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PYGME 100.00%
Boxing. (See GYMNASTICS.)
I Grecian. The art of physical exercises, so called because the Greeks practised them unclothed (gymnos). Various exercises of the kind, carried on in view of contests on festive occasions, are mentioned as early as Homer. After the Homeric time they were, at all periods, widely practised among the Greeks, and more so after they were legally prescribed as part of the regular educational course, especially at Athens and Sparta. They were, moreover actively encouraged by the great national games, particularly the Olympian games, of which they formed the chief part. Heracles and Hermes were the tutelary gods of gymnastics, which attained in Athens their highest and most varied development. The object of the art was to develop the body harmoniously in health, activity, and beauty. Boys went through certain preliminary stages of gymnastics in the paloestroe, a carried on their further training to perfection in the gymnasia. (See GYMNASIUM The different kinds of exere ses were as follows: (1) Running (dromos or stadion). This was the oldest of all, and for a long time the only one practised in the public games. In later times, indeed, it stood at the head of the list. The course was either single (stadion, nearly the eighth of a mile), or double (diaulos). The runner was sometimes equipped with helmet and greaves, but in later times only with the latter. The hardest of all was the long course or dolichos. This was a distance of 24 stadia, between two and three English miles, which had to be run without stopping. (2) Leaping (halma). This included the high and wide jump, and jumping downwards. To strengthen the power of spring and secure the equilibrium of the body, especially in leaping downwards, it was common to use piece of iron called halteres, not unlike our dumb-bells. (3) Wrestling (pale). This was the piece de resistance of the Greek gymnastic. The combatants were allowed certain tricks which are now forbidden, as throttling, pushing, and twisting the fingers. Standing upright, each wrestler tried to throw the other down, and if one of them was thrown thrice, he was regarded as beaten, unless the contest was continued on the ground. In this case the one who was thrown tried to get up, while the other tried to hinder him, until he owned himself vanquished. Before all gymnastic exercises the body was well rubbed with oil to make the limbs supple. But before wrestling it was also sprinkled with dust, partly to afford a firm hold, partly to prevent excessive perspiration. (4) Discobolia, or throwing the discus. (See Discus.) (5) Throwing the javelin (akontismos). These five exercises together formed the pentathlon, or set of five, in which no one was accounted victorious who had not conquered in all. Besides these there was (6) The dangerous game of boxing (pyx,pygme). In this the combatants struck out with each hand alternately, their hands being bound round with thongs so as to leave fingers and thumb free to form a clenched fist (See engraving). Athletes often fitted the thongs with strips of sharp and hardened leather, or with nails and leaden knobs. The blow was directed against the upper part of the body, head, and face. (7) The Pancration was a combination of boxing and wrestling, but nothing was worn on the hands, and the blow was delivered, not with the clenched fist, bat with the fingers bent. This exercise was not introduced into the public games until 650 B.C. Indeed, the two latter exercises were generally confined to the professional athletes. (See ATHLETES.) In Sparta they were not practised at all. II Roman. Among the Romans from the oldest times until the imperial period, the youths used to assemble for exercises in the Campus Martins, the object of the exercises being exclusively to prepare them for military service. (See EDUCATION.) The Greek gymnastic was not introduced at Rome until the decline of Roman tradition had set in, and professional athleticism had become fashionable. The Roman sense of propriety was offended by the Greek practice of exercising unclothed, and the only game which they really adopted was that of throwing the discus.
In Greece, the master who imparted gymnastic instruction in the palaestra. (See EDUCATION, 1.)
In Greek gymnastics a contest compounded of the five events (running, jumping, wrestling, throwing the discus and the javelin). After each separate event the defeated stood out, till finally two contested the victory in the wrestling. (See GYMNASTICS.)
The linen bandage worn by the Roman gymnasts whilst performing their exercises. It was passed round the waist and between the legs.
The name given by the Greeks to the place in which the young were instructed in wrestling and boxing under the guidance of a master called a poedotribes. There were a considerable number of such schools at Athens, which had been built, some at public expense, some by private undertaking. In later times they were also connected with the Gymnasia. (See GYMNASIUM and GYMNASTICS.)
