The Baldwin Library
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ANCIENT GREECE AND ITALY.
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TE MP L E
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ANCIENT GREECE AND ITALY:
FOR THE USE OF SCHOOLS.
HISTORIB8 OF GREBBC AND ROM ; OUTLINES OF HISTORY,
WHITTAKER AND CO., AVE MARIA LANE.
The Frontispiece etched, and the Woodcuts from Drawings,
by W. H. BRooKE, F.S.A.
THERE are things, which, though they may
not come under the head of Useful Know-
ledge, require to be known.-Such are the
renowned histories of Whittington and his
Cat, Jack the Giant-killer, Bluebeard, Tom
Thumb, and other heroes of the nursery.
Every one is supposed to be familiar with
them, and they are frequent subjects of al-
lusion both in writing and in conversation.
The legends of Grecian Mythology have
at least this minor claim to attention. We
cannot open a Poet, ancient or modern, with-
out meeting them, or allusions to them; and
the moment we enter a picture-gallery, we
find ourselves in the midst of the gods and
heroes of Greece.-It is surely, then, not need-
less to know something about them.
But Mythology has higher claims. It is
closely connected with History and Philoso-
phy; and an acquaintance with its principles
is indispensable to a philosophic historian or
critic, and useful even to the theologian.
And the study of Mythology is not with-
out its attractions. As it is in the works
of the Poets that its legends have chiefly
been preserved, the search after them is one
of the most agreeable occupations in which
we can engage; and as very few of them are
devoid of meaning, the tracing out their sense
and origin yields adequate employment to the
very highest powers of the mind. Surely no
one will venture to say that the early theology
and history of such a people as the Greeks is
unworthy the attention of any, however ele-
vated in genius and in intellect. To me, the
study of Mythology is a source of high grati-
fiction, and I cheerfully devote my humble
abilities to its cultivation and diffusion.
In my larger work I have endeavoured to
exhibit Mythology in this its more dignified
form, and thither I must refer those who are
curious to know the real origin and signifi-
cation of its various legends. The present
little volume is purely narrative and intro-
ductory; for explanations, unless when given
orally, prove in general rather irksome to
young persons :-the proofs of everything
advanced in it will be found in my other
One advantage, and that no inconsiderable
one, I think I may venture to promise those
who will derive their first mythological ideas
from this little book-they will have nothing
to unlearn in their future progress. Every
thing is given on the best authority.
As the following pages are chiefly designed
for those who have not commenced reading
Greek, I have employed the Latin names of
the Deities; placing, however, the Greek
names beside them; and I have frequently
followed Ovid in preference to the Greek
Poets. As a further aid, I have given the
translation of such names as are significant;
but when the meaning is only conjectural, it
is intimated by a mark of interrogation (?). I
have also accented the proper names through-
out. It may be remarked as a general rule,
that in proper names the final e and es are
to be sounded; thus, Danae and Pleiades are
words of three syllables.
But I have a higher object in view. Ladies
often complain that they are deterred from
the study of Mythology by the dread of
having their delicacy offended. In my wri-
tings on this subject, I can assure them, they
will have nothing to apprehend; and few
things could afford me higher gratification,
than the consciousness of having enabled my
fair countrywomen to view pictures, and read
our own Poets and those of other countries,
with greater knowledge and consequently with
The Woodcuts are partly taken from An-
tiques, and partly from the classic designs of
Flaxman. The Frontispiece represents a resto-
ration of the Temple of Theseus at Athens,
with the Acropolis and the Parthenon in the
Two chapters have been added in this
Second Edition, and all the errors in the pre-
ceding one corrected. It is now as perfect
as I believe I could make it. It has been
objected that I have not given explanation
enough. This I regard as the chief merit
of the book; for I should have explained on
some system, and it is not fair to pre-occupy
the youthful mind with any. My own system
will be found in my large work; here I give
only the narratives and ideas of the ancient
poets, and each reader or teacher can apply
the system he deems best.
No change of consequence has been made in
the Third Edition. A different account of the
Titans will be found in the Second Edition of
my large Mythology; but I have thought it
best to retain the common account here.
London, Oct. 7, 1838.
PART I.-THE GODS.
I. Introduction ....................................... 1
II. The Grecian Gods in general .................... 2
III. Grecian Ideas of the World .................... 6
IV. Theogony........................................... 9
V. The Titans ............................ .......... 12
VI. The Titans (continued) .......................... 14
VII. Jupiter-Zeus ..................................... 20
VIII. Neptune-Poseidon.............................. 28
IX. Pluto-Hades .......................................... 31
X. Juno-Hera............ ............... ....... 36
XI. Mars-Ares ............................... ...... .... 39
XII. Vulcan-Hephestus .............................. 41
XIII. Phoebus Apollo .................................... 43
XIV. Diana-A'rtemis ................................ 50
XV. Venus-Aphrodite ................................. 53
XVI. Cupid-Eros ...................................... 56
XVII. Minerva-Pallas Athine.......................... 58
XVIII. Mercury-Hermes .................................. 61
XIX. Ceres and Pr6serpine-Demeter and Perse-
phone ...................................... 64
XX. Bacchus-Dionysus .......................... 69
XXI. Sister-Goddesses ................................... 72
XXII. Themis, Iris, Hebe, Paeon, and other Deities .. 77
XXIII. The Rural Deities ................. ..... 81
XXIV. The Nymphs ........ ........................ 86
XXV. The Water-Deities ......................... ...... 89
XXVI. Foreign Deities ................................ 92
XXVII. Italian Deities .................................... 95
PART II.-THE HEROES.
I. Ages of the World ................................ 101
II. Pand6ra ............................. ......... 102
III. Deucalion and Pyrrha.............................. 105
IV. Perseus.... ................................. .... 107
V. Bellerophou .......................................... 113
VI. Hercules .......................................... 116
VII. Theseus .............................................. 136
VIII. Procne and Philomela. Cephalus and Procris.
Nisus and Scylla ............................ 143
IX. AEacus, Pelops, and their Posterity ............ 146
X. The Calydonian Hunt......................... 150
XI. The Argonautic Expedition ..................... 152
XII. The Theban Wars ................................. 163
XIII. The Trojan War ................................. 173
XIV. The Return of the Greeks ...................... 187
XV. The Voyage of AnEas.............................. 211
Index ................. ... ................... 223
GREECE AND ITALY.
PART I.-THE GODS.
POLYTHEISM, or the belief in many gods,
was the religion of most ancient nations, and it
may still be witnessed in its full vigour in India.
Learned and ingenious as the Greeks and Romans
were, they were far removed from the purity and
simplicity of faith which distinguished the Israel-
ites ; and in their days of greatest refinement they
still worshiped at the altars of many gods.
It is not necessary at present to seek to trace
the origin and causes of the polytheism of man-
kind; that such was the religion of the ancient
Greeks is a simple fact. The description of the
objects of their worship, and the narration of the
principal adventures which they invented for their
deities, are the points to which we shall direct
As the Greeks were a remarkably ingenious
people, who abounded with imagination, and were
passionately fond of poetry, which in its early ages
was chiefly narrative, they devised numerous tales
of the adventures of their gods; for their vene-
ration for them was not of that awful character
which precludes all falsehood and fiction when
speaking of beings superior to man.
These tales or fables of the adventures and ac-
tions of the Grecian gods are called Mythes, from
a Greek word signifying fable; and the science
which treats of them is termed Mythology.
THE GRECIAN GODS IN GENERAL.
THE ancient Greeks believed their gods to be of
the same shape and form as themselves, but of far
greater beauty, strength and dignity. They also
regarded them as being of much larger size than
THE GRECIAN GODS IN GENERAL.
men; for in those times great size was esteemed
a perfection both in man and woman, and conse-
quently was supposed to be an attribute of their
divinities, to whom they ascribed all perfections.
A fluid named Ichor supplied the place of blood
in the veins of the gods. They were not capable
of death, but they might be wounded or otherwise
injured. They could make themselves visible or
invisible to men as they pleased, and assume the
forms of men or of animals as it suited their fancy.
Like men, they stood in daily need of food and
sleep. The meat of the gods was called Am.
brosia, their drink Nectar. The gods when they
came among men often partook of their food and
Like mankind, the gods were d/rided into two
sexes,-namely, gods and goddesses. They mar.
ried and had children, just like mortals. Often a
god became enamoured of a mortal woman, or a
goddess was smitten with the charms of a hand-
some youth, and these love-tales form a large por.
tion of Grecian mythology.
To make the resemblance between gods and
men more complete, the Greeks ascribed to their
deities all human passions, both good and evil.
They were capable of love, friendship, gratitude
4 THE GRECIAN GODS IN GENERAL.
and all the benevolent affections:-on the other
hand, they were frequently envious, jealous, and
revengeful. They were particularly careful to
exact all due respect and attention from mankind,
whom they required to honour them with temples,
prayers, costly sacrifices, splendid processions, and
rich gifts; and they severely punished insult or
The abode of the gods, as described by the
more ancient Grecian poets, such as Homer and
Hesiod, was on the summit of the snow-clad
mountain of Olympus in Thessaly. A gate of
clouds, kept by the goddesses named the Seasons,
unfolded its valves to permit the passage of the
Celestials to earth, or to receive them on their
return. The city of the gods, as we may term it,
was regulated on the same principle as a Grecian
city of the heroic ages. The inhabitants, who
were all the kindred or the wives and children of
the king of the gods, had their separate dwellings;
but all when summoned repaired to the palace of
Jupiter, whither also came, when called, those dei-
ties whose usual abode was the earth, the waters,
or the under-world. It was also in the great hall
of the palace of the Olympian king that the gods
feasted each day on ambrosia and nectar; which
THE GRECIAN GODS IN GENERAL,
last precious beverage was handed round by the
lovely goddess Hebe (Youth),-maid-servants being
the usual attendants at meals in the houses of the
Grecian princes in early times. Here they con-
versed of the affairs of heaven and earth; and as
they quaffed their nectar, Apollo the god of music
delighted them with the tones of his lyre, to which
the Muses sang in responsive strains. When the
sun was set, the gods retired to sleep in their re-
The Dawn, the Sun, and the Moon, who drove
each day in their chariots drawn by celestial steeds
through the air, gave light to the gods as well as
With the exception, perhaps, of the robes and
other parts of the dress of the goddesses, which
were woven by Minerva and the Graces, every-
thing on Olympus appertaining to the gods was
formed of the various metals, especially brass or
copper, the metal which was in the greatest abun-
dance in Greece; for we must always recollect,
that the gods being the mere creation of fancy,
everything relating to them was framed according
to the ideas and state of manners in the early ages
Vulcan was architect, smith, armourer, chariot-
6 THE GRECIAN GODS IN GENERAL.
builder, and everything in Olympus. He built of
brass the houses of the gods; he made for them
the golden shoes, with which they trod the air or
the water, and moved from place to place with the
speed of the wind or even of thought; he also,
as some think, shod with brass the celestial steeds,
which whirled the chariots of the gods through
the air, or along the surface of the sea. This di-
vine artist was able to bestow on his workman-
ship automatism, or the power of self-motion: the
tripods which he formed could move of themselves
in and out of the celestial hall. He even endowed
with intelligence the golden handmaidens whom he
framed to wait on himself.
