Pheme, Ossa, Fama – Goddess of Communication

Compiled By Phoenix of Elder Mountain This wonderful statue of the Goddess Pheme by Eugène-Louis Lequesne shows her holding her horse Pegasus. Pegasus was stolen by Perseus once he killed Medusa who was the guardian of Pegasus. The Greek word Pheme is related to ϕάναι “to speak”, “fame” and “rumor”. The Latin word Fama, with the same range of meanings comes from the Latin fari “to speak” and through French, the etymon of the later English word for “fame”.

Pheme is the Goddess (daimon) of communication of oracular vision and on her destruction side, she destroys rumor and gossip. She is also, by extension, the dual Goddess of fame, called Fama and good repute in the positive sense, and infamy and scandal in its negative.

Homer called her Ossa (fame) and the Romans personified her as Fama. Each meaning has both a physical and symbolic reference to both fame which comes with rumors and gossip. As an astrological archetype it would fall under Leo and the 5th house. The asteroid number for Pheme is #408 (Fama) if you wished to look it up in your chart.

Fame holding Pegasus. 1875. model for sculpture. Musee D’Orsay. Paris. ~ Eugène-Louis Lequesne
Pegasus – anything with wings, falls under the Bird Tribe Women of Pre-patriarchal millenniums.

The Goddess Pheme (Fama) Φήμη
Means favor in notability and her wrath is the destroyer of scandalous rumors making her a Goddess of “communication, contact, dream communication, omens and oracles” of the feminine sides of communications. A female counterpart to Mercury and Hermes as messenger and the gifts of oracles, dreamers on the positive side, such as the Delphi Oracles. 
On the negative side she rules the simple hearing of voices or the souls who roam and influence others in their dreams.

Mercury / Hermes
Is the male side of the Gemini twins, as the “cognitive thinking and external communication” where Pheme would be the internal divine communications such as divination, mental impressions,  mental vision and telepathy. Pheme / Ossa / Fama represents the “intuitive” and impression aspects of communications which do not involve words or written languages or verbal speech. It comes the non speaking communication such as dreams, dream oracles, seership, intuitive insight as the female side of the Twins.

Many archaeologists say that the magnetic vapors produced a high ability for the priestesses at Delphi, to be able to be prophesiers – but if that was true, then seers, oracles and prophets today, don’t need the vapors. This makes the ability for the mental astral bodies communication to be accepted as real rather than just a gift or limited spiritual contexts.

The Goddess Pheme must have been very important to Ionians and Dorian women leaders before the Greek and Roman’s cultures evolved to a more powerful state, otherwise her temples would still be standing today. Written language, ruled by Mercury came after the time of dreaming languages and were replaced with the words of rumor or gossip.

This changed our understanding and perceptions of non verbal communications, of feelings, dreams and art communication. Mercury retrogrades are interruptive in technological societies, because the root of language is vulnerable. But internal image and astral communication of our mental astral body and soul astral body are accurate when something shifts into non-communication of the waking mind, and when vidual or dream communications are learned and understood as a language on its own.


Slavic Altar in the Garden

Pheme (fame), a daughter of Gaia’s light, is described as:
“She who initiates and furthers communication” and had an temple altar at Athens. We could say she is the Goddess of all the Oracle Priestesses and was said to have pried into the affairs of men and their gods, teaching them what they through the ages called god’s information

Hesiod (Greek epic 8th or 7th Century bce) :
“Do as I tell you and keep away from the gossip of people. For Pheme is an evil thing, by nature, she’s a light weight to lift up, oh very easy, but heavy to carry, and hard to put down again. Pheme never disappears entirely once many people have talked her big. In fact, she really is some sort of goddess.”

Sophocles, Oedipus the King 151 ff (Greek tragedy 5th Century bce) :
“Chorus: O sweetly-speaking message of Zeus, in what spirit have you come to glorious Thebes from golden Pytho? I am on the rack, terror shakes my soul, O Delphi healer [oracular Apollon] to whom wild cries rise, in holy fear of you, wondering what debt you will extract from me, perhaps unknown before, perhaps renewed with the revolving years. Tell me, immortal Phama, child of golden Elpis.”

Dionysus and Lycurgus Fragment (Greek epic 3rd Century ce) :

“Lykourgos was driven mad by the god Dionysus: Baneful Pheme (phêmê) of his madness should arrive at Thebes on wings and summon Ardys and Astakios, his two sons, and Kytis who married him and was subdued to his embrace. They, when led by (phêmê) many tongues they came, found Lykourgos just now released from suffering, worn out by madness.”

