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The Mythology of Ancient
Greece and Italy

Thomas Keightley



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i



PREFACE.



Unnoticed by reviewers and unaided by favour or influence,
this work has reached its third edition, the last that its author
can reasonably hope to see. It has therefore been carefully
revised and has received numerous additions, of which nfay here
be noticed the explanation of the mythe of the Titans, of the
lameness of Hephsestos, the double-birth of Dionysos, the origin
of Bhadamanthys, and the new principles of etymology and of
secondary derivation. I have carefully marked the long sounds of
the vowels e and o (and of the other vowels in the penultimate)
in the Greek names, and observing how unsightly the use of the
circumflex has made Mr. Grote's pages, I have preferred follow-
ing the usage of Orientalists in employing the acute accent for
that purpose. I continue to employ the form mythe, common
to myself and Mr. Grote, and a justification of that orthography
will be found in the preface to my Virgil, and in an article
headed " Mythe versm Myth'' in the seventh volume of "Notes
and Queries.'' Finally, as the science is wholly conjectural,
every, even the slightest trace of dogmatism has been removed.
In the Preface to the last edition of the Fairy Mythology,
having some reason to think that I was bidding a final farewell
to literature, I took an impartial survey of my literary produc-
tions, and stated the degree of estimation in which they appeared
to be held. An account is there given of the origin of the pre-
sent work, which was at first of a very unpretending character,
having no higher aim than that of forming a superior kind of
Pantheon for the use of schools. Circumstances having caused
a change of plan, I devoted more labour to it ; but it still was
little more than a sketch, till in the second edition it made a
nearer approach to the form of a complete treatise, as in the

a2



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IV PREFACE.

interval I bad found leisure to go through the whole of the
Greek and Latin classics with a view to it; and it also contained
more fully the results of the inquiries of the various German
writers who have employed their pen on this subject^ some of
whom are but little known in this country. I have^ however, — a
thing that is not always done^ — ^honestly acknowledged my obli-
gations to even the most obscure. In the following pages I use
the reference See when my informaticfn has been derived from a
writer. Compare when there is only a coincidence of opinion.

In this country my work has received the praises of those
whose praise is of value. I understand that it is also very
highly estimated in the Transatlantic universities. With re-
spect to the Continent, the name of Welcker alone might suffice,
who, as I have had it on the best authority, has always spoken
of it in the highest and most laudatory terms. As some, how-
ever, may regard his praise as of little value, our systems being
the same, I will cite the testimony of an honest opponent.
Mr. Pococke, in his late very ingenious work, " India in Greece,''
terms it ^' the best compendium of Hellenic mythology that has
appeared,'* and adds, that it " will always deservedly maintain its
high position as the exponent of what Greeks thought and wrote
about and believed." Elsewhere on making a quotation he
says, " These observations are characterized by that sound judg-
ment which distinguishes the author of the Greek Mythology."

This is confessedly my most important work, and it has cost
me more mental labour than the whole sum of my remaining
works. Yet, with all my efforts and with all the importance
and all the beauty of the subject, I have not succeeded, and
have but faint hopes of succeeding, in making mythology popu-
lar. To some this may appear strange, but their surprise may
cease when they are reminded of the qualities which should be-
long to the writer, and consequently, though in a less degree, to
the student, of mythology.

Lauer, who unhappily was snatched away in the spring of his
years, after having observed that one may study thorough-bass
ever so much, and yet, if nature have not given musical genius.



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PREFACE. V

never be a composer^ applies the same criterion to the mytbologist.
He therefore requires that he should possess^ \. poetic feeling,
so far at least as to be able to reproduce in his own mind the
poetic conceptions of others ; 2. the historic sense, in order justly
to discern the relation of single mythes and of the whole body
of mythology to the national history of the people to whom it
belongs; 3. critical sobriety, not, as he neatly expresses it,
" such as Voss had, but such as Creuzer has not/' To these I
would add, 4. religious feeling, or what phrenologists term a
development of the organ of veneration, without which, in my
opinion, no system of mythology can be comprehended.

Need we then wonder that the students of mythology should
not be numerous ? This will also give the reason why some of
the most ardent admirers and most diligent students of the pre-
sent work have been of the gentler sex. I know, for instance,
one young lady who before she had completed her sixteenth
year had read it over four times consecutively.

