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ATHENE 100.00%
A Greek goddess, identified with the Roman Minerva. According to the story most generally current, she was the daughter of Zeus, who had swallowed his first wife Metis (" Counsel "), the daughter of Oceanus, in fear that she would bring forth a son stronger than himself. Hephaeestus (or, according to another version, Prometheus) clave open the head of Zeus with an axe, on which Athene sprang forth in full armour, the goddess of eternal virginity. But her ancient epithet Tritogeneia ("born of Triton," or the roaring flood) points to water (that is, to Oceanus); as the source of her being. Oceanus was, according to Homer, the origin of all things and of all deities. The worship of Athene, and the story of her birth, were accordingly connected with many brooks and lakes in various regions, especially in Boeotia, Thessalia, and Libya, to which the name Triton was attached. From the first, Athene takes a very prominent place in the Greek popular religion. The Homeric hymns represent her as the favourite of her father, who refuses her nothing. When solemn oaths were to be taken, they joined her name with those of Zeus and Apollo, in a way which shows that the three deities represent the embodiment of all divine authority. With the exception of the two gods just mentioned, there is no other deity whose original character as a power of nature underwent so remarkable an ethical development. Both conceptions of Athene, the natural and the ethical, were intimately connected in the religion of Attica, whose capital, Athens, was named after Athene, and was the most important seat of her worship. Athens was originally the maiden daughter of the god of heaven; the clear, transparent aether, whose purity is always breaking forth in unveiled brilliancy through the clouds that surround it. As a deity of the sky she, with Zeus, is the mistress of thunder and lightning. Like Zeus, she carries the aegis with the Gorgon's head, the symbol of the tempest and its terrors. In many statues, accordingly, she is represented as hurling the thunder-bolt. But she also sends down, from sky to earth, light and warmth and fruitful dew, and with them prosperity to fields and plants. A whole series of fables and usages, belonging especially to the Athenian religion, represents her as the helper and protector of agriculture. The two deities Erechtheus and Erichthonius, honoured in Attica as powers of the fruitful soil, are her foster-children. She was worshipped with Erechtheus in the temple named after him (the Erechtheum), the oldest sanctuary on the Athenian Acropolis. The names of her earliest priestesses, the daughters of Cecrops, Aglaurus, Pandrosus, and Herse, signify the bright air, the dew, and the rain, and are mere personifications of their qualities, of such value to the Athenian territory. The sowing season was opened in Attica by three sacred services of ploughing. Of these, two were in honour of Athene as inventress of the plough, while the third took place in honour of Demeter. It was Athens, also, who had taught men how to attach oxen to the yoke; above all, she had given them the olive-tree, the treasure of Attica. This tree she had made to grow out of the rock of the citadel, when disputing the possession of the land with Poseidon. Several festivals, having reference to these functions of the goddess, were celebrated in Attica; the Callynteria and Plynteria, the Scirophoria, the Arrhephoria or Hersephoria, and the Oschophoria, which were common to Athens with Dionysus. (See DIONYSIA.) Even her chief feast, the Panathenoea, was originally a harvest festival. It is significant that the presentation of the peplos or mantle, the chief offering at the celebration, took place in the sowing season. But afterwards more was made of the intellectual gifts bestowed by the goddess. Athens was very generally regarded as the goddess of war; an iaea which in ancient times was the prevailing one. It was connected with the fact that, like her father Zeus, she was supposed to be able to send storms and bad weather. In this capacity she appears in story as the true friend of all bold warriors, such as Perseus, Bellerophon, Jason, Heracles, Diomedes and Odysseus. But her courage is a wise courage, not a blind rashness like that of Ares; and she is always represented, accordingly, as getting the better of him. In this connection she was honoured in Athenian worship mainly as a protector and defender; thus (to take a striking example) she was worshipped on the citadel of Athens under the name of Promachos ("champion," "12 protector.") But she was