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Castor & Pollux

Castor & Pollux

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Dioscuri, also called (in French) Castor and Polydeuces and (in Latin) Castor and Pollux, (Dioscuri from Greek Dioskouroi, “Sons of Zeus”), in Greek and Roman mythology, twin deities who succoured shipwrecked sailors and received sacrifices for favourable winds. They were the children of Leda and either Zeus, the king of the gods, or Tyndareus, Leda’s mortal husband and the king of Lacedaemon. According to the usual version, Castor was the son of Tyndareus and thus was mortal, while Pollux was the son of Zeus (who famously had approached Leda in the form of a swan).

Both brothers were fine horsemen, and Pollux was an unrivaled boxer. They took part in the hunting of the Calydonian boar (see Meleager) and in the voyage of the Argo (see Argonaut). When their sister Helen was abducted by Theseus, they invaded Attica and recovered her. They carried off the daughters of Leucippus, Phoebe and Hileira, and were confronted by Leucippus’s nephews, Idas and Lynceus. Castor was murdered by Idas, but Pollux killed Lynceus in retribution Zeus killed Idas with a thunderbolt. Zeus then gave Pollux the choice between spending all his time on Olympus or giving half of his immortality to his mortal brother, so that they could alternate realms together. Pollux elected to share his immortality. In one version of the story, they became the constellation Gemini (though several different pairs are associated with the constellation).

The introduction of their cult at Rome goes back traditionally to 484 bc . The building of their temple in the Forum followed a vow of Aulus Postumius at the battle of Lake Regillus, where, according to legend, the Dioscuri fought on the side of the Romans and carried the news of victory to Rome. As horsemen, they were especially attractive to the Roman equites, the equestrian order or knights, and to the cavalry. In art the twins are represented as two youths, usually horsemen, holding spears and wearing helmets their image appeared on early Roman coins.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen, Corrections Manager.


The last king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, and his allies, the Latins, waged war on the infant Roman Republic. Before the battle, the Roman dictator Aulus Postumius Albus Regillensis vowed to build a temple to the Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux) if the Republic were victorious.

According to legend, Castor and Pollux appeared on the battlefield as two able horsemen in aid of the Republic and after the battle had been won they again appeared on the Forum in Rome watering their horses at the Spring of Juturna thereby announcing the victory. The temple stands on the supposed spot of their appearance.

One of Postumius’ sons was elected duumvir in order to dedicate the temple on 15 July (the ides of July) 484 BC. [3]

During the Republican period, the temple served as a meeting place for the Roman Senate, and from the middle of the 2nd century BC the front of the podium served as a speaker's platform. During the imperial period, the temple housed the office for weights and measures, and was a depository for the State treasury. Chambers located between the foundation piers of the temple were used to conduct this business. Based on finds from the drains, one of the chambers was likely used by a dentist. [4]

The archaic temple was completely reconstructed and enlarged in 117 BC by Lucius Caecilius Metellus Dalmaticus after his victory over the Dalmatians. Gaius Verres again restored this second temple in 73 BC.

Commemorating the initial victory at Lake Regillus, a large cavalry parade was held each year on July 15th and featured as many as 5,000 young men carrying shields and spears. Two young men, riding white horses, led the parade and represented Castor and Pollux. [5]

In 14 BC a fire that ravaged major parts of the forum destroyed the temple, and Tiberius, the son of Livia by a previous marriage and adopted son of Augustus and the eventual heir to the throne, rebuilt it. Tiberius' temple was dedicated in 6 AD. The remains visible today are from the temple of Tiberius, except the podium, which is from the time of Metellus.

In conjunction with this imperial rebuilding, the cult itself became associated with the imperial family. Initially, the twins were identified with Augustus's intended heirs, Gaius and Lucius Caesar. After their premature deaths, however, the association with Castor and Pollux passed to Tiberius and his brother Drusus. [5]

According to Edward Gibbon, the temple of Castor served as a secret meeting place for the Roman Senate. Frequent meetings of the Senate are also reported by Cicero. [6] Gibbon said the senate was roused to rebellion against Emperor Maximinus Thrax and in favor of future emperor Gordian I at the Temple of Castor in 237 AD.

