Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Tested Love Blurb

Lured by seductive promises, Andreas risked his life to be with Theron, only to find himself betrayed. Abandoned and alone, Andreas resigns all hope of seeing his fierce warrior again and resumes his life as a helot.

All too aware of the harsh punishment Sparta demands of men who love other men, Theron reluctantly surrenders Andreas in hopes of keeping him safe. The warrior returns to Sparta to embrace his destiny in place of the helot he has grown to see as a man, not just a slave. Cold, but honorable duty will be his new lover.
Duty proves to be a jealous lover when Sparta demands the final test of Theron’s loyalty. Sent to kill Andreas, Theron must find a way to come to terms with his burning desire for his handsome helot before their forbidden love destroys them both.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Lexicon for A Tested Love: O-Z

Obolus – coin.

Oboloi – rods used as currency in Sparta. The rods predated the coins with the same name, but the Spartans retained them to discourage the amassing of wealth. I use the different spellings (one singular and the other plural) to differentiate between them for purposes of this novel.

Odysseus—the king of Ithaca. He went to war with Agamemnon against Troy. But on the way home, he angered Poseidon by blinding his son Polyphemus to save his men from being eaten by the Cyclops. As a result, Poseidon did everything in his power to thwart Odysseus’ attempts to return home.
· Odysseus was known for being cunning. His epithets in Homer consist of: resourceful, of many resources, of many turns, man of twists and turns, etc.

Olympian gods—there were twelve great gods who dwelt on Mount Olympus. Hades was the king of the Underworld and so not truly considered an Olympian. He is listed here because he is one of the great gods. Hestia was one of the original twelve, but gave up her seat to Dionysus. Other gods and goddesses were considered Olympians, but the twelve became the most well-known.
· The gods were anthropomorphisms of important concepts or forces of nature. They were frequently prone to all the flaws that plague humans—anger, greed, lust. They were not omniscient. They only knew what they had seen or been told, allowing mortals to sometimes escape their wrath or even trick them. They were bound by the same social rules as the humans who worshiped them.
· Aphrodite—goddess of love, beauty, and desire.
· Apollo—god of the light, prophecy, healing, and the arts.
· Ares—god of war, violence, and courage.
· Artemis—virgin goddess of the moon, the hunt, wilderness, and girls.
· Athena—goddess of wisdom, war, and reason.
· Demeter—goddess of agriculture, grain, and the harvest.
· Dionysus—god of wine, parties, and drunkenness.
· Hades—King of the Underworld, god of the dead, and the hidden wealth of the earth.
· Hephaestus—crippled god of fire, metalworking, stone working, and volcanism.
· Hera—Queen of the Gods, goddess of marriage, women, childbirth, and empires.
· Hermes—god of travel, messengers, trade, and thieves.
· Hestia—virgin goddess of hearth, home, and cooking.
· Poseidon—Earth Shaker, god of the sea, rivers, floods, and earthquakes.
· Zeus—King of the Gods, god of the sky, thunder, lightning, and law.

Orpheus—a young man of unsurpassed musical skill.

Otrera—the first queen of the Amazons. She was one of Ares’ lovers.

Paiderastês—boy lover.

Paidonómos, or “boy-herder”—a magistrate charged with supervising the education of the youths in the agōgē. He was in charge of an agélai.

Pan—a half-goat, half-man god of shepherds and flocks. The word panic comes from his name, as he was supposed to inspire the emotion.

Pankration—a sport that combined boxing and wrestling. The only rules prohibited biting and gouging out the opponent’s eyes. In Sparta, even these rules did not apply as it was taught as a hand-to-hand fighting technique. The Spartans were forbade from competing in this sport at the Olympic Games after the deaths of some of their competitors.

Peloponnesian League—also known as the Alliance of Sparta, or the Spartans and their allies.
· The league was organized during the 6th century BC, probably as a means to deny the conquered indigenous peoples support from the surrounding poleis.
· The Spartans were often willing to help other city-states expel their tyrants. This frequently led to ongoing military and political ties.
· Smaller towns, often affiliated with a larger city-state, fearing Argive aggression, requested admittance to the league as protection from Argos.
· When Tegea joined the league, the city-state was forced to give up some of her autonomous foreign policy in exchange for Spartan protection. However, this was the turning point in the Spartan/Argive quest for control of the Peloponnesian Peninsula.
· Sparta defeated the Argives and became undisputed master of the Peloponnese in 494 BC.
Peloponnesus, or Peloponnese—the rather large southwestern region of Greece separated from the rest of the Hellas by a narrow isthmus at Corinth. Several city-states inhabited this region: Sparta, Corinth, Argos, Messene, Mycenae, Olympia, Pylos and Tegea, to name a few.

