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Listed 35 sub titles with search on: Homeric world  for wider area of: "LEMNOS (LIMNOS) Island NORTH AEGEAN" .

Homeric world (35)

Ancient myths

Diomede & Achilles

Diomede a daughter of Phorbas of Lemnos, was beloved by Achilles. (Hom. Il. ix. 665; Eustath. ad Hom., and Dict. Cret. ii. 19, where her name appears in the poetical form of Diomedeia.) There are three other mythical beings of this name. (Apollod. iii. 10.3; Hygin. Fab. 97)

Gods & demigods

Hephaistos (Hephaestus) & Charis (Grace)

He was a son of Zeus and Hera (Il. 1.570 etc.), god of fire and metallurgy (Il. 8.195, Od. 4.615, 15.117). His mother hurled him from Olympus because she could not bare his ugliness and lameness, but he was saved by Thetis and Eurynome, with whom he lived for nine years (Il. 18.395 etc.).
Grace was his wife (Il. 18.382, Paus. 9,35,4) and was depicted in gold on the pedestal supporting the throne of the statue of Zeus in Olympia (Paus. 5,11,8).

Hephaestus fell in the island of Lemnos, when Zeus hurled him from Olympus because he wanted to help his mother. There the Sintians tended him (Il. 1.590).

After the request of Thetis, Hephaestus constructed the new arms of Achilles, among which the great shield, that represented the earth, the sky and scenes from human life (Il. 18.468 etc.).

