Nonnus of Panopolis was a Greek epic poet of Hellenized Egypt in the Imperial Roman era. He was a native of Panopolis in the Egyptian Thebaid and lived at the end of the 4th or in the 5th century CE, he is known as the composer of the Dionysiaca, an epic tale of the god Dionysus, of the Metabole, a paraphrase of the Gospel of John. The epic Dionysiaca describes the life of Dionysus, his expedition to India, his triumphant return to the west, it was written in Homeric dialect and in dactylic hexameter, it consists of 48 books at 20,426 lines. There is no evidence for the life of Nonnus, it is known that he was a native of Panopolis in Upper Egypt from his naming in manuscripts and the reference in epigram 9.198 of the Palatine Anthology. Scholars have dated him from the end of the 4th to the central years of the 5th century, he must have lived after the composition of Claudian's Greek Gigantomachy as he appears to be familiar with that work. Agathias Scholasticus seems to have followed him, with a mid-6th-century reference to him as a "recent author".
He is sometimes conflated with St Nonnus from the hagiographies of St Pelagia and with Nonnus, the bishop of Edessa who attended the Council of Chalcedon, both of whom seem to have been contemporary, but these associations are mistaken. Nonnus' principal work is the 48-book epic Dionysiaca, the longest surviving poem from antiquity, it has 20,426 lines composed in Homeric dialect and dactylic hexameters, the main subject of, the life of Dionysus, his expedition to India, his triumphant return to the west. The poem is thought to have been written in the early 5th century; the poem is traditionally regarded by scholars as being inconsistent in literary quality, but it still has value due to its preservation of many myths about Dionysus that otherwise may not have been preserved. His Paraphrase of John survives, its timing is a debated point: textual analysis seems to suggest that it preceded the Dionysiaca while some scholars feel it unlikely that a converted Christian would have gone on to devote so much work to the Dionysiaca’s pagan themes.
A team of Italian scholars is producing a full commentary of the poem, book by book, of which several parts have been published. They have shown that Nonnus was as learned in Christian theology as in pagan myth. A complete and updated bibliography of Nonnus scholarship may be found at Hellenistic Bibliography's page at Google Sites. Editions and translations of the Dionysiaca include: Bilingual Greek-English edition: W. H. D. Rouse, Dionysiaca, With an English Translation by W. H. D. Rouse, Mythological Introduction and Notes by H. J. Rose, Notes on Text Criticism by L. R. Lind, 3 vols. Loeb Classical Library, Cambridge Bilingual Greek-French edition: F. Vian, Nonnos de Panopolis, Les Dionysiaques, 19 volumes, Paris Bilingual Greek-Italian edition: D. Gigli Piccardi, Nonno di Panopoli, Le Dionisiache, BUR, Milano Nonno di Panopoli, Le Dionisiache, a cura di D. del Corno, traduzione di M. Maletta, note de F. Tissoni, 2 vols, Milano 1997. F. Tissoni, Nonno di Panopoli, I Canti di Penteo. Commento, Firenze 1998Editions and translations of the Paraphrase include: The only complete translation into English: Prost, Mark Anthony.
Nonnos of Panopolis, The Paraphrase of the Gospel of John. Translated from the Greek by M. A. P. Ventura, CA: The Writing Shop Press, 2006 The last complete edition of the Greek text: Nonni Panopolitani Paraphrasis S. Evangelii Joannei edidit Augustinus Scheindler, accedit S. Evangelii textus et index verborum, Lipsiae in aedibus Teubneri 1881A team of scholars are now re-editing the text, book by book, with ample introductions and notes. Published so far: C. De Stefani, Nonno di Panopoli: Parafrasi del Vangelo di S. Giovanni, Canto I, Bologna E. Livrea, Nonno di Panopoli, Parafrasi del Vangelo di S. Giovanni, Canto B, Bologna M. Caprara, Nonno di Panopoli, Parafrasi del Vangelo di S. Giovanni, Canto IV, Pisa G. Agosti, Nonno di Panopoli, Parafrasi del Vangelo di S. Giovanni, Canto V, Firenze R. Franchi, Nonno di Panopoli. Parafrasi del Vangelo di S. Giovanni: canto sesto, Bologna K. Spanoudakis, Nonnus of Panopolis. Paraphrase of the Gospel of John XI, Oxford C. Greco, Nonno di Panopoli, Parafrasi del Vangelo di S. Giovanni, canto XIII, Alessandria E. Livrea, Nonno di Panopoli, Parafrasi del Vangelo di S. Giovanni, Canto XVIII, Napoli D. Accorinti, Nonno di Panopoli, Parafrasi del Vangelo di S. Giovanni, Canto XX, Pisa Kalamos and Karpos Cameron, Alan, "The Poet, the Bishop, the Harlot", Wandering Poets and Other Essays on Late Greek Literature and Philosophy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 81–90, ISBN 978-0-19-026894-7.
