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Mantichoras

(127 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] (μαντιχώρας; mantichṓras, also martichoras, μαρτιχώρας; martichṓras). According to Ctesias (in Aristot. Hist. an. 2,1, 501a 24ff.), an Indian animal with the body of a lion and the face of a human, with three rows of teeth. The fur was vermilion and the tail was shaped like a scorpion's so that the mantichoras could shoot deadly spines like arrows. The voice sounded like a mixture of a shepherd's pipe and trumpet. The mantichoras is described as fast, wild and man-eating (the meaning of the name, which is of Persian origin; cf. Ael. NA 4,21). Accordi…

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)

Peleus

(787 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] (Πηλεύς; Pēleús). Son of Aeacus (Hom. Il. 21,189) and the daughter of Chiron, Endeis, brother of Telamon (Ov. Met. 7,476f.; cf. Pind. P. 8,100; in Pherecydes FGrH 3 F 60, they are only friends), husband of the Nereid Thetis, father of Achilles [1]. As P. and Telamon intentionally kill their half-brother Phocus (Alcmaeonis F 1 EpGF; Apollod. 3,160), they are banished from their homeland of Aegina by Aeacus. P. goes to Phthia, to Eurytion [4] who purifies him and gives him his daught…

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,…

Lytaea

(53 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] (Λυταία; Lytaía). One of the Hyacinthides. L., together with her sisters Antheis, Aigleis and Orthaea, is sacrificed in Athens on the grave of Geraestus, the Cyclops, when the city is under siege by Minos and suffering from hunger and plague (Apollod. 3,212; cf. Diod. Sic. 17,15,2). Stenger, Jan (Kiel)

Menoetius

(182 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel) | Ameling, Walter (Jena)
(Μενοίτιος; Menoítios). [German version] [1] Son of Actor and Aegina Son of Actor [1] and Aegina, who settled in Opus (Pind. Ol. 9,69f.); husband of Sthenele (or Periopis or Polymele), father of Patroclus and Myrto (Apollod. 3,13,8; Plut. Aristeides 20,7). In the Ilias M. is designated as hḗrōs (Hom. Il. 11,771; 18,325). When Patroclus killed Cleitonymus, son of Aphidamas, in battle, M. fled with him to Peleus in Phthia. From there, he sent his son to Troy, in support of Achilles [1] (Hom. Il. 23,83ff.; 11,765ff.). M. himself remained in Pht…

Minotaurus

(461 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] (Μινώταυρος; Minṓtauros). Hybrid of man and bull (probably as early as in Hes. Cat. 145), with the animal half generally more prominent. The Minotaur is the product of the union of Pasiphae, the wife of Minos, with the bull that Poseidon sends Minos to consolidate his rule. Daedalus [1] prepares Pasiphae a hollow wooden cow as a disguise to enable congress with the bull (Bakchyl. 26). Minos shuts the resulting Minotaur up in the Labyrinth, where either it is generally fed with huma…

Nemesis

(609 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] (Νέμεσις/ Némesis). Greek goddess and personification of retribution, avenger of hýbris , daughter of Nyx/Night (Hes. Theog. 223f.). As a mythical figure, N. played a role in the ‘Cypria (Kypria) as the mother of Helen [1]. Beset by aidṓs (shame) and némesis (a feeling of internal reluctance), N. tried to flee from Zeus, who pursued her over sea and land to mate with her. On her flight she transformed herself into all kinds of land and sea creatures (Cypria F 7 EpGF). When she had taken on the form of a goose, Zeus overc…

Philoctetes

(460 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] (Φιλοκτήτης/ Philoktḗtēs; Lat. Philoctetes). Thessalian hero, son of Poeas (Hom. Od. 3,190) and Demonassa (Hyg. Fab. 97,8); outstanding archer and companion of Heracles [1]. P. is distinguished by his bow, a token of thanks from Heracles for igniting his funeral pyre on Mt. Oeta (Soph. Phil. 801-803). In Apollod. 3,131 and Hyg. Fab. 81, P. is counted among the suitors of Helena [1]. Party, with seven ships, to the Greek campaign against Troy (Hom. Il. 2,716-725), he is bitten by a sn…

Metaneira

(182 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel) | Schmitz, Winfried (Bielefeld)
(Μετάνειρα; Metáneira). [German version] [1] Wife of the Eleusinian king Keleos Wife of the Eleusinian king Celeus (according to schol. Eur. Or. 964 of Hippothoon), mother of Demophon [1] and of several daughters. Metaneira takes Demeter, who is looking for Persephone, into her house and entrusts her little son, Demophon, to her care. However she unwittingly disturbs the goddess who is trying to make the child immortal in the fire, and Demeter pulls away from him (Hom. h. 2,185-291; Ov. fast. 4,507ff., in …

Meges

(93 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] (Μέγης/M égēs). Son of Phyleus, sailed with 40 ships from Dulichium to Troy (Hom. Il. 2,625ff.), where he killed several enemies (e.g. ibid. 5,69; Q. Smyrn. 1,276ff.). He is one of Odysseus's men who fetched the propitiatory gifts for Achilles from Agamemnon's tent (Hom. Il. 19,238ff.), and one of those in the Wooden Horse (Quint. Smyrn. 12,326). M. is also mentioned as one of Helen's suitors (Apollod. 3,129). According to Apollod. Epitome 6,15a he is one of the many who died on Euboea during the return voyage. …

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…
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