Imágenes de páginas

condition ; but Titan afterwards suspecting that his brother had broke the contract between them, made war against him, and kept him in prison, from whence he was released by his son Jupiter, and re-inftated in his government. He was afterwards dethroned by Jupiter himself.

Saturn is reprefented as the emblem of Time, with a scythe in his hand; and during his reign, it is said, was the golden age of the earth, when the ground yielded all sorts of fruits without culture, and Afræa, or Justice, dwelt among men, who lived together in perfect love and amity. He is said to have destroyed all his children, because Time devours all things.

CYBELE was the wife of Saturn, and accounted mother of the gods. She hath her head crowned with towers, and is the goddess of cities, garrisons, and all things that the earth sustains.

In her hand she carries a key, because in winter the earth locks up her treasures, which in the spring the unlooses, brings forth, and dispenses with a plentiful hand.

She is feated in a chariot, because the earth hangs in the air, being poised by its own weight. Her garments were painted with flowers of various colours, and figured with images of several creatures; which needs no explanation, since every one knows, that such a dress is suitable to the earth.

'tures 6

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

PITER, the son of Saturn and Cybele, or

Ops, is the father and king of gods and men. He is represented fitting on a throne of ivory and gold, holding thunder in his right hand, and in the left a scepter made of cypress; which wood, being free from corruption, is a symbol of eternal empire.

He was born, and educated, upon Ida, a mountain in Crete. Some say he was nursed by the Nymphs, and others, that he was fed by the bees, with honey.

Jupiter, after he had deposed his father Saturn from the throne, and expelled him the kingdom, divided the paternal inheritance with his two brothers, Neptune and Pluto. He so obliged and assisted mankind by great favours, that he not only got the title of Jupiter, but also obtained divine honors,


and was esteemed the common father of gods and men.

Jupiter is stiled Optimus Maximus, from his power and willingness to do good to all men. He is also named Olympius from Olympus, or the heaven, wherein he refides.

JUNO, the queen of heaven, both the sister and wife of Jupiter, was born in the island of Samos; where she lived while she continued a virgin.

She is represented in a chariot drawn by peacocks, with a sceptre in her right hand, and a crown on her head. She was mother of Vulcan, Mars and Hebe.

Iris was her servant and peculiar messenger. Be cause of her swiftness, she is painted with wings, fitting on a rainbow. It was her office to unloose the souls of dying women from the chains of the body.




POLLO is described as a beardless youth,

with long hair, crowned with laurel, and shining in an embroidered vestment; holding a bow D


and arrows in his right hand, and a harp in the left. Sometimes he is seen with a shield on the one hand, and the Graces in the other.

He was the son of Jupiter and Latona. By the invention of physic, music, poetry and rhetoric, he deservedly presided over the Muses.

He destroyed all the Cyclops, the forgers of Jupiter's thunder polts, with his arrows, to revenge the death of his son Æfculapius, whom Jupiter had killed with his thunder, because, by the power of phyfic, he restored the dead to life again.

Daphne, so famous for her modesty, was changed into a laurel, whilst Apollo, who passionately admired her, was using his utmost efforts to obtain her. The laurel is the most chaste of trees, which is never corrupted with the violence of heat or cold, but remains always flourishing, always pure.

Apollo raised the walls of the city of Troy, by the music of his harp alone.

He is called Cynthius from the mountain Cynthus, in the island of Delos; from whence Diana is also called Cynthia. He is also called Delius, from the fame island, becaufe he was born there.

He is called Delphicus from the city Delphi in Boeotia, where he had the most famous temple in the world. They say that this famous Oracle became dumb, at the birth of our Saviour; and when Augustus desired to know the reason of its silence, the Oracle answered him, that, in Judæa, a child was born, who was the Son of God, and had commanded him to depart, and return no more anfwers.

From his exact skill in hunting he is called Paan, and armed with arrows. From the swiftnefs of his motion, he is called Phoebus.

Sol, who enlightened the world, is esteemed the same as Apollo. He was the father of Phaeton by Clymene ; and, as a proof of his paternal affection, promised to grant his son whatever he should request. The rash youth asked the guidance of his chariot for one day. Sol, in vain, used every argument to dissuade him from the enterprize ; but, having sworn by the river Styx, an oath which it was unlawful for the gods to violate, he unwilling ly granted his request, and gave him the necessary instructions for his behaviour.

Phaeton, transported with joy, mounted the chariot, and began to lash the flaming steeds ; but they, finding the ignorance of their new driver, ran through the air, and set heaven and earth on fire. Jupiter, to prevent a total conflagration, struck Phaeton with thunder from his chariot, and plunged him into the river Po. His sisters, Phæthusa, Lam.


D 2

« AnteriorContinuar »