William Smith.

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

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bourhood of the Thessalian Dodona and the
river Titarosius ; and at a later time the name
of Perrhaebia was applied to the district
bounded by Macedonia and the Cambunian
mountains on the N., by Pindus on the W.,
by the Peneus on the S. and S.E., and by the
Peneus and Ossa on the E. The Perrhaebi
were members of the Amphictyonic league.

PERSAE. [Pkrsis.]



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PERSE.



313



PERSEPOLIS.



PERSE (-Ss), or PERSA (-ae), daughter of
Oceanus, and wife of Helios (the Sun), by
whom she became the mother of Aeetes,
CircS, Pasiphae and Perses.

PERSEIS (-Idis), a name given to Hecate,
as the daughter of Perses by Asteria.

^PERSEPHONE (-es), called PROSER-
PINA (-ae) by the Romans, a goddess,
daughter of Zeus (Jupiter), and Demeter
(Ceres). In Attica she was worshipped
under the name of OOrS (Ka^tj), that is, the
Daughter^ namely, of Demeter ; and the two
were frequently called The Mother and the
Daughtttr. Homer describes her as the wife
of Hades (Pluto), and the formidable, vene-
rable, and majestic queen of the Shades, who
rules over the souls pf the dead, along with
her husband. Hence she is called by later
writers Juno Infema, Avema^ and Stygia ;
and the Erinnyes (Furies), are said to have
been her daughters by Pluto. The story of
her being carried off by Hades, the wander-
ings of her mother in search of her, and the
worship of the 2 goddesses in Attica at the
festival of the Eleusinia, are related under
Demeter. Persephone is usually represented
in works of art with the grave and severe
character of the Jimo of the lower world.



PERSEPOLIS (-is), the capital of Persis
and of the Persian empire. It appears how-
ever to have been seldom used as the royal
residence. Neither Herodotus, Xenophon,
Ctesias, nor the sacred writers during the
Persian period, mention it at all ; though
they often speak of Babylon, Susa, and Ecba-
tana, as the capitals of the empire. , It is
only from the Greek writers after the Mace-
donian conquest that we learn its rank in the
empire, which appears to have consisted
chiefly in its being one of the 2 burial places
of the kings (the other being Pasargada),
and also a royal treasury; for Alexander
found in the palace immense riches, which
were said to have accumulated from the time
of Cyrus. It preserved its splendour till
after the Macedonian conquest, when it was
burnt ; Alexander, as the story goes, setting
fire to the palace with his own hand, at the
end of a revel, by the instigation of the
courtesan Thais, b.c. 831. It was not, how-
ever, so entirely destroyed as some historians
represent. It appears frequently in subse-
quent history, both ancient and medieval.
It is now deserted, but its ruins are con-
siderable.* It was situated in the heart of
Persis, in the part called Hollow Persis, not



Persephone (Proserpine) enthroned. (Gerhard, Arch&olog. Zeit. tav. U.)



far from the border of the Carmanian De- I Araxes, and its tributaries the Medus and
Bert, in a valley, watered by the river I the Cyras,



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FERSES.



314



PERSIS.



PERSfiS (-ae), son of Helios (the Sun) and
Perse, brothex of Ae^tes and Circe, and father
uf Hecate.

PERSEUS (.6«B or -el). (1) The famous
Argive hero, son of Zeus (Jupiter), and
Danae, and grandson of Acrisius. An oracle
had told Acrisius that he was doomed to
perish by the hands of Dana^'s son ; and he
therefore shut up his daughter in an apart-
ment made of brass or stone. But Zeus
baring metamorphosed himself into a shower
i>f gold, came down through the roof of the
prison, and became by her the father of Perseus.
From this circumstance Perseus is sometimes
called aurigena. As soon as Acrisius dis-
covered that Danafi had given birth to a son,
tie put both mother and son into a chest, and
threw them into the sea ; but Zeus caused the
chest to come ashore at Seriphos, one of the
Cyclades, when Dictys, a fisherman, found
Danae and her son, and carried them to Poly,
dectes, the king of the country, who treated
them with kindness. In course of time Poly,
dectes fell in love with Danae, and wishing
to get rid of Perseus, who had meantime
grown up to manhood, he sent the young
hero to fetch the head of Medusa, one of the
Gorgons. Guided by Hermes (Mercury) and
Athena (Minerva), Perseus first went to the
Graeae, the sisters of the Gorgons, took from
them their one tooth and their one eye, and
would not restore them until they showed
him the way to the nymphs, who possessed
the winged sandals, the magic wallet, and
the helmet of Hades (Pluto), which rendered
the wearer invisible. Having received from



