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Zeus Didymaeus

Joseph Eddy Fontenrose
Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association
Vol. 63 (1932), pp. 245-255
DOI: 10.2307/283217
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/283217
Page Count: 11
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Zeus Didymaeus
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Abstract

Many scholars have asserted that there was a cult of Zeus Didymaeus at Didyma, which was associated closely with the cult of Apollo Didymaeus; in fact, that the two gods were partners in the shrine. This view is based upon a fragment of Nicander's Aetolica, the only passage in which Zeus is called by the epithet Didymaeus, and upon a few passages in which Apollo and Zeus together are called lords of Didyma. In the inscriptions, however, there is no mention of a Zeus Didymaeus at Didyma; but associated with Apollo Didymaeus and the inferior deities of Didyma there appears several times a Zeus Soter, who receives honors such as we should have expected Zeus Didymaeus to receive because of his very epithet. It seems evident, therefore, that there was no cult of Zeus Didymaeus at Didyma, and that the principal Zeus-cult there was that of Zeus Soter. If the Nicander passage is sound, and if it refers to the Milesian Didyma, it is likely that the author was using merely a literary or geographical epithet. The other passages are based upon a false etymology of the name Didyma. Bilabel's theory that a Zeus Branchus was worshipped at Didyma has no more foundation than the older view that there was a Zeus Didymaeus.

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