William Smith.

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

. (page 3 of 90)
Online LibraryWilliam SmithA smaller classical dictionary of biography, mythology, and geography ... → online text (page 3 of 90)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


AEGESTA. [Sbgebta.]

AEGESTUS. [AcESTES.]

AEGEUS (e5s, 61, or el; aee. -$&), son of
Pandion and king 4f Athens, and father
of Thsseus, whom he begot by Aethra at
Troezen. Theseus afterwards came to
Athens and restored Aegeus to the throne,
of which he had been deprived by the
50 sons of Pallas. When Theseus went to
Crete to deliver Athens from the tribute it
had to pay to Minos, he promised his father
to hoist white ctails on his return as a signal



Digitized by



Google



AEGIALE.



10



AEGYPTUS.



cf his safety. On approaching Attica he
forgot his promise, and his father, perceiving
the black sails, thought that his son had
perished and threw himself into the sea,
which according to some traditions received
from this event the name of the Aegean.

AEGIALE or AEGIALEA (-Ss), daughter
or grand-daughter of Adrastus, whence she is
called Adrastine, and husband of Diomedes.
For details see Diomkurs.

AEGIALEA, AEGLALUS. [Achaia.]

AEG1ALEU8. [Adrastus.]

AEGIDES (-ae), a patronymic from Aegens,
especially his son Theseus.

AEGILIa. (1) An island between Crete and
Cythera. — (2) An island W, of Euboea and
opposite Attica.

AEG IN A (-ae), a rocky island In the
middle of the Saronic gulf, about 200 stadia
in circumference, said to have obtained its
name from Aegina, the daughter of the river-
god Asopus, who there bore him a son Aeacus.
As the island had then no inhabitants, Zeus
(Jupiter), changed the ants into men (Myr-
midones) over whom Aeacus ruled. It was
first colonised by Achaeans, and afterwards by
Dorians from Epidaurus, whence the Doric
dialect and customs prevailed in the island.
It was subject to the Argive Phldon, who is
said to have established a silver mint in the
island. It early became a place of great com-
mercial importance, and its silver coinage was
the standard in most of the Dorian states. In
the sixth century b.c, Aegina became inde-
pendent, and for a century before the Persian
war was Vl prosperous and powerful state. It
was at that time the chief seat of Grecian art.
In B.C. 429 the Athenians took possession of
the island and expelled its inhabitants. In the
N.W, of the island there was a city of the
same name, which contained the Aeac€um or
temple of Aeacus, and on a hill in the N.E.
of the island was the celebrated temple of
Zeus (Jupiter) Panhellenius, the ruins of
which are still extant.

AEGINIUM, a town of the Tymphaei in
Thessaly, on the confines of Athamania.

AEGlPLANCTUS (-i) MONS, a mountain
in Megaris.

AEGIRA (-ae), formerly Hyperesia, one of
the 1 2 towns of Achaia, situated on a steep hill.

AEGIRUSSA (-ae), one of the 12 cities of
Aeolis in Asia Minor.

AEGISTHUS (-i), son of Thyestes by his own
daughter Pelopia. He slew his uncle Atreus,
and placed Thyestes upon the throne, of
which he had been deprived by Atreus.
Homer appears to know nothing of these
tragic events ; and we learn from him only
that Aegisthus succeeded his father Thyestes
in a part of his dominions. Aegisthus took



no part in the Trojan war, and during the
absence of Agamemnon, he seduced his wif^
Clytemnestra. He murdered Agamemnon on
his return home, and reigned 7 years over
Mycenae. In the 8th Orestes, the son of
Agamemnon, avenged the death of his feither
by putting the adulterer to death.

AEGIUM (-i), one of the 12 towns of
Achaia, and the capital after the destruction
of Helice.

AEGLfi (-€«), that is, "Brightness*' or
" Splendour," the name of several nymphs.

AEGOS-POTAMOS, the " goat's-river," a
small river, with a town of the same name
on it, in the Thracian Chersonesus, flowing
into the Hellespont. Here the Athenians were
defeated by Lysander, b.c. 405.