also a goddess of victory. As the personification of victory (Athene Nike) she had a second and especial temple on the Athenian Acropolis. (See Plan of ACROPOLIS.) And the great statues in the temples represented her, like Zeus, with Nike in her outstretched hand. The occupations of peace, however, formed the main sphere of her activity. Like all the other deities who were supposed to dispense the blessings of nature, she is the protectress of growing children; and as the goddess of the clear sky and of pure air, she bestows health and keeps off sickness. Further, she is (with Zeus) the patroness of the Athenian Phratrioe, or unions of kinsfolk. At Athens and Sparta she protects the popular and deliberative assemblies; in many places, and especially at Athens, the whole state is under her care (Athene Polias, Poliachus). Elsewhere she presides over the larger unions of kindred peoples. The festival of Athene Itonia at Coronea was a confederate festival of all Boeotia. Under the title of Panachais she was worshipped as the goddess of the Achaean League. Speaking broadly, Athene represents human wit and cleverness, and presides over the whole moral and intellectual side of human life. From her are derived all the productions of wisdom and understanding, every art and science, whether of war or of peace. A crowd of discoveries, of the most various kinds, is ascribed to her. It has been already mentioned that she was credited with the invention of the plough and the yoke. She was often associated with Poseidon as the inventress of horse-taming and ship-building. In the Athenian story she teaches Erichthonius to fasten his horses to the chariot. In the Corinthian story she teaches Bellerophon to subdue Pegasus. At Lindus in Rhodes she was worshipped as the goddess who helped Danaus to build the first fifty-oared ship. In the fable of the Argonauts it is she who instructs the builders of the first ship, the Argo. Even in Homer all the productions of women's art, as of spinning and weaving, are characterized as "works of Athene." Many a Palladion or statue of Pallas bore a spindle and distaff in its left hand. As the mistress and protectress of arts and handiwork, she was worshipped at the Chalkeia (or Feast of Smiths) under the title of Ergane. Under this name she is mentioned in several inscriptions found on the Acropolis. Her genius covers the field of music and dancing. She is inventor of the flute and the trumpet, as well as of the Pyrrhic war-dance, in which she was said to have been the earliest performer, at the celebration of the victory of the Gods over the Giants. It was Phidias who finally fixed the typical representation of Athens in works of art. Among his numerous statues of her, three, the most celebrated, were set up on the acropolis of Athens. These were (1) The colossal statue of Athene Parthenos, wrought in ivory and gold, thirty feet in height (with the pedestal), and standing in the Parthenon. (See PARTHENON.) The goddess was represented wearing a long robe falling down to the feet, and on her breast was the aegis with the Gorgon's head. A helmet was on her head; in one hand she bore a Victory, six feet in height, in the other a lance, which leaned against a shield adorned with scenes from the battles of the Amazons with the Giants. (2) The bronze statue of Athene Promachos, erected from the proceeds of the spoils taken at Marathon, and standing between the Propylaea and the Erechthteum. The proportions of this statue were so gigantic, that the gleaming point of the lance and the crest of the helmet were visible to seamen, on approaching the Piraeus from Sunium. (3) The Lemnian Pallas, so named because it had been dedicated by the Athenian Cleruchi in Lemnos. The attractions of this statue won for it the name of "the Beautiful." Like the second, it was of bronze; as a representation of Athene as the goddess of peace, it was without a helmet. Throughout the numerous and varying representations of her, Athene has an imposing stature, suggesting a masculine rather than a feminine form; an oval face, with a brow of great clearness and purity; thoughtful eyes, compressed lips, firm chin, and hair carelessly thrown back. (See cut.) Her ordinary attributes are the helmet, the aegis covering the breast or serving as a shield for the arm, the lance, the round shield with the Gorgon's head, the olive branch, and the owl. (On her identification with Minerva, see</italics MINERVA.)
PALLAS 100.00%
Pallas Athene (see ATHENE).
An epithet of Athene (q.v.).
A special surname of Athene
POLIAS 64.91%
A Special name of Athene (q.v.) in many Greek cities, but particularly at Athens.
