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LYNCEUS 100.00%
Brother of Idas. (See IDAS AND LYNCEUS.)
Sons of Aphareus of Messenia and of Arene; a pair of brothers as heroic and as inseparable as their cousins Castor and Pollux (Polydeuces). The Nymph Marpessa, daughter of the Acarnanian river-god Euenus, was wooed by Apollo, when Idas carried her off in a winged chariot given him by Poseidon. When Apollo overtook the fugitives in Messenia, Idas, who was then "the strongest of living men " [Homer, Il. ix 556], stretched his bow against Apollo. Zeus interposed and gave the damsel her choice of suitors; she decided in favour of the mortal, as she feared Apollo would desert her. After that the god hated her; she herself and her beautiful daughter Cleopatra or Alcyone, wife of Me1eager, and their daughter, all died young, and brought misfortune on those that loved them. Idas and the keen-sighted Lynceus, who could even see into the heart of the earth, joined in the Calydonian Hunt and the Argonautic expedition. They met their end fighting Castor and Pollux, with whom they had been brought up. As they were all returning from a raid into Arcadia, Idas was appointed to divide the cattle they had captured; he divided an ox into four portions and decided that whosoever devoured his portion first was to have the first half of the spoil, and he who finished his next, the second half. He finished his own and his brother's share first, and drove the cattle away. The Dioscuri were enraged and hid themselves from the brothers in a hollow oak-tree; but the keen sight of Lynceus detected their lurking. place and Idas stabbed Castor in the tree. Thereupon Pollux pierced Lynceus through, while Idas was slain by the lightning of Zeus. For another account of the origin of the quarrel, see DIOSCURI.
Daughter of the river god Euenus, and wife of Idas. (See IDAS AND LYNCEUS.)
LYNCEUS 52.08%
Son of Aegyptus, husband of Hypermnestra, the daughter of Danaus (q.v.).
The only one of the daughters of Danaus who spared her husband, Lynceus. (See DANAUS.)
Daughter of Idas, and wife of Meleager. (See MELEAGER.)
DANAUS 14.55%
The son of Belus, king of Egypt, and Anchirrhoe, and twin brother of Aegyptus. Aegyptus and his fifty sons drove Danaus and his fifty daughters from their home in the Egyptian Chemnis through Rhodes to Argos, the home of his ancestress Io (see Io). Here he took over the kingdom from Pelasgus or Gelanor, and after him the Achaeans of Argos bore the name of Danai. Danaus built the acropolis of Larissa and the temple of the Lycian Apollo, and taught the inhabitants of the waterless territory how to dig wells. His daughters also conferred benefits on the land by finding springs, especially Amymone, the beloved of Poseidon, who, for love ofher, created the inexhaustible fountain of Lerna. For this they were worshipped in Argos. The sons of Aegyptus at length appeared and forced Danaus to give them his daughters in marriage. At their father's command they stabbed their husbands at night, and buried their heads in the valley of Lerna. One only, Hypermnestra, disregarding her father's threats, spared her beloved Lynceus, and helped him to escape. Danaus accordingly set on foot a fighting match, and bestowed his remaining daughter on the victor. Afterwards, though against his will, he gave Lynceus his daughter and his kingdom. According to another story, Lynceus conquered his wife and throne for himself, and took vengeance for his brothers by killing Danaus and his daughtem. The Danaides (or daughters of Danaus) atoned for their bloody deed in the regions below by being condemned to pour water for ever into a vessel with holes in its bottom. This fable is generally explained by the hypothesis that the Danaides were nymphs of the springs and rivers of the land of Argos, which are filled to overflowing in the wet season, but dry up in summer. The tombstone of Danaus stood in the market at Argos. He was also worshipped in Rhodes as the founder of the temple of Athene in Lindos, and as the builder of the first fifty-oared ship, in which he fled from Egypt. The story of Danaus and his daughters is treated by Aeschylus in his Supplices. Lynceus and Hypermnestra had also a common shrine in Argos; their son was Abas, father of Acrisius and Proetus. The son of Amymone and Poseidon was Nauplius, founder of Nauplia, and father of Palamedes, OEax, and Nausimedon.
