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E entries
Earth. The goddess of the earth, also known as Ge or Gaea. Mother of the Titans, Cyclopes and Giants. The one-eyed Cyclopes built the heavenly palace on Mount Olympus for the gods after Zeus overthrew his father Cronus and the other Titans who had ruled the cosmos previously. Perhaps in revenge for this overthrow, Zeus and the other gods were attacked on Mount Olympus by the Giants, Earth's other sons. So formidable was this assault that the gods would never have prevailed without the intervention of Heracles, since it had been foretold that a mortal must come to their aid.
Echo. Nymph condemned by Hera to speak only when echoing the words of others. She fell hopelessly in love with Narcissus and pined away in unrequited passion until only her voice was left. Echo is also said to have lost her voice as a consequence of running away from Pan, although this may have been another Echo. In any case, Pan retaliated for her reaction to his goatish appearance by inflicting madness on some nearby shepherds. They attacked Echo and only her voice survived.
Elysian Fields (i-LEE-zhun or ee-LEE-zhun). Paradise of the heroes, either in the Underworld or in the far West. Here the likes of Achilles lived on in splendid company, in pleasant surroundings, in heroic pursuits of the hunt and banquet. By virtue of his spectacularly heroic achievements, Heracles was given a home on Mount Olympus and a goddess for a wife. But part of him had come not from his father Zeus but from his mortal mother Alcmene, and that part was sent to the Underworld. As a phantasm it eternally roams the Elysian Fields in the company of other heroes.
Ephyra (EF-i-ruh). Original name of Corinth. Sisyphus was its founder and first king. Bellerophon was a citizen, although he was exiled for a murder. When he was challenged to fight the Chimaera, he returned to his birthplace and sought out the flying horse Pegasus. He found the winged steed watering at the spring of Peirene, a Corinthian landmark of ancient times. It was said to have been formed from the tears of a mother lamenting the accidental killing of her son by the goddess Artemis.
Epidaurus (ep-i-DAW-rus). Ancient Greek city, site of a magnificent fourth century B.C.E. theater where plays are still performed. It was in Epidaurus that Theseus subdued the outlaw Periphetes. The young hero had just set out on the road to adventure when he was waylaid by this club-wielding menace. Periphetes tried to do him in with a blow from his weapon of choice, a thick length of tree limb weighted with metal. But Theseus snatched it away and turned the tables. He thereby established a policy of doing unto miscreants what they were about to do to him.
Eros (EER-oss or AIR-oss). A god of love whose Roman name was Amor or Cupid. Later writers portrayed Eros as a roguish boy, but he was actually one of the most venerable of deities.
According to Hesiod, Chaos was born first, and after Chaos, Earth, Tartarus and Eros. Pausanias says that Eros is commonly considered to be the son of Aphrodite, but elsewhere he describes a sculpture of Eros greeting the goddess as she is born from the sea.
Eros is depicted in Greek art as a beautiful youth.
Europa (yoo-ROH-pa). Phoenician princess abducted to Crete by Zeus. Europa was gathering wildflowers in a seaside meadow when she came upon a beautiful white bull. This bull was uncommonly gentle and did not inspire fear. Decking its horns with flowers, Europa was at length emboldened to climb upon its back. Whereupon the bull - actually the god Zeus in disguise - took off at a trot and dove into the sea. Europa was carried off to the island of Crete, where she became the mother of King Minos.
Europa's brother Cadmus was charged with the duty of finding his sister and securing her return. He consulted the Oracle of Delphi, however, and was told to abandon the search. Instead he was to venture forth until he should meet a cow, to follow this cow wherever it should lead and to found a city upon the spot where it lay down. Such is the foundation legend of the Greek city of Thebes, which goes on to relate how Cadmus and his companions went out to fetch water for their new settlement at a nearby fountain.
Here all but Cadmus were slain by a dragon. Cadmus killed the dragon and, at the prompting of the goddess Athena, sowed some of its teeth in the ground. Armed men sprang up from the earth, just as they later would for Jason under similar circumstances - for the teeth that Jason strew upon the fertile soil of distant Colchis came from the very dragon that Cadmus had killed. Using the same trick that would eventually serve Jason, Cadmus caused the sown men to fight amongst themselves until only five were left standing. These five, together with Cadmus, became the original inhabitants of Thebes. Cadmus, their king, is said to have taught them the alphabet and the art of writing. Indeed, the Greek alphabet historically derives from the land of the Phoenicians (in the region of modern Syria, Lebanon and Israel), mythological home of Cadmus and his sister.
Eurydice (yoo-RID-i-see). Nymph, wife of Orpheus. Eurydice stepped on a poisonous snake and died while running away from the minor deity Aristaeus. Her husband was so disconsolate that he journeyed to the Underworld and asked permission of its rulers to bring her back. This was granted, on the condition that he not look at Eurydice while leading her toward the land of the living. They were almost to safety when he forgot and looked back.
Eurystheus (yoo-RISS-thyoos). Cousin of Heracles who assigned him his Labors. King of Mycenae and Tiryns only because of Hera's hatred of Heracles, who was the son of her husband Zeus and the mortal Alcmene. Knowing that Alcmene was about to give birth, Zeus had bragged that one of his descendants was about to be born who would rule over two great kingdoms. Hera tricked him into swearing to this, then retarded Alcmene's delivery. Eurystheus, Zeus's great-grandson, was born first.
