The Ancient Library

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On this page: Atargatis – Ate – Ateius Capito – Atellana – Athamas



life in the forest. She meets the addresses of her suitors by challenging them to race with her, overtaking them in the race and spearing them in the back. She is at length beaten by Hippomenes, who during the race drops on the ground three golden apples given him by Aphrodite. Atalante stoops down to pick up the apples, and thus loses the race. Hippomenes forgets to ren­der thanks to Aphrodite, and the goddess in anger causes the pair to wander into a sanctuary of CybSle, where they are changed into lions.

Atargatis. See dea stria.

Ate. According to Homer, the daughter of Zeus; according to Hesiod, of Eris or Strife. She personifies infatuation ; the infatuation being generally held to imply guilt as its cause and evil as its consequence. At first she dwelt on Olympus; but after she had entrapped Zeus himself into his rash oath on the occasion of the birth of Heracles (see heracles), he hurled her down to earth. Here she pursues her mis­sion of evil, walking lightly over men's heads, but never touching the ground. Be­hind her go the Litai (" Prayers"), the lame, wrinkled, squinting daughters of Zeus. The Litai, if called upon, heal the hurts inflicted by Ate ; but they bring fresh evil upon the stubborn. In later times Ate is transformed into an avenger of unright­eousness, like Dike, Erlnys and Nlmlsis.

Ateins Caplto (Gaius). A Roman jurist of the age of Augustus and Tiberius, who was born about 30 b.c., and died about 22 a.d. Unlike his contemporary Antistius LabSo (q.v.), he recommended himself to the ruling powers by his submissive atti­tude. He was rewarded by many tokens of distinction; among others, by the con­sulship, to which he was elected in 5 a.d., before attaining the legal age. As a jurist (again unlike Antistius) he represented the conservative tendency, and so became the founder of a special school called the Sabt-ni&nl, after his pupil Masurius Sabinus.

Atellana (i.e. Atellana fabula). [A farce or comedy, which the ancients supposed was originally acted or invented at the Oscan town of Atella in Campania. Modern scholars incline to the opinion that it was a species of Latin drama representing scenes at Atella, or scenes of country-town life. Its characteristics were (1) that it was per­formed by free-born youths, not by pro­fessional actors; (2) that certain conventional characters, as JBuccO (" Fatchaps"), Dossen-nus (" The Glutton "), Pappus (" The old

father"), Maccus ("The fool") always oc­curred in it; (3) that it contained puzzles to explain, either in the plot or in single lines.] The Atellance came into fashion at Rome as after-pieces (ex&dia) about the end of the 3rd century b.c., displacing the saturce. (See satura). Till the beginning of the last century of the Republic the Atellana was probably an improvisation; but, in the hands of Pomponius of Bononia and Nfivius, it was raised to the position of a regular comedy on the Greek model. From about the middle of the 1st century b.c., the Atellana went out of fashion in favour of the mlmus, but was revived, pro­bably in the reign of Tiberius, by a certain Mummius. It lived on for some time under the Empire, till at last it became undis-tinguishable from the mimus.

Athamas. Sou of ^Eolus, king of Thessaly, and EnarSte ; brother of Cretheus, Sisyphus, and Salmoneus; king of the Mlnyse in the Bceotian Orchomenus. He was the husband of the cloud-goddess Nephele, mother of Phrixus and Helle, who left him on his union with a mortal, Ino the daughter of Cadmus. Nephele in anger visited the land with a drought, upon which Ino en­deavoured, by means of a pretended oracle, to have her stepson Phrixus sacrificed on the altar of Zeus Laphystlus. But Nephele conveyed the children away through the air on a golden-fleeced ram. During the passage Helle fell into the sea, which was afterwards, from her name, called the Helles-pontus. But her brother arrived safely at the palace of JCetes, king of jEa, who gave him his daughter Chalcifipe in marriage. Afterwards Athamas was himself about to be sacrificed by his people to Zeus Laphy-stius; but he was saved by the appearance of Phrixus' son Cytissorus, who brought the news that Phrixus was still alive. His escape, however, only brought down the wrath of the god upon his descendants. The first-born of his race was ever afterwards liable to be sacrificed to Zeus Laphystius, if he entered the council-chamber and did not get out of the way in time. Later on Athamas was visited with madness by Hera, because Ino brought up her nephew Dionysus, the son of her sister SemSle. In his frenzy he killed his son Learchus, and persecuted Ino, who with her other son Mfillcertes leaped into the sea. Here she became the sea-goddess Leucothea, and her son the sea-god Palaemon. On recovering from his madness, Athamas was commanded by an oracle to settle in a place where he

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