On Stilicho's Consulship Panegyric on the Sixth Consulship of Honorius. Historia Augusta, Volume I: Of uncertain reliability and authorship, it is now attributed by many authorities to one late fourth century CE author. Historia Augusta, Volume II: Greek Lyric, Volume I: Sappho , the most famous woman poet of antiquity, whose main theme was love, and Alcaeus , poet of wine, war, and politics, were two illustrious singers of sixth-century BCE Lesbos. Greek Lyric, Volume II: The Anacreonta were composed over several centuries. Greek Lyric, Volume V: Dithyrambic poets of the new school were active from the mid-fifth to mid-fourth century BCE.
Seven of his eighty or so plays survive complete, including the Oresteia trilogy and the Persians , the only extant Greek historical drama. Epidemics 1 and 3. Regimen in Acute Diseases. On Wounds in the Head. Compendium of Roman History. Res Gestae Divi Augusti. Ecclesiastical History, Volume I: Eusebius , Bishop of Caesarea from about CE, was the most important writer in the age of Constantine. His history of the Christian church from the ministry of Jesus to CE is a treasury of information, especially on the Eastern centers.
De Corona, De Falsa Legatione. Demosthenes — BCE , orator at Athens, was a pleader in law courts who also became a champion of Athenian greatness and Greek resistance to Philip of Macedon.
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His steadfastness, pungent argument, and control of language gained him early reputation as the best of Greek orators, and his works provide vivid pictures of contemporary life. Aeneas Tacticus, Asclepiodotus, and Onasander.
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The surviving work of Aeneas fourth century BCE is on defense against siege. Asclepiodotus first century BCE wrote a work on Tactics as though for the lecture room, based on earlier manuals, not personal experience. Post Reditum in Senatu. Post Reditum ad Quirites. The main part of his history covers the years — BC, describing the rise of Rome, the destruction of Carthage, and the eventual domination of the Greek world. It is a vital achievement despite the incomplete survival of all but the first five of forty books.
The Histories, Volume VI: For this six-volume edition of The Histories , W. All but the first five of forty volumes survive in an incomplete state. Volume VI includes fragments unattributed to particular books of The Histories. Menippus or The Descent into Hades. A Professor of Public Speaking. Alexander the False Prophet. Essays in Portraiture Defended. The Goddesse of Surrye. In Memorabilia and in Oeconomicus , a dialogue about household management, we see the philosopher Socrates through the eyes of his associate, Xenophon.
In the Symposium , we obtain insight on life in Athens. History of the Wars, Volume IV: The Aqueducts of Rome , written in 97—98, gives some historical details and a description of the aqueducts for the water supply of the city, with laws relating to them. Roman History, Volume IX: In Acharnians a small landowner, tired of the Peloponnesian War, magically arranges a personal peace treaty; Knights is perhaps the most biting satire of a political figure Cleon ever written.
Women at the Thesmophoria. The protagonists of Birds create a utopian counter-Athens. In Lysistrata wives go on conjugal strike until their husbands end war. Women in Women at the Thesmophoria punish Euripides for portraying them as wicked. Traditional Aeschylus and modern Euripides compete in Frogs. In Assemblywomen , Athenian women plot against male misgovernance. In his didactic poem De Rerum Natura On the Nature of Things he expounds Epicurean philosophy so as to dispel fear of the gods and death, and promote spiritual tranquility. Constitution of the Lacedaemonians.
Constitution of the Athenians. Minor works by Xenophon c. The Constitution of the Athenians , though not by Xenophon, is an interesting document on Athenian politics. Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Volume I: Diogenes Laertius probably early third century BCE compiled his compendium on the lives and doctrines of the ancient philosophers from hundreds of sources. It ranges over three centuries, from Thales to Epicurus, portraying 45 important figures, and is enriched by numerous quotations.
The major works of Josephus c. Also by him are an autobiographical Life and a treatise Against Apion. Description of Greece, Volume II: Books Laconia, Messenia, Elis 1. Basil the Great was born into a family noted for piety. About he founded a convent in Pontus and in succeeded Eusebius in the archbishopric of Caesarea. His reform of monastic life in the east is the basis of modern Greek and Slavonic monasteries. History of Rome, Volume IV: In the Satires Horace mocks himself as well as the world. His verse epistles include the Art of Poetry , in which he famously expounds his literary theory.
The Education of Children. On Listening to Lectures. How to Tell a Flatterer from a Friend. His extant works other than the Parallel Lives are varied, about sixty in number, and known as the Moralia Moral Essays. They reflect his philosophy about living a good life, and provide a treasury of information concerning Greco-Roman society, traditions, ideals, ethics, and religion. Pro Rabirio Perduellionis Reo. Hamilton Demetrius Innes, Doreen C. The subject of On the Sublime , attributed to an unidentifiable Longinus and probably composed in the first century CE, is greatness in writing.
On Style , attributed to an unidentifiable Demetrius and perhaps composed in the second century BCE, analyzes four literary styles. Alcibiades I and II. He shares with Lysias pure Attic and lucidity of style, but his more aggressive and flexible presentation undoubtedly influenced Demosthenes. Of at least fifty attributed orations, there survive eleven on legacy cases and a large fragment dealing with a claim of citizenship.
