Thursday, November 13, 2008

Illyrian names

Illyrian names

Ilagus. Son of Priam [Hyg.Fab.90].

Ileus . Son of Apollo and Urea, daughter of Poseidon [Hes.CWE.83; Hyg.Fab.161].

Ileus (See Oileus ) [SI.1].

Ilia (Silvia , Rhea ) was made a Vestal by her uncle Amulius, because he did not want her to be with child. However she got pregnant and she would have suffered the death penalty, but Antho interceded successfully on her behalf. Others have said, however, that she was put to death immediately, when it became known that she was pregnant. Ilia was daughter of Numitor and mother by Ares of Romulus and Remus . But these brothers have also been said to be the sons of Amulius and Ilia [see Romulus] [DH.1.79.2; Ov.Fast.3.41, 4.54; Vir.Aen.6.777, 1.273; Plu.PS.36; Plu.Rom.3.3, 4.2].

Iliona. Daughter of Priam , wife of the treacherous Polymestor and mother by him of Deipylus . When Polydorus was born, his father Priam gave him to his daughter Iliona, who was then married to King Polymestor of Thrace. Iliona brought her brother up as her own son; and the son Deipylus that she had by Polymestor , she brought as if he were her brother, thinking that if anything happened to either of them, she could give the other to her parents at Troy. Now, when Troy was sacked, the Achaeans, purposing to destroy the house of Priam , murdered little Astyanax , the son of Hector ; and with regard to Polydorus the Achaeans sent messengers to King Polymestor , promising him Electra , daughter of Agamemnon, in marriage, together with a large amount of gold, if he would kill Polydorus . Polymnestor found the offer attractive but unwittingly slew his own son Deipylus , thinking he was killing Polydorus . In the meantime this young man had gone to the Oracle at Delphi and, having inquired about his parents, he learned that his city was burned, his father dead, and his mother held in servitude. But when he returned home to Thrace, still not knowing about his Trojan origin and believing Polymestor and Iliona to be his parents, he thought that the Oracle had spoken falsely. However, his sister Iliona, who later committed suicide on account of the misfortunes of her family, revealed the truth and, following her advice, Polydorus blinded Polymestor and killed him [see also Hecabe ] [Hyg.Fab.109, 243; Vir.Aen.1.653].

Ilioneus . See NIOBIDS.

Ilioneus . See TROJANS.

Ilioneus . A companion of the exiled Aeneas. His ship sank [Vir.Aen.1.120, 1.521].

Ilioneus 4. A Trojan elder who asked for mercy but was nevertheless slain by Diomedes at Troy [QS.13.181ff.].

Ilithius. Father of Iasion [see also Demeter] [Hyg.Fab.270].

Ilithyia (Eileithyia). See Other Deities.

Illyrius. Son of Cadmus and Harmonia [Apd.3.5.4].

Iltonomus. One of the sons of Aegyptus . See DANAIDS.

Ilus . Son of Dardanus , son of Zeus and Electra , one of the PLEIADES. His mother was Batia , daughter of Teucer , son of Scamander , one of the RIVER GODS. Ilus died childless [Apd.3.12.2].

Ilus founded the city of Ilium (Troy) that he called after himself. Ilus went to Phrygia, and taking part in games that at the time were held by the king, he won victory in wrestling. As a prize he received fifty youths and as many maidens; and the king, obeying an oracle, gave him also a cow and asked him to found a city wherever the cow should lie down. This took place when the cow came to the hill of Ate, and in that spot Ilus built the city which he called Ilium. Then he prayed to Zeus that a sign might be shown to him and he saw the Palladium, fallen from heaven and lying before his tent. Ilus was blinded, since the Palladium was not to be looked upon by any man. But later, when he had made offerings to the goddess, he recovered his sight. Ilus was son of Tros (eponym of the Trojans), son of Erichthonius , son of Dardanus , son of Zeus and Electra , one of the PLEIADES. His mother was Callirrhoe , daughter of Scamander , one of the RIVER GODS. He had children by Eurydice 6 (daughter of Adrastus ): Themiste and Laomedon , but the latter is also called son of Ilus and Leucippe 5. Also Tithonus has been called son of Ilus [see also Troy] [Apd.3.12.2-3; Dictys 4.22; Hyg.Fab.250; Plu.PS.17].

