Mythology NAFPLIO (Town) PELOPONNISOS - GTP - Greek Travel Pages

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Mythology (7)



NAFPLIA (Ancient city) NAFPLIO
Palamedes, a son of Nauplius and Clymene, the daughter of Atreus (or Catreus, Tzetz. ad Lye. 384), and brother of Oeax. He joined the Greeks in their expedition against Troy; but Agamemnon, Diomedes, and Odysseus, envious of his fame, caused a captive Phrygian to write to Palamedes a letter in the name of Priam, and then induced a servant of Palamedes by bribes to conceal the letter under his master's bed. Hereupon they accused Palamedes of treachery; they searched his tent, and as they found the letter which they themselves had dictated, they caused him to be stoned to death. When Palamedes was led to death, he exclaimed, "Truth, I lament thee, for thou hast died even before me." (Schol. ad Eur. Orest. 422; Philostr. Her. 10; Ov. Met. xiii. 56.) According to some traditions, it was Odysseus alone who hated and persecuted Palamedes. (Hygin. Fab. 105; Xemoph. Memor. iv. 2.23, Apolog. 26.) The cause of this hatred too is not the same in all writers; for according to some, Odysseus hated him because he had been compelled by him to join the Greeks against Troy (Hygin. Fab. 95; Ov. Met. xiii. 58) or because lie had been severely censured by Palamedes for returning from a foraging excursion into Thrace with empty hands. (Serv. ad Aen. ii. 81; comp. Philostr. Her. 10.)
  The manner of Palamedes' death is likewise related differently: some say that Odysseus and Diomedes induced him to descend into a well, where they pretended they had discovered a treasure, and as he was below they cast stones upon him, and killed him (Diet. Cret. ii. 15); others state that he was drowned by them whilst fishing (Paus. x. 31.1); and according to Dares Phrygius (28) he was killed by Pads with an arrow. The place where he was killed is either Colonae in Troas, or in Tenedos, or at Geraestus.
  The story of Palamedes, which is not mentioned by Homer, seems to have been first related in the Cypria, and was afterwards developed by the tragic poets, especially Euripides, and lastly by the sophists, who liked to look upon Palamedes as their pattern. (Paus. x. 31.1; Philostr. l. c.) The tragic poets and sophists describe him as a sage among the Greeks, and as a poet; and he is said to have invented light-houses, measures, scales, discus, dice, the alphabet, and the art of regulating sentinels. (Philostr. Her. 10; Paus. ii. 20.3, x. 31.1; Schol. ad Eurip. Orest. 422.) A sanctuary and a statue of Palamedes existed on the Aeolian coast of Asia Minor, opposite to Methymna in Lesbos. (Philostr. Vit. Apollon. iv. 13; Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 384.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited June 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Palamedes. The son of Nauplius and brother of Oeax, a hero of the post-Homeric cycle of Trojan legend. Odysseus envied his wisdom and ingenuity, and was bent on avenging himself on Palamedes for detecting his feigned madness. Accordingly he is said to have conspired with Diomedes and drowned him while engaged in fishing; or (according to another account) they persuaded him to enter a well, in which treasure was said to be concealed, and then overwhelmed him with stones. According to others, Agamemnon also hated him as head of the peace party among the Greeks. He accordingly got Odysseus and Diomedes to conceal in his tent a letter purporting to be written by Priam, as well as some money, and then accuse him as a traitor; whereupon he was stoned to death by the people. His brother Oeax informed his father of the sad event by writing the news on an oar and throwing it into the sea, upon which he took a terrible vengeance on the returning Greeks. Palamedes was considered by the Greeks as the inventor of the alphabet and of lighthouses; also of measures and weights, and of dice and draughts and the discus.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited May 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Palamedes,inventor of the alphabet

