A nymph in Greek mythology is a supernatural being associated with many other minor female deities that are associated with the air, seas or water, or particular locations or landforms. Different from Greek goddesses, nymphs are more regarded as divine spirits who animate or maintain Nature for the environments where they live, are depicted as beautiful, young graceful maidens, they are divided into various broad subgroups, such as Aurai, Nereides and Dryades The Greek word νύμφη has the primary meaning of "young woman. Yet the etymology of the noun νύμφη remains uncertain; the Doric and Aeolic form is νύμφα. Modern usage more applies to young women at the peak of their attractiveness, contrasting with parthenos "a virgin", generically as kore "maiden, girl"; the term is sometimes used by women to address each other and remains the regular Modern Greek term for "bride". Nymphs were sometimes beloved by many and dwell in most specific areas related to the natural environment. E.g. mountainous forests by springs or rivers.
Other nymphs appeared in the shape of young maidens, were part of the retinue of a god, such as Dionysus, Hermes, or Pan, or a goddess the huntress Artemis. The Greek nymphs were spirits invariably bound to places, not unlike the Latin genius loci, sometimes this produced complicated myths like cult of Arethusa to Sicily. In some of the works of the Greek-educated Latin poets, the nymphs absorbed into their ranks the indigenous Italian divinities of springs and streams, while the Lymphae, Italian water-goddesses, owing to the accidental similarity of their names, could be identified with the Greek Nymphae; the classical mythologies of the Roman poets were unlikely to have affected the rites and cults of individual nymphs venerated by country people in the springs and clefts of Latium. Among the Roman literate class, their sphere of influence was restricted, they appear exclusively as divinities of the watery element; the ancient Greek belief in nymphs survived in many parts of the country into the early years of the twentieth century, when they were known as "nereids".
Nymphs tended to frequent areas distant from humans but could be encountered by lone travelers outside the village, where their music might be heard, the traveler could spy on their dancing or bathing in a stream or pool, either during the noon heat or in the middle of the night. They might appear in a whirlwind; such encounters could be dangerous, bringing dumbness, besotted infatuation, madness or stroke to the unfortunate human. When parents believed their child to be nereid-struck, they would pray to Saint Artemidos. A motif that entered European art during the Renaissance was the idea of a statue of a nymph sleeping in a grotto or spring; this motif came from an Italian report of a Roman sculpture of a nymph at a fountain above the River Danube. The report, an accompanying poem on the fountain describing the sleeping nymph, are now concluded to be a fifteenth-century forgery, but the motif proved influential among artists and landscape gardeners for several centuries after, with copies seen at neoclassical gardens such as the grotto at Stourhead.
As H. J. Rose states, all the names for various classes of nymphs are plural feminine adjectives agreeing with the substantive nymphai, there was no single classification that could be seen as canonical and exhaustive. Thus, the classes of nymphs tend to overlap. Rose mentions dryads and hamadryads as nymphs of trees meliai as nymphs of ash trees, naiads as nymphs of water, but no others specifically; the following is not the authentic Greek classification, but is intended as a guide: The following is a list of groups of nymphs associated with this or that particular location. Nymphs in such groupings could belong to any of the classes mentioned above; the following is a selection of names of the nymphs whose class was not specified in the source texts. For lists of Naiads, Dryades etc. See respective articles. Sabrina Burkert, Walter. Greek Religion. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-36281-9. Larson, Jennifer Lynn. Greek Nymphs: Myth, Lore. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-514465-9.
Lawson, John Cuthbert, Modern Greek Folklore and Ancient Greek Religion, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1910, p. 131 Nereids paleothea.com homepage Tomkinson, John L.. Haunted Greece: Nymphs and Other Exotika. Athens: Anagnosis. ISBN 978-960-88087-0-6; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Nymphs". Encyclopædia Britannica. 19. Cambridge University Press. P. 930. Theoi.com: Nymphs Theoi Project – List of Nymphs
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. The national divinity of the Greeks, Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of music and prophecy, the sun and light, plague and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis. Seen as the most beautiful god and the ideal of the kouros, Apollo is considered to be the most Greek of all gods. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu; as the patron of Delphi, Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing are associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague. Apollo is the god of archery and the invention of archery is credited to him and his sister Artemis, he had a quiver of golden arrows. He is said to have never missed his aim, his arrows could inflict harm by causing sudden deaths or deadly plague.
