Seller: highrating_lowprice (20,587) 100%, Location: Rego Park, New York, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 321326178904 Item: i37915 Authentic Ancient Coin of: Greek city of Sinope in Paphlagonia (Asia Minor) Bronze 15mm (4.20 grams) Struck Late 2nd - early 1st century B.C. Time of Mithradates VI the Great and the city of his Birth! Reference: Sear 3713 var. Bare-headed and draped bust of Perseus right. Cornucopiae between caps of the Dioscuri; ΣINΩ - ΠΗΣ across field. A colony of Miletos, founded in the 7th century B.C., Sinope rose to become the most important city on the southern coastline of the Black Sea. You are bidding on the exact item pictured, provided with a Certificate of Authenticity and Lifetime Guarantee of Authenticity. Perseus, the legendary founder of Mycenae and of the Perseid dynasty of Danaans , was the first of the heroes of Greek mythology whose exploits in defeating various archaic monsters provided the founding myths of the Twelve Olympians . Perseus was a demi-god, the Greek hero who killed the Gorgon Medusa , and claimed Andromeda , having rescued her from a sea monster sent by Poseidon . Cassiopeia declaring that her daughter, Andromeda, was more beautiful than the Nereids is what initially resulted in Andromeda being plagued by Poseidon's sea monster. Etymology Because of the obscurity of the name Perseus and the legendary character of its bearer, most etymologists pass it by, on the presumption that it might be pre-Greek; however, the name of Perseus’ native city was Greek and so were the names of his wife and relatives. There is some prospect that it descended into Greek from the Proto-Indo-European language . In that regard Robert Graves has espoused the only Greek derivation available. Perseus might be from the Greek verb, "πέρθειν" (perthein), “to waste, ravage, sack, destroy”, some form of which appears in Homeric epithets. According to Carl Darling Buck (Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin), the –eus suffix is typically used to form an agent noun, in this case from the aorist stem, pers-. Pers-eus therefore is a sacker of cities; that is, a soldier by occupation, a fitting name for the first Mycenaean warrior. The origin of perth- is more obscure. J. B. Hofmann lists the possible root as *bher-, from which Latin ferio, "strike". This corresponds to Julius Pokorny ’s *bher-(3), “scrape, cut.” Ordinarily *bh- descends to Greek as ph-. This difficulty can be overcome by presuming a dissimilation from the –th– in perthein; that is, the Greeks preferred not to say *pherthein. Graves carries the meaning still further, to the perse- in Persephone , goddess of death. John Chadwick in the second edition of Documents in Mycenaean Greek speculates as follows about the goddess pe-re-*82 of Pylos tablet Tn 316, tentatively reconstructed as *Preswa: ”It is tempting to see...the classical Perse ...daughter of Oceanus ...; whether it may be further identified with the first element of Persephone is only speculative.” A Greek folk etymology connected the name of the Persian (Pars) people, whom they called the Persai. The native name, however has always had an -a- in Persian . Herodotus recounts this story, devising a foreign son, Perses, from whom the Persians took the name. Apparently the Persians themselves knew the story, as Xerxes tried to use it to suborn the Argives during his invasion of Greece, but ultimately failed to do so. Origin at Argos Perseus was the son of Zeus and Danaë , who by her very name, was the archetype of all the Danaans . Danaë was the daughter of Acrisius , King of Argos . Disappointed by his lack of luck in having a son, Acrisius consulted the oracle at Delphi , who warned him that he would one day be killed by his daughter's intoxicating son with Zeus. Danaë was childless and to keep her so, he imprisoned her in a bronze chamber open to the sky in the courtyard of his palace: This mytheme is also connected to Ares, Oenopion , Eurystheus , etc. Zeus came to her in the form of a shower of gold, and impregnated her. Soon after, their child was born; Perseus—"Perseus Eurymedon, for his mother gave him this name as well" (Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica IV). Fearful for his future but unwilling to provoke the wrath of the gods by killing Zeus's offspring and his own daughter, Acrisius cast the two into the sea in a wooden chest. Danaë's fearful prayer made while afloat in the darkness has been expressed by the poet Simonides of Ceos . Mother and child washed ashore on the island of Seriphos , where they were taken in by the fisherman Dictys ("fishing net"), who raised the boy to manhood. The brother of Dictys was Polydectes ("he who receives/welcomes many"), the king of the island. Overcoming the Gorgon The Baleful Head (1887), part of a series of Perseus paintings by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones , playing with the theme of the reflected gaze When Perseus was grown, Polydectes came to fall in love with the beautiful Danaë. Perseus believed Polydectes was less than honourable, and protected his mother from him; then Polydectes plotted to send Perseus away in disgrace. He held a large banquet where each guest was expected to bring a gift.[note 1] Polydectes requested that the guests bring horses, under the pretense that he was collecting contributions for the hand of Hippodamia , "tamer of horses". Perseus had no horse to give, so he asked Polydectes to name the gift; he would not refuse it. Polydectes held Perseus to his rash promise and demanded the head of the only mortal Gorgon , Medusa , whose eyes turned people to stone. Ovid's account of Medusa's mortality tells that she had once been a woman, vain of her beautiful hair, who had lain with Poseidon in the Temple of Athena . In punishment for the desecration of her temple, Athena had changed Medusa's hair into hideous snakes "that she may alarm her surprised foes with terror". "Perseus with the head of Medusa'" is a common subject for sculpture, here in an 1801 example by Antonio Canova Athena instructed Perseus to find the Hesperides , who were entrusted with weapons needed to defeat the Gorgon. Following Athena's guidance, Perseus sought out the Graeae , sisters of the Gorgons , to demand the whereabouts of the Hesperides , the nymphs tending Hera's orchard . The Graeae were three perpetually old women, who had to share a single eye. As the women passed the eye from one to another, Perseus snatched it from them, holding it for ransom in return for the location of the nymphs. When the sisters led him to the Hesperides, he returned what he had taken. From the Hesperides he received a knapsack (kibisis) to safely contain Medusa's head. Zeus gave him an adamantine sword and Hades' helm of darkness to hide. Hermes lent Perseus winged sandals to fly, while Athena gave him a polished shield. Perseus then proceeded to the Gorgons' cave. In the cave he came upon the sleeping Medusa . By viewing Medusa's reflection in his polished shield, he safely approached and cut off her head. From her neck sprang Pegasus ("he who sprang") and Chrysaor ("bow of gold"), the result of Poseidon and Medusa's meeting. The other two Gorgons pursued Perseus, but, wearing his helm of darkness, he escaped. Marriage to Andromeda Perseus and Andromeda. On the way back to Seriphos Island, Perseus stopped in the kingdom of Ethiopia . This mythical Ethiopia was ruled by King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia . Cassiopeia, having boasted her daughter Andromeda equal in beauty to the Nereids , drew down the vengeance of Poseidon , who sent an inundation on the land and a sea serpent, Cetus , which destroyed man and beast. The oracle of Ammon announced that no relief would be found until the king exposed his daughter Andromeda to the monster, and so she was fastened naked to a rock on the shore. Perseus slew the monster and, setting her free, claimed her in marriage. In the classical myth, he flew using the flying sandals. Renaissance Europe and modern imagery has generated the idea that Perseus flew mounted on Pegasus (though not in the