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Althaemenes

(96 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀλθαιμένης; Althaiménēs). Rhodian hero, son of the Cretan king Catreus. He left his homeland when an oracle prophesied that he would kill his father, and at Camerus he founded the mountain cult of Zeus Atabyrius. His father set out to find him, and during a nocturnal landing he was mistaken for a pirate and slain by A., unrecognized. A. wanders around aimlessly and dies in anguish (Diod. Sic. 5,59) or is swallowed up by the earth (thus Apollod. 3,12-16, in whose account he also murders his sister Apemosyne). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Alpheius

(550 words)

Author(s): Lienau, Cay (Münster) | Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Degani, Enzo (Bologna)
(Ἀλφειός; Alpheiós). [German version] [1] River in the Peloponnese At 110 kms it is the longest river with the largest volume of water flow of the  Peloponnese, which, with its tributaries (especially the  Ladon,  Erymanthus,  Lousius) drains a large part of  Arcadia and  Elis. The eastern spring, called A. surfaces on the valley watershed near the Eurotas (483 m above sea level at Ambelakion; possibly some tapping of the water flow). The A. has so far for the most part preserved the character of a mount…

Acoetes

(141 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
 Only Latin Acoetes has been handed down; the Greek form Ἀκοίτης does not appear to be attested. [German version] [1] Mythical Helmsman Helmsman of a Tyrrhenian pirate ship, opposed the intention of his travelling companions to kidnap the beautiful child Dionysus, and therefore was the only one to escape transformation into a dolphin (Ov. Met. 3,582-691 as first-person account to Pentheus; Hyg. Fab. 134); perhaps following a common Hellenistic source that went back to Hom. H. 7; in all other accounts of this myth the name or the entire episode is missing [1]. Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) …

Ahura Mazdā

(303 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Mid-Persian Ōhrmazd, Greek Ὀρομάζης, Ὀρομάσδης; Oromázēs, Oromásdēs). Highest God (‘the Wise Lord’) in the system of Zoroaster, the highest of the good powers ( ahuras), who is surrounded by a host of abstract deities (Amša Spntas) as mediators of his will and his deeds. He is creator and god of blessing, the one addressed in cults of the Zoroastrian community, and it was he that revealed his teachings to  Zoroaster. There is discussion regarding to what extent he is pre-Zoroastrian; in any case he co…

Arges

(39 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἄργης; Árgēs). One of the three  Cyclopes, along with Brontes ( brontḗ, ‘thunder’) and Steropes ( steropḗ, ‘lightening’). His name comes from argḗs, a stock expression for lightening (Hes. Theog. 140; Apollod. 1,1). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Ericepaeus

(227 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἠρικεπαῖος; Ērikepaîos). Deity which is mentioned in Orphic poetry and the associated Bacchian mysteries; the late etymology of ‘life-giver’ (ζωοδοτήρ; zōodotḗr) cannot be verified (Malalas, Chronogr. 4,91; cf. Suda 660 s.v. Orpheus). The name is first mentioned with certainty in the papyrus Gurôb 1, a Dionysian mysteries text of the late 3rd cent. BC [1]; an earlier reference in a gold leaflet from Pherae is uncertain [2]. E. then becomes important in various Neoplatonic writings of the so-called r…

Amyntor

(217 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
Suggestive heroic name: ‘Defender’. As such it is assigned to three figures, who are difficult to differentiate from each other. [German version] [1] Son of Ormenos, domiciled in Eleon Son of Ormenus, domiciled in Eleon in Boeotia, whom Autolycus robbed of a famous leather helmet (Hom. Il. 10,266; cf. 2,500; Pherec. fragment 38a FHG 4, 638). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] [2] Likewise son of Ormenus, father of Phoenix Likewise son of Ormenus, father of Phoenix. The son seduced the concubine of his father, who cursed him with childlessness; Phoenix fle…

Carna

(209 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] Roman goddess whose temple was vowed and founded on the Caelius mons by the first  Brutus immediately after the expulsion of the  Tarquinii; (Macrob. Sat. 1,12,31). Its foundation day is 1 June, the festival of the Carnaria (CIL III 3893). C. received offerings of bacon and bean gruel (Macrob. Sat. 1,12,32; cf. Ov. Fast. 6,169-182: Kalendae fabariae), which suggest a simple, old-fashioned way of life (Ovid) or which are meant to depict C. as a protector of physical strength (Macr.). The authors state that her role is the protection of …

Eros

(805 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Birley, A. R. (Düsseldorf)
(Ἔρως; Érōs). [German version] [1] Personification of sexual desire Greek personification of love as sexual desire (Latin Amor, Cupido). Usually, E. is regarded as being the son of  Aphrodite, in whose sphere of influence he represents a central figure.  Ares is named as his father (Simon. fr. 43B). Not mentioned in Homer, E.'s image in archaic poetry is developed into an expression of the complex and contradictory experience of individual love [1]: ‘limb-loosening’ conquerer of gods and men (Hes. Theog.…

