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OCEANUS 100.00%
In Greek mythology, originally the ancient river of the world which flows around and bounds the earth and sea, itself unbounded and flowing back into itself. From Oceanus arise all seas, rivers, streams, and fountains. Herodotus is the first to oppose this view [ii 23, iv 8, 36]. To Homer, Oceanus is the beginning of all things, even of the gods: he the original father, and his wife, Tethys, the original mother. With her he lives, a gentle and hospitable old man, in the farthest west away from the world and its doings. He keeps aloof even from the assemblies of the gods, although river gods and nymphs appear there. It is with the aged pair that Hera grows up, and it is to them that she flees on the outbreak of the war with the Titans. According to Hesiod [Theog. 133, 337-370], Oceanus and Tethys are children of Uranus and Gaea; the former the oldest of the Titans, who after the fall of Cronus submitted to Zeus. From him are sprung 3000 sons and as many daughters, the Oceanides. The oldest of the family, which is spread over the whole earth, are Achelous and Styx. Oceanus was represented as a venerable old man with a long beard: on his head are bull's horns, after the usual manner of river gods; or crab's claws, as customary with gods of the sea; and he is surrounded by sea monsters.
TETHYS 100.00%
wife of Oceanus (q.v.).
DORIS 60.10%
Daughter of Oceanus, wife of the sea-god Nereus, and mother of the Nereides. (See OCEANUS, NEREUS.)
CLYMENE 35.71%
Daughter of Oceanus, and mother of Phaethon by Helios. (See PHAETHON)
METIS 34.11%
Daughter of Oceanus, first wife of Zeus, by whom she was devoured, as he feared she would bear a son mightier than himself; whereupon Athene (q.v.) sprang from the head of the god.
STYX 22.50%
The eldest daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, by Pallas, son of the Titan Crius. She became the mother of Zelus (zeal), Nike (victory), Kratos (power), and Bia (strength). She was the first of all the immortals who hastened with all her offspring to help Zeus against the Titans. In return for this Zeus retained her chilren with him in Olympus, and Styx herelf became the goddess by whom the most solemn oaths were sworn. She is the Nymph of the mighty river of the same name (the tenth part of the water of Oceanus) which flows in the nether world. She dwells in the distant west, on the borders of the night, in a house supported by silver columns and overshadowed by lofty mountains. When one of the gods had to take an oath by Styx, Iris fetched some of her sacred water in a golden cup: whoever swore falsely thereby was punished by having to lie speechless and breathless for a year, and by banishment for nine years from the council of the gods [Hesiod, Theog. 775-806].
INACHUS 20.88%
The most ancient king of Argos, properly the god of the river of the same name, son of Oceanus and Tethys, and father of Phoroneus and Io. After the flood of Deucalion, he is said to have led the inhabitants down from the mountains to the plains, and when Poseidon and Hera contended for the possession of the land, he decided in favour of the latter. In punishment for this Poseidon made the rivers of Argos suffer from a scarcity of water.
DIONE 16.48%
In Greek mythology, the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, or, according to another account, of UrInus and Gaia. By Zeus she was mother of Aphrodite, who was herself called Dione. At Dodona she was worshipped in Hera's place as the wife of Zeus. Her name, indeed, expresses in a feminine form the attributes of Zeus, just as the Latin Juno does those of Jupiter, When the oracle of Dodona lost its former importance, Dione was eclipsed by Hera as the wife of Zeus, and came to be regarded as a nymph of Dodona.
According to Hesiod, the daughters of Night; according to later accounts, daughters of Atlas and of Hesperis. Their names were Aegle, Arethusa, Erytheia, Hesperia. They dwell on the river Oceanus, near Atlas, close to the Gorgons, on the borders of eternal darkness, in the garden of the gods, where Zeus espoused Hera. Together with the hundred-headed dragon Ladon, the son of Phorcys or Typhon, they guard the golden apples which Goea (or Earth) caused to grow as a, marriage gift for Hera. (See HERACLES.)
