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DICTYS 100.00%
Dictys of Gnossos in Crete. Alleged to have been the companion of Idomeneus in the Trojan war, and author of a diary recording his experiences therein. The diary, written in Phoenician on palm leaves, was said to have been found in a leaden box in his grave in the time of Nero, and to have been translated into Greek at that emperor's command. The existence of this Greek version was doubted, but a certain Lucius Septimius, of the 4th century A.D., gave out his Dictys Cretensis Ephemeris De Bello Troiano as a translation of it. This book, and the equally absurd one of Dares (see DARES), were the chief authorities followed by the mediaeeval poets who handled the story of Troy.
DICTYS 100.00%
A poor fisherman on the island of Seriphus, who gave welcome to Danae and her son Perseus.
The translator into Latin of the spurious work of Dictys (q.v., 2) on the Trojan War.
In Homer the priest of Hephaestus in Troy, supposed to have been the author of a pre-Homeric Iliad. It is doubtful whether there ever was any Greek work bearing this title, but a Latin piece of the 5th century A.D. (Daretis Phrygii De Excedio Troiae Historia), bearing a supposed dedication by Cornelius Nepos to Sallust, professes to be a translation of one. This absurd production, and the work of Dietys, was the chief source followed by the medipeval poets in their stories of the Trotian war (see DICTYS).
PERSEUS 20.77%
Son of Zeus and Danae, grandson of Acrisius (q.v.). An oracle had declared that Danae, the daughter of Acrisius, would give birth to a son who would kill his grandfather. Acrisius committed Perseus with his mother to the sea in a wooden box, which was carried by the waves to the isle of Seriphus. Here the honest fisherman Dictys son of Magnes (See AeOLUS, 1) brought it to land with his net, and took care of mother and child. Dictys' brother Polydectes, however, the king of the island, conceived a passion for the fair Danae, and finding the son in the way, betrayed the young Perseus, who was now grown out of boyhood, into promising, on the occasion of a banquet, to do anything for him, even should he order the head of Medusa, and held him to his word. Encouraged and assisted by Athene and Hermes, Perseus reached the Graiae (q.v.), in the farthest part of Libya; and by capturing the single eye and tooth which they possessed in common, compelled them to show him the way to their sisters the Gorgons (q.v.). He also made them equip him for the undertaking with the winged sandals, the magic bag, and the helmet of Hades, which made the wearer invisible. Hermes added to these a sharp sword shaped like a sickle. Thus provided, he flew to the Gorgons on the shores of Oceanus, found them asleep, and, since their glance turned the beholder to stone, with face averted smote and cut off Medusa's head, which Athens showed him in the mirror of her shield, while she guided his hand for the blow. He thrust it quickly into his bag, and flew off through the air, pursued by the other two Gorgons; but, by virtue of his helmet, he escaped them, and came in his flight to Aethiopia. Here he rescued Andromeda (q.v.), and won her as his bride. Returning with her to Seriphus, he avenged his mother for the importunities of Polydectes by turning the king and his friends into stone by the sight of Medusa's head; set Dictys on the throne of the island; gave up the presents of the, Graiae to Hermes, who restored them; and presented the Gorgon's head to Athene, who set it in the middle of her shield or breastplate. Then he returned with his mother and wife to Argos. But before his arrival Acrisius bad gone away to Larissa in Thessaly, and here Perseus unwittingly killed him with a discus at the funeral games held in honour of the king of that country. He duly buried the body of his grandfather, but, being unwilling to succeed to his inheritance, effected an exchange with Megapenthes, his uncle Proetus' son, took Tiryns in exchange for Argos and built Midea and Mycenae. By Andromeda he had one daughter, Gorgophone, and six sons. The eldest, Perses, was regarded as the ancestor of the Persians; Alcaeus, Sthenelus, and Electryon were the fathers respectively of Amphitryon, Eurystheus, and Alcmene, the mother of Heracles. Perseus had a shrine (heroon) on the road between Argos and Mycenae, and was worshipped with divine honours in Seriphus and Athens.