On Nonnus and his context: D. Accorinti - P. Chuvin, Des Géants à Dionysos. Mélanges de mythologie et de poésie grecques offerts à Francis Vian. Alessandria L. Miguélez-Cavero, Poems in Context. Greek Poetry in the Egyptian Thebaid 200-600 AD, Berlin Robert Shorrock, Myth of Paganism: Nonnus and the World of Late Antiquity. Shorrock, Robert; the Challenge of Epic. Allusive Engagement in the Dionysiaca of Nonnus. Leiden: Brill, 2001 K. Spanoudakis, Nonnus of Panopolis in Context. Poetry
Isthmus of Corinth
The Isthmus of Corinth is the narrow land bridge which connects the Peloponnese peninsula with the rest of the mainland of Greece, near the city of Corinth. The word "isthmus" comes from the Ancient Greek word for "neck" and refers to the narrowness of the land; the Isthmus was known in the ancient world as the landmark separating the Peloponnese from mainland Greece. In the first century AD the geographer Strabo noted a stele on the Isthmus of Corinth, which bore two inscriptions. One towards the East, i.e. towards Megara, reading: "Here is not Peloponnesus, but Ionia" and the one towards the West, i.e. towards the Peloponnese: "Here is Peloponnesus, not Ionia". To the west of the Isthmus is the Gulf of Corinth, to the east the Saronic Gulf. Since 1893 the Corinth Canal has run through the 6.3 km wide isthmus making the Peloponnese an island. Today, two road bridges, two railway bridges and two submersible bridges at both ends of the canal connect the mainland side of the isthmus with the Peloponnese side.
A military emergency bridge is located at the west end of the canal. The idea for a shortcut to save boats sailing all round the Peloponnese was long considered by the Ancient Greeks; the first attempt to build a canal there was carried out by the tyrant Periander in the 7th century BC. He abandoned the project owing to technical difficulties, instead constructed a simpler and less costly overland stone ramp, named Diolkos, as a portage road. Remnants of Diolkos still exist today next to the modern canal; when the Romans took control of Greece, a number of different solutions were tried. Julius Caesar foresaw the advantages of a link for his newly built Colonia Laus Iulia Corinthiensis. By the reign of Tiberius, engineers tried to dig a canal, but were defeated by lack of modern equipment. Instead they built an Ancient Egyptian device: boats were rolled across the isthmus on logs, as the Egyptians had rolled blocks of granite to make their pyramids; this was in use by AD 32. In AD 67, the philhellene Roman emperor Nero ordered 6,000 slaves to dig a canal with spades.
Historian Flavius Josephus writes that the 6,000 slaves were Jewish pirates, taken captive by Vespasian during the Jewish wars. According to Pliny the Elder, the work advanced four stadia; the following year Nero died, his successor Galba abandoned the project as being too expensive. In the modern era, the idea was first proposed in 1830, soon after Greece's independence from the Ottoman Empire, was brought to completion in 1893 after eleven years' work. Near the canal runs an ancient stone trackway, the Diolkos, once used for dragging ships overland. There are major concerns about preservation of this path. Greek campaigners are calling for greater effort by the Greek government to protect this archaeological site; the Hexamilion wall is a Roman defensive wall constructed across the Isthmus of Corinth guarding the only land route into the Peloponnese peninsula from mainland Greece
Heracles, born Alcaeus or Alcides was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon. He was a half-brother of Perseus, he was the greatest of the Greek heroes, a paragon of masculinity, the ancestor of royal clans who claimed to be Heracleidae, a champion of the Olympian order against chthonic monsters. In Rome and the modern West, he is known as Hercules, with whom the Roman emperors, in particular Commodus and Maximian identified themselves; the Romans adopted the Greek version of his life and works unchanged, but added anecdotal detail of their own, some of it linking the hero with the geography of the Central Mediterranean. Details of his cult were adapted to Rome as well. Many popular stories were told of the most famous being The Twelve Labours of Heracles, his figure, which drew on Near Eastern motifs such as the lion-fight, was known. Heracles was the greatest of Hellenic chthonic heroes, but unlike other Greek heroes, no tomb was identified as his.
