Helios is god and personification of the Sun in Hellenistic religion. He is depicted in art with a radiant crown and driving a horse-drawn chariot through the sky. Though Helios was a minor deity in Classical Greece, his worship grew more prominent in late antiquity thanks to his identification with several major solar divinities of the Roman period Apollo and Sol; the Roman Emperor Julian made Helios the central divinity of his short-lived revival of traditional Roman religious practices in the 4th century AD. Helios figures prominently in several works of Greek mythology and literature, in which he is described as the son of the Titan Hyperion and the Titaness Theia, brother of the goddesses Selene and Eos; the Greek ἥλιος is the inherited word for the Sun, from Proto-Indo-European *seh₂u-el, cognate with Latin sol, Sanskrit surya, Old English swegl, Old Norse sól, Welsh haul, Avestan hvar, etc. The name Helen is thought to share this etymology, may express an early alternate personification of the sun among Hellenic peoples.
The female offspring of Helios were called Heliades. The Greek sun god had various bynames or epithets, which over time in some cases came to be considered separate deities associated with the Sun. Among these is Hyperion, Phaëton "the radiant", Hekatos. Helios is depicted as a handsome young man crowned with the shining aureole of the Sun, who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky each day to earth-circling Oceanus and through the world-ocean returned to the East at night. In the Homeric Hymn to Helios, Helios is said to drive a golden chariot drawn by steeds. Still the horses were given fire related names: Pyrois, Aeos and Phlegon; the imagery surrounding a chariot-driving solar deity is Indo-European in origin, is common to both early Greek and Near Eastern religions. The earliest artistic representations of the "chariot god" come from the Parthian period in Persia, where there is evidence of rituals being performed for the sun god by Magi, indicating an assimilation of the worship of Helios and Mithras.
Helios is seen as both a personification of the Sun and the fundamental creative power behind it, as a result is worshiped as a god of life and creation. Homer described Helios as a god "who gives joy to mortals", other ancient texts give him the epithet "gracious", given that he is the source of life and regeneration, associated with the creation of the world. One passage recorded in the Greek Magical Papyri says of Helios, "the earth flourished when you shone forth and made the plants fruitful when you laughed, brought to life the living creatures when you permitted." L. R. Farnell assumed "that sun-worship had once been prevalent and powerful among the people of the pre-Hellenic culture, but that few of the communities of the historic period retained it as a potent factor of the state religion"; the Attic literary sources used by scholars present ancient Greek religion with an Athenian bias, according to J. Burnet, "no Athenian could be expected to worship Helios or Selene, but he might think them to be gods, since Helios was the great god of Rhodes and Selene was worshiped at Elis and elsewhere".
James A. Notopoulos considered Burnet's distinction to be artificial: "To believe in the existence of the gods involves acknowledgment through worship, as Laws 87 D, E shows". Aristophanes' Peace contrasts the worship of Helios and Selene with that of the more Greek Twelve Olympians, as the representative gods of the Achaemenid Persians; the island of Rhodes was an important cult center for Helios, one of the only places where he was worshipped as a major deity in ancient Greece. The worship of Helios at Rhodes included a ritual in which a quadriga, or chariot drawn by four horses, was driven over a precipice into the sea, in reenactment to the myth of Phaethon. Annual gymnastic tournaments were held in Helios' honor; the Colossus of Rhodes was dedicated to him. Helios had a significant cult on the acropolis of Corinth on the Greek mainland; the Dorians seem to have revered Helios, to have hosted His primary cult on the mainland. The scattering of cults of the sun god in Sicyon, Ermioni and Laconia, his holy livestock flocks at Taenarum, seem to suggest that the deity was important in Dorian religion, compared to other parts of ancient Greece.
