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CHRYSEIS 100.00%
The daughter of Chryses, priest of Apollo at Chryse. She was carried away by the Greeks at the conquest of her native city, and allotted to Agamemnon. Agamemnon having refused the father's proffered ransom, Apollo visited the Greek camp with pestilence until Agamemnon gave her back without payment. (See TROJAN WAR.)
ATRIDAE 86.67%
The sons of Astreus, Agamemnon and Menelaus.
BRISEIS 66.78%
The favourite slave of Achilles. Agamemnon took her from him, and thus kindled the wrath of the hero, to the ruin of the Greeks. (See TROJAN WAR.)
The story of the Trojan War, like the story of the Argonauts, underwent, in the course of time, many changes and amplifications. The kernel of the story is contained in the two epic poems of Homer: the Iliad and the Odyssey. The incidents, either narrated or briefly touched upon in these, were elaborated or developed by the post-Homeric poets, partly by connecting them with other popular traditions, and partly by the addition of further details of their own in ation. While in Homer it is simply the rape of Helen which is the occasion of the war, a later legend traced its origin to the marriage of Pelous and Thetis, when Eris threw down among the assembled gods the golden apple inscribed For the fairest. The quarrel that ensued between Hera, Athene, and Aphrodite for the prize of beauty was decided by Paris in favour of Aphrodite, who in return secured him the possession of Helen, while Hera and Athene became, from that time onward, the implacable enemies of the whole Trojan race. According to Homer, after Helen had been carried off by Paris, Menelaus and Agamemnon visited all the Greek chieftains in turn, and prevailed on them to take part in the expedition which they were preparing to avenge the wrong. According to the later account, the majority of the chieftains were already bound to follow the expedition by an oath, which they had sworn to Tyndareos. Agamemnon was chosen commander-in-chief; next to him the most prominent Greek heroes are his brother Menelaus, Achilles and Patroclus, the two Ajaxes, Teucer, Nestor and his son Antilochus, Odysseus, Diomedes,Idomeneus, and Philoctetes, who, however, at the very outset of the expedition had to be left behind, and does not appear on the scene of action until just before the fall of Troy. Later epics add the name of Palamedes. The entire host of 100,000 men and 1,186 ships assembled in the harbour of Aulis. Here, while they were sacrificing under a plane tree, a snake darted out from under the altar and ascended the tree, and there, after devouring a brood of eight young sparrows and the mother-bird himself, was turned into stone. This omen Calchas, the seer of the host, interpreted to mean that the war would last nine years, and terminate in the tenth with the destruction of Troy [Iliad ii 299-332]. Agamemnon had already received an oracle from the Delphian god that Troy would fall when the best of the Greeks quarrelled. In Homer the crossing to Troy follows immediately; but in the later story the Greeks at first land by mistake in Mysia, in the country of Telephus (q.v.), and being dispersed by a storm and driven back to Greece, assemble afresh at Aulis, whence they are only permitted to set out after the sacrifice of Iphigenia (an incident entirely unknown to Homer). On the Greek side the first to fall is Protesilaiis, who is the first to land. The disembarkation cannot take place until Achilles has slain the mighty Cycnus (q.v., 2). After pitching their camp, Odysseus and Menelaus proceed as ambassadors to Troy, to demand the surrender of Helen. But this proposal, in spite of the inclination of Helen herself and the admonition of the Trojan Antenor, falls to the ground, owing to the opposition of Paris, and war is declared. The number of the Trojans, whose chief hero is Hector, scarcely amounts to the tenth part of that of the besiegers; and although they possess the aid of countless brave allies, such as Aeneas, Sarpedon, and Glaucus, in their fear of Achilles they dare not risk a general engagement. On the other hand, the Achaeans can do nothing against the well-fortified and defended town, and see themselves confined to laying ambuscades and devastating the surrounding country, and compelled by lack of provisions to have resource to foraging expeditions in the neighbourhood, undertaken by sea and by land under the generalship, of Achilles. At length the decisive tenth year arrives. The