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Allegory

(1,080 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] ἀλληγορία ( allēgoría; first documented as a rhetorical term in Cic. Att. 2,20,3), from ἀλληγορέω ( allēgoréō; ‘I say something other [than I mean]’); Lat. translatio, inversio, immutatio, permutatio. In rhetoric, allegory does not refer to a hermeneutical method ( Allegorical poetry,  Allegoresis). Instead, rhetoric deals with the production of allegories and with their effectiveness as a strategy of argumentation (  argumentatio ). However, the rhetorical treatment of allegory also faces fundamental questions of languag…

Centaurus

(78 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
(Κένταυρος; Kéntauros). [German version] [1] Father of the centaurs According to Pind. Pyth. 2,21ff. son of  Ixion and  Nephele (the supposed Hera). C. fathers the  centaurs with the mares of Pelion (Diod. Sic. 4,70). Walde, Christine (Basle) [German version] [2] Ship According to Virgil (Aen. 5,122; 10,195), name of a ship with the figure of a centaur. Walde, Christine (Basle) [German version] [3] Constellation The constellation C., usually identified with  Chiron or  Pholus. Walde, Christine (Basle)

Pathos

(689 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (πάθος/ páthos, i.a. 'passion', Latin. i.a. perturbatio animi, affectus), provoking emotion for the purpose of persuasion, occupies a central position in all major ancient and aesthetic literary works (catharsis). The first reference text is Aristotle's Rhetoric [6], which posits that the audience is convinced in three ways: through ethos (ethical self-presentation of the speaker), pathos (the presentation of the subject matter in a way calculated to produce an emotional response from the listener) and logos (logic…

Mnemonics

(675 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] A. Memoria as part of the rhetorical system In Graeco-Roman antiquity, a speech was supposed to be delivered from memory, i.e. without written aids (exception: Cicero's speech to the Senate on his return from exile; he merely prefaced it with some improvised words of thanks, Cic. Planc. 74). Recall of phrases, thoughts, and arguments of the rhetorical system were also indispensable for the orator: memoria, the ‘treasure-house of recollection’, is the foundation of every form of rhetoric (Cic. Inv. 1,9; Rhet. Her. 3,28). On that basis, memory is one of the five  partes or…

Polyhymnia

(134 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Πολύμνια/ Polýmnia, less often Πολυύμνια/ Polyýmnia, one 'with many songs' or 'polyphonic choral song'; cf. Diod. Sic. 4,7,2 ff.). One of the nine canonical Muses, seldom mentioned individually in verse (Ov. Fast. 5,9-54). Despite her unambiguous name, her sphere of activity is non-specific and multifaceted. In Horace (Carm. 1,1), P. is to be understood as a Muse who immortalizes great matters with great songs. She is known as the inventor of the lyre (schol. Apoll. Rhod. 3,1-5a) and …

Senecta, Senectus

(58 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Latin 'old age'; Greek Γῆρας/ Gḗras). Daughter of Erebus and Nyx/Night (Cic. Nat. D. 3,17,44), personification of old age (Hor. Epod. 8,4), often mentioned in connection with illnesses and human suffering (cf. Sen. Epist. 108,28: “senectus enim morbus est”): Verg. Aen. 6,275; Sen. Herc. f. 696; Sil. Pun. 13,583 et passim. Walde, Christine (Basle)

Leimone

(11 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] Daughter of Hippomenes [2]. Walde, Christine (Basle)

Cerambus

(110 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Κέραμβος, Kérambos). Son of Euseirus (son of Poseidon) and the nymph Eidothea; a shepherd on the Othrys, he invents the panpipes and the lyre, and his playing sets the nymphs dancing. He does not follow Pan's advice to flee from the imminent, icy cold winter. C. and his flock freeze to death under the mass of snow. The nymphs transform him into a beetle with long feelers resembling a lyre (Antoninus Liberalis 22; Cerambyx: stag beetle; cf. Hsch. s.v. Κεράμβυξ). However Ovid in con…

Cambles

(86 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Κάμβλης; Kámblēs, also Κάμβης; Kámbēs). Mythological king of Lydia. His insatiable appetite (perhaps caused by poison given to him by his enemies) drives him to cannibalism. Driven mad by hunger, he devours even his own wife. Upon waking the next morning with the rest of her hand in his mouth and realizing what he had done, he kills himself (Xanthus, Lydiaca, fr. 12., FHG vol. I, 36ff.; Nicolaus of Damascus FGrH 2 A 90 F 28; Ael. VH 1,27). Walde, Christine (Basle)

