A centaur, or hippocentaur, is a mythological creature from Greek mythology with the upper body of a human and the lower body and legs of a horse. Centaurs are thought of in many Greek myths as being as wild as untamed horses, were said to have inhabited the region of Magnesia and Mount Pelion in Thessaly, the Foloi oak forest in Elis, the Malean peninsula in southern Laconia. Centaurs are subsequently featured in Roman mythology, were familiar figures in the medieval bestiary, they remain a staple of modern fantastic literature. The centaurs were said to have been born of Ixion and Nephele; as the story goes, Nephele was a cloud made into the likeness of Hera in a plot to trick Ixion into revealing his lust for Hera to Zeus. Ixion seduced Nephele. Another version, makes them children of Centaurus, a man who mated with the Magnesian mares. Centaurus was either himself the son of Apollo and the nymph Stilbe. In the latter version of the story, Centaurus's twin brother was ancestor of the Lapiths.
Another tribe of centaurs was said to have lived on Cyprus. According to Nonnus, they were fathered by Zeus, who, in frustration after Aphrodite had eluded him, spilled his seed on the ground of that land. Unlike those of mainland Greece, the Cyprian centaurs were horned. There were the Lamian Pheres, twelve rustic daimones of the Lamos river, they were set by Zeus to guard the infant Dionysos, protecting him from the machinations of Hera, but the enraged goddess transformed them into ox-horned Centaurs. The Lamian Pheres accompanied Dionysos in his campaign against the Indians; the centaur's half-human, half-horse composition has led many writers to treat them as liminal beings, caught between the two natures they embody in contrasting myths. The Centaurs are best known for their fight with the Lapiths who, according to one origin myth, would have been cousins to the centaurs; the battle, called the Centauromachy, was caused by the centaurs' attempt to carry off Hippodamia and the rest of the Lapith women on the day of Hippodamia's marriage to Pirithous, the king of the Lapithae and a son of Ixion.
Theseus, a hero and founder of cities, who happened to be present, threw the balance in favour of the Lapiths by assisting Pirithous in the battle. The Centaurs were destroyed. Another Lapith hero, invulnerable to weapons, was beaten into the earth by Centaurs wielding rocks and the branches of trees. In her article "The Centaur: Its History and Meaning in Human Culture," Elizabeth Lawrence claims that the contests between the centaurs and the Lapiths typify the struggle between civilization and barbarism; the Centauromachy is most famously portrayed in the Parthenon metopes by Phidias and in a Renaissance-era sculpture by Michelangelo. The Greek word kentauros is regarded as being of obscure origin; the etymology from ken + tauros, "piercing bull," was a euhemerist suggestion in Palaephatus' rationalizing text on Greek mythology, On Incredible Tales, which included mounted archers from a village called Nephele eliminating a herd of bulls that were the scourge of Ixion's kingdom. Another possible related etymology can be "bull-slayer".
The most common theory holds that the idea of centaurs came from the first reaction of a non-riding culture, as in the Minoan Aegean world, to nomads who were mounted on horses. The theory suggests that such riders would appear as half-animal. Bernal Díaz del Castillo reported that the Aztecs had this misapprehension about Spanish cavalrymen; the Lapith tribe of Thessaly, who were the kinsmen of the Centaurs in myth, were described as the inventors of horse-back riding by Greek writers. The Thessalian tribes claimed their horse breeds were descended from the centaurs. Robert Graves, speculated that the centaurs were a dimly remembered, pre-Hellenic fraternal earth cult who had the horse as a totem. A similar theory was incorporated into Mary Renault's The Bull from the Sea. Though female centaurs, called centaurides or centauresses, are not mentioned in early Greek literature and art, they do appear in antiquity. A Macedonian mosaic of the 4th century BC is one of the earliest examples of the centauress in art.