paintings by Piero di Cosimo and Titian ). Perseus married Andromeda in spite of Phineus , to whom she had before been promised. At the wedding a quarrel took place between the rivals, and Phineus was turned to stone by the sight of Medusa's head that Perseus had kept. Andromeda ("queen of men") followed her husband to Tiryns in Argos , and became the ancestress of the family of the Perseidae who ruled at Tiryns through her son with Perseus, Perses . After her death she was placed by Athena amongst the constellations in the northern sky, near Perseus and CassiopeiaSophocles and Euripides (and in more modern times Pierre Corneille ) made the episode of Perseus and Andromeda the subject of tragedies, and its incidents were represented in many ancient works of art. As Perseus was flying in his return above the sands of Libya , according to Apollonius of Rhodes , the falling drops of Medusa's blood created a race of toxic serpents, one of whom was to kill the Argonaut Mopsus . On returning to Seriphos and discovering that his mother had to take refuge from the violent advances of Polydectes, Perseus killed him with Medusa's head, and made his brother Dictys, consort of Danaë, king. The oracle fulfilled Perseus frees Andromeda (detail), by Piero di Cosimo , 1515 (Uffizi) Perseus then returned his magical loans and gave Medusa's head as a votive gift to Athena , who set it on Zeus' shield (which she carried), as the Gorgoneion (see also: Aegis ). The fulfillment of the oracle[note 4] was told several ways, each incorporating the mythic theme of exile. In Pausanias he did not return to Argos, but went instead to Larissa , where athletic games were being held. He had just invented the quoit and was making a public display of them when Acrisius, who happened to be visiting, stepped into the trajectory of the quoit and was killed: thus the oracle was fulfilled. This is an unusual variant on the story of such a prophecy, as Acrisius' actions did not, in this variant, cause his death. In the Bibliotheca , the inevitable occurred by another route: Perseus did return to Argos, but when he learned of the oracle, went into voluntary exile in Pelasgiotis (Thessaly). There Teutamides, king of Larissa , was holding funeral games for his father. Competing in the discus throw Perseus' throw veered and struck Acrisius, killing him instantly. In a third tradition, Acrisius had been driven into exile by his brother, Proetus . Perseus turned the brother into stone with the Gorgon's head and restored Acrisius to the throne. Having killed Acrisius, Perseus, who was next in line for the throne, gave the kingdom to Megapenthes ("great mourning") son of Proetus and took over Megapenthes' kingdom of Tiryns . The story is related in Pausanias, which gives as motivation for the swap that Perseus was ashamed to become king of Argos by inflicting death. In any case, early Greek literature reiterates that manslaughter, even involuntary, requires the exile of the slaughterer, expiation and ritual purification. The exchange might well have been a creative solution to a difficult problem; however, Megapenthes would have been required to avenge his father, which, in legend, he did, but only at the end of Perseus' long and successful reign. King of Mycenae Perseus rescuing Andromeda from Cetus, depicted on an amphora in the Altes Museum , Berlin The two main sources regarding the legendary life of Perseus—for he was an authentic historical figure to the Greeks— are Pausanias and the Bibliotheca , but from them we obtain mainly folk-etymology concerning the founding of Mycenae. Pausanias asserts that the Greeks believed Perseus founded Mycenae. He mentions the shrine to Perseus that stood on the left-hand side of the road from Mycenae to Argos, and also a sacred fountain at Mycenae called Persea. Located outside the walls, this was perhaps the spring that filled the citadel's underground cistern. He states also that Atreus stored his treasures in an underground chamber there, which is why Heinrich Schliemann named the largest tholos tomb the Treasury of Atreus . Apart from these more historical references, we have only folk-etymology: Perseus dropped his cap or found a mushroom (both named myces) at Mycenae, or perhaps the place was named from the lady Mycene, daughter of Inachus , mentioned in a now-fragmentary poem, the Megalai Ehoiai . For whatever reasons, perhaps as outposts, Perseus fortified Mycenae according to Apollodorus along with Midea , an action that implies that they both previously existed. It is unlikely, however, that Apollodorus knew who walled in Mycenae; he was only conjecturing. In any case, Perseus took up official residence in Mycenae with Andromeda. Descendants of Perseus Perseus and the head of Medusa in a Roman fresco at Stabiae Main article: Perseides Perseus and Andromeda had seven sons: Perses , Alcaeus , Heleus , Mestor , Sthenelus , Electryon , and Cynurus , and two daughters, Gorgophone , and Autochthe . Perses was left in Aethiopia and became an ancestor of the Persians . The other descendants ruled Mycenae from Electryon down to Eurystheus , after whom Atreus got the kingdom. However, the Perseids included the great hero, Heracles , stepson of Amphitryon , son of Alcaeus . The Heraclides, or descendants of Heracles, successfully contested the rule of the Atreids. A statement by the Athenian orator, Isocrates helps to date Perseus roughly. He said that Heracles was four generations later than Perseus, which corresponds to the legendary succession: Perseus, Electryon , Alcmena , and Heracles , who was a contemporary of Eurystheus . Atreus was one generation later, a total of five generations. Perseus on Pegasus The replacement of Bellerophon as the tamer and rider of Pegasus by the more familiar culture hero Perseus was not simply an error of painters and poets of the Renaissance . The transition was a development of Classical times which became the standard image during the Middle Ages and has been adopted by the European poets of the Renaissance and later: Giovanni Boccaccio 's Genealogia deorum gentilium libri (10.27) identifies Pegasus as the steed of Perseus, and Pierre Corneille places Perseus upon Pegasus in Andromède. Modern representations of this image include sculptor Émile Louis Picault 's 1888 sculpture, Pegasus. Modern uses of the theme and pop culture Perseus saves Andromeda in this painting by Edward Burne-Jones In Hermann Melville 's Moby-Dick , the narrator asserts that Perseus was the first whaleman , when he killed Cetus to save Andromeda. Operatic treatments of the subject include Persée by Lully (1682) and Persée et Andromède by Ibert (1921). Chimera , the 1972 National Book Award-winning novel by John Barth , includes a novella called Perseid that is an inventive, postmodern retelling of the myth of Perseus. In film, the myth of Perseus was loosely adapted numerous times. The first being the 1963 Italian film Perseus The Invincible (which was dubbed and released to the U.S as Medusa Against The Son of Hercules in 1964). The second was the 1981 fantasy/adventure film Clash of the Titans , and the third was that film's 2010 remake Clash of the Titans , which was followed by a sequel called Wrath of the Titans in 2012. In 2010 Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief told the story of a Demi God named after Perseus—the only hero to have a happy ending. He also be-heads Medusa in the movie, but is actually a son of Poseidon. The movie was made based on the series of books written by Rick Riordan . A follow up film Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is due to be released in August 7th 2013. Perseus was featured in the unreleased movie Dan Alstro and the 4 Diadems. He was portrayed by James Van Aardt. Perseus was also featured in comics. Outside of a comic book adaptation of the 1981 Clash of the Titans film published by Western Publishing and a graphic novel called Perseus: Destiny's Call published in 2012 by Campfire Books, the story of Perseus continued in a couple of comic book series from Bluewater Comics . The first was the 2007 miniseries Wrath of the Titans, (which