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Toutes les dissertations

Eurytus

Greek King of Oechalia, father of iole. Eurytus was a renowned archer. He promised his daughter Iole, to anyone who could shoot better than he. The great hero Heracles won the contest, but Eurytus accused Heracles of using poisoned arrows and furthermore of being a slave of Eurystheus and therefore unworthy of a king's daughter. Eurytus refused to honor Heracles' right to the hand...

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Eurystheus

Greek The king of Argos and Mycenae who imposed the Twelve Labors upon his cousin, Heracles. Eurystheus was the son of Sthenelus, a descendant of the hero Perseus, and Nicippe. Eurystheus became king because of the wiles of Hera, the angry and jealous wife of the god Zeus. On the day that Heracles was to be born, Zeus proclaimed before the Olympian Gods that the...

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Eurynome

Greek One of the eldest Oceanids, or ocean Nymphs, daughters of Oceanus. Counted among the Titans. She became a sea goddess after falling from power on Mount Olympus. Eurynome and Ophion, also a Titan, ruled the realm of these early gods after Gaia and Uranus until Cronus and Rhea, the most powerful Titans, seized power and threw them into the sea. Eurynome's place in...

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Eurylochus

Greek One of the crewmen on the journey of Odysseus and, apart from Odysseus himself, the only one to escape the spell of Circe, the witch who turned men into swine. (See the Odyssey.) Eurylochus, who had been the head of the party exploring Circe's island, hid, saw what happened to his shipmates and fled to warn Odysseus. Later, when Odysseus and his crew...

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Eurydice

Greek A beautiful Dryad (tree Nymph) who became the wife of Orpheus. While pursued by Aristaeur, she was bitten by a serpent and died. Stricken with grief, Orpheus charmed his way into the Underworld (1) and persuaded Hades to release his wife. Seduced by the beautiful music of Orpheus, Hades let Eurydice go, on the condition that Orpheus would not look back to see...

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Eurybia

Greek A Titan; daughter of the Earth Mother Gaia and her son Pontus, an early sea god. This heritage gave Eurybia power over the seas, perhaps even over the tides and the rise and fall of the constellations. She married the Titan god Crius and with him had three children, Astraeus, Pallas, and Perses....

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Euryale

(Wide-Stepping) Greek One of the three gorgons, female monsters; daughter of Ceto, an ancient sea goddess, and Phorcys; her sisters were Stheno and Medusa. Euryale and Stheno were immortal, while their sister, Medusa, was mortal. Euryale and Stheno shared with Medusa the power to turn people to stone when the mortals looked into a gorgon's eyes. The hero Perseus was sent by Polydectes to retrieve the...

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Europa

Greek Daughter of Agenor, king of Tyre (a seaport in Phoenicia) and Telephassa, and the sister of Cadmus, Phoenix, and Cilix. Mother of Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Sarpedon with Zeus; and of Euphemus with Poseidon; wife of Asterion, king of Crete. Europa 53 Europa was famed for her beauty. Zeus fell in love with her and, knowing that the maiden liked to wander on the shore, devised...

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Euripides

(480–406 b.c.) One of the great Greek tragedians, ranked with Aeschylus and Sophocles, though his attitudes were very different from theirs. He found it hard to believe that the gods and goddesses, with their capricious, all-too-human ways, were the creators of the universe. To him, mortal men and women were more interesting and noble, and their triumphs and tragedies more worthy of notice and of...

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Eunomia

(Order) Greek A goddess of order and lawful conduct and one of the three Horae, guardians of the seasons, with her sisters Dike (Justice) and Eirene (Peace). She was the daughter of Zeus and Themis. Eunomia involved herself in the law-making process, helping mankind establish wise laws that allowed societies to prosper. Cities would lay claim to her, bragging that she chose to dwell...

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Eumenides

(Good-Tempered Ones) Greek The ironic name Greek people used for the Erinyes, fearsome creatures whose name means Furies. Eumenides is the term writers and poets generally used for them in literature....

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Etruria

Roman An ancient culture that thrived in west central Italy from as early as the eighth to the fourth centuries b.c. Etruria was northwest of Rome. Archaeologists and historians have concluded that Etruria was not a kingdom or nation as much as a people who shared a culture and a language and lived in what are now the regions of Tuscany and Umbria. The...

