1000 Mythological Characters Briefly Described

Page: 7

Cerberus (Cer′berus). Pluto’s famous three-headed dog, which guarded the gate of the infernal regions, preventing the living from entering, and the inhabitants from going out.

“Three-headed Cerberus, by fate
Posted at Pluto’s iron gate;
Low crouching rolls his haggard eyes,
Ecstatic, and foregoes his prize.”

Ceremonies, see Themis.

Apollo stands with one arm outstretched

See page 23

Apollo Belvedere

[37] Ceres (Ce′res), daughter of Saturn, the goddess of agriculture, and of the fruits of the earth. She taught Triptolemus how to grow corn, and sent him to teach the inhabitants of the earth. She was known by the names of Magna Dea, Bona Dea, Alma Mammosa, and Thesmorphonis. Ceres was the mother of Proserpine. See Ambarvalia.

“To Ceres bland, her annual rites be paid
On the green turf beneath the fragrant shade.—
... Let all the hinds bend low at Ceres’ shrine,
Mix honey sweet for her with milk and mellow wine,
Thrice lead the victim the new fruits around,
On Ceres call, and choral hymns resound.”
“Ceres was she who first our furrows plowed,
Who gave sweet fruits and every good allowed.”

Cestus (Ces′tus), the girdle of Venus, which excited irresistible affection.

Chaos (Cha′os) allegorically represented the confused mass of matter supposed to have existed before the creation of the world, and out of which the world was formed.

“... Behold the throne
Of Chaos, and his dark pavilion spread
Wide on the wasteful deep; with him enthroned
Sat sable-vested Night, eldest of all things,
The consort of his reign.”

Charon (Char′on) was the son of Nox and Erebus. He was the ferryman who conveyed the spirits of the dead, in a boat, over the rivers Acheron and Styx to the Elysian Fields. “Charon’s toll” [38] was a coin put into the hands of the dead with which to pay the grim ferryman.

“From the dark mansions of the dead,
Where Charon with his lazy boat
Ferries o’er Lethe’s sedgy moat.”

Charybdis (Charyb′dis). A dangerous whirlpool on the coast of Sicily. Personified, it was supposed to have been a woman who plundered travelers, but was at last killed by Hercules. Scylla and Charybdis are generally spoken of together to represent alternative dangers.

Charybdis barks, and Polyphemus roars.”

Chemos (Che′mos). The Moabitish god of war.

Children, see Nundina.

Chimaera (Chimae′ra). A wild illusion, personified in the monster slain by Bellerophon. It had the head and breast of a lion, the body of a goat, and the tail of a serpent. It used to vomit fire.

“... And on the craggy top
Chimera dwells, with lion’s face and mane,
A goat’s rough body and a serpent’s train.”
“First, dire Chimera’s conquest was enjoined,
A mingled monster of no mortal kind.
Behind, a dragon’s fiery tail was spread,
A goat’s rough body bore a lion’s head,
Her pitchy nostrils flaky flames expire,
Her gaping throat emits infernal fire.”

Chiron (Chi′ron), the centaur who taught Achilles hunting, music, and the use of medicinal herbs. Jupiter [39] placed him among the stars, where he appears as Sagittarius, the Archer.

Chloris (Chlo′ris). The Greek name of Flora, the goddess of flowers.

Chou. An Egyptian god corresponding to the Roman Hercules.

Chronos (Chro′nos). Time, the Grecian name of Saturn.

Cillaros (Cil′laros), see Cyllaros.

Circe (Cir′ce), daughter of the Sun. The knowledge of poisonous herbs enabled her to destroy her husband, the King of the Sarmatians, for which act she was banished. When Ulysses landed at Aeaea, where she lived, she turned all his followers into swine.

Cisseta (Cisse′ta). The name of one of Actaeon’s hounds.

Citherides (Cither′ides). A name of the Muses, from Mount Citheron.

Clio (Cli′o). One of the Muses, daughter of Jupiter and Mnemosyne. She presided over history.

Cloacina (Cloaci′na). The Roman goddess of sewers.

Clotho (Clo′tho) was one of the Fates. She was present at births, and held the distaff from which was spun the thread of life. See Atropos and Lachesis.

