Daedala to Dentil Molding Deo to Dysnomia

Daedala to Dentil Molding


Either of two festivals held in ancient Boeotia in honor of the reconciliation of Zeus and Hera; the Little Daedala being held every six years and the Great Daedala being held every fifty nine years.


The Cunning-Worker; the legendary Athenian inventor and craftsman; the son of Metion and descended from Hephaistos (Hephaestus); he was said to have made statues that could move of their own will.

Daedalus is mentioned in The Iliad (book 18, line 592) where his cunning craftsmanship is compared to that of Hephaistos; Daedalus killed his nephew, Talus, by either throwing him from the Akropolis (Acropolis) at Athens or into the sea and was condemned by the Areopagus.

Daedalus fled Athens and took refuge with king Minos on the island of Crete where he built the famed labyrinth of the Minotaur; Minos would not let Daedalus leave Crete and so the clever inventor made wings for himself and his son, Ikarus (Icarus), and they flew away; Ikarus flew too close to Helios (the Sun) and the wax that held his wings together melted and he plunged to his death in the sea.

Daedalus landed safely on an island and eventually took refuge on the island of Sicily; while hiding on Sicily, Daedalus designed a death trap for king Minos and killed him in a scalding bath; the Greek geographer, Pausanias (fl. 160 CE), attested to the reality of Daedalus as a historical figure.

His name may also be rendered as Daedalos, Daidalus or Daidalos (which means Cunningly-Wrought).


A god or goddess; a deity or divine power; Hesiod used the word “daimones” to denote the souls of men in the golden age, i.e. the link between gods and mortal men.

Daktyl (1)

A member of a group of mythological beings who dwelt on Mount Ida on the island of Crete and were metal workers and magicians.

Daktyl (2)

From the Greek word “dactylos” meaning Finger; in poetic meter it is expressed as a brief series of one long and two short syllables thus: long-short-short.


The unit of measure called a Fingers Breadth; about seven tenths of an inch.


The queen of Artaxerxes I of the Persian Empire and mother of the short lived king, Xerxes II; Artaxerxes I ruled Persia from 465 to 423 BCE.


Another name for Prokrustes (Procrustes); the legendary villain who would entice travelers with his hospitality and then bind them to his bed where he would then amputate or stretch them to fit the bed; he was finally beheaded by Theseus and forced to lie in his own bed; Apollodorus refers to him as Damastes and Polypemon.


A Spirit; the personification of Fertility.


A flatterer who was too excessive when he extolled the apparent happiness of his host, Dionysius II, the tyrant of the city of Syracuse on the island of Sicily.

Offended by his flattery, Dionysius placed Damokles under a sword that was suspended by a single hair as an example of the precarious nature of happiness; thus we get the phrase, The Sword of Damokles as a reminder that happiness is very tenuous and should be savored whenever it is experienced.


The plural term for the descendants of Danaus, i.e. the Argives or Akhaians (Achaeans); a nation founded by Danaus when he fled Egypt and settled in the city of Argos to save his fifty daughters from a forced marriage to the fifty sons of his brother, Aegyptus.


The daughter of the king of Argos, Akrisius (Acrisius) and the sister of Proetus; Zeus came to her disguised as a shower of gold and seduced her; their son was Perseus.


A term used to identify the fifty daughters of Danaus; although they lived in Egypt, the girls were Greek because they were the descendants of the heifer-maiden, Io.

One daughter, Amymone, became the consort of Poseidon (lord of the Sea) and the mother of Nauplios (Nauplius).

The remainder of the girls had to flee Egypt because their uncle, Aegyptus, was trying to force them to marry his sons; to avoid the forced marriages, Danaus took his daughters to Argos and received sanctuary but, in an unexplained turn of events, the girls were eventually forced to marry their cousins.

Danaus was enraged and commanded his daughters to murder their husbands on their wedding night; one of the girls, Hypermnestra, loved her husband, Lynkeus, and refused to kill him; the other girls did as their father had ordered and stabbed their husbands to death.

As punishment for this heinous crime, when the girls finally went to the Underworld, they were condemned to forever pour water into a leaky vessel.

