THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION 1911

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HYADES (“the rainy ones”), in Greek mythology, the daughters of Atlas and Aethra; their number varies between two and seven. As a reward for having brought up Zeus at Dodona and taken care of the infant Dionysus Hyes, whom they conveyed to Ino (sister of his mother Semele) at Thebes when his life was threatened by Lycurgus, they were translated to heaven and placed among the stars (Hyginus, Poët. astron. ii. 21). Another form of the story combines them with the Pleiades. According to this they were twelve (or fifteen) sisters, whose brother Hyas was killed by a snake while hunting in Libya (Ovid, Fasti, v. 165; Hyginus, Fab. 192). They lamented him so bitterly that Zeus, out of compassion, changed them into stars—five into the Hyades, at the head of the constellation of the Bull, the remainder into the Pleiades. Their name is derived from the fact that the rainy season commenced when they rose at the same time as the sun (May 7-21); the original conception of them is that of the fertilizing principle of moisture. The Romans derived the name from ὗς (pig), and translated it by Suculae (Cicero, De nat. deorum, ii. 43).
Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected. They appear in the text like this, and the explanation will appear when the mouse pointer is moved over the marked passage. Sections in Greek will yield a transliteration when the pointer is moved over them, and words using diacritic characters in the Latin Extended Additional block, which may not display in some fonts or browsers, will display an unaccented version.

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