William Smith.

A smaller classical dictionary of biography, mythology, and geography ... online

. (page 2 of 90)
Online LibraryWilliam SmithA smaller classical dictionary of biography, mythology, and geography ... → online text (page 2 of 90)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Achaei. — (2) A district in Thessaly, which
appears to have been the original seat of the
Achaei. — (3) The Roman province, which
included Peloponnesus and northern Greece
S. of Thessaly. It was formed on the dis.
solution of the Achaean League in b. c. 146,
and hence derived its name.

ACHARNAE (-&nun), the principal demus
of Attica, 60 stadia N. of Athens, possessing
a numerous and warlike population. One of
the pla^ of Aristophanes bears their name.

ACHELOIADES. [Achblovs.]

ACHELOUS (-i), the largest river in
Greece, rises in Mount Pindus, and flows
southward, forming the boundary between
Acamania and Aetolia, and falls into the
Ionian sea opposite the islands called
Echinades. It is about 130 miles in length.
The god of this river is described as the son
of Oceanus and Tethys, and as the eldest of
hifl 3000 brothers. He fought with Hercules
for Delanlra, bnt was conquered in the contest

Digitized by




He then took the form of a bull, but was again
overcome by Hercules, who deprived him of
one of his horns, which however he recovered
by giving up the horn of Amalthea. Accord-
ing to Ovid {Met ix. 87), the Naiads chang(.'d
the horn which Hercules took from Achelous
into the horn of plenty. Achelous was from
the earliest times considered to be a great
divinity throughout Greece, and was invoked
in prayers, sacrifices, &c. Achelous was re-
garded as tiie representative of all freshwater :
hence we find in Virgil Achelaa poculoy
that is, water in general. The Sirens are
called AchiloiMeSj as the daughters of
Achelous. _

Acheron (-ontis), the name of several
rivers, all of which were, at least at one
time, believed to be connected with the lower
world. — (1) A river in Thesprotia in Epirua,
which flows through the lake Acherusia into
the Ionian sea. — (2) A river in southern Italy
in Bruttai, on which Alexander of Epirus
perished. — (3) The river of the lower world,
round which the shades hover, and into
which the Pyriphlegethon and Cocytus flow.
In late writers the name of Acheron is used
to designate the whole of the lower world.

ACHERONTiA (-ae). (1) A town In
Apulia on a summit of Mount Vultur, whence
Horace speaks of celaae nidum Acherontiae,
— (2) A town on the river Acheron, in Bruttii.

[ACHEROK, No. 2.]
ACHERCSIA (-ae). [Achehon, No.l.]
ACHILLES {gm. -Is, ft, el, or I; dat. -T;
ace. em, 6li ; abl. ft or 5), the great hero of
the Iliad. — Homeric itory. Achilles was the
8on of Peleus, king of the MyrmidSnes in
Phthiotis,. in Thessaly, and of the Nereid
Thetis. From his father's name he is often
called PeUdeSy Pel^Hdes^ or Pc/fon, and from
his grandfather's, Aeactdea, He was educated
by Phoenix, who taught him eloquence and
the arjs of war. In the healing art he was
instructed by Chiron, the centaur. His
mother Thetis foretold him that his fate
was either to gain glory and die early, or
to live a long but inglorious life. The
hero chose the former, and took part in
the Trojan war, from which he knew that he
was not to return. In 50 ships he led his
hosts of Myrmidones, Hellenes, and Achaeans
against Troy. Here the swift-footed Achilles
was the great bulwark of the Greeks, and the
worthy favourite of Athena (Minerva) and
Hera (Juno). When Agamemnon was
obliged to give up Chrysels to her father, he
threatened to take away Brisels from Achilles,
who surrendered her on the persuasion of
Athena, but at the same time refused to take
any further part in the war, and shut himself
up in his tent. Zeus (Jupiter), on the entreaty

