81-100 of 779 Results  for:

  • Greek Myth and Religion x
Clear all

Article

Antinous (1), son of Eupeithes (Od. 1. 383), ringleader of *Penelope's suitors, and first to be killed by *Odysseus, whose kingship he is said to have wished to usurp (Od. 22. 8–53).

Article

Antiope  

A. Schachter

Antiope, mother of *Amphion and Zethus, whom she bore to *Zeus and/or *Epopeus of *Sicyon. In Odyssey 11. 260–2 she is daughter of Asopus. This would locate her firmly in southern *Boeotia, and fits the traditions which give her native town as Hyria (Hes. fr. 181 M–W), the place where she gave birth as Eleutherae (Apollod. 3. 5. 5), and the place where her sons lived before *Thebes (1) as Eutresis (Strabo 9. 2. 28 (411 C)). A second version—related with variations by *Euripides, in Antiope, and *Apollodorus 3. 5. 5—makes her daughter of Nycteus, brother of Lycus (see lycus (1), end). The two brothers, descended from Chthonius, one of the *Spartoi, returned from exile in Hyria when Lycus became regent for Laius. Antiope was impregnated by *Zeus, her father took umbrage, and she fled to Sicyon where she married Epopeus. Nycteus died, Lycus attacked and slew Epopeus, and led Antiope back to Thebes. En route, at Eleutherae, she bore her sons, who were reared by a cattleman.

Article

Irad Malkin

Aparchē, ‘first-fruits’, a gift to the gods consisting in a part representing the whole, and hence named ‘from the beginning’ (Gk. ap-archai, Lat. primitiae, Hebr. bikkurim). The swineherd *Eumaeus, having killed a pig for *Odysseus, cuts ‘beginnings from the limbs’ and burns them (Od. 14. 414–53). ‘First-fruits’ are a step from nature to culture: one renounces ‘firsts’ for the sake of ‘Those who are First’. Aparchai could be either burnt, deposited at sacred spots, or sunk in water. They could consist of seasonal agricultural gifts (hōraia), or those vowed ad hoc. Measures of wheat, barley, wine, and meat could be stipulated as gifts to temples (as the Panhellenic aparchai in *Eleusis, LSCG 5) and could serve, in turn, for public festivals. See also first-fruits; votive offerings.

Article

Robert Parker

Apaturia, an *Ionian festival. (*Apellai (2) was a partial Dorian/Boeotian equivalent.) According to Herodotus (1. 147), Ionians are all those who ‘derive from Athens and celebrate the festival Apaturia. All Ionians celebrate it except Ephesians and Colophonians.’ Details are known almost exclusively from Athens. It is unique among Greek festivals in its special association with a particular social grouping, the *phratry: the phratries celebrated it, in the autumn month Pyanopsion, at their separate centres throughout Attica, and its main function was to enrol new phratry members (who by this registration acquired a title to *citizenship). It lasted three days, called (schol. Ar. Ach. 146). (1) Δορπία, from the ‘dinner’ the phratores held together on assembling in the evening; (2) Ἀνάρρυσις, from the ‘drawing back’ of the necks of the victims sacrificed to *Zeus Phratrios and *Athena Phratria that day; (3) Κουρεῶτις, the day of admission sacrifices brought by the relatives of prospective new members: if the phratores ate of the animal, the candidate was thereby acknowledged.

Article

Apellai (1) was a festival of *Apollo at Sparta and elsewhere, the orthography deriving from the Doric form (Apellōn): see apellai (2). At Sparta, the festival was monthly, on the seventh, and it was on this day that the stated meetings of the Spartan assembly were held. From this coincidence has arisen the erroneous modern notion that the assembly was called the apella. Actually, its name was the *ekklēsia, as is corroborated by the existence of a ‘little ekklesia’ (mikra ekklēsia: Xen. Hell. 3. 3. 8). The identity and competence of the latter can only be guessed. The main ekklēsia comprised all Spartiate male citizens in good standing. With the concurrence of the *gerousia, and under the presidency of an *ephor, it had the right to vote on laws, decide on peace or war and the conclusion of treaties, elect ephors and other officials and members of the gerousia, appoint military commanders and emancipate *helots—all normally by shouting, not the counting of individual votes (Thuc.

Article

The principal annual celebration of this *Dorian festival of Apollo corresponded to the Ionian *Apaturia, at which new members of the *phratry and tribe (see phylai) were formally admitted. The religious *calendars of many Dorian states contained the month Apellaios, as did that of *Delphi (Syll.

Article

Aphaea  

Herbert Jennings Rose and Simon Hornblower

Aphaea (Ἀφαία), a goddess worshipped in *Aegina, where the ruins of her temple (famous for its pedimental sculptures, now in Munich) are extant. She was identified with *Britomartis (Paus. 2. 30. 3); i.e. she was of similar character to *Artemis.