also spawned a one-shot comic called Wrath of the Titans: Cyclops), while the second is the 2011 miniseries Wrath of the Titans: Revenge of Medusa. Perseus is featured in the video game God of War II , voiced by Harry Hamlin . In Greek and Roman mythology , Castor and Pollux or Polydeuces were twin brothers, together known as the Dioskouri. Their mother was Leda , but Castor was the mortal son of Tyndareus , the king of Sparta, and Pollux the divine son of Zeus , who seduced or raped Leda in the guise of a swan (Greek myths concerning divine sex are often vague on the issue of female consent). Though accounts of their birth are varied, they are sometimes said to have been born from an egg, along with their twin sisters Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra . In Latin the twins are also known as the Gemini or Castores. When Castor was killed, Pollux asked Zeus to let him share his own immortality with his twin to keep them together, and they were transformed into the constellation Gemini . The pair was regarded as the patrons of sailors, to whom they appeared as St. Elmo's fire , and were also associated with horsemanship. They are sometimes called the Tyndaridae or Tyndarids, later seen as a reference to their father and stepfather Tyndareus . Birth and functions Castor depicted on a calyx krater of ca. 460–450 BC, holding a horse's reins and spears and wearing a pilos -style helmet The best-known story of the twins' birth is that Zeus disguised himself as a swan and seduced Leda . Thus Leda's children are frequently said to have hatched from two eggs that she then produced. The Dioscuri can be recognized in vase-paintings by the skull-cap they wear, the pilos , which was explained in antiquity as the remnants of the egg. Whether the children are thus mortal and which half-immortal is not consistent among accounts, nor is whether the twins hatched together from one egg. In some accounts, only Polydeuces was fathered by Zeus, while Leda and her husband Tyndareus conceived Castor. This explains why they were granted an alternate immortality. It is a common belief that one would live among the gods, while the other was among the dead. The figure of Tyndareus may have entered their tradition to explain their archaic name Tindaridai in Spartan inscriptions or in literature Tyndaridai, in turn occasioning incompatible accounts of their parentage. Castor and Polydeuces are sometimes both mortal, sometimes both divine. One consistent point is that if only one of them is immortal, it is Polydeuces. In Homer's Iliad , Helen looks down from the walls of Troy and wonders why she does not see her brothers among the Achaeans. The narrator remarks that they are both already dead and buried back in their homeland of Lacedaemon, thus suggesting that at least in some early traditions, both were mortal. Their death and shared immortality offered by Zeus was material of the lost Cypria in the Epic cycle . The Dioscuri were regarded as helpers of mankind and held to be patrons of travellers and of sailors in particular, who invoked them to seek favourable winds. Their role as horsemen and boxers also led to them being regarded as the patrons of athletes and athletic contests. They characteristically intervened at the moment of crisis, aiding those who honoured or trusted them. Classical sources Ancient Greek authors tell a number of versions of the story of Castor and Pollux. Homer portrays them initially as ordinary mortals, treating them as dead in the Iliad , but in the Odyssey they are treated as alive even though "the corn-bearing earth holds them." The author describes them as "having honour equal to gods," living on alternate days due to the intervention of Zeus. In both the Odyssey and in Hesiod , they are described as the sons of Tyndareus and Leda. In Pindar , Pollux is the son of Zeus while Castor is the son of the mortal Tyndareus. The theme of ambiguous parentage is not unique to Castor and Pollux; similar characterisations appear in the stories of Hercules and Theseus . The Dioscuri are also invoked in Alcaeus ' Fragment 34a, though whether this poem antedates the Homeric Hymn to the twins is unknown. They appear together in two plays by Euripides , Helen and Elektra . Cicero tells the story of how Simonides of Ceos was rebuked by Scopas, his patron, for devoting too much space to praising Castor and Pollux in an ode celebrating Scopas' victory in a chariot race . Shortly afterwards, Simonides was told that two young men wished to speak to him; after he had left the banqueting room, the roof fell in and crushed Scopas and his guests. Adventures Both Dioscuri were excellent horsemen and hunters who participated in the hunting of the Calydonian Boar and later joined the crew of Jason 's ship, the Argo. As Argonauts During the expedition of the Argonauts , Pollux took part in a boxing contest and defeated King Amycus of the Bebryces , a savage mythical people in Bithynia . After returning from the voyage, the Dioskouroi helped Jason and Peleus to destroy the city of Iolcus in revenge for the treachery of its king Pelias . Rescuing Helen When their sister Helen was abducted by the legendary Greek king Theseus , the brothers invaded his kingdom of Attica to rescue her. In revenge they abducted Theseus' mother Aethra and took her to Sparta while setting his rival, Menestheus , on the throne of Athens. Aethra was then forced to become Helen's slave. She was ultimately returned to her home by her grandsons Demophon and Acamas after the fall of Troy. The Leucippides, Lynceus and death Roman sarcophagus (160 AD) depicting the rape of the Leucippides, Phoebe and Hilaeira (Vatican Museum) Castor and Pollux aspired to marry the Leucippides ("daughters of the white horse"), Phoebe and Hilaeira , whose father was a brother of Leucippus ("white horse"). Both women were already betrothed to cousins of the Dioscuri, the twin brothers Lynceus and Idas of Thebes , sons of Tyndareus 's brother Aphareus . Castor and Pollux carried the women off to Sparta wherein each had a son; Phoebe bore Mnesileos to Pollux and Hilaeira bore Anogon to Castor. This began a family feud among the four sons of the brothers Tyndareus and Aphareus. Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus by Rubens , ca. 1618 The cousins carried out a cattle-raid in Arcadia together but fell out over the division of the meat. After stealing the herd, but before dividing it, the cousins butchered, quartered, and roasted a calf. As they prepared to eat, the gigantic Idas suggested that the herd be divided into two parts instead of four, based on which pair of cousins finished their meal first. Castor and Pollux agreed. Idas quickly ate both his portion and Lynceus' portion. Castor and Pollux had been duped. They allowed their cousins to take the entire herd, but vowed to someday take revenge. Some time later, Idas and Lynceus visited their uncle's home in Sparta. The uncle was on his way to Crete, so he left Helen in charge of entertaining the guests, which included both sets of cousins, as well as Paris, prince of Troy. Castor and Pollux recognized the opportunity to exact revenge, made an excuse that justified leaving the feast, and set out to steal their cousins' herd. Idas and Lynceus eventually set out for home, leaving Helen alone with Paris, who then kidnapped her. Thus, the four cousins helped set into motion the events that gave rise to the Trojan War. Meanwhile, Castor and Pollux had reached their destination. Castor climbed a tree to keep a watch as Pollux began to free the cattle. Far away, Idas and Lynceus approached. Lynceus, named for the lynx because he could see in the dark, spied Castor hiding in the tree. Idas and Lynceus immediately understood what was happening. Idas, furious, ambushed Castor, fatally wounding him with a blow from his spear—but not before Castor called out to warn Pollux. In the ensuing brawl, Pollux killed Lynceus. As Idas was about to kill Pollux, Zeus, who had been watching from Mt. Olympus, hurled a thunderbolt, killing Idas and saving his son. Returning to the dying Castor, Pollux was given the choice by