Pan

The great god of flocks and shepherds among the Greeks; his name is probably connected with the verb paô. Lat. pasco, so that his name and character are perfectly in accordance with each other.

Later speculations, according to which Pan is the same as to pan, or the universe, and the god the symbol of the universe, cannot be taken into consideration here.

He is described as a son of Hermes by the daughter of Dryops (Hom. Hymn. vii. 34), by Callisto (Schol. ad Theocr. i. 3), by Oeneis or Thymbris (Apollod. i. 4. § 1; Schol. ad Theocrit. l. c.), or as the son of Hermes by Penelope, whom the god visited in the shape of a ram (Herod. ii. 145; Schol. ad Theocrit. i. 123 ; Serv. ad Aen. ii. 43), or of Penelope by Odysseus, or by all her suitors in common. (Serv. ad Virg. Georg. i. 16; Schol. ad Lycoph. 766; Schol. ad Theocrit. i. 3.)

Some again call him the son of Aether and Oeneis, or a Nereid, or a son of Uranus and Ge. (Schol. ad Theocrit. i. 123; Schol. ad Lycoph. l. c.) From his being a grandson or great grandson of Cronos, he is called Kronios. (Eurip. Rhes. 36.)

He was from his birth perfectly developed, and had the same appearance as afterwards, that is, he had his horns, beard, puck nose, tail, goats’ feet, and was covered with hair, so that his mother ran away with fear when she saw him ; but Hermes carried him into Olympus, where all (pantes) the gods were delighted with him, and especially Dionysus. (Hom. Hymn. vii. 36, &c.; comp. Sil. Ital. xiii. 332; Lucian, Dial. Deor. 22.)

He was brought up by nymphs. (Paus. viii. 30. § 2.)

The principal seat of his worship was Arcadia and from thence his name and his worship afterwards spread over other parts of Greece; and at Athens his worship was not introduced till the time of the battle of Marathon. (Paus. viii. 26. § 2; Virg. Eclog. x. 26; Pind. Frag. 63, ed. Boeckh.; Herod. ii. 145.)

In Arcadia he was the god of forests, pastures, flocks, and shepherds, and dwelt in grottoes (Eurip. Ion, 501; Ov. Met. xiv. 515), wandered on the summits of mountains and rocks, and in valleys, either amusing himself with the chase, or leading the dances of the nymphs. (Aeschyl. Pers. 448; Hom. Hymn. vii. 6, 13, 20 ; Paus. viii. 42. § 2.)

As the god of flocks, both of wild and tame animals, it was his province to increase them and guard them (Hom. Hymn. vii. 5; Paus. viii. 38. § 8; Ov. Fast. ii. 271, 277 ; Virg. Eclog. i. 33); but he was also a hunter, and hunters owed their success to him, who at the same time might prevent their being successful. (Hesych. s. v. Agreus.)

In Arcadia hunters used to scourge the statue, if they hunted in vain (Theocrit. vii. 107); during the heat of mid day he used to slumber, and was very indignant when any one disturbed him. (Theocrit. i. 16.)

As god of flocks, bees also were under his protection, as well as the coast where fishermen carried on their pursuit. (Theocrit. v. 15; Anthol. Palat. vi. 239, x. 10.) As the god of every thing connected with pastoral life, he was fond of music, and the inventor of the syrinx or shepherd’s flute, which he himself played in a masterly manner, and in which he instructed others also, such as Daphnis. (Hom. Hymn. vii. 15 ; Theocrit. i. 3; Anthol. Palat. ix. 237, x. 11; Virg. Eclog. i. 32, iv. 58; Serv. ad Virg. Eclog. v. 20.)

He is thus said to have loved the poet Pindar, and to have sung and danced his lyric songs, in return for which Pindar erected to him a sanctuary in front of his house. (Pind. Pyth. iii. 139, with the Schol.; Plut. Num. 4.) Pan, like other gods who dwelt in forests, was dreaded by travellers to whom he sometimes appeared, and whom he startled with a sudden awe or terror. (Eurip. Rhes. 36.)

Thus when Pheidippides, the Athenian, was sent to Sparta to solicit its aid against the Persians, Pan accosted him, and promised to terrify the barbarians, if the Athenians would worship him. (Herod. vi. 105 ; Paus. viii. 54. § 5, i. 28. § 4.)

He is said to have had a terrific voice (Val. Flacc. iii. 31), and by it to have frightened the Titans in their fight with the gods. (Eratosth. Catast. 27.) It seems that this feature, namely, his fondness of noise and riot, was the cause of his being considered as the minister and companion of Cybele and Dionysus. (Val. Flacc. iii. 47; Pind. Fragm. 63, ed. Boeckh; Lucian, Dial. Deor. 22.) He was at the same time believed to be possessed of prophetic powers, and to have even instructed Apollo in this art. (Apollod. i. 4. § 1.)

While roaming in his forests he fell in love with Echo, by whom or by Peitho he became the father of Iynx. His love of Syrinx, after whom he named his flute, is well known from Ovid (Met. i. 691, &c.; comp. Serv. ad Virg. Eclog. ii. 31; and about his other amours see Georg. iii. 391; Macrob. Sat. v. 22). Fir-trees were sacred to him, as the nymph Pitys, whom he loved, had been metamorphosed into that tree (Propert. i. 18. 20), and the sacrifices offered to him consisted of cows, rams, lambs, milk, and honey. (Theocrit. v. 58; Anthol. Palat. ii. 630, 697, vi. 96, 239, vii. 59.)

Sacrifices were also offered to him in common with Dionysus and the nymphs. (Paus. ii. 24. § 7; Anthol. Palat. vi. 154.) The various epithets which are given him by the poets refer either to his singular appearance, or are derived from the names of the places in which he was worshipped.

Sanctuaries and temples of this god are frequently mentioned, especially in Arcadia, as at Heraea, on the Nomian hill near Lycosura, on mount Parthenius (Paus. viii. 26. § 2, 38. § 8, 54. § 5), at Megalopolis (viii. 30. § 2, iii. 31. § 1), near Acacesium, where a perpetual fire was burning in his temple, and where at the same time there was an ancient oracle, at which the nymph Erato had been his priestess (viii. 37. § 8, &c.), at Troezene (ii. 32. § 5), on the well of Eresinus, between Argos and Tegea (ii. 24. § 7), at Sicyon ii. 10. § 2), at Oropus (i. 34. § 2), at Athens (i. 28. § 4; Herod. vi. 105), near Marathon (i. 32. in fin.), in the island of Psyttaleia (i. 36. § 2 ; Aeschyl. Pers. 448), in the Corycian grotto near mount Parnassus (x. 32. § 5), and at Homala in Thessaly. (Theocrit. vii. 103.)

The Romans identified with Pan their own god Inuus, and sometimes also Faunus. Respecting the plural (Panes) or beings with goat’s feet, see SATYRI.

In works of art Pan is represented as a voluptuous and sensual being, with horns, puck-nose, and goat’s feet, sometimes in the act of dancing, and sometimes playing on the syrinx.

Atys

A son of Nana, and a beautiful shepherd of the Phrygian town, Celaenae. (Theocr. xx. 40; Philostr. Epist. 39; Tertul. de Nat. 1.)

