The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Adoneus – Adonis – Adrantus – Adranus – Adrasteia


century after Christ. One line of his is preserved by Lucian. (Demonax, 44 ; Brunck, Anal. iii. p. 21.) ^ [C. P.M.]

ADONEUS ('A^wvevs). 1. A surname of Bacchus, signifies the Ruler. (Auson. Epigr. xxix. 6.)

2. Adoneus is sometimes used by Latin poets for Adonis. (Plaut. Menaeoh. i. 2. 35 ; Catull. xxix. 9.) [L. S.]

ADONIS ("A5o?z/is), according to Apollodorus (iii. 14. § 3) a son of Cinyras and Medarme, accord­ing to Hesiod (ap. Apoilod. iii. 14. § 4) a son of Phoenix and Alphesiboea, and according to the cyclic poet Panyasis (ap. Apoilod. I. c.) a son of Tlieias, king of Assyria, who begot him by his own daughter Smyrna. (Myrrha.) The ancient story ran thus: Smyrna had neglected the wor­ship of Aphrodite, and was punished by the god­dess with an unnatural love for her father. With the assistance of her nurse she contrived to share her father's bed without being known to him. When he discovered the crime he wished to kill her; but she fled, and on being nearly overtaken, .prayed to the gods to make her invisible. They were moved to pity and changed her into a tree called 0'j^.vpva. After the lapse of nine months the tree burst, and Adonis was born. Aphrodite was so much charmed with the beauty of the infant, that she concealed it in a chest which she entrust­ed to Persephone ; but when the latter discovered

the treasure she had in her keeping, she refused to give it up. The case was brought before Zeus, who decided the dispute by declaring that during four months of every year Adonis should be left to himself, during four months he should belong to Persephone, and during the remaining four to Aphrodite. Adonis however preferring to live with Aphrodite, also spent with her the four months over which he had controul. After­wards Adonis died of a wound which he received from a boar during the chase. Thus far the story of Adonis was related by Panyasis. Later writers furnish various alterations and additions to it. According to Hyginus (Fab. 58, 164, 251, 271), Smyrna was punished with the love for her father, because her mother Cenchreis had provoked the anger of Aphrodite by extolling the beauty of her daughter above that of the goddess. Smyrna after the discovery of her crime fled into a forest, where she was changed into a tree from which Adonis came forth, when her father split it with his sword. The dispute between Aphrodite and Per­sephone was according to some accounts settled by Calliope, whom Zeus appointed as mediator be­tween them. (Hygin. Poet. Astron. ii. 7.) Ovid (Met x. 300, &c.) adds the following features: Myrrha's love of her father was excited by the furies ; Lucina assisted her when she gave birth to Adonis, and the Naiads anointed him. with the tears of his mother, i. e. with the fluid which trickled from the Adonis grew up a most beautiful youth, and Venus loved him and shared with him the pleasures of the chase, though she' always cautioned him against the wild beasts. At last he wounded a boar which killed him in its fury. According to some traditions Ares (Mars), or, according to others, Apollo assumed the form of a boar and thus killed Adonis. (Serv. ad Virg. Eel. x. 18 ; Ptolem. Hephaest. i. p. 306, ed. Gale.) A third story related that Dionysus carried oif Adonis. (Phanocies ap. Plut. Sympos.


iv. 5.) When Aphrodite was informed of her beloved being wounded, she hastened to the spot and sprinkled nectar into his blood, from which immediately flowers sprang up. Various other modifications of the story may be read in Hyginus (Poet. Astron. ii. 7), Theocritus (Idyll, xv.), Bion (Idyll, i.), and in the scholiast on Lyso-phron. (839, &c.) From the double marriage of Aphrodite with Ares and Adonis sprang Priapus. (Schol. ad Apollon. Rliod. i. 9, 32.) Besides him Golgos and Beroe are likewise called children of Adonis and Aphrodite. (Schol. ad Thcocrit. xv. 100; Nonni Diotiys. xli. 155.) On his death Adonis was obliged to descend into the lower world, but he was allowed to spend six months out of every year with his beloved Aphrodite in the upper world. (Orph. hymn. 55. 10.)

The worship of Adonis, which in later times was spread over nearly ail the countiles round the Mediterranean, was, as the story itself sufficiently indicates, of Asiatic, or more especially of Phoeni­cian origin. (Lucian, dedea Si/r. c C.) Thence it was transferred to Assyria, Egypt, Greece, and even to Italy, though of course with various mo­difications. In the Homeric poems no trace of it occurs, and the later Greek poets changed the original symbolic account of Adonis into a poetical story. In the Asiatic religions Aphrodite was the fructifying principle of nature, and Adonis appears to have reference to the death of nature in winter and its revival in spring—hence he spends six months in the lower and six in the upper world. His death and his return to life were celebrated in annual festivals (3A5coj/m) at By bios, Alexandria in Egypt, Athens, and other places. [L. S.]

ADRANUS ( Aifycu'os), a Sicilian divinity who was worshipped in all the island, but especially at Adranus, a town near Mount Aetna. (Plut. Timol. 12 ; Diodor. xiv. 37.) Hesychius (s. v. ITaAi/cof) represents the god as the father of the Palici. According to Aelian (Hitf. Anim. xi. 20), about 1000 sacred dogs were kept near his temple. Some modern critics consider this divinity to be of eastern origin, and connect the name Adranus with the Persian Adar (tire), and rega.d him as the same as the Phoenician Aclramelcch, and as a personification of the sun or of fire in general. (Bochart, Geoyraph. Sacra., p. 530 ) [L. S.]

ADRANTUS, ARDRANTUS or ADRAS-TUS, a contemporary of Athenaeus, who wrote a commentary in five books upon the work of Theo-phrastus, entitled -n-epi 'H&£z>, to which he added a sixth book upon the Nicomachian Ethics of Aris­totle. (Athen. xv. p. 673; e. with Schweighauser's note.)

ADRASTEIA ('Afy&rreia). 1. A Cretan nymph, daughter of Melisseus, to whom Rhea entrusted the infant Zeus to be reared in the Dic-taean grotto. In this office Adrasteia was assisted by her sister Ida and the Curetes (Apoilod. i. 1. § 6 ; Callimach. hymn, in Juv. 47), whom the scholiast on Callimachus calls her brothers. Apol-lonius Rhodius (iii. 132, &c.) relates that she gave to the infant Zeus a beautiful globe (ff<pcupa) to play with, and on some Cretan coins Zeus is represented sitting upon a globe. (Spanh. ad Callim. L c.}

2. A surname of Nemesis, which is derived by some writers from Adrastus, who is said to have built the first sanctuary of Nemesis on the river Asopus (Strab. xiii. p. 588), and by others from

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of