Friday, November 30, 2012


Pleiades 1. In Greek mythology, the seven daughters of Atlas ( Maia, Electra, Taygeta, Alcyone, Celaeno, Sterope, and Merope ), who were set by Zeus among the stars. 2. Astron. A loose cluster of many hundred stars in the constellation Taurus, six of which are visible to ordinary site.

Morning The goddess Eos or Aurora.

Pillars of Hercules the two promontories on either side of the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar: the Rock of Gibraltar in Europe and the Jebel Musa in Africa; fabled to have been raised by Hercules. Also called Hercules' Pillars.

nectar 1. In Greek mythology, the drink of the gods. 2. Any delicious drink. 3. Bot. The saccharine secretion of plants, collected by bees to make honey.   [ < L < Gk. nektar] ─ nectarean, nectareous, nectarous adj.

Procne In Greek mythology, an Athenian princess whom the gods transformed into a swallow after she killed her son.

Aones An ancient Boeotian race, said to have been so called from Aon, son of Poseidon. Hence the poets frequently use Aonia as equivalent to Boeotia. As Mount Helicon and the fountain Aganippé were in Aonia, the Muses are called Aonides or Aoniae.

Lavinium An ancient town of Latium, three miles from the sea, and six miles east of Laurentum, on the Via Appia, founded by Aeneas, and called Lavinium in honour of his wife Lavinia ( Livy, i. 1 ). It was the sanctuary of the Latin Penates. See LAURENTUM.

Mestra Daughter of Erysichthon ( q. v.). She supported her famished father by employing the power to change herself into any form she pleased, the gift of her lover Poseidon. She let herself be sold in various forms, and then always return to her father ( Ovid, Met. viii. 738-878 ).

Dodonaeus A surname of Zeus from Dodona. See Homer, Il. xvi. 233.

Apsyrtides Islands at the head of the Adriatic, in the Sinus Flanaticus ( Gulf of Quarnero ); named, as tradition reported, from Apsyrtus the brother of Medea, who, according to one account, was killed here. See APSYRTUS.

Alalcomeneus Class. Myth. the first man: he reared Athena and reconciled Zeus and Hera. Also, Alalkomeneus. ―Alalcomenean, Alalkomenean, adj.

Iarbas, also Hiarbas A son of Iupiter and the Libyan nymph Garmantis. He was king of Gaebulia, and a suiter of Dido, queen of Carthage. See DIDO.

Furiae Class. Myth. fury ( def. 3).

Pherae ( in ancient geography) a town of SE Thessaly; the home of Admetus and Alcestis.

Hippothoüs Son of Cercyon, and father of Aepytus, king of Arcadia.

Dea Dia An early Roman goddess, probably identical with Acca Larentia and worshipped by the Frates Arvales ( q.v.). See ROMULUS.

Intonsus " The unshorn." An epithet applied to Apollo and Bacchus with reference to their eternal youth.

Fafnir In Germanic mythology, the dragon who guards the hoard of the Nibelungs, slain by Sigurd. Also Fafner.

Despoena " The mistress;" a title given to Aphrodité, to Demeter, and especially to Persephoné who was worshipped under this name in Arcadia ( Plat. De leg. 796 B ).

Eurymus Father of the seer Telemus, who is hence called Eurymides ( Odyss. ix. 509 ).

Aphrodisia Festivals celebrated in many towns of Greece in honour of Aphrodité (q.v.). The especial seat of her worship was at Cyprus. No bloody sacrifices were permitted to be offered, but only pure fire, flowers, and incense. The initiated also offered a piece of money to the goddess as a harlot; and received a measure of salt symbolizing the origin of Aphrodité in the sea, and  a phallus as expressive of the sexual function.

Panthoüs and Panthus One of the Trojan elders. By his wife, Phrontis, he was the father of Euphorbus, Polydamas, and Hypernor, who are called Panthoides. Panthoüs was originally a priest of Apollo at Delphi, and was brought to Troy by Antenor, who was captivated by his beauty ( Iliad, iii. 146; xiv. 450; xvii. 24, 40, 81; Verg. Aen. ii. 319 ).

Caphira A daughter of Oceanus. Together with the Telchines, on the island of Rhodes, she brought up Poseidon who had been entrusted to her by Rhea.

Maenalus A mountain in Arcadia, extending from Megapolis to Tegea, celebrated as the favourite haunt of the god Pan. The Roman poets frequently use the adjectives Maenalius and Maenalis as equivalent to Arcadius.

Acrisius Gk. Myth. A king of Argos and father of Danae who was killed by his grandson Perseus.

