19. Kinyras, Kothar, and the Passage from Byblos: Kinyras, Kinnaru, and the Canaanite Shift

One could be content with explaining Kinyras’ arrival to Cyprus simply through the island’s proximity to the mainland, and a general emulation of its neighbors’ institutions. But in this and the following chapters, I shall attempt to trace more specific geographical connections. One will naturally think first of Kinnaru and Ugarit. This is certainly well justified by the city’s known political relationship with Alashiya, and the indications of their theological common ground (Chapters 1, 15). And while Ugarit itself was destroyed ca. 1200, leaving not even its name, a more general association of Kinyras with coastal North Syria and Cilicia is indeed well supported by several traditions (Chapter 21).
But there is a complication. The forms kinýra and Kinyras must derive from originals in the Canaanite dialect zone. This terminated well south of Ugarit, with its northern limit approximately Byblos. [1] And that very city, as it happens, is connected with Kinyras by several Greco-Roman authors. This chapter will consider the complex question of how directly these sources reflect real cultural traditions at Byblos. Are they representations of Byblian legends in Greek or Greco-Cypriot terms, no deeper than Hellenistic settlement in the Levant? Or do they stem from some older history shared between island and mainland, in which some form of ‘Kinyras’ was more intimately involved?
We have seen that the coordination of comparable regional divinities has a long history in the ANE (Chapters 6, 15). Greek-Cypriots lived such patterns long before Herodotos offered his equations of Olympian and ‘barbarian’ gods. And for communities of the Hellenistic and Roman East, divine juxtapositions were not just intellectual exercises, but a familiar dimension of popular religious life. Of course, the ministers of various cults will have had a special, professional interest therein, leaving plenty of room for artifice. [2]
Symptomatic of this later period are hybrid myth-clusters, two of which, found in Syriac sources, contain further important evidence for the complex interaction of Kothar and Kinyras. In Chapter 18, I discussed their melding in rather general geographical terms, and suggested that it need not have developed uniformly throughout the region. We now come to consider how the phenomenon may have unfolded at Byblos, which one Syrian author envisioned as the realm of king ‘Kauthar’, who came to control Cyprus itself. [3] This same Kauthar is represented by Lucian and other classical authors as Kinyras. The situation is further complicated by Theias—a doppelganger of Kinyras known only as father of Myrrha/Smyrna when the terrible tale is set at Byblos. [4]
Before beginning, it must be stressed that a Cypro-Byblian Kinyras would not prevent a separate Divine Lyre from having been known on LBA Cyprus in a dialectal and conceptual form closer to Kinnaru of Ugarit. We may be dealing with parallel phenomena connecting different Cypriot and mainland cities/regions—let us say hypothetically Ugarit (and/or Kizzuwatna) and Enkomi/Salamis, versus Byblos and Paphos. Alternatively, a more or less monolithic pan-Cypriot, Alashiyan ‘Kinyras’ may nevertheless have been referred to with some dialectal variety—as would befit the LBA island’s cosmopolitan population. [5] Later Greco-Roman sources show that the Canaanite/Phoenician-derived ‘Kinyras’ generally prevailed in the IA. For Cyprus this would be readily explained by dialectal pressure during the Phoenician colonial period. But since ‘kinýra’ itself can mask considerable cultural and dialectal variety, [6] the same may well have been true of ‘Kinyras’ in Syro-Cilician traditions—although of course Cilicia itself was subjected to considerable Phoenician influence by the eighth century.

Lucian: Kinyras at Aphaka

Lucian of Samosata was a literary phenomenon of the second century CE, who, though Syrian by birth, became one of the great Greek stylists. His On the Syrian Goddess is a fond homage to Herodotean ethnography, centered on the customs, rites, festivals, and myths connected with the cult of Atargatis at ancient Manbog—Hierapolis, as it was redubbed in the Hellenistic period—near Aleppo in North Syria. [7] This goddess was variously interpreted as “the Assyrian Hera,” Rhea, or Derketo, and details of her statue reminded Lucian of Athena, Aphrodite, Selene, Artemis, Nemesis, and the Fates. [8] Modern scholars see her as combining elements of Astarte, Anat, and Asherah. [9] The narrator asserts that he himself is an “Assyrian” or “Syrian,” and a devotee of the goddess. [10] His information comes, he says, both from autopsy and, for more ancient material, the priests themselves. When he asked them how old the sanctuary was, and the identity of the goddess,
Many tales were told, of which some are sacred (hiroí), some well-known (emphanées), and some distinctly fabulous (mythṓdees); others again were un-Greek (bárbaroi)—though some were in agreement with the Greeks. [11]
This may seem a generic bid for readers’ faith, following the dubious example of Herodotos in Egypt. But it is now well established that the work, despite its whimsical tone, is rich in evidence for Syrian religious history. [12] The clergy of Hierapolis, and the other Syro-Levantine holy sites that Lucian visited, will have had standing repertoires of tales with which to regale and illuminate pilgrims and other tourists. [13] This medium would permit the persistence of quite ancient mythological elements, whether through oral or written tradition. Evidently the priests of Manbog still knew the Sumerian flood-hero Ziusudra, whom they rendered as ‘Sisythes’ and equated with the Greek Deukalion. [14] The tale of Stratonike and Kombabos, developed by Lucian as an embedded ‘novella’, [15] also has deep roots. ‘Kombabos’ must take his name from Kubaba, the Great Goddess most famously associated with nearby Karkemish, who was also interpreted as a form of Ishtar/Astarte (hence ‘Stratonike’). [16] Kombabos’ self-castration aetiologizes the gálloi, familiar to Classicists as priests of Kybele, but surely connected at some remove with the transgendered, lamenting gala-priests of Sumerian tradition. [17]
No doubt such tales could be adjusted to suit visitors of different ethnicities. A lyre-playing god at Hierapolis, for instance, was presented to Lucian as ‘Apollo’, but was otherwise regarded as a form of Babylonian Nabu or ‘Orpheus’. In fact, both labels probably mask an older Syrian divinity connected with the region’s kinnāru-culture. [18]
Lucian himself mentions Kinyras, though not in connection with Hierapolis but Byblos. The work begins with a brief history of religion, Lucian alleging in good Herodotean manner that the Egyptians were “first to conceive of gods, establish temples and sacred precincts, and assign festivals”; nevertheless, “there are also temples in Syria which are nearly contemporary with those in Egypt, most of which I have seen.” [19] Lucian mentions briefly the sanctuary at Tyre; relates the Sidonian Astarte temple to the Greek myth of Kadmos and Europa; and admits to not having visited Heliopolis-Baalbek. [20]
This sequence culminates in a disquisition on Byblos (that ultimately emphasizes the still greater stature of Hierapolis). [21] Lucian’s Byblian Aphrodite is Baalat Gebal, Lady of Byblos. Worship of this goddess goes back to the third millennium, when she was already considered a form of Ishtar/Astarte (see further below). By the MBA (or earlier) she was recognized in Egypt and associated with Hathor. [22] In Hellenistic and later sources, both Syriac and Greco-Roman, Baalat Gebal was variously equated with Aphrodite Ourania, Isis, Dione, and of course Astarte. [23]
Lucian’s Byblian detour contains his famous description of annual Adonis-laments:
They say that the boar’s deed against Adonis happened within their territory. And each year, as a memorial of his suffering they beat themselves and sing threnodies and carry out his rites and institute great sufferings for themselves throughout the land. But after they have beaten themselves and left off their wailing, they first sacrifice to Adonis as though he were someone dead; but afterwards, on the next day, they tell a myth that he lives, and send him on his way up into the open air. [24]
The signal for this mourning, Lucian says, was given by the nearby Adonis river—the modern Nahr ’Ibrahim which, with spring storms, washes reddish soil down from Mount Lebanon. [25] This phenomenon was interpreted as Adonis’ blood, though another Byblian offered a plausible natural explanation. Lucian’s investigation of the matter explains his next step, where we suddenly stumble upon Kinyras:
But I also climbed up into the Lebanon, a day’s journey from Byblos, having learned that there was an ancient temple of Aphrodite in that place, which Kinyras had established. I saw the temple, and it was ancient. [26]
Despite the terseness of this little epilogue, it is clear from his preceding discussion of the Adonis that Lucian is now talking about ancient Aphaka (modern Afqa) at the river’s source, twenty kilometers up. [27] There, according to other accounts, the goddess embraced Adonis for the first time, or the last after his boar-wound. [28] Kinyras must therefore function here as the father of Adonis, and the ‘Aphrodite’ temple must relate somehow to Adonis-laments (see below). As Lucian does not bother to explain any of this, he clearly has no ulterior rhetorical motive—strong evidence that he did indeed make the journey.
Lucian’s wording indicates that he learned of the temple, and its attribution to Kinyras, from informants in Byblos itself—whether from popular legend or the local priesthood is unclear, although the latter is perfectly probable (as at Hierapolis). One must wonder, however, whether ‘Kinyras’ was a Hellenizing substitute provided for Lucian’s edification (like the Hierapolitan ‘Apollo’), since Kinyras was well known to Greek-speakers as Adonis’ father. [29] Or whether Lucian himself introduced Kinyras for his readers, just as he used ‘Aphrodite’ for Aphaka’s ancient goddess—whom in another work he calls simply “the goddess of [Mount] Lebanon.” [30] Either way one might dismiss the entire scenario as having been falsely transferred from Cyprus into Byblian territory, with Kinyras masking a local figure.
As it happens, two further figures are named as the father of Adonis/Tammuz at Byblos—Theias and Kauthar. Before turning to their claims, however, let us beware the kneejerk assumption that Kinyras is an interpretatio Graeca. After all, his very name betrays Syro-Levantine roots. The same may said of ‘Aphrodite’, whose linguistic kinship to Astarte seems inevitable. [31] Adonis too, though known to us through a Greek lens, has a Semitic etymology and ultimately derives from Levantine theology and cult. [32] In principle therefore it is perfectly possible that the ‘Kinyras’ of Aphaka thinly masks a homonymous Canaanite/Phoenician cousin; that this figure was himself glossed as Theias and/or Kauthar; and that here we may be dealing precisely with what Lucian called “barbarian tales agreeing with the Greeks.” [33]
Aphaka is certainly a promising locale for the persistence of a BA mytheme. Mountainous regions tend to be culturally conservative (Arcadia, Vermont). The site was clearly regarded as very ancient in Lucian’s time. It has not been systematically excavated, though the present ruins, of the Roman period, do show traces of an earlier structure. [34] While early archaeological evidence for Canaanite/Phoenician mountaintop shrines is at present quite limited, going back only to the EIA, [35] the divine treatment of mountains in the LBA is well known—illustrated for instance by Mount Kasios, a local home to the Hurrian storm-god Teshup and Ugarit’s Baal (as Hazzi/Saphon), and connected with Adonis himself in one tradition. [36] The Bible also regularly associates early Baal worship with ‘high places’. [37] So the absence of an early built structure at Aphaka would be no argument against much older traditions there. [38]
Aphaka’s conservatism is indicated by its cultic tenacity in later centuries. The temple’s destruction was ordered by Constantine (306–337) in his sweeping attacks on pagan worship; [39] if it was rebuilt under Julian (361–363), [40] there was presumably another demolition under Theodosios (379–395). [41] Even so, Zosimos refers to ongoing pagan veneration in the late fifth or early sixth century, describing a lamplike fire in the sky and a kind of water-divination whereby votive objects thrown into the pool were accepted if they sank (a recipe for success). [42] The church erected above the old temple, also implying cult memory, [43] eventually succumbed to earthquake and landslide, leaving the place a picturesque ruin of luscious description. [44] Yet the river is still thought to have healing properties, and would-be or worried mothers—Christian and Muslim alike—hang strips of cloth and other offerings on a tree near the ancient walls. It is called Seiyidet Afqā after the ‘The Lady of Aphaka’ whose husband was killed while hunting—a clear vestige of very ancient myth. [45]
It is not improbable, all told, that the Kinyras of Aphaka—by whatever name he was known locally in Lucian’s day—was a figure of deep antiquity.