of Thetis, promised that victory should be on
the side of the Trojans, until the Achaeans
should have honoured her son. The affairs of
the Greeks declined in consequence, and they
were at last pressed so hard, that an embassy
was sent to Achilles, offering him rich pre-
«<ents and the restoration of Brisels ; but ia
vain. Finally, however, he was persuaded by
Patroclus, his dearest friend, to allow the
latter to make use of his meo, his horses, and
his armour. Patroclus was slain, Bzxd when
this news reached Achilles, he was seized
with unspeakable grief. ThetLs consoled him,
and promised new arms, to be made by He*
phaestus (Vulcan) ; and Iris exhorted him to
rescue the body of Patroclus. Achilles now rose,
and his thundering voice alone put the Trojans
to flight. When his new armour was brough t
to him, he hurried to the field of battle, killed
numbers of Trojans, and at length met Hector,
whom he chased thrice around the walls of
the city. He then slew him, tied his body
to his chariot, and dragged him to the ships
of the Greeks ; but he afterwards gave up the
corpse to Priam, who came in person to be?
for it. Achilles himself fell in the battle at
the Soaean gate, before Troy was taken.
Achilles is the principal hero of the Iliad :
he is the handsomest and bravest of all
the Greeks; he is affectionate towards his
mother and his friends; formidable in
battles, which are his delight ; open-hearted
and without fear, and at the same time
susceptible of the gentle and quiet joys
of home. His greatest passion is ambi-
tion, and when his sense of honour is hurt,
he is xmrelenting in his revenge and anger,
but withal submits obediently to the will of
the gods. — Later traditions. These consist
chiefly in accounts which fill up the history
of his youth and death. His mother wishing
to make her son immortal, concealed him by
night in the fire, in order to destroy the
mortal parts he had inherited from his father.
But Peleus one night discovered his child in
the fire, and cried out in terror. Thetis left
her son and fled, and Peleus entrusted him
to Chiron, who instructed him in the arts of
riding, himting, and playing the phorminx, •
and idso changed his original name, Ligyron,
». e. the " whining," into Achilles. Chiron fed
his pupil with the hearts of lions and the
marrow of bears. According to other accounts,
Thetis endeavotired to make Achilles im-
mortal by dipping him in the river Styx, and
succeeded with the exception of the ankles,
by which she held him. When he was 9 years
old, Calchas declared that Troy could not be
taken without his aid, and Thetis knowing
that this war would be fatal to him, disguised
him as a maiden, and introduced hira among

Digitized by




the daufirhters of Lycomedes of Scyros, where

Achilles seizinp: Arms at Scyro*. (A taintiuK
found at Fompeil.)

be was called by the name of Pyrrha on ac-

count of his golden locks. Here he remained
concealed, till Ulysses visited the place in the
disguise of a merchant, and offered for sale
some female dresses, amidst which he had
mixed tome arms. Achilles discovered his
sex by eagerly seizing the arms, and then
accompanied Ulysses to the Greek army.
During his residence at Scyros, one of his
companions, Deldamla, became by him the
mother of a son, Pyrrhus or Neoptolcmus.
During the war against Troy, Achilles
slew PentbesilCa, an Amazon. He also
fought with Memnon and Troilus. The
accounts of his death differ very much, though
all agree in stating that he did not fall by
human hands, or at least not without the
interference of the god Apollo. According to
some traditions, he was killed by Apollo him.
self ; according to others, Apollo assumed the
appearance of Paris in killing him, while
others say that Apollo merely directed the
weapon of Paris. Others again relate that
Achilles loved Polyxena, a daughter of Priam,
and tempted by the promise that he should
receive her as his wife, if he would join the
Trojans, he went without arms into the
temple of Apollo at Thymbra, and was assas-
sinated there by Paris. His body was rescued
b^ Ulysses and Ajax the Telamonian ; his
armour was promised by Thetis to the bravest
among the Greeks, which gave rise to a con-
test between the two heroes who had rescued
his body. [Ajax.] After his death, Achilles
became one of the judges in the lower world

Death of Achilles. (Baoal Rochette, Hon. Ined., pi. 53.)
and dwelled in the islands of the blessed, | where he was united to Medea or Iphigenia,

Digitized by





ACHILLEUM (-i), a town near the pro-
ii\ontory Sigeiun in the Troad, where Achilles
yr&s supposed to have been buried.

ACHILLIDES (-ae), a patronymic of
Pyrrhus, son of Achilles.

ACHIVI (-orum), the name of the Achaei
in the Latin writers, and frequently used,
like Achaei, to signify the whole Greek
nation. [Achaki.]



