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Arete

(203 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)
[German version] [1] Wife and sister of the Phaeacian king  Alcinous (Ἀρήτη; Arḗtē). Wife and sister of the Phaeacian king  Alcinous (Hes. fr. 222). Her benevolence helped both Odysseus (Hom. Od. 7) and Jason and Medea: she mediated between the Argonauts and the Colchians (Apoll. Rhod. 4,1068-1120), married Jason to Medea (Apollod. 1,138 f.), and presented the couple with 12 female servants who jokingly teased the heroes during the wedding celebrations; an aition in the cult of Apollo Aigletes [1]. Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) Bibliography U. Hölscher, Das Schweigen der Arete, in…

Myth

(5,440 words)

Author(s): Erdbeer, Robert Matthias | Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
Erdbeer, Robert Matthias I. Concept (CT) A. Concept and Process (CT) [German version] 1. Myth and Mythology (CT) Different from ‘myth’, the term 'mythology' - an 'account' ( logos) of the deeds of gods and heroes - can either refer to the total store of traditional narratives ('myths') of an ethnic group; or, alternatively, it can refer to the 'reasoned knowledge' ( logos) of these mythical narratives and take the form of a scientific, critical examination and presentation, i.e. a 'theory of myth'. In reception history, however, the term 'mythos' (or 'myt…

Cynocephali

(74 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Κυνοκέφαλοι; Kynoképhaloi, ‘dog heads’) is the term for various fanciful frontier peoples; they settled in Libya (Hdt. 4,191), in Ethiopia (Aesch. fr. 603ab Mette; Str. 16,4,16) and in India (Ctesias, FGrH 688 F 45), and are considered to be particularly just and long-lived. The link between animal and ideal human traits typifies this utopian thought. Moreover the word also describes the baboons sacred to Egypt.  Monsters Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Predestination, theory of

(1,054 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Drecoll, Volker Henning (Münster)
[German version] I. General comments Predestination (Lat. praedestinatio, a Christian concept) is most precisely the Christian doctrine according to which history and individual lives are predetermined. A groundbreaking idea in the history of the Church resulting mainly from the dispute between Augustinus and the Pelagians (Pelagius [4]), its roots go back to the OT and Graeco-Roman philosophy and religion. It is, ultimately, the Christian version of a conflict, fundamental to most religious systems, b…

Aristodemus

(1,166 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Meier, Mischa (Bielefeld) | Meister, Klaus (Berlin) | Günther, Linda-Marie (Munich) | Montanari, Franco (Pisa)
(Ἀριστόδημος; Aristódēmos). [German version] [1] Great-grandson of Heracles Great-grandson of Hercules, one of the three Heraclids who led the Dorians into the Peloponnese. According to the widely known version of the myth (Pl. Leg. 3,692 bk.; Apollod. 2,173; Paus. 3,1,6), A. died before reaching the Peloponnese, leaving twin sons, Eurysthenes and Procles, who then received Laconia and became the founding fathers of both the royal houses of Sparta. According to Spartan tradition, A. himself led the Spar…

Faunus

(929 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
Roman god of the outdoors, early identified with the Greek  Pan. In poetry and especially in the figurative arts the two generally coincide: F., lover of the  Nymphs (Hor. Carm. 3,18,1) and insatiable erotomaniac [1], comes from Hellenistic mythology. F. does not have his own iconography [2; 3]. Like Pan, he is associated with forest and mountains as well as with goats and sheep. More his own is his role as originator of nightmares and numinous voices (and then generally as a seer), his association with the   Lupercalia and his integral place in the line of origi…

Chimaera

(190 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (χίμαιρα; chímaira). C., ‘goat’, is the Lycian monster, ‘lion in front, snake behind, and she-goat in the middle’ (Hom. Il. 6,181 = Lucr. 5,905), slain by  Bellerophon. It is the child of  Typhon by Echidna, mother of the  Sphinx (Phix: Hes. Theog. 319-326); a different tradition says it was reared by the Lycian Amisodarus (Hom. Il. 16,328). A firm component of the myth, since Homer, is that it breathes fire: according to Ov. Met. 9,647 and Apollod. 2,31 from the eponymous goat's h…

Achlis

(81 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version]  Elk-like animal of nordic countries (Scandinavia or Gangavia), known to the Romans only from hearsay. In the descriptions (Plin. HN 8,39; Solin. 20,3) zoological mirabilia of other animals (elk, elephant, rhinoceros) are mixed with possibly genuine memories of the giant deer, which died out in historical times. The Pliny report survives in the Song of the Nibelungs (16,937), where the achlis is replaced by the ‘Schelch’. Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) Bibliography W. Richter, A., in: Philologus 103, 1959, 281 ff.

Agapenor

(90 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀγαπήνωρ; Agapḗnōr). Son of Ancaeus (Hyg. Fab. 97), king in Tegea. In connection with the murder of  Alcmaeon [1], Arsinoe, the daughter of Phegeus, was brought to him by her brothers as a slave in a chest (Apollod. 3,90). A. was one of Helen's suitors (Apollod. 3,129) and led the Arcadians before Troy (Hom. Il. 2,609). On the return journey he came to Cyprus, where he founded Paphus and its sanctuary of Aphrodite (Paus. 8,5,2). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) Bibliography W. Kullmann, Die Quellen der Ilias, 1960, 97.