Kinyras and Theias

Kinyras’ associations with the region are not limited to Aphaka. We may deduce from On the Syrian Goddess that Lucian would have accepted Kinyras as father of Myrrha, when he holds up the tale as best representing Phoenicia in a well-rounded pantomime’s international repertoire. [46] Lucian’s Kinyras of Aphaka was thus king of Byblos and its hinterland. This view of Kinyras’ domain is corroborated by Strabo, for whom Byblos was his “royal seat (basíleion)” and “a sacred city of Adonis.” [47] Eustathios adds an important qualification: Byblos was Kinyras’ “most ancient capital (basíleion arkhaiótaton).” [48] Elsewhere he asserts that Kinyras was the son of Theias (‘Godlike, Divine’). [49] But this is probably a simple rationalization of two parallel figures. For Theias is elsewhere always the Byblian father of Myrrha/Smyrna. He and Kinyras are thus practically twins, distinguished only by the latter’s association with Byblos and Cyprus.
Panyassis, our earliest authority for the Myrrha myth, made Theias a king of Assyria. [50] Similarly for Hyginus, Kinyras was an Assyrian king. [51] Still others call Adonis Assyrian. [52] Frazer saw in such descriptions “a well-founded belief that the religion of Adonis, though best known to the Greeks in Syria and Cyprus, had originated in Assyria or rather Babylonia”; Adonî (‘My Lord’), he believed, was merely the title taken by Tammuz—that is, Mesopotamian Dumuzi—when his cult spread to the Canaanite/Phoenician world (see further below). [53] But caution is needed here. It may be that “King of the Assyrians” was in some authors a willfully vague reference to the exotic and distant Orient. [54] Besides, in Greek usage ‘(As)syria’ can include Phoenicia, [55] and Antoninus Liberalis (following Panyassis?) is usefully specific in locating the Theias tale on Mount Lebanon—note his oread wife Oreithuia—and calling him son of Belos, a normal Greek representation of Baal. [56] This mountainous setting obviously implies Aphaka, so here too Theias meets Kinyras.
The twinning of Kinyras and Theias naturally led to confusion. Lykophron alludes cryptically to Myrrha in making Byblos a stop in Menelaos’ long search for Helen. [57] He goes on to mention “the tomb of goddess-wept Gauas,” an obscure and allegedly Cypriot name for Adonis, “slain by the Muses.” [58] A scholiast here, referring to popular ambivalence about the location of these tales, proposes two youths named Adonis, one the son of Kinyras on Cyprus, the other son of Myrrha and Theias of Byblos. A scholion to Dionysios the Periegete attempts a different compromise: Kinyras, though king of Cyprus, nevertheless sent the body of Adonis to Byblos, where it was buried by the river that took his name. [59] Whether this riparian setting implies Aphaka or a tomb in Byblos itself is not clear, though the former is not improbable. [60]
Evidently Kinyras and Theias are two names for one and the same figure. Despite Theias’ exclusive connections with Byblos, it is Kinyras, with his Canaanite/Phoenician etymology, that would seem to have the greater claim to authenticity, Theias being a transparently Greek formation. Was Theias introduced, by Panyassis or someone else, to disambiguate the famous Cypriot Kinyras from a Byblian namesake? I have suggested that ‘Theias’ might correspond roughly to the divine determinative that accompanies Kinnaru at Ugarit. [61] One should also recall the Greek idea of the theîos aoidós, the ‘divine singer’ who is endowed with théspis aoidḗ, ‘god-uttered song’; and the epithet thespésios, which Kinyras may bear in one Paphian inscription. [62]
Theias has also been taken to gloss El (‘God’), [63] the WS pantheon head. But Theias’ position as son of Belos in Antoninus Liberalis would suggest rather an interpretation in terms of divine kingship and covenant metaphors—just as the rulers of Ugarit replicated on earth the kingship of Baal. [64] On this view, Theias and Kinyras could be neatly reconciled as a lyre-playing king under divine patronage and at the head of a royal line. The semi-divine David, ‘son’ of Yahweh, is close to hand, and Kinyras occupied just such a position vis-à-vis the Kinyradai of Paphos.

Ps.-Meliton: Kauthar at Aphaka

Whatever Theias’ precise relationship to Kinyras, his Greek etymology keeps us at arm’s length from Byblian realities. More intimate insight is promised by the ‘Kauthar’—a Syrian form of ‘Kothar’—who appears as king of Byblos in a key Syriac text—the Apology attributed to Meliton, second-century bishop of Sardis.
In 1843, more than three hundred Syriac manuscripts were acquired by H. Tattam from the convent of St. Maria Deipara in the Nitrian Desert—Wadi El Natrun, northwest Egyptian delta. [65] This monastery was particularly rich in early texts, thanks to the 250 codices that Abbot Mushe of Nisibis brought back in 932 from a five-year journey to Baghdad; a large proportion, acquired from centers of learning in North Syria and Mesopotamia, including Edessa, antedated the seventh century. [66] It was most likely one of these that holds ps.-Meliton’s treatise. [67] The traditional ascription is now universally rejected; but the work itself, a hortatory Christian polemic addressed to an “Antoninus Caesar,” does apparently date to the late second or third century CE. [68] Publication by W. Cureton in 1855 raised an initial flurry of interest, with its new evidence for Syro-Levantine religion. [69] The author uses this material, along with blander fare from Greco-Roman myth, to support his euhemerizing argument that the gods were in origin but particularly illustrious kings and queens—a provocative stance vis-à-vis Roman emperor cult. [70] This “remarkably frustrating text,” after languishing in obscurity for many decades, has attracted renewed attention of late. [71]
Among ps.-Meliton’s illustrations is a dense little narrative relating to Aphaka—a tangled romance of Syro-Levantine, Mesopotamian, Hellenic, and Cypriot figures:
The people of Phoenicia worshipped Balthi, queen of Cyprus, because she fell in love with Tammuz, son of Kauthar king of the Phoenicians, and left her own kingdom to come and dwell in Gebal [Byblos], a fortress of the Phoenicians. At the same time she made all the Cypriots subject to king Kauthar; for before Tammuz she had been in love with Ares, and committed adultery with him. Hephaistos her husband caught her, and came and slew Tammuz in Mount Lebanon while he was hunting wild boar. [72] From that time Balthi remained in Gebal, and died in Aphaka where Tammuz was buried. [73]
Cureton promptly saw that Kauthar here was analogous to Kinyras—king of both Byblos and Cyprus, father of Tammuz (corresponding to Adonis: see below), with Balthi evoking in equal measures Baalat Gebal and (as “Queen of Cyprus”) the Cypriot ‘Aphrodite’. [74] G. Hoffman went on in 1896 to connect Kauthar with Khousor in Philo of Byblos and Mokhos of Sidon, noting other sympathies between those figures and Kinyras, as discussed in Chapter 18.
Further assessment of Kauthar’s presence in ps.-Meliton, and his relationship to both Kinyras and the Cypriot ‘Queen’, must confront several interrelated issues. How much of the material is genuine tradition, rather than the author’s own imagination and store of learning? [75] And to what extent is he presenting interpretationes Syriacae at variance with his ostensibly Cypro-Byblian scenario? For ‘Balthi’, like ‘Kauthar’, is a distinctly Syrian linguistic formation. [76] Tammuz is frequently equated with Gk. ‘Adonis’ by authors of the early Syrian church, implying a fairly general popular identification at the Levantine/Syro-Mesopotamian interface by Roman imperial times. [77] It is therefore possible in principle that all three names calque heteronymous Phoenician figures, and that the entire myth is a Syro-Mesopotamian fantasy with little connection to Byblian or Cypriot tradition.
Fortunately ps.-Meliton is controlled by an alternative version, also in Syriac, from Theodore Bar Koni in his late eighth-century commentary on Ezekiel. Of the famous allusion to women lamenting Tammuz outside the Jerusalem temple (8:14–15), Bar Koni wrote: [78]
This Tammuz, they say, was a shepherd and he loved a woman who was very famous for her beauty. She was from the island of Cyprus; her name was Balthi, her father’s was Herakles, her mother’s Ariadne, and her husband was Hephaistos. Now this woman fled with Tammuz, her lover, to Mount Lebanon; it is indeed she who is also called Astarte, a name which her father gave her on account of her [text corrupt]. Her father lamented over her for seven days in the month of [Ṭabit], which is the second of kanoun [January]. They cooked some bread on the ground and ate it, which even now is called ‘cake of Bet Ṭabit’ by the pagans. Now Hephaistos followed her to Mount Lebanon, and Tammuz met and killed him; but a boar gashed Tammuz himself, and he died. His paramour, out of love for Tammuz, died of grief over his body. Her father, learning of her death, lamented during the month of tammouz [July]. His parents also wept for Tammuz: these are the tears that the impious weep, and the Hebrew people imitated them. [79]
Bar Koni, by expressing obviously cognate material in somewhat different mythological terms, guarantees that the myth was not contrived by ps.-Meliton himself. We must at least suppose an anterior source, though whether Kauthar himself was found there, or introduced by ps.-Meliton, is not immediately clear. [80] The specific aetiology adduced by Bar Koni, as well as his sequel on the goddess’s cult statue, seem to look beyond Byblos to a broader Mesopotamian and North Syrian religious milieu. [81]
Nevertheless, the identification of Balthi’s parents as Herakles and Ariadne establishes a genuine Cypriot aspect to the myth, [82] and this encourages us to pursue the simplest solution—that Balthi and Kauthar were ready dialectal variants for transparent Byblian cognates. [83] There is obviously no problem in taking Balthi as Baalat Gebal, whom Philo of Byblos himself Hellenized as Baaltís. [84] True, ‘Balthi’ could just as readily describe the Cypriot goddess, who was known as ‘Queen’ (Wánassa) on the early island. [85] But that divine honorific is common enough, and any such distinction between Cyprus and Byblos is neutralized by the myth itself, which allies Balthi to both places, with the latter her ultimate home. Of course this does not free us from addressing the special Cypriot dimension that ps.-Meliton and Bar Koni both assign her.
A similar reading of ps.-Meliton’s Kauthar as Phoen. Khousor, though ready to hand, is considerably complicated by the latter’s interchangeability with Kinyras. The problem presents many subtle facets. [86] But I see four main possibilities, of which only one is really satisfactory. First is that Kauthar and Kinyras both correspond to some third Byblian figure; but here surely we may apply Ockham’s Razor. [87] The second and third scenarios are complementary: either Kauthar is linguistically cognate with the Byblian ‘original’ (Khousor), and was glossed as Kinyras by Lucian; or Kinyras is linguistically cognate with the Byblian ‘original’ (*Kinnūr vel sim.), and was glossed as Kauthar by ps.-Meliton. Now a Byblian Khousor is inherently likely. It is not that ps.-Meliton somehow outweighs Lucian, who was himself from Syria. [88] But the idea is strongly corroborated by the roughly contemporary testimony for a Phoenician Khousor in Philo of Byblos, combined with that author’s own Byblian identity. [89] And we shall see that several further points favor a Byblian Khousor. Even so, a Byblian Khousor will not resolve the problem, for it remains the case that some were prepared to call this figure Kinyras. And if this was true outside of Byblos, some Byblians must also have been aware of the equation, if only peddlers of hieroì lógoi. We must therefore support a fourth permutation—that the Byblian figure was variously known by both names, and that Kinyras and Kothar were somehow doublets in a Byblian context. And, after all, Kinyras is linked to Byblos by a handful of Greco-Roman sources, while only ps.-Meliton speaks for Kauthar.
A key point favoring the reality of a Byblian Kinyras is the prominence of lamentation in all this material. Besides Lucian’s crucial account of the annual ‘Adonis’ rites, the classical myths’ emphasis on the tears of Aphrodite obviously aetiologizes such ritual performances. Bar Koni envisions three separate occasions for lament—by Balthi’s father, by Balthi herself, and by Tammuz’ father and mother. Ps.-Meliton is not explicit, but his statement that Balthi “died in Aphaka where Tammuz was buried” parallels her death of grief there in Bar Koni. These passages imply ritual lamentation at Aphaka itself, not just Byblos proper; and this in turn clarifies Lucian’s attribution of the temple to Kinyras. [90]
Of course ps.-Meliton would have called Aphaka the work of Kauthar, who as the bereaved father would also be well justified in lamenting Tammuz/Adonis. A lamenting Kauthar can be supported by the ‘incantations’ (epōidaí) of Philo’s musicalized Khousor, which in turn consolidates Khousor’s own association with Byblos. [91] Even so, this grieving Kauthar would return us ultimately to Kinyras the Lamenter, since the mourning of father for son was a common threnodic theme (Chapter 12). It is precisely this performative stance, indeed, that can explain the otherwise jarring genealogical subordination of Adonis—that is, the Byblian Baal (see further below)—to the lesser Kinyras and/or Kothar.
I conclude from this initial comparison that, despite slightly different terms and a superficially Syro-Mesopotamian perspective, ps.-Meliton and Bar Koni do indeed reproduce a genuinely ‘Cypro-Byblian’ mytheme that invites closer analysis, both of its internal structure and external sympathies. In pursuing this, we shall be justified in treating the ancient vacillation between Kinyras and Kauthar/Khousor as a valid heuristic tool.