His story is related in different ways. According to Ovid (Fast. iv. 221), Cybele loved the beautiful shepherd, and made him her own priest on condition that he should preserve his chastity inviolate.

Atys broke the covenant with a nymph, the daughter of the river-god Sangarius, and was thrown by the goddess into a state of madness, in which he unmanned himself.

When in consequence he wanted to put an end to his life, Cybele changed him into a firtree, which henceforth became sacred to her, and she commanded that, in future, her priests should be eunuchs. (Compare Arnob. adv. Gent. v. 4, and AGDISTIS.)

Another story relates, that Atys, the priest of Cybele, fled into a forest to escape the voluptuous embraces of a Phrygian king, but that he was overtaken, and in the ensuing struggle unmanned his pursuer. The dying king avenged himself by inflicting the same calamity upon Atys. Atys was found by the priests of Cybele under a fir-tree, at the moment he was expiring.

They carried him into the temple of the goddess, and endeavoured to restore him to life, but in vain. Cybele ordained that the death of Atys should be bewailed every year in solemn lamentations, and that henceforth her priests should be eunuchs. (Galloi, Galli, Serv. ad Aen. ix. 116; comp. Lobeck, ad Phrynich. p. 273.)

A third account says, that Cybele, when exposed by her father, the Phrygian king Maeon, was fed by panthers and brought up by shepherdesses, and that she afterwards secretly married Atys, who was subsequently called Papas. At this moment, Cybele was recognised and kindly received by her parents; but when her connexion with Atys became known to them, Maeon ordered Atys, and the shepherdesses among whom she had lived, to be put to death.

Cybele, maddened with grief at this act of her father, traversed the country amid loud lamentations and the sound of cymbals. Phrygia was now visited by an epidemic and scarcity.

The oracle commanded that Attis should be buried, and divine honours paid to Cybele; but as the body of the youth was already in a state of decomposition, the funeral honours were paid to an image of him, which was made as a substitute. (Diod. iii. 58, &c.)

According to a fourth story related by Pausanias (vii. 17. § 5), Atys was a son of the Phrygian king Calaus, and by nature incapable of propagating his race. When he had grown up, he went to Lydia, where he introduced the worship of Cybele.

The grateful goddess conceived such an attachment for him, that Zeus in his anger at it, sent a wild boar into Lydia, which killed many of the inhabitants, and among them Atys also. Atys was believed to be buried in Pessinus under mount Agdistis. (Paus. i. 4. § 5.) He was worshipped in the temples of Cybele in common with this goddess. (vii. 20. § 2; AGDISTIS; Hesych. s. v. Attês.)

In works of art he is represented as a shepherd with flute and staff. His worship appears to have been introduced into Greece at a comparatively late period.

It is an ingenious opinion of Böttiger (Amalthea, i. p. 353, &c.), that the mythus of Atys represents the twofold character of nature, the male and female, concentrated in one.

Idomeneus

A son of Deucalion, and grandson of Minos and Pasiphae; and hence he traced his pedigree to Zeus and Helios.

He was a man of great beauty, and is mentioned among the suitors of Helen. (Hon. Il. xiii. 450, &c., Od. xix. 181; Paus. v. 25. 5; Apollod. iii. 3. §; Dict. Cret. i. 1; Hygin. Fab. 81.) He is sometimes called Lyctius or Cnosius, from the Cretan towns of Lyctus and Cnosus. (Virg. Aen. iii. 400; Diod. v. 79.)

In conjunction with Meriones, the son of his half-brother Molus, he led the Cretans in 80 ships against Troy, and was one of the bravest heroes in the Trojan war.

He offered to fight with Hector, and distinguished himself especially in the battle near the ships, where he slew several Trojans. (Hom. Il. ii. 645, &c., iii. 230, iv. 251, v. 43, vii. 165, xiii. 361, &c., xvi. 345.) Philostratus (Her. 7) even relates that while the Greek heroes were waiting at Aulis, Cretan ambassadors came to Agamemnon to announce that Idomeneus would join him with one hundred Cretan ships, if Agamemnon would share the supreme command with him.

After the fall of Troy, Idomeneus returned home in safety (Hom. Od. iii. 1.91; Diod. v. 79), though the post-Homeric traditions inform us that once in a storm he vowed to Poseidon to sacrifice to him whatever he should meet first on his landing, if the god would grant him a safe return. The first person he met on landing was his own son.

He accordingly sacrificed his son; and as Crete was thereupon visited by a plague, the Cretans expelled Idomeneus.

He went to Italy, where he settled in Calabria, and built a temple to Athena. From thence he is said to have again migrated to Colophon, on the coast of Asia, to have settled near the temple of the Clarian Apollo, and to have been buried on Mount Cercaphus. (Serv. ad Aen. iii. 121, 401, 531, xi. 264 ; Strab. x. p. 479; Schol. ad Hom. Od. xiii. 259.)

At Olympia his statue, the work of Onatas, stood among the images of those who drew lots as to who was to fight with Hector, and on his shield a cock was represented. (Paus. v. 25. § 5; comp. Hom. Il. vii. 161, &c.) His tomb was shown at Cnosus, where he and Meriones were worshipped as heroes. (Diod. v. 79.)

Greek Mythology Names Index A

Actaeon

Son of Aristaeus and Autonoë, a daughter of Cadmus. He was trained in the art of hunting by the centaur Cheiron, and was afterwards torn to pieces by his own 50 hounds on mount Cithaeron.

The names of these hounds are given by Ovid (Met. iii. 206, &c.) and Hyginus. (Fab. 181; comp. Stat. Theb. ii. 203.) The cause of this misfortune is differently stated: according to some accounts it was because he had seen Artemis while she was bathing in the vale of Gargaphia, on the discovery of which the goddess changed him into a stag, in which form he was torn to pieces by his own dogs. (Ov. Met. iii. 155, &c.; Hygin. Fab. 181; Callim. h. in Pallad. 110.)

Others relate that he provoked the anger of the goddess by his boasting that he excelled her in hunting, or by his using for a feast the game which was destined as a sacrifice to her. (Eurip. Bacch. 320; Diod. iv. 81.)

A third account stated that he was killed by his dogs at the command of Zeus, because he sued for the hand of Semele. (Acusilaus, ap. Apollod. iii. 4. § 4.) Pausanias (ix. 2. § 3) saw near Orchomenos the rock on which Actaeon used to rest when he was fatigued by hunting, and from which he had seen Artemis in the bath; but he is of opinion that the whole story arose from the circumstance that Actaeon was destroyed by his dogs in a natural fit of madness. Palaephatus (s. v. Actaeon) gives an absurd and trivial explanation of it.

According to the Orchomenian tradition the rock of Actaeon was haunted by his spectre, and the oracle of Delphi commanded the Orchomenians to bury the remains of the hero, which they might happen to find, and fix an iron image of him upon the rock.

This image still existed in the time of Pausanias (ix. 38. § 4), and the Orchomenians offered annual sacrifices to Actaeon in that place. The manner in which Actaeon and his mother were painted by Polygnotus in the Lesche of Delphi, is described by Pausanias. (x. 30. § 2)

Adrastus

A son of Talaus, king of Argos, and of Lysimache. (Apollod. i. 9. § 13.) Pausanias (ii. 6. § 3) calls his mother Lysianassa, and Hyginus (Fab. 69) Eurynome. (Comp. Schol. ad Eurip. Phoen. 423.)