The Learned Banqueters, Volume I: In The Learned Banqueters late-2nd century CE , Athenaeus describes a series of dinner parties at which the guests quote extensively from Greek literature. The work provides quotations from works now lost, and preserves information about wide range of information about Greek culture. Letters to Friends, Volume I: The verse is light in touch, with a distinct pictorial quality. Mozley, is now reissued with corrections by Christopher A. Greek literary education and Roman political reality are evident in the poetry of Statius c.
His Silvae are thirty-two occasional poems. His masterpiece, the epic Thebaid , recounts the struggle for kingship between the two sons of Oedipus. Nicocles or the Cyprians. Twenty-one discourses by Isocrates survive; these include political essays, treatises on education and on ethics, and speeches for legal cases. Nine letters, more on public than private matters, are also extant. Moral Essays, Volume I: In Moral Essays , Seneca c. Letters to Friends, Volume II: History of the Wars, Volume V: In Fishing , Oppian of Cilicia, who flourished in the latter half of the second century CE, discusses fish and gives angling instructions.
The Chase , on hunting, may be the work of a Syrian imitator. The poem is also called Pharsalia. The Verrine Orations, Volume I: Against Verres, Part 1; Part 2, Books How to Profit by One's Enemies. On Having Many Friends. Letter of Condolence to Apollonius. Advice About Keeping Well. Advice to Bride and Groom. The Dinner of the Seven Wise Men. Sophron and Other Mime Fragments. Fictionalized faults are the focus of Characters by Theophrastus c. The Hellenistic poet Herodas wrote mimes in which everyday life is portrayed and character—as opposed to plot—depicted. Mimes by Sophron fifth century BCE and anonymous mime fragments also represent that genre.
Allegorical Interpretation of Genesis 2 and 3. In attempting to reconcile biblical teachings with Greek philosophy he developed ideas that had wide influence on Christian and Jewish religious thought. The Sacrifices of Abel and Cain. The Worse Attacks the Better. On the Posterity and Exile of Cain. Florus second century CE wrote, in brief pointed rhetorical style, a two-book summary of Roman history especially military in order to show the greatness and decline of Roman morals. His Ibis is an elegiac curse-poem. History of Rome, Volume V: Anabasis of Alexander, Volume I: The Anabasis of Alexander by Arrian ca.
Orations and Philippics 3 and 4. Answer to Philip's Letter. For the Liberty of the Rhodians. On the Agrarian Law. Jewish Antiquities, Volume I: Of a much larger number about thirty complete speeches by him survive. Fluent, simple, and graceful in style yet vivid in description, they suggest a passionate partisan who was also a gentle, humorous man. Sayings of Kings and Commanders. The Ancient Customs of the Spartans.
Sayings of Spartan Women. On the Unchangeableness of God. Concerning Noah's Work As a Planter. Ecclesiastical History, Volume II: Lives of the Abbots. Octavius by Minucius , an early Christian writer of unknown date, is a debate between belief and unbelief that depicts Roman religion and society. On Architecture , completed by Vitruvius sometime before 27 CE and the only work of its kind to survive antiquity, serves not professionals but readers who want to understand architecture.
Topics include town planning, building materials, temples, the architectural orders, houses, pavements, mosaics, water supply, measurements, and machines. In Fasti , Ovid 43 BCE—17 CE sets forth explanations of the festivals and sacred rites that were noted on the Roman calendar, and relates in graphic detail the legends attached to specific dates.
The poem is an invaluable source of information about religious practices. Moral Essays, Volume II: De Consolatione ad Marciam. De Consolatione ad Polybium. De Consolatione ad Helviam. Philostratus the Elder, Imagines. Philostratus the Younger, Imagines. Sixty-five descriptions, ostensibly of paintings in a gallery at Naples, are credited to an Elder Philostratus born c. Fourteen descriptions of statues in stone or bronze attributed to Callistratus were probably written in the fourth century CE.
What survives of his works make him prominent in the revival of Greek literature in the late first and early second century CE. The Greek poetry of the seventh to the fifth century BCE that we call elegy was composed primarily for banquets and convivial gatherings. Its subject matter consists of almost any topic, excluding only the scurrilous and obscene. The poetry of the seventh to the fifth centuries BCE that the Greeks called iambic seems connected with cult songs used in religious festivals, but its purpose is unclear.
On the Confusion of Tongues. On the Migration of Abraham. Who Is the Heir of Divine Things? On Mating with the Preliminary Studies. The letters of Saint Jerome c. Firmus, Saturninus, Proculus and Bonosus. Carus, Carinus and Numerian. Select Papyri, Volume I: This is the first of two volumes giving a selection of Greek papyri relating to private and public business. Most were found in rubbish heaps or remains of ancient houses or in tombs in Egypt. From such papyri we get much information about administration and social and economic conditions in Egypt, and about native Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Byzantine law, as well as glimpses of ordinary life.
Agreements 71 examples ; these concern marriage, divorce, adoption, apprenticeship, sales, leases, employment of labourers. Personal letters from men and women, young and old Orders for payment 2. Accounts and inventories Questions of oracles 3. Anabasis of Alexander, Volume II: The three surviving works by Sextus Empiricus c.
Their value as a source for the history of thought is especially that they represent development and formulation of former skeptic doctrines. The Learned Banqueters, Volume V: On Flight and Finding. On the Change of Names. It also echoes poets, especially Virgil, and employs techniques traditional in Latin epic. Library of History, Volume I: The work is in three parts: Books 1—5 and 11—20 survive complete, the rest in fragments.