GRECIAN IDEAS OF THE WORLD.
IN order clearly to understand the mythology of
the Greeks, it is necessary to have an adequate
conception of their notions of the world and its
different parts. This is called Cosmology.
The ancient Greeks believed the earth to be flat
and circular: their own country they conceived to
GRECIAN IDEAS OF THE WORLD.
occupy the centre of it; the central point being
either Mount Olympus the abode of the gods, or
Delphi so renowned for its oracle.
The circular disk of the earth was crossed from
west to east, and divided into two equal parts, by
the Sea, as they called the Mediterranean, and
its continuation the Euxine,-the only seas with
which they were acquainted.
Around the earth flowed the river Ocean. Its
course was from south to north on the western
side of the earth. The steady equable current
of the Ocean compassed the earth, unmoved by
storm or tempest; and hence it was called soft-
flowing: it was also termed back-flowing, on ac-
count of its circular course. The sea and all the
springs and rivers on earth derived their origin
The Ocean had a further bank: but only that
portion of it which lay to the west is spoken of
by the poets. Homer places there a people whom
he calls Kimmdrians: he also makes it the abode
of the dead.
In the remoter part of the northern half of the
earth dwelt a people named Hyperb6reans, sacred
to the god Apollo, who bestowed on them wealth
and happiness in abundance. The coast of the
8 GRECIAN IDEA OF THE WORLD.
Ocean on the eastern and southern side was in-
habited by the swarthy JEthiopians. The islands
and coasts of the western portion of the Mediter-
ranean Sea were the abode of the various tribes
visited by Ulysses in his wanderings: its eastern
part was inhabited by the Libyans, Egyptians, and
other nations well known to the Greeks.
On the western extremity of the southern half
of the terrestrial disk was a happy place named
Elysium, whither the king of the gods transported
his favourites among men, to dwell in an eternity
It would appear that according to the ideas of
the ancient Greeks, the world was a hollow sphere
or globe, divided internally into two equal portions
by the flat disk of the earth, with the Ocean and
its further bank running round it on the outside
like a rim :-the common armillary sphere will
serve to give an idea of it. The poets called the
external shell of the sphere brazen, and iron, to
express its solidity. The part above the earth
was called Heaven, and was illuminated by the
sun, moon, and stars. The portion beneath the
earth was named TArtarus: here perpetual dark.
ness reigned, and the vanquished or rebellious gods
were confined within its murky regions.
GRECIAN IDEAS OF THE WORLD.
The Dawn, the Sun, and the Moon, rose out of
Ocean on the eastern side, and drove through the
air, giving light to gods and men. The stars also,
except those forming the Wain or Bear, rose out
of and sank into the stream of Ocean.
Such were the ideas of the universe entertained
by the Greeks in the time of Homer and Hesiod.
With the progress of physical and geographical
knowledge many of these erroneous notions were
corrected; but the poets still retained most of the
ideas of their predecessors. -
THE origin of the world and its various parts and
inhabitants, was represented by the ancient Greeks
as the birth of animated beings. The gods whom
they worshiped formed a part of the series of beings
who gradually came into existence; and hence the
account of it is called Theogony or Birth of the
Chaos, or empty space, they said, existed first:
then came into being Earth, TArtarus, and Love.
lrebus (Darkness?) and Night were the chil-
dren of Chaos; Night bore to rebus, Day and
Night was, without a father, the parent of the
Hespirides, or Maidens who kept the golden ap-
ples on the shore of Ocean; of Momus, and of
Woe; of Death, Sleep, and Dreams; of Nimesis,
of Old-age, and Discord.
Earth brought forth tranus or Heaven, the
Sea (Pontus), and the Mountains. She bore to
Heaven six sons, Ocianus, Coeus, Crius, Hype-
rion, JApetus, and Saturn; and six daughters,
Thea, Rhea, Themis, Mnem6syne, Phoebe, and
Tethys: and these twelve were called the Titans.
Earth and Heaven were likewise the parents of
the three Cycl6pes,-Brontes, StWropes, and Ar-
ges; and of the three Hundred-handed,-Cottus,
Brikreos, and Gyes or Gyges.
These children were hated by their father; and
as soon as they were born he hid them in a cavern
of Earth; who indignant at his conduct, produced
the metal named steel, and forming from it a sickle,
gave it to her son Saturn, who, lying in wait for
his father, mutilated him. The drops of blood
which fell on the earth gave origin to the Giants,
the Erinnyes or Furies; and the Melian nymphs:
from what fell into the sea sprang Venus, the
goddess of love and beauty.
By her other son Pontus (the Sea), Earth was
the mother of Thaumas (Wonder), Nereus, Phor-
cys, and a daughter named Ceto (Huge, or Sea-
monster). Thaumas married Electra (Brightness)
a daughter of Ocanus, who bore him Iris (Rain-
bow) and the Harpies or Wind-goddesses. Nereus
had by Doris, also a daughter of Oc&anus, the
fifty sea-nymphs called the Nereides. Phorcys
was, by his sister Ceto, father of the Greese, the
Gorgons, and the Serpent which with the Hespi-
rides watched the golden fruit.
When here and elsewhere we read of gods mar-
ried to their sisters, we must recollect, in excuse
of the old bards who relate such things, that in
the East, and among the Ionian Greeks, where
the female part of the family were kept secluded,
such marriages were not prohibited. We thus find
the patriarch Abraham married to his half-sister
Sarah; and Cimon the great Athenian stood in a
similar relation to his wife Elpinice. In theogony
we must also allow for the necessity of the case;
just as we are obliged to suppose that the children
of Adam and Eve espoused each other.
THE TITANS. SATURN.
OciANUS married his sister Tethys, who gave birth
to the OceAnides, or Ocean-nymphs, and all the
rivers and springs. He and his wife and daughters
dwelt in a grotto-palace in the western part of the
stream, over which he ruled, and which was named
Coeus and his sister Phcebe (Brightness) had two
daughters, Lat6na (Night ?) and Astdria (Starry).
The offspring of Crius and Eurfbia (Wide-
force) were, Astrseus (Starry), Pallas (Shaker ?),
and Perses (Bright?). Astraeus had by Aur6ra
(Dawn), the daughter of his brother Hyperion,
the winds, ZUphyrus (West), Bdreas (North), and
Notus (South). Pallas had by the Ocean-nymph
Styx, Envy and Victory, Strength and Force.
Perses was, by Asteria, father of Hicate (Far-
caster) a goddess of the night.
Hyperion (Over-going) married his sister Thea
(Swift?); their offspring were Helius (Sun), Se-
line (Moon), and Aur6ra (Dawn).
JApetus and one of the Oceinides had four sons,
Atlas, Prometheus, Epimitheus, and Mencetius.
Saturn espoused his sister Rhea. They had
three sons and three daughters; namely, Pluto,
Neptune, Jdpiter, and Vesta (Hestia), Ceres and
Juno. The last-born of these was JUpiter. Heaven
and Earth having told Saturn that he was fated to
be deprived of his kingdom by one of his sons,-
to prevent the calamity he devoured his children
as fast as they were born. Rhea, when about to
become the mother of Jdpiter, advised with her
parents on the means of saving him. Earth di-
rected her to give a stone swathed in linen to Sa-
turn instead of the child. She did so; and Saturn,
unsuspicious of the deceit, swallowed it. Jdpiter
in the mean time was reared by the Nymphs in a
cavern of Crete. When grown up he espoused
Metis (Prudence), who administered a draught to
Saturn, which caused him to cast up the stone and
his other children.
The children of Saturn, headed by Jdpiter, now
rebelled against their father, who was aided by
the other Titans, his brothers. The war, of which
Thssaly was the scene,-the sons of Saturn fight-
ing from Mount Olympus, the Titans from Mount
(thrys,-lasted ten years. At length Jdpiter re-
leased the Hundred-handed, and with their aid
gained the victory. The vanquished Titans were
confined in the gloomy region of Tirtarus, and the
Hundred-handed were set to guard them. Jdpiter
now assumed the empire of the world.
THE TITANS (continued).
THE Titans, however, were not all consigned to
TArtarus. The following are to be found still in
office, or employed under the reign of J6piter.
ATr.AS, the son of JApetus, had the task (a pu-
nishment inflicted on him for his share in the war)
of supporting the heavens on his shoulders. We
shall find the hero Hercules relieving him for a
time of his burden. He was married to one of
the daughters of Oceanus, by whom he had seven
daughters, called the Pleiades or Atlantides: their
names were Maia, Electra, Taygete, Astdrope,
MWrope, Alcyone, and Celeeno. They form the
constellation of the Pleiades in the sign of the Bull.
Atlas was also the father of the beautiful nymph Ca-
lypso, who entertained Ulysses in her isle Ogygia.
PROMETHEUS is by some said to have been the
creator of man, whose benefactor he certainly was.
