William Morris Archive


IX. 1 Absyrtus: Absyrtus or Apsyrtus was the son of Aeetes and brother of Medea and Chalciope. Accounts differ over whether he was murdered by Medea or by Jason.

III.449 Acastus: son of Pelias; he took part in the Argonautic expedition and the Calydonian boar-hunt. When Peleus took refuge with him, Acastus’ wife attempted to seduce him, and being repulsed, accused him to her husband of improper advances. Acastus in revenge contrived to steal Peleus’ wonderful sword and leave him asleep on Mt. Pelion, where he was rescued from Centaurs by Chiron. Afterwards Peleus captured Iolcus, putting to death Acastus’ wife and, by some accounts, Acastus himself.

III.210 Achilles, the doomsmen of the Trojan’s godlike home: i. e., the Grecian warriors Achilles, Teucer and Ajax.

I.290 Actaeon: in mythology, the son of Aristaeus and Autonoe, a daughter of Cadmus. A keen hunter, Actaeon one day came upon Artemis bathing; offended at being thus seen naked by a man, she turned him into a stag and he was chased and killed by his own hounds (see Stesichorus ap. Paus. 9.2.3 and Ovid, Met 3.138 ff.). Other versions of his offence were that he was Zeus' rival with Semele (Apollod.3.30) or that he boasted he was a better hunter than Artemis (Eur. Bacch 339-40), and that he wished to marry Artemis (Diod.Sic.4.81.4).

III.179 Actor: in mythology, husband of Aegina, daughter of the river god Asopus, and father of Menoetius.

III.154 Admetus: one of the Argonauts, son of Pheres and Clymene, king of Pheræ in Thessaly. He first married Theone daughter of Thestor, and after her death he won the hand of Alcestis, daughter of king Pelias, who had promised his daughter in marriage only to the man who could bring him a chariot drawn by a lion and a wild boar.

Admetus accomplished this feat with the aid of Apollo, who had served as his herdsman when the latter had been banished from heaven, and who obtained on his behalf from the Parcæ or Fates the promise that Admetus should not die, if another person laid down his/her life for him. This was cheerfully done by Alcestis at a time when Admetus would otherwise have died. Some say that Hercules brought him back Alcestis from hell.

The plot forms the basis for Euripides' play Alcestis, and Morris provides a version of this story in "The Love of Alcestis," the classical tale for June in The Earthly Paradise.

III.169 Aetalides: version of Aethalides, mythological son of Hermes and Eupolemeia, a daughter of Myrmidon, and herald of the Argonauts. He had received from his father the faculty of remembering everything, even in Hades, and was allowed to reside alternately in the upper and lower worlds.

II.713 Æetes: mythological founder and king of Aea/Colchis, a son of the sun-god Helios and the nymph Perseis (daughter of Oceanus), and brother of Circe and Pasiphae. Æetes was the father of Medea, Apsyrtus, and Chalciope, by Idya, one of the Oceanides. As narrated in Book II, he killed Phryxus son of Athamas, who had fled to his court on a golden ram. See Map 3.

I 17: Aeson: in Greek mythology, Aeson (or Aison) was the son of Tyro and Cretheus, and brother of Pheres and Amythaon and half-brother of Pelias and Neleus, his mother's sons by Poseidon. The rightful king of Iolchos, he was deposed by his step-brother Pelias. Aeson was the father of Jason and in some accounts, Promachus. In most accounts Aeson was imprisoned and killed by Pelias before Jason could return with the Golden Fleece.

XV.183 Aglaia: a goddess of beauty and magnificence, Aglaia was one of the three graces; for her pseudonym Medea has picked a common name with pleasant associations.

XV.304: Alcestis: daughter of King Pelius and later wife of King Admetus of Boeotia, who with Apollo's help wooed her, and who sacrificed her life for his. Her story is told in Euripdes' Alcestis and Morris's Earthly Paradise tale, "The Love of Alcestis."

II.177 Alcimide: Jason's mother, and a daughter of Clymene and granddaugther of Minyas, associated with Chthonic Minyan rites. Little is made of her in Morris’s tale, but there are ways in which her matrilineal origins suggest the earth-goddess rites of Medea.

XIV.299 Alcinous ("the Phacacian king"): King Alcinous of Phaeacia (most likely the modern island of Corfu), mentioned in the Odyssey. His kingdom was visited by Odysseus before returning home to Ithaca. His gardens were known for their fruit trees, with pears, pomegrantes, and apples growing all your round.

III.487 Almenus: possibly as in the Argonautica, Ialmenus. III.455 Alpheus: river god associated with a major Peloponnesean river. See map 1.

III.386 white-footed Alta: apparently beloved of Poseidon, Ancaeus' father.

III.361 Amphidamas and Apheus: In the Argonautica (Bk. I, 161ff.), Amphidamus and Cepheus were Arcadians from Tegea, sons of Aleus and uncles of Ancaeus. See X.325. Morris has apparently substituted Apheus for Cepheus.

XV-309 Amphinome: in mythology, this name is sometimes given to the wife of Aeson; here simply a euphonic name given to Pelias's daugther.

III.375 Amphion: not the Theban hero, who, after having with his brother Zetus avenged their mother Antiope's sufferings on her brother Lycus's wife Dirce, built the walls of Thebes with his music.

VI.427 Amphritrite “She, / Who draws this way and that the fitful sea”: possibly a reference to Amphritrite, wife of Poseidon and goddess of the sea.

III.243 Amphytrion: a Theban prince, son of Alcaeus and Hypponome. His sister Anaxo had married Electryon, king of Mycenae, whose sons were killed in a battle by the Teleboans. When Electryon promised his crown and daughter Alcmena to him who could revenge the death of his sons upon the Teleboans, Amphitryon did so. Before the wedding, however, Zeus assumed Amphytrion's features in order to deceive Alcmena, with whom he had a child, Hercules. Later Amphitryon and Alcmena married and were parents of Iphicles.

III.360 Ancæus: an Argonaut from Arcadia, he was the strongest next to Heracles, with whom he is paired. He was later killed in the Calydonian boar-hunt.

III.384 Ancæus: not the Ancaeus of III.360. This Ancaeus was was king of the Leleges of Samos; accounts of his paternity vary. According to one version he was a son of Poseidon and Astypalaea (not Alta) and brother of Eurypylus, and by other accounts he was the son of Altes.

