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HORAE 100.00%
The goddesses of order in nature, who cause the seasons to change in their regular course, and all things to come into being, blossom and ripen at the appointed time. In Homer, who gives them neither genealogy nor names, they are mentioned as handmaidens of Zeus, entrusted with the guarding of the gates of heaven and Olympus; in other words, with watching the clouds. Hesiod calls them the daughters of Zeus and Themis, who watch over the field operations of mankind; their names are Eunomia (Good Order), Dike (Justice), and Eirine (Peace), names which show that the divinities of the three ordinary seasons of the world of nature, Spring, Summer, and Winter, are also, as daughters of Themis, appointed to superintend the moral world of human life. This is especially the case with Dike, who is the goddess who presides over legal order, and, like Themis, is enthroned by the side of Zeus. According to Hesiod, she immediately acquaints him with all unjust judicial decisions, so that he may punish them. In the tragic poets she is mentioned with the Erinyes and as a divinity who is relentless and stern in exacting punishment. (See ASTRAeA.) At Athens, two Horoe were honoured: Thallo, the goddess of the flowers of spring; and Carpo, the goddess of the fruits of summer. Nevertheless the Horae were also recognised as four in number, distinguished by the attributes of the seasons. They were represented as delicate, joyous, lightly moving creatures, adorned with flowers and fruits, and, like the Graces, often associated with other divinities, such as Aphrodite, Apollo, and He1ios. As the Hora specially representing spring, we have Chloris, the wife of Zephyrus, and goddess of flowers, identified by the Romans with Flora (q.v.).
THALLO 100.00%
Goddess of flowers, who presided over spring. (See HORAe.)
EIRENE 35.93%
The Greek goddess of peace, one of the Horae. She was worshipped as goddess of wealth, and represented accordingly as a young woman with Platus in her arms. (See PLUTUS.) Among her other attributes are the cornucopia, the olive branch, Hermes' staff, and ears of corn in her hand and on her head. The corresponding deity among the Romans was Pax, to whom an altar was set up on July 4th, 13 B.C., on the return of Augustus from Gaul.
The morning greeting which Romans of rank were in the habit of receiving from clients, friends, and admirers in the atrium during the first two hours of the day; for this purpose the callers gathered in the vestibule even before sunrise. [Martial, iv 8: prima salutantes atque altera continet hora; Pliny, Ep. iii 12,officia antelucana.]
THEMIS 22.92%
One of the Titanides; daughter of Uranus and Gaea, and Jupiter's second wife after Metis; mother of the Horae and Moerae (Lat. Parcoe). She is the goddess who, with Jupiter, presides over law and order. She also reigns with him in Olympus as his trusted assessor and no longer as his wife; she represents divine justice in all its relations to man. The rights of hospitality are especially under her protection; hence she is protector of the oppressed, and honoured in many towns as the saving goddess (Soteira). She also had the power of foretelling the future, and for this reason the Delphic oracle was in her possession for some time before it came into that of Apollo. She was especially honoured in Athens, Delphi, Thebes, Olympia, and Troezen. In works of art, she is represented as a woman of commanding and awe-inspiring presence, holding a pair of scales and a cornucopia, the symbol of the blessings of order.
The principal feast of Apollo in Athens, held on the seventh day of Thargelion (May-June), the birthday of the god. Originally it was connected with the ripening of the field produce. A procession was formed, and the first fruits of the year were offered to Apollo, together with Artemis and the Horae. It was at the same time an expiatory feast, at which a peculiar propitiatory sacrifice was offered, which was to purify the State from all guilt, and avert the wrath of the god, lest he should exercise his avenging and destroying power in burning up the harvest with parching heat, and in visiting the people with pestilence. Two persons, condemned to death, a man and a woman, as representatives of the male and female population, were led about with a garland of figs round their necks to the sound of flutes and singing, and scourged with seaweed and with the branches of a fig tree. They were then sacrificed at a certain spot on the seashore, their bodies burned, and the ashes cast into the sea. In later times they seem to have been contented with throwing the expiatory victims from a height into the sea, catching them as they fell, and banishing them from the country. Besides these sacrifices, festal processions and choral contests between men and boys took place. At the same time the great feast of Apollo was probably held at Delos, to which the Athenians sent a sacred embassy in the ancient ship in which Theseus is said to have sailed to Crete, and which was always kept in repair.
