A to Aegyptus Aello to Agesilaus I Agesilaus II to Akhaia Akhaian to Alkman Alkmene to Anaetius Anakeion to Apaturia Apeliotes to Argos Argus to Arkhidike Arkhilokhos to Astyanax Astydameia to Azov

Argus to Arkhidike

Argus (1)

The Hundred Eyed giant who Hera ordered to watch over the heifer maiden, Io.

After he was killed by Hermes his eyes were placed on the tail feathers of the peacock; Hermes was thereafter called Argeiphontes, i.e. the Slayer of Argus.

Argus (2)

The son of Arestor who, with the urging and inspiration of Athene (Athena), designed and built the ship, Argo, for Iason (Jason) and the Argonauts.

Argus (3)

The faithful dog of Odysseus who recognized his master after Odysseus had been gone for twenty years.

When Argus finally saw Odysseus he died knowing that he had waited faithfully for his master to return.

Argus (4)

One of the four sons of Phrixus and Khalkiope (Chalciope).

Argus and his brothers were raised in Kolkhis (Colchis) but after their father died, he and his brothers left Kolkhis to avenge their father’s ill treatment by king Athamas of Orkhomenos (Orchomenos) and were stranded on the Island of Ares in the Euxine (Black Sea).

The brothers were rescued from the island by the Argonauts; Argus and his brothers joined the crew of the Argo and returned to Kolkhis.

His brothers were: Kytissoros (Cytissoros), Phrontis and Melas.


A nymph; the mother of Miletus by Apollon.


The daughter of king Minos and queen Pasiphae of the island of Crete; the sister of Deukalion (Deucalion).

Ariadne was the love smitten girl who gave Theseus the thread by which he escaped the labyrinth of Minos.

According to The Odyssey, Odysseus encountered the “shade” of Ariadne when he evoked the spirits of the Underworld; Theseus was taking her to Athens after he had escaped the labyrinth but abandoned her on the island of Dia; after Dionysus “bore witness against her”, the goddess Artemis killed Ariadne.

That is the oldest mention of Ariadne but, according to Plutarkh (Plutarch), the stories relating to Theseus, Ariadne and the labyrinth were not as clear-cut as we might imagine; the idea that Ariadne was in love with Theseus is a common thread that winds through all the stories but her ultimate fate is by no means clear; she either:

  1. Was abandoned on the island of Dia and killed by Artemis;
  2. Inherited the throne of Crete after the deaths of her father, Minos, and her brother, Deukalion, and she made a pact of truce with Athens;
  3. She committed suicide after Theseus abandoned her;
  4. She was taken to the island of Naxos after Theseus abandoned her for a woman named Aigle and she married a priest of Dionysus named Oenarus;
  5. Theseus put the pregnant Ariadne ashore on the island of Cyprus and was not able to return before she died in childbirth; or
  6. That there were two women named Ariadne stranded on the island of Naxos: one was married to Dionysus and her passing was celebrated with gaiety; the other Ariadne was abandoned by Theseus and her passing was commemorated with sorrow and lamentation.

Regardless of the fate of beautiful Ariadne, Plutarkh reminds us that it was never wise to offend the eloquent and dramatic Athenians because they would exaggerate and immortalize any insult or transgression against them; king Minos earned the hatred of the Athenians and he and his family are forever condemned to suffer the jibes and taunts of pre-historical innuendo.

  • Odyssey, book 11, line 321
  • Lives, Theseus, chapters 16, 19-21
  • Arima

    The land ruled by the half-nymph/half-snake monster, Ekhidna (Echidna).

    Arima is assumed by some to be a northern land but Hesiod says only that it is a land far away from the deathless gods and mortal men.


    The Arimaspi; a race of one eyed men who lived north of Skythia (Scythia).

    Their name comes from the Skythian language: arima = one and spou = eye.


    Another name for the Medes or Aryans.

    They were subjects of the Persian Empire but always distrusted by the Persians because the Persians had once been conquered and ruled by the Medes; the Magi were the most influential tribe of Medes and were used as seers and religious advisors by the Persians.

    Arion (1)

    The immortal horse of king Adrastus of Argos.

    Arion was the spawn of Poseidon (lord of the Sea) and the goddess, Demeter.

    Arion (2)

    The chariot horse of Iolaos.

    When Iolaos and Herakles (Heracles) fought against the son of Ares (god of War), Kyknos (Cycnus), Arion pulled their chariot to victory.

    Arion (3)

    A seventh century Greek poet and inventor of the dithyramb, i.e. a vehement and wild choral song or chant in honor of Dionysus; usually irregular in form.

