Lydia Maria Child

Part 5 out of 5

signified some quality of a horse; as Leucippus, a white horse, &c.

"Describing her pompous sacrifices to Demeter." p. 64.

None but Greeks were allowed to enter the temples of this goddess.

"Urania alone confers the beauty-giving zone." p. 69.

Urania was the Heavenly Venus, who presided over the pure sentiment of
love, in distinction from Aphrodite, who presided over the sensual

"The Pleiades mourning for their lost sister." p. 74.

One of the stars in the constellation of the Pleiades is said to have
disappeared. They were fabled as seven sisters, and one lost her place
in the sky by marrying a mortal.

"More happy than the gods is he." p. 75.

Second Ode of Sappho, translated by F. Fawkes, Esq.

"He has clothed the Graces." p. 76.

Socrates was originally a sculptor. He carved a beautiful group of the
Graces; said to have been the first that were represented with clothing.

"Too frugal to buy coloured robes." p. 76.

The common people in Athens generally bought white garments, for the
economy of having them dyed when they were defaced.

"Every human being has, like Socrates, an attendant spirit." p. 89.

In the Phoedrus of Plato, Socrates is represented as saying, "When I was
about to cross the river, a demoniacal and usual sign was given me; and
whenever this takes place, it always prohibits me from accomplishing
what I was about to do. In the present instance, I seemed to hear a
voice, which would not suffer me to depart till I had made an expiation;
as if I had offended in some particular a divine nature."

"His statue stands among the Olympionicæ." p. 92.

The victors at the Olympic Games had their statues placed in the groves.
These statues were called Olympionicæ.

"Count me on the summer trees." p. 98.

Part of the 14th Ode of Anacreon.

"As soon would I league myself with Odomantians." p. 112.

The Odomantians of Thrace, near the river Strymon, had the same
grasping, avaricious character, attributed to the Jews in modern times.

"Concealed their frauds amid the flames of the Treasury." p. 113.

The Treasury in Athens was burned to the ground, by the Treasurers, who
took that method to avoid being called to account for the money they had

"That comes of having the Helots among them." p. 116.

The freemen of Sparta were forbidden the exercise of any mechanical or
laborious employment. All these duties devolved upon the Helots; while
their masters spent their time in dancing, feasting, hunting, and

"He approves the law forbidding masters to bestow freedom." p. 117.

There was a Spartan law forbidding masters to emancipate their slaves.
About two thousand, who were enfranchised by a public decree, for having
bravely defended the country during the Peloponessian war, soon after
disappeared suddenly, and were supposed to have been secretly murdered.

"Whip them, merely to remind them of bondage." p. 117.

The Helots were originally a brave people; but after they were conquered
by the Spartans, no pains were spared to render them servile and
degraded. Once a year they publicly received a severe flagellation,
merely to remind them that they were slaves. They were never allowed to
learn any liberal art, or to sing manly songs. In order to expose them
to greater contempt, they were often obliged to perform indecent dances,
and to get brutally drunk, that their master's children might learn to
despise such uncomely things.

"Things as trifling as the turning of a shell." p. 120.

This was an Athenian proverb, applied to things that were done quickly,
or changed easily.

"You must indeed wrestle at Cynosarges." p. 120.

This was a name of Hercules; and because he was illegitimate, it was
applied to a place near the Lyceum, where those of half Athenian blood,
were wont to exercise in gymnastic sports. Themistocles, being partly of
foreign extraction, induced the young Athenian nobles to go there and
wrestle with him, that the distinction might be done away.

"Festival Anthesteria." 120.

In honour of Dionysus. The best drinker was rewarded with a golden crown
and a cask of wine; and none but Athenians were allowed to enter the

"Which he inscribed Demos." p. 131.

A phrase signifying the People, or the Democracy.

"Sing their welcome to Ornithæ." p. 134,

This name was applied to a wind that blew in the spring, at the time
when the birds began to return. It was a Grecian custom for children to
go about with garlands from door to door, singing a welcome to the
swallows, and receiving trifling presents in return.

"The marble sent by Darius." p. 136.

The Persians were so confident of victory that they brought with them
marble to erect a trophy on the plains of Marathon. From this marble
Phidias sculptured a statue of Vengeance, which was called Rhamnusia.

"Filled my pillow with fresh laurel leaves." p. 143.

Phoebus was supposed to inspire dreams and prophecy; and the laurel
which was sacred to him, was supposed to be endowed with similar

"Like one returned from the cave of Trophonius." p. 147.

