The Ancient Library

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On this page: Amphora – Amphoterus – Amliatio – Ampulla – Amycus – Amymone – Anacron – Anacrisis – Anaxagoras



Teleboans, and conquered their country. Pterilaus' daughter Comaetho had first killed her father by plucking out the golden hair, to whose continual possession was attached the boon of immortality be­stowed on him by Poseidon. He slew the traitress, and, handing over the Taphian kingdom to Cephalus, he returned to Thebes and married Alcmene. She gave birth to twins; Iphicles by him, and Heracles by Zens. At last he falls in the war with Erginus (q.v.\ the Minyan king of Orcho-mgnus.

Amph6ra, Lat. (Gr. Amphorem). A two-handled, big-bellied vessel, usually of clay, with a longish or shortish neck, and a mouth proportioned to the size, sometimes resting firmly on a foot, but often ending in a blunt point, so that in the store-room it had to lean against the wall, or be sunk in sand, and when brought out for use, to be put in a basket, wine-cooler, or hollow stand. (See vessels, fig. 2, a and b). It served to keep oil, honey, and more especially the wine drawn off from the big fermenting vats. It was fastened with a clay stopper, plastered over with pitch, loam, or gypsum, and had a ticket stating the kind, the year, and the quantity of the wine it con­tained. The Greek amphoreus was a large liquid measure, holding nearly 9 gal­lons (see metretes), the Roman measure called amphora held 6 gallons and 7 pints.

Amphdterus. See acarnan.

Ampliatio. The Latin term for a delay of verdict pending the production of further evidence in a case not clear to the judges.


Ampulla. See "vessels.

Amjcus. Son of Poseidon; a gigantic king of the Bebrycians on the Bithynian coast, who forced every stranger that landed there to box with him. When the Argo­nauts wished to draw water from a spring in his country, he forbade them, but was conquered and killed in a match with Poly-deuces (Pollux).

Amymone. A daughter of Danaus (q.v.), and mother of Nauplius by Poseidon.

Anacreon. A Greek lyric poet, born about 550 b.c. at Teos, an Ionian town of Asia, whose inhabitants, to escape the threatened yoke of Persia, migrated to Abdera in j Thrace b.c. 540. From Abdera Anacreon went to the tyrant Polycrates, of Samos, after whose death (B.C. 522) he removed to Athens on the invitation of Hipparchus, and lived there, till the fall of the Peisis-tratidae, on friendly terms with his fellow

• poet Simonides and Xanthippus, the father

! of Pericles. He is said to have died at

j Abdera, in his eighty-sixth year, choked by

the stone of a dried grape. A statue of

him stood in the Acropolis at Athena in

the guise of an aged minstrel inspired by

the wine-god. For Anacreon was regarded

as the type of a poet who, in spite of age,

paid perpetual homage to wine and love.

I Love and wine and merry company formed

i the favourite subjects of his light, sweet,

and graceful songs, which were cast in the

metres of the jEolic poets, but composed

in the Ionic dialect. Beside fragments of

j such songs and of elegies, we have also a

i number of epigrams that bear his name.

! His songs were largely imitated, and of

such imitations we have under his name

a collection of about sixty love-songs and

drinking-songs of very various (partly

much later) dates, and of different degrees

of merit.

Anacrlsls. In Attic law, the preliminary examination of the parties to a suit.

Anaxagoras. A Greek philosopher, of Clazomense in Asia Minor, born about 500 b.c. Sprung from a noble family, but wish­ing to devote himself entirely to science, he gave up his property to his kinsmen, and removed to Athens, where he lived in in­timacy with the most distinguished men, above all with Pericles. Shortly before the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War he was charged by the political opponents of Pericles with impiety, i.e. with denying the gods recognised by the State; and though acquitted through his friend's influence, he felt compelled to emigrate to Lampsacus, where he died soon after, aged 72. He not only had the honour of giving philosophy a home at Athens, where it went on flourish­ing for quite a thousand years, but he was the first philosopher who, by the side of the material principle, introduced a spiritual, which gives the other life and form. He laid down his doctrine in a work On Nature in the Ionic dialect, of which only frag­ments are preserved. Like Parmenldes, he denied the existence of birth or death; the two processes were rather to be de­scribed as a mingling and unmingling. The ultimate elements of combination are in­divisible, imperishable primordia of infinite number, and differing in shape, colour, and taste, called by himself " seeds of things," and b}' later writers (from an expression of Aristotle) hoinceomerC, i.e. particles of like kind with each other and with the whole that is made up of them. At first

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