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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…

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)

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…

Metion

(81 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] (Μητίων; Mētíōn). Son of Erechtheus and Praxithea, brother of Cecrops (Apollod. 3,15,1). His sons, the Metionids, drive Pandion, the son and heir of Cecrops, from power in Attica, but are in turn overthrown by his sons (Paus. 1,5,3f.; Apollod. 3,15,5). Daedalus [1] was both M.'s grandson, as the son of Eupalamus (Apollod. 3,15,8), and M.'s son (Pherekydes FGrH 3 F 146; Diod. 4,76,1 with M. as the son of Eupalamus and grandson of Erechtheus). Stenger, Jan (Kiel)

Tatius, T.

(240 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] Legendary king of the Sabines (Sabini) in the city of Cures. T. waged war with the Romans because of the rape of the Sabine women (Varro Ling. 5,46; Liv. 1,10,1 f.). Through the treachery of Tarpeia, who was either bribed by T. or in love with him, he succeeded in occupying the Roman Capitol (Capitolium; Liv. 1,11,6; Prop. 4,4; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 2,38-40; Plut. Romulus 17,2-4). The war with Rome was settled when Romulus [1] and T. concluded a treaty ( foedus; Cic. Rep. 2,13; Verg. Aen. 8,635-641; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 2,46,1 f.). The two ruled the city toge…

Rhipaia orē

(470 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] (Ῥιπαῖα ὄρη; Rhipaîa órē). Mythical chain of mountains on the northern edge of the world, already known from Alcm. fr. 90 PMGF with a somewhat different name form. Sophocles, who used it to denote the north (Soph. OC 1248 with schol.; cf. Aesch. TrGF 3 F 68), also knew it as Rhípai. Both these authors, and others as well, associate the Rhipaia orē (RO) with night (Nyx). This has its roots in speculations about the path of the sun: according to a commonly held theory, the sun goes around the Earth after setting, but in doing so is …

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)

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…

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…

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 …

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 sacrificing his own life in war (Aeschyl. Sept. 474; Soph. Ant. 1303 with schol.). Stenger, J…

Nemesis

(557 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[English version] (Νέμεσις). Griech. Göttin und Personifikation der Vergeltung, Rächerin der hýbris , Tochter der Nyx/Nacht (Hes. theog. 223f.). Als Gestalt des Mythos spielte N. in den ‘Kyprien (Kypria) als Mutter der Helene [1] eine Rolle. Von aidṓs (Scham) und n. (innerem Gefühl des Unwillens) bedrängt, versucht N., vor Zeus zu fliehen, der sie über Meer und Land verfolgt, um sich mit ihr zu vereinigen. Dabei verwandelt sie sich in alle möglichen Land- und Seetiere (Kypria F 7 EpGF). Als sie die Gestalt einer Gans angenommen hat, b…

Minotauros

(422 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[English version] (Μινώταυρος). Mischwesen aus Mensch und Stier (wohl schon in Hes. cat. 145), wobei gemeinhin das Tierische mehr hervorgehoben wird. Der M. entsteht aus der sexuellen Verbindung von Pasiphae, der Gemahlin des Minos, mit dem Stier, den Poseidon Minos zur Bekräftigung seiner Herrschaft schickt. Daidalos [1] verfertigt der Pasiphae eine hohle hölzerne Kuh als Verkleidung, um die sexuelle Vereinigung mit dem Stier zu ermöglichen (Bakchyl. 26). Der daraus hervorgegangene M. wird von Mi…

Mantichoras

(114 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[English version] (μαντιχώρας, auch Martichoras, μαρτιχώρας). Nach Ktesias (bei Aristot. hist. an. 2,1, 501a 24ff.) ein indisches Tier mit der Gestalt eines Löwen und dem Gesicht eines Menschen, das über dreifache Zahnreihen verfüge. Das Fell sei zinnoberrot, der Schwanz wie beim Skorpion geformt, wobei der m. die tödlichen Stacheln wie Pfeile abschießen könne. Die Stimme klinge wie eine Mischung aus Hirtenpfeife und Trompete. Der m. wird als schnell, wild und menschenfressend (letzteres bedeutet der aus Persien stammende Name; vgl. Ail. nat. 4,21) bezeichne…

Peleus

(712 words)

Author(s): Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[English version] (Πηλεύς). Sohn des Aiakos (Hom. Il. 21,189) und der Chiron-Tochter Endeis, Bruder des Telamon (Ov. met. 7,476f.; vgl. Pind. P. 8,100; bei Pherekydes FGrH 3 F 60 sind sie nur Freunde), Gemahl der Nereide Thetis, Vater des Achilleus [1]. Da P. und Telamon ihren Halbbruder Phokos absichtlich töten (Alkmaionis F 1 EpGF; Apollod. 3,160), werden sie von Aiakos aus ihrer Heimat Aigina verbannt. P. geht nach Phthia zu Eurytion [4], der ihn entsühnt und ihm seine Tochter Antigone [2] zur …
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