The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Athamas – Athanadas – Athanaricus – Athanas – Athanasius


tor's puns. Cicero writes to L. Papirius Paetus (ad Fam. ix. 18), Tu istic te Ateriano jure delectato: ego me hie Hirtiano. " While you are amusing yourself with the law (jus) of Aterius, let me en­ joy my pea-fowl here with the capital sauce (jits) of my friend Hirtius." [ J. T. G.]

ATHAMAS ('A0a>as), a son of Aeolus and Enarete, the daughter of Deimachus. He was thus a brother of Cretheus, Sisyphus, Salmoneus, &c. (Apollod. i. 7. § 3.) At the command of Hera, Athamas married Nephele, by whom he be­came the father of Phrixus and Helle. But he was secretly in love with the mortal Ino, the daughter of Cadmus, by whom he begot Lear-chus and Melicertes, and Nephele, on discovering that Ino had a greater hold on his affections than herself, disappeared in her anger. Misfortunes and ruin now came upon the house of Athamas, for Nephele, who had returned to the gods, demanded that Athamas should be sacrificed as an atonement to her. Ino, who hated the children of Nephele and endeavoured to destroy them, caused a fa­mine by her artifices, and when Athamas sent messengers to Delphi to consult the oracle about the means of averting famine, Ino bribed them, and the oracle they brought back declared, that Phrixus must be sacrificed. When the peo­ple demanded compliance with the oracle, Nephele rescued Phrixus and Helle upon the ram with the golden fleece, and carried them to Colchis. Atha­mas and Ino drew upon themselves the anger of Hera also, the cause of which is not the same in all accounts. (Apollod. iii. 4. § 3 ; Hygin. Fab. 2.) Athamas was seized by madness (comp. Cic. Tusc. iii. 5, in Pison. 20), and in this state he killed his own son, Learchus, and Ino threw herself with Melicertes into the sea. Athamas, as the murderer of his son, was obliged to flee from Boeotia. He consulted the oracle where he should settle. The answer was, that he should settle where he should be treated hospitably by wild beasts. After long wanderings, he at last came to a place where wolves were devouring sheep. On perceiving him, they ran away, leaving their prey behind. Atha­mas recognized the place alluded to in the oracle, settled there, and called the country Athamania, after his own name. He then married Themisto, who bore him several sons. (Apollod. i. 9. § 1, &c.; Hygin. Fab. 1-5.)

The accounts about Athamas, especially in their details, differ much in the different writers, and it seems that the Thessalian and Orchomenian tradi­ tions are here interwoven with one another. Ac­ cording to Pausanias (ix. 34. § 4), Athamas wished to sacrifice Phrixus at the foot of the Boeotian mountain Laphystius, on the altar dedicated to Zeus Laphystius, a circumstance which suggests some connexion of the mythus with the worship of Zeus Laphystius. (Muller, Orcliom. p. 161, &c.) There are two other mythical personages of this name, the one a grandson of the former, who led a colony of Minyans to Teos (Paus. vii. 3. § 3 ; Steph. Byz. s. v. Tews), and the other a son of Oenopion, the Cretan, who had emigrated to Chios. (Paus. vii. 4. § 6.) [L. S.J

ATHAMAS (5A6a,uas), a Pythagorean philoso­pher, cited by Clemens of Alexandria. (Strom. vi. p. 624, d. Paris, 1629.)

ATHANADAS ('A0az/a5as), a Greek writer, the author of a work on Ambracia ('A^u£/oa/ctKc£). (Antonin. Liber, c. 4.) [C. P. M.]



ATHANARICUS, the son of Rhotestus, was king, or according to Ammianus Marcellinus (xxvii. 5), " judex" of the West Goths during their stay in Dacia, His name became first known in a. d. 367, when the Goths were attacked by the emperor Valens, who first encamped near Daphne, a fort on the Danube, from whence, after having laid a bridge of boats over this river, he entered Dacia. The Goths retired and the emperor re­treated likewise after having performed but little. He intended a new campaign, but the swollen waters of the Danube inundated the surrounding country, and Valens took up his winter quarters at Marcianopolis in Moesia. In 369, however, he crossed the Danube a second time, at Noviodunum in Moesia Inferior, and defeated Athanaric who wished for peace, and who was invited by Valens to come to his camp. Athanaric excused himself, pretending that he had made a vow never to set his foot on the Roman territory, but he promised to the Roman ambassadors, Victor and Arinthaeus, that he would meet with the emperor in a boat on the Danube. Valens having agreed to this, peace was concluded on that river, on conditions not very heavy for the Goths, for they lost nothing ; but their commerce with Moesia and Thrace was re­stricted to two towns on the Danube. Thence probably the title " Gothicus," which Eutropius gives to Valens in the dedication of his history.

In 373, Athanaric, who belonged to the ortho­dox party, was involved in a feud with Fritigern, another "judge" of the West-Goths or Thervingi, who was an Arian, and oppressed the Catholic party. In 374, the Gothic empire was invaded by the Huns. Athanaric defended the passages of the Dnieper, but the Huns crossed this river in spite of his vigilance and defeated the Goths, whereupon Athanaric retired between the Pruth and the Danube, to a strong position which he for­tified by lines. His situation, however, was so dangerous, that the Goths sent ambassadors, among whom probably was Ulphilas, to the emperor Valens, for the purpose of obtaining dwelling places within the Roman empire. Valens received the ambassa­dors at Antioch, and promised to receive the West-Goths as " foederati." Thus the West-Goths (Thervingi) settled in Moesia, but Athanaric, faithful to his vow, refused to accompany them and retired to a stronghold in the mountains of Dacia. There he defended himself against the Huns, as well as some Gothic chiefs, who tried to dislodge him, till in 380 he was compelled to fly. Necessity urged him to forget his oath, he entered the Roman territory and retired to Constantinople, where the emperor Theodosius treated him with great kindness and all the re­spect due to his rank. He died in 381. (Amm. Marc, xxvii. 5, xxx. 3; Themistius, Orat. in Valent.; Zosimus, iv. 34, 35; Sozomen. vi. 37; Idatius, in Fastis, Syagrio et Eucherio Coss.; Eu-napius, Fragm. pp. 18, 19, ed. Paris.) [W. P.]

ATHANAS ('Aflams), a Greek historical writer, the author of a work on Sicily, quoted by Plutarch (Timol. 23, 37) and Diodorus. (xv. 94.) He is probably the same with Athanis, a writer mentioned by Athenaeus (iii. p. 98), who also wrote a work on Sicily. (Goller, de Situ, <%c. Syracusarum, p. 16.) [C. P. M.]

ATHANASIUS (sA0ai/ckrios), ST., archbishop of Alexandria, was born in that city, a few years before the close of the third century. The date of

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of