. For example, when it's time for the [[Literature/TheBible biblical]] Abraham's son Isaac to get married, Abraham sends his servant back to the old country to find a nice girl for him. Isaac and Rebecca agree to the match without meeting each other (Genesis 24).
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: From Literature/TheBible, 1 Peter 4:15: "by no means let any of you suffer as a murderer or thief or evildoer or a troublesome meddler."
* AscendedFanfic: ''Literature/TheAeneid'' was a fanfic {{continuation}} of ''Literature/TheIliad''.
* AssInALionSkin: One of Literature/AesopsFables.
* AssholeVictim: Many characters who die in Literature/TheBible and ClassicalMythology are depicted by the authors as assholes who deserved to die and shouldn't be mourned: Ouranos, Kronos, Agamemnon, Amnon, Absalom, Jehoram of Judah, the entire populations of Sodom and Gomorrah...
* AttemptedRape: In ''Literature/TheOdyssey'', the giant Tityos is tortured forever in Tartaros for trying to rape the goddess Leto.
* AuthorFilibuster: The plot of ''Literature/TheGoldenAss'' by Lucius Apuleius Platonicus wraps up early with the last chapter spent talking about how awesome the cult of Isis was, of which Apuleius just happened to be a member.\\
\\
[[StealthParody OR, Apuleius was making fun]] of the cults as elaborate cons to part gullible persons (like the hero Lucius) from their money.
* AxCrazy: Referenced by Creator/{{Socrates}}.
* BadassBookworm: Athena was the Greek Goddess of crafts, knowledge, and warfare, though her domain was more in the strategic aspect of war. As a female deity, she didn't look the part when not wearing her armor.
* BadassCrew: The Greek Argonauts, who included famous heroes such as Hercules among them.
* BalefulPolymorph: Several in ClassicalMythology: Circe transformed men into animals in ''Literature/TheOdyssey''; various gods transformed Procne and Philomela into birds, and turned some Arcadian guys into werewolves. Zeus turned Io into a cow. Dionysus turned some pirates into dolphins.
* TheBard: Ancient Greeks had them, and one shows up in ''Literature/TheOdyssey''. He may even be Creator/{{Homer}}'s AuthorAvatar.
* BarrierMaiden: In the Literature/{{Theogony}}, the god Atlas has to hold up the sky ''forever''.
* BastardBastard: Abimelech, son of Gideon in the [[Literature/TheBible Book of Judges]] 8:29-9:56, was the illegitimate son of Gideon who murdered his 70 legitimate brothers (he had a lot of step-mothers), then conquered his father's kingdom.
* BattleEpic: ''Literature/TheIliad'' is one.
* BattleOfWits: Sun Tzu's ''Literature/TheArtOfWar'' is practically a ''[[StrategyGuide handbook]]'' for these.
* BeAWhoreToGetYourMan: Delilah and Samson in Literature/TheBible (Book of Judges).
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: In [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]] Tithonos wished for immortality, but both he and his lover Eos forgot to wish for eternal youth. In one of Literature/AesopsFables, a herdsman notices one of his calves missing from the herd. He prays for his patron deities to lead him to whoever stole the missing calf. When he finds the thief, it proves to be a lion.
* BeamMeUpScotty: Literature/TheBible is probably the most frequently misquoted text in history. Special mention goes to the adage "Money is the root of all evil", a misquote of 1 Timothy 6:10.[[note]]"For the ''love of'' money is the root of all evil." [[CaptainObvious Meaning greed, not money itself.]][[/note]]
* BearsAreBadNews: In Literature/TheBible (2 Kings 2) when a group of children mocked Elisha for his baldness, he cursed them, whereupon two bears came out of a forest to maul them.
* BecameTheirOwnAntithesis: Perhaps. It may date back to apocryphal legends from millennia ago about {{Satan}}.
* BecauseDestinySaysSo: In [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]], an oracle warned Pelias that a man with one sandal would be his downfall. Iason/Jason was that man, and the rightful heir of the throne Pelias usurped. Destiny is the plot driver in Virgil's ''Literature/TheAeneid'', because Aeneas is fated to found Rome. The gods like to remind him of he has a destiny.
* BedsheetLadder: Michal and David in Literature/TheBible (Samuel 19).
* BestHerToBedHer: The Greek myth of Atalanta.
* BiTheWay: Many ancient Greek men had homosexual relationships, especially before they were 30 years old, the usual minimum age for a man to marry a woman. Bisexuality was usually not treated as unusual or more than a peccadillo.
* BigBad: Hera (for Heracles). Poseidon in ''Literature/TheOdyssey''. {{Satan}} (in parts of Literature/TheBible). Cronos in the first part of Hesiod's Literature/{{Theogony}}.
* BiggerIsBetterInBed: The Book of Ezekiel in Literature/TheBible.
* BigHeroicRun: The original Marathon run, 490 BCE.
* TheBlacksmith: Hephaestus is an immortal blacksmith. ''Literature/TheIliad'' describes him at work, creating armor and weapons.
* BlessedWithSuck: King Midas in Classical myth turns everything he touches to gold... including his food, his water, his clothes, [[AesopCollateralDamage his daughter]]...
* BlindSeer: Tiresias in Greek works such as ''Literature/TheOdyssey''.
* BloodBath: The ancient Christian apologist Prudentius accused the priests of the Magna Mater of bathing in bulls' blood; he may have been exaggerating, but nonetheless the trope appears in his anti-pagan writings.
* BloodFromTheMouth: Assyrian bas reliefs of lion hunts in the British Museum depict dying lions bleeding profusely from the mouth.
* BloodKnight: Ares, the Greek God of War -- or rather, [[NoExceptYes bloodlust and slaughter]].
* BloodMagic: In [[Literature/TheBible Exodus]], when the Angel of Death came to kill the firstborn children of Egypt, the Jews painted their doors with lamb blood so the angel would know which babies to spare.
* BloodSport: Roman [[GladiatorGames gladiatorial combat]].
* BluffTheImpostor: When Odysseus finally returned home to Ithaca in ''Literature/TheOdyssey'', his wife Penelope tested him with a blatant lie about their bedroom's construction. Odysseus proved his identity by correcting her.
* BoisterousBruiser: Ajax from [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]].
* BoltOfDivineRetribution: The Greek god Zeus punished many people with his signature lightning bolt, i.e. Iasion (who slept with Demeter) and Salmoneus (who tried to impersonate Zeus).
* BornAsAnAdult: In the Literature/{{Theogony}}, Athena emerged from the head of Zeus in adult form and fully armed, and Aphrodite emerged from the sea foam in adult form. In the Literature/WorksAndDays, Hephaestus created Pandora, the first mortal woman, in adult form.
* BoundAndGagged: Odysseus asks his crew to tie him to the mast when his ship sails past the Sirens in ''Literature/TheOdyssey''. The other sailors use his reactions as a gauge for when it's safe to unclog their ears.
* BountyHunter: Saul from Literature/TheBible, before his HeelFaithTurn into the apostle Paul. He's first depicted in Acts as accepting payment for arresting a follower of Christ.
* BoyMeetsGirl: Ovid's "Literature/PygmalionAndGalatea," sort of.
* BreakingTheBonds: The story of Damon and Pythias from ClassicalMythology, as well as the story of Samson from Literature/TheBible.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Ancient Greek playwrights did this all the time... they even did it before the concept of the FourthWall was an accepted universal concept!
* BreakTheHaughty: The Ancient Greek idea of ''[[{{Pride}} hubris]]'' often includes the gods punishing the prideful mortal.
* BringMyBrownPants: A regular occurrence in the plays of Creator/{{Aristophanes}}.
* BringNewsBack: Pheidippides at the Battle of Marathon, who managed to warn Athens that Sparta would not aid them in time for the battle.
* BrotherSisterTeam: ''Literature/TheIliad'' has twin deities Apollo and Artemis teaming up to slay the children of Niobe. Apollo killed the sons, Artemis the daughters.
* BuriedAlive: In Sophocles' ''Theatre/{{Antigone}}'', the eponymous heroine is walled up in a crypt to die as punishment. The same punishment supposedly awaited the Roman Vestal Virgins that had broken their vows of chastity.
* BuryMeNotOnTheLonePrairie: When the Isrealites left Egypt, they took the embalmed body of Joseph with them (Exodus 13:19), fulfilling Joseph's own wish (Genesis 50:25).
* ButICantBePregnant: Abraham and Sarah in Literature/{{Genesis}}. Subverted with Mary, who's often depicted as knowing why she's pregnant with Jesus.
* TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive: The biblical God wants the prophet Jonah to deliver a warning to Nineveh. Jonah tries to shirk the mission, but God's intervention prevents him from getting away till he agrees to fulfill the mission.
* CanonDiscontinuity: The apocryphal books of Literature/TheBible. Of course, ''which'' books are apocryphal and which are canon depends on which denomination does the counting.
* CanonFodder: Notable examples in Creator/{{Homer}}'s works include the fate of Aeneas in ''Literature/TheIliad'', and the specifics of the Fall of Troy.
* CaptainErsatz: The Greek Aphrodite is almost certainly the same goddess as the Mesopotamian Inanna/Ishtar, with a Hellenized name and new back story, at least in the story of her and Adonis/Attis. He, in turn, is the Phrygian/Greek ersatz of the Mesopotamian Dumuzi/Tammuz, Inanna's husband.
* CargoEnvy: In Creator/{{Ovid}}'s ''Amores'', he expresses a strong desire to be the ring on his mistresses finger.
* CarryABigStick: Greek hero Hercules' WeaponOfChoice.
* TheCassandra: Cassandra herself, in the works of Creator/{{Homer}}.
* CassandraTruth. Princess Cassandra of Troy is the {{Trope Namer|s}}, thanks to a curse from the god Apollo.
* TheCasanova: Zeus, king of the Greek pantheon. [[ValuesDissonance Yes, they had very different values from us]].
* CatchPhrase: Literature/TheBible, partly due to its oral origin, has some of these: For example, Jesus uses (depending on the translation) "I tell you the truth," "Verily I say unto thee," or "I tell you solemnly." Angels tend to say "Fear not" when they show up, due to their decidedly ''non''-WingedHumanoid appearances.
* CatchTheConscience. Happens to King David in Literature/TheBible, courtesy of Nathan (2 Samuel 12).
* CelebrityEndorsement: Ancient Roman gladiators used to do this all the time.
* CelibateHero: The title character of Creator/{{Euripides}}'s ''Theatre/{{Hippolytus}}''.
* CelestialParagonsAndArchangels: There are several kinds of angels in Literature/TheBible, some mightier than others.
* CementShoes: In Literature/TheBible, Jesus says that people who tempt others to sin should ''"be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck".''
* ChainedToARock: Prometheus in Creator/{{Hesiod}}'s Literature/{{Theogony}} is the {{Trope Maker|s}}.
