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Article

Aeneas  

Stephen J. Harrison

Aeneas, character in literature and mythology, son of *Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. In the Iliad he is a prominent Trojan leader, belonging to the younger branch of the royal house, (13. 460–1, 20. 179–83, 230–41), and has important duels with *Diomedes (2) (5. 239 ff) and *Achilles (20. 153 ff.), from both of which he is rescued by divine intervention. His piety towards the gods is stressed (20. 298–9, 347–8), and *Poseidon prophesies that he and his children will rule over the Trojans (20. 307–8).This future beyond the Iliad is reflected in the version in the lost cyclic Iliu Persis (see epic cycle) that Aeneas and his family left Troy before its fall to retreat to Mt. Ida, which led later to accusations of his treachery (e.g. Origo gentis Romanae 9. 2–3). The departure of Aeneas from Troy is widely recorded, and the image of Aeneas' pious carrying of his father *Anchises on his shoulders in the retreat is common in Greek vases of the 6th cent.

Article

Albunea  

Stephen J. Harrison

Albunea, sulphurous spring and stream near *Tibur with a famous waterfall, and its homonymous nymph (cf. Hor. Carm. 1. 7. 12), classed as a *Sibyl by *Varro (Lactant. Div. Inst. 1. 6. 12) and fancifully identified by etymology with the sea-goddess *Ino-Leucothea (Servius on Verg. Aen.

Article

Herbert Jennings Rose and Antony Spawforth

Apollonius (12), of Tyana (ἈπολλώνιοςὁΤυανεύς), a Neo-pythagorean holy man (see neopythagoreanism), conceivably the L. Pompeius Apollonius of an inscription from *Ephesus (C. P. Jones in Demoen and Praet 2009). According to the only full account, the novelistic (see novel, greek) biography of Philostratus (see philostrati), he was born at Tyana in *Cappadocia at the beginning of the 1st cent. ad and survived into the reign of *Nerva. He led the life of an ascetic wandering teacher (see asceticism), visited distant lands (including India), advised cities, had life-threatening encounters with Nero and Domitian, whose death he simultaneously prophesied (8. 25–6; cf. Cass. Dio 67. 18), and on his own death underwent heavenly assumption. He was the object of posthumous cult attracting the patronage of the Severan emperors; pagan apologists compared him favourably to Jesus. An epigram from Cilicia (SEG 28.

Article

Stephen J. Harrison

Ascanius, character in literature and mythology, son of *Aeneas. Not mentioned in Homer, he appears in the Aeneas-legend by the 5th cent. bce, at first as one of several sons of Aeneas (Hellanicus, FGrH 4 F 24, 31). His mother in the cyclic Cypria (see epic cycle § 4 (6)) was Eurydice (Paus. 10. 26. 1); in Virgil and Livy and thereafter she is *Creusa (2), daughter of Priam; Livy also mentions a further version, that he was the son of Lavinia (Livy 1. 3. 2–3). The gens Iulia claimed him as eponymous founder with an alternative name of ‘Iulus’, variously derived (cf. Aen. 1. 267–8 with Servius). In the Aeneid he is a projection of typical and sometimes ideal Roman youth, but still too young to play a major part; other versions tell of his subsequent career as king of *Lavinium and founder of *Alba Longa, the city from which Rome was founded (e.

Article

Dido  

Cyril Bailey and Philip Hardie

Legendary queen of *Carthage, daughter of a Phoenician king of Tyre, called Belus by *Virgil. According to *Timaeus (2), the earliest extant source for her story, her *Phoenician name was Elissa, and the name Dido (‘wanderer’) was given to her by the Libyans. Her husband, called Sychaeus by Virgil, was murdered by her brother *Pygmalion (2), now king of Tyre, and Dido escaped with some followers to Libya where she founded Carthage. In the earlier tradition, in order to escape marriage with a Libyan king (Iarbas in Virgil) Dido built a pyre as though for an offering and leapt into the flames. The story of the encounter of *Aeneas and Dido (chronologically difficult given the traditional dating of Carthage's foundation four centuries after the destruction of Troy) probably appeared in *Naevius' epic Bellum Poenicum. According to *Varro it was Dido's sister Anna who killed herself for love of Aeneas.

