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Listed 19 sub titles with search on: Mythology  for wider area of: "LEMNOS (LIMNOS) Island NORTH AEGEAN" .

Mythology (19)

Ancient myths

Dionysus & Ariadne

  There (at Naxos) Dionysus fell in love with Ariadne and carried her off; and having brought her to Lemnos he enjoyed her, and begat Thoas, Staphylus, Oenopion, and Peparethus.
Homer's account of the fate of Ariadne is different. He says (Hom. Od. 11.321-325) that when Theseus was carrying off Ariadne from Crete to Athens she was slain by Artemis in the island of Dia at the instigation of Dionysus. Later writers, such as Diodorus Siculus identified Dia with Naxos, but it is rather the little island, now Standia, just off Heraclaion, on the north coast of Crete. Theseus would pass the island in sailing for Athens. Apollodorus seems to be the only extant ancient author who mentions that Dionysus carried off Ariadne from Naxos to Lemnos and had intercourse with her there.

Jason & Hypsipyle

  These with Jason as admiral put to sea and touched at Lemnos. At that time it chanced that Lemnos was bereft of men and ruled over by a queen, Hypsipyle, daughter of Thoas, the reason of which was as follows. The Lemnian women did not honor Aphrodite, and she visited them with a noisome smell; therefore their spouses took captive women from the neighboring country of Thrace and bedded with them. Thus dishonored, the Lemnian women murdered their fathers and husbands, but Hypsipyle alone saved her father Thoas by hiding him. So having put in to Lemnos, at that time ruled by women, the Argonauts had intercourse with the women, and Hypsipyle bedded with Jason and bore sons, Euneus and Nebrophonus.
The Lemnian traditions have been interpreted as evidence of a former custom of gynocracy, or the rule of men by women, in the island. Every year the island of Lemnos was purified from the guilt of the massacre and sacrifices were offered to the dead. The ceremonies lasted nine days, during which all fires were extinguished in the island, and a new fire was brought by ship from Delos. If the vessel arrived before the sacrifices to the dead had been offered, it might not put in to shore or anchor, but had to cruise in the offing till they were completed.

