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Selene

SELENE, in Greek mythology, the divine personification of the Moon, daughter of Hyperion and Theia, sister of Helios and Eos. By Zeus she was said to have been the mother of Pandia (the all-bright), who was worshipped with her father at the festival named after her Pandia. 1 She was also wooed by Pan in the form of a white ram, or she had selected a white ram from his flock as the price of her favours. The most famous of her amours was with Endymion (q.v.). Selene was represented as a beautiful young woman with wings and a golden diadem, sometimes riding in a chariot drawn by two white, sometimes winged, horses (or cows, symbolizing the moon's crescent, or bulls), or herself mounted on a horse, a bull, a mule or a ram. At Elis there was a statue of Selene, her head surmounted by a crescent. Later, she was identified with Artemis, and as such 1 The connexion of Selene or Pandia with this festival is denied by Wilamowitz-Mollendorff (Aus Kydathen, p. 133).

called Phoebe, the sister of Phoebus Apollo. She was worshipped on the days of the new and the full Moon. Another name for Selene was Mene, in reference to the monthly changes of the Moon. The existence of a male moon-god (Men), whose cult probably came to Attica from Asia Minor, is attested by inscriptions. The Roman goddess of the Moon was Luna, who possessed sanctuaries on the Aventine and Palatine hills. In the former she was worshipped on the last day of March (the first month of the old Roman year); in the latter as Noctiluca (giving light by night), her sanctuary being illuminated on such occasions.

See W. H. Roscher, tlber Selene und Verwandtes (1890), with Nachtrdge (1895); Preller, Griechische Mythologie (4th ed., 1894), PP.- 443-446; A. Legrand, s.v. " Luna " in Daremberg and Saglio's Dictionnaire des antiquites.

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

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