AEGYPTUS (-i), king of Aegypt, son of
Belus, and twin-brother of Danaus. Aegyptus
had 50 sons, and his brother Danaus 50
daughters. Danaus fearing the sons of his
brother, fled with his daughters to Argos in
Peloponnesus. Thither he was followed by
the sons of Aegyptus, who demanded his
daughters for their wives. Danaus complied
with their request, but to each of his
daughters he gave a dagger, with which they
were to kill their husbands in the bridal
night. All the sons of Aegyptus were thus
murdered, with the exception of Lynceus,
who was saved by Hypermnestra.

AEGYPTUS (-i : Ilgypt)^ a country In the
N.E. comer of Afjrica, bounded on the N. by
the Mediterranean, on the £. by Palestine,
Arabia Petraea, and the Red Sea, on the 8. by
Aethiopia, the division between the two
countries being at the First or Little Cataract
of the Nile, close to Syene, and on the W, by
the Great Libyan Desert. From Syene the
Nile flows due N. for about 500 miles, through
a valley whose average breadth is about 7
miles, to a point some few miles below Mem.
phis. Here the river divides into branches
(7 in ancient time, but now only 2), which
flow through a low alluvial land, called, ftx>m
its shape, the De/to, into the Mediterranean.
The whole district thus described is periodi-
cally laid under water by the overflowing of
the Nile from April to October. The river,
in subsiding, leaves behind a rich deposit of
fine mud, which forms the soil of Egrypt. All
beyond the reach of the inundation is rock
or sand. Hence Egypt was called the " Gift
of the Nile." The outlying portions of
ancient Egypt consisted of 3 cultivable valleys
(called Oases), in the midst of the Western
or Libyan Desert. At the earliest period, to
which history reaches back, Egypt was inha-
bited by a highly civilised people, under a
settled monarchical government, divided into
castes, the highest of which was composed of



Digitized by



Google



AELANA.



11



AEN£AS.



the priests. Its ancient history may be
divided into 4 great periods : — (1) From the
earliest times to its conquest by Cambyses,
during which it was ruled by a succession of
native princes. The last of them, Psam-
menilus, was conquered and dethroned by
Cambyses in b.c. 525, when Egypt became a
province of the Persian empire. The Homeric
poems show some slight acquaintance with
the country and its river (which is also called
AjyuvTos, Od. xiv. 25), and refer to the wealth
and splendour of " Thebes with the Himdred
Gates." (2) From the Persian conquest in
525, to the transference of their dominion to
the Macedonians in 882. This period was
one of almost constant struggles between the
Bgyptians and their conquerors. It was
during this period that Egypt was visited
by Greek historians and philosophers, such
as Hellanicus, Herodotus, Anaxagoras, Plato,
and others, who brought back to Greece
the knowledge of the country which they
acquired fVom the priests and through per-
sonal observation. (8) The dynasty of
Macedonian kings, firom the accession of
Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, in 823, down to
30, when Egypt became a province of the
Roman empire. Alexander, after the conquest
of the country, gave orders for the building
of Alexandria. [Alexandria.] (4) Egypt
under the Romans, down to its conquest by
the Arabs in a.d. 638. As a Roman province,
Egjrpt was one of the most flourishing por-
tions of the empire. The fertility of its soil,
and its position between Europe and Arabia
and India, together with the possession of
such a port as Alexandria, gave it the full
benefit of the two great sources of wealth,
agriculture and commerce. From the earliest
times the country was divided into (1) The
Delta, or Lower Egypt ; (2) the Heptanomis,
or Middle Egypt ; (8) the Thebais, or Upper
Egypt: and it was further subdivided into
36 nomes or governments.

AELANA (-ae), the Elath of the Hebrews,
a town on the northern arm of the Red Sea,
called by the Greeks Aelanltes from the name
of the town.

AELIA (-ae), a name given to Jerusalem
after its restoration by the Roman emperor
Aelius Hadrianus.

AELIANUS (4), CLAUDIUS (-1), was bom
at Praeneste in Italy, and lived at Rome about
the middle of the Srd century of the Christian
era. He wrote two works which have come
down to us ; one a collection of miscel-
laneous history in 14 books, called Varia
Historia ; and the other on the peculiarities
of animalft in 1 7 books, called De Anirnalium
ifaturd.