* TheChainsOfCommanding: The Sword of Damocles, described by Cicero.
* ChangelingFantasy: Many [[HalfHumanHybrid Half-Human Hybrids]] in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]], if their father or mother was a god.
* AChatWithSatan: Two such tests of character occur in Literature/TheBible: The serpent's conversation with Eve, and Satan trying to tempt Jesus in the wilderness.
* TheChessmaster (only the version without chess motifs): ''Literature/TheArtOfWar'' is a good guide on how to be the Chessmaster (but inspired by {{go}} instead).
* ChessWithDeath: Some mythical Greek characters challenge gods to contests and end up dead or otherwise badly off. I.e. Marsyas the Satyr, Arachne (in Ovid and Virgil), and Thamyris in Apollodorus and Asklepiades.
* ChocolateBaby: ''Aethiopica'', a Greek romance by Heliodorus of Emesa (c. 3rd century AD), starts with Queen Persinna of Ethiopia giving birth to a white daughter, despite she and her husband being black, which causes her to give the baby away to avoid accusations of adultery. After many adventures, it is revealed that Persinna had been looking at a painting of Andromeda while she conceived, and so Andromeda's white skin "imprinted" on her child.
* TheChooserOfTheOne: The prophet Samuel chose the first two kings of Israel, Saul and David, in Literature/TheBible, led by God.
* CityMouse: From Aesop's "The City Mouse and the Country Mouse". {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* TheClan: The ancient Greeks loved genealogy and linked most of their gods together into one huge Badass family.
* ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve: The Gospel of Luke in The Bible.
* TheClimax: In ''Literature/TheOdyssey'', for example, the climax comes in Books 21 and 22, when Odysseus strings his bow, reveals himself, and starts killing people. There's not much denouement.
* ClingyJealousGirl: Greek goddess Hera, though she has reason to be jealous since Zeus is constantly unfaithful.
* ClingyMacGuffin: The Ring of Polykrates, as recounted by Creator/{{Herodotus}}.
* ClothesMakeTheSuperman: In the Greek myth of Perseus, the invisibility cap, flying sandals, and magic arms are what let Perseus kill {{Medusa}}.
* ClusterFBomb: Gaius Valerius Catullus' Carmen 16.
* ColdBloodedTorture: [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]] has Prometheus and Tityos chained up while vultures perpetually eat their regenerating livers. Echetos liked to hack off the body parts and genitals of everyone he met. In RealLife the Persian and Roman Empires executed some people by crucifixion.
* CombatByChampion: David and Goliath (Literature/TheBible, 1 Samuel 17). Eteocles and Polyneices ([[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]]) finally agreed to end the war of Thebes this way, but killed each other simultaneously. [[RealLife Republican]] [[AncientRome Roman]] soldiers practiced single combat.
* ComesGreatResponsibility: Creator/{{Virgil}} used this trope as the [[AncientRome Roman]] ideal. Literature/TheBible has the Parable of the Faithful Servant.
* ComeToGawk: The title character in Creator/{{Aeschylus}}'s ''Theatre/PrometheusBound'' was ChainedToARock in the middle of nowhere, but he figured this was part of the punishment too -- the play would've been a one-character monologue if nobody had Come to Gawk. In Literature/TheBible the Philistines blinded Samson and put him on display. RealLife Romans publicly displayed crucifixion victims.
* {{Comedy}}: Greek theatre from the 5th century BCE onwards, with Creator/{{Aristophanes}} as the most notable author.
* ComfortingTheWidow: The Widow of Ephesus story in ''Literature/TheSatyricon''.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: [[Literature/TheBible The Apostles]] of all people, when they [[SidetrackedByTheAnalogy took a parable too literally]]:
--> '''Jesus:''' Beware the yeast of the [[CorruptChurch Pharisees]].\\
'''Apostles:''' He's upset that we didn't bring any bread!
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: In addition to ColdBloodedTorture, [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]] features a variety of less physical torments such as those inflicted upon Tantalos and Sisyphos (in ''Literature/TheOdyssey'') and Atlas (in Literature/{{Theogony}}). The biblical Cain's punishment for killing his brother was to be shunned by all people for the rest of his life, possibly combined with immortality.
* CoolHorse: Laomedon and Achilles both own immortal horses in ''Literature/TheIliad''; UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat had the amazing Bucephalus; Helios has fire horses; and Poseidon has half-fish hippokampoi.
* CoolSword: Perseus's sword was a gift from the gods, according to Creator/{{Aeschylus}} and Apollodorus.
* CouldSayItBut: This trope was known as "evasio" to Roman rhetoricians like Creator/{{Cicero}}, and it was used in law courts and speeches.
* CountryMouse: From Aesop's "The City Mouse and the Country Mouse". {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* CourtroomAntic: Aristophanes' ''The Wasps'' is full of them, being about [[OlderThanYouThink Athens' litigious society]].
* TheCreon: Creon of Thebes was a recurring character in early Greek drama, right hand of ''[[Theatre/OedipusTheKing Oedipus Rex]]'' who avowed that he had no intention or desire to become king. He was later forced into the position anyway, much to Thebes' regret.
* CripplingOverspecialization: Roman Legionnaires were trained to fight as a cohesive unit, not as individuals. While this strategy worked them quite well most of the time, it hit a massive snag during the Battle of Teutoburg Forest. The thick woods and rough terrain of the region forced the Romans to split into smaller groups, which enabled the Germanic tribesmen, who were better fighters individually, to overwhelm and defeat them. The defeat proved to be psychologically devastating for Rome, bringing an abrupt halt to its then-relentless expansion.
* {{Crossover}}: The ''Literature/{{Argonautica}}'' (3rd century BCE).
* CrowdSong: The chorus in Greek drama.
* CryingWolf: [[TropeNamers The original]] is one of Literature/AesopsFables.
* CunningLikeAFox: In Literature/AesopsFables.
* CuttingTheKnot: The original Gordian Knot.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: D-I]]
* DaddysGirl: According to ''Literature/TheIliad'', Athena is Zeus' favorite child. Ares claims that Zeus rarely bothers to restrict her behavior. She also has the boyish traits associated with the trope.
* DamselInDistress: Andromeda and Hesione in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]], both in the same pickle: their parents pissed off Poseidon, and had to sacrifice them to giant sea monsters to save their kingdoms. Thanks, Mom!
* ADateWithRosiePalms: Genesis 38 is the source for an outdated term for masturbation, ''Onanism''. [[note]] Some argue that, technically speaking, the sin in question, and thus the term, was Onan not impregnating his late brother's wife for him rather than what he did with his tonker instead, but in either case, the possibly wrong use of the term is Older Than Feudalism regardless.[[/note]]
* DavidVersusGoliath: The {{Trope Namer|s}} is from the Book of Samuel in Literature/TheBible.
* TheDayOfReckoning: The Literature/BookOfRevelation in Literature/TheBible.
* DeadPersonConversation: Odysseus converses with several ghosts in Creator/{{Homer}}'s ''Odyssey''.
* DeathByChildbirth: Likely as old as our species, what with our disproportionately huge heads and tiny, tiny hips. In Literature/TheBible, Jacob's favorite wife Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin.
* DeathFakedForYou: Faking baby Oedipus' death was what started the whole mess that blew up in ''[[Theatre/OedipusTheKing Oedipus Rex]]''.
* DeathTakesAHoliday: Sisyphos tied up Thanatos in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]], and nobody could die until Ares rescued him.
* DecapitationPresentation: David with Goliath's head in Literature/TheBible, Judith with Holofernes' head in the Apocrypha, Salome asking for John the Baptist's head, and Perseus displaying Medusa's head [[TakenForGranite as a weapon]] in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]]. In RealLife, Chiomara with the head of the centurion who raped her, and the Egyptians with Magnus Pompeii's head, also during this time.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Creator/{{Euripides}}'s ''Theatre/TrojanWomen'' and ''Theatre/{{Hecuba}}'' portrayed TheTrojanWar as a human tragedy rather than a sweeping epic tale of martial valor in the Homeric tradition, by showing the human consequences of war and its aftermath on the conquered people, and the cruelty and violence of the "heroic" invaders.
* DemocracyIsBad: Creator/{{Plato}}'s ''Literature/TheRepublic'', various ancient Chinese writings.
* {{Demythtification}}: Euhemerus' [[{{Euhemerism}} treatment]] of ClassicalMythology is the alternate trope namer.
* DeniedFoodAsPunishment: In [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]] Tantalos killed his son and tried to trick the gods into eating him. Punished after death in Tartaros, he stands forever in a pool of water, surrounded by fruit trees, but whenever he reaches for it the water drains away and the branches blow out of reach.
* {{Determinator}}: Odysseus ''does'' get home... eventually.
* DifferentForGirls: In the Literature/TrojanCycle, when Thetis disguised her son Achilles in drag, he completely failed to pull it off -- not that he really ''wanted'' to dodge the draft.
* DontLookBack: In the story of Sodom and Gomorrah (Book of Genesis), looking back got Lot's wife turned into a pillar of salt. In [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]] Orpheus lost his wife Eurydice (again) because he looked back when leading her out of Hades.
* DontShootTheMessage: Several times in Literature/TheBible, someone complains that God's followers' actions are besmirching God's name.
* DoubleEntendre: A favorite tactic of Greek comedians. Creator/{{Aristophanes}}'s plays are full of them.
* DoubleStandard: In ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' the nymph Calypso complains about this. She points out that male gods frequently sleep with mortal women, but are "harsh and far too jealous" when goddesses take mortal lovers.
* DownerEnding: Rather common in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]]. ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' has the murder of Agamemnon. ''[[Literature/TheTrojanCycle The Returns]]'' told the deaths of several characters of the Trojan War. The ''Literature/{{Telegony}}'' has Odysseus killed accidentally by one of his own sons. The Argonauts' story ends with Jason's ignominious death. Greek tragedy almost ''required'' this trope.
* DraftDodging: Odysseus tried to avoid joining the Trojan War by pretending to be insane, but the other princes called his bluff. Thetis tried to get her son Achilles out of it by dressing him in drag.
* DragonHoard: The idea that dragons are irrationally driven to guard treasure first appears in Roman literature: In his 13th ''Philippic Speech'', Creator/{{Cicero}} compares a supposedly greedy man to a dragon, and in the BeastFable [[http://www.ciffciaff.org/en/content/book-iv/fox-and-dragon "The Fox and the Dragon"]] by Phaedrus (c. 50 AD), a dragon guarding a gold hoard in a cave freely admits his behavior is absurd, leading to AnAesop about avarice.
* DressingAsTheEnemy: Creator/{{Homer}}'s ''Iliad''.
* DrivenByEnvy: Cain killing Abel in Literature/TheBible.
