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DIOSCURI 100.00%
i.e. sons of Zeus, the horsetamer Castor, and Polydeuces (Lat. Pollux) the master of the art of boxing. In Homer they are represented as the sons of Leda and Tyndareos, and called in consequence Tyndaridae, as dying in the time between the rape of Helen and the Trojan War, and as buried in their father-city Lacedaemon. But even under the earth they were alive. Honoured of Zeus, they live and die on alternate days and enjoy the prerogatives of godhead. In the later story sometimes both, sometimes only Polydeuces is the descendant of Zeus. (See LEDA.) They undertake an expedition to Attica, where they set free their sister Helena, whom Theseus has carried off. They take part in the expedition of the Argonauts. (See AMYCUS.) Castor, who had been born mortal, falls in a contest with Idas and Lynceus, the sons of their paternal uncle Aphareus. The fight arose, according to one version, in a quarrel over some cattle which they had carried off; according to another, it was about the rape of two daughters of another uncle Leucippus, Phoebe and Hilaira, who were betrothed to the sons of Aphareus. On his brother's death Polydeuces, the immortal son of Zeus, prays his father to let him die too. Zeus permits him to spend alternately one day among the gods his peers, the other in the lower world with his beloved brother. According to another story Zeus, in reward for their brotherly love, sets them in the sky as the constellation of the Twins, or the morning and evening star. They are the ideal types of bravery and dexterity in fight. Thus they are the tutelary gods of warlike youth, often sharing in their contests, and honoured as the inventors of military dances and melodies. The ancient symbol of the twin gods at Lacedaemon was two parallel beams, joined by cross-pieces, which the Spartans took with them into war. They were worshipped at Sparta and Olympia with Heracles and other heroes. At Athen too they were honoured as gods under the name of Anakes (Lords Protectors). At sea, as in war, they lend their aid to men. The storm-tossed mariner sees the sign of their beneficent presence in the flame at the mast-head. He prays, and vows to them the sacrifice of a white lamb, and the storm soon ceases. (See HELENA.) The rites of hospitality are also under their protection. They are generally represented with their horses Xanthus and Cyllarus, as in the celebrated colossal group of Monte Cavallo in Rome. Their characteristic emblem is an oval helmet crowned with a star. The worship of Castor and Pollux was from early times current among the tribes of Italy. They enjoyed especial honours in Tusculum and Rome. In the latter city a considerable temple was built to them near the Forum (414 B.C.) in gratitude for their appearance and assistance at the battle of the Lake Regillus twelve years before. In this building, generally called simply the temple of Castor, the senate of ten held its sittings. It was in their honour, too, that the solemn review of the Roman equites was held on the 15th July. The names of Castor and Pollux, like that of Hercules, were often in use as familiar expletives, but the name of Castor was invoked by women only. They were worshipped as gods of the sea, particularly in Ostia, the harbour town of Rome. Their image is to be seen stamped on the reverse of the oldest Roman silver coins. (See COINAGE.)
CASTOR 100.00%
POLLUX 100.00%
See Dioscuri.
The children of Tyndareos, especially the Dioscuri (q.v.).
A festival celebrated in many parts of Greece in honour, not only of the principal local divinity, but of many others who were considered as his guests. Such was the feast held at Delphi in honour of Apollo in the month hence called Theoxenios (August). Of the manner of its celebration nothing is known. Distinguished men, such as Pindar and his descendants, were also invited to the sacrificial feast. Elsewhere other gods appeared as hosts at the feast, as the Dioscuri, the patrons of hospitality, in Paros and Agrigentum.
HELENA 18.45%
The divinely beautiful daughter of Zeus and Leda, the wife of Tyndareos of Sparta; sister of the Dioscuri and of Clytaemnestra. The post-Homeric story represented her as carried off, while still a maiden, by Theseus, to the Attic fortress of Aphidnae, where she bore him a daughter Iphigeneia. She was afterwards set free by her brothers, who took her back to Sparta. She was wooed by numbers of suitors, and at length gave her hand to Menelaus, by whom she became the mother of one child, Hermione. In the absence of her husband she was carried away to Troy by Paris the son of Priamus, taking with her much treasure. This was the origin of the Trojan War. The Trojans, in spite of the calamity she had brought upon them, loved her for her beauty, and refused to restore her to her husband. She, however, lamented the fickleness of her youth, and yearned for her home, her husband, and her daughter. After the death of Paris she was wedded to Deiphobus, assisted the Greeks at the taking of Troy, and betrayed Deiphobus into Menelaus' hands. With Menelaus finally she returned to Sparta after eight years' wandering, and lived thenceforth with him in happiness and concord. According to another story, mainly current after the time of Stesichorus, Paris carried off to Troy not the real Helena, but a phantom of her created by Hera. The real Helena was wafted through the air by Hermes, and brought to Proteus in Egypt, whence, after the destruction of Troy, she was taken home by Menelaus. (See PROTEUS.) After the death of Menelaus she was, according to one story, driven from Sparta by her stepsons, and fled thereupon to Rhodes to her friend Polyxo, who hanged her on a tree. Another tradition represented her as living after death in wedlock with Achilles on the island of Leuce. She was worshipped as the goddess of beauty in a special sanctuary at Therapne in Laconia, where a festival was held in her honour. She was also invoked like her brothers the Dioscuri, as a tutelary deity of mariners. (See DIOSCURI.)
