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ATREUS 100.00%
Son of Pelops and Hippodamia, grandson of Tantalus. (See PELOPS.) With the help of his brother Thyestes he murdered his step-brother Chrysippus. To escape the wrath of their father, the pair of brothers took refuge with their brother-in-law Sthenelus, king of Mycenae, who gave them Media to live in. Eurystheus, the brother of their protector, was killed in battle with the Heracleidae. Atreus kept possession of the kingdom of Mycenae, which had been given him in charge by Eurystheus, and maintained it in virtue of possessing a golden lamb, which had been given him by Hermes for the purpose of exciting discord in the house of Pelops and avenging the death of his son Myrtilus. Thyestes debauched his brother's wife Aerope, daughter of the king of Crete, and with her aid got possession of the golden lamb and the kingdom. But, as a sign that right and wrong had been confounded, Zeus turned the sun and the moon back in their course. Atreus accordingly recovered the kingdom and expelled Thyestes. To revenge himself, Thyestes sent Pleisthenes, a son of Atreus whom he had brought up as his own, to Mycenae to murder Atreus. But Atreus slew Pleisthenes, not knowing that he was his son. Atreus replied by bringing back Thyestes and his family from exile, and serving up to Thyestes at table the limbs of his own sons. Thyestes fled away; the land was visited with barrenness and famine. In obedience to an oracle, Atreus goes forth to seek him, but only finds his daughter Pelopia, whom he takes to wife. Egisthus, her son by her father Thyestes, who is destined to avenge him, Atreus adopts and rears as his own child. Thyestes is afterwards found by Agamemnon and Menelaus, who bring him to Mycenae. He is imprisoned, and Aegisthus ordered to murder him. By the sword which Aegisthus carries Thyestes recognises him as his son, and proposes to him to slay Atreus. Meanwhile Pelopia, in horror at the discovery of her son's incestuous origin, drives the sword into her own breast. Aegisthus takes the bloody sword to Atreus as a proof that he has executed his commission, and afterwards falls upon him with Thyestes, while he is engaged in making a thank-offering on the sea-shore. Thyestes and Aegisthus thereupon seize the government of Mycenae, and drive Agamemnon and Menelaus out of the country. The older story knows nothing of these horrors. In Homer Pelops receives the sceptre from Zeus by the ministration of Hermes; he leaves it to Atreus, and Atreus to Thyestes, who hands it down to Agamemnon. Hesiod alludes to the wealth of the Pelopidae, but is silent as to the rest.
 
THYESTES 100.00%
Son of Pelops, brother of Atreus (q.v.).
 
PELOPIA 54.98%
Daughter of Thyestes, mother of Aegisthus by her own father. (See AeGISTHUS and ATREUS.)
 
CHRYSIPPUS 44.56%
Son of Pelops and the Nymph Axioche, murdered by his step-brothers Atreus and Thyestes, who were consequently banished by Pelops.
 
AEGISTHUS 43.81%
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.
 
AEROPE 40.69%
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.
 
CATREUS 39.96%
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
 
MENELAUS 25.15%
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.
 
PELOPS 21.91%
Son of the Lydian or Phrygian king Tantalus and Dione, daughter of Atlas. When he was a child, his father slew him, cut him to pieces and seethed him, and set him as food before the gods. The gods did not touch the horrible meal; only Demeter, absorbed in grief for her stolen daughter, ate one shoulder. By the command of Zeus, Hermes replaced the pieces in the caldron, and Clotho drew the boy from it in renewed beauty, while Demeter replaced the missing shoulder by one made of ivory. Hence it was that his descendants, the Pelopidae, bore on one shoulder a mark of dazzling whiteness. Pelops, when grown to manhood, went to Pisa in Elis as a wooer of Hippodamia, daughter of king (Enomaus. He won the victory, the bride, and the kingdom, by the help of the winged steeds given him by Poseidon, and by the treachery of Myrtilus, the chariot driver of (Enomaus. When Myrtilus (or Myrsilus), a son of Hermes, claimed the promised reward, half the kingdom, Pelops hurled him from his chariot into the sea. Through his curse and the anger of Hermes, the baneful spell was once more cast upon the house of Pelops. He returned to Pisa, and, after he had made himself master of Olympia, he is said to have restored the games with great splendour, a service for which his memory was afterwards honoured above that of all other heroes. By another act of violence he obtained possession of Arcadia, and extended his power so widely over the peninsula that it was called after his name the Peloponnesus, or "island of Pelops." By Hippodamia he had six sons (cp. ALCATHOUS, ATREUS, PITTHEUS, THYESTES), and two daughters; and by then Nymph Axioche, a son Chrysippus. The latter, his father's favourite, was killed by Atreus and Thyestes, at the instigation of Hippodamia, and his dead body was cast into a well. Peleus discovered the crime, and banished the murderers from the country. Hippodamia thereupon took refuge with her sons at Midea in Argolis. On her death, Peleus buried her bones in the soil of Olympia.
 
