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PALAEMON 100.00%
A Greek sea-god. See MELICERTES.
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.]
In Greek legend the son of Athamas and Ino, and ch~nged, after his death by drowning, into the marine deity Palaemon, while his mother became Leucothea. (See INO). His name (=Melkart), however, shows him to have been originally a Plicenician god. Like Ino-Leucothea, he was worshipped on all the coast of the Mediterranean, especially on that of Megara and at the Isthmus of Corinth, where he was so closely connected with the cult of Poseidon, that the Isthmian games, originally instituted in honour of this god, came to be looked upon as the funeral games of Melicertes. The Romans regarded him as a beneficent god of the sea, and identified him with Portunus, the god of harbours.
INO 20.07%
Daughter of Cadmus, and wife of Athamus (q.v.). Being followed by the latter when he had been seized with madness, she fled to the cliff Moluris, between Megara and Corinth, and there threw herself into the sea with her infant son Me1icertes. At the isthmus, however, mother and child were carried ashore by a dolphin, and, from that time forward, honoured as marine divinities along the shores of the Mediterranean, especially on the coast of Megara and at the Isthmus of Corinth. Ino was worshipped as Leucothea, and Melicertes as Paloemon. They were regarded as divinities who aided men in peril on the sea. As early as Homer, we have Ino mentioned as rescuing Odysseus from danger by throwing him her veil [Od. v 333-353). Among the Romans Ino was identified with Matuta (q.v.).
GLAUCUS 17.90%
A god of the sea, therefore commonly called Pontios, who possessed the gift of prophecy. Originally a fisherman and diver of Anthedon in Boeotia, he once chanced to eat of a herb which he had seen fish feed on to refresh themselves when tired. It drove him mad, and he threw himself into the sea, on which he was changed into a sea-god by Oceanus and Tethys. According to another story he threw himself into the sea for love of the young sea-god Melicertes, with whom he was sometimes identified. He was also said to have been the builder and the pilot of the Argo, and to have been changed into a god in a wonderful way after the battle of the Argonauts with the Tyrrhenians. According to common belief he visited all the coasts and islands of the Mediterranean every year, prophesying, and lamenting that he could not die. He, and the Nereides with him, were said to have uttered oracles in Delos. The stories had much to tell of his loves, notably of those of Scylla and Circe. He was represented in works of art as an old man with a fish's tail, with sea-blue scales, long hair and beard, and breast covered with sea-weed and shells.
Son of Aeolus, king of Thessaly, and Enarete; brother of Cretheus, Sisyphus, and Salmoneus; king of the Minyae in the Boeotian Orchomenus. He was the husband of the cloud-goddess Nephele, mother of Phrixus and Helle, who left him on his union with a mortal, Ino the daughter of Cadmus. Nephele, in anger visited the land with a drought, upon which Ino endeavoured, by means of a pretended oracle, to have her stepson Phrixus sacrificed on the altar of Zeus Laphystius. But Nephele conveyed the children away through the air on a golden-fleeced ram. During the passage Helle fell into the sea, which was afterwards, from her name, called the Hellespontus. But her brother arrived safely at the palace of Aeetes, king of Aea, who gave him his daughter Chalciope in marriage. Afterwards Athamas was himself about to be sacrificed by his peogle to Zeus Laphystius; but he was save by the appearance of Phrixus' son Cytissorus, who brought the news that Phrixus was still alive. His escape, however, only brought down the wrath of the god upon his descendants. The first-born of his race was ever afterwards liable to be sacrificed to Zeus Laphystius, if he entered the council-chamber and did not get out of the way in time. Later on Athamas was visited with madness by Hera, because Ino brought up her nephew Dionysus, the son of her sister Semele. In his frenzy he killed his son Learchus, and persecuted Ino, who with her other son Melicertes leaped into the sea. Here she became the sea-goddess Leucothea, and her son the sea-god Palaemon. On recovering from his madness, Athamas was commanded by an oracle to settle in a place where he should be hospitably treated by wild beasts. In the part of Thessaly which was named, after him, the Athamanian plain, he came upon some wolves, who fled from him, and left him the sheep-bones on which they were feeding. He settled here, and wedded Themisto. (See THEMISTO.) The story is no doubt founded upon the old custom which the Minyae had of offering the first-born of the race of Athamas to Zeus Laphystius, in case he failed to make good his escape as Phrixus did.
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