Ovid mentions a centauress named Hylonome who committed suicide when her husband Cyllarus was killed in the war with the Lapiths. In a popular legend associated with Pazhaya Sreekanteswaram Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, the curse of a saintly Brahmin transformed a handsome Yadava prince into a creature having a horse's body and the prince's head and torso in place of the head and neck of the horse. Kinnaras, another half-man, half-horse mythical creature from Indian mythology, appeared in various ancient texts and sculptures from all around India, it is shown as a horse with the torso of a man where the horse's head would be, is similar to a Greek centaur. A centaur-like half-human, half-equine creature called Polkan appeared in Russian folk art and lubok prints of the 17th–19th centuries. Polkan is based on Pulicane, a half-dog from Andrea da Barberino's poem I Reali di Francia, once popular in the Slavonic world in prosaic translations; the extensive Mycenaean pottery found at Ugarit included two fragmentary Mycenaean terracotta figures which have been tentatively identified as centaurs.
This finding suggests a Bronze Age origin for these creatures o
The Theogony is a poem by Hesiod describing the origins and genealogies of the Greek gods, composed c. 700 BC. It is written in the Epic dialect of Ancient Greek. Hesiod's Theogony is a large-scale synthesis of a vast variety of local Greek traditions concerning the gods, organized as a narrative that tells how they came to be and how they established permanent control over the Cosmos, it is the first known Greek mythical cosmogony. The initial state of the universe is chaos, a dark indefinite void considered a divine primordial condition from which everything else appeared. Theogonies are a part of Greek mythology. Further, in the "Kings and Singers" passage Hesiod appropriates to himself the authority reserved to sacred kingship; the poet declares that it is he, where we might have expected some king instead, upon whom the Muses have bestowed the two gifts of a scepter and an authoritative voice, which are the visible signs of kingship. It is not. Rather, the point is that the authority of kingship now belongs to the poetic voice, the voice, declaiming the Theogony.
Although it is used as a sourcebook for Greek mythology, the Theogony is both more and less than that. In formal terms it is a hymn invoking Zeus and the Muses: parallel passages between it and the much shorter Homeric Hymn to the Muses make it clear that the Theogony developed out of a tradition of hymnic preludes with which an ancient Greek rhapsode would begin his performance at poetic competitions, it is necessary to see the Theogony not as the definitive source of Greek mythology, but rather as a snapshot of a dynamic tradition that happened to crystallize when Hesiod formulated the myths he knew—and to remember that the traditions have continued evolving since that time. The written form of the Theogony was established in the 6th century BCE; some conservative editors have concluded that the Typhon episode is an interpolation. Hesiod was influenced by some Near-Eastern traditions, such as the Babylonian Dynasty of Dunnum, which were mixed with local traditions, but they are more to be lingering traces from the Mycenaean tradition than the result of oriental contacts in Hesiod's own time.
The decipherment of Hittite mythical texts, notably the Kingship in Heaven text first presented in 1946, with its castration mytheme, offers in the figure of Kumarbi an Anatolian parallel to Hesiod's Uranus-Cronus conflict. One of the principal components of the Theogony is the presentation of the "Succession Myth", it tells how Cronus overthrew Uranus, how in turn Zeus overthrew Cronus and his fellow Titans, how Zeus was established as the final and permanent ruler of the cosmos. Uranus produced many children with Gaia. Angry and in distress, Gaia fashioned a sickle made of adamant and urged her children to punish their father. Only her son Cronus, the youngest Titan, was willing to do so. So Gaia hid Cronus "in ambush", gave him the adamantine sickle, when Uranus came to lie with Gaia, Cronus reached out and castrated his father. Cronus, having taken control of the Cosmos, wanted to ensure. Uranus and Gaia prophesied to him that one of his children would overthrow him, so when he married Rhea, he made sure to swallow each of the children she birthed: Hestia, Hera, Hades and Zeus.
However, when Rhea was pregnant with Zeus, Rhea begged her parents Gaia and Uranus to help her save Zeus. So they sent Rhea to Crete to bear Zeus and Gaia took the newborn Zeus to raise, hiding him deep in a cave beneath the Aegean Mountains. Rhea gave Cronus a huge stone wrapped in baby's clothes which he swallowed thinking that it was another of Rhea's children. Tricked by Gaia, Cronus regurgitated his other five children. Zeus released his uncles the Cyclopes, who provided Zeus with his great weapons, the thunderbolts. A great war was begun, between Zeus and his fellow Olympians and the Titans, for control of the Cosmos. In the tenth year of the war, following Gaia's counsel, Zeus released the Hecatoncheires, who joined the war against the Titans, allowing Zeus to gain the upper hand. Zeus cast the fury of his thunderbolts at the Titans, defeating them and throwing them into Tartarus. A final threat to Zeus' power was to come in the form of the monster Typhon, son of Gaia and Tartarus. Zeus with his thunderbolts was victorious, Typhon was imprisoned in Tartarus.
