Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
Son of the Titan Iapetus and the Ocean-nymph Clymene, brother of Atlas, Menoetius, and Epimetheus, father of Deucalion (q.v.). The most ancient account of him, as given by Hesiod [Theog. 521-616) is as follows. When the gods, after their conquest of the Titans, were negotiating with mankind about the honour to be paid them, Prometheus was charged with the duty of dividing a victim offered in sacrifice to the gods. He endeavoured to impose upon Zeus by dividing it in such a way as cleverly to conceal the half which consisted of flesh and the edible vitals under the skin of the animal, and to lay thereon the worst part, the stomach, while he heaped the bones together and covered them with fat.
Brother of Prometheus and husband of Pandora. (See PROMETHEUS.)
PANDORA 38.41%
The woman made out of earth by Hephaestus, and endowed by the gods with perfect charm and beauty, but also with deceit, flattering speech, and cunning thought. (See further underPROMETHEUS.)
Son of Inachus and the Oceanymph Melia, founder of the state of Argos. The origin of all culture, civil order, and religious rites in the Peloponnesus was ascribed to him. In particular, he was reputed as the originator of the worship of Hera at Argos, and, like Prometheus elsewhere, as the man who first brought fire from heaven down to earth. Hence he was regarded as a national hero, and offerings were laid on his tomb. His daughter Niobe was said to be the first mortal whom Zeus honoured with his love.
According to Hesiod [Theog. 869], the youngest son of Gaea by Tartarus; a giant of enormous strength, with one hundred snake-heads, eyes darting fire, and various voices, which sometimes sounded like the voice of the gods, sometimes like the lowing of a bull or the roaring of a lion, or like the howl of a dog, and sometimes like a shrill whistle. He was the symbol of the fire and smoke in the interior of the earth, and of their destructive forces. Hence he was also the father of devastating hurricanes. By Echidna he was the father of the dogs Orthos and Cerberus, and the Lernaean hydra [the Chimaera, the lion of Nemea, the eagle of Prometheus, and the dragon of the Hesperides]. He contended with Zeus for the throne of the lower world, but after some severe fighting was hurled to the ground by lightning, and thrown into Tartarus. In Homer he lies beneath the earth, in the land of the Arimi [Il. ii 783], and Zeus assails that region with his thunderbolts. According to another account Aetna was hurled upon him, and out of it he sends forth streams of flame [Aeschylus, Prometheus 370, Septem contra Thebas 493]. He was afterwards identified with the Egyptian god Set, the god of the sirocco, of death, of blight, of the eclipse of sun and moon, and of the barren sea, the author of all evil, and the murderer of his brother Osiris (q.v.).
The torch-race was a contest held at night, especially at Athens, at the Panathenaea and the festivals of Hephaestus, Prometheus, Pan, and the Thracian moon-goddess called Bendis [Plato, Rep. 328 A]. In this contest young men ran, with torches in their hands, from the altar of Prometheus in the Academia (where the torches were lighted) to the city; and whoever reached the goal with his torch alight was the winner. Other young men without torches ran after the torch-bearers; and the latter, if overtaken, had to hand over their torches to the former. To do this without letting the torches go out, required great skill [Pausanias, i 30 § 2]. In the time of Socrates the torchbearers sometimes rode on horseback [Plato, above quoted]. The contest was attended with considerable cost, as the scene of the race had to be illuminated; and at Athens the duty of providing for it was one of the public services incumbent on the wealthier citizens. (See LEITOURGIA.) [The torchrace is sometimes represented on vases, e.g. in Gerhard's Ant. Bildw. Taf. 63, 1, copied in Baumeister's Denkmaler, fig. 563. A rider carrying a torch may be seen in the accompanying cut.]
