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Cabiri(kəbī`rī), in ancient religion of the Middle East, nature deities of obscure origin, possibly Phoenician. They were connected with several fertility cults, particularly at Lemnos and at Samothrace, where important mysteries were celebrated. According to one legend they were also patrons of navigation. In Greek religion they were associated with HephaestusHephaestus
, in Greek religion and mythology, Olympian god. According to Homer he was the son of Hera and Zeus, but Hesiod states that he was conceived and borne by Hera alone. Originally an Asian fire god, in Greece he became the divine smith and god of craftsmen.
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in Greek religion and mythology, son of Zeus and Maia. His functions were many, but he was primarily the messenger of the gods, particularly of Zeus, and conductor of souls to Hades.
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, in Greek religion and mythology, goddess of harvest and fertility; daughter of Kronos and Rhea. She was the mother of Persephone by Zeus. When Pluto abducted Persephone, Demeter grieved so inconsolably that the earth became barren through her neglect.
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(also Cabeiri), in Greek mythology, deities originating in Asia Minor (probably Phrygia), who fulfilled the combined functions of chthonic deities and fertility demons. The Cabiri were also considered the protectors of seafarers and the saviors of the shipwrecked. Their cult was widespread along the coasts of Asia Minor, on the islands of the northern Aegean Sea, and partly in northern and central Greece. The most ancient and famous sanctuaries of the Cabiri were located in Thebes (Boe-otia), on the island of Lemnos, and especially on the island of Samothrace. Here they were revered as “great gods,” and the mysteries, which had been extremely popular beginning with Hellenic times, were performed in their honor.