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PHINEUS

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Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 446 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PHINEUS, in Greek legend, son of Agenor, the blind king of Salmydessus on the coast of Thrace. He was skilled in the art of navigation, and Apollo had bestowed upon him the gift of prophecy. His blindness was a punishment from the gods for his having revealed the counsels of Zeus to mortals, or for his treatment of his sons by his first wife Cleopatra. His second wife having accused her stepsons of dishonourable proposals, Phineus put out their eyes, or exposed them to the wild beasts, or buried them in the ground up to their waists and ordered them to be scourged. Zeus offered him the choice of death or blindness. Phineus chose the latter, whereupon Helios (the sun-god), offended at the slight thus put upon him, sent the Harpies to torment him. In another story, the Argonauts (amongst whom were Calais and Zetes, the brothers of Cleopatra), on their arrival in Thrace found the sons of Phineus half-buried in the earth and demanded their liberation. Phineus refused, and a fight took place in which he was slain by Heracles, who freed Cleopatra (who had been thrown into prison) and her sons, and reinstated them as rulers of the kingdom. Tragedies on the subject of Phineus were written by Aeschylus and Sophocles. These would directly appeal to an Athenian audience, Phineus's first wife having been the daughter of Orithyia (daughter of Erechtheus, king of Athens), who had been carried off by Boreas to his home in Thrace. The punish- ment of Phineus would naturally be regarded as a just retribu- 1 Chronicle of Joshua Stylites, ch. 30. 2 On these and other points see Budge's introduction to his second volume, which contains also a list of the other works of Philoxenus and a number of illustrative extracts. One by Martin (in Grammatica chrestomathia et glossarium linguae syriacae) and one by Guidi (La Lettera di Filosseno ai monad di Tell 'Addd).tion for the insult put upon a princess of the royal house of Athens. Apollodorus i. 9, 21, iii. 15, 3; Sophocles, Antigone, 966, with lebb's notes; Diod. Sic. iv. 43, 44; Servius on Aeneid iii. 209; chol. on Apollonius Rhodius ii. 178. PHIPS (or PHIPPS), SIR WILLIAM (1651-1695), colonial governor of Massachusetts, was born on the 2nd of February 1651, at Woolwich, Maine, near the mouth of the Kennebec river. He was a shepherd until he was eighteen, and then a ship carpenter's apprentice for four years; worked at his trade in Boston for a year, at this time learning to read and write; and with his wife's property established a ship-yard on the Sheepscot river in Maine, but soon abandoned it because of Indian disorders. In 1684-1686, with a commission from the British Crown, he searched vainly for a wrecked Spanish treasure ship of which he had heard while on a voyage to the Bahamas; he found this vessel in 1687, and from it recovered £300,000. Of this amount much went to the duke of Albemarle, who had fitted out the second expedition. Phips received £x6,000 as his share, was knighted by James II., and was appointed sheriff of New England under Sir Edmund Andros. Poorly educated and ignorant of law, Phips could accomplish little, and returned to England. In 1689 he returned to Massachusetts, found a revolutionary government in control, and at once entered into the life of the colony. He joined the North Church (Cotton Mather's) at Boston, and was soon appointed by the General Court commander of an expedition against the French in Canada, which sailed in April t690 and easily captured Port Royal. A much larger expedition led by Phips in July against Quebec and Montreal ended disastrously. Phips generously bought at their par value, in order to give them credit in the colony, many of the colony's bills issued to pay for the expedition. In the winter of 1690 he returned to England, vainly sought aid for another expedition against Canada, and urged, with Increase Mather, the colonial agent, a restoration of the colony's charter, annulled during the reign of Charles II. The Crown, at the suggestion of Mather, appointed him the first royal governor under the new charter. On reaching Boston in May 1692, Phips found the colony in a very disordered condition, and though honest, persevering and indisposed to exalt his prerogative at the expense of the people, he was unfitted for the difficult position. He appointed a special commission to try the witchcraft cases, but did nothing to stop the witchcraft mania, and suspended the sittings of the court only after great atrocities had been committed. In defending the frontier he displayed great energy, but his policy of building forts was expensive and therefore unpopular. Having the manners of a 17th-century sea captain, he became involved in many quarrels, and engaged in a bitter contrcversy with Governor Benjamin Fletcher of New York. Numerous complaints to the home government resulted in his being summoned to England to answer charges. While in London awaiting trial, he died on the 18th of February 1695. See Cotton Mather's Life of His Excellency Sir William Phips (London, 1697; republished in his Magnalia in 1702) ; Francis Bowen's " Life of Sir William Phips," in Jared Sparks's American Biography, 1st series, vol. vii. (New York, 1856); William Goold's " Sir William Phips," in Collections of the Maine Historical Society, series r, vol. ix. (Portland, 1887) ; Ernest Myrand's Sir William Phipps devant Quebec (Quebec, 1893) ; Thomas Hutchinson's History of Massachusetts (2 vols., Boston; 3rd ed., 1795); and J. G. Palfrey's History of New England (5 vols., Boston, 1858-1890).
End of Article: PHINEUS
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