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 Some writers say that the first inhabitants of the country at the foot of Mount Ida were called Idæan Dac- tyli, for the country below mountains is called the foot, and the summits of mountains their heads; so the separate extremities of Ida (and all are sacred to the mother of the gods) are called Idæan Dactyli.1 But Sophocles2 supposes, that the first five were males, who discovered and forged iron,3 and many other things which were useful for the purposes of life; that these persons had five sisters, and from their number had the name of Dactyli.4 Different persons however relate these fables differently, connecting one uncertainty with another. They differ both with respect to the numbers and the names of these persons; some of whom they call Celmis, and Damnameneus, and Hercules, and Acmon, who, according to some writers, were natives of Ida, according to others, were settlers, but all agree that they were the first workers in iron, and upon Mount Ida. All writers suppose them to have been magicians, attendants upon the mother of the gods, and to have lived in Phrygia about Mount Ida. They call the Troad Phrygia, because, after the devastation of Troy, the neighbouring Phrygians became masters of the country. It is also supposed that the Curetes and the Corybantes were descendants of the Idæan Dactyli, and that they gave the name of Idæan Dactyli to the first hundred persons who were born in Crete; that from these descended nine Curetes, each of whom had ten children, who were called Idæan Dactyli.5
1 i. e. toes.
2 In a lost play, The Deaf Satyrs.
3 In hoc quoque dissentio, sapientes fuisse, qui ferri metalla et æris invenerunt, cum incendio silvarum adusta tellus, in summo venas jacentes liquefacta fudisset. Seneca, Epist. 90.
4 Diodorus Siculus, b. v., says that they obtained the name from being equal in number to the ten fingers or toes (Dactyli).
5 Groskurd proposes Corybantes for these latter Idæan Dactyli.
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