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MORPHEUS 100.00%
The Greek god of dreams. (See DREAMS.)
DREAMS 100.00%
According to Hesiod, Dreams are the children of Night, and brothers and sisters of Death and Sleep. Like these they are represented in the Odyssey as dwelling in the far West, near Oceanus, in the neighbourhood of the sunset and the kingdom of the dead. Deceptive dreams issue from a gate of ivory, true dreams through a gate of horn. The gods above, especially Hermes, have authority over these dream-gods, and send sometimes one, sometimes another, to mankind. On some occasions they create dream-figures themselves, or appear in person under different shapes, in the chamber of the sleeper. The spirits of the departed, too, so long as they are not in the kingdom of Hades, have the power of appearing to the sleeper in dreams. These, the ideas of the Homeric age, survived in the later popular belief. Later poets call dreams the sons of Sleep, and give them separate names. Morpheus, for instance, only appears in various human forms. Ikelos, called also Phobetor, or Terrifyer, assumes the shapes of all kinds of animals as well as that of man: Phantasos only those of inanimate objects. A god of dreams was subsequently worshipped, and represented in works of art, sometimes with Sleep, sometimes alone. He was honoured especially at the seats of dream-oracles and the health-resorts of Asclepius. (See ARTEMIDORUS, 2; INCURATIO; and MANTIC ART.)
ONIROS 94.00%
The god of dreams (q.v.).
The art of interpreting dreams. (See MANTIKE and DREAMS.)
A dream-god. (See DREAMS.)
ICELUS 57.50%
A dream-god. (See DREAMS.)
Artemidorits the Dream-Interpreter, born at Ephesus at the beginning of the 2nd century A.D., surnamed "the Daldian from his mother's birthplace, Daldis in Lydia, wrote a work on the Interpretation of Dreams, the Oneirueritica, in four books. He had gathered his materials from the works of earlier authors, and by oral inquiries during his travels in Asia, Italy and Greece. The book is an acute exposition of the theory of interpreting dreams, and its practical application to examples systemstically arranged according to the several stages of human life. An appendix, counted as a fifth book, gives a collection of dreams that have come true. For the light thrown on the mental condition of antiquity, especially in the 2nd century after Christ, and for many items of information on religious rites and myths relating to dreams, these writings are of value.
AESACUS 32.39%
Son of Priam by Arisbe, who had learnt the art of interpreting dreams from his maternal grandfather Merops, and being consulted by his father as to Hecuba's bad dreams before the birth of Paris, advised him to expose a child so clearly doomed to be the destruction of Troy. In despair at having caused the death of his wife Asterope (or Hesperia) he threw himself into the sea, and was changed into a bird, the diver.
Specially used of sleeping in a sanctuary where oracular responses were sought through dreams or necromancy. (See ORACLES.) It was with a view to obtaining in a dream a revelation either from the god of the sanctuary, or by conjuring up the spirit of some dead person. Certain preliminaries had generally to be performed, in particular the sacrifice of some animal, on whose skin it was often customary to sleep. These incubations, which were in vogue among the Greeks from the earliest times, but were not extensively practised among the Romans until under the Empire, generally took place in the temple of Aesculapius, the god of healing.
BRIZO 19.63%
A goddess localized in Delos, to whom women, in particular, paid worship as protectress of mariners. They set before her eatables of various kinds (fish being excluded) in little boats. She also presided over an oracle, the answers of which were given in dreams to people who consulted it on matters relating to fishery and navigation.
