CLE Intro part 1

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part 1 of the intro term list for the Classical Literacy Exam. Study these definition to term.

A.D. Anno Domini

in the year of the Lord; used to abbreviate the years considered NOT BC (before Christ)

a.m. ante meridiem

before noon (12 am - 11:59 am)

Achilles' heel

a weakness; the only vulnerable spot on the greatest Greek warrior in the Trojan War

ad infinitum

to infinity; something that seems to go on with no end

ad nauseam

to the point of sickness; like ad infinitum this phrase suggests something that goes on so long it makes you sick.

Aegean Sea

sea off the east coast of Greece. Name for the father of Theseus (King Aegeus) who threw himself off the cliff thinking his son had died fighting the Minotaur.

agenda

things that must be done; a to-do list of items that need to be accomplished

agora

the central meeting and shopping district in a Greek city.

forum

the central meeting and shopping district in a Roman city.

ambrosia & nectar

the food and drink of the gods

Aphrodite/Venus

Greek/Roman names for the goddess of love, passion. Mother of Aeneas (founder of central Italian region that would become Rome) and Eros/Cupid

Apollo/Apollo

Greek/Roman names for the god of light, prophecy, songs, and healing. Famous for temples throughout the Mediterranean where prophecies were given. Famously pursued Daphne and adopted her when she became a laurel tree. Loved Cassandra whom he gave the gift of prophecy, and later the gift of never being believed. The Sibyl was his priestess.

apple of discord

something that causes strife. It was the fruit thrown by the goddess Eris/Discord into the marriage of Peleus and Thetis because she wasn't invited. It was inscribed "for the fairest goddess" and Hera/Juno, Athena/Minerva, Aphrodite/Venus famously fought for it, leading Paris to pick Aphrodite and thus starting the Trojan War over Helen, his bribe for picking Aphrodite.

aqueduct

a series of channels, some raised on archways, that bring water from higher elevations to towns at lower elevations

Arachne

mortal girl who boasted of her ability to defeat Athena/Minerva in weaving. Athena disguised herself as an old woman and challenged the girl to a weaving contest. The old woman wove a tapestry depicting Athena defeating Poseidon for Athens, while this girl wove a tapestry depicting the shortcomings of the gods. Athena admired her skill, but angrily turned the girl into a spider so she can weave ad infinitum.

Ares/Mars

Greek/Roman names of the god of war and bloodshed. Often depicted with weapons. Love interest of Venus/Aphrodite. Impregnated Rhea Silvia who gave birth to Remus and Romulus (the first king of Rome).

Ariadne

daughter of King Minos of Crete. She fell in love with Theseus and gave him a ball of yarn so he could make his way out of the labyrinth. She escaped Crete with the victorious Theseus but was abandoned by him on the island of Naxos. Rescued by Dionysus/Bacchus who fell in love with her.

Athena/Minerva

Greek/Roman names of the goddess of wisdom, strategy, handicrafts. daughter of Metis and Zeus/Jupiter who swallowed her before her birth, fearing her strength. She was born from Zeus' skull, fully armed and grown. Favored Odysseus and Greece in the Trojan War. Battled Poseidon/Neptune for the love of Athens. Poseidon gave them a salt spring, she gave the olive tree and they picked her. Maiden goddess who was the strategy and planning side of war.

Athens/Acropolis

the greatest of the city-states in Greece and the seat of Western Democracy. The Acropolis was the rocky plateau which was the cultural center of the city--home of the Parthenon.

Atlas

a collection of maps; named for the Greek Titan who fought against the Olympians unsuccessfully. He was punished by Zeus to forever hold the heavens on his shoulders to keep them from collapsing on the earth. He was said to reside in the west (at the Straits of Gibraltar where Europe nearly touches Africa). In NW Africa, a small range of hills take his name.

Artemis/Diana

Greek/Roman names of goddess of the hunt, moon, woods. Twin sister of Apollo. A maiden goddess who was protective of her independence and chastity, when Actaeon saw her bathing, she turned him into a deer and he was torn apart by his hunting dogs. She is often depicted with animals, and she wears hunting boots, carries a bow and arrow. Also helped Apollo punish Niobe for her boasting.

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