Divination is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic, standardized process or ritual. Used in various forms throughout history, diviners ascertain their interpretations of how a querent should proceed by reading signs, events, or omens, or through alleged contact with a supernatural agency. Divination can be seen as a systematic method with which to organize what appear to be disjointed, random facets of existence such that they provide insight into a problem at hand. If a distinction is to be made between divination and fortune-telling, divination has a more formal or ritualistic element and contains a more social character in a religious context, as seen in traditional African medicine. Fortune-telling, on the other hand, is a more everyday practice for personal purposes. Particular divination methods vary by religion. Divination is dismissed by skeptics as being superstition. In the 2nd century, Lucian devoted a witty essay to the career of a charlatan, "Alexander the false prophet", trained by "one of those who advertise enchantments, miraculous incantations, charms for your love-affairs, visitations for your enemies, disclosures of buried treasure, successions to estates" though most Romans believed in prophetic dreams and charms.
The Oracle of Amun at the Siwa Oasis was made famous when Alexander the Great visited it after conquering Egypt from Persia in 332 BC. Deuteronomy 18:10-12 or Leviticus 19:26 can be interpreted as categorically forbidding divination. However, some would claim that divination is indeed practiced in the Bible, such as in Exodus 28, when the Urim and Thummim are mentioned; some would say that Gideon practiced divination, though when he uses a piece of fleece or wool in Judges 6:36-40, he is not attempting to predict the outcome of an important battle. Communicating with God through prayer may in some cases be considered divination. In addition, the method of "casting lots" used in Joshua 14:1-5 and Joshua 18:1-10 to divide the conquered lands of Canaan between the twelve tribes is not seen by some as divination, but as done at the behest of God. Both oracles and seers in ancient Greece practiced divination. Oracles were the conduits for the gods on earth; because of the high demand for oracle consultations and the oracles’ limited work schedule, they were not the main source of divination for the ancient Greeks.
That role fell to the seers. Seers were not in direct contact with the gods. Seers used many methods to explicate the will of the gods including bird signs, etc.. They did not keep a limited schedule; the disadvantage to seers was. Oracles could answer more generalized questions, seers had to perform several sacrifices in order to get the most consistent answer. For example, if a general wanted to know if the omens were proper for him to advance on the enemy, he would ask his seer both that question and if it were better for him to remain on the defensive. If the seer gave consistent answers, the advice was considered valid. At battle, generals would ask seers at both the campground and at the battlefield; the hiera entailed the seer slaughtering a sheep and examining its liver for answers regarding a more generic question. The battlefield sacrifice only occurred. Neither force would advance; because the seers had such power over influential individuals in ancient Greece, many were skeptical of the accuracy and honesty of the seers.
The degree to which seers were honest depends on the individual seers. Despite the doubt surrounding individual seers, the craft as a whole was well regarded and trusted by the Greeks; the divination method of casting lots was used by the remaining eleven disciples of Jesus in Acts 1:23-26 to select a replacement for Judas Iscariot. Therefore, divination was arguably an accepted practice in the early church. However, divination became viewed as a pagan practice by Christian emperors during ancient Rome. In 692 the Quinisext Council known as the "Council in Trullo" in the Eastern Orthodox Church, passed canons to eliminate pagan and divination practices. Fortune-telling and other forms of divination were widespread through the Middle Ages. In the constitution of 1572 and public regulations of 1661 of Kur-Saxony, capital punishment was used on those predicting the future. Laws forbidding divination practice continue to this day. Småland is famous for Årsgång, a practice which occurred until the early 19th century in some parts of Småland.
Occurring on Christmas and New Year's Eve, it is a practice in which one would fast and keep themselves away from light in a room until midnight to complete a set of complex events to interpret symbols encountered throughout the journey to foresee the coming year. Divination was a central component of ancient Mesoamerican religious life. Many Aztec gods, including central creator gods, were described as diviners and were associated with sorcery. Tezcatlipoca is the pa
Chaos refers to the void state preceding the creation of the universe or cosmos in the Greek creation myths, or to the initial "gap" created by the original separation of heaven and earth. Greek χάος means "emptiness, vast void, abyss", from the verb χαίνω, "gape, be wide open, etc.", from Proto-Indo-European *ǵheh2n-, cognate to Old English geanian, "to gape", whence English yawn. It may mean space, the expanse of air, the nether abyss or infinite darkness. Pherecydes of Syros interprets chaos like something formless which can be differentiated. Hesiod and the Pre-Socratics use the Greek term in the context of cosmogony. Hesiod's chaos has been interpreted as either "the gaping void above the Earth created when Earth and Sky are separated from their primordial unity" or "the gaping space below the Earth on which Earth rests". In Hesiod's Theogony, Chaos was the first thing to exist: "at first Chaos came to be" but next came Gaia and Eros. Unambiguously "born" from Chaos were Nyx. For Hesiod, like Tartarus, though personified enough to have borne children, was a place, far away, underground and "gloomy", beyond which lived the Titans.
