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Son of Theseus and of the Amazon Antiope. When he spurned the love of his step-mother Phaeedra, she slandered him to her husband Theseus, who begged his father Poseidon to avenge him. While Hippolytus was driving along the seashore, his horses were frightened by a bull sent forth from the water by Poseidon, and he was thrown from his chariot and killed. Phaedra, conscious of the wrong that she had done, killed herself. A later legend describes Hippolytus as a chaste huntsman and a favourite of Artemis, who was raised from the dead by Aesculapius, and taken by the goddess to the sacred grove of Diana at Aricia in Latium, where he was worshipped with the goddess under the name of Virbius. (See DIANA.)
VIRBIUS 100.00%
An Italian god, identified with Hippolytus, who was raised to life by Asclepius, and worshipped together with Diana as presiding genius of the wood and the chase. (Cp.DIANA and HIPPOLYTUS.)
PHAEDRA 74.64%
Daughter of Minos and Pasiphae, wife of Theseus, and mother of Acamas and Demophoon. When her stepson Hippolytus rejected her love, she compassed his death by slandering him to Theseus. Afterwards, in remorse for her gailt, she put an end to her life. (See HIPPOLYTUS.)
ANTIOPE 30.24%
A sister of Hippolyte, queen of the Amazons; who, according to one account, fall as a prize of war to Theseus for his share in Heracles' campaign against the Amazons, according to another, was carried off by him and his friend Pirithous. When the Amazons attacked Athens in return, she is variously represented as persuading them to peace, or falling in battle against them by the side of Theseus; or, again, as killed by Heracles, when she interrupted the marriage of her beloved Theseus with Phaedra. Her son by Theseus was Hippolytus.
DIANA 13.36%
An ancient Italian deity, whose name is the feminine counterpart of Ianus. She was the goddess of the moon, of the open air, and open country, with its mountains, forests, springs and brooks, of the chase, and of childbirth. In the latter capacity she, like Juno, bore the second title of Lucina. Thus her attributes were akin to those of the Greek Artemis, and in the course of time she was completely identified with her and with Hecate, who resembled her. The most celebrated shrine of Diana was at Aricia in a grove (nemus), from which she was sometimes simply called Nemorensis. This was on the banks of the modern lake of Nemi, which was called the mirror of Diana. Here a male deitynamed Virbius was worshipped with her,a god of the forest and the chase. He was in later times identified with Hippolytus, the risen favourite of Artemis, and the oldest priest of the sanctuary (Rex Nemorensis). He was said to have originated the custom of giving the priest's office to a runaway slave, who broke off a branch from a particular tree in the precincts, and slew his predecessor in office in single combat. In consequence of this murderous custom the Greeks compared Diana of Aricia with the Tauric Artemis, and a fable arose that Orestes bad brought the image of that god into the grove. Diana was chiefly worshipped by womell, who prayed to her for happiness in marriage or childbirth. The most considerable temple of Diana at Rome was in the Aventine, founded by Servius Tullius as the sanctuary of the Latin confederacy. On the day of its foundation (August 13) the slaves had a holiday. This Diana was completely identified with the sister of Apollo, and worshipped simply as Artemis at the Secular Games. A sign of the original difference however remained. Cows were offered to the Diana of the Aventine, and her temple adorned with cows, not with stags' horns, but it was the doe which was sacred to Artemis (see ARTEMIS).
