Johann Joachim Eschenburg.

Manual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions online

. (page 24 of 153)
Online LibraryJohann Joachim EschenburgManual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions → online text (page 24 of 153)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

§ 36. According to both Greeks and Romans, Apollo was the son of Jupiter
and Latona, born on the island Deles. He was regarded as the god of the
sciences and the arts, especially poetry, music, and medicine. They ascribed
to him the greatest skill in the use of the bow and arrow, which he proved in
killing the serpent Pytho, the sons of Niobe, and the Cyclops. The last
achievement incensed Jupiter, and he was banished from Olympus. During
his exile Apollo abode as a shepherd* with Admetus king of Thessaly. He
also assisted Neptune in raising the walls of Troy, beguiling the toil of the
laborers with his lyre and songs. His musical contest^ with Pan and Marsyas
is referred to the same period of his history. — Other menporable circumstances
in his history me his love for Daphne and her transformation^ into a laurel-tree;
that of Clytie for him and her metamorphosis'* into a sun-flower; his friendship
for Hyacinthus^ who was killed by Apollo's inattention, but changed into the
flower of that name ; and for Cyparissus, also accidentally slain and changed
intoatree^; the indiscreet request of his son Phaeton', to guide his father's
chariot for one day, and the fatal consequences of the attempt.

1 Ov. Met. ii. 6S0. ^ vi. 3S2. xi. 146 3 Met. i. 452. * iv. 206, 256. s x. 162. 6 x. 106. ■> i. 750.

§ 37 a. The worship of Apollo was much celebrated among both Greeks and
Romans. As the god of inspiration and prophecy, he gave oracles at Didyma,
Patara, Claros, and other places. His temple at Delphi, and the oracle con-
nected with it, was the most celebrated ; next in fame was that in Argos, and
the one at Rome on the Palatine hill, built by Augustus and adorned with a
famous library. The Greeks celebrated in honor of Apollo the Pythian games,
and the Romans those called ludi JipoUinares and the ludi seculares. The
laurel and olive, the wolf and hawk, the swan and grasshopper, the raven,
crow, and cock, were sacred to Apollo.

1 u. The following names were applied to Apollo: C%nildus, Delius, Nomrus, Pu'
tareus, Pythius {llvdios), Smintheus, Thymhraus.

2. He had also the following names: Aofias, riatdj', 'E«r)/?dXoj, Tojo^dpos, AA£fr«o«oj;
Vvltiirius, Epiddius, Lycius, Delphinlus, Dtlphicus, Actius.

§ 37b. The image of this god, as expressed by poets and artists, was the
highest ideal of human beauty, a tall and majestic body, and an immortal
youth and vigor. Accordingly he appears on extant monuments with long
tiair, crowned with laurel, having in his hand a bow and lyre, and a quiver on
his shoulder, naked, or but lightly clad. The most celebrated monument is the
marble statue, called the Apollo Belvidere.

A view of this monument is given in our Plate XLIV. fig. 3, drawn from Winckelmann. See
P. IV. $ 186. 4. Cf. Tibull. L. iii. Ele. 4. v. 27.

1. " Sometimes he is painted with a crow and a hawk flying over him, a wolf and a
laurel-tree on one side and a swan and a cock on the other, and under his feet grass-
hoppers creeping." Sometimes he is exhibited in the midst of the Muses: cf ^ 103.
He also appears, with a radiant head, in a chariot drawn by four horses ; thus he is
seen in our Plate XI. 4. In the Sup. Plate 2 his figure is given as represented on many
monuments; here is seen also an altar with a lyre sculptured on it. — A statue of Apollo
stood upon the promontory of Actium, as a mark to mariners, and was seen at v great
distance at sea.

2. The stories respecting Apollo resemble those in the Hindoo mythology respecting Crtthna,
who is sometimes painted in company with nine damsels, who are whimsically grouped into the
form of an elephant, on which he sits and plays upon his flute. Crishna is also frequently repre-
sented as the destroyer of the great serpent ; in some views he is held in the folds of the serpent,
which is biting his foot; in others, he holds the serpent triumphantly in the grasp of his hands,
and crushes its head beneath his foot.

