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(1,657 words)

Author(s): Schachter, Albert (Montreal) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Ἄρης). [English version] A. Genealogie Sohn von Zeus und Hera (Hes. theog. 921-923; Homer [1], vgl. Apollod. 1,13). Mit seinen Schwestern Eileithyia und Hebe Verbindung der göttl. Verkörperungen von Beginn, Höhepunkt und oft gewaltsamem Ende des Lebens. Eris ist als Tochter von Zeus und Hera eine weitere Schwester von A. (Hom. Il. 4,440 f.), bei Hesiod (theog. 225) jedoch Tochter der Nyx. Zeus nennt A. den am meisten verhaßten der Olympier (Hom. Il. 5,890) und schreibt seinen unzügelbaren und unnachgiebigen Sinn seiner Mutter Hera zu (Hom. Il. 5,892 f.). Schachter, Albert (Montreal) …


(2,407 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Princeton) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
I. Religion [English version] A. Mythologie Wichtigster griech. Heilheros, Sohn Apollons und einer Sterblichen, in der kult. Realität bald zum Gott geworden, in Rom als Aesculapius verehrt. Der griech. Name entzieht sich einer etym. Deutung. Die geläufige Form des Mythos, die nicht sicher aus den hesiodeischen ›Katalogen‹ stammt [1; 2], macht A. zum Sohn Apollons und der Koronis, der Tochter des Thessalers Phlegyas; Hesiod nennt demgegenüber die Mutter Arsinoe, Tochter des Leukippos, Enkelin des messenischen Urkönigs Perieres (fr…


(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…


(2,716 words)

Author(s): Pirenne-Delforge, Vinciane (Romsée) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Ἀφροδίτη; Aphrodítē). [German version] A. Genealogy Etymology unknown [1. 115-123]. Born, according to Hesiod, from the severed genitalia of Uranus (Theog. 188-206) or as the daughter of Zeus and Dione, according to Homer (Il. 5,370-417). In the Greek pantheon A. represents all of the ambiguity of femininity: the seductive charm as well as the necessity to reproduce and a potential to deceive. All of these elements could be found in Pandora, the first woman (Hes. Op. 60-68). A.'s name does not appear…


(1,791 words)

Author(s): Schachter, Albert (Montreal) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Ἄρης; Árēs). [German version] A. Genealogy Son of Zeus and Hera (Hes. Theog. 921-923; Homer [1], cf. Apollod. 1,13). Forms the connection, together with his sisters Eilithyia and Hebe, of the divine embodiment of the beginning, high point and often violent end of life. Eris, the daughter of Zeus and Hera, is another of A.'s sisters (Hom. Il. 4,440 f.), but Hesiod states (Theog. 225) that she is the daughter of Nyx. Zeus calls A. the most hated of the Olympians (Hom. Il. 5,890) and blames his uncontrollable and relentless spirit on his mother Hera (Hom. Il. 5,892 f.). Schachter, Albert (Mon…


(2,062 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Ἥρα/ Hḗra, Ἥρη/ Hḗrē, Mycenaean e-ra). [German version] I. Cult and Myth H. is the daughter of  Kronos and  Rhea and wife of  Zeus. On the one hand, she is associated with the world of the early polis (esp. with young warlike men), on the other and primarily, she is the tutelary goddess of marriage, her marriage to Zeus representing the prototype. Her cultic (and probably also mythic) association with Zeus can already be seen in Linear B documents, where she is attested in Pylos (PY Tn 316, with Zeus and dirimijo = Drimios, son of Zeus [1. 94-96]) and Thebes (TH Of 28). In Homer and …


(6,373 words)

Author(s): Schlesier, Renate (Paderborn) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Διόνυσος; Diónysos) I. Religion [German version] A. Special features and genealogy D. is amongst the oldest of the Greek gods. Of all the Greek gods, his cult is the most widespread and his image is depicted most frequently; today, he is still the most fascinating and the most attractive from a modern point of view [1]. At the same time he is mythically one of the most untypical of the Greek gods. Amongst the untypical factors are: his double birth; the fact that he was regarded from birth as a deity, des…


