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RHEA 100.00%
Daughter of Uranus and Gaea, wife of her brother, the Titan Cronus, by whom she gave birth to the Olympian gods, Zeus, Hades, Poseidon, Hera, Hestia, Demeter. For this reason she was generally called the Mother of the gods. One of her oldest places of worship was Crete, where in a cave, near the town of Lyctus or else on mounts Dirce or Ida, she was said to have given birth to Zeus, and to have hidden him from the wiles of Cronus. The task of watching and nursing the newborn child she had entrusted to her devoted servants the Curetes, earth-born demons, armed with weapons of bronze, who drowned the cry of the child by the noise which they made by beating their spears against their shields. The name of Curetes was accordingly given to the priests of the Cretan Rhea and of the Idaean Zeus, who executed noisy war-dances. at the festivals of those gods. In early times the Cretan Rhea was identified with the Asiatic Cyble or Cybebe," the Great Mother," a goddess of the powers of nature and the arts of cultivation, who was worshipped upon mountains in Mysia, Lydia, and Phrygia. In the former character she was a symbol of the procreative power of nature; in the latter, she originated the cultivation of the vine and agriculture, together with all other forms of social progress and civilization, which depend upon these. Thus she was regarded as the founder of towns and cities, and therefore it is that art represents her as crowned with a diadem of towers. The true home of this religion was the Phrygian Pessinus, on the river Sangarius, in the district afterwards known as Galatia, where the goddess was called Agdistis. [Strabo, p. 567] or Angdistis, from a holy rock named Agdus upon Mount Dindymus above the town. Upon this mountain, after which the goddess derived her name of Dindymene, stood her earliest sanctuary, as well as her oldest effigy (a stone that had fallen from heaven), and the grave of her beloved Attis (q.v.). Her priests, the emasculated Galli, here enjoyed almost royal honour. In Lydia she was worshipped, principally on Mount Tmolus, as the mother of Zeus and the foster-mother of Dionysus. There was also a temple of Cybele at Sardis. Her mythical train was formed by the Corybantes, answering to the Curetes of the Cretan Rhea; these were said to accompany her over the wooded hills, with lighted torches and with wild dances, amid the resounding music of flutes and horns and drums and cymbals. After these the priests of Cybele were also called Corybantes, and the festivals of the goddess were celebrated with similar orgies, in the frenzy of which the participators wounded each other or, like Attis, mutilated themselves. Besides these there were begging priests, called Metragyrtoe and Cybebi, who roamed from place to place, as inspired servants and prophets of the Great Mother. On the Hellespont and on the Propontis, Rhea-Cybele was likewise the chief goddess; in particular in the Troad, where she was worshipped upon Mount Ida as the Idoean Mother, and where the Idoean Dactyli (q.v.) formed her train. From Asia this religion advanced into Greece. After the Persian Wars it reached Athens, where in the Metroum, the temple of the Great Mother, which was used as a State record-office, there stood the ideal image of the goddess fashioned by Phidias [Pausanias, i 3 § 5]. The worship of Cybele did not, however, obtain public recognition here, any more than in the rest of Greece, on account of its orgiastic excesses and the offensive habits of its begging priests. It was cultivated only by particular associations and by the lower ranks of the people. In Rome the worship of the Great Mother (Magna Mater) was introduced for political reasons in 204 B.C., at the command of a Sibylline oracle, and for the purpose of driving Hannibal out of Italy. An embassy was sent to fetch the holy stone from Pessinus; a festival was founded in honour of the goddess, to be hold on April 4-9 (the Megalesia, from the Greek megale meter= magna mater): and in 217 a temple on the Palatine was dedicated to her. The service was performed by a Phrygian priest, a Phrygian priestess, and a number of Galli (emasculated priests of Cybele), who were allowed to pass in procession through the city in accordance with their native rites. Roman citizens were forbidden to participate in this service, though the praetor on the Palatine, and private persons among the patricians, celebrated the feast by entertaining one another, the now cult being attached to that of Maia or Ops. The worship of Cybele gained by degrees an ever-wider extension, so that under the early Empire a fresh festival was instituted, from March 15-27, with the observance of mourning, followed by the most extravagant joy. In this festival associations of women and men and the religious board of the Quindecimviri (q.v.) took part. In the first half of the 2nd century A.D. the Taurobolia and Criobolia were added. In these ceremonies the person concerned went through a form of baptism with the blood of bulls and rams killed in sacrifice, with the object of cleansing him from pollutions and bringing about a new birth. The oak and pine were sacred to Rhea-Cybele, (See ATTIS), as also the lion. She was supposed to traverse the mountains riding on a lion, or in a chariot drawn by lions. In art she was usually represented enthroned between lions, with the mural crown on her head and a small drum in her hand.