If still in use by the 4th-century, the temple would have been closed during the persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire. The temple was possibly already falling apart in the fourth century, when a wall in front of the Lacus Juturnae was erected from reused material. Nothing is known of its subsequent history, except that in the 15th century, only three columns of its original structure were still standing. The street running by the building was called via Trium Columnarum.

In 1760, the Conservatori, finding the columns in a state of imminent collapse, erected scaffolding for effecting repairs. Both Piranesi and the young English architect George Dance the Younger were able to climb up and make accurate measurements Dance had "a Model cast from the finest Example of the Corinthian order perhaps in the whole World", as he reported to his father. [7]

Today the podium survives without the facing, as do the three columns and a piece of the entablature, one of the most famous features in the Forum.

The octastyle temple was peripteral, with eight Corinthian columns at the short sides and eleven on the long sides. There was a single cella paved with mosaics. The podium measures 32 m × 49.5 m (105 ft × 162 ft) and 7 m (23 ft) in height. The building was constructed in opus caementicium and originally covered with slabs of tuff which were later removed. According to ancient sources, the temple had a single central stairway to access the podium, but excavations have identified two side stairs.

The temple complex was excavated and studied between 1983 and 1989 by a joint archaeological mission of the Nordic academies in Rome, led by Inge Nielsen and B. Poulsen. [8]

The Roman temple is one of a number of known Dioscuri sites remaining from antiquity. Among others,

  • the Baroque basilica church of San Paolo Maggiore in Naples is built on the site of a Temple of Castor and Pollux. Its porch and pediment survived until the 1688 Sannio earthquake only two Corinthian columns remain, incorporated into the facade of the church.
  • The vanished Anakeion near the Acropolis in Athens was a Dioscuri temple. Writing in about 150 AD, Pausanias described it as ancient. [9]
  • Pausanias identified another temple in Argos depicting Castor and Pollux, their sons Anaxias and Mnasinus, and their wives Hilaeira and Phoebe.
  • The extensive ruins of the Valle dei Templi in Agrigento, Sicily, include the site of another Temple of the Dioscuri.

In his 1888 description of the Dioscuri temple in ancient Greek colonial city of Naucratis in Egypt, Ernest Arthur Gardner remarked that such temples were common enough to have a characteristic orientation. Temples to the gods tended to face east. Temples to heroes and demi-gods such as Castor and Pollux faced west. [10]

Another view of the three columns of the Temple of Castor and Pollux

The Temple of Castor and Pollux (right) with the Temple of Vesta to the left

Legends and Stories

The twins were excellent huntsmen and formed part of the party that killed the vicious monster, the Calydonian boar. The animal had been sent as punishment by the goddess Artemis, because the king had not honored her. The boar was, however, struck first by an arrow from a powerful woman, Atalanta, which caused a ruckus amongst the men. Many of the hunting party turned on each other over the spoils, ironically extending the goddess’ punishment of the people. The twins also took part in the Argonaut expedition. Pollux had to make use of his superior boxing skills in the adventure with Jason, to beat King Amycus of Bebryces, their prize boxer.

The Leucippides

The twins wanted to marry two women, Hilaeira and Phoebe, but both of the ladies were promised in marriage to the twin’s cousins already. Castor and Pollux nonetheless kidnapped the two women and took them to Sparta, where each bore their husband a son. This caused great strife in the family and resulted in the start of a feud. Their two cousins, Idas and Lynceus, later went to Sparta to visit their uncle. Helen was left to manage the household, as their uncle was away. The twins saw the chance to take revenge on their cousins, who had stolen their cattle, and left to go and steal Idas and Lynceus’ herd. The cousins left shortly after them, leaving Paris, prince of Troy, alone with Helen. Paris took advantage of everybody’s absence and kidnapped the exquisite Helen, thereby starting the Trojan War.

