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In "Greek mythology, the Telchines ("Ancient Greek: Τελχῖνες, Telkhines) were the original inhabitants of the island of "Rhodes, and were known in "Crete and "Cyprus.



Their parents were either "Pontus and "Gaia, or "Tartarus and "Nemesis, or else they were born from the blood of castrated "Uranus along with the "Erinyes.[1] In another story there were nine Telchines, children of "Thalassa and "Pontus; they had flippers instead of hands and the heads of dogs and were known as fish children.[2]

They were regarded as excellent metallurgists: various accounts[3][4] state that they were skilled metal workers in brass and iron, and made a "trident for Poseidon and a sickle for "Cronus, both ceremonial weapons.[5] By some accounts, their children were highly worshipped as gods in the three ancient Rhodian towns of "Ialysos (Ἰαλυσός), "Kamiros (Κάμειρος) and "Lindos (Λίνδος).["citation needed]

The Telchines were entrusted by "Rhea with the upbringing of Poseidon, which they accomplished with the aid of Capheira (Καφείρα), one of "Oceanus' daughters.[3] Another version says that Rhea accompanied them to Crete from Rhodes, where nine of the Telchines, known as the "Curetes, were selected to bring up "Zeus.[6]

The Telchines were associated and sometimes confused with the "Cyclopes, "Dactyls and Curetes.[7]

They were believed to bring about hailstorms, snow, and rain at will, to assume any shape they pleased,[8] and produced a substance poisonous to living things.

The gods ("Zeus, "Poseidon or "Apollo) eventually killed them because they began to use magic for malignant purposes;[9] particularly, they produced a mixture of "Stygian water and sulfur, which killed animals and plants[10] (according to "Nonnus, they did so as a revenge for being driven out of Rhodes by the "Heliadae).[11] Accounts vary on how exactly they were destroyed: by flood,[9] or Zeus's thunderbolt,[12] or Poseidon's trident,[13] or else Apollo assumed the shape of a wolf to kill them.[14] They apparently lost one of the "titanomachias, the battles between the gods and the Titans.


The following individual names are attested in various sources:[15][16][17][18][19]

Known female Telchines were Makelo, Dexithea (one of Damon's daughters)[20] and probably Lysagora (the attesting text is severely damaged).[21] "Ovid in his "Ibis mentions that Makelo, like the other Telchines, was killed with a thunderbolt;[22] according to "Callimachus[23] and "Nonnus,[13] however, Makelo was the only one to be spared. According to "Bacchylides,[21] the survivor is Dexithea. Bacchylides also mentions that Dexithea later had a son "Euxanthios by "Minos.[24] This Euxanthios is also known from "Pindar's works.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tzetzes on "Theogony 80
  2. ^ "Eustathius on "Homer, p. 771
  3. ^ a b "Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 55. 5 ff
  4. ^ "Strabo, Geography 14. 2
  5. ^ "Callimachus, Hymn 4 to Delos 28 ff
  6. ^ "Strabo, Geography 10. 3. 19
  7. ^ "Strabo, Geography 10. 3. 7
  8. ^ "Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 5. 55.
  9. ^ a b "Ovid, Metamorphoses 7. 365 ff
  10. ^ "Strabo, Geography 14. 2. 7
  11. ^ "Nonnus, "Dionysiaca 14. 36 ff
  12. ^ a b "Pindar, Paean 5
  13. ^ a b "Nonnus, "Dionysiaca 18. 35
  14. ^ "Servius' on "Aeneid IV. 377
  15. ^ "Eustathius on "Homer p. 772
  16. ^ "Nonnus, "Dionysiaca 14. 36
  17. ^ "Tzetzes' commentary on "Theogony 80
  18. ^ "Stephanus of Byzantium s. v. Ataburon
  19. ^ "Hesychius s. v. Mylas
  20. ^ "Callimachus, Aitia Fragment 75
  21. ^ a b "Bacchylides, Fragment 1
  22. ^ "Ovid, Ibis, 475
  23. ^ "Callimachus, Aitia Fragment 3. 1
  24. ^ Confirmed by the account of Pseudo-"Apollodorus, "Bibliotheca 3. 1. 2

External links[edit]

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