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In Greek meethologie, Despoina, Despoena or Despoine, wis the dochter o Demeter an Poseidon an sister o Arion.[1] She wis the goddess o meesteries o Arcadie cults worshippit unner the title Despoina, "the mistress" alangside wi her mither Demeter, ane o the goddesses o the Eleusinie meesteries. Her real name coud no be revealed tae onyane except those initiatit tae her meesteries.[2] Pausanias speuk o Demeter as haein twa dochters; Kore bein born first, then later Despoina. Wi Zeus bein the faither o Kore, an Poseidon as the faither o Despoina. Pausanias made it clear that Kore is Persephone, tho he wadna reveal Despoina's proper name.

In the primitive meeth, Poseidon saw Demeter, the Yird mither an desired her. Tae avoid him, she teuk her archaic form o a mare, but he teuk the form o a stallion an matit wi her. From this union Demeter bore a dochter Despoina an a fabulous horse Arion (Ἀρείων). Due tae her anger at this turn o events, Demeter teuk on the epithet Erinys, or raging.[3]

Etymologie[eedit | eedit soorce]

The wird Despoina (Δέσποινα) "mistress" is derivit frae the Mycenean Greek *des-potnia which is interpretit as "lady or mistress o the hoose", frae PIE *dem/*dom "build, hoose", Greek "domos" an potni "lady, mistress", Greek "potnia". The masculine form is despotes (Δεσπότης), "maister o the hoosehauld.[4] Relatit wirds are the Mycenean Greek potnia an Posedao (Poseidon), which wur inheritit in classical Greece wi the same meanin. Demeter is probably a relative wird interpretit as "mither o the hoose" (frae PIE *dems-mater).[5]

Cult o Despoina[eedit | eedit soorce]

Sanctuar at Lycosura[eedit | eedit soorce]

Perspective reconstruction o the temple o Despoina: The acrolithic statues o Demeter (L) an Despoina (R) are visible at the scale in the cella

Despoina became worshipped in a sanctuar at Lycosura wast tae the toun o Megalopolis. This is a vera important steid for the study o auncient meestery releegions, awtho this cult remained regional than panhellenic. Despoina wis later conflatit wi Persephone. First in that place thare wis a temple o Artemis Hegemone (the leader) wi a bronze image (apparently Hecate). Frae this place thare wis an entrance tae the sacred enclosur o Despoine. In the portico there was a tablet wi the inscriptions o the meesteries. In front o the temple thare wis an altar tae Demeter an anither tae Despoine, efter which wis ane o the Great Mither. Demeter carriet a torch in her richt haund an her ither haund wis laid upon Despoine. Bi the side o Demeter stuid Artemis (probably identifee'd wi Hecate an aw). Bi the image o Despoine stuid Anytos, ane o the Titans. The Arcadies believit that Despoine wis brocht up bi Anytos an Artemis wis no the dochter o Leto, but o Demeter. Besides the temple thare wis the haw whaur the Arcadies celebratit the meesteries an ayont it a grove sacred tae Despoine an altars o Poseidon Hippios (horse) an ither gods an aw.

Lady of Auxerre Louvre-An Archaic (640 BC) image from Crete, probably a version o the Minoan Goddess identifee'd wi Kore.

Despoine wis her surname amang the mony, juist as they surnamit Demeter's dochter bi Zeus, Kore (the maiden).[6][7]

Oreegins[eedit | eedit soorce]

In the meesteries Demeter wis a seicont goddess unner her dochter, the unnameable "Despoina".[8] It seems that the meeths in isolatit Arcadia wur connectit wi the first Greek-speakin fowk who came frae the north durin the bronze age. The tae goddesses haed close connections wi the rivers an the springs. They wur relatit wi the god o the rivers an the springs Poseidon an especially wi Artemis, who wis the first nymph. Her epithet "the mistress" haes its analogue in Mycenean Greek inscriptions foond at Pylos in soothren Greece an Knossos in Crete. Despoina wis later conflatit wi Kore (Persephone), the goddess o the Eleusinian meesteries in a life-daith-rebirth cycle. Karl Kerenyi assertit that the cult wis a continuation o a Minoan Goddess wirship.

Epithet[eedit | eedit soorce]

Despoina wis uised as an epithet for several goddesses an aw, especially Aphrodite, Persephone, Demeter an Hecate.[9][10] Persephone an Demeter wur the goddesses o the Eleusinian meesteries, identifee'd as the twa potniai (mistresses) in a Linear B inscription at Pylos.[11] At Olympia they were called Despoine (Δέσποινες: the mistresses).[12] The epithet mey recaw the unnameable mistress o the labyrinth.[13][14]

Aircheologie[eedit | eedit soorce]

At the time o Pausanias visit in the 2nt century BE, the sculpturs wad hae been three hunder or mair year auld. In the 2nt century CE, a statue o the emperor Hadrian wis dedicatit in the temple. Coins frae Megalopolis, frae the Severan period in the early 3rd century appear tae depict the cult statue group.[15] Thare is a smaw museum at the airchaeological steid, hoosin smaw fynds as well as pairt o the cult group, while the remains o the cult statues o Despoina an Demeter are displayed at the Naitional Airchaeological Museum o Athens. The maist significant is the veil o Despoina wi a complex decorative program, probably representative o the teeps o embroidered woven materials able tae be creatit bi contemporar airtists. The heids o Artemis, Demeter an Anytus an a Tritoness frae the throne are displayed an aw.

Elements o the cult sculptural group in the Naitional Archaeological Museum o Athens
From L-R: Artemis, Demeter, Veil o Despoina, Anytus, Tritoness frae the throne.

Ither uises[eedit | eedit soorce]

  • In Orthodox Kirk the title "despoina" is gien tae the mither o God.
  • In Byzantine Greek 'despoina' wis a feminine court title meanin "lady", while the masculine 'despotes' meant "laird".
  • In Modren Greek the title "despoinis" means "Miss" an can be uised tae address young ladies an waitresses amangst ithers.
  • Despina, a satellite o Neptune, wis namit efter the goddess Despoina.

Notes[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Pausanias, 8.25.7, 8.42.1.
  2. Pausanias, 8.37.9
  3. Pausanias, 8.25.5–6
  4. Online Etymology Dictionary
  5. Frisk.Griechisches Etymological Woerterbuch. Entry 1271
  6. Pausanias 8.37.1,8.38.2
  7. Reconstruction of interior of Sanctuary of Despoina
  8. Karl Kerenyi (1967). Eleusis. Archetypal image of mother and daughter. Princeton University Press. p 31f
  9. Hathorn, p. 13.
  10. H.Robin, H.J. Rose. The rootledge handbook of greek mythology. p 102
  11. Chadwick.J. The Mycenean world. 1976. UP Cambridge ISBN 0-521-08558-6
  12. Pausanias. Description of Greece. 5.15.4
  13. Kn Gg 702 (Linear B-Mycenean Greek tablet): da-pu2-ri-to-jo, po-ti-ni-ja
  14. Karl Kerenyi: Dionysos. The archetypal image of indestructible life. Part I iii The Cretan core of Dionysos myth. Priceton University Press. 1976 p 89, 90
  15. Jost (1985). Sanctuaries et cults d'Arcadie. Paris

See an aw[eedit | eedit soorce]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

Freemit airtins[eedit | eedit soorce]