1000 Mythological Characters Briefly Described

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Cyclops (Cy′clops) or Cyclopes (Cy′clopes) were the gigantic, one-eyed workmen of Vulcan, who made Jove’s thunderbolts. Hesiod gives their names as Arges, Brontes, and Steropes.

“Meantime, the Cyclop raging with his wound,
Spreads his wide arms, and searches round and round.”

Cygnus (Cyg′nus), the bosom friend of Phaeton. He died of grief on the death of his friend, and was turned into a swan.

Cyllaros (Cyll′aros), one of Castor’s horses. The color is mentioned as being coal-black, with white legs and tail. See Cillaros.

Cyllo (Cyl′lo). The name of one of Actaeon’s hounds, which was lame.

Cyllopotes (Cyllop′otes). A name given to one of Actaeon’s hounds which limped.

Cynosure (Cyn′osure). One of the nurses of Jupiter, turned by the god into a conspicuous constellation.

“Towers and battlements it sees
Bosomed high in tufted trees,
Where perhaps some beauty lies,
The Cynosure of neighboring eyes.”

Cybele in her chariot, drawn by two lions

See page 42

Fountain of Cybele (Rhea)

[45] Danaides (Dana′ides), see Danaus.

Danaus (Dana′us), King of Argos, was the father of fifty daughters, who, all but one, at the command of their father, slew their husbands directly after marriage. For this crime they were condemned to the task of forever trying to draw water with vessels without any bottoms. See Hypermnestra.

Dancing, see Terpsichore.

Dangers, see Charybdis, also Scylla.

Daphne (Daph′ne). The goddess of the earth. Apollo courted her, but she fled from him, and was, at her own request, turned into a laurel tree.

“... As Daphne was
Root-bound, that fled Apollo.”

Dardanus (Dar′danus), a son of Jupiter, who built the city of Dardania, and by some writers was accounted the founder of Troy.

Dead-toll, see Charon.

Death, see Nox.

Deceiver, The, see Apaturia.

Deianira (Deiani′ra), daughter of Oeneus, was wife of Hercules. See Hercules.

Delius (De′lius), a name of Apollo, from the island in which he was born.

Delphi (Del′phi). A town on Mount Parnassus, famous for its oracle, and for a temple of Apollo. See Delphos.

Delphicus (Del′phicus). A name of Apollo, from Delphi.

[46] Delphos (Del′phos), the place where the temple was built, from which the oracle of Apollo was given.

Demarus (De′marus). The Phoenician name of Jupiter.

Demogorgon (De′mogor′gon) was the tyrant genius of the soil or earth, the life and support of plants. He was depicted as an old man covered with moss, and was said to live underground. He is sometimes called the king of the elves and fays.

“Which wast begot in Demogorgon’s hall
And saw’st the secrets of the world unmade.”

Deucalion (Deuca′lion), one of the demi-gods, son of Prometheus and Pyrra. He and his wife, by making a ship, survived the deluge which Jupiter sent on the earth, circa 1503 B.C.

Devil, see Dahak, Daityas, and Obambou.

Diana (Di′ana), goddess of hunting and of chastity. She was the sister of Apollo, and daughter of Jupiter and Latona. She was known among the Greeks as Diana or Phoebe, and was honored as a triform goddess. As a celestial divinity she was called Luna; as a terrestrial Diana or Dictynna; and in the infernal regions Hecate.

Dictynna (Dictyn′na), a Greek name of Diana as a terrestrial goddess.

Dido (Di′do). A daughter of Belus, King of Tyre. It was this princess who bought a piece of land in Africa as large as could be encompassed by [47] a bullock’s hide, and when the purchase was completed, cut the hide into strips, and so secured a large tract of land. Here she built Carthage; and Virgil tells that when Aeneas was shipwrecked on the neighboring coast she received him with every kindness, and at last fell in love with him. But Aeneas did not reciprocate her affections, and this so grieved her that she stabbed herself. A tale is told in Facetiae Cantabrigienses of Professor Porson, who being one of a set party, the conversation turned on the subject of punning, when Porson observing that he could pun on any subject, a person present defied him to do so on the Latin gerunds, di, do, dum, which, however, he immediately did in the following admirable couplet:

“When Dido found Aeneas would not come,
She mourned in silence, and was Dido dumb.”

Dies Pater (Di′es Pa′ter), or Father of the Day, a name of Jupiter.

Dii Selecti (Dii Selec′ti) composed the second class of gods. They were Coelus, Saturn, Genius, Oreus, Sol, Bacchus, Terra, and Luna.

Dindymene (Din′dyme′ne). A name of Cybele, from a mountain where she was worshiped.

“Nor Dindymene, nor her priest possest,
Can with their sounding cymbals shake the breast
Like furious anger.”

Diomedes (Diome′des), the cruel tyrant of Thrace, who fed his mares on the flesh of his guests. He was [48] overcome by Hercules, and himself given to the same horses as food.

Dione (Dio′ne). A poetic name of Venus.

Dionysia (Diony′sia) were festivals in honor of Bacchus.