AETHRA 18.33%
daughter of Pittheus, king of Troezen, mother of Thresus by Aegeus. or, according to another account, by Poseidon. While Homer merely mentions her as a servant of Helen at Troy, later legend adds that, when the Dioscuri took Aphidnae and set free their sister whom Theseus had carried off, they conveyed Aethra to Sparta as a slave, whence she accompanied Helen to Troy; and that on the fall of that city, they brought her grandsons Acamas and Demophoon back to Athens.
Sons of Aphareus of Messenia and of Arene; a pair of brothers as heroic and as inseparable as their cousins Castor and Pollux (Polydeuces). The Nymph Marpessa, daughter of the Acarnanian river-god Euenus, was wooed by Apollo, when Idas carried her off in a winged chariot given him by Poseidon. When Apollo overtook the fugitives in Messenia, Idas, who was then "the strongest of living men " [Homer, Il. ix 556], stretched his bow against Apollo. Zeus interposed and gave the damsel her choice of suitors; she decided in favour of the mortal, as she feared Apollo would desert her. After that the god hated her; she herself and her beautiful daughter Cleopatra or Alcyone, wife of Me1eager, and their daughter, all died young, and brought misfortune on those that loved them. Idas and the keen-sighted Lynceus, who could even see into the heart of the earth, joined in the Calydonian Hunt and the Argonautic expedition. They met their end fighting Castor and Pollux, with whom they had been brought up. As they were all returning from a raid into Arcadia, Idas was appointed to divide the cattle they had captured; he divided an ox into four portions and decided that whosoever devoured his portion first was to have the first half of the spoil, and he who finished his next, the second half. He finished his own and his brother's share first, and drove the cattle away. The Dioscuri were enraged and hid themselves from the brothers in a hollow oak-tree; but the keen sight of Lynceus detected their lurking. place and Idas stabbed Castor in the tree. Thereupon Pollux pierced Lynceus through, while Idas was slain by the lightning of Zeus. For another account of the origin of the quarrel, see DIOSCURI.
The celebrated Greek painter of the island of Thasos. He worked chiefly in Athens, whither he had been invited by Cimon about 460 B.C. , and where he received the citizenship. His most celebrated paintings were the Capture of Troy and the Descent of Odysseus into Hades, in the hall erected by the Cnidians at Delphi. We possess a description of them in considerable detail by Pausanias [x 25-31]. Other celebrated paintings by him (though several of his contemporaries were associated with him in their execution) were to be seen in the Stoa Poecile, the Capture of Troy and the Battle of Marathon [ib. 15], and in the temples of the Dioscuri [ib. 18 § 1], and of Theseus at Athens. Though his works were only tinted outlines traced upon a coloured background, without shading and without any perspective, and sketched, as it were, in simple relief, all on the same plane, still his clear, rhythmical composition, the delicacy of his drawing, the impressiveness of his contours, and the nobility of his figures were highly celebrated [Overbeck's Schriftquellen, 1067-1079].
A mimic war-dance among the Greeks, representing attack and defence in battle. It originated with the Dorians in Crete, who traced it back to the Curetes, and in Sparta, where it was traced to the Dioscuri. In Sparta where boys of five years old were trained for it, it formed a chief part of the festival of the Gymnopoedia. The war-dance performed at Athens at the Panathenaic festival celebrated Athene as the victor over the Giants. In the Roman imperial times the Pyrrhic dance was a kind of dramatic ballet, which was performed by dancers, male and female, and represented (like the Roman pantomime) mythological subjects, taken frequently from the legend of Dionysus, such as the march of the god against the Indians, the doom of Pentheus, but also from other sources, such as the judgment of Paris and the fate of Icarus. For these performances the emperors frequently brought to Rome from Asia, the home of this dance, boys and girls of noble birth; but there wore also dancers, male and female, who were brought up to it as a regular trade. At times the Pyrrhic dance was performed in the amphitheatre by criminals especially trained for this purpose.
