Aratus was a Greek didactic poet. His major extant work is his hexameter poem Phenomena, the first half of, a verse setting of a lost work of the same name by Eudoxus of Cnidus, it describes other celestial phenomena. The second half is called the Diosemeia, is chiefly about weather lore. Although Aratus was somewhat ignorant of Greek astronomy, his poem was popular in the Greek and Roman world, as is proved by the large number of commentaries and Latin translations, some of which survive. There are several accounts of Aratus' life by anonymous Greek writers, the Suda and Eudocia mention him. From these it appears, he is known to have studied with Menecrates in Philitas in Cos.. As a disciple of the Peripatetic philosopher Praxiphanes, in Athens, he met the Stoic philosopher Zeno, as well as Callimachus of Cyrene and Menedemus, the founder of the Eretrian school. About 276 BC Aratus was invited to the court of the Macedonian king Antigonus II Gonatas, whose victory over the Gauls in 277 Aratus set to verse.
Here he wrote Phenomena. He spent some time at the court of Antiochus I Soter of Syria, but subsequently returned to Pella in Macedon, where he died sometime before 240/239, his chief pursuits were medicine and philosophy. Several poetical works on various subjects, as well as a number of prose epistles, are attributed to Aratus, but none of them have come down to us, except his two astronomical poems in hexameter; these have been joined together as if parts of the same work. The Phenomena appears to be based on two prose works—Phenomena and Enoptron —by Eudoxus of Cnidus, written about a century earlier. We are told by the biographers of Aratus that it was the desire of Antigonus to have them turned into verse, which gave rise to the Phenomena of Aratus; the purpose of the Phenomena is to give an introduction to the constellations, with the rules for their risings and settings. The positions of the constellations, north of the ecliptic, are described by reference to the principal groups surrounding the north pole, whilst Orion serves as a point of departure for those to the south.
The immobility of the earth, the revolution of the sky about a fixed axis are maintained. The opening of the poem asserts the dependence of all things upon Zeus. From the lack of precision in the descriptions, it would seem that Aratus was neither a mathematician nor observer or, at any rate, that in this work he did not aim at scientific accuracy, he not only represents the configurations of particular groups incorrectly, but describes some phenomena which are inconsistent with any one supposed latitude of the spectator, others which could not coexist at any one epoch. These errors are to be attributed to Eudoxus himself, to the way in which Aratus has used the materials supplied by him. Hipparchus, a scientific astronomer and observer, has left a commentary upon the Phenomenas of Eudoxus and Aratus, accompanied by the discrepancies which he had noticed between his own observations and their descriptions; the Diosemeia consists of forecasts of the weather from astronomical phenomena, with an account of its effects upon animals.
It appears to be an imitation of Hesiod, to have been imitated by Virgil in some parts of the Georgics. The materials are said to be taken wholly from Aristotle's Meteorologica, from the work of Theophrastus, On Weather Signs, from Hesiod. Nothing is said in either poem about Hellenistic astrology; the two poems were popular both in the Greek and Roman world, as is proved by the number of commentaries and Latin translations. He enjoyed immense prestige among Hellenistic poets, including Theocritus and Leonidas of Tarentum; this assessment was picked up including Ovid and Virgil. Latin versions were made by none other than Cicero, the member of the imperial Julio-Claudian dynasty Germanicus, the less-famous Avienus. Quintilian was less enthusiastic. Aratus was cited by the author of Acts, in 17.28, where he relates Saint Paul's address on the Areopagus. Paul, speaking of God, quotes the fifth line of Aratus's Phenomena: Authors of twenty-seven commentaries are known. An Arabic translation was commissioned in the ninth century by the Caliph Al-Ma'mun.
He is cited by Stephanus of Byzantium and Stobaeus. Several accounts of his life are extant, by anonymous Greek writers; the crater Aratus on the Moon and the minor planet 12152 Aratus are named in his honour. The H
Pythagoreanism originated in the 6th century BC, based on the teachings and beliefs held by Pythagoras and his followers, the Pythagoreans. Pythagoras established the first Pythagorean community in Italy. Early-Pythagorean communities lived throughout Magna Graecia. Espousing a rigorous life of the intellect and strict rules on diet and behavior comprised a cult of following Pythagorean's Code. For example, the Code's diet prohibits the consumption or touching any sort of bean or legume. Pythagoras’ death and disputes about his teachings led to the development of two philosophical traditions within Pythagoreanism; the practitioners of akousmatikoi were superseded in the 4th century BC as a significant mendicant school of philosophy by the Cynics. The Pythagorean mathēmatikoi philosophers were in the 4th century BC absorbed into the Platonic school. Following the political instability in the Magna Graecia, some Pythagorean philosophers fled to mainland Greece while others regrouped in Rhegium. By about 400 BC the majority of Pythagorean philosophers had left Italy.