During a feud between the most powerful houses in Argos, Talaus was slain by Amphiaraus, and Adrastus being expelled from his dominions fled to Polybus, then king of Sicyon. When Polybus died without heirs, Adrastus succeeded him on the throne of Sicyon, and during his reign he is said to have instituted the Nemean games. (Hom. Il. ii. 572; Pind. Nem. ix. 30, &c.; Herod. v. 67; Paus. ii. 6. § 3.)

Afterwards, however, Adrastus became reconciled to Amphiaraus, gave him his sister Eriphyle in marriage, and returned to his kingdom of Argos. During the time he reigned there it happened that Tydeus of Calydon and Polynices of Thebes, both fugitives from their native countries, met at Argos near the palace of Adrastus, and came to words and from words to blows.

On hearing the noise, Adrastus hastened to them and separated the combatants, in whom he immediately recognised the two men that had been promised to him by an oracle as the future husbands of two of his daughters; for one bore on his shield the figure of a boar, and the other that of a lion, and the oracle was, that one of his daughters was to marry a boar and the other a lion.

Adrastus therefore gave his daughter Deïpyle to Tydeus, and Argeia to Polynices, and at the same time promised to lead each of these princes back to his own country.

Adrastus now prepared for war against Thebes, although Amphiaraus foretold that all who should engage in it should perish, with the exception of Adrastus. (Apollod. iii. 6. § 1, &c.; Hygin. Fab. 69, 70.)

Thus arose the celebrated war of the “Seven against Thebes,” in which Adrastus was joined by six other heroes, viz. Polynices, Tydeus, Amphiaraus, Capaneus, Hippomedon, and Parthenopaeus. Instead of Tydeus and Polynices other legends mention Eteoclos and Mecisteus. This war ended as unfortunately as Amphiaraus had predicted, and Adrastus alone was saved by the swiftness of his horse Areion, the gift of Heracles. (Hom. Il. xxiii. 346, &c.; Paus. viii. 25. § 5; Apollod. iii. 6.)

Creon of Thebes refusing to allow the bodies of the six heroes to be buried, Adrastus went to Athens and implored the assistance of the Athenians. Theseus was persuaded to undertake an expedition against Thebes; he took the city and delivered up the bodies of the fallen heroes to their friends for burial. (Apollod. iii. 7. § 1 Paus. ix. 9. § 1.)

Ten years after this Adrastus persuaded the seven sons of the heroes, who had fallen in the war against Thebes, to make a new attack upon that city, and Amphiaraus now declared that the gods approved of the undertaking, and promised success. (Paus. ix. 9. § 2; Apollod. iii. 7. § 2.) This war is celebrated in ancient story as the war of the Epigoni (Epigonoi).

Thebes was taken and razed to the ground, after the greater part of its inhabitants had left the city on the advice of Tiresias. (Apollod. iii. 7. § 2-4; Herod. v. 61; Strab. vii. p. 325.)

The only Argive hero that fell in this war, was Aegialeus, the son of Adrastus.

After having built a temple of Nemesis in the neighbourhood of Thebes [ADRASTEIA], he set out on his return home. But weighed down by old age and grief at the death of his son he died at Megara and was buried there. (Paus. i. 43. § 1.)

After his death he was worshipped in several parts of Greece, as at Megara (Paus. l. c.), at Sicyon where his memory was celebrated in tragic choruses (Herod. v. 67), and in Attica.

(Paus. i. 30. § 4.) The legends about Adrastus and the two wars against Thebes have furnished most ample materials for the epic as well as tragic poets of Greece (Paus. ix. 9. § 3), and some works of art relating to the stories about Adrastus are mentioned in Pausanias. (iii. 18. § 7, x. 10. § 2.)

From Adrastus the female patronymic Adrastine was formed. (Hom. Il. v. 412.)

EXTERNAL LINKS

Greek Mythology Link, Adrastus

Muses – Mousai

The Muses, according to the earliest writers, were the inspiring goddesses of song, and, according to later noticus, divinities presiding over the different kinds of poetry, and over the arts and sciences.

They were originally regarded as the nymphs of inspiring wells, near which they were worshipped, and bore different names in different places, until the Thraco-Boeotian worship of the nine Muses spread from Boeotia over other parts of Greece, and ultimately became generally established. (Respecting the Muses conceived as nymphs see Schol. ad Theocrit. vii. 92; Hesych. s. v. Numphê; Steph. Byz. s. v. Torrêbos ; Serv. ad Virg. Eclog. vii. 21.)

The genealogy of the Muses is not the same in all writers. The most common notion was, that they were the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, and born in Pieria, at the foot of Mount Olympus (Hes. Theog. 52, &c., 915; Hom. Il. ii. 491, Od. i. 10; Apollod. i. 3. § 1); but some call them the daughters of Uranus and Gaea (Schol. ad Pind. Nem. iii. 16; Paus. ix. 29. § 2; Diod. iv. 7; Arnob. adv. Gent. iii. 37), and others daughters of Pierus and a Pimpleian nymph, whom Cicero (De Nat. Deor. iii. 21) calls Antiope (Tzetz. ad Hes. Op. et D. p. 6; Paus. l. c.), or of Apollo, or of Zeus and Plusia, or of Zeus and Moneta, probably a mere translation of Mnemosyne or Mneme, whence they are called Mnemonides (Ov. Met. v. 268), or of Zeus and Minerva (Athena) (Isid. Orig. iii. 14), or lastly of Aether and Gaea. (Hygin. Fab. Praef.) Eupheme is called the nurse of the Muses, and at the foot of Mount Helicon her statue stood beside that of Linus. (Paus. ix. 29. § 3.)

With regard to the number of the Muses, we are informed that originally three were worshipped on Mount Helicon in Boeotia, namely, Melete (meditation), Mneme (memory), and Aoede (song); and their worship and names are said to have been first introduced by Ephialtes and Otus. (Paus. ix. 29. § 1, &c.)

Three were also recognized at Sicyon, where one of them bore the name of Polymatheia (Plut. Sympos. ix. 14), and at Delphi, where their names were identical with those of the lowest, middle, and highest chord of the lyre, viz. Nete, Mese, and Hypate (Plut. l. c.), or Cephisso, Apollonis, and Borysthenis, which names characterize them as the daughters of Apollo. (Tzetz. l. c. ; Arnob. iii. 37; Serv. ad Virg. Eclog. vii. 21; Diod. iv. 7.) As daughters of Zeus and Plusia we find mention of four Muses, viz. Thelxinoe (the heart delighting), Aoede (song), Arche (beginning), and Melete. (Cic., Arnob., Tzetz. ll. cc. ; Serv. ad Aen. i. 12.) Some accounts, again, in which they are called daughters of Pierus, mention seven Muses, viz. Neilo, Tritone, Asopo, Heptapora, Achelois, Tipoplo, and Rhodia (Tzetz. Arnob. ll. cc.), and others, lastly, mention eight, which is also said to have been the number recognized at Athens. (Arnob. l. c.; Serv. ad Aen. i. 12; Plat. De Re Publ. p. 116.)

At length, however, the number nine appears to have become established in all Greece.

Homer sometimes mentions Musa only in the singular, and sometimes Musae in the plural, and once only (Od. xxiv. 60) he speaks of nine Muses, though without mentioning any of their names.