Dionysus Cults falsely : Nonnus, Dionysiaca 18. 1 ff :
“Meantime many tongued Pheme (rumors) was on the wing; and she flew along the whole line of Assyrian cities, proclaiming the name of Dionysos with his gift of the alcohol (win), the glorious fruit of grapes and his bold warfare with the indians (India). Dionysos returned to Thebes after his victorious campaign in India: Already Pheme (Rumor) was flying about the seven-gated city proclaiming the rites of Dionysos. Pheme (Rumor) was flitting up and down the cities, announcing of herself that Dionysos of the grapes had come to visit Athens.”

The Roman version of Pheme is Fama, is the Spirit of Rumor…
“Your fame to read the future has reached our ears; we have no need of prophets here.”  ~The Argive Elders to Cassandra. Aeschylus, Agamemnon 1099

So Fame, having the power of making the small great and the great greater, can neither be disregarded nor underrated. Consequently, what she says is listened to carefully and repeated as a prayer. For she appears to change the very nature of things, turning into a shining star what before was neglected and opaque.

And being regarded as opposed to oblivion, she is cherished by all those who value remembrance, and by those who think she carries under her wings the key to immortality, which separates gods and men. Such is the nature of this goddess; and her power among men and women is practically limitless, except in the realm of true intimacy and confidence.

Virgil, Aeneid 4. 174 ff (trans. Day-Lewis) (Roman epic 1st Century B.C.E.) :
At the world’s center lies a place between the lands and seas and regions of the sky, the limits of the threefold, whence all things everywhere, however far, are scanned and watched, and every voice and word reaches its listening ears. Here Fama dwells her chosen home set on the highest peak constructed with a thousand apertures and countless entrances and never a door.

It’s open night and day and built throughout of echoing bronze; it all reverberates, repeating voices, doubling what it hears. Inside, no peace, no silence anywhere, and yet no noise, but muted murmurings like waves one hears of some far-distant sea, or like a last late rumbling thunder-roll, when Juppiter [Zeus] has made the rain-clouds crash.

Crowds throng its halls, a lightweight populace that comes and goes, and rumors everywhere, thousands, false mixed with true, roam to and fro, and words flit by phrases all confused. Some pour their tattle into idle ears, some pass on what they’ve gathered, and as each gossip adds something new the story grows.

Here is Credulitas (Credulity), here reckless Error (Error), groundless Laetitia (Delight), Susurri (Whispers) of unknown source, sudden Seditio (Sedition), overwhelming Timores (Fears). All that goes on in heaven or sea or land Fama (Rumor) observes and scours the whole wide world. Now she had brought the news [to Troy] that ships from Greece were on their way with valiant warriors: not unforeseen the hostile force appears.”

Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 2. 115 ff (trans. Mozley) Roman epic 1st C, ce:
To punish the Lemnian women for scorning her rites, men wrote through and speaks then that Aphrodite has Fama spreading the rumor that their husbands are planning to abandon them inciting them to murder:

“In the darkness tracked wandering Fama (Rumor), her whom the almighty Father [Zeus] has shut out from the world of heaven, whose voice is ever sounding both good and evil and spreading panic; in wrath she dwells deep beneath the clouds, a Spirit neither of hell nor of heaven, and troubles the earth; for this is permitted her: at first when men hear her they scorn her, yet cherish her, until presently she assails all men, and cities are shaken with busy tongues. Such an instrument of sin and craft (of men who wrote) that the goddess [Aphrodite] is eagerly seeking for her purpose.”

Fama sees her first, and now unannounced flies up impatient; already she sets her countenance, already pricks up her ears. Venus [Aphrodite] inflames her yet more and inspires her with these words : ‘Up, thou! Get thee down to sea-girt Lemnos and stir up every home for me, even as when thou comest heralding war, bringing tales of a thousand trumpets and armed multitudes on the plain and the snorting of countless chargers.

Tell how the men are coming, enslaved by delicate living and shameful lust, and are bringing women from Thrace to share the bed of love. Be that the outline of thy tale; from that let resentment sting and madden every woman far and wide; presently I myself will come and lead them thus wrought upon.’

