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The seven daughters of Atlas and the Ocean-nymph Plelone, born on the Arcadian mountain Cyllene, sisters of the Hyades. The eldest and most beautiful, Maia, became the mother of Hermes by Zeus; Electra and Tayggete, of Dardanus and Lacedaemon by the same; Alcyone, of Hyrieus by Poseidon; Celaeno of Lycus and Nycteus by the same; Sterope or Asterope, of (Enomaus by Ares; Merope (i.e. the mortal), of Glaucus by Sisyphus. Out of grief, either for the fate of Atlas or for the death of their sisters, they killed themselves and were placed among the constellations. According to another legend, they were pursued for five years by the Giant hunter Orion (q.v.), until Zeus turned the distressed Nymphs and their pursuer into neighbouring stars. As the constellation of the seven stars, they made known by their rising (in the middle of May) the approach of harvest, and by their setting (at the end of October) the time for the new sowing. Their rising and setting were also looked upon as the sign of the opening and closing of the sailing season. One of the seven stars is invisible; this was explained to be Merope, who bid herself out of the shame at her marriage with a mortal. The constellation of the Pleiades seems also to have been compared to a flight of doves (Gr. peleides). Hence the Pleiades were supposed to be meant in the story told by Homer of the ambrosia brought to Zeus by the doves,-one of which is always lost at the Planetae rocks, but is regularly replaced by a new one [Od. xii 62]. Among the Romans, the constellation was called Vergiliae, the stars of spring.
TAYGETE 100.00%
One of the Pleiades (q.v.).
CELAENO 100.00%
ALCYONE 58.63%
One ofthe Pleiades.
STEROPE 50.65%
One of the Pleiads, mother of (Enomus, by Ares.
ELECTRA 44.43%
One of the Pleiades, the mother (by Zeus) of Dardanus, ancestor of the royal house of Troy.
MEROPE 43.72%
One of the Pleiads (q.v.), mother of Glaucusg by Sisyphus.
HOMER 28.51%
A poet of Hierapolis in Caria, son of the poetess Moero, born in the first half of the 3rd century B.C. He was one of the seven tragic poets of the Alexandrine Pleiad (q.v.).
NYCTEUS 22.99%
Son of Poseidon and the Pleiad Celaeno, brother of Lycus (q.v., 1) and father of Antiope (q.v.). After the early death of Cadmus' son Polydorus he administered the government of Thebes for Labdacus, who was a minor, until be met his death in battle with Epopeus, his daughter's husband.
A Greek tragedian of Corcyra, in the first half of the 3rd century B.C.; he was priest of Dionysus in Alexandria, and, as such, stood at the head of the Dionysiac guild of actors in that city. He was one of the " Pleiad " (q.v.) of Alexandrian tragic poets. [His portrait is preserved in a relief in the Lateran Museum. See out under TRAGEDY (Greek).]
MAIA 20.49%
Daughter of Atlas and Pleione, one of the Pleiads (q.v.), mother of Hermes by Zeus. The Romans identified her with an old Italian goddess of spring, Maia Maiestas (also called Fauna, Bona Dea, Ops), who was held to be the wife of Vulcan, and to whom the flamen of that god sacrificed a pregnant sow on the 1st of May.
Alexander Aetolus (the Aetolian) of Pleuron in Aetolia, lived about 280 B.C. at Alexandria, being employed by Ptolemy in arranging the tragedies and satyric dramas in the Library. He was afterwards at the court of Antigonus Gonatas in Macedonia. As a writer of tragedies he was reckoned one of the so-called Pleiad. He also tried his hand at short epics, at epigrams, elegies, and the like, of which some graceful fragments are preserved.
LYCUS 18.26%
Son of Poseidon and the Pleiad Celaeno, married to Dirce. He took over the government of Thebes after his brother Nyoteus, for Labdacus, who was a minor; and, after the death of Labdacus for his son Laius. He was either killed by Amphion (q.v.) and zethus, or (according to another account) handed the government of Thebes over to them at the behest of Hermes.