AENEAS 13.58%
Son of Anchises and Aphrodite. Born on the mountains of Ida, he is brought up till his fifth year by his brother-in-law Alcathous, or, according to another story, by the nymphs of Ida, and after his father's misfortune becomes ruler of Dardanos. Though near of kin to the royal house of Troy, he is in no hurry to help Priam till his own cattle are carried off by Achilles. Yet he is highly esteemed at Troy for his piety, prudence, and valour; and gods come to his assistance in battle. Thus Aphrodite and Apollo shield him when his life is threatened by Diomed, and Poseidon snatches him out of the combat with Achilles. But Priam does not love him, for he and his are destined hereafter to rule the Trojans. The story of his escape at the fall of Troy is told in several ways: one is, that he bravely cut his way through the enemy to the fastnesses of Ida; another, that, like Antenor, he was spared by the Greeks because he had always counselled peace and the surrender of Helena; a third, that he made his escape in the general confusion. The older legend represents him as staying in the country, forming a new kingdom out of the wreck of the Teucrian people, and handing it down to his posterity. Indeed several townships on Ida always claimed him as their founder. The story of his emigrating, freely or under compulsion from the Greeks, and founding a new kingdom beyond seas, is clearly of post-Homeric date. In the earlier legend he is represented as settling not very far from home; then they extended his wanderings to match those of Odysseus, always pushing the limit of his voyagings farther and farther west. The poet Stesichorus (about 600 B.C.) is, so far as we know, the first who brings him to Italy. Later, in face of the fast rising power of Rome, the Greeks conceived the notion that Aeneas must have settled in Latium and become the ancestor of these Romans. This had become a settled conviction in their minds by the beginning of the 3rd century B.C., when Timaeeus, in the Roman interest, completed the Legend of Aeneas, making room in it for Latian and Roman traditions; and at Rome it was soon taken up and developed into a dogma of the state religion, representing the antagonism between Greece and Rome, the new Troy. From that time verse and prose endeavoured to bring the various places with which the name of Aeneas was connected into historic and geographic harmony, now building on a bare resemblance of names, now following kindred tables and the holy places of Aphrodite Aineias, a goddess of sea and seafaring, whose temples were generally found on the coasts. Thus by degrees the story took in the main the shape so familiar to us in Vergil's Aeneid. Aeneas flees from the flames of Troy, bearing on his shoulders the stricken Anchises with the Penates, leading his boy Ascanius and followed by his wife Creusa (who is lost on the way), till he comes to Mount Ida. There he gathers the remnant of the Trojans in twenty ships, and sails by way of Thrace and Delos to Crete, imagining that to be the destination assigned him by Apollo. But driven thence by pestilence, and warned in a dream that Italy is his goal, be is first carried out of his course to Epirus, and then makes his way to Sicily, where his father dies. He has just set out to cross to the mainland, when a hurricane raised by his enemy Juno casts him on the coast of Carthage. Here Juno and Venus have agreed that he shall marry Dido; but at Jupiter's command he secretly quits Africa, and having touched at Sicily, Cumae, and Caieta. (Gaeta), arrives, after seven years' wandering, at the Tiber's mouth. Latinus, king of Latium, gives him leave to build a town, and betroths to him his daughter Lavinia. Turnus, king of the Rutuli, to whom she had been promised before, takes up arms in alliance with Mezentius of Caere; in twenty days the war is ended by Aeneas defeating both. According to another version (not Vergil's), he disappeared after the victory on the Numicius, and was worshipped as the god Jupiter Indiges. The Roman version, in its earliest forms, as we see it in Naevius and Ennius, brought Aeneas almost into contact with the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus being regarded as children of his daughter Ilia by the god Mars. In later times, to fill up duly the space between the Fall of Troy and the Founding of Rome, the line of Alban kings, descended from Silvius, his son by Lavinia, was inserted between him and Romulus.
OENONE 12.44%
A nymph of mount Ida, bride of Paris before he carried off Helen. In resentment at her lover's faithlessness, she refused to help him when he was mortally wounded; and, in her remorse at her refusal, ended by hanging herself.
Son of (Eneus of Calydon and of Althaea, husband of Cleopatra (see, IDAS), one of the most celebrated heroes of Greek legend. He took part in the enterprise of the Argonauts and brought about the celebrated chase of the Calydonian boar (see OENEUS), to which he invited the most renowned heroes of the time, Admetus, Amphiaraus, Jason, Idas, Lynceus, Castor and Pollux, Nestor, Theseus and Pirithous, Peleus, Telamon, and others. Many lost their lives, till at last Meleager slew the monster. However, Artemis thereupon stirred up furious strife between the Calydonians and the Curetes (who dwelt at Pleuron) about the head and skin of the boar, the prize of victory. The Calydonians were victorious, as long as Meleager fought at their head; but when he slew the brother of his mother, she uttered a terrible curse on him, and he retired sullenly from the fray. The Curetes immediately forced the Calydonians to retreat, and were already beginning to climb the walls of Calydon, when, at the height of their distress, he yielded to the prayers of his wife and again joined in the fight to ward of destruction from the city; but he did not return alive, for the Erinys had accomplished the curse of his mother. According to a later legend, the Moerae appeared to his mother on the seventh day after his birth, and announced to her that her son would have to die when a log of wood on the hearth was consumed by the flame; whereupon Althaea immediately snatched the log from the fire and concealed it in a chest. At the Calydonian Hunt Meleager fell in love with Atalante (q.v.), and gave her (who had inflicted the first wound) the prize, the skin of the animal which he had killed. He slew the brothers of his mother, the sons of Thestius, when they were lying in wait for the virgin to rob her of the boar's hide. Overcome by pain at the death of her brothers, Althaea sets fire to the log, and Meleager dies a sudden death. His mother and wife hang themselves; his sisters weep so bitterly for Meleager, that Artemis for pity changes them into gninea-hens, (Gr. meleagrides). Legends relate that even in the nether world Meleager retained his dauntless courage; for when Heracles descended to Hades, all the shades fled before him except Meleager and Medusa.
Son of Capys, of the royal house of Troy by both parents, ruler of Dardanus on Mount Ida. Aphrodite loved him for his beauty, and bore him a son, Aeneas. But having, in spite of her warnings, boasted of her favour, he is (according to various versions of the story) paralysed, killed; or struck blind by the lightning of Zeus. Vergil represents the disabled chief as borne out of burning Troy on his son's shoulders, and as sharing his wanderings over the sea, and aiding him with his counsel, till they reach Drepanum in Sicily, where he dies, and is buried on Mount Eryx.
ILUS 8.41%
The son of Tros, and great-grandson of Dardanus, brother of Assaracus and Ganymede, and father of Laomedon. He once went from his native town of Dardania upon Mount Ida to Phrygia, where he was victorious in an athletic contest held by the king of the country. Beside fifty youths and fifty maidens, the prize of the contest, the king gave him, at the command of an oracle, a spotted cow, and told him there to found a city on the spot where she lay. He accordingly founded on the hill of the Phrygian Ate, the town which after him was called Ilion, and also Troy (Gr. Troia) after his father. When he demanded a sign of Zeus, on the following morning he found the Palladium before his tent.
In Greek mythology, the son of Hermes and Aphrodite, born on Mount Ida, and endowed with the beauty of both deities. When a grown youth, he was bathing in the Carian fountain of Salmacis; and the Nymph of the fountain, whose love he rejected, prayed the gods that she might be indissolubly united with him. The prayer was answered, and a being sprang into existence which united the qualities of male and female. The fable probably arose from the inclination, prevalent in the Eastern religions, towards confusing the attributes of both sexes. In Cyprus, for instance, a masculine Aphroditos, clad in female attire, was worshipped by the side of the goddess Aphrodite. Figures of hermaphrodites are common in art.
