Friday, January 4, 2013


Epaphus [L., fr. Gr. Epaphōs.] Gr. Myth. The son of Zeus by Io, born in Egypt after the wanderings of his mother. He was king of Egypt, and ancestor of a famous line, including Danaus and Cadmus.

Aulestes A Tyrrhenian ally of Aeneas, is called a son of Tiberis and the nymph Manto, and the brother of Ocnus. He was slain by Messapus, and was regarded as the founder of Perusia. ( Virg. Aen. x. 207, xii. 290.).

Messapus A son of Neptune and king of Etruria, who was invulnerable, and a famous tamer of horses. ( Virg. Aen. vii. 691, &c., with the note of Servius.).

Actor Class. Myth. a brother of King Augeas, sometimes believed to be the father, by Molione, of Eurytus and Cteatus. Cf. Moliones.

Daedalion Class. Myth. a son of Lucifer who, despotent over the death of his daughter Chione, leaped off Parnassus: Apollo changed him into a hawk.

Abundantia [L.] Abundance or plenty, personified as a goddess by the Romans.

centauro-triton [L. Centaurus+Triton.] Gr. Myth. A monster with the body, head, and arms of a man, forefoot of a horse, and tail of a fish.

Turnus Roman mythology An Italic king who waged unsuccessful war against Aeneas, who killed him.

Rhea Sylvia In Roman mythology, a vestal, the mother by Mars of Romulus and Remus.

Sterope In Greek mythology, one of the Pleiades: also called Asterope.  n. Astron. One of the six visible stars in the Pleiades cluster.

Anna Perenna [L.] Rom. Relig. An early Italian goddess, whose feast was on March 15.

Portunus [L., fr. portus harbor.] Rom. Relig. Probably, originally, a god of gates or doors ( porta, gate, door ), closely associated with Janus. Later, he came to be recognized as god of the port or harbor. His festival, the Portunalia, was celebrated Aug. 17. See MATUTA.

Lycabas The name of three fictitious personages mentioned by Ovid ( Met. iii. 625, v. 60, xii. 302 ).

Paeon 1. A son of Poseidon and Helle, who fell into the Hellespont. In some legends he was called Edonus. ( Hyg. Poet. Astr. ii. 20.) 2. The physician of the gods. [ See PAEAN.]

Laogoras A king of the Dryopes, was allied with the Lapithae against Aegimius, but was slain by Heracles. ( Apollod. ii. 7. § 7.).

Acrisioné Danaë ( q. v.), daughter of Acrisius.

Hypsipyle [Gr. Hypsipylē.] In Greek legend, a woman of Lemnos who spared her father, Thoas, when the women of the island killed the men.

Melpomene In Greek mythology, the Muse of tragety.  [< Gk. Melpomenē, lit., the songstress < melpein to sing ]

Chloeia A festival celebrated at Athens in honour of Demeter Chloé, or simply Chloé, whose temple stood near the Acropolis ( Hesych.v. χλοιά ). It was solemnized in spring, on the sixth of Thargelion, when the blossoms began to appear and much mirth and rejoicing.

Thalia 1. The Muse of comedy and pastoral poetry. 2. One of the three Graces.  [< L< Gk. Thaleia < thallein to bloom ]

Clytia In Greek mythology, an ocean nymph, beloved by the Sun-god, who deserted her. She was changed into the heliotrope, a flower which is supposed always to turn its head in the direction of the sun's movement.

sylvan .  n. 1. A spirit or deity of the forest. 2. Poetic. A person or animal dwelling in the woods. Also spelled silvan.  [< MF sylvain sylvan < L sylvanus, silvanus < silva wood ]

Jana A Roman goddess. [See JANUS.]

Laonome 1. The wife of Alcaeus, and mother of Amphitryon. ( Paus. viii. 14; see AMPHITRYON.) 2. [See OILEUS and CALLIARUS.] 3. [ See EUPHEMUS.] 4. The wife of Polyphemus, and sister of Heracles. [See POLYPHEMUS, No. 2.]

Euryclea ( in the Odyssey) the nurse of Telemachus who recognized the disguised Odysseus by a scar on his leg. Also, Euryclia.

Golden Bough Class. Myth. a branch of mistletoe, sacred to Proserpina, that served Aeneas as a pass to the underworld.

