Daedala to Dentil Molding Deo to Dysnomia

Deo to Dysnomia


Usually referring to the goddess, Demeter.


A son of Poseidon (lord of the Sea) and the brother of Alebion; both brothers were killed by Herakles (Heracles) while attempting to steal the cattle Herakles had taken from Geryon during his Tenth Labor.


Literally, the lady of the house; an epitaph of Artemis, Persephone and Penelope.


The original goddess of Fate; in later myths she was replaced by three goddesses called the Moirai: Klotho (Clotho), Lakhesis (Lachesis) and Atropos.

Klotho spins the thread of life; Lakhesis determines the length of the thread; Atropos cuts the thread when the proper time has come for death.

Her name is usually translated as Moira.


A son of Prometheus who survived the deluge to regenerate the human race.

Deukalion and his wife, Pyrrha, built a boat at the advice of Prometheus and survived the flood that Zeus sent to destroy the human race; after the waters subsided, Deukalion and Pyrrha repopulated the earth with men and women by throwing stones onto the earth.

Deukalion was the father of the founder of the Greek race, Hellen.


A common reference to Zeus.


The second day of the week.

Dia (1)

The wife of Ixion and daughter of Deioneus.

Ixion refused to give Deioneus the dowry he had promised in order to marry Dia and killed Deioneus by throwing him into a pit of burning coals when he demanded the dowry.

Dia (2)

A Greek island in the southern Aegean Sea; the largest island in the Kyklades (Cyclades) Group; 169 square miles (438 square kilometers) in size.

Also known as Naxos; the island where Theseus deserted Ariadne.


A philosopher from the island of Melos; he was banished for his anti-religious views and a reward was offered for his murder.


Solon had reorganized the political factions of Attika (Attica) into two groups: 1) the Pediakoi (men of the plains) and 2) the Paraloi (men of the shore); the tyrant, Pisistratus, introduced a third class, the Diakrioi (men of the hills or mountaineers).

The classifications devised by Solon were purely economic but Pisistratus used the Diakrioi as a political tool to successfully seize power in 561 BCE.


A epitaph of Hermes as the Minister or Messenger of Zeus.


A festival of Zeus.

Dido (1)

The name of a prehistoric Phoenician goddess.

Dido (2)

The name of a princess of the city of Tyre; her name was originally Elissa.

Dido was the daughter of king Matgenos and the brother of Pygmalion; she married her uncle, Sychaeus, but he was murdered by Pygmalion; she took Sychaeus’ fortune and fled to northern Africa and founded the city of Carthage; the African king, Iarbas, wanted to marry Dido but she burned herself on a pyre rather than become his bride.

Dido (3)

A character from the epic poem The Aeneid by the Roman poet, Virgil.

Dido was the queen of the city of Carthage on the northern coast of Africa; she fled her home city of Tyre and founded Carthage with a fortune she had hidden from her greedy brother, Pygmalion.

After the fall of the city of Troy, Dido welcomed the defeated army of Aineias and gave him every courtesy; the Roman goddess of Love, Venus, cast a spell on Dido and she was easily duped by Aineias into giving him all he needed to re-equip his fleet.

Aineias took Dido’s money and love without giving a thought to her feelings or her queenly image; when Aineias sailed away without a thank-you or goodbye, Dido killed herself rather than suffer the pain of loneliness of the humiliation of her naiveté.


The main character in the comic play Akharnians (Acharnians) by the Athenian poet, Aristophanes; his name is also rendered as Dikaeopolis and Dicaeopolis.


A double khalkos; a unit of money; one fourth of an obol; an obol was called a Spit; one obol would buy a light meal; oarsmen on warships were paid 2 or 3 obols per day.


The personification of Justice; the daughter of Zeus and Themis; one of the Horae (Oras), i.e. the goddesses of the Seasons; personifications of the cycle of death and rebirth and sometimes credited with social order; her sisters are Eunomia (Order) and Eirene (Peace).

Diktynna (1)

An epitaph of Artemis as the Goddess of the Chase.

Diktynna (2)

An ancient goddess of the sea on the island of Crete; the daughter of Zeus and Karme; her name might mean, Lady of the Nets, i.e. fishing nets.


The brother of king Polydektes (Polydectes) of the island of Seriphos.

