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Papyri, Literary

(5,168 words)

Author(s): Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich) | Harder, Annette
Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich) [German version] A. Introduction (CT) Papyrus was the most important writing material in Antiquity [13]; it was also used for administrative and personal purposes (the so-called documentary papyri) and for the transcription of literary texts by Greeks who had settled in Egypt following the conquests of Alexander the Great. From ca. 300 BC to ca. 700 AD Greek texts were written on papyri in Egypt, and these papyri were preserved, re-used (for other texts or for use as wrap…

Myrrha

(212 words)

Author(s): Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich)
[German version] (Μύρρα; Mýrrha). Daughter of the Cyprian king Cinyras and Cenchreis or of the Assyrian king Theias. The gods' anger causes her to fall in love with her father. She is able to have sexual intercourse with him without being recognized, and becomes pregnant. When he recognizes her he tries to kill her; Zeus or Aphrodite takes pity on her and transforms her into a tree; her tears are the resin of the myrrh tree. Later Adonis is born from that tree (Apollod. 3,183f. = Panyassis fr. 27 B…

Scylla

(385 words)

Author(s): Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich)
(Σκύλλα/ Skýlla, Σκύλλη/ Skýllē, Lat. Scylla). [German version] [1] Sea monster Sea monster, daughter of Crataeis or Hecate and Phorcys; originally a young woman, transformed by Circe, Amphitrite or Poseidon into a monster (Hom. Od. 12,73-92; Anaxilas fr. 22,4 PCG 2; Verg. Ecl. 6,74-77; Verg. Aen. 3,426-432; Isid. Orig. 11,3,32; Them. Or. 22,279b-d compares the various depictions) out of jealousy when she was wooed by Glaucus [1] (Ov. Met. 13,900-968; 14,1-74; Hyg. Fab. 199). S. lived in a cave opposite Ch…

Helena

(1,535 words)

Author(s): Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich) | Bleckmann, Bruno (Strasbourg) | Hoesch, Nicola (Munich) | Lohmann, Hans (Bochum)
(Ἑλένη; Helénē, Lat. Helena). [German version] [1] Beautiful wife of Menelaus ('Helen of Troy') Goddess who was worshipped at various cult sites in and around Sparta, especially in the Menelaion in  Therapne (Hdt. 6,61; Paus. 3,15,3; Hsch. s.v. Ἑλένεια, [1]). In  Rhodes she had a cult as H. Dendritis (Paus. 3,19,10), in  Cenchreae and  Chios she is attested as a deity of springs (Paus. 2,2,3; Steph. Byz. s.v. Ἑλένη). There is no completely reliable etymology for her name [2. 63-80]. For evidence of her cult i…

Niobe

(1,303 words)

Author(s): Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich) | Bäbler, Balbina (Göttingen)
(Νιόβη/ Nióbē, Lat. Nioba). [German version] I. Mythology Daughter of Tantalus and Dione or Euryanassa (Hyg. Fab. 9, schol. Eur. Or. 4) and wife of Amphion [1] (Hes. fr. 183 M./W.). The oldest version of the myth is found in Hom. Il. 24,602-617 in the form of a comparison by which Achilles seeks to induce Priam to overcome his grief over his son's death just as N. did. N.'s children, the Niobids (Νιοβίδαι/ Niobídai, Lat. Niobidae), were killed by Apollo and Artemis after N. boasted of her superiority to their mother, Leto, because Leto had borne only two children, whil…

Atalante

(536 words)

Author(s): Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Ἀταλάντη; Atalántē). [German version] A. Myth Mythological daughter of Schoeneus or of Iasius and Clymene. In a Boeotian version she is allowed to remain a virgin, but to do so she has to defeat all suitors in a race (Hyg. Fab. 185).  Hippomenes receives three golden apples from Aphrodite, which he drops in A.'s way during the competition, and which she picks up (Hes. fr. 72-76 M-W, Ov. Met. 10.560-680), whereby he wins. The pair consummate their union in a sanctuary of Cybele or Zeus and are, as pu…

Hermione

(132 words)

Author(s): Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich)
[German version] (Ἑρμιόνη; Hermiónē). Daughter of  Helene and  Menelaus (Hom. Od. 4,12ff.), sister of Nicostratus (Hes. fr. 175 M-W). According to one version of the myth, Menelaus promises her to  Neoptolemus outside the gates of Troy (Hom. Od. 4,3ff.), in another version she is promised to  Orestes before the war (Soph. Hermione TrGF 4, 192f.; Eur. Andr. 966ff.; Ov. Epist. 8, slightly different in Eur. Or. 1653ff.). Neoptolemus abducts her but is killed by Orestes (Eur. Andr. 993ff.; 1085ff.; Hyg…

