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Words empty as the wind are best left unsaid.

~Homer

A picture is worth a thousand words.

~Napoleon Bonaparte

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Poseidon, Triton

Edited June 23, 2012

POSEIDON was the great Olympian god of the sea, rivers, flood and drought, earthquakes, and horses. He was depicted as a mature man of sturdy build with a dark beard, and holding a trident.He was further regarded as the creator of the horse, and was accordingly believed to have taught men the art of managing horses by the bridle, and to have been the originator and protector of horse races. (Hom. Il. xxiii. 307, 584; Pind. Pyth. vi.50 ; Soph. Oed. Col. 712, &c.) Hence he was also represented on horseback, or riding in a chariot drawn by two or four horses, and is designated by the epithets hippios, hippeios, or hippios anax. (Paus. i. 30. § 4, viii. 25. § 5, vi. 20. § 8, viii. 37. § 7 ; Eurip.Phoen. 1707; comp. Liv. i. 9, where he is called equester.) In consequence of his connection with the horse, he was regarded as the friend of charioteers (Pind. Ol. i. 63, &c.; Tzetz. ad Lyc. 156), and he even metamorphosed himself into a horse, for the purpose of deceiving Demeter.
In works of art, Poseidon may be easily recognized by his attributes, the dolphin, the horse, or the trident (Paus. x. 36. § 4), and he was frequently represented in groups along with Amphitrite, Tritons, Nereids, dolphins, the Dioscuri, Palaemon, Pegasus, Bellerophontes, Thalassa, Ino, and Galene. (Paus. ii. 1. § 7.)
http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Poseidon.html



Poseidon rides across the sea in a chariot drawn by two Hippokampoi (fish-tailed horses). He holds a trident in his hand. C3rd AD

Poseidon (Roman Neptune) with trident in hand, drives a chariot drawn by two Hippokampoi (fish-tailed horses) across the sea.

THE CHARIOT OF POSEIDON
C2nd AD
SUMMARY
Poseidon rides across the sea in a chariot drawn by four Hippokampoi (fish-tailed horses). He is accompanied by the Ikhthyokentauros (sea-centaur) Aphros, god of the Aphroi (Carthaginians or North Africa), and Triton, god of the Libyan lake Tritonis


Gaziantep Museum, Gaziantep, Turkey  C1st - C2nd AD
SUMMARY
Poseidon drives a chariot drawn by two Hippokampoi (fish-tailed horses) across the sea. He wields a trident in his hand. Beneath him the old sea gods Oceanus and Tethys sit wrapped in the tail of a sea-serpent.
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EUROPA & THE BULL, ASTYPALAIA & THE SEA-PANTHER
Gaziantep Archaeological Museum, Gaziantep, Turkey C1st - C2nd AD
SUMMARY
Zeus and Poseidon abduct the daughters of King Phoinix of Phoenicia. Europa carried away by Zeus in the guise of a fish-tailed bull, and perhaps Astypalaia by Poseidon in the form of a winged, fish-tailed leopard. Alternatively the pair may be Nereids.

 Jacob Jordaens,  Neptune Creates the Horse                                                       


Walter Crane Horses of Neptune
                                               
  Nicolas Poussin Triumph of Neptune and Amphitrite  

Frans Francken II, Triumph of Amphitrite

 Frans Francken II, The Triumph of Neptune and Amphitrite

Albrecht DÜRER, Battle of the Sea Gods

TRITON was a fish-tailed sea god, the son and herald of Poseidon and Amphitrite (or Celaeno, king of the seas. He stilled the waves with the blow of a conch-shell trumpet. Triton was also described as the god of the giant, Libyan, salt-lake Tritonis. When the Argonauts were stranded in the desert he assisted them in finding passage from the lake back to the sea.