A story surrounds his name: reportedly when planting a vineyard - for Samos was famed for its wine - he was told by a seer that he would never taste its wine. When he returned from the voyage of the Argonauts, the wine had been harvested and he summoned the seer before him and raised a cup to his lips, mocking the seer for his error. The seer retorted, "There is many a slip between cup and lip." Before Ancaeus had tasted the wine, news came that a wild boar was ravaging the vineyard, and when he dropped the cup and went out to investigate he was promptly killed by the boar. (Pausanias, 1.30.4 and 5.15.6).

X.325 Apheus: an Argonaut from Arcadia, corresponding to Cepheus in the Argonautica.

XIV.664 Aphrodite: major goddess of love, beauty and fertility, comparable to the Roman Venus. She is variously described as the daughter of Zeus and Dione, or of Uranus and Gaia, from her birth amid sea-foam carrried by the Zephyrs first to Cythera and then to the coast of Cyprus. Aphrodite-Venus was a patroness of Rome, seen as a legendary ancestor of the Julii (descended from Iulus and his father Aeneas).

III.435 Apollo the far-darter: Apollo the sun god, son of Zeus and Leto and twin brother of Artemis, was the god of healing, the arts (especially music and poetry) and archery, and was often represented with a sheaf of arrows.

III.406 Arcas the hunter: in mythology, a son of Jupiter and Callisto, after whom Arcadia was named, and who taught its inhabitants the skills of agriculture and spinning wool. Juno, enraged at her husband's seduction/rape of Callisto, turned the latter into a bear, whom Arcas almost killed by accident. Zeus took pity on the pair and placed them in the constellations Ursa Major (Callisto) and Ursa Minor (Arcas) respectively.

VII.531 Ares, God of War: Ares, the Greek war-god, was the embodiment of the destructive forces of life, in contrast to Athena, who represented their intelligent and orderly use to defend the polis.

VIII: 402 Argo: With Athena's help Jason had built a marvellous ship, the Argo. The tradition that the Argo was actually the first ship is first found in Euripides. 

III.26 Argus: a renowned and skilled shipwright; in other versions he joins the Argo on its way through the Black Sea.

VII.704 Artemis: an important Olympian deity, the daughter of Zeus and Leto, Apollo's elder twin sister, a virgin and a huntress, who presided over crucial aspects of life. She was the patroness of women's transitions, most crucially their transformation from parthenos (virgin) to mature woman, childbirth and the rearing of children. She was also a patroness of selected male activities, including the rites of transition to adulthood and hunting.

She was often believed to have three incarnations: Selene/Luna, the moon goddess in the heavens; Artemis/Diana, the woodland huntress, on earth; and Persephone/Proserpina, spouse of Pluto in the underworld.

III.435 Asclepius: i.e. Aesculapius, legendary son of Apollo and Coronis, and demi-god of medicine and physician to the Argonauts. Angered at Coronis's love for Ischys, son of Elatus, Apollo arranged her death but rescued their son, whom he gave to the centaur Chiron to raise. Chiron taught Asclepius the art of surgery and the use of drugs, incantations and love potions. According to legend, Asclepius was married to Epione, and the couple had six daughters and three sons, Machaon, Telesphoros, and Podalirius.

X.263 Asterion: son of Cometes, an Argonaut from Piresia, a city in Thessaly at the foot of Mount Philaeus.

III.133 Atalanta: daughter of Iasius, from Arcadia, a maiden huntress. This Atalanta took part in the hunt of the Calydonian boar, to which she gave the first wound with her arrows.

She is not necessarily to be identified with the Boeotian Atalanta, duaghter of Schoenus, who was exposed by her father as an infant and raised by hunters. Her father announced she must marry anyone able to run faster than she in a race. Atalanta's swiftness deterred most suitors, but Melanion or Hippomenes won her by throwing golden apples given to him by Aphrodite in front of her, and when she stooped to retrieve them he surged ahead, and they were later married. This tale forms the basis for Morris's "Atalanta's Race," the first classical tale in The Earthly Paradise.

In some versions of the quest for the Golden Fleece, Atalanta sailed with the Argonauts as the only female among them, suffered injury in the battle at Colchis, and was healed by Medea. Other versions claim that Jason would not allow a woman on the ship; Morris chooses to include her.

II.347 Athamas: legendary king of Orchomenos, son of Aeolus and father of Phryxus and Helle. He married first Nephele (a cloud-goddess), then Ino daughter of Cadmus. Ino became jealous of his children by Nephele, and arranged for an oracle to demand their sacrificial deaths. They escaped on a winged golden ram, headed toward Colchis, but Helle fell into the Hellespont. Phryxus survived to reach Colchis, where he was murdered by King Pelias who coveted the ram's Golden Fleece. The implication is that Jason is seizing something which originally belonged to his homeland.

IV.179 Athena, Pallas: Pallas Athena was an alternate name for Athena, derived from Greek legends in which she killed in battle the giant Pallas, assuming his name. In Greek mythology, Athena was the wise companion of heroes and patron of heroic endeavor. Her cult seems to have existed from very early times as the patron of Athens, and she was variously associated with wisdom, philosophy, weaving and other crafts, the crafting of weapons, and military strategy. In icongraphy she often wears a breastplate and helmet, is attended by an owl, and often by Nike, winged goddess of victory, who is placed on her extended hand.

As an armed warrior goddess, Athena appears in Greek mythology as a helper of many heroes, including Odysseus, Jason and Heracles. Her legends include her birth from the forehead of Zeus, born after he swallowed her pregnant mother Metis to avoid a prophecy that any offspring of their union would exceed him in power. As the female offspring of Zeus, Athena shared with him control of the thunderbolt and the Aegis.

III.370 Augeas or Augias: legendary son of Eleus and one of the Argonauts, was king of Elis. His large and filthy stables were cleaned by Hercules, who undertookthis task on the promise of receiving the tenth part of the herds of Augias or an equivalent. To clean the stables Hercules changed the course of a nearby river, but, claiming that Hercules had employed an artifice, Augias refused the promised recompense. When Augias' son Phyleus supported Hercules' claims, he drove him from his kingdom; in response, Hercules conquered Elis, killed Augias, and gave the crown to Phyleus.


