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Apotropaic gods

(402 words)

Author(s): Parker, Robert (Oxford)
[German version] (Ἀποτρόπαιοι [θεόι]; apotrópaioi [ theói]). Gods who keep away or ‘avert’ misfortune (ἀποτρέπω, apotrépō). Literary texts often speak of sacrifices for ‘the Apotropaioi’, as if this kind of anonymous group existed [1.109-111]: e.g. as a measure to avert the consequences of bad dreams (e.g. Aesch. Pers. 201-4; 216-9; Xen. Symp. 4,33; Hippoc. Vict. 4,89), unfavourable omens at a sacrifice (Xen. Hell. 3,3,4) or diseases (Plut. Mor. 159 f.), unnatural occurrences (Plut. Mor. 197d) or (in philosoph…

Timotheus

(2,915 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London) | Robbins, Emmet (Toronto) | Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg) | Schmitz, Winfried (Bielefeld) | Neudecker, Richard (Rome) | Et al.
(Τιμόθεος; Timótheos). [German version] [1] T. of Metapontum Greek physician, c. 400 BC Greek physician, fl. c. 400 BC. According to the Anonymus Londiniensis (8,8), T. believed that disease was the result of the blockage of passages through which residues would have been excreted. Residues that have risen up from the entire body are forced to remain in the head until they are transformed into a saline, acrid fluid. They then break out and cause a wide variety of disease, whose character is determined by the place or places to which they flow.. Humoral theory Nutton, Vivian (London) …

Plynteria

(319 words)

Author(s): Parker, Robert (Oxford)
[German version] (Πλυντήρια/ Plyntḗria). Athenian festival in the course of which members of the génos of Praxiergidae removed the adornment of the ancient image of  Athena Polias [C.1], veiled the image and performed secret rites (Xen. Hell. 1,4,12; Plut. Alcibiades 34,1f.); both the goddess'clothes and her statue were presumably washed by young women called loutrídes or plyntrídes (Hsch. s.v. λουτρίδες). A procession is recorded, in which  Pallas [3] was escorted to the sea by ephebai (Ephēbeía), (IG II2 1011,11); this was probably connected with the festival [1]. The …

Pandrosus

(370 words)

Author(s): Parker, Robert (Oxford)
[German version] (Πάνδροσος/ Pándrosos, 'all dew'). Attic heroine, closely linked with the Acropolis and Athena. Her importance is attested by the oath of the women ‘by P. (Aristoph. Lys. 439). In mythology, P. is usually a daughter of the first Attic king Cecrops and like her sisters Aglauros [2] and Herse is set the task of caring for the infant Erichthonius [1]; according to a widespread version, she, in contrast to her sisters, obeys the instruction not to look into the basket containing the ch…

Panathenaea

(672 words)

Author(s): Parker, Robert (Oxford)
[German version] (Παναθήναια; Panathḗnaia). Attic festival, celebrated over several days at the end of H ekatombaion, the first month of the Attic year. According to the majority of ancient sources, the first Panathenaea were held by the mythical king Erichthonius [1] (Harpocr. s.v. π., ll. 14f.; Marmor Parium 10); however, some also attribute their foundation (Plut. Theseus 24,3) or respectively expansion (Paus. 8,2,1) to Theseus. According to schol. Aristid. Panathenaicus p. 323 Dindorf (= Aristot. fr. 637 …

Mantis

(894 words)

Author(s): Parker, Robert (Oxford)
[German version] (μάντις; mántis), the commonest Greek word for ‘seer’, ‘soothsayer’, occurs from Homer onwards throughout antiquity. A mantis was usually a person. However, in sanctuaries with prophetic functions, the deity itself was regularly referred to as mantis (e.g. Aesch. Cho. 559), mortals in these cases serving the deity only as a mouthpiece. This relation between deity and inspired human is expressed by Pindar in his invocation of the Muse: ‘Prophesy, Muse, but I will be your mouthpiece’ (fr. 150 Snell). Since the μαντικὴ τέχνη ( mantikḕ téchnē, ‘art of prophecy’) was p…

Meilichios, Meilichioi Theoi

(913 words)