Ilus . Son of Mermerus . A man whom Odysseus used to visit [Hom.Od.1.259].

Ilus 4. An ally of Turnus, the man who opposed Aeneas in Italy [Vir.Aen.10.400].

Origin of the name Illyrius

by Alan G. Hefner

Il, a Canaanite creator god, most probably modeled on or syncretized with El. He exerted supreme authority, both morally and creatively, and governed the assembly of the gods. Baal was ultimately answerable to him. According to legend he resides in royal surroundings lying at the confluence of two rivers. A stele found at Ras Samra has a seated god with bullhorns, which may depict either Il or Baal.

by Dr Anthony E. Smith

Leader of the gods. The first Canaanite god, El dwelt on Mount Saphon, and it was under his aegis that Baal married Anat, defeated the sea god Yam and the death lord Mot, and was installed as the divine bestower of life-giving rain. Represented as an aged man, El wore bull's horns, the symbol of strength, and was usually depicted as seated. It is thought that he corresponded to the Hebrew god, Yahweh. He is also known as El 'Elyon, "God Most High."

by Micha F. Lindemans

An ancient Syrian/Phoenician sky deity. He belongs to the first generation of gods and fathered the sky god Epigeus with his wife Beruth, the mother goddess. Eljon's name is derived from alaj ("rising"). He is also known as Elioun and Eliun.

by Micha F. Lindemans

The sky god of the Hittites, who appears in state treaties as the god of oaths. He is probably derived from the Sumerian Enlil and is similar to the Hurrian father god Kumarbi.

by Micha F. Lindemans

The Akkadian god of earth and wind. He is the son of Ansar and Kisar, the primordial deities, and the father of the moon god Sin. Together with Ea and Anu he forms a powerful triad of gods in the ancient Mesopotamian religion. He is represented wearing a headband which is decorated with horns. He is equivalent to the Sumerian god Enlil.

by Micha F. Lindemans

Hebrew: "God". One of the names of God. It is the name used by the author of one of the sources of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible).

by Micha F. Lindemans

The personification of the moon among the southern Hebrews.

Elysian Fields
by Micha F. Lindemans

Elysium. In Greek mythology, the abode of the blessed, paradise. Situated at the end of the world it is here that those chosen by the gods are sent to.

by Micha F. Lindemans

The Akkadian god of earth and wind. He is the son of Ansar and Kisar, the primordial deities, and the father of the moon god Sin. Together with Ea and Anu he forms a powerful triad of gods in the ancient Mesopotamian religion. He is represented wearing a headband which is decorated with horns. He is equivalent to the Sumerian god Enlil.

by Micha F. Lindemans

In ancient Sumero-Babylonian myth, Enlil ("lord wind") is the god of air, wind and storms. Enlil is the foremost god of the Mesopotamian pantheon, and is sometimes referred to as Kur-Gal ("great mountain"). In the Sumerian cosmology he was born of the union of An heaven and Ki earth. These he separated, and he carried off the earth as his portion. In later times he supplanted Anu as chief god. His consort is Ninlil with whom he has five children: Nanna, Nerigal, Ningirsu, Ninurta, and Nisaba.

Enlil holds possession of the Tablets of Destiny which gives him power over the entire cosmos and the affairs of man. He is sometimes friendly towards mankind, but can also be a stern and even cruel god who punishes man and sends forth disasters, such as the great Flood which wiped out humanity with the exception of Atrahasis. Enlil is portrayed wearing a crown with horns, symbol of his power. His most prestigious temple was in the city Nippur, and he was the patron of that city. His equivalent is the Akkadian god Ellil.

Why Illuyankas?


Illuyankas was the Hittite version of the 'World Serpent' found in mythologies throughout the world. In the Near East, he has parallels in Mesopotamian Tiamat and the Hebrew Leviathan. As the nemesis of the Hittite storm-god, however, he as clearer direct parallels in such IE world serpents as the Norse's Iormungander, the Hindus' Vritra, and the Persians' Azhi Dahaka. In myth he has even closer parallels with the Greeks' Typhon, and may have been a Bronze Age prototype of the Classical Greek monster.

In Hittite myth Illuyankas initially defeated the storm-god Taru and tore out his eyes and heart. In Greek myth, however, Zeus attacked Typhon as soon as it exited its Anatolian cave. However, Typhon managed to rip Zeus' sinews from his limbs, rendering the Greek storm-god powerless.

