Online Encyclopedia

ACONTIUS (Gr. Akontios)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 152 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ACONTIUS (Gr. Akontios), in Greek legend, a beautiful youth of the island of Ceos, the hero of a love-story told byCallimachus in a poem now lost, which forms the subject of two of Ovid's Heroides (xx., xxi.). During the festival of Artemis at Delos, Acontius saw Cydippe, a well-born Athenian maiden of whom he was enamoured, sitting in the temple of the goddess. He wrote on an apple the words, " I swear by the sacred shrine of the goddess that I will marry you," and threw it at her feet. She picked it up, and mechanically read the words aloud, which amounted to a solemn undertaking to carry them out. Unaware of this, she treated Acontius with contempt; but, although she was betrothed more than once, she always fell ill before the wed-ding took place. The Delphic oracle at last declared the cause of her illnesses to be the wrath of the offended goddess; where-upon her father consented to her marriage with Acontius (Ariltaenetus, Epistolae, i. 1o; Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses, i., tells the story with different names).
End of Article: ACONTIUS (Gr. Akontios)
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