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Silenus   Listen
Silenus

noun
1.
Any of the minor woodland deities who were companions of Dionysus (similar to the satyrs).
2.
The chief satyr in the service of Bacchus; father of Dionysus; usually depicted as drunk and jolly and riding a donkey.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Silenus" Quotes from Famous Books



... discovery, go on in his thieveries, and nimble-fingered juggles; the sooty Vulcan may now renew his wonted custom of making the other gods laugh by his hopping so limpingly, and coming off with so many dry jokes, and biting repartees. Silenus, the old doting lover, to shew his activity, may now dance a frisking jig, and the nymphs be at the same sport naked. The goatish satyrs may make up a merry ball, and Pan, the blind harper may put up his bagpipes, and sing ...
— In Praise of Folly - Illustrated with Many Curious Cuts • Desiderius Erasmus

... that low, swarthy, short-nosed, round-eyed satyr, With the wide nostrils and Silenus' aspect, The splay feet and low stature![214] I had better 220 Remain that ...
— The Works of Lord Byron - Poetry, Volume V. • Lord Byron

... bosom are one or two violets and a paper with Titianus written on it. The bit of music on the grass has Greek letters. Dancing figures are in the middle of the picture. The fauns stagger under the dark trees, carrying great sumptuous vases of agate and gold. Silenus is asleep on a sunny hill at a distance, and the white sails of the ship with Theseus gleam on the deep-blue sea. There is another called an Offering to Fecundity. It is a crowd of most lovely baby boys, wonderfully painted, frolicking on the green among flowers and fruits. A ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 25, November, 1859 • Various

... stone such as a little man can sit on, on which they say Silenus rested, when Dionysus came to the land. Silenus is the name they give to all old Satyrs. About the Satyrs I have conversed with many, wishing to know all about them. And Euphemus, a Carian, told me that sailing once on a time to Italy he was driven out of his course by the winds, and carried to ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Vol VIII - Italy and Greece, Part Two • Various

... renowned architects, great historians, immortal poets, and wonderful deities; Spartan mothers, Thermopylae defenders, and Persian invaders; beautiful Helen, muscular Hercules, crusty Diogenes, deformed AEsop, silver-tongued Demosthenes, fleet-footed Mercury, drunken Silenus, stately Juno, and lovely Venus,—a confused procession of mortals and immortals rushed across ...
— A Trip to the Orient - The Story of a Mediterranean Cruise • Robert Urie Jacob

... inexorable Nemesis, into the Tartarean abyss. The rest of the Caesars successively advanced to their seats; and as they passed, the vices, the defects, the blemishes of their respective characters, were maliciously noticed by old Silenus, a laughing moralist, who disguised the wisdom of a philosopher under the mask of a Bacchanal. [3] As soon as the feast was ended, the voice of Mercury proclaimed the will of Jupiter, that a celestial crown should be ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 2 • Edward Gibbon

... big bass-drum a desperate accompaniment to three measures of a polka, always the same, which were murdered by a blind clarionet player; and the ringmaster, a sort of Hercules with the face of a galley-slave, a Silenus in scarlet drawers, roared out his furious appeal in a loud voice. Mixed with the crowd of loafers, soldiers, and women, I regarded the abject spectacle with disgust—the last vestige of the ...
— Ten Tales • Francois Coppee

... India:—Deity rever'd! Thou impious Pentheus sacrific'd; and thou, The mad Lycurgus punish'd with his axe: By thee the Tyrrhene traitors, in the main Were flung: Adorn'd with painted reins, thou curb'st The lynxes in thy chariot yok'd abreast: Thy steps the Satyrs and Bacchantes tread; And old Silenus; who with wine o'ercharg'd, With a long staff his tottering steps sustains: Or on a crooked ass, unsteady sits: Where'er thou enterest shout the joyous youth, Females and males immingled: loud the drums Struck by their hands resound;—and loudly clash The brazen cymbals: soft the boxen flutes Deep ...
— The Metamorphoses of Publius Ovidus Naso in English blank verse Vols. I & II • Ovid