  You are said to have reached the Thessalian coasts in your returning bark, enriched with the prize of the golden fleece. I congratulate your safety, as far as I am permitted: but I ought to have known this by a letter from yourself. For, though unfavorable winds might have hindered you from landing in my kingdom, had you even desired it, yet a letter might have been sealed and sent: surely Hypsipyle deserved this testimony of your love.
  Why as fame the first messenger of your success? Why did I first hear from report, that the bulls sacred to the stern god of war had submitted to the yoke, -that harvests of armed men sprang from the sowing of the dragon's teeth, and did not want your right hand to cut them off, - that the yellow fleecy spoils, though guarded by a vigilant dragon, were yet a prey to your valiant arm? If I could assure those who believe with diffidence, that all this was confirmed to me by a letter from yourself, how great would be my happiness! Why do I complain that my husband by so long an absence has failed in the respect he owes me? If your heart continues mine, I have still all I ask.
  You are said to have brought with you a barbarian enchantress, and admitted her to a share of that bed which you had promised to me. Love is credulous and full of fears. I wish it may be found that I have rashly charged my husband with false crimes. A stranger lately arrived here from Thessaly: scarcely had he touched the threshold, when I enquired how my Jason was. He, overcome with shame, stood silent, and fixed his eyes upon the ground. Impatient, I ran up to him; and in wild distraction tearing his coat from his breast, Tell me, I cried, does he still live, or has Fate determined also to end my days? He lives, said he. I forced the intimidated stranger to confirm the statement by an oath, and could scarcely be convinced of your existence even by the testimony of a God. After recovering from my surprise, I began to enquire of your exploits. He tells me how the brazen-footed bulls of Mars turned up the furrowed plain; that the teeth of the dragon were thrown into the earth for seed, and a sudden crop of armed men sprang up; and that these earth-born heroes, cut off by civil broils, had filled up the short span of life allotted to them by Fate. Upon hearing of the serpent overcome. I again asked if Jason still lived; my heart beating alternately with hope and fear. While he proceeds in recounting one thing after another, in the current of his discourse, he at last discovers the wounds made in your heart.
  Alas! where is now your promised faith? where are now the nuptial ties? and Hymen's torch, fitter to have lighted up my funeral pile? I was not known to you by stealth. Juno was witness to our vows; and Hymen also, having his temples bound with garlands. But neither Juno nor Hymen, but cruel Erinnys, bore in procession the inauspicious torch. What concern had I with the Argonauts? what with the ship of Pallas? Why did your pilot Tiphys think of touching at this coast? Here was no ram to entice you by his golden spoils; nor had Aeetes his royal palace at Lemnos. I had determined (but my unhappy destiny overruled me) to expel the strangers with a female band. The Lemnian ladies have too glaringly shown themselves an overmatch for men. My life and peace ought to have been defended by so trusty a band.
  I allowed Jason to enter my city, and admitted him into my house and heart. Here two summers and two winters rolled away. It was now the third harvest, when, forced to unfold the spreading sails, with tears in your eyes you uttered these soft and tender words.
  "Alas! I am torn from you, Hypsipyle; but, if Heaven grant me a safe return, as I depart thine, so will I ever remain thine, Let the pledge of our mutual love, that you now carry about in your teeming womb, be fondly cherished, that it may prove the joy and blessing of its parents." Thus far you spoke, while, the tears trickling down you deceitful checks, grief deprived you of the power to proceed. You were the last to ascend the sacred ship: she flies, and a favorable wind fills the swelling sails. The sea-green waves recede from before the stemming prow; your eyes are fixed upon the shore, while mine follow you through the deep. An adjacent tower opens a prospect on all sides towards the sea. Thither I bend my course, my face and bosom bedewed with tears. I view you through my tears; and my eyes, favoring the eagerness of my mind, carry forward my sight beyond its usual bounds. I address Heaven with chaste prayers and timorous vows,--vows to the performed, now that you are safe. Must I then pay vows for the triumphs of Medea? My heart yields to grief, and my love flames into rage. Shall I carry offerings to the temples, because Jason lives, and lives for another? Are victims to be slain in return for my disappointments?
  I was indeed always diffident, and dreaded that your father might choose a daughter-in-law from some city of Greece. I feared the Greeks, but suffer from a barbarian harlot, and am wounded by an unexpected hand. She has not charmed you by her beauty, or won you by her accomplishments. She holds you by her enchantments, and cuts the baneful herbs with a magic sickle. She endeavours to charm the reluctant moon from her orb, and involve the chariot of the sun in darkness. She bridles the waves, stops the winding currents, and removes from their seats the woods and banging rocks. She wanders through the tombs with her hair disheveled, and collects bones from the yet smoking pyres. Her witchcraft affects even the absent; she moulds the images of wax, and gores the wretched liver with torturing needles. Add a multiplicity of other magic artifices, which I am better unacquainted with. Love should be gained by merit and beauty, not by berbs and philtres. How can you receive her into your embraces, or quietly trust yourself in her treacherous arms? As formerly the bulls, so has she forced you also to submit to the yoke, and bound you with the same fetters wherewith she before chained the dragons. Add that she boasts of having contributed to your success, and that of your companions; and the fame of the wife eclipses that of the husband. Those of the Pelian faction ascribe all to sorcery; and the malicious world is too ready to believe them. "It was not Jason, (say they,) but Medea of Colchis, that bore away the rich fleece of the consecrated ram."
  Pelias, the son of Neptune, was warned by an oracle, that his death would approach, when one barefooted should come to him as he was sacrificing: it happened that, as he was engaged in the celebration of some annual sacred rites, Jason the son of Aeson, having left his shoe in the mud of the river Anaurus, and hastening to be present at the sacrifice, met him. Pelias, mindful of the oracle, endeavoured to persuade Jason to undertake an expedition to Colchis, in order to make himself master of the golden fleece, hoping he would never return, because he had heard it was a work beyond human power to accomplish. Jason, a youth of great courage and magnanimity, readily engaged in the attempt; and, having associated with him a great number of gallant adventurers, set sail in the ship Argo from Thessaly, and soon after arrived at the isle of Lemnos. Not long before this, the women had with common consent murdered, in one night, all the men in the island, except one. Hypsipyle, the daughter of Thoas, had saved her father by the pretence of having killed him, and was at this time queen of the Lemnians. She, conceiving a passion for Jason, admitted him both to her house and bed. After continuing here two years, his companions urged him to proceed on the promised expedition; he left Hypsipyle pregnant, and set sail for Colchis. Medea, the king's daughter, having an amorous regard for him, by her magic art lulled asleep the vigilant dragon, and tamed the brazen-footed bulls; by which means he obtained the golden fleece; and, leaving Colchis, carried off Medea also, who desired to follow him. Hypsipyle, enraged that Medea was preferred to her, sends this letter, congratulating Jason on his safe return. Afterwards exposing the cruelty and enchantments of Medea, she endeavours to bring her into contempt, and make him sensible of her own superior merit. Lastly, she loads both him and Medea with imprecations.
The story of Jason's quest appears in Pindar's Pythian 4 and in the Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes. The episode of the Lemnian Women is summarized in Apollodorus 1.9.17.