Additionally, it may have been the Dorians. The tension between the mainstream traditional religious veneration of Helios, which had become enriched with ethical values and poetical symbolism in Pindar and Sophocles, the Ionian proto-scientific examination of the sun, a phenomenon of the study Greeks termed meteora, clashed in the trial of Anaxagoras c. 450 BC, in which Anaxagoras asserted that the sun was in fact a gigantic red-hot ball of metal. His trial was a forerunner of the culturally traumatic trial of Socrates for irreligion, in 399 BC. In Plato's Republic, the Sun, is the symbolic offspring of the idea of the Good. While the predominance of Helios in Sparta is unclear, it seems Helen was the local solar deity. Helios is sometimes identified w
In Greek mythology, Leto is a daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe, the sister of Asteria. The island of Kos is claimed as her birthplace. In the Olympian scheme, Zeus is the father of her twins and Artemis, which Leto conceived after her hidden beauty accidentally caught the eyes of Zeus. Classical Greek myths record little about Leto other than her pregnancy and her search for a place where she could give birth to Apollo and Artemis, since Hera in her jealousy caused all lands to shun her, she found an island, not attached to the ocean floor so it was not considered land and she could give birth. This is her only active mythic role: once Apollo and Artemis are grown, Leto withdraws, to remain a dim and benevolent matronly figure upon Olympus, her part played. In Roman mythology, Leto's Roman equivalent is Latona, a Latinization of her name, influenced by Etruscan Letun. In Crete, at the city of Dreros, Spyridon Marinatos uncovered an eighth-century post-Minoan hearth house temple in which there were found three unique figures of Apollo and Leto made of brass sheeting hammered over a shaped core.
Walter Burkert notes. Leto was identified from the fourth century onwards with the principal local mother goddess of Anatolian Lycia, as the region became Hellenized. In Greek inscriptions, the children of Leto are referred to as the "national gods" of the country, her sanctuary, the Letoon near Xanthos predated Hellenic influence in the region and united the Lycian confederacy of city-states. The Hellenes of Kos claimed Leto as their own. Another sanctuary, more identified, was at Oenoanda in the north of Lycia. There was a further Letoon at Delos. Leto's primal nature may be deduced from the natures of her father and mother, who may have been Titans of the sun and moon, her Titan father is called "Coeus", though H. J. Rose considers his name and nature uncertain, he is in one Roman source given the name Polus, which may relate him to the sphere of heaven from pole to pole; the name of Leto's mother, "Phoebe", is identical to the epithet of her son Apollo, Φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων, throughout Homer. Several explanations have been put forward to explain the origin of the goddess and the meaning of her name.
Older sources speculated that the name is related to the Greek λήθη λωτός lotus. It would thus mean "the hidden one". In 20th-century sources Leto is traditionally derived from Lycian lada, "wife", as her earliest cult was centered in Lycia. Lycian lada may be the origin of the Greek name Λήδα Leda. Other scholars have suggested a Pre-Greek origin. According to Hyginus when Hera, the most conservative of goddesses – for she had the most to lose in changes to the order of nature — discovered that Leto was pregnant and that Zeus was the father, she realized that the offspring would cement the new order, she was powerless to stop the flow of events. Hera banned Leto from giving birth on "terra firma", the mainland, any island at sea, or any place under the sun. According to Pseudo-Apollodorus "Latona for her intrigue with Zeus was hunted by Hera over the whole earth, till she came to Delos and brought forth first Artemis, by the help of whose midwifery she afterwards gave birth to Apollo."Antoninus Liberalis is not alone in hinting that Leto came down from Hyperborea in the guise of a she-wolf, or that she sought out the "wolf-country" of Lycia called Tremilis, which she renamed to honour wolves that had befriended her for her denning.
Another late source, Aelian links Leto with wolves and Hyperboreans: Wolves are not delivered of their young, only after twelve days and twelve nights, for the people of Delos maintain that this was the length of time that it took Leto to travel from the Hyperboreoi to Delos. Most accounts agree that she found the barren floating island of Delos, still bearing its archaic name of Asterios, neither mainland nor a real island and gave birth there, promising the island wealth from the worshippers who would flock to the obscure birthplace of the splendid god, to come; the island was surrounded by swans. As a gesture of gratitude, Delos was secured with four pillars and became sacred to Apollo. Callimachus wrote that it is remarkable that Leto brought forth Artemis, the elder twin, without travail. By contrast, according to the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo, Leto labored for nine nights and nine days for Apollo, in the presence of all the first among the deathless goddesses as witnesses: Dione, Ichnaea and the "loud-moaning" sea-goddess Amphitrite.
