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A statue of the goddess in Rome

In Greek mythology, Seléne (pronounced /seˈlɛːnɛː/; Greek: Σελήνη "moon"; Doric: Σελάνα; Aeolic: Σελάννα) was an archaic lunar deity and the daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia.[1] In Roman mythology, the moon goddess is called Luna, Latin for "moon".

Like most moon deities, Selene plays a fairly large role in her pantheon, which preceded the Olympic pantheon. However, Selene was eventually largely supplanted by Artemis, and Luna by Diana. In the collection known as the Homeric hymns, there is a Hymn to Selene (xxxii), paired with the hymn to Helios. In it, Selene is addressed as "far-winged", an epithet ordinarily applied to birds. Selene is mentioned in Nonnus, Dionysiaca 48.581; Pausanias 5.1.4; and Strabo 14.1.6,

The etymology of Selene is uncertain, but if the word is of Greek origin, it is likely connected to the word selas (σέλας), meaning "brightness".[2] Boreion Selas (Βόρειον Σέλας) is the Greek name for Aurora Borealis, the "northern lights". In modern times, Selene is the root of selenology, the study of the geology of the Moon, and the chemical element selenium.

Contents

Depictions

In post-Renaissance art, Selene is generally depicted as a beautiful woman with a pale face, riding a silver chariot pulled by either a yoke of oxen, a pair of horses, or a pair of serpentine dragons. Often, she has been shown riding a horse or bull, wearing robes and a half-moon on her head and carrying a torch. Essentially, Selene is the moon goddess but is literally defined as 'the moon'.

Myths

Detail of Sarcophagus Selene Endymion Glyptothek Munich.

Genealogy

In the traditional pre-Olympian divine genealogy, Helios, the sun, is Selene's brother: after Helios finishes his journey across the sky, Selene, freshly washed in the waters of Earth-circling Oceanus,[3] begins her own journey as night falls upon the earth, which becomes lit from the radiance of her immortal head and golden crown[3]. When she is increasing after mid-month, it is a "sure token and a sign to mortal men". Her sister, Eos, is goddess of the dawn. Eos also carried off a human lover, Cephalus,[4] which mirrors a myth of Selene and Endymion.

As a result of Selene being conflated with Artemis, later writers sometimes referred to Selene as a daughter of Zeus, like Artemis, or of Pallas the Titan. In the Homeric Hymn to Hermes, with its characteristically insistent patrilineality, she is "bright Selene, daughter of the lord Pallas, Megamedes' son."

Selene, Hesperos, Phosphoros (Louvre, Paris)

Lovers

Apollonius of Rhodes (4.57ff) refers to Selene, "daughter of Titan", who "madly" loved a mortal, the handsome hunter or shepherd—or, in the version Pausanias knew, a king— of Elis, named Endymion, from Asia Minor. In other Greek references to the myth, he was so handsome that Selene asked Zeus to grant him eternal sleep so that he would stay forever young and thus would never leave her: her asking permission of Zeus reveals itself as an Olympian transformation of an older myth: Cicero (Tusculanae Disputationes) recognized that the moon goddess had acted autonomously. Alternatively, Endymion made the decision to live forever in sleep. Every night, Selene slipped down behind Mount Latmus near Miletus to visit him.[5]

Selene had fifty daughters, the Menae, by Endymion, including Naxos, the nymph of Naxos Island. The sanctuary of Endymion at Heracleia under Latmus on the southern slope of Latmus still exists as a horseshoe-shaped chamber with an entrance hall and pillared forecourt.

Though the story of Endymion is the best-known one today, the Homeric hymn to Selene (xxxii) tells that Selene also bore to Zeus a daughter, Pandia, the "utterly shining" full moon. According to some sources, the Nemean Lion was her offspring as well. According to Virgil[6] she also had a brief tryst with Pan, who seduced her by wrapping himself in a sheepskin[2] and gave her the yoke of white oxen that drew the chariot in which she is represented in sculptured reliefs, with her windblown veil above her head like the arching canopy of sky. In the Homeric hymn, her chariot is drawn by long-maned horses.

Luna

The Roman moon goddess, Luna, had a temple on the Aventine Hill. It was built in the sixth century BC, but was destroyed in the Great Fire of Rome during Nero's reign. There was also a temple dedicated to Luna Noctiluca ("Luna that shines by night") on the Palatine Hill. There were festivals in honor of Luna on March 31, August 24 and August 29.[7][8]

In popular culture

In such works of fiction as The First Men in the Moon (1901), A Trip to the Moon (1902), and The Secret of the Selenites (1984), a "selenite" is a native resident of the moon. Adam Selene is a name assumed by a sentient computer in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Selene is also the main protagonist in the motion picture series "Underworld".