Andromeda

(183 words)

Author(s): Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich)
[German version] (Ἀνδρομέδα; Androméda). Daughter of  Cepheus king of the Cephenes or Aethiopians, and  Cassiepea (Apollod. 2,43), who boasted that she was as beautiful as the Nereids. This angered Poseidon, who sent tidal waves and a sea monster onto the shore. An oracle then promises release from the plague, if A. would surrender herself to the sea monster. Cepheus then has A. bound to a rock at the shore, where  Perseus sees her on his return after the Gorgon adventure. After she promises to go …

Praxithea

(249 words)

Author(s): Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich)
(Πραξιθέα/ Praxithéa). [German version] [1] Wife of Erechtheus Daughter or granddaughter of Cephisus; on the one hand, she is the wife of Erechtheus (Demaratus FGrH 42 F 4) and mother of several children (amongst them Creusa [2], Oreithyia, Procris); on the other, the wife of Erichthonius [1] and mother of Pandion [1] (Apollod. 3,190; Φρασιθέα/ Phrasithéa Tzetz. Chil. 1,174). According to an oracle, Erechtheus can only win the war against Eumolpus after sacrificing one of his daughters. In his play 'Erechtheus', Euripides allows P. to give detailed …

Galatea

(385 words)

Author(s): Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich)
(Γαλατεία; Galateía). [German version] [1] Nereid Nereid, daughter of  Nereus and  Doris (Hom. Il. 18,45; Hes. Theog. 250; Apollod. 1,11), whose name probably refers to the milky-white colour, i.e. either to sea-foam or milk in its important role in pasture farming (Lucian 14,3; Eust. 1131,5 ad Hom. Il. 18,42). In Sicily, G. was venerated as the protector of herds (Duris FGrH 76 F 58). The love story between the Cyclops  Polyphemus and G. also originates from Sicily (Prop. 3,2,7f.; Nonnus, Dion. 39,25…

Lanassa

(170 words)

Author(s): Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich) | Meister, Klaus (Berlin)
(Λάνασσα; Lánassa). [German version] [1] Ancestress of the Molossian dynasty Daughter of Cleodaeus, granddaughter of Hyllus, great-granddaughter of Hercules [1], ancestress of the Molossian dynasty of Epirus (Plut. Pyrrhus 1,2; Lysimachus, FGrH 382 F 10). Neoptolemus abducts her from the Zeus temple of Dodona, marries her and has eight children with her, among them Pyrrhus (Iust. 17,3,4). Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich) Bibliography P. Levêque, Pyrrhos, 1957, 643 M. Schmidt, s.v. L., RE 12, 617. [German version] [2] Wife of Pyrrhus and Demetrius Poliorcetes, 3rd cent. BC Daughter…

Alcmene

(274 words)

Author(s): Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich)
[German version] (Ἀλκμήνη; Alkmḗnē). Daughter of king Electryon of Mycenae or Tiryns and of Lysidice, Eurydice or Anaxo (Hes.scut.3; Diod. Sic. 4,9,1; Apollod. 2,52). She marries  Amphitryon, who kills Electryon and has to flee with A. The marriage is to be consumated only after Amphitryon has avenged A.'s brother, who died in battle (Apollod. 2,55). He leaves, and Zeus comes in his form to A., tells of the victory and conceives  Hercules with her (Pind. Isthm. 7,5 ff.; Pherec. FGrH 3 F 69; Plaut. …

Hippolyte

(215 words)

Author(s): Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich)
(Ἱππολύτη). [English version] [1] Amazone, Tochter des Ares Amazone im Herakles- und Theseusmythos, Tochter des Ares und der Otrere. Herakles soll ihr im Auftrag des Eurystheus den Gürtel des Ares rauben (Apoll. Rhod. 2,778ff.; 966ff.; Hyg. fab. 30; Apollod. 2,98). In einigen Quellen tötet er dabei H. (Eur. Herc. 407ff.). Im Theseusmythos konkurriert H. mit Antiope [2] und Glauke [3] als Gemahlin des Theseus (Isokr. or. 12,193; Plut. Theseus 27,5,13). Theseus raubt H. und zeugt mit…

Tecmessa

(108 words)