Homeric Iliad narrates the events of this year, confining itself to the space of fifty-one days. Chryses, of Apollo, comes in priestly garb into camp of the Greeks to ransom his daughter Chryseis from Agamemnon. He is rudely repulsed, and Apollo consequently visits the Greeks with a plague. In an assembly of the Greeks summoned by Achilles, Calchas declares the only means of appeasing the god to be the surrender of girl without ransom. Agamemnon assents to the general wish; but, by way of compensation, takes from Achilles, whom he considers to be the instigator of the whole plot, his favourite, slave Briseis. Achilles withdraws in a rage to his tent, and implores his mother Thetis to obtain from Zeus a promise that the Greeks should meet with disaster in fighting the Trojans until Agamemnon should give her son complete satisfaction [Il. i]. The Trojans immediately take the open field, and Agamemnon is induced by a promise of victory, conveyed in a dream from Zeus, to appoint the following day for a battle [ii]. The hosts are already standing opposed to one another, prepared for fight, when they agree to a treaty that the conflict for Helen and the plundered treasures be decided by a duel between Paris and Menelaus. Paris is overcome in the duel, and is only rescued from death by the intervention of Aphrodite [iii]. When Agamemnon presses for the fulfilment of the treaty, the Trojan Pandarus breaks the peace by shooting an arrow at Menelaus, and the first open engagement in the war begins [iv], in which, under the protection of Athene, Diomede performs miracles of bravery and wounds even Aphrodite and Ares [v]. Diomede and the Lycian Glaucus are on the point of fighting, when they recognise one another as hereditary guest-friends. Hector goes from the battle to Troy, and the day ends with an indecisive duel between Hector and Ajax son of Telamon. In the armistice ensuing both sides bury their dead, and the Greeks, acting on the advice of Nestor, surround the camp with a wall and trench [vii]. When the fighting begins afresh, Zeus forbids the gods to take part in it, and ordains that the battle shall terminate with the discomfiture of the Greeks [viii]. On the following night Agamemnon already begins to meditate flight, but Nestor advises reconciliation with Achilles. The efforts of the ambassadors are, however, fruitless [ix]. Here-upon Odysseus and Diomede go out to reconnoitre, capture Dolon, a Trojan spy, and surprise Rhesus (q.v.), king of the Thracians, the newly arrived ally of the enemy [x]. On the succeeding day Agamemnon's bravery drives the Trojans back to the walls of the town; but he himself, Diomede, Odysseus, and other heroes leave the battle wounded, the Greeks retire behind the camp walls [xi], to attack which the Trojans set out in five detachments. The opposition of the Greeks is brave; but Hector breaks the rough gate with a rock, and the stream of enemies pours itself unimpeded into the camp [xii]. Once more the Greek heroes who are still capable of taking part in the fight, especially the two Ajaxes and Idomeneus, succeed with the help of Poseidon in repelling the Trojans, while Telamonian Ajax dashes Hector to the ground with a stone; but the latter soon reappears on the battlefield with fresh strength granted him by Apollo at the command of Zeus [xiii]. Poseidon is obliged to leave the Greeks to their fate; they retire again to the ships, which Ajax in vain defends [xv]. The foremost ship is already burning, when Achilles gives way to the entreaties of his friend Patroclus, and sends him, clad in his own armour, with the Myrmidons to the help of the distressed Greeks. Supposing it to be Achilles himself, the Trojans in terror flee from the camp before Patroclus, who pursues them to the town, and lays low vast numbers of the enemy, including the brave Sarpedon, whose corpse is only rescued from the Greeks after a severe fight. At last Patroclus himself is slain by Hector with the help of Apollo [xvi]; Achilles' arms are lost, and even the corpse is with difficulty saved [xvii]. And now Achilles repents of his anger, reconciles himself to Agamemnon, and on the following day, furnished with new and splendid armour by Hephaestus at the request of Thetis [xviii], avenges the death of his friend on countless Trojans and finally on Hector himself [xxii]. With the burial of Patroclus and the funeral games established in his honour [xxiii], the restoration of Hector's corpse to Priam, and the burial of Hector, for