Father of Fairies and Goblins

Something stood out for me in the quote by Sanja Pilipović I cited in my Dionysos in the Northlands draft:

Bacchus was worshipped in various contexts in Upper Moesia. The surviving inscriptions and depictions suggest that he was worshipped primarily as patron god of agrarian fertility and vegetation, or of wine and vine-growing. This is most explicitly shown by Liber’s epithet laetus in an inscription from Pusto Šilovo near Leskovac and by Libera’s appellation Hilara in an inscription from Naissus. It has been suggested that Liber was the patron god of mines and ores and that he was also worshipped in iatrical contexts. Liber’s chthonic aspect has been attested both by funerary monuments and by many cult objects recovered from burials. (The Triad Zeus, Herakles and Dionysos. A Contribution to the Study of Ancient Cults in Upper Moesia)

Bolded for emphasis. 

Why this stands out is the Kobaloi:

The kobalos (pl. kobaloi) (Greek: Κόβαλος, plural: Κόβαλοι) was a sprite from Greek mythology, a mischievous creature fond of tricking and frightening mortals. The kobaloi were companions of Dionysus and could shapeshift as Dionysus in the guise of Choroimanes-Aiolomorphos. Parents used tales of the kobaloi to frighten children into behaving. Greek myths depict the kobaloi as “impudent, thieving, droll, idle, mischievous, gnome-dwarfs”, and as “funny, little triksy elves” of a phallic nature. The term also means “impudent knave, arrant rogue” in ancient Greek, and such individuals were thought to invoke kobaloi spirits. Depictions of kobaloi are common in ancient Greek art. The kobalos is related to two other Greek sprites: the kabeiroi (pygmies with large phalluses) and the kerkopes. The kobalos and kabeiroi came to be equated. Nineteenth Century classicists proposed that other European sprites may derive from belief in kobaloi. This includes spirits such as the Northern English boggart, Scottish bogle, French goblin, Medieval gobelinus, German kobold, and English Puck. Likewise, the names of many European spirits may derive from the word kobalos. The word entered Latin as cobalus, then possibly French as gobelin. From this, the English goblin and Welsh coblyn may derive.

 


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