Hephaestus, (Hephaistos). In Greek mythology, the god of fire, and of the arts which need fire in the execution. Roscher proposes various derivations of the name--from haphe (hapto), "a lighting," or from the root of phaino, "to shine." He was said to be the son of Zeus and Here, or, according to Hesiod, of the latter only. Being ugly, and lame in both feet, his mother was ashamed of him, and threw him from Olympus into the ocean, where he was taken up by Eurynome and Thetis and concealed in a subterranean cavern. Here he remained for nine years, and fashioned a number of exquisite works of art, among them a golden throne with invisible chains, which he sent to his mother by way of revenge. She sat down in it, and was chained to the seat so fast that no one could release her. On this it was resolved to call Hephaestus back to Olympus. Ares wished to force him back, but was frightened off by his brother with firebrands. Dionysus at length succeeded in making him drunk and bringing him back in this condition to Olympus. But he was destined to meet with his former luck a second time. There came a quarrel between Zeus and Here, and Hephaestus took his mother's part; whereupon Zeus seized him by the leg and hurled him down from Olympus. He fell upon the island of Lemnos, where the Sintians, who then inhabited the island, took care of him and finally revived him. From this time Lemnos was his favourite abode. His lameness was, in the later story, attributed to this fall.
    The whole story--the sojourn of Hephaestus in the cavern under the sea and his fondness for Lemnos--is, in all probability, based upon volcanic phenomena--the submarine activity of volcanic fires and the natural features of the island of Lemnos. Here there was a volcano called Mosychlus, which was in activity down to the time of Alexander the Great. The friendship existing between Dionysus and Hephaestus may be explained by the fact that the best and finest wines are grown in the volcanic regions of the South.
    As a master in the production of beautiful and fascinating works of art, Hephaestus is in the Iliad the husband of a Charis, and in the Odyssey of Aphrodite, and in Hesiod of Aglaea. The story of his marriage with Aphrodite was not, apparently, widely known in early antiquity. Through his artistic genius he appears, and most especially in the Athenian story, as the intimate friend of Athene. In Homer he lives and works on Olympus, where he makes palaces of brass for himself and the other deities; but he has a forge also on Mount Mosychlus in Lemnos; the later story gives him one under Aetna in Sicily, and on the sacred island, or island of Hephaestus, in the Lipari Islands, where he is heard at work with his companions the Cyclopes. All the masterpieces of metal which appear in the stories of gods and heroes-- the aegis of Zeus, the arms of Achilles, the sceptre of Agamemnon, the fatal necklace of Harmonia, the fire-breathing bulls of Aeetes, the golden torchbearers in the palace of Alcinous, and others --were attributed to the art of Hephaestus. To help his lameness he made, according to Homer, two golden maidens, with the power of motion, to lean upon when he walked. He was much worshipped in Lemnos, where there was an annual festival in his honour. All fires were put out for nine days, during which rites of atonement and purification were performed. Then fresh fire was brought on a sacred ship from Delos, the fires were kindled again, and a new life, as the saying went, began. At Athens he was worshipped in the Academy, in connection with Athene and Prometheus. In October the smiths and smelters celebrated the Chalkeia, a feast of metal-workers, in his honour and that of Athene; at the Apatouria sacrifices were offered to him, among other gods, as the giver of fire, and torches were kindled and hymns were sung; at the Hephaisteia, finally, there was a torch-race in his honour. The Greeks frequently set small dwarf-like images of Hephaestus near their fireplaces. In works of art he is represented as a vigorous man with a beard, equipped, like a smith, with hammer and tongs; his left leg is shortened, to show his lameness. The Romans identified him with their Vulcanus.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Hephaestus, (Hephaistos), the god of fire, was, according to the Homeric account, the son of Zeus and Hera. (Il. i. 578, xiv. 338, xviii. 396, xxi. 332, Od. viii. 312.) Later traditions state that he had no father, and that Hera gave birth to him independent of Zeus, as she was jealous of Zeus having given birth to Athena independent of her. (Apollod. i. 3.5; Hygin. Fab. Praef.) This, however, is opposed to the common stor, that Hephaestus split the head of Zeus, and thus assisted him in giving birth to Athena, for Hephaestus is there represented as older than Athena. A further development of the later tradition is, that Hephaestus sprang from the thigh of Hera, and, being for a long time kept in ignorance of his parentage, he at length had recourse to a stratagem, for the purpose of finding it out. He constructed a chair, to which those who sat upon it were fastened, and having thus entrapped Hera, he refused allowing her to rise until she had told him who his parents were. (Serv. ad Aen. viii. 454, Eclog. iv. 62.) For other accounts respecting his origin, see Cicero (de Nat. Deor. iii. 22), Pausanias (viii. 53.2). and Eustathius (ad Hom.).