Only Hera kept apart to kidnap Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth, to prevent Leto from going into labor. Instead, having been born first, assisted with the birth of Apollo. Another version, in the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo and in an Orphic hymn, states that Artemis was born before Apollo, on the island of Ortygia, that she helped Leto cross the sea to Delos the next day to give birth there to Apollo. According to the Homeric hymn, the goddesses who assembled to be witnesses at the birth of Apollo were responding to a public occasion in the rites of a dynasty, where the authenticity of the child must be established beyond doubt from the first moment; the dynastic rite of the witnessed birth must have been familiar to the hymn's hearers. The dynasty, so concerned about being authenticated in this myth is the new dynasty of Zeus and the Olympian Pantheon, the goddesses at Delos who bear witness to the rightness of the birth are the great goddesses
In Greek mythology, Python was the serpent, sometimes represented as a medieval-style dragon, living at the center of the earth, believed by the ancient Greeks to be at Delphi. Python, sometimes written Phython, presided at the Delphic oracle, which existed in the cult center for its mother, Gaia, "Earth," Pytho being the place name, substituted for the earlier Krisa. Greeks considered the site to be the center of the earth, represented by a stone, the omphalos or navel, which Python guarded. Python became the chthonic enemy of the Olympian deity Apollo, who slew it and took over Python's former home and oracle; these were the most revered in the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. There are various versions of Python's death at the hands of Apollo. In the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, now thought to have been composed in 522 BCE when the archaic period in Greek history was giving way to the Classical period, a small detail is provided regarding Apollo's combat with the serpent, in some sections identified as the deadly drakaina, or her parent.
The version related by Hyginus holds that when Zeus lay with the goddess Leto, she became pregnant with Artemis and Apollo, Hera was jealous and sent Python to pursue Leto throughout the lands, to prevent her from giving birth to the twin gods. Thus when Apollo was grown he wanted to avenge his mother's plight and pursued Python, making his way straight for Mount Parnassus where the serpent dwelled, chased it to the oracle of Gaia at Delphi. Robert Graves, who habitually read into primitive myths a retelling of archaic political and social turmoil, saw in this the capturing by Hellenes of a pre-Hellenic shrine. "To placate local opinion at Delphi," he wrote in The Greek Myths, "regular funeral games were instituted in honour of the dead hero Python, her priestess was retained in office." The politics are conjectural, but the myth reports that Zeus ordered Apollo to purify himself for the sacrilege and instituted the Pythian Games, over which Apollo was to preside, as penance for his act. Erwin Rohde wrote that the Python was an earth spirit, conquered by Apollo, buried under the Omphalos, that it is a case of one god setting up his temple on the grave of another.
The priestess of the oracle at Delphi became known as the Pythia, after the place-name Pytho, which Greeks explained as named after the rotting of the slain serpent's corpse in the strength of Hyperion or Helios. Karl Kerenyi pointed out that the older tales mentioned two dragons, who were intentionally conflated; the enemy dragoness "... became an Apollonian serpent, Pythia, the priestess who gave oracles at Delphi, was named after him. Many pictures show the serpent Python living in amity with Apollo and guarding the Omphalos, the sacred navel stone and midpoint of the earth, which stood in Apollo's temple"; this myth has been described as an allegory for the dispersal of the fogs and clouds of vapor which arise from ponds and marshes by the rays of the sun. Apollo Belvedere Delphi Dragons in Greek mythology Pythia Serpent Saint George and the Dragon Metaphor of the sun Yamata no Orochi Burkert, Greek Religion 1985. Deane, John Bathurst, The Worship of the Serpent, 1833. Cf. Chapter V. p. 329.