Speeches, Genres of

(10,896 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
Walde, Christine (Basle) [German version] A. Definition and Historical Overview of the Development of the Genres of Speech (CT) Already in the epics of Homer, the Attic tragedies, among historiographers and in philosophy, the prominent areas of public speech become crystallised in reflection, however sublimated, of socio-cultural reality: speeches of advice, defence and accusation, epitaphs and encomia. Yet it was Aristotle, in his Rhetoric (Book I), who created the first reference text, influential to this day, of a canonic threefold division of the genres of speech (Greek: génē …

Celmis

(81 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Κέλμις, Kélmis; older form evidently Σκέλμις in Callim. Fr. 100,1 Pf. and Nonnus, Dion. 14,39; 37,164). One of the  Daktyloi Idaioi skilled in the blacksmith's craft. Proverbially, C. ἐν σιδήρῳ (Zenob. 4,80) according to a passage in the Sophoclean satyr play Kōphoí (TGF, fr. 337 N.2) is used to describe excessively power-conscious persons. C., who is the playmate of the boy Zeus in Ovid (Met. 4,281f.), is transformed into steel because he reviles Rhea. Walde, Christine (Basle)

Obscuritas

(337 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] ('Lack of clarity' sc. of expression); corresponds with the Greek noun σκότος ( skótos, 'darkness') with the adjective σκοτεινός ( skoteinós); ἀσάφεια ( asápheia, 'unclearness'). Obscuritas is a central term in ancient rhetorical and literary-aesthetic discussions. For the Greeks, obscuritas has a positive connotation in the context of solemn inspirational mantic art and oracles in particular, but as a quality of the language of poetry , it is a matter of controversy. In the Frogs of Aristophanes, the archaic-obscure Aeschylus and the modern-perspicuous …

Thalia

(284 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
(Θάλεια/ Tháleia, Θαλία/ Thalía, Lat. Thalia; related to the Greek θάλλειν/ thállein, ‘to sprout, grow, thrive’, esp. in reference to fruit trees; cf. Diod. Sic. 4,7). Hesiod counts T. among (1) the Muses, (2) the Nereids and (3) the Charites; generally, she is related to the realm of fertility. Later literary references show a deliberately vague distinction between Muses and Charites. [German version] [1] Muse One of the Muses (Hes. Theog. 77), associated with comedies (e.g. Anth. Pal. 9,504; attribute: comic theatre mask; ‘the light muse’, cf. T.-Theater, Hamburg) as well as mi…

Labyrinth

(1,193 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
(λαβύρινθος; labýrinthos, labyrinthus). [German version] A. The concept The term ‘labyrinth’ denotes in current usage either the labyrinth in the narrow sense; or in the broad sense, any maze or confusing, large building (especially since the Hellenistic period as a motif in literature or in the pictorial arts); or else in a figurative sense, it is used as a metaphor or allegory for the vagaries and deceptions of human life. This last sense can increasingly be observed after the 3rd cent. AD. Walde, Christine (Basle) [German version] B. The labyrinth in the narrow sense The labyrinth in …

Cyclopes

(334 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Greek Κύκλωπες; Kýklōpes, singular Κύκλωψ; Kýklōps, Latin Cyclopes, singular Cyclops; etymology see below). C. is the term used to describe about 18 groups or individual figures in Greek myth who differ not just in their descent and location but also in their outward form and characteristics. As early as antiquity, Hellanicus (FGrH 4 F 88) was the first to undertake systematization and to attempt to trace them back to a single ancestor, Cyclops, son of  Uranus and/or the king of Thrace (Schol. Eur. Or. 965). People distinguished in particular between: 1. the C. w…

Inventio

(687 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (εὕρεσις, heúresis: invention, finding sc. of ideas). In the system of rhetoric, inventio denotes the first of five production stages in the compositon of a speech (  partes orationis ; apart from inventio,   dispositio ,   elocutio ,   memoria ,   pronuntiatio ). Within the separation of verbal realization ( verba) and ideas ( res), which permeates all rhetoric in antiquity and counteracts this quintuple division, the inventio together with the dispositio, to which it is inseparably linked, belong to the res that are conceded a peculiarly concrete status. The inventio s…

Antithesis

(99 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (ἀντίθετον, ἀντίθεσις; antítheton, antíthesis), contrapositum, contentio, assigned to the list of conceptual and verbal figures, but also part of rhetorical argumentation as such. It is therefore relevant for the theory of expression (rhetoric) as well as for the theory of cognition and contemplation (dialectics, e.g. in Heraclitus: war and peace as opposites). Antithesis creates a semantic broadening through a critically-dividing or a mediating juxtaposition of two (or more) words, wo…

