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One of the chief and oldest seats of his worship was Thesplse in Boeotla. Here was his most ancient image, a rough, unhewn stone. His festival, the Erotla or Erotldia, continued till the time of the Roman Empire to be celebrated every fifth year with much ceremony, accompanied by gymnastic and musical contests. Besides this he was paid special honour and worship in the gymnasia, where his statue generally stood near those of Hermes and Heracles. In the gymnasia Eros
(Rome, Capito'ine Mu-enm.)
was the personification of devoted friendship and love between youths and men ; the friendship which proved itself active and helpful in battle and bold adventure. This was the reason why the Spartans and Cretans sacrificed to Eros before a battle, and the sacred baud of youths at Thebes was dedicated to him; why a festival of freedom (Eleutheria) was held at Samos in his honour, as the god who bound men and youths together in the struggle for honour and freedom; and why at Athens he was worshipped as the liberator^ of the city, in memory of Harmfidfus and AristSgiton.
In works of art Eros was usually represented as a beautiful boy, close upon the age of youth. In later times he also appears as a child with the attributes of a bow and
arrows, or burning torches, and in a great variety of situations. The most celebrated statues of this god were by Lysippus, ScOpas, and Praxiteles, whose Eros at Thespiae was regarded as a master-piece, and unsurpassable. The famous torso in the Vatican, in which the god wears a dreamy, lovelorn air, is popularly, but probably erroneously, traced to an original by Praxiteles (fig. 1). The Eros trying his bow, in the Capitoline Museum at Rome, is supposed to be the copy of a work by Lysippus (fig. 2).
The Roman god Amor or Cupldo was a mere adaptation of the Greek Eros, and was never held in great honour. Erse or Herse. See cecrops. Erymanthian Boar. See heracles. Erysichthou. (1) Sou of the Athenian Cecrops.
(2) Son of Trlfipas in Thessaly. For desecrating the sacred enclosure of Demeter, and felling an oak consecrated to the goddess, he was punished with insatiable hunger. Having consumed all that he had, he was supported by his daughter Mestra, to whom her lover PSseidon had given the power of transferring herself into any shape that she liked. In various forms she continually got herself sold, and then returned to her father with the proceeds. At last Erysichthon was reduced to devouring his own limbs. Erytheia. One of the HesperJdSs. Eryx. Son of PSseidon (or, according to another account, of Butes) and Aphr5dite, who was worshipped on Eryx, a mountain in Sicily. He was king of the Elymi in the neighbourhood of the mountain. Eryx was a powerful boxer, but was slain in a fight with Heracles about a bull, which had run away from the latter, and which Eryx had appropriated.
EssSdarli. See gladiatores. EssSdum. See chariots. Et«6cles. Son of (Edlpus king of Thebes and Kcaste, brother of P8lynices and AntlgOne. He broke the agreement he had made with his brother to give him the kingdom of Thebes for one year. Polynices accordingly organized the campaign of the Seven Chiefs against Thebes, and fell in single combat with Eteocles. (See (edipus and seven against thebes.)