In this cave was a celebrated oracle. Those who entered it always
returned pale and dejected.

"Psyche bending over the sleeping Eros." p. 150.

This beautiful fable represents the union of the human soul with
immortal love. Pysche was warned that separation would be the
consequence, if she looked on the countenance of her divine lover. She
gazed on his features as he slept; and was left to sorrow alone.

"Even the Diasia are no longer observed." p. 154.

Festivals in honour of Zeus, because he delivered men from misfortunes
and dangers.

"When the Muses and the Charities inhabit the same temple." p. 160.

Among the Greeks, the Graces were called the Charities. It was a
beautiful idea thus to deify the moral, rather than the outward graces;
and to represent innocent and loving nymphs, forever hand in hand,
presiding over kind and gentle actions. The Graces were often worshipped
in the same temple with the Muses.

"Olive garlands suspended on the doors." p. 185.

This was a common practice during the festival of Thargelia, in honour
of Phoebus.

"Gently touched the back part of his head with a small wand." p. 202.

That the phenomena of animal magnetism were not entirely unknown to the
ancients, appears by what Clearchus relates of an experiment tried in
the presence of Aristotle. He speaks of a man who, by means of "a
soul-attracting wand," let the soul out of a sleeping lad, and left the
body insensible. When the soul was again led into the body, it related
all that had happened to it.

"The laws of the country made it impossible to accompany her beloved
husband." p. 206.

No woman was allowed to enter Olympia, during the celebration of the

"Deemed he had fallen by the dart of Phoebus Apollo." p. 208.

Those who died very suddenly were supposed to have been struck with the
arrows of Phoebus, or his sister.

"Its best pleasures are like the gardens of Adonis." p. 213.

When the annual procession formed to mourn the death of Adonis, earth
was placed in shells, and lettuce planted in it, in commemoration of
Adonis laid out on a bed of lettuces. These shells were called the
Gardens of Adonis. Their freshness soon withered, on account of the
shallowness of the earth.

"Rather gain one prize from the Choragus than ten from the Gymnasiarch."
p. 219.

The first presided over musical and literary competition; the last over
athletic games.

"The statue of Persephone, (that ominous bridal gift.)" p. 226.

While Persephone was gathering flowers, she was seized by Pluto, and
carried to the regions of the dead, over which she presided. Hence the
hair of the deceased was consecrated to her, and her name invoked at

"Milza sneezed aloud." p. 227.

This was considered a lucky omen; particularly if the sound came from
the direction of the right hand.

"He will trust to Hermes to help him." p. 239.

Hermes was the god of lies and fraud.

"Have I told you all my flames." p. 241.

Part of the 14th ode of Anacreon.

"Threatened to appeal to the magistrates for another master." p. 250.

The Athenian slave laws were much more mild than modern codes. If a
servant complained of being abused, his master had no power to retain

"Build the wall of Hipparchus." p. 251.

A wall built round the Academia by Hipparchus was so expensive that it
became a proverb applied to all costly undertakings.

"One of the slaves whose modesty Alcibiades had insulted." p. 251.

Slaves that were either personally abused, or insulted, took refuge in
the Temple of Theseus, and could not be compelled to return to those of
whom they complained.

"These brooks are Creüsa's tears." p. 253.

Ion was the son of Phoebus and Creüsa. His mother, to avoid her father's
displeasure, concealed the birth of the infant, and hid him in the
grotto, which afterwards bore her name. The child was preserved, and
brought up in the temple of Phoebus.

"She does not speak like one brought up at the gates." p. 254.

The lower classes of tradesmen were generally placed near the gates.

"One of the illustrious Pasargadæ." p. 280.

These were the noblest families in Persia.

* * * * *

In some unimportant matters, I have not adhered strictly to dates;
deeming this an allowable freedom in a work so purely romantic, relating
to times so ancient.

I am aware that the Christian spirit is sometimes infused into a Grecian
form; and in nothing is this more conspicuous than the representation of
love as a pure sentiment rather than a gross passion.

Greek names for the deities were used in preference to the Roman,
because the latter have become familiarized by common and vulgar use.

If there be errors in the application of Greek names and phrases, my
excuse must be an entire want of knowledge in the classic languages.
But, like the ignoramus in the Old Drama, I can boast, "Though I _speak_
no Greek, I love the _sound_ on't."


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