Metaphor

(1,239 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
(μεταφορά/ metaphorá, ‘transference’; Latin loan translation: translatio). [German version] A. Definition of the problem and its classification in the rhetorical system The discussion of metaphor and other forms of figurative speech, which today is taking place with great emphasis in various fields (linguistics, neurophysiology, psychology, and philosophy), has its origin in Aristotle, who dealt with metaphor in the ‘Poetics and ‘Rhetoric. In keeping with these origins, metaphor finds its place in the rhetorical sys…

Hercules Oetaeus

(191 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] Roman tragedy by an unknown author, handed down in the corpus of  Seneca's tragedies. This drama, the longest in antiquity (1996 v.), has been subject to highly controversial assessments, mostly depending on whether Seneca's authorship is accepted or rejected (extremes [1] and [2], mediating [3]). The subject, the events leading up to the death of Hercules and his apotheosis, is treated originally, despite artistic and intelligent  intertextuality with Soph. Trach., Ovid (Epist. 9 and Met. 9) and to Seneca's Hercules Furens. The stylization of Hercules as sav…

Cerberus

(377 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Κέρβερος, Kérberos). A guard dog that belongs to the standard repertoire of the Graeco-Roman  Underworld who signals and prevents any unauthorized entry into, or departure from, the realm of the dead. He often appears at the side of  Hades and/or  Persephone. In the Hellenistic age C. in a changed form was also associated with the god  Sarapis (Macrob. Sat. 1,20,13-14). C. is mentioned for the first time -- although without a name or any more detailed description -- in Homer in connection with the adventures of  Hercules in the Underworld…

Metamorphosis

(1,201 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
Terminology: Greek μεταμόρφωσις ( metamórphōsis; ‘transformation’); Latin transfiguratio, mutatio, with the verbs mutare, refigurari, transformare. [German version] A. Definition Metamorphoses are specific types of myths, particularly widespread in Ancient Greece, whence they found their way into Roman literature. Two types may be distinguished: (1) temporary transformations of gods (for instance Zeus in various erotic adventures), magicians, or tricksters for deceptive purposes, etc.; (2) lasting transformations …

Cleio

(157 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Greek Κλείω; Kleíō, Latin Clio; on the etymology from κλεός, ‘fame’ cf. Diod. Sic. 4,19; Plut. Symp. 9,14; Cornutus 14). One of the Muses ( Muses; Hes. Theog. 77); as a nymph of the springs (Plut. De Pyth. or. 17,402c-d) or an  Oceanid (Verg. G. 4,341), C. is also a goddess of the waters, which is frequently associated with poetic inspiration [1]. Since Pindar (e.g., Pind. Nem. 3, 1-2; Pind. Ep. 3,3; 12,1-29; Pind. Ol. 2,1-2; cf. Hor. Carm. 1,12,2) and Bacchyl. (3,1-3; 12,1-3; 13,9,2…

Iphianira

(46 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Ἰφιάνειρα; Iphiáneira). Name of two different Greek heroines: of one, the daughter of the Argive king Megapenthes, the same story is told as of  Iphianassa [1] (Diod. Sic. 4,68,4); the other is the sister of  Amphiaraus (Diod. Sic. 4,68,5). Walde, Christine (Basle)

Quadration

(47 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Κοδρατίων/ Kodratíōn). Orator of the 2nd cent. AD, student of Favorinus, teacher of the sophist Varus of Perge (Philostr. VS 2,6 p. 250 K.), friend of P. Aelius Aristides [3] (47,22; 50,63 ff. K.). Probably identical with L. Statius Quadratus ( cos. 142). Walde, Christine (Basle)

Figures

(1,998 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
(Lat. figura; Greek σχῆμα/ schêma; French figure). [German version] A. Overview Figures are formal phenomena of language beyond the grammatical primary structure. In rhetoric they are treated in the context of   elocutio under the category ornatus (decoration) and are mostly defined as deviations from normal language usage; if they are few in number, it is considered as paucity of expression (Quint. Inst. 9,3,3). The theory of figures assumes that there is a raw framework of arguments in simple words that has to be clad and orname…

