Eris is the Greek goddess of strife and discord. Her name is the equivalent of Latin Discordia, which means "discord". Eris' Greek opposite is Harmonia. Homer equated her with the war-goddess Enyo; the dwarf planet Eris is named after the goddess. Eris is of uncertain etymology. R. S. P. Beekes suggested a Pre-Greek origin. In Hesiod's Works and Days 11–24, two different goddesses named Eris are distinguished: In Hesiod's Theogony, the daughter of Night, is less kindly spoken of as she brings forth other personifications as her children: And hateful Eris bore painful Ponos and Limos and the tearful Algea, Makhai and Androktasiai; the other Strife is she who appears in Homer's Iliad Book IV. She hurled down bitterness between both sides as she walked through the onslaught making men's pain heavier, she has a son whom she named Strife. Enyo is mentioned in Book 5, Zeus sends Strife to rouse the Achaeans in Book 11, of the same work; the most famous tale of Eris recounts her initiating the Trojan War by causing the Judgement of Paris.
The goddesses Hera and Aphrodite had been invited along with the rest of Olympus to the forced wedding of Peleus and Thetis, who would become the parents of Achilles, but Eris had been snubbed because of her troublemaking inclinations. She therefore tossed into the party the Apple of Discord, a golden apple inscribed Ancient Greek: τῇ καλλίστῃ, translit. Tē kallistē – "For the most beautiful one", or "To the Fairest One" – provoking the goddesses to begin quarreling about the appropriate recipient; the hapless Paris, Prince of Troy, was appointed to select the fairest by Zeus. The goddesses stripped naked to try to win Paris' decision, attempted to bribe him. Hera offered political power. While Greek culture placed a greater emphasis on prowess and power, Paris chose to award the apple to Aphrodite, thereby dooming his city, destroyed in the war that ensued. In Nonnus' Dionysiaca, 2.356, when Typhon prepares to battle with Zeus: Eris was Typhon's escort in the melée, Nike led Zeus to battle. Another story of Eris includes Hera, the love of Polytekhnos and Aedon.
They claimed to love each other more than Zeus were in love. This angered Hera, so she sent Eris to wreak discord upon them. Polytekhnos was finishing off a chariot board, Aedon a web she had been weaving. Eris said to them, "Whosoever finishes thine task last shall have to present the other with a female servant!" Aedon won. But Polytekhnos was not happy by his defeat, so he came to Khelidon, Aedon's sister, raped her, he disguised her as a slave, presenting her to Aedon. When Aedon discovered this was indeed her sister, she chopped up Polytekhnos' son and fed him to Polytekhnos; the gods were not pleased, so they turned them all into birds. Eris has been adopted as the patron deity of the modern Discordian religion, begun in the late 1950s by Gregory Hill and Kerry Wendell Thornley under the pen names of "Malaclypse the Younger" and "Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst"; the Discordian version of Eris is lighter in comparison to the rather malevolent Graeco-Roman original, wherein she is depicted as a positive force of chaotic creation.
A quote from the Principia Discordia, the first holy book of Discordianism, attempts to clear up the matter: One day Mal-2 consulted his Pineal Gland and asked Eris if She created all of those terrible things. She told him that She had always liked the Old Greeks, but that they cannot be trusted with historic matters. "They were," She added, "victims of indigestion, you know." Suffice it to say that Eris is not hateful or malicious. But she is mischievous, does get a little bitchy at times; the story of Eris being snubbed and indirectly starting the Trojan War is recorded in the Principia, is referred to as the Original Snub. The Principia Discordia states that her parents may be as described in Greek legend, or that she may be the daughter of Void, she is the Goddess of Disorder and Being, whereas her sister Aneris is the goddess of Order and Non-Being. Their brother is Spirituality. Discordian Eris is looked upon as a foil to the preoccupation of western philosophy in attempting find order in the chaos of reality, in prescribing order to be synonymous with truth.
