Pherae was a city and polis in southeastern Ancient Thessaly. One of the oldest Thessalian cities it was located in the southeast corner of Pelasgiotis. According to Strabo, it was near Lake Boebeïs 90 stadia from Pagasae, its harbor on the Gulf of Pagasae; the site is in the modern community of Velestino. In Homer Pherae was his wife, Alcestis, as well as their son Eumelus. Thucydides lists Pherae among the early Thessalian supporters of Athens at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War. Toward the end of the war Lycophron established a tyranny at Pherae. On his death his son Jason became dictator and by around 374 B. C. E. extended his rule throughout Thessaly. After Jason's assassination and that of his two successors Alexander ruled Pherae with great harshness until he was killed by his wife, Thebe, in 359 B. C. E. and Thessaly was conquered by the Thebans. Philip of Macedon conquered Pherae in 352 B. C. E. and subjected Thessaly to Macedonian rule. In Roman times Pherae was conquered by Antiochus the Great of Syria in 191 B.
C. E, but lost it that same year to the Roman consul of the year Manius Acilius Glabrio. The famous Messeis spring was at Pherae. Modern Feres, Magnesia Pharae, the modern Kalamata Pharae, in Achaea
Plato was an Athenian philosopher during the Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thought, the Academy, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. He is considered the pivotal figure in the history of Ancient Greek and Western philosophy, along with his teacher and his most famous student, Aristotle. Plato has often been cited as one of the founders of Western religion and spirituality; the so-called Neoplatonism of philosophers like Plotinus and Porphyry influenced Saint Augustine and thus Christianity. Alfred North Whitehead once noted: "the safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato."Plato was the innovator of the written dialogue and dialectic forms in philosophy. Plato appears to have been the founder of Western political philosophy, his most famous contribution bears his name, the doctrine of the Forms known by pure reason to provide a realist solution to the problem of universals.
He is the namesake of Platonic love and the Platonic solids. His own most decisive philosophical influences are thought to have been along with Socrates, the pre-Socratics Pythagoras and Parmenides, although few of his predecessors' works remain extant and much of what we know about these figures today derives from Plato himself. Unlike the work of nearly all of his contemporaries, Plato's entire oeuvre is believed to have survived intact for over 2,400 years. Although their popularity has fluctuated over the years, the works of Plato have never been without readers since the time they were written. Due to a lack of surviving accounts, little is known about education. Plato belonged to an influential family. According to a disputed tradition, reported by doxographer Diogenes Laërtius, Plato's father Ariston traced his descent from the king of Athens and the king of Messenia, Melanthus. Plato's mother was Perictione, whose family boasted of a relationship with the famous Athenian lawmaker and lyric poet Solon, one of the seven sages, who repealed the laws of Draco.
Perictione was sister of Charmides and niece of Critias, both prominent figures of the Thirty Tyrants, known as the Thirty, the brief oligarchic regime, which followed on the collapse of Athens at the end of the Peloponnesian War. According to some accounts, Ariston tried to force his attentions on Perictione, but failed in his purpose; the exact time and place of Plato's birth are unknown. Based on ancient sources, most modern scholars believe that he was born in Athens or Aegina between 429 and 423 BC, not long after the start of the Peloponnesian War; the traditional date of Plato's birth during the 87th or 88th Olympiad, 428 or 427 BC, is based on a dubious interpretation of Diogenes Laërtius, who says, "When was gone, joined Cratylus the Heracleitean and Hermogenes, who philosophized in the manner of Parmenides. At twenty-eight, Hermodorus says, went to Euclides in Megara." However, as Debra Nails argues, the text does not state that Plato left for Megara after joining Cratylus and Hermogenes.
