Menander was a Greek dramatist and the best-known representative of Athenian New Comedy. He took the prize at the Lenaia festival eight times, his record at the City Dionysia is unknown but may well have been spectacular. One of the most popular writers of antiquity, his work was lost during the Middle Ages and is known in modernity in fragmentary form, much of, discovered in the 20th century. Only one play, has survived entirely. Menander was the son of well-to-do parents, he derived his taste for comic drama from his uncle Alexis. He was the friend and pupil of Theophrastus, was on intimate terms with the Athenian dictator Demetrius of Phalerum, he enjoyed the patronage of Ptolemy Soter, the son of Lagus, who invited him to his court. But Menander, preferring the independence of his villa in the Piraeus and the company of his mistress Glycera, refused. According to the note of a scholiast on the Ibis of Ovid, he drowned while bathing, his countrymen honored him with a tomb on the road leading to Athens, where it was seen by Pausanias.
Numerous supposed busts of him survive, including a well-known statue in the Vatican thought to represent Gaius Marius. His rival in dramatic art was Philemon. Menander, believed himself to be the better dramatist, according to Aulus Gellius, used to ask Philemon: "Don't you feel ashamed whenever you gain a victory over me?" According to Caecilius of Calacte Menander was accused of plagiarism, as his The Superstitious Man was taken from The Augur of Antiphanes, but reworkings and variations on a theme of this sort were commonplace and so the charge is a complicated one. How long complete copies of his plays survived is unclear, although 23 of them, with commentary by Michael Psellus, were said to still have been available in Constantinople in the 11th century, he is praised by Plutarch and Quintilian, who accepted the tradition that he was the author of the speeches published under the name of the Attic orator Charisius. An admirer and imitator of Euripides, Menander resembles him in his keen observation of practical life, his analysis of the emotions, his fondness for moral maxims, many of which became proverbial: "The property of friends is common," "Whom the gods love die young," "Evil communications corrupt good manners".
These maxims were afterwards collected, with additions from other sources, were edited as Menander's One-Verse Maxims, a kind of moral textbook for the use of schools. The single surviving speech from his early play Drunkenness is an attack on the politician Callimedon, in the manner of Aristophanes, whose bawdy style was adopted in many of his plays. Menander found many Roman imitators. Eunuchus, Heauton Timorumenos and Adelphi of Terence were avowedly taken from Menander, but some of them appear to be adaptations and combinations of more than one play, thus in the Andria were combined Menander's The Woman from Andros and The Woman from Perinthos, in the Eunuchus, The Eunuch and The Flatterer, while the Adelphi was compiled from Menander and from Diphilus. The original of Terence's Hecyra is supposed to be, not by Menander, but Apollodorus of Carystus; the Bacchides and Stichus of Plautus were based upon Menander's The Double Deceiver and Brotherly-Loving Men, but the Poenulus does not seem to be from The Carthaginian, nor the Mostellaria from The Apparition, in spite of the similarity of titles.
Caecilius Statius, Luscius Lanuvinus and Atilius imitated Menander. He was further credited with the authorship of some epigrams of doubtful authenticity. Most of Menander's work did not survive the Middle Ages, except as short fragments. Federico da Montefeltro's library at Urbino reputedly had "tutte le opere", a complete works, but its existence has been questioned and there are no traces after Cesare Borgia's capture of the city and the transfer of the library to the Vatican; until the end of the 19th century, all, known of Menander were fragments quoted by other authors and collected by Augustus Meineke and Theodor Kock, Comicorum Atticorum Fragmenta. These consist of some 1650 verses or parts of verses, in addition to a considerable number of words quoted from Menander by ancient lexicographers; this situation changed abruptly in 1907, with the discovery of the Cairo Codex, which contained large parts of the Samia. A fragment of 115 lines of the Sikyonioi had been found in the papier mache of a mummy case in 1906.