DANAE 17.68%
The daughter of Acrisius of Argos, who was shut up in a brazen tower by her father in consequence of an oracle which predicted that death would come to him from his daughter's son. Nevertheless, she bore to Zeus a son, Perseus, the god having visited her in the form of a shower of gold. She was then shut up with her son in a chest and thrown into the sea. Driven by the waves on to the island of Seriphos, she was kindly received by a fisherman named Dictys. His brother, Polydectes, the king of the island, wished to force her to marry him, but her son Perseus delivered her from him, and took her back to Greece. (See PERSEUS.)
Romantic narratives, especially of imaginary adventures of travel, appear among the Greeks with particular frequency after the time of Alexander the Great, owing to Greece having then been brought into contact with the East (See EUHEMERUS); but these are known to us only by their titles and by fragments. Such ethnographical fables form, moreover, the oldest element in the romance respecting Alexander which is preserved under the name of CALLISTHANES. By earlier writers love-stories are only incidentally introduced, although in the form of popular local legends they were disseminated in all the districts of Greece. From the time of Antimachus they were adopted with particular predilection as themes for poetic treatment by the elegiac poets, especially in the Alexandrine age. There is extant a prose compilation of such legends collected Kromo historians and poets by the poet PARTHENIUS in the time of Augustus. The earliest example of prose narratives of the amatory type is the " Milesian Tales" (Milesiaca) of ARISTIDES of Miletus (about 100 B.C.), which are regarded as forerunners of the later love-romances. Even in the earliest example of such a romance which is known to us (at least as to its general contents), the Wonders beyond Thule of Antonius DIOGENES (probably in the 1st century A.D.), there appears that combination of fantastic adventures of travel with a tale of love which is common to all the later romances, almost without exception. This branch of literature came to maturity in the age of the later Sophists, who, among their other literary exercises, wrote amatory compositions in the form of narratives and letters. We possess works of this kind by PHILOSTRATUS, ALCIPHRON, and his imitator ARISTAeNETUS. One of the oldest of the romances which spring from this time is that of the Syrian IAMBLICHUS (in the 2nd century), entitled Babyloniaca. This is extant only in an epitome. The romances of XENOPHON Of Ephesus, HELIODORUS of Emesa, LONGUS ACHILLES TATIUS of Alexandria, and CHARITON of Ephesus are extint in a complete form. Among these that of Heliodorus is distinguished for its artistic and skilful plot, and the pastoral romance of Longus for its poetical merit. The treatment of these romances is to a considerable extent sketched out in accordance with a fixed pattern, and consists of a simple multiplication of successive adventures. Two lovers are separated by untoward chances, generally robbers by land and sea; and it is only after manifold trials and wonderful experiences in slavery and in strange lands that they are finally once more united. In the pourtrayal of love they deliberately endeavour to catch the spirit of the Alexandrine elegy; the language is the artificial and affected language of the sophistic age. Such " dramas," as the later writers call them, were also frequently composed in the Byzantine period; e.g. by EUSTITHIUS. Among the Romans the earliest work of the kind was the translation of the Milesiaca of Aristides by Sisenna (about 70 B.C.); for this reason the Roman epithet for a romance is Milesia. The most important and the only original production is the satirical romance of manners of PETRONIUS (middle of the 1st century A.D.). This work, which is unfortunately preserved only in fragments, is of a kind which has no parallel in Greek literature. The Metamorphoses of APULEIUS, which are likewise of the highest value for the history of manners at the time (2nd century), and are interesting on account of the novel-like narratives inserted in them, are derived from a Greek model. Besides these works this form of composition is still represented in extant Latin literature by the translation I of the Alexander-romance of the pseudo-Callisthenes by Iulius VALERIUS (about 200). Similarly, the writings of the pretended DICTYS and DARES (4th and 5th centuries), which are examples of the literature of forgery relating to the destruction of Troy, are probably to be referred to Greek sources. Lastly, there is the wonderful history of APOLLONIUS of Tyre, a revised version of a Greek romance (6th century), which was much read in the Middle Ages.
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