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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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Epidaurus

Greek A city in southern Greece (northeastern Peloponnesus) celebrated in ancient times as the sanctuary of Asclepius, god of medicine and healing. Epidaurus is also famous for its magnificent theater, dating from the fourth century b.c....

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Ephesus

Greek An ancient Greek city of Asia Minor (today, Turkey, south of Izmir). Once a wealthy seaport, Ephesus was the site of a temple to the goddess Artemis (Roman Diana); the temple was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World....

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Epaphus

Greek The son of the god Zeus and Io. Epaphus was born in Egypt. Hera, wife of Zeus, was jealous of Io and tormented her endlessly until Io, in the shape of a young white cow, eventually escaped to Egypt, where Zeus restored her to her human shape. There, Io bore her son. Hera, still jealous, ordered the Curetes to kidnap Epaphus. This...

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Eos

(Dawn) Greek The goddess of dawn. She was the daughter of Helios (Sun), or, some accounts say, the sister of Helios and Selene (Moon), begotten by the Titans, Hyperion and Theia. The Romans called her Aurora. Eos was married to Tithonus, but she had many other lovers. Eos is depicted as a beautiful young woman, sometimes riding the dawn skies on the winged horse,...

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Enyo

Enyo (1) Greek A goddess of war, specifically known for sacking cities and towns of the enemy; daughter of Zeus and Hera; depicted as the sister, daughter, or mother of the war god Ares, often included as a companion of Ares when he went into battle. Enyo was most known for her terrifying war cry and was portrayed carrying a lance and torch with which she...

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Endymion

Greek According to various sources, the son of Zeus and Calyce or the shepherd son of Aethlius; prince or king of Elis, a region of the Peloponnesus; he was a beautiful young man, loved by Selene (Moon). In one myth, Endymion begged Zeus to give him immortality so that he could be with Selene forever. Zeus granted his request with the condition that he remain...

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Elysium

Greek A conception of afterlife, the pre-Hellenic paradise that the Greeks identified with their mythical Islands of the Blessed, located at the ends of the Earth—"the far west." People, or their shades, who were transported there led a blessedly happy life rather than remaining in the oblivion of the truly dead of the Underworld. Rhadamanthus and Cronus were joint rulers of this paradise. In Homer,...

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Eleusis

Ancient city in Attica, in ancient Greece, famous for being the site of the Eleusian Mysteries (see Demeter and the Eleusinian Mysteries, under Demeter)....

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Electra

(1) Greek Daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra; sister of Iphigenia and Orestes. Agamemnon was the leader of the Achaean (Greek) forces in the Trojan War. While her husband was gone to war, Clytemnestra took a lover, Aegisthus. When Agamemnon finally returned, he brought with him the lovely Cassandra. Aided by Aegisthus, Clytemnestra murdered both Agamemnon and Cassandra. To avenge their father's death, Electra and Orestes murdered...

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Eileithya

(Ilithya) Greek Goddess of childbirth. Daughter of Hera and Zeus. Eileithya is met in accounts of the births of Heracles and of Leto's delivery of her divine twins, Apollo and Artemis. Eileithya is probably a pre-Olympian goddess whose function was to take care of women in childbirth. She was sometimes identified with Hera, sometimes with Artemis....

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Egeria

(Aegeria) Roman A goddess of springs, perhaps originally a goddess of the Babine people; also considered a deity that protected pregnant women and helped them bring their babies safely into the world. Egeria had the gift of prophecy. She was later considered by the Romans as one of the water Nymphs known as the Camenae. Followers paid tribute to Egeria at a site near...

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Echo

Greek An Oread, or mountain Nymph, daughter of Gaia. The goddess Hera, in a fit of jealousy, deprived her of speech, except for the ability to repeat the last words spoken by somebody else. Echo fell in love with Narcissus, but Narcissus loved only his own reflection. Echo faded away until there was nothing left of her except her voice, which may still be...

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Earth Mother

A symbol in many ancient myth systems of the Earth, the source of all life and the power to create life. In Greek mythology, Gaia was the personification of the Earth Mother. She was born out of Chaos and herself gave birth to the races of gods, giants, monsters, and other creatures. Several Roman goddesses have elements of the Earth Mother in their characteristics....

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Dryads

(Nymphs; Tree) Greek The lives of some were entwined with specific trees; they lived and died with that tree. Others were connected with groves of trees or specific types of trees. The main categories of Dryads are: • The Meliai, Nymphs of the ash tree. They were born from the drops of blood from Uranus which Gaia caused to spill on the Earth after Cronus...

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Doris

(Bounty) Greek An Oceanid, or ocean Nymph; one of the eldest daughters of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys; herself considered a secondgeneration Titan. Doris, as a sea nymph, married the Titan sea god Nereus and with him was the mother of the group of sea nymphs known as the Nereids. Doris was sometimes associated with the bountiful fishing grounds commonly found at the mouths of...

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Dodona

Greek The oldest and most famous sanctuary of the god Zeus, situated in Epirus, in northwestern Greece. Since the times of the Pelasgians, the most ancient peoples of the land that is now called Greece, people had come here to consult the Oracle who was said to live in a sacred oak tree (some said it was a beech tree) and to represent...

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Le XVIIe siècle en littérature

  1607-1633 L'Astrée D'Urfé 1621 Œuvres De Viau 1633 La Galerie du Palais Corneille 1636 L'Illusion comique Corneille 1636 Le Cid Corneille 1640 Horace Corneille 1640 Cinna Corneille 1642 Œuvres Saint-Amand 1642 Le Page disgracié L'Hermite 1643 Polyeucte Corneille 1644 Rodogune Corneille 1650 L'Autre Monde Cyrano de Bergerac 1656-1657 Les Provinciales Pascal 1659 Les Précieuses ridicules Molière 1662 L'Ecole...

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Bernard Le Bouvier de Fontenelle

  Fils d'un avocat au parlement de Rouen et neveu de Pierre Corneille, Bernard Le Bouvier de Fontenelle fait ses études chez les jésuites. Il fréquente les salons et se fait connaître comme bel esprit. Il compose des vers, des pièces de théâtre. Mais il s'intéresse aussi à la science et il vulgarise les connaissances...

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Pierre Bayle

Né près de Foix, d'une famille protestante, Pierre Bayle fait ses études dans un collège protestant. En 1669, il se convertit au catholicisme, mais revient à sa première religion en 1670 malgré les risques encourus.    Il se réfugie alors à Genève et devient professeur de philosophie à Sedan, puis à Rotterdam. C'est alors...

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Les Caractères

« Si on ne goûte point ces Caractères, je m'en étonne ; et si on les goûte, je m'en étonne de même. «    Auteur : Jean de La Bruyère Date : 1688-1696    Genre : Recueil de maximes et de portraits, en prose, organisé en chapitres thématiques.    Composition : La première édition du livre...

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Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

&eac   Né à Dijon, Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet est le fils d'un conseiller au Parlement. Après des études chez les jésuites, il est ordonné prêtre et devient chanoine de Metz. Très pieux, il se consacre à son sacerdoce. Il prononce ses premiers sermons, mais il a encore une manière un peu ampoulée. En 1659, il s'installe à...

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