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Allegory

(1,080 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] ἀλληγορία ( allēgoría; first documented as a rhetorical term in Cic. Att. 2,20,3), from ἀλληγορέω ( allēgoréō; ‘I say something other [than I mean]’); Lat. translatio, inversio, immutatio, permutatio. In rhetoric, allegory does not refer to a hermeneutical method ( Allegorical poetry,  Allegoresis). Instead, rhetoric deals with the production of allegories and with their effectiveness as a strategy of argumentation (  argumentatio ). However, the rhetorical treatment of allegory also faces fundamental questions of languag…

Polyhymnia

(134 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Πολύμνια/ Polýmnia, less often Πολυύμνια/ Polyýmnia, one 'with many songs' or 'polyphonic choral song'; cf. Diod. Sic. 4,7,2 ff.). One of the nine canonical Muses, seldom mentioned individually in verse (Ov. Fast. 5,9-54). Despite her unambiguous name, her sphere of activity is non-specific and multifaceted. In Horace (Carm. 1,1), P. is to be understood as a Muse who immortalizes great matters with great songs. She is known as the inventor of the lyre (schol. Apoll. Rhod. 3,1-5a) and …

Senecta, Senectus

(58 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Latin 'old age'; Greek Γῆρας/ Gḗras). Daughter of Erebus and Nyx/Night (Cic. Nat. D. 3,17,44), personification of old age (Hor. Epod. 8,4), often mentioned in connection with illnesses and human suffering (cf. Sen. Epist. 108,28: “senectus enim morbus est”): Verg. Aen. 6,275; Sen. Herc. f. 696; Sil. Pun. 13,583 et passim. Walde, Christine (Basle)

Leimone

(11 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] Daughter of Hippomenes [2]. Walde, Christine (Basle)

Cerambus

(110 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Κέραμβος, Kérambos). Son of Euseirus (son of Poseidon) and the nymph Eidothea; a shepherd on the Othrys, he invents the panpipes and the lyre, and his playing sets the nymphs dancing. He does not follow Pan's advice to flee from the imminent, icy cold winter. C. and his flock freeze to death under the mass of snow. The nymphs transform him into a beetle with long feelers resembling a lyre (Antoninus Liberalis 22; Cerambyx: stag beetle; cf. Hsch. s.v. Κεράμβυξ). However Ovid in con…

Cambles

(86 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Κάμβλης; Kámblēs, also Κάμβης; Kámbēs). Mythological king of Lydia. His insatiable appetite (perhaps caused by poison given to him by his enemies) drives him to cannibalism. Driven mad by hunger, he devours even his own wife. Upon waking the next morning with the rest of her hand in his mouth and realizing what he had done, he kills himself (Xanthus, Lydiaca, fr. 12., FHG vol. I, 36ff.; Nicolaus of Damascus FGrH 2 A 90 F 28; Ael. VH 1,27). Walde, Christine (Basle)

Speeches, Genres of

(10,896 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
Walde, Christine (Basle) [German version] A. Definition and Historical Overview of the Development of the Genres of Speech (CT) Already in the epics of Homer, the Attic tragedies, among historiographers and in philosophy, the prominent areas of public speech become crystallised in reflection, however sublimated, of socio-cultural reality: speeches of advice, defence and accusation, epitaphs and encomia. Yet it was Aristotle, in his Rhetoric (Book I), who created the first reference text, influential to this day, of a canonic threefold division of the genres of speech (Greek: génē …

Celmis

(81 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Κέλμις, Kélmis; older form evidently Σκέλμις in Callim. Fr. 100,1 Pf. and Nonnus, Dion. 14,39; 37,164). One of the  Daktyloi Idaioi skilled in the blacksmith's craft. Proverbially, C. ἐν σιδήρῳ (Zenob. 4,80) according to a passage in the Sophoclean satyr play Kōphoí (TGF, fr. 337 N.2) is used to describe excessively power-conscious persons. C., who is the playmate of the boy Zeus in Ovid (Met. 4,281f.), is transformed into steel because he reviles Rhea. Walde, Christine (Basle)

Hercules Oetaeus

(191 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] Roman tragedy by an unknown author, handed down in the corpus of  Seneca's tragedies. This drama, the longest in antiquity (1996 v.), has been subject to highly controversial assessments, mostly depending on whether Seneca's authorship is accepted or rejected (extremes [1] and [2], mediating [3]). The subject, the events leading up to the death of Hercules and his apotheosis, is treated originally, despite artistic and intelligent  intertextuality with Soph. Trach., Ovid (Epist. 9 and Met. 9) and to Seneca's Hercules Furens. The stylization of Hercules as sav…

Cerberus

(377 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Κέρβερος, Kérberos). A guard dog that belongs to the standard repertoire of the Graeco-Roman  Underworld who signals and prevents any unauthorized entry into, or departure from, the realm of the dead. He often appears at the side of  Hades and/or  Persephone. In the Hellenistic age C. in a changed form was also associated with the god  Sarapis (Macrob. Sat. 1,20,13-14). C. is mentioned for the first time -- although without a name or any more detailed description -- in Homer in connection with the adventures of  Hercules in the Underworld…

Celaeno

(85 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
(Κελαινώ, Kelainṓ, of κελαινός/‘dark’). [German version] [1] Lover of Poseidon One of the  Pleiades (Hes. fr. 275,2 Rzach; Ov. Fast. 4,173), by Poseidon mother of Lycus (Apollod. 3,111; Eratosth. Katasterismoi 23) and of Nycteus (Hyg. Poet. Astr. 2,21). Walde, Christine (Basle) [German version] [2] One of the Harpies One of the  Harpies living with the Strophades, who predicts to the Aeneads that they would devour their tables before the founding of the city (Verg. Aen. 3,209-258; cf. Val. Fl. 4,453ff.). Walde, Christine (Basle)