The other departed and went down rejoicing into the midst of the city; she first accost [the Lemnian woman] Eurynome at the house of Codrus near by, as she sat worn by anxious fears… To her the goddess comes weeping, in the well-known dress of Neaera and with smitten cheeks, and says: ‘Ah, sister, would that I were not the bearer of these tidings, or might the waters first cover the cause of our sorrows, since at this moment the husband thou hast served so well, he for whose return thou prayest and weepest (Oh, shame!), is crazed, the servant of a bond slave’s shameful love. Yes, so they will be here, and to thy bridal chamber there comes a Thracian woman… a foreign woman with stained hands a branded face [Thracian women were tattooed].

For all that, it may be thou wilt find some other bride-bed to comfort thee for this loss and wilt choose some happier home; but I, I am maddened to think of thy children, their mother lost, condemned to a rival wife; and I see her eyeing them askance, poor wretches! I see the deadly meats and drugged cup, thou knowest how like flame our nature is; yes, but more than this, a thirst for blood is inborn in the Dahae. Soon, hard-reared amid frosts on wild beasts’ milk, will she be here. Nay, rumour says that I too have been cast out by my husband, and some tattooed bride snatched from her wagon home shall lie in my bed.’

With these words she broke off her tale of sorrow, leaving the other to doubt and tremble. She passed on to Iphinoe, and spread the same fire in the homes of Amythaon and Olenius; next through the whole city she cries aloud, that the men are plotting to drive them one and all from Lemnos, that they and their Thracian women may rule the city. The tides of jealous rage and anger begin to rise. And all they met one another passed on and heard the same story, nor was any disbelieved.”

judgement-tarotTarot’s Trumpet card Judgement
Pheme (Fama) represents the Winged one in the Tarot’s Judgement card and shows the Call of the Trumpet of the divine. In religion’s symbolism, the archangel, Gabriel is the Oracle who hovered high above and rings out justice but that just replaced the female archangel, for all the paintings of Gabriel are feminine, through the millenniums.

The images of the people in the tarot card are appealing and ready to be judged by the powers of the divine. Gabriel’s colors are red and white which is the same as the first card of the Tarot:

The Magician and the colors of his clothing which represents the beginning of ones’ journey. Eventually all journeys lead to the ending, be it a large cycle or a small cycle, where the new cycle beginning can be elder or birth or even death.

The ruler Pluto in astrology is also the ruler of transformation, death and rebirth and the underworld which symbolizes the cycles of transformations of a humans life. Judgement card’s main symbolism is the Souls Judgement, one is being judged karmically and also an ‘Awakening’ where you have come to a realization for your life, whatever stage of life you are at.

Ones perception begins to open to bring health through personal need and desire to mature and grow and sometimes this is very painful. Something that was lying dormant within, something unconscious or emotional is finally being awakened and brought into the light (your awareness) so you can mature.

The Goddess Phema (fame) is about this great spiritual judgment, either by life thrusting it upon you and it’s realms of “inner” communication (gut feelings, anxiety, trust, fear, the stomach chakra area, or intuition and much more) coming forth. Mercury is only the outer communication with others or the world at large. In Astrology, the stage in which this plays out is the third house, so any planets there are effected by Pheme (fame) and its opposition, the ninth house of Sagittarius which is outer world.

In Roman mythology, Fama (“rumor”) was described as having multiple tongues, eyes, ears and feathers by Virgil (in Aeneid IV line 180 and following) and other authors. She is also described as living in a home with 1000 windows so she can see and hear all being said in the world. Virgil wrote that this Goddess “had her feet on the ground (grounded mysticism), and her head in the clouds, making her ordinary, yet very great and sometimes even greater (divinity itself).”

Medusa (pictured) has been unearthed among the ruins of a Roman city in southern Turkey.

Medusa, Pheme and Pegasus
Pêgasus is the famous winged horse, whose origin only began when Perseus cut off the head of the Great Medusa, protectress of the mysteries of the archaic dark goddess, with whom Poseidon had either raped or had sex with (in the animism form) of a horse and from there sprang forth from her Chrysaor and the horse Pegasus. The most ancient Pegasus was the thundering horse of Eos who place him among the stars as the heavenly horse. Pindar says he also conquered the Amazons and the Solymi, Ol. xiii. 125), and he endeavored to rise up to heaven with a winged horse, but fell down upon the earth being thrown off by Pegasus, who was rendered furious.

Whether Hesiod considered Pegasus as a winged horse, cannot be inferred with certainty from the word apoptamenose; but Pindar, Euripides, and the other later writers, expressly mentions wings. Later Pegasus was regarded as the horse of the Muses, and in this capacity he is more celebrated in modern times than he ever was in antiquity ; for with the ancients he had no connection with the Muses, except that by his hoof he called forth the inspiring well Hippocrene.

