Telchines

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In Greek mythology, the Telkhines (Ancient Greek: Τελχῖνες, Telkhines) were the original inhabitants of the island of Rhodes, and were known in Crete and Cyprus.

Mythology[edit]

Their parents were either Pontus and Gaia, or Tartarus and Nemesis, or else they were born from the blood of castrated Uranus along with the Erinyes.[1] In another story there were nine Telkhines, children of Thalassa and Pontus; they had flippers instead of hands and the heads of dogs and were known as fish children.[2]

They were regarded as excellent metallurgists: various accounts[3][4] state that they were skilled metal workers in brass and iron, and made a trident for Poseidon and a sickle for Cronus, both ceremonial weapons.[5] By some accounts, their children were highly worshiped as gods in the three ancient Rhodian towns of Ialysos (Ἰαλυσός), Kamiros (Κάμειρος) and Lindos (Λίνδος).[citation needed]

The Telkhines were entrusted by Rhea with the upbringing of Poseidon, which they accomplished with the aid of Capheira (Καφείρα), one of Oceanus' daughters.[3] Another version says that Rhea accompanied them to Crete from Rhodes, where nine of the Telchines, known as the Curetes, were selected to bring up Zeus.[6]

The Telkhines were associated and sometimes confused with the Cyclopes, Dactyls and Curetes.[7]

They were believed to bring about hailstorms, snow, and rain at will, to assume any shape they pleased,[8] and produced a substance poisonous to living things.

The gods (Zeus, Poseidon or Apollo) eventually killed them because they began to use magic for malignant purposes;[9] particularly, they produced a mixture of Stygian water and sulfur, which killed animals and plants[10] (according to Nonnus, they did so as a revenge for being driven out of Rhodes by the Heliadae).[11] Accounts vary on how exactly they were destroyed: by flood,[9] or Zeus's thunderbolt,[12] or Poseidon's trident,[13] or else Apollo assumed the shape of a wolf to kill them.[14] They apparently lost one of the titanomachias, the battles between the gods and the Titans.

Names[edit]

The following individual names are attested in various sources:[15][16][17][18][19]

  • Aktaios (Latinized as Actaeus)
  • Argyron
  • Atabyrius
  • Chalcon
  • Chryson
  • Damnameneus
  • Damon or Demonax
  • Hormenius or Ormenos
  • Lykos (Lycus) or Lyktos
  • Megalesius
  • Mylas
  • Nicon
  • Simon
  • Skelmis

Known female Telkhines were Makelo, Dexithea (one of Damon's daughters)[20] and probably Lysagora (the attesting text is severely damaged).[21] Ovid in his Ibis mentions that Makelo, like the other Telkhines, was killed with a thunderbolt;[22] according to Callimachus[23] and Nonnus,[13] however, Makelo was the only one to be spared. According to Bacchylides,[21] the survivor is Dexithea. Bacchylides also mentions that Dexithea later had a son Euxanthios by Minos.[24] This Euxanthios is also known from Pindar's works.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tzetzes on Theogony 80
  2. ^ Eustathius on Homer, p. 771
  3. ^ a b Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 55. 5 ff
  4. ^ Strabo, Geography 14. 2
  5. ^ Callimachus, Hymn 4 to Delos 28 ff
  6. ^ Strabo, Geography 10. 3. 19
  7. ^ Strabo, Geography 10. 3. 7
  8. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 5. 55.
  9. ^ a b Ovid, Metamorphoses 7. 365 ff
  10. ^ Strabo, Geography 14. 2. 7
  11. ^ Nonnus, Dionysiaca 14. 36 ff
  12. ^ a b Pindar, Paean 5
  13. ^ a b Nonnus, Dionysiaca 18. 35
  14. ^ Servius' on Aeneid IV. 377
  15. ^ Eustathius on Homer p. 772
  16. ^ Nonnus, Dionysiaca 14. 36
  17. ^ Tzetzes' commentary on Theogony 80
  18. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium s. v. Ataburon
  19. ^ Hesychius s. v. Mylas
  20. ^ Callimachus, Aitia Fragment 75
  21. ^ a b Bacchylides, Fragment 1
  22. ^ Ovid, Ibis, 475
  23. ^ Callimachus, Aitia Fragment 3. 1
  24. ^ Confirmed by the account of Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 1. 2

External links[edit]