Callimachus was a native of the Greek colony of Cyrene, Libya. He was a poet and scholar at the Library of Alexandria and enjoyed the patronage of the Egyptian–Greek Pharaohs Ptolemy II Philadelphus and Ptolemy III Euergetes. Although he was never made chief librarian, he was responsible for producing a bibliographic survey based upon the contents of the Library. This, his Pinakes, 120 volumes long, provided the foundation for work on the history of ancient Greek literature, he is among the most influential scholar-poets of the Hellenistic age. Callimachus was of Libyan Greek origin, he was born c. 310/305 BC and raised in Cyrene, as member of a distinguished family, his parents being Mesatme and Battus, supposed descendant of the first Greek king of Cyrene, Battus I, through whom Callimachus claimed to be a descendant of the Battiad dynasty, the Libyan Greek monarchs that ruled Cyrenaica for eight generations and the first Greek Royal family to have reigned in Africa. He was named after his grandfather, an "elder" Callimachus, regarded by the Cyrenaean citizens and had served as a general.
Callimachus married. However, it is unknown, he had a sister called Megatime but little is known about her: she married a Cyrenaean man called Stasenorus or Stasenor to whom she bore a son, who became a poet, author of "The Island". In years, he was educated in Athens; when he returned to North Africa, he moved to Alexandria. Elitist and erudite, claiming to "abhor all common things," Callimachus is best known for his short poems and epigrams. During the Hellenistic period, a major trend in Greek-language poetry was to reject epics modelled after Homer. Instead, Callimachus urged poets to "drive their wagons on untrodden fields," rather than following in the well worn tracks of Homer, idealizing a form of poetry, brief, yet formed and worded, a style at which he excelled. "Big book, big evil" is another saying attributed to him thought to be attacking long, old-fashioned poetry. Callimachus wrote poems in praise of his royal patrons, a wide variety of other poetic styles, as well as prose and criticism.
Due to Callimachus' strong stance against the epic, he and his younger student Apollonius of Rhodes, who favored epic and wrote the Argonautica, had a long and bitter feud, trading barbed comments and personal attacks for over thirty years. It is now known, through a papyrus fragment from Oxyrhynchus listing the earliest chief librarians of the Library of Alexandria that Ptolemy II never offered the post to Callimachus, but passed him over for Apollonius Rhodius; some classicists, including Peter Green, speculate. According to the current scholarly consensus, the evidence for this putative feud is lacking, it is to be specious. Moreover, without knowing the precise nature of the role, it is impossible to conclude what should be inferred from Callimachus' failure to become chief librarian. Though Callimachus was an opponent of "big books", the Suda puts his number of works at 800, suggesting that he found large quantities of small works more acceptable. Of these, only six hymns, sixty-four epigrams, some fragments are extant.
His Aetia, another rare longer work surviving only in tattered papyrus fragments and quotations in authors, was a collection of elegiac poems in four books, dealing with the foundation of cities, obscure religious ceremonies, unique local traditions chosen for their oddity, other customs, throughout the Hellenic world. In the first three books at least, the formula appears to ask a question of the Muse, of the form, "Why, on Paros, do worshippers of the Charites use neither flutes nor crowns?" "Why, at Argos is a month named for'lambs'?" "Why, at Leucas, does the image of Artemis have a mortar on its head?" A series of questions can be reconstituted from the fragments. One passage of the Aetia, the so-called Coma Berenices, has been reconstructed from papyrus remains and the celebrated Latin adaptation of Catullus; the extant hymns are learned, written in a style that some have criticised as labored and artificial. The epigrams are more respected, several have been incorporated into the Greek Anthology.