Hesiod (Theog. 77. &c.) is the first that states the names of all the nine, and these nine names henceforth became established. They are Cleio, Euterpe, Thaleia, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Erato, Polymnia, Urania, and Calliope. Plutarch (l. c.) states that in some places all nine were designated by the common name Mneiae, i. e. Remembrances.

If we now inquire into the notions entertained about the nature and character of the Muses, we find that, in the Homeric poems, they are the goddesses of song and poetry, and live in Olympus. (Il. ii. 484.) There they sing the festive songs at the repasts of the immortals (Il. i. 604, Hymn. in Apoll. Pyth. 11), and at the funeral of Patroclus they sing lamentations. (Od. xxiv. 60; comp. Pind. Isthm. viii. 126.)

The power which we find most frequently assigned to them, is that of bringing before the mind of the mortal poet the events which he has to relate; and that of conferring upon him the gift of song, and of giving gracefulness to what he utters. (Il. ii. 484, 491, 761, Od. i. 1, viii. 63, &c., 481, 488; Eustath. ad Hom. p. 259.)

There seems to be no reason for doubting that the earliest poets in their invocation of the Muse or Muses were perfectly sincere, and that they actually believed in their being inspired by the goddesses; but in later times among the Greeks and the Romans, as well as in our own days, the invocation of the Muses is a mere formal imitation of the early poets. Thamyris, who presumed to excel the Muses, was deprived by them of the gift they had bestowed on him, and punished with blindness. (Hom. Il. ii. 594, &c.; Apollod. i. 3. § 3.)

The Seirens, who likewise ventured upon a contest with them, were deprived of the feathers of their wings, and the Muses themselves put them on as an ornament (Eustath. ad Hom. P. 85); and the nine daughters of Pierus, who presumed to rival the Muses, were metamorphosed into birds. (Anton. Lib. 9; Ov. Met. v. 300, &c.)

As poets and bards derived their power from them, they are frequently called either their disciples or sons. (Hom. Od. viii. 481, Hymn. in Lun. 20 ; Hes. Theog. 22; Pind. Nem. iii.; Serv. ad Virg. Georg. ii. 476.) Thus Linus is called a son of Amphimarus and Urania (Paus. ix. 29. § 3), or of Apollo and Calliope, or Terpsichore (Apollod. i. 3. § 2); Hyacinthus a son of Pierus and Cleio (Apollod. i. 3. § 3); Orpheus a son of Calliope or Cleio, and Thamyris a son of Erato.

These and a few others are the cases in which the Muses are described as mothers; but the more general idea was, that, like other nymphs, they were virgin divinities. Being goddesses of song, they are naturally connected with Apollo, the god of the lyre, who like them instructs the bards, and is mentioned along with them even by Homer. (Il. i. 603, Od. viii. 488.) In later times Apollo is placed in very close connection with the Muses, for he is described as the leader of the choir of the Muses by the surname Mousagetês. (Diod. i. 18.)

A further feature in the character of the Muses is their prophetic power, which belongs to them, partly because they were regarded as inspiring nymphs, and partly because of their connection with the prophetic god of Delphi. Hence, they instructed, for example, Aristaeus in the art of prophecy. (Apollon. Rhod. ii. 512.)

That dancing, too, was one of the occupations of the Muses, may be inferred from the close connection existing among the Greeks between music, poetry, and dancing. As the inspiring nymphs loved to dwell on Mount Helicon, they were naturally associated with Dionysus and dramatic poetry, and hence they are described as the companions, playmates, or nurses of Dionysus.

The worship of the Muses points originally to Thrace and Pieria about mount Olympus, from whence it was introduced into Boeotia, in such a manner that the names of mountains, grottoes, and wells, connected with their worship, were likewise transferred from the north to the south.

Near mount Helicon, Ephialtes and Otus are said to have offered the first sacrifices to them; and in the same place there was a sanctuary with their statues, the sacred wells Aganippe and Hippocrene, and on mount Leibethrion, which is connected with Helicon, there was a sacred grotto of the Muses. (Paus. ix. 29. § 1, &c., 30. § 1, 31. § 3; Strab. pp. 410, 471; Serv. ad Virg. Eclog. x. 11.) Pierus, a Macedonian, is said to have been the first who introduced the worship of the nine Muses, from Thrace to Thespiae, at the foot of mount Helicon. (Paus. ix. 29. § 2.)

There they had a temple and statues, and the Thespians celebrated a solemn festival of the Muses on mount Helicon, called Mouseia (Paus. ix. 27. § 4, 31. § 3; Pind. Fragm. p. 656, ed. Boeckh; Diod. xvii. 16.) Mount Parnassus was likewise sacred to them, with the Castalian spring, near which they had a temple. (Plut. De Pyth. Orac. 17.) From Boeotia, which thus became the focus of the worship of the nine Muses, it afterwards spread into the adjacent and more distant parts of Greece.

Thus we find at Athens a temple of the Muses in the Academy (Paus. i. 30. § 2); at Sparta sacrifices were offered to them before fighting a battle (iii. 17. § 5); at Troezene, where their worship had been introduced by Ardalus, sacrifices were offered to them conjointly with Hypnos, the god of sleep (Paus. iii. 31. §4 , &c.); at Corinth, Peirene, the spring of Pegasus, was sacred to them (Pers. Sat. Prol. 4; Stat. Silv. ii. 7. 1); at Rome they had an altar in common with Hercules, who was also regarded as Musagetes, and they possessed a temple at Ambracia adorned with their statues. (Plut. Quaest. Rom. 59; Plin. H. N. xxxv. 36.)

The sacrifices offered to them consisted of libations of water or milk, and of honey. (Schol. ad Soph. Oed. Col. 100; Serv. ad Virg. Eclog. vii. 21.) The various surnames by which they are designated by the poets are for the most part derived from the places which were sacred to them or in which they were worshipped, while some are descriptive of the sweetness of their songs.

In the most ancient works of art we find only three Muses, and their attributes are musical instruments, such as the flute, the lyre, or the barbiton. Later artists gave to each of the nine sisters different attributes as well as different attitudes, of which we here add a brief account.

  1. Calliope, the Muse of epic poetry, appears with a tablet and stylus, and sometimes with a roll of paper;
  2. Cleio, the Muse of history, appears in a sitting attitude, with an open roll of paper, or an open chest of books;
  3. Euterpe, the Muse of lyric poetry, with a flute;
  4. Melpomene, the Muse of tragedy, with a tragic mask, the club of Heracles, or a sword, her head is surrounded with vine leaves, and she wears the cothurnus;
  5. Terpsichore, the Muse of choral dance and song, appears with the lyre and the plectrum;
  6. Erato, the Muse of erotic poetry and mimic imitation, sometimes, also, has the lyre;
  7. Polymnia, or Polyhymnia, the Muse of the sublime hymn, usually appears without any attribute, in a pensive or meditating attitude;
  8. Urania, the Muse of astronomy, with a staff pointing to a globe;
  9. Thaleia, the Muse of comedy and of merry or idyllic poetry, appears with the comic mask, a shepherd’s staff, or a wreath of ivy.

In some representations the Muses are seen with feathers on their heads, alluding to their contest with the Seirens.

