Enceladus (mythology)

Enceladus (mythology)

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This article is about the mythological giant; for the moon of Saturn, see Enceladus (moon)
Enceladus (moon)
Enceladus is the sixth-largest of the moons of Saturn. It was discovered in 1789 by William Herschel. Until the two Voyager spacecraft passed near it in the early 1980s very little was known about this small moon besides the identification of water ice on its surface...

.

In Greek mythology
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

, Enceladus (or Enkelados, Ἐγκέλαδος/"Trumpeter to Arms") was one of the Gigantes, the enormous children of Gaia
Gaia (mythology)
Gaia was the primordial Earth-goddess in ancient Greek religion. Gaia was the great mother of all: the heavenly gods and Titans were descended from her union with Uranus , the sea-gods from her union with Pontus , the Giants from her mating with Tartarus and mortal creatures were sprung or born...

 (Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

) fertilized by the blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 of castrated Uranus
Uranus (mythology)
Uranus , was the primal Greek god personifying the sky. His equivalent in Roman mythology was Caelus. In Ancient Greek literature, according to Hesiod in his Theogony, Uranus or Father Sky was the son and husband of Gaia, Mother Earth...

. With the other Gigantes, Enceladus appeared in one particular region—either Phlegra, the "burning plain" in Thrace
Thrace
Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

, or Pallene
Pallene
Pallene can refer to:* Pallene , one of the seven Alkyonides, daughters of the giant Alkyoneus in Greek mythology* Pallene , a small moon of Saturn, discovered in 2004*Pallini, a town east of Athens, Greece...

.

Like the other Gigantes, Enceladus had serpent
Serpent (symbolism)
Serpent in Latin means: Rory Collins :&, in turn, from the Biblical Hebrew word of: "saraf" with root letters of: which refers to something burning-as, the pain of poisonous snake's bite was likened to internal burning.This word is commonly used in a specifically mythic or religious context,...

-like lower limbs, "with the scales of dragons for feet" as the Bibliotheke states, though this convention was not invariably followed in pictorial representations.

During the battle between the Gigantes and the Olympian gods, Enceladus was disabled by a spear thrown by the goddess
Goddess
A goddess is a female deity. In some cultures goddesses are associated with Earth, motherhood, love, and the household. In other cultures, goddesses also rule over war, death, and destruction as well as healing....

 Athena
Athena
In Greek mythology, Athena, Athenê, or Athene , also referred to as Pallas Athena/Athene , is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, justice, and skill. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is...

 (illustration to the right). He was buried on the island
Island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

 of Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, under Mount Etna
Mount Etna
Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, close to Messina and Catania. It is the tallest active volcano in Europe, currently standing high, though this varies with summit eruptions; the mountain is 21 m higher than it was in 1981.. It is the highest mountain in...

. The volcanic fires of Etna were said to be the breath of Enceladus, and its tremors to be caused by him rolling his injured side beneath the mountain (similar myths are told about Typhon
Typhon
Typhon , also Typhoeus , Typhaon or Typhos was the last son of Gaia, fathered by Tartarus, and the most deadly monster of Greek mythology. He was known as the "Father of all monsters"; his wife Echidna was likewise the "Mother of All Monsters."Typhon was described in pseudo-Apollodorus,...

 and Vulcan
Vulcan (mythology)
Vulcan , aka Mulciber, is the god of beneficial and hindering fire, including the fire of volcanoes in ancient Roman religion and Roman Neopaganism. Vulcan is usually depicted with a thunderbolt. He is known as Sethlans in Etruscan mythology...

). In Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, an earthquake is still often called a "strike of Enceladus".

In Euripides
Euripides
Euripides was one of the three great tragedians of classical Athens, the other two being Aeschylus and Sophocles. Some ancient scholars attributed ninety-five plays to him but according to the Suda it was ninety-two at most...

' satyr play
Satyr play
Satyr plays were an ancient Greek form of tragicomedy, similar in spirit to burlesque. They featured choruses of satyrs, were based on Greek mythology, and were rife with mock drunkenness, brazen sexuality , pranks, sight gags, and general merriment.Satyric drama was one of the three varieties of...

 Cyclops
Cyclops (play)
The Cyclops is an Ancient Greek satyr play by Euripides, the only complete satyr play that has survived antiquity. It is a comical burlesque-like play on the same story depicted in book nine of Homer's Odyssey.-Background:...

the minor god Silenus
Silenus
In Greek mythology, Silenus was a companion and tutor to the wine god Dionysus.-Evolution of the character:The original Silenus resembled a folklore man of the forest with the ears of a horse and sometimes also the tail and legs of a horse...

 claims to have dealt Enceladus' death blow, but this was perhaps intended by the author
Euripides
Euripides was one of the three great tragedians of classical Athens, the other two being Aeschylus and Sophocles. Some ancient scholars attributed ninety-five plays to him but according to the Suda it was ninety-two at most...

 as a vain drunken boast, since Silenus
Silenus
In Greek mythology, Silenus was a companion and tutor to the wine god Dionysus.-Evolution of the character:The original Silenus resembled a folklore man of the forest with the ears of a horse and sometimes also the tail and legs of a horse...

 also claims to have sent the Gigantes flying with the braying of his ass.