Goddess, King, and Copper

We may begin with a further proof of Kinyras’ essential compatibility with ps.-Meliton’s Kauthar: whereas Strabo and Eustathios saw Byblos as an ancient part of Kinyras’ realm, ps.-Meliton presents Cyprus as a novel addition to Kauthar’s. These conceptions must be cognate. But whereas the classical authors give no further context for the Byblian Kinyras, ps.-Meliton’s Kauthar tale implicates a Cypriot king ‘Hephaistos’, whose kingdom passes under Byblian control through Balthi’s affair with Tammuz. This Cypriot Hephaistos—shared by Bar Koni and thus fundamental to the myth—has deep Cypriot roots beneath a partly Hellenized surface. For the Olympian smith-god is conspicuously absent from the early island, thanks to the ancient prestige of an indigenous metallurge like the Ingot God. [92] This figure was effectively wedded to the Cypriot goddess herself through shared ingot iconography and his-and-hers adyta in the sanctuary at Enkomi, with ‘his’ metallurgical facilities housed within ‘her’ realm. [93] By contrast, the pairing of Hephaistos and Aphrodite has no basis in Aegean cult, it being rather Ares with whom the goddess typically received joint worship. [94] So Homer’s famous tale of their adultery—exposed by Hephaistos, with the goddess’s chastened return to Paphos—is an artificial satire on Aphrodite’s cultural gyrations between Greece and Cyprus, where indeed a smith-god husband would cherish her return. [95] By the logic of Homer’s narrative this should be Hephaistos; but cultural realities require us to infer an unnamed Cypriot counterpart.
This is precisely Hephaistos’ role in ps.-Meliton and Bar Koni. But here the marital escapade moves eastward, merging with a very old motif of distinctly Mesopotamian aspect—the faithless goddess—that was rooted in divine patronage of actual sovereigns. In two Neo-Sumerian epic tales (preserved in later copies/versions), royal ascendancy is marked by securing the ‘love’ of Inanna, who abandons a rival king. [96] Hence the famous scene in the Epic of Gilgamesh, where the hero taxes Ishtar with her history of broken lovers. [97] We saw a similar alliance of myth and royal ideology in the Hittite Ritual and Prayer for Ishtar of Nineveh, where it was feared that the goddess had defected to one of the many other royal cult-centers that claimed her—of which one was Alashiya itself. [98]
This pattern ultimately shaped Aphrodite, whose many paramours included (besides Ares and Hephaistos) Ankhises, Phaethon, Adonis, and Kinyras himself. [99] Her promiscuity provided fuel for Christian attacks, and ps.-Meliton himself was clearly so motivated. [100] That he interpolated Homer’s Ares for good measure would explain the inorganic complication of Hephaistos’ discovery leading to the death not of Ares but of Tammuz; this suggestion is corroborated by the absence of Ares from Bar Koni’s version, where Hephaistos plays the war-god’s sometime role of homicidal cuckold. [101] But in a striking twist, Bar Koni’s Hephaistos is himself slain before Tammuz falls to the tusk.
I conclude that the myth presents a distinctly Cypriot and/or Cypro-Byblian fusion of two ideologies that derive from the BA: the divine protection of royal copper-production, and political ascendancy represented by the love of Inanna/Ishtar/Astarte. With Balthi’s defection, the island passes from a Cypriot metallurge to a Byblian, represented as Hephaistos and Kauthar, respectively. Whereas Kauthar’s relevance to Bar Koni’s aetiologies of lament is not immediately obvious, he is perfectly qualified for the current context. This representation of ‘ancient history’ becomes quite tangible when one recalls that the trade in copper, and control thereof, was the single most important factor structuring Cyprus’s internal political organization and its relationships with the outside world, from the early second millennium down through the Aegean and Phoenician colonial movements (Chapter 1).
Now if we had no reason to consider Kinyras and Kauthar/Khousor doublets, we might reasonably expect ps.-Meliton and Bar Koni to have named their ancient Cypriot king not Hephaistos but Kinyras. After all, Kinyras had long been known as the island’s ancient metallurgical monarch (Homer) and beloved of Aphrodite (Pindar). While epichoric myths were often converted into Olympian currency, this principle was not consistently applied by ps.-Meliton, as shown by his Kauthar and several other figures. And since Kinyras and Kauthar/Khousor do appear to be doppelgängers—most obviously in the present Byblian context—ps.-Meliton’s Hephaistos must represent an indigenous metal-smith whose control of Cyprus antedates that of Kauthar/Kinyras.
This conclusion is corroborated by its startling agreement with the report of the Paphian priesthood, discussed in Chapter 16. There an “ancient memory” (vetus memoria) of Aerias/Aeria—interpretable as ‘Mr. and Mrs. Copper’—was contrasted with a “more recent legend” (fama recentior) of Kinyras and Aphrodite. [102] This unexpected harmony can hardly be coincidence; it is of a piece with the complementary Greco-Roman and Syrian views of Byblos’ dominion under Kinyras/Kauthar. We are dealing with cognate myths, and our analysis of ps.-Meliton and Bar Koni must expand accordingly to embrace the hieroì lógoi of Paphos. One immediate benefit is that we can flesh out Tacitus’ spare epitome of the Paphian report. That the priests saw Kinyras as not merely secondary to their cult, but a parvenu from the mainland, is a ready deduction from his immigration in other sources (Chapter 21). And whereas Tacitus otherwise seems to link Aerias and Kinyras only through relative chronology, ps.-Meliton lets us suppose a causal relationship of geopolitical aspect between the two ‘strata’.
This neat convergence strongly suggests that the insular and mainland traditions derive from a shared historical reality of considerable depth. One might try to see here, for example, the breakdown of centralized control on Cyprus at the end of the LBA (= Hephaistos), followed by Phoenician pursuit of copper in the EIA (= Kauthar/Kinyras). But this is not deep enough. So far as we know, it was not Byblos, but Tyre, that dominated the Phoenician colonial movement. [103] And as I have argued on independent grounds, any historicizing interpretation of Cypriot Kinyras must start from his pre-Greek presence. [104] While metal-hungry kings of IA Phoenicia would certainly have had their own reasons to promote a cult of Kothar/Khousor, for them too the industrial superpower of Alashiya will have loomed large in legend. And if there was one Levantine god as likely as Astarte to come to LBA Cyprus, it was Kothar.
A crucial issue here, raised above in connection with the Ingot God and Goddess, [105] is the epithet Kythéreia, which Aphrodite bears in Greek epic and beyond. [106] It has long been recognized that this word, with its short epsilon (Kythĕreia), cannot derive directly from the island Kythera (Kýthēra), despite ancient sources, beginning with Hesiod, that assert or imply just this (one would otherwise expect *Kythḗreia). [107] West, reviewing the issue, nevertheless urged that “the two words must be related, but perhaps not in that way,” and approved those who would see in Kythéreia a female counterpart of Kothar, presumably his consort. [108]
Now the form itself, A. Cassio has recently shown, is a relatively late epic concoction. [109] That it derives specifically from Cypro-Aegean interaction in the Orientalizing Period (ca. 750–650) finds good general support in our evidence for the Cypriot engagement with ‘Homeric’ epic at this time, culminating most notably in the episodes that were excised from the Kypria by the fifth century. [110] The epithet’s special connection with the island is established by the tenth Homeric hymn, where the goddess is invoked not as Aphrodite but rather “Cyprus-born Kythéreia … she who rules well-founded Salamis / and Cyprus-on-the-Sea”—obvious signs of a Cypriot singer and/or performance setting. [111] Yet such on-the-ground cultic realities equally require Kythéreia, though a seventh-century neologism in the Aegean, to refer to some older religious reality on Cyprus itself. Kythereia will not have materialized from thin air.
A ‘female Kothar’ is not without Levantine parallels. The linguistic kinship of Kothar and the Kotharat goddesses of Ugaritian and Canaanite/Phoenician tradition is undoubted, though how their spheres intersected is unclear. [112] The Kotharat typically appear as a group; but Philo of Byblos, who calls them ‘Artemides’, singles out one as the spouse of Sydyk—the ‘Just’, our most likely prototype for Sandokos, Kinyras’ father in ps.-Apollodoros. [113] Philo also knew a Khousarthis who “brought to light the theology of Taautos [Thoth] which had been hidden and concealed in allegories”—a description less like Philo’s own Khousor than that of Mokhos—though how this female Kothar might mesh with Cypriot ‘Aphrodite’ is hardly obvious. [114] Finally, there is the “Assyrian Kythéreia” of Nonnos, whose Byblian context could further corroborate the connection with Byblos of both ps.-Meliton’s Kauthar and Philo’s Khousor. [115]
The proposed association of Kythereia and Kothar raises two linguistic issues that help us focus the historical view. First is the discrepancy between the short upsilon of Kythéreia and the long ô of Kothar (< P-S aw). Here a plausible explanation is at hand in the changes one may expect at a linguistic interface. [116] That such a mutation could occur precisely on Cyprus is supported by the short upsilons of both Kinyras and Myrrha (versus the long vowels of Semitic cognates). [117]
The second issue concerns the Semitic interdental fricative in kṯr/Kothar. This sound could only have emerged as the Greek theta of Kythéreia if the underlying adaptation went back to at least ca. 1300, and probably rather earlier. [118] The correspondence of Semitic and other ANE fricatives/laryngeals with early (LBA) Greek aspirates (th, ph, kh) still lacks a comprehensive study, but H. Y. Priebatsch showed that the Greek aspirates could indeed have a spirant quality in the LBA, or at least represent such sounds in loanwords. That quality was typically lost in the EIA, reappearing only in later centuries. [119]
This situation brings the island of Kythera back into the discussion, since it was already so named by the fifteenth century, when it appears in an Egyptian ‘itinerary’ text and somewhat later as an ethnic designation at Mycenaean Pylos. [120] It is true that traditions of Phoenician settlement on Kythera—including the island’s sanctuary of Aphrodite Ourania and the eponymous Kytheros son of Phoinix—might be sufficiently explained by EIA trade expeditions. [121] Yet a deeper connection between Kythera and Kothar is well supported by the god’s persistent link to Minoan Crete in Ugaritian legend—“Kaptara is his royal house, Egypt is the land of his inheritance.” Kothar’s international realm here symbolized the LBA palatial trade network, one strand of which reached from Crete via Ugarit to Mari and Babylon, through which the Minoans secured tin for making bronze. [122] One might even speculate that Ug. ‘Kaptara’ itself derives from Kothar, at an earlier linguistic stage than he is found in the Ugaritic texts (< Kawṯar-?). A cuneiform inscription found on Kythera—relating to Naram-Sin of Eshnunna (ca. 1712–1702 BCE) in far-off Babylonia—helps compensate for the lack of contemporary Levantine material on the island, where a Middle Minoan presence is however well documented. [123]
Whatever the case with Kythera, Cyprus will have been as central as Ugarit itself to that city’s mythological vision of Kothar’s domain. This follows first from simple geography and the region’s seasonal sailing routes. [124] It is clinched by the island’s dominant international position in the production and working of copper (Chapters 1, 14). The whole situation is perfectly exemplified by the Uluburun wreck. [125]
Material record, historical context, linguistic considerations, the iconography of the Ingot God and Goddess—faced with this combination of evidence it is hard to doubt that some form of Kothar was active on LBA Cyprus, an importation parallel to Ishtar/Astarte herself (Chapter 15), and that this echoed on in the Greco-Cypriot epithet Kythéreia. We need not assume that a separate male *Kyther(os) still existed in the seventh century, as Kothar could have been ‘internalized’ as an aspect of the goddess—as of Kinyras himself—centuries earlier. On the other hand, given the island’s substantial Phoenician population, some conscious conceptual link between goddess and Kothar/Khousor may indeed have persisted into historical times.
With this we return to our crux—the melding of Kinyras and Kothar, and how this transpired between Byblos and Cyprus. In what follows, I shall attempt to account for all data so far presented, and incorporate our hypothetical Byblian Kinyras/Kothar into the larger picture of BA royal cult-music and divinized-­instruments explored in Part One.

