The Ancient Library

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On this page: Glycon – Gnomon – Gold and Ivory



According to common belief he visited all the coasts and islands of the Mediterranean every year, prophesying, and lamenting that he could not die. He, and the Nereides with him, were said to have uttered oracles in DelSs. The stories had much to tell of his loves, notably of those of Scylla and Circe. He was represented in works of art as an old man with a fish's tail, with sea-blue scales, long hair and beard, and breast covered with sea-weed and shells.

(2) Son of the Cretan Minos and Pasl-phae. When playing in his infancy he fell into a jar of honey, and was stifled. His father, after a vain search for him, was told by the Curetfis that only one person could find the child and bring him to life again. That was the man who should devise a suitable comparison for a cow in his herd, which became white, red, and black, alternately at intervals of four hours. The seers of the country being unable to solve the difficulty, Minos called in the seer P51yidus of Argos, the great-grandson of Melampus. He read the riddle by com­paring the cow to a blackberry or mulberry, which is white, red, and black at various stages of its growth. The corpse of the child he found by aid of the flight of a bird. Professing himself unable to revive the corpse, Minos, in anger, ordered him to be shut up with it in a vault. A snake crept up to the corpse, and Polyidus killed it: he then saw another snake revive its dead fellow by laying a herb upon it. With this herb he brought the dead child to life again. Finally Minos compelled him to teach the boy the art of prophecy. But on his return to Argos, Polyidus made the child spit into his mouth, which caused him to forget all that he had learned.

(3) King of Corinth, son of Sisyphus and father of BellerSphontes. At the funeral games of Pglias in lolcus, he was thrown and torn to pieces by his own horses, which AphrSdite in her wrath had driven mad. His ghost was said to appear to the horses racing at the Isthmian games and terrify them. He was accordingly worshipped on the Isthmus, under the name of Taraxippfis, or Terrifier of Horses.

(4) Great-grandson of (3): grandson of Bellerophontes, and son of Hipp616chus, prince of the Lycians. With his kinsman Sarpedon, he was leader of the Lycian auxiliaries of Priam, and met DlCmedes in the melte. The two chieftains recognised each other as friends and guests of their grandfather Bellerophontes, and (Eneus,

and exchanged armour, Glaucus parting with his golden suit for the brazen arms of Diomedes. When the Greek entrench­ments were stormed, Glaucus had reached the top of the wall when he was put to flight . by an arrow shot by Teucer. He protected Hector when wounded by Achilles; with Apollo's aid he avenged Sarpedon, and took a prominent part in the struggle for the body of Patroclus. He finally met his death at the hand of Ajax.

Glycon. An Athenian artist, who pro­bably flourished in the 1st century B.C. He executed the famous colossal statue of the Farnese Hercules, now at Naples (sec heracles).

Gnomon. The Greek term for the sun­dial, the use of which in Greece is said to date from Anaximenes or Anaximander (500 b.c.) The first sundial used in Borne (solarium) was brought there in 263 b.c. from Catana in Sicily, and set up in public. It was not, however, till 164 b.c. that one adapted to the latitude of Rome was con­structed. From that time the use of sun­dials became so common throughout the empire, that it was assumed in legislation during the imperial period, and all private business was regulated by the hours marked on the dial.

Sold and Ivory, Art of Working in. The Greeks had a peculiar process of making statues of their gods, in which the unclothed parts were of ivory, the hair and raiment of gold. It was applied exclusively to colossal statues, and was in special vogue in the 5th century b.c., when Phidias showed himself an unrivalled master in the art. A clay model was sawn into pieces, in correspondence with which the parts of the statue were composed of ivory plates, made by a process (now lost) of softening and extending the material. This was done by sawing, scraping, and filing. The separate pieces were then fastened with isinglass on a solid nucleus of clay, gypsum, or dried up wood. The next step was to work over the surface of the ivory plates, to smooth over inequalities, and so on. Finally the gold portions, which had been finished separately, were laid on. Special care was required to keep the pieces of ivory together. Oil was much used to keep them in a state of preservation. The statue of Zeus by Phidias at Olympla was found, fifty or sixty years after it was finished, to be in so dislocated a state that a com­plete restoration was necessary [Pausanias vll§10; iv31§6].

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