Author(s): Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich)
[German version] (Τέκμησσα/ Tékmēssa, Latin Tecmessa). Phrygian princess, given to Ajax [1] as a prize (Hom. Il. 1,138). With her he fathers Eurysaces. In Soph.  Aj. the character of T. is developed for the first time, her relationship with Ajax is defined by mutual respect and fidelity (Dictys 2,18; Quint. Smyrn. 5,521-567). Roman tragedy writers also took an interest in the subject, as did Horace (Carm. 2,4,5f.) and Ovid (Ars am. 3,517-520). Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich) Bibliography J. Boardman, s. v. T., LIMC 7.1, 832  E. Oberhummer, s. v. T. (1), RE 5 A, 157 f.  K. Synodinu, T…

Oreithyia

(238 words)

Author(s): Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich)
[German version] (Ὠρείθυια/ Ōreíthyia). Mentioned in Homer (Il. 18,48) as a Nereid, but not in Hesiod's catalogue of Nereids (Theog. 240ff., Apollod. 1,11f.). Her name ('storming in the mountains') suggests she is a 'bride of the wind'. In Attic mythology, she is the daughter of the Attic king Erechtheus and of Praxithea. O. is abducted to Thrace by the wind god Boreas, who makes her his wife (Hdt. 7.189; Verg. G. 4,463). Their children are Cleopatra [I 1] and Chione [1] as well as Calais and Zetes…

Polyxena

(391 words)

Author(s): Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich)
[German version] (Πολυξένη/ Polyxénē, Latin Polyxena). Daughter of Priamus and Hecabe. In the Cypria (PEG I fr. 34) she is killed by Odysseus and Diomedes [1] and buried by Neoptolemus [1]. Another tradition tells of her being sacrificed by the Greeks on Achilles’ [1] grave (Iliupersis argumentum PEG I p. 89; Hyg. Fab. 110; Apollod. epit. 5,23), because his spirit demands the sacrifice (Eur. Hec. 37-41; 107-115; Ov. Met. 13,441-448; Quint. Smyrn 14,234-245) and threatens to prevent the Greek fleet from retur…

Themisto

(137 words)

Author(s): Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich)
(Θεμιστώ; Themistṓ). [German version] [1] Daughter of the Lapith Hypseus Daughter of the Lapith Hypseus, third wife of Athamas (Herodoros 31 F 38 FGrH; Apollod. 1,84; Ath. 13,560d; Nonn. Dion. 9,305-307; Tzetz. Lykophr. 22), who is the father of her several children. Her predecessors were Nephele [1] and Ino. When the latter returns, T., tries to kill her children (Hyg. Fab. 4,239, otherwise in Fab. 1). By means of a change of clothing Ino causes T. to kill her own children, whereupon T. takes her own life. Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich) [German version] [2] Ancestor of the Arcadians Daught…

Electra

(491 words)

Author(s): Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich)
(Ἠλέκτρα; Ēléktra). [German version] [1] Daughter of Oceanus and Tethys The daughter of  Oceanus and  Tethys; wife of Thaumas, mother of  Iris and the  harpies Aello and Ocypete (Hes. Theog. 265ff.; 349; Hom. H. 2,418; Apollod. 1,10). Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich) [German version] [2] Daughter of Danaus and the Naiad Polyxo The daughter of  Danaus and the Naiad Polyxo (Apollod. 2,19; Hyg. Fab. 170). Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich) [German version] [3] Daughter of Atlas and Pleione The daughter of  Atlas and Pleione. One of the  Pleiades. E.'s place of birth is the Cyl…

Penelope

(1,077 words)

Author(s): Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich)
[German version] (Πηνελόπη/ Pēnelópē, Homeric: Πηνελόπεια/ Pēnelópeia, Latin Penelope, Penelopa). Wife of Odysseus. From antiquity, her name has been interpreted in two ways: according to one, P. means 'weaveress', in reference to the typical female activity which plays such a central role in the Odyssey, while according to the other, her name is derived from pēnélops ('duck'), with the explanation that she had allegedly been thrown into the sea by her parents and had been saved by ducks. For an etymological explanation of P.'s name, see [1]. P. was the daughter of the Arcadian ki…

Alcestis

(207 words)

Author(s): Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich)
[German version] (Ἄλκηστις; Alkēstis). Daughter of  Pelias and Anaxibie (Hom. Il. 2,714). Her participation in the supposed rejuvenation of Pelias (Diod. Sic. 4,52,2; 53,2; Hyg. Fab. 24) does not fit with A.'s hand being asked of Pelias by  Admetus of Pherae -- which with Apollo's help was successful. Admetus can only escape the death he is to suffer, according to later sources (Apollod. 1,105) because of a neglected sacrifice, if someone dies in his place. Only A. declares herself prepared to do t…
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