Page:The Mythology of the Aryan Nations.djvu/361

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329
AIAKOS AND AIGINA.


a name which reminds us of Horatius Codes/ and which seems CHAP, to denote simply the eyeless gloom of night.

Of Rhadamanthys, who in the ordinary version is like Minos, a Rhada- son of Zeus and Europe, Uttle more is told us, apart from the seem- "n^"^^ ingly later story of ApoUodorus, than that for the righteousness of Aiakos. his life he was made the judge of Elysion, and that Minos was after- wards joined with him in this office. In name then, as in office, he is the Khemic Rhot-amenti, the judge of the dead.^ Pausanias, who gives this priority to Rhadamanthys, adds that some spoke of him as a son of Hephaistos, who in this myth was a son of Talos, a son of the eponymos Kres.* The same reputation for impartial justice added to their number Aiakos, who in one version is a brother of Minos and Rhadamanthys, in another a son of Zeus and Aigina, the nymph whose name denotes the beating of the surf on the island which was called after her.* In this island Aiakos, ruling over a race of Myrmidons, or ant-born men,^ plays the part of Oidipous at Thebes or Phoibos at Delphoi. For the Virtra or dragon which shuts up the waters is sent by Here, who is jealous of the love of Zeus for Aigina, to desolate the island ; and when they send to learn the will of the god at Pytho, the answer is that the plague can be removed only by the prayers of the righteous Aiakos. At their entreaty he offers up a solemn sacrifice, and the rain falls once more upon Hellas. "^ With Poseidon and Phoibos he takes part in the work of building the Ilian walls ; and here also the dragons are seen again. Three of them rush against the walls, and one makes its way through the portion built by Aiakos, while the other two fall dead beneath the structure of the gods, — a myth which was inter- preted to mean the future overthrow of Ilion by the descendants of Aiakos.

In the Cretan myth Sarpedon also is a brother of Minos, and Nestor therefore a son of Zeus and Europe. Other versions told of a Sar- pgdon^'^" pedon who was the child of Laodameia, the daughter of Bellero- phontes. As in the case of Minos, mythographers made two beings out of one, as they might indefinitely have extended the number.

' This word seems to be akin to the ^ Brown, Great Dionysiak Mylh, Latin adjective citcus, and possibly with i. 208. Kaikias, the word which seems to have ^ Pans. viii. 53, 2. suggested the myth of Cacus. It is "• Its former name is said to have made up of the particle denoting sepa- been Oinoneor Oinopia. Aiginabelongs ration, ha, and the root oc, which we to the same root with Aigai, Aigaii'm, find in the Lalin ociilus, the German and Aigeus, the eponymos of the Aigaian auge, the English eye. The same (Egean) sea. formation has given us the words halt, * See p. 82, ct scq. half, celibacy, Slc. — Bopp, Coinp. Gr. ' Paus. ii. 29, 6.

§308.