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AP Junior English: Allusions to Know

Greek & Roman History/Mythology

Acheron River: one of the rivers of the underworld

Achilles: dipped in the river Styx for immortality
• Neglected to dip heel- got shot there and died
Actaeon: a great hunter, punished by Artemis
• Saw Artemis naked in bath, got turned into stag, ripped apart by his own hounds
• (OR) boasted he was a better hunter than Artemis, was punished for hubris
• Son of Aristaeus + Autonoe
• Raised by the centaur Chiron
Aegeus: father of Theseus
Aegisthus: King of Mycenae
• Son of Thyestes + Pelopia
• Enticed by uncle Atreus to kill dad, instead killed uncle
• Seduced Clytemnestra, wife of Agamemnon, drowned Aga in bath upon his return
Aeneas: Trojan hero

Agamemnon: king either of Mycenae or of Argo
• commander of the Achaeans in the ensuing Trojan War
• murdered by his wife Clytemnestra.
• Sacrificed daughter Iphigeneia so gods would create winds for ship
Ajax- strong but stupid warrior
• Carried Achilles’ dead body
• Swore to kill Agamemmon
• Struck by Athena with madness
• Committed suicide
Amazons: Warlike race of women fought with various heroes (Heracles, Theseus,
• Hostile towards men, had sex with them once a year
• Raised only girls
• Cut off right breasts (draw bows)
Andromeda- translated to heavens as star
• Supposed to be sacrificed to sea monster
• Rescued by Perseus
• Daughter of Cepheus + Cassiopeia
Aphrodite (Venus)- Greek goddess of love/beauty
• Emerged from sea
• Zeus + Dione, wife of Hephaestus
• daughter of the accidentally incestuous marriage between King Oedipus of Thebes and
his mother Jocasta
Apollo (Phoebus)- god of sun, healing
• chariot that pulled sun across sky (sunrise/set)
Arachne- arrogant mortal, good at weaving
• challenged Athena to spinning contest, won
• turned into spider by Athena
• weave and spin forever
Ares (Mars)- God of war, violence, bloodlust; symbolized by vulture, wolf, spear