Son of Poeas, suitor of Helen, leader of the Olizonians against Troy, bitten by a snake in Tenedos, put ashore and abandoned by the Greeks in Lemnos.

Editor’s Information:
The plot of "Philoctetes", the tragedy written by Sophocles, of which the e-text(s) is (are) found in Greece (ancient country) under the category Ancient Greek Writings, is taking place in the island of Lemnos.

Gods & demigods


KAVIRIO (Ancient sanctuary) LEMNOS (LIMNOS)
  Sons or grandchildren of Ifestos and Kavero (female goddess, daughter of Proteus the sea demon). According to the myth, Kavero gave birth to three sons, the Kaverous and three daughters , the Kaverithes. Their name means "almighty", "powerful", however according to others "copper-like". The word originates from the root "kav" that suggests the "harsh" and from the word "ieroi" which means holy. The Kaveri of Lemnos were the guardians of the trade-union of the metalworkers who possibly were the richest and most powerful class. Their role was double as children of the goddess of the sea were guardians of the seamen (Samothace) and as children of Ifestos guards of the metalworkers (Lemnos).

Cabeiri (Kabeiroi), mystic divinities who occur in various parts of the ancient world. The obscurity that hangs over them, and the contradictions respecting them in the accounts of the ancients themselves, have opened a wide field for speculation to modern writers on mythology, each of whom has been tempted to propound a theory of his own. The meaning of the name Cabeiri is quite uncertain, and has been traced to nearly all the languages of the East, and even to those of the North; but one etymology seems as plausible as another, and etymology in this instance is a real ignis fatuus to the inquirer. The character and nature of the Cabeiri are as obscure as the meaning of their name. All that we can attempt to do here is to trace and explain the various opinions of the ancients themselves, as they are presented to us in chronological succession. We chiefly follow Lobeck, who has collected all the passages of the ancients upon this subject, and who appears to us the most sober among those who have written upon it.
  The earliest mention of the Cabeiri, so far as we know, was in a drama of Aeschylus, entitled Kabeiroi, in which the poet brought them into contact with the Argonauts in Lemnos. The Cabeiri promised the Argonauts plenty of Lemnian wine (Plut. Sympos. ii. 1; Pollux, vi. 23). The opinion of Welcker, who infers from Dionysius (i. 68, &c.) that the Cabeiri had been spoken of by Arctinus, has been satisfactorily refuted by Lobeck and others. From the passage of Aeschylus here alluded to, it appears that he regarded the Cabeiri as original Lemnian divinities, who had power over everything that contributed to the good of the inhabitants, and especially over the vineyards. The fruits of the field, too, seem to have been under their protection, for the Pelasgians once in a time of scarcity made vows to Zeus, Apollo, and the Cabeiri (Myrsilus, ap. Dionys. i. 23). Strabo in his discussion about the Curetes, Dactyls, &c., speaks of the origin of the Cabeiri, deriving his statements from ancient authorities, and from him we learn, that Acusilaus called Camillus a son of Cabeiro and Hephaestus, and that he made the three Cabeiri the sons, and the Cabeirian nymphs the daughters, of Camillus. According to Pherecydes, Apollo and Rhytia were the parents of the nine Corybantes who dwelled in Samothrace, and the three Cabeiri and the three Cabeirian nymphs were the children of Cabeira, the daughter of Proteus, by Hephaestus. Sacrifices were offered to the Corybantes as well as the Cabeiri in Lemnos and Imbros, and also in the towns of Troas. The Greek logographers, and perhaps Aeschylus too, thus considered the Cabeiri as the grandchildren of Proteus and as the sons of Hephaestus, and consequently as inferior in dignity to the great gods on account of their origin. Their inferiority is also implied in their jocose conversation with the Argonauts, and their being repeatedly mentioned along with the Curetes, Dactyls, Corybantes, and other beings of inferior rank. Herodotus (iii. 37) says, that the Cabeiri were worshipped at Memphis as the sons of Hephaestus, and that they resembled the Phoenician dwarf-gods (Pataikoi) whom the Phoenicians fixed on the prows of their ships. As the Dioscuri were then yet unknown to the Egyptians (Herod. ii. 51), the Cabeiri cannot have been identified with them at that time. Herodotus proceeds to say, "the Athenians received their phallic Hermae from the Pelasgians, and those who are initiated in the mysteries of the Cabeiri will understand what I am saying; for the Pelasgians formerly inhabited Samothrace, and it is from them that the Samothracians received their orgies. But the Samothracians had a sacred legend about Hermes, which is explained in their mysteries". This sacred legend is perhaps no other than the one spoken of by Cicero (De Nat. Deor. iii. 22), that Hermes was the son of Coelus and Dies, and that Proserpine desired to embrace him. The same is perhaps alluded to by Propertius (ii. 2. 