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GLAUCUS (" bright "), the name of several figures in Greek mythology, the most important of which are the following:

1. GLAUCUS, surnamed Pontius, a sea divinity. Originally a fisherman and diver of Anthedon in Boeotia, having eaten of a certain magical herb sown by Cronus, he leapt into the sea, where he was changed into a god, and endowed with the gift of unerring prophecy. According to others he sprang into the sea for love of the sea-god Melicertes, with whom he was often identified (Athenaeus vii. 296). He was worshipped not only at Anthedon, but on the coasts of Greece, Sicily and Spain, where fishermen and sailors at certain seasons watched for his arrival during the night in order to consult him (Pausanias ix. 22). In art he is depicted as a vigorous old man with long hair and beard, his body terminating in a scaly tail, his breast covered with shells and seaweed. He was said to have been the builder and pilot of the Argo, and to have been changed into a god after the fight between the Argonauts and Tyrrhenians. He assisted the expedition in various ways (Athenaeus, loc. til.; see also Ovid, Metam. xiii. 904). Glaucus was the subject of a satyric drama by Aeschylus. He was famous for his amours, especially those with Scylla and Circe.

See the exhaustive monograph by R. Gaedechens, Glaukos der Meergott (1860), and article by the same in Roscher's Lexikon der Mythologie; and for Glaucus and Scylla, E. Vinet in Annali dell' Institute di Correspondent archeologica, xv. (1843).

2. GLAUCUS, usually surnamed Potnieus, from Potniae near Thebes, son of Sisyphus by Merope and father of Bellerophon. According to the legend he was torn to pieces by his own mares (Virgil, Georgics, iii. 267; Hyginus, Fab. 250, 273). On the isthmus of Corinth, and also at Olympia and Nemea, he was worshipped as Taraxippus (" terrifier of horses "), his ghost being said to appear and frighten the horses at the games (Pausanias vi. 20). He is closely akin to Glaucus Pontius, the frantic horses of the one probably representing the stormy waves, the other the sea in its calmer mood. He also was the subject of a lost drama of Aeschylus.

3. GLAUCUS, the son of Minos and Pasiphae. When a child, while playing at baU or pursuing a mouse, he fell into a jar of honey and was smothered. His father, after a vain search for him, consulted the oracle, and was referred to the person who should suggest the aptest comparison for one of the cows of Minos which had the power of assuming three different colours. Polyidus of Argos, who had likened it to a mulberry (or bramble), which changes from white to red and then to black, soon afterwards discovered the child; but on his confessing his inability to restore him to life, he was shut up in a vault with the corpse. Here he killed a serpent which was revived by a companion, which laid a certain herb upon it. With the same herb Polyidus brought the dead Glaucus back to life. According to others, he owed his recovery to Aesculapius. The story was the subject of plays by the three great Greek tragedians, and was often represented in mimic dances.

See Hyeinus, Fab. 136; Apollodorus iii. 3. 10; C. Hock, Kreta, iii. 1829; C. Eckermann, Melampus, 1840.

4. GLAUCUS, son of Hippolochus, and grandson of Bellerophon, mythical progenitor of the kings of Ionia. He was a Lycian prince who, along with his cousin Sarpedon, assisted Priam in the Trojan War. When he found himself opposed to Diomedes, with whom he was connected by ties of hospitality, they ceased fighting and exchanged armour. Since the equipment of Glaucus was golden and that of Diomedes brazen, the expression " golden for brazen " (Iliad, vi. 236) came to be used proverbially for a bad exchange. Glaucus was afterwards slain by Ajax.

All the above are exhaustively treated by R. Gaedechens in Ersch and Gruber's Attgemeine Encyclopddie.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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