In his Seventh Letter, Plato notes that his coming of age coincided with the taking of power by the Thirty, remarking, "But a youth under the age of twenty made himself a laughingstock if he attempted to enter the political arena." Thus, Nails dates Plato's birth to 424/423. According to Neanthes, Plato was six years younger than Isocrates, therefore was born the same year the prominent Athenian statesman Pericles died. Jonathan Barnes regards 428 BC as the year of Plato's birth; the grammarian Apollodorus of Athens in his Chronicles argues that Plato was born in the 88th Olympiad. Both the Suda and Sir Thomas Browne claimed he was born during the 88th Olympiad. Another legend related that, when Plato was an infant, bees settled on his lips while he was sleeping: an augury of the sweetness of style in which he would discourse about philosophy. Besides Plato himself and Perictione had three other children; the brothers Adeimantus and Glaucon are mentioned in the Republic as sons of Ariston, brothers of Plato, though some have argued they were uncles.
In a scenario in the Memorabilia, Xenophon confused the issue by presenting a Glaucon much younger than Plato. Ariston appears to have died in Plato's childhood, although the precise dating of his death is difficult. Perictione married Pyrilampes, her mother's brother, who had served many times as an ambassador to the Persian court and was a friend of Pericles, the leader of the democratic faction in Athens. Pyrilampes had a son from a previous marriage, famous for his beauty. Perictione gave birth to Pyrilampes' second son, the half-brother of Plato, who appears in Parmenides. In contrast to his reticence about himself, Plato introduced his distinguished relatives into his dialogues, or referred to them with some precision. In addition to Adeimantus and Glaucon in the Republic, Charmides has a dialogue named after him; these and other references suggest a considerable amount of family pride and enable us to reconstruct Plato's family tree. According to Burnet, "the opening scene of the Ch
Alcestis or Alceste, was a princess in Greek mythology, known for her love of her husband. Her story was popularized in Euripides's tragedy Alcestis. Alcestis was the fairest among the daughters of Pelias, king of Iolcus, either Anaxibia or Phylomache, she was sister to Acastus, Pisidice and Hippothoe. Alcestis was the wife of Admetus by whom she bore a son, Eumelus, a participant in the siege of Troy, a daughter, Perimele. Many suitors tried to woo Alcestis when she came of age to marry, it was declared by her father that she would marry the first man to yoke a lion and a boar to a chariot. The man who would do this, King Admetus, was helped by Apollo, banished from Olympus for one year to serve as a shepherd to Admetus. With Apollo's help, Admetus completed the challenge set by King Pelias, was allowed to marry Alcestis, but in a sacrifice after the wedding, Admetus forgot to make the required offering to Artemis, therefore when he opened the marriage chamber he found his bed full of coiled snakes.
Apollo again helped the newlywed king, this time by making the Fates drunk, extracting from them a promise that if anyone would want to die instead of Admetus, they would allow it. And when the day of his death came near, no one volunteered not his elderly parents, but Alcestis stepped forth to die in his stead. Shortly after fighting with Hades, Heracles rescued Alcestis from the underworld as a token of appreciation for Admetus' hospitality. In some accounts Persephone,'the Maiden', sent her up again. Milton's famous sonnet, "Methought I Saw My Late Espoused Saint", alludes to the myth, with the speaker of the poem dreaming of his dead wife being brought to him "like Alcestis". In his poem "Past Ruin'd Ilion", English writer and poet Walter Savage Landor wrote the line "Alcestis rises from the shades" as having a double meaning, evoking her rise from Hades while demonstrating the ability of enduring poetry to give her vitality, drawing her into the light from the shadows of historical oblivion.
The Viennese composer Christoph Willibald Gluck wrote an opera based on the story of Alceste. Italian-born French composer Jean-Baptiste Lully wrote an opera, first performed in 1674, based on the story of Alceste. George Frideric Handel wrote a semi-opera based on this myth. Anton Schweitzer composed an opera Alceste, with a libretto by Wieland, premiered in 1773 in Weimar as a milestone of German opera. Rainer Maria Rilke wrote a poem "Alkestis". H. P. Lovecraft and Sonia Greene collaborated on a play called Alcestis. Thornton Wilder wrote A Life in the Sun based on Euripides' play producing an operatic version called The Alcestiad; the American choreographer Martha Graham created a ballet entitled Alcestis in 1960. In the animated Disney film Hercules, the background story of the Megara character alludes to Alcestis; as Hades tells it, Megara sells her soul for her lover, who does not honor the sacrifice and soon gives his heart to some other girl. Antoninus Liberalis, The Metamorphoses of Antoninus Liberalis translated by Francis Celoria.