ACIDALIA (-ae), a surname of Venus, from
the well Acidalius near Orchomenos, where
she used to bathe with the Graces.


ACIS (-is or -Idis), son of Faunus and
Symaethis, beloved by the nymph Galatea,
and crushed by Polj'phemus, the Cyclop,
through jealousy, under a huge rock. His
blood gushing forth from under the rock was
changed by the nymph into the river Acis or
Acinius at the foot of Mount Aetna. This
story is perhaps only a happy fiction sug-
gested by the manner in which the little river
springs forth from under a rock.

ACMONIDES (-ae), one of the three
Cyclopes in Ovid, the same as Pyracmon in
Virgil, and as Arges in other accounts.

ACOETES (-ae), a sailor who was saved by
Bacchus, when his companions were de-
stroyed, because he was the only one of the
crew who had espoused the cause of the god.

ACONTIUS (-1), a beautiful youth of the
Island of Ceos. Having come to Delos to
celebrate the festival of Diana, he fell in love
with Cydippe, the daughter of a noble
Athenian. In order to gain her, he had re-
course to a stratagem. While she was sitting
to the temple of Diana, he threw before her an
apple upon which he had written the words
" I swear by the sanctuary of Diana to marry
Acontius." The nurse took up the apple and
handed it to Cydippe, who read aloud what
was written upon it, and then threw the
apple away. But the goddess had heard her
vow ; and the repeated illness of the maiden,
when she was about to marry another man,
at length compelled her father to give her m
marriage to Acontius.

ACRAE (-arum), a town in Sicily, W. of
Syracuse, and 10 stadia from the river Anapus,
founded by the Syracusans 70 years after the
foundation of their own city.

(-arumj, or ACRAEPHIuM (-i), a town in
Boeotia. on the lake Copals.

ACRAGAS (-antis). [Aorigkntttm.]

ACRISIOnB (-es), a patronymic of Danae,
daughter of Acrisius. Perseus, grandson of
Acrisius, was called in the same way Acri-

Acrisius (-i), son of Abas, king of ArgoJ«,
grandson of Lynceus, and great-grandson ot
Danaus. An oracle had declared that Dana<^,
the daughter of Acrisius, would give birth to
a son who would kill his grandfather. For
this reason he kept Danae shut up in a sub-
terraneous apartment, or in a brazen tower.
But here she became the mother of Perseus,
by Zeus (Jupiter), who visited her in a shower
of gold. Acrisius ordered mother and child
to be exposed on the sea in a chest ; but the
chest floated towards the island of Seriphus,
where both were rescued by Dictys. As to
the fulfilment of the oracle, sec Perseus.

ACROCERAUNIA (-orum), a promontory
in Epirus, jutting out into the Ionian sea,
the most westerly part of the Ceraunii
Montes. The coast of the Acroceraunia was
dangerous to ships, whence Horace speaks of
in/ames scojnUos Acroceraunia.

ACROPOLIS. [Athenae.]

ACROTIIOUM (-i), or ACROTHOI (orum),
a town near the extremity of the peninsula
of Athos.

ACTAEON (-finis), a celebratea huntsman,
son of Aristaeus and Autonoe, a daughter of

ActaeoD. (British Museum.)

Cadmus. One day as he was hunting he saw
Artemis (Diana) with her nymphs bathing
in the vale of Gargaphia, whereupon the
goddess changed him into a stag, in which

Digitized by




form he was torn to pieces by his 50 dogs on
Mount Cithaeron.

ACTAEUS (-i), the earliest king of Attica.
The adjective Actaeus is used by the poets in
the sense of Attic or Athenian.

ACT£ (-Ss), properly a piece of land
running into the sea, and attached to another
larger piece of land^ but not necessarily, by a
narrow neck. (1) An ancient name of Attica,
used especially by the poets. Hence Orithyia,
the daughter of Erectheus, king of Athens, is
called Actias by Virg^. — (2) The peninsula
between the Strymonic and Singitio gulDs on
which Moxmt Athos is.

