« НазадПродовжити »
passage of generations that the Greeks came to represent their greatest of the gods by the works of men's hands. (The statue of Olympian Jove by Phidias was considered the highest achievement of Grecian sculpture. It was of colossal dimensions, and, like other statues of the period, “chryselephantine "; that is, composed of ivory and gold. For the parts representing flesh were of ivory laid on a frame-work of wood, while the drapery and ornaments were of gold. The height of the figure was forty feet; the pedestal twelve feet high. The god was represented as seated on his throne. His brows were crowned with a wreath of olive ; he held in his right hand a sceptre, and in his left a statue of Victory. The throne was of cedar, adorned with gold and precious stones.
The idea which the artist essayed to embody was that of the supreme deity of the Hellenic nation, enthroned as a conqueror, in perfect majesty and repose, and ruling with a nod the subject world. Phidias informs us that the idea was suggested by Homer's lines in the first book of the Iliad :
“ Jove said, and nodded with his shadowy brows;
And all Olympus trembled at his nod.” 1 Unfortunately, our knowledge of this famous statue is confined to literary descriptions, and to copies on coins. Other representations of Jove, such as that given above, have been obtained from the wall-paintings of Herculaneum and Pompeii.
$ 34. Juno? (Hera), sister and wife of Jupiter. According to some, her name (Hera) means Splendor of Heaven, according to
1 Iliad 1 : 622-625, Earl of Derby's translation. See also the passage in Chapman's translation.
others, the Lady. Some think it approves her goddess of earth; others, goddess of the air; still others, for reasons by no means final, say that it signifies Protectress, and applies to Juno in her original function of moon-goddess, the chosen guardian of women, their aid in seasons of distress. Juno's union with Jupiter was the prototype of earthly marriages. She is the type of matronly virtues and dignity.
She was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea, but was brought up by Oceanus and Tethys, in their dwelling in the remote west beyond the sea. Without the knowledge of her parents, she was wedded to Jupiter in this garden of the gods where ambrosial rivers flowed, and where Earth sent up in honor of the rite a tree of life, heavy with apples golden like the sunset. Juno was the most worthy of the goddesses, the most queenly; bx-eyed, says Homer ;) says Hesiod, goldensandalled and golden-throned. Glorious, beyond compare, was her presence, when she had harnessed her horses, and driven forth the golden-wheeled chariot that Hebe made ready, and that the Hours set aside. Fearful, too, could be her wrath. For she was of a jealous disposition, which was not happily affected by the vagaries of her spouse ; 'and she was, moreover, prone to quarrels, self-willed, vengeful, proud, even on occasion (deceitful. Once; indeed, she conspired with 'Minerva and Neptune to bind the cloud-compeller himself. More than once she provoked him to blows; and once to worse than blows, — for her lord and master swung her aloft in the clouds, securing her wrists in golden handcuffs, and hanging anvils to her feet.
1 On the name Juno, see Commentary, $ 34.
The cities that the ox-eyed goddess favored were Argos, Sparta, and Mycenæ. To her the peacock and the cow were dear, and
many a grove and pasture rejoiced her sacred herds.
$ 35. Minerva (Athene), (the virgingoddess. She sprang from the brain of Jove, agleam with panoply of war, brandishing a spear, and with her battlecry awakening the echoes of heaven and earth. She is goddess of the lightning \that leaps like a lance from the cloud'heavy sky, and hence, probably, the name, Athene. She is goddess of the (storms and of the rushing thunder-bolt, and is, therefore, styled Pallas. She is
the goddess of the thunder-cloud, which is symbolized by her tasselled breast-plate of goat-skin, the ægis, whereon is fixed the head of Medusa, the Gorgon, that turns
to stone all beholders. She is also
sacrificed oxen and cows. The olivetree, created by her, was sacred to her, and, also, the owl, the cock, the serpent, and the crow.
i For the names, Athene and Minerva, see Commentary.
& 36. Mars (Ares), the war-god, (son of Jupiter and Juno. ) The meaning of the name, Ares, is uncertain ; the most probable
significations are the Slayer, the Avenger, the Curse. (The Roman god of war, Mars, is the bright and burning one. Homer, in the Iliad, represents Ares as the insatiable warrior of the heroic age,
who, impelled by rage and lust of violence, exults in the noise of battle, revels in the horror of carnage. Strife and slaughter are the condition of his existence. Where the fight is thickest, there he rushes in without hesitation, without question as to which side is right. In battle-array, he is resplendent, - on his head the gleaming helmet and floating plume, on his arm the leathern shield, in his hand the redoubtable spear of bronze. (Well-favored, stately, swift, unwearied, puissant,, gigantic, he is still the foe of wisdom, the scourge of mortals. Usually he fights on foot, sometimes from a chariot drawn by four horses t the offspring of the North Wind and a Fury. In the fray his sons attend him — Terror, Trembling, Panic, and Fear, - also his sister Eris, or Discord (the mother of Strife), his daughter Enyo, ruiner of cities, - and a retinue of blood-thirsty demons. As typifying the chances of war, Mars is, of course, not always successful. In the battles before Troy, Minerva and Juno bring him more than once to grief; and when he complains to Jupiter, he is snubbed as a renegade most hateful of all the gods. His loved one and mistress is the goddess of beauty herself. In her arms the warrior finds repose. Their daughter Harmonia is the ancestress of the unquiet dynasty of Thebes. The favorite land of Mars was, according to Homer, the rough, northerly Thrace. (His emblems are the spear and the burning torch ; his chosen animals are haunters of the battle-field, — the vulture and the dog.
$ 37. | Vulcan (Hephæstus), son of Jupiter and Juno, was the god of fire, especially of terrestrial fire, volcanic eruption, incendiary flame, the glow of the forge or the hearth. But as the fires of earth are derived from that of heaven, perhaps the name, Hephæstus (burning, shining, flaming), referred originally to the marvellous brilliance of the lightning. Vulcan was the blacksmith of the gods, the finest artificer in metal among them. His forge in Olympus was furnished not only with anvils and all other implements of the trade, but with automatic handmaidens of silver and gold, fashioned by Vulcan himself. Poets later than Homer assign
1 Iliad, 5:590. See also 21: 395.