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Listed 100 (total found 139) sub titles with search on: Homeric world for wider area of: "SOUTH AEGEAN Region GREECE" .


Homeric world (139)

Ancient myths

NAXOS (Island) KYKLADES

Ariadne

...Then I saw Phaedra, and Procris, and fair Ariadne daughter of the magician Minos, whom Theseus was carrying off from Crete to Athens, but he did not enjoy her, for before he could do so Artemis killed her in the island of Dia on account of what Bacchus had said against her. (Od.11.321)


Ariadne. The daughter of Minos and Pasiphae, who fell in love with Theseus when he came to Crete to kill the Minotaur, and gave him a clew of yarn, to help him to find his way back to the light of day after slaying the monster in the Labyrinth. She then escaped with him. Homer represents Ariadne as slain by Artemis in the island of Dia, close to Crete, at the request of Dionysus. But the later legend shifts the scene to the isle of Naxos, where the slumbering Ariadne is deserted by Theseus. On waking, she is in the depths of despair, when Dionysus comes and raises her to the dignity of a god's wife. Zeus grants her immortality, and sets her bridal gift, a crown, among the stars. She received divine honours: at Naxos her festivals were held, now with dismal rites recalling her abandonment, and now with bacchanalian revelry befitting the happy bride of Dionysus. The story of Ariadne has been a favourite subject for artists and poets in all ages. At Athens in the autumn they held a joyous festival to her and Dionysus, which Theseus was supposed to have founded on his return from Crete. In Italy, where they identified Dionysus with their wine-god Liber, they also took Ariadne for the wine-goddess Libera.

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


Ariadne, a daughter of Minos and Pasiphae or Creta (Apollod. iii. 1.2). When Theseus was sent by his father to convey the tribute of the Athenians to Minotaurus, Ariadne fell in love with him, and gave him the string by means of which he found his way out of the Labyrinth, and which she herself had received from Hephaestus. Theseus in return promised to marry her (Plut. Thes. 19; Hygin. Fab. 42; Didym. ad Odyss. xi. 320), and she accordingly left Crete with him; but when they arrived in the island of Dia (Naxos), she was killed there by Artemis (Hom. Od. xi. 324). The words added in the Odyssey, Dionusou marturieisin, are difficult to understand, unless we interpret them with Pherecydes by "on the denunciation of Dionysus," because he was indignant at the profanation of his grotto by the love of Theseus and Ariadne. In this case Ariadne was probably killed by Artemis at the moment she gave birth to her twin children, for she is said to have had two sons by Theseus, Oenopion and Staphylus. The more common tradition, however, was, that Theseus left Ariadne in Naxos alive; but here the statements again differ, for some relate that he was forced by Dionysus to leave her (Diod. iv. 61, v. 51; Paus. i. 20.2, ix. 40.2, x. 29.2), and that in his grief he forgot to take down the black sail, which occasioned the death of his father. According to others, Theseus faithlessly forsook her in the island, and different motives are given for this act of faithlessness (Plut. Thes. 20; Ov. Met. viii. 175, Heroid. 10; Hygin. Fab. 43). According to this tradition, Ariadne put an end to her own life in despair, or was saved by Dionysus, who in amazement at her beauty made her his wife, raised her among the immortals, and placed the crown which he gave her at his marriage with her, among the stars (Hesiod. Theog. 949; Ov. Met. l. c.; Hygin. Poet. Astr. ii. 5). The Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius (iii. 996) makes Ariadne become by Dionysus the mother of Oenopion, Thoas, Staphylus, Latromis, Euanthes, and Tauropolis. There are several circumstances in the story of Ariadne which offered the happiest subjects for works of art, and some of the finest ancient works, on gems as well as paintings, are still extant, of which Ariadne is the subject.

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



...And at his (Theseus) suggestion she gave Theseus a clue when he went in; Theseus fastened it to the door, and, drawing it after him, entered in. And having found the Minotaur in the last part of the labyrinth, he killed him by smiting him with his fists; and drawing the clue after him made his way out again. And by night he arrived with Ariadne and the children (the boys and girls whom he had rescued from the Minotaur) at Naxos. There Dionysus fell in love with Ariadne and carried her off; and having brought her to Lemnos he enjoyed her, and begat Thoas, Staphylus, Oenopion, and Peparethus. (Apollod. R.1.9)
Comments:
  The clearest description of the clue, with which the amorous Ariadne furnished Theseus, is given by the Scholiasts and Eustathius on Homer l.c.. From them we learn that it was a ball of thread which Ariadne had begged of Daedalus for the use of her lover. He was to fasten one end of the thread to the lintel of the door on entering into the labyrinth, and holding the ball in his hand to unwind the skein while he penetrated deeper and deeper into the maze, till he found the Minotaur asleep in the inmost recess; then he was to catch the monster by the hair and sacrifice him to Poseidon; after which he was to retrace his steps, gathering up the thread behind him as he went. According to the Scholiast on the Odyssey, the story was told by Pherecydes, whom later authors may have copied.
  Homer's account of the fate of Ariadne is different. He says (Hom. Od. 11.321-325 ) that when Theseus was carrying off Ariadne from Crete to Athens she was slain by Artemis in the island of Dia at the instigation of Dionysus. Later writers, such as Diodorus Siculus identified Dia with Naxos, but it is rather the little island, now Standia, just off Heraclaion, on the north coast of Crete. Theseus would pass the island in sailing for Athens (Merry on Hom. Od. xi.322 ). Apollodorus seems to be the only extant ancient author who mentions that Dionysus carried off Ariadne from Naxos to Lemnos and had intercourse with her there.

This extract is from: Apollodorus, Library and Epitome (ed. Sir James George Frazer, 1921). Cited Mar 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.


  Minos, the son of Jupiter and Europa, offended with the Athenians, because they had murdered his son Androgeos, made war upon them, and obliged them to send yearly seven young men, and as many virgins, to be devoured by the Minotaur. At last the lot fell upon Theseus, who, arriving in Crete, slew the Minotaur; and being instructed by Ariadne how to escape out of the labyrinth, afterwards fled with her to the isle of Naxos. There, admonished by Bacchus, he left Ariadne, and carried Phaedra her sister (whom he had also brought with him,) forward to Athens. She, awaking, and not finding him, writes this epistle, in which she accuses him of perfidy and inhumanity, and endeavours to move him to compassion, by a mournful representation of her misery.
  This whole epistle is an expostulation with Theseus for his cruelty and ingratitude. She begins therefore with reproaching him as more savage than the fiercest beasts. She felt the effects of his barbarity, in his desertion of her; whereas hitherto the wild beasts had given her no disturbance.
Anne Mahoney, ed.

This text is cited Mar 2003 from Perseus Project URL bellow, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Dancing: In many of the Greek States the art of dancing was carried to great perfection by females, who were frequently engaged to add to the pleasures and enjoyment of men at their symposia. These dancers always belonged to the courtesans. Xenophon ( Symp.ix. 2-7) describes a mimetic dance which was represented at a symposium where Socrates was present. It was performed by a maiden and a youth, belonging to a Syracusan, who is called the orchestodidaskalos, and represented the loves of Dionysus and Ariadne.

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



SERIFOS (Island) KYKLADES

Perseus - Danae - Androdeda

A son of Zeus by Danae, the daughter of Acrisius (Il. 14.319). Perseus slew Medusa and rescued Andromeda, who became his wife.


How Perseus And His Mother Came To Seriphos

  Once upon a time there were two princes who were twins. Their names were Acrisius and Proetus, and they lived in the pleasant vale of Argos, far away in Hellas. They had fruitful meadows and vineyards, sheep and oxen, great herds of horses feeding down in Lerna Fen, and all that men could need to make them blest: and yet they were wretched, because they were jealous of each other. From the moment they were born they began to quarrel; and when they grew up each tried to take away the other's share of the kingdom, and keep all for himself. So first Acrisius drove out Proetus; and he went across the seas, and brought home a foreign princess for his wife, and foreign warriors to help him, who were called Cyclopes; and drove out Acrisius in his turn; and then they fought a long while up and down the land, till the quarrel was settled, and Acrisius took Argos and one half the land, and Proetus took Tiryns and the other half. And Proetus and his Cyclopes built around Tiryns great walls of unhewn stone, which are standing to this day.
   But there came a prophet to that hard-hearted Acrisius and prophesied against him, and said, 'Because you have risen up against your own blood, your own blood shall rise up against you; because you have sinned against your kindred, by your kindred you shall be punished. Your daughter Danae shall bear a son, and by that son's hands you shall die. So the Gods have ordained, and it will surely come to pass.' And at that Acrisius was very much afraid; but he did not mend his ways. He had been cruel to his own family, and, instead of repenting and being kind to them, he went on to be more cruel than ever: for he shut up his fair daughter Danae in a cavern underground, lined with brass, that no one might come near her. So he fancied himself more cunning than the Gods: but you will see presently whether he was able to escape them.
   Now it came to pass that in time Danae bore a son; so beautiful a babe that any but King Acrisius would have had pity on it. But he had no pity; for he took Danae and her babe down to the seashore, and put them into a great chest and thrust them out to sea, for the winds and the waves to carry them whithersoever they would. The north-west wind blew freshly out of the blue mountains, and down the pleasant vale of Argos, and away and out to sea. And away and out to sea before it floated the mother and her babe, while all who watched them wept, save that cruel father, King Acrisius. So they floated on and on, and the chest danced up and down upon the billows, and the baby slept upon its mother's breast: but the poor mother could not sleep, but watched and wept, and she sang to her baby as they floated; and the song which she sang you shall learn yourselves some day.
   And now they are past the last blue headland, and in the open sea; and there is nothing round them but the waves, and the sky, and the wind. But the waves are gentle, and the sky is clear, and the breeze is tender and low; for these are the days when Halcyone and Ceyx build their nests, and no storms ever ruffle the pleasant summer sea. And who were Halcyone and Ceyx? You shall hear while the chest floats on. Halcyone was a fairy maiden, the daughter of the beach and of the wind. And she loved a sailor-boy, and married him; and none on earth were so happy as they. But at last Ceyx was wrecked; and before he could swim to the shore the billows swallowed him up. And Halcyone saw him drowning, and leapt into the sea to him; but in vain. Then the Immortals took pity on them both, and changed them into two fair sea-birds; and now they build a floating nest every year, and sail up and down happily for ever upon the pleasant seas of Greece.
   So a night passed, and a day, and a long day it was for Danae; and another night and day beside, till Danae was faint with hunger and weeping, and yet no land appeared. And all the while the babe slept quietly; and at last poor Danae drooped her head and fell asleep likewise with her cheek against the babe's. After a while she was awakened suddenly; for the chest was jarring and grinding, and the air was full of sound. She looked up, and over her head were mighty cliffs, all red in the setting sun, and around her rocks and breakers, and flying flakes of foam. She clasped her hands together, and shrieked aloud for help. And when she cried, help met her: for now there came over the rocks a tall and stately man, and looked down wondering upon poor Danae tossing about in the chest among the waves.
   He wore a rough cloak of frieze, and on his head a broad hat to shade his face; in his hand he carried a trident for spearing fish, and over his shoulder was a casting-net; but Danae could see that he was no common man by his stature, and his walk, and his flowing golden hair and beard; and by the two servants who came behind him, carrying baskets for his fish. But she had hardly time to look at him, before he had laid aside his trident and leapt down the rocks, and thrown his casting-net so surely over Danae and the chest, that he drew it, and her, and the baby, safe upon a ledge of rock.
   Then the fisherman took Danae by the hand, and lifted her out of the chest, and said -
'O beautiful damsel, what strange chance has brought you to this island in so flail a ship? Who are you, and whence? Surely you are some king's daughter; and this boy has somewhat more than mortal.'
   And as he spoke he pointed to the babe; for its face shone like the morning star. But Danae only held down her head, and sobbed out -
'Tell me to what land I have come, unhappy that I am; and among what men I have fallen!'
   And he said,
'This isle is called Seriphos, and I am a Hellen, and dwell in it. I am the brother of Polydectes the king; and men call me Dictys the netter, because I catch the fish of the shore.'
   Then Danae fell down at his feet, and embraced his knees, and cried -
'Oh, sir, have pity upon a stranger, whom a cruel doom has driven to your land; and let me live in your house as a servant; but treat me honourably, for I was once a king's daughter, and this my boy (as you have truly said) is of no common race. I will not be a charge to you, or eat the bread of idleness; for I am more skilful in weaving and embroidery than all the maidens of my land.'
   And she was going on; but Dictys stopped her, and raised her up, and said -
'My daughter, I am old, and my hairs are growing grey; while I have no children to make my home cheerful. Come with me then, and you shall be a daughter to me and to my wife, and this babe shall be our grandchild. For I fear the Gods, and show hospitality to all strangers; knowing that good deeds, like evil ones, always return to those who do them.'
   So Danae was comforted, and went home with Dictys the good fisherman, and was a daughter to him and to his wife, till fifteen years were past

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Charles Kingsley's (1819 - 1875) Page URL below.