Clowns of Lycia, The (Ly′cia), were changed into frogs by Latona, because they refused to allow her to drink at one of their streamlets.

Cluacina (Clu′aci′na). A name of Venus, given to her at the time of the reconciliation of the Romans and [40] the Sabines, which was ratified near a statue of the goddess.

Clytemnestra (Cly′temnes′tra), wife of Agamemnon, slew her husband and married Aegisthus. She attempted to kill her son Orestes, but he was delivered by his sister Electra, who sent him away to Strophius. He afterward returned and slew both Clytemnestra and Aegisthus.

Clytie (Clyt′ie). A nymph who got herself changed into a sunflower because her love of Apollo was unrequited. In the form of this flower she is still supposed to be turning toward Sol, a name of Apollo.

Cneph. In Egyptian mythology the creator of the universe.

Cocytus (Cocy′tus), the river of Lamentation. One of the five rivers of the infernal regions.

“Infernal rivers that disgorge
Into the burning lake their baleful streams.
... Cocytus, named of lamentation loud.
Heard on the rueful stream.”

Coeculus (Coe′culus), a violent robber, was a son of Vulcan.

Coelus (Coe′lus), also called Uranus (or Heaven), was the most ancient of the gods.

Coena Saliaris (Coe′na Salia′ris), see Ancilia.

Collina (Colli′na) was one of the rural deities, the goddess of hills.

Comedy, see Thalia.

Comus (Co′mus) was the god of revelry. He presided over entertainments and feasts.

[41] Concord (Con′cord). The symbol of Concord was two right hands joined, and a pomegranate.

Concordia (Concor′dia). The goddess of peace. One of the oldest Roman goddesses. She is represented as holding a horn of plenty in one hand, and in the other a scepter, from which fruit is sprouting forth.

Constancy, see Cephalus.

Consualia (Consu′alia). Games sacred to Neptune.

Consus (Con′sus). A name given to Neptune as being the god of counsel.

Cophetua (Cophe′tua). A legendary king of Africa, who disliked women, but ultimately fell in love with a “beggar-maid,” as mentioned in Romeo and Juliet.

“... Cupid, he that shot so trim
When King Cophetua loved the beggar-maid.”

Copia (Co′pia), the goddess of plenty.

Coran (Co′ran). One of Actaeon’s hounds was so named.

Corn, see Ceres.

Coronis (Cor′onis), was a consort of Apollo and mother of Aesculapius. Another Coronis was daughter of a king of Phocis, and was changed by Athena into a crow.

Corybantes (Coryban′tes) were priests of Cybele. They obtained the name because they were in the habit of striking themselves in their dances.

Corydon (Cory′don). A silly love-sick swain mentioned by Virgil.

[42] Corythaix (Cory′thaix). A name given to Mars, meaning Shaker of the Helmet.

Cotytto (Cotyt′to). The Athenian goddess of immodesty.

“Hail! goddess of nocturnal sport,
Dark-veiled Cotytto, to whom the secret flame
Of midnight torches burns; mysterious dame.”

Counsel, see Consus.

Creditors, see Jani.

Crow, see Coronis.

Cultivated Land, see Sylvester.

Cup-bearer, see Ganymede.

Cupid (Cu′pid), the god of love, was the son of Jupiter and Venus. He is represented as a naked, winged boy, with a bow and arrows, and a torch. When he grew up to be a man he married Psyche.

“For Venus did but boast one only son,
And rosy Cupid was that boasted one;
He, uncontroll’d, thro’ heaven extends his sway,
And gods and goddesses by turns obey.”
Eusden, 1713.

Cuvera (Cuve′ra). The Indian god of wealth corresponding to the Greek Plutus.

Cybele (Cy′bele). The mother of the gods, and hence called Magna Mater. She was wife of Saturn. She is sometimes referred to under the names of Ceres, Rhea, Ops, and Vesta. She is represented as riding in a chariot drawn by lions. In one hand she holds a scepter, and in the other a key. On her head is a castelated [43] crown, to denote that she was the first to protect castles and walls with towers.

“Nor Cybele with half so kind an eye
Surveyed her sons and daughters of the sky.”
“Might she the wise Latona be,
Or the towered Cybele,
Mother of a hundred gods,
Juno dares not give her odds.”