As it is chiefly for the young that I write, I have endeavoured
to employ a style which, while clear and simple, should be
neither inanimate nor inelegant. I have also very rarely put
Greek or Latin in the text, while there are interspersed transla-
tions in verse from Homer and other poets, which, if they have
no other merit, have the humble one of fidelity. I have further
sought to render my pages attractive by narrating legends at
some length, and as these, with the exception of a few from my
favourite Ovid, are taken from poems not generally read at
schools and colleges, they will have some of the charms of
novelty. To say, the truth, in writing this volume I had myself
and my younger days always in my mind, and thought what
would have interested me at the time when I was able to extract
pleasure even from such a book as Tooke's Pantheon.

I feel very great confidence in the correctness of the principles
laid down in the commencement of this work ; for they are of
universal application, to every system of mythology and every
variety of popular legend. It shoiild therefore be read care-
fully through, for if used as a mere book of reference it will



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V PREPACE.

prove of but little utility. I count it no vanity to state the
simple truths that, like the Pairy Mythology, it stands alone in
European literature. Previous to its appearance mythology lay,
as I may say, in a chaotic state, with some mythes explained
here, some there, one principle enounced in one work and one
in another. I gave order to the whole, and my original dis-
coveries are not few. As to those critics who judge of merit by
bulk, I must beg to remind them that compression is far more
difficult than expansion, and that with very little effort the
matter of this volume might have been swollen out to twice or
thrice the size.

I must also claim the credit of having been the first who
ventured to use the Greek names of the Grecian deities in our
language — a practice now grown so common — and who first
drew the line of distinction fully and clearly between the objects
of Grecian and Italian worship.

This volume, with my commentaries on various important
portions of the works of Virgil, Horace, Ovid and Sallust, com-
prise my efforts in what I regard as the sinking cause of classic
literature. In my own opinion some of the Excursus in these
works are not altogether devoid of value. Such are those on
the river Oaxes, on Dossennus, on the Career and Tullianum.
Those in the Ovid's Pasti, as they treat of the Roman religion,
may be regarded as supplemental to the present work. The
Virgil, though by no means the best executed, I am disposed to
regard as the most valuable, for I understood the subject better
than any of my predecessors. I am covetous of the fame of
being the best exponent of VirgiFs rural poetry, and have
therefore printed several pages of additions and corrections,
and I have by me a copy still further corrected and improved,
which, should no new edition be called for during my life-
time, I will deposit in some public library for the use of future
editors.

It was not my fortune to be sent to an Eton or a Harrow.
My first acquaintance with the classics was made at a country-
school where they were taught in a most negligent and inefficient



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PREPACE. VU

manner, and while still a mere boy I was sent to a university^ in
which, however the case may be now, they were then held in
Uttle estimation ; and besides I devoted my time chiefly to the
study of history and the acquisition of modem languages. A
consequence of this defective education has been that, even to
the present hour, wrong interpretations of passages in the Latin
authors which I read at school, especially Horace, are continually
obtruding themselves on my mind, and in moments of inatten-
tion, joined with a habit I had of writing notes without looking
at the text, I have, in a couple of places of my notes on Horace,
offended against the simplest and plainest rules of grammar. If
these offences are inexpiable, and are to outweigh my merits as
the exponent of, for example, the Journey to Brundisium, the
Catius, the Nasidienus, and above all the Art of Poetry, to say
nothing of my illustrations of principles of the language itself, —
I must say that I regard the judge as partial and as narrow*
minded.

I have said that classical learning is on the decline. The
truth is, the Classics have seen their best days, and will never
regain the exclusive dominion which they once possessed. Our
literature is losing its classic tinge; we rarely hear pubUc speakers
quote the Classics, and do not often meet with any one who has
kept up, as the phrase is, his classical knowledge. This has long
been the case in France and Italy, and I think is becoming so even
in Germany. Modern, and even Oriental, languages are claiming
their just share of attention ; while so materializing is the spirit
of the age, that the extended study of physical and mechanical
science seems likely one of these days to convert our island into
a Laputa, while nothing can be more pernicious than their an-
tagonist, indiscriminate novel-reading. It appears to me that
ere very long Oreek will cease to form a part of general educa-
tion, the study of it being reserved for those who are destined
for the church or the universities. Latin, I think, must, for
many obvious reasons, be always taught at respectable schools.
It were indeed to be wished that the mere languages were less
the object of education, and that the history, the manners and



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VlJl PREFACE.

the opinions of the ancients received more of our attention.
Meantime it is cheering to see such works as those of the Bishop
of St. David's, of Mr. Grote, and of Colonel Mure. But why is
the Roman history so neglected ? and why shoiild my epitome
in two moderate volumes be the only complete history of Bome ?
How apparently capricious is Destiny ! My aspirations were to
be ranked among historians ; I shall be known, if known at all,
as a writer of mythology; a subject on which I fell, it may be
said, by mere chance.