According to Quintilian he was the chief of the elegiac poets. Many modern classicists hold Callimachus in high regard for his major influence on Latin poetry. Callimachus' most famous prose work is the Pinakes, a bibliographical survey of authors of the works held in the Library of Alexandria; the Pinakes was one of the first known documents that lists and categorizes a library’s holdings. By consulting the Pinakes, a library patron could find out if the library contained a work by a particular author, how it was categorized, where it might be found, it is important to note that Callimachus did not seem to have any models for his pinakes, invented this system on his own. Pfeiffer, R. Callimachus, vol. I: Fragmenta. ISBN 978-0-19-814115-0. Pfeiffer, R. Callimachus, vol. ii: Hymni
Poseidon was one of the Twelve Olympians in ancient Greek religion and myth. He was god of other waters. In pre-Olympian Bronze Age Greece, he was venerated as a chief deity at Thebes, his Roman equivalent is Neptune. Poseidon was protector of seafarers, of many Hellenic cities and colonies. In Homer's Iliad, Poseidon supports the Greeks against the Trojans during the Trojan War. In the Odyssey, during the sea-voyage from Troy back home to Ithaca, the Greek hero Odysseus provokes Poseidon's fury by blinding his son, the Cyclops Polyphemus, resulting in Poseidon punishing him with storms, the complete loss of his ship and companions, a ten-year delay. Poseidon is the subject of a Homeric hymn. In Plato's Timaeus and Critias, the island of Atlantis was Poseidon's domain; the earliest attested occurrence of the name, written in Linear B, is Po-se-da-o or Po-se-da-wo-ne, which correspond to Ποσειδάων and Ποσειδάϝονος in Mycenean Greek. The form Ποτειδάϝων appears in Corinth. A common epithet of Poseidon is Ἐνοσίχθων Enosichthon, "Earth-shaker", an epithet, identified in Linear B, as, E-ne-si-da-o-ne, This recalls his epithets Ennosidas and Ennosigaios indicating the chthonic nature of Poseidon.
The origins of the name "Poseidon" are unclear. One theory breaks it down into an element meaning "husband" or "lord" and another element meaning "earth", producing something like lord or spouse of Da, i.e. of the earth. Walter Burkert finds that "the second element da- remains hopelessly ambiguous" and finds a "husband of Earth" reading "quite impossible to prove."Another theory interprets the second element as related to the word *δᾶϝον dâwon, "water". There is the possibility that the word has Pre-Greek origin. Plato in his dialogue Cratylus gives two alternative etymologies: either the sea restrained Poseidon when walking as a "foot-bond", or he "knew many things". At least a few sources deem Poseidon as a "prehellenic" word, considering an Indo-European etymology "quite pointless". If surviving Linear B clay tablets can be trusted, the name po-se-da-wo-ne occurs with greater frequency than does di-u-ja. A feminine variant, po-se-de-ia, is found, indicating a lost consort goddess, in effect the precursor of Amphitrite.
Poseidon carries the title wa-na-ka in Linear B inscriptions, as king of the underworld. The chthonic nature of Poseidon-Wanax is indicated by his title E-ne-si-da-o-ne in Mycenean Knossos and Pylos, a powerful attribute. In the cave of Amnisos Enesidaon is related with the cult of the goddess of childbirth, she was related with the annual birth of the divine child. During the Bronze Age, a goddess of nature, dominated both in Minoan and Mycenean cult, Wanax was her male companion in Mycenean cult, it is possible that Demeter appears as Da-ma-te in a Linear B inscription, however the interpretetion is still under dispute. In Linear B inscriptions found at Pylos, E-ne-si-da-o-ne is related with Poseidon, Si-to Po-tini-ja is related with Demeter. Tablets from Pylos record sacrificial goods destined for "the Two Queens and Poseidon"; the "Two Queens" may be related with Demeter and Persephone, or their precursors, goddesses who were not associated with Poseidon in periods. The illuminating exception is the archaic and localised myth of the stallion Poseidon and mare Demeter at Phigalia in isolated and conservative Arcadia, noted by Pausanias as having fallen into desuetude.
The violated Demeter was Demeter Erinys. In Arcadia, Demeter's mare-form was worshiped into historical times, her xoanon of Phigaleia shows. A Medusa type with a horse's head with snaky hair, holding a dove and a dolphin representing her power over air and water, it seems that the Arcadian myth is related with the first Greek speaking people who entered the region during the Bronze Age.. Their religious beliefs were mixed with the beliefs of the indigenous population, it is possible that the Greeks did not bring with them other gods except Zeus and the Dioskouroi. The horse was related with the liquid element, with the underworld. Poseidon appears as a beast, the river spirit of the underworld, as it happens in northern-European folklore, not unusually in Greece. Poseidon “Wanax”, is the male companion of the goddess of nature. In the relative Minoan myth, Pasiphaë is mating with the white bull, she bears the hybrid creature Minotaur; the Bull was the old pre-Olympian Poseidon. The goddess of nature and her paredros survived in the Eleusinian cult, where the following words were uttered: " Mighty Potnia bore a strong son"In the sea-dependent Mycenaean culture, there is not sufficient evidence that Poseidon was connected with the sea.