The Danaides are also called: Danaidae, Danaids and the Danaidean.


A son of Belus and a descendant of the heifer maiden, Io; Danaus and his brother Aegyptus were given Libya and Egypt to rule but Danaus fled Africa and took sanctuary in Greece where he founded the race of Greeks known as the Danaans.

When his daughters were forced to marry the sons of his brother, Aegyptus, Danaus prompted the young women to kill their husbands on their wedding night; all but one of the girls obeyed their father and stabbed their husbands to death in their wedding beds.


The huntress nymph who was determined to have no lovers and remain pure.

A young man, Leukippus (Leucippus) fell in love with her and in an effort to be close to her, disguised himself as a girl and joined Daphne and some other nymphs on a hunting expedition; while the nymphs were bathing, Leukippus was discovered to be a man and they killed him.

Daphne was later pursued by Apollon but the river god Peneus, who was perhaps her father, saved her from Apollon by turning her into a laurel tree.


The original shepherd-poet; he was the son of a nymph and (perhaps) Hermes; he was mortal but was loved by a nymph to whom he was unfaithful; for his punishment he was blinded and spent the remainder of his life singing mournful songs in the pastures of the island of Sicily.

Dardanelles Strait

The narrow water passage which separates European Turkey from Asian Turkey; named after Dardanos (Dardanus) the ancestor of the Trojans; known to the ancient Greeks as the Hellespont.


The legendary ancestor of the Trojans; a son of Zeus and Elektra (Electra); the ancestor Priam, the last king of Troy.

Priam’s lineage can be traced back to Dardanos thus: Priam> Laomedon> Ilos> Tros> Erikhthonios (Erichthonius)> Dardanos> Zeus.

Darius III

Darius Kodomanos (Codomannus); the last ruler of the Persian Empire; he ruled from 336 to 330 BCE.

Darius III was the son of Artaxerxes; when Alexander the Great set his designs on the Persian Empire, king Darius was far richer and his army was vastly more numerous than the Greek invaders but the Persians lacked the discipline and leadership that the Greeks had acquired through centuries of internal fighting.

The first confrontation with Alexander’s army was on the narrow plains of Issus in 333 BCE; Darius disgraced himself by deserting his army and running away from the fight; in 331 Darius again faced Alexander’s army near the city of Gaugamela and again Darius fled, leaving his army to certain defeat.

Alexander pursued Darius for the next year and, in 330 BCE, confronted the remnants of the Persian army in eastern Persia; the Persian generals finally killed Darius and left his dead body for Alexander thus ending all resistance to the Greek invasion of the Persian Empire.

Darius II

The son of Artaxerxes I and a court concubine; called Darius Nothus because of his ignoble birth, i.e. Darius the Bastard; he married a woman named Parysatis and was the father of Artaxerxes II and Kyrus (Cyrus) the Younger.

Darius II ruled from 423 to 404 BCE; as a ruler he was less notable than his father or his sons.

Darius I

Also known as Darius the Great and Darius Hystaspes, i.e. the son of Hystaspes; he was a descendant of Akhaemenes (Achaemenes).

In Greece, he was known as The Doer; Darius was the king of the Persian Empire for thirty-six years (521-485 BCE); his ascension to the throne of the Persian Empire was foretold in a dream of the first Persian king, Kyrus (Cyrus) the Great; just before Kyrus met his death on the battlefield, he dreamt that Darius had wings and that one wing cast a shadow over Europe and the other cast a shadow over Asia; Kyrus commanded Darius’ father, Hystaspes, to return to the capital city of Susa and to detain Darius; Kyrus intended to charge Darius with treason on the basis of the obviously divinely inspired dream.

Kyrus never returned from the war and the matter of the dream was forgotten when Kyrus’ son, Kambyses (Cambyses), took the throne; the dream would eventually come true but not in a manner which could have been imagined by Kyrus or anyone else.

Kambyses ruled for seven years and five months and after his death, the throne of the Persian Empire was temporally usurped by a Mede named Smerdis.

