The Ancient Library

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On this page: Alpheus Mytilenaeus – Alphius Avitus – Alpinus – Alpinus Montanus – Althaea – Althemenes – Althepus Caa – Alyattes



343; Senec. Quacst. Nat. iii. 26; Fulgent. Myth. iii. 12.) Plutarch (de Fluv. 19) gives an account which is altogether unconnected with those men­ tioned above. According to him, Alpheius was a son of Helios, and killed his brother Cercaphus in a contest. Haunted by despair and the Erinnyes he leapt into the river Nyctimus which hence re­ ceived the name Alpheius. [L. S.] ALPHE'NOR. [NioBE.] ALPHE'NUS VARUS. [varus.] ALPHESIBOEA ('AA^eo-tgota). 1. The mo­ ther of Adonis. [adonis.]

2. A daughter of Phegeus, who married Alc-maeon. [alcmaeon.]

3. According to Theocritus (iii. 45) a daughter of Bias, and the wife of Pelias. The latter, how­ever, is usually called Anaxibia.

4. An Indian nymph, who was passionately loved by Dionysus, but could not be induced to yield to his wishes, until the god changed himself into a tiger, and thus compelled her by fear to allow him to carry her across the river Sollax, which from this circumstance received the name of Tigris. (Plut. de Fluv. 24.) [L. S.]

ALPHEUS MYTILENAEUS ('AA(/>efos My- TiXrivcuos)^ the author of about twelve epigrams in the Greek Anthology, some of which seem to point out the time when he wrote. In the seventh epigram (Jacobs) he refers to the state of the Ro­ man empire, as embracing almost all the known world ; in the ninth he speaks of the restored and flourishing city of Troy ; and in the tenth he al­ ludes to an epigram by Antipater Sidonius. Now Antipater lived under Augustus, and Troy had re­ ceived great favours from Julius Caesar and Au­ gustus. (Strab. xiii. p. 889.) Hence it is not improbable that Alpheus wrote under Augustus. Tt is true that in the fourth epigram he addresses a certain Macrinus, but there is no reason to sup­ pose that this was the emperor Macrinus. Ano­ ther difficulty has been started, on the ground that the eleventh epigram was inscribed, as we learn from Pausanias (viii. 52. § 3), on the statue of Philopoemen in Tegea, and that it is very impro­ bable that such a statue should have stood without an inscription till the time of Alpheus. But the simple fact is, that no reason can be discovered for attributing this epigram to Alpheus. (Jacobs, An- thol. Grace, xiii. p. 839.) [P. S.]


ALPINUS, a name which Horace (Sat. i. 10. 36) gives in ridicule to a bombastic poet. He pro­bably means M. Furius Bibaculus. [bibaculus.]

ALPINUS MONTANUS, one of the Treviri, the most powerful of the Belgic people, and the commander of a cohort in the army of Vitellius, was sent into Germany after the battle of Cremona, A. d. 70. Together with his brother, D. Alpinus, he joined Civilis in the next year. (Tac. Hist. iii. 35, iv. 31, v. 59.) [civilis.]

ALTHAEA ('AAflata), a daughter of the Aeto-lian king Thestius and Eurythemis, and sister of Lecla, Hypermnestra, Iphiclus, Euippus, &c. She was married to Oeneus, king of Calydon, by whom she became the mother of Troxeus, Thyreus, Cly-menus, and Meleager, and of two daughters, Gorge and Dei'aneira. (Apollod. i. 7. § 10, 8. § 1.) Apollodorus states, that according to some, Mele­ager was regarded as the fruit of her intercourse with Ares, and that she was mother of Dei'­aneira by Dionysus. (Comp. Hygin. Fab. 129,


171, 174.) Althaea, is especially celebrated in ancient story on account of the tragic fate of her son Meleager, who also became the cause of her death. Some say that she hung herself, others that she killed herself with a dagger. (Apollod. i. 8. § 3 ; Ov. Met. viii. 445, &c.) [L. S.]

ALTHEMENES or ALTHAE'MENES ('AA- 6-rjfj.€vr)s or 'AA^aijut^s), a son of Catreus, king of Crete. In consequence of an oracle, that Catreus would lose his life by one of his children, Althe- menes quitted Crete together with his sister Ane- mosyne, in order to avoid becoming the instrument of his father's death. He landed in Rhodes at a place which he called Cretenia, and in remembrance of the god of his own native island, he erected on mount Atabyrus an altar to Zeus Atabyrius. His sister was seduced in Rhodes by Hermes, but Althemenes, disbelieving her account, killed her by kicking her with his foot. When Catreus had become advanced in years, he had an invincible desire to see his only son once more, and to place his crown in his hands. He accordingly sailed to Rhodes. On his landing there, he and his com­ panions were attacked by shepherds, who mistook them for pirates. During the ensuing struggle, Althemenes came to the protection of his subjects, and shot his own father dead. When he became aware of what he had done, he prayed to the gods, and was swallowed up by the earth. This is the account of Apollodorus (iii. 2. § 1, &c.), with which Diodorus (v. 59) agrees in the main points, except that he represents Althemenes as wander­ ing about after the murder, and at last dying with grief. He adds, that the Rhodians subsequently worshipped him as a hero. [L. S.]

ALTHEPUS CAA^Tros), a son of Poseidon and LeYs, a daughter of Orus, king of Troezen. The territory of Troezen was called after him Althepia. In his reign Pallas and Poseidon dis­ puted the possession of the country with each other. (Paus. ii. 30. § 6.) [L. S.J

ALYATTES ('AAuaTTTjs), king of Lydia, suc­ceeded his father Sadyattes, b. c. 618. Sadyattes during the last six years of his reign had been en­gaged in a war with Miletus, which was continued by his son five years longer. In the last of these years Alyattes burnt a temple of Athena, and fall ing sick shortly afterwards, he sent to Delphi for advice ; but the oracle refused to give him an an­swer till he had rebuilt the temple. This he did, and recovered in consequence, and made peace with Miletus. He subsequently carried on war with Cyaxares, king of Media, drove the Cimmerians out of Asia, took Smyrna, and attacked Clazomenae. The war with Cyaxares, which lasted for five years, from b. c. 590 to 585, arose in consequence of Alyattes receiving under his protection some Scy­thians who had fled to him after injuring Cyaxares. An eclipse of the sun, which happened while the armies of the two kings were fighting, led to a peace between them, and this was cemented by the marriage of Astyages,the son of Cyaxares, with Aryenis, the daughter of Alyattes. Alyattes died b. c. 561 or 560, after a reign of fifty-seven years, and was succeeded by his son Croesus, who appears to have been previously associated with his father in the government. (Herod, i. 16-22, 25, 73, 74.)

The tomb (o-^ua) of Alyattes is mentioned by Herodotus (i. 93) as one of the wonders of Lydia. It was north of Sardis, near the lake Gygaea, and consisted of a large mound of earth, raised upon a

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