Electra

  1. A daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, and the wife of Thaumas, by whom she became the mother of Iris and the Harpies, Aëllo and Ocypete. (Hom. Hymn. in Cer. 419; Hes. Theog. 266; Apollod. i. 2. §§ 2, 6; Paus. iv. 33. § 6 ; Serv. ad Aen. iii. 212.)
  2. A daughter of Atlas and Pleione, was one of the seven Pleiades, and became by Zeus the mother of Jasion and Dardanus. (Apollod. iii. 10. § 1, 12. §§ 1, 3.) According to a tradition preserved in Servius (ad Aen. i. 32, ii. 325, iii. 104, vii. 207) she was the wife of the Italian king Corythus, by whom she had a son Jasion; whereas by Zeus she was the mother of Dardanus. (Comp. Serv. ad Aen. i. 384, iii. 167; Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 29.) Diodorus (v. 48) calls Harmonia her daughter by Zeus. She is connected also with the legend about the Palladium.

When Electra, it is said, had come as a suppliant to the Palladium, which Athena had established, Zeus or Athena herself threw it into the territory of Ilium, because it had been sullied by the hands of a woman who was no longer a pure maiden, and king Ilus then built a temple to Zeus. (Apollod. iii. 12. § 3.) According to others it was Electra herself that brought the Palladium to Ilium, and gave it to her son Dardanus. (Schol. ad Eurip. Phoen. 1136.)

When she saw the city of her son perishing in flames, she tore out her hair for grief and was thus placed among the stars as a comet. (Serv. ad Aen. x. 272.) According to others, Electra and her six sisters were placed among the stars as the seven Pleiades, and lost their brilliancy on seeing the destruction of Ilium. (Serv. ad Virg. Georg. i. 138; Eustath. ad Hom. p. 1155.) The fabulous island of Electris was believed to have received its name from her. (Apollon. Rhod. i. 916.)

  1. A sister of Cadmus, from whom the Electrian gate at Thebes was said to have received its name. (Paus. ix. 8. § 3; Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. i. 916.)
  2. A daughter of Agamemnon and Clytaemnestra, is also called Laodice. (Eustath. ad Hom. p. 742.) She was the sister of Iphigeneia, Chrysothemis, and Orestes. The conduct of her mother and Aegisthus threw her into grief and great suffering, and in consequence of it she became the accomplice of Orestes in the murder of his mother. Her story, according to Hyginus (Fab. 122), runs thus:

On receiving the false report that Orestes and Pylades had been sacrificed to Artemis in Tauris, Aletes, the son of Aegisthus, assumed the government of Mycenae; but Electra, for the purpose of learning the particulars of her brother’s death, went to Delphi. On the day she reached the place, Orestes and Iphigeneia likewise arrived there, but the same messenger wllo had before informed her of the death of Orestes, now added, that he had been sacrificed by Iphigeneia.

Electra, enraged at this, snatched a firebrand from the altar, with the intention of putting her sister’s eyes out with it. But Orestes suddenly came to the spot, and made himself known to Electra. All being thus cleared up, they travelled together to Mycenae, where Orestes killed the usurper Aletes, and Electra married Pylades.

The Attic tragedians, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, have used the story of Electra very freely: the most perfect, however, is that in the “Electra” of Sophocles. When Aegisthus and Clytaemnestra, after the murder of Agamemnon, intended to kill young Orestes also, Electra saved him by sending him under the protection of a slave to king Strophius at Phanote in Phocis, who had the boy educated together with his own son Pylades. Electra, in the meantime, was ever thinking on taking revenge upon the murderers of her father, and when Orestes had grown up to manhood, she sent secret messages to him to remind him of his duty to avenge his father. At length, Orestes came with Pylades to Argos.

A lock of hair which he had placed on the grave of his father, was a sign to Electra that her brother was near. Orestes soon after made himself known to her, and informed her that he was commanded by Apollo to avenge the death of his father. Both lamented their misfortunes, and Electra urged him to carry his design into effect. Orestes then agreed with her that lie and Pylades should go into the house of Clytaemnestra, as strangers from Phocis, and tell her that Orestes was dead.

This was done accordingly, and Aegisthus and Clytaemnestra fell by the hand of Orestes, who gave Electra in marriage to his friend Pylades. (Comp. Aeschyl. Eumenides, and Euripides, Orestes.) She became by him the mother of Medon and Strophius. Her tomb was shewn in later times at Mycenae. (Paus. ii. 16. § 5.)

  1. A servant of Helen, was painted by Polygnotus in the Lesche at Delphi, in the act of kneeling before her mistress and fastening her sandals. (Paus x. 25. § 2.)
  2. A sixth Electra occurs among the daughters of Danaus. (Apollod. ii. 1. § 5.)

Achilles

The Rage of Achilles (detail Achilles and Athena),
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770), Italian Rococo

In the legends about Achilles, as about all the heroes of the Trojan war, the Homeric traditions should be carefully kept apart from the various additions and embellishments with which the gaps of the ancient story have been filled up by later poets and mythographers, not indeed by fabrications of their own, but by adopting those supplementary details, by which oral tradition in the course of centuries had variously altered and developed the original kernel of the story, or those accounts which were peculiar only to certain localities.

Homeric story. Achilles was the son of Peleus, king of the Myrmidons in Phthiotis, in Thessaly, and of the Nereid Thetis. (Hom. Il. xx. 206, &c.)

From his father’s name he is often called Pêleidês, Pêlêïadês, or Pêleiôn (Hom. Il. xviii. 316; i. 1; i. 197; Virg. Aen. ii. 263), and from that of his grandfather Aeacus, he derived his name Aeacides (Aiakidês, Il. ii. 860; Virg. Aen. i. 99).

He was educated from his tender childhood by Phoenix, who taught him eloquence and the arts of war, and accompanied him to the Trojan war, and to whom the hero always shewed great attachment. (ix. 485, &c.; 438, &c.) In the healing art he was instructed by Cheiron, the centaur. (xi. 832.)

His mother Thetis foretold him that his fate was either to gain glory and die early, or to live a long but inglorious life. (ix. 410,&c.)

The hero chose the latter, and took part in the Trojan war, from which he knew that he was not to return. In fifty ships, or according to later traditions, in sixty (Hygin. Fab. 97), he led his hosts of Myrmidones, Hellenes, and Achaeans against Troy. (ii. 681, &c., xvi. 168.)

Here the swift-footed Achilles was the great bulwark of the Greeks, and the worthy favourite of Athena and Hera. (i. 195, 208.) Previous to his dispute with Agamemnon, he ravaged the country around Troy, and destroyed twelve towns on the coast and eleven in the interior of the country. (ix. 328, &c.)

When Agamemnon was obliged to give up Chryseïs to her father, he threatened to take away Briseis from Achilles, who surrendered her on the persuasion of Athena, but at the same time refused to take any further part in the war, and shut himself up in his tent. 

Zeus, on the entreaty of Thetis, promised that victory should be on the side of the Trojans, until the Achaeans should have honoured her son. (i. 26, to the end.)

The affairs of the Greeks declined in consequence, and they were at last pressed so hard, that Agamemnon advised them to take to flight. (ix. 17, &c.) But other chiefs opposed this counsel, and an embassy was sent to Achilles, offering him rich presents and the restoration of Briseïs (ix. 119, &c.); but in vain.

