Cedalion


Cedalion

In Greek mythology, Cedalion or Kedalion was a servant of Hephaestus in Lemnos. According to one tradition, he was Hephaestus's tutor, with whom Hera fostered her son on Naxos to teach him smithcraft. [Eustathius of Thessalonica, first note on Ξ, 294; Kerenyi, "Gods of the Greeks", p. 156 says it is also supported by Servius on Aeneid 10.763; there are several variant texts of Servius.] Kerenyi compares him to the Cabeiri, to Chiron, and to Prometheus. [Kerenyi, "The Gods of the Greeks" 1951:156, 177, 283.]

The more common story of Cedalion tells of his part in the healing of Orion, who came to Lemnos after he was blinded by Oenopion. Orion took up Cedalion [Fragment of Hesiod's "Astronomy" quoted in Pseudo-Eratosthenes' "Catasterismi"; Pseudo-Apollodorus, "Bibliotheke" 1.25.] and set the youth upon his shoulders [Lucian of Samosata, "de Domo" 28.] for a guide to the East. [Traditions vary whether this was an arduous journey, or whether Orion simply had to face the dawn, personified as Eos.] There the rays of Helios restored Orion's sight.

Sophocles wrote a satyr play "Cedalion", of which a few words survive. Its plot is uncertain, whether the blinding of Orion by Oenopion and the satyrs on Chios, probably with Cedalion offstage and prophesied, or the recovery of Orion's sight on Lemnos. It has also been suggested that the subject may be Hephaestus's fostering; or the instructions given to the blinded Orion by satyrs in Cedalion's service. One of the surviving lines suggests extreme drunkenness; Burkert reads this fragment as from a chorus of Cabeiri. ["Fragments of Sophocles", ed. Pearson, (1917) II, 9; for the fostering, he cites Ahrens, for the satyrs, Wilamowitz "GGN" [="Nachrichten der Königlichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen" Philological-historical section] 1895:237, which is "Hephaistos" in Wilamowitz's "Kleine Schiften" V.2 pp.5-35; but Pearson finds both doubtful. The reconstruction of the plot, including the doubt, is from Pearson. Cf. the "Suda", under "Sophocles"; Walter Burkert, "Greek Religion", 1985:281 "the Kabeiroi and Samothrace".]

One traditional etymology is from "kēdeuein" "to take charge, to care for", and early nineteenth century scholars agreed. [ Robert Brown, "The Great Dionysiak Myth" vol. 2 (1878, reprinted 2004) p. 277, citing Eustathius' commentary upon "Iliad" xiv.294, and referring to Welcker and Müller.] Scholars since Wilamowitz, however, support the other traditional interpretation, as "phallos", from a different sense of the same verb: "to marry" (said of the groom). ["Fragments of Sophocles", ed. Pearson, (1917) II, 9; citing Hesychius on "Kedalion"; Kerényi 1951:156; "LSJ", under "kēdeuō".]

Wilamowitz speculates [Wilamowitz, "Hephaistos", p. 33 "KS".] that Cedalion is the dwarf in the Louvre relief showing Dionysius in Hephaestus' workplace.

Notes

External links

* [http://www.theoi.com/Georgikos/Kedalion.html Theoi.com:Cedalion]


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