Heracles was both god, as Pindar says heros theos. The core of the story of Heracles has been identified by Walter Burkert as originating in Neolithic hunter culture and traditions of shamanistic crossings into the netherworld, it is possible that the myths surrounding Heracles were based on the life of a real person or several people whose accomplishments became exaggerated with time. Based on commonalities in the legends of Heracles and Odysseus, author Steven Sora suggested that they were both based on the same historical person, who made his mark prior to recorded history. Heracles' role as a culture hero, whose death could be a subject of mythic telling, was accepted into the Olympian Pantheon during Classical times; this created an awkwardness in the encounter with Odysseus in the episode of Odyssey XI, called the Nekuia, where Odysseus encounters Heracles in Hades: Ancient critics were aware of the problem of the aside that interrupts the vivid and complete description, in which Heracles recognizes Odysseus and hails him, modern critics find good reasons for denying that the verses beginning, in Fagles' translation His ghost I mean... were part of the original composition: "once people knew of Heracles' admission to Olympus, they would not tolerate his presence in the underworld", remarks Friedrich Solmsen, noting that the interpolated verses represent a compromise between conflicting representations of Heracles.
In Christian circles a Euhemerist reading of the widespread Heracles cult was attributed to a historical figure, offered cult status after his death. Thus Eusebius, Preparation of the Gospel, reported that Clement could offer historical dates for Hercules as a king in Argos: "from the reign of Hercules in Argos to the deification of Hercules himself and of Asclepius there are comprised thirty-eight years, according to Apollodorus the chronicler: and from that point to the deification of Castor and Pollux fifty-three years: and somewhere about this time was the capture of Troy." Readers with a literalist bent, following Clement's reasoning, have asserted from this remark that, since Heracles ruled over Tiryns in Argos at the same time that Eurystheus ruled over Mycenae, since at about this time Linus was Heracles' teacher, one can conclude, based on Jerome's date—in his universal history, his Chronicon—given to Linus' notoriety in teaching Heracles in 1264 BCE, that Heracles' death and deification occurred 38 years in 1226 BCE.
The ancient Greeks celebrated the festival of the Heracleia, which commemorated the death of Heracles, on the second day of the month of Metageitnion. What is believed to be an Egyptian Temple of Heracles in the Bahariya Oasis dates to 21 BCE. A reassessment of Ptolemy's descriptions of the island of Malta attempted to link the site at Ras ir-Raħeb with a temple to Heracles, but the arguments are not conclusive. Several ancient cities were named Heraclea in his honor. Although the Athenians were among the first to worship Heracles as a god, there were Greek cities that refused to recognize the hero's divine status. There are several polis that provided two separate sanctuaries for Heracles, one recognizing him as a god, the other only as a hero; this ambiguity helped create the Heracles cult when historians and artists encouraged worship such as the painters during the time of the Peisistratos, who presented Heracles entering Olympus in their works. Some sources explained that the cult of Heracles persisted because of the hero's ascent to heaven and his suffering, which became the basis for festivals, ritual and the organization of mysteries.
There is the observation, for example, that sufferings gave rise to the rituals of grief and mourning, which came before the joy in the mysteries in the sequence of cult rituals. Like the case of Apollo, the cult of Hercules has been sustained through the years by absorbing local cult figures such as those who share the same nature, he was constantly invoked as a patron for men the young ones. For example, he was considered the ideal in warfare so he presided over gymnasiums and the ephebes or those men undergoing military training. There were ancient towns and cities that adopted Hera
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
Artemis, in the ancient Greek religion and myth, is the goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, wild animals, the Moon, chastity. Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and Leto, the twin sister of Apollo, she was the patron and protector of young girls, was believed to bring disease upon women and relieve them of it. Artemis was worshipped as one of the primary goddesses of childbirth and midwifery along with Eileithyia. Much like Athena and Hestia, Artemis is sworn never to marry. Artemis was one of the most venerated of the Ancient Greek deities and her temple at Ephesus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Artemis' symbols included a bow and arrow, a quiver and hunting knives and the deer and the cypress were sacred to her; the goddess Diana is her Roman equivalent. The name Artemis is of uncertain etymology, although various sources have been proposed. According to J. T. Jablonski, the name is Phrygian and could be "compared with the royal appellation Artemas of Xenophon. According to Charles Anthon the primitive root of the name is of Persian origin from *arta, *art, *arte, all meaning "great, holy," thus Artemis "becomes identical with the great mother of Nature as she was worshipped at Ephesus".