Discordian Eris teaches us that the only truth is chaos, that order and disorder are temporary filters applied to the lenses we view the chaos through. This is known as the Aneristic Illusion. In this telling, Eris becomes something of a patron saint of chaotic creation: I am chaos. I am the substance from which your artists and scientists bu
Hesiod was a Greek poet thought by scholars to have been active between 750 and 650 BC, around the same time as Homer. He is regarded as the first written poet in the Western tradition to regard himself as an individual persona with an active role to play in his subject. Ancient authors credited Homer with establishing Greek religious customs. Modern scholars refer to him as a major source on Greek mythology, farming techniques, early economic thought, archaic Greek astronomy and ancient time-keeping; the dating of Hesiod's life is a contested issue in scholarly circles. Epic narrative allowed poets like Homer no opportunity for personal revelations. However, Hesiod's extant work comprises several didactic poems in which he went out of his way to let his audience in on a few details of his life. There are three explicit references in Works and Days, as well as some passages in his Theogony that support inferences made by scholars; the former poem says that his father came from Cyme in Aeolis and crossed the sea to settle at a hamlet, near Thespiae in Boeotia, named Ascra, "a cursed place, cruel in winter, hard in summer, never pleasant".
Hesiod's patrimony there, a small piece of ground at the foot of Mount Helicon, occasioned lawsuits with his brother Perses, who seems, at first, to have cheated him of his rightful share thanks to corrupt authorities or "kings" but became impoverished and ended up scrounging from the thrifty poet. Unlike his father, Hesiod was averse to sea travel, but he once crossed the narrow strait between the Greek mainland and Euboea to participate in funeral celebrations for one Athamas of Chalcis, there won a tripod in a singing competition, he describes a meeting between himself and the Muses on Mount Helicon, where he had been pasturing sheep when the goddesses presented him with a laurel staff, a symbol of poetic authority. Fanciful though the story might seem, the account has led ancient and modern scholars to infer that he was not a professionally trained rhapsode, or he would have been presented with a lyre instead; some scholars have seen Perses as a literary creation, a foil for the moralizing that Hesiod develops in Works and Days, but there are arguments against that theory.
For example, it is quite common for works of moral instruction to have an imaginative setting, as a means of getting the audience's attention, but it could be difficult to see how Hesiod could have travelled around the countryside entertaining people with a narrative about himself if the account was known to be fictitious. Gregory Nagy, on the other hand, sees both Pérsēs and Hēsíodos as fictitious names for poetical personae, it might seem unusual that Hesiod's father migrated from Asia Minor westwards to mainland Greece, the opposite direction to most colonial movements at the time, Hesiod himself gives no explanation for it. However around 750 BC or a little there was a migration of seagoing merchants from his original home in Cyme in Asia Minor to Cumae in Campania, his move west had something to do with that, since Euboea is not far from Boeotia, where he established himself and his family; the family association with Aeolian Cyme might explain his familiarity with eastern myths, evident in his poems, though the Greek world might have developed its own versions of them.
In spite of Hesiod's complaints about poverty, life on his father's farm could not have been too uncomfortable if Works and Days is anything to judge by, since he describes the routines of prosperous yeomanry rather than peasants. His farmer employs a friend as well as servants, an energetic and responsible ploughman of mature years, a slave boy to cover the seed, a female servant to keep house and working teams of oxen and mules. One modern scholar surmises that Hesiod may have learned about world geography the catalogue of rivers in Theogony, listening to his father's accounts of his own sea voyages as a merchant; the father spoke in the Aeolian dialect of Cyme but Hesiod grew up speaking the local Boeotian, belonging to the same dialect group. However, while his poetry features some Aeolisms there are no words that are Boeotian, his basic language was the main literary dialect of Homer's Ionian. It is probable that Hesiod wrote his poems down, or dictated them, rather than passed them on orally, as rhapsodes did—otherwise the pronounced personality that now emerges from the poems would have been diluted through oral transmission from one rhapsode to another.
Pausanias asserted that Boeotians showed him an old tablet made of lead on which the Works were engraved. If he did write or dictate, it was as an aid to memory or because he lacked confidence in his ability to produce poems extempore, as trained rhapsodes could do, it wasn't in a quest for immortal fame since poets in his era had no such notions for themselves. However, some scholars suspect the presence of large-scale changes in the text and attribute this to oral transmission, he composed his verses during idle times on the farm, in the spring before the May harvest or the dead of winter. The personality behind the poems is unsuited to the kind of "aristocratic withdrawal" typical of a rhapsode but is instead "argumentative, suspicious humorous, fond of proverbs, wary of women." He was in fact a misogynist of t
Momus was in Greek mythology the personification of satire and mockery, two stories about whom figure among Aesop’s Fables. During the Renaissance, several literary works used him as a mouthpiece for their criticism of tyranny, while others made him a critic of contemporary society. Onstage he became the figure of harmless fun; as a sharp-tongued spirit of unfair criticism, Momus was expelled from the company of the gods on Mount Olympus. His name is related to μομφή, meaning'blame','reproach', or'disgrace'. Hesiod said that Momus was a son of Night, “though she lay with none”, the twin of the misery goddess Oizys. In the 8th century BCE epic Cypria, Momus was credited with stirring up the Trojan War in order to reduce the human population. Sophocles wrote a satyr play called Momos, now entirely lost, which may have derived from this. Two of Aesop's fables feature the god; the most reported of these in Classical times is numbered 100 in the Perry Index. There Momus is asked to judge the handiwork of three gods: a house and a bull.
