The Ancient Library

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On this page: Belus – Bendis – Berosus – Bestiarii – Bias – Bibliopola – Bidental – Bidyae – Bigae – Bikos – Bion – Boedromia – Boeotarchi – Boethius



that under such circumstances a general might not enter the city. The pillar of war (Columna BelHca) stood hard by. It was from thia, as representing the boundary of the enemy's territory, that the Fetialis threw his lance on declaring war.


From a Roman sepulchral

relief (Guigniant, Now. Gall.

Myth., p. 120, 368 b.)

(2) Quite a different goddess is the Bellona whom the Eoman government brought from Comana in Cappadocia towards the begin­ning of the 1st century b.c., dur­ing the Mithridatic war. This Bellona was worshipped in a different locality, and with a service conducted by Cap-padocian prie sts and priestesses. These Bellonarii (such was their name) moved through the city in procession at the festivals of the goddess in black raiment, and shed their blood at the sacrifice, wounding themselves for the purpose in the arms and loins with a two-edged axe, and prophesying amid a wild noise of drums and trumpets.

Belus. Son of Libya, granddaughter of lo and Poseidon. Father of JEgyptus, Danaiis, Cepheus, and Phineus.

Bendis. A goddess of the moon among the Thracians. She was invested with power over heaven and earth, and identified t>y the Greeks with Artemis, Hecate, and Persephone. The worship of this goddess was introduced into Attica by Thracian aliens; and was so popular that in Plato's time it became a state ceremonial at Athens. A public festival was instituted called the Bendideia, at which there were torch-races and a solemn procession of Athenians and Thracians at the Piraeus.

Berosus. A Greek writer, born in Bithynia, and a priest of Belus. He lived as early as the time of Alexander the Great?, and about B.C. 280 wrote a work, dedi­cated to king Antiochus Soter, on Babylo­nian history, in three books (Babylonia or Chaldaica). The work must have been of great value, as it was founded on ancient priestly chronicles preserved in the temple of Belus at Babylon. Its importance as an authority for the ancient history of Asia

is fully attested by the fragments that remain, in spite of their scanty number I and disordered arrangement.

Bestiarii. See circus.

Bias. See adrastus and melampus.

Bibliopola. See book-trade.

Bidental (Roman). A consecrated spol where lightning had passed into the ground. (See puteal.)

Bidyse (Spartan). See education.

Bigse. See circus, Games of.

Bikfis (Greek.) See vessels.

Bioii. A Greek bucolic poet, who flour­ished in the second half of the 2nd cen­tury b.c. He lived mostly in Sicily, where he is said to have died by poison. Besides a number of minor poems from his hand, we have a long descriptive epic called The Dirge of Adonis. His style is more remark­able for grace than for power or simplicity.

Boedrdmia. A festival held at Athens in honour of Apollo Boedromios, the god who gave aid in battle. It was celebrated on the 6th day of the month BoedrSmlon, so named after the god (September-Octo­ber). The origin of the festival was traced back in antiquity to the victory of Ion over Eumolpus, or to that of Theseus over the Amazons. After 490 b.c. it was converted into a commemoration of the battle of Marathon.

Bceotarchi. The highest officials of the Breotian confederacy, two of whom were always chosen by Thebes, as the chief town in it, and one by each of the other towns. They held the post only for a year, but were capable of re-election in successive years. Their chief duties were to command the ti oops of the confederacy in time of war, and execute the decrees of its council.

Bdethlus (Anicius Manlius Torquatus Severlmis). Boethius was born in Rome, about 475 a.d., and belonged to the dis­tinguished family of the Anicii, who had for some time been Christians. Having been Jeft an orphan in his childhood, he was taken in his tenth year to Athens, where he remained eighteen years and ac­quired a stock of knowledge far beyond the average. After his return to Rome, he was held in high esteem among his con­temporaries for his learning and eloquence. He attracted the attention of TheodSric, who in 510 a.d. made him consul, and, in spite of his patriotic and independent atti­tude, gave him a prominent share in the government. The trial of the consul Al-binus, however, brought with it the ruin of Boethius. Albinus was accused of main-

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All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.