Darius and six other Persians attacked and killed Smerdis and thus regained the throne; the other six Persians involved in the revolt were: Gobryas, Otanes, Intaphrenes, Megabyzus and Aspathines and Hydarnes (sometimes they are listed as: Vindapana, Utana, Gaubaruwa, Vidarna, Bagabukhsa and Ardumanis).

The question arose as to which form of government they would adopt because the reign of Kambyses had been one of cruelty and indulgence; Darius wanted to re-establish the monarchy and, after much debate, the other six revolutionaries agreed; they also agreed that one of them should be the next king; the seven men rode their horses to a hill-top at dawn and, as pre-agreed, the man who sat atop the horse that neighed first would be the new king; Darius’ horse neighed first and he became the third king of the Persian Empire.

Darius attached himself to the lineage of Kyrus the Great by marrying Kyrus’ daughters, Atossa and Artystone; he also married Parmys, the daughter of Kambyses’ brother who was named Smerdis (but not the Median Smerdis that Darius had killed), and the daughter of Otanes, Phaedyme.

After taking the throne, Darius brought the Persian Empire to new levels of organization and Herodotus carefully documented Darius’ effective and efficient system of taxation; because of his obsession with organization, the Persians referred to Darius as The Huckster.

Darius faced several daunting challenges to his authority after he assumed the throne:

  1. the city of Babylon took advantage of the turmoil caused by the change of government and declared its independence from the Persian Empire; when Darius’ army marched against the Babylonians they were unable to breach the walls of the mighty city and the Babylonians taunted the Persians by saying, “You will take the city when a mule bears an offspring,” meaning of course that the city would never fall to the Persians again; after nineteen months of unsuccessful assaults, a miraculous thing happened: a mule belonging to one of the Persian commanders, Zopyrus, gave birth to a foal; Zopyrus devised a clever but painful plan by which Babylon could be captured; he cut off his nose and ears and surrendered to the Babylonians saying that Darius had mutilated him and that he would assist in the Babylonian defeat of the Persians; Zopyrus gained the trust of the Babylonians and, when the time was right, opened the gates of the city and allowed the Persian army to enter and capture the city;
  2. another trial that Darius was forced to endure was the subjugation of the island of Samos; Darius ordered the Persian commander, Otanes, to subdue Samos without bloodshed or enslavement and to install a man named Syloson as the new ruler of the island; Syloson was the brother of the recently deposed tyrant, Polykrates (Polycrates); when the Persians arrived the ruler of Samos, Maeandrius, willingly handed over control of the island but after prompting from his brother, Kharilaus (Charilaus), he decided to ferment an armed resistance against the Persians and then flee the island with his riches; the result was disastrous for the Samiots and for Darius; Otanes was caught off guard by the uprising and, after the death of many of the Persian captains, he ordered his troops to kill everyone they encountered; Otanes’ overreaction made Syloson the new tyrant of an uninhabited island;
  3. Darius also successfully quelled the Ionian Revolt (circa 500-493 BCE) and subjugated the islands of the Aegean Sea;
  4. Darius then turned his attention towards the conquest of Greece; after sending spies to Greece to survey the country and defenses, Darius began a full scale invasion; he was stopped by the Athenians in a humiliating defeat at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BCE and retreated back into Asia Minor.

Darius was succeeded by his son, Xerxes, who ruled from 485-465 BCE.

  • Histories, book 1, chapter 209; book 2, chapter 158; book 3, chapters 38 and 70-160; book 4, chapters 1, 4, 7, 39, 83-98, 118-143 and 200-204; book 5, chapters 12-15, 24 and 105-107; book 6, chapters 24, 30, 48-49, 70, 94, 98 and 119; book 7, chapters 2-4, 28 and 194,
  • Daulias

    An epitaph of Philomela; although she was an Athenian princess she was called Daulias which means “a woman from Daulis,” i.e. a city in the district of Phokis (Phocis).

    Philomela and her sister, Prokne (Procne), were Athenian princesses and the daughters of Pandion; Prokne married Tereus, the king of Thrake (Thrace).

