… the precious cattle
he drove on,
and glorious Hermes led them through many shaded mountains,
ravines loud-echoing with blustering winds, and flowering plains.
– Homeric Hymn 4. To Hermes, trans. Athanassakis.
Most often, this title is given to Hermes, where it appears
in the Homeric Hymn on numerous occasions. This is a perfect example of a formulaic
epithet, so that a poet could improvise his performance around the particular
understanding of Hermes.
dog-shaped, spinner of Fate, all-giver,
glorious, helper, queen, bright…
PGM IV 2280-2281, excerpt, trans. Betz
In PGM IV 2241-2358, as we have often seen, the succession
of epithets given to Hekate includes many that typically belong to other Gods,
of which Kydimos is but one. That particular passage is a long series of
epithets before asking for the Goddess’ help with a love spell. Hekate’s
symbols and attributes are repeatedly mentioned alongside the names of a range
of goddesses, as well as Hermes himself towards the end.
In Priene, there stands a statue dedicated on behalf of a
priest of Dionysos Phleios named Kydimos. His wife, Philinna Habrotera, a
priestess of Athena Polias, was also honored with a statue. This suggests that Kydimos’ family was
prominent and wealthy. There is also evidence that the male line had a
tradition of serving Dionysos Phleios, as there are other inscriptions related
to the family and the priesthood.
Another Kydimos lived in Abydos in the Hellenistic era. He
served there as gymnasiarch, and was honored with a stele by decree. The stele
location was also desired by another figure in the community named Antikles,
but it appears Kydimos was wealthy enough to outbid his competition.
Athanassakis, Apostolos N. The Homeric Hymns, Johns Hopkins, 2004.
Betz, Hans Dieter. The
Greek Magical Papyri in Translation, Chicago, 1996.
Chaniotis, A. et al. Supplementum
epigraphicum graecum, Vol. 53, Part 2, Brill, 2007.
Dmitriev, Sviatoslav. City Government in
Hellenistic and Roman Asia Minor, Oxford, 2005.
Horster, Marietta and Anja Klockner. Cities and Priests: Cult Personnel in Asia Minor and the Aegean Islands
from the Hellenistic to the Imperial Period, de Gruyter, 2014.
Ma, John. “Dating the New Decree of the Confederation of
Athena Ilias,” Epigraphica Anatolia 40,
2007. p. 55-57.
“Hermes and Io,” Greek black-figure amphora, 540-530 BCE.
Found in Italy, now in the Staatliche Antikensammlungen, Munich. Photo by Bibi
Saint-Pol. Via wikicommons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hermes_Io_Staatliche_Antikensammlungen_585.jpg
Luiz, José. “Ruins in Priene,” photo, 2011. Via wikicommons: