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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…

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…

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…

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…

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)

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 …

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…

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. Stenger, Jan (Kiel)

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…

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. …

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…

Mestor

(170 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
(Μήστωρ; Mḗstōr). [German version] [1] Son of Perseus and Andromeda The son of Perseus and Andromeda; the husband of Lysidice, a daughter of Pelops; and the father of Hippothoe. His great-great-grandson, the son of Pterelaus, was also named M. (Apollod. 2,4,5). Stenger, Jan (Kiel) [German version] [2] Son of Priam The son of Priamus, killed by Achilles on Mount Ida (Apollod. Epit. 3,32); Priamus laments his death in Hom. Il.24, 255ff. [1. 283f.]. In Dictys 6,9, M. accompanies Pyrrhus as a prisoner. Stenger, Jan (Kiel) [German version] [3] Son of Locrian Ajax, companion of Agamemnon A son …

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…
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