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On this page: Amaltheia – Amandus – Amarantus – Amarynceus – Amarynthus – Amasis



C. AMAFA'NIUS or AMAFI'NIUS was one of the earliest Roman writers in favour of the Epicu­rean philosophy. He wrote several works, which are censured by Cicero as deficient in arrangement and style. He is mentioned by no other Avriter but Cicero. (Acad. i. 2, Tusc. iv. 3.)

AMALTHEIA ('A/^aA^a). 1. The nurse of the infant Zeus after his birth in Crete. The an­cients themselves appear to have been as uncertain about the etymology of the name as about the real nature of Amaltheia. Hesychius derives it from the verb apaXQsvsiv., to nourish or to enrich ; others from djuaAOaKros, i. e. firm or hard; and others again from c^taA?) and 6>eia, according to which it would signify the divine goat, or the tender goddess. The common derivation is from d,u6A76ir>, to milk or suck. According to some traditions Amaltheia is the goat who suckled the infant Jove (Hygin. Poet. Astr. ii. 13; Arat. Phaen. 163; Callim. Hymn, in Jov. 49), and who was afterwards rewarded for this service by being placed among the stars. (Comp. Apollod. i. 1. § 6.) [AEGa.] According to another set of tra­ditions Amaltheia was a nymph, and daughter of Oceanus, Helios, Haemonius, or of the Cretan

king Melisseus (Schol. ad Horn. II. xxi. 194 ; Eratosth. Catast. 13; Apollod. ii. 7. § 5 ; Lac-tant. Instit. i. 22; Hygin. /. c., and Fab. 139, where he calls the nymph Adamanteia),and is said to have fed Zeus with the milk of a goat. When this goat once broke off one of her horns, the nymph Amaltheia filled it with fresh herbs and fruit and gave it to Zeus, who transplaced it together with the goat among the stars. (Ovid, Fast. v. 115, &c.) According to other accounts Zeus himself broke off one of the horns of the goat Amaltheia, gave it to the daughters of Melisseus, and en­dowed it with such powers that whenever the pos­sessor wished, it would instantaneously become filled with whatever might be desired. (Apollod. /. c.; Schol. ad Callim. I. c.) This is the story about the origin of the celebrated horn of Amaltheia, commonly called the horn of plenty or cornucopia, which plays such a prominent part in the stories of Greece, and which was used in later times as the symbol of plenty in general. (Strab. x. p. 458, iii. p. 151 ; Diod. iv. 35.) [achelous.] Dio-dorus (iii. 68) gives an account of Amaltheia, which differs from all the other traditions. Ac­cording to him the Libyan king Ammon married Amaltheia, a maiden of extraordinary beauty, and gave her a very fertile tract of land which had the form of a bull's horn, and received from its queen the name of the horn of Amaltheia. This account, however, is only one of the many specimens of a rationalistic interpretation of the ancient my thus. The horn appears to be one of the most ancient and simplest vessels for drinking, and thus we find the story of Amaltheia giving Zeus to drink from a horn represented in an ancient work of art still extant. (Galeria Giustiniani, ii. p. 61.) The horn of plenty was frequently given as an attribute to the representations of Tyche or Fortuna. (Pans, iv. 30. § 4, vii. 2(5. § 3; comp. Bottiger, Ainai-tkeia, oder dcr CretensiscJie Zeus als Saiigliny ; Welcker, Ueber eine CretiscJie Colonie in Thclten^

P- 6-)

2. One of the Sibyls (Tibull, ii. 5. 67), whom

Lactantius (i. 6) identifies with the Cumacan Sibyl, who is said to have sold to king Tarquinius the celebrated Sibylline books. The same is stated


by Servius (ad Aen. vi. 72) and by Lydus (de Metis, iv. 34) ; comp. Klausen, Aeneas und die- Penaten, p. 299, &c. [L. S.]

AMANDUS. [aelianus, p. 28, a.]

AMARANTUS ('A^dpavros^ of Alexandria, wrote a commentary upon one of Theocritus' Idyls (Etymol. M. p. 2/3. 40, ed. Sylb.), and a work entitled irepl ffK'nvrjs. Respecting his time. we only know that he lived subsequently to Juba, king of Mauretania. (Athen. viii. p. 343, e., x. p. 414, f.)

AMARYNCEUS ('ApapvyKevs), a chief of the Eleans, and son of Onesimachus or of Acetor. (Hygin. Fab. 97 ; Eustath. ad Horn. p. 303.) Ac­ cording to Hyginus, Amarynceus himself joined the expedition against Troy with nineteen ships. Homer, on the other hand, only mentions his son Diores (Amarynceides) as partaking in the Trojan war. (II. ii. 622, iv. 517.) When Amarynceus died, his sons celebrated funeral games in his honour, in which Nestor, as he himself relates (//. xxiii. 629, &c.), took part. According to Pausanias (v. i. § 8) Amarynceus had been of great service to Augeas against Heracles, in return for which Augeas shared his throne with him. [L. S.]

AMARYNTHUS ('A^pw/Oos), a hunter of Artemis, from whom the town of Amarynthus in Euboea (Steph. B.yz. says Euboea itself) was be­lieved to have derived its name. (Strab. x. p. 448.) From this hero, or rather from the town of Amarynthus, Artemis derived the surname Ama-rynthia or Amarysia, under which she was wor­shipped there and also in A.ttica. (Paus. i. 31. § 3, comp. Diet, of Ant. s. v. yA/.LapvvOia.) [L. S.]

AMASIS ("Ajucwns). 1. King of Egypt in early times, according to Diodorus (i. 60), in whose reign Egypt was conquered by Actisanes^ king of Ethiopia. [actisanes.]

2. King of Egypt, succeeded Apries, the last king of the line of Psammetichus, in jb. c. 569. He was of comparatively low origin (Herodotus, ii. 172, calls him stj/xot-tjs), and was born at Siuph, a town in the Saitic nome. When the Egyptians revolted against Apries, Amasis was sent to quell the insurrection, but went over to the side of the rebels, and was proclaimed king by them. He defeated Apries in a battle near Momemphis, and took him prisoner. lie seemed disposed to treat his captive with great mildness, but was induced to deliver him up into the hands of the Egyptians, who put him to death. It was probably to strengthen himself against a powerful party formed against him amongst the warrior-caste, that he cultivated the friendship of the Greeks. He not only gave up to them the city of Naucratis, which had hitherto been their only mart, but opened all the mouths of the Nile to them, and allowed them to biiild temples to their own deities. He contracted an alliance with the Greeks of Cyrene, and himself married Ladice, a Cyrenaic lady. (Herod, ii. 181.) He removed the lonians and Carians, who were settled on tin Pelusiac mouth of the Nile, to Memphis, anc formed them into a body-guard for himself (ii. 154.) He also entered into alliance witl Croesus (i. 77) and with Polycrates, the tyran of Samos (iii. 39, 40), who is said to have in troduced Pythagoras to him by letter. (Diog Laert. viii. 3.) Amasis also sent presents ti several of the Greek cities. (Herod, ii. 182. Solon in the course of his travels visited him

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