On Architecture, Volume II: Select Papyri, Volume II: Greek papyri relating to private and public business in Egypt from before BCE to the eighth century CE inform us about administration; social and economic conditions in Egypt; Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine law. They also offer glimpses of ordinary life. Minor Latin Poets, Volume I: Wight Duff, Arnold M. Works such as those of the mime-writer Publilius Syrus , who flourished c. Gaius Valerius Flaccus flourished c.
Valerius effectively rehandles the story already told by Apollonius Rhodius , recalls Virgilian language and thought, displays learning, and alludes to contemporary Rome. In Secret History , the Byzantine historian Procopius late fifth century to after CE attacks the sixth century CE emperor Justinian and empress Theodora and alleges their ruinous effect on the Roman empire. Celsus , a layman, provides in On Medicine more information about the condition of medical science up to his own time probably first century CE than any other author.
Book 1 is on Greek schools of medicine and dietetics; Book 2 on prognosis, diagnosis, and general therapeutics; Book 3 on internal ailments; Book 4 on local bodily diseases. Against Verres, Part 2, Books Fragmentary Republican Latin, Volume I: Quintus Ennius — , widely regarded as the father of Roman literature, was instrumental in creating a new Roman literary identity, domesticating the Greek forms of epic and drama, and pursuing a range of other literary and intellectual pursuits.
He inspired major developments in Roman religion, social organization, and popular culture. History of Rome, Volume IX: Extant works by Sidonius born c. Description of Greece, Volume IV: Description of Greece, Volume V: Maps, Plans, Illustrations, and General Index. Against Aristogeiton 1 and 2.
History of Rome, Volume X: The Passing of Peregrinus. The Parliament of the Gods. Library of History, Volume II: Book 5 is on treatment by drugs of general diseases, Book 6 on treatment by drugs of local diseases. Greek and Roman Parallel Stories. On the Fortune of the Romans.
On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander. The E at Delphi. The Obsolescence of Oracles. On Marvellous Things Heard. The Situations and Names of Winds. On Melissus, Xenophanes, Gorgias. Minor Attic Orators, Volume I: Antiphon of Athens, born c. Of his fifteen extant works three concern real murder cases. The others are academic exercises.
- Through the Dark;
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- The Road to Unity in Psychoanalytic Theory;
- Schlacht von Azincourt 1415 (German Edition).
Andocides of Athens, born c. Of his four extant speeches, Against Alcibiades is doubtful. History of Rome, Volume XI: Extant early Latin writings from the seventh or sixth to the first century BCE include epic, drama, satire, translation and paraphrase, hymns, stage history and practice, and other works by Ennius , Caecilius , Livius Andronicus , Naevius , Pacuvius , Accius , Lucilius , and other anonymous authors; the Twelve Tables of Roman law; archaic inscriptions. Although Problems is an accretion of multiple authorship over several centuries, it offers a fascinating technical view of Peripatetic method and thought.
Roman Antiquities, Volume I: Of the twenty books from the earliest times to BCE we have the first nine complete; most of 10 and 11; extracts; and an epitome of the whole. On the Special Laws, Books To an Uneducated Ruler. On Monarchy, Democracy, and Oligarchy. That We Ought Not to Borrow.
Jewish Antiquities, Volume IV: The Tale of a Traveling-Bag. Topics included are the mathematics and metrology of the universe; world geography and ethnography; human anthropology and physiology; zoology; botany, agriculture, and horticulture; medicine; minerals, fine arts, and gemstones. On the Latin Language, Volume I: Greek Mathematical Works, Volume I: Greek mathematics from the sixth century BCE to the fourth century CE is represented by the work of, e.
Can Virtue Be Taught? On the Control of Anger. On Tranquility of Mind. On Affection for Offspring. On the Special Laws, Book 4. On Rewards and Punishments. In On Buildings , the Byzantine historian Procopius late fifth century to after CE describes the churches, public buildings, fortifications, and bridges Justinian erected throughout his empire, from the Church of St.
Sophia in Constantinople to city walls at Carthage. The work is richly informative about architecture of the sixth century CE. Roman Antiquities, Volume II: Eight works or parts of works were ascribed to Manetho , a third century BCE Egyptian, all on history and religion and all apparently in Greek. Natural History, Volume II: History of Rome, Volume VI: Fragments of ancient literature, from the seventh to the third century BCE, found on papyri in Egypt include examples of tragedy; satyr drama; Old, Middle, and New Comedy; mime; lyric, elegiac, iambic, and hexametric poetry.
Columella first century CE included Cato and Varro among many sources for On Agriculture , but his personal experience was paramount. Written in prose except for the hexameters on horticulture of Book 10, the work is richly informative about country life in first century CE Italy. Every Good Man is Free. On the Contemplative Life. On the Eternity of the World. Apology for the Jews. Roman Antiquities, Volume IV: Jewish Antiquities, Volume V: History of Alexander, Volume I: The first two of ten books have not survived and material is missing from books 5, 6, and History of Alexander, Volume II: Natural History, Volume IV: Natural History, Volume V: Roman Antiquities, Volume V: Concerning the Team of Horses.
Library of History, Volume IV: Library of History, Volume IX: Roman Antiquities, Volume VI: On the Embassy to Gaius. Alciphron, Aelian, and Philostratus: The fictitious, highly literary Letters of Alciphron second century CE are mostly to invented characters. The Letters of Farmers by Aelian c. The Erotic Epistles of Philostratus perhaps born c. Library of History, Volume V: The Best Kind of Orator. Prudentius born CE used allegory and classical Latin verse forms in service of Christianity. Library of History, Volume X: Natural History, Volume VI: Natural History, Volume IX: It flowed in a steady, equable current, unvexed by storm or tempest.
