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Asterion

(57 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(Ἀστερίων; Asteríōn). [German version] [1] Mythical king of Crete Cretan king, who married  Europa and adopted her children by Zeus (Hes. fr. 140; Bacchyl. fr. 10; Apollod. 3,5; 8). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] [2] The Minotaurus Son of Pasiphae with the Cretan bull, thus  Minotaurus (Apollod. 3,11; Paus. 2,31,1). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Acca Larentia

(518 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (rarely, Larentina). Elusive figure of myth and cult in Rome; whether she is identical with the Mater Larum (also revered by the Arval priests), is disputed [9. 587-595; 10]. Her aetiological myth has come down in two versions and an extension (synthesis in the Fasti Praenestini, cf. Plut. Romulus 4 f.; qu.R. 35,272 ef; [1]): 1. At the time of Ancus Marcius the aedituus of Hercules plays dice with his god for a meal and a woman; the aedituus loses and brings the prostitute Acca La…

Hierodouloi

(340 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (ἱερόδουλοι; hieródouloi, ἱεροὶ δοῦλοι; hieroì doûloi). Literally, ‘temple slaves’; in ancient life they were, first, persons who (like land) were the property of a temple but not cultic personnel, second, persons who were donated as slaves (and often as cultic personnel) to the temple, and third, slaves who achieved partial or complete freedom through transfer to a deity (sacred  manumission). In modern terminology the holy prostitutes stand in the foreground ( Prostitution), as attes…

Gi­ants

(1,148 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Ley, Anne (Xanten)
(Γίγαντες; Gígantes). [German version] I. Mythology Giants are usually huge, clumsy beings from primeval times; according to the commonest myth, the  Gigantomachy, they attempted unsuccessfully to deprive Zeus and the Olympians of power. In Homer the Giants are a lawless and arrogant marginal people destroyed because of their king  Eurymedon (Hom. Od. 7,59-61); they settled close to the  Cyclopes and  Phaeaces (Hom. Od. 7,205f.). According to Hesiod, during the castration of  Uranus, drops of blood fa…

Arestor

(98 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀρέστωρ; Aréstōr). Son of Phorbas, great-grandson of Argus [1], father of Argus [2] by Mycene (Hes. fr. 246; Pherecydes FGrH 3 F 66 f.). The Argives are called Arestoridae after him (Kallim. h. 5,34). Another version of his lineage is that he is the son of Ecbasus, the grandson of Argus [1] and father of Pelasgus and Io (Charax FGrH 103 F 13, 15). The variants demonstrate that he is the product of systemizations of family trees rather than an actual independent character [1]. Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) Bibliography Ed. Meyer, Forsch. zur Alten Gesch., 1, 92-94.

Agathos Daimon

(329 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀγαθὸς Δαίμων, also Agathodaímōn). As ‘good deity’ a deity of blessing especially of private worship, often connected with Agathe  Tyche (Ἀγαθὴ Τύχη) [1], as guardian of individual visitors of the oracle in the sanctuary of Trophonius (Paus. 9,39,5); where Agathos Daimon (AD) is specified this does not happen uniformly. In Greek households AD was given a gift of pure wine after each meal (Aristoph. Equ. 105-107; cf. Vesp. 525), had home altars [2] in the Hellenistic period and could…

Hellotis

(293 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἑλλωτίς; Hellōtís). Epiclesis of  Athena in Marathon and Corinth, as well as the name of a goddess in Crete identified with  Europe [2]. In Marathon a sanctuary (Ath. 15,22,678b; schol. Pind. Ol. 13,56ad) and sacrifices (LSCG 20) are attested; the epithet is derived from a local swamp (Greek hélos). In Corinth the festival of Hellotia is celebrated for Athena H. with an agon (Pind. Ol. 13,40, according to schol. ad loc. a torch race of young men); the aetion derives the cult either from Athena capturing Pegasus (Greek heleín) and bridling him here - more commonly as…

Basilinna

(178 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (βασιλίννα; basilínna, ‘queen’) is the designation for the wife of the Athenian  Archon Basileus (‘king’) who is considered to be the democratic successor in the sacred duties of the king (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 3 on the origin; 57 on the duties). She must be a citizen of Athens and a virgin at the time of marriage. Her sacred duties include secret rites in the Dionysus cult, particularly at the Anthesteria, which she conducts with the gera(i)rai (‘aged women’ or ‘venerable women’). In the context of these rites, she is given to  Dionysus as wife. More impor…

Gordius

(439 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Schottky, Martin (Pretzfeld)
(Γόρδιος; Górdios). [German version] [1] Mythical founder of the Phrygian state Mythical founder of the Phrygian state and eponymous hero of its capital  Gordium. When birds flew around him as he was ploughing, he wanted to find out the significance of the sign from the seers in the city. A beautiful girl from a family of seers whom he asked for information at the city gate interpreted the sign as a promise of royal honour and offered to marry him. In order to end a civil war, the  Phrygians followed Zeus'…

Alcimenes

(280 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Schmitz, Winfried (Bielefeld) | Nesselrath, Heinz-Günther (Göttingen)
(Ἀλκιμένης, Alkiménēs). [German version] [1] Figure of Greek myth: brother of Bellerophontes Brother of Bellerophontes, also Peiren or Deliades, was killed by his brother, providing the reason for the flight to Argus (Apollod. 2,30; Tzetz. Lycophr. 17). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] [2] Figure of Greek myth: son of Jason and Medea Son of Jason and Medea, brother of Teisander, both of whom were killed in Corinth by Medea; only Thettalus, A.'s twin brother, escaped. Both of these are buried in the Temenus of Hera and were venerated as heroes (Diod. Sic. 4,54,1; 4,55,1 f.). Gra…

Genesia

(74 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (τὰ Γενέσια; tà Genésia). Name of a Greek family festival in honour of a dead ancestor (Hdt. 4,26). In Athens, it became ─ allegedly at Solon's instigation ─ a public festival of the dead, the celebrations of which on the 5th Boedromion also included a sacrifice to  Gaia (Philochorus FGrH 328 F 168). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) Bibliography F. Jacoby, Γενέσια. A forgotten festival of the dead, in: CQ 38, 1944, 65-75.

