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Nox, or Night, generally considered the most ancient of the deities.

'Twas dead of night, when weary bodies close
Their eyes in balmy sleep, and soft repose:
The winds no longer whisper through the woods,
Nor murmuring tides disturb the gentle floods.
The stars in silent order moved around;

And Peace, with downy wings, was brooding on the ground.

Numicus, a river of Latium.


Numitor, a king of Alba, and grandfather to Romulus and Remus.

Nurscia, a goddess of the Etrurians.

Nyctelius, a name of Bacchus.

Nysa, a town of Ethiopia, sacred to Bacchus, who was thence named


Nemertes, one of the Nereides.


Full of her deathless sire's prophetic soul.


Nile, a celebrated river in Egypt; it rises in Abyssinia, and discharges itself by seven mouths into the Mediterranean sea: it is remarkable for the periodical overflow of its waters, which render the country around extremely fertile.

Where with seven-fold horns mysterious Nile
Surrounds the skirts of Egypt's fruitful isle,
And where in pomp the sun-burnt people ride,
On painted barges, o'er the teeming tide,

Which, pouring down from Ethiopian lands,

Makes green the soil with slime, and black prolific sands,


Ocypete, one of the Harpies.

Ocyroe, a daughter of Chiron, who, incurring the displeasure of the gods,

was transformed into a mare.

Oceanides, sea deities, the daughters of Oceanus and Tethys; sacrifices and libations were offered to them by the ancients.

Three thousand graceful Oceanides

Long-stepping tread the earth: or far and wide
Dispersed, they haunt the glassy depth of lakes,
A glorious sisterhood of goddess birth.


Oceanus, the son of Coelus and Terra, the principal deity of the seas, and father of the Oceanides; he is represented as an old man, with a pike in his hand, resting upon the waves of the sea; great respect was paid to him by the gods, and his worship was general amongst the ancients.

Ossa, a high mountain in Thessaly, once the abode of the centaurs.

Where Eurus blows, and wintry suns arise,
Thessalia's boundary, proud Ossa, lies.

Eagrus, the father of Orpheus.


Edipus, the son of Laius, king of Thebes, and Jocasta; he accidentally killed his father. Edipus was remarkable for his mental accomplishments; he solved the enigma of the sphynx, and received as his reward the crown of Thebes, with the hand of Jocasta, whom he did not then know to be his mother: some time afterwards he resigned the throne, and died in Attica.

Orion, a famed hunter, celebrated for his uncommon strength, and height of stature; after his death he was made the constellation Orion, and, as such, is frequently mentioned by the poets.

There huge Orion of portentous size,

Swift through the gloom a giant hunter flies:
A ponderous mace of brass with direful sway
Aloft he whirls, to crush the savage prey;
Stern beasts in trains, that by his truncheon fell,
Now grisly forms, shoot o'er the lawns of hell.


Osiris, son of Jupiter and Niobe, united to Io, and worshipped by the
Egyptians under the form of an ox ;-called also, Apis.
Enotria, a name of Italy, from Enotrus.

Eta, a range of mountains between Thessaly and Macedonia; on one of them the funeral pyre of Hercules was raised. Among the passes

of these mountains are to be found the celebrated straits of Thermo


Ogygia, the island over which Calypso reigned.

Oliros, one of the Cyclades.

Orpheus, the son of Jupiter and Calliope; he is said to have tamed wild beasts by the sweetness of his music, and to have charmed rocks, trees, and stones, by the sound of his lyre. Orpheus was torn in pieces by the Thracian women, for his dislike to their sex, after the death of his wife Eurydice. Orpheus thus describes the effects of his song in the cave of Chiron.

Through winding cavities, that scooped the rocky cell,
With tone sonorous thrilled my sweetly vocal shell.
High Pelion's mountain heads, and woody vallies round,
And all his lofty oaks remurmur to the sound:
His oaks uprooted rush, and all tumultuous wave
Around the darkened mouth of Chiron's hollow cave.
The rocks re-echo shrill; the beasts of forest wild
Stand at the cavern's mouth, in list'ning trance beguiled;
The birds surround the den; and, as in weary rest,
They drop their fluttering wings, forgetful of the nest.
Amazed the Centaur saw; his clapping hands he beat;

And stamped in ecstacy the rock with hoofed and horny feet.

Orcades, islands on the northern coast of Britain, now known as the Orkneys.

Olympus, a mountain of Macedonia, where Jupiter is said by the poets to have held his court. The variation of the seasons was unfelt on the summit of this mountain, where perpetual spring was enjoyed.

The Olympic games, celebrated every fourth year, were named from it.
Olympus and Ossa were fabled to have been one mountain until
Hercules divided them to form a passage for the river Peneus.

Northward, Olympus hides the lamps that roll
Their paler fires around the frozen pole.
The middle space, a valley low depressed,
Once a wide, lazy, standing, lake possessed,
While growing still the heapy waters stood,
Nor down through Tempe ran the rushing flood:
But when Alcides to the task applied,

And cleft a passage through the mountains wide;
Gushing at once the thundering torrent flowed,
While Nereus groaned beneath th' increasing load.

Oreades, mountain nymphs, the companions of Diana.


Orestes, the son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra; his friendship for Pylades has been immortalized by the poets.

Orgia, festivals in honour of Bacchus.

Orthesia, a name for Diana.

Oschophoria, festivals celebrated at Athens, in honour of Theseus.

Pactolus, a celebrated river of Lydia, rising in mount Tmolus, from which it is sometimes named. Midas bathed in this river to release himself from the troublesome gift of the gods; since which time mythologists assert that it has had golden sands.

Proud Pactolus floats the fruitful lands,
And leaves a rich manure of golden sands.


Paans, hymns of praise to Apollo ;-hence his name Pæan.

Paon, a famed physician, who healed the wounds received by the gods during the Trojan war.

Palatine, the principal of the seven mountains on which Rome stands.


Pastum, a town of Lucania; the fertility of the soil was so great that the roses are said to have blossomed twice a year. It had a famous temple dedicated to Neptune. Virgil mentions—

The Pæstan roses and their double spring.

Ploto, one of the Naiades.

Ploto, with the bright dilated eyes.


Python, an enormous serpent, produced from the mud left by the deluge, killed by Apollo.

Huge Python, here, in many a scaly fold,
To Cyrrha's cave a length enormous rolled :
Hence Pythian games, the hardy Greeks renown,
And laurel wreaths the joyful victor crown.

Pythias, a name of Apollo.

For Python slain, he Pythian games decreed,
Where noble youths for mastery should strive
To quoit, to run, and steeds and chariots drive.
The prize was fame in witness of renown
An oaken garland did the victor crown.
The laurel was not yet for triumphs born:
But every green alike by Phoebus worn
Did, with promiscuous grace, his locks adorn.



Palamedes, a renowned Grecian, killed through the artifices of Ulysses. Po, a celebrated river in the north of Italy, discharging itself by seven mouths into the Adriatic. The Po is famed in classic story for the descent of Phaton, when he was struck by the thunderbolts of Jove.

Where Po first issues from his dark abodes,
And, awful in his cradle, rules the floods;
With rapid course he seeks the sacred main,
And fattens, as he runs, the fruitful plain.


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