Purify, Cleanse (kedalizô)
KEDALION (Cedalion) was the demi-god of smelting ore. He was an attendant of the divine smith Hephaistos (Hephaestus) employed at the god's forge on the island of Lemnos. When the blinded giant Orion visited, Hephaistos leant him Kedalion as a guide for the journey to the home of the sun-god Helios.
Kedalion's name means "the Purifier" or "the Cleanser" from the Greek verb kedalizô. He was perhaps connected with the Kabeiroi (Cabeiri), dwarfish sons of the god Hephaistos.
CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES
Hesiod, The Astronomy Fragment 4 (from Pseudo-Eratosthenes Catasterismoi 32) (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
"[After being blinded by King Oinopion (Oenopion) the giant Orion] came to Lemnos as a beggar and there met Hephaistos (Hephaestus) who took pity on him and gave him Kedalion (Cedalion) his own servant to guide him. So Orion took Kedalion upon his shoulders and used to carry him about while he pointed out the roads. Then he came to the east and appears to have met Helios (the Sun) and to have been healed."
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 25 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Orion went to Khios (Chios) where he courted Oinopion's (Oenopion's) daughter Merope. Oinopion, however, got him drunk, and, as he slept, blinded him and tossed him out on the beach. He made his way to the bronze workshop of Hephaistos (Hephaestus), where he seized a boy [i.e. Kedalion], set him on his shoulders, and ordered him to guide him toward the east. Once there, he looked up and was completely healed by the rays of Helios (the Sun)."
Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 34 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"[Orion] when his passions were excited by wine, he attacked Merope, the daughter of Oenopion. For this he was blinded by Oenopion and cast out of the island. But he came to Lemnos and Vulcanus [Hephaistos], and received from him a guide named Cedalion. Carrying him on his shoulders, he came to Sol (the Sun) [Helios], and when Sol healed him."
- Hesiod, Astronomy Fragments - Greek Epic C8th - 7th B.C.
- Apollodorus, The Library - Greek Mythography C2nd A.D.
- Hyginus, Astronomica - Latin Mythography C2nd A.D.
A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.