The Ancient Library

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On this page: Brauronia – Briareus – Briseis – Britomartis – Brizo – Bromiusm – Brontes – Marchus Junius Brutus – Bua – Buagorbucina – Bucolic Poetry



in Greek, purporting to represent correspon­dence between Brutus and the Greek cities

bowmen were employed by the ancient Athenians (sec hippeis); but it was not until after the Punic wars that archers formed a regular part of the Roman army. They were then furnished by the allies, or raised by recruiting, and were mostly taken from Crete and the Balearic Islands.

Branronia. See artemis.

Brlareus. See hecatoncheiroi.

Briseis, The favourite slave of Achilles. Agamemnon took her from him, and thus kindled the wrath of the hero, to the ruin of the Greeks. (See trojan war.)

Britomartis ("sweet maid"). A Cretan goddess, supposed to dispense happiness, whose worship extended throughout the islands and along the coasts of the Mediter ranean. Like Artemis, with whom she was sometimes identified, she was the patroness of hunters, fishermen and sailors, and also a goddess of birth and of health. Her sphere was Nature, in its greatness and its freedom. As goddess of the sea she bore the name of Dictynna, the supposed deriva­tion of which from the Greek diktyOn (" a. net") was explained by the following legend. She was the daughter of a hun­tress, much beloved by Zeus and Artemis. Minos loved her, and followed her for nine months over valley and mountain, through forest and swamp, till he nearly overtook her, when she leaped from a high rock into the sea. She was saved by falling into some nets, and Artemis made her a goddess. She would seem originally to have been a goddess of the moon, her flight symbolizing the revolution of the moon round the earth, and her leap into the sea its disappearance.

Brizo. A goddess localized in Delos, to whom women, in particular, paid worship as protectress of mariners. They set before her eatables of various kinds (fish being excluded) in little boats. She also presided j over an oracle, the answers of which were given in dreams to people who consulted it on matters relating to fishery and naviga­tion.

Bromlus. See dionysus.

Brontes. See cyclopes.

Brutus (Marcus Junius). The well-known friend of Cicero, and murderer of Csesar. He was born in 85 B.C., and died by his own hand after the battle of Philippi, b.c. 42.

As an orator and a writer on philosophy he held a prominent position among his con­temporaries. Two books of correspondence between Brutus and Cicero have come down to us, the authenticity of which is disputed. There is also a collection of seventy letters

*COIN OF BRUTUS, ISSUED IN ASIA MINOR, B.C. 44-42. (Cohen, tdid. Cons., pi. zxiv. Jania Ifi.)

of Asia Minor ; but this is no more than the patchwork of a rhetorician.

Bua, Buagor. See edu­cation.


From a mnral painting of gladia­tors (Cell and Gandy, Pompeiana, pi. 75).

Buclna (properly " a cow-horn'') was the name of a tin trumpet, shaped like a serpent, and blown by a trumpeter called bucindtor. The bucina gave the signal called classlcum, and also the call for relieving guard at night.

Bucolic (or pastoral) Poetry. From very an­cient times it was the habit of the Dorian shep­herds in Sicily to practise a national style of song, the inventor of which was supposed to be Daphnis, the hero of shepherds (see daphnis). The subject of their song was partly the fate of this hero, partly the simple experiences of shepherds' life, especially their loves. There was a good deal of the mimic element in these poems, the shepherds contending with each other in alternate verses, particularly at the town and country festivals held in honour of Artemis. Pastoral poems, relating the story of Daphnis' love and of his tragic end, had been written by the Sicilian poet Stesichorus (about 600 b.c.). But it waa Theocritus of Syracuse (about 270 b.c.) who developed pastoral poetry into something like an epic style, often with a strong dramatic tinge. This was in the Alex­andrian period, when, as in all over-civilized ages, men found pleasure and relief in the contrasts afforded by the simple ways of country life. Theocritus' sketches of rural life, and indeed of the ways of the lower orders in general, are true to nature and ex­quisitely finished. He called them eidyllia or little pictures. Theocritus was unsur-

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