In 1959, the Bodmer papyrus was published containing Dyskolos, more of the Samia, half of the Aspis. In the late 1960s, more of the Sikyonioi was found as filling for two more mummy cases. Other papyrus fragments continue to be published. In 2003, a palimpsest manuscript, in Syriac writing of the 9th century, was found where the reused parchment comes from a expensive 4th-century Greek manuscript of work
Manichaeism was a major religion founded by the Iranian prophet Mani in the Sasanian Empire. Manichaeism taught an elaborate dualistic cosmology describing the struggle between a good, spiritual world of light, an evil, material world of darkness. Through an ongoing process that takes place in human history, light is removed from the world of matter and returned to the world of light, whence it came, its beliefs were based on Gnosticism. Manichaeism was successful and spread far through the Aramaic-speaking regions, it thrived between the third and seventh centuries, at its height was one of the most widespread religions in the world. Manichaean churches and scriptures existed as far east as China and as far west as the Roman Empire, it was the main rival to Christianity before the spread of Islam in the competition to replace classical paganism. Manichaeism survived longer in the east than in the west, it appears to have faded away after the 14th century in south China, contemporary to the decline of the Church of the East in Ming China.
While most of Manichaeism's original writings have been lost, numerous translations and fragmentary texts have survived. An adherent of Manichaeism was called a Manichaean or Manichean, or Manichee in older sources. Mani was an Iranian born in 216 near Seleucia-Ctesiphon in the Parthian Empire. According to the Cologne Mani-Codex, Mani's parents were members of the Jewish Christian Gnostic sect known as the Elcesaites. Mani composed seven works, six of which were written in the Syriac language, a late variety of Aramaic; the seventh, the Shabuhragan, was written by Mani in Middle Persian and presented by him to the Sasanian emperor, Shapur I. Although there is no proof Shapur I was a Manichaean, he tolerated the spread of Manichaeism and refrained from persecuting it within his empire's boundaries. According to one tradition, it was Mani himself who invented the unique version of the Syriac script known as the Manichaean alphabet, used in all of the Manichaean works written within the Sasanian Empire, whether they were in Syriac or Middle Persian, for most of the works written within the Uyghur Khaganate.
The primary language of Babylon at that time was Eastern Middle Aramaic, which included three main dialects: Jewish Babylonian Aramaic and Syriac, the language of Mani, as well as of the Syriac Christians. While Manichaeism was spreading, existing religions such as Zoroastrianism were still popular and Christianity was gaining social and political influence. Although having fewer adherents, Manichaeism won the support of many high-ranking political figures. With the assistance of the Sasanian Empire, Mani began missionary expeditions. After failing to win the favour of the next generation of Persian royalty, incurring the disapproval of the Zoroastrian clergy, Mani is reported to have died in prison awaiting execution by the Persian Emperor Bahram I; the date of his death is estimated at 276–277. Mani believed that the teachings of Gautama Buddha and Jesus were incomplete, that his revelations were for the entire world, calling his teachings the "Religion of Light". Manichaean writings indicate that Mani received revelations when he was 12 and again when he was 24, over this time period he grew dissatisfied with the Elcesaite sect he was born into.
Mani began preaching at an early age and was influenced by contemporary Babylonian-Aramaic movements such as Mandaeism, Aramaic translations of Jewish apocalyptic writings similar to those found at Qumran, by the Syriac dualist-gnostic writer Bardaisan. With the discovery of the Mani-Codex, it became clear that he was raised in a Jewish-Christian baptism sect, the Elcesaites, was influenced by their writings, as well. According to biographies preserved by Ibn al-Nadim and the Persian polymath al-Biruni, he received a revelation as a youth from a spirit, whom he would call his Twin, his Syzygos, his Double, his Protective Angel or Divine Self, it taught. His divine Twin or true Self brought Mani to self-realization, he claimed to be the Paraclete of the Truth. Manichaeism's views on Jesus are described by historians: Jesus in Manichaeism possessed three separate identities: Jesus the Luminous, Jesus the Messiah and Jesus patibilis; as Jesus the Luminous... his primary role was as supreme revealer and guide and it was he who woke Adam from his slumber and revealed to him the divine origins of his soul and its painful captivity by the body and mixture with matter.