Zeus, by Gaia's advice, was elected king of the gods, he apportioned various honors among the gods. Zeus married his first wife Metis, but when he learned that Metis was fated to produce a son which might usurp his rule, by the advice of Gaia and Uranus, Zeus swallowed Metis, and so Zeus managed to secure his eternal rule over the cosmos. The world began with the spontaneous generation of four beings: first arose Chaos. From Chaos came Nyx, and Nyx "from union in love" with Erebus produced Hemera. From Gaia came Uranus, the Ourea, Pontus. Uranus mated with Gaia, she gave birth to the twelve Titans: Oceanus, Crius, H
Calydon or Kalydon was a Greek city in ancient Aetolia, situated on the west bank of the river Evenus, 7.5 Roman miles from the sea. Its name is most famous today for the Calydonian Boar that had to be overcome by heroes of the Olympian age. According to Greek mythology, Calydon was founded by Aetolus in the land of the Curetes, was called Calydon, after the name of his son, Calydon. Calydon and the neighbouring town of Pleuron are said by Strabo to have been once the "ornament" of Greece, but by his time had sunk into insignificance, it is mentioned in the Iliad by Homer, who celebrates the fertility of the plain of "lovely" Calydon. In the earliest times the inhabitants of Calydon appear to have been engaged in incessant hostilities with the Curetes, who continued to reside in their ancient capital Pleuron, who endeavoured to expel the invaders from their country. A vivid account of one of the battles between the Curetes and Calydonians is given in an episode of the Iliad; the heroes of Calydon are among the most celebrated of the heroic age.
It was the residence of Oeneus, father of Tydeus and Meleager, grandfather of Diomedes. In the time of Oeneus Artemis sent a monstrous boar to lay waste the fields of Calydon, hunted by Meleager and numerous other heroes; the Calydonians took part in the Trojan War under the son of Oeneus. Calydon is not mentioned in the historical period. In 391 BC we find it in the possession of the Achaeans, but we are not told how it came into their hands. In the above-mentioned year the Achaeans at Calydon, were so hard pressed by the Acarnanians that they applied to the Lacedaemonians for help. Calydon remained in the hands of the Achaeans till the overthrow of the Spartan supremacy by the Battle of Leuctra, when Epaminondas restored the town to the Aetolians. In the civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompey it still appears as a considerable place, it continues however to be mentioned by the geographers. Calydon was the headquarters of the worship of Artemis Laphria, when the inhabitants of the town were removed to Nicopolis, Augustus gave to Patrae in Achaea the statue of this goddess which had belonged to Calydon.
There was a statue of Dionysus at Patrae, removed from Calydon. Near Calydon there was a temple of Apollo Laphrius, its site is located north of the modern Evinochori. One of the four tunnels Motorway 5 consists of crosses near the ruins of Calydon and is named the Calydon Tunnel after it. Previous and more recent excavations have revealed many buildings including: the Hellenistic theatre of an unusual square plan the Hellenistic Heroon with a rich tomb underneath the Heroon the Artemis Laphria sanctuary with the temple of Artemis, smaller temple of Apollo, remains of other buildings spanning the Geometric to the Hellenistic period the Lower Acropolis where excavations were carried out uncovering a house from the 2nd cent BC the Lower Town where a peristyle house and kilns were found Many finds from the site including ancient terracottas from the temple of Artemis are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Agrinion and in the National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Calydonian Boar Oeneus Meleagros This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed..
"Calydon". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray
Agrinio is the largest city of the Aetolia-Acarnania regional unit of Greece and its largest municipality, with 106,053 inhabitants. It is the economical center of Aetolia-Acarnania; the settlement dates back to ancient times. Ancient Agrinion was 3 kilometres northeast of the present city. In medieval times and until 1836, the city was known as Vrachori; the majority of the local population was occupied for an important period of time in the tobacco industry, from the last decades of 19th till the end of the 20th century. Big tobacco companies were founded in the city, including the famous Papastratos, alongside Panagopoulos and Papapetrou. Agrinion is agriculturally known for its production of Agrinion olives. According to mythology, the ancient city of Agrinio was built by king Agrios, son of Portheus and a great grandson of Aetolos around 1600-1100 BC; the town, built near the banks of river Achelous, was claimed by both states during ancient times. Agrinio became member of the Aetolian League and it was destroyed by Cassander in 314 BC during the League's wars against the Kingdom of Macedonia.