How Perseus Vowed A Rash Vow

  Fifteen years were past and gone, and the babe was now grown to be a tall lad and a sailor, and went many voyages after merchandise to the islands round. His mother called him Perseus; but all the people in Seriphos said that he was not the son of mortal man, and called him the son of Zeus, the king of the Immortals. For though he was but fifteen, he was taller by a head than any man in the island; and he was the most skilful of all in running and wrestling and boxing, and in throwing the quoit and the javelin, and in rowing with the oar, and in playing on the harp, and in all which befits a man. And he was brave and truthful, gentle and courteous, for good old Dictys had trained him well; and well it was for Perseus that he had done so. For now Danae and her son fell into great danger, and Perseus had need of all his wit to defend his mother and himself.
   I said that Dictys' brother was Polydectes, king of the island. He was not a righteous man, like Dictys; but greedy, and cunning, and cruel. And when he saw fair Danae, he wanted to marry her. But she would not; for she did not love him, and cared for no one but her boy, and her boy's father, whom she never hoped to see again. At last Polydectes became furious; and while Perseus was away at sea he took poor Danae away from Dictys, saying, 'If you will not be my wife, you shall be my slave.' So Danae was made a slave, and had to fetch water from the well, and grind in the mill, and perhaps was beaten, and wore a heavy chain, because she would not marry that cruel king.
   But Perseus was far away over the seas in the isle of Samos, little thinking how his mother was languishing in grief. Now one day at Samos, while the ship was lading, Perseus wandered into a pleasant wood to get out of the sun, and sat down on the turf and fell asleep. And as he slept a strange dream came to him - the strangest dream which he had ever had in his life.
   There came a lady to him through the wood, taller than he, or any mortal man; but beautiful exceedingly, with great grey eyes, clear and piercing, but strangely soft and mild. On her head was a helmet, and in her hand a spear. And over her shoulder, above her long blue robes, hung a goat-skin, which bore up a mighty shield of brass, polished like a mirror. She stood and looked at him with her clear grey eyes; and Perseus saw that her eye-lids never moved, nor her eyeballs, but looked straight through and through him, and into his very heart, as if she could see all the secrets of his soul, and knew all that he had ever thought or longed for since the day that he was born. And Perseus dropped his eyes, trembling and blushing, as the wonderful lady spoke.
'Perseus, you must do an errand for me.'
'Who are you, lady? And how do you know my name?'
'I am Pallas Athene; and I know the thoughts of all men's hearts, and discern their manhood or their baseness. And from the souls of clay I turn away, and they are blest, but not by me. They fatten at ease, like sheep in the pasture, and eat what they did not sow, like oxen in the stall. They grow and spread, like the gourd along the ground; but, like the gourd, they give no shade to the traveller, and when they are ripe death gathers them, and they go down unloved into hell, and their name vanishes out of the land.
'But to the souls of fire I give more fire, and to those who are manful I give a might more than man's. These are the heroes, the sons of the Immortals, who are blest, but not like the souls of clay. For I drive them forth by strange paths, Perseus, that they may fight the Titans and the monsters, the enemies of Gods and men. Through doubt and need, danger and battle, I drive them; and some of them are slain in the flower of youth, no man knows when or where; and some of them win noble names, and a fair and green old age; but what will be their latter end I know not, and none, save Zeus, the father of Gods and men. Tell me now, Perseus, which of these two sorts of men seem to you more blest?'
   Then Perseus answered boldly: 'Better to die in the flower of youth, on the chance of winning a noble name, than to live at ease like the sheep, and die unloved and unrenowned.'
   Then that strange lady laughed, and held up her brazen shield, and cried: 'See here, Perseus; dare you face such a monster as this, and slay it, that I may place its head upon this shield?'
   And in the mirror of the shield there appeared a face, and as Perseus looked on it his blood ran cold. It was the face of a beautiful woman; but her cheeks were pale as death, and her brows were knit with everlasting pain, and her lips were thin and bitter like a snake's; and instead of hair, vipers wreathed about her temples, and shot out their forked tongues; while round her head were folded wings like an eagle's, and upon her bosom claws of brass.
   And Perseus looked awhile, and then said: 'If there is anything so fierce and foul on earth, it were a noble deed to kill it. Where can I find the monster?'
   Then the strange lady smiled again, and said: 'Not yet; you are too young, and too unskilled; for this is Medusa the Gorgon, the mother of a monstrous brood. Return to your home, and do the work which waits there for you. You must play the man in that before I can think you worthy to go in search of the Gorgon.'
   Then Perseus would have spoken, but the strange lady vanished, and he awoke; and behold, it was a dream. But day and night Perseus saw before him the face of that dreadful woman, with the vipers writhing round her head.
   So he returned home; and when he came to Seriphos, the first thing which he heard was that his mother was a slave in the house of Polydectes. Grinding his teeth with rage, he went out, and away to the king's palace, and through the men's rooms, and the women's rooms, and so through all the house (for no one dared stop him, so terrible and fair was he), till he found his mother sitting on the floor, turning the stone hand-mill, and weeping as she turned it. And he lifted her up, and kissed her, and bade her follow him forth. But before they could pass out of the room Polydectes came in, raging. And when Perseus saw him, he flew upon him as the mastiff flies on the boar. 'Villain and tyrant!' he cried; 'is this your respect for the Gods, and thy mercy to strangers and widows? You shall die!' And because he had no sword he caught up the stone hand-mill, and lifted it to dash out Polydectes' brains.
   But his mother clung to him, shrieking, 'Oh, my son, we are strangers and helpless in the land; and if you kill the king, all the people will fall on us, and we shall both die.'
   Good Dictys, too, who had come in, entreated him. 'Remember that he is my brother. Remember how I have brought you up, and trained you as my own son, and spare him for my sake.'
   Then Perseus lowered his hand; and Polydectes, who had been trembling all this while like a coward, because he knew that he was in the wrong, let Perseus and his mother pass. Perseus took his mother to the temple of Athene, and there the priestess made her one of the temple-sweepers; for there they knew she would be safe, and not even Polydectes would dare to drag her away from the altar. And there Perseus, and the good Dictys, and his wife, came to visit her every day; while Polydectes, not being able to get what he wanted by force, cast about in his wicked heart how he might get it by cunning.
   Now he was sure that he could never get back Danae as long as Perseus was in the island; so he made a plot to rid himself of him. And first he pretended to have forgiven Perseus, and to have forgotten Danae; so that, for a while, all went as smoothly as ever. Next he proclaimed a great feast, and invited to it all the chiefs, and landowners, and the young men of the island, and among them Perseus, that they might all do him homage as their king, and eat of his banquet in his hall.
   On the appointed day they all came; and as the custom was then, each guest brought his present with him to the king: one a horse, another a shawl, or a ring, or a sword; and those who had nothing better brought a basket of grapes, or of game; but Perseus brought nothing, for he had nothing to bring, being but a poor sailor-lad. He was ashamed, however, to go into the king's presence without his gift; and he was too proud to ask Dictys to lend him one. So he stood at the door sorrowfully, watching the rich men go in; and his face grew very red as they pointed at him, and smiled, and whispered, 'What has that foundling to give?' Now this was what Polydectes wanted; and as soon as he heard that Perseus stood without, he bade them bring him in, and asked him scornfully before them all, 'Am I not your king, Perseus, and have I not invited you to my feast? Where is your present, then?'
   Perseus blushed and stammered, while all the proud men round laughed, and some of them began jeering him openly. 'This fellow was thrown ashore here like a piece of weed or drift- wood, and yet he is too proud to bring a gift to the king.' 'And though he does not know who his father is, he is vain enough to let the old women call him the son of Zeus.' And so forth, till poor Perseus grew mad with shame, and hardly knowing what he said, cried out, - 'A present! who are you who talk of presents? See if I do not bring a nobler one than all of yours together!' So he said boasting; and yet he felt in his heart that he was braver than all those scoffers, and more able to do some glorious deed. 'Hear him! Hear the boaster! What is it to be?' cried they all, laughing louder than ever.
   Then his dream at Samos came into his mind, and he cried aloud, 'The head of the Gorgon.' He was half afraid after he had said the words for all laughed louder than ever, and Polydectes loudest of all. 'You have promised to bring me the Gorgon's head? Then never appear again in this island without it. Go!' Perseus ground his teeth with rage, for he saw that he had fallen into a trap; but his promise lay upon him, and he went out without a word. Down to the cliffs he went, and looked across the broad blue sea; and he wondered if his dream were true, and prayed in the bitterness of his soul. 'Pallas Athene, was my dream true? and shall I slay the Gorgon? If thou didst really show me her face, let me not come to shame as a liar and boastful. Rashly and angrily I promised; but cunningly and patiently will I perform.'
  But there was no answer, nor sign; neither thunder nor any appearance; not even a cloud in the sky. And three times Perseus called weeping, 'Rashly and angrily I promised; but cunningly and patiently will I perform.' Then he saw afar off above the sea a small white cloud, as bright as silver. And it came on, nearer and nearer, till its brightness dazzled his eyes. Perseus wondered at that strange cloud, for there was no other cloud all round the sky; and he trembled as it touched the cliff below. And as it touched, it broke, and parted, and within it appeared Pallas Athene, as he had seen her at Samos in his dream, and beside her a young man more light- limbed than the stag, whose eyes were like sparks of fire. By his side was a scimitar of diamond, all of one clear precious stone, and on his feet were golden sandals, from the heels of which grew living wings.
   They looked upon Perseus keenly, and yet they never moved their eyes; and they came up the cliffs towards him more swiftly than the sea-gull, and yet they never moved their feet, nor did the breeze stir the robes about their limbs; only the wings of the youth's sandals quivered, like a hawk's when he hangs above the cliff. And Perseus fell down and worshipped, for he knew that they were more than man.
   But Athene stood before him and spoke gently, and bid him have no fear. Then - 'Perseus,' she said, 'he who overcomes in one trial merits thereby a sharper trial still. You have braved Polydectes, and done manfully. Dare you brave Medusa the Gorgon?'
   And Perseus said, 'Try me; for since you spoke to me in Samos a new soul has come into my breast, and I should be ashamed not to dare anything which I can do. Show me, then, how I can do this!'
'Perseus,' said Athene, 'think well before you attempt; for this deed requires a seven years' journey, in which you cannot repent or turn back nor escape; but if your heart fails you, you must die in the Unshapen Land, where no man will ever find your bones.'
'Better so than live here, useless and despised,' said Perseus. 'Tell me, then, oh tell me, fair and wise Goddess, of your great kindness and condescension, how I can do but this one thing, and then, if need be, die!'
   Then Athene smiled and said -
'Be patient, and listen; for if you forget my words, you will indeed die. You must go northward to the country of the Hyperboreans, who live beyond the pole, at the sources of the cold north wind, till you find the three Grey Sisters, who have but one eye and one tooth between them. You must ask them the way to the Nymphs, the daughters of the Evening Star, who dance about the golden tree, in the Atlantic island of the west. They will tell you the way to the Gorgon, that you may slay her, my enemy, the mother of monstrous beasts. Once she was a maiden as beautiful as morn, till in her pride she sinned a sin at which the sun hid his face; and from that day her hair was turned to vipers, and her hands to eagle's claws; and her heart was filled with shame and rage, and her lips with bitter venom; and her eyes became so terrible that whosoever looks on them is turned to stone; and her children are the winged horse and the giant of the golden sword; and her grandchildren are Echidna the witch-adder, and Geryon the three-headed tyrant, who feeds his herds beside the herds of hell. So she became the sister of the Gorgons, Stheino and Euryte the abhorred, the daughters of the Queen of the Sea. Touch them not, for they are immortal; but bring me only Medusa's head.'
'And I will bring it!' said Perseus; 'but how am I to escape her eyes? Will she not freeze me too into stone?'
'You shall take this polished shield,' said Athene, 'and when you come near her look not at her herself, but at her image in the brass; so you may strike her safely. And when you have struck off her head, wrap it, with your face turned away, in the folds of the goat-skin on which the shield hangs, the hide of Amaltheie, the nurse of the Aegis-holder. So you will bring it safely back to me, and win to yourself renown, and a place among the heroes who feast with the Immortals upon the peak where no winds blow.'
   Then Perseus said, 'I will go, though I die in going. But how shall I cross the seas without a ship? And who will show me my way? And when I find her, how shall I slay her, if her scales be iron and brass?' Then the young man spoke: 'These sandals of mine will bear you across the seas, and over hill and dale like a bird, as they bear me all day long; for I am Hermes, the far-famed Argus-slayer, the messenger of the Immortals who dwell on Olympus.'
   Then Perseus fell down and worshipped, while the young man spoke again:
'The sandals themselves will guide you on the road, for they are divine and cannot stray; and this sword itself, the Argus-slayer, will kill her, for it is divine, and needs no second stroke. Arise, and gird them on, and go forth.'
   So Perseus arose, and girded on the sandals and the sword.
   And Athene cried, 'Now leap from the cliff and be gone.'
   But Perseus lingered. 'May I not bid farewell to my mother and to Dictys? And may I not offer burnt-offerings to you, and to Hermes the far- famed Argus-slayer, and to Father Zeus above?'
'You shall not bid farewell to your mother, lest your heart relent at her weeping. I will comfort her and Dictys until you return in peace. Nor shall you offer burnt-offerings to the Olympians; for your offering shall be Medusa's head. Leap, and trust in the armour of the Immortals.'
   Then Perseus looked down the cliff and shuddered; but he was ashamed to show his dread. Then he thought of Medusa and the renown before him, and he leaped into the empty air. And behold, instead of falling he floated, and stood, and ran along the sky. He looked back, but Athene had vanished, and Hermes; and the sandals led him on northward ever, like a crane who follows the spring toward the Ister fens.

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Charles Kingsley's (1819 - 1875) Page URL below.


How Perseus Slew The Gorgon

  So Perseus started on his journey, going dry-shod over land and sea; and his heart was high and joyful, for the winged sandals bore him each day a seven days' journey. And he went by Cythnus, and by Ceos, and the pleasant Cyclades to Attica; and past Athens and Thebes, and the Copaic lake, and up the vale of Cephissus, and past the peaks of Oeta and Pindus, and over the rich Thessalian plains, till the sunny hills of Greece were behind him, and before him were the wilds of the north. Then he passed the Thracian mountains, and many a barbarous tribe, Paeons and Dardans and Triballi, till he came to the Ister stream, and the dreary Scythian plains. And he walked across the Ister dry-shod, and away through the moors and fens, day and night toward the bleak north-west, turning neither to the right hand nor the left, till he came to the Unshapen Land, and the place which has no name.
   And seven days he walked through it, on a path which few can tell; for those who have trodden it like least to speak of it, and those who go there again in dreams are glad enough when they awake; till he came to the edge of the everlasting night, where the air was full of feathers, and the soil was hard with ice; and there at last he found the three Grey Sisters, by the shore of the freezing sea, nodding upon a white log of drift-wood, beneath the cold white winter moon; and they chanted a low song together, 'Why the old times were better than the new.'
   There was no living thing around them, not a fly, not a moss upon the rocks. Neither seal nor sea-gull dare come near, lest the ice should clutch them in its claws. The surge broke up in foam, but it fell again in flakes of snow; and it frosted the hair of the three Grey Sisters, and the bones in the ice-cliff above their heads. They passed the eye from one to the other, but for all that they could not see; and they passed the tooth from one to the other, but for all that they could not eat; and they sat in the full glare of the moon, but they were none the warmer for her beams. And Perseus pitied the three Grey Sisters; but they did not pity themselves.
   So he said, 'Oh, venerable mothers, wisdom is the daughter of old age. You therefore should know many things. Tell me, if you can, the path to the Gorgon.'
   Then one cried, 'Who is this who reproaches us with old age?' And another, 'This is the voice of one of the children of men.'
   And he, 'I do not reproach, but honour your old age, and I am one of the sons of men and of the heroes. The rulers of Olympus have sent me to you to ask the way to the Gorgon.'
   Then one, 'There are new rulers in Olympus, and all new things are bad.' And another, 'We hate your rulers, and the heroes, and all the children of men. We are the kindred of the Titans, and the Giants, and the Gorgons, and the ancient monsters of the deep.' And another, 'Who is this rash and insolent man who pushes unbidden into our world?' And the first, 'There never was such a world as ours, nor will be; if we let him see it, he will spoil it all.' Then one cried, 'Give me the eye, that I may see him;' and another, 'Give me the tooth, that I may bite him.'
   But Perseus, when he saw that they were foolish and proud, and did not love the children of men, left off pitying them, and said to himself, 'Hungry men must needs be hasty; if I stay making many words here, I shall be starved.' Then he stepped close to them, and watched till they passed the eye from hand to hand. And as they groped about between themselves, he held out his own hand gently, till one of them put the eye into it, fancying that it was the hand of her sister.
   Then he sprang back, and laughed, and cried - 'Cruel and proud old women, I have your eye; and I will throw it into the sea, unless you tell me the path to the Gorgon, and swear to me that you tell me right.'
   Then they wept, and chattered, and scolded; but in vain. They were forced to tell the truth, though, when they told it, Perseus could hardly make out the road. 'You must go,' they said, 'foolish boy, to the southward, into the ugly glare of the sun, till you come to Atlas the Giant, who holds the heaven and the earth apart. And you must ask his daughters, the Hesperides, who are young and foolish like yourself. And now give us back our eye, for we have forgotten all the rest.'
   So Perseus gave them back their eye; but instead of using it, they nodded and fell fast asleep, and were turned into blocks of ice, till the tide came up and washed them all away. And now they float up and down like icebergs for ever, weeping whenever they meet the sunshine, and the fruitful summer and the warm south wind, which fill young hearts with joy.
   But Perseus leaped away to the southward, leaving the snow and the ice behind: past the isle of the Hyperboreans, and the tin isles, and the long Iberian shore, while the sun rose higher day by day upon a bright blue summer sea. And the terns and the sea-gulls swept laughing round his head, and called to him to stop and play, and the dolphins gambolled up as he passed, and offered to carry him on their backs. And all night long the sea-nymphs sang sweetly, and the Tritons blew upon their conchs, as they played round Galataea their queen, in her car of pearled shells. Day by day the sun rose higher, and leaped more swiftly into the sea at night, and more swiftly out of the sea at dawn; while Perseus skimmed over the billows like a sea-gull, and his feet were never wetted; and leapt on from wave to wave, and his limbs were never weary, till he saw far away a mighty mountain, all rose-red in the setting sun. Its feet were wrapped in forests, and its head in wreaths of cloud; and Perseus knew that it was Atlas, who holds the heavens and the earth apart.
   He came to the mountain, and leapt on shore, and wandered upward, among pleasant valleys and waterfalls, and tall trees and strange ferns and flowers; but there was no smoke rising from any glen, nor house, nor sign of man.
   At last he heard sweet voices singing; and he guessed that he was come to the garden of the Nymphs, the daughters of the Evening Star. They sang like nightingales among the thickets, and Perseus stopped to hear their song; but the words which they spoke he could not understand; no, nor no man after him for many a hundred years. So he stepped forward and saw them dancing, hand in hand around the charmed tree, which bent under its golden fruit; and round the tree-foot was coiled the dragon, old Ladon the sleepless snake, who lies there for ever, listening to the song of the maidens, blinking and watching with dry bright eyes.
   Then Perseus stopped, not because he feared the dragon, but because he was bashful before those fair maids; but when they saw him, they too stopped, and called to him with trembling voices -
'Who are you? Are you Heracles the mighty, who will come to rob our garden, and carry off our golden fruit?'
   And he answered -
'I am not Heracles the mighty, and I want none of your golden fruit. Tell me, fair Nymphs, the way which leads to the Gorgon, that I may go on my way and slay her.'
'Not yet, not yet, fair boy; come dance with us around the tree in the garden which knows no winter, the home of the south wind and the sun. Come hither and play with us awhile; we have danced alone here for a thousand years, and our hearts are weary with longing for a playfellow. So come, come, come!'
'I cannot dance with you, fair maidens; for I must do the errand of the Immortals. So tell me the way to the Gorgon, lest I wander and perish in the waves.'
   Then they sighed and wept; and answered -
'The Gorgon! she will freeze you into stone.'
'It is better to die like a hero than to live like an ox in a stall. The Immortals have lent me weapons, and they will give me wit to use them.'
   Then they sighed again and answered,
'Fair boy, if you are bent on your own ruin, be it so. We know not the way to the Gorgon; but we will ask the giant Atlas, above upon the mountain peak, the brother of our father, the silver Evening Star. He sits aloft and sees across the ocean, and far away into the Unshapen Land.'
   So they went up the mountain to Atlas their uncle, and Perseus went up with them. And they found the giant kneeling, as he held the heavens and the earth apart. They asked him, and he answered mildly, pointing to the sea- board with his mighty hand,
'I can see the Gorgons lying on an island far away, but this youth can never come near them, unless he has the hat of darkness, which whosoever wears cannot be seen.'
   Then cried Perseus, 'Where is that hat, that I may find it?'
   But the giant smiled. 'No living mortal can find that hat, for it lies in the depths of Hades, in the regions of the dead. But my nieces are immortal, and they shall fetch it for you, if you will promise me one thing and keep your faith.'
   Then Perseus promised; and the giant said, 'When you come back with the head of Medusa, you shall show me the beautiful horror, that I may lose my feeling and my breathing, and become a stone for ever; for it is weary labour for me to hold the heavens and the earth apart.'
   Then Perseus promised, and the eldest of the Nymphs went down, and into a dark cavern among the cliffs, out of which came smoke and thunder, for it was one of the mouths of Hell. And Perseus and the Nymphs sat down seven days, and waited trembling, till the Nymph came up again; and her face was pale, and her eyes dazzled with the light, for she had been long in the dreary darkness; but in her hand was the magic hat. Then all the Nymphs kissed Perseus, and wept over him a long while; but he was only impatient to be gone. And at last they put the hat upon his head, and he vanished out of their sight.
  But Perseus went on boldly, past many an ugly sight, far away into the heart of the Unshapen Land, beyond the streams of Ocean, to the isles where no ship cruises, where is neither night nor day, where nothing is in its right place, and nothing has a name; till he heard the rustle of the Gorgons' wings and saw the glitter of their brazen talons; and then he knew that it was time to halt, lest Medusa should freeze him into stone. He thought awhile with himself, and remembered Athene's words. He rose aloft into the air, and held the mirror of the shield above his head, and looked up into it that he might see all that was below him. And he saw the three Gorgons sleeping as huge as elephants. He knew that they could not see him, because the hat of darkness hid him; and yet he trembled as he sank down near them, so terrible were those brazen claws.
   Two of the Gorgons were foul as swine, and lay sleeping heavily, as swine sleep, with their mighty wings outspread; but Medusa tossed to and fro restlessly, and as she tossed Perseus pitied her, she looked so fair and sad. Her plumage was like the rainbow, and her face was like the face of a nymph, only her eyebrows were knit, and her lips clenched, with everlasting care and pain; and her long neck gleamed so white in the mirror that Perseus had not the heart to strike, and said,
'Ah, that it had been either of her sisters!' But as he looked, from among her tresses the vipers' heads awoke, and peeped up with their bright dry eyes, and showed their fangs, and hissed; and Medusa, as she tossed, threw back her wings and showed her brazen claws; and Perseus saw that, for all her beauty, she was as foul and venomous as the rest.
   Then he came down and stepped to her boldly, and looked steadfastly on his mirror, and struck with Herpe stoutly once; and he did not need to strike again.
   Then he wrapped the head in the goat-skin, turning away his eyes, and sprang into the air aloft, faster than he ever sprang before. For Medusa's wings and talons rattled as she sank dead upon the rocks; and her two foul sisters woke, and saw her lying dead. Into the air they sprang yelling and looked for him who had done the deed. Thrice they swung round and round, like hawks who beat for a partridge; and thrice they snuffed round and round, like hounds who draw upon a deer. At last they struck upon the scent of the blood, and they checked for a moment to make sure; and then on they rushed with a fearful howl, while the wind rattled hoarse in their wings.
   On they rushed, sweeping and flapping, like eagles after a hare; and Perseus' blood ran cold, for all his courage, as he saw them come howling on his track; and he cried, 'Bear me well now, brave sandals, for the hounds of Death are at my heels!' And well the brave sandals bore him, aloft through cloud and sunshine, across the shoreless sea; and fast followed the hounds of Death, as the roar of their wings came down the wind. But the roar came down fainter and fainter, and the howl of their voices died away; for the sandals were too swift, even for Gorgons, and by nightfall they were far behind, two black specks in the southern sky, till the sun sank and he saw them no more.
   Then he came again to Atlas, and the garden of the Nymphs; and when the giant heard him coming he groaned, and said, 'Fulfil thy promise to me.'
   Then Perseus held up to him the Gorgon's head, and he had rest from all his toil; for he became a crag of stone, which sleeps for ever far above the clouds.
   Then he thanked the Nymphs, and asked them, 'By what road shall I go homeward again, for I wandered far round in coming hither?' And they wept and cried, 'Go home no more, but stay and play with us, the lonely maidens, who dwell for ever far away from Gods and men.' But he refused, and they told him his road, and said, 'Take with you this magic fruit, which, if you eat once, you will not hunger for seven days. For you must go eastward and eastward ever, over the doleful Lybian shore, which Poseidon gave to Father Zeus, when he burst open the Bosphorus and the Hellespont, and drowned the fair Lectonian land. And Zeus took that land in exchange, a fair bargain, much bad ground for a little good, and to this day it lies waste and desert with shingle, and rock, and sand.' Then they kissed Perseus, and wept over him, and he leapt down the mountain, and went on, lessening and lessening like a sea-gull, away and out to sea.

