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Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome

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SECOND DYNASTY.

Cronus (Saturn), 14

Rhea (Ops), 18

Division of the World, 19

Theories as to the Origin of Man, 21

THIRD DYNASTY.

OLYMPIAN DIVINITIES—

Zeus (Jupiter), 26

Hera (Juno), 38

Pallas-Athene (Minerva), 43

Themis, 48

Hestia (Vesta), 48

Demeter (Ceres), 50

Aphrodite (Venus), 58

Helios (Sol), 61

Eos (Aurora), 67

Phœbus-Apollo, 68

Hecate, 85

Selene (Luna), 86

Artemis (Diana), 87

Hephæstus (Vulcan), 97

Poseidon (Neptune), 101

[iv]

SEA DIVINITIES—

Oceanus, 107

Nereus, 108

Proteus, 108

Triton and the Tritons, 109

Glaucus, 109

Thetis, 110

Thaumas, Phorcys, and Ceto, 111

Leucothea, 111

The Sirens, 112

Ares (Mars), 112

Nike (Victoria), 117

Hermes (Mercury), 117

Dionysus (Bacchus or Liber), 124

Aïdes (Pluto), 130

Plutus, 137

MINOR DIVINITIES—

The Harpies, 137

Erinyes, Eumenides (Furiæ, Diræ), 138

Moiræ or Fates (Parcæ), 139

Nemesis, 141

Night and Her Children

Nyx (Nox), 142

Thanatos (Mors), Hypnus (Somnus), 142

Morpheus, 143

The Gorgons, 144

Grææ, 145

Sphinx, 146

Tyche (Fortuna) and Ananke (Necessitas), 147

Ker, 149

Ate, 149

Momus, 149

Eros (Cupid, Amor) and Psyche, 150

Hymen, 154

Iris, 155

Hebe (Juventas), 156

Ganymedes, 157

[v]

The Muses, 157

Pegasus, 162

The Hesperides, 162

Charites or Graces, 163

Horæ (Seasons), 164

The Nymphs, 165

The Winds, 170

Pan (Faunus), 171

The Satyrs, 174

Priapus, 175

Asclepias (Æsculapius), 176

ROMAN DIVINITIES—

Janus, 178

Flora, 180

Robigus, 180

Pomona, 180

Vertumnus, 181

Pales, 181

Picus, 182

Picumnus and Pilumnus, 182

Silvanus, 182

Terminus, 182

Consus, 183

Libitina, 183

Laverna, 184

Comus, 184

Camenæ, 184

Genii, 185

Manes, 185

Penates, 187

PUBLIC WORSHIP OF THE ANCIENT GREEKS AND ROMANS—

Temples, 188

Statues, 190

Altars, 191

Priests, 191

Sacrifices, 192

Oracles, 194

Soothsayers, 195

[vi]

Augurs, 196

Festivals, 196

GREEK FESTIVALS—

Eleusinian Mysteries, 196

Thesmophoria, 197

Dionysia, 197

Panathenæa, 199

Daphnephoria, 200

ROMAN FESTIVALS—

Saturnalia, 200

Cerealia, 201

Vestalia, 201

PART II.—LEGENDS.

Cadmus, 203

Perseus, 205

Ion, 210

Dædalus and Icarus, 211

The Argonauts, 213

Pelops, 232

Heracles, 234

Bellerophon, 256

Theseus, 259

Œdipus, 269

The Seven against Thebes, 272

The Epigoni, 276

Alcmæon and the Necklace, 277

The Heraclidæ, 280

The Siege of Troy, 283

Return of the Greeks from Troy, 304


[7]

MYTHS AND LEGENDS OF ANCIENT GREECE AND ROME.


PART I.—MYTHS.


INTRODUCTION.

Before entering upon the many strange beliefs of the ancient Greeks, and the extraordinary number of gods they worshipped, we must first consider what kind of beings these divinities were.

In appearance, the gods were supposed to resemble mortals, whom, however, they far surpassed in beauty, grandeur, and strength; they were also more commanding in stature, height being considered by the Greeks an attribute of beauty in man or woman. They resembled human beings in their feelings and habits, intermarrying and having children, and requiring daily nourishment to recruit their strength, and refreshing sleep to restore their energies. Their blood, a bright ethereal fluid called Ichor, never engendered disease, and, when shed, had the power of producing new life.

The Greeks believed that the mental qualifications of their gods were of a much higher order than those of men, but nevertheless, as we shall see, they were not considered to be exempt from human passions, and we frequently behold them actuated by revenge, deceit, and jealousy. They, however, always punish the evil-doer, and visit with dire calamities any impious mortal who dares to neglect their worship or despise their rites. We often hear of them visiting mankind and partaking of their hospitality, and not unfrequently both gods and goddesses [8]become attached to mortals, with whom they unite themselves, the offspring of these unions being called heroes or demi-gods, who were usually renowned for their great strength and courage. But although there were so many points of resemblance between gods and men, there remained the one great characteristic distinction, viz., that the gods enjoyed immortality. Still, they were not invulnerable, and we often hear of them being wounded, and suffering in consequence such exquisite torture that they have earnestly prayed to be deprived of their privilege of immortality.


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