The city reappears during the Ottoman period with the name Vrachori and apart from its Greek population it was inhabited by many Turks. In 1585 it was deserted during the revolt of Theodoros Migas. At the beginning of the 18th century it became the administrative centre of Aetolia-Acarnania, depended on the imperial harems. Vrachori participated in the Greek Revolution and was temporarily liberated on June 11, 1821. In August 1822, while Reşid Mehmed Pasha's troops were marching towards Vrachori, its citizens decided to burn and evacuate their city, following the strategy of scorched earth; the deserted city was recaptured by the Turks. The city was included in the borders of the newborn Greek state permanently in 1832 with the Treaty of Constantinople and was renamed after its ancient name, Agrinion. In the years following the liberation, Agrinio went through an important growth and development at the end of the 19th century and the dawn of the 20th. After the Greco-Turkish War and the Asia Minor Catastrophe, many refugees from Asia Minor arrived in the city and settled in the district of Agios Konstantinos.
At the same period there was an important internal immigration to Agrinio from the whole Aetolia-Acarnania region, along with immigration from the areas of Epirus and Evrytania. During the Interwar period, in spite of economical crisis, works of infrastructure took place in the city, like the paving of streets and the installment of electricity, while a water tower was installed in 1930. At the same time excavations revealed the ancient city of Agrinion. Growth and prosperity returned after the Greek Civil War; this growth was boosted by the building of two major hydroelectric dam installations at Kremasta and Kastraki, on the north of the city. The tobacco industry and olive tree cultivation became the main income sources of the city; the climate of Agrinio is mediterranean with a big amount of rainfall during the short winter and high temperatures in the summer, sometimes over 40 °C. On April 4, 2007 the city was struck by several earthquakes, with their epicenter located in the nearby Lake Trichonis on the southeast of the city.
The first earthquake rumbled at around 2 AM, the second around 6 AM, three earthquakes shook at 10:13, 10:14 and 10:15 AM, the last one at around 10:45 AM, it measured 5.3, 5.4, 5.6 and 5.7 on the Richter scale. Residents reported that its glasses were shaking and rumbling. Minor damages were reported without any victims. On June 7, 2007 a low pressure-system including heavy torrential rains arrived from Southern and Central Europe stranding several people, caused flooding in several buildings; the main roads passing through Agrinio are the Greek National Road 5/E55 and the Greek National Road 38/E952. Since 2009 the new Motorway 5 bypasses Agrinio to the west. Agrinio's airport is located in the area of Dokimi. IATA code: AGQ, ICAO: LGAG; the airport hosts website. The extended municipality Agrinio was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 10 former municipalities, that became municipal units: Agrinio Angelokastro Arakynthos Makryneia Neapoli Panaitoliko Parakampylia Paravola Stratos ThestieisThe municipality has an area of 1229.330 km2, the municipal unit 162.728 km2.
The municipal unit of Agrinio consists of the following communities: Agios Konstantinos Agios Nikolaos Trichonidos Agrinio Dokimi Kalyvia Kamaroula SkoutesiadaThe city of Agrinio consists of the main city and the outlying villages Agios Ioannis Riganas, Bouzi, Diamanteika, Lefka, Pyrgi and Strongylaiika. The city's official seal includes a characteristic moment of the ancient Greek mythology. More the seal depicts Hercules fighting the river-god Achelous. According to the myth, Hercules fought against the river-god for the sake of Diianira, the princess of Calydon, which both of them wanted as a wife. Despite Achelous' transformations, Hercules managed to win the battle and got married to the princess. According to Strabo, the myth symbolises the struggle of ancient Aetolians to control the river's power with embankments, by which the river was confined to its bed and thus the area
The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, Hellenistic period, it is succeeded by medieval Greek. Koine is regarded as a separate historical stage of its own, although in its earliest form it resembled Attic Greek and in its latest form it approaches Medieval Greek. Prior to the Koine period, Greek of the classic and earlier periods included several regional dialects. Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of fifth-century Athenian historians and philosophers, it has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a standard subject of study in educational institutions of the Western world since the Renaissance. This article contains information about the Epic and Classical periods of the language. Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects; the main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Aeolic and Doric, many of them with several subdivisions.