III.233 Bacchus: in Greek mythology, Dionysus or Dionysos, son of Zeus by Semele, was the god of wine, representing revelry and intoxication, but also its social and beneficial influence. He is also represented as a patron deity of agriculture and the theater, and allegedly helped soothe care and worry and enabled communication between the living and the dead. His attendants were wild and untamed young women, the Maenads.

III.417 Boreas: mythological god of the north wind, who lived in Thrace, usually depicted as winged, strong, old, bearded and wearing a pleated tunic. A son of Eos (dawn), according to legend he abducted Oreithyia daughter of Erechtheus, king of Athens, and their sons were the winged twins Zetes and Calais.  

III.214 Butes: supposed founding ancestor of a family which provided priestesses of Athena and priests of Erechtheus.


X.324 Caeneus the cragsman: a lesser-known Argonaut, a Lapith from Magnesia, mentioned in Apollonius; see alternative spelling Ceneus below. The child of Elatus, Caeneus was orignally a maiden called Caenis. In compensation for raping her, at her request Neptune/Poseidon transformed her into a man who would be invulnerable to edged weapons.

III.417 Calais, Zetes and Calais, sons of Boreas: in mythology, Zetes and Calais were called the Boreads. They were winged twin sons of Oreithyia and Boreas, god of the north wind, and as Argonauts rescued Phineas from the assaults of the Harpies.

III.496 Calliope: one of the nine muses, daughter of Jupiter and Mnemosyne, who presided over eloquence and heroic poetry.

III.330 Castor and Pollux: in mythology, twin brothers, sons of Jupiter and Leda, the wife of Tyndarus, king of Sparta.

Jupiter changed himself into a beautiful swan in order to seize the already pregnant Leda, whom he found bathing in the Eurotas river. According to one version, she then gave birth to Castor and Pollux (the former a child of Tyndarus, the latter of Zeus); according to another, she brought forth two eggs, from one of which came Pollux and Helena, children of Zeus; and from the other, Castor and Clytemnestra, the children of Tyndarus. After the twins' birth Mercury carried them to Pallene, where they were educated; and as soon as they were old enough they joined Jason on the quest of the golden fleece. They are traditionally depicted as armed with spears and riding a matched pair of snow-white horses.

A further legend states that when the mortal Castor was killed, his grieving brother begged Zeus to grant them shared immortality, and Zeus united the brothers in the heavens in the constellation which bears their name. Castor and Pollux were unique among those placed in the sky in that they are not represented merely as a constellation but as actual stars within the constellation.

X.261 Ceneus: a lesser-known Argonaut, a Lapith from Magnesia, mentioned in Apollonius; see alternative spelling, Caeneus the cragsman, above. The child of Elatus, Caeneus was orignally a maiden called Caenis. In compensation for raping her, at her request Neptune/Poseidon transformed her into a man who would be invulnerable to edged weapons.

I.9 Centaurs: a tribe of wild, beast-like monsters, part man, part horse. According to legend, centaurs lived in the woods and mountains of Elis, Arcadia, and Thessaly. Embodying wild life, animality and barbarism, the Centaurs were represented as lustful and over-fond of wine.

Among the Centaurs, Chiron was the wise and aged medicine-man. Of divine origin as the son of Kronos and Philyra, he was well-versed in medicine and other arts. To him was entrusted the education of Achilles, Asclepius and Jason, among other heroes, and he was the object of a cult in Thessaly.

The Centaurs were perceived as warlike creatures, as reflected in myths involving the Lapiths and Heracles. When King Peirithous invited Centaurs to his wedding, for example, at least one tried to rape the Lapith women and a bloody battle ensued. Likewise, Heracles had to combat Centaurs when they were attracted to the scent of their wine.

XII.207 Cimbrian folk: a Germanic people who then inhabited a region around the straits leading to the Baltic Sea, including parts of Jutland.

Circe 10.62: the daughter of Helios the sun-god and the Oceanid Perse and sister of Æetes the king of Colchis and Pasiphae. Circe was a goddess and sorceress known for her skill with herbs and potions who lived on the island of Æaea off the western coast of central Italy. In the Odyssey she transformed Odysseus' men into beasts, until they are restored to human form through the plant "moly," which Hermes gives Odysseus. In Apollonius' Argonautica she cleanses Jason and Medea aftrer the killing of Medea's brother Apsyrtus, although in Morris's version Jason rather than Medea is responsible for the death.

XIV.629 Citheraea: alternate name for Aphrodite; see Aphrodite.

III.191 Clytius the king: son of the Œechalian king Eurytus, probably killed by Hercules when he sacked Oechalia.

III.438 Coronis: daughter of Phlegyas, King of the Lapiths, and one of Apollo's lovers. Pregnant with Asclepius, Coronis fell in love with Ischys, son of Elatus; when he heard of the affair Apollo arranged for her death, but the infant was retrieved and carried to Charon to be raised. See note III.435.

XVII.32 Creon: a name given to several legendary monarchs, including the mythical would-be-father-in-law of Jason.

XVII.20 Cressid, XVII.20: heroine of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, who having been surrendered to the Greeks, deserts Troilus for the Greek prince Diomedes. Here it is seen as a tale of sincere but ultimately betrayed love, a parallel with the plot of Morris's Life and Death of Jason. Troilus also appears in Morris’s “Scenes from the Fall of Troy.”

I.15 Cretheus: According to Lemprière, Cretheus was a son of Aeolus, father of Aeson, by Tyro his brother’s daughter, and thus Jason's half-uncle.

III. 126 Cyrene: a maiden huntress, daughter of the Lapith King Hypseus, of whom Apollo became enamoured. He carried her to that part of north Africa (later Cyrenaica), where she gave birth to Aristæus.


I.138 Dædalus: a legendary artist, craftsman, and inventor of archaic times. His most noted creation was the Labyrinth to hold the Minotaur, in which King Minos later imprisoned Daedalus and his son Icarus. To escape, Daedalus constructed artificial wings for himself and his son. When Icarus ventured too close to the sun, the wax of his wings melted, and he drowned in the Aegean Sea.

