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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 …

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…

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…

Neleus

(637 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel) | Gottschalk, Hans (Leeds) | Hidber, Thomas (Berne)
(Νηλεύς; Nēleús). [German version] [1] King of the Messenian Pylos King of Messenian Pylos, son of Poseidon and Tyro, the daughter of Salmoneus. Tyro, wife of Cretheus, falls in love with the river god Enipeus. In his guise, Poeseidon sires with her N. and his twin brother Pelias (Hom. Od. 11,235-253; cf. also Hes. Cat. 30f.). After Cretheus' death, strife develops between N. and Pelias over who is to rule in Iolcus. N. is forced to repair to the Peloponnese, where he founds Pylos (Hom. Od. 11,254-259; He…

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 …
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