The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Tyndaridae – Typhoeus – Tyrant – Tyro – Tyrtaeus



injustice. By this oath they subsequently found themselves bound to the expedition against Troy. As he had on one occasion forgotten to sacrifice to Aphrodite, she turned his daughters into adulteresses. On the death of his sons he surrendered to his son-in-law, llenelaus, the throne of Sparta, where he was buried, and his tomb pointed out to travellers.

Tyndarldffi. [A patronymic formed from Tyndares.] The children of Tyndargos, especially the Dioscuri (}.«.)•

Typhoeus (2'i/phOn). According to Hesiod \Theog. 869], the youngest son of Gaea by Tartarus; a giant of enormous strength, with one hundred snake-heads, eyes darting fire, and various voices, which sometimes sounded like the voice of the gods, some­times like the lowing of a bull or the roar­ing of a lion, or like the howl of a dog, and sometimes like a shrill whistle. He was the symbol of the fire and smoke in the interior of the earth, and of their destructive forces. Hence he was also the father of devastating hurricanes. By Echidna he was the father of the dogs Orthos and Cerbgras, and the Lernsean hydra [the Chimsera, the lion of Nemea, the eagle of PrSmetheus, and the dragon of the Hesperldgs], He contended with Zeus for the throne of the lower world, but after some severe fighting was hurled to the ground by lightning, and thrown into Tartarus. In Homer he lies beneath the earth, in the land of the Arlmi [II. ii 783], and Zens assails that region with his thunderbolts. According to another account ./Etna was hurled upon him, and out of it he sends forth streams of flame [.Eschylus, Prometheus 370, Septem contra Thebas 493]. He was afterwards identified with the Egyptian god Set, the god of the sirocco, of death, of blight, of the eclipse of sun and moon, and of the barren sea, the author of all evil, and the murderer of his brother Osiris (q.v.).

Tyrant (Gr. tyrannSs). The word tyran-nus originally meant no more than a ruler, and carried no association of blame, but was used subsequently in the special sense of a ruler who exercises unconstitutional, irre­sponsible, and absolute power. Such tyran­nies arose most commonly in the 7th and 6th centuries b.c., in oligarchical states; i.e. in states governed in the interests of their party by an aristocratical minority. Men of courage and ability, not unfrequently themselves members of the aristocracy, availed themselves of the discontent of the people in order to win popularity, and then

with their help overthrew the existing authority, and possessed themselves of the government. For this purpose many used the official powers constitutionally dele­gated to them. The tyrants exercised their authority mostly in their own interests; and, when they did not misuse it, the people on the whole fared better under the new rule than under the old, while it also served to remove existing anomalies, and to make room for fresh developments. Many of the tyrants of this time have earned a high reputation for themselves, partly by the extension of their power abroad, and partly by the im­petus they gave to trade, and commerce, and architecture, and by the encourage­ment of art. Nevertheless, the dynasties of tyrants in this period were seldom of long duration. They generally formed the transition from aristocratic oligarchies to democracies. Under this last form of con­stitution it was less the actual instances of misconduct on the part of tyrants, than dis­like to monarchs in general, that led men to associate with the name of a tyrant the idea of a cruel and arbitrary ruler. When the democracies had reached their furthest limit, tyrannies were developed from them, as in earlier days they had been developed from oligarchies; but unlike those of earlier days, this development was not progress, but only a general dissolution and deterio­ration. Such tyrannies, so far from work­ing any good for the State, served merely to promote the pleasures and interests of irresponsible rulers and their ministers. [Cp. Aristotle, Politics, iv 10; v, chaps. 5, 6, 12.]

Tyro. Daughter of Salmoneus, by Poseidon ; mother of Neleus (q.v.) and of Pellas, and, by Oetheus, mother of jEson.

Tyrtaeus. A celebrated Greek elegiac poet of the 7th century b.c., son of Archembr5tus, born either at Athens or at Aphidna in Attica. He transplanted the Ionian elegy to Dorian Sparta. According to the ordinary story, the Spartans, being hard pressed in the second Messenian War, on the advice of the Delphic oracle, asked the Athenians for a general, and they sent them the lame Tyrtaeus. By the power of his poetry, he healed the divisions among the Spartans, and roused them to such bravery that they won the victory. His poems stood in high esteem at Sparta, and served as a means of education for the youth. In the field they were read at evening after supper. Besides fragments of an elegy entitled Eunomia (lawfulness),

About | First | Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.