As the leader of the Muses and director of their choir, Apollo functions as the patron god of music and poetry. He is the inventor of string-music; the Cithara and the lyre are said to be his inventions. The lyre is a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans. Apollo delights in the foundation of towns and the establishment of civil constitution. Hence is associated with dominion over colonists. Additionally, he is the god of the protector of fugitives and refugees. Apollo is the interpreter of laws, he presides over the divine law and custom along with Zeus and Themis. As the protector of young, Apollo is concerned with the health of children, he brings them out of their adolescence. Boys in Ancient Greece, upon reaching their adulthood, dedicated it to Apollo. Apollo is the patron of protector of herds and flocks, he is causes abundance in the milk produced by cattle, is connected with their fertility. As an agricultural deity, Apollo protects the crops from diseases the rust in corns and grains.
He is the controller and destroyer of pests that infect plants and plant harvests. Apollo is the god who wards off evil, he delivered men from the epidemics. Various epithets call him the "averter of evil". In Hellenistic times during the 5th century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios, Titan god of the sun. In Latin texts, there was no conflation of Apollo with Sol among the classical Latin poets until 1st century AD. Apollo and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the 5th century CE. Apollo The name Apollo—unlike the related older name Paean—is not found in the Linear B texts, although there is a possible attestation in the lacunose form ]pe-rjo--[) on the KN E 842 tablet; the etymology of the name is uncertain. The spelling Ἀπόλλων had superseded all other forms by the beginning of the common era, but the Doric form, Apellon, is more archaic, as it is derived from an earlier *Ἀπέλjων, it is a cognate to the Doric month Apellaios, the offerings apellaia at the initiation of the young men during the family-festival apellai.
According to some scholars, the words are derived from the Doric word apella, which meant "wall," "fence for animals" and "assembly within the limits of the square." Apella is the name of the popular assembly in corresponding to the ecclesia. R. S. P. Beekes rejected the connection of the theonym with the noun apellai and suggested a Pre-Greek proto-form *Apalyun. Several instances of popular etymology are attested from ancient authors. Thus, the Greeks most associated Apollo's name with the Greek verb ἀπόλλυμι, "to destroy". Plato in Cratylus connects the name with ἀπόλυσις, "redemption", with ἀπόλουσις, "purification", with ἁπλοῦν, "simple", in particular in reference to the Thessalian form of the name, Ἄπλουν, with Ἀειβάλλων, "ever-shooting". Hesychius connects the name Apollo with the Doric ἀπέλλα, which means "assembly", so that Apollo would be the god of political life, he gives the explanation σηκός, "fold", in which case Apollo would be the god of flocks and herds. In the ancient Macedonian language πέλλα means "stone," and some toponyms may be derived from this word: Πέλλα and Πελλήνη.
A number of non-Greek etymologies have been suggested for the name, The Hittite form Apaliunas is attested in the Manapa-Tarhunta letter related to Hurrian Aplu, a god of plague, in turn from Akkadian Aplu Enlil meaning "the son of Enlil", a title, given to the god Nergal, linked to Shamash, Babylonian god of the sun. The role of Apollo as god of plague is evident in the invocation of Apollo Smintheus by Chryses, the Trojan priest of Apollo, with the purpose of sending a plague against the Greeks (the reasoning behind a god of the plague becoming a god of healing is
In Greek mythology, Achilles or Achilleus was a Greek hero of the Trojan War and the central character and the greatest warrior of Homer's Iliad. His mother was the immortal Nereid Thetis, his father, the mortal Peleus, was the king of the Myrmidons. Achilles' most notable feat during the Trojan War was the slaying of the Trojan hero Hector outside the gates of Troy. Although the death of Achilles is not presented in the Iliad, other sources concur that he was killed near the end of the Trojan War by Paris, who shot him in the heel with an arrow. Legends state that Achilles was invulnerable in all of his body except for his heel because, when his mother Thetis dipped him in the river Styx as an infant, she held him by one of his heels. Alluding to these legends, the term "Achilles' heel" has come to mean a point of weakness in someone or something with an otherwise strong constitution; the Achilles tendon is named after him due to these legends. Linear B tablets attest to the personal name Achilleus in the forms a-ki-re-u and a-ki-re-we, the latter being the dative of the former.