    Aristagoras (1)

    The tyrant of the city of Miletus in Karia (Caria) circa 500 BCE and most notable as the instigator of, what is called, the Ionian Revolt.

    Aristagoras was the Persian satrap of Miletus who ruled with the permission of the Persian king; in Aristagoras’ time, the Great King was Darius I.

    An opportunity arose to increase Aristagoras’ wealth and influence when some rich exiles from the island of Naxos appealed to Aristagoras for help in regaining their positions of authority on the, now democratic, island; Aristagoras asked the satrap of Sardis, Artaphrenes, for advice and Artaphrenes, in turn, took the matter to king Darius; Aristagoras made promises of wealth and power if the centrally located island of Naxos was under Persian control.

    Darius approved the plan for an invasion of Naxos and allotted 200 ships and a limited amount of money for the task; Aristagoras was second in command of the expedition, serving under an influential man named Megabates.

    Preparing for the attack on Naxos, the fleet gathered near the island of Khios (Chios); when Megabates was making his inspection of the fleet, he found one of the ships unguarded; Megabates had the ship’s captain bound with his head protruding through an oar-hole; Aristagoras appealed for mercy but Megabates insisted on the humiliating punishment; Aristagoras deliberately disobeyed Megabates and freed the errant captain; Megabates was furious and devised a clever plan where Aristagoras would lose his wealth, power and his life.

    Megabates secretly sent a messenger to Naxos and warned the unsuspecting islanders of the impending invasion; the people of Naxos made hasty preparations and were ready when the Persians arrived; a siege of four months ensued and the Persians realized that they could not afford to continue because their war-chest was empty and the easy victory which Aristagoras had promised was not to be had.

    The Persians withdrew and Aristagoras realized his future looked bleak; at this same time, a captive of king Darius named Histiaeus, sent a message to Aristagoras and urged him to organize a revolt of the Ionian Greeks; the time seemed right to Aristagoras so he plotted to arrest all the princes of the Ionian cities and replace them with men he could trust.

    With the institution of military governors and the revolt against Darius clearly in the open, Aristagoras sailed to Sparta to seek an alliance; the Spartan king, Kleomenes (Cleomenes), when he heard how far the Persian capital of Susa was from the Aegean Sea (three months march), dismissed Aristagoras abruptly; Aristagoras then tried to bribe Kleomenes but was again rebuffed.

    Aristagoras took his appeal to the city of Athens and presented his proposal to the popular assembly; where Aristagoras had been unable to persuade one man (the Spartan king), he had no trouble gaining the support of the people of Athens; they promised twenty ships and appointed a commander named Melanthius to assist Aristagoras.

    Other allies joined the revolt and Aristagoras organized an attack on the Persian city of Sardis; Aristagoras did not go to Sardis himself but sent a large ground force to capture the city while he waited in Miletus.

    Circa 498 BCE, Sardis was burned but not captured; the homes of the city were made of straw and when one house was set ablaze, with the exception of the akropolis (acropolis), the entire city burned to the ground; the Ionians retreated to the city of Ephesus and were soundly defeated by the pursuing Persians.

    The Athenians withdrew their support for the Ionians but the revolt continued; the city of Byzantium was captured and other northern provinces joined the Ionians against the Persians; the island of Cyprus tried to join the revolt but was soon recaptured by the Persians; Darius instructed his best generals to quash the revolt and the Ionians were soon losing territory to the Persian onslaught.

    When Aristagoras realized that his fate was not going to be one of victory or honorable defeat, he took his few supporters to Thrake (Thrace) and tried to continue his tyranny on the humble people of that land; he was finally killed trying to capture an unimportant town in a poor nation.

    The Ionian Revolt ended with the Persians again in control of the Greek colonies but now the Persians were openly hostile to the cities of the Greek mainland for their support of the Ionians; when the Greeks had burned Sardis, the temple of the goddess Kybele (Cybele) was inadvertently destroyed and the Persians, in retribution, desecrated many Greek temples and shrines when they eventually invaded the Greek mainland in 490 and 480 BCE; also, the Persians never forgave the Athenians for meddling in the affairs of their empire and the burning of Sardis was a pretext for the burning of Athens in 480 BCE.

    Aristagoras (2)

    The tyrant of the city of Kyzikos (Cyzicus) in the upper portion of Mysia circa 495 BCE.

    Aristagoras (3)

    The tyrant of the city of Kyme) (Cyme) in western Lydia circa 495 BCE.


    The son of Apollon and Kyrene (Cyrene).

    Apollon seduced Kyrene and removed her to Libya and turned her into a nymph; when Aristaios was an infant, Apollon took him to the cave of the Centaur, Kheiron (Chiron), for his education.

