- Michael H. Jameson
The spirits of the collective ancestors of a gentilitial group (such as a *genos, ‘clan’) or of a community, they were concerned with its propagation and continuation. Known from *Attica, *Delos, *Troezen, *Selinus, and *Cyrene, they corresponded to the unnamed body of ancestors elsewhere. The most important source is the Attic historian *Phanodemus, FGrH 325 F 6, with Jacoby's commentary (cf. *Demon, FGrH 327 fr. 2, and *Philochorus, FGrH 328 fr. 12). Their generative force is indicated by Athenian sacrifice and prayers to them at marriage and by Philochorus' description of them as the ‘parents of mankind’. Demon identified them with the impregnating winds. In the Orphic Physikos (fr. 318 Kern; see orphic literature, bibliog.) they are given names and called guardians of the winds.
- Greek Myth and Religion