Morpheus

(110 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Μορφεύς). One of the many sons of Hypnus (of ‘Sleep’, Latin Somnus) who personify the dream life of people. With his brothers Icelus and Phantasus M. is responsible for the realistic form of dream images. M., who appears to Alcyone in the form of her dead husband Ceyx, in particular, became proverbial in the tradition of Ovid (‘lie in M.'s arms’). The ‘dream artists’, mentioned only by Ovid (Met. 11,633-676) in his description of the caves of sleep localised in Cimmeria, are amon…

Ceyx

(253 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] ( Κήϋξ; Kḗyx). Son of Hesperus and Philonis (Apollod. 1,7,4), king of  Trachis. C. grants asylum to Hercules in his flight from Calydon, who went from there to his death on the Oeta, and to his spouse Deianira (Apollod. 2,7,6; Diod. Sic. 4,57,1). C. later also receives the Heraclides, whom he must however send on their way (Hecataeus FGrH 1 F 30). C.'s life is marked by blows of fate: his son Hippasus participates in Hercules' campaign against Oechalia and loses his life (Apollod. 2…

Melpomene

(133 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Μελπομένη/ Melpoménē; Lat. Melpomena; descriptive name: ‘she who sings’; cf. Diod. Sic. 4,7: M. because of the melody that affects the listeners). One of the nine Muses (Hes. Theog. 77). According to Achelous [2], she is the mother of the Sirens (Apollod. Ep. 7,18). For a long time, M. remains the least specific and most rarely mentioned Muse. She is regarded as the patron of tragedy, especially of the lyric choral parts, and is depicted with, among other things, theatrical masks (c…

Momos

(113 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Μῶμος/ Mômos). Greek personification of censoriousness, son of Nyx/Night (Hes. Theog. 214). In the Kýpria, M. is an advisor to Zeus (Kypria fr. 1 EpGF). Iulianus (Ep. 50) tells that M. was gripped by excessive rage, because he could find no fault with Aphrodite. After Callimachus, who often refers to him in his literary feuds as the embodiment of the stupid, carping caviller (e.g. Callim. H. 2,113; Callim. Fr. 393), M. is often mentioned in later literature (Lucian. Iuppiter tragoedus 19ff; Lucian. Verae historiae 2,3). In his Oneirokritiká (Artem. 4 pr.), the drea…

Obscuritas

(337 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] ('Lack of clarity' sc. of expression); corresponds with the Greek noun σκότος ( skótos, 'darkness') with the adjective σκοτεινός ( skoteinós); ἀσάφεια ( asápheia, 'unclearness'). Obscuritas is a central term in ancient rhetorical and literary-aesthetic discussions. For the Greeks, obscuritas has a positive connotation in the context of solemn inspirational mantic art and oracles in particular, but as a quality of the language of poetry , it is a matter of controversy. In the Frogs of Aristophanes, the archaic-obscure Aeschylus and the modern-perspicuous …

Thalia

(284 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
(Θάλεια/ Tháleia, Θαλία/ Thalía, Lat. Thalia; related to the Greek θάλλειν/ thállein, ‘to sprout, grow, thrive’, esp. in reference to fruit trees; cf. Diod. Sic. 4,7). Hesiod counts T. among (1) the Muses, (2) the Nereids and (3) the Charites; generally, she is related to the realm of fertility. Later literary references show a deliberately vague distinction between Muses and Charites. [German version] [1] Muse One of the Muses (Hes. Theog. 77), associated with comedies (e.g. Anth. Pal. 9,504; attribute: comic theatre mask; ‘the light muse’, cf. T.-Theater, Hamburg) as well as mi…

Labyrinth

(1,193 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
(λαβύρινθος; labýrinthos, labyrinthus). [German version] A. The concept The term ‘labyrinth’ denotes in current usage either the labyrinth in the narrow sense; or in the broad sense, any maze or confusing, large building (especially since the Hellenistic period as a motif in literature or in the pictorial arts); or else in a figurative sense, it is used as a metaphor or allegory for the vagaries and deceptions of human life. This last sense can increasingly be observed after the 3rd cent. AD. Walde, Christine (Basle) [German version] B. The labyrinth in the narrow sense The labyrinth in …

Cyclopes

(334 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Greek Κύκλωπες; Kýklōpes, singular Κύκλωψ; Kýklōps, Latin Cyclopes, singular Cyclops; etymology see below). C. is the term used to describe about 18 groups or individual figures in Greek myth who differ not just in their descent and location but also in their outward form and characteristics. As early as antiquity, Hellanicus (FGrH 4 F 88) was the first to undertake systematization and to attempt to trace them back to a single ancestor, Cyclops, son of  Uranus and/or the king of Thrace (Schol. Eur. Or. 965). People distinguished in particular between: 1. the C. w…

Metamorphosis

(1,201 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
Terminology: Greek μεταμόρφωσις ( metamórphōsis; ‘transformation’); Latin transfiguratio, mutatio, with the verbs mutare, refigurari, transformare. [German version] A. Definition Metamorphoses are specific types of myths, particularly widespread in Ancient Greece, whence they found their way into Roman literature. Two types may be distinguished: (1) temporary transformations of gods (for instance Zeus in various erotic adventures), magicians, or tricksters for deceptive purposes, etc.; (2) lasting transformations …
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