A great festival held at Sparta from the 6th to the 10th of July. It was an exhibition of all kinds of accomplishments in gymnastics, music, and dancing, given by boys, youths, and men for the benefit of the citizens and of the numerous strangers who flocked to Sparta for the occasion, and were hospitably entertained there. Festal hymns were written for the occasion, in honour not only of the gods but of brave citizens, notably those who had fallen at Thyrea, and later at Thermopylae.
This was the name given by the Greeks to the professional competitors for the prizes in gymnastic contests, such as boxing and the pancration, a combination of boxing with wrestling. The athletoe practised gymnastics as a means of livelihood, whereas in general Greek society it was regarded as a liberal art, useful for the harmonious development of the body, and as a training for military service. The professional athletes adopted a special regimen, which produced an exceptional development of bodily strength and muscle, but unfitted them for any other kind of life or pursuit. The profession of athlete was accordingly adopted mainly by men of low birth, and was more popular with the multitude than with persons of intelligence and education. Greek athletes did not make their appearance in Rome before 186 B.C. In the republican age they were not regarded with great favour; but under Augustus their contests became quite popular. No social stigma attached to them, as to actors and gladiators, and under the Empire they formed themselves into regular societies, each with its own president, travelling from place to place at the festivals, at which they would appear in pairs, arranged by lot, for a high remuneration. In 86 A.D. Domitian established a contest on the Capitol for musicians and athletes, to recur every four years; and erected a special race-course for the athletes on the Campus Martius. The Capitoline contest survived during the whole of antiquity.
PYTHIA 20.42%
The Pythian games. Next to the Olympic games, the most important of the four Greek national festivals. From 586 B.C. they were held on the Crissaean plain below Delphi. They took place once in four years, in the third year of each Olympiad, in the Delphic month Bucatius (the middle of August). Before this time (586 B.C.) there used to take place at Delphi itself, once in eight years, a great festival in honour of Apollo, in which the minstrels vied with one another in singing, to the accompaniment of the cithara, a paean in praise of the god, under the direction of the Delphic priests. After the first Sacred War, when the Crissaean plain became the property of the priesthood, the Amphictyons introduced festivals once in four years, at which gymnastic contests and foot-races took place, as well as the customary musical contest. This contest also was further developed. Besides minstrels who sang with the cithara, players on the flute, and singers to accompaniment of the flute, took part in it (the last-named, however, for a short time only). The gymnastic and athletic contests, which were nearly the same as those held at Olympia, yielded in significance to the musical ceremonies, and of these the Pythian nomos was the most important. It was a composition for the flute, worked out on a prescribed scheme, and celebrating the battle of Apollo with the dragon Python, and his triumph. At first the prize for the victor was of some substantial value, but at the second festival it took the form of a wreath from the sacred bay tree in the Vale of Tempe. The victor also received, as in the other contests, a palm-branch. The judges were chosen by the Amphictyons. The Pythian, like the Olympic games, were probably not discontinued till about 394 A.D.
AGON 18.77%
The Greek name for a musical (=artistic) or gymnastic contest. The umpires who conducted them, and gave away the prizes, were called Agonothetae. (On those who officiated at scenic games in Athens, see DRAMA.) At Rome such contests modelled on those of the Greeks, became frequent before the fall of the Republic; under the Empire they came round at periods of several years, like the great Grecian games. The most famous of all, which held its ground to the end of antiquity, was the Agon Capitolinus, founded by Domitian in 86 A.D., and recurring every four years. He had an Odieum (q.v.) built for the musical performances, and a Stadion for the athletic combats, both in the Campus Martius. Another great Agon was held in 248 A.D. in honour of the city having stood for a thousand years.
