The Ancient Library

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On this page: Peiraeicus – Peirithous – Peisandros – Peitho – Peleiades – Peleus



of Eos or of the Muses. On the spot where he struck Helicon with his hoof, there gushed forth the inspiring fountain of the Muses known as HippOcrtnf (" the fountain of the steed "). The spring of Hippncrene near Trcezeu and that of Peirene on the AcrScSrinthus were said to have had a similar origin. On the coins of Corinth the most common type from the earliest times is the winged Pegasus. The current repre­sentation of Pegasus as the poets' steed is a modern invention.

Peirffilcus. See Previous.

Peirene (Greek). The spring struck out by the winged steed Pegasus on the citadel of Corinth. For another tradition of its origin, sec sisyphus.

PeirlthSus (Lat. PirUMus). Son of Dia by her husband Ixion, or (according to another account) by Zeus; prince of the Laplthae, and friend of Theseus. When he was celebrating, on Mount Pelion, his marriage with HippBdamia, daughter of Atrax, one of the Lapithae, there arose the celebrated battle between the Lapithae and the Centaurs, which ended in the de­feat of the latter. The Centaurs and the most distinguished Greek heroes had been invited to the wedding; but one of the former, Eurytlon, in drunken boldness, at­tempted to carry off the bride, and, follow­ing his example, the other Centaurs fell upon the women of the Lapithse. Since Theseus and one of the Lapithse, Caeneus (q.v.), rescued the bride, Peirithous assisted the former in the abduction of Helen. Ac­companied by Theseus, Peirithous descended into the world below, in order to carry off PersSphone, and was compelled to pine there in everlasting chains as a punish­ment, while Theseus (q.v.) was released by Heracles. Peirithous' son Polypoetes marched to Troy with Leonteus, the grand­son of Cseneus, and after the fall of Troy is said to have founded with him the city of Aspendus in Pamphylia.

Peisandr8s (Lat. Pisander). A Greek epic poet of Camirus, in Rhodes, about 640 b.c. He wrote a HeracUa in two books, which is numbered among the better class of epic poems. He was the first to equip Hercules with the club and the lion's hide, and he probably also fixed the number of his labours at twelve. Only uninterest­ing fragments remain.

Peitho. In Greek mythology the personi­fication of persuasion Like Eros and the Graces, with whom Hesiod mentions her f Works and Days, 73], she usually appears

in the train of Aphrodite. She was, indeed, considered the daughter of the goddess, and was honoured together with her, as in Athens. She was also connected with Hermes as the god of eloquence.

P&leiades. Priestesses at Dodona (q.v.).

Peleus. Son of ^Eacus and of Endeis, and brother of Telamon. He was banished with his brother, on account of the murdei of his step-brother Phoeus, whom he had slain with the discus out of envy at his strength and skill. His father banished him from ^Eglna, but he was purified from his murder, and hospitably received by his uncle Eurytlon, king of Thessaliau Phthia. Eurytion gave to Peleus his daughter Anti­gone, mother of the beautiful Polydora, and one-third of his land as a dowry. Peleus accompanied Eurytion in the Calydonian Hunt, and killed him unawares with javelin. Thereupon he fled from Phthia to lolcus, where, once again, king Acastus cleansed him from the guilt of bloodshed. Because he rejected the proposals of Asty-dameia, the wife of Acastus, she slandered him to his wife and to her husband, telling the former that Peleus was wooing her daughter Sterope, and the latter that he wished to persuade her to infidelity. Anti­gone killed herself for sorrow, but Acastus planned revenge. When Peleus, wearied by the chase, had fallen asleep on Pelion, Acastus left him alone, after hiding in a dunghill his irresistible sword, the work of Hephsestus and the gift of the gods. When Peleus awoke and sought his sword, he was attacked by the Centaurs, and only delivered by the presence among them of Chiron, his maternal grandfather. With Chiron's help he recovered his sword, slew Acastus and his wife, and took possession of the throne of lolcus. The gods decreed him the sea-goddess Thetis (q.v.) as his wife. With Chiron's help he overcame her resistance in a grotto by the sea, although she endea­voured to escape by changing into fire, water, beast, or fish. The marriage was celebrated in Chiron's cave on the summit of PeliOn, and the immortals appeared and gave Peleus presents: PSseidou, the undying steeds Balms and Xanthus, and all the gods the weapons with which Achilles after­wards fought before Troy; Chiron pre­sented him with a lance made of an ash tree on Mount Pelion. Apollo and the Muses sang of tlie deeds of Peleus and of his unborn son. But Ens, or Strife, also appeared, uninvited, and threw among the goddesses a golden apple with the inscrip-

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