The sea, and all the rivers on earth, received their waters from it. The northern portion of the earth was supposed to be inhabited by a happy race named the Hyperboreans, dwelling in everlasting bliss and spring beyond the lofty mountains whose caverns were supposed to send forth the piercing blasts of the north wind, which chilled the people of Hellas Greece. Their country was inaccessible by land or sea. They lived exempt from disease or old age, from toils and warfare. On the south side of the earth, close to the stream of Ocean, dwelt a people happy and virtuous as the Hyperboreans.
The gods favoured them so highly that they were wont to leave at times their Olympian abodes and go to share their sacrifices and banquets. On the western margin of the earth, by the stream of Ocean, lay a happy place named the Elysian Plain, whither mortals favoured by the gods were transported without tasting of death, to enjoy an immortality of bliss. We thus see that the Greeks of the early ages knew little of any real people except those to the east and south of their own country, or near the coast of the Mediterranean. Their imagination meantime peopled the western portion of this sea with giants, monsters, and enchantresses, while they placed around the disk of the earth, which they probably regarded as of no great width, nations enjoying the peculiar favour of the gods, and blessed with happiness and longevity.
The Dawn, the Sun, and the Moon were supposed to rise out of the Ocean, on the eastern side, and to drive through the air, giving light to gods and men. The stars, also, except those forming the Wain or Bear, and others near them, rose the stream of Ocean. There the sun-god embarked in a winged boat, which conveyed him round by the northern part of the earth, back to his place of rising in the east. The abode of the gods was on the summit of Mount Olympus, in Thessaly. A gate of clouds, kept by the godesses named the Seasons, opened to permit the passage of the Celestials to earth, and to receive them on their return.
The gods had their separate dwellings; but all, when summoned, repaired to the palace of Jupiter, as did also those deities whose usual abode was the earth, the waters, or the under-world. It was also in the great hall of the palace of the Olympian king that the gods feasted each day on ambrosia and nectar, their food and drink, the latter being handed round by the lovely goddess Hebe.
Here they conversed of the affairs of heaven and earth; and as they quaffed their nectar, Apollo, the god of music, delighted them with the tones of his lyre, to which the Muses sang in responsive strains. When the sun was set, the gods retired to sleep in their respective dwellings. The robes and other parts of the dress of the goddesses were woven by Minerva and the Graces, and everything of a more solid nature was formed of the various metals.
Vulcan was architect, smith, armourer, chariot builder, and artist of all work in Olympus. He built of brass the houses of the gods; he made for them the golden shoes with which they trod the air or the water, and moved from place to place with the speed of the wind, or even of thought. He also shod with brass the celestial steeds, which whirled the chariots of the gods through the air, or along the surface of the sea.
He was able to bestow on his workmanship self-motion, so that the tripods chairs and tables could move of themselves in and out of the celestial hall.
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He even endowed with intelligence the golden handmaidens whom he made to wait on himself. Jupiter, or Jove Zeus 1 , though called the father of gods and men, had himself a beginning. Saturn Cronos was his father, and Rhea Ops his mother. Saturn and Rhea were of the race of Titans, who were the children of Earth and Heaven, which sprang from Chaos, of which we shall give a further account in our next chapter. There is another cosmogony, or account of the creation, according to which Earth, Erebus, and Love were the first of beings.
Love Eros issued from the egg of Night, which floated on Chaos. By his arrows and torch he pierced and vivified all things, producing life and joy. Saturn and Rhea were not the only Titans. They are spoken of as the elder gods, whose dominion was afterwards transferred to others. Hyperion was the father of the Sun, Moon, and Dawn. He is therefore the original sun-god, and is painted with the splendour and beauty which were afterwards bestowed on Apollo. Ophion and Eurynome ruled over Olympus till they were dethroned by Saturn and Rhea. The representations given of Saturn are not very consistent; for on the one hand his reign is said to have been the golden age of innocence and purity, and on the other he is described as a monster who devoured his children.
Jupiter, with his brothers and sisters, now rebelled against their father Saturn and his brothers the Titans; vanquished them, and imprisoned some of them in Tartarus, inflicting other penalties on others. Atlas was condemned to bear up the heavens on his shoulders. Earth and Olympus were common property.
Jupiter was king of gods and men. The eagle was his favourite bird, and bore his thunderbolts. Juno Hera was the wife of Jupiter, and queen of the gods. Iris, the goddess of the rainbow, was her attendant and messenger. The peacock was her favourite bird. Vulcan Hephaestos , the celestial artist, was the son of Jupiter and Juno. He was born lame, and his mother was so displeased at the sight of him that she flung him out of heaven. Other accounts say that Jupiter kicked him out for taking part with his mother in a quarrel which occurred between them.
He was a whole day falling, and at last alighted in the Island of Lemnos, which was thenceforth sacred to him. Phoebus Apollo, the god of archery, prophecy, and music, was the son of Jupiter and Latona, and brother of Diana Artemis. He was god of the sun, as Diana, his sister, was the goddess of the moon. Venus Aphrodite , the goddess of love and beauty, was the daughter of Jupiter and Dione. Others say that Venus sprang from the foam of the sea.