In one version of the Hittite myth, Taru had his son marry the daughter of Illuyankas, the dowry of which included the return of Taru's eyes and heart. The Greeks also had Hermes, the son of Zeus, sneak into Typhon's cave and recover Zeus' sinews. In both myths the storm-gods renewed their attacks and the Serpent was defeated. In Hittite myth, as in elsewhere in the IE legends, Illuyankas' death symbolized a beginning of a new era.

In another version of the myth the storm-god had the goddess Inaras hold a great banquet for Illuyankas and his children. Incapacitated from their feast, Illuyankas and his party were pounced upon by the storm-god, accompanied by the other gods, and killed.

The Hittites read this myth on New Year's Day (on the vernal equinox?), and the ritual of his defeat was invoked every spring to symbolized the earth's renewal.

So why did Illuyankas borrow its name from the sun god of Phoenicia Il, El?
Initially the Greek storm god Zeus had three eyes, the same as weather god Taru among Hittites. What was the third eye other than the sun? Illuyankas stole the eye of the sky god rendering the sky god powerless. The lightning was considered to be the weapon of the sun. Ancient Indo Europeans had no idea of the discharge of an electrical spark in a thundercloud. If the sun was gone the weapon of the sky god disappeared as well. That is why a mortal man Hupasiays was employed to retrieve the weapon of the sky god. Because Illuyankas stole the sun god the serpent was named after the sun among Hittites and Illyrians. Greeks who were ignorant about the role of the sun as the third eye of the sky god portrayed a rather human like Zeus with two eyes instead of three. That means that Greeks translated the Hittite myths from Illyrian sources.

This myth is a Hittite variant theme of fighting the God of Thunder against the World Serpent, like Thor and Ermungand ( Scandinavian mythology), Indra and Vritra (Indian mythology), Zeus and Tithon (Greek mythology).

The Hittite God of Thunder was defeated by the Serpent Illuyankas and lost his heart and eye. In order to give back his power, the god married on a daughter of some man. When their son grown up, he in his turn married a daughter of Illuyankas. As a dowry, the god’s son took hearth and eyes and gave these his father. Then the God of Thunder gave back his power, he defeated Illuyankas by means lightning.


Religious phenomena are naturally arranged in two fundamental categories: beliefs and rites. The first are states of opinion, and consist in representations; the second are determined modes of action. Between these two classes of facts there is all the difference which separates thought from action.

Mythology is one of the essential elements of the religious life ... If the myth were withdrawn from religion, it would be necessary to withdraw the rite also; for the rites are generally addressed to definite personalities who have a name, a character, determined attributes and a history ... Very frequently, the rite is nothing more than the myth put in action

For though tales may travel very far from their place of origin, they are unlikely to obtain any great popularity - still less to root themselves in the form of sagas - unless they are in some measure consonant with custom and therefore capable of being understood in their essential details.
Clearly the Homeric songs comprised into Iliad were related to an oral tradition celebrating the battle of the gods rather than describing the fall of a city.

Ritual is but one of the parents of myth. The function of Myth, in this context, is to bring out in articulate fashion the inherent durative significance of the ritual program. Its method is to construe the punctual order of ceremonies in terms of an ideal situation involving ‘gods’ ... Its effect is to turn presentation into representation, to introduce the elements of mimesis and to confer upon the participants the added and parallel role of mortals, so that they are at one and the same time both protagonists of a direct experience and impersonators of characters other than their own. Ritual and Myth are thus correlatives in a single whole.

The New Year is typically linked with mythical themes such as the birth of the mythical hero, the resurrection of the mythical hero, the hero's defeat of the dragon, and the creation of the world – all of which converge. The celebrations of the New Year festival in ancient Babylonia, Israel, India and many other places were believed to reenact and re-experience the creation of the world through the performance of their sacred rituals. During these festivals, the people themselves dressed up and played their appropriate parts in sacred drama dictated by the roles occupied by the gods in the corresponding myths. Primitive forms of drama found in hunting societies offer a clue to understand the drama performed at the Babylonian New Year festival, which was called the Akîtu festival:

We have thus seen that in the hunting communities the primitive drama is a ritual creation of the cosmos of these communities in the strict sense of the word.