Perwua and Medusa. (From a terra-eotta, in the
British Moseum.)

the nymphs these invaluable presents, from
Hermes a sickle, and from Athena a mirror, he



mounted into the air, and arrived at the abode
of the Gorgons, who dwelt near Tartessus, on
the coast of the Ocean. He found them asleep,
and cut off the head of Medusa, looking at
her figure through the mirror, for a sight of
the monster herself would have changed him
into stone. Perseus put her head into the
wallet which he carried on his back, and as
he went away he was pursued by the two
other Gorgons ; but his helmet, which ren-
dered him invisible, enabled him to escape in
safety. Perseus then proceeded to Aethiopia,
where he saved and married Andromeda.
[AiTDROMsnA.] Perseus is alfo said to have
changed Atlas into the mountain of the same
name by means of the Gorgon's head. On his
return to Seriphos, he foiind that his mother
had taken refuge in a temple to escape the vio-
lence of Polydectes. He then went to the palace
of Polydectes, and metamorphosed him and
all his guests, into stone. He then gave the
head of Gorgon to Athena, who placed it in
the middle of her shield or breastplate.
Perseus subsequently went to Argos, accom-
panied by Danae and Andromeda. Acrisius,
remembering the oracle, escaped to Larissa,
in the country of the Pelasgians ; but Perseus
followed him in disguise in order to persaade
him to return. On his arrival at Larissa, he
took part in the public games, and acci.
dentally killed Acrisius with the discus.
Perseus, leaving the kingdom of Argos to
Megapenthes, the son of Proetus, received
from him in exchange the government of
Tiryns. Perseus is said to have founded
Mycenae. — (2) Or Perses (-ae), the last king
of Macedonia, was the eldest son of Philip V.,
and reigned 11 years, from b.c. 178 to 168.
His war with the Romans lasted 4 years
(B.C. 171 — 168), and was brought to a close
by his decisive defeat by L. Aemilius Paulus
at the battle of Pydna in 168. Perseui*
adorned the triumph of his conqueror, and
was permitted to end his days in an honour,
able captivity at Alba.

PERSIA. [Pkesis.]

PERSiCUS sInUS, PERSICUM MARE,
the name given by the later geographers tc
the great gulf of the Mare Erythraeum
[Indian Ocean) ^ extending between the coast
of Arabia and the opposite coast of Susiana,
Persis, and Carmania, now called the Pernan
Gulf,

PERSIS (-Itdis) very rarely PERSIA (-ae),
originally a small district of Asia, bounded on
the S.W. by the Persian Gulf, on the N.W.
and N. by Susiana, Media, and Parthia, and on
the £. towards Carmania, by no definite boon-
daries in the Desert. The only level part of
the country was the strip of sea-coast : the
rest was intersected with mountains. Th(»



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PERSI8.



815



PETELIA.



