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June 24    Scripture

Mythology & Beliefs: Amphion
In Greek and Roman Mythology, Amphion was a musician; husband of Niobe and he charmed stones to build fortifications for Thebes.

Amphion in Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (Ἀμφίων). 1. A son of Zeus and Antiope, the daughter of Nycteus of Thebes, and twin-brother of Zethus. (Ov. Met. 6.110, &c.; Apollod. 3.5.5.) When Antiope was with child by the father of the gods, fear of her own father induced her to flee to Epopeus at Sicyon, whom she married. Nycteus killed himself in despair, but charged his brother Lycus to avenge him on Epopeus and Antiope. Lycus accordingly marched againt Sicyon, took the town, slew Epopeus, and carried Antiope with him to Eleutherae in Boeotia. During her imprisonment there she gave birth to two sons, Amphion and Zethus, who were exposed, but found and brought up by shepherds. (Apollod. l.c.) According to Hyginus (Hyg. Fab. 7), Antiope was the wife of Lycus, and was seduced by Epopeus. Hereupon she was repudiated by her husband, and it was not until after this event that she was visited by Zeus. Dirce, the second wife of Lycus, was jealous of Antiope, and had her put in chains; but Zeus helped her in escaping to mount Cithaeron, where she gave birth to her two sons. According to Apollodorus, she remained in captivity for a long time after the birth of her sons, who grew up among the shepherds, and did not know their descent. Hermes (according to others, Apollo, or the Muses) gave Amphion a lyre, who henceforth practised song and music, while his brother spent his time in hunting and tending the flocks. (Hor. Ep. 1.18. 41, &c.) The two brothers, whom Euripides (Eur. Phoen. 609) calls "the Dioscuri with white horses," fortified the town of Entresis near Thespiae, and settled there. (Steph. Byz. s. v.) Antiope, who had in the meantime been very ill-treated by Lycus and Dirce, escaped from her prison, her chains having miraculously been loosened; and her sons, on recognising their mother, went to Thebes, killed Lycus, tied Dirce to a bull, and had her dragged about till she too was killed, and then threw her body into a well, which was from this time called the well of Dirce. After having taken possession of Thebes, the two brothers fortified the town by a wall, the reasons for which are differently stated. It is said, that when Amphion played his lyre, the stones not only moved of their own accord to the place where they were wanted, but fitted themselves together so as to form the wall. (Apollon. 1.740, 755, with the Schol.; Syncell. p. 125d.; Horat. ad Pison. 394, &c.) Amphion afterwards married Niobe, who bore him many sons and daughters, all of whom were killed by Apollo. (Apollod. 3.5.6; Gellius, 20.7; Hyg. Fab. 7, 8; Hom. Od. 11.260, &c.; Paus. 9.5.4; comp. NIOBE.) As regards the death of Amphion, Ovid (Ov. Met. 6.271) relates, that he killed himself with a sword from grief at the loss of his children. According to others, he was killed by Apollo because he made an assault on the Pythian temple of the god. (Hyg. Fab. 9.) Amphion was buried together with his brother at Thebes (or, according to Stephanus Byzantius, s. v. Τιθοραία, at Tithoraea), and the Tithoraeans believed, that they could make their own fields more fruitful by taking, at a certain time of the year, from Amphion's grave a piece of earth, and putting it on the grave of Antiope. For this reason the Thebans watched the grave of Amphion at that particular season. (Paus. 9.17.3, &c.) In Hades Amphion was punished for his conduct towards Leto. (9.5.4.) The following passages may also be compared: Paus. 2.6.2, 6.20.8; Propert. 3.13. 29. The punishment inflicted by Amphion and his brother upon Dirce is represented in one of the finest works of art still extant--the celebrated Farnesian bull, the work of Apollonius and Tauriscus, which was discovered in 1546, and placed in the palace Farnese at Rome. (Pliny, Plin. Nat. 36.4; Heyne, Antiquar. Aufsätze, ii. p. 182, &c.; comp. Müller, Orchom. p. 227, &c.) 2. A son of Jasus and husband of Persephone, by whom he became the father of Chloris. (Hom. Od. 11.281, &c.) In Homer, this Amphion, king of Orchomenos, is distinct from Amphion, the husband of Niobe; but in earlier traditions they seem to have been regarded as the same person. (Eustath. ad Hom. p. 1684; Müller, Orchom. pp. 231, 370.) There are three other mythical personages of this name, one a leader of the Epeians against Troy (Hom. Il. 13.692), the second one of the Argonauts (Apollon. 1.176; Orph. Arg. 214; Hvgin. Fab. 14), and the third one of the sons of Niobe. [NIOBE.] - A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, William Smith, Ed.
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3atext%3a1999.04.0104


Amphion in Wikipedia There are several characters named Amphion (Greek: Ἀμφίων; gen.: Ἀμφίονος) in Greek mythology: Amphion, son of Zeus and Antiope, and twin brother of Zethus (see Amphion and Zethus). Together they are famous for building Thebes. Amphion married Niobe, and killed himself after the loss of his wife and children (the Niobids) at the hands of Apollo and Artemis. One of his surviving children was the daughter now renamed as Chloris. However, other accounts (including Homer, in the Odyssey) claim that Chloris was a daughter of another Amphion, ruler of Minyan Orchomenus (see below). Amphion, son of Iasus and Persephone (a mortal woman, not the wife of Hades). This Amphion is an obscure character, said to be a king of the Minyans of Orchomenus, in Boeotia. Amphion, son of Hyperasius and Hypso, an Argonaut. Amphion the Epean, who took part in the Trojan War. - Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amphion


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