The zephyr wafted her along the waves to the Isle of Cyprus, where she was received and attired by the Seasons, and then led to the assembly of the gods. All were charmed with her beauty, and each one demanded her for his wife. Jupiter gave her to Vulcan, in gratitude for the service he had rendered in forging thunderbolts.
So the most beautiful of the goddesses became the wife of the most ill-favoured of gods. Venus possessed an embroidered girdle called Cestus, which had the power of inspiring love. Her favourite birds were swans and doves, and the plants sacred to her were the rose and the myrtle.
Cupid Eros , the god of love, was the son of Venus. He was her constant companion; and, armed with bow and arrows, he shot the darts of desire into the bosoms of both gods and men. There was a deity named Anteros, who was sometimes represented as the avenger of slighted love, and sometimes as the symbol of reciprocal affection.
The following legend is told of him:. Venus, complaining to Themis that her son Eros continued always a child, was told by her that it was because he was solitary, and that if he had a brother he would grow apace. Anteros was soon afterwards born, and Eros immediately was seen to increase rapidly in size and strength. Minerva Pallas, Athene, the goddess of wisdom, was the offspring of Jupiter, without a mother. She sprang forth from his head completely armed. Her favourite bird was the owl, and the plant sacred to her the olive. Mercury Hermes was the son of Jupiter and Maia. He presided over commerce, wrestling, and other gymnastic exercises, even over thieving, and everything, in short, which required skill and dexterity.
He was the messenger of Jupiter, and wore a winged cap and winged shoes. He bore in his hand a rod entwined with two serpents, called the caduceus. Mercury is said to have invented the lyre. He found, one day, a tortoise, of which he took the shell, made holes in the opposite edges of it, and drew cords of linen through them, and the instrument was complete. The cords were nine, in honour of the nine Muses. Mercury gave the lyre to Apollo, and received from him in exchange the caduceus.
Ceres Demeter was the daughter of Saturn and Rhea. She had a daughter named Proserpine Persephone , who became the wife of Pluto, and queen of the realms of the dead. Ceres presided over agriculture. Bacchus Dionysus , the god of wine, was the son of Jupiter and Semele. He represents not only the intoxicating power of wine, but its social and beneficent influences likewise, so that he is viewed as the promoter of civilization, and a lawgiver and lover of peace. The Muses were the daughters of Jupiter and Mnemosyne Memory. They presided over song, and prompted the memory.
They were nine in number, to each of whom was assigned the presidence over some particular department of literature, art, or science. Calliope was the muse of epic poetry, Clio of history, Euterpe of lyric poetry, Melpomene of tragedy, Terpsichore of choral dance and song, Erato of love poetry, Polyhymnia of sacred poetry, Urania of astronomy, Thalia of comedy. The Graces were goddesses presiding over the banquet, the dance, and all social enjoyments and elegant arts. They were three in number. Their names were Euphrosyne, Aglaia, and Thalia. The Fates were also three — Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos.
Their office was to spin the thread of human destiny, and they were armed with shears, with which they cut it off when they pleased. They were the daughters of Themis Law , who sits by Jove on his throne to give him counsel. The Erinnyes, or Furies, were three goddesses who punished by their secret stings the crimes of those who escaped or defied public justice. The heads of the Furies were wreathed with serpents, and their whole appearance was terrific and appalling.
Their names were Alecto, Tisiphone, and Megaera. They were also called Eumenides. Nemesis was also an avenging goddess. She represents the righteous anger of the gods, particularly towards the proud and insolent. The Satyrs were deities of the woods and fields. The preceding are Grecian divinities, though received also by the Romans. Those which follow are peculiar to Roman mythology:. Saturn was an ancient Italian deity. It was attempted to identify him with the Grecian god Cronos, and fabled that after his dethronement by Jupiter he fled to Italy, where he reigned during what was called the Golden Age.
In memory of his beneficent dominion, the feast of Saturnalia was held every year in the winter season. Then all public business was suspended, declarations of war and criminal executions were postponed, friends made presents to one another, and the slaves were indulged with great liberties. A feast was given them at which they sat at table, while their masters served them, to show the natural equality of men, and that all things belonged equally to all, in the reign of Saturn. Faunus, 4 the grandson of Saturn, was worshipped as the god of fields and shepherds, and also as a prophetic god.
His name in the plural, Fauns, expressed a class of gamesome deities, like the Satyrs of the Greeks. Quirinus was a war god, said to be no other than Romulus, the founder of Rome, exalted after his death to a place among the gods. Terminus, the god of landmarks. His statue was a rude stone or post, set in the ground to mark the boundaries of fields. Vesta the Hestia of the Greeks was a deity presiding over the public and private hearth. A sacred fire, tended by six virgin priestesses called Vestals, flamed in her temple.
As the safety of the city was held to be connected with its conservation, the neglect of the virgins, if they let it go out, was severely punished, and the fire was rekindled from the rays of the sun. Janus was the porter of heaven. He opens the year, the first month being named after him. He is the guardian deity of gates, on which account he is commonly represented with two heads, because every door looks two ways. His temples at Rome were numerous. In war time the gates of the principal one were always open. In peace they were closed; but they were shut only once between the reign of Numa and that of Augustus.
The Penates were the gods who were supposed to attend to the welfare and prosperity of the family.
Their name is derived from Penus, the pantry, which was sacred to them. Every master of a family was the priest of the Penates of his own house. The Lares, or Lars, were also household gods, but differed from the Penates in being regarded as the deified spirits of mortals. The family Lars were held to be the souls of the ancestors, who watched over and protected their descendants. The words Lemur and Larva more nearly correspond to our word Ghost. The Romans believed that every man had his Genius, and every woman her Juno: On their birthdays men made offerings to their Genius, women to their Juno.