Dionysius (Diony′sius). A name of Bacchus, either from his father Jupiter (Dios), or from his nurses, the nymphs called Nysae.

Dioscuri (Dios′curi). Castor and Pollux, the sons of Jupiter.

Dirae (Di′rae). A name of the Furies.

Dis. A name of Pluto, god of hell, signifying riches.

“... That fair field
Of Enna, where Proserpine gathering flowers,
Herself a fairer flower, by gloomy Dis
Was gathered.”

Discord, see Ate.

Discordia (Discor′dia), sister of Nemesis, the Furies, and Death, was driven from heaven for having sown discord among the gods.

Diseases, see Pandora.

Distaff, see Pallas.

Dithyrambus. A surname of Bacchus.

Dodona (Dodo′na) was a celebrated oracle of Jupiter.

“O where, Dodona, is thine aged grove,
Prophetic fount, and oracle divine?”

Dodonaeus (Dodonae′us). A name of Jupiter, from the city of Dodona.

Dog, see Lares.

[49] Dolabra (Dola′bra). The knife used by the priests to cut up the sacrifices.

Dolphin, see Arion.

Doorga (Door′ga). A Hindoo goddess.

Doris (Do′ris) was daughter of Oceanus, and sister of Nereus, two of the marine deities. From these two sisters sprang the several tribes of water nymphs.

Doto (Do′to). One of the Nereids or sea nymphs.

Draco (Dra′co). One of Actaeon’s hounds.

Dragon, seven-headed, see Geryon.

Dreams, see Morpheus.

Dryads (Dry′ads) were rural deities, the nymphs of the forests, to whom their votaries offered oil, milk, and honey.

“Flushed with resistless charms he fired to love
Each nymph and little Dryad of the grove.”

Dumbness (Dumb′ness), see Atys.

Dweurgar (Dweur′gar). Scandinavian god of the Echo—a pigmy.

Eacus (E′acus), son of Jupiter and Egina, one of the judges of the infernal regions, who was appointed to judge the Europeans. See Aeacus.

Earth, see Antaeus.

Eblis (Eb′lis), the Mohammedan evil genius.

Echidna (Echid′na). A woman having a serpent’s tail. She was the reputed mother of Chimaera, and also of the many-headed dog Orthos, of the [50] three-hundred-headed dragon of the Hesperides, of the Colchian dragon, of the Sphinx, of Cerberus, of Scylla, of the Gorgons, of the Lernaean Hydra, of the vulture that gnawed away the liver of Prometheus, and also of the Nemean lion; in fact, the mother of all adversity and tribulation.

Echnobas (Echno′bas), one of Actaeon’s hounds.

Echo (Ech′o) was a nymph who fell in love with Narcissus. But when he languished and died she pined away from grief and died also, preserving nothing but her voice, which repeats every sound that reaches her. Another fable makes Echo a daughter of Air and Tellus. She was partly deprived of speech by Juno, being allowed only to reply to questions.

“Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv’st unseen
Within thy airy shell.
. . . .
Sweet queen of parley, daughter of the sphere,
So may’st thou be translated to the skies,
And give resounding grace to all heaven’s harmonies.”
“Oft by Echo’s tedious tales misled.”

Egeon. A giant sea-god, who assisted the Titans against Jupiter.

Egeria (Ege′ria). A nymph who is said to have suggested to Numa all his wise laws. She became his wife, and at his death was so disconsolate, and shed so many tears, that Diana changed her into a fountain.

[51] Egil (E′gil). The Vulcan of northern mythology.

Egipans (Egip′ans) were rural deities who inhabited the forests and mountains, the upper half of the body being like that of a man, and the lower half like a goat.

Egis (E′gis) was the shield of Minerva. It obtained its name because it was covered with the skin of the goat Amalthaea, which nourished Jupiter. See Aegis.

Eleusinian Mysteries (Eleusin′ian). Religious rites in honor of Ceres, performed at Eleusis, in Attica.

Elysium (Elys′ium), or the Elysian Fields. The temporary abode of the just in the infernal regions.

Empyrean, The (Empyre′an). The fifth heaven, the seat of the heathen deity.

Endymion (Endym′ion). A shepherd, who acquired from Jupiter the faculty of being always young. One of the lovers of Diana.

Entertainments, see Comus.

Envy, see Furies.

Enyo was the Grecian name of Bellona, the goddess of war and cruelty.

Eolus (E′olus), see Aeolus.

Eos (E′os). The Grecian name of Aurora.

Eous (E′ous). One of the four horses which drew the chariot of Sol, the sun. The word is Greek, and means red.

Ephialtes (Eph′ial′tes). A giant who lost his right eye in an encounter with Hercules, and the left eye was destroyed by Apollo.

[52] Erato (Er′ato). One of the Muses, the patroness of light poetry; she presided over the triumphs and complaints of lovers, and is generally represented as crowned with roses and myrtle, and holding a lyre in her hand.

Erebus (Er′ebus), son of Chaos, one of the gods of Hades, sometimes alluded to as representing the infernal regions.

Ergatis (Erga′tis). A name given to Minerva. It means the work-woman, and was given to the goddess because she was credited with having invented spinning and weaving.