The Cypro-Byblian Interface

I have now made independent cases for the presence of both a Kothar and a Divine Knr in one or more pantheons of LBA Cyprus—a perfectly credible idea given their official co-existence at nearby Ugarit. A third investigation explored, in the thirteenth-century bronze stand from Kourion, the conjunction of music, metalworking, and goddess-worship in a royal context (Chapter 15). A fourth set of evidence, from the roughly coeval Pylos tablets, seemed to imply a metamusical Kinyras with Kothar-like seafaring skills (Chapter 17). This converging material, I believe, indicates that some Kotharization of Kinyras—firmly established as a metallurgical king already for Homer—was underway on Cyprus by or before the thirteenth century.
We are left needing to explain how a mirror image—a Kinyradized Khousor—could arise in Phoenicia, specifically at, or at least including, Byblos. Given the early horizons sketched above for Cypriot Kinyras, it would seem that he and the Byblian Kinyras/Khousor were parallel regional developments of a specific Canaanite tradition in which Kothar and the Divine Knr were unusually intimate already in the LBA. A likely guess is that they were treated as mythological brothers, whence the vestigial siblings known to both Philo and Étienne de Lusignan. [126]
We must evidently posit a specific cult importation from Byblos to Cyprus at some pre-Greek historical juncture. This agrees well with our argument of Chapter 15—that the ‘immigration’ of Kinyras was connected with a theological reinterpretation of the Cypriot goddess in terms of a mainland Astarte figure. We need only add some form of Kothar, or Kotharization, to the formula. Such a ‘moving goddess’ is after all just what we find in ps.-Meliton and Bar Koni. In both, Balthi, despite the deep (EBA) antiquity of the Byblian goddess herself, begins the story as queen of Cyprus. (Compare Hesiod’s account of Aphrodite’s birth, where the goddess is wafted from the Aegean and Kythera to what was in fact her home at an earlier stage of development, Cyprus). [127] There are several significant elements here. The original independence of the Cypriot ‘queen’, who then moves eastward, is mirrored by the dramatic displacement of Byblian ‘Balthi’ to Cyprus—thus a kind of westward movement. (The latter trajectory is also implied by the figure of ‘Kypros’, daughter of ‘Byblos’, in a fragment of Istros. [128] ) This structure implies a mutual assimilation of historically distinct divinities.
The Cypriot Goddess and Baalat Gebal, as known from later times, do have some resemblances. Both cults were of deep antiquity, dominating their respective territories. Aniconic representations were prominent at both sites, and though such ‘betyls’ were not unique to Byblos, their archaic quality suits the scenario envisaged here. [129] The Lady of Byblos, like other forms of Astarte and Aphrodite herself, was a protectress of sailors. [130] She was also a royal patroness. [131] For Philo of Byblos, the goddesses were closely related. His Byblian Baaltis is ‘Dione’; linguistically a female ‘Zeus’, Dione most famously appears as Aphrodite’s mother in an eccentric episode of the Iliad, much discussed recently for its Near Eastern and Cypriot sympathies. [132] But, while this could potentially imply that Baaltis was older than her Cypriot counterpart, in Philo himself Dione is the sister of Aphrodite, with whom he equates Astarte; Rhea, probably a form of Asherah, is the third triplet, all being wives of Kronos, that is ‘Elos’ or El. [133]
But none of these correspondences is definitive. They represent the same ongoing ‘collation’ of regional deities that was so well attested for the LBA (Chapter 15). Those early phenomena, often induced by on-the-ground religious juxtapositions and cult transfers, make it quite possible that our Cypro-Byblian myth ultimately does reflect some religious reality of that time. Unfortunately, we know very little about specific relations between BA Cyprus and Byblos. The latter’s early history is fairly dark outside the narrow window of its fourteenth-century subjection to Egypt; Cyprus is darker still. One Amarna text from Rib-Hadda, the king/‘governor’ of Byblos, does mention sending a certain Amanmashsha to Alashiya; but the mission’s purpose is not stated. [134] Alashiya also follows Byblos in the eleventh-century (?) itinerary of Wen-Amun; the context is the turbulent period of the Sea Peoples, but it is implied that such a route was once normal. [135] But that is hardly surprising given the island’s proximity.
Nevertheless, we can be sure that regular official relations did exist, and that these revolved precisely around the copper trade. The enormous quantity of bronze excavated from second-millennium levels of Byblos shows that the city was a major manufacturing center. [136] Moreover, state control, as on contemporary Cyprus, is indicated by another Amarna letter that refers to the Byblian king’s production and supply of bronze weapons to both Egypt and Tyre. [137] This industry must have involved the Byblian monarchs in close dealings with their cupreous insular peers. Since royal control and divine protection of copper is otherwise well documented for LBA Cyprus (Chapter 15), it is easy to imagine this ideology—and associated cult practices—being extended to, or adapted by, the island’s partners in the metals trade. This, I suggest, is the best context for ps.-Meliton’s myth, and full justification for Kauthar’s starring role.