Zeus of spending all his time on Mount Olympus or giving half his immortality to his mortal brother. He opted for the latter, enabling the twins to alternate between Olympus and Hades . The brothers became the two brightest stars in the constellation Gemini ("the twins"): Castor (Alpha Geminorum) and Pollux (Beta Geminorum). As emblems of immortality and death, the Dioskouri, like Heracles , were said to have been initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries . Iconography Coin of Antiochus VII with Dioskouri Castor and Pollux are consistently associated with horses in art and literature. They are widely depicted as helmeted horsemen carrying spears. The Pseudo-Oppian manuscript depicts the brothers hunting, both on horseback and on foot. On votive reliefs they are depicted with a variety of symbols representing the concept of twinhood, such as the dokana (δόκανα – two upright pieces of wood connected by two cross-beams), a pair of amphorae , a pair of shields, or a pair of snakes. They are also often shown wearing felt caps, above which stars may be depicted. They are depicted on metopes from Delphi showing them on the voyage of the Argo (Ἀργώ) and rustling cattle with Idas. Greek vases regularly show them in the rape of the Leucippides , as Argonauts , in religious ceremonies and at the delivery to Leda of the egg containing Helen. They can be recognized in some vase-paintings by the skull-cap they wear, the pilos (πῖλος), which was already explained in antiquity as the remnants of the egg from which they hatched. Shrines and rites Fragmentary remains of the Temple of Castor and Pollux in Rome . The Dioskouri were worshipped by the Greeks and Romans alike; there were temples to the twins in Athens , such as the Anakeion , and Rome, as well as shrines in many other locations in the ancient world. The Dioskouri and their sisters having grown up in Sparta , in the royal household of Tyndareus , they were particularly important to the Spartans , who associated them with the Spartan tradition of dual kingship and appreciated that two princes of their ruling house were elevated to immortality. Their connection there was very ancient: a uniquely Spartan aniconic representation of the Tyndaridai was as two upright posts joined by a cross-bar; as the protectors of the Spartan army the "beam figure" or dókana was carried in front of the army on campaign. Sparta's unique dual kingship reflects the divine influence of the Dioscuri. When the Spartan army marched to war, one king remained behind at home, accompanied by one of the Twins. "In this way the real political order is secured in the realm of the Gods". Their herōon or grave-shrine was on a mountain top at Therapne across the Eurotas from Sparta, at a shrine known as the Meneláeion where Helen, Menelaus, Castor and Pollux were all said to be buried. Castor himself was also venerated in the region of Kastoria in northern Greece. Relief (2nd century BC) depicting the Dioskouri galloping above a winged Victory, with a banquet (theoxenia) laid out for them below They were commemorated both as gods on Olympus worthy of holocaust , and as deceased mortals in Hades, whose spirits had to be propitiated by libations . Lesser shrines to Castor, Pollux and Helen were also established at a number of other locations around Sparta. The pear tree was regarded by the Spartans as sacred to Castor and Pollux, and images of the twins were hung in its branches. The standard Spartan oath was to swear "by the two gods" (in Doric Greek : νά τώ θεὼ, ná tō theō, in the Dual number ). The rite of theoxenia (θεοξενία), "god-entertaining", was particularly associated with Castor and Pollux. The two deities were summoned to a table laid with food, whether at individuals' own homes or in the public hearths or equivalent places controlled by states. They are sometimes shown arriving at a gallop over a food-laden table. Although such "table offerings" were a fairly common feature of Greek cult rituals, they were normally made in the shrines of the gods or heroes concerned. The domestic setting of the theoxenia was a characteristic distinction accorded to the Dioskouri. The image of the twins attending a goddess are widespread and link the Dioskouri with the male societies of initiates under the aegis of the Anatolian Great Goddess and the great gods of Samothrace . The Dioscuri are the inventors of war dances, which characterize the Kuretes . Indo-European analogues The heavenly twins appear also in the Indo-European tradition as the effulgent Vedic brother-horsemen the Ashvins , the Lithuanian Ašvieniai , and the Germanic Alcis . Italy and the Roman Empire From the fifth century BC onwards, the brothers were revered by the Romans, probably as the result of cultural transmission via the Greek colonies of Magna Graecia in southern Italy. An archaic Latin inscription of the sixth or fifth century BC found at Lavinium , which reads Castorei Podlouqueique qurois ("To Castor and Pollux, the Dioskouri"), suggests a direct transmission from the Greeks; the word "qurois" is virtually a transliteration of the Greek word κούροις, while "Podlouquei" is effectively a transliteration of the Greek Πολυδεύκης. The construction of the Temple of Castor and Pollux , located in the Roman Forum at the heart of their city, was undertaken to fulfil a vow (votum) made by Aulus Postumius Albus Regillensis in gratitude at the Roman victory in the Battle of Lake Regillus in 495 BC. The establishing of the temple may also be a form of evocatio , the transferral of a tutelary deity from a defeated town to Rome, where cult would be offered in exchange for favor . According to legend, the twins fought at the head of the Roman army and subsequently brought news of the victory back to Rome. The Locrians of Magna Graecia had attributed their success at a legendary battle on the banks of the Sagras to the intervention of the Twins. The Roman legend may in fact have had its origins in the Locrian account and possibly supplies further evidence of cultural transmission between Rome and Magna Graecia. The Romans believed that the twins aided them on the battlefield. Their role as horsemen made them particularly attractive to the Roman equites and cavalry. Each year on July 15, the feast day of the Dioskouri, the 1,800 equestrians would parade through the streets of Rome in an elaborate spectacle in which each rider wore full military attire and whatever decorations he had earned. In the comedies of Plautus , women swear by Castor, and men by Pollux. Etruscan Kastur and Pultuce Etruscan inscription to the Dioskouri as "sons of Zeus" on the bottom of an Attic red-figure kylix (ca. 515–510 BC) The Etruscans venerated the twins as Kastur and Pultuce, collectively the tinas cliniiaras, "sons of Tinia ," the Etruscan counterpart of Zeus. They were often portrayed on Etruscan mirrors. As was the fashion in Greece, they could also be portrayed symbolically; one example can be seen in the Tomba del Letto Funebre at Tarquinia where a lectisternium for them is painted. They are symbolised in the painting by the presence of two pointed caps crowned with laurel, referring to the Phrygian caps which they were often depicted as wearing. Celtic Dioscuri The 1st-century BC historian Diodorus Siculus records counterparts of the Dioskouri among the Atlantic Celts : The Celts who dwell along the ocean venerate gods who resemble our Dioskouri above any of the gods, since they have a tradition handed down from ancient times that these gods came among them from the ocean. Moreover, there are on the ocean shore, they say, many names which are derived from the Argonauts and the Dioscuri. Diodorus cites Timaeus (3rd century BC) as his source, so the passage is usually regarded as a description of an authentic Celtic tradition rather than an adoption from the Romans as a result of the conquest . The divine twins among the Celts would be analogous in the Indo-European tradition to the Vedic Aśvins, or to the Germanic twins mentioned by Tacitus . Their Celtic names are unknown; the conjecture Divanno and Dinomogetimarus, based on an inscription