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Ether

(Aether; Bright upper air) Greek Son of Nyx (Night) and Erebus (Darkness); brother of Hemera (Day). Ether was the personification of the upper air, the pure, bright, and good realm where the gods dwelled. He stretched between the dome of the sky, which was the realm of Uranus, and the air close to the Earth that humans breathed. Each night, his mother blocked the mortal...

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Eros

(Erotic Love) Greek God of love and fertility, called Cupid by the Romans. In ancient times, Eros was a force to be feared. He represented the havoc and misery that could be brought about by love and desire. In later times, Eros was depicted as an overweight baby, winged, and carrying a bow and a quiver of arrows, which he would shoot off...

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Eris

(Discord) Greek The spirit or goddess of strife; the sister of Ares, Eris accompanied him into battle and helped to cause quarrels and lawlessness. In Hesiod's poems, she is the daughter of Nyx (Night). Later legends say that Eris helped to cause the Trojan War by flinging her "apple of discord" among the guests at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. Three jealous goddesses...

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Eriphyle

Greek Wife of Amphiaraus mother of Alcmaeon, sister of Adrastus. Eriphyle was given the magic necklace of Harmonia, a guarantee of unfading beauty, for persuading her husband, Amphiaraus, and her brother, Adrastus, to join in the disastrous rebellion known as the Seven Against Thebes. Alcmaeon killed Eriphyle but his mother's dying curse was that no land would ever shelter her son....

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Erinyes

Greek The three avengers of wrong, generally known by their Roman name, the Furies. They were also called Eumenides (Good-Tempered Ones) by the wise and tactful Greeks, who feared their wrath....

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Erigone

Greek Daughter of King Icarius of Attica in ancient Greece, the area of the southeastern mainland where modern Athens now stands. Drunken shepherds killed her father and buried him. Erigone and her faithful dog, Maera, set out in search of the vanished king. When Erigone discovered the tomb of Icarius, she was grief-stricken and hanged herself from a nearby tree. The gods transformed her into...

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Erichthonius

Greek Legendary king of Athens. According to Homer, Erichthonius was the son of the lame god, Hephaestus, and Gaia. He grew out of semen spilled by Hephaestus when he tried to force his attentions on the goddess Athene. Earth nourished the seed and the child, Erichthonius, was born. In a later story, Athene placed the child in a basket and gave him to the daughters...

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Erechtheus

Greek The son of Dardanus, the founder of Troy. Erechtheus was said to be the richest king on Earth. He owned thousands of magnificent horses, the offspring of Boreas, the North Wind. He was the father of Tros and the grandfather of Ilus, Ganymede, and Assaracus. King Priam of Troy was a descendant of Ilus....

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Erebus

(Darkness) Greek The personification of darkness. Erebus sprang from Chaos at the beginning of time. He was the father of Charon, Nemesis, and others. His name was given to the gloomy underground cavern through which the dead had to walk on their way to the Underworld....

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Epona

Roman A goddess who protected horses, donkeys, and mules, and paid special attention to foals and mares during the birthing process. Epona was most popular among the soldiers of the Roman armies, who placed images celebrating her, often small statues, in their stables. Epona was said to be the daughter of a mare and a human. The name, Epona, which is the source of...

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Epirus

Greek An ancient country of Greece on the Ionian Sea, west of Macedonia and Thessaly. Epirus was the home of the Oracle at Dodona and refuge of the Centaurs when they were expelled from their native Thessaly....

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Epimetheus

(Afterthought) Greek Brother of Prometheus, a Titan. Epimetheus accepted Pandora as his wife, in spite of the warnings of his wiser brother. Pandora had been created by the gods to punish humankind for accepting the forbidden gift of fire from Prometheus....

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Epigoni

(Descendants, the younger generation) Greek The sons of the Seven Against Thebes, an expedition launched by Adrastus and Polynices to capture the throne of Thebes. The effort failed and Adrastus was the only survivor. When the sons of the Seven, the Epigoni, were old enough to bear arms, Adrastus rallied them to make a second attack. This one succeeded. Thebes was destroyed. It was...

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