i.e. sons of Zeus, the horsetamer Castor, and Polydeuces (Lat. Pollux) the master of the art of boxing. In Homer they are represented as the sons of Leda and Tyndareos, and called in consequence Tyndaridae, as dying in the time between the rape of Helen and the Trojan War, and as buried in their father-city Lacedaemon. But even under the earth they were alive. Honoured of Zeus, they live and die on alternate days and enjoy the prerogatives of godhead. In the later story sometimes both, sometimes only Polydeuces is the descendant of Zeus. (See LEDA.) They undertake an expedition to Attica, where they set free their sister Helena, whom Theseus has carried off. They take part in the expedition of the Argonauts. (See AMYCUS.) Castor, who had been born mortal, falls in a contest with Idas and Lynceus, the sons of their paternal uncle Aphareus. The fight arose, according to one version, in a quarrel over some cattle which they had carried off; according to another, it was about the rape of two daughters of another uncle Leucippus, Phoebe and Hilaira, who were betrothed to the sons of Aphareus. On his brother's death Polydeuces, the immortal son of Zeus, prays his father to let him die too. Zeus permits him to spend alternately one day among the gods his peers, the other in the lower world with his beloved brother. According to another story Zeus, in reward for their brotherly love, sets them in the sky as the constellation of the Twins, or the morning and evening star. They are the ideal types of bravery and dexterity in fight. Thus they are the tutelary gods of warlike youth, often sharing in their contests, and honoured as the inventors of military dances and melodies. The ancient symbol of the twin gods at Lacedaemon was two parallel beams, joined by cross-pieces, which the Spartans took with them into war. They were worshipped at Sparta and Olympia with Heracles and other heroes. At Athen too they were honoured as gods under the name of Anakes (Lords Protectors). At sea, as in war, they lend their aid to men. The storm-tossed mariner sees the sign of their beneficent presence in the flame at the mast-head. He prays, and vows to them the sacrifice of a white lamb, and the storm soon ceases. (See HELENA.) The rites of hospitality are also under their protection. They are generally represented with their horses Xanthus and Cyllarus, as in the celebrated colossal group of Monte Cavallo in Rome. Their characteristic emblem is an oval helmet crowned with a star. The worship of Castor and Pollux was from early times current among the tribes of Italy. They enjoyed especial honours in Tusculum and Rome. In the latter city a considerable temple was built to them near the Forum (414 B.C.) in gratitude for their appearance and assistance at the battle of the Lake Regillus twelve years before. In this building, generally called simply the temple of Castor, the senate of ten held its sittings. It was in their honour, too, that the solemn review of the Roman equites was held on the 15th July. The names of Castor and Pollux, like that of Hercules, were often in use as familiar expletives, but the name of Castor was invoked by women only. They were worshipped as gods of the sea, particularly in Ostia, the harbour town of Rome. Their image is to be seen stamped on the reverse of the oldest Roman silver coins. (See COINAGE.)
Son of Ilus and Eurydice, father of Priam, Tithonus, and Hesione, and king of Ilium. Apollo and Poseidon served him for wages, the former pasturing his flock on Mount Ida, while the latter, either alone or with the help of Apollo and Aeacus (q.v.), built the walls of the town. But Laomedon defrauded the gods of the payment that had been agreed upon. Apollo therefore visited the land with a plague, and Poseidon sent a sea-monster, to whom the king was forced to offer his daughter Hesione. Heracles, on his way back from the Amazons, found the maiden chained to a rock in the sea, and he offered to kill the monster if he were given the magic horses which Zeus had bestowed on Tros in exchange for Ganymede, whom be had carried off. Laomedon agreed to this, but again broke his promise. Accordingly Heracles (q.v.) subsequently waged war against him, and after capturing the city, slew him and all his sons, except Priam.
Fabulous beings in Greek mythology who had their original home in Phrygian Ida, but were afterwards transferred by legend to the mountain of the same name in Crete, and were confounded with similar beings called the Telchines, Curetes, Cabiri, and Corybantes, who were all fabulous beings in the service of Rhea Cybe1e (the "Idaean Mother"). They were accredited with having discoyered, and having been the first to work, iron and copper; with having introduced music and rhythm into Greeee; and with being possessed of magic power. Three of the Phrygian Dactyli had names: Celmis (the smelter), Damnameneus (the hammer), and Acmon (the anvil). Among the Cretan Dactyli, who were five, ten, and even more in number, was the "Idaean Heracles," a personification of the procreative powers of nature, who also afforded magical protection against perils.
