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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).
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.
An interesting example of the later Attic architecture, still standing in Athens. It was built by Andronicus Cyrrhestes [Vitruvius, i 6 § 4] about the middle of the 1st century B.C., and it served at once as the public clock and weather-cock of Athens. It is an octagonal tower of marble, with prominent porches, each supported by two simple Corinthian columns, on the north-east and north-west. On the south it has a kind of turret, to contain the cistern for the water-clock. The eight sides correspond to the directions from which the eight winds blow. The figures of these are represented in beautiful reliefs on the frieze, and beneath them on the marble walls are engraved the lines of the sundial. The culminating point of the sloping roof was once surmounted by a bronze Triton, placed on a Corinthian capital, so as to revolve and point with his staff to the figure of the wind which was blowing at the time (see cut).
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.
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.
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%
One of the most celebrated Greek sculptors. With Praxiteles, he stood at the head of the later Attic school, in the first half and towards the middle of the 4th century. He was also an architect, and in his younger days superintended the reconstruction of the temple of Athene at Tegea, which had been burnt down in 394 B.C. The groups in the two pediments, representing the chase of the Calydonian boar and the combat of Achilles and Telephus, were executed by his hand, or at any rate under his direction. [Pausanias viii 45 §§ 4-7. The exact site of this temple was ascertained in 1879, and fragments of the sculptures in the pediments were discovered during the excavations. They include the heads of two youthful heroes, and the mutilated head of the Calydonian boar.] In conjunction with other artists he executed in 350 the designs on the sepulchre of Mausolus. (See MAUSOLEUM.) His most important work, a group with numerous figures, representing Achilles being conducted to the island of Leuce, and including Poseidon, Thetis, Achilles, and Tritons and Nereids riding on sea monsters, afterwards ornamented the temple of Neptune neir the Circus Flaminius in Rome [Pliny, N. H.xxxvi 26]. In Pliny's time [xxxvi 28] there was doubt as to whether the group of Niobids (see NIOBE) in the Roman temple of Apollo Sosianus was the work of Scopas or of Praxiteles. The number of single statues, especially of gods and demigods, by his hand, which were known to the ancients, was very great. Among these was the Apollo placed by Augustus in the temple on the Palatine, clothed in a long robe, with a crown of bayleaves on his head, sweeping the chords of his lyre [Pliny, xxxvi 25; Propertius, ii 31, ll. 5, 16]; the colossal seated figure of Ares in the temple built by Brutus Gallaecus near the Circus Flaminius [Pliny, § 26]; the nude statue of Aphrodite in the same temple [ib.]; and the frenzied Maesnad [Anthologia Groeca i 74, 75; iii 57,3]. The influence of some of these works has been traced in copies and imitations that are still extant. [Thus, the Maenad is supposed to have supplied the type for such representations as that exemplified in the gem of Agave (q.v.) with the head of Pentheus.]
