Wednesday, November 12, 2014

99. Porus, Alexandar and Megh


"Porus- 1. King of the Indian provinces east of the River Hydaspes, offered a formidable resistance to Alexander when the latter attempted to cross this river, B.C. 327. The battle which he fought with Alexander was one of the most severely contested which occurred during the whole of Alexander's campaigns. Porus displayed great personal courage in the battle ; and when brought before the conqueror, he proudly demanded to be treated in a manner worthy of a king. This magnanimity at once conciliated the favor of Alexander, who not only restored to him his dominions, but increased them by large accessions of territory. From this time Porus became firmly attached to his generous conqueror, whom he accompanied to the Hyphasis. In 321 Porus was treacherously put to death by Eudemus, who commanded the Macedonian troops in the adjacent province. We are told that Porus was a man of gigantic stature — not less than five cubits in height ; and his personal strength and powers in war were not less conspicuous than his valor.
2. Another Indian monarch, who, at the time of Alexander's expedition, ruled over the district termed Gandaris, east of the River Hydraotes. His dominions were subdued by Hephaestion, and annexed to those of the preceding Porus, who was his kinsman. Poseidon, called Neptunus by the Romans, was the god of the Mediterranean Sea. His name seems to be connected with jrdrof, ip to the god of the fluid element. He was a son of Cronos (Saturn) and Rhea (whence he is called Cronhit, and by Latin poets Satutmus). He was accordingly a brother of Zeus (Jupiter), Hades (Pluto), Hera (Juno), Hestia (Vesta), and Demeter (Ceres), and it was determined by lot that he should rule over the sea. Like hit brothers and sisters, he was, after his Urtr,, swallowed by his father Cronos (Saturn), bit thrown up again. According to others, he mtt concealed by Rhea, after his birth, among a fleck of lambs, and his mother pretended to have given birth to a young horse, which she gave to Cronos (Saturn) to devour. In the Ho meric poems Poseidon (Neptune) is described as equal to Zeus (Jupiter) in dignity, but less powerful. He resents the attempts of Zeus (Jupiter) to intimidate him ; he even threatens his mightier brother, and once conspired with Hera (Juno) and Athena (Minerva) to put him into chains ; but on other occasions we find him submissive to Zeus (Jupiter). The palace of Poseidon (Neptune) was in the depth of the sea near J3gae in Eubcea, where he kept his horses with brazen hoofs and golden manes. With these horses he rides in a chariot over the waves of the sea, which become smooth as he approaches, and the monsters of the deep recognize him and play around his chariot. Generally he yoked his horses to his chariot himself, but sometimes he was assisted by Ainphitrite. Although he generally dwelt in the sea, still he also appears at Olympus in the assembly of the gods. Poseidon (Neptune), in conjunction with Apollo, is said to have built the walls of Troy for Laomedon, whence Troy is called Ncpiunia Pcrgama. Laomedon refused to give these gods the reward which had been stipulated, and even dismissed them with threats. Poseidon (Neptune), in consequence, sent a marine mot, ster, which was on the point of devouring La- omedon's daughter, when it was killed by Hercules ; and he continued to bear an implacable hatred against the Trojans. He sided with the Greeks in the war against Troy, sometimes witnessing the content as a spectator from the heights of Thrace, and sometimes interfering in person, assuming the appearance of a mortal hero and encouraging the Greeks, while Zeus (Jupiter) favored the Trojans. In the Odyssey, Poseidon (Neptune) appears hostile to Ulysses, whom he prevents from returning home in con sequence of his having blinded Polyphemus, a son of Poseidon (Neptune) by the nymph Thoosa. Being the ruler of the sea (the Mediterranean), he is described as gathering clouds and calling forth storms, but at the same time he has it in his power to grant a successful voyage and save those who are in danger j and all other marine divinities are subject to him. As the sea sur rounds and holds the earth, he himself is described as the god who holds the earth (j ni/ox oj >, and who has it in his power to shake the earth (ivoaixBuv, KivtiTTjp