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On this page: Amphitrite – Amphitryon

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AMPHITRITE——AMPHITRYON.

(1) THE AMPHITHEATRE AT JiiMES.

(Extenml eluvation.)

An amphitheatre was usually an oval building, surrounding an arena of like shape, which sometimes, as at Rome and Capua, was a plank floor resting on deep underground walls, the spaces underneath containing cages and machinery for trans­formations. The exterior was formed of several arcades, one above the other, the lowest one admitting to a corridor, which ran round the building, and out of which staircases led up to the various rows of seats. In the Colosseum this first arcade is adorned with Doric, the second with Ionic, the third with Corinthian " engaged " columns; the fourth is a wall decorated

(2) THE AMPHITHEATRE AT NiMES.

Ground plan in four quarters.

A. Bird's eye view of seats rising in tiers to highest part of external inclosure.

B. Plan of highest storey, exposed by removal of highest tiers of seats.

C. Plan of intermediate storey, exposed l»y removal of highest and intermediate tiers. D. True ground plan, or plan of lowest storey.

with Corinthian pilasters, and pierced with windows (see architecture, figs. 8-10).

Immediately round the arena ran a high, massive wall, with vaults for the animals and for other purposes. On it rested the pSdium, protected by its height and by special contrivances from the wild beasts when fighting; here were the seats of honour, e.g. at Rome, those of the imperial family, the officers of state, and the Vestal Virgins. Above the podium rose the seats

of other spectators in concentric rows, the lowest ones being for senators and magis­trates, the next for knights, and the rest for citizens. Women sat in the highest part of the building, under a colonnade, parts of which were portioned off for the common people. The whole space for seats could be sheltered from sun and rain by an awning supported on masts, which were let into corbels of stone that jutted out of the upper circumference. The arena could also be laid under water for the exhibition of sea-fights, the so-called naum&chim

(«•«•)•

Amphitrite, daughter of Nereus and Doris, is the wife of Poseidon and queen of the sea. Poseidon saw her dancing with the Nereids on the island of Naxos, and carried her off. According to another ac­count she fled from him to Atlas, when the god's dolphin spied her out and brought her to him. In Homer she is not yet called Poseidon's wife, but a sea-goddess, who beats the billows against the rocks, and has the creatures of the deep in her keep­ing. Her son is the sea-god Triton. She had no separate worship. She is often represented with a net confining her hair, with crabs' claws on the crown of her head, being carried by Tritons, or by dolphins and other marine animals, or drawn by them in a chariot of shells. As the Romans identified Poseidon with their Neptune, so they did Amphitrite with Salacia, a god­dess of the salt waves.

Amphitryon. Son of Alcseus, grandson of Perseus, and king of Tiryns. His father's brother, Elektryon, king of Mycenae, had occasion to go out on a war of vengeance against Pterelaus, king of the Taphians and Teleboans in Acarnania and the neighbour­ing isles, whose sons had carried off his cattle, and have slain his own sons, all but young Licymnius. He left Amphitryon in charge of his kingdom, and betrothed to him his daughter Alcmene. On his return Amphitryon killed him, in quarrel or by accident, and, driven away by another uncle, Sthenelus, fled with his betrothed and her brother Licymnius to Creon, king of Thebes, a brother of his mother Hipp<5-nome, who purged him of blood-guilt, and promised, if he would first kill the Tau-messian fox, to help him against Pterelaus; for Alcmene would not wed him till her brethren were avenged. Having rendered the fox harmless with the help of Cephalus (q.v.) he marched, accompanied by Creon, Cephalus, and other heroes, against the

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