Fortuna

(1,739 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
The goddess of fortune with an ancient cult in Italy; in the Republican period mostly understood as favourable chance but later considered increasingly negative, at least in literature. The myth of her relationship to Servius  Tullius demonstrates that this deification of an abstraction is to be understood in the full personal meaning ( Personification).The multitude of her cultic specifications (lists: Plut. Mor. 281e; 322f.) makes a uniform interpretation of origin and function difficult (revi…

Alphesiboea

(24 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] Daughter of Phegeus of Psophis, possesses the necklace of Eriphyle (Paus. 2,24,8-10); also called  Arsinoe [3]. Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Agamede

(67 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀγαμήδη; Agamḗdē). Daughter of Augeias, wife of Mulius, like Medea, one with knowledge of healing herbs (Hom. Il. 11,740 f.; Eust. Dion. Per. 322). With Poseidon, mother of Belus, Actor and Dictys (Hyg. Fab. 157). Her name is suggestive (‘Great Thinker’), like the variant Perimede (‘Intense Thinker’, Theoc. 2,16; Prop. 2,4,8) or the name of Medea's mother Idyia (‘Knowing One’). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Areion

(124 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀρείων [ Areíōn], in MSS also Ἀρίων [ Aríōn], on coins Ἐρίων [ Eríōn]). Adrastus' horse, descended from the gods (Hom. Il. 23,346). Poseidon, in the form of a stallion, fathered it in Thelpousa in Arcadia with Demeter, who had wanted to escape from him by transforming herself into a mare: the myth explains the epicleses of both deities -- Hippios and Erinys (the ‘Angry One’, Paus. 8,25,4-8). After the Cyclic Thebais, Adrastus saves himself on the horse and is the only survivor from the battle of the Seven against Thebes (Paus. 8,25,8). Before Adrast…

Amphictyon

(149 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(Ἀμφικτύων; Amphiktýōn). [German version] [1] Mythical third king of Athens The third king of Athens, successor of Cranaus, predecessor of Erichthonius, autochthonous or son of Deucalion (Apollod. 3,187; Paus. 1,2,6). He entertained Dionysus in Attica, which in the Athenian region of Dionysus Melpomenus was represented by terracottas (Paus. 1,2,5); in this way he learned the custom of mixing the wine with water, and founded the altar of Dionysus Orthos, of ‘upright Dionysus’ (Philochorus, FGrH 328 F 5 = Athens. 2,7,38 cd) [1]. Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] [2] Son or …

Hydra

(450 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Strauch, Daniel (Berlin)
[German version] [1] Water monster (Ὕδρα; Hýdra, ‘water snake’). A monster, born of the monsters  Typhon and  Echidna (‘snake’) and raised by  Hera out of anger at Zeus. It lives at the spring of  Amymone in the swamps of Lerna, stealing cattle and humans until it is finally killed by  Heracles (Hes. Theog. 313-318; Diod. Sic. 4,11,5f.; Apollod. 2,77-80; Hyg. Fab. 30) despite the help of a crab sent to its aid by Hera. This killing constitutes Heracles' second deed in the canonical sequence. His lion'…

Acestor

(266 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Strothmann, Meret (Bochum) | Pressler, Frank (Heidelberg)
(Ἀκέστωρ; Akéstōr), ‘Healer’, literary epithet of Apollo (Eur. Androm. 900), but also anthronym (unknown Athenian: Aristoph. vesp. 1221). [German version] [1] Figure from Greek myth; Son of Ephippos of Tanagra Son of Ephippos of Tanagra, killed by Achilles (Plut. qu. Gr. 37, 299c, following a local epic). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] [2] Hero in the genealogy of the Philaedians Hero in the genealogy of the Philaedians, namely great-grandson of  Philaeus (Pherec. FGrH 3 F 2; Markell. v. Thuc. 3). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] [3] Athenian Athenian, alleg…

Asterius

(429 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Seibt, Klaus (Leonberg) | Leppin, Hartmut (Hannover)
(Ἀστέριος; Astérios). [German version] [1] Cretan epiclesis of Zeus A Cretan epiclesis of Zeus, attested to only in the Byzantine writers; it arose through euhemeristic interpretation of the myth of Asterion [1]. In contrast to this view, evolutionist interpretations regarded him the origin of that hero. Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) Bibliography H. Schwabl, s.v. Zeus I, RE 10 A, 281. [German version] [2] Sophis from Cappadocia Sophist from Cappadocia, belonged to the circle of students of Lucianus of Antioch (martyr AD 312) from whom came the spokesmen for the …

Cisseus

(160 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Κισσεύς; Kisseús, from Greek κισσός, ‘ivy’, the holy plant of  Dionysus; Latin Cisseus). Name of several mythical kings associated with Thrace and Macedonia (Dionysus' supposed native land) -- the fabrication of these figures is evident. The father of  Hecabe (Eur. Hec. 3 with schol.), the guest of Anchises (Verg. Aen. 5,536f.), whom Serv. z.St. identifies with the former, the father of the Trojan priestess of Athena  Theano (Str. 7,330 fr. 24) are Thracian kings. The treacherous Macedonian …

Atymnus

(49 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἄτυμνος; Átymnos). Cretan hero, brother of Europa. A funeral in Gortyn commemorated his early death, which Phoebus A. (Adymnus) found as charioteer of the sun (Sol. 11,9; Nonnus, Dion. 11,128ff.; 258; 12,217; 19,180). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) Bibliography R. F. Willetts, Cretan cults and festivals, 1962, 167.

Knots

(240 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] Play a role in Greek and Roman religion as well as in some other religious cultures. Although the meaning of the iconographically transmitted Minoan ‘cult knot’ is unclear [1], knots are a common symbolic medium of binding something, esp. in the magic and healing rituals of historical times. Thus, the knot of Hercules, depicted in the tied-up snakes on the caduceus - the staff of Hermes - is attributed with special powers of healing wounds when used for the bandage, and is said t…
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