from Hérault naming a pair of young warrior gods (Martes), has not found wide support. The 19th-century Celticist Marie Henri d'Arbois de Jubainville equated Cernunnos with Castor and Smertullos with Pollux, and conjectured that Cúchulainn and Conall Cernach were later equivalents: "on the whole, the theory is more ingenious than convincing." The Pillar of the Boatmen depicts the twins among Celtic figures such as Cernunnos and Esus, as well as Roman deities such as Jupiter and Vulcan. The Dioscuri are widely portrayed in Gallo-Roman art , and references to them are more numerous in Gaul than in any other part of the Roman Empire. Christianization Zeus, Hera , and Amor observe the birth of Helen and the Dioscuri (Dutch majolica , 1550) Even after the rise of Christianity , the Dioskouroi continued to be venerated. The fifth-century pope Gelasius I attested to the presence of a "cult of Castores" that the people did not want to abandon. In some instances, the twins appear to have simply been absorbed into a Christian framework; thus fourth-century AD pottery and carvings from North Africa depict the Dioskouroi alongside the Twelve Apostles , the Raising of Lazarus or with Saint Peter . The church took an ambivalent attitude, rejecting the immortality of the Dioskouroi but seeking to replace them with equivalent Christian pairs. Saints Peter and Paul were thus adopted in place of the Dioskouroi as patrons of travelers, and Saints Cosmas and Damian took over their function as healers. Some have also associated Saints Speusippus, Eleusippus, and Melapsippus with the Dioskouroi. In culture The twins are mentioned in the Bible as being the logo for a shipping company that carried Paul to Rome: Acts 28:11 (KJV)—"And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux." Castor et Pollux was the title of a 1737 opera by Jean-Philippe Rameau (libretto by Bernard), modified in 1754. The latter version became quite popular. The Italian composer Francesco Bianchi wrote another version called Castore e Polluce , first performed in 1779, and there was yet another opera by the same title by Georg Joseph Vogler in 1787. It is also the name of a 1952 composition by the American composer Harry Partch . In 1842 Lord Macaulay wrote a series of poems about Ancient Rome (the Lays of Ancient Rome ). The second poem is about the Battle of Lake Regillus and describes the intervention of Castor and Pollux. They are referred to as the "Great Twin Brethren" in the poem. Castor and Pollux (elephants) were killed and eaten during the 1870 Prussian siege of Paris. There are at least four sets of twin summits named after Castor and Pollux. In Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming , USA, the peaks are found close to the headwaters of the Lamar River in the Absaroka Range . Another pair is located in the Pennine Alps at the Swiss-Italian border. A third is in Glacier National Park of western Canada , within the Selkirk mountains . The fourth is in Mount Aspiring National Park of New Zealand , named by the explorer Charlie Douglas. Castor and Pollux are characters that appear in a few of Robert A. Heinlein's books. Castor Troy and Pollux Troy are villains (brothers) that appear in the 1997 film Face/Off . Castor and Pollux are twin cameramen in the final book of Suzanne Collins ' The Hunger Games trilogy . Like in the myth, Castor was killed and Pollux survived. Also, in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians fantasy series of novels series, Dionysus' twin sons are named Castor and Pollux. In the fourth book of the series Castor is killed in the battle, thus following the story of one passing and the other living. In Persona 3 Pollux (Polydeuces) and Castor appear as the Personae of Akihiko Sanada and Shinjiro Aragaki respectively, who are good friends. Shinjiro is killed, following the myth. In Homestuck , a character named Sollux Captor has a name that bears resemblance to Castor and Pollux. In the story, he is represented by the Gemini (♊) symbol. In God of War: Ascension , Castor and Pollux appear as conjoined twins , the tall, strong Castor having the small, withered Pollux attached to his torso. The protagonist, Kratos, must defeat them in a boss battle . In The Eye of Judgment: Legends Castor and Pollux are Antagonists that merge to form Dioskuri. They are both Biolith's and both deal magic damage. The cornucopia (from Latin cornu copiae) or horn of plenty is a symbol of abundance and nourishment, commonly a large horn-shaped container overflowing with produce, flowers, nuts, other edibles, or wealth in some form. Originating in classical antiquity , it has continued as a symbol in Western art , and it is particularly associated with the Thanksgiving holiday in North America . Allegorical depiction of the Roman goddess Abundantia with a cornucopia, by Rubens (ca. 1630) In Mythology Mythology offers multiple explanations of the origin of the cornucopia. One of the best-known involves the birth and nurturance of the infant Zeus, who had to be hidden from his devouring father Cronus . In a cave on Mount Ida on the island of Crete , baby Zeus was cared for and protected by a number of divine attendants, including the goat Amalthea ("Nourishing Goddess"), who fed him with her milk. The suckling future king of the gods had unusual abilities and strength, and in playing with his nursemaid accidentally broke off one of her horns , which then had the divine power to provide unending nourishment, as the foster mother had to the god. In another myth, the cornucopia was created when Heracles (Roman Hercules ) wrestled with the river god Achelous and wrenched off one of his horns; river gods were sometimes depicted as horned. This version is represented in the Achelous and Hercules mural painting by the American Regionalist artist Thomas Hart Benton . The cornucopia became the attribute of several Greek and Roman deities , particularly those associated with the harvest, prosperity, or spiritual abundance, such as personifications of Earth (Gaia or Terra ); the child Plutus , god of riches and son of the grain goddess Demeter ; the nymph Maia ; and Fortuna , the goddess of luck, who had the power to grant prosperity. In Roman Imperial cult , abstract Roman deities who fostered peace (pax Romana) and prosperity were also depicted with a cornucopia, including Abundantia , "Abundance" personified, and Annona , goddess of the grain supply to the city of Rome . Pluto , the classical ruler of the underworld in the mystery religions , was a giver of agricultural, mineral and spiritual wealth, and in art often holds a cornucopia to distinguish him from the gloomier Hades , who holds a drinking horn instead. Modern depictions In modern depictions, the cornucopia is typically a hollow, horn-shaped wicker basket filled with various kinds of festive fruit and vegetables . In North America, the cornucopia has come to be associated with Thanksgiving and the harvest. Cornucopia is also the name of the annual November Wine and Food celebration in Whistler , British Columbia, Canada. Two cornucopias are seen in the flag and state seal of Idaho . The Great Seal of North Carolina depicts Liberty standing and Plenty holding a cornucopia. The coat of arms of Colombia , Panama , Peru and Venezuela , and the Coat of Arms of the State of Victoria, Australia , also feature the cornucopia, symbolising prosperity. The horn of plenty is used on body art and at Halloween, as it is a symbol of fertility, fortune and abundance. Base of a statue of Louis XV of France Sinop is a city with a population of 36,734 on İnce Burun (İnceburun, Cape Ince ), by its Cape Sinop (Sinop Burnu, Boztepe Cape , Boztepe Burnu ) which is situated on the most northern edge of the Turkish side of Black Sea coast, in the ancient region of Paphlagonia , in modern-day northern Turkey , historically known as Sinope. It is the capital of Sinop Province . History Long used as a Hittite port which appears in Hittite sources as "Sinuwa" (J. Garstang, The Hittite Empire, p. 74), the city proper was re-founded as a Greek colony from the city of Miletus in the 7th century BC (Xenophon, Anabasis 6.1.15; Diodorus Siculus 14.31.2; Strabo 12.545). Sinope flourished as the Black Sea port of a caravan route that led from the upper Euphrates valley (Herodotus 1.72; 2.34), issued its own coinage, founded colonies, and gave its name to a red arsenic sulfate mined in Cappadocia, called "Sinopic red earth" (Miltos Sinôpikê) or sinople . Sinope escaped Persian domination until the early 4th century BC, and in 183 BC it was captured by Pharnaces I and became capital of the kingdom of Pontus . Lucullus conquered Sinope for Rome in 70 BC, and Julius Caesar established a Roman colony there, Colonia Julia Felix, in 47 BC. Mithradates Eupator was born and buried at Sinope, and it was the birthplace of Diogenes , of Diphilus , poet and actor of the New Attic comedy , of the historian Baton, and of the Christian heretic of the 2nd century AD, Marcion . It remained with the Eastern Roman Empire or the Byzantines . It was a part of the Empire of Trebizond from the sacking of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade in 1204 until the capture of the city by the Seljuk Turks of Rûm in 1214. After 1261, Sinop became home to two successive independent emirates following the fall of the Seljuks: the Pervâne and the Candaroğlu . It was captured by the Ottomans in 1458. In November 1853, at the start of the Crimean War , in the Battle of Sinop , the Russians , under the command of Admiral Nakhimov , destroyed an Ottoman frigate squadron in Sinop, leading Britain and France to declare war on Russia. Sinop hosted a US military base that was important for intelligence during the cold war era. The US base was closed in 1992. Explorer Bob Ballard discovered an ancient ship wreck north west of Sinop in the Black Sea and was shown on National Geographic. Mithridates VI King of Kings Mithridates VI from the Musée du Louvre Reign 120–63 BC Successor Pharnaces II of Pontus Father Mithridates V of Pontus Mother Laodice VI Mithridates VI or Mithradates VI (Greek: Μιθραδάτης), from Old Persian Mithradatha, "gift of Mithra "; 134–63 BC, also known as Mithradates the Great (Megas) and Eupator Dionysius, was king of Pontus and Armenia Minor in northern Anatolia (now Turkey ) from about 120–63 BC. Mithridates is remembered as one of the Roman Republic ’s most formidable and successful enemies, who engaged three of the prominent generals from the late Roman Republic in the Mithridatic Wars : Lucius Cornelius Sulla , Lucullus and Pompey . He was also the greatest ruler of the Kingdom of Pontus. Ancestry, family and early life Mithridates was a prince of Persian and Greek ancestry. He claimed descent from Cyrus the Great , from the family of Darius the Great , the Regent Antipater and from the generals of Alexander the Great and later kings: Antigonus I Monophthalmus and Seleucus I Nicator . Mithridates was born in the Pontic city of Sinope , and was raised in the Kingdom of Pontus . He was the first son and among the children born to Laodice VI and Mithridates V of Pontus (reigned 150–120 BC). His father, Mithridates V, was a prince and the son of the former Pontic Monarchs Pharnaces I of Pontus and his wife-cousin Nysa . His mother, Laodice VI, was a Seleucid Princess and the daughter of the Seleucid Monarchs Antiochus IV Epiphanes and his wife-sister Laodice IV . Mithridates V was assassinated in about 120 BC in Sinope , poisoned by unknown persons at a lavish banquet which he held. In the will of Mithridates V, he left the Kingdom to the joint rule of Laodice VI, Mithridates and his younger brother, Mithridates Chrestus . Mithridates and his younger brother were both under aged to rule and their mother retained all power as regent. Laodice VI’s regency over Pontus was from 120 BC to 116 BC (even perhaps up to 113 BC) and favored Mithridates Chrestus over Mithridates. During his mother’s regency, he escaped from his mother's plots against him, and went into hiding. Mithridates emerged from hiding and returned to Pontus between 116 BC and 113 BC and was hailed King. He removed his mother and brother from the throne, imprisoning both, and became the sole ruler of Pontus. Laodice VI died in prison of natural causes. Mithridates Chrestus may have died in prison from natural causes or was tried for treason and executed. Mithridates gave both a royal funeral. Mithridates first married his younger sister Laodice , aged 16. He married her to preserve the purity of their bloodline, and to co-rule over Pontus, to ensure the succession to his legitimate children, and to solidify his claim to the throne. Early reign Map of the Kingdom of Pontus, Before the reign of Mithridates VI (dark purple), after his conquests (purple), his conquests in the first Mithridatic wars (pink), as well as Pontus' ally the Kingdom of Armenia (green). Mithridates entertained ambitions of making his state the dominant power in the Black Sea and Anatolia . After he subjugated Colchis , the king of Pontus clashed for supremacy in the Pontic steppe with the Scythian King Palacus . The most important centres of Crimea , Tauric Chersonesus and the Bosporan Kingdom readily surrendered their independence in return for Mithridates' promises to protect them against the Scythians, their ancient enemies. After several abortive attempts to invade the Crimea, the Scythians and the allied Rhoxolanoi suffered heavy losses at the hands of the Pontic general Diophantus and accepted Mithridates as their overlord. The young king then turned his attention to Anatolia, where Roman power was on the rise. He contrived to partition Paphlagonia and Galatia with King Nicomedes III of Bithynia . It soon became clear to Mithridates that Nicomedes was steering his country into an anti-Pontic alliance with the expanding Roman Republic. When Mithridates fell out with Nicomedes over control of Cappadocia , and defeated him in a series of battles, the latter was constrained to openly enlist the assistance of Rome. The Romans twice interfered in the conflict on behalf of Nicomedes (95 – 92 BC), leaving Mithridates, should he wish to continue the expansion of his kingdom, with little choice other than to engage in a future Roman-Pontic war. Mithridatic Wars The next ruler of Bithynia, Nicomedes IV of Bithynia , was a figurehead manipulated by the Romans. Mithridates plotted to overthrow him, but his attempts failed and Nicomedes IV, instigated by his Roman advisors, declared war on Pontus. Rome itself was involved in the Social War , a civil war with its Italian allies. Thus, in all of Roman Asia Province there were only two legions present in Macedonia. These legions combined with Nicomedes IV's army to invade Mithridates' kingdom of Pontus in 89 BC. Mithridates, however, won a decisive victory, scattering the Roman-led forces. His victorious forces were welcomed throughout Anatolia. The following year, 88 BC, Mithridates orchestrated a massacre of Roman and Italian settlers remaining in several Anatolian cities, essentially wiping out the Roman presence in the region. This episode is known as the Asiatic Vespers. The Kingdom of Pontus comprised a mixed population in its Ionian Greek and Anatolian cities. The royal family moved the capital from Amasya to the Greek city of Sinope . Its rulers tried to fully assimilate the potential of their subjects by showing a Greek face to the Greek world and an Iranian/Anatolian face to the Eastern world. Whenever the gap between the rulers and their Anatolian subjects became greater, they would put emphasis on their Persian origins. In this manner, the royal propaganda claimed heritage both from Persian and Greek rulers, including Cyrus the Great , Darius I of Persia , Alexander the Great and Seleucus I Nicator . Mithridates too posed as the champion of Hellenism , but this was mainly to further his political ambitions; it is no proof that he felt a mission to promote its extension within his domains. Whatever his true intentions, the Greek cities (including Athens ) defected to the side of Mithridates and welcomed his armies in mainland Greece, while his fleet besieged the Romans at Rhodes . Neighboring King of Armenia Tigranes the Great , established an alliance with Mithridates and married one of Mithridates’ daughters, Cleopatra of Pontus . They would support each other in the coming conflict with Rome. The Romans responded by organising a large invasion force to defeat him and remove him from power.The First Mithridatic War , fought between 88 BC and 84 BC, saw Lucius Cornelius Sulla force Mithridates VI out of Greece proper. After victory in several battles, Sulla received news of trouble back in Rome posed by his enemy Gaius Marius and hurriedly concluded peace talks with Mithridates. As Sulla returned to Italy Lucius Licinius Murena was left in charge of Roman forces in Anatolia. The lenient peace treaty, which was never ratified by the Senate, allowed Mithridates VI to recoup his forces. Murena attacked Mithridates in 83 BC, provoking the Second Mithridatic War from 83 BC to 81 BC. Mithridates scored a victory over Murena's green forces before peace was again declared by treaty. When Rome attempted to annex Bithynia (bequested to Rome by its last king) nearly a decade later, Mithridates VI attacked with an even larger army, leading to the Third Mithridatic War from 73 BC to 63 BC. First Lucullus and then Pompey were sent against Mithridates VI, who surged back to retake his kingdom of Pontus, but was at last defeated by Pompey. After his defeat by Pompey in 63 BC, Mithridates VI fled with a small army from Colchis (modern Georgia) over the Caucasus Mountains to Crimea and made plans to raise yet another army to take on the Romans. His eldest living son, Machares , viceroy of Cimmerian Bosporus, was unwilling to aid his father. Mithridates had Machares killed, and Mithridates took the throne of the Bosporan Kingdom . Mithridates then ordered the conscriptions and preparations for war. In 63 BC, Pharnaces II of Pontus , one of his sons, led a rebellion against his father, joined by Roman exiles in the core of Mithridates' Pontic army. Mithridates withdrew to the citadel in Panticapaeum , where he committed suicide. Pompey buried Mithridates in the rock-cut tombs of his ancestors in Amasya, the old capital of Pontus . Assassination conspiracy During the time of the First Mithridatic War, a group of Mithridates' friends plotted to kill him. These were Mynnio and Philotimus of Smyrna, and Cleisthenes and Asclepiodotus of Lesbos . Asclepiodotus changed his mind and became an informant . He arranged to have Mithridates hide under a couch to hear the plot against him. The other conspirators were tortured and executed . However, this was not enough for Mithridates, who also killed all of the plotters' families and friends. Propaganda Where his ancestors pursued philhellenism as a means of attaining respectability and prestige among the Hellenistic kingdoms, Mithridates VI made use of Hellenism as a political tool. As protector of Greek cities on the Black Sea and in Asia against barbarism, Mithridates VI logically became protector of Greece and Greek culture, and would use this stance in his clashes with Rome. Strabo mentions that Chersonesus buckled under the pressure of the barbarians and asked Mithridates VI to become its protector (7.4.3. c.308). The most impressive symbol of Mithridates VI's approbation with Greece (Athens in particular) appears at Delos : a heroon dedicated to the Pontic king in 102/1 by the Athenian Helianax, a priest of Poseidon Aisios. A dedication at Delos , by Dicaeus, a priest of Sarapis , was made in 94/93 BC on behalf of the Athenians, Romans, and "King Mithridates Eupator Dionysus." Greek styles mixed with Persian elements also abound on official Pontic coins – Perseus was favored as an intermediary between both worlds, East and West. Certainly influenced by Alexander the Great , Mithridates VI extended his propaganda from "defender" of Greece to the "great liberator" of the Greek world as war with Roman Republic became inevitable. The Romans were easily translated into "barbarians", in the same sense as the Persian Empire during the war with Persia in the first half of the 5th century BC and during Alexander's campaign. How many Greeks genuinely bought into this claim will never be known. It served its purpose, however. At least partially because of it, Mithridates VI was able to fight the First War with Rome on Greek soil, and maintain the allegiance of Greece. His campaign for the allegiance of the Greeks was aided in no small part by his enemy Sulla, who allowed his troops to sack the city of Delphi and plunder many of the city's most famous treasures to help finance his military expenses. Death When Mithridates VI was at last defeated by Pompey and in danger of capture by Rome, he is alleged to have attempted suicide by poison; this attempt failed, however, because of his immunity to the poison. According to Appian's Roman History, he then requested his Gaul bodyguard and friend, Bituitus, to kill him by the sword: Mithridates then took out some poison that he always carried next to his sword, and mixed it. There two of his daughters, who were still girls growing up together, named Mithridates and Nysa, who had been betrothed to the kings of [Ptolemaic] Egypt and of Cyprus, asked him to let them have some of the poison first, and insisted strenuously and prevented him from drinking it until they had taken some and swallowed it. The drug took effect on them at once; but upon Mithridates, although he walked around rapidly to hasten its action, it had no effect, because he had accustomed himself to other drugs by continually trying them as a means of protection against poisoners. These are still called the Mithridatic drugs. Seeing a certain Bituitus there, an officer of the Gauls, he said to him, "I have profited much from your right arm against my enemies. I shall profit from it most of all if you will kill me, and save from the danger of being led in a Roman triumph one who has been an autocrat so many years, and the ruler of so great a kingdom, but who is now unable to die by poison because, like a fool, he has fortified himself against the poison of others. Although I have kept watch and ward against all the poisons that one takes with his food, I have not provided against that domestic poison, always the most dangerous to kings, the treachery of army, children, and friends." Bituitus, thus appealed to, rendered the king the service that he desired. (XVI, §111) Cassius Dio Roman History, on the other hand, records his death as murder: Mithridates had tried to make away with himself, and after first removing his wives and remaining children by poison, he had swallowed all that was left; yet neither by that means nor by the sword was he able to perish by his own hands. For the poison, although deadly, did not prevail over him, since he had inured his constitution to it, taking precautionary antidotes in large doses every day; and the force of the sword blow was lessened on account of the weakness of his hand, caused by his age and present misfortunes, and as a result of taking the poison, whatever it was. When, therefore, he failed to take his life through his own efforts and seemed to linger beyond the proper time, those whom he had sent against his son fell upon him and hastened his end with their swords and spears. Thus Mithridates, who had experienced the most varied and remarkable fortune, had not even an ordinary end to his life. For he desired to die, albeit unwillingly, and though eager to kill himself was unable to do so; but partly by poison and partly by the sword he was at once self-slain and murdered by his foes. (Book 37, chapter 13) At the behest of Pompey, Mithridates' body was later buried alongside his ancestors (in Sinope, Book 37, chapter 14). Mount Mithridat in the central Kerch and the town of Yevpatoria in Crimea commemorate his name. Mithridates' antidote Main article: Mithridate In his youth, after the assassination of his father Mithridates V in 120 BC, Mithridates is said to have lived in the wilderness for seven years, inuring himself to hardship. While there, and after his accession, he cultivated an immunity to poisons by regularly ingesting sub-lethal doses of the same. He invented