O to Oresteia Orestes to Ozolian

Orestes to Ozolian

Orestes (1)

The son of Agamemnon and Klytemnestra (Clytemnestra); after the murder of his father, Orestes went into hiding until he returned to Argos to avenge his father’s murder by killing his mother and her lover, Aigisthos (Aegisthus); he later gained absolution for his actions.

Orestes (2)

A tragedy by Euripides produced circa 408 BCE.

I personally recommend the translations compiled by Richmond Lattimore and David Grene; you can find this and other plays by Euripides in the 882 section of your local library or you can order them from the Book Shop on this site which is linked to


A metallic compound that we would call yellow brass.

Orichalcum is a combination of eighty percent copper and twenty percent zinc (with small amounts of lead, tin and other metals); orichalcum was said to have been dug from the ground in a pure state on the island of Atlantis; the Romans used orichalcum for coins.


The Hunter; a Giant who was renowned for his hunting abilities and his lack of modesty.

The cause of Orion’s death is not clear but it is possible that his boasting irritated Artemis to the point of bloody vengeance; his most famous hunt was his relentless pursuit of the daughters of Atlas, the Pleiades, which resulted in both hunter and prey being placed in the sky as constellations.

Another story concerning Orion is told in The Astronomy (fragment 4) where he is said to be the son of Poseidon (lord of the Sea) and Minos; he was given the power to walk upon the water as if it were land; he went to the island of Khios (Chios) and outraged Merope, the daughter of Oenopion, by his drunkenness; Oenopion blinded Orion and he fled to the island of Lemnos; Hephaistos (Hephaestus) took pity on the blind hunter and gave him a servant named Kedalion (Cedalion) to act as his guide; Orion carried Kedalion on his shoulders to pointed out the roads and help him find his way around the world; while in the east, Orion was healed by Helios (the Sun) and resumed his prideful and indulgent life; when he ventured to the island of Krete (Crete) he hunted with Artemis and Leto; his zeal for hunting made him boast that he would kill every wild animal on the earth; Gaia (Earth) sent a giant scorpion to kill Orion and, after his death, Artemis and Leto persuaded Zeus to place Orion in the heavens as a constellation.


A Mykenaean (Mycenaean) stronghold in north-central Boeotia on the western shore of Lake Kopais; also spelled as Orkhomenos or Orchomenos.


Oath; one of the most troublesome children of the goddess, Eris (Discord).


The site of the oracular shrine of Amphiaraus where prophecy was given to the supplicants by means of dreams.

When you slept at the shrine, the spirit of Amphiaraus would enter your dreams with visions of the future; the city is located on the border between Attika (Attica) and Boeotia on the eastern coast of the Greek mainland.


The name which the Arabians used to denote Dionysus.

According to the historian Herodotus, the Arabians only worshiped Aphrodite (goddess of Love) and Dionysus; Aphrodite was worshiped under the name Alilat, i.e. The Goddess.


The most skillful musician in ancient Greece; the son of the Muse, Kalliope (Calliope).

Orpheus’ ability as a musician was so profound that he was said to have moved the boulders and changed the course of rivers simply by playing the lyre; he charmed the oak trees of his native province of Pieria and marched them to Thrake (Thrace) where they still stand in close order.

When his beloved wife, Eurydike (Eurydice), died he followed her into the Underworld; his wit and talent charmed Hades (lord of the Underworld) and Orpheus was allowed to return Eurydike to the surface of the earth provided that he lead the way and not look back to see if Eurydike was following him; at the very last moment Orpheus was compelled to look around and, by doing so, Eurydike was returned to the land of the dead and lost to Orpheus until he also died.

When Iason (Jason) formed a band of heroes to join him in the quest for the Golden Fleece, Orpheus became an Argonaut and on several occasions saved the crew-members from certain doom; when their ship, the Argo, came near the island of the Sirens, Orpheus played such beautiful melodies on the lyre that the sailors, with two exceptions, were able to maintain their wits and not be tempted by the Siren song.


The two-headed dog of Geryon which was slain by Herakles (Heracles) during his Tenth Labor.

Orthos was the offspring of the half nymph/half snake, Ekhidna (Echidna), and Typhaon; Orthos was the oldest of three monsters born to Ekhidna and Typhaon, the others included: Kerberos (Cerberus) and the Hydra; also, in union with his mother, Orthos fathered the Sphinx and the Nemean Lion.


An island in the harbor of the city of Syracuse on the island of Sicily.

The nymph, Arethusa, was transformed into a spring on Ortygia by Artemis so that the nymph could escape the unwanted advances of the god of the river Alpheus; in The Odyssey (book 15, line 404) Ortygia is said to be the turning place of the Sun; Ortygia was the location of the citadel of Dionysius I when he took complete control of the government of Syracuse, circa 404-3 BCE.


The Greek rendering of the Egyptian god of the dead, Asar.

According to the historian, Herodotus, the Egyptian god Osiris was somehow equated with the Greek god of wine, Dionysus; he states that the only two gods worshipped throughout Egypt were Isis and Osiris; exactly how Osiris and Dionysus are similar or equal is not explained.

The name of Osiris raises an interesting problem in our modern use of his name and the common rendering of ancient names in general; for example, when we use the Greek names of the builders of the three Egyptian pyramids at Giza, we normally use the Greek renderings of all three names, i.e. Kheops, Khephren and Mykerinus (the Egyptian names for the same three men are: Kufu, Khafre and Menkaure); we can correctly use the Greek or the Egyptian names but to mix the Greek and Egyptian names would be confusing and incorrect.

If you were to say, The Greeks called the Egyptian god of the dead Osiris, you would be correct, but if you were to say, The Egyptian god of the dead was Osiris, you would be incorrect, i.e. his Egyptian name was Asar.


