…some of which are more–and a different type of–amusing than others…!?!
First, the most common search terms that have turned up pages on my blog recently include the following four things:
–how a continuum with exclusivity at one end and inclusivity at the other can be used to describe religious views
–aedicula antinoi a small shrine of antinous
–hot egyptian goddess
Aha! Here’s the culprit!
This is amusing to me because, really, only the third thing on this list at all applies to this blog, in a vague and non-specific (by being so specific as to only usefully turn up the present blog!) sort of fashion…Maybe #1 and #4 could, too, but far less so on the latter than the former, though I’m no nun but am certainly in favor of their existence. As for the second one…that is weird that it’s been a search term appearing on the top of the list for the past two weeks or so.
Sannion’s search-term poetry posts are far more interesting than what I turn up here, alas. :(
And speaking of San-San-san (see what I did there?–though maybe it will make more sense in the context of the next thing on the present list…!?!), quite a while back he posted a variety of things about the rather poorly-known sea-god Glaukos and his relation to various other deities, including Melikertes (better known post-apotheosis as Palaimon). THis was significant to me over the last twenty-four hours in connection to Portunalia yesterday, because Portunus is who the Romans most often syncretized Palaimon to in their own pantheon…So, being that I’m myself, I had to follow up on this matter last night at 3 AM.
Even though Theoi.com has a lot on Glaukos and on Palaimon/Melikertes, the passage below concerning mostly a lot of miscellaneous lore about Glaukos, and two tidbits connecting him to Melikertes, does no occur on the site. It is from Athenaeus’ Deipnosophistae Book VII:
Nausicrates in The Skippers: “A. Two sons, they say, gentle and fair, of the t god who before this has often appeared in the ocean’s embrace to seafaring folk, and who, they say, foretells the fortunes of mortals. B. You mean Glaucus. A. You’ve got it.” Now the sea-god Glaucus, as Theolytus of Methymna says in his Epic of Bacchus, fell in love with Ariadne when she was carried away by Dionysus on the island of Dia; overpowered by Dionysus, he was bound hand and foot in the withes of a grape vine, but released when he entreated him in these words: “A city, then, there is by the side of the sea, Anthedon, over against Euboea, hard by the currents of Euripus. There is my birthplace, and the father who gat me was Copeus.” But Promathidas of Heracleia, in his Hemiambi, derives the birth of Glaucus from Polybus, the son of Hermes, and Euboea, the daughter of Larymnus. And Mnaseas, in the third book of his European History, derives his descent from Anthedon and Alcyonê; having proved himself a good seaman and diver, Glaucus came to be called Pontius. He carried away Symê, the daughter of Ialysus and Dotis, sailing back to Asia, and settled the island, which was deserted, near Caria, giving it the name Symê from his wife. The epic poet Euanthes, on the other hand, in his Hymn to Glaucus, says that he was a son of Poseidon and the nymph Naïs, and that, falling in love with Ariadne, he lay with her in the island of Dia when she had been deserted by Theseus. Aristotle, in The Constitution of Delos, says that Glaucus settled in delos in company with the Nereids, and gives prophecies to those who desire them. Possis of Magnesia, in the third book of his Account of the Amazons, says that Glaucus was the architect of the Argo and was its pilot at the time when Jason fought in company with the Etruscans, being the only one who escaped without a wound in the naval battle; but by Zeus’ decree he disappeared in the depths of the ocean, and in this way became a sea divinity. He was seen only by Jason. Nicanor of Cyrene, in Changes of Name, says that Melicertes had his name changed to Glaucus. Alexander Aetolus also gives an account of him in the poem entitled The Fisherman. He says that Glaucus was engulfed in the sea “after he had eaten an herb which the untilled earth bears in springtime for shining Helios in the isles of the Blest. And Helios tenders that herb unfailing, as a soul-satisfying supper to his steeds, that they may accomplish their course unwearied, and no distress may overtake any in their mid-journey.” Aeschrion of Samos, in one of his iambic poems, says that the each-god Glaucus fell in love with Hydnê, daughter of Scyllus, the diver of Scionê. He also has his own