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Charles Kingsley's (1819 - 1875) Page URL below.


How Perseus Came To The Aethiops

  So Perseus flitted onward to the north-east, over many a league of sea, till he came to the rolling sand-hills and the dreary Lybian shore. And he flitted on across the desert: over rock-ledges, and banks of shingle, and level wastes of sand, and shell-drifts bleaching in the sunshine, and the skeletons of great sea- monsters, and dead bones of ancient giants, strewn up and down upon the old sea-floor. And as he went the blood-drops fell to the earth from the Gorgon's head, and became poisonous asps and adders, which breed in the desert to this day.
   Over the sands he went, - he never knew how far or how long, feeding on the fruit which the Nymphs had given him, till he saw the hills of the Psylli, and the Dwarfs who fought with cranes. Their spears were of reeds and rushes, and their houses of the egg-shells of the cranes; and Perseus laughed, and went his way to the north-east, hoping all day long to see the blue Mediterranean sparkling, that he might fly across it to his home. But now came down a mighty wind, and swept him back southward toward the desert. All day long he strove against it; but even the winged sandals could not prevail. So he was forced to float down the wind all night; and when the morning dawned there was nothing to be seen, save the same old hateful waste of sand.
   And out of the north the sandstorms rushed upon him, blood- red pillars and wreaths, blotting out the noonday sun; and Perseus fled before them, lest he should be choked by the burning dust. At last the gale fell calm, and he tried to go northward again; but again came down the sandstorms, and swept him back into the waste, and then all was calm and cloudless as before. Seven days he strove against the storms, and seven days he was driven back, till he was spent with thirst and hunger, and his tongue clove to the roof of his mouth. Here and there he fancied that he saw a fair lake, and the sunbeams shining on the water; but when he came to it it vanished at his feet, and there was nought but burning sand. And if he had not been of the race of the Immortals, he would have perished in the waste; but his life was strong within him, because it was more than man's.
   Then he cried to Athene, and said -
'Oh, fair and pure, if thou hearest me, wilt thou leave me here to die of drought? I have brought thee the Gorgon's head at thy bidding, and hitherto thou hast prospered my journey; dost thou desert me at the last? Else why will not these immortal sandals prevail, even against the desert storms? Shall I never see my mother more, and the blue ripple round Seriphos, and the sunny hills of Hellas?'
   So he prayed; and after he had prayed there was a great silence. The heaven was still above his head, and the sand was still beneath his feet; and Perseus looked up, but there was nothing but the blinding sun in the blinding blue; and round him, but there was nothing but the blinding sand. And Perseus stood still a while, and waited, and said, 'Surely I am not here without the will of the Immortals, for Athene will not lie. Were not these sandals to lead me in the right road? Then the road in which I have tried to go must be a wrong road.'
   Then suddenly his ears were opened, and he heard the sound of running water. And at that his heart was lifted up, though he scarcely dare believe his ears; and weary as he was, he hurried forward, though he could scarcely stand upright; and within a bowshot of him was a glen in the sand, and marble rocks, and date- trees, and a lawn of gay green grass. And through the lawn a streamlet sparkled and wandered out beyond the trees, and vanished in the sand. The water trickled among the rocks, and a pleasant breeze rustled in the dry date-branches and Perseus laughed for joy, and leapt down the cliff, and drank of the cool water, and ate of the dates, and slept upon the turf, and leapt up and went forward again: but not toward the north this time; for he said, 'Surely Athene hath sent me hither, and will not have me go homeward yet. What if there be another noble deed to be done, before I see the sunny hills of Hellas?'
   So he went east, and east for ever, by fresh oases and fountains, date-palms, and lawns of grass, till he saw before him a mighty mountain-wall, all rose-red in the setting sun. Then he towered in the air like an eagle, for his limbs were strong again; and he flew all night across the mountain till the day began to dawn, and rosy-fingered Eos came blushing up the sky. And then, behold, beneath him was the long green garden of Egypt and the shining stream of Nile. And he saw cities walled up to heaven, and temples, and obelisks, and pyramids, and giant Gods of stone. And he came down amid fields of barley, and flax, and millet, and clambering gourds; and saw the people coming out of the gates of a great city, and setting to work, each in his place, among the water-courses, parting the streams among the plants cunningly with their feet, according to the wisdom of the Egyptians.
   But when they saw him they all stopped their work, and gathered round him, and cried - 'Who art thou, fair youth? and what bearest thou beneath thy goat-skin there? Surely thou art one of the Immortals; for thy skin is white like ivory, and ours is red like clay. Thy hair is like threads of gold, and ours is black and curled. Surely thou art one of the Immortals;' and they would have worshipped him then and there; but Perseus said -
'I am not one of the Immortals; but I am a hero of the Hellens. And I have slain the Gorgon in the wilderness, and bear her head with me. Give me food, therefore, that I may go forward and finish my work.'
   Then they gave him food, and fruit, and wine; but they would not let him go. And when the news came into the city that the Gorgon was slain, the priests came out to meet him, and the maidens, with songs and dances, and timbrels and harps; and they would have brought him to their temple and to their king; but Perseus put on the hat of darkness, and vanished away out of their sight. Therefore the Egyptians looked long for his return, but in vain, and worshipped him as a hero, and made a statue of him in Chemmis, which stood for many a hundred years; and they said that he appeared to them at times, with sandals a cubit long; and that whenever he appeared the season was fruitful, and the Nile rose high that year.
   Then Perseus went to the eastward, along the Red Sea shore; and then, because he was afraid to go into the Arabian deserts, he turned northward once more, and this time no storm hindered him. He went past the Isthmus, and Mount Casius, and the vast Serbonian bog, and up the shore of Palestine, where the dark- faced Aethiops dwelt. He flew on past pleasant hills and valleys, like Argos itself, or Lacedaemon, or the fair Vale of Tempe.
   But the lowlands were all drowned by floods, and the highlands blasted by fire, and the hills heaved like a babbling cauldron, before the wrath of King Poseidon, the shaker of the earth. And Perseus feared to go inland, but flew along the shore above the sea; and he went on all the day, and the sky was black with smoke; and he went on all the night, and the sky was red with flame.
   And at the dawn of day he looked toward the cliffs; and at the water's edge, under a black rock, he saw a white image stand. 'This,' thought he, 'must surely be the statue of some sea- God; I will go near and see what kind of Gods these barbarians worship.' So he came near; but when he came, it was no statue, but a maiden of flesh and blood; for he could see her tresses streaming in the breeze; and as he came closer still, he could see how she shrank and shivered when the waves sprinkled her with cold salt spray. Her arms were spread above her head, and fastened to the rock with chains of brass; and her head drooped on her bosom, either with sleep, or weariness, or grief. But now and then she looked up and wailed, and called her mother; yet she did not see Perseus, for the cap of darkness was on his head. Full of pity and indignation, Perseus drew near and looked upon the maid. Her cheeks were darker than his were, and her hair was blue-black like a hyacinth; but Perseus thought, 'I have never seen so beautiful a maiden; no, not in all our isles. Surely she is a king's daughter. Do barbarians treat their kings' daughters thus? She is too fair, at least, to have done any wrong I will speak to her.'
   And, lifting the hat from his head, he flashed into her sight. She shrieked with terror, and tried to hide her face with her hair, for she could not with her hands; but Perseus cried -
'Do not fear me, fair one; I am a Hellen, and no barbarian. What cruel men have bound you? But first I will set you free.' And he tore at the fetters, but they were too strong for him; while the maiden cried -
'Touch me not; I am accursed, devoted as a victim to the sea- Gods. They will slay you, if you dare to set me free.'
'Let them try,' said Perseus; and drawing, Herpe from his thigh, he cut through the brass as if it had been flax. 'Now,' he said, 'you belong to me, and not to these sea-Gods, whosoever they may be!' But she only called the more on her mother.
'Why call on your mother? She can be no mother to have left you here. If a bird is dropped out of the nest, it belongs to the man who picks it up. If a jewel is cast by the wayside, it is his who dare win it and wear it, as I will win you and will wear you. I know now why Pallas Athene sent me hither. She sent me to gain a prize worth all my toil and more.'
   And he clasped her in his arms, and cried, 'Where are these sea-Gods, cruel and unjust, who doom fair maids to death? I carry the weapons of Immortals. Let them measure their strength against mine! But tell me, maiden, who you are, and what dark fate brought you here.'
   And she answered, weeping -
"I am the daughter of Cepheus, King of Iopa, and my mother is Cassiopoeia of the beautiful tresses, and they called me Andromeda, as long as life was mine. And I stand bound here, hapless that I am, for the sea-monster's food, to atone for my mother's sin. For she boasted of me once that I was fairer than Atergatis, Queen of the Fishes; so she in her wrath sent the sea-floods, and her brother the Fire King sent the earthquakes, and wasted all the land, and after the floods a monster bred of the slime, who devours all living things. And now he must devour me, guiltless though I am - me who never harmed a living thing, nor saw a fish upon the shore but I gave it life, and threw it back into the sea; for in our land we eat no fish, for fear of Atergatis their queen. Yet the priests say that nothing but my blood can atone for a sin which I never committed.'
   But Perseus laughed, and said, 'A sea-monster? I have fought with worse than him: I would have faced Immortals for your sake; how much more a beast of the sea?'
   Then Andromeda looked up at him, and new hope was kindled in her breast, so proud and fair did he stand, with one hand round her, and in the other the glittering sword. But she only sighed, and wept the more, and cried - 'Why will you die, young as you are? Is there not death and sorrow enough in the world already? It is noble for me to die, that I may save the lives of a whole people; but you, better than them all, why should I slay you too? Go you your way; I must go mine.'
   But Perseus cried, 'Not so; for the Lords of Olympus, whom I serve, are the friends of the heroes, and help them on to noble deeds. Led by them, I slew the Gorgon, the beautiful horror; and not without them do I come hither, to slay this monster with that same Gorgon's head. Yet hide your eyes when I leave you, lest the sight of it freeze you too to stone.'
   But the maiden answered nothing, for she could not believe his words. And then, suddenly looking up, she pointed to the sea, and shrieked - 'There he comes, with the sunrise, as they promised. I must die now. How shall I endure it? Oh, go! Is it not dreadful enough to be torn piece-meal, without having you to look on?' And she tried to thrust him away.
   But he said, 'I go; yet promise me one thing ere I go: that if I slay this beast you will be my wife, and come back with me to my kingdom in fruitful Argos, for I am a king's heir. Promise me, and seal it with a kiss.' Then she lifted up her face, and kissed him; and Perseus laughed for joy, and flew upward, while Andromeda crouched trembling on the rock, waiting for what might befall.
   On came the great sea-monster, coasting along like a huge black galley, lazily breasting the ripple, and stopping at times by creek or headland to watch for the laughter of girls at their bleaching, or cattle pawing on the sand-hills, or boys bathing on the beach. His great sides were fringed with clustering shells and sea-weeds, and the water gurgled in and out of his wide jaws, as he rolled along, dripping and glistening in the beams of the morning sun. At last he saw Andromeda, and shot forward to take his prey, while the waves foamed white behind him, and before him the fish fled leaping. Then down from the height of the air fell Perseus like a shooting star; down to the crests of the waves, while Andromeda hid her face as he shouted; and then there was silence for a while.
   At last she looked up trembling, and saw Perseus springing toward her; and instead of the monster a long black rock, with the sea rippling quietly round it. Who then so proud as Perseus, as he leapt back to the rock, and lifted his fair Andromeda in his arms, and flew with her to the cliff-top, as a falcon carries a dove? Who so proud as Perseus, and who so joyful as all the Aethiop people? For they had stood watching the monster from the cliffs, wailing for the maiden's fate. And already a messenger had gone to Cepheus and Cassiopoeia, where they sat in sackcloth and ashes on the ground, in the innermost palace chambers, awaiting their daughter's end. And they came, and all the city with them, to see the wonder, with songs and with dances, with cymbals and harps, and received their daughter back again, as one alive from the dead.
   Then Cepheus said, 'Hero of the Hellens, stay here with me and be my son-in-law, and I will give you the half of my kingdom.' 'I will be your son-in-law,' said Perseus, 'but of your kingdom I will have none, for I long after the pleasant land of Greece, and my mother who waits for me at home.'
   Then Cepheus said, 'You must not take my daughter away at once, for she is to us like one alive from the dead. Stay with us here a year, and after that you shall return with honour.'
   And Perseus consented; but before he went to the palace he bade the people bring stones and wood, and built three altars, one to Athene, and one to Hermes, and one to Father Zeus, and offered bullocks and rams.
   And some said, 'This is a pious man;' yet the priests said, 'The Sea Queen will be yet more fierce against us, because her monster is slain.' But they were afraid to speak aloud, for they feared the Gorgon's head. So they went up to the palace; and when they came in, there stood in the hall Phineus, the brother of Cepheus, chafing like a bear robbed of her whelps, and with him his sons, and his servants, and many an armed man; and he cried to Cepheus - 'You shall not marry your daughter to this stranger, of whom no one knows even the name. Was not Andromeda betrothed to my son? And now she is safe again, has he not a right to claim her?'
   But Perseus laughed, and answered, 'If your son is in want of a bride, let him save a maiden for himself. As yet he seems but a helpless bride-groom. He left this one to die, and dead she is to him. I saved her alive, and alive she is to me, but to no one else. Ungrateful man! have I not saved your land, and the lives of your sons and daughters, and will you requite me thus? Go, or it will be worse for you.' But all the men-at-arms drew their swords, and rushed on him like wild beasts. Then he unveiled the Gorgon's head, and said, 'This has delivered my bride from one wild beast: it shall deliver her from many.' And as he spoke Phineus and all his men-at-arms stopped short, and stiffened each man as he stood; and before Perseus had drawn the goat-skin over the face again, they were all turned into stone. Then Persons bade the people bring levers and roll them out; and what was done with them after that I cannot tell.
   So they made a great wedding-feast, which lasted seven whole days, and who so happy as Perseus and Andromeda?
   But on the eighth night Perseus dreamed a dream; and he saw standing beside him Pallas Athene, as he had seen her in Seriphos, seven long years before; and she stood and called him by name, and said - 'Perseus, you have played the man, and see, you have your reward. Know now that the Gods are just, and help him who helps himself. Now give me here Herpe the sword, and the sandals, and the hat of darkness, that I may give them back to their owners; but the Gorgon's head you shall keep a while, for you will need it in your land of Greece. Then you shall lay it up in my temple at Seriphos, that I may wear it on my shield for ever, a terror to the Titans and the monsters, and the foes of Gods and men. And as for this land, I have appeased the sea and the fire, and there shall be no more floods nor earthquakes. But let the people build altars to Father Zeus, and to me, and worship the Immortals, the Lords of heaven and earth.'
   And Perseus rose to give her the sword, and the cap, and the sandals; but he woke, and his dream vanished away. And yet it was not altogether a dream; for the goat-skin with the head was in its place; but the sword, and the cap, and the sandals were gone, and Perseus never saw them more.
   Then a great awe fell on Perseus; and he went out in the morning to the people, and told his dream, and bade them build altars to Zeus, the Father of Gods and men, and to Athene, who gives wisdom to heroes; and fear no more the earthquakes and the floods, but sow and build in peace.
   And they did so for a while, and prospered; but after Perseus was gone they forgot Zeus and Athene, and worshipped again Atergatis the queen, and the undying fish of the sacred lake, where Deucalion's deluge was swallowed up, and they burnt their children before the Fire King, till Zeus was angry with that foolish people, and brought a strange nation against them out of Egypt, who fought against them and wasted them utterly, and dwelt in their cities for many a hundred years.