He found all at fault: the man. Because of it, Plutarch and Aristotle criticized Aesop’s story-telling as deficient in understanding, while Lucian insisted that anyone with sense was able to sound out a man’s thoughts; as another result, Momus became a by-word for fault-finding, the saying that if not he could criticize something, the sign of its perfection. Thus a poem in the Greek Anthology remarks of statues by Praxiteles that “Momus himself will cry out,'Father Zeus, this was perfect skill'.” Looking the lovely Aphrodite over, according to a second fable of Aesop’s, number 455 in the Perry Index, it was light-heartedly noted that he could not find anything about her to fault except that her sandals squeaked. A social comedy from the 2nd century CE served as inspiration for criticisms of society; this was found in Lucian’s “The Gods in Council”, in which Momus takes a leading role in a discussion on how to purge Olympus of foreign gods and barbarian demi-gods who are lowering its heavenly tone.
At the start of the Renaissance, Leon Battista Alberti wrote the political work Momus or The Prince, which continued the god’s story after his exile to earth. Since his continued criticism of the gods was destabilizing the divine establishment, Jupiter bound him to a rock and had him castrated. However, missing his candor, he sought out a manuscript that Momus had left behind in, described how a land could be ruled with regulated justice. At the start of the 16th century, Erasmus presented Momus as a champion of legitimate criticism of authorities. Allowing that the god was “not quite as popular as others, because few people admit criticism, yet I dare say of the whole crowd of gods celebrated by the poets, none was more useful.” Giordano Bruno's philosophical treatise The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast looks back to Lucian’s example. Momus there plays an integral part in the series of dialogues conducted by the Olympian deities and Bruno's narrators as Jupiter seeks to purge the universe of evil.
17th century English writers introduced the figure of Momus in a gentler spirit of fun, as in Thomas Carew’s masque Coelum Britannicum, acted before King Charles I and his court. There too Momus and Mercury draw up a plan to reform the ‘Star Chamber’ of Heaven. Two centuries on, it was to influence Henry David Thoreau. John Dryden’s short “Secular Masque” mocks contemporary society through the medium of the Classical divinities, with Momus playing a leading part in deflating with sarcastic wit the sports represented by Diana and Venus, for “'Tis better to laugh than to cry”, it is with similar wryness that Carl Sandburg’s statue of “Momus” surveys the never-changing human scene, “On men who play in terrible earnest the old, solemn repetitions of history”, as they continue to overpopulate the world and bleed it. Elsewhere in Europe, Momus was becoming softened into a figure of light-hearted and sentimental comedy, the equivalent of Harlequin in the French and Italian Commedia dell'arte. A typical production has him competing for the amorous favours of a nymph in Henry Desmarets’ opéra-ballet Les amours de Momus.
By this period Momus was the patron of humorous satire, partnering the figures of comedy and tragedy. As such he appeared flanked by these female figures on the frontispiece to The Beauties of the English Stage, while in Leonard Defraine’s Figures of Fabled Gods, he partners Comus, god of Carnival, Themis, patroness of assemblies; because of the Harlequin connection, as the character able to make home-truths palatable through the use of humour, Momus had now taken the place of the Fool on the French Minchiate card pack. He lent his name to George Saville Carey’s satirical poem, Momus, or a critical examination into the merits of the performers and comic pieces at the Theatre-Royal in the Hay-Market; the god himself plays no part there, only the comic actors. Media related to Momus at Wikimedia Commons
Rhamnous Ramnous or Rhamnus, was an ancient Greek city in Attica situated on the coast, overlooking the Euboean Strait. Its impressive ruins lie northwest of the modern town of Agia Marina in the municipality of Marathon; the site was best known in antiquity for its sanctuary of Nemesis, the implacable avenging goddess, her most important in ancient Greece. Rhamnous is the best-preserved Attic deme site, it was strategically significant on the sea routes and was fortified with an Athenian garrison of ephebes. A fortified acropolis dominates the two small harbours located on either side of it which have silted up extensively since antiquity, into which grain was imported for Athens during the Peloponnesian War. Rhamnus or Rhamnous or Rhamnuntus or Rhamnountos was a deme of ancient Attica, belonging to the tribe Aeantis, it derived its name from a thick prickly shrub. The town stood upon the eastern coast of Attica, at the distance of 60 stadia from Marathon, upon the road leading from the latter town to Oropus.