ORACLES 14.59%
The seats of the worship of some special divinity, where prophecies were imparted with the sanction of the divinity, either by the priests themselves or with their co-operation. There were a great many such places in all Greek countries, and these may be divided, according to the method in which the prophecy was made known, into four main divisions: (1) oral oracles, (2) oracles by signs, (3) oracles by dreams, and (4) oracles of the dead. The most revered oracles were those of the first class, where the divinity, almost invariably the seer-god Apollo, orally revealed his will through the lips of inspired prophets or prophetesses. The condition of frenzy was produced for the most part by physical influence: the breathing of earthly vapours or drinking of the water of oracular fountains. The words spoken whilst in this state were generally fashioned by the priests into a reply to the questions proposed to them. The most famous oracle of this kind was that of Delphi (see DELPHIC ORACLE). Beside this there existed in Greece Proper a large number of oracles of Apollo, as at Ab' in Phocis, in different places of Boeotia, in Euboea, and at Argos, where the priestess derived her inspiration from drinking the blood of a lamb, one being killed every month. Not less numerous were the oracles of Apollo in Asia Minor. Among these that of the Didym'an Apollo at Miletus traced its origin to the old family of the Branchid', the descendants of Apollo's son Branchus. Before its destruction by Xerxes, it came nearest to the reputation of the Delphian. Here it was a priestess who prophesied, seated on a wheel-shaped disc, after she had bathed the hem of her robe and her feet in a spring, and had breathed the steam arising from it. The oracle at Clarus near Colophon (see MANTO) was also very ancient. Here a priest, after simply hearing the names and the number of those consulting the oracle, drank of the water of a spring, and then gave answer in verse. The most respected among the oracles where prophecy was given by signs was that of Zeus of Dodona (q.v.), mentioned as early as Homer [Od. xiv 327=xix 296], where predictions were made from the rustling of the sacred oak, and at a later time from the sound of a brazen cymbal. Another mode of interpreting by signs, as practised especially at the temple of Zeus at Olympia by the Iamid', or descendants of Iamus, a son of Apollo, was that derived from the entrails of victims and the burning of the sacrifices on the altar. There were also oracles connected with the lot or dice, one especially at the temple of Heracles at Bura in Ach'a; and prophecies were also delivered at Delphi by means of lots, probably only at times when the Pythia was not giving responses. The temple of the Egyptian Ammon, who was identified with Zeus, also gave oracles by means of signs. Oracles given in dreams were generally connected with the temples of Asclepius. After certain preliminary rites, sick persons had to sleep in these temples; the priests interpreted their dreams, and dictated accordingly the means to be taken to insure recovery. The most famous of these oracular shrines of the healing god was the temple at Epidaurus, and next to this the temple founded thence at Pergamum in Asia Minor. Equally famous were the similar oracles of the seer Amphilochus at Oropus, of Trophonius at Lebadea in Boeotia, and of the seers Mopsus and Amphilochus at Mallus in Cilicia (q.v.). In later times such oracles were connected with all sanctuaries of Isis and Serapis. At oracles of the dead (psychomanteia) the souls of deceased persons were evoked in order to give the information desired. Thus in Homer [Od. xi] Odysseus betakes himself to the entrance of the lower world to question the spirit of the seer Tiresias. Oracles of this kind were especially common in places where it was supposed there was an entrance to the lower world; as at the city of Cichyrus in Epirus (where there was an Acherusian lake as well as the rivers of Acheron and Cocytus, bearing the same, names as those of the world below), at the promontory of T'narum in Laconia, at Heraclea in Pontus, and at Lake Avernus near Cum' in Italy. At most of them oracles were also given in dreams; but there were some in which the inquirer was in a waking condition when he conjured up the spirits whom he wished to question. While oracles derived either from dreams or from the dead were chosen in preference by superstitious people, the most important among oral oracles and those given by means of signs had a political significance. On all serious occasions they were questioned on behalf of the State in order to ascertain the divine will: this was especially the case with the oracle of Delphi (see DELPHIC ORACLE). In consequence of the avarice and partisanship of the priests, as well as the increasing decline of belief in the gods, the oracles gradually fell into abeyance, to revive again everywhere under the Roman emperors, though they never regained the political importance they had once had in ancient Greece. Such investigation of the divine will was originally quite foreign to the ROMANS. Even the mode of prophecying by means of lots (see SORTES), practised in isolated egions of Italy, and even in the immediate neighbourhood of Rome, as at C're, and especially at Pr'neste, did not come into use, at all events for State purposes, and was generally regarded with contempt. The Romans did not consult even the Sibylline verses in order to forecast the future. On the other hand, the growth of superstition in the imperial period not only brought the native oracles into repute, but caused a general resort to foreign oracles besides. The inclination to this kind of prophecy seems never to have been more generally spread among the masses of the people than at this time. Apart from the Greek oracular deities, there were the oriental deities whose worship was nearly everywhere combined with predictions. In most of the famous sanctuaries the most various forms of prophecy were represented, and the stranger they were, the better they were liked. In the case of the oral oracles the responses in earlier times were for the most part composed in verse: on the decay of poetic productiveness, they began to take the form of prose, or of passages from the poets, the Greeks generally adopting lines of Homer or Euripides, the Italians, lines of Vergil. The public declaration of oracles ended with the official extermination of paganism under Theodosius at the end of the 4th century.