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Charles Kingsley's (1819 - 1875) Page URL below.


How Perseus Came Home Again

  And when a year was ended Perseus hired Phoenicians from Tyre, and cut down cedars, and built himself a noble galley; and painted its cheeks with vermilion, and pitched its sides with pitch; and in it he put Andromeda, and all her dowry of jewels, and rich shawls, and spices from the East; and great was the weeping when they rowed away. But the remembrance of his brave deed was left behind; and Andromeda's rock was shown at Iopa in Palestine till more than a thousand years were past. So Perseus and the Phoenicians rowed to the westward, across the sea of Crete, till they came to the blue Aegean and the pleasant Isles of Hellas, and Seriphos, his ancient home.
   Then he left his galley on the beach, and went up as of old; and he embraced his mother, and Dictys his good foster- father, and they wept over each other a long while, for it was seven years and more since they had met. Then Perseus went out, and up to the hall of Polydectes; and underneath the goat-skin he bore the Gorgon's head. And when he came into the hall, Polydectes sat at the table- head, and all his nobles and landowners on either side, each according to his rank, feasting on the fish and the goat's flesh, and drinking the blood-red wine. The harpers harped, and the revellers shouted, and the wine-cups rang merrily as they passed from hand to hand, and great was the noise in the hall of Polydectes. Then Persons stood upon the threshold, and called to the king by name. But none of the guests knew Perseus, for he was changed by his long journey. He had gone out a boy, and he was come home a hero; his eye shone like an eagle's, and his beard was like a lion's beard, and he stood up like a wild bull in his pride.
   But Polydectes the wicked knew him, and hardened his heart still more; and scornfully he called - 'Ah, foundling! have you found it more easy to promise than to fulfil?' 'Those whom the Gods help fulfil their promises; and those who despise them, reap as they have sown. Behold the Gorgon's head!' Then Perseus drew back the goat-skin, and held aloft the Gorgon's head. Pale grew Polydectes and his guests as they looked upon that dreadful face. They tried to rise up from their seats: but from their seats they never rose, but stiffened, each man where he sat, into a ring of cold grey stones.
   Then Perseus turned and left them, and went down to his galley in the bay; and he gave the kingdom to good Dictys, and sailed away with his mother and his bride. And Polydectes and his guests sat still, with the wine-cups before them on the board, till the rafters crumbled down above their heads, and the walls behind their backs, and the table crumbled down between them, and the grass sprung up about their feet: but Polydectes and his guests sit on the hillside, a ring of grey stones until this day.
   But Perseus rowed westward toward Argos, and landed, and went up to the town. And when he came, he found that Acrisius his grandfather had fled. For Proetus his wicked brother had made war against him afresh; and had come across the river from Tiryns, and conquered Argos, and Acrisius had fled to Larissa, in the country of the wild Pelasgi. Then Perseus called the Argives together, and told them who he was, and all the noble deeds which he had done. And all the nobles and the yeomen made him king, for they saw that he had a royal heart; and they fought with him against Argos, and took it, and killed Proetus, and made the Cyclopes serve them, and build them walls round Argos, like the walls which they had built at Tiryns; and there were great rejoicings in the vale of Argos, because they had got a king from Father Zeus.
   But Perseus' heart yearned after his grandfather, and he said, 'Surely he is my flesh and blood, and he will love me now that I am come home with honour: I will go and find him, and bring him home, and we will reign together in peace.' So Perseus sailed away with his Phoenicians, round Hydrea and Sunium, past Marathon and the Attic shore, and through Euripus, and up the long Euboean sea, till he came to the town of Larissa, where the wild Pelasgi dwelt.
   And when he came there, all the people were in the fields, and there was feasting, and all kinds of games; for Teutamenes their king wished to honour Acrisius, because he was the king of a mighty land. So Perseus did not tell his name, but went up to the games unknown; for he said, 'If I carry away the prize in the games, my grandfather's heart will be softened toward me.' So he threw off his helmet, and his cuirass, and all his clothes, and stood among the youths of Larissa, while all wondered at him, and said, 'Who is this young stranger, who stands like a wild bull in his pride? Surely he is one of the heroes, the sons of the Immortals, from Olympus.'
   And when the games began, they wondered yet more; for Perseus was the best man of all at running, and leaping, and wrestling and throwing the javelin; and he won four crowns, and took them, and then he said to himself, 'There is a fifth crown yet to be won: I will win that, and lay them all upon the knees of my grandfather.'
   And as he spoke, he saw where Acrisius sat, by the side of Teutamenes the king, with his white beard flowing down upon his knees, and his royal staff in his hand; and Perseus wept when he looked at him, for his heart yearned after his kin; and he said, 'Surely he is a kingly old man, yet he need not be ashamed of his grandson.' Then he took the quoits, and hurled them, five fathoms beyond all the rest; and the people shouted, 'Further yet, brave stranger! There has never been such a hurler in this land.'
   Then Perseus put out all his strength, and hurled. But a gust of wind came from the sea, and carried the quoit aside, and far beyond all the rest; and it fell on the foot of Acrisius, and he swooned away with the pain. Perseus shrieked, and ran up to him; but when they lifted the old man up he was dead, for his life was slow and feeble. Then Perseus rent his clothes, and cast dust upon his head, and wept a long while for his grandfather. At last he rose, and called to all the people aloud, and said - 'The Gods are true, and what they have ordained must be. I am Perseus, the grandson of this dead man, the far-famed slayer of the Gorgon.'
   Then he told them how the prophecy had declared that he should kill his grandfather, and all the story of his life. So they made a great mourning for Acrisius, and burnt him on a right rich pile; and Perseus went to the temple, and was purified from the guilt of the death, because he had done it unknowingly.
   Then he went home to Argos, and reigned there well with fair Andromeda; and they had four sons and three daughters, and died in a good old age. And when they died, the ancients say, Athene took them up into the sky, with Cepheus and Cassiopoeia. And there on starlight nights you may see them shining still; Cepheus with his kingly crown, and Cassiopoeia in her ivory chair, plaiting her star-spangled tresses, and Perseus with the Gorgon's head, and fair Andromeda beside him, spreading her long white arms across the heaven, as she stood when chained to the stone for the monster. All night long, they shine, for a beacon to wandering sailors; but all day they feast with the Gods, on the still blue peaks of Olympus.

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Charles Kingsley's (1819 - 1875) Page URL below.


Perseus & Andromeda


Perseus

   Son of Zeus and Danae, the daughter of Acrisius. A sketch of his fabulous history has already been given under a previous article; and it remains here but to relate the particulars of his enterprise against the Gorgons. When Perseus had made his rash promise to Polydectes, by which he bound himself to bring the latter the Gorgon's head, he retired full of grief to the extremity of the island of Scyros, where Hermes came to him, promising that he and Athene would be his guides. Hermes brought him first to the Graiae, whose eye and tooth he stole and would not restore until they had furnished him with directions to the abode of the nymphs who were possessed of the winged shoes, the magic wallet, and the helmet of Pluto which made the wearer invisible. Having obtained from the Graiae the requisite information, he came to the nymphs, who gave him their precious possessions: he then flung the wallet over his shoulder, placed the helmet on his head, and fitted the shoes to his feet. Thus equipped, and grasping the short curved sword (harpe) which Hermes gave him, he mounted into the air, accompanied by the gods, and flew to the ocean, where he found the three Gorgons asleep. (See Gorgones.) Fearing to gaze on their faces, which changed the beholder to stone, he looked on the head of Medusa as it was reflected on his shield, and, Athene guiding his hand, he severed it from her body. The blood gushed forth, and with it the winged steed Pegasus and Chrysaor, the father of Geryon, for Medusa was at that time pregnant by Poseidon. Perseus took up the head, put it into his wallet, and set out on his return. The two sisters awoke, and pursued the fugitive; but, protected by the helmet of Pluto, he eluded their vision, and they were obliged to give over the bootless chase. Perseus pursued his aerial route, and after having, in the course of his journey, punished the inhospitality of Atlas by changing him into a rocky mountain, he came to the country of the Ethiopians. Here he liberated Andromeda, whom he married. He is also said to have come to the Hyperboreans, by whom he was hospitably received. On his return to Seriphos, he found his mother with Dictys in a temple, whither they had fled from the violence of Polydectes. Perseus then went to the palace of Polydectes, and metamorphosed him and all his guests, and, some say, the whole island, into stone. He then presented the kingdom to Dictys. He gave the winged sandals and the helmet to Hermes, who restored them to the nymphs and to Pluto, and the head of Gorgon to Athene, who placed it in the middle of her shield or breast-plate.
    Perseus then went to Argos, accompanied by Danae and Andromeda. Acrisius, remembering the oracle, escaped to Larissa, in the country of the Pelasgians; but Perseus followed him, in order to persuade him to return. Some writers state that Perseus, on his return to Argos, found Proetus, who had expelled his brother Acrisius, in possession of the kingdom; and that Perseus slew Proetus, and was afterwards killed by Megapenthes, the son of Proetus. The more common tradition, however, relates that when Teutamidas, king of Larissa, celebrated games in honour of his guest Acrisius, Perseus, who took part in them, accidentally hit the foot of Acrisius with the discus, and thus killed him. Acrisius was buried outside the city of Larissa, and Perseus, leaving the kingdom of Argos to Megapenthes, the son of Proetus, received from him in exchange the government of Tiryns. According to others, Perseus remained in Argos, and successfully opposed the introduction of the Bacchic orgies. Perseus is said to have founded the towns of Midea and Mycenae. By Andromeda he became the father of Perses, Aicaeus, Sthenelus, Heleus, Mestor, Electryon, Gorgophone, and Autochthe. Perseus was worshipped as a hero in several places in Greece and even in Egypt.

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




The Constellation Perseus


Danae

She was the daughter of Acrisius, king of Argos, and mother of Perseus by Zeus (Il. 14.319).


   Danae. The daughter of Acrisius, king of Argos, by Eurydice, daughter of Lacedaemon. Acrisius inquired of the oracle about a son; and the god replied that he would himself have no male issue, but that his daughter would bear a son, whose hand would deprive him of life. Fearing the accomplishment of this prediction, he framed a brazen subterranean chamber, in which he shut up his daughter and her nurse, in order that she might never become a mother. (The Latin poets call the place of confinement a brazen tower.) But Zeus had seen and loved the maiden; and, under the form of a golden shower, he poured through the roof into her bosom. Danae became, in consequence, the mother of a son, whom she and her nurse reared in secrecy until he had attained his fourth year. Acrisius then chanced to hear the voice of the child at play. He brought out his daughter and her nurse, and, putting the latter instantly to death, drew Danae privately, with her child, to the altar of Hercean Zeus, where he made her answer on oath whose was her son. She replied that he was the offspring of Zeus. Her father gave no credit to her protestations. Enclosing her and the boy in a coffer, he cast them into the sea, at the mercy of the winds and waves, a circumstance which has afforded a subject for a beautiful lyric by the poet Simonides. The coffer was carried to the little island of Seriphus, where a person named Dictys drew it out in his nets (diktua); and, freeing Danae and Perseus from their confinement, treated them with the greatest kindness. Polydectes, the brother of Dictys, reigned over the island. He fell in love with Danae; but her son Perseus, who was now grown up, was an invincible obstacle in his way. He had, therefore, recourse to artifice to deliver himself of his presence; and, feigning that he was about to become a suitor to Hippodamia, the daughter of Oenomaus, he managed to send Perseus, who had bound himself by a rash promise, in quest of the head of the Gorgon Medusa, which he pretended that he wished for a bridal gift. When Perseus had succeeded, by the aid of Hermes, in slaying the Gorgon, he proceeded to Seriphus, where he found that his mother and Dictys had been obliged to fly to the protection of the altar from the violence of Polydectes. He immediately went to the royal residence; and when, at his desire, Polydectes had summoned thither all the people to see the head of the Gorgon, it was displayed, and each became a stone of the form and position which he exhibited at the moment of the transformation. Having established Dictys as king of Seriphus, Perseus returned with his mother to Argos; and, not finding Acrisius there, proceeded to Larissa in Thessaly, whither the latter had retired through fear of the fulfilment of the oracle. Here he inadvertently killed Acrisius.

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


Andromeda (Andromede)

   The daughter of Cepheus, king of Aethiopia, and Cassiopea. In consequence of her mother boasting that the beauty of her daughter surpassed that of the Nereids, Poseidon sent a sea-monster to lay waste the country. The oracle of Ammon promised deliverance if Andromeda was given up to the monster, and Cepheus was obliged to chain his daughter to a rock. Here she was found and saved by Perseus, who slew the monster and obtained her as his wife. She had been previously promised to Phineus, and this gave rise to the famous fight of Phineus and Perseus at the wedding, in which the former and all his associates were slain. After her death she was placed among the stars.

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


Andromeda (Andromede), a daughter of the Aethiopian king Cepheus and Cassiopeia. Her mother boasted of her beauty, and said that she surpassed the Nereids. The latter prevailed on Poseidon to visit the country by an inundation, and a sea-monster was sent into the land. The oracle of Ammon promised that the people should be delivered from these calamities, if Andromeda was given up to the monster; and Cepheus, being obliged to yield to the wishes of his people, chained Andromeda to a rock. Here she was found and saved by Perseus, who slew the monster and obtained her as his wife (Apollod. ii. 4.3; Hygin. Fab. 64; Ov. Met. iv. 663, &c.). Andromeda had previously been promised to Phineus (Hyginus calls him Agenor), and this gave rise to the famous fight of Phineus and Perseus at the wedding, in which the former and all his associates were slain (Ov. Met. v. 1, &c.). Andromeda thus became the wife of Perseus, and bore him many children (Apollod. ii. 4.5). Athena placed her among the stars, in the form of a maiden with her arms stretched out and chained to a rock, to commemorate her delivery by Perseus (Hygin. Poet. Astr. ii. 10, &c.; Eratosth. Catast. 17; Arat. Phaen. 198). Conon (Narrat. 40) gives a wretched attempt at an historical interpretation of this mythus. The scene where Andromeda was fastened to the rock is placed by some of the ancients in the neighbourhood of lope in Phoenicia, while others assign to it a place of the same name in Aethiopia. The tragic poets often made the story of Andromeda the subject of dramas, which are now lost. The moment in which she is relieved from the rock by Perseus is represented in an anaglyph still extant. (Les plus beaux Monumens de Rome, No. 63)

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



Andromeda Galaxy


Andromeda in art & fiction


Perseus legend related subjects

Quoit: invented by Perseus


Kibisis: A wallet given to Perseus by the nymphs, Medusa's head put in it.


Sickle: given to Perseus by Hermes


Cap: given to Perseus by nymphs


Winged sandals: worn by Perseus


Knielaufender: term referring to the "running" posture in Archaic art, whereby both legs are bent, with one knee on the ground and the other in the air (used especially for gorgons, Nike, and Perseus)


Gods & demigods

DELOS (Island) KYKLADES

Leto (lat. Latona)

She was the mother of Apollo and Artemis by Zeus (Il. 1.9, Od. 11.318). In the passage 5.447 of the Iliad Leto and her daughter healed Aeneas. While being pregnant, she was persecuted by Hera and wandered about till she came to Delos, where she gave birth.


Leto, called by the Romans Latona. According to Hesiod, a daughter of the Titan Coeus and Phoebe, a sister of Asteria. She was the mother of Apollo and Artemis by Zeus, to whom she was married before Here. Homer likewise calls her the mother of Apollo and Artemis by Zeus; he mentions her in the story of Niobe, who paid so dearly for her conduct towards Leto, and he also describes her as the friend of the Trojans in the war with the Greeks. In later writers these elements of her story are variously embellished, for they do not describe her as the lawful wife of Zeus, but merely as his mistress, who was persecuted by Here during her pregnancy. All the world being afraid of receiving Leto on account of their dread of Here, she wandered about till she came to Delos, which was then a floating island, and bore the name of Asteria or Ortygia. When Leto arrived there, Zeus fastened it by adamantine chains to the bottom of the sea, that it might be a secure resting-place for his beloved, and here she gave birth to Apollo and Artemis. The tradition is also related with various other modifications. Some said that Zeus changed Leto into a quail (ortux), and that in this state she arrived in the floating island, which was hence called Ortygia. Others related that Zeus was enamoured of Asteria, but that she, being metamorphosed into a bird, flew across the sea; that she was then changed into a rock, which, for a long time, lay under the surface of the sea; and that this rock arose from the waters and received Leto when she was pursued by Python. Leto was generally worshipped only in conjunction with her children. Delos was the chief seat of her worship, and in the sanctuary devoted to her honour she was represented by a shapeless wooden image.
    It is probable that the name of Leto belongs to the same class of words as the Greek lethe and the lateo, as typifying night. Leto would therefore signify “the obscure” or “concealed,” not as a physical power, but as a divinity yet quiescent and invisible, from whom issued the visible divinity with all his splendour and brilliancy. This view is supported by the account of her genealogy given by Hesiod.

