Mythological references

From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide
This article lists references to real-world religious references and other mythology in the Original Series and Re-imagined Series, found in dialogue and from ship, place and character names.

The Original Series

Judeo-Christian references

  • In "Saga of a Star World", Adama asks God to "take this burden" from him. The burden, of course, is the need to guard the last of humanity after the Twelve Colonies are destroyed. This reference is likely derived from the New Testament where Jesus prays to God before he is arrested and later crucified.

Egyptian references

  • Eden – The special effects footage that depicts this city in "Lost Planet of the Gods, Part II" is actually the pyramids of Giza in Egypt and the Temple at Karnac.
  • Flight gear – In the Original Series, the helmet of the Viper pilot resembles the ceremonial headdress of the Egyptian pharaohs.
  • Tomb of the Ninth Lord of Kobol – This place is heavily decorated in hieroglyphs and contains a sarcophagus with a prop of a Pharaoh's mummy.

Islamic references

  • Iblis – This character's name is derived from "Diabolus" by the writers, but is also the personal name of a fallen servant of Allah. Commanded to honour the first man, Adam, after Allah endowed him with the knowledge of the names of all things, Iblis defied his lord out of pride. For his rebellion, Allah cast him out of Paradise and named him Shaytan (aka Satan), which literally means accursed. As a consequence, he is the primary devil in Islam, a whisperer who seeks to guide the faithful astray.

The Re-imagined Series

Judeo-Christian references

  • The Cylons of the Re-imagined Series are monotheistic, and worship a being they name simply as "God." The Cylons speak of commandments, inferring a parallelism between their deity and the central deity of the Abrahamic religions. They also denounce all other deities as being false.
  • The Colonials have a concept of an after-life, particularly Hell and Heaven. In the Miniseries, a woman on the wireless (presumably from one of the sub-light ships) tells Colonial One that she hopes they'll "rot in hell" for leaving them behind. Also, there have been various other references to hell as well, such as in the episodes "Fragged", "Valley of Darkness", and "Resistance".
  • The title of the episode "Valley of Darkness" is from Psalms 23:4.
  • Joseph Adama could be named after either of the two biblical Josephs.
  • The title of the episode "He That Believeth In Me" is a reference to John 11:25-26, which says:
"Jesus said unto her, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

Greek references

  • Atlantia – A battlestar lost during the Fall of the Twelve Colonies. Named after a hamadryad, a form of nymph. Could also be a reference to the legend of Atlantis, written by Plato or a reference to the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Boreas – A ship in the Fleet. Named after the god of the north wind.
  • Cassandra – A ship in the Fleet. According to mythology, the daughter of King Priam of Troy had the ability of prophecy. However Apollo bestowed a curse on her, so that the more accurate the prophesy she made, the less anyone would believe her.
  • Charon – The ferryman who guides the dead safely down the River Styx. Name is a close reference to Sharon. In seasons 2 and 3, Sharon guided Galactica through the void of space.
  • Clymene – A ship in the Fleet. Several figures in Greek mythology share this name.
  • Delphi – A city on Caprica. On real-world Earth an ancient Greek city, which was home to a famous orcale dedicated to Apollo.
  • Demetrius – A ship in the Fleet. Either a reference to one of several people who lived in antiquity, or to the goddess Demeter.
  • Diomedes – A ship in the Fleet. According to legend a hero in the Trojan War.
  • Epheme – A ship in the Fleet. May be named for a minor character in Greek mythology who was nurse to the Muses.
  • Galatea – A ship in the Fleet. Galatea is the name of three figures in Greek mythology.
  • Odysseus – A ship in the Fleet. Odysseus is the hero of Homer's epic The Odyssey.
  • Pegasus – A legendary flying horse. Admiral Helena Cain's Mercury class battlestar was named after the mythical beast.
  • Persephone – A ship in the Fleet. Named after the queen of the underworld; daughter of Demeter.
  • Prometheus – A freighter in Fleet that was a hub of the black market. Named after the titan who stole the fire from the gods to give it to the humans.
  • Pythia – An oracle. Pythia was the name for head priestress at the Oracle of Delphi in Greece.
  • Scylla – A ship in Admiral Cain's short-lived civilian fleet. In Homer's The Odyssey Scylla is one of two monsters on either side of a narrow strait of water.
  • "The goddess of victory" – Mentioned, but not named, in "Torn". Nike is the goddess of victory in Greek mythology.
  • Triton – Son of Poseidon and messenger of the deep. A battlestar lost in the Fall of the Twelve Colonies wasnamed after this mythical figure.
  • Troy – A mining colony. In mythology, Troy was the site of legendary Trojan War.
  • Zephyr – A ship in the Fleet. Named after the Greek god of the west wind Zephyrus. "Zephyr" is also a general name for the west wind.
  • Zeusuda – A ship in the Fleet. Presumably named after the Greek chief god.

Roman references

  • Aurora – A ship in the Fleet. Named after the goddess of dawn, who is mentioned by name and role in "Maelstrom". Her Greek counterpart is Eos.
  • Diana – A civilian ship in operation during the first Cylon War. Named after the the goddess of the hunt; counterpart of the Greek Artemis. Diana Seelix and D'Anna Biers are also named after the goddess.
  • Mars Day – A weekday or holiday named after the Roman god of war. This corresponds to Earth's Tuesday ("Mardi" in French).
  • Mercury – The lead ship of the Mercury class, named after the Roman god of trade, profit and commerce.
  • Plutonium – An element named after Pluto, is the Roman god of the underworld.
  • Joanne Pollux – One of the twin sons of Jupiter along with Castor.
  • The Eye of Jupiter – An ancient artifact named after the chief god of Roman mythology; counterpart of Zeus.
  • Titania – One of the suggested callsigns for Sharon Agathon in "Torn". The term was used to refer to the daughters of the Titans in Ovid's Metamorphoses. Titania is also the name of the queen of the fairies in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and later works by various authors.

Norse references

  • Embla Brokk – A ship in the Fleet. The name may be derived from two separate figures of mythology: Embla, the first woman, and Brokk, a dwarf who helped create Draupnir (a magical ring) and Mjolnir (Thor's hammer).
  • Ragnar – Ragnar is named in reference to Ragnarok, the apocalyptic battle between the Norse gods at the end of the world.
  • Valkyrie – Valkyries are minor Norse deities and shieldmaidens who gathered up warriors to fight at Ragnarok.

Egyptian references

  • Amduatey – A ship in the Fleet. Named after the Amduat, an important Ancient Egyptian funerary text inscribed in the tombs of dead pharoahs.
  • Isis – The name Maya gave to Hera Agathon when she was adopted. Named after an Egyptian goddess who was later adopted by the Greeks and Romans.

Other references

  • Maya – The adoptive mother of Hera Agathon. May be named after the Hindu concept of Maya or the mother of the historical Buddha, Queen Maya.


Shared references

  • The Adama name is probably derived from Adam.
  • The name Cain is probably taken from the biblical Cain.
  • Kobol – The name of this planet is based on "Kolob", the name of the "star nearest to God" as told in Mormon scripture.
  • The Twelve Colonies – The pilot episode of the Original Series, "Saga of a Star World", as well as the Re-imagined Miniseries both show pyramidal buildings on Caprica.
  • The Twelve Tribes – Jacob's (aka "Israel") twelve sons fathered the Twelve Tribes of Israel, who wandered the desert for 40 years.
  • The names of the Twelve Colonies are derived from the Greek names of the western Zodiac.


See also