The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Aloaedae – Alope – Alpheus – Alphesiboea – Altar – Althaea – Altis – Amalthea



the younger Pliny, vied with them in their liberality.

Aloadae or Aloldce. Sons of Poseidon by Iphlmgdeia, the wife of Aloeus, son of Canace (see diolos, 1) and Poseidon; their names were EphialtSs and Otus. They grew every year an ell in breadth and a fathom in length, so that in nine years' time they were thirty-six feet broad and fifty-four feet high. Their strength was such that they chained up the god Ares and kept him in a brazen cask for thirteen months, till their stepmother Eribcea betrayed his whereabouts to Hermes, who came by stealth and dragged his disabled brother out of durance. They threatened to storm heaven itself by piling Ossa on Olympus and Pelion on Ossa, and would have done it, says Homer, had not Apollo slain them with his arrows ere their beards were grown. The later legend represents Ephialtes as in love with Hera, and Otus with Artemis. Another myth represents Artemis as slaying them by craft in the island of Naxos. She runs between them in the form of a hind ; they hurl their spears, and wound each other fatally. In the later legend they expiate their sins in the lower world by being bound with snakes to a pillar, back to back, while they are incessantly tormented by the screeching of an owl. On the other hand, they were worshipped as heroes in Naxos, and in the Boeotian Ascra were regarded as founders of the city and of the worship of the Muses on Mount Helicon.

A15pe. Daughter of Cercyon of Eleusis, and, by Poseidon, mother of Hippothoon (q.v.) ; after wrhose birth her father was going to kill her, but the god changed her into a fountain.

Alpheus. See arethusa.

Alphealbcea (or ArsinSe). Daughter of Phegeus and first wife of Alcmseon, whom, though unfaithful, she continued to love, and was angry with her brothers for killing him. Her brothers shut her up in a box, and brought her to Agapenor, king of j Tegea, pretending that she had killed her husband. Here she came by her end, having compassed her brothers' death by the hand of Alcmaeon's sons.

Altar. Originally a simple elevation above the ground, made of earth, field-stones, or turf; and such altars continued to be used in the country parts of Italy. But altars for constant use, especially in temple service, were, as a rule, of stone, though in exceptional cases they might be made of other materials. Thus, several in Greece

BOMAN DOMESTIC AL (Berlin Museum.)

were built out of the ashes of burnt-oflf ings, as that of Zeus at Olympia. One Delos was made of goats' horns. Th shape was very various, the i'our-cornei being the commonest, and the round less usual. A temple usually had two altars: the one used for1 bloodless offer­ings standing before the deity's image in the cella, and the other for burnt-offer­ings, opposite, the door in front of the temple. The latter was generally a high altar, standing on a platform which is cut into steps. Being integral part of the whole set of buildin its shape and size were regulated by th proportions. Some few of these high alt were of enormous dimensions; the one Olympia had a platform measuring m than 125 feet round, while the altar its which was ascended by steps, was nea 25 feet high. In Italy as well as Gre( beside the altars attached to temples, th was a vast number in streets and squa: in the courts of houses (see cut), in 0' fields, in sacred groves, and other precii consecrated to the gods. Some altars, 1 some temples, were dedicated to more than deity; we even hear of altars dedicated to the gods. On altars to heroes, see herc

Althaea. Daughter of Thestius, wife (Eneus, king of Calydon, mother of Tydi Meleager (g^v.), and De'ianeira.

Altis. The sacred grove near Olyn (g.t;.), in which the Olympic Games m celebrated. (See olympia.)

Amalthea (Gr. Amaltheia). A figun Greek mythology. The name was someti applied to a goat, which suckled the newt Zeus in Crete, while bees brought him hoi and which was therefore set among the S' by her nursling: sometimes to a nyr, who was supposed to possess a miracu] horn, a symbol of plenty, and whose des< was variously given. According to version she is the daughter of the Crt king Melisseus, and brings up the ini god on the milk of a goat, while her si Melissa (a bee) offers him honey. The 1: of the goat is given to her by Zeus, \ the promise that she shall always fine it whatever she wishes. From her cornucopia passed into the possessioi

About | First | Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.