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PHOCUS 100.00%
Son of Aeacus and the Nymph Psamathe; slain by his half-brothers Telamon and Peleus, who were therefore sent into banishment by Aeacus.
 
AEACUS 100.00%
Ancestor of the heroic Aeacidae; son of Zeus by Aegina, a daughter of the river-god Asopus in Phlius, whom the king of gods, in the form of an eagle, carried off to the island named after her, where her son was born. Asking of Aegina he ruled the Myrmidons, whom Zeus at his request created out of ants (Gr. myrmekes) to people his island, which, according to one story, was uninhabited, according to another, stricken with pestilence. Beloved by the gods for his piety, when a drought desolated Greece, his intercession obtained rain from Zeus; and the grateful Greeks built him in Aegina a temple enclosed by a marble wall. Pindar says he helped Poseidon and Apollo to rear the walls of Troy, erecting that very portion which was afterwards scaled by his son Telemon, and his grandson Neoptolemus. His justice caused him after death to be made a judge in the lower world. At Aegina and Athens he was worshipped as a demigod. His sons by Chiron's daughter Endeis were Telamon and Peleus, the fathers of Ajax and Achilles; another son Phocus, by the Nereid Psamathe; was slain by his half-brothers, for which their father banished them.
 
AEGINA 72.37%
a nymph, daughter of the rivergod Asopus, and, by Zeus, mother of Aeacus (q.v.).
 
ENDEIS 60.41%
Daughter of Chiron and the Naiad Chariclo, wife of Aeacus, mother of Peleus and Telamon.
 
MYRMIDONES 47.70%
A race in Southern Thessaly, said to have originally dwelt in the island of Aegina and to have emigrated from it with Peleus. They fought before Troy under their chieftain Achilles. For legends about their origin, see AeACUS.
 
RHADAMANTHYS 23.50%
Son of Zeus and Europa, brother of Minos. He was praised by all men for his wisdom, piety, and justice. Being driven out of Crete by his brother, he is described as having fled to the Asiatic islands, where he made his memory immortal by the wisdom of his laws. Thence he is said to have removed to Ocalea in Boeotia, to have wedded Alcmene, after the death of Amphitryon, and to have instructed her son Heracles in virtue and wisdom. In Homer [Od. iv 564) he is described as dwelling in the Elysian fields. Here Alcmene, after her decease, is said to have been wedded to him anew. Later legend made him the judge of the dead in the under-world, together with Aeacus and Minos.
 
TELAMON 21.56%
Son of Aeacus and Endeis, and brother of Peleus. Having assisted Peleus in murdering their half-brother Phocus, he was expelled from Aegina by his father, and was received by Cenchreus of Salamis, whose daughter Glauce became his wife; and, on the death of Cenchreus, Telamon became king of Salamis. By his second wife Periboea, daughter of Alcathous, he became father of Ajax. He was one of the heroes who joined in the Calydonian Hunt, and also one of the Argonauts. He further took part in the expedition of his friend Heracles against the Amazons and against Laomedon of Troy. At the conquest of Troy he was the first to scale the walls, and that he did at the very spot where it was built by his father. As his share in the spoil, Heracles gave him the king's daughter Hesione, by whom he became the father of Teucer (q.v., 2).
 
LAOMEDON 20.19%
Son of Ilus and Eurydice, father of Priam, Tithonus, and Hesione, and king of Ilium. Apollo and Poseidon served him for wages, the former pasturing his flock on Mount Ida, while the latter, either alone or with the help of Apollo and Aeacus (q.v.), built the walls of the town. But Laomedon defrauded the gods of the payment that had been agreed upon. Apollo therefore visited the land with a plague, and Poseidon sent a sea-monster, to whom the king was forced to offer his daughter Hesione. Heracles, on his way back from the Amazons, found the maiden chained to a rock in the sea, and he offered to kill the monster if he were given the magic horses which Zeus had bestowed on Tros in exchange for Ganymede, whom be had carried off. Laomedon agreed to this, but again broke his promise. Accordingly Heracles (q.v.) subsequently waged war against him, and after capturing the city, slew him and all his sons, except Priam.
 