Some dialects are found in standardized literary forms used in literature, while others are attested only in inscriptions. There are several historical forms. Homeric Greek is a literary form of Archaic Greek used in the epic poems, the "Iliad" and "Odyssey", in poems by other authors. Homeric Greek had significant differences in grammar and pronunciation from Classical Attic and other Classical-era dialects; the origins, early form and development of the Hellenic language family are not well understood because of a lack of contemporaneous evidence. Several theories exist about what Hellenic dialect groups may have existed between the divergence of early Greek-like speech from the common Proto-Indo-European language and the Classical period, they differ in some of the detail. The only attested dialect from this period is Mycenaean Greek, but its relationship to the historical dialects and the historical circumstances of the times imply that the overall groups existed in some form. Scholars assume that major Ancient Greek period dialect groups developed not than 1120 BCE, at the time of the Dorian invasion—and that their first appearances as precise alphabetic writing began in the 8th century BCE.
The invasion would not be "Dorian" unless the invaders had some cultural relationship to the historical Dorians. The invasion is known to have displaced population to the Attic-Ionic regions, who regarded themselves as descendants of the population displaced by or contending with the Dorians; the Greeks of this period believed there were three major divisions of all Greek people—Dorians and Ionians, each with their own defining and distinctive dialects. Allowing for their oversight of Arcadian, an obscure mountain dialect, Cypriot, far from the center of Greek scholarship, this division of people and language is quite similar to the results of modern archaeological-linguistic investigation. One standard formulation for the dialects is: West vs. non-west Greek is the strongest marked and earliest division, with non-west in subsets of Ionic-Attic and Aeolic vs. Arcadocypriot, or Aeolic and Arcado-Cypriot vs. Ionic-Attic. Non-west is called East Greek. Arcadocypriot descended more from the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age.
Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence, can in some respects be considered a transitional dialect. Thessalian had come under Northwest Greek influence, though to a lesser degree. Pamphylian Greek, spoken in a small area on the southwestern coast of Anatolia and little preserved in inscriptions, may be either a fifth major dialect group, or it is Mycenaean Greek overlaid by Doric, with a non-Greek native influence. Most of the dialect sub-groups listed above had further subdivisions equivalent to a city-state and its surrounding territory, or to an island. Doric notably had several intermediate divisions as well, into Island Doric, Southern Peloponnesus Doric, Northern Peloponnesus Doric; the Lesbian dialect was Aeolic Greek. All the groups were represented by colonies beyond Greece proper as well, these colonies developed local characteristics under the influence of settlers or neighbors speaking different Greek dialects; the dialects outside the Ionic group are known from inscriptions, notable exceptions being: fragments of the works of the poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos, in Aeolian, the poems of the Boeotian poet Pindar and other lyric poets in Doric.
After the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BCE, a new international dialect known as Koine or Common Greek developed based on Attic Greek, but with influence from other dialects. This dialect replaced most of the older dialects, although Doric dialect has survived in the Tsakonian language, spoken in the region of modern Sparta. Doric has passed down its aorist terminations into most verbs of Demotic Greek. By about the 6th century CE, the Koine had metamorphosized into Medieval Greek. Ancient Macedonian was an Indo-European language at least related to Greek, but its exact relationship is unclear because of insufficient data: a dialect of Greek; the Macedonian dialect (or l
Giants (Greek mythology)
In Greek and Roman Mythology, the Giants called Gigantes, were a race of great strength and aggression, though not of great size, known for the Gigantomachy, their battle with the Olympian gods. According to Hesiod, the Giants were the offspring of Gaia, born from the blood that fell when Uranus was castrated by his Titan son Cronus. Archaic and Classical representations show Gigantes as man-sized hoplites human in form. Representations show Gigantes with snakes for legs. In traditions, the Giants were confused with other opponents of the Olympians the Titans, an earlier generation of large and powerful children of Gaia and Uranus; the vanquished Giants were said to be buried under volcanoes and to be the cause of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. The name "Gigantes" is taken to imply "earth-born", Hesiod's Theogony makes this explicit by having the Giants be the offspring of Gaia. According to Hesiod, mating with Uranus, bore many children: the first generation of Titans, the Cyclopes and the Hundred-Handers.
