The Ancient Library

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On this page: Curio – Curotrophos – Curtius Rufus – Cyathus – Cybebe or Cybele – Cyclic Poets – Cyclopes – Cynus



of the state (see further, comitia curiata). The term curia was also applied to certain houses intended for holding meetings, as, for instance, the official residence of the Salii on the Palatine, and especially the senate-house, Curia Ifostllla, built by king Hostilius on the comUmm, and burnt down 52 B.C. In its place Faustus Sulla, the son of the Dictator, erected the Curia Cornelia. Caesar interrupted the progress of this work to set up the Curia Inlla iu its place. Then the senate met in the Curia Pompel, in the entrance-hall of Pompey's theatre, where Caesar was murdered. The Curia lulia was not begun till 44 B.C., shortly before Caesar's death, and was consecrated in 29 by Augustus. (See plan of Roman Fora, under forum.)

Curio. Sec curia.

Curotrdphos (Gr. Kourotrophtis); "nurse of children." The title of several Greek goddesses, for instance Gsea, who were re­garded as protectresses of youth.

Curtiua Rufus (Quintus). A Roman historian, who probably lived and practised as a rhetorician about the middle of the 1st century a.d., and wrote a history of Alexander the Great, in ten books, in the reign of Claudius (a.d. 44-54). The first two books are lost, and the fifth muti­lated at the end, the sixth at the begin­ning. He seems to aim more at rhetorical effect than at historical accuracy. In the use of his authorities he is uncriti­cal, as he follows untrustworthy writers like Clitarchus, knowing them to be un­trustworthy. His work contains many errors in geography and chronology, and his accounts of the battles show that he had no military knowledge. But he understands the art of interesting his readers by a pleasant narrative and lifelike drawing, and there is a certain charm in the numerous speeches which he has inserted in his text, in spite of their strong rhetorical colour­ing. His language reminds us of Livy. • It is curious that he is never mentioned in antiquity.

Cyathus (Kydthos). See vessels. i

Cjrbebe, Cybele. See rhea.

Cyclic Poets. Sec epos.

Cyclopes (KyklOpes). In Greek my- j thology, the round-eyed ones. According to Hesiod the Cyclopes are the gigantic sons of Uranus and Gaea, named Argos, Sterfipes, and Brontes. For the rest, they resemble the gods, except that they have only a single eye in their forehead. Their father threw thejn into Tartarus, and they

assisted CrSnus to the sovereignty. Cronus, however, put them again in prison, where they remained until Zeus set them free. For this they gave him the thunder, and forged him the lightning. Apollo slew them when Zeus struck his son Asclepius by lightning.

In Homer the Cyclopes, like the giants : and the Phaeacians, are the kinsfolk of the gods; but in other respects they have no-: thing in common with -the Cyclopes of Hesiod but their gigantic size and strength. They live a pastoral life in the far West, ! without knowledge of agriculture, law, morals, or social order. Each dwells separately with his family in caverns at the mountain tops, without troubling him­self about the gods, to whom, indeed, the Cyclopes deem themselves easily superior in strength. The Phaeacians used to live in their neighbourhood, but were driven by their violent dealing to emigrate. The figure of PSlyphemus, well known from his encounter with Odysseus, gives a typical notion of their rudeness and savagery. (See also galatea). The Homeric Cyclo­pes were in a later age localized in Sicily, and came to be identified with the Cyclopes of Hesiod. They were imagined as assist­ants of Hephaestus, and as helping him to forge lightnings for Zeus and arms for heroes in the bowels of jEtna or on the Jiolian islands. A third variety of Cyclo-1 pes were the giants with arms to their belly as well as to their shoulders, whom Proetus was supposed to have brought : from Lycia to Argos. It was they who were supposed to have built the so-called Cyclopean walls at Mycenae and Tiryns (see architecture). In works of art the Cyclopes are represented as giants with one eye in their forehead, though there is generally an indication of a pair of eyes in the usual place.

Cycnus (KyknSs) or " Swan." (1) The son of Ares and PelOpIa, who threw him­self in the way of Heracles in Trachis, when the hero was on his way to Ceyx. According to another story Heracles was sent against Cycnus by Apollo, because he-lay in wait for the processions on their road to Delphi. In the contest between them, as described by Hesiod in his Shield of Heracles, Ares stood at the side of his son, while Heracles was supported by Athene and his faithful ISlaus. Heracles slew Cycnus, and even wounded Ares, when the-latter attempted to avenge the fall of his son. Cycnus was buried with all due

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