story to tell about the herb, which if eaten made one immortal: “Thou hast found even the food of the gods, dog’s-tooth grass which Cronus sowed.” Nicander, in the third book of Europia, records that glaucus was loved by Nereus. Again, in the first book of his Aetolian History, Nicander says that Apollo was taught the art of prophecy you Glaucus; and that Glaucus was once hunting on Oreia, which is a high mountain in Aetolia, when he caught a hare; since it was faint after the pursuit he took it to a spring, and just as it was breathing its last gasp he rubbed it with the grass which grew about. The hare completely revived with the help of the herb; and Glaucus, recognizing the virtues of the herb, tasted of it and was seized with a divine madness; and when a storm arose by Zeus’ decree, he cast himself into the sea. But Hedylus of Samos (or Athens) declares that Glaucus cast himself into the sea through love of Melicertes; and Hedylê, this poet’s mother, who was the daughter of Moschinê, the Attic poetess of iambic verse, records in the poem entitled Scylla that Glaucus, in love with Scylla, entered her cave carrying “gifts, either cockleshells from the Erythraean crag, or the still wingless young of halcyons — toys for the nymph before whom he was diffident. But even the Siren, virgin neighbour, pitied his tears; for she was swimming back to those shores and the borders of Aetna.”
So, this potentially has a lot of relevance for a variety of reasons: either there was some sort of syncretism between Glaukos and Melikertes/Palaimon, or Glaukos loved Melikertes and threw himself into the sea because of it, and perhaps achieved apotheosis for his trouble. This is all the more interesting because Hedylos of Samos was said to have loved someone called Glaukos for whom he threw himself into the sea, and his father’s name was Melikertes. That clears things up considerably, dunnit? ;)
[And while we're on Theoi.com, here's a really handy list of deified mortals in Greek myth, and there's a lot more than you might have thought, even apart from the large number of heroes...all of these, though, were not (just) heroes, but were considered full-on deities.]
A short while ago, I posted about the Thermae Romae film, but it turns out (as I was told in the comments) there is also an anime of it, which I was able to view recently. While it was also enjoyable, I can’t say that it was quite as good as the live-action film, though it has its moments, and is different at various parts. The episode in the anime featuring Konsei-sama, Priapus, and Fascinus (though the latter is not called that) is highly amusing, and involves some interesting Japanese puns–namely, tintinabulum, which is what they keep calling the small Fascinus figure that is also a bell, apparently sounds a lot like a word in Japanese that means “dangling penis.” Who knew? ;) But, of course, one of the main things I was concerned with was the portrayal of Antinous and Hadrian in it, and there was a small bit of historical wrongness on that score: to wit, there is a short “history lesson” when Antinous is mentioned, and they go on to say that male homosexuality was looked down upon by the Romans, which isn’t strictly speaking true, and that Hadrian was derided for this…but of course, they fail to mention that the only people who we have on historical record who do that are Christians. Oh well.
They use actual Antinous statue photos (shown above from the anime) when they mention making statues of him, and though the Farnese does get used, they’re also using the “Capitoline Antinous,” which is actually not Antinous at all, but Hermes. Overall, the art is pretty good, but the animation leaves a lot to be desired; it’s a bit more like a motion comic than it is like a proper anime. Oh well…It’s still quite amusing, if you’re interested in modern takes on ancient Rome combined in with historical comparativism. ;)
And finally, I owe my knowledge of the following to Edward Butler, who alerted me to it recently. It appears that archaeologists are hoping to find sculptural reliefs from a temple to Hadrian in Kyzikos (Turkey), and they have already found one of the largest column capitals ever in the area where they think it might be. Turkey has certainly turned up some interesting things relating to Hadrian in recent history, so hopefully this will be another such example, and soon!
So, those brief stories are all I have for today. I hope that these amused you as much as they did me…and if not, tell me something else that amuses you in the comments below!