Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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10.3.15

They invented terms appropriate to the sounds of the pipe, of the crotala, cymbals, and drums; to the noise also of shouts; to the cries of Evoe; and to the beating of the ground with the feet. They invented certain well-known names also to designate the ministers, dancers, and servants employed about the sacred rites, as Cabeiri, Corybantes, Pans, Satyri, Tityri, the god Bacchus; Rhea, Cybele, Cybebe, and Dindymene, from the places where she was worshipped. [The god] Sabazius belongs to the Phrygian rites, and may be considered the child as it were of the [Great] Mother. The traditional ceremonies observed in his worship are those of Bacchus. [Note] 10.3.16

The rites called Cotytia, and Bendideia, [Note] celebrated

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among the Thracians, resemble these. The Orphic ceremonies had their origin among these people. æschylus mentions the goddess Cotys, and the instruments used in her worship among the Edoni. [Note] For after saying, O divine Cotys, goddess of the Edoni,
With the instruments of the mountain worship;"
immediately introduces the followers of Dionysus,
one holding the bombyces, the admirable work of the turner, with the fingers makes the loud notes resound, exciting frenzy; another makes the brass-bound cotylæ to re-echo. And in another passage; The song of victory is poured forth; invisible mimes low and bellow from time to time like bulls, inspiring fear, and the echo of the drum rolls along like the noise of subterranean thunder; [Note] for these are like the Phrygian ceremonies, nor is it at all improbable that, as the Phrygians themselves are a colony of Thracians, so they brought from Thrace their sacred ceremonies, and by joining together Dionysus and the Edonian Lycurgus they intimate a similarity in the mode of the worship of both. 10.3.17

From the song, the rhythm, and the instruments, all Thracian music is supposed to be Asiatic. This is evident also from the places where the Muses are held in honour. For Pieria, Olympus, Pimpla, and Leibethrum were anciently places, and mountains, belonging to the Thracians, but at present they are in the possession of the Macedonians. The Thracians, who were settled in Bœotia, dedicated Helicon to the Muses, and consecrated the cave of the Nymphs, Leibethriades. The cultivators of ancient music are said to have been Thracians, as Orpheus, Musaus, Thamyris; hence also Eumolpus had his name. Those who regard the whole of Asia as far as India as consecrated to Bacchus, refer to that country as the origin of a great portion of the present music. One author speaks of striking forcibly the Asiatic cithara; another calls the pipes Berecynthian and Phry-

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gian. Some of the instruments also have barbarous names, as Nablas, Sambyce, [Note] Barbitus, [Note] Magadis, [Note] and many others. 10.3.18

As in other things the Athenians always showed their admiration of foreign customs, so they displayed it in what respected the gods. They adopted many foreign sacred ceremonies, particularly those of Thrace and Phrygia; for which they were ridiculed in comedies. Plato mentions the Bendidean, and Demosthenes the Phrygian rites, where he is exposing æschines and his mother to the scorn of the people; the former for having been present when his mother was sacrificing, and for frequently joining the band of Bacchanalians in celebrating their festivals, and shouting, Evoi, Saboi, Hyes Attes, and Attes Hyes, for these cries belong to the rites of Sabazius and the Great Mother. 10.3.19

But there may be discovered respecting these dæmons, and the variety of their names, that they were not called ministers only of the gods, but themselves were called gods. For Hesiod says that Hecaterus and the daughter of Phoroneus had five daughters, From whom sprung the goddesses, the mountain nymphs,
And the worthless and idle race of satyrs,
And the gods Curetes, lovers of sport and dance.
The author of the Phoronis calls the Curetes, players upon the pipe, and Phrygians; others call them earth-born, and wearing brazen shields. Another author terms the Corybantes, and not the Curetes, Phrygians, and the Curetes, Cretans. Brazen shields were first worn in Eubœa, whence the people had the name of Chalcidenses. [Note] Others say, that the Corybantes who came from Bactriana, or, according to some writers, from the Colchi, were given to Rhea, as a band of armed ministers, by Titan. But in the Cretan history the Curetes are called nurses and guardians of Jove, and are described as having been sent for from Phrygia to Crete by Rhea. According to other writers, there were nine Telchines in Rhodes, who accompanied Rhea to Crete, and from nursing [Note] Jupiter had the name of Curetes; [Note] that Corybus, one of their party, was the founder of Hierapytna, and furnished the

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Prasians [Note] in Rhodes with the pretext for saying that Cory bantes were certain dæmons, children of Minerva and the sun. By others, the Corybantes are represented to be the children of Saturn; by others, of Jupiter and Calliope, or to be the same persons as the Cabeiri; that they went away [Note] to Samothrace, [Note] which was formerly called Melite; but their lives and actions are mysterious.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 10.3.13 Str. 10.3.17 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 10.3.21

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