He stole fire from heaven, and gave it to the new-
formed race, whose life might have passed away
in misery if left destitute of that element. Jipi-
ter, to punish him for this or some other offence,
chained him to a rock on Mount Caucasus where
an eagle evermore preyed on his liver. At length
Hercules, coming to the place of his punishment,
shot the eagle with his arrows, and delivered the
The remaining Titans were more fortunate than
Atlas and Prometheus.
OCiANUS still abode in his circling stream, and
was treated with the utmost respect by Jdpiter,
Juno, and the other gods.
AUR6RA, or Eos, the goddess of the Dawn,
dwelt in a palace on the east side of the earth,
whence every morning she went forth in her yel-
low chariot drawn by four steeds of brilliant white,
before her brother the Sun, and drove through the
sky, shedding light abroad. In the evening she sank
in the west before him, and they were conveyed
together round to the east during the night.
Aurdra was by Astraeus mother of the winds
ZVphyrus, Boreas, and Notus. She bore him also
E6sphorus (Dawn-bearer) or Morning-star, and the
Stars of Heaven.
The goddess of the Dawn was at times inspired
with the love of mortals. She carried off Orion,
and kept him in the isle of Ortfgia till Diina
slew him with her arrows. She also carried off
Cephalus, the son of Mercury by Hersa (Dew),
daughter of Cecrops king of Attica, and had by
him a son named Phaethon (Gleaming), whom
Venus, on account of his beauty, set to keep her
temple. Her greatest favourite, however, was
Tithdnus, son of Ladmedon king of Troy, whom,
after her usual fashion, she ran away with. She
prevailed on Jlpiter to grant him immortality;
but forgetting to have youth joined in the gift, to
her great mortification she began, after some time,
to discern the symptoms of advancing old age and
decrepitude. When his hair was grown white she
left his society; but he still had the range of her
palace, lived on ambrosial food, and was clad in
celestial raiment. At length he lost the power of
moving his limbs, and then she shut him up in his
chamber, whence his feeble voice might at times
be heard. It is also said that she turned him into
the noisy insect called by the Greeks Tettix (Ci-
edda), or Tree-hopper.
Aur6ra and Tith6nus had two children; Mem-
non, a renowned hero slain at the siege of Troy;
and another son named AEmathion, who was killed
HiLIUs, or SOL, the Sun-god, the brother of
Aurdra, dwelt like her on the eastern side of the
earth. He drove after her each day in his four-
horse chariot along the sky. At evening they all
went down into a golden cup or vessel, made by
Vulcan, which carried them during the night along
the ocean round the northern part of the earth, so
as to be in time to set out again in the morning.
By Persa, or Perstis (Brightness?), a daughter
of Ocianus, the Sun was the father of Circe
(Hawk), the great enchantress, and her brother
AEites king of Colchis. Persa also bore him Pa-
siphae (All-bright), who married Minos king of
Crete. The Sun was also the sire of Adgeas
(Bright) king of Elis, renowned for his wealth in
flocks and herds.
Helius, and the Oceanide Clymene, had a son
named PhiAthon (Gleaming), whose claims to a
celestial origin being denied by tpaphus the son
of Jdpiter and lo, he journeyed to the palace of
his reputed sire, from whom he drew an unwary
oath that he would grant him whatever he desired.
His request was the guidance of the solar chariot
for one day, that all might thereby be convinced
that he was the offspring of its lord. Helius, aware
of the consequences, made every effort to induce
the thoughtless youth to content himself with
some less perilous proof. His arguments and en-
treaties were in vain; and at length, with a mourn-
ful heart, he circled his head with the glittering
diadem of rays, and committed the reins to his
hand. In the midst of his directions the impatient
youth lashed on the horses, who sprang along the
celestial way; but soon aware of the feeble hand
which guided them, they ran out of the course,
and the world was enveloped in flames. At the
prayer of Earth, Jdpiter launched his thunder, and
hurled PhAthon from his seat. He fell into the
river Eridanus and was drowned, and his sisters
the Helfades (Sun-maidens), weeping for his death,
were turned as they stood on the river's bank into
the trees which drop amber into its waves.
SELENE, or LUNA, the moon-goddess, drove
along the sky in her chariot to give light, while
her brother and sister were reposing after the toils
of the day.
By Jupiter, Selene was the mother of a daughter
named Hersa (Dew). The god Pan gained her
love under the form of a beautiful white ram.
There was a youth named Endfmion, on whom
Jupiter had bestowed the gift of perpetual youth,
but united with perpetual sleep: a cavern of Mount
Latmos in Caria was the place of his repose; and
here Seldne used to descend each night, and please
herself by gazing on his charms as he slumbered.
HiCATE was highly honoured by Jipiter, who
gave her extensive power. She was a goddess
of the night, and was worshiped by men as the
averter of evil and bestower of increase. In after-
time she was held to be the patroness of magic.
There is little doubt but that HWcate was origin-
ally regarded, by a portion of the people of Greece,
as a moon-goddess like Selene. /
JU'PITER, the son of Saturn and Rhea, when born
was concealed by his mother in a cave of Mount
Ida in Crete. Here he was fed by the bees and
the doves, and drank the milk of the goat Amal-
thea. To prevent his cries reaching the ears of
his father, the Curates danced their war-dances,
clattering their arms around his cradle.
On the dethronement of Saturn, Jdpiter divided
his dominions with his brothers Neptune and Plu-
to; the portion which he reserved for himself was
the Heaven; Earth and Olympus were common
property. Jdpiter was king of gods and men;
the thunder was his weapon ; and he bore a shield
called iEgis, made for him by Vulcan, which
when shaken, sent forth storm and tempest. The
eagle was his favourite bird, the oak his sacred
The king of the gods had a numerous progeny
both by mortal and immortal mothers. Themis
(Law) bore him the Fates, the Seasons, and
Peace, Order, and Justice; Eurynome (Wide-
dispensing), the Graces; Mnem6syne (Memory),
the Muses; the nymph Maia, Mercury; by Ceres
he had Pr6serpine ; by Didne, Venus; by Lat6na,
Apollo and Diana; by Juno, who was his queen
and lawful wife, he was the father of Mars, Vul-
can, Hebe (Youth), and the Ilithyise.
The terrestrial loves of this god gave rise to a
variety of adventures, and produced a copious list
of gods and heroes.-The following are a few of
Alcm6na the daughter of E16ctryon was be-
trothed to her cousin Amphitryon, but refused
to acknowledge him as a husband until he had
avenged the death of her father on the Teleboans.
During his absence in the war against them, J-
piter, who had fallen in love with Alcmena, as-
sumed his form, and by narrating a tale of victory
to the maiden, obtained admission to her chamber.
The celebrated hero Hercules was the son of Ju-
piter and Alcmina.
Antiope, daughter of Nycteus and niece of
Lycus king of Thebes, was surprised by Jdpiter in
the form of a satyr. Dreading the anger of her
father, she fled to the town of Sicyon, where she
married Epdpeus. Nycteus put an end to his life,
charging his brother to take vengeance on Antiope
and her husband. Soon afterwards Lycus slew
Ep6peus, and led Antiope back captive to Thebes.
On the way she brought forth twins, whom her
uncle exposed on the mountains, where they were
found by a shepherd, who reared them, naming
the one Zethus, the other Amphion. Antiope, who
was treated with the utmost cruelty by Dirce
the wife of Lycus, fled for protection to her sons
when they were grown up. They attacked and
slew Lycus, and tying Dirce by the hair to a wild
bull, let him drag her till she expired. They
seized on the government of Thebes, which they
surrounded with walls, the stones moving of them-
selves to the sound of the lyre which Mercury had
given to Amphion.
Enamoured of the beauty of Leda the wife of
Tfndareus, Jdpiter took the form of a swan, and
gained her love. She brought forth two eggs, from
one of which came Pollux and Helen, the chil-
dren of Jupiter; from the other Castor and Cly-
temnestra, the mortal offspring of her husband.
A flame of fire concealed the god from AEgina
the daughter of the river-god As6pus, and she
became the mother of JE'acus, so renowned for his
justice that he was made one of the judges of the
under-world. A shower of gold was the form
in which Jipiter penetrated the brazen chamber
where Acrisius king of Argos had shut up his
daughter Dinae, who bore to the god a son named
Io, the daughter of the river Inachus, was seen
and loved by Jdpiter. She rejected the suit of
the god; but as she fled from him, he checked
her flight by spreading a dense cloud around her.
Juno, looking down from heaven, and seeing the
cloud, and also missing her husband, suspected
mischief. She sprang to earth; but Jdpiter, aware
of her approach, had turned Io into a white cow.
When Juno admired the animal, and asked him
to give it to her, he could not refuse her request.
The goddess, who knew well who the cow was,
set the hundred-eyed Argus to watch her ; and as
only two of his eyes slept at a time, there was
little hope of deceiving his vigilance. At length
J6piter desired Mercury to kill him, as the only
mode of liberating Io. Mercury, taking the guise
of a shepherd, came and sat by Argus, and by
playing on his pipe lulled all his eyes to slumber,
and then cut off his head with his harpe or crooked
sword. Juno placed the eyes of Argus in the tail
of her favourite bird the peacock, and sent a Fury
to torment lo, who fled all through the world till
she came to Egypt, where J6piter restored her
to her original form, and she bore a son named
Callisto, the daughter of LycAon king of Arca-
dia, was one of the companions of Diana. Jupiter,
taking the form of that goddess, violated the mo-
desty of the maiden; and DiAna, on learning what
had happened, drove the guiltless offender from
her society. Callisto was mother of a son named
Areas. Juno, then giving loose to her vengeance,
turned her into a bear. Her son, when he grew
up, meeting her in the woods, was on the point of
killing her with his darts, when JApiter, transport.
ing both mother and son to the skies, made them
the constellations of the two bears. Juno obtained
from Octanus and Tethys that they should never
be permitted to sink into their waves.
As Eurdpa, the daughter of Agdnor king of
Sidon, was one day amusing herself with her com-
panions and gathering flowers in the meads on the
shore of the sea, Jdpiter approached her in the
form of a beautiful white bull. The maiden ca-
ressed him, and at length ventured to mount upon
his back: the god immediately bounded on the
surface of the sea, and ran with his lovely burden
along it till he reached the isle of Crete, where he
resumed his proper form. Eurdpa became the
mother of Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Sarpddon.
