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Scylla



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     Scylla, a fabulous monster of the sea described by the poets and mythologists to have 
borne the form of a woman downwards to the
waist, and thence divided into two tails of a fish,
with the heads of three dogs, open mouthed, at
her waist. It is in this shape she is seen on
an ancient Sicilian medal and on some other
monuments. In her hands she is usually made
to hold a rudder in the act of striking some one ;
thus is she figured on a denarius of Sextus
Pompey (PRAEF. ORAE MARIT. ET CLAS. S.C.), to
indicate that spot in the gulf of Sicily, where
(after the death of his greater father) he gained
some successes by sea over Julius Caesar. Scylla,
in fact, was a lofty and dangerous rock, over-
looking the narrow straits that divide Sicily
from Italy, and opposite the whirlpool of
Carybdis ; the two together were regarded by
the ancients as presenting the very acme of
perilous navigation ; and the extreme difficulty
of steering safely between them gave rise to the
proverb -- Incidit in Scyllam qui vult vitare
Charybdin.

   Scylla. -- See Contorniate Medals.

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