    Tereus attacked, or offended, Philomela and in order to keep his outrage a secret he cut out Philomela’s tongue and hid her away in an isolated hiding place; Philomela was able to weave her sad story onto a piece of needlework and send it to her sister.

    Prokne found Philomela and the two of them killed Prokne’s son, Itys, and served the cooked body of the child to her evil husband, Tereus; Tereus tried to slay the sisters but all three were transformed into birds; Tereus became a hoopoe, Philomela became a swallow and Prokne became a nightingale.


    Eos; the daughter of Hyperion (or perhaps Pallas) and the Titan, Theia; she is the sister of Helios (the Sun) and Selene (the Moon); as the consort of Astraios, she is the mother of Zephyros (West Wind), Boreas (North Wind) and Notos (South Wind).

    For more detailed information on Dawn I suggest that you return to the Home Page of this site and consult the Immortals section.


    Thanatos, the personification of Death; the child of Nyx (Night) and the brother of Hypnos (Sleep).

    Thanatos is described as: horrible, painful, cruel, brooding, mocking and malignant; Helios (the Sun) never casts his light on Death; his heart is made of pitiless iron, when he takes hold of you, the world of light ceases to be.

    For more detailed information on Thanatos I suggest that you return to the Home Page of this site and consult the Immortals section.


    Akhlys (Achlys); the Spirit, Death-Mist or Darkness of Death; she was depicted on the shield of Herakles (Heracles) as grim, pale and shriveled with long nails, blood stained cheeks and tear-damp dust on her shoulders.


    Spirits which hover in the air and swoop down on all living things when called upon by those skilled in the arts of magic; also called the Hounds of Hades.

    The sorceress, Medea, used the Death-Spirits to confuse and defeat the gigantic bronze man, Talos, on the island of Crete when the Argonauts landed there on their voyage home.


    The last mortal wife of Herakles (Heracles); her name literally means “destroying her spouse.”

    With the blessing of Deianeira’s father and the protection of Athene (Athena) and Nike, Herakles and Deianeira were married and had a son, Hyllos; sometime later, while they were traveling, they came to the river Evenus where they met the Centaur, Nessos; Nessos offered to carry Deianeira across the river on his back while Herakles waded across with Hyllos; Nessos quickly transported Deianeira across the river and, with unbridled depravity, tried to forcibly seduce her; Herakles fell on the Centaur with savage fury and moments later Nessos lay bleeding to death on the riverbank.

    Before he died, Nessos managed to commit one last act of malice, he secretly told Deianeira that his blood was a powerful love potion; he said that if she were to put the magic blood on Herakles it would bind him to her forever; Deianeira collected some of Nessos’ blood and put it on Herakles’ cloak; the blood was poison to Herakles and it burned him like acid; Deianeira was horrified because she had mortally wounded the man she had hoped to bind with love; she killed herself in desperation.


    The wife of Akhilleus (Achilles).

    In preparation for the attack on the city of Troy, the Greeks assembled at the island of Aulis; apparently, no one was quite sure exactly where Troy was located and the fleet mistakenly arrived at the city of Teuthrania on the Kaikos (Caicus) river; they sacked the city and returned to the Aegean Sea; a storm scattered the fleet and Akhilleus was blown to the shores of the island of Skyros (Scyros); while there, Akhilleus married the daughter of Lykomedes (Lycomedes), Deidameia.


    Fear; the son of Ares (god of War) and Aphrodite (goddess of Love); the brother of Phobos (Panic) and Harmonia (Harmony).


    Later descriptions of the Graiae included Deino as one of the gray-sisters but Hesiod only mentions two sisters: Pemphredo and Enyo.

    The sisters were gray from birth and shared one tooth and one eye between them; they played a crucial role in the story of Perseus when he was on his quest to kill and behead the Gorgon, Medusa.

    Athene (Athena) and Hermes advised Perseus to consult the Graiae in order to find out the location of the nymphs who could supply him with the Cap of Hades (to make him invisible), winged sandals (to allow him to fly) and a bag, called a kibisis, (to carry Medusa’s severed head); Perseus stole the tooth and eye of the Graiae and refused to give it back until they assisted him.


