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Amythaon

(109 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀμυθάων; Amytháōn). Son of Cretheus and Tyro in Iolcus, brother of Phereus and Aeson, half brother of Neleus and Pelias, the sons of Poseidon (Hom. Od. 11,235-259; Hes. fr. 38). He settles in Pylos, which Neleus founded, and here he fathers his sons Melampus and Bias (Diod. Sic. 4,68,3; Apollod. 1,93; 96). He appears with his relatives in Iolcus, to demand Iason's inheritance from Pelias; he is one of the Argonauts (Pind. Pyth. 4,126). A part of Elis is called Amythaonia after him; before Pelias and Neleus he renews the Olympic games (Paus. 5,8,2). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, …

Historiola

(145 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (‘Little story’). Modern term describing brief tales built into magic formulas, providing a mythic precedence for a magically effective treatment. Historiolas are already documented in Mesopotamian and ancient Egyptian  magic. In the Graeco-Egyptian  magic papyri (PGM), they provide references to both Greek (e.g. PGM XX) and Egyptian (e.g. PGM IV 1471) mythology, and to Christian legends in Christian rites. However, historiolas should not be understood as abridgments of well-known myths or as ad hoc inventions, rather the narrator understands them as p…

Aeolia

(131 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Αἰολία sc. νῆσος; Aiolía nêsos). Residence of  Aeolus [2], the lord of the winds. It is a floating island, which is hedged around by steep cliffs and a bronze wall (Hom. Od. 10.3 f.); in a certain contrast to these fairy-tale motives -- especially the floating of the island -- is the very Greek idea that the city and the ‘beautiful houses’ of A. and his family are on this island (loc. cit.13). Since the 5th cent. it is sited in actual geography and in particular identified with the Liparic or Aeolic Islands (Αἰόλου νῆσοι) (Antiochus of Syracuse FGrH 555 F 1; Thuc. 3,88). Graf, Fri…

Argeius

(142 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(Ἀργεῖος; Argeîos). [German version] [1] Son of Likymnios Son of Licymnius. In two myths he is the doomed battle comrade of Hercules. He accompanies him together with his brother Melas on the quest to conquer Oichalia; both are slain and are buried by Hercules (Apollod. 2,156). According to another version he accompanies Hercules on his Trojan campaign, in spite of his father's resistance; Hercules had to swear an oath promising to bring him back. When he is slain outside Troy, Hercules burns the corpse and brings back the ashes (Schol. Hom. Il. 1,52). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) …

Actaeus

(145 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(Ἀκταῖος; Aktaîos), ‘he from the coast’ ( akte) or ‘of Akte’. [German version] [1] Attic primal king Attic primal king, the first (Paus. 1,2,6) or successor of Porphyrion (Paus. 1,14,7); father of the (first) Aglaurus, the wife of Cecrops and mother of Aglaurus [2], Herse and Pandrosus (Apollod. 3,180, who in 3,177 first made Cecrops the primal king). Attica was first called Acte after him, as was the Piraeus peninsula in the historical period (Apollod. 3,177; Harpocrat. s. v. Akte). According to Pherecydes (FGrH 3 F 60) he is father of Telamon of Glauce, the daughter of th…

Atymnius

(164 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(Ἀτύμνιος; Atýmnios). [German version] [1] Son of the Carian king Amisodarus Son of the Carian king Amisodarus. He and his brother Maris, companions at arms of Sarpedon, were killed by two sons of Nestor (Hom. Il. 16,317). Later, he is regarded as identical to Tymnius, the eponymous founder of the Carian city of Tymnus [1]. Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] [2] Son of Zeus Son of Zeus (of the Phoenix: Schol. Apoll. Rhod. 2,178) and  Cassiopea, courted by the brothers Minos and Sarpedon in competition with each other. Otherwise Miletus, the son of Ap…

Eileithyia

(429 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Εἰλειθυία; Eileithyíai, Doric Ἐλευθ(υ)ία; Eleuth(y)ía, Mycenaean in Knosos e-reu-ti-ja). Greek goddess, worshipped almost exclusively by women in the context of pregnancy and birth, also in the context of children's and women's diseases (Diod. Sic. 5,73,4; [1]). Already known by Homer in this function (μογοστόκος, ‘concerned with the effort of giving birth’, Hom. Il. 16,187). The name itself seems to be telling ─ it can be connected with eleuth-, ‘to go, to come’ [2]. She has almost no independent myths: she was born at her important cult centre…

Bootes

(237 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Βοώτης; Boṓtēs). (‘Ox-driver’) One of the names of a constellation near that of Ursa Major; attested since Hom. Od. 5,272. If the latter constellation is thought of as a bear, the former, as its companion, is termed instead ‘bear-keeper’, Arktophylax (Arat. 91-83; Ov. Fast. 3,145; Manil. Astr. 1,316-318 etc.). Its brightest star is Arcturus (Arktouros), which occasionally gives its name to the whole constellation (Eratosth. Catast. 8). Various legends about the stars give a mythical background to the meaning of Bootes. 1. He is generally underst…

Epopteia

(205 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (ἐποπτεία; epopteía, ‘the seeing’). One of the levels of initiation into the  mysteries; whoever attained it, was epóptēs. In  Eleusis, whence the term originated, epopteia refers to the stage of initiation after the initial  myesis ─ epopteia either refers to the public ‘display’ during the celebration of the mysteries, in which myesis was the individual dedication which could take place outside of the celebrations, or rather a second facultative stage following on from the obligatory mýēsis [1; 2]. In any case, the term underlines the importance of vis…

