Learned, Knowing (daô)
DAEIRA was an Okeanid-nymph of the town in Eleusis in Attika (southern Greece). She may have been the Naiad of the town's famous well, the Kallikhoros (Callichorus), where Demeter first rested upon entering Eleusis. She was also the mother of the town's eponymous king Eleusis by the god Hermes.
Daeira was surely connected with the rites of the Eleusinian Mysteries. Her name means "Knowing One" or "Teacher" from the Greek verb daô which appears to connect her with the instruction of initiates in the secret knowledge of the Mysteries. The name Daeira was also an Eleusinian title of the goddess Persephone. Daeira may also have been identified with the Eleusinian Hekate who, according to some, was a consort of Hermes Khthonios (the Guide of the Dead).
OKEANOS (Pausanias 1.38.7)
ELEUSIS (by Hermes) (Pausanias 1.38.7)
DAEIRA (Daeira or Daira), that is, "the knowing," a divinity connected with the Eleusinian mysteries. According to Pausanias (i. 38. § 7) she was a daughter of Oceanus, and became by Hermes the mother of Eleusis; but others called her a sister of Styx; while a third account represents her as identical with Aphrodite, Demeter, Hera, or Persephone. (Apollon. Rhod. iii. 847; Eustath, ad Hom. p. 648.)
Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES
Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 38. 7 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"The hero Eleusis, after whom the city is named, some assert to be a son of Hermes and of Daeira, daughter of Okeanos (Oceanus); there are poets, however, who have made Ogygos (Ogygus) father of Eleusis."
Lycophron, Alexandra 697 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"He [Odysseus] shall offer up a gift to Daeira [i.e. Persephone] and her consort [Haides], fastening his helmet to the head of a pillar."
Suidas s.v. Eleusinia (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Eleusinia (festival) : To the winners [at] the Eleusinia a prize used to be given. The city was named after Eleusinos, the son of Hermes. But others give another reason and say that the Eleusinia was only a festival."
- Lycophron, Alexandra - Greek Poetry C3rd B.C.
- Pausanias, Description of Greece - Greek Travelogue C2nd A.D.
- Suidas, The Suda - Byzantine Greek Lexicon C10th A.D.
Other references not currently quoted here (as title of Persephone): Pherecydes 45J, Aristophanes, Frogs 277, Pollux 1.35.
A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.