The god of the river of that name between Aetolia and Acarnania; eldest of the 3000 sons of Oceanus and Tethys, and father of the Sirens by Sterope, the daughter of Porthaon. As a water-god he was capable of metamorphosis, appearing now as a bull, then as a snake, and again as a bull-faced man. In fighting with Heracles for the possession of Deianeira, he lost one horn, but got it back in exchange for the horn of Amaltheia (q.v.). As the oldest and most venerable of river-gods, he was worshipped all over Greece and her colonies, especially Rhodes, Italy, and Sicily. The oracle of Dodona, in every answer which it gave, added an injunction to sacrifice to Achelous; and in religious usage his name stood for any stream or running water.
NEREUS 12.10%
The eldest son of Pontus and Gaea, husband of Doris, daughter of Oceanus, father of 50 (according to a later account, 200) beautiful Sea-nymphs, the Nereids. He is described as a venerable old man, of a kindly disposition towards mortals, and as dwelling in a resplendent cave in the depths of the Aegean. Like all gods of water, he has the gift of prophecy and of transforming himself into any shape he chooses to assume. He is represented as an old man with the leaves of seaweed or hair and a sceptre or trident. His daughters are likewise benevolent beings, well disposed to mortals. They live with their father in the depths, but rise to the surface in order to amuse themselves with every kind of pastime and to assist sailors in distress. They were especially worshipped on the islands, on the coasts, and at the mouths of rivers, and were depicted in works of art as charming maidens, sometimes lightly clothed, sometimes naked, often riding on dolphins and Tritons (see cut). The Nereids most often mentioned in mythology are Amphitrite and Thetis, with Galatea.
LYCAON 11.66%
Mythical king of Arcadia, son of Pelasgus and Me1iboea (daughter of Oceanus) or Cyllene), and father of Callisto. He is said to have founded on Mount Lycaeum. the town Lycosura, the oldest that Helios looked upon, and to have sacrificed a child to Zeus on the altar he had raised on the highest peak of the mountain, on account of which he was changed into a wolf (see LYCAeA). Another legend relates that he had fifty impious sons. When Zeus came to them in the guise of a beggar in order to put their contempt of the gods to the test, they followed the advice of Maenalus, the eldest, and set before him the entrails of a boy which had been mixed with the sacrifice. The god however threw the table over and killed Lycaon and his sons with lightning, with the exception of Nyctimus, the youngest, whom Gaea saved by firmly holding the right hand of Zeus. During the reign of Nyctimus the deluge connected with the name of Deucalion covered the land as a punishment for the impiety of Lycaon and his sons.
GLAUCUS 11.48%
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.
ELYSIUM 10.99%
In Homer Elysium is a beautiful meadow at the western extremity of the earth, on the banks of the river Oceanus. Thither the favoured of Zeus such as Rhadamanthys his son, and his son-in-law Menelaus, are carried without having seen death. They live a life of perfect happiness, there is no snow, nor storm, nor rain, but the cool west wind breathes there for ever. Hesiod speaks of the islands of the blest by the Ocean, where some of the heroes of the fourth generation of men live a life without pain, and where the earth produces her fruits three times in the year. According to Pindar, all who have three times passed blamelessly through life live there in perfect bliss under the sway of Cronus and his assessor Rhadamanthys. Such are Cadmus and Peleus, and Achilles through the intercession of his mother Thetis with Zeus. Like Cronus, the Titans, after their reconciliation with Zeus, dwell on these islands. In later times Elysium with its bliss was localized in the world below, and regarded as the abode of those whom the judges of the dead had pronounced worthy of it. (Cp. HADES, REALM OF.)
