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ments, with drums and cymbals, dancing through the streets, and conducting the orgiastic rites of the cult.


THE KOURETES were daimons or a mythical people of Oriental origin, said to have been brought to Greece by Deukalion and to have been the original inhabitants of Akarnania and Aitolia. They were identified with the Korybantes, the Telchines of Rhodes, and the Idaian Daktyloi, as servants of Rhea-Kybele, who entrusted the infant Zeus to the Cretan Kouretes for protection from Kronos (Pausanias, V, vii, 6). As followers of RheaKybele they shaved their heads and, wearing women's garments, assisted at the festivals of the goddess in conducting the noisy, orgiastic Phrygian rites of her worship (Strabo, X, iii, 19, 22 pp. 472, 473 C). They were the jugglers of Crete, but were active in advancing the arts of civilization and taught the healing art."




MEDEIA, whose name connects her with such healers as Agamede, Epimedes, Perimedes,205 and her son Medos, was, according to the usual version of her legend, the daughter of Aietes, King of Kolchis, a priestess of Hekate, and a witch celebrated for her skill in magic and sorcery. She fell in love with Iason (also, in origin, a healing hero, as his name implies, and the son of Polymede), to whom she gave not only a magic salve which protected him from iron and fire, but also a magic potion with which to put the dragon to sleep, thus securing the Golden Fleece. She then fled with Iason, whose wife she became.

294 Harrison, in ERE vii, 758-759. 295 Usener, op. cit., pp. 160-163.

Evidently a healing heroine of much importance in the earlier period, Medeia was reputed to be especially skilled in the knowledge of drugs (Pindar, op. cit., iv, 233). She cured Herakles of his madness (Diodoros, iv, 55) and rejuvenated Iason's aged father.296 She was apotheosized at Corinth (Scholion on Euripides, Medea, 10), and at Antioch a famous statue was erected in her honor (Malalas, p. 263). She is said to have discovered colchicum.


MELAMPOUS, one of the most celebrated seers of ancient Hellas, was said to have been the first Greek endowed with prophetic powers. He lived before Asklepios, at a time variously estimated at from 150 to 500 years before the Trojan War, or, as more definitely stated, about 1400 B.C. He was an Argolian shepherd, whose ears, according to the legend, were cleansed by a serpent while he slept in the fields; and he thus gained remarkable perception, understanding the language of animals, interpreting the songs of birds, and acquiring the gift of prophecy. The name became a collective for his family and descendants, many of whom were prophets (Odys., xv, 225) and healers, as Polyidos his nephew and Amphiaraos his grandson; while his lineage was divided into two branches, the Iamids and Klytids, the Elean seers (Iamids) being most famous.27 It is claimed that Melampous was deified, but it appears more probable that he ranked as a hero or a demigod.

Melampous, who possessed the knowledge of all remedies, was the first Greek physician and was called 'divine.' He had a sanctuary at Aigosthena, where a yearly festi

296 Gruppe, op. cit., p. 546. 297 Halliday, op. cit., p. 95.

val was held in his honor, but where no divination was practiced, either by dreams or in any other way (Pausanias, I, xliv, 5). He was famous for his cures of insanity, healing the women of Aigina of madness and being granted a large share of the kingdom in recompense (Herodotos, ix, 34). He gained his greatest fame, however, by curing the daughters of Proitos of their madness by the use of hellebore, which was named melampodion after him. Pliny says (op. cit., xxv, 21) that they were healed by the milk of goats fed upon melampodion; and Ovid (op. cit., xv, 326 ff.), that they were cured by herbs and incantations. It is claimed that this took place at Sikyon (Pausanias, II, vii, 8); at the Anigrian springs into which Melampous threw the things used for their purification, thus giving the water its bad odor (ib., V, v, 10; Strabo, VIII, iii, 19 = p. 346 C); or, as more generally accepted, at the sanctuary of Artemis at Lousoi (Pausanias, VIII, xviii, 7), where the waters had been polluted in the same manner, so that persons drinking them lost their taste for wine and could not bear the smell of it (Frazer, op. cit., iv, 259). As a reward Proitos gave Melampous one of his daughters, Iphianassa, in marriage, as well as a large part of his kingdom. Melampous is reputed to have visited Egypt and to have brought back the orgiastic and mystic rites of Dionysos (Herodotos, ii, 49).


MOLPADIA HEMITHEA was the daughter of Staphylos of Thrace. While she and her sister, Parthenos, were guarding her father's wine-pots, they broke, and to avoid his wrath they threw themselves into the sea, Molpadia being later accorded divine honors and becoming celebrated for her dream-oracle. A temple was erected to her at Kastabos in the Thracian Cheronese, which became a popular

resort for invalids, to whom the means of cure were indicated by incubation. She gained great repute for her assistance in child-birth and was appealed to especially by women who feared the difficulties and dangers of labor (Diodoros, v, 62).


MOPSOS, the son of a Cretan seer named Rhakios, was one of the heroes of the Theban War and later joined Amphilochos in founding the city of Mallos in Cilicia, where they set up an oracle. Mopsos was worshipped as a healing hero both at Mallos and at Oropos, and was a prophet superior to Kalchas, who died of chagrin when he realized his defeat (Strabo, XIV, i, 27; XIV, v, 16 = pp. 642, 675 C).298


MOUSAIOS, a mythical bard, seer, and priest of preHomeric times, was the son of Orpheus and Selene, or, as sometimes claimed, of Eumolpos; and he was usually considered as one of the Eumolpidai.

Aristophanes (Ranæ, 1033) makes Aischylos say that Mousaios taught oracles and the healing of disease.


OINONE, a daughter of the river-god Kebren, and a rival of Helena for the love of Paris, had been given the art of prophecy and had received from Apollo the knowledge of healing herbs (Parthenios, Erotica, iv; Ovid, Heroides, v, 145-148). She alone could heal Paris when wounded by Philoktetes, but she refused to go to him. Repenting, she arrived too late and in her sorrow ended her own life (Parthenios, loc. cit.).

298 See further, Gruppe, op. cit., p. 553.


POLYIDOS, a descendant of Melampous and a celebrated seer of Corinth, Argos, or Megara, raised from the dead Glaukos, son of Minos, who had been strangled by falling into a vessel of honey. Shut in a room with the dead child, he killed a snake that had entered, and noticing that its companion had revived it by placing on it a certain herb or grass, he laid the same on the body of the child, thus restoring it to life (Apollodoros, III, iii, 1). This revivification is, however, often ascribed to Asklepios.299


PROTESILAOS was a healing hero whose shrine was located at his grave on the shores of the Thracian Cheronese (Antiphilos, in Anthol. Pal., vii, 171; Philostratos, op. cit., ii, 15). He was slain by Hektor and descended to Hades, but returned to life for a short time.



TOXARIS was a Scythian who came with Anacharsis to Athens, where he was heroized for his skill in the treatment of fevers. He was called a 'hero-physician, 500 and in gratitude for stopping a disastrous plague the Athenians raised to him an altar at which they annually sacrificed a white goat.301

Supplement to Chapter VI.


[GLYKON was a false deity, a pretended reincarnation of Asklepios, who appeared about A.D. 150 when a certain 299 See supra, page 251.

300 W. W. Goodwin, "The Hero Physician," in AJA, 2d series, 1900, iv, 168.

301 Thrämer, in Roscher, i, 2483 f.

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