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%
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%
The term mosaic is usually derived from a post-classical word musivum (Gr. mouseion ?), occurring in Spartianus, Life of Pescenninus 6, pictum de musivo, and Augustine, De Civitate Dei xvi 8, hominum genera musivo picta. It is the art of arranging small cubes or tesserce of marble, coloured stone, terra cotta, glass, or some other artificial substance, so as to produce an ornamental pattern or picture, and to provide a durable form of decoration for walls and pavements. The only mosaic hitherto found in Greece Proper is that discovered in 1829, in the floor of the east portico of the temple of Zeus, at Olympia, possibly little later than the first half of the 4th century B.C. It is formed of rough round pebbles of various colours from the bed of the Alpheus, and it represents Tritons of graceful design surrounded by a tasteful border of palmettes and meandering lines (see Baumeister's Denkmaler, fig. 998). The earliest mosaics mentioned in literature are those made for the ship of Hieron II, about the middle of the 3rd century, with scenes from the Iliad, which took 300 skilled workmen a whole, year to execute (Athenaeus, 206 D). To the same age belongs the only artist in mosaic whose name is recorded in literature, Sosus of Pergamon, famous as the inventor of a kind of mosaic called the asaroton (the "unswept" floor), in which the floor of a room is inlaid with representations of fruits, fishes, and fragments of food that have fallen from the table (Pliny, xxxvi 184; cp. Statius, Silvoe i 3, 36). Mosaics of this type have been found not only at Pompeii, but also at Aquileia and in Algiers. Acccording to Pliny, the original design by Sosus included a remarkable representation of a dove drinking and casting the shadow of its head on the water beneath, while several other doves were to be seen sunning themselves oil the rim of the bowl. The best known copy of this is that called The Capitoline Doves (fig. 1), found at Hadrian's Villa near Tivoli. It is entirely composed of cubes of marble, without any admixture of coloured glass. The art of reproducing paintings is mosaic probably originated in Egypt, and thence found its way to Italy. The largest mosaic picture of Roman workmanship is that executed for the Temple of Fortune at Praeneste, restored by Sulla (Pliny, xxxvi 189). This was discovered in 1640, and is generally supposed to represent a popular fete on the occasion of an inundation of the Nile. It probably belongs to the time of Hadrian. Among the mosaics of Pompeii the most famous is that identified as the Battle of Issus, possibly a copy of the painting of the same subject by a female artist, Helena, "daughter of Timon the Egyptian," which was placed in the temple of Peace in the time of Vespasian (Photius, Bibl., p. 482). It represents the critical moment when Alexander is charging, bare-headed, in the thick of the fray, and has just transfixed with his lance one of the leaders of the Persians; while Darius, with his lofty tiara and red chlamys, is extending his right hand in an attitude of alarm and despair (figs. 2 and 3). In the mosaic itself the lower border represents a river, apparently the Nile, with a crocodile, hippopotamus, ichneumon, ibis, etc., thus confirming the conjecture as to the Egyptian origin of the design. Mosaics bearing the artist's name are seldom found. The two finest of this class are those from Pompeii inscribed with the name of Dioscorides of Samos. One of these represents four masked figures playing on various instruments. The work is composed of very small pieces of glass, of the most beautiful colours and in various shades (cut in Dyer's Pompeii, p. 276). Another of similar construction portrays a rehearsal for a satyric drama. The ground is black, the drapery mainly white, but the robe of the flute-player is bordered with purple, the lips are a bright red, and the flutes and ornaments coloured like gold. (See DRAMA, fig. 2.) The finest mosaic of the early part of the 2nd century A.D. is the highly pictorial centaur-mosaic now at Berlin, found at the Villa of Hadrian (see Baumeister's Denkmaler, fig. 941). The most celebrated works of a later date include that in the Thermoe of Caracalla, with numerous gladiatorial figures of colossal size and ungraceful drawing (ib. fig. 174); and that of the Roman villa at Nennig, near Treves. The dimensions of the latter are 50 feet by 33, and the design includes several groups of figures inclosed in a square or hexagonal framework of tesselated marble (ib. figs. 1001-2343). Among the mosaics in the British Museum are an Amphitrite and Tritons, with Dionysus, Meleager, and Atalanta, all from Halicarnassus, and of Roman times, since figures of Dido and Aeneas were found in the same villa (Newton's Travels and Discoveries, ii 76). As mosaics still in situ in England may be mentioned those at Woodchester, Bignor, and Brading.