A post-Homeric personification of the moral indignation felt at all derangements of the natural equilibrium of things, whether by extraordinarily good fortune or by the arrogance usually attendant thereon. According to Hesiod she is daughter of Night, and with Aidos, the divinity of Modesty, left the earth on the advent of the iron age. As goddess of due proportion she hates every trangression of the bounds of moderation, and restores the proper and normal order of things. As, in doing this, she punishes wanton boastfulness, she is a divinity of chastisement and vengeance. She enjoyed special bonour in the Attic district of Rhamnus (where she was deemed to be the daughter of Oceanus), and is often called the Rhamnusian goddess; her statue there was said to have been executed by Phidias out of a block of Parian marble which the Persians bad brought with them in presumptuous confidence to Marathon, to erect a trophy of victory there. She was also called Adrasteia, that name, appropriate only to the Phrygian Rhea-Cybele, being interpreted as a Greek word with the, meaning, "She whom none can escape." She was also worshipped at Rome, especially by victorious generals, and was represented as a meditative, thoughtful maiden with the attributes of proportion and control (a measuring-rod, bridle and yoke), of punishment (a sword and scourge) and of swiftness (wings, wheel, and chariot drawn by griffins).
DREAMS 9.56%
According to Hesiod, Dreams are the children of Night, and brothers and sisters of Death and Sleep. Like these they are represented in the Odyssey as dwelling in the far West, near Oceanus, in the neighbourhood of the sunset and the kingdom of the dead. Deceptive dreams issue from a gate of ivory, true dreams through a gate of horn. The gods above, especially Hermes, have authority over these dream-gods, and send sometimes one, sometimes another, to mankind. On some occasions they create dream-figures themselves, or appear in person under different shapes, in the chamber of the sleeper. The spirits of the departed, too, so long as they are not in the kingdom of Hades, have the power of appearing to the sleeper in dreams. These, the ideas of the Homeric age, survived in the later popular belief. Later poets call dreams the sons of Sleep, and give them separate names. Morpheus, for instance, only appears in various human forms. Ikelos, called also Phobetor, or Terrifyer, assumes the shapes of all kinds of animals as well as that of man: Phantasos only those of inanimate objects. A god of dreams was subsequently worshipped, and represented in works of art, sometimes with Sleep, sometimes alone. He was honoured especially at the seats of dream-oracles and the health-resorts of Asclepius. (See ARTEMIDORUS, 2; INCURATIO; and MANTIC ART.)
Goddesses of grace, and of everything which lends charm and beauty to nature and human life. According to Hesiod they are the offspring of Zeus and Eurynome, the daughter of Oceanus. Their names are Euphrosyne (joy), Thalia (bloom), and Aglaia (brilliance). Aglaia is the youngest, and the wife of Hephaestus. For the inspiration of the Graces was deemed as necessary to the plastic arts, as to music, poetry, science, eloquence, beauty, and enjoyment of life. Accordingly the Graces are intimate with the Muses, with whom they live together on Olympia. They are associated, too, with Apollo, Athene, Hermes, and Peitho, but especially with Eros, Aphrodite, and Dionysus. Bright and blithe-hearted, they were also called the daughters of the Sun and of Aegle ("Sheen"). They were worshipped in conjunction with Aphrodite and Dionysus at Orchomenus in Baeotia, where their shrine was accounted the oldest in the place, and where their most ancient images were found in the shape of stones said to have fallen from heaven. It was here that the feast of the Charitesia was held in their honour, with musical contests. At Sparta, as at Athens , two Charites only were worshipped, Cleta (Kleta) or Sound, and Phaenna or Light; at Athens their names were Auxo (Increase), and Hegemone (Queen). It was by these goddesses, and by Agraulos, daughter of Cecrops, that the Athenian youths, on receiving their spear and shield, swore faith to their country. The Charites were represented in the form of beautiful maidens, the three being generally linked hand in hand. In the older representations they are clothed; in the later they are loosely clad or entirely undraped.