We do not know. H
Geoffrey Chaucer was an English poet and author. Considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages, he is best known for The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer has been styled the "Father of English literature" and was the first writer buried in Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey. Chaucer achieved fame in his lifetime as a philosopher and astronomer, composing the scientific A Treatise on the Astrolabe for his 10-year-old son Lewis, he maintained an active career in the civil service as a bureaucrat and diplomat. Among Chaucer's many other works are The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, The Legend of Good Women, Troilus and Criseyde, he is seen as crucial in legitimising the literary use of the Middle English vernacular at a time when the dominant literary languages in England were still French and Latin. Chaucer was born in London sometime around 1343, though the precise date and location remain unknown, his father and grandfather were both London vintners, several previous generations had been merchants in Ipswich.
His family name is derived from the French chausseur, meaning "shoemaker". In 1324, his father John Chaucer was kidnapped by an aunt in the hope of marrying the 12-year-old to her daughter in an attempt to keep property in Ipswich; the aunt was imprisoned and fined £250, equivalent to £200,000 today, which suggests that the family was financially secure. John Chaucer married Agnes Copton who inherited properties in 1349, including 24 shops in London from her uncle Hamo de Copton, described in a will dated 3 April 1354 and listed in the City Hustings Roll as "moneyer", said to be moneyer at the Tower of London. In the City Hustings Roll 110, 5, Ric II, dated June 1380, Chaucer refers to himself as me Galfridum Chaucer, filium Johannis Chaucer, Londonie. While records concerning the lives of his contemporary friends, William Langland and the Pearl Poet, are non-existent, since Chaucer was a public servant, his official life is well documented, with nearly five hundred written items testifying to his career.
The first of the "Chaucer Life Records" appears in 1357, in the household accounts of Elizabeth de Burgh, the Countess of Ulster, when he became the noblewoman's page through his father's connections, a common medieval form of apprenticeship for boys into knighthood or prestige appointments. The countess was married to Lionel, Duke of Clarence, the second surviving son of the king, Edward III, the position brought the teenage Chaucer into the close court circle, where he was to remain for the rest of his life, he worked as a courtier, a diplomat, a civil servant, as well as working for the king from 1389 to 1391 as Clerk of the King's Works. In 1359, in the early stages of the Hundred Years' War, Edward III invaded France and Chaucer travelled with Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence, Elizabeth's husband, as part of the English army. In 1360, he was captured during the siege of Rheims. Edward paid £16 for his ransom, a considerable sum, Chaucer was released. After this, Chaucer's life is uncertain, but he seems to have travelled in France and Flanders as a messenger and even going on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.
Around 1366, Chaucer married Philippa Roet. She was a lady-in-waiting to Edward III's queen, Philippa of Hainault, a sister of Katherine Swynford, who became the third wife of John of Gaunt, it is uncertain how many children Chaucer and Philippa had, but three or four are most cited. His son, Thomas Chaucer, had an illustrious career, as chief butler to four kings, envoy to France, Speaker of the House of Commons. Thomas's daughter, married the Duke of Suffolk. Thomas's great-grandson, John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, was the heir to the throne designated by Richard III before he was deposed. Geoffrey's other children included Elizabeth Chaucy, a nun at Barking Abbey, Agnes, an attendant at Henry IV's coronation. Chaucer's "Treatise on the Astrolabe" was written for Lewis. According to tradition, Chaucer studied law in the Inner Temple at this time, he became a member of the royal court of Edward III as a valet de chambre, yeoman, or esquire on 20 June 1367, a position which could entail a wide variety of tasks.
His wife received a pension for court employment. He travelled abroad at least some of them in his role as a valet. In 1368, he may have attended the wedding of Lionel of Antwerp to Violante Visconti, daughter of Galeazzo II Visconti, in Milan. Two other literary stars of the era were in attendance: Petrarch. Around this time, Chaucer is believed to have written The Book of the Duchess in honour of Blanche of Lancaster, the late wife of John of Gaunt, who died in 1369 of the plague. Chaucer travelled to Picardy the next year as part of a military expedition. Numerous scholars such as Skeat and Rowland suggested that, on this Italian trip, he came into contact with Petrarch or Boccaccio, they introduced him to medieval the forms and stories of which he would use later. The purposes of a voyage in 1377 are mysterious, as details within the historical record conflict. Documents suggest it was a mission, along with Jean Froissart, to arrange a marriage between the future King Richard II and a French princess, thereby ending the Hundred Years War.