a complex "universal antidote" against poisoning; several versions are described in the literature. Aulus Cornelius Celsus gives one in his De Medicina and names it Antidotum Mithridaticum, whence English mithridate . Pliny the Elder's version comprised 54 ingredients to be placed in a flask and matured for at least two months. After Mithridates' death in 63 BC, many imperial Roman physicians claimed to possess and improve on the original formula, which they touted as Mithradatium. In keeping with most medical practices of his era, Mithridates' anti-poison routines included a religious component; they were supervised by the Agari, a group of Scythian shamans who never left him. Mithridates was reportedly guarded in his sleep by a horse, a bull, and a stag, which would whinny, bellow, and bleat whenever anyone approached the royal bed. Mithridates as polyglot In Pliny the Elder 's account of famous polyglots , Mithridates could speak the languages of all the twenty-two nations he governed. This reputation led to the use of Mithridates' name as title in some later works on comparative linguistics, such as Conrad Gessner 's Mithridates de differentis linguis, (1555), and Adelung and Vater's Mithridates oder allgemeine Sprachenkunde (1806–1817). Wives, mistresses and children Mithridates VI had wives and mistresses, by whom he had various children. The names he gave his children are a representation of his Persian, Greek heritage and of his ancestry. First wife, his sister Laodice . They were married from 115/113 BC till about 90 BC. Mithridates with Laodice had various children: Sons: Mithridates, Arcathius , Machares and Pharnaces II of Pontus Daughters: Cleopatra of Pontus (sometimes called Cleopatra the Elder to distinguish her from her sister of the same name) and Drypetina (a diminutive form of "Drypetis"). Drypetina was Mithridates VI’s most devoted daughter. Her baby teeth never fell out, so she had a double set of teeth . Second wife, the Greek Macedonian Noblewoman, Monime . They were married from about 89/88 BC till 72/71 BC. By whom, he had: Daughter: Athenais , who married King Ariobarzanes II of Cappadocia Third wife, Greek woman Berenice of Chios , married from 86–72/71 BC Fourth wife, Greek woman Stratonice of Pontus , married from after 86–63 BC Son: Xiphares Fifth wife, unknown Sixth wife, Caucasian woman Hypsicratea , married from an unknown date to 63 BC One of his mistresses was the Galatian Celtic Princess Adobogiona . By Adobogiona, Mithridates had two children: a son called Mithridates I of the Bosporus and a daughter called Adobogiona. His sons born from his concubine were Cyrus, Xerxes, Darius, Ariarathes IX of Cappadocia , Artaphernes, Oxathres, Phoenix (Mithridates’ son by a mistress of Syrian descent) and Exipodras. His daughters born from his concubine were Nysa, Eupatra, Cleopatra the Younger, Mithridates and Orsabaris . Nysa and Mithridates, were engaged to the Egyptian Greek Pharaohs Ptolemy XII Auletes and his brother Ptolemy of Cyprus . In 63 BC, when the Kingdom of Pontus was annexed by the Roman general Pompey the remaining sisters, wives, mistresses and children of Mithridates VI in Pontus were put to death. Plutarch writing in his lives (Pompey v.45) states that Mithridates' sister and five of his children took part in Pompey's triumphal procession on this return to Rome in 61 BC. The Cappadocian Greek nobleman and high priest of the temple-state of Comana, Cappadocia Archelaus had descended from Mithridates VI. He claimed to be a son of Mithridates VI, however chronologically Archelaus may have been a maternal grandson of the Pontic King, who his father was Mithridates VI’s favorite general may have married one of the daughters of Mithridates VI. Literature The poet A. E. Housman alludes to Mithridates' antidote, also known as mithridatism , in the final stanza of his poem "Terence, This Is Stupid Stuff" in A Shropshire Lad . There was a king reigned in the East: There, when kings will sit to feast, They get their fill before they think With poisoned meat and poisoned drink. He gathered all that springs to birth From the many-venomed earth; First a little, thence to more, He sampled all her killing store; And easy, smiling, seasoned sound, Sate the king when healths went round. They put arsenic in his meat And stared aghast to watch him eat; They poured strychnine in his cup And shook to see him drink it up: They shook, they stared as white’s their shirt: Them it was their poison hurt. –I tell the tale that I heard told. Mithridates, he died old. – A. E. Housman , A Shropshire Lad Ralph Waldo Emerson included his "Mithridates" in his 1847 "Poems". The legend also appears in Alexandre Dumas 's novel The Count of Monte Cristo . The demise of Mithridates VI is detailed in the 1673 play Mithridate written by Jean Racine . This play is the basis for several 18th century operas including one of Mozart's earliest, known most commonly by its Italian name, Mitridate, re di Ponto (1770). He is the subject of the opera Mitridate Eupatore (1707) by Alessandro Scarlatti . In The Grass Crown , the second in the Masters of Rome series, Colleen McCullough , the Australian writer, describes in detail the various aspects of his life – the murder of Laodice (sister-wife of Mithridates VI of Pontus) , and the Roman Consul who, quite alone and surrounded by the Pontic army, ordered Mithridates to leave Cappadocia immediately and go back to Pontus – which he did. Wordsworth, amidst casting about for poetic themes in The Prelude : Sometimes, more sternly moved, I would relate How vanquished Mithridates northward passed, And, hidden in the cloud of years, became Odin, the Father of a race by whom Perished the Roman Empire. – William Wordsworth , The Prelude Bk i vv 186 ff In Dorothy L. Sayers ' Detective Novel "Strong Poison", from 1929, the protagonist, Lord Peter Wimsey , refers to Mithridates' measures to survive poisoning; as well as Albert Einstein 's theory of Special Relativity , when the protagonist warns not to trust someone who looks straight in your eye, as they're trying to distract you from seeing something, "..even the path light travels is bent". James Joyce alludes to Mithridates' immunity to poison in his love poem Though I Thy Mithridates Were. The Last King is an historical novel by Michael Curtis Ford about the King and his exploits against the Roman Republic. Mithridates is a major character in Poul Anderson 's novel The Golden Slave. Mithridates of Pontus is mentioned by E. E. "Doc" Smith in Triplanetary , the first novel of the famous Lensman science fiction series. In the story, Mithridates was supposed to be one of the humans possessed by a member of an evil alien race bent on remaking human civilization into its own image. In the novel Mithridates is Dead (Spanish: Mitrídates ha muerto ), Ignasi Ribó traces parallels between the historical figures of Mithridates and Osama Bin Laden . Within a postmodern narrative of the making and unmaking of history, Ribó suggests that the September 11 attacks on the United States closely paralleled the massacre of Roman citizens in 88 B.C. and prompted similar consequences, namely the imperialist overstretch of the American and Roman republics respectively. Furthermore, he suggests that the ensuing Mithridatic Wars were one of the key factors in the demise of Rome's republican regime, as well as in the spread of the Christian faith in Asia Minor and eventually throughout the whole Roman Empire. The novel implies that the current events in the world might have similar unforeseen consequences. Preceded by Mithridates V King of Pontus 120–63 BC Succeeded by Pharnaces II Frequently Asked Questions How long until my order is shipped? Depending on the volume of sales, it may take up to 5 business days for shipment of your order after the receipt of payment. How will I know when the order was shipped? After your order has shipped, you will be left positive feedback, and that date should be used as a basis of estimating an arrival date. After you shipped the order, how long will the mail take? 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