HYADES 15.55%
Daughters of Atlas and of Aethra, and sisters of the Pleiades their number varies between two and seven. Being Nymphs who supplied nourishment by means of moisture, they were worshipped at Dodona as nurses of Zeus or of the infant Dionysus. As a reward for this they were placed in the sky as stars. At their rising about the same time as the sun, between May 7 and 21, rainy weather usually began. Hyades is naturally derived from the verb "to rain"; but the Romans, wrongly supposing it came from the Greek for "a pig," called the constellation" the little pigs" (suculoe).
A Greek grammarian and poet, a native of Chalcis in Euboea, who lived in the first half of the 3rd century B.C. at Alexandria, where Ptolemy Philadelphus. entrusted him with arranging for the library the works of the Greek comic poets. As a result of this occupation, he produced a voluminous and learned work on Greek Comedy. He himself wrote tragedies, and was counted one of the Pleiad, the seven Alexandrine tragedians. Of his works there remains a poem in 1,474 iambic verses, entitled Alexandra or Cassandra, which is rendered almost unreadable by the obscurity of its language and by its pedantic display of learning. It consists of a long monologue, in which Cassandra prophesies the fall of Troy and the fates of the heroes of the Trojan War, with allusions to the universal empire of Alexander the Great.
Son of Zeus and the Pleiad Electra, the father of the regal house of Troy. He left Arcadia, his mother's home, and went to the island of Samothrace. Here he set up the worship of the great gods, whose shrines, with the Palladium, his first wife Chryse had received as a gift from Athene at her marriage. Samothrace having been visited by a great flood, Dardanus sailed away with his shrines to Phrygia, where King Tencer gave him his daughter Bateia to wife, and land enough on Mount Ida to found the town of Dardania. His son by Bateia was Erichthonius, whom Homer describes as the wealthiest of mortals, and the possessor of horses of the noblest breed and most splendid training. The son of Erichthonius was Tros, father of Ilos, Assaracus and Ganymedes. From Ilos, the founder of Ilion or Troy, was descended Laomedon, father of Priam. From Assaracus sprang Capys, father of Anchises, and grandfather of Aeneas. Another story made Dardanus the native prince who welcomed Teucer on his arrival from Crete (see TEUCER).
ATLAS 7.90%
The son of the Titan Iapetus and Clymene (or, according to anotlier account, Asia), brother of Menoetius, Prometheus, and Epimetheus. In Homer [Od. i. 52] he is called "the thinker of mischief," who knows the depths of the whole sea, and has under his care the pillars which hold heaven and earth asunder. In Hesiod [Theog. 517] he stands at the western end of the earth, near where the Hesperides dwell, holding the broad heaven on his head and unwearied hands. To this condition he is forced by Zeus, according to a later version as a punishment for the part which he took in the battle with the Titans. By the Ocean nymph Pleione he is father of the Pleiades, by Aethra of the Hyades. In Homer the nymph Calypso is also his daughter, who dwells on the island Ogygia, the navel of the sea. Later authors make him the father of the Hesperides, by Hesperis. It is to him that Amphitrite flies when pursued by Poseidon. As their knowledge of the West extended the Greeks transferred the abode of Atlas to the African mountain of the same name. Local stories of a mountain which supported the heaven would, no doubt, encourage the identification. In later times Atlas was represented as a wealthy king, and owner of the garden of the Hesperides. Perseus, with his head of Medusa, turned him into a rocky mountain for his inhospitality. In works of art he is represented as carrying the heaven; or (after the earth was discovered to be spherical), the terrestrial globe. Among the statues of Atlas the Farnese, in the Museum at Naples, is the best known. (See also OLYMPIC GAMES, fig. 3.) In Greek architecture, the term Atlantes was employed to denote the colossal male statues sometimes used in great buildings instead of columns to support an entablature or a projecting roof.
