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Amythaon

(109 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀμυθάων; Amytháōn). Son of Cretheus and Tyro in Iolcus, brother of Phereus and Aeson, half brother of Neleus and Pelias, the sons of Poseidon (Hom. Od. 11,235-259; Hes. fr. 38). He settles in Pylos, which Neleus founded, and here he fathers his sons Melampus and Bias (Diod. Sic. 4,68,3; Apollod. 1,93; 96). He appears with his relatives in Iolcus, to demand Iason's inheritance from Pelias; he is one of the Argonauts (Pind. Pyth. 4,126). A part of Elis is called Amythaonia after him; before Pelias and Neleus he renews the Olympic games (Paus. 5,8,2). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, …

Historiola

(145 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (‘Little story’). Modern term describing brief tales built into magic formulas, providing a mythic precedence for a magically effective treatment. Historiolas are already documented in Mesopotamian and ancient Egyptian  magic. In the Graeco-Egyptian  magic papyri (PGM), they provide references to both Greek (e.g. PGM XX) and Egyptian (e.g. PGM IV 1471) mythology, and to Christian legends in Christian rites. However, historiolas should not be understood as abridgments of well-known myths or as ad hoc inventions, rather the narrator understands them as p…

Aeolia

(131 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Αἰολία sc. νῆσος; Aiolía nêsos). Residence of  Aeolus [2], the lord of the winds. It is a floating island, which is hedged around by steep cliffs and a bronze wall (Hom. Od. 10.3 f.); in a certain contrast to these fairy-tale motives -- especially the floating of the island -- is the very Greek idea that the city and the ‘beautiful houses’ of A. and his family are on this island (loc. cit.13). Since the 5th cent. it is sited in actual geography and in particular identified with the Liparic or Aeolic Islands (Αἰόλου νῆσοι) (Antiochus of Syracuse FGrH 555 F 1; Thuc. 3,88). Graf, Fri…

Argeius

(142 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(Ἀργεῖος; Argeîos). [German version] [1] Son of Likymnios Son of Licymnius. In two myths he is the doomed battle comrade of Hercules. He accompanies him together with his brother Melas on the quest to conquer Oichalia; both are slain and are buried by Hercules (Apollod. 2,156). According to another version he accompanies Hercules on his Trojan campaign, in spite of his father's resistance; Hercules had to swear an oath promising to bring him back. When he is slain outside Troy, Hercules burns the corpse and brings back the ashes (Schol. Hom. Il. 1,52). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) …

Actaeus

(145 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(Ἀκταῖος; Aktaîos), ‘he from the coast’ ( akte) or ‘of Akte’. [German version] [1] Attic primal king Attic primal king, the first (Paus. 1,2,6) or successor of Porphyrion (Paus. 1,14,7); father of the (first) Aglaurus, the wife of Cecrops and mother of Aglaurus [2], Herse and Pandrosus (Apollod. 3,180, who in 3,177 first made Cecrops the primal king). Attica was first called Acte after him, as was the Piraeus peninsula in the historical period (Apollod. 3,177; Harpocrat. s. v. Akte). According to Pherecydes (FGrH 3 F 60) he is father of Telamon of Glauce, the daughter of th…

Atymnius

(164 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(Ἀτύμνιος; Atýmnios). [German version] [1] Son of the Carian king Amisodarus Son of the Carian king Amisodarus. He and his brother Maris, companions at arms of Sarpedon, were killed by two sons of Nestor (Hom. Il. 16,317). Later, he is regarded as identical to Tymnius, the eponymous founder of the Carian city of Tymnus [1]. Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] [2] Son of Zeus Son of Zeus (of the Phoenix: Schol. Apoll. Rhod. 2,178) and  Cassiopea, courted by the brothers Minos and Sarpedon in competition with each other. Otherwise Miletus, the son of Ap…

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…

Bootes

(237 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Βοώτης; Boṓtēs). (‘Ox-driver’) One of the names of a constellation near that of Ursa Major; attested since Hom. Od. 5,272. If the latter constellation is thought of as a bear, the former, as its companion, is termed instead ‘bear-keeper’, Arktophylax (Arat. 91-83; Ov. Fast. 3,145; Manil. Astr. 1,316-318 etc.). Its brightest star is Arcturus (Arktouros), which occasionally gives its name to the whole constellation (Eratosth. Catast. 8). Various legends about the stars give a mythical background to the meaning of Bootes. 1. He is generally underst…

Epopteia

(205 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (ἐποπτεία; epopteía, ‘the seeing’). One of the levels of initiation into the  mysteries; whoever attained it, was epóptēs. In  Eleusis, whence the term originated, epopteia refers to the stage of initiation after the initial  myesis ─ epopteia either refers to the public ‘display’ during the celebration of the mysteries, in which myesis was the individual dedication which could take place outside of the celebrations, or rather a second facultative stage following on from the obligatory mýēsis [1; 2]. In any case, the term underlines the importance of vis…

Alcippe

(81 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(Ἀλκίππη; Alkíppē). Common woman's name in mythological epics. [German version] [1] Figure of Greek myth: daughter of Ares Daughter of Ares and Cecrop's daughter Agraulus, raped by  Halirrhotius (Apollod. 3,180), Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] [2] Figure of Greek myth: grandmother of Daedalus Grandmother of Daedalus, mother of Eupalamus by Metion (Apollod. 3,214). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] [3] Figure from the Iliad: slave of Helena A slave of Helena (Hom. Od. 4,124). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Catreus