ATHENE 8.50%
A Greek goddess, identified with the Roman Minerva. According to the story most generally current, she was the daughter of Zeus, who had swallowed his first wife Metis (" Counsel "), the daughter of Oceanus, in fear that she would bring forth a son stronger than himself. Hephaeestus (or, according to another version, Prometheus) clave open the head of Zeus with an axe, on which Athene sprang forth in full armour, the goddess of eternal virginity. But her ancient epithet Tritogeneia ("born of Triton," or the roaring flood) points to water (that is, to Oceanus); as the source of her being. Oceanus was, according to Homer, the origin of all things and of all deities. The worship of Athene, and the story of her birth, were accordingly connected with many brooks and lakes in various regions, especially in Boeotia, Thessalia, and Libya, to which the name Triton was attached. From the first, Athene takes a very prominent place in the Greek popular religion. The Homeric hymns represent her as the favourite of her father, who refuses her nothing. When solemn oaths were to be taken, they joined her name with those of Zeus and Apollo, in a way which shows that the three deities represent the embodiment of all divine authority. With the exception of the two gods just mentioned, there is no other deity whose original character as a power of nature underwent so remarkable an ethical development. Both conceptions of Athene, the natural and the ethical, were intimately connected in the religion of Attica, whose capital, Athens, was named after Athene, and was the most important seat of her worship. Athens was originally the maiden daughter of the god of heaven; the clear, transparent aether, whose purity is always breaking forth in unveiled brilliancy through the clouds that surround it. As a deity of the sky she, with Zeus, is the mistress of thunder and lightning. Like Zeus, she carries the aegis with the Gorgon's head, the symbol of the tempest and its terrors. In many statues, accordingly, she is represented as hurling the thunder-bolt. But she also sends down, from sky to earth, light and warmth and fruitful dew, and with them prosperity to fields and plants. A whole series of fables and usages, belonging especially to the Athenian religion, represents her as the helper and protector of agriculture. The two deities Erechtheus and Erichthonius, honoured in Attica as powers of the fruitful soil, are her foster-children. She was worshipped with Erechtheus in the temple named after him (the Erechtheum), the oldest sanctuary on the Athenian Acropolis. The names of her earliest priestesses, the daughters of Cecrops, Aglaurus, Pandrosus, and Herse, signify the bright air, the dew, and the rain, and are mere personifications of their qualities, of such value to the Athenian territory. The sowing season was opened in Attica by three sacred services of ploughing. Of these, two were in honour of Athene as inventress of the plough, while the third took place in honour of Demeter. It was Athens, also, who had taught men how to attach oxen to the yoke; above all, she had given them the olive-tree, the treasure of Attica. This tree she had made to grow out of the rock of the citadel, when disputing the possession of the land with Poseidon. Several festivals, having reference to these functions of the goddess, were celebrated in Attica; the Callynteria and Plynteria, the Scirophoria, the Arrhephoria or Hersephoria, and the Oschophoria, which were common to Athens with Dionysus. (See DIONYSIA.) Even her chief feast, the Panathenoea, was originally a harvest festival. It is significant that the presentation of the peplos or mantle, the chief offering at the celebration, took place in the sowing season. But afterwards more was made of the intellectual gifts bestowed by the goddess. Athens was very generally regarded as the goddess of war; an iaea which in ancient times was the prevailing one. It was connected with the fact that, like her father Zeus, she was supposed to be able to send storms and bad weather. In this capacity she appears in story as the true friend of all bold warriors, such as Perseus, Bellerophon, Jason, Heracles, Diomedes and Odysseus. But her courage is a wise courage, not a blind rashness like that of Ares; and she is always represented, accordingly, as getting the better of him. In this connection she was honoured in Athenian worship mainly as a protector and defender; thus (to take a striking example) she was worshipped on the citadel of Athens