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Encyclopedia > Glycon
Late second-century statue of Glycon. (Muzeul de Istorie Nationala si Arheologie, Constanta)
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Late second-century statue of Glycon. (Muzeul de Istorie Nationala si Arheologie, Constanta)

This article is about the Roman snake god. For the poet, see Glycon (poet). Image File history File links Glykon-statuette. ... Image File history File links Glykon-statuette. ...


According to the satirist Lucian, who provides the only literary reference to the deity, the cult of the snake god Glycon was founded in in the mid-second century by the Greek prophet Alexander of Abonutichus. Lucian was ill-disposed towards the cult, calling Alexander the "oracle-monger" and accusing the whole enterprise of being a hoax - Glycon himself was supposedly a glove puppet. Lucian Lucian of Samosata (Greek, Λουκιανὸς Σαμοσατεύς, Latin, Lucianus; c. ... Alexander of Abonutichus (d. ...

Contents


Macedonian cultural roots

The cult was not simply the product of Lucian's comic imagination. There is solid archaeological evidence of its existence. It probably originated in Macedonia, where similar snake cults had existed for centuries. The Macedonians believed snakes had magical powers relating to fertility and had a rich mythology on this subject, for example the story of Olympias' impregnation by Zeus disguised as a serpent. Olympias (Greek: Ολυμπιάς) (c. ...


Early years

At least initially, the cult did not worship an abstraction or a spirit of a snake but an actual, physical serpent that was said to embody the god. According to the cult's mythology, the snake appeared after Alexander had foretold the coming of a new incarnation of Asclepius. When the people gathered in the marketplace of Abonutichus at noon, when the incarnation was supposed to occur, Alexander produced a serpent egg and sliced it open, revealing the god within. Within a week it grew to the size of a man with the features of a man on its face, including long blond hair. At this point the figure resembling this description that was apparently a puppet appeared in the temple. In some references Glycon was a trained snake with a puppet head. Asclepius (Greek also rendered Aesculapius in Latin and transliterated Asklepios) was the god of medicine and healing in ancient Greek mythology, according to which he was born a mortal but was given immortality as the constellation Ophiuchus after his death. ...


As with previous Macedonian snake cults, the focus of worship at the temple was on fertility. Barren women would bring offerings to Glycon in hopes of becoming pregnant. According to Lucian, Alexander had less magical ways of causing pregnancy among his flock as well. The god was also believed to offer protection against the plague.


Spread and influence

By 160 the worship of Glycon had undoubtedly spread beyond the Aegean. An inscription from Antioch of that date records a slogan - "Glycon protect us from the plague-cloud" that is consistent with the description we have from Lucian. Also in that year the the governor of Asia, Publius Mummius Sisenna Rutilianus, declared himself protector of Glycon's oracle. The governor later married Alexander's daughter. According to Lucian, another Roman governor, of Cappadocia, was led by Glycon's oracle to his death in Armenia, and even the Emperor himself was not immune to the cult: Marcus Aurelius sought prophesies from Alexander and his snake-god. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Cappadocia in 188 BC In ancient geography, Cappadocia (spelled Kapadokya in Turkish) (Greek: Καππαδοκία; see also List of traditional Greek place names) was an extensive inland district of Asia Minor (modern Turkey). ... Bust of Aurelius in the Louvre of Paris. ...


Meanwhile, Abonutichus, a small fishing village before the arrival of the cult, became an important town and accepted another name, Ionopolis. It is uncertain what role the popularity of Glycon played in the rise of the city.


In short order Glycon-worship was found throughout the vast area between the Danube and Euphrates. Beginning late in the reign of Antoninus Pius and continuing into the third century, official Roman coins were struck in honor of Glycon, attesting his popularity. While the cult gradually lost followers after the death of its leader in c.170, it it survived for at least a hundred years thereafter, with Alexander being incorporated into its mythology as a grandson of Asclepius. Some evidence indicates the cult survived into the fourth century. The Danube (German: Donau, Slovak: Dunaj, Hungarian: Duna, Slovenian: Donava, Croatian: Dunav, Serbian: Дунав/Dunav, Bulgarian: Дунав, Romanian: Dunăre, Ukrainian: , Latin: Danuvius, Turkish: Tuna) is Europes second-longest river (after the Volga). ... The Euphrates (the traditional Greek name for the river, Arabic: الفرات; Al-Furat, Old Persian: Ufrat, Syriac: ܦܪܘܬ/ܦܪܬ; Prâth/Frot, Turkish: Fırat, Assyrian Akkadian: Pu-rat-tu, Hebrew: פְּרָת) is the westernmost of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia (Beth Nahrain in Syriac), the other being the Tigris. ... Emperor Antoninus Pius Sestertius of Antoninus Pius, with the personification of Italia on reverse. ... (2nd century - 3rd century - 4th century - other centuries) Events The Sassanid dynasty of Persia launches a war to reconquer lost lands in the Roman east. ... (3rd century - 4th century - 5th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 4th century was that century which lasted from 301 to 400. ...


Residual superstitions originating with Glycon were reported by some researchers to continue even into modern times. A Turkish friend of Jona Lendering once told him that in the early 1970's, when he was hunting in the hills near Inebolu, the modern name of Ionopolis, people warned him about a magical snake.


Recently the British comic-book writer Alan Moore has claimed a revival of the cult, although it seems more likely he is instead reviving the mocking of it in the vein of Lucian. Alan Moore Alan Moore (born November 18, 1953, in Northampton, England) is a British writer most famous for his work in comics, including the acclaimed graphic novels Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell. ...


References

  • A.M. Harmon, Introduction to Lucian of Samosata
  • Works by Lucian of Samosata at Project Gutenberg
  • C.P. Jones, Culture and Society in Lucian (1986)
  • Lendering, Jona, Glycon
  • M.S. Kos, "Draco and the survival of the snake cult in the central Balkans", in: Tyche 6 (1991)
  • R. Lane Fox, Pagans and Christians in the Mediterranean World (1986)
  • Wolk, Douglas, Sir, I Want Some Moore: The lazy British genius who transformed American comics(2003)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Corrosion inhibiting additive for cement compositions - Patent 4466834 (2896 words)
An additive of claim 1 wherein said hydroxycarboxylic acid is a glyconic acid conforming to the formula ##STR2## wherein n is 0 to 10, inclusive of all isomeric configurations.
Preferred hydroxycarboxylic acids are the glyconic acids conforming to formula (I) ##STR1## wherein n is 0 to 10, inclusive of all isomeric configurations.
Glyconic acids conforming to formula (I) are well known in the field of carbohydrate chemistry and include arabonic acid, allonic acid, xylonic acid, gluconic acid, glucoheptonic acid, mannonic acid, and galactonic acid.
Information on Metrics (1585 words)
The glyconic half can be broken down into a trochee, a dactyl, and a cretic (long short long), while the pherecretean part can be divided into a trochee, a dactyl, and a trochee or spondee.
The first three or four lines of the stanza are glyconic, a meter which can be broken down into a trochee or spondee (contrast the Priapean, which allows only a trochee), a dactyl, and a cretic (long short long).
The first three lines of the strophe are glyconic, a meter which can be broken down into a trochee, a trochee or spondee, a dactyl, a trochee, and a trochee or spondee.
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