11), when he says, that Mercury (Hermes) had connexions with Brimo, who is probably the goddess of Pherae worshipped at Athens, Sicyon, and Argos, whom some identified with Proserpine (Persephone), and others with Hecate or Artemis. We generally find this goddess worshipped in places which had the worship of the Cabeiri, and a Lemnian Artemis is mentioned by Galen. The Tyrrhenians, too, are said to have taken away the statue of Artemis at Brauron, and to have carried it to Lemnos. Aristophanes, in his " Lemnian Women," had mentioned Bendis along with the Brauronian Artemis and the great goddess, and Nonnus (Dionys. xxx. 45) states that the Cabeirus Alcon brandished Hekates Diasodea purson, so that we may draw the conclusion, that the Samothracians and Lemnians worshipped a goddess akin to Hecate, Artemis, Bendis, or Persephone, who had some sexual connexion with Hermes, which revelation was made in the mysteries of Samothrace.
  The writer next to Herodotus, who speaks about the Cabeiri, and whose statements we possess in Strabo, though brief and obscure, is Stesimbrotus. The meaning of the passage in Strabo is, according to Lobeck, as follows: Some persons think that the Corybantes are the sons of Cronos, others that they are the sons of Zeus and Calliope, that they (the Corybantes) went to Samothrace and were the same as the beings who were there called Cabeiri. But as the doings of the Corybantes are generally known, whereas nothing is known of the Samothracian Corybantes, those persons are obliged to have recourse to saying, that the doings of the latter Corybantes are kept secret or are mystic. This opinion, however, is contested by Demetrius, who states, that nothing was revealed in the mysteries either of the deeds of the Cabeiri or of their having accompanied Rhea or of their having brought up Zeus and Dionysus. Demetrius also mentions the opinion of Stesimbrotus, that the hiera were performed in Samothrace to the Cabeiri, who derived their name from mount Cabeirus in Berecyntia. But here again opinions differed very much, for while some believed that the hiera Kabeiron were thus called from their having been instituted and conducted by the Cabeiri, others thought that they were celebrated in honour of the Cabeiri, and that the Cabeiri belonged to the great gods.
  The Attic writers of this period offer nothing of importance concerning the Cabeiri, but they intimate that their mysteries were particularly calculated to protect the lives of the initiated (Aristoph. Pax, 298). Later writers in making the same remark do not mention the name Cabeiri, but speak of the Samothracian gods generally (Diod. iv. 43, 49; Aelian, Fragm.; Callim. Ep. 36; Lucian. Ep. 15; Plut. Marcell. 30). There are several instances mentioned of lovers swearing by the Cabeiri in promising fidelity to one another (Juv. iii. 144; Himerius, Orat. i. 12); and Suidas (s. v. Dialamdanei) mentions a case of a girl invoking the Cabeiri as her avengers against a lover who had broken his oath. But from these oaths we can no more draw any inference as to the real character of the Cabeiri, than from the fact of their protecting the lives of the initiated; for these are features which they have in common with various other divinities. From the account which the scholiast of Apollonius Rhodius (i. 913) has borrowed from Athenion, who had written a comedy called The Samothracians (Athen. xiv.), we learn only that he spoke of two Cabeiri, Dardanus, and Jasion, whom he called sons of Zeus and Electra. They derived their name from mount Cabeirus in Phrygia, from whence they had been introduced into Samothrace.