At last, however, he was persuaded by Patroclus, his dearest friend, to allow him to make use of his men, his horses, and his armour. (xvi. 49, &c.) Patroclus was slain, and when this news reached Achilles, he was seized with unspeakable grief.

Thetis consoled him, and promised new arms, which were to be made by Hephaestus, and Iris appeared to rouse him from his lamentations, and exhorted him to rescue the body of Patroclus. (xviii. 166, &c.) Achilles now rose, and his thundering voice alone put the Trojans to flight.

When his new armour was brought to him, he reconciled himself to Agamemnon, and hurried to the field of battle, disdaining to take any drink or food until the death of his friend should be avenged. (xix. 155, &c.) He wounded and slew numbers of Trojans (xx. xxi.), and at length met Hector, whom he chased thrice around the walls of the city.

He then slew him, tied his body to his chariot, and dragged him to the ships of the Greeks. (xxii.)

After this, he burnt the body of Patroclus, together with twelve young captive Trojans, who were sacrificed to appease the spirit of his friend; and subsequently gave up the body of Hector to Priam, who came in person to beg for it. (xxiii. xxiv.) Achilles himself fell in the battle at the Scaean gate, before Troy was taken.

His death itself does not occur in the Iliad, but it is alluded to in a few passages. (xxii. 358, &c., xxi. 278, &c.) It is expressly mentioned in the Odyssey (xxiv. 36, &c.), where it is said that his fall — his conqueror is not mentioned — was lamented by gods and men, that his remains together with those of Patroclus were buried in a golden urn which Dionysus had given as a present to Thetis, and were deposited in a place on the coast of the Hellespont, where a mound was raised over them.

Achilles is the principal hero of the Iliad, and the poet dwells upon the delineation of his character with love and admiration, feelings in which his readers cannot but sympathise with him.

Achilles is the most handsome and bravest of all the Greeks; he is affectionate towards his mother and his friends, formidable in battles, which are his delight; open-hearted and without fear, and at the same time susceptible to the gentle and quiet joys of home.

His greatest passion is ambition, and when his sense of honor is hurt, he is unrelenting in his revenge and anger, but withal submits obediently to the will of the gods.

Later traditions. These chiefly consist in accounts which fill up the history of his youth and death. His mother wishing to make her son immortal, is said to have concealed him by night in fire, in order to destroy the mortal parts he had inherited from his father, and by day she anointed him with ambrosia. But Peleus one night discovered his child in the fire, and cried out in terror.

Thetis left her son and fled, and Peleus entrusted him to Cheiron, who educated and instructed him in the arts of riding, hunting, and playing the phorminx, and also changed his original name, Ligyron, i. e. the “whining,” into Achilles. (Pind. Nem. iii. 51, &c.; Orph. Argon. 395; Apollon. Rhod. iv. 813; Stat. Achil. i. 269, &c.; Apollod. iii. 13. § 6, &c.)

Cheiron fed his pupil with the hearts of lions and the marrow of bears. According to other accounts, Thetis endeavored to make Achilles immortal by dipping him in the River Styx, and succeeded with the exception of the ankles, by which she held him (Fulgent. Mythol. iii. 7; Stat. Achill. i. 269), while others again state that she put him in boiling water to test his immortality and that he was found immortal except at the ankles.

From his sixth year, he fought with lions and bears and caught stags without dogs or nets. The muse Calliope gave him the power of singing to cheer his friends at banquets. (Philostr. Her. xix. 2.)

When he had reached the age of nine, Calchas declared that Troy could not be taken without his aid, and Thetis knowing that this war would be fatal to him, disguised him as a maiden, and introduced him among the daughters of Lycomedes of Scyros, where he was called by the name of Pyrrha on account of his golden locks.

But his real character did not remain concealed long, for one of his companions, Deïdameia, became the mother of a son, Pyrrhus or Neoptolemus, by him. The Greeks, at last, discovered his place of concealment, and an embassy was sent to Lycomedes, who, though he denied the presence of Achilles, yet allowed the messengers to search his palace. 

Odysseus discovered the young hero by a stratagem, and Achilles immediately promised his assistance to the Greeks. (Apollod. l. c.; Hygin. Fab. 96; Stat. Achil. ii. 200.) A different account of his stay in Scyros is given by Plutarch (Thes. 35) and Philostratus. (Her. xix. 3.)

During the war against Troy, Achilles slew Penthesileia, an Amazon, but was deeply moved when he discovered her beauty; and when Thersites ridiculed him for his tenderness of heart, Achilles killed the scoffer by a blow with the fist. (Q. Smyrn. i. 669, &c.; Paus. v. 11. § 2; comp. Soph. Philoct. 445; Lycoph. Cas. 999; Tzetzes, Posthom. 199.) He also fought with Memnon and Troilus. (Q. Smyrn. ii. 480, &c.; Hygin. Fab. 112; Virg. Aen. i. 474, &c.)

The accounts of his death differ very much, though all agree in stating that he did not fall by human hands, or at least not without the interference of the god Apollo.

According to some traditions, he was killed by Apollo himself (Soph. Philoct. 334; Q. Smyrn. iii. 62; Hor. Carm. iv. 6. 3, &c.), as he had been foretold. (Hom. Il. xxi. 278.)

According to Hyginus (Fab. 107), Apollo assumed the appearance of Paris in killing him, while others say that Apollo merely directed the weapon of Paris against Achilles, and thus caused his death, as had been suggested by the dying Hector. (Virg. Aen. vi. 57 ; Ov. Met. xii. 601, &c.; Hom. Il. xxii. 358, &c.) Dictys Cretensis (iii. 29) relates his death thus: Achilles loved Polyxena, a daughter of Priam, and tempted by the promise that he should receive her as his wife if he would join the Trojans, he went without arms into the temple of Apollo at Thymbra and was assassinated there by Paris. (Comp. Philostr. Her. xix. 11; Hygin. Fab. 107 and 110; Dares Phryg. 34; Q. Smyrn. iii. 50; Tzetz. ad Lycophr. 307.)

His body was rescued by Odysseus and Ajax the Telamonian; his armour was promised by Thetis to the bravest among the Greeks, which gave rise to a contest between the two heroes who had rescued his body. [AJAX.]

After his death, Achilles became one of the judges in the lower world, and dwelled in the islands of the blessed, where he was united with Medeia or Iphigeneia.

The fabulous island of Leuce in the Euxine was especially sacred to him, and was called Achillea, because, according to some reports, it contained his body. (Mela, ii. 7; Schol. ad Pind. Nem. iv. 49; Paus. iii. 19. § 11.) Achilles was worshipped as one of the national heroes of Greece. The Thessalians, at the command of the oracle of Dodona, offered annual sacrifices to him in Troas. (Philostr. Her. xix. 14.)

In the ancient gymnasium at Olympia there was a cenotaph, at which certain solemnities were performed before the Olympic games commenced. (Paus. vi. 23. § 2.)

Sanctuaries of Achilles existed on the road from Arcadia to Sparta (Paus. iii. 20. § 8), on cape Sigeum in Troas (Strab. xi. p. 494), and other places. The events of his life were frequently represented in ancient works of art. (Museum Clement. i. 52, ? 17; Villa Borg. i. 9; Mus. Nap. ii. 59.)

