The Ancient Library

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should be hospitably treated by wild beasts. In the part of Thessaly which was named, after him, the Athamanian plain, he came upon some wolves, who fled from him, and left him the sheep-bones on which they were feeding. He settled here, and wedded Themisto. (See themisto.) The story is no doubt founded upon the old custom which the Minyge had of offering the first-born of the race of Athamas to Zeus Laphystius, in case he failed to make good his escape as Phrixus did.

Athenaeus. (1) The engineer, a con­temporary of Archimedes, who nourished about 210 B.C. He was the author of a work, still preserved, on engines of war.

(2) The Greek scholar, a native of Nau-cratis in Egypt. He was educated at Alex­andria, where he lived about 170-230 A.D. After this he lived at Rome, and there wrote his Deipnosophistce (or " Doctors at Dinner"), in fifteen books. Of these the first, second, and part of the third, are •only preserved in a selection made in the llth century; the rest survive in a tolerably complete state. The work shows astonishing learning, and contains a num­ber of notices of ancient life which would otherwise have been lost. The author gives us collections and extracts from more than 1,500 works (now mostly lost), by more than 700 writers. His book is thrown into the form of a conversation held in the year 228 a.d. at a dinner given by Larensius, a rich and accomplished Roman, and a descendant of the great antiquarian Varro. Among the guests are the most learned men of the time, including Galen the physician and TJlpian the jurist. The conversation ranges over numberless subjects connected with domestic and social life, manners and cus­toms, trade, art, and science. Among the most valuable things in the book are the numerous passages from prose-writers and poets, especially from the masters of the Middle Comedy.

Athenaeum. The name of the first public educational institution at Rome, built by i Hadrian about 135 a.d. The building was in the form of a theatre, and brilliantly fitted up. There rhetoricians and poets held their recitations, and salaried pro­fessors gave their lectures in the various branches of general liberal education, philo­sophy and rhetoric, as well as grammar and jurisprudence. This continued until late in the imperial age.

Athene or Pallas Athene. A Greek god­dess, identified with the Roman Minerva.

According to the story most generally cur­rent, she was the daughter of Zeus, who had swallowed his first wife Metis (" Coun­sel "), the daughter of Oceanus, in fear that she would bring forth a son stronger than himself. Hephaestus (or, according to an­other version, Prometheus) clave open the head of Zeus with an axe, on which Athene sprang forth in full armour, the goddess of eternal virginity. But her ancient epi­thet TrltOglneia ("born of Triton," or the roaring flood) points to water (that is, to Oceanus), as the source of her being. Oceanus was, according to Homer, the origin of all things and of all deities. The worship of Athene, and the story of her birth, were accordingly connected with many brooks and lakes in various regions, especially in Boeotia, Thessalia, and Libya, to which the name Triton was attached.

From the first, Athene takes a very pro­minent place in the Greek popular religion. The Homeric hymns represent her as the favourite of her father, who refuses her nothing. When solemn oaths were to be taken, they joined her name with those of Zeus and Apollo, in a way which shows that the three deities represent the em­bodiment of all divine authority, With the exception of the two gods just men­tioned, there is no other deity whose original character as a power of nature underwent so remarkable an ethical de­velopment. Both conceptions of Athene, the natural and the ethical, were intimately connected in the religion of Attica, whose capital, Athens, was named after Athene, and was the most important seat of her worship. Athene was originally the maiden daughter of the god of heaven ; the clear, transparent aether, whose purity is always breaking forth in unveiled brilliancy through the clouds that surround it. As a deity of the sky she, with Zeus, is the mistress of thunder and lightning. Like Zeus, she carries the aigis with the Gorgon's head, the symbol of the tempest and its terrors. In many statues, accordingly, she is repre­sented as hurling the thunder-bolt. But she also sends down, from sky to earth, light and warmth and fruitful dew, and with them prosperity to fields and plants. A whole series of fables and usages, belong­ing especially to the Athenian religion, represents her as the helper and protector of agriculture. The two deities Erech-theus and ErichthSnius, honoured in Attica as powers of the fruitful soil, are her foster-children. She was worshipped with

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