I have always been of opinion, that letters were of Assyrian origin, but other writers, Gellius, for instance, suppose that they were invented in Egypt by Mercury: others, again, will have it that they were discovered by the Syrians; and that Cadmus brought from Phoenicia sixteen letters into Greece. To these, Palamedes, it is said, at the time of the Trojan war, added these four, th, x, ph, and ch. Simonides,(1) the lyric poet, afterwards added a like number, z, e, ps, and o; the sounds denoted by all of which are now received into our alphabet.(2)
  Aristotle, on the other hand, is rather of opinion, that there were originally eighteen letters,(3) a b g d e z i k l m n o p r s t u ph, and that two, th namely and ch, were introduced by Epicharmus,(4) and not by Palamedes. Aristides says, that a certain person of the name of Menos, in Egypt, invented letters fifteen years before the reign of Phoroneus,(5) the most ancient of all the kings of Greece, and this he attempts to prove by the monuments there. On the other hand, Epigenes, a writer of very great authority, informs us that the Babylonians have a series of observations on the stars, for a period of seven hundred and twenty thousand years, inscribed on baked bricks. Berosus and Critodemus, who make the period the shortest, give it as four hundred and ninety thousand years.(6) From this statement, it would appear that letters have been in use from all eternity. The Pelasgi were the first to introduce them into Latium.
1. It would appear that there were two individuals of this name, who were confounded with each other; Simonides (of Cos), the celebrated poet, lived as late as the fifth century before Christ, so that it has been thought improbable that the Greek language could have existed without the four letters here mentioned, until so recent a period.
2. The account of the original introduction of the alphabet into Greece, here given, is the one generally adopted in his time. Most readers will be aware, that the actual invention of letters, the share which the Egyptians and the Phoenicians had in it, the identification of Cadmus and still more of Mercury, with any of the heroes or legislators of antiquity, of whom we have any correct historical data, and the connection which the Greek alphabet had with those of other nations, are among the most curious questions of literary discussion, and are still far from being resolved with any degree of certainty.
3. It seems to have been the general opinion, that the Greek language had, originally, sixteen or eighteen letters, the source of which was very uncertain, and of high antiquity; and to these, additional letters were, from time to time, appended by different individuals. Upon the whole, the claim of the Egyptians to the invention of letters, seems to rest upon, at least, a very plausible foundation.
4. Epicharmus was born in the fifth century B.C. , in the island of Cos, hut removed, probably at an early age, to Sicily, where he passed a considerable portion of his life. His original profession was that of a physician, but he appears to have devoted his attention principally to general science and literature, and is more especially remarkable as the inventor of regular comedy. A few fragments only of his dramas remain, but the titles of no less than forty are preserved. From a line in the Prologue to the Menaechmi of Plautus, where it is said that the plot of the play, "non Atticissat verum Sicilicissat" "is not Attic, but Sicilian;" it has been conjectured, that Plautus took the plot of the piece from Epicharmus.
5. Phoroneus was the son of Inachus, and the second king of Argos; he began to reign about 1807 B.C.
6. There has been much discussion respecting the interpretation of this passage. In the first place, the numbers in the text have extended from 720 and 490 to as many thousands, by the addition of the letter M., against the authority, however, of some MSS. In the next place, in older to curtail the enormous periods thus formed, the years have been supposed to be only lunar, or even diurnal periods. The opinion of Hardouin and Marcus is perhaps the better founded, who reject the proposed alteration, and consider these numbers to indicate, according to their natural signification, periods of years. The principal consideration that has been urged in favour of the alteration of the text is derived from two passages in Cicero's Treatise de Divin. B. i. c. 19, and B. ii. c. 46, where he refers to the very long periods which the Babylonians employed in their calculations, but which he justly regards as entirely without foundation, and even ridiculous. Pliny, however, professes to follow the opinion of Epigenes whom he styles "gravis auctor," and who, we may premise. would reject these improbable tales. The reading, 720 thousands, is the one adopted by Sillig.


Historic figures

Nauplios & Philyra

Nauplios. A son of Poseidon and Amymone, of Argos, a famous navigator, and father of Proetus and Damastor (Apollon. Rhod. i. 136, &c.; Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. iv. 1091). He is the reputed founder of the town of Nauplia, which derived its name from him (Paus. ii. 38. 2, iv. 35. 2; Schol. ad Eurip. Orest. 54). He is also said to have discovered the constellation of the great bear. (Theon, ad Arat. Phaen. 27; Paus. viii. 48. 5; Strab. viii. p. 368.)

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