III.30 Danaus: in mythology, a son of Belus and Anchinoe, who, after his father’s death, became co-monarch with his brother Ægyptus of Ægypt. According to Lemprière, when the brothers fell out, Danaus sailed in search of another home accompanied by his fifty daughters. He arrived safely on the coast of Peloponnesus, where he was hospitably received by Gelanor, king of Argos. Ægyptus's fifty sons pursued their cousins and forced marriage on them. But on Danaeus's order, the unwilling brides killed their new husbands on their wedding night, all but one, Hypermnestra, who with her husband Lynceus, became ancestors of later kings of Argos.

XIII.359 Daphne: Apollo, pierced by a dart from Eros, chased Daphne, a wood nymph, until she prayed the river god Peneus for help. He transformed her into a laurel, henceforward a plant sacred to Apollo.

III.143 Diana: goddess of the hunt, daughter of Jupiter and Latona. Diana was originally a moon goddess anciently identified with Artemis, from whom she took over the patronage of margins and savageness, and she was associated with chastity, beauty and athletic skill. That she was later a goddess of women is shown by the processions of women bearing torches in her honor at Aricia, and the votive offerings there which have reference to children and childbirth. Her links with women, members of the lower classes, slaves, and the seekers of asylum suggest that she was a goddess of margins; for example, slaves could receive asylum in her temples.


III.157 Echion: Son of Hermes and Antianeira, daughter of Menetus, and twin of Erytus, with whom he joined the Argonauts and participated in the Calydonian boar hunt. Their home was near Mt. Pangaeon (Alpe) in northern Greece. See Map 2.

III.261 Ephebus: nothing is known of this athletic Theban Argonaut except the origins provided by Morris. An ephebe was a general term for an adolescent Greek male, usually a member-in-training of an elite, engaged in military and athletic exercises.

III.418 Erechtheus: Erechtheus was the fourth king of Athens and son of king Pandian the First. He and his wife Praxithea were the parents of sons Cecrops II, Metion, Pandorus, Thespius, and Eupalamus, and daughters Creusa, Oreithyia, Procris, Merope and Othonia.

III.95, IX.228 Erginus: here, an Argonaut from Miletus and legendary son of Neptune.

III.182 Eribotes: Argonaut and son of Teleon, Eibotes was skilled in medicine and tended the wounded Oileus.

III.175, XV.95 Eurydamas: Argonaut and oarsman; in the Argonautica, a son of Ctimenus.

III.189 Eurytion: In the Argonautica listed as the son of Iras and a Theban, the Argonaut Eurytion by other accounts was the son of Kenethos and Cerion.

III.163 Eurytus: mythological son of Mercury, among the Argonauts.


I.90 the fates: mythological weavers of man's fate. Hesiod in his Theogony (218) names these Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. Clotho feeds the yarn of life, Lachesis measures it, and Atropos ("She who is unbending") snips it at the moment of death.

XIV.12 Fleece: the Golden Fleece, object of the Argonaut's quest, had originally belonged to a ram on which Phyrxus of Orchomenos (Boetia) fled with his sister Helle from the rage of Ino, their jealous stepmother. The ram set out with them on his back toward Colchis on the Black Sea. En route Helle fell into the Hellespont, but Phryxus survived to kill the ram as a sacrifice and place the fleece in his home. Afterwards King Æetes of Colchis killed him in order to steal the fleece and place it in a grove sacred to Mars, where it was guarded by a dragon.

This myth arose around the time that Greeks became interested in establishing colonies on the Black Sea, suggesting the story's attraction as a legend of successful adventure/imperialism.


Glauce, XVII title: Creusa or Glauce, dauther of Creon, kind of Corinth; the name Glauce was applied to water divinities and a spring Glauce at Corinth was dedicated to a maiden who allegedly committed suicide there.


V.230 Harpies: the daughters of the earth and sea, the dreadful Snatchers: i.e. the Harpies, supernatural winged beings, apparently winds in origin, who ‘snatched’ and abducted various persons and things. In Greek mythology, these spirit-winds were named Aello, Ocypete, and Celaeno.

VII 812 Hecate: a popular goddess from the time of Hesiod until late antiquity, Hecate was originally a mother-goddess associated with the wilderness and childbirth, but by the fifth century she was associated with magic and witchcraft, the moon, darkness, and creatures of the night. She was often believed to have three spirits: Selene/Luna, the moon goddess; Artemis/Diana, the woodland huntress, on earth; and Persephone/Proserpina, in the underworld.

II.352 Helle: twin of Phrixus and daughter of Nephele and Athamas, king of Orchomenos.

III.88 Hera, the Queen of Heaven: i.e. Hera or Juno. See Juno.

III.245 Hercules, Alcmena’s son, the dreadful Hercules: For the strength and violent tendencies of the Argonaut, see III.243 and Augeas.

VI.104 Hermes: in mythology, Hermes was the messenger of the Olympian gods, conductor of souls to the underworld, and versatile deity of boundaries and travellers, shepherds and cowherds, orators and wit, literature and poets, athletics, weights and measures, invention, commerce in general, and the cunning of thieves and liars. According to legend he was the son of Zeus and the Pleiade Maia (a daughter of the Titan Atlas), born on Mt. Cyllene in Arcadia.

Hermes was a god of abundance, fertility and prosperity. His pastoral incarnation, epecially popular in Boeotia and Arcadia, was as a cowherd and shepherd, the patron of herdsmen and of the fruitfulness of herds and flocks. He was also sometimes associated with horses and with trade. Hermes' symbols were the rooster and the tortoise, and he was often represented as carrying a purse or pouch, wearing winged sandals and a winged cap, and bearing a herald's staff.

XV.267 Hesperides: in Greek mythology, the Hesperides are nymphs who tend a paradisal garden in a far western corner of the world, near the Atlas mountains in Libya, or on a distant island at the edge of the encircling Oceanus, the world-ocean. Allegedly the daughters of Night and Erebus or, in later versions, of Hesperis and Atlas or of Ceto and Phorcys, they guard a tree of golden apples given by Earth to Hera at her marriage.