The sacred acts performed at the Babylonian festival are a reenactment of the Babylonian creation epic, in which the god Marduk vanquished Tiamat, the demon of chaos:

Our conjecture that a religious drama was performed at the akîtu festival in which Marduk, as in Enuma eliš, conquered Tiamat and Kingu, the enemies of the gods, has thus been temporarily corroborated ...

The Babylonian creation epic, the Enuma eliš, was actually recited at the Akîtu festival, so that there can hardly be any doubt as to the close association of the creation myth and the ritual.

In the first place, Marduk’s victory over Chaos was celebrated ... at the New Year’s festival. This follows, not only from the connection between creation and the New Year which we have discussed, but from an explicit epithet of Marduk: ‘The Lord who sits in the midst of Tiamat at the Akitu festival.’ This is a clear reference to the Epic of Creation ...

In the New Year Festival in Babylon the celebration of the annual renewal in nature and society was enacted in very intimate association with the Creation Epic ...

Since each new year threatened to bring back the watery chaos that prevailed when the primeval battle between Marduk and Tiamat ... was fought, it is by no means improbable that this crucial event was celebrated in a sacred drama in which the king played the role of Marduk.

The match between the creation epic and the festival was so close in Babylon, that every act performed on the occasion seemed to have a counterpart in the mythical epic. The king of Babylon clearly enacted the role of the supreme champion Marduk during the festival:

In the fourth place, the king represents Marduk in Obv. 14-20.

In one of the hymns Marduk is called: ... the lord who dwells at the New Year’s festival in the midst of Tiamat, and the dramatic performances of the New Year merely re-enacted what had happened on the first New Year’s day of all, at the creation of the world. The emergence of the Sun-god ... is also in accordance with the text, for the Epic states that, after killing Tiamat: The Lord rested beholding the cadaver; As he divided the monster, devising cunning things, He split her into two parts, like an oyster. As it happens, we have conclusive proof that the Ancients could symbolise this cutting-up of Tiamat by the two wings of Pl. XVIIIk. For a commentary on the New Year ritual explains one act in the following terms: The pigeon which is thrown is Tiamat. It is thrown and cut into two halves.

Fire ceremonies during the festival are related to the mythological combat between Marduk and his opponents:

) Ceremonies in which fire comes into use, either in the form of a burnt offering (Obv. 7), or as a fire which is kindled (Obv. 3), or in the form of battle scenes in which burning darts or the like play a prominent part (Obv. 9, 27-32) ... In the second place, several passages in the mythological text show us a contest between gods (among which Marduk plays the main part) and their antagonists.

The commentary then says that the fire which (the king?) lights, is Marduk, who in his youth ... The next act commented upon concerns certain participants who hurl firebrands. These persons represent the gods ... In the ritual a fire is kindled before Ninlil ... Firebrands are lighted from the oven and these mean the arrows from the quiver of Bêl-Marduk, and the gods his fathers who bound iluZû and iluAsakku in their midst. The king ... lifts a dumaki (weapon?) above his head; this means Marduk, who lifted his weapons above his head and consumed the sons of Enlil and Ea with fire. The king breaks a vessel with a lisnu; this means Marduk, who bound Tiamat (?) in his victory (?).

Ritual combats taking place during the festival were believed to symbolise the primeval battle of the gods. Similar to the myth of Enuma eliš Iliad is not the battle for a city but the battle of gods in the myth of creation. The first distortion of Babylonian myth took place through translation of Akkadian texts into Hittite. The final misrepresentation took place after the translation from Illyrian - Hittite texts to Greek when the myth of Babylon was twisted into the myth of Ilion.

Ritual combats were in progress in the streets symbolizing the ascendancy of Chaos, very much as in the earlier New Year festival at Erech, held in honour of Ishtar in the autumn, a Saturnalian carnival like the Persian Sacaea, may have been enacted, in which a mock king reigned for five days while everything was in uproar.

The mimetic combat was mythologized as the battle of the divine champion against the Dragon or similar monstrous adversary (e. g. Marduk against Tiamat, Ninurta against Zû, etc.).

Ritual races represented the race of the hero Ninurta, a predecessor of Marduk's, towards his enemies:

Celebrants run a race in the streets in frenzy ... The race symbolizes Ninurta (...), sent to conquer the dragons ...