The earliest of the three great tragic poets of Greece, son of Euphorion. He was born at Eleusis, near Athens, B.C. 525, of an old and noble stock, fought at Marathon, Salamis and Plataeae, and in his 25th year appeared as a writer of tragedies and rival of Pratinas and Choerilus, though he did not win his first victory till 488 B.C. About 476 he lived in Sicily, at the court of Hiero of Syracuse, and composed his Aetnoeans for the consecration of the city of Aetna, founded by that king in the place of the ancient Catana. On his return to Athens he was beaten by the young Sophocles with his very first play, but vanquished him again the next year with the Tetralogy of which the Seven against Thebes formed a part. After the performance of his Oresteia, B.C. 459, he quitted home once more, perhaps in disgust at the growing power of the democracy; and after three years' residence at Gela in Sicily, was killed, says one story, by an eagle dropping a tortoise on his bare skull. The inhabitants of Gela buried his remains, and honoured them with a splendid monument. At a later time the Athenians, on the motion of the orator Lycurgus, placed a brazen statue of him, as well as of Sophocles and Euripides, in the theatre; by a decree of the people a chorus was granted for every performance of his plays, and the garland of victory voted him as though be were still living among them. His tragedies, like those of the other two, were preserved in a special standard copy, to guard them against arbitrary alterations. His son Euphorion was also an esteemed tragic poet, so was his sister's son Philocles and his descendants for several generations. (See TRAGEDY.) The number of Aeschylus's plays is stated as 90, of which 82 are still known by title, but only 7 are preserved: (1) The Persians, performed in 473 B.C., was named from the chorus. Its subject was the same as that of Phrynichus' Phaenissae, the defeat of Xerxes at Salamis, but was differently treated. (2) The Seven against Thebes, part of a Tetralogy, embracing the cycle of Theban legend, of which Laius and OEdipus formed the first two pieces, and the satyric drama Sphinx the conclusion. (3) The Suppliants, the reception of Danaus and his daughters at Argos, evidently part of another Tetralogy, and, to judge by the simple plot and its old-fashioned treatment, one of his earliest works. (4) Prometheus Bound, part of a Trilogy, the Prometheia, whose first and last pieces were probably Prometheus the Fire-bringer and Prometheus Unbound. Lastly, the Oresteia, the one Trilogy which has survived, consisting of the three tragedies, (5) Agamemnon, the murder of that hero on his return home; (6) The Choephoroe, named from the chorus of captive Trojan women offering libations at Agamemnon's tomb, in which Orestes avenges himself on Aegisthus and Clytaemnestra; and (7) The Eumenides, in which Orestes, pursued by the Furies, is acquitted by the Areopagus at Athens. This Trilogy, composed B.C. 458, and probably the last work exhibited by Aeschylus at Athens, gives us an idea of the whole artistic conception of the poet, and must be looked upon as one of the greatest works of art ever produced. The style is marked by sublimity and majesty, qualities partly attributable to the courageous and serious temper of the time, but chiefly the offspring of the poet's individuality, which took delight in all that is great and grand, and loved to express itself in strong, sonorous words, an accumulation of epithets, and a profusion of bold metaphors and similes. His view of the universe reveals a profoundly philosophic mind, so that the ancients call him a Pythagorean; at the same time he is penetrated by a heartfelt piety, which conceives of the gods as powers working in the interest of morality. However simple the plot of his plays, they display an art finished to the minutest detail. His Trilogies either embraced one complete cycle of myths, or united separate legends according to their moral or mythical affinity; even the satyric dramas attached to the Tragedies Stand in intimate connexion with them. Aeschylus is the true creator of Tragedy, inasmuch as, by adding a second actor to the first, he originated the genuine dramatic dialogue, which he made the chief part of the play by gradually cutting down the lyrical or choral parts. Scenic apparatus he partly created and partly completed. He introduced masks for the players, and by gay and richly embroidered trailing garments, the high buskin, head-dresses, and other means, gave them a grand imposing aspect above that of common men; and he fitted up the stage with decorative painting and machinery. According to the custom of the time, he acted in his own plays, practised the chorus in their songs and dances, and himself invented new dance figures.
CHIRON 14.74%
A Centaur, son of Cronus and the Ocean nymph Philyra. By the Naiad nymph Chariclo he was father of Endeis, wife of Aeacus, the mother of Peleus and Telamon, and grandmother of Achilles and Ajax. He is represented in the fable as wise and just, while the other Centaurs are wild and uncivilized. He is the master and instructor of the most celebrated heroes of Greek story, as Actaeon, Jason, Castor, Polydeuces, Achilles, and Asclepius, to whom he teaches the art of healing. Driven by the Lapithae from his former dwelling-place, a cave at the top of Pellion, he took up his abode on the promontory of Malea in Laconia. Here he was wounded accidentally with a poisoned arrow by his friend Heracles, who was pursuing the flying Centaurs (see PHOLUS). To escape from the dreadful pain of the wound, he renounced his immortality in favour of Prometheus, and was set by Zeus among the stars as the constellation Archer.