Adventures more becoming a king are related
of Jdpiter. Such are those of his descent to earth
to look into the conduct of men.
Hearing of the enormous wickedness of man-
kind, Jdpiter came down to earth to ascertain if
what had reached his ears was true. The reality
exceeded the report. He came to the palace of
Lycion king of Arcadia, and made himself known.
Lycion derided his pretensions, and to try him
set human flesh before him for food. The god in
indignation destroyed the house with lightning, and
turned its impious master into a wolf.
JApiter, accompanied by Neptune and Mdrcury,
came down one time to earth. It was late in the
evening when they passed by the house of a peasant
named Hfrieus. Seeing that they were wayfarers,
Hfrieus pressed them to enter and partake of his
hospitality. The gods accepted the kind invitation ;
and, pleased with their entertainment, they re-
vealed to him their rank, and asked if he had any
wish to gratify. The wife of the kind host was
dead, and he had sworn never to marry another,
yet he wished to have a child. The gods took
the hide of his only ox, which he had offered in
sacrifice to them, and buried it in the earth. Ten
months afterwards a child came to light, which he
named Orion, who became a mighty hunter, and
was at last slain by Diaina.
Jupiter and his son Mdrcury once came in the
evening to a village, where they sought hospitality;
but every door was closed against them. At length
they reached a cottage, where dwelt an ancient
couple named Philemon and Baucis. By these
they were received and entertained as well as their
humble means would allow. Charmed with the
good old pair, the gods revealed their rank, and
desired them to accompany them to the summit of
a neighboring hill. On looking down towards
their village, Philemon and his wife saw nothing
but a lake, with their cottage standing on its side.
As they gazed, it became a temple; and on the
gods asking them what was their desire, they said
to serve them in that temple, and to die at the
same moment. Their wish was granted; and one
day as they were standing before the temple and
talking over the wonderful tale, they were turned
into trees where they stood.
NEPTUNE was the son of Saturn and Rhea. The
sea fell to his lot on the division of the dominions
of his father. As god of the sea he bore the three.
pronged spear or trident used by fishermen, and
dolphins and other marine animals usually attended
The queen of Neptune was Amphitrite, one of
the daughters of Nereus and Doris. In his suit
to her he was aided by a Dolphin, whom in gra-
titude he placed among the stars. Their children
were Triton, whom he made his trumpeter; and a
daughter named Rhoda, who was married to the
Like his brother Jdpiter, Neptune was not
strictly faithful to his wife; but Amphitrite seems
to have been less prone to jealousy than Juno. It
is said that Neptune became enamoured of the
goddess Ceres, when one time she had taken the
form of a mare. The goddess gave birth to a foal,
which was named Arfon. He was reared by the
NerAides, who used to yoke him to his father's
chariot, which he drew along the surface of the
sea. Arion became the property of Adrastus king
of Argos, who owed his life to his fleetness in the
first Theban war.
Tyro, the daughter of Salm6neus, loved the
river Enipeus. Neptune, who was enamoured of
her, took the form of the river-god, and she bore
two sons, named Pelias and Neleus, which last was
the father of Nestor.
Neptune took the form of a dolphin to deceive
Melantho : as a ram he gained the love of Thed-
phane, who bore the gold-fleeced ram which car-
ried Phrixus and Helle to Colchis. By Iphimedeia
Neptune was the father of Otus and Ephialtes,
who were of such gigantic size and strength, that
when but nine years old, they attempted, by piling
the Thessalian mountains on each other, to scale
Heaven. The Cyclops Polyphmrus was the son
of Neptune and the sea-nymph Thoo'sa; and many
renowned heroes likewise claimed Neptune for their
The origin of the horse was ascribed to Nep-
tune. It is said that when he and Minerva con-
tended for the right of naming the city built by
Cecrops in Attica, the gods declared that they
would decide in favour of the one who should
produce what would be most useful to mankind.
Neptune struck the earth with his trident, and
forth sprang the first horse; Minerva caused an
olive to shoot up. The gods gave judgment in
favour of the emblem of Peace, and the goddess
called the town Athens, from her own name
PLUTO, the son of Saturn and Rhea, became lord
of the under-world on the dethronement of his
father. All the dead of mankind were under the
rule of this deity, who is described as gloomy and
inexorable ; for from the realm of Pluto there is no
return; and the ancient Greeks believed it to be
dark and cheerless.
The queen of Pluto was Pr6serpine, the daughter
of Ceres, whom he carried off, as will be presently
The souls of the dead were conducted down to
the realm of Pluto by Mercury. On reaching the
river which surrounded it, they found Charon with
his boat waiting to receive them. His fare was a
small piece of money, which was always for that
purpose placed in the mouth of the deceased.
Having disembarked on the further bank, they
went on till they came to the palace of Pluto, which
was guarded by Cerberus, a dog with three heads
and with serpents along his back. This monster
lay quiet in his den, only gazing at those who en-
tered; but if any of them turned back and attempt-
ed to make their escape, he flew out of his cavern
and seized them. The dead were now brought be-
fore the tribunal of the judges, Minos, Rhadaman-
thus, and AE'acus, and their dooms were assigned
according to the life which they had led on earth.
The virtuous were sent to the enjoyment of the
blissful region named Elysium, the wicked were
consigned to the endless torments of Tirtarus.
According to the poets, the following five ri-
vers were to be seen in the dominions of Pluto.
Styx (Dread), whose waters were piercing cold.
When there was any dispute on Olympus, Jdpiter
sent Iris to fill a cup with the water of Styx, and
bring it thither. On this the contending parties
swore; and if any swore falsely, he was banished
for nine years from the table of the gods. Ache-
ron (Grief), the stream over which Charon ferried
the dead. Cocftus (Lamentation); and Pyriphle-
gethon (Fire-flaming), or Phligethon (Flaming),
which last rolled with waves of torrent flames.
Finally, the quiet placid stream of Lethe (Obli-
vion) flowed through the fragrant valleys of Elf-
sium; and the souls of the good, which were
destined to animate other bodies on earth, were
led to its side to quaff oblivion of their present
bliss, before they departed to taste once more of
the bitterness of life beneath the sun.
The proper name of the realm of Hades or Pluto
was rebus (Darkness?). We term it the under-"
or nether-world, as to modern ears the words Hell
and the Infernal Regions, by which it is usually
designated, suggest ideas of punishment alone,
whereas Erebus was the abode of the virtuous as
well as the wicked. The attentive reader will
also perceive that in the days of Homer Elfsium
and TArtarus did not form parts of Erebus, and
that their transference thither was the work of a
later age. ,
The principal criminals who were punished in
trebus were the following.
Tityus, the son of Jdpiter and Ilara, was slain
by Apollo and DiAna for attempting to offer vio-
lence to their mother Lat6na. In Erebus his huge
body covered nine acres of land, and an enormous
vulture preyed without ceasing on his liver.
Tantaluf was so highly honoured by the gods
as to be admitted to partake of the nectar and
ambrosia on which they feasted in the halls of
Olympus. At an entertainment given by him to
them, he had the cruelty and impiety to kill his
own son Pelops, and serve his flesh up to the Im-
mortals. All shrunk back from the horrid viands
but Ceres, who incautiously ate one of the shoul-
ders. Pelops was restored to life by Clotho, and
Sthe missing shoulder was replaced by an ivory one.
To punish Tantalus for his atrocious deed, the
gods placed him up to his chin in a lake in Erebus,
with trees laden with luscious fruits suspending
their boughs above his head: but when he assays
to quench the thirst with which he is tormented,
the water flies from his lips; and when he would
pluck the fruit to satisfy his hunger, the winds
scatter it abroad.
Sisyphus, king of Corinth, so renowned for his
craft, having contrived to outwit Pluto, was by
him condemned to roll a huge stone up a hill in Ere-
bus. His toil is unceasing; for as soon as he has
worked it up to the summit, it rolls back in spite
of him, and thunders down again into the plain.
Phlegyas, on learning that his daughter Cor6nis
had been seduced by Apollo, burnt out of revenge
the temple of the god at Delphi. For this offence
he was placed in Jrebus, where a stone, hanging
over his head, and evermore threatening to fall,
keeps him in a perpetual state of terror.
Ixion the son of Phlhgyas was admitted to the
society of the gods on Olympus. He here had
the audacity to aspire to the love of the celestial
queen; and Jupiter, to punish him, precipitated
him to ]rebus, and fixed him on an ever-revol-
Salmoneus, king of Elis, asserted himself to be
Jupiter, and claimed divine honours. Fastening
dried hides and brazen kettles to his chariot, he
called their clatter thunder; and flinging lighted
torches against the sky, he affected to lighten like
the king of the gods. Jipiter hurled him to Pre-
bus; but his punishment there is not described.
The fifty maidens called Belides from their
grandfather Belus, and Danlides from their father
Dnaiis, having fled from Egypt to escape the
persecution of their cousins the sons of Egyptus,
came to Argos in Greece. They were followed
thither by their cousins, to whom Dinaiis con-
sented to give them in marriage : but on the wed-
ding night he gave a dagger to each of the brides,
directing her to plunge it into the bosom of her
husband. All obeyed but Hypermnestra, who
spared the life of Lynceus. For this crime the
Dandides were sentenced in ~ us to fill a per-
forated tub with water.
JUNo was a daughter of Saturn and Rhea. Her
brother Jupiter, falling in love with her, raised a
storm, and taking the shape of a cuckoo fled to her
bosom for shelter and gained her love. When
he had dethroned his father, Juno became his
queen, and shared in all his honours. Her own
character was irreproachable; but, as we have al-
ready seen, she could ill brook his infidelities; and
Lat6na, Alcmena, Smele, and others, paid dear for
their intimacy with the monarch of the gods.