(i.e. "the crafty"). The son of Aeolus, brother of Athamas, husband of the Pleiad Merope. His son is Glaucus, the father of Bellerophon. He is regarded as the builder of Ephyra, (afterwards Corinth) and as originator of the Isthmian Games. In legends he appears as extremely cunning and crafty; in Homer he is called the "slyest of all men" [Il. vi 153]. The reason why he is punished in the other world, where he is forced for ever to keep on rolling a block of stone to the top of a steep hill, only to see it roll again to the valley, and to start the toilsome task again [Od. xi 593], is not mentioned by Homer; and later legends vary on this point. According to the account which gives the best idea of his cunning, Sisyphus discloses to the rivergod Asopus, in search of his daughter Aegina (see AeACUS), how she had been carried off by Zeus; but this information was not given until Asopus has satisfied the condition laid down by Sisyphus, by creating the spring Peirene, which ever after supplied the citadel and town of Corinth [Pausanias ii 5 § 1]. Zeus desires to kill Sisyphus as a punishment for revealing the facts, and sends Death to him; but Sisyphus fetters Death in strong chains, and no one dies, till at last Ares sets him free and hands Sisyphus over to him. But be commands his wife not to inter him, and succeeds in persuading Pluto and Persephone to let him return for awhile to the upper world in order to punish her want of love. Having no desire to return to Hades, he forgets his promise, and eventually Hermes has to come and fetch him. In the post-Homeric legends Odysseus, on account of his cunning, is made the son of Sisyphus and Anticleia [Sophocles, Ajax 190, Phil. 417; Eur., Iph. at Aulis, 524].
ORION 5.53%
A mythical hunter of gigantic size and strength and of great beauty. He was the son of Hyrieus of Hyria in Boeotia; or (according to another account) of Poseidon, who gave him the power to walk over the sea as well as over dry land. He is sometimes represented as an earthborn being. Many marvellous exploits were ascribed to him: for instance, the building of the huge harbour-dam of Zancle (Messana) and the upheaving of the promontory of Pelorum in Sicily [Diodorus, iv 85]. After his wife Side had been cast into Hades by Hera for having dared to compare herself to that goddess in beauty, he crossed the sea to Chios in order to woo Merope, the daughter of (Enopion, son of Dionysus and Ariadne. As he violated her in a fit of intoxication, (Enopion blinded him in his sleep and cast him out upon the seashore. He groped his way, however, to Lemnos and the smithy of Heph'stus, set one of the latter's workmen, Cedalion, upon his shoulders, and bade him guide him to the place where the sun rose; and in the radiance thereof his eyesight returned. (Enopion hid himself beneath the earth to escape his vengeance. Eos, smitten with love for Orion, carried him off to Delos (Ortygia), and there lived with him, until the gods in their anger caused him to be killed by Artemis with her arrows. According to another story, Artemis shot him in Chios or Crete, either for having challenged her to a contest with the quoit, or for having endeavoured to outrage her whilst engaged in the chase. Another legend relates that the earth, terrified by his threat that he could root out every wild creature from Crete, sent forth a scorpion, which killed him with its sting. His tomb was shown in Tanagra. In Homer [Od. xi 572] Odysseus sees him in the lower world as a shade still pursuing with his club of bronze the creatures whom he slew in former times. As regards the legend of his being placed among the stars, see PLEIADES. The morning rising of his constellation, which was already known as early as Homer [Il. xviii 488] denoted the beginning of summer, his midnight rising denoted the season of the vintage, and his late rising the beginning of winter and its storms. Whilst he sinks, the Scorpion, which was likewise placed among the stars, rises above the horizon. Sirius (Gr.Seirios), the star of the dog-days, is described, as early as Homer [Il. xxii 29], as the dog of Orion. Of his daughters Menippe and Metioche, it was related that they were endowed by Aphrodite with beauty and by Athene with skill in the art of weaving; and when, on the occasion of a pestilence ravaging Boeotia, the sacrifice of two virgins was required by the oracle, they voluntarily, to save their country, pierced their throats with their shuttles. As a reward for their voluntary sacrifice, Persephone and Pluto changed them into comets; while a sanc, tuary was built in their honour at Orchomenus, and expiatory offerings were yearly paid to them.
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