Hail the Epaphian! The Golden Calf!


Hyginus, Fabulae 150: postquam Iuno vidit Epapho ex pellice nato tantam regni potestatem esse, curat in venatu, ut Epaphus necetur, Titanosque hortatur, Iovem ut regno pellant et Saturno restituant.
‘After Juno saw that Epaphus, born of a concubine, ruled such a great kingdom, she saw to it that he should be killed while hunting, and encouraged the Titans to drive Jove from the kingdom and restore it to Saturn.

Orphic Hymn to Lusios-Lenaios:
A sorrow-hating joy to mortals, O lovely-haired Epaphian, you are a redeemer and a reveler whose thyrsus drives to frenzyand who is kind-hearted to all, gods and mortals, who see his light.I call upon you now to come, a sweet bringer of fruit.

Orphic Hymn 52.9:
‘You burst forth from the earth in a blaze, Epaphian, O son of two mothers.’

Diodoros Sikeliotes, Library of History 3.74.1: Dionysos, as men say, was born to Zeus by Io, the daughter of Inachus, became king of Egypt and appointed the initiatory rites of that land.

Scholiast. Euripides’ Phoenician Women 678: ἀπόγονος Ἐπάφου Κάδμος, ἐπεὶ Ἀγήνορός ἐστιν υἱὸς τοῦ Βήλου τοῦ Λιβύης τῆς Ἐπάφου τοῦ Ἰοῦς.
‘Kadmos is the descendant of Epaphos, since Agenor is the son of Belus, son of Libya, daughter of Epaphos, son of Io.’

Phld. Piet. 44 = fr. 36 Kern = OF 59 I: 〈πρώτην τούτ〉ων τὴν ἐκ μ〈ητρός〉, ἑτέραν δὲ τ〈ὴν ἐκ〉 τοῦ μηροῦ, 〈τρί〉την δὲ τὴ〈ν ὅτε δι〉ασπασθεὶς ὑπὸ τῶν Τιτάνων Ῥέ〈ας τὰ〉 μέλη συνθεί〈σης〉 ἀνεβίω[ι]. κἀν̣ 〈τῆι〉 Μοψοπίαι δ᾽ Εὐ〈φορί〉ω〈ν ὁ〉μολογεῖ 〈τού〉τοις, 〈οἱ〉 δ’ Ὀρ〈φικοὶ〉 καὶ παντά〈πασιν〉 ἐνδιατρε〈ίβουσιν〉.
‘The first of these was the birth from the mother, the second the one from the thigh, and the third birth was when having been dismembered by the Titans, he came back to life afterRhea gathered together his limbs. And in his Mopsopoiai Euphorion is in agreement with these accounts, and the Orphics also absolutely go on about it.’

Apollodoros, The Library 2.1.3: τελευταῖον ἧκεν εἰς Αἴγυπτον, ὅπου τὴν ἀρχαίαν μορφὴν ἀπολαβοῦσα γεννᾷ παρὰ τῷ Νείλῳ ποταμῷ Ἔπαφον παῖδα. τοῦτον δὲ Ἥρα δεῖται Κουρήτων ἀφανῆ ποιῆσαι· οἱ δὲ ἠφάνισαν αὐτόν. καὶ Ζεὺς μὲν αἰσθόμενος κτείνει Κούρητας, Ἰὼ δὲ ἐπὶ ζήτησιν τοῦ παιδὸς ἐτράπετο. πλανωμένη δὲ κατὰ τὴν Συρίαν ἅπασαν (ἐκεῖ γὰρ ἐμηνύετο 〈ὅτι ἡ〉 τοῦ Βυβλίων βασιλέως 〈γυνὴ〉 ἐτιθήνει τὸν υἱόν) καὶ τὸν Ἔπαφον εὑροῦσα, εἰς Αἴγυπτον ἐλθοῦσα ἐγαμήθη Τηλεγόνῳ τῷ βασιλεύοντι τότε Αἰγυπτίων.
At last she came to Egypt, where she recovered her original form and gave birth to a son Epaphus beside the river Nile. Him Hera besought the Curetes to make away with [Epaphus], and make away with him they did. When Zeus learned of it, he slew the Curetes; but Io set out in search of the child. She roamed all over Syria, because there it was revealed to her that the wife of the king of Byblus was nursing her son; and having found Epaphus she came to Egypt and was married to Telegonus, who then reigned over the Egyptians.