Iulus

(349 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] In the tradition set by Virgil I. is the only son of  Aeneas and  Creusa of Troy, progenitor of the Roman gens Iulia; in Troy he is called Ilus, later Ascanius (Aen. 1,267f.). The name Ascanius for a (usually the eldest) son of Aeneas first appears after Homer (in Homer two confederates of the Trojans have this name, Hom. Il. 2,862 from Ascania in Phrygia; 13,790), both in founding legends (Hellanicus FGrH 4 F 31; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 1,54,2), which rule out his arrival in Italy, as in the account of A…

Echo

(364 words)

Author(s): Krafft, Fritz (Marburg/Lahn) | Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(ἠχώ; ēchṓ). [German version] [1] Origin and propagation of sound The origin and propagation of sound is explained as (contiguous) air moved by a blow ( Acoustics); its reflection within a sound box (reverberation) or on a suitable, usually a smooth object, conceived of as reversal (resounding, echo), is also included in this explanation (Theophr. de sensu 9 [Empedocles], 53 [Democritus]; Aristot. An. 2,8, 419b 25ff., Probl. 11,6,899a 24-25 and 11,8,899b 25ff., probably after Aristoxenus; Lucr. 4,572-594)…

New Year's celebration

(1,992 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Ahn, Gregor (Heidelberg) | Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(NYC). The beginning of the year was variously fixed in different local or supra-regional calendars. It was oriented, as far as we know, towards agricultural patterns connected to the time of the year (especially sowing in the spring and harvest in the autumn). The beginning of the year was connected with administrative measures (e.g. raising taxes). Spring and autumn received particular consideration in the festival calendar because of their significance within the agrarian cycle. Because in re…

Acidalia

(32 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀκιδαλία). Venus is called Acidalia mater (Verg. Aen. 1,270, according to Serv.) after a spring at Orchomenus, where the goddess bathed with the Charites. Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)

Am­bro­sia

(247 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(ἀμβροσία; ambrosía, ‘immortal’). [German version] [1] One of the Hyads One of the Hyads. They are daughters of Atlas and Pleione, they cared for the child Dionysus (Pherecydes FGrH 3 F 90) either in Nysa (Hyg. Fab. 182) or in Thrace, from whence they flee from Lycurgus to Thetis; except for A. (Asclepiades FGrH 12 F 18); Ge (Gaea) supposedly changed them into a vine (Nonnus, Dion. 21,17). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) [German version] [2] Nourishment of immortality The nourishment of immortality, comparable to the amṛta of Indian mythology. Gods use it as food and as a cosmetic (H…

Arcisius

(63 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἀρκείσιος; Arkeísios). Father of Laertes (Hom. Od. 4,755), grandfather of Odysseus (Od. 14,182). Son of Zeus (Ov. Met. 13,144; Schol. Od. 16,118) or of Cephalus (who gave his name to the Cephallenians) and a she-bear ( árktos), who transformed herself into a woman (Aristot. fr. 504 Rose). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) Bibliography L. Radermacher, Mythos und Sage bei den Griechen, 21938, 264.

Ancaeus

(198 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(Ἀγκαῖος; Ankaîos). [German version] [1] Son of Lycurgus of Tegea Son of Lycurgus of Tegea, brother of Epochus (Paus. 8,4,10), father of Agapenor (Hom. Il. 2,609). An Arcadian, the strongest hero after Hercules; his weapon is the double-axe (Apoll. Rhod. 2,118; bipennifer Ov. Met. 8,391). He participates in the Argonauts' campaign (Apollod. 1,163 f.) and in the Calydonian hunt, where he is torn apart by the boar (Apollod. 1,68; Paus. 8,4,10; Ov. Met. 8,315; 391-402). His death was portrayed by Scopas in the gable of the temple of Athena Alea (Paus. 8,45,7). Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) …

Cannibalism

(441 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (ἀνθρωποφαγία/ anthrōpophagía, ‘the eating of humans’) appears in ancient myths and ethnographical reports. It was something that took place, in contrast to the here and now, either in the past or on the borders of the known world among ethnic groups who did not share the same basic values of Greek culture. It is also identified, in Dionysian myths, as the crossing of the limits in  ecstasy [1; 2]. In this structure, ancient reports coincide astoundingly with those of the modern age [3]. The Cyclops  Polyphemus, who is generally portrayed in the ‘Odyssey’ as the…

Eponymus

(330 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] (Ἐπώνυμος; Epṓnymos), also eponym or eponymous hero, refers to a mythical character, whose name was given to a tribe, a town or settlement, or another group of people, or a mountain range. The Greek word eponymos in the sense of ‘name giving’ is particularly well documented in references to the heroes of the ten Attic phyles, whose images were displayed on the agora (decree in And. 1,83; Paus. 1,5,1); in the (passive) sense of ‘name bearing’, it is evident from Aesch. Supp. 252 for this very phenomenon ( Pelasgus). The phenomenon is as old as the earliest references …
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