  Hephaestus is the god of fire, especially in so far as it manifests itself as a power of physical nature in volcanic districts, and in so far as it is the indispensable means in arts and manufactures, whence fire is called the breath of Hephaestus, and the name of the god is used both by Greek and Roman poets as synonymous with fire. As a flame arises out of a little spark, so the god of fire was delicate and weakly from his birth, for which reason he was so much disliked by his mother, that she wished to get rid of him, and dropped him from Olympus. But the marine divinities, Thetis and Eurynome, received him, and he dwelt with them for nine years in a grotto, surrounded by Oceanus, making for them a variety of ornaments. (Hom. Il. xviii. 394, &c.) It was, according to some accounts, during this period that he made the golden chair by which he punished his mother for her want of affection, and from which he would not release her, till he was prevailed upon by Dionysus. (Paus. i. 20.2; Hygin. Fab. 166.) Although Hephaestus afterwards remembered the cruelty of his mother, yet he was always kind and obedient towards her, nay once, while she was quarrelling with Zeus, he took her part, and thereby offended his father so much, that he seized him by the leg, and hulled him down from Olympus. Hephaestus was a whole day falling, but in the evening he came down in the island of Lemnos, where he was kindly received by the Sintians. (Hom. Il. i. 590, &c. Val. Flacc. ii. 8.5; Apollod. i. 3.5, who, however, confounds the two occasions on which Hephaestus was thrown from Olympus.) Later writers describe his lameness as the consequence of his second fall, while Homer makes him lame and weak from his birth. After his second fall he returned to Olympus, and subsequently acted the part of mediator between his parents. (Il i. 585.) On that occasion he offered a cup of nectar to his mother and the other gods, who burst out into immoderate laughter on seeing him busily hobbling through Olympus from one god to another, for he was ugly and slow, and, owing to the weakness of his legs, he was held up, when he walked, by artificial supports, skilfully made of gold. (Il. xviii. 410, &c., Od. viii. 311, 330.) Iis neck and chest, however, were strong and muscular. (Il. xviii. 415, xx. 36.)
  In Olympus, Hephaestus had his own palace, imperishable and shining like stars: it contained his workshop, with the anvil, and twenty bellows, which worked spontaneously at his bidding. (Il. xviii. 370, &c.) It was there that he made all his beautiful and marvellous works, utensils, and arms, both for gods and men. The ancient poets and mythographers abound in passages describing works of exquisite workmanship which had been manufactured by Hephaestus. In later accounts, the Cyclopes, Brontes, Steropes, Pyracmon, and others, are his workmen and servants, and his workshop is no longer represented as in Olympus, but in the interior of some volcanic isle. (Virg. Aen. viii. 416, &c.) The wife of Hephaestus also lived in his palace: in the Iliad she is called a Charis, in the Odyssey Aphrodite (Il. xviii. 382, Od. viii. 270), and in Hesiod's Theogony (945) she is named Aglaia. the youngest of the Charites. The story of Aphrodite's faithlessness to her husband, and of the manner in which he surprised her, is exquisitely described in Od. viii. 266-358. The Homeric poems do not mention any descendants of Hephaestus, but in later writers the number of his children is considerable. In the Trojan war he was on the side of the Greeks, but he was also worshipped by the Trojans, and on one occasion he saved a Trojan from being killed by Diomedes. (Il. v. 9, &c.)
  His favourite place on earth was the island of Lemnos, where he liked to dwell among the Sintians (Od. viii. 283, &c., Il. i. 593; Ov Fast. viii. 82); but other volcanic islands also, such as Lipara, Hiera, Imbros. and Sicily, are called his abodes or workshops. (Apollon. Rhod iii. 41; Callim. Hymn. in Dian. 47; Serv. ad Aen. viii. 416; Strab.; Plin. H. N. iii. 9; Val. Flace. ii. 96.)
  Hephaestus is among the male what Athena is among the female deities, for, like her, he give skill to mortal artists, and, conjointly with her, he was believed to have taught men the arts which embellish and adorn life. (Od. vi. 233, xxiii. 160. Hymn. in Vaulc. 2. &c.) But he was. nevertheless, conceived as far inferior to the sublime character of Athena. At Athens they had temples and festivals in common. (See Dict of Ant. s. v. Hephaisteia, Chalkeia.) Both also were believed to have great healing powers, and Lemnian earth (terra Lemnia) from the spot on which Hephaestus had falleen was believed to cure madness, the bites of snakes, and haemorrhage, and the priests of the god knew how to cure wounds inflicted by snakes. (Philostr. Heroic. v. 2; Eustath. ad Hom.; Dict. Cret. ii. 14.) The epithets and surnames by which Hephaestus is designated by the poets generally allude to his skill in the plastic arts or to his figure and his lameness. He was represented in the temple of Athena Chalcioecus at Sparta, in the act of delivering his mother (Paus. iii. 17.3); on the chest of Cypselus, giving to Thetis the armour for Achilles (v. 19.2); and at Athens there was the famous statue of Hephaestus by Alcamenes, in which his lameness was slightly indicated. (Cic. de Nat. Deor. i. 30; Val. Max. viii. 11.3.) The Greeks frequently placed small dwarf-like statues of the god near the hearth, and these dwarfish figures seem to have been the most ancient. (Herod. iii. 37; Aristoph. Av. 436; Callim. Hymnn. in Dian. 60.) During the best period of Grecian art, he was represented as a vigorous man with a beard, and is characterised by his hammer or some other instrument, his oval cap, and the chiton, which leaves the right shoulder and arm uncovered. (Hirt, Mythol. Bilderb. i. 42, &c.) The Romans, when speaking of the Greek Hephaestus, call him Vulcanus, although Vulcanus was an original Italian divinity.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Charis. A name applied by Homer ( Il.xviii. 382) to the wife of Hephaestus. In the Odyssey, on the other hand (viii. 267), Aphrodite is named as his spouse. It amounts to the same thing in the figurative explanation of the myth, since Grace and Beauty were both regarded as the characteristics of Hephaestus's labours.