    The first king of the Medes; he ruled from 704-647 BCE.

    After the Medes revolted from the rule of the Assyrian Empire in northern Asia Minor, the different tribes of Medes tried to escape the crippling bonds of lawlessness by appointing Deiokes to be their first king; Deiokes had earned the reputation of being a fair and honest judge in all types of civil and criminal disputes and eventually people from distant cities came to him for justice.

    Deiokes finally announced that his personal affairs were suffering because of the amount of time he was required to spend on other peoples litigations; the various tribes of Medes held a conference and decided to ask Deiokes to be their king and assume the role of supreme judge of the land; Deiokes accepted the kingship on the condition that he be given a protected, seven-walled citadel and that he also be given special privileges; Deiokes assumed royal powers which included refusing to meet with anyone and that all business and judgments be conducted in writing.

    Deiokes ruled for fifty-three years and was succeeded by his son Phraortes.


    The father of Dia who was killed by Ixion by being thrown into a pit of burning coals.

    Ixion refused to give Deioneus the dowry he had promised in order to marry Dia and killed Deioneus when he demanded the dowry.


    One of the sons of the last king of Troy, Priam.

    After Priam’s favorite son, Hektor (Hector), had been killed defending Troy, Priam berated his nine remaining sons for being wicked and worthless; Deiphobos was one of these sons; whether the old king spoke in desperate sorrow or from his heart is impossible to tell.


    The daughter of Adrastus, king of Argos who married the exile, Tydeus; their son Diomedes joined an expedition, called the Epigoni, which successfully captured the city of Thebes ten years after his father died in the original expedition known as the Seven Against Thebes.


    A coin worth ten oxen; attributed to the legendary Athenian king, Theseus.


    The hero who gave his name to the Spartan city of Dekelea (Decelea); he may have assisted Kastor (Castor) and Polydeukes (Polydeuces or Pollux) rescue their sister, Helen, by revealing her hiding place; Dekelus is sometimes credited with this deed but it is usually attributed to the hero, Akademus (Academus).


    A festival for Apollon held every four years on the island of Delos.


    Every fourth year the Athenians sent a ceremonial ship to the festival known as the Delia to commemorate the voyage of Theseus when he sailed to the island of Crete in order to kill the Minotaur; the ship was called Delias, i.e. The Delian.


    A name for Apollon denoting the island of his birth, Delos.


    An ancient Greek seaport in Boeotia; the site of the Battle of Delium in 424 BCE in which the Boeotians defeated the Athenians.


    The smallest of the islands known as the Kyklades (Cyclades) Group; located southeast of the Greek mainland in the Aegean Sea; the birthplace of Apollon and Artemis.

    The Kyklades are so named because they form a circle around the sacred island of Delos.

    Approximate east longitude 25.16 and north latitude 37.26.

    Delphi (1)

    A city located at the foot of Mount Parnassus in central southern Greece just north of the Gulf of Korinth (Corinth) in the district of Phokis (Phocis).

    Although not the first oracle in ancient Greece, Delphi was undoubtedly the most famous; founded and inspired by the god Apollon.

    Approximate east longitude 22.29 and north latitude 38.30.

    Delphi (2)

    Mount Delphi; a mountain on the island of Skopelos in the Northern Sporades group; 2,230 feet (680 meters) in height.

    Delphic Oracle

    A general term referring to the oracle of Apollon located at Delphi.

    Although Delphi was not the first oracular shrine in Greece, it was by far the most famous; the city was built at the Navel of the World and was personally founded by Apollon; tributes were made to the city and stored in elaborate treasuries; large and small gifts were donated by districts, cities, families and private citizens as a gesture of reverence to Apollon and in appreciation for their good fortunes which resulted from the sage advice offered by the pythia.

    A question would be posed to the pythia and she would speak with a voice inspired by Apollon and couched in poetic verse; the answers were sometimes direct and sometimes nebulous but they were never without several levels of meaning.


    An ancient Greek festival in honor of Apollon.


