Greek mythology is the body of myths told by the ancient Greeks. These stories concern the origin and the nature of the world, the lives and activities of deities and mythological creatures, the origins and significance of the ancient Greeks' own cult and ritual practices. Modern scholars study the myths in an attempt to shed light on the religious and political institutions of ancient Greece and its civilization, to gain understanding of the nature of myth-making itself; the Greek myths were propagated in an oral-poetic tradition most by Minoan and Mycenaean singers starting in the 18th century BC. Two poems by Homer's near contemporary Hesiod, the Theogony and the Works and Days, contain accounts of the genesis of the world, the succession of divine rulers, the succession of human ages, the origin of human woes, the origin of sacrificial practices. Myths are preserved in the Homeric Hymns, in fragments of epic poems of the Epic Cycle, in lyric poems, in the works of the tragedians and comedians of the fifth century BC, in writings of scholars and poets of the Hellenistic Age, in texts from the time of the Roman Empire by writers such as Plutarch and Pausanias.
Aside from this narrative deposit in ancient Greek literature, pictorial representations of gods and mythic episodes featured prominently in ancient vase-paintings and the decoration of votive gifts and many other artifacts. Geometric designs on pottery of the eighth century BC depict scenes from the Trojan cycle as well as the adventures of Heracles. In the succeeding Archaic and Hellenistic periods and various other mythological scenes appear, supplementing the existing literary evidence. Greek mythology has had an extensive influence on the culture and literature of Western civilization and remains part of Western heritage and language. Poets and artists from ancient times to the present have derived inspiration from Greek mythology and have discovered contemporary significance and relevance in the themes. Greek mythology is known today from Greek literature and representations on visual media dating from the Geometric period from c. 900 BC to c. 800 BC onward. In fact and archaeological sources integrate, sometimes mutually supportive and sometimes in conflict.
Mythical narration plays an important role in nearly every genre of Greek literature. The only general mythographical handbook to survive from Greek antiquity was the Library of Pseudo-Apollodorus; this work attempts to reconcile the contradictory tales of the poets and provides a grand summary of traditional Greek mythology and heroic legends. Apollodorus of Athens wrote on many of these topics, his writings may have formed the basis for the collection. Among the earliest literary sources are the Iliad and the Odyssey. Other poets completed the "epic cycle", but these and lesser poems now are lost entirely. Despite their traditional name, the "Homeric Hymns" have no direct connection with Homer, they are choral hymns from the earlier part of the so-called Lyric age. Hesiod, a possible contemporary with Homer, offers in his Theogony the fullest account of the earliest Greek myths, dealing with the creation of the world. Hesiod's Works and Days, a didactic poem about farming life includes the myths of Prometheus and the Five Ages.
The poet gives advice on the best way to succeed in a dangerous world, rendered yet more dangerous by its gods. Lyrical poets took their subjects from myth, but their treatment became less narrative and more allusive. Greek lyric poets, including Pindar and Simonides, bucolic poets such as Theocritus and Bion, relate individual mythological incidents. Additionally, myth was central to classical Athenian drama; the tragic playwrights Aeschylus and Euripides took most of their plots from myths of the age of heroes and the Trojan War. Many of the great tragic stories took on their classic form in these tragedies; the comic playwright Aristophanes used myths, in The Birds and The Frogs. Historians Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, geographers Pausanias and Strabo, who traveled throughout the Greek world and noted the stories they heard, supplied numerous local myths and legends giving little-known alternative versions. Herodotus in particular, searched the various traditions presented him and found the historical or mythological roots in the confrontation between Greece and the East.