A man of high rank, and, according to his own account, not a born Roman, and probably a pagan, who wrote, in the beginning of the 5th century after Christ, two extant works. (1) a commentary on Cicero's Dream of Scipio (Somnium Scipionis, from the sixth book of the De Republica); and (2) an antiquarian compilation in seven books, treating of a number of historical, mythological, grammatical, and antiquarian subjects, in the form of table talk, at a celebration of the Saturnalia; hence the title, Convivia Saturnalia. Macrobius has gathered his information from various authors, especially Gellius, whom, however, he does not mention any more than his other authorities.
CER 12.43%
In Greek mythology, a goddess of death, especially of violent death in battle. In Hesiod she is the daughter of Nyx (night), and sister of Moros (the doom of death), Hypnos (sleep), and Dreams. The poets commonly speak of several Keres, goddesses of different kinds of death. Homer and Hesiod represent them as clothed in garments stained by human blood, and dragging the dead and wounded about on the field of battle. Every man has his allotted Doom, which overtakes him at the appointed time. Achilles alone has two, with the power to choose freely between them. In later times the Keres are represented generally as powers of destruction, and as associated with the Erinyes, goddesses of revenge and retribution.
The Greek god of Medicine, according to the common account a son of the healing god Apollo by Coronis, daughter of a Thessalian prince Phlegyas. Coronis was killed by Artemis for unfaithfulness, and her body was about to be burnt on the pyre, when Apollo snatched the boy out of the flames, and handed him over to the wise centaur Chiron, who instructed him in the cure of all diseases. According to the local legend of Epidaurus, Coronis, having accompanied her father on a campaign to the Peloponnesus, is secretly delivered of the child, and exposes it on a mountain near that town, where it is nourished by a herd of goats. Such was the skill of Asclepius that he brought even dead men to life; so that Zeus, either for fear of his setting men altogether free from death, or at the complaint of Hades, killed him with his thunderbolt. Apollo in revenge slew all the Cyclopes who forged the thunderbolts, as a punishment for which he had to serve Admetus for a time. In Homer and Pindar, Asclepius is still but a hero, a cunning leech, and father of two heroes fighting before Troy, Machaon and Podaleirius. But he was afterwards universally worshipped as the god of healing, in groves, beside medicinal springs, and on mountains. The seats of his worship served also as laces of cure, where patients left thank-offerings and votive tablets describing their complaint and the manner of its cure. Often the cure was effected by the dreams of the patients, who were required to sleep in the sacred building, in which there sometimes stood, as might be expected, a statue of Sleep or Dreaming. His worship extended all over Greece with its islands and colonies; his temples were especially numerous in the Peloponnesus, the most famous being that of Epidaurus, where a great festival with processions and combats was held in his honour every five years. Next in estimation stood the temple at Pergamus, a colony from Epidanrus; that of Tricca in Thessaly enjoyed a reputation of long standing, and in the islands that Cos, the birthplace of the physician Hippocrates. At Rome, the worship of the deity there called Aesculapius was introduced by order of the Sibylline books, on occasion of the plague of 293 B.C., and the god was brought from Epidaurus in the shape of a snake. For in the form of a snake, the symbol of rejuvenescence and of prophecy, he was wont to reveal himself, and snakes were accordingly kept in his temples. He had a sanctuary and a much frequented sanatorium on the island in the Tiber. With him were worshipped his wife Epione ( = soother), his two sons mentioned above, and several daughters, especially Hygieia,(q.v.); also Telesphoros ( = fulness-bringer) the deity of Recovery, who was pictured as a boy. In later times Asclepius was often confounded with the Egyptian Serapis. He is among the most favourite subjects of ancient art; at several places where he was worshipped he had statues of gold and ivory. He is commonly represented with a beard, and resembling Zeus, but with a milder aspect, sometimes with Telesphoros, in a thick veil, or little Hygieia, at his side; his usual attribute is a staff with a serpent coiled round it. The cock was sacrificed to him.
