1000 Mythological Characters Briefly Described

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Winged Mercury

Sol. The sun. The worship of the god Sol is [129] the oldest on record, and though he is sometimes referred to as being the same as the god Apollo, there is no doubt he was worshiped by the Egyptians, Persians, and other nations long before the Apollo of the Greeks was heard of. See Surya.

“Sol through white curtains shot a timorous ray,
And oped those eyes that must eclipse the day.”

Somnus (Som′nus). The Roman god of sleep, son of Erebus and Nox (Night). He was one of the infernal deities, and resided in a gloomy cave, void of light and air.

Sospita (Sos′pita). A name of Juno, as the safeguard of women. She is called the “saving goddess.”

Soter (So′ter). A Greek name of Jupiter, meaning Savior or deliverer.

Soul, see Psyche.

South Wind, see Auster.

Spear, see Pelias.

Sphinx, The. A monster having the head and breast of a woman, the body of a dog, the tail of a serpent, the wings of a bird, the paws of a lion, and a human voice. She lived in the country near Thebes, and proposed to every passer-by the following enigma: “What animal is that which walks on four legs in the morning, two at noon, and three in the evening.” Oedipus solved the riddle thus: Man is the animal; for, when an infant he crawls on his hands and feet, in the [130] noontide of life he walks erect, and as the evening of his existence sets in, he supports himself with a stick. When the Sphinx found her riddle solved she destroyed herself.

Spider, see Arachne.

Spindle, see Pallas.

Spinning, see Arachne, Ergatis.

Spring, see Vertumnus.

Stable, see Augaeas.

Stars, see Aurora.

Sterentius (Steren′tius). The Roman god who invented the art of manuring lands. See also Picumnus.

Steropes (Ster′opes). One of the Cyclopes.

Stone, see Medusa and Phlegyas.

Stone (rolling), see Sisyphus.

Streets, see Apollo.

Stymphalides (Stym′phali′des). The carnivorous birds destroyed in the sixth labor of Hercules.

Styx. A noted river of hell, which was held in such high esteem by the gods that they always swore “By the Styx,” and such an oath was never violated. The river has to be crossed in passing to the regions of the dead. See Achilles and Thetis.

“To seal his sacred vow by Styx he swore:—
The lake with liquid pitch,—the dreary shore.”
“... Infernal rivers that disgorge
Into the burning lake their baleful streams,
Abhorrèd Styx, the flood of deadly hate.”

[131] Suada (Sua′da), the goddess of Persuasion. See Pitho.

Success, see Bonus Eventus.

Sun, see Aurora, Belus, Sol, and Surya.

Sunflower, see Clytie.

Suradevi (Sura′de′vi). The Hindoo goddess of wine.

Surgeon (Sur′geon), see Podalirius.

Surya (Su′ry′a). The Hindoo god corresponding to the Roman Sol, the sun.

Swallow, see Itys.

Swan, see Cygnus and Leda.

Swiftness, see Atalanta.

Swine, see Circe.

Sylphs. Genii who, according to Plato, lived in the air.