which Archilles allows an armistice of eleven days [xxiv], the Iliad concludes. Immediately after the death of Hector the later legends bring the Amazons to the help of the Trojans, and their queen Penthesilea is slain by Achilles. Then appears Memnon, who is also mentioned by Homer; at the head of his Aethiopians he slays Antilochus son of Nestor, and is himself slain by Achilles. And now comes the fulfilment of the oracle given to Agamemnon at Delphi; for at a sacrificial banquet a violent quarrel arises between Achilles and Odysseus, the latter declaring craft and not valour to be the only means of capturing Troy. Soon after, in an attempt to force a way into the hostile town through the Scaean gate, or, according to later legend, at the marriage of Priam's daughter Polyxena in the temple of Thymbraean Apollo, Achilles falls slain by the arrow of Paris, directed by the god. After his burial, Thetis offers the arms of her son as a prize for the bravest of the Greek heroes, and they are adjudged to Odysseus. Thereupon his competitor, the Telamonian Ajax, slays himself. For these losses, however, the Greeks find some compensation. Acting on the admonition of Helenus, son of Priam, who had been captured by Odysseus, that Troy could not be conquered without the arrows of Heracles and the presence of a descendant of Aeacus, they fetch to the camp Philoctetes, the heir of Heracles, who had been abandoned on Lemnos, and Neoptolemus, the young son of Achilles, who had been brought up on Seyros. The latter, a worthy son of his father, slays the last ally of the Trojans, Eurypylus, the brave son of Telephus; and Philoctetes, with one of the arrows of Heracles, kills Paris. Even when the last condition of the capture of Troy, viz. the removal of the Palladium from the temple of Athene on the citadel, lias been successfully fulfilled by Diomede and Odysseus, the town can only be taken by treachery. On the advice of Athene, Epeius, son of Panopeus, builds a gigantic wooden horse, in the belly of which the bravest Greek warriorsconceal themselves under the direction of Odysseus, while the rest of the Greeks burn the camp and embark on board ship, only, however, to anchor behind Tenedos. The Trojans, streaming out of the town, find the horse, and are in doubt what to do with it. According to the later legend, they are deceived by the treacherous Sinon, a kinsman of Odysseus, who has of his own free will remained behind. He pretends that he has escaped from the death by sacrifice to which he had been doomed by the malice of Odysseus, and that the horse has been erected to expiate the robbery of the Palladium; to destroy it would be fatal to Troy, but should it be set on the citadel, Asia would conquer Europe. The fate of Laocoon (q.v.) removes the last doubt from the minds of the Trojans; the city gate being too small, they break down a portion of the wall, and draw the horse up to the citadel as a dedicatory offering for Athene. While they are giving themselves up to transports of joy, Sinon in the night opens the door of the horse. The heroes descend, and light the flames that give to the Greek fleet the preconcerted signal for its return. Thus Troy is captured; all the inhabitants are either slain or carried into slavery, and the city is destroyed. The only survivors of the royal house are Helenus, Cassandra, and Hector's wife Andromache, besides Aeneas (q.v.; for the fate of the rest see DEIPHOBUS, HECUBA, POLYDORUS, 2, POLYXENA, PRIAM, TROILUS). After Troy has been destroyed and plundered, Agamemnon and Menelaus, contrary to custom, call the drunken Greeks to an assembly in the evening. A division ensues, half siding with Menelaus in a desire to return home at once; while Agamemnon and the other half wish first to appease by sacrifice the deity of Athene, who has been offended by the outrage of the Locrian Ajax (see AIAS, 1). The army consequently sets out on its journey in two parts. Only Nestor, Diomede, Neoptolemus, Philoctetes, and Idomeneus reach home in safety; while Menelaus and Odysseus have first to undergo wanderings for many a long year. Death overtakes the Locrian Ajax on the sea, and Agamemnon immediately after his arrival home.
TRILOGY 44.08%
A set of three tragedies which, together with a satyric drama, formed a tetralogy (q.v.). The several tragedies were generally, but not always, connected with each other in subject. The only surviving example is the Oresteia of Aeschylus, consisting of the Agamemnon, Chocphoroe, and Eumenides.