Farnell, Lewis Richard, The Cults of the Greek States, 1896. Fontenrose, Joseph Eddy, Python. Goodrich, Norma Lorre, Priestesses, 1990. Guthrie, William Keith Chambers, The Greeks and their Gods, 1955. Hall, Manly Palmer, The Secret Teachings of All Ages, 1928. Ch. 14 cf. Greek Oracles,www, PRS Harrison, Jane Ellen, Themis: A Study of the Social Origins of Greek Religion, 1912. Cf. Chapter IX, p. 329 on the slaying of the Python. Kerenyi, Karl, 1980; the Gods of the Greeks pp 135–6. Homeric Hymn to Pythian Apollo Rohde, Psyche, 1925. Smith, William. "Python"
Mnemosyne is the goddess of memory in Greek mythology. "Mnemosyne" is derived from the same source as the word mnemonic, that being the Greek word mnēmē, which means "remembrance, memory". Mnemosyne is the mother of the nine Muses. A Titanide, or Titaness, Mnemosyne was the daughter of the Titans Gaia. Mnemosyne was the mother of the nine Muses, fathered by her nephew, Zeus: Calliope Clio Euterpe Erato Melpomene Polyhymnia Terpsichore Thalia Urania In Hesiod’s Theogony and poets receive their powers of authoritative speech from their possession of Mnemosyne and their special relationship with the Muses. Zeus, in a form of a mortal shepherd, Mnemosyne slept together for nine consecutive nights, thus conceiving the nine Muses. Mnemosyne presided over a pool in Hades, counterpart to the river Lethe, according to a series of 4th-century BC Greek funerary inscriptions in dactylic hexameter. Dead souls drank from Lethe. In Orphism, the initiated were taught to instead drink from the Mnemosyne, the river of memory, which would stop the transmigration of the soul.
Although she was categorized as one of the Titans in the Theogony, Mnemosyne did not quite fit that distinction. Titans were hardly worshiped in Ancient Greece, were thought of as so archaic as to belong to the ancient past, they resembled historical figures more than anything else. Mnemosyne, on the other hand, traditionally appeared in the first few lines of many oral epic poems —she appears in both the Iliad and the Odyssey, among others—as the speaker called upon her aid in remembering and performing the poem he was about to recite. Mnemosyne is thought to have been given the distinction of “Titan” because memory was so important and basic to the oral culture of the Greeks that they deemed her one of the essential building blocks of civilization in their creation myth. Once written literature overtook the oral recitation of epics, Plato made reference in his Euthydemus to the older tradition of invoking Mnemosyne; the character Socrates prepares to recount a story and says “ὥστ᾽ ἔγωγε, καθάπερ οἱ ποιηταί, δέομαι ἀρχόμενος τῆς διηγήσεως Μούσας τε καὶ Μνημοσύνην ἐπικαλεῖσθαι.”
Which translates to “Consequently, like the poets, I must needs begin my narrative with an invocation of the Muses and Memory”. Aristophanes harked back to the tradition in his play Lysistrata when a drunken Spartan ambassador invokes her name while prancing around pretending to be a bard from times of yore. While not one of the most popular divinities, Mnemosyne was the subject of some minor worship in Ancient Greece. Statues of her are mentioned in the sanctuaries of other gods, she was depicted alongside her daughters the Muses, she was worshipped in Lebadeia in Boeotia, at Mount Helicon in Boeotia, in the cult of Asclepius. There was a statue of Mnemosyne in the shrine of Dionysos at Athens, alongside the statues of the Muses and Apollo, as well as a statue with her daughters the Muses in the Temple of Athena Alea. Pausanias described the worship of Mnemosyne in Lebadeia in Boeotia, where she played an important part in the oracular sanctuary of Trophonios: " He is taken by the priests, not at once to the oracle, but to fountains of water near to each other.
Here he must drink water called the water of Lethe, that he may forget all that he has been thinking of hitherto, afterwards he drinks of another water, the water of Mnemosyne, which causes him to remember what he sees after his descent... After his ascent from Trophonios the inquirer is again taken in hand by the priests, who set him upon a chair called the chair of Mnemosyne, which stands not far from the shrine, they ask of him, when seated there, all he has seen or learned. After gaining this information they entrust him to his relatives; these lift him, paralysed with terror and unconscious both of himself and of his surroundings, carry him to the building where he lodged before with Tykhe and the Daimon Agathon. Afterwards, however, he will recover all his faculties, the power to laugh will return to him."Mnemosyne was sometime regarded as being not the mother of the Muses but as one of them, as such she was worshiped in the sanctuary of the Muses at Mount Helicon in Boeotia: "The first to sacrifice on Helikon to the Mousai and to call the mountain sacred to the Mousai were, they say and Otos, who founded Askra...
