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On this page: Amphistratus – Amphithemis – Amphitr – Amphitryon



AMPHISTRATUS ('A^iVrparos) and his brother Rhecas were the charioteers of the Dios­curi. They were believed to have taken part in the expedition of Jason to Colchis, and to have oc­cupied a part of that country which was called after them Heniochia, as ojz/io%os signifies a charioteer. (Strab. xi. p. 495 ; Justin. xlii. 3.) Pliny (//. N. vi. 5) calls them Amphitus and Thel-chius. (Comp. Mela, i. 19. § 110; Isidor. Orig. xv. 1; Ammian. Marcellin. xxii. 8.) [L. S.]

AMPHISTRATUS ('A/-uJ>fcrTpaTos), a Greek sculptor, flourished about b. c. 324. From the notices of two of his works by Pliny (xxxvi. 4. $ 10) and Tatian (Orat. in Graec. 52, p. 114, Worth.), it is supposed that most of his statues were cast in bronze, and that many of them were likenesses. [P. S.]

AMPHITHEMIS ('Aju</>i'06jutt), a son of Apollo and Acacallis, who became the father of Nasamon and Caphaurus, or Ceplmlion, by the nymph Tritonis. (Hygin. Fab. 14; Apollon. Rhod. iv. 1494.) [L. S.]

AMPHITRl'TE ('A^rpn-V), according to Hesiod (Theoff. 243) and Apollodorus (i. 2. § 7) a Nereid, though in other places Apollodorus (i. 2. § 2, i. 4. § 6) calls her an Oceanid. She is repre­sented as the wife of Poseidon and the goddess of the sea (the Mediterranean), and she is therefore a kind of female Poseidon. In the Homeric poems she does not occur as a goddess, and Am-phitrite is merely the name of the sea. The most ancient passages in which she occurs as a real goddess is that of Hesiod above referred to and the Homeric hymn on the Delian Apollo (94), where she is represented as having been pre­sent at the birth of Apollo. When Poseidon sued for her hand, she fled to Atlas, but her lover sent spies after her, and among them one Delphinus, who brought about the marriage be­tween her and Poseidon, and the grateful god rewarded his service by placing him among the stars. (Eratosth. Catast. 31; Hygin. Poet. Astr. ii. 17.) When afterwards Poseidon shewed some attachment to Scylla, AmphitriteY jealousy was excited to such a degree, that she threw some magic herbs into the well in which Scylla used to bathe, and thereby changed her rival into a monster with six heads and twelve feet. (Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 45, G'49.) She became by Poseidon the mother of Triton, Rhode, or Rhodes, and Benthesicyme. (Hesiod. Theog. 930, &c.; Apollod. i. 4. § 6 ; iii. ]5. § 4.) Later poets regard Amphitrite as the goddess of the sea in general, or the ocean. (Eurip. Ci/d. 702; Ov. Met. i. 14.) Amphitrite was fre­quently represented in ancient works of art ; her figure resembled that of Aphrodite, but she was usually distinguished from her by a sort of net which kept her hair together, and by the claws of a crab on her forehead. She was sometimes re­presented as riding on marine animals, and some­times as drawn by them. The temple of Poseidon on the Corinthian isthmus contained a statue of Amphitrite (Paus. ii. 1. § 7), and her figure ap­peared among the relief ornaments of the temple of Apollo at Amyclae (iii. 19. § 4), on the throne of the Olympian Zeus, and in other places, (v. 2. § 3, comp. i. 17. § 3, v. 26. § 2.) We still possess a considerable number of representations of Amphi­trite. A colossal statue of her exists in the Villa Albaiii, and she frequently appears on coins of Syracuse, The most beautiful specimen extant is


tliat on the arch of Augustus at Rimini. (Winc- kelmarm, Alte Denkmaler, i. 36 ; Ilirt, Mythol. Bilderbucli, ii. p. 159.) [L. S.J

AMPHITRYON or AMPHI'TRUO ('am<jh-rpvojj'), a son of Alcaeus, king of Troezen, by Hipponome, the daughter of Menoeceus. (Apollod. ii. 4. § 5.) Pausanias (viii. 14. § 2) calls his mother Laonome. While Electryon, the brother of Alcaeus, was reigning at Mycenae, the sons of Pterelaus together with the Taphians invaded his territory, demanded the surrender of the kingdom, and drove away his oxen. The sons of Electryon entered upon a contest with the sons of Pterelaus, but the combatants on both sides all fell, so that Electryon had only one son, Licymnius, left, and Pterelaus likewise only one, Eueres. The Ta­phians, however, escaped with the oxen, which they entrusted to Polyxenus, king of the Eleans. Thence they were afterwards brought back to Mycenae by Amphitryon after lie had paid a ransom. Electryon now resolved upon avenging the death of his sons, and to make war upon the Taphians. During his absence he entrusted his kingdom and his daughter Alcmene to Amphitryon, on condition that he should not marry her till after his return from the war. Amphitryon now restored to Electryon the oxen he had brought back to Mycenae; one of them turned wild, and as Amphitryon attempted to strike it with his club, he accidentally hit the head of Electryon and killed him on the spot. Stlienelus, the brother of Electryon, availed himself of this opportunity for the purpose of expelling Amphitryon, who together with Alcmene and Licymnius went to Thebes. Here he was purified by Creon, his uncle. In order to win the hand of Alcmene, Amphitryon prepared to avenge the death of Alcmene's brothers on the Taphians (Teleboans), and requested Creon to assist him in his enterprise, which the latter promised on condition that Amphitryon should de­liver the Cadmean country from a wild fox which was making great havoc there. But as it was decreed by fate that this fox should not be over­taken by any one, Amphitryon went to Cephalus of Athens, who possessed a famous dog, which, according to another decree of fate, overtook every animal it pursued. Cephalus was induced to lend Amphitryon his dog on condition that he should receive a part of the spoils of the expedition against the Taphians. Now when the dog was hunting the fox, Fate got out of its dilemma by Zeus changing the two animals into stone. Assisted by Cephalus, Panopeus, Heleius, and Creon, Amphi­tryon now attacked and ravaged the islands of the Taphians, but could not subdue them so long as Pterelaus lived. This chief had on his head one golden hair, the gift of Poseidon, which rendered him immortal. His daughter Comaetho, who was in love with Amphitryon, cut off this hair, and after Pterelaus had died in consequence, Amphi­tryon took possession of the islands; and having put to death Comaetho, and given the islands to Cephalus and Heleius, he returned to Thebes with his spoils, out of which he dedicated a tripod to Apollo Ismenius. (Apollod. ii. 4. § 6, 7; Paus. ix. 10. § 4 ; Herod, v. 9.) Respecting the amour of Zeus with Alcmene during the absence of Am­phitryon see alcmene. Amphitryon fell in a war against Erginus, king of the Minyans, in which he and Heracles delivered Thebes from the tribute which the city had to pay to Erginus as an atone-

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