Cf. Sir IVm. Janes, as cited § 25. i.— Asiatic Researches, vol. vu'i.—CalmeVs Diet. &c. vol. iii. p. 529 of ed. Charlestown, 1813.

§ 38. (9) Diana. She was a daughter of Jupiter, and was born of Latona
on the island Delos, at the same time with Apollo. As in Apollo the sun was
deified and adored ; so was the moon {luna, Gi%r^vr^ in Diana, who was called
by the Greeks "Aprs^ittj. She was also recognised as the goddess oi hunting
or the chase, of which she was passionately fond in her youth. She was like-
wise viewed sometimes as a goddess of the infernal regions, under the name of
Hecate. As presiding over the chase, she received from Jupiter a bow with
arrows, and a train of sixty nymphs. — She also obtained from him the grant of
her petition to live a virgin, and was therefore the goddess of chastity. Hence



her displeasure at the transgression of one of her nymphs, Calisto', and her
transformation of Actseon^ into a stag. The only one, towards whom she was
not indifferent, was the shepherd or hunter, Endymion. She slew the nymph
Chione^ from jealousy of her beauty, and the daughters of Niobe"* because
Latona was slighted l/y their mother.

1 Ov. Met. ii. 464. ^ jji. 194. 3 \x. 321. * vi. 148-312.— Cf. Horn. II. xxiv.— ffyf. fab. 9.

The Story of Niobe and her children (cf. § 81, $ 131), afforded to poets and artists a rich subject
for the embellishments of fancy. The number of the children is variously siaied ; Homer gives
her six sons and as many daughters; while others say sevei), and some even teji. In the splen-
did group of statuary cafled J^Tiube and her Children (cf P. IV. $ lb6. -2), seven s(ms and seven
daughters are represented. Montfaucon gives an engraving from a most beautiful antique,
found at Rome, iti which Apollo and Diana appear in the air discharging their arrows upon the
unhappy family; the youngest daughter clings to her mother; a horse is leaping in fury upon
another daughter ; one son lies dead on the plain ; the other children are in attitudes of distress.
In our Sup. Plate 17, this subject is represented in a composition, in which Amphion is intro-
duced, and a concourse of the citizens of Thehes.— A person dying by plague or pestilence waa
said to be slain, if a male, by the arrows of Apollo; if a female, by the arrows of Diana.

See Mantf. Ant. Exp. vol. i. p. Wl.—Mayo, Mylhology, vol. iii. p. 109 ss.

§ 39. Nowhere was the worship of Diana so much regarded, nowhere had
she a temple so splendid, as at Ephesus. (Cf. P. IV". § 234. 3.) With this
exception, that in Chersonesus Taurica was the most celebrated, especially
through the story of Orestes and Iphigenia. Her principal temple at Rome
v/as that erected by Servius Tullius on Mount Aventinus. In Rome the iesti-
val of the hidi seculares were sacred to her in conjunction with Apollo, and she
was particularly honored under the name of Lucina, as presiding over births.
In this view she was also called by the Greeks and Romans Ilithyia (liXft'^uta),
although this was the name (cf. § 27) of a distinct divinity.

1. The poppy was sacred to Diana. The Athenians sacrificed to her goats, or a
white kid, sometimes a pig or ox. The inhabitants of Taurica offered on her altar
strangers that were shipwrecked on their coast.

2 u. Among her names were Phcebe, Cynthia, Delia, Hecate, Dictynna, Agrotera
{dypoT£pa)i Trivia (rptoJtris), from her statues being placed in crossways as she pre-
sided over streets ; Chito?ie (x^ruvr]) ; and Triforinis {TpiiJiop4ios), from her threefold
character as goddess of the moon or month, the chase, and the lower world.