Thus Cybele and Penates are words of three syllables. But Proserpine and Thebes are exceptions and to be pronounced as English words. THE creation of the world is a problem naturally fitted to excite the liveliest interest of man, its inhabitant. The ancient pagans, not having the information on the subject which we derive from the pages of Scripture, had their own way of telling the story, which is as follows:. Before earth and sea and heaven were created, all things wore one aspect, to which we give the name of Chaos — a confused and shapeless mass, nothing but dead weight, in which, however, slumbered the seeds of things.
Earth, sea, and air were all mixed up together; so the earth was not solid, the sea was not fluid, and the air was not transparent. God and Nature at last interposed, and put an end to this discord, separating earth from sea, and heaven from both. The fiery part, being the lightest, sprang up, and formed the skies; the air was next in weight and place.
The earth, being heavier, sank below; and the water took the lowest place, and buoyed up the earth. Here some god — it is not known which — gave his good offices in arranging and disposing the earth. He appointed rivers and bays their places, raised mountains, scooped out valleys, distributed woods, fountains, fertile fields. The air being cleared, the stars began to appear, fishes took possession of the sea, birds of the air, and four-footed beasts of the land. But a nobler animal was wanted, and Man was made. It is not known whether the creator made him of divine materials, or whether in the earth, so lately separated from heaven, there lurked still some heavenly seeds.
Prometheus took some of this earth, and kneading it up with water, made man in the image of the gods. He gave him an upright stature, so that while all other animals turn their faces downward, and look to the earth, he raises his to heaven, and gazes on the stars. Prometheus was one of the Titans, a gigantic race, who inhabited the earth before the creation of man. To him and his brother Epimetheus was committed the office of making man, and providing him and all other animals with the faculties necessary for their preservation. Epimetheus undertook to do this, and Prometheus was to overlook his work, when it was done.
Epimetheus accordingly proceeded to bestow upon the different animals the various gifts of courage, strength, swiftness, sagacity; wings to one, claws to another, a shelly covering to a third, etc. But when man came to be provided for, who was to be superior to all other animals, Epimetheus had been so prodigal of his resources that he had nothing left to bestow upon him. In his perplexity he resorted to his brother Prometheus, who, with the aid of Minerva, went up to heaven, and lighted his torch at the chariot of the sun.
With this gift man was more than a match for all other animals. It enabled him to make weapons wherewith to subdue them; tools with which to cultivate the earth; to warm his dwelling, so as to be comparatively independent of climate; and finally to introduce the arts and to coin money, the means of trade and commerce.
Woman was not yet made. The story absurd enough! The first woman was named Pandora. She was made in heaven, every god contributing something to perfect her. Venus gave her beauty, Mercury persuasion, Apollo music, etc. Thus equipped, she was conveyed to earth, and presented to Epimetheus, who gladly accepted her, though cautioned by his brother to beware of Jupiter and his gifts. Epimetheus had in his house a jar, in which were kept certain noxious articles for which, in fitting man for his new abode, he had had no occasion. Pandora was seized with an eager curiosity to know what this jar contained; and one day she slipped off the cover and looked in.
Forthwith there escaped a multitude of plagues for hapless man — such as gout, rheumatism, and colic for his body, and envy, spite, and revenge for his mind — and scattered themselves far and wide. Pandora hastened to replace the lid! So we see at this day, whatever evils are abroad, hope never entirely leaves us; and while we have that, no amount of other ills can make us completely wretched. Another story is that Pandora was sent in good faith, by Jupiter, to bless man; that she was furnished with a box containing her marriage presents, into which every god had put some blessing, She opened the box incautiously, and the blessings all escaped, hope only excepted.
This story seems more probable than the former; for how could hope, so precious a jewel as it is, have been kept in a jar full of all manner of evils, as in the former statement? The world being thus furnished with inhabitants, the first age was an age of innocence and happiness, called the Golden Age. Truth and right prevailed, though not enforced by law, nor was there any magistrate to threaten or punish. The forest had not yet been robbed of its trees to furnish timbers for vessels, nor had men built fortifications round their towns.
There were no such things as swords, spears, or helmets. The earth brought forth all things necessary for man, without his labour in ploughing or sowing, Perpetual spring reigned, flowers sprang up without seed, the rivers flowed with milk and wine, and yellow honey distilled from the oaks. Then succeeded the Silver Age, inferior to the golden, but better than that of brass. Jupiter shortened the spring, and divided the year into seasons.
Then, first, men had to endure the extremes of heat and cold, and houses became necessary. Caves were the first dwellings, and leafy coverts of the woods, and huts woven of twigs. Crops would no longer grow without planting. The farmer was obliged to sow the seed, and the toiling ox to draw the plough. Next came the Brazen Age, more savage of temper, and readier to the strife of arms, yet not altogether wicked.
The hardest and worst was the Iron Age. Crime burst in like a flood; modesty, truth, and honour fled. In their places came fraud and cunning, violence, and the wicked love of gain. Then seamen spread sails to the wind, and the trees were torn from the mountains to serve for keels to ships, and vex the face of the ocean. The earth, which till now had been cultivated in common, began to be divided off into possessions. Men were not satisfied with what the surface produced, but must dig into its bowels, and draw forth from thence the ores of metals.