under the name of Promachos ("champion," "12 protector.") But she was also a goddess of victory. As the personification of victory (Athene Nike) she had a second and especial temple on the Athenian Acropolis. (See Plan of ACROPOLIS.) And the great statues in the temples represented her, like Zeus, with Nike in her outstretched hand. The occupations of peace, however, formed the main sphere of her activity. Like all the other deities who were supposed to dispense the blessings of nature, she is the protectress of growing children; and as the goddess of the clear sky and of pure air, she bestows health and keeps off sickness. Further, she is (with Zeus) the patroness of the Athenian Phratrioe, or unions of kinsfolk. At Athens and Sparta she protects the popular and deliberative assemblies; in many places, and especially at Athens, the whole state is under her care (Athene Polias, Poliachus). Elsewhere she presides over the larger unions of kindred peoples. The festival of Athene Itonia at Coronea was a confederate festival of all Boeotia. Under the title of Panachais she was worshipped as the goddess of the Achaean League. Speaking broadly, Athene represents human wit and cleverness, and presides over the whole moral and intellectual side of human life. From her are derived all the productions of wisdom and understanding, every art and science, whether of war or of peace. A crowd of discoveries, of the most various kinds, is ascribed to her. It has been already mentioned that she was credited with the invention of the plough and the yoke. She was often associated with Poseidon as the inventress of horse-taming and ship-building. In the Athenian story she teaches Erichthonius to fasten his horses to the chariot. In the Corinthian story she teaches Bellerophon to subdue Pegasus. At Lindus in Rhodes she was worshipped as the goddess who helped Danaus to build the first fifty-oared ship. In the fable of the Argonauts it is she who instructs the builders of the first ship, the Argo. Even in Homer all the productions of women's art, as of spinning and weaving, are characterized as "works of Athene." Many a Palladion or statue of Pallas bore a spindle and distaff in its left hand. As the mistress and protectress of arts and handiwork, she was worshipped at the Chalkeia (or Feast of Smiths) under the title of Ergane. Under this name she is mentioned in several inscriptions found on the Acropolis. Her genius covers the field of music and dancing. She is inventor of the flute and the trumpet, as well as of the Pyrrhic war-dance, in which she was said to have been the earliest performer, at the celebration of the victory of the Gods over the Giants. It was Phidias who finally fixed the typical representation of Athens in works of art. Among his numerous statues of her, three, the most celebrated, were set up on the acropolis of Athens. These were (1) The colossal statue of Athene Parthenos, wrought in ivory and gold, thirty feet in height (with the pedestal), and standing in the Parthenon. (See PARTHENON.) The goddess was represented wearing a long robe falling down to the feet, and on her breast was the aegis with the Gorgon's head. A helmet was on her head; in one hand she bore a Victory, six feet in height, in the other a lance, which leaned against a shield adorned with scenes from the battles of the Amazons with the Giants. (2) The bronze statue of Athene Promachos, erected from the proceeds of the spoils taken at Marathon, and standing between the Propylaea and the Erechthteum. The proportions of this statue were so gigantic, that the gleaming point of the lance and the crest of the helmet were visible to seamen, on approaching the Piraeus from Sunium. (3) The Lemnian Pallas, so named because it had been dedicated by the Athenian Cleruchi in Lemnos. The attractions of this statue won for it the name of "the Beautiful." Like the second, it was of bronze; as a representation of Athene as the goddess of peace, it was without a helmet. Throughout the numerous and varying representations of her, Athene has an imposing stature, suggesting a masculine rather than a feminine form; an oval face, with a brow of great clearness and purity; thoughtful eyes, compressed lips, firm chin, and hair carelessly thrown back. (See cut.) Her ordinary attributes are the helmet, the aegis covering the breast or serving as a shield for the arm, the lance, the round shield with the Gorgon's head, the olive branch, and the owl. (On her identification with Minerva, see</italics MINERVA.)