Anton Goebel "suggests the root στρατ or ῥατ, "to shake," and makes Artemis mean the thrower of the dart or the shooter". The name may be related to Greek árktos "bear", supported by the bear cult the goddess had in Attica and the Neolithic remains at the Arkoudiotissa Cave, as well as the story of Callisto, about Artemis, it is believed that a precursor of Artemis was worshipped in Minoan Crete as the goddess of mountains and hunting, Britomartis. While connection with Anatolian names has been suggested, the earliest attested forms of the name Artemis are the Mycenaean Greek, a-te-mi-to /Artemitos/ and, a-ti-mi-te /Artimitei/, written in Linear B at Pylos. R. S. P. Beekes suggested. Artemis was venerated in Lydia as Artimus. Georgios Babiniotis, while accepting that the etymology is unknown states that the name is attested in Mycenean Greek and is of Pre-Greek origin. Ancient Greek writers, by way of folk etymology, some modern scholars, have linked Artemis to ἄρταμος, artamos, i.e. "butcher" or, like Plato did in Cratylus, to ἀρτεμής, artemḗs, i.e. "safe", "unharmed", "uninjured", "pure", "the stainless maiden".
Various conflicting accounts are given in Classical Greek mythology regarding the birth of Artemis and Apollo, her twin brother. However, in terms of parentage, all accounts agree that she was the daughter of Zeus and Leto and that she was the twin sister of Apollo. An account by Callimachus has it that Hera forbade Leto to give birth on either terra firma or on an island. Hera was angry with her husband Zeus because he had impregnated Leto but the island of Delos disobeyed Hera and Leto gave birth there. According to the Homeric Hymn to Artemis the island where Leto gave birth was Ortygia. In ancient Cretan history Leto was worshipped at Phaistos and, in Cretan mythology, Leto gave birth to Apollo and Artemis on the islands known today as Paximadia. A scholium of Servius on Aeneid iii. 72 accounts for the island's archaic name Ortygia by asserting that Zeus transformed Leto into a quail in order to prevent Hera from finding out about his infidelity, Kenneth McLeish suggested further that in quail form Leto would have given birth with as few birth-pains as a mother quail suffers when it lays an egg.
The myths differ as to whether Artemis was born first, or Apollo. Most stories depict Artemis as born first, becoming her mother's midwife upon the birth of her brother Apollo; the childhood of Artemis is not related in any surviving myth. The Iliad reduced the figure of the dread goddess to that of a girl, having been thrashed by Hera, climbs weeping into the lap of Zeus. A poem by Callimachus to the goddess "who amuses herself on mountains with archery" imagines some charming vignettes. Artemis, while sitting on the knee of her father, asked him to grant her several wishes: to always remain a virgin to have many names to set her apart from her brother Phoebus to have a bow and arrow made by the Cyclops to be the Phaesporia or Light Bringer to have a knee-length tunic so that she could hunt to have sixty "daughters of Okeanos", all nine years of age, to be her choir to have twenty Amnisides Nymphs as handmaidens to watch her dogs and bow while she rested to rule all the mountains any city to have the ability to help women in the pains of childbirth.
Artemis believed that she had been chosen by the Fates to be a midwife since she had assisted her mother in the delivery of her twin brother, Apollo. All of her companions remained virgins, Artemis guarded her own chastity, her symbols included the golden bow and arrow, the hunting dog, the stag, the Moon. Callimachus tells how Artemis spent her girlhood seeking out the things that she would need to be a huntress, how she obtained her bow and arrows from the isle of Lipara, where Hephaestus and the Cyclops worked. Oceanus' daughters were filled with fear, but the young Artemis bravely approached and asked for bow and arrows. Callimachus tells how Artemis visited Pan, the god of the forest, who gave her seven bitches and six dogs, she captured six golden-horned deer to pull her chariot. Artemis practiced with h
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
In Greek mythology, son of Chrysaor and Callirrhoe, the grandson of Medusa and the nephew of Pegasus, was a fearsome giant who dwelt on the island Erytheia of the mythic Hesperides in the far west of the Mediterranean. A more literal-minded generation of Greeks associated the region with Tartessos in southern Iberia. Geryon was described as a monster with human faces. According to Hesiod Geryon had one body and three heads, whereas the tradition followed by Aeschylus gave him three bodies. A lost description by Stesichoros said that he is winged; some accounts state that he had six legs as well while others state that the three bodies were joined to one pair of legs. Apart from these bizarre features, his appearance was that of a warrior, he owned a two-headed hound named Orthrus, the brother of Cerberus, a herd of magnificent red cattle that were guarded by Orthrus, a herder Eurytion, son of Erytheia. In the fullest account in the Bibliotheke of Pseudo-Apollodorus, Heracles was required to travel to Erytheia, in order to obtain the Cattle of Geryon as his tenth labour.