Mischievous iron, and more mischievous gold, were produced. Sons wished their fathers dead, that they might come to the inheritance; family love lay prostrate. The earth was wet with slaughter, and the gods abandoned it, one by one, till Astraea 5 alone was left, and finally she also took her departure.
After leaving earth, she was placed among the stars, where she became the constellation Virgo — the Virgin. Themis Justice was the mother of Astraea. She is represented as holding aloft a pair of scales, in which she weighs the claims of opposing parties. It was a favourite idea of the old poets that these goddesses would one day return, and bring back the Golden Age. Jupiter, seeing this state of things, burned with anger. He summoned the gods to council. They obeyed the call, and took the road to the palace of heaven.
The road, which any one may see in a clear night, stretches across the face of the sky, and is called the Milky Way. Along the road stand the palaces of the illustrious gods; the common people of the skies live apart, on either side. Jupiter addressed the assembly. He set forth the frightful condition of things on the earth, and closed by announcing his intention to destroy the whole of its inhabitants, and provide a new race, unlike the first, who would be more worthy of life, and much better worshippers of the gods.
So saying he took a thunderbolt, and was about to launch it at the world, and destroy it by burning; but recollecting the danger that such a conflagration might set heaven itself on fire, he changed his plan, and resolved to drown it. The north wind, which scatters the clouds, was chained up; the south was sent out, and soon covered all the face of heaven with a cloak of pitchy darkness. Jupiter, not satisfied with his own waters, calls on his brother Neptune to aid him with his. He lets loose the rivers, and pours them over the land. At the same time, he heaves the land with an earthquake, and brings in the reflux of the ocean over the shores.
Flocks, herds, men, and houses are swept away, and temples, with their sacred enclosures, profaned. If any edifice remained standing, it was overwhelmed, and its turrets lay hid beneath the waves. Now all was sea, sea without shore. Here and there an individual remained on a projecting hilltop, and a few, in boats, pulled the oar where they had lately driven the plough. The fishes swim among the tree-tops; the anchor is let down into a garden. Where the graceful lambs played but now. The wolf swims among the sheep, the yellow lions and tigers struggle in the water.
The strength of the wild boar serves him not, nor his swiftness the stag. The birds fall with weary win, into the water, having found no land for a resting-place. Those living beings whom the water spared fell a prey to hunger. Parnassus alone, of all the mountains, overtopped the waves; and there Deucalion, and his wife Pyrrha, of the race of Prometheus, found refuge — he a just man, and she a faithful worshipper of the gods. Jupiter, when he saw none left alive but this pair, and remembered their harmless lives and pious demeanour, ordered the north winds to drive away the clouds, and disclose the skies to earth, and earth to the skies.
Neptune also directed Triton to blow on his shell, and sound a retreat to the waters. The waters obeyed, and the sea returned to its shores, and the rivers to their channels. Then Deucalion thus addressed Pyrrha: But as we cannot, let us seek yonder temple, and inquire of the gods what remains for us to do.
There they fell prostrate on the earth, and prayed the goddess to inform them how they might retrieve their miserable affairs. Pyrrha first broke silence: At length Deucalion spoke: The earth is the great parent of all; the stones are her bones; these we may cast behind us; and I think this is what the oracle means. At least, it will do no harm to try. The stones wonderful to relate began to grow soft, and assume shape. By degrees, they put on a rude resemblance to the human form, like a block half finished in the hands of the sculptor.
The moisture and slime that were about them became flesh; the stony part became bones; the veins remained veins, retaining their name, only changing their use. Those thrown by the hand of the man became men, and those by the woman became women. It was a hard race, and well adapted to labour, as we find ourselves to be at this day, giving plain indications of our origin. Prometheus has been a favourite subject with the poets. He is represented as the friend of mankind, who interposed in their behalf when Jove was incensed against them, and who taught them civilization and the arts.
But as, in so doing, he transgressed the will of Jupiter, he drew down on himself the anger of the ruler of gods and men. Jupiter had him chained to a rock on Mount Caucasus, where a vulture preyed on his liver, which was renewed as fast as devoured. But that he disdained to do. He has therefore become the symbol of magnanimous endurance of unmerited suffering, and strength of will resisting oppression. THE slime with which the earth was covered by the waters of the flood produced an excessive fertility, which called forth every variety of production, both bad and good.
Among the rest, Python, an enormous serpent, crept forth, the terror of the people, and lurked in the caves of Mount Parnassus.
Apollo slew him with his arrows — weapons which he had not before used against any but feeble animals, hares, wild goats, and such game. In commemoration of this illustrious conquest he instituted the Pythian games, in which the victor in feats of strength, swiftness of foot, or in the chariot race was crowned with a wreath of beech leaves; for the laurel was not yet adopted by Apollo as his own tree.
The famous statue of Apollo called the Belvedere represents the god after this victory over the serpent Python. It was not brought about by accident, but by the malice of Cupid. Leave them for hands worthy of them, Behold the conquest I have won by means of them over the vast serpent who stretched his poisonous body over acres of the plain! Be content with your torch, child, and kindle up your flames, as you call them, where you will, but presume not to meddle with my weapons. The former was of gold and ship pointed, the latter blunt and tipped with lead.
With the leaden shaft he struck the nymph Daphne, the daughter of the river god Peneus, and with the golden one Apollo, through the heart. Forthwith the god was seized with love for the maiden, and she abhorred the thought of loving. Her delight was in woodland sports and in the spoils of the chase. Apollo loved her, and longed to obtain her; and he who gives oracles to all the world was not wise enough to look into his own fortunes.