STADIUM 18.46%
The course for foot-races amongst the Greeks; the usual length of it was 600 Greek feet, a measure which Heracles, according to the myth, had appointed for the course at Olympia. (See OLYMPIAN GAMES, fig. 4.) Subsequently this became the standard unit for measuring distances. On both of the longer sides of the course were Datural or artificial elevations with terraced seats for the spectators. At one end there was generally a semicircular space especially intended for wrestling, and this was the place for the umpires. Near this was the pillar which marked the goal. The starting-point was also [sometimes] indicated by a pillar at the other end, which was originally straight, and in later times curved like the end near the goal. For the different kind of races, see GYMNASTICS.
DISCUS 16.01%
A flat piece of stone, or metal, shaped like a bean to fit the palm of the hand. As far back as the age of Homer it was a common thing for men to contend in throwing the discus, and the exercise was a favourite one in the paloestroe or gymnasia of Greece in historical times. It was represented at the great festivals, but as part of the pentathlon, not as an independent exhibition (see GYMNASTICS. The thrower grasped the discus-the size and weight of which would vary according to circumstances-with the fingers of his right hand, with which he held the edge, letting the whole rest on the inner surface of the hand and lower arm. He then raised his arm backwards as far as the shoulder, and threw the disk forward in an arch. The longest throw won the prize. The exercise was taken up by the Romans under the Empire. It was a favourite subject with artists, the most celebrated statue of a Discobolos being that of Myron (see cut, under MYRON).
EPHEBI 15.86%
The Athenian name for youths over the age of sixteen. The completion of a boy's sixteenth year was the occasion of a festival, at which the ephebus made a drink offering to Heracles, and entertained his friends with wine. His hair, hitherto worn long, was cut, and the locks dedicated to Apollo. For the two following years the ephebi were mainly employed in gymnastic exercises, and after that time the proper civic ephebia commenced. After an examination intended to test the genuineness of their civic descent and their physical capacity, the ephebi were entered on the list of their tribe, presented to the people assembled in the theatre, armed with spear and shield, and taken to the sanctuary of Agraulos at the foot of the citadel, where they bound themselves by a solemn oath to the service and defence of their country. For the two following years they served as guards on the frontier. After the completion of their twentieth year they were admitted to the meetings of the assembly and employed in foreign service. Their dress was the chlamys and the petasus.
Greek. The Dorians of Crete and Sparta followed a peculiar line in the matter of education. Throughout Greece generally the state left it to private effort; but in Sparta and Crete it came under the direct supervision of the community. At Sparta, as soon as a child was born, a commission of the elders of its tribe had to decide whether it should be reared or exposed. If it was weakly or deformed, it was exposed in a defile of Mount Taygetus. Till his seventh year, a boy was left to the care of his parents. After this the Paidonomos, or officer presiding over the whole department of education, assigned him to a division of children of the same age called a bua. Several of such buas together formed a troop or ila. Each bua was superintended by a Buagoros, each ila by an Ilarchos. Both these officers were elected from among the most promising of the grown up youths, and were bound to instruct the children in their exercises. The exercises were calculated to suit the various ages of the children, and consisted in running, leaping, wrestling, throwing the spear and discus, as well as in a number of dances, particularly the war dance or Pyrrhiche (see PYRRHIC DANCE). The dancing was under the constant superintendence of the Paidonomos, and five Bidyoe, under him. The discipline was generally directed to strengthening or hardening the body. The boys went barefoot and bareheaded, with hair cut short, and in light clothing. From their twelfth year they wore nothing but an upper garment, which had to last the whole year. They slept in a common room without a roof, on a litter of hay or straw, and from their fifteenth year on rushes or reeds. Their food was extremely simple, and not sufficient to satisfy bunger. A boy who did not want to be hungry had to steal; if he did this cleverly, he was praised, and punished if detected. Every year the boys had to undergo a flogging at the altar of Artemis Orthia, as a test of their power to endure bodily pain. They were whipped till the blood flowed, and deemed it a disgrace to show any sign of suffering. Reading and writing were left to private instructors; but music, and choral singing in particular, formed a part of the regular discipline. The understanding was assumed to be formed by daily life in public, and the conversation of the men, to which the boys were admitted. Every Spartan boy looked up to his seniors as his instructors and superiors; the consequence being that in Sparta the young behaved to their elders with more modesty and respect than in any other Greek city. Besides this, every man chose a boy or youth as his favourite. He was bound to set the boy an example of all manly excellence, and was regarded as responsible and punishable for his delinquencies. This