with Vesta and Lar, the household gods of the Romans; strictly the guardianS of the storeroom (penus), which in old Roman houses stood next the atrium; in later times, near the back of the building (penetralia). They were two in number, and presided over the well-being of the house, their blessing being shown in the fulness of the store-room. This chamber therefore, as being sacred to them, was holy, and not to be entered except by chaste and undefiled persons. The hearth of the house was their altar, and on it were sculptured the figures of the two Penates beside that of the Lar. Often they were represented dancing and raising a drinking-horn, to symbolise a joyful and prosperous life. The offerings to them were made jointly with those to the Lar (see LARES). There were also Penates belonging to the State. These at first had their temple in the quarter Velia, where their statues stood below those of the Dioscuri. Afterwards it was supposed that the original Penates, brought from Samothrace to Troy, and thence conveyed by Aeneas to Lavinium, were identical with certain symbols kept, with the Palladium, in a secret part of the temple of Vesta. The Penates of the Latin League, which were at first regarded as the Trojan Penates, were enshrined in the sanctuary at Lavinium. Annual offerings were brought to them by the Roman priests, and also by consuls, praetors, and dictators on assuming or laying down office, and by generals on their departure for their provinces.
HEROS 6.04%
A hero. This is in Homer a descriptive title given specially to princes and nobles, but also applied to men of mark sprung from the people. Hesiod reserves the name for mortals of divine origin, who are therefore also known as demigods. Many of these he places on the Islands of the Blessed, where under the sovereignty of Cronus (Kronos), they lead a life of happiness Hesiod makes no allusion to the influence of heroes upon the life of man, or to the worship due to them in consequence. But in later times this belief spread throughout the whole of Greece. The heroes are in most respects like men and suffer death; but death puts them in a more exalted rank, and they then have power to do men good as well as harm. The most distinguished warriors of prehistoric times were accounted heroes, being generally regarded as the offspring of gods by mortal women; to their souls another destiny was accordingly assigned than that allotted to the souls of mortals. But even amongst the heroes of old time there were some who, without being children of the gods, nevertheless so distinguished themselves by their virtue, that they appeared to participate in the divine nature, and therefore to deserve a higher distinction after death. Even in later times such men were not unknown, when personages recently deceased were actually exalted to the ranks of heroes, as in the case of Leonidas at Sparta, and Harmodius and Aristogeiton at Athens. The founders of colonies were especially considered worthy of worship as heroes; when the true founder was unknown, then some appropriate hero was selected instead. Formerly there were many such fictitious heroes; to this class properly belong all the titular ancestors of the noble and priestly families of Attica, and the founders of particular arts and trades, as Daedalus. Many heroes of historical times were originally gods, who, in course of time, were divested of their primitive dignity. There was no town or district of Greece in which a host of heroes was not worshipped by the side of the higher divinities; many as special tutelary spirits of the country, others as the heroes of the country, as the Dioscuri at Sparta, the Aeacidae at Aegina, and Theseus in Attica. There were festivals in their honour everywhere, many of them small and unimportant, and only celebrated in a restricted circle, others observed by the state as festivals of the people in general, and not a whit inferior, in wealth of equipment, to the most important festivals in honour of the gods. This was especially the case with the heroes of the country. Many heroes had shrines, known as Heroa, which were generally erected over their graves. The altars of heroes were lower than those of gods, and were commonly designated sacrificial hearths; they were generally on a level with the ground, and on the west side, the region of the nether world, were provided with a hollow into which the libations were poured. Like offerings to the dead, these consisted of honey, wine, water, milk, oil, and blood which had been shed by sacrificial victims; the flesh of the animals sacrificed was burnt. In the period of decadence it became customary to treat the living with heroic honours. Such honours were paid to the Spartan Lysander by the towns in Asia Minor, and were afterwards accorded to kings, e.g. to Antigonus and his son Demetrius at Athens.