* DrivenToSuicide: King Saul from Literature/TheBible. Queen Iocaste in ''Theatre/OedipusTheKing''.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: Yes, really: Jehu, son of Nimshi drives his chariot "like a madman" (Literature/TheBible, 2 Kings 9:20). And when [[ClassicalMythology the Greek demigod]] Phaethon drove the sun chariot recklessly, he died and nearly destroyed all life on Earth.
* TheDrunkenSailor: In ''Literature/TheOdyssey'', the ship was almost home when the sailors decided to crack open Odysseus's pouch, assuming he was hoarding wine or gold. It actually contained all the winds, which immediately blew them way off course.
* DualWielding: Dimachaerii type gladiators in Ancient Roman games.
* DudeShesLikeInAComa: In [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]] the handsome Endymion is enchanted to eternally sleep, with his youth and beauty preserved. Meanwhile Selene, goddess of the Moon, frequently makes love to him.
* DueToTheDead: Achilles dragging and abusing Hector's corpse in ''Literature/TheIliad'' exemplifies the evil version. The protagonists in Creator/{{Sophocles}}'s ''Theatre/{{Antigone}}'' and ''Theatre/{{Electra}}'' exemplify the good form.
* DumbMuscle: Ajax in ''Literature/TheIliad''. Olympic "meatbag" athletes, according to some ancient Greek philosophers. Heracles was portrayed this way in Attic comedy, for example in Creator/{{Aristophanes}}' ''Theatre/TheBirds'' (in the "canonical" myths, he is reasonably clever).
* {{Dystopia}}: Prophesied in the Literature/BookOfRevelation, as the Beast arises.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Creator/{{Homer}}'s ''Odyssey'' ends with the protagonist triumphant and the evildoers punished, but boy does Odysseus have to earn it. He goes through TheUnderworld, and 20 years of exile, angst, and heartsickness, to get home. This epic was held up as the prototype of comedy, which originally just meant any story with a happy ending.
* EatsBabies: In Creator/{{Hesiod}}'s Literature/{{Theogony}}, the Titan Cronus swallowed ''his own'' children, though unlike {{Child Eater}}s he didn't make a habit of seeking out more babies.
* EatenAlive: Some characters in Greek myth die this way, such as [[Literature/TheOdyssey Odysseus's shipmates]] in Polyphemos's cave. Some gods, such as Prometheus and the siblings of Zeus, suffer this and ''survive'', because Greek gods ''can't'' die.
* {{Egopolis}}: Such as several Alexandrias founded by Alexander the Great.
* EmergencyImpersonation: Patroclus impersonated Achilles in ''Literature/TheIliad'', when the latter refused to fight. Unlike in later impersonation stories, Achilles is the protagonist while Patroclus is a side character.
* EmotionalBruiser: Hector in ''Literature/TheIliad'': mighty warrior, devoted husband and father, and named by Helen as the only one who's nice to her but Priam.
* EnemiesEqualsGreatness: Literature/TheBible seems to hold that the only reason why people have enemies is because of their choice to follow God. Joseph was hated by his brothers for being favored by Israel, David was resented by King Saul for being the only one to defeat Goliath, and there's Jesus who had set an example to humanity, much to the disgust of the Pharisees.
* EnthrallingSiren: The Sirens and their fatally enthralling voices in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]].
* EpicCatalog: The Catalogue of Ships in Book II of ''Literature/TheIliad'' is probably the most famous one in ancient epic poetry.
* EurekaMoment: {{Trope Namer|s}} is Archimedes in his bath, allegedly.
* EvenTheGuysWantHim: Narcissus of late Greek and Roman myth.
* EveryManHasHisPrice: Excessive amounts of bribery were commonplace in UsefulNotes/TheRomanRepublic.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Literature/TheBible never specifically states exactly which pharaoh is involved in the Literature/BookOfExodus. Biblical scholars have been trying to identify him for a long time.
* EverythingsBetterWithRainbows: [[/index]]
** Rainbows used by characters: In Greek religion, the rainbow was personified as the goddess Iris, and was the path left by her as she travelled between heaven and earth.
** Rainbows as symbols: In Genesis 9, the rainbow is the sign of God's promise that he will never again destroy the Earth [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial with a flood.]] [[index]]
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: Dates back to Literature/TheBible, in which the Devil often shown in this fashion, being unable to appeal to anything other than selfish desires when manipulating humans.
* ExpectingSomeoneTaller: [[Literature/TheBible Jesus]].
* ExplainExplainOhCrap: Deianira in ''Theatre/{{Trachiniae}}'', telling the chorus about the "strange sight" that is the bubbling, disintegrating piece of cloth she used to smear a "love potion" onto a shirt she just gave her husband.
* FaceHeelTurn: In the back story of Creator/{{Euripides}}'s play ''Theatre/{{Hecuba}}'', Achilles defected to Troy after falling in love with Polyxena, one of its princesses.
* TheFaceOfTheSun: This type of solar iconography first showed up in Roman and late Greek religious artwork, such as the sides of temples.
* FacingTheBulletsOneLiner: Jesus has a couple in Literature/TheBible.
* FairestOfThemAll: The Judgement of Paris in the Literature/TrojanCycle, when Eris deliberately provoked a fight between goddesses using an AppleOfDiscord inscribed with the words "to the fairest." The resulting fight caused the Trojan War.
* FakeDefector: In ''Literature/TheAeneid'' and ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' Sinon surrenders to the Trojans, claiming he defected from the Greeks, so he can convince the Trojans that the TrojanHorse is a gift.
* FakingTheDead: Orestes in ''Theatre/{{Electra}}''.
* FalseRapeAccusation: In The Bible Potiphar's wife, after failing to rape Joseph, tells her husband that Joseph raped her.
* {{Fanon}}: Literature/TheBible never states that there are three Magi, never even gives a definite number, and doesn't specify that they were male. It also doesn't specify that the fruit Adam and Eve ate was an apple, and doesn't refer to Mary Magdalene as a prostitute.
* FanWank: As early as 44 CE, Stoic philosophers were complaining about obsessive fans who argued over literary trivia like "how many rowers did Ulysses have?"
* FashionHurts: Creator/{{Plutarch}} mentions painful footwear.
* TheFatalist: All the time. Thetis warned her son Achilles that two fates awaited him: if he went to Troy, he would die young, but become famous forever. If he stayed home, he would live a long time, but be forgotten. He went to Troy and was not shy about courting death. Hector knew he was fated to die at Achilles's hands, but eventually chose to face him.
* FeedTheMole: One of UsefulNotes/TheThirtySixStratagems.
* FightingForAHomeland: The march of the Ten Thousand, as depicted in Creator/{{Xenophon}}'s ''Literature/{{Anabasis}}''. The Hebrews fighting the Canaanites in Literature/TheBible. The Trojan refugees in ''Literature/TheAeneid''.
* FireForgedFriends: The Spartans and Thebans encouraged soldiers to have a lover in the army so that they'd fight harder to protect them. And if they died, hopefully they'd go AxCrazy in a quest for vengeance.
* FireOfComfort: The domain of Hestia, Greek goddess of the Hearth. She was associated with the fireplace and the joys of domesticity. A Homeric Hymn to her mentions her place of honor in the residences of every immortal god and every mortal man.
* FixFic: ''Theatre/IphigeniaInTauris'' was written to remove the [[DroppedABridgeOnHim bridge dropped on]] Iphigenia.
* FlamingSword: According to the Literature/BookOfGenesis, God set up a Cherub with a flaming sword to guard the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve had been cast out from there.
* {{Flashback}}: Creator/{{Homer}}'s ''Odyssey''.
* FlippingTheTable: Jesus does this with the moneychangers in the temple.
* FluffyTheTerrible: A nasty-looking dog named "Puppy" in ''Literature/TheSatyricon''.
* FoodChains: Eating some pomegranate seeds in TheUnderworld forced the Greek goddess Persephone to return there every year. In the Literature/HomericHymns, Hades force-fed her. [[Literature/TheOdyssey Odysseus]] almost loses several men to the lotus-eating addiction.
* ForbiddenFruit: The Adam and Eve story from Genesis is the {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* ForgedByTheGods: Hephaestus forges new armour and shield for Achilles, a knife for Peleus, and the shield and armour of Heracles. The ''[[Literature/TheTrojanCycle Cypria]]'' mentions a spear, created by the Athene, Hephaestus, and Chiron, for Peleus.
* ForgingScene: The forging of the Shield of Achilles in ''The Iliad''.
* AFormYouAreComfortableWith: In [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]], Zeus apparently did this sort of thing whenever he had an affair with a mortal woman, at least according to the story in which his true form turned the woman Semele to ash. In Literature/TheBible, angels occasionally tried to appear in human form, since their true forms look more like bizarre {{Eldritch Abomination}}s.
* FriendshipDenial: Prophesied by Jesus who tells Peter that he will deny Him [[RuleOfThree three times]] before the rooster crows. Peter assures Him that he will never do that to Him, but, as Jesus was arrested that night, somebody in the crowd asks Peter was he with Jesus. Trying to avoid getting himself into further trouble, Peter responds with "No! I do not know Him!". As the rooster crows and with Jesus looking at him, Peter [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone realizes that he was wrong]].
* FrontlineGeneral: In RealLife this is ''at least'' as old as the Roman Republic, moving to OlderThanDirt when it crosses over with RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething. This is because before the invention of radio the general usually had to be in the midst of his men to be able to give orders and have them carried out quickly.
* FullBoarAction: The Erymanthian Boar and Calydonian Boar from [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]]. Both were monstrous boars that could only be vanquished by great heroes (Hercules and Meleager and Atalanta respectively).
* FunnyForeigner: A staple of ancient Greek and Roman comedy. An example is Triballos, a "barbarian god" serving as an ambassador to Cloudcuckooland in Creator/{{Aristophanes}}' ''Theatre/TheBirds''.
* GainaxEnding: The Literature/BookOfRevelation, for ''Literature/TheBible''.
* GambitRoulette: According to some ancient Greek writers, Zeus set up the whole Trojan War by manipulating one key goddess as a gambit to reduce the population of demigods.
* GateOfTruth: Described in TheUnderworld in Creator/{{Homer}}'s ''Odyssey'' and Creator/{{Virgil}}'s ''Aeneid''.
* GenderBender: Tiresias in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]], Iphis and Hermaphroditos in Creator/{{Ovid}}'s ''Literature/TheMetamorphoses'', and Bhangasvana and Shikandin in the Literature/{{Mahabharata}}.
* GeniusBruiser: Odysseus is a powerful Badass, and also a master of cunning and strategy. Heracles is sometimes depicted this way, too.
* GeniusCripple: The Greek Hephaestus is a crippled god, yet a brilliant craftsman who created magnificent works, including weapons, armor, and ''robots''. Yes, robots.
* GenreDeconstruction: See Deconstruction above.
* GiantSquid: Large squids were first described by Creator/{{Aristotle}}, but Creator/PlinyTheElder is the first to give them more explicitly gigantic proportions (heads "as big as a cask" and 30 ft. arms) in his ''Natural History''. The actual animals are presumably OlderThanDirt.