And a large procession to the Bit Akîtu, 'the house of Akîtu', commemorated the victorious army of the gods:

For the procession ... represented the victorious army of the gods who, on the eve of Creation, went out against Tiamat and destroyed her forces. ... A figure of Assur, going to battle against Tiamat, carrying the bow, on his chariot holding the ‘weapon of the storm’ (abubu), and Amurru, who goes with him as charioteer ... (besides) the gods who march in front and the gods who march behind him, those who ride in chariots and those who go on foot ... (and) Tiamat and the creatures (that were) in her.

All of this quite clearly indicates that myth and ritual were very well tuned in to each other in ancient Babylon, on occasion of the oldest New Year celebration we know of. The same thing was true in many other ancient societies. The rituals performed at the New Year festival in ancient Israel, for instance, seem likewise to have been associated with the Hebrew creation epic, in which Yahweh vanquished the dragon Rahab or Leviathan:

There are also traces of a ritual combat at Jerusalem … Recent studies (Mowinckel, Pedersen, Hans Schmidt, A. R. Johnson, for example) have defined the ritual elements and the cosmogonico-eschatological implications of the Psalms and have shown the role played by the king in the New Year festival, which commemorated the triumph of Yahweh, leader of the forces of light, over the forces of darkness (the chaos of the sea, the primordial monster Rahab). This triumph was followed by the enthronement of Yahweh as king and the repetition of the cosmogonic act.

Taking all these points into consideration, it may be argued that a strong case can be made in support of the argument that the motif of Yahweh’s kingship, and with it the Chaoskampf ... had its Sitz im Leben in the Feast of Tabernacles at New Year’s eve.

It is inferred from the Psalms that the fight with the dragon was one episode in the drama [of the New Year's festival; MAS], in which, as throughout the festival, the part of Jahweh was taken by the king. There was also a triumphal procession, conducting the divine king in his chariot up the hill of Zion to be enthroned in the temple ... There are also signs that, at some point in the king’s progress there was another ritual combat. The procession was assailed by the powers of darkness and death, who are also the enemies of Israel, the kings of the earth who took counsel together against the Lord’s anointed. The god who wields the thunder intervened, to save his royal son and to dash his enemies in pieces. This episode has a parallel in the annual ritual at Abydos in Egypt. The procession conducting Osiris to his shrine was attacked by a band representing Set and his followers who were repelled by a company led by Horus.

Many other Egyptian festivals, notably those associated with the New Year, had close ties with mythical stuff, notably creation themes.

That ‘Apop “is thrown into the ocean at the new year’s day” is a reminiscence of the Babylonian doctrine that the struggle of creation is typologically repeated at the beginning of the new year in spring.

The text gives an account of the traditional ceremonies of the induction of the king, which was celebrated in conjunction with the New Year ceremonies during the month of Khoiakh ... The Ritual Combat is the battle between Horus and Set. The members of the royal household are the ‘children of Horus’ who aid him in this conflict.

Likewise, the drama in Memphis included a ritual combat as part of the installation of the received king, and in Edfu a mock combat was part of a ritual performed by the king, who acted as the mythical Horus of Behudet.

In the Babylonian New Year Festival the ritual takes the form of a foot-race between Zu and Ninurta, in which Zu is defeated and afterwards, apparently, slain. In the myth the counterpart of the ritual is the story of the struggle between Horus and Set, between Marduk and Tiamat, or between Jahweh and the dragon.

Further examples could easily be adduced. Among the Hittites the New Year's festival was celebrated with a combat intended to reenact the dragon myth:

... and among the Hittites, the punctual ritual, performed annually at the spring festival of Puruli, was taken to represent a battle-royal between a national weather-god and the dragon Illuyankas.

All claims of an Achaean victory and the fall of Ilion are the greatest embarrassment of Greek megalomania. The falsification of history could not be more ridiculous than the plagiarism of a New Year’s ritual and the myth of creation. Iliad was but an echo of the ritual combat celebrated at ancient New Year’s festivals. Thus, myth and ritual are in close interaction in traditional celebrations of the New Year, and we see that the archaic cyclical concept of time is here integrated into an annually recurring repetition of chaos and creation.

