γαιάοχον, in the Homeric use, is most simply explained as "earth-embracer," with ref. to the Homeric idea of “Ὠκεανός” flowing round the earth: though some understand "reigning on earth" (as Zeus in heaven, and Hades in the nether world Il. 15.190). Some take it here as = "guarding our land," like “γ. Ἄρτεμιν” in O. T. 160: and this certainly has more special point here. But would the constant Homeric epithet of Poseidon be applied to him in a sense different from the Homeric? All Greek hearers would think of the “γαιήοχος Ἐννοσίγαιος.” Ῥέας, here a monosyllable, as in Il. 15.187,—the only instance of this form in Il. or Od., but a dissyllable in Hom. Hymn. 5.459, “τὴν δ᾽ ὧδε προσέειπε Ῥέη λιπαροκρήδεμνος”. Elsewhere in the Hymns the form is always “Ῥείη”, as in Il. 14.203. In Hes. Th. 634 “Ῥεῖα” is read. Rhea, in the Greek theogony, is daughter of Uranos and Gaia, wife of Cronus, and "mother of the gods." The cult was that of the "Phrygian Mother" Cybele in a special phase, and came very early to Greece from Lydia: in Attica it was intimately connected with the Eleusinian cult of Demeter (cp. Hom. Hymn. 5.442, Eur. Helen 1301 ff. ). The “Μητρῷον” at Athens, the temple of Rhea Cybele, contained a celebrated statue of the goddess, by Pheidias or his pupil Agoracritus.
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