Perioikoi, or the “dwellers around”—free non-citizens living in Lacedaemonia. They were frequently tradesmen and merchants—all the activities that a Spartiate could not take part in.

Phalanx (plural: phalanxes)—a rectangular military unit employed by the ancient Greeks. Often equipped with spears and large body-covering shields; although, this distinction wasn’t necessary for the term. It could also refer to any group either on the move, camping, or in battle, regardless of actual weapons. Homer used the term to refer to hoplites fighting in formation.

Phantasma (plural: phantasmata)—the ghosts, or shades of the dead.

Phoinikis (plural: phoinikes)—the iconic scarlet cloak of a Spartan. Spartan warriors were given their first phoinikis when they turned twelve, and a new one every year thereafter.

Polis (plural: poleis)—city/city-state(s).

Pórni̱—means whore or prostitute.

Priapos—a phallic god of fertility, gardens, and the protector of homes. One stroked his phallus to propitiate him and for luck. The Priapeia contains the curses, sexual in nature, he will visit on those who transgress the boundaries he protects.

The Pythia—one of three women who prophesied for Apollo at Delphi. She required the sacred pneuma and a question from a consecrated pilgrim.

Python, earth-dragon—a gigantic primordial serpent born of the earth. Python was appointed to guard the Delphic Oracle by Gaea. Apollo slew the dragon with his arrows and seized the shrine for himself. Another instance of a sky god defeating an earth god/goddess.

Ritual pollution, or bloodguilt—resulted from murder, as opposed to killing someone in battle. The gods might exact a heavy price for such an act, visiting a miasma on anyone who sheltered the murderer until an appropriate sacrifice or sentence was carried out.

Sacred grove—an outdoor religious space, the equivalent of a temple. One profaned such places at their own peril. The gods were jealous of all their prerogatives and defended them with a vengeance.

Sacred pneuma—a gaseous emanation from a cleft in Apollo’s temple at Delphi. The Pythia breathed in the vapors and prophesied. Her mantic words were deciphered by the priests.

Scylla and Charybdis—Greek version of “between a rock and hard place,” were a pair of monsters. Scylla was a six headed monster that ate anyone who came too near her rock. Charybdis was a monster with a gigantic whirlpool. When sailing through the straits of Messina, one had to choose which monster to approach.

Selênê—the goddess of the moon. She rode through the night sky in a chariot drawn by winged horses.

Shield-brother—Theron’s term for his “brothers” in the agélai.

Sirens—monsters, variously described as beautiful or as a mix of woman and bird. Their song was unbelievably sweet and enchanting. They drew sailors to their death on the rocky coast of their island. Odysseus tied himself to the mast of his ship and plugged his sailors’ ears with wax to avoid death by shipwreck.

Sparta—consisted of a collection of unwalled villages. Initially, four in number: Limnai, Kynosoura, Mesoa, and Pitana. The city stretched for no more than 5 miles at its longest. The acropolis was roughly in the center of the four villages and could be seen from all of them. Amykles was added later.
· While the polis was fairly small, its territory was large.

Spartiate—the term for a Spartan citizen, a man who has successfully finished the agōgē and entered the standing army. Spartans did not include everyone living in Lacedaemonia. Only the descendants of a Spartan citizen, a Spartiate, could claim such status. And only if they proved themselves as warriors. Helots and perioikoi were not Spartans.

Stele—a stone or wooden post erected for funerary or commemorative purposes.

Strophalos—wheel of Hekate.
· Chaldean Oracle – “Labor thou around the Strophalos of Hekate.”
· Most sources feel that the Strophalos was a tri-part maze. However, I’ve been unable to find any original (read ancient) sources for this belief.

Syn tai e epi tai!With it or on it!
· Attributed to Spartan women sending their menfolk off to battle. Meaning roughly come back carrying your shield (victorious) or on it (dead). But either way, the warriors were not to lose their shield which implied desertion, as one would have to cast the unwieldy thing down in order to flee. Spartans had no use for cowards or deserters.

