The Ancient Library

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On this page: Bellerophon or Bellerophontes – Bellona



term, bat to any kind of couch, as, for in­stance, to the sofas used at meals (see triclinium) or for reading and writing. The frame rested on four feet, and some­times had no support at all, sometimes one for the head, sometimes one at each end for head and feet, sometimes one at the side. It was made of wood or bronze, and was usually richly adorned on the parts exposed to view. If of wood, these ornaments would consist of inlaid work of fine metal, ivory, tortoiseshell, amber, and rare coloured woods ; if of bronze, they would be sculptures in relief. The mattress (Gk.kne'pIiall6n,tyki8n,'La,t. tSrus, culcito.) was supported on girths stretched across the frame, and was stuffed with vegetable fibre, woollen flock, or feathers, and covered with linen, wool, or leather. Cushions were added to support the head or elbow (Gk. proskSphdlaiSn, Lat. pulvlnus or cervical). Coverings for the sleeper were spread over the mattrass. which in wealthy houses would be dyed purple, or adorned with patterns and embroidery. If the bed was high, it would have a foot­stool attached. At Pompeii couches have often been found built up in the niches of the sleeping apartments. (For various forms of Greek bedsteads, see the engrav­ings.) Cp. fulcra.

Bell8r5ph6n or Bellfirdphontes. Son of Slaucus of Corinth (or according to another account, of Poseidon), and grandson of Sisyphus. His proper name is said to have been HippSnOes; the name Bellerophontes implies that he was the slayer of some now unknown monster. In later times his name was wrongly explained as the slayer of a certain Corinthian, BellerSs, on account of which he was supposed to have fled to Prcetus at Tlryns, or (as Homer has it) at Corinth. The wife of Proetus, Anteia (or Sthenebcea), falls in love with the beautiful youth: he is deaf to her entreaties: she slanders him to her husband, who resolves on his destruction. He sends Bellerophon to Lycia, to his father-in-law lobates, with a tablet in cypher, begging him to put the bearer to death. lobates first commissions Bellerophon to destroy the fire-breathing monster Chimsera, a task which he executes with the help of his winged horse Pegasus (see pegasus). Thereupon, after a fierce battle, he conquers the SSlymi and the Ama­zons, on his return slays an ambush of the boldest among the Lycians, and lobates now recognises his divine origin, keeps him with him, and gives him the half of his kingdom,

and his daughter to wife. The children of this marriage are Isander, Hippolochus, the father of Glaucus and Laodamla, and the mother of Sarpedou by Zeus. Afterwards Bellerophon was hated by all the gods, and wandered about alone, devouring his heart in sorrow. His son Isander was killed by Ares in battle against the Solymi, while Laodamia was sacrificed to the wrath of ArtSmis. This is the Homeric version ; but,, according to Pindar, Bellerophon's high for-

* THE DEPARTURE OF BELLEROPHON. (From a mnral painting, Pompeii.)

tune made him so overweening that he wished to mount to heaven on Pegasus; but Zeus drove the horse wild with a gadfly, and Bellerophon fell and came to a miser­able end. He was honoured as a hero in Corinth, an enclosure being consecrated to him in the cypress grove of Craueion.

Bellona. (1) The Roman goddess of war. An old Italian divinity, probably of Sabine origin. She was supposed to be wife or sister of Mars, and was identified with the Greek Enyo. Her temple, which was situated in the Campus Martins, outside the old pOmerfum, was used for meetings of the senate when it was dealing with the ambassadors of foreign nations, or Roman generals who claimed a triumph on their return from war. It must be remembered

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