    A large lead weight in the shape of a dolphin which was used on warships during the Peloponnesian War; the Delphis was suspended on ropes and dropped onto the decks of enemy ships to damage them.

    Delta (1)

    The forth letter of the Greek alphabet; when reciting the Greek alphabet it is pronounced “thelta.”

    Delta (2)

    The land mass formed at the mouth of rivers; the name was derived from the triangular-shape of the Greek letter Delta as it corresponds to the natural shape of the sediments deposited by swift flowing rivers into larger bodies of water.


    The fifteenth Eurypontidai king of the city of Sparta who ruled circa 515-491 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 Demaratos and the dates given for his rule are extrapolations and should be used only as approximations.


    The name of the individual tracts of land in Attika (Attica) which were defined by Cleisthenes (Kleisthenes) (circa 510 BCE) in an attempt to give each of the ten “tribes” an equal share in the wealth and government of Attika.

    Each Deme was divided into three sections with:

    1. a city;
    2. an interior portion; and
    3. a coastal region.

    Each Deme was independent in respect to its local finances but was required to provide Athens with hoplites and cavalry; the word Deme means “common,” as in common man or common soldier.


    The goddess of agriculture and the protector of marriage and social order.

    Demeter and Zeus were the parents of Persephone; when Persephone was abducted by Hades (lord of the Underworld), Demeter made the earth infertile and roamed the land in misery and torment; she refused to associate with the Olympians and finally settled in Eleusis and, disguised as an old woman, became the nurse for the young son of king Keleos.

    One night she was caught transforming the young boy into an Immortal by bathing him in fire; the family was aghast at this display of unnatural behavior until Demeter announced her true identity and swore to make Eleusis her most holy of shrines.

    With her hiding place exposed, Zeus sent the Immortals, one at a time, to try to persuade Demeter to lift her curse from the face of the earth but she rejected all their pleas; Zeus then sent Hermes to the House of Hades and demanded that Persephone be returned to her mother; Hades allowed Persephone to leave but before she left he gave her a pomegranate seed which she ate; by eating the seed she had unwittingly bound herself to Hades and was required to spend a portion of each year with him in the Underworld.

    Demeter was forced to accept the sharing of her daughter’s affection and lifted her curse so that the earth could become bountiful once more.

    Demeter and Persephone are worshiped together as the Karpophorus (Carpophorus) meaning Fruitful.

    For more detailed information on Demeter I suggest that you consult the Immortals section of this site.


    An ancient city in northeastern Greece in Thessaly.

    Demetrius I

    (337?-283 BCE) The king of Makedon (Macedon) from 294-286 BCE; the son of Antigonus I and father of Antigonus II.


    The laughing philosopher; circa 460-370 BCE.

    Demokritus had many ideas that we might consider modern because he believed that the essence of matter was immortal and simply changed forms; he also thought that the soul was an elemental fire that animated the human body.

    Demokritus was called the laughing philosopher because he was amused at the foolishness of mortals and he was constantly at odds with serious philosophers such as Heraklitus (Heraclitus).


    The son of Theseus and Phaedra; the brother of Akamas (Acamas); the king of the city of Athens after the death of his father.


    The infant son of the king of Eleusis, Keleos, and his wife, Metaneira.

    When Hades abducted Demeter’s daughter, Persephone, Demeter disguised herself and became the nurse of Demophoon; each evening Demeter would bathe Demophoon in fire in order to secretly make him immortal; one evening Metaneira saw Demophoon in the fire and Demeter had no choice but to reveal her true identity.


    (384-322 BCE) An Athenian statesman and orator; usually noted as the greatest orator in Greek history.

    As a young man he was defrauded of his inheritance and, by personal inclination or necessity, began his study of Athenian law; he successfully reclaimed what was left of his rightful property and went on to become one of the most sought after speech writers in Athens; volumes have been written about his life and times and I refer you to these works for a complete account of his remarkable life.

    Dentil Molding

    In relation to Ionic architecture, a series of closely spaced, small, rectangular blocks.

    Daedala to Dentil Molding

    Daedala to Dentil Molding Deo to Dysnomia


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