Saenianus

(62 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] Roman orator from the Early Imperial Period whose origin and life are obscure. Seneca the Elder, to whom we owe the few testimonies (Sen. Controv. 5,2; 7,5,10; 9,2,28; Sen. Suas. 2,18) denounces him as 'crazy', 'feeble-minded' and 'vulgar'. Allowing for personal animosity on Seneca's part, it still seems that S. preferred abstruse and non-pertinent arguments. Walde, Christine (Basle)

Carya

(71 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Καρύα; Karúa). Daughter of the Laconian King Dion, beloved of Dionysus. Her sisters, Orphe and Lyko, who lock up C., are struck with insanity by Dionysus and transformed into the cliffs of Taygetus; however C. is transformed into a walnut tree (Serv. Ecl. 8,29). According to epic poet Pherenicus, C. is, like other Hamadryads, a daughter of Oxylus and his sister Hamadryas (Ath. 3,78b). Walde, Christine (Basle)

Sibyl

(678 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
(Σίβυλλα/ Síbylla, Latin Sibylla). [German version] A. General Seer inspired by the gods from birth In Greco-Roman culture Sibyls are an unspecified number of seers, inspired by the gods from birth, who retain their virginity throughout their life, grow very old, but are not immortal. They are sometimes mentioned in the same context as Apollo and in this show certain similarities to other prophetesses, such as Cassandra or the Pythia [1]. The Sibyls function as mediators between gods and men but do not act as part of an institutionalized oracle; their prophecies ar…

Travel literature

(500 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] The term travel literature (TL) refers to a heterogeneous group of literary products that belong to categories such as travel report, travel description (travel guide, travel handbooks) or travel novel, categories that in themselves are not clearly defined. Precursors of modern travel guides and handbooks are, for instance, the Greek peri(h)ēgḗseis (Periegetes, cf. e.g. Pausanias [8], Heraclides [18]) as well as sea maps with descriptions of coasts (Periplous). Strictly speaking, a travel report - without judging its aesthetic quality - is the rep…

Urania

(271 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
(Οὐρανία/ Ouranía, Latin Urania). [German version] [1] Muse who surveys the course of the world One of the Muses (Hes. Theog. 78), mother of Linus (father Apollo: Excerpta ex Hygino 174 Rose) and Hymenaeus [1] (Catull. 61,2). From remarks in Plato (Phaed. 259d) and from the time of Aratus [4] onwards, U. can clearly be identified as patron of Astronomy/Astrology (pictorial representations with globe, pointer; [1]), the natural sciences and - because of her cosmic dimension (U. brings light into the darkness) -…

Iphimedea

(118 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
(Ἰφιμέδεια; Iphimédeia). [German version] [1] Lover of Poseidon Daughter of Triops, wife of Aloeus, lover of Poseidon, father of her children, the  Aloads Otus and Ephialtes (Hom. Od. 11,304; Pind. Pyth. 4,89; Apollod. 1,53; Hyg. Fab. 28). I. and her daughter Pancratis (Pancrato) play a part in the prehistory of Naxos (Diod. Sic. 5,50f.; Parthenius 19): the Aloads pursue the Thracians, who have abducted their mother and sister to Naxos, and free I., but Pancratis loses her life. Pausanias attests I.'s g…

Ker

(370 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Greek ἡ Κήρ; hē Kḗr). From Homer, two meanings are attested for the name K.: 1. as ‘pest’, ‘malignant spirit’, ‘ruin’ and ‘death’ (Hom. Il. 2,302; 12,326-327; Od. 22,66). 2. as ‘an individual's fate’. The first kind of Ker, which appears alone, but mostly in large numbers ( Kêres), are female malignant spirits that act in various ways. Whilst Homer describes them as, amongst other things, ‘black’ (Hom. Il. 3,454) and ‘bringing disaster’ (ibid. 13,665), Hesiod offers a description of the outward appearance and the genealogy of …

Ethopoeia

(233 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (ἠθοποιία/ ēthopoiía; Lat. ethopoeia, notatio). Ethopoeia means the representation of the character (  êthos ) of an orator or another person by (imitative) speech (  mímēsis ), which may be effected as speech without dialogue,  dialogue or  monologue. In ancient rhetorical theory, ethopoeia has been included from Aristotle as a reproducible quality among technical means of persuasion with which the speaker may introduce himself as an insightful, virtuous and benevolent person. Roman rhetoric introduced further refinement…

Imbrius

(48 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Ἴμβριος; Ímbrios). Son of Mentor from Pedaeum. Married to Priamus' daughter Medesicaste, he lived at his father-in-law's house from the beginning of the Trojan War. He was killed in the battle for the ships of  Teucer (Hom. Il. 13,170ff.; Paus. 10,25,9). Walde, Christine (Basle)