And, like the earth, the ocean, the upper air, it was capable of being affected by Zeus' thunderbolts. Passages in Hesiod's Theogony suggest that Chaos was located above Tartarus. Primal Chaos was sometimes said to be the true foundation of reality by philosophers such as Heraclitus; the notion of the temporal infinity was familiar to the Greek mind from remote antiquity in the religious conception of immortality. This idea of the divine as an origin influenced the first Greek philosophers; the main object of the first efforts to explain the world remained the description of its growth, from a beginning. They believed that the world arose out from a primal unity, that this substance was the permanent base of all its being. Anaximander claims that the origin is apeiron, a divine and perpetual substance less definite than the common elements. Everything is generated from apeiron, must return there according to necessity. A conception of the nature of the world was that the earth below its surface stretches down indefinitely and has its roots on or above Tartarus, the lower part of the underworld.
In a phrase of Xenophanes, "The upper limit of the earth borders near our feet. The lower limit reaches down to the "apeiron"." The sources and limits of the earth, the sea, the sky and all things are located in a great windy-gap, which seems to be infinite, is a specification of "chaos". In Aristophanes's comedy Birds, first there was Chaos, Night and Tartarus, from Night came Eros, from Eros and Chaos came the race of birds. At the beginning there was only Chaos, dark Erebus, deep Tartarus. Earth, the air and heaven had no existence. Firstly, blackwinged Night laid a germless egg in the bosom of the infinite deeps of Erebus, from this, after the revolution of long ages, sprang the graceful Eros with his glittering golden wings, swift as the whirlwinds of the tempest, he mated in deep Tartarus with dark Chaos, winged like himself, thus hatched forth our race, the first to see the light. That of the Immortals did not exist until Eros had brought together all the ingredients of the world, from their marriage Heaven, Ocean and the imperishable race of blessed gods sprang into being.
Thus our origin is much older than that of the dwellers in Olympus. We are the offspring of Eros. We have wings and we lend assistance to lovers. How many handsome youths, who had sworn to remain insensible, have opened their thighs because of our power and have yielded themselves to their lovers when at the end of their youth, being led away by the gift of a quail, a waterfowl, a goose, or a cock. For Ovid, in his Metamorphoses, Chaos was an unformed mass, where all the elements were jumbled up together in a "shapeless heap". Ante mare et terras et quod tegit omnia caelum unus erat toto naturae vultus in orbe, quem dixere chaos: rudis indigestaque moles nec quicquam nisi pondus iners congestaque eodem non bene iunctarum discordia semina rerum. Before the ocean and the earth appeared— before the skies had overspread them all— the face of Nature in a vast expanse was naught but Chaos uniformly waste, it was a undeveloped mass, that nothing made except a ponderous weight. According to Hyginus: "From Mist came Chaos.
From Chaos and Mist, came Night, Day and Ether." An Orphic tradition had Chaos as the son of Chronus and Ananke. Fifth-century Orphic cosmogony had a "Womb of Darkness" in which the Wind lay a Cosmic Egg whence Eros was hatched, who set the universe in motion; the motif of Chaoskampf is ubiquitous in myth and legend, depicting a battle of a culture hero deity with a chaos monster in the shape of a serpent or dragon. The same term has been extended to parallel concepts in the Middle East and North Africa, such as the abstract conflict of ideas in the Egyptian duality of Maat and Isfet or the battle of Horus and Set; the origins of the Chaoskampf myth most lie in the Proto-Indo-European religion whose descendants all feature some variation of the story of a storm god fighting a sea serpent representing the clash between the forces of order and chaos. Early work by German academics such as Gunkel and Bousset in comparative mythology popularized translating
Hebe in ancient Greek religion, is the goddess of youth or the prime of life. She is the daughter of Hera. Hebe was the cupbearer for the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus, serving their nectar and ambrosia until she married Heracles. Another title of hers for this reason is Ganymeda, meaning "Gladdening Princess". Hebe was worshipped as the goddess of mercy at Sicyon. Hebe had influence over eternal youth and the ability to restore youth to mortals, a power that appears exclusive to her, as in Ovid's Metamorphoses, some gods lament their favoured mortals aging. According to Philostratus the Elder, Hebe was youngest of the gods and responsible for keeping them eternally young, thus was the most revered by them, her role of ensuring the eternal youth of the other gods is appropriate with her role of serving as cupbearer, as the word ambrosia has been linked to a possible Proto-Indo-European translation related to immortality and lifeforce. In art, she is seen with her father in the guise of an eagle offering a cup to her.
