Euhemĕrus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities

(Εὐήμερος). A native of Messena, as is generally supposed, though perhaps of Messana. Being sent on a voyage of discovery by Cassander, king of Macedon, about B.C. 316, he came, as he himself asserted, to an island called Panchaea, in the capital of which, Panara, he found a temple of the Triphylian Zeus, where stood a column inscribed with a register of the births and deaths of many of the gods. Among these he specified Uranus, his sons Pan and Cronos, and his daughters Rhea and Demeter; as also Zeus, Heré, and Poseidon, who were the offspring of Cronos. Accordingly, the design of Euhemerus was to show, by investigating their actions and recording the places of their births and burials, that the mythological deities were mere mortal men, raised to the rank of gods on account of the benefits which they had conferred upon mankind. Ennius translated this celebrated work of Euhemerus, which was entitled Ἱερὰ Ἀναγραφή. The translation, as well as the original work, excepting some fragments, is lost; but many particulars concerning Euhemerus and the object of his history are mentioned in a fragment of Diodorus Siculus, preserved by Eusebius. Some quotations have also been saved by St. Augustine, and others have been made by Lactantius in his treatise De Falsa Religione (i. 11). This work was undoubtedly a covert attack on the established religion of the Greeks.

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