The Ancient Library

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On this page: Thiasus – Thisbe – Tholus – Thorax – Threnos – Threshing



tance to the gods. When Zeus was threa­tened by Hera, Athene, and Poseidon, she called Briareus (or jEgseon) to his aid. When Hephaestus was cast out of heaven by Zeus, she took him and hid him for nine years. Again, when Dionysus was fleeing before Lj'curgus, she afforded him protec­tion in the sea. Brought up by Hera, she was wooed by Zeus and Poseidon. But when Themis foretold that Thetis would bear a son who would be greater than his father, she was married against her will to a mortal, Peleus (q.v.~). This marriage was the source of the greatest sorrow to her. Her attempt to make her only son Achilles immortal was frustrated by her husband, and caused an estrangement between them, and she was fated to see her glorious and godlike son cut off in the prime of life.

Thlasus. The Greek designation of a society which had selected some god for its patron, and held sacrifices, festal pro­cessions, and banquets at stated times in his honour. Frequently the members of such societies, which took their name either from their divine patron or else from the days of festal celebration, pursued other common ends, sometimes of business, some­times of social life. The name thiasus was specially applied to the festivals in honour of Dionysus, and, in the representations of poetry and art, to the mythical retinue of the god, which consisted of Sileni, Satyrs, Nymphs, Maenads, etc.

Thisbe. See pykamus.

Thdlua. A term applied by the Greeks to any round building with a conical roof or cupola. At Athens it indicated the Rotunda used for the official head-quarters of the Prytanes (see boule), who also dined here at the public expense. It was situated near the Senate-house (bouh'ttterion). [Aris­totle, Constitution of Athens, 43.]

Thorax. The Greek term for a cuirass, either of metal (usually bronze) or of leather. The metal cuirass consisted of two separate pieces, one covering the chest and stomach, and the other the back, attached to one another by means of clasps or buckles. They terminated with a curved edge just above the hip, and at this part were often covered with a leathern belt (zoster), fastened with buckles, to bind both pieces more firmly together. Another belt (mitra), lined with leather, was worn under the armour and above the cMton. This was fitted with a plate of metal growing broader towards the middle, and serving to protect the belly. In later times the front plate of the cuirass

was extended downwards, so as to cover the belly as far as the navel. As an ad­ditional protection to the belly and the upper part of the legs, there was on the inner side of the lower edge of the cuirass a series of short strips of leather or felt, covered with plates of metal, often in several layers. They resembled a kilt, and were called pteryges (lit. " feathers "). Smaller strips of the same kind were worn under the arms to protect the arm-pits.


(From Greek Vases.)

The leather cuirass (spOlas) was a kind of shirt reaching over the navel and hips, and fringed with flexible strips along its lower edge. It was open either in front or on one side (usually the left), and was there fastened together by means of clasps or buckles. It was also provided with an upright piece protecting the neck, and with two shoulder-straps. It was frequently covered, either completely, or only under the arms, with metal, especially in the form of scales.

Linen cuirasses are also mentioned, even in ancient times. These were probably either thickly quilted or strongly woven corselets. (See cuts, and cp. cut under hoplites.)

Threnos. The Greek term for a dirge sung by a chorus to the accompaniment of flutes, either at the burial, or at the funeral feast.

Threshing. The Greeks and Romans practised in early times the same method of separating the corn from the ear as other ancient nations. A threshing-floor, care­fully prepared for the purpose, was con­structed in the open air, and the corn trodden out by oxen, mules, or horses, driven round

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