The Ancient Library

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On this page: Cephissus – Cephren – Cer – Cerameus – Cerberus – Cercidas


with one of the wives of Euripides, whose enmity to the sex has sometimes been ascribed to this cause. But the story is more than suspicious from the absence of any mention of it in Aristophanes, unless, indeed, as some have thought, it be alluded to in the Frogs (1044). We can hardly suppose, however, that the comic poet would have denied himself the pleasure of a more distinct notice of the tale, had it been really true, especially in the Tliesmophoriazusae and the Frogs. (Comp. Har- tung, Eurip. restitutus, i. p. 164, &c., and the pas­ sages there referred to.) [E. E.]

CEPHISSUS (KTjcpioWs), the divinity of the river Cephissus, is described as a son of Pontus and Thalassa, and the father of Diogeneia and Narcissus, who is therefore called Cephisius. (Hy-gin. Fab. Praef.; Apollod. iii. 5. § 1 ; Ov. Met. iii. 343, &c.) He had an altar in common with Pan, the Nyrnphs, and Achelous, in the temple of Amphiaraus near Oropus. (Paus. i. 34. § 2.) [L. S.]

CEPHREN (Ke<pp»7i/) is the name, according to Diodorus, of the Egyptian king whom Herodotus calls Chephren. He was the brother and successor of Cheops, whose example of tyranny he followed, and built the second pyramid, smaller than that of Cheops, by the compulsory labour of his subjects. His reign is said to have lasted 56 years. The pyramids, as Diodorus tells us, were meant for the tombs of the royal builders ; but the people, groan­ ing under their yoke, threatened to tear up the bodies, and therefore both the kings successively desired their friends to bury them elsewhere in an unmarked grave. In Herodotus it is said that the Egyptians so hated the memory of these brothers, that they called the pyramids, not by their names, but by that of Philition, a shepherd who at that time fed his flocks near the place. We are told by Diodorus that, according to some accounts, Chembes (the Cheops of Herodotus) was succeeded by his son Chabryis, which name is per­ haps only another form of Cephren. In the letter in which Synesius, bishop of the African Ptolemais, announces to his brother bishops his sentence of excommunication against Andronicus, the president of Libya, Cephren is classed, as an instance of an atrocious tvrant, with Phalaris and Sennacherib. (Herod. ii."l27, 128; Diod. i. 64; Synes. Epist. •58.) f > [E. E.]

CER (Krjp), the personified necessity of death (K?fp or Kijpes &avd.Toid). The passages in the Homeric poems in which the K?Jp or KTjpes appear as real personifications, are not very numerous (//. ii. 302, iii. 454, xviii. 535), and in most cases the word may be taken as a common noun. The plural form seems to allude to the various modes of dying which Homer (//. xii. 326) pronounces to be fj.vpiaij and may be a natural, sudden, or violent death. (Od. xi. 171, &c., 398, &c.) The Krjpes are described as formidable, dark, and hateful, because they carry off men to the joyless house of Hades. (II. ii. 859, iii. 454; Od. iii. 410, xiv. 207.) The K?7pes, although no living being can escape them, have yet no absolute power over the life of men: they are under Zeus and the gods, who can stop them in their course or hurry them on. (II. xii. 402, xviii. 115, iv. 11 ; Od. xi. 397.) Even mortals themselves may for a time prevent their attaining their object, or delay it by flight and the like. (II. iii. 32, xvi. 47.) During a battle the Kijpes wander about with Eris and Cy-doimos in bloody garments, quarrelling about the



wounded and the dead, and dragging them away by the feet. (//. xviii. 535, &c.) According to He- siod, with whom the Krjpes assume a more definite form, they are the daughters of Nyx and sisters of the Moerae, and punish men for their crimes. (Theog. 211, 217 ; Paus. v. 19. § 1.) Their fear­ ful appearance in battle is described by Hesiod. (Scut. Here. 249, &c.) They are mentioned by later writers together with the Erinnyes as the goddesses who avenge the crimes of men. (Aesch. Sept. 1055 ; comp. Apollon. Rhod. iv. 1665, &c.) Epidemic diseases are sometimes personified as KTjpes. (Orph. Hymn. xiii. 12, Ixvi. 4, Lith. vii. 6 ; Eustath. ad Horn. p. 847.) [L. S.]

CERAMEUS, THEO'PHANES (0eo</>c^s Kepctyieus), archbishop of Tauromenium in Sicily during the reign of Roger (a. d. 1129—1152), was a native of this town or of a place in its immediate vicinity. He wrote in Greek a great number of homilies, which are said to be superior to the majority of similar productions of his age. Sixty-two of these homilies were published by Franciscus Scorsus at Paris, 1644, fol., with a Latin version and notes. There are still many more extant in manuscript. (Fabric. Bibl. Graec. xi. p. 208, &c.)

CERBERUS (Ke'pgepos), the many-headed dog that guarded the entrance of Hades, is mentioned as early as the Homeric poems, but simply as " the dog," and without the name of Cerberus. (77. viii. 368, Od. xi. 623.) Hesiod, who is the first that gives his name and origin, calls him (Theog. 311) fifty-headed and a son of Typhaon and Echidna. Later writers describe him as a monster with only three heads, with the tail of a serpent and a mane consisting of the heads of various snakes. (Apol­ lod. ii. 5. § 12; Eurip. Here* fur. 24, 611; Virg. Aen. vi. 417 ; Ov. Met. iv. 449.) Some poets again call him many-headed or hundred-headed. (Horat. Carm. ii. 13. 34; Tzetz. ad LycopJi. 678 ; Senec. Here. fur. 784.) The place where Cerberus kept watch was according to some at the mouth of the Acheron, and according to others at the gates of Hades, into which he admitted the shades, but never let them out again. [L. S.]

CERCIDAS (Kep/a5as). 1. A poet, philoso­pher, and legislator for his native city, Megalopolis. He was a disciple of Diogenes, whose death he re­corded in some Meliambic lines. (Diog. Laert. vi. 76.) He is mentioned and cited by Athenaeus (viii. p. 347, e., xii. 554, d.) and Stobaeus (iv. 43, Iviii. 10). At his death he ordered the first and second books of the Iliad to be buried with him. (Ptol. Hephaest. ap. Phot. Cod. 190, p. 15J, a., 14, ed. Bekker.) Aelian (V. H. xiii. 20) re­lates that Cercidas died expressing his hope of being with Pythagoras of the philosophers, Hecataeus of the historians, Olympus of the musicians, and Homer of the poets, which clearly implies that he himself cultivated these four sciences. He appears to be the same person as Cercidas the Arcadian, who is mentioned lay Demosthenes among those Greeks, who, by their cowardice and corruption, enslaved their states to Philip. (De Coron. p. 324; see the reply of Polybius to this accusation, xvii. 14.)

2. A Megalopolitan, who was employed by Aratus in an embassy to Antigonus Doson to treat of an alliance, b. c. 224. He returned home after he had succeeded in his mission, and he afterwards commanded a thousand Megalopolitans in the army which Antigonus led into Laconia, b. c. 222, (Polyb.

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