In most accounts there are three sisters, and names attributed to them include Aigle, Erytheia, Arethusa, Hespere, and Hesperethusa. According to legend, one of these golden apples was used by Melanion in winning his race against Atalanta, and Heracles succeeded in taking the apples after slaying Ladon, the dragon who guarded the tree. The Hesperides were a popular subject in Greek art, especially on painted pottery. Tennyson's poem "The Hesperides" was admired by Morris, and he used the story of Melanion for his Earthly Paradise tale "Atalanta's Race," and the story of Heracles and the three sisters in his Earthly Paradise tale "The Golden Apples."

XIV.616 Hesperus: in Greek mythology, the "Evening Star," along with Phosphorus, the "Morning Star," a son of the dawn goddess Eos and Cephalus, a mortal. Her was the father of Ceyx and Daedalion, as well as, in some accounts, the Hesperides.

III.257 Hylas: in mythology, son of Theiodamas, king of the Dryopes, and the beautiful nympth Melite. According to legend Theiodamas attacked Heracles because the latter had seized and eaten one of his plough-oxen, and after a desperate struggle between Deianira and Hercules and the monarch, Theiodamas was killed. Heracles spared Theiodamas's young son Hylas and made him his squire, and they joined the voyage of the Argonauts till the landing at Cios in Mysia. There Hylas was kidnapped by the nymph of the spring of Pegae, Dryope, and he vanished without a trace (Apollonius Rhodios), remaining willingly beneath the water to share the nymphs' love.

VI.94 Hydra, sea-worm: mythological sea-serpent, of which Hydra was a famous example.


III.122 Idmon: "the knowing one," a seer and son of Apollo or Abas, who accompanied the Argonauts although he foreknew he would not return alive.

II.354 Ino: mythological daughter of Cadmus, second wife of Athamas, and mother of Learchus and Melicertes. See II.347.

III.127 Iolaus: Hercules' charioteer, son of his brother Iphicles/us.

III.150 Iphicles: a son of Phylacus of Thessaly, noted for his herds of cattle.

III.192 Iphitus: a son of Eurytus, king of Œchalia, allegedly thrown to his death from the walls of Tiryns by Hercules in revenge for Eurytus' refusal to permit him to marry the latter's daughter Iole despite having won a competition for her hand.

VI.166 Iris: goddess of the rainbow, for the most part hardly distinguishable from the natural phenomenon itself.


I.68 Jason: [Etruscan, Easun] son of Aeson, rightful king of Iolchos, and Alcimide or in other accounts, Amphinome. Morris’s version follows Apollonius’s third century B. C. E. Argonautica. The story of Medea’s revenge is told in Euripides’ Medea, and in the Divine Comedy, Dante sees Jason among the seducers in the eighth circle of Hell. Movies of the Argonauts’ voyage appeared in 1963 and 2000, and a play by Mary Zimmerman, the Argonautika, was performed by the Chicago Lookingglass Theatre Company in 2006.

VII 782 Jove (“Almighty Jove, I.359, “The Saving Jove,” I.839): English variant for Jupiter, Roman god who served the same functions as did Zeus in Greek mythology. A patron deity of the Roman state, he ruled over laws and social order, and along with his wife Juno and Minerva, goddess of wisdom, formed a “Capitoline Triad.” By legend he was the father of Mars and grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome.

The name Jupiter derives from a compound form of the words “Iovis” and “pater,” father. Hegave his name to Thursday (Iovis Dies). The largest temple in Rome was that of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill, where he was worshipped with Juno and Minerva, with whom he formed the Capitoline Triad. Temples to Jupiter Optimus Maximus or the Capitoline Triad as a whole were also often built at the center of new cities in Roman colonies. In ancient Rome, people swore to Jove in courts of law, from whence arose the expression "By Jove.”

I.163 Juno: Roman goddess of women and civic virtue, an old and important Italian goddess and one of the chief deities of Rome. Her name derives from the same root as iuventas (youth), and she served both as a goddess of women and as a civic deity.



III.331 Lacedæmon: a son of Jupiter and Taygeta the daughter of Atlas. Lacedæmon married Sparta, the daughter of Eurotas, and their children were Amyclas and Eurydice, later the wife of Acrisius. He was the first to introduce the worship of the Graces in Laconia, and built them a temple. The chief city of Laconia was called Lacedæmon and Sparta after Laedæmon and his wife.

III.480 Laertes: legendary king of Ithaca, an island in the Ionian Sea (see Map 2), and by some accounts one of the Argonauts and a participant in the hunt for the Calydonian boar. Laertes was the son of Arcesius and Chalcomedusa, and husband of Anticlea, the daughter of Autolycus. Anticlea was pregnant by Sisyphus when she married Laertes; and eight months after her union with the king of Ithaca, she bore Odysseus, whom Laertes treated as his son, and to whom he eventually bequeathed his crown, retiring into the country, where he spent his time in gardening.

III.397 Laocoon: an uncle of Meleager.

XV.229 Latona: According to most accounts, Latona (Leto) was the mother of Artemis and Apollo, and Zeus was their father.

III.336 Leda: daughter of the Aetolian King Thestius, wife of Tyndarus, king of Sparta, and mother of Castor, Pollux, Helen (later of Troy) and Clytemnestra. She was famously raped by Jove in the guise of a swan, and accounts differ on which of her children were fathered by Jove and which by Tyndarus, though it is agreed that one of her children was divine and one human. See note III.330

X.539 Lynaeus: surname of Bacchus, the god of wine, revelry and release from anxiety.

VI.206 Lycus: king of the Mariandyni, a tribe on the Black Sea's southern coast. See the Argonautica, Bk. II, c. 220-50.

III.347 Lynceus and Idas: sons of Aphareus and Arene, both were Argonauts and joined in the hunt for the Calydonian boar. Lynceus was alleged to be so sharpsighted that he could see through walls, trees, and underground, and distinguish objects more than nine miles away. The brothers Lynceus and Idas were probably betrothed to their uncle Leucippus's daughters Phoebe and Hilaeria, but those sisters were abducted (and possibly wedded) by Castor and Pollux. The rival pairs of brothers later fought to the death: in one version to avenge the abduction, in another in a quarrel over raided cattle. Lynceus, Idas and Castor were killed.


Mars: In mythology, Mars was tutelary deity of Rome and god of war, son of Jupiter and Juno, and legendary father of Romulus, the founder of Rome, and thus by extension, of all Romans. Initially he was the Roman god of fertility and vegetation and protector of boundaries, but was later associated with Ares, the Greek god of war, and with battle.