But Uranus hated his children and, as soon as they were born, he imprisoned them inside of Gaia, causing her much distress. And so Gaia made a sickle of adamant which she gave to Cronus, the youngest of her Titan sons, hid him to wait in ambush, and when Uranus came to lie with Gaia, Cronus castrated his father, "the bloody drops that gushed forth received, as the seasons moved round she bore... the great Giants." From these same drops of blood came the Erinyes and the Meliai, while the severed genitals of Uranus falling into the sea resulted in a white foam from which Aphrodite grew. The mythographer Apollodorus has the Giants being the offspring of Gaia and Uranus, though he makes no connection with Uranus' castration, saying that Gaia "vexed on account of the Titans, brought forth the Giants". There are three brief references to the Gigantes in Homer's Odyssey, though it's not clear that Homer and Hesiod understood the term to mean the same thing. Homer has Giants among the ancestors of the Phaiakians, a race of men encountered by Odysseus, their ruler Alcinous being the son of Nausithous, the son of Poseidon and Periboea, the daughter of the Giant king Eurymedon.
Elsewhere in the Odyssey, Alcinous says that the Phaiakians, like the Cyclopes and the Giants, are "near kin" to the gods. Odysseus describes the Laestrygonians as more like Giants than men. Pausanias, the 2nd century AD geographer, read these lines of the Odyssey to mean that, for Homer, the Giants were a race of mortal men; the 6th–5th century BC lyric poet Bacchylides calls the Giants "sons of the Earth". The term "gegeneis" became a common epithet of the Giants; the first century Latin writer Hyginus has the Giants being the offspring of Gaia and Tartarus, another primordial Greek deity. Though distinct in early traditions and writers confused or conflated the Giants and their Gigantomachy, with an earlier set of offspring of Gaia and Uranus, the Titans and their war with the Olympian gods, the Titanomachy; this confusion extended to other opponents of the Olympians, including the huge monster Typhon, the offspring of Gaia and Tartarus, whom Zeus defeated with his thunderbolt, the Aloadae, the large and aggressive brothers Otus and Ephialtes, who piled Pelion on top of Ossa in order to scale the heavens and attack the Olympians.
For example, Hyginus includes the names of three Titans: Coeus and Astraeus, along with Typhon and the Aloadae, in his list of Giants, Ovid, seems to conflate the Gigantomachy with the siege of Olympus by the Aloadae. Homer describes the Giant king Eurymedon as "great-hearted", his people as "insolent" and "froward". Hesiod calls the Giants "strong" and "great" which may not be a reference to their size. Though a possible addition, the Theogony has the Giants born "with gleaming armour, holding long spears in their hands". Other early sources characterize the Giants by their excesses. Pindar describes the excessive violence of the Giant Porphyrion as having provoked "beyond all measure". Bacchylides calls the Giants arrogant, saying that they were destroyed by "Hybris"; the earlier seventh century BC poet Alcman had used the Giants as an example of hubris, with the phrases "vengeance of the gods" and "they suffered unforgettable punishments for the evil they did" being possible references to the Gigantomachy.
Homer's comparison of the Giants to the Laestrygonians is suggestive of similarities between the two races. The Laestrygonians, who "hurled... rocks huge as a man could lift" possessed great strength, great size, as their king's wife is described as being as big as a mountain. Over time, descriptions of the Giants make them less human, more monstrous and more "gigantic". According to Apollodorus the Giants had great size and strength, a frightening appearance, with long hair and beards and scaly feet. Ovid makes them "serpent-footed" with a "hundred arms", Nonnus has them "serpent-haired"; the most important divine struggle in Greek mythology was the Gigantomachy, the battle fought between the Giants and the Olympian gods for supremacy of the cosmos. It is for this battle that the Giants are known, its importance to Greek cultu
Hesiod was a Greek poet thought by scholars to have been active between 750 and 650 BC, around the same time as Homer. He is regarded as the first written poet in the Western tradition to regard himself as an individual persona with an active role to play in his subject. Ancient authors credited Homer with establishing Greek religious customs. Modern scholars refer to him as a major source on Greek mythology, farming techniques, early economic thought, archaic Greek astronomy and ancient time-keeping; the dating of Hesiod's life is a contested issue in scholarly circles. Epic narrative allowed poets like Homer no opportunity for personal revelations. However, Hesiod's extant work comprises several didactic poems in which he went out of his way to let his audience in on a few details of his life. There are three explicit references in Works and Days, as well as some passages in his Theogony that support inferences made by scholars; the former poem says that his father came from Cyme in Aeolis and crossed the sea to settle at a hamlet, near Thespiae in Boeotia, named Ascra, "a cursed place, cruel in winter, hard in summer, never pleasant".
