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Myths of Greece and Rome Narrated with Special Reference to Literature and Art

Page: 16

Other mythologists, in treating of the deluvian myths, state that Deucalion and Pyrrha took refuge in an ark, which, after sailing about for many days, was stranded on the top of Mount Parnassus. This version was far less popular with the Greeks, although it betrays still more plainly the common source whence all these myths are derived.

“Who does not see in drown Deucalion’s name,
When Earth her men and Sea had lost her shore,
Old Noah!”
Fletcher.

Refer to caption

OLYMPIAN ZEUS.—Flaxman.

It was he who presided at the councils held on the top of “many-peaked Olympus,” and summoned the gods whenever he wished to discuss with them any matter of importance, or to [41] indulge in a sumptuous repast, when they ate the celestial ambrosia and quaffed the fragrant nectar.

He is generally represented as a fine majestic figure, with long curling hair and beard, clad in flowing drapery, his redoubtable thunderbolts or scepter in one hand, and a statue of Victory in the other. The world is his footstool; and the eagle, emblem of strength and power, is generally seen close beside him.

Jupiter’s attendants.

Jupiter had his own special attendants, such as Victoria, or Nice, the goddess of victory, who was ever ready to obey his slightest behest, and it is said her master loved her so dearly, that he generally held an image of her in his hand.

The hundred-tongued goddess of fame, Fama, trumpet in hand, proclaimed, at his bidding, anything he wished, never questioning whether it were true or false.

“Fame than who never plague that runs
Its way more swiftly wins:
Her very motion lends her power:
She flies and waxes every hour.
At first she shrinks, and cowers for dread:
Ere long she soars on high:
Upon the ground she plants her tread,
Her forehead in the sky.”
Virgil (Conington’s tr.).


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