CHIRON 19.57%
A Centaur, son of Cronus and the Ocean nymph Philyra. By the Naiad nymph Chariclo he was father of Endeis, wife of Aeacus, the mother of Peleus and Telamon, and grandmother of Achilles and Ajax. He is represented in the fable as wise and just, while the other Centaurs are wild and uncivilized. He is the master and instructor of the most celebrated heroes of Greek story, as Actaeon, Jason, Castor, Polydeuces, Achilles, and Asclepius, to whom he teaches the art of healing. Driven by the Lapithae from his former dwelling-place, a cave at the top of Pellion, he took up his abode on the promontory of Malea in Laconia. Here he was wounded accidentally with a poisoned arrow by his friend Heracles, who was pursuing the flying Centaurs (see PHOLUS). To escape from the dreadful pain of the wound, he renounced his immortality in favour of Prometheus, and was set by Zeus among the stars as the constellation Archer.
 
SISYPHUS 12.64%
(i.e. "the crafty"). The son of Aeolus, brother of Athamas, husband of the Pleiad Merope. His son is Glaucus, the father of Bellerophon. He is regarded as the builder of Ephyra, (afterwards Corinth) and as originator of the Isthmian Games. In legends he appears as extremely cunning and crafty; in Homer he is called the "slyest of all men" [Il. vi 153]. The reason why he is punished in the other world, where he is forced for ever to keep on rolling a block of stone to the top of a steep hill, only to see it roll again to the valley, and to start the toilsome task again [Od. xi 593], is not mentioned by Homer; and later legends vary on this point. According to the account which gives the best idea of his cunning, Sisyphus discloses to the rivergod Asopus, in search of his daughter Aegina (see AeACUS), how she had been carried off by Zeus; but this information was not given until Asopus has satisfied the condition laid down by Sisyphus, by creating the spring Peirene, which ever after supplied the citadel and town of Corinth [Pausanias ii 5 § 1]. Zeus desires to kill Sisyphus as a punishment for revealing the facts, and sends Death to him; but Sisyphus fetters Death in strong chains, and no one dies, till at last Ares sets him free and hands Sisyphus over to him. But be commands his wife not to inter him, and succeeds in persuading Pluto and Persephone to let him return for awhile to the upper world in order to punish her want of love. Having no desire to return to Hades, he forgets his promise, and eventually Hermes has to come and fetch him. In the post-Homeric legends Odysseus, on account of his cunning, is made the son of Sisyphus and Anticleia [Sophocles, Ajax 190, Phil. 417; Eur., Iph. at Aulis, 524].
 
NEOPTOLEMUS 12.38%
Son of Achilles and Deidamia. He was brought up by his grandfather Lycomedes in Scyros. After Achilles' death, however, he was taken by Odysseus to Troy, since, according to the prophecy of Helenus, that town could be taken only by a descendant of Aeacus. Here, like his father, he distinguished himself above all by a courage which none could withstand. He slew Eurypylus, son of Telephus, and was one of the heroes in the Wooden Horse, where he alone remained undaunted. Later legend depicted him as fierce and cruel: at the, taking of Troy he killed the aged Priam at the altar of Zeus, hurled Hector's son. Astyanax, down from the walls, and offered up Polyxena, upon his father's tomb. In Homer he arrives safely with much booty at Phthia, his father's home, and weds Menelaus' daughter Hermione, who was promised him during the siege of Troy [Od. iv 5]. Later legend represents him as accompanied by Andromache, Hector's wife, who is allotted him as part of his booty, and Helenus, and then, on the strength of a prophecy of Helenus, as going to Epirus and settling there. It was to a son of his by Lanassa, granddaughter of Heracles, that the later kings of Epirus traced back their descent, and accordingly styled themselves Aeacidoe, while from his son by Andromache, Molossus, the district of Molossia was said to derive its name. He afterwards went to Phthia, to reinstate his grandfather Peleus in his kingdom (whence he had been expelled by Acastus), and wedded Hermione. He soon, however, met his death at Delphi, whither, according to one story, he had gone with dedicatory offerings, or, according to another, to plunder the temple of Apollo in revenge for his father's death. The accounts of his death vary, some attributing it to Orestes, the earlier lover of Hermione; others to the Delphians, at the instance of the Pythian priestess; others again to a quarrel about the meat-offerings. The scene of his death was the altar, a coincidence which was regarded as a judgment for his murder of Priam. His tomb was within the precincts of the Delphic temple, and in later times he was worshipped as a hero with annual sacrifices by the Delphians, as he was said to have vouchsafed valuable assistance against the Gauls when they threatened the sacred spot [B.C. 279; Pausanias, x 23].
 