PARIS 6.18%
The second son of Priam and Hecuba. His mother having dreamt before this birth that she had brought forth a firebrand, which set all Troy in flames, Priam had the new-born babe exposed on Mount Ida by the advice of his son Aesacus. Here a she-bear suckled the babe for five days; then a shepherd found him, and reared him with his own children. Paris won the name of Alexandros ("protector of men") by his bravery as a shepherd, defending herdsmen and cattle. On Mount Ida he married (Enone, daughter of the river-god Cebren. He decided the strife of the goddesses Hera. Aphrodite, and Athene for the golden apple of Eris (see PELEUS, having been appointed arbiter by Hermes at the command of Zeus. Paris preferred the possession of the fairest woman, promised him by Aphrodite, to power and riches, or wisdom and fame, promised by Hera and Athene respectively. He therefore awarded to Aphrodite the prize of beauty, but drew upon himself and his fatherland the irreconcilable hatred of the goddesses whom he had passed over. When Priam was once celebrating funeral games in memory of his lost son, and commanded the finest bull in all the herds grazing on the mountain to be brought as a prize, Paris came to Troy as its driver. He took part in the contests, and vanquished his brothers, even Hector. Seized with envy, they wished to kill him; but Cassandra recognised him, and he was joyfully received by his parents. In spite of the warning of the forsaken (Enone, who still loved him tenderly, Paris set out on a voyage to Sparta, at the instigation of Aphrodite. Here he carried off Helen, the wife of Menelaus, whom the goddess herself had quickly inspired with love for the handsome stranger. With her he carried away the treasures of his host, and brought her through Egypt and Phoenicia to Troy. In the war that arose from his deed, Paris showed himself, according to Homer, sometimes valiant and courageous, especially as an archer, but chiefly only at the persuasion of others; at other times cowardly and effeminate. The Trojans detested him as the cause of the disastrous war. After he had treacherously slain Achilles (q.v.), he himself was fatally wounded by an arrow of Heracles, while in single combat with Philoctetes. His corpse was dishonoured by Menelaus, but yet was afterwards given to the Trojans for burial. According to another account, when he knew his death was near, he asked to be carried to (Enone. When they had parted, she had bidden him come to her, if he should ever be mortally wounded; but now, mindful of the sorrow she had endured, (Enone rejected him, and he died soon after his return to Troy. When (Enone, repenting of her cruelty, hastened with the remedy, and found him already dead, she hanged herself. In sculpture Paris is represented as a beautiful beardless youth with a Phrygian cap.
Son of Zeus and the Pleiad Electra, the father of the regal house of Troy. He left Arcadia, his mother's home, and went to the island of Samothrace. Here he set up the worship of the great gods, whose shrines, with the Palladium, his first wife Chryse had received as a gift from Athene at her marriage. Samothrace having been visited by a great flood, Dardanus sailed away with his shrines to Phrygia, where King Tencer gave him his daughter Bateia to wife, and land enough on Mount Ida to found the town of Dardania. His son by Bateia was Erichthonius, whom Homer describes as the wealthiest of mortals, and the possessor of horses of the noblest breed and most splendid training. The son of Erichthonius was Tros, father of Ilos, Assaracus and Ganymedes. From Ilos, the founder of Ilion or Troy, was descended Laomedon, father of Priam. From Assaracus sprang Capys, father of Anchises, and grandfather of Aeneas. Another story made Dardanus the native prince who welcomed Teucer on his arrival from Crete (see TEUCER).
