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After Saturn had been driven into exile, his three sons divided his dominions amongst them. Jupiter reserved to himself the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, Neptune obtained the empire of the sea, and Pluto received as his share the sceptre of the infernal regions. Jupiter did not, however, enjoy unmolested his supreme dignity ; for the offspring of Titan -a
gible giants set the new deity at defiance, and, wy malg the mountains named Pelion and Ossa one upon the other, endeavoured to ascend into heaven to pluck him from his throne. The gods, in great alarm, fled from their divine abode on Mount Olympus into Egypt, where they concealed their true character by assuming the forms of various animals; but Jupiter, assisted by Hercules, at last suceeded in destroying the giants, and reasserting his sovereign sway. Jupiter is always represented on a throne, with thunderbolts in his right hand, and an eagle by his side.
Jupiter took in marriage his sister Juno, who is described as a beautiful, but ill-tempered goddess, and is usually depicted as seated in a chariot drawn by two peacocks. Neptune, the brother of Jupiter, and god of the ocean, is painted as a half-naked man, of majestic figure, with a crown on his head, and a trident or three-pronged fork in his hand, drawn in a car over the sea by water-horses. Pluto, the remaining brother of Jupiter, and god of the infernal regions, was painted by the Greeks as seated on a throne with his wife Proserpina by his side, and the three-headed dog Cerberus before him. Nine of the most important of the deities were con
sidered as the children of Jupiter. Apollo was the god of music, poetry, painting, and medicine; he is represented as a young man of great elegance of person, with a bow in his hand, and a quiver of arrows on his back. Mars, the god of war, is drawn as an armed man, in a car, with an inferior female deity, named Bellona, by his side. Bacchus was the god of wine, and was usually represented as a young man, with a cup in one hand, and a spear called a thyrsus in the other. His name has given rise to many phrases in our language, expressive of circumstances connected with drinking. Mercury was the messenger of Jupiter, and the god of oratory, of merchandise, and of thieving. He was represented as a youth flying along the air, with wings at his cap and heels, and a peculiar wand, called a caduceus, in his hand. Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, was painted as a female of severe aspect, with armor on the head and breast, and bearing a spear and shield, while an owl sits by her side. Venus, the goddess of beauty and love, was depicted as a handsome woman, in undress. Diana, the goddess of hunting and of chastity, appeared as a beautiful female, with bow and arrow in her hands, buskins on her limbs, and a crescent on her forehead. Hebe, the goddess of youth, took the form of a blooming young girl, and was said to bear the cup of Jupiter.
Another of the children of Jupiter was Vulcan, who, being of ungainly form, and disagreeable in the eyes of his father, was cruelly thrust by him out of heaven, so that he fell on the Isle of Lemnos, and, breaking a limb, was lame ever after. On earth, Vulcan
ployed himself as an artificer in iron, and hence he has been assumed as the patron of blacksmiths. Jupiter is said to have employed him in fabricating his thunderbolts. The workshop of Vulcan was believed to be underneath the burning mountain Ætna, in Sicily ; and the term Volcano is derived from that circumstance. The gay goddess Venus is represented as married to this homely deity, to whom she occasioned much uneasiness by the levity of her conduct.
Besides the other attributes and avocations of Apollo, he was the deity of the sun, having the task confided to him of guiding that luminary in its diurnal course through the heavens. His sister, Diana, had a similar charge over the moon. Apollo, or Phæbus, as he was also named, had a son called Phaëton, who, being, like many other young people, self-confident and rash, took advantage of the indulgent disposition of his father to obtain from him the charge of the chariot of the sun for one day. But Phaëton had not travelled far on his journey up the heavens, when his fiery steeds became unmanageable, and, running away with the sun, descended so close to the earth, that it was set on fire. Jupiter perceived what had happened, and, fearing that the whole universe would be consumed, struck Phaëton dead with a thunderbolt; then, after a great deal of trouble, he extinguished the dangerous conflagration, and set the sun once more on its usual course.
None of the heathen deities is more frequently referred to than Cupid, the god of love. He was the son of Venus, and bore the aspect of a beautiful boy. He had a pair of wings, and was furn ed with a bow
and a quiver of arrows, which he shot into the hearts of those whom he wished to inflame with tender passions, over which he had control. So great was his power, that he could tame the most ferocious animals, and break in pieces the thunderbolts of Jupiter himself. There was a number of divinities of minor import
Hymen was the god of marriage, and was represented with a crown of flowers on his head, and a lighted torch in his hand. Æolus was the god of the winds, which he kept confined in caverns, except at such times as he chose to let them loose upon the world. Pan was the god of the country. He was flat-nosed and horned, and had legs, feet, and a tail resembling those of a goat. His favorite haunt was the vales of Arcadia, where he excited the admiration of the shepherds around him by the sweet sounds of his rustic pipe.
Astræa was the goddess of justice, and during the Golden Age, when men were virtuous and happy, she dwelt, like many other deities, on earth ; but, after the world became wicked, she bid it a sorrowful farewell, and, ascending to heaven, was transformed into the sign of the zodiac which is named Virgo, or the Virgin. Themis was the goddess of law, and, after the departure of Astræa, she had also to sustain, as well as she was able, the character of the goddess of justice. We see in this, as in some other than mythologi. cal fables, no small degree of meaning.
Inexorable destiny, which governs all things, was personified by three sisters, called the Fates, who represented the Past, the Present, and the Future. They were poetically described as constantly employ
ed in spinning the thread of human life. One held the distaff, another spun, and the third cut the thread when it had reached its appointed length. To the decrees of these stern sisters even Jupiter himself was obliged to bend, and his thunders, which affrighted all the other divinities, were heard by them undisturbed.
The Furies were also three in number, and to them belonged the task of punishing the guilty both on earth and in hell. Instead of hair, their heads were covered with serpents, and their looks were fierce and terrible. Each of the sister-furies waved a torch in the one hand, while the other wielded a scourge. The latter instruments inflicted remorseless punishment on those who had incurred the anger of the gods. War, famine, and pestilence — the penalty of vice and
crime - proceeded from these dread sisters ; and Grief, Terror, and Madness were painted as their inseparable followers. These
avengers of guilt form a striking contrast to another sisterly trio, to whom the ancients gave the name of the Graces. These were named Aglaia, Thalia, and Euphrosyne, and their aspect and attributes corresponded with the common name they bore. They were the daughters of Bacchus and Venus, and were usually represented as unattired, and linked in each other's arms.
The nine Muses were named Thalia, Melpomene, Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, and Urania. They were the patronesses of literature and the fine arts, and resided on Parnassus, a lofty mountain in the district of Phocis. Thalia presided over comedy ; Melpomene over tragedy ; Erato