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Ancile

(335 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Plural ancilia). Ritual bronze shields of the  Salii in the form of an 8; their form is common in Mycenae, later obsolete. Twelve in number, they belong to the ‘pledges of rulership’, pignora imperii (Varro, ap. Serv. Verg. Aen. 7,188), the religious guarantees for the permanence of Rome's might. Usually kept safe in the Regia, the ancilia are publicly displayed ceremonially twice yearly, in March and October, and worn by the Salii for a weapon dance, in their special ritual procession (in addition to the ancilia, trabea, pointed helmet, bronze girdle, breast plat…

Camilla

(252 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] A Volscian Amazon maiden warrior, whose myth is recounted only by Verg. Aen. 11,539-828 (cf. [1. 803]). While fleeing with the young C., her father,  Metabus, the king of the Volscians, tied her to an ash spear, dedicated her to Diana, and hurled her across the river Amisenus; she grew up as a huntress in the forest. In the war against the followers of Aeneas, she joined forces  with Turnus, and was killed by the Etruscan Arruns. Set up as an ideal virgo virilis by Hier. Adversus Jovinum 41,306 BD, she became with Dante (Inferno 1,107; 4,124) a heroic Italian v…

Aidos

(284 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Αἰδώς; Aidṓs). ‘Shame, demureness, respect’ [1]; its antonym is  Anaideia (Hes. Op. 324); its effect can be ambivalent (Hes. Op. 319-320). She is often personified, but the boundary between appellative and personification cannot always be easily drawn [1]. In Hesiod (Op. 200), as comprehensive social powers A. and Nemesis are the last of the gods to leave iron-age humanity (the two are already connected in Hom. Il. 13,121 f.). According to Sophocles she is enthroned with Zeus as o…

Aethilla

(58 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Αἴθιλλα; Aíthilla). Familiar form of Αἰθία (Polyaenus. 7,47), daughter of Laomedon, sister of Priam, captured by Protesilaus' companions after the conquest of Troy. On the peninsula of Pallene, with her fellow prisoners she burns the Greek ships, whereupon the Greeks found Scione (Conon FGrH 26 F 1,13; Tzetz. Lycoph. 921). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Consentes Dei

(172 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] Roman name for a group of twelve deities, six male and six female, presumably from the etymological root *‘con-sens’ (‘being together’) [1]. They corresponded to the 12 Olympians of Greece from at least the time of Varro [2], but the name, including an archaic plural form deum consentium, points to greater antiquity. Their temple ( aedes deum consentium: Varro, Ling. 8,70) must be the porticus deum consentium at the north end of the Forum and its two groups of six golden statues each (Varro, Rust. 1,1,4) those which Vettius Agorius  Praetextatus restored in 367 ( CIL VI 102 = I…

Aleus

(190 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] [1] King and founder of Tegea (Paus. 8,45,1), eponymous oikist of Alea (Paus. 8,23,1) and of the Tegean sanctuary of Athena Alea (Paus. 8,4,8); sometimes he is called king of all Arcadia. Usually he is son of Apheidas and grandson of Arcas, with Neaera, father of Lycurgus, Cepheus, Amphidamas and of Auge (Paus. 8,4,8; somewhat differently Apoll. Rhod. 1,161-171: daughter Alcidike, mother of  Tyro Diod. 4,68,1), whom Aleus appoints as priestess of Athena. When she is made pregnant b…

Basilisk

(219 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Greek Βασιλίσκος; Basilískos), ‘the king of the snakes’, fabulous snake of the Libyan desert, documented from Hellenistic times; detailed descriptions are given by Pliny (HN 8,78f.) and Isidore (12,4,6f.). Recognizable by a white spot on its head, ‘like a diadem’ (Pliny) and by its unsnakelike form of forward motion, the B. kills by its breath and smell: wherever it passes, it burns bushes and grass and breaks stones (Plin.). It can kill humans also by its mere gaze (Plin. HN 29,66…

Komos

(219 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (κῶμος; kômos, verb κωμάζειν; kōmázein) is the term for the ritualized, exuberant Greek procession to the music of the cithara or, especially, the flute (Ath. 14,9,618c). In its earliest occurrences, the word is not connected with Dionysus, but describes rites with musical accompaniment, probably also with singing and dancing. (In H. Hom. Merc. 481, Hermes gives Apollo the lyre for kṓmoi; in Ps.-Hes. Aspis 281, kōmázusi young men in a marriage procession dance rapturously to the sound of the flute; Pind. Pyth. 5,22 calls the performance of his song a kṓmos of men). Unt…

Althaemenes

(96 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀλθαιμένης; Althaiménēs). Rhodian hero, son of the Cretan king Catreus. He left his homeland when an oracle prophesied that he would kill his father, and at Camerus he founded the mountain cult of Zeus Atabyrius. His father set out to find him, and during a nocturnal landing he was mistaken for a pirate and slain by A., unrecognized. A. wanders around aimlessly and dies in anguish (Diod. Sic. 5,59) or is swallowed up by the earth (thus Apollod. 3,12-16, in whose account he also murders his sister Apemosyne). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Acoetes

(141 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
 Only Latin Acoetes has been handed down; the Greek form Ἀκοίτης does not appear to be attested. [German version] [1] Mythical Helmsman Helmsman of a Tyrrhenian pirate ship, opposed the intention of his travelling companions to kidnap the beautiful child Dionysus, and therefore was the only one to escape transformation into a dolphin (Ov. Met. 3,582-691 as first-person account to Pentheus; Hyg. Fab. 134); perhaps following a common Hellenistic source that went back to Hom. H. 7; in all other accounts of this myth the name or the entire episode is missing [1]. Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) …