public education and the performance of the regular exercises, under the superintendence of the Bidyoe, lasted till the thirtieth year. In the eighteenth year the boy passed into the class of youths. From the twentieth year, when military service proper began, to the thirtieth, the youth was called an eiren. He was not regarded as a man, or allowed to attend the public assembly till his thirtieth year. The girls had an education in music and gymnastic education similar to that of the boys, and at the public games and contests each sex was witness of the performances of the other. The girls' dress was extremely simple, consisting of a sleeveless tunic reaching not quite down to the knees, and open at the sides. In this, however, there was nothing which interfered with modesty and propriety of behaviour. In Crete the system of education was generally similar to that of Sparta. But the public training did not begin till the seventeenth year, when the boys of the same age joined themselves freely into divisions called agelai, each led by some noble youth, whose father was called agelatas, and undertook the supervision of the games and exercises. It is probable that the young men remained in this organization till their twenty-seventh year, when the law compelled them to marry. At Athens, as in Greece generally, the father decided whether the child should be reared or exposed. The latter alternative seems to have been not seldom adopted, especially when the child was a girl. If the education of a child was once fairly commenced, the parents had no power to put it out of the way. At the birth of a boy, the door of the house was adorned with a branch of olive; at the birth of a girl, with wool. On the fifth or seventh day after birth the child underwent a religious dedication at the festival of the Amphidromia ("running round"). It was touched with instruments of purification, and carried several times round the burning hearth. On the tenth day came the festival of naming the child, with sacrifice and entertainment, when the father acknowledged it as legitimate. To the end of the sixth year the boys and girls were brought up together under female supervision; but after this the sexes were educated apart. The girls' life was almost entirely confined to her home: she was brought up under the superintendence of women, and with hardly anything which can be called profitable instruction. The boy was handed over to a slave older than himself called Poedagogos. It was the slave's duty to watch the boy's outward behaviour, and to attend him, until his boyhood was over, whenever he went out, especially to the school and the gymnasium. The laws made some provision for the proper education of boys. They obliged every citizen to have his son instructed in music, gymnastics, and the elements of letters (grammata), i.e. writing, reading, and arithmetic. They further obliged the parents to teach their boys some profitable trade, in case they were unable to leave them a property sufficient to maintain them independent. If they failed in this, they forfeited all claim to support from the children in old age. But with schools and their arrangements the state did not concern itself. The schools were entirely in private hands, though they were under the eye of the police. The elementary instruction was given by the grammatistoe, or teachers of letters, the teacher writing and the scholars copying. The text-books for reading were mostly poems, especially such as were calculated to have an influence on the formation of character. The Homeric poems were the favourite reading book, but Hesiod, Theognis, and others were also admitted. Collections of suitable passages from the poets were early made for the boys to copy, learn by heart, and repeat aloud. The higher instruction given by the grammatikos was also of this literary character. Mathematics were introduced into the school curriculum as early as the 5th century, drawing not till the middle of the 4th century B.C. Instruction in music proper began about the thirteenth year. The profound moral influence attributed to music in Greek antiquity made this art an essential part of education. It brought with it, naturally, an acquaintance with the masterpieces of Greek poetry. The instrument most practised was the lyre, from its suitableness as an accompaniment to song. The flute was held in less esteem. The aim of education was supposed to be the harmonious development of mind and body alike. Instruction in gymnastics was consequently regarded as no less essential than in music, and began at about the same age. It was carried on in the paloestroe (see PALAeSTRA) under the paidotribai, who were, like the grammatikoi, private, not public instructors. The boys began their gymnastics in the paloestra, and completed them in the gymnasia under the superintendence of the gymnastoe. The ephebi, in particular, or boys between sixteen and nineteen, practised their exercises in the gymnasia, till, in their twentieth year, they were considered capable of bearing arms, and employed on frontier service. At this point they became liable to enlistment for foreign service, and obtained the right of attending the meeting of the public assembly. Towards the end of the 5th century B.C. the class of sophistoe, or professors of practical education, arose. This gave the young men an opportunity of extending their education by attending lectures in rhetoric and philosophy; but the high fees charged by the sophistoe, had the effect of restricting this instruction to the sons of the wealthy.