Pythagorean ideas exercised a marked influence on Plato and through him, on all of Western philosophy. Many of the surviving sources on Pythagoras originate with Aristotle and the philosophers of the Peripatetic school; as a philosophic tradition, Pythagoreanism was revived in the 1st century BC, giving rise to Neopythagoreanism. The worship of Pythagoras continued in Italy and as a religious community Pythagoreans appear to have survived as part of, or influenced, the Bacchic cults and Orphism. Pythagoras was in ancient times well known for the mathematical achievement of the Pythagorean theorem. Pythagoras had discovered that "in a right-angled triangle the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the squares of the other two sides". In ancient times Pythagoras was noted for his discovery that music had mathematical foundations. Antique sources that credit Pythagoras as the philosopher who first discovered music intervals credit him as the inventor of the monochord, a straight rod on which a string and a movable bridge could be used to demonstrate the relationship of musical intervals.
Much of the surviving sources on Pythagoras originate with Aristotle and the philosophers of the Peripatetic school, which founded histographical academic traditions such as biography and the history of science. The surviving 5th century BC sources on Pythagoras and early Pythagoreanism are void of supernatural elements. While surviving 4th century BC sources on Pythagoreas' teachings introduced legend and fable. Philosophers who discussed Pythagoreanism, such as Anaximander, Andron of Ephesus and Neanthes had access to historical written sources as well as the oral tradition about Pythagoreanism, which by the 4th century BC was in decline. Neopythagorean philosophers, who authored many of the surviving sources on Pythagoreanism, continued the tradition of legend and fantasy; the earliest surviving ancient source on Pythagoras and his followers is a satire by Xenophanes, on the Pythagorean beliefs on the transmigration of souls. Xenophanes wrote of Pythagoras that: Once they say that he was passing by when a puppy was being whipped, And he took pity and said: "Stop!
Do not beat it! For it is the soul of a friend That I recognized when I heard it giving tongue." In a surviving fragment from Heraclitus and his followers are described as follows: Pythagoras, the son of Mnesarchus, practised inquiry beyond all other men and selecting of these writings made for himself a wisdom or made a wisdom of his own: a polymathy, an imposture. Two other surviving fragments of ancient sources on Pythagoras are by Ion of Empedocles. Both were born after Pythagoras' death. By that time he was known as a sage and his fame had spread throughout Greece. According to Ion, Pythagoras was:... distinguished for his many virtue and modesty in death has a life, pleasing to his soul, if Pythagoras the wise achieved knowledge and understanding beyond that of all men. Empedocles described Pythagoras as "a man of surpassing knowledge, master of all kinds of wise works, who had acquired the upmost wealth of understanding." In the 4th century BC the Sophist Alcidamas wrote that Pythagoras was honored by Italians.
Today scholars distinguish two periods of Pythagoreanism: early-Pythagoreanism, from the 6th till the 5th century BC, late-Pythagoreanism, from the 4th till the 3rd century BC. The Spartan colony of Taranto in Italy became the home for many practitioners of Pythagoreanism and for Neopythagorean philosophers. Pythagoras had lived in Crotone and Metaponto, both were Achaean colonies. Early-Pythagorean sects lived throughout Magna Graecia, they espoused to a rigorous life of the intellect and strict rules on diet and behavior. Their burial rites were tied to their belief in the immortality of the soul. Early-Pythagorean sects were closed societies and new Pythagoreans were chosen based on merit and discipline. Ancient sources record that early-Pythagoreans underwent a five year initiation period of listening to the teachings in silence. Initiates could through a test become members of the inner circle. However, Pythagoreans could leave the community if they wished. Iamblichus listed 235 Pythagoreans by name, among them 17 women who he described as the "most famous" women practitioners of Pythagoreanism.
