Season: 5, Episodes: 1, Faction: N/A
Howard Gray was a grieving father who enlisted the services of Miles Straume to contact his dead son.
5×13 – Some Like It Hoth
Howard wanted Miles to use his powers to contact his son, who was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. He wanted to make sure that his son knew that Howard loved him. Miles became apprehensive when he discovered that the son has been cremated and asked for a larger sum of money, which Gray readily gives. Miles then appeared to contact the spirit of the son, and assured Gray that the son was aware of his love.
Later, Miles returned to Howard Gray, and returned to him the money which he had been paid. When asked why he is doing so, Miles reveals that he lied to Gray; he had been unable to make contact with Gray’s son. The incredulous Gray asks why Miles couldn’t have just continued the lie, and Miles responds that it wouldn’t have been fair to the son, to whom the father should have professed his love before the son’s death. (“Some Like It Hoth”)
Decoded Season 3 & 4 Characters
Key Episode(s) to Decoding the Character
In Greek mythology, Priapus or Priapos, was a minor rustic fertility god, protector of livestock, fruit plants, gardens and male genitalia. Priapus was best noted for his large, permanent erection, which gave rise to the medical term priapism.
Relationship with other Deities
Priapus was described as the son of Aphrodite by Dionysus, or son of Dioysus and Chione, perhaps as father or son of Hermes, son of Zeus or Pan, depending on the source. According to legend, Hera cursed him with impotence, ugliness and foul-mindedness while he was still in Aphrodite’s womb, in revenge for the hero Paris having the temerity to judge Aphrodite more beautiful than Hera. The other gods refused to allow him to live on Mount Olympus and threw him down to Earth, leaving him on a hillside. He was eventually found by shepherds and was brought up by them.
Priapus joined Pan and the satyrs as a spirit of fertility and growth, though he was perennially frustrated by his impotence. In a ribald anecdote told by Ovid, he attempted to rape the nymph Lotis but was thwarted by an ass, whose braying caused him to lose his erection at the critical moment and woke Lotis. He pursued the nymph until the gods took pity on her and turned her into a lotus plant. The episode gave him a lasting hatred of asses and a willingness to see them destroyed in his honour. The emblem of his lustful nature was his permanent erection and his giant penis.
Worship and Attributes
The first extant mention of Priapus is in the eponymous comedy Priapus, written in the 4th century BC by Xenarchus. Originally worshipped by Greek colonists in Lampsacus in Asia Minor, the cult of Priapus spread to mainland Greece and eventually to Italy during the 3rd century BC. Lucian (De saltatione) tells that in Bithynia Priapus was accounted as a warlike god, a rustic tutor to the infant Ares, “who taught him dancing first and war only afterwards,” Karl Kerenyi observed. Arnobius is aware of the importance accorded Priapus in this region near the Hellespont. Also, Pausanias notes:
- This god is worshipped where goats and sheep pasture or there are swarms of bees; but by the people of Lampsacus he is more revered than any other god, being called by them a son of Dionysus and Aphrodite.
In later antiquity, his worship meant little more than a cult of sophisticated pornography.
Outside his “home” region in Asia Minor, Priapus was regarded as something of a joke by urban dwellers. However, he played a more important role in the countryside, where he was seen as a guardian deity. He was regarded as the patron god of sailors and fishermen and others in need of good luck, and his presence was believed to avert the evil eye.
Priapus does not appear to have had an organized cult and was mostly worshiped in gardens or homes, though there are attestations of temples dedicated to the god. His sacrificial animal was the ass, but agricultural offerings (such as fruit, flowers, vegetables and fish) were also very common.
Long after the fall of Rome and the rise of Christianity, Priapus continued to be invoked as a symbol of health and fertility. The 13th century Lanercost Chronicle, a history of northern England and Scotland, records a “lay Cistercian brother” erecting a statue of Priapus (simulacrum Priapi statuere) in a bid to end an outbreak of cattle disease.
Patron of Merchant Sailing
Priapus’ role as a patron god for merchant sailors in ancient Greece and Rome is that of a protector and navigational aide. Recent shipwreck evidence contains apotropaic items carried onboard by mariners in the forms of a terracotta phallus, wooden Priapus figure, and bronze sheath from a military ram. Coinciding with the use of wooden Priapic markers erected in areas of dangerous passage or particular landing areas for sailors, the function of Priapus is much more extensive than previously thought.
Although Priapus is commonly associated with the failed attempts of rape against the nymphs Lotis and Vesta in Ovid’s comedy Fasti and the rather flippant treatment of the deity in urban settings, Priapus’ protection traits can be traced back to the importance placed on the phallus in ancient times (particularly his association with fertility and garden protection). In Greece, the phallus was thought of to have a mind of its own, animal-like, separate from the mind and control of the man. Represented in its erect form, the phallus was present in almost every aspect of daily life, reaffirming the male-dominant state of affairs in its overt presence. The phallus is also associated with “possession and territorial demarcation” in many cultures, attributing to Priapus’ other role as a navigational deity.