The sons of Aloeus held that the Mousai were three in number, gave them the names Melete and Aoide. But they say that afterwards Pieros, a Makedonian... came to Thespiae and established nine Mousai, changing their names to the present ones... Mimnermos... says in the preface that the elder Mousai are the daughters of Ouranos, that there are other and younger Mousai, children of Zeus." Mnemosyne was one of the deities worshiped in the cult of Asclepius that formed in Ancient Greece around the 5th century BC. Asclepius, a Greek hero and god of medicine, was said to have been able to cure maladies, the cult incorporated a multitude of other Greek heroes and gods in its process of healing; the exact order of the offerings and prayers varied by location, the supplicant made an offering to Mnemosyne. After making an offering to Asclepius himself, in some locations, one last praye
In Greek mythology, was a Titan daughter of Uranus and Gaia and wife of Titan Oceanus, mother of the Potamoi and the Oceanids. Tethys had no active role in no established cults. Tethys was one of the Titan offspring of Gaia. Hesiod lists her Titan siblings as Oceanus, Crius, Iapetus, Rhea, Mnemosyne and Cronus. Tethys married her brother Oceanus, an enormous river encircling the world and was by him the mother of numerous sons, the Potamoi and numerous daughters, the Oceanids. According to Hesiod, there were three thousand river-gods; these included: Achelous, the god of the Achelous River and the largest river in Greece who gave his daughter in marriage to Alcmaeon and was defeated by Heracles in a wrestling contest for the right to marry Deianira. According to Hesiod, there were three thousand Oceanids; these included: Metis, Zeus' first wife, whom Zeus impregnated with Athena and swallowed. Passages in a section of the Iliad called the Deception of Zeus, suggest the possibility that Homer knew a tradition in which Oceanus and Tethys were the parents of the Titans.
Twice Homer has Hera describe the pair as "Oceanus, from whom the gods are sprung, mother Tethys", while in the same passage Hypnos describes Oceanus as "from whom they all are sprung". Timothy Gantz points out that "mother" may refer to the fact that Tethys was Hera's foster mother for a time, as Hera tells us in the lines following, while the reference to Oceanus as the genesis of the gods "might be a formulaic epithet indicating the numberless rivers and springs descended from Okeanos". However, for M. L. West, these lines suggests a myth in which Oceanus and Tethys are the "first parents of the whole race of gods." As an attempt to reconcile this possible conflict between Homer and Hesiod, Plato, in his Timaeus, has Uranus and Gaia as the parents of Oceanus and Tethys, Oceanus and Tethys as the parents of Cronus and Rhea and the other Titans, as well as Phorcys. Tethys played no active part in Greek mythology, the only early story concerning Tethys, is what Homer has Hera relate in the Iliad's Deception of Zeus passage.
There, Hera says that, when Zeus was in the process of deposing Cronus, she was given by her mother Rhea to Tethys and Oceanus, for safekeeping, that they "lovingly nursed and cherished me in their halls". Hera relates this while dissembling that she is on her way to visit Oceanus and Tethys, in hopes of reconciling her foster parents, who are angry with each other and are no longer having sexual relations. Oceanus' consort, at a time Tethys came to be identified with the sea, in Hellenistic and Roman poetry Tethys' name came to be used as a poetic term for the sea; the only other story involving Tethys is an late astral myth concerning the polar constellation Ursa Major, thought to represent the catasterism of Callisto, transformed into a bear, placed by Zeus among the stars. The myth explains why the constellation never sets below the horizon, saying that since Callisto had been Zeus's lover, she was forbidden by Tethys from "touching Ocean's deep", out of concern for her foster-child Hera, Zeus's jealous wife.
In Ovid's Metamorphoses, Tethys turns Aesacus into a diving bird. Tethys was sometimes confused with another sea goddess, the sea-nymph Thetis, the wife of Peleus and mother of Achilles. M. L. West detects in the Iliad's Deception of Zeus passage an allusion to a possible archaic myth "according to, the mother of the gods, long estranged from her husband," speculating that the estrangement might refer to a separation of "the upper and lower waters... corresponding to that of heaven and earth," which parallels the story of "Apsū and Tiamat in the Babylonian cosmology, the male and female waters, which were united," but that, "By Hesiod's time the myth may have been forgotten, Tethys remembered only as the name of Oceanus' wife." This possible correspondence between Oceanus and Tethys, Apsū and Tiamat, has been noticed by several authors, with Tethys' name having been derived from that of Tiamat. Representations of Tethys prior to the Roman period are rare. Tethys appears, identified by inscription, as part of an illustration of the wedding of Peleus and Thetis on the early sixth century BC Attic black-figure "Erskine" dinos by Sophilos.