From these and many other examples, the correspondence between myth and ritual operates on a vast scale – it is everywhere. For practically every known rite– and there are thousands of them – you can find a natural match in mythology, and in every instance the person who performs the ritual corresponds to one of the actors in the myth, be it the main divinity himself or another one. It is, therefore, justifiable to say that the persons who enact the rituals temporarily become the gods – in their own imagination – for the duration of the ritual. The myth and the ritual together form a sort of microcosm that exists outside the ordinary world.

Of course you do not always find the pair of myth and ritual as neatly combined as in the New Year festivals. Many cultures offer only a myth without a ritual counterpart, or only a ritual without an apparent mythical significance. It may well be that the close associations between ritual and myth were often forgotten by the celebrants themselves, particularly the less knowledgeable, although memories of the original associations lingered longer among the sages. The central issue at this point is that you can find a corresponding myth for almost any ritual, as long as you are allowed to compare materials from different cultures with each other. Some cultures have myths about mythical ancestors who climbed up to heaven by means of a tree, whereas other cultures actually enact this myth on a ritual basis. This is true to such an extent that even the more purely mythical themes, for which practical analogues hardly seem possible, are somewhere somehow given shape in ritual practices. The universal flood myth, for instance, was remembered in Greece during the festival of the Hydrophoria, where water was ritually poured into a cleft in the ground where the waters of Deucalion's flood had supposedly flowed away. Likewise the cosmic myth of the separation of heaven and earth by the growth of a tree was commemorated in yearly rites where a May tree was erected in the centre of the community.

The most sacred rites were believed to have been instituted by the gods themselves. According to the myth the god performed the sacred act for the first time, so that the myth actually describes the ritual. Conversely, by performing the same sacred act the celebrant repeats what the god allegedly did first, so that the deity automatically becomes the legendary founder of the ritual.

Cadmus father of Illyrus

Cadmus, in search of his abducted sister Europa, settled in Boeotia, which some say he invaded with a Phoenician army, founding in this new land the city of Cadmea, later called Thebes. Cadmus is credited for having combined consonants with vowels, thus teaching the secrets of correct speech. These events took place approximately 200 years before the Trojan War.

Lost princess
When the princess Europa disappeared from the coasts of Phoenicia on the back of a bull, her father Agenor , son of King Belus of Egypt and Anchinoe, the daughter of the river god Nilus, sent his sons in search of her, telling them not to return until they had found their sister.

Zeus and Europa

Europa never found However, nothing was ever found resembling the lost princess, except for the name of the land called Europa, which is that part of the inhabited world lying north of the Peloponnesus and beyond; for she, after having being conveyed through the sea by Zeus the bull, was set down by him, quite dry, upon the shore by Mount Dicte in Crete.

Brothers disperse as they search for her Her brother Phoenix gave up the search for Europa, and settled in some part of Phoenicia, which was called after him, and so did Cilix, who became king in Cilicia, the southeasternmost coastal region of Asia Minor, and so did Thasus, who also gave up the search and settled in an large island off Thrace, in the northern section of the Aegean Sea, founding a city Thasos. Also other relatives, brothers or perhaps cousins, went away in search of Europa. Cepheus , son of Belus or of Phoenix and father of Andromeda, the wife of Perseus , settled in Ethiopia; and Phineus , whom the ARGONAUTS are said to have met though it sounds unlikely, became king of Salmydessus in Thrace.

Cadmus leaves settlers in famous island When Cadmus, who some say was from the city of Tyros, sailing northwards from Sidon in Phoenicia, put ashore at Calliste, the island north of Crete later called Thera (Santorini), he left on this island a group of settlers under the leadership of Membliarus, son of Poeciles. Calliste came to be called Thera because many generations later Theras (son of Autesion , son of Tisamenus , son of Thersander , son of Polynices, son of Oedipus, son of Laius , son of Labdacus , son of Polydorus , son of Cadmus) came to the island to claim his rights. On Theras' arrival to Calliste, the descendants of Membliarus gave up the kingship to him of their own accord, for they considered that Theras' family went back to Cadmus himself. And so Theras, having become king, renamed the island, and called it Thera after himself.

Cadmus in Thrace and Samothrace Having left Calliste then, Cadmus came, accompanied by his mother Telephassa, to Thrace, which is the region between the Black and Aegean seas, and settled there.

Some have said that Cadmus was taught initiatory rites by Iasion when he, in search of her sister Europa, came to Samothrace, the island in the northern Aegean sea, and they suppose that it was here that Cadmus married Harmonia .