Ritual Lamentation and the ‘Damu’ of Byblos

At the same time, a Byblian proto-Kinyras of LBA date—and a lamenting father of Adonis/Tammuz—should imply significant exposure to Mesopotamian theological concepts and practices, since the divinization of instruments and other cult objects evidently originated in EBA Babylonia (Chapters 2, 5, and 6). As one probable environment for the spread of such ideas I identified the increasing involvement of Amorite and traditional Mesopotamian cultures during the Ur III and OB periods. This would make Kinnaru of Ugarit and the proposed Byblian Kinyras parallel regional manifestations at the western end of a cult-music continuum.
While Byblos’ early religion is nearly as obscure as its political history, [138] several points are noteworthy here. First, while the city enjoyed close cultural relations with Egypt for much of the Bronze Age, [139] its engagement with Syria and Mesopotamia was just as early and longstanding. Southern Mesopotamian influence on the city’s material culture can be traced back to the EBA, while its temples and other public buildings show that Byblos avoided the collapse of the southern Levant ca. 2400–2000 (EBA IV), sharing rather in the urban apogee of Syrian sites like Ebla—the archives of which attest regular commerce with Byblos. [140]
In the Ur III period, two economic texts from Drehem (ancient Puzrish-Dagan, one of Ur’s major redistribution centers) document diplomatic relations between Amar-Suen (ca. 2046–2038) and a Byblian king—Ibdâdi or Abd-(H)addi (Eb-da-di3)—alongside other Syrian monarchs (of Ebla, Mari, and Tuttul). [141] These tablets were once taken as evidence for Ur’s political control of Byblos, but this idea has been discarded with further understanding of the state’s provincial administration. [142] Nevertheless, they remain precious indicators of cultural contact at the royal level. And several cuneiform inscriptions have been excavated at Byblos itself, one from the Ur III period (see further below) and two of OB or MB date. [143]
The fourteenth-century Amarna letters show Mesopotamian scribal culture firmly ensconced in the Byblian royal court. This in itself need not imply any theological influence. But a detail in one letter does indeed support the idea. This is a petition from the aforementioned Rib-Hadda, who begs pharaoh to protect the cult-property of a deity rendered as “my DAMU” (dDAMU-ia). [144] Scholars have differed as to whether DAMU refers to the Sumerian god of that name, [145] or is a scribal gloss for a local Byblian deity. In his recent reassessment, T. Mettinger argues persuasively for the latter, identifying the underlying figure as the Baal of Byblos, consort of Baalat Gebal—attested in a tenth-century inscription, and probably “the living god” of another Amarna letter. [146] This Baal of Byblos must be the storm-god Haddu, whose cult is attested by the theophoric element in Rib-Hadda’s own name, and that of the aforementioned Abd-(H)addi. [147]
So far, so good. But one must still explain why Baal/Haddu was glossed as ‘Damu’ rather than say dIŠKUR, used elsewhere of storm-gods. Damu, associated with the annual cycle of plant life, is one of several Mesopotamian figures who fall in their youthful prime—much like Dumuzi, with whom Damu was eventually assimilated, Dumuzi himself being connected rather with pastoralism. [148] The precise character of these gods’ death and any return has been debated since Frazer; Mettinger, while carefully eschewing monolithic, transhistoric definitions, has forcefully revived the idea that these and several other figures were truly ‘dying-and-rising’ gods. Storm-gods, by contrast, do not normally die, as is well illustrated by Yahweh (for the Baal of Ugarit, see below). [149] The same discrepancy is illustrated by Adonis, whose name, it has long been recognized, must derive from Semitic ’dn (‘lord’). This honorific is attested for a number of Syro-Levantine gods, apparently including the Byblian Baal himself. [150] Yet Adonis, with the noteworthy exception of his predilection for mountainous areas, does not resemble a storm-god. Beautiful young lover of the goddess, haunter of the countryside, his untimely death, her lament, a seasonal return to life, dividing the year between his earthly lover and the queen of the underworld—this is a distinctly Dumuzi-like portfolio. [151]
And so I believe Mettinger is right to suggest that the Byblian ‘Baal-Damu’ is a hybrid due to Mesopotamian influence on the city’s royal cult:
The proximity of Adon(is), Damu, and Dumuzi should alert us to the possibility that Byblos was a site where Adon(is) was part of a syncretistic development in which he adopted features originally connected with the Sumerian and Akkadian myths of journeys to the Netherworld. [152]
The most tangible and appropriate vehicle for a focused importation of such ideas, as well as their survival into IA myth, is a cult of royal ancestors, akin to the ‘Rephaim’ of Ugarit. [153] Such developments would have to be placed rather early, quite possibly well before Rib-Hadda’s letter and Baal’s death and return in the Ugaritian Baal Cycle—for which Mettinger posits a parallel “reception in Ugarit of the descensus mytheme from the cults of Mesopotamian Dumuzi.” [154] For the zenith of Damu’s cult was the Ur III or OB periods, when he was honored especially at Ur, Isin, Larsa, and Girsu. [155] Dumuzi enjoyed an equally deep antiquity, being known at Mari for instance already in pre-Sargonic times. [156]
Mettinger’s hypothesis, I suggest, can equally explain the Byblian Kinyras, whom we wish to connect with Levantine cultic practices under some Mesopotamian influence. Damu, like Dumuzi, was a subject of lamentation-singing in the Ur III and OB periods, when both were involved in the ritual poetics of royal cult, including the mortuary. [157] Both are also associated with divinized instruments. We saw that Dumuzi featured thematically in lamentations performed at Mari with or in the presence of the divinized balang Ninigizibara, servant to the mourning Ishtar. [158] These passages clarify the attestation of a balang counselor-god for Damu himself in the god-list An:Anum. [159] Kinnaru of Ugarit, we saw, may be approached along similar lines. [160] (As more general chronological support one should recall that Egyptian instruments with gods’ heads are well attested in the MK. [161] )
Our hypothesis requires that the lamentations of historical Byblos perpetuate a traditional practice going back to the Bronze Age. This idea, inherently plausible given contemporary ANE parallels, can now be supported by a cuneiform text of Ur III date from Byblos itself. The tablet was originally interpreted as a sign-list executed by a scribe-in-training. [162] The further inference, that Byblos was already well within the orbit of Mesopotamian elite culture, with “literate administrative personnel,” remains reasonable. [163] But D. Arnaud has now shown that the text is in fact a dedicatory inscription relating to some restoration of the temple and/or cult of the Byblian goddess. [164] Though the larger context is damaged, several important details survive.
First, the goddess is explicitly called ‘Ishtar’ (Eš6-tar2-eš3)—very early confirmation of classical authors that identify Baalat Gebal as Astarte. We should not be too categorical, of course, since Hittite and Ugaritian sources show that many regional goddesses could be considered forms of Ishtar. But this fact is itself significant for its implications of supralocal theological thought.
Second, the text itemizes several appurtenances of the goddess’s cult. These include not only a bed—presumably for processions involving the cult image—but a female singer (mi2-nar), and a female player of the ‘balang’ (mi2-balaĝ-ti, or munus balaĝ-di3, as Heimpel reads the signs). [165] Arnaud rightly connects these cult-musicians with ritual lamentation, given the common association of balang and lament in Mesopotamian contexts. [166] Yet ‘balang’ itself need not refer narrowly to a Sumerian instrument of that name; more probably it masks a local counterpart. That this was precisely kinnārum—so vocalized in Byblos at this early date—is a ready guess given the same lexical equation at Ebla (Chapter 4) and the many parallels for female knr-players in the region—like the later lyre-players who play for a goddess on the Cypro-Phoenician symposium bowls (Chapter 11). Remember that Bar Koni attributes lamentation of Tammuz not only to his father but his mother, and that in Mesopotamian laments Dumuzi was variously mourned as the goddess’s spouse, son, and brother—a range that “reflects the reality of women crying over their dead husbands and children.” [167] While ‘balang’ is not written with a divine determinative in our text, we can at least say, on the basis of the parallels, that this instrument was the sacred property of the goddess, dedicated to use in her cult. [168]
Circumstantial evidence therefore indicates that by the late third millennium Byblos hosted a cultic environment that is consistent with the eventual emergence of a Byblian ‘Kinyras’.


I propose that Kinyras, Kauthar, and Theias are three names for a single complex Byblian figure in whom a Kothar was fused with a Divine Knr independent of Ugarit. While this ‘Kinyras’ was ‘confused’ with Kothar at Byblos, the opposite outcome transpired on Cyprus, where Kothar was more severely effaced. This resulted in a curious inversion whereby Cypriot Kinyras could be seen as originating in Byblos, while others saw Byblian ‘Kauthar’ extending his reign over Cyprus. This mirrored distribution, I have argued, reflects a specific cult-connection between island and mainland in the pre-Greek period. While Alashiya is already attested textually in the nineteenth century, the material record shows clearly that Cyprus’ great cosmopolitan age began rather later. The historical ‘moment’ between Byblos and Cyprus, if such there was, might be related to the ‘founding’ of Paphos by ‘Phoinix’, which Eusebios dated to 1425. This tradition, I have suggested, may be connected with monumentalization of the goddess’s sanctuary towards the end of the pre-Greek period. [169] A specific link here with Byblos would explain the structural agreement between ps.-Meliton and the fama recentior of the Paphian priesthood.


