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And wondrous sholes which may of none be red.

These lines may have been suggested by those from the Horn,
Hymn to Venus :

Through pathless air and boundless ocean's space
She rules the feathered kind and finny race.

Both poets thus recognize the power of love over all animate
nature, as does Ovid (Fast. 4. 90 ff.), and Lucretius, when he ap-
propriately invokes this goddess at the beginning of his De Rerum
Natura. Spenser has translated this invocation (F. Q. 4. 10. 44),
where, in the temple of Venus, a tormented lover addresses the
goddess. This is but a part of a long passage, which describes
the temple of Venus, the aspect and dress of the goddess, and the
character of her attendants. As a whole, this passage, while
marked by originality, shows a judicious assimilation of the
ancients.

Thus the description of the inmost temple (4. 10. o7 ff.) is



120 SPENSER'S CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY.

evidently an amplification of JEn. 1. 415 ff. : "She herself in
mid air departs to Paphos, and glad of heart revisits her own
shrines, where is a temple in her honour, and where a hundred
altars smoke with Sabsean frankincense, breathing with the fra-
grance of garlands ever fresh."

We know from the Hero and Leander of Musseus that the
priests of Venus were damsels, for Hero herself was such a one ;
but the linen garb which Spenser assigns them (F. Q. 4. 10. 38)
was probably suggested by that of the priests of Isis (see Isis),
between whom and Venus there is a certain similarity, although
it does Tiot appear that they were identified by the ancients. And
again in 4. 10. 41, Spenser seems to have Isis in mind when he
describes the image of Venus as veiled. It should be noticed that
Spenser makes a mistake in saying that the statue with which the
young man fell in love was the work of Phidias : it was executed
by Praxiteles rather (see Lucian Imag. 15 and 16).

In 4. 10. 42 Venus is described as accompanied by little
loves, etc. : with which passage compare Horace Carm. 1. 2 :

Sive tu mavis, Erycina ridens,
Quam Jocus circum volat et Cupido.

The love of Scudamour for Amoret, the priestess of Venus,
his speech, etc., were evidently suggested by the Hero and Leander
of Musseus.

Throughout the whole passage Venus is the goddess of love
and beauty, as also in F. Q. 1. 1. 48 ; T. M. 397 ; Pro. 96 ; //. B.

The well-known story of the triumph of Venus in receiving the
apple from the hands of Paris as a recognition of her surpassing
beauty, and her bestowal upon Paris of the " fayrest dame," as a
reward for his judgment, is referred to in F. Q. 2. 7. 55 ; 3. 9. 34.
If lines 23-30 of //. 24 are genuine, they furnish the earliest men-
tion of the judgment of Paris, a myth which became a favorite
with the ancients. Hyg- Fab. 92 furnishes a clear statement of
the judgment and its reward.

Various ones among gods and men were honored with the
love of Venus. Among these was Vulcan, whose wife she became,
and whp, Spenser says, made for her the famous girdle (F. Q. 4.
5. 3 ff.). See Vulcan.



SPENSER'S CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY. 121

Her husband's skill was further exhibited by the snare which
he made for betraying the love of Mars and Venus. This affair
is related at some length in Od. 8. 266 ff., and is referred to by
Spenser in F. Q. 2. 6. 35 ; 3. 11. 44.

The affection of the goddess for Adonis is mentioned in F.
Q. 3. 1. 31 ; 3. 6. 4G, for which see Adonis.

But her love was not confined to immortals only : Anchises,
a mortal, became by her the father of ^Eneas (F. Q. 3. 9. 41).
The Horn. Hymn to Venus dwells upon their union ; and the brood-
ing care of Venus for her son is one of the beauties of the .ZEneid.

It is by the grace of Venus that hearts are united in wedlock.
Zeus enjoins this office upon her (//. 5. 429), and in V. G. Gl we
read that it was through the favor of this goddess that Peleus and
Telamon were " renown'd in choyce of happie marriage." The
same idea is expressed in H. L. 284 : " With Hercules and Hebe,
and the rest Of Venus dearlings, through her bountie blest."
See Hebe.