Pegasus and Medusa.png

Pheme (Fama) Φήμη (via

“Your fame to read the future had reached our ears; but we have no need of prophets here.” (The Argive Elders to Cassandra. Aeschylus, Agamemnon 1099). “… fair Fama is insecure, nor is there any guarantee that prosperity will not be turned to woe.” (Polymestor 1 to Hecabe 1. Euripides, Hecabe 956).

“Hector is dead and gone, but still his fame remains as bravest of the brave, and this was a result of the Achaeans’ coming; for had they remained at home, his worth would have gone unnoticed.” (Cassandra. Euripides, Daughters of Troy 395).|

“How many thousands nobodies there are whom Fame blows up to importance and authority. Heaven bless the man whose splendid reputation is based on truth; but when it lives by lies, I am not deceived; Fame hides an empty fabric of pretence and luck.” (Andromache to Menelaus. Euripides, Andromache 320).

“Fama is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise
(That last infirmity of nobler mind)
To scorn delights, and live laborious days.”

~John Milton, 1608-1674

“….O Fama!–if I e’er took delight in thy praises,
‘Twas less for the sake of thy high-sounding phrases,
Than to see the bright eyes of the dear one discover
She thought that I was not unworthy to love her.
There chiefly I sought thee, there only I found thee;
Her glance was the best of the rays that surround thee;
When it sparkled o’er aught that was bright in my story,
I knew it was love, and I felt it was glory.”
~Lord Byron, 1788-1824, All For Love
“If the man who tells you that he writes, paints, sculptures, or sings for his own amusement, gives his work to the public, he lies; he lies if he puts his name to his writing, painting, statue, or song. He wishes, at the least, to leave behind a shadow of his spirit …” (Miguel de Unamuno, The Tragic Sense of Life, iii).
“When doubts invade us and cloud our faith in the immortality of the soul, a vigorous and painful impulse is given to the anxiety to perpetuate our name, to grasp at least a shadow of immortality. And hence this tremendous struggle to singularize ourselves, to survive in some way in the memory of others and of posterity … Each one seeks to affirm himself, if only in appearance … Man habitually sacrifices his life to his purse, but he sacrifices his purse to his vanity. He boasts even of his weaknesses and his misfortunes, for want of anything better to boast of, and is like a child who, in order to attract attention, struts about with a bandaged finger.” (Miguel de Unamuno, The Tragic Sense of Life, iii).
“The heaven of Fama is not very large, and the more there are who enter it the less is the share of each.” (Miguel de Unamuno, The Tragic Sense of Life, iii).

Pheme is Fama, the irrepressible voice or rumour that spreads reports among men and women.

Basics about Fama
The sayings and reports, that coming and going among mortals become rumours, are spread by Pheme, regarded by some as a messenger of Zeus. This Pheme, whose eyes are never overcome by Sleep, is a swift creature with countless tongues and ears. Pheme does not care about the nature of the rumours spread by her, whether they sound good or evil. And it could be for this reason that Pheme is not allowed to come into the peaceful world of heaven. Instead she, being a spirit neither of hell nor of heaven, dwells beneath the clouds, often spreading panic and troubling the earth.