The Greek name for the place where the youths who had alreadyreat variety of gymnastic exercises, and the increasing inclination of grown men to look on at them and take part in them, the gymnasia often adorned with beautiful sculptures, grow in extent and splendour of equipment. (Seecut.) The great court comprised a number of spaces serving a variety of purposes: for instance, the ephebeion, or hall where the ephebi practised, rooms for dressing and anointing, sanding or dusting the body, cold-water baths and dry sudatoria, spaces for playing at ball, open and covered passages for running, wrestling, or walking. Attached to the colonnades on the outside were semicircular niches, furnished with stone seats, called exedra,. In these philosophers and rhetoricians would sit and talk with their disciples. A stadion, with a space for spectators to look on, and walksplanted with trees, were often attached to the gymnasium. The whole was under the superintendence of a gymnasiarchos. The conduct of the youths was under the supervision of sophronistoe. At Athens these officers were ten in number, and elected annually. The exercises were directed by the gymnastoe. For similar arrangements under the Roman empire see THERMAe.
Flavius Philostratusthe elder, a Greek Sophist, of Lemnos, son of a celebrated Sophist of the same name. He taught first in Athens, then at Rome till the middle of the 3rd century A.D. By order of his great patroness Julia Domna, the learned wife of the emperor Septimius Severus, he wrote (a) the romantic Life of Apollonius of Tyana. Besides this we have by him (b) a work entitled Heroicus, consisting of mythical histories of the heroes of the Trojan War in the form of a dialogue, designed to call back to life the expiring popular religion. (c) Lives of the Sophists, in two books, the first dealing with twenty-six philosophers, the second with thirty-three rhetoricians of earlier as well as later times, a work important for the history of Greek culture, especially during the imperial age. (d) Seventythree letters, partly amatory in subject. (e) A fragment of a work intended to revive interest in the old Gymnastic. Lastly (f), the Imagines in two books, being descriptions of sixty-six paintings on all possible subjects. Of these it is doubtful whether, as he pretends, they really belonged to a gallery at Naples (a statement accepted by Brunn Kunstlergeschichte, ii 178; Jahrb. f. Philol. Supplementband 4, 179 pp. and 1871]; or whether their subjects were invented by himself [as maintained by Friederichs, Die Philostratischen Bilder, 1860; and Matz, De Philostratorum in Describendis Imaginibus Fide, 1867]. Like all his writings, this work is skilful and pleasing in its manner, and the interest of its topic makes it particularly attractive. It is not so much designed to incite to the study of works of art, as to exhibit the art of painting in a totally now field; and herein he is followed both by his grandson and namesake, and by Callistratus (q.v.).
A plain lying to the north of Rome, outside the Pomerium, between the Tiber, the Quirinal and the Capitoline Hills. (See POMERIUM.) During the regal period it was part of the property of the Crown, and, after the expulsion of the kings, was dedicated to Mars. The northern part, on the banks of the Tiber, served as an exercise-ground for the Roman youth for athletics, riding, or military drill. The smaller part, next to the city, was used for the meetings of the Comitia Centuriata, and for holding the lustrum. In the midst of it stood an altar to Mars, which formed the centre of the ceremony of the lustrum, and of some other festivals held on the spot in honour of that deity. (See LUSTRUM.) Until the end of the republican age there was only one building on this part of the Campus, the Villa Publica. This was the residence assigned to foreign ambassadors and Roman generals on their return from war, to whom the senate granted audiences in the neighbouring temple of Bellona. But in B.C. 55 Pompeius erected in the Campus the first stone theatre built in Rome, with a great colonnade adjoining it. Here too Julius Caesar commenced his marble saepta, or inclosures for the Comitia Centuriate, with a great colonnade surrounding the ovile. (See COMITIA.) These were completed by Agrippa in 27 B.C. In B.C. 28, Octavianus Caesar added the Mausoleum, or hereditary burial-place of the Caesars, and Agrippa the Pantheon and the first Thermoe or Baths. Under the succeeding emperors a number of buildings rose here; for instance, Domitian's Race-course (Stadium) and Odeum. The rest of the Campus was left free for gymnastic and military exercises, the grounds being magnificently decorated with statues and colonnades. The altar survived until the last days of ancient Rome.
