Ajax the Great
Ajax or Aias is a Greek mythological hero, the son of King Telamon and Periboea, the half-brother of Teucer. He plays an important role, is portrayed as a towering figure and a warrior of great courage in Homer's Iliad and in the Epic Cycle, a series of epic poems about the Trojan War, he is referred to as "Telamonian Ajax", "Greater Ajax", or "Ajax the Great", which distinguishes him from Ajax, son of Oileus. Ajax is the son of Telamon, the son of Aeacus and grandson of Zeus, his first wife Periboea, he is the cousin of Achilles, is the elder half-brother of Teucer. His given name is derived from the root of αἰάζω "to lament". Many illustrious Athenians, including Cimon, Miltiades and the historian Thucydides, traced their descent from Ajax. On an Etruscan tomb dedicated to Racvi Satlnei in Bologna there is an inscription that says, aivastelmunsl which means " of Telamonian Ajax". In Homer's Iliad he is described as of great stature, colossal frame and strongest of all the Achaeans. Known as the "bulwark of the Achaeans", he was trained by the centaur Chiron, at the same time as Achilles.
He was described as fearless and powerful but with a high level of combat intelligence. Ajax commands his army wielding a huge shield made of seven cow-hides with a layer of bronze. Most notably, Ajax is not wounded in any of the battles described in the Iliad, he is the only principal character on either side who does not receive substantial assistance from any of the gods who take part in the battles, although, in book 13, Poseidon strikes Ajax with his staff, renewing his strength. Unlike Diomedes and Achilles, Ajax appears as a defensive warrior, instrumental in the defence of the Greek camp and ships and that of Patroclus' body; when the Trojans are on the offensive, he is seen covering the retreat of the Achaeans. While one of the deadliest heroes in the whole poem, Ajax has no aristeia depicting him on the offensive. In the Iliad, Ajax is notable for his abundant strength and courage, seen in two fights with Hector. In Book 7, Ajax is chosen by lot to meet Hector in a duel. Ajax at first gets the better of the encounter, wounding Hector with his spear and knocking him down with a large stone, but Hector fights on until the heralds, acting at the direction of Zeus, call a draw, with the two combatants exchanging gifts, Ajax giving Hector a purple sash and Hector giving Ajax his sharp sword.
The second fight between Ajax and Hector occurs when the latter breaks into the Mycenaean camp, fights with the Greeks among the ships. In Book 14, Ajax throws a giant rock at Hector which kills him. In Book 15, Hector is restored to his strength by returns to attack the ships. Ajax, wielding an enormous spear as a weapon and leaping from ship to ship, holds off the Trojan armies single-handedly. In Book 16, Hector and Ajax duel once again. Hector disarms Ajax and Ajax is forced to retreat, seeing that Zeus is favoring Hector. Hector and the Trojans succeed in burning one Greek ship, the culmination of an assault that finishes the war. Ajax is responsible for the death including Phorcys. Ajax fought in tandem with his brother Teucer, known for his skill with the bow. Ajax would wield his magnificent shield. Achilles was absent during these encounters because of his feud with Agamemnon. In Book 9, Agamemnon and the other Mycenaean chiefs send Ajax and Phoenix to the tent of Achilles in an attempt to reconcile with the great warrior and induce him to return to the fight.
Although Ajax speaks earnestly and is well received, he does not succeed in convincing Achilles. When Patroclus is killed, Hector tries to steal his body. Ajax, assisted by Menelaus, succeeds in fighting off the Trojans and taking the body back with his chariot. Ajax's prayer to Zeus to remove the fog that has descended on the battle to allow them to fight or die in the light of day has become proverbial. According to Hyginus, in total, Ajax killed 28 people at Troy; as the Iliad comes to a close and the majority of other Greek warriors are alive and well. When Achilles dies, killed by Paris and Odysseus are the heroes who fight against the Trojans to get the body and bury it with his companion, Patroclus. Ajax, with his great shield and spear, manages to recover the body and carry it to the ships, while Odysseus fights off the Trojans. After the burial, each claims Achilles' magical armor, forged on Mount Olympus by the smith-god Hephaestus, for himself as recognition for his heroic efforts. A competition is held to determine.