Daughter of the Alban king Numa. Her uncle Amulius, who had driven his brother from the throne, made her a Vestal Virgin, so that none of her descendants might take vengeance for this violent deed. When, however, she bore to Mars the twins Romulus and Remus, and was thrown for this into the Tiber, Tiberinus (q.v.), the god of the river, made her his wife. According to an older tradition, the mother of the founders of Rome was Ilia, daughter of Aeneas (q.v.) and Lavinia.
A Roman name of the goddess Rhea (q.v.)
A Roman festival in honour of Rhea (q.v.).
The vagrant begging priests of Rhea (q.v.).
The mythical attendants of the Phrygian goddess Rhea Cybele, who were supposed to accompany the goddess with wild dances and intoxicating music, while she wandered by torchlight over the forest-clad mountains. The name was further given in Phrygia to the eunuch priests of the goddess. (See RHEA.)
In Cretan mythology the Curetes were demi-gods armed with weapons of brass, to whom the new-born child Zeus was committed by his mother Rhea for protection against the wiles of Cronus. They drowned the cries of the child by striking their spears against their shields. They gave their name to the priests of the Cretan goddess Rhea and of the Idoean Zeus, who performed noisy war-dances at the festivals of those deities.
ILIA 32.98%
Daughter of Aeneas and Lavinia. According to the legend, Romulus and Remus were her sons by Mars. (See AeNEAS and RHEA SILVIA.)
COTYS 30.04%
A Thracian goddess, originally, it would seem, connected with Rhea Cybele. Her worship was diffused over Greece and Italy, and was especially popular in Athens and Corinth. The licentious orgies associated with it, called Cotyttia, gave it a bad name.
CRONUS 21.16%
In Greek mythology, the youngest son of Uranus and Gaea, who mutilated and overthrew his father, and, with the assistance of his kinsfolk the Titans, made himself sovereign of the world. He took his sister Rhea to wife, and became by her father of Hestia, Demeterr, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus. But his mother prophesied that one of his children would overthrow him. He accordingly swallowed them all except Zeus, whom Rhea saved by a stratagem. Zeus, when grown tip, obtained the assistance of the Ocean-nymph Thetis in making Cronus disgorge his children, and then, with the help of his kinsfolk, overpowered Cronus and the Titans. According to one version of the fable, Cronus was imprisoned in Tartarus with the Titans; according to another, he was reconciled with Zeus, and reigned with Rhadamanthys on the Islands of the Blessed. Cronus seems originally to have been a god of the harvest; whence it happens that in many parts of Greece the harvest month was called Cronion. His name being easily confused with that of Chronos ("Time"), he was afterwards erroneously regarded as the god of time. In works of art he was represented as an old man with a mantle drawn over the back of his head, and holding a sickle in his hand. The Romans identified him with Saturnus, their god of sowing (see SATURNUS).
A primeval people sprung from the sea, and living on the island of Rhodes. They are said to have been the earliest workers in metal, and to have made images of the gods, together with the sickle of Cronus and the trident of Poseidon. Poseidon is said to have been entrusted to them by Rhea to be brought up, just as Zeus was to the Curetes of Crete. They were also represented as envious sorcerers and daemons, who were enemies of both gods and men. They were therefore killed by Apollo or, according to another account, destroyed by Zeus in an inundation. According to a third account, this inundation led to their leaving the island, and dispersing themselves over Lycia, Cyprus, Crete, and Greece.
OPS 15.08%
The old Italian goddess of fertility, wife of Saturn, with whom she shared the temple on the Capitol and the festival of the Saturnalia, while the Opalia were held in her honour on the 19th December. As goddess of sowing and reaping she had, under the name Consivia, on August 25th a special festival, the Opeconsiva, at which however only the Vestals and one of the pontifices could be present. As her abode was in the earth, her worshippers invoked her while seated and touching the ground [Macrobius, Saturnalia, i 10]. Just as Saturn was identified with Cronus, so Ops was afterwards identified with Rhea, and then, as mother of Jupiter, honoured along with Jupiter himself on the Capitol.