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


Leto, in Latin Latona, according to Hesiod (Theog. 406, 921), a daughter of the Titan Coeus and Phoebe, a sister of Asteria, and the mother of Apollo and Artemis by Zeus, to whom she was married before Hera. Homer, who likewise calls her the mother of Apollo and Artemis by Zeus (Il. i. 9, xiv. 327, xxi. 499, Od. xi. 318, 580), mentions her as the friend of the Trojans in the war with the Greeks, and in the story of' Niobe, who paid so dearly for her conduct towards Leto (Il. v. 447, xx. 40, 72, xxiv. 607; comp. xxi. 502, Od. xi. 580, Hymn. in Apoll. 45, &c., 89, &c.). In later writers these elements of her story are variously worked out and embellished, for they do not describe her as the lawful wife of Zeus, but merely as a concubine, who was persecuted during her pregnancy by Hera (Apollod. i. 4, 1; Callim. Hymn. in Del. 61, &c.; Schol. ad Eurip. Phoen. 232, &c.; Hygin. Fab. 140). All the world being afraid of receiving her on account of Hera, she wandered about till she came to the island of Delos, which was then a floating island, and bore the name Asteria (Callim. Hymn. in Dian. 35, 37, 191); but when Leto touched it, it suddenly stood still upon four pillars (Pind. Fragm. 38; Strab. xi.). According to Hyginus (Fab. 93,140), Delos was previously called Ortygia, while Stephanus Byzantinus (s. v. Korissos) mentions a tradition, according to which Artemis was not born in Delos, but at Corissus. Servius (ad Aen. iii. 72) relates the following legends: Zeus changed Leto into a quail (ortux), and in this state she arrived in the floating island, which was hence called Ortygia; or, Zeus was enamoured with Asteria, but she being metamorphosed, through her prayers, into a bird, flew across the sea; she was then changed into a rock, which, for a long time, lay under the surface of the sea; but, at the request of Leto, it rose and received Leto, who was pursued by Python. Leto then gave birth to Apollo, who slew Python (Comp. Anton. Lib. 35; Ov. Met. vi. 370; Aristot. Hist. Anim. vi. 35; Athen. xv. 701; Apollon. Rhod. ii. 707; Iamblich. Vit. Pyth. 10; Strab. xiv.: in each of these passages we find the tradition modified in a particular way). But notwithstanding the many discrepancies, especially in regard to the place where Leto gave birth to her children, most traditions agree in describing Delos as the place (Callim. Hymn. in Apoll. init. 59, in Del. 206, 261; Aeschyl. Eum. 9; Herod. ii. 170). After the birth of Apollo, his mother not being able to nurse him, Themis gave him nectar and ambrosia; and by his birth the island of Delos became sacred, so that henceforth it was not lawful for any human being to be born or to die on the island; and every pregnant woman was conveyed to the neighbouring island of Rheneia, in order not to pollute Delos (Strab. x.).
  We shall pass over the various speculations of modern writers respecting the origin and nature of this divinity, and shall mention only the most probable, according to which Leto is " the obscure" or "concealed", not as a physical power, but as a divinity yet quiescent and invisible, from whom is issued the visible divinity with all his splendour and brilliancy. This view is supported by the account of her genealogy given by Hesiod; and her whole legend seems to indicate nothing else but the issuing from darkness to light, and a return from the latter to the former. Leto was generally worshipped only in conjunction with her children, as at Megara (Paus. i. 44. 2), at Argos (ii. 21. 10), at Amphigeneia (Strab. viii.), in Lycia (ibid. xiv.), near Lete in Macedonia (Steph. Byz. s. v. Lete), in a grove near Calynda in Caria (Strab. xiv.), and other places. (Comp. Hirt. Mythol. Bilderb. Tab. v. 4)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks




Artemis (lat. Diana)

Daughter of Zeus by Leto and sister of Apollo. She was the goddess of hunting (Il. 5.52, Od. 6.102) and also of the death of women (Il. 6.205 & 428, Od. 11.172 & 324, 15.410 & 478). In the Iliad, she and her brother were on the side of the Trojans. According to tradition, Artemis was born in the island of Delos.


Artemis. The virgin daughter of Zeus and Leto (Latona), by the common account born a twin-sister of Apollo, and just before him, at Delos. The Ortygia (see Asteria) named in another tradition as her birthplace was interpreted to mean Delos, though several other places where the worship of Artemis had long prevailed put forward pretensions to that name and its mythological renown, especially the well-known island of Ortygia off Syracuse. She, as well as her mother, was worshipped jointly with her brother at Delos, Delphi, and all the most venerable spots where Apollo was honoured. She is armed, as he is, with bow and arrows, which, like him, and often together with him, she wields against monsters and giants; hence the paean was chanted to her as well as to him. Like those of Apollo, the shafts of Artemis were regarded as the cause of sudden death, especially to maidens and wives. But she was also a beneficent and helpful deity. As Apollo is the luminous god of day, she with her torch is a goddess of light by night, and in course of time becomes identified with all possible goddesses of moon and night. Her proper domain is that of nature, with its hills and valleys, woods, meadows, rivers, and fountains; there, amid her nymphs, herself the fairest and tallest, she is a mighty huntress, sometimes chasing wild animals, sometimes dancing, playing, or bathing with her companions. Her favourite haunt was thought to be the mountains and forests of Arcadia, where, in many spots, she had sanctuaries, consecrated hunting-grounds, and sacred animals. To her, as goddess of the forest and the chase, all beasts of the woods and fields--in fact, all game--were dear and sacred; but her favourite animal was held all over Greece to be the hind. From this sacred animal and the hunting of it, the month which the other Greeks called Artemision or Artemisios (March-April) was named by the Athenians Elaphebolion (Elaphebolion), and her festival as goddess of game and hunting, at which deer or cakes in the shape of deer were offered up, Elaphebolia. As goddess of the chase, she had also some influence in war, and the Spartans before battle sought her favour by the gift of a she-goat. Miltiades, too, before the battle of Marathon, had vowed to her as many goats as there should be enemies fallen on the field; but the number proving so great that the vow could not be kept, five hundred goats were sacrificed at each anniversary of the victory in the month of Boedromion. Again, she was much worshipped as the goddess of the moon. At Amarynthus in Euboea the whole island kept holiday to her with processions and prize-fights. At Munychia in Attica, at full moon in the month of Munychion (April-May), large round loaves or cakes, decked all around with lights as a symbol of her own luminary, were borne in procession and presented to her; and at the same time was solemnized the festival of the victory of Salamis in Cyprus, because on that occasion the goddess had shone in her full glory on the Greeks. An ancient shrine of the Moon-goddess at Brauron in Attica was held in such veneration that the Brauronia, originally a merely local festival, was afterwards made a public ceremony, to which Athens itself sent deputies every five years, and a precinct was dedicated to "Artemis of Brauron" on the Acropolis itself. At this feast the girls between five and ten years of age, clad in saffron-coloured garments, were conducted by their mothers in procession to the goddess and commended to her care; for Artemis is also a protectress of youth, especially those of her own sex. As such she patronized a nurses' festival at Sparta in a temple outside the town, to which little boys were brought by their nurses; while the Ionians at their Apaturia presented her with the hair of boys. Almost everywhere young girls revered the virgin goddess as the guardian of their maiden years, and before marriage they offered up to her a lock of their hair, their girdle, and their maiden garment. She was also worshipped in many parts as the goddess of good repute, especially in youths and maidens, and was regarded as an enemy of all disorderly doings. With her attributes as the goddess of the moon, and as the promoter of healthy development, especially in the female frame, is connected the notion of her assisting in childbirth. In early times human sacrifices had been offered to Artemis. A relic of this was the yearly custom observed at Sparta of flogging the boys till they bled at the altar of a deity not unknown elsewhere and named Artemis Orthia (the upright), probably from her stiff posture in the antiquated wooden image. At Sparta, as in other places, the ancient image was looked upon as the same which Iphigenia and Orestes brought away from Tauris (the Crimea)--viz., that of the Tanric Artemis, a Scythian deity who was identified with Artemis because of the human sacrifices common in her worship. The Artemis of Ephesus, too, so greatly honoured by all the Ionians of Asia, is no Greek divinity, but Asiatic. Ancient Representation of the Ephesian Artemis. This is sufficiently shown by the fact that eunuchs were employed in her worship-- a practice quite foreign to Greek ideas. The Greek colonists identified her with their own Artemis, because she was goddess of the moon and a power of nature, present in mountains, woods, and marshy places, nourishing life in plants, animals, and men. But, unlike Artemis, she was not regarded as a virgin, but as a mother and foster-mother, as is clearly shown by the multitude of breasts in the effigy. Her worship, frantic and fanatical after the manner of Asia, was traced back to the Amazons. A number of other deities native to Asia were also worshipped by the Greeks under the name of Artemis.
    Artemis appears in works of art as the ideal of austere maiden beauty--tall of stature, with bow and quiver on her shoulder, or torch in her hand, and generally leading or carrying a hind, or riding in a chariot drawn by hinds. Her commonest character is that of a huntress. In earlier times the figure is fuller and stronger and the clothing more complete; in later works she is represented as more slender and lighter of foot, the hair loose, the dress girt high, the feet protected by the Cretan shoe. The most celebrated of her existing statues is the Diana of Versailles, from Hadrian's villa at Tibur.

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


Artemis, one of the great divinities of the Greeks. Her name is usually derived from artemes, uninjured, healthy, vigorous; according to which she would be the goddess who is herself inviolate and vigorous, and also grants strength and health to others (Plat. Cratyl.; Strab. xiv.). According to the Homeric account and Hesiod (Theog. 918) she was the daughter of Zeus and Leto, whence Aeschylus (Sept. 148) calls her letogeneia. She was the sister of Apollo, and born with him at the same time in the island of Delos. According to a tradition which Pausanias (viii. 37.3) found in Aeschylus, Artemis was a daughter of Demeter, and not of Leto, while according to an Egyptian story (Herod. ii. 156) she was the daughter of Dionysus and Isis, and Leto was only her nurse. But these and some other legends are only the results of the identification of the Greek Artemis with other local or foreign divinities. The place of her birth is for the same reason not the same in all traditions: some say that it was the grove of Ortygia near Ephesus (Tacit. Annal. iii. 61), others that it was Crete (Diod. v. 72), and others again, that she was the sister of Apollo, but born somewhat earlier, so that she was able to assist Leto in giving birth to Apollo (Orph Hymn. 34. 5). In the description of the nature and character of this goddess, it is necessary to distinguish between the different points of view from which the Greeks regarded her, and also between the really Greek Artemis and certain foreign divinities, who for some resemblance or another were identified by the Greeks with their own Artemis,

Artemis as the sister of Apollo, is a kind of female Apollo, that is, she as a female divinity represented the same idea that Apollo did as a male divinity. This relation between the two is in many other cases described as the relation of husband and wife, and there seems to have been a tradition which actually described Artemis as the wife of Apollo. In the character of sister of Apollo, Artemis is like her brother armed with a bow, quiver, and arrows, and sends plague and death among men and animals: she is a Dea apollousa. Sudden deaths, but more especially those of women, are described as the effect of her arrows (Hom. Il. vi. 205, 427, &c., xix. 59, xxi. 483, &c.; Od. xi. 172, &c., 324, xv. 478, xviii. 202, xx. 61, &c., v. 124, &c.). She also acts sometimes in conjunction with her brother (Od. xv. 410; Il. xxiv. 606). As Apollo was not only a destructive god, but also averted the evils which it was in his power to inflict, so Artemis was at the same time a Dea soteira; that is, she cured and alleviated the sufferings of mortals. Thus, for instance, she healed Aeneas, when he was wounded and carried into the temple of Apollo (Il. v. 447). In the Trojan war she sided, like Apollo, with the Trojans. The man whom she looked graciously upon was prosperous in his fields and flocks, his household was thriving, and he died in old age (Callim. Hymn. in Dian. 129, &c.). She was more especially the protectress of the young, whence the epithets paidotrophos, kourotrophos, and philomeirax (comp. Diod. v. 73); and Aeschylus (Agam. 142) calls her the protectress of young sucking-animals, and of the game ranging through the forests of the mountains. Artemis thus also came to be regarded as the goddess of the flocks and the chase: she is the huntress among the immortals; she is called the stag-killer (elaphebolos), the lover of the tumult connected with the chase (keladeine), and agrotera (Il. xxi. 511, 485, &c.; Hom. Hymn. in Dian. 10). Artemis is moreover, like Apollo, unmarried; she is a maidendivinity never conquered by love (Soph. Elect. 1220). The priests and priestesses devoted to her service were bound to live pure and chaste, and trangressions of their vows of chastity were severely punished (Paus. vii. 19.1. viii. 13.1). She was worshipped in several places together with her brother; and the worship of both divinities was believed to have come from the Hyperboreans, and Hyperborean maidens brought sacrifices to Delos (Herod. ii. 32, 35). The laurel was sacred to both divinities, and both were regarded as the founders and protectors of towns and streets (Paus. i. 38.6, iii. 24.6, viii. 36, in fin.; Aeschyl. Sept. 450; Callim. Hymn. in Dian. 34).
  There are, however, some points also, in which there is no resemblance between Artemis and Apollo: she has nothing to do with music or poetry, nor is there any trace of her having been regarded as an oracular divinity like Apollo. Respecting the real and original character of Artemis as the sister of Apollo, we encounter the same difficulties as those mentioned in the article Apollo, viz. as to whether she was a purely spiritual and ethical divinity, as Mueller thinks, or whether she was the representative of some power in physical nature; and the question must be decided here in the same manner as in the case of Apollo. When Apollo was regarded as identical with the sun or Helios, nothing was more natural than that his sister should be regarded as Selene or the moon, and accordingly the Greek Artemis is, at least in later times, the goddess of the moon. Buttmann and Hermann consider this idea of Artemis being the moon as the fundamental one from which all the others are derived. But, at any rate, the idea of Artemis being the goddess of the moon, must be confined to Artemis the sister of Apollo, and is not applicable to the Arcadian, Taurian, or Ephesian Artemis.

The Arcadian Artemis is a goddess of the nymphs, and was worshipped as such in Arcadia in very early times. Her sanctuaries and temples were more numerous in this country than in any other part of Greece. There was no connexion between the Arcadian Artemis and Apollo, nor are there any traces here of the ethical character which is so prominent in Artemis, the sister of Apollo. These circumstances, together with the fact, that her surnames and epithets in Arcadia are nearly all derived from the mountains, rivers, and lakes, shew that here she was the representative of some part or power of nature. In Arcadia she hunted with her nymphs on Taygetus, Erymanthus, and Maenalus; twenty nymphs accompanied her during the chase, and with sixty others, daughters of Oceanus, she held her dances in the forests of the mountains. Her bow, quiver, and arrows, were made by Hephaestus, and Pan provided her with dogs. Her chariot was drawn by four stags with golden antlers (Callim. Hymn. in Dian. 13, 81, 90, &c.; Apollod. ii. 5.3; Pind. Ol. iii. 51). Her temples and sanctuaries in Arcadia were usually near lakes or rivers, whence she was called limnetis or limnaia (Paus. ii. 7.6, iii. 23.6, iv. 4.2, 31.3, viii. 53.5). In the precincts of her sanctuaries there were often sacred wells, as at Corinth (Paus. ii. 3.5, iii. 20.7). As a nymph, Artemis also appears in connexion with river gods, as with Alpheius, and thus it is intelligible why fish were sacred to her (Diod. v. 3).

The Taurian Artemis. The legends of this goddess are mystical, and her worship was orgiastic and connected, at least in early times, with human sacrifices. According to the Greek legend there was in Tauris a goddess, whom the Greeks for some reason identified with their own Artemis. and to whom all strangers that were thrown on the coast of Tauris, were sacrificed (Eurip. Iph. Taur. 36). Iphigeneia and Orestes brought her image from thence, and landed at Brauron in Attica, whence the goddess derived the name of Brauronia (Paus. i. 23.9, 33.1, iii. 16, in fin). The Brauronian Artemis was worshipped at Athens and Sparta, and in the latter place the boys were scourged at her altar in such a manner that it became sprinkled with their blood. This cruel ceremony was believed to have been introduced by Lycurgus, instead of the human sacrifices which had until then been offered to he. (Dict. of Ant. s. v. Brauronia and Diamastigosis). Her name at Sparta was Orthia, with reference to the phallus, or because her statue stood erect. According to another tradition, Orestes and Iphigeneia concealed the image of the Taurian goddess in a bundle of brushwood, and carried it to Aricia in Latium. Iphigeneia, who was at first to have been sacrificed to Artemis, and then became her priestess, was afterwards identified with the goddess (Herod. iv. 103; Paus. i. 43.1), who was worshipped in some parts of Greece, as at Hermione, under the name of Iphigeneia (Paus. ii. 35.1). Some traditions stated, that Artemis made Iphigeneia immortal, in the character of Hecate, the goddess of the moon. A kindred divinity, if not the same as the Taurian Artemis, is Artemis tauropolos, whose worship was connected with bloody sacrifices, and who produced madness in the minds of men, at least the chorus in the Ajax of Sophocles, describes the madness of Ajax as the work of this divinity. In the legends about the Taurian Artemis, it seems that separate local traditions of Greece are mixed up with the legends of some Asiatic divinity, whose symbol in the heaven was the moon, and on the earth the cow.

The Ephesian Artemis was a divinity totally distinct from the Greek goddess of the same name. She seems to have been the personification of the fructifying and all-nourishing powers of nature. It is an opinion almost universally adopted, that she was an ancient Asiatic divinity whose worship the Greeks found established in Ionia, when they settled there, and that, for some resemblance they discovered, they applied to her the name of Artemis. As soon as this identity of the Asiatic goddess with the Greek Artemis was recognised, other features, also originally peculiar to the Greek Artemis, were transferred to her; and thus she is called a daughter of Leto, who gave birth to her in the neighbourhood of Ephesus. Her original character is sufficiently clear from the fact, that her priests were eunuchs, and that her image in the magnificent temple of Ephesus represented her with many breasts (polumastos). The whole figure of the goddess resembled a mummy: her head was surmounted with a mural crown (corona muralis), and the lower part of her body, which ended in a point, like a pyramid upside down, was covered with figures of mystical animals (Strab. xiv.; Paus. iv. 31.6, vii. 5.2). The symbol of this divinity was a bee, and her highpriest bore the name of king (essen). Her worship was said to have been established at Ephesus by the Amazons (Paus. ii. 7.4, viii. 12.1; Hesych. and Suid. s. v. essen).