Infamous in Heaven
Despite her being infamous in heaven, and despite the fact that it is on her account that entire cities on earth are disturbed, many mortals love Pheme. For it is because of her that things become known, and mortals become well known. Therefore Pheme’s gifts are revered, and she herself invoked as a kind of guarantee or identity card by those whom Fama has enhanced. Otherwise had not Aeneas said:
“I am Aeneas, the good, who carry with me in my fleet my household gods, snatched from the foe; my fame is known in the heavens above.” (Aeneas to the disguised Aphrodite. Virgil, Aeneid 1.378).
Fame may help in distress
And if stones could talk like men, they would say similar things. For he who has been raised by Fame sees himself as gifted, and rejoices when his name is pronounced by the tongues of other mortals, or written down by their hands. The same Aeneas, although being in distress after the fall of Troy, feasted his soul on the Carthaginian wall-paintings that depicted the Trojan War; for in them he could see the battles in which he had taken part, and a sign that the people of Carthage could be emotionally engaged in his fate and disposed to help him, now that he had become a stranded exile. This is why he says to his companion Achates 1 in a comforting manner:
“Dismiss your fears; this fame will bring you some salvation.” (Aeneas to Achates 1. Virgil, Aeneid 1.463).
Salvation and Perdition
However, since Fama does not care for good or evil, what is salvation for some, is perdition for others. For it was Fame, under the form of false evidence and wicked witnessing, who ended the days of Palamedes at Troy. And when the rumour spread through the malice of Odysseus reached the ears of the Achaean chiefs and soldiers, they, believing the intriguer and caring nothing for the truth of the charges, stoned Palamedes to death as a traitor, although he was the innocent victim of a conspiracy.
Adversity as the price of Fama
Despite this kind of misadventures, humans love Fame, whose gifts charm their hearts to such an extent that they covet her and submit to her, even when she appears in the company of Ruin and Death:
“… had not God overthrown us so, and whelmed beneath the earth, we had faded fameless, never had been hymned in lays, nor given song-themes to posterity.” (Hecabe 1, Queen of Troy. Euripides, Daughters of Troy 1240).
Fama and Immortality
For many believe that precious immortality is dependent on Fama; and whereas few wish annihilation for themselves, the rest hope that Fama will make them known in posterity when their life is over, reasoning that to be remembered is the same as to be immortal. Yet Fama, who is shut out from Heaven, has never been reported to grant immortality to anyone, even though some have regarded her as if having some influence in this matter, since they say:
“Fama of olden time, and you, dark Antiquity of the world, whose care it is to remember princes and to make immortal the story of their lives …” (Statius, Thebaid 4.32).
But if Fama granted immortality, as some seem to believe, then it could be deduced that the more famous would be more immortal, which cannot be conceived without thinking that there are degrees of immortality just as there are degrees of Fama. But these would be degrees of mortality rather than degrees of immortality, and they cannot be immortals-by-degrees, who live in the absolute realm of Heaven. On the other hand Fama, not being allowed to dwell in Heaven and living just above earth, cannot therefore deal with things but in relative terms, that is, by degrees.
Fama and Victory
Others have thought that undying glory is achieved through the fame that derives from Victory: “… the blossoms of glory-bringing Victory nurture for men golden, conspicuous Fame throughout their lives—for a select few—and when the dark cloud of death covers them, the undying glory of their fine deed is left behind, secure in its destiny.” (Bacchylides, Odes 13.58-66).
But Victory, it has been pointed out, not necessarily produces the greatest fame. For Fama accorded in defeat to those who perished defending Thermopylae in historical times, they argue, was greater than the Fama obtained by many whom Victory favored, since brave men are judged
“… not by the outcome of their actions, but by their purpose; in the one case Fortune is mistress, in the other it is the purpose which wins approval.” (Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 11.10.4).
Nike: said to be behind Pheme. 6802: The Nike of Paeonios (reconstruction), 421 BC. Archaeological Museum, Olympia.
In any case, some reason, there is nothing that humans desire more than preservation and immortality, since many suffer seeing the body first eroded by Old Age and then disintegrated by Death, while the soul is affected in inexplicable ways. And this is why, with a view to immortality, they devote themselves to winning Fama:
“… consider how singularly they are affected with the love of winning a name, and laying up fame immortal for all time to come.” (Socrates quoting Diotima. Plato, Symposium 208c).
And in order to reach Fama, it is added, not so few humans may be ready to run all risks, to invest money, perform any task, and even sacrifice their lives. But others among them, it is remarked, being bound to their bodies, care less about Fama, and search immortality in the creation of children, seeing in them their own eternal memorial. Yet even these are not altogether deprived of ambition regarding Fama:
“What, indeed, is a nobler ornament for children than the fair fame of a thriving father, or for a father than that of his children?” (Haemon 1 to the Theban Elders. Sophocles, Antigone 704).
At other times, however, Fama has been regarded, not as a provider of immortality, but instead as an infamous impostor herself, being shortly defined thus:
“… of all evils, the most swift.” (Virgil, Aeneid 4.174).
Speaks Truth and Falsehood