[ back ] 1. See p55–56, 195–196, 272–274.
[ back ] 2. Exemplary studies include Teixidor 1977; Millar 1993 (cases in Part II); Dirven 1999 (Palmyra/Dura Europos); OSG (Hierapolis and parallels); papers in Kaizer 2008; Aliquot 2009 (the Lebanon).
[ back ] 3. I follow Albright 1940:296 in the English spelling ‘Kauthar’. Ps.-Meliton’s text (see below) presents kwtr, where w is a mater lectionis which normally reflects either ō or ū. Without the benefit of the comparative evidence, especially Arabic kawṯar (see p443n2), Cureton rendered the name “Cuthar”; E. Renan opted for “Cyther” (in Pitra 1854:XLII, cf. Cureton 1855:iin1). While the diphthong aw was typically monophthongized in the Aramaic dialects, it could be preserved in Syriac when not resulting in a doubly closed syllable (in which case it was reduced to û or ô, respectively, in western and eastern Aramaic): Brockelmann 1899:28 §60; ICGSL:55 §8.101; SL 175 §22.10. But the spelling ΧΑΥΘΑΡ at third-century Hama, Syria clearly reflects the old diphthongal value (see p443n2). Greek θ, on the other hand, was by now often fricative (Allen 1987:23–26). Ps.-Meliton’s kwtr lacks the diacritical dot that would usually let one distinguish between a plosive or fricative value for t (Brockelmann 1899:10 §10). But while the P-S interdental fricative (/θ/) developed to t in Aramaic dialects by the mid-first millennium BCE (ICGSL:29 §8.18), in Syriac the dental and other plosives were eventually (re)spirantized after vowels (Brockelmann 1899:22 §42; SL §13.8). It must be this consideration that caused Cureton to give “Cuthar,” which is happily corroborated by the Greek spelling at Hama.
[ back ] 4. The corruption ‘Thoas’, found in a codex of Apollodoros and [Probus] on Vergil Eclogues 10.18 (see comments of Matthews 1996:256–257), occasionally persists in modern scholarship.
[ back ] 5. See p440–441.
[ back ] 6. See p213–216.
[ back ] 7. The work’s authorship and basic ethnographical authenticity—allowing for Lucian’s amusing emphasis on the bizarre and grotesque—has been well defended by Oden 1977:41–46 et passim; OSG:184–221, cf. 205–207 for Lucian’s ethnicity and its special relevance to religious matters.
[ back ] 8. Lucian On the Syrian Goddess 1, 14–15, 32.
[ back ] 9. Oden 1977:58–107; OSG:13–15 (for the form ‘Atargatis’), et passim.
[ back ] 10. On the Syrian Goddess 1, 60. For the terms ‘Assyria’ and ‘Syria’, see p3n11.
[ back ] 11. Lucian On the Syrian Goddess 1, 11 (πολλοὶ λόγοι ἐλέγοντο, τῶν οἱ μὲν ἱροί, οἱ δὲ ἐμφανέες, οἱ δὲ κάρτα μυθώδεες, καὶ ἄλλοι βάρβαροι, οἱ μὲν τοῖσιν Ἕλλησιν ὁμολογέοντες κτλ), 60.
[ back ] 12. See n7 above.
[ back ] 13. For the close connection between mythology and tourism of ancient sites in this period, see Cameron 2004:234–235 et passim.
[ back ] 14. This depends P. Buttmann’s proposed correction, widely accepted, of Δευκαλίωνα τὸν Σισύθεα for τὸν Σκύθεα (On the Syrian Goddess 12). Such late knowledge of Ziusudra is supported by fragments of two Hellenistic authors of Babylonian lore, though the forms they give are closer to the original (Ξίσουθρος, Berossos FGH 680 F 4; Σίσουθρος, Abydenos FGH 685 F 2b–3b). Note also the several reservations of Lightfoot (e.g. Scythian associations of Deukalion) and her argument that Lucian followed a Jewish flood account (OSG:340, 342–343). Still, most of Lucian’s details can be found in the various Mesopotamian versions known to us (Oden 1977:24–36; CANE:2344–2347 [B. B. Schmidt], with a useful comparative table); parallels in the Rabbinic tradition (OSG:339–340) may themselves reflect general ANE influence.
[ back ] 15. OSG:384–402.
[ back ] 16. For Kombabos/Kubaba see OSG:384–402 (note especially Hesykhios s.v. Κύβαβος· θεός). For ‘Stratonike’ as reflecting Ishtar/Astarte, compare ‘Straton’ of Sidon (p489–493) et al., and cf. Oden 1977:36–46 and DDUPP:106—though both believe that Kombabos should be connected rather with Humbaba, known from the Epic of Gilgamesh as guardian of the cedar forest and servant of Ishtar (rightly refuted by Lightfoot).
[ back ] 17. For this problem, see p315 and n213.
[ back ] 18. See further p495–496.
[ back ] 19. On the Syrian Goddess 2.
[ back ] 20. On the Syrian Goddess 3–5.
[ back ] 21. On the Syrian Goddess 6–9.
[ back ] 22. DDUPP:67–68, 70–72.
[ back ] 23. DDUPP:70–79; Bonnet 1996:19–20.
[ back ] 24. On the Syrian Goddess 6: λέγουσι γὰρ δὴ ὦν τὸ ἔργον τὸ ἐς Ἄδωνιν ὑπὸ τοῦ συὸς ἐν τῇ χώρῃ τῇ σφετέρῃ γενέσθαι, καὶ μνήμην τοῦ πάθεος τύπτονταί τε ἑκάστου ἔτεος καὶ θρηνέουσι καὶ τὰ ὄργια ἐπιτελέουσι καὶ σφίσι μεγάλα πένθεα ἀνὰ τὴν χώρην ἵσταται. ἐπεὰν δὲ ἀποτύψωνταί τε καὶ ἀποκλαύσωνται, πρῶτα μὲν καταγίζουσι τῷ Ἀδώνιδι ὅκως ἐόντι νέκυι, μετὰ δὲ τῇ ἑτέρῃ ἡμέρῃ ζώειν τέ μιν μυθολογέουσι καὶ ἐς τὸν ἠέρα πέμπουσι κτλ. I leave aside the issue of ‘sacred prostitution’.
[ back ] 25. See Jidejian 1968:124; for the river in the civic topography and mythical imagination of Byblos, Aliquot 2009:58–61.
[ back ] 26. On the Syrian Goddess 9: Ἀνέβην δὲ καὶ ἐς τὸν Λίβανον ἐκ Βύβλου, ὁδὸν ἡμέρης, πυθόμενος αὐτόθι ἀρχαῖον ἱρὸν Ἀφροδίτης ἔμμεναι, τὸ Κινύρης εἵσατο, καὶ εἶδον τὸ ἱρόν, καὶ ἀρχαῖον ἦν.
[ back ] 27. This has long been recognized: Frazer 1914 1:28–30; Drexler, Roscher Lex. s.v. Kinyras; Brown 1965:198; Aliquot 2009:258.
[ back ] 28. Etymologicum Magnum s.v. Ἄφακα· Σύρων μὲν ἐστὶν ἡ λέξις· δύναται δὲ καθ’ Ἑλλάδα γλῶσσαν, εἰ δεῖ τὸ δημῶδες εἰπεῖν ῥῆμα, περίλημμα, περιλαβούσης τὸν Ἄδωνιν τῆς Ἀφροδίτης ἐκεῖ ἢ τὴν πρώτην ἢ τὴν ἐσχάτην περιβολήν.
[ back ] 29. Cf. Ulbrich 1906:85. In this region and period Kinyras may have been more canonical than Hesiod’s Phoinix, for whom see p313.
[ back ] 30. Lucian The Ignorant Book-Collector 3. DDUPP:105–108 suggests that the ‘Aphrodite’ of Aphaka may not have been identical with the Byblian goddess.
[ back ] 31. See p380n58.
[ back ] 32. See p314.
[ back ] 33. Cf. Ulbrich 1906:86: “Die mythologische Figur des Kinyras kann man, wenn sie auch früh in den hellenischen Sagenkreis einbezogen wurde, als die letzte Spur der Erinnerung an die alte, phönizische Zeit betrachten.”
[ back ] 34. Krencker and Zschietzschmann 1938:56–57, with further references. See also OSG:328–331; Aliquot 2009:258–259.
[ back ] 35. Aliquot 2009:19–20.
[ back ] 36. Cf. DDUPP:83. Adonis and Kasios: Servius Auctus on Vergil Eclogues 10.18 (see further p514).
[ back ] 37. Aliquot 2009:21–23.
[ back ] 38. Cf. DDUPP:105–106; Elayi 2009:201.
[ back ] 39. Jidejian 1968:129–130. Among the early Christian authors who attest the emperor’s action, Eusebios stands out for his vivid portrait of an orgiastic sexual culture (Life of Constantine 3.55.1–3 = In Praise of Constantine 8.5–9).
[ back ] 40. Baudissin 1911:363n1; Teixidor 1977:155n38.
[ back ] 41. Jidejian 1968:130.
[ back ] 42. Zosimos New History 1.58. The fifth-century Sozomenos (Ecclesiastical History 2.5.5), corroborating Constantine’s action, adds interesting detail about the pagan cult that confirms Zosimos’ emphasis on the importance of the waters: the prayers of adorants would call down a celestial fire into the Adonis (which was channeled into a sacred pool, as can be seen in the remains).
[ back ] 43. Krencker and Zschietzschmann 1938:59; Donceel 1966:232, noting also a ‘Byzantine pillar’ (reuse?) engraved with a cross.
[ back ] 44. Note especially Frazer 1914 1:28–30.
[ back ] 45. Renan 1864:297; Curtiss 1903:174; Paton 1919–1920:55–56 and fig. 1 (“To this saint vows are made both by Metawilehs and Christians, and sick people are brought to be cured by lying beside the water.”); Albright 1940:299; Jidejian 1968:130; Teixidor 1977:155n38. G. Fawkes saw cloth-strips in 2002.
[ back ] 46. Lucian On Dancing 58.
[ back ] 47. Strabo 16.2.18: Βύβλος, τὸ τοῦ Κινύρου βασίλειον, ἱερά ἐστι τοῦ Ἀδώνιδος. It has been inferred from the sequel—ἣν τυραννουμένην ἠλευθέρωσε Πομπήιος πελεκίσας ἐκεῖνον—that Kinyras was the name of the tyrant deposed by Pompey: Frazer 1914 1:27–28 (whence Thubron 1987:170); BMC Phoenicia:lxii; Bömer 1969–1986 5:113. This is certainly wrong: Kinyras is mentioned in a clearly mythological context (Adonis), and an anonymous antecedent for ἐκεῖνον is readily inferred from ἣν τυραννουμένην. This was rightly seen by Brown 1965:205n4; Jidejian 1968:110; Baurain 1980a:286n39.
[ back ] 48. Eustathios on Dionysios the Periegete 912: Ἡ δὲ Βύβλος … Ἀδώνιδος ἱερά, Κινύρου βασίλειον ἀρχαιότατον.
[ back ] 49. Eustathios on Homer Iliad 11.20 (cf. Σ).
[ back ] 50. ‘Assyrian’ Theias: Panyassis fr. 22ab EGF = fr. 27 PEG = [Apollodoros] Library 3.14.4, cf. p284 above; [Probus] on Vergil Eclogues 10.18: [sc. Adonis filius] … ,> Thiantis, qui Syriam Arabiamque tenuit imperio (for supplements, see Matthews 1996:256–257, following West; Cameron 2004:205–206); Σ John Tzetzes Exegesis of Homer’s Iliad 435.5–15 Papathomopoulos. Ps.-Probus’ inclusion of Arabia in the realms of Panyassis’ Theias has probably been influenced by Ovid; ps.-Apollodoros mentions only ‘Assyria’.
[ back ] 51. ‘Assyrian’ Kinyras: Hyginus Fabulae 58, 242, 270; Boccaccio Genealogy of the Pagan Gods 2.51.