Hesiod's patrimony there, a small piece of ground at the foot of Mount Helicon, occasioned lawsuits with his brother Perses, who seems, at first, to have cheated him of his rightful share thanks to corrupt authorities or "kings" but became impoverished and ended up scrounging from the thrifty poet. Unlike his father, Hesiod was averse to sea travel, but he once crossed the narrow strait between the Greek mainland and Euboea to participate in funeral celebrations for one Athamas of Chalcis, there won a tripod in a singing competition, he describes a meeting between himself and the Muses on Mount Helicon, where he had been pasturing sheep when the goddesses presented him with a laurel staff, a symbol of poetic authority. Fanciful though the story might seem, the account has led ancient and modern scholars to infer that he was not a professionally trained rhapsode, or he would have been presented with a lyre instead; some scholars have seen Perses as a literary creation, a foil for the moralizing that Hesiod develops in Works and Days, but there are arguments against that theory.
For example, it is quite common for works of moral instruction to have an imaginative setting, as a means of getting the audience's attention, but it could be difficult to see how Hesiod could have travelled around the countryside entertaining people with a narrative about himself if the account was known to be fictitious. Gregory Nagy, on the other hand, sees both Pérsēs and Hēsíodos as fictitious names for poetical personae, it might seem unusual that Hesiod's father migrated from Asia Minor westwards to mainland Greece, the opposite direction to most colonial movements at the time, Hesiod himself gives no explanation for it. However around 750 BC or a little there was a migration of seagoing merchants from his original home in Cyme in Asia Minor to Cumae in Campania, his move west had something to do with that, since Euboea is not far from Boeotia, where he established himself and his family; the family association with Aeolian Cyme might explain his familiarity with eastern myths, evident in his poems, though the Greek world might have developed its own versions of them.
In spite of Hesiod's complaints about poverty, life on his father's farm could not have been too uncomfortable if Works and Days is anything to judge by, since he describes the routines of prosperous yeomanry rather than peasants. His farmer employs a friend as well as servants, an energetic and responsible ploughman of mature years, a slave boy to cover the seed, a female servant to keep house and working teams of oxen and mules. One modern scholar surmises that Hesiod may have learned about world geography the catalogue of rivers in Theogony, listening to his father's accounts of his own sea voyages as a merchant; the father spoke in the Aeolian dialect of Cyme but Hesiod grew up speaking the local Boeotian, belonging to the same dialect group. However, while his poetry features some Aeolisms there are no words that are Boeotian, his basic language was the main literary dialect of Homer's Ionian. It is probable that Hesiod wrote his poems down, or dictated them, rather than passed them on orally, as rhapsodes did—otherwise the pronounced personality that now emerges from the poems would have been diluted through oral transmission from one rhapsode to another.
Pausanias asserted that Boeotians showed him an old tablet made of lead on which the Works were engraved. If he did write or dictate, it was as an aid to memory or because he lacked confidence in his ability to produce poems extempore, as trained rhapsodes could do, it wasn't in a quest for immortal fame since poets in his era had no such notions for themselves. However, some scholars suspect the presence of large-scale changes in the text and attribute this to oral transmission, he composed his verses during idle times on the farm, in the spring before the May harvest or the dead of winter. The personality behind the poems is unsuited to the kind of "aristocratic withdrawal" typical of a rhapsode but is instead "argumentative, suspicious humorous, fond of proverbs, wary of women." He was in fact a misogynist of t