* GodIsFlawed: Rather common in this era. For instance, the Greek gods were a bunch of regular {{jerkass}}es. It's been theorized this was a metaphor for how idiotic humans can be.
* GodTest: Frequently in the [[Literature/TheBible Old Testament]]. Additionally the Gospel of Matthew gives us what may be the oldest subversion: {{Satan}} telling Jesus to prove he's the son of God, and Jesus basically telling him to screw off. Creator/{{Aristophanes}} provides a parody in ''Theatre/TheFrogs'', in which Dionysos completely fails said test, despite being a real deity.
* GoingNative: Octavian's propaganda against Mark Antony made the latter out to be the UrExample.
* GoldFever: Discussed in Book II of the ''Aeneid'', when Aeneas recounts how King Polymestor of Thrace murdered Polydorus, the son of his ally King Priam of Troy, to rob Polydorus' treasure of gold. Aeneas' words ''auri sacra fames'', the "accursed hunger for gold", was a popular quote even in antiquity.
* GoodCopBadCop: Odysseus and Diomedes in Book 10 of the ''Literature/TheIliad''.
* GoshDangItToHeck: The third commandment of the Hebrews: "You shall not take the name of Y**H your God in vain, for Y**H will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain." (Exodus 20:7, NKJV). Euphemisms for this four-letter word were "the Name" in speech or "Lord" in prayer.
* GrandTheftMe: Yayati, after the curse of his father-in-law that he should become old and infirm, asked his sons to exchange their youthful body with his. All refused except the youngest son, Puru, who was crowned after his reign. Puru was the ancestor of the Kauravas and the Pandavas in the Literature/{{Mahabharata}}. His brother Yadu was the ancestor of the Yadavas -- thus the ancestor of Krishna.
* GratuitousGreek: Several ancient Roman authors often inserted Greek quotations into their works.
* GrayEyes: Greek goddess Athena is always described as ''glaukopis'', meaning she has blue-green, or blue-gray eyes (or in an alternate translation, owl eyes). Translations typically simplify it to "gray-eyed."
* GreyAndGrayMorality: The Achaeans and Trojans in ''Literature/TheIliad''.
* GuileHero: [[Literature/TheOdyssey Odysseus]]. Ruth and Queen Esther in Literature/TheBible. Krishna in the Literature/{{Mahabharata}}.
* HappinessInSlavery: The biblical instructions for freeing slaves also tell owners what to do in case they have a happy slave who wants to stay... just in case, you know.
* HeadsOrTails: Dates back to Ancient Rome, according to [[Wiki/{{Wikipedia}} The Other Wiki]].
* HealingFactor (Regenerative Immortality): [[ClassicalMythology Greek gods]] don't age, can't be killed by ''anything'', and heal very quickly even from massive wounds. Poor Prometheus had his liver torn out every day and grown back by the next morning. The Hydra also had this: whenever Heracles cut a head off, it instantly grew two more. One of its heads was also physically indestructible, which got it buried under a big rock.
* HeelFaithTurn: Just for starters, St. Matthew and St. Paul of [[Literature/TheBible the Apostles]]. Matthew was a tax collector, while Paul was a Pharisee-in-training ''cum'' BountyHunter under the name Saul.
* {{Hell}}: The Christian concepts of {{Heaven}} and Hell go back to the [[Literature/TheBible New Testament]]. The [[FireAndBrimstoneHell fire-and-brimstone version]] was inspired, however, by the lakes of fire in the Egyptian [[TheUnderworld underworld]] where damned souls were often punished.
* HellOfAHeaven: Happens in one version of the classic Indian epic Literature/{{Mahabharata}}.
* HelloNurse: Helen of Troy, the most beautiful mortal woman in the world.
* HermitGuru: John the Baptist, and the RealLife Pillar Hermits.
* HeroKiller: Typhon in ClassicalMythology, who is terrifying enough to make the gods flee Olympus, and {{badass}} enough to defeat Zeus in a straight up fight. From a Trojan perspective Achilles is definitely this; one could make a case for [[ImplacableMan Mezentius]] or Turnus in ''Literature/TheAeneid''.
* HeroicBastard: Almost all of the demigod heroes in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]], such as Heracles. Karna in the Literature/{{Mahabharata}}, and Jephthah in Literature/TheBible.
* HitMeDammit: In Kings 20:35-37, a prophet of God needs to be beaten and bruised in order to deliver the message God had for King Ahab (It makes sense in context).
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Oedipus' father Laios, when he's killed by the son he abandoned years earlier. Murderous King Diomedes, eaten by the freakish horses he used to feed human flesh. Corrupt minister Haman in Literature/TheBible, hung on the gallows he built for his rival.
* HolyIsNotSafe: The Greeks believed that seeing the glory of a god would kill you. Likewise the Literature/BookOfExodus has God state that seeing his face would kill Moses, and the Ark of the Covenant was an equal-opportunity DoomsdayDevice.
* HonorBeforeReason: Creator/{{Cicero}} mentions Marcus Atilius Regulus, who had been captured by Carthage in the Punic Wars. He was sent to Rome to negotiate a Roman surrender, with the promise that he would return to Carthage. If he was unsuccessful, the Carthaginians would kill him. Regulus went to Rome, argued AGAINST surrender, and then returned and accepted execution by a Carthaginian sword.
* HopeSpringsEternal: In Creator/{{Hesiod}}'s story of Pandora's Box, hope was in the box (jar) to either help mortals, or deceive them.
* HopeSproutsEternal: In the Old Testament the olive branch was the sign to Noah that the flood waters were receding.
* HotLibrarian: The Greek goddess Athena is beautiful ''and'' wise.
* HowDoYouLikeThemApples: Eris's Apple of Discord in the Literature/TrojanCycle.
* HumanPincushion: Saint Sebastian's legend says that his martyrdom had him become this. In a subversion, he [[MadeOfIron actually survived]], so he "had" to be flogged to death.
* HydraProblem: Heracles fought the {{Trope Namer|s}}. He had to burn the stumps to stop its [[HealingFactor heads from groing back.]]
* {{Hypocrite}}: Agamemnon in ''Literature/TheIliad''; you go to war over a woman being taken -- that means you shouldn't take another man's woman.
* IAmWho: Oedipus, especially in Creator/{{Sophocles}}'s ''Theatre/OedipusTheKing''.
* IAmXSonOfY: "[[Literature/TheOdyssey I am Odysseus, son of Laertes]]". Commonly used in Literature/TheBible as well.
* IBelieveICanFly: Icarus, Pegasus, Harpies, Sirens, Hermes and Perseus with winged sandals...
* IFellForHours: In ''Literature/TheIliad'', when Hephaestus recalls being flung off of Olympus by Zeus he says that he fell all day.
* IGaveMyWord: In ClassicalMythology, the oaths of the suitors that required them to follow Menelaus to Troy. Also the Oath of the Styx that Greek gods cannot break, which has gotten Zeus, Helios, and others in big trouble...
* IWantGrandkids: In ''Literature/TheMetamorphoses'', Daphne's father often told her this: "Saepe pater dixit 'Debes mihi, nata, nepotes.'"
* IWillWaitForYou: Odysseus's wife Penelope and his dog Argos both waited 20 years for him to return. Penelope kept a ton of obnoxious suitors hanging while she waited.
* IdenticalStranger: In ''Theatre/{{Menaechmi}}'', by the Roman author Creator/{{Plautus}}.
* IdiotPlot: ''Theatre/{{Menaechmi}}'', in which the characters take way too long to realize both twins are present.
* IfIWantedYouDead: The biblical David twice gets close enough to kill Saul, but stays his hand. Although not explicit, the message is clear. Saul doesn't get it.
* IgnoreTheFanservice: Socrates is above such things.
* ImpossibleTask: Heracles, David, Psyche, and Perseus faced them in stories from this period.
* ImpoverishedPatrician: The Roman Republic was full of them. One narrates Creator/{{Juvenal}}'s {{Satire}}s.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Odysseus shot an arrow through the handle-rings of twelve axes in ''Literature/TheOdyssey''.
* ImprobableFoodBudget: The seven years of plenty before Joseph's biblical drought.
* ImprobableWeaponUser: [[Literature/TheBible The biblical]] Samson killed an army of Philistines using a donkey's jaw.
* InTheBlood: Original Sin in Literature/{{Genesis}}.
* InTheNameOfTheMoon: The heroes of Creator/{{Homer}}'s ''Iliad'' do this, down to formulaic repetition originally designed to allow extemporaneous reciters of epic poetry to keep to the meter.
* IndenturedServitude: In RealLife the Athenian lawmaker Draco passed a law that any man who was owed a debt by another could claim the indebted party as a slave until the debt was paid off.
* InformationWantsToBeFree: [[ClassicalMythology The Prometheus myth]]: the secret of fire given to the mortals against the other gods' will. OlderThanTheyThink? Yup.
* InvisibleJerkass: Creator/{{Plato}}'s ''Literature/TheRepublic'' tells the tale of Gyges, a shepherd who finds a ring of invisibility. Gyges promptly uses its power to seduce the queen, assassinate the king, and become king. Plato's [[AnAesop moral]] is that morality is rooted completely in society, and with anonymity, all morality disappears.
* {{Invisibility}}: The Ring of Gyges and the Cap of Hades.
* InvisibilityCloak: The Cap of Hades, which rendered all wearers invisible; later borrowed by Perseus.
* IronicHell: Tantalus and Sisyphus in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]] both ended up in versions of Tartarus that fit their crimes.
* IrrevocableMessage: The execution order in ''Theatre/{{Antigone}}'', by Creator/{{Sophocles}}. The result was death and tragedy, not played for laughs.
* IrrevocableOrder: In Literature/TheBible, the Medes and Persians had a law that if the king's ring was used to seal a proclamation then it could not be undone, not even if the king changed his mind. This plays a role in the stories of Esther and Daniel.
* ItWasAGift: Perseus was given his mirror-like shield and winged sandals by the gods Athena and Hermes. In [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]], Philoctetes got the famous bow of Heracles at the latter's death.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: J-P]]
* JewsLoveToArgue: Parts of the [[Literature/TheBible Old Testament]].
* JudgmentOfSolomon: 1 Kings 3:16-28, [[Literature/TheBible Old Testament]]. Solomon did it with a baby.
* JustTheFirstCitizen: Augustus, the first Emperor of Rome: his official title, ''princeps'', means "first" and is conventionally translated in this context as "First Citizen." He very deliberately avoided titles like "king" or "dictator".
* KangarooCourt: The trial of Jesus, as depicted in the Gospels.
* KidHero: David in Literature/TheBible (1 Samuel), specifically his fight with Goliath.
* KindRestraints: Odysseus was tied to the mast in the Odyssey in order to prevent him from being drawn to the sirens.
