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TRITON 100.00%
Son of Poseidon and Amphitrite. He is described as living with them in a golden palace in the depths of the sea. The mythical lake Tritonis, near the Mediterranean coast of Libya, was regarded as his peculiar abode, especially in the storyof the Argonauts. He was represented as man in his upper parts, terminating in a dolphin's tail; his special attribute is a twisted sea-shell, on which he blows, now violently, now gently, to raise or calm the billows. In the course of time there grew up the notion of a large number of Tritons, all represented as beings of double form and sometimes with the fore-feet of a horse as well as a human body and a fish's tail (called Centauro-tritons or Ichthyo-tauri). They were, however, always regarded as attendants on the other sea-gods while riding or driving over the waves; and they were represented accordingly in works of art (see cuts).
 
AMPHITRITE 87.50%
daughter of Nereus and Doris, is the wife of Poseidon and queen of the sea. Poseidon saw her dancing with the Nereids on the island of Naxos, and carried her off. According to another account she fled from him to Atlas, when the god's dolphin spied her out and brought her to him. In Homer she is not yet called Poseidon's wife, but a sea-goddess, who beats the billows against the rocks, and has the creatures of the deep in her keeping. Her son is the sea-god Triton. She had no separate worship. She is often represented with a net confining her hair, with crabs' claws on the crown of her head, being carried by Tritons, or by dolphins and other marine animals, or drawn by them in a chariot of shells. As the Romans identified Poseidon with their Neptune, so they did Amphitrite with Salacia, a goddess of the salt waves.
 
TOWER OF THE WINDS 45.01%
 
NEREUS 43.23%
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.
 
PALLADIUM 39.08%
An old carven image in the citadel at Troy, on which the prosperity of the city depended. It is said to have been three cubits high, with feet shut close together, an upraised spear in its right hand, and in its left either a distaff and spindle, or a shield. Athene was said to have made it as an image of Pallas, daughter of Triton, whom she had slain unawares while playing at wrestling. Legends differ in their account of the manner of its coming to Troy. According to one of them, Pallas gave it as a dowry to Chryse, the bride of Dardanus, and he brought it to Dardania, whence Ilus carried it to Troy; according to another, Zeus caused it to fall down to Ilus (q.v.) from heaven. Since Troy could not be conquered so long as it possessed this image, Diomedes stole it with the help of Odysseus and brought it to Argos. But, according to the Attic story, it was Demophoon (q.v., 2) of Athens who deprived him of it. The palladium preserved in Rome in the temple of Vesta was traced back to 'neas, the assumption being that there had been a second image in Troy besides that stolen by Diomedes. Other Italian towns also boasted of the possession of a palladium.
 
CENTAURI 28.29%

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Homer and the older mythology represent the Centaurs are a rude, wild race, fond of wine and women , dwelling in the mountains of Thessaly, especially on Pelion and CEta. In Homer they are spoken of as shaggy animals, living in the mountains. It was, perhaps, not until the 5th century B.C. that they were represented in the double shape now familiar to us. Originally the Centaur was conceived as a being with the body of a man standing on a horse's legs; but in later times the human body was represented as rising up in the front of a horse's body and four legs (see cut). According to one version of the current legend they were the offspring of Nephele and Ixion; according to another, the son of this pair, Kentauros, begat them upon mares (see IXION). The story of their contest with the Lapithae at the wedding of Pirithous, born of their drunkenness and lust, is as early as Homer [Iliad i 268, Odyssey xxi 295 foll.] (See PIRITHOUS.) In Homer Nestor, and in the later story Theseus, are represented as taking part in it. It was a favourite subject with poets and artists. The Centaurs were driven from Pelion by Pirithous and the Lapithae, and even the wise Chiron was forced to go with them (see CHIRON). Artists were always fond of treating the fabulous combats of the Centaurs and the heroes of old; but in later times the Centaurs appear in a different light. They form part of the following of Dionysus, moving peaceably in his festal train among satyrs, nymphs, and Bacchants, drawing the victorious car of the god and his queen Ariadne, playing on the lyre, and guided by gods of love. The forms of women and children were sometimes represented in the shape of Centaurs, and used in various ways by artists for their smaller pictures. For the Centauro-Tritones or Ichthyocentauri ("Fish-Centaurs") see TRITON.
 
SCOPAS 28.10%
 
SCYLLA 27.21%
(1) In Homer, daughter of Crataeis; a terrible monster of the sea, with a loud bark like that of a young dog, twelve shapeless feet, and six long necks, each of them bearing a horrid head with three rows of teeth closely set. Her lower half lies in a dark cavern, which is in the middle of a rock, smooth of surface, not to be climbed, and rising up into the clouds; while with her heads she fishes for dolphins, sea-dogs, and the larger animals of the sea. If a ship come too near to her, with each of her six heads she snatches up a man of the crew, as from the ship of Odysseus. Opposite her, a bow-shot off, is a lower rock with a wild fig tree on it, and under it the whirlpool of Charybdis, which three times in the day sucks in the sea and discharges it again in a terrible whirlpool, against which even the help of Poseidon is unavailing. Whoever tries to avoid one of the two evils falls a prey to the other [Homer, Od. xi 85-110]. In later times Scylla and Charybdis, the position of which is left uncertain by Homer, were supposed to be placed in the Strait of Messina, Scylla being identified with a projecting rock on the Italian side. She was also made a daughter of Phorcys and of Hecate Crataeis. When Heracles, as he is passing by, is robbed by her of one of Geryon's oxen, he slays her in her cavern; but her father burns her corpse, and thus recalls her to life. According to another myth, she was originally a beautiful princess or sea Nymph, loved now by Zeus, now by Poseidon or Glaucus or Triton, until she was changed by the jealousy of her rivals, Hera, Amphitrite, or Circe, into a monster, imagined as a maiden above, but as ending below in the body of a fish, begirt with hideous dogs. (2) Daughter of Nisus (q.v.).
 
ATHENE 20.26%

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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.)
 
MOSAICS 16.36%
 
POSEIDON 14.95%
 
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