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Rhesus

(268 words)

Author(s): Nünlist, René (Basle)
[German version] (῾Ρῆσος/ Rhêsos, Latin Rhesus). King of Thrace, son of Eïoneus (Hom. Il. 10,138) or of the river god Strymon ([Eur.] Rhes. 279). R. and his snow-white horse appear only in the tenth year of the war as an ally of the Trojans and dies on the first night, without having played any part in battle. Caught on his nightly tour of reconnoissance, Dolon has betrayed R. and his men. Diomedes kills the men in their sleep, as R. has foreseen in a nightmare, and Odysseus makes off with the horses…

Sarpedon

(481 words)

Author(s): Nünlist, René (Basle) | von Bredow, Iris (Bietigheim-Bissingen) | Hild, Friedrich (Vienna)
(Σαρπηδών/ Sarpēdṓn). [German version] [1] Son of Zeus and Laodameia [1]. Son of Zeus and Laodameia [1]. In the Trojan War, S. and his cousin Glaucus [4] command the Lycians (Lycii), the strongest and remotest allies of the Trojans (Hom. Il. 2,876-877; the name S. is also of Lycian origin [1]). Zeus' son S. wins a duel with Zeus' grandson Tlepolemus (ibid. 5,628-662) and plays a decisive part in storming the defensive wall around the Greek camp (ibid. 12,290-471). Here his rousing speech to Glaucus (ibid. …

Cedalium

(100 words)

Author(s): Nünlist, René (Basle)
[German version] (Κηδαλίων, κήδαλον, Kēdalíōn, kḗdalon, which probably describes a tool: ‘poker’?). Comes from the island of Naxos, initiates  Hephaestus into the blacksmith's craft at the request of his mother  Hera (schol. Hom. Il. 14,296). On Lemnos, Hephaestus makes C. the leader of blinded  Orion. Sitting on his shoulders, C. leads Orion towards the sun, through whose rays Orion is healed of his blindness (Hes. fr. 148a M-W; Eratosth. Katasterismoi 32; Apollod. 1,4,3). Scarcely more than the title is known of Sophocles' satyr play ‘C.. (TrGF IV fr. 328-333). Nünlist, René (Basl…

Capaneus

(154 words)

Author(s): Nünlist, René (Basle)
[German version] (Καπανεύς; Kapaneús). Son of Hipponous [3], married to  Evadne [2] and father of  Sthenelus. C. is one of the  Seven against Thebes (and is therefore to be included in the Theban epics even if he does not appear in the surviving fragments). His boastful statement that not even the strike of a thunderbolt from Zeus could prevent him from taking part in the conquest of Thebes provokes Zeus to strike him down just so (Aesch. Sept. 423ff.). According to Stesichorus (fr. 194 PMG),  Ascl…

Coeranus

(203 words)

Author(s): Nünlist, René (Basle)
(Κοίρανος; Koíranos). [German version] [1] Descendant of Melampus Belongs to the family tree of  Melampus (Hes. Cat. 136,3), but his exact position therein is not certain; father of the seer  Poly(e)idus (Pherecydes FGrH 3 F 112; Paus. 1,43,5). Nünlist, René (Basle) [German version] [2] Charioteer of Meriones Charioteer for  Meriones; he saves  Idomeneus' [1] life by bringing a chariot to him at exactly the right moment, so that he instead of Idomeneus is hit by  Hector's spear (Hom. Il. 17,611-614). The motif of ‘substitution death’ is typical of Homer's epics [1]. Nünlist, René (Bas…

Polydamas

(428 words)

Author(s): Nünlist, René (Basle) | Cobet, Justus (Essen) | Badian, Ernst (Cambridge, MA)
(Πολυδάμας/ Polydámas, in Homer with metrical lengthening Πουλυδάμας/ Poulydámas). [German version] [1] Trojan Trojan, son of Panthous. On the basis of his experience P. possesses an understanding of the past and the future. As an astute and level-headed counsellor he represents the pessimistic alter ego of Hector, the town’s defender, who was born on the same day as P. Nevertheless, at the decisive moment P.’ sensible advice (retreat into the town) is not taken heed of. At this occasion, his character is (n…

Sisyphus

(349 words)