Diktys found Danae and her infant son, Perseus, when they were washed ashore on the island; Polydektes sent Perseus on a suicidal mission to retrieve the head of the Gorgon, Medusa, so that he might persuade Danae to become his queen; when Danae refused Polydektes’ advances, he threatened her with violence; when Perseus returned to the island of Seriphos, he used the magical powers of the Gorgon’s head to turn Polydektes to stone; at this point, Diktys assumed the throne of Seriphos.


Of Zeus, as examples: dio-bolis = hurled by Zeus, dio-genes = sprung from Zeus, etc.

Diodorus Sikulus
Diodorus of Sicily

A Greek historian of the late first century BCE; a good deal of his works survive and are important because he references sources which are no longer available to us; his books include historical and mythological material.

Diogenes of Sinope

(412?-323 BCE) A Greek cynic philosopher and social critic in the cities of Athens and Korinth (Corinth).

Diogenes was from Sinope on the Euxine (Black Sea); he led a simplistic, austere life he was said to have slept in an earthen tub (the Kernos) in the Sanctuary of the Mother of the Gods, Kybele (Cybele), at Athens; he was kidnapped while at sea and sold as a slave in the city of Korinth (Corinth); he is reputed to have said, “Sell me to that man, he needs a master.”

None of his work survives but quotes and commentary from other classical authors give us a hint as to his impact on his times; he was referred to as “Dog” or “The Dog.”

For a more complete biography and translation of his quoted works I suggest the book “7 Greeks” by Guy Davenport (ISBN 0811212882); this book can be found at your library in section 881 or you can order this book through the Book Shop on this site which is linked to


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.

Diomedes (1)

A Greek hero in the Trojan War; the husband of Aigialeia; the son of Tydeus and the captain of the army from Argos.

Diomedes is mentioned often in The Iliad but his most astonishing accomplishment is the wounding of Aphrodite; Athene (Athena) “lifted the mist from his eyes” and allowed him to perceive the Immortals on the battlefield; when Aphrodite attempted to protect her son, Aineias (Aeneas), Diomedes lunged at her and wounded her on the hand.

Diomedes was also one of the Epigoni and helped to successfully capture the city of Thebes a generation after his father had died in an attempt to capture the city.

Diomedes (2)

A king of Thrake (Thrace) who fed his wild mares on human flesh and was either killed by Herakles (Heracles) or fed to the horses by Herakles; this was a part of the Eighth Labor of Herakles.


(circa 408-353 BCE) He was related to the tyrant of Syracuse on the island of Sicily, Dionysius I, in that his father, Hipparinus, was Dionysius’ father-in-law and his wife was Dionysius’ daughter, Arete.

When Dionysius II assumed control of Syracuse after the death of his father, Dion became an unpopular figure because of his wealth and political views; Dion was a firm believer in the philosophy of Plato and Dionysius II found these ideas contrary to his form of monarchy.

The island of Sicily had always had a strong Greek presence even though the Carthaginians also had several colonies on the island; when Dionysius II found that Dion had been in private communication with the Carthaginians, he banished Dion from the city; Dion fled to the city of Athens where he studied with Plato at the Academy; Plato, who had visited Syracuse as the guest of Dionysius I, tried, and failed, to reconcile the differences between Dion and Dionysius II, with the result being that Dion was dispossessed of his wife and fortune.

In 357 BCE Dion returned to Sicily and, for a short time, was de facto ruler of Syracuse; after a dispute with the more politically radical Heraklides (Heraclides), Dion left Syracuse but was recalled in 355 BCE to expel the last of the militant followers of Dionysius II.

Dion’s illusion of popular support compelled him to act imperiously and violently; he had the irritating political dissident Heraklides killed and this soon led to his own assassination in 353 BCE; his assertive fascination with idealistic political thought only succeeded in plunging Syracuse into twenty years of chaos.

Dione (1)

A Titan and a consort of Zeus; the wife of Tantalus; in The Iliad (book 5, lines 370+) she is said to be the mother of Aphrodite (goddess of Love) with Zeus as the father; her name is the feminine form of the name Zeus.

Dione (2)

An Okeanid, i.e. one of the three thousand daughters of Okeanos (Ocean) and Tethys.

Zeus gave the Okeanids, Apollon and the Rivers the special obligation of having the young in their keeping.


