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Apollo

(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…

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) and Polydeuces (Πολυδεύκης; Latin Pollux) as well as their characters in general are presumed to be of Indo-Germanic origin, and acad…

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 …

Minerva

(2,227 words)

Author(s): Phillips, C. Robert III. (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Menerva, Menrva). I. Cult A. The earliest findings [German version] 1. General M. is traditionally considered an Etruscan deity that came to Rome as part of the Capitoline Triad of Jupiter, Juno and M., who had their temple on the Capitolium ([1; 5]; undecided [6. 163f.]). Thus, on the basis of representations of M. on Etruscan mirrors as a martial goddess [2] modelled on the Greek Athena, it is assumed that she was a Hellenic goddess introduced via Etruscan trade contacts with Greece. Besides taking as evidence the form Menrva/ Menerva in Etruscan, but also Menerva in Italian and Old La…
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