[ back ] 52. Adonis as son of Theias and Myrrha/Smyrna, hence an (As)syrian prince: [Apollodoros] Library 3.14.4 = Panyassis fr. 22ab EGF = fr. 27 PEG; Kleitarkhos FGH 137 F 9 (= Stobaios Anthology 40.20.73); Σ Lykophron Alexandra 829, 831; Σ Oppian Halieutika 3.403, 3.407; Anecdota Graeca (Cramer 1839–1841) 4:183.15. Bion calls Adonis an “Assyrian lord” (Ἀσσύριον πόσιν): Lament for Adonis 24. Lucian refers to the tale of Myrrha/Smyrna as τὸ Ἀσσύριον ἐκεῖνο πένθος (On Dancing 58). Myrrha/Smyrna, daughter of Theias, is rejected as mother of Adonis by Etymologicum Magnum s.v. Ἀῷος; for this tradition, see p502.
[ back ] 53. Frazer 1921 2:86n1; cf. Langdon 1931:351; Greenberg 1983:171.
[ back ] 54. Such an impulse is seen in the tale’s treatment by Cinna and Ovid, who bring Myrrha to Arabia and even the fabulous Panchaea. See p287.
[ back ] 55. See e.g. Herodotos 2.116–117 and above p3n11.
[ back ] 56. Antoninos Liberalis Metamorphoses 34, with comments of Matthews 1974:122–123 (arguing for his dependence on Panyassis).
[ back ] 57. Lykophron Alexandra 828–830: ὄψεται δὲ τλήμονος / Μύρρας ἐρυμνὸν ἄστυ, τῆς μογοστόκους / ὠδῖνας ἐξέλυσε δενδρώδης κλάδος κτλ (“he will see wretched / Myrrha’s mighty city—Myrrha whose hard birth-/pains an arboreal branch delivered”).
[ back ] 58. Lykophron Alexandra 831–832 (τὸν θεᾷ κλαυσθέντα Γαύαντος τάφον / … μουσόφθαρτον) with Σ: Γαύας δὲ ὁ Ἄδωνις παρὰ Κυπρίοις καλεῖται (“Adonis is called Gauas among the Cypriots”), fancifully etymologized as γῆ + αὔεσθαι (“for the dead are dried out in the earth,” Γαύας ἐτυμολογεῖται ὁ νεκρὸς παρὰ τὸ γῇ αὔεσθαι· οἱ γὰρ νεκροὶ τῇ γῇ ξηραίνονται). See further Atallah 1966:306.
[ back ] 59. Σ Dionysios the Periegete 509 (FGH 738 F 3a). For the scholiast’s comments here, containing further rare information about Kinyras encountering Egyptians on Cyprus, see further p512–516.
[ back ] 60. The location of Adonis’ tomb is a matter of scholarly debate, some following ps.-Meliton to place it in Aphaka (Renan 1864:296–297; Krencker and Zschietzschmann 1938:60; Servais-Soyez 1977:41–43), others seeking a site in Byblos itself (references in Aliquot 2009:60 and n132–133).
[ back ] 61. See p123.
[ back ] 62. See p6, 411–412.
[ back ] 63. Redford 1990:827n28.
[ back ] 64. See generally Cross 1998:3–22.
[ back ] 65. Cureton 1855:i; White 1932:456 and n3.
[ back ] 66. The main purpose of Mushe’s expedition was to appeal to the Caliph al-Muqtadir for remission of a tax upon the bishops and monks of Egypt: White 1932:337–338; Brock 2004:16–17.
[ back ] 67. British Museum Additional Manuscripts 14658. For the text, Cureton 1855:41–51, with the passage in question (fol. 178a col. 2) on 44; also Otto 1872:426. Cureton dated the MS to the sixth or seventh century on palaeographic grounds (i). It is not among the sixty that carry definite acquisition notes (hence its absence from the catalogue of White 1932:443–445). But very few of the MSS acquired before or after Mushe are older than the eighth century, whereas a high proportion of his are; it is therefore “very likely that … other very early manuscripts … belong to the collection” (Brock 2004:17).
[ back ] 68. For general discussion, including the questions of its original language(s) and sources, see with further references Quasten 1951 1:246–247 and Lightfoot 2004:76–82 et passim (also Lightfoot 2009). Both argue for Syriac as the original language.
[ back ] 69. See the detailed retrospective of Ulbrich 1906:70–77.
[ back ] 70. For the particularities of ps.-Meliton’s euhemerism, see Lightfoot 2004:69–73, 81–82, 90.
[ back ] 71. Millar 1993:243 (quotation), 477–478. See now especially Lightfoot 2004.
[ back ] 72. Textual corruption here led to E. Renan’s startling Latin translation Cyniram (?) vero vertit in aprum (so in Pitra 1854:XLIII); for the issue, see Cureton 1855:90 (Renan “altogether wanders from the meaning”).
[ back ] 73. [Meliton] Apology (Cureton 1855:44.12–22, adapting his translation).
[ back ] 74. Cureton 1855:90; Otto 1872:467n159; Hoffman 1896:256–258; Ulbrich 1906:86–87; Albright 1940:296–297; Albright 1964:171; Pope and Röllig 1965:296; YGC:147–148; Brown 1965:198; Gese et al. 1970:148; Ribichini 1981:51–52.
[ back ] 75. Cf. Ulbrich 1906:86.
[ back ] 76. Cureton 1855:90; DDUPP:73; Lightfoot 2004:90.
[ back ] 77. See the judicious assessment and cautions of Baudissin 1911:94–97 (beginning from Origen Selecta in Ezechielem PG 13:797D–800A: Τὸν λεγόμενον παρ’ Ἕλλησιν Ἄδωνιν, Θαμμούζ φασι καλεῖσθαι παρ’ Ἑβραίοις καὶ Σύροις κτλ); cf. Ribichini 1981:185–188.
[ back ] 78. For Bar Koni, see p454.
[ back ] 79. Theodore Bar Koni: Liber scholiorum, Mimrā 4.38, cf. 11.4; translation after Hespel and Draguet 1981–1982 1:263–264; cf. 2.214.
[ back ] 80. There is further related material in several other Syriac sources. These include the ninth-century Biblical commentator Isho‘dad of Merv, who contains the same points of interest I shall emphasize in Bar Koni; but both lack Kauthar. The connections between these texts, and anterior sources, await full explication. See Baudissin 1911:75–76; Leonhard 2001:52–54, 72–73, 82, 221; Lightfoot 2004:74–75, 86–91 with references.
[ back ] 81. Cf. Lightfoot 2004:88. The late persistence of Tammuz-lament is attested by Isaac of Antioch for the fifth century (2.210 Bickell; cf. Baudissin 1911:95–97), while an Arabic source reports it for the Sabians of Harran in the tenth (Chwolsohn 1856 2:27; Baudissin 1912; cf. Langdon 1935:120; Greenberg 1983:171).
[ back ] 82. Herakles corresponds to the Phoenician Melqart on Cyprus and elsewhere in the Phoenician/Punic world: DDUPP:291. For the myth of Theseus and Ariadne at Amathous, Paion FGrH 757 F 2 with Kypris:107; cf. Lightfoot 2004:89n117.
[ back ] 83. Cf. Baudissin 1911:74.
[ back ] 84. Philo of Byblos FGH 790 F 2 (35).
[ back ] 85. Lightfoot 2004:89. Cf. p441 above.
[ back ] 86. See Lightfoot 2004:89–91, leaving the problem as a non liquet.
[ back ] 87. Gk. ‘Theias’ could gloss a Kinyras-figure just as aptly as a Kothar, recalling the royal associations of both (Kothar in theophoric names, Kinyras in mythology: see p321–323, 407).
[ back ] 88. Cf. Millar 1993:247: “The fact of having been written in Syriac did not necessarily prevent Christian analyses of pagan cults in Syria from representing the same concatenation of confused and incompatible elements as Lucian himself reveals”; Similarly Lightfoot 2009:399: “The use of Syriac ipso facto certainly does not imply a closeness to local realities that is somehow unavailable to speakers of a classical language; as much account has to be taken of literary fashioning with ps.-M[eliton] as it does with Lucian and Philo of Byblos.”
[ back ] 89. See p445–452.
[ back ] 90. Even if a ‘tomb of Adonis’ was displayed in Byblos itself (see n60 above), Lucian refers to lamentation rites “throughout the land” (ἀνὰ τὴν χώρην).
[ back ] 91. See p448–452.
[ back ] 92. Borgeaud 1975.
[ back ] 93. See p394–395.
[ back ] 94. Ares/Aphrodite: Farnell 1896–1909 2:622–623, 653–655, 700–703; GR:220. This latter pairing must itself reflect original attributes of the eastern goddess, who in Mesopotamian tradition unites war and love in a single figure. See Kypris:136 for the possible correspondence between Ares and the Ingot God, whose smiting pose is as striking as his ingot-base.
[ back ] 95. Homer Odyssey 8.359–366. See Franklin 2014:223–224; cf. Burkert 1993:153; EFH:57.
[ back ] 96. Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta (ETCSL, especially 25–32, 102–104, 227–235; Lugalbanda and the Anzud Bird (ETCSL, especially 290–321, 345–356.
[ back ] 97. Epic of Gilgamesh vi.24–79: ANET:84. The passage is discussed by George 2003, 1:472–474.
[ back ] 98. See p376.
[ back ] 99. Cf. e.g. Clement of Alexandria Exhortation 2.33: Ἀφροδίτη δὲ ἐπ’ Ἄρει κατῃσχυμμένη μετῆλθεν ἐπὶ Κινύραν καὶ Ἀγχίσην ἔγημεν καὶ Φαέθοντα ἐλόχα καὶ ἤρα Ἀδώνιδος κτλ.
[ back ] 100. Cf. Lightfoot 2004:86.
[ back ] 101. For sources and discussion, see Ribichini 1981:108–123.
[ back ] 102. See p401–404.
[ back ] 103. But note “the gods of Byblos” in a fragmentary fourth-century votive inscription from Larnaka tēs Lapethou: Honeyman 1938 (line 9), with comments on 296–297; HC:99–100n6, 182n1; Greenfield 1987; Michaelidou-Nicolaou 1987:337.
[ back ] 104. See p368–369.
[ back ] 105. See p404.
[ back ] 106. Homer Odyssey 8.285–288 (cf. Franklin 2014:223–224); Homeric Hymn 10.1 (Κυπρογενῆ Κυθέρειαν); Sappho 140a (lament for Adonis); Ovid Metamorphoses 10.717–720; Manilius Astronomica 4.579–581; Nonnos Dionysiaka 3.109–111. Cf. Brown 1965:216–219.
[ back ] 107. Hesiod Theogony 192–193.
[ back ] 108. Gruppe 1906 2:1359; Brown 1965:216–219; GR:152–153; EFH:56–57 with further references.
[ back ] 109. Cassio 2012 §3: an “artificial bardic creation … devised … so to speak in cold blood, and at a late stage”; he sees it as patterned after the equally artificial Gk. eupatéreia, which appears in the same verse-end position. See further his contextual arguments.
[ back ] 110. See generally Franklin 2014 and above p1, 211.
[ back ] 111. Homeric Hymn 10.1, 4. The association is also clear at Hymn 6.18.
[ back ] 112. For the Kotharat, see above p445n11; Margalit 1972:55 (resumed in Margalit 1989:285–286); Selms 1979:73–74; KwH:466–472; DDD col. 915–917 (Pardee), with earlier literature.
