Friday, December 7, 2012


Phineus [L., fr. Gr. Phineus.] Gr. Myth. a The betrothed of Andromeda who tried to prevent the marriage of Andromeda to Perseus. Thereupon Perseus with the Gorgon's head turned him into stone. b A Thracian king, who for an offense against the gods or for cruelty to his sons was visited by blindness, while his food was snatched away or befouled by the Harpies. Cf. ARGONAUT, 1.

Cyllené (1) The highest mountain in the Peloponnesus, on the frontiers of Arcadian and Achaia, sacred to Hermes, who had a temple on the summit, was said to have been born there, and was hence called Cyllenius. (2) A sea-port town of Elis.

Athamantid adj. Pertaining to the descendants of Athamas.

Erythia (1) One of the Hesperides ( q. v. ). (2) The daughter of Geryon ( q. v. ), who got her name from the island near the coast of Hispania, where her father lived Hesiod, Theog. 290; Pausan. x. 17, 5 ).

Clio The Muse of history.  [< Gk. kleein to celebrate, make famous ]

Mallus A very ancient city of Cilicia, on a hill east of the river Pyramus, said to have been founded at the time of the Trojan War by Mopsus and Amphilochus.

Corycides A name applied to the nymphs who were supposed to inhabit the Corycian Cave on Mount Parnassus. They were the daughters of the river-god Plistus ( Ovid, Met. i. 320; Apoll. Rh. ii. 740 ). The same name is also given to the Muses. See CORYCIA.

Macrae Petrae " The Long Rocks;" on the northwestern side of the Athenian Acropolis at its foot, with a grotto sacred to Apollo and Pan ( Eurip. Ion, 13 ).

thunderbird ( in the mythology of some American Indian tribes ) a large bird thought to bring thunder, lightning, and rain.

Linus 1. Class. Myth. a a musician and poet, the inventor of melody and rhythm, of whom various stories are told: often identified through his untimely death, with the harvesting or withering of crops and vegetation. b Also called Linus song a dirge: originally sung in Asia to mourn the death of Linus or that of Adonis. 2. A male given name.

Meliae Class. Myth. the nymphs born from the blood of Uranus at the time of his mutilation by Cronus; the nymphs of ash trees. [< Gk. meliai, pl. of melia manna, ash tree ]

Athamas [L., fr. Gr. Athamas.] Gr. Myth. A king of the Minyae at Boeotian Orchomenus. Phrixos and Helle were his children by Nephele. He married Ino, daughter of Cadmus, but later became mad, murdered his son Learchus, and persecuted Ino until, with her other son, Melicertes, she threw herself into the sea. See LEUCOTHEA.

wood nymph 1. A goddess or nymph of the forest; a dryad. 2. Any several South American hummingbirds ( genus Thalurania ). 3. Any of a group of butterflies ( family Satyridae ), generally brown in color and having eyelike spots on the wings.

Merope Class. Myth. 1. a queen of Corinth and the foster mother of Oedipus. 2. a queen of Messenia, the wife of Cresphontes and mother of Aepytus, who with Aepytus sought revenge upon Polyphontes, the brother and murderer of Cresphontes. 3. one of the six visible stars in the Pleiades.

Erythraean adj. [L. Erythraeus, fr. Gr. Erythraios, fr. Erythrai.] Of or pertaining to Erythrae, an ancient Ionian city of Asia Minor and a dwelling place of a sibyl, Herophile, regarded usually as identical with the Cumaean sibyl. n. The Erythraean sibyl.

Pandion (1) The son of Erichthonius, father of Procné, Philomela, Butes, and Erechtheus ( q.v.). (2) Son of Cecrops and Metiadusa, grandson of Erechtheus, king of Athens. Driven into exile by the sons of his brother Metion, he went to Megara, where he married Pylia, the daughter of King Pylas, and inherited the kingdom. His sons, Aegeus, Lycus, Pallas, and Nisus ( known as the PANDĬONIDAE ), regained Attica from the Metionidae, and the first three shared it among themselves, while Nisus ( q. v.) received Megara.