It was customary that family members became Pythagoreans, as Pythagoreanism developed into a philosophic traditions that entailed rules for everyday life and Pythagoreans were bound by secrets. The home of a Pythagorean was known as the site of mysteries. Pythagoras had been born on the island of Samos at around 570 BC and left his homeland at around 530 BC in opposition
The Palatine Hill is the centremost of the Seven Hills of Rome and is one of the most ancient parts of the city and has been called "the first nucleus of the Roman Empire.". It stands 40 metres above the Roman Forum, looking down upon it on one side, upon the Circus Maximus on the other. From the time of Augustus Imperial palaces were built here; the hill is its cognates in other languages. The term palace, from Old French palais or paleis, stems from the proper name of Palatine Hill; the Palatine Hill is the etymological origin of "palatine", a 16th century English adjective that signified something pertaining to the Caesar's palace, or someone, invested with the king's authority. Its use shifted to a reference to the German Palatinate; the office of the German count palatine had its origins in the comes palatinus, an earlier office in Merovingian and Carolingian times. Another modern English word "paladin", came into usage to refer to any distinguished knight under Charlemagne in late renditions of Matter of France.
According to Livy the Palatine hill got its name from the Arcadian settlement of Pallantium. More it is derived from the noun palātum "palate". According to Roman mythology, the Palatine Hill was the location of the cave, known as the Lupercal, where Romulus and Remus were found by the she-wolf Lupa that kept them alive. Another legend occurring on the Palatine is Hercules' defeat of Cacus after the monster had stolen some cattle. Hercules struck Cacus with his characteristic club so hard that it formed a cleft on the southeast corner of the hill, where a staircase bearing the name of Cacus was constructed. Rome has its origins on the Palatine. Excavations show that people have lived in the area since the 10th century BC. Excavations performed on the hill in 1907 and again in 1948 unearthed a collection of huts believed to have been used for funerary purposes between the 9th and 7th century BC approximating the time period when the city of Rome was founded. According to Livy, after the immigration of the Sabines and the Albans to Rome, the original Romans lived on the Palatine.
The Palatine Hill was the site of the ancient festival of the Lupercalia. Many affluent Romans of the Republican period had their residences there. From the start of the Empire Augustus built his palace there and the hill became the exclusive domain of emperors. Augustus built a temple to Apollo here; the great fire of 64 AD destroyed Nero's palace, but he replaced it by 69 AD with the larger Domus Aurea over, built Domitian's Palace The Palatine Hill is an archaeological site open to the public. The Palace of Domitian which dominates the site and looks out over the Circus Maximus was rebuilt during the reign of Domitian over earlier buildings of Nero. Emperors the Severans made significant additions to the buildings; the House of Livia, the wife of Augustus, is conventionally attributed to her based only on the generic name on a clay pipe and circumstantial factors such as proximity to the House of Augustus. The building is located near the Temple of Magna Mater at the western end of the hill, on a lower terrace from the temple.
It is notable for its beautiful frescoes. The House of Tiberius was built by Tiberius, but Tiberius spent much of his time in his palaces in Campania and Capri, it was incorporated into Nero's Domus Transitoria. Part of it is remains in the current Farnese Gardens. During Augustus' reign, an area of the Palatine Hill was roped off for a sort of archaeological expedition, which found fragments of Bronze Age pots and tools, he declared this site the "original town of Rome." Modern archaeology has identified evidence of Bronze Age settlement in the area which predates Rome's founding. There is a museum on the Palatine in which artifacts dating from before the official foundation of the City are displayed; the museum contains Roman statuary. An altar to an unknown deity, once thought to be Aius Locutius, was discovered here in 1820. In July 2006, archaeologists announced the discovery of the Palatine House, which they believe to be the birthplace of Rome's first Emperor, Augustus. Head archaeologist Clementina Panella uncovered a section of corridor and other fragments under Rome's Palatine Hill, which she described on July 20 as "a ancient aristocratic house."