One of the four great national festivals of the Greeks, held on the Isthmus of Corinth, in a grove of pine trees sacred to Poseidon, near the shrines of the Isthmian Poseidon and of Melicertes. From B.C. 589, they were held in the first month of spring, in the second and fourth years of each Olympiad. According to legend, the Isthmian Games were originally funeral games in memory of Melicertes (q.v.); another tradition relates that they were established by Theseus either in honour of Poseidon, or in commemoration of his victory over Sciron and Sinis. In any case, the Athenians were specially interested in the festival from the earliest times. It was alleged that, from the days of Theseus downwards, they had what was called the proedria, the right of occupying the most prominent seats at the games, and, in accordance with a law attributed to Solon, they presented to those of their citizens who were victors in the contests a reward amounting to 100 drachmoe. [The only occasion when Socrates was absent from Athens, except with the army, was to attend this festival.] The inhabitants of Elis were completely excluded from the games, being debarred from either sending competitors or festal envoys. The Corinthians had the presidency, which was transferred to the Sicyonians after the destruction of Corinth (B.C. 146), but at the rebuilding of Corinth (B.C. 46) it was restored to that city. The contests included gymnastic exercises, horse-races, and competitions in music. The two former differed in no essential way from the Olympian Games (q.v.); in the third, besides musicians, poets of either sex contended for the prize. Besides the customary palm, the prize in Pindar's time consisted of a wreath of dry selinon [often translated "parsley," but more probably identical with the "wild celery," apium graveolens. The selinon was a symbol of funeral games], After the destruction of Corinth, a crown of pine leaves was substituted for it. The games long continued to be held, even under the Roman Empire. [Cp. Plutarch, Timoleon, 26, and Sympos. v 3, 1-3.]
HELIOS 7.65%
In Greek mythology, the Sungod, son of the Titan Hyperion (whose name he bears himself in Homer) and the Titaness Theia; brother of Selene (the Moon) and Eos (Dawn). The poets apply the name Titan to him in particular, as the offspring of Titans. He is represented as a strong and beautiful god, in the bloom of youth, with gleaming eyes and waving locks, a crown of rays upon his head. In the morning he rises from a lovely bay of the Ocean in the farthest East, where the Ethiopians dwell. To give light to gods and men he climbs the vault of heaven in a chariot drawn by four snow-white horses, breathing light and fire; their names are Eoos, Aethiops, Bronte, and Sterope. In the evening he sinks with his chariot into the Ocean, and while he sleeps is carried round along the northern border of the earth to the East again in agolden boat, shaped like a bowl, the work of Hephaestus. He is called Phaethon, from the brilliant light that he diffuses; he is the All-seer (Panoptes) because his rays penetrate everywhere. He is revealer of all that is done on earth; it is he who tells Hephaestus of the love of Ares and Aphrodite, and shows Demeter who has carried off her daughter. He is accordingly invoked as a witness to oaths and solemn protestations. On the island of Trinacria (Sicily) he has seven flocks of sheep and seven herds of cattle, fifty in each. It is his pleasure, on his daily journey, to look down upon them. Their numbers must not be increased or diminished; if this is done, his wrath is terrible. (See ODYSSEUS.) In the 700 sheep and oxen the ancients recognised the 700 days and nights of the lunar year. The flocks are tended by Phaethusa (the goddess of light) and Lampetie (the goddess of shining), his daughter by Neaera. By the ocean Nymsh Perse or Perseis he is father of Aeetes, Circe, and Pasipae, by Clymene the father of Phaethon, and Augeas was also accounted his son. His children have the gleaming eyes of their father. After the time of Euripides, or there-abouts, the