The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Peneius – Penelope – Pkneleos


hence the expression of Varro, that the number and names of the Penates were indefinite (ap. Arnob, iii. 40 ; Macrob. I.e.; Isid. Orig. viii. 11). This statement of a great antiquarian might have deterred any one from entering upon any further investigation ; but some have nevertheless ven­tured upon the wide field of speculation, and con­jectured that the Penates were Neptune and Apollo, because these divinities had surrounded Troy with walls. According to this view the Pe­nates were the sacred relics that were believed to have been brought from Troy to Italy (Arnob. iii. 40 ; Macrob. I. c.} According to an Etruscan opinion the Penates were four in number, or divided into four classes, viz. Jupiter and his suite, Neptune and his train, and the gods of the upper and lower worlds ; but this opinion is certainly based upon a view of the Penates which is different from that entertained by the Romans. Others again believed that the Penates were those divinities who were the representatives of the vital principle in man and nature, that is, Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, to , whom Tarquinius built a common temple on the Capitol ; and as Tarquinius was believed to have been initiated in the Samothracian mysteries, the Penates were identified with the great gods of Samothrace. This was accounted for by the sup­position that the Trojan Penates who had been brought to Italy, had been introduced at Troy from Samothrace. (Dionys. i. 68.; Serv. ad Aen. ii. 325, iii. 148; Macrob. I.e.) But all these opinions and conjectures are of little value. The public Penates of the city of Rome had a chapel somewhere about the centre of the city, in a place called sub Velia. They were represented as two youths with lances in their hands, and similar images of them existed in many other sanctuaries. (Dionys. i. 68 ; Liv. xlv. 16.) Lavinium, the cen­tral point of Latiam, too, had the Penates, who had been brought by Aeneas from Troy (Varr. De L. L. v. 144 ; Dionys. i. 67), and every Roman consul, dictator, and praetor, immediately after entering upon his office, was bound to offer up a sacrifice to the Penates and Vesta at Lanu-vium. (Macrob. Sat. iii. 4.)

As the public Lares were worshipped in the central part of the city or country, and at the public hearth, so the private Penates had their place at the hearth of every house; but not only the hearth was sacred to them, but the table also. On the hearth a perpetual fire was kept up in their honour, and the table al­ways contained the salt-cellar and the firstlings of fruit for these divinities. (Plut. Sympos. vii. 4 ; Arnob. ii. 67 ; Liv. xxvi. 36; Val. Max. iv. 4. § 3; Cic. De'Fin. ii. 7.) Every meal that was taken in the house thus resembled a sacrifice offered to the Penates, beginning with a purifica­tion and ending with a libation which was poured either on the table or upon the hearth. After every absence from the hearth, the Penates were saluted like the living inhabitants of the house; and whoever went abroad prayed to the Penates and Lares for a happy return, and when he came back to his house, he hung up his armour, staff, and the like by the side of their images (Terent. Phorm. ii. 1. 81 ; Plaut. Stick, iv. 1. 29 ; Ov. Trist. i. 3. 41, iv. 8. 21), and on the whole, there was no event occurring in a family, whether sad or joyful, in which people did not pray to the Lares and Penates. (Comp. Hartung,



Die Relig. der Rom. vol. i. p. 71, &c.; Klausen, Aeneas und die Penaten, p. 620, &c.) [L. S.j

PENEIUS (Itywefe), also called Peneus, a Thessalian river god, and a son of Oceanus and Tethys. (Hes. Theog. 343; Horn. //. ii. 757 ; Ov. Met. i. 568, &c.) By the Naiad Creusa he be­ came the father of Hypseus, Stilbe, and Daphne. (Diod. i. 69; Ov. Am. iii. 6. 31 ; Hygin. Fab. 203 ; Serv. ad Aeh. i. 93; Ov. Met. iv. 452; Pind. Pytli. ix. 26, where the Scholiast, instead of Creusa, mentions Phillyra, the daughter of Asopus.) Cy- rene also is called by some his wife, and by others his daughter, and hence Peneius is called the ge- nitor of Aristaeus. (Hygin. Fab. 161 ; Virg. Georg. iv. 355.) [L. S.]

PKNELEOS (Ilrji/e'Aews), son of Hippalcmus and Asterope, and one of the Argonauts. He was the father of Opheltes, and is also mentioned among the suitors of Helen. (Apollod. i. 9. § 16, iii. 10. § 8, where he is erroneously called a son of Lei'tus ; Diod. iv. 67; Paus. ix. 5. § 8 ; Hygin. Fab. 97 ; Plut. Quaest. Gr. 37.) He was one of the leaders of the Boeotians in the war against Troy, where he slew Ilioneus and Lycon, and was wounded by Polydamas. (Horn. II. ii. 494, xiv. 487, &c. xvi. 341, xvii. 597, &c.; comp. Virg. Aen. ii. 425.) He is said to have been slain by Eurypylus, the son of Telephus. (Paus. ix. 5. § 8; Diet. Cret. iv. 17.) [L.S.]

PENELOPE (rtyveAoTnj, ITereXoTrTj, IlTjveAo-Treta), a daughter of Icarius and Periboea of Sparta (Horn. Od. i. 329 ; Apollod. iii. 10. § 6 ; comp. icarius.) According to Didymus, Penelope was originally called Ameirace, Arnacia, or Ar-naea, and Nauplius or her own parents are said to have cast her into the sea (Tzetz. ad Lye. 792), where she was fed by sea-birds (Trrji/eAoTres) from which she derived her name. (Eustath. ad Horn. p. 1422.) She was married to Odysseus, king of Ithaca, by whom she had an only child, Telema-chus, who was yet an infant at the time when her husband went with the Greeks to Troy. (Od. xi. 447, xxi. 158.) During the long absence of Odys­seus, she was beleaguered by numerous and im­portunate suitors, whom she deceived by declaring that she must finish a large shroud which she was making for Laertes, her aged father-in-law, before she should make up her mind. During the day time she accordingly worked at the shroud, and in the night she undid the work of the day. (Od. xix. 149, &c., comp. ii. 121 ; Propert. ii. 9. 5.) By this means she succeeded in putting off the suitors. But at length her stratagem was betrayed by her servants ; and when, in consequence, the faithful Penelope, who was pining and longing for her husband's return, was pressed more and more by the impatient suitors, Od}rsseus at length arrived in Ithaca, and as she recognised him by several signs, she heartily welcomed him, and the days of her grief and sorrow were at an end. (Od. xvii. 103, xxiii. 205, xxiv. 192; Eurip. Orest. 588, &c.; Ov. Heroid. i. 83; Trist. v. 14; Propert. iii. 12. 23, &c.; comp. icarius and odysseus.) While the Homeric tradition describes Penelope as a most chaste and faithful wife, later writers charge her with the very opposite vices, and relate that by Hermes or by all the suitors together she be­came the mother of Pan. (Lycoph. 772 ; Schol. ad Herod, ii. 145 ; Cic. De Nat. Deor. iii. 22 ; comp. pan.) Odysseus on his return for this reason repudiated her, whereupon she went to

n 4

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