The third of the three great Attic tragedians. He was born in the island of Salamis, in 480 B.C., on the very day of the great battle. His father Mnesarchus is said to have been a tradesman or tavern-keeper, his mother Clito a seller of herbs. His parents, however, must have had some means, judging by the fact that they gave him a careful gymnastic education to fit him for the athletic contests. This was because they had misinterpreted an oracle given them before his birth which promised the child crowns of victory. Euripides is said in his boyhood really to have gained the prize in a public contest of this kind, but in fact lie was destined to win victories in a very different arena. He associated much with the philosophers Anaxagoras and Socrates, with the latter of whom he enjoyed an intimate friendship during the whole of his life. He also had instruction from the sophists Protagoras and Prodicus. Thus he received the best of education in philosophy and rhetoric. It was in his twenty-fifth year (B.C. 455) that he first put a tetralogy on the stage. He did not win a prize till his forty-third year, and seems indeed to have been victorious only four times in all; but he was none the less indefatigable in writing tragedies. He took a lively interest in the important events and the public questions of the time; but personally be kept aloof from public life, avoided society, and lived mostly in the enjoyment of an excellent library, amid his studies and poetical creations. He was twice unfortunate in his marriage, a fact which may have encouraged him in his surly, unsociable ways. His first wife, Chaerile, he had to divorce for infidelity. She bore him three daughters, the youngest of whom, who was named after her mother, put several of her father's tragedies on the stage after his death. His second wife, Melito, parted from him at her own desire. In 409, at the age of 71, he left Athens; it was said to get away from the ceaseless attacks of the comedians, and from his domestic troubles. He went to Magnesia in Thessaly, where he was received as a guest of the city. Thence he went on to Pella to the court of Archelaus, king of Macedonia, who had gathered round him a number of poets and artists, and who treated him with great respect. Here he spent the last two years of his life and died B.C. 405. According to a story for which there is little authority, he was torn to pieces by a pack of hounds when returning from a nocturnal festivity. The number of his tragedies is variously given as seventy-five, seventy-eight, and ninety-two. Eighteen have come down to us: the Alcestis, Andromache, Bacchae (or the arrival of Dionysus at Thebes and the murder of Pentheus), Hecuba, Helena, Electra, the Heraclidae (or Demophoon of Athens protecting the descendants of Heracles against the persecution of Eurystheus); Heracles in Madness, the Suppliants (or the mothers of the Seven Chiefs who had fallen before Thebes, at whose prayers Theseus compelled the Thebans to bury the dead heroes); Hippolytus, Iphigenia at Aulis, Iphigenia among the Tauri, Ion, Medea, Orestes, Rhesus, the Troades (or the royal house of Troy after the conquest of the city); the Phoenissae (so called after the chorus of Phoenician maidens, an incident in the story of Eteocles and POlynices); and a satyric drama, the Cyclops, the only example of this style of composition which has survived. The earliest of these pieces in point of time is the Alcestis, performed in B.C. 438. It is also noticeable because, although not a satyric drama in the proper sense, it has comic features towards the end, and was actually performed at the end of a tetralogy in place of a satyric drama. The Bacchae, on the other hand, was written in Macedonia in the poet's last years, and performed after his death at the same time as the Iphigenia at Aulis. The genuineness of the Rhesus was doubted even in antiquity. A great number of fragments have survived from about sixty pieces, and in particular from the Phaethon. The tragedies of Euripides are of very unequal merit. Some of them, for instance lofty style of Sophocles, others approach it, as the Medeaand Iphigenia in Tauris. But others, as for instance the Andromache and Electra, are very carelessly put together. His strong point is not artistic composition, well contrived disposition, or the coherent design which gives the inner motive of the action. It is sufficient, in support of this statement, to call attention to his habit of prefixing to every piece a prologue, explaining the story to the spectators, and connected loosely (if at all) with the play; to the very slight connexion between the chorus and the action, and to his liking for bringing in a deus ex machina to cut a difficult knot. On the other hand, it must be allowed that Euripides is a master in the art of devising pathetic situations, and shows extraordinary power in representing human passion, especially the resistless might of love in the case of women. In his religious views be differs essentially from Aeschylus and Sophocles. With Euripides the gods are not moral powers, and fate is not so much the result of a higher dispensation as a perverseness of accident. The lack of grandeur is also a point which distinguishes him from his great predecessors. Instead of their sublime ideas he gives us maxims of worldly wisdom, often to all appearance dragged in without occasion. The motives of action are not so pure as in Aeschylus and Sophocles, and the characters of the heroes are not raised above the level of ordinary life, but brought down to it. So fond is he of giving prominence to the faults of women, that he has been called a woman-hater. He pays more attention to the course of politics than his predecessors, and is indeed influenced by political considerations in his sketches of character. In deference to the democratic leanings of his public, he makes his kings cruel tyrants, without dignity or majesty, and the heroes of the Peloponnese, in particular, he treats with unconcealed dislike. His dialogues are often overloaded with rhetoric and sophistical dialectic. But, in spite of all these faults, for which the spirit of the age is mainly responsible, be is a great poetical genius. He was very popular with his contemporaries, and has been still more so with succeeding generations. The tragedians of the next age made him their model and pattern without qualification, and the Roman poets preferred paraphrasing his dramas to those of the other tragedians.
Type: Standard
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