Syssitia—similar to a military mess. All Spartiates were required to be a member of one and take their meals there daily, unless they had a good excuse. Everyone was required to provide a monthly share from the tribute their klēros produced. If they couldn’t, they lost their place and status as a Spartiate.

Tantalus—an ancient king who offended the gods, possibly by trying to feed them his own son. So he was sentenced to eternity in Tartaros standing in a pool of water under a fruit tree and being able to partake of neither. The origin of the word tantalize.

Tartaros—a deep pit in the Underworld that served as a place of punishment for evildoers and the prison of the Titans.

The Fates, or the Moirai—three implacable goddesses. Klotho spun the thread of life. Lakhesis measured the length of one’s life. Aisa cut it off at the appointed time. The Fates would send the Erinyes, three Underworld goddesses, to punish evil doers.

Themis—the goddess of divine law and order, the traditional laws established by the gods.

Theos (plural: theoi)—the Greek word for “deity, god.”

Tholos—a circular colonnaded temple.

Tyche—goddess of fortune, luck, fate, and chance. In her various attributes, she represented:
· Holding a rudder, she guided the affairs of the world as such she was one of the Moirai, or Fates.
· Holding a ball, she represented the unsteadiness of fortune, ready to roll either way.
· Holding the horn of Amalthea, she symbolized the ample gifts of fortune.

Tympanum (plural: tympana)—a tambourine-like drum.

Willow bark tisane—an infusion, or tea consumed for medical purposes, made from willow bark. Willow bark is a natural source of salicylic acid, a precursor of aspirin. It was used in ancient Greece, Assyria, Sumer, and Egypt to treat fevers and aches.

Wine—in ancient times wine was diluted with water before being consumed. While barbarians drank it uncut with water, this was thought to lead to madness and death.

Xiphos—a common double-edged, leaf-shaped short sword. Most were 2 foot in length or less. They were a secondary, or back-up, weapon intended for use if your spear broke. The blades were short and used for stabbing between shields at your enemy.

Zone, or girdle—a woman’s belt.

Zoster, or girdle—a wide leather belt closed with buckles.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Lexicon for A Tested Love: I-N

Iamidai—a line of priests and prophets descended from Apollo’s son Iamos.

Iamos—the son of Evadne and Apollo. Evadne, one of Poseidon’s daughters, was raised by a local king. Ashamed to be with child, Evadne exposed the child at birth in a patch of violets. Her stepfather discovered the child was the son of a god and grandson of another and made her go reclaim the baby. The boy was named Iamos from “violet.” When Iamos grew up, he invoked Poseidon and Apollo, asking them to reveal his destiny. Apollo gave him the gift of prophecy and sent him to Olympia to found the Iamidai line of priests.

Intercrural—literally means “between the thighs” and is not a euphemism. In poleis that allowed it, the erastês placed his penis between his erômenos’ thighs and rubbed off.

Klēros (plural: klēroi)—the main economic resource for each of the Spartiates, his ancestral plot of farmland. The land, along with the helots that worked it, supplied the food and other resources necessary to maintain him and his family. The helots were expected to provide a set amount of what they produced and could keep anything in excess.
· The climate in Greece allowed for two crops in a year. The first was planted during the spring and harvested during the summer. The second crop was planted in the fall and was known as winter wheat/barley and harvested in the spring.

Karneia—the chief festival of Apollo Carneus. The festival occurred from the 7th to the 15th of month of Carneus (August). During this time, Spartans could not make war.

Karyai—a town/village to the northeast of Sparta on the road between Tegea and Sparta. There was a grove to Artemis Karyatis, of the walnut trees, where the maidens of Karyai or Karyatides danced in her honor every year. The town was named for the walnut trees.

Karyatides—columns carved in the likeness of maidens. The word literally means "maidens of Karyai."

Kastalia—the nymph residing in the sacred spring at Delphi.

The Kastalian Spring—Kastalia’s sacred spring at Delphi. Pilgrims had to wash their hands and hair in the pure waters before they could ask the Pythia a question. Murderers had to bathe their entire body.

Kindaidos (plural: kindaidoi)—gay, carried negative connotations of "effeminacy" in a culture that was very masculine driven and often treated their women poorly.

Kouros (plural: kouroi)—statues of nude male youths. Apollo is known as the "megistos kouros" or the great Kouros.

Kryptes (plural: kryptes)—elite warriors who had distinguished themselves in the agōgē. They spied on the helots and slew any who were out after dark or that they thought might be fomenting revolt. The kryptes were given a cloak and a knife and were expected to develop stealth while they lived off the land.