(1) Greek. As late as the Homeric age, cattle, especially oxen, served as a medium of exchange, as well as a standard of price [11 . xi 211, xxi 385]. We find, however, that the metals were put to the same use, their value being decided by their weight as determined by a balance. The weight, as well as the balance, was called talanton. [It is probable that the gold talanton of Homer weighed two drachmce, and was equivalent in value to an ox; see Ridgeway, in Journal Hell. Studies viii 133.] The idea of giving the metal used in exchange a form corresponding to its requirements is no doubt an early one. The date of the introduction of a coinage in the proper sense, with an official stamp to denote its value and obviate the necessity of weighing the metal, cannot now be determined. But as early as the 6th century B.C. we find a highly developed and artistic system of coining money in existence. The various Greek standards of value were all developed-in several gradations, it is true from the gold and silver standard of Asia Minor. It was not until a later time that the standard of the Persian gold money was in some cities transferred to the silver coinage. The proportion of gold to silver was commonly reckoned among the Greeks as 10: 1, so that a gold piece weighing 2 drachmoe was = 20 silver drachmoe. But in commerce the proportion assumed was 12:1, and this was the average generally observed in the Roman empire. The measure of weight most commonly current was the talent, which contained 60 minoe. Like the talent, the mina was not a real coin, but a standard of measurement. The unit of coinage was the drachma, 100 drachmas being reckoned to the mina. The drachma, again, contained 6 obols. In ancient times the commonly accepted standard was that of Aegina. The coins of the island of Aegina were stamped on one side with the figure of a tortoise, on the other side with a roughly executed incuse square. The largest silver coin was the stater or didrachmon (fig. 1), (=about 2s. 2d., the Aeginetan drachma, being =1s. 1d.). Solon abolished this standard in Attica, and introduced a lighter drachma equal to about 8d. The Attic talent (=6,000 drachmoe) was thus worth about £200, the rains, about £3 6s. 8d. The silver coins of Attica bore on the front the head of Pallas, and on the reverse the figure of an owl. The principal coin was the tetradrachmon or 4 drachmoe (fig. 2), the largest (which was only issued occasionally) the didrachmon or 10 drachmoe. The didrachmon (2 drachmoe)was in like manner issued rarely. The triobolon (3 obols), the obolos , and the hemiobolion (1/2 obol) were small silver coins; the tetartemorion (1/4 obol) the smallest of all. The Greek states always adopted a silver Currency, gold being rarely issued. The largest gold piece was the didrachmon or golden stater ( = 20 silver drachmoe). Besides this we find drachmas, triobols, obols, half-obols, quarter-obols, and even eighth obols in gold. The gold money most commonly current in Greece was, down to the Macedonian age, the royal Persian coin called Dareikos, or Daric (fig. 3). It was stamped on one side with a crowned archer, on the other with an oblong incuse. This corresponded with the gold stater of Attica and of the cities of Asia Minor. Among these should be especially mentioned the stater of Cyzicus or the Cyzicenus = 28 silver drachmoe. The earliest copper coin issued at Athens was the Chalkus =1/8 of a silver obol (440 B.C.). In the time of Alexander the Great the silver coinage stopped at the triobolos, and it therefore became necessary to represent the smaller fractions in copper. The silver money of Attica was in very general use, but the Attic standard was not adopted in Greece Proper. It spread westward, however, in quite early times. In the greater part of Sicily, and in Taren tum and Etruria, the coinage was from the first regulated in accordance with the Attic standard. But the wide diffusion of this standard was mainly due to the action of Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great. The former adopted it when introducing his gold coinage (Philippus, fig. 4), the latter for his silver money (fig. 5). For even after Alexander's death this standard held its ground in the kingdoms of the Macedonian empire, except in Egypt, where the Ptolemies maintained the old coinage of the country. Macedonian influence extended the Attic currency into many other states, e.g. Epirus, the coasts of the Black Sea, and even Parthia. The largest Greek gold coin is the 20-stater piece of the Graeco-Bactrian king Eucratides, now preserved in Paris; the largest silver coins are the 10-drachma pieces of Athens, Syracuse (fig. 6) and Alexander the Great. Hellenic coins are important as giving a grand and complete idea of the development of plastic art among the Greeks. In the Greek cities of Italy and Sicily, in particular, the art of stamping coins had attained considerable importance as early as the 5th century B.C., and in the 4th century with its life-like characterisations, and with the rich variety and noble perfection of its forms, it reached the highest degree of finish. (2) Roman. As in Greece, so in Rome, oxen and sheep were originally the medium of exchange. The oldest pecuniary fines were exacted in cattle, and the Latin word for money, pecunia, is derived from pecus. In later times unwrought copper (oes rude ) given in pieces according to weight, took the place