Article

William Hansen

Folktales are traditional fictional stories. Unlike works of original literary fiction, they are normally anonymous narratives that have been transmitted from one teller to another over an uncertain period of time, and have been shaped by multiple narrators into the form and style that are characteristic of oral narratives. The transmission of traditional tales is predominantly oral, but in literate societies such as Greece and Rome, transmission also takes place via written works.

“Folktale” is an umbrella term for a number of subgenres: the wonder tale (commonly known as the fairytale), the religious tale, the novella, the humorous tale (with its subforms the joke and the tall tale), the animal tale, and the fable. Since there was no ancient notion of folktales as such, no compilation of folktales exists from antiquity—only compilations of particular genres of folktales such as the fable and the joke.

Unlike myths and legends, folktales are narrative fictions, make no serious claim to historicity, and are not ordinarily accorded credence. They differ from myths and especially from legends in their handling of the supernatural.

Article

ghosts  

Esther Eidinow

Identifying a ghost in Greek literature and distinguishing it from what we might call a delusion or a supernatural entity can sometimes pose difficulties: *Homer tends to use the term psyche to describe his spirits, but we also find skia. In later writers, eidolon is used (Hdt. 5.92.η and Pl. Leg. 959b of the corpse), which can also mean a phantom of the mind, or even just a likeness. Later still, *daimōn, alone, or combined with other words to evoke particular forms of demon (see below) appears. Other terms (which will appear throughout the entry) evoked the particular ways in which individuals died and became ghosts. This entry will focus on appearances in the mortal realm of spirits connected to a death, indicating where there are any ambiguities of spectral terminology. As the move from psyche to daimōn might suggest, there seems to be a gradual development in the strength, substance and presence of ghosts in the ancient world; while living mortals seem, in turn, to find increasingly sophisticated ways to manipulate their spectral visitors and their needs for their own ends.

Article

Stephen J. Harrison

Nisus (2), Trojan hero in Virgil's Aeneid, son of Hyrtacus, sympathetically presented as the devoted older lover of the young and headstrong Euryalus. He helps Euryalus to victory in the foot-race at Aen. 5. 286–361, and dies avenging him in the night-episode at Aen. 9. 176–502.

Article

Stephen Hinds

Born in 43 bce, Ovid first made his name at Rome as a playful and experimental love poet, in the Amores, the epistolary Heroides, and the didactic Ars Amatoria and Remedia Amoris; by about 2 ce, he was able to claim that “elegy owes as much to me as epic does to Virgil.” Concurrently with the epic Metamorphoses, he was at work (2–8 ce) on the elegiac Fasti, a poetical calendar of the Roman year, with one book devoted to each month; and he would spend his final decade further extending the range of elegy with the pleas and laments of the Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto, sent to Rome from afar, along with the curse-poetry of the Ibis. When Ovid turned in his forties to epic, he did not attempt direct competition with the already classic Aeneid. The 15-book Metamorphoses recounted dozens of tales from classical and Near Eastern myth and legend, with no central hero, but with characters and settings changing every few pages; every episode was in some way a story of supernatural transformation, and the whole took the ostensibly chronological form of a history of the universe. As the epic neared completion in 8 ce, the poet was suddenly banished by the emperor Augustus to the Black Sea frontier, (a) for the perceived immorality of the almost decade-old Ars Amatoria, and (b) for a still-mysterious error or indiscretion.

Article

Stephen J. Harrison

Palinurus, in mythology, helmsman of *Aeneas (Dion. Hal. 1. 53. 2). In *Virgil's Aeneid he is overcome by the god Sleep (Somnus), falls overboard, is washed up on the shore of Italy, and there killed by local inhabitants; his loss is negotiated by *Venus as the price to *Neptunus of the Trojans' safe arrival in Italy (5.

