The pre-classical Greeks believed in the ability of men to become bears. One of the most commonly told stories is that of Callisto, who bore a child of Zeus – Arcas. Hera became jealous and transformed Callisto into a bear as punishment. Arcas, out hunting, came upon his mother and shot at her. Zeus, taking pity on the mother and son, changed them into Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, the two great bear constellations. From this one myth comes a whole score of others. For instance, the name Arcas comes from the Greek word for bear – Arctos. By extension, the “Arkades” of Arcadia are supposedly descended from Arcas. Their name means bear-people.
released 04 October 2014