He admired her hands and arms, naked to the shoulder, and whatever was hidden from view he imagined more beautiful still. He followed her; she fled, swifter than the wind, and delayed not a moment at his entreaties. Do not fly me as a lamb flies the wolf, or a dove the hawk. It is for love I pursue you. You make me miserable, for fear you should fall and hurt yourself on these stones, and I should be the cause. Pray run slower, and I will follow slower. I am no clown, no rude peasant. Jupiter is my father, and I am lord of Delphos and Tenedos, and know all things, present and future.
I am the god of song and the lyre. My arrows fly true to the mark; but, alas! I am the god of medicine, and know the virtues of all healing plants. I suffer a malady that no balm. The nymph continued her flight, and left his plea half uttered. And even as she fled she charmed him. The wind blew her garments, and her unbound hair streamed loose behind her. The god grew impatient to find his wooings thrown away, and, sped by Cupid, gained upon her in the race.
It was like a hound pursuing a hare, with open jaws ready to seize, while the feebler animal darts forward, slipping from the very grasp. So flew the god and the virgin — he on the wings of love, and she on those of fear. The pursuer is the more rapid, however, and gains upon her, and his panting breath blows upon her hair.
Her strength begins to fail, and, ready to sink, she calls upon her father, the river god: He touched the stem, and felt the flesh tremble under the new bark. He embraced the branches, and lavished kisses on the wood. The branches shrank from his lips. I will wear you for my crown; I will decorate with you my harp and my quiver; and when the great Roman conquerors lead up the triumphal pomp to the Capitol, you shall be woven into wreaths for their brows. And, as eternal youth is mine, you also shall be always green, and your leaf know no decay.
That Apollo should be the god both of music and poetry will not appear strange, but that medicine should also be assigned to his province, may. The poet Armstrong, himself a physician, thus accounts for it:. The story of Apollo and Daphne is of ten alluded to by the poets. Waller applies it to the case of one whose amatory verses, though they did not soften the heart of his mistress, yet won for the poet wide-spread fame:.
Pyramus was the handsomest youth, and Thisbe the fairest maiden, in all Babylonia, where Semiramis reigned. Their parents occupied adjoining houses; and neighbourhood brought the young people together, and acquaintance ripened into love. They would gladly have married, but their parents forbade. One thing, however, they could not forbid — that love should glow with equal ardour in the bosoms of both. They conversed by signs and glances, and the fire burned more intensely for being covered up. In the wall that parted the two houses there was a crack, caused by some fault in the structure.
No one had remarked it before, but the lovers discovered it. What will not love discover! It afforded a passage to the voice; and tender messages used to pass backward and forward through the gap. As they stood, Pyramus on this side, Thisbe on that, their breaths would mingle. But we will not be ungrateful. We owe you, we confess, the privilege of transmitting loving words to willing, ears. Next morning, when Aurora had put out the stars, and the sun had melted the frost from the grass, they met at the accustomed spot.
It was a white mulberry tree, and stood near a cool spring. All was agreed on, and they waited impatiently for the sun to go down beneath the waters and night to rise up from them. Then cautiously Thisbe stole forth, unobserved by the family, her head covered with a veil, made her way to the monument and sat down under the tree. As she sat alone in the dim light of the evening she descried a lioness, her jaws reeking with recent slaughter, approaching the fountain to slake her thirst.
Thisbe fled at the sight, and sought refuge in the hollow of a rock. As she fled she dropped her veil. The lioness after drinking at the spring turned to retreat to the woods, and seeing the veil on the ground, tossed and rent it with her bloody mouth. Pyramus, having been delayed, now approached the place of meeting. He saw in the sand the footsteps of the lion, and the colour fled from his cheeks at the sight. Presently he found the veil all rent and bloody. Thou, more worthy of life than I, hast fallen the first victim.
I am the guilty cause, in tempting thee forth to a place of such peril, and not being myself on the spot to guard thee. Come forth, ye lions, from the rocks, and tear this guilty body with your teeth. The blood spurted from the wound, and tinged the white mulberries of the tree all red; and sinking into the earth reached the roots, so that the red colour mounted through the trunk to the fruit. By this time Thisbe, still trembling with fear, yet wishing not to disappoint her lover, stepped cautiously forth, looking anxiously for the youth, eager to tell him the danger she had escaped.
When she came to the spot and saw the changed colour of the mulberries she doubted whether it was the same place. While she hesitated she saw the form of one struggling in the agonies of death. She started back, a shudder ran through her frame as a ripple on the face of the still water when a sudden breeze sweeps over it. But as soon as she recognized her lover, she screamed and beat her breast, embracing the lifeless body, pouring tears into its wounds, and imprinting kisses on the cold lips. Answer me, Pyramus; it is your own Thisbe that speaks.
Hear me, dearest, and lift that drooping head! She saw her veil stained blood and the scabbard empty of its sword. I will follow thee in death, for I have been the cause; and death which alone could part us shall not prevent my joining thee. And ye, unhappy parents of us both, deny us not our united request. As love and death have joined us, let one tomb contain us. And thou, tree, retain the marks of slaughter. Let thy berries still serve for memorials of our blood. Her parents ratified her wish, the gods also ratified it. The two bodies were buried in one sepulchre, and the tree ever after brought forth purple berries, as it does to this day.
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