In Greek mythology, the god of fire, and of the arts which need fire in the execution. He was said to be the son of Zeus and Hera, or (according to Hesiod) of the latter only. The boy was ugly, and lame in both feet, and his mother was ashamed of him. She threw him from Olympus into the ocean, where he was taken up by Eurynome and Thetis, and concealed in a subterranean cavern. Here he remained for nine years, and fashioned a number of exquisite works of art, among them a golden throne with invisible chains, which he sent to his mother by way of revenge. She sat down in it, and was chained to the seat, so fast that no one could release her. On this it was resolved to call Hephaestus back to Olympus. Ares wished to force him back, but was scared off by his brother with fire-brands. Dionysus at length succeeded in making him drunk, and bringing him back, in this condition, to Olympus. But he was destined to meet with his old mishap a second time. There was a quarrel between Zeus and Hera, and Hephaestus took his mother's part; whereupon Zeus seized him by the leg and hurled him down from Olympus. He fell upon the island of Lemnos, where the Sintians, who then inhabited the island, took care of him and brought him to himself. From this time Lemnos was his favourite abode. His lameness was, in the later story, attributed to this fall. The whole story, the sojourn of Hephaestus in the cavern under the sea, and his fondness for Lemnos, is, in all probability, based upon volcanic phenomena; the submarine activity of volcanic fires, and the natural features of the island of Lemnos. Here there was a volcano called Mosychlos, which was in activity down to the time of Alexander the Great. The friendship existing between Dionysus and Hephaestus may be explained by the fact that the best and finest wines are grown in the volcanic regions of the South. As a master in the production of beautiful and fascinating works of art, Hephaestus is in Homer the husband of Charis, and in Hesiod of Aglaia, the youngest of the Graces. (See CHARITES.) The story of his marriage with Aphrodite was not, apparently, widely known in early antiquity. Through his artistic genius he appears, and most especially in the Athenian story, as the intimate friend of Athene. In Homer he lives and works on Olympus, where he makes palaces of brass for himself and the other deities. But he has a forge also on Mount Mosychlos in Lemnos; the later story gives him one under Aetna in Sicily, and on the sacred island, or island of Hephaestus, in the Lipari Islands, where he is heard at work with his companions the Cyclopes. All the masterpieces of metal which appear in the stories of gods and heroes, the aeagis of Zeus, the arms of Achilles, the sceptre of Agamemnon, the necklace of Harmonia, and others, were attributed to the art of Hephaestus. To help his lameness he made, according to Homer, two golden maidens, with the power of motion, to lean upon when he walked. He was much worshipped in Lemnos, where there was an annual festival in his honour All fires were put out for nine days, during which rites of atonement and purification were performed. Then fresh fire was brought on a sacred ship from Delos, the fires were kindled again, and a new life, as the saying went, began. At Athens he was worshipped in the Academy, in connexion with Athene and Prometheus (see PROMETHEUS). In October the smiths and smelters celebrated the Chalkeia, a feast of metal-workers, in his honour and that of Athene; at the Apaturia sacrifices were offered to him, among other gods, as the giver of fire, and torches were kindled, and hymns were sung; at the Hephaestia, finally, there was a torch-race in his honour. In works of art he is represented as a vigorous man with a beard, equipped, like a smith, with hammer and tongs; his left leg is shortened, to show his lameness (see engraving). The Romans identified him with their Vulcanus (see VULCANUS).
In Greek mythology, the son of Prometheus and Clymene, husband of Pyrrha, the daughter of Epimetheus, monarch of Phthia in Thessaly. Zeus having resolved to destroy the degenerate race of mankind by a great flood, Deucalion, by the advice of his father, built a wooden chest, in which he rescued only himself and his wife from the general destruction. After nine days be landed on Mount Parnassus and sacrificed to Zeus Phyxios (who sends help by flight). Inquiring of the oracle of Themis at Delphi how the human race could be renewed, be received answer that Pyrrha and he should veil their heads, and throw behind them the bones of their mother. They understood the priestess to refer to stones, which they accordingly threw behind them; and the stones of Deucalion turned into men, those of Pyrrha into women. With this new race Deucalion founded a kingdom in Locris, where the grave of Pyrrha was shown. That of Deucalion was said to be visible at Athens in the ancient temple of the Olympian Zeus, which he was supposed to have built.
ATLAS 10.70%
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.
TITANS 10.53%
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.
ATHENE 3.51%
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.)
Type: Standard
gutter splint
gutter splint
gutter splint