The Ancient Library

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On this page: Icarus – Icelus – Ichthyocentaurs – Ictinus – Idaean Dactyli – Idas and Lynceus – Idmon – Idomenus



Nymph Perlbcea he was the father of PenSlflpe, wife of Odysseus.

Icarus. Son of Djedalus. While he and his father were flying away from Crete by means of waxen wings, in spite of his father's warnings, he flew too near the sun, so that the wax melted and he sank into the sea and was drowned. After him the island where his body was washed ashore and buried by Heracles was called Icaria, and the surrounding sea, the " Icarian Sea."

icelus. A dream-god. (See dreams.) Ichthyocentanrs. See triton. Ictinus. One of the most famous archi­tects of Greece; he flourished in the second half of the 5th century B.C. and was a con­temporary of Pericles and Phidias. His most famous works were the ParthenSn on the Acropolis at Athens, and the temple of Apollo at Bassse, near Phigalla in Arcadia. Of both these edifices important remains are in existence. Most of the columns of the temple at Bassse are still standing. In the judgment of the ancients, it was the most beautiful temple in the Peloponnesus, after the temple of Athene at Tggea, which was the work of Scopas. [Pausanias, viii 41 § 8.]

Idaan Dactyl! (Gr. Daktuloi). Fabulous beings in Greek mythology who had their ori­ginal home in Phrygian Ida, but were after­wards transferred by legend to the moun­tain of the same name in Crete, and were confounded with similar beings called the Telf-hlnls, Curette, Cablri, and CSrybantls, who were all fabulous beings in the service of Rhea Cybele (the " Idaean Mother"). They were accredited with having disco­vered, and having been the first to work, iron and copper ; with having introduced music and rhythm into Greece ; and with being possessed of magic power. Three of the Phrygian Dactyli had names: Celmis (the smelter), Damnamtneus (the hammer), and Acmon (the anvil). Among the Cretan Dactyli, who were five, ten, and even more in number, was the " Idaaan Heracles," a personification of the procreative powers of nature, who also afforded magical pro­tection against perils.

Idas and Lynceus. Sons of Aphareus of Messenia and of Arene ; a pair of brothers as heroic and as inseparable as their cousins Castor and Pollux (Polydeuces). The Nymph Marpessa, daughter of the Acarnanian river-god Euenus, was wooed by Apollo, when Idas carried her off in a winged chariot given him by Poseidon.

I When Apollo overtook the fugitives in j Messenia, Idas, who was then " ths strongest of living men" [Homer, II. ix 556], stretched his bow against Apollo. Zeus interposed and gave the damsel her choice of suitors; she decided in favour of the mortal, as she feared Apollo would desert her. After that the god hated her; she herself and her beautiful daughter Cleopatra or Alcydne, wife of Melfiager, and their daughter, all died young, and brought misfortune on those that loved them. Idas and the keen-sighted Lynceus, who could even see into the heart of the earth, joined in the Calydonian Hunt and the Argonautic expedition. They met their end fighting Castor and Pollux, with whom they had been brought up. As they were all returning from a raid into Arcadia, Idas was appointed to divide the cattle they had captured; he divided an ox into four portions and decided that whosoever devoured his portion first was to have the first half of the spoil, and he who finished his next, the second half. He finished his own and his brother's share first, and drove the cattle away. The Dioscuri were enraged and hid themselves from the brothers in a hollow oak-tree; but the keen sight of Lynceus detected their lurking-place and Idas stabbed Castor in the tree Thereupon Pollux pierced Lynceus through, while Idas was slain by the lightning of Zeus. For another account of the origin of the quarrel, see dioscuri.

Idmon. Son of Apollo and of AstSrie, daughter of C6ronus; a seer who took part in the Argonautic expedition, although he foresaw that it would lead to his own death. He was killed by a wild boar in the land of the Marlandyni, in Bithynia. He was worshipped as a hero by the in­habitants of the town of Heracleia in Pontus, which was built around his grave by_command of Apollo.

IdfimeneTls. The son of Deucalion of Crete, and grandson of Minos. Being one of Helen's suitors, he and Meriones, the son of his half brother, went with eighty ships to Troy, where he appears in Homer as among the bravest of heroes. He is de­scribed [in Od. iii 191] as one of those who safely returned to his native land. Accord­ing to a later story, he was caught in a storm on his way home, and vowed to PSseidon that, if he returned in safety, he would sacrifice to the god whatever he should first meet on his landing. His son came out to meet him, and was accordingly

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