Argonauts- 40 to 55 Greeks who sailed on the ship Argo
• Lolcus to Cochis, leadership of Jason
• Bringing golden fleece out of Aia
• many Greeks proclaim their ancestors to be Argonauts
Argus- 100 eyed giant, rewarded by Hera by having eyes placed on peacock’s tail
• Guarded nymph Io (Zeus’s affair)
• Hermes killed Argus
Ariadne- princess of Crete
• helped Thesus defeat minosaur
• kidnapped by Dionysus to be wife
Artemis (Diana)- Goddess of the Hunt, Forests and Hills, the Moon
• daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo.
• often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows
• see: Actaeon, Adonis, Orion, Callisto, Niobe
Atalanta- lone woman in quest for Golden Fleece
• raised by bear, abandoned because girl
• super duper hunter
• shot people trying to rape her
• whoever beat her in foot race = husband
• Melanion asked Aphrodite for help
• Golden apples- threw while running, Atalanta lost time picking up
• Melanion forgot sacrifice to Aphrodite, lay with Atalanta in Zeus’s shrine and was
turned into lions
Atlantis- that one lost island that sank into sea
Atlas- condemned by Zeus to stand at the western edge of Gaia, the Earth and hold up
Ouranos, the Sky on his shoulders to prevent the two from resuming their primordial
• symbol of strength or stoic endurance
• a name for collections of terrestrial maps and the modern understanding of the earth as a
Atropos- one of the three Moirae, Goddesses of fate and destiny
• the oldest of the Three Fates
• known as the "inflexible" or "inevitable."
• ended the life of each mortal by cutting their thread with her "abhorred shears."
Aurora- Goddess of Dawn
• husband Tithonus
• asked Zeus for Tithonus’s immortality, but forgot to ask for eternal youth as well
• Had lots of kids with many lovers
• Announced arrival of/accompanied Helios on his journey
Bellerophon- king of Corinth and Eurymede
• tamed the winged horse Pegasus
• slew the fire-breathing monster Chimera
Callisto- nymph of Artemis, Ursa Major
• Swore to remain virginal
• Zeus seduced her
• Turned her and baby into Big/Lil Bear
Calypso- loved Odysseus, but had to let him go
Cassandra- prophetess who would never be believed
• Prophecy granted by Apollo as marriage gift, curse of not-believing because she didn’t
want him
• Predicted fall of Troy
• Raped by Ajax (art)
Castor and Pollux- Gemini twins
Centaurs- half man, half horse
• Known for fighting, lustiness, wisdom
Cerberus- three-headed watchdog, guards entrance to hell
Charon- boatman on Styx who carried souls to hell
Charybdis- whirlpool monster
Chimaera-monster with parts of diff animals
Circe- sorceress, turned Odysseus’s men to swine
Clytemnestra- wife of Agamemmon, killed him
• Had affair with Agamemmon’s cousin
• Killed by her son eventually
Creon- ruler of Thebes
Cyclops- one eyed giants
• Polyphemus, blinded by Odysseus
Daedalus- inventor, built Labrynth
• Also built wooden cow for queen so she could mate w/bull
• Eventually was also imprisoned in Labrythn, escaped w/wings
Danae- princess of Argo, mother of Perseus
Danaids- daughters of Danaus, killed husbands at her command
Daphne- nymph chased by Apollo
• turned to laurel
Delphi- where the Oracle of Delphi lived
Demeter (Ceres)- goddess of grain, fertility, earth, agriculture, fertility, marriage ish
• bringer of seasons
• spring= Persephone returns; fall=she leaves
• daughter = Persephone
Dido- founder/queen of Cathrage, stabbed herself when Aeneas left her
Dionysus (Bacchus)- god of wine, the inspirer of ritual madness and ecstasy
Echo- nymph, see: Narcissus
Elysian Fields- paradise
Eros (Cupid)- God of Love
• Arrows make people fall in love
• Cast nobody-will-love-you spell on Psyche because Aphrodite (his mom) was jealous
• Accidentally cast spell on himself too
• Married Psyche
Europa- pretty girl who had kids with Zeus
• Zeus disguised himself as white bull
• Europa rode on him to Crete
• Bull became Taurus
• daughter of King Agenon
Eurydice- wife of Orpheus
Furies- girl creatures representing anger of the dead
Gorgons- 3 sisters with serpent hair
• Stethno, Euralye (immortal) , Medusa
• Brazen claws, wings of gold
Graces (3)- goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity and fertility
• Agalea (Beauty), Euphrosyne (mirth) and Thalia (Good cheer)
• River Cephissus was sacred to them
Hades (Pluto)- God of the Underworld and Riches
Hephaestus (Vulcan)- God of fire, a blacksmith
• Only deformed God
• Rejected son of Zeus+Hera
Hercules- 12 labors, amazingly strong
• Mortal son of Zeus
Hermes (Mercury)- god of physicians and thieves
• Messenger ofGods
Hestia (Vesta)- goddess of hearth
Hyacinth- boy loved by Apollo and Zephyr (West Wind)
• Ran to catch Apollo’s discus to impress him
• Struck by discus and died
• Zephyrus’s fault- he blew Apollo's discus off course
• Apollo turned hyacinth into flower, petals from his tears
Hydra- serpent with 9 heads, guarded Lake Lerna (entrance to hell)
• killed by Hercules as one of his Twelve Labors
Icarus- son of (see: ) Daedalus
• Escaped from labryinth with wings of wax
• Daedalus warned him not to fly too high
• Flew too high, sun melted wax
• Fell to his death
Iphigenia- sacrificed by dad so his ships would have wind
Iris- goddess of rainbow
Ixion- king who made love to Hera
• Punished by being bound to endlessly spinning wheel
Janus- god of gates/doors, symbolized by 2 faces
Jason- brought back the Golden Fleece
Jocasta-mother/wife of Oedipus
Laocoon-prince, warned against Trojan horse
Leda- mortal loved by Zeus in form of swan
Lethe River- river of Underworld
Medea- sorceress, helped Jason
Medusa- monster
Menelaus- king of Sparta
Mentor- friend of Odyssesus
Midas- everything he touched turned to gold
Minos- King of Crete
Minotaur- monster with body of a man and bull head
• King of Minos kept bull meant for sacrifice
• Gods punished him by making his wife fall in love with bull and have Minotaur
• King had Daedalus construct an intricate labyrinth to hide monster
• forced the Athenians to send as tribute seven youths and maidens every nine years to
feed monster
• Killed by Thesus
Morpheus- God of dreams (shaped/configure them)
• Lived in dark cave, often seen in poppy field
• son of Hypnos, the god of sleep
Muses (9)- Goddesses of development of arts/science
• great inspirations to all sculptors, painter, and philosophers
• often seen near wells/springs
• worshipped Apollo as leader, sang often of Zeus’s greatness
• Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and
Narcissus-the guy who was so hot he couldn’t stop looking at himself and then died
because he loved his reflection too much, flower grew in his place
Nausicaa- found Odyssesus when he got shipwrecked
Nemesis- goddess of vengeance
Niobe- changed to stone but wept for dead kids
Odysseus (Ulysses): legendary Greek king of Ithaca and the hero of The Odyssey
• Abandoned at birth
• Prophecy that he would kill dad and marry mom
• Solved riddle of Sphinx
• Eventually had 3 kids w/mom
• Blinded self and went into exile
Olympus-mountain where gods live
Orestes- killed Clymestra, pursued by Furies until he was purified by Apollo
Orion- hunter, killed by Artemis, constellation
Orpheus- musician,
Pallas Athena (Minerva)
Pan- god of forests, flocks, and shepherds
• half man and half goat
• plays pipes
Pandora- first mortal woman, had box containing ills
• sent to Earth as punishment for Promethesus’ stealing fire
• hope at bottom of the box
Paris- marries Helen, causes Trojan War
• forced to award golden apple to Aphrodite/Hera/Athena
• Apple to Aphrodite who rewards him with love of the prettiest girl ever
Parnassus- home of the Muses
Pegasus- winged horse from the body of Medusa
Penelope- wife of Odysseus, waited for him
Persephone- tricked into marrying Hades
• Allowed to return for 6 months per year
• Ate 6 pomegranate seeds