The cousins came across Castor and Pollux, attempting to free their cattle and a battle ensued. Idas killed Castor with his spear and Lynceus was killed by Pollux. Idas was stopped at the last second from killing Pollux by Zeus. Zeus sent a deadly thunderbolt which killed Idas and saved his son. Zeus gave Pollux the choice to save his brother, by giving away half of his most prized possession, his immortality, and Pollux accepted. He then spent half his time in Hades and half on Mount Olympus, as his twin did conversely.

Helen’s Abduction

Theseus, the king of Athens, was in search of a suitable wife. He tried unsuccessfully to pursue an amazon queen, Antiope, and granddaughters of Zeus, Phaedra, and Ariadne.
He didn’t give up on his quest though and next sought out an even more valued prize Helen of Troy. He abducted her and took her to Attica. Castor and Pollux went to rescue their sister, invaded the king’s land and managed to retrieve her. The twins took Theseus’ mother as revenge and even put the king’s rival on the throne. Aethra, Theseus’ mother, became Helen’s servant, as further punishment for their sister’s kidnapping.


Charles Dill proposes that Rameau had composed the 1737 opera just after working with Voltaire on the opera "Samson" that was never completed, after which he composed "Castor et Pollux" implementing Voltaire's aesthetics. For example, Voltaire sought the presentation of static tableaus that expressed emotion, as in the first act of the 1737 version which begins at the scene of Castor's tomb with a Chorus of Spartans singing "Que tout gemisse", followed by a recitative between Telaire and Phoebe in which the former is grieving the loss of her lover Castor, and culminating in Telaire's lament aria "Tristes apprets". Dill notes that in contrast, the 1754 version begins with much more background behind the story of Telaire's love for Castor and depicts his death at the end. The events in Act I of the 1737 version appear in Act II of the 1754 version. Dill claims that Voltaire was more interested in music than action in opera. Moreover, Dill notes a difference in the plots between in the two versions. In the 1737 version, the main concern is for the moral dilemma between love and duty that Pollux faces: should he pursue his love of Telaira or rescue his brother? Of course, he chooses the latter. In the 1754 version, Dill remarks that that plot is more concerned with the tests that Pollux must face: he must kill Lynceus, persuade Jupiter not to oppose his journey into the Underworld, and persuade Castor not to accept the gift of immortality.

While some scholars (such as Cuthbert Girdlestone, Paul-Marie Masson, and Graham Sadler) have assumed that the 1754 version was superior, Dill argues that Rameau made the changes of 1754 at a different point in his career. In 1737, he was testing the limits of tragedie lyrique where in 1754, he had done more work with ballet-oriented genres in which he included striking musical compositions that delighted audiences. Thus, Dill proposes that there may have been some commercial concerns behind the change in aesthetic in 1754, as the revised version conformed more to the traditional Lullian aesthetic. He comments that while many see the revision as more innovative, in actuality the 1737 version was the more daring. [2]

Castor et Pollux appeared in 1737 while the controversy ignited by Rameau's first opera Hippolyte et Aricie was still raging. Conservative critics held the works of the "father of French opera", Jean-Baptiste Lully, to be unsurpassable. They saw Rameau's radical musical innovations as an attack on all they held dear and a war of words broke out between these Lullistes and the supporters of the new composer, the so-called Rameauneurs (or Ramistes). This controversy ensured that the premiere of Castor would be a noteworthy event.

