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TAPEZ LES MOTS-CLES: homme nature ou homme nature société
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Thanatos

Thanatos (Death) Greek The personification of death (Mors in Latin). The son of Nyx (Night), with no father (according to Hesiod); twin brother of Hypnos (Sleep). The only mortal who managed to outwit Thanatos (at least for a while) was Sisyphus....

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Thalassa

Greek An ancient sea goddess; daughter of Ether, the upper air, and Hemera, day. With Pontus, an ancient god of the sea, Thalassa was the mother of the fish and animals of the sea. Thalassa is featured in the stories of classical Greek writers as the form of a woman, made of water. She rises out of the sea and talks with humans who become...

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Teucer

Greek The son of Telamon and Hesione; half-brother of the great Ajax (1). He was the best archer among the Greeks and played an important part in the Trojan War, fighting alongside Ajax. Teucer founded the town of Salamis in Cyprus....

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Tethys

Greek The daughter of two Titans, Uranus and Gaia; sister-wife of Oceanus. With him she bore the Oceanids (sea Nymphs). She was also the mother of Styx, and, some say, the mentor of the goddess Hera....

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Terminus

Roman God of boundaries and frontiers. Specifically, Terminus was the god of the sacred boundaries of pieces of land that were dedicated to Jupiter, the supreme god in Roman mythology. In Latin, "terminus" means boundary. In daily life, Terminus protected the good relationship between owners of neighboring properties. He supported and encouraged harmony among neighbors, a task that was very important in an agrarian or farming...

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Tempe

Greek A valley in Thessaly, famous for its beautiful scenery. There are many references to the Vale of Tempe in Greek mythology. It was the scene of Apollo's purification after the slaying of Python. It was the scene of the metamorphosis of Daphne (from Nymph pursued by Apollo into laurel tree). It was also where Cycnus, son of Ares, killed unwary travelers and used...

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Tellus

(Terra Mater) Roman A goddess of fecundity, or the ability to produce young. People sought her protection and help even before they developed formalized religion in Italy. Many scholars see Tellus as an equivalent of the Greek Gaia, the Earth Mother. Tellus means "Earth," as the name of the third planet from the Sun, though the word "Terra" in her alternative name refers to soil...

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Telemachus

Greek Son of Odysseus and Penelope. As an infant, Telemachus was placed in the path of his father's plow as a test of the father's pretended madness. When the Trojan War ended, Telemachus searched unsuccessfully for his father, returned to Ithaca, and recognized Odysseus; together he and Odysseus slew all the would-be usurpers to the throne who had been imposing upon Penelope to choose a...

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Telegonus

Greek In some accounts, the son of hero Odysseus and the witch Circe. Circe sent her son to find Odysseus in his kingdom of Ithaca. Telegonus killed his father (the two were unknown to each other) with a poisoned spear given to him by Circe. Later Telegonus married Penelope, the widow of Odysseus....

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Telamon

(Telemon) Greek Son of King Aecus of Aegina; brother of Peleus; father, with Hesione, of Teucer, the great archer. Telamon and Peleus killed their half-brother, Phocus. After the murder, Telamon fled the country. He lived a heroic life, taking part in the Calydonian Boar Hunt, sailing with the Argonauts, and accompanying Heracles on his expedition against Laomedon of Troy....

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Taygete

Greek A nymph, born on Mount Cyllene, one of the Pleiades, who served the goddess Artemis; daughter of Atlas and Pleione, who was a nymph and one of the Oceanids. Taygete was, like other nymphs, coveted by the great god Zeus. She refused his advances and, afraid of the god, begged Artemis to help, and the goddess changed her into a doe. In that...

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Tartarus

Greek A realm of eternal darkness, the deepest, most terrible part of the underworld, the opposite of the dome of the sky. Tartarus was even deeper below the Earth than Hades, farther below Hades than the Earth was below the sky, a realm of darkness and death. The Olympian gods exiled the Titans to Tartarus after the great war between the two generations of...