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Bibliotheke of Pseudo-Apollodorus, 1.2.2; Hesiod gives a list of the offspring of Hyperion and Theia in Theogony, lines 371ff. In the Homeric Hymn to Helios, Theia is given the name Euryphaessa, the "far-shining" one, an epithet that would apply to Selene herself.
  2. ^ a b Kerenyi, Karl (1951) The Gods of the Greeks (pp. 19, 197). 1951.
  3. ^ a b Homeric Hymn.
  4. ^ Burkert, Walter (1985). Greek Religion (p. 176).
  5. ^ Apollonius, loc. cit.; Pausanias v.1.5.
  6. ^ Virgil, Georgics, iii.391.
  7. ^ Grimal, Pierre (1986). The Dictionary of Classical Mythology (p. 262). Oxford: Basil Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-20102-5.
  8. ^ Hammond, N.G.L. & Scullard, H.H. (Eds.) (1970). The Oxford Classical Dictionary (p. 625). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-869117-3.

External links


Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

Selene
by Arthur Hugh Clough
Information about this edition

My beloved, is it nothing
Though we meet not, neither can,
That I see thee, and thou me,
That we see, and see we see,
When I see I also feel thee;
Is it nothing, my beloved!

Thy luminous clear beauty
Brightens on me in my night,
I withdraw into my darkness
To allure thee into light.
About me and upon me I feel them pass and stay,
About me, deep into me, every lucid tender ray.
And thou, thou also feelest
When thou stealest
Shamefaced and half afraid
To the chamber of thy shade,
Thou in thy turn,
Thou too feelest
Something follow, something yearn,
A full orb blaze and burn.

My full orb upon thine,
As thine erst, gently smiling,
Softly wooing, sweetly wiling,
Gleamed on mine;
So mine on thine in turn
When thou feelest blaze and burn,
Is it nothing, my beloved?

My beloved, is it nothing
When I see thee and thou me,
When we each other see,
Is it nothing, my beloved?

Closer, closer come unto me.
Shall I see thee and no more?
I can see thee, is that all?
Let me also,
Let me feel thee,
Closer, closer, my beloved,
Come unto me, come to me, come
O cruel, cruel lot, still thou rollest, stayest not,
Lookest onward, look’st before,
Yet I follow, evermore.
Oh, cold and cruel fate, thou rollest on thy way,
Scarcely lookest, will not stay,
From thine alien way.

The inevitable motion
Bears me forth upon the line
Whose course I cannot see.
I must move as it conveys me
Evermore. It so must be.

O cold one, and I round thee
Revolve, round only thee,
Straining ever to be nearer
While thou evadest still;
Repellest still, O cold one,
Nay, but closer, closer, closer,
My beloved, come, come, come!

The inevitable motion
Carries both upon its line,
Also you as well as me.
What is best, and what is strongest,
We obey. It so must be.

Cruel, cruel, didst thou only
Feel as I feel evermore,
A force, though in, not of me,
Drawing inward, in, in, in.

Yea, thou shalt though, ere all endeth,
Thou shalt feel me closer, closer,
My beloved, close, close to thee,
Come to thee, come, come, come!

The inevitable motion
Bears us both upon its line
Together, you as me,
Together and asunder,
Evermore. It so must be.

PD-icon.svg This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Selene

Contents

English

Etymology

From Ancient Greek Σελήνη (Selēnē)

Proper noun

Selene

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Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

  1. In Greek mythology, Goddess of the Moon.

Related terms


Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Taxonavigation

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Osteichthyes
Classis: Actinopterygii
Subclassis: Neopterygii
Infraclassis: Teleostei
Superordo: Acanthopterygii
Ordo: Perciformes
Subordo: Percoidei
Superfamilia: Percoidea
Familia: Carangidae
Genus: Selene
Species: S. brevoortii - S. brownii - S. dorsalis - S. orstedii - S. peruviana - S. setapinnis - S. spixii - S. vomer

Name

Selene Lacepède, 1802

References

Vernacular names

English: Moonfishes

Simple English

File:Altar Selene Louvre
Selene, Hesperos, Phosphoros (Louvre, Paris)

Selene is the goddess of the moon and a Titan in Greek mythology. She is the daughter of Hyperion and Theia.[1]

She later became one with the goddess Artemis. In Roman mythology the moon goddess is called Luna, Latin for "moon". The Roman Luna became one with Diana.

