From the Publisher
Some sample entries:
A Nymph of the trees and springs. In one account Echo was loved by Pan but loved a Satyr instead, who shunned her; in revenge, Pan sent some shepherds mad, who tore her to pieces. In another account Echo loved Narcissus unrequitedly and pined away; when she died her voice alone remained - this repeated the last syllables of spoken words.
The three Roman goddesses of Destiny, identified with the Greek Moirae. The Parcae were originally the attendant spirits of childbirth. They were depicted as spinning thread and measuring out, at whim, the lifespan of all mortals. They were sisters; they presided over birth, marriage and death. In the Forum the statues of the three Parcae were popularly called the Three Fates (the tria Fata).
Demons of nature who appeared in Dionysus' train. They were represented sometimes with the lower part of the body resembling that of a horse and the upper part that of a man, and sometimes with their animal half in the form of a goat. They had a long, thick tail, like that of a horse, and a perpetually erect penis of enormous proportions. They were depicted as dancing, drinking with Dionysus and pursuing the Maenads and the Nymphs. They were gradually represented with less obviously bestial characteristics: their lower limbs became human, they had feet and not hooves. Only the tail remained, as evidence of their old form.
About the Author
Pierre Grimal was born in Paris in 1912. He was a teacher at the Lycees de Rennes and then Senior Lecturer at Caen University. His most recent post was as Professor at Sorbonne University until 1982. He has edited and translated many books on Greek and Latin Literature and is considered the most prominent specialist on Ancient Rome.