The Ancient Library

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On this page: Ganymeda – Ganymedes – Gargilius – Gelanor – Gellius – Gems



several games of the sort, among which the ludus IMrunculOrum, or game at soldiers, is to a certain extent known. This was a game of siege. The men (calculi) were divided into privates (mandrie) and officers (latrones), and the object was to take or to get your adversary's stones in check. In the ludus duOdgcim scriptorum, or game of 12 lines, dice were used. The dice-board was divided into 24 spaces by 12 parallel lines intersected by a line at right angles. Each side had 15 men, one set being black and the other white. Before each move the dice were thrown, and the move deter­mined by the number which turned up. A very favourite game was Odd and Even (Gk. artiasmOs, Lat. ludSrl pflr irnpdr). You held out so many fingers, and put so many coins, pebbles, or nuts in your hand, and made your adversary guess whether the number was odd or even. The Roman children, and indeed their elders, were very fond of various games with nuts.

Ganymeda. Sec hebe.

Ganymedes. The son of Tros, king of Dardanla, brother of Ilus and Assar-icus. According to Homer he was carried away by the gods for his beauty, to be the cup-bearer of Zeus, and one of the immor­tals. In the later legend he is carried away by Zeus himself in the shape of an eagle, or by the eagle of Zeus. To make amends to his father, Zeus presented him with four immortal horses for his chariot. Ganymedes was afterwards regarded as the genius of the sources of the Nile, and the astronomers made him into the constellation AquQrlus. The rape of Ganymede was represented in a group by the sculptor LSochares (see leochabes).

Garglllus Martlalls flourished in the 3rd century A.D. and was the author of a great work, based upon Greek and Latin sources, on agriculture and veterinary science. Considerable fragments remain, dealing with the treatment of cattle (De Curd BSum) and the medical uses of herbs and fruit (Medlclna ex HOlSi-ibus et POmls).

Gelanor. A descendant of Inachus king of Argos. When Danaus, likewise a de­scendant of Inachus, came to Argos, and laid claim to the sovereign power, the citizens were doubtful in whose favour they should decide. While they were hesitating, a wolf fell upon the cattle which were feeding before the city, and killed the bull who was defending them. The citizens regarded this as a sign from heaven,

and, interpreting the wolf as meaning Danaus, they compelled Gelanor to retire in his favour. (See danaus.) In the Suppliers of jEschylus, Pfilnsgus is king of Argos. He gives Danaus a friendly welcome, and defends him against the sons of jEgyptus. But he is vanquished by them, retires from the sovereignty spontaneously in favour of the stranger, and leaves the country.

Gelllus. (1) Onceus. See annalists.

(2) Aulus. A Roman writer of the age of the Antonines, about 130-170 a.d. After receiving his education in rhetoric at Borne, he went to Athens, in his thirtieth year or thereabouts, to study philosophy. Here he saw much of Herodes Attlcus. Besides studying philosophy, he spent the long winter nights in wide and various reading, which he took up again with ardour after his return to Italy. From the material thus collected he composed the twenty books of his Noctf.s Attlcce, written in remem­brance of his days at Athens. One book, the eighth, is lost, and only the headings of the chapters remain. The remaining nineteen are a series of excerpts, loosely strung together, from all kinds of Greek and Latin authors, especially the ante-classical writers. They also contain a mass of information, and a number of opinions orally delivered by contemporary scholars. The whole forms a valuable storehouse of notes on questions of historical, antiquarian, and literary interest. Gellius' style is sober, and, like that of an admirer of Fronto (see fronto), full of archaic expressions.

Gems (Gemmce). The art of cutting precious stones was early learned by the


(Red jasper, in Vienna Cabinet.)

(Chalcedony, in British Museum Cabinet, no. 1256.)

Greeks from the Egyptians and Orientals, who had practised it from remote antiquity. The cuttings were originally only concave, and the gems set in rings and used as seals. Cameos, or stones carved in relief, first came

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