The name given in antiquity to inspired prophetesses of some deity, in particular Apollo. They were usually regarded as young maidens dwelling in lonely caves or by inspiring springs, who were possessed with a spirit of divination, and gave forth prophetic utterances while under the influence of enthusiastic frenzy. They were described sometimes as priestesses of Apollo, sometimes as his favourite wives or daughters. We have no certain information as to their number, names, country, or date. Though Plato [Phoedrus, 294 B] knew of only one, others mention two, three, four [the Erythroean, the Samian, the Egyptian, and the Sardian], and even ten or twelve: [the Babylonian, the Libyan, the (elder and younger) Delphian, the Cimmerian, the (elder and younger) Erythroean, the Samian, the Cumoean, the Hellespontine, the Phrygian, and the Tiburtine]. In the earliest times they are mentioned as dwelling in the neighbourhood of the Trojan Ida in Asia Minor, later at Erythrae in Ionia, in Samos, at Delphi, and at Cumae in Italy. The most famous was the Erythraean Sibyl, Herophile, who is usually considered identical with the Cumaean, as she is represented as journeying by manifold wanderings from her home to Cumae. Here she is said to have lived for many generations in the crypts beneath the temple of Apollo, where she had even prophesied to Aeneas. In later times the designation of Sibyl was also given to the prophetic Nymph Albanca near Tibur [Lactantius, i 6 Section § 12]. The Sibylline books, so often met with in Roman history, had their origin in a collection of oracular utterances in Greek hexameters, composed in the time of Solon and Cyrus at Gergis on Mount Ida, and ascribed to the Hellespontic Sibyl, buried in the temple of Apollo at Gergis. This collection was brought by way of Erythrae to Cumaean, and finally, in the time of the last king, to Rome. According to the legend, the Cumaean Sibyl offered to Tarquinius Superbus nine books of prophecy; and as the king declined to purchase them owing to the exorbitant ice she demanded, burnt all but three of them, which the king purchased for the original price, and had them preserved in a vault beneath the Capitoline temple of Jupiter. When they were destroyed in the burning of the Capitol in 83 B.C., the Senate sent envoys to make a collection of similar oracular sayings distributed over various places, in particular Ilium, Erythae, and Samos. This new collection was deposited in the restored temple, together with similar sayings of native origin; e.g. those of the Sibyl at Tibur, of the brothers Marcius, and others. From the Capitol they were transferred by Augustus as pontifex, in 12 B.C., to the temple of Apollo on the Palatine, after they had been examined and copied; here they remained until about 405 A.D. They are said to have been burnt by Stilicho. The use of these oracles was from the outset reserved for the State, and they were not consulted for the foretelling of future events, but on the occasion of remarkable calamities, such as pestilence, earthquake, and as a means of expiating portents. It was only the rites of expiation prescribed by the Sibylline books that were communicated to the public, and not the oracles themselves. As these books recognised the gods worshipped, and the rites observed, in the neighbourhood of Troy, they were the principal cause of the introduction of a series of foreign deities and religious rites into the Roman State worship, of the amalgamation of national deities with the corresponding deities of Greece, and a general modification of the Roman religion after the Greek type. Tarquinius is said to have entrusted the care of the books to a special college of two men of patrician ramk. After 367 B.C. their number was increased to ten, half patrician and half plebeians; and in the 1st century B.C., probably in the time of Sulla, five more were added. These officials were entitled respectively duumviri, decemviri, and quindecimviri sacris faciundis. They were usually ex-consuls or ex-praetors. They held office for life, and were exempt from all other public duties. They bad the responsibility of keeping the books in safety and secrecy, of consulting them at the order of the Senate, of interpreting the utterances they found therein, and of causing the measures thus enjoined to be carried out; in particular, they had the superintendence of the worship of Apollo, the Magna Mater, and Ceres, which had been introduced by the Sibylline books. These Sibylline books have no connexion with a collection of Sibylline Oracles in twelve books, written in Greek hexameters, which have come down to us. The latter contain a medley of pretended prophecies by various authors and of very various dates, from the middle of the 2nd century B.C. to the 6th Century A.D. They were composed partly by Alexandrine Jews, partly by Christians, in the interests of their respective religions; and in part they refer to events of the later Empire.
