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IMAGINES 100.00%
The Roman portrait masks of deceased members of a family; they were made of wax and painted, and probably fastened on to busts. They were kept in small wooden shrines let into the inner walls of the atrium. [The design of the funeral monument represented in the accompanying out has been obviously suggested by this method of enshrining the bust.] Inscriptions under the shrines recorded the names, merits, and exploits of the persons they referred to. The images were arranged and connected with one another by means of coloured lines, in such a way as to exhibit the pedigree (stemma) of the family. On festal days the shrines were opened, and the busts crowned with bay-leaves. At family funerals, there were people specially appointed to walk in procession before the body, wearing, the masks of the deceased members of the family, and clothed in the insignia of the rank which they had held when alive. The right of having these ancestral images carried in procession was one of the privileges of the nobility. [Polybius, vi 53: Pliny, N. H., xxxv 2 §§ 6, 7; Mommsen, Rom. Hist., book iii, chap. xiii.]
A Greek tragedian, who flourished at Athens about 380 B.C. His style was smooth and picturesque, but his; plays were artificial, and better adapted for reading than for performance. A few fragments of them remain, which show some imaginative power.
Philostratus the younger, son of the daughter of (1), of Lemnos. He lived chiefly at Athens, and died at Lemnos, 264 A.D. Following his grandfather's lead, he devoted himself to the rhetorical description of paintings; but fell considerably behind his model both in invention and descriptive power, as is proved by the sixteen extant Imagines, the first book of a larger collection.
THEON 49.81%
Of Samos. A Greek painter who flourished in the second half of the 4th century B.C. His pictures were celebrated for their powerful effect on the imagination, which caused those who looked at them to forget that they were only counterfeits of reality. The picture of a young hoplite charging the enemy was especially celebrated for this effect of illusion [Aelian, Var. Hist. ii 44].
Son of Dryas, king of the Thracian Edoni, threatened Dionysus with a scourge when he was wandering about on the Mount Nysa with his nurses, which made them let the holy implements fall to the ground, while the god sought shelter with Thetis in the sea. The gods punished him with blindness and an early death [Il. vi 130-140]. According to another legend, he was made mad by Dionysus and cut off his son's limbs, imagining that he was pruning the shoots of a vine. In accordance with the god's prophecy that his death alone could deliver the land from its temporary barrenness, he was led by the Edoni to Mount Pangaeus, where Dionysus caused him to be torn to pieces by horses.
EUPOLIS 30.87%
Eupolis is coupled with Aristophanes as a chief representative of the Old Attic Comedy. He was born about 446 B.C., and died before the end of the Pelponnesian War. He made his first appearance as a dramatist in his seventeenth year, and carried off the prize seven times. According to a badly attested story, he was drowned in the sea by Alcibiades in revenge for his treatment of him in one of his plays. We still have the titles, and some fragments, of fifteen of his pieces. He was at first on terms of intimate friendship with his contemporary Aristophanes, but an estrangement afterwards set in, and the two poets attacked each other with great bitterness. Eupolis is praised by the ancients for the splendour of his imagination, the coherence with which his plots are developed, the high quality of his patriotism, the grace and majesty of his language, and the telling character of his wit. The fragments that remain show great mastery of form. Like Aristophanes, he made an attempt to stem the current of moral degeneracy setting in at his time.
The aristocracy of office, which at Rome took the place of the patrician aristocracy of birth, after the admission of the plebeians to all the offices of state and the levelling of the distinction between patricians and plebeians consequent thereon. It comprised those patrician and plebeian families whose members had held one of the curule magistracies. These families, for the most part the most illustrious and wealthy, had the influence and money, which afforded them the necessary means to canvass for and hold an office. Thus, in spite of the theoretical equality of rights now existing, they almost completely excluded from the higher magistracies all citizens who had neither wealth nor noble relatives to support them. It was quite exceptional for a man who did not belong to the nobility to be fortunate enough to attain to them. If he did so, he was styled a homo novus (a new man, an upstart). It was one of the privileges of the nobility that they enjoyed the right to possess images of their ancestors. (See IMAGINES.)