The name grew more popular becoming common soon after the seventh century BC and was turned into the female form Ἀχιλλεία, attested in Attica in the fourth century BC and, in the form Achillia, on a stele in Halicarnassus as the name of a female gladiator fighting an "Amazon". Achilles' name can be analyzed as a combination of ἄχος "distress, sorrow, grief" and λαός "people, nation", resulting in a proto-form *Akhí-lāu̯os "he who has the people distressed" or "he whose people have distress"; the grief or distress of the people is a theme raised numerous times in the Iliad. Achilles' role as the hero of grief or distress forms an ironic juxtaposition with the conventional view of him as the hero of κλέος kléos. Furthermore, laós has been construed by Gregory Nagy, following Leonard Palmer, to mean "a corps of soldiers", a muster. With this derivation, the name obtains a double meaning in the poem: when the hero is functioning rightly, his men bring distress to the enemy, but when wrongly, his men get the grief of war.
The poem is in part about the misdirection of anger on the part of leadership. Another etymology relates the name to a Proto-Indo-European compound *h₂eḱ-pṓds "sharp foot" which first gave an Illyrian *āk̂pediós, evolving through time into *ākhpdeós and *akhiddeús; the shift from -dd- to -ll- is ascribed to the passing of the name into Greek via a Pre-Greek source. The first root part *h₂eḱ- "sharp, pointed" gave Greek ἀκή, ἀκμή and ὀξύς, whereas ἄχος stems from the root *h₂egʰ- "to be upset, afraid"; the whole expression would be comparable to the Latin acupedius "swift of foot". Compare the Latin word family of aciēs "sharp edge or point, battle line, engagement", acus "needle, bodkin", acuō "to make pointed, whet; some topical epitheta of Achilles in the Iliad point to this "swift-footedness", namely ποδάρκης δῖος Ἀχιλλεὺς or more πόδας ὠκὺς Ἀχιλλεύς. Some researchers deem the name a loan word from a Pre-Greek language. Achilles' descent from the Nereid Thetis and a similarity of his name with those of river deities such as Acheron and Achelous have led to speculations about him being an old water divinity.
Robert S. P. Beekes has suggested a Pre-Greek origin of the name, based among other things on the coexistence of -λλ- and -λ- in epic language, which may account for a palatalized phoneme /ly/ in the original language. Achilles was the son of the Nereid Thetis and of Peleus, the king of the Myrmidons. Zeus and Poseidon had been rivals for the hand of Thetis until Prometheus, the fore-thinker, warned Zeus of a prophecy that Thetis would bear a son greater than his father. For this reason, the two gods withdrew their pursuit, had her wed Peleus. There is a tale which offers an alternative version of these events: In the Argonautica Zeus' sister and wife Hera alludes to Thetis' chaste resistance to the advances of Zeus, pointing out that Thetis was so loyal to Hera's marriage bond that she coolly rejected the father of gods. Thetis, although a daughter of the sea-god Nereus, was brought up by Hera, further explaining her resistance to the advances of Zeus. Zeus was furious and decreed. According to the Achilleid, written by Statius in the 1st century AD, to non-surviving previous sources, when Achilles was born Thetis tried to make him immortal by dipping him in the river Styx.
