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And still at the last minute Helius bade him: "Take my counsel, not my chariot, while you still stand on solid ground. And when the driver looked down, he was panic-stricken, and likewise when he looked in other directions. For one thing is to look at the constellations from the ground, and another to travel through or near them. And the horses, not being able to recognize the track, broke loose even more from their course, roaming aimlessly through unknown regions, at times climbing up to the top of the sky, at other times plunging headlong down near the earth. In heaven there was amazement, but on earth the meadows were burned, the trees consumed, and whole cities and nations were reduced to ashes.

In the meanwhile, the driver breathed air hot like fire and was completely blinded by the dense smoke, not being any more able to tell where he was or whither the horses were taking him.

Myth of Phaethon

It was at this time that the Ethiopians and the Indians became black-skinned, and Libya became a desert, and many regions lost their fountains and their pools. In the same way, the seventh mouths of the Nile were filled with dust, and many rivers steamed when their banks were aflame. Some have said that it was then the Milky Way was created. So Gaia addressed Zeus and warned of the impending danger: "If the sea perish and the land and the realms of the sky, then we are hurled back to primeval Chaos.

Zeus ends the trouble with a thunderbolt When Zeus saw that there were no clouds to spread over the earth nor rains to send, he flung a thunderbolt at the incompetent charioteer, and thus put and end to the sorrows of both earth and sky, and to his life as well. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.


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It have been said that, because of what happened, one whole day went without the sun, but still light was not lacking since the world was burning. Parentage two versions. Terrified, Phaethon dropped the reins.


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The horses veered from their course, scorching the earth, burning the vegetation, bringing the blood of the Ethiopians to the surface of their skin and so turning it black, changing much of Africa into desert , drying up rivers and lakes and shrinking the sea. Earth cried out to Jupiter who was forced to intervene by striking Phaethon with a lightning bolt.

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Like a falling star, Phaethon plunged blazing into the river Eridanos. Phoebus, stricken with grief at his son's death, at first refused to resume his work of driving his chariot, but at the appeal of the other gods, including Jupiter, returned to his task. According to Clement of Alexandria in his Stromata , " In The Twelve Caesars , Suetonius attributes to the emperor Tiberius the following repeated remark about the future emperor Gaius Caligula : "That to allow Gaius to live would prove the ruin of himself and of all men, and that he was raising a viper for the Roman people and a Phaethon for the world".

Fragments of Euripides ' tragedy on this subject suggest that, in his account, Phaethon survives.

In reconstructing the lost play and discussing the fragments, James Diggle has discussed the treatment of the Phaethon myth Diggle The name "Phaethon", which means "Shining One", [26] was given also to Phaethon son of Eos , to one of the horses of Eos the Dawn , the Sun, the constellation Auriga , and the planet Jupiter , while as an adjective it was used to describe the sun and the moon.

In modern times, an asteroid whose orbit brings it close to the sun has been named " Phaethon " after the mythological Phaethon. This form of the word is applied to a kind of carriage and automobile. An order , family , and genus of birds bear the name Phaethon in their taxonomic nomenclature, the tropicbirds. The Fall of Phaeton Statue. Marble, circa CE.

Louis Phaethon Beach Resort (All-Inclusive), Geroskipou

By Dominique Lefevre. From Paris, France. The Victoria and Albert Museum , London. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the son of Helios.

For other uses, see Phaeton. For the asteroid, see Phaethon. For another mythical figure of this name, see Phaethon son of Eos.

[] Optical observations of NEA Phaethon ( TB) during the apparition

Greek Legends and Myths. Standard Catalog of American Cars Second ed. Kings of Greek Mythology. Retrieved English Literary Renaissance. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history.

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