  A more ample source of information respecting the Cabeiri is opened to us in the writers of the Alexandrine period. The two scholia on Apollonius Rhodius contain in substance the following statement: Mnaseas mentions the names of three Cabeiri in Samothrace, viz. Axieros, Axiocersa, and Axiocersus; the first is Demeter, the second Persephone, and the third Hades. Others add a fourth, Cadmilus, who according to Dionysius that dorus is identical with Hermes. It thus appears these accounts agreed with that of Stesimbrotus, who reckoned the Cabeiri among the great gods, and that Mnaseas only added their names. Herodotus, as we have seen, had already connected Hermes with Persephone; the worship of the latter as connected with that of Demeter in Samothrace is attested by Artemidorus (ap. Strab. iv.); and there was also a port in Samothrace which derived its name, Demetrium, from Demeter (Liv. xlv. 6). According to the authors used by Dionysius (i. 68), the worship of Samothrace was introduced there from Arcadia; for according to them Dardanus, together with his brother Jasion or Jasus and his sister Harmonia, left Arcadia and went to Samothrace, taking with them the Palever, ladium from the temple of Pallas. Cadmus, however, who appears in this tradition, is king of Samothrace: he made Dardanus his friend, and sent him to Teucer in Troas. Dardanus himself, again, is sometimes described as a Cretan (Serv. ad Aen. iii. 167), sometimes as an Asiatic (Steph. s. v. Dardanos; Eustath. ad Dionys. Perieg. 391), while Arrian (ap. Eustath.) makes him come originally from Samothrace. Respecting Dardanus' brother Jasion or Jasus, the accounts likewise differ very much; for while some writers describe him as going to Samothrace either from Parrhasia in Arcadia or from Crete, a third account (Dionys. i. 61) stated, that he was killed by lightning for having entertained improper desires for Demeter; and Arrian says that Jasion, being inspired by Demeter and Cora, went to Sicily and many other places, and there established the mysteries of these goddesses, for which Demeter rewarded him by yielding to his embraces, and became the mother of Parius, the founder of Paros.
  All writers of this class appear to consider Dardanus as the founder of the Samothracian mysteries, and the mysteries themselves as solemnized in honour of Demeter. Another set of authorities, on the other hand, regards them as belonging to Rhea (Diod. v. 51; Schol. ad Aristid.; Strab. Esccrpt. lib. vii.; Lucian, Dc Dea Syr. 97), and suggests the identity of the Samothracian and Phrygian mysteries. Pherecydes too, who placed the Corybantes, the companions of the great mother of the gods, in Samothrace, and Stesimbrotus who derived the Cabeiri from mount Cabeirus in Phrygia, and all those writers who describe Dardanus as the founder of the Samothracian mysteries, naturally ascribed the Samothracian mysteries to Rhea. To Demeter, on the other hand, they were ascribed by Mnaseas, Artemidorus, and even by Herodotus, since he mentions Hermes and Persephone in connexion with these mysteries, and Persephone has nothing to do with Rhea. Now, as Demeter and Rhea have many attributes in common -both are megaloi Deoi- and the festivals of each were celebrated with the same kind of enthusiasm; and as peculiar features of the one are occasionally transferred to the other (e. g. Eurip. Helen. 1304), it is not difficult to see how it might happen, that the Samothracian goddess was sometimes called Demeter and sometimes Rhea. The difficulty is, however, increased by the fact of Venus (Aphrodite) too being worshipped in Samothrace (Plin. H. N. v. 6). This Venus may be either the Thracian Bendis or Cybele, or may have been one of the Cabeiri themselves, for we know that Thebes possessed three ancient statues of Aphrodite, which Harmonia had taken from the ships of Cadmus, and which may have been the Pataaikoi who resembled the Cabeiri (Paus. ix. 16.2; Herod. iii. 37). In connexion with this Aphrodite we may mention that, according to some accounts, the Phoenician Aphrodite (Astarte) had commonly the epithet chabar or chabor, an Arabic word which signifies "the great," and that Lobeck considers Astarte as identical with the Selene Kabeiria, which name P. Ligorius saw on a gem.
  There are also writers who transfer all that is said about the Samothracian gods to the Dioscuri, who were indeed different from the Cabeiri of Acusilaus, Pherecydes, and Aeschylus, but yet might easily be confounded with them; first, because the Dioscuri are also called great gods, and secondly, because they were also regarded as the protectors of persons in danger either by land or water. Hence we find that in some places where the anakes were worshipped, it was uncertain whether they were the Dioscuri or the Cabeiri (Paus. x. 38.3). Nay, even the Roman Penates were sometimes considered as identical with the Dioscuri and Cabeiri (Dionys. i. 67, &c.); and Varro thought that the Penates were carried by Dardanus from the Arcadian town Pheneos to Samothrace, and that Aeneas brought them from thence to Italy (Macrob. Sat. iii. 4; Serv. ad Aen. i. 378, iii. 148). But the authorities for this opinion are all of a late period. According to one set of accounts, the Samothracian gods were two male divinities of the same age, which applies to Zeus and Dionysus, or Dardanus and Jasion, but not to Demeter, Rhea, or Persephone. When people, in the course of time, had become accustomed to regard the Penates and Cabeiri as identical, and yet did not know exactly the name of each separate divinity comprised under those common names, some divinities are mentioned among the Penates who belonged to the Cabeiri, and vice versa. Thus Servius (ad Aen. viii. 619) represents Zeus, Pallas, and Hermes as introduced from Samothrace; and, in another passage (ad Aen. iii. 264), he says that, according to the Samothracians, these three were the great gods, of whom Hermes, and perhaps Zeus also, might be reckoned among the Cabeiri. Varro (de Ling. Lat. v. 58) says, that Heaven and Earth were the great Samothracian gods; while in another place (ap. August. De Civ. Dei, vii. 18) he stated, that there were three Samothracian gods, Jupiter or Heaven, Juno or Earth, and Minerva or the prototype of things -the ideas of Plato. This is, of course, only the view Varro himself took, and not a tradition.
  If we now look back upon the various statements we have gathered, for the purpose of arriving at some definite conclusion, it is manifest, that the earliest writers regard the Cabeiri as descended from inferior divinities, Proteus and Hephaestus: they have their seats on earth, in Samothrace, Lemnos, and Imbros. Those early writers cannot possibly have conceived them to be Demeter, Persephone or Rhea. It is true those early authorities are not numerous in comparison with the later ones; but Demetrius, who wrote on the subject, may have had more and very good ones, since it is with reference to him that Strabo repeats the assertion, that the Cabeiri, like the Corybantes and Curetes, were only ministers of the great gods. We may therefore suppose, that the Samothracian Cabeiri were originally such inferior beings; and as the notion of the Cabeiri was from the first not fixed and distinct, it became less so in later times; and as the ideas of mystery and Demeter came to be looked upon as inseparable, it cannot occasion surprise that the mysteries, which were next in importance to those of Eleusis, the most celebrated in antiquity, were at length completely transferred to this goddess. The opinion that the Samothracian gods were the same as the Roman Penates, seems to have arisen with those writers who endeavoured to trace every ancient Roman institution to Troy, and thence to Samothrace.
  The places where the worship of the Cabeiri occurs, are chiefly Samothrace, Lemnos, and Imbros. Some writers have maintained, that the Samothracian and Lemnian Cabeiri were distinct; but the contrary is asserted by Strabo. Besides the Cabeiri of these three islands, we read of Boeotian Cabeiri. Near the Neitian gate of Thebes there was a grove of Demeter Cabeiria and Cora, which none but the initiated were allowed to enter; and at a distance of seven stadia from it there was a sanctuary of the Cabeiri (Paus. ix. 25.5). Here mysteries were celebrated, and the sanctity of the temple was great as late as the time of Pausanias (Comp. iv. 1.5). The account of Pausanias about the origin of the Boeotian Cabeiri savours of rationalism, and is, as Lobeck justly remarks, a mere fiction. It must further not be supposed that there existed any connexion between the Samothracian Cadmilus or Cadmus and the Theban Cadmus; for tradition clearly describes them as beings of different origin, race and dignity. Pausanias (ix. 22.5) further mentions another sanctuary of the Cabeiri, with a grove, in the Boeotian town of Anthedon; and a Boeotian Cabeirus, who possessed the power of averting dangers and increasing man's prosperity, is mentioned in an epigram of Diodorus. A Macedonian Cabeirus occurs in Lactantius. The reverence paid by the Macedonians to the Cabeiri may be inferred from the fact of Philip and Olympias being initiated in the Samothracian mysteries, and of Alexander erecting altars to the Cabeiri at the close of his Eastern expedition (Plut. Alex. 2; Philostr. de Vit. Apollon. ii. 43). The Pergamenian Cabeiri are mentioned by Pausanias (i. 4.6), and those of Berytus by Sanchoniathon and Damascius. Respecting the mysteries of the Cabeiri in general, see Dict. of Ant. s. v. Cabeiria.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Sep 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Athene, The Lemnian Pallas