VII.471 Medea: in mythology granddaughter of the sun-god Helios and daughter of Aeëtes, king of Colchian Aea and his wife Eidyia; by tradition intelligent, crafty and learned in magical lore.

III.389 Meleager: in Greek mythology, one of the Argonauts, the son of Althaea and Œneus, king of Calydon. In the famed Caledonian boar hunt, Atalanta, a fierce hunter, wounded the boar and Meleager killed it with his own hand, giving the head to Atalanta, of whom he was enamoured. Allegedly when his mother's brothers (his uncles) were enraged that a woman could receive the coveted boar's head, Meleager killed them, and his mother retaliated by killing him. The story forms the subject of Algernon Charles Swinburne's drama Atalanta in Calydon (1865).

III.179 Menœtius: one of several legendary figures by this name, the Argonaut was the son of Actor and Ægina and father of Patroclus with Sthenele, daughter of Acastus.

XVI.242 Mercury: Roman form of Hermes; in mythology, Hermes or Mercury was the messenger of the Olympian gods, conductor of souls to the underworld, and versatile deity of boundaries and travellers, shepherds and cowherds, orators and wit, literature and poets, athletics, weights and measures, invention, commerce in general, and the cunning of thieves and liars. According to legend he was the son of Zeus and the Pleiade Maia (a daughter of the Titan Atlas), born on Mt. Cyllene in Arcadia.

Hermes/Mercury was a god of abundance, fertility and prosperity. His pastoral incarnation, epecially popular in Boeotia and Arcadia, was as a cowherd and shepherd, the patron of herdsmen and of the fruitfulness of herds and flocks. He was also sometimes associated with horses and with trade. Hermes' symbols were the rooster and the tortoise, and he was often represented as carrying a purse or pouch, wearing winged sandals and a winged cap, and bearing a herald's staff.

V.225 Minos’ throne, Minos: Minos was a mythical king of Crete, allegedly a son of Zeus and Europa, who after his death became a judge of the dead in Hades; the Minoan civilization has been named after him. An alleged "throne of Minos" is preserved in Knossos, Crete.

V.229 Minyae: in mythology, a name given to the inhabitants of Orchomenos, in Boeotia, from Minyas, legendary king of the country. Of the two great centers of legends, Thebes, with its Cadmean population, was a military stronghold, and Orchomenos a commercial center; here, the Argonauts, led by Jason of Iolchos. See Map 1.

I.2 Minyas: legendary king, progenitor of the Minyans, and founder of Orchomenos in Boeotia (Pindar, Isthm, I.56). He was also described as the ancestor of the Argonauts, who according to Apollonius Rhodius were descended from his daughters. (Pindar, Pyth,4.69; Ap. Rhod.I.230 ff.)

III.173 Mopsus: the Argonaut’s prophet, son of Ampyx or Ampycus, who came from the river Titaresos, near Dodona (Iliad II, 750-51). See Map 2.


III.118, IX, 261 Nauplius: an Argonaut, son of Neptune and ancestor of Nauplius, father of Oeax and Palamedes, who died in the Trojan War from Greek treachery.

I.187 Neleus: According to legend, Neleus and Pelias were twin sons of Tyro, the daughter of Salmoneus and Poseidon, who had gained her consent by deceptively approaching her in the shape of her lover, the river-god Enipeus. (Od, 11.235 ff). According to one tradition, (Od, 11.237; Aeolus 2) she later married Cretheus, and here this seems to be the case; in later sources, as in Apollodorus (I.90), he is her guardian.

Apollodorus also says that she exposed Neleus and Pelias on birth, who were rescued by a horse-herder. Tyro continued to suffer persecution from Sidero, her stepmother, till her twin sons grew up, recognized her, and pursued Sidero into a temple of Juno, where Pelias killed her at the altar. Neleus married Chloris, daughter of Amphion of Orchomenus (Odyssey11.281 ff), and they produced twelve sons, including Nestor. But Heracles attacked Pylos, Neleus' kingdom, because Neleus would not purify him from the blood guilt of Iphitus (Iliad, 11.690 ff) and killed all his sons except Nestor.

II.350 Nephele: in Greek mythology, a cloud-goddess, first wife of Athamas, and mother of Phrixus and Helle. See II.347

I.192 Neptune: Neptune is the god of the sea in Roman mythology, analogous but not identical to the Greek Poseidon. Neptune was also associated with fresh water, as opposed to Oceanus, god of the world-ocean.

Nereus, XIV.42: in Greek mythology, a Titan and eldest son of Pontus (the Sea) and Gaia (the Earth). He lived in the Ægean Sea with his wife Doris and daughters the Nereids, and like Proteus was a shapeshifter with the power of prophecy. Proteus and Nereus were supplanted by Poseidon as sea gods when Zeus overthrew Cronus and assumed rulership of the world.

III.473 Nestor: in Greek mythology, son of Neleus and Chloris; king of the Peloponnesan city Pylos; husband of Eurydice (a different Eurydice than the wife of Orpheus); and father of Peisistratus and others. Noted for his wisdom and hospitality, Nestor helped fight the centaurs, participated in the Calydonian boar hunt, and joined the Argonauts. He and his sons Antilochus and Thrasymedes fought on the side of the Achaeans in the Trojan War, and though old, he served with courage and skill. In the Iliad he is portrayed as giving advice to younger warriors, and urges Agamemnon and Achilles to reconcile. In the Odyssey, he is represented as having returned safely to Pylos, and Odysseus’s son Telemachus travels to Pylos to seek his advice.


III.494 King Oeager: in mythology, a wine-god, king of Thrace, and father of Orpheus with Calliope, muse of eloquence and epic poetry. (For Thrace, a region in Asia, see map 3).

III.146 Oileus: a king of the Locrians, son of Odoedocus and Agrianome. He married Eriope, with whom he had a son Ajax (called Oileus from his father, to discriminate him from Ajax, the son of Telamon). He also fathered another son, Medon, with a courtesan called Rhene.

VI.470 Ops: (or “Opis”; in Latin, "opis" is "plenty") In Greek mythology also named Rhea, Ops was a fertility and earth goddess, the daughter of Coelus and Terra, wife of Saturn, and mother of Jupiter. She was known among the ancients by the different names of Cybele, Bona Dea, Magna Mater, or Tellus. She was generally represented as a matron, with her right hand opened, as if offering assistance to the helpless, and holding a loaf in her left hand.

