Historical Reprints History Myths and Legends Of Ancient Greece And Rome

Myths and Legends Of Ancient Greece And Rome

Myths and Legends Of Ancient Greece And Rome
Catalog # SKU1730
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name E. M. Berens
 
$21.95
Quantity

Description

Myths and Legends
Of
Ancient Greece And Rome


by
E. M. Berens

Greece and Rome- The two civilizations that have been the insight, source, and creation of most modern government theory and the West's major religions. Explore the great mysteries of these founding fathers of modern civilization.

From the Author:

It has been my aim to render the Legends, which form the second portion of the work, a picture, as it were, of old Greek life; its customs, its superstitions, and its princely hospitalities, for which reason they are given at somewhat greater length than is usual in works of the kind.

In a chapter devoted to the purpose some interesting particulars have been collected respecting the public worship of the ancient Greeks and Romans (more especially of the former), to which is subjoined an account of their principal festivals.

I may add that no pains have been spared in order that, without passing over details the omission of which would have marred the completeness of the work, not a single passage should be found which could possibly offend the most scrupulous delicacy; and also that I have purposely treated the subject with that reverence which I consider due to every religious system, however erroneous.

It is hardly necessary to dwell upon the importance of the study of Mythology: our poems, our novels, and even our daily journals teem with classical allusions; nor can a visit to our art galleries and museums be fully enjoyed without something more than a mere superficial knowledge of a subject which has in all ages inspired painters, sculptors, and poets. It therefore only remains for me to express a hope that my little work may prove useful, not only to teachers and scholars, but also to a large class of general readers, who, in whiling away a leisure hour, may derive some pleasure and profit from its perusal.

E. M. BERENS.

EXCERPT

Before entering upon the many strange beliefs of the ancient Greeks, and the extraordinary number of gods they worshipped, we must first consider what kind of beings these divinities were.

In appearance, the gods were supposed to resemble mortals, whom, however, they far surpassed in beauty, grandeur, and strength; they were also more commanding in stature, height being considered by the Greeks an attribute of beauty in man or woman. They resembled human beings in their feelings and habits, intermarrying and having children, and requiring daily nourishment to recruit their strength, and refreshing sleep to restore their energies. Their blood, a bright ethereal fluid called Ichor, never engendered disease, and, when shed, had the power of producing new life.

The Greeks believed that the mental qualifications of their gods were of a much higher order than those of men, but nevertheless, as we shall see, they were not considered to be exempt from human passions, and we frequently behold them actuated by revenge, deceit, and jealousy.

They, however, always punish the evil-doer, and visit with dire calamities any impious mortal who dares to neglect their worship or despise their rites. We often hear of them visiting mankind and partaking of their hospitality, and not unfrequently both gods and goddesses become attached to mortals, with whom they unite themselves, the offspring of these unions being called heroes or demi-gods, who were usually renowned for their great strength and courage. But although there were so many points of resemblance between gods and men, there remained the one great characteristic distinction, viz., that the gods enjoyed immortality.

Still, they were not invulnerable, and we often hear of them being wounded, and suffering in consequence such exquisite torture that they have earnestly prayed to be deprived of their privilege of immortality. The gods knew no limitation of time or space, being able to transport themselves to incredible distances with the speed of thought. They possessed the power of rendering themselves invisible at will, and could assume the forms of men or animals as it suited their convenience. They could also transform human beings into trees, stones, animals, &c., either as a punishment for their misdeeds, or as a means of protecting the individual, thus transformed, from impending danger. Their robes were like those worn by mortals, but were perfect in form and much finer in texture. Their weapons also resembled those used by mankind; we hear of spears, shields, helmets, bows and arrows, &c., being employed by the gods.

Each deity possessed a beautiful chariot, which, drawn by horses or other animals of celestial breed, conveyed them rapidly over land and sea according to their pleasure. Most of these divinities lived on the summit of Mount Olympus, each possessing his or her individual habitation, and all meeting together on festive occasions in the council-chamber of the gods, where their banquets were enlivened by the sweet strains of Apollo's lyre, whilst the beautiful voices of the Muses poured forth their rich melodies to his harmonious accompaniment. Magnificent temples were erected to their honour, where they were worshipped with the greatest solemnity; rich gifts were presented to them, and animals, and indeed sometimes human beings, were sacrificed on their altars.

In the study of Grecian mythology we meet with some curious, and what may at first sight appear unaccountable notions. Thus we hear of terrible giants hurling rocks, upheaving mountains, and raising earthquakes which engulf whole armies; these ideas, however, may be accounted for by the awful convulsions of nature, which were in operation in pre-historic times.

Again, the daily recurring phenomena, which to us, who know them to be the result of certain well-ascertained laws of nature, are so familiar as to excite no remark, were, to the early Greeks, matter of grave speculation, and not unfrequently of alarm. For instance, when they heard the awful roar of thunder, and saw vivid flashes of lightning, accompanied by black clouds and torrents of rain, they believed that the great god of heaven was angry, and they trembled at his wrath. If the calm and tranquil sea became suddenly agitated, and the crested billows rose mountains high, dashing furiously against the rocks, and threatening destruction to all within their reach, the sea-god was supposed to be in a furious rage.