In later art and literature


At Versailles
Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles , or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. In French it is the Château de Versailles....

, Louis XIV's consistent iconographic theme of the triumphs of Apollo
Apollo
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in Greek and Roman mythology...

 and the Olympians against all adversaries included the fountain of Enceladus in its own cabinet de verdure, which was cut into the surrounding woodland and outlined by trelliswork,; the ensemble has recently been restored (illustration). According to an engraving of the fountain by Le Pautre (1677), the sculptor of the gilt-bronze
Bronze
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

 Enceladus was Gaspar Mercy of Cambrai
Cambrai
Cambrai is a commune in the Nord department in northern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.Cambrai is the seat of an archdiocese whose jurisdiction was immense during the Middle Ages. The territory of the Bishopric of Cambrai, roughly coinciding with the shire of Brabant, included...

.

John Keats
John Keats
John Keats was an English Romantic poet. Along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, he was one of the key figures in the second generation of the Romantic movement, despite the fact that his work had been in publication for only four years before his death.Although his poems were not...

 mentions Enceladus among the other Titans in his "Hyperion
Hyperion (poem)
"Hyperion" is an abandoned epic poem by 19th-century English Romantic poet John Keats. It is based on the Titanomachia, and tells of the despair of the Titans after their fall to the Olympians...

" (1818/1819).

In Herman Melville
Herman Melville
Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick and the posthumous novella Billy Budd....

's Pierre
Pierre: or, The Ambiguities
Pierre: or, The Ambiguities is a novel written by Herman Melville, and published in 1852 by Harper & Brothers.The publication of Pierre was a critical and financial disaster for Melville. It was universally condemned for both its morals and its style...

, the image of Enceladus appears multiple times; the protagonist identifies with Enceladus in a dream.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an American poet and educator whose works include "Paul Revere's Ride", The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline...

, inspired by the suffering of the Second Italian War of Independence
Second Italian War of Independence
The Second War of Italian Independence, Franco-Austrian War, Austro-Sardinian War, or Austro-Piedmontese War , was fought by Napoleon III of France and the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia against the Austrian Empire in 1859...

, wrote his poem "Enceladus" in 1859.

Rick Riordan
Rick Riordan
Richard Russell "Rick" Riordan, Jr. is an American author best known for writing the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series. He also wrote the Tres Navarre mystery series for adults and helped to edit Demigods and Monsters, a collection of essays on the topic of his Percy Jackson series...

 included Enceladus in his book The Lost Hero
The Lost Hero
The Lost Hero is a 2010 fantasy-adventure novel written by Rick Riordan and is based on Greek and Roman mythology. It is the first book in the series The Heroes of Olympus, the next series about Camp Half-Blood. It was preceded by the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, which focused solely on...

 as one of the primary villains.

Namesakes


Enceladus
Enceladus (moon)
Enceladus is the sixth-largest of the moons of Saturn. It was discovered in 1789 by William Herschel. Until the two Voyager spacecraft passed near it in the early 1980s very little was known about this small moon besides the identification of water ice on its surface...

, a moon
Moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

 of the planet
Planet
A planet is a celestial body orbiting a star or stellar remnant that is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity, is not massive enough to cause thermonuclear fusion, and has cleared its neighbouring region of planetesimals.The term planet is ancient, with ties to history, science,...

 Saturn
Saturn
Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in the Solar System, after Jupiter. Saturn is named after the Roman god Saturn, equated to the Greek Cronus , the Babylonian Ninurta and the Hindu Shani. Saturn's astronomical symbol represents the Roman god's sickle.Saturn,...

, is named after the mythological Enceladus. It too has volcanoes erupting from it, but this time of ice and superheated ice crystals.

One of two surviving Short Belfast
Short Belfast
The Short Belfast is a heavy lift turboprop freighter built by Short Brothers at Belfast. Only 10 were built for the British Royal Air Force with the designation Short Belfast C.1. When they were retired by the RAF, five went into civilian service with the cargo airline HeavyLift Cargo Airlines...

military transport aircraft is dubbed "Enceladus".
William Shakespeare mentions "Enceladus" in Titus Andronicus, Act 4, sc. 2, L 96.
"I tell you younglings, not Enceladus."
Folger Shakespeare Library - Titus Andronicus, page 136-137, copywrite 2005.