Charis, the personification of Grace and Beauty, which the Roman poets translate by /Gratia and we after them by Graec. Homer, without giving her any other name, describes a Charis as the wife of Hephaestus (Il. xviii. 382). Hesiod (Theog. 945) calls the Charis who is the wife of Hephaestus, Aglaia, and the youngest of the Charites (Comp. Eustath. ad Hom.). According to the Odyssey, on the other hand, Aphrodite was the wife of Hephaestus, from which we may infer, if not the identity of Aphrodite and Charis, at least a close connexion and resemblance in the notions entertained about the two divinities. The idea of personified grace and beauty was, as we have already seen, divided into a plurality of beings at a very early time, probably to indicate the various ways in which the beautiful is manifested in the world and adorns it. In the Iliad itself (xiv. 269) Pasithea is called one of the younger Charites, who is destined to be the wife of Sleep, and the plural Charites occurs several times in the Homeric poems (Od. xviii. 194).
  The parentage of the Charites is differently described; the most common account makes them the daughters of Zeus either by Hera, Eurynome, Eunomia, Eurydomene, Harmonia, or Lethe (Hesiod. Theog. 907, &c.; Apollod. i. 3.1; Pind. Ol. xiv. 15; Phurnut. 15; Orph. Hymn. 59. 2; Stat. Thcb. ii. 286; Eustath. ad Hom.). According to others they were the daughters of Apollo by Aegle or Euanthe (Paus. ix. 35.1), or of Dionysus by Aphrodite or Coronis. The Homeric poems mention only one Charis, or an indefinite number in the plural, and from the passage in which Pasithea is mentioned, it would almost seem as if the poet would intimate that he was thinking of a great number of Charites and of a division of them into classes. Hesiod distinctly mentions three Charites, whose names are Euphrosyne, Aglaia, and Thalia, and this number as well as these names subsequently became generally established, although certain places in Greece retained their ancient and established number. Thus the Spartans had only two Charites, Cleta and Phaenna, and the Athenians the same number, Auxo and Hegemone, who were worshipped there from the earliest times. Hermesianax added Peitho as a third (Paus. ix. 35). Sostratus (ap. Eustath. ad Hom.) relates that Aphrodite and the three Charites, Pasithea, Cale, and Euphrosyne, disputed about their beauty with one another, and when Teiresias awarded the prize to Cale he was changed by Aphrodite into an old woman, but Cale rewarded him with a beautiful head of hair and took him to Crete. The name Cale in this passage has led some critics to think that Homer also (Il. xviii. 393) mentions the names of two Charites, Pasithea and Cale, and that kale should accordingly be written by a capital initial.
  The character and nature of the Charites are sufficiently expressed by the names they bear: they were conceived as the goddesses who gave festive joy and enhanced the enjoyments of life by refinement and gentleness. Gracefulness and beauty in social intercourse are therefore attributed to them (Horat. Carm. iii. 21, 22; Pind. Ol. xiv. 7, &c.). They are mostly described as being in the service or attendance of other divinities, as real joy exists only in circles where the individual gives up his own self and makes it his main object to afford pleasure to others. The less beauty is ambitious to rule, the greater is its victory; and the less homage it demands, the more freely is it paid. These seen to be the ideas embodied in the Charites. They lend their grace and beauty to everything that delights and elevates gods and men. This notion was probably the cause of Charis being called the wife of Hephaestus, the divine artist. The most perfect works of art are thus called the works of the Charites, and the greatest artists are their favourites. The gentleness and gracefulness which they impart to man's ordinary pleasures are expressed by their moderating the exciting influence of wine (Hor. Carm. iii. 19. 15; Pind. Ol. xiii. 18), and by their accompanying Aphrodite and Eros (Hom. Od. viii. 364, xviii. 194; Paus. vi. 24.5). They also assist Hermes and Peitho to give grace to eloquence and persuasion (Hesiod. Op. 63), and wisdom itself receives its charms from them. Poetry, however, is the art which is especially favoured by them, whence they are called erasimolpoi or philesimolpoi. For the same reason they are the friends of the Muses, with whom they live together in Olympus (Hes. Theog. 64; Eurip. Herc. fur. 673; Theocrit. xvi. in fin.). Poets are inspired by the Muses, but the application of their songs to the embellishment of life and the festivals of the gods are the work of the Charites. Late Roman writers describe the Charites (Gratiae) as the symbols of gratitude and benevolence, to which they were led by the meaning of the word gratia in their own language (Senec. De Benef. i. 3; comp. Diod. v. 73).
  The worship of the Charites was believed to have been first introduced into Boeotia by Eteoclus or Eteocles, the son of Cephissus, in the valley of that river (Paus. ix. 35.1; Theocrit. xvi. 104; Pind. Ol. xiv.). At Orchomenos and in the island of Paros a festival, the charisia or charitesia, was celebrated to the Charites (Eustath. ad Hom.; Apollod. iii. 15.7). At Orchomenos they were worshipped from early times in the form of rude stones, which were believed to have fallen from heaven in the time of Eteocles (Paus ix. 38.1; Strab. ix.). Statues of them are mentioned in various parts of Greece, as at Sparta, on the road from Sparta to Amyclae, in Crete, at Athens, Elis, Hermione, and others (Paus. i. 22.8, ii. 34.10, iii. 14.6, vi. 24.5). They were often represented as the companions of other gods, such as Hera, Hermes, Eros, Dionysus, Aphrodite, the Horae, and the Muses. In the ancient statues of Apollo at Delos and Delphi, the god carried the Charites on his hand. In the early times the Charites were represented dressed, but afterwards their figures were always made naked, though even Pausanias (ix. 35.2) did not know who had introduced the custom of representing them naked. Specimens of both dressed and naked representations of the Charites are still extant. Their character is that of unsuspicious maidens in the full bloom of life, and they usually embrace one another. Their attributes differ according to the divinities upon whom they attend; as the companions of Apollo they often carry musical instruments, and as the companions of Aphrodite they carry myrtles, roses, or dice, the favourite game of youth.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Sing, clear-voiced Muse, of Hephaestus famed for inventions. With bright-eyed Athena he taught men glorious crafts throughout the world, --men who before used to dwell in caves in the mountains like wild beasts. But now that they have learned crafts through Hephaestus the famed worker, easily they live a peaceful life in their own houses the whole year round. Be gracious, Hephaestus, and grant me success and prosperity.
The fact that Hephaestus and Athena were joined in a common cult at Athens, and (as far as is known) in no other Greek city, gives colour to Baumeister's suggestion that this hymn is Athenian. The two deities were worshipped together as patrons of all arts and crafts; the shops of braziers and ironmongers were near the temple of Hephaestus, in which stood a statue of Athena ( Paus.i. 14. 6), and the festival called Chalceia was sacred to both. According to Plato (Critias 109 C), Athena and Hephaestus became joint patrons of Attica; Athena was Ergane, the Worker; but in a wider sense she was the giver of all civilization; Hephaestus, the Fire-god and the divine smith, gave men the skill which differentiated them from wild beasts. Aeschylus, indeed, attributes these gifts of civilization to Prometheus; but the importance of the Titan was mainly mythological; in practical cult Hephaestus appropriated most of the credit.
  But this aspect of Athena and Hephaestus was by no means exclusively Athena Attic. was the patron of arts in Homer (Il. 5.61 , u 78), and under titles such as Ergane, Kalliergos, and Machanitis, she was worshipped in many parts of Greece. In Hesiod she instructs Pandora, the creation of Hephaestus, in weaving. We may therefore fairly look for Epic rather than Athenian influence in the mythology of this hymn.