CECROPS 46.67%
One of the aborigines of Attica, and as such represented with a human body ending in a serpent (see cut). In the later story he was erroneously represented as having come to Attica from Sais in Egypt. He was said to have been the first king of Attica, which was called after him Cecropia. He divided the rude inhabitants into twelve communities, founded the stronghold of Athens, which was called Cecropia after him, and introduced the elements of civilization, the laws of marriage and property, the earliest political arrangements, and the earliest religious services, notably those of Zeus and Athene. When Poseidon and Athene were contending for the possession of the land, Poseidon struck the rock of the acropolis with his trident, and water (or, according to another story, the horse) sprang forth; but Athene planted the first olive tree. Cecrops, on being called in to decide between them, gave judgment in favour of the goddess, as having conferred on the land the more serviceable gift. Cecrops had four children by his wife Agraulos: a son Ervsichthon, who died childless, and three daughters, Agraulos, Herse, and Pandrosos. The names of the last two show them to be the deities of the fertilizing dew; and indeed the three were regarded as in the service of Athene, and as giving fruitfulness to the fields. Pandrosos was Athene's first priestess. She had a shrine of her own (Pandroseum) in the temple of Erechtheus on the acropolis, and was invoked in times of drought with the two Attic Horae, Thallo and Carpo (see ERECHTHEUM). In her temple stood the sacred olive which Athene had created.
A festival at Athens in honour of Athene, goddess of the city. (For more see CALLYNTERIA.)
PHIDIAS 42.51%
The famous Greek artist, born about 500 B.C. at Athens, pupil of Ageladas, and eminent as architect, bronze founder, sculptor, and painter. His great powers were displayed in the buildings erected under the administration of his intimate friend Pericles on the Acropolis at Athens, and at Olympia, where he was commissioned to execute the statue of Zeus for the temple there. Returning to Athens in 432, he was accused, by intriguers against Pericles, of misappropriating the gold supplied him for the drapery of Athene's statue in the Parthenon. From this he could readily clear himself, having so contrived the drapery that it could easily be taken off and weighed [Plut., Pericles 31]. But being afterwards accused of impiety, on the ground that he had introduced portraits of himself and Pericles on the goddess' shield, he was thrown into prison, where he died of an illness in the same year (ib.). Among all his works, the foremost rank was taken, according to the testimony of antiquity, by the statue of Zeus at Olympia, and three statues of Athene on the Acropolis at Athens; viz. the statue in the Parthenon constructed, like the Zeus, of ivory and gold, and two others, Athene Promachus and the "Lemnian Athene," of bronze. These works (for which see ATHENE and<smallCapsZUES</smallCaps) have perished; but of the marble sculptures of the Parthenon (q.v.), which were probably constructed from his designs, and certainly under his direction, the greater part still remains. Most of them are in the British Museum. They fully substantiate the judgment of antiquity, which looked on him as the representative of artistic perfection, as the one man who in his art combined perfect sublimity with perfect beauty. It was said of him that he alone had seen the exact image of the gods and revealed it to men. He fixed for ever the ideal types of Zeus and of Athene, the gods who, in the spiritual dignity of their attributes , are foremost of all the divinities of Greece.
MINERVA 35.28%
The Italian goddess of intelligence, meditation, and inventiveness, queen of all accomplishments and arts, especially of spinning and weaving, as practised by women. She was also the patron-goddess of fullers, dyers, cobblers, carpenters, musicians, sculptors, painters, physicians, actors, poets, schoolmasters, and especially of schoolchildren. Her oldest and most important sanctuaries were at Rome on the hills of the town; on the Capitol, where she occupied the chamberon the right in the great temple common to her with Jupiter and Juno; on the Aventine, where the official meeting place of poets and actors was situated, and on the. Caelian. Her chief festival was the Quinquatrus (q.v.). In the course of time the Greek conception gained more ground; Minerva was identified with Pallas Athene. This certainly happened with regard to Athene considered as the bestower of victory and booty, when Pompey erected a temple to her from the booty won in his Eastern campaigns. And Augustus must have regarded her as Athene the Counsellor when he added to his Curia Iulia a vestibule dedicated to Minerva. The Roman Minerva was represented in art in the same manner as the Greek goddess. (See ATHENE.)