FLORA 17.71%
A goddess, originally Sabine, of the spring and of flowers and blossoms in general, to whom prayers were offered for the prospering of the ripe fruits of field and tree. She was also regarded as a goddess of the flower of youth and its pleasures. Her worship was said to have been introduced into Rome by the Sabine king Titus Tatius, and her special priest, the Flamen Floralis, to have been appointed by Numa. A temple was erected to her in the Circus Maximus in 238 B.C. At the same time a theatrical festival, the Floralia, was instituted at the behest of the Sibylline books. At this feast the men decked themselves and their animals with flowers, especially roses; the women put aside their usual costume, and wore the gay dresses usually forbidden. The scene was one of unrestrained merriment. From 173 B.C. the festival was a standing one, and lasted six days, from April 28, the anniversary of the foundation of the temple, to May 3. For the first five days of the games, for the superintendence of which the curule aediles were responsible, there were theatrical performances, largely consisting of the very indecent farces called mimes. On the last day goats, hares, and other animals were hunted in the circus. The people were regaled during the games with porridge, peas, and lentils. Flora was in later times identified with the Greek Chloris (See HORAe). In works of art she was represented as a blooming maiden, decked with flowers.
CECROPS 16.74%
One of the aborigines of Attica, and as such represented with a human body ending in a serpent (see cut). In the later story he was erroneously represented as having come to Attica from Sais in Egypt. He was said to have been the first king of Attica, which was called after him Cecropia. He divided the rude inhabitants into twelve communities, founded the stronghold of Athens, which was called Cecropia after him, and introduced the elements of civilization, the laws of marriage and property, the earliest political arrangements, and the earliest religious services, notably those of Zeus and Athene. When Poseidon and Athene were contending for the possession of the land, Poseidon struck the rock of the acropolis with his trident, and water (or, according to another story, the horse) sprang forth; but Athene planted the first olive tree. Cecrops, on being called in to decide between them, gave judgment in favour of the goddess, as having conferred on the land the more serviceable gift. Cecrops had four children by his wife Agraulos: a son Ervsichthon, who died childless, and three daughters, Agraulos, Herse, and Pandrosos. The names of the last two show them to be the deities of the fertilizing dew; and indeed the three were regarded as in the service of Athene, and as giving fruitfulness to the fields. Pandrosos was Athene's first priestess. She had a shrine of her own (Pandroseum) in the temple of Erechtheus on the acropolis, and was invoked in times of drought with the two Attic Horae, Thallo and Carpo (see ERECHTHEUM). In her temple stood the sacred olive which Athene had created.
MORAE 11.41%
The Greek goddesses of Fate: Homer in one passage (Il. xxiv 209] speaks generally of the Moira, that spins the thread of life for men at their birth; in another [ib. 49] of several Moirai, and elsewhere (Od. vii 197] of the Clothes, or Spinners. Their relation to Zeus and other gods is no more clearly defined by Homer than by the other Greeks. At one time Fate is a power with unlimited sway over men and gods, and the will of Fate is searched out and executed by Zeus with the other gods [Il. xix 87; Od. xxii 413]; at another Zeus is called the highest ruler of destinies, or again he and the other gods can change the course of fate (Il. xvi 434], and even men can exceed the limits it imposes [Il. xx 336). In Hesiod they are called in one passage [Theog. 211-7] daughters of Night and sisters of the goddesses of death (Keres), while in another (Theog. 904] they are the daughters of Zeus and Themis and sisters of the Horae, who give good and bad fortunes to mortals at their birth; their names are Clotho (the Spinner), who spins the thread of life, Lachesis (Disposer of Lots), who determines its length, and Atropos (Inevitable), who cuts it off. As exerting power at the time of birth they are connected with Ilithyia, the goddess of birth, who was supposed to stand beside them, and was invoked together with them, these and the Kere's being the powers that decided when life should end. As at birth they determine men's destinies in life, they are also able to predict them. While on the one hand they are regarded as the impartial representatives of the government of the world, they are on the other hand sometimes conceived as cruel and jealous, because they remorselessly thwart the plans and desires of men. In art they appear as maidens of grave aspect. Clotho is usually represented with a spindle; Lachesis with a scroll, or a globe; and Atropos with a pair of scales or shears, or else drawing a lot (as in the cut). The Romans identified the Moirai with their native goddesses of fate, the Parcae. These were also called Fata, and were invoked, at the end of the first week of an infant's life, as Fata Scribunda, the goddesses that wrote down men's destiny in life.