Jesus the Messiah was a historical being, the prophet of the Jews and the forerunner of Mani. However, the Manichaeans believed, he never experienced human birth as notions of physical conception and birth filled the Manichaeans with horror and the Christian doctrine of virgin birth was regarded as obscene. Since he was the light of the world, where was this light, they asked, when he was in the womb of the Virgin? Jesus the Messiah was bor
Thomas Ruggles Pynchon Jr. is an American novelist. A MacArthur Fellow, he is noted for his complex novels, his fiction and non-fiction writings encompass a vast array of subject matter and themes, including history, music and mathematics. For Gravity's Rainbow, Pynchon won the 1973 U. S. National Book Award for Fiction. Hailing from Long Island, Pynchon served two years in the United States Navy and earned an English degree from Cornell University. After publishing several short stories in the late 1950s and early 1960s, he began composing the novels for which he is best known: V; the Crying of Lot 49, Gravity's Rainbow. Pynchon is notoriously reclusive. Pynchon's most recent novel, Bleeding Edge, was published on September 17, 2013. Thomas Pynchon was born in 1937 in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York, one of three children of Thomas Ruggles Pynchon Sr. and Katherine Frances Bennett. His earliest American ancestor, William Pynchon, emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony with the Winthrop Fleet in 1630 became the founder of Springfield, Massachusetts in 1636, thereafter a long line of Pynchon descendants found wealth and repute on American soil.
Aspects of Pynchon's ancestry and family background have inspired his fiction writing in the Slothrop family histories related in the short story "The Secret Integration" and Gravity's Rainbow. Pynchon was raised a Catholic. Pynchon attended Oyster Bay High School in Oyster Bay, where he was awarded "student of the year" and contributed short fictional pieces to his school newspaper; these juvenilia incorporated some of the literary motifs and recurring subject matter he would use throughout his career: oddball names, sophomoric humor, illicit drug use, paranoia. After graduating from high school in 1953 at the age of 16, Pynchon studied engineering physics at Cornell University, but left at the end of his second year to serve in the U. S. Navy. In 1957, he returned to Cornell to pursue a degree in English, his first published story, "The Small Rain", appeared in the Cornell Writer in March 1959, narrates an actual experience of a friend who had served in the Army. While at Cornell, Pynchon started his friendships with David Shetzline.
Together the two led what Pynchon has called a "micro-cult" around Oakley Hall's 1958 novel Warlock. Pynchon reminisced about his college days in the introduction he wrote in 1983 for Fariña's novel Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me, first published in 1966, he attended lectures given by Vladimir Nabokov, who taught literature at Cornell. Although Nabokov said that he had no memory of Pynchon, Nabokov's wife Véra, who graded her husband's class papers, commented that she remembered his distinctive handwriting as a mixture of printed and cursive letters, "half printing, half script." In 1958, Pynchon and classmate Kirkpatrick Sale wrote part or all of a science-fiction musical, Minstrel Island, which portrayed a dystopian future in which IBM rules the world. Pynchon received his BA in June 1959. After leaving Cornell, Pynchon began to work on his first novel: V. From February 1960 to September 1962, he was employed as a technical writer at Boeing in Seattle, where he compiled safety articles for the Bomarc Service News, a support newsletter for the BOMARC surface-to-air missile deployed by the U.
S. Air Force. Pynchon's experiences at Boeing inspired his depictions of the "Yoyodyne" corporation in V. and The Crying of Lot 49, both his background in physics and the technical journalism he undertook at Boeing provided much raw material for Gravity's Rainbow. When published in 1963, V. won a William Faulkner Foundation Award for the best first novel of the year. After resigning from Boeing, Pynchon spent some time in New York and Mexico before moving to California, where he was based for much of the 1960s and early 1970s, most notably in an apartment in Manhattan Beach, as he was composing the regarded Gravity's Rainbow. Pynchon during this time flirted with the lifestyle and some of the habits of the Beat and hippie countercultures. A negative aspect that Pynchon retrospectively found in the hippie cultural and literary movement, both in the form of the Beats of the 1950s and the resurgence form of the 1960s, was that it "placed too much emphasis on youth, including the eternal variety."In 1964, his application to study mathematics as a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley was turned down.