STRIA DEA 13.40%
A deity of generation and fecundity worshipped in Syrian Hierapolis under the name Atargatis, whom the later Greeks and the Romans simply called the Syrian goddess. From the time of the sovereignty of the Seleucidae, when the ancient paganism was highly honoured in Hierapolis, the worship of this goddess spread among the Greeks, and from them found its way to Rome (where she had a temple in the days of the Empire) and to other parts of Italy, and still farther west. The old idea of her attributes had so widened in the course of time that she shared those of Juno, Venus, Rhea, Cybele, Minerva, Diana, the Parcae, and other goddesses. She is represented on Roman monuments, seated on a throne between two lions. Her priests were generally eunuchs. They were in the habit of making excursions into Greece and Italy to extend the worship of the goddess by means of ecstatic dances and prophecies, and to collect pious alms for her sanctuary.
Fabulous beings in Greek mythology who had their original home in Phrygian Ida, but were afterwards transferred by legend to the mountain of the same name in Crete, and were confounded with similar beings called the Telchines, Curetes, Cabiri, and Corybantes, who were all fabulous beings in the service of Rhea Cybe1e (the "Idaean Mother"). They were accredited with having discoyered, and having been the first to work, iron and copper; with having introduced music and rhythm into Greeee; and with being possessed of magic power. Three of the Phrygian Dactyli had names: Celmis (the smelter), Damnameneus (the hammer), and Acmon (the anvil). Among the Cretan Dactyli, who were five, ten, and even more in number, was the "Idaean Heracles," a personification of the procreative powers of nature, who also afforded magical protection against perils.
DEMETER 11.14%
Daughter of Cronus and Rhea. Her name signifies Mother Earth, the meaning being that she was goddess of agriculture and the civilization based upon it. Her children are, by Iasion, a son Plutus, the god of riches, and by her brother Zeus, a daughter Persephone. Round Demeter and this daughter centre her worship and the fables respecting her. Hfid6s carries off Persephone, and Demeter wanders nine days over the earth seeking her, till on the tenth day she learns the trutb from the all-seeing sun. She is wrath with Zeus for permitting the act of violence, and she visits Olympus and wanders about among men in the form of an old woman under the name of Deo or the Seeker, till at length, at Elensis, in Attica, she is kindly received at the house of king Celeus, and finds comfort in tend ing his newly born son Demophoon. Surprised by his mother in the act of trying to make the child immortal by putting it in the fire, she reveals her deity, and causes a temple to he built to her, in which she gives herself up to her grief. In her wrath she makes the earth barren, so that man kind are threatened with destruction by famine, as she does not allow the fruit of the earth to spring up again until her daughter is allowed to spend two-thirds of the year with her. On her return to Olympus she leaves the gift of corn, of agriculture, and of her holy mysteries with her host, as a token of grateful recollection. She sends Triptolemus the Eleusinian round the world on her chariot, drawn by serpents, to diffuse the knowledge of agriculture and other blessings accompanying it, the settlement of fixed places of abode, civil order, and wedlock. Thus Demeter was worshipped as the goddess of agriculture and foundress of law, order, and especially of marriage, in all places where Greeks dwelt, her daughter being usually associated with her. (See THESMOPHORIA.) The most ancient seat of her worship was Athens and Eleusis, where the Rharian plain was solemnly ploughed every year in memory of the first sowing of wheat. She was also much worshipped in Sicily, which from its fertility was accounted one of her favourite places of abode (see ELEUSINIA). As the goddess of fertility, Demeter was in many regions associated with Poseidon, the god of fertilizing water. This was particularly the case in Arcadia, where Poseidon was regarded as the father of Persephone. She was also joined with Dionysus, the god of wine, and, as mother of Persephone and goddess of the earth, to which not only the seed, but the dead are committed, she is connected with the lower world under the name of Chthonia. In later times she was often confused with Gaia and Rhea, or Cybele. Besides fruit and honeycombs, the cow and the sow were offered to her, both as emblems of productivity. Her attributes are poppies and ears of corn (also a symbol of fruitfulness), a basket of fruit and a little pig. Other emblems had a mystic significance, as the torch and the serpent, as living in the earth, and as symbolizing a renewal of life by shedding its skin. The Romans identified her with their own Ceres.