all-seeing Sun-god was identified with Apollo, the god of prophecy. Helios was worshipped in man places, among which may be mentioned Corinth and Elis. The island of Rhodes was entirely consecrated to him.. Here an annual festival (Halia) was held during the summer in his honour, with chariot-racing and contests of music and gymnastics; and four consecrated horses were thrown into the sea as a sacrifice to him. In 278 B.C. a colossal bronze statue, by Chares of Lindus, was erected to him at the entrance of the harbour of Rhodes. Herds of red and white cattle were, in many places, kept in his honour. White animals, and especially white horses, were sacred to him; among birds the cock, and among trees the white poplar. The Latin poets identified Helios with the Sabine deity Sol, who had an ancient place of worship on the Quirinal at Rome, and a public sacrifice on the 8th of August. But it was the introduction of the ritual of Mithras which first brought the worshit of the sun into prominence in Rome. (See MITHRAS.)
EROS 7.21%
The god of love among the Greeks. His name does not occur in Homer; but in Hesiod he is the fairest of the deities, who subdues the hearts of all gods and men. He is born from Chaos at the same time as the Earth and Tartarus, and is the comrade of Aphrodite from the moment of her birth. Hesiod conceives Eros not merely as the god of sensual love, but as a power which forms the world by inner union of the separated elements; an idea very prevalent in antiquity, especially among the philosophers. But according to the later and commoner notion, Eros was the youngest of the gods, generally the son of Aphrodite by Ares or Hermes, always a child, thoughtless and capricious. He is as irresistible as fair, and has no pity even for his own mother. Zeus, the father of gods and men, arms him with golden wings, and with bow and unerring arrows, or burning torches. Anteros, the god of mutual love, is his brother, and his companions are Pothos and Himeros, the per sonifications of longing and desire, with Peitho (Persuasion), the Muses, and the Graces. In later times he is surrounded by a crowd of similar beings, Erotes or loves. (For the later legend of Eros and Psyche, see PSYCHE.) One of the chief and oldest seats of his worship was Thespiae in Baeotia. Here was his most ancient image, a rough, unhewn stone. His festival, the Erotia or Erotidia, continued till the time of the Roman Empire to be celebrated every fifth year with much ceremony, accompanied by gymnastic and musical contests. Besides this he was paid special honour and worship in the gymnasia, where his statue generally stood near those of Hermes and Heracles. In the gymnasia Eros was the personification of devoted friendship and love between youths and men; the friendship which proved itself active and helpful in battle and bold adventure. This was the reason why the Spartans and Cretans sacrificed to Eros before a battle, and the sacred band of youths at Thebes was dedicated to him; why a festival of freedom (Eleutheria) was held at Samos in his honour, as the god who bound men and youths together in the struggle for bonour and freedom; and why at Athens he was worshipped as the liberator of the city, in memory of Harmodius and Aristogiton. In works of art Eros was usually represented as a beautiful boy, close upon the age of youth. In later times be also appears as a child with the attributes of a bow and arrows, or burning torches, and in a great variety of situations. The most celebrated statues of this god were by Lysippus, Scopas, and Praxiteles, whose Eros at Thespiae was regarded as a master-piece, and unsurpassable. The famous torso in the Vatican, in which the god wears a dreamy, lovelorn air, is popularly, but probably erroneously, traced to an original by Praxiteles (fig. 1). The Eros trying his bow, in the Capitoline Museum at Rome, is supposed to be the copy of a work by Lysippus (fig. 2). The Roman god Amor or Cupido was a mere adaptation of the Greek Eros, and was never held in great honour.
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