Respecting some other divinities, or attributes of divinities, which were likewise regarded as identical with Artemis in Greece, see Britomaris, Dictynna, and Eileithyia. The Romans identified their goddess Diana with the Greek Artemis, and at a comparatively early time they transferred to their own goddess all the peculiar features of the Greek Artemis. The worship of Artemis was universal in all Greece, in Delos, Crete, Sicily, and southern Italy, but more especially in Arcadia and the whole of the Peloponnesus. The sacrifices offered to the Brauronian Artemis consisted of stags and goats; in Thrace dogs were offered to Artemis. Among the animals sacred to the Greek Artemis we may mention the stag, boar, dog, and others; the fir-tree was likewise sacred to her.
  It is impossible to trace the various relations in which Artemis appears to us to one common source, or to one fundamental idea : the very manner in which such a complicated mythus was formed renders the attempt futile, or, to say the least, forced. In the case of Artemis, it is evident, that new elements and features were added in various places to the ancient local mythus; the worship of one divinity is identified with that of another, and the legends of the two are mixed up into one, or those of the one are transferred to the other, whose legends then sink into oblivion.
  The representations of the Greek Artemis in works of art are different accordingly as she is represented either as a huntress, or as the goddess of the moon; yet in either case she appears as a youthful and vigorous divinity, as becomes the sister of Apollo. As the huntress, she is tall, nimble, and has small hips; her forehead is high, her eyes glancing freely about, and her hair tied up behind in such a manner, that some locks float down her neck; her breast is covered, and the legs up to the knees are naked, the rest being covered by the chlamys. Her attributes are the bow, quiver, and arrows, or a spear, stags, and dogs. As the goddess of the moon, she wears a long robe which reaches down to her feet, a veil covers her head, and above her forehead rises the crescent of the moon. In her hand she often appears holding a torch.

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


Artemis Locheia

Locheia, the protectress of women in childbed, occurs as a surname of Artemis. (Plut. Sympos. iii. 10; Orph. Hymn. 35. 3.)


Artemis Lygodesma

Lygodesma (Lugodesma), a surname of Artemis whose statue had been found by the brothers Astrabacus and Alopecus under a bush of willows (lugos), by which it was surrounded in such a manner that it stood upright. (Paus. iii. 16. 7.)


Apollo

The god of light, son of Zeus by Leto and brother of Artemis. He was on the side of the Trojans and guardian of the city of Ilion as well as other Trojan cities such as Cilla and Chryse (Il. 1.37, 4.507). In Homer, Apollo is presented as a punisher and avenger, who spreads death with his arrows on mankind, and also as the god of the art of foreseeing the future (Il. 1.72 & 86, 9.405, Od. 8.79, 15.252) and of poetry, who entertained the gods with his guitar (Il. 1.602) and taught the art of song, such as the Muse (Od. 8.488). According to tradition, Apollo was born in the island of Delos.


Apollo (Apollon). Son of Zeus by Leto (Latona), who, according to the legend most widely current, bore him and his twin-sister Artemis at the foot of Mt. Cynthus, in the island of Delos. Apollo appears originally as a god of light, both in its beneficent and its destructive effects; and of light in general, not of the sun only, for to the early Greeks the deity that brought daylight was Helios, with whom it was not till afterwards that Apollo was identified. While the meaning of his name Apollo is uncertain, his epithets of Phoebus and Lycius clearly mark him as the bright, the life-giving, the former also meaning the pure, the holy; for, as the god of pure light, he is the enemy of darkness, with all its unclean, unhallowed brood. Again, not only the seventh day of the month, his birthday, but the first day of the month, i. e. of each new-born moon, was sacred to him, as it was to Ianus, the Roman god of light; and according to the view that prevailed in many seats of his worship, he withdrew in winter time either to Lycia, or to the Hyperboreans who dwell in perpetual light in the utmost north, and returned in spring to dispel the powers of winter with his beams. When the fable relates that immediately after his birth, with the first shot from his bow he slew the dragon Python (or Delphyne), a hideous offspring of Gaea and guardian of the Delphic oracle, what seems to be denoted must be the spring-god's victory over winter, that filled the land with marsh and mist. As the god of light, his festivals are all in spring or summer, and many of them still plainly reveal in certain features his original attributes. Thus the Delphinia, held at Athens in April, commemorated the calming of the wintry sea after the equinoctial gales, and the consequent reopening of navigation. As this feast was in honour of the god of spring, so was the Thargelia, held at Athens the next month, in honour of the god of summer. That the crops might ripen, he received first-fruits of them, and at the same time propitiatory gifts to induce him to avert the parching heat, so hurtful to fruits and men. About the time of the sun's greatest altitude (July and August), when the god displays his power, both for good and for harm, the Athenians offered him hecatombs, whence the first month of their year was named Hecatomboeon, and the Spartans held their Hyacinthia. In autumn, when the god was ripening the fruit of their gardens and plantations, and preparing for departure, they celebrated the Pyanepsia, when they presented him with the first-fruits of harvest.
    Apollo gives the crops prosperity, and protection not only against summer heat, but against blight, mildew, and the vermin that prey upon them, such as field-mice and grasshoppers. Hence he was known by special titles in some parts of Asia. He was also a patron of flocks and pastures, and was worshipped in many districts under a variety of names referring to the breeding of cattle. In the story of Hermes stealing his oxen, Apollo is himself the owner of a herd, which he gives up to his brother in exchange for the lyre invented by him. Other ancient legends speak of him as tending the flocks of Laomedon and Admetus, an act afterwards represented as a penalty for a fault. As a god of shepherds he makes love to the nymphs, to Daphue, to Coronis, and to Cyrene, the mother of Aristaeus, likewise a god of herds. Some forms of his worship and some versions of his story imply that Apollo, like his sister Artemis, was regarded as a protector of tender game and a slayer of rapacious beasts, especially of the wolf, the enemy of flocks, and himself a symbol of the god's power, that now sends mischief, and now averts it. Apollo promotes the health and well-being of man himself. As a god of prolific power, he was invoked at weddings; and as a nurse of tender manhood and trainer of manly youth, to him (as well as the fountain-nymphs) were consecrated the first offerings of the hair of the head. In gymnasia and palaestrae he was worshipped equally with Hermes and Heracles; for he gave power of endurance in boxing, with adroitness and fleetness of foot. As a warlike god and one helpful in fight, the Spartans paid him peculiar honours in their Carneia, and in a measure the Athenians in their Boedromia. Another Athenian festival, the Metageitnia, glorified him as the author of neighbourly union. In many places, but above all at Athens, he was worshipped as Agyieus, the god of streets and highways, whose rude symbol, a conical post with a pointed ending, stood by streetdoors and in court-yards, to watch men's exit and entrance, to let in good and keep out evil, and was loaded by the inmates with gifts of honour, such as ribbons, wreaths of myrtle or bay, and the like.
    At sea, as well as on land, Apollo was a guide and guardian, and there especially under the name Delphinius, taken from his friend and ally the dolphin, the symbol of the navigable sea. Under this character he was widely worshipped, for the most part with peculiar propitiatory rites, in seaports and on promontories, as that of Actium, and particularly at Athens, being also regarded as a leader of colonies. While he was Alexikakos (averter of ills) in the widest sense, he proved his power most especially in times of sickness; for, being god of the hot season, and himself the sender of most epidemics and the dreaded plague, sweeping man swiftly away with his unerring shafts, he could also lend the most effectual aid; so that he and his son Asclepius were revered as the chief gods of healing. As a saviour from epidemics mainly, but also from other evils, the paean was sung in his honour.
    In a higher sense also, Apollo was a healer and preserver. From an early time an ethical tinge was given to his purely physical attributes, and the god of light became a god of mental and moral purity, and therefore of order, justice, and legality in human life. As such, he, on the one hand, smote and spared not the insolent offender, Tityus, for instance, the Aloidae, the presumptuous Niobe, and the Greeks before Troy; but, on the other hand, to the guilt-laden soul, turning to him in penitence and supplication, he granted purification from the stain of crime (which was regarded as a disease clouding the mind and crushing the heart), and so he healed the spirit, and readmitted the outcast into civic life and religious fellowship. Of this he had himself set the pattern, when, after slaying the Delphian dragon, he fled from the land, did seven years' menial service to Admetus in atonement for the murder, and, when the time of penance was past, had himself purified in the sacred grove of bay-trees by the Thessalian temple; and not until then did he return to Delphi and enter on his office as prophet of Zeus. Therefore he exacts from all a recognition of the atoning power of penance, in the teeth of the old law of vengeance for blood, which only bred new murders and new guilt. The atoning rites propagated by Apollo's worship, particularly from Delphi, contributed largely to the spread of milder maxims of law, affecting not only individuals, but whole towns and countries. Even without special prompting, the people felt from time to time the need of purification and expiation; and hence certain expiatory rites had from of old been connected with his festivals.
    As the god of light who pierces through all darkness, Apollo is the god of divination, which, however, has in his case a purely ethical significance; for he, as prophet and minister of his father Zeus, makes known his will to men, and helps to further his government in the world. He always declares the truth; but the limited mind of man cannot always grasp the meaning of his sayings. He is the patron of every kind of prophecy, but most especially of that which he imparts through human instruments, chiefly women, while in a state of ecstasy. Great as was the number of his oracles in Greece and Asia, all were eclipsed in fame and importance by that of Delphi.
    Apollo exercises an elevating and inspiring influence on the mind as god of music, which, though not belonging to him alone any more than atonement and prophecy, was yet pre-eminently his province. In Homer he is represented only as a player on the lyre, while song is the province of the Muses; but in course of time he grows to be the god, as they are the goddesses, of song and poetry, and is therefore Mousagetes (leader of the Muses) as well as master of the choral dance, which goes with music and song. And as the friend of all that beautifies life he is intimately associated with the Graces.
    Standing in these manifold relations to nature and man, Apollo at all times held a prominent position in the religion of the Greeks; and as early as Homer his name is coupled with those of Zens and Athene, as if between them the three possessed the sum total of divine power. His worship was diffused equally over all the regions in which Greeks were settled; but from remote antiquity he had been the chief god of the Dorians, who were also the first to raise him into a type of moral excellence. The two chief centres of his worship were the island of Delos, his birthplace, where, at his magnificent temple standing by the sea, were held every five years the festive games called Delia, to which the Greek states sent solemn embassies; and Delphi, with its oracle and numerous festivals. Foremost among the seats of his worship in Asia was Patara in Lycia, with a famous oracle.
    To the Romans, Apollo became known in the reign of their last king, Tarquinius Superbus, the first Roman who consulted the Delphic oracle, and who also acquired the Sibylline Books. By the influence of these writings the worship of Apollo soon became so naturalized among them that in B.C. 431 they built a temple to him as god of healing, from which the expiatory processions prescribed in the Sibylline Books used to set out. In the Lectisternia, first instituted in B.C. 399, Apollo occupies the foremost place. In B.C. 212, during the agony of the Second Punic War, the Ludi Apollinares were, in obedience to an oracular response, established in honour of him. He was made one of the chief gods of Rome by Augustus, who believed himself to be under his peculiar protection, and ascribed the victory of Actium to his aid; hence he enlarged the old temple of Apollo on that promontory, and decorated it with a portion of the spoils. He also renewed the games held near it, previously every two years, afterwards every four, with gymnastic and artistic contests and regattas on the sea. At Rome he reared a splendid new temple to him near his own house on the Palatine, and transferred the Ludi Saeculares to him and Diana.
    The manifold symbols of Apollo correspond with the multitude of his attributes. The commonest is either the lyre or the bow, according as he was conceived as the god of song or as the far-hitting archer. The Delphian diviner, Pythian Apollo, is indicated by the tripod, which was also the favourite offering at his altars. Among plants, the bay, used for purposes of expiation, was early sacred to him. It was planted round his temples, and plaited into garlands of victory at the Pythian Games. The palm-tree was also sacred to him, for it was under a palm-tree that he was born in Delos. Among animals, the wolf, the dolphin, the snow-white and musical swan, the hawk, raven, crow, and snake were under his special protection; the last four in conuection with his prophetic functions.
    In ancient art he was represented as a longhaired but beardless youth, of tall yet muscular build, and handsome features. Images of him were as abundant as his worship was extensive: there was scarcely an artist of antiquity who did not try his hand upon some incident in the story of Apollo. The ideal type of this god seems to have been fixed chiefly by Praxiteles and Scopas. The most famous statue preserved of him is the Apollo Belvedere in the Vatican, which represents him either as fighting with the Pythian dragon, or with his aegis frightening back the foes who threaten to storm his sanctuary. Other great works, as the Apollo Musagetes in the Vatican, probably from the hand of Scopas, show him as a Citharoedus in the long Ionian robe, or nude. The Apollo Sauroctonus (lizard-killer), copied from a bronze statue by Praxiteles, is especially celebrated for its beauty. It represents a delicate youthful figure leaning against a tree, dart in hand, ready to stab a lizard that is crawling up the tree. It is preserved in bronze at the Villa Albani in Rome, and in marble at Paris.

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


Apollo (Apollon), one of the great divinities of the Greeks, was, according to Homer (Il. i. 21, 36), the son of Zeus and Leto. Hesiod (Theog. 918) states the same, and adds, that Apollo's sister was Artemis. Neither of the two poets suggests anything in regard to the birth-place of the god, unless we take Lukegenes (Il. iv. 101) in the sense of "born in Lycia," which, however, according to others, would only mean "born of or in light". Several towns and places claimed the honour of his birth, as we see from various local traditions mentioned by late writers. Thus the Ephesians said that Apollo and Artemis were born in the grove of Ortygia near Ephesus (Tacit. Annal. iii. 61); the inhabitants of Tegyra in Boeotia and of Zoster in Attica claimed the same honour for themselves (Steph. Byz. s.v. Tegura). In some of these local traditions Apollo is mentioned alone, and in others together with his sister Artemis. The account of Apollo's parentage, too, was not the same in all traditions (Cic. de Nat. Deor. iii. 23), and the Egyptians made out that he was a son of Dionysus and Isis (Herod. ii. 156). But the opinion most universally received was, that Apollo, the son of Zeus and Leto, was born in the island of Delos, together with his sister Artemis; and the circumstances of his birth there are detailed in the Homeric hymn on Apollo, and in that of Callimachus on Delos (Comp. Apollod. i. 4.1; Hygin. Fab. 140). Hera in her jealousy pursued Leto from land to land and from isle to isle, and endeavoured to prevent her finding a resting-place where to give birth. At last, however, she arrived in Delos, where she was kindly received, and after nine days labour she gave birth to Apollo under a palm or an olive tree at the foot of mount Cynthus. She was assisted by all the goddesses, except Hera and Eileithyia, but the latter too hastened to lend her aid, as soon as she heard what was taking place. The island of Delos, which previous to this event had been unsteady and floating on or buried under the waves of the sea, now became stationary, and was fastened to the roots of the earth (Comp. Virg. Aen. iii. 75). The day of Apollo's birth was believed to have been the seventh of the month, whence he is called hebdomagenes (Plut. Sympos. 8). According to some traditions, he was a seven months' child (heptamenaios). The number seven was sacred to the god; on the seventh of every month sacrifices were offered to him (hebdomagetes, Aeschyl. Sept. 802; comp. Callim. Hymn. in Del. 250, &c.), and his festivals usually fell on the seventh of a month. Immediately after his birth, Apollo was fed with ambrosia and nectar by Themis, and no sooner had he tasted the divine food, than he sprang up and demanded a lyre and a bow, and declared, that henceforth he would declare to men the will of Zeus. Delos exulted with joy, and covered herself with golden flowers (Comp. Theognis, 5, &c.; Eurip. Hecub. 457, &c.)
  Apollo, though one of the great gods of Olympus, is yet represented in some sort of dependence on Zeus, who is regarded as the source of the powers exercised by his son. The powers ascribed to Apollo are apparently of different kinds, but all are connected with one another, and may be said to be only ramifications of one and the same, as will be seen from the following classification.