y&s). He was further regarded as the creator of the horse. It is said that when Poseidon (Neptune) and Athena (Minerva) disputed as to which of them should give the name to the caDital of Attica, the gods decided that it should receive its name from the deity who should bestow Mpop man \\v most use hi! girt. Poseidon (Neptune) then created the horse, and Athena (Minerva; called forth the olive-tree, in consequence of which the honor was conferred upon the goddess. According to others, however, Poseidon (Neptune) did not create the horse in Attica, but in Thessaly, where he also gave the famous horses to Pel- eug. Poseidon (Neptune) was accordingly believed to have taught men the art of managing horses by the bridle, and to have been the originator and protector of horse races. Hence he was also represented on horseback, or riding in a chariot drawn by two or four horses, and is designated by the epithets Iniziog, lirjreioc, or lirmoc unaf. He even metamorphosed himself into a horse for the purpose of deceiving Deme- ter (Ceres). The symbol of Poseidon's (Neptune's) power was the trident, or a spear with three points, with which he used to shatter rocks, to call forth or subdue storms, to shake the earth, and the like. Herodotus states that the name and worship of Poseidon (Neptune) were brought into Greece from Libya ; but he was probably a divinity of Pelasgian origin, and originally a personification of the fertilizing power of water, from which the transition to regarding him as the god of the sea was not difficult. The following legends respecting Poseidon (Neptune) deserve to be mentioned! In conjunction with Zeus (Jupiter) he fought against Cronos (Saturn) and the Titans ; and in the contest with the Giants he pursued Poly- botes across the sea as far as Cos, and there killed him by throwing the island upon him. He further crushed the Centaurs when they were pursued by Hercules, under a mountain in Leucosia, the island of the Sirens. He sued, together with Zeus (Jupiter), for the hand of Thetis ; but he withdrew when Themis prophesied that the son of Thetis would be greater than his father. When Ares (Mars) had been caught in the wonderful net by Hephaestus (Vulcan), the latter set him free at the request of Poseidon (Neptune) ; but the latter god after ward brought a charge against Ares (Ma">) be fore the Areopagus for having killed his son Halirrhothius. At the request of Minos, king of Crete, Poseidon (Neptune) caused a bull to rise from the sea, which the king promised to sacrifice ; but when Minos treacherously concealed the animal among a herd of oxen, the god punished Minos by causing his wife Pas- iphae to fall in love with the bull. Poseidon (Neptune) was married to Amphitrite, by whom he had three children, Triton, Rhode, and Ben- thesicyme ; but he had also a vast number of children by other divinities and mortal women. His worship extended over all Greece and Southern Italy, but he was more especially re- Tercd in Peloponnesus and in the Ionic towns on the coast. The sacrifices offered to him generally consisted of black and white bulls ; hut wild boars and rams were also sacrificed to him. Horse and chariot races were hei 1 in his honor on the Corinthian isthmus. The Pan- ionia, or the festival Oi' all the Ionians near Mycale, was celebrated in honor of Poseidon (Neptune). In works of art, Poseidon (Nep- t ;ne) may be easily recognized by his attri- I hi s, the dolphin, the horse, or the indent, and t«> was frequently represented in groups along with Amphitrite, Tritons, Nereids, dolphins, ttH Dioscuri, Paloemon, Pegasus, Bellerophontes, Thalassa, Ino, and Galene. His figure does not present the majestic calm which characterizes his brother Zeus (Jupiter) ; but as the state of the sea is varying, so also is the god represent ed sometimes in violent agitation and some times in a state of repose. The Roman god Neptunus is spoken of in a separate article." Page 702-703
Reference:A NEW CLASSICAL DICTIONARY OF GREEK AND ROMAN BIOGRAPHY, MYTHOLOGY AND GEOGRAPHY, PARTLY BASED UPON THE DICTIONARY OF GREEK AND ROMAN BIOGRAPHY AND MYTHOLOGY BY WILLIAM SMITH, LL.D., Revised with numerous corrections and attritions BY CHARLES ANTHON, LL.D.,


NEW YORK: HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS, 1878

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