As my last contribution to classic literature I have placed at
the end of this volume two little pieces, which, however, are
quite unconnected with mythology. The one, which, brief as it
is, is the result of much thought, may prove useful to those who,
like myself, feel pleasure in trying so to pronounce Greek and
Latin as that they might have been understood by Plato and
Cicero ; the other is an excursion into the region of the higher
criticism, a region not often visited by English scholars. I have
now devoted myself to Milton, and Hope ere long to produce an
edition of his poems superior to any that has as yet appeared.

I make no scruple to confess that there are moments in which
I regard this work with feelings of complacency. It reminds me
of difficulties overcome ; for mine has been for the most part a
course against wind and tide ; it recalls those blissful days when
I drew food for the imagination even from Tooke's Pantheon,
little dreaming that I was destined to be the introducer of my-
thology into our literature, and the vindicator of the moral sen-
timents of an illustrious people. Superior works may appear,
mythes as yet undeveloped may be explained, others explained
more satisfactorily ; yet it is possible, though it may never be
reprinted, that even a century hence this volume may yield in-
formation and pleasure to ingenuous youth ; for it will surely be
found on the shelves of libraries and on those of the vendors of
old literature. O ! mihi turn guam molliter ossa quiescant !

T. K.

Chiswick, March 1, 1854.



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CONTENTS.



MYTHOLOGY OF GREECE.
Part I.— THE GODS.

CHAP. I.

INTRODUCTION.

Of Mythology in general, 1. Origin of Mythology, 2. Theories of the
Origin of Mythology, 10. Rules for the Interpretation of Mythes, 13.

CHAP. II.

GRECIAN MYTHOLOGY.

Its Origin, 16. Historic View of Grecian Mythology, 18. Literature of
the Grecian Mythology, 25.

CHAP. III.

MYTHIC VIEWS OP THE WORLD AND ITS ORIGIN.

Mythic Cosmology, 28. Cosmogony and Theogony, 36.
CHAP. IV.

THE TITANS AND THEIR OFFSPRING.

Night, 44. 6ceanosandT^hy8,46. Hyperi6n and Theia, 47. H^os,47.
S^^^, 54. j£68, 56. Cceos and Phceb^, 58. Crios, 58. Hecate, 59.
Kronos and Rhea, 61.

CHAP. V.

THE HOMERIC GODS IN GENERAL, 64.

CHAP. VI.
THE KRONIDS.

Zeus, 69. Po8eid6n, 75. Had^, 79. Hestia, 85.
CHAP. VII.

Hi^RA, ETC.

H^ra,85. Ar^s, 93. H^phaestos, 96. Ha>^, 99.
CHAP. VIII.

L^O, ETC.

Ut6, 100. Phoebos.Apoll6, 101. Artemis, 114.
CHAP. IX.

DI6n£, ETC.

m6n^, 124. Aphrodite, 124. Erds, 130.



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X CONTENTS.

CHAP. X.

PALLA8-ATH<N< AND HBBlf^S.

Pallas-Ath^n^, 137. Herm^, 143.
CHAP. XI.

D^M^T^B AND PEBSBPHONA, 151,

CHAP. XII.

8I8TBB-GODDE88E8.

Muses, 164. Seasons or Hours, 169. Graces, 170. Eileithyise, 171.
Fates, 172. K^res, 173. Furies, 174.

CHAP. XIII.

THBlf 18, IRI8, BTC.

Themis, 175. Iris, 176. Pse^n, 177. Sleep and Death, 178. M6mos,
179. Nemesis, 179. Fortune, 179. Personifications, 180.

CHAP. XIV.

DI0NY80S, 181.

CHAP. XV.

POBBIGN DBITIBS.

Cybel^, 197. Cotys and Bendis, 199. Artemis of Ephesos, 199. Isis, 200.
CHAP. XVI.

BUBAL DEITIE8.

Pan, 202. Satyrs, 206. Sil^nos, 206. Priipos, 208. Nymphs, 209.

CHAP. xvn.

WATEB DEITIE8.

bceanides, 215. NAreus, 216. N^r^ides, 216. Phorcys, 216. Tritdn,
217. Pr6teus, 218. Gkucos, 219. Leucothea and Paliem6n, 220.
River-gods, 220.

CHAP. XVIII.

DEITIES OF THE ISLES AND COAST OP OCEAN.

He8perides,221. Gnese, 222. Gorgons, 223. Harpies, 225. Winds, 225.
CHAP. XIX.

INHABITANTS OP THE ISLES AND COASTS OP THB WEST-SEA.

