The Ancient Library

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On this page: Perioeci – Peripatetics – Periphetes – Peripteros – Peristyle – Pero – Persephone



of a handbook to Greece by a certain Jlerdclldes, and of the interesting work on Alexandria by CallixSnus of Rhodes. The only complete work of this kind re­maining is the valuable description of Greece by Pausdnlas (2nd century a.d.).

Perlffici. The name of those inhabitants of the Spartan State who, unlike the serfs or helots (q.v.), had kept the possession of their lauds and personal liberty after the Dorian occupation, but without having the citizenship. They too, like the helots, were at least twice as numerous as the rul­ing Spartiatae. Their name (lit. dwelling around) indicates that they lived on the plain in the neighbourhood of the chief city which was occupied by the Spartiataa. Probably they were more or less doricised by Dorian colonists sent into their towns, whereof as many as a hundred are men­tioned. They were occupied partly in cul­tivating their farms (which, we learn, were smaller than those of the Spartiatae); partly in manufactures and industry, in which the ruling caste were forbidden to engage; partly in trade. Besides certain taxes, they were bound to military service, either as hoplites or as light-armed troops (as in the case of the Sclrltce or inhabitants of Scl-rttis, who formed a special body of light infantry, and were reserved for outpost duty when in camp, for advance and rear­guard, and in battle for service on the left wing). After the Peloponnesian War they formed the chief strength of the army. (See warfare.) In the army they were also eligible as officers of the lower ranks; but from all civil offices they were ex­cluded, as also from the popular assembly. They were completely subject to the orders of the Spartiatse; and when they made themselves troublesome, they could be put to death by the ephors without trial or conviction.

Peripatetics (Gr. plrlpMettkoi, lit. " per­sons given to walking about"). The fol­lowers of Aristotle's philosophy. They derived their name from Aristotle's habit of walking with his disciples in the shady avenues of the Athenian Gymnasium called the Lyceum, while he discussed the prob­lems of philosophy. (See also aristotle and philosophy.)

PSrlphetes. Son of Hephtestus ; a monster at EpTdaurus, who slew the passers by with an iron club (whence he was called cory-netes or club-bearer), till he was himself slain by the young Theseus.

PeriptSrds. An epithet describing a temple

' completely surrounded by a colonnade sup­porting the entablature. (See temples.)

Peristyle (Gr. peristylin). A court , surrounded by columns. (See house.) I Pero. The shoe of the ordinary Roman i citizen. (See calceus.)

Perseph6ne (also Perslphassa ; Lat. PrS-serplna). Daughter of Zeus and Demeter. As the wife of Hades, she is the dread queen ofi the world below. Her special name in Attic cult is C6re (lit. " the Maiden "). As a maiden, while plucking flowers (near Enna in Sicily, according to the story common in later times), she was carried off into the lower world by Hades on his car, with the consent of her father. To appease her mother's wrath, Zeus sent Hermes to bring her back ; but, since she had eaten part of a pomegranate given her by Hades (i.e. had already become his wife), she could only spend two-thirds of the year in the ' upper world with her mother. At the end i of that time she had always to return to her husband, and rule as the dark goddess of death ; whereas, while with her mother, she was regarded as the virgin daughter, and the helper of the goddess who pre­sides over the fertility of the earth. Hence Persephone is emblematic of vegetable life, that comes and goes with the changing seasons. In spring, when the seeds sprout up from the ground, she rises to her mother; when the harvest is over, and the vegetation dies, and the seed is laid again in the dark grave of earth, she returns to her subterraneous kingdom. From this notion of the seed buried in the dark earth and again rising to light was developed that conception of the myth as an image of immortality which lies at the base of the Eleusinian mysteries. To express her rising and descending, her festivals were cele­brated in spring and after the harvest, In spring she was worshipped at the lesser Eleuslnla in Attica, and at her flower-festival of the anthesphfirlti, in the Pelo­ponnesus, but more especially in Sicily. In autumn, there was held in Attica the great Eleusinia; i.e. the wedding-feast on her marriage with the god of the lower world. She was generally worshipped together with her mother ; hence they were spoken of as " the two goddesses." In the Eleu­sinian mysteries she was also connected with Dionysus, who, under the mystic name lacchus, was regarded as her son, brother, i or bridegroom. In later times she was i confused with other divinities, especially Hecate, as the goddess of night and of the

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