Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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10.3.21

But Acusilaus, the Argive, mentions a Camillus, the

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son of Cabeira and Vulcan; who had three sons, Cabeiri, (and three daughters,) the Nymphs Cabeirides. [Note]

According to Pherecydes, there sprung from Apollo and Rhetia nine Corybantes, who lived in Samothrace; that from Cabeira, the daughter of Proteus and Vulcan, there were three Cabeiri, and three Nymphs, Cabeirides, and that each had their own sacred rites. But it was at Lemnos and Imbros that the Cabeiri were more especially the objects of divine worship, and in some of the cities of the Troad; their names are mystical.

Herodotus [Note] mentions, that there were at Memphis temples of the Cabeiri as well as of Vulcan, which were destroyed by Cambyses. The places where these demons received divine honours are uninhabited, as Corybantium in the territory Hamaxitia belonging to the country of the Alexandrians, near Sminthium; [Note] and Corybissa in the Scepsian territory about the river Eureis, and a village of the same name, and the winter torrent æthaloeïs. [Note]

The Scepsian says, that it is probable that the Curetes and Corybantes are the same persons, who as youths and boys were employed to perform the armed dance in the worship of the mother of the gods. They were called Corybantes [Note] from their dancing gait, and butting with their head (κούπτοντας) by the poet they were called βητάπμονες, Come hither, you who are the best skilled Betarmones among the Phæacians. [Note] Because the Corybantes are dancers, and are frantic, we call those persons by this name whose movements are furious. 10.3.22

Some writers say that the first inhabitants of the country at the foot of Mount Ida were called Idæan Dac-

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tyli, for the country below mountains is called the foot, and the summits of mountains their heads; so the separate extremities of Ida (and all are sacred to the mother of the gods) are called Idæan Dactyli. [Note]

But Sophocles [Note] supposes, that the first five were males, who discovered and forged iron, [Note] and many other things which were useful for the purposes of life; that these persons had five sisters, and from their number had the name of Dactyli. [Note] Different persons however relate these fables differently, connecting one uncertainty with another. They differ both with respect to the numbers and the names of these persons; some of whom they call Celmis, and Damnameneus, and Hercules, and Acmon, who, according to some writers, were natives of Ida, according to others, were settlers, but all agree that they were the first workers in iron, and upon Mount Ida. All writers suppose them to have been magicians, attendants upon the mother of the gods, and to have lived in Phrygia about Mount Ida. They call the Troad Phrygia, because, after the devastation of Troy, the neighbouring Phrygians became masters of the country. It is also supposed that the Curetes and the Corybantes were descendants of the Idæan Dactyli, and that they gave the name of Idæan Dactyli to the first hundred persons who were born in Crete; that from these descended nine Curetes, each of whom had ten children, who were called Idæan Dactyli. [Note] 10.3.23

Although we are not fond of fabulous stories, yet we have expatiated upon these, because they belong to subjects of a theological nature.

All discussion respecting the gods requires an examination of ancient opinions, and of fables, since the ancients expressed enigmatically their physical notions concerning the nature of things, and always intermixed fable with their discoveries. It is not easy therefore to solve these enigmas exactly, but if we lay before the reader a multitude of fabulous tales, some consistent with each other, others which are contradictory, we

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may thus with less difficulty form conjectures about the truth. For example, mythologists probably represented the ministers of the gods, and the gods themselves, as coursing over the mountains, and their enthusiastic behaviour, for the same reason that they considered the gods to be celestial beings, and to exercise a providential care over all things, and especially over signs and presages. Mining, hunting, and a search after things useful for the purposes of life, appeared to have a relation to this coursing over the mountains, but juggling and magic to be connected with enthusiastic behaviour, religious rites, and divination. Of such a nature, and connected in particular with the improvement of the arts of life, were the Dionysiac and Orphic arts. But enough of this subject.

CHAPTER IV. 10.4.1

HAVING described the islands about the Peloponnesus, and other islands also, some of which are upon, and others in front of, the Corinthian Gulf, we are next to speak of Crete, [Note] (for it belongs to the Peloponnesus,) and the islands near Crete, among which are the Cyclades and the Sporades. Some of these are worthy of notice, others are inconsiderable.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 10.3.18 Str. 10.3.22 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 10.4.4

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