Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
Form: Gr. Linos.
A hero representing probably a god of the old Greek nature-worship; his death, symbolic of the flagging vegetation during the heat of the dog-days, was hymned in widely known lanittys. The lament for Linus is mentioned as early as Homer [Il. xviii 570). In Argos an ancient festival of Linus was long continued. Here he was said to be the son of Apollo and the princess Psamathe). Born in secret and exposed by his mother the child grew up at a shepherd's among the lambs, until tom in pieces by dogs. Psamathe, however, on the news of what had happened, was put to death by her father. Apollo in wrath sent against the land a monster in female form, named Poine. By this monster mothers were robbed of their children, nor were the Argives freed from the curse until, by the bidding of the oracle, they appeased Apollo by building a temple, and establishing an expiatory festival in honour of the boy and his mother. This was celebrated in the dog-days, in what was hence called the "Month of Lambs," as the "Feast of Lambs" (Arneis) or the "Slaying of Dogs" (Cynphontis), whereat lambs were sacrificed, and the dogs which ran about free were slain, while women and children lamented Linus and Psamathe in mournful songs. In other places, e.g. in Thebes, on Helicon, and on Olympus, Linus, as son of Amphimarus and the Muse Urania, was known as a minstrel, the inventor of the Linus-song, who met with an early death, and whose grave was pointed out in different places. He was said to have challenged Apollo to a contest, and for that reason to have been slain by the god. On Helicon, the mountain of the Muses, his statue was placed in a grotto, where year by year, before the sacrifice to the Muses, a sacrifice for the dead was offered up to him. In later times he was described as the teacher of Heracles, who, when reprimanded, slew him with the lyre.
Type: Standard
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