Article

Stephen J. Harrison

Panthous (ΠάνθουςΠάνθοος), Trojan elder in *Homer's Iliad (3. 146); his son *Polydamas is protected by *Apollo (Il. 15. 522), who may have rescued Panthous himself from Troy (Pind., Pae. 6.73 ff.). *Virgil makes Panthous priest of Apollo, killed at Troy's fall (Aen.

Article

phallus  

Richard Seaford

Phallus, an image of the penis, often as erect, to be found in various contexts, in particular (a) in certain rituals associated with fertility, notably Dionysiac *processions (see dionysus): see e.g. Ar. Ach.243 on the Attic rural Dionysia (see attic cults and myths), *Semos in Ath. 622b-c on groups of ‘ithyphallics’ and ‘phallus-bearers’, *Varro in Aug. Civ. 7. 21 ‘for the success of seeds’ at the Liberalia (see liber pater);(b) as a sacred object revealed in the Dionysiac *mysteries, as in the Villa of the Mysteries fresco at *Pompeii; *Iamblichus (2) (Myst. 1. 11) mentions it as a symbol of secret doctrine;(c) in the costume of comedy (see comedy (greek), old), *satyric drama, and various low theatrical genres; *Aristotle (Poet. 1449a11) says that comedy originated in phallic songs;(d) on permanent display, often as part of a statue such as those of *Priapus or the *herms identified with *Hermes;(e) as apotropaic: e.

Article

Stephen J. Harrison

Pyramus and Thisbe are the hero and heroine of a love story mainly known from Ovid, Met., 4. 55–165. They were next-door neighbours in Babylon, and, as their parents would not let them marry, they talked with each other through a crack in the party wall between the houses. Finally, they arranged to meet at Ninus’s tomb. There Thisbe was frightened by a lion coming from its kill; she dropped her cloak as she ran and the lion mauled it. Pyramus, finding the bloodstained cloak and supposing Thisbe dead, killed himself; she returned, found his body, and followed his example. Their blood stained a mulberry tree, whose fruit has ever since been black when ripe, in sign of mourning for them. The story is likely to be derived to some degree from Hellenistic sources, according to which the two lovers may have been transformed into a river and a stream, and can be linked with the eastern Mediterranean and the river Pyramus in Cilicia. Ovid’s narrative, told by the daughters of Minyas who show stereotypically ‘feminine’ romantic interests in Roman terms, may draw on a lost Greek novelistic source, as well as taking elements from the plots of new comedy (young neighbours in love). Ovid’s narrative is highly popular in art, especially in Pompeian wall paintings; it is notably picked up by Shakespeare in the 1590s, in comic form as the subject of the parodic play of the rude mechanicals in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and in tragic form in its adaptation in the suicides of the protagonists in Romeo and Juliet.

Article

Leofranc Holford-Strevens

The purported will (4th cent. ce) of a piglet before slaughter at the Saturnalia, parodying the informal military will; beloved of schoolboys and deplored by Jerome, it expresses barbed humour in variegated diction.

Article

Stephen J. Harrison

Turnus (1), Italian hero, in *Virgil son of Daunus and the *nymph Venilia and brother of the nymph Juturna; the Greek tradition calls him ‘Tyrrhenus’, suggesting an *Etruscan link (Dion. Hal. 1. 64. 2). His role as *Aeneas' rival in Italy is well established before Virgil (Cato frs. 9, 11 Peter; Dion. Hal. 1. 64. 2; Livy, 1. 2. 1–5). In the Aeneid he is king of *Ardea and the Rutulians and favoured suitor, not fiancé, of *Latinus' daughter Lavinia; rejected in favour of Aeneas and maddened by Juno's intervention, he rouses the Latins (see latini) against the Trojans (Aen. 7). In the war (Aen. 9–12) he fights bravely as the Latin commander and can elicit sympathy, but is sometimes rash; his high-handed appropriation of the sword-belt of the dead *Pallas(2) leads tragically at the very end of the poem to his own death at the hands of Aeneas.