Cadmus in Delphi After his mother's death, Cadmus came to Delphi to inquire about Europa, but the oracle told him no to worry about his sister and instead, letting himself be guided by a cow, found a city in the place where the animal should stop to rest.

Method to found a city So Cadmus, obeying the oracle, journeyed through Phocis, which is the region bordering the northern coast of the Gulf of Corinth, and having met a cow, followed it behind until it fell down for weariness in that same spot in Boeotia where Cadmus founded the city of Cadmea, later called Thebes.

The Dragon of Ares When the place for the new city, through such an amazing method, was determined, Cadmus decided to sacrifice the cow to the goddess Athena. With that purpose in mind, he sent some of his men to draw water from the spring later called Dirce (some have said Castalia), belonging to Ares, which happened to be guarded by a dragon said to be the offspring of the god, or sacred to him. This dragon, which had a golden crest, flashed fire from his eyes, had a triple tongue, teeth ranged in triple row, and the body swollen with poison, devoured Cadmus' companions. But when he discovered that the beast was the reason why those who were sent after water never returned, he confronted it and killed it, sowing, by the advice of Athena, its teeth in the earth.

The SPARTI Soon after he had sown the teeth, there rose from the ground armed men who are called SPARTI, brawling for nothing and killing each other, some say because of provocations staged by Cadmus himself, who flung stones at them inducing them to believe that they were being pelted by each other. Some of them, however, survived the massacre they had themselves produced, and it is said that in Cadmus' time the greatest power, next after his, was in the hands of the SPARTI, who also helped him to build the new city.

Bill for destroying the dragon But Cadmus, because of having slaughtered Ares' darling dragon, had to atone for it, being forced to serve the god for what was called an eternal year, which is equivalent to eight regular years.

Kingdom and bride After having paid this penalty Cadmus, with Athena's help, became king, receiving Harmonia , daughter of Ares and Aphrodite, as wife from Zeus. She received, as a wedding present, a couple of interesting items, known as the Robe & Necklace of Harmonia , which provoked, through the ambitions, betrayals and other nonsensical behaviours of many men and women, a number of murders, wars and other tragedies including the utter ruin of the city that Cadmus founded, and that of those who possessed them.

Cadmus was one of the greatest men of his time, and that is why his wedding was magnificent, many gods and goddesses attending, besides the parents of the bride. And on his wedding day, they say, Cadmus attained the highest honour and prosperity a mortal man can receive, for he, like later Achilles' father Peleus, was able to hear the MUSES sing.

Wedding gifts Cadmus and Harmonia received a number of gifts from the gods: a jewelset throne from Hera, a lyre or perhaps a sceptre from Hermes, a crown from Hephaestus, a spear from Ares, the Robe & Necklace from Athena or perhaps Aphrodite or Hephaestus or even Europa, and sacred rites of the mother of the gods (Rhea ) along with cymbals and kettledrums from Electra the Pleiad, who is said to have nursed Harmonia .

His initiated knowledge ... And being so closely acquainted with the gods, Cadmus also taught some of their mysteries to men. For some have believed that the excellent soothsayer who understood the language of birds and worms named Melampus , son of Amythaon , son of Cretheus , son of Aeolus , taught the name of Dionysus and the way of sacrificing to him, and the phallic procession to all Greeks, having learned all these things, along with the prophetic art, from Cadmus.

Cadmus, a liar in private matters, having no scientific merit But there are those who deny this, saying that Cadmus' daughter Semele was violated in Egyptian Thebes, where Cadmus lived, and that Cadmus, in order to avert slander from his outraged daughter, said that her son was the son of Zeus, and not, as he really was, the son of an unknown rapist. And they add that, as this son was then identified with Osiris, the Egyptian god, many generations later Orpheus found it convenient to say that Osiris was Dionysus , thus instituting new rites for the son of Zeus and Semele. They also affirm that mankind forgets its own achievements because of various kinds of catastrophes, as for example the Flood, and that consequently Cadmus cannot be considered to be the first to bring the letters to Hellas, for the alphabet had existed before, and had been forgotten.

Laconian originality And then again, the Laconians used to say that Semele, after giving birth to Dionysus by Zeus, was discovered by Cadmus, who put her together with her child into a chest, which was washed up by the waves in Laconia. They affirmed that Semele was already dead when they were found, but little Dionysus they brought up.

