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Eileithyia

(429 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Εἰλειθυία; Eileithyíai, Doric Ἐλευθ(υ)ία; Eleuth(y)ía, Mycenaean in Knosos e-reu-ti-ja). Greek goddess, worshipped almost exclusively by women in the context of pregnancy and birth, also in the context of children's and women's diseases (Diod. Sic. 5,73,4; [1]). Already known by Homer in this function (μογοστόκος, ‘concerned with the effort of giving birth’, Hom. Il. 16,187). The name itself seems to be telling ─ it can be connected with eleuth-, ‘to go, to come’ [2]. She has almost no independent myths: she was born at her important cult centre…

Bootes

(237 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Βοώτης; Boṓtēs). (‘Ox-driver’) One of the names of a constellation near that of Ursa Major; attested since Hom. Od. 5,272. If the latter constellation is thought of as a bear, the former, as its companion, is termed instead ‘bear-keeper’, Arktophylax (Arat. 91-83; Ov. Fast. 3,145; Manil. Astr. 1,316-318 etc.). Its brightest star is Arcturus (Arktouros), which occasionally gives its name to the whole constellation (Eratosth. Catast. 8). Various legends about the stars give a mythical background to the meaning of Bootes. 1. He is generally underst…

Epopteia

(205 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (ἐποπτεία; epopteía, ‘the seeing’). One of the levels of initiation into the  mysteries; whoever attained it, was epóptēs. In  Eleusis, whence the term originated, epopteia refers to the stage of initiation after the initial  myesis ─ epopteia either refers to the public ‘display’ during the celebration of the mysteries, in which myesis was the individual dedication which could take place outside of the celebrations, or rather a second facultative stage following on from the obligatory mýēsis [1; 2]. In any case, the term underlines the importance of vis…

Alcippe

(81 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(Ἀλκίππη; Alkíppē). Common woman's name in mythological epics. [German version] [1] Figure of Greek myth: daughter of Ares Daughter of Ares and Cecrop's daughter Agraulus, raped by  Halirrhotius (Apollod. 3,180), Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] [2] Figure of Greek myth: grandmother of Daedalus Grandmother of Daedalus, mother of Eupalamus by Metion (Apollod. 3,214). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] [3] Figure from the Iliad: slave of Helena A slave of Helena (Hom. Od. 4,124). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Catreus

(61 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Κατρεύς; Katreús). Son of  Minos and Pasiphae, eponym of the Cretan town Catre; he is killed by his son  Althaemenes, even though he fled to Rhodes to avoid his father who had been warned by an oracle (Apollod. 3,12-16); when his grandson  Menelaus takes part in his funeral, Paris kidnaps Helena (ibid. 3,3). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Argynnus

(45 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἄργυννος; Árgynnos). Beautiful Boeotian youth. Agamemnon fell in love with him in Aulis and forgot his army. When A. drowned in the Boeotian Cephisus, Agamemnon established an Aphrodite Argynnis cult (Phanocles fr. 5 Powell, cf. Prop. 3,7,22). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Aquaelicium

(184 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] ‘Luring the water’ (also aquilicium), is the general term for a Roman ritual for calling rain during periods of drought (Fest. s. v. Aquaelicium 2,24). Festus links this to a ritual that had become obsolete by his time, in which a lapis manalis (for manare, to flow, cf. Fest. 146,17) which otherwise lay outside the Porta Capena near the Temple of Mars, was brought into the town (Fest. 115,8). More lively are the petitioning processions to Jupiter the weather god, which are carried out with bare feet ( Nudipedalia) and hair …

Antiphates

(97 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀντιφάτης; Antiphátēs). King of the Laestrygones (Od. 10,100-132). Odysseus' three scouts are shown the way to the palace by A.'s daughter at the spring of Artacia. There the enormous queen calls her husband from the marketplace, who immediately devours one of the scouts; the other two escape. Behind the story of the cannibal and his wife there is probably a firm narrative tradition [1]. Later A. becomes a metaphor of the cruel household tyrant (Ov. Pont. 2,2,114; Juv. 14,20). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) Bibliography 1 U. Hölscher, Die Odyssee. Epos zw. Märchen u…

Kyrios

(1,013 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Theobald, Michael (Tübingen) | Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
(Κύριος; Kýrios, ‘lord’). I. Religion [German version] A. Pagan Addressing a deity felt to be powerful with ‘lord’ is widespread in Greek religious language. Since Homer, gods (especially Apollo and Zeus) can be addressed by the Mycenaean royal title anax (Ἄναξ), ‘king, lord’ [1]. A number of powerful goddesses (Cybele, Aphrodite, Artemis, Demeter and Persephone, Hecate, Isis) are since archaic times invoked as déspoina (Δέσποινα), ‘mistress’, and, somewhat more rarely, male gods as despótes (Δεσπότης) [2; 3]. Even though the archaic word anax is used only in epic and prayer …

Acheron

(499 words)