III.418 Oreithyia, Erechtheus’s daughter: i.e. Oreithyia. Erechtheus was the sixth king of Athens and son of king Pandian the First. He and his wife Praxithea were the parents of sons Cecrops II, Metion, Pandorus, Thespius, and Eupalamus, and daughters Creusa, Oreithyia, Procris, Merope and Othonia.

Orchomenos, the son of Minyas, gave his name to the leading city of the country. A colony of Orchomenians migrated to Thessaly, and settled in Iochos, and its people, and especially the Argonauts, were called Minyae. The existence of the legendary Minyae has been confirmed by archaeological remains of the "Treasury of Minyas."

XV.1012 Orchomenus: a name given at various times to several cities in Phthiotic Achaea, Boeotia, and Arcadia. Here Morris must mean the Boeotian Orchomenus, founded by Minyas.

The name is also associated with the eponymous Boeotian Orchomenus, a vague genealogical figure allegedly the son of Zeus and the Danaid Isonoe and father of Minyas.

IV.103 Orpheus: great Oeager’s son: i.e. Orpheus, legendary Thracian singer and supposed founder of Orphism, whose doctrines and myths were conveyed through poems. Aeschylus and Euripides assert that his songs charmed trees, wild beasts and even stones as well as humans. In vase and wall paintings, even in the Catacombs, he is often represented singing.

The best known myth recounts that when his wife Eurydice was killed by a snakebite, Orpheus descended to the Underworld and persuaded its lord to allow him to bring her back on the condition that he should not turn round and look at her before they reached the upper world, and when he did so, she vanished into Hades forever. Morris recounts this myth in an unpublished Earthly Paradise tale, “The Story of Orpheus and Eurydice.”


XIV.626 Pallas: Pallas Athena was an alternate name for Athena, derived from Greek legends in which she killed a relative or rival Pallas, assuming his name. See Athena.

IV.178 Pandora: according to the poet Hesiod, the first woman. She was made with clay by Vulcan at the request of Jupiter, who wished to punish the impiety and artifice of Prometheus. After the artist had completed his work of forming woman from clay, all the gods vied in making her presents. Venus gave her beauty and the art of pleasing; the Graces gave her the knowledge of singing; Mercury instructed her in eloquence; and Minerva gave her rich and splendid ornaments. From all these divine presents, the woman was called Pandora, which intimates that she had received every necessary gift. Jupiter after this gave her a beautiful box, which she was ordered to present to the man who married her; and by the commission of the god, Mercury conducted her to Prometheus's brother Epimitheus, who unwisely married her.

When he opened the box which she presented to him, it spewed out a multitude of evils and distempers, which dispersed all over the world and since then never ceased to afflict the human race. Hope was the only quality which remained at the bottom of the box, and it is she alone who has the wonderful power of easing human labours and of rendering troubles and sorrows less painful. This misogynist legend prallels the account of the effects of Eve’s transgression in the book of Genesis.

III.203 Peleus: complicated legends surround the name of Peleus, brother of Telamon, son of Endeïs and Æacus, King of Aegina, and father of Achilles. He and his brother were friends with Hercules, allegedly serving in his expedition against Troy.

I.19 Pelias: Jason's half-uncle, the mythological twin brother of Neleus, and son of Neptune by Tyro, the daughter of Salmoneus. His birth was concealed from the world by his mother, who, fearful of her father's wrath at the news of the birth, caused him to be exposed in the woods. The infant's life was preserved by herdsmen, who named him Pelias, from a lead-colored spot of the colour of lead in his face. Sometime afterwards, Tyro married Cretheus, son of Aeolus, king of Iolchos, and bore three other children, of whom Aeson was the eldest. See also Neleus, I.187 below.

III.94 Peneus: in mythology, a river god associated with the Peneus River in Thessaly. See map 2.

III.356 Periclymenes: in Greek mythology, a brother of Nestor and son of Chloris and Neleus king of Pylos (a city on the west coast of the Peloponnese, in what was later Messenia; see Map 2). He was one of the Argonauts, and had received from Neptune the power of changing his shape. According to legend, he was later killed by Hercules along with his father and all of his siblings except Nestor.

XIV.269 the Phaeacian king: see Alcinous.

III.212 Phalerus: this legendary Argonaut was a son of Alcon and grandson of Erechtheus or Eurysthenes, and the founder of the town of Gyrton in Thessaly. He is said to have emigrated with his daughter Chalciope or Chalcippe to Chalcis in Euboea, and when his father demanded that he should be sent back, the Chalcidians refused to deliver him up.

III.227 Phlias: Argonaut and son of Dionysus and Chthonophyle, a native of Araithyrea in Boeotia, whose vineyards were watered by the river Aesopus.

VIII.73 King Phineus: The best known of several mythological persons so named was a Thracian king. As Zeus’s instigation, he was plagued by the Harpies; since they stole or defiled all his food, he had nearly starved to death by the time the Argonauts arrived at his land.

III.427 Phocus: in mythology, an athlete; son of Aeacus (who was the son of Zeus and Aegina) and the nymph Psamathe; and king of the island Aegina in the Saronic Gulf. (see Map 2). Phocus' half-brothers Peleus and Telamon, the sons of Endeis, killed him from jealousy during an athletic contest.

II.352 Phryxus and Helle : the story of Phryxus and Helle is recounted in book II. The son of Athamas, king of Orchomenos (Boeotia), and his wife Nephele, partly of divine ancestry, Phryxus/Phrixus and his sister Helle were intended victims of a plot by his second wife Ino, mother of Learchus and Melicertes.

Ino sought to have Phryxus and Helle made human sacrifices, but they escaped on the back of a magic winged ram which set out with them on his back toward Colchis on the Black Sea. En route Helle fell into the Hellespont but Phryxus survived to kill the ram as a sacrifice and place the fleece in his home. King Aeetes of Colchis killed him in order to steal the fleece and place it in a grove sacred to Mars, where it was guarded by a dragon.