If this was the purpose of their trip, they seem to have been unsuccessful. In 1378, Richard II sent Chaucer as an envoy to the Visconti and to Sir John Hawkwood, English condottiere in Milan, it has been specu
In Greek mythology, Arachne was a talented mortal weaver who challenged Athena, goddess of wisdom and crafts, to a weaving contest. There are many versions of the story's weaving contest, with each saying that the other won. According to the myth as recounted by Ovid, Arachne was a Lydian maiden, the daughter of Idmon of Colophon, a famous dyer in purple, she was credited to have invented linen cloth and nets while her son Closter introduced the use of spindle in the manufacture of wool. She was said to have been a native of Hypæpæ, near Colophon in Asia Minor. One version appears in the Metamorphoses of the Roman poet Ovid. In this version, Arachne was a shepherd's daughter, she became a great weaver, boasted that her skill was greater than that of Athena, refused to acknowledge that her skill came, in part at least, from the goddess. Athena set up a contest between them. Presenting herself as an old lady, she approached the boasting girl and warned: "You can never compare to any of the gods. Plead for forgiveness and Athena might spare your soul."
"Ha! I only speak the truth and if Athena thinks otherwise let her come down and challenge me herself," Arachne replied. Athena appeared in shimmering glory, clad in a sparkling white chiton; the two began weaving straight away. Athena's weaving represented four separate contests between mortals and the gods in which the gods punished mortals for setting themselves as equals of the gods. Arachne's weaving depicted ways that the gods had misled and abused mortals Zeus and seducing many women; when Athena saw that Arachne had not only insulted the gods but done so with a work far more beautiful than Athena's own, she was enraged. She hit her on the head three times. Terrified and ashamed, Arachne hanged herself. Athena said, "Live on and yet hang, condemned one, lest you are careless in future, this same condition is declared, in punishment, against your descendants, to the last generation!" After saying this she sprinkled her with the juice of Hecate's herb, at the touch of this dark poison, Arachne's hair fell out.
With it went her nose and ears, her head shrank to the smallest size, her whole body became tiny. Her slender fingers stuck to her sides as legs, the rest is belly, from which she still spins a thread, and, as a spider, weaves her ancient web." This showed. The taxonomical class name Arachnida and the name for spiders in many romance languages are both derived from arachne; the metamorphosis of Arachne in Ovid's telling furnished material for an episode in Edmund Spenser's mock-heroic Muiopotmos, 257–352. Spenser's adaptation, which "rereads an Ovidian story in terms of the Elizabethan world" is designed to provide a rationale for the hatred of Arachne's descendent Aragnoll for the butterfly-hero Clarion. Dante Alighieri uses Arachne in Canto XVII of Inferno, the first part of The Divine Comedy, to describe the horrible monster Geryon. "... his back and all his belly and both flanks were painted arabesques and curlicues: the Turks and Tartars never made a fabric with richer colors intricately woven, nor were such complex webs spun by Arachne."The tale of Arachne inspired one of Velázquez' most factual paintings: Las Hilanderas, in which the painter represents the two important moments of the myth.
In the front, the contest of Arachne and the goddess, in the back, an Abduction of Europa, a copy of Titian's version. In front of it appears Minerva at the moment she punishes Arachne, it transforms the myth into a reflection about creation and imitation and man, master and pupil. It has been suggested that Jeremias Gotthelf's nineteenth century novella, The Black Spider, was influenced by the Arachne story from Ovid's Metamorphoses. In the novella, a woman is turned into a venomous spider having reneged on a deal with the devil. Arachne has had a considerable degree of influence on modern popular culture, she appears in modern fantasy books and television series in the form of a monstrous spider. In Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, she is pictured as a grotesque, half-woman, half-spider monster who nests on people to produce killer spiders, she is the central character in the 2011 novel The Spider Goddess by Tara Moss. In Class of the Titans, Arachne is changed into a giant spider and makes a deal with Cronus to become human again.