One of the most important of the Latin Fathers. He was born at Carthage of pagan parents about 160 A.D., and died about 230. After receiving a careful education in rhetoric and jurisprudence (and probably practising as a lawyer), he embraced Christianity, and became a presbyter in his native town. After defending Christianity against paganism, he joined the ascetic and fanatic sect of the Montanists, and became their champion against the Church. His writings reflect with faithfulness his general ability; his rhetorical training and legal subtlety; his rugged, combative, and passionate character; and his lively and often impetuous imagination. They are written in the colloquial language of his time, which had many points of close contact with that spoken by the lower classes. His literary activity, which extended over a considerable length of time, was at its height in the reigns of Severus and Caracalla. His Apologia, written about 198, holds the foremost place amongst his works. It is one of his earliest writings, and was addressed to the provincial governors of the Roman empire, in defence of Christianity, during a time of bitter persecution.
IXION 28.47%
Son of Phlegyas (or of Ares), and king of the Lapithae. By Dia he was the father of Pirithae (who, according to Homer, however, was a son of Zeus). He attempted to withhold from his father-in-law, Deloneus, the bridal gifts he had promised. Deloneus accordingly detained the horses of Ixion. The latter invited him to his house and threw him into a pit filled with fire. When Zeus not only purified him from this murder, but even invited him to the table of the gods, he became arrogant and insolent, and even sought to win the love of Hera. Zeus thereupon formed of the clouds a phantom resembling Hera, and by it Ixion became the father of the Centaurs. On his boasting of the favours he imagined the goddess to have granted him, Zeus caused him to be punished for this crime by being fastened to a wheel, on which he was to turn in terror for evermore in the world below.
STATIUS 27.43%
Publius Papinius Statius. A Roman poet, born at Naples about 45 A.D. His father, who afterwards settled in Rome, and was busy there as a teacher, was himself a poet, and the son owed his training to him. Early in life he gained the approval of his contemporaries by his poetic talent, especially in improvisation, and several times won the victory in poetic competitions. Yet he remained all his life dependent on the favour of Domitian and of the great men of Rome, whose goodwill he sought to propitiate by the most servile flatteries. In later life he went back to Naples, where he died about 96. Two epic poems of his are preserved, both dedicated to Domitian, (1) the Thebais in twelve books, published after twelve years' labour in 92, on the struggle of the sons of (Edipus for Thebes, perhaps in imitation of the poem of the same name by Antimachus; and (2) the two first books of an incomplete Arhilleis. We also have his Silvoe, a collection of occasional poems, mostly in hexameters, but partly in lyrical verse. Statius is distinguished among his contemporaries by skill and imagination, but suffers from the tendency of the time to make great display of learning and rhetorical ornament. His poems were much read both in antiquity and in the Middle Ages.
OLYMPUS 26.20%
A mountain situated in Thessaly, the summit of which [nearly 10,000 feet above the sea] rises from the region of the earth's atmosphere into the sky, and was, according to the earliest popular belief of the Greeks, the abode of the higher (hence named Olympian) gods. Below the summit, which, according to Homer's description, is never ruffled by winds or drenched with rain, but is always radiant in cloudless splendour [Od. vi 42-45], comes the region of clouds, which Zeus at one time gathers together and at another dispels; it forms the boundary between the celestial region and that of the earth; and accordingly Homer elsewhere implies that the clouds are the gates of heaven, which are guarded by the Hours [Il. v 749]. On the highest peak Zeus has his throne, and it is there that he summons the assemblies of the gods. The abodes of the other gods were imagined to be placed on the precipices and in the ravines of the mountain. When the height of the vault of heaven came to be regarded as the abode of the gods, the name Olympus was transferred to the sky.
AEGIS 24.73%
The storm-cloud and thunder-cloud of Zeus, imagined in Homer as a shield forged by Hephaestus, blazing brightly and fringed with tassels of gold, in its centre the awe-inspiring Gorgon's head. When Zeus shakes the aegis, it thunders and lightens, and horror and perdition fall upon those against whom it is lifted. It is borne not only by Zeus "the Aegis-bearer," but by his daughter Athena, and occasionally by Apollo. As the same word means a goatskin, it was explained in later times as the skin of the goat which had suckled Zeus in his infancy. At the bidding of the oracle, he drew it over his thunder-shield in the contest with the Giants, and fastened on it the Gorgon's head. When the aegis became a standing attribute of Athena, it was represented as a skin either shaggy or scaly, with a fringe of snakes and the Gorgon's head in the middle, and either serving the goddess as a breastplate, or hanging behind to screen the back and shoulders, or fastened like a shield on the left arm.
