The Ancient Library

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On this page: Dardanus – Daricus – Dares of Phrygia – Dea Dia – Decemviri – Decemviri – Decuma



the shepherd's flute. He had plighted his troth to a nymph, but breaking his word, he was punished by her with blindness, or (according to another story) turned into a stone. According to another fable, AphrS-dite inflicted upon him a hopeless and fatal passion for a woman, because he had des­pised the love of a girl whom she had wished him to wed. Hermes took him up to heaven and created a fountain at the spot where he was taken. At this fountain the Sicilians offered yearly sacrifices. Daphnis was re­garded as the inventor of bucolic poetry, and his fate was a favourite subject with bucolic poets. [See Theocritus, Idyll i.]

Dardanus. Son of Zeus and the Pleiad Electra, the father of the regal house of Troy. He left Arcadia, his mother's home, and went to the island of Samothrace. Here he set up the worship of the great gods, whose shrines, with the Palladium, his first wife Chryse had received as a gift from Athene at her marriage. Samothrace having been visited by a great flood, Dar­danus sailed away with his shrines to Phrygia, where King Teucer gave him his daughter Bateia to wife, and land enough on Mount Ida to found the town of Dardania. His son by Bateia was Erichthfinius, whom Homer describes as the wealthiest of mor­tals, and the possessor of horses of the noblest breed and most splendid training. The son of Erichthonius was Tros, father of Ilos, Assaracus and Ganymedes. From Ilos, the founder of I116n or Troy, was des­cended Laomedon, father of Priam. From Assaracus sprang Capys, father of Anchises, and grandfather of jEneas. Another story made Dardanus the native prince who wel­comed Teucer on his arrival from Crete (see teucer).

Daricns (Gr. DareikOs). A gold Persian coin, bearing the stamp of a crowned archer, current in Greece down to the Macedonian period. It was equal in value to the Attic gold stater, i.e. according to the present value of gold, 24 shillings. [See coinage, fig. 3.]

Dares of Phrygia. In Homer the priest of Hephaestus in Troy, supposed to have been the author of a pre-Homeric Iliad. It is doubtful whether there ever was any Greek work bearing this title, but a Latin piece of the 5th century a.d. (Daretis Phrygll De ExcldlO Troim HistOrfa), bearing a supposed dedication by Cornelius Nepos to Sallust, professes to be a transla­tion of one. This absurd production, and the work of Dictys, was the chief source

followed by the mediaeval poets in their stories of the Trojan war (see dictys).

DSa Dia. A Roman goddess, probably identical with Acc.a Larentla, the ancient Roman goddess of the country. Her wor­ship was provided for by the priestly colle­gium of the Fratres Arvales.

Death (Gr. ThunatOs). In the Homeric poems Death is called the twin brother of Sleep. In Hesiod he is born of Night with­out a father, with KCr (the goddess of mortal destiny), MfirOs (the fatal stroke of death), Hyjmds, (sleep) and the Dreams. Hesiod represents Death, the hard-hearted one, hated by the immortal gods, as dwell­ing with his brother Sleep in the darkness of the West, whither the sun never pene­trates either at his rising or his setting. On the chest of Cypselus at Olympla is a representation of Night, holding in each hand a sleeping boy; the one in the right hand being white, and symbolizing Sleep; the other in the left hand, black, and symbolizing Death. Euripides introduces Death on the stage in his Alcestis. He has a black garment and black wings, and a knife to cut off a lock of hair as an offer­ing to the gods below. In works of art he appears as a beautiful boy or youth, some­times with, sometimes without, wings, and often with his brother Sleep. He is usually in slumber, and holds a torch, either lowered, or reversed and extinguished.

Decemviri (Latin). A collegium of ten officers or commissioners. Such were the commissioners named for making a com­prehensive code of laws in 451 B.C., Decem­viri Leylbus Scrlbundls. The Decemviri Sacrls Fdclundls were a standing colle­gium of priests appointed to read and expound the Sibylline books. The De­cemviri Lltlbus ludlcandls were also a standing collegium of indices appointed for certain trials. Commissions of ten (decemviri agrls dlvldtmdls and cdlimlls deducendla) were frequently, though not always, appointed for assignations of public land and the foundation of colonies.

Decuma. A tithe. This name was ap­plied by the Romans to the tribute in kind, which Sicily, and at one time Asia Minor had to pay out of the yearly produce of wheat, wine, oil and legumes, instead of the stlpendlum usual in other provinces. It was a burden on the land, called after it tiger decumdnus, and was exacted from the persons occupying at 'the time. Every year the number of cultivators, of acres under cultivation, and the produce of the

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