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 But there may be discovered respecting these dæmons, and the variety of their names, that they were not called ministers only of the gods, but themselves were called gods. For Hesiod says that Hecaterus and the daughter of Phoroneus had five daughters, “ From whom sprung the goddesses, the mountain nymphs,
And the worthless and idle race of satyrs,
And the gods Curetes, lovers of sport and dance.
” The author of the Phoronis calls the Curetes, players upon the pipe, and Phrygians; others call them ‘earth-born, and wearing brazen shields.’ Another author terms the Corybantes, and not the Curetes, Phrygians, and the Curetes, Cretans. Brazen shields were first worn in Eubœa, whence the people had the name of Chalcidenses.1 Others say, that the Corybantes who came from Bactriana, or, according to some writers, from the Colchi, were given to Rhea, as a band of armed ministers, by Titan. But in the Cretan history the Curetes are called nurses and guardians of Jove, and are described as having been sent for from Phrygia to Crete by Rhea. According to other writers, there were nine Telchines in Rhodes, who accompanied Rhea to Crete, and from nursing2 Jupiter had the name of Curetes;3 that Corybus, one of their party, was the founder of Hierapytna, and furnished the Prasians4 in Rhodes with the pretext for saying that Cory bantes were certain dæmons, children of Minerva and the sun. By others, the Corybantes are represented to be the children of Saturn; by others, of Jupiter and Calliope, or to be the same persons as the Cabeiri; that they went away5 to Samothrace,6 which was formerly called Melite; but their lives and actions are mysterious.
1 See above, ch. iii. § 1, 6, 8.
4 Who were the Prasians of Rhodes I confess I cannot say. Palmer.
5 From whence Strabo does not inform us.
6 The Scholiast of Apollonius remarks that it was formerly called Leucosia, afterwards Samos from a certain Saiis, and Samothrace when it came into possession of the Thracians. It had also the name of Dardania.
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