The Krypteia—took place every fall when the ephors officially declared war on the helots. While the Krypteia was primarily a way for the kryptes to prove their skills and keep the helots cowed, it allowed any Spartan to kill helots without fear of ritual pollution and reprisals from the gods.

Kykeon—a thin gruel typically made from water and barley. The peasant drink could be sweetened or flavored with other spices. In the case of the Eleusinian Mysteries, it was thought to have psychoactive properties.

Kylix (plural: kylikes)—a shallow drinking vessel, more like a double-handled bowl than a cup or goblet.

Lacedaemonia—the ancient name for the entirety of the Spartan lands. Lacedaemon, a mythical king of Laconia, was the son of Zeus. He married Sparta, the daughter of Eurotas (the river nymph) and named the city after his wife and the country after himself.

Lakhesis—one of the Moirai, or Fates. She is the “Apportioner of Lots” and measured the thread of life.

The Laws of Xenia or Hospitality—specific code of guest-friendship, dictated how to care for a guest. A guest must have all his needs taken care of before his host could ask him anything. Zeus was the guardian of strangers and the enforcer of xenia. Because of the gods’ propensity to show up in disguise, all guests no matter their appearance should be treated as a god. Failure to do so could result in serious consequences. Both guest and host were required to treat each other with respect.
· A host was expected to offer his guest water to wash his feet and legs clean of the dirt of the road when he arrived. Sometimes a servant performed the task. Sometimes the host or his wife, if they wished to show the guest special honor.
· The disguised Odysseus is recognized when an old servant bathes his feet and discovers a scar of his leg.
· Once the guest was clean enough, he entered the main part of the house where he would be fed and then offered a bath, or sometimes the bath came first. Especially, if there was a feast usually in someone’s honor to follow. Even clothing if the guest had nothing clean or appropriate.
· And of course, lodging for the night was expected.
· In return, the guest had obligations to his host to be a good and respectful guest. Part of which entailed giving thanks and praise, not bothering the women of the household (Paris was an abominable guest), and doing nothing to harm his host.

Linothorax—a breastplate made out of layers of linen glued together or laminated. This type of armor was first mentioned in the Iliad and can be found on numerous vase paintings. The main part of the armor wraps completely around the torso. Two straps come over the shoulders and tie in place on the front. Flaps known as pteruges covered the thighs.

Lochos (plural: lochoi)—war band. The bands could number as few as 8 soldiers in other poleis, but in Sparta they were comprised of 640 warriors. It would front about 80 shields to form the traditional eight-deep phalanx.

Lotus-eaters—Odysseus stopped on an island on his voyage home where the inhabitants ate lotus flowers and fruit. As a result of the narcotic effects of this diet, the people slept away their lives in apathy.

Lycurgus the Lawgiver—credited with making the sweeping changes to Sparta that resulted in the polis becoming the premiere fighting force of the ancient Hellene world. He is responsible for the agōgē, the structure of the military, and the shift in emphasis of pederasty from a potentially sexual relationship to a system more resembling fosterage.

Medicine—in the ancient world was remarkably advanced considering what they had to work with. Wine and vinegar were the most common antiseptic washes. Honey was used for its bacteriocidal nature. High concentrations of sugar or salt will kill bacteria.
· Aulus Cornelius Celsus’ De Medicinia is a remarkable text that covers diagnosis, treatment, and even surgery of many diseases and injuries.

Medusa—a serpent-haired monster whose gaze could turn men to stone, women too. She had once been a beautiful woman who allowed Poseidon to seduce her in one of Athena’s temples. Angered at the profaning of her temple, Athena turned her into a monster.

