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date: 20 March 2023



  • Herbert Jennings Rose,
  • Herbert William Parke,
  • B. C. Dietrich
  •  and Alan A. D. Peatfield


Eileithyia (Εἰλείθυια, Cretan Ἐλεύθια), Minoan goddess of birth. She had numerous cults throughout Greece and the *Cycladic islands but mainly in *Laconia*Crete where she was chief goddess of LatoRE . Her name is obscure, probably non-Greek, so that etymologies, including the tempting connection with (*Demeter) Eleusinia (Nilsson, MMR2 521; F. R. Willetts, CQ, remain conjectural. Eileithyia occurs beside the place-name Amnisos on tablet KN Gg 705 (ereutija). She had a cave sanctuary there which Odysseus claims to have seen on his visit to king *Idomeneus (1) of *Cnossus (Od. with votive figurines of pregnant and parturient women. In Greek myth Eileithyia is the daughter of Hera (Hes. Theog. 922; Hom. Il. are associates of *Artemis (Artemis Eileithyia) in their function as goddesses of *childbirth. Eileithyia helps or hinders a birth in epic (Il.


  • Greek Myth and Religion

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