The orgiastic and dramatic festivals held periodically in honor of the god of wine, Dionysus, especially the celebrations held in Attika (Attica), from which Greek comedy and tragedy evolved.

Dionysius II

(circa 396-? BCE) The eldest son of Dionysius the Elder and Doris.

Dionysius II became the tyrant of Syracuse on the island of Sicily after the death of his father and ruled for a brief ten years, i.e. from 367-357 BCE; he inherited an empire from his father but he could not maintain the level of control that had been the trademark of his hyper-ambitious father.

He is portrayed as a sensitive man with an extensive education; he was taught and encouraged by his uncle/brother-in-law, Dion, and the well respected philosopher, Plato; his court was soon divided into factions which led to the banishment of Dion.

In 357 BCE, while Dionysius II was away from the city, Dion returned and took control of Syracuse; Dionysus was confined to the fortress on the island of Ortygia for a short period and then retreated to Italy until he could attempt to recapture Syracuse.

In 346 BCE, Dionysus again took command of Syracuse but, with the murder of his family, he was soon obliged to take refuge in the citadel on Ortygia until, in 337 BCE, he was finally ousted by the Greek commander, Timoleon; Dionysus assumed residence in the city of Korinth (Corinth) and presumably lived there until his death.

Dionysius Thrax

A Greek historian circa 100 BCE.

Dionysius of Halikarnassus

(fl. late first century BCE) A Greek rhetorician and historian in Rome.

There are several extant works attributed to him: On the Arrangement of Words, On Imitation, On the Early Orators, On Thucydides, On the Eloquence of Demosthenes and possibly The Art of Rhetoric.

Dionysius the Elder

(430-367 BCE) Also known as Dionysius I; the tyrant of the city of Syracuse on the island of Sicily from 405-367 BCE.

Dionysius was the son of a prosperous merchant named Hermokritos (Hermocritus), he gained a favorable reputation as an able administrator and stalwart soldier; he attained the rank of general and, circa 405 BCE, manipulated his way into a position of complete control of the government; he established a citadel on the island of Ortygia and ruled Syracuse from this fortified stronghold.

Because of its strategic location, the island of Sicily was a turbulent place during the time of Dionysus; although settled by the Greeks circa 734 BCE, the island was soon loosely divided between the Carthaginians on the western side of the island and the Greek colony cities on the east; Dionysus conducted war against the Carthaginians from circa 402-399 BCE in order to gain more territory but did not succeed in driving the Carthaginians from Sicily; he expanded his dominion slightly but the division of Sicily remained essentially the same with the Carthaginians on the west and the Greeks, i.e. Dionysus, on the east.

Dionysus then tried to extend his grasp into southern Italy and laid siege to the city of Rhegium in 390 BCE; this was followed a series of expansionist expeditions which had little cumulative effect but seemed to always involve conflict directly or indirectly with the Carthaginians; his allies on the Greek mainland varied but he was respected by both Athens and Sparta; his resourcefulness and ambition were undisguised and this made him, although ruthless, an honorable man.

He is most famous for his pointed demonstration to the flatterer, Damokles (Damocles); when Damokles was prattling about the tyrant’s good fortune, Dionysius placed Damokles under a sword that was suspended by a single hair to dramatically demonstrate the precarious nature of happiness; thus the phrase, The Sword of Damokles, implies that happiness is very tenuous and should be savored whenever it is experienced.

After his death, Dionysius was succeeded by his son who assumed the name Dionysius II.


The god of wine; also called Bakkhus (Bacchus); the son of Zeus and Semele.

Dionysus was born prematurely and sewn into the thigh of Zeus and then “born” on the mountain of Nysa which is (according to the Homeric Hymn) in Phoenicia, near the streams of Aegyptus.

Dionysus gave grapes to mortals and is always in the company of nymphs; his gift of wine to mortals was immediately abused and resulted in the death of Ikarius (Icarius) and his daughter, Erigone; when Dionysus was traveling in Attika (Attica), he was entertained by the kindly Ikarius; as a reward, Dionysus gave Ikarius the gift of wine which was unknown to mortal men; when Ikarius’ neighbors drank the wine they became drunk and murdered Ikarius; Erigone, with the help of her dog, Maera, found her father’s body and in utter sadness, committed suicide by hanging herself from a tree.