Demeter

(3,322 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Ionian-Attic Δημήτηρ; Dēmḗtēr, Doric-Boeotian Δαμάτηρ; Damátēr, Aeolian Δωμάτηρ; Dōmátēr, Attic short form Δηώ; Dēṓ). Goddess of agriculture, especially grain cultivation, womanhood and the Mysteries. [German version] A. Name The name is only partly comprehensible. In the second part of the word ‘mother’ is recognizable, for the first part ancient writers offer two interpretations, a connection with ‘earth’ ( / ) or a word for grain (Cretan dēaí, ‘barley’). The first has been in currency since the classical period (Derveni Papyrus, col. 18), the second is…

Mysteries

(5,198 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] A. General Points, Definition Mysteries or rather mystery cults (in order to avoid the misleading term ‘mystery religions’) are cults of the Greek and Roman world which, for classical and modern observers alike, constitute a circumscribed category of cults within Greek and Roman religion.  Their name derives from the Attic celebration of the Mysteria, the festival of Demeter and Kore/Persephone, celebrated annually over a period of days at the shrine of Eleusis, and known since the Ho…

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],…

Aeolidae

(68 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Αἰολίδαι; Aiolídai). Not only the sons of Aeolus, such as Sisyphus, Athamas and Cretheus, but also their descendants, e.g. Bellerophontes and Jason in Pindar, Minyas, Phrixus, Idmon in Apoll. Rhod. In Virgil's Aeneid (6,529) Anchises calls Odysseus Aeolides, in accordance with the tradition which makes him the son of Sisyphus (since Soph. Phil. 417). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) Bibliography M. Scarsi, s. v. Eolide, EV 2,324.

Alcimus

(496 words)

Author(s): Liebermann, Wolf-Lüder (Bielefeld) | Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Meister, Klaus (Berlin) | Schwemer, Anna Maria (Tübingen)
(Ἄλκιμος; Álkimos). [German version] [5] Latinus A. Alethius Rhetorician, writer of panagyrics and poet Appears as a famous rhetorician (probably based on a catalogue of model speeches from Bordeaux) in  Sidonius, where he is praised for his oratorical fortitudo: Epist. 5,10,3 (see Jer. Chron. a. Abr. 2371). Probably also the author of a rhetorical handbook that is otherwise no longer distinguishable (Sid. Apoll. Epist. 8, 11, 2; in the same source: origin in Agen; concerning false identifications, see PLRE 2, Alethius 2, against [3…

Artemis

(3,216 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Ἄρτεμις; Ártemis) I. Religion [German version] A. Etymology and Early History Greek goddess; daughter of Zeus and Leto, twin sister of Apollo. Goddess of transitions -- birth and coming-of-age in both sexes -- of female death, hunting and game, as well as, in the Greek East, city goddess. Identified especially with Cybele and Anahita in Asia Minor and the Near East, and with Diana in Rome. Etruscan representations, where she is called artume(s), preserve her character as a figure borrowed from the Greeks. It is a matter of dispute, whether her name, which defies all etymology…

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…

Astraeus

(70 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀστραῖος; Astraîos). Titan, son of the Titans Creius (Crius) and Eurybia. With Eos he begot the winds ( Astraei fratres, Ov. Met. 14,545) which blow at the first light of dawn, the morning star and the other stars (Hes. Theog. 375-82; Apollod. 1,9). Besides that he is a giant, son of Tartarus and Ge (Hyg. praef. 4). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) Bibliography E. Simon, s.v. A., LIMC 2. 1, 927.

Asclepius

(2,733 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Άσκλήπιος; Asklépios) I. Religion [German version] A. Mythology The most important Greek healing hero, son of Apollo and of a mortal woman, in cultic reality he soon became a god, in Rome venerated as Aesculapius. It is hard to interpret the Greek name from an etymological perspective. The usual form of the myth -- and it is not certain that it derives from the Hesiodic ‘Catalogues’ [1; 2] -- makes A. the son of Apollo and of Coronis, the daughter of the Thessalian Phlegyas; in contrast to this, Hesiod calls his mother  Arsinoe, daughter of…

Archontes

(1,619 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham) | Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Makris, Georgios (Bochum)
[German version] [I] Office (ἄρχοντες, ἄρχων; árchontes, árchōn). In general, the term applied to all holders of   archai . However, the term was frequently used as the title of a particular office, originally, at least, the highest office of the state. Archontes in this sense of the term are found in most states of central Greece, including Athens, and states dependent on or influenced by Athens. According to Aristot. Ath. Pol. 3, the kings were initially replaced by archons who were initially elected for life, later for a period of ten years, and finally for …

Caucon

(215 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Καύκων; Kaúkōn). Eponymous hero of the Peloponnesian people of the  Caucones [1]; his genealogy is dependent on the ancient localization of the people first named in Hom. Od. 3. 366. His grave was shown in Lepreum in Triphylia (Paus. 5,5,5; Str. 8,345), and according to the Triphylian cult centre on Samicon, he is seen as the son of Poseidon (Ael. NA 1,24). Yet as a result of the Arcadian localization, C. is also the son of Arcas (schol. Hom. Od. 3,366) or of Lycaon (Apollod. 3,97…
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