Online version at the Topos Text Project. Cotterell and Rachel Storm; the Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology. Hermes House. ISBN 978-0-681-03218-7. 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. "Alcestis"—a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke
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
Pelias was king of Iolcus in Greek mythology. The son of Tyro and the god Poseidon, he was the one who sent Jason on the quest for the Golden Fleece. Pelias was the son of Poseidon, his wife is recorded as daughter of Bias, or Phylomache, daughter of Amphion. He was the father of Acastus, Alcestis, Hippothoe, Evadne, Asteropeia and Medusa. Tyro was married to King Cretheus of Iolcus, with whom she had three sons, Pherês, Amythaon, but she loved Enipeus, a river god, she pursued Enipeus. One day, filled with lust for Tyro, disguised himself as Enipeus and lay with her - from their union were born twin sons and Neleus. Tyro exposed her sons on a mountain to die, but they were found by a herdsman who raised them as his own, as one story goes, or they were raised by a maid; when they reached adulthood and Neleus found Tyro and killed her stepmother Sidero for having mistreated her. Pelias was power-hungry and he wished to gain dominion over all of Thessaly. To this end, he banished Neleus and Pherês, locked Aeson in the dungeons in Iolcus.
While in the dungeons, Aeson married and had several children, most famously, Jason. Aeson sent Jason away from Iolcus in fear that Pelias would have him killed as a potential heir to the throne. Jason grew in the care of Chiron the centaur, on the slopes of Mount Pelion, to be educated while Pelias, fearing that he would be overthrown, was warned by an oracle to beware a man wearing one sandal. Many years Pelias offered a sacrifice by the sea in honor of Poseidon. Jason, summoned with many others to take part in the sacrifice, lost one of his sandals in the flooded river Anaurus while rushing to Iolcus. In Virgil's Aeneid and Hyginus' Fabulae, Hera/Juno disguised herself as an old woman, whom Jason helped across the river when he lost his sandal; when Jason entered Iolcus, he was announced as a man wearing one sandal. Fearful, Pelias asked Jason. Jason responded. Pelias sent him to retrieve the Golden Fleece, it would be found in a grove sacred to Ares, the god of war. Though the Golden Fleece hung on an oak tree, this was a impossible task, as an ever-watchful dragon guarded it.
Jason made preparations by commanding the shipwright Argus to build a ship large enough for fifty men, which he would call the Argo. These heroes who would join his quest were known as the Argonauts. Upon their arrival, Jason requested the Golden Fleece from the king of Aeëtes. Aeëtes demanded that Jason must first yoke a pair of fire-breathing bulls to a plough and sow dragon's teeth into the earth. Medea, daughter of Aeëtes, fell in love with Jason, being endowed with magical powers, aided him in his completion of the difficult task, she cast a spell to put the dragon to sleep, enabling Jason to obtain the Golden Fleece from the oak tree. Jason and the Argonauts fled Colchis and began their journey home to Thessaly. During Jason's absence, Pelias thought the Argo had sunk, this was what he told Aeson and Promachus, who committed suicide by drinking poison. However, it is possible that the two were both killed directly by Pelias; when Jason and Medea returned, Pelias still refused to give up his throne.