HERA 6.38%
In Greek mythology, the queen of heaven, eldest daughter of Cronus and Rhea, sister and lawful consort of Zeus. According to Homer, she was brought up in her youth by Oceanus and Tethys. But every place in which her worship was localized asserted that she was born there, and brought up by the Nymphs of the district. She is said to have long lived in secret intimacy with Zeus, before he publicly acknowledged her as his lawful consort. Her worshippers celebrated her marriage in the spring time. In the oldest version of the story it took place in the Islands of the Blessed, on the shore of the Ocean stream, where the golden apple tree of the Hesperides sprang up to celebrate it. But this honour, too, was claimed by every place where Hera was worshipped. According to one local story, Zeus obtained the love of Hera by stealth, in the form of a cuckoo. Hera seems originally to have symbolised the feminine aspects of the natural forces of which Zeus is the masculine representative. Hence she is at once his wife and his sister, shares his power and his honours, and, like him, has authority over the phenomena of the atmosphere. It is she who sends clouds and storms, and is mistress of the thunder and the lightning. Her handmaids are the Horae or goddesses of the season, and Iris, the goddess of the rainbow. Like Zeus, men worship her on mountains, and pray to her for rain. The union of sun and rain, which wakes the earth to renewed fertility, is symbolised as the loving union of Zeus and Hera. In the same way a conflict of the winds is represented as the consequence of a matrimonial quarrel, usually attributed to the jealousy of Hera, who was regarded as the stern protectress of honourable marriage. Hence arose stories of Zeus ill-treating his wife. It was said that he scourged her, and hurled Hephaestus from heaven to earth when hurrying to his mother's assistance; that in anger for her persecution of his son Heracles, he hung her out in the air with golden chains to her arms and an anvil on each foot. There were also old stories which spoke of Hera allying herself with Athene and Poseidon to bind Zeus in chains. Zeus was only rescued by the Giant Aegaeon, whom Thetis called to his assistance. The birth of Athene was said to have enraged Hera to such a pitch that she became the mother of Typhon by the dark powers of the infernal regions. In fact, this constant resistance to the will of Zeus, and her jealousy and hatred of her consort's paramours and their children, especially Heracles, becomes in the poets a standing trait in her character. In spite of all this, Homer represents her as the most majestic of all the goddesses. The other Olympians pay her royal honours, and Zeus treats her with all respect and confides all his designs to her, though not always yielding to her demands. She is the spotless and uncorruptible wife of the King of Heaven; the mother of Hephaestus, Ares, Hebe, and Ilithyia, and indeed may be called the only lawful wife in the Olympian court. She is, accordingly, before all other deities the goddess of marriage and the protectress of purity in married life. She is represented as of exalted but severe beauty, and appears before Paris as competing with Aphrodite and Athene for the prize of loveliness. In Homer she is described as of lofty stature, large eyes, white arms, and beautiful hair. On women she confers bloom and strength; she helps them, too, in the dangerous hour of child-birth. Her daughters Hebe and Ilithyia personify both these attributes. In earlier times Hera was not everywhere recognised as the consort of Zeus; at the primitive oracle of Dodona, for instance, Dione occupies this position. The Peloponnesus may be regarded as the earliest seat of her worship, and in the Peloponnesus, during the Homeric period, Argos, Mycenae, and Sparta are her favourite seats. Of these, according to the poet, she is the passionate champion in the Trojan War. In later times the worship of Hera was strongly localized in Argos and Mycenae. At Argos she took the same commanding position as Athene at Athens, and the year was dated by the names of her priestesses. Between these cities was situated the Heraeum (Heraion), a temple held in great honour (see HERAeA). At Corinth she was the goddess of the stronghold. At Elis a garment was offered her every five years by sixteen ladies chosen for the purpose, and the maidens held a race in her honour on the race-course at Olympia. Baeotia had its feast of the Daedala (see DAeDALA); Samos its large and splendid temple, built by the famous Polycrates. The cuckoo was sacred to her as the messenger of spring, the season in which she was wedded to Zeus; so were the peacock and the crow, and among fruits the pomegranate, the symbol of wedded love and fruitfulness. Hecatombs were offered to her in sacrifice, as to Zeus. In works of art she is represented as seated on a throne in a full robe, covering the whole figure. On her head is a sort of diadem, often with a veil; the expression of the face is severe and majestic, the eyes large and wide open, as in the Homeric description. The ideal type of Hera was found in the statue by Polyclitus in the temple at Argos. This was a colossal image, in gold and ivory, representing the goddess on her throne, her crown adorned with figures of the Graces and the Seasons, a pomegranate in one hand, and in the other a sceptre with the cuckoo on the top. The Farnese Juno at Naples, and the Ludovisi Juno in Rome, are copies of this work (see figs. 1 and 2). The Romans identified Hera with their own Juno. (See JUNO.)
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