The god of the river Tiber; according to tradition, an old king of the country, who is said to have been drowned while swimming across the river Albula, which thenceforth was named Tiber (Tiberis) after him. The Roman legends represented him as raising the mother of Romulus and Remus, Rhea Silvia, who had been thrown into the Tiber, to the position of his consort and of goddess of the stream. As the river was of great importance to Rome, the river-god was highly bonoured, and was invoked by the pontifices and augurs in their prayers for the welfare of the State. His shrine was on the island of the Tiber, where offerings were made to him on Dec. 8th. On June 7th fishermen celebrated special games in his honour (ludi piscatarii) on the opposite bank of the Tiber. Under the name of Volturnus, i.e. "the rolling stream," or "river" generally, he appears to have had a flamen (Volturnalis) and a feast, the Volturnalia, on Aug. 27th. Of extant representations of the god the finest is a colossal figure in the Louvre, representing him in a reclining posture, as a victor crowned with bay, holding in one band a rudder, and in the other a cornucopia, with the she-wolf and Romulus and Remus by his side.
ZEUS 9.38%
The greatest god in the Greek mythology; according to the common legend the eldest son of Cronus (Kronos) and Rhea, hence called Cronides. According to a myth indigenous to Crete, he was the youngest son, and Rhea in dread of Cronus who had swallowed all is previous children, bore him secretly in a cave of the island, where he was suckled by the goat Amalthea (q.v.), while the Curetes (q.v.) drowned the cries of the child by the clash of their weapons; but Rhea outwitted Cronus by giving him a stone to swallow instead. When he was grown up, Zeus married Metis (q.v.), who, by means of a charm, compelled Cronus to disgorge the children he had swallowed. When with the help of his brothers and sisters, Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter, and Hera, he had over-thrown Cronus and the Titans, the world was divided into three parts, Zeus obtaining heaven, Poseidon the sea, and Hades the lower world; the earth and Olympus being Appointed for the common possession of all the three. But the king of the gods is Zeus, whose power, as Homer says, is greater than that of all the other gods together. Next to him, but in a subordinate position, stands, as queen of the gods, his sister and consort Hera, the mother of Ares, Hephaestus, and Hebe, who was regarded as pre-eminently his rightful wife. Not incompatible with this however was the idea that the marriage with Hera was the earliest of a series of marriages with other goddesses: first, according to Hosiod, with Metis, whom he swallowed, in order to bring forth Athene from his own head; then with Themis, the mother of the Hours and the Fates; afterwards with Eurynome, the mother of the Graces; Demeter, the mother of Persephone; Mnemoysene, the mother of the Muses; and Leto, the mother of Apollo and Artemis. The fact that still later, in Dodona, Dione, the mother of Aphrodite, was also honoured as the wife of Zeus, shows the origin of the legend. Originally different wives of Zeus were recognised in the different local cults. When the legend of the marriage with Hera had become the predominant one, an attempt was made to harmonize the different versions of the story by the supposition of successive marriages. In the same way the loves of Zeus with half-divine, half-mortal women, of whom Alemene, the mother of Heracles, was said to be the last, were originally rural legends, which derived the descent of indigenous divinities, like Hermes and Dionysus, or of heroes and noble families, from the highest god; and not until they had become the common property of the whole Greek people, which was practically the case as early as the time of Homer, could the love affairs of the greatest of the gods become the theme of those mythical stories which are so repugnant to modern taste. The very name of Zeus (Sanskrit, dyaus, the bright sky) identifies him as the god of the sky and its phenomena. As such he was everywhere worshipped on the highest mountains, on whose summits he was considered to be enthroned. Of all places the Thessalian mountain Olympus (q.v., 1), even in the earliest eges, met with the most general recognition as the abode of Zeus and of the gods who were associated with him. From Zeus come all changes in the sky or the winds; he is the gatherer of the clouds, which dispense the fertilizing rain, while he is also the thunderer, and the hurler of the irresiptible lightning. As by the shaking of his oegis (q.v.) he causes sudden storm and tempest to break forth, so he calms the elements again, brightens the sky, and sends forth favouring winds. The changes of the seasons also proceed from him as the father of the Hours. As the supreme lord of heaven, he was worshipped under the name of Olympian Zeus in many parts of Greece, but especially in Olympia, where the Olympian games (q.v.) were celebrated in his honour. The cult of Zeus at the ancient seat of the oracle at Dodona recognised his character as dispenser of the fertilizing dew. Among the numerous mountain-cults in the Peloponnesus, the oldest and most original was that of the Lycaean Zeus, on Mount Lycaeus in Arcadia, where human beings were actually sacrificed to him in propitiation. (See LYCAeA.) In Attica, again, many festivals refer to the god as a personification of the powers of nature. Various rites of purification and expiation were observed in his honour as the god of wrath (Gr. Maimaktes), in the month Maemacterion (Nov.