"Diana is called Trifarmis and Terffemina: first, because though she is but one goddess, yet
she has three different names as well as three different offices : in the heavens she is called
Luna; on the earth she is named Diana; and in hell she is styled Hecate or Proserpina : iti the
heavens she enlightens everything by her rays ; on the earth she keeps under all wild beasts by
her bow and her dart ; and in hell she keeps all the ghosts and spirits in subjection to her by he
power and authority : secondly, because she has, as the pnets say, three heads ; the head of a
horse on the right side, of a dog on the left, and a human head in the midst ; whence some call
her three-headed or three-faced : thirdly, according to some, because the moon has three |)hases
or shapes ; the new moon appears arched with a semi-circle of light; the half-moon fills a semi-
circle with light; and the full moon fills a whole circle or orb with splendor."

3. Other names or epithets were applied to her : ^oxeta, Kwriyos, 6pe(jiKoiTo<;, hx^'^iP'^
and roloipopos.

§ 40. As goddess of the chase, she is represented in monuments of art, tall
and nimble, with a light, short, and often flowing costume, her legs bare, her
feet covered with buskins, with bow and arrows, either alone, or accompanied
by he nymphs; often with a hound near her: often riding in a chariot drawn
by two white stags.

In our Plate X. fig. 7, she is seen in her chariot drawn by stags.— In the Sup. Plate 15, she is
given as represented in a beautiful statue, supposed to have come from the same hands as the ,
Apollo Belvidere.

1. " Sometimes she appears whh wings, holding a lion in one hand, and a panther in
the other, wiih a chariot drawn by two heifers, or two horses of different colors."

2 u. As the goddess of night, or the moon, she is represented in long robes, with a
large starred veil, having a torch in her hand and a crescent on her head.

See Plate XLI.— Cf. Plate XIV. fig. 2.— See i 76.

3 u. We have figures of the Ephesian Diana, in the Egyptian styje^nd in Greek
imrtation of it, in which she is exhibited with numerous breasts, and very similar to
Isis, whereby the I'ruitfuiness of nature seems to have been represented.

Montfaucon gives several of these figures. One of the most remarkable is presented in our
bup. Plate 16 ; on the head of the statue is a double mural crown ; a larire festoon is suspended
from the neck, and within it are two images of Victory ; on each arm are two lions; the body
tapers to the feet like a Hermes, but is divided into four portions, the first of which is occupied
V'V numerous breasts, the second by heads of stags, and the third and fourth by heads of oxen.
'4 In the Sup. Plate 12, are three views of a statue of Diana Triformis, from Montfaucon*



presenting tlie three faces successively; the first ftice on the right with a torch in each hand;
the next face, with a knife {cidtrum) in the right hand, and a whip (Jlagellum) in the left; the
third, with a key in the right hand and a serpent in the left.

§ 41 a. (10) Minerva. Under the name of Minerva amonor the Romans and
of na?.?.a^ and 'A^-/]v~a among the Greeks, ancient fiction personified and deified
the idea of high intelligence and wisdom. She was a daughter of Jupiter,
sprung from his head. She is said first to have revealed herself near the lake
Tritonis in Libya, from which circumstance she was called Triionia.

1. Some derive this epithet, and the Greek Tpi-oytveia, from the word rptrw signi-
fying head.

2. Minerva is by some supposed to have been originally the Egyptian deity worshiped particu-
larly ai Sais \uider the name of Neith or Netha. Various etynKjIogies of the Greek name '\i}r]vd
have been given ; among them is the conjecture which derives it ifroin the name of the Egyptian
deity, by inverting the order of the letters; Netha {vrida), being thus changed, would form aOriv.

§ 41 b. The Greeks ascribed to this goddess the invention of many arts and
sciences^ which had a great influence on their civilization. She was regarded
as inventress of the flute, of embroidery and spinning, the use of the olive, and
various instruments of war; in short, of most works indicating superior intelli-
gence or skill. Arachne's contest with her in working with the needle, and
consequent despair and transformation are beautifully described by Ovid.^