[1] In the "Gallery of the Architectural Court" of the South Kensington Museum are exhibited 100 coloured plates, with copies of mosaics, collected by Dr. R. Wollaston, including a Greek mosaic of Iphigenia at Aulis, found in the Crimea, and the above-mentioned mosaic of Praeneste (no. 167). Mosaic pavements are known by different names descriptive of certain varieties of structure. (1) A pavimentum sectile is composed of thin plates of coloured marble of various sizes, cut (secta) into slices of regular form and arranged in an ornamental geometrical pattern including triangles, hexagons, etc. (Vitruvius, vii 1, 3, 4; Suetonius, Caesar, 46 at end). (2) The epithet tessellatum describes a pavement of the same general kind, but made up of regular square dies (tesserce, tessellce, tesserulce), forming rectangular designs (ib.). (3) Vermiculatum is applied to a design formed of small pieces of marble in various colours, arranged so as to imitate the object represented with a high degree of pictorial effect. The dies are of different shapes, so as to allow of their following the wavy contours of the outline of the object. The name is derived from the fact that the general effect of such an arrangement resembles the contortions of a cluster of worms (vermes). (Cp. Pliny, xxxv 2: Interraso marmore vermiculatisque ad effigies rerum crustis; and Lucilius, quoted in Cicero's Orator, 149: Quam lepide lexeis compostce ut tesseruloe omnes-arte pavimento atque emblemate vermiculato.) (4)The term lithostrotum (Varro, R. R., iii 2 § 4; 1 § 10; Pliny, xxxvi 189) was probably applied to a pavement made of small pieces of stone or marble of natural colours, and distinguished from those of coloured glass or some other artificial composition. Mosaics of glass were used to decorate ceilings (Pliny, l.c.). The gilt tesserce used in Christian mosaics for the background of the pictures were formed by applying to a cube of earthenware, two thin plates of glass with a film of gold-leaf between them, and vitrifying the whole in a furnace. It was this discovery that led to the extensive application of mosaic for the decoration of the walls, and more particularly the apses, of Christian churches. At Rome, we have mosaics of the 4th century in the churches of S. Constantia and S. Maria Maggiore. At Ravenna, those of the lower part of the Orthodox Baptistery belong to 430 A.D.; those in the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, to 440; those in the domes of the Orthodox and Arian Baptisteries to about 553 ; those of San Vitale to 547; of S. Apollinare Nuovo to 549, and of the archiepiscopal palace to about the same, date; and, lastly, those of S. Apollinare in Classe to about 671-677. At Milan, the mosaics of S. Lorenzo and S. Ambrogio belong to the 5th century; those of S. Parenzo in Istria to the 6th; those of S. Sophia at Constantinople. were executed in the time of Justinian (527-565). At Rome, those of SS. Cosmas and Damian are ascribed to 526-530; of S. Lorenzo Outside the Walls to 577-590; of S. Agnese to 625-638; of the oratory of S. Venantius, the churches of S. Praxedes, S. Cecilia in Trastevere, and S. Maria Navicella, to the 7th century. After the 9th century the art of working in mosaic ceased for awhile in Rome and in Italy in general, to be revived at a later date in the church of S. Cyprian at Murano (1109) and the basilica of St. Mark's at Venice (in and after the 11th century), and afterwards at Rome itself. In Sicily, the mosaics of the Cappella Palatina in the royal palace at Palermo were finished in 1143, while those of the cathedral at Monreale were begun in 1172. Authorities. Marquardt, Das Privatleben der Romer, 625-632; Blumner's Technologie, iii 323-343; Von Rohden on Mosaik in Baumeister's Denkmaler; Gerspach, La Mosaique.] [J. E. S.]