The Lemnian Pallas, so named because it had been dedicated by the Athenian colonists in Lemnos. The attractions of this statue won for it the name of "the Beautiful". It was of bronze; being a representation of Athene as the goddess of peace, it was without a helmet.

Cadmilus, Casmilus or Cadmus

Cadmilus, Casmilus or Cadmus (Kadmilos, Kadmilos, or Kadmos), according to Acusilaus (ap. Strab. x.) a son of Hephaestus and Cabeiro, and father of the Samothracian Cabeiri and the Cabeirian nymphs. Others consider Cadmilus himself as the fourth of the Samothracian Cabeiri. (Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. i. 917)

Gods & heroes related to the location


Aeschylus makes him (Prometheus) son of Themis, by whom he is put in possession of all the secrets of the future. In the war with the Titans, his advice assisted Zeus to victory. But when the god, after the partition of the world, resolved on destroying the rude human race, and to create other beings in their stead, Prometheus alone concerned himself with the fate of wretched mortals, and saved them from destruction. He brought them the fire he had stolen from Hephaestus at Lemnos, the fire that was to become the source of all discoveries and of mastery over nature; and raised them to a higher civilization by his inventive skill and by the arts which he taught mankind. For this he was punished by being chained on a rock beside the sea in the wilds of Scythia.


The blinded hero contrived to reach Lemnos, and came to the forge of Hephaestus, who, taking pity on him, gave him Cedalion (Guardian), one of his men, to be his guide to the abode of the Sun. Placing Cedalion on his shoulder, Orion proceeded to the East; and there, meeting the sun-god, was restored to vision by his beams.



The blinded hero (Orion) contrived to reach Lemnos, and came to the forge of Hephaestus, who, taking pity on him, gave him Cedalion (Guardian), one of his men, to be his guide to the abode of the Sun. Placing Cedalion on his shoulder, Orion proceeded to the East; and there, meeting the sun-god, was restored to vision by his beams.


Son of Jason by Hypsipyle



Polyxo. The nurse of queen Hypsipyle in Lemnos, and celebrated as a prophetess.

Historic figures


Wife of Thoas, king of Lemnos, mother of Hipsipyle and Sicinus

The inhabitants founded the cities:

Cleonae, Olophyxis, Acrothoi, Dium &Thyssus

Some of the Pelasgi from Lemnos took up their abode on this peninsula, and they were divided into five cities, Cleonae, Olophyxis, Acrothoi, Dium, Thyssus. (Strabo Fr. 35)

