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On this page: Amphion – Amphis – Amphissa – Amphissus




, the wife of Aeson and mother of Jason. When her husband and her son Promachus had been slain by Pelias, and she too was on the point of sharing their fate, she fled to the hearth of Pelias, that his crime might be aggravated by murdering her on that sacred spot. She then cursed the murderer of her rela­tives, and plunged a sword into her own breast. (Diod. iv. 50 ; Apollon. Rhod. i. 45.) Two other mythical personages of this name are mentioned in Diod. iv. 53, and in the Iliad, xviii. 44. [L. S.] AMPHI'ON ('Aju<J>k»0. I- A son of Zeus and Antiope, the daughter of Nycteus of Thebes, and twin-brother of Zethus. (Ov. Met. vi. 110, &c. ; Apollod. iii. 5. § 5.) When Antiope was with child by the father of the gods, fear of her own father induced her to flee to Epopeus at Sicyon, whom she married. Nycteus killed himself in despair, but charged his brother Lycus to avenge him on Epopeus and Antiope. Lycus accordingly marched againt Sicyon, took the town, slew Epopeus, and carried Antiope with him to Eleutherae in Boeotia. During her imprisonment there she gave birth to two sons, Amphion and Zethus, who were exposed, but found and brought up by shepherds. (Apollod. L c.) According to Hyginus (Fab. 7), Antiope was the wife of Lycus, and was seduced by Epo­peus. Hereupon she was repudiated by her hus­band, and it was not until after this event that she was visited by Zeus. Dirce, the second wife of Lycus, was jealous of Antiope, and had her put in chains ; but Zeus helped her in escaping to mount Cithaeron, where she gave birth to her two sons. According to Apollodorus, she remained in capti­vity for a long time after the birth of her sons, who grew up among the shepherds, and did not know their descent. Hermes (according to others, Apollo, or the Muses) gave Amphion a lyre, who henceforth practised song and music, while his bro­ther spent his time in hunting and tending the flocks. (Horat. Epist. i. 18. 41, &c.) The two brothers, whom Euripides (PJwen. 609) calls "the Dioscuri with white horses," fortified the town of Entresis near Thespiae, and settled there. (Steph. Byz. s. v.} Antiope, who had in the meantime been very ill-treated by Lycus and Dirce, escaped from her prison, her chains having miraculously been loosened ; and her sons, on recognising their mother, went to Thebes, killed Lycus, tied Dirce to a bull, and had her dragged about till she too was killed, and then threw her body into a well, which was from this time called the well of Dirce. After having taken possession of Thebes, the two brothers fortified the town by a wall, the reasons for which are differently stated. It is said, that when Amphion played his lyre, the stones not only moved of their own accord to the place where they were wanted, but fitted themselves together so as to form the wall. (Apollon. Hhod, i. 740, 755, with the Schol. ; Syncell. p. 125, d. ; Horat. ad Pison. 394, &c.) Amphion afterwards married Niobe, • who bore him many sons and daughters, all of whom were killed by Apollo. (Apollod, iii. 5. § 6; Gcllius, xx. 7 ; Hygin. Fab. 7, 8 ; Horn. Od. xi. 260, &c. ; Paus. ix. 5. § 4 ; comp. niobe.) As regards the death of Amphion, Ovid (Met. vi. 271) relates, that he killed himself with a sword from grief at the loss of his children. According to others, he was killed by Apollo because he made an assault on the Pythian temple of the god. (Hy-gin. Fab. 9.) Amphion was buried together with

his brother at Thebes (or, according to Stephanus Byzantius, s. v. Ti6opaia, at Tithoraea), and the Tithoraeans believed, that they could make their own fields more fruitful by taking, at a certain time of the year, from Amphion's grave a piece of earth, and putting it on the grave of Antiope. For this reason the Thebans watched the grave of Am­phion at that particular season. (Paus. ix. 17. § 3, &c.) In Hades Amphion was punished for his conduct towards Leto. (ix. 5. § 4.) The folloAving passages may also be compared : Paus. ii. 6. § 2, vi. 20. § 8; Propert. iii. 13. 29. The punishment inflicted by Amphion and his brother upon Dirce is represented in one of the finest works of art still extant—the celebrated Farnesian bull, the work of Apollonius and Tauriscus, which was discovered in 1546, and placed in the palace Farnese at Rome. (Pliny, H. N. xxxvi. 4; Heyne,Antiquar.A'itfsatzei ii. p. 182, &c.; comp. Mtiller, Orcfiom. p. 227, £c.)

2. A son of Jasus and husband of Persephone, by whom he became the father of Chloris. (Horn. Od. xi. 281, &c.) In Homer, this Amphion, king of Orchomenos, is distinct from Amphion, the hus­band of Niobe; but in earlier traditions they seem to have been regarded as the same person. (Eu-stath. ad Horn. p. 1684 ; Miiller, Orchom. pp. 231, 370.)

There are three other mythical personages of this name, one a leader of the Epeians against Troy (Horn. //. xiii. 692), the second one of the Argonauts (Apollon. Rhod. i. 176; Orph. Arg. 214; Hygin. Fab. 14), and the third one of the sona of Niobe. [niobe.] [L. S.]

AMPHION ('A^iwz/). 1. A sculptor, son of acestor, pupil of Ptolichus of Corcyra, and teacher of Piso of Calaureia, was a native of Cnossus, and flourished about b. c. 428 or 424. He executed a group in which Battus, the colonizer of Gyrene, was represented in a chariot, with Libya crowning him, and Gyrene as the charioteer. This group was dedicated at Delphi by the people of Gyrene. (Paus. vi. 3. §2, x. 15. § 4.)

2. A Greek painter, was contemporary with Apelles (b. c. 332), who yielded to him iii arrangement or grouping (cedebat Ampkioni dispo- sitione, Plin. xxv. 36. § 10: but the reading Am- pkioni is doubtful: Melaniliio is Brotier's conjec­ ture ; melanthius). [P. S.j

AMPHIS ("Ajtt^is), an Athenian comic poet, of tHe middle comedy, contemporary with the philo­ sopher Plato. A reference to Phr^yne, the Thes­ pian, in one of his plays (Athen. xiii. p. 591, d.), proves that he was alive in b. c. 332. We have the titles of twenty-six of his plays, and a few- fragments of them. (Suidas, s. v.; Pollux, i. 233; Diog. Laert. iii. 27 ; Athen. xiii. p. 567, f.; / Mei- neke, i. p. 403, iii. p. 301.) [P. S.]

AMPHISSA ("Aju^Morcra), a daughter of Maca- reus and grand-daughter of Aeolus, was beloved by Apollo, and is said to have given the name to the town of Amphissa in Phocis, where her memory was perpetuated by a splendid monument. (Paus. x. 38. § 2, &c.) [L. S.]

AMPHISSUS ("A^tro-oy), a son of Apollo and Dry ope, is said to have been of extraordinary strength, and to have built the town of Oeta on the mountain of the same name. Here he also founded two temples, one of Apollo and the other of the Nymphs. At the latter, games were cele­brated down to a late period, (Anton. Lib. 32.)

[L. S.]

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