Best known as Saint Jerome. One of the most famous of the Latin Fathers of the Church. He was born at Stridon on the borders of Dalmatia and Pannonia, about A.D. 340. He was the son of respectable and wealthy Christian parents, and received in Rome and Treves a secular education in rhetoric and philosophy. In 374, during a journey in the East, he was alarmed by a dream, which led to his withdrawing from the world and living as a hermit in the Syrian desert. After five years he left his retirement and lived in Antioch, Constantinople, and Rome, till he settled at Bethlehem in 386. He there founded a monastery and a school of learning, and he ended an active life in 420. Among his numerous works mention must be made of his translation and continuation (in 380 B.C.) of the Greek Chronological Tables of Eusebius (q.v.); this is of great value for the history of Roman literature, owing to its quotations from the work of Suetonius De Viris Illustribus, which was then extant in its complete form. In imitation of the latter and under a similar title he wrote a work on Christian Literature. He also wrote the well-known Latin version of the Bible known as the Vulgate, which is, strictly speaking, a revision, and in part a new version, of an older translation.
SLEEP 9.28%
The son of Night and twin-brother of Death (q.v.) [Il. xiv 231; xvi 672]. With his brother Death, according to Hesiod, he dwells in the eternal darkness of the farthest West [Theog. 759]. Thence he sweeps over land and sea, bringing sleep to men and gods, since he has power over all alike, and could lull to sleep even Zeus himself. On the chest of Cypselus at Olympia, both brothers were depicted as boys sleeping in the arms of their mother, Death being painted in black and Sleep in white [Pausanias, v 18 § 1]. Sleep was represented in art in very various forms and situations, and frequently with the wings of an eagle or a butterfly on his forehead, and a poppy-stalk and a horn, from which he dropped slumber upon those whom he lulls to rest. The earlier conception made Dreams the sisters of Sleep, but in later times the dream-god figures as his son. Hermes was also a god of sleep.
ISIS 9.09%
The divinity most extensively worshipped, with her brother and husband Osiris, by the Egyptians, among whom she represented the feminine, receptive, and producing principle in nature. As the goddess of procreation and birth her symbol was the cow. On monuments she is mostly represented as of youthful appearance with a cow's horns on her head, between the horns the orb of the moon, and with a sceptre of flowers and the emblem of life in her hands (fig. 1). Her greatest temple stood at Busiris (i.e. Pe-Osiri, or Abode of Osiris) in the midst of the Delta of the Nile, where, amidst the fruitful fields, the inhabitants worshipped the mightiest god and goddess with ceremonies which typified the search and discovery of Osiris by his mourning wife after his murder by Typhon. Like Osiris she was a divinity who ruled over the world below. In the course of the fusion of religions which took place under the Ptolemies, Isis and Osiris were confounded with all manner of Asiatic and Greek gods. In process of time she became in her power the most universal of all goddesses, ruling in heaven, on earth, and on the sea, and in the world below, decreeing life and death, deciding the fate of men, and dispensing rewards and punishments. Her worship spread over Greece, and after the second Punic War obtained a firm footing in Rome in spite of repeated interference by the State. In the days of the Empire it obtained recognition by the State and established itself in all parts of the Roman dominions. The attractiveness of the service of Isis lay in the religious satisfaction which it was calculated to insure. Through abstinence from food and from sensual pleasures, and through expiations and purifications, it promised to lead its votaries to sanctification of life and to a true perception of the life divine. The ritual consisted in part of a morning and evening service to the god, partly in annual festivals celebrated in spring at the return of the season for navigation, and also in the late autumn before the advent of winter. At the former festival, held on the 5th of March, and called the ship of Isis (Isidis navigium), in recognition of her being the patroness of navigation, and inventress of the sail, the people in general, with the devotees and priests of Isis, went in solemn procession down to the seashore, where a sailing vessel painted in the Egyptian manner and laden with spices, was committed to the sea. [Apuleius, Met. xi 8-17P esp. 11; Firmicus Maternus, De Err. Prof. Relig. 2.] The other feast was emblematic of the grief of Isis at her loss and her joy at finding again her husband Osiris and her son Horus. Besides these popular feasts there were also certain special mysteries of Isis, which in all their essentials were borrowed from the Eleusinian mysteries of Demeter. In these, all who were called thereto by the goddess in a dream were admitted to the select circle of the worshippers of Isis. These devotees, like the priests, were recognised by their linen robes and their shaven heads, and had to devote themselves to an ascetic life. Oracular responses received in dreams were as much associated with the temples of Isis as with those of Serapis (q.v.). In Greek art the goddess is represented as similar to Hera. Her attributes are a serpent, a cornucopia, ears of corn, lotus, moon and horns, as well as the sistrum, a metal rattle, specially employed in her service (fig. 2).
