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On this page: Seleucus – Selfcius – Selinus – Selius – Semele – Semframis

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SEMELE.

the inhabitants by his violent and tyrannical cha­racter, and at length, by his oppressive exactions of mone\', excited such a sedition among them that they set fire to the gymnasium in which he had taken refuge, and he perished in the flames, or, according to another account, put an end to his own life, in order to avoid a more cruel fate (Joseph. Ant. xiii. 13. § 4 ; Appian, Syr. 69 ; Porphyr. ap. Euseb. Arm. p. 169). The death of Seleucus may probably be assigned to the year b. c. 94.

His coins, like those of all the later Seleucidan kings, bear his titles at full length. [E. H. B.]

SELEUCUS (Se'Aeu/cos), literary. 1. A poet, the son of the historian Mnesiptolemus, who flou­rished under Antiochus the Great. A paederastic scolion of his is preserved by Athenaeus (who calls him tov r£v i\a.pcav ^(T^druv iroirjT'rjv), and also in the Greek Anthology. (Athen. xv. p. 697, d. ; Brunck, Anal. vol. ii. p. 291 ; Jacobs, Antlt. Graec. vol. iii. p. 5, vol. xiii. p. 951.)

2. A grammarian of Emesa, who composed two books of Parthian history, a commentary on the lyric poets, and a poem on fishing (aAiein-i/ca), in four books (Suid. s. v.). Athenaeus, however, quotes the latter as the work of Seleucus of Tarsus (vii. p. 320, a.).

3. A distinguished grammarian of Alexandria, who also taught at Rome. He was surnamed Ho- inericus, and, in addition to commentaries on pretty well all the poets, wrote a number of grammatical and miscellaneous works, the titles of which are given by Suidas (s. v.). There are some other in­ significant persons of this name. (See Vossius, de Hist. Graec. p. 496, ed. Westermann ; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. i. pp. 86, 184, n., 522, vol. ii. p. 27, vol. iv. p. 10'6, vol. v. p. 107, vol. vi. p. 378.) [P. S.]

SELEUCUS, an engraver of precious stones, of unknown date, one of whose gems is extant ; it is a carnelian, engraved with a small head of Silenus. (Bracci, 104 ; Stosch, 60.) [P. S.]

SELFCIUS, an usurer, and a friend of P. Len-tulus Spinther (Cic. ad Ait. i. 12, iv. 18. § 3, ad Fain. i. 5, a.). Orelli thinks (Onom. TulL s. v.) that Selicius may perhaps be the same name as the Secilius (2?j/aAios) mentioned in Dion Cassius (xxxv. 3), but this Secilius is called Sextilius in Plutarch. (Lucull. 25.)

SELINUS (2eAii/oOs), a son of Poseidon, was king of Aegialos and father of Helice. (Pans. vii. 1. § 2 ; Eustath. ad Horn. p. 292.) [L. S.]

SELIUS. 1, 2. P. and C. selii, two learned men, friends of L. Lucullus, who had heard Philon at Rome. (Cic. Acad. ii. 4.)

3. selius, a bad orator mentioned by Cicero about b. c. 51 (ad Fam. vii. 32).

A. SE'LLIUS, elected tribune of the plebs in his absence in b. c. 422. (Liv. iv. 42.)

SEMELE (^e'AT?), a daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia, at Thebes, and accordingly a sister of Ino, Agave, Autonoe, and Polydorus. She was beloved by Zeus (Horn. 11. xiv. 323, Hymn, in Bacch. 6, 57 ; Schol. ad Pind. Ol. ii. 40), and Hera, stimulated by jealousy, appeared to her in the form of her aged nurse Beroe, and induced her to pray Zeus to visit her in the same splendour and majesty with which he appeared to Hera. Zeus, who had promised that he would grant her every request, did as she desired. He appeared to her as the god of thunder, and Semele was consumed by tile fire of lightning ; but Zeus saved her child

SEMIRAMIS.

Dionysus, with whom she was pregnant (Apollod, iii. 4. § 3 ; Ov. Met. iii. 260, &c.; Hygin. Fab. 179). Pausanias (ix. 2. § 3) relates that Actaeon was in love with her, and that Artemis caused him to be torn to pieces by his dogs, to prevent his marrying her. The inhabitants of Brasiae, in La-conia, related that Semele, after having given birth to Dionysus, was thrown by her father Cadmus iri a boat upon the sea, and that her body was driven to the coast of Brasiae, where it was buried ; whereas Dionysus, whose life was saved, was brought up at Brasiae (Pans. iii. 24. § 3). After her death, the common account continues, she was led by her son out of the lower world, and carried up to Olympus as Thy one (Pind. Ol. ii. 44, Pytli. xi. 1 ; Paus. ii. 31. §*2, 37. § 5 ; Apollod. iii. 5. § 3). A statue of her and her tomb were shown at Thebes. (Paus. ix. 12. § 3, 16. § 4.) [L. S.]

SEMFRAMIS (^ipapis) and NINUS (N?-vos), the mythical founders of the Assyrian em­pire of Ninus or Nineveh. Their history is related at length by Diodorus (ii. 1—20), who borrows his account from Ctesias. According to this narrative, Ninus was a great warrior, whc built the town of Ninus or Nineveh, about b. c. 2182 [see above, p. 712, a.], and subdued the greater part of Asia. Semiramis was the daughter of the fish-goddess Derceto of Ascalon in Syria, and was the fruit of her love with a Syrian youth ; but being ashamed of her frailty, she made away with the youth, and exposed her infant daughter. But the child was miraculously preserved by doves, who fed her till she was discovered by the shep­herds of the neighbourhood. She was then brought up by the chief shepherd of the royal herds, whose name was Simmas, and from whom she derived the name of Semiramis. Her surpassing beauty attracted the notice of Onnes, one of the king's friends and generals, who married her. He subse­quently sent for his wife to the army, where the Assyrians were engaged in the siege of Bactra, which they had long endeavoured in vain to take. Upon her arrival in the camp, she planned an at­tack upon the citadel of the town, mounted the walls with a few brave followers, and obtained possession of the place. Ninus was so charmed by her bravery and beauty, that he resolved to make her his wife, whereupon her unfortunate husband put an end to his life. By Ninus Semi­ramis had a son, Ninyas, and on the death of Ninus she succeeded him on the throne. According to another account, Semiramis had obtained from her husband permission to rule over Asia for five days, and availed herself of this opportunity to cast the king into a dungeon, or, as is also related, to put him to death, and thus obtained the sovereign power. (Diod. ii. 20 ; Aelian, V. PI. vii. 1.) Her fame threw into the shade that of Ninus ; and later ages loved to tell of her marvellous deeds and her heroic achievements. She built numerous cities, and erected many wonderful buildings ; and several of the most extraordinary works in the East, which were extant in a later age, and the authors of which were unknown, were ascribed by popular tradition to this queen. In Nineveh she erected a tomb for her husband, nine stadia high, and ten wide ; she built the city of Babylon* with all its wonders,

* Herodotus only once mentions Semiramis (i. 184), where he states that she was a queen of Babylon, who lived five generations before Nitocris,

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