There are many references to Venus as the mother of Cupid,
the god of love : F. Q. 1. Int. 3 ; 4. Int. 5 ; 4. 12. 13 ; 6. 7. 37 ;
Mui. 98 ; Co. Cl. 801 ff. ; Pro. 90 : Epigrams 1. 3. 4 ; H. L.
passim. See Cupid.

The later poets extended the number of loves : Horace (Carm.
4. 1) addresses Venus as the mother of sweet loves, and Spenser
expresses the same idea in Ep. 364.

For the story of the search of Venus for Cupid related in F.
Q. 3. 6. 11 ff., see Cupid.

For Venus as the mother of the Graces (T. M. 403) and as
attended by them (F. Q. 6. 10. 9 ; 6. 10. 15 ; 6. 10. 21 ; Ep. 108),
see Graces.

Spenser is true to classical mythology when, in Pro. 63, he
speaks of the swans " Which through the Skie draw Venus silver
Teeme." Horace (Carm. 4. 1) mentions the "bright swans" of
the goddess, and Ovid (Met. 10. 708) pictures Venus as harnessing
her swans and winging her way through the air.

Although Venus is the laughter-loving goddess (compare F.
Q. 1. 6. 16 with //. 5. 375), yet upon occasion she can give way
to anger and jealousy. The story of her treatment of Psyche is
touched upon in F. Q. 3. 6. 50 ; Mui. 131, for which see Psyche.



122 SPENSER'S CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY.

Spenser further uses the story as a suggestion for an original
myth, in which Venus is represented as angry with the nymph
Asteria, whom she transforms to a butterfly (MuL 113 if.).

Various flowers were sacred to the goddess of love among
them the rose, which Spenser says was white before it was dyed
with the blood of Venus (Daph. 109), an idea suggested by
Bion Idyl. 1 or Anili. Lat. 85 ; 366. Natalis Comes, also, tells the
following story : " Mars was in love with Venus, while Venus
cared only for Adonis. The god of war thought that if Adonis
were not in the way, he could win the love of Venus to himself ;
accordingly, he sent a boar to kill Adonis. Venus, hastening to
bear help to the beloved youth, was wounded in the foot with the
thorn of a rose, and from that time the rose, which had been
white, was dyed red with her blood."

Certain haunts of Venus are mentioned in F. Q. 2. 8. 6 ; 3.
6. 29 ; 4. 5. 6 ; 6. 10. 9 among them the Idsean hill. This refers
to Mt. Idalion in Cyprus, on which were " Idalia's lofty groves,"
sacred to Venus. (See JLn. 1. 681.) The " Cytheron hill"
of the second passage is a mistake : it should be the island of
Cythera, where, according to Theog. 192, Venus landed after her
birth from the sea, and from which she is called by the ancients
"Cytherea" (Hor. Carm. 1. 4). With the third passage com-
pare jEn. 1. 720, where Venus is referred to as Cupid's Acidalian
mother. Paphos is mentioned as one of her haunts in ;En. 1.
415. At Cnidus in Caria she had several temples, and the place
was a favorite with her (Hor. Carm. 1. 30 ; 3. 28).

The planet of Venus is mentioned in F. Q. 7. 7. 51 ; S. C.
Dec. 60. 84; Daph. 483; Ast. 56.

There are further references to her bower (T. M. 362) ; to
her chain (F. Q. 1. 2. 4) ; to her sting (F. Q. 2. 12. 39) ; to her
looking-glass (F. Q. 3. 1. 8) ; and to certain representations of the
goddess (Ver. 17 ; H. H. B. 212).
VESPER. F. Q. 7. 6. 9; V. 6. 40. See Hesperus.
VESTA. P. Q. 7. 7. 26.

Spenser declares Vesta to be the goddess of ethereal fire, in
distinction from Vulcan, the god "of this with us so usuall."
" Ethereal " is here used in the sense of " celestial," " spiritual,"



SPENSER'S CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY. 123

and the line, therefore, means that Vesta was the goddess of con-
secrated, holy fire, while Vulcan was the divinity of fire in its
ordinary, practical uses ; and this is consistent with classical
authority.