    As a grown man, Aristaios became a favorite of the Muse who made him the keeper of their flocks; he was called Hunter and Shepherd because he was so skillful with all types of animals.

    Aristaios’ affection for the nymph, Eurydike (Eurydice), caused her death and roused the ire of Eurydike’s sisters; as punishment for his impulsiveness, the nymphs killed all of Aristaios’ bees; he was able to appease the nymphs and regain his bees with the intervention of Proteus (the Old Man of the Sea).

    When the Dog-Star, Sirius, rose in the sky and scorched the land, Apollon took Aristaios to the island of Keos (Ceos) so that he could use his powers of healing and prophecy to help the islanders; Aristaios gathered the inhabitants and made a great altar in order to sacrifice to Sirius and Zeus; as a result of Aristaios’ prayers, Zeus sent a cooling wind, called the Etesian winds, which lasted for forty days and continues annually when the Dog-Star rises in the Summer sky.

    Aristarkhus of Samos
    Aristarchus of Samos

    Late third century BCE Greek astronomer; he put forward the theory that the earth and planets revolved around the sun but, although his basic theory was correct, he operated under the false assumption that the planets moved in circular (as opposed to elliptical) orbits and his theory failed to gain acceptance.

    Aristarkhus of Samothrake
    Aristarchus of Samothrace

    (circa 216-144 BCE); Greek philologist and critic; head of the Library of Alexandria in Egypt circa 180-145 BCE.


    Athenian statesman and general circa 530-468 BCE; the son of Lysimakhos (Lysimachus).

    Aristides was always considered to be a man of reason and conservative deliberation; he served the city of Athens in several crucial military encounters including: the battle of Marathon, the sea battle with the Persians at the island of Salamis and the final defeat of the Persian army on the plains of Plataea.

    Aristippus of Kyrene

    (circa 435-356 BCE) Greek philosopher from the city of Kyrene (Cyrene) in northern Africa.

    Aristippus was the founder of the Cyrenaic school of philosophy; he taught that pleasure is the only rational aim of life.

    His name may also be rendered as Aristippos.

    Aristodemus (1)

    The Spartan coward and hero.

    Aristodemus was denounced as a coward when he survived the battle at Thermopylae and honored as the bravest man on the battlefield at Plataea.

    Aristodemus was a Spartan soldier and accompanied the king, Leonidas, to the narrow pass at Thermopylae to await the invading Persian army where the four thousand Spartans faced perhaps as many as five hundred thousand Persians.

    Aristodemus and another man named Eurytus where afflicted by an ailment of the eye and were not fit to fight; Leonidas released both men from their duty but when the Persians finally broke through the Spartan lines, Eurytus had his helot take him into the thick of the fighting where he was killed; Aristodemus did not die and returned to Sparta as the only survivor of the battle.

    Aristodemus was labeled as a coward and no Spartan would give him a spark for his fire or speak to him; some said that he had not been ill at Thermopylae but instead had been a messenger and had lingered on the road so he would not have to fight and die in the battle; regardless of the reasons, he survived and all the others perished.

    When the Persians burned the city of Athens and forced the allied Greeks back to the Peloponnesian Peninsula, the Persians seemed destined to enslave all of Greece; the Persian defeat in the naval battle near the island of Salamis gave the Greeks new hope and, after the majority of the Persian forces had retreated, the two armies faced one another near the town of Plataea in Boeotia.

    During the battle of Plataea, Aristodemus attacked the Persians like a madman and was credited as the bravest of the Spartans who fought that day; some said that he fought with such zeal because he wanted to die in battle to prove his manhood.

    Aristodemus (2)

    The great-great-grandson of Herakles (Heracles) and a king of the city of Sparta.

    The Spartans credit him with establishing their nation on the Peloponnesian Peninsula.

    Aristodemus was the son of Aristomakhos (Aristomachus) who was the son of Kleodaeus (Cleodaeus) who was the son of Hyllos who was the son of Herakles.


    After the death of the Athenian tyrant, Pisistratus in 514 BCE, Aristogiton and his companion, Harmodius, plotted to kill the tyrant’s son, Hippias.

    The murder attempt failed and Hippias’ brother, Hipparkhus (Hipparchus), was killed instead; in the aftermath, Harmodius was killed immediately but Aristogiton was captured and tortured to death.

    After Hippias was deposed and sent into exile, Harmodius and Aristogiton were honored by the citizens of Athens with statues and special benefits for their relatives, such as tax exemption.


    One of the descendants of Herakles (Heracles); the father of Temenus.