III.103 Pirithous: son of Zeus and Dia, wife of Ixion. Homer speaks of him as fighting the Centaurs (Iliad Bk. I, 263 ff.), presumably in the quarrel mentioned in the Odyssey, Bk. 21, 295 ff., and a doubtfully genuine verse (Odyssey II. 631) mentions him in Hades. In Homer and later authors he is Theseus's closest friend.

III.330 Pollux, see Castor and Pollux.

III.92 Polyphemus: in the Argonautica, a Lapith and son of E[i]latus. After helping vainly in the search for Hylas, he remained in Mysia, supposedly founding the city of Cius (Argonautica Bk. IV, 1491). .

XIII.110 Pontic Moly, the unchanging charm: an innoculative herb from Pontus, on the Black Sea coast of eastern Turkey.

IV.179 Poseidon, the Shaker of the Earth: in Greek mythology, Poseidon, god of the sea, was frequently portrayed as a bearded giant with a fish's scaly tail, holding a large trident. See also Neptune.

III.357 Proteus: a sea deity, son of Oceanus and Tethys, or, in other accounts, of Neptune and Phenice, who resided in the Carpathian sea. He had received the gift of prophecy from Neptune, but he disliked using this in the service of humans, and when seized and interrogated could assume different shapes to escape. Those who had managed to extract information from him included Aristaeus and Menelaus.

In the myths he is an old man of the sea, who in some accounts is entrusted by Poseidon (but not Neptune; the relationship between the Greek Poseidon and Roman Neptune is not exact) with the watching of his flocks, which are the seals that frolic along the coastal borders of the sea-god's domain.



V.379 Saturn: Saturn was a major Roman deity of agriculture and harvest, identified with the Greek deity Cronus. His wife was Oops, and his children included Ceres (goddess of the harvest), Jupiter, his successor, Hestia, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and Veritas, among others. He gave his name to Saturday (dies Saturni).

According to legend, a prophecy foretold that Saturn would be deposed by one of his children. To prevent this, he ate each of his children as soon as they were born, but Oops (Rhea) managed to spirit Zeus away to the island of Crete upon birth, and gave Saturn a stone to swallow instead. When grown, Zeus attacked his father, forcing him to regurgitate the swallowed siblings, and with the help of Prometheus and his fellow Olympians conquered the heavens. Saturn fled to Rome, establishing a temporary Golden Age and time of peace (see Hesiod, Works and Days, ll. 109-126 and Ovid, Metamorphoses, Bk. I, 113-24).

I.187 Sidero: the step-mother of Tyro, killed by Pelias.

III.218 Sirens: In the Odyssey the Sirens were sea-singers who inhabited an island near Scylla and Charybdis. Sailors charmed by their song landed only to perish and leave a meadow full of decaying corpses, but Odysseus, following the advice of Circe, had himself lashed to the mast so that he could hear their song without harm. Similarly Orpheus saves the Argonauts by successfully competing with their song.

In some stories the Sirens are called daughters of Earth, and are credited with omniscience and the power to quiet the winds; in others, they must die when mortals resist their songs, and so the escape of Odysseus and Orpheus leads to their death.


III.202 Telamon: legendary king of the island of Salamis; son of Æacus, king of Aegina, and Endeïs; brother of Peleus; and father of Ajax and Teucer. Telamon fled from his home after killing his half-brother Phocus and sailed to the island of Salamis, where he soon after married Glauce, the daughter of its king Cychreus, at whose death he became king of Salamis.

III.257 Theodamas: Theodamas, the father of Hylas and king of the Dryopes, was killed in a quarrel with Hercules; see Hercules.

III.101 Theseus: legendary son of Aethra and Aegeus and Poseidon, and the national hero of Athens. Accounts of Hercules seem to have influenced the legends associated with Theseus (e. g., encounters with brigands and monsters; a campaign against the Amazons), and it is not surprising that he is made Hercules’ friend and contemporary.

III.402 Thestius: mythological king of Pleuron, a city of Aetolia on the northern coast of the gulf of Patrae (see Map 2). and cousin of Oeneus, king of Calydon. Among his children with Eurythemis were Althaea, who married her uncle Oeneus, Leda, who married the king of Sparta, and Hypermnestra, wife of Oicles and mother of Amphiaraus the prophet.

III.220 Tiphys the pilot: an Argonaut and son of Hagnias, or, according to some, of Phorbas. He died before the Argonauts reached Colchis, and Erginus was chosen in his place.

XVII.22 Troilus: ill-fated Trojan prince and hero of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, whom, having been surrendered to the Greeks, Criseyde deserted for the Greek prince Diomedes, a plot with some parallels to Morris's "Scenes from the Fall of Troy." Here it is seen as a tale of sincere but ultimately betrayed love, a parallel with the plot of Morris's Life and Death of Jason. Troilus also appears in Morris’s “Scenes from the Fall of Troy.”

III.334 Tyndarus the king: king of Sparta, legendary descendant of Zeus and son of Œbalus, husband of Leda, and father or stepfather of Castor, Pollux, Helen (later Helen of Troy) and Clytemnestra. Hercules had restored him to his throne on the condition that he bequeath it to his descendants, the Heracliades. See note III.330

I.17 Tyro: according to legend, a beautiful nymph, the daughter of Salmoneus, king of Elis and Alcidice, and Jason’s grandmother. She was treated with great severity by her stepmother Sidero, and at last removed from her father’s house by her uncle Cretheus. She became enamoured of the river Enipeus, and as she often walked on its banks, Neptune assumed the shape of her favored lover in order to seduce her. She had two sons by Neptune, Pelias and Neleus, whom she exposed to conceal their intimacy from the world. The children were preserved by herdsmen, and when they had arrived to years of maturity, they avenged their mother’s injuries by assassinating the cruel Sidero. Tyro married her uncle Cretheus, by whom she had Amythaon, Pheres, and Aeson.


IX.111 Venus: major goddess of love, beauty and fertility, comparable to the Greek Aphrodite. She is variously described as the daughter of Zeus and Dione, or of Uranus and Gaia, and was the consort of Vulcan.


Zetes V.279 the Northwind’s offspring: i.e. Zetes and Calais. In mythology, Zetes and Calais were called the Boreads. They were winged twin sons of Oreithyia and Boreas, god of the north wind, and as Argonauts rescued Phineas from the assaults of the Harpies.