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Daedăla, Daedalēa

δαίδαλα, δαιδάλεια).


A term applied to the earliest iconic representations of the gods roughly hewn out of wood (ἄγαλμα ξύλου, Pausan. ix. 3, 2). From a very early period stones and trees received divine honours (Lucian, Pseudom. 30). Thus Artemis Sotera at Boiae was a myrtle (Pausan. iii. 22, 12); the Paphian Aphrodité, a conical stone. The effigy of the god, down to the latest times, was placed in a tree. The immediate predecessor, however, of the δαίδαλον was a squared beam or flat board, which, like the pillar, was probably draped and decorated. (See Daedalus.)


A peculiar festival held by the Boeotians in honour of Heré. The goddess had, according to the story, once quarrelled with Zeus and hidden herself on Mount Cithaeron. Her husband then spread the report that he was going to marry another wife, and had an image of oak-wood decked out in bridal attire and carried over Cithaeron on a chariot with a numerous train amid the singing of marriage hymns. Heré, in her jealousy, threw herself upon her supposed rival, but, on discovering the trick, reconciled herself, with laughter, to Zeus, took her seat on the chariot, and founded the festival in memory of the incident. The feast was celebrated every seven years by the Plataeans alone and called the Little Daedala. But every sixtieth year all the cities of the Boeotian federation kept it as the Great Daedala. At the Little Daedala, guided by the note of a bird, they fixed on a tree in a grove of oaks and cut a figure out of it, which they dressed in bridal attire and took, as in marriage procession, to the top of Cithaeron. Here they offered a goat to Zeus and a cow to Heré, and burned the image with the offering. At the Great Daedala the images made at the Little Daedala were distributed by lot among the cities of the Boeotian confederacy, and the same proceedings were then repeated (Pausan. ix. 3.1, etc.).

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