(1,718 words)

Author(s): Scheer, Tanja (Rome) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Διόσκουροι, Διοσκόρω; Dióskouroi, Dioskórō). [German version] I. Religion Divine twins, regarded as sons of Zeus; they appear repeatedly in Greek mythology. The most important (alongside the Theban D.  Amphion and  Zethus) were the Spartan ones, whose most ancient name probably was Tindarídai. In Attica, they were often invoked as Ἄνακτες ( Ánaktes: ‘masters’). Their individual names Castor (Κάστωρ; Latin Castor) and Polydeuces (Πολυδεύκης; Latin Pollux) as well as their characters in general are presumed to be of Indo-Germanic origin, and acad…


(3,382 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Ἀθήνη/Ἀθηνᾶ; Athḗnē/ Athēnâ). [German version] A. Etymology and Origin Central Greek polis deity, daughter of Zeus and Metis, born from her father's head, virginal patron of war, crafts and female work (Hom. Hymn. Ven. 7); her common epithet, Pallas, is understood to mean ‘girl’ (Chantraine s.v. παλλακή). The Romans identified her with  Minerva (Etruscan, Menrva), the Greeks with numerous Eastern deities, for instance the Lycian Maliya [1], the Egyptian  Saïs (Hdt. 2,28), the Ugarite  Anat or the Palmyrene Allat. Like many Eastern goddesses, she …


(536 words)

Author(s): Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Ἀταλάντη; Atalántē). [German version] A. Myth Mythological daughter of Schoeneus or of Iasius and Clymene. In a Boeotian version she is allowed to remain a virgin, but to do so she has to defeat all suitors in a race (Hyg. Fab. 185).  Hippomenes receives three golden apples from Aphrodite, which he drops in A.'s way during the competition, and which she picks up (Hes. fr. 72-76 M-W, Ov. Met. 10.560-680), whereby he wins. The pair consummate their union in a sanctuary of Cybele or Zeus and are, as pu…


(3,322 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Ionian-Attic Δημήτηρ; Dēmḗtēr, Doric-Boeotian Δαμάτηρ; Damátēr, Aeolian Δωμάτηρ; Dōmátēr, Attic short form Δηώ; Dēṓ). Goddess of agriculture, especially grain cultivation, womanhood and the Mysteries. [German version] A. Name The name is only partly comprehensible. In the second part of the word ‘mother’ is recognizable, for the first part ancient writers offer two interpretations, a connection with ‘earth’ ( / ) or a word for grain (Cretan dēaí, ‘barley’). The first has been in currency since the classical period (Derveni Papyrus, col. 18), the second is…


(3,216 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Ἄρτεμις; Ártemis) I. Religion [German version] A. Etymology and Early History Greek goddess; daughter of Zeus and Leto, twin sister of Apollo. Goddess of transitions -- birth and coming-of-age in both sexes -- of female death, hunting and game, as well as, in the Greek East, city goddess. Identified especially with Cybele and Anahita in Asia Minor and the Near East, and with Diana in Rome. Etruscan representations, where she is called artume(s), preserve her character as a figure borrowed from the Greeks. It is a matter of dispute, whether her name, which defies all etymology…


(744 words)

Author(s): Blok, Josine H. (Groningen) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Ἀμαζόνες; Amazónes). [German version] A. Concept Mythical nation of female warriors, a creation of the Greek epic and defined by the epithet antiáneirai, ‘of equal value to men’ (Hom. Il. 3,189; 6,186). Blok, Josine H. (Groningen) [German version] B. Myths Famous for their bravery throughout all of antiquity, the A. were introduced in various stories. As masculine women they challenged the masculinity of the Greek heroes, (among others) Achilles, Bellerophon, Hercules, Theseus, the Athenians, Alexander the Great, mainly on the battle…