AELIUS, the name of a plebeian gens at



Rome, divided into the families of Gallus,
LamiOf Paetta^ and JkAero,

AELLO (-as), one of the Harpies. [Hab-

PTIAK.]

AEMILIA (-ae). (1) The 3rd daughter of
L. Aemilius Paulus, who fell in the battle m*
Cannae, was the wife of Scipio Africanus I.
and the mother of the celebrated Cornelia, the
mother of the Gracchi. — (2) Aemilia Lepida.
[Lkpida.]

AEMILIA (-ae) VIA (-ae), made by M.
Aemilius Lepidus, cos. b.c. 187, continued the
Via Flaminia from Ariminum, and traversed
the heart of Cisalpine Gaul through Bononia,
Mutina, Parma, Placentia (where it crossed
the Po) to Mediolanum. It was subsequently
continued as far as Aquileia.

AEMILIANUS (-i), an agnomen of P. Cor-
nelius Scipio Africanus the younger, as the
son of L. Aemilius Paulus. [Scipio.]

AEMILIUS (-i), the name of one of the
most ancient patrician gentes at Rome, the
chief members of which are given under their
surnames Lepidus, Paulus, and Scavrus.

AENARIA, also called PITHECTSA and
INARIMfi (/«cA»a), a volcanic island oflf the
coast of Campania, at the entrance of the bay
of Naples, under which the Roman poets
represented Typhoeus as lying.

AENEADE8 (-ae), a patronymic from
Aeneas, griven to his son Ascanius or lulus, and
to those who were believed to be descended
from him, such as Augustus, and the Romans
in general.

AENEAS (-ae ; voe. -a), the Trojan hero. —
Honterie Story, Aeneas was the son of
Anchises and Aphrodite (Venus), and was
bom on mount Ida. He was brought up
at Dardanus, in the house of Alcathous, the
husband of his sister. At first he took no
part in the Trojan war ; and it was not
till Achilles attacked him on mount Ida,
and drove away his flocks, that he led his
Dardanians against the Greeks. Hence-
forth Aeneas and Hector appear as the great
bulwarks of the Trojans against the Greeks,
and Aeneas is beloved by gods and men. On
more than one occasion he is saved in battle
by the gods : AphrodIt5 carried him off when
he was wounded by Diomedcs, and Poseidon
(Neptxme) saved him when he was on the
point of perishing by the hands of Achilles.
Homer makes no aUusion to the emigration
of Aeneas after the capture of Troy, but on
the contrary he evidently conceives Aeneas
and his descendants as reigning at I'roy after
the extinction of the house of Priam. — Later
Stories. Most accounts agree that after the
capture of Troy, Aneas withdrew to mount
Ida with his Mends .and the images of the
gods, especially that of Pallas {Palladium) ;



Digitized by



Google



AENEAS SILYIUS.



12



AEPTTUS.



and that from thence he crossed over to
Lnrope, and finally settled at Latium in Italy,
vhere he became the ancestral hero of the
Xtomans. A description of the wanderings of
Aeneas before he reached Latium, is given by
Virgil in his Aencid. After visiting Epirus
and Sicily, he was driven by a storm on the
coast of Africa, where he met with Dido.
[Dido.] lie then sailed to Latium, where he
was hospitably received by Latinus, king of
tae Aborigines. Here Aeneas founded the
town of Lavinlum, called after Lavinia, the
daughter of Latinus, whom he married.
'I'umus, to whom Lavinia had been betrothed,
made war against Latinus and Aeneas.
Latinus fell in the first battle, and Tumus
was subsequently slain by Aeneas ; whereupon
after the death of Latinus, Aeneas became
sole ruler of the Aborigines and Trojans,
and both nations were united into one. Soon
after this Aeneas fell in battle against the
Rutulians who were assisted by Mezentius,
king of the Etruscans. As his body was not
found after the battle, it was believed that it
had been carried up to heaven, or that he
had perished in the river Numicius. The
Latins erected a monument to him, with the
inscription To the father and native god.
Virgil represents Aeneas landing in Italy 7
years after the fall of Troy, and comprises all
the events in Italy from the landing to the
death of Tumus, within the space of 20 days.
The story of the descent of the Bomans from
the Trojans through Aeneas was believed at
an early period, but rests on no historical
foundation.

