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Aidos

(284 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Αἰδώς; Aidṓs). ‘Shame, demureness, respect’ [1]; its antonym is  Anaideia (Hes. Op. 324); its effect can be ambivalent (Hes. Op. 319-320). She is often personified, but the boundary between appellative and personification cannot always be easily drawn [1]. In Hesiod (Op. 200), as comprehensive social powers A. and Nemesis are the last of the gods to leave iron-age humanity (the two are already connected in Hom. Il. 13,121 f.). According to Sophocles she is enthroned with Zeus as o…

Hieromnemones

(176 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (ἱερομνήμονες; hieromnḗmones, singular hieromnḗmōn, ἱερομνήμων). Religious officials with wide-ranging duties. Aristot. Pol. 6,5, 1321b 35 counts them, together with mnḗmones, epistátai et al., as archives officers; Plut. Symp. 8,8,4 attests the title for the priests of  Poseidon Phytalmios in Leptis; this is an isolated instance. The copious epigraphical evidence shows that the hieromnemones in some places really were archivists, frequently organized festivals, conducted temple finances or looked after temple property; prominent hieromnemones were t…

Achlis

(81 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version]  Elk-like animal of nordic countries (Scandinavia or Gangavia), known to the Romans only from hearsay. In the descriptions (Plin. HN 8,39; Solin. 20,3) zoological mirabilia of other animals (elk, elephant, rhinoceros) are mixed with possibly genuine memories of the giant deer, which died out in historical times. The Pliny report survives in the Song of the Nibelungs (16,937), where the achlis is replaced by the ‘Schelch’. Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) Bibliography W. Richter, A., in: Philologus 103, 1959, 281 ff.

Aisa

(139 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (αἶσα; aîsa), ‘Share’, ‘Portion’ (in the language of epic and in border dialects): the destiny allotted by the deity (Hom. Il. 9,608 Diós aísa); therefore synonymous with  Moira. From Homer on, she is personified as spinner of the threads of destiny (Il. 20,127 f.; in Od. 7,196 f. connected to the Clothes, the ‘Spinners’), but differentiated from the Moira Clotho, ‘Spinner’ (Hes. Theog. 905). In Aeschylus she is connected as ‘Bearer of the (avenging) sword’ with Dike and Erinys (Choeph. 647 ff.). From t…

Eileithyia

(429 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Εἰλειθυία; Eileithyíai, Doric Ἐλευθ(υ)ία; Eleuth(y)ía, Mycenaean in Knosos e-reu-ti-ja). Greek goddess, worshipped almost exclusively by women in the context of pregnancy and birth, also in the context of children's and women's diseases (Diod. Sic. 5,73,4; [1]). Already known by Homer in this function (μογοστόκος, ‘concerned with the effort of giving birth’, Hom. Il. 16,187). The name itself seems to be telling ─ it can be connected with eleuth-, ‘to go, to come’ [2]. She has almost no independent myths: she was born at her important cult centre…

Ahriman

(170 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (mid-Persian, Avesta Angra Mainyu, Greek Ἀρειμάνιος; Areimánios, Latin Arimanius). One of the twin gods in the system of Zoroaster; the ‘evil spirit’ alongside Spnta Mainyu, the ‘spirit of wholeness’, the two opposing creators of the world (Yasna 30,3-5) and apparently sons of  Ahura Mazdā (Yasna 47,2-3), with whom A. merges in the post-Gathas period. Thus in the theology presented at Plut. De Is. et Os. 46 f. Areimanius is a cult god and enemy of Ōromazdes (Ahuramazda); the mediator b…

Ixion

(205 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἰξίων; Ixíōn). Thessalian king and one of the great sinners being punished in the Underworld. According to Pindar, he is the first murderer of a relative (Pindar leaves the identity of the victim open, later - Pherecydes FGrH 3 F 51 - it is his father-in-law Eïoneus). When Zeus purifies him personally from the blood of murder (Aesch. Eum. 717f.) and takes him to himself, he wants to indecently assault Hera; but Zeus substitutes a cloud for her and I. fathers the first  Centaurs (u…

Hermetic writings

(528 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] Hermetic writings (HW; the terminus is modern) are Graeco-Egyptian texts, whose author is supposed to have been the Egyptian god Thot, Greekified as Hermes Trismegistus. His epithet (‘the thrice great H.’), which has only existed since the Imperial period, derives from the thrice repeated call to Hermes-Thot as ‘the greatest’ (which is already documented in Hellenistic Demotic and Greek sources). Clemens [3] of Alexandria (Strom. 6,4,35) describes a procession, in which 42 fundame…

Alcander

(77 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἄλκανδρος; Álkandros). Suggestive name (‘strong man’), which was given to various historical and mythical persons. Important points are: a) in the Lycurgus myth he strikes out an eye of Lycurgus in anger (aition for the cult of Athena Opilletis, Plut. Lycurgus 11,2-8; Paus. 3,18,2); b) in Lebadeia he is venerated as the son of Trophonius and as a saving hero, to whom one sacrifices before the katabasis (Paus. 9,39,5). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Anthus

(53 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἄνθος; Ánthos). Son of Autonous and Hippodamia, who was torn apart by his father's horses and transformed into the bird A.; since then he flees from horses and imitates their neighing (Aristot. Hist. an. 9,1 609b 14; Plin. HN 10,116; cf. Ant. Lib. 7).  Acanthis. Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Arachne