Ajax argues that because of his strength and the fighting he has done for the Greeks, including saving the ships from Hector, driving him off with a massive rock, he deserves the armor. However, Odysseus proves to be more eloquent, with the aid of Athena, the council gives him the armor. Ajax, "Unconquered", furious, becomes crazed and slaughters the Achaians' herds of captured livestock, believing them to be his enemies through a trick of Athena. Unable to deal with this dual dishonor, he falls upon his own sword, "conque
For the ancient Greek poet, see Automedon. For the incident involving the WWII merchant ship Automedon, see the article: SS Automedon and the article: German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis. In Greek mythology, son of Diores, was Achilles' charioteer. In Homer's Iliad, Automedon rides into battle once Patroclus dons Achilles's armor, commanding Achilles' horses Balius and Xanthos. After Patroclus dies, Automedon is driven to the rear of the battle, where he tries to console the bereaved horses. Zeus intervenes, Automedon resumes driving the chariot, but cannot aid the Achaeans until Alcimedon agrees to be his driver, he repels an attempt on his life by Hector, Aeneas and Aretos, killing Aretos and taking his armor in the process. He appears in the Aeneid at line 477 of Book II, when the Greek forces break into the palace of Priam. Homer. Iliad, XVI, 145.
Ajax the Lesser
Ajax was a Greek mythological hero, son of Oileus, the king of Locris. He was called the "lesser" or "Locrian" Ajax, to distinguish him from Ajax the Great, son of Telamon, he was the leader of the Locrian contingent during the Trojan War. He is a significant figure in Homer's Iliad and is mentioned in the Odyssey, in Virgil's Aeneid and in Euripides' The Trojan Women. In Etruscan legend, he was known as Aivas Vilates. Ajax's mother's name was Eriopis. According to Strabo, he was born in Naryx in Locris. According to the Iliad, he led his Locrians in forty ships against Troy, he is described as one of the great heroes among the Greeks. In battle, he wore a linen cuirass, was brave and intrepid skilled in throwing the spear and, next to Achilles, the swiftest of all the Greeks. In the funeral games at the pyre of Patroclus, Ajax contended with Odysseus and Antilochus for the prize in the footrace. In traditions, this Ajax is called a son of Oileus and the nymph Rhene and is mentioned among the suitors of Helen.
After the taking of Troy, he rushed into the temple of Athena, where Cassandra had taken refuge, was embracing the statue of the goddess in supplication. Ajax violently dragged her away to the other captives. According to some writers, he raped Cassandra inside the temple. Odysseus called for Ajax's death by stoning for this crime, but Ajax saved himself by claiming innocence with an oath to Athena, clutching her statue in supplication. Since Ajax dragged a supplicant from her temple, Athena had cause to be indignant. According to the Bibliotheca, no one was aware that Ajax had raped Cassandra until Calchas, the Greek seer, warned the Greeks that Athena was furious at the treatment of her priestess and she would destroy the Greek ships if they didn't kill him immediately. Despite this, Ajax managed to hide in the altar of a deity where the Greeks, fearing divine retribution should they kill him and destroy the altar, allowed him to live; when the Greeks left without killing Ajax, despite their sacrifices, Athena became so angry that she persuaded Zeus to send a storm that sank many of their ships.
As he was returning from Troy, Athena hit his ship with a thunderbolt and the vessel was wrecked on the Whirling Rocks. But he escaped with some of his men, managing to cling onto a rock through the assistance of Poseidon, he would have been saved in spite of Athena, but he audaciously declared that he would escape the dangers of the sea in defiance of the immortals. Offended by this presumption, Poseidon split the rock with his trident and Ajax was swallowed up by the sea. Thetis buried him. Other versions depict a different death for Ajax. In these versions, when Ajax came to the Capharean Rocks on the coast of Euboea, his ship was wrecked in a fierce storm, he himself was lifted up in a whirlwind and impaled with a flash of rapid fire from Athena in his chest, his body thrust upon sharp rocks, which afterwards were called the rocks of Ajax. After Ajax's death, his spirit dwelt in the island of Leuce; the Opuntian Locrians worshiped Ajax as their national hero, so great was their faith in him that when they drew up their army in battle, they always left one place open for him, believing that, although invisible to them, he was fighting for and among them.
