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SMINTHIA

SMINTHIA (Μίνθια), a festival celebrated at Rhodes (and perhaps elsewhere) in honour of Apollo Smintheus (Athen. 3.74 ff; x. p. 445 a: cf. Hermann, Gottesd. Alt. § 67, note 10). As regards the places where Apollo was so named, see Strabo, 10.486, 13.604; Schol. ad Il. 1.39; Ael. NA 13.5, who speaks of a mouse fed in the temple of Apollo Smintheus. It is beyond our scope to discuss whether the name signifies “mouse-destroyer,” and therefore “protector of crops,” or whether the mouse symbolised a destroyer of enemies, or whether, as is more recently held, the mouse was a totem: see, however, Lang, Custom and Myth; p. 103; Baumeister, Denkm. p. 1670 (s. v. Scopas), where the subject is illustrated by a representation on a coin.

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