Article

V. Pirenne-Delforge and André Motte

Aphrodite (Ἀφροδίτη). Born from the severed genitals of *Uranus according to *Hesiod (Theog. 188–206), or in the Homeric version (see homer) daughter of *Zeus and *Dione (Il. 5. 370–417), Aphrodite is the the first anthropomorphic female form and she emerges in a mythical context of desire and violence, tension and appeasement, mirroring the ambivalence of her powers: seductive charm, the need to procreate, and a capacity for deception, elements also present in the person of the first woman, *Pandora (Hes. Op. 60–8). There is no agreement on her historical origins; the Greeks themselves thought of her as coming from the east (Hdt 1. 105, Paus. 1. 14. 7), and in literature she is frequently given the name Cypris, ‘the Cyprian’. (See cyprus.) The double tradition of her birth shows how the Greeks felt Aphrodite to be at the same time Greek and foreign, but also, on the level of mythology, that they perceived her as a powerful goddess whom it would be prudent to place under the authority of Zeus.

Article

Apollo  

Fritz Graf

Apollo (Ἀπόλλων, Dor. also Ἀπέλλων), Greek god, son of *Zeus and *Leto, brother of *Artemis, for many ‘the most Greek of Greek gods’ (W. F. Otto). Among his numerous and diverse functions healing and *purification, prophecy, care for young citizens, for poetry, and music are prominent (see Plat. Cra. 404d–405e). In iconography, he is always young, beardless, and of harmonious beauty, the ideal ephebe (see epheboi) and young athlete; his weapon is the bow, and his tree the laurel.His name is absent from Linear B (while Paean, his later epiclesis and hymn, appears as Paiawon in the pantheon of Mycenaean Cnossus). In *Homer and *Hesiod, his myth and cult are fully developed, and his main centres, *Delos and *Delphi, are well-known (Delian altar of Apollo, Od. 6. 162; Delphic shrine, Il. 9. 405 and Od. 8. 80; stone of Cronus, Theog.

Article

Apollodorus (9), author of a very useful complete collection of the Greek myths, the Bibliotheca (‘library’), which was attributed, in antiquity and by *Photius, to no. (6) above. But a reference to *Castor of Rhodes (2. 1. 3) rules this out on chronological grounds, not to mention more general considerations. Apollodorus may have written in the 2nd cent. AD, and may indeed, like no. (6), have been an Athenian, or perhaps have come from east Greece. It is usual to sneer at the Bibliotheca, which was no doubt a derivative work. But it is a tour de force of organization—a mass of proper names and genealogical information subordinated to an essentially narrative principle—and is highly readable. See mythographers.

Article

Richard Hunter

Apollonius (1) Rhodius, a major literary figure of 3rd-century bce*Alexandria (1), and poet of the Argonautica, the only extant Greek hexameter *epic written between *Homer and the Roman imperial period.Our main sources are: POxy. 1241, a 2nd-cent. ce list of the librarians of the Royal Library at *Alexandria; two Lives transmitted with the manuscripts of Argonautica which probably contain material deriving from the late 1st century bce; and an entry in the Suda. All four state that Apollonius was from Alexandria itself, though two 2nd-century ce notices point rather to *Naucratis. The most likely explanation for the title “Rhodian” is thus that Apollonius spent a period of his life there, which would accord well with what we know of his works, though it remains possible that he or his family came from *Rhodes. Apollonius served as librarian and royal tutor before .

Article

J. D. Mikalson

Apophrades were ‘impure’ days of the Athenian *calendar, days associated with inauspicious rites (as e.g. of the *Plynteria (Plut. Alc. 34; Poll. 8. 141)), homicide trials in the *Areopagus court, and, perhaps, more generally with the ‘moonless’ times at the end of the month. Because *pollution was thought to be abroad, temples were closed and major undertakings were avoided.

Article

Alan H. Griffiths

Daughter of a Lydian dyer who challenged *Athena to a weaving contest. No doubt her story was originally a cautionary tale like those of *Thamyris and *Marsyas (1), warning against the inevitable failure and dire consequences of such presumption; but in the only extant literary version (Ov. Met. 6. 5–145) the emphasis is all on the insolent brilliance of the tapestry she weaves. Her catalogue of the sexual outrages of the gods, clearly designed to provoke the virgin goddess, outclasses Athena's routine effort and drives her to destroy Arachne's work and attack her. Only after the girl has hanged herself in distress does Athena transform her into a spider, fated to re-enact her compulsive web-making for ever after. It is possible that a Corinthian aryballos of c.600 bce may already show the competition scene; otherwise no other ancient representations are known.