-Dec.) at the beginning of the winter storms; while towards the end of winter he was worshipped as the gracious god (Gr. Meilichios) at the festival of the Diasia (q.v.). Among the islands, Rhodes and Crete were the principal seats of the worship of the sky-god; not only his birth but also his death was there celebrated, and even his grave was shown, in accordance with the widely spread notion that the annual death of Nature in winter was the death of the god. In Asia, the summit of Mount Ida in the Troad was especially and beyond all other places sacred to Zeus. As he presides over the gods and the whole of nature, so also is be the ruler of men, who all stand in need of his help, and to whom, according to Homer, he weighs out their destinies on golden scales [IL. viii 69, xxii 209], and distributes good and evil out of the two jars which stand in his palace, filled the one with good and the other with evil gifts [xxiv 527]. But his natural attributes are goodness and love; hence Homer calls him "the father of gods and men." He gives to all things a good beginning and a good end: he is the saviour in all distress: to Zeus the saviour (Gr. soter) it was customary to drink the third cup at a meal, and in Athens to sacrifice on the last day of the year. From him comes everything good, noble, and strong, and also bodily vigour and valour, which were exhibited in his honour, particularly at the Olympian and Nemean games. He is also the giver of victory; indeed the goddess of victory (see NICE), and her brothers and sister, Force, Might, and Strife (Gr. Bia, Krotos, Zelos), are his constant companions. From him, as ruler of the world, proceed those universal laws which regulate the course of all things, and he knows and sees, everything, the future as well as the past. Hence all revelation comes in the first instance from him. At times he himself announces to mortals his hidden counsels by manifold signs, thunder and lightning and other portents in the sky, by birds, especially the eagle, which was sacred to him, by prophetic voices (see MANTIKE), and special oracles. (See DODONA and AMMON.) At times he makes use of other deities for this purpose, chiefly of his son Apollo, through whose mouth he speaks at Delphi in particular. Thus the course of the world is ordained by him; he is the author and preserver of all order in the life of men. In conjunction with Themis, Dike, and Nemesis, he watches over justice and truth, the foundations of human society; in particular he is the special god who guards the sanctity of the oath; he is also the avenger of perjury, the keeper of boundaries and of property, the defender of the laws of hospitality and the rights of the suppliant. But nevertheless to him who has offended against the laws of human life, Zeus, as the supreme god of atonement, offers the power of expiating his guilt by rites of purification. As he presides over the family and community of the gods, so also he is the chief patron of the family and of all communal life. In the former relation he was especially worshipped in all branches of the family as protector of house and home (Gr. herkeios), and defender of the domestic hearth (ephestios): in the latter, as the shield of the State, e.g. in Athens at the Diipolid (q.v.); as director of the popular assembly and of the council; as the god of covenants; as the source of kingship, whose, symbol, the sceptre, was traced back to him. From him also proceed both national and personal freedom; hence a sanctuary was dedicated at Athens by freedmen to Zeus the Liberator (eleutherios); and after the battle of Plataea a thanksgiving festival, Eleutheria, was instituted by the allied Greeks, which was still celebrated by the Plataeans in Roman times, and attended by deputies from the other states. Zeus is to the Greeks--as Jupiter (q.v.), who in his principal characteristics exactly corresponds to him, is to the Romans,--the essence of all divine power. No deity received such wide-spread worship; all the others were in the popular belief, subordinated to him at a greater or less distance. The active operations of most of the gods appear only as an outcome of his being, particularly those of his children, among whom the nearest to him are Athene and Apollo, his favourites, who often seem to be joined with their father in the highest union. The eagle and the oak were sacred to Zeus; the eagle, together with the sceptre and the lightning, is also one of his customary attributes. The most famous statue of Zeus in antiquity was that executed by Phidias in gold and ivory for the temple at Olympia. It represented the enthroned Olympian god, with a divine expression of the highest dignity, and at the same time with the benevolent mildness of the deity who graciously listens to prayer. The figure of the seated god was about