Cadmus helped to defeat Typhon Some have said that Zeus gave Harmonia to Cadmus in recompense for having helped him to restore the harmony of the world, destroyed by Typhon's attack on heaven. For Pan, following Zeus' instructions, gave Cadmus a flute and disguised him as a shepherd, and Zeus asked Cadmus to bewitch Typhon's wits with a delusive tune. So when Cadmus tuned up, Typhon, attracted by the deceitful notes of the syrinx, appeared, and Cadmus, through a stratagem, convinced him to bring the sinews of Zeus that Typhon had in his power, thus leading him to his doom. And when Zeus recovered his power, they say, he also informed Cadmus of his sister's fate.

[For Typhon see also Zeus.]

The nations Cadmus found in Boeotia However, the land where Cadmus founded his city was not empty when he arrived, for a couple of nations, the Hyanteans and the Aonians, occupied Boeotia. Before them, it is said, the Ectenes, ruled by King Ogygus, lived in Boeotia, until they were decimated by pestilence and perished. Ogygus had two daughters, Aulis and Alalcomenia, after whom the Boeotian cities are called, and some say that Eleusinus, after whom the city of Eleusis in Attica is called, was his son. But according to others Eleusinus is the son of Hermes and Daira, one of the OCEANIDS.

Now, on his arrival Cadmus, with the help of his Phoenician army, defeated both Hyanteans and Aonians, expelling the former nation and assimilating the latter, and some say that he also defeated the Temmicans, who were early inhabitants of Boeotia as well.

Danaus gave water and Cadmus written words In the same way as Danaus , the father of the DANAIDS, is believed to have brought the gift of water by irrigating Argos, Cadmus is credited for having brought words and thoughts to the whole of Hellas, fashioning tools to echo the sounds of the tongue by mingling vowels and consonants in a connected and silent system. This, they say, he had learnt from the Egyptians, for his father Agenor had lived nine years in Memphis and founded Egyptian Thebes. And besides writing, Cadmus became acquainted in Egypt with astronomy, learning the course of the sun, the measure of the earth, and the phases of the moon.

Thebes built The new city that Cadmus founded had, they say, many streets measured at right angles and was embellished with Phoenician art. It has been told that Cadmus planned the future seven gates of Thebes, said to correspond to the seven zones of heaven, but they were not built until the times of King Amphion .

The sun in the middle The gates of Thebes were dedicated to the following celestial bodies: the first to the Moon, the second to Hermes (Mercury), the third to Aphrodite (Venus), the fourth, for being in the middle of the planets, to Helius (Sun), the fifth to Ares (Mars), the sixth to Zeus (Jupiter), and the seventh to Cronos (Saturn). For Cadmus considered the sun to be in the middle, whereas a couple of millennia after him some thought that not the sun but the earth was in the middle, and yet others coming after them thought again, as Cadmus did, that the sun is in the middle.

Name of the city Some say that the city was called Cadmea after Cadmus, and that only afterwards, during the reign of Amphion , was called Thebes after Thebe, the wife of Amphion 's brother Zethus. But others say that Cadmus himself called the city Thebes after Egyptian Thebes, which was founded by his father.

Cadmus in Illyria After having many children, Cadmus and Harmonia left Thebes in order to defend the Encheleans, a people leaving in southern Illyria, which is the region north of Epirus, and there defeated the Illyrian intruders. During their absence, their son Polydorus became king, but it is also said that Pentheus , son of the Sparti Echion and Agave , daughter of Cadmus, succeeded him on the throne.

Agave herself married King Lycotherses of Illyria, whom she murdered, handing the kingdom over to her father.

Cadmus still paying for the dragon of Ares While they were in Illyria, Cadmus and Harmonia were turned into serpents as he had been warned after slaying the dragon of Ares:

"Why, Cadmus, do you gaze on the serpent you have slain? You too shall be a serpent for men to gaze on." [Athena to Cadmus. Ovid, Metamorphoses 3.97]

Cadmus and Harmonia turn into serpents

Immortal Cadmus After this, Zeus sent them to the Elysian Fields, although some say that they dwell in the Islands of the Blest.

Offspring: Autonoe, Ino, Semele, Agave, Polydorus, Illyrius