Rameau had not altered the dramatic structure of Lully's tragédie lyrique genre: he retained the same five-act format with the same types of musical numbers (overture, recitative, air, chorus, and dance suites). He had simply expanded the musical resources available to French opera composers. [3] While some welcomed Rameau's new idiom, more conservative listeners found it unappealing. On the one hand, Rameau's supporter Diderot (who later turned his loyalty elsewhere) remarked: "Old Lulli is simple, natural, even, too even sometimes, and this is a defect. Young Rameau is singular, brilliant, complex, learned, too learned sometimes but this is perhaps a defect on the listeners." [4] On the other hand, the complaint of the Lullistes was that Rameau's musical idiom was far more expressive that Lully's and went so far as to call it distastefully "Italianate" (by French standard). [5] For example, where Lully has contained musical expression, Rameau's recitative style included much wider melodic leaps in contrast to Lully's more declamatory style. This can be heard clearly, for example, in the opening recitative between Phoebe and Cleone (Phoebe's servant) in Act I, scene 1 of the 1754 revised version. Additionally, he added a richer harmonic vocabulary that included ninth chords. [6] Rameau's more demanding vocal style led to the remark (thought to be made by Rameau himself) that while Lully's operas required actors, his required singers. [7] Over time, these changes became more and more acceptable to the French audience.

As it turned out, the opera was a success. [8] It received twenty performances in late 1737 but did not reappear until the substantially revised version took to the stage in 1754. This time there were thirty performances and ten in 1755. Graham Sadler writes that "It was . Castor et Pollux that was regarded as Rameau's crowning achievement, at least from the time of its first revival (1754) onwards." [9]

Revivals followed in 1764, 1765, 1772, 1773, 1778, 1779 and 1780. The taste for Rameau's operas did not long outlive the French Revolution but extracts from Castor et Pollux were still being performed in Paris as late as 1792. During the nineteenth century, the work did not appear on the French stage, though its fame survived the general obscurity into which Rameau's works had sunk Hector Berlioz admiringly mentioned the aria Tristes apprêts. [10]

The first modern revival took place at the Schola Cantorum in Paris in 1903. [11] Among the audience was Claude Debussy. The first UK performance, organised by Ronald Crichton, was given by the Oxford University Opera Club in the early 1930s at Magdalen College in November 1934. [12]

Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 24 October 1737
(Conductor: - )
Castor haute-contre Monsieur Tribou
Pollux bass Claude Chassé
Télaïre soprano Mlle Pélissier
Phébé soprano Marie Antier
Jupiter bass Monsieur Dun
Vénus soprano Mlle Rabon
Mars bass Monsieur Le Page
Minerve soprano Mlle Eremans

The synopsis is based on 1737 version

Prologue Edit

The allegorical prologue is unrelated to the main story. It celebrates the end of the War of the Polish Succession, in which France had been involved. In the prologue, Venus, goddess of love, subdues Mars, god of war, with the help of Minerva. In the 1754 revision, the prologue was eliminated.

Act 1 Edit

Background note: Castor and Pollux are famous heroes. Despite being twin brothers, one of them (Pollux) is immortal and the other (Castor) is mortal. They are both in love with the princess Telaira (Télaïre), but she loves only Castor. The twins have fought a war against an enemy king, Lynceus (Lyncée) which has resulted in disaster: Castor has been slain. The opera opens with his funeral rites. Telaira expresses her grief to her friend Phoebe (Phébé) in Tristes apprêts, one of Rameau's most famous arias. Pollux and his band of Spartan warriors interrupt the mourning bringing the dead body of Lynceus who has been killed in revenge. Pollux confesses his love for Telaira. She avoids giving a reply, instead asking him to go and plead with his father Jupiter, king of the gods, to restore Castor to life.

Act 2 Edit

Pollux expresses his conflicting emotions in the aria Nature, amour, qui partagez mon coeur. If he does what Telaira says and manages to persuade Jupiter to restore his brother to life, he knows he will lose the chance to marry her. But he finally yields to her pleas. Jupiter descends from above and Pollux begs him to bring Castor back to life. Jupiter replies he is powerless to alter the laws of fate. The only way to save Castor is for Pollux to take his place among the dead. Pollux, despairing that he will never win Telaira, decides to go to the Underworld. Jupiter tries to dissuade him with a ballet of the Celestial Pleasures led by Hebe, goddess of youth, but Pollux is resolute.