* KingIncognito: Odysseus did it twice: [[Literature/TheTrojanCycle once at Troy]], and [[Literature/TheOdyssey again in Ithaca.]] The prophet Elijah did this among the Israelites, and King Solomon was forced to after being dethroned by an imposter.
* KlingonPromotion: If you successfully prosecuted a Roman Senator in court, you obtained their rank. Between 235 and 284 CE there were 25 different Roman emperors, mainly because they kept assassinating their predecessors.
* KneelBeforeFrodo: In the Literature/{{Ramayana}}, after the war against Ravana is won and Sita is rescued, Rama rewards his generals for their courage. When Hanuman walks up, Rama breaks into tears and tells him there's no treasure valuable enough.
* KrakenAndLeviathan: The Leviathan in Literature/TheBible (Job 41).
* LadyLand: The Amazons in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]].
* LadyOfWar: The Greek goddess Athena.
* LadyMacbeth: Jezebel, wife of King Ahab in the [[Literature/TheBible Old Testament]].
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: Figures in ''Theatre/TheRecognitionOfShakuntala'', an episode from the Literature/{{Mahabharata}} that was made into a play by Kalidasa: Śakuntalā and Dushyanta get married, but Dushyanta gets cursed with amnesia and completely forgets her, but nothing else. When Śakuntalā finally breaks the spell, all the memories return.
* LawfulStupid: The [[HinduMythology Hindu god]] Daksha hated his son-in-law Shiva for living a chaotic lifestyle. Shiva ignores him until his wife commits suicide after Daksha defiles and mocks her beloved. Shiva kills him, then revives him with the head of a goat.
* LawOfInverseFertility: In "want but can't conceive" form only: Theseus's mortal father Aegeus, and several women in Literature/TheBible.
* LeakingCanOfEvil
* LetMeTellYouAStory: Jesus's parables are a famous example; the prophet Nathan has an earlier example in Literature/TheBible (2 Samuel 12).
* LiminalBeing: Tiresias, in ''The Odyssey'', manages to be between two different states in three different ways.
* LiteralGenie: In a Roman myth about the Greek god Hermaphroditos, an annoying clingy girl wished she could forever be united with the uninterested deity she was harassing. Some literal-minded god fulfilled her wish ... by fusing their bodies together into one hermaphroditic person.
* LivingMacGuffin: Helen of Troy from ''Literature/TheIliad''.
* LivingShadow: Ghosts in [[ClassicalMythology Roman Mythology]] were usually jet-black, resembling animated shadows, and souls in the afterlife were called ''umbrae'' ("shadows").
* LoadsAndLoadsOfRaces: ClassicalMythology features many races: Ordinary mortals, gods (including titans and daimones), nymphs, [[{{Cyclops}} cyclopes]], giants, centaurs, satyrs, fauns, and six-armed Gegenees; plus various bizarre HumanSubspecies: headless Blemmyes, one-eyed Arimaspians, dog-heads, one-legged Skiapodes, four-legged Artabatitai, hermaphroditic Makhlyes, short-lived Kalingoi, mouthless Astomoi, [[TheAgeless ageless Makroboi]], Golden and Silver Men, and more.
* LosingYourHead: Orpheus's head continued to sing after his decapitation, according to Creator/{{Ovid}}.
* LostInImitation: Several Greek myths are best known, and more often repeated, from a later version after a famous poet or playwright altered the contours of an earlier story. Such was apparently the case with Creator/{{Aeschylus}}'s {{Theatre/Prometheus|Bound}} and Creator/{{Euripides}}'s Theatre/{{Medea}}.
* LotteryOfDoom: How the Minotaur got fed, according to late Greek writers such as Creator/DiodorusSiculus and Creator/{{Apollodorus}}.
* LotusEaterMachine: Homer's ''Literature/TheOdyssey''; {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* LotusPosition: Gautama Buddha did it.
* LoveAtFirstSight: ClassicalMythology is full of this: Eros, god of love, can inflict it on anyone whenever he wants, but then he suffered the same with Psyche. Numerous hapless souls fell for Narcissus, only to be callously rejected, and finally the gods made him pine away for his own reflection.
* LoverAndBeloved: Common in Ancient Greece; they called this ErastesEromenos.
* LoveRuinsTheRealm: [[Literature/TheAeneid Dido's fling with Aeneas]] supposedly started the Punic Wars. Prince Paris abducting Helen started the Trojan War. Marcus Antonius allowing Cleopatra to co-rule opened him up to bad PR and ultimately civil war.
* LuckBasedMission: Keno slips in the Chinese [[DynastiesFromShangToQing Han Dynasty]], circa 205 BCE.
* LysistrataGambit: The {{trope namer|s}} is ''Theatre/{{Lysistrata}}'' by Creator/{{Aristophanes}}.
* MachoMasochism: Mucius Scaevola was an ancient Roman who demonstrated his courage and loyalty to the city by thrusting his hand into a flame until it was consumed, when an enemy tried to threaten him.
* MadeASlave: Joseph was enslaved in Genesis. Heracles was enslaved to Omphale in ClassicalMythology.
* MadOracle: The Pythia, a.k.a. the priestess of Apollo's Oracle at Delphi, was occasionally depicted giving prophecies in a state of possessed frenzy. The RealLife version, not so much.
* MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter: Medea, in the trope's more general form.
* MagicalGirlfriend: Greek myth of Pygmalion, the anti-social guy who was so great Aphrodite turned his statue into Galatea, the perfect bride, so he could be happy forever.
* MagicMusic: In ClassicalMythology Orpheus could charm wild animals, plants, rocks, and the god Hades with his singing.
* MagicWand: What Circe uses to turn men into pigs in ''Literature/TheOdyssey''.
* MagmaMan: Vulcanus is the Roman god of volcanoes. Italy has active volcanoes, and they tended to blame eruptions on this god.
* MagneticHero: Jesus Christ might be the UrExample.
* TheMagnificentSevenSamurai: ''Theatre/SevenAgainstThebes''.
* MakeTheDogTestify: One of the numerous courtroom antics in Aristophanes' ''The Wasps'' is putting a bowl, a pestle, a cheese-grater, a brazier, and a pot on the stand in a lawsuit between two dogs (who look like famous figures of the day and can apparently talk) about the alleged theft of some fine Sicilian cheese. The defendant also brings out his puppies to soften the hearts of the jury.
** A borderline case is [[/index]]OlderThanDirt[[index]]: Ancient Egyptian myth has the trial of Horus (for sodomy with Set), in which Set and Horus both make their semen testify. However, since this is an explicitly supernatural trial (both parties being gods), it's unclear if it really fits under the trope.
* TheManBehindTheMan: Some Bible students believe that Isaiah 14:12 (particularly in the King James Version) and Ezekiel 28:12-19 is God talking to [[TheDevil The Man Behind The Kings]].
* TheManInTheMoon: A [[Literature/TheTalmud Talmudic]] tradition holds that the face of Jacob is engraved upon the Moon.
* MarkedBullet: The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sling_(weapon) sling bullets]] with "ΔΕΞΑΙ" (''DEXAI'', Greek for "take that") engraved on them.
* MassiveMultiplayerCrossover: The Classical myth of Jason and the Argonauts: name a Greek hero, he was probably in this one, everyone from Hercules to Oedipus. Many had sons at Troy.
* {{Matriarchy}}: The Amazons, first mentioned in ''Literature/TheIliad'', are the sexist variety, supposedly demonstrating why women should never rule.
* MenAreGenericWomenAreSpecial: The Greek Literature/{{Theogony}} has men created first, and the woman created later as a ''punishment'' to ruin mortal life.
* MentorArchetype: In the ''Literature/TheOdyssey'', Athena poses as Mentor, Telemachus's elderly advisor, and convinces him to actively seek information on his missing father, instead of passively waiting.
* MerlinSickness: The fruit on Anostus causes this in the Roman ''Literature/VariaHistoria'', by Claudius Aelianus.
* MergerOfSouls: Postulated by the 3rd-century-AD Greek philosopher Plotinus, as "Emanation ''ex deo''" ("out of God"). Basically, in the hierarchy of being, there is The One (who is all good, transcended, and unchanging). The nature of the One is simply that it filters down itself, but the One never loses anything or changes. Next comes the Novus, or Divine Mind, and then bellow that is the Oversoul. From the Oversoul comes individual Human Souls. So what does this have to do with this trope? It's possible for a human soul to reunite with the One again, forever (at least in Neoplatonic tradition).
* MilesGloriosus: The [[Theatre/MilesGloriosus play of that name]] is the {{Trope Namer|s}}, but ''Literature/TheIliad'''s [[TropeMakers Paris]] beat him to it.
* MiracleFood: It goes all the way back to Greek mythology and the concept of ambrosia.
* MissionFromGod: The Patriarchs, Moses, prophets in general in Literature/TheBible.
* MistakenIdentity: Goes back at least to Greek theater, potentially further.
* ModestyBedsheet: Believe it or not, there are numerous Roman wall paintings depicting couples during sex -- with the woman wearing a brassiere, because it would've been considered lascivious for her to show her breasts. To her own husband. During sex.
* MonkeyMoralityPose: Dates back to the days of Confucius.
* MoonRabbit: Earliest recorded reference found during the Warring States period of Ancient China.
* MortonsFork: In [[Literature/TheFourGospels the New Testament]] (Mark 12:13) the Pharisees try to catch Jesus in one by asking if they should pay taxes to Caesar.
* MosesInTheBullrushes: Moses himself, in the Literature/BookOfExodus. Also Oedipus in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]], Romulus and Remus in [[ClassicalMythology Roman Mythology]], and Karna in the Literature/{{Mahabharata}}.
* {{Multishot}}: Rama, hero of the Literature/{{Ramayana}}, can shoot ''one thousand'' arrows with one draw, and once used such a feat to shoot down a rain of stones aimed at him. He ''is'' an Avatar of Vishnu, after all.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Old Greek and Roman poems played up the mediocrity of an event by writing it in epic verse. ''Literature/{{Batrachomyomachia}}'' used epic Creator/{{Homer}}-style poetry to narrate a battle between frogs and mice.
* MurderTheHypotenuse: King David effects the death of General Uriah, so he can have Bathsheba for himself, in Literature/TheBible (2 Samuel 10-12).
* MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels: Plautus's ''Literature/{{Poenulus}}'', in which an incompetent interpreter turns Phoenician into Latin gibberish.
* NakedFirstImpression: Mortal men pay dearly for having accidentally seen a Greek goddess bathing.
* NephariousPharaoh: Egyptian pharaohs have been portrayed as villains ever since Literature/TheBible.
* NeutralityBacklash: Seen in "The Bat, The Birds and The Beasts" in Literature/AesopsFables, where a bat refuses to take sides in a war between birds and beasts and is shunned by both sides after the war.
* NeverAcceptedInHisHometown: Jesus Christ mentions this happening to prophets.