Plutarch, On Isis and Osiris 364E. ἃ δ’ ἐμφανῶς δρῶσι θάπτοντες τὸν Ἆπιν οἱ ἱερεῖς, ὅταν παρακομίζωσιν ἐπὶ σχεδίας τὸ σῶμα, βακχείας οὐδὲν ἀποδεῖ· καὶ γὰρ νεβρίδας περικαθάπτονται καὶ θύρσους φοροῦσι καὶ βοαῖς χρῶνται καὶ κινήσεσιν ὥσπερ οἱ κάτοχοι τοῖς περὶ τὸν Διόνυσον ὀργιασμοῖς.
The public ceremonies which the priests perform in the burial of the Apis, when they convey his body on an improvised bier, do not in any way come short of a Bacchic procession; for they fasten skins of fawns about themselves, and carry Bacchic wands and indulge in shoutings and movements exactly as do those who are under the spell of the Dionysiac ecstasies.

Servius, Commentary on Vergil’s Georgics 1.165: id est cribrum areale. mystica autem Iacchi ideo ait quod Liberi Patris sacra ad purgationem animae pertinebant: et sic homines eius Mysteriis purgabantur, sicut vannis frumenta purgantur. hinc est quod dicitur Osiridis membra a Typhone dilaniata Isis cribro superposuisse: nam idem est Liber Pater in cuius Mysteriis vannus est: quia ut diximus animas purgat.unde et Liber ab eo quod liberet dictus, quem Orpheus a gigantibus dicit esse discerptum. nonnulli Liberum Patrem apud Graecos Λικνίτην dici adferunt; vannus autem apud eos λίκνον nuncupatur; ubi deinde positus esse dicitur postquam est utero matris editus. alii mysticam sic accipiunt ut vannum vas vimineum latum dicant, in quod ipsi propter capacitatem congere rustici primitias frugum soleant et Libero et Liberae sacrum facere Inde mystica.
‘The mystic fan of Iacchus, that is the sieve (cribrum) of the threshing-floor. He calls it the mystic fan of Iacchus, because the rites of Father Liber had reference to the purification of the soul and men were purified through his mysteries as grain is purified by fans. It is because of this that Isis is said to have placed the limbs of Osiris, when they had been torn to pieces by Typhon, on a sieve, for Father Liber is the same person, he in whose mysteries the fan plays a part, because as we said he purifies souls. Whence he is also called Liber, because he liberates, and it is he who, Orpheus said, was torn asunder by the Giants. Some add that Father Liber was called by the Greeks Liknites. Moreover the fan is called by them liknon, in which he is said to have been placed directly after he was born from his mother’s womb. Others explain its being called “mystic” by saying that the fan is a large wicker vessel in which peasants, because it is of large size, are wont to heap their first-fruits and consecrate it to Liber and Libera. Hence it is called “mystic”.’

Plutarch, On Isis and Osiris 364F: ὁμολογεῖ δὲ καὶ τὰ Τιτανικὰ καὶ Νυκτέλια τοῖς λεγομένοις Ὀσίριδος διασπασμοῖς καὶ ταῖς ἀναβιώσεσι καὶ παλιγγενεσίαις.
‘Furthermore, the Titanika and the Nyktelia agree with the accounts of the dismemberment of Osiris and his revivification and regenesis.’

Plutarch, Greek Questions 716F–717A: οὐ φαύλως οὖν καὶ παρ’ ἡμῖν ἐν τοῖς Ἀγριωνίοις τὸν Διόνυσον αἱ γυναῖκες ὡς ἀποδεδρακότα ζητοῦσιν, εἶτα παύονται καὶ λέγουσιν ὅτι πρὸς τὰς Μούσας κατα-πέφευγεν καὶ κέκρυπται παρ’ ἐκείναις.
‘It is not an accident that in the Agrionia, as it is celebrated here, the women search for Dionysos as though he had run away, then desist and say that he has taken refuge with the Muses and is hidden among them.’

Athenaios, Deipnosophistai 14.618c–620a and Pollux, Onomastikon 4.52–53 list terms for many kinds of working songs, such as the harvest οὖλος or ἴουλος and those named after Βώριμος, Μανέρως, Λιτυέρσης and Ἠριγόνη (Ἀλῆτις); winnowing songs (πτιστικόν or πτισμός); vintage songs (ἐπιλήνια). Sch. Clem. Al. Prot. 1.2.2, p. 297.4–8. Note that the Aletis song was defined as a lament for the death of Erigone, who wandered in search of her murdered father, but also as Persephone, cp. EM s.v. Ἀλῆτις (62.9).

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