Mentoring or Pederasty—ancient Greece was a social custom likely originating as a rite of passage associated with entering military training and the religion of Zeus at a boy’s coming-of-age. The practice was central to the homosocial Greek culture, which included athletic and artistic nudity, delayed marriage for aristocrats, symposia, and the social seclusion/exclusion of women in most parts of Greece.
· While the practice almost certainly involved sexual activity between the mentor and the young man, usually in his teens or early twenties, in the majority of Greece, the extent would vary with local custom and individual inclination. The mentor, being older and socially superior, was the “penetrative” partner. In the case of mentoring, this almost exclusively referred to intercrural sex, where the penis penetrates between the thighs of the youth. True penetration was considered something for women and slaves, but was not unheard of between men.
· The erômenos, or “beloved,” is the passive or subordinate partner. The youth would be of an age when an aristocrat began his formal military training, around fifteen to seventeen and extending up until the youth was in his twenties, or in some cases even thirty.
· The mentor, or erastês, courted the young man with gifts. He was expected to show that his interest wasn’t merely sexual. The youth was not to submit too easily. If more than one man courted him, he was expected to show discretion and pick the nobler man.
· However, none of this was the case in Sparta. In Sparta, pederasty took the form of a foster father/son relationship. Thus sexual intercourse between the men was tantamount to incest. If men were found together, they were expected to redeem Sparta’s honor by committing suicide or going into exile.
· Xenophon, the only contemporary source, in his Constitution of the Lacedaimonians says that a sexual relationship was considered an abomination. He sent his sons to take part in the Spartan agōgē and categorically denied any sexual aspects to the relationship in Sparta.
· Aristotle further claims that the lack of homosexuality in Sparta was responsible for the deplorable way the outspoken Spartan women acted.

Mothônes—young helots that were assigned to accompany a Spartan boy in the agōgē. They grew up together, but the mothônes continued to be a slave.

Mycenae—a pre-Greek hill fortress founded by Perseus in Argolis. Mycenae was the home of Agamemnon King of Men and his wife Clytemnestra. After the Mycenaean world fell Mycenae never recovered. Only the hilltop fortress remained. The lower portions of the settlement fell into ruin.

Nemesis—the remorseless goddess of revenge. She carried out divine retribution on those who committed hubris. Her name means “to give what is due.”

Nyx—the goddess of the night. Represented as the night—a dark mist arising from the Underworld and blotting out the light—she was one of the first-born primordial gods.

Nothos (plural: nothoi)—legitimate bastards or half-breed sons of Spartiates and helot women. If their fathers acknowledged them and they passed their training in the agōgē, they could become Spartiates (Spartan citizens) themselves. Miltiades was a nothos. It was also not unheard of for a man to ask another man he respected to father his children. Because of this, Spartan women were considered immoral and promiscuous by nonSpartans.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Lexicon for A Tested Love: E-H

Elysium or the Elysian Fields—a form of the afterlife distinct from Hades, the Underworld. The fields are a pleasant realm where the righteous and heroic continued their “lives.”

Eos—the goddess of the dawn.

Ephors—five men elected every year to rule Sparta with the two kings. They could only serve for one year, never to be elected again. They served as a check on the two kings; although, later the kings became merely generals and religious figureheads.

Erastês—the older man in a pederastic relationship, the mentor. The word means “lover.”

Erinyes—three Underworld goddesses who punished evildoers, particularly those guilty of homicide, unfilial conduct, crimes against the gods, and perjury.

Erômenos (plural: erômenoi)—the younger man in a pederastic relationship, the mentee. The word means “beloved.”

Eros—one of the Erotes, winged gods of love. Eros represented love and Himeros desire.

Erotes—winged youths, the gods of love. Eros and Himeros were present at Aphrodite's birth.

Eurotas River—a river that ran through the fertile valley between the Taygetos Mountains to the west and Parnon Mountain range to the east. The villages comprising Sparta clustered around the river on this plain between the mountain ranges.

Fibula (plural: fibulae)—an ancient brooch. It replaced the straight pin for fastening clothing and is the forerunner of the modern safety pin.

Firepot—a small clay pot for carrying a live coal. It was packed tightly with dried grasses. The Greeks didn’t have flint and steel or even the fire drill. Therefore, it was imperative they not let their hearth fire go out. Fire had to be carried with them. When founding a new colony, fire was taken from the founding city’s ritual hearth and carried to the colony’s hearth. If the ritual hearth fire went out, it could be relit from the flame at Delphi.

Funerary practices—these practices varied, but tended to become more elaborate with time. The deceased was bathed, anointed with oil, and wrapped in a shroud before being laid out on a bier (funeral bed). The house was adorned with marjoram, celery, myrtle, and laurel. Often a coin was placed in the deceased’s mouth as payment to Charon, the ferryman. Then followed a prothesis, a period of ritual morning, initially family members and friends, but later it involved professional mourners who tore out their hair in grief and threw handfuls of dirt on themselves.
· The third night after the death, the corpse was taken to the cemetery in a procession called an ekphora. It was very important for the mourners to make a loud noise and be prominently seen so the shade of the deceased could see the honor it was being paid. In fact, failure to provide a suitable funeral was a cause of outrage in the community.
· Once at the cemetery, the body was placed on a pyre and cremated. The ashes were collected and placed in an amphora. The urn was then buried with appropriate grave goods and frequently a stele as a grave marker.