Nymphs – All You Need to Know

The name of a numerous class of inferior female divinities, though they are designated by the title of Olympian, are called to meetings of the gods in Olympus, and described as the daughters of Zeus. But they were believed to dwell on earth in groves, on the summits of mountains, in rivers, streams, glens, and grottoes. (Hom. Od. vi. 123, &c., xii. 318, Il. xx. 8, xxiv. 615.)

Homer further describes them as presiding over game, accompanying Artemis, dancing with her, weaving in their grottoes purple garments. and kindly watching over the fate of mortals. (Od. vi. 105, ix. 154, xiii. 107, 356, xvii. 243, Il. vi. 420, 616.)

Men offer up sacrifices either to them alone, or in conjunction with other gods, such as Hermes. (Od. xiii. 350, xvii. 211, 240, xiv. 435.) From the places which they inhabit, they are called agronomoi (Od. vi. 105), orestiades (Il. vi. 420), and nêïades (Od. xiii. 104).

All nymphs, whose number is almost infinite, may be divided into two great classes. The first class embraces those who must be regarded as a kind of inferior divinities, recognised in the worship of nature.

The early Greeks saw in all the phenomena of ordinary nature some manifestation of the deity; springs, rivers, grottoes, trees, and mountains, all seemed to them fraught with life; and all were only the visible embodiments of so many divine agents.

The salutary and beneficent powers of nature were thus personified, and regarded as so many divinities; and the sensations produced on man in the contemplation of nature, such as awe, terror, joy, delight, were ascribed to the agency of the various divinities of nature.

The second class of nymphs is personifications of tribes, races, and states, such as Cyrene, and many others.

The nymphs of the first class must again be sublatter divided into various species, according to the different parts of nature of which they are the representatives.

1. Nymphs of the watery element. Here we first mention the nymphs of the ocean, Ôkeaninai or Ôkeanides, numphai hagiai, who are regarded as the daughters of Oceanus (Hes. Theog. 346, &c., 364; Aeschyl. Prom.; Callim. Hymn. in Dian. 13; Apollon. Rhod. iv. 1414; Soph. Philoct. 1470); and next the nymphs of the Mediterranean or inner sea, who are regarded as the daughters of Nereus, whence they are called Nereides (Nêreïdes; Hes. Theog. 240, &c.).

The rivers were represented by the Potameides (Poramêïdes), who, as local divinities, were named after their rivers, as Acheloides, Anigrides, Ismenides, Amnisiades, Pactolides. (Apollon. Rhod. iii. 1219; Virg. Aen. viii. 70; Paus. v. 5. § 6, i. 31. § 2; Callim. Hymn. in Dian. 15; Ov. Met. vi. 16; Steph. Byz. s.v. Amnisos.)

But the nymphs of fresh water, whether of rivers, lakes, brooks, or wells, are also designated by the general name Naiades, Nêïdes, though they have in addition their specific names, as Krênaiai, Pêgaiai, Hegeionimoi, Limnatides, or Limnades. (Hom. Od. xvii. 240; Apollon. Rhod. iii. 1219; Theocrit. v. 17; Orph. Hymn. 50. 6, Argon. 644.)

Even the rivers of the lower regions are described as having their nymphs; hence, Nymphae infernae paludis and Avernales. (Ov. Met. v. 540, Fast. ii. 610.)

Many of these presided over waters or springs which were believed to inspire those that drank of them, and hence the nymphs themselves were thought to be endowed with prophetic or oracular power, and to inspire men with the same, and to confer upon them the gift of poetry. (Paus. iv. 27. § 2, ix. 3. § 5, 34. § 3; Plut. Aristid. 11; Theocrit. vii. 92; comp. MUSAE.) Inspired soothsayers or priests are therethe fore sometimes called numphogêptoi. (Plat. Phaedr. p. 421, e.)

Their powers, however, vary with those of the springs over which they preside; some were thus regarded as having the power of restoring sick persons to health (Pind. Ol. xii. 26; Paus. v. 5. § 6, vi. 22. § 4); and as water is necessary to feed all vegetation as well as all living beings, the water nymphs (Hydriades) were also worshipped along with Dionysus and Demeter as giving life and blessings to all created beings, and this attribute is expressed by a variety of epithets, such as karpotrophoi, aipolikai, nomiai, kourotrophoi, &c.

As their influence was thus exercised in all departments of nature, they frequently appear in connection with higher divinities, as, for example, with Apollo, the prophetic god and the protector of herds and flocks (Apollon. Rhod. iv. 1218); with Artemis, the huntress and the protectress of game, for she herself was originally an Arcadian nymph (Apollon. Rhod. i. 1225, iii. 881; Paus. iii. 10. § 8); with Hermes, the fructifying god of flocks (Hom. Hymn. in Aphrod. 262); with Dionysus (Orph. Hymn. 52; Horat. Carm. i. 1. 31, ii. 19. 3); with Pan, the Seileni and Satyrs, whom they join in their Bacchic revels and dances.

  1. Nymphs of mountains and grottoes, are called Orodemniades and Oreiades but sometimes also by names derived from the particular mountains they inhabited, as Kithairônides, Pêliades, Korukiai, &c. (Theocrit. vii. 137; Virg. Aen. i. 168, 500; Paus. v. 5. § 6, ix. 3. § 5, x. 32. § 5; Apollon. Rhod. i. 550, ii. 711; Ov. Her. xx. 221; Virg. Eclog. vi. 56.)
  2. Nymphs of forests, groves, and glens, were believed sometimes to appear to and frighten solitary travellers. They are designated by the names Alsêïdes, Holêôroi, Aulôniades, and Napaiai. (Apollon. Rhod. i. 1066, 1227; Orph. Hymn. 50. 7; Theocrit. xiii. 44; Ov. Met. xv. 490; Virg. Georg. iv. 535.)
  3. Nymphs of trees, were believed to die together with the trees which had been their abode, and with which they had come into existence. They were called Dryades, Hamadruades or Hadryades, from drys, which signifies not only an oak, but any wild-growing lofty tree; for the nymphs of fruit trees were called Mêlides, Mêliades, Epimêlides, or Hamamêlides. They seem to be of Arcadian origin, and never appear together with any of the great gods. (Paus. viii. 4. § 2; Apollon. Rhod. ii. 477, &c.; Anton. Lib. 31, 32; Hom. Hymn. in Ven. 259, &c.)

The second class of nymphs, who were connected with certain races or localities (Numphai chthoniai, Apollon. Rhod. ii. 504), usually have a name derived from the places with which they are associated, as Nysiades, Dodonides, Lemniae. (Ov. Fast. iii. 769, Met. v. 412, ix. 651; Apollod. iii. 4. § 3; Schol. ad Pind. Ol. xiii. 74.)

The sacrifices offered to nymphs usually consisted of goats, lambs, milk, and oil, but never of wine. (Theocrit. v. 12, 53, 139, 149; Serv. ad Virg. Georg. iv. 380, Eclog. v. 74.) They were worshipped and honoured with sanctuaries in many parts of Greece, especially near springs, groves, and grottoes, as, for example, near a spring at Cyrtone (Paus. ix. 24. § 4), in Attica (i. 31. § 2),at Olympia (v. 15. § 4, vi. 22. § 4), at Megara (i. 40. § 1), between Sicyon and Phlius (ii. 11. § 3), and other places. Nymphs are represented in works of art as beautiful maidens, either quite naked or only half-covered. Later poets sometimes describe them as having sea-coloured hair. (Ov. Met. v. 432.)