The origin of the name Vesta (Greek Hestia) from co-no,
a hearth, reveals the fact that she was the divinity of the hearth.
We know from Ovid Fast. 6. 305 ff., as well as from other author-
ities, that the hearth was the center of the life of the home
a sacred spot : " Before the hearths," says Ovid, " it was the cus-
tom formerly to sit together on long benches, and to believe that
the gods were there at the board." In both Greece and Rome
the idea was extended, and there were public hearths, or sanctu-
aries of Vesta. The Romans believed that the sacred flame of
Vesta had been brought from Troy (^n. 2. 296). It was consid-
ered to be the symbol of the goddess herself, and was kept con-
tinually burning in the temple of Vesta. Ovid (Fast. 6. 295 ff.)
says : " Long did I, in my simplicity, imagine that there were
statues of Vesta, but afterwards ascertained that there were none
under her concave dome. The fire that has never been extin-
guished lies hidden in that temple."

VULCAN.

The Roman Vulcan was identified with the Greek Hephaes-
tus : he was, as Spenser says, the sovereign of the fire " with us
so usuall " (F. Q. 7. 7. 26), that is, of fire as a means in manu-
factures. Thus does he appear in the works of Homer as the
artificer of the gods. Iliad 18. 369 ff. may be referred to as a
typical passage, describing, as it does, the Olympic workshop of
Vulcan, with anvil, bellows, etc. Here he made the celebrated
armor of Archilles, also described, as well as other wonderful
works. Cf. JEn. 8. 407 ff. See Mui. 63.

Later authors, however, place his workshop on earth, in vari-
ous volcanic regions : thus, Spenser says in F. Q. 4. 5. 4 that it
was on Lemnos that Vulcan wrought the girdle of Venus. This
is quite classical, since Homer (Od. 8. 283) says that island was
a favorite with him, and others place his workshop there. The
reason for this may be found in 77. 1. 593 : it was on Lemnos
that Vulcan fell when he was thrown from heaven, and the
people of that island then received him kindly.



124 SPENSER'S CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY.

Since, according to Homer (77. 14. 214 ff.), the cestus of
Venus was a piece of embroidery, Spenser is not consistent with
the classics in speaking of it as wrought with fire by Vulcan.
That Vulcan was the husband of Venus appears from Od. 8. 266
ff. the passage describing the means by which Vulcan assured
himself of the unfaithfulness of Venus. It is possible that the
net described there may have suggested to Spenser the girdle of
Venus as the work of Vulcan.

In F. Q. 2. 7. 36 ; 3. 9. 19 ; V. G. 66, Vulcan is used for fire
itself, with which compare Met. 7. 104, and many other passages.

ZEPHYBUS. F. Q. 2. 5. 29; Pro. 2.

In these passages Spenser personifies the gentle west wind,
after the manner of the ancients. See Fast. 5. 201 ff.



INDEX OF AUTHORITIES.

This Index is intended to assist students in discovering Spenser's indebtedness
to individual authors.



AESCHYLUS: Prometheus.
ANACREON: Lyaeus.
ANGELUS POLITIA

ANTHOLOGIA LATINA:
Fates.
Lyaeus.

ANTIMACHUS: Graces.

ANTONINUS LIBERALIS:
Hylas.

APOLLODORUS:
Adonis.
j-Egina.
Alcmena.
Amphion.
Andromeda.
Antiope.
Apollo.
Argo.
Argus.
Asteria.
Atalanta.
Bacchus.
Bellona.
Cadmus.
Danae.

Erichthonian (tower).
Erigone.
Europa.
Eurytion.
Pounders of Nations.

APOLLONIUS RHODIUS:
Amphion.
Argonautic Expe-
dition.
Celseno.



of Nations.


APULEIUS: Psyche.


eus.


ARATUS: Astrsea.




ARISTJENETUS : Acontius.


US: Cupid.


ARISTOPHANES: Adonis.


A:


BION : Adonis. Venus.


Muses.


BOCCACCIO: Graces.


Venus.


CALLIMACHUS:




Ceres. Hercules. Jove.


LIS:


CATULLUS: Hymen. Peleus.


Typhoeus.


CENTURY DICTIONARY:




Neptune.


Hebe.


CHILD: Phao.


Helle.


CICERO: Fates.


Hercules.


CLAUDIAN :


Hesione.


Jove. Semiramis.


Hydra.
Hyperion.
Iphiniedia.