The story of Ajax was made use of by ancient poets and artists, the hero who appears on some Locrian coins with the helmet and sword is this Ajax. Other accounts of Ajax's death are offered by the scholiast on Lycophron; the abduction of Cassandra by Ajax was represented in Greek works of art, such as the chest of Cypselus described by Pausanias and in extant works. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed.. "Ajax". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Ajax". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1. Cambridge University Press. P. 452
In Greek mythology, the name Opheltes refers to several distinct characters. Of them the best known is Opheltes, the infant son of King Lycurgus of Nemea, whose death by a serpent was interpreted by Amphiaraus to be of bad omen for the Seven against Thebes. Opheltes was the infant son of the Nemean king Lycurgus and Queen Eurydice; when their son was born, Lycurgus consulted the oracle at Delphi in order to find out how he might insure the health and happiness of his child, was instructed that the child must not touch the ground until he had learned to walk. One day his nursemaid, was walking with the young Opheltes in her arms, she met the Seven Argive generals marching against Thebes, who asked her where the nearest wellspring was. Hypsipyle put Opheltes on the ground in a bed of wild celery and walked away with them, to show them where it was. While she was away, a drakon strangled Opheltes. Amphiaraus, the seer, interpreted this as signifying that the campaign against Thebes would be unsuccessful.
After this incident the generals held a funeral celebration for Opheltes and they arranged sport games to honor him: such was the beginning of the famous Nemean Games. The child was posthumously renamed Archemoros in accordance with Amphiaraus' prophecy. According to John Tzetzes, there were two mountains on Euboea, one of, named after Opheltes, the other after Zarex; the University of California at Berkeley's excavations at Nemea, begun in 1973, uncovered the site of the shrine of Opheltes in 1979, an open air structure rebuilt several times since the 6th century BC. Opheltes, one of the pirates who attempted to kidnap Dionysus and were changed by him into dolphins. Opheltes, son of Peneleos, who died in the Trojan War, the father of Damasichthon, a King of Thebes. Opheltes, a Trojan warrior, father of Euryalus, who accompanied Aeneas to Italy. Opheltes, a Dolonian killed by Telamon in the battle between the Dolonians and the Argonauts. Opheltes, son of Arestor, a soldier in the army of Dionysus during the Indian campaign, killed by Deriades.
Opheltes is not to be confused with: Opheltius, the name which refers to two soldiers in the Trojan War on each side of the conflict: Opheltius, a defender of Troy killed by Euryalus Opheltius, an Achaean killed by Hector Ophelestes, name of two defenders of Troy: Ophelestes, killed by Teucer Ophelestes, a Paeonian killed by Achilles
Hesychius of Alexandria
Hesychius of Alexandria was a Greek grammarian who in the 5th or 6th century AD, compiled the richest lexicon of unusual and obscure Greek words that has survived by absorbing the works of earlier lexicographers. The work, titled "Alphabetical Collection of All Words", includes more than 50,000 entries, a copious list of peculiar words and phrases, with an explanation of their meaning, with a reference to the author who used them or to the district of Greece where they were current. Hence, the book is of great value to the student of the Greek dialects, while in the restoration of the text of the classical authors and of such writers as Aeschylus and Theocritus, who used many unusual words, its value can hardly be exaggerated. Hesychius is important, not only for Greek philology, but for studying lost languages and obscure dialects and in reconstructing Proto-Indo-European. Many of the words that are included in this work are not found in surviving ancient Greek texts. Hesychius' explanations of many epithets and phrases reveal many important facts about the religion and social life of the ancients.
In a prefatory letter Hesychius mentions that his lexicon is based on that of Diogenianus, but that he has used similar works by the grammarian Aristarchus of Samothrace, Heliodorus and others. Hesychius was not a Christian. Explanations of words from Gregory Nazianzus and other Christian writers are interpolations; the lexicon survives in one corrupt 15th-century manuscript, preserved in the library of San Marco at Venice. The best edition is by Moriz Wilhelm Constantin Schmidt, but no complete comparative edition of the manuscript has been published since it was first printed by Marcus Musurus in Venice, 1514. A modern edition has been published under the auspices of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, begun by Kurt Latte and completed by Peter Allan Hansen and Ian C. Cunningham. Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, 1898. Eleanor Dickey, Ancient Greek Scholarship 88-90 Greek Wikisource has original text related to this article: Hesychius' lexicon The new continuation of Latte's edition: Vol. III, Vol. IV Hesychii Alexandrini lexicon, Friderico Ritschelio, typis Maukij, 1864.