Cercopes

(247 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Κέρκωπες, Kérkōpes; regarding κέρκος, ‘tail’: ‘those with tails’; used also as a swear word, cf. Diog. Laert. 9, 114). The number and names of these sons of  Theia and  Oceanus (Suda s.v. Κέρκωπες) vary; they usually appear as a pair (e.g. Olus and Eurybatus; Acmon/Aclemon and Passalus; Sillus and Tribalus). In Asia Minor their home is given as Ephesus, or on the Greek mainland as Thermopylae. The C. are elf-like proverbial scoundrels and good-for-nothings, who are very closely as…

Cilix

(105 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Κίλιξ; Kílix). Son of Telephassa and  Agenor [1], who sent him, with his brothers on the (futile) search for the kidnapped  Europa [2]. C. becomes the founder and eponym of Cilicia (Hyg. Fab. 178). C. also gains a part of Lycia, by helping Sarpedon in time of war (Apollod. 3,2ff.; Hdt. 7,91). In a later version Sarpedon, searching for his sister, is killed by his uncle C. who does not recognize him (vita Theclae PG 85, 478ff.; cf. the Song of Hildebrand). Schol. Apoll. Rhod. 2,178, citing various sources, calls C. the son of Phoenix and uncle of Agenor. Walde, Christine (Basl…

Mneme

(123 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Μνήμη/ Mnḗmē, lat. Memoria). In literary sources, starting with the Hellenistic period, personified memory, with Lethe as its counterpart (Anth. Pal. 10,67). M. is largely identical to Mnemosyne (Phil. De plantatione 129 Wendland), but is rarely more than an abstraction (cf. relief of Homer  by Archelaus [9] of Priene, where she is portrayed next to Physis, Arete, Pistis and Sophia [1]). In Ascra, the cult association of the Aloads worshipped her, together with Melete (‘diligence’)…

Nyktophylax

(51 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Νυκτοφύλαξ/ Nyktophýlax, ‘night guard’). A nyktophýlax was a Greek daemon that appeared in the night. Altars and statues were erected to him because of his ability to cure diseases. According to Lucian's De morte Peregrini 27ff., Peregrinus (Proteus) sought to become a nyktophýlax through self-immolation. Walde, Christine (Basle)

Lernus

(84 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
(Λέρνος; Lérnos). [German version] [1] Aetolian Aetolian, father of Palaemonius the Argonaut, whose real father was considered to be Hephaestus (Apoll. Rhod. 1,202ff.). Walde, Christine (Basle) [German version] [2] Argive Argive, son of Proetus, father of Naubolus, Argonaut (Apoll. Rhod. 1,135). Walde, Christine (Basle) [German version] [3] King in the region of Lerna In a euhemeristic interpretation of Heracles' Hydra adventure king in the region of Lerna, whose castle ‘Hydra’ was set on fire by the hero (Palaephatus 38). Walde, Christine (Basle)

Combe

(121 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Κόμβη; Kómbē, Lat. Combe). Daughter of the Phlian river-god Asopus and Metope; regarded since Hecataeus (FGrH 1 F 129), also called Chalcis, as the namesake of the eponymous city on Euboea (cf. Diod. Sic. 4,72; Zenob. 6,50). According to a tale recounted exclusively by Nonnus, C. was the mother of the seven Euboean Corybantes ( Couretes; Nonnus, Dion. 13,135ff.). With them she fled from her husband Socus to Crete, Phrygia, and finally Athens to  Cecrops, who killed Socus, thus enabl…

Pavor

(65 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] ('fear', 'terror'). Like Greek Phobos, the Latin personification of fear; its effect (often associated with Mars or the Erinyes/Erinys) is vividly embellished particularly by poets of the Imperial age (Ov. Met. 4,485f.; Stat. Theb. 3,424f.; Val. Fl. 2,204ff.). Seneca tells of the deification of P. by Tullus Hostilius [4] (fr. 33 Haase; cf. Liv. 1,27,7; Min. Fel. 25,8). Walde, Christine (Basle)

Iphicles

(146 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Ἰφικλῆς; Iphiklês, also Ἴφικλος; Íphiklos). Son of  Alcmene and  Amphitryon, twin (half-)brother of  Heracles, for whose godlike powers he is used as a foil. In their cot he flees from the snakes, which Hercules strangles (Pherecydes FGrH 3 F 69). I. participates in the Calydonian Hunt and in Hercules' Trojan campaign (Diod. Sic. 4,49,3). With Automedusa, daughter of Alcathous, he fathers  Iolaus. After the battle against Erginus, Hercules is married to Creon's older daughter Megara,…

