NECTAR, in ancient mythology generally coupled with ambrosia, the nourishment of the gods in Homer and in Greek literature generally.
Another story was that he stole nectar and ambrosia from heaven and gave them to men (Pindar, 01.
Probably the two terms were not originally distinguished; but usually both in Homer and in later writers nectar is the drink and ambrosia the food.
On the other hand, in Alcman nectar is the food, and in Sappho and Anaxandrides ambrosia the drink.
The name Ambrosia was also applied by Dioscorides and Pliny to certain herbs, and has been retained in modern botany for a genus of plants from which it has been extended to the group of dicotyledons called Ambrosiaceae, including Ambrosia, Xanthium and Iva, all annual herbaceous plants represented in America.
According to one of these stories Thetis used to lay the infant Achilles every night under live coals, anointing him by day with ambrosia, in order to make him immortal.
Here she was hospitably received by Celeus, and out of gratitude would have made his son Demophon immortal by anointing him with ambrosia and destroying his mortal parts by fire; but Metaneira, happening to see what was going on, screamed out and disturbed the goddess.
A terrible struggle took place for the possession of his body, until Apollo rescued it from the Greeks, and by the command of Zeus washed and cleansed it, anointed it with ambrosia, and handed it over to Sleep and Death, by whom it was conveyed for burial to Lycia, where a sanctuary (Sarpedoneum) was erected in honour of the fallen hero.
Roscher, "Die Grundbedeutung der Athene," in Nektar and Ambrosia (1883); F.
In AMBROSIA ancient mythology, sometimes the food, sometimes the drink of the gods.
Ambrosia maritima and some other species occur also in the Mediterranean region.
Many are the pet names, the poetic epithets bestowed upon it - the harbour of refuge, the cool cave, the island amidst the floods, the place of bliss, emancipation, liberation, safety, the supreme, the transcendent, the uncreated, the tranquil, the home of peace, the calm, the end of suffering, the medicine for all evil, the unshaken, the ambrosia, the immaterial, the imperishable, the abiding, the farther shore, the unending, the bliss of effort, the supreme joy, the ineffable, the detachment, the holy city, and many' others.
He understands their change of manner, calmly tells them not to mock him by calling him "the venerable Gotama"; that he has found the ambrosia of truth and can lead them to it.
He swung the car off the road and under an arch that read "Ambrosia Acres."
Roscher (Nektar and Ambrosia, 1883; see also his article in Roscher's Lexikon der Mythologic) nectar and ambrosia were originally only different forms of the same substance - honey, regarded as a dew, like manna, fallen from heaven, which was used both as food and drink.
Derivatively the word Ambrosia (neut.