The Return of Hephaistos. The subject is the Return of Hephaistos to Olympus. Because of his lameness, the god of fire was not respected by his parents Zeus and Hera, who flung him out of Olympus so that he fell to earth (Hom. Il. 1.590-94; Hom. Il. 18.395-97). To trick them into recalling him, the crafty god sent Hera a throne; she sat on it and was unable to rise, and only Hephaistos knew how to release her. Ares was sent to bring him back, but Hephaistos drove him off with hot coals. Dionysos succeeded with a gentler method, getting him drunk on wine, putting him on a donkey, and bringing him back amid a raucous procession of satyrs. A comic version of the story was included in the Komastai of Epicharmos, a Sicilian contemporary of the Kleophrades Painter, but the subject had long been a favorite with Attic vase-painters.


Artifices. It is proposed in this article to touch on the general condition of the artisans in Greece and Rome, and the estimation in which they were held, without treating of the agricultural labourers, or going into the special technical details of the different manufactures.. For the latter, the reader is referred to the articles treating of the separate trades.

  Among the Homeric Greeks we find gods and heroes engaged on the works of artisans. Thus Hephaestus himself works at the forge (Il. xviii. 371), and Athena at the loom (Il. viii. 386). Odysseus makes his own bed (Od. xxiii. 189), Arete spins (Od vi. 306), and Nausicaa washes her own clothes (Od. vi. 31). This shows that much was done in the family which in later times would have been the work of slaves or hired workmen. But in Homeric times there were professional artisans who worked for the people, demioergoi,--a term which probably comprised all kinds of artisans, and not merely the few mentioned as examples in Od. xvii. 384; viz. physicians, soothsayers, shipwrights, and singers. Some acquired such reputation that they used to be called in (kalein, Od. i. 416, xvii. 382--the regular term) from their town (allothen) to another. They were free Greeks, not barbarians (cf. e.g. Il. vii. 221), not forming anything like a caste, of which there is not the slightest trace in Homer. They appear to have been remunerated generally by a feast (Od. xv. 506; cf. Il. xviii. 558), though the called-in artisans may have also received presents as xenoi. They almost always belonged to the lower classes (cherees). Work was no shame at that period; idleness was shame (Hes. Op. 301). (On the Homeric workmen generally, see Riedenauer, Handwerk und Handwerker in den homerischen Zeiten, 1873; Buchholz, Die homerischen Realien, ii. 1, 27 ff., 1881).
  The patriarchal times gave place to a period of unrest while Greece was moving about and settling itself (Thuc. i. 12). During this period the warriors were everything; the artisans were of small account. These latter came to be looked down on, as they are in every military society. Accordingly, when the aristocratically governed Dorians took possession of Laconia, they made the perioeci and the slaves [p. 195] practise all the manual arts. An artisan could not be a citizen; nor could a citizen learn a manual art. The allies were almost all artisans (see the story in Plut. Ages. 26). Similarly, the Thespians did not allow their citizens to be either mechanics or agricultural labourers, and were accordingly very poor, says Heraclides Ponticus (De polit. Graec. 43). In other aristocratical communities the laws were not so strict. If a man had ceased to be a mechanic for ten years at Thebes, he was eligible for magistracies (Arist. Pol. vii. (vi.) 7, § 5, compared with iii. 3, § 4). Still less strict were the timocratical and democratical communities; least strict of all the Corinthians (Herod. ii. 167). Manufacture involves work and brings wealth, and work and wealth make a state in peace contented and happy. The Athenian legislators knew this, and enacted that every father should have his son taught a trade, or else the son should not be under any obligations towards him (Plut. Sol. 22); anyone who had no visible means of support, and yet was idle, was liable to an argias graphe, a law with which we can find no fault (Herod. ii. 177); citizenship was offered to strangers who were skilled as artisans and were willing to settle at Athens (Plut. Sol. 24). Themistocles advised the people to encourage the artisans by freeing them from all tribute (Diod. Sic. xi. 43). Any one abusing another on account of his trade was liable to a kakegorias dike (Dem. c. Eubul. p. 1308, § 30).
  This latter enactment gives a very clear hint as to the way artisans were regarded, even in democratic Athens. They were recognised and protected by the law, had a share in the deliberations of the assembly (Aeschin. Timarch. § 27; Thuc. ii. 40; Xeu. Mem. iii. 7, § 6), but looked down upon by the upper classes, and so suffered in general repute, as they did in all ancient states (Herod. ii. 167). Leisure (argia), they considered with Socrates, was the sister of Freedom (Ael. Var. Hist. x. 14); but work was to be resorted to in order to escape from poverty (Thuc. ii. 40). Thus in Macedonian times, when Athens became poor, we find many even of the free women turning to menial occupations, such as nurses and mowers and vintagers (Dem. c. Eubul. p. 1313, § 57). Phaenarete, the mother of Socrates, had been a midwife (Plat. Theaet. 149 A). According to genuine Greek minds, such as Plato's, no native should engage in the employments of artisans (demiourgika technemata); he has quite as much as he can do to maintain and further the honour of the state (Legg. 846 D). Aristotle holds similar views (Pol. iii. 3, § 2). Phaleas of Chalcedon in his constitution allowed no artisans except slaves belonging to the state (Aristot. Pol. ii. 4, § 13). The Greeks had many reasons for this contempt for manufacturing industry. Mechanical labour (banausia, properly labour over a furnace, Suidas s. v.) prevents the full development of the body, and consequently of the mind, owing both to the sedentary and confined nature of the various employments and to the want of leisure they entail. The mechanics are thus unable to attend to the interests of their friends or of the state (Xen. Oec. 4, § 2; Aristot. Pol. v. (viii.) 2, § 1). Again, even the free artisans were in a manner slaves to their employers for their hire; and as most of the artisans were either actually slaves or strangers (Aristot. Pol. iii. 3, § 2), all came to be regarded together as forming one class, viz. banausoi (also called technitai, chernetes, cheirotechnai, cheironaktes, chrematistai). For it must be carefully borne in mind that the greater mass of the artisans were foreigners (metoikoi) or slaves; in the list of workmen at the Erechtheum (C. L. A. i. 324) the foreigners are twice as numerous as the citizens.