  Apollo is:
1. The god who punishes and destroys (oulios) the wicked and overbearing, and as such he is described as the god with bow and arrows, the gift of Hephaestus (Hom. Il. i. 42, xxiv. (605, Od. xi. 318, xv. 410, &c.; comp. Pind. Pyth. iii. 15, &c.). Various epithets given to him in the Homeric poems, such as hekatos, hekaergos, hekebolos, ekatebolos, klutotoxos, and argurotoxos, refer to him as the god who with his darts hits his object at a distance and never misses it. All sudden deaths of men, whether they were regarded as a punishment or a reward, were believed to be the effect of the arrows of Apollo; and with the same arrows he sent the plague into the camp of the Greeks. Hyginus relates, that four days after his birth, Apollo went to mount Parnassus, and there killed the dragon Python, who had pursued his mother during her wanderings, before she reached Delos. He is also said to have assisted Zeus in his contest with the giants (Apollod, i. 6.2). The circumstance of Apollo being the destroyer of the wicked was believed by some of the ancients to have given rise to his name Apollo, which they connected with apollumi, "to destroy" (Aeschyl. Agam. 1081). Some modern writers, on the other hand, who consider the power of averting evil to have been the original and principal feature in his character, say that Apollon, i. e. Apellon, (from the root pello), signifies the god who drives away evil, and is synonymous with alexikakas, Acesius, Acestor, soter, and other names and epithets applied to Apollo.
2. The god who affords help and wards off evil. As he had the power of visiting men with plagues and epidemics, so he was also able to deliver men from them, if duly propitiated, or at least by his oracles to suggest the means by which such calamities could be averted. Various names and epithets which are given to Apollo, especially by later writers, such as akesios, akestor, alexikakos, soter, apotropaios, epikourios, iatromantis, and others, are descriptive of this power (Paus. i. 3.3, vi. 24.5, viii. 41.5; Plut. de Ei ap. Delph. 21, de Defect. Orac. 7; Aeschyl. Eum.. 62). It seems to be the idea of his being the god who afforded help, that made him the father of Asclepius, the god of the healing art, and that, at least in later times, identified him with Paeeon, the god of the healing art in Homer.
3. The god of prophecy. Apollo exercised this power in his numerous oracles (see Oraculum), and especially in that of Delphi. The source of all his prophetic powers was Zeus himself (Apollodorus states, that Apollo received the mantike from Pan), and Apollo is accordingly called "the prophet of his father Zeus" (Aeschyl. Eum. 19); but he had nevertheless the power of communicating the gift of prophecy both to gods and men, and all the ancient seers and prophets are placed in some relationship to him (Hom. Il. i. 72, Hymn. in Merc. 3, 471). The manner in which Apollo came into the possession of the oracle of Delphi (Pytho) is related differently. According to Apollodorus, the oracle had previously been in the possession of Themis, and the dragon Python guarded the mysterious chasm, and Apollo, after having slain the monster, took possession of the oracle. According to Hyginus, Python himself possessed the oracle; while Pausanias (x. 3.5) states, that it belonged to Gaea and Poseidon in common. (Comp. Eurip. Iphig. Taur. 1246, &c.; Atlen. xv. p. 701; Ov. Met. i. 439; Apollon. Rhod. ii. 706).
4. The god of song and music. We find him in the Iliad (i. 603) delighting the immortal gods with his play on the phorminx during their repast ; and the Homeric bards derived their art of song either from Apollo or the Muses (Od. viii. 488, with Eustath.). Later traditions ascribed to Apollo even the invention of the flute and lyre (Callim. Hymn. in Del. 253; Plut. de Mus.), while the more common tradition was, that he received the lyre from Hermes. Ovid Heroid. xvi. 180) makes Apollo build the walls of Troy by playing on the lyre, as Amphion did the walls of Thebes. Respecting his musical contests, see Marsyas, Midas.
5. The god who protects the flocks and cattle (nomios Deos, from nomos or nome, a meadow or pasture land). Homer (Il. ii. 766) says, that Apollo reared the swift steeds of Eunlelus Pheretides in Pieria, and according to the Homeric hymn to Hermes (22, 70, &c.) the herds of the gods fed in Pieria under the care of Apollo. At the command of Zeus, Apollo guarded the cattle of Laomedon in the valleys of mount Ida (ll. xxi. 488). There are in Homer only a few allusions to this feature in the character of Apollo, but in later writers it assumes a very prominent form (Pind. Pyth. ix. 114; Callim. Hymn. in Apoll. 50, &c.); and in the story of Apollo tending the flocks of Admetus at Pherae in Thessaly, on the banks of the river Amphrysus, the idea reaches its height. (Apollod. i. 9. &sec; 15; Eurip. Alcest. 8; Tibull. ii. 3. 11; Virg. Georg. iii. 2).
6. The god who delights in the foundation of towns and the establishment of civil constilutions. His assistance in the building of Troy was mentioned above; respecting his aid in raising the walls of Megara, see Alcathous. Pindar (Pyth. v. 80) calls Apollo the archegetes, or the leader of the Dorians in their migration to Peloponnesus; and this idea, as well as the one that he delighted in the foundation of cities. seems to be intimately connected with the circumstance, that a town or a colony was never founded by the Greeks without consulting an oracle of Apollo, so that in every case he became, as it were, their spiritual leader. The epithets ktistes and oikistes refer to this part in the character of Apollo.

These characteristics of Apollo necessarily appear in a peculiar light, if we adopt the view which was almost universal among the later poets, mythographers, and philosophers, and according to which Apoilo was identical with Helios, or the Sun. In Homer and for some centuries after his time Apollo and Helios are perfectiy distinet. The question which here presents itself, is, whether the idea of the identity of the two divinities was the original and primitive one, and was only revival in later times, or whether it was the result of later speeulations and of foreign, chiefly Egyptian, influence. Each of these two opinions has had its able advocates. The former, which has been maintained by Buttmann and Hermann, is supported by strong arguments. In the time of Callimachus, some persons distinguished between Apollo and Helios, for which they were censulred by the poet. Pausanias (vii. 23. &sec; 6) states, that he met a Sidonian who declared the two gods to be identical, and Pausanias adds that this was quite in accordance with the belief of the Greeks (Comp. Strab. xiv.; Plut. de Ei ap. Delph. 4, de Def.Orae. 7). It has further been said, that if Apollo be regarded as the Sun, the powers and attributes which we have enumerated above are easily explained and accounted for; that the sursname of Phoibos (the shining or brilliant), which is frequently applied to Apollo in the Homeric poems, points to the sun; and lastly, that the traditions concerning the Hyperboreans and their worship of Apollo bear the strongest marks of their regarding the god in the same light (Alcaeus, ap. Himer. xiv. 10; Diod. ii. 47.) Still greater stress is laid on the fact that the Egyptian Horus was regarded as identical with Apollo (Herod. ii. 144, 156; Diod. i. 25; Plut. de Is. et Os. 12, 61; Aelian, Hist. An. x. 14), as Horus is usually considered as the god of the burning sun. Those who adopt this view derive Apollo from the East or from Egypt, and regard the Athenian Apollon patroios as the god who was brought to Attica by the Egyptian colony under Cecrops. Another set of accounts derives the worship of Apollo from the very opposite quarter of the world -from the country of the Hyperboreans, that is, a nation living beyond the point where the north wind rises, and whose country is in consequence most happy and fruitful. According to a fragment of an ancient Doric hymn in Pausanias (x. 5.4), the oracle of Delphi was founded by Hyperboreans and Olenus; Leto, too, is said to have come from the Hyperboreans to Delos, and Eileithyia likewise (Herod. iv. 33, &c.; Paus. i. 18.4; Diod. ii. 47). The Hyperboreans, says Diodorus, worship Apollo more zealously than any other people; they are all priests of Apollo; one town in their country is sacred to Apollo, and its inhabitants are for the most part players on the lyre (Comp. Pind. pyth. x. 55, &c.).
  These opposite accounts respecting the original seat of the worship of Apollo might lead us to suppose, that they refer to two distinct divinities, which were in the course of time united into one, as indeed Cicero (de Nat. Deor. iii. 23) distinguishes four different Apollos. Muller has rejected most decidedly and justly the hypothesis, that Apollo was derived from Egypt; but he rejects at the same time, without very satisfactory reasons, the opinion that Apollo was connected with the worship of nature or any part of it; for, according to him, Apollo is a purely spiritual divinity, and far above all the other gods of Olympus. As regards the identity of Apollo and Helios, he justly remarks, that it would be a strange phenomenon if this identity should have fallen into oblivion for several centuries, and then have been revived. This objection is indeed strong, but not insurmountable if we recollect the tendency of the Greeks to change a peculiar attribute of a god into a separate divinity; and this process, in regard to Helios and Apollo, seems to have taken place previous to the time of Homer. Muller's view of Apollo, which is at least very ingenious, is briefly this. The original and essential feature in the character of Apollo is that of "the averter of evil" (Apellon); he is originally a divinity peculiar to the Doric race; and the most ancient seats of his worship are the Thessalian Tempe and Delphi. From thence it was transplanted to Crete, the inhabitants of which spread it over the coasts of Asia Minor and parts of the continent of Greece, such as Boeotia and Attica. In the latter country it was introduced during the immigration of the Ionians, whence the god became the Apollon patrpsos of the Athenians. The conquest of Peloponnesus by the Dorians raised Apollo to the rank of the principal divinity in the peninsula. The Apollon nomios was originally a local divinity of the shepherds of Arcadia, who was transformed into and identified with the Dorian Apollo during the process in which the latter became the national divinity of the Peloponnesians. In the same manner as in this instance the god assumed the character of a god of herds and flocks, his character was changed and modified in other parts of Greece also : with the Hyperboreans he was the god of prophecy, and with the Cretans the god with bow and darts. In Egypt he was made to form a part of their astronomical system, which was afterwards introduced into Greece, where it became the prevalent opinion of the learned.
  But whatever we may think of this and other modes of explaining the origin and nature of Apollo, one point is certain and attested by thousands of facts, that Apollo and his worship, his festivals and oracles, had more influence upon the Greeks than any other god. It may safily be asserted, that the Greeks would never have become what they were, without the worship of Apollo: in him the brightest side of the Grecian mind is reflected. Respecting his festivals, see Dict. of Ant. s. v. Apollonia, Thargelia, and others.
  In the religion of the early Romans there is no trace of the worship of Apollo. The Romans became acquainted with this divinity through the Creeks, and adopted all their notions and ideas about him from the latter people. There is no doubt that the Romans knew of his worship among the Greeks at a very early time, and tradition says that they consulted his oracle at Delphi even before the expulsion of the kings. But the first time that we hear of the worship of Apollo at Rome is in the year B. C. 430, when, for the purpose of averting a plague, a temple was raised to him, and soon after dedicated by the consul, C. Julius (Liv. iv. 25, 29). A second temple was built to him in the year B. C. 350. One of these two (it is not certain which) stood outside the porta Capena. During the second Punic war, in B. C. 212, the ludi Apollinares were instituted in honour of Apollo (Liv. xxv. 12; Macrob. Sat. i. 17; Dict. of Ant. s. v. Ludi Apollinares). The worship of this divinity, however, did not form a very prominent part in the religion of the Romans till the time of Augustus, who, after the battle of Actium, not only dedicated to him a portion of the spoils, but built or embellished his temple at Actium, and founded a new one at Rome on the Palatine, and instituted quinquennial games at Actium (Suet. Aug. 31, 52; Dict. of Ant. s. v. Aktia)
  Apollo, the national divinity of the Greeks, was of course represented in all the ways which the plastic arts were capable of. As the ideas of the god became gradually and more and more fully developed, so his representations in works of art rose from a rude wooden image to the perfect ideal of youthful manliness, so that he appeared to the ancients in the light of a twin brother of Aphrodite (Plin. H. N. xxxvi. 4.10). The most beautiful and celebrated among the extant representations of Appllo are the Apollo of Belvedere at Rome, which was discovered in 1503 at Rettuno, and the Apollino at Florence. In the Apollo of Belvedere, the god is represented with commanding but serene majesty; sublime intellect and physical beauty are combined in it in the most wonderful manner. The forehead is higher than in other ancient figures, and on it there is a pair of locks, while the rest of his hair flows freely down on his neck. The limbs are well proportioned and harmonious, the muscles are not worked out too strongly, and at the hips the figure is rather thin in proportion to the breast.

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


The lord of the silver bow

From the book:
Old Greek Stories by James Baldwin
Bringing Yesterday's Classics to Today's Children


Surnames of Apollo


Apollo Acersecomes

Acersecomes (Akersekomes), a surname of Apollo expressive of his beautiful hair which was never cut or shorn. (Hom. Il. xx. 39; Pind. Pyth. iii. 26.)


Acestor (Akestor), a surname of Apollo which characterises him as the god of the healing art, or in general as the averter of evil, like akesios. (Eurip. Androm. 901.)


Apollo Aegletes

Aegletes (Aigletes), that is, the radiant god, a surname of Apollo. (Apollon. Rhod. iv. 1730; Apollod. i. 9.26; Hesych. s. v.)


Apollo Carneius

Carneius (Karneios), a surname of Apollo under which he was worshipped in various parts of Greece, especially in Peloponnesus, as at Sparta and Sicyon, and also in Thera, Cyrene, and Magna Graecia (Paus. iii. 13.2, &c., ii. 10.2, 11.2; Pind. Pyth. v. 106; Plut. Sympos. viii. 1; Paus. iii. 24.5, iv. 31.1, 33.5). The origin of the name is explained in different ways. Some derived it from Carnus, an Acarnanian soothsayer, whose murder by Hippotes provoked Apollo to send a plague into the army of Ilippotes while he was on his march to Peloponnesus. Apollo was afterwards propitiated by the introduction of the worship of Apollo Carneius (Paus. iii. 13.3; Schol. ad Theocrit. v. 83). Others believed that Apollo was thus called from his favourite Carnus or Carneius, a son of Zeus and Europa, whom Leto and Apollo had brought up (Paus. l. c. ; Hesych. s. v. Karneios). Several other attempts to explain the name are given in Pausanias and the Scholiast on Theocritus. It is evident, however, that the worship of the Carneian Apollo was very ancient, and was probably established in Peloponnesus even before the Dorian conquest. Respecting the festival of the Carneia see Dict. of Ant. s. v. Carneia.

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


Apollo Hebdomagetes

Hebdomagetes, a surname of Apollo, which was derived, according to some, from the fact of sacrifices being offered to him on the seventh of every month, the seventh of some month being looked upon as the god's birthday. Others connect the name with the fact that at the festivals of Apollo, the procession was led by seven boys and seven maidens. (Aeschyl. Sept. 804; Herod. vi. 57)


Apollo Hecaergus

Hecaergus, (Hekaergos), a surname of Apollo, of the same meaning as Hecaerge in the case of Artemis. (Hom. Il. i. 147.) Here too tradition has metamorphosed the attribute of the god into a distinct being, for Servius (ad Aen. xi. 532, 858) speaks of one Hacaergus as a teacher and priest of Apollo and Artemis.


Apollo Intonsus

Intonsus, i. e. unshorn, a surname of Apollo and Bacchus, alluding to the eternal youth of these gods, as the Greek youths allowed their hair to grow until they attained the age of manhood, though in the case of Apollo it may also allude to his being the god of the sun, whence the long floating hair would indicate the rays of the sun. (Hom. Il. xx. 39, Hymn. in Apoll. 134; Horat. Epod. xv. 9; Tibull. i. 4. 34; Ov. Met. iii. 421, Amor. i. 14. 31; Martial, iv. 45.)


Apollo Loxias

Loxias, a surname of Apollo, which is derived by some from his intricate and ambiguous oracles (loxa), but it is unquestionably connected with the verb Legein, and describes the god as the prophet or interpreter of Zeus. (Herod. i. 91, viii. 136; Aeschyl. Eum. 19; Aristoph. Plut. 8; Eustath. ad Hom.; Macrob. Sat. i. 17.)


Apollo Lyceius

Lyceius (Lukeios), a surname of Apollo, the meaning of which is not quite certain, for some derive it from lukos, a wolf, so that it would mean "the wolf-slayer;" others from luke, light, according to which it would mean "the giver of light;" and others again from the country of Lycia. There are indeed passages in the ancient writers by which each of these three derivations may be satisfactorily proved. As for the derivation from Lycia, we know that he was worshipped at mount Cragus and Ida in Lycia; but he was also worshipped at Lycoreia on mount Parnassus, at Sicyon (Paus. ii. 9.7), Argos (ii. 19.3), and Athens (i. 19.4). In nearly all cases, moreover, where the god appears with this name, we find traditions concerning wolves. Thus the descendants of Deucalion, who founded Lycoreia, followed a wolf's roar; Latona came to Delos as a she-wolf, and she was conducted by wolves to the river Xanthus; wolves protected the treasures of Apollo; and near the great altar at Delphi there stood an iron wolf with inscriptions. (Paus. x. 14.4). The attack of a wolf upon a herd of cattle occasioned the worship of Apollo Lyceius at Argos (Plut. Pyrrh. 32; comp. Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. ii. 124); and the Sicyonians are said to have been taught by Apollo in what manner they should get rid of wolves (Paus. ii. 19.3). In addition to all this, Apollo is called lukoktonos. (Soph. Elect 7; Paus. ii. 9.7; Hesych. s. v.) Apollo, by the name of Lyceius, is therefore generally characterised as the destroyer. (Muller, Dor. ii. 6.8)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Artemis Cynthia & Apollo Cynthius

Cynthia and Cynthius (Kunthia and Kunthios), surnames respectively of Artemis and Apollo, which they derived from mount Cynthus in the island of Delos, their birthplace. (Callim. Hymn. in Del. 10; Hor. Carm. i. 21. 2, iii. 28. 12; Lucan, i. 218.)


Artemis Daphnaea & Apollo Daphnaeus

Daphnaea and Daphnaeus (Daphnaia and Daphnaios), surnames of Artemis and Apollo respectively, derived from daphne, a laurel, which was sacred to Apollo. In the case of Artemis it is uncertain why she bore that surname, and it was perhaps merely an allusion to her statue being made of laurel-wood (Paus. iii. 24.6; Strab. xvi.; Philostr. Vit. Apollon. i. 16; Eutrop. vi. 11; Justin. xv. 4.)


PAROS (Island) KYKLADES

Graces or Charites

The goddesses of grace (Il. 17.51, Od. 6.18). They were the followers and handmaids of Aphrodite (Od. 8.364, 18.194), who weaved her peplos (Il. 5.338). Homer does not number them, however he names only one of them, Pasithea (Od. 14.269 & 275).


...But he himself came to Athens and celebrated the games of the Panathenian festival, in which Androgeus, son of Minos, vanquished all comers. Him Aegeus sent against the bull of Marathon, by which he was destroyed. But some say that as he journeyed to Thebes to take part in the games in honor of Laius, he was waylaid and murdered by the jealous competitors. But when the tidings of his death were brought to Minos, as he was sacrificing to the Graces in Paros, he threw away the garland from his head and stopped the music of the flute, but nevertheless completed the sacrifice; hence down to this day they sacrifice to the Graces in Paros without flutes and garlands.

This extract is from: Apollodorus, Library and Epitome (ed. Sir James George Frazer, 1921). Cited Mar 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.


Charites or Gratiae (Graces). Goddesses of grace, and of everything which lends charm and beauty to nature and human life. According to Hesiod, they are the offspring of Zeus and the daughter of Oceanus and Eurynome. Their names are Euphrosyne (Joy), Thalia (Bloom), and Aglaia (Brilliance). Aglaia is the youngest, and the wife of Hephaestus; for the inspiration of the Graces was deemed as necessary to the plastic arts as to music, poetry, science, eloquence, beauty, and enjoyment of life. Accordingly, the Graces are intimate with the Muses, with whom they live together on Olympus. They are associated, too, with Apollo, Athene, Hermes, and Peitho, but especially with Eros, Aphrodite, and Dionysus. Bright and blithe-hearted, they were also called the daughters of the Sun and of Aegle (Gleam). They were worshipped in conjunction with Aphrodite and Dionysus at Orchomenus in Boeotia, where their shrine was accounted the oldest in the place, and where their most ancient images were found in the shape of stones said to have fallen from heaven. It was here that the feast of the Charitesia was held in their honour, with musical contests. At Sparta, as at Athens, two Charites only were worshipped, Cleta, or Sound, and Phaenna, or Light; at Athens their names were Auxo (Increase) and Hegemone (Queen). It was by these goddesses, and by Agraulos daughter of Cecrops, that the Athenian youths, on receiving their spear and shield, swore faith to their country. The Charites were represented in the form of beautiful maidens, the three being generally linked hand in hand. In the older representations they are clothed; in the later, they are loosely clad or entirely undraped.