Lotus-eaters, 228. Cycl6pes, 229. Giants, 231. .£olos, 234. Laestry-
gonians, 235. Circ^, 236. Sirens, 239. Scylla and Chaiybdis, 241.
Phaethusa and Lampeti^, 242. Calyps6, 244. Pheacians, 245. Or-
tygia and Syria, 247.



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CONTENTS. XI

Part II.— THE HEROES.
CHAP. I.

INTRODUCTION.

Chigin and. Pint State of Van, 249. Ages of the World, 250. lapetoa
Adas, Menoetios, Prometheus and Epim^theus, 253. Pand6ra, 259.
Deucali6n and Pyrrha, 263. Early Inhabitants of Greece, 265.

CHAP. II.

IfYTHES OF THB88ALY.

Adm^tos and Alc^stis, 271. Ia86n and M^deia, 2/2. P^eus and Achil-
leus, 276. Ixi6n, 278. Centaurs and Lapiths, 279. C^yx and Al-
cyone, 282.

CHAP. III.

MYTHES OF iBT6LIA.

(Eneus, 284. Meleagros, 284.
CHAP. IV.

IfYTHES OF B(e6tIA.

Cadmoe,288. Semel^, 291. Autono^, Aristeos, and Act«6n, 291. In6
and Athamas, 294. Agau^ and Pentheus, 296. Z^os and AmphS6n,
297. Lai'os, 300. CRdipus and locast^, 301. Teuresias, 303. Minyans
and Phlegyans, 305. Troph6nio8 and Agam^^s, 307. Cytos and Ephi-
altes,308. Tityos, 309. H^rad^, 310.

CHAP. V.

MYTHES OF ATTICA.

Cecrope, 332. * Cranaos, Aniphicty6n, 334. Erichthonios, 334. PandI6n,
335. Procn^, Philom^a, and T^us, 336. Erechtheus, 338. Procris
and Cephalos, 339. areithyia, 340. Creiisa, Xuthos and I6n, 341.
Cecrops II., Pancll6n II., 342. Nisos and Scylla, 342. .Sgeus, 343.
Theseus, 344. Dsedalos and Icaros, 353.

CHAP. VI.

MYTHES OF CORINTH.

Sisyphos, 355. Bellerophont^, 357.
CHAP. VII.

MYTHES OF ARGOLIS.

Inachos and Phor6neus, 360. Argos, 361. 16, 361. Danaos and .£gyp-
tos, 363. Prcetos and the Proetides, 367. Acrisios, Dana^, and Per-
seus, 368. Amphitiy6n and Alcm^^, 373. Asd^pios, 375.

CHAP. VIII.

MYTHES OF ARCADIA.

LydUSn, 377. Calli«t6 and Areas, 378. Atalant^, 380.
CHAP. IX.

MYTHES OF LACONIA.

Tyndare6s and Uda, 381 . Helen^, 382. Polydeuk6i and Ca«t6r, 382.



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XU CONTENTS.

CHAP. X.
MYTHBS OF ^LI8.

Salm6neu8, 386. Tyr6, 386. N^eus and Periclymcnos, 386. Melampus
and Bias, 387. Iamo8^289. EDdymi6n, 390. Cteatos and Eurytos,
391. Tantalos, 392. (^Pelops, 394. Atreus and Thyert^, 397.

CHAP. XI.

MYTHKS OF ACHAIA.

Melanippos and Com8eth6, 400. Coresos and Callirrho^, 401. Selenmos
and Ajgyra, 402.

CHAP. XII.

MYTHK8 OF THE ISLES.

£ur6p^, 403. Min68, Rhadamanthys, and Sarp^d6n, 403. Ariadn^ and
Phffidra, 405. Glaucos. 406. .£acos and Telam6n> 409. an6n, 410.
Pleiades and Hyades, 412.

CHAP. XIII.

MYTHIC WARS AND EXPEDITIONS.

The Argonautic Expedition, 416. The ThAan Wars, 424. The Trojan
War, 428. The Returns, 436.



MYTHOLOGY OF ITALY.
CHAP. I.

INTRODUCTION...

Early State of Italy and Rome, 445. The Etruscan Religion, 447. The
Latin Religion, 448. The SahelUan Religion, 449.

CHAP. n.

THE SELECT GODS.

Jovis, Juppiter, Jupiterr 452. Juno, 454. Minerva, 455. Vesta, 456.
Ceres, 457. Venus, 457. Liher,459. Neptunus, 460. Mercurius, 461.
Volcanus or Mulciher, 461 . Apollo, 46 1 . Mamers, Mavors, Mai^, 46 1 .
Diana, 462. Janus, 463. Satumus, 466. Ops, Tellus, 467. Genius,
468. Orcus, Ditis or Dis, 469. Sol and Luna, 470.