The two story house appears to have been built around an atrium, with frescoed walls and mosaic flooring, is situated on the slope of the Palatine that overlooks the Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine. The Republican-era houses on the Palatine were overbuilt by palaces after the Great Fire of Rome, but this one was not. On the ground floor, three shops opened onto the Via Sacra; the location of the domus is important because of its potential proximity to the Curiae Veteres, the earliest shrine of the curies of Rome. In January 2007, Italian archeologist Irene Iacopi announced that she had found the legendary Lupercal cave beneath the remains of Augustus' residence, the Domus Livia on the Palatine. Archaeologists came across the 16-
Alchemy was an ancient branch of natural philosophy, a philosophical and protoscientific tradition practiced throughout Europe and Asia, originating in Greco-Roman Egypt in the first few centuries AD. It aims to purify and perfect certain objects. Common aims were chrysopoeia, the transmutation of "base metals" into "noble metals"; the perfection of the human body and soul was thought to permit or result from the alchemical magnum opus and, in the Hellenistic and Western mystery tradition, the achievement of gnosis. In Europe, the creation of a philosopher's stone was variously connected with all of these projects. In English, the term is limited to descriptions of European alchemy, but similar practices existed in the Far East, the Indian subcontinent, the Muslim world. In Europe, following the 12th-century Renaissance produced by the translation of Medieval Islamic works on science and the rediscovery of Aristotelian philosophy, alchemists played a significant role in early modern science.
Islamic and European alchemists developed a structure of basic laboratory techniques, theory and experimental method, some of which are still in use today. However, they continued antiquity's belief in four elements and guarded their work in secrecy including cyphers and cryptic symbolism, their work was guided by Hermetic principles related to magic and religion. Modern discussions of alchemy are split into an examination of its exoteric practical applications and its esoteric spiritual aspects, despite the arguments of scholars like Holmyard and von Franz that they should be understood as complementary; the former is pursued by historians of the physical sciences who examine the subject in terms of early chemistry and charlatanism, the philosophical and religious contexts in which these events occurred. The latter interests historians of esotericism and some philosophers and spiritualists; the subject has made an ongoing impact on literature and the arts. Despite this split, which von Franz believes has existed since the Western traditions' origin in a mix of Greek philosophy, mixed with Egyptian and Mesopotamian technology, numerous sources have stressed an integration of esoteric and exoteric approaches to alchemy as far back as Pseudo-Democritus's first-century AD On Physical and Mystical Matters.
Although alchemy is popularly associated with magic, historian Lawrence M. Principe writes: Most readers are aware of several common claims about alchemy—for example... that it is akin to magic, or that its practice or now is deceptive. These ideas about alchemy emerged after. While each of them might have limited validity within a narrow context, none of them is an accurate depiction of alchemy in general." The word alchemy comes from Old French alquemie, used in Medieval Latin as alchymia. This name was itself brought from the Arabic word al-kīmiyā' composed of two parts: the Late Greek term khēmeía, khēmía, meaning'to fuse or cast a metal', the Arabic definite article al-, meaning'The'. Together this association can be interpreted as'the process of transmutation by which to fuse or reunite with the divine or original form', its roots can be traced to the Egyptian name kēme, meaning'black earth' which refers to the fertile and auriferous soil of the Nile valley, as opposed to red desert sand.
According to the Egyptologist Wallis Budge, the Arabic word al-kīmiyaʾ means "the Egyptian ", borrowing from the Coptic word for "Egypt", kēme. This Coptic word derives from Demotic kmỉ, itself from ancient Egyptian kmt; the ancient Egyptian word referred to both the country and the colour "black". However, according to Mahn, this theory may be an example of folk etymology. Assuming an Egyptian origin, chemistry is defined as follows: Chemistry, from the ancient Egyptian word "khēmia" meaning transmutation of earth, is the science of matter at the atomic to molecular scale, dealing with collections of atoms, such as molecules and metals. Thus, according to Budge and others, chemistry derives from an Egyptian word khemein or khēmia, "preparation of black powder" derived from the name khem, Egypt. A decree of Diocletian, written about 300 AD in Greek, speaks against "the ancient writings of the Egyptians, which treat of the khēmia transmutation of gold and silver"; the Medieval Latin form was influenced by Greek chymeia meaning'mixture' and referring to pharmaceutical chemistry.
