Cthonie’s Robe

Pherecydes‘ prose is too heavily paratactic to do well in close English rendering but it is more the image than the language that is catchingly pretty here – especially on the reconstruction that Cthonie becomes Ge/Gaia by donning the robe and enfolding herself in the image of the earth’s surface.

For him (Zeus/Zas) [the other gods] built homes many and great; And then they provided all the necessary goods and servants male and female and as much else as was needed.  And when all was ready, they held a wedding.  And then on the third day of the wedding Zas made a robe, great and beautiful. And on it he fashioned Earth and Ogenos (Oceanus) and the homes of Ogenos.

 ….. [he said to Cthonie] I honour you with this robe. Rejoice and be my consort!’ This they say was the first feast of unveiling, and hence arose the custom for both gods and men. And she responded as she received the robe from him…..

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