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Charites (Graces)

(602 words)

Author(s): Schachter, Albert (Montreal)
[German version] (Χάριτες; Chárites). Group of goddesses who embody beauty, happiness and abundance. They appear for the first time in Homer, where their number, like that of the Muses is ambiguous; it is however clear that more than one existed and that not all were of the same age. Hera promises Hypnos that she will give him as his wife Pasithee, one of the younger Charites, whom he desires (Hom. Il. 14,267-276). In Il. 18,382f. one Charis is also the wife of Hephaestus, who is actually married t…

Daphnephoria

(388 words)

Author(s): Schachter, Albert (Montreal)
[German version] (Δαφνηφορία; Daphnēphoría). A ritual carried out everywhere Apollo bore the epithet daphnēphóros (‘branch wearer’) (e.g. IG IX 2, 1027). Only the Theban ritual has been verified; the sources are Pindar, Proclus and Pausanias, who each deal with a different stage in the process. The most detailed description is by Proclus, who explains the daphnephoric ode sung by a girls' chorus (Photius 321a-321b). The ritual is supposed to have been held on an enneaeteric basis (every ninth year). A paîs amphithalḗs (‘child flourishing on both sides’) led the procession; b…

Aedon

(137 words)

Author(s): Schachter, Albert (Montreal)
[German version] (Ἀηδών; Aēdṓn). Daughter of Pandareus, who out of jealousy towards Niobe tried to murder her oldest nephew. But she inadvertently killed her and Zethus' son, Itylus/Itys and was changed into a nightingale (Hom. Od. 19,518-523) [1]. Theban version of the story of Procne and Philomela: Hes. Op. 568 and Sappho fr. 130 V; Attic version: Soph. Tereus: TrGF 4 p. 435-437 and Apollod. 3,193 [2]. Ant. Lib. 11 transfers the incident to Ephesus. A. designates the personified nightingale. Olde…

Athamas

(357 words)

Author(s): Schachter, Albert (Montreal)
[German version] (Ἀθάμας; Athámas). Son of the elder  Aeolus and Enarete, born in Thessaly (Apollod. 1,51), ruled in Halus and Orchomenus and was married to Nephele, Cadmus' daughter  Ino and Hypseus' daughter Themisto. The preserved myth stems at least partly from lost plays of Aeschylus (TrGF 3.1-4), Soph. (TrGF 4.1-10; 721-723) and Eur. (TGF 398-427; 819-838). Since the curse on A.'s house is mentioned in Hdt. 7,197, one can assume that the myth came from northern Greece to Athens during the time of the Persian Wars. Because Ino wanted to get rid of her stepchildren, she let t…

Boeotus

(326 words)

Author(s): Schachter, Albert (Montreal)
[German version] (Βοιωτός; Boiōtós). Ancestor of the Boeoti, defies precise identification. Only two genealogies connect him to the region that bears his name. According to Hellanicus (FGrH 4F51) and others [1], he was the son of Poseidon and Arne (who gave her name to the original homeland of the Boeoti). In Paus. (9,1,1) B. is the son of Itonus and Melanippe. One of the two is probably father of Onchestus (Hes. fr. 219 M-W). The myth passed down to us seems to go back no further than two lost pla…

Ares

(1,791 words)

Author(s): Schachter, Albert (Montreal) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Ἄρης; Árēs). [German version] A. Genealogy Son of Zeus and Hera (Hes. Theog. 921-923; Homer [1], cf. Apollod. 1,13). Forms the connection, together with his sisters Eilithyia and Hebe, of the divine embodiment of the beginning, high point and often violent end of life. Eris, the daughter of Zeus and Hera, is another of A.'s sisters (Hom. Il. 4,440 f.), but Hesiod states (Theog. 225) that she is the daughter of Nyx. Zeus calls A. the most hated of the Olympians (Hom. Il. 5,890) and blames his uncontrollable and relentless spirit on his mother Hera (Hom. Il. 5,892 f.). Schachter, Albert (Mon…

Aristaeus

(716 words)