Author(s): Strauch, Daniel (Berlin) | Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(Ἀχέρων; Achérōn). [German version] [1] River in Epirus River in  Epirus, rising from the slopes of Tomarus [2. 166] (in the 4th cent. BC territory of the Molossi: Liv. 8,24,2), flows through the narrow gorges of Thesprotia (Thuc. 1,46,3); when it entered the plain its sluggish meanders formed in antiquity the swamp-like lake Ἀχερουσία λίμνη ( Acherousía límnē, today dried up). According to Str. 7,7,5 (as in Thuc. 1,46,3 based on Hecataeus [2. 443-469, 478]), it entered the sea near the γλυκὺς λιμήν ( glykỳs limḗn ‘Sweet-water harbour’, a station on the Roman   cursus publicus

Ischys

(59 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἰσχύς; Ischys). Husband (Hes. Fr. 30) or lover of Apollo's lover  Coronis. Apollo, who learns of the relationship through a raven, interprets it as adultery ( adulterium, Ov. Met. 2,545) and kills Coronis, who is pregnant with  Asclepius, but rescues the unborn child from the funeral pyre. (Pind. Pyth. 3,31-46; Apollod. 3,118). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Anaxilaus

(309 words)

Author(s): Meister, Klaus (Berlin) | Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(Ἀναξίλαος; Anaxílaos). [German version] [1] Tyrant of Rhegium (494-476 BC) Of Rhegium. Belonged to a family which emigrated from Messene to  Rhegium after the second Messenian War at the end of the 7th cent. BC. In 494 BC A. deposed the oligarchy of the 1,000 richest citizens in Rhegium (Aristot. fr. 611,55; Pol. 6,1316 a 38) and established there a personal rulership. A short while later he convinced the Samians and Milesians, who during their flight from the Persians were invited by the Zanclaeans to s…

Idas

(362 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἴδας; Ídas). Son of  Aphareus [1], king of Messene, and brother of  Lynceus. The Messenian pair of brothers is juxtaposed with the Spartan pair of brothers of the  Dioscuri as Apharetidai, reflecting the rivalries and disputes between Sparta and Messene. I. is characterized throughout as superhumanly strong (since Hom. Il. 9, 556) and quarrelsome, and is also regarded as son of Poseidon (Apollod. 3,117). While courting  Marpessa, the daughter of the river god Evenus at the same ti…

Amphithea

(95 words)

Ascalabus

(73 words)

Hephaestus

(1,821 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Ἥφαιστος; Hḗphaistos). [German version] I. Myth H., the son of  Hera, is the Greek god of fire, the smithy and of craftsmen; the name's etymology is unknown. H. is not documented in the Minoan-Mycenaean texts, even if a theophoric name appears in Mycenaean Knossos ( apaitijo, KN L 588; [1. 34f.]). In Homer, H. is closely connected with his element,  fire. He possesses fire, which is stereotyped as φλὸξ Ἡφαιστοίο (‘flame of H.’; Hom. Il. 9,468 etc.), and his name is used as a metonym for fire (Hom. Il. 2,426 etc., formula); at Hera's reque…

Agave

(121 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀγαύη; Agaúe). Daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia, spouse of Echion, mother of  Pentheus. She chides her sister  Semele, who had conceived Dionysus by Zeus and was consumed by lightning. Dionysus takes revenge on A., through getting her and her sisters to tear Pentheus, who opposes Dionysus, into pieces in a frenzy. Triumphantly A. carries the head of her son, whom she had thought to be a wild animal, to her home. A. is already a tragic figure in Aeschylus, but especially so in Eur. Bacchae (cf. also Ov. Met. 3,701 ff.). The artistic tradition also knows her in the…

Hemithea

(358 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἡμιθέα; Hēmithéa, ‘demigoddess’). Name of a healing goddess in Castabus on the Carian Chersonnese. Her sanctuary, whose archaeological traces go back to the late 7th cent. BC at the earliest, was expanded under Rhodian hegemony and achieved more than regional fame until the decline of Rhodes after 167 BC. In the sanctuary, patients received healing dreams through  incubation ( klísis, ‘incubation (room)’ in an inscription from c. 150 BC, SEG 14,690); H. also aided women in childbirth (Diod. Sic. 5,63). The cult forbade the use of wine and the …

Lapis

(355 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(stone) denotes various stones used for ritual purposes in Roman cult worship. [German version] [1] Silex kept in the sanctuary of Iuppiter on the Capitol A silex which was kept in the sanctuary of Iuppiter Feretrius on the Capitol (Fest. 81,18 L.) was of particular significance in some ancient oath ceremonies, which ran according to the principle, common in the swearing of oaths, of analogy in action [1]: a) The Fetiales concluded international treaties by killing a pig with the silex from the sanctuary of Iuppiter Feretrius, thereby calling down the same death upon themse…

Motif research

(484 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] is the study of the motif understood as the 'smallest unit of content' within traditional narratives (myth, legend, folktale [1]). Such a unit might be a plot (the burning of an object which is connected to a person's life will kill that person: Meleager [1]) or a characteristic person (the youngest son is the cleverest: Zeus). Motif research has long dominated the study of folk-tales and myths. However, a precise and standard definition of ‘motif’ and its distinction from related…
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