RHEA 4.44%
Daughter of Uranus and Gaea, wife of her brother, the Titan Cronus, by whom she gave birth to the Olympian gods, Zeus, Hades, Poseidon, Hera, Hestia, Demeter. For this reason she was generally called the Mother of the gods. One of her oldest places of worship was Crete, where in a cave, near the town of Lyctus or else on mounts Dirce or Ida, she was said to have given birth to Zeus, and to have hidden him from the wiles of Cronus. The task of watching and nursing the newborn child she had entrusted to her devoted servants the Curetes, earth-born demons, armed with weapons of bronze, who drowned the cry of the child by the noise which they made by beating their spears against their shields. The name of Curetes was accordingly given to the priests of the Cretan Rhea and of the Idaean Zeus, who executed noisy war-dances. at the festivals of those gods. In early times the Cretan Rhea was identified with the Asiatic Cyble or Cybebe," the Great Mother," a goddess of the powers of nature and the arts of cultivation, who was worshipped upon mountains in Mysia, Lydia, and Phrygia. In the former character she was a symbol of the procreative power of nature; in the latter, she originated the cultivation of the vine and agriculture, together with all other forms of social progress and civilization, which depend upon these. Thus she was regarded as the founder of towns and cities, and therefore it is that art represents her as crowned with a diadem of towers. The true home of this religion was the Phrygian Pessinus, on the river Sangarius, in the district afterwards known as Galatia, where the goddess was called Agdistis. [Strabo, p. 567] or Angdistis, from a holy rock named Agdus upon Mount Dindymus above the town. Upon this mountain, after which the goddess derived her name of Dindymene, stood her earliest sanctuary, as well as her oldest effigy (a stone that had fallen from heaven), and the grave of her beloved Attis (q.v.). Her priests, the emasculated Galli, here enjoyed almost royal honour. In Lydia she was worshipped, principally on Mount Tmolus, as the mother of Zeus and the foster-mother of Dionysus. There was also a temple of Cybele at Sardis. Her mythical train was formed by the Corybantes, answering to the Curetes of the Cretan Rhea; these were said to accompany her over the wooded hills, with lighted torches and with wild dances, amid the resounding music of flutes and horns and drums and cymbals. After these the priests of Cybele were also called Corybantes, and the festivals of the goddess were celebrated with similar orgies, in the frenzy of which the participators wounded each other or, like Attis, mutilated themselves. Besides these there were begging priests, called Metragyrtoe and Cybebi, who roamed from place to place, as inspired servants and prophets of the Great Mother. On the Hellespont and on the Propontis, Rhea-Cybele was likewise the chief goddess; in particular in the Troad, where she was worshipped upon Mount Ida as the Idoean Mother, and where the Idoean Dactyli (q.v.) formed her train. From Asia this religion advanced into Greece. After the Persian Wars it reached Athens, where in the Metroum, the temple of the Great Mother, which was used as a State record-office, there stood the ideal image of the goddess fashioned by Phidias [Pausanias, i 3 § 5]. The worship of Cybele did not, however, obtain public recognition here, any more than in the rest of Greece, on account of its orgiastic excesses and the offensive habits of its begging priests. It was cultivated only by particular associations and by the lower ranks of the people. In Rome the worship of the Great Mother (Magna Mater) was introduced for political reasons in 204 B.C., at the command of a Sibylline oracle, and for the purpose of driving Hannibal out of Italy. An embassy was sent to fetch the holy stone from Pessinus; a festival was founded in honour of the goddess, to be hold on April 4-9 (the Megalesia, from the Greek megale meter= magna mater): and in 217 a temple on the Palatine was dedicated to her. The service was performed by a Phrygian priest, a Phrygian priestess, and a number of Galli (emasculated priests of Cybele), who were allowed to pass in procession through the city in accordance with their native rites. Roman citizens were forbidden to participate in this service, though the praetor on the Palatine, and private persons among the patricians, celebrated the feast by entertaining one another, the now cult being attached to that of Maia or Ops. The worship of Cybele gained by degrees an ever-wider extension, so that under the early Empire a fresh festival was instituted, from March 15-27, with the observance of mourning, followed by the most extravagant joy. In this festival associations of women and men and the religious board of the Quindecimviri (q.v.) took part. In the first half of the 2nd century A.D. the Taurobolia and Criobolia were added. In these ceremonies the person concerned went through a form of baptism with the blood of bulls and rams killed in sacrifice, with the object of cleansing him from pollutions and bringing about a new birth. The oak and pine were sacred to Rhea-Cybele, (See ATTIS), as also the lion. She was supposed to traverse the mountains riding on a lion, or in a chariot drawn by lions. In art she was usually represented enthroned between lions, with the mural crown on her head and a small drum in her hand.
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