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Article

Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood

Charon (1), mythological ferryman, who ferries the shades across a river (usually *Acheron) or a lake (Acherusia) into *Hades proper. First attested in the epic Minyas (M. Davies, EGF fr. 1), his earliest known visual representations occur c.500 bce on two black-figure vases (LIMC nos. 1, 1a); a few decades later he became popular on Attic white-ground lecythi. *Polygnotus painted him in the Nekyia in the Lesche (hall) of the Cnidians at *Delphi (Paus. 10. 28. 1–2). In a katabasis (descent) ascribed to *Orpheus (cf. Serv. on Verg. Aen. 6. 392) Charon, out of fear, ferried Heracles, who had gone to fetch *Cerberus, into Hades, and was punished for this dereliction with a year in fetters. Sometimes Charon is not so much the ferryman as he is death itself, anticipating the medieval and modern Charos. Related, but not identical, is the Etruscan figure Charun, who presides over death and is shown carrying a hammer.

Article

Herbert Jennings Rose and Simon Hornblower

A sort of whirlpool or maelstrom in a narrow channel of the sea (later identified with the Straits of Messina, cf. JHS1965, 172), opposite *Scylla (1) (Od. 12. 101 ff.); it sucks in and casts out the water three times a day and no ship can possibly live in it. Odysseus, carried towards it by a current when shipwrecked, escapes by clinging to a tree which grows above it and dropping into the water when the wreckage is cast out (432 ff.). Hence proverbially, a serious danger, as Horace, Carm.

Article

Alan H. Griffiths

Chimaera (Χίμαιρα, ‘she-goat’), bizarre monster slain by *Bellerophon, composed of ‘lion in front, snake behind, and she-goat in the middle’ (Il. 6. 179–82); in art the eponymous central head (sometimes a protome with forefeet) which protrudes uneasily from the lion's back may be made less risible by allowing it to perform the fire-breathing which Homer and Hesiod describe.

Article

Chloë  

Chloë, i.e. ‘green’, title of *Demeter as goddess of the young green crops. She had a shrine near the Acropolis at Athens (Paus. 1. 22. 3) and a festival, the Chloia, perhaps on Thargelion 6 (Deubner, Attische Feste 67; Parker, Polytheism 195 f.).

Article

Jenny March

Chryseis (Χρυσηΐς), in *Homer's Iliad the daughter of Chryses, priest of *Apollo at Chryse in the Troad (see troas), who has been captured and awarded to *Agamemnon. On Agamemnon's refusal to let Chryses ransom her, Apollo sends a plague on the Greek camp. *Calchas explains the situation and Chryseis is returned, but Agamemnon takes Achilles’ concubine *Briseis for himself, thus causing Achilles' anger (Il.

Article

Robert Parker

Chthonian gods, literally gods of the earth, χθών, a subdivision of the Greek pantheon. In this usage, chthonios gets its meaning from a contrast, implicit or explicit, with ‘Olympian’ or ‘heavenly’ gods. Gods can be chthonian in two ways.1.Chthonios was applied as a cult-title to individual gods, notably *Hermes, *Demeter, *Hecate, *Zeus, and (once) Ge (*Gaia), Earth, herself. This usage goes back, in the case of Zeus, to *Homer and *Hesiod. The epithet was normally given to a god who was connected with both the upper and the lower worlds, and served to show that in a particular ritual context it was the chthonian aspect that was being appealed to. The case of Zeus Chthonios is more complicated, since in some contexts he seems to be less ‘Zeus when active in the Underworld’ than a distinct figure, ‘the Underworld equivalent to Zeus’, i.e. Hades (Hes.

Article

Cinyras  

Alan H. Griffiths

Legendary king of *Cyprus; in *Homer's Iliad, he is the donor of *Agamemnon's magnificent inlaid corslet (11. 20 ff.), and thereafter becomes a byword for wealth (Tyrtaeus, fr. 12. 6; Pind. Nem. 8. 18). Some authors (Strabo 16. 755; Apollod. 3. 14. 3) make him an immigrant from *Syria, and he is strongly associated with the cult of *Aphrodite at *Paphos, whose priests traced their descent back to him (Tac.Hist. 2. 3). His devotion to the goddess did not however save him from being tricked into bed by his daughter *Myrrha; though *Apollodorus (6) makes the child of that incestuous union, *Adonis, a legitimate son by his wife Metharme. For a suggestion that Kinyras is the mythical eponymous ancestor of the Kinyridai (a Greek rendering of Phoenician ‘sons of the lyre’) see M. L. West, The East Face of Helicon (1997), 57 and 628.