forty feet high; and since the base was as high as twelve feet, the statue almost touched with its crown the roof of the temple, so as to call forth in the spectator the feeling that no earthly dwelling would be adequate for such a divinity. The bearded head was ornamented with a wreath of olive leaves, the victor's prize at Olympia. The upper part of the body, made of ivory, was naked, the lower part was wrapped in a golden mantle falling from the hips to the feet, which, adorned with golden sandals, rested on a footstool. Beside this lay golden lions. The right hand bore the goddess of victory, the left the sceptre, surmounted by an eagle. Like the base, and the whole space around, the seat of the throne was decorated with various works of art. It was supported by figures of the goddess of victory; and on the back of the throne, which rose above the head of the god, were represented the hovering forms of the Hours and the Graces [Pausanias, v 11; Strabo, p. 353]. This statue was the model for most of the later representatives of Zeus. Among those that are extant the well-known bust of Zeus (fig. 1) found at Otricoli (the ancient Ocriculum in Umbria) and now in the Vatican Museum, is supposed (as well as some others) to be an imitation of the great work of Phidias. In the most direct relation to the latter stand the figures of Zeus on the coins of Elis (fig. 2). Among the standing statues of Zeus the most famous was the bronze colossus, forty cubits (or sixty feet) high, by Lysippus at Tarentum [Pliny, N. H. xxxiv 40].
TITANS 8.96%
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.
HESTIA 5.75%
The goddess of the hearth, which is the emblem of the settled home. She is deemed the founder and maintainer of the family and the state, of civic concord and of public reverence for the gods. She is the daughter of Cronus (Kronos) and of Rhea; sister of Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hera, and Demeter; one of the twelve Olympian deities, from whom she is distinguished by the fact that, as the abiding goddess of the household, she never leaves Olympus. In Homer the sanctity of the hearth is indeed recognised, but as yet we find no mention of the goddess. It is a matter of discussion whether this was by accident, or because in that period the personification of the worship of the hearth had not attained its full perfection. Having been wooed by Apollo and Poseidon, she took an oath of perpetual virginity; so Zeus granted her the honour of being worshipped, as a tutelary goddess, at every hearth, in human habitations as well as in the temples of the gods, and of being called to mind amid libations at the beginning and end of every sacrifice and every festal entertainment. Hence it was that every sacrifice began and ended with a libation to Hestia, so that she had a share in all festivities; and in every prayer, as well as in all the public forms of solemn oaths, her name was recited before the name of any other god. Just as in the home her consecrated hearth formed the central point of family life, at which family festivals were celebrated and where both strangers and fugitives found a hospitable asylum, so also in the Prytaneion, or townhall, whore the sacred fire was ever burning, her hearth was the centre of the life of the city, indeed of the whole state, and of the colonies which had gone forth from it. Here, as representative of the state, the highest officials sacrificed to her, just as in every private house the father or mother of the family provided for her worship. Here also were held the public deliberations, and the public banquet given to deserving citizens and to foreign ambassadors. Hither repaired all who besought the protection of the state. Hence also did the colonists, bound for distant shores, take the fire for the public hearth of their new community. In some respects, the centre of the religious life of Greece was the fire on the hearth of Hestia in the Delphic temple, where was the sacred omphalos (or navel), which the Greeks considered to be the central point of the inhabited earth. Hestia stands in close connexion with Zeus as the guardian of the law of hospitality and of the oath. She was also much associated with Hermes and often invoked in conjunction with him; Hestia, as the goddess of gentle domesticity, and Hermes, as the restless god of trade on the public streets and roads, representing between them the two principal varieties of human life. According to a view that afterwards became current, under the influence of philosophers and mystics, she was regarded as personifying the earth, as the fixed centre of the world, and was identified with Demeter and Cybele. The corresponding deity among the Romans was Vesta (q.v.). The statues placed in the Prytaneia represented her, in accordance with her nature, as a being with grave and yet gentle expression, sitting or standing in an attitude of rest, wiih a sceptre as her attribute. The most celebrated of her existing statues is known as the Giustiniani Vesta (see cut); a form robed in simple drapery, with hair unadorned and wearing a veil; her right hand rests on her hip, and her left hand, which is pointing upwards, once held a long staff as her sceptre.