TITANS 8.50%
The children of Uranus and Gaea, six sons and six daughters: Oceanus and Tethys, Hyperion and Theia (parents of Helios, Se1ene, Eos), Coeus and Phoebe (parents of Leto and Asteria), Cronus and Rhea (parents of the Olympian deities), Crius (father by Eurybia of Astraeus, Pallas, and Perses), Iapetus (father of Atlas, Menoetius, Prometheus, and Epimetheus, by the Ocean-nymph Clymene), Themis (mother of the Hours and Fates), and Mnemosyne (mother of the Muses). Like the parents, the children and grandchildren bear the name of Titan. Incited to rebellion by their mother Gaea, they overthrew Uranus (q.v.) and established as sovereign their youngest brother Cronus. He was dethroned in turn by his son Zeus, whereupon the best of the Titans and the majority of their number declared for the new ruler, and under the new order retained their old positions, with the addition of new prerogatives. The rest, namely, the family of Iapetus, carried on from Mount Othrys a long and fierce struggle with the Olympian gods, who fought from Mount Olympus. Finally, by help of their own kindred, the Hecatoncheires and the Cyclopes, whom by Hera's counsel Zeus had set free from their prison, they were conquered and hurled down into Tartarus, where the Hecatoncheires were set to guard them. A later legend represents the Titans as reconciled with Zeus and released from Tartarus, and assigns them a place with Cronus in the Islands of the Blest.
Son of Zeus and Danae, grandson of Acrisius (q.v.). An oracle had declared that Danae, the daughter of Acrisius, would give birth to a son who would kill his grandfather. Acrisius committed Perseus with his mother to the sea in a wooden box, which was carried by the waves to the isle of Seriphus. Here the honest fisherman Dictys son of Magnes (See AeOLUS, 1) brought it to land with his net, and took care of mother and child. Dictys' brother Polydectes, however, the king of the island, conceived a passion for the fair Danae, and finding the son in the way, betrayed the young Perseus, who was now grown out of boyhood, into promising, on the occasion of a banquet, to do anything for him, even should he order the head of Medusa, and held him to his word. Encouraged and assisted by Athene and Hermes, Perseus reached the Graiae (q.v.), in the farthest part of Libya; and by capturing the single eye and tooth which they possessed in common, compelled them to show him the way to their sisters the Gorgons (q.v.). He also made them equip him for the undertaking with the winged sandals, the magic bag, and the helmet of Hades, which made the wearer invisible. Hermes added to these a sharp sword shaped like a sickle. Thus provided, he flew to the Gorgons on the shores of Oceanus, found them asleep, and, since their glance turned the beholder to stone, with face averted smote and cut off Medusa's head, which Athens showed him in the mirror of her shield, while she guided his hand for the blow. He thrust it quickly into his bag, and flew off through the air, pursued by the other two Gorgons; but, by virtue of his helmet, he escaped them, and came in his flight to Aethiopia. Here he rescued Andromeda (q.v.), and won her as his bride. Returning with her to Seriphus, he avenged his mother for the importunities of Polydectes by turning the king and his friends into stone by the sight of Medusa's head; set Dictys on the throne of the island; gave up the presents of the, Graiae to Hermes, who restored them; and presented the Gorgon's head to Athene, who set it in the middle of her shield or breastplate. Then he returned with his mother and wife to Argos. But before his arrival Acrisius bad gone away to Larissa in Thessaly, and here Perseus unwittingly killed him with a discus at the funeral games held in honour of the king of that country. He duly buried the body of his grandfather, but, being unwilling to succeed to his inheritance, effected an exchange with Megapenthes, his uncle Proetus' son, took Tiryns in exchange for Argos and built Midea and Mycenae. By Andromeda he had one daughter, Gorgophone, and six sons. The eldest, Perses, was regarded as the ancestor of the Persians; Alcaeus, Sthenelus, and Electryon were the fathers respectively of Amphitryon, Eurystheus, and Alcmene, the mother of Heracles. Perseus had a shrine (heroon) on the road between Argos and Mycenae, and was worshipped with divine honours in Seriphus and Athens.
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