Alchemy is several philosophical traditions spanning three continents. These traditions' general penchant for cryptic and symbolic language makes it hard to trace their mutual influences and "genetic" relationships. One can distinguish at least three major strands, which appear to be independent, at least in their earlier stages: Chinese alchemy, centered in China and its zone of cultural influence. Chinese alchemy was connected to Ta
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, known as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form, ease of composition, visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period. Raphael was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop and, despite his death at 37, leaving a large body of work. Many of his works are found in the Vatican Palace, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms were the central, the largest, work of his career; the best known work is The School of Athens in the Vatican Stanza della Segnatura. After his early years in Rome, much of his work was executed by his workshop from his drawings, with considerable loss of quality, he was influential in his lifetime, though outside Rome his work was known from his collaborative printmaking. After his death, the influence of his great rival Michelangelo was more widespread until the 18th and 19th centuries, when Raphael's more serene and harmonious qualities were again regarded as the highest models.
His career falls into three phases and three styles, first described by Giorgio Vasari: his early years in Umbria a period of about four years absorbing the artistic traditions of Florence, followed by his last hectic and triumphant twelve years in Rome, working for two Popes and their close associates. Raphael was born in the small but artistically significant central Italian city of Urbino in the Marche region, where his father Giovanni Santi was court painter to the Duke; the reputation of the court had been established by Federico da Montefeltro, a successful condottiere, created Duke of Urbino by Pope Sixtus IV – Urbino formed part of the Papal States – and who died the year before Raphael was born. The emphasis of Federico's court was rather more literary than artistic, but Giovanni Santi was a poet of sorts as well as a painter, had written a rhymed chronicle of the life of Federico, both wrote the texts and produced the decor for masque-like court entertainments, his poem to Federico shows him as keen to show awareness of the most advanced North Italian painters, Early Netherlandish artists as well.
In the small court of Urbino he was more integrated into the central circle of the ruling family than most court painters. Federico was succeeded by his son Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, who married Elisabetta Gonzaga, daughter of the ruler of Mantua, the most brilliant of the smaller Italian courts for both music and the visual arts. Under them, the court continued as a centre for literary culture. Growing up in the circle of this small court gave Raphael the excellent manners and social skills stressed by Vasari. Court life in Urbino at just after this period was to become set as the model of the virtues of the Italian humanist court through Baldassare Castiglione's depiction of it in his classic work The Book of the Courtier, published in 1528. Castiglione moved to Urbino in 1504, when Raphael was no longer based there but visited, they became good friends, he became close to other regular visitors to the court: Pietro Bibbiena and Pietro Bembo, both cardinals, were becoming well known as writers, would be in Rome during Raphael's period there.
Raphael mixed in the highest circles throughout his life, one of the factors that tended to give a misleading impression of effortlessness to his career. He did not receive a full humanistic education however, his mother Màgia died in 1491 when Raphael was eight, followed on August 1, 1494 by his father, who had remarried. Raphael was thus orphaned at eleven, he continued to live with his stepmother when not staying as an apprentice with a master. He had shown talent, according to Vasari, who says that Raphael had been "a great help to his father". A self-portrait drawing from his teenage years shows his precocity, his father's workshop continued and together with his stepmother, Raphael evidently played a part in managing it from a early age. In Urbino, he came into contact with the works of Paolo Uccello the court painter, Luca Signorelli, who until 1498 was based in nearby Città di Castello. According to Vasari, his father placed him in the workshop of the Umbrian master Pietro Perugino as an apprentice "despite the tears of his mother".
The evidence of an apprenticeship comes only from Vasari and another source, has been disputed—eight was early for an apprenticeship to begin. An alternative theory is that he received at least some training from Timoteo Viti, who acted as court painter in Urbino from 1495. Most modern historians agree that Raphael at least worked as an assistant to Perugino from around 1500. Vasari wrote that it was impossible to distinguish between their hands at this period, but many modern art historians claim to do better and detect his hand in specific areas of works by Perugino or his workshop. Apart from stylistic closeness, their techniques are similar as well, for example having paint applied thickly, using an oil varnish medium, in shadows and darker garments, but thinly on flesh areas. An excess of resin in the varnish causes cracking of areas of paint in the works of both masters; the Perugino workshop w
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
Mithraism known as the Mithraic mysteries, was a mystery religion centered on the god Mithras, practiced in the Roman Empire from about the 1st to the 4th century CE. The religion was inspired by Iranian worship of the god Mithra, though the Greek Mithras was linked to a new and distinctive imagery, the level of continuity between Persian and Greco-Roman practice is debated; the mysteries were popular among the Roman military. Worshippers of Mithras had a complex system of seven grades of initiation and communal ritual meals. Initiates called themselves syndexioi, those "united by the handshake", they met in underground temples, now called mithraea, which survive in large numbers. The cult appears to have had its centre in Rome, was popular throughout the western half of the empire, as far south as Roman Africa and Numidia, as far north as Roman Britain, to a lesser extent in Roman Syria in the east. Mithraism is viewed as a rival of early Christianity. In the 4th century, Mithraists faced persecution from Roman Christians and the religion was subsequently suppressed and eliminated in the empire by the end of the century.