inhabitants were divided into 3 classes or
castes : Ist, the nobles or warriors, containing
the 3 tribes of the Pasa&gadas, who were the
most noble, and to whom the royal family of
the Achaemenidae belonged. 2ndly, the
agricultural and other settled tribes. Srdly,
the tribes which remained nomadic. The
Persians had a close ethnical affinity to the
Medes, and followed the same customs and
religion [Magi ; Zoroastbr.] On their first
appearance in history they are represented
as a nation of hardy shepherds, who under
their leader Cyrus overthrew the empire
of the Medes, and became the masters of
Western Asia, b.c. 559. [Cyrvs.] In the
reign of Darius, the 3rd king of Persia, the
empire extended from Thrace and Cyrenaica
on the W. to the Indus on the E., and from
the Euxine, the Caucasus, the Caspian, and
the Oxus and Jaxartes on the N. to Aethiopia,
Arabia, and the Erythraean Sea on the S. It
embraced, in Europe, Thrace and some of the
Greek cities N. of the Euxine; in Africa,
Egypt and Cyrenaica ; in Asia, on the W.,
Palestine, Phoenicia, Syria, the several dis-
tricts of Asia Minor, Armenia, Mesopotamia,
Assyria, Babylonia, Susiana, Atropatene,
Great Media ; on the N., Hyrcania, Margiana,
Bactriana, and Sogdiana ; on the E., the Pa-
ropamisus, Arachosia, and India (i.e. part of
the Punjab and Scinde) ; on the S. Persis,
Carmania, and Gedrosia ; and in the centre of
the £. ptui;, Parthia, Aria, and Drangiana.
The capital cities of the empire were Babylon,
Susa, Ecbatana in Media, and, though these
were seldom, if ever, used as residences, Pa-
sargada and Persepolis in Persis. (See the
several articles.) Of this vast empire Darius
undertook the organisation, and divided it
into 20 satrapies. Of the ancient Persian
history, an abstract is given under the names
of the several kings, a list of whom is sub-
joined : (1) Cyrus, b.c. 559 — 529 ; (2) Cam-
BTSE8,529— ^22 ; (3) Usurpation of fhepseudo-
Smerdis, 7 months, 522 — 521 ; (4) Darius
I., sonof Hystaspes, 521 — 485 ; (5) Xerxes I.
485 — 465 ; (6) Usurpation of Artabanus, 7
months, 465 — 464 ; (7) Artaxeiucbs L Lon-
oncANUs, 464 — 125; (8) Xerxes II., 2
months; (9) Soobiakus, 7 months, 425 —
424 ; (10) OcHus, or Darius II. Nothus, 424
— 405; (11) Artaxerxbs II. Mnemon, 405
— 859; (12) Ochus, or Artaxerxes III.,
559—338; (13) Arses, 838—336; (14)
Darius III. Codouammus, 336 — 831 [Alex-
ander]. Here the ancient history of Persia
ends, as a kingdom ; but, as a people, the
Persians proper, under the influence espe-
cially of their religion, preserved their ex-
istence, and at length regained their inde-
pendence on the downfall of the Parthian



Empire [Sassamidae]. — ^In reading the Roman
poets it must be remembered that they con,
stantly use Tersae^ as well as Medi^ as a
general term for the peoples E. of the
Euphrates and Tigris, and especially for the
Parthians.

PERSiUS FLACCUS (-i), A., the Roman
poet, was a knight connected by blood antl
marriage with persons of the highest rank,
and was bom at Yolaterrae in Etruria, a.b.
34. He was the pupil of Comutus the Stoic,
and while yet a youth was on familiar terms
with Lucan, witii Caesius Bassus, the lyric
poet, and with several other persons of lite-
rary eminence. He was tenderly beloved by
the high-minded Paetus Thrasea, and seenk*
to have been well worthy of such affection ;
for he is described as a virtuous and pleasing
youth. He died in a.d. 62, before he ha<I
completed his 28th year. The extant workn
of Persius consist of 6 short satires, and were
left in an unfinished state. They are written
in an obscure style, and are difficult to under-
stand.

PERTINAX (-acis), HELVIUS (-i), Roman
emperor from January 1st to March 28th,
A.D. 193, was reluctantly persuaded to accept
the empire, on the de^th of Commodus. But
having attempted to check the license of the
praetorian troops, he was slain by the latter,
who jthen put up the empire to side.

P£R0sIA (-ae : Perugia)^ an ancient city
in the E. part of Etruria between the lake
Trasimenus and the Tiber, and one of the 12
cities of the Etruscan confederacy. It was
situated on a hill, and was strongly fortified
by nature and by art. It is memorable in
the civil wars as the place in which L.
Antonius, the brother of the triumvir, took
refuge, when he was no longer able to oppose
Octavianus (Aug^ustus) in the field, and where
he was kept closely blockaded by Octavianus
firom the end of b.o. 41 to the spring of 40.
Famine compelled it to surrender ; but one
of its citizens having set fire to Ms own house,
the flames spread, and the whole city was
burnt to the ground. It was rebuilt by
Augustus.

PESSlNtJS or PESINtJS (-untis), a city in
the S.W. comer of Galatia, on the S. slope
of Mt. Dindymus or Agdistis, was celebrated
as a chief seat of the worship of Cyb^lS, under
the surname of Agdistis, whose temple,
crowded with riches, stood on a hill outside
the city. In this temple was an image of the
goddess, which was removed to Rome, to
satisfy an oracle in the Sibylline books.

