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Ἥλιος). In Greek mythology, the Sungod, son of the Titan Hyperion (whose name he bears in Homer) and the Titaness Thea; brother of Selené (the Moon) and Eos (Dawn). The poets apply the name Titan to him in particular, as the offspring of Titans. He is-represented as a strong and beautiful god, in the bloom of youth, with gleaming eyes and waving locks, and a crown of rays upon his head. In the morning he rises from a lovely bay of the Ocean in the farthest East, where the Æthiopians dwell. To give light to gods and men he climbs the vault of heaven in a chariot drawn by four snow-white horses, breathing light and fire; their names are Eoös, Aethiops, Bronté, and Steropé. In the evening he sinks with his chariot into the Ocean, and while he sleeps is carried round along the northern border of the earth to the East again in a golden boat,

Temple at Heliopolis.

shaped like a bowl, the work of Hephaestus. He is called Phaëthon, from the brilliant light that he diffuses; he is the All-seer (Panoptes), because his rays penetrate everywhere. He is revealer of all that is done on earth; it is he who told Hephaestus of the intrigue of Ares and Aphrodité, and showed Demeter who had carried off her daughter. He was accordingly invoked as a witness to oaths and solemn protestations.

On the island of Trinacria (Sicily) he had seven flocks of sheep and seven herds of cattle, fifty in each. It was his pleasure, on his daily journey, to look down upon them. Their numbers were not to be increased or diminished; for if this was done, his wrath was terrible. (See Odysseus.) In the 700 sheep and oxen the ancients recognized the 700 days and nights of the lunar year. The flocks were tended by Phaëthusa (the goddess of light) and Lampetié (the goddess of shining), his daughter by Neaera. By the ocean Nymph Persé or Perseïs he was father of Aeëtes, Circé, and Pasiphaë, by Clymené the father of Phaëthon, and Augeas was also accounted his son. His children had the gleaming eyes of their father.

After the time of Euripides, or thereabouts, the all-seeing Sun-god was identified with Apollo, the god of prophecy. Helios was worshipped in many places, among which may be mentioned Corinth and Elis. The island of Rhodes was entirely consecrated to him. Here an annual festival (Ἅλια) was held during the summer in his honour, with chariot-racing and contests of music and gymnastics; and four consecrated horses were thrown into the sea as a sacrifice to him. In B.C. 278 a colossal bronze statue by Chares of Lindus was erected to him at the entrance of the harbour of Rhodes. (See Colossus.) Herds of red and white cattle were, in many places, kept in his honour. White animals, and especially white horses, were sacred to him; among the birds the cock, and among trees the white poplar. See, in English literature, the poem by Keats, Hyperion, and the first book of W. S. Landor's Gebir.

The Latin poets identified Helios with the Sabine deity Sol, who had an ancient place of worship on the Quirinal at Rome, and a public sacrifice on the 8th of August; but it was the introduction of the ritual of Mithras which first brought the worship of the sun into prominence in Rome. See Mithras.

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