PYLADES 44.05%
Son of Strophius, king of Phanote near Parnassus, and of Anaxibia, a sister of Agamemnon; famous on accouni, of his faithful friendship with Orestes (q.v. ). He was the husband of Electra.
AEROPE 43.65%
Daughter to Catreus of Crete (q.v.), who was given up by her father to Nauplius to be sold abroad. Married to Atreus (q.v.), she bore Agamemnon and Menelaus, but was thrown into the sea by her husband for her adultery with his brother Thyestes.
Daughter of Tyndareus, and wife of Aegamemnon. With the aid of her lover, Aegisthus, she murdered her husband, and was, in turn, put to death by her son, Orestes. (See AGAMEMNON, AeGISTHUS, and ORESTES.)
In Homer Cassandra is the fairest of the daughters of Priam and Hecuba. For the promise of her love, Apollo conferred upon her the gift of prophecy; she broke her word, and the god punished her by letting her retain the gift, but depriving her of the power of making her hearers believe her. Her utterances were therefore laughed to scorn as the ravings of a mad woman. It was in vain that, at the birth of Paris, she advised that he should be put to death, and that, when Helen came to Troy, she prophesied the destruction of the city. When the city was taken, she was dragged by Ajax the son of Oileus from the altar of Athene, at which she had taken refuge; but Agamemnon rescued her and took her as his slave to Mycenae. Here she was slain by Olytaemnestra when Agamemnon was murdered. She was worshipped with Apollo in several places under the name of Alexandra.
ELECTRA 38.69%
Daughter of Agamemnon and ClytaeBmnetra, sister of Iphigenia and Orestes. She saved Orestes from the murderer of his father, and assisted him afterwards in avenging his death. She married Pylades, her brother's friend, and became the mother of Medon and Strophius.
Daughter of Agramemnon and of Clytaemnestra, or (according to another account) of Theseus and Helen (q.v.), and brought up Clytaemnestra as her child. When the Greek ships were detained at Aulis by the calm caused by the wrath of Artemis against Agamemnon for killing a hind sacred to that goddess, and boasting that he was superior to her in the chase, the seer Calchas announced that the goddess could only be appeased by the sacrifice of Iphigenia. According to another story, Agamemnon had vowed, before the birth of Iphigenia, that he would sacrifice to the goddess whatever the year brought forth that was loveliest, but had neglected to keep his vow. After a long struggle Agamemnon finally gave way to the pressure put upon him by Menelaus, and sent for his daughter to come to Aulis under the pretext of betrothing her to Achilles. During the sacrifice Artemis substituted a hind for her, and carried her off in a cloud to the land of the Tauri [the modern Crimea], where, as priestess of the goddess, it fell to her lot to offer up as victims all strangers who were shipwrecked on the coast. Orestes, who, commanded by the oracle, had gone there to bring to Attica the image of the goddess, was on the point of being sacrificed by her, when she recognised him as her brother and allowed herself to be carried off by him together with the image. At Delphi her sister Electra wanted to put her eyes out, on hearing that the Tauric priestess had slain Orestes; but was prevented from doing so by her brother's arrival. She is said to have brought the image of the Tauric Artemis to the Attic deme of Brauron, and to have died and been buried there as its priestess. She was even introduced into Attic legend as daughter of Theseus and Helen. In other places also, such as Sparta, the image was shown, and she was regarded as a priestess who had brought it to Greece from among the Scythians. In all probability Iphigenia was originally a designation of Artemis herself, and out of this epithet of the goddess the personality of the priestess was in time evolved. Her grave was also shown at Megara. According to another legend, she is said to have been made immortal by Artemis, and to have lived on in the island of Leuce as the wife of Achilles under the name of Orsilochia.
The most ill-favoured of the Greeks assembled before Troy, and also a man of evil tongue. He was severely chastised by Odysseus [Il. ii 212-277] for speaking evil of Agamemnon. According to later tradition, Achilles slow him with a blow of his fist for stabbing in the eye the Amazon Penthesilea, whom he had himself laid low, and also for falsely accusing Achilles [Quintus Smyrnaeus, i 768-823].