Minyae colonize cities at Elia & Thera

  The descendants of the crew of the Argo were driven out by the Pelasgians who carried off the Athenian women from Brauron; after being driven out of Lemnos by them, they sailed away to Lacedaemon, and there camped on Teugetum and kindled a fire. Seeing it, the Lacedaemonians sent a messenger to inquire who they were and where they came from. They answered the messenger that they were Minyae, descendants of the heroes who had sailed in the Argo and put in at Lemnos and there begot their race. Hearing the story of the lineage of the Minyae, the Lacedaemonians sent a second time and asked why they had come into Laconia and kindled a fire. They replied that, having been expelled by the Pelasgians, they had come to the land of their fathers, as was most just; and their wish was to live with their fathers' people, sharing in their rights and receiving allotted pieces of land. The Lacedaemonians were happy to receive the Minyae on the terms which their guests desired; the chief cause of their consenting was that the Tyndaridae (Castor and Polydeuces) had been in the ship's company of the Argo; so they received the Minyae and gave them land and distributed them among their own tribes. The Minyae immediately married, and gave in marriage to others the women they had brought from Lemnos.
  But in no time these Minyae became imperious, demanding an equal right to the kingship, and doing other impious things; hence the Lacedaemonians resolved to kill them, and they seized them and cast them into prison. (When the Lacedaemonians execute, they do it by night, never by day.) Now when they were about to kill the prisoners, the wives of the Minyae, who were natives of the country, daughters of leading Spartans, asked permission to enter the prison and each converse with her husband; the Lacedamonians granted this, not expecting that there would be any treachery from them. But when the wives came into the prison, they gave their husbands all their own garments, and themselves put on the men's clothing; so the Minyae passed out in the guise of women dressed in women's clothing; and thus escaping, once more camped on Teugetum.
  Now, about this same time, Theras, a descendant of Polynices through Thersander, Tisamenus, and Autesion, was preparing to lead out colonists from Lacedaemon. This Theras was of the line of Cadmus and was an uncle on their mother's side to Aristodemus' sons Eurysthenes and Procles; and while these boys were yet children he held the royal power of Sparta as regent; but when his nephews grew up and became kings, then Theras could not endure to be a subject when he had had a taste of supreme power, and said he would no longer stay in Lacedaemon but would sail away to his family. On the island now called Thera, but then Calliste, there were descendants of Membliarus the son of Poeciles, a Phoenician; for Cadmus son of Agenor had put in at the place now called Thera during his search for Europa; and having put in, either because the land pleased him, or because for some other reason he desired to do so, he left on this island his own relation Membliarus together with other Phoenicians. These dwelt on the island of Calliste for eight generations before Theras came from Lacedaemon.
  It was these that Theras was preparing to join, taking with him a company of people from the tribes; his intention was to settle among the people of Calliste and not drive them out but claim them as in fact his own people. So when the Minyae escaped from prison and camped on Teugetum, and the Lacedaemonians were planning to put them to death, Theras interceded for their lives, that there might be no killing, promising to lead them out of the country himself. The Lacedaemonians consented to this, and Theras sailed with three thirty-oared ships to join the descendants of Membliarus, taking with him not all the Minyae but only a few; for the greater part of them made their way to the lands of the Paroreatae and Caucones, and after having driven these out of their own country, they divided themselves into six companies and established the cities of Lepreum, Macistus, Phrixae, Pyrgus, Epium, and Nudium in the land they had won; most of these were in my time taken and sacked by the Eleans. As for the island Calliste, it was called Thera after its colonist.
The descendants of the Argonauts were Minyae of Thessaly living near the Pagasaean gulf.

This extract is from: Herodotus. The Histories (ed. A. D. Godley, 1920), Cambridge. Harvard University Press. Cited Dec 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

... But the word has other sources of derivation, either from the people who went forth with Chloris, the mother of Nestor, from the Minyeian Orchomenus, or from the Minyans, who, being descendants of the Argonauts, were first driven out of Lemnos into Lacedaemon, and thence into Triphylia, and took up their abode about Arene in the country which is now called Hypaesia, though it no longer has the settlements of the Minyans. Some of these Minyans sailed with Theras, the son of Autesion, who was a descendant of Polyneices, to the island which is situated between Cyrenaea and Crete ( "Calliste its earlier name, but Thera its later," as Callimachus says), and founded Thera, the mother-city of Cyrene, and designated the island by the same name as the city.

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