Medea conspired to have Pelias' own daughters kill him. She told them she could turn an old ram into a young ram by boiling it. During the demonstration, a live, young ram jumped out of the pot. Excited, the girls cut their father into pieces and threw them into a pot, in the expectation that he would emerge rejuvenated. Pelias, of course, did not survive; as he was now an accessory to a terrible crime, Jason was still not made king. Pelias' son Acastus banished Jason and Medea, to Corinth, so reclaimed the kingdom. An alternate telling of the story has Medea slitting the throat of Jason's father Aeson, who she really does revive as a much younger man. Media related to Pelias at Wikimedia Commons
Helen of Troy
In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy known as Helen of Sparta, was said to have been the most beautiful woman in the world. She was married to King Menelaus of Sparta but was abducted by Prince Paris of Troy after the goddess Aphrodite promised her to him in the Judgement of Paris; this resulted in the Trojan War. She was believed to have been the daughter of Zeus and Leda, was the sister of Clytemnestra, Polydeuces, Philonoe and Timandra. Elements of her putative biography come from classical authors such as Aristophanes, Cicero and Homer, her story appears in Book II of Virgil's Aeneid. In her youth, she was abducted by Theseus. A competition between her suitors for her hand in marriage saw. An oath sworn by all the suitors required all of them to provide military assistance to the winning suitor, whomever he might be, if she were stolen from him; when she married Menelaus she was still young. The legends of Helen in Troy are contradictory: Homer depicts her as a wistful sorrowful figure, who came to regret her choice and wished to be reunited with Menelaus.
Other accounts have a treacherous Helen who simulated Bacchic rites and rejoiced in the carnage she caused. Paris was killed in action, in Homer's account Helen was reunited with Menelaus, though other versions of the legend recount her ascending to Olympus instead. A cult associated with her developed both at Sparta and elsewhere, she was worshiped in Attica and on Rhodes. Her beauty inspired artists of all times to represent her as the personification of ideal human beauty. Christopher Marlowe's lines from his tragedy Doctor Faustus are cited: "Was this the face that launched a thousand ships / And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?"Images of Helen start appearing in the 7th century BCE. In classical Greece, her abduction by Paris – or escape with him – was a popular motif. In medieval illustrations, this event was portrayed as a seduction, whereas in Renaissance paintings it was depicted as a "rape" by Paris; the etymology of Helen's name continues to be a problem for scholars. Georg Curtius related Helen to the moon.
Émile Boisacq considered Ἑλένη to derive from the noun ἑλένη meaning "torch". It has been suggested that the λ of Ἑλένη arose from an original ν, thus the etymology of the name is connected with the root of Venus. Linda Lee Clader, says that none of the above suggestions offers much satisfaction. Inversely, others have connected this etymology to a hypothetical Proto-Indo-European sun goddess, noting her name's connection to the word for "sun" in various Indo-European cultures. In particular, her marriage myth may be connected to a broader indo-European "marriage drama" of the sun goddess, she is related to the divine twins, just as many of these goddesses are. None of the etymological sources appear to support the existence, save as a coincidence only, of a connection between the name of Helen and the name by which the classical Greeks described themselves, namely Hellenes, after Hellen the mythological progenitor of the Greeks; the origins of Helen's myth date back to the Mycenaean age. Her name first appears in the poems of Homer, but scholars assume that such myths derive from earlier Mycenaean Greek sources.
Her mythological birthplace was Sparta of the Age of Heroes, which features prominently in the canon of Greek myth: in ancient Greek memory, the Mycenaean Bronze Age became the age of the Greek heroes. The kings and heroes of the Trojan Cycle are related to the gods, since divine origins gave stature to the Greeks' heroic ancestors; the fall of Troy came to represent a fall from an illustrious heroic age, remembered for centuries in oral tradition before being written down. Recent archaeological excavations in Greece suggest that modern-day Laconia was a distinct territory in the Late Bronze Age, while the poets narrate that it was a rich kingdom. Archaeologists have unsuccessfully looked for a Mycenaean palatial complex buried beneath present-day Sparta. From the early 1990s to the present suggest that the area around Menelaion in the southern part of the Eurotas valley seems to have been the center of Mycenaean Laconia. In most sources, including the Iliad and the Odyssey, Helen is the daughter of Zeus and of Leda, the wife of the Spartan king Tyndareus.