This depiction is seen in classical engraved gems as well as art. Eagles were connected with immortality and there was a folklore belief that the eagle had the ability to renew itself to a youthful state, making the association with Hebe logical; the Greek ἥβη is the inherited word for "youth", from Proto-Indo-European *iēgw-eh2-, "youth, vigour". The name Hebe comes from Greek word meaning "youth" or "prime of life". Juventus means "youth", as can be seen in such derivatives as juvenile. Hebe is the daughter of Zeus and Hera and was seen in myth as a diligent daughter performing domestic tasks that were typical of high ranking, unmarried girls in ancient Greece. In the Iliad, she performed tasks around the household such as drawing baths for her brother Ares and helping Hera enter her chariot. Pindar in Nemean Ode 10 refers to her as the most beautiful of the goddesses, being by her mother’s side in Olympus forever. Although she was not as associated with her father, Hebe was referred to with the epithet Dia, which can be translated to “Daughter of Zeus” or “Heavenly”.
In some traditions that were recorded by Servius, her father Zeus gifted her two doves with human voices, one flew to where the Oracle of Dodona would be established. Additionally, Hebe was connected to Aphrodite, whom she was described dancing with and acting as her herald or attendant, linking the Classical association between beauty and "the bloom of youth". In Euripedes' play Orestes, Helen is said to sit on a throne beside Hera and Hebe upon obtaining immortality. One of her roles was to be the cupbearer to the gods, serving them nectar. In Classical sources, Hebe’s departure from this role was due to her marriage to the deified hero Herakles. Despite this, Cicero seems to imply that Hebe or Ganymede, seen as her successor, could serve in the role of cupbearer at the heavenly feast; the reasoning for Hebe’s dismissal was transformed into a moralizing story in the 1500s by the Church of England, where it was stated in a note in an English-Latin dictionary that Hebe fell while in attendance to the gods, causing her dress to become undone, exposing her naked body publicly.
Although there is no Classical literary or artistic source for this account, the story was modified to function as a warning to women to stay modestly covered at all times, as naked women in particular were seen as shameful by the Church. In rare, alternative version of Hebe's conception, her mother Hera became pregnant by eating a lettuce plant; this version was recorded by famed Italian mythographer Natalis Comes. Reconstructed Orphic beliefs may present a different version of Hera’s impregnation with Hebe, it should be remembered that this version of the myth of Hebe’s birth is a speculative reconstruction, therefore, it does not represent how the myth would have been known to its original audience. In this version, Hera sought out a way to become pregnant without assistance of Zeus by travelling to realm of Oceanus and Tethys at the end of the world. There, she entered the garden of Flora and she touched a sole, nameless plant from the land of Olene and became pregnant with Ares. Hera ate lettuce to become pregnant with Hebe.
The consumption of lettuce in Ancient Greece was connected to sexual impotency in men and women, with Plutarch recording that women should never eat the heart of a lettuce. Additionally, lettuce was associated with death, as Aphrodite laid the dying Adonis in a patch to potential aid in his reconstruction. Despite these concerns, it was believed that lettuce benefitted menstrual flow and lactation in women, characteristics that may associate the plant with motherhood; this version of Hebe’s paternity is referenced by American author Henry David Thoreau in his work Walden, where Hebe is described as the daughter of Juno and wild lettuce. A fragment by Callimachus describes Hera holding a feast to celebrate the seventh day after her daughter Hebe’s birth; the gods have a friendly argument over who will give the best gift, with Athena, Poseidon and Hephaestus mentioned as presenting toys or, as in Apollo's case, songs. Callimachus, who composed a poem for the celebration of the seventh day after the birth of a daughter to his friend Leon, used Apollo’s gift of a song as a divine prototype for his own gift.
As the bride of Herakles, Hebe was associated with both brides and her husband in art and literature. Hebe was the patron of brides, due to being the daughter of Hera and the importance of her own wedding
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
The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the other Homeric epic; the Odyssey is fundamental to the modern Western canon. Scholars believe the Odyssey was composed near the end of the 8th century BC, somewhere in Ionia, the Greek coastal region of Anatolia; the poem focuses on the Greek hero Odysseus, king of Ithaca, his journey home after the fall of Troy. It takes Odysseus ten years to reach Ithaca after the ten-year Trojan War. In his absence, it is assumed Odysseus has died, his wife Penelope and son Telemachus must deal with a group of unruly suitors, the Mnesteres or Proci, who compete for Penelope's hand in marriage; the Odyssey continues to be read in the Homeric Greek and translated into modern languages around the world. Many scholars believe the original poem was composed in an oral tradition by an aoidos a rhapsode, was more intended to be heard than read; the details of the ancient oral performance and the story's conversion to a written work inspire continual debate among scholars.