Act 3 Edit

The stage shows the entrance to the Underworld, guarded by monsters and demons. Phoebe gathers the Spartans to prevent Pollux from entering the gate of the Underworld. Pollux refuses to be dissuaded, even though Phoebe declares her love for him. When Telaira arrives and she sees Pollux's true love for her, Phoebe realises her love will be unrequited. She urges the demons of the Underworld to stop him entering (Sortez, sortez d'esclavage/Combattez, Démons furieux). Pollux fights the demons with the help of the god Mercury and descends into Hades.

Act 4 Edit

The scene shows the Elysian fields in the Underworld. Castor sings the aria Séjours de l'éternelle paix: the beautiful surroundings cannot comfort him for the loss of Telaira, neither can a Chorus of Happy Spirits. He is amazed to see his brother Pollux, who tells him of his sacrifice. Castor says he will only take the opportunity to revisit the land of the living for one day so he can see Telaira for the last time.

Act 5 Edit

Castor returns to Sparta. When Phoebe sees him, she thinks Pollux is dead for good and commits suicide so she can join him in the Underworld. But Castor tells Telaira he only plans to remain alive with her for a single day. Telaira bitterly accuses him of never having loved her. Jupiter descends in a storm as a deus ex machina to resolve the dilemma. He declares that Castor and Pollux can both share immortality. The opera ends with the fête de l'univers ("Festival of the Universe") in which the stars, planets and sun celebrate the god's decision and the twin brothers are received into the Zodiac as the constellation of Gemini.

Act 1 Edit

In the 1737 version, the first act opens with a tomb scene in which a chorus of Spartans mourns the death of their fallen king Castor who has been slain by Lynceus. The music in F minor features a descending tetrachord motive associated with lamentation since Claudio Monteverdi's Nymph's Lament (in this case it is chromatic: F-E-Eb-D-Db-C). Although Telaira's Tristes apprêts in scene 3 does not have the descending tetrachord feature, Cuthbert Girdlestone still calls it a lament. [13] The air is in da capo form, whose B-section has a recitative-like quality. It features a bassoon obbligato part and a high register outburst on the word "Non!" that marks its high point. The march music for the entrance of Pollux and the Spartans is martial in character. With Lynceus's corpse at his feet, Pollux proclaims his brother avenged the Spartans chorus then sings and dances in rejoice "Let Hell applaud this new turn! Let a mournful shade rejoice in it! The cry of revenge is the song of Hell.". The second air of the Spartans in C Major, as that allows for a trumpet obbligato part with all of its military associations. (Before valved instruments, the trumpet keys were C and D major.) The act concludes with a lengthy recitative in which Pollux professes his love for Telaira.

The prologue was completely cut it was no longer politically relevant and the fashion for operas having prologues had died out. The opera no longer begins with Castor's funeral a wholly new Act One was created explaining the background to the story: Telaira is in love with Castor but she is betrothed to Pollux, who is prepared to give her up to his brother when he finds out. Unfortunately the wedding celebrations are violently interrupted by Lynceus and a battle breaks out in which Castor is killed. Acts Three and Four were merged and the work as a whole shortened by cutting a great deal of recitative. [14]

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on August 12, 2012:

Terrye - haha, I will! I&aposve gotten so much fun feedback from these, I&aposm already working on the next one! D Cheers!

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on August 12, 2012:

CC, great job and hope you will be continuing on with a whole series on the constellations. :)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 25, 2012:

Doc Sonic - a fellow Gemini! That&aposs awesome! Thanks for stopping by and for your feedback. They mythology is interesting, no? Thanks again. Cheers!

Glen Nunes from Cape Cod, Massachusetts on July 24, 2012:

Very informative. I&aposm a Gemini, and I knew a little bit about the constellation, but not so much about the mythology. You did a nice job covering both.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 22, 2012:

Docmo - haha, double delights for sure! :D I&aposve got another one I&aposm just about to finish. Thank you so much for stopping by. I definitely enjoyed writing this. Cheers!

