Carme (mythology)

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Carme ( /ˈkɑːrmi/ ), the Latinized form of Greek Karmē (Κάρμη "shearer"), was a female Cretan spirit who assisted the grain harvest of Demeter's Cretan predecessor. According to stories of the Olympian gods, she was the mother, by Zeus, of the virginal huntress Britomartis, also called Diktynna,[1] whom she bore at Kaino.[2] Carme was the daughter of either Phoenix and Cassiopeia,[3] or of the divine ploughman Euboulos, son of Karmanor.

The duplicates and parallel genealogies are symptoms of the uneasy fit between Minoan cult, to which Carme belonged, and the Mycenaean cult that superseded it.


  1. ^ Pausanias 2.30.2; nevertheless, Greeks like Herodotus were well aware that a hunt goddess, such as Britomartis, must have preceded a harvest goddess.
  2. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5.76.3. Kaino is the modern Chania on the coast of northwestern Crete.
  3. ^ Following Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses, 40; this genealogy places her in the coastal plain that became Phoenicia, and makes her the sister of Europa