  What is most remarkable to us in the low opinion of the ancients with regard to manual labour is that they made no radical distinction between the artist and the artisan, as long as both took pay for their services. No doubt Phidias was thought more of than a fuller; but still even the greatest statuary or painter, if he took pay, was regarded even till the latest times as a banausos kai cheironax kai apocheirobiotos. See the striking speeches of Statuary (Hermogluphike) and Culture (Paideia) in Lucian's Somnium, 6-9, the whole tone of which dialogue is most instructive. (Cf. Plut. Praecept. reip. ger. 5, 7 = ii. 802.) Aristotle, too, deprecates professional skill being displayed in music (Pol. v. (viii.) 6, § 2, 3). If, however, the artist took no pay, this raised him in public estimation: e. g. Polygnotus, who painted the Stoa Poecile gratis (Plut. Cim. 4). How one who took money for services was in a manner lowered in social estimation may be felt from the way professional athletes are still regarded.
  Such states as Phocis and Locris deserve a passing notice. They were poor and had for a long time no slaves, so that all the artisans were citizens. We hear that they strenuously resisted, as depriving them of their daily bread, a capitalist Mnason, who wanted to compete against them with slave labour on an extensive scale (Athen. vi. p. 264 d); for, says Athenaeus, it was customary for the younger to help the elder in their different houses.
  This leads us on to the consideration of the question whether there were any castes of artisans among the Greeks as there were among the Egyptians. We may say generally that there were not (cf. Grote, iii. p. 51), though we occasionally meet with something like them: thus the functions of the heralds, flute-players,. and cooks were hereditary in certain families at Sparta (Herod. vi. 60). The sculptors at Athens called themselves Daedalidae (Plat. Euthyphr. 11 C); and some priesthoods appear to have been confined to certain families, the Eteobutadae at Athens (Aeschin. de Fals. Leg. 47, § 155), the Telliadae and Iamidae in Elis (Herod. ix. 37, 33). But by an individual member of a family holding a priesthood that family was not rendered holy or separated from the rest. (On the absence of castes in Greece, see especially Drumann, Arbeiter, § 6.) Neither did the trades form corporations till late in Roman times and under Roman influence. The artisans appear to have had partners, sunergoi (C. L A. i. 324, p. 173), and apprentices (mathetai, Plat. Meno, 90 D). But, besides these small artisans, we find large workshops (ergasteria), the owners of which managed them by foremen (ergon epistatai, epitropoi, ngemones tou ergasteriou) taken from among their slaves or freedmen (Dem. c. Aphob. 819, § 24; Aeschin. Tim. 14, § 97). In the two factories of the father of Demosthenes there were fifty-two slaves (Dem. c. Aphob. 816, [p. 196] § § 11, 12); and Lysias and his brother Polemarchus had a shield-factory with 120 slaves (Lys. contra Eratosth. § § 8, 19). Thus the establishments do not appear to have been large. The work of the slaves in them was probably severe. Most of the 20,000 slaves who deserted in the Decelean war to the Spartans were cheirotechnai (Thuc. vii. 27). The owners of these workshops were generally considered highly respectable members of society; the father of Demosthenes was something more than one of the middle-class citizens (metrion, Dem. de Cor. p. 228, § 10), yet was called a cutler (Mayor on Juv. x. 130); and we may well suppose that some of the tanners, cobblers, lamp-makers, &c. satirized by Aristophanes, were owners of such factories (cf. Hermann-Blumner, Privatalterthumer, 399, notes 2, 3). The workers in these factories were mostly slaves, though sometimes no doubt day-labourers were hired (thetes, misthotoi). Indeed, there was not much difference between the condition of slaves and such artisans: Aristotle (Pol. iii. 3, § 3) says, hoi men heni leitourgountes ta toiauta douloi, hoi de koine banausoi kai thetes. Masters, too, often allowed their slaves to be hired. These day-labourers were sometimes called at Athens Kolonitai, as the place where they congregated for hire was the kolonos en tei agorai para to Eurusakeion (Poll. vii. 133). The united artisans celebrated the festival of the Chalkea in honour of Athena and Hephaestus (A. Mommsen, Heortologie, 313 foll.). On manufactories in Greece, see Drumann, op. cit. § 11.
  The state interfered very little with the artisans. They appear to have sometimes removed unsanitary factories, e. g. tanneries, outside the walls (Artem. Oneirocr. i. 53); and at Sybaris, noisy ones (Athen. xii. 518 c). We find at Paros the agoranomi seeing that fair contracts were enforced between employer and employed (see the important inscription in honour of Cillus at Paros in Rangabe, Antiq. hellen. ii. 366 ff.). There are stray allusions to a cheironaxion or tax on trades generally (Aristot. (Oec. ii. 1, 4, and C. I. C. 4863 b). Each man was allowed to exercise as many trades as he liked, though Plato (Legg. 846 E) would not have tolerated it; yet, as a matter of fact, the extension of the principle of division of labour (cf. Xen. Mem. ii. 7, 6) must have practically limited the exercise of more businesses than one. We have allusions to patents for discoveries (Athen. xii. 521 d); and to the selling of good--will (Lys. pro Inval. § 6). The rates of wages may be seen from the following:--Farm-labourer, 4 obols a day (Lucian, Tim 6); hodman, 3 obols (Aristoph. Eccl. 312); stonecutter and such as worked at the Erechtheum, 1 drachma (C. I. A. i. p. 173); nightwork at the mill, 2 drachmas (Athen. iv. p. 168).
  The principal works on the subject are Drumann, Die Arbeiter und Communisten in Griechenland und Rom, 1860; Frohberger, De opificum apud veteres Graecos conditione, 1866; Buchsenschutz, Besitz und Erwerb im Griechischen Alterthsume, 1869, esp. 249-292, 316-355; Caillemer in D. and S., 1874; Becker-Goll, Charikles, iii. 93-97; Hermann-Blumner, Privatalterthumer, § § 41, 42.