Momus In Greek mythology, the god of blame and mockery.  [ < L < Gk. momos blame, ridicule ]

Semiramis In Assyrian legend, the beautiful and wise wife of Ninus and founder of Babylon.

Mentes ( in the Odyssey ) a captain of the Taphians. Athena assumed his form when she urged Telemachus to search for Odysseus.

Bianor A son of the river-god Tiber, and of Manto, daughter of Tiresias. Servius makes him the founder of Mantua, and identical with Oenus.

Psyllus The eponymous king of the Psylli tribe of Libya. He was the father of Crataegonus by the nymph Anchiroe. ( Nonn. Dionys. xiii. 378 ).

Ematheon Son of Eos and Tithonus, brother of Memnon from whom he seized the government of the Ethiopians. He was slain by Heracles when travelling in search of the golden apples of the Hesperides. See Hes. Theog. 985.

Nomius " The Pasturer;" a name given to divinities protecting the pastures and shepherds, such as Apollo, Pan, Hermes, and Aristaeus.

Dryas Father of the Thracian king Lycurgus ( q.v.), who is hence called Dryantides.

Nixi Dii Male deities, be supposed to aid Iuno Lucina in her task of presiding over childbirth ( Ovid, Met. ix. 294 ), but this is regarded as erroneous.

Ithaca 1. An island of Greece, in the Ionian group; 36 sq. mi.; legendary home of Odysseus. Greek Itháki, Ithaki 2. A city in south central New York on the southern end of Cayaga Lake; pop.28, 799.  Ithacan adj. & n.

Arimaspi Greek Mythology. a race of one-eyed men of northern Europe who fought with the griffins, trying to wrest from them the gold they guarded.

Cynosura 1. Greek Mythology. a nymph of Mount Ida, and nurse of Zeus, metamorphosed into the constellation Ursa Minor. 2.= Cynosure.

hyacinth 3. In Greek mythology, a plant, perhaps the iris, larkspur or gladiolus, supposed to have sprung from the blood of the slain Hyacinthus.

Nyctimene [L., daughter of Epopeus, fr. Gr. Nyktimenē; she was changed into an owl.]

Polieus adj. [Gr.] Gr. Relig. Protector of the city  ( Athens ); an epithet of Zeus.

Amycus Class. Myth. a son of Poseidon and one of the Meliae, known for his ruthlessness and his skill at boxing.

Strophius A king of Phocis, son of Crissus and Antiphatia, and husband of Cydragora, Anaxibia, or Astyochia, by whom became the father of Astydamia and Pylades. See ORESTES.

Menestheus (1) The son of Peteos, who seized the government of Attica, while Theseus pined away in the nether world, and commanded the Athenians before Troy, where he fell ( See DEMOPHOÖN; THESEUS ). (2) The charioteer of Diomedes.

Zethus In Greek mythology, Amphion's twin brother. Also Zethos.

Gerana a Pygmean woman, and wife of their king, Nicodamas, by whom she became the mother of Mopsus ( according to Boeus, ap. Athen. ix. p. 393, of a tortoise ). Being highly esteemed and praised for her beauty among the Pygmies, she despised the gods, especially Artemis and Hera, who in revenge metamorphosed her into a crane. In this state she always fluttered about the place in which her son Mopsus dwelt, until she was killed by the Pygmies. This is said to have been the origin of the war between the Cranes and the Pygmies. ( Anton. Lib. 16, who calls her Oenoë; Eustath. ad. Hom. p. 1322; Ov. Met. 90 ).

Ithacesiae (1) Three islands opposite to Vibo, on the coast of Bruttium. They were thought to answer to the modern Braces, Praea, and Toricella. (2) Baiae is called by Silius Ithalicus sedes Ithacesia Baii, because founded by Baius, the pilot of Odysseus, according to the poetic legends of antiquity ( Sil. Ital. viii. 539 ).

hippogriff A mythological beast with the wings, head, and claws of a griffin, and the hindquarters of a horse. Also hippogryph[< F hippogriffe < Ital. hippogrifo < Gk. hippos horse + LL gryphus griffin ]

Amphitryon In Greek mythology, the husband of Alcmene.

Tannhäuser A Germanic minnesinger and crusader of the 13th century, identified with a legendary knight who gives himself up to revelry with Venus and her court in the Venusberg, then makes a trip to Rome to seek absolution. He is the hero of a opera by Wagner.

Crommyonian sow Gr. Myth. A dangerous wild pig which ravaged the land of Crommyon, on the Isthmus of Corinth. It was killed by Theseus.

Dia The daughter of Dioneus and wife of Ixion ( q. v.), by whom ( or, according to others by Zeus ) she became the mother of Pirithoüs ( q. v.).

a-1898 Harper's Dict. of Class. Literature & Antiquities

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