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Theseus

(1,832 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel) | Bäbler, Balbina (Göttingen)
(Θησεύς /Thēseús). Mythical king and national hero of the Athenians (Athens). T. belongs to the generation before the Trojan War. He is the son of Aethra, daughter of Pittheus. His divine father is Poseidon, his human father the Athenian king Aegeus. [German version] I. Myth T. grew up with Pittheus at Troezen, because Aegeus abandoned the pregnant Aethra in the light of an oracular prophecy. Having found the symbolic items (sword, shoes) left there by Aegeus, he made his way to Athens. During the journey, T. had to survive several battles…

Soul, weighing of the

(303 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] ( Psychostasia). The weighing of the soul occurred in Egyptian religion; the hearts of the dead, which were thought to contain the memory of their actions, are weighed with a feather under the supervision of Osiris [1.321-323]. The Greek idea of the weighing of the soul is entirely different: it takes place before death and is not assessed according to moral criteria. Here men's fates are weighed (κήρ/ kḗr, Ker), as a result of which it is decided who will live or die ( kerostasia). This version was probably already known to the author of the Aethiopís from which the Iliad too…

Pelops

(1,023 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel) | Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Welwei, Karl-Wilhelm (Bochum) | Nutton, Vivian (London)
(Πέλοψ; Pélops). [German version] [1] Son of Tantalus Son of Tantalus (Cypria fragment 13 EpGF; in Hyg. Fab. 82 from his liaison with Dione), husband of Hippodamia [1], father of Atreus, Thyestes, Pittheus and other children (Pind. O. 1,88f. with schol.). P.'s original homeland was Asia Minor (cf. Pind. Ol. 1,24; Hdt. 7,8).  P.'s father Tantalus chops him into pieces, cooks him and serves him up to the gods. Demeter is the only one who fails to notice the horrendous deed and eats part of his shoulder (A…

Xanthus

(1,334 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel) | Robbins, Emmet (Toronto) | Högemann, Peter (Tübingen) | W.T.
(Ξάνθος/ Xánthos). [German version] [1] Name of several figures in Greek mythology Name of several male figures in Greek mythology: 1) Son of Phaenops [2], who was killed by Diomedes [1] at the gates of Troy (Hom. Il. 5,152-158). 2) Son of Triopas and Oreasis. X. received a part of Lycia; from there, he settled the deserted island of Lesbos (Diod. Sic. 5,81,2; Hyg. Fab. 145). 3) One of the sons of Aegyptus, who is killed by Arcadia, daughter of Danaus (Hyg. Fab. 170). 4) A son of Niobe (Pherecydes FGrH 3 F …

Patroclus

(1,124 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel) | Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Heimgartner, Martin (Halle)
(Πάτροκλος/ Pátroklos, also Πατροκλῆς/ Patroklês; Lat. Patroclus). [German version] [1] Companion to Achilleus Son of Menoetius [1] from Opus (Hom. Il. 11,814; his mother's name is not given in Homer, alternative suggestions in Apollod. 3,176), best friend of Achilleus [1]. In his childhood, P. kills a fellow-player out of anger during a game of dice and then flees to Phthia to Peleus, who gives him to Achilleus as a companion (Hom. Il. 23,85-90; Hellanikos FGrH 4 F 145; Apollod. 3,176). According to Pind. O…

Troy

(5,308 words)

Author(s): D.MAN. | M.KO. | Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
This item can be found on the following maps: Writing | Theatre | Caesar | | Diadochi and Epigoni | Dark Ages | Ḫattusa | Asia Minor | Asia Minor | Mycenaean culture and archaeology | Pergamum | Persian Wars | Pompeius | Aegean Koine | Aegean Koine | Education / Culture | Mineral Resources I. History [German version] A. Name In Homer (Homerus [1]), the forms ἡ Τροίη/ Troíē and ἡ Ἴλιος/ Ílios (for Ilion/Ilium see below I. C.) appear alongside one another. Therefore, there has been discussion of a 'double name' for the settlement, for which the two terms πόλις ( pólis ) and ἄστυ ( ásty

Nectar

(321 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] (νέκταρ/ néctar, Latin nectar). Nectar (derived from the Egyptian ntry, ‘divine’ [1]) together with ambrosia [2] served as the food of the gods of Olympia, who, according to Hom. Il. 5,339-341, neither ate bread nor drank wine. In the main, nectar is imagined to be a beverage whilst ambrosia is a food (e.g. Hom. Od. 5,93), though there is also the reverse view; in Alcm. fr. 42 PMG and Anaxandrides fr. 58 PCG nectar is food. Originally nectar and ambrosia had the same consistency (cf. Hom. …