FAUNUS 22.69%
"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.
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 Greek philosopher and poet, born of an illustrious family about 510 B.C., at Elea in Lower Italy. He was held in high esteem by his fellow citizens on account of his excellent legislation, to which they ascribed the prosperity and wealth of the town; and also on account of his exemplary life. A "Parmenidean life" was proverbial among the Greeks [Cebes, tabula, 2]. Little more is known of his biography than that he stopped at Athens on a journey in his sixty-fifth year, and there became acquainted with the youthful Socrates. He is the chief representative of the Eleatic philosophy. Like his great teacher, Xenophanes, he also formulated his philosophical views in a didactic poem, On Nature, the form of which was considered inartistic [Cicero, Acad. ii 74]. According to the proem, which has been preserved (while we only possess fragments of the rest), the work consisted of two divisions. The first treated of the truth, the second of the world of illusion; that is, the world of the senses and the erroneous opinions of mankind founded upon them. In his opinion truth lies in the perception that existence is, and error in the idea that non-existence also can be. Nothing can have real existence but what is conceivable, therefore to be imagined and to be able to exist are the same thing, and there is no development; the essence of what is conceivable is incapable of development, imperishable, immutable, unbounded, and indivisible; what is various and mutable, all development, is a delusive phantom; perception is thought directed to the pure essence of being; the phenomenal world is a delusion, and the opinions formed concerning it can only be improbable.
A Roman historian born about 19 B.C. He entered the army early, and from 4 A.D., partly as an officer in the cavalry, and partly as a legate, he accompanied Tiberius for eight years on all his campaigns into Germany, Pannonia, and Dalmatia. In 15 A.D.he held the praetorship, for which he was warmly recommended by Augustus and Tiberius. In 29-30 A.D. he composed in a few months a short sketch of Roman history in two books (Historioe Romanoe, libri duo) which he dedicated to his patron Vinicius, one of the consuls for the year 30. The work has come down to us in a very confused and fragmentary condition. Only a few chapters remain of the first book, which ends with the destruction of Carthage. Whether considered as a historian or as a stylist, he is a dilettante. He had no special call to be a historian, and was destitute of any more than ordinary knowledge or appropriate preparation, although not devoid of imagination and genius. His brochure was composed with extreme haste, and merely consists of a number of items of information hurriedly put together. Hence its superficial execution and its numerous mistakes. After the manner of annalists, his work becomes more diffuse the nearer he approaches his own time. It ends with a panegyric on the imperial house, and especially on Tiberius, inflated with fulsome flatteries and high-sounding phraseology. According to him, the fortune of Rome, which had declined after the destruction of Carthage, and had been rising again from the time of Augustus, had reached its culminating point under Tiberius. He may be identified as the inventor of the courtly style of writing history. He does not linger long over facts, but prefers to dwell on the portrayal of the various characters that present themselves in the course of the history. His language is sometimes careless and commonplace, sometimes ornate and affected, with all manner of poetical expressions. His fancy for composing striking sentences and his undue predilection for antithesis have an unfortunate effect on his style.