The attendant assigned to Juno by the poets
was Iris, the swift goddess of the rainbow. Her
favourite birds were the peacock and the cuckoo,
Of flowers, she was most partial to the dittany,
the poppy and the lily. It is said that the lily was
once yellow, but that the infant Hrcules being
put to the breast of the goddess as she slept, on
waking she thrust the babe indignantly from her
with such precipitation that a part of her milk
was spilt. What fell on the heaven produced the
Galaxy, or Milky Way; the portion which reached
the earth tinged the lilies white.
At the nuptials of Peleus and Thetis, which
the gods honoured with their presence, Discord,
who was uninvited, flung a golden apple in among
them, on which was inscribed, For thefairest. The
claims of all were obliged to give way to those of
Juno, Minerva, and Venus; and the decision was
left to Paris, son of Priam king of Troy, who was
at that time keeping herds on Mount Ida. Mer-
cury led the goddesses thither. Juno proffered
the young herdsman power, if he would award
the prize to her; Minerva, fame in war; Venus,
the fairest of women. The queen of beauty was
awarded the apple, and Paris soon afterwards
carried off Helen the wife of Menelifis, king of
Sparta. The revengeful Juno never rested till
Troy was taken and destroyed by the Greeks, to
punish the crime of Paris.
MARS was the son of Jupiter and Juno. He was
the god who presided over war. The war god-
dess Enfo or Bell6na, his sister Strife, and his
sons Terror and Fear, were his companions when
he went to the field of battle.
It was said by some that Mars was the son of
Juno without a father. This goddess, angry at the
birth of Minerva from the head of Jupiter, took
a journey towards the dwelling of Oceanus and
Tethys to make a complaint to them. On the
way she stopped to rest at the abode of Flora the
goddess of flowers. She told the tale of her griefs
to her kind hostess, who, pointing to a flower which
grew in her garden, desired her to touch it. Juno
did so, and became the mother of Mars.
The beautiful goddess Venus, who was married
to Vulcan, the lame smith, carried on an intrigue
with the god of war. The Sun gave information
to the artist, who forged an invisible net, and dis-
posed it in such a manner as to catch the lovers.
He then called all the gods to behold the captives,
and would not release them till Neptune had passed
his word for the compensation to be made by Mars.
Terror and Fear, and Harmony, who was mar-
ried to Cadmus, are said to be the children of
Mars and Venus.
Mars had by Agraulos, daughter of Cecrops,
king of Athens, a daughter named Alcippe (Strong-
mare). Halirrh6thius (Sea-wave), a son of Nep-
tune, having offered violence to the maiden, was
killed by her father. Mars was prosecuted for
the murder by Neptune. Twelve gods sat as
judges on the hill at Athens named Are6pagus
(Mare' Hill). The votes being equal, he was ac-
quitted, and such became the rule of the court
which in after times held its sittings on this hill.
VULCAN, the celestial artist, was the son of Jd-
piter and Juno,-some said of Juno alone. He
was born lame; and his mother was so displeased
at the sight of him, that she flung him out of hea-
ven. He was saved by the nymphs Thetis and
Eurfnome, who kept him for nine years in a
cavern under the ocean; during which time he
fashioned for them a great variety of trinkets and
All the houses, chariots and armour, and other
articles in Olympus, were made by Vulcan. He
also made various wonderful things for his own
favourites, or those of J4piter and the other gods,
among men. Alcinoiis king of the Phaeacians had
golden dogs, which guarded his house; and JEites
king of Colchis brass-footed bulls, which guarded
the Golden Fleece,-all made by Vulcan. Vulcan
formed for Minos king of Crete a brazen man
named Talos, who compassed the isle three times
a day to guard it from invasion. Talos' mode of
destroying people was to make himself red-hot in
the fire and then embrace them.
The servants assigned to Vulcan by the poets
are the three Cycldpes, Brontes (Thunder), St&-
ropes (Lightning), and Arges (Flame). His wife
was Venus the goddess of beauty. ,
PHa(BUS APOLLO was the god of archery, prophe-
cy, and music. He was the son of Jupiter and the
Titaness Lat6na, and brother of Diana.
Latdna, ere she gave birth to the twins Apollo'
and DiAna, was persecuted in a most cruel nmamer
by Juno, who menaced with her wrath any coun-
try or island on earth which should give shelter to
the goddess. It was in vain that Lat6na implored
them to take pity on and relieve her; all feared
too much the vengeance of the Queen of heaven.
At length, the isle of Delos, which at that time
floated among the Cyclades, offered her an asy-
lum; and she brought forth her children in that
island, which thenceforth remained fixed, and
where Apollo had one of his principal temples.
When Apollo was grown up he went to Pytho
or Delphi, where he killed the enormous serpent
Python, which infested the surrounding country.
He here built a magnificent temple; and Delphi
became celebrated for its oracle, by which the god
of prophecy announced the future to mankind.
As Phoebus Apollo was a remarkably handsome
and accomplished god, he had many love adven-
The muse Calliope (Fair-voice) bore him a son
named Orpheus, who became so skilful a musician
that the very trees and rocks moved to the tones
of his lyre. Orpheus was married to Eurfdice,
whom he tenderly loved; but a snake biting her
foot as she ran through the grass to escape the
pursuit of Aristaeus, she died of the wound. Her
disconsolate husband formed the bold resolution
of descending to the under-world, and imploring
its rulers to let her return to the light of day. He
struck the chords of his lyre, and drew forth tones
which softened the heart of the stern monarch of
trebus; and Eurldice was restored on condition
that her husband should not look back till they
had reached the upper-world. They journeyed on
through the gloomy regions of ]rebus, and were
now on the confines of light, when Orpheus, fear-
ing that Eurfdice might not be following, looked
back. By this imprudent act all his labour was
undone, and Eurldice lost for ever. He now
shunned all human society; and, despising the
rites of Bacchus, was torn to pieces by the women
Shortly after his victory over the Python, Apollo,
seeing the little Cupid bending his bow, mocked
at his efforts. Cupid, to punish him, shot him in
the heart with his golden arrow of love; and at the
same time discharged his leaden arrow of aversion
into the bosom of Daphne, the daughter of the
river-god Peneiis. Apollo seeing the nymph, pur-
sued her; but she fled from him with all her speed.
He had nearly overtaken her, when she reached
the bank of her father's stream. She cried to
Penuiis for aid; and when Apollo thought to
grasp her, he found that his arms encircled a
bay-tree, into which she had been changed.
Cassandra, a daughter of Priam king of Troy,
attracted the love of Apollo; and in return she
demanded the gift of prophecy. The god readily
granted it; but the princess broke her word when
become a prophetess. Unable to recall his gift,
Apollo rendered it useless by depriving her of
credit; for though she always announced the
truth, no one believed her.
Apollo also loved Marpessa the daughter of
Ev6nus. Her father wished her to hearken to the
god; but her heart was devoted to another. The
favoured lover, whose name was Idas, having ob-
tained a fleet chariot from Neptune, carried her
off. Apollo meeting the fugitives, seized Mar-
pessa: the dispute was referred to Jupiter, who
allowed the maid to choose for herself; and she
gave her hand to her mortal lover.
Having seen one day Cyrdne the grand-daughter
of the river-god Pendiis engaged in combat with a
lion, in defence of her father's flocks, Apollo be-
came enamoured of her. He carried her off in his
golden chariot over the sea, to that part of Libya
afterwards named from her; and she gave birth
to a son named Aristaens, who discovered the cul-
ture of the olive and the mode of managing bees.
Cor6nis, the daughter of PhlIgyas king of the
Lipithae, had yielded to the suit of Apollo. She
however did not continue faithful to him; and the
raven, having witnessed her infidelity, informed the
god of it, who discharged one of his inevitable
arrows into the bosom of Cordnis. She died, de-
ploring, not her own fate, but that of her unborn
babe. Apollo repented when too late : he laid her
on the funeral pyre, and taking the babe, gave
him to Chiron the Centaur to rear. To punish
the raven, he changed his colour from white,
which till that time it had been, to black.
This son of Apollo by Coronis was named JEscu-
lapius. He became a celebrated physician; and
his skill was such, that he was able even to restore
the dead to life. Pluto complaining to Jdpiter of
him, the king of the gods struck him with thun-
der; and Apollo in revenge shot with his arrows
the Cycl6pes who had forged the thunderbolts.
For this act he was banished from heaven. Coming
down to earth he hired as a herdsman with Adm&-
tus king of Pherse in Thessaly, and fed his flocks
on the banks of the river Amphrjrsus. The prince
treated his illustrious servant with the utmost
kindness; and Apollo out of gratitude aided him
to gain the hand of the beautiful Alcestis, the
daughter of Pflias. He also obtained of the Fates,
that when the appointed period of the life of Ad-
m6tus should arrive, it might be deferred by one
of his family dying in his stead. When the fatal
time was come, Admitus besought in vain his
aged father and mother to prolong his days. The
affection of his wife now shone forth, and she
magnanimously offered to descend to the tomb in
his place. When Death came to fetch her, Apollo
made fruitless efforts to prevail upon him to forego
his prey, and Alcestis was taken from her weeping
husband and children. But Hercules, happening
to come at that time to the house of Admdtus,
engaged and overcame Death, and restored the
queen to her family.
Hyacinthus, a beautiful youth, was loved by
Apollo. As the god and his favourite were one
day playing with the discus, it rebounded, and
struck the youth so violently as to kill him. The
mourning deity changed him into the flower named
from him-the Hyacinth.
Cyparissus, another youth whom Apollo loved,
pined away with grief for the loss of a favourite stag
which he had killed by accident, and was changed
into a tree of his own name-the Cypress.
The satyr M&rsyas, having found the pipe which
Minerva had flung away, and learned to play on
it, challenged Apollo to a musical contest. The
god accepted the challenge; Mount Tmolus was
chosen judge, and he decided in favour of the
music of the lyre. All acquiesced in the justice of
the sentence except Midas king of the country;
and as a reward for his bad taste, Apollo bestowed
upon him the ears ofan ass: the unhappy Mar-
syas he flayed alive. Midas sought to conceal the
altered form of his ears; but he could not hide
the secret from his barber. He strictly enjoined
him secrecy; but silence was almost impossible to
one of that loquacious fraternity. Bursting with
the secret, he went, and digging a hole in the earth,
whispered into it, King Midas has got asses' ears."