Article

Circe  

Richard Hunter

Powerful sorceress of mythology, daughter of *Helios and the Oceanid Perse (Hom.Od. 10. 135–9). *Homer places her island of Aeaea at the extreme east of the world (Od. 12. 3–4), but as early as *Hesiod, Theog. 1011–16 she is associated also with the west and frequently placed at Monte Circeo (see circeii) on the coast of *Latium (so *Apollonius (1) of Rhodes and *Virgil; cf. Hunter on Ap. Rhod. Arg. 3. 311–13). In the Odyssey, Circe transforms a group of *Odysseus' men into pigs (though they retain human intelligence); Odysseus rescues them by resisting the goddess’ magic, thanks to the power of the plant ‘moly’ which *Hermes gives him. Odysseus and his men stay with her for a year, after which she dispatches them to the Underworld to consult *Tiresias. On their return she gives them more detailed instructions as to how to confront the perils of the homeward journey. In the cyclic Telegonia (see epic cycle), her son by Odysseus, Telegonus, accidentally killed his father when raiding Ithaca, and she herself married *Telemachus (cf.

Article

William Keith Chambers Guthrie and Andrew F. Stewart

Cleobis and Biton, the two Argive brothers (see argos(1)) mentioned by *Solon to *Croesus, in *Herodotus’ story (1. 31), as among the happiest of mortals. Their mother, presumably as *Cicero says (Tusc. 1. 47), a priestess of *Hera, found that her oxen were not brought in time for a festival, and they drew her cart the 45 stades (c. 8 km.: 5 mi.) to the temple. She prayed to the goddess to grant them the greatest boon possible for mortals, and Hera caused them to die while they slept in the temple. The Argives honoured them with statues at *Delphi. A pair of kouros-statues from Delphi, long thought to be inscribed with their names, may, according to a controversial rereading, represent the *Dioscuri.

Article

Marcus Niebuhr Tod and Simon Hornblower

Despite the large number and great popularity of clubs in the Greek world, both in the Hellenistic and in the Graeco-Roman period, literature makes surprisingly few references to them, and the available evidence consists almost entirely of inscriptions and, in the case of Egypt, papyri. These provide a picture which, if incomplete, is at least vivid and detailed.Greek clubs, sacred and secular, are attested as early as the time of *Solon, one of whose laws, quoted by Gaius (Dig. 47. 22. 4), gave legal validity to their regulations, unless they were contrary to the laws of the state; and we hear of political clubs (*hetaireiai) at Athens in the 5th cent. bce (Thuc. 3. 82; 8. 54; 65). In the Classical period the societies known to us are mostly religious, carrying on the cult of some hero or god not yet recognized by the state, such as the worshippers (see orgeones) of Amynus, Asclepius, and Dexion, the heroized *Sophocles (1).

Article

Clymene  

Herbert Jennings Rose

Name of a dozen different heroines (for one see catreus), the best known being the mother of *Phaethon, wife of Merops, king of Ethiopia. Meaning simply ‘famous’, it is a stopgap name, like Creusa, Leucippus, etc. , used where there was no genealogical or other tradition.

Article

A. Henrichs

Euphemistic epithet (‘Renowned’) of *Hades/Pluton, esp. as the husband of Kore (see persephone/kore) (Philicus, Hymn to Demeter, Suppl. Hell. no. 676; Callim. fr. 285 Pf.; Damagetus, Anth. Pal. 7. 9. 7; Aristodicus, ibid. 7. 189. 3; Ov. Fast. 6. 757 f.). Pluton was worshipped by this title in his cult at Hermione in the Argolid (see argos(1)); his temple stood opposite that of *Demeter Chthonia, whose foundation was ascribed to Clymenus, son of Phoroneus, and to his sister Chthonia (IG 4. 686–691. 715. 2; Lasus of Hermione, Hymn to Demeter, PMG fr. 702. 1 Page; Paus. 2. 35.4 f., 9 f.). The variant form Periclymenus appears to have been literary rather than cultic (Hes. fr. 136.11 M-W, Hsch.). (2) Homonym shared by a dozen mythological figures. (a) The Argive (or Arcadian) Clymenus, son of Teleus (or Schoeneus), abducted and violated his daughter *Harpalyce just after her marriage to *Alastor.

Article

Herbert Jennings Rose and Jenny March

(Clytaem(n)estra, Κλυταιμ(ν)ήστρα; the shorter form is better attested); daughter of *Tyndareos and *Leda; sister of *Helen and the *Dioscuri; wife of *Agamemnon; mother of a son, *Orestes, and of three daughters, named by *Homer Chrysothemis, Laodice, and Iphianassa (Il. 9. 145), although *Iphigenia, whom Homer does not mention, seems to be a later substitution for Iphianassa, as does *Electra (3) for Laodice (see Xanthus fr. 700 PMG). During Agamemnon's absence at Troy she took his cousin *Aegisthus as a lover, and on Agamemnon's return home after the ten-year war they murdered him, along with his Trojan captive, *Cassandra. Years later Orestes avenged his father's murder by killing both Clytemnestra and Aegisthus.Her legend was a favourite one from Homer on, and given a variety of treatments. Homer makes her a good but weak woman led astray by an unscrupulous Aegisthus (Od.

