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Messeis

(96 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] (Μεσσηίς; Messēís). A spring mentioned in Hom. Il. 6,457. Hector prophesies to Andromache, that one day she will fetch water from the springs Messeis and Hypereia in Argos. According to Strab. 9,5,6, the inhabitants of Pharsalus pointed out a town, Hellas (cf. Heraclides 3,2), entirely in ruins, which was 60 stadia from their own town and in whose vicinity the two springs were to be found. Plin. HN 4,8,30 locates a spring Messeis in Thessaly, whereas Paus. 3,20,1 claims to have seen a well Messeis at Therapne in Laconia. Stenger, Jan (Kiel)

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 …

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)

Theseus

(1,832 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel) | Bäbler, Balbina (Göttingen)
(Θησεύς /Thēseús). Mythical king and national hero of the Athenians (Athens). T. belongs to the generation before the Trojan War. He is the son of Aethra, daughter of Pittheus. His divine father is Poseidon, his human father the Athenian king Aegeus. [German version] I. Myth T. grew up with Pittheus at Troezen, because Aegeus abandoned the pregnant Aethra in the light of an oracular prophecy. Having found the symbolic items (sword, shoes) left there by Aegeus, he made his way to Athens. During the journey, T. had to survive several battles…

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…

Pelops

(1,023 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel) | Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Welwei, Karl-Wilhelm (Bochum) | Nutton, Vivian (London)
(Πέλοψ; Pélops). [German version] [1] Son of Tantalus Son of Tantalus (Cypria fragment 13 EpGF; in Hyg. Fab. 82 from his liaison with Dione), husband of Hippodamia [1], father of Atreus, Thyestes, Pittheus and other children (Pind. O. 1,88f. with schol.). P.'s original homeland was Asia Minor (cf. Pind. Ol. 1,24; Hdt. 7,8).  P.'s father Tantalus chops him into pieces, cooks him and serves him up to the gods. Demeter is the only one who fails to notice the horrendous deed and eats part of his shoulder (A…

Xanthus

(1,334 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel) | Robbins, Emmet (Toronto) | Högemann, Peter (Tübingen) | W.T.
(Ξάνθος/ Xánthos). [German version] [1] Name of several figures in Greek mythology Name of several male figures in Greek mythology: 1) Son of Phaenops [2], who was killed by Diomedes [1] at the gates of Troy (Hom. Il. 5,152-158). 2) Son of Triopas and Oreasis. X. received a part of Lycia; from there, he settled the deserted island of Lesbos (Diod. Sic. 5,81,2; Hyg. Fab. 145). 3) One of the sons of Aegyptus, who is killed by Arcadia, daughter of Danaus (Hyg. Fab. 170). 4) A son of Niobe (Pherecydes FGrH 3 F …

Patroclus

(1,124 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel) | Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Heimgartner, Martin (Halle)
(Πάτροκλος/ Pátroklos, also Πατροκλῆς/ Patroklês; Lat. Patroclus). [German version] [1] Companion to Achilleus Son of Menoetius [1] from Opus (Hom. Il. 11,814; his mother's name is not given in Homer, alternative suggestions in Apollod. 3,176), best friend of Achilleus [1]. In his childhood, P. kills a fellow-player out of anger during a game of dice and then flees to Phthia to Peleus, who gives him to Achilleus as a companion (Hom. Il. 23,85-90; Hellanikos FGrH 4 F 145; Apollod. 3,176). According to Pind. O…

Troy

(5,308 words)

Author(s): D.MAN. | M.KO. | Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
This item can be found on the following maps: Writing | Theatre | Caesar | | Diadochi and Epigoni | Dark Ages | Ḫattusa | Asia Minor | Asia Minor | Mycenaean culture and archaeology | Pergamum | Persian Wars | Pompeius | Aegean Koine | Aegean Koine | Education / Culture | Mineral Resources I. History [German version] A. Name In Homer (Homerus [1]), the forms ἡ Τροίη/ Troíē and ἡ Ἴλιος/ Ílios (for Ilion/Ilium see below I. C.) appear alongside one another. Therefore, there has been discussion of a 'double name' for the settlement, for which the two terms πόλις ( pólis ) and ἄστυ ( ásty

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. a…

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…

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…

Lycomedes

(382 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel) | Stein-Hölkeskamp, Elke (Cologne) | Schmitz, Winfried (Bielefeld)
(Λυκομήδης; Lykomḗdēs). [German version] [1] King of the Dolopes on Scyros King of the Dolopes on Scyros, father of Deidamia [1]. Because Achilles is predestined to die in Troy, his mother Thetis disguises him as a girl at the court of L. where Achilles fathers a son Neoptolemus by Deidamia (Apollod. 3,174; schol. Hom. Il. 9,668). Later Odysseus and Phoenix persuade L. on behalf of the Greeks to allow Neoptolemus to come to Troy (Soph. Phil. 343ff.; only Odysseus in Hom. Od. 11,506ff. and in The Il…
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