1 Ov. Faster, iii. 815. 2 Ou. Metam. vi. 5.

§ 42. The city of Athens was consecrated to Minerva, and boasted of receiv-
ing its name from her. The splendid temple at that place dedicated to her was
called Parihenon^^ in reference to her virgin purity (rtap^Eroj). She had other
temples, at Erythr^, Tegea, and Sunium,^ and several at Rome. Her principal
festivals among the Greeks were the Panatheiixa, the greater and the less, and
among the Romans, Qutnquatria, on each of which, games and contests were
held. The owl was sacred to Minerva, and is often found on her images and
on the Athenian coins.^

1 Respecting the Parthenon, see P. I. § 107. Of. P. IV. § 234. 3. § 242. § 243. 1 2 On the remains of the temple of Sunium,

cf. Am. Quart. Rev. vol. vi. p. 234. 3 See the Attic coin given in Plate XL. fig. 5.

The following is the story respecting the name of the city of Athens :— When Cecrops built
a new city. Neptune and Minerva contended about its name ; and it was resolved in the assem-
bly of the'gods, that whichsoever of the two deities found out the most useful creature to man,
should give the name to the city. Neptune struck the ground with his trident, and a horse
issued from the earth. Minerva caused an oZife to spring up. The latter was pronounced the
more useful thing, and Minerva therefore gave the city her own name, 'AdrjvS. Dr. Clarke
imagines that this story had its origin from the fact, that the plains of Greece were once covered
or nearly so with water, which was afterwards removed by evaporation and other causes, and
thus a cultivable soil was presented to the inhabitants.

Clarke's Travels in various countries, &c. Fart II. sect. ii. ch. 12.

§ 43. Minerva is usually represented in military armor, with a helmet, and
the JEgis, or her peculiar cuirass bearing on it Medusa's head, and with a spear
and often a shield or buckler in her hand. Her helmet is generally ornamented
with the figure of the owl, but presents various forms.

1. In our Plate XL fig. 6, she appears holding in her left hand an image of Victory,
with her right resting on a round shield bearing on it a Medusa; her .spear leans on her
right shoulder ; the ^Egis is seen on her breast. In the Sup. Plate 6, she is in a sitting
posture, with her spear and buckler; the owl appearing at her feet. In the Sup. Plate
20, the owl appears on one side and a cock on the other ; the .^gis on her breast is
here very distinct.

The term mg-is (diyis) signifies literally a goat-skin. Hoiner represents the tpo-is as a part of
the armor of Jupiter, whom he distinguishes by the epithet diyioxoi; yet he speaks of Minerva
as using it (cf. /Z. ii. 447-449. xviii. 204. xxi. 400).

2 11. The colossal statue of Minerva, wrought by Phidias, and the Palladium were
much celebrated; the former on account of the perfection of its workmanship (cf P. I.
^ 107. P. IV. §§ 160, 161, 179); the latter on account of the superstitious confidence
piaffed in it by the Trojans, Greeks, and Romans.

The Palladium was a statue of Pallas, with a spear in one hand and a distaff in the other,
about three cubits high. It was said to have fallen from heaven into the citadel of Troy or
Ilium before it was completely built, and that the oracle of Apollo being consulted upon this oc-
ciirrence, answered, that "the city should be safe so long hs thatimage remained within it."
When the Greeks besieged Troy, it was therefore thought of the first consequence to obtain this
image. Ulysses and Diomedes succeeded in getting it by stealth (Vir.JEn. ii. 162). It was said
to have bt-en aftprwards recovered from Diomedes by iEneas, carried to Italy, and finally lodgeo
in tlie leniijle of Vesta.


3 u. Besides the names Minerva, Pallas, and Athena, this goddess was often called
nap^sj/oj, 'Epj-aT-is, and "Epyai"?, IloAtaj; she is also lermad 31usica, Fylolis, and very
often rXauKtoTTtj or Cassia.

§44. (11) Mars. The god of war and battles was a son of Jupiter and
Juno, and educated in Thrace. He was viewed as presiding over rude and
fierce war, the origin of which was ascribed to him, while Minerva had the

credit of inventing tactics and the proper military art. Notwithstanding the

high idea which Homer gives of the strength and heroism of Mars, he repre-
sents him as taken prisoner by Otus and Ephialtes, and wounded by Diome-
des; it was, however, by the help of Minerva^ Besides these occurrences, his
amors with Venus and his dispute with Neptune^ respecting the son of the
latter, Hallirrhotius, who was put to death by Mars, constitute all that is re-
markable in his history.