  It has been epigrammatically remarked that whereas with the Greeks every handicraft was an art, with the Romans every art was a handicraft. But both agreed in looking down on all manual labour for hire, whether art or handicraft. Seneca (Epist. 88, 18) hesitates about classing a painter among the practisers of liberal arts (see Marquardt, Privatleben, p. 589 seq.). For the distinction of liberal and sordid or common (volgares) arts was that adopted by the Romans, the former being those which involved greater skill and produced greater advantage, the latter those which required mere labour (opera), not skill, the wages for which constituted an obligation of slavery (auctoramentum servitutis, Cic. Off. i. 4. 2, 150). Now it is to be noticed, firstly, that the practical Roman valued in any art the greater advantage, not the aesthetic excellence, of what was produced, always making profession before the people of being quite unskilled in aesthetic judgment (e. g. Cic. Verr. ii. 3. 5, 87); and, secondly, that the professors of the liberal arts were in strictness called artifices, while opifices or sellularii was the name given to those who exercised the artes operosae or sordidae (Cic. Off. l. c.). The artifices were painters, sculptors, engineers, architects, musicians, actors, &c. These latter appear to have been specially called artifices (Weissenborn on Livy, v. 1, § 5). However, it will be convenient here to treat of the whole class of what we call artisans.
  The earliest notice we have of such artisans is that king Numa (Plut. Numa, 17) instituted nine guilds: viz. auletai, tibicines; chrusochooi, aurifices; tektones, fabri; bapheis, tinctores, or, according to Marquardt, fullones; skutotomoi, sutores; skutodephai, coriarii; chalkeis, aerarii; kerameis, figuli; and all the rest of the mechanics formed the ninth collegium. Mommsen remarks (R. H. i. 202, Eng. trans,) that there are no workers in iron, so that we may infer that iron was a late introduction. The skilled artisans no doubt united in order to preserve the traditions of their art. There are no signs of monopoly by these guilds, or protection in their interest (Mommsen, l. c.). These collegia remained in existence all through the republic.
  The simplicity of the early times and the paucity of skilled slaves must have caused the artisans to be held at first in high esteem. But of this they were deprived by the Servian timocratic organisation, which excluded artisans (except the carpenters, coppersmiths, and musicians) from serving in the army, not formally but practically, because service was connected with a freehold, which the artisans did not possess (Mommsen, l. c.). Later the increase of capital in a few hands led to the employment by these capitalists of slaves or freedmen as artisans, and this prevented any middle class growing up in Rome. Most of the requirements of life were produced in this way. Manufacture was spread throughout Italy. The Ficoroni casket was made by a Praenestine. Cato advises the Campanian farmer to buy the different necessaries of his calling at the most various places (de Re Rustica, 135 [136]),--a highly important passage given by Wordsworth, Fragm. and Specimens, p. 334. It shows that Mommsen, R. H. ii. 379, is misleading. That cloth-working must have been fairly extensive is to be inferred from the frequent mention of the fullers in Roman comedy. A considerable list of manufacturers may be seen in Plaut. Aulul. [p. 197] iii. 5, 34 if. The strike of the tibicines recorded in Liv. ix. 30 reminds one of a modern trades-union. The rate of wages appears to have been about 12 asses a day (about 8d.) for an ordinary journeyman labourer (Cic. Rosc. Com. 10, 28). On the whole, it must be confessed with Mommsen (R. H. i. 203) that about the state of trade during the Republic we know next to nothing.
  The artifices, properly so called, except the architects, came mostly from Greece: painters, e. g. Metrodorus (Plin. H. N. xxxv. § 135, who gives numerous other examples); statuaries, e. g. Pasiteles (Plin. H. N. xxxvi. § 40), Arcesilaus (ib. § 156); architects, e. g. Hermodorus (Cic. de Orat. i. 14, 62); and for many more see Drumann, Arbeiter, § § 29, 30. But few Romans practised these arts. One of the Fabian gens got the honorary title of Pictor for painting the temple of Salus, in 304 B.C. The poet Pacuvius was also celebrated as a painter, but after him the art was seldom seen in respectable hands ( honestis manibus, Plin. H. N. xxxv. § § 19, 20). See, too, the scoff of Naevius in Mommsen, R. H. ii. 478. Spurius Carvilius (Consul 293 B.C.) made a colossal bronze statue of Jupiter (Plin. H. N. xxxiv. § 43). A Roman architect, Cossutius, is found building a temple to Honor and Virtus at Rome, and later engaged on the temple of Zeus at Athens in 170 B.C. (Vitruv. vii., Pref. § 15). That actors were either slaves, freedmen, or strangers; and that, though in later times they were much admired and received enormous salaries, they were always considered unworthy of citizenship, is well known (see Cic. Arch. 5, 10; Tac. Ann. xiv. 21; and Drumann, op. cit. § § 31, 32). All these professions were to the Romans mediocres artes, second-rate arts (Cic. de Orat. i. 2, 6), leviores artes (Cic. Brut. 1, 2).
  The great boon of the empire was peace. Industry increased vastly in all departments. The division of labour was of the most extensive kind; see, for example, the immense number of different workmen engaged in the making of clothes, as given in Marquardt, Privatleben, pp. 566-7, and indeed the whole volume; also Friedlander, i.4 286, and his quotation from St. Augustine (Civ. Dei, vii. 4). Now a capital feature of the empire was the tendency to concentrate the different kinds of handicraftsmen in collegia. An interesting and full account of these collegia of workmen, which were at once trades-unions and clubs, insurance and burial societies, is given in Boissier, La Religion Romaine, ii. 238 foll. They were the most conservative element of society. It was mostly foreigners and freedmen who carried on the different trades; though rich people and even the emperors put their money into large businesses (Hermann Schiller, Rom. Kaiserzeit. 424), e. g. the purple-manufacturers (Marquardt, Privatleben, p. 498). The artisans in these large workshops were slaves or freedmen (Friedlander, i.4 285, 291). The working dress of the lower orders appears to have been the tunica (Hor. Ep. i. 7, 65). The coppersmiths used to wear a cap and apron: pilion kai perizoma (Epictet. Diatrib. iv. 8, 16). A considerable contempt, natural in a slave state, hung round the exercise of trade: at Tarsus we find a number of the small artisans outside the state (Dio Chrys. vol. ii. 43 and 45, Reiske). This contempt did not merely attach to trade, but also to what we call art: see Sen. Ep. 88, 18, and also ap. Lactant. Inst. ii. 2, 14, simulacra deorum venerantur . . . fabros qui illa fecere contemnunt. The technical skill and inventiveness of several of the artisans was of the highest order, details of which will be found in the articles treating of the different handicrafts.
  The trades were sometimes taxed. Caligula exacted one-eighth of their gains from the porters (Suet. Calig. 40). Alexander Severus, and apparently before him Antoninus Pius (Justin Martyr, Apol. i. 27), laid a tax on several classes of artisans,--braccarii, linteones, vitrarii, pelliones, claustrarii, argentarii, aurifices--mostly makers of articles of luxury. (Lampr. Alex. Sev. 24.)
  In post-Diocletian times all artisans were scheduled and formed in each community a corporation. Each corporation paid a fixed tax, called lustralis collatio (Cod. Theod. xiii. 1; and especially Marquardt, v. 230). During the same period the lower class of artisans and traders was organised into the Collegiati, while a number of artifices by a law of Constantine obtained special exemption from all state burdens, in order that they might have more time to apply themselves each to his special art and to teach it to their sons (Cod. Theod. xiii. 4, 2; Cod. Just. x. 66). In the schedule to this law, which enumerates thirty-five different kinds of artisans concerned, architects, physicians, painters, sculptors, goldsmiths, fullers, potters, &c., all appear to be on an equality. Special immunities, too, are granted to architects, engineers, builders and painters (see the whole title Cod. Theod. xiii. 4, De excusationibus artificum ). Compare, for similar immunities granted to military artisans, Dig. 50, 6, 7 (6). The idea was that the artisans were not rich enough to undertake munera patrimonii; but if the artisan or manufacturer grew rich, he became liable (Dig. 27, 1, 17, 2).