PETELIA or PETILIA (-ae : Strongoli),
an ancient Greek town on the £. coast of
Bruttium, founded, according to tradition,
by Philoctetes.



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PETILIUS.



316



PHAETHON.



PETILIuS, CAPITOlINUS. [Capito-

LINU8.]

PETRA (-ae), the name of sereral cities
built on rocks, or in rocky places, of ^hich
the most celebrated was in Arabia Petraea,
the capital, first of the Idumaeans, and after-
wards of the Nabathaeans. It lies in the
midst of the monntains of Seir, just half.way
between the Dead Sea and the head of the
Aelanitic Gulf of the Red Sea, in a valley, or
rather ravine, surrounded by almost inacces-
sible precipices, which is entered by a narrow
gorge on the E., the rocky walls of which
approach so closely as in some places hardly to
permit 2 horsemen to ride abreast. On the
banks of the riyer which runs through this
ravine stood the city itself, and some fine
ruins of its public buildings still remain.
These ruins are chiefly of the Roman period,
when Petra had become an important city as
a centre of the caravan traffic of the Naba-
thaeans. It maintained its independence
under the Romans, till the time of Trajan,
by whom it was taken. It was the chief
city of Arabia Petraea ; and under the later
emph-e the capital of Palaestina Tertia.

PETREIXJS (-i), M., a man of military expe-
rience, is first mentioned in b.c. 62, when he
served as legatus to C. Antonius, and defeated
the army of Catiline. He belonged to the
aristocratical party ; and in 55 he was sent
into Spain along with L. Afranius as legatus
of Pompey. He subsequently fought against
Caesar in Africa, and after the loss of the
battle of Thapsus, he and Juba fell by each
other's hands.

PfiTRlNUM (-i), a mountain near Binu-
cssa on the confines of Latium and Campania,
on which good jrine was grown.

PETRdCORII (-Crum), a people in Gallia
.Iquitanica, in the modem Perigord.

PETROnIus (-i), C, or T., one of the
chosen companions of Nero, and regarded as
(lirector-in-chief of the imperial pleasures
{Elegantiae arbiter). The influence which
Petronius thus acquired excited the jealousy
of Tigellinus : and being accused of treason
.he put an end to his life by opening his veins,
lie is said to have despatched in his last
uioments a letter to the prince, taunting him
with his brutal excesses. It is uncertain
whether he is thQ author of the work, which
has come down to us, hearing the title Petronii
Arbitri Satyricon, It is a sort of comic ro-
mance, fllled with disgusting licentiousness.

PEUCfi (-Ss), an island in Moesia Inferior
formed by the 2 southern mouths of the
Danube, inhabited by the Peucini, who were
a tribe of the Bastamae, and took their name
from the island.

PEUCESTAS (-ae), an officer of Alexander



the Great, <m whose death (b.c. S23), he
obtained the government of Persia. He fought
on the side of Eumenes against Antigonui
(317—816), and was finally deprived of his
satrapy by Antigonus.

PEUCETLl [Apulia.]

PEUClNI. [Pbuce.]

PHACUSSA (-ae), an island in the Aegaear>
sea, one of the Sporades.

PHAEACES (-um), a fabulous people i<n.
mortalised by the Odyssey, who inhabited the
island Schxbia (2%t;/«), situated at the ex-
treme western part of the earth, and who
were governed by king Alcinous. [Alcikocb.]
They are described as a people of luxurious
habits ; whence a glutton is called Pfuieax
by Horace. — The ancients identified the Ho-
meric Scheria with Corcyra ; but it is better
to regfard Scheria as altogether fabulous.

PHAEDON (-5nis), a native of Elis, was
taken prisoner, and sold as a slave at Athens.
He afterwards obtained his fireedom, and be-
came a follower of Socrates, at whose death
he was present. He afterwards returned to
Elis, where he became the founder of a school
of philosophy. The dialogue of Plato, con-
taining an account of the death of Socrates,
bears the name of Phaedon.