The original sanctuary of the tutelary deities of Athens, Athene Pollas, (the goddess of the city) Poseidon, and Erechtheus. It was situated on the Acropolis. The old temple, said to have been built by Erechtheus, was burnt by the Persians in 480 B.C. The restoration was perhaps begun as far back as the time of Pericles, but, according to the testimony of an inscription in the British Museum (no. XXXXV), was not quite finished in 409. The new temple was, even in antiquity, admired as one of the most beautiful and perfect works of the Attic-Ionic style. It was 65 feet long and nearly 36 broad; and was divided into two main parts. Entering through the eastern portico of six Ionic pillars, one came into the cella of Athene Pollias, with an image of the goddess, and a lamp that was always kept burning. To the solid wall at the back was attached the Erechtheum proper. Here were three altars, one common to Poseidon and Erechtheus, the other to Hephaestus and the hero Butes. Connected with this, by three doors, was a small front-chamber, with seven half columns adorning the western wall, and three windows between them. This chamber was approached through a hall attached to the north side of the temple, adorned with seven Ionic columns in front, and one on each side. Under this was a cleft in the rock, said to have been made by the stroke of Poseidon's trident during his contest with Athene for the possession of the Acropolis. Corresponding to this on the south side was a small hall, supported not by pillars, but by caryatides. This was called the Hall of Core, and it probably contained the tomb of Cecrops. From it a step led down to a court, once walled round, in which were the Pandroseum (see PANDROSOS), the sacred olive tree of Athene, and the altar of Zeus Herkeios. On the east side, in front of the temple of Athene Polias, stood the altar on which the great hecatomb was offered at the Panathenaea. (See plan of ACROPLIS.)
Properly = Upper Town. The Greek name for the citadel or stronghold of a town. The Acropolis of Athens was situated on a plateau of rock, about 200 feet in height, 1,000 in breadth from east to west, and 460 in length from north to south. It was originally called Cecropia, after Cecrops, the ancestor of the Athenians, whose grave and shrine were shown on the spot. On the north side of the Acropolis was the Erechtheum, the common seat of worship of the ancient gods of Athens, Athene Polias, Hephaestus, Poseidon, and Erechtheus himself, who vias said to have founded the sanctuary. His house was possibly N.E. of the Erechtheum. Pisistrâtus, like the ancient kings, had his residence on the Acropolis, and may have added the stylobate to the temple of Athene recently identified, S. of the Erechtheum. The walls of the fortress proper were destroyed in the Persian wars, 480 and 479 B.C., and restored by Cimon. But the wall surrounding the foot of the hill, called the Pelasgikon or Felargikon, and supposed to be a relic of the oldest inhabitants, was left in ruins. Cimon also laid the foundation of a new temple of Athene on the south side of the hill. This temple was begun afresh and completed in the most splendid style by Pericles, and called the Parthenon. (See PARTHENTON.) Pericles at the same time adorned the approach to the west side of the Acropolis with the glorious Propylaea, and began to rebuild the Erechtheum in magnificent style. (See ERECHTHEUM, PROPYLAeA.) There were several other sanctuaries on the Acropolis, that, for instance, of Artemis Brauronia, on the S.E. side of the Propylaea; the beautiful little temple of Athene Nike to the S.W.; and the Pandroseum adjoining the temple of Erechtheus. There were many altars, that of Zeus Hypatos for example, and countless statues, among them that of Athene Promachos, with votive offerings. Among the numerous grottos in the rock, one on the north side was dedicated to Pan, another to Apollo.
METIS 27.65%
Daughter of Oceanus, first wife of Zeus, by whom she was devoured, as he feared she would bear a son mightier than himself; whereupon Athene (q.v.) sprang from the head of the god.
