The Ancient Library

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On this page: Acta – Actaeon – Acroridae – Actuarius – Acusilaus – Admetus – Adonis


His house was possibly N.E. of the Erech-theum. Pisistratus, like the ancient kings, had his residence on the Acropolis, and may have added the stylobate to the temple of Athene recently identified, S. of the Erech-theum. The walls of the fortress proper were destroyed in the Persian wars, 480 and 479 b.c., and restored by Cimon. But the wall surrounding the foot of the hill, called the PSlasijlkon or FclargikQn, and supposed to be a relic of the oldest inhabi­tants, was left in ruins. Cimon also laid the foundation of a new temple of Athene on the south side of the hill. This temple was begun afresh and completed in the most splendid style by Pericles, and called the Parthenon. (See parthenon.) Pericles at the same time adorned the approach to the west side of the Acropolis with the glorious PrOpyUea, and began to rebuild the Erechtheum in magnificent style. (See erechtheum, propylsa.) There were several other sanctuaries on the Acropolis, that, for instance, of Artemis Brauronla, on the S.E. side of the Propylsea; ihe beautiful little temple of Athene Nike to the S.W.; and the Pandroseum adjoining the temple of Erechtheus. There were many altars, that of Zeus Hypatos for example, and countless statues,among them thatof Athene Prdmachos, with votive offerings. Among the numerous grottos in the rock, one on the north side was dedicated to Pan, another to Apollo.

Acta. The Latin term for official records of transactions, including Acta senatus and Ada popull Romaril, both established by Caesar in his first consulship, b.c. 59. (1) Acta senatus. Caesar's law decreed that all transactions of the senate should be regu­larly written down and published, which had only been done hitherto in exceptional cases. The written reports were continued under the Empire, but Augustus put a stop to their publication. These documents were pre­served among the state archives and in the public libraries, where they could only be inspected by permission of the city pre­fect. At first a temporary duty imposed on individual senators, the business of reporting grew into a separate office held in rotation, with the title of .46 actis senatus, and the officer holding it had a considerable staff of writers under him, called Actudril. (2) The Acta (diurna) fiopuli (Roinani), or Actapitblica, ui'bana, urbis, diurna populi, or simply Acta or Dinrna, were an official daily chronicle, which, in addition to official reports of

events in the imperial family, and state and city affairs, contained regulations by the magistrates, transactions and decrees of the senate, accidents, and family news communicated to the editors. They were publicly exhibited on a whitened board (album"), which any one might read and copy; and there were men who made a business of multiplying and transmitting such news to the provinces. After a time the originals were placed among the state-archives for the benefit of those who wished to consult them.

Actseon (Gr. Aktaion). Son of Aristaeusby Autonoe, the daughter of Cadmus of Thebes, was trained by Chiron into a finished huntsman. Having either seen Artemis (Diana) when bathing, or boasted his su­periority in the chase, he was changed by her into a stag, and torn to pieces by his own hounds on Mount Cithseron. The hounds looked everywhere for their master, and would not be pacified till Chiron showed them an image of him. His statue was often set up on hills and rocks as a protection against the dangerous heat of the dog-days, of which probably the myth itself is but a symbol.

Actoridse, Actoriones. See moliones.

Actuarius. See acta.

Acusilaiis. See logographi.

Admetus. Son of Pheres, king of Pherae in Thessaly, who took part in the Caly-donian boar-hunt and the voyage of the Argo. Apollo served him for a time as a shepherd, either from love and as a reward for his piety, or to expiate a capital crime. When Admetus wooed Alces tis, the daughter of Pelias,and her father would only give her to one who should yoke lions and boars to a chariot, he fulfilled the task with Apollo's help ; indeed, the god even prevailed on the Moirai to release him from death, provided that any one would volunteer to die for him. He is at length seized with a mortal sickness, and his aged parents refusing to give up the remnant of their days for him, Alcestis dies for her husband, but is sent back to the upper world by Persephone, or, according to another story, is rescued out of the hands of Hades by Heracles.

Adonis. Sprung, according to the com­mon legend, from the unnatural love of the Cyprian princess Myrrha (or Smyrna) for her father Clnyras, who, on becoming aware of the crime, pursues her with a sword ; but she, praying to the gods, is changed into a myrtle, out of whose bark springs the beautiful Adonis, the beloved

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