Mohan Kumar from UK on July 22, 2012:

Truly resourceful, filled with fascinating facts and immensely readable, Cyndi. I love astronomy and equally love Greek Mythology so this hub is a &apostwin&apos delight!Voted up , of course!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 21, 2012:

Teaches - aw, thank you. Yes, the Greek mythology is fascinating. I think I want to research the others to share. Thanks so much for stopping by at another of my hubs - you are a gem, my friend. :) Hubhugs!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 21, 2012:

Dan - hmm, yes, Pollux and Castor can sometimes play coy and "blend in" - but look in the western sky this time of year in the evening and if you can find Orion&aposs belt, look "up" from that for two bright stars. Thank for stopping by. It&aposs always great to see you. Cheers!

Dianna Mendez on July 20, 2012:

This is an amazing hub on arts and science. I used to love reading about the Gemini in Greek mythology. Thanks for the interesting lesson on these constellations. Voted up!

Dan Human from Niagara Falls, NY on July 20, 2012:

Gemini is one of those constellations I always have problems finding. I don&apost know why, but for some reason it just doesn&apost stick out to me like some of the others.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 20, 2012:

Patty - that sounds awesome! My parents fostered my love of studying the constellations by getting me a telescope. I love looking for the various constellations. :) It&aposs definitely so interesting. Thank you so much for stopping by! Cheers!

Patty Kenyon from Ledyard, Connecticut on July 19, 2012:

Very Interesting Information. When I was younger, my dad and I would study constellations together. He had nearly every Carl Sagan (hoping I didn&apost kill the name) book and when the stars were out, we would spend a great deal of time searching for each constellation!! I now try to do that with my own children. Outer space is fascinating !! Thanks for sharing!!

Mary Craig from New York on July 19, 2012:

Great information so nicely done. I&aposve never been into constellations but have a son-in-law who is always pointing out Orion&aposs belt!

I enjoyed reading this one.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 19, 2012:

Hehe, KrisL - too funny! Thank you so much and that reminds me. I should go hop more often. ) Cheers!

KrisL from S. Florida on July 19, 2012:

Lit Girl: I found it hopping, thought . . . "I have to follow this person," and then saw that you wrote it. What fun!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 19, 2012:

KrisL - thank you so much. :) Yeah, I definitely was trying to make it reader-friendly without getting too much into the scientific query. Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your feedack. Cheers!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 19, 2012:

K9 - aw, thanks for comin&apos by! I sometimes wonder if I have a split personality. Hehe. Just kidding. Thanks for your feedback. Have a wonderful day! Hubhugs. :)

KrisL from S. Florida on July 19, 2012:

A big cut above the average hub . . . really does tell the average reader everything you&aposd want to know, without getting too technical, and gives resources for learning more.

India Arnold from Northern, California on July 19, 2012:

I really enjoyed learning the variations in ancient stories of Pollux and Castor, (Gemini). My sister is a Gemini, thus, the thoughts about people born under this sign having two built-in personalities. I believe it to be true! )

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 19, 2012:

alocsin - hehe, yes, I like to keep my readers on their toes. Hehe. Cheers!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 19, 2012:

Vellur - yes, I&aposm now curious about the other constellations for sure! Thanks so much for stopping by. I&aposm so glad you enjoyed the read. :)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 19, 2012:

CloudExplorer - the ancients definitely liked studying the sky. Thank you for stopping by! I appreciate your comments and votes and feedback. :) Thanks again!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 19, 2012:

Teresa - hehe, now I need to go read your hub about dogs. :D Thank you for your comments. There are lots of Gemini&aposs walking around. Hehe. Hubhugs!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 19, 2012:

Ruchira - aw, thanks for stopping by! You&aposre sweet. Your dad was a fellow Gemini? Awesome! :)

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on July 19, 2012:

Certainly an unexpected hub from you but I love the mix of science and art. Voting this Up and Useful.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on July 18, 2012:

Interesting and useful. Enjoyed the read. Each consellation has an interesting history associated. LOved this hub and voted up.

Mike Pugh from New York City on July 18, 2012:

Awesome hub on the constellations, and their relation to our astrological signs.

astrology is something really quite unique, and I found it very interesting how the ancient people actually came up with it all, just by studying the sky at night.