A mythical king of Athens. According to Homer he was the son of Earth by Hephaestus, and brought up by Athene. Like that of Cecrops, half of his form was that of a snake-a sign that he was one of the aborigines. Athene put the child in a chest which she gave to the daughters of Cecrops, Agraulos, Herse, and Pandrosos, to take care of; forbidding them at the same time to open it. The two eldest disobeyed, and in terror at the serpent-shaped child (or according to another version, the snake that surrounded the child), they went mad, and threw themselves from the rocks of the Acropolis. Another account made the serpent kill them. Erechtheus drove out Amphictyon, and got possession of the kingdom. He then established the worship of Athene, and built to her, as goddess of the city (Polias), a temple, named after him the Erechtheum. Here he was afterwards worshipped himself with Athene and Poseidon. He was also the founder of the Panathenaic festival. He was said to have invented the four-wheeled chariot, and to have been taken up to heaven for this by Zeus, and set in the sky as the constellation of the charioteer. His daughters were Orithyia and Procris (see BOREAS and CEPHALUS). Originally identified with Erichthonius, he was in later times distinguished from him, and was regarded as his grandson, and as son of Pandion and Zeuxippe. His twin brother was Butes, his sisters Procne and Philomela. The priestly office fell to Butes, while Erechtheus assumed the functions of royalty. By Praxithea, the daughter of Cephissus, he Was father of the second Cecrops (see PANDION, 2), of Metion (see DAeDALUS); of Creusa (see ION), as well as of Protogoneia, Pandora, and Chthonia. When Athens was pressed hard by the Eleusinians under Eumolpus, the oracle promised him the victory if he would sacrifice one of his daughters. He chose the youngest, Chthonia; but Protogeneia and Pandora, who had made a vow with their sister to die with her, voluntarily shared her fate. Erechtheus conquered his enemies and slew Eumolpus, but was afterwards destroyed by the trident of his enemy's father, Poseidon.
Daughter of Cecrops of Athens, first priestess of Athene, honoured together with her in a sanctuary of her own, the Pandroseion, on the Acropolis of Athens. (Cp. CECROPS.)
TYDEUS 22.79%
Son of CEneus of Calydon and Periboea; father of Diomedes. Being obliged to fly from his home, owing to the murder of his paternal uncle Melas, and of his sons, he took refuge with Adrastus (q.v.) at Argos, and married his daughter Deipyle. Though small of stature, he possessed a bold spirit and great strength, together with the special favour of Athene. As one of the Seven against Thebes, he was sent to Thebes before the commencement of hostilities in the hope of coming to terms with the Theban chiefs. He found them banqueting with their king Eteocles. On their refusal to listen to him, he called them out to combat, and defeated them one after the other. On his return, the Thebans, in revenge, laid an ambuscade, consisting of fifty youths, under two leaders; but with the help of Athene he slew them all, and only suffered one of the leaders, Maeon, son of Haemon, to escape. In the disastrous conflict under the walls of Thebes, he was fatally wounded by the Theban Melanippus, when Athene, with the permission of Zeus, appeared to grant him life and immortality. Then his old antagonist, Amphiaraus, laid before him the head of Melanippus, whom he had just slain; and Tydeus, in savage fury, cleft open his skull and sucked out the brain of his enemy. Outraged by this horrible deed, the goddess recoiled from his presence and delivered him over to death. The corpse was buried by Maeon out of gratitude for having been spared by Tydeus.
In Greek mythology two cliffs or floating islands near the entrance of the Black Sea, which crushed all vessels that tried to pass between them. The Argonauts, with the help of Hera (or Athene), were the first to succeed in sailing through; after this the rocks became immovably fixed. (Cp. ARGONAUTS.)
An Athenian festival celebrated on the 12th of the month Scirophorion (June-July), called after it. It was in honour of Athene, who was worshipped under the name of Sciras near Sciron, a spot on the "holy way" leading from Athens to Eleusis. It had its name from the large white sunshade (sciron) beneath which the priestess of Athene (the patron goddess of the city), the priest of Erechtheus, and the priest of Helios went to Sciron to sacrifice. The sunshade was a symbol of heavenly protection against the rays of the sun, which began to burn more intensely during the month of the festival. This protection was invoked with special reason, for the dry limestone rock was thinly covered by a meagre surface of soil in the neighbourhood of Athens, and particularly near Sciron itself. In this, as in other festivals of invocation, there were also expiatory offerings; and hence they carried in he procession the hide of a ram that had been sacrificed to Zeus as the mild and gracious deity (meilichios).
PHASIS 17.19%
The term in Attic law for an information against secret crimes, such as contravention of regulations relating to customs, trade, or mining, illegal occupation of common rights, felling or the olive trees sacred to Athene, dishonest administration of wards' estates and sycophantia. The informer received a portion of the fine as reward.