The Greek god of the sea and of everything liquid, son of Cronus and Rhea; a younger brother of Zeus, according to Homer; an elder brother, according to Hesiod. At the distribution of the world the rule over the sea and all its gods and creatures fell to him, as the rule over the sky fell to Zeus, and that over the underworld to Pluto. His wife is Amphitrite, his son Triton, his daughter Benthesikyme. As described by Homer [IL. xiii 21], he has his dwelling in the depth of the sea in a golden palace near Aegae, according to the usual acceptation on the north coast of the Peloponnesus, where lay also his other place of worship mentioned by Homer, Helice [IL. viii 203], afterwards overthrown by an earthquake. On leaving his palace, he is clad in a golden robe and wields in his hand a golden whip, while he stands in a chariot drawn by swift-footed steeds with hoofs of bronze and manes of gold, with the monsters of the deep bounding and frisking around him, as he drives over the sea, which joyfully opens before his advance. As Zeus bears the lightning, so Poseidon bears the mighty trident, with which he stirs up the sea, cleaves rocks, and makes fountains and horses spring forth from them. Another symbol of the stormy flood is the bull, for which reason men offered sacrifice to Poseidon with dark-coloured bulls, while oil the other hand, the dolphin is a symbol of the peaceful and calm sea. For, while lie sends storm and shipwreck, he is also a beneficent god, who sends favourable, winds. Every occupation on or by the sea, navigation, trade, fishing, is subject to his power; he also it is who grants victory by sea. Seafaring peoples traced their origin to him. But, as the sea was thought of as supporting the earth and as pressing into its hidden clefts and hollows, so Poseidon was worshipped from one point of view as "the supporter of the earth" (gaieochos), from the other as "the shaker of the earth" (ennosigaios, enosithom), who makes the earth quake beneath the blows of his trident. As such he was worshipped in districts which were a prey to earthquakes, as in Sparta, or in those which could show traces of great convulsions, as in Thessaly, where he was said to have opened up the Vale of Tempe, and formed the outlet of the Peneus into the sea by shattering the wall of rock which inclosed the valley. In the interior Poseidon was often worshipped as tile creator of waters, especially of springs and the blessing brought by them; so particularly in Argolis and Arcadia, where, as being the fertilizing god, he was even regarded as the lover of Demeter and father of Persephone. In the course of time, under the predominance of the conception of Poseidon as god of the sea, his worsbip in such inland places fell into the background, and was displaced by that of other deities. Hence arose the legends of his contests with other gods for particular countries, as with Athene for Athens and Troezen, and with Hera for Argolis, and of exchanges, as that of Delphi for the island of Calauria, which belonged to Apollo. He was also regarded as the creator and tamer of the horse: sometimes he was said to have brought it out of a rock by a blow, sometimes the earth was said to have been impregnated by him, and so given it birth; accordingly he was frequently worshipped as an equestrian god (hippios). Thus in the Attic deme of Colonus he was worshipped together with Athene, who was said to have invented the bridle. He was also specially worshipped at the equestrian games at the Isthmus. Owing to the great diffusion of his worship through all the Greek races of the mother-country, as well as of the colonies, he plays a chief part in Greek legend, appearing as early as the Trojan story, in which he stands on the side of the Greeks in irreconcilable wrath against Troy, on account of the deception practised on him by Laomedon. Similarly Odysseus cannot be protected from his rage on account of the blinding of his son Polyphemus, except by the unanimous will of the other gods. The unruly wildness of the sea, which is reflected in his character, appears also frequently in his sons, such as Orion, Polyphemus, Cycnus, Antaens, Busiris, Amycus, Cercyon, and others. But he was also deemed to be the ancestor of numerous noble families, especially of the Ionian race, which from old times worshipped him as a national god, and from their home on the north coast of the Peloponnesus carried his worship over with them to Asia. Here, in his chief sanctuary, on the promontory of Mycale, the Ionians celebrated their national festival, the Panionia. From the Ionian race and its representative, Theseus, arose also the national festival of Poseidon observed by all Greece at the Corinthian Isthmus, where the Isthmian games were celebrated in alternate years. The Greeks, after their victory over the Persians, set up a bronze colossus more than 10 ½ feet high in honour of the Isthmian god [Herod., ix 81]. The horse, the dolphin, and the pine tree were deemed sacred to Poseidon; it was with wreaths of pine that the victors in the Isthmian games were crowned. He was worshipped with human sacrifices, but more generally with sacrifices of horses and bulls, especially black ones; these were not unfrequently hurled alive into rivers. Besides horse-races, bull-fights were held in his honour. His temples were usually to be found on promontories, isthmuses, and tongues of land. His usual attributes were the trident and the dolphin, and also the tunny-fish. He was represented as a powerful, kingly man, like Zeus, but without his exalted calm, more compact in figure, and with thicker and curlier bair on his head. He is draped sometimes in a long robe, sometimes with a light scarf, which allows his powerful frame to be more fully displayed (see cut). Colossal statues of him often stood by harbours and on promontories. With Poseidon the Romans identified their sea-god Neptunus (q.v.).
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