Perseus- slew Medusa, married Andromeda
Polyneices- he and brother Etocles killed each other for throne
Poseidon (Neptune)- god of the sea, has a trident
Priam- king of Troy
Prometheus- created man from clay, stole fire from Zeus and gave to people
• Chained to rock and had liver eaten daily
• Eventually saved by Hercules
Proteus- sea god, changed shapes
Psyche- goddess of emotion
• Very beautiful, Venus was jealous
• Cupid loved her, hid his identity by only visiting her at night
• Eventually she snuck in light, found him out
Pygmalion- king of Cyprus
• Carved ivory statues of girl
• Aphrodite gave life, became Galatea
Pyramus- see: Thisbe
Scylla- monster in cave near Charbydis
Sirens- lured sailors to death with singing
Sisyphus- wealthy man who cheated others/gods
• Punished to push heavy boulder up a hill
• Boulder would roll back down right before it reached top
Sphinx- monster who told riddles, killed those who couldn’t answer
Stentor- herald in Trojan War, 50-man volume
Styx River- river dividing land of living and hell
Tantalus- punished to stand chin-deep in lake with fruit branches, couldn’t eat or drink
Telemachus- son of Odysesseus
Theseus- slew Minotaur, deserted Ariadne
Thetis- leader of Nereids
• Cared for Hepheastus when he was exiled
• Mother of Achilles
Thisbe- lover of Pyramus, “Romeo+Juliet-y”
• Forbidden marriage, conversed through hole in wall
• Arranged to meet at tomb of Ninus
• Thisbe’s garment soiled by lion’s kill’s blood
• Pyramus thinks she’s dead, kills himself
• Thisbe kills herself upon finding his body
Tiresias- turned male/female depending on serpent that he killed
• Hera/Zeus had argument about which gender had more fun
• Tiresias agreed with Zeus (women had more fun)
• Hera blinded him, Zeus gave him prophecy and long life
Triton- god of Sea ish, son of Poseidon
Zeus- king of Gods, father of gods , men
• Indo-European root, name= “shining”
• Hurls lightning/thunderbolts