It is described in the Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax as a fortified place. It was still in existence in the time of Pliny the Elder. Rhamnus was the birthplace of the orator Antiphon; the temple of the goddess was at a short distance from the town. It contained a celebrated statue of Nemesis, according to Pausanias, was the work of Pheidias, was made by him out of a block of Parian marble, which the Persians had brought with them for the construction of a trophy; the statue was of colossal size, 10 cubits in height, on its basis were several figures in relief. Other writers say that the statue was the work of Agoracritus of a disciple of Pheidias, it was however a common opinion that Pheidias was the real author of the statue, but that he gave up the honour of the work to his favourite disciple. Rhamnus stood in a small plain, 3 miles in length, like that of Marathon, was shut out from the rest of Attica by surrounding mountains; the town itself was situated upon a rocky peninsula, surrounded by the sea for two-thirds of its circumference, connected by a narrow ridge with the mountains, which approach it on the land side.
It was about half a mile in circuit, its remains are considerable. The principal gate was situated upon the narrow ridge mentioned, is still preserved. At the head of a narrow glen, which leads to the principal gate, stand the ruins of the temple of Nemesis upon a large artificial platform, supported by a wall of pure white marble, but we find upon this platform, which formed the temenos or sacred enclosure, the remains of two temples, which are contiguous, nearly though not quite parallel to each other. The larger building was a peripteral hexastyle, 71 feet long and 33 feet broad, with 12 columns on the side, with a pronaus and posticum in the usual manner; the smaller temple was 31 feet feet long by 21 feet feet broad, consisted only of a cella, with a portico containing two Doric columns in antis. Among the ruins of the larger temple are some fragments of a colossal statue, corresponding in size with that of the Rhamnusian Nemesis, it is, not improbable, as William Martin Leake, who visited the site in the early 19th century, has remarked, that the story of the block of stone brought by the Persians was a fable, or an invention of the priests of Nemesis by which Pausanias was deceived.
Among the ruins of the smaller temple was found a fragment, wanting the head and shoulders, of a statue of the human size in the archaic style of the Aeginetan school. This statue is now in the British Museum. Judging from this statue, as well as from the diminutive size and ruder architecture of the smaller temple, the latter appears to have been the more ancient of the two. Hence it has been inferred that the smaller temple was anterior to the Greco-Persian War, was destroyed by the Persians just before the Battle of Marathon. In front of the smaller temple are two chairs of white marble, upon one of, the inscription Νεμέσει Σώστρατος ἀνέθηκεν, upon the other (Θέμιδι Σώστρατος ἀνέθηκεν, which has led some to suppose that the smaller temple was dedicated to Themis, but it is more probable that both temples were dedicated to Nemesis, that the smaller temple was in ruins before the larger was erected. A difficulty, arises about the time of the destruction of the smaller temple, from the fact that the forms of the letters and the long vowels in the inscriptions upon the chairs show that those inscriptions belong to an era long subsequent to the battle of Marathon.
Christopher Wordsworth considered it ridiculous to suppose that these chairs were dedicated in this temple after its destruction, hence conjectures that the temple was destroyed towards the close of the Peloponnesian War by the Persian allies of Sparta. Understanding of the history of Rhamnous was improved by the work of Jean Pouilloux, who studied the fortress and the inscriptions from the site; the sanctuary of Nemesis lies on the road between Rhamnous and Marathon, around 630m south of the city. Two temples to Nemesis and Themis can be
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, the Oceanids or Oceanides are the nymphs who were the three thousand daughters of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys. The Oceanids' father Oceanus was the great primordial world-encircling river, their mother Tethys was a sea goddess, their brothers the Potamoi were the personifications of the great rivers of the world. Like the rest of their family, the Oceanid nymphs were associated with water, as the personification of springs. Hesiod says they are "dispersed far and wide" and everywhere "serve the earth and the deep waters", while in Apollonius of Rhodes' Argonautica, the Argonauts, stranded in the desert of Lybia, beg the "nymphs, sacred of the race of Oceanus" to show them "some spring of water from the rock or some sacred flow gushing from the earth"; the Oceanids are not categorized, nor confined to any single function, not necessarily associated with water. Though most nymphs were considered to be minor deities, many Oceanids were significant figures. Metis, the personification of intelligence, was Zeus' first wife, whom Zeus impregnated with Athena and swallowed.