THESAURUS 14.70%
The Greek term for a room in which all kinds of objects, provisions, jewels, etc., were stored; hence a " treasury" or "treasure house." In ordinary life the underground store-chambers, circular vaulted rooms with an opening above, similar to our cellars, were thus named. The same name was given to treasure-houses which each State maintained within the precincts of Panhellenic sanctuaries, as repositories for their offerings to the gods. Such were those at Olympia and Delphi. The subterranean tombs, shaped like beehives, and of a construction dating from remote Greek antiquity, which have been found in various places, have been wrongly described as "treasure houses." The most celebrated of these are the so called thesaurus of Atreus at Mycenae (see ARCHITECTURE, fig. 3), and that of Minyas at Orchomenus (see TROPHONIUS). The latter is only partly, the former wholly preserved. The ground-plan of these structures is circular, and consists of one enclosed room with a domed roof, constructed of horizontal layers of massive stone blocks, projecting one over the other. This circular chamber was used probably for services in honour of the dead. The actual restiug-place of the body was a square room adjoining. The large room at Mycenae is fifty feet in diameter, and about the same in height. It consists of thirteen courses, the uppermost of which was only a single stone. It was decorated with hundreds of bronze plates, the holes for the nails being still visible.
 
HYLLUS 13.80%
The son of Heracles and Delanira, husband of Iole. When he, and the rest of the children of Heracles, at their father's death, were pursued everywhere by the enmity of Eurystheus, they at last found succour from Theseus, or his son Demophon. When Eurystheus drew near with his army to compel the Athenians to give them up, Macaria , daughter of Heracles, freely offered herself up as a sacrifice for her brethren, who, aided by the Athenians, defeated the enemy, Eurystheus being slain as a fugitive by Hyllus himself. Having withdrawn from Attica to Thessaly, Hyllus was adopted by the Dorian prince Aegimius, whom Heracles had once assisted in the war between the Lapithae and the Dryopes, under promise of his abdication of the royal power, together with a third part of the kingdom. Thus the rule over the Dorians passed to him and his descendants. When commanded by the Delphic oracle to attempt to conquer the kingdom of Eurystheus immediately after "the third fruit," he endeavoured after the lapse of three years to invade the Peloponnesus by way of the Isthmus. He was, however, repulsed by Atreus, the successor of Eurystheus and fell in single combat with Echemus, king of Tegea. It was in the "third generation" after him that the sons of his grandson Aristomachus, viz. Temenus, Cresphontes, and Aristodemus, at last conquered the Peloponnesus, which was then under the rule of Tisamenus, son of Orestes.
 
