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HIPPOCRENE 100.00%
The fount of the Muses, which was struck out of Mount Helicon, in Boeotia, by the hoof of the winged steed Pegasus. (See MUSES and PEGASUS.)
 
PEIRENE 73.76%
The spring struck out by the winged steed Pegasus on the citadel of Corinth. For another tradition of its origin, see SISYPHUS.
 
CHRYSAOR 60.96%
Son of Poseidon and Medusa, brother of Pegasus, and father of the three-headed giant Geryon and Echidna by the Ocean-Nymph Callirrhoe.
 
BELLERPHON 43.36%
Son of Glaucus of Corinth (or according to another account, of Poseidon), and grandson of Sisyphus. His proper name is said to have been Hipponoes; the name Bellerophontes implies that he was the slayer of some now unknown monster. In later times his name was wrongly explained as the slayer of a certain Corinthian, Belleros, on account of which be was supposed to have fled to Proetus at Tiryns, or (as Homer has it) at Corinth. The wife of Prcetus, Anteia (or Stheneboea), falls in love with the beautiful youth: he is deaf to her entreaties: she slanders him to her husband, who resolves on his destruction. He sends Bellerophon to Lycia, to his father-in-law Iobates, with a tablet in cypher, begging him to put the bearer to death. Iobates first commissions Bellerophon to destroy the fire-breathing monster Chimaera, a task which he executes with the help of his winged horse Pegasus (see PEGASUS). Thereupon, after a fierce battle, he conquers the Solymi and the Amazons, on his return slays an ambush of the boldest among the Lycians, and Iobates now recognises his divine origin, keeps him with him, and gives him the half of his kingdom, and his daughter to wife. The children of this marriage are Isander, Hippolochus, the father of Glaucus and Laodamia, and the mother of Sarpedon by Zeus. Afterwards Bellerophon was bated by all the gods, and wandered about alone, devouring his heart in sorrow. His son Isander was killed by Ares in battle against the Solymi, while Laodamia was sacrificed to the wrath of Artemis. This is the Homeric version; but, according to Pindar, Bellerophon's high fortune made him so overweening that he wished to mount to heaven on Pegasus; but Zeus drove the horse wild with a gadfly, and Bellerophon fell and came to a miserable end. He was honoured as a hero in Corinth, an enclosure being consecrated to him in the cypress grove of Craneion.
 
GORGO 11.30%
Homer makes mention of the terrible head of the Gorgon, a formidable monster. This head is a terror in Hades, and in the aegis or breastplate of Zeus. Hesiod speaks of three Gorgons; Stheno (the mighty), Euryale (the widewandering), and Medusa (the queen). They are the daughters of the aged sea-god Phorcys and Keto, and sisters of the Graiae (see GRAIAe). They dwell on the farthest shore of Ocean, in the neighbourhood of Night and of the Hesperides. They are awful beings, with hair and girdles of snakes, whose look turns the beholder to stone. They are also often represented with golden wings, brazen claws, and enormous teeth. Medusa is mortal, but the other two immortal. When Perseus cuts off Medusa's head, Chrysaor and the winged horse Pegasus, with whom she was with child by Poseidon, spring forth from the streaming blood. The head was given by Perseus to Athene, who set it in her shield. Heracles received a lock of the hair from Athens as a present. When endeavouring to persuade Cephalus of Tegea to take part in his expedition against Hippocoon of Sparta, the king represented that he feared an attack from his enemies the Argives in Heracles' absence. Heracles accordingly gave to Sterope, the daughter of Cephalus, the lock of Medusa's hair in a brazen urn, bidding her, in case the enemy approached, to avert her head and hold it three times over the walls, for the mere aspect of it would turn the enemy to flight. In consequence of the belief in this power of the Gorgon's head, or Gorgoneion, to paralyse and terrify an enemy, the Greeks carved images of it in its most terrifying forms, not only on armour of all sorts, especially shields and breastplates, but also on walls and gates (see fig. 1). Thus, on the south wall of the Athenian Acropolis, a large gilded Gorgoneion was set on an oegis [Pausanias, i 21 § 4]. In the popular belief the Gorgon's head was also a means of protection against all enchantment, whether of word or act, and we thus find it throughout Greek history employed as a powerful amulet, and often carved with graceful settings on decorative furniture and costly ornaments. But the Greek artists, with their native sense of beauty, knew, even in the case of the Gorgon, how to give adequate expression to the idea which lay at the root of the story. The story said that Medusa had been a fair maiden, whose luxuriant hair had been turned by Athens into snakes in revenge for the desecration of her sanctuary. Accordingly the head of Medusa is represented in works of art with a countenance of touching beauty, and a wealth of hair wreathed with snakes. The face was imagined as itself in the stillness of death, and thus bearing the power to turn the living to stone. The most beautiful surviving instance of this conception is the Rondanini Medusa now at Munich (fig. 2).
 
ATHENE 5.76%
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.)
 
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