On the way there, he crossed the Libyan desert and became so frustrated at the heat that he shot an arrow at Helios, the Sun. Helios "in admiration of his courage" gave Heracles the golden chariot he used to sail across the sea from west to east each night. Heracles used it to reach a favorite motif of the vase-painters; such a magical conveyance undercuts any literal geography for Erytheia, the "red island" of the sunset. When Heracles reached Erytheia, no sooner had he landed than he was confronted by the two-headed dog, Orthrus. With one huge blow from his olive-wood club, Heracles killed the watchdog. Eurytion the herdsman came to assist Orthrus. On hearing the commotion, Geryon sprang into action, carrying three shields, three spears, wearing three helmets, he pursued Heracles at the River Anthemus but fell victim to an arrow, dipped in the venomous blood of the Lernaean Hydra, shot so forcefully by Heracles that it pierced Geryon's forehead, "and Geryon bent his neck over to one side, like a poppy that spoils its delicate shapes, shedding its petals all at once".
Heracles had to herd the cattle back to Eurystheus. In Roman versions of the narrative, on the Aventine Hill in Italy, Cacus stole some of the cattle as Heracles slept, making the cattle walk backwards so that they left no trail, a repetition of the trick of the young Hermes. According to some versions, Heracles drove his remaining cattle past a cave, where Cacus had hidden the stolen animals, they began calling out to each other. In others, Cacus' sister, told Heracles where he was. Heracles killed Cacus, according to the Romans, founded an altar where the Forum Boarium, the cattle market, was held. To annoy Heracles, Hera sent a gadfly to irritate them and scatter them; the hero was within a year able to retrieve them. Hera sent a flood which raised the level of a river so much, Heracles could not cross with the cattle, he piled stones into the river to make the water shallower. When he reached the court of Eurystheus, the cattle were sacrificed to Hera. In the Aeneid, Vergil may have based the triple-souled figure of Erulus, king of Praeneste, on Geryon and Hercules' conquest of Geryon is mentioned in Book VIII.
The Herculean Sarcophagus of Genzano features. The poet Stesichorus wrote a song of Geryon in the sixth century BC, the source of this section in Bibliotheke. From the fragmentary papyri found at Oxyrhyncus it is possible that Stesichorus inserted a character, who reported the theft of the cattle to Geryon. Geryon had an interview with his mother Callirrhoe, who begged him not to confront Heracles, they appear to have expressed some doubt as to. The gods met in council, where Athena warned Poseidon that she would protect Heracles against Poseidon's grandson Geryon. Denys Page observes that the increase in representation of the Geryon episode in vase-paintings increased from the mid-sixth century and suggests that Stesichorus' Geryoneïs provided the impetus; the fragments are sufficient to show that the poem was composed in twenty-six line triads, of strophe and epode, repeated in columns along the original scroll, facts that aided Page in placing many of the fragments, sometimes of no more than a word, in what he believed to be their proper positions.
In his work Description of Greece, Pausanias mentions that Geryon had a daughter, who had a son with Hermes, the founder of the city of Nora in Sardinia. The Geryon of Dante's 14th century epic poem. Here, Geryon has become the Monster of Fraud, a beast with enormous dragon-like wings with the paws of a lion, the body of a wyvern, a scorpion's poisonous sting at the tip of his tail, but with the face of an "honest man", he dwells somewhere in the shadowed depths below the cliff between the seventh and eighth circles of Hell. They board him, Geryon glides in descending circles around the waterfall of the river Phlegethon down to the great depths to the Circle of Fraud; the Cádiz Memorial is a London monument displaying a captured Napoleonic mortar