Tethys, accompanied by Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth, follows close behind Oceanus, at the end of a procession of gods invited to the wedding. Tethys is conjectured to be represented in a similar illustration of the wedding of Peleus and Thetis depicted on the early sixth century BC Attic black-figure François Vase. Tethys also appeared as one of the gods fighting the Giants in the Gigantomachy frieze of the second
In ancient Greek religion and mythology, the Erinyes known as the Furies, were female chthonic deities of vengeance, sometimes referred to as "infernal goddesses". A formulaic oath in the Iliad invokes them as "the Erinyes, that under earth take vengeance on men, whosoever hath sworn a false oath." Walter Burkert suggests they are "an embodiment of the act of self-cursing contained in the oath." They correspond to the Dirae in Roman mythology. The Roman writer Maurus Servius Honoratus wrote that they are called "Eumenides" in hell, "Furiae" on earth, "Dirae" in heaven. According to Hesiod's Theogony, when the Titan Cronus castrated his father and threw his genitalia into the sea, the Erinyes emerged from the drops of blood which fell on the earth, while Aphrodite was born from the crests of sea foam. According to variant accounts, they emerged from an more primordial level—from Nyx, or from a union between air and mother earth, their number is left indeterminate. Virgil working from an Alexandrian source, recognized three: Alecto or Alekto and Tisiphone or Tilphousia, all of whom appear in the Aeneid.
Dante Alighieri followed Virgil in depicting the same three-character triptych of Erinyes. Whilst the Erinyes were described as three maiden goddesses, the Erinys Telphousia was a by-name for the wrathful goddess Demeter, worshipped under the title of Erinys in the Arkadian town of Thelpousa; the word Erinyes is of uncertain etymology. The word Erinys in the singular and as a theonym is first attested in Mycenaean Greek, written in Linear B, in the following forms:, e-ri-nu, and, e-ri-nu-we; these words are found on the KN Fp 1, KN V 52, KN Fh 390 tablets. The Erinyes are more ancient than any of the Olympians deities, their task is to hear complaints brought by mortals against the insolence of the young to the aged, of children to parents, of hosts to guests, of householders or city councils to suppliants—and to punish such crimes by hounding culprits relentlessly. The Erinyes are crones and, depending upon authors, described as having snakes for hair, dog's heads, coal black bodies, bat's wings, blood-shot eyes.
In their hands they carry brass-studded scourges, their victims die in torment. According to some sources, the three classic Furies sprang forth from the spilled blood of Uranus when he was castrated by his son Cronus; the sisters are: Alecto – Punisher of moral crimes Megaera – Punisher of infidelity, oath breakers, theft Tisiphone – Punisher of murderers Pausanias describe a sanctuary in Athens dedicated to the Erinyes under the name Semnai: "Hard by is a sanctuary of the goddesses which the Athenians call the August, but Hesiod in the Theogony calls them Erinyes. It was Aeschylus, but on the images neither of these nor of any of the under-world deities is there anything terrible. There are images of Pluto and Earth, by which sacrifice those who have received an acquittal on the Hill of Ares. Tantalizing myth fragments dealing with the Erinyes are found among the earliest extant records of ancient Greek culture; the Erinyes are featured prominently in the myth of Orestes, which recurs throughout many works of ancient Greek literature.
Featured in ancient Greek literature, from poems to plays, the Erinyes form the Chorus and play a major role in the conclusion of Aeschylus's dramatic trilogy the Oresteia. In the first play, King Agamemnon returns home from the Trojan War, where he is slain by his wife, who wants vengeance for her daughter Iphigenia, sacrificed by Agamemnon in order to obtain favorable winds to sail to Troy. In the second play, The Libation Bearers, their son Orestes has reached manhood and has been commanded by Apollo's oracle to avenge his father's murder at his mother’s hand. Returning home and revealing himself to his sister Electra, Orestes pretends to be a messenger bringing the news of his own death to Clytemnestra, he slays his mother and her lover Aegisthus. Although Orestes’ actions were what Apollo had commanded him to do, Orestes has still committed matricide, a grave sacrilege; because of this, he is pursued and tormented by the terrible Erinyes, who demand yet further blood vengeance. In The Eumenides, Orestes is told by Apollo at Delphi that he should go to Athens to seek the aid of the goddess Athena.
