Page images
PDF
EPUB

i. By Uranus (Caelus), who was mutilated, dethroned, and cast into Tartarus by his sons the Titans, headed by Kronus.

ii. By the Titans, with Kronus as their chief, who were in their turn bereft of power, and imprisoned in Tartarus by the Kronidae (sons of Kronus), headed by Zeus.

iii. By the Kronidae, with Zeus as their chief. These last, supposed by the Greek poets to form the actual reigning dynasty, were exposed, before their power was firmly established, to a series of attacks.

i. From the Giants.
ii. From the monster Typhon.
iii. From the Aloidae.

We must remark, however, that the above narrative is not to be found in a connected form in any very ancient authority now extant, but was probably compiled by Apollodorus from various poets belonging to the Epic Cycle.

Homer makes no reference to the ancient powers Uranus and Gaia as lords of the universe !, but he must have been acquainted with the myth of the Titanomachia, since several allusions to the imprisonment of Kronus and other Titans are to be found scattered over the Iliad 2. Of the Gigantomachia he seems to have known nothing, nor indeed is it clear what precise meaning he attached to the term 'giant,' which occurs in the Odyssey alone. We are there told, in the genealogy of Alcinous 3, that Eurymedon, the greatgrandsire of the Phaeacian monarch, «reigned over the high-souled giants,' and perished along with that haughty people. Again, the 'wild tribes of giants' are casually and obscurely introduced in connection with the Cyclopes 4: and, finally, the Laestrygons are described as being like not unto men but unto giants.' In the last passage, great stature seems to be indicated, but nowhere is a hint given of the serpent feet, nor of the rebellion against the gods.

The name of Typhon 6 occurs when we are told that as the Grecian host advanced along the plain in battle array,

1 Unless it be in the term Oúpaviaves 2. 5, 898, which appears to be there used to indicate the Titans.

2 See Il. 5. 898; 8. 499 ; 14. 203, 274. 3 Od. 7. 59, and Scholia.

* Od. 7. 206, but the true signification of this passage cannot be satisfactorily ascertained.

5 Od. 10. 120. The wife of Antiphates is said to have been vast as a mountain top.'

6 The Greek authorities, with regard to Typhon, have been collected by Jablonski, Pantheon Aegyptiorum, 5. 2, 1,

6

5

6

6

"Earth groaned beneath their tread, as when the god Who joys in thunder hurls his angry bolt, And lashes up the soil in Arima

Around Typhoeus, where his couch is spread.' The Aloids are twice mentioned; in the Iliad, where Dione tells her daughter how they cast Ares into a brazen dungeon, in which he pined for thirteen months, until Hermes stole him out; and in the Odyssey, where Ulysses beholds them in the realms of Hades. The description of Homer has been, in many particulars, followed by Apollodorus, but the former does not assert that they actually piled Ossa on Olympus, and Pelion upon Ossa, but merely that they eagerly desired (or strove) so to do, in order that they might scale the heavens; and they would have accomplished their purpose had they attained to manhood, but they were slain by Apollo before the first down bloomed upon their cheeks.

Virgil seems to follow Eratosthenes (see Schol. on Apollon. 1. 484), in making Otus and Ephialtes sons of Earth, for we read in G. 1. 278

'tum partu Terra nefando
Coeumque Iapetumque creat, saevumque Typhoea,
Et coniuratos caelum rescindere fratres.
Ter sunt conati imponere Pelio Ossam
Scilicet, atque Ossae frondosum involvere Olympum,

Ter pater extructos disiecit fulmine montes, where it is to be observed that Virgil, not following Homer, makes the blunder of inverting the pyramid, placing Olympus, the largest of the three mountains, at the top, and Pelion, the smallest, at the bottom of the pile. The Aloidae appear again in Ae. 6. 580 'Hic (sc. in Tartaro) genus antiquum Terrae, Titania pubes,

Fulmine deiecti, fundo volvuntur in imo.
Hic et Aloidas geminos, immania vidi
Corpora, qui manibus magnum rescindere caelum
Aggressi, superisque lovem detrudere regnis.'

6

| Apollodorus, as we have seen, asserts that they were slain by Artemis, and so Callimach. Hymn. Dian. 204. On the other hand, Apollon., I. 484, agrees with Homer. The story of the stag, as given by Apollodorus, is a later form of the legend. See Schol. on Hom. Od. 11. 317. Pausanias, 9. 22, says that their tombs were at Anthedon in Boeotia. He is doubly mistaken, when he adds that Homer and Pindar agree in representing them to have been ain by Apollo in Naxos. Homer has not a word with regard to the place where they perished. Pindar simply says that they died at Naxos, Pyth. 4. 156.

These youths are mentioned also in Ov. Met. 6. 117, Lucan. 6. 410, Claud. B. Get. 67. 73.

Hesiod gives the whole fable of Uranus and his children; the outrage of Kronus against his father, and his own progeny, and the struggle between the Titans and the Kronidae ?. He also tells of Typhoeus 2, of his monstrous shape, and of his defeat by Zeus, but takes no notice of the Gigantomachia, nor of the attempt of the Aloidae 4. Pindar repeatedly alludes to the battle of the gods and Giants, and to the good service done by Hercules5; and the various parts of the above history afforded an inexhaustible theme to the later poets, who, however, often differ widely from each other in the details, and frequently confound the different contests. Thus, to take examples from the Latin writers, Ovid, when narrating the Gigantomachia, speaks of the Giants as piling Ossa on Olympus, and Pelion upon Ossa; although Homer, Virgil, Apollonius, and Apollodorus all attribute this feat to Otus and Ephialtes. Again Horace, when he says of Jove, Od. 3. 4, 42

Scimus ut impios
Titanas, immanemque turmam

Fulmine sustulerit caduco.'