Minos

(824 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] (Μίνως, Mínōs). Mythical king of Crete, son of Zeus and Europe [2]; Asterius (Asterion [1]) is said to be his mortal father (Apollod. 3,1,2). M. is the brother of Rhadamanthys (Hom. Il. 14,321f.) and already in Hes. Cat. 140 also of Sarpedon; as Pasiphae's husband, he is the father of Deucalion, Ariadne, Phaedra and other children, from other liaisons as well (their names are listed in Apollod. 3,1,2). Diod. 4,60,3 distinguishes between two rulers named M., grandfather and grandson. M. is particularly well known for his role as a judge and as the first law-m…

Medon

(479 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel) | Neudecker, Richard (Rome) | Günther, Linda-Marie (Munich)
(Μέδων/ Médōn). [German version] [1] Son of Oileus and Rhene Illegitimate son of Oileus and Rhene, who led Philoctetes' men to Troy after the latter had to be left on Lemnos (Hom. Il. 2,726ff.). He had killed a member of his stepmother Eriopis' family and thus had to leave his home and flee to Phylace (Thessaly; ibid. 13,695ff.). He is killed by Aeneas (ibid. 15,332). Stenger, Jan (Kiel) Bibliography W. Kullmann, Die Quellen der Ilias (Hermes ES 14), 1960, 113; 122f.; 162f. F. Prinz, Gründungsmythen und Sagenchronologie (Zetemata 72), 1979, 59f. [German version] [2] Herold in the palace…

Neleus

(637 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel) | Gottschalk, Hans (Leeds) | Hidber, Thomas (Berne)
(Νηλεύς; Nēleús). [German version] [1] King of the Messenian Pylos King of Messenian Pylos, son of Poseidon and Tyro, the daughter of Salmoneus. Tyro, wife of Cretheus, falls in love with the river god Enipeus. In his guise, Poeseidon sires with her N. and his twin brother Pelias (Hom. Od. 11,235-253; cf. also Hes. Cat. 30f.). After Cretheus' death, strife develops between N. and Pelias over who is to rule in Iolcus. N. is forced to repair to the Peloponnese, where he founds Pylos (Hom. Od. 11,254-259; He…

Lycomedes

(382 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel) | Stein-Hölkeskamp, Elke (Cologne) | Schmitz, Winfried (Bielefeld)
(Λυκομήδης; Lykomḗdēs). [German version] [1] King of the Dolopes on Scyros King of the Dolopes on Scyros, father of Deidamia [1]. Because Achilles is predestined to die in Troy, his mother Thetis disguises him as a girl at the court of L. where Achilles fathers a son Neoptolemus by Deidamia (Apollod. 3,174; schol. Hom. Il. 9,668). Later Odysseus and Phoenix persuade L. on behalf of the Greeks to allow Neoptolemus to come to Troy (Soph. Phil. 343ff.; only Odysseus in Hom. Od. 11,506ff. and in The Ilias P…

Messeis

(96 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] (Μεσσηίς; Messēís). A spring mentioned in Hom. Il. 6,457. Hector prophesies to Andromache, that one day she will fetch water from the springs Messeis and Hypereia in Argos. According to Strab. 9,5,6, the inhabitants of Pharsalus pointed out a town, Hellas (cf. Heraclides 3,2), entirely in ruins, which was 60 stadia from their own town and in whose vicinity the two springs were to be found. Plin. HN 4,8,30 locates a spring Messeis in Thessaly, whereas Paus. 3,20,1 claims to have seen a well Messeis at Therapne in Laconia. Stenger, Jan (Kiel)

Melaneus

(88 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] (Μελανεύς/ Melaneús). Son of Apollo (in Pherecydes FGrH 3 F 82a of Arcesilaus), father of Eurytus [1] and Ambracia. A skilled archer who ruled over the Dryopians and conquered Epirus by war (Antoninus Liberalis 4,3). According to Paus. 4,2,2 the Messenians claimed that he had been given the territory of Oechalia by Perieres, the ruler of Messenia. The city of Oechalia is supposed to have received its name from M.'s wife. Eretria on Euboea was previously named Melaneís after M. (Str. 10,1,10). Stenger, Jan (Kiel)