Lo! soon afterwards a crop of rushes sprang up
from this hole; and as they waved in the wind, the
words, "King Midas has got asses' ears" were
The hawk, raven, and swan, were birds sacred
to Apollo. The bay or laurel was his favourite
DIA'NA was twin sister of Apollo, and daughter of
Jdpiter and Lat6na. She was, according to some
accounts, born before her brother, and aided the
labour of her mother. This goddess presided over
the chase; she loved to follow with bow and arrows
the flying game over the mountains, attended by
her train of huntress-nymphs. DiAna was never
married; and she was renowned for her unblemish-
ed chastity. As we have seen in the instance of
Callisto, she punished severely the breach of this
virtue in her nymphs.
Actseon, one of the grandsons of Cadmus,
chanced, as he roamed through the woods during
the heat of the day, to approach the cave and
fount in the vale of GargAphia, whither DiAna was
in the habit of retiring to bathe with her nymphs.
Unfortunately for the youth the goddess was there
at the time: ashamed of being surprised in this
situation by a mortal, and incensed at the unin-
tentional intrusion, she took up some water in her
hand, and flinging it on Actaeon, turned him into
a stag. His own dogs happening to catch a sight
of him, gave chase, and running him down, tore
him to pieces.
Chione, the daughter of Daedilion, was loved
by both Apollo and Mercury. Her son by the
former god was Philammon, a celebrated musician;
to the latter she bore Aut6lycus, the notorious
cattle-stealer. Far from being ashamed, Chfone
gloried in having gained the love of two gods;
and she presumed to speak disparagingly of the
beauty of Diana compared with her own. The
goddess, to punish her, shot her through the tongue
with one of her arrows.
Niobe, the daughter of Tantalus and wife of
Amphion, being the mother of seven sons and as
many daughters, proudly set herself above Lat6na,
who had borne but two children. The goddess
complained to her bow-bearing offspring; and
soon the seven sons of Amphion lay slain by the
arrows of Apollo, and his daughters by those of
Diana. Niobe, stiffening with grief, was turned
(Eneus, king of Calydon, having neglected to
make offerings to Diana along with the other
gods at the termination of harvest, she sent in
revenge a monstrous boar to ravage the fields of
Calydon. This gave occasion to the celebrated
Calydonian Hunt, hereafter to be related.
The huntress-goddess was in process of time
identified with the moon-goddess, Selena or Luna;
with HIcate, the goddess of the night; with Ili-
thyla, who assisted at births; and with Pr6serpine,
the queen of Erebus. Apollo was in like manner
made one with the Sun. It is, however, highly
probable that Apollo was originally a sun-god,
and his sister a moon-goddess.
VENUs, the goddess of love and beauty, was the
daughter of Jiipiter and Di6ne. Others say that
Venus sprang from the foam of the sea; the gentle
Zephyr wafted her along the waves to the isle of
Cyprus, where she was received and attired by the
Seasons, and then led to the assembly of the gods.
Venus possessed an embroidered girdle, called
Cestus (embroidered), which had the gift of in-
spiring love. Her favourite birds were swans,
doves, and sparrows, teams of which drew her
chariot. The plants sacred to her were the rose
and the myrtle.
The husband of this lovely goddess was the
lame artist Vulcan; but conjugal fidelity was not
her virtue. Her intrigue with Mars has been al-
ready noticed; and Bacchus and Mercury could,
it is said, also boast of her love.
Mortals, too, enjoyed the love of Venus. Smit-
ten with the charms of Anchises, a handsome
Trojan youth, she visited him among the sheep-
cots on Mount Ida, and became the mother of
the renowned AEndas.
Offended with Myrrha daughter of king Cinyras,
Venus inspired her with love for her own father.
Cfnyras, to punish the guilt of his daughter, pur-
suing her with his drawn sword, she was changed
by the gods into a myrrh-tree. In course of time
the tree opened, and gave birth to a babe who was
named Ad6nis. Venus gave him to Prdserpine to
rear, who, delighted with his beauty, refused to
part with him. The matter was referred to Jd-
piter, who directed that he should spend a part
of the year with each goddess. Ad6nis was at
length gored by a wild boar, and died of the
wound, and Venus turned him into the flower
The fair maid Atalanta was warned by the oracle
to abstain from marriage, as it would be fatal to
her. Being pressed by many suitors, to get rid
of them she proposed a race, and that whoever
surpassed her in fleetness should have her hand,
but those who were vanquished should be put to
death. As the speed of Atalanta was unrivalled,
numerous youths had paid the penalty of their
rashness, when Hippdmenes, a son of Neptune,
challenged her to a trial of swiftness. Atalanta
warned him in vain; he persisted; and invoking
the aid of Venus, was given by the goddess three
golden apples. In the race, he threw from time
to time an apple on the ground; Atalanta ran out
of the course to pick them up, and Hipp6menes
first reached the goal. The victorious youth for-
got to sacrifice to the goddess to whom he owed
his success. Venus inspired him and his fair bride
with sudden passion as they passed the cavern of
Cfbele, who turned them into lions for profaning it.*
CUPID, the god of love, was the son of Venus. He
was her constant companion; and, armed with a
bow and arrows, he shot the darts of desire into
the bosoms of both gods and men.
This god was usually represented as a plump
rosy-cheeked boy, with light hair hanging on his
The god of love did not escape the influence
of the passion which it was his office to inspire.
Enamoured of a beautiful maid called Psyche
(the Soul), he sent a Zephyr to convey her to a
splendid palace, where he became her husband;
but never let her behold his form. Her sisters,
who were jealous of her happiness, persuading her
that he must be some odious monster, the impru-
dent Psyche took a lamp to gaze upon him as he
slept. She let a drop of the oil fall upon him:
the god awoke and flew away, leaving her in de-
spair. After undergoing a long persecution from
Venus, who had also imprisoned Cupid, Psyche is
found by her lover, who had made his escape. He
interests JApiter in her favour, and Venus is at
length prevailed on to lay aside her resentment.
The marriage of Cupid and Psyche is celebrated
in the palace of Jupiter, and Psyche bears a son
who is named Pleasure.
HYMENAz US, the god of marriage, was said to
be the son of Venus and Bacchus. He was re-
presented crowned with roses or marjoram (amd-
racus), with the nuptial torch in his hand, and a
flame-coloured veil on his head.
MINERVA, the goddess of wisdom, who presided
over the arts, and was the patroness of scientific
warfare, was the offspring of Jdpiter without a
mother. It is said that he had espoused Metis
(Prudence), a daughter of Ocanus, but that when
she was about to give birth to her first child, he
devoured her; for Heaven and Earth had told him
that the infant about to be born would equal him
in power and wisdom, and that her next born would
be king of gods and men. Some time afterwards
he felt his head afflicted with violent pains, and
calling Vulcan, ordered him to open it with an
axe. The fire-god obeyed, and forth sprang Mi-
nerva completely armed.
Like DiAna and Vesta, Minerva was a maiden-
goddess; her virtue was respected by all. Vulcan
once paid dear for an attempted breach of pro-
The favourite bird of Minerva was the solemn
contemplative owl; the olive, which she caused
to shoot up from the earth, was the plant sacred
This goddess was always represented armed:
on her shield or on her breastplate was the terrific
Gorgon's head, which was given to her by Perseus,
as will be related in the sequel.
Minerva was the guardian and aider of eminent
heroes. She accompanied Perseus and Htrcules
in their adventures; was the constant protector
and adviser of Ulysses; and, under the form of a
man named Mentor, travelled with Teldmachus,
the son of this hero, in search of his father.
It was with the aid of Minerva that Argus built
the Argo for Jason, and Epfiis the wooden horse
by means of which Troy was taken. She excelled
in female accomplishments, and wove and em-
broidered her own robe and that of Juno. She
instructed her favourites among women in this
Arachne, a Maeonian maid whom Minerva had
taught, was so ungrateful as to deny the obligation,
and to challenge the goddess to a trial of skill.
Having in vain sought to make her relinquish
her mad project, Minerva accepted the challenge.
Each wove a web adorned with various actions of
the gods. That of Minerva displayed in its centre
her own contest with Neptune for the naming of
the city of Cecrops; the four corners contained
the transformations of those who had dared to con-
tend with the Celestials; olive-leaves formed its
border. The web of Arachne was filled with the
love-transformations of the gods; its border was
flowers and ivy. Unable to find fault with the
work, Minerva struck the artist several blows on
the forehead with her shuttle. Arachne hung her-
self, and the goddess turned her into a spider,
which in Greek is called Arachne.
As Minerva was one day bathing at the fount
of Helicon with Chfriclo, one of her favourites,
Tirdsias, the son of Chiriclo, approached the fount
to drink, and thus unwittingly beheld the goddess.
As it was a law of the Celestials that whoever saw
one of them unpermitted should never look upon
another object, Tir&sias was struck with blindness.
To alleviate his misfortune, the goddess gave him
the gift of prophecy., .
MERCURY was the son of Jupiter by the nymph
Maia, one of the daughters of Atlas. He was the
god who presided over commerce, eloquence,
wrestling, and the other exercises of the palcestra,
or gymnastic school; even over thieving, and
everything in short which required skill and in-
genuity. He was the messenger of Jipiter; and
he had also the office of conducting the souls of
the dead to the under-world.
Mercury was usually represented with a winged
hat on his head, and winged shoes called talria
on his feet; he bears a rod entwined by two ser-
pents, and named cadceiis, in his hand.
A cavern of Mount CyllUne in Arcadia was the
birth-place of this god. Scarcely was he born, when
he set forth to steal some of the cattle of the gods
which fed in Pieria at the foot of Mount Olympus
under the care of Apollo. At the door of the ca-
vern he met a tortoise, which he killed, and formed
a lyre of its shell. Arriving in Pihria, he drove
off fifty cows, and brought them to ArcAdia, un-
seen by any but a man named Battus. Apollo
pursuing, came to the cave of the nymph Maia,
and threatened the babe severely if he did not
restore the oxen. Mercury denied all knowledge
of them ; but the matter being referred to Jdpiter,
he ordered the young thief to make restitution.