Author(s): Nünlist, René (Basle)
[German version] (Σίσυφος; Sísyphos). Mythical fraudster and penitent in the Underworld. Son of Aeolus [1], father of Glaucus [2], grandfather of Bellerophon, founder and king of Corinth (Corinthus), legendary and proverbial fraudster, who as a punishment in the Underworld has to roll a rock up a mountain, but every time just before reaching the summit it rolls back down into the valley (Hom. Od. 11,593-600). S. earns the punishment by conquering death (i.e. abandoning the boundaries placed on huma…

Teichoscopy

(119 words)

Author(s): Nünlist, René (Basle)
[German version] (τειχοσκοπία/ teichoskopía, ‘viewing from the walls’). Term, coined already in Antiquity (Schol. Eur. Phoen. 88), for the scene in the Iliad in which Helen (Helena [I 1]) identifies for Priamus the most important leaders of the Greek army (Agamemnon, Odysseus, Menelaus, Ajax [1], Idomeneus [1]) from the Trojan walls (Hom. Il. 3,161-244, imitated e.g. by Eur. Phoen. 88-192). The Homeric narrator has Helen observe an event happening elsewhere at the same time and present it verbally toPriam (and hence …

Hekatoncheires

(196 words)

Author(s): Nünlist, René (Basle)
[German version] (Ἑκατόγχειρες, centimani = ‘hundred-handed’). Briareus (also called Aegaeon: Hom. Il. 1,403f.), Cottus and Gy(g)es (for the name forms see [1]) are powerful monsters (hundred arms, fifty heads: Hes. Theog. 147ff.), offspring of  Uranus and  Gaia. They were chained by their father and thrown into Tartarus (617ff.). Zeus frees them and, on account of their hundred arms, makes them allies in the battle with the  Titans (626ff.). The belief that the H. later guarded the defeated Titans…

Tithonus

(219 words)

Author(s): Nünlist, René (Basle)
[German version] (Τιθωνός; Tithōnós). Member of the Trojan royal family, grandson of Ilus [1], son of Laomedon [1] and hence a brother of Priamus. Eos, the  goddess of dawn, abducted the extremely attractive T. and makes him her lover (cf. Cephalus [1], Cleitus [1], Orion [1]). According to the Homeric formula Eos brings light in the morning, by rising from "T.' bed" (Hom. Il. 11,1 et passim). The result of their union is the Aethiopian king Memnon [1]. Eos asks Zeus for immortality for T., but neg…

Leiodes

(75 words)

Author(s): Nünlist, René (Basle)
[German version] (Ληώδης, Λειώδης; Lēṓdēs, Leiṓdēs). The son of Oenops, priest. He is one of Penelope's suitors, whom he loathes, however, keeping to himself. L. is the first suitor to try his luck in the archery contest and is then reproached by Antinous [1] for his supposedly defeatist advice (Hom. Od. 21,144ff.). When Odysseus slays the suitors, L. points out his detached relationship to the others in vain (ibid. 22,310-329). Nünlist, René (Basle)

Talthybius

(130 words)

Author(s): Nünlist, René (Basle)
[German version] (Ταλθύβιος; Talthýbios). Herald and follower of Agamemnon (Hom. Il. 1,320 f.), at whose command he and Eurybates [1] unenthusiastically go and fetch from Achilles [1] the object of their dispute, Briseis (ibid. 1,327-347). T. also acts in the service of all Greeks, e.g. when he and the Trojan herald Idaeus [3a] interrupt the single combat between Ajax [1] and Hector (ibid. 7,273-312); as a general Greek herald he also appears in Euripides (Hec., Tro.), who makes the idea of the "un…

Telemachus

(472 words)

Author(s): Nünlist, René (Basle)
[German version] (Τηλέμαχος; Tēlémachos). Only son of Odysseus and Penelope (cf. Telegonus). As often, the name of the son ('far fighter') reflects a characteristic of the father [1]. T. is portrayed in the Odyssey as well brought-up but uncertain and lacking initiative. He watches the activities of Penelope's suitors without feeling able to do anything about them, until Athena, in the guise of Mentes [2], encourages him to a more self-assertive demeanour (Hom. Od. 1,269-305). He summons the first …

Laertes

(236 words)