The Oceanids Amphitrite and Doris, like their mother Tethys, were important sea-goddess. While their brothers, the Potamoi, were the usual personifications of major rivers, Styx was the personification of a major river, the underworld's river Styx, and some, like Europa, Asia, seem associated with areas of land rather than water. The Oceanids were responsible for keeping watch over the young. According to Hesiod, who described them as "neat-ankled daughters of Ocean... children who are glorious among goddesses", they are "a holy company of daughters who with the lord Apollo and the Rivers have youths in their keeping—to this charge Zeus appointed them"Like Metis, the Oceanids functioned as the wives of many gods, the mothers, by these gods, of many other gods and goddesses. Doris was the wife of the sea-god Nereus, the mother of the fifty sea nymphs, the Nereids. Stix was the wife of the Titan Pallas, mother the mother of Zelus, Nike and Bia. Eurynome, Zeus' third wife, was the mother of the Charites.
Clymene was the wife of the Titan Iapetus, mother of Atlas, Menoetius and Epimetheus. Electra was the mother of Iris and the Harpies. Other notable Oceanids include: Perseis, wife of the Titan sun god Helios and mother of Circe, Aeetes the king of Colchis; as a group, the Oceanids form the chorus of the tragedy Prometheus Bound, coming up from their cave beneath the ground, to console the chained Titan Prometheus. They were the companions of Persephone when she was abducted by Hades. Hesiod gives the names of 41 Oceanids, with other ancient sources providing many more. While some were important figures, most were not; some were the names of actual springs, others poetic inventions. Some names, consistent with the Oceanids' charge of having "youths in their keeping", represent things which parents might hope to be bestowed upon their children: Plouto, Tyche and Metis. Others appear to be geographical eponyms, such as Europa, Asia and Rhodos. Several of the names of Oceanids were among the names given to the Nereids.
Sailors honoured and entreated the Oceanids, dedicating prayers and sacrifices to them. Appeals to them were made to protect seafarers from other nautical hazards. Before they began their legendary voyage to Colchis in search of the Golden Fleece, the Argonauts made an offering of flour and sea to the ocean deities, sacrificed bulls to them and entreated their protection from the dangers of their journey. Jean Sibelius wrote an orchestral tone poem called Aallottaret in 1914; the Manchester-born painter Annie Swynnerton, the first woman to be admitted to the Royal Academy in 1922, painted a work called Oceanid some time before 1908. It shows a strong, unidealised female figure at one with nature, typical of Swynnerton's many depictions of'real' women and her feminist politics. Nereid Siren Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound in Aeschylus, with an English translation by Herbert Weir Smyth, Ph. D. in two volumes. Vol 2. Cambridge, Massachusetts. Harvard University Press. 1926. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
Apollodorus, The Library, with an English Translation by Sir James George Frazer, F. B. A. F. R. S. in 2 Volumes. Cambridge, Harvard University Press. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Apollonius of Rhodes, Apollonius Rhodius: the Argonautica, translated by Robert Cooper Seaton, W. Heinemann, 1912. Internet Archive. Fowler, R. L. Early Greek Mythography: Volume 2: Commentary, Oxford University Press, 2013. ISBN 978-0198147411. Gantz, Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996, Two volumes: ISBN 978-0-8018-5360-9, ISBN 978-0-8018-5362-3. Grimal, The Dictionary of Classical Mythology, Wiley-Blackwell, 1996, ISBN 9780631201021. Hard, The Routledge Handbook of Greek Mythology: Based on H. J. Rose's "Handbook of Greek Mythology", Psychology Press, 2004, ISBN 9780415186360. Google Books. Hesiod, Theogony, in The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, Massachusetts. Harvard University Press. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
Sophocles is one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived. His first plays were written than or contemporary with those of Aeschylus, earlier than or contemporary with those of Euripides. Sophocles wrote over 120 plays during the course of his life, but only seven have survived in a complete form: Ajax, Women of Trachis, Oedipus Rex, Electra and Oedipus at Colonus. For 50 years, Sophocles was the most celebrated playwright in the dramatic competitions of the city-state of Athens that took place during the religious festivals of the Lenaea and the Dionysia, he competed in 30 competitions, won 24, was never judged lower than second place. Aeschylus won 13 competitions, was sometimes defeated by Sophocles, while Euripides won four competitions; the most famous tragedies of Sophocles feature Oedipus and Antigone: they are known as the Theban plays, although each play was a part of a different tetralogy, the other members of which are now lost. Sophocles influenced the development of drama, most by adding a third actor, thereby reducing the importance of the chorus in the presentation of the plot.