Dios (1)

Godlike or divine; usually meaning “of or from Zeus.”

Dios (2)

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; Dios was one of these sons; whether the old king spoke in desperate sorrow or from his heart is impossible to tell.


A name for Kastor (Castor) and Polydeukes (Polydeuces or Pollux); the twin sons of Zeus and Leda and the brothers of Helen of Argos.

In The Iliad (book 3, line 243) Kastor and Polydeukes were merely mortals but later stories gave the brothers a more supernatural countenance; as examples:

  1. When Helen was a young girl, she was kidnapped by Theseus; Kastor and Polydeukes saved her with the help of Akademus (Academus) or perhaps Dekelus (Decelus);
  2. While they were with the Argonauts, the two brothers became involved with the daughters of Leukippus (Leucippus), Hilaeira and Phoebe, and, for one reason or another, Kastor was killed; Polydeukes was supposedly immortal and did not want to live if his brother was dead; Zeus had mercy on the devoted brothers and allowed Kastor to return from the land of the dead on the condition that Polydeukes would take his place; that meant that the two brothers would alternately spend their days in the Underworld while the other would be free on the face of the earth; eventually they were introduced into the heavens as the constellation, Gemini, i.e. the Twins.

An ancient festival of Zeus dating from before the fifth century BCE.


An ancient festival for Zeus at Athens.


Literally “Double Gates”; the primary entrance to the city of Athens through the walls which surrounded the city; the Dipylon was located on the northwestern side of the city.


The ill-fated wife of Lykus (Lycus), the king of the city of Thebes.

Dirke and her husband were responsible for the imprisonment and ill treatment of their niece, Antiope; after Antiope escaped from Lykus and Dirke, her sons, Amphion and Zethos (Zethus) avenged her by deposing Lykus and killing Dirke by tying her on the horns of a bull.


Eris; the goddess of Discord or Strife; she is the daughter of Nyx (Night); the sister and companion of the god of War, Ares.

The children of Eris are:

Algea (Pains),

Amphillogias (Disputes),

Androktasias (Manslaughters),

Ate (Blindness),

Dysnomia (Lawlessness),

Horkos (Oath),

Hysminai (Battles),

Lethe (Forgetfulness),

Limos (Starvation),

Logoi (Lies),

Makhai (Quarrels),

Neikea (Grievances),

Phonoi (Murders), and

Ponos (Hardship).

For more detailed information on Eris I suggest that you consult the Immortals section.


Amphillogias; Disputations or Disputes; the daughters of Eris (Discord).


A vehement and wild choral song or chant in honor of Dionysus or Bakkhus (Bacchus); usually irregular in form; invented by the seventh century Greek poet and inventor, Arion.


A river in Skythia (Scythia) that was called the Borysthenes by the ancient Greeks; it flows into the northern-most portion of the Euxine (Black Sea).


A group of twelve islands in the Aegean Sea off the southwestern coast of modern Turkey; part of the island group known as the Southern Sporades.


The site of the most ancient oracle of Zeus on mainland Greece.

Dodona was an inland city located in the northwestern province of Epirus; the shrine was established when two Egyptian priestesses with the skill of divination were carried away by Phoenicians and sold as slaves; one was sold in Libya and the other was sold in Greece at Dodona; the inhabitants of Dodona told the historian, Herodotus, that the first oracle arrived, not as a woman, but as a black dove with human speech; Herodotus discounted this story but did not doubt the veracity or antiquity of the oracle.

Dog Star

Sirius; the faithful dog of Ikarius (Icarius), Maera, which was placed in the sky to honor his faithfulness when he assisted in finding his dead master’s body after Ikarius had been murdered by a drunken mob.


A scout for the Trojan army and the son of Eumedes; he was killed by Diomedes and Odysseus even thought he had given them valuable information about the Trojan defenses.


A tribe of Greeks who ruled the Khersonese (Chersonese) circa 500 BCE.

The Dolonki were under constant attack by the Apsinthians and sent an envoy to the oracle at Delphi for advice; the pythia told the Dolonki envoy to ask the first person they met who offered them hospitality to become the “founder” of their nation; the Dolonki were ignored by everyone they encountered until they came to Athens where a man named Miltiades greeted them and offered them shelter and food; they told him of the oracle’s command and Miltiades gathered some followers and became the tyrant of the Khersonese (circa 540 BCE).