Nice hub, well written, and very useful for those who need to know about astrology, voted up and out!

Teresa Coppens from Ontario, Canada on July 18, 2012:

Voted up Cyndi. I just had to read this before I turned in for the night. My youngest son is a Gemini born in mid June. Wonderful job and packed with interesting facts.

Ruchira from United States on July 18, 2012:

A resourceful hub, Cyndi. I am sure you would be proud of the traits and it&aposs constellation. My dad was a gemini.


The lefthand figure was originally headless but was restored in the 17th century, the heyday of interpretive restorations, by Ippolito Buzzi, when the sculpture was in the collection of Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi, [1] using a Hadrianic-era (ca. 130) bust of Antinous of the Apollo-Antinous type from another statue. [2] The identification of the figures inspired many choices of male pairs during the 17th and 18th centuries. During the 19th century, it became known as "Antinous and Hadrian's genius", to get over the problem of their both being youths, whereas ahistorically it was an important feature of Antinous' relationship with Hadrian that Antinous was a youthful eromenos and Hadrian an elder erastes. Alternatively "Antinous and a sacrificial daemon" was suggested, in reference to the myth that Antinous had killed himself as a sacrifice to lengthen Hadrian's life), or simply as Antinous and Hadrian pledging their fidelity to one another.

Other alternative identifications in the past have included: [3]

    and Thanatos, interpreting the sphere as a pomegranate, symbol of death and Alexis 's suggestion of Orestes and Pylades offering a sacrifice to the statue of goddess Artemis, which they wanted to seize, or in front of the tomb of murdered Agamemnon. Winckelmann was the first to publish the sculpture, in Monumenti Antichi Inediti 1767, pp xxi–xxii. [4]

All these identifications are now thought to be erroneous and simply due to the figure's restoration as Antinous: the group is now accepted as Castor and Pollux, offering a sacrifice to Persephone. Such an identification is based on the right-hand figure, who holds two torches, one downturned (on a flower-wreathed altar) and one upturned (behind his back), and on identifying the woman's sphere as an egg (like that from which the Dioscuri were born). The interpretation was supported by Goethe, who owned a cast of the group. [5]

Some scholars assert that the statute group was originally created by the ancient sculptor Pasiteles. [6]

The work is an outstanding example of neo-Attic eclecticism frequent at the end of the Roman Republic and during the first decades of the Empire, around the Augustan period, combining two different aesthetic streams: whilst the right-hand youth is Polyclitean, the left-hand one is in a softer, more sensual and Praxitelean style. [7] The Praxitelising character has led to the sculptor of the original of which it is a copy being attributed to one of Praxiteles's pupils. [ citation needed ]

Its findsite is unknown, but by 1623 it was in the Ludovisi collection at the Villa Ludovisi in Rome, where the Ludovisi restorer, the sculptor Ippolito Buzzi (1562–1634), restored it that year. [8] Nicolas Poussin (illustration, left) saw it in the Ludovisi collection or in that of Cardinal Camillo Massimo, who owned it later. [9] Poussin's sketch was not intended as a faithful representation of the sculpture, but to be stored and referred to, as part of his visual repertory of antiquities, which was extensive and which made its presence felt in most of his paintings. In his sketch of the San Ildefonso group Poussin has made minor adjustments to the poses, but his major change is in transforming the lithe adolescents into more muscular athletes or heroes. [10]

Its reputation soon spread and shortly after 1664 it was acquired by Queen Christina of Sweden to join the large art collection that she gathered during her stay in Rome. The ancient sculptures in that collection were transferred to the Odescalchi who, in 1724, offered this group to Philip V of Spain. Philip's second wife Isabella Farnese (from the Farnese of Parma, which had a history of sculpture collecting) acquired it at above-market price for him and had it sent to the Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso (Segovia). From there it came into the Prado (catalogue number Catalogue Nr. E.28). [11]

The erroneous identification with Antinous generated high interest in the sculpture, with large numbers of copies being produced, largely made in Italy and Northern Europe and based on plaster casts rather than made in Spain and based on the original there. These inevitably stoked the interest by obscuring the fact that the Antinous head was in fact a restoration, instead smoothing the two into a meaningful whole (as did the casts on which they were based).