Herodotus attempted to reconcile the blending of differing cultural concepts. The poetry of the Hellenistic and Roman ages was composed as a literary rather than cultic exercise, it contains many important details that would otherwise be lost. This category includes the works of: The Roman poets Ovid, Valerius Flaccus and Virgil with Servius's commentary; the Greek poets of the Late Antique period: Nonnus, Antoninus Liberalis, Quintus Smyrnaeus. The Greek poets of the Hellenistic period: Apollonius of Rhodes, Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Parthenius. Prose writers from the same periods who make reference to myths includ
Dictys Cretensis or Dictys of Crete of Knossus was the legendary companion of Idomeneus during the Trojan War, the purported author of a diary of its events, that deployed some of the same materials worked up by Homer for the Iliad. With the rise in credulity in Late Antiquity, the story of his journal, an amusing fiction addressed to a knowledgeable and sophisticated Alexandrian audience, came to be taken literally. In the 4th century AD a certain Q. Septimius brought out Dictys Cretensis Ephemeris belli Trojani in six books, a work that professed to be a Latin translation of the Greek version, its chief interest lies in the fact that, as knowledge of Greek waned and disappeared in Western Europe and the De excidio Trojae of Dares Phrygius were the sources from which the Homeric legends were transmitted to the Romance literature of the Middle Ages. An elaborate frame story presented in the prologue to the Latin text details how the manuscript of this work, written in Phoenician characters on tablets of limewood or tree bark, survived: it was said to have been enclosed in a leaden box and buried with its author, according to his wishes.
"There it remained undisturbed for ages, when in the thirteenth year of Nero's reign, the sepulchre was burst open by a terrible earthquake, the coffer was exposed to view, observed by some shepherds, having ascertained that it did not, as they had at first hoped, contain a treasure, conveyed it to their master Eupraxis, who in his turn presented it to Rutilius Rufus, the Roman governor of the province, by whom both Eupraxis and the casket were despatched to the emperor. Nero, upon learning that the letters were Phoenician, summoned to his presence men skilled in that language, by whom the contents were explained; the whole having been translated into Greek, was deposited in one of the public libraries, Eupraxis was dismissed loaded with rewards." The Greek "name" Eupraxis means "right actions", a familiar goal in discussions of ethics, an amusingly apt name for the finder. The prologue that characterizes one manuscript tradition is substituted in the other main group of manuscripts with a letter as if written by a Q.
Septimius Romanus, to a Q. Arcadius Rufus, in which the writer, giving a condensed version of the discovery tale, informs his friend that, the volume having fallen into his hands, he had been induced, for his own amusement and the instruction of others, to convert it into Latin; the modern editor, Werner Eisenhut, surmises that the two groups, neither of, to be preferred to the other, represent two published editions in Late Antiquity. There are retranslations into Greek of Byzantine date, embodied in universal histories, of which Smith adds, "We may add to this account, that the writers of the Byzantine period, such as Joannes Malelas, Constantinus Porphyrogenitus, Georgius Cedrenus, Constantinus Manasses and Isaacus Tzetzes, with others, quote from this Dictys as an author of the highest and most unquestionable authority, he was known as early as the age of Aelian." Petrarch's own copy of Ephemeris belli Troiani, his key to Homer, is now the Codex Parisinus Lat. 5690, in the Bibliothèque nationale.
The first printed edition was early, not after 1471. Modern scholars were in disagreement as to whether any Greek original existed, it revealed. The other surprise was the discovery, in the library of conte Aurelio Guglielmo Balleani at Jesi, of a manuscript of Dictys, in large part of the ninth century, described and collated by C. Annibaldi in 1907. For a medieval source on the Trojan War, uniquely independent of Dictys and Dares, see the "Rawlinson Excidium Troie". Dictys cretensis ephemeridos belli troiani, Ferdinand Meister, Lipsiae in aedibus B. G. Teubner, 1872. R. M. Frazer, The Trojan War; the Chronicles of Dictys of Crete and Dares the Phrygian, Indiana University Press, 1966. Papyrus Oxyrhyncus, XXXI, 2539. Papyrus Tebtunis, II, 68
Tilia is a genus of about 30 species of trees, or bushes, native throughout most of the temperate Northern Hemisphere. In the British Isles they are called lime trees, or lime bushes, although they are not related to the tree that produces the lime fruit. Other names include linden for the European species, basswood for North American species; the genus occurs in Europe and eastern North America, but the greatest species diversity is found in Asia. Under the Cronquist classification system, this genus was placed in the family Tiliaceae, but genetic research summarised by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group has resulted in the incorporation of this genus, of most of the previous family, into the Malvaceae. Tilia species are large, deciduous trees, reaching 20 to 40 metres tall, with oblique-cordate leaves 6 to 20 centimetres across; as with elms, the exact number of species is uncertain, as many if not most of the species will hybridise both in the wild and in cultivation. Limes are hermaphroditic, having perfect flowers with both male and female parts, pollinated by insects.
