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Ate  

Herbert Jennings Rose and B. C. Dietrich

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Mental aberration, infatuation causing irrational behaviour which leads to disaster; sometimes the disaster itself. A hero's atē is brought about through psychic intervention by a divine agency, ... More

Athamas  

Emily Kearns

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
A figure of Boeotian and Thessalian myth. In the best-known story, he was king of Boeotian *Orchomenus (1), husband of Ino (see ino-leucothea) and father of Phrixus, *Helle, *Melicertes and Learchus. ... More

atheism  

Robert Parker

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
The Greek for atheism is ‘not to recognize (νομίζειν) the gods’ or ‘deny that the gods exist’ or, later, ‘to remove (ἀναιρεῖν) the gods’. (The old doctrine that θεοὺς νομίζειν never means to ‘believe ... More

Athena  

Robert Parker

Online publication date:
Jul 2015
In Iliad 5. 733–7, *Homer describes how Athena took off the finely-wrought robe ‘which she herself had made and worked at with her own hands’ and ‘armed herself for grievous war’. This incident ... More

Atlas  

Richard Hunter

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Atlas (Ἄτλας), probably ‘very enduring’ (τλᾶν), the *Titan son of *Iapetus and brother of *Prometheus. In the Odyssey he is the ‘deadly minded’ father of *Calypso, ‘who knows the depths of the whole ... More

Atreus  

Jenny March

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Atreus, in mythology, son of *Pelops and *Hippodamia and brother of Thyestes. In *Homer there is harmony between the brothers (Il. 2. 100–8), but from late epic on (Alcmaeonis in schol. ... More

Attic cults and myths  

Robert Parker

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Most Greek states honoured most Greek gods; the differences between them are of emphasis and degree. As characteristic Athenian emphases one might mention: the extraordinary prominence of *Athena, ... More

Aulis  

John Buckler

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Small Greek city near *Tanagra, on a rocky peninsula between two bays. Its most famous monument is the temple of Artemis and its neighbouring buildings. The best harbour in northern *Boeotia, Aulis ... More

autochthons  

Emily Kearns

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Autochthons (αὐτόχθονες), in myth, are figures born literally from the earth, with no human parents. While the idea of ‘mother’ Earth is influential here, autochthony is not normally presented as the ... More

Autolycus (1), mythical grandfather of Odysseus  

Herbert Jennings Rose

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
In mythology, maternal grandfather of *Odysseus. He ‘surpassed all men in thievery and (ambiguous) swearing’, by favour of *Hermes (whose son he is in later accounts), Od. 19. 394 ff. with ... More

Automedon  

Online publication date:
Dec 2015

Automedon, in mythology, *Achilles' charioteer, son of Diores (Il. 17. 429 and often); hence by metonymy, any charioteer, as Juvenal 1. 61.

Bacis  

Fritz Graf

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Bacis, a Boeotian chresmologue (oracle-collector) ‘maddened by the *nymphs’ (Paus. 4. 27. 4) whose *oracles were known from the 5th cent. bce onwards (e.g. Hdt. 8. 20. 77 and 9. 43, ... More

Basile  

Emily Kearns

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
A cult figure worshipped in Athens and elsewhere in Attica. Her city shrine was held in common with *Neleus and (probably later) *Codrus, and as her name suggests one of her ‘meanings’ may ... More

Bassae  

Richard Allan Tomlinson

Bassae, in SW Arcadia, near Phigaleia, the site of one of the best-preserved Greek temples. This was dedicated to *Apollo the Helper (Epikourios). *Pausanias (3) says it was the work of *Ictinus, ... More

Baubo  

Nicholas J. Richardson

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Baubo belongs to the main Orphic version of the Rape of *Persephone (Asclepiades of Tragilus, FGrH 12. 4; Orph. frs. 49–52 O. Kern; see orphism). She resembles *Iambe in the Homeric Hymn ... More

Baucis  

Alan H. Griffiths

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Baucis and her husband Philemon were a pair of elderly peasants who entertained *Zeus and *Hermes with the resources of their meagre larder when the gods paid an incognito visit to *Phrygia (compare ... More

belief, ancient religious  

Charles Stewart and John North

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Currently ‘belief’ has at least three different meanings in the context of religion: (1) an inner psychological state of pious commitment; (2) the acceptance of received ideas; and (3) the doctrines ... More

Bellerophon  

Jenny March

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
In *Homer's account (Il. 6. 152–202) he is son of *Glaucus (2) (or, according to *Hesiod, *Poseidon: fr. 43. 81 f. R. Merkelbach and M. L. West) and grandson of *Sisyphus, and a native of Ephyre ... More

Bendis  

Robert Parker

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
A Thracian goddess. Little is known of the character of her cult; Strabo says—but does he know?—that it was orgiastic (10. 3. 16). Greek artists represented her as a booted huntress, rather like ... More

Bion (2), of Smyrna, Greek bucolic poet  

Alan H. Griffiths

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Bion (2), of Smyrna, listed in the Suda as the third bucolic poet in succession to *Theocritus and *Moschus; probably late 2nd cent. bce. A lament for him composed by a disciple from Italy, the ... More

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