However, he was left vulnerable at the part of the body by: his left heel. It is not clear. In another version of this story, Thetis anointed the boy in ambrosia and put him on top of a fire in order to burn away the mortal parts of his body, she was abandoned both father and son in a rage. However, none of the sources before Statius make any reference to this general invulnerability. To the contrary, in the Iliad Homer mentions Achilles being wounded: in Book 21 the Paeonian hero Asteropaeus, son of Pelagon, challenged Achilles by the river Scamander, he cast two spears at once, one grazed Achilles' elbow, "drawing a spurt of blood". In the fragmentary poems of the Epic Cycle
Athena or Athene given the epithet Pallas, is an ancient Greek goddess associated with wisdom and warfare, syncretized with the Roman goddess Minerva. Athena was regarded as the patron and protectress of various cities across Greece the city of Athens, from which she most received her name, she is shown in art wearing a helmet and holding a spear. Her major symbols include owls, olive trees and the Gorgoneion. From her origin as an Aegean palace goddess, Athena was associated with the city, she was known as Polias and Poliouchos, her temples were located atop the fortified Acropolis in the central part of the city. The Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis is dedicated to her, along with numerous other temples and monuments; as the patron of craft and weaving, Athena was known as Ergane. She was a warrior goddess, was believed to lead soldiers into battle as Athena Promachos, her main festival in Athens was the Panathenaia, celebrated during the month of Hekatombaion in midsummer and was the most important festival on the Athenian calendar.
In Greek mythology, Athena was believed to have been born from the head of her father Zeus. In the founding myth of Athens, Athena bested Poseidon in a competition over patronage of the city by creating the first olive tree, she was known as Athena Parthenos, but, in one archaic Attic myth, the god Hephaestus tried and failed to rape her, resulting in Gaia giving birth to Erichthonius, an important Athenian founding hero. Athena was the patron goddess of heroic endeavor. Along with Aphrodite and Hera, Athena was one of the three goddesses whose feud resulted in the beginning of the Trojan War, she plays an active role in the Iliad, in which she assists the Achaeans and, in the Odyssey, she is the divine counselor to Odysseus. In the writings of the Roman poet Ovid, Athena was said to have competed against the mortal Arachne in a weaving competition, afterwards transforming Arachne into the first spider. Since the Renaissance, Athena has become an international symbol of wisdom, the arts, classical learning.
Western artists and allegorists have used Athena as a symbol of freedom and democracy. Athena is associated with the city of Athens; the name of the city in ancient Greek is Ἀθῆναι, a plural toponym, designating the place where—according to myth—she presided over the Athenai, a sisterhood devoted to her worship. In ancient times, scholars argued whether Athena was named after Athens after Athena. Now scholars agree that the goddess takes her name from the city. Testimonies from different cities in ancient Greece attest that similar city goddesses were worshipped in other cities and, like Athena, took their names from the cities where they were worshipped. For example, in Mycenae there was a goddess called Mykene, whose sisterhood was known as Mykenai, whereas at Thebes an analogous deity was called Thebe, the city was known under the plural form Thebai; the name Athenai is of Pre-Greek origin because it contains the Pre-Greek morpheme *-ān-. In his dialogue Cratylus, the Greek philosopher Plato gives some rather imaginative etymologies of Athena's name, based on the theories of the ancient Athenians and his own etymological speculations: That is a graver matter, there, my friend, the modern interpreters of Homer may, I think, assist in explaining the view of the ancients.
For most of these in their explanations of the poet, assert that he meant by Athena "mind" and "intelligence", the maker of names appears to have had a singular notion about her. However, the name Theonoe may mean "she who knows divine things" better than others. Nor shall we be far wrong in supposing that the author of it wished to identify this Goddess with moral intelligence, therefore gave her the name Etheonoe. Thus, Plato believed that Athena's name was derived from Greek Ἀθεονόα, Atheonóa—which the Greeks rationalised as from the deity's mind; the second-century AD orator Aelius Aristides attempted to derive natural symbols from the etymological roots of Athena's names to be aether, air and moon. Athena was the Aegean goddess of the palace, who presided over household crafts and protected the king. A single Mycenaean Greek inscription a-ta-na po-ti-ni-ja /Athana potnia/ appears at Knossos in the Linear B tablets from the Late Minoan II-era "Room of the Chariot Tablets". Although Athana potnia is translated Mistress Athena, it could mean "the Potnia of Athana", or the Lady of Athens.