* NeverFoundTheBody: At least as early as 200 CE, Achilles Tatius' ''Literature/LeucippeAndClitophon''.
* NewMediaAreEvil: Creator/{{Socrates}}' criticism of ''writing'', which apparently goes back to an old tradition among the Greeks; didn't stop Creator/{{Plato}}, though.
* NiceJewishBoy: Lots of them in Literature/TheBible.
* NiceJobBreakingItHerod: The {{Trope Namer|s}} Herod, as well as the UrExample of Pharaoh with Moses from the Literature/BookOfExodus.
* NiceMice: Found in "The Lion and the Mouse" in Literature/AesopsFables, where a mouse sets a lion free from a trap by gnawing through a hunter's net.
* NighInvulnerability: Achilles, the Nemean Lion, and Antaeus, all from ClassicalMythology.
* NoArcInArchery: Creator/{{Aristotle}}, the poster-boy for ArtisticLicensePhysics, claimed that an arrow would fly in a straight line until its momentum was used up, then drop suddenly to the ground. Never mind the fact that every ''actual'' archer of the time knew he was full of shit.
* NoHeroToHisValet: Jesus mentions that [[http://niv.scripturetext.com/luke/4.htm "no prophet is accepted in his hometown."]] for this reason.
* NoMisterBondIExpectYouToDine: In the Literature/BookOfGenesis, Joseph does this to his brothers in Egypt. {{Subverted|Trope}}, because he actually intends them no harm at all.
* NoPlaceForMeThere: In Literature/TheBible, Moses could not enter ThePromisedLand because of his impiety at Meribah (never mind that the other Israelites frequently surpassed him by leaps and bounds). King David could not build the Temple of Jerusalem because he was a man of war, and the temple had to be built by a man of peace (his son Solomon).
* NobleSavage: Used by Creator/{{Tacitus}} when describing the Germanic and Caledonian tribes.
* NostalgiaAintLikeItUsedToBe: In many myths of this period, the ambiguous "past" was much better than life at the time; for example, people lived much longer (Genesis), they mingled with gods, etc. Creator/{{Hesiod}}'s myth of the Five Ages explicitly describes the decline of humanity.
* NouveauRiche: ''Literature/TheSatyricon'' (c. 60 CE) has Trimalchio, a freed slave that has come to untold riches and is not afraid to show it off.
* ObfuscatingInsanity: Odysseus tried this in the Literature/TrojanCycle, to avoid having to go to Troy. The [[Literature/TheBible biblical David]] did it when in exile before he became king.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: The original Brutus and the Roman emperor Claudius are two famous TruthInTelevision examples.
* OccupiersOutOfOurCountry: One of the first known examples is that of the Jewish Zealots, of the 1st century BCE.
* OdeToIntoxication: Most notably, Horace's "Ode to a Wine Jar."
* OffTheTable: In Roman legend, the Cumaean sybil visited Tarquin the Elder (the last king of Rome, 6th century BCE) and offered him nine books of prophecy for a great price. He refused; she burned three of them and offered the rest at the same price. After repeating this, he finally paid the original price for the remaining three.
* OhMyGods: God swears by Himself in [[Literature/TheBible Jeremiah 22:5]].
--> "But if you will not hear these words, I swear by Myself, said the LORD, "that this house shall become a desolation."
* OldRetainer: Odysseus's old nurse in ''Literature/TheOdyssey''; Phoenix to Achilles in ''Literature/TheIliad''.
* OmniscientMoralityLicense: [[Literature/TheBible The Book of Job]], as well as most of the tests, trials, and commands God gave people.
* OneExtraMember: TheFourGods in ChineseMythology actually has five divine beasts. The fifth one is Huang Long, the Yellow Dragon that governs the element of [[DishingOutDirt Earth]] and the direction of center. He's absent in the Japanese version, where the center is associated with [[PowerOfTheVoid void]] instead.
* OnlySaneMan: Most prophets. Also Odysseus. Noah and Lot from the Book of Genesis -- although "righteous" rather than sane.
* TheOnlyWayTheyWillLearn: "The Tao which can be explained is not the eternal Tao." Laozi, fifth century BCE China.
* OpinionFlipflop: In the [[DynastiesFromShangToQing Qn Dynasty]] of China, one imperial advisor tested the loyalty of courtiers by bringing a deer before the emperor and calling it a horse. Anyone who dared tell the truth was soon vacated from his post.
* OrderedToCheat: Krishna urges Bhima to illegally hit Duryodhana below the belt in the Literature/{{Mahabharata}}, since his AchillesHeel is his thighs.
* OrganAutonomy: Ancient Greek and Roman doctors commonly believed that the uterus could get up and wander around a woman's body, inciting her to insanity. This is why the word "hysteria" comes from the Greek word for uterus. After all, if ''your'' organs did this to you on a regular basis, you might start to lose it after a while.
* OriginalMan: The subject of how different past humans were from modern humans was the subject of Hebrew, Greek and Hindu philosophy long before the feudal period.
* OrphansPlotTrinket: In Creator/{{Euripides}}' play ''Theatre/{{Ion}}'', the orphan Ion was raised in Apollo's temple, and the only clue to his true identity is the basket he was found in. His mother conveniently recognizes this basket just in time to prevent him from killing her, after she'd tried to assassinate him.
* OurAngelsAreDifferent: Literature/TheBible actually features very few WingedHumanoid Angels. Otherworldly, Lovecraftian EldritchAbomination-looking angels abound. Those in Isaiah and Ezekiel are particularly... awesome. The Cherubim were originally imagined as winged cobras.
* OutOfTheFryingPan: In Literature/TheBible (Amos 5:19), "It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear."
* OutdoorBathPeeping: David to Bethsheba in Literature/TheBible (Samuel 1). Actaeon and Siprotes to Artemis, and Tiresias to Athene, in ClassicalMythology.
* OutsourcingFate: Several examples in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]], but probably the best-known is Paris having to choose the most beautiful goddess from among Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite. [[TrojanWar We all know how that ended.]]
* TheOwlKnowingOne: Owls are the symbol for the Greek goddess of knowledge Athena.
* {{Panacea}}: The trope as we know it comes from [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]].
* PapaWolf: In ''Literature/TheOdyssey'', many of Odysseus' problems are caused by Poseidon's wrath and revenge for the fate of his son Polyphemos, whom Odysseus blinded. Ares, usually not depicted in a favorable light, once killed a son of Poseidon to stop him from raping Ares' daughter.
* ParentalFavoritism: Jacob vs. Esau, Joseph vs. his brothers (Genesis).
* {{Parody}}: The ancient Greek ''Literature/{{Batrachomyomachia}}'', a parody of the war epic genre depicting a conflict of mice and frogs.
* PaterFamilicide: The Greek hero Heracles, in a fit of insanity caused by the goddess Hera.
* PeacockGirl: Hera in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]] sometimes wears a few feathers; the peacock is her sacred bird.
* {{Pegasus}}: The {{Trope Namer|s}} shows up first in Creator/{{Hesiod}}'s writing.
* ThePhilosopherKing: As outlined in Plato's ''Literature/TheRepublic''.
* PlagueOfGoodFortune: Creator/{{Herodotus}} tells of a king who had such good luck that he threw a cherished ring in the ocean to try and balance things, hoping to dodge whatever doom the gods had in store for him. The ring was eaten by a fish, the fish captured by a fisherman, and the ring returned to the king. This sealed his fate - he lost everything.
* PlanetOfHats: The allegorically intended nations of Hyperborea and {{Atlantis}}, among others.
* PlantPerson: Greek religion has the dryads, the nymphs of trees, groves, woods, and mountain forests. Hamadryads were a type that died when their tree died.
* PlatonicCave: Creator/{{Plato}}'s philosophy.
* PleaseShootTheMessenger: In ClassicalMythology, Iobates was the King of Lycia. His nephew Proetus sent Bellerophon to Iobates with a note that said "Kill the bearer of this message."
* PleaseSpareHimMyLiege: Large portions of [[Literature/TheBible Numbers]] and Leviticus consist of the Israelites doing something to piss God off, God threatening to wipe them all out, Moses pleading with Him, and then God agreeing to destroy only a few thousand instead.
* PolarOppositeTwins: The [[ClassicalMythology Greek gods]] Artemis and Apollo became this, but only after the Greeks and Romans started regarding them as sun god and moon goddess.
* PowerIncontinence: King Midas just can't stop turning everything to gold... his food, his water, his daughter...
* ThePowerOfRock: In the [[Literature/TheBible Book of Joshua]], Joshua destroyed the walls of Jericho with music.
* PreachersKid (diabolic type): In [[Literature/TheBible Leviticus]] 10:1,2 the very first High Priest, Aaron (the brother of Moses), had two of his sons mess up.
* ProdigalHero: In Literature/TheBible Moses is exiled for some time, then comes back to free the Israelites from slavery.
* ThePromisedLand: Canaan in the book of Exodus, which is also the {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* ProngsOfPoseidon: The Greek god Poseidon's trident is the {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* ProperLady: ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' features Penelope, Queen of Ithaca, who remains loyal to her missing husband Odysseus for twenty years, keeping her suitors at bay. She was cited as the greatest example of marital faithfulness in the classical world.
* AProtagonistShallLeadThem: Saul, Moses, David, etc. in Literature/TheBible.
* PsychoExGirlfriend: Euripides's Theatre/{{Medea}}, after Jason dumped her for the princess of Corinth. This did not end well.
* PublicDomainArtifact: Many such artifacts are drawn from very old stories, but it happened back then too. The Golden Fleece was used by various mythographers in their retellings of the Argonauts story, and Hercules's bow showed up in his stories and the Literature/TrojanCycle.
* PungeonMaster: {{God}} made some puns in Literature/TheBible.
* PunishedForSympathy: There are multiple incidents in Literature/TheBible where God punishes the Israelites for showing pity to those He commanded to be destroyed. In Creator/{{Sophocles}}' ''Theatre/{{Antigone}}'', after the title character's brother dies an enemy of the state Creon commands that his body be left unburied. Antigone disobeys and is BuriedAlive for her trouble.
* ThePunishment: In some versions of the [[ClassicalMythology Greek Medusa myth]], Medusa used to be a beautiful nymph. Being a hideous monster, and [[TakenForGranite turning people to stone]], was a punishment from Athene for having sex (or rather, [[JerkassGods getting raped]]) in her temple.
* PurpleIsPowerful: In AncientRome, the Patrician class were the only people allowed to wear Tyrian purple.
* PurposeDrivenImmortality: Literature/TheBible contains several examples of people who were promised that they would not die until they saw some prophesy fulfilled, such as Simeon who was promised he would live to see the Lord's Messiah.