CHAP. III.

THE REMAINING ITALIAN DEITIES.

Quiriuus, 470. Bellona,47l. Lihitina,471. Consu8,471. Lavema,472.
Sancus, 472. Summanus, Vejovis, Soranus, 473. Camense, Egeria,
Cannenta, 474. Matuta, Aurora, 475. Fortuna, 476. Bonus Even-
tus, 477. Vertumnus, 477. Anna Perenna, 477. Terminus, 478.
Silvanus, 479. Faunus, Lupercus, Inuus, 479. Pious, 480. Pales, 481 .
Pomona, 481. Flora, 482. Feronia,482. Falacer, Furina, 483. Vacuna,
Marica, 483. Portunus or Portumnus, 484. Salacia and Venilia, 484.
Jutuma, 484. Penates, 485. Lares et Di Manes, 485.

Appendix, 489.
Index of names, 505.
of things, 512.



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DESCRIPTION OF THE PLATES.

\* G. M. is MOUq's Galerie Mythologique.



Plate I.

1. Zeus conquering the Giants. Cameo, engraved by Ath^ni6n. G. M. 33. Braeci,
Jniagliator, i. 30.— 2. D5d5nean Zeus. Gold Medal of Alexander I. king of
Epirus. G.M. 35. Segum, Select, Num. 68.^3. The Olympian Zeus. G.M. 34.
Mue.Fhreni. I. Ixvi. 1. — 4. ZeusiEgiochos ; the agie on his shoulder, and crowned
with oak. Cameo in the BiiUoMque ImpMaie, G. M. 36. — 5. Jupiter Capitolinus
holding a sceptre and ajMi/era, a crown lying in his lap. G.M. 44. Paeeerif Lucfm,
L28.

Plate II.

1. H^os, as it would seem (Millin says Satumus), in a four-horse chariot.
L. Saturn. (£. Satumimu) is the name of the monetary triumvir. Coin of the
Sentian fitmily. G. M. 4.^2. Kronos with the harpe in his hand. G. M. 1. Wm^
kebmmy Pierree Grao^ de Stoteh, p. 24. No. 5.-3. Hestia ( Veeta). Round Altar
in the Mu$. Ctq/UoL and Baa^relirf in the ViUa Albani, G. M. 31.— 4. £6s in a
chariot, preceded by fi6sphoros. Pamtmg on a Vase. G. M. 93.



Plate III.

1. Hdra of Samos, her head veQed and bearing the modiut, between two pea-
cocks. Coin of the Samians. G. M. 49. Deeampe, Select. Num, 83.-2. The triple
Hecate ; one with the crescent on her head, and holding two torches ; the second
wearing a Phrygian cap, and holding a knife and a serpent ; the third crowned
with laurel, and holding cords and keys. G. M. 123. Lachauteet Mut, Rom, ii. 22.
— 3. Poseiddn holding a dolphin and a trident. Scufyture on the foot of a Can-
delabrum. G. M. 297. Mui. Pio Clementino, iv. 32.^4. Ar^. Round Altar.
G. M. 28. (See Plate il. 3.) — 5. Herm^ accompanied by Spring, demanding
Persephone from Hades. BaereU^m the Palace RospigliosL G. M. 341. Hirt.
BUderb. ix. 6.

Plate IV.

1. Artemis. Statue. G. M. 115.— 2. Apoll6 Nomios. Statue in the VilU Lu-
dovisL G. M. 67. Hirt. BUderb. iv. 6.-3. ApoU6 Pythios. G. M. 53. Mut. Pio
Clem. L 14.— 4. Apoll6 Citharcedos. G. M. Statue. 61. Mue. Pio Oem. i. 16.



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XIV PLATES.



Plate V.



1. Aphrodite at the bath ; beside her» the AUibattrite$ or perfume-vessel : she
holds a cloth in her hand. Com of the Cnidians of the time of Caracalla, taken
from the Aphrodite of Praxitd^. O. M. 1 79. Laehau, Svr lei Attributi de VAnu,
p. 71. — 2. Psyche in terror of Venus. Statue in the Villa Pinciana. G. M. 196.
— 3. Et6s. Intaglio. 6. M. 191. MUUnt Monum, Antiq, ined. ii. 1.— 4. Ar^ and
Aphrodite. Croupe. G. M. 169. Mut. Cap. iiL 20.— 5. Ad6ni8 dying in the Arms
of Aphrodite. Ancient Pamtmg copied by Mengs. G. M. 1 70.



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