PHAEDRA (-ae), daughter of Minos, and
wife of Theseus, who falsely accused her step-
son Hippolytus. After the death of Hippo-
lytus, his innocence became known to his
father, and Phaedra made away with her-
self.

PHAEDRU8 (-i), the Latin Fabulist, wae
originally a slave, and was brought firom
Thrace or Macedonia to Rome, where he
learned the Latin language. He received his
freedom from Augustus. His fables are 97
in number, written in iambic verse : most of
them are borrowed from Aesop.

PHAESTUS (-i), a town in the 8. of Crete,
near Gortyna, the birth-place of Epimenides.

PHAIthON (-6nti8), that is, "the shin-
ing," used as an epithet or surname of Helios
(the Sun), but more commonly known as the
name of a son of Helios by ClymSnS. He re-
ceived the name of Phaethon from his father,
and was afterwards so presumptuous as to
request his father to allow him to drive the
chariot of the sun across the heavens for one
day. Helios was induced by the entreaties
of his son and of ClymtoS to yield, but the
youth being too weak to check the horses,
they rushed out of their usual track, and
came so near the earth, as almost to set it on
fire. Thereupon Zeus killed him with a flash
of lightning, and hurled him down into the
river Eridanus. His sisters, the JETf/y^Uto^ or
PhUitJumttddeSf who had yoked the horses
to the chariot^ were metamorphosed into



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PHALARIS.



317



PHARSALUS.



poplars, and their tears into amber. [He- PHAETHtSA. (Heliadae.)

LiADAB.] I PHALANTHU8 (-i), the leader of the



fhaethoa. (Zanooui, 6aL dl Firenze, terie 4. toL 2.)



Lacedaemonians, who foimded Tarentom in
Italy, about B.C. 708.

PHALAbIS (-tdis), ruler of Agrigentum
in Sicily, has obtained a proverbial celebrity
as a cruel and inhuman tyrant. He reigned
from about b.o. 570 to 564. He perished by
a sudden outbreak of the popular fury. No
circumstance connected with him is more
celebrated than the brazen bull in which he
is said to have burnt alive the yictims of his
cruelty, and of which we are told that he
made the first experiment upon its inventor
Perillus. The Epistles bearing the name of
Phalaris, have been proved by Bentley to be
the composition of some sophist.
. PHALfiRUM (4), the most E.-ly of the
harbours of Athens, and the one chiefly used
by the Athenians before the time of the
Persian wars. After the establishment by
Themistodes of the harbours in the peninsula
of Piraeus, Phalerum was not much used.

PHANAE (.arum), the S. point of the
island of Chios, celebrated for its temple of
Apollo, and for its excellent wine.

PHANAGORiA (-ae), a Greek city on the
Asiatic coast of the Cimmerian Bosporus, was
chosen by the kings of Bosporus as their
capital in Asia.

PHAON (-onis), a boatman at Mytilene, is
stiid to have been originally an ugly old man ;
but having carried Aphrodite (Venus) across
the sea without accepting payment, the god-
dess gave him youth and beauty. After this
Sappho is said to have fallen in love with
him, and, when he slighted her, to have
leapt ftrom the Leucadian rock. [Sappho.]

PHARAE (-arum). (1) A town in the W.
part of Achaia, and one of the 12 Achaean
cities, situated on the river Pierus. — (2) A



town in Messenia on the river Nedon, near
the frontiers of Laconia.

PHARMACtSA (-ae), an island off the
coast of Miletus, where Julius Caesar was
taken prisoner by pirates.

PHARNABAZUS (-i), satrap of the Persian
provinces near the Hellespont, towards the
end of the Peloponnesian war, and for many
years subsequently. His character is dis-
tinguished by generosity and openness. He
has been charged, it is true, with the murder
of Alcibiades ; but the latter probably fell by
the hands of others. [Alcibiades.]

PHARNACES (-is). (1) King of Pontus,
and grandfather of Mithridates the Great,
reigned from about b.c. 190 to 156. —
(2) King of Pontus, or more properly of the
Bosporus, was the son of Mithridates the
Great, whom he compelled to put an end to
his life in 63. [MrrnRiDATEs YI.] After the
death of his father, Pompey granted him the
kingdom of the Bosporus. In the civil war
between Caesar and Pompey, Phamaces
seized the opportunity to reinstate himself
in his father's dominions; but he was de-
feated by Caesar in a decisive action near
Zela (47). The battle was gained with such
ease by Caesar, that he informed the senate
of his victory by the words, Veni, wd», viei.
In the course of the same year, Phamaces
was slain by Asander, one of his generals.