ACTIUM (4 : La Punta not Azio), a pro-
montory in Acamania, at the entrance Of the
Ambracian gulf, off which Augustus gained
the celebrated victory over Antony and
Cleopatra, on September 2, b.c. 31. At
Actium there was a temple of Apollo, who
was hence called Actiacus and Actiua. This
temple was beautified by Augustus, who
e8tablished, or rather revived, a festival to
Apollo, called Actia^ and erected Nicopolis
on the opposite coast, in commemoration of
his victory. A few buildings sprung up
around the temple at Actium, but the place
was only a kind of suburb of Nicopolis.

ACT! US. [AiTius.]

ACTOR (-5ri8). (1) Son of Deion and
Diomedes, father of Menoetius, and grand-
father of Patroclus. — (2) A companion of
Aeneas, of whose conquered lance Tumus
made a boast. This story seems to have griven
rise to the proverb Actoris spoliumy for any
poor spoil.

ACTORIDES (-ae), a patronymic of de-
scendants of an Actor, such as Patroclus,
Erithus,^Eurytus, and Cteatus,

ADDUA (-ae; Adda)j a river of Gallia
Cisalpina, rising in the Rhaetian Alps, and
flowing through the Lacus Larius (Z. di
Como) into the Po, about 8 miles above

ADHERE AL (-Slis). [Juourtha.]

ADIABENE (-gs), a district of Assyria, E.
of the Tigris, and between the river Lycus,
called Zabatus in the Anabasis of Xenophon,
and the Caprus, both of which are branches
of the Tigris.

ADMETUS (-i). Q) King of Pherae in
Thessaly, sued for Alcestis, the daughter of
Pelias, who promised her on condition that
he should come in a chariot drawn by
lions and boars. This task Admetus per-
formed by the assistance of Apollo. The god
tended the flocks of Admetus for 9 years
whenTie was obliged to serve a mortal for
having slain the Cyclops. Apollo prevailed
upon the Moirae or Fates to grant to Admetus
deliverance from death, if his father, mother,

or wife would die for him. Alcestis died In
his stead, bat was brought back by Hercules

Hercules and AIceMis. (From a Bas-relief
at Floreoce.)

from the lower world. — (2) King of the
Molossians, to whom Thbmistocles fled for
protection, when pursued as a party to the
treason of Pausanias.

ADONIS (-is or -Idis). (1) A beautiftd youth,
son of Cinyras, by his daughter Smyrna or
Myrrha. He was beloved by Aphrodite ( VenusJ ,

Death of Adouia. (A PaintioR found at PompelL)

but he died of a wound 'Hhich he received f^om
a boar during the chase. The flower anemone
sprung from his blood. The grief of the
goddess at his death was so great, that the

Digitized by




godft of the lower world allowed him to spend
6 months of every year with Aphrodite upon
the earth. The worship of Adonis was of
Phoenician origin, and appears to have had
reference to the death of nature in winter and
to its revival in spring : hence Adonis spends
6 months in the lower and 6 months in the
upper world. His death and his return to life
vrere celebrated in annual festivals (Adonia)
at Byblos, Alexandria in Egypt, Athens, and
other places. — (2) A small river of Phoenicia,
lising in the range of Libanus.

ADRAMYTTIUM or EUM (-i), a town of
Mysia, near the head of the gulf of Adramyt-
tium, and opposite to the Island of Lesbos.

ADRANA (-ae : £der), a river in Germany,
flowing into the Fulda near Cassel.

ADBASTU8 (-i). (1) Son of Talaus, king
of ArgOB. Being expelled from Argos by
Amphiar&us, he fled to Polybus, king of
Sicyon, whom he succeeded on the throne of
Sicyon, and instituted the Nemean games.
Afterwards he became reconciled to Amphi-
araus, and returned to his kingdom of Argos.
He married his two daughters Deipyle and
Argla, the former to Tydeus of Calydon, and
the latter to Polynlces of Thebes, both fugi-
tives from their native countries. He then
prepared to restore Polynlces to Thebes, who
had been expelled by his brother Eteocles,
although Amphiaraus foretold that all who
should engage in the war shonld perish, with
the exception of Adrastus. Thus arose the
celebrated war of the "Seven against Thebes,"
in which Adrastus was joined by 6 other
heroes, viz., Polynlces, Tydeus, Amphiar&us,
Capaneus, HippomMon, and ParthenopAeus.
This war ended as unfortunately as Amphi-
ar&us had predicted, and Adrastus alone was
saved by the swiftness of his horse Arlon,
the gift of Hercules. Ten years afterwards,
Adrastus persuaded the 6 sons of the heroes
who had fallen in the war, to make a new
attack upon Thebes, and Amphiarftus now
promised success. This war is known as
the war of the "Epigoni" or descendants.
Thebes was taken and razed to the ground.
The only Argive hero that fell in this war,
was Aegialeus, the son of Adrastus : the latter
died of grief at Megara on his return to Argos,
and waa buried In the former city. The
legends about Adrastus and the two wars
against Thebes, furnished ample materials for
the epic as well as tragic poets of Greece. —
(2) Son of the Phrygian king Gordius,
having imintentionally killed his brother, fled
to Croesus, who received him kindly. WhUe
huntiog he accidentally killed Atys, the son
of Croesus, and in despair put an end to his
own life.
' ADAIA or HADRIA {-Ae). (1) A town in