    The fourteenth Eurypontidai king of the city of Sparta who ruled circa 550-515 BCE.

    Sparta traditionally had two kings who ruled jointly; one king was required to be a descendant of king Eurypon and the other was required to be a descendant of king Agis I (respectively known as the Eurypontidai and the Agiadai).

    Very little is known about Ariston and the dates given for his rule are extrapolations and should be used only as approximations.


    Athenian comic dramatist who wrote plays which were produced from 427-382 BCE.

    Aristophanes was prolific, popular and sometimes offensive; his extant plays include: Clouds, Frogs, and Lysistrata among others.

    Little is known of his personal life except that he was the son of Philippos and the father of Araros.

    His acid-like ridicule of Sokrates (Socrates) in Clouds (423 BCE) might have set the stage for the tragic and callous trial of Sokrates in 399 BCE; Aristophanes portrayed Sokrates as a blithering intellectual with little or no concern for the consequences of his thoughts or actions and very probably caused the death of a brilliant man for the sake of a few laughs.

    At least thirty two titles are credited to him but only eleven survive, they are (in chronological order of their production dates):

    1. The Akharnians (Acharnians), 425 BCE;
    2. The Knights, 424;
    3. The Clouds, originally produced in 423 BCE but the existing, revised version is circa 420 and incomplete;
    4. The Wasps, 422;
    5. Peace, 421;
    6. The Birds, 414;
    7. Lysistrata, 411;
    8. The Poet and the Woman, i.e. Thesmophoriazusae, 411;
    9. The Frogs, 405;
    10. The Woman’s Assembly, i.e. Ekklesiazusae, 392; and
    11. Plutus, 388 BCE.

    Aristophanes’ plays are sometimes difficult to appreciate because he was a very contemporary poet, i.e. he was writing for the Athenian audience of his day; he would use puns, parody regional accents and speak directly to the audience in ways that force modern translators to seek out the contextual meaning rather than the literal meaning of the poet’s words; for that reason, I suggest that if you find a translation that is difficult to enjoy, please don’t blame Aristophanes, simply look for a translation that you can enjoy.

    When trying to find a readable translator, I suggest Patric Dickinson; you may find his books at your local library in the 882 section but his books are out of print and sometimes difficult to find.

    Aristophanes of Byzantium

    A notable Greek scholar who was the head of the Library at Alexandria in Egypt circa 195 BCE; he devised notation references and standardized the way accents appear in Greek texts.


    One of the Thirty Tyrants elected to rule the city of Athens after the end of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE).

    Having lost the war to the Spartans, the citizens of Athens elected thirty men to lead the new post-war government; these men became known as the Thirty Tyrants; the short lived government they comprised was an oligarchy.

    The tyrants immediately began to prosecute Athenians who had been Spartan informers and collaborators during the long, hard war; the punishment of the guilty seemed appropriate to the common citizens and aristocrats alike but it soon became clear that the executions and banishments were going beyond the bounds of necessity or prudence; open hostilities soon developed between members of the Thirty and their authority and rule came to an end after one year.


    A Greek philosopher circa 384-322 BCE.

    Aristotle was a pupil of Plato and the tutor of Alexander the Great; as a historical figure, quite a bit is known of his life but I will only touch on the more notable aspects of his distinguished career as a natural scientist.

    Aristotle was born in Stageira, Khalkidike (Chalcidice) in northern Greece; his father, Nikomakhus (Nicomachus), was the physician to Amyntas, the father of Philip II who was, in turn, the father of Alexander the Great.

    Aristotle went to Athens in 367 BCE and studied under Plato until Plato’s death in 347; circa 343 he returned to Makedon (Macedon) to tutor young Alexander; in 335, as Alexander marched into Persia, Aristotle returned to Athens and became a popular and affluent lecturer at the gymnasium in the grove sacred to Apollon Lykeios, known as the Lykeum (Lyceum).

    After the death of Alexander in 323, Aristotle left Athens and died the following year at Khalkis (Chalcis) on the island of Euboea.

    His works have been divided into three divisions relating to 1) his early philosophical works (now lost), 2) his scientific and historical writing (mostly lost) and 3) his later scientific and philosophical works which are the major source of our knowledge of his thoughts.

    This is simply a short description of the life and works of Aristotle because literally thousands of detailed books have been written about him and I suggest that any serious inquiry of Aristotle should begin at your favorite library or you may use the Book Shop on this site to look for books about him at


    The use of numbers; the simplest form of mathematics; (arithmo = number).


    One of the six tribes that comprised the original Medes.