AENEAS SILViUS (-1), son of Silvius, and
grandson of Ascanius, is the 3rd in the list
of the mythical kings of Alba in Latium.

AENESIDEMUS (4), a celebrated sceptic,
bom at Cnossus in Crete, and lived a little
later than Cicero. He wrote several works,
but none of them have come down to us.

AENIAJ*7£S (-um), an ancient Greek race,
originally near Ossa, afterwards in southern
Thessaly, between Oeta and Othrys, on the
banks of the Sperch§us.

AENUS (-i). (1) An ancient town in
Thrace, near the mouth of the Ilcbrus, men-
tioned in the Iliad, colonised by the Aeolians
of Asia Minor. Virgil supposes it to have been
built by Aeneas. — (2) (Inn) a river in Rhaetia,
ttie boundary between Rhaetia and Noricum.

AEOLES (-um) or AEOLU (-dnmi), one of
the chief branches of the Hellenic race,
supposed to be descended from Aeolus, the
son of Helen. [Aeolus, No, 1.] They
originally dwelt in Thessaly, from whence
tney spread over various parts of Greece,
and also settled in Aeolis in Asia Minor,
and in the island of Lesbos.



AEdll/^E INSULAE (.arum: Liparl
Island*), a group of islands N.E. of Sidly,
where Aeolus, the god of the winds, reigned.
Virgil accordingly speaks of only one Aeolian
island, supposed to be Strongyle or Lipara.
These islands were also called IIephae$tldde»
or Vulcdniae, because Hephaestus or Vulcan
was believed to have his workshop in one of
them called Hiera. They were also named
LipdrenaeSt from Lip&ra; the largest of them.

AEOLIDES (-ae), a patronymic given to the
sons of Aeolus, as Atiiamas, Cretheus, Sisy-
phus, Salmoneus, &c., and to his grandsons,
as Cephalus, Ulysses and Phrizus. Aeous is
the patronymic of the female descendants of
Aeolus, given to his daughters Canace and
Alcyone.

AE0LIS(4dis) or AEOLIA (-ae), a district
of Mysia in Asia Minor, was peopled by
Aeolian Greeks, whose cities extended from the
Troad along the shores of the Aegaean to the
river Hermus. In early times, their 12 most
important cities were independent and formed
a League. They were Cyme, Larissae, Ncon-
tlchos, Temnus, Cilia, Notium, AegirOsa,
Pitane, Aegaeae, Myrina,Gryn5a, and Smyrna ;
but Smtkma subsequently became a member
of the Ionian confederacy. These cities
were subdued by Croesus, and were incorpo-
rated in the Persian empire on the conquest
of Croesus by Cyrus.

AEOLUS (-1). (1) Son of Hellen and the
nymph Orsels, and brother of Dorus and
Xuthus. He was the ruler of Thessaly, and
the founder of the Aeolic branch of the Greek
nation. His children are said to have been
very numerous ; but the most ancient story
mentioned only 4 sons, viz. Sisyphus, Atha-
mas, Cretheus, and Salmoneus. — (2) Son of
Hippotes, or, according to others, of Poseidon
(Neptune) and Arne, a descendant of the
previous Aeolus. He is represented in Homer
as the happy ruler of the Aeolian islands, to
whom Zeus had gri ven dominion over the winds,
which he might soothe or excite according to
his pleasure. This statement of Homer and the
etymology of the name of Aeolus from »|XA«%
led to Aeolus being regarded in later times as
the god and king of the winds, which he kept
enclosed in a mountain.

AEPtTUS (-i). (1) A mythical king of
Arcadia, from whom a part of the country
was called Aepytis. — (2) Youngest son of the
Heraclid Cresphontes, king of Messenia, and of
Merope, daughter of the Arcadian kii^ Cyp-
selus. When his father and brothers were
murdered during an insurrection, Aepytus,
who was with nis granafatner Cypseius, alone
escaped. The throne of Cresphontes was mean-
time occupied by Polyphontes, who forced
Merope to become his wife. When Aepytus



Digitized by VjOOQIC •



AEQUI.



18



AESCHYLUS.



had grown to manhood, he returned to his
kingdom, and put Polyphontes to death.
From him the kings of Messenia were called
Aepytids instead of the more general
name Heraclids.

