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Idaian Gods

Post  AgathonZante on Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:54 am

In one of Orpheus' hymns, he invokes the Idaian Gods along with the Greek Gods. Who are the Idaian Gods?
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Re: Idaian Gods

Post  Erodius on Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:50 pm

The Idaean Gods are the various deities associated with Mt. Ida.

Where it becomes complex, is there are two different Mt. Idas, and their associated myths were often mixed together and shared. 

There is a Mt. Ida on the island of Crete, which is the location of a sacred cave associated with the Cave of Night, the place where Rhea hid the newly-begotten earthly Ζεύς to keep him away from the Titan Κρόνος. It is in this cave where the earthly Ζεύς was said to have been nursed by Amalthea (or a goat owned by a nymph named Amalthea, or perhaps by a goat named Amalthea – the story varies) and where the Curetes concealed him by making noise by beating on their bronze shields and spears. The Curetes feature also in several myths of Orphic religion, and they also had their own Mystery cult on the island of Samothrace that seemed to be especially favored by sailors. 

Then there is another Mt. Ida in Anatolia, associated with several other sacred myths. In one, Ζεύς takes Γανυμήδης (Ganymede, his heavenly attendant) up to heaven from the top of this mountain. In the Aeneid, this was the sacred mountain where the Trojan refugees fled to safety when Troy fell, designated so by a falling star. Finally, Anatolian Ida is also associated with the religion of Attis and Cybele, another (rather extreme) Mystery religion that spread throughout the Mediterranean in Antiquity. 

In the Orphic Hymns, however, I can tell you from an insider perspective that the Idaean gods referred to there are the Curetes. 

"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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