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date: 06 December 2022

Arcadian cults and mythslocked

Arcadian cults and mythslocked

  • Madeleine Jost


Apart from *Hephaestus, all the gods common to the Greeks are found in Arcadia. But certain deities are peculiar to the region, such as Alea, who was for a long time an independent goddess, and who even when associated with and finally assimilated to *Athena always retained her importance. The same is true of *Despoina, ‘the Mistress’, worshipped at *Lycosura, and of Anytus, her foster-father, while the Great Goddesses have their origin around *Megalopolis. Some cult groupings have a distinctive composition (*Poseidon and *Demeter), while others are characteristically Arcadian in the relative importance of the individual deities (thus the daughter, *Despoina or Kore (see persephone) is dominant over Demeter). Different deities are preponderant in different areas. In the region of *Megalopolis, *Zeus Lycaeus, who is worshipped on Mt. Lycaeon, becomes the god of the *Arcadian League, while a pair of goddesses (Despoina and Demeter, or the Great Goddesses) are the most important female element.


  • Greek Myth and Religion

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