Fama, they say, relies on speed from which she derives her strength, winning vigour as she goes. As Eris, she is small at the beginning, but soon walks the ground with her head in the clouds. Some have said that Gaia created this grotesque monster, her last child, when she was angry against the gods, and that she put a sleepless eye beneath each of her many feathers. And for every eye Fama has a tongue, a voice, and an ear. And being sleepless, Fama flits between earth and sky and terrorizes whole cities by day and by night, speaking aloud every kind of truth and every kind of falsehood.
Great Legislator
And although winged Fama cares nothing about her own words and rumours, many follow her tunes and, as if they were talking-birds, repeat them without thinking, wallowing in scandal and gossip, and thereby obliterating their own ability to distinguish between fact and fiction. Similarly many among mortals follow what Fama has proclaimed to be the latest clever invention, which could be a dress, a dance, a tune, a liquor, an opinion, or any other device of whatever sort, that she makes appear as something new, unique, and incredible.
And so by means of Fama, who is carried from lip to lip, many go dressed as she decrees, eat and drink as she ordains, enjoy themselves as she prescribes, think as she enjoins, and love or hate as she dictates. And because of these circumstances, Fama may be thought to be one of the greatest legislators; for there is no aspect of social life that is not ruled by her, who can make whoever or whatever famous for being or for not being, for having or for not having, for doing or for not doing. And if someone happens to ignore her messages, he is regarded as a barbarian, or as one deprived of sound understanding, or as one unable to grasp plain language.
Listened to with Devotion
According to her nature, Fama not seldom causes tumult and surprise; for she may start talking of marriage or parties, and may end telling of murder or war. And many do not care what is spoken of, as far as it is Fama who speaks; and if she were silent for a short while or two, they would urge her to speak, be it truth or falsehood. Such is the power of Fama, always shaking out her fluttering plumes, and listened to with attention and devotion.
Just outlines her tales
Yet at the beginning, they say, Fama is scorned by men and women; but as they nevertheless cherish her, she finally possess them all, governing their tongues as she pleases, so that all kind of tales are brought about: of ruin and riches, of peace and war, or of whatever sort. And Fama does not need more than to sketch a simple outline of a tale, since others, like for example Envy, will easily fill it out.
Fama and Wealth
Fama, they say, attends often on Wealth: “… if a god were to give me luxurious wealth, I hope that I would find lofty fame in the future.” (Pindar, Pythian Odes 3.110).
But just as Fama attends on Wealth, Wealth, power and honor attend on Fama. And due to this, not few are eager for Fama, knowing that no one is, in principle, disregarded by this goddess, since she, to begin with, cares neither about position nor about profession.
Ignores purposes
The genius of Fama. 4708: Annibale Carrachi 1560-1609: Der Genius des Ruhmes, um 1588/89. Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden.
And since she does not care about purposes either, some become famous for their abilities, or for their inventions, or for being benefactors of mankind, while others become famous on account of their extraordinary frauds, or because of the deadly devices their cleverness produced, or for having achieved unprecedented milestones in the field of criminality. And when Fama comes, neither sort refuses her; for both the good and the evil think they deserve Fama on account of the greatness or originality of their deeds, regardless of whether they have served the lives of humans, or have destroyed them.
Brilliant like the Morning Star (Venus)
Not seldom some reason that what matters is to make a great achievement, either good or bad, so that Fama might ensure remembrance, which they believe to be the same as immortality:
“There is honor for those whose fame has a god causes to grow luxuriant when they are dead.” (Pindar, Nemean Odes 7.30).
And seen in this way Fama is not a grotesque monster, but a beautiful sight. And when she awakens (for some believe that she may be caught by Sleep after all), … her body shines, marvellous to see, like the morning-star among other stars.” (Pindar, Isthmian Odes 4.20).
Envying Fama
For these and yet other reasons Fama is the object of the lust of many, who wish to be possessed by her. And while they cannot be famous, they may think that the cause of the popularity of others is to be found neither in themselves nor in their merits, but in random circumstances:
“… when a man from the little island of Seriphus grew abusive and told Themistocles that he owed his fame not to himself but to the city from which he came, he replied that neither would he himself ever have made a name if he had been born in Seriphus nor the other if he had been an Athenian.” (Plato, Republic 329e).
This is how, through the words of a famous man, Seriphus saw its own fame increased by some degrees.
Insignificant places made great
For insignificant places may win Fama as well, and through her receive legions of visitors expecting to be somewhat touched by her wings. Unknown and small places are thus raised to the skies, being remembered for ages on account of the events that took place in them:
“Caphareus in Euboea is famous since the storm that here befell the Greeks with Agamemnon on their voyage from Troy.” (Pausanias, Description of Greece 4.36.6).
Now, the bigger the catastrophe the more famous it will tend to be. For Fama, preferring the bigger and the biggest, cares more for thousands of dead than for just a few, and more for those who already are her favorites than for nobodies.

Source: Statue of  Pheme (Fama) holding Pegasus. 1875 by Eugène-Louis Lequesne at the Musee D’Orsay in Paris.





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