The Ancient Library

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On this page: Luxorius – Lyaeus – Lycaea – Lycaon – Lycius – Lycomedes – Lycophron – Lycurgus



taunlfa, a pig, ram, and bull, was carried three times round the whole army, and there­upon sacrificed to Mars, accompanied by a prayer of the censor in which he besought that the power of the Roman people might be increased and magnified, or as it ran later, might be maintained entirely undi-minished. The censor then led the army under his banner to the city gate, where he dismissed them, while he himself, as a token of the completed lustrum, drove a nail into the wall of a temple and deposited the new roll of citizens in the JEranum (or Treasury) of the people.

Luxorius. A Roman epigrammatic poet, who lived in Africa about the beginning of the 6th century a.d.. during the Vandal domination. He sought to imitate Martial. We still possess eighty-eight of his epi­grams, which are often coarse and always dull.

LyffiUB (" Care-dispeller "). A name of Dionysus.

Lycaea (Gr. Lukaia). A festival cele­brated in honour of Zeus on the Lycsean Mount (Gr. LukaiOri) in Arcadia. iq the sacred inclosure on its highest peak, where, according to popular belief, no object cast a shadow, there was an altar of heaped up earth, and before it two columns with gilt eagles on top of them, looking to the east. At the festivals, probably cele­brated every ninth year, the priests, who alone were allowed to enter the precincts, offered mysterious sacrifices to the god, including a human sacrifice. These were said to have been instituted by Lycaon (q.v.), and were kept up till the 2nd century a.d. The man who had Been chosen by lot to perform the sacrifice was afterwards compelled to flee, and wandered about for nine years; like Lycaon, in the shape of a wolf, so the people believed. In the tenth he was allowed to return and regained his human form, i.e. the taint was removed. Besides the festival there were also athletic contests.

Lycaon. Mythical king of Arcadia, son of Pelasgus and Mellbcea (daughter of Oceanus) or Cyllene, and father of Callisto. He is said to have founded on Mount Lycaeum the town LycSsura, the oldest that Hello's looked upon, and to have sacrificed a child to Zeus on the altar he had raised on the highest peak of the mountain, on account of which he was changed into a wolf (see lyc.^a). Another legend relates ihat he had fifty impious sons. When Zeus came to them in the guise of a beggar

in order to put their contempt of the gods to the test, they followed the advice of Msenalus, the eldest, and set before him the entrails of a boy which had been mixed with the sacrifice. The god however threw the table over and killed Lycaon and his sons with lightning, with the ex­ception of Nyctlmus, the youngest, whom Gsea saved by firmly holding the right hand of Zeus. During the reign of Nycti-inus the deluge connected with the name of Deucalton covered the land as a punish­ment for the impiety of Lycaon and his sons. Lyclus. Epithet of Apollo (q.v.). Lycomedes. King of Scyros, the murderer of Theseus (q.v.). Achilles grew up among his daughters; the son of Achilles and of one of these, DeidSmeia, was Neoptolemus. LycSphron. A Greek grammarian and poet, a native of Chalcis in Eubcea, who lived in the first half of the 3rd century b.c. at Alexandria, where Ptolemy Phlladelphus entrusted him with arranging for the library the works of the Greek comic poets. As a result of this occupation, he produced a voluminous and learned work on Greek Comedy. He himself wrote tragedies, and was counted one of the Pleiad, the seven Alexandrine tragedians. Of his works there remains a poem in 1,474 iambic verses, entitled Alexandra or Cas­sandra, which is rendered almost unread­able by the obscurity of its language and by its pedantic display of learning. It consists of a long monologue, in which Cassandra prophesies the fall of Troy and the fates of the heroes of the Trojan War, with allu­sions to the universal empire of Alexander the Great.

Lycurgus. (1) Son of Dryas, king of the Thracian Edoni, threatened Dionysus with a scourge when he was wandering about on the Mount Nysa with his nurses, which made them let the holy implements fall to the ground, while the god sought shelter with Thetis in the sea. The gods punished him with blindness and an early death [II. vi 130-140]. According to an­other legend, he was made mad by Dionysus and cut off his son's limbs, imagining that he was pruning the shoots of a vine. In accordance with the god's prophecy that his death alone could deliver the land from its temporary barrenness, he was led by the Edoni to Mount Pangeeus, where Dionysus caused him to be torn to pieces by horses.

(2) One of the Ten Attic Orators, born about b.c. 390 at Athens, of a noble family, pupil of Plato and Socrates. With Demos-

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