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



Graces (Charites)

  Three goddesses of happiness, beauty and feasts. The nymph Eurynome and Zeus were their parents and their names were Aglaia (Splendour), Euphrosyne (Delight) and Thalia (Blossom). They served Aphrodite and Eros and sang and danced for the gods together with the Muses to the music of Apollo's lyre.

This text is cited Sept 2003 from the In2Greece URL below.


Pasithea

One of the Graces, that Hera promised to give as wife to Sleep (Il. 14.269 & 276).


Pasithea. One of the Charites, or Graces, also called Aglaia.


Helius (Sun) & Perse

He was the son of Hyperion (Od. 12.176), father of Aetes and Circe by Perse, daughter of Oceanus (Od. 10.136), and of Phaethusa and Lampetie by the nymph Neaera, who were the shepherdesses of the kine of Helios in Thrinacia (Od. 12.132).


Helios revealed to Hephaestus the secret meetings of his wife Aphrodite with Ares (Od. 8.271) and in the passage 19.197 of the Iliad a boar is sacrificed to him. Also, people used to call on him at their oaths (Il. 3.277).


Helios. In Greek mythology, the Sungod, son of the Titan Hyperion (whose name he bears in Homer) and the Titaness Thea; brother of Selene (the Moon) and Eos (Dawn). The poets apply the name Titan to him in particular, as the offspring of Titans. He is-represented as a strong and beautiful god, in the bloom of youth, with gleaming eyes and waving locks, and a crown of rays upon his head. In the morning he rises from a lovely bay of the Ocean in the farthest East, where the Aethiopians dwell. To give light to gods and men he climbs the vault of heaven in a chariot drawn by four snow-white horses, breathing light and fire; their names are Eoos, Aethiops, Bronte, and Sterope. In the evening he sinks with his chariot into the Ocean, and while he sleeps is carried round along the northern border of the earth to the East again in a golden boat, shaped like a bowl, the work of Hephaestus. He is called Phaethon, from the brilliant light that he diffuses; he is the All-seer (Panoptes), because his rays penetrate everywhere. He is revealer of all that is done on earth; it is he who told Hephaestus of the intrigue of Ares and Aphrodite, and showed Demeter who had carried off her daughter. He was accordingly invoked as a witness to oaths and solemn protestations.
   On the island of Trinacria (Sicily) he had seven flocks of sheep and seven herds of cattle, fifty in each. It was his pleasure, on his daily journey, to look down upon them. Their numbers were not to be increased or diminished; for if this was done, his wrath was terrible. In the 700 sheep and oxen the ancients recognized the 700 days and nights of the lunar year. The flocks were tended by Phaethusa (the goddess of light) and Lampetie (the goddess of shining), his daughter by Neaera. By the ocean Nymph Perse or Perseis he was father of Aeetes, Circe, and Pasiphae, by Clymene the father of Phaethon, and Augeas was also accounted his son. His children had the gleaming eyes of their father.
   After the time of Euripides, or thereabouts, the all-seeing Sun-god was identified with Apollo, the god of prophecy. Helios was worshipped in many places, among which may be mentioned Corinth and Elis. The island of Rhodes was entirely consecrated to him. Here an annual festival (Halia) was held during the summer in his honour, with chariot-racing and contests of music and gymnastics; and four consecrated horses were thrown into the sea as a sacrifice to him. In B.C. 278 a colossal bronze statue by Chares of Lindus was erected to him at the entrance of the harbour of Rhodes. Herds of red and white cattle were, in many places, kept in his honour. White animals, and especially white horses, were sacred to him; among the birds the cock, and among trees the white poplar.
   The Latin poets identified Helios with the Sabine deity Sol, who had an ancient place of worship on the Quirinal at Rome, and a public sacrifice on the 8th of August; but it was the introduction of the ritual of Mithras which first brought the worship of the sun into prominence in Rome.

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


Helios (or Eelios), that is, the sun, or the god of the sun. He is described as the son of Hyperion and Theia, and as a brother of Selene and Eos. (Hom. Od. xii. 176, 322, Hymn. in Min. 9, 13; Hes. Theog. 371, &c.) From his father, he is frequently called Hyperionides, or Hyperion, the latter of which is an abridged form of the patronymic, Hyperionion. (Hom. Od. xii. 176, Hymn. in Cer. 74; Hes. Theog. 1011; Hom. (Od. i. 24, ii. 19, 398, Hymn. in Apoll. Pyth. 191.) In the Homeric hymn on Helios, he is called a son of Hyperion and Euryphaessa. Homer describes Helios as giving light both to gods and men: he rises in the east from Oceanus, though not from the river, but from some lake or bog (limne) formed by Oceanus, rises up into heaven, where he reaches the highest point at noon time, and then he descends, arriving in the evening in the darkness of the west, and in Oceanus. (Il. vii. 422, Od. iii. 1, &c., 335, iv. 400, x. 191, xi. 18, xii. 380.) Later poets have marvellously embellished this simple notion: they tell of a most magnificent palace of Helios in the east, containing a throne occupied by the god, and surrounded by personifications of the different divisions of time (Ov. Met. ii. 1, &c.); and while Homer speaks only of the gates of Helios in the west, later writers assign to him a second palace in the west, and describe his horses as feeding upon herbs growing in the islands of the blessed. (Nonn. Dionys. xii. 1, &c.; Athen. vii. 296; Stat. Theb. iii. 407.) The points at which Helios rises and descends into the ocean are of course different at the different seasons of the year; and the extreme points in the north and south, between which the rising and setting take place, are the tropai eelioio. (Od. xv. 403; Hes. Op. et Dies, 449, 525.) The manner in which Helios during the night passes front the western into the eastern ocean is not mentioned either by Homer or Hesiod, but later poets make him sail in a golden boat round one-half of the earth, and thus arrive in the east at the point from which he has to rise again. This golden boat is the work of Hephaestus. (Athen. xi. 469; Apollod. ii. 5.10; Eustath. ad Hom.) Others represent him as making his nightly voyage while slumbering in a golden bed. (Athen. xi. 470.) The horses and chariot with which Helios makes his daily career are not mentioned in the Iliad and Odyssey, but first occur in the Homeric hymn on Helios (9, 15; comp. in Merc. 69, in Cer. 88), and both are described minutely by later poets. (Ov. Met. ii. 106, &c.; Hygin. Fab. 183; Schol. ad Eurip. Pholen. 3 ; Pind. Ol. vii. 71.)
  Helios is described even in the Homeric poems as the god who sees and hears every thing, but, notwithstanding this, he is unaware of the fact that the companions of Odysseus robbed his oxen, until he was informed of it by Lampetia. (Od. xii. 375.) But, owing to his omniscience, he was able to betray to Hephaestus the faithlessness of Aphrodite, and to reveal to Demeter the carrying off of her daughter. (Od. viii. 271, Hymn. in Cer. 75, &c., in Sol. 10; comp. Soph. Ajax, 847, &c.) This idea of Helios knowing every thing, which also contains the elements of his ethical and prophetic nature, seems to have been the cause of Helios being confounded and identified with Apollo, though they were originally quite distinct; and the identification was, in fact, never carried out completely, for no Greek poet ever made Apollo ride in the chariot of Helios through the heavens, and among the Romans we find this idea only after the time of Virgil. The representations of Apollo with rays around his head, to characterise him as identical with the sun, belong to the time of the Roman empire.
  The island of Thrinacia (Sicily) was sacred to Helios, and he there had flocks of oxen and sheep, each consisting of 350 heads, which never increased or decreased, and were attended to by his daughters Phaetusa and Lampetia. (Hom. Od. xii. 128. 261, &c.; Apollon. Rhod. iv. 965, &c.) Later traditions ascribe to him flocks also in the island of Erytheia (Apollod. i. 6.1; comp. ii. 5.10 ; Theocrit. xxv. 130), and it may be remarked in general, that sacred flocks, especially of oxen, occur in most places where the worship of Helios was established. His descendants are very numerous, and the surnames and epithets given him by the poets are mostly descriptive of his character as the sun. Temples of Helios (elieia) seem to have existed in Greece at a very early time (Hom. Od. xii. 346), and in later times we find his worship established in various places, as in Elis (Paus. vi. 25.5), at Apollonia (Herod. ix. 93), Hermione (Paus. ii. 34.10), in the acropolis of Corinth (ii. 4.7; comp. ii. 1.6), near Argos (ii. 18.3), at Troezene (ii. 31.8), Megalopolis (viii. 9. § 2, 31.4), and several other places, especially in the island of Rhodes, where the famous colossus of Rhodes was a representation of Helios: it was 70 cubits in height, and, being overthrown by an earthquake, the Rhodians were commanded by an oracle not to erect it again. (Pind. Ol. vii. 54, &c.; Strab. xiv. p. 652; Plin. H. N. xxxiv. 7, 17.) The sacrifices offered to Helios consisted of white rams, boars, bulls, goats, Lambs, especially white horses, and honey. (Hom. Il. xix. 197; Eustath. ad Hom.; Hygin. Fab. 223; Paus. iii. 20.5; Herod. i. 216; Strab. xi. 513.) Among the animals sacred to him, the cock is especially mentioned. (Paus. v. 25.5.) The Roman poets, when speaking of the god of the sun (Sol), usually adopt the notions of tile Greeks, but the worship of Sol was introduced also at Rome, especially after the Romans had become acquainted with the East, though traces of the worship of the sun and moon occur at a very early period. (Varro, de Ling. Lat. v. 74; Dionys. ii. 50; Sext. Ruf. Reg. Urb. iv.) Helios was represented on the pedestal of the Olympian Zeus, in the act of ascending his chariot (Paus. v. 11.3), and several statutes of him are mentioned (vi. 24.5, viii. 9.2, 31.4); he was also represented riding in his chariot, drawn by four horses. (Plin. H. N. xxxiv. 3, 19; comp. Hirt, Mythol. Bilderb. i. 35.)

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


Perse. The daughter of Oceanus and wife of Helios, by whom she became the mother of Aeetes and Circe (Odyss. ix. 139; Theog. 356, 956). Others speak of her as also the mother of Perses and Pasiphae


Neaera (Neaira). The name of several nymphs and maidens mentioned by the poets. (one of them wife of Helius)



Lampetia

Lampetia (Lampetie), a daughter of Helios by the nymph Neara. After her birth she and her sister Phaetusa were carried to Sicily, in order there to watch over the herds of their father. Some call Lampetia a sister of Phaeion. (Hom. Od. xii. 132, &c., 374, &c.; Propert. iii. 12, 29; Hygin. Fab. 154; Ov. Met. ii. 349.)


Eos (Dawn, Aurora)

The goddess of morning, wife of Tithonus and mother of Memnon (Il. 11.1, Od. 4.188). She lived in the island of Aeaea (Od. 12.3) and snatched away Orion and Cletus by because of their beauty (Od. 5.121, 15.250).


Eos

The Greek name of Aurora, the goddess of morning, whence the epithet Eous is applied to all the eastern parts of the world (Ovid, Fast.iii. 406). She was the daughter of Hyperion and Thia or Euryphassa. At the close of each night she arose from the couch of her consort Tithonus and, drawn on a chariot by the steeds Lampus and Phaeton, ascended to heaven from the river Oceanus to announce the coming of the sun to gods and mortals. In Homer she accompanies the sun on his course, and in the tragic poets is identified with Hemera or the Day. For her relations with Cephalus, Orion , and Tithonus, see the respective articles. By the last named she had Memnon; and by Astraeus, she had Zephyrus, Boreas, Notus, and Hesperus.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited March 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Eos, in Latin Aurora, the goddess of the morning red, who brings up the light of day from the east. She was a daughter of Hyperion and Theia or Euryphassa, and a sister of Helios and Selene (Hes. Theog. 371, &c.; Hom. Hymn in Sol. ii.). Ovid (Met. ix. 420, Fast. iv. 373) calls her a daughter of Pallas. At the close of night she rose front the couch of her beloved Tithonus, and on a chariot drawn by the swift horses Lampus and Phaeton she ascended up to heaven from the river Oceanus, to announce the coming light of the sun to the gods as well as to mortals (Hom. Od. v. 1, &c., xxiii. 244; Virg. Aen. iv. 129, Georg. i. 446; Hom. Hymn in Merc. 185; Theocrit. ii. 148, xiii. 11). In the Homeric poems Eos not only announces the coming Helios, but accompanies him throughout the day, and her career is not complete till the evening; hence she is sometimes mentioned where one would have expected Helios (Od. v. 390, x. 144); and the tragic writers completely identify her with Hemera, of whom in later times the same myths are related as of Eos (Paus. i. 3.1, iii. 18.7). The later Greek and the Roman poets followed, on the whole, the notions of Eos, which Homer had established, and the splendour of a southern aurora, which lasts much longer than in our climate, is a favourite topic with the ancient poets. Mythology represents her as having carried off several youths distinguished for their beauty. Thus she carried away Orion, but the gods were angry at her for it, until Artemis with a gentle arrow killed him (Hom. Od. v. 121). According to Apollodorus (i. 4.4) Eos carried Orion to Delos, and was ever stimulated by Aphrodite. Cleitus, the son of Mantius, was carried by Eos to the seats of the immortal gods (Od. xv. 250), and Tithonus, by whom she became the mother of Emathion and Memnon, was obtained in like manner. She begged of Zeus to make him immortal, but forgot to request him to add eternal youth. So long as lie was young and beautiful, she lived with him at the end of the earth, on the banks of Oceanus ; and when he grew old, she nursed him, until at length his voice disappeared and his body became quite dry. She then locked the body up in her chamber, or metamorphosed it into a cricket (Hom. Hymn. in Ven. 218, &c.; Horat. Carm. i. 22. 8, ii. 16. 30; Apollod. iii. 12.4; Hes. Theog. 984; Serv. ad Virg. Georg. i. 447, iii. 328, Aen. iv. 585). When her son Memnon was going to fight against Achilles, she asked Hephaestus to give her arms for him, and when Memnon was killed, her tears fell down in the form of morning dew (Virg. Aen. viii. 384). By Astraeus Eus became the mother of Zephyrus, Boreas, Notus, Heosphorus, and the other stars (Hesiod. Theog. 378). Cephalus was carried away by her from the summit of mount Hymetttus to Syria, and by him she became the mother of Phaeton or Tithonus, the father of Phaeton; but afterwards she restored her beloved to his wife Procris (Hes. Theog. 984; Apollod. iii. 14.3; Paus. i. 3.1; Ov. Met. vii. 703, &c.; Hygin. Fab 189). Eos was represented in the pediment of the kingly stoa at Athens in the act of carrying off Cephalus, and in the same manner she was seen on the throne of the Amyclaean Apollo (Paus. i. 3.1, iii. 18.7). At Olympia she was represented in the act of praying to Zeus for Memnon (v. 22. 2). In the works of art still extant, she appears as a winged goddess or in a chariot drawn by four horses.

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


Hyperion

Hyperion (Huperion), a Titan, a son of Uranus and Ge, and married to his sister Theia, or Euryphaessa, by whom he became the father of Helios, Selene, and Eos (Hes. Theog. 134, 371, &c.; Apollod. i. 1.3, 2.2.) Homer uses the name in a patronymic sense applied to Helios, so that it is equivalent to Hyperionion or Hyperionides; and Homer's example is imitated also by other poets (Hom. Od. i. 8, xii. 132, Il. viii. 480; Hes. Theog. 1011; Ov. Met. xv. 406). Apolldorus dorus (iii. 12.5) mentions a son of Priam of the name of Hyperion.


Greek leaders in the Trojan War

Antiphus

And they that held Nisyrus and Crapathus and Casus and Cos, the city of Eurypylus, and the Calydnian isles, these again were led by Pheidippus and Antiphus, the two sons of king Thessalus, son of Heracles. And with them were ranged thirty hollow ships.


Antiphus (Antiphos). A son of Thessalus, and one of the Greek heroes at Troy. He and his brother Pheidippus joined the Greeks with thirty ships, and commanded the men of Carpathos, Casos, Cos, and other islands (Hom. Il. ii. 675, &c.). According to Hyginus (Fab. 97) he was a son of Mnesylus and Chalciope. Four other mythical personages of this name are mentioned in Hom. Il. ii. 846, Od. ii. 19, xvii. 68; Apollod. i. 7.3.


Pheidippus

And they that held Nisyrus and Crapathus and Casus and Cos, the city of Eurypylus, and the Calydnian isles, these again were led by Pheidippus and Antiphus, the two sons of king Thessalus, son of Heracles. And with them were ranged thirty hollow ships.


Pheidippus: Perseus Project index


Tlepolemus & Polyxo

Tlepolemus, son of Heracles and Astyoche, killed inadvertently his uncle Licimnius and took refuge in Rhodes. There, he became king and led the Rhodians with 9 ships against Troy (Il. 2.653). He was slain by Sarpedon (Il. 5.655).


Tlepolemus (Tlepolemos), a son of Heracles by Astyoche, daughter of Phylas, or by Astydamia, daughter of Amyntor. He was king of Argos, but, after slaying his uncle Licymnius, he was obliged to take to flight, and, in conformity with the command of an oracle, he settled in Rhodes, where he built the towns of Lindos, Ialysus, and Camirus. He joined the Greeks in the Trojan War with nine ships, but was slain by Sarpedon.

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


Polyxo, an Argive woman, married to Tlepolemus, son of Heracles, followed her husband to Rhodes, where, according to some traditions, she is said to have put to death the celebrated Helen.



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