Article

Madeleine Jost

Apart from *Hephaestus, all the gods common to the Greeks are found in Arcadia. But certain deities are peculiar to the region, such as Alea, who was for a long time an independent goddess, and who even when associated with and finally assimilated to *Athena always retained her importance. The same is true of *Despoina, ‘the Mistress’, worshipped at *Lycosura, and of Anytus, her foster-father, while the Great Goddesses have their origin around *Megalopolis. Some cult groupings have a distinctive composition (*Poseidon and *Demeter), while others are characteristically Arcadian in the relative importance of the individual deities (thus the daughter, *Despoina or Kore (see persephone) is dominant over Demeter). Different deities are preponderant in different areas. In the region of *Megalopolis, *Zeus Lycaeus, who is worshipped on Mt. Lycaeon, becomes the god of the *Arcadian League, while a pair of goddesses (Despoina and Demeter, or the Great Goddesses) are the most important female element.

Article

Arcas  

Madeleine Jost

Eponymous hero of *Arcadia, whose name suggests ‘bear’ (ἄρκτος). He was the son of *Callisto and *Zeus, and when his mother was transformed into a she-bear he was saved by Hermes, who entrusted him to *Maia (1). The episode is located around Mt. Cyllene, and is shown on the reverse of 4th-cent. silver tetradrachms of Pheneus. Other elements of the tradition relate to Mt. Lycaeon. Some texts make Arcas the child offered to Zeus by *Lycaon (3) in a cannibalistic feast intended to test the god's divinity. Restored to life, Arcas as an adult failed to recognize his mother in the bear Callisto and pursued her into the interior of the abaton (forbidden enclosure) of Mt. Lycaeon. Zeus changed him into the *constellation Boötes (Hes. fr. 163 M–W; Ov. Met. 2. 409 ff).Arcas succeeded Nyctimus as king of the *Pelasgians.

Article

Irad Malkin

Denoting genealogical origins, political beginnings, and leadership, archēgetēs was a cult-title of heroic progenitors of families or tribes (Ath. pol. 21. 6; see hero-cult), and of heroized city-*founders (Battos: LSCG 115, l. 22; Euphron: Xen. Hell. 7. 3. 12). Named or anonymous tutelary hero-archēgetai protected entire lands (Plut. Aristides 11. 3; Paus. 10. 4. 10). *Apollo, the political god sanctioning and sharing in city foundation, was universally worshipped as archēgetēs, e.g. in Sicily (Thuc. 6. 3. 1: at *Naxos (2), by both Dorians and Ionians). At Sparta (and Thera? IG 12. 3. 762) archēgetai probably signified ‘kings’ (Plut. Lyc. 6). Cf. cineas (1).

Article

Arcisius (Ἁρκείσιος), in mythology, father of Laertes and grandfather of *Odysseus; his own parentage is variously given. In one story, his mother was a she-bear (Ἀρκείσιος—ἅρκτος, ‘bear’), Aristotle in Etym. Magn. 144. 25.

Article

Herbert Jennings Rose

Areithous (Ἀρηΐθοος), a mythological character, surnamed Κορυνήτης, i.e. Club-man, because he fought with a club of iron; his armour had been given him by *Ares. Lycurgus the Arcadian caught him in a narrow road where he had no room to swing his club, ran him through with a spear, and took his armour (Il.

Article

Ares  

Fritz Graf

Ares (Ἄρης, Aeol. Ἄρευς), the Greek war-god as embodiment of the ambivalent (destructive but often useful) forces of war, in contrast to Athena who represents the intelligent and orderly use of war to defend the *polis.The name is perhaps attested on Linear B tablets from *Cnossus and, in a theophoric name, from *Thebes (1). In *Homer's Iliad, his image is mostly negative: he is brazen, ferocious, ‘unsatiable with war’, his cry sounds like that of ‘nine or ten thousand men’, Zeus hates him (Il. 5. 890 f.), he fights on the Trojan side, his attendants are Deimos ‘Fear’ and Phobos ‘Panic’, and he is often opposed to *Athena (see esp. Il. 15. 110–42). On the other hand, a brave warrior is ‘a shoot from Ares’, and the Danai are his followers. In epic formulae, his name is used as a noun (‘the frenzy of fighting’); this must be metonymy, although the god's name could have originated as a personification of the warrior's ecstasy (Ger. wuot).

Article

Argonauts, one of the earliest (cf. Hom. Od. 12. 69–72) and most important Greek sagas, set in the generation before the Trojan War and involving heroes particularly associated with *Thessaly, central Greece, and the *Peloponnese. The main Greek literary sources are *Pindar's Fourth Pythian, the Argonautica of *Apollonius (1), and *Apollodorus (6) 1. 9. 16–26 (largely based on *Pherecydes (2) and Apollonius); certain incidents were treated by *Callimachus (3) in the Aitia.King *Pelias of Iolcus sought to rid himself of the threat to his kingship posed by the legitimate heir, *Jason (1), by sending the young man off to recover the fleece of a golden ram upon which Phrixus had fled to the fabulous kingdom of the sun, Aia, ruled over by King Aeëtes. At least as early as the *Epic Cycle Aia was identified with the kingdom of *Colchis at the eastern end of the Black Sea.