The Ancient Library

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On this page: Cetra – Ceyx – Chalcus – Chalaei – Chaos – Chaeremon – Chairs and Seats



and took their meals at the public expense, with the officials to whom they were at­tached. On the herald's staff (Gr. kery-keion, Lat. cdducSus), see hermes.

(2) In Greek mythology, the son of Hermes, the herald of the gods, by Agraulos the daughter of Cecrops, or (according to another story) of Eumolpus, and ancestor of the Eleusinian family of the Kerykes, one of whose members always performed the functions of a herald at the Eleusinian mysteries.

Cetra. The light shield of the Roman auxiliaries. (See shield.)

Ceyx (Gr. Keyx). In Greek mythology, (1) A king of Trachis, the friend and nephew of Heracles. (See heracles.)

(2) The son of Heosphoros or the Morn­ing-Star, and the nymph Phllonis ; the husband of Alkyone or Halkyfine, daughter of the Thessalian jESlus. The pair were arrogant enough to style themselves Zeus and Hera, and were accordingly changed respectively by Zeus into the birds of the same name, a diver and a kingfisher. Another story confused Ceyx with the king of Trachis, and dwelt on the tender love of the pair for each other. Ceyx is drowned at sea, and Alcyone finds his body cast up upon his native shore. The gods take pity on her grief, and change the husband and wife into kingfishers (alcySnSs), whose affec­tion for each other in the pairing season was proverbial. Zeus, or, according to another story, the wind-god jESlus (sometimes repre­sented as the father of Alcyone), bids the winds rest for seven days before and after the shortest day, to allow the kingfishers to sit on their eggs by the sea. Hence the expression "halcyon days," applied to this season. Dsdalion, the brother of Ceyx, was turned into a hawk, when he threw himself from a rock on Parnassus in grief at the death of his daughter Chlone.

Chalcus (Gr. Chalkous). See coinage

Chaldsei. See astrology.

Chads. According to Hesiod, the yawn­ing, unfathomable abyss which was the first of all existing things. From Chaos arose Gaia (Earth), Tartarus (Hell), and Eros (Love). Chaos bore Erebus and Night; from their union sprang jEiher and Hemera (Sky and Day). The conception of Chaos as the confused mass out of which, in the beginning, the separate forms of things arose, is erroneous, and belongs to a later period.

Chaeremon. A Greek tragedian, who flourished at Athens about 380 b.c. His

style was smooth and picturesque, but his plays were artificial, and better adapted for reading than for performance. A few frag­ments of them remain, which show some imaginative power.

Chairs and Seats. Of these there was a great variety in the ancient world, some with, and some without, supports for the head and back. The latter sort (Gr. diphros, Lat. sella) were mostly low, and


(From Greek Vaees.)


(Prom Greek Vases.)

THRONE. (Zeas. Coiu of Elis.)

were supported sometimes on four upright legs, sometimes on feet arranged and shaped like a sawing stool (see cuts). The seat being made of leather straps, the chair could, in the latter case, be folded up and carried by a servant. A chair of this kind, made of ivory, was one of the insignia of the curule magistrates at Rome (see sella curulis). The official chair of the Roman magis­trates was always without a back. Stools

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