This text is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited August 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Surnames of Hephaestus

Hephaestus Amphigyeeis

Amphigyeeis (Amphigueeis), lame or limping on both feet, a surname of Hephaestus, given him because Zeus threw him from Olympus upon the earth for having wished to support Hera. (Hom. Il. i. 599; comp. Apollod. i. 3.5)

Hypnos (the god of Sleep and Dream)

He was the god of Sleep and twin brother of Death (Il. 14.231, 242, 270, 286, 16.454, 672, 682). Hera went to the island of Lemnos in order to find him (Il. 14.230).

Somnus (Hupnos). The god of sleep; the son of Nyx and twin-brother of Thanatos or Mors ( Il.xiv. 231; xvi. 672). With his brother, according to Hesiod, he dwelt in the eternal darkness of the farthest West (Theog. 759). Thence he swept over land and sea, bringing sleep to men and gods, since he had power over all alike, and could lull to sleep even Zeus himself. On the chest of Cypselus at Olympia, both brothers were depicted as boys sleeping in the arms of their mother, Death being painted in black and Sleep in white (Pausan. v. 18, 1). Sleep was represented in art in various forms and situations, and frequently with the wings of an eagle or a butterfly on his forehead, and a poppy-stalk and a horn, from which he dropped slumber upon those whom he lulled to rest. The earlier conception made Dreams the sisters of Sleep, but in later times the dream-god figures as his son. Hermes was also a god of sleep.



CHRYSSI (Homeric island) LEMNOS (LIMNOS)


An island to the N of the Aegean Sea, which is mentioned by Homer (Il. 1.593, 2.722, Od. 8.283).



Thoas, son of Dionysus by Ariadne, was the king of Lemnos and father of Hypsipyle (Il. 14.230, 23.745).

Thoas. Son of Dionysus and Ariadne, king of Lemnos, and married to Myrina, by whom he became the father of Hypsipyle and Sicinus. When the Lemnian women killed all the men in the island, Hypsipyle saved and concealed her father, Thoas. The patronymic Thoantias is given to Hypsipyle, as the daughter of Thoas.

Radamanthis gave Lemnos to Thoas (Diod. Sic. 5,79).


The daughter of Thoas, queen of Lemnos and mother of Euneus by Jason (Il. 7.469).

   Daughter of Thoas of Lemnos. The Lemnian women had, from jealousy of their Thracian maids, killed all the men of the island; Hypsipyle alone spared her father Thoas, having been the means of aiding his flight. When the Argonauts landed at Lemnos and united with the women, Hypsipyle bore twin sons to Iason-- Euneus, who in Homer figures as king of Lemnos and carries on trade with the Greeks before Troy; and Thoas (also called Deiphilus and Nebrophonus), who is sometimes described as a son of Dionysus. When the news of her father's escape was rumoured among the Lemnian women, Hypsipyle was forced to flee for her life, and was captured by pirates, who sold her to Lycurgus of Nemea. There, as the nurse of Opheltes, the infant son of the king, she accidentally caused his death by a snake, and was exposed to the greatest danger, from which she was only rescued by the intervention of her sons, who were sent to her aid by Dionysus.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Euneus (Euneos). He was the son of Jason by Hypsipyle (Il. 7.465, 23.747).

Euneus, (Euneos), a son of Jason by Hypsipyle, in the island of Lemnos, from whence he supplied the Greeks during their war against Troy with wine. He purchased Lycaon, a Trojan prisoner, of Patroclus for a silver urn. (Hom. Il. vii. 468, xxiii. 741, &c.; Strab. i.) The Euneidae, a famous family of cithara-players in Lemnos, traced their origin to Euneus. (Eustath. ad Hom.; Hesych. s. v. Euneidai.)

Mythical monsters


Aegis (aigis). The storm-cloud and thundercloud of Zeus, imagined in Homer as a shield forged by Hephaestus, blazing brightly and fringed with tassels of gold, and displaying in its centre the awe-inspiring Gorgon 's head. When Zeus shakes the aegis, it thunders and lightens, and horror and perdition fall upon those against whom it is lifted. It is borne not only by Zeus "the aegis-bearer", but by his daughter Athene, and occasionally by Apollo. As the same word means a goat-skin, it was explained in later times as the skin of the goat Amalthea, which had suckled Zeus in his infancy. At the bidding of the oracle, he drew it over his thunder-shield in the contest with the Giants, and fastened on it the Gorgon 's head. When the aegis became a standing attribute of Athene, it was represented as a skin either shaggy or scaly, with a fringe of snakes and the Gorgon 's head in the middle, and either serving the goddess as a breastplate, or hanging behind to screen the back and shoulders, or fastened like a shield on the left arm. Though the aegis properly belongs to Zeus, it is seldom found in works of art as his attribute. A cameo engraved by Nisus, however, of which a cut.
  The Roman emperors also assumed the aegis, intending thereby to exhibit themselves in the character of Iupiter.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Dec 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Aigis (originally emblematic of the ‘storm-cloud,’ cf. epaigizo): the aegis, a terrific shield borne by Zeus, or at his command by Apollo or by Athena, to excite tempests and spread dismay among men; the handiwork of Hephaestus; adorned with a hundred golden tassels, and surmounted by the Gorgon's head and other figures of horror, Il. 5.738, Il. 2.448.

Nations & tribes


A people, probably of thracian origin, that dwelt in the island of Lemnos (Il. 1.594, 8.294).

  Lemnos was sacred to Hephaistos on account of what was called the 'Lemnian Fire' on Mount Mosychlos. This is commonly taken to mean that Mosychlos was a volcano. But the present state of the island forbids the assumption of volcanic agency, and the fire was probably only a jet of natural gas, such as may have existed for a time and then disappeared. For the references to the Lemnian Fire see Jebb on Soph. Phil.800, and pp. 242-5. The supposed disappearance of the 'volcano' Mosychlos is geologically untenable. The Sinties are named as inhabitants of the island by Hellanikos fr. 112, while Thuk. ii. 98, 1 speaks of the Sintoi as a tribe on the coast of Thrace. What their connexion may have been with the 'Pelasgian' inhabitants of Lemnos expelled by Miltiades about 500 B.C., or with the authors of the (Etruscan ?) inscription recently discovered on the island, we naturally cannot say.

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