Meriones Son of Molus, a half-brother of Idomeneus of Crete, whom he accompanied to Troy with eighty ships. In Homer we read that he was one  of the bravest in the fight, and with Teucer specially distinguished in archery, an art in which the Cretans had always excelled. According to a later legend, on his return from Troy his vessel was driven to Engyion in the north of Sicily, which was supposed to be a Cretan settlement. At Gnossus in Crete his grave was shown, and both he and Idomeneus, his friend and companion in battle, were honoured as heroes ( Diod. iv. 79 ).

Mentor In the Odyssey, the sage guardian of Telemachus, appointed by Odysseus before he departed for the Trojan War.   [ < Gk., lit., adviser ]

Bacchic adj. Of, pertaining to, or like Bacchus or his rites.

Anaxarete Class. Myth. a princess turned to stone for scorning the love of a commonor. 

Pygmalion [L., fr. Gr. Pygmaliōn.] 1. Class. Myth. a A king and sculptor of Cyprus who made an ivory statue of a maiden ( in modern literature called Galatea ) which Aphrodite endowed with life. b A king of Tyre, brother of Dido and murderer of her husband, Sichaeus.

Beroë [L., fr. Gr. Beroē, name of a nymph.]

Ismene Class. Myth. a daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta who did not join Antigone in her forbidden buriel of their brother Polynices.

Dendrites An epithet of Dionysus as fertility-god, literally meaning "he of the trees."

Chryseis In the Iliad, the daughter of a priest of Apollo, captured and given to Agamemnon, and returned after Apollo sent a plague upon the Greeks.

Hipponome The mother of Amphitryon. [See ALCAEUS, No. 1.]

Amulius Rom. Legend. a son of Proca who revolted against his brother Numitor and seized the throne of Alba Longa.

Cronides Also Cronion [Gr. Kronid
ēs, Kroniōn.] Epithet of Zeus as son of Cronus.

Polynices Class. Myth. a son of Oedipus and Jocasta and brother of Eteocles and Antigone on whose behalf the Seven against Thebes were organized.

Amphidamas Class. Myth. 1. a son of Aleus who, with his brother Cepheus, joined the Argonauts. 2. ( in the Iliad ) a king of Cythera.

Temenus Class. Myth. 1. a son of Aristomachus who was allotted the city of Argos for his participation in the Heraclidae invasion of Peloponnesus. 2. a son of Pelasgus believed to have reared Hera.

Bonus Eventus the ancient Roman god of agricultural prosperity. Also called Eventus.

Cerynean stag Class. Myth. a stag living in Arcadia, captured by Hercules as one of his labors. Also called Cerynean hind.

Faustulus [L.] Rom. Myth. The shepherd who found the infants Romulus and Remus and with his wife, Acca Larentia, brought them up.

Felicitas [L.] Roman goddess of good fortune.

Aphaia [Gr.] Gr. Myth. A goddess worshiped in Aegina and Crete, identified with Dictynna and Britomartis.

Scylla [L., fr. Gr. Skylla.] 1. A rock on the Italian coast opposite the whirlpool Charybdis off the Sicilian coast. 2. Gr. & Rom. Myth. a A female monster of partly human form, with the heads of fierce dogs growing about her waist, who was a menace to seafarers. In the classical period Scylla was localized as inhabiting the rock in the strait of Messina. In Greek legend, Jason's ship, the Argo, whise helmsman was Glaucus, passed Scylla. Cf. CHARYBDIS. Hence, between Scylla and Charybdis, between towo dangers, either of which is difficult to avoid without encountering the other. b A daughtr of Nisus, king of Megara. She fell in love with Minos, who was beseiging the town, and to give to him the victory cut from her father's head a golden or purple lock on which his life depended. Minos, repelled by the act, drowned her. According to some versions of the myth she was transformed into a sea bird.

Amphinome Class. Myth. a maiden who, along with her sister Evadne, was deceived by Medea into murdering their father, Pelias.

Panopeus, Panopeae, or Panopé An ancient town in Phocis on the Cephissus and near the frontiers of Boeotia, twenty stadia west of Chaeronea, said to have been founded by Panopeus, son of Phocus ( Herod. viii. 34 ).