* PyrrhicVictory: The {{Trope Namer|s}} is the Greek general and king [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrrhus_of_Epirus Pyrrhus of Epirus]], who tried to conquer Italy. Rome beat him in a war of attrition partly because of Roman improvements on Greek military doctrine (combined arms tactics, and generals commanding from the rear instead of leading from the front), but mostly because they could replace their forces fairly readily and Pyrrhus couldn't.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Q-Z]]
* QuoteToQuoteCombat: {{Jesus}} versus {{Satan}} in the [[Literature/TheBible Gospels of Luke and Mark]].
* RageAgainstTheHeavens: The title characters in [[Literature/TheBible The Book of Job]] and Creator/{{Aeschylus}}'s ''Theatre/PrometheusBound''.
* RagsToRoyalty: Creator/GaiusJuliusCaesar went from ImpoverishedPatrician to dictator-for-life of Rome. The [[Literature/TheBible biblical]] Esther went to common Jewish girl to queen.
* RaisedByWolves: Romulus and Remus by a wolf. Atalanta by a bear, according to late Classical writers. In both cases, it's more that the babies were nursed by wild animals until human foster-parents found them.
* RecliningReigner: The Roman upper class were well-known to dine on reclining sofas, the better to show off their affluence.
* ReincarnationRomance: Several examples in HinduMythology: Sati/Parvati and Shiva; Kama and his wife; etc.
* ReligionOfEvil: Pre-Christian "pagan" religions accused Judaism was this. Later on Christians accused non-Christian religions of Satan-worship. Nowadays atheists accuse Christians of this. Tomorrow....?
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent: In Literature/{{Genesis}}, the evil Serpent that persuades Adam and Eve to eat the ForbiddenFruit appears to be a stand-in for Satan.
* TheResenter: Cain, towards Abel, in [[Literature/TheBible the Torah]].
* RevengeSVP: The ''[[Literature/TheTrojanCycle Cypria]]'' featured the story of Eris, goddess of Strife. Denied invitation to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, she responded by orchestrating a quarrel between Aphrodite, Athena, and Hera. Said quarrel led to the TrojanWar.
* RiddleMeThis: The Sphinx in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]].
* RiddleOfTheSphinx: The {{Trope Namer|s}} in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]].
* RiddlingSphinx: Again, [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]].
* RightWayWrongWayPair: [[Literature/TheBible The Book of Proverbs]]' first 29 chapters carry the thread of contrasting the wise man and TheFool.
* RingOfPower: The Ring of Gyges, which made the wearer invisible, but also corrupted him (as told by Creator/{{Plato}} in book II of ''Literature/TheRepublic'').
* RipVanWinkle: The oldest examples are found in Literature/TheTalmud in the story of the ancient Rabbi and scholar Honi ha-M'agel, and in Diogenes Laertius' biography of the Greek sage Epimenides.
* RoaringRampageOfRescue: Essentially the entire plot of the Literature/{{Ramayana}} once the demon king Ravana kidnaps Rama's wife Sita, starting a war in the process.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: From [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]]: Achilles avenging Patroclus, Odysseus killing the suitors, and Heracles on several occasions.
* {{Robot}}: The ''automatones'' created by Hephaestus were machines that moved of their own accord and worked for their maker; some of them had humanoid form.
* RobotGirl: Hephaestus is served by ''automaton'' maidens made of "living gold" in ''Literature/TheIliad''.
* RockOfLimitlessWater: Several of these appear in ClassicalMythology. In addition, Moses creates one with {{God}}'s power in Literature/TheBible.
* RomanceArc: Literature/{{Genesis}}: God creates Man. Next on the agenda -- Introducing Man's love interest. ClassicalMythology examples include Venus and Adonis, Jason and Medea, and Cupid and Psyche.
* RonTheDeathEater: The different versions of myths in Ancient Greece would often favour their patron Gods and heroes and paint the heroes and Gods of their enemies unfavourably.
* RousingSpeech: Boudicca gave one in her (ill-fated) campaign against the Roman invaders of Great Britain. Pericles' funeral oration in the Peloponnessian War, as depicted by Creator/{{Thucydides}}, has elements of this.
* RuleOfSeven: Rome was built on seven hills.
* RuleOfThree: In the [[Literature/TheBible New Testament]]: In John 13:38 "Jesus answered (Peter), Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice." After his resurrection, Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves him, extracting from Peter a promise to continue his work three times before he leaves him alone. This could be a symbolic reversal of Peter's thrice-denial of Jesus before his death.
* SacredHospitality: An ancient Greek custom, and a plot point in many myths. The gods punish those who violate this rule. Getting rid of [[Literature/TheOdyssey those pesky suitors]] would have been easier were it not for this.
* SadlyMythtaken: When the Greeks started worshipping the Egyptian child-god Harpokrates (Har pa-Khered), they called him the god of silence because Egyptians usually depicted him holding a finger to his lips. But in Egyptian iconography, this was just a symbol of childhood, like sucking a thumb.
* SameSexTriplets: [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]] has the 3 Fates, the 3 Furies, the 3 Graces, the 3 (elder) Cyclopes, the 3 Hekatonkhires, the 3 Horai/Seasons (usually), the 3 Harpies (usually), the 3 Graeae, and the 3 Gorgons (usually).
* SatanIsGood: Specifically, the positive and sympathetic portrayal of the god Prometheus in ''Theatre/PrometheusBound'', as compared to earlier depictions, fits this trope fairly well.
* {{Satire}}: The name of the form comes from the Roman period, being the label given to the works of the poets Ennius, Lucillus, Perseus, Creator/{{Horace}}, and Creator/{{Juvenal}}. The Romans considered satire the only uniquely Roman form of literature, but although the Romans did develop it the furthest, the plays of Creator/{{Aristophanes}} were earlier and were definitely satirical. (Some surviving Ancient Egyptian works can be interpreted satirically, but these can [[/index]][[PoesLaw also be read seriously]][[index]].)
* SchmuckBait: [[/index]]
** "Do not under any circumstances bring [[TrojanHorse this horse]] into your city, because then us Greeks will never ever be able [[Literature/TheTrojanCycle to conquer Troy."]]
** Adam and Eve: "You can eat anything you like in this garden, except the fruit from That One Tree. Got that? Whatever you do, don't touch the fruit from That One Tree."
** Pandora's Box (actually a jar), with Pandora intentionally set up to peek. [[index]]
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: Happened more and more towards the end of UsefulNotes/TheRomanRepublic.
* ScyllaAndCharybdis: [[Literature/TheOdyssey Odysseus]] lost several men to the TropeNamers.
* SealedEvilInACan: Pandora's Box, filled with all the miseries and evils that now make humanity miserable, as told by Creator/{{Hesiod}}.
* SealedGoodInACan: Several examples predate feudalism. Creator/{{Hesiod}}'s Literature/{{Theogony}} did it twice: [[/index]]
** The Cyclopes and Hundred-Handed were imprisoned by Uranus, then again by Cronus, because they were ugly. Zeus freed them, and they pledged their not-inconsiderable skills to his cause.
** Pandora managed to shut the box before Hope got away. [[index]]
* SeaMonster: Charybdis and Leviathan are just a couple of many sea monsters found in early myths.
* SeeYouInHell: According to the Roman biographer Suetonius, a certain actor implied this in a farce during Emperor Nero's bloody reign.
* SelfFulfillingProphecy: The Greek god Cronos, whose brutal efforts to prevent his children from overthrowing him directly motivated them to do exactly that. Oedipus, fleeing his adoptive parents to avoid killing Dad and marrying Mom, came to Thebes where his real parents lived.
* SexualExtortion: Testament by Joseph featuring Potiphar's Wife, mentioned in Literature/{{Genesis}}. Also the story of Bellerophon.
* ShamingTheMob: The Gospel according to John 8:1-11, [[Literature/TheBible New Testament]].
* ShapeshiftingSeducer: [[ClassicalMythology Greek god Zeus]] used the usual form for a BedTrick with Alcmene, mother of Heracles. But he has also gone after mortal women as a bull, a swan, and a "shower of gold."
* ShootTheDog: Fairly common early in [[Literature/TheBible the Old Testament]].
* SidetrackedByTheAnalogy: Happens every so often when when one of [[Literature/TheBible Jesus's parables]] falls flat. See ComicallyMissingThePoint above.
* SignatureItemClue: In ''Literature/TheBible'', Potiphar's wife gets hold of Joseph's cloak as he [[GivingThemTheStrip runs away from her]]. She later produces the cloak to support her claim that he tried to rape her.
* SinisterMinister: Diotrephes and Ciaphas in the [[Literature/TheBible New Testament]].
* SinsOfOurFathers: In Literature/TheBible, especially Original Sin. The Greek gods bring misfortune on several descendants of Tantalus through their family curse, even those who were innocent, because Tantalus was a cannibalistic jerkass.
* TheSmartGuy: Athena among the Olympians: she's the goddess of wisdom, strategic thinking, and various arts. Odysseus tends to be this whenever acting as part of a group, or leading a crew.
* SmashingHallwayTrapsOfDoom: The Argonauts had to pass their ships through the maritime version in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]].
* SmiteMeOMightySmiter: One of the Ajaxes in ''Literature/TheIliad'' curses the gods until Poseidon and Zeus both smite him.
* SoiledCityOnAHill: The state of the world just before TheGreatFlood occurred, and of Sodom and Gomorrah. Atlantis in ClassicalMythology, and Dvārakā in the Literature/{{Mahabharata}}, both sank into the seas for this reason.
* SolarPoweredMagnifyingGlass: Used to light the Olympic torch in ''Theatre/TheClouds''. Greek historian Lucian claimed that Archimedes built a giant bronze mirror and set fire to ships attacking Syracuse, but the story is hard to believe.
* TheSonsAndTheSpears: The oldest known version is by Creator/{{Plutarch}}.
* SorcerersApprenticePlot: Creator/{{Lucian}}'s ''Literature/{{Philopseudes}}'', 150 CE.
* SpeechCentricWork: This was a popular format for philosophical works in Ancient Greece. For example, Creator/{{Plato}}'s works are presented as conversations between two parties.
* SpontaneousChoreography: The Greek chorus did this on stage, as evidenced in the terms ''strophe'' and ''antistrophe'' (referring to dancing), though the actual dance steps are lost.
* StandardHeroReward: The Greek seer Melampos "won" a princess for a bride by performing heroic feats.
* StarScraper: The Tower of Babel in [[Literature/TheBible Genesis 11:1-9]] was envisioned as being tall enough to reach heaven, but God put a stop to it.
* StarsAreSouls: In [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]], most of the northern hemisphere constellations were supposed to be the souls or images of people placed in the sky by the gods -- sometimes to reward or memorialize a hero, sometimes to humiliate (?) somebody they hated.
* TheStarscream: This could sum up the Roman Empire in the 3rd and 4rth centuries CE. One series of these after another. Almost every Emperor was a military general who betrayed his Emperor and seized power for himself, only to have the exact same thing happen to him.