Mount Ossa; a mountain in eastern Greece in Thessaly; 6,490 feet (1,978 meters) in height.

During their war with the Immortals, the Giants tried to pile Mount Ossa atop Mount Pelion in order to reach the summit of Mount Olympos (Olympus).


In ancient Greece, ostracism was a legal punishment that was used to ban corrupt officials and inept military leaders from cities and districts.

The practice was sometimes misused by politicians and merchants to remove rivals from the political arena and exclude business competition; in Athens, ostracism was legally binding for ten years.


The son of Pharnaspes and one of the richest men in the Persian Empire; he was one of the seven Persians who successfully mounted the revolt which deposed the usurper, Smerdis, from the throne of the Persian Empire.

When the second king of the Persian Empire, Kambyses (Cambyses), was occupied with the subjugation of Egypt, a Mede named Smerdis assumed the role of Kambyses’ dead brother, also named Smerdis, and claimed the throne for himself; Kambyses had secretly arranged the murder of his brother, Smerdis, and therefore knew that the Smerdis on the throne was not his brother but before Kambyses could return to confront the false-Smerdis and reclaim his throne, he accidentally wounded himself with his own sword and died.

The false-Smerdis was very clever at concealing his true identity and never left the palace or allowed high ranking Persians to see him; the false-Smerdis not only bore the same name as Kambyses’ brother but was also physically similar to him, with one exception: the Median Smerdis had no ears; Kambyses had inflicted a punishment on the Mede that required that his ears be lopped off.

Otanes was the first to suspect that something was wrong and devised a plan to determine the truth of the matter; Otanes’ daughter, Phaedyme, was the wife the true-Smerdis and was occasionally required to attend the false-Smerdis as part of his pretense to the throne; Otanes instructed her to secretly feel Smerdis’ head to see if he had any ears; Phaedyme bravely obeyed her father and recognized the false-Smerdis for what he was.

Otanes began to recruit other Persians in what would ultimately be a rebellion; with the help of Gobryas, Intaphrenes, Megabyzus, Darius, Aspathines and Hydarnes, Otanes plotted to murder the false-Smerdis and reclaim the throne of the empire for the Persians; the seven rebels fought their way into the false king’s chamber and killed him; when the populace found out what had transpired, a wave of violence swept the city and only darkness saved the Medes from complete extermination.

The seven men then debated as to which type of government to establish; the former king, Kambyses, had been cruel and excessive in the extreme and Otanes argued for a democratic government; Darius argued for another monarchy and finally won the others to his point of view; Darius was installed as the third king of the Persian Empire in 521 BCE.

For being the organizer of the revolt, Otanes was promised special consideration by means of yearly gifts from the king; he and the other rebels were granted special privileges in the new kingdom and were allowed to have an audience with the king at any time unless he was with one of his wives; Darius took several wives including Otanes’ daughter Phaedyme.

When Darius decided to bring the island of Samos under his dominion, he gave Otanes instructions that the island was to be taken without bloodshed or enslavement and that Otanes was to put a man named Syloson in charge of the island; 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; Otanes was caught off guard by the Samiots and, after the death of many of the Persian captains, he ordered his troops to kill everyone they encountered; Otanes’ over-reaction made Syloson the new tyrant of an uninhabited island; later, after he had a prophetic dream, Otanes repopulated the island of Samos.


He and his brother, Ephialtes, were the Giant sons of Aloeus and Iphimedeia.

The two rebellious Giants tried unsuccessfully to climb to the top Mount Olympos (Olympus) by piling mountains atop one another so that they might reach the abode of the Olympians; they also bound Ares (god of War) in chains and imprisoned him in a cauldron for thirteen months until their stepmother, Eeriboia, told Hermes of Ares’ plight and he was freed.

Ourania (1)

One of the nine Muses; her name means Heavenly One; she was the consort of Poseidon (lord of the Sea) and the mother of Amphimarus.

Ourania (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 Heavens; he was the first-born of Gaia (Earth) and in all ways her equal.

Gaia had many children but after the three Giants, Kottos (Cottos), Briareos and Gyes were conceived, Ouranos would not let them be born, i.e. he would not let them leave the body of their Earth-Mother, Gaia; Gaia begged her children to slay Ouranos but only Kronos (Cronos) was willing to do the deed; Kronos attacked Ouranos with an enormous sickle and castrated him; from the blood of Ouranos’ injury were born a race of Giants, the Eumenides (Furies), the Nymphs of the Ash Trees (the Meliae) and the beautiful goddess of love, Aphrodite; Ouranos was also the father of the Titans who fought a bitter battle with Zeus and the other Olympians for supremacy of all creation.


The Mountains; the offspring of Gaia (Earth) without consort; the brother of Ouranos (the Heavens) and Pontos (the Sea).


The goddess of violence and outrage.


Publius Ovidius Naso; (43 BCE-18 CE) A Roman poet who, departing from the serious nature of classical poetry, was witty and superficial.

Ovid is mentioned here only because of his treatment of the Greek myth of Iason (Jason) and Medea; his play, Medea, does not survive but the fact that the subject would have interest to the Romans shows the enduring power and universal appeal of the characters and backdrop of the story of Iason, the Argonauts and the quest for the Golden Fleece.


One of the three tribes which made up the Lokrians (Locrians).

The Ozolian tribe occupied an area on the Gulf of Korinth; the other two tribes were named: the Opuntian and the Epiknemidian (Epicnemidian); the Lokrian colonists who went to Italy near Mount Zephyrium were called the Zephyrians or the Epizephyrians.

Orestes to Ozolian

O to Oresteia Orestes to Ozolian


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