AP Junior English: Allusions to Know

The Bible

Old Testament
Adam and Eve
-Garden of Eden: their home
-fig leaf: they make clothes from this
-apple: fruit from the tree of Wisdom
-serpent: tempts Eve to eat the apple
-curse: pain in childbirth and death
• Adam= image of God
• God not to eat from tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Cain and Abel
• First and second sons of Adam and Eve
• Cain’s offerings to God were not his best, and thus were rejected; Abel’s were not
• Cain murders Abel
-the mark of Cain: God curses Cain so he can no longer cultivate crops, and marks him as
a warning to others.
Noah and the Flood
-the dove: brings back a fresh olive leaf, and then the next time it doesn’t return.
Symbolizes hope.
-the rainbow: “put aside” by God, promise that such a flood would never be let loose on
the world again.
• God didn’t like how people=corrupt
• Agreement with Noah (nice guy)
Tower of Babel: Enormous tower in Babylon
• full of different languages/cultures
• Constructed to be dedicated to the glory of man, to get to heaven
• theme of competition between the Lord and humans
• God made them speak diff languages so couldn’t understand
• explains the origin of nations, of their languages, and of Babylon (Babel)
Abraham: traveled to the Land of Canaan at the command of God
-Sarah: barren wife, eventually was jealous of Hagar and Ishmael
-Hagar: wife’s servant
-Ishmael: husband and Hagar’s kid, ancestor of Muhammad the prophet
Lot and his Wife
• Lot= Abraham’s nephew
• Accompanied his uncle to Egypt and later to Canaan.
• Split ways- owned different lands (Lot=Sodom and Gomorrah)
• God later destroyed those areas, offered Lot and his family protection only if they
promised not to look back.
• Lot’s wife turned, became salt pillar
-Sodom and Gomorrah
Isaac and Rebecca
• Issac= “laughter”
• Married Rebecca, lied about relationship
• Offered to God as sacrifice
• Didn’t get sacrificed from God’s will
Jacob and Esau
• Twin sons of Issac+ Rebecca
• Birth prophecy, twins would fight
• Esau =hunter, dad’s boy; Jacob= simple man, a dweller in tents, mama’s boy
-mess of potage: Esau sold birthright (first-born title) for soup
• (Later) Issac was blind, wanted to bless Esau as firstborn but tricked into blessing Jacob
-ladder: Jacbob’s vision of a ladder or reaching into heaven with angels representing
nations rising and falling
Rachel and Leah
• Sisters- Leah, older; Rachel, younger
• Jacob loved Rachel, worked 7 years for her
• Shady dad (Laban) switched Leah as bride
• Jacob worked 7 more years for Rachel, loved her more
-coat of many colors: symbolized him as family leader
-sold into Egypt: sold as slave by jealous brother Judas
-Potiphar’s wife: Polpitar buys Joseph as slave and makes him head of house; wife is mad
at seduction fail and accuses him of rape
-Pharoah’s dream: Joseph is better at interpreting dreams than Pharoaoh’s magicians;
foretold that seven years of abundance would be followed by seven years of famine
Moses-authorship of Bible
-bulrushes: Moses is set adrift on a river in a basket made of these, escapes from death
like this
-burning bush: form of God, in this form he tells Moses to lead Hebrews into Canaan
-Aaron’s rod
-bricks without straw
-crossing the Red Sea
-Ten Commandments
Samson- strong because he never cut his hair
• Mistress Delilah was from enemy tribe
• She cut off his hair while he slept
• Philistines captured/blinded him
• Later found enough strength to pull down pillars of temple that everyone was in, even
though it mean he’d die too
Ruth and Naomi- mother/daughter in law
• After Ruth’s husband dies she is loyal to Naomi
• Ruth marries Boaz, relative of Naomi
Saul- first king of Israelian monarchy
-Goliath, monster who gets killed
-Jonathon- Saul’s son; adores David
-Bathsheba- married woman with which David sleeps with, then murders her husband
and marries her
-Absalom: his son, rebels against him, and is killed
Solomon- king of Hebrews, very wise very wise
• 2 women claimed same baby was theirs, he orded it cut in half, the woman that
screamed was the mom
Ahab and Jezebel- king and queen
• Jezebel subjects people to tyranny
• She keeps ruling through her sons after Ahab’s death
• Eventually Jezebel is tossed out the window and eaten by dogs
Job- lots of patience
• a prophet who defied God's command to deliver a warning to the city of Nineveh,
instead fleeing on a ship to Tarshish.
• Means a person or thing who brings bad luck.
-writing on the wall
-lion’s den
New Testament

