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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…

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)

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…

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. …

Minos

(824 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] (Μίνως, Mínōs). Mythical king of Crete, son of Zeus and Europe [2]; Asterius (Asterion [1]) is said to be his mortal father (Apollod. 3,1,2). M. is the brother of Rhadamanthys (Hom. Il. 14,321f.) and already in Hes. Cat. 140 also of Sarpedon; as Pasiphae's husband, he is the father of Deucalion, Ariadne, Phaedra and other children, from other liaisons as well (their names are listed in Apollod. 3,1,2). Diod. 4,60,3 distinguishes between two rulers named M., grandfather and grandson. M. is particularly well known for his role as a judge and as the first law-m…

Somnus

(509 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] (also Sopor, Greek  ῞Υπνος/ Hýpnos). As a god personifying sleep, Hypnos (= H.) is already mentioned in the Iliad, where Hera visits him on Lemnos and asks him to lull Zeus to sleep (Hom. Il. 14,230-360). In return she promises him Pasithea [2], one of the Graces (cf. Catull. 63,42 f.). Once he had done this, so that Hera could inflict harm on Heracles after the first destruction of Troy, H. had to flee from Zeus's anger to Nyx (Night). He then hides from Zeus in the form of a night b…

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 …

Xuthus

(309 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
(Ξοῦθος; Xoûthos). [German version] [1] Son of Hellen and Orseis/Othreis Son of Hellen and Orseis/Othreis, brother of Dorus and Aeolus [1] (Hes. fr. 9 MW; Hellanicus FGrH 4 F 125; Apollod. 1,49); X. is the mythical ancestor of the tribe of the Ionians (Iones). With Creusa [2], the daughter of the Athenian king Erechtheus, he fathered Ion [1], Achaeus [1] and Diomede (Hes. fr. 10a,20-24 MW; Hdt. 7,94; 8,44; Apollod. 1,50). X. is sent away from Thessaly by his father and journeys to Attica, where he founds …

Megareus

(108 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
(Μεγαρεύς; Megareús). [German version] [1] Son of Poseidon Son of Poseidon (Hyg. fab. 157), father of Hippomenes (Ov. met. 10,605). M. brings an army to the aid of Nisus against Minos and falls in the battle. The city of Nisa is renamed after M. to Megara [2] (Paus. 1,39,5). According to others, M. is married to Nisus's daughter Iphinoe and succeeds him (ibid. 1,39,6; see also 1,41,3). Stenger, Jan (Kiel) [German version] [2] Son of Creon [1] and Eurydice Son of Creon [1] and Eurydice. He saves Thebes by sacrificing his own life in war (Aeschyl. Sept. 474; Soph. Ant. 1303 with schol.). Stenger, J…

Peleus

(712 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[English version] (Πηλεύς). Sohn des Aiakos (Hom. Il. 21,189) und der Chiron-Tochter Endeis, Bruder des Telamon (Ov. met. 7,476f.; vgl. Pind. P. 8,100; bei Pherekydes FGrH 3 F 60 sind sie nur Freunde), Gemahl der Nereide Thetis, Vater des Achilleus [1]. Da P. und Telamon ihren Halbbruder Phokos absichtlich töten (Alkmaionis F 1 EpGF; Apollod. 3,160), werden sie von Aiakos aus ihrer Heimat Aigina verbannt. P. geht nach Phthia zu Eurytion [4], der ihn entsühnt und ihm seine Tochter Antigone [2] zur …

Lytaia

(46 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[English version] (Λυταία). Eine der Hyakinthides. L. wird mit ihren Schwestern Antheis, Aigleis, Orthaia in Athen auf dem Grab des Kyklopen Geraistos geopfert, als die Stadt während der Belagerung durch Minos an Hunger und Pest leidet (Apollod. 3,212; vgl. Diod. 17,15,2). Stenger, Jan (Kiel)