In 1966, Pynchon wrote a first-hand report on the aftermath and legacy of the Watts Riots in Los Angeles. Titled "A Journey Into the Mind of Watts", the article was published in The New York Times Magazine. From the mid-1960s Pynchon has regularly provided blurbs and introductions for a wide range of novels and non-fiction works. One of the first of these pieces was a brief review of Oakley Hall's Warlock which appeared, along with comments by seven other writers on "neglected books", as part of a feature titled "A Gift of Books" in the December 1965 issue of Holiday. In 1968, Pynchon was one of 447 signatories to the "Writers and Editors War Tax Protest". Full-page advertisements in the New York Post and The New York Review of Books listed the names of those who had pledged not to pay "the proposed 10% income tax surcharge or any war-designated tax increase", an
Dionysus is the god of the grape-harvest and wine, of fertility, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, theatre in ancient Greek religion and myth. Wine played an important role in Greek culture, the cult of Dionysus was the main religious focus for its unrestrained consumption, his worship became established in the seventh century BC. He may have been worshipped as early as c. 1500–1100 BC by Mycenaean Greeks. His origins are uncertain, his cults took many forms. In some cults, he arrives as an Asiatic foreigner; some scholars believe that Dionysus is a syncretism of a local Greek nature deity and a more powerful god from Thrace or Phrygia such as Sabazios or Zalmoxis. He is a god of epiphany, "the god that comes", his "foreignness" as an arriving outsider-god may be inherent and essential to his cults, he is a major, popular figure of Greek mythology and religion, becoming important over time, included in some lists of the twelve Olympians, as the last of their number, the only god born from a mortal mother.
His festivals were the driving force behind the development of Greek theatre. He is known as Bacchus, the name adopted by the Romans and the frenzy he induces is bakkheia, his thyrsus, sometimes wound with ivy and dripping with honey, is both a beneficent wand and a weapon used to destroy those who oppose his cult and the freedoms he represents. As Eleutherios, his wine and ecstatic dance free his followers from self-conscious fear and care, subvert the oppressive restraints of the powerful; those who partake of his mysteries are empowered by the god himself. The cult of Dionysus is a "cult of the souls", he is sometimes categorised as a dying-and-rising god. Dionysus is depicted in myth as the son of Zeus and the mortal Semele, although in the Orphic tradition, he was identified as the son of Zeus and Persephone. In the Eleusinian Mysteries he was identified with the son of Demeter; the dio- element has been associated since antiquity with Zeus. The earliest attested form of the name is Mycenaean Greek, di-wo-nu-so, written in Linear B syllabic script for /Diwonūsoio/.
This is attested on two tablets, found at Mycenaean Pylos and dated to the 12th or 13th century BC, but at the time, there could be no certainty on whether this was indeed a theonym. But the 1989–90 Greek-Swedish Excavations at Kastelli Hill, unearthed, inter alia, four artefacts bearing Linear B inscriptions. Variants include Dionūsos and Diōnūsos in Boeotia. A Dio- prefix is found in other names, such as that of the Dioscures, may derive from Dios, the genitive of the name of Zeus; the second element -nūsos is associated with Mount Nysa, the birthplace of the god in Greek mythology, where he was nursed by nymphs, but according to Pherecydes of Syros, nũsa was an archaic word for "tree". Nonnus, in his Dionysiaca, writes that the name Dionysus means "Zeus-limp" and that Hermes named the new born Dionysus this, "because Zeus while he carried his burden lifted one foot with a limp from the weight of his thigh, nysos in Syracusan language means limping". In his note to these lines, W. H. D. Rouse writes "It need hardly be said that these etymologies are wrong".
The Suda, a Byzantine encyclopedia based on classical sources, states that Dionysus was so named "from accomplishing for each of those who live the wild life. Or from providing everything for those who live the wild life."R. S. P. Beekes has suggested a Pre-Greek origin of the name; the cult of Dionysus was associated with trees the fig tree, some of his bynames exhibit this, such as Endendros "he in the tree" or Dendritēs, "he of the tree". Peters suggests the original meaning as "he who runs among the trees", or that of a "runner in the woods". Janda accepts the etymology but proposes the more cosmological interpretation of "he who impels the tree"; this interpretation explains how Nysa could have been re-interpreted from a meaning of "tree" to the name of a mountain: the axis mundi of Indo-European mythology is represented both as a world-tree and as a world-mountain. The earliest cult images of Dionysus show a mature male and robed, he holds a fennel staff, known as a thyrsus. Images show him as a beardless, naked or half-naked androgynous youth: the literature describes him as womanly or "man-womanish".