John the Baptist- baptized Jesus

-Herod captured John for being a follower of Jesus
-Salome- danced for Herod and was rewarded with the head of John on a silver platter
-Mary and Joseph
-wise men
Marriage in Cana
-Sermon on the Mount
Walking on water
Prodigal Son
Feeding of the 5.000
Whited sepulcher- evil person who pretends to be good
Parable of the talents
Good Samaritan: parable to "Love thy neighbor as yourself".
-kiss: kiss of death, an act of betrayal (identified Jesus to soldiers by giving him a kiss)
-30 pieces of silver: blood money, paid for a bad deed
-hanged- killed self cause he felt bad
Last Supper- last meal Jesus shared with his Twelve Apostles and disciples before his
-bread and wine: represents rememberance of Jesus’s body and blood
• Jesus announced Judas would betray him during meal
• Intro to Eucharist
Garden of Gethsemane- where Jesus and his disciples prayed the night before his
• Told disciples to stay awake but they kept sleeping
• commonly visited which allowed Judas to find Jesus on the night of his arrest
Pontius Pilate: a judge at Jesus' trial, authorized his crucifixion.
• governor of Roman province, “skilled with the javelin”
-what is truth: Pilates replies after Jesus describes his mission, " [I] came into the
world ... to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth, listen to [my]
-washing his hands: corpse reemerges from the waters and wash its hands.
Barabbas- prisoner released instead of Jesus
• violent guy who killed a Roman soldier
Calvary- where he was crucified
-Christ’s Last Words: “It is finished. Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
Joseph of Arimathea
Mary Magdalene- symbol of absolute repentance by God, “favorite” disciple
• prostitute who came to hear Jesus preach
• "Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone,"
• Went to anoint Jesus’s body and found it gone
• Angel told of resurrection, Jesus appears to her
Road to Emmaus- first road Jesus seen walking on after resurrection
Doubting Thomas- disciple, didn’t believe resurrection
• Jesus appeared in front of him
• Thomas wept and believed forever
Peter- first pope of Christian church
• “In the name of Jesus get up and walk”
• Name means rock, figurative foundation
Pentecost- holiday celebrating Holy Spirit
Stephen- first Christian martyr
Saul / Paul- held the coats of those who stoned Stephen, Jesus appeared to him and he