Author(s): Nünlist, René (Basle)
[German version] (Λαέρτης; Laértēs). Son of Arcesius and of Chalcomedusa, husband of Anticlea, father of Odysseus (cf. the latter's patronymic, Laertiádēs, ‘son of L.’); in his various depictions, the last is the most important function of L., who has little significance of his own. The image of him in the ‘Odyssey’ is the formative one it has shaped all later representations. Before the beginning of the Trojan War, for reasons of age, L. passes his power to Odysseus. Even when Odysseus does return to assume the th…

Thrinacie

(95 words)

Author(s): Nünlist, René (Basle)
[German version] (Θρινακίη; Thrinakíē). Mythical island, near Scylla [1] and Charybdis (Hom. Od. 12,260f.), on which the daughters of the sun god Helios (Sol) mind his sacred oxen. In vain Teiresias and Circe warn Odysseus that his and his companions' fate depends on the oxen's being unharmed (ibid. 11,110-112; 12,137-139): when Odysseus falls asleep, his starving companions, instigated by Eurylochus [1], slaughter the animals (ibid. 12,260-402), and all therefore later die, while Odysseus alone su…

Pheme

(83 words)

Author(s): Nünlist, René (Basle)
[German version] (Φήμη/ Phḗmē; Latin Fama ). Goddess or personification of public speech, rumour and (helpful or malicious) gossip (Hes. Op. 760-764; Bacchyl. 2,1; 10,1). Aeschines (Aeschin. In Tim. 128 with schol.; Aeschin. Leg. 144f.; cf. Paus. 1,17,1) mentions an altar of P. (built after the Battle on the Eurymedon [5]), making the distinction that P. appeared in person, while Diabolḗ ('Calumny') could be traced to individual people. However, Ach. Tat. (6,10,4-5) makes P. the daughter of Diabole. Nünlist, René (Basle)

Hector

(755 words)

Author(s): Nünlist, René (Basle)
[German version] (Ἕκτωρ/ Héktōr; Lat. Hector). Son of the Trojan royal couple  Priamus and  Hecabe, husband of  Andromache and father of  Astyanax. As the strongest fighter of Priamus' sons, H. (and not Paris, who is to blame for the war) is responsible for the defence of the besieged city in The Iliad. He is most successful on the third day of battle: after Agamemnon's wounding (Hom. Il. 11,200ff.), H. breaks through the Achaean wall (12,445ff.), and - despite a set-back (14,409ff.) - he pushes them back to their ships and sets one of them on f…

Philoetius

(86 words)

Author(s): Nünlist, René (Basle)
[German version] (Φιλοίτιος; Philoítios). Odysseus’ cowherd (Hom. Od. 20-22); like the swineherd Eumaeus he epitomizes the loyal retainer. After Odysseus has revealed his identity to them and has assured himself of their loyalty, the two of them, who are largely cast in the same mould [1], assist him in killing the suitors. In doing so, the two of them take their revenge on their counterpart, the disloyal goatherd Melanthius [1]. Nünlist, René (Basle) Bibliography 1 B. Fenik, Studies in the Odyssey (Hermes ES 30), 1974, 172-173.

Stentor

(108 words)

Author(s): Nünlist, René (Basle)
[German version] (Στέντωρ/ Sténtōr, aptonym: 'roarer' [1]). Greek warrior at Troy, whose powerful voice is equivalent to those of 50 men. In his guise Hera gives the Greeks a dressing-down (Hom. Il. 5,784-792). S. himself does not appear anywhere. This 'lacuna' was increased in ancient exegesis by scholarly speculations (Schol. AbT Hom. Il. 5,785): he had to lose his life because he had challenged Hermes to a competition in shouting (for the motif cf. Thamyris), and is the inventor of the war trump…

Dolon

(126 words)

Author(s): Nünlist, René (Basle)
[German version] (Δόλων/ Dólōn, cf. δόλος/ dólos, ‘guile’). Son of the Trojan herald Eumedes. During a night reconnaissance raid in the Greek camp, for which he had volunteered in order to gain Achilles' immortal horses, he fell into the hands of the Greek scouts Diomedes and Odysseus. In an (unsuccessful) bid to save his skin, he readily betrayed his own cause, which cost the life of the Trojan ally, the Thracian King Rhesus (Hom. Il. 10, so-called Doloneia, probably post- Iliad [1]; [Eur.] Rhes.). By contrast with this portrait of D. ─ for the Stoa he was the archetypical…
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