When they beheld the sky glowing with the hues of coming day they thought that the goddess of the dawn, with rosy fingers, was drawing aside the dark veil of night, to allow her brother, the sun-god, to enter upon his brilliant career. Thus personifying all the powers of nature, this very imaginative and highly poetical nation beheld a divinity in every tree that grew, in every stream that flowed, in the bright beams of the glorious sun, and the clear, cold rays of the silvery moon; for them the whole universe lived and breathed, peopled by a thousand forms of grace and beauty.

The most important of these divinities may have been something more than the mere creations of an active and poetical imagination. They were possibly human beings who had so distinguished themselves in life by their preeminence over their fellow-mortals that after death they were deified by the people among whom they lived, and the poets touched with their magic wand the details of lives, which, in more prosaic times, would simply have been recorded as illustrious.

CONTENTS

Preface.
Part I.-Myths.
Introduction.

Origin of the World.-First Dynasty.
Uranus and Gæa. (Coelus and Terra.)

Second Dynasty.
Cronus (Saturn).
Saturn.
Rhea (Ops).
Ops.

Division Of The World.
Theories As To The Origin Of Man.

Third Dynasty-Olympian Divinities.
Zeus (Jupiter).
Jupiter.
Hera (Juno).
Juno.
Pallas-Athene (Minerva).
Minerva.
Themis.
Hestia (Vesta).
Vesta.
Demeter (Ceres).
Ceres.
Aphrodite (Venus).
Venus.
Helios (Sol).
Eos (Aurora).
Phoebus-Apollo.
Roman Apollo.
Hecate.
Selene (Luna).
Artemis (Diana).
Arcadian Artemis.
Ephesian Artemis.
Brauronian Artemis.
Selene-Artemis.
Diana.
Hephæstus (Vulcan).
Vulcan.
Poseidon (Neptune).
Neptune.
Sea Divinities.
Oceanus.
Nereus.
Proteus.
Triton And The Tritons.
Glaucus.
Thetis.
Thaumas, Phorcys, And Ceto.
Leucothea.
The Sirens.
Ares (Mars).
Mars.
Nike (Victoria).
Victoria.
Hermes (Mercury).
Mercury.
Dionysus (Bacchus).
Bacchus Or Liber.
Aïdes (Pluto).
Pluto.
Plutus.

Minor Divinities.
The Harpies.
Erinyes, Eumenides (Furiæ, Diræ).
Moiræ Or Fates (Parcæ).
Nemesis.

Night And Her Children. Death, Sleep, And Dreams.
Nyx (Nox).
Thanatos (Mors) And Hypnus (Somnus).
Morpheus.
The Gorgons.
Grææ.
Sphinx.
Tyche (Fortuna) And Ananke (Necessitas).
Tyche (FORTUNA).
Fortuna.
Ananke (Necessitas).
Ker.
Ate.
Momus.
Eros (Cupid, Amor) And Psyche.
Hymen.
Iris (The Rainbow).
Hebe (Juventas).
Juventas.
Ganymedes.
The Muses.
Pegasus.
The Hesperides.
Charites (Gratiæ) Graces.
Horæ (Seasons).
The Nymphs.
Water Nymphs.
Oceanides, Nereides, And Naiades.
Oceanides.
The Nereides.
The Naiades.
Dryades, Or Tree Nymphs.
Nymphs Of The Valleys And Mountains.
Napææ And Oreades.
The Winds.
Pan (Faunus).
Faunus.
The Satyrs.
Priapus.
Asclepias (Æsculapius).

Roman Divinities.
Janus.
Flora.
Robigus.
Pomona.
Vertumnus.
Pales.
Picus.
Picumnus And Pilumnus.
Silvanus.
Terminus.
Consus.
Libitina.
Laverna.
Comus.
The Camenæ.
Genii.
Manes.
Lemures (Larvæ) And Lares.
Penates.

Public Worship Of The Ancient Greeks And Romans.
Temples.
Statues.
Altars.
Priests.
Sacrifices.
Oracles.
Soothsayers (Augurs).
Augurs.
Festivals.
Greek Festivals.
Eleusinian Mysteries.
Thesmophoria.
Dionysia.
Panathenæa.
Daphnephoria.
Roman Festivals.
Saturnalia.
Cerealia.
Vestalia.

Part II.-Legends.
Cadmus.
Perseus.
Ion.
Dædalus And Icarus.
The Argonauts.
Story Of The Golden Fleece.
Pelops.
Heracles (Hercules).
Bellerophon.
Theseus.
Oedipus.
The Seven Against Thebes.
The Epigoni.
Alcmæon And The Necklace.
The Heraclidæ.
The Siege Of Troy.
Return Of The Greeks From Troy.

Pronouncing Index.


Softcover, 6¾" x 8¾", 350+ pages
Perfect-Bound - Large 12 Point Font

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