According to the belief current among the Greeks, the world of the dead, or the spacious abode of Hades, with its wide doors, was in the dark depths of the earth. In the Odyssey, its entrance and outer court are on the western side of the river Oceanus, in the ground sacred to Persephone, with its grove of barren willows and poplars. Here is the abode of the Cimmerians, veiled in darkness and cloud where the sun never shines. The soil of this court, and indeed of the lower world in general, is a meadow of asphodel, an unattractive weed of dreary aspect usually planted on graves. The actual abode of the subterranean powers is Erebos, or the impenetrable darkness. In later times entrances to the lower world were imagined in other places where there were cavernous hollows which looked as if they led into the bowels of the earth. Such places were Hermione and the promontory of Taenarum in the Peloponnese, Heraclea on the Euxine, and Cumae in Italy, where the mythical Cimmerli were also localized. The lower world of Homer is intersected by great rivers, the Styx, the Acheron (river of woe), Cocytus (river of cries), a branch of the Styx, Phlegethon and Pyriphlegethon (rivers of fire). The last two unite and join the waters; of the Acheron. In the post-Homeric legend, these rivers are represented as surrounding the infernal regions, and another river appears with them, that of Lethe, or oblivion. In the waters of Lethe the souls of the dead drink forgetfulness of their earthly existence. The lower world once conceived as separated from the upper by these rivers, the idea of a ferryman arose. This was Charon, the son of Erebos and of Nyx, a gloomy, sullen old man, who takes the souls in his boat across Acheron into the realm of shadows. The souls are brought down from the upper world by Hermes, and pay the ferryman an obolos, which was put for this purpose into the mouths of the dead. Charon has the right to refuse a passage to souls whose bodies have not been duly buried. In Homer it is the spirits themselves who refuse to receive any one to whom funeral honours have not been paid. At the gate lies the dog Cerberus, son of Typhaon and Echidna. He is a terrible monster with three heads, and mane and tail of snakes. He is friendly to the spirits who enter, but if anyone tries to got out he seizes him and holds him fast. The ghosts of the dead were in ancient times conceived as incorporeal images of their former selves, without mind or consciousness. In the Odyssey the seer Tiresias is the only one who has retained his consciousness and judgment, and this as an exceptional gift of Persephone. But they have the power of drinking the blood of animals, and having done so they recover their consciousness and power of speech. The soul therefore is not conceived as entirely annihilated. The ghosts retain the outer form of their body, and follow, but instinctively only, what was their favourite pursuit in life. Orion in Homer is still a hunter, Minos sits in judgment as when alive. Perhaps the punishments inflicted in Homer on Tityus, Tantalus, and Sisyphus (for Ixion, the Danaides, Peirithous, and others belong to a later story) should be regarded in this light. The penalties inflicted on them in the upper world may be merely transferred by Homer to their ghostly existence. For the idea of a sensible punishment is not consistent with that of an unconscious continuance in being. It must be remembered, at the same time, that Homer several times mentions that the Erinyes punish perjurers after death. We are forced then to conclude that the ancient belief is, in this instance, found side by side with the later and generally received idea, that the dead, even without drinking blood, preserved their consciousness and power of speech. Connected with it is the notion that the have the power of influencing men's life on earth in various ways. The most ancient belief knows nothing of future rewards of the righteous, or indeed of any complete separation between the just and the unjust, or of a judgment to make the necessary awards. The judges of the dead are in the later legend Minos, Rhadamanthys, Aecus, and Triptlemus. It was a later age, too, which transferred Elysium and Tartarus to the lower world, Elysium as the abode of the blessed, and Tartarus as that of the damned. In the earlier belief these regions had nothing to do with the realm of Hades (See HADES). The name Tartarus was in later times often applied to the whole of the lower world. The ghosts of those who had lived a life of average merit were imagined as wandering on the asphodel meadow. In general it must be said that the ancient ideas of a future life were always subject to considerable changes, owing to the influence of the doctrines taught in the mysteries, and the representations of poets, philosophers, sculptors, and painters (see POLYGNOTUS). The general tendency was to multiply the terrors of Hades, especially at the gates, and in Tartarus. (For the deities cf the lower world see HADES, PERSEPHONE, and ERINYES.) The Greek beliefs on the subject found their way to Rome through the instrumentality of the poets, especially Vergil. But they did not entirely supplant the national traditions. (See ORCUS, MANIA, MANES, LARES, and LARVAe. )
SCYLLA 17.75%
(1) In Homer, daughter of Crataeis; a terrible monster of the sea, with a loud bark like that of a young dog, twelve shapeless feet, and six long necks, each of them bearing a horrid head with three rows of teeth closely set. Her lower half lies in a dark cavern, which is in the middle of a rock, smooth of surface, not to be climbed, and rising up into the clouds; while with her heads she fishes for dolphins, sea-dogs, and the larger animals of the sea. If a ship come too near to her, with each of her six heads she snatches up a man of the crew, as from the ship of Odysseus. Opposite her, a bow-shot off, is a lower rock with a wild fig tree on it, and under it the whirlpool of Charybdis, which three times in the day sucks in the sea and discharges it again in a terrible whirlpool, against which even the help of Poseidon is unavailing. Whoever tries to avoid one of the two evils falls a prey to the other [Homer, Od. xi 85-110]. In later times Scylla and Charybdis, the position of which is left uncertain by Homer, were supposed to be placed in the Strait of Messina, Scylla being identified with a projecting rock on the Italian side. She was also made a daughter of Phorcys and of Hecate Crataeis. When Heracles, as he is passing by, is robbed by her of one of Geryon's oxen, he slays her in her cavern; but her father burns her corpse, and thus recalls her to life. According to another myth, she was originally a beautiful princess or sea Nymph, loved now by Zeus, now by Poseidon or Glaucus or Triton, until she was changed by the jealousy of her rivals, Hera, Amphitrite, or Circe, into a monster, imagined as a maiden above, but as ending below in the body of a fish, begirt with hideous dogs. (2) Daughter of Nisus (q.v.).