[blocks in formation]

• Magnum illa terrorem intulerat Iovi
Fidens iuventus horrida brachiis,
Fratresque tendentes opaco

Pelion imposuisse Olympo,' distinguishes the Titans from the immanem turmam,' the 'horrida iuventus,' expressions which indicate the Giants, and from the “fratres' Otus and Ephialtes, but in the very next line Typhoeus is numbered among the Giants. In v. 39 Gyges is introduced as having provoked the wrath of heaven;

1

2

Theog. 116–188, 453-506, 629-741.

Theog. 821-868. There can be no doubt that Typhon, Typhos, Typhaon and Typhoeus, are all different forms of the same name, although, as Mr. Keightley has remarked, Hesiod. (Theog. 306) seems to speak of Typhaon as distinct from the Typhoeus afterwards mentioned.

3 In Theog. 185, it is said, that from the blood-drops of mutilated Uranus sprung the Erinyes, the Melian Nymphs, and the 'giants refulgent in armour, grasping in their hands long spears.'

4 They were noticed by him in some lost work. See Schol. Apollon. 1.

e. g. Nem. 1. 101; 4. 40; 7. 132, Pyth. 8. 15.

484.

and Virgil speaks of Aegaeon as one of those who had assailed the gods, although these were two of The Hundred-handed, the allies of Zeus against the Titans; and with regard to the last, Homer has preserved a legend of a conspiracy formed by the Olympians against their ruler, which was quelled by Thetis, with the aid of him, the Hundred-handed, whom gods called Briareus, and mortals Aegaeon. A long list of similar inconsistencies might easily be drawn up.

13, 14. Here, and in the Gigantomachia Met. I, 152, et seqq., Ovid confounds the giants with Otus and Ephialtes, the twin sons of Aloeus.

15. Capra. The image of a goat stood beside the statue of Veiovis. Ovid supposes that this represented the goat Amalthea, which, according to the authors of the Epic Cycle, suckled Jupiter when he was hid in the Cretan cave.

15, 16. Nymphae Cretides. Adrasteia and Ide, daughters of Melisseus.

17, 18. Vegrandia... .vesca. These illustrations have not been happily selected. There can be no doubt that.. ve' does possess the force of a negative in certain words, such as vecors' and 'vesanus;' the former signifying of no intellect,' or of little intellect,' and hence 'foolish ;' the latter not sound,' or 'little sound,' and hence 'mad;' but 'vegrandis' and "vescus' have been quoted by the old grammarians as examples of words to which the particle in question communicates a double meaning; the former being either 'not large,' or very large;' the latter, either little eating,' small,' 'weak,' delicate,' or much eating. It may be difficult to produce any unexceptionable passage in which 'vegrandis' must be translated ‘large ;' but in the following lines from Lucretius, vescus’ must surely be rendered 'much eating,' i. e. 'corroding.' • Nec mare quae impendent vesco sale saxa peresa' 1. 327. The word is found twice in Virgil, in G. 3. 175

* Interea pubi indomitae non gramina tantum
Nec vescas salicum frondes, ulvamque palustrem,

Sed frumenta manu carpes sata'... and G. 4. 131

'Lilia, verbenasque premens vescumque papaver.' In both passages it is usually interpreted 'edible, but 'tender,'

delicate,' will suit the first, and small,” “tiny,' the second. In Pliny H. N. 7. 20, it undoubtedly means "small.' Vesco

6

6

6

6

[ocr errors]

corpore sed eximiis viribus Tritannum gladiatoris ludo. After all it is by no means clear that'vescus' is a compound of 've' and 'esca,' which is commonly taken for granted. Bentley has a dissertation on the subject we have been discussing, in his note to Hor. S. 1. 2, 129.

17. Coloni. We find in Varro an example of vegrandis' in this sense: we are told that lambs, under certain circumstances, 'fiunt vegrandes atque imbecillae’ R. R. 2, 2, 13.

6

26.

ANNA PERENNA.

FAS. III. 523.

The festival of Anna Perenna,' who, it is manifest from the name, was the goddess of the ever-circling year, was celebrated on the Ides of March, chiefly, it would appear, by the lower orders, who assembled near the junction of the Anio with the Tiber, and devoted this day to merriment and junketing. Ovid, after giving a most lively picture of the jovial indulgences of the crowd, endeavours to connect Anna Perenna with Anna the sister of Dido, and tells a long story how she wandered to Italy, after the death of the unhappy queen, and was hospitably received by Aeneas; but having excited the jealous fury of Lavinia, she was apprised of her danger in a dream, and feeing from the palace by night, was drowned in the Numicius. Several other vague suppositions, with regard to the name and nature of this deity, are afterwards detailed. The poet, however, was certainly aware of the truth, for he states that one of the arguments to prove that the Roman year originally commenced in March, rested upon the fact of the festival of Anna Perenna being celebrated in that month. Fast.

3. 146

Nec mihi parva fides, annos hinc isse priores

Anna quod hoc coepta est mense Perenna coli.' As a commentary on which take the words of Macrobius, S. I. 12

'Eodem quoque mense et publice et privatim ad Annam Perennam sacrificatum itur: ut annare perennare commode liceat.'

« PreviousContinue »