Cronus does not hold up the end of his bargain though and betrays her after getting her to trap the heroes for him. After being berated by Atlanta, Athena turns Arachne back into a human, she is allowed to live at the Olympus High School, weaving for the gods. In the 13th episode from season 6 of Supernatural, "Unforgiven", the monster of the week is an Arachne, depicted as a humanoid monster with spider-like attributes and abilities, including the ability to weave strong webs and a poisonous bite that can turn other humans into Arachnes, they can only be killed by decapitation and before one appeared in Bristol, Rhode Island hadn't been seen in 2,000 years. While soulless, Sam Winchester hunted one, but was unaware that it had turned its victims into Arachnes as well. One of the turned Sam is forced to kill him. Arachne is featured in the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series. All of Athena's children, including Annabeth Chase, are arachnophobic
Alcyone of Thessaly
In Greek mythology, Alcyone or Alkyone was a Thessalian princess and on queen of Trachis. Alcyone was the daughter of King Aeolus of Aeolia, either by Aegiale, she married son of Eosphorus. Alcyone and Ceyx were happy together in Trachis, according to Pseudo-Apollodorus's account sacrilegiously called each other "Zeus" and "Hera"; this angered Zeus, so while Ceyx was at sea, the god threw a thunderbolt at his ship. Soon after, Morpheus disguised as Ceyx appeared to Alcyone as an apparition to tell her of his fate, she threw herself into the sea in her grief. Out of compassion, the gods changed them both into common kingfishers, or "halcyon birds", named after her. Ovid and Hyginus both recount the metamorphosis of the pair in and after Ceyx's loss in a terrible storm, though they both omit Ceyx and Alcyone calling each other Zeus and Hera as a reason for it. Ovid adds the detail of her seeing his body washed up onshore before her attempted suicide; the myth is briefly referred to by Virgil, again without reference to Zeus's anger.
Ovid and Hyginus both make the metamorphosis the origin of the etymology for "halcyon days", the seven days in winter when storms never occur. They state that these were the 14 days each year during which Alcyone laid her eggs and made her nest on the beach and during which her father Aeolus, god of the winds, restrained the winds and calmed the waves so she could do so in safety; the phrase has since come to refer to any peaceful time. Its proper meaning, however, is that of a lucky break, or a bright interval set in the midst of adversity; the English poet Robert Graves, in his The Greek Myths, explained the origin of Alcyone's myth as follows: Various kinds of kingfishers are named after the couple, in reference to the metamorphosis myth: The genus Ceyx is named after him The kingfisher family Halcyonidae is named after Alcyone, as is the genus Halcyon. The belted kingfisher's Latin species name references her name, their story features in The Book of the Duchess. Their story is the basis for the opera Alcyone by the French composer Marin Marais A collection of Canada's celebrated nature poet, Archibald Lampman, his final set of poetry published posthumously in 1899, highlights both Lampman's apocalyptic and utopian visions of the future.
TS Eliot draws from this myth in The Dry Salvages: "And the ragged rock in the restless waters,/Waves wash over it, fogs conceal it. Rick Riordan's The Demigod Files had a part called "The Diary of Luke Castellan" which mentions a similar character named Halcyon Green, the son of Apollo and is under "house arrest" for revealing to a woman her fate. Alcyone, one of the seven sisters Pleiades and the named after her brightest star in the Pleiades star cluster. Halcyon Hesiod, Catalogue of Women from Homeric Hymns, Epic Cycle, Homerica translated by Evelyn-White, H G. Loeb Classical Library Volume 57. London: William Heinemann, 1914. Online version at theio.com Hyginus, Fabulae from The Myths of Hyginus translated and edited by Mary Grant. University of Kansas Publications in Humanistic Studies. Online version at the Topos Text Project. Pseudo-Apollodorus, The Library with an English Translation by Sir James George Frazer, F. B. A. F. R. S. in 2 Volumes, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
Greek text available from the same website. Publius Ovidius Naso, Metamorphoses translated by Brookes More. Boston, Cornhill Publishing Co. 1922. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Publius Ovidius Naso, Metamorphoses. Hugo Magnus. Gotha. Friedr. Andr. Perthes. 1892. Latin text available at the Perseus Digital Library. Publius Vergilius Maro, Bucolics and Georgics of Vergil. J. B. Greenough. Boston. Ginn & Co. 1900. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed.. "Alcyone". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Images of Ceyx and Alcyone in the Warburg Institute Iconographic Database
In Greek mythology Sisyphus or Sisyphos was the king of Ephyra. He was punished for his self-aggrandizing craftiness and deceitfulness by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll down when it nears the top, repeating this action for eternity. Through the classical influence on modern culture, tasks that are both laborious and futile are therefore described as Sisyphean. Linguistics Professor R. S. P. Beekes has suggested a pre-Greek origin and a connection with the root of the word sophos. German mythographer Otto Gruppe thought that the name derived from sisys, in reference to a rain-charm in which goats' skins were used. Sisyphus was the son of the brother of Salmoneus, he married the Pleiad Merope by whom he became the father of Glaucus, Thersander and Porphyrion. Sisyphus was the grandfather of Bellerophon through Glaucus, Minyas, founder of Orchomenus, through Almus. Sisyphus was the founder and first king of Ephyra. King Sisyphus was avaricious and deceitful, he killed travellers and guests, a violation of xenia, which fell under Zeus's domain.
