|Disclaimer: While it is the intention of the foremost members of this website to keep pages as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be taken fully as mythical, legendary or folkloric canon (let alone as a resource for any paper, report or journal). Cite pages at your own peril.|
The Lotus (True Lotus--in comparison to other plants named Lotus by modern society-- or Lotos) has its origins in Greek mythology. In particular, two myths are dedicated to it.
The first myth actually entails the origin of the Lotus Tree itself. It is a much less romantic version of the story of Apollo and Daphne; at a party of the gods (hosted by the Greek festivity god Dionysus), Lotis, a nymph daughter of the Greek sea-god Poseidon (or the Greek river-god Spercheus), attracted the raunchy sexual attention of the rustic Greek fertility-god Priapus.
He waited until she went off by herself, and then approached, hoping he could rape her as she slept. Fortunately for Lotis (and unfortunately for Priapus), before Priapus could get too close, rustic god Silenus' donkey mount began to loudly bray. Lotis woke up from her sleep, just in time to fend off Priapus' sexual advances and flee. And when Lotis had nearly reached the point where she could no longer outrun Priapus, she transformed into the first Lotus Tree.
Rejected, sexually frustrated and being taunted by the other party guests for his rejection, Priapus later killed Silenus' donkey for ruining his chances with Lotis, and inciting the others to laugh at him.
Ironically, the second myth about the Lotus pertains to men and women alike being able to freely take of Lotis' body as they chose. After her pursuit by the raunchy Priapus, Lotis remained in the form of a Lotus Tree for a long time, siring entire groves of the same plant that she had become.
The plants were so enticing and delicious, that they soon drew the attention of the people native to that land. Those people would later go on to be known as the Lotus-Eaters, the tribe encountered by Odysseus and his men, as they headed home from the horrors of the Trojan War.