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Tantalus

Greek A king of Lydia in Asia Minor; father of Pelops and Niobe. Tantalus stole food from the gods and served it to mortals. He even attempted to serve up his son, Pelops, in a stew at a banquet for the gods but the gods rescued Pelops. Tantalus was punished for his misdeeds by the downfall of his kingdom and eternal hunger and thirst....

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Talus

(Talos) The nephew and apprentice of the great inventor Daedalus. Talus, who is said to have invented the saw and also the compass, incurred the jealousy of Daedalus, who murdered him. Some stories say that Daedalus threw the boy from the top of the Acropolis and that the gods changed Talus into a partridge ("perdix"). Perdix was a nickname for Talus or his mother,...

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Syrinx

Greek A Nymph, daughter of Ladon. When she was being pursued by Pan, Syrinx called upon her father for help. He turned her into a reed. Pan consoled himself by fashioning the syrinx reeds into a seven-reed pipe. The syrinx, or panpipes, is an instrument still played by shepherds in Greece....

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Summanus

Roman God of the night; specifically, the god who sent thunder and lightning during the night, as opposed to Jupiter, who sent these forces of nature during the day. Perhaps one of the many gods of the dead. Summanus was most likely a god of the Sabines who was later brought into the religions of the people of Rome. A temple on the Aventine...

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Styx

Styx, River Greek The principle river, or system of rivers, in Hades, the Greek Underworld (1); named for the goddess who carried the same name, Styx. The river formed the boundary between Earth and the land of the dead. The Olympian Gods made oaths to the waters of the Styx River. Whenever the gods wanted to make a strenuous, binding oath, they sent the goddess...

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Styx

Greek One of the eldest Oceanids, or water Nymphs, of which there were thousands, all daughters of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys. Styx, like many of the oldest Oceanids, was often counted among the Titans. She guarded the river in the Underworld (1) that carried her name, Styx. The god Pallas fell in love with Styx and together they had four children: Zelus (Zeal),...

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Stheno

(Strong) Greek One of the three Gorgons, female monsters; daughter of Ceto, an ancient sea goddess, and Phorcys; her sisters were Euryale and Medusa. Stheno and Euryale were immortal, while their sister, Medusa, was mortal. The hero Perseus was sent by Polydectes to retrieve the head of a Gorgon. Of course, he chose Medusa because she was mortal. Her sisters shared with Medusa the power...

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State Gods

Roman As the city of Rome grew into a regional power and then into the center of a vast empire, rulers and members of the Senate brought into the culture gods and goddesses to protect society. Often these deities had been honored and worshipped first in the home, but rulers saw for them roles they could play in society. Many of these deities were...

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Stata Mater

(Statua Mater; Statis Mater) Roman A goddess called upon to help protect against fire. Specifically, people placed a statue to this lesser goddess in the Roman Forum, located between the Palatine and Capitoline hills, and a central area in the ancient city. Here the goddess could protect the city from the threat of fire and other damage at night. Stata Mater also guarded a city...

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Sphinx

Greek A monster, half woman, half beast, the offspring of Echidna and Orthos. She lived near Thebes and was supposed to set impossible riddles, one of which went something like this: What goes on four feet, on two feet, and three, But the more feet it goes on, the weaker it be? The answer is a human being, who as an infant crawls on all...

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Sparta

(Lacedaemon) Greek City and capital of Laconia in the southern Peloponnesus. The ancient Spartans were famous for their cruelty to slaves and for their rigorous military training....

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Sophocles

(496–406 b.c.) Along with Aeschylus and Euripides, one of the great tragic poets of ancient Greece. Not much is known about his life. Sophocles was born at Colonus, near Athens. He died at the age of 90, having written more than 100 plays, only seven of which survive. These include Ajax, Antigone, Oedipus, and Electra, all of which are concerned with Greek mythology and are...

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Solar system

The Sun, known also as Sol, named after a Roman god, and the astronomical bodies that orbit it. In modern times, the English names for six of the planets are Roman gods and the names for two of the planets are Greek gods. (Earth is an Old English word that refers to the planet we live on.) These gods are Mercury—The Roman god of...

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