Son of Atreus, and younger brother of Agamemnon, with whom he was exiled by Thyestes, the murderer of Atreus, and fled to king Tyndareos, at Sparta, whose daughter Helen he married, and whose throne he inherited after the death of Helen's brothers, Castor and Polydeuces (Pollux). When Paris had robbed him of his wife and of great treasures, he went with Odysseus to Troy to demand restitution, and they were hospitably received there by Antenor. His just claims were refused, and his life was even in danger; he and Agamemnon accordingly called on the Greek chieftains to join in an expedition against Troy, and himself furnished sixty ships. At Troy he distinguished himself in counsel and in action, and was specially protected by Athene and Hera. In the single combat with Paris he is victorious, but his opponent is rescued and carried off by Aphrodite. On demanding that Helen and the treasures should be restored, he is wounded by an arrow shot by the Trojan Pandarus. He is also ready to fight Hector, and is only prevented by the entreaties of his friends. When Patroclus has fallen, he shields the dead body, at first alone, and then with the aid of Ajax, and bears it from the field of battle with Meriones. He is also one of the heroes of the wooden horse. Having recovered Helen he hastens home, but on rounding the promontory of Malea he is driven to Egypt with five ships, and wanders about for eight years among the peoples of the East, where he is kindly received everywhere and receives rich gifts. He is finally detained at the isle of Pharos by contrary winds, and with the help of the marine goddess Eidothea he artfully compels her father Proteus to prophecy to him. He thus learns the reason of his being unwillingly detained at the island, and is also told that, as husband of the daughter of Zeus, he will not die, but enter the Elysian plains alive. After appeasing the gods in Egypt with hecatombs, he returns swiftly and prosperously to his home, where he arrives on the very day on which Orestes is burying Aegisthus and Clytaemnestra. He spent the rest of his life quietly withHelen, in Lacedaemon. Their only daughter Hermione was married to Neoptolemus, son of Achilles.
A Greek painter, from the island of Cythnus, flourished about 400 B.C.; celebrated by the ancients for his genius no less than for his art. The most admired of his works was his painting of the Sacrifice of Iphigenia, in which the expression of the different degrees of sympathetic grief and mourning was brought out in a masterly manner. The face of Agamemnon was hidden in a mantle; a striking way of representing the father's untold anguish. [Cicero, Orator 74; Pliny, H. N. xxxv 73; Quintilian, ii 13 § 12; Valerius Maximus, viii 11 § 6. The same device is adopted in the mural painting from Pompeii reproduced under IPHIGENIA.]
ANIUS 24.20%
Son of Apollo by Rhceo or Creusa, whose father, Staphylus of Naxos, a son of Dionysus and Ariadne, committed her to the sea in a box. She was carried to Delos, and there gave birth to her son Anius. Apollo taught him divination, and made him his priest and king of Delos. His son Thasus, like Linus and Actaeon, was torn to pieces by dogs, after which no dogs were allowed in the island. His daughters by the nymph Dorippe, being descendants of Dionysus, had the gift of turning anything they pleased into wine, corn, or oil; but when Agamemnon on his way to Troy wished to take them from their father by force, Dionysus changed them into doves.
Son of Thyestes and his daughter Pelopia. At his birth he was exposed by his mother, and brought up by shepherds. His uncle Atreus, husband to Pelopia, finds him and brings him to Mycenae, thinking him to be his own son; but Aegisthus and his real father contrive to kill him and seize the sovereignty of Mycenae. (See ATREUS.) This position he loses again by his cousin Agamemnon's return from exile; but during that hero's absence at Troy he seduces his wife Clytaemnestra, and with her help slays him treacherously on his return. In the eighth year after this deed comes young Orestes, and avenges his father's death by slaying Aegisthus.