[ back ] 113. [Apollodoros] Library 3.14.3. For Philo’s Artemides as the Kotharat, see YGC:143; Baumgarten 1981:204, 227. Cf. below p123n74, 510.
[ back ] 114. Philo of Byblos FGH 790 F 10: θεὸς Σουρμουβηλὸς Θουρώτε ἡ μετονομασθεῖσα Χούσαρθις ἀκολουθήσαντες κεκρυμμένην τοῦ Τααύτου καὶ ἀλληγορίαις ἐπεσκιασμένην τὴν θεολογίαν ἐφώτισαν. Cf. Brown 1965:215; YGC:138–139n73; Selms 1979:744; Attridge and Oden 1981:104n4; Baumgarten 1981:68–74 for Philo’s understanding of Taautos.
[ back ] 115. Nonnos Dionysiaka 3.109–111.
[ back ] 116. By contrast the false Kyth é reia < Kýth ē ra supposes an internal Greek development, whatever the anterior etymology of Kýthēra itself.
[ back ] 117. See p199n71, 274.
[ back ] 118. By this time the twenty-two letter Proto-Canaanite alphabet shows that “the three interdentals [ṯ, ḏ, ] … merged in Canaanite with dental and palato-alveolar fricatives” (Harris 1939:40–41; SL §13.7, quotation). After the merger, P-S would have yielded s in Greek, hence Ug. Kṯr/‘Gk’. Χουσώρ; cf. σίγλος (‘shekel’)/Ug. ṯql, Pun./Heb. šql, Akk. šeqlu (Emprunts:34–37); σάκκος (‘coarse cloth’ > ‘sack/garment’)/Akk. *šaqqu, Imperial Aramaic šqq (Emprunts:24–25, where Phoen. *šqq is assumed the source).
[ back ] 119. See Priebatsch 1980. Note e.g. the famous problem of Gk. Ἀχαιοί/Hitt. Aḫḫiyawa (329), and Gk. χρυσός (‘gold’ = ku-ru-so in Lin. B., which lacks separate signs for aspirates)/Can. ḥarūṣ(u) (329–330). Albright’s objection to the derivation of Kythera from kṯr (YGC:136n65) is no longer relevant. He insisted that the name would have to go back improbably far to the third millennium, believing that was already pronounced š by the early second millennium because of its representation in the Sethe execration texts and Akkadian documents of Ugarit. But these correspondences are now attributed to unequal phonetic inventories in the relevant scripts/languages, and it is generally accepted that the interdental was still pronounced at Ugarit (Segert 1984 §34.27; KwH:80; Gordon 1997:51; Pardee 2008:292; Huehnergard 2008:230–231). It may, however, have been a conservative, literate/official usage: occasional interchanges of and š hint at coalescence (SL §13.6), and some tablets using the twenty-two letter script have been found (Gordon 1997:49). This would support a rather earlier date for a link between Kothar and Kythereia and/or Kythera than the Ugaritic texts themselves.
[ back ] 120. Ktir is found on an inscribed statue base from the reign of Amenhotep III (ca. 1403–1364) in a list of other Aegean TNs—perhaps “an itinerary describing a route (or a specific voyage) to mainland Greece and Crete”: see with further references EFH:6 and n12, 57n238; Cline 2007:194 (quotation). For Lin. B ku-te-ra (nominative plural, ‘women of Kythera’), see Nikoloudis 2008:47 (PY A- series).
[ back ] 121. Herodotos 1.105.3 (temple of Aphrodite); Stephanos of Byzantium s.v. Κύθηρα, νῆσος … ἀπὸ Κυθήρου τοῦ Φοίνικος; repeated by Eustathios on Homer Iliad 10.269; Eustathios on Dionysios the Periegete 498. Further evidence and discussion: Morris 1992:79–80n26 (connection with Kothar is “attractive”), cf. 135n142; Lipiński 2004:176–178; Dugand 1973:245–247 arrives at a different etymology.
[ back ] 122. Primary texts, discussion, and further references in Strange 1980:83–87, 90–93, 101–102; Cline 1994:120–128; cf. Morris 1992:92–95, 98, 100, 102, et passim.
[ back ] 123. Weidner 1939; Lipiński 2004:176–178.
[ back ] 124. For which see Murray 1995.
[ back ] 125. See p326.
[ back ] 126. See Chapter 18. Brown 1965:206–207 compared Kothar and Kinyras with the Dioskouroi, as being two sets of twins, both pairs associated with the sea. A special Cypriot version of the twins (“our Dioskouroi”) is seen in the loyalty oath to Tiberius (see p205). There is also Theokritos’ description of them as “horsemen kitharists” (ἱππῆες κιθαρισταί, Idylls 22.24), which recalls the Cypriot terracottas of horse-riding lyrists: CAAC II:III[LGC]1, cf. [LGC]9; Aspects:89 no. 67 and fig. 76 (ca. 750), 91–92 no. 69, fig. 79, with references (ca. 800–750). But Theokritos receives a quite different and attractive explanation from Power 2010:282–285.
[ back ] 127. Hesiod Theogony 191–193.
[ back ] 128. Istros FGH 334 F 45. See further p515–516.
[ back ] 129. The Temple of Obelisks at Byblos goes back to the MBA (DDUPP:67, 77–79, with further references in n83). The famous stone of Paphos (Tacitus Histories 2.3, with Heubner 1963–1982 ad loc. for other ancient descriptions; also ExcCyp:179) is generally attributed to the BA (Paphos:99–100 and fig. 83). It is shown in many variations on Roman coins from Augustus to Caracalla/Geta (BMC Cyprus:cxxvii–cxxxiv and 73–87 passim and pl. XIV.3, 7–8, XV.1–4, 7–8, XVI.2, 4, 6–9, XVII.4–6, 8–10, XXVI.3, 6; Head et al. 1911:746; Blinkenberg 1924:7–17 with figs; HC:74; Paphos:84, fig. 65–67, 103 fig. 87; Gaifman 2012:169–180). A very similar conical stone is represented on a Byblian coin from the reign of Macrinus (ca. 217–218 CE): BMC Phoenicia:102 no. 36 (pl. xii, 13); cf. Millar 1993:277; DDUPP:76 with references in n68. Aniconic stones within temples are also shown on imperial-era issues from Emesa (sanctuary of Heliogabalos) and Seleucia Pieria in Syria: Price and Trell 1977:168–170; Gaifman 2012:177–178 with references. It is impossible to verify if the ‘black stone’ displayed at modern Kouklia as Aphrodite’s image is indeed that (Gaifman 2012:179–180).
[ back ] 130. DDUPP:72. For Aphrodite, see p330.
[ back ] 131. See p407n45.
[ back ] 132. See p403n16.
[ back ] 133. Philo of Byblos FGH 790 F 2 (22, 35). Cf. Baumgarten 1981:200–201; DDUPP:74–75.
[ back ] 134. EA 114. Cf. HC:43; AP:51; Moran 1992:190n12.
[ back ] 135. CS 1 no. 41.
[ back ] 136. Falsone 1988:80 (“indubbiamente uno dei maggiori centri produttori di bronzo di tutto l’antico Vicino Oriente”).
[ back ] 137. EA 77 with Liverani 1997.
[ back ] 138. For a general introduction, see DDUPP:67–114.
[ back ] 139. There was probably a hiatus during the First Intermediate Period, ca. 2180–2140: cf. Helck 1971:38.
[ back ] 140. Saghieh 1983:129–132 et passim; Genz 2010:207, 211–212; Arnaud 2010:167–168.
[ back ] 141. Amherst (Pinches 1908) 82 rev. 19, with the parallel discussed by Sollberger 1959/1960:121–122; cf. DDUPP:68.
[ back ] 142. The older interpretation was based on the Byblian ruler’s designation as en5-si, as the title en-si2 was used of Ur’s provincial governors. It is now known to have been applied also to foreign monarchs; only the emperor was lugal. See with references Saghieh 1983:131; Steinkeller 1987:36–37; Michalowski 2009:19–20.
[ back ] 143. Dossin 1969.
[ back ] 144. EA 84.33. Arnaud 2010:175 proposes to reread dDAMU-ia as dDa-mu-az!, that is, Tammuz/Dumuzi; but this would not resolve, only displace, the interpretive problem posed by DAMU (see below).
[ back ] 145. So Schroeder 1915; cf. Ribichini 1981:189–192.
[ back ] 146. Mettinger 2013:137–145, 217–219, with the doxographic review of dying-and-rising god skeptics in Chapter 1, and a convincing refutation of Na’aman 1990, who saw in dDAMU-ia a reference to the city’s goddess. For the new reading of Baal in KAI 4, Bonnet 1993; DDUPP:89; Mettinger 2013:140. For the ‘living god’ of Byblos (EA 129.51), see also Moran 1992:211n23; for a further possible attestation in a late third-millennium Egyptian Pyramid Texts, see Redford 1990:826; Mettinger 2013:144–145 with references in n166.
[ back ] 147. See DDUPP:79–80.
[ back ] 148. RlA 2:115–116 (*Damu, Ebeling); Black and Green 1992 s.v. Damu.
[ back ] 149. Mettinger 2013:144, 207, 218, 220.
[ back ] 150. See with earlier references Loretz 1984; Mettinger 2013:125–126, 140–141 (citing Bordreuil 1977 for ‘Adonis’ [’dn], alongside the goddess herself, in a tenth-century Byblian inscription).
[ back ] 151. Smith 2001:117–118; Mettinger 2013:218–219. The Byblian cult-myth of Adonis’ return, as described by Lucian, can hardly be dismissed as emulation of Christian theology. For those who have held this desperate position, and a convincing refutation, see Mettinger 2010:26–29, 135–136, 153–154, 217–218.
[ back ] 152. Mettinger 2013:144; cf. Ribichini 1981:190; Smith 2001:117–118.
[ back ] 153. This context was rightly emphasized by Ribichini 1981:192–197, 202; cf. Grottanelli 1984:36–38 et passim. For Ugarit, see Chapter 7.
[ back ] 154. Mettinger 2013:218, cf. 220 for Zechariah 12:11 (“On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo”). For further evidence of Damu at Ebla (?), Ugarit, Sidon, and Tyre, see DDUPP:190–192.
[ back ] 155. See n148.
[ back ] 156. Mettinger 2010:201 and n87.
[ back ] 157. See Cohen 1993:465–481; Smith 2001:113; PHG 37 and n143, 147, 183, 197n31.
[ back ] 158. See p64 and Heimpel, “Balang Gods,” Section 2c, 4a§5; 23b, 23f, 47a.
[ back ] 159. Heimpel, “Balang Gods,” 53 V 168; cf. PHG:113.
[ back ] 160. See especially p134–146.
[ back ] 161. See p60 and n81.
[ back ] 162. Dossin 1969, especially 245–248; cf. Saghieh 1983:131; Dalley et al. 1998:15, 17.
[ back ] 163. Genz 2010:211.
[ back ] 164. Arnaud 2010:164–174 (Eš6-tar2-eš3 at reverse 3).
[ back ] 165. Cf. Heimpel, “Balang Gods,” Section 3c1.
[ back ] 166. Arnaud 2010:173.
[ back ] 167. PHG:37–38.
[ back ] 168. See p101–102.
[ back ] 169. See p363.