Hesychii glossographi discipulus et epiglōssistēs russus in sec. XII-XIII.: e Codice Vindobonensi graecorussica omnia, additus aliis pure graecis, et trium aliorum Cyrilliani lexici codicum speciminibus: aliisque miscellaneis philologici maxime et slavistici argumenti, Bartholomaeus Kopilar, Vindobonae, 1839, prostat apud G. Gerold
Eustathius of Thessalonica
Eustathius of Thessalonica was a Byzantine Greek scholar and Archbishop of Thessalonica. He is most noted for his contemporary account of the sack of Thessalonica by the Normans in 1185, for his orations and for his commentaries on Homer, which incorporate many remarks by much earlier researchers, he was canonized on June 10, 1988, his feast day is on September 20. A pupil of Nicholas Kataphloron, Eustathius was appointed to the offices of superintendent of petitions, professor of rhetoric, was ordained a deacon in Constantinople, he was ordained bishop of Myra. Around the year 1178, he was appointed to the archbishopric of Thessalonica, where he remained until his death around 1195/1196. Accounts of his life and work are given in the funeral orations by Michael Choniates. Niketas Choniates praised him as the most learned man of his age, a judgment, difficult to dispute, he wrote commentaries on ancient Greek poets, theological treatises, letters, an important account of the sack of Thessalonica by William II of Sicily in 1185.
Of his works, his commentaries on Homer are the most referred to: they display an extensive knowledge of Greek literature from the earliest to the latest times. Other works exhibit impressive character, oratorical power, which earned him the esteem of the Komnenoi emperors. Politically, Eustathios was a supporter of emperor Manuel I. An original thinker, Eustathios sometimes praised such secular values as military prowess, he decried slavery, believed in the concept of historical progress of civilization from a primitive to a more advanced state. His most important works are the following: On the Capture of Thessalonica, an eye-witness account of the siege of 1185 and subsequent sufferings of the people of Thessalonica. In early sections of this memoir Eustathios describes political events at Constantinople from the death of emperor Manuel I through the short reign of Alexios II to the usurpation of Andronikos I, with sharp comments on the activities of all involved; the Greek text was edited with an Italian translation by V. Rotolo.
A number of orations, some of which have been edited by P. Wirth. In 2013 a translation of six of the earliest of these speeches was published with a commentary by Andrew F. Stone. Commentaries on Homer's Odyssey; these address questions of grammar, mythology and geography. They are not so much original commentaries as extracts from earlier commentators - there are many correspondences with Homeric scholia. Drawing on numerous extensive works of Alexandrian grammarians and critics and commentators, they are a important contribution to Homeric scholarship, not least because some of the works from which Eustathios made extracts are lost. Although it is that Eustathios quotes some authors second-hand, he seems acquainted with the works of the greatest ancient critics - Aristarchos of Samothrace, Aristophanes of Byzantium, others; this is a great tribute to the state of the libraries of Constantinople and of classical scholarship there in the 12th century. He was an avid reader of the Deipnosophistae of Athenaeus.
Some of the etymological and grammatical comments by Eustathios's Alexandrian predecessors are full of errors. The first printed edition, by Majoranus, was published in Rome in 1542-1550, an inaccurate reprint being published in Basel in 1559-1560. A. Potitus' edition, contains only the commentary on the first five books of the Iliad with a Latin translation. A tolerably correct reprint of the Roman edition was published at Leipzig, the first part containing the Odyssey commentary, 1825-1826, the second, containing the Iliad commentary, edited by J. G. Stallbaum for the Patrologia Graeca, 1827-1829; these were superseded by the edition of 1971 onwards. Extracts from the commentaries are quoted in many editions of the Homeric poems. A commentary on Dionysius Periegetes; this is as diffuse as the commentary on Homer, but includes numerous valuable extracts from earlier writers. A commentary on Pindar. No manuscript of this has come to light. (The introduction was first published by Gottlieb Tafel in his Eustathii Thessalonicensis Opuscula, from which it was reprinted separately by Schneidewin, Eustathii prooemium commentariorum Pindaricorum.