AEQUI (-6rum), AEQUIC5lI (^rum),
AEQUICOLAE (-arum), aequiciJlAni
(-drum), an ancient and warlike people
of Italy, dwelling in the upper valley of the
Anio in the mountains forming the eastern
boundary of Latium, and between the Latini,
Sabini, Hemici, and Marsi. In conjunction
with the Volsci, who were of the same
race, they carried on constant hostilities
with Rome, but were finally subdued in b.c.
302.. One of their chief seats was Mount
Algidus, firom which they were accustomed to
make their marauding expeditions.

AEQUI FALISCI. [Falbbii.]

AEROPfi (-es), daughter of Catreus, king
ci Crete, and wife of Pllsthenes, the son of
Atreus, by whom she became the mother of
Agamenmon and Menelaus. After the death
of Pllsthenes, Aerope married Atreus ; and
her two sons, who were educated by Atreus,
were generally believed to be his sons. Aerope
was faithless to Atreus, being seduced by
Thyestea.

AESACUS (-i), son of Priam and AlexirrhoC,
fell in love with Hesperia, the daughter of
Cebren, and while he was pursuing her, she
was stung by a viper and died. Aesacus in
his grief threw himself into the sea, and was
changed by Thetis into an aquatic bird.

AESAR (-Rris) or AE8ARU8 (-i), a river
near Croton in Bruttii, in southern Italy.

AESCHlNfiS (-is). (1) The Athenian orator
bom B.C. 389, was the son of Atrometus and
Glaucothea. In his youth he assisted his
father in his school ; he next acted as secre-
tary to Aristophon, and afterwards to Eubu-
lus ; he subsequently tried his fortune as an
actor, but was unsuccessftd ; and at length,
after serving with distinction in the army,
came forward as a public speaker and soon
acquired great reputation. In 347 he was
pent along with Demosthenes as one of the
10 ambassadors to negotiate a peace with
Philip. From this time he appears as the
triend of the Macedonian party and as the
opponent of Demosthenes. Shortly after-
wards Aeschines formed one of a second
embassy sent to Philip, and on his return to
Athens was accused by Timarchus. He evaded
the danger by bringing forward a counter-
accusation against Timarchus (345), showing
that the moral conduct of his accuser was
such that he had no right to speak before the
people. The speech in which Aeschines
attacked Timarchus is still extant : Timarchus
was condemned and Aeschines gained a bril-



liant triumph. In 343 Demosthenes renewed
the charge against Aeschines of treachery
during his second embassy to Philip. This
charge of Demosthenes (De Falsa LegaHone)
was not spoken, but published as a me-
morial, and Aeschines answered it in a
similar memorial on the embassy, which wa.s
likewise published. After the battle of
Chaeronfia in 338, which gave Philip the
supremacy in Greece, Ctesiphon proposed
that Demosthenes should be rewarded for his
services with a golden crown in the theatre at
the great Dionysia. Aeschines in consequence
accused Ctesiphon ; but he did not prosecute
the charge till 8 years later, 380. The speech
which he delivered on the occasion is extant,
and was answered by Demosthenes in his
celebrated oration on the Crown. Aeschines
was defeated, and withdrew from Athens.
He went to Asia Minor, and at length estab-
lished a school of eloquence at Rhodes. On
one occasion he read to his audience in
Rhodes his speech against Ctesiphon, and
when some of his hearers expressed their
astonishment at his defeat, he replied, ** You
would cease to be astonished if you had heard
Demosthenes.^' From Rhodes he went to
Samos, where he died in 314. — (2) An
Athenian philosopher and rhetorician, and a
disciple of Socrates. He wrote several dia-
logues, but the 3 wMch have come down to
us under nis name are not genuine.