[ASANDEE.]^

PHARNACIA, a flourishing city of Asia
Minor, on the coast of Pontus, built near
(some think on) the site of Cerasus, probably
by Phamaces, the grandfather of Mithridates
the Great.

PHARSlLUS (-i), a town in Thessaly in
the district Thessaliotis, W. of the river



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PHARUS.



818



PHIDON.



Enipeos. Near FbarsalTifl was fought the
decisive hattle between Caesar and Pompey,
H.c. 48, which made Caefuur master of the
Roman world. It is frequently called the
hattle of Phars&lXa, which was the name of
the territory of the town.

PHARUS or PHAROS (-1). (1) A
small Island off the coast of Egypt. When
Alexander the Great planned the city of
Alexandria, on the coast opposite to Pharos,
he caused the island to be united to the coast
by a mole 7 stadia in length, thus forming
the 2 harbours of the city. [Albxanbria.]
The island was chiefly famous for the lofty
tower built upon it by Ptolemy II., for a
light-house, whence the name of pharus was
applied to all similar structures. — (2) An
island of the Adriatic, off the coasts of Dal-
matia, E. of Issa.

PHASCLIS (.Idis), a town on the coast of
Lycia, near the borders of Pamphylia, founded
by Dorian colonists. It became afterwards
the head-quarters of the pirates who infested
the S. coasts of Asia Minor, and was therefore
destroyed by P. Servilius Isauricus. Phaselis
is said to have been the place at which the
light quick vessels called Phaseli were first
built.

PHiSIS (-Is, or -Wis). (1) A celebrated
river of C!olchis, flowing into the £. end of
the Pontus Euxinus {Black Sea), It was
Tamous in connexion with the story of the
Argonautic expedition. Hence Medea is
called FhOslaSf and the adjective Phdsldetu
is used in the sense of C!olchian. [Aboo-
NAUTAB.] It has given name to the pheasant
(phasianus), which is said to have been first
brought to Greece from its banlis. — (2) Near
the mouth of the river, on its S. side, was a
town of the same name, founded by the
Milesians.

PHEGEUS (-688 or -6l), king of Psophis
in Arcadia, purified Alcmaeon after he had
killed his mother, and gave him his daughter
Alphesiboea in marriage. [Alcmaeon.]

PHEmIUS (-i), a celebrated minstrel, who
sung to the suitors in the palace of Ulysses
in Ithaca.^

PHKNEUS (-i), an ancient town in the
N.E. ot Arcadia, at the foot of Mt. Cyllene.

PHERAE (-arum), an ancient town of
Thessaly in the Pelasgian plain, 90 stadia
from its port-town Pagasae on the Pagasaean
gulf. It is celebrated in mythology as the
residence of Admetus, and in history on ac
count of its tyrants, who extended their
power over nearly the whole of Thessaly.
Of these the most powerful was Jason, who
was made Tagus or generalissimo of Thessaly
about B.C. 374.

PHERAE. [PuABAB.]



PH£R£CRIt£S (-is), of Athens, one of
the best poets of the Old Comedy, contem-
porary with Aristophanes. He invented a
new metre, which was named, after him, the
Phereeratean,

PHERECtDfiS (-is). (1} Of Byros, an
early Greek philosopher, flcurished about
B.C. 544. He is said to have been the teacher
of Pythagoras, and to have taught the doc-
trine of the Metempsychosis. — (2) Of Athens,
one of the early Greek logographers, was a
contemporary of Herodotus.

PH£R£S (-etis), son of Cretheus and Tyro,
father of Admetus and Lycurgus, and founder
of Pherae in Thessaly. Admetus, as the son
of Pheres, is called Phth-itiddes,

PHIDIAS (-ae), the greatest sculptor and
statuary of Greece, was bom at Athens about
B.C. 490. He was entrusted by Pericles with
the superintendence of all the works of art
which were erected at Athens during his ad-



Online LibraryWilliam SmithA smaller classical dictionary of biography, mythology, and geography ... → online text (page 60 of 90)