Posted on 21st Jan 2012 @ 3:24 PM
According to the famous myth, the first mirror was discovered by a boy called Narcissus. He was the son of a god and he was very, very handsome and proud. Many women fell in love with him, but he turned them away.
One of the women who loved Narcissus was a nymph called Echo. Hera, the Queen of Mt. Olympus, cast a spell over her servant Echo for talking too much. As punishment, Echo could henceforth only repeat what someone else said. Poor Echo! She was in love with handsome Narcissus, and yearned to tell him so!
One day Echo saw Narcissus admiring himself in a clear pond. Looking at his reflection, he vainly said to the face in the water, "I love you." Echo repeated, "I love you," and meant it. Echo stepped forward with open arms, wanting to cuddle him. But Narcissus would not look up. He thought his reflection spoke and stood gazing vainly at himself. Echo was so upset she left and hid in a cave, until nothing was left of her, except her voice.
Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, Narcissus died. Where he died a flower grew, and that flower is called a Narcissus.
Another Greek tale states that the mathematician, Archimedes, invented giant mirrors that used the sun to set Roman warships afire during an attack on Syracuse in 212 BC.
Another legend has it that the hero, Perseus, killed Medusa by using a mirrored shield. The creature was so hideous that any human who made eye contact with her was immediately turned to stone. By watching the reflection of the monster in his shield, Perseus used his sword to slice off Medusa’s head without having to look directly at her.
Another example, this time from the German Tales of the Brothers Grimm, is Snow White. The wicked queen consults a magic oval wall mirror to determine the identity of the most beautiful woman in the world.