Oniros The god of dreams. Dreams dwelt on the shores of the Western Ocean, false dreams coming out of an ivory gate and true dreams from a gate of horn ( Odyss. xix 502; xxiv. 12 ). Dreams were controlled by Hermes, the god of messages. Ovid calls them the children of Sleep, and names three of them-Morpheus, Icelus ( or Phobetor ), and Phantasus ( Met. xi. 633 ). For dream-oracles, see ORACULA.

moly 1. A legendary herb possessing magical power and, according to Homer in the Odyssey, given by Hermes to Odysseus for protection against the enchantments of Circe. 2. A wild garlic found in Europe. 3.Informal Molybdeum.  [< L< Gk. mōly ]

apple of discord  In Greek mythology, the golden apple inscribed " for the fairest," thrown among the gods by Eris. Claimed by Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena, it was rewarded by Paris to Aprodite after she promised him Helen.

Lapithae n. pl. Lapith  In Greek mythology, a wild tribe of Thessaly who, at the wedding of their king Pirithous, fought and overcame the centaurs.

ephydriad [Gr. ephydrias, -ados, of the water.] A water nymph. Rare.

Amazon 1. In Greek mythology, one of a race of female warriors said to have lived near the Black Sea. 2. A female warrior. 3. Any large, strong or athletic woman or girl: also amazon.  [ < L < Gk. Amazōn; derived by the Greeks as < a- without + mazōs breast, because of the fable that they cut off the right breast to faciliate the use of the bow ]

Lyctidae [NL., fr. Lyctus, type genus ( fr. L. Lyctus, fr. fr. Gr. Lyktos, mythical founder of Lyctus, city in Crete ) + -idae.]

Astraea In Greek mythology, the goddess of justice.

Triple Hecate Gr. Relig. The goddess as combining three goddesses in one. See HECATE, Illust.

Clashing Rocks Symplegades.

Victrix an ancient Roman epithet variously applied to Venus, Diana, and other goddesses.

Moros Class. Myth. a child of Nyx, and the personification of fate.

Pylades Class. Myth. a son of Strophius who befriended Orestes, accompanied him in his wanderings, and eventually married Electra, sister of Orestes.

nymphaeum 1. a room or area having a fountain, statues, flowers, etc. 2. an architectually treated outlet of a reservoir or aqueduct.  [1760-70; < L < Gk. nymphaîon place sacred to nymphs, n. use of neut. of nymphaîos, equiv. to nýmph (ē) NYMPH + aîos adj. suffix ]

myrtle 1. any plant of the genus Myrtus, esp. M. communis, a shrub of southern Europe having evergreen leaves, fragrant white flowers, and aromatic berries: anciently held sacred to Venus and used as an emblem of love. Cf. myrtle family.

Protogenia Class. Myth. the first woman born after the great flood of Zeus, daughter of Deucalion and Pyrrha. Also, Protogenea.

Napaeae Rom. Legend. the nymphs of a dell.

Tyrrheus Rom. Legend. a shepherd. The killing of his tame stag by Ascanius was a cause of the war between Aeneas' Trojans and the people of Latium. Also, Tyrrhus.

Picumnus one of two ancient Roman fertility gods. Cf. Pilumnus.

Sibylla Class. Myth. an Asian maiden who gained from her lover Apollo the gift of prophecy and long life.

Victor 1. an ancient Roman epithet variously applied to Jupiter, Mars, and Hercules.

Pygmy 5. Class. Myth.( in the Iliad ) one of a race of dwarfs who fought battles with cranes, who preyed on them and destroyed their fields.

Eurybates ( in the Odyssey ) a companion of Odysseus.

Danai Class. Myth.1. the Argives. 2. the Greeks.

Cynthia 1. Artemis: so called from her birth on Mt. Cynthus, on Delos. 2. Literary. the moon, the emblem of Artemis. 3. a female given name.

Erigone Class. Myth. a daughter of Clytemnestra and Aegisthus who hanged herself when Orestes was acquitted of the murder of her parents.

wheel of fortune  The wheel that Fortuna, goddess of chance, is represented as turning in order to bring about changes in human destiny, and that symbolizes the uncertainty of fate.

golden age 1. In Greek and Roman legend, an early period of civilization marked by perfect innocence, peace, and happiness. 2. A period of prosperity or excellence, as in a nation's history, art, literature, etc.

Comus 1. In classical mythology, the young god of revelry. 2. A masque ( 1634 ) by John Milton.

Stentor In the Iliad, a herald famous for his loud voice.

Mimas 1. Astron. one of the moons of Saturn. 2. Class. Myth. one of the Gigantes, killed by Hercules. 3. Rom. Legend. a companion of Aeneas, killed by Mezentius.

Ganymeda Class. Myth. Hebe.

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