TRAGEDY 17.54%
ROMAN TRAGEDY was founded entirely on that of the Greeks. In early times there existed crude dramatic productions (see SATIRE), which provided an opening for the translation from the Greek dramas brought on the stage by Livius Andronicus. He was a Greek by birth, but was brought to Rome as a captive about 200 B.C. It is to him that Roman tragedy owes its origin. His dramas and those of his successors were more or less free versions of Greek originals. Even the tragedies, or historical plays, drawn from national Roman materials, called fabuloe proetextoe or proetextatoe, (see PRAeETEXTA), the first writer of which was his immediate successor Noevius (about 235 B.C.), were entirely modelled on the Greek. The most noteworthy representatives of tragedy under the Republic were Ennius (B.C. 239-170), Pacuvius (220-130), and Accius (170-104), besides whom only a few other poets produced any works about this time. It is true that the scanty fragments we possess of these dramas admit of no positive judgment as to their merit, but there is no doubt that they rank far below the original creations of the Greeks. It may also be clearly inferred from the fragments, that declamation and pathos formed a characteristic attribute of Roman tragedy, which was intensified by a studied archaism of expression. Moreover, the titles of their plays that have come down to us show that preference was given to subjects relating to the Trojan epic cycle; this is to be explained by the Trojan origin claimed by the Romans. Next to this the most popular were the myths of the Pelopidae, of the Theban cycle, and of the Argonauts. Euripides was the favourite model; after him Sophocles: rarely Aeschylus. Roman tragedy, like Greek, was made up of spoken dialogue in iambic trimeters and musical portions called cantica (q.v.). On the chorus in Roman tragedy see CHORUS (near the end). In the time of Augustus the representatives of tragedy were Asinius Pollio, Varius, and Ovid; under Tiberius, Pomponius Secundus; under Nero and Vespasian, Curiatius Maternus, of whose works scarcely a line has been preserved. The only tragedies of Roman antiquity which we possess are those of the philosopher Seneca, which show great mastery of form and a fertile imagination, but suffer from an intolerable excess of rhetorical declamation. It is doubtful whether they were intended for the stage at all, and not rather for public recitation and for private reading.
In Greek mythology, the round-eyed ones. According to Hesiod the Cyclopes are the gigantic sons of Uranus and Gaea, named Argos, Steropes, and Brontes. For the rest, they resemble the gods, except that they have only a single eye in their forehead. Their father threw them into Tart1rus, and they assisted Cronus to the sovereignty. Cronus, however, put them again in prison, where they remained until Zeus set them free. For this they gave him the thunder, and forged him the lightning. Apollo slew them when Zeus struck his son Asclepius by lightning. In Homer the Cyclopes, like the giants and the Phaeacians, are the kinsfolk of the gods; but in other respects they have nothing in common with the Cyclopes of Hesiod but their gigantic size and strength. They live a pastoral life in the far West, without knowledge of agriculture, law, morals, or social order. Each dwells separately with his family in caverns at the mountain tops, without troubling himself about the gods, to whom, indeed, the Cyclopes deem themselves easily superior in strength. The Phaeacians used to live in their neighbourhood, but were driven by their violent dealing to emigrate. The figure of Polyphemus, well known from his encounter with Odysseus, gives a typical notion of their rudeness and savagery. (See also GALATEA). The Homeric Cyclopes were in a later age localized in Sicily, and came to be identified with the Cyclopes of Hesiod. They were imagined as assistants of Hephaestus, and as helping him to forge lightnings for Zeus and arms for heroes in the bowels of Aetna or on the Aeolian islands. A third variety of Cyclopes were the giants with arms to their belly as well as to their shoulders, whom Proetus was supposed to have brought from Lycia to. Argos. It was they who were supposed to have built the so-called Cyclopean walls at Mycenae and Tiryns (see ARCHITECTURE). In works of art the Cyclopes are represented as giants with one eye in their forehead, though there is, generally an indication of a pair of eyes in the usual place.
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