Article

Codrus  

Robert Parker

Supposedly king of Athens in the 11th cent. bce. According to the story current in the 5th cent. (Pherec. FGrH 3 F 154; Hellanicus ibid. 4 F 125; cf. Lycurg. Leoc. 84–7) his father Melanthus, of the Neleid family, came to Attica when expelled from *Pylos by the *Dorians, and, after killing the *Boeotian king Xanthus in single combat during a frontier war, was accepted as king of Athens in place of the reigning Theseid Thymoetes. During the reign of Codrus the Dorians invaded Attica, having heard from *Delphi that they would be victorious if Codrus’ life was spared; a friendly Delphian informed the Athenians of this oracle. Codrus thereupon went out dressed as a woodcutter, invited death by starting a quarrel with Dorian warriors, and so saved his country. He was succeeded by his son Medon, and the kingship remained in the family until the 8th cent.; alternatively, Codrus was the last king and his descendants were archons (Ath.

Article

Herbert Jennings Rose and Simon Hornblower

Three colours are especially important for sacral purposes in antiquity; they are white, black, and red, the last being understood in the widest possible sense, to include purple, crimson, even violet (cf. E. Wunderlich, ‘Die Bedeutung der roten Farbe im Kultus der Griechen und Römer’, 1925 (RGVV 20. 1), 1 ff.).White is in general a festal colour, associated with things of good omen, such as sacrifices to the celestial gods (white victims are regular for this purpose in both Greece and Rome). See for instance Il. 3. 103, where a white lamb is brought for sacrifice to *Helios; the scholiast rightly says that as the Sun is bright and male, a white male lamb is brought for him, while Earth, being dark and female, gets a black ewe-lamb (cf. Verg. G. 2. 146 for the white bulls pastured along Clitumnus for sacrificial purposes). It is the colour of the clothing generally worn on happy occasions (e.g. Eur. Alc.

Article

A. Schachter

*Corinth, not having a *Mycenaean past, lacked a heroic tradition of its own, borrowing legendary figures from the Argolid (see argos(1)) and the east (e.g. *Bellerophon(tes), *Medea: see Rose269–71). None of the myths is intimately connected with the major gods of the polis, whose principal urban cults were those of *Aphrodite on Acrocorinth, *Apollo, and *Demeter Thesmophoros. The urban centre also possessed hero sanctuaries (their incumbents as yet unidentified, but probably connected with the founding families of the polis) and one or more sacred springs, of which Peirene is the best known (Steiner; Williams1981).The principal extra-urban cults were of *Hera Akraia at *Perachora (with an urban branch) and of *Poseidon at Penteskouphia (west of the city) and at Isthmia. The last became the site of one of the four panhellenic festivals of the so-called ‘circuit’ (periodos).

Article

Coronis  

Herbert Jennings Rose and Fritz Graf

Daughter of *Phlegyas, and mother of *Asclepius according to the common tradition. She was loved by *Apollo; while pregnant with his child, she was (lawfully or not) united with Ischys, son of Elatus. A raven denounced them to Apollo in *Delphi and was turned from white to black (Pindar, however, says Apollo knew it by his omniscience); the god had Coronis and Ischys killed. But when she was on the funeral pyre, he took the unborn child from her and gave him to the *Centaur Chiron to bring up (Pind.Pyth. 3; Pherec.FGrH 3 F 3+35; Ov.Met. 2. 542–632; the famous Hesiodic ‘Coronis Ehoie’, reconstructed by Wilamowitz, has been deconstructed by M. L. West). The local *Epidaurian legend omits the union with Ischys and has ‘the daughter of Phlegyas’ expose her baby son in the woods of Epidaurus where a dog finds and a goat nurtures him (Paus. 2. 26. 3; hence the sacred dogs and the prohibition on goat sacrifice in Epidaurus). See asclepius.

Article

B. C. Dietrich

Corybantes, or Kyrbantes, a group of *daimōnes often confused with the *Curetes. Like them they danced about the new-born *Zeus, and they functioned together in *Despoina's cult at *Lycosura (Paus. 8. 37. 6). They guard the infant *Dionysus in Orphic myth (see orphism) and, dance to the sound of flutes in the orgiastic cults of *Dionysus (Strabo 10.

Article

Herbert Jennings Rose

Corythus, name of several mythological persons, including

(1) son of *Zeus and husband of *Electra daughter of Atlas; his sons were *Dardanus and Iasius (Iasion) Servius on Aen. 3. 167.

(2) Son of *Paris and *Oenone. His story is variously told; *Parthenius, Er. Path.

Article

Carolina López-Ruiz

Early Greek cosmogonies and theogonies are mainly preserved in the form of hexametric poetry, rarely in systematic accounts, such as Hesiod’s, but more often within texts of broader mythical scope, as in Homer’s Iliad and the Homeric Hymns. The differing assumptions about the origins of and relations among the gods in these poems demonstrate the wide variety of cosmogonic traditions available in the Greek world and the poetic freedom to express or emphasize aspects of them. This is also evident in other sources for Greek theogony/cosmogony, such as the longer of the Homeric Hymns, which focus on specific gods, sometimes including their birth stories and framing their familial relations with other gods and with humans. The strand known as “Orphic” cosmogony or theogony runs parallel to the mainstream epic tradition (not without intersections), and underscores the connection between cosmogonic ideas and spiritual and philosophical movements. These alternative cosmogonies also served as a narrative and theological framework for mystery cults, which revolved around the figures of Demeter, Persephone, and Dionysus (e.