Gallia dsalpina, between the mouths of
the Po and the Athesis {Adige)^ from which
the Adriatic sea takes its name. It was
originally a powerful town of the Etruscans.
— (2) A town of Picenmn in Italy, and after,
wards a Roman colony, at which place the
family of the emperor Hadrian lived.

ADRIA (-ae) or MARE ADRlATICUM, also
MARE SUPERUM, so called from the town
Adria [No. 1], was in its widest signification
the sea between Italy on the W., and Illyri-
cum, Epirus, and Greece on the £. By the
Greeks the name Adriaa was only applied to
the northern part of the sea, the southern
part being called the Ionian Sea.

ADRIANUS. [Hadrianus.]

ADRIJmETUM. [Hadrumetvm.]

ADUATCCA (-ae), a castle of the Eburones
in Gaul, probably the same as the later Aduaca
Tongrorum {Tongem).

ADUATtJCI or ADUATICI (-drum), a
powerful people of Gallia Belgica in the time
of Caesar, were the descendants of the
Cimbri and Teutoni, and lived between
the Scaldis (ScJielde) and Mosa (ifo/w).

ADOLA (-ae) M0N8. [Alpes.]

ADOlE (-es) or ADOLIS (-is) a maritime
city of Aethopia, on a bay of the Red Sea,
called Adulitanus Sinus. It fell into the
power of the Auximiitae, for whose trade it
became the great emporium. Here was found
the MonumentumAdulitanumyti Greek inscrip-
tion recounting the conquests of Ptolemy U.
Euergetes in Asia and Thrace.

ADYRMACHIDAE (-arum), a Libyan
people, who appear to have once possessed the
whole coast of Africa from the Canopic mouth
of the Nile to the Catabathmus Major, but
were afterwards pressed ftuther inland.

AEA (-ae), sometimes with the addition of
the word Colchis, may be considered either a
part of Colchis or another name for the

AEACIdES (-ae), a patronymic of the de-
scendants of Aeacus, as Pelcus, Telamon, and
Phocus, sons of Aeacus ; Achilles, son of
Peleus, and grandson of Aeacus; Pyrrhus,
son of Achilles, and g^reat-grandson of Aeacus ;
and Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, who claimed to
be a descendant of Achilles.

AEACUS (-i), son of Zeus (Jupiter) and
Aegina, a daughter of the river-god Asopus, was
bom in the island of Aegina, which derived
its name from his mother. [Aeoina.] Some
traditions related that at the birth of Aeacus,
Aegina was not yet inhabited, and that Zeus
changed the ants of the island intq men
(Myrmidones) over whom Aeacus ruled.
Aeacus was renowned in all Greece for his
justice and piety, and after his death became
one of the 8 judges in Hades.

Digitized by




AEAEA (-ae), a surname of Circe, the sister
of Aeetes, was believed to have inhabited a
small island of this name off the coast of
Ital>, which was afterwards united to the
mainland, and formed the promontory of
CirceiL Hence magic arts are called Aeaeae
artes and Aeaea carmina, Telegone, the
son of Circe, and founder of Tusculum, is
also called Aeaeut.

AAEAS. [Aous.]