The Odyssey was written in a poetic dialect of Greek—a literary amalgam of Aeolic Greek, Ionic Greek, other Ancient Greek dialects—and comprises 12,110 lines of dactylic hexameter. Among the most noteworthy elements of the text are its non-linear plot, the influence on events of choices made by women and slaves, besides the actions of fighting men. In the English language as well as many others, the word odyssey has come to refer to an epic voyage; the Odyssey has a lost sequel, the Telegony, not written by Homer. It was attributed in antiquity to Cinaethon of Sparta. In one source, the Telegony was said to have been stolen from Musaeus of Athens by either Eugamon or Eugammon of Cyrene; the Odyssey begins after the end of the ten-year Trojan War, Odysseus has still not returned home from the war because he angered the god Poseidon. Odysseus' son Telemachus is about 20 years old and is sharing his absent father's house on the island of Ithaca with his mother Penelope and a crowd of 108 boisterous young men, "the Suitors", whose aim is to persuade Penelope to marry one of them, all the while reveling in Odysseus' palace and eating up his wealth.
Odysseus' protectress, the goddess Athena, requests to Zeus, king of the gods, to allow Odysseus to return home when Odysseus' enemy, the god of the sea Poseidon, is absent from Mount Olympus to accept a sacrifice in Ethiopia. Disguised as a Taphian chieftain named Mentes, she visits Telemachus to urge him to search for news of his father, he offers her hospitality. Penelope objects to Phemius' theme, the "Return from Troy", because it reminds her of her missing husband, but Telemachus rebuts her objections, asserting his role as head of the household; that night Athena, disguised as Telemachus, finds a crew for the true prince. The next morning, Telemachus calls an assembly of citizens of Ithaca to discuss what should be done with the suitors. Telemachus is scoffed by the insolent suitors by their leaders Antinous and Leiocritus. Accompanied by Athena, he departs for the Greek mainland and the household of Nestor, most venerable of the Greek warriors at Troy, who resided in Pylos after the war.
From there, Telemachus rides overland, accompanied by Nestor's son Peisistratus, to Sparta, where he finds Menelaus and Helen, who are now reconciled. While Helen laments the fit of lust brought on by Aphrodite that sent her to Troy with Paris, Menelaus recounts how she betrayed the Greeks by attempting to imitate the voices of the soldiers' wives while they were inside the Trojan Horse. Telemachus hears from Helen, the first to recognize him, that she pities him because Odysseus was not there for him in his childhood because he went to Troy to fight for her and about his exploit of stealing the Palladium, or the Luck of Troy, where she was the only one to recognize him. Menelaus, meanwhile praises Odysseus as an irreproachable comrade and friend, lamenting the fact that they were not only unable to return together from Troy but that Odysseus is yet to return. Both Helen and Menelaus say that they returned to Sparta after a long voyage by way of Egypt. There, on the island of Pharos, Menelaus encountered the old sea-god Proteus, who told him that Odysseus was a captive of the nymph Calypso.
Incidentally, Telemachus learns the fate of Menelaus' brother Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and leader of the Greeks at Troy: he was murdered on his return home by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. The story shifts to the suitors, who have only just now realized that Telemachus is gone. Angry, they kill him as he sails back home. Penelope overhears their plot and worries for her son's safety; the second part recounts the story of Odysseus. In the course of his seven years in captivity of Calypso on the island of Ogygia, she has fallen in love with him though he has spurned her offer of immortality as her husband and still mourns for home, she is ordered to release him by the messenger god Hermes, sent by Zeus in response to Athena's plea. Odysseus builds a raft and is given clothing and drink by Calypso; when Poseidon learns that Odysseus has escaped, he wrecks the raft but, helped by a veil given by the sea nymph Ino, Odysseus swims asho
Ancient Greek literature
Ancient Greek literature refers to literature written in the Ancient Greek language from the earliest texts until the time of the Byzantine Empire. The earliest surviving works of ancient Greek literature, dating back to the early Archaic period, are the two epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey, set in the Mycenaean era; these two epics, along with the Homeric Hymns and the two poems of Hesiod and Works and Days, comprised the major foundations of the Greek literary tradition that would continue into the Classical and Roman periods. The lyric poets Sappho and Pindar were influential during the early development of the Greek poetic tradition. Aeschylus is the earliest Greek tragic playwright for. Sophocles is famous for his tragedies about Oedipus Oedipus the King and Antigone. Euripides is known for his plays which pushed the boundaries of the tragic genre; the comedic playwright Aristophanes wrote in the genre of Old Comedy, while the playwright Menander was an early pioneer of New Comedy. The historians Herodotus of Halicarnassus and Thucydides, who both lived during the fifth century BC, wrote accounts of events that happened shortly before and during their own lifetimes.