The temple of Zeus Olympius in the southern quarter of Athens, between the Acropolis and the Ilissus. It was built on the site of an ancient temple of Zeus ascribed to Deucalion. The building was begun after 535 B.C., under the tyrant Pisistratus, but was suspended on the expulsion of his son Hippias, B.C. 510. Its original architecture was probably Doric. The names of the architects were Antistates, Callaeschrus, Antimachides, and Porinus. It was continued in the Corinthian style under the Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes (B.C. 175-164), who employed for the purpose a Roman architect, Cossutius. It was completed by the Roman emperor Hadrian, probably between A.D. 125 and 130, the year of its dedication. On this occasion an oration was delivered by the famous rhetorician Polemon, and Olympic games instituted on the model of those at Olympia. The emperor identified himself with Zeus and assumed the title of Olympias, causing a statue of himself to be placed in the temple and claiming divine honours from the priests. The first of these priests was the celebrated Herodes Atticus (q.v.). When Pausanias visited Athens about 170 A.D. the temple had been recently finished. He gives no description of the fabric, but states that the image of the god was of enormous size, only excelled by the colossi of Rhodes and Rome (i 18 § 6-8). It was of gold and ivory, and on its base were reliefs representing the battle of the Athenians with the Amazons (i 17 § 2). In the precinct a great number of statues of Hadrian were erected by the cities of the Greek world; the largest of these, that erected by Athens, stood at the west end ofthe temple. Among the statues of earlier date was one of Isocrates. There was also a fine group consisting of some Persians upholding a bronze tripod, and also an archaic bronze statue of Zeus. Lastly, in the precinct there was a temple of Cronus and Rhea, the sacred inclosure of which extended down to the Ilissus. Some of the Doric columns of the original building were carried off to Rome by Sulla in 86 B.C. to adorn the temple of Iupiter Capitolinus. In respect to its architecture the temple must be regarded as mainly the work of the 2nd century B.C. rather than the 2nd century A.D. The building was octostyle, dipteral, and probably hypaethral. As designed by Cossutius in the former century, it must have possessed more than 100 Corinthian columns, arranged in double rows of 20 each on the north and south sides, and in triple rows of 8 each at the ends. The columns were of Pentelic marble, 56½ feet high, and 5-5½ feet in diameter. The ruins in their present condition consist of 16 columns in two groups. To the east stand 13, which are comparatively intact, and for the most part bear their architraves. About 100 feet to the west are three others, two still erect; the third was overthrown by a storm in 1852. The excavations of 1861 showed that the temple did not lie in the centre of the precinct, but considerably nearer its northern wall. The temple of the era of Pisistratus is mentioned by Thucydides (ii 5) as one of the old temples in the southern part of the city. In respect to its origin, as well as its vast dimensions, Aristotle (Pol. v 11) compares it to the works of the dynasty of Cypselus at Corinth, the Pyramids of Egypt, and the public buildings erected by Polycrates of Samos. As a monument of tyranny it was naturally left unfinished by democratical. Athens. Livy (xli 20 § 8) describes it as unum in terris incohatum pro magnitudine dei. In allusion to the long time during which it remained uncompleted, Lucian (Icaromen. 24) represents Zeus as getting impatient to know when the Athenians intended to finish his temple. Lastly, Vitruvius (vii proef. 15-17) mentions it as one of the four most famous examples of marble architecture. The ruins were first identified by a Prussian archaeologist, Transfeldt, in 1673-4, and independently by Stuart and Revett, whose great work on the Antiquities of Athens was published in 1762-1816. The first description pretending to any accuracy of detail was in the letter sent from Smyrna by Francis Vernon in 1676 and published in Spon's Voyage. The site has been explored in recent times by Rhusopulos in 1861 (Ephemeris Arch., 1862, pp. 31 ff.), and Penrose (Journal of Hellenic Studies, viii 272, and Principles of Athenian Architecture, new ed.). A comprehensive monograph on the subject by L. Bevier is included in the Papers of the American Classical School at Athens, 1885, vol. i 183-222.] [J.E.S.]
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