The Ancient Library

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On this page: Moeris – Molionidae – Momus – Moneta – Money-Changers – Monopteros – Months – Moon, Goddess of – Mopsus – Mora – Morpheus – Morsimus – Mosaics



Themis and sisters of the Horse, who give good and bad fortunes to mortals at their birth; their names are Clotho (the Spinner), who spins the thread of life, Ldchesls (Disposer of Lots), who determines its length, and Atropos (Inevitable), who cuts it off. As exerting power at the time of birth they are connected with Ihthyia, the goddess of birth, who was supposed to stand beside them, and was invoked to­gether with them, these and the Keres being the powers that decided when life should end. As at birth they determine men's destinies in life, they are also able to predict them. While on the one hand they are regarded as the impartial representa­tives of the government of the world, they are on the other hand sometimes conceived as cruel and jealous, because they remorse­lessly thwart the plans and desires of men. In art they appear as maidens of grave aspect. Clotho is usually represented with a spindle; Lacliesis with a scroll, or a globe ; and Atropos with a pair of scales or shears, or else drawing a lot (as in the cut). The Romans identified the Moirai with their native goddesses of fate, theParcce. These were also called Fata, and were invoked, at the end of the first week of an infant's life, as Fata Scribunda, the goddesses that wrote down men's destiny in life.

Mceris (JZlius). Known as the Atticist. A Greek grammarian of the 2nd century after Christ. He was the author of an Attic Lexicon, a list, in alphabetical order, of a number of expressions and forms used by Attic writers, with the parallel expressions used in his own time.

M&lionldffi. Eurytus and Cteatus, the sons of Actor (whence they were also called ActQndai) or else of Poseidon and Molione. [Homer, II. xi 750, calls them by the dual and double name Actorlone Mullone.] As boys they fought against Nestor and the men of Pj'lus. When they j had grown up, they beat the army of I Heracles that threatened their uncle j Augeas, but were killed by the former near Cleonse in Argolis. In Homer their sons Thalpius and Antimachus are the chieftains of the Epeians before Troy. A later legend describes them as having only one body [Athenseus, ii p. 58].

Momns. In Greek mythology the evil spirit of blame and mockery, according to Hesiod [Theog. 214] the son of Night. [Ac­cording to Lucian, Hermotimue 20, he found i'ault with the man formed by Hephaestus for not having little doors in his breast, so

as to allow of his secret thoughts being seen. In Philostratus (Ep. 21 = 37) the only faults he finds in Aphrodite are that she is too talkative and that her sandal makes too much noise.]

Mdneta. See juno (end of article). I Money-changers. See banks and bank­ing.

Monopteros. An epithet descriptive of a round temple with its columns arranged in a circle and supporting a cupola. See temple (end of article). Months. See calendar. Moon, Goddess of. Among the Greeks, see selene ; among the Romans, see luna. Mopstis. The name of two Greek seers. (1) One of the Lapithse of (Echalia in Thes-saly, son of Ampyx and the Nymph Chloris. He took part in the Calydonian Hunt and in the fight of the Lapithae and the Centaurs (see pirithous), and afterwards accom­panied the Argonauts as seer, and died of the bite of a snake in Libya, where he was worshipped as a hero, and had an oracle.

(2) Son of the Cretan seer Rhacius and of Manto (q.v.), and founder, with Amphilochus, son of Amphiaraus, of the celebrated oracle (q.v.) at Mallus in Cilicia. Mopsus and Amphilochus killed each other in a combat for the possession of the sanctuary.

M6ra. One of the six principal divisions of the army at Sparta, which included all Spartans and Periceci that were obliged to serve. It was under the command of a polemarch, and consisted of four Kchi, eight pentecostyfs, and sixteen enOmoti(K, which were under as many lochagi, pentecostere'sr and SnomStarchi. These divisions were never sent on .a campaign in their full strength, but only the men of particular years, specified in each case. The pole-march always took the command of the first levy.

Morpheus. The Greek god of dreams. (See dreams.)

Morslmus. A tragic poet (see philocles).

[Mosaics. The term -mosaic is usually derived from a post-classical word muslvum (Gr. mouseiBn *), occurring in Spartianus, Life of Pescenninus 6, pictum de musivo, and Augustine, De Civitate Dei xvi 8, hominum genera musivo picta. It is the art of arranging small cubes or tessera; of marble, coloured stone, terra cotta, glass, or some other artificial substance, so as to pro­duce an ornamental pattern or picture, and to provide a durable form of decoration for walls and pavements. The only mosaic hitherto found in Greece Proper is that dis-

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