Menestheus

(437 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel) | Engels, Johannes (Cologne) | Nesselrath, Heinz-Günther (Göttingen)
(Μενεσθεύς; Menestheús). [German version] [1] Athenian leader at Troy Son of Peteus, great-grandson of Erechtheus. M. led the contingent of Athenians with fifty ships at Troy. Only Nestor was his equal in marshalling horses and warriors for battle (Hom. Il. 2,552ff.). While Theseus was detained in Hades, the Dioscuri conquered Aphidna and installed M. as king of Athens. Theseus's sons fled to Euboea. Because M. gained the favour of the Athenians, they ousted Theseus on his return (Paus. 1,17,5f.). Accord…

Tantalus

(383 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] (Τάνταλος/ Tántalos, Lat. Tantalus). Mythological king on the Sipylus, son of Zeus (Eur. Or. 5; Paus. 2,22,3) or of Tmolus (schol. Eur. Or. 4) and Pluto [1], husband of Dione or Euryanassa and father of Broteas, Niobe and Pelops [1]. In Greek and Roman literature and the visual arts, T. is represented primarily along with Ixion, Sisyphus and Tityus as the ones undergoing punishment in the underworld. According to Homer, T. stands in the water there but cannot drink from it because it…

Metion

(81 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] (Μητίων; Mētíōn). Son of Erechtheus and Praxithea, brother of Cecrops (Apollod. 3,15,1). His sons, the Metionids, drive Pandion, the son and heir of Cecrops, from power in Attica, but are in turn overthrown by his sons (Paus. 1,5,3f.; Apollod. 3,15,5). Daedalus [1] was both M.'s grandson, as the son of Eupalamus (Apollod. 3,15,8), and M.'s son (Pherekydes FGrH 3 F 146; Diod. 4,76,1 with M. as the son of Eupalamus and grandson of Erechtheus). Stenger, Jan (Kiel)

Tatius, T.

(240 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] Legendary king of the Sabines (Sabini) in the city of Cures. T. waged war with the Romans because of the rape of the Sabine women (Varro Ling. 5,46; Liv. 1,10,1 f.). Through the treachery of Tarpeia, who was either bribed by T. or in love with him, he succeeded in occupying the Roman Capitol (Capitolium; Liv. 1,11,6; Prop. 4,4; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 2,38-40; Plut. Romulus 17,2-4). The war with Rome was settled when Romulus [1] and T. concluded a treaty ( foedus; Cic. Rep. 2,13; Verg. Aen. 8,635-641; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 2,46,1 f.). The two ruled the city toge…

Deluge, legend of the

(716 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient In Mesopotamia, the legend of the deluge is preserved in a Sumerian as well as an Akkadian version; the Akkadian one is transmitted in 17th-cent. BC copies of the  Atraḫasīs myth[3. 612-645]. Extensive passages reappear verbatim on the 11th tablet of the recension of the Epic of  Gilgamesh from Niniveh [3. 728-738], and the myth is later also transmitted by  Berosus [1. 20 f.]. The gods perceive the noisy behaviour of the humans as hubris, causing them to eliminate …

Melite

(761 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel) | Lohmann, Hans (Bochum) | Strauch, Daniel (Berlin) | Kalcyk, Hansjörg (Petershausen) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg)
(Μελίτη; Melítē). [German version] [1] Oceanid Oceanid, playmate of Persephone's (Hom. H. 2, 419). Stenger, Jan (Kiel) [German version] [2] Nereid Nereid (Hom. Il. 18,42; Hes. Theog. 247; Verg. Aen. 5,825). She is present on Attic vases at the struggle between Peleus and Thetis [1]. Stenger, Jan (Kiel) [German version] [3] Naiad Naiad ( Nymphs), daughter of the river-god Aegaeus. When Hercules comes to the land of the Phaeacians to atone for the murder of his children, he fathers a son, Hyllus [2], by M. (Apoll. Rhod. 4,537ff.). Stenger, Jan (Kiel) [German version] [4] Lover of Hercules Dau…

Rhipaia orē

(470 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] (Ῥιπαῖα ὄρη; Rhipaîa órē). Mythical chain of mountains on the northern edge of the world, already known from Alcm. fr. 90 PMGF with a somewhat different name form. Sophocles, who used it to denote the north (Soph. OC 1248 with schol.; cf. Aesch. TrGF 3 F 68), also knew it as Rhípai. Both these authors, and others as well, associate the Rhipaia orē (RO) with night (Nyx). This has its roots in speculations about the path of the sun: according to a commonly held theory, the sun goes around the Earth after setting, but in doing so is …
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