PANDEIA was a daughter of the sky-god Zeus and the moon-goddess Selene. It is likely that she was a goddess of the full moon (panselênê in Greek) and of the earth-nourishing dew (hersê).
Several other writers mention a daughter of Zeus and Selene but name her Ersa (Dew) or Nemeia. It is not clear if these are three distinct goddesses or just alternate names for the one. She may also be connected with the Menai (Months), the fifty daughters of Endymion and Selene.
|ZEUS & SELENE (Homeric Hymn 32 to Selene, Hyginus Preface, Scholiast on Pindar's Odes, Hyginus Preface)
PARENTAGE OF PANDEIA
Homeric Hymn 32 to Selene (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th - 4th B.C.) :
"Once Kronides [Zeus] was joined with her [Selene] in love; and she conceived an bare a daughter Pandeia, exceeding lovely amongst the deathless gods."
Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"From Jove [Zeus] and Luna [Selene] [was born] : Pandia."
Virgil, Georgics 3. 390 ff (trans. Fairclough) (Roman bucolic C1st B.C.) :
[Virgil mentions in passing how the god Pan seduced Selene by luring her down from the sky with a shining lamb's fleece. The story may be connected with the birth of goddess Pandeia, whose name prefix naturally suggests the god.]
"‘Twas with gift of such snowy wool, if we may trust the tale, that Pan, Arcadia’s god, charmed and beguiled you, O Luna [Selene the moon], calling you to the depths of the woods; nor did you scorn his call."
CULT OF PANDEIA
I) NEMEA Town in Argolis (Southern Greece)
According to the Scholiast on Pindar's Nemean Odes the eponymous goddess of the town of Nemea was a daughter of Zeus and Selene. She may be the same as the goddess Pandeia described in the Homeric Hymn. Her mother Selene was closely associated with cult of Zeus Nemeios in the town, being described as the mother or nurse of the famous Nemean Lion.
II) PHLIOS Town in Sikyonia (Southern Greece)
The goddess Dia was worshipped in the town of Phlios in Sikyonia near Nemea (above). She may be the Pandeia mentioned in the Homeric Hymn. Although the locals apparently identified this Dia with the goddess Hebe. This does not preclude her identity, since Hebe's mother Hera was sometimes identified with Pandeia's mother Selene.
Strabo, Geography 8. 6. 24 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"In Phlios and Sikyon the temple of Dia is held in honor; and Dia is their name for Hebe."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 13. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"On the Phliasian citadel [at Phlios, Argos] is a grove of cypress trees and a sanctuary which from ancient times has been held to be peculiarly holy. The earliest Phliasians named the goddess to whom the sanctuary belongs Ganymeda; but later authorites call her Hebe, whom Homer mentions in the duel between Menelaos and Alexandros, saying that she was the cup-bearer of the gods; and again he says, in the descent of Odysseus to Haides, that she was the wife of Herakles. Olen, in his Hymn to Hera, says that Hera was reared by the Horai (Seasons), and that her children were Ares and Hebe. Of the honours that the Phliasians pay to this goddess the greatest is the pardoning of suppliants. All those who seek sanctuary here receive full forgiveness, and prisoners, when set free, dedicate their fetters on the trees in the grove. The Phliasians also celebrate a yearly festival which they call Kissotomoi (Ivy-cutters). There is no image, either kept in secret of openly displayed, and the reason for this is set forth in a sacred legend of theirs though on the left as you go out is a temple of Hera with an image of Parian marble."
- The Homeric Hymns - Greek Epic C8th-4th B.C.
- Strabo, Geography - Greek Geography C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.
- Pausanias, Description of Greece - Greek Travelogue C2nd A.D.
- Hyginus, Fabulae - Latin Mythography C2nd A.D.
Other references not currently quoted here: Plutarch Symposium 3; Scholiast on Pindar Nemean Ode