DEATH 8.98%
In the Homeric poems Death is called the twin brother of Sleep. In Hesiod he is barn of Night without a father, with Ker (the goddess of mortal destiny), Moros (the fatal stroke of death), Hypnos, (sleep) and the Dreams. Hesiod represents Death, the hard-hearted one, hated by the immortal gods, as dwelling with his brother Sleep in the darkness of the West, whither the sun never penetrates either at his rising or his setting. On the chest of Cypselus at Olympia is a representation of Night, holding in each hand a sleeping boy; the one in the right hand being white, and symbolizing Sleep; the other in the left hand, black, and symbolizing Death. Euripides introduces Death on the stage in his Alcestis. He has a black garment and black wings, and a knife to cut off a lock of hair as an offering to the gods below. In works of art he appears as a beautiful boy or youth, sometimes with, sometimes without, wings, and often with his brother Sleep. He is usually in slumber, and holds a torch, either lowered, or reversed and extinguished.
FAUNUS 8.51%
"The well-wisher" (from favere) [or perhaps "the speaker" (from fari)]. One of the oldest and most popular deities, who was identified with the Greek Pan on account of the similarity of their attributes. (See PAN.) As a good spirit of the forest, plains, and fields, he gave fruitfulness to the cattle, and was hence called Inuus. With all this he was also a god of prophecy, called by the name of Fatuus. He revealed the future in dreams and strange voices, communicated to his votaries while sleeping in his precincts upon the fleeces of sacrificed lambs. A goddess of like attributes, called Fauna and Fatua, was associated in his worship. She was regarded sometimes as his wife, sometimes as his daughter (see BONA DEA). Just as Pan was accompanied by the Paniskoi, or little Pans, so the existence of many Fauni was assumed besides the chief Faunus. They were imagined as merry, capricious beings, and in particular as mischievous goblins who caused night-mares. In fable Faunus appears as an old king of Latium, son of Picus, and grandson of Saturnus, father of Latinus by the nymph Marica. After his death he is raised to the position of a tutelary deity of the land, for his many services to agriculture and cattle-breeding. Two festivals, called Faunalia, were celebrated in his honour, one on the 13th of February, in the temple on the island in the Tiber, the other on the 5th of December. The peasants brought him rustic offerings and amused themselves with dancing.
of Argos, the son of Oicles and Hypermnestra, great-grandson of the seer, Melampus. In Homer he is a favourite of Zeus and Apollo, alike distinguished as a seer and a hero, who takes part in the Calydonian boar-hunt, in the voyage of the Argonauts, and the expedition of the Seven against Thebes. Reconciled to Adrastus after a quarrel, and wedded to his sister Eriphyle, he agrees that any future differences between them shall be settled by her. She, bribed by Polyneices with the fatal necklace of his ancestress Harmonia, insists on her husband joining the war against Thebes, though he foresees that it will end fatally for him, and in departing charges his youthful sons Alcmaeon and Amphilochus (q.v.) to avenge his coming death. His wise warnings are unheeded by the other princes; his justice and prudence even bring him into open strife with the savage Tydeus; yet in the fatal closing contest he loyally avenges his death on the Theban Melanippus. In the flight, just as the spear of Periclymenus is descending on him, Zeus interposed to save the pious prophet and make him immortal by cleaving the earth open with his thunderbolt, and bidding it swallow up Amphiaraus, together with his trusty charioteer Baton, like himself a descendant of Melampus. From that time forth Amphiaraus was worshipped in various places as an oracular god, especially at Oropus on the frontier of Attica and Boeotia, where he had a temple and a famous oracle for the interpretation of dreams, and where games were celebrated in honour of him.
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