Minor Divinities (page 148)

Chapter 3: Olympos, the Underworld, and Minor Divinities

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Pherekydes 3F48 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 75, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Pherekydes says that nine Korybantes were born from Apollo and Rhetia, and that they took up residence in Samothrake. From Kabeiro, daughter of Proteus, and Hephaistos three Kabeiroi and three nymphs called Kabeirides were born, and sacred rites were instituted for each of the triads.  (Transl. E. Bianchelli)

Strabo, Geography 10.3.19

Some call the Corybantes, and not the Curetes, “Phrygians,”  Greek Text

Diodoros Siculus, Library of History 3.55.8-9

After that, while subduing some of the rest of the islands, she was caught in a storm, and after she had offered up prayers for her safety to the Mother of the Gods, she was carried to one of the uninhabited islands; this island, in obedience to a vision which she beheld in her dreams, she made sacred to this goddess, and set up altars there and offered magnificent sacrifices. She also gave it the name of Samothrace, which means, when translated into Greek, “sacred island,” although some historians say that it was formerly called Samos and was then given the name of Samothrace by Thracians who at one time dwelt on it. However, after the Amazons had returned to the continent, the myth relates, the Mother of the Gods, well pleased with the island, settled in it certain other people, and also her own sons, who are known by the name of Corybantes — who their father was is handed down in their rites as a matter not to be divulged; and she established the mysteries which are now celebrated on the island and ordained by law that the sacred area should enjoy the right of sanctuary.  Greek Text

ApB 1.3.4 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

Thalia had by Apollo the Corybantes.  Greek Text

Euripides, Bakchai 120-34

O secret chamber of the Kouretes and you holy Cretan caves, parents to Zeus, where the Korybantes with triple helmet invented for me in their caves this circle, covered with stretched hide; and in their excited revelry they mingled it with the sweet-voiced breath of Phrygian pipes and handed it over to mother Rhea, resounding with the sweet songs of the Bacchae; nearby, raving Satyrs were fulfilling the rites of the mother goddess, and they joined it to the dances of the biennial festivals, in which Dionysus rejoices.  Greek Text

♠ Euripides, Hypsipyle 12.75-76 GLP – Fragments of more recent Greek literary papyri cited according to D.L. Page, Select Papyri III (London 1941)

Korinna 654 i.12-18 PMG – Poetae Melici Graeci, p. 326, ed. D. L. Page. Oxford 1962.

fr 151 Kern – Fragments of the Orphic writers cited according to O. Kern. Orphicorum Fragmenta, pp.190-92. Berlin 1922.

Greek Text

Kallimachos, Hymn to Zeus 1.51-53

And lustily round thee danced the Curetes a war-dance, beating their armour, that Cronus might hear with his ears the din of the shield, but not thine infant noise.  Greek Text

ApB 1.1.6-7 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

Enraged at this, Rhea repaired to Crete, when she was big with Zeus, and brought him forth in a cave of Dicte. She gave him to the Curetes and to the nymphs Adrastia and Ida, daughters of Melisseus, to nurse. So these nymphs fed the child on the milk of Amalthea; and the Curetes in arms guarded the babe in the cave, clashing their spears on their shields in order that Cronus might not hear the child’s voice. But Rhea wrapped a stone in swaddling clothes and gave it to Cronus to swallow, as if it were the newborn child.  Greek Text

Diodoros Siculus, Library of History 5.65

The Curetes also invented swords and helmets and the war-dance, by means of which they raised a great alarum and deceived Cronus. And we are told that, when Rhea, the mother of Zeus, entrusted him to them unbeknown to Cronus his father, they took him under their care and saw to his nurture.  Greek Text

Athenaios 10.428f – Athenaei Naucratitae Dipnosophistarum xv, ed. G. Kaibel. Vol. 2, p. 432. Leipzig 1887.

Greek Text

Pherekydes 3F48 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 75, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

See above

Akousilaos 2F20 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 52, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Akousilaos from Argos says that Kamillos is the son of Kabeiro and Hephaistos, and from him came the three Kabeiroi, to whom the three nymphs Kabeirides were born.  (Transl. E. Bianchelli)

Herodotos, Historiae 3.37

Also he entered the temple of the Cabeiri, into which no one may enter save the priest; the images here he even burnt, with bitter mockery. These also are like the images of Hephaestus, and are said to be his sons.  Greek Text

Scholia to Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautika 1.917 – Scholia in Apollonium Rhodium vetera, pp. 77-78, ed. C. Wendel. Berlin 1935.

Strabo, Geography 10.3.19

but others say that the Corybantes were sons of Zeus and Calliope and were identical with the Cabeiri, and that these went off to Samothrace, which in earlier times was called Melite, and that their rites were mystical.  Greek Text

Herodotos, Historiae 2.51

Whoever has been initiated into the rites of the Cabeiri, which the Samothracians learned from the Pelasgians and now practice, understands what my meaning is. Samothrace was formerly inhabited by those Pelasgians who came to live among the Athenians, and it is from them that the Samothracians take their rites. The Athenians, then, were the first Greeks to make ithyphallic images of Hermes, and they did this because the Pelasgians taught them. The Pelasgians told a certain sacred tale about this, which is set forth in the Samothracian mysteries.  Greek Text

Stesimbrotos 107F20 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker, pt. 2, Sect. B, p. 521, ed. F. Jacoby. 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Strabo, Geography 10.3.21

Now it has so happened that the Cabeiri are most honored in Imbros and Lemnos, but they are also honored in separate cities of the Troad.  Greek Text

Hesiod fr 282 MW – Fragmenta Hesiodea, pp. 142-44, ed.  Merkelbach and M.L. West. Oxford 1967.

Phoronis fr 2 PEG – Poetae Epici Graeci 1, pp. 118-19, ed. A. Bernabé. Leipzig 1987.

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Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, April 2021.

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