A district in south-western Thessaly; this was the district which was given to Phoinix (Phoenix) when he came to king Peleus as a supplicant.


A son of Hermes; he is thought to be the ancestor of the Dolopians, i.e. the inhabitants of Dolopia in south-western Thessaly.


Of or pertaining to the ancient Greek region of Doris or to the Dorians.


The Dorians entered Greece from the north in the twelfth century BCE and became one of the four main divisions of the prehistoric Greeks, i.e. Dorian, Akhaian (Achaean), Aeolian and Ionian.

The Dorian arrival into Greece has been called the Dorian Conquest, the Dorian Invasion and the Dorian Migration, all of these terms are in some way accurate; the Dorians entered the Balkan Peninsula from the north and either displaced or dominated the ethnic populations they encountered; the process was relatively slow and, for that reason, called a Migration but their effect was not subtle; the terms Conquest and Invasion may be a bit too dramatic but, in all regions where the Dorians settled, they usurped the political power and became the masters of the countryside.

On the Peloponnesian Peninsula the Dorians virtually destroyed the Mykenaean (Mycenaean) Culture that preceded them and reduced the indigenous peoples to serfdom; on the Peloponnesian Peninsula, the strongest and most famous Dorian enclave was the city of Sparta; the Athenians were primarily Ionian and were spared Dorian domination because of the simple fact that the area around the city of Athens, i.e. Arkadia (Arcadia), was not as fertile as other parts of Greece.

Doric Order

One of the architectural orders developed in ancient Greece.

The Doric style consists typically of a channeled column without a base, having as a capital a circular echinus supporting a square abacus, above which is a plain architrave, a frieze of triglyphs and metopes, a cornice, the corona of which has mutules on its soffit; for an example of Doric columns see:

Doris (1)

One of the original three districts of ancient Greece; located in northern Greece and founded by Dorus who was one of three sons born to the father of all the Greeks, Hellen.

Doris (2)

Doris of the lovely hair; an Okeanid, i.e. one of the three thousand daughters of Okeanos (Ocean) and Tethys; Doris and Nereus are the parents of the Sea-Daughters, i.e. the Nereids.

Zeus gave the Okeanids, Apollon and the Rivers the special obligation of having the young in their keeping.

Doris (3)

One of the fifty daughters of Nereus and Doris collectively known as the Nereids, i.e. the daughters of the Nereus.


A unit of measure; the breadth of the hand.


One of the three sons of Hellen; the founder of the Dorian race; his brothers were Xuthus and Aiolos (Aeolus); founder of the ancient district of Greece known as Doris.


The forth Agiadai king of the city of Sparta who ruled circa 840-815 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 Dorussos and the dates given for his rule are extrapolations and should be used only as approximations.


One of the fifty daughters of Nereus and Doris collectively known as the Nereids, i.e. the daughters of the Nereus; her name means Giver.


A unit of money, “a hand full.”

One drachma equals six obols, one drakhma was the fee for a fully equipped mercenary for one day.


A late seventh century BCE Athenian statesman who is perhaps unjustly noted for the severity of his code of laws.

In 621 BCE, Drako was given special authority and a mandate to revise the laws of the city of Athens; the laws he instituted were revisions and improvements of the existing laws and were considered necessary in order to purge the antiquated legal system of Athens from its history of vigilante justice and punishment without the benefit of a public trial.

Later legislators, such as Solon, deemed Drako’s system of justice too harsh and repealed all but a few of his laws; in modern times, the term Draconian is used to describe laws which seem unjust or cruel.


A python; a large serpent.


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 nymph of a tree or a nymph of the woods; she is married to the tree she inhabits and when the tree dies, so does the Dryad.


The father of the lamentable Lykurgos (Lycurgus); he was mentioned by Nestor as one of the strongest men of his era; Nestor and other heroes such as Dryas defeated the Centaurs in their mountain lairs.


The father of Asios and the brother of the last queen of Troy, Hekabe (Hecabe); he was from Phrygia near the Sangarios river.


One of the fifty daughters of Nereus and Doris collectively known as the Nereids, i.e. the daughters of the Nereus.


Lawlessness; a daughter of Eris (Discord).

Deo to Dysnomia

Daedala to Dentil Molding Deo to Dysnomia


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