» Horn. II. V 383, 855. 3 Apollod. iii. U.—Pausan. i. 21.

§ 45 a. He was most worshiped in Thrace, where probably the whole con-
ception of such a god originated. He had however temples and priests in most
of the Grecian cities.

" Mars was never a favorite deity with the Hellenic tribes of Greece, and his worship

was comparatively neglected It is not easy to discover the origin of this deity ;

he seems to have been derived from the Pelasgi, or some other warlike and barbarous
tribe, rather than Egypt. He bears a striking resemblance to the northern Odin, and
probably was the same deity under another name." Tookes Pantheon, Lond. ed. 1831.

§ 45 b. The Romans regarded hjm as the father of Romulus, and the founder
and protector of their nation. They erected to him many temples, consecrated
to him a large public place, the Campus Martins, and a peculiar order of priests,
the Sa/ii, who celebrated his festival with music and dancing in solemn pro-

1. It was a special business of these priests to guard the ancilia, or sacred shields ,
respecting which see P. III. ^ 215.' — A very ancient hymn sung in honor of Mars by
the Romans is still preserved; see P. IV. § 114. 4. — To Mars was offered the sacrifice
cai'ed Suovetaurilia ; a representation of which, as found in an ancient bas-relief, is
give./ in our Plate XXIX.

2. Several animals were consecrated to Mars ; the horse, for his vigor; the wolf, for
his .'rerceness : the dog, for his vigilance. Magpies and vuUures were also offered to
hitn on account of their greediness.

§ 4G. The ancient artists have represented Mars in full manly vigor, with a
strong but agile body, and an air calm and collected, rather than vehement or
passionate. He commonly appears equipped in armor; sometimes naked;
sometimes in the attitude of marching, as Mars Gradivus.

1. He is also represented as riding in a chariot drawn by furious horses, covered with
armor and brandishing a spear in his right hand ; thus he is seen in our Plate XI. fig. 7.
Sometimes Bellona, the goddess of war, bearing in her hand a flaming torch, drives the
chariot over prostrate warriors ; such is the representation given in the Sup. Plate 10.
Sometimes he is represented as attended with a horrid retinue ; Clamor, Anger, Dis-
cord. Fear, Terror, and Fame. In the Sup. Plate 6, he appears as ready for marching ;
with his plumed helmet, coat of mail, spear, and shield.

2. Bellona, called by the Greeks 'Evvii, is sometimes said to be the wife, sometimes the sister,
and sometimes the daughter of Mars. Slie had a temple at Rome, and before it was a pillar
called Bellica, over which the herald threw a spear when war was proclaimed.

3 u. Mars was called "Apr]; by the Greeks ; other names given to him are Odrysius,
Strymonius, Enyalius, Thurius, Quirinus, TJltor,

§ 47. (12) Venus. The ideal of the most perfect female beauty, and the
love awakened by it, was in eastern fiction expressed and personified in an
imaginary goddess ; she was called by the Romans Venus, and by the Greeks
'AijjpoStVj/. According to the common story, she was born from the foam (a^poO
of the sea; in Homer she is presented as a daughter of Jupiter and Dione.
After her birth she came first to Cytherea, and thence to Cyprus. — Many of the
gods sought her; but Vulcan obtained her as his spouse.

1 u. She, however, loved Mars, Mercury, and Adonis especially, although with un-
requited passion ; the early death of the latter she bitterly lamented.

CKid. Melam. x. 500, 717 ss.— £io»i, Idyl on the death of Adonis.— See also Theocritus, Idyl xv. which is a beautiful little comedy
Keotfoizing the story of Adonis ; the sceue is laid in Alexandria, at the time of a festival in his honor.