The most ancient and most important of Athenian festivals. It was celebrated in honour of Athene, the patron deity of Athens. Claiming to have been founded as early as by Erichthonius, it is said to have been originally named only Athenaea, and to have first received the name of Panathenaea at the time when Theseus united all the inhabitants of Attica into one body. In memory of the union itself was kept the festival of the Synaecia, or Synaecesia, on the 16th of Hecatombaeon (July-August), which may be regarded as a kind of prepatory solemnity to the Panathenaea. There was a festival of the ordinary or lesser Panathenaea celebrated every year, and from the time of Pisistratus, the great Panathenaea held every fifth year, and in the third year of every Olympiad, from the 24th to the 29th of Hecatombaeon. Pisistratus, in the year 566 B.C., added to the original chariot and horse races athletic contests in each of the traditional forms of competition. He, or his son Hipparchus, instituted the regulation, that the collected Homeric poems should be recited at the feast of Rhapsodi. In 446 Pericles introduced musical contests, which took place on the first day of the festival, in the Odeum, which he had built. Competitions of cyclic choruses and other kinds of dances, torch races and trireme races, added to the splendour of the festival. The care and direction of all these contests were committed to ten stewards (athlothetae), who were elected by the people for four years, from one great Panathenaic festival to the next. In the musical contests, the first prize was a golden crown; in the athletic, the prize was a garland of leaves from the sacred olive trees of Athene, together with large and beautiful vases filled with oil from the same trees. Many specimens of these Panathenaic vases have been found [in Italy, Sicily, Greece, and at Cyrene. They have the figure of Athene on one side, and a design indicating the contest for which they are awarded on the other. Most of them belong to the 4th century B.C., 367-318; the "Burgon Vase," in the British Museum, to the 6th century. Cp. Pindar, Nem. x 35]. The tribe whose ships had been victorious received a sum of money, part of which was destined for a sacrifice to Poseidon. The culminating point of the festival was the 28th day of the month, the birthday of the goddess, when the grand procession carried through the city the costly, embroidered, saffron-coloured garment, the peplus (q.v.). This bad been woven in the preceding nine months by Attic maidens and matrons, and embroidered with representations from the battle of the gods and Giants. It was carried through the city, first of all as a sail for a ship moving on wheels, and was then taken to the Acropolis, where it adorned one of the statues of Athene Polias. The procession is represented in a vivid manner in the well-known frieze of the Parthenon. It included the priests and their attendants, leading a long train of animals festally adorned for sacrifice; matrons and maidens bearing in baskets the various sacrificial implements (see CANEPHORI); the most picturesque old men in festal attire, with olive branches in their hands, whence came their name, thallophorae; warriors, with spear and shield, in splendid array; young men in armour; the cavalry under the command of both the hipparchi; the victors in the immediately preceding contests; the festal embassies of other states, especially of the colonies ; and, lastly, the aliens resident in Athens. Of these last, the men bore behind the citizens trays with sacrificial cakes, the women waterpots, and the maidens sunshades and stools for the citizens' wives; while on the freedmen was laid the duty of adorning with oak-leaves the market-places and streets through which the procession moved. The feast ended with the great festal sacrifice of a becatomb of oxen, and with the general banqueting which accompanied it. At the yearly minor Panathenaea, on the 28th and 29th of Hecatombaeon, contests, sacrifices, and a procession took place, but all in a more simple style. In later times the festival was removed to spring, perhaps in consequence of Roman influence, in order to make it correspond to the Quinquatrus of Minerva. [All the ancient authorities are collected by Michaelis, Der Parthenon, pp. 318-333.]
MYS 15.65%
A famous toreutic artist who engraved the Battle of the Centaurs on the +inside of the shield of the Athene Promachos of Phidias. The work was executed after a design by Parrhasius (Pausanias, i 28 § 2), a generation after Phidias. It was Parrhasius also who designed the Capture of Troy for a cup embossed by Mys (Athenaeus, p. 782 B). He is also mentioned in Propertius, iii 7, 12; and Martial viii 34, 51, xiv 25.) [J. E. S.]
Type: Standard
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