#3 Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Chicken Recipe Review

Chicken appears to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.

This food is similar to the last one we reviewed, but there are a couple of differences between the two. Compared to the Chicken & Chicken Liver recipe, this formula has slightly less liver and contains carrots in addition to the other plant ingredients.

The inclusion of carrots increases the food’s overall carbohydrate content. Based on the guaranteed analysis, it appears that the food is about 11% carbohydrates on a dry matter basis.

Overall, this food is high in protein with moderate fat and low carbohydrate content.

Despite the inclusion of peas, coconut flour, pea protein, cranberries, carrots, flaxseed, and dried alfalfa meal, this is ultimately a meat-based food and appears to be a carnivore-worthy choice.

The food has 194 calories per 5.5 ounce can or roughly 35 calories per ounce.


Organic Chicken, Water Sufficient for Processing, Organic Chicken Liver, Organic Dried Peas, Organic Coconut Flour, Organic Dried Egg Product, Organic Pea Protein, Organic Flaxseed, Organic Carrots, Organic Cranberries, Organic Dried Alfalfa Meal, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Phosphate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Vitamins (Niacin, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid).

Guaranteed Analysis

Dry Matter Basis

Caloric Weight Basis

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Chicken Fat, Chicken Liver, Salmon Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Pea Protein, Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas, Tapioca, Sunflower Seed Meal, Flaxseed, Dried Alfalfa Meal

Common Allergens: Eggs

  • Made from high-quality meats
  • Features a combination of chicken muscle meat and liver
  • Made without any thickening gums
  • Free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives

Origin / Mythology

Because Castor appears to be just one star when viewed without instruments, that’s how ancient stargazers knew it. It also appears fairly close in the sky to another star: Pollux. You can’t blame the ancients for thinking of Castor and Pollux as something of “twin” stars. The two objects are close together in the sky and roughly the same brightness, without any other bright stars in the vicinity competing for attention.

But the two are actually quite different. Pollux is a single orangish-red giant star about 34 light-years away. And despite their apparent visual proximity from our perspective, the two “twins” are in reality nowhere near each other in space.

No matter. For the sake of casual observing, Castor and Pollux make a fine set of twins and the concept has been around for literally ages. Multiple ancient cultures shared the idea that the two stars were twins or close companions. We get our modern names Pollux and Castor from the ancient Greeks, who weaved a series of tales about the best-friend brothers, and the two stars feature as twins for Babylonia as well. In China, they represent the opposing natural forces of yin and yang, while cultures in India and North America thought of the two stars as a married couple.

Castor and Pollux fly hand-in-hand above a cloud-filled sky.
Daniel Johnson

Thanks to its position on the ecliptic, Castor’s home, the constellation Gemini, is pretty well known as a zodiac constellation. In fact, Project Gemini was the name of a NASA program in the mid-1960s that launched a series of small two-seated spacecraft. You’ll find many non-astronomers who are familiar with the name, but who may not necessarily know where it is in the sky!


Castor was from the Capitol and worked as a cameraman who filmed Katniss in District 13's propos for the rebels. He worked alongside his brother, Pollux, and is directed by Cressida and her assistant Messalla. Together, the four of them form the TV crew.

After Pollux was made an Avox and had to work in the utility pipes and passages under the Capitol for five years, Castor was able to buy Pollux's way above ground.

When Katniss's sharpshooter squad, Squad 451, is selected for a mission to go to the Capitol, the TV crew comes along as well to continue to film propos for the war. During their mission when they are underground, their team is attacked by white lizard muttations. However a large group of mutts got him while he was running leading to Castor's death.

Castor filming katniss when she sang "The Hanging Tree"

Watch the video: Castor u0026 Pollux 1252020 Liveset @ Pirate Studios NYC (August 2022).