The Ancient Library

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On this page: Agasias – Agatharchides – Agatharchus – Agathias – Agathodaemon – Agathon – Agave – Agdistis – Ages



whose water imparted poetic inspiration. Also the nymph of the same, daughter of the river-god Permessus.

* tuk borghese gladiator by aoasias. (Paris, Louvre.)

Agasias. A Greek artist of Ephesus, probably in the 1st century B.C. The Boryhese Oladiator in the Louvre is from his hand. (See sculpture.)

Agatharchldes. A Greek grammarian of Cnidns, who lived at Alexandria in the 2nd century b.c. as tutor, and afterwards guardian, of a prince. He composed several historical works (one on the successors of Alexander), a well written performance, and a description of the Red Sea in five books. Of the former only a few fragments remain, of the last some considerable ex­tracts from the first and fifth books.

Agatharchus. A Greek painter of Samos, the inventor of scene-painting. (See painting.)

Agathlas. Of Myrina in Asia Minor, a Greek poet and historian, born about 530 a.d., lived at Constantinople as a jurist, and died about 582. By his Kyklos, a collec­tion of his own and contemporary poems, topically arranged in eight books, he helped to originate the Greek anthology (q.v.), which still contains 101 epigrams by him. In his last years he wrote, in a laboured florid style, a history of Justinian in five books, treating of the years a.d. 552-8 in continuation of Procopius.

Agathodaemon (good daemon). In Greek mythology a good spirit of the cornfields and vineyards, to whom libations of un-

mixed wine were made at meals. In works of art he is represented as a youth, holding in one hand a horn of plenty and a bowl, in the other a poppy and ears of corn. (Cnmp.


Agathon. A tragic poet of Athens, born B.C. 448, a friend of Euripides and Plato, universally celebrated for his beauty and refined culture. The banquet he gave in honour of his dramatic victory of B.C. 417 is immortalized in Plato's Sympotl&n. He was, together with Euripides, at the court of Archelaus, king of Macedonia, and pro­bably died there about b.c. 402. He appears to have carried still further the rhetorical manner of Euripides, adopting entirely the views of the sophist Gorgias; and his namby-pamby style is ridiculed by Aristo­phanes. On the stage he introduced several innovations: he was the first to make the chorus a mere intermezzo, having nothing to do with the action, and in his tragedy of AnthOs ( = flower) he invented both characters and plot for himself, instead of resorting to old myths.

Agave (Gr. AgimS). Daughter of Cadmus and wife of Echlon. She, with other women, in a bacchanalian frenzy tore to pieces her own son Pentheus (q.v.}.

Agdistis. See rhea.

Ages. Since the time of Hesiod, the Greeks, and the Romans after them, gene­rally assumed the existence of four ages.



(Gem in British


(1) The age of gold, in which Kr6n6s or Saturnus was king. During this period mankind enjoyed per­petual youth, joy, and peace undisturbed, reaping in their fulness the fruits which theearth spontaneously brought forth. Death came upon them like a soft slumber; and after it they became good daimGnes, watching men like guardians in their deeds of justice and injustice, and hovering round them with gifts of wealth.

(2) The golden age was succeeded by that of silver. This was inferior to the golden both in physical and mental force. The people of the silver age remained for a hundred years in the condition of children, simple and weakly. Even if they attained maturity, their folly and arrogance pre­vented their living long. They continued to exist after death as spirits, living be­neath the earth, but not immortal.

(3) Zeus then created the brazen age, so

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