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E entries
Earth. The goddess of the earth, also known as Ge or Gaea. Mother of the Titans, Cyclopes and Giants. The one-eyed Cyclopes built the heavenly palace on Mount Olympus for the gods after Zeus overthrew his father Cronus and the other Titans who had ruled the cosmos previously. Perhaps in revenge for this overthrow, Zeus and the other gods were attacked on Mount Olympus by the Giants, Earth's other sons. So formidable was this assault that the gods would never have prevailed without the intervention of Heracles, since it had been foretold that a mortal must come to their aid.
Echo. Nymph condemned by Hera to speak only when echoing the words of others. She fell hopelessly in love with Narcissus and pined away in unrequited passion until only her voice was left. Echo is also said to have lost her voice as a consequence of running away from Pan, although this may have been another Echo. In any case, Pan retaliated for her reaction to his goatish appearance by inflicting madness on some nearby shepherds. They attacked Echo and only her voice survived.
Elysian Fields (i-LEE-zhun or ee-LEE-zhun). Paradise of the heroes, either in the Underworld or in the far West. Here the likes of Achilles lived on in splendid company, in pleasant surroundings, in heroic pursuits of the hunt and banquet. By virtue of his spectacularly heroic achievements, Heracles was given a home on Mount Olympus and a goddess for a wife. But part of him had come not from his father Zeus but from his mortal mother Alcmene, and that part was sent to the Underworld. As a phantasm it eternally roams the Elysian Fields in the company of other heroes.
Ephyra (EF-i-ruh). Original name of Corinth. Sisyphus was its founder and first king. Bellerophon was a citizen, although he was exiled for a murder. When he was challenged to fight the Chimaera, he returned to his birthplace and sought out the flying horse Pegasus. He found the winged steed watering at the spring of Peirene, a Corinthian landmark of ancient times. It was said to have been formed from the tears of a mother lamenting the accidental killing of her son by the goddess Artemis.
Epidaurus (ep-i-DAW-rus). Ancient Greek city, site of a magnificent fourth century B.C.E. theater where plays are still performed. It was in Epidaurus that Theseus subdued the outlaw Periphetes. The young hero had just set out on the road to adventure when he was waylaid by this club-wielding menace. Periphetes tried to do him in with a blow from his weapon of choice, a thick length of tree limb weighted with metal. But Theseus snatched it away and turned the tables. He thereby established a policy of doing unto miscreants what they were about to do to him.
Eros (EER-oss or AIR-oss). A god of love whose Roman name was Amor or Cupid. Later writers portrayed Eros as a roguish boy, but he was actually one of the most venerable of deities.
According to Hesiod, Chaos was born first, and after Chaos, Earth, Tartarus and Eros. Pausanias says that Eros is commonly considered to be the son of Aphrodite, but elsewhere he describes a sculpture of Eros greeting the goddess as she is born from the sea.
Eros is depicted in Greek art as a beautiful youth.
Europa (yoo-ROH-pa). Phoenician princess abducted to Crete by Zeus. Europa was gathering wildflowers in a seaside meadow when she came upon a beautiful white bull. This bull was uncommonly gentle and did not inspire fear. Decking its horns with flowers, Europa was at length emboldened to climb upon its back. Whereupon the bull - actually the god Zeus in disguise - took off at a trot and dove into the sea. Europa was carried off to the island of Crete, where she became the mother of King Minos.
Europa's brother Cadmus was charged with the duty of finding his sister and securing her return. He consulted the Oracle of Delphi, however, and was told to abandon the search. Instead he was to venture forth until he should meet a cow, to follow this cow wherever it should lead and to found a city upon the spot where it lay down. Such is the foundation legend of the Greek city of Thebes, which goes on to relate how Cadmus and his companions went out to fetch water for their new settlement at a nearby fountain.
Here all but Cadmus were slain by a dragon. Cadmus killed the dragon and, at the prompting of the goddess Athena, sowed some of its teeth in the ground. Armed men sprang up from the earth, just as they later would for Jason under similar circumstances - for the teeth that Jason strew upon the fertile soil of distant Colchis came from the very dragon that Cadmus had killed. Using the same trick that would eventually serve Jason, Cadmus caused the sown men to fight amongst themselves until only five were left standing. These five, together with Cadmus, became the original inhabitants of Thebes. Cadmus, their king, is said to have taught them the alphabet and the art of writing. Indeed, the Greek alphabet historically derives from the land of the Phoenicians (in the region of modern Syria, Lebanon and Israel), mythological home of Cadmus and his sister.
Eurydice (yoo-RID-i-see). Nymph, wife of Orpheus. Eurydice stepped on a poisonous snake and died while running away from the minor deity Aristaeus. Her husband was so disconsolate that he journeyed to the Underworld and asked permission of its rulers to bring her back. This was granted, on the condition that he not look at Eurydice while leading her toward the land of the living. They were almost to safety when he forgot and looked back.
Eurystheus (yoo-RISS-thyoos). Cousin of Heracles who assigned him his Labors. King of Mycenae and Tiryns only because of Hera's hatred of Heracles, who was the son of her husband Zeus and the mortal Alcmene. Knowing that Alcmene was about to give birth, Zeus had bragged that one of his descendants was about to be born who would rule over two great kingdoms. Hera tricked him into swearing to this, then retarded Alcmene's delivery. Eurystheus, Zeus's great-grandson, was born first.
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