AESCfftLUS (-i), the celebrated tragic
poet, the son of Euphorion, was bom at
Eleusis in Attica, b.c. 525. At the age of 25
(499), he made his first appearance as a com-
petitor for the prize of tragedy, without being
successful. He fought with his brothers
Cynacglrus, and Aminius, at the battle of
Marathon (490), and also at those of Salamis
(480) and Plataea (479). In 484 he gainea
the prize of tragedy ; and in 472 he gained
the prize with the trilogy, of which the
Persae, the earliest of his extant dramas,
was one piece. In 468 he was defeated
in a tragic contest by his younger rival
Sophocles; and he is said in consequence
to have quitted Athens in disgust, and to
have gone to the court of Hiero, king of
Syracuse. In 467, his patron Hiero died;
and in 458, it appears that Aeschylus was
again at Athens, from the fact that the trilogy
of the Oresteia was produced in that year.
In the same or the following year, he again
visited Sicily, and he died at Gela in 456, in
the 69th year of his age. It is said that an
eagle, mistaking the poet's bald head for a
stone, let a tortoise fall upon it to break the
shell, and so fulfilled an oracle, according to
which he was fated to die by a blow ftrom
heaven. The alterations made by Aeschylus



Digitized by



Google



AESCULAPIUS.



14



AESOPUS.



in the compositioii and dramatic representa-
tion of Tragedy were so great, that he was
considered by the Athenians as the father of
it. The principal alteration which he made
was the introduction of a second actor, and
the consequent formation of the dialogue
properly so called, and the limitation of the
choral parts. He furnished his actors with
more suitable and magnificent dresses, with
significant and various masks, and with the
thick-soled cothurnus, to raise their stature
to the height of heroes. With him also arose
the usage of representing at the same time a
trilogy of plays connected in subject, so that
each formed one act, as it were, of a great
whole. A satirical play commonly followed
each tragic trilogy. Aeschylus is said to
have written 70 tragedies. Of these only 7
are extant, namely, the Persians^ the Seve7i
against Thebes^ the Suppliants^ \}xe Froniethetis^
the Agamemnon^ the Choephori^ and Eunie-
nides ; the last three forming the trilogy of
the Oresteia.

AESCULAPIUS (-1), called ASCLEPIUS
(-i), by the Greeks, the god of thp medical art.
In Homer he is not a divinity, hut simply the
** blameless physician " whose sons, Machaon
and Podallrius, were the physicians in the
Greek army. The common story relates that
Aesculapius was a son of Apollo and Coronis,
and that when Coronis was with child by Apollo,
she became enamoured of Ischys, an Arcadian.
Apollo, informed of this by a raven, killed
Coronis and Ischys. When the body of
Coronis was to be burnt, the child Aescula-
pius was saved from the flames, and was
brought up by Chiron, who instructed him in
the art of healing and in hunting. There are
other tales respecting his birth, according to
some of which he was a native of Epidaurus,
and this was a common opinion in later
times. After he had grown up, he not only
cured the sick, but recalled the dead to life.



Aesculapius and a Sick Man. (Millin, GaL
Myth, tav. 32, No. 105.)

Zeus (Jupiter), fearing lest men might con-
trive to escape death altogether, killed Aescu-



lapius with his thunderbolt; but on the
request of Apollo, Zeus placed him among
the stars. He was married to Epione, by
whom he had tne 2 sons spoken of by
Homer, and also other children. The chief
seat of the worship of Aesculapius was Epi-
daurus, where he had a temple surrounded
with an extensive grove. Serpents were
sacred to him because they were a symbol of
renovation, and were believed to have the
power of discovering healing herbs. The
cock was sacrificed to him. At Rome the
worship of Aesculapius was introduced from
Epidaurus in b.c. 293, for the purpose of
averting a pestilence. The supposed de-
scendants of Aesculapius were called by
the patronymic name of Aselepiadae^ and
their principal seats were Cos and Cnidus.
They were an order or caste of priests. The
knowledge of medicine was regarded as a
sacred secret, which was transmitted from
father to son in these families.

AESEPUS (-i), a river rising in the moun.
tains of Ida, and flowing into the Propontis.

AESERNIA (-ae), a town in Samnium,
made a Roman colony in the first Punic war.

AESIS (-is), a river forming the boimdary
between Picenum and Umbria, anciently the
S. boundary of the Senones, and the N.E.
boundary of Italy proper.

AESIS (-is), or AESIUM (-i), a town and
Roman colony in Umbria on the river Aesis.

AESON (-finis), son of Cretheus and Tyro,
and father of Jason. He was excluded from



Online LibraryWilliam SmithA smaller classical dictionary of biography, mythology, and geography ... → online text (page 3 of 90)