1. The Arcadian Zeus
) was born, according to the legends of the country, in Arcadia, either on Mount Parrhasion (Callim. Hymn. in Jov. 7, 10
), or in a district of Mount Lycaeon, which was called Cretea. (Paus. 8.38.1
; Callim. l.100.14.
) He was brought up there by the nymphs Theisoa, Neda, and Hagno; the first of these gave her name to an Arcadian town, the second to a river, and the third to a well. (Paus. 8.38.2
, &c., 47.2; comp. Callim. l.100.33.
) Lycaon, a son of Pelasgus, who built the first and most ancient town of Lycosura, called Zeus Lycaeus, and erected a temple and instituted the festival of the Lyceia in honour of him; he further offered to him bloody sacrifices, and among others his own son, in consequence of which he was metamorphosed into a wolf (λύκος
; Paus. 8.2.1
; Callim. l.100.4 ; Ov. Met. 1.218
.) No one was allowed to enter the sanctuary of Zeus Lycaeus on Mount Lycaeon, and there was a belief that, if any one entered it, he died within twelve months after, and that in it neither human beings nor animals cast a shadow. (Paus. 8.38.5
; comp. Schol. ad Call. Jov. 13.
) Those who entered it intentionally were stoned to death, unless they escaped by flight; and those who had got in by accident were sent to Eleutherae. (Plut. Quaest. Gr. 39.
) On the highest summit of Lycaeon, there was an altar of Zeus, in front of which, towards the east, there were two pillars bearing golden eagles.
The sacrifices offered there were kept secret. (Paus. 8.38.5
; Callim. l.100.68.