The philosopher Plato wrote dialogues centered around his teacher Socrates, dealing with various philosophical subjects, whereas his student Aristotle wrote numerous treatises, which became influential. Important writers included Apollonius of Rhodes, who wrote The Argonautica, an epic poem about the voyage of the Argonauts; the second-century AD writer Lucian of Samosata was a Hellenized Syrian, who wrote works of satire. Ancient Greek literature has had a profound impact on Greek literature and western literature at large. In particular, many ancient Roman authors drew inspiration from their Greek predecessors. Since the Renaissance, European authors in general, including Dante Alighieri, William Shakespeare, John Milton, James Joyce, have all drawn on classical themes and motifs; this period of Greek literature stretches from Homer until the fourth century BC and the rise of Alexander the Great. The earliest known Greek writings are Mycenaean, written in the Linear B syllabary on clay tablets.
These documents contain prosaic records concerned with trade. Michael Ventris and John Chadwick, the original decipherers of Linear B, state that literature certainly existed in Mycenaean Greece, but it was either not written down or, if it was, it was on parchment or wooden tablets, which did not survive the destruction of the Mycenaean palaces in the twelfth century BC. Greek literature was divided in well-defined literary genres, each one having a compulsory formal structure, about both dialect and metrics; the first division was between poetry. Within poetry there were three super-genres: epic and drama; the common European terminology about literary genres is directly derived from the ancient Greek terminology. Lyric and drama were further divided into more genres: lyric in four. Prose literature can be said to begin with Herodotus. Over time, several genres of prose literature developed, but the distinctions between them were blurred. At the beginning of Greek literature stand the two monumental works of Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey.
The figure of Homer is shrouded in mystery. Although the works as they now stand are credited to him, it is certain that their roots reach far back before his time; the Iliad is a narrative of a single episode spanning over the course of a ten-day-period from near the end of the ten years of the Trojan War. It centers on the person of Achilles; the Odyssey is an account of the adventures of one of the warriors at Troy. After ten years fighting the war, he spends another ten years sailing back home to his wife and family. Penelope was considered the ideal female, Homer depicted her as the ideal female based on her commitment, modesty and respect during her marriage with Odysseus. During his ten-year voyage, he loses all of his comrades and ships and makes his way home to Ithaca disguised as a beggar. Both of these works were based on ancient legends; the stories are told in language, simple, direct. The Homeric dialect was an archaic language based on Ionic dialect mixed with some element of Aeolic dialect and Attic dialect, the latter due to the Athenian edition of the 6th century BC.
The epic verse was the hexameter. The other great poet of the preclassical period was Hesiod. Unlike Homer, Hesiod refers to himself in his poetry. Nonetheless, nothing is known about him from any external source, he was a native of Boeotia in central Greece, is thought to have lived and worked around 700 BC. Hesiod's two extant poems are Theogony. Works and Days is a faithful depiction of the poverty-stricken country life he knew so well, it sets forth principles and rules for farmers. Theogony is a systematic account of creation and of the gods, it vividly describes the ages of mankind, beginning with a long-past Golden Age. The writings of Homer and Hesiod were held in high regard throughout antiquity and were viewed by many ancient authors as the foundational texts behind ancient Greek religion. Lyric poetry received
In Greek mythology, Pontus was an ancient, pre-Olympian sea-god, one of the Greek primordial deities. Pontus has no father. For Hesiod, Pontus seems little more than a personification of the sea, ho pontos, "the Road", by which Hellenes signified the Mediterranean Sea. With Gaia, he fathered Nereus, Thaumas and his sister-consort Ceto, the "Strong Goddess" Eurybia. With the sea goddess Thalassa, he fathered all sea life. In a Roman sculpture of the 2nd century AD, rising from seaweed, grasps a rudder with his right hand and leans on the prow of a ship, he wears a mural crown, accompanies Fortuna, whose draperies appear at the left, as twin patron deities of the Black Sea port of Tomis in Moesia. From Aether and Earth: Grief, Wrath, Falsehood, Vengeance, Altercation, Sloth, Pride, Combat, Themis, Pontus. Pontus Gaius Julius 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.
Hesiod, Theogony from The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Greek text available from the same website