The two sons of the Olympian king then became
excelleiit friends. Mercury gave his lyre to Apollo,
who presented him in turn with the rod, which
afterwards became the caduceus.
It is said that Mercury gave Battus one of the
heifers as the price of his secrecy. Curious to
know if he would be true to his word, he changed
his form, and coming to him inquired if he had
seen any one driving cattle that way: on his
offering a cow as the reward of information, the
covetous Battus told all he knew; and the god to
punish him turned him into the Index or Touch-
As Mercury was flying one day over the city of
Athens, he beheld Hersa, the daughter of Cecrops,
walking in the procession which was returning
from the temple of Minerva. The god was in-
stantly smitten with love, and only stopping to
arrange his dress, he entered the dwelling of Ce-
crops. He here met Aglauros the sister of Hersa,
who asked him his business: the god informed
her of his rank, and entreated her good offices
with her sister. The price she set on her mediation
was a large sum of gold, and she made him leave
the house till he should have brought it. Minerva,
to punish Aglauros for this and other offences, sent
Envy to fill her bosom with her venom. Aglauros,
jealous of her sister, sat at the door 6f Hersa's
chamber, determined not to suffer the god to enter.
Having assayed prayers and entreaties in vain, anger
at length got the better of Mercury, and he turned
her into a black stone.
CERE AND PR6SERPINE.DeamterandPerse'pone.
CERES was a daughter of Saturn and Rhea. She
had by JApiter a daughter named Pr6serpine, and
CERES AND PROSERPINE.
by Neptune was mother of the fleet steed Arfon :
Plutus, the god of wealth, was the son of Ceres
and a mortal named JAsion.
Ceres was the goddess who presided over corn
and agriculture; and hence the allegory of the god
of wealth being her son, for agriculture is the true
source of wealth. She was usually represented
holding poppies in her hand, or with a garland of
them on her head; long yellow locks waved on
her shoulders, to denote the goddess who ripened
The principal circumstances in the history of
Ceres are to be found in the tale of her search for
her daughter Pr6serpine when she was carried off
As the god of the under-world was once driving
in his chariot through the isle of Sicily, Venus, who
beheld him from the summit of Mount Eryx,
desired her son to shoot an arrow into his bosom.
Cupid obeyed, and transfixed the heart of the
subterranean god. As Pluto drove near the
town of Henna, he saw Pr6serpine, the daughter
of Ceres, gathering flowers with her playfellows
in the meads by the transparent lake of Pergos.
Soon as he beheld he loved her; and snatching
her up into his chariot carried her off, while she
66 CERES AND PkOSERPINE.
vainly called to her mother and her companions
for aid. The water-nymph Cfane (Dark-blue)
essayed, but fruitlessly, to stop the god; he hurled
his sceptre into her fount, and the earth opening
gave him passage to his gloomy domains.
Meantime Ceres sought her daughter in all parts
of the earth. She rested not day or night; for ha-
ving lighted two torches at JEtna, she searched for
her by their light. One day overcome with thirst,
she approached a cottage to request something to
drink. An old woman, its mistress, gave her some
gruel; and as the thirsty goddess swallowed it
eagerly, a boy who was standing by laughed at
her, and called her greedy. Ceres flung in his
face what remained in the vessel, and he was
changed into the spotted lizard called StWllio
The goddess beheld on the surface of the fount
of COane the zone of her daughter, but the nymph
of the fount having been turned into water, was
unable to give the information she possessed. At
length Arethdsa, whose stream ran from Elis to
Sicily under the sea, told her that she had seen
Pr6serpine in the nether-world. Ceres immedi-
ately repaired to Olympus; and Jdpiter, on her
remonstrance, directed that her daughter should
CERES AND PROSERPINE.
return to heaven, provided she had eaten nothing
while in the palace of Pluto. The goddess de-
parted, quite assured of recovering her child; but
unfortunately, Pr6serpine, while walking in the
garden of Erebus, had plucked a pomegranate,
and swallowed seven of the seeds. AscAlaphus,
the son of Oc&anus by Orphna (Darkness) a nymph
of the nether-world, who had seen her, giving in-
formation, disappointed the confident expectations
of the goddesses; and Pr6serpine, as a punishment,
turned him into a Screech-owl (Bubo): Jupiter
finally awarded her to spend one half of the year
with her husband, the other half with her mother.
Ceres gave her chariot drawn by dragons to
Tript6lemus (Thrice-plough), son of Celeus king
of Eleusis in Attica, and sent him to distribute
corn through the earth. It is said that when Ceres
was roaming in search of her lost daughter she
came to Eleusis, where she undertook the nursing
of Tript6lemus the infant son of Celeus. Design-
ing to make him immortal, she fed him on am-
brosia, and laid him every night in the fire. The
imprudent curiosity of his mother, who watched
the goddess and rushed into the room, deprived
him of the intended blessing.
Erysichthon, an impious man, once cut down a
68 CERES AND PROSERPINE.
stately oak-tree which was sacred to Ceres. As
its Hamadrfad expired with the tree, the other
nymphs besought Ceres to punish the author of
her death. The goddess inflicted him with insa-
tiate hunger; and to procure the means of ap-
peasing it, he sold all his substance, and finally his
only daughter. As Neptune had bestowed on this
maiden the power of changing her form, she al-
ways escaped from the purchaser in the shape of
some animal, and returning to her father was sold
by him again. Finally, even this means not suf-
ficing, Erysichthon devoured his own flesh and
BAccHUs, the god of wine, was the son of Jtpiter
and a mortal mother Smele, the daughter of Cad-
mus king of Thebes.
Juno, taking the form of S6mele's nurse, and
affecting to disbelieve that her lover was what he
gave himself out to be, induced her to require of
him to visit her in the same manner as he visited
Juno. Semele followed the insidious counsel; and
without naming her request, exacted a promise
from the god, which he voluntarily confirmed by
an oath. She then made known her wishes. Jd-
piter, unable to turn her from her purpose, came
surrounded with thunder and lightning, and the
hapless Smele perished by the celestial flames.
Jipiter, taking the unborn babe, sewed him up in
his thigh, where he remained till the due time of
birth. He was then given to Ino, the sister of
Smele, and afterwards to the Nyseian nymphs to
rear; and was finally educated by Rhea in Lydia.
When Bacchus was grown up, his father sent
Iris to excite him to make war on Deriades, the
haughty king of India. Numerous nations and
peoples and warriors marched beneath the banner
of the son of Jdpiter. The Indians made a gallant
resistance. The war was continued for seven years
with various success, and finally terminated in the
death of the Indian monarch, and the complete
victory of Bacchus.
Having made a triumphal progress through
ArAbia and other parts of the East, Bacchus at
length came to his native city of Thebes, where
all the family of Cadmus and the greater part of
the inhabitants acknowledged him as the son of
Jupiter, and received the sacred rites which he
introduced. But Pentheus, another grandson of
Cadmus, who then governed the country, derided
his pretensions to a celestial origin, and opposed
his worship. To witness with his own eyes the mad
orgies which Bacchus had brought into Greece,
Pentheus went to Mount Cithseron, where his
mother AgAve and the other Theban women were
celebrating them; and there the art of Bacchus
making him appear as a wild beast, he was torn
to pieces by his mother and his aunts.
Bacchus was one time found by some Tyrrhe-
nian mariners on the shore of the isle of Dia. Sup-
posing him to be a mortal youth, they carried him
away, resolved to sell him for a slave. The pilot,
who suspected his quality, urged them in vain to
set him free. Suddenly the vessel stood as if rooted
in the open sea; ivy and vines twined round the
oars, masts and sails, and the god appeared sur-
rounded by the forms of tigers, lynxes, and pan-
thers. In terror the crew jumped into the sea,
where they were changed into dolphins. The
pilot was spared, and became a follower of the
Bacchus, finding Ariadne the daughter of Minos,
king of Crete, in the isle of Naxos, where she had
been abandoned by Theseus, made her his spouse.
He gave her a splendid golden crown, which was
afterwards set among the stars.
The god of wine was usually represented as
an effeminate youth crowned with ivy and vine-
THE MusES were the daughters of Jupiter and the
Titaness Mnem6syne (Memory). They presided
over song, and prompted the memory. At the
banquets in Olympus they sang to Apollo's lyre.
These goddesses were nine in number, to each
of whom was assigned the precedence over some
particular department of literature, art or science.
Their namnts were,-
Calliope (Fair-voice), who presided over Epic
Poetry. She held in her hand a roll of parchment,
or a trumpet.
Clio (Illustrious) presided over History. She
held a roll half open.
Melp6mene (Singing) was the muse of Tragedy.
She leaned on a club, and held a tragic mask.
Euttrpe (Well-pleasing), the patroness of Mu-
sic, held two flutes.
trato (Loving) presided over marriage festivals.
She played on a nine-stringed lyre.
Terpsichore (Dance-loving), as Muse of the
Dance, appeared dancing, and holding a seven-
Urinia (Celestial), the Muse of Astronomy,
held a globe, and traced mathematical figures with
Thalia (Gay), the Muse of Comedy, held in one
hand a comic mask, in the other a crooked staff.
Polfmnia, or Polyhymnia (Song-full), presided
over Eloquence. She held her fore-finger on her
lips, or carried a roll.
The Muses are said to have been born in Pigria,
at the foot of Mount Olympus. Many hills and
fountains were sacred to them, whence they de.
rived appellations. Thus they were called Pidrides
from Pidria, Lib6thrides from Libithron a fountain
in Maceddnia, Aganippides from the fount Aga.
nippe, Castilides from that of Castilia. Hippo.
crane (Horse-fount), said to have been produced
by the hoof of the winged steed Pegasus, was sa-
cred to these goddesses; and the mountains Pin-
dus, Helicon, and Parnassus, were their favourite
The nine daughters of Pierus, we are told, once
challenged the Muses to sing. The Nymphs were
chosen judges. The challengers sang the war of
the Gods and the Giants. Calliope was appointed
by her sisters to reply; her theme was the carry-
ing off of Pr6serpine by Pluto, and the search of
Ceres after her through the world. The Nymphs
decided in favour of the Muses. The vanquished
singers vented their rage in abuse, and the god-
desses turned them into magpies.