The story respecting Adonis, the young favorite of Venus, is. that beinsr engaged in hunting,
of which he was excessively fond, he received a mortal wound from a wild boar. At this Venus
was immodprately grieved, and Proserpina restored him lo life on condition of his spending si.x
months with Venus and six with herself II has been explained thus : Adonis, or Mdunai,whs
an oriental title of the sun, signifying Lord; the boar, supposed to have killed him, was the em-
blem of winter, during which the productive powers of nature being suspended, Venus was said
to lament the loss of Adonis until he was restored asain to life ; whence both the Syrian and
Argive women annually mourned his death, and celebrated his renovation." — Adonis is supposed
lo be the same deity with the Syrian Tammuz (cf Ezekiel viii. 14). — Lucian (De Syria Dea) gives
an account of the festival Adonia, held in honor of hiin at Byblus. Cf. P. IIL $ 77. 2.

2 u. In her contest with Juno and Minerva, Paris awarded to Venus the prize of
beauty. Hence her memorable zeal for the interests of the Trojans.

§ 48. The most celebrated places of her worship were Golgi, Paphos, and
Amathus, upon the island of Cyprus, which was wholly consecrated to her;
Cythera, Cnidos, and Eryx in Sicily; all situated near the sea, and in delight-
ful regions. In Rome she was honored as the pretended mother of ^Eneas, the
ancestor of the nation, although her worship was first formally introduced from
Sicily, in the sixth century after the building of the city.

L At Ilierapolis, in Syria, was a splendid temple in honor of Venus, under the name of .5s-
tarte or Atergaiis, the As'htaroth of the Holy Scriptures.
See Lxician, De Syria Dea.— Cf. Mayo, Mythology, vol. W.—Calimt, vol. iii. p. 372. ed. Chariest. 1SI3.— C/<lsj. Journal, No. liii.

2 u. The pigeon or dove, the myrtle, and the rose, were especially sacred to the
goddess of love.

3. The swan and the sparrow were also sacred to Venus. Her sacrifices were goats
and swdne, with hbations of wine, milk, and honey.

Some have considered the worship of Venus as derived from corruptions of the traditions re-
specting the universal deluge ; her rising from the sea being a type of the world emerging from
the waves of the flood. — Bryant's Mythology. — HulwelVs Myth. Diet.

§ 49. The poets and artists of antiquity endeavored in the description and
representation of Venus to embody the fullest and purest idea of female beauty.
The n.jst distinguished antique statue of her is the famous Medicean Venus at

Respecting Uiis statue, see P. W. § l?6. 5.

1. She is represented on coins and gems, and in the descriptions of the poets, in
various ways ; sometimes she is clothed with a purple mantle glittering with diamonds,
her head crowned with myrtle and roses, riding in a chariot made of ivory, finely
carved, painted and gilded, and drawn by swans, doves, or sparrows. Sometimes she
is attended with the Graces and several Cupids. At one time she appears like a young
virgin, rising from the sea and riding in a shell ; at another, she holds the shell in her
hand. In our Plate X. fig. 6, she stands on a wave of the sea, supponed by two Tri-
tons, with two attendant Cupids. In the Sup. Plate 6, she stands in a shell, with long
tresses, drawing a mantle around her. In the celebrated picture by Apeiles (cf. P. IV.
^ 222), she appears rising from the bosom of the waves and wringing her tresses on her
shoulders. In some monuments she holds one hand before her bosom and with the
other presses her mantle close about her limbs ; Montfaucon gives a figure very similar
to this, from a statue formerly in the gallery of Versailles. In the Sup. Plate 7. she is
seen in a reclining posture, with Cupid resting his elbow on her lap, while the Graces
are adorning her person, and two doves conduct her car on a cloud. In an ancient paint-
ing, given in the Sup. Plate 8, she supports in her arms the dying Adonis. In some
representations she has golden sandals on her feet, and holds before her a brilliant
mirror. The Sicyonians exhibited her whh a poppy in one hand and an apple in the
other. In Elis she was painted as sitting on a goat and treading on a tortoise. — She
usually had a belt or girdle called Ceslus, m which all kinds of pleasures are said to

Online LibraryJohann Joachim EschenburgManual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions → online text (page 24 of 153)