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4310: Léon Cugnot 1835-1894: Corybante étouffant les cris de Jupiter enfant. Musée de Picardie, Amiens.

The CORYBANTES are represented as a kind of inspired people, subject to Bacchic frenzy, and inspiring terror at the celebration of the sacred rites by means of war-dances, noise, cymbals, drums, and arms. They have been called attendants of Rhea 1, identified as Cybele, the Mother of the Gods worshipped in Phrygia, and guardians of Dionysus 2 in his growing days. It is also told that the CORYBANTES, came from Colchis (today Georgia in the Caucasus), and were given as armed ministers to Rhea 1 by the TITANS. The CORYBANTES are inclined to dancing and to religious frenzy, and worship the Mother of the Gods with orgies. The CORYBANTES are sometimes said to have been expelled from their country by their father Socus 2, and to have ruled the Euboean battalions that joined Dionysus 2 in his war against the Indians.

CORYBANTES have been called the following: Acmon 3, Cyrbas, Damneus, Idaeus 3, Melisseus 3, Mimas 6, Ocythous 3, Prymneus 2, and Pyrrhichus.

The CORYBANTES, the CABIROI, the DACTYLS and the TELCHINES are sometimes represented as identical with the CURETES, and sometimes as kinsmen of one another (see below).

Additional Notes

The CABIROI are the children of Hephaestus and Cabiro, a Thracian woman, daughter of Proteus 2, the seer who is known as the Old Man of the Sea. The surviving names of the CABIROI are Alcon 5 and Eurymedon 5. Three of them (the others are not named) are said to be the children of Cadmilus, who is also a son of Hephaestus and Cabiro. But those who said that the CORYBANTES are sons of Zeus and Calliope, also say that the CORYBANTES and the CABIROI are identical. The NYMPHS CABIROIDES are the daughters of the CABIROI, though three of them are said to be the children of Hephaestus and Cabiro. The CABIROI were honored in Imbros, Lemnos, and also in different cities of the Troad.
DH.1.23.5; Hdt.3.37; Nonn.14.19; Strab.10.3.21.


The CURETES, often identified with the CORYBANTES, guarded the infant Zeus, clashing their spears on their shields in order that Cronos might not hear the child's voice. They could have been descendants of the DACTYLS. Their life is the tune of pipes, and the noise of beaten swords. They have been described as flute-players, and wearing brazen shields. They have been called the rearers and protectors of Zeus, having been summoned from Phrygia to Crete by Rhea 1. Offspring of Gaia.
Apd.1.1.7, 1.8.3, 2.1.3; Cal.Ze.51; DH.2.70.3ff.; Dio.5.60.2, 5.65.1; Eur.Bacc.120; Nonn.13.155; Vir.Geo.4.151; Strab.10.3.11, 10.3.19.


About the TELCHINES it is said that, together with Caphira, nurtured Poseidon, whom Rhea 1 committed as a babe to their care. Of the nine TELCHINES who lived in Rhodes, those who accompanied Rhea 1 to Crete, and reared Zeus in his youth were named CURETES (see above). However, others have said that the TELCHINES are the offspring of Poseidon and Thalatta (the Sea). The TELCHINES were the first inhabitants of Rhodes, which was then called Telchinis, and are said to have come to this island from Cyprus, though being originallt from Crete. Those TELCHINES who came from the city of Ialysus were flooded by Zeus, but others, foreseeing the catastrophe, left the island and were scattered. One of them, Lycus 12, went to Lycia and built beside the river Xanthus the temple of Apollo Lycius. Other TELCHINES, like Damnameneus 2 and Scelmis, are said to have joined Dionysus 2 in his Indian campaign. Some have considered the TELCHINES to be malignant sorcerers, who poured the water of the infernal river Styx mixed, as some say, with sulphur, upon animals and plants with the purpose of destroying them. But others have said that this bad reputation has its origin in the Envy of rival workmen, caused by the excellence of the TELCHINES' workmanship. For they are said to have been the first to fashion statues of gods, those who made Cronos' sickle, and to have discovered other arts as well, being the first to work iron and brass.
Dio.5.55.1-2; Nonn.14.36; Stat.Theb.2.274; Strab.10.3.19.

The DACTYLS (see link).


Parentage (six versions)

Apollo & Thalia 2


Socus 2 & Combe 2


Cronos & unknown


Zeus & Calliope


Apollo & Rhetia


Thalia 2 is one of the MUSES.
Socus 2 cast his wife and sons out of their country. The CORYBANTES then came to Crete, Phrygia, Athens, and Euboea. In Athens they were the guests of King Cecrops 1, who punished and killed Socus 2.
Calliope is one of the MUSES.
Apollo and Rhetia are said to be the parents of nine of the CORYBANTES; those who took up their abode in Samothrace
Others have said that Cybele (the Mother of the Gods, identified with Rhea 1) was the mother of the CORYBANTES, whom she settled in the island of Samothrace. The name of the father of the CORYBANTES was handed down in the Samothracian mysteries only.


Apd.1.1.7, 1.3.4, 1.8.3, 2.1.3; Cal.Ze.51; DH.1.23.5, 2.70.3ff.; Dio.5.55.1-2, 5.60.2, 5.64.3, 5.65.1; Eur.Bacc.120; Hdt.3.37; Nonn.3.62, 3.77, 9.162, 9.168, 13.14, 13.136ff., 13.155, 14.19, 14.24, 14.36, 14.260; Pau.5.7.6; Stat.Theb.2.274; Strab.10.3.7, 10.3.11, 10.3.19-22; Vir.Geo.4.151.