... half-a-dozen male figures stand separate and naked as in a bas-relief. Some are leaning against a vine-wreathed tub; a satyr, with acanthus-leaves growing wondrously out of him, half man, half plant, is emptying a cup; a heavy Silenus is prone upon the ground; a faun, seated upon the vat, is supporting in his arms a beautiful sinking youth; another youth, grand, muscular and grave as a statue, stands on the further side. Is this really a bacchanal? Yes, for there is the paunchy Silenus, there are the fauns, there the vat and ...
— The Contemporary Review, Volume 36, September 1879 • Various

... light Whenever you find a vacancy there. This wine is surely no Christian wight, And yet you never complaint will hear That it's not baptised with water clear. Down my throat I pour The old Arbois; And now, my lords, let us our voices raise, And sing of Silenus and Bacchus ...
— Facts About Champagne and Other Sparkling Wines • Henry Vizetelly

... stands for a whole array of ugly vices—riot, intemperance, gluttony, and luxury. But what a delicate monster he is, and what a ravishing lyric strain he is master of! The pleasure that Milton forswore was a young god, the companion of Love and Youth, not an aged Silenus among the wine-skins. He viewed and described one whole realm of pagan loveliness, and then he turned his face the other way, and never looked back. Love is of the valley, and he lifted his eyes to the hills. His guiding star was not Christianity, which in its most characteristic ...
— Milton • Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh

... crown upon his locks, then stooped and uncovered the dice, saying, with a laugh, "See, my Drusus, by the ass of Silenus, ...
— Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ • Lew Wallace

... difficulties attending this line, especially in regard to the descent into Italy. 2. That Caelius Antipater certainly represented him as taking this route (Liv., xxi., 38); and as he is known to have followed the Greek history of Silenus, who is said to have accompanied Hannibal in many of his campaigns, his authority is of the greatest weight. 3. That Livy and Strabo, on the contrary, both suppose him to have crossed the Cottian Alps, or Mont ...
— A Smaller History of Rome • William Smith and Eugene Lawrence

... Rafn—has a detailed description of this quaint personage's appearance; and it would not be amiss if American wine-growers should employ an American sculptor—and there are great American sculptors—to render that description into marble, and set up little Tyrker in some public place, as the Silenus of the New World. ...
— Lectures Delivered in America in 1874 • Charles Kingsley

... their influence over the armies of France, between the ancient word "devoir," and modern word "gloire." And, again, ask yourselves what you expect your own children to be taught at your great schools and universities. Is it Christian history, or the histories of Pan and Silenus? Your present education, to all intents and purposes, denies Christ, and that is intensely ...
— Lectures on Architecture and Painting - Delivered at Edinburgh in November 1853 • John Ruskin

... Whiffle-Wit! They are now in state! They have really a capacious appearance! Were Rubens or Jordaens but here, we should have them painted in all the riches of oil colours, grinning in company with Silenus and his ass. Let the poor author beware; they are prodigious critics! Madam can write a farce, or even a solution to an enigma, with as little labour as any lady in the land; and her dear Mr. Whiffle-Wit can set them both ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... numskull was he. Thereupon, hearing this, Chiquon determined to do well by his uncle, and puzzled his understanding to appear better; but as he had a behind shaped like a pair of pumpkins, was broad shouldered, large limbed, and far from sharp, he more resembled old Silenus than a gentle Zephyr. In fact, the poor shepherd, a simple man, could not reform himself, so he remained big and fat, awaiting his inheritance ...
— Droll Stories, Complete - Collected From The Abbeys Of Touraine • Honore de Balzac

... Scapins, and the Cassandras, and the Doctors, and the favourite Mezzetin "the big brown man with the laughing face" always in the foreground with his cap on the back of his head—striped all over like a zebra, proud as a god, and drunk as a Silenus! It is the Comedie Italienne that plays the ...
— Great Pictures, As Seen and Described by Famous Writers • Esther Singleton

... titillated the jaded senses of the guests in a manner achieved by the infamous saxophone syncopating jazz of the Barbary Coast of our times. The dinner was over. The four and one half bottles of champagne allotted to each Silenus had been consumed, and a well-defined atmosphere of bored satiety had begun to settle down when suddenly the old-fashioned lullaby "Four and Twenty Blackbirds" broke forth from the banjoists and singers. Four waiters came in bearing a surprisingly ...
— The Satyricon, Complete • Petronius Arbiter

