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Olympus

Ὄλυμπος).


1.

A mountain situated in Thessaly, the summit of which (nearly 10,000 feet above the sea) rises from the region of the earth's atmosphere into the sky, and was, according to the earliest popular belief of the Greeks, the abode of the higher (hence named Olympian) gods. Below the summit, which, according to Homer's description, is never ruffled by winds or drenched with rain, but is always radiant in cloudless splendour ( Od. vi. 42-45), comes the region of clouds, which Zeus at one time gathers together and at another dispels; it forms the boundary between the celestial region and that of the earth, and, accordingly, Homer elsewhere implies that the clouds are the gates of heaven, which are guarded by the Horae ( Il. v. 749). On the highest peak Zeus has his throne, and it is there that he summons the assemblies of the gods. The abodes of the other gods were imagined to be placed on the precipices and in the ravines of the mountain. When the height of the vault of heaven came to be regarded as the abode of the gods, the name Olympus was transferred to the sky. See Henzey, Le Mont Olympe (Paris, 1860); and Tozer, The Highlands of Turkey, vol. ii. (London, 1869).


2.

A chain of mountains in Mysia, Bithynia, Galatia, Paphlagonia, and Pontus.


3.

A volcano on the eastern coast of Lycia.


4.

A mountain in Cyprus.


5.

A mountain in Lesbos.

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