Proserpina. Tritonian (goddess).
CTESIAS: Semiramis.


Jove.


DARES: Amazon.


Leda.


DIODORUS SICULUS:


Linus.


.aSolus. Linus.


Medusa.


Arne. Mercury.


Nereids.


Atlas. Ninus.


GEnone.


Bacchus. Penthesilea.


Orion.


Founders of Procrustes.


Pasiphae.


Nations. Pythias.


Peleus.


Hercules. Semiramis.


Sea-Gods.


Hydra. Theseus.


Talus.


Hyperion. Titan.


Typhoeus.


Jove.




EURIPIDES:


US:


Alcestis. Inachus.


Erigone.


Apollo. Msenades.


Hecate.


Cassiopea. Nemesis.


Juno.


Cupid. Orestes.


Sea-Gods.


Hippolytus.


125



126



SPENSER'S CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY.



FULGENTIUS:


HOMERIC HYMNS Continued.


Prometheus. Thetis.


Cybele. Muses.


HERODOTUS : Tritonian (goddess).


Diana. Pan.




Graces. Proserpina.


HESIOD:

Amphitrite. Jove.


Hebe. Tritonian (god-
Jove, dess).


Apollo. Litse.


Mars. Venus.


Atalanta. Muses.


Mercury.


Ate. Nereids.




Cupid. Nereus.


HORACE :


Cybele. Pandora.


Apollo. Muses.


Doris. Prometheus.


Atlas. Nereus.


Echidna. Saturn.


Bacchus. 'Orcus.


Erebus. Sea-Gods.


Graces. Prometheus.


Fates. Tethys.


Hesperus. Saturn.


Graces. Triton.


Inachus. Venus,


Hebe. Typhaon.


Jove.


Hecate. Typhoeus.




Hours. Venus.


HYGINUS :


Hyperion.


Adonis. Hector.




jEacides. Helle.


HOLINSHED : Founders of Nations.


.^Egina. Hesperus.


HOMER:


Alcmena. Hydra.


Achilles. Juno.


Andromeda. Ixion.


Adonis. Litse.


Apollo. Jove.


j3acides. Mars.


Ariadne. Mars.


j?Eacus. Mercury.


Astrsea. Mercury.


.^Egide (shield). Nepenthe


Ate. Orion.


.lEolus. Neptune.


Cassiopea. Orpheus.


Agamemnon. Nereids.


Coronis. f Pasiphae.


Apollo. Orcus.


Dsemogorgon. Procrustes.


Ate. Orion.


Demophoon. Sthenobo3a.


Atlas. Penelope.


Diana. Styx.


Aurora. Pluto.


Ephialtes. Tantalus.


Bacchus. Podalirius.


Erebus. Venus.


Chimsera. Priam.


Europa.


Cicones. Proserpina.


Founders of


Cimmerians. Proteus.


Nations.


Diana. Pylian (sire).
Dolon. Rhesus.


JORTIN : Dsemogorgon.


Ephialtes. Scylla.


JUSTIN : Semiramis.


Erinnys. Sea-Gods.
Graces. Sisyphus.


LACTANTIUS : Dremogorgon.


Hebe. Tantalus.


LUCAN : Dsemogorgon. Orion.


Hesperus. Thetis.




Hours. Tityus.


LUCIAN :


Inachus. Ulysses.


Alcmena. Juno.


Iphimedia. Venus.


Bellona. Mercury.


Jove. Vulcan.


Ixion. Venus.


HOMERIC HYMNS:


LUCRETIUS :


Amphitrite. Aurora.


Aurora. Neptune.


Apollo. Bacchus.


Jove. Venus.



INDEX OF AUTHORITIES REFERRED TO. 127



MACROBIUS :


1 OVID Continued.


Juno.


Ops.


Morpheus. Sea-Gods.


Maia.


Palici.


Myrrha. Semele.


Mars.


Saturn.


Narcissus. Silvanus.


MAROT: Cupid.




Niobe. Sisyphus.






CEnone. Tantalus.


MARTIAL : Thetis.




Orion. Tethys.


MOSCHUS: Cupid.


Europa.


Orpheus. Thaumas.


