"Of the (Plague of) Mice." A surname of Apollo, which is derived by some from σμίνθος (sminthos), a mouse, and by others from the town of Sminthe in Troas.1 The mouse was regarded by the ancients as inspired by the vapors arising from the earth, and as the symbol of prophetic power. In the temple of Apollo at Chryse there was a statue of the god by Scopas, with a mouse under its foot,2 and on coins Apollo is represented carrying a mouse in his hands.3

Temples of Apollo Smintheus and festivals (Smintheia) existed in several parts of Greece, as at Tenedos, near Hamaxitos in Aeolis, near Parion, at Lindos in Rhodes, near Coressa, and in other places.4



  1. Homer. Iliad i, 3.9; Ovid. Fasti vi, 425; Metamorphoses xii, 585; Eustathius on Homer, p. 34.
  2. Strabo. Geography xiii, p. 604 ff.; Eustathius on Homer, p. 34.
  3. Müller. Ancient Art and its Remains, 361, note 5.
  4. Strabo. Geography x, p 486; xiii, pp. 604, 605.


  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.

This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.