Ahura Mazdā

(303 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Mid-Persian Ōhrmazd, Greek Ὀρομάζης, Ὀρομάσδης; Oromázēs, Oromásdēs). Highest God (‘the Wise Lord’) in the system of Zoroaster, the highest of the good powers ( ahuras), who is surrounded by a host of abstract deities (Amša Spntas) as mediators of his will and his deeds. He is creator and god of blessing, the one addressed in cults of the Zoroastrian community, and it was he that revealed his teachings to  Zoroaster. There is discussion regarding to what extent he is pre-Zoroastrian; in any case he co…

Arges

(39 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἄργης; Árgēs). One of the three  Cyclopes, along with Brontes ( brontḗ, ‘thunder’) and Steropes ( steropḗ, ‘lightening’). His name comes from argḗs, a stock expression for lightening (Hes. Theog. 140; Apollod. 1,1). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Ericepaeus

(227 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἠρικεπαῖος; Ērikepaîos). Deity which is mentioned in Orphic poetry and the associated Bacchian mysteries; the late etymology of ‘life-giver’ (ζωοδοτήρ; zōodotḗr) cannot be verified (Malalas, Chronogr. 4,91; cf. Suda 660 s.v. Orpheus). The name is first mentioned with certainty in the papyrus Gurôb 1, a Dionysian mysteries text of the late 3rd cent. BC [1]; an earlier reference in a gold leaflet from Pherae is uncertain [2]. E. then becomes important in various Neoplatonic writings of the so-called r…

Amyntor

(217 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
Suggestive heroic name: ‘Defender’. As such it is assigned to three figures, who are difficult to differentiate from each other. [German version] [1] Son of Ormenos, domiciled in Eleon Son of Ormenus, domiciled in Eleon in Boeotia, whom Autolycus robbed of a famous leather helmet (Hom. Il. 10,266; cf. 2,500; Pherec. fragment 38a FHG 4, 638). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] [2] Likewise son of Ormenus, father of Phoenix Likewise son of Ormenus, father of Phoenix. The son seduced the concubine of his father, who cursed him with childlessness; Phoenix fle…

Carna

(209 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] Roman goddess whose temple was vowed and founded on the Caelius mons by the first  Brutus immediately after the expulsion of the  Tarquinii; (Macrob. Sat. 1,12,31). Its foundation day is 1 June, the festival of the Carnaria (CIL III 3893). C. received offerings of bacon and bean gruel (Macrob. Sat. 1,12,32; cf. Ov. Fast. 6,169-182: Kalendae fabariae), which suggest a simple, old-fashioned way of life (Ovid) or which are meant to depict C. as a protector of physical strength (Macr.). The authors state that her role is the protection of …

Mysteries

(5,198 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] A. General Points, Definition Mysteries or rather mystery cults (in order to avoid the misleading term ‘mystery religions’) are cults of the Greek and Roman world which, for classical and modern observers alike, constitute a circumscribed category of cults within Greek and Roman religion.  Their name derives from the Attic celebration of the Mysteria, the festival of Demeter and Kore/Persephone, celebrated annually over a period of days at the shrine of Eleusis, and known since the Ho…

Astydameia

(140 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(Ἀστυδάμεια; Astydámeia). [German version] [1] Daughter of the Dolopian king Amyntor Daughter of the Dolopian king Amyntor, by Hercules mother of Tlepolemus (Hes. fr. 232; Pind. Ol. 7,24). In Homer she is Astyocheia (Il. 2,658), in Apollod. 2,149 and Hyg. Fab. 162 Astyoche, daughter of Phylas of Ephyra (Apollod. 1,166). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] [2] Wife of  Acastus of Iolcus Wife of  Acastus of Iolcus, who purified Peleus from his accidental killing of  Eurytion. When Peleus rejected her love, she slandered him to his wife  Antigone [2],…

Aeolidae

(68 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Αἰολίδαι; Aiolídai). Not only the sons of Aeolus, such as Sisyphus, Athamas and Cretheus, but also their descendants, e.g. Bellerophontes and Jason in Pindar, Minyas, Phrixus, Idmon in Apoll. Rhod. In Virgil's Aeneid (6,529) Anchises calls Odysseus Aeolides, in accordance with the tradition which makes him the son of Sisyphus (since Soph. Phil. 417). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) Bibliography M. Scarsi, s. v. Eolide, EV 2,324.

Hermetic writings

(528 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] Hermetic writings (HW; the terminus is modern) are Graeco-Egyptian texts, whose author is supposed to have been the Egyptian god Thot, Greekified as Hermes Trismegistus. His epithet (‘the thrice great H.’), which has only existed since the Imperial period, derives from the thrice repeated call to Hermes-Thot as ‘the greatest’ (which is already documented in Hellenistic Demotic and Greek sources). Clemens [3] of Alexandria (Strom. 6,4,35) describes a procession, in which 42 fundame…

Astraeus

(70 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀστραῖος; Astraîos). Titan, son of the Titans Creius (Crius) and Eurybia. With Eos he begot the winds ( Astraei fratres, Ov. Met. 14,545) which blow at the first light of dawn, the morning star and the other stars (Hes. Theog. 375-82; Apollod. 1,9). Besides that he is a giant, son of Tartarus and Ge (Hyg. praef. 4). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) Bibliography E. Simon, s.v. A., LIMC 2. 1, 927.
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