He dwelt with his father and mother in a golden palace on the bottom of the sea, or according to Homer (Il. xiii. 20) at Aegae. (Hes. Theog. 930, &c.; Apollod. i. 4. § 6.) Later writers describe this divinity of the Mediterranean as riding over the sea on horses or other sea-monsters. (Ov. Heroid. vii. .50; Cic. de Nat. Deor. i. 28; Claudian, xxviii. 378.) Sometimes also Tritons are mentioned in the plural, and as serving other marine divinities in riding over the sea.
http://www.theoi.com/Pontios/Triton.html


TRITON & HIPPOKAMPOS
Antakya Museum,

C2nd - C3rd AD
SUMMARY
A bearded sea-god (probably Triton) with crab-claw horns, and a pair of coiling fish-tails in place of legs, leads a winged Hippokampos (fish-tailed horse) on a rein
 
TRITON, LEUKOTHEA & PALAIMON
Villa Romana del Casale (in situ), Piazza Amerina, Sicily, Italy
Date: ca 320 AD
SUMMARY
Leukothea sails across the sea on the back of the fish-tailed, sea-god Triton. She is accompanied by her son, the young Palaimon, who rides a pair of dolphins.The Triton is depicted as a merman with coiling fish-tail and a crown of crab claws and legs. He holds a shepherd's crock in his hand as herder of the sea's fish. Leukothea holds a spade-shaped frond (of seaweed?) in one hand and grasps the arm of her son with the other.


TWY-LEGGED TRITON
Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Naples, Italy
Date: C1st AD
SUMMARY
A Triton with two fish-tails in place of legs holds an oar across his shoulders. He is accompanied by a pair of winged Erotes (love gods).



TRITON (Tritôn). 1. A son of Poseidon and Amphitrite (or Celaeno), who dwelt with his father and mother in a golden palace on the bottom of the sea, or according to Homer (Il. xiii. 20) at Aegae. (Hes. Theog. 930, &c.; Apollod. i. 4. § 6.) Later writers describe this divinity of the Mediterranean as riding over the sea on horses or other sea-monsters. (Ov. Heroid. vii. .50; Cic. de Nat. Deor. i. 28; Claudian, xxviii. 378.) Sometimes also Tritons are mentioned in the plural, and as serving other marine divinities in riding over the sea. Their appearance is differently described, though they are always conceived as presenting the human figure in the upper part of their bodies, while the lower part is that of a fish. Pausanias (ix. 21. § 1) says : the Tritons have green hair on their head, very fine and hard scales, breathing organs below their ears, a human nose, a broad month, with the teeth of animals, sea-green eyes, hands rough like the surface of a shell, and instead of feet, a tail like that of dolphins. (Comp. Orph,Hymn 23. 4 ; Plin. H. N. xxxvi. 4, 7.) The chief characteristic of Tritons in poetry as well as in works of art is a trumpet consisting of a shell (concha), which the Tritons blow at the command of Poseidon, to soothe the restless waves of the sea (Ov. Met.i. 333), and in the fight of the Gigantes this trumpet served to frighten the enemies. (Hygin. Poet. Astr. ii. 23; comp. Paus. viii. 2. § 3; Mosch. ii. 20; Virg. Aen. x. 209, &c.; Ov. Met. ii. 8; Plin. H. N. ix. 5.) Tritons were sometimes represented with two horse's feet instead of arms, and they were then called Centaur-Tritons or Ichthyocentaurs. (Tzetz. ad Lyc. 34, 886, 892.) Their figures are frequently mentioned in works of art, as in the sanctuary of Poseidon on the Corinthian isthmus (Paus. ii. 1. § 7), in the temple of Dionysus at Tanagra (ix. 20. § 4; comp. Aelian, H. A. xiii. 21), in the pediment of the temple of Saturn at Rome. 
http://www.theoi.com/Pontios/Triton.html


TRITON
Museum Collection: Sparta Archaeological Museum, Sparta, Greece
Date: C2nd BC
Period: Hellenistic Greek
SUMMARY
The sea-god Triton is depicted with a pair of coiled fish tails in place of legs. He raises a club above his head.
                                                         
Triton, Mosaico romano, III sec, Museo nazionale del Bardo,Tunisi.

Nymphaeum in Roma, at the Museo Nazionale etrusco di Villa Giulia, re-using an Ancient Roman mosaic of a triton. Picture by LaLupa
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     Museum El Jem                                              



  Spain
                                                        

        Triton Blowing on a Conch Shell, c. 1615, Jacques de Gheyn III.
                      
  Battle of the Tritons" Daniel Hopfer
                                              
                                                                                                      Spain

 
                                                                                                   Italy

          Trition Germany    
                   
    Catedral Notre-Dame
                                                     


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