Euripides' play Helen, written in the late 5th century BC, is the earliest source to report the most familiar account of Helen's birth: that, although her putative father was Tyndareus, she was Zeus' daughter. In the form of a swan, the king of gods was chased by an eagle, sought refuge with Leda; the swan gained her affection, the two mated. Leda produced an egg, from which Helen emerged; the First Vatican Mythographer introduces the notion that two eggs came from the union: one containing Castor and Pollux. The same author earlier states that Helen and Pollux were produced from a single egg. Pseudo-Apollodorus states that Leda had intercourse with both Zeus and Tyndareus the night she conceived Helen. On the other hand, in the Cypria, part of the Epic Cycle, Helen was the daughter of Zeus and the goddess Nemesis; the date of the Cypria is uncertain, but it is thought to preserve traditions that date back to at leas
In Greek mythology, Triptolemus is a figure connected with the goddess Demeter of the Eleusinian Mysteries. He was either a mortal prince, the eldest son of King Celeus of Eleusis, or, according to Pseudo-Apollodorus' Bibliotheca, the son of Gaia and Oceanus. While Demeter was searching for her daughter Persephone, abducted by Hades, she received a hospitable welcome from Celeus, he asked her to nurse Demophon—"killer of men", a counterpart to Triptolemus— and Triptolemus, his sons by Metanira. Demeter fed him her breast milk. Not only did he recover his strength but he became an adult; as another gift to Celeus, in gratitude for his hospitality, Demeter secretly planned to make Demophon immortal by burning away his mortal spirit in the family hearth every night. She was unable to complete the ritual. Instead, Demeter chose to teach Triptolemus the art of agriculture and, from him, the rest of Greece learned to plant and reap crops, he flew across the land on a chariot drawn by dragons while Demeter and Persephone, once restored to her mother, cared for him, helped him complete his mission of educating the whole of Greece in the art of agriculture.
Triptolemus was associated with the bestowal of hope for the afterlife associated with the expansion of the Eleusinian Mysteries. When Triptolemus taught King Lyncus of the Scythians, the arts of agriculture, Lyncus refused to teach it to his people and tried to murder Triptolemus; as punishment, Demeter turned Lyncus into a lynx. King Charnabon of the Getae made an attempt on Triptolemus' life, killing one of his dragons to prevent his escape. Demeter intervened again, condemning Charnabon to a life of torment. Upon his death, Charnabon was placed in the stars as the constellation Ophiuchus, said to resemble a man trying to kill a serpent, as a warning to mortals who would think to betray those favoured by the gods. In the archaic Homeric Hymn to Demeter, Triptolemus is mentioned as one of the original priests of Demeter, one of the first men to learn the secret rites and mysteries of Eleusinian Mysteries: Diocles, Eumolpos and Polyxeinus were the others mentioned of the first priests; the role of Triptolemus in the Eleusinian mysteries was defined: "he had a cult of his own, apart from the Mysteries.
One entered his temple on the way to the closed-off sacred precinct, before coming to the former Hekataion, the temple of Artemis outside the great Propylaia.". In the 5th-century bas-relief in the National Museum, which came from his temple, the boy Triptolemus stands between the two Goddesses and the Kore, receives from Demeter the ear of grain. Porphyry ascribes to Triptolemus three commandments for a simple, pious life: "Honor your parents", "Honor the gods with fruits"—for the Greeks, "fruits" would include the grain—and "Spare the animals". Triptolemus is depicted as a young man with a branch or diadem placed in his hair sitting on his chariot, adorned with serpents, his attributes include a plate of a pair of wheat or barley ears and a scepter. Celeus or the peasant Dysaules may be substituted for Triptolemus as the primordial Eleusinian recipient of the first gifts of the Mysteries. Kerenyi, Karl, 1967. "Eleusis: Aretypal Image of Mother and Daughter Indra