Thor and Loki in drag
* In punishment for his murder of Iphitus, Heracles/Hercules was given to Omphale as a slave. Many variants of this story say that she not only compelled him to do women's work, but compelled him to dress as a woman while her slave. * Achilles was dressed in women's clothing by his mother Thetis at the court of Lycomedes, to hide him from Odysseus who wanted him to join the Trojan War. * Athena often goes to the aid of people in the guise of men in The Odyssey. * Tiresias was turned into a woman after angering a Greek goddess by killing a female snake that was coupling. * In the cult of Aphroditus, worshipers cross-dressed, men wore women's clothing and women dressed in men's clothing with false beards. Norse
* Thor dressed as Freyja to get Mjölnir back in Þrymskviða. * Odin dressed as a female healer as part of his efforts to seduce Rindr. * Hagbard in the Scandinavian legend of Hagbard and Signy (the Romeo and Juliet of the Vikings). After having slain Signy's brothers and suitors, Hagbard was no longer welcome in the hall of Signy's father Sigar. Hagbard then dressed up as one of his brother Haki's shieldmaidens to gain access to the chambers of his beloved. When the handmaidens washed his legs, they asked him why they were so furry and why his hands were so calloused. He responded with a clever verse to explain his strange appearance. Signy, however, who understood that it was Hagbard who had come to see her, explained to the maidens that his verse was truthful. Hagbard was, however, deceived by the handmaidens and he was arrested by Sigar's warriors. Hagbard was hanged and Signy committed suicide as Hagbard watched from the gallows. * Frotho I dressed as a shieldmaiden in one of his eastern campaigns. * Hervor from Hervarar saga. When Hervor learnt that her father had been the infamous Swedish berserker Angantyr, she dressed as a man, called herself Hjörvard and lived for a long time as a Viking. Hindu
* The Mahabharata: In the Agnyatbaas ("exile") period of one year imposed upon the Pandavas, in which they had to keep their identities secret to avoid detection, Arjuna crossdressed as Brihannala and became a dance teacher. * The goddess Bahuchara Mata: In one legend, Bapiya was cursed by her and he became impotent. The curse was lifted only when he worshiped her by dressing and acting like a woman. * Devotees of the god Krishna: In the region of Brajbhoomi, some male devotees of the god Krishna, called the sakhis saints, dress in female attire to pose as his consort, the goddess Radha, as an act of devotion. Historical figures
Famous historical examples of cross-dressing people include:
First World War photograph of English war reporter Dorothy Lawrence who secretly posed as a man to become a soldier. * Hua Mulan, the central figure of the Ballad of Mulan (and of the Disney film Mulan), may be a historical or fictional figure. She is said to have lived in China during the Northern Wei dynasty, and to have posed as a man to fulfill the household draft quota, thus saving her ill and aged father from serving. * Several tales of the Desert Fathers speak of monks who were disguised women, and being discovered only when their bodies were prepared for burial. One such woman, St. Mary of Alexandria, died 508, accompanied her father to a monastery and adopted a monk's habit as a disguise. When falsely accused of getting a woman pregnant, she patiently bore the accusation rather than revealing her identity to clear her name, an action praised in medieval books of saints' lives as an example of humble forbearance. * The legend of Pope Joan alleges that she was a promiscuous female pope who dressed like a man and reigned from 855 to 858. Modern historians regard her as a mythical figure who originated from 13th century anti-papal satire. * Joan of Arc was a 15th century French peasant girl who joined French armies against English...