The genus is called lime or linden in Britain and linden, lime, or basswood in North America."Lime" is an altered form of Middle English lind, in the 16th century line, from Old English feminine lind or linde, Proto-Germanic *lendā, cognate to Latin lentus "flexible" and Sanskrit latā "liana". Within Germanic languages, English "lithe", German lind "lenient, yielding" are from the same root. "Linden" was the adjective, "made from linwood or lime-wood". Neither the name nor the tree is related to the citrus fruit called "lime". Another common name used in North America is basswood, derived from bast, the name for the inner bark. Teil is an old name for the lime tree. Latin tilia is cognate to Greek πτελέᾱ, ptelea, "elm tree", τιλίαι, tiliai, "black poplar" from a Proto-Indo-European word *ptel-ei̯ā with a meaning of "broad"; the Tilia's sturdy trunk stands like a pillar and the branches divide and subdivide into numerous ramifications on which the twigs are fine and thick. In summer, these are profusely clothed with large leaves and the result is a dense head of abundant foliage.
The leaves of all the Tilia species are heart-shaped and most are asymmetrical, the tiny fruit, looking like peas, always hang attached to a ribbon-like, greenish-yellow bract, whose use seems to be to launch the ripened seed-clusters just a little beyond the parent tree. The flowers of the European and American Tilia species are similar, except the American bears a petal-like scale among its stamens and the European varieties are devoid of these appendages. All of the Tilia species may be propagated by cuttings and grafting, as well as by seed, they grow in rich soil, but are subject to the attack of many insects. Tilia is notoriously difficult to propagate from seed. If allowed to dry, the seeds will take 18 months to germinate. In particular, aphids are attracted by the rich supply of sap, are in turn "farmed" by ants for the production of the sap which the ants collect for their own use, the result can be a dripping of excess sap onto the lower branches and leaves, anything else below. Cars left under the trees can become coated with a film of the syrup thus dropped from higher up.
The ant/aphid "farming" process does not appear to cause any serious damage to the trees. In Europe, some linden trees reached considerable ages. A coppice of T. cordata in Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire is estimated to be 2,000 years old. In the courtyard of the Imperial Castle at Nuremberg is a Tilia which, by tradition recounted in 1900, was planted by the Empress Cunigunde, the wife of Henry II of Germany circa 1000; the Tilia of Neuenstadt am Kocher in Baden-Württemberg, was estimated at 1000 years old when it fell. The Alte Linde tree of Naters, Switzerland, is mentioned in a document in 1357 and described by the writer at that time as magnam. A plaque at its foot mentions that in 1155 a linden tree was on this spot; the Najevnik linden tree, a 700-year-old T. cordata, is the thickest tree in Slovenia. The excellence of the honey of the far-famed Hyblaean Mountains was due to the linden trees that covered its sides and crowned its summit. Lime fossils have been found in the Tertiary formations of Grinnell Land, Canada, at 82° N latitude, in Svalbard, Norway.
Sapporta believed he had found there the common ancestor of the Tilia species of America. The linden is recommended as an ornamental tree when a mass of a deep shade is desired; the tree produces fragrant and nectar-producing flowers, the medicinal herb lime blossom. They are important honey plants for beekeepers, producing a pale but richly flavoured monofloral honey; the flowers are used for herbal teas and tinctures. Linden trees produce soft and worked timber, which has little grain and a density of 560 kg per cubic metre, it was used by Germanic tribes for constructing shields. It is a popular wood for intricate carving. In Germany, it was the classic wood for sculpture from the Middle Ages onwards and is the material for the elaborate altarpieces of Veit Stoss, Tilman Riemenschnei
In Greek mythology, Nauplius is the name of one mariner heroes. Whether these should be considered to be the same person, or two or three distinct persons, is not clear; the most famous Nauplius, was the father of Palamedes, called Nauplius the Wrecker, because he caused the Greek fleet, sailing home from the Trojan War, to shipwreck, in revenge for the unjust killing of Palamedes. This Nauplius was involved in the stories of Aerope, the mother of Agamemnon and Menelaus, Auge, the mother of Telephus; the mythographer Apollodorus says he was the same as the Nauplius, the son of Poseidon and Amymone. Nauplius was the name of one of the Argonauts, although Apollonius of Rhodes made the Argonaut a direct descendant of the son of Poseidon, the Roman mythographer Hyginus makes them the same person. However, no surviving ancient source identifies the Argonaut with the father of Palamedes; the sea god Poseidon fathered a son Nauplius, by Amymone, daughter of Danaus. This Nauplius was reputed to have been the eponymous founder of Nauplia in Argolis, a famous navigator who discovered the constellation Ursa Major.