In Athens, Athena arranges for Orestes to be tried by a jury of Athenian citizens, with her presiding. The Erinyes appear as Orestes' accusers; the trial becomes a debate about the necessity of blood vengeance, the honor, due to a mother compared to that due to a father, the respect that must be paid to ancient deities such as the Erinyes compared to the newer generation of Apollo and Athena. The jury vote is evenly split. Athena chooses for acquittal. Athena declares Orestes acquitted. Despite the verdict, the Erinyes threaten to torment all inhabitants of Athens and to poison the surrounding countryside. Athena, offers the ancient goddesses a new role, as protectors of justice, rather than vengeance, o
Isthmian Games or Isthmia were one of the Panhellenic Games of Ancient Greece, were named after the Isthmus of Corinth, where they were held. As with the Nemean Games, the Isthmian Games were held both the year before and the year after the Olympic Games, while the Pythian Games were held in the third year of the Olympiad cycle; the Games were reputed to have originated as funeral games for Melicertes, instituted by Sisyphus, legendary founder and king of Corinth, who discovered the dead body and buried it subsequently on the Isthmus. In Roman times, Melicertes was worshipped in the region. Theseus, legendary king of Athens, expanded Melicertes' funeral games from a closed nightly rite into fully-fledged athletic-games event, dedicated to Poseidon, open to all Greeks, was at a suitable level of advancement and popularity to rival those in Olympia, which were founded by Heracles. Theseus arranged with the Corinthians for any Athenian visitors to the Isthmian games to be granted the privilege of front seats.
Another version states that Kypselos, tyrant of Corinth in the 7th century BC, returned to the Games their old splendour. If we are to accept the traditional date of the first Olympic Games, we can say that the first Isthmian Games would have been held in 582 BC. At least until the 5th century BC the winners of the Isthmian games received a wreath of celery. Victors could be honored with a statue or an ode. Besides these prizes of honor, the city of Athens awarded victorious Athenians with an extra 100 drachmas. From 228 BC or 229 BC onwards the Romans were allowed to take part in the games; the Games of 196 BC were used by Titus Quinctius Flamininus to proclaim the freedom of the Greek states from Macedonian hegemony. Compare Appian's account: When he had arranged these things with them he went to the Isthmian games, the stadium being full of people, he commanded silence by trumpet and directed the herald to make this proclamation, "The Roman people and Senate, Flamininus, their general, having vanquished the Macedonians and Philip, their king, order that Greece shall be free from foreign garrisons, not subject to tribute, shall live under her own customs and laws."
Thereupon there was great rejoicing and a scene of rapturous tumult. They voted statues for him in their cities, they sent ambassadors with golden crowns to the Capitol at Rome to express their gratitude, inscribed themselves as allies of the Roman people. Such was the end of the second war between the Philip. Since the games' inception, Corinth had always been in control of them; when Corinth was destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC, the Isthmian games continued, but were now administered by Sicyon. Corinth was rebuilt by Caesar in 44 BC. Corinth recovered ownership of the Games at some point between 7 BC and AD 3; the Isthmian Games thereafter flourished until Theodosius I suppressed them as a pagan ritual. Comparable to the Olympic Games. Among other competitions were: Chariot races, men only Pankration, men only Wrestling, men only Musical and poetical contests, in which women were allowed to compete. Boxing, men only In 216 BC, Kleitomachos of Thebes won wrestling and pankration on the same day.
Before the Games began, a truce was declared by Corinth to grant athletes safe passage through Greece. In 412 BC though Athens and Corinth were at war, the Athenians were invited to the games as usual; the Temple of Poseidon at Isthmia Category:Ancient Isthmian athletes The Sanctuary of Poseidon at the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. Archaeological Museum of Isthmia. University of Chicago Excavations at Isthmia. Perseus Site Catalog: Isthmia. Storr, Francis. "Games, Classical". Encyclopædia Britannica. 11. Pp. 443–446