... that Sampson was wont to excite in the good people of Amherstburg. With Silvertail at his speed, he would gallop into the town, brandishing his cudgel, and reeling from side to side, exhibiting at one moment the joyous character of a Silenus, at another, as we have already shown—that of an inebriated Centaur. Occasionally he would make his appearance, holding his sides convulsed with laughter, as he reeled and tottered in every direction, ...
— The Canadian Brothers - or The Prophecy Fulfilled • John Richardson

... well as bad, has much that is necessary, and much that is absurd. Too good for banning, and too bad for blessing, it reminds us of a tradition of the pagan mythology, in any attempt to settle its character. 'I overheard Jove, one day,' said Silenus, 'talking of destroying the earth; he said it had failed; they were all rogues and vixens, who went from bad to worse, as fast as the days succeeded each other. Minerva said she hoped not; they were only ridiculous little creatures, with ...
— Essays, Second Series • Ralph Waldo Emerson

... Cyclops halted long In tattered cloak of army pattern, And Galatea joined the throng,— A blowsy, apple-vending slattern; While old Silenus staggered out From some new-fangled lunch-house handy, And bade the piper, with a shout, To strike up ...
— The Home Book of Verse, Vol. 4 (of 4) • Various

... a very late period, a large and somewhat repulsive-looking monkey, common to the Malabar coast, the Silenus veter, Linn., was, from the circumstance of his possessing a "great white beard," incorrectly assumed to be the "wanderoo" of Ceylon, described by KNOX; and under that usurped name it has figured in every author from Buffon to the present time. Specimens of the true Singhalese species ...
— Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and • James Emerson Tennent

... So I had wandered in thy platane walks One happy summer twilight—even one. Was it not grand, and beautiful, and rare, The music and the wisdom and the shade, The music of the pebble-paven rills, And olive boughs, and bowered nightingales, Chorusing joyously the joyous things Told by the gray Silenus of the grove, Low-fronted and large-hearted Socrates! Oh, to have seen under the olive blossoms But once—only once in a mortal life, The marble majesties of ancient gods! And to have watched the ring of listeners— The Grecian boys gone mad for love of truth, The Grecian girls ...
— Mosaics of Grecian History • Marcius Willson and Robert Pierpont Willson

... room testified. Between the book-cases, the wall-paper was dark crimson, and there were a few really good oil-paintings. The fireplace was of white marble, handsomely carved, with Bacchantes, and Silenus on his donkey—not very appropriate guardians of a sea-coal fire. On the mantel-piece was a massive bronze clock, with a figure of Prometheus chained to a rock on the top, and the vulture digging into his ribs. And Buller, as he noticed this, remembered, with the clearness afforded ...
— Dr. Jolliffe's Boys • Lewis Hough

... were either to have their throats cut, or be republicanized by means of singing, dancing, and revolutionary Pans and Silenus's, already beheld their property devastated by pillage or conflagration, and were in danger of a pestilence from the unburied bodies of their families.—Let the reader, who has seen Lequinio's pamphlet, compare his account of the sufferings of ...
— A Residence in France During the Years 1792, 1793, 1794 and 1795, • An English Lady

... Socrates, such as he is depicted in the Memorabilia of Xenophon, in the earliest Dialogues of Plato, and in the Apology. He is ironical, provoking, questioning, the old enemy of the Sophists, ready to put on the mask of Silenus as well as to argue seriously. But in the sixth book his enmity towards the Sophists abates; he acknowledges that they are the representatives rather than the corrupters of the world. He also becomes more dogmatic ...
— The Republic • Plato

... every evening alone with His Majesty, and poured out intoxication and forgetfulness with a liberal hand. Wieduwillst did not spare himself, but wine had little effect on his strong brain; he would have defied Bacchus and Silenus together with Charming. While the prince, by turn noisy and silent, plunged into the extremes of joy and sadness, always restless and never happy, Wieduwillst, calm and smiling, directed his thoughts, and through pure goodness of soul took ...
— Laboulaye's Fairy Book • Various



Words linked to "Silenus" :   satyr, forest god, Greek deity



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