He took pleasure in these killings. Sisyphus and his brother Salmoneus were known to hate each other, Sisyphus consulted with the Oracle of Delphi on just how to kill Salmoneus without incurring any severe consequences for himself. From Homer onward, Sisyphus was famed as the craftiest of men, he seduced Salmoneus's daughter Tyro in one of his plots to kill Salmoneus, only for Tyro to slay the children she bore him when she discovered that Sisyphus was planning on using them to dethrone her father. King Sisyphus betrayed one of Zeus's secrets by revealing the whereabouts of Aegina, to her father in return for causing a spring to flow on the Corinthian acropolis. Zeus ordered Death to chain King Sisyphus down below in Tartarus. Sisyphus was curious as to why Hermes, whose job it was to guide souls to the Underworld, had not appeared on this occasion. King Sisyphus slyly asked Thanatos to demonstrate; as Thanatos was granting him his wish, Sisyphus seized the opportunity and trapped Thanatos in the chains instead.
Once Thanatos was bound by the strong chains, no one died on earth. This caused an uproar for Ares, so he intervened; the exasperated Ares turned King Sisyphus over to Thanatos. In another version, Hades was chained himself; as long as Hades was tied up, nobody could die. Because of this, sacrifices could not be made to the gods, those that were old and sick were suffering; the gods threatened to make life so miserable for Sisyphus that he would wish he were dead. He had no choice but to release Hades. Before King Sisyphus died, he had told his wife to throw his naked body into the middle of the public square; this caused King Sisyphus to end up on the shores of the river Styx. Complaining to Persephone, goddess of the Underworld, that this was a sign of his wife's disrespect for him, King Sisyphus persuaded her to allow him to return to the upper world. Once back in Ephyra, the spirit of King Sisyphus scolded his wife for not burying his body and giving it a proper funeral; when King Sisyphus refused to return to the Underworld, he was forcibly dragged back there by Hermes.
In another version of the myth, Persephone was tricked by Sisyphus that he had been conducted to Tartarus by mistake, so she ordered that he be released. In Philoctetes by Sophocles, there is a reference to the father of Odysseus upon having returned from the dead; as a punishment for his trickery, King Sisyphus was made to roll a huge boulder endlessly up a steep hill. The maddening nature of the punishment was reserved for King Sisyphus due to his hubristic belief that his cleverness surpassed that of Zeus himself. Zeus accordingly displayed his own cleverness by enchanting the boulder into rolling away from King Sisyphus before he reached the top, which ended up consigning Sisyphus to an eternity of useless efforts and unending frustration, thus it came to pass that interminable activities are sometimes described as Sisyphean. King Sisyphus was a common subject for ancient writers and was depicted by the painter Polygnotus on the walls of the Lesche at Delphi. According to the solar theory, King Sisyphus is the disk of the sun that rises every day in the east and sinks into the west.
Other scholars regard him as a personification of waves rising and falling, or of the treacherous sea. The 1st-century BC Epicurean philosopher Lucretius interprets the myth of Sisyphus as personifying politicians aspiring for political office who are defeated, with the quest for power, in itself an "empty thing", being likened to rolling the boulder up the hill. Friedrich Welcker suggested that he symbolises the vain struggle of man in the pursuit of knowledge, Salomon Reinach that his punishment is based on a picture in which Sisyphus was represented rolling a huge stone Acrocorinthus, symbolic of the labour and skill involved in the building of the Sisypheum. Albert Camus, in his 1942 essay The Myth of Sisyphus, saw Sisyphus as personifying the absurdity of human life, but Camus concludes "one must imagine Sisyphus happy" as "The struggle itself t