Gerousia—the Spartan council of elders. They were the legislative and judicial portion of the Spartan government. Twenty-eight of the members were elected for life and had to be over the age of sixty when they retired from the military. The other two seats belonged to the kings.

Hekate—the Underworld goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts and necromancy. The black she dog is one of her sacred animals and she sometimes takes its shape. She is also the three-faced goddess of crossroads.

Helots—a type of slave particular to Sparta. They were the original inhabitants of Lacedaemonia. When the Spartans invaded the Peloponnesian peninsula, they enslaved the native dwellers, leaving their steadings primarily intact.
· The helots were never chattel the way all other Greek slaves were. They were more like medieval serfs. They belonged to the land, the klēros. Spartiates were allotted a klēros and the helots assigned to work it.
· Helots could also work as servants in a Spartiates’ home, as mothônes accompanying the youths in the agōgē, or as craftsmen, it being beneath a Spartan to do any form of manual labor.
· The helots vastly outnumbered their masters. Thus requiring some rather extreme measures to keep them from revolt.

Hephaestus—the god of fire, volcanism, and all things crafted. He was lame and weak at his birth, so his mother Hera cast him from Olympus in disgust.

Heraclid—means descended from Herakles. The two kings of Sparta were Heraclids from the ruling houses of the Eurypontid and Agiad. The kings "reigned" jointly as checks on each other. Through most of Sparta's history, the influence of the kings waned until they were little more than generals and religious figureheads.

Herakles—also known as Hercules by the Romans, had a male lover, Iolaus. When Iolaus died, he was entombed outside of Thebes. Men would travel to the tomb to make oaths to the hero and each other.

Hesperides—three goddesses of evening and the sunset, they were the daughters of Nyx. They guarded the golden apples given to Hera as a wedding present. Apples are a Greek symbol of love.

Hestia—the virgin goddess of the hearth, family, and home. Every city and every home had a shrine to her. She received the first offering at every household sacrifice. Every family hearth was her alter. No city could be founded without her sacred flame, taken from the parent polis.

Hetairai – Aphrodite's temple prostitutes in Corinth. Although the term also refers to highly educated and much sought after courtesans who could take part in symposia, handle their own money, and paid taxes. They could choose whether to have sexual relations with their clients.

Hētairēkós—a kept boy, carries negative connotations of a young man incapable of providing for himself. In Athens, if it were proven that a man had been a kept boy, he lost his citizenship and all rights, especially the right to vote.

Hiereus (plural: hierei)—Greek for priest. I use “Hiereus” to mean high priest and hiereus/hierei to mean priest/priests.

Himeros—one of the Erotes, winged gods of love. Himeros represented desire and Eros love.

Hoplites—the standard warrior of the age. Heavily armored and armed with long spears, the men formed tight ranks, each man shielding the one next to him. They were a very effective fighting force.

Horos—meaning limit or boundary, were boundary marker stones. The stones were placed around the periphery of a property. The stones were large and often had advisements of their function declaring them to be marks written on their surface. Usually in the form of "I am…."

Hubris—means extreme haughtiness, pride or arrogance. Most commonly used to describe the actions of those who challenged the gods or their laws. Overweening pride, especially in Greek tragedy, resulted in the protagonist’s fall. Hubris was considered the greatest crime of ancient Greek society. The person performs some act of folly due to their excessive pride, usually resulting in their downfall or some fatal retribution (Nemesis).

Hyacinthus—a Spartan prince and one of Apollo’s male lovers. Zephyrus, the god of the west wind, also loved Hyacinthus. If a fit of jealousy, Zephyrus blew a discus off course. The discus struck the prince, killing him. Apollo used the young man’s blood to create the flower bearing his name, the hyacinth.

Hyades—the nymphs of the rain, were the daughters of Atlas. When their brother Hyas was slain by a wild beast, they mourned him and became known as “the rainy ones.” Zeus placed them in the heavens as the constellation Hyades. Their helical setting in November signaled the start of the rainy season.

Hypnos—the daemon, or minor god, of sleep.