of oxen. Bars of cast copper marked on both sides with some figure (as of an ox, pig, or fowl) are said to have been introduced by king Servius Tullius, when he took in hand the regulation of weights and measures. The first demonstrable example of a coin is from the age of the decemvirs (about 450 B.C.). The unit of coinage was the as of cast copper, carrying the nominal weight of the Roman pound (libra = 12 uncioe, see fig. 7). The as (oes grave) bore the image of Janus; the coins representing its fractions were all stamped on the reverse side with the figure of a ship's prow. These were, semis, with the head of Jupiter = 1/2 as or 6 unciae; triens with tthe head of Minerva, 1/3 of an as = uncioe; quadrans, with the head of Hercules, 1/4 as = 3 uncioe; sextans, with the head of Mercury, 1/6 as = 2 uncioe ; uncia, with the head of Roma, 1/22 as. As in the course of time the copper money became lighter, the smaller fractional coins were first struck, and afterwards all the fractions. This copper currency was calculated exclusively for the home trade, so that it was easily allowed to suffer a continuous depreciation, at first to 4, then to 2, after 217 B.C. to 1 ounce, after B.C. 89 to 1/2 an ounce, and under the Empire even to 41 an ounce. In 269 B.C. a silver currency was introduced, and a mint for it set up oil the Capitoline Hill in the temple of Juno Moneta. The silver fractional coins struck according to the Athenian and Sicilian standard were the denarius, somewhat higher in value than the Attic drachma (about 91/2d., figs. 8 and 9)= 10 asses of 4 ounces; the quinarius=5 asses; and the sestertius = 2 1/2 asses. These coins were denoted by the marks X. V. and II S. (or 2 1/2) respectively (fig. 10). They all bore, on the upper side, the head of the goddess Roma with her winged helmet, and on the reverse the two Dioscuri on horseback. In later times Diana Victoria in her two-horse chariot, and Jupiter in his four-horse chariot, successively took the place of the Dioscuri. From the middle of the 1st century there was no fixed device for the reverse side. The sestertius was the equivalent of the old heavy as, which although long disused, survived as the standard of reckoning. Payments were generally made in denarii, but the amount made up in sestertii, whence the word nummus (coin) was applied par excellence to the sestertius . The reduction of the copper as to 1 uncia in 217 B.C. degraded the copper money to the position of small coin, and a silver currency drove out the copper. The denarius sank at the same time to the value of about 8 1/2d., which it maintained till the time of Nero. The denarius was reckoned as = 15 asses, the quinarius as 8, and the sestertius (about 2d.) =4. At about the same period a temporary effort was made to introduce gold coinage. This movement was not taken up again till towards the end of the Republic, when Caesar struck a large number of gold coins (aureus) equal in weight to 1/40 of the Roman pound, and in value 25 denarii or 100 sestertii (nearly 23 shillings). No regular coinage was carried on in the time of the Republic, but the necessary, money was minted as occasion required. This was done in Rome at the commission of the senate under the superintendence of certain officials entrusted with the duty. A permanent board of three persons (tres viri monetales) was at last appointed for the purpose. In the provinces money was coined by the Roman generals and governors. From the time of Augustus the emperor retained the exclusive privilege of coining gold and silver money, the copper coinage being left to the senate. The standard of the imperial coinage was the aureus of Caesar, the weight of which sank (with many variations) lower and lower as time went on, till in 312 A.D. Constantine fixed it at 1/12 of a lb. (=between 12 and 13 shillings, fig. 11). The aureus was now called solidus, and was stamped at first with the Latin mark LXXII, afterwards with the Greek OB (=72). It continued in use until the fall of the Byzantine empire. Of the silver coins of the Republic the denarius and quinarius alone held their ground under the Empire, the rest being stamped in copper. The denarius retained the value fixed 217 B.C. (about 8 1/2d.) until the time of Nero, under whom it fell in weight and purity till its value was only sixpence. During the 2nd century it sank to 3 1/2d., below the half of its former value, and the silver coinage was consequently changed into small money. Diocle- tian was the first to restore some order to the currency. After 292 A.D. he issued a coin (argenteus) of pure silver, and equal in weight to the Neronian denarius. The argenteus maintained its ground till 360 A.D., When it made way for a new system of silver coinage on the standard of the gold solidus. The copper coins bore the mark S.C. (Senatus Consulto), because issued by the senate. Under the Empire the following small coins were minted; the sestertius =4 asses; dupondius =2 asses, both of brass; the semis ( = 1/2 an as), and the quadrans =1/4 as, both of copper. These last were the smallest change. The quadrans went out of use as early as Trajan, at the beginning of the 2nd century A.D., the dupondius, as, and semis, in the middle, and the sestertius in the last half of the 3rd century, when Diocletian issued two new copper coins, one of which was called denarius.
Type: Standard
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