The Ancient Library

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On this page: Taxiarchus – Tagygete – Tecmessa – Teiresias – Telamon – Telchines



country not possessing land paid after a certain age (20-25 years) a poll tax (tri-butum Kapitis), the amount of which was fixed by imperial ordinance, and for women was about half the sum imposed on men. Citizens resident in towns, and not pos­sessing land, paid a tax partly on their property, partly, as far as they happened to be engaged in a trade, on their working capital and on the trade itself. The taxes apportioned to each town with its districts were raised by tax collectors (exac.torgs), but the dScurionSs, or members of the municipal senates (see municipium), were responsible for the amount and had to advance it themselves.

Taxiarchus. The Greek term for a com­mander of a taxis, which contained a variable number of men. In Athens the ten commanders of the ten taxels were so called. They were elected annually by show of hands, one for each tribe. They also had to look after the levying and dis­tribution of recruits, and they were thus concerned in the drawing up of the register of those citizens who were liable to serve. On the Macedonian taxis, see phalanx. Taygete. One of the Pleiades (q-v.). Tecmessa. Daughter of the Phrygian king Teuthras, mother of Eurj'sSces by Ajax sou of Telamon. (See aias, 2.)

Teireslas (Lat. Tlreslas). The famous blind soothsayer of Thebes, son of Eueres and Chanclo, and a descendant of the Spar­tan Udaeus. The cause of his blindness has been variously stated. According to one tradition, the gods took his sight away when he was seven years old, because he revealed to men things which they ought not to have known. According to another, he became blind when, on his seeing Athene in the bath, she splashed water into his eyes. When invoked by his mother, the goddess could not restore his sight, but en­dued him with a knowledge of the language of birds, and presented him with a staff, by means of which he could walk like a man with perfect vision. According to a third account, he was blinded by Hera, because in a dispute between her and Zeus he decided against her, and Zeus compensated him by granting him the gift of prophecy and a life seven (or nine) times as long as that of other men. He is also said to have been changed into a woman for a short time. He plays an important part in the story of (Edipus and the wars against Thebes. In the wars of the Seven against Thebes he declared that the Thebans would be victori-

ous if Creon's son MSnoaceus were to sacri­fice himself. In the war of the Epfgoni he advised the Thebans to enter into negotia­tions for peace, and to avail themselves of the opportunity thus afforded to take to flight. During the flight, or else at the conquest of Thebes by the Epigoni, he was made a prisoner, and with his daughter Manto (q.v.), who also possessed the gift of prophecy, was consecrated to the service of the Delphian Apollo. He died at the well Tilphossa, near Hallartus, where his grave was pointed out, while he was also honoured by a cenotaph in Thebes. Homer [Od. xi 90-151] repre­sents him as carrying his golden staff as soothsayer even in the world below, when Odysseus consults him as to his way home; and of all the shades, he alone, by favour of Persephone, possesses unimpaired memory and intellect [Od. x 495]. He had an oracle at Orchomenus in Bceotia, which is said to have ceased to give responses after a plague.

Telamon. Son of J5acus and Endeis, and brother of Peleus. Having assisted Peleus in murdering their half-brother Phocus, he was expelled from ^Egina by his father, and was received by Cenchreus of Salamis, whose daughter Glauce became his wife; and, on the death of Cenchreus, Telamon be­came king of Salamis. By his second wife Peribosa, daughter of Alcathoiis, he became father of Ajax. He was one of the heroes who joined in the Calydonian Hunt, and also one of the Argonauts. He further took part in the expedition of his friend Heracles against the Amazons and against LaSme'don of Troy. At the conquest of Troy he was the first to scale the walls, and that he did at the very spot where it was built by his father. As his share in the spoil, Heracles gave him the king's daughter HesISne, by whom he became the father of Teucer (q.v., 2).

TelchlnSs. A primeval people sprung from the sea, and living on the island of Rhodes. They are said to have been the earliest workers in metal, and to have made images of the gods, together with the siclcle of CrSnus and the trident of Pfiseidon. Poseidon is said to have been entrusted to them by Rhea to be brought up, just as Zeus was to the Curetes of Crete. They were also represented as envious sorcerers and daemons, who were enemies of both gods and men. They were therefore killed by Apollo or, according to another account, destroyed by Zeus in an inundation. According to a third account, this inunda-

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