Meges

(89 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[English version] (Μέγης). Sohn des Phyleus, der von Dulichion mit 40 Schiffen nach Troia fährt (Hom. Il. 2,625ff.), wo er mehrere Feinde tötet (z.B. ebd. 5,69; Q. Smyrn. 1,276ff.). Er gehört zu den Leuten des Odysseus, die aus Agamemnons Zelt die Versöhnungsgeschenke für Achilleus holen (Hom. Il. 19,238ff.), und zur Besatzung des hölzernen Pferdes (Q. Smyrn. 12,326). M. ist auch als einer der Freier der Helene genannt (Apollod. 3,129). Nach Apollod. epit. 6,15a geht er mit vielen anderen auf der Rückfahrt bei Euboia zugrunde. Stenger, Jan (Kiel)

Nemesis

(557 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[English version] (Νέμεσις). Griech. Göttin und Personifikation der Vergeltung, Rächerin der hýbris , Tochter der Nyx/Nacht (Hes. theog. 223f.). Als Gestalt des Mythos spielte N. in den ‘Kyprien (Kypria) als Mutter der Helene [1] eine Rolle. Von aidṓs (Scham) und n. (innerem Gefühl des Unwillens) bedrängt, versucht N., vor Zeus zu fliehen, der sie über Meer und Land verfolgt, um sich mit ihr zu vereinigen. Dabei verwandelt sie sich in alle möglichen Land- und Seetiere (Kypria F 7 EpGF). Als sie die Gestalt einer Gans angenommen hat, b…

Minotauros

(422 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[English version] (Μινώταυρος). Mischwesen aus Mensch und Stier (wohl schon in Hes. cat. 145), wobei gemeinhin das Tierische mehr hervorgehoben wird. Der M. entsteht aus der sexuellen Verbindung von Pasiphae, der Gemahlin des Minos, mit dem Stier, den Poseidon Minos zur Bekräftigung seiner Herrschaft schickt. Daidalos [1] verfertigt der Pasiphae eine hohle hölzerne Kuh als Verkleidung, um die sexuelle Vereinigung mit dem Stier zu ermöglichen (Bakchyl. 26). Der daraus hervorgegangene M. wird von Mi…

Mantichoras

(114 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[English version] (μαντιχώρας, auch Martichoras, μαρτιχώρας). Nach Ktesias (bei Aristot. hist. an. 2,1, 501a 24ff.) ein indisches Tier mit der Gestalt eines Löwen und dem Gesicht eines Menschen, das über dreifache Zahnreihen verfüge. Das Fell sei zinnoberrot, der Schwanz wie beim Skorpion geformt, wobei der m. die tödlichen Stacheln wie Pfeile abschießen könne. Die Stimme klinge wie eine Mischung aus Hirtenpfeife und Trompete. Der m. wird als schnell, wild und menschenfressend (letzteres bedeutet der aus Persien stammende Name; vgl. Ail. nat. 4,21) bezeichne…

Patroklos

(905 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel) | Ameling, Walter (Jena)
(Πάτροκλος, auch Πατροκλῆς; lat. Patroclus). [English version] [1] Gefährte des Achilleus Sohn des Menoitios [1] aus Opus (Hom. Il. 11,814; der Name der Mutter bei Homer nicht genannt, Varianten bei Apollod. 3,176), bester Freund des Achilleus [1]. In seiner Kindheit tötet P. aus Zorn beim Würfeln einen Spielkameraden, worauf er nach Phthia zu Peleus flieht, der ihn dem Achilleus zum Gefährten gibt (Hom. Il. 23,85-90; Hellanikos FGrH 4 F 145; Apollod. 3,176). Nach Pind. O. 9,70-79 kämpft P. schon vor dem e…

Metaneira

(166 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel) | Schmitz, Winfried (Bielefeld)
(Μετάνειρα). [English version] [1] Gattin des eleusinischen Königs Keleos Gattin des eleusinischen Königs Keleos (nach schol. Eur. Or. 964 des Hippothoon), Mutter des Demophon [1] und mehrerer Töchter. M. nimmt die nach Persephone suchende Demeter in ihrem Haus auf und vertraut ihr den kleinen Demophon an. Sie stört aber unwissentlich die Göttin bei dem Versuch, das Kind im Feuer unsterblich zu machen, worauf sich Demeter von ihm zurückzieht (Hom. h. 2,185-291; Ov. fast. 4,507ff., wo M. und Keleos einfac…

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 …

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…
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