ARCHITECTURE: 5.22%
of the Greeks. Of the earliest efforts of the Greeks in architecture, we have evidence in the so-called Cyclopean Walls surrounding the castles of kings in the Heroic Age at Tiryns, Argos, Mycenae (fig. 1), and elsewhere. They are of enormous thickness, some being constructed of rude colossal blocks, whose gaps are filled up with smaller stones; while others are built of stones more or less carefully hewn, their interstices exactly fitting into each other. Gradually they begin to show an approximation to buildings with rectangular blocks. The gates let into these walls are closed at the top either by the courses of stone jutting over from each side till they touch, or by a long straight block laid over the two leaning side-posts. Of the latter kind is the famous Lion-gate at Mycenae, so-called from the group of two lions standing with their forefeet on the broad pedestal of a pillar that tapers rapidly downwards, and remarkable as the oldest specimen of Greek sculpture. The sculpture is carved on a large triangular slab that fills an opening left in the wall to lighten the weight on the lintel (fig. 2). Among the most striking relies of this primitive age are the so-called Thesauroi, or treasuries (now regarded as tombs) of ancient dynasties the most considerable being the Treasure-house of Atreus at Mycenae. Theusual form of these buildings is that of a circular chamber vaulted over by the horizontal courses approaching from all sides till they meet. Thus the vault is not a true arch (fig. 3). The interior seems originally to have been covered with metal plates, thus agreeing with Homer's descriptions of metal as a favourite ornament of princely houses. An open-air building preserved from that age is the supposed Temple of Hera on Mount Ocha (now Hagios Elias) in Euboea, a rectangle built of regular square blocks, with walls more than a yard thick, two small windows, and a door with leaning posts and a huge lintel in the southern side-wall. The sloping roof is of hewn flagstones resting on the thickness of the wall and overlapping each other; but the centre is left open as in the hypaethral temples of a later time. From the simple shape of a rectangular house shut in by blank walls we gradually advance to finer and richer forms, formed especially by the introduction of columns detached from the wall and serving to support the roof and ceiling. Even in Homer we find columns in the palaces to support the halls that surround the courtyard, and the ceiling of the banqueting-room. The construction of columns (see ARCHITECTURE, ORDERS OF) received its artistic development first from the Dorians after their migration into the Peloponnesus about 1000 B.C., next from the Ionians, and from each in a form suitable to their several characters. If the simple serious character of the Dorians speaks in the Doric Order, no less does the lighter, nimbler, and more showy genius of the Ionian race come out in the Order named after them. By about 650 B.C. the Ionic style was flourishing aide by side with the Doric. As it was in the construction of Temples (q.v.) that architecture had developed her favourite forms, all other public buildings borrowed their artistic character from the temple. The structure and furniture of private houses (see HOUSE), were, during the best days of Greece, kept down to the simplest forms. About 600 B.C., in the Greek islands and on the coast of Asia Minor, we come across the first architects known to us by name. It was then that Rhaecus and Theodorus of Samos, celebrated likewise as inventors of casting in bronze, built the great temple of Hera in that island, while Chersiphron of Cnosus in Crete, with his son Metagenes, began the temple of Artemis (Diana) at Ephesus, one of the seven wonders of the world, which was not finished till 120 years after. In Greece Proper a vast temple to Zeus was begun at Athens in the 6th century B.C. (see OLYMPIEUM), and two more at Delphi and Olympia, one by the Corinthian Spintharus, the other by the Elean Libon. Here, and in the Western colonies the Doric style still predominated everywhere. Among the chief remains of this period, in addition to many ruined temples in Sicily (especially at Selinus and Agrigentum), should be mentioned the Temple of Poseidon. at Paestum (Poseidonia) in South Italy, one of the best preserved and most beautiful relies of antiquity (figs. 4, 5). The patriotic fervour of the Persian Wars created a general expansion of Greek life, in which Architecture and the sister art of Sculpture were not slow to take a part. In these departments, as in the whole onward movement, a central position was taken by Athens, whose leading statesmen, Cimon and Pericles, lavished the great resources of the State at once in strengthening and beautifying the city. During this period arose a group of masterpieces that still astonish us in their ruins, some in the forms of a softened Doric, others in the Ionic style, which had now found its way into Attica, and was here fostered into nobler shapes. The Doric order is represented by the Temple of Theseus (fig. 6), the Propylaea built by Mnesicles, the Parthenon, a joint production of Ictinus and Callicrates; while the Erechtheum is the most brilliant creation of the Ionic order in Attica. Of the influence of Attic Architecture on the rest of Greece we have proof, especially in the Temple of Apollo at Bassae in South-Western Arcadia, built from the design of the above-mentioned Ictinus. The progress of the Drama to its perfection in this period led to a corresponding improvement in the building of Theatres (q.v.). A stone theatre was begun at Athens even before the Persian Wars; and the Odeum of Pericles served similar purposes. How soon the highest results were achieved in this department, when once the fundamental forms had thus been laid down in outline at Athens, is shown by the theatre at Epidaurus, a work of Polyclitus, unsurpassed, as the ancients testify, by any later theatres in harmony and beauty. Another was built at Syracuse, before B.C. 420. Nor is it only in the erection of single buildings that the great advance then made by architecture shows itself. In laying out new towns, or parts of towns, men began to proceed on artistic principles, an innovation due to the sophist Hippodamus of Miletus. In the 4th century B.C., owing to the change wrought in the Greek mind by the Peloponnesian War, in place of the pure and even tone of the preceding period, a desire for effect became more and more general, both in architecture and sculpture. The sober Doric style fell into abeyance and gave way to the Ionic, by the side of which a new Order, the Corinthian, said to have been invented by the sculptor Callimachus, with its more gorgeous decorations, became increasingly fashionable. In the first half of the 4th century arose what the ancients considered the largest and grandest temple in the Peloponnesus, that of Athena at Tegea, a work of the sculptor and architect Scopas. During the middle of the century, another of the "seven wonders," the splendid tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus was constructed (see MAUSOLEUM). Many magnificent temples arose in that time. In Asia Minor, the temple at Ephesus, burnt down by Herostratus, was rebuilt by Alexander's bold architect Deinocrates. In the islands the ruins of the temple of Athena at Priene, of Apollo at Miletus, of Dionysus at Teos, and others, even to this day offer a brilliant testimony to their former magnificence. Among Athenian buildings of that age the Monument of Lysicrates (q.v.) is conspicuous for its graceful elegance and elaborate development of the Corinthian style. In the succeeding age Greek architecture shows its finest achievements in the building of theatres, especially those of Asiatic towns, in the gorgeous palaces of newly-built royal capitals, and in general in the luxurious completeness of private buildings. As an important specimen of the last age of Attic architecture may also be mentioned the Tower of the Winds (q.v.) at Athens.
 
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