AECULANUM or AECLNlUM (-1), a town
of the Hirpini in Samnium, a few miles S. of

AEDON (-onis), daughter of Pandareus of
Ephesus, wife of Zethus, king of Thebes, and
mother of Itylus. Envious of Niobe, the wife
of her brother Amphion, who had 6 sons and
6 daughters, she resolved to kill the eldest of
Niobe's sons, but by mistake slew her own
son Itylus. Zeus (Jupiter) relieved 'her
grief by changing her into a nightingale,
whose melancholy tunes are represented as
A&don's lamentations for her child.

AEDUI or HEDUI (-orum), one of the most
powerful people in Gaul, lived between the
Liger {Loire) and the Arjur {Saone). They were
the first Gallic people who made an alliance
with the Romans, by whom they were called
" brothers and relations. " On Caesar's
^mrival in Gaul, b.c. 58, they were subject to
Ariovistus, but were restored by Caesar to
their former power. Their principal town
was BiBOAcrB.

AEfiTES or AEETA (-ae), son of HeUos
(the Sun) and PersSis, and father of MedSa
and Absyrtus. He was king of Colchis at
the time when Phrixus brought thither the
golden fleece. For the remainder of his
history, see Absybtus, AiuaoMAUTAB, Jason,


AE£TIS (-Idis), AEfiTIAS (4ldis), and
AEETlNE (^s), patronymics of Medea,
daughter of Aeetes.

AEGAE (-arum). (1) A town in Achaia on
the Crathis, with a celebrated temple of
Poseidon (Neptune), originally one of the 12
Achaean towns, but its inhabitants subse-
quently removed to Aegira. — (2) A town in
EmatMa in Macedonia, the ancient capital of
Macedonia and the burial-place of the Mace-
donian kings. It was also called Edessa. —
(3) A town in Euboea with a celebrated
temple of Poseidon, who was hence called.
Aegaeus. — (4) Also Aeoaeab, one of the 12
cities of Aeolis in Asia Minor, N. of Smyrna,
on the river Hyllus. — (5) A sea-port town
of Cilicia.

AEGAEON (-6nis), son of Uranus (Heaven)
by Gaea (Earth). Aegaeon and his brothers
Gyes or Gyges and Cottus are known under
tLe name of the Uranids, and are described

as huge monsters with 100 arms and 50 heads.
Most writers mention the third Uranid under
the name of Briareus instead of Aegaeon,
which is explained by Homer, who says
that men called him Aegaeon, but the gods
Briareus. According to the most ancient
tradition, Aegaeon and his brothers con-
quered the Titans when they made war upon
the gods, and secured the victory to Zeus
(Jupiter), who thrust the Titans into Tartarus,
and placed Aegaeon and his brothers to guard
them/ Other legends represent Aegaeon as
one of the giants who attacked Olympus ; and
many writers represent him as a marine god
living in the Aegaean sea.

AEG AEUM (-i) MARE, the part of the Medi-
terranean Sea now called the Archipelago. It
was bounded on the N. by Thrace and Mace,
donia, on the W. by Greece, and on the E. by
Asia Minor. It contains in its southern part
two groups of islands, the Cyclades, which
were teparated from the coasts of Attica and
Peloponnesus by the Myrtoan sea, and the
Sporades, lying off the coasts of Caria and
Ionia. The part of the Aegaean which
washed the Sporades was called the Icarian
sea, from the island Icaria, one of the Spo-

AEGALEOS, a mountain in Attica oppo-
site Salamis, from which Xerxes saw the
defeat of his fleet, b.c. 480.

AEGATES (-um), the Goat Islands, were 3
islands off the W. coast of Sicily, between
Drepanum and Lilybaeum, near which the
Romans gained a naval victory over the Car-
thaginians, and thus brought the first Punio
war to an end, b.c. 241. The islands were
Aegasa or Capr&ria, Phorbantia and HiSra.

AEGERIA or £G£RIA (-ae), one of the
Camenae in Roman mythology, from whom
Numa received his instructions respecting the
forms of worship which he introduced. The
grove in which the king had his interviews
with the goddess, and in which a well gushed
forth from a dark recess, was dedicated by
him to the Camenae. The Roman legends
point out two distinct places sacred to Aegeria,
one near Aricia, and the other near Rome at
the Porta Capena.

Online LibraryWilliam SmithA smaller classical dictionary of biography, mythology, and geography ... → online text (page 2 of 90)