Like most moon deities, Selene plays a fairly big role in her pantheon. In the collection of poems called the Homeric hymns, there is a Hymn to Selene (xxxii), used with the hymn to Helios; in it Selene is called "far-winged", a name ordinarily applied to birds. Selene is also talked about in Nonnus, Dionysiaca 48.581; Pausanias 5.1.4; and Strabo 14.1.6,

The etymology of Selene is not known, but if the word is from Greek, it is probably connected to the word selas, meaning "light".[2] Boreion Selas is the Greek name for Aurora Borealis. The word selenology, the study of the geology of the Moon, comes from her name. The chemical element Selenium was also named after Selene.

Contents

Depictions

In post-Renaissance art, Selene is shown as a beautiful woman with a pale face. She is sometimes riding a silver chariot (cart) pulled by oxen or a pair of horses. Often, she is shown riding a horse or bull, wearing robes and a half-moon on her head and carrying a torch.

Myths

Genealogy

In the old pre-Olympian genealogy of the gods, Helios, the sun, is Selene's brother: after her brother, Helios, finishes his trip across the sky, Selene, freshly washed in the waters of the Earth-circling Ocean,[3] begins her own trip as night falls upon the earth, which becomes lit from the light of her head and golden crown[4]. When she is growing after mid-month, it is a "sure token and a sign to mortal men". Her sister, Eos, is goddess of the dawn. Eos also carried off a human lover, Cephalus,[5] which is like a myth of Selene and Endymion.

As a result of Selene becoming one with Artemis, later writers sometimes said Selene was a daughter of Zeus, like Artemis, or of Pallas the Titan. In the Homeric Hymn to Hermes, with its list of people's fathers, she is "bright Selene, daughter of the lord Pallas, Megamedes' son."

Lovers

The Apollonius of Rhodes  tells how Selene loved a mortal, the handsome hunter or shepherd—or, in the version Pausanias knew, a king— of Elis, named Endymion, from Asia Minor. He was so beautiful that Selene asked Zeus to grant him eternal sleep, she learned from her sister never to ask for eternal life or be left with a grasshopper in her hands so he would never leave her: her asking permission of Zeus is as an Olympian change to an older myth: Cicero Tusculanae Disputationes recognized that the moon goddess had done it by herself. Another story says Endymion made the decision to live forever in sleep. Every night, Selene went down behind Mount Latmus near MiletusPausanias geographerPausanias . Selene had fifty daughters, the Menae, by Endymion, including Naxos, the nymph of Naxos Island. The protected place of Endymion at Heraclea by Latmus|Heraclea on the southern slope of Latmus is a horseshoe-shaped room with an entrance hall and pillared front court. 

Though the story of Endymion is the best-known one today, the Homeric hymn to Selene tells that Selene also had a daughter by Zeus, Pandia, the "utterly shining" full moon. According to some sources, the Nemean Lion was her child as well. She also had a brief relationship with Pan , who seduced her by wrapping himself in a sheepskin and gave her the yoke of white oxen that drew the chariot in which she is shown in sculptures, with her windblown veil above her head like the arching canopy of sky. In the Homeric hymn, her chariot is drawn by long-maned horses.

Luna

File:Luna
Roman sculpture of the torch-bearing moon goddess Luna, or Diana Lucifera ("Diana Bringer of Light"), who was said to be the same as the Greek Selene (Vatican Museums)

The Roman moon goddess, Luna, had a temple on the Aventine Hill. It was built in the sixth century BC, but was destroyed in the Great Fire of Rome when Nero was king. There was also a temple to Luna Noctiluca ("Luna that shines by night") on the Palatine Hill. There were parties in honor of Luna on March 31, August 24 and August 29.[6][7]

Trivia

  • The main character in Underworld and Underworld: Evolution is a woman named Selene who is a vampire. She is played by Kate Beckinsale.
  • The Selene is a secret ship in the Playstation game Einhänder.
  • Selene is the name Lanfear uses when she approaches Mat, Perrin, and Rand to talk about glory, in the Wheel of Time series written by Robert Jordan

References

  1. Bibliotheke of pseudo-Apollodorus, 1.2.2; Hesiod gives a list of the offspring of Hyperion and Theia in Theogony, lines 371ff. In the Homeric Hymn to Helios, Theia is given the name Euryphaessa, the "far-shining" one, an epithet that would apply to Selene herself.
  2. Kerenyi, Karl (1951) The Gods of the Greeks (pp. 19, 197). 1951.
  3. Homeric Hymn.
  4. Homeric Hymn.
  5. Burkert, Walter (1985). Greek Religion (p. 176).
  6. Grimal, Pierre (1986). The Dictionary of Classical Mythology (p. 262). Oxford: Basil Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-20102-5.
  7. Hammond, N.G.L. & Scullard, H.H. (Eds.) (1970). The Oxford Classical Dictionary (p. 625). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-869117-3.
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