In its developed form, his central cult imagery shows his triumphant, disorderly arrival or return, as if from some place beyond the borders of the known and civilized. His procession is made up of bearded satyrs with erect penises; the god himself is drawn in a chariot by exotic beasts such as lions or tigers, is sometimes attended by a bearded, drunken Silenus. This procession is presumed to be the cult model for the followers of his Dionysian Mysteries. Dionysus is represented by city religions as the protector of those who do not belong to conventional society and he thus symbolizes the chaotic and unexpected
Eleusis is a town and municipality in West Attica, Greece. It is situated about 18 kilometres northwest from the centre of Athens, it is located at the northernmost end of the Saronic Gulf. North of Eleusis are Magoula, while Aspropyrgos is to the northeast. Eleusis is the seat of administration of West Attica regional unit, it is the birthplace of Aeschylus. Today, Eleusis is a major industrial centre, with the largest oil refinery in Greece as well as the home of the Aeschylia Festival, the longest-lived arts event in the Attica Region. On 11 November 2016 Eleusis was named the European Capital of Culture for 2021; the word Eleusis first appears at the Orphic hymn «Δήμητρος Ελευσινίας, θυμίαμα στύρακα». Hesychius of Alexandria reports that the older name for Eleusis was Saesara. Saesara was the mythic daughter of Celeus and granddaughter of Eleusinus, the first settler of Eleusis; the municipality Elefsina was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following two former municipalities, that became municipal units: Elefsina MagoulaThe municipality has an area of 36.589 km2, the municipal unit 18.455 km2.
Eleusis was a deme of ancient Attica, belonging to the phyle Hippothoöntis. It owed its celebrity to its being the chief seat of the worship of Demeter and Persephone, to the mysteries celebrated in honour of these goddesses, which were called the Eleusinia, continued to be regarded as the most sacred of all the Grecian mysteries down to the fall of paganism. Eleusis stood upon a height at a short distance from the sea, opposite the island of Salamis, its situation possessed three natural advantages. It was on the road from Athens to the Isthmus of Corinth; the town itself dates from the most ancient times. It appears to have derived its name from the supposed advent of Demeter, though some traced its name from an eponymous hero Eleusis, it was one of the 12 independent states into which Attica was said to have been divided. It was related that in the reign of Eumolpus, king of Eleusis, Erechtheus, king of Athens, there was a war between the two states, in which the Eleusinians were defeated, whereupon they agreed to acknowledge the supremacy of Athens in every thing except the celebration of the mysteries, of which they were to continue to have the management.
Eleusis afterwards became an Attic deme, but in consequence of its sacred character it was allowed to retain the title of polis and to coin its own money, a privilege possessed by no other town in Attica, except Athens. The history of Eleusis is part of the history of Athens. Once a year the great Eleusinian procession travelled from Athens along the Sacred Way. Eleusis was the site of the Eleusinian Mysteries, or the Mysteries of Demeter and Kore, which became popular in the Greek speaking world as early as 600 BC, attracted initiates during Roman Empire before declining mid-late 4th century AD; these Mysteries revolved around a belief that there was a hope for life after death for those who were initiated. Such a belief was cultivated from the introduction ceremony in which the hopeful initiates were shown a number of things including the seed of life in a stalk of grain; the central myth of the Mysteries was Demeter's quest for her lost daughter, abducted by Hades. It was here that Demeter, disguised as an old lady, abducted by pirates in Crete, came to an old well where the four daughters of the local king Keleos and his queen Metaneira found her and took her to their palace to nurse the son of Keleos and Metaneira, Demophoon.
Demeter raised Demophoon, anointing him with nectar and ambrosia, until Metaneira found out and insulted her. Demeter arose insulted, casting off her disguise, and, in all her glory, instructed Meteneira to build a temple to her. Keleos, informed the next morning by Metaneira, ordered the citizens to build a rich shrine to Demeter, where she sat in her temple until the lot of the world prayed to Zeus to make the world provide food again. During the Greco-Persian Wars, the ancient temple of Demeter at Eleusis was burnt by the Persians in 484 BC; when the power of the Thirty Tyrants was overthrown after the Peloponnesian War, they retired to Eleusis, which they had secured beforehand, but where they maintained themselves for only a short time. Under the Romans Eleusis enjoyed great prosperity, as initiation into its mysteries became fashionable among the Roman nobles, it was destroyed by Alaric I in 396 CE, from that time disappears from history. Pausanias has left us only a brief description of Eleusis.
They say that the Rharian plain was the first place in which corn was sown and first produced a harvest, that hence barley from this plain is employed for making sacrificial cakes. There the so-called threshing-floor and altar of Triptolemus are shown; the things within the wall of the Hierum a dream forbade me to describe."The Rharian plain is mentioned in the Homeric Hymn to Artemis.