(127 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀράχνη; Aráchnē). The metamorphosis of A. (‘Spider’) is told in Ov. Met. 6,5-145 according to an unknown Greek source. The daughter of the Colophonian wool-dyer Idmon is a brilliant weaver and is living in Hypaipa in Lydia. She challenges Athena, patron of the art of weaving, to a competition: A. surpasses the goddess with her technical skills, whereupon the goddess hits the girl in anger and tears up her weaving. A., full of despair, hangs herself and Athena turns her into a spid…

Anchises

(583 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀγχίσης; Anchísēs). Son of Capys (Hom. Il. 20,239) and of a Themis (Apollod. 3,141) or a Naiad (Dion. Hal. 1,62,2); besides Priam, one of the most respected heroes of Troy, already in the Iliad described as father of  Aeneas [1] by Aphrodite. The Homeric Aphrodite hymn (h. 5) describes how the shepherd A. is seduced by Aphrodite on Mount Ida and thus becomes father of Aeneas; because of this his lineage will rule in the Troad [1]. Later hymns report that Aphrodite had also given h…

River gods

(1,397 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] I. Egypt see Nile. Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) II. Greece and Rome [German version] A. General The personification of conditions from the physical environment is part of many myths and religions in antiquity. Apart from the sun and the moon, the mountains and rivers are of special significance: they firmly belong to a particular local environment, and thus define identity and home. Whereas the mountain gods in the Greco-Roman world have only mythological and hardly any cultic reality, the worship …

Agave

(121 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀγαύη; Agaúe). Daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia, spouse of Echion, mother of  Pentheus. She chides her sister  Semele, who had conceived Dionysus by Zeus and was consumed by lightning. Dionysus takes revenge on A., through getting her and her sisters to tear Pentheus, who opposes Dionysus, into pieces in a frenzy. Triumphantly A. carries the head of her son, whom she had thought to be a wild animal, to her home. A. is already a tragic figure in Aeschylus, but especially so in Eur. Bacchae (cf. also Ov. Met. 3,701 ff.). The artistic tradition also knows her in the…

Dido

(379 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] Mythical founder of  Carthage; called Elissa by Phoenicians, Theiosso by Greeks, and Deido by Africans because of her wanderings (so Timaeus in FGrH 566 F 82; but see Serv. auct. Verg. Aen. 1,340). The myth to be lastingly established by Virgil (Aen. 1 and 4) is in its outlines present already in Timaeus; a far more detailed pre-Virgilian version is to be found in Pompeius Trogus (Just. Epit. 18,4-6), but as in Timaeus without mention of  Aeneas. Her father, king of Tyre, was variously called Mutto (Ti…

Antho

(63 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀνθώ; Anthṓ). Daughter of the usurper  Amulius, from whom she gained the promise that Rea Silvia would not be killed (Plut. Romulus 3,4, following Fabius Pictor and Diocles of Peparethus). The Greek name (‘flower’) has aetiological foundations. Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) Bibliography C. Ampolo, in: C. Ampolo, M. Manfredini (eds.), Plutarco. Le vite di Teseo e Romolo, 1988, 280 f. T. P. Wiseman, Remus, 1995, 142.

Astydameia

(140 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(Ἀστυδάμεια; Astydámeia). [German version] [1] Daughter of the Dolopian king Amyntor Daughter of the Dolopian king Amyntor, by Hercules mother of Tlepolemus (Hes. fr. 232; Pind. Ol. 7,24). In Homer she is Astyocheia (Il. 2,658), in Apollod. 2,149 and Hyg. Fab. 162 Astyoche, daughter of Phylas of Ephyra (Apollod. 1,166). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] [2] Wife of  Acastus of Iolcus Wife of  Acastus of Iolcus, who purified Peleus from his accidental killing of  Eurytion. When Peleus rejected her love, she slandered him to his wife  Antigone [2],…

Himeros

(101 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἵμερος; Hímeros, ‘desire’). The personification of affectionate longing. Together with  Eros [1], he accompanies Aphrodite (since Hes. Theog. 201); with the  Charites (the goddesses of ‘grace’), he lives close to the Muses (Hes. Theog. 64, a poetological statement). Later he was firmly associated with Aphrodite and Eros, pictorially also with  Dionysus and  Pothos; he is indistinguishable iconographically from Eros and Pothos. A statue of H. by  Scopas used to stand in the temple of Aphrodite at Megara (Paus. 1,43,6). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) Bibliography A. H…

Cinyras

(327 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Κινύρας, Kinýras). Mythic founder of the temple of  Aphrodite of Paphus, and progenitor of the priestly family of the Cinyradae, who shared the leadership of the cult together with the Tamiradae family (whose ancestor, the Cilician seer Tamiras, C. had introduced), but later presided alone over the worship and oracle (Tac. Hist. 2,3). C. is connected with  Apollo (Pind. Pyth. 2,15), which indicates the role of singers in the cult. He is often regarded as a son of Apollo; but it is…

Hemithea

(358 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἡμιθέα; Hēmithéa, ‘demigoddess’). Name of a healing goddess in Castabus on the Carian Chersonnese. Her sanctuary, whose archaeological traces go back to the late 7th cent. BC at the earliest, was expanded under Rhodian hegemony and achieved more than regional fame until the decline of Rhodes after 167 BC. In the sanctuary, patients received healing dreams through  incubation ( klísis, ‘incubation (room)’ in an inscription from c. 150 BC, SEG 14,690); H. also aided women in childbirth (Diod. Sic. 5,63). The cult forbade the use of wine and the …
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