Nyx

(651 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
(Νύξ/ Nýx; Lat. Nox, night). In antiquity, the night as a sphere of the eerie and the hidden was regarded not simply as a natural, daily phenomenon that shaped people's lives but as a goddess and personification. It is difficult to draw clear boundaries between these realms. [German version] A. Genealogies In variously accentuated genealogies of gods [1], N. is a cosmogonic power. In Hesiod, N. belongs to the first generation of gods along with other appearances of light (Hes. Theog. 123ff.; 211; 744ff.; cf. her authority in Hom. Il. 14,259). Sh…

Mnemosyne

(278 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Μνημοσύνη/ Mnēmosýnē, Latin Moneta; Liv. Andronicus, Odusia fr. 21 Morel-Büchner-Blänsdorf). Goddess of memory (cf. Mneme). As a daughter of Uranus and Gaia M. belongs to the oldest generation of Titans (Hes. Theog. 135), who represent cosmic and social concepts. After spending nine nights with Zeus, she became the mother of the nine Muses who bring human beings joy and temporary light-heartedness (Hes. Theog. 54 ff.; Pind. Nem. 7,15; Pind. Isthm. 6,75). Parallels to Zeus’s other lo…

Muses

(1,502 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
(Greek Μοῦσαι/ Moûsai, Latin Musae; Camenae: see below; etymology contentious [3. 7f.]; ancient attempts at a solution, e.g. Pl. Crat. 406a; Diod. Sic. 4,7,3-4; Etym. M. 589,40; further details [3. 5f.]). [German version] A. General The M. are a specific of the religion and of the cultural self-conception of the Greeks. Far from being mere personifications of the arts, they are rather the expression of the capacity, granted to man alone, for self-reflection and taking a place in history. As goddesses of memoria (memory and the means of remembering, the…

Parallelism

(130 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (from Greek παράλληλοι/ parállēloi, 'standing or lying side-by-side'). As a transpositional figure of speech (Figures) parallelism, like hyperbaton, antithesis and chiasmus, is part of embellished speech ( ornatus). It designates (at least two) coordinated sentence units of equal rank that relate to one another and also deviate from normal word order (Quint. Inst. 9,3,80f.). If the number of syllables in the words and the length of the two sentence units are identical, this is called isokolon; if they are approximately equal, the term used is parison. In order to…

Calchus

(71 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Κάλχος; Kálchos). King of the Daunians ( Daunia), lover of  Circe prior to the arrival of Odysseus. Because he continues to importune her against her will, she drives him to madness with enchanted food and drink. As a Daunian army begins looking for him, Circe releases him from her spell, but only after C. promises never to set foot on her island again (Parthenius 12). Walde, Christine (Basle)

Alliteration

(127 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] The term was coined by the Neapolitan humanist G. Pontano (14th cent.) for the frequent repetition of the same consonant (also, vowel in initial position) or of the same syllable in a word group. However, the phenomenon of alliteration was already known in the practical use of ancient rhetoric (it corresponds to a positively understood homoeoprophoron, related to paronomasia). Alliteration results in a closer linking of sentence parts and creates a mnemotechnical effect (e.g. in Germanic alliteration). It is used most often in aphorisms (Suet. Iul. 37,2: veni, vidi…

Silence

(751 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Greek σιγή/ sigḗ, σιωπή/ siōpḗ and associated verbs; Latin silentium, taciturnitas, quies and associated verbs). Even though Graeco-Roman Antiquity bears the stamp of a culture of speech (Rhetoric), many testimonies from ancient literature, religion, philosophy, medicine and general understanding betray a high awareness of the importance of silence, which had its own forms of expression and performance [2; 4; 12]. Programmatic statements on silence are found throughout Antiquity, e.g. in Pi…

Phosphoros

(146 words)

Author(s): Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] (Φωσφόρος/ Phōsphóros, 'bringer of light'; also Ἑωσφόρος/ Heōsphóros, 'bringer of dawn'; Latin Lucifer [1], cf. Cic. Nat. D. 2,53). Term for the planet Venus as a light-bringing human-friendly morning star, which is identical - as was recognised at an early stage - to the evening star Hesperos (Parmenides, 28 A 1 DK; Pl. Epin. 987b). In mythology, however, the idea of two stars always remained: here P., like Hesperos, is a son of the dawn Eos and the Titan Astraeus (He…
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