Alcippe

(81 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(Ἀλκίππη; Alkíppē). Common woman's name in mythological epics. [German version] [1] Figure of Greek myth: daughter of Ares Daughter of Ares and Cecrop's daughter Agraulus, raped by  Halirrhotius (Apollod. 3,180), Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] [2] Figure of Greek myth: grandmother of Daedalus Grandmother of Daedalus, mother of Eupalamus by Metion (Apollod. 3,214). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] [3] Figure from the Iliad: slave of Helena A slave of Helena (Hom. Od. 4,124). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Catreus

(61 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Κατρεύς; Katreús). Son of  Minos and Pasiphae, eponym of the Cretan town Catre; he is killed by his son  Althaemenes, even though he fled to Rhodes to avoid his father who had been warned by an oracle (Apollod. 3,12-16); when his grandson  Menelaus takes part in his funeral, Paris kidnaps Helena (ibid. 3,3). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Agave

(121 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀγαύη; Agaúe). Daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia, spouse of Echion, mother of  Pentheus. She chides her sister  Semele, who had conceived Dionysus by Zeus and was consumed by lightning. Dionysus takes revenge on A., through getting her and her sisters to tear Pentheus, who opposes Dionysus, into pieces in a frenzy. Triumphantly A. carries the head of her son, whom she had thought to be a wild animal, to her home. A. is already a tragic figure in Aeschylus, but especially so in Eur. Bacchae (cf. also Ov. Met. 3,701 ff.). The artistic tradition also knows her in the…

Hemithea

(358 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἡμιθέα; Hēmithéa, ‘demigoddess’). Name of a healing goddess in Castabus on the Carian Chersonnese. Her sanctuary, whose archaeological traces go back to the late 7th cent. BC at the earliest, was expanded under Rhodian hegemony and achieved more than regional fame until the decline of Rhodes after 167 BC. In the sanctuary, patients received healing dreams through  incubation ( klísis, ‘incubation (room)’ in an inscription from c. 150 BC, SEG 14,690); H. also aided women in childbirth (Diod. Sic. 5,63). The cult forbade the use of wine and the …

Lapis

(355 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(stone) denotes various stones used for ritual purposes in Roman cult worship. [German version] [1] Silex kept in the sanctuary of Iuppiter on the Capitol A silex which was kept in the sanctuary of Iuppiter Feretrius on the Capitol (Fest. 81,18 L.) was of particular significance in some ancient oath ceremonies, which ran according to the principle, common in the swearing of oaths, of analogy in action [1]: a) The Fetiales concluded international treaties by killing a pig with the silex from the sanctuary of Iuppiter Feretrius, thereby calling down the same death upon themse…

Motif research

(484 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] is the study of the motif understood as the 'smallest unit of content' within traditional narratives (myth, legend, folktale [1]). Such a unit might be a plot (the burning of an object which is connected to a person's life will kill that person: Meleager [1]) or a characteristic person (the youngest son is the cleverest: Zeus). Motif research has long dominated the study of folk-tales and myths. However, a precise and standard definition of ‘motif’ and its distinction from related…

Averruncus

(38 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] Deity with scarcely any attestation, who wards off evil ( deus, in Varro, Ling. 7,102, hence θεὸς ἀποτρόπαιος Gloss. 3,290,31). The name also exists in the form Auruncus (Gell. NA 5,12,14). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Genita Mana

(136 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] Goddess, mentioned by Plutarch (Quaest. Rom. 52,277a) and Pliny (HN 29,14,58) in conjunction with a canine sacrifice. According to Plutarch, the prayer during the sacrifice was for ‘none of the house slaves to become good (χρηστός, chrēstós)’, interpreted as a euphemism for ‘dead’. Plutarch links the name of the goddess to childbirth. Modern interpretations proceed hardly any further [1; 2]. A Diva Geneta appears in Agnone (mid-3rd cent. BC [3]), whereas Mana is referred to as a deity of the Underworld in Mart. Cap.…

Enagonius

(67 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἐναγώνιος; Enagṓnios). Epiclesis of the deities responsible for the Gymnasium, the athletic exercises and the young men engaging in them there; it was especially widespread from the Hellenistic period onwards.  Hermes in particular bears this epithet in many Greek cities but it is also found with Apollo (in various cities), Aphrodite (Athens) and even Dionysus (Magnesia on the Maeandrus). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Bacis

(210 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Βάκις; Bákis). Ecstatic seer from Boeotia, supposed author of hexametric oracles, which have been in circulation since the Persian Wars (Hdt. 7,20; 77; 96; 9,43). Other oracles refer to the reconstruction of Messene (Paus. 4,27,4) or to Theban rites (ibid., 9,15,7; 10,32,8-11); Athenian inscriptions possibly attest to an oracle (IG II4968; SEG.10,175) [1]. The nymphs had driven B. to madness (Paus. 4,27,4; 20,12,11), supposedly those of the Corycian grotto (Schol. Aristoph. Pax 1279). B. also cures madness, like the seer  Melamp…

Abantiades

(38 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] Each descendant of  Abas [1], such as Acrisius (Ov. Met. 4,607), Canethus (Apoll. Rhod. 1,78), Idmon (Apoll. Rhod. 2,815) and Perseus, the great-grandson of Abas (Ov. Met. 4,673 and passim). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
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