Apollonius of Rhodes says that he was the ancestor of an Argonaut with the same name, via the lineage: Nauplius - Proetus - Lernus - Naubolus - Clytoneus - Nauplius. According to Pherecydes of Leros, he was the father of Damastor, through him, the grandfather of Peristhenes, the great-grandfather of Dictys and Polydectes, he was renowned as an expert seafarer, the inventor of seafaring as a practice. Nauplius called "Nauplius the Wrecker", was a king of Euboea, the father of Palamedes. According to Apollodorus, the son of Poseidon and Amymone, the father of Palamedes are one person who "lived to a great age". Apollodorus reports that, in the Nostoi, an early epic from the Trojan cycle of poems about the Trojan War, Nauplius' wife was Philyra, that according to Cercops his wife was Hesione, but that according to the "tragic poets" his wife was Clymene. In addition to Palamedes, Nauplius had two other sons and Nausimedon. There are three prominent stories associated with this Nauplius. Two of these stories involve Nauplius being called upon by two kings to dispose of their unwanted daughters.
The third is the story of Nauplius' revenge for the unjust killing of Palamedes, by the Greeks during the Trojan War. According to the tradition followed by Euripides in his lost play Cretan Women, the king of Crete, found his daughter Aerope in bed with a slave and handed her over to Nauplius to be drowned, but Nauplius spared Aerope's life and she married Pleisthenes, the king of Mycenae. Sophocles, in his play Ajax, may refer to Aerope's father Catreus finding her in bed with some man, handing her over to Nauplius to be drowned, but the corrupt text may instead refer to Aerope's husband Atreus finding her in bed with Thyestes, having her drowned. However, according to another tradition, known to Apollodorus, because an oracle had said that he would be killed by one of his children, gave his daughters Aerope and Clymene to Nauplius to sell in a foreign land, but instead Nauplius gave Aerope to Pleisthenes and himself took Clymene as his wife. A similar story to that of Aerope's, is that of Auge, the daughter of Aleus, king of Tegea, the mother of the hero Telephus.
Sophocles wrote a tragedy Aleadae, which told the story of Telephus. The play is lost and only fragments remain, but a declamation attributed to the fourth century BC orator Alcidamas used Sophocles' Aleadae for one of its sources. According to Alcidamas and others, Aleus discovered that Auge was pregnant and gave her to Nauplius to be drowned, but instead Nauplius sold her to the Mysian king Teuthras. Nauplius' son Palamedes fought in the Trojan War, but was killed by his fellow Greeks, as a result of Odysseus' treachery. Nauplius met with no success. Nauplius sought revenge against King Agamemnon and the other Greek leaders; when Agamemnon's section of the Greek fleet was sailing home from Troy, they were caught in a great storm—the storm in which Ajax the Lesser died—off the perilous southern coastline of Euboea, at Cape Caphereus, a notorious place which became known by the name Xylophagos. Taking advantage of the situation Nauplius lit beacon fires on the rocks, luring the Greek sailors to steer for the fires, thinking they marked a safe harbor, many ships were shipwrecked as a result.
Hyginus adds. Nauplius somehow induced the wives of three of the Greek commanders to be unfaithful to their husbands: Agamemnon's wife Clytemnestra with Aegisthus, Diomedes' wife Aegiale with Cometes, Idomeneus' wife Meda with Leucos. Oeax and Nausimedon were killed by Pylades as they arrived to aid Aegisthus. Nauplius was said to have convinced Odysseus' mother Anticleia that her son was dead, whereupon she hanged herself. According to Plutarch, a location on Euboea was referred to as "the Young Men's Club" because when Nauplius came to Chalcis as a suppliant, both being prosecuted by the Achaeans and charging against them, the city's people provided him with a guard of young men, stationed at this place. According to Apollodorus, the setting of false beacon fires was a habit of Nauplius, he himself died in the same way. Homer mentions the storm and the death of Ajax at the "great rocks of Gyrae" but nowhere mentions Palamedes or Nauplius' revenge; the loc
In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the most important events in Greek mythology and has been narrated through many works of Greek literature, most notably Homer's Iliad; the core of the Iliad describes a period of four days and two nights in the tenth year of the decade-long siege of Troy. Other parts of the war are described in a cycle of epic poems, which have survived through fragments. Episodes from the war provided material for Greek tragedy and other works of Greek literature, for Roman poets including Virgil and Ovid; the war originated from a quarrel between the goddesses Hera and Aphrodite, after Eris, the goddess of strife and discord, gave them a golden apple, sometimes known as the Apple of Discord, marked "for the fairest". Zeus sent the goddesses to Paris, who judged that Aphrodite, as the "fairest", should receive the apple. In exchange, Aphrodite made Helen, the most beautiful of all women and wife of Menelaus, fall in love with Paris, who took her to Troy.
Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and the brother of Helen's husband Menelaus, led an expedition of Achaean troops to Troy and besieged the city for ten years because of Paris' insult. After the deaths of many heroes, including the Achaeans Achilles and Ajax, the Trojans Hector and Paris, the city fell to the ruse of the Trojan Horse; the Achaeans desecrated the temples, thus earning the gods' wrath. Few of the Achaeans returned safely to their homes and many founded colonies in distant shores; the Romans traced their origin to Aeneas, Aphrodite's son and one of the Trojans, said to have led the surviving Trojans to modern-day Italy. The ancient Greeks believed that Troy was located near the Dardanelles and that the Trojan War was a historical event of the 13th or 12th century BC, but by the mid-19th century AD, both the war and the city were seen as non-historical. In 1868, the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann met Frank Calvert, who convinced Schliemann that Troy was a real city at what is now Hissarlik in Turkey.
On the basis of excavations conducted by Schliemann and others, this claim is now accepted by most scholars. Whether there is any historical reality behind the Trojan War remains an open question. Many scholars believe that there is a historical core to the tale, though this may mean that the Homeric stories are a fusion of various tales of sieges and expeditions by Mycenaean Greeks during the Bronze Age; those who believe that the stories of the Trojan War are derived from a specific historical conflict date it to the 12th or 11th century BC preferring the dates given by Eratosthenes, 1194–1184 BC, which corresponds with archaeological evidence of a catastrophic burning of Troy VII. The events of the Trojan War are found in many works of Greek literature and depicted in numerous works of Greek art. There is no authoritative text which tells the entire events of the war. Instead, the story is assembled from a variety of sources, some of which report contradictory versions of the events; the most important literary sources are the two epic poems traditionally credited to Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey, composed sometime between the 9th and 6th centuries BC.
Each poem narrates only a part of the war. The Iliad covers a short period in the last year of the siege of Troy, while the Odyssey concerns Odysseus's return to his home island of Ithaca following the sack of Troy and contains several flashbacks to particular episodes in the war. Other parts of the Trojan War were told in the poems of the Epic Cycle known as the Cyclic Epics: the Cypria, Little Iliad, Iliou Persis and Telegony. Though these poems survive only in fragments, their content is known from a summary included in Proclus' Chrestomathy; the authorship of the Cyclic Epics is uncertain. It is thought that the poems were written down in the 7th and 6th century BC, after the composition of the Homeric poems, though it is believed that they were based on earlier traditions. Both the Homeric epics and the Epic Cycle take origin from oral tradition. After the composition of the Iliad and the Cyclic Epics, the myths of the Trojan War were passed on orally in many genres of poetry and through non-poetic storytelling.
Events and details of the story that are only found in authors may have been passed on through oral tradition and could be as old as the Homeric poems. Visual art, such as vase painting, was another medium. In ages playwrights and other intellectuals would create works inspired by the Trojan War; the three great tragedians of Athens—Aeschylus and Euripides—wrote a number of dramas that portray episodes from the Trojan War. Among Roman writers the most important is the 1st century BC poet Virgil. In Book 2 of the Aeneid, Aeneas narrates the sack of Troy; the following summary of the Trojan War follows the order of events as given in Proclus' summary, along with the Iliad and Aeneid, supplemented with details drawn from other authors. According to Greek mythology, Zeus had become king of the gods by overthrowing his father Cronus. Zeus was not faithful to his wife and sister Hera, had many relationships from which many children were born. Since Zeus believed that there were too many people populating the earth, he envisioned
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
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.