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Ares

(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) …

Asklepios

(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…

Minerva

(1,994 words)

Author(s): Phillips, C. Robert III. (Bethlehem, PA) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Menerva, Menrva). I. Kult A. Der früheste Befund [English version] 1. Allgemeines Nach traditioneller Sichtweise ist M. eine etr. Gottheit, die als Teil der kapitolinischen Trias Iuppiter, Iuno und M., welche ihren Tempel auf dem Capitolium hatten, nach Rom kam ([1; 5]; unentschieden: [6. 163f.]). Unter Verweis auf Darstellungen M.s als kriegerische Göttin auf etr. Spiegeln [2] nach dem Vorbild der griech. Athena geht man dabei von einer hell. Göttin, durch etr. Handelskontakte mit Griechenland vermittelt, aus. Diese Sichtweise beruht - neben dem Vorkommen der Form Menrva/ Mener…

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…

Achilles

(2,497 words)

Author(s): Sigel, Dorothea (Tübingen) | Ley, Anne (Xanten) | Bleckmann, Bruno (Strasbourg)
[German version] [1] Myth Hero from Greek mythology (Ἀχιλλεύς, Ἀχιλεύς [ Achil(l)eús], Etruscan Αχλε [ Achle], Latin Achilles). Sigel, Dorothea (Tübingen) [German version] A. Etymology We still lack a reliable explanation of A.'s name, which is presumably of pre-Greek origin. Explanations from antiquity vary: Schol. Il. 1,1 derives the name from the ‘sorrow’ ( áchos) caused by A. to the Trojans (i.e. the ‘Ilians’). Another explanation (e.g. Tzetzes, Lycoph. 178) derives the name from χεῖλος ( cheîlos; ‘lip’) and α- privativum; A. meaning ‘without lip’, as he is said to hav…

Aphrodite

(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…

Ares

(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…

Hera

(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…

Dionysus

(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].…

Dioscuri

(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…

Athena

(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 …

Atalante

(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 …

Demeter

(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…

Artemis

(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 o…

Amazons

(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…

Asclepius

(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 Leucippus, granddaughter of the early Messenian king Perieres (fr. 50). During her pregnancy she married the mortal Ischys; the enraged god shot her dead, saved the child from the funeral pyre and gave it to the centaur Cheiron to raise; and he made the raven -- which had revealed the breach of faith -- black (Hes. fr. 60). A. became the ‘irreproachable doctor’ (since Hom. Il. 4,194) whose sons Machaon and Podalirius at Troy led the contingent from Tricca, Ithome and Oechalia (south-western Thessaly) (Hom. Il. 2,729-733). However, when he brought mortals back to life (lists in Hyg. Fab. 49; Apollod. 3,121; schol. Pind. Pyth. 3,96), Zeus killed him with lightning. In fury Apollo then killed the Cyclopes who produced the lightning (according to Pherecydes FGrH 3 F 35, their sons); Zeus wanted to exile Apollo to Tartarus as punishment, but instead, at the request of Leto, he bound him to serve Admetus of Pherae for ten years (Hes. fr. 51; 52; 54b,c). The description of Pausanias (2,26,7; 4,31,10f.) places A.'s mother Arsinoe, in Messenia, where Perieres already belonged (Apollod. 1,87; 3,117f.), however the outline of the myth remains unclear. A further version of the myth from the Epidaurian shrine is a variation on the Thessalian myth (Paus. 2,26,3-6): Phlegyas had visited the Peloponnese with Coronis who was already pregnant by Apollo; Coronis had given birth to her child in what was later Epidaurus and abandoned it there; in the forest it was suckled by a goat and guarded by a shepherd's dog until the shepherd Arethanas found the child and brought it up. The prophecy of the Delphic oracle [3], passed down by Pausanias (2,26,7), shows that the claims of Epidaurus to be the successor of the Thessalian cult c…

Iuno

(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…

Centaurs

(1,134 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Greek Κένταυρος, pl. Κένταυροι; Ἱπποκένταυροι; Κενταυρίδες; Kéntauros, pl. Kéntauroi; Hippokéntauroi; Kentaurídes). …

Hermes

(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 Mycenaea…
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