Author(s): Parker, Robert (Oxford)
[German version] (Μειλίχιος, μειλίχιοι θεοί/ meilíchios, meilíchioi theoi). The divine epithet meilichios was undoubtedly connected in Greek antiquity with a number of words (μειλίχιος/ meilíchios, μείλíχος/ meilíchos, μειλίσσομαι/ meilíssomai, μείλιγμα/ meíligma, in EM 582,35f. even with μέλι/ méli, ‘honey’) which convey the idea of kindness, soothing, propitiation. These words often imply a prior anger which must be appeased. Allusions to the epithet meilíchios show a similar fluctuation between two ideas: that the name belongs to a god who allows himsel…

Aegis

(445 words)

Author(s): Parker, Robert (Oxford)
[German version] (Αἰγίς; Aigís). In Homer, a common attribute of Zeus, who is regularly described as ‘Aegis-bearer’, and of Athena (Il. 2,446-9; 5,738 ff.; 21,400 f.; Od. 22,279). Its appearance -- a metal shield, a goatskin shield or a cloak -- cannot be clearly determined, because there was no firm tradition. The aegis is said to be ‘completely unkempt’ (Il. 15,309) and to have ‘tassles’ (100 of gold in Il. 2,448); the gods carry it, although Athena throws it around her shoulder, in place of a sh…

Pluto

(993 words)

Author(s): Junk, Tim (Kiel) | Parker, Robert (Oxford)
(Πλουτώ; Ploutṓ). [German version] [1] Mother of Tantalus (by Zeus) Mother of Tantalus by Zeus (Antoninus Liberalis 36,2; Hyg. Fab. 82 and 155; Paus. 2,22,3; according to scholion Eur. Or. 5 by Tmolus); also daughter of Kronos (scholion Pind. Ol. 3,41), Berecyntian nymph (Nonnus, Dion. 48,729-731). According to Clemens Romanus (in Rufin. recognitiones 10,21,7 and 10,23,1) the mother of Tantalus is called Plutis or Plute and is the daughter of Atlas. Junk, Tim (Kiel) [German version] [2] One of the Oceanids One of the Oceanids (Hes. Theog. 355), companion of Persephone (Hom. h. 2,422). Ju…

Thesmophoria

(929 words)

Author(s): Parker, Robert (Oxford)
[German version] (Θεσμοφόρια/ Thesmophória; discussion of the term below, last paragraph). Festival of Demeter and Kore (Persephone, Kore) celebrated exclusively by women, the most widely attested of all Greek festivals, one that appears in almost every region of the Greek world ([1. 313 f.], but the list needs updating). Ritual practice will not have been uniform throughout Greece [2. 76], but as usual the bulk of our evidence relates to Attica, where the festival was celebrated in the autumn mont…

Pallas

(560 words)

Author(s): Käppel, Lutz (Kiel) | Parker, Robert (Oxford)
[German version] [1] Attic hero (Πάλλας/ Pállas). Attic hero, eponym of Pallene [3], son of Pandion [1], brother of Aegeus, Lycus [8] and Nisus [1]. After Pandion's death, the brothers divided up Attica, with Aegeus as its king. P. and his 50 sons wanted to usurp the rule but were killed by Aegeus' son Theseus (cf. Soph. TrGF 4 F 24; Philochorus FGrH 328 F 107; schol. Lys. 58; schol. Aristoph. Vesp. 1223; Apollod. Epit. 1,11; Apollod. 3,206; the battle and defeat of P. are described in Diod. Sic. 4,60; Apollod. Epit. 1,11; Paus. 1,22,2; 1,28,10; Hyg. Fab. 244; Plut. Theseus 13). Käppel, Lutz (Ki…

Epimenides

(363 words)

Author(s): Parker, Robert (Oxford)
[German version] Cretan religious figure, of whom many legends and miracles have been reported (FGrH 457 T 1-11). He lived to be 154, 157, or 299 years old, of which he supposedly spent 40 or 50 years as a young man asleep in a grotto of the nymphs (nourished by special food which he kept in the hoof of an ox). His soul could leave the body and then return if it desired. He also claimed to have lived several lives (FGrH 457 T 1; 2; 4d). He shares several of these qualities (migration of the soul, …