As the Muses were going to their temple on
Parnassus, a man named Pyrineus invited them to
shelter in his house from an approaching tempest.
The goddesses accepted the proffered hospitality
and when the storm was over they were preparing
to depart. Their host shut the doors, and pro.
hibited their departure; but the Muses, taking
wing, flew from the roof; and Pyrkneus, attempt-
ing to follow them, was dashed to pieces.
Calliope was the mother of the poets Orpheus
and Linus, and the Sirens were the offspring of
Melp6mene and the river-god Acheldiis. ,
SThe SEASONS or HOURS were three in number:
Eun6mia (Good-order), Dike (Justice), and Irene
(Peace). They were the daughters of Jdpiter and
These goddesses presided over the seasons of
the year and the hours of the day, and over law,
justice, and peace.
The CHA'RITES or GRACES were goddesses pre-
siding over the banquet, the dance, and all social
enjoyments and elegant arts. They were three in
number, the daughters of Jdpiter and Eurynome
(Wide-law) a daughter of Ocanus. Their names
were, Aglia (Splendour), Euphr6syne (Joy), and
Thalia (Pleasure). They were represented ag
three sisters dancing together.
The FATES were also three in number: Clo.
tho (Spinster), LUchesis (Allotter), and A'tropos
(Unchangeable). They were the daughters of
Jupiter and Themis, or, as some say, of Night.
Their office was to spin and allot the destinies of
The ILITHYIr were the daughters of Jdpiter
and Juno. It was their office to aid women in the
pains of labour. Their number is by most writers
reduced to one.
The KERES were the daughters of Night: they
loved battles and slaughter, and used to glut them-
selves with the blood of the slain and the wounded.
~-The ERI1NNYES or FURIES were three goddesses
who sprung from the blood of (ranus when he was
mutilated by his son Saturn. Their names were,
Alecto (Unceasing), Megeera (Envious), and Tisi-
phone (Blood-avenger). They punished by their
secret stings the crimes of those men who escaped
or defied public justice. The heads of the Furies
were wreathed with serpents, and their whole ap-
pearance was terrific and appalling.
One of the names bestowed on these terrible
goddesses was that of Euminides (Gracious), under
which they were worshiped at Athens. This title
was placatory, and intended to soothe them, and
make them mild towards the Athenian people. p
THEMI1,IRSHE BmPAONANDOTHER XITIZ. M77
THEMIS, IRIS,HEBE,PAON, AND OTHER DEITIES.
THEMIS was one of the daughters of Heaven and
Earth. Her name, which signifies Law, denotes
her office. She was one of the wives of Jdpiter,
to whom she bore the Fates, and the three Sea.
sons, Peace, Order, Justice.
IRIS was the daughter of Thaumas (Wonder)
and Electra (Brightness). She was goddess of the
rainbow, which is called in Greek Iris. Iris was
originally the messenger of Juipiter; but her office
78 THEMIS,IRIS,E BE, PAONAND OTHER DEITIES,
being afterwards bestowed on MWrcury, she became
appropriated to the service of Juno. There is a
pleasing fiction, which says, that Iris and Zephyrus
were the parents of Love, intimating that spring,
when zephyrs breathe and rainbows appear, is the
season of love.
HEBE (Youth) was a daughter of Jdipiter and
Juno. She handed round the nectar at the feasts
of the gods. When Hercules was admitted to Olym-
pus she became his spouse. Her office of cup-bearer
fell to Ganymides son of the king of Troy.
P4EON, a god of unknown origin, was the phy-
sician of the gods on Olympus. His name and
office were afterwards bestowed on Apollo.
MoMus, the god of wit and ridicule, was the son
of Night without a father.
It is said that Neptune, Minerva, and Vulcan,
once disputed about their respective powers as
artists. It was agreed that each should produce
a specimen of their skill, and Momus was chosen
judge. Neptune then made a bull, Minerva a
house, and Vulcan a man. The arbiter declared
himself dissatisfied with all. He said that the
horns of the bull should have been set in his fore-
head, that he might butt with the greater force;
Minerva's house ought to have been made move-
able, so that one might be able to get out of a bad
neighbourhood; as for Vulcan, he had shown the
greatest want of sense of all, by not putting a win-
dow in the breast of his man, that his thoughts
might be seen.
NiMESIS was a daughter of Night. This god-
dess distributed to men rewards and punishments,
according as their works were good or evil. She
was called Adrast&a (Inevitable). She was also
named Rhamnisia, from Rhamnus a town in Attica,
where she had a celebrated temple.
DEATH and SLEEP were twin-brothers, the child-
ren of Night.
When Alcestis, the affectionate wife of Admitus
king of Thessaly, offered to die instead of her hus-
band, Death came to his palace to fetch her away.
Apollo sought in vain to mollify him; but Hercules
pursued him and rescued his captive.
The abode of Sleep was placed near the country
of the Kimmerians, in a silent cave, on which the
beams of the sun never shone. His chief ministers
were, Morpheus (Shape), who took the form of
men in dreams; I'celos (Likeness), who took that
of beasts, birds, and other animals; and Phintasos
(Appearance), who appeared in the likeness of in-
There were two gates of Sleep,--one of ivory,
through which the false deceptive dreams passed;
the other was of transparent horn, at which such
dreams as were true came forth to go among
THE RURAL DEITIES,
THE RURAL DEITIES.
PAN, the god who presided over the country, was,
according to the most ancient account, the son of
Mercury by an Arcadian nymph, the daughter of
Dryops. Others say, that as Penelope, who was
afterwards married to Ulysses, was tending in her
youth her father's flocks on Mount Tay'getus,
MWrcury taking the form of a goat gained her love,
and she became the mother of this god of herds-
THE RURAL DEITIES,
Pan had goats' feet and a shaggy skin: he had
also goats' horns, with a wrinkled face, a matted
beard, and a flat nose. It is said, that when he
was born, the nurse on beholding him fled away
in affright; but Mercury, wrapping him up in a
hare-skin, carried him to Olympus, where all the
gods were delighted with him.
Deficient as he was in beauty, Pan was not
without his love-adventures. He gained the affec-
tion of Selhna, the beautiful goddess of the night,
under the form of a white ram. Another of his
loves was the nymph Echo, whose adventure with
Narcissus shall presently be narrated. The nymph
Pitys also listened to his love; and B6reas, the
god of the north wind, who was his rival, blew
the nymph down from a rock and killed her. Pan,
unable to save, changed her into a Pine-tree-in
As the nymph Syrinx was one day returning
from the chase, she passed by Mount Lyceum.
Pan, happening to see her, fell in love with her.
The nymph fled from him; he pursued her till
she found her course impeded by the river Ladon.
She implored the aid of her sister-nymphs; and
when Pan thought to seize her, he found his arms
filled with reeds, into which she had been changed.
THE RURAL DEITIES.
He stood sighing at his disappointment, when the
wind agitating the reeds, they made a low musical
sound. Pan, taking the hint, cut seven of them,
from which he made the instrument called Syrinx,
or Pandean pipes.
Pan was the author of what are called Panic
terrors. In this way he aided the Athenians at
MArathon, and terrified the Gauls when they were
approaching to plunder the temple of Delphi,
Arcadia was the country in which Pan was most
SILeNUS, a rural deity, was said to be the foster-
father of Bacchus, whom he usually accompanied,
riding on a broad-backed ass. He was generally
intoxicated, and was rarely seen without his can
(c4ntharus) in his hand.
Silenus was noted for his wisdom: we find him
in Virgil lecturing very learnedly on the origin
of the world. One of his sayings has been pre-
served. Being asked, .we are told, what was best
for man,-after musing some time, he replied,
" It is best never to be born; next to that, to die
Some Phrygian shepherds once found Sildnus
in one of his drunken fits, and brought him to
THE RURAL DEITIES.
king Midas, who kept and entertained him for ten
days, and then restored him to Bacchus. The god
desired Midas to ask a reward; the king, like
many other fools, thinking there was nothing like
money, requested that whatever he touched might
be turned to gold. The gift was bestowed. Midas
laid his hand on a stone, it became a mass of gold ;
he touched the ears of corn, they waved in golden
lustre; he washed his hands, the water became
like the shower of gold in which Jdpiter descend-
ed into the bosom of Danae. Midas was in rap-
tures. But Midas sat down to eat, and his teeth
could not penetrate the golden bread: fish, flesh,
and fowl,-all was gold. He mingled some wine
and water, it became pure aurum potdbile, and
would not discharge the vulgar office of quenching
the thirst. In despair he turned him to the god,
acknowledging his error, and prayed to be relieved
from the ruinous gift. Bacchus took pity, and
directed him to bathe in the river Pactdlus. He
bathed, and lost the power of making gold; the
river began to roll over golden sands.
The SATYRS were another part of the retinue of
Bacchus. They were conceived to be bald, with
short sprouting horns like those of kids, and goat-
THE RURAL DEITIES.
footed. They were of a lively frolicsome dispo.
PRIA'PUS was the god who presided over gar-
dens. He was said to be the son of Bacchus and
Venus. Lmpsacus, on the Hellespont, was the
chief seat of his worship. He usually bore a sickle
and a horn of plenty. y
THE Nymphs were beautiful female deities, who
were supposed to inhabit all the regions of earth
and water. They were divided into various classes,
according to their abodes and their offices. Thus
the Mountain-nymphs, or Ordades, haunted the
mountains; the Dale-nymphs, or Napsee, the val-
leys; the Mead-nymphs, or Limoniades, the mea-
dows; the Wood-nymphs, or Drfades, the woods;
the Tree-nymphs, or Hamadrfades, were born
and died with the trees; the Flock-nymphs, or
Melfades, watched over flocks of sheep; the Water-
nymphs, or NAides, dwelt in the springs and rivers;