(61 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Κατρεύς; Katreús). Son of  Minos and Pasiphae, eponym of the Cretan town Catre; he is killed by his son  Althaemenes, even though he fled to Rhodes to avoid his father who had been warned by an oracle (Apollod. 3,12-16); when his grandson  Menelaus takes part in his funeral, Paris kidnaps Helena (ibid. 3,3). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Basilinna

(178 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (βασιλίννα; basilínna, ‘queen’) is the designation for the wife of the Athenian  Archon Basileus (‘king’) who is considered to be the democratic successor in the sacred duties of the king (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 3 on the origin; 57 on the duties). She must be a citizen of Athens and a virgin at the time of marriage. Her sacred duties include secret rites in the Dionysus cult, particularly at the Anthesteria, which she conducts with the gera(i)rai (‘aged women’ or ‘venerable women’). In the context of these rites, she is given to  Dionysus as wife. More impor…

Genesia

(74 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (τὰ Γενέσια; tà Genésia). Name of a Greek family festival in honour of a dead ancestor (Hdt. 4,26). In Athens, it became ─ allegedly at Solon's instigation ─ a public festival of the dead, the celebrations of which on the 5th Boedromion also included a sacrifice to  Gaia (Philochorus FGrH 328 F 168). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) Bibliography F. Jacoby, Γενέσια. A forgotten festival of the dead, in: CQ 38, 1944, 65-75.

Iulus

(349 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] In the tradition set by Virgil I. is the only son of  Aeneas and  Creusa of Troy, progenitor of the Roman gens Iulia; in Troy he is called Ilus, later Ascanius (Aen. 1,267f.). The name Ascanius for a (usually the eldest) son of Aeneas first appears after Homer (in Homer two confederates of the Trojans have this name, Hom. Il. 2,862 from Ascania in Phrygia; 13,790), both in founding legends (Hellanicus FGrH 4 F 31; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 1,54,2), which rule out his arrival in Italy, as in the account of A…

Acidalia

(32 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀκιδαλία). Venus is called Acidalia mater (Verg. Aen. 1,270, according to Serv.) after a spring at Orchomenus, where the goddess bathed with the Charites. Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Am­bro­sia

(247 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(ἀμβροσία; ambrosía, ‘immortal’). [German version] [1] One of the Hyads One of the Hyads. They are daughters of Atlas and Pleione, they cared for the child Dionysus (Pherecydes FGrH 3 F 90) either in Nysa (Hyg. Fab. 182) or in Thrace, from whence they flee from Lycurgus to Thetis; except for A. (Asclepiades FGrH 12 F 18); Ge (Gaea) supposedly changed them into a vine (Nonnus, Dion. 21,17). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] [2] Nourishment of immortality The nourishment of immortality, comparable to the amṛta of Indian mythology. Gods use it as food and as a cosmetic (H…

Arcisius

(63 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀρκείσιος; Arkeísios). Father of Laertes (Hom. Od. 4,755), grandfather of Odysseus (Od. 14,182). Son of Zeus (Ov. Met. 13,144; Schol. Od. 16,118) or of Cephalus (who gave his name to the Cephallenians) and a she-bear ( árktos), who transformed herself into a woman (Aristot. fr. 504 Rose). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) Bibliography L. Radermacher, Mythos und Sage bei den Griechen, 21938, 264.

Ancaeus

(198 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(Ἀγκαῖος; Ankaîos). [German version] [1] Son of Lycurgus of Tegea Son of Lycurgus of Tegea, brother of Epochus (Paus. 8,4,10), father of Agapenor (Hom. Il. 2,609). An Arcadian, the strongest hero after Hercules; his weapon is the double-axe (Apoll. Rhod. 2,118; bipennifer Ov. Met. 8,391). He participates in the Argonauts' campaign (Apollod. 1,163 f.) and in the Calydonian hunt, where he is torn apart by the boar (Apollod. 1,68; Paus. 8,4,10; Ov. Met. 8,315; 391-402). His death was portrayed by Scopas in the gable of the temple of Athena Alea (Paus. 8,45,7). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) …

Cannibalism

(441 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (ἀνθρωποφαγία/ anthrōpophagía, ‘the eating of humans’) appears in ancient myths and ethnographical reports. It was something that took place, in contrast to the here and now, either in the past or on the borders of the known world among ethnic groups who did not share the same basic values of Greek culture. It is also identified, in Dionysian myths, as the crossing of the limits in  ecstasy [1; 2]. In this structure, ancient reports coincide astoundingly with those of the modern age [3]. The Cyclops  Polyphemus, who is generally portrayed in the ‘Odyssey’ as the…

Eponymus

(330 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἐπώνυμος; Epṓnymos), also eponym or eponymous hero, refers to a mythical character, whose name was given to a tribe, a town or settlement, or another group of people, or a mountain range. The Greek word eponymos in the sense of ‘name giving’ is particularly well documented in references to the heroes of the ten Attic phyles, whose images were displayed on the agora (decree in And. 1,83; Paus. 1,5,1); in the (passive) sense of ‘name bearing’, it is evident from Aesch. Supp. 252 for this very phenomenon ( Pelasgus). The phenomenon is as old as the earliest references …
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