Author(s): Schachter, Albert (Montreal) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
(Αρισταιο̃ς; Aristaîos). [German version] [1] Greek rural deity Rural deity linked with sheep, the discovery of olive oil and honey, hunting, healing, prophecy and the end- ing of a period of drought on Ceos (cf. Apoll. Rhod. 2,500 ff.). In literature he is famous for the death of his bees, which occurred because he was responsible for the death of  Euridices, and he successfully searched for ways to restore the bee populations (Verg. G. 4,315-558). A. is a complex figure who can be found in Central Greece, in Arcadia, on Ceos and in Cyrene. He was the husband of Auto…

Amphion

(378 words)

Author(s): Schachter, Albert (Montreal) | Neudecker, Richard (Rome)
(Ἀμφίων; Amphíōn). [German version] [1] Son of Zeus and of Antiope Son of Zeus and of Antiope, daughter of Asopus, twin brother of Zethus (Hom. Od. 11,260-265). He built a wall around Thebes, by enchanting the stones with his lyre-playing (Hes. fr. 182 M-W). A. married Niobe, daughter of Tantalus (Hes. fr. 183). After the death of their children A. attacked the temple of Apollo and was killed by Apollo's arrows (Hyg. Fab. 9). Ovid (Met. 6,271 f.) has him commit suicide, according to Lucian (Salt. 41) he go…

Amphiaraus

(262 words)

Author(s): Schachter, Albert (Montreal)
[German version] (Ἀμφιάραος; Amphiáraos). Argive seer. Although he knew that the expedition of the Seven against Thebes was doomed to failure, he had to acquiesce to the judgement of his wife Eriphyle, who had been bribed by Polyneices with the necklace of Harmonia. According to Homer (Od. 15,243-255), A. died in Thebes. (Genealogy: Pind. Pyth. 8,39; Diod. Sic. 4,68,4 f.) According to a second version (possibly Thebaïs EpGF fr. 9), A. was hurled with his chariot into a crevice in the earth opened up by Zeus (representation [2]). A. participated in the funerary games for Pelias (St…

Abas

(302 words)

Author(s): Schachter, Albert (Montreal) | Nutton, Vivian (London)
(Ἄβας). [German version] [1] Figure from Myth of the Peloponnese and central Greece Myth of the Peloponnese and central Greece: a) Argus. Son of Lynceus and Hypermestra. By Aglaea, daughter of Mantineus, father of the twins Acrisius and Proetus (Apollod. 2,24; Hes. fr. 129 M-W; cf. Paus. 2,16,2; 10,35,1) and Idomene, mother of Bias and Melampus by Amythaon (Apollod. 2,24). Lynceus gave A. the shield, consecrated by Danaus to Hera, and for whose festival he had established the agon ἄσπις ἐν Ἄργει (Hyg. Fab. 1…

Actaeon

(297 words)

Author(s): Schachter, Albert (Montreal)
[German version] (Ἀκταίων; Aktaíōn). a) Theban: son of Aristaeus, son of Apollo and Cyrene, and Autonoe, daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia (Hes. fr. 217 A; Eur. Bacch. 230). b) Attica: mythical king and eponym of Attica (Str. 9,1,18; Paus. 1,2,6: Actaeus). Variants of a): 1. A. rapes Semele; consequently Zeus sends Artemis to set A.'s dogs on him. A. is torn to pieces. (Hes. fr. 217, cf. 346; Stesich. fr. 236 PMG; Acusilaus FGrH 2 F 33; Apollod. 3,31). 2. A. is killed, because he boasts that he is a …

Alcmaeon

(821 words)

Author(s): Schachter, Albert (Montreal) | Stein-Hölkeskamp, Elke (Cologne) | Bodnár, István (Budapest)
(Ἀλκμαίων; Alkmaíōn). [German version] [1] Figure of Greek myth: son of Amphiaraus Son of Amphiaraus and  Eriphyle (Apollod. 3,81; Hes. fr. 198 M-W, cf. 197; traditions, see [1; 2]). He avenged his father with his younger brother Amphilochus by murdering Eriphyle. A. went insane and wandered erratically through the Peloponnese and north-western Greece (Eur. TGF 65, 87). In Psophis he was healed by Phegeus, and married his daughter Arsinoe, to whom he gave Eriphyle's ill-fated necklace and veil. The land bec…