Other published works. Some were first published by Tafel in the 1832 Opuscula just mentioned, some appeared as by P. Wirth for the Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae series. Unpublished works; these include commemorative speeches. Several of the latter are important historical sources. Angold, Michael. Church and society in Byzantium under the Comneni, 1081–1261. Cambridge University Pre
Lemnos is a Greek island in the northern part of the Aegean Sea. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Lemnos regional unit, part of the North Aegean region; the principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Myrina. At 477.583 square kilometres, it is the 8th-largest island of Greece. Lemnos is flat, but the west, the northwest part, is rough and mountainous; the highest point is Mount Skopia at the altitude of 430 m. The chief towns are Myrina, on the western coast, Moudros on the eastern shore of a large bay in the middle of the island. Myrina possesses a good harbour, in the process of being upgraded through construction of a west-facing sea wall, it is the seat of all trade carried on with the mainland. The hillsides afford pasture for sheep, Lemnos has a strong husbandry tradition, being famous for its Kalathaki Limnou, a cheese made from sheep and goat milk and melipasto cheese, for its yogurt. Fruit and vegetables that grow on the island include almonds, melons, tomatoes and olives.
The main crops are wheat, sesame. Lemnos produces honey, but, as is the case with most products of a local nature in Greece, the produced quantities are little more than sufficient for the local market. Muscat grapes are grown and are used to produce an unusual table wine, dry yet has a strong Muscat flavor. Since 1985 the variety and quality of Lemnos wines have increased greatly; the climate in Lemnos is Mediterranean. Winters are mild, but there will be a snowfall occasionally. Strong winds are a feature of the island in August and in winter time, hence its nickname "the wind-ridden one"; the temperature is 2 to 5 degrees Celsius less than in Athens in summertime. For ancient Greeks, the island was sacred to Hephaestus, god of metallurgy, who—as he tells himself in Iliad I.590ff—fell on Lemnos when Zeus hurled him headlong out of Olympus. There, he was cared for by the Sinties, according to Iliad, or by Thetis, there with a Thracian nymph Cabiro he fathered a tribe called the Kaberoi. Sacred initiatory rites dedicated to them were performed in the island.
Its ancient capital was named Hephaistia in the god's honour. Hephaestus' forge, located on Lemnos, as well as the name Aethaleia, sometimes applied to it, points to its volcanic character, it is said that fire blazed forth from Mosychlos, one of its mountains. The ancient geographer Pausanias relates that a small island called Chryse, off the Lemnian coast, was swallowed up by the sea. All volcanic action is now extinct; the earliest inhabitants are said to have been a Thracian tribe, whom the Greeks called Sintians, "robbers". The name Lemnos is said by Hecataeus to have been applied in the form of a title to Cybele among the Thracians; the worship of Cybele was characteristic of Thrace, where it had spread from Asia Minor at a early period. Hypsipyle and Myrina are Amazon names. According to the epitome of the Bibliotheke traditionally attributed to Apollodorus, when Dionysus found Ariadne abandoned on Naxos, he brought her to Lemnos and there fathered Thoas, Staphylus and Peparethus. Pliny the Elder in his Natural History speaks of a remarkable labyrinth in Lemnos, which has not been identified in modern times.
According to a Hellenic legend, the women were all deserted by their husbands for Thracian women, in revenge they murdered every man on the island. From this barbarous act, the expression Lemnian deeds became proverbial among the Hellenes. According to Apollonius of Rhodes' Argonautica the Argonauts landing soon after found only women in the island, ruled by Hypsipyle, daughter of the old king Thoas. From the Argonauts and the Lemnian women were descended the race called Minyans, whose king Euneus, son of Jason and Hypsipyle, sent wine and provisions to the Achaeans at Troy. According to Greek historians, the Minyans were expelled by a Pelasgian tribe who came from Attica; the historical element underlying these traditions is that the original Thracian people were brought into communication with the Greeks as navigation began to unite the scattered islands of the Aegean. In another legend, Philoctetes was left on Lemnos by the Greeks on their way to Troy. According to Sophocles, he lived beside Mount Hermaeus, which Aeschylus makes one of the beacon points to flash the news of Troy's downfall home to Argos.
The ruins of the oldest human settlement in the Aegean Islands found so far have been unearthed in archaeological excavations on Lemnos by a team of Greek and American archaeologists at the Ouriakos site on the Louri coast of Fyssini in Moudros municipality. The excavation began in early June 2009 and the finds brought to light, consisting of high quality stone tools, are from the Epipaleolithic Period, indicating a settlement of hunters and gatherers and fishermen of the 12th millennium BC. A rectangular building with a double row of stepped seats on the long sides, at the southwest side of the hill of Poliochne, dates back to the Early Bronze Age