MINOS 12.00%
A mythical king of Crete, the centre of the oldest legends of that island. He is the son of Zeus and of Europa; in Homer, brother of Rhadamanthys, father of Deucalion and Ariadne, and grandfather of Idomeneus. Residing at Gnossus as the "familiar friend of Zeus," he had a "nine-yearly" rule over the flourishing island [<italic>Od.</italic> xix 179], an expression which later generations explained as signifying periods of nine years; at the end of which he went into a cave sacred to Zeus, in order to hold converse with his father, and to receive the laws for his island. Just as he was thought to be the framer of the famous older Cretan constitution, so he was also considered a founder of the naval supremacy of Crete before the times of Troy; Hesiod calls him the "mightiest king of all mortals," who rules with the sceptre of Zeus over most of the neighbouring peoples. Later legend gives him another brother, Sarpedon, and a number of children (among others Androgeos, Glaucus, Catreus, and Phaedra) by his wife Pasiphae, a daughter of Helios and Perseis. When after the death of Asterin, the husband of Europa, he has driven away his brothers in consequence of a quarrel, he seizes the kingship of Crete, in which he is supported by Poseidon, who, on his prayer that he should send him a bull for sacrifice, causes a wonderfully beautiful snow-white bull to rise from the sea. But as he, desiring to keep it for his own herd, sacrifices another, the god to punish him inspires his wife Pasiphae (q.v.) with love for the bull. Homer [Od. xi 322] calls Minos the "meditator of evil"; in later times he was represented as a hard-hearted and cruel tyrant, especially on the Attic stage, because of the part he played in Attic legends. On account of the murder of his son Androgeos (q.v.) at Athens, he undertook an expedition of revenge against Attica, captured Megara (see NISUS), and compelled the Athenians to send him once in every nine years seven boys and seven girls to Crete, to be devoured by the Minotaur (q.v.; see also THESEUS). Tradition made him die in Sicily, whither he had pursued Daedalus (q.v.) on his flight, and where king Cocalus or his daughters stifled him in a hot bath. His Cretan followers interred him near Agrigentum, where his grave was shown. In Homer [Od. xi 568] Odysseus sees him in Hades with a golden sceptre in his hand, judging the shades; he does not appear in the legends as judge of the dead by the side of Aeacus and Rhadamanthys till later [Plato, Apol. 41 a, Gorg. 523 e].
 
PELEUS 9.34%
Son of Aeacus and of Endeis, and brother of Telamon. He was banished with his brother, on account of the murder of his step-brother Phocus, whom he had slain with the discus out of envy at his strength and skill. His father banished him from Aegina, but he was purified from his murder, and hospitably received by his uncle Eurytion, king of Thessalian Phthia. Eurytion gave to Peleus his daughter Antigone, mother of the beautiful Polydora, and one-third of his land as a dowry. Peleus accompanied Eurytion in the Calydonian Hunt, and killed him unawares with a javelin. Thereupon he fled from Phthia to Iolcus, where, once again, king Acastus cleansed him from the guilt of bloodshed. Because he rejected the proposals of Astydameia, the wife of Acastus, she slandered him to his wife and to her husband, telling the former that Peleus was wooing her daughter Sterope, and the latter that he wished to persuade her to infidelity. Antigone killed herself for sorrow, but Acastus planned revenge. When Peleus, wearied by the chase, had fallen asleep on Pelion, Acastus left him alone, after hiding in a dunghill his irresistible sword, the work of Hephaestus and the gift of the gods. When Peleus awoke and sought his sword, he was attacked by the Centaurs, and only delivered by the presence among them of Chiron, his maternal grandfather. With Chiron's help he recovered his sword, slew Acastus and his wife, and took possession of the throne of Iolcus. The gods decreed him the seagoddess Thetis (q.v.) as his wife. With Chiron's help he overcame her resistance in a grotto by the sea, although she endeavoured to escape by changing into fire, water, beast, or fish. The marriage was celebrated in Chiron's cave on the summit of Pelion, and the immortals appeared and gave Peleus presents: Poseidon, the undying steeds Balius and Xanthus, and all the gods the weapons with which Achilles afterwards fought before Troy; Chiron presented him with a lance made of an ash tree on Mount Pelion. Apollo and the Muses sang of the deeds of Peleus and of his unborn son. But Eris, or Strife, also appeared, uninvited, and threw among the goddesses a golden apple with the inscription, For the Fairest, thus giving the first cause for the Trojan War (q.v.). In this war the only offspring of this marriage, the hero Achilles, is said to have found an untimely end during his father's lifetime. According to a later tradition, unknown to Homer, Thetis forsook her husband, because his presence hindered her from making her son immortal.
 
TROJAN WAR 3.49%
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.
 
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