He developed his characters to a greater extent than earlier playwrights such as Aeschylus. Sophocles, the son of Sophilus, was a wealthy member of the rural deme of Hippeios Colonus in Attica, to become a setting for one of his plays, he was born there. Sophocles was born a few years before the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC: the exact year is unclear, although 497/6 is the most likely. Sophocles was born into a wealthy family and was educated. Sophocles' first artistic triumph was in 468 BC, when he took first prize in the Dionysia theatre competition over the reigning master of Athenian drama, Aeschylus. According to Plutarch, the victory came under unusual circumstances. Instead of following the usual custom of choosing judges by lot, the archon asked Cimon and the other strategoi present to decide the victor of the contest. Plutarch further contends that following this loss Aeschylus soon left for Sicily. Although Plutarch says that this was Sophocles' first production, it is now thought that his first production was in 470 BC.
Triptolemus was one of the plays that Sophocles presented at this festival. In 480 BC Sophocles was chosen to lead the paean, celebrating the Greek victory over the Persians at the Battle of Salamis. Early in his career, the politician Cimon might have been one of his patrons, although if he was, there was no ill will borne by Pericles, Cimon's rival, when Cimon was ostracized in 461 BC. In 443/2 he served as one of the Hellenotamiai, or treasurers of Athena, helping to manage the finances of the city during the political ascendancy of Pericles. According to the Vita Sophoclis, in 441 BC he was elected one of the ten generals, executive officials at Athens, as a junior colleague of Pericles, he served in the Athenian campaign against Samos. In 420 BC, he welcomed and set up an altar for the image of Asclepius at his house, when the deity was introduced to Athens. For this, he was given the posthumous epithet Dexion by the Athenians, he was elected, in 413 BC, one of the commissioners who responded to the catastrophic destruction of the Athenian expeditionary force in Sicily during the Peloponnesian War.
Sophocles died at the age of ninety or ninety-one in the winter of 406/5 BC, having seen within his lifetime both the Greek triumph in the Persian Wars and the bloodletting of the Peloponnesian War. As with many famous men in classical antiquity, his death inspired a number of apocryphal stories; the most famous is the suggestion that he died from the strain of trying to recite a long sentence from his Antigone without pausing to take a breath. Another account suggests. A third holds. A few months a comic poet, in a play titled The Muses, wrote this eulogy: "Blessed is Sophocles, who had a long life, was a man both happy and talented, the writer of many good tragedies. According to some accounts, his own sons tried to have him declared incompetent near the end of his life. One of his sons, a grandson called Sophocles became playwrights. An ancient source, Athenaeus’s work Sophists at Dinner, contains references to Sophocles' homosexuality or bisexuality. In that work, a character named Myrtilus, in a lengthy banquet speech claims that Ion of Chios writes in his book Encounters, that Sophocles loved boys as much as Euripides loved women.
Myrtilus repeats an anecdote told by Ion of Chios that involves Sophocles flirting with a serving boy at a symposium. Myrtilus claims that in a work by Hieronymus of Rhodes entitled Historical Notes it is said that Sophocles once lured a boy outside to have sex, afterwards the boy left with Sophocles' cape, while the boy's own cape was left with Sophocles Among Sophocles' earliest innovations was the addition of a third actor, which further reduced the role of the chorus and created greater opportunity for character development and conflict between characters. Aeschylus, who dominated Athenian playwriting during Sophocles' early career, followed suit and adopted the third character into his own work towards the end of h