Online Encyclopedia

MYRMIDONES

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V19, Page 114 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MYRMIDONES, in Greek legend, an Achaean race, in Homeric times inhabiting Phthiotis in Thessaly. According to the ancient tradition, their original home was Aegina, whence they crossed over to Thessaly with Peleus, but the converse view is now more generally accepted. Their name is derived from a supposedancestor, son of Zeus and Eurymedusa, who was wooed by the god in the form of an ant (Gr. /lbw? ); or from the repeopling of Aegina (when all its inhabitants had died of the plague) with ants changed into men by Zeus at the prayer of Aeacus, king of the island. The word " myrmidon " has passed into the English language to denote a subordinate who carries out the orders of his superior without mercy or consideration for others. See Strabo viii. 375, ix. 433; Homer, Iliad, ii. 681; schol. on Pindar Nem. iii. 21; Clem. Alex., Protrepticon, p. 34, ed. Potter. MYROBALANS, the name given to the astringent fruits of several species of Terminalia, largely used in India for dyeing and tanning and exported for the same purpose. They are large deciduous trees and belong to the family Combretaceae. The chief kinds are the chebulic or black myrobalan, from Terminalia Chebula, which are smooth, and the beleric, from T. belerica, which are five-angled and covered with a greyish down.
End of Article: MYRMIDONES
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