However, any connection to the city of Athens in the Knossos inscription is uncertain. A sign series a-ta-no-dju-wa-ja appears in the still undeciphered corpus of Linear A tablets, written in the unclassified Minoan language; this could be connected with the Linear B Mycenaean expressions a-ta-na po-ti-ni-ja and di-u-ja or di-wi-ja (Diwia, "of Zeus" or, possibly
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
Greek mythology is the body of myths told by the ancient Greeks. These stories concern the origin and the nature of the world, the lives and activities of deities and mythological creatures, the origins and significance of the ancient Greeks' own cult and ritual practices. Modern scholars study the myths in an attempt to shed light on the religious and political institutions of ancient Greece and its civilization, to gain understanding of the nature of myth-making itself; the Greek myths were propagated in an oral-poetic tradition most by Minoan and Mycenaean singers starting in the 18th century BC. Two poems by Homer's near contemporary Hesiod, the Theogony and the Works and Days, contain accounts of the genesis of the world, the succession of divine rulers, the succession of human ages, the origin of human woes, the origin of sacrificial practices. Myths are preserved in the Homeric Hymns, in fragments of epic poems of the Epic Cycle, in lyric poems, in the works of the tragedians and comedians of the fifth century BC, in writings of scholars and poets of the Hellenistic Age, in texts from the time of the Roman Empire by writers such as Plutarch and Pausanias.
Aside from this narrative deposit in ancient Greek literature, pictorial representations of gods and mythic episodes featured prominently in ancient vase-paintings and the decoration of votive gifts and many other artifacts. Geometric designs on pottery of the eighth century BC depict scenes from the Trojan cycle as well as the adventures of Heracles. In the succeeding Archaic and Hellenistic periods and various other mythological scenes appear, supplementing the existing literary evidence. Greek mythology has had an extensive influence on the culture and literature of Western civilization and remains part of Western heritage and language. Poets and artists from ancient times to the present have derived inspiration from Greek mythology and have discovered contemporary significance and relevance in the themes. Greek mythology is known today from Greek literature and representations on visual media dating from the Geometric period from c. 900 BC to c. 800 BC onward. In fact and archaeological sources integrate, sometimes mutually supportive and sometimes in conflict.
Mythical narration plays an important role in nearly every genre of Greek literature. The only general mythographical handbook to survive from Greek antiquity was the Library of Pseudo-Apollodorus; this work attempts to reconcile the contradictory tales of the poets and provides a grand summary of traditional Greek mythology and heroic legends. Apollodorus of Athens wrote on many of these topics, his writings may have formed the basis for the collection. Among the earliest literary sources are the Iliad and the Odyssey. Other poets completed the "epic cycle", but these and lesser poems now are lost entirely. Despite their traditional name, the "Homeric Hymns" have no direct connection with Homer, they are choral hymns from the earlier part of the so-called Lyric age. Hesiod, a possible contemporary with Homer, offers in his Theogony the fullest account of the earliest Greek myths, dealing with the creation of the world. Hesiod's Works and Days, a didactic poem about farming life includes the myths of Prometheus and the Five Ages.
The poet gives advice on the best way to succeed in a dangerous world, rendered yet more dangerous by its gods. Lyrical poets took their subjects from myth, but their treatment became less narrative and more allusive. Greek lyric poets, including Pindar and Simonides, bucolic poets such as Theocritus and Bion, relate individual mythological incidents. Additionally, myth was central to classical Athenian drama; the tragic playwrights Aeschylus and Euripides took most of their plots from myths of the age of heroes and the Trojan War. Many of the great tragic stories took on their classic form in these tragedies; the comic playwright Aristophanes used myths, in The Birds and The Frogs. Historians Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, geographers Pausanias and Strabo, who traveled throughout the Greek world and noted the stories they heard, supplied numerous local myths and legends giving little-known alternative versions. Herodotus in particular, searched the various traditions presented him and found the historical or mythological roots in the confrontation between Greece and the East.