Numerous archaeological finds, including meeting places and artifacts, have contributed to modern knowledge about Mithraism throughout the Roman Empire. The iconic scenes of Mithras show him being born from a rock, slaughtering a bull, sharing a banquet with the god Sol. About 420 sites have yielded materials related to the cult. Among the items found are about 1000 inscriptions, 700 examples of the bull-killing scene, about 400 other monuments, it has been estimated. No written narratives or theology from the religion survive. Interpretation of the physical evidence remains problematic and contested; the term "Mithraism" is a modern convention. Writers of the Roman era referred to it by phrases such as "Mithraic mysteries", "mysteries of Mithras" or "mysteries of the Persians". Modern sources sometimes refer to the Greco-Roman religion as "Roman Mithraism" or "Western Mithraism" to distinguish it from Persian worship of Mithra; the name Mithras is a form of Mithra, the name of an Old Persian god – a relationship understood by Mithraic scholars since the days of Franz Cumont.
An early example of the Greek form of the name is in a 4th-century BCE work by Xenophon, the Cyropaedia, a biography of the Persian king Cyrus the Great. The exact form of a Latin or classical Greek word varies due to the grammatical process of declension. There is archaeological evidence that in Latin worshippers wrote the nominative form of the god's name as "Mithras". However, in Porphyry's Greek text De Abstinentia, there is a reference to the now-lost histories of the Mithraic mysteries by Euboulus and Pallas, the wording of which suggests that these authors treated the name "Mithra" as an indeclinable foreign word. Related deity-names in other languages include Sanskrit Mitra, the name of a god praised in the Rig Veda. In Sanskrit, "mitra" means "friend" or "friendship"; the form mi-it-ra-, found in an inscribed peace treaty between the Hittites and the kingdom of Mitanni, from about 1400 BCE. Iranian "Mithra" and Sanskrit "Mitra" are believed to come from an Indo-Iranian word mitra meaning contract / agreement / covenant.
Modern historians have different conceptions about. John R. Hinnells has written of Mitra / Mithra / Mithras as a single deity worshipped in several different religions. On the other hand, David Ulansey considers the bull-slaying Mithras to be a new god who began to be worshipped in the 1st century BCE, to whom an old name was applied. Mary Boyce, a researcher of ancient Iranian religions, writes that though Roman Empire Mithraism seems to have had less Iranian content than historians used to think, nonetheless "as the name Mithras alone shows, this content was of some importance". Much about the cult of Mithras is only known from sculptures. There have been many attempts to interpret this material. Mithras-worship in the Roman Empire was characterized by images of the god slaughtering a bull. Other images of Mithras are found in the Roman temples, for instance Mithras banqueting with Sol, depictions of the birth of Mithras from a rock, but the image of bull-slaying is always in the central niche.
Textual sources for a reconstruction of the theology behind this iconography are rare. The practice of depicting the god slaying a bull seems to be specific to Roman Mithraism. According to David Ulansey, this is "perhaps the most important example" of evident difference between Iranian and Roman traditions: "... There is no evidence that the Iranian god Mithra had anything to do with killing a bull." In every mithraeum the centrepiece was a representation of Mithras killing a sacred bull, an act called the tauroctony. The image may be a relief, or free-standing, side details may be present or omitted; the centre-piece is Mithras clothed in Anatolian costume and wearing a Phrygian cap. As he does so, he looks over his shoulder towards the figure of Sol. A dog and a snake reach up towards the blood. A scorpion seizes the bull's genitals. A raven is sitting on the bull. Three ears of wheat are seen coming out from the bull's tail, sometimes from the wound; the bull was white. The god is sitting on the bull in an unnatural way with his right leg co