    The other five tribes were: Budii, Busae, Magi, Paratakeni (Parataceni) and Strukhates (Struchates).


    A mountainous region of ancient Greece located on the central Peloponnesian Peninsula which was founded by the legendary son of Zeus and Kallisto (Callisto), Arkas (Arcas).

    Arkadia was traditionally known for the contented pastoral innocence of its people who claimed to be the oldest inhabitants of Greece.


    A son of Zeus and Kallisto (Callisto).

    Arkas was the eponymous ancestor of the Arkadians (Arcadians); he and his mother were set among the stars where Kallisto became known as the constellation The Great Bear and Arkas became known as the star Arcturus, i.e. the guardian of the bear.

    Arcturus is the brightest star in the constellation Bootes (the Wagoner), 36 light years from our solar system.


    A daughter of Thaumas and the sister of Iris and the Harpies.

    Zeus took away her wings when she aided the Titans in their war against the Olympians.


    A son of Zeus and Euryodia.

    Arkeisios was the father of Laertes and thus the grandfather of Odysseus.

    His name may also be rendered as Arkesius or Arcesius.


    Arkesilas of Pitane (316-241 BCE); a Greek philosopher who taught at The Academy at Athens and who is considered to be the founder of what is called the Middle Academy.

    His name may also be rendered as Arkesilaus or Arcesilaus.


    The sixth Agiadai king of the city of Sparta who ruled circa 815-785 BCE.

    Sparta traditionally had two kings who ruled jointly; one king was required to be a descendant of king Agis I and the other was required to be a descendant of king Eurypon (respectively known as the Agiadai and the Eurypontidai).

    Very little is known about Arkhelaos and the dates given for his rule are extrapolations and should be used only as approximations.


    The son of king Lykurgos (Lycurgus) of Nemea who was killed in infancy by a serpent and in whose honor the Nemean Games were founded.

    Arkhemoros was also referred to by the name Opheletes which implies a debt or obligation.

    Arkhemoros was in the care of a woman named Hypsipyle who was an exile from the island of Lemnos; when the army of the Seven Against Thebes was passing through Nemea, Hypsipyle acted as a guide for the soldiers; while she was preoccupied with the soldiers, Arkhemoros was bitten by a snake, or dragon, and died.

    Hypsipyle was granted a pardon for the child’s death and the Nemean Games were founded in memory of Arkhemoros.

    His name may also be rendered as Arkhemorus or Archemorus.

    Arkhidamos III
    Archidamos III

    The twentieth Eurypontidai king of the city of Sparta who ruled 360-338 BCE.

    Sparta traditionally had two kings who ruled jointly; one king was required to be a descendant of king Eurypon and the other was required to be a descendant of king Agis I (respectively known as the Eurypontidai and the Agiadai).

    Arkhidamos II
    Archidamos II

    The seventeenth Eurypontidai king of the city of Sparta who ruled 469-427 BCE.

    Sparta traditionally had two kings who ruled jointly; one king was required to be a descendant of king Eurypon and the other was required to be a descendant of king Agis I (respectively known as the Eurypontidai and the Agiadai).

    Arkhidamos IV
    Archidamos IV

    The twenty-third Eurypontidai king of the city of Sparta who ruled 305-275 BCE.

    Sparta traditionally had two kings who ruled jointly; one king was required to be a descendant of king Eurypon and the other was required to be a descendant of king Agis I (respectively known as the Eurypontidai and the Agiadai).

    Arkhidamos I
    Archidamos I

    The ninth Eurypontidai king of the city of Sparta who ruled circa 660-645 BCE.

    Sparta traditionally had two kings who ruled jointly; one king was required to be a descendant of king Eurypon and the other was required to be a descendant of king Agis I (respectively known as the Eurypontidai and the Agiadai).

    Very little is known about Arkhidamos I and the dates given for his rule are extrapolations and should be used only as approximations.

    Arkhidamos V
    Archidamos V

    The twenty-seventh Eurypontidai king of the city of Sparta who ruled 228-227 BCE.

    Sparta traditionally had two kings who ruled jointly; one king was required to be a descendant of king Eurypon and the other was required to be a descendant of king Agis I (respectively known as the Eurypontidai and the Agiadai).


    According to the historian, Herodotus, Arkhidike was the most famous courtesan in all of Greece; the dubious honor of second place goes to a woman named Rhodopis.

    Argus to Arkhidike

    A to Aegyptus Aello to Agesilaus I Agesilaus II to Akhaia Akhaian to Alkman Alkmene to Anaetius Anakeion to Apaturia Apeliotes to Argos Argus to Arkhidike Arkhilokhos to Astyanax Astydameia to Azov


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