(2,733 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Άσκλήπιος; Asklépios) I. Religion [German version] A. Mythology The most important Greek healing hero, son of Apollo and of a mortal woman, in cultic reality he soon became a god, in Rome venerated as Aesculapius. It is hard to interpret the Greek name from an etymological perspective. The usual form of the myth -- and it is not certain that it derives from the Hesiodic ‘Catalogues’ [1; 2] -- makes A. the son of Apollo and of Coronis, the daughter of the Thessalian Phlegyas; in contrast to this, Hesiod calls his mother  Arsinoe, daughter of…


(2,357 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Etruscan  Uni). [German version] I. Cult and Myth J. is an important Latin goddess and besides  Minerva the most significant goddess of the Roman pantheon; while myth makes her the wife of  Jupiter, according to the Greek model, in the cult - in spite of her association with Jupiter (and Minerva) in the Capitoline triad - she is a significant figure in her own right, embodying the same tensions as with  Hera. Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] A. Name The name of J. is not related to that of Jupiter: the initial sound is always / i-/, never / di-/, and the / ū/ is monophthongal ( Iunone Louc…


(1,134 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Greek Κένταυρος, pl. Κένταυροι; Ἱπποκένταυροι; Κενταυρίδες; Kéntauros, pl. Kéntauroi; Hippokéntauroi; Kentaurídes). I. Mythology [German version] A. Definition Centaurs are four-legged  monsters consisting of man and horse, their homeland was seen as the Greek mainland, generally speaking the forested mountains of Thessaly, especially the Pholoe Range and Cape Malea. They often appear as an aggressive group of evil-doers, who cause offence especially by raping women. They challenge not only heroes (such as Hera…


(3,259 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Ἑρμῆς/ Hermês, in epic, also Ἑρμείας/ Hermeías, Ἑρμείης/ Hermeíēs, Ἑρμάων/ Hermáōn) I. Cult and Mythology [German version] A. Profile According to mythological tradition, a god native to Arcadia. He was, however, worshipped throughout Greece. Evidence of his name appears in Linear B as early as the Mycenaean era [1. 285f.]. A bringer of culture with a special relationship to shepherds, he belongs to the ethnological category of the trickster. In epic poetry he functioned as the messenger and herald of Zeus. Ultim…


(3,022 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
[German version] I. Cult and myth J. (rarely Iupiter, archaic Diovis, Umbrian Iupater) is the supreme god of the Roman and Latin pantheon; while in iconography and myth he is identified completely with the Greek  Zeus, he exists in his own right in the cult. Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] A. Etymology and origin The derivation from * Dieu-pater, i.e. Indo-European * dieu-/ diu- and the invoking pater, is undisputed; it connects him with Greek Zeus (* dieus, vocative Ζεῦ πάτερ) and Old Indo-Aryan Dyaus, and actually denotes the deity of the bright day sky (cf. Latin dies), indica…


(2,454 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
[German version] I. Cult and myth Mars is one of the oldest Italic-Roman deities. His original functions have been superimposed to such an extent that it proves difficult, maybe even impossible, to determine today the concepts that the Italic-Roman people had of him. The limitation of his function to the aspect of war corresponded to the interest of the Roman aristocracy to control the social significance and use of warfare. Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster) [German version] A. Name Of the different forms of the name, Mārs was probably the earliest, since it spread in Italy so ear…


(3,447 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Ἀπόλλων [ Apóllōn]; Latin: Apollo). A., the eternally youthful Greek god of healing, divination, music and ephebes, worshipped as A. in Rome since the early 5th cent. BC and referred to as Aplu in Etruscan written records. From the earliest literary sources, he was always referred to as the son of Zeus and Leto, the younger twin brother of Artemis. The very widespread use of theophoric proper names in every era demonstrates his great popularity and the extent to which he was known. [1]. [German version] A. Etymology The etymology of the name -- the search for the origins and prima…
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