Herodotus attempted to reconcile the blending of differing cultural concepts. The poetry of the Hellenistic and Roman ages was composed as a literary rather than cultic exercise, it contains many important details that would otherwise be lost. This category includes the works of: The Roman poets Ovid, Valerius Flaccus and Virgil with Servius's commentary; the Greek poets of the Late Antique period: Nonnus, Antoninus Liberalis, Quintus Smyrnaeus. The Greek poets of the Hellenistic period: Apollonius of Rhodes, Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Parthenius. Prose writers from the same periods who make reference to myths includ
In Greek mythology, Chiron was held to be the superlative centaur amongst his brethren, as he was called as the "wisest and justest of all the centaurs". Chiron was notable throughout Greek mythology for his youth-nurturing nature, his personal skills tend to match those of his foster father Apollo, who taught the young centaur the art of medicine, music, hunting and prophecy, made him rise above his beastly nature. Chiron was known for his knowledge and skill with medicine, thus was credited with the discovery of botany and pharmacy, the science of herbs and medicine. Like satyrs, centaurs were notorious for being wild, overly indulgent drinkers and carousers, violent when intoxicated, uncultured delinquents. Chiron, by contrast, was intelligent and kind, because he was not related directly to the other centaurs due to his parentage, he was the son of the Titan Cronus and the Oceanid Philyra, thus possible brother to Dolops and Aphrus, the ancestor and eponym of the Aphroi, i.e. the native Africans.
Chiron lived predominantly on Mount Pelion. A different source stated that his wife was called Nais while a certain Aristaeus was called his son. Like the other centaurs, Chiron was expelled by the Lapithae from his home. Although a centaur, Chiron's physical appearance differs somewhat from other centaurs, demonstrating his status and heritage. In traditional Greek representations of Chiron his front legs are human, rather than equine, this is in contrast to the traditional representation of centaurs, which have the entire lower body of a horse; this sets Chiron apart from the other centaurs, making him identifiable. This difference may have highlighted Chiron's unique lineage, being the son of Cronus. Chiron is depicted carrying a branch with dead hares he has caught hanging from it. Chiron is often depicted wearing clothes, demonstrating he is more civilised and unlike a normal centaur; the Education of Achilles wall painting, from the basilica in Herculaneum, is one of the most common Roman depictions of Chiron, as he teaches Achilles the lyre.
In this version we see Chiron with a equine lower body, in contrast to the ancient Greek representations. In addition to this reconfiguration, Chiron's appearance is further altered with his ears. Whereas human, Chiron's ears now match those of a satyr; this rendering creates a more bestial version of Chiron, much more akin to a standard centaur. It may be possible that due to the rise of written sources, Roman artists were inspired by written descriptions of Chiron; this may not be a deliberate reworking of the Chiron myth on the part of the Romans, but a lost nuance of the character in its migration from Greece to Rome. As F. Kelsey writes. Chiron has retained an element of clothing and gained a laurel wreath, suggesting the artist wished to portray nobility, or divinity, more consistent with the traditional view, it has been suggested that this fresco is a reproduction of an actual statue in the Roman forum. According to an archaic myth, Chiron was sired by the Titan Cronus when he had taken the form of a horse and impregnated the nymph Philyra.
Chiron's lineage was different from other centaurs, who were born from Ixion, consigned to a fiery wheel, Nephele, which in the Olympian telling Zeus invented to look like Hera. Chiron was the son of Philyra. Soon after giving birth to Chiron, Philyra abandoned her child out of disgust. Chiron orphaned, was found by the god Apollo, who decided to take him in as his son. Apollo taught to him the art of music, archery and prophecy. Apollo’s twin sister, Artemis approved of his decision and taught him more about archery and hunting. Chiron's uniquely peaceful character and intelligence is attributed to Apollo and to Artemis; some sources speculate that Chiron was a Thessalian god subsumed into the Greek pantheon as a centaur. A great healer and respected oracle, Chiron was said to be the first among centaurs and revered as a teacher and tutor. Among his pupils were many culture heroes: Asclepius, Ajax, Actaeon, Theseus, Jason, Telamon, sometimes Heracles, in one Byzantine tradition Dionysus. According to Ptolemaeus Chennus of Alexandria "Dionysus was loved by Chiron, from whom he learned chants and dances, the bacchic rites and initiations."
There is a persistent link with Peleus throughout Chiron's myth. This can be explained that the latter was the grandfather of Peleus through his daughter Endeis who married the king of Aegina, Aeacus. Chiron saved the life of Peleus when Acastus tried to kill him by taking his sword and leaving him out in the woods to be slaughtered by the centaurs. Chiron retrieved the sword for Peleus. Chiron explained to Pel