Tarchon The son of Tyrrhenus, who is said to have built the town of Tarquinii. ( See TARQUINII.) Vergil represents him as coming to the assistance of Aeneas against Turnus ( Aen. iii. 506 ).

Opus A town of Locris, from which the Opuntian Locrians derived their name. It was the birthplace of Patroclus. The bay of the Euboen Sea, near Opus, was called OPUNTIUS SINUS.

Despina The satellite of Neptune that is third in distance from the planet.  [ From Greek Despoina The Mistress, Arcadian goddess who was the daughter of Poseidon, from despoina, queen, lady, mistress, feminine of despotēs, master. See dem- in Appendix I. ]

Amythaon Class. Myth. the son of Cretheus and Tyro who supported Jason's claim to the throne of Iolcus.

Phoenix 1. Class. Myth. a. the brother of Cadmus and Europa, and eponymous ancestor of the Phoenicians. b. a son of Amyntor and Cleobule who became the foster father of Achilles and who fought with the Greek forces in the Trojan War.

Niobid Class. Myth. any of the children of Niobe.

Ichthyocentaur Class. Myth. a sea creature with a human head and torso, the legs of a horse and the tail of a fish.  [< Gk ichthyokéntauros. See ICHTHYO-, CENTAUR]

Amphiaraus Class. Myth. a hero who joined the Seven against Thebes, although he knew that his death was fated: deified after death.

Stymphalian birds Class. Myth. a flock of predacious birds of Arcadia that were driven away and killed by Hercules as one of his labors.

Delos The smallest island of the Cyclades, Greece; 1.2 sq. mi.; regarded as the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. Greek Dhilos.

Pandora's box ( in Greek mythology ) a box which, when opened, let loose all kinds of misfortunes upon mankind.

Dioscuri Castor and Pollux.  [< Gk. Dioskouroi < Dios of Zeus + kouros boy, son ]

Aonian adj. [L. Aonius, fr. Gr. Aonios, fr. Aonia.] Of or pertaining to Aonia, the region of the mountains Helicon an Cithaeron, in ancient Boeotia, or the Muses, who were supposed to dwell there. See PIERIAN.

Aesculapian snake a long, slender olive brown to grayish snake found in Europe and southwestern Asia. In ancient times it was protected because of its mythical link with the god of healing, Aesculapius.• Elaphe longissima, family Columbridae.

Taygeta In Greek mythology, one of the Pleiades.  n. Astron. One of the six visible stars in the Pleiades cluster.

Styx In Greek mythology, the river of hate, one of the five rivers surrounding Hades.

Aeaea Class. Myth. 1. the island inhabited by Circe. 2. Circe ( def. 1 ).

Herophilé The Erythaean Sibyl. See SIBYLLA.

Celaeno In Greek mythology, one of the Pleiades.  n. Astron. One of the six visible stars in the Pleiades cluster.

bassara [Gr.] Gr. Myth. A bassarid.

Ophion (1) One of the Titans. (2) One of the companions of Cadmus. (3) Father of the centaur Amycus, who is hence called Ophionides.

Cinyras The son of Apollo. He is the legendary king of Cyprus, and a high priest of Aphrodite. Father of Adonis and Myrrha. He and Apollo once held a contest to determine who could play the lyre better, but he lost and committed suicide. On Cyprus, Cinyras was regarded as the inventor of the arts and musical instruments, especially the flute.

Aganice [Gr., Aganikē.] Gr. Myth. A Thessalian witch who drew down the moon from the sky and was punished by the gods.

Cycnus [L., fr. Gr. Kyknos.] Gr. Myth. A son of Ares, killed in combat with Hercules.

Gordys A son of Triptolemus, who assisted in searching for Io, and then settled in Phrygia, where the district of Gordyaea received its name from him. ( Steph. Byz. s. v. Gordieion; Strab. pp. 747, 750.).

Callithyia  Another name for Io. [ See IO.]

amethyst  [ OF ametist < L amethystus < Gk. amethystos not drunken < a- not + methystos drunken < methy wine; because of the ancient belief that a wearer of the stone would be unaffected by wine ]

a-1966 Random House Dict. of the English Language: The Unabridged Edition

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