* StatingTheSimpleSolution: [[http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=713157 An old parable]] about Greek philosophers arguing over how many teeth a horse had. A young man suggests opening the horse's mouth and counting. He is shouted down because the prevailing doctrine was that if you had to prove your theory, it wasn't very good. Which kinda justifies Creator/{{Aristotle}}.
* StereoFibbing: Literature/TheBible, specifically the story of Susannah and the Elders in the Apocrypha.
* StrangerInAFamiliarLand: Creator/{{Homer}}'s ''Odyssey''.
* StrawCharacter: Creator/{{Plato}} regularly used strawmen as opponents to Creator/{{Socrates}} in his Socratic dialogues.
* StrawNihilist: Achilles goes on a rant about the meaninglessness of the heroic values and how they're all doomed to obscurity in ''Literature/TheIliad''.
* StylisticSuck: Eumolpus in The Satyricon, an absolutely awful poet who is nevertheless convinced he is a genius philosopher. We hear plenty of his bad poetry throughout his sections of the story, and it is so bad that other people usually pelt him with rocks to make him stop.
* SuddenlySuitableSuitor: In the classical Sanskrit play ''Theatre/TheRecognitionOfShakuntala''.
* SupernaturalAid: Gods granted Perseus the use of winged sandals and the Cap of Hades (which rendered all wearers invisible) so he could slay Medusa.
* SuperpowerfulGenetics: Greek myths include Sisyphos, who talked his way out of Tartaros. His son Sinon convinced the Trojans to bring the TrojanHorse into their city. Apparently lying is genetic.
* TagTeamSuicide: The tale of Pyramus and Thisbe from ''Literature/TheMetamorphoses'' by Ovid, the inspiration behind ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet''.
* TakeThat: Literature/TheBible includes several passages that amount to insults directed at enemies of ancient Israel, such as saying that the people of Moab and Ammon were descended from the products of ParentalIncest. Creator/{{Euripides}}'s ''Theatre/{{Electra}}'' mocks a plot development in Creator/{{Aeschylus}}'s ''Oresteia''.
* TakeThatAudience: Most surviving Ancient Greek comedies featured a ''parabasis'', in which the actors suddenly halted the plot to spend several minutes insulting random spectators. Creator/{{Aristophanes}}' characters also insulted the audience in their dialogue.
* TakenForGranite: Everybody who ever looked at a Greek Gorgon. Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt in Literature/{{Genesis}} 19.
* TakingYouWithMe: Literature/TheBible -- post TraumaticHaircut Samson and the Philistines, specifically.
* TalkingYourWayOut: Sisyphos did this to escape TheUnderworld after he died.
* TellMeAboutMyFather: Telemachos in ''Literature/TheOdyssey''.
* TemptingFate: Capaneus of the Theatre/SevenAgainstThebes, and the companions of Diomedes after the Trojan War.
* ThanatosGambit: Several examples (as detailed on the [[ThanatosGambit Trope Page]]), although the one with the most lasting influence makes up the bulk of the [[Literature/TheFourGospels Gospels]]: Jesus Christ's entire ''life''.
* ThickerThanWater: When Theseus comes to Athens, his step-mother, Medea, tries to poison him, but Aegeus recognized [[AncestralWeapon the tokens]] he had left for Theseus, saves him, and exiles Medea -- although he had never even seen his son before.
* ThunderboltIron: It seems that at least some of the time, Greeks regarded meteorites as the thunderbolts of Zeus.
* TestAndTrialTropes: Heracles/Herucles, Theseus, Odysseus, Jason, Oedipus,... all have to fulfill impossible tasks and quests.
* TooSoon: Athenian playwright Phrynichus' historical tragedy ''The Sack of Miletus'' got him in trouble for this reason.
* {{Tragedy}}: Greek theatre, starting in the late 6th century BCE.
* TragicHero: A stock technique of Greek tragedy is to make the protagonist one of these, at least in surviving examples and Creator/{{Aristotle}}'s genre analysis.
* TragicMistake: Used by the Greek playwrights and codified by Aristotle.
* TrailOfBreadCrumbs: Theseus, on Ariadne's advice, used a ball of twine this way in the Cretan Labyrinth.
* TranslatorMicrobes: In the Acts of the Apostles, the Holy Spirit blessed Jesus's Disciples so that when they preached, anyone could understand their words, regardless of language barriers.
* TraumaticCSection: Agamemnon wants to do this to pregnant Trojan women in ''Literature/TheIliad''.
* TraumaticHaircut: Samson suffers this in the Literature/BookOfJudges.
* TrickingTheShapeshifter: Greek god Zeus learned that his wife Metis would bear a son who would overthrow him, so he tricked her into shapeshifting into a fly, and swallowed her whole. Thus he tricked Fate as well.
* TheTrickster: Hermes is a famous example in [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]]. As a newborn, he stole Apollo's cattle. The Homeric Hymn to Hermes describes him as "a son, of many shifts, blandly cunning, a robber, a cattle driver, a bringer of dreams, a watcher by night, a thief at the gates". Eris has a similar role in the ''[[Literature/TheTrojanCycle Cypria]]''.
* TrojanHorse: The {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* TrojanPrisoner: Jesus at Golgotha, on a spiritual level.
* TrollBridge: The Angel of Death in Literature/TheBible.
* TurnTheOtherCheek: Jesus advocates and names this trope in the [[Literature/TheBible New Testament]].
* TurtleIsland: Creator/PlinyTheElder in his ''Natural History'' describes a giant fish called ''pristis'', which is so big that sailors have taken it for an island and landed on its back.
* TwentyBearAsses: Four words: [[Literature/TheBible David]]. Hundred Philistine foreskins. Worst. Quest. Ever.
* TwoLinesNoWaiting: ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' has Odysseus attempting to get home, and Odysseus's son Telemachos's attempts to find his father.
* UglyGuyHotWife: Hephaestus and Aphrodite in ''Literature/TheIliad''.
* UnaccustomedAsIAmToPublicSpeaking: Creator/{{Socrates}} at his trial, according to Creator/{{Plato}}.
* UnderdressedForTheOccasion: Appears in [[Literature/TheFourGospels Matthew 22]].
* UndersideRide: Odysseus and his crew escape from Polyphemus's cave by tying themselves to the underside of sheep in ''Literature/TheOdyssey''.
* TheUnfavourite: Ares in ''Literature/TheIliad'', in the eyes of his father Zeus. In a famous scene, Athena helps her champion Diomedes defeat Ares himself in combat. Ares escapes while severely wounded and bleeding. When he complains to Zeus about his favoritism for Athene, Zeus chews him out for being a violent bully.
* {{Unicorn}}: Greek writers first mention them in the 5th century BCE.
* UriahGambit: [[TropeNamers Named after]] a biblical story of King David.
* VoiceOfTheLegion: Daniel experiences it in Literature/TheBible.
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: In "[[Literature/PrinceKhaemwaseAndSiOsiri Prince Khaemwase and Si-Osiri]]", the two Ethiopian wizards shapeshift themselves into geese. Though Egyptian, this tale is only from the 1st century CE. Greek gods like Zeus, Proteus, Thetis, and many river gods could take any shape they pleased.
* WackyWaysideTribe: Much of ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' is taken up by Odysseus and his men encountering Wacky Wayside Tribes during their 10-year journey home: {{Cyclop|s}}es, Lotus-Eaters, Aeolus and his family, Circe and her "animals," the Laestrygonians, the Cicones, Calypso...
* WalkOnWater: Jesus Christ and Apostle Peter both did it in the [[Literature/TheBible New Testament]]. Ancient Greeks credit Orion with the ability.
* WarElephants: Encountered by Alexander the Great when invading India; also famously used by Hannibal in the Second Punic War.
* WarriorPoet: King David slew giants, won wars... wrote poetry, and once danced naked to celebrate the return of the Ark.
* WeHaveBecomeComplacent: Croesus and Solon, as described in Herodotus' ''Literature/{{Histories}}''.
* WelcomeBackTraitor: Literature/TheBible.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Creon or Antigone or both of them in ''Theatre/{{Antigone}}'', depending on interpretation. To audiences at the time it was written, Creon was ''not'' considered an obvious villain.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Several examples in {{Classical|Mythology}} and [[Literature/TheBible Judeo-Christian mythology]], ranging from Aeneas after evading Achilles in ''Literature/TheIliad'' to Jesus Christ's stepfather Joseph after [[Literature/TheFourGospels Luke 2:41-51]]. See [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse the trope page]] for details.
* WhosOnFirst: [[Literature/TheOdyssey Odysseus]] telling Polyphemus that his name was "Nobody," leading to Polyphemus screaming to the other Cyclopes that "Nobody has blinded me!" Naturally, they saw no need to go help him.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: The message is already implied in the [[ClassicalMythology Greek myth]] of Tithonos, who wished for immortality but forgot to ask for eternal youth, and now ages ''forever''.
* WickedStepmother: In [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]], Hera reacted to her husband Zeus' constant infidelity by harassing or trying to kill her stepchildren, such as Apollo, Artemis, and Heracles.
* WigDressAccent: A minor prophet in [[Literature/TheBible 1 Kings 20]] disguises himself by pulling his headband down over his eyes.
* WizardDuel: In "[[Literature/PrinceKhaemwaseAndSiOsiri Prince Khaemwase and Si-Osiri]]" the story-within-the-story features a duel between an Egyptian wizard and an Ethiopian wizard at the royal court in Memphis. Though Egyptian, this tale is only from the 1st century CE.
* AWolfInSheepsClothing: One of Literature/AesopsFables.
* WonderChild: Isaac in Literature/TheBible.
* WorldOfHam: Happens in Literature/TheBible.
* WoundedGazelleGambit: Mrs. Potiphar in The Bible.
* WretchedHive: Sodom and Gomorrah from Literature/TheBible.
* YearOutsideHourInside: According to ''Literature/{{Mahabharata}}'' and other texts from HinduMythology, King Kakudmi a.k.a. Raivata went to Brahma to ask for advice on to whom he should marry his daughter. After waiting for what seemed to be short time, Brahma informed him that 108 ''yugas'' had already passed on earth, and all the candidates that Raivata had considered suitable son-in-laws had died long ago.
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: Creator/{{Homer}}'s ''Odyssey''.
* YouHaveWaitedLongEnough: Poor Penelope has to put up with this for ''years'' in ''Literature/TheOdyssey''.
* YoungestChildWins: [[/index]]
** Zeus, king of the Greek gods, is the youngest of his siblings according to Creator/{{Hesiod}}. His father Cronos, previous king of the gods, was also the youngest son. Creator/{{Homer}}, however, makes Zeus the eldest son of Cronos.
** Also a remarkably popular trope in Literature/TheBible: Abel, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Moses were all favored younger sons. (In most cases, parental favoritism led to big trouble...) [[index]]
* ZeroEffortBoss: Emperor Claudius vs. Beached Killer Whale.
[[/folder]]

[[/index]]

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