Roman Mythology Names Index

AMATA

The wife of King Latinus and mother of Lavinia, who, when Aeneas sued for the hand of the latter, opposed him, because she had already promised Lavinia to Turnus.

At the same time she was instigated by Alecto, who acted according to the request of Juno, to stir up the war with Turnus. This story fills the greater part of the seventh book of Virgil’s Aeneid.

When Amata was informed that Turnus had fallen in battle, she hung herself. (Virg. Aen. xii. 600; Dionys. i. 64.)

ANCUS MARCIUS

The fourth king of Rome, is said to have reigned twenty-three or twenty-four years, from about b. c. 638 to 614.

According to tradition he was the son of Numa’s daughter, and sought to tread in the footsteps of his grand­father by reestablishing the religious ceremonies which had fallen into neglect. But a war with the Latins called him from the pursuits of peace.

He conquered the Latins, took many Latin towns, transported the inhabitants to Rome, and gave them the Aventine to dwell on. These conquered Latins, according to Niebuhr’s views, formed the original Plebs. (Dict. of Ant. s.v. Plebs.)

It ia related further of Ancus, that he founded a colony at Ostia, at the mouth of the Tiber; built a fortress on the Janiculum as a protection against Etruria. and united it with the city by a bridge across the Tiber ; dug the ditch of the Quirites, as it was called, which was a defence for the open ground between the Caelian and the Palatine; and built a prison to restrain offenders, who were increasing (Liv. i. 32, 33 ; Dionys. iii. 36 – 45 ; Cic. de Rep ii. 18 ; Plut. Num. 21 ; Niebuhr, Hist, of Rome, i p. 352, &c.; Arnold, Hist, of Rome, i. p. 19.)

ANGERONA

Or Angeronia, a Roman divinity, of whom it is difficult to form a distinct idea, on account of the contradictory statements about her.

According to one class of passages, she is the goddess of anguish and fear, that is, the goddess who not only produces this state of mind but also relieves men from it. (Verrius Flace. ap. Macrob. Sat. i. 10.)

Her statue stood in the temple of Volupia, near the porta Romanula, close by the Forum, and she was represented with her mouth bound and sealed up (os obligatum et signatum, Macrob. l. c.; Plin. H. N. iii. 9), which according to Massurius Sabinus (ap. Macrob. l.c.) indicated that those who concealed their anxiety in patience would by this means attain the greatest happiness.

Hartung (Die Relig. d. Röm. ii p.247) interprets this as a symbolical suppression of cries of anguish, because such cries were always unlucky omens.

He also thinks that the statue of the goddess of anguish was placed in the temple of the goddess of delight, to indicate that the latter should exercise her influence upon the former, and change sorrow into joy.

Julius Modestus (ap. Macrob. l. c.) and Festus (s. v. Angeronae deae) give an historical origin to the worship of this divinity, for they say, that at one time men and beasts were visited by a disease called angina, which disappeared as soon as sacrifices were vowed to Angerona. (Comp. Orelli, Inscript. p. 87. No. 116.)

Other accounts state that Angerona was the goddess of silence, and that her worship was introduced at Rome to prevent the secret and sacred name of Rome being made known, or that Angerona was herself the protecting divinity of Rome, who by laying her finger on her mouth enjoined men not to divulge the secret name of Rome.

(Plin. l. c.; Macrob. Sat. iii. 9.) A festival, Angeronalia, was celebrated at Rome in honour of Angerona, every year on the 12th of December, on which day the pontiffs offered sacrifices to her in the temple of Volupia, and in the curia Acculeia. (Varro, de Ling. Lat. vi. 23; Plin. and Macrob. ll. cc.)

3 Top Greek Myth

A son of Theseus and Phaedra, and brother of Demophoon. (Diod. iv. 62.) Previous to the expedition of the Greeks against Troy, he and Diomedes were sent to demand the surrender of Helen (this message Homer ascribes to Menelaus and Odysseus, Il. xi. 139, &c.), but during his stay at Troy he won the affection of Laodice, daughter of Priam (Parthen. Nic. Erot. 16), and begot by her a son, Munitus, who was brought up by Aethra, the grandmother of Acamas. (Schol. ad Lycophr. 499, &c.) Virgil (Aen. ii. 262) mentions him among the Greeks concealed in the wooden horse at the taking of Troy.

On his return home, he was detained in Thrace by his love for Phyllis; but after leaving Thrace and arriving on the island of Cyprus, he was killed by a fall from his horse upon his own sword. (Schol. ad Lycophr. l. c.)

The promontory of Acamas in Cyprus, the town of Acamentium in Phrygia, and the Attic tribe Acamantis, derived their names from him. (Steph. Byz. s. v. Akamantion; Paus. i. 5. § 2.)

He was painted in the Lesche at Delphi by Polygnotus, and there was also a statue of him at Delphi. (Paus. x. 26. § 1, x. 10. § 1.)

A son of Antenor and Theano was one of the bravest Trojans. (Hom. Il. ii. 823, xii. 100.) He avenged the death of his brother, who had been killed by Ajax, by slaying Promachus the Boeotian. (Il. xiv. 476.) He himself was slain by Meriones. (Il. xvi. 342.)

A son of Eussorus was one of the leaders of the Thracians in the Trojan war (Hom. Il. ii. 844, v. 462), and was slain by the Telamonian Ajax. (Il. vi, 8.)

A son of Pelias, king of Iolcus, and of Anaxibia, or as others call her, Philomache. He was one of the Argonauts (Apollod. i. 9. § 10; Apollon. Rhod. i. 224, &c.), and also took part in the Calydonian hunt. (Ov. Met. viii. 305 &c.)

After the return of the Argonauts his sisters were seduced by Medeia to cut their father in pieces and boil them; and Acastus, when he heard this, buried his father, drove Iason and Medeia, and according to Pausanias (vii. 11) his sisters also, from lolcus, and instituted funeral games in honour of his father. (Hygin. Fab. 24 and 273; Apollod. i. 9. § 27, &c.; Paus. iii. 18. § 9, vi. 20. § 9, v. 17. § 4; Ov. Met. xi. 409, &c.)

During these games it happened that Astydamia, the wife of Acastus, who is also called Hippolyte, fell in love with Peleus, whom Acastus had purified from the murder of Eurytion.

When Peleus refused to listen to her addresses, she accused him to her husband of having attempted to dishonour her. (Apollod. iii. 13. § 2, &c.; Pind. Nem. iv. 90, &c.)

Acastus, however, did not take immediate revenge for the alleged crime, but after he and Peleus had been chasing on mount Pelion, and the latter had fallen asleep, Acastus took his sword from him, and left him alone and exposed, so that Peleus was nearly destroyed by the Centaurs.

But he was saved by Cheiron or Hermes, returned to Acastus, and killed him together with his wife. (Apollod. l. c.; Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. i. 224.)

The death of Acastus is not mentioned by Apollodorus, but according to him Peleus in conjunction with Iason and the Dioscuri merely conquer and destroy Iolcus. (Apollod. iii. 13. § 7.)