MUS^EUS . Pales. Tliracian (maid).
Pan. Titan.
Graces. Leander. Venus.
^ +t ^iJuJb-*^* 1 *- Tityrus.
NATALIS COMES: LcvOH V** ' Phaeton. Triton.


Geryon.


Titan.


Pholoe. Tritonian


Sea-Gods.


Venus.


Pirithous. (goddess).


ORPHEUS :




Podalirius. Venus.






Prometheus. Vesta.


Alcmena. Cupid.
Argonautic Expedition. Jove.


Saturn. Vulcan.






FAMPHUS: Graces.


OVID:






Acontius.


Cyparissus.


PA US AN I AS:


Adonis.


Danae.


Founders of Muses.


^Eacus.


.Daphne.


Nations. Neptune.


JEgeria.


Deucalion.


Graces, Nereids.


.angina.


Diana.


Hercules. Pegasus.


.SColus.


Erebus.


PHILOSTRATUS: Neptune.


Alcmena.


Erigone.


PINDAR:


Andromeda.
Antiopa.


Erinnys.
Europa.


Apollo. Litae.
Argo. Pan.


-Apollo.


Hector.




Arachne.


Helen.


PLATO :


Argonautic


Helle.


Achilles. Helen.


Expedition.


Hercules.


Adonis. Muses.


Argus.


Hesione.


Apollo. Talus.


Ariadne.


Hesperus.


Cupid.


Arion.


Hippolytus.


PLINY: Adonis.


Arne.


Hyacinthus. </


PLUTARCH:


Asteria.


Hyperion.


Isis. Sea-Gods. Jove.


Atalanta.


Ino.




Atlas.
Aurora.


Iphimedia.
Iris.


PROPERTIUS:
Cupid. Founders of Nations.


Bacchus.


Issa.


QUINTUS CALABER: Penthesilea.


Biblis.


Itys.


SCHOLIAST (Ap. Rh.): Erigone.


Bisaltis.


Ixion.


SCHOLIAST (Statius): Daemogorgon.


Cadmus.


Janus.




Cerberus.


Jove.


SCHOLIAST (Theoc.): Pan.


Ceres.


Juno.


SENECA: Graces. Hippolytus.


Chloris.


Lapith.


SERVIUS:


Cimmerian.


Leda.


Atlas. Nyctelius.


Clymene.


Lucina.


Cupid. Orion.


Coronis.


Mars.


Cybele. Penthesilea.


Cupid.


Medusa.


Demophoon. Titan.


Cybele.


Mnemosyne.


Hercules.



128



SPENSER'S CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY.



SOPHOCLES:




VIRGIL Continue


d.


Cassiopea.


Nemesis.


Avernus.


Lethe.


SPOLETINUS: Sea-Gods.


Bellona.


Linus.


STATIUS:




Boreas.


Megsera.


Apollo.


Muses.


Brontes.


Mercury.


Dasmogorgon.


Pegasus.


Camilla.


Minos.


Founders of


Thetis.


Celaeno.


Morpheus.


Nations.




Cerberus.


Muses.


STRABO :




Charon.


Myrrha.


Founders of
Nations.
Neptune.


Sea-Gods.
Thracian (maid).


Chimaera.
Cocytus.
Cupid.
Cyparissus.


Neptune.
Orpheus.
Pan.
Phlegethon.


TACITUS: Flora.




Diana.


Pluto.


THEOCRITUS:




Dryope.


Priam.


Adonis.


Diana.


Elysian.


Proserpina.


Cupid.


Pan.


Erebus.


Proteus.


THEODONTIUS


: Graces.


Erinnys.
Hecate.


Scylla.
Sea-Gods.


TZETZES :




Helen.


Silvanus.


Deucalion.


Jove.


Hercules.


Styx.


Founders of


CEnone.


Hippolytus.


Tartarus.


Nations.




Hydra.


Theseus.


VIRGIL :




Inachus.


Tisiphone.


Acheron.


.ffineas.


Iris.


Tityus.


Achilles.


Amazon.


Ixion.


Triton.


jEgide (shield).


Atlas.


Juno.


Venus.


jEolus.


Aurora.


Latinus.


Vesta.



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Online LibraryAlice Elizabeth Sawtelle RandallThe sources of Spenser's classical mythology → online text (page 10 of 10)