Lucius Pomponius Bononiensis, i.e. of Bononia (Bologna), flourished about 90 B.C. He was the first to raise the hitherto improvised popular plays called Atellanoe (q.v.) to a species of art by the introduction of written composition in the metrical forms and technical rules of the Greeks. He is particularly praised for richness of fancy, liveliness in plays upon words, and readiness in the use of rustic and farcical language. [Velleius Pat., ii 9 § 6; Macrobius, Saturnalia vi 9 § 4; Seneca, Controv. vii 18 § 9.] About 70 titles of plays by him are mentioned, a productiveness explained by the small compass of the Atellanoe as being after-pieces. Some titles point to travesties of mythological subjects, such as the Supposititious Agamemnon and the Award of the Armour (of Achilles).
Son of Heracles and Auge, the daughter of Aleus of Tegea and priestess of Athene. She concealed the child in the temple of the virgin goddess, and the country in consequence suffered a blight. By consulting an oracle, Aleus discovered the cause of the blight, and gave his daughter to Nauplius to drown her in the sea; but he exposed the infant on Mount Parthenion, where he was suckled by a hind and brought up by shepherds. Auge was given by Nauplius to Teuthras, king of Mysia, who made her his wife. When Telephus grew up, he consulted the oracle of Delphi to learn who his parents were, and was ordered to go into Asia to Teuthras. Teuthras welcomed his wife's son, and married him to his daughter Argiope, and at his death appointed Telephus his successor. The Greeks, on their way to Troy, landed on the coast of Mysia and began to plunder it, thinking they had reached Troy. Telephus opposed them bravely, and killed Thersander, son of Polynices; but, being forced by Achilles to fly, Dionysus in his wrath caused him to stumble over a vine, and Achilles wounded him in the thigh with his lance. As the wound did not heal, and he was told by the oracle that it could only be healed by him who had inflicted it, Telephus disguised himself as a beggar, and went to Argos, whither the Greeks had been driven back by a storm. Under the advice of Clytaemnestra he carried off Agamemnon's infant son, whom he stole from his cradle, and took refuge on the house altar, threatening to kill the child unless Agamemnon compelled Achilles to cure his wound. This had the desired effect, and Achilles healed the wound with the rust, or with the splinters, of the lance which had inflicted it. Being designated by the oracle as the guide to Troy, he showed the Greeks the way, but refused to take part in the war, because his wife, Astyoche, was a sister of Priam. His son Eurypylus rendered the Trojans the last aid they received before the fall of their town. This he did at the prompting of his mother, whom Priam had bribed by means of a golden vine wrought by Hephaestus, and given by Zeus to Tros in compensation for carrying off Ganymede. Eurypylus was killed by Neoptolemus after having performed many brave exploits. In the Mysian town of Pergamon, and especially by the kings of the house of Attalus, Telephus was revered as a national hero.
CATREUS 21.43%
In Greek mythology a king of Crete, the son of Minos and of Pasiphae. An oracle had prophesied that he would fall by the hand of one of his own children. He accordingly put his daughters, Aerope and Clymene, into the hands of Nauplius, who was to sell them into a foreign country; his son Althaemenes, meanwhile, migrated to Rhodes with his sister Apemosyne. His sister, who had been led astray by Hermes, he killed with a blow of his foot, and slew his aged father, who had come to put into his hands the government of Crete, mistaking him for a pirate. Clymene became the wife of Nauplius, and the mother of Palamedes and CEax. Aerope married Atreus, and bore him two sons, Agamemnon and Menelaus; but was finally thrown into the sea by her husband on account of her adultery with Thyestes. (See ATREUS
Son of Helios, or, according to another account, of Phorbas, and Hermione. He was king of the Epeians in Elis, and one of the Argonauts. Besides his other possessions, for which Agamemnon and Trophonius built him a treasure-house, he was the owner of an enormous flock of sheep and oxen, among which were twelve white bulls, consecrated to the Sun. When Heracles, at the command of Eurystheus, came to cleanse his farmyard, Augeas promised him